Sunday, November 30, 2008


Mt Ranier March 2008
Baku March 2008

Market in Baku 2008

Sidewalk Chalk by daughter 17, Summer 2008

Finished reading... Souvenir

WOW - this book blew me away.
I highly recommend. I can relate to the story line and the age of the main character. It makes you think about you have and why you have it.
Author: Therese Fowler's blog
The weekend brought relaxing and reading.
I managed to take two garbage bags and a box of stuff to the goodwill. My daughter and I shopped on Black Friday - but we were pretty reserved. I have my list and I have a plan.
We did find a Dooney bag at the ARC for $7.50.
I watched a few of the comments about the new Secretary of State. This is my hope. I hope a bunch of people decide to leave the State Department and that opens up positions for people like me. seriously.
I am trying to ignore all of the president elect drama.
We had wet snow this morning. It was nice until the melt began. My dogs love it and they tend to make a mess.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Finished reading... The Abstinence Teacher

The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta
“Perrotta is that rare combination: a satirist with heart….Those who haven’t curled up on the couch with this writer’s books are missing a very great pleasure.”—Seattle Times

Stonewood Heights is the perfect place to raise children: it’s got good schools, solid values and a healthy real estate market. Parents in the town are involved in their children’s lives, and often in other children’s lives, too—coaching sports, driving carpool, focusing on enriching experiences. Ruth Ramsey is the high school human sexuality teacher whose openness is not appreciated by all her students—or their parents. Her daughter’s soccer coach is Tim Mason, a former stoner and rocker whose response to hitting rock bottom was to reach out and be saved. Tim’s introduction of Christianity on the playing field horrifies Ruth, while his evangelical church sees a useful target in the loose-lipped sex ed teacher. But when these two adversaries in a small-town culture war actually talk to each other, a surprising friendship begins to develop.
“Nobody renders the world of soccer moms and sprinklers and SUVs like Perrotta. He’s the Steinbeck of suburbia.”—Time

“Tom Perrotta is a truth-telling, unshowy chronicler of modern-day America.”—The New York Times Book Review (in a front-page review)

The Abstinence Teacher illuminates the powerful emotions that run beneath the placid surface of modern American family life, and explores the complicated spiritual and sexual lives of ordinary people. It is elegantly and simply written, characterized by the distinctive mix of satire and compassion that has become Perrotta’s trademark.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I an feeling an abundance of inadequateness.
I have been thinking about the things I am Thankful for.
Just a few things:
My family
My daughter
My mom
My brother and his family and Abby
Little Michael
My friends
Blueberry bushes
The tartness of rhubarb
My job
My skills
My safety
My faith
My ability to read and comprehend
The right to choose
The right to serve
My community
Gardens and raised beds
Heirloom tomatoes

You see where I am going with this…
My clothes dryer, laundry soap, Dove products, Wools socks, etc…

I am blessed but restless.
I am doubting and guessing.
My feet are planted firmly but my thoughts are racing.
Am I making the right decisions?
Small mistakes are crushing my spirit.

for the husband for the holiday season

Happy Thanksgiving

Life was much easier when you ate at the kid's table. Enjoy your time the next few days and count your blessings.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Two new blogs I found! New to me...
Very enjoyable...

Gastronomical 3
Fast Grow the weeds

They are from Michigan and it made me feel close to home!
I finished reading House and Home link
It was a good read, super easy and fast fiction.

My daughter and I are going to make pizelles for Thanksgiving and we made a trial batch and Saturday. The recipe did not really turnout as we would have hoped, so we are going to try again. We are having an Italian themed Thanksgiving with the American traditions as trimmings.
We relaxed with Little Michael this weekend, I let him play with the plastic cookie cutters and brought my daughters wicker chair set to play pretend. He loved it. By the end of the night in true boy fashion he had it flipped it over and made it into some vehicle of sort. He is at a pretty fun age. We cleaned and began to decorate a little it, We have 30 days left until Christmas, might as well enjoy some of the decorations for awhile.
I also found a decent sized box of things to drop off at the thrift store!

Sunday was busy at church. We had our annual Operation Cooperation where we packed up 75 Thanksgiving food baskets and delivered them. The response was overwhelming and it was fun to help out the cause.
We packed the boxes with fixings for the Thanksgiving table. Every corner I turn I find more and more ways to bless people. I think we are living in exciting times stemmed with opportunity.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Go Tammy

BARACK Obama echoed a time-honoured presidential tradition on Tuesday by laying a wreath at a memorial to mark Veterans Day in the US.

Senator Obama placed flowers at a bronze memorial at Chicago's Soldier Field with Tammy Duckworth, a disabled Iraq war veteran who serves as director of the Department of Veterans Affairs for Illinois.

The president-elect briefly bowed his head, saluted and walked away.

Only a few dozen spectators were on hand.

Tammy Duckworth is being considered for the Secretary of Veteran Affairs

You know I am not a supporter of the new regime - but Tammy is amazing.
c-span info

Thursday, November 20, 2008

How to Participate in the Oral History Project
link to the National Journal

National Journal welcomes anyone who has served with the U.S. military in Iraq or Afghanistan to participate in the Oral History project. Active-duty service members, reservists, National Guard troops, retirees and veterans from all branches and of all ranks are included. Public affairs officers should feel free to contact National Journal on behalf of unit members who would be interested in participating.

A typical Oral History interview takes about 60 to 90 minutes. Some are shorter, some are longer, and a few individuals speak to National Journal for several hours over multiple sessions. Most participants speak for the record and are quoted in subsequent articles, but you may designate part or all of the interview as off the record. We will not quote you or name you in any publication without your consent.

Given the large number of participants, not all individuals who agree to be quoted actually will be quoted in a published article -- but every interview adds to our base of knowledge about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we appreciate the contributions of everyone who takes the time to share their story with us.

To learn more about National Journal's project on the Oral History of Iraq and Afghanistan, or to ask about participating, please contact:

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Staff Correspondent, National Journal
Phone: (202) 739-8418
Mail: 600 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W. / Washington, D.C. 20037

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Ok I am stress eater.

Today, I am having a bit of drama/conflict with team members and a difficult group in another area.
emails were flying.
tones were getting borderline ugly.
But, no matter what I will go to bat for my team.
I had to write a strong toned message in response.
I ate an entire six pack of donettes in about 3 minutes.
Yes, 3 minutes.

Case in point.

I do not feel any better, but wow they went down pretty quickly.

Monday, November 17, 2008

enough said... for today


If you grew up where deer season was a major event in the family, you will enjoy this article from a small town in Michigan.

ESCANABA - Tomorrow will mark my 40th opening day for deer hunting. Perhaps it goes back even further as I don't know how many times I was there as a kid and not old enough to shoot.
Each year my father would take my brothers and I out to tromp the woods, dressed in the ever present red plaid wool of the season.
I can remember dad waking me up at a time that seemed ungodly early. Heck, it felt like we had just gone to bed. the rest of the story...

I have postcards that my dad sent to my mom when they were in their late teens from him at deer camp. I will try to scan them someday to share.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

make a difference

The 50,000 Pairs in 50 Days Challenge
Yesterday we went the the Air Force Falcon football game.
We typcally go to one game a year with our friends from Golden.
We brought little Michael with us and it turned out to be a great game and beautiful day,
The Falcons lost but it was a pretty good game until the blow out in the last half.
Little Michal was smitten with the BYU mascot Cosmo the Cougar. He watched him the entire game and he loved to watch the SPs with their guard dogs at the end of the field.
Today we are celebrating Michael's 2nd birthday.

Friday, November 14, 2008

You would think I live in a one horse town.
I know I wrote a few weeks ago that I had been listening to AM oldies radio during the election, well I like it and I have decided to continue listening to it on my way to work.
Yesterday they interviewed one of the authors for the book The Beauty Prescription. It sounds like an interesting book and thought my daughter would like it.
They had a give aways for the 5th caller.
Well, in short I won. Good deal. I was starting out the morning right!
Well, they announced that I won on the radio... and this is when a very strange chain of events occurred.

My brother-in-laws boss was listening in the maintenance garage.
He called him and asked if he had a sister with my name. He said yes.
He then in turn texted my daughter at school that I had won a book on the radio.
Then later they were at my mother in laws house and they called to find out what book it was and I realized I had won.

I really could not make this up.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Real Hope

This story gives me Hope for America.
Military brides get wedding gowns of their dreams - for free

All's fair in love and war - and at a Long Island bridal shop yesterday, all was free, too.
Across the country, including in Merrick, wedding dress stores were giving away frothy frocks to military brides in honor of Veterans Day.
"I was bawling like a baby. I couldn't believe it," said Tanira Christhonte, 24, of Mark Freeman, 29, a Marine staff sergeant who is working as a recruiter in Hempstead after serving two tours in Iraq. With the cost of the dress making up a fifth of her wedding budget, Christhonte said she was about to settle for a thrift store castoff.
"I already resigned myself to just getting an okay dress and making do, because I wanted a good wedding," she said.

I sent an email of thanks to the boutique owner Moonlight Couture Robyn Goldowski 1613 Merrick road Merrick,New York 1156 Phone: 516.868.1500 Fax: 516.868.1878 Email: moonlightcouture @

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Went it rains it pours.
My daughter called me frantically at 3:45 saying that she cannot find our lab anywhere.
She leaves for work and twenty minutes later my husband calls and says he cannt find Luke either.
I pack up my stuff and head out to go look for him too.
I had a feeling that I should stop by the humane society and that is where I found the boy in the cell.
It took me an 90 minutes to get him out and $52.


Vanilla, Almond and Honey
Quaker Simple Harvest™ Vanilla, Almond and Honey is a hot, instant multigrain cereal that is filled with the delicious, satisfying flavors of almonds, the great natural flavor of vanilla and honey, and all natural ingredients like whole oats, whole wheat, and barley. Enjoy the comforting simplicity of a natural breakfast with ingredients you recognize and can feel good about eating.

This is yummy.... and on the site there is a coupon.

Link to coupon Here is a tip too.
Safeway has these on sale this week. Print two coupons and buy an extra one for 75 cents, donate it to a food drive or include it in a care package for soldiers.

Yesterday, was the Marine Corps Birthday.
In 2005 I took my daughter to see the movie Jarhead on the birthday.
Imagine the two us in the movies watching that with a bunch of Marines.
Maybe she was too young for a few of the scenes, but we it a memory we will never forget and it is one of our favorite movies.

Today is Veteran's Day.
Thank you for serving.
Do you what you can today to touch a vet.
I have a few addresses if you want to send a Thanksgiving card or Christmas Card.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

from samantha

Well now, do you remember that I sent a box of toys and a baby blanket to Col John D. Folsom, USMCR who is the camp commandant at Camp Al Taqaddum in Iraq? (See my posts on that here.) Today I received a note from him thanking me for the toys and blanket. He also wrote that they have named the drive to get toys for the kids of Kabani, Iraq "Operation Toy Story." I love it!If you want to particpate in Operation Toy Story here's Col Folsom's address. If you do send toys, please send only new toys. They don't have to be fancy or expensive.

Please send your toys to:
Colonel J. D. Folsom
Unit 42175
FPO AP 96426-2175

blog link

I am going to miss him..

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all for coming. Mr. Vice President and Lynne, thank you for being here with us. Laura and I welcome you to the South Lawn -- better known as Barney's playground. (Laughter.)

I want to thank members of my Cabinet who've joined us. We've just finished a Cabinet meeting, and it gave me a chance to tell them how much I appreciate the good work they're doing during this critical time for our nation.

I also appreciate the men and women who make up the Executive Office of the President for joining us today. (Applause.) Some of you have been at the White House for just a few months. Others arrived the same day that we did nearly eight years ago. You're the ones who can tell that my hair has gotten a little grayer. (Laughter.) Others are career employees who have been here for 30, or 40, sometimes 50 years. I can tell that your hair has gotten grayer. (Laughter.)

The people on this lawn represent diverse backgrounds, talents, and experiences. Yet we all share a steadfast devotion to the United States. We believe that service to our fellow citizens is a noble calling -- and the privilege of a lifetime.

Belle in the Big Apple

The author Brooke Parkhurst (a former Fox News girl) has written a fun read with a couple of interesting recipes interwoven. I was able to read this in an afternoon. It is very light hearted and I have a feeling it is bit more of a memoir than fiction.

I like the review from Publisher’s Weekly

Parkhurst, former blogger and media gossip staple turned Web-and-TV culinary personality, brings considerable Southern charm and sass (plus some mouth-watering recipes) to her chick lit debut, but there’s no mistaking the revenge fantasy at the heart of this tale of struggle and success. The former Fox News Channel correspondent plunks her Mobile, Ala., debutante narrator, Belle Lee, at a smarmy news network, where she begins her rise to the media heap from the very bottom. Determined not to be trampled, Belle turns supersleuth and discovers the sticky political web woven by her American News Channel bosses and uses the goods as leverage to get her own pieces on air. “Even if I had to work for horn dogs and thieves… I would produce a piece that would get me a job as a ‘real’ journalist,” Belle vows in a “never go hungry again” moment. Predictably, Belle breaks out from under the bad guys and shifts her professional focus to something more heartfelt. There aren’t any surprises, but the tartly told story is a genuine guilty pleasure. (Sept.)

Her blog details the events of her recent engagement.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Bucket List

The Bucket List
I know I am behind times.
I have not had a chance to watch the movie. It was in theatre's last December and then came out in the summer on dvd. I missed it. But last I watched it and it was amazing.I recommend it.

Friday, November 07, 2008

I just finished watching the final episode of Army Wives for the season.
I cried and then I sat there paralyzed.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008



Well, I would do it all over again. It was only six weeks and countless hours.
Our county did very well for the Republicans and we carried McCain 60%.
I met a few life long friends, not seasonal friends, but people I intend to keep in touch with years to come.
My eyes were opened to the behind the scenes of politics. I am more aware of policies and practices.
I firmly believe that money was the key driver in this election. If you outspend your opponent your odds of winning increase three fold. Game well played, however the outcome is not game.

Colorado turned up to be a key state and I turned up right in the middle of it. What a great opportunity. I need to catch up now on reading and cleaning.
But for now, I am headed to bed at 7:30.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Drill is done for the month.
Sarah Palin is back here tomorrow. Doors open at 3:45 - program starts at 5:15.
I am on vacation the next two days for the last of the get out the vote effort.

My daughter bought a record player yesterday from the ARC and it is awesome... We are listening to Christmas music as I type this and my daughter finishes her political science homework. Maybe if the candidates played soft Christmas music as back ground music we could stomach the barrage of ads. Two more days, Two more days.

Please vote and encourage at least one person to vote on election day. There is way too much at stake to be luke warm about the candidates.

My camera was not working properly on Halloween and I did not get great shots of the kiddos. My nephew was the cutest darn Ninja I have ever seen. I handed out Fruit by the Foot and Fruit Snacks. He ate three packages in a row, I am sure his tummy was rumbling later. But he had a blast!

After the election:
Soldier Care packages
Operation Christmas Child
Thanksgiving Volunteering and food baskets.
Christmas shopping

Saturday, November 01, 2008

All about timing today.
I woke up and left for drill about 5:30 am - You can tell it is Fall and time for Day Light Savings... It was dark the entire way.
I was approved to leave at 3:45 to get to see Mitt Romney at 4:45. I made it just in time. I had to park at the back of the parking lot as I actually changed in the car.
Imagine all those conservatives know I had changed in the parking lot.. Mitt spoke for about 15 minutes and they announced Sarah Palin will be back on Monday. I already have vacation planned for Monday and Tuesday, so it worked perfectly. After he spoke I worked my way up to shake his hand. He looks just like he did during the debates!