Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I am feeling off.
They say bad luck comes in waves of three.
I amnot superstitious, but I have seen these coincidences.
In the last 48 hours I received a disturbing email, a disturbing phone call and a disturbing letter in the mail.
I can control how I react to all of these. I can say everything happens for a reason and there is good in all of it, but honestly that was not my first reaction.
I tried to fake myself out and hum Mary Poppins,"A Spoonful of Sugar makes the medicine go down." this morning, I was faking.

Meanwhile all of the trick or treating loot is assembled and I have the good (raisins), the bad (Shrek fruit snacks) and ugly (snickers) in the bowl.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Taken with a cell phone, but this picture is cracking me up. My niece has some wild hair!

I have my eye on this one...

New Jacket for the Daughter is on the way

It is very cute.

I really like wool and plais is even better!
She is tracking UPS like a child tracking Santa from

Monday, October 29, 2007

weekend reading

The View from Mount Joy
Written by Lorna Landvik

I enjoyed reading this over the weekend. For something different the story is told in the male's first person. It takes you through a man's high school experiences to his mid forties.
To get you in the Holiday mood (not Halloween) check out these links

The Meal
Ree the Professional Pioneer woman gives you insight on turkey and gravy preparation. Very entertaining and the pictures are awesome. The Pioneer Woman Cooks Warning this will make you hungry!

The Wrapping
Sweet mitten wrapping paper
And I discovered a new blog

The Decorating

The Snacking

The Indulgence.
It is official. The egg nog is on the shelf.
BUT my internal personal rule - No Egg Nog until November 1st. Then all gloves are off.

I am about 60% finished with shopping! Most of it completed online! I am looking for a couple significant unique presents and over Thanksgiving we will get the names from the present exchange with the family. :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007


One in four Americans has a primary family member who is struggling with addiction. This documentary strives to break through the myths and explain what addiction really is (a brain disease), what causes it (a variety of genetic and psychosocial factors) and how to get the best available treatment (by seeking out evidence-based medical and behavioral treatments).

This is a very eye-opening documentary.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wisconsin reading week?
By pure coincidence I picked up two books last week that I had requested from the library.
Book #1
Reaching past the wire : a nurse at Abu Ghraib by Deanna Germain

Deanna Germain was a LTC in the Army Reserves and speaks about her tour Kuwait and Iraq. Her memoir paints her story and the events that surrounded her 15 months in country. She speaks about her co-workers and the interpreters she came to love. She speaks about carrying for enemy and the uncertainty in the beginning and how her feelings changed during her stay at Abu Ghraib. She was assigned to the prison after the scandal, and she writes about the atmosphere.

Star Tribune Article about Germain
Publisher information

Book #2
I Hear Voices: A Memoir of Love, Death, and the Radio
Jean Feraca

Jean is a Wisconsin Public Radio. I have never listened to her program, but I might try to catch it online.
Her memoir gives you a snapshot of her family, her love and her life. She is a feminist and probably votes the opposite side of the ballot that I do, but I enjoyed reading every page. Even Jean has a blog.

Both books were very enjoyable, everyone has a story to tell. I enjoy most.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"We will be judged in the future on the actions we take today -- on results. On this United Nations Day, let us rededicate ourselves to achieving them."
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General

I know some people have mixed feelings about the UN....

The anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter on 24 October 1945 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. It has traditionally been marked throughout the world by meetings, discussions and exhibits on the achievements and goals of the Organization.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nephew and uncle

We watched my nephew over the weekend.

He is so darn cute!


You cannot tell by this photo, but my husband busted the cat staring off into space after the cat opened and enjoyed an unknown amount of catnip.
It was very funny.
Overheard at the house tonight.
Husband watching Transformers...
I just finished the dishes and reading.
DH.."did you see that Deb.?"
No immediate response...
DH.. "You see if I had a big screen LCD I could be following this better..."

ummm...he really wants a big screen, everyone has one.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hunger still claims lives and scars the lives of those who survive it,
especially young children.

• Malnutrition contributes to 53 percent of the 10.6 million deaths of children under five each year in developing countries. This means that one child dies every five seconds from malnutrition and related causes.1
• Wasting affects more than 46 million pre-schoolers in developing countries.2
• Stunting affects more than 147 million pre-schoolers in developing countries.2
• Malnutrition inhibits the ability to learn.
• Up to 40 percent of all pre-school children in the developing world are anaemic.3 Inherited hunger, which causes malnourished mothers to give birth to malnourished children, is a major impediment to development. Maternal malnutrition endangers mothers and children alike.
• Every year 115,000 (22 percent) of maternal deaths worldwide are associated with iron deficiency.4
• More than 13 million children are born annually with low birthweight, often the result of their mothers having inadequate nutrition before and during pregnancy.5 Low birthweight babies are four times more likely to die in the first week of life from infections such as diarrhoea.
• Low birthweight babies who survive are more likely to remain malnourished throughout childhood, and to face health and learning difficulties throughout their lives. Hidden hunger: vitamin and mineral deficiencies are among the leading causes of death and disability in developing countries, particularly among children.
• Iron deficiency is the most prevalent form of malnutrition worldwide, affecting an estimated 2 billion people.6 Eradicating iron deficiency can improve national productivity levels by as much as 20 percent.
• Iron deficiency is of particular concern among women of reproductive age and children because of the severe consequences on health, productivity and learning.
• Vitamin A deficiency affects approximately 25 percent of the developing world’s pre-schoolers. Vitamin A deficiency is associated with blindness, susceptibility to disease and higher mortality rates. It leads to the death of approximately 1-3 million children each year.
• Iodine deficiency is the greatest single cause of mental retardation and brain damage. Worldwide, 1.9 billion people are at risk of iodine deficiency, which can easily be prevented by adding iodine to salt.

1 Caulfield et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jul;80(1):193-8.
2 UN Standing Committee on Nutrition. World Nutrition Situation 5th report. 2005
4 Stoltzfus et al. Iron Deficiency Anaemia in Comparative Quantification of Health Risks. Ed. Ezzati, Lopez,
Rodgers, and Murray. WHO. Geneva. 2004.
5 Fishman et al. Childhood and Maternal Underweight in Comparative Quantification of Health Risks. Ed.
Ezzati, Lopez, Rodgers, and Murray. WHO. Geneva. 2004.
6 Stoltzfus RJ, Dreyfuss ML. Guidelines for the use of iron supplements to prevent and treat iron deficiency
anaemia. ILSI Press. Washington, DC. 1998
Updated: 23 June 2007
Communications Division, World Food Programme
E-mail: -
Paying the price of hunger: the impact of
malnutrition on women and children

Yes, I Picked this one too...

...and depending on your state of my mind you will probably cry.

Reign Over Me Summary:
A chance run-in with an old college roommate becomes the catalyst for healing in writer/director Mike Binder's tale of friendship and understanding in post-9/11 New York. When the Twin Towers went down on that fateful morning in 2001, Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler) lost everything that he had to live for. Five years have passed since Charlie lost his family, and now the once-successful and sociable man has become a withdrawn shadow of his former self. When fate brings Charlie and his former college roommate Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle) together once again on a Manhattan street corner, Alan is shocked to see just how far his old friend has fallen. Though on the surface it would appear that Alan has it all, the pressures of his family and career have been weighing heavily on the successful dentist and loving father's shoulders as of late. At that pivotal moment when Charlie and Alan both needed a trusted friend to help them work through the seemingly insurmountable challenges they face in life, the restorative power of a rekindled friendship provides just the lifeline needed to move forward into the future with hope and optimism.

Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler, Saffron Burrows, and Donald Sutherland co-star. Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
Prayers, Prayers are needed - Pop over to AWTM and read the details. Prayers and more prayers.
Letter Writing Friday
NY Times article
Representative Pete Stark, the California Democrat who is chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, told Republicans: “You don’t have money to fund the war or children. But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.”

Blog's that speak up:
Globetrotting Army Wife

If you get a chance you can drop him a note. I did. House - Peter Stark

I am glad he is not in my district. What happened to respect? I find his comments disgusting.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

For the next couple of weeks I will be eating by myself a few nights a week. My husband has a evening class and the daughter is working the Burger King job.
So, I get to me make whatever I want!
I was craving hash browns on the way home from work. Hash browns are comforting to me. I tried to dial my neighbor to see if she wanted to just run out for breakfast for dinner, but no reply.
Then I remember seeing a bag in the back of the freezer earlier in the week.
I had picked up the very economical no frills Lynden Farms O'Brien Potatoes from the commissary. That was the main dish and then I sprinkled Feta cheese on top. Then I opened a can of whole cranberries as my side dish. So it was a pseudo Thanksgiving-breakfast-Feta all wrapped in a bowl meal.
My husband had warmed up Mongolian Beef from the Vietnamese Restaurant last night over the top of Ramen noodles.
Forgive me Rachel Ray and Paula Dean. More randomness to follow, I am sure.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This makes me laugh and laugh...
Makes you want to turn on the Christmas music!
We both had blonde hair when we were little.
I wonder what was inside Santa's head? Candy maybe.
My daughter has officially banned me from watching my netflix movies with the family.
My choices suck in her words.
So, this morning I put in a movie when she left for school.
I am working from home today, the carpet guy is coming from 12-2.

I watched Two Weeks. Two Weeks movie site It stars Sally Field. She does a great job!

At a few points I was sobbing. The kind of emotion where your chest begins to heave.
The movie is about a family dealing with the final days of their mother's life. The hospice, the choices and the conversations.
Last week was the nine year anniversary of my mom's death.
Some days I am thankful she is not suffering and that she spent quality time with my daughter and some days I just want to f***ing scream.

So, I recommend this movie. Watch it. Continue to heal. Continue to educate yourself about the dying process, you can never be prepared enough.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Duty to the Wounded
Our Newest Veterans Need Help Now
By Bob Dole and Donna E. Shalala
Tuesday, October 16, 2007; Page A19
It is time to decide -- do we reform the current military and veterans' disability evaluation and compensation systems or limp along, placing Band-Aids over existing flaws?
It has been more than 2 1/2 months since our commission presented its six pragmatic recommendations to improve the system of care for our injured service members and their families. Our recommendations are eminently doable and designed for immediate implementation. While progress has been made, more work remains. And the clock is ticking.

Interesting links for your perusal
Amazing site that looks very encouraging. I'm too young for this I would love to get the Stupid Cancer shirt. I wonder if it is made in China.
I am working on getting some older family photos scanned and on a disk. This year makes #9 without mom and #29 without my dad. Next year will be a milestone year, I want to travel to celebrate it.

This blog is the story of a young woman journaling through her experience Chemopalooza. Stop by and give her some encouragement.
article - Some like it hot.
An article about How boomers' failing taste buds are shaping the future of American food. very interesting!
Funny. My husband always tells the story about that when we he first met me, kecthup was the most dangerous condiment I used. Now, I can eat kimchi with the best of his family!
Crayons All Natural Fruit Juice Drink Wild Watermelon & Berries from the review...
This is clearly a beverage marketed for kids, but with school systems creating stricter standards on sugary beverages, we wonder if this one will pass ... if so, just barely. We find it a bit misleading that this company has labeled this product as having "SugarGuard Protection" and yet, in an 8-oz can, there's 19 g of sugar and 31 g of carbs. On a positive note, they did leave out the high fructose corn syrup and used all natural ingredients. Oh ... and why did they name it Crayons? Does anyone really want to drink a crayon? Retails for $1.24-$1.45/8-oz can. Also available 12-fl oz bottles and in Tickled Pink Lemonade, Kiwi Strawberry, Outrageous Orange Mango, and Redder Than Ever Fruitpunch.
I have not seen this product in my market. But I would definitely pick it... Has anyone tried?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Busy weekend.
I had not been to drill since August.
As expected it was a tad bit unorganized. For goodness sake my tiny unit only has 40 people assigned and 35 of them want to be in charge.
To be up there on time I had to leave the house at 4:30AM. My entire staff is changing roles next week, so I am sure all of the important things we worked on last week will be negated!
It is getting chilly here. They predicted snow, but nothing as far as the eye can see.

My class for the quarter ended last night. I performed mediocrely.
What I thought would be an interesting topic, turned out be a lot of straight reading from the textbook and writing summaries. No open dialogue between students and teacher. I will try to avoid his class in the future.

The suprise of the weekend is that my husband got on a cleaning spree yesterday! It felt great to come home to a sparkly place.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Everyone is inspired by different motives.
I just finished reading Beauty School of Kabul
This is an amazing story of a woman using her talents and inspiring other women.

NPR story

Website for Oasis in Kabul, Afghanistan

Publisher information

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Center of Everything - good reading

I read this over the weekend. My dear friend from Vermont sent me this in a package for my birthday and I have been waiting to enjoy it. Sadly, right after I finished reading I sat it on the edge of the couch and we left to head to my niece's birthday party. Our cute little puppy chewed off the front and back cover. He must have known I was finished and thankfully it was not another library book. Hence we are purchasing a $100 kennel for his fat azz tomorrow.

author website
read Chapter One online

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I sat smirking at this -
this morning
This is a classic.
If you have children you will appreciate it, trust me.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I found Sabine Kuegler's biography absolutely fascinating. Take a few hours and read this, you will not regret. publisher link

Child of the Jungle: The True Story of a Girl Caught Between Two Worlds by Sabine Kuegler

Sabine Kuegler was five years old when her linguist-missionary parents took her, along with her brother and sister, to live in West Papua, Indonesia. Settling in a thatched hut, cut off from civilization except for a short-wave radio, they lived among the Fayu, a recently discovered Stone Age people, most of whose members had never seen a white person before.
A people nearing extinction because of continuous tribal war, the Fayu consider grubs and bats delicacies, kill for revenge, and yet long for a peace they don't know how to achieve.
And they live in paradise: a lush jungle of hidden grottoes, emerald-green foliage, scarlet orchids, and exotic animals. In this unimaginably beautiful place, young Sabine grows up. She joins the Fayu children such as Tuare, who calls Sabine his sister, and almost becomes a wild child herself. During seemingly endless sunny days and starlit nights, they hunt with primitive bows, play without fear, and create fabulous adventures.
Then, when Sabine is a teenager, tragedy strikes and she makes the difficult decision to leave. After her arrival at a Swiss boarding school, she finds that even a trip to the grocery story exposes her naiveté and dating becomes a minefield of confusion. But the West holds opportunities that would be impossible among the Fayu, and now on the brink of womanhood, the child of the jungle faces a heart-wrenching choice: whether to join modern society or return to the paradise that will always be home.
This number one European bestseller is now available to American readers for the first time, along with dozens of amazing photographs, to capture our hearts with a tale of an idyllic childhood that we can only dream that Sabine Kuegler lived.

excerpt chapter one
Top Five Frivolous Purchases for today:

5. Two small single serving Peach Pies fresh from the oven at Wild Oats for $4.99 each.
4. 1.79 pounds ofTree ripe Nectarine's @3.49 per pound chosen by my husband that purchased for $6.14 worth!
3. NY Strip steak for hubby for $11.99. He likes a good steak.
2. 30 cans of Hawaiian Sun drinks for $22.00 - Very long story - but for years we could not find this juice. When we were stationed in Hawaii it became our favorite. We have recently found a great place to purchase it - There is a new Asian Pacific Grocery that opened fifteen minutes away and I am enjoying it!
1. and...... Two Zebra Mix Baking kits for kids. The packaging is perfect and eye catching. They are geared towards younger bakers, mind you my daughter is sixteen and received the Mango Kitchen Aid for Christmas last year, but I could not resist. I picked up the cupcake and chocolate chip cookie mixes. Check out the website. They were $4.99 each at Wild Oats, which is ridiculously expensive... Making it our number one silly purchase of the weekend.

We are going to start watching Season One of Rome tonight, I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

This picture is funny on so many levels.

I do not remember actually posing for the photo, but the events surrounding the episode are clear.

It was First Communion 1978. - St Charles Church

This was taken about 2-3 months after my dad died.

My cousin Jason and I celebrated together. This was a major event. I had to attend cathecism with friends but most of them actual went to St Charles grade school and I did not. I remember during practice I was the only person actually reading the words aloud and Mrs Bousman commented to the entire First Communion class.

My brother now looking at the picture looks like a tv evangelist. My dress was a little short, but hey it was a big day.

I am not a baseball fan, but I found myself at the Colorado Rockies vs San Diego Monday night.
Wow, 13 innings.
And our friend Chase Headley pinch hit in the 13th - it was very exciting and nice to see Chase at bat!
We were so excited for his family and friends!

Chase Headley pinch hits for Joe Thatcher batting 3rd --- 4 C Headley Single to RF (Line Drive)

Monday, October 01, 2007

more info

The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is delighted to introduce our first cookbook, Park Avenue Potluck, which will be published by Rizzoli in November 2007. Written by The New York Times food editor Florence Fabricant, this cookbook is a collection of more than 100 recipes from Society members and their families and friends. The book features beautiful photographs as well as tips for entertaining from some of New York's savviest hostesses.
Park Avenue Potluck Cookbook

I would like to get this for a few people on my Christmas list. (I just hope it was not printed in China)
It is $28.00.
The cause is worth it, it almost looks like a coffee table book. It would be pretty wrapped in colored cellophane and wide ribbon.