Sunday, November 30, 2008

Alton Brown in a genius

I love popcorn, lovely buttery popcorn. I HATE microwave popcorn. No matter what brand I have bought it is always too salty, and then my fingers swell up like sausages and I need to drink gallons of water and you get the picture. So, for the last several years, whenever I wanted popcorn I did it the old fashioned way, on the stove top in a pan with oil. It takes a while but the result is good and I have total control over how much butter and salt I put on.

But now, thanks to that genius Alton Brown, I can go back to quickly doing my popcorn in the microwave. I never would have known about this except for the lovely ladies in the Frugal Homemakers forum on Ravelry. So, this is what you do. You will need a brown paper bag (about lunch bag size), regular popcorn kernels and a stapler (yes a stapler). You put the popcorn kernels in the paper bag (a 1/3 cup makes a GOOD sized portion), fold the top down twice and close it with ONE staple. Put the bag in the microwave, hit the popcorn button and then start. That is all there is to it. I did have to do one and a half popcorn cycles, turning the microwave off when the popping slowed way down. Take it out, open the bag (be careful of the steam) and voila! Popcorn. Add melted butter, salt and whatever other seasonings you want and you are in business. No muss, no fuss, no oil. Delicious.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Well worth watching. I am not sure if there is a group that does this at my local airport but I am going to check it out.

7 Quick Takes (Vol1)

Well, I am going to try something that I haven't done before in the blogosphere, a regular weekly thing called "7 Quick Takes". I wish that I could claim this as an original idea, I haven't really had one of those for a long time, but it isn't. I found the idea on Conversion Diary blog and liked it (thanks Jennifer F.) So, we will give it a shot and see what happens. Go here to find out what "7 Quick Takes" are. For me they will be 7 things that I am thinking about on any given Friday. Who knows what is going to come out of my fingers! Be afraid, be very afraid.
I love spending time with my family. When my daughters are all laughing and joking together and the DH is out talking to my dad and brother. When everyone is together and just enjoying each others company it is so great. I would take that over just about anything.
At the airport, when the "Temporarily closed for cleaning" sign is out in front of the bathroom why do people seem to think that pertains to everyone but THEM. I watched a parade of people walk up to the restrooms, walk AROUND the sign, enter the bathroom only to exit quickly when they realize that yes, the sign means it is closed to all people. Hello!
I love early morning. I seem to be genetically set up to get up early and go to bed early. Here is is 6a (CST) and I have been up for an hour already. I think the thing I love most about it is that I am the only one up. Everyone else is sleeping. That is what I loved about early morning when the girls were little. It was the only part of the day that I had all to myself.
Are you on Facebook? I resisted for the longest time. I was worried that my kids would run screaming into the hills knowing that I was on Facebook. My latent teenage fears that no one would like me also reared their ugly heads. What if no one "friended" me, what if no one liked me. What would I do? But finally I gave in and set up a Facebook account. All I can say is......TOTAL ADDICTION. Just ridiculous on my part but there it is. I am now friends with people I haven't seen in years and may never see again (the wife of my high school church youth leader!?!), I am friends with people I will never meet in person. It just seems to snowball but I can't seem to stop. Help me!
I don't know what I would do without my dog Max. I am convinced that he is the smartest dog in the world. He has this internal clock that tells him, "Hey it is 3:30p and it is time for me to be fed!". When there is any kind of sporting event on the TV he quietly goes into his house and stays there because there might be yelling going on and he is a sensitive dog. He knows that we don't play until after dinner. He watches and waits and seems to know the minute that we are done eating and talking and then here he comes with his toy. Amazing.
I love books. I just thought I would tell you that in case you hadn't already figured it out. I would rather read than do almost anything else. I am not sure what I am going to do when we move. I will take plenty of books with me but are there ones that can been weaned out of the shelves. Perhaps. But it will be hard.
That first cup of coffee is one of the best things in life. In fact, the coffee is just done brewing.

Go over to Conversion Diary and check out other " 7 Quick Takes".

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Do you ever just say "Thanks" for the little things in life? I am not talking about the little old lady driving 20mph in a 35mph zone who makes you slow down and then prevents you from getting a ticket or being involved in that big accident. You were speeding and late, that isn't anything to be proud of.

No, I mean thanks for all the little things in life that we take for granted. Actually, some of them may be little things to others but big things to you. It is good for you to sit down and write it out, not just to pop little thank you arrows to "the man upstairs" (oh I hate that phrase but this post isn't about that). Today take the time to write out what you are thankful for. Some of them may be common, all of them may be. But when you write something down it gives that thing substance, weight, importance. It makes them real to you, it makes you think.

So, here is my "thankful" list. It may get a tad long but this is my blog and I can do what I want. Hehehehehehehe.

- For my health and the health of my family. After the medical issues that we have had this year that is saying something.
- That I can spend this holiday with my husband, children, parents, brother and his family and various boyfriends. The more the merrier.
- That my home is paid for. In these times that is a biggie.
- for the 5 hawks that we saw yesterday on the drive to the cottage. I don't know what it is about hawks but I just love to see them.
- for my country. I still believe that the United States of America is the best country to live in. I have been to plenty of other countries and I haven't yet found one that I would rather live in. Think about that when you complain about the election process or the price of gas or whatever. You have those things available to you without any difficulty. In most countries in the world that isn't the case.
- for my love of photography. When you begin to look at the world around you in a closer way you see just how marvelous is the world that the Lord has given us.
- for books.
- for a good glass of wine. Not just any glass of wine but a good one. A bad glass of wine is nothing to be thankful for. Why bother if it tastes yucky.
- for laughter with my daughters. There are few things in life that make me happier than to see my girls laughing with each other and with me. We watched old family videos last night and laughed until we cried. It was awesome.
- for good friends. I have some of the best friends in the world. They are there for me whatever the situation. If I need a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, prayer for any situation, laughter, they are there for me. My friend Dottie and I are going to the spa next week to spend the day wallowing in decadence. Well, I don't know about the decadence cuz I haven't ever been to the spa but it has to be better than just putting lotion on my feet in the morning.
- for my excellent Mothers-in-law and Fathers-in-law. You might notice that those are plural. Yes I have two of each do to divorce and remarriage. All four of them are great and I am thankful that they are in my life.
- for my puppy dog Max (who is actually 7). He is the best dog in the entire world.
- for that first (and only) cup of coffee in the morning. It is just so good.
- for all the good times that we have had here at The Cottage for the last 41 years. More fun than a barrel of monkeys and a little cleaner too, though not always, especially during the "algae years".
- for a wonderful husband Dan. He is my best friend, my travel buddy, my lover, my computer "go to" guy, the person who can make me laugh the most. I am so thankful that the Lord brought him into my life back in 1983. We will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary next May. I love you babe.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving all. Eat a lot of turkey, dressing and all the trimmings. Enjoy your family.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008



Brooks, Geraldine

Knitting Sticks: 1

OK, this was a book that my MIL recommended. She LOVED it. I HATED it. Can I say that again, I HATED IT. I don't really know why this book struck me so negatively but it certainly did. It is one of those books that I just wanted to throw it against the wall and walk away. I am sure that it is a good book and the reviews are very positive but for me it was just infuriating, sort of like that movie a few years back called "The Piano". Oh man don't get me started on that one! I digress.

"March" is the story of Mr. March, the father from Louisa May Alcott's book Little Women. A revered figure in literature, the wise, kind father who is wounded in the Civil War. Ms. Brooks "let her imagination run" (her own words) when imagining the life and background of Mr. March and to some extent Mrs. March. She based these imaginings on the real life of Louisa May Alcott's father Bronson Alcott a rather controversial figure. Mr. March starts life as an uneducated man just like Bronson Alcott, he travels in the South, he is a vegetarian, he participates in the Underground Railroad, he is a friend of John Brown, all like Bronson Alcott. I don't have any issues with that but imagining that Mr. March would also have "feelings" for a slave in the south, would be unfaithful in his heart (but thankfully nothing more) for said woman after he meets up with her again during the Civil War, would be not the strong husband and father that we came to know from Ms. Alcott's book but a weak and in my mind cowardly man who stands on his "convictions" to the detriment of others. That Mr. March and Miss Day (later to become Mrs. March) would consummate their relationship, out of the bounds of matrimony, OUTSIDE, after having met only two or three times. Oh give me a break!

I know loads of people have loved this book and if you have read it and loved it then that is great. But if you are looking for me to recommend it I am going to give you a resounding NO!!! Just go and read Little Women. In the end it is a much better use of your time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Socks For Soldiers

I keep forgetting to post some knitting, this is after all partially a knitting blog. Anyways, some of what I am knitting I can't post because certain people who read the blog would see the projects and that wouldn't be good.

First of all, yes I know the picture is rotated wrong. For some reason Blogger keeps doing that and I can't seem to correct it so we will have to live with it. Sigh.

So, what is the picture all about. Well, I will tell you. I knit socks (like you didn't already know that). I would knit socks all the time I love it so. But, after a period of time you have to do something that is for someone else. Almost a year ago I was surfing around on the internet for sock knitting groups. This group, "Socks For Soldiers" popped up. Hmmmmm, that sounds interesting I said to myself. Socks for Soldiers is a Yahoo group that you must join to participate in. We knit wool socks for our soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. We don't talk politics, we don't gab too much about off topic subjects (except for health concerns and certain other issues), we stay on task and we love it. There are 1300 of us around the country who are passionate about this particular thing. We knit socks for soldiers.

You might be asking if there are really any soldiers who want these socks. Well there are! We currently have a waiting list of almost 1500 soldiers who want socks. That is a lot of knitting especially since these socks are BIG and LONG. It takes me a month to produce a pair and I am a fast knitter.

So, how does Socks for Soldiers work? You have to join the group first. That is fairly easy, you just have to tell our fearless leader Kim why you want to knit socks (or beanies) for soldiers. We ask that you make a commitment to knit 20 minutes a day on these socks. If you do that, even if you are a beginner or slow knitter you will complete your socks in a month or so. I should let you know that when you make this commitment you also commit to using the approved yarn list and the approved sock pattern. Kim has taken the time to liason with the different branches of service to make sure that the sock pattern, yarn and colors are all "regulation". If you don't use the approved pattern and yarn then the soldiers can't use the socks, it is that simple. I should also say that when we aren't knitting regulation socks we might also be knitting "leisure" socks which can be knit from whatever yarn you want.

Once you have finished the socks then you send them off, along with a note to your soldier, to Kim Opperman who is our fearless "Sarge". This woman is a DYNAMO and totally committed to the cause. She started Socks For Soldiers when her son was sent to Iraq a number of years ago. It just kept growing from there. She collects all the socks and the other supplies, checks to make sure that everything is in proper order, boxes everything up and sends it out. There is also a list of other supplies that you can send if you so desire along with your sock. That isn't a necessity but many of us do. We don't just send socks we send boxes, LOTS of boxes, filled with all sorts of things. It is cool.

So, if you are a sock knitter or want to be one then this is a group for you. I don't know what I would do without these ladies and I can't imagine not knitting socks for soldiers. In fact, after I finish sending these socks to Kim I am going to cast on for my next pair. I haven't gotten my 20 minutes in yet today. Can't slack off, there are too many soldiers waiting for socks!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Morning Humor

In light of the fact that it is Thanksgiving week and I am busy, busy, busy here is a little Monday morning humor. JUST A REMINDER- George Carlin is "salty" in his use of language. This one isn't the seven words that you can't say on TV but there is some language in it.

This is one of my favorites especially as I am working to get rid of my "stuff"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

For the Love of Pete it's only November!

For the love of Pete people, it is only the 22nd of November and we already have 13.5 inches of snow on the deck. I am not sure what that means for the rest of the winter but I don't think it looks good.

Perhaps we won't get any snow in December, please, please.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's All Hugh Hewitt's Fault

My name is Debbie and I am a blog addict. There I have said it, I have named my addiction. I have power over it. Ha! I can step away anytime I want.

Really, my love for reading blogs is all Hugh Hewitt's fault. Mr. Hewitt is a conservative radio personality that I listen to on occasion. He is also a law professor and author and it is in his capacity as author that he led me down the path of blog addiction.

It wasn't until I read Mr. Hewitt's 2005 book "Blog" that I even found out what a blog is. "Blog" is short for "Web log" - an online site with time dated postings, maintained by one or more persons, that contains links and commentary. After finishing the book I said to myself, "Self, lets get on the World Wide Web and check out this blog thing. See what it is. It might be interesting for an afternoon." Yeah right.

So like any other thing that takes over your life I stuck my toe in the water, I sampled the kool aide, I typed in a web address. Hey, this is pretty cool I said to myself. So much information, so much news, so much much. Where to start, where to start. I think that I may have started with news/political blogs like Drudge, Michelle Malkin, Little Green Footballs and such. It is all sort of muddled in my brain now but I think that was the insidious beginning both of the problem and my political addiction as well. I just can't be sure. I digress. Anyway, once I began to read those blogs then I found other blogs that weren't news or politics based, those personal blogs that people maintain in a narcississtic attempt to let the world know what they are doing. Cough, cough. Oh yeah, I maintain one of those. Well never mind that comment.

When you begin to read personal blogs they often have what is called a "blogroll" listed on the site. This is a listing of the blogs that particular poster reads on a regular or semi regular basis. Click on one of them and it will take you right to that blog. Like that blog, well then you bookmark it so that you can remember where you found it and look at their blogroll. Click on more blogs, bookmark more blogs. Pretty soon you have so many blogs bookmarked that you can't possibly check all of them every day. Case in point, I started with Amy's Humble Musings which led me to Biblical Womanhood which led me to Money Saving Mom which led me in several different directions. You get the picture.

I will be honest and say that there are some blogs that I read that I have no idea where I came across them. Dooce would be one of those. Heather Armstrong has been blogging since at least 2001 and the name of her blog "dooce" has actually become a verb in some circles. To be "dooced" (sounds like moose) is to be fired from your job because of what you have written on your blog (which is what happened to Heather). She and I don't see eye to eye politically (an understatement) but I still love the blog and actually went back and read ALL the blog posts starting in 2001. Obsessive much?

Well, I have now begun a purge of my personal blog roll. I can't possibly read all the blogs that I have bookmarked, unless I don't want to do anything else. Some of the blogs have become less relevant to me, some of the bloggers have stopped posting. If a blogger doesn't post for a two month period without some explanation then I step away. Just my personal rule. I understand how hard it is to produce a post every day or few days and things happen in life but I lose interest if there aren't new posts.

So, I can stop this blog addiction any time I want. I mean I only bookmarked three new blogs yesterday. That's not so bad right?......Right?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I got all flushed when I heard this

OK folks, I just didn't know this and now I do. I would have taken more time to promote this had I butt known. Yes, yes, I am pleased to announce that today, November 19th is..............wait for it.................World Toilet Day. Aren't you glad that I shared.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Xena Princess Warrior

You might think that this is Xena Princess Warrior. Sure looks like her.

But you would be wrong on that point. OK, you would be right in one sense but in our family that isn't Xena Princess Warrior.......this is
Isn't she a beauty. What, you have a problem with a one eyed, 11 year old Boston Terrier? You don't like dogs or something? You have something against dogs who sound like they are having a continuous asthma attack even though they are just breathing normally. You have issues with a dog who, when she is sleeping on the couch resembles a miniature version of a pig at the fair? Well fine, be that way.
I really wish that I could take my favorite Xena Princess Warrior! (you have to say the whole name all at once) home with me but she belongs to the in-laws and I think I might have to have a fight to the death with the FIL if I attempted to sneak her back to Ohio. Oh well, that just means that I will have to come out and visit her more often. I mean, who is going to wash my face for me at a moments notice if I don't have Xena Princess Warrior! around to do it for me.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Our Awesome USMC

This is great to watch. Thank you to Lisa G. from Socks for Soldiers.

Cha Cha Slide USMC Style

Then there is this video which is just amazing! Thank you to Blackfive

An Unexplainable Cunundrum

So here's the thing. If you are acquainted with me you will know that I love rain and rainy weather and cool weather and fall and I hate (HATE) hot weather. If I go too long without rainy weather it effects my mood. Yes I know that is strange but no one ever said that I was like other people. It is just the way that it is and this is the way that I have always been.

So, knowing that about me then how do you explain my absolute love for Arizona? I mean really, it doesn't rain here very often I can tell you. And it is sunny A LOT. And the landscape is dry, dry, dry.

But some how that just doesn't matter. When I am here visiting the in-laws I just love it. I love the mountains. I love the landscape, the brown austereness of the hills and aroyos. I love Southwestern art and history, the toughness that people needed to survive in this unforgiving landscape. I love the casualness of the people and their friendliness.
I love the Saguaro cactus and how there are no two that are alike. How they have to start their life under the shade of a Nurse bush because the sun is bad for them and that they have to be at least 50 years old before they will start to grow arms. I could look at Saguaro cactus' all day and never be bored.

This is one of the unexplainable conundrums of my odd way of looking at life. It is what it is and I don't think it is going to change.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I am a people watcher, have been for as long as I can remember. Traveling presents numerous and varied occasions to watch people. Airplanes and airports are the best! I really do love airports, well except for O'Hare and Newark. I REALLY hate Newark but that is for another post.

I love looking at what people do while on an airplane. Some people talk for the entire flight, and not quietly I will tell you. The woman behind me and on the other side of the aisle talked for 2.5 hours. Oh the poor person sitting next to her. None of us really needed to know about her latest illness I can tell you that.

Some people read on planes, books in English, books in other languages. The fellow across the aisle was completely engrossed in a Danielle Steele novel. Not the kind of reading material that I would have expected but whatever. There are businessmen doing work, looking through paperwork, fiddling with their computers. People watching movies on computers or portable DVD players. I think I was the only person knitting on the plane but I didn't walk up and down the entire aisle so I can't guarantee that. There was a fellow who did Sudoku, IN PEN, for the whole flight. I was impressed.

A great way to see what people are doing on an airplane is when you have to stand there waiting for the bathroom. Awkward in the extreme that you have to breath down peoples necks waiting for that door to open. I try to position myself by someone who is watching something interesting. Then, because this was a commuter flight you have to do the "fanny dance" with the person who has exited the lavatory. You have to make sure you turn butt to butt to minimize the creepiness of the situation. And you have to hope that both of you are small to moderate size people or else it is just REALLY a problem.

Watching people in the airport is even better. An airport is a microcosm of the whole world. You will see anything and everything in an airport. There is so much hustle and bustle, especially at peak hours. There are business men striding along, talking on their cell phones. What is all the business that these people are conducting? I love to see people walking along and texting at the same time. Somewhere along the line I am going to see someone smack into a pole because they aren't watching where they are going. There are families burdened with kids, strollers, diaper bags, grandparents. There are people with honking big backpacks and "carry on" bags that you KNOW would never actually pass the test. Those are the bags that people spend time cramming into the overhead bins, or trying to do that when all of us around them know that the bag just isn't going to fit. I occasionally see a woman who is going to catch a plane and has a small handbag with her and no other carry on. What does that woman do on the plane for the whole flight? She doesn't even have room in that purse for anything other than lipstick. There are travelers from other countries, wandering along trying to find their gate. The whole world is at the airport.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh for the love of Pete!

I am so glad that I don't live in California and that I am not raising kids in their school systems, I can tell you! I heard this little piece of news on the Mike Gallagher show this morning and I could think that it was true but it is. No more cupcakes for you little girl!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Politics for the day

OK, so I can't just roll up the political carpet right away. I can stop any time I want, yes I can. But I thought that this piece by the Powerline boys has it correct. I am going to "worry, be happy".

Worry, be happy

Sunday, November 9, 2008

On being creative

I have an at times overwhelming need to be creative. I often wonder if that is so with all people but in the end I don't think that it is. However, in my case it is something that seasons my life and daily walk through this world. It is a need, a part of me that must be fulfilled at regular intervals or I am not happy and satisfied and who I want to be.

You might ask what I mean when I say that I need to be creative. It is difficult for me to explain I guess but I will give it "the old college try". Just as an aside, what the heck is the old college try? Just wondering. Now back to our regularly scheduled wander through Debbie's brain.

So, what do I mean when I say I need to be creative. Hmmmmmmm. I guess for myself, creativity takes the form of producing something with my own two hands. I knit, scrapbook, write, garden, take photographs, cook, whatever because when I produce something that pleases me and my internal view of my world then it fulfills something within me. That was rambling but it is the best that I can do. Being creative, manipulating earth, paper, fabric, yarn seems to help me order my internal world. Being able to solve the problem of what is a good or great photo and how it is achieved gives me a feeling of contentment. Knitting socks keeps my mind ordered, centered and calm. Digging in the dirt helps me work out aggression and work through issues that are best thought out completely before being committed to paper or spoken about. Get the picture. When I produce something that I have no pattern for but only see in my head I have a feeling of accomplishment that can't be matched.

My creative urges have taken various turns over the years and there are some things that I have tried and abandoned along the path. I cannot draw even though my heart yearns for that skill. My daughter is a very talented artist and so I live vicariously through her. For many years I did endless hours of counted cross stitch. Endless hours. I am not sure when I grew out of that particular hobby but I did. The eyes just can't take it anymore and I have moved on to other things. I also did needlepoint which is almost the same thing and was discarded along my creative path. Will I ever pick them up again? I doubt it but I have learned never to say never. I dabbled briefly with "stamping" but found that it wasn't for me. I have friends that do amazing things with stamps but it just isn't me. Along the way I have stuck my toe in the creative sea at various places and have finally found the areas that allow me to express myself and fulfill my inner creative monster.

I see the world in an odd way which seems to translate well with photography. I need to document my world and do so through scrapbooking and journaling. I knit because I can't live without it. I garden because there is something inside of me, genetically passed down from Grandma and Grandpa Pringle I am sure, that tells me I must do so. To think about not having a garden in some form makes me upset and nervous. We DO NOT WANT THAT I can tell you. If I am upset and nervous then I have to clean out and organize and I might show up at your house to do that. I sew because I like it. Well, I think you get the picture.

Now if this being creative thing would just translate into cleaning my house then life would be pretty darn good (except for that Obama presidency thing). But, so far it hasn't and I have dust elephants that need taming.

Oh well.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

U.S.Presidents Reading Project

Well, as if I don't have enough to do! I ran across this reading challenge on Ex Libris blog and had to join. I have to admit that I had been thinking about doing something like this for quite a while. I had already generated a list (I LOVE lists) of all the presidents so that I could keep track of what I had read and when. However, that was as far as I got. I just needed something to jump start me and this seems to be it. What I also liked about the challenge is that there is no real time limit which is a good thing for me.

I am really ashamed about how much I don't know about all of our Presidents. I don't think I could even get them all in order and that is just really sad. So, I will be reading about all of them great and small and maybe I will be able to name them in order when I am done. I can name all the Kings and Queens of England from George I onwards so I really should be able to do that with my own Presidents. Seriously!

So, I guess I will start with George Washington and work my way through. By the time I actually get done with this project the next election will roll around. Gads, I don't even want to THINK about that!

Things That Make Me Happy

I think that today just begs for a list of things that make me happy

- the smell of burning leaves in the fall.
- a cup of tea and a good book on a rainy afternoon
- sore muscles and tiredness after a hard day of work outside (no one said I wasn't a tad weird)
- Dr. Pepper and a Butterfinger bar for an afternoon "pick me up". Delicious
- The first good snowfall of the year
- The Lodge at Apple Pie Ridge. The best B&B in Georgia
- listening to the train horn at the cottage
- that first cup of coffee in the morning
- my Grandma Pringle's apple pie. No matter how hard I try I can't make it just the same as she did.
- Opus (I am so sad that it is done)
- flannel sheets!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Next Four Years

Well, I can't say that last night wasn't a disappointment. However, I am so glad that God is sovereign and that there is nothing that happens that doesn't happen because He ordains it to be so. For reasons that I don't understand Barak Obama is the next president of our country. I don't know what kind of president he will be and I fear for my country in some ways but several things I do know.

1. God is in control of all. Say it again people, God is in control of all. Don't forget that.
2. I will pray for President Obama, for his family, for his safety, for wisdom in doing this job.
3. I will continue to pray for this country and for all of our elected leaders.
4. I am very glad that we have elected a black man for President. Never again do I want to hear that a black man (or woman) can't be anything that they want to be in this country. They can if they strive just like the rest of us. He isn't the black man that I would have wanted (that would have been Michael Steele or J.C.Watts or Ken Blackwell) but it is still a good thing. Gads I sounded like Martha Stewart there for a moment. Sorry.
5. I am SOOOOOOOO glad that this election is over. Can we go on to other things now?
6. Campaigning as we do it here in America is something that should be changed. After this election cycle that seemed to stretch on forever I am more and more convinced that too much money is spent on the race to get elected to political office. Both candidates talk about change but all the money that is spent could be put to better use actually helping someone. I would really like to see the laws changed so that there is NO CAMPAIGNING until 8 weeks before an election. Then you can bombard me within reason but not before. Other countries (like Britain and Canada and Australia) seem to be able to do this. Why can't we. Just a thought.

Now back to our regularly scheduled lives.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted this morning. Have you? And if you aren't planning on voting today then tell me why.

Monday, November 3, 2008

RIP, Madelyn Dunham

Whether you are going to vote for Barak Obama or not (and we know I am not) we still need to be thinking of the family with the death of his grandmother early this morning. My condolences go out to Senator Obama and his family.


Well, tomorrow is the day that we have been pushing towards for what seems like FOREVER. Does it seem like these Presidential campaigns get longer and longer? Just an aside, I think that we should make it a law that there can't be ANY campaigning for any office until 8 weeks before the election. Think of all the stress and money that would be saved. OK, back to the actual reason for the post.

I will be at my polling place hopefully by 7a and will be casting my vote for John McCain. I would like to think that everyone who is voting along side of me will also be voting McCain/Palin but I know that will not be the case since I live in a key swing state where the race is neck and neck. I will cast my vote and then I will try not to look again at anything political for the rest of the day. I will not look on line, I will not watch the news on TV (I don't do that anyways so it won't be difficult). I will wait until Wednesday morning to know who my next President will be. What I will be doing is praying. Praying for our country, for all of our elected leaders, for wisdom for those who are voting. I will be praying that the Lord's will would be revealed and done. This has been my prayer for many months.

You may be asking why I will do that. Well, I will have done what I need to do and I can't do any more than that. If I vote and then watch what is happening all day I will become obsessed by what the talking heads are saying, by the exit polling (which never seems accurate to me) and I will have a stroke I am sure. I try very hard to keep the stress in my life low and being attached to the news on this particular day would just ensure no sleep, high blood pressure and brain damage.

So, I will go and cast my vote for John McCain. I want all of you to do the same but I know that you won't be. That is OK (in one sense). What is more important to me is that you exercise your right to vote. It is a privilege that can be lost so exercise it and remember all the people that can't and want to. Remember that when you vote you say thank you to all the men and women who are have served or are serving in our military who stand on the front lines to make sure that you have that right. When you vote remember that we still live in the greatest country in the world (in my opinion).


Sunday, November 2, 2008

After Long Silence

After Long Silence

Freemont, Helen

Knitting Sticks: 4.5

What would you do if everything that you thought you knew about your parents and their lives was a lie? Would you know it? Would you sense it?

Helen Freemont and her sister Lara grew up the children of Polish Catholic immigrants or at least that is what they thought they were. That is what they had been told. But something was always missing, something secretive about their parents. They went to mass but they didn't stay for communion and never went to confession because their parents told them that was an "American" part of Catholicism and not needed. Their only relative was their Aunt Zosia, their mom's sister, who lived in Italy. When they would ask about their grandparents they were told that they had died in a bombing raid.

But something was missing and after much discussion between themselves Helen and Lara decided that they must be Jewish and that their parents were Holocaust survivors. They researched, they wrote Yad Vashem, they followed up leads and they were right. But what to do with the knowledge. After agonizing about it they confronted their parents with what they knew only to be rebuffed time and again.

The book chronicles Helen's search for the truth about her parents and her parents story. How her mother survived the war by hiding as a Catholic, how her father spent six years in a Soviet gulag, what happened to her grandparents and other relatives. I don't want to give it all away. Some questions still remain unanswered and Ms. Freeman knows that that will never change. Her mother and aunt were in the end resistant to telling the whole story. In fact her aunt says that certain parts of the story have been wiped from her memory and can't be brought back. Still, a facinating story and well worth the read.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Arnold says it best

I wish Arnold had been stumping for McCain for several months. This is well worth watching