Monday, December 29, 2008

Santa picked out this - and it is pretty good

While spending 12 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit, police officer Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis) developed some curious coping skills, including a Zen-like calm and a detached, quizzical approach to reality's many injustices. When he's exonerated and released with a bag full of money, Crews buys a big house, a great car, and, unpredictably, opts to returns to the force and use his new personality quirks to help solve crimes. The first season of NBC drama LIFE follows this newly free detective as he investigates vicious murders alongside his edgy, outcast partner Dani Reese (Sarah Shahi), and searches the streets for the person who framed him for homicide so many years ago. As Crews navigates his newly re-claimed life, he bumps up against the members of the force who remain unconvinced of his innocence; throughout this first season, the detective gets close to department secrets that may have had something to do with his false imprisonment.

Dec 25th

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I was able to take two boxes to Goodwill yesterday and fill up most of the trash can. My recycle stash is overflowing.
A bit of progress.
Today, I should be able tackle a few more things.
I have a turkey in the oven I picked up on sale at Safeway. This will make nice leftovers for a few days.
We are off to Chuck E Cheese for Ryan's birthday later in the day. The weather is stunning sunny and crisp.
Friday we have an eye appointment for my daughter to have a civilian doctor test her color blindness. I am stunned that she is red green color by Army standards. How did I not know this? I am equally as stunned that it closes the door on 95% of female jobs in the Army.

Our friend's wife her lost her life to cancer last night. This was painful to watch as the cancer was very aggressive.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Season of Big Love!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Just finished listening

to Little Heathens Hard times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish

It is a great memoir, I loved it. It was like listening to my grandma and her friends tell stories for hours.
I listened to it in the evening before falling asleep for almost a week. Much enjoyment and highly recommended.. I am not sure if reading the book would be as good as the audio, I would go with the audio... it adds the special touch..

about the author (I dropped her a note..) and guess what she is Vet too!

I was born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1922, on a farm near Garrison, Iowa, in Benton County. My growing-up was influenced by the Great Depression and by the self-reliance and work ethic of my mother’s parents — themselves descendants of pioneers who never quite made it into the 20th Century. Little Heathens details the remarkable challenges and the inestimable rewards of living a rural life where children were expected to accept responsibilities beyond the ordinary. From early on, I was eager to be self-supporting and independent. The summer I turned thirteen I became the companion, cook and caretaker of a retired missionary. Later I worked as a hired girl on two local farms. After my high school graduation, I earned an Elementary Teacher’s Certificate from Iowa State Teacher’s College at Cedar Falls. However, instead of accepting a teaching position in Iowa, I jumped at an opportunity to move to New York as a governess in Yonkers.
In 1942, I joined the United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve. I was sent for radio training to Miami University at Oxford, Ohio and on graduation I served at the headquarters of the 5th Naval District in Norfolk, Virginia. This is where I met and married fellow radio operator Harry Kalish. Thanks to the G. I. Bill, we both furthered our education at and graduated from the State University of Iowa (photo). We have two sons, two daughters-in-law (par excellence), four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. I am a Professor Emeritus of English retired from Suffolk County Community College on Long Island. I have taught at the State University of Iowa at Iowa City, the State University of Missouri at Columbia, and at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY.
My husband and I are residents of a retirement community in Cupertino, California.

This Christmas was low key.
My daughter and I went to Christmas Eve service and came home watched some tv and then "camped out" in the living room.
I woke up at 4:50 to let out the dogs and sent the daughter upstairs to sleep some more.
Made coffee and relaxed by the Christmas tree...Next year a live tree is required.
We traded gifts later in the morning, it was not a real joyful. My daughter cried a few times and said all she wanted for Christmas was to be in the Army. We will work on color blindness waiver in the next week.
We were assigned a few dishes to bring to my sister-in-laws house. My husband made pork adobo and red chili. I made empanadas. I have a real easy recipe and after yesterdays drama I made it even easier.
Instead of preparing the filling I bought Smart Ground Taco Burrito filling and 505 Southwestern salsa and mixed it together.
Everyone loved and no one even knows how easy it was...

1. On a lightly floured surface cut each biscuit into quarters
2. Use your hand to roll each quarter into a ball.
3. Roll out with a rolling pin to a 3 inch circle
4. Put one tsp of mixture in center.
5. Brush edges of dough with water
6. Fold over in half to seal
7. Press emapandas with tines of fork
8. Brush with beaten egg
9. Place on cooking sprayed baking sheets
10. Bake in a 375 oven until golden about 12 to 15 minutes.
11. Serve hot

The husband got several itunes gift cards; I hope this will keep him busy searching for songs and episodes.

I called a few people wishing them a Merry Christmas and just relaxed.
The agenda for today is yet to be seen.
I know for sure cleaning and making dog treats are scheduled.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

drama at the house...

0.4% of women in the US are color blind

happy Christmas Eve

I need to

pick up two gift cards for safeway
make a birthday card
run errand in Denver - that I will post about later.
Hopefully, make it home by 7pm for last the service at church... I guess we could always go to midnight mass if it does not work out.

sort recycling
I plan on doing a little after Christmas shopping for tissue paper cards, paper and cards. This year I only spent maybe $10 because I found great deals a Tuesday Morning last year. I really tried to recycle as much as possible from year to year. I actually enjoy the hunt for a few special things to tuck away.

I am making Empanada's for tomorrow... I NEED to pick up Pine Nuts...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Ok - Today was odd...

I went to my annual physical today.
I picked up my paperwork for complete blood work and got a referral to an ortho dr to take a look at my knee.
It has been bothering me for the last few weeks. My insurance plan covers one full physical a year for preventative care. I usually just let the Guard take care of routine blood work, but I opted to get a civilian screening this time.
So, I can check that off the list for a year and she said no mammogram again until the big 40.

I stopped into the thrift store to find a recycled basket I need for a gift. I found the basket and two pair of jeans. Grandpa sent all of us some money for Christmas. I picked up a sweater and my daughter a pair of pants for BK.

My daughter has to travel to Denver tonight to be ready for MEPS in the morning, so I took her to the recruiter and made sure she was safely in the car and double checked that the recruiter and I would meet in the morning and ride up to speak with career counselor before she signs anything. For the most part I am little numb. But, I press forward.

My neighbor and I sponsored a single soldier with 3 teen children for the Christmas. She is in the Warrior Transition Unit. I called them a few weeks ago to see if I could lend a hand to someone and they provided me with a name. I drove to her Battalion to meet her and pass along the gifts. I offered to take her to lunch and she took me up on it. Right there on the spot. So, today I had an enjoyable lunch at Panera with a fellow female soldier that could use a hand and shoulder. I swear God places me in situations I would not be able to even make up! I found out that her needs are a little more than the small gifts we provided and I am going to try to get a food basket from our church and maybe mention it to a few others for after the holidays.


Just checking in.

Vacation has been relaxing. We did a little shopping a Borders yestererday and the grocery.

Today a few more things and then tonight I am hoping to scrub my kitchen. I have been looking forward to grabbing some cleaning supplies and going to town, but my time and attention has been limited.

Michael has been over playing and pretending. A great age for pretending.

in a side note...
Last night I dreamt I had amazing interview with IBM and landed a great job. This was really strange.. It was bit surreal.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


One reason I am excited for Christmas to be over...
That horrible ChirstyLane music commercial on Foxnews...
Wow... I will be glad when that stops airing.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thoughtfulness My aunt's note in her Christmas card really touched me. Each year I write down a few key dates for my mom, my dad and my maternal grandparents and reserve masses for them at our family church in Michigan. Now, I am not catholic and I do not feel people do not need to really do this, but out of respect and honor I continue this.Last Sunday was the 14th her birthday. My aunt said that attended that mass and she took up the offering and she said that it was a privilege. I must say it choked me up. That lump in my throat filled with emotions just will not go away. Life is complicated sometimes, but it is what it is.
Let my words, like vegetables, be tender and sweet, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.” —Anonymous

Pop-Up Books

I bought this very cute pop-up book for my nephew...

Lola is a fussy eater. A very fussy eater. She won’t eat her carrots (until big brother Charlie reveals that they are really orange twiglets from Jupiter). She won’t eat her mashed potatoes (until Charlie explains that they are cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji). There are many, many things Lola absolutely will not eat, including -- and especially -- tomatoes. Or will she? Kate Greenaway Medalist Lauren Child cooks up a witty treat for picky eaters and the people who love them.

Michael is not a fussy eater, but he likes the book.

I mailed the final package this morning, it is pretty much down hill from here.
Next week will be busy with appointments and last minute errands. AND on Christmas Eve I am going to MEPS with my daughter. Warning, I will be a complete wreck.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Member of Human Trafficking Ring Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking Charges

WASHINGTON - Francisco Cortes-Meza, 25, a/k/a "Paco", of Mexico, pleaded guilty today in federal district court to sex trafficking offenses involving a young Mexican woman.
According to the information presented in court, during winter 2007, Francisco Cortes-Meza met a 22-year-old Mexican national in Mexico, pursued her romantically, promised her a better life in the U.S., and persuaded her to travel to Atlanta, Ga. All the while his intent was to place her in prostitution in a human trafficking ring in the Atlanta area. Francisco Cortes-Meza smuggled the victim into the United States and transported her to a house in Norcross, Ga. A few days after her arrival, he required her to begin engaging in prostitution. The victim was then required to provide him with the money that she was paid for commercial sex. He controlled the victim’s daily life and did not allow her to go places without his permission. When the victim stated that she did not wish to engage in prostitution, he became angry, often physically assaulting her.
"Human trafficking occurs in hidden corners across the country," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "The horrors faced by this young victim and thousands of others like her are heartbreaking. The Department is committed to enforcing laws that put traffickers behind bars."
"Human trafficking violates basic human rights and will not be tolerated," said David E. Nahmias, U.S. Attorney for the northern district of Georgia. "Compelling women by force, fraud or coercion, or girls under the age of 18, to engage in commercial sex acts is a serious violation of federal law. The victimization of the young women in this case was unfortunately made easier by their illegal status, unfamiliarity with U.S. laws, and fear of law enforcement instilled in them by the traffickers. Federal laws protect all victims of such heinous crimes, whether or not they are United States citizens. No victim should fear coming forward to report illegal activity and criminal abuse."
Francisco Cortes-Meza pleaded guilty to sex trafficking by force and coercion. This offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years in federal prison. A sentencing is yet to be scheduled.
The prosecution of human trafficking offenses is a top priority of the Justice Department. In the last seven fiscal years, the Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with the U.S. Attorneys' Offices, has increased by nearly seven-fold the number of human trafficking cases filed in court as compared to the previous seven fiscal years. In fiscal year 2007, the Department obtained a record number of convictions in human trafficking prosecutions.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This case is being prosecuted by Corey Steinberg, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia and Karima Maloney, Trial Attorney for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Monday, December 15, 2008

almost like her daddy and a little like her mommy


Things I have been wondering

OK, Throwing shoes at a press conference towards a man that saved your ass from a tyrant?
What does this journalist like? The smell of Mustard Gas in the morning?

What a joke, a Nativity that highlights the President elect in clay, umm.. he is not the messiah, do not be confused people.

Ok..... Illinois governor holds strong... the drama continues in Illinois

Irony - Catholic church upset of Playboy cover that vaguely looks like a pictorial of the Virgin Mary; but yet some dioceses encouraged their members to vote for Obama for President .... I think they are sending a mixed message. What are they really concerned about?

Get Over Your Lip Balm Addiction Get Over Your Lip Balm Addiction. I know two friends that constantly apply and reapply...

Additional comments

Christmas Card sales are way down, Please go buy a few cards for your friends and neighbors.
Book sales are way down, Please go support booksellers.
Toy sales are down, good. Please see the first two additional comments. And shop there.
It is hard to find shoes not made in China.
Do you think sheets are too personal to give as a gift?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Well, Today was mom's birthday.
Dec 14, 1941.

Friday, December 12, 2008

products we are loving this week

I found Ice Box Bakery cookies at Vitamin Cottage!
Granted it really is the same concept as Pillsbury slice and bake, but it is a local Colorado company! We picked up the Cherry Pie and Ginger Spice. more details
It is woman owned company, if you see them, I say give them a try.

The other thing my daughter devoured is Organic Valley Vanilla Lowfat Milk.

Christmas Card update - I am 95% complete, stamped and half are on their way.
I dropped off five small manilla envelopes with packages for troops and mailed six cards to Azeribijan! I will only have three packages to mail next week!

I have a few items to pick up and one hefty order with Sierra Trading Company and then I am done for the most part.

I hope to put up the tree this weekend.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

recent read

The Department of Lost and Found
By Allison Winn Scotch

Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site

I enjoyed it, it is a thoughtful fiction book with a geunine warm main character, Natalie.
This is a good relaxing read for vacation.

more info on the author:
Blog interview
Author's blog


The daughter has a two hour delay today due to ice road conditions and bitter cold weather.
She is still sleeping.
The best part about it... I did not even have to turn on any media or tv to find out. She received 5 text messages with the news.. She rolled over and went back to sleep. I am off the hook from turning on the tv!

Monday, December 08, 2008

OK Wednesday is big.

It is Human Rights Day.
10 December 2008.

A year ago, I had no idea that such a thing even existed. Or that the need is as great as it is.
Please celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by praying the needy and oppressed people of the world.

The theme of the campaign, “Dignity and justice for all of us,” reinforces the vision of the Declaration as a commitment to universal dignity and justice and not something that should be viewed as a luxury or a wish-list.

But, because I serve an awesome God; he has opened my families eyes to many things.
I began to understand the importance of Human Rights when I visited a Psychiatric Hospital in Azerbaijan and again when I witnessed first hand an orphanage out side of Baku.
My daughter introduced me to the outrageous amount of Human trafficking that exists in the world, targeting little girls and boys between 8 -17 years old.
Now, I have partnered with the Zonta International and I am understanding first hand the plight of many around the world that need help. I used to think by donating a few dollars here and there I could make an impact. Now, I know action is what is needed.

Even traveling for work to Buenos Aires, I understand the importance of advocating human rights.

a picture from the orphanage in Azeribijan

plenty of activity

Tonight out church served at the homeless shelter, It was perfect timing. The snow started coming down hard about 3:30 and the meal was packed. It went pretty quickly, they have the process down to a science. The environment is positive and friendly.

Tomorrow lunch with good friends and then a meeting on human trafficking. We are headed to a German restuarant with a few Active National Guard folks and friends. This is the second year we have done this as a group in December. Who knows it could be a tradition.

Wednesday lunch with friends and baking at home.
Thursday lunch with a friend from the campaign.
Saturday help wrap gifts for charity.
Sunday church, baking, party and Christmas program.
I truly love busyness.

I love candles

Finding it hard to believe drill for the year is done. But it is finished.
This has been a long week.
Last Tuesday I found out I had pink eye. First time ever in my life, I am not sure where I picked it up but the doctor said it could have been anywhere. I had to run to both the doctor and pharmacy. I opted to work from home the rest of the week. I am working on the Christmas cards and a few things I have to mail. I am trying to keep things simple this year. I received a list of soldiers that have not had any mail since they have been deployed and passed it along to make sure their boxes would begin to fill up. Mail is important!. I set my self reminder for the end of January to mail them valentine's and Easter cards. I need to run to Hallmark, they hare having amazing sales to stock up and of course Tuesday Morning will be able to provide great deals too. I am hoping at the homeless shelter tonight and tomorrow we have a human trafficking meeting. For the first time in a long time I have been invited to holiday parties. I often decline, because going alone is a not always fun and my husband would never go; but this year I think I am going! My neighbor and I are going to do some baking this week. Looking forward to it. We are going to try a new snack recipe and if it works, I will post later.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

pure randomness

the sweetest little post about an ex-army cook and his wife...
thanksgiving turkey advice

this site has a few great cooking ideas... ingredients inc

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I have to laugh sometimes.
We did not have any food saver bag material for months, but I knew we would need them for the Holidays. We eat and cook a lot. And I am trying to waste less.
My husband has been like a kid in candy shop.
Food saving everything...
makes me laugh...

Monday, December 01, 2008

today was a little rough

Today was a little rough.
I read the the blog about CPT ROB Yllescas
31 days ago he was hit by an IED in Afghanistan.
I was drawn to the posts and optimistic about his operation on Saturday.
During lunch I dropped Dena a card in the mail for encouragement and crafted and email to send to my prayer warriors.
After I sent the email, I went back to check in on CPT Yllescas. I began to do that thing where crying takes the complete wind of you.
He is with God now.
I do not know this family but I am grieving.
I am sad for his comrades and the emptiness created in his home.
Join me in prayer.