Tuesday, July 31, 2007

more perspective

news article

There's a hidden cost to today's long military deployments: a price paid by soldiers' children.

That cost: Children in single-mother military households are much more likely to suffer neglect and abuse during deployments. Research Triangle Institute researcher Deborah A. Gibbs, MSPH, and colleagues report the findings in the Aug. 1 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Research Triangle Institute

civics lesson

Can you name all three branches of government?
Executive, Legistative, Judicial

Can you name even one? Yes

Do you know who your congressman is?
Doug Lamborn

Your senators?
Wayne Allard
Ken Salazar

Do you even know how many senators each state gets? Two

something to think about

Take a moment to read this oped piece.

Too uninformed to vote?
We test immigrants before they can go to the polls; why not everyone else?
July 31, 2007
Can you name all three branches of government? Can you name even one? Do you know who your congressman is? Your senators? Do you even know how many senators each state gets? If you know the answers to these questions (and you probably do because you're a newspaper reader), you're in the minority. In fact, the data have long been settled. A very high percentage of the U.S. electorate isn't very well qualified to vote, if by "qualified" you mean having a basic understanding of our government, its functions and its challenges. Almost half of the American public doesn't know that each state gets two senators. More than two-thirds can't explain the gist of what the Food and Drug Administration does.
the rest.... of the article.

Monday, July 30, 2007

someone you should know, Carolyn Jourdan

Carolyn Jourdan had it all: the Mercedes Benz, the fancy soirees, the best clothes. She moved in the most exclusive circles in Washington, D.C., rubbed elbows with big politicians, and worked on Capitol Hill. As far as she was concerned, she was changing the world.

And then her mother had a heart attack. Carolyn came home to help her father with his rural medical practice in the Tennessee mountains. She'd fill in for a few days as the receptionist until her mother could return to work. Or so she thought. But days turned into weeks.

Her job now included following hazmat regulations for cleaning up bodily fluids; maintaining composure when confronted with a splinter the size of a steak knife; distinguishing between a "pain," a "strain," and a "sprain" on indecipherable Medicare forms; and tending to the loquacious Miss Hiawatha, whose daily doctor visits were never billed.

Eventually, Jourdan gave up her Mercedes and made do with a twenty-year-old postal jeep. She shed her suits for scrubs. And the funny thing was, she liked her new life. As she watched her father work tirelessly and uncomplainingly, she saw what making a difference really meant: being on call all hours of the day and night, tolerating the local drug addict's frequent phone calls, truly listening to Miss Hiawatha. It meant just showing up, every day, and taking care of every person in Strawberry Plains and beyond, whether he got paid to do it or not. And for his daughter, it meant learning that her real place to change the world was right here—in her hometown—by her father's side.

summer reading

Barefoot Excerpt

Three women step off of a plane. It sounded like the start of a joke. Joshua Flynn, age twenty-two, native of Nantucket Island, senior at Middlebury College, summer employee of the Nantucket Memorial Airport, where his father was an air traffic controller, noticed the women immediately. They arrived on a US Airways flight from LaGuardia. Three women, two small children, nothing unusual about that, so what caught Josh's eye? Josh Flynn was a creative-writing student at Middlebury, and his mentor, the writer-in-residence, Chas Gorda, liked to say that a writer smells a good story in the air like it's an approaching storm. The hair on your arms will stand up, Chas Gorda promised. Josh checked his forearms-nothing-and tugged at his fluorescent orange vest. He approached the plane to help Carlo unload the luggage. Josh's father, Tom Flynn, would be at a computer terminal five stories above Josh's head, occasionally spying out the window to make sure Josh was doing what he called "a decent job." Being under surveillance like this provided as unsettling a work situation as Josh could imagine, and so in the two weeks he'd been at it, he'd learned to sniff for stories without giving himself away.
Two of the women stood on the tarmac. Josh could tell they were sisters. Sister One was very thin with long light-brown hair that blew all over the place in the breeze; she had a pointy nose, blue eyes, and she was visibly unhappy. Her forehead was as scrunched and wrinkled as one of those funny Chinese dogs. Sister Two had the same blue eyes, the same sharp nose, but instead of scowling, Sister Two's face conveyed baffl ed sadness. She blinked a lot, like she was about to cry. She was heavier than her sister, and her hair, cut bluntly to her shoulders, was a Scandinavian blond. She carried a fl oral-print bag bursting with diapers and a colorful set of plastic keys; she was taking deep, exaggerated breaths, as though the fl ight had just scared her to death.
The third woman teetered at the top of the steps with a baby in her arms and a little boy of about four peeking around her legs. She had a pretty, round face and corkscrew curls that peeked out from underneath a straw hat. She was wearing jeans with muddy knees and a pair of rubber clogs.
The sisters waited at the bottom of the stairs for this third woman to descend. Heavy-breathing Sister reached out for the baby, shaking the keys. "Come to Mama," she said. "Here, Melanie, I'll take him." In addition to the baby, Straw Hat held a package of Cheez- Its, a green plastic cup, and an air-sickness bag. She was two steps from the ground when the little boy behind her shouted, "Auntie Brenda, here I come!"
And jumped.
He was aiming for Scowling Sister, but in his excitement, he hurtled his forty-some pound body into the back of Straw Hat, who went sprawling onto the tarmac with the baby. Josh bolted forward-though he knew he wouldn't be quick enough to save anyone. Straw Hat covered the baby's head with her hands and took the brunt of the fall on her knees and her left arm. Ouch.
"Melanie!" Heavy-breathing Sister cried. She dropped the diaper bag and raced toward Straw Hat. The baby wasn't making any noise. Neck broken. Dead. Josh felt his spirit trickle onto the tarmac as though he'd wet his pants. But then-a cry! The baby had merely been sucking in air, released now in heroic tones. The baby was alive! Heavy-breathing Sister took the baby and studied him for obvious injury, then shushed him against her shoulder. Scowling Sister approached with the perpetrator of the crime, older brother, clinging to her legs.
"Is the baby okay?" Scowling Sister asked. Her expression shifted from impatient to impatient and concerned.
"He's fine," Heavy-breathing Sister said. "Just scared." She reached out to Straw Hat. "Are you okay, Melanie? Are you okay? Do you feel okay?"
Melanie dusted the tarmac grit off her face; there was a scrape on her elbow, some blood. The Cheez-Its blew off down the runway; the plastic cup rolled to Josh's feet. He picked it up, and the air-sickness bag as well.
"Would you like me to get a fi rst-aid kit?" he asked Melanie. She put a hand to her cheek, and the other hand massaged her stomach. "Oh, no. Thank you, though. I'm fine."
"Are you sure?" Heavy-breathing Sister said. "What about . . .?" "I'm fine," Melanie said.
"Blaine will apologize," Heavy-breathing Sister said. "Apologize, Blaine."
"Sorry," the boy mumbled."You could have hurt your brother. You could have hurt Melanie. You just can't do things like that, sweetheart. You have to be careful."
"He said he was sorry, Vick," Scowling Sister said. This was not joke material. The three women, collectively, were the most miserable-looking people Josh had ever seen.
"Welcome to Nantucket," Josh said, hoping his words might cheer them, though Carlo was always reminding him that he was not an ambassador. He should just tend to the bags; his father would be watching.
Scowling Sister rolled her eyes. "Thanks a lot," she said.
Copyright © 2007 by Elin Hilderbrand


I watched Friends with Money this weekend. It was easy and relaxing.

Set in Los Angeles, Nicole Holofcener's bittersweet tale examines the evolving lives of four women friends: married and financially secure Jane (Frances McDormand), Franny (Joan Cusack) and Christine (Catherine Keener), and their single friend Olivia (Jennifer Aniston). As the friends move from one group event to the next, the complexity of married life for Jane, Franny and Christine is revealed, while Olivia struggles to find herself.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Simple Summer Salad

Green beans, corn and tomatoes tossed with red onions and basil in a balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Cooking Method: No Cook
Prep Time: 20
Cooking Time: Up to 10 minutes

Makes: 4 servings (1 cup each)


2 cups frozen cut green beans, (about 8 ounces), thawed, drained
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn, thawed, drained
1 can (14.5 ounce) Hunt's® Diced Tomatoes in Juice, drained
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, (about 1 ounce)
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing
4 leaf lettuce leaves, (optional)


Combine beans, corn and diced tomatoes in medium bowl.
Add onions, basil and dressing; toss lightly.
Serve on lettuce-covered salad plates, if desired.

Monday, July 23, 2007

This afternoon I had deja vu.
I am working from home today.
It is mid afternoon and I m mentally crossing things off the camping list.
I look at the bag of marshmallows on the counter.
I wipe around them and then I think... We have skewers left in the drawer... And before you know it I am roasting a marshmallow over the stove. When we were kids, and my mom was not home, we would roast them on the gas stove, thinking we were getting away with something.
If I sat down and wrote what I thought = this page would be full. As of late I just can turn off. It is a constant churn. I am planning, organizing and conversing all day long, with mostly myself.
Yesterday involved activity. And we understand that activity does not always mean progress. Two more days until we head camping. I picked up the food for the youth pastor and for the rest of the night and early this morning debated if I planned enough food. Teenagers like to eat and have big appetites. I will reassess later today and maybe pick up a few more fillers (granola bars, apples and etc...) I am under budget, so might as well be safe than sorry.
I took every thing out of one of dressers and refolded and sorted. I found over 25 matchless socks. I am not sure where they have gone, but I put them in a bag in the closet in case I discover them when I move to our other dresser and the daughter's room. I think perhaps I should approach the government on weaponry tactics using missing socks. We could rally together across the nation like they did for World War II to help the boys overseas.
The next three months are going to be busy. In July I will have had three weekends of drill. (yeah one weekend a month and two weeks a year, I know) It is a busy time of year and the support staff has a lot to get done.
August is busy with school starting, September I have to go to beautiful Missouri for two weeks and then prepare for a trip to Argentina. But I have 3 days vacation starting tomorrow!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

cute movie

Friday, July 20, 2007

this will give you a sanity check

I found this - this morning.
Type Of College:
Public, 4-year or above
Highest Degree Offered:
Bachelor's degree
Baccalaureate Colleges--Liberal Arts
Full Time Enrollment:
In state, living on campus:
Out of state, living on campus:
In state, living off campus:
Out of state, living off campus:

I requested the catalog. Just for grins.
Change in plans
Now the daughter and the puppy are coming to the Sand Dunes.

We ran into Tuesday Morning to pick up a Boogie Board. They say we can actually use them to surf down the dunes, pretty cool huh.

I also bought pink fur tape and a root candle... I know interesting combo board, tape and candles. Rest assured they are all unrelated.
The fur tape is red and pink and one roll has hearts; the daughter plans on using it for taping school books and folders, a pretty cool find. I tried to find a picture on the internet - but the company that makes the product is Lushlife and frankly I am not real interested in all of the search results.

I have never bought any candles from the Root candle before, but I am trying to be conscientious and not buy candles manufactured outside the United States. I bought a pumpkin scented candle and it has the house smelling yummy. I like to investigate American companies. I found the website and spent a few minutes checking it out. They also specialize in Litigurical candles. Some of them reminded me of my childhood. Catholicism/Lutherans use allot of candles for symbolic purposes. I kinda miss the classic approach sometimes.They also sell bread and wine. (not the Pepperidge or Boones Farm flavors).
Interestingly, they have whole wheat or white bread; and the marketing copy is extremely interesting.
Cavanagh Company offers by far the best altar bread. All breads have a carefully molded sealed edge which prevents crumbs. They are baked of only pure wheat flour and water and are made strictly without additives. There is a wide selection available, including, a double thick 1-3/8" thick diameter "real bread" and a 9" diameter double thick which breaks into 69 pieces. These breads are superior in substance and sign value. Cavanagh breads are produced in the United States in an exceptionally clean and modern automated facility. The breads are sealed minutes after baking and are untouched by human hands. Packaging is far superior to all other forms. Special attention is called to the merits of the rigid, clear, recyclable container. It is the best package because it offers: complete hermetic seal, protection of freshness, protection against tampering, easy opening, easy dispensing, and easy resealing - at no extra cost.
Who knew!
Maybe the next time I am home I will drive down to the outlet, it is not that far. Medina Factory Outlet, 623 W. Liberty Street Medina, Ohio.

Ok, now most of you know I am easily distracted and amused.
Have a good Friday.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Food and Drug Administration Wednesday July 18 issued a warning to advise consumers not to eat some brands of chili sauces made during a specific period by the Castleberry Food Company based in Augusta, Georgia due to concerns about possible botulism contamination.

The affected products, according to the FDA, include 10 ounce cans of Castleberry’s Hot Dog Chili Sauce (UPC 3030000101), Austex Hot Dog Chili Sauce (UPC 3030099533), and Kroger Hot Dog Chili Sauce (UPC 1111083942).

In addition to the products named above, Castleberry issued today July 19 a voluntary recall for other products including Morton House Corned Beef Hash, 15 oz can (UPC 7526665830), Cattle Drive Chili with Beans, 15 oz can (UPC 3030001515), Southern Home Corned Beef Hash, 15 oz can (UPC 0788015360), Meijer Corned Beef Hash, 15 oz can (UPC 4125095229), Castleberry’s Chili with Beans, 15 oz can (UPC 3030001015), Castleberry’s Barbecue Pork, 10 oz can (UPC 3030000402) and Bunker Hill Chili No Beans, 10 oz can (UPC 7526604112).

The company said this recall only affects the products with a “best by” date of APR30 2009 through MAY22 2009, which are printed on the can lids.

Consumers should not eat any of the affected products even if they do not look or smell spoiled, Castleberry advised. Those who want a refund can return the label of an affected product to the store where the product was purchased.

The FDA said two children in Texas and an Indiana couple who ate these products became seriously ill and have been hospitalized. The manufacturer was informed by the agency of four potential cases of botulism involving individuals who ate the products being recalled, Castleberry said in its news release.

Botulism can be fatal. Symptoms of botulism poisoning can show up from 6 hours to 2 weeks after eating food that contains the toxin. Symptoms include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. The illness can also cause paralysis of the breathing muscles which can result in death unless assistance with breathing (mechanical ventilation) is provided.

Castleberry recommended that consumers with any questions or concerns about this recall should go to Castleberry’s website (http://www.castleberrys.com) or contact Jamie Leicht of Fleishman Hillard at 1-888-203-8446.
of activity...
I have been meaning all week to do a deep cleaning in the master bedroom.
But distractions prevail, I pick up here and there. Run a cloth here, vaccuum.
But this weekend I need to clear time to move things, scrub things and sort them.
I wish I had the ambition to do the a garage sale. We have plenty to get rid of.
The rest of this month is filled with activity and August is filling as well. The daughter starts school on August 9th.
We have meetings and registrations to attend. She will be issued a computer by her school this year, so changes are coming with that.
We are one of the the few districts in the state that are using computers for juniors and seniors.
We are school supply shopping and school clothes to buy. (shoes, bags, socks, tops, jeans, and sneakers)

I am taking three days vacation to go camping next week with the youth group to the Sand Dunes of Colorado. I initially thought this would be a fun way to spend time with her, but it has turned in a disaster. She does not want to leave her new puppy home alone for three days. And she does not have any friends going and she wants me to pay her the money she will be missing from work. Looks like I will be camping solo. More details to follow, I am sure.

I spent some time reading this today iceblog. Perspective is always nice to have.
Conversation at 1130 last night.
The daughter had just came home BK.
I was already in bed waiting from her and shielding my eyes from the lights and television she has flipped on.
Her - "Mommy, can I have a few dollars tomorrow?"
Me - "sure"
Her - "We are going to Whole Foods and I am going to buy some food."
Me - "ok"

Yes, I created this. They are not heading to lunch or fast food, Baskin Robbins for Ice Cream or to the movies for a matinee. They are bound for Whole Foods. Now I am thinking you cannot really but too much at Whole Foods for just a few dollars..

Monday, July 16, 2007

early morning tomorrow



Gov. Bill Ritter will join Brig. Gen. (select) Trulan Eyre and members of the Colorado National Guard on Tuesday to celebrate the homecoming of more than 100 soldiers from the 169th Fires Brigade, who returned to Colorado on July 10 after a 15-month deployment in Iraq. The unit accomplished 150 missions and returned home without a single casualty.

The 169th Fires Brigade deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom in support of Multi-National Division North. The Brigade provided strategic planning tools, personnel and equipment to foster capacity-building for communities in Iraq while also supporting the 101st Airborne Division and 25th Infantry Division.

“It's a great honor for me to welcome home such a well-trained and dedicated force,” Gov. Ritter said. “These soldiers have served their nation proudly and I'm pleased to thank them on behalf of the State of Colorado. Moreover, I thank the families; those parents, spouses and children who have been asked for the past 15 months to carry out their daily lives without their loved one. You have my deepest gratitude for your dedicated support. Your soldier couldn't have done it without you.”

The 169th Fires Brigade, formerly the 169th Field Artillery Brigade, is structured to provide a powerful fires-and-effects headquarters to plan, synchronize and execute counterstrikes. It also has the necessary communications architecture to integrate air, ground and naval forces. The Fires Brigade has target acquisition assets to include counter-fire radars and unmanned aerial vehicles. A Fires Brigade can control up to six battalions of Artillery and has units consisting of a UAV company, a target acquisition battery, a communications technology company and a support battalion.FOR

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: The ceremony will be held at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, 4900 S. Syracuse, Denver, CO 80237, (303) 779-1100. The ceremony begins at 8 a.m. Tuesday. Please be in place by 6:50 a.m. A press conference will be held at 7:20 a.m. Media opportunities will be available before and during the ceremony.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

First sunflower

I have several sunflower plants ready to bloom. This one popped up first. What is really neat is that my garden is becoming established and taking care of itself. This year I planted NO sunflowers, but the nature planned a few for all to enjoy. I have beautiful dill plants and lettuce that are thriving without a single seed planted by me this year. aahhhh. I love the simple things.


I am not sure what has gotten into me...
I made the coconut pie

and then I decided to make the pumpkin version
easy recipe and interesting blog reading

and Now I am dehydrating some apples for snacking throughout the week.
Lately, I rarely cook anything to speak of and I leave the majority of the baking to my talented daughter.
I am sure the the pychologist has a scientific analysis for one who rarely cooks and then sporadically makes pies and snacks. And a random assortment at that that.. Maybe some hormone somewhere has been triggered.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I attended CPT Scutellaro’s funeral yesterday.
Wow, over two hundred Army and Air Guardsman showed up and five patriot guard riders.
It was very emotional and made a huge statement about the quality of a person she really was.

What was most impressive was the missing man fly over with helicopters. It was amazing. The heaviness in my heart was overwhelming.

More about Lynn

Memorials in Scutellaro’s name can be made to Alpine Rescue Team, P.O. Box 934, Evergreen, CO 80437.

I have been looking for this recipe

4 eggs
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 c. shredded coconut
1/2 c. Bisquick
2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar

Put all ingredients into blender. Blend on low for 30 seconds. Pour into ungreased 10 inch pie tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. The pie will make its own crust as it bakes.

My mom used to make it. Her pieshell would be complete full and she would use her magic skill and spill a drop when placing it in the oven. I have all but one ingredient, so this weekend I might make a few...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Recipe for sleeping?
Is your husband having trouble sleeping?
Saturday evening we were relaxing. I had drill that day and took and passed my PT test. My body was tired and I just need to relax a bit. I received the movie Ten Items or Less. It stars Morgan Freeman. The first 15 minutes of the film he is agitated and sneering at the movie, I am enjoying. Five minutes later he is sound asleep and snoring. Out like a light, I finished the movie and went to bed later....

I will be using this information in a week "Make the cut" and I cannot wait.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Colorado National Guard has lost an amazing soldier.

Sad news in the Colorado Guard family this weekend. Please pray for her family and friends.

A Colorado Army National Guard captain who returned from Iraq last fall was hit and killed by a bus in Breckenridge. ... Identified ... as Capt. Lynn Scutellaro, 28, of Evergreen. ... She was a helicopter pilot in the Colorado Army National Guard 89th Troop Command.

She was an new LT when I was with 947th Engineers and we went to Slovenia together a few years ago. I sit here a bit stunned.
news link
blog tribute

Friday, July 06, 2007

Eggplant Parmsean. this recipe looks fantastic
So, my eating habits can go in circles.
A few weeks ago, I was eating berries as if there was no tomorrow. Each grocery store in the area was trying to out do one another's prices. We literally bought 25 containers of raspberries during the week King Sooper had them for a dollar. Well, my palate has moved on to eggplant. I am huge fan. I like the doctored up version as well as served simply. I have had eggplant parmsean twice this week for dinner. mmmm...
BUT one thing leads to another - I was searching for eggplant.
I found a tribute to Shawn P Martin
Please keep his family, friends and fellow Marines in your prayers. It took me a bit but I was able to find his families address and sent them a small note this morning. His tribute.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

If you have a few moments to look at some incredible moving pictures
GO here.
Who is David Gross?
I am a photographer and writer, based in Istanbul, Turkey. I photograph many different subjects, from elections to cats, but I've been working for five years on a book about forensic victim identification projects, searching for missing people from war and conflict. My photo story on the forensic identifications in Kosovo won a World Press Photo award in 2003 — one of the most prestigious photojournalist awards. I have since photographed the chaotic opening of mass graves in Iraq, and I spent five weeks with the Thai identification team after the tsunami documenting their work. I began studying the field of forensic victim identification (and war crimes) in 1998 while at the graduate school of journalism at U.C. Berkeley, taking seminars and classes at the Human Rights Center at U.C. Berkeley, under the guidance of Eric Stover.
All I can say is wow.
What a weekend. Foiled out of town plans led us to get the dog below and for me to read a really great book and watch a new movie. I may a new favorite author, movie and house companion all on the same weekend.
One of the best movies I have watched all year.

Little Children
movie website
It is one of those movies at the end that you say, wow what just happened, And then later when you are standing in front of the kitchen sink you think about the characters and maybe what you would say to them if you ever met them. I may get this one again. It is very very moving. It is something to watch while your children are napping.

Lion Eyes by Claire Berlinski.
This is a very well written book, so much so I have ordered her two other from library. If you have room add it to your summer reading. It is drama filled with the CIA and travel and culture. A perfect blend like a good cup of coffee.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Say hello to Luke