Wednesday, January 31, 2007

When I read this article - I thought to myself, I bet this is unit is extremely efficient.

In first for UN peacekeeping, all-female police unit arrives in Liberia

For the first time in the history of United Nations peacekeeping, an all-female Formed Police Unit (FPU) arrived today in Liberia to join the world body’s operation as it works to strengthen the rule of law and maintain peace in the West African country.

Pray for the people of Peru

Ever since the mission trip to Peru, we are keeping our eyes open to the state of the country. This type of destruction is horrible. Our compassion child, Rosa, lives near Lima. I am sure she will be impacted in one way or another.
According to the UN website
Since the beginning of January the following events have been registered:
􀂙 On Saturday, 13 of January,, small stream beds where overloaded by heavy rains at Llamanau and La Nueva Esperanza affecting various localities in La Jalca District, Amazon Region.
􀂙 On 15January, at Cushpa Hill, excess water was diverted through an irrigation canal affecting Cullpa population. Most of the affected population belongs to the El Tambo District involving Culpa Alta and
Cochas Chico. Around 443 people were affected and more than 650 heads of cattle reportedly lost
􀂙 Also on 15t January, Unine River caused the collapse of Pauti and Unine bridges affecting the mobility of people living in Raimondi District. Almost 510 people were reportedly affected. Quinbiri and Helary rivers in the Cuzco region destroyed 195 homes and affected 950 people.
􀂙 As of Thursday 18th in the morning hours, rain cause massive destruction of homes and sanitary system in Lower Tunes District.
􀂙 On January 23rd a series of mudslides as consequence of heavy rains in the Department of Junin, Province of Chanchamayo, District of San Ramon, have affected 4,000 people. According to official reports to January 22nd, 4 people have died and 9 disappeared.
􀂙 Major mud slides where also reported at Pasco (Province) and Provincia District (Oxapamapa Province). Emergency authorities have reported 12 deaths and 12 homes were destroyed.
􀂙 In the Chanchamayo province, 143 houses have been destroyed and the main access roads are currently blocked.

just needed this today

Psalms 23:1-6~
The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Amen.
I look around
I find myself taking inventory
I am not stylish, I am wearing pants I bought six years ago and a hand-me down sweater.
I have no flashy jewelry not even a damn watch
Growing my hair for Cancer is not glamorous. I should be able to free myself with ten inches of hair next month; It is not flowy like the Breck girl. It is heavy.
I am not as thin as some. I am not as thin as I could be.
I am not saddened by the realization.
Just taking inventory

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Week one
Well, it was a week of meetings and that is not an exaggeration. A few days meetings were from 8 am until 9 pm.
For me it was bliss, I know, I am truly sick woman. But, it was refreshing for all of us to be one room collaborating, solving and discussing. I am connecting face to face with the Canadian team, the Europe team and the Asia Pacific team. Although I am truly an introvert, this environment feeds me like fresh kindling to a fire. I thrive in hard work. My mom was the same way and the Army discipline and crazy schedules make this easy. It is funny, when I participate in an Army exercise working a twelve plus hour shift is the norm, it is what we do.
Let me tell you, in corporate America a 12-hour shift resembles torture for some! Next week starts week two. Most stayed in California to rest; take wine tours in the country and visit San Francisco. I opted to come home. It is our anniversary and I knew that there would be laundry to attend to, carpets to vacuum and mail to be taken care of.

I was able to catch the State of the Union Address replay on Fox. I thought it was well done. 2006 was a hard year in Iraq. I pray 2007 is better. Pelosi is a freak -she must have had a very dry mouth - or she was tasting the crap she has been talking the last few weeks. Cheney was also fidgeting and glancing at Pelosi. Hilary is just a plain Biatch.. Bush was charming and once again I think his wife was the class act of the evening.

No plans for the anniversary. Just relaxing. We are catching a movie and lunch.

The ebay purchase of the traveling trunk is absolutely horrendous. The daughter does not like it and quite frankly neither do I. I am going to take it to the basement and use it for some type of storage. I feel like I just held up a fresh Benjamin Franklin to a burning flame. Such is life, you take a chance… Sometimes it works out good, sometimes not so good.
I will keep looking around for a suitable hope chest.
February is going to be hectic. We have drill weekends, birthdays, business travel and hopefully a weekend trip to the mountains.

My flight leaves at 6am tomorrow and I will be back on Friday.

I finished this book on my flight to California.

2002 Flip Schaffer asked his son to join him in an intensive bread class at a fancy culinary school in New York. At, first, the idea seemed considerably less than half-baked. The two hadn’t spent much time together—not since Flip left Dylan and his siblings in the care of their crazy mother thirty years before. Neither knew the first thing about making bread. And, Flip’s end-stage lung cancer was expected to kill him long before the class began.

But Flip made it. The two spent seven days at the French Culinary Institute becoming artisanal bakers and seven tumultuous nights in a shabby Bowery hotel getting to know each other. And to their mutual astonishment, just in time, they came to
something like terms of forgiveness.

As moving as it is irreverent, Life, Death & Bialys is about how an imperfect father said goodbye to his son and to his city and how a reluctant son discovered the essence of forgiveness


Als drait zich arum broit un toit
It all comes down to bread and death
—Yiddish proverb

Flip greets me in the airport lobby. I expect to see some sign that the cancer is taking its toll. But when I find him, he seems fine. He doesn’t look like he’s dropped any weight. His breathing is normal…. I want to run to him and bury my face in his stomach and bawl into his shirt. I want to tell him how much I miss him and beg him not to go away again.

At the same time I am compelled to punch him in the face.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

snow.... snow.. and more snow

This bread machine had not been used in 8 years

We unearthed it from the basement.
Another weekend.
The husband now has a different drill schedule than I – so he is off preparing for preparations.
I have a list of to-do’s in front of me. I will be traveling for the two next weeks only coming home next weekend to tackle laundry, buy dog food and celebrate out 17th wedding anniversary.
Seriously, our schedules are filling up for the next few months that I have posted a 90 day calendar on the fridge to help us organize and communicate.
It snowed a bit last night just cover everything.
The temps have been frigid.
And this has led me into something some may consider not a nice habit…
Last weekend, I casually mentioned that the bunny was probably pretty cold and we should bring him indoors. So, now for the last week Chloe aka Easter Bunny has been coming in and joining us in the evenings and staying the night in my daughter’s room. What was I thinking? The three dogs are not amused and the Chihuahuas rant at him in the laundry basket. Really this joy has only brought me more work – but I DID it so there is no one to blame. Think warm sunny thoughts…..

I been using a eBay a bit to find a few items. I bought a large item for my daughter for her sweet 16. It was not large in cost – but large in size.
I also did a bit of research about a tradition that has been popular for centuries. centuries I will post pictures later. The shipping was more than double of the winning bid!
While researching – I found this wooden ware. It is a good thing it is after Christmas and I have no need to make any purchases.

Friday, January 19, 2007

a ten dollar dinner? Maybe

Taco Soup

1 onion, chopped
1 package taco seasoning mix
2 cups whole kernel corn, frozen
1 can chicken broth
1 can black beans, undrained
1 can white or pinto beans, undrained
1 can fat-free refried beans
1 can diced tomatoes (Rotel)
1 can diced tomatoes (any)

Saute onions until soft in a pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Add all other ingredients and simmer 30 to 40 minutes.

sounds yummy!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I have to admit this is bothering me.

Thursday, 18 January 2007
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

RELEASE No. 20070118-08
Jan. 18, 2007

Coalition forces request access, enter Sudanese Embassy
Multi-National Corps – Iraq PAO

BAGHDAD – Coalition Forces Soldiers entered the Sudanese embassy grounds in Baghdad Jan. 13.

The Soldiers entered the grounds after requesting entry to embassy guards.

Earlier reports from the Coalition that indicated no entry into the embassy grounds were made in error.

While in the compound, the Soldiers encountered two locked doors for which the guards did not have keys. Following consultation with the guards, the doors were forced open.

The compound was searched as part of an operation in the general vicinity that was aimed at denying insurgents safe haven to carry out attacks against Iraqi Security Forces and Iraqi citizens.

No other Sudanese embassy staff was present on the grounds.

No items were removed from the embassy.

The matter is under investigation.

Flash... Flash

All Stations on the Net.

My daughter has done self diagnosis.
She feels she may have this.

Why do you feel so bad before your period? You could feel this way if you have PMDD, the intense mood and physical symptoms that happen the week or two before your period, month after month.
PMDD is a distinct medical condition. Common symptoms include irritability, sadness, sudden mood changes, tension, bloating, and breast tenderness. The many symptoms of PMDD can markedly interfere with your daily activities and relationships and can make you feel out of control. Some women describe PMDD as frustrating, surprising, tiring, or even isolating. It can take away your enjoyment of family, friends, or work. Some think it’s part of being a woman or PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome). But for millions it is PMDD.
While PMDD is not fully understood, many doctors believe it may be caused by an imbalance of a chemical in the body called serotonin. The normal cyclical changes in female hormones may interact with serotonin and other chemicals, and the changes may result in the mood and physical symptoms of PMDD.

I am going to consult her doctor. Just for a second opinion.
If anyone has heard of this or has had similar symptoms - let me know how you might handle them.

The brother and my beautiful neice.

Kinda like Beauty and the Beast!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Update on Blake:

We have some good news and some not as good news! The good news is that a good donor has been located for a transplant and their sample should be arriving from Germany on Thursday to be tested in the lab at our hospital here. If all goes as planned then we could be looking at doing the transplant by the end of February. Thank you for praying over this and we are thankful that God has provided a good potential donor.

The not so good news is that they continue to find leukemia cells in Blake’s central nervous system. That means lumbar punctures twice a week and now that he has had at least 15 of them he is getting a build up of scar tissue where they usually insert the needle. That is why as soon as his platelet count comes up they want to put a port in his head that they can use to administer the chemo. It is called a Ommaya Reservoir and would be inserted somewhere on the top of his head. While we are not very excited about having a port put in his head, we also don’t like the prospect of continuing the lumbar punctures.

Please pray that this chemo will be able to clear his nervous system to prepare him for the transplant and also pray for his spirits – he thought this would be a short stay of about five days that has turned into three weeks and we are not sure when and if he can come home even after that. He has likely already spent about 100 days in the hospital. We know that it is your prayers that have gotten him through this far and will carry him through until he is cured – so thank you for continuing to keep him covered! You are a blessing to us!

The Daughter has dorve four hours with the instructor. She is very confident, she did make the commet that while driving there are many things to be thinking about. She drove on the highwayand paralleled parked yesterday. She drove a round-about and in the mall parking lot. She is making great progress.

finished it
It is a YA book - but I still thoroghly enjoyed the hours I spent listening to the story.
I am contemplating sending an entry to this.

I am now reading this... Amish Documentary
Rumspringa; To Be or Not to Be Amish
Opening lines of Chapter One

It will be around 30 today. :)

Monday, January 15, 2007

The husband went away over the weekend to do "manly" things with a group of four guys. They Snowmobiled, followed an elk path, ate real bacon, drank, played cards, farted and played darts.
A grand time had by all.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Borders Purchases Yesterday
Yeah - more snow, equals more reading!

My Sunday paper is buried under a freshly fallen snow at the end of the driveway.
It is way too beautiful to track up.
So, I grabbed my coffee and read this instead.

iraq good news
this story was very cool
Lance Cpl. Jordan Richards, a turret gunner with Regimental Combat Team 5"s Team Gator, examines the gifts, which included a note announcing a car was awaiting his return to California, he received from Operation Gratitude. His package was the 200,000th Operation Gratitude has mailed to troops in Iraq.
more support...?...
plenty of postcard secrets

Later today I plan on making and improvised pot of turkey and dumplings.
Dumplings are a favorite (carbs, carbs and more carbs!)


3 1/2 pounds chicken pieces
8 cups chicken broth
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, cold
1/2 cup water

In a large wide pot, simmer the chicken pieces in the broth until the chicken is tender, 30 minutes or more. Remove the chicken and set it aside. When cool enough to handle, skin and bone the chicken and shred or cut it into bite sized pieces. If desired, skim the chicken fat off the surface of the broth. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the flour baking powder and salt.
Using a food processor, pastry blender, or two knives, cut in the butter until it is the size of very small peas and distributed throughout the dry ingredients. Add the water and knead 8 to 10 times. If the dough seems too sticky, add a little more flour. Roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch squares. Bring the broth to a rolling boil, drop in the dumplings, cover the pot and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked. Overcooking will cause the dumplings to fall apart.
To serve, place the chicken pieces in a bowl and ladle hot broth and dumplings over the chicken.
Serving Size: 6

I am doubling the recipe and using turkey. Also, adding carrots and green beans.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The boys club

This week I accompanied my husband to a leaders meeting at his unit.
The drive was 90 minutes each way and he really did not want to drive alone.
So, I grabbed a book and a small cross stitch project to fill in the time.
We ended up hitting horrible traffic and it took us 2 hours and 15 minutes to travel 90 miles.
We arrived about 20 minutes late.
There were two seats open, one in the back and one near the commander. I sit by the commander.
Note: this is a newly formed organization and most people do not know one another. I am the only female in the room.
My husband just casually mentions I am his wife. (I ignore the inquisitive looks, I mean who brings their spouse to training meetings) and now she is chatting with the CO.

As the brief is presented I ask a few 'intelligent' questions, receive more looks.
Well, the briefing ends and everyone is very curious. I mention I am from G3 and if they need anything just let me know. Additional looks were priceless.

Bottom line, my husband may be doing some traveling this summer and beyond. I am going to stay unemotionally attached to this subject until he has orders and his med exam is completely signed off. I have been through this before. I am ready.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

This week I am working from a home quite a bit. I have 7 am conference calls and 5- 8 pm con calls.
I have a bird in the oven. Over the holidays I picked up Bell's All-Natural Seasoning

An American holiday tradition since 1867, this is the secret ingredient that was used and recommended by Martha Stewart on the TV program "Someone's in the Kitchen with Martha" featuring Jennifer Garner (star of the "Alias" television series) on November 18, 2003. Bell's Seasoning is a unique collection of herbs and spices carefully blended to an exclusive formula.
This famous ALL-NATURAL, SALT FREE seasoning has long been a household staple - especially during the holidays! It's also a favorite with generations of chefs.

I will let you know how it turns out... But with that cool packaging, how can a cook go wrong?
Overheard at the house

Her: Mom, I really want a big birthday party, I am turning sixteen.
Me: Well, how big and what type of party?
Her: Big, with a dj and a big cake from a bakery.
Me: We are not having snoop dog and M&M to your party, we may need to have an alternate plan.
Her: Ok, what if we go the Caspian Café with the belly dancers.
Me: ok

So, We have just a few weeks to get our act together. I think we are leaning towards several events. One for “girls only” at a hotel with her friend and her mother (just the four of us for pampering). The belly dancer dinner and maybe a different gathering for friends.
The mailman was good to my daughter yesterday.
The permit arrived. The three of us inspected the license and the stats listed.
She is ready.
We have a small issue. My car, the Jetta is a stick. So, initially we need to practice the basics with the lifted Ford F250.
So, last night she slid the seat to the dash and we traveled around the block for two passes.
We went over the lights, mirrors, turn signals and windshield washers.
She practiced braking and lifting the gear shift towards her and placing in drive several times before beginning to roll forward.
We laughed a bit and inside I cried a bit.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Main Entry: em·pa·thy
Pronunciation: 'em-p&-thE
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek empatheia, literally, passion, from empathEs emotional, from em- + pathos feelings, emotion -- more at PATHOS
1 : the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
2 : the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this

Used in a sentence:

A father needs to use more empathy when dealing with his emotional fifteen year-old that has lost a locket that was given to her for Christmas.

While watching hours of the Ford funeral, I realized a few things.
First and foremost, I need a long wool black coat. Most ladies attending the funeral all had functional black dress coats.
It made me start to think, I have no outerwear to use for this type occasion. In fact the last dress coat I remember is in Middle School/Early High School. It was wool. I wish I had a picture of it, better yet I wish I would have kept it.

So, I have added this to my list of a few things I am going to hunt down from the thrift store. I figure, I can take my time, find a nice coat, have it dry cleaned and store it away for emergencies.
This article suggests I need to grab another little back dress for other emergencies! Item #2 on the “find” list.

little back dress

Sunday, January 07, 2007

please keep praying

I have an update on our friend Blake.
a note from his dad:
I had no idea that I would be writing you again so soon to solicite your prayers but Blake received news today that has sent us back to our knees in prayer! Our focus has been on his bone marrow transplant since he kept testing that he was free of Leukemia cells, but yesterday they performed another lumbar puncture and they found leukemia cells again in his central nervous system. As a result, they have started another 24 hour chemo drip and we are not sure exactly what this all means – if it is residual or if it is a relapse.

Thursday they did another bone marrow biopsy and when we get the results back from that we should know more – hopefully on Monday. For now, Blake will have to go back to having Lumbar punctures twice a week so please pray about this since he got pretty sick from the one they did yesterday.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Their bad

Ok - some one needs to double check things like this.....
The US Army is to apologize to the families of officers killed or wounded in action who were sent letters urging them to return to active duty.

I understand we all make mistakes and we are all human. But the US Army HR folks needs to pay attention to details of this particular nature.

word fun

From BBC - I could see how this could be slightly addicting. But give it a try.
A very short work week, but things are getting back to normal.
I have drill this weekend, but not driving my usual 80 miles to get there which is very nice.
I am still attempting to organize and de-clutter a bit!
We will see how long that actually works!
We are a keeper of many things.
I made a second batch of apple chips and I am experimenting with oranges and mangoes in the dehydrator.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I need to think happy things and look on the lighter side of blogosphere.
I spent practically ten hours watching the Gerald Ford funeral over the weekend, I dreamt of Saddam after his hanging and dear children have lost their mothers.
I sobbed when President Bush escorted Betty Ford into the National Cathedral.

Food is always good when you a bit blue – this delicious post brought a smile.
cinnamon rolls
BTW – We broke out the dehydrator out on New Yearss Eve. (no, it is not a tradition, just a random idea I had.) I so, want to be a healthy mom feeding her chick organic treats and whole wheat bounties. I dried three apples and a ½ bag of strawberries. They turned out lovely and I packaged them for easy snacking. (Ziploc container) In haste this morning, I grabbed the container and stuffed it in to my backpack. I lunched on the dried goods all day. Umm – now my stomach is questioning the idea of all that fiber throughout the day. I have more apples and I am making another batch!
A storm
Do not read this link at work.
I popped over to grab the address for the Stanley family and found a very heart warming tribute to Ellicia
My eyes welled up with tears. Her babies are young and her husband is strong – they are going to be ok.

I also sent three cards to brave men on Ward 57 at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital.
3 kings

If you have left over Christmas Cards - pass along a note of thanks.
A simple note can mean a lot.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Christmas Cookie Recipe

My friend from elementary, middle and part of high school had five minutes of fame in the Detroit Free Press this Christmas.
Her recipe earned bragging rights. It looks a little complicated. But a more skilled chef could easily make this!
Enjoy and Congrats Amy you look wonderful.

Ok I am now a believer

Ok I am now a believer in Kitchen Aid. Holy Smokes = this mixer is awesome. The daughter was slightly put out that I Made dog biscuits in her sleek machine. But, the pups were wagging their tales and drooling on the carpet.
Easy Recipe:
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 1/2 cup oil
• 2 eggs
• 3 tablespoons peanut butter
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 2 cups flour
• 1/2 cup cornmeal
• 1/2 cup oats
Blend wet ingredients together. Whisk dry ingredients together and mix into wet mixture to form a ball of dough. Roll out and shape. Put onto a non-stick cookie tray or lightly greased one.
Cook 20 minutes at 400 degrees F. Turn off oven and allow the biscuits to cool in oven until crisp and hard. Store in airtight container.

Monday, January 01, 2007

I cannot even begin to imagine the feelings at the Stanley home today and for the time to come.
Prayers and cards are on the way.

A storm