Friday, February 27, 2009

What a busy week.
I will have to say we got a few major rocks moved.
Graduation invitations are in, I just have to pick them up.
Glasses are in, I just have to pick them up.
Taxes are complete, I just have sign them and they submit e-file. Thank goodness we do not owe. We just need to continually donate and have deductions on that level.
I have been officially assigned to the unit, I start training on Monday..combatives. My lunch from co-workers was very sweet and much appreciated
Paid car insurances and renewed tags for the daughters car.
I finished a slide deck for the Colorado Springs Human Trafficking Task Force.

I need to get the oil changed, mail a package, get a haircut.
Next week is huge for a few things I have been working on; It is the Glass Slipper Ball and the film A Powerful Noise.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar-winning actress named new UN Goodwill Ambassador for human trafficking

Mira Sorvino, UNODC's Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking

12 February 2009 – Academy Award-winning American actress Mira Sorvino was named as Goodwill Ambassador to combat human trafficking for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) today, coinciding with the release of a new report showing that nearly half of all nations have yet to bring a single perpetrator of the scourge to justice.
On the 200th anniversary of the birth of former United States President Abraham Lincoln who led the emancipation of slaves in his country, Ms. Sorvino stressed the need for human trafficking to be relabelled as slavery so that “people can’t tune out the human suffering.”
It was a case of life imitating art for the actress, who portrayed an American government agent seeking to curb sexual exploitation worldwide in a 2005 television miniseries.
Not being called slavery “helps to keep us in denial” about the true nature of human trafficking, she said after her induction at UN Headquarters in New York.
According to the new UNODC study, which is based on information provided by 155 Member States, two out of every five countries covered by the report have yet to convict anyone on trafficking charges.
No UNODC figures are available for the number of trafficking victims worldwide, but according to the UN International Labour Organization (ILO), two million people become enslaved annually.
According to the report, only one victim out of every 100 trafficking cases is rescued, and at present there are 22,500 cases of people being recovered worldwide.
“Are we making progress?” said Antonio Maria Costa, UNODC Executive Director. “My answer is: I wish we were.”
Nearly 80 per cent of trafficking comprises sexual exploitation, but he warned that that is illusory, since it is the most commonly reported since it is more visible compared to other forms of the scourge, such as sweatshops and child exploitation.
Further, modern-day slavery is characterized by a very large presence of women as predators. In some countries in Africa, a majority of traffickers are women.
Despite the term “trafficking,” which implies the movement of persons across borders, the crime also occurs within countries and communities.
“Not even animals prey on their kin,” Mr. Costa said, noting that statistics show there is a large amount of exploitation within both large and smaller nations.
He said that he projects that trafficking may be facilitated by globalization and the fact that movement of people and commodities around the world is becoming easier.
Additionally, given the current financial crisis, the Executive Director surmised that “with economic hardship in the Third World, it is more likely that a greater number of people are going to be more vulnerable than they were.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This week is moving along.
Today I had an eye appointment to get an exam and order new glasses - I am completely satisified! I have my new frames orders and the exam and all was under $95! Woo hoo!
I had to pick from Children's frames again, but they are cute and I will only need them for driving.
I need to make dentist appointments tomorrow!

I had dinner with my friend from the campaign at California Pizza Kitchen. I have not been there in ages. The food was pretty good and the conversation was great. She is working on the hill and is having a lot of fun!
Tomorrow I am having lunch with a friend from Florida visiting Colorado and then coffee with a few Zonta ladies.
I will need to do some extra exercising....
Friday I am heading on an impromtu road trip to DH's grandma's. She just celebrated her 95th birthday. We are taking the three kids, it should be pretty fun.

Our company just announced today that we are taking a 5 percent pay cut for 99% percent of the employees.
It saves jobs, I am ok.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's uneventful.
My daughter ended up with a giant teddy bear with av poor quality heart of chocolate strapped to the chest.
She was slightly flattered - but not impressed. A nice boy, but not the one or even a maybe. poor thing - he tried

We made 5 mini meat loaves for the DH to use for lunches and dinners for the week. We are giving one to the neighbors across the street and the his bachelor friends two doors down.

Yesterday the daughter tried on a prom dress she liked. We were almost sold until we looked closer at the tag.
Beautiful dress for $200 made in China... um.. no thanks. We will keep looking..
She wants a big dress, one that would turn the Prince and Cinderella's heads. looking on here is fun! Only gowns

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I decided to bake a pie...
and then it happened.
I thought I had a can of evaporated milk but then I realized it was a can of sweetened condensed milk .. the internet (which is never wrong) suggests...

Ingredient Substitutions
For 1 cup of evaporated milk, substitute 1 cup half-and-half, 1 cup heavy cream OR 1 cup whole milk

wish me luck..

Direct conversations my daughter and I had with random cashiers...

Card store.
We make small talk of Valentine's.
Then she tells about her breakfast with her boyfriend and how he did not say anything about v-day. When he dropped her off at work he said that she looked great in red. She had to remind him.. and she was hoping he would come through later today... She had a good feeling because she saw him pass by the store earlier.


#2 Dillards
Older sweet German later.
She gives us the scoop on the customer just prior to us. She was trying to return something that was not bought there and they do not carry the brand. She was emotional drained from her.

I try to change the subject and mention that she had beautiful rings on (literally she had 10 rings jammed on to her fingers). She explains that one of her co-workers was making a fuss that she was wearing two rings the other day on one finger; so in spite she was now wearing multiple rings all at once.

We get a lot of extra information throughout every single day.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


This morning about 7:30 – there is knock at the door.
It is the young boy across the street.
He asks, “Does your daughter go to ** High school?”
Can I get a ride with her?
I start to smile – because this is funny.
The freshman boy wants to ride with the senior to school. Ok. No problem.
I run upstairs and warn my daughter not to walk down stairs not fully clothed. That the neighbor needs a ride and he is in the living room.

It is a little awkward and we make small talk.
His dad is in the AF.
My daughter comes down stairs chats with us for a few minutes and they get in the car and leave.

She called me later and said… now that was weird.
He talked about girls with big butts all the way to school…


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


“ Environmental researchers announced that performing two Google searches generates the same amount of carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle." Harper’s Weekly Review, 01.20.2009

for today

Hot yoga was good tonight, but I felt like I could not focus on any one pose.
My locked out knees were pretty wobbly.

We got the cutest letter in the mail from our Compassion child in Thailand. His name is Kitnan and he is now 7 years old. We have been sponsoring him since he was was 4 and his coloring is getting better! I just put together an envelope of stickers and pictures for him.

My rednecks relatives are camped out in Daytona for the Daytona 500 this weekend. :) just teasing... but they are staying the motor home at the track :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Losing my mind... maybe
Today for the first time in a very very long time I left the house without my wallet.
I had placed it in bag during swim class and I left it in the bag in the living room.
Only when I needed to pay for yoga did I realize I had no ID, money or info on me.
So, no Yoga for me.
Tonight is the monthly Human Trafficking meeting.
The temps are dropping with a chance of snow. I wore my snow boots to work today - but thankfully nothing happened.
I have nothing but trivial snippets today.
I listened to the new sermon today, it was really good. I like Craig's approach to the message.
The taxes are almost complete at the accountant - yeah :)
I have a slight headache and I wish I had room temperature Vernors. That usually helps.

I mailed a few more Valentine's today...

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Well, drill weekend is now complete. Check that off for the month for now.
The daughter is now 18 and she even bought lottery tickets to prove her validity.
I did little house cleaning this weekend, but the house was pretty empty with the comings and goings of everyone so it managed to be somewhat presentable.
This week will be pretty busy. My boss is in town for a quick visit. I plan on doing swimming and yoga at least twice. I have a local Republican meeting and the monthly Human Trafficking Awareness meeting task force meeting.
I am sure a few other things will pop over the week.
I need to do power shopping and cleaning towards the end of next weekend.
Nothing major -but more to come..

Friday, February 06, 2009

interesting point of view

Stanley Fish
Looking for Someone to Like - NY Times
Near the end of the first episode of “Big Love”’s new season, Nicki (Chloe Sevigny), the second of Bill Henrickson’s three wives, stands up on the roof of her house in the middle of a block party. She’s been repairing the roof rather than joining the festivities because she feels unwanted in the neighborhood. But when a couple of the neighbor kids make off with her ladder, she can’t take it anymore and she rises up to say her piece: “All I ever wanted was to be off the compound and live a normal life and be truly free.”

This is an amazing statement. By “normal life” Nicki means a life in a mini-compound (three houses opening up on one backyard) with her husband, her two sister-wives and the eight children Bill has sired. The compound she has fled is led by her patriarch-father, Roman Grant (the great Harry Dean Stanton) and by other male elders who enforce strict obedience to rules they flout and who demand servile fidelity to their every word. (You must be “in harmony with me” is the byword.)

The Henricksons, in contrast, practice a kind of participatory democracy (within limits); everyone has a say; everyone has rights; everyone has dreams and at least some space to pursue them. True, the family arrangement is illegal, and a certain amount of subterfuge is required to avoid exposure and arrest, but you can’t have everything. Nicki is truly grateful for the life she now leads and when she finishes her speech the members of the family salute her, bring her down and crowd around her in fellowship. It’s a moment of big love.

And then it gets bigger. Suddenly someone says, “O.K., everyone, I’m here on your terms.” It’s Ana, a woman whom Bill (Bill Paxton) has been courting, not for himself, but for the whole family. Ana has been more than willing to have an affair with Bill, but he (in a nice gender reversal) insists that there must be a wedding ring first, which means that she must be willing to marry them all — Bill, Barb, Nicki and Margene, and the eight children. Now she says she is.
As powerful as this sequence is, it is only a small portion of the events the episode contains. In no particular order, Barb (wife number 1) is undergoing tests for cancer, although no one knows about it; Bill is trying to negotiate a casino deal with a Native American tribal representative who is taken with Margene, his third wife; Bill’s father, played by the sublimely slimy Bruce Dern, is making a play for power while Roman Grant is in prison (he has been indicted for various offenses with underage girls).

Roman’s son Alby is trying to keep his father in jail after having failed to kill him (he is also trying to hide his homosexuality); Nicki has gone undercover in an effort to help her father’s case; Sarah, Bill and Barbara’s daughter, has secretly applied (and been accepted to) Arizona State University, but feels drawn to the life she claims to want to escape.

It sounds bewildering and kaleidoscopic and it is, but even when the plot veers in unexpected directions, it always winds its way back to the Henricksons and their efforts to build on earth a family that will be together in eternity. Barb and Nicki and Margene form ever-shifting alliances, act out more forms of jealousy than you knew existed, vie for Bill’s affection, jockey for influence and do all the other things sisters do. But in the end what binds them is genuine affection and concern. Exasperated as they may be with one another, they really like each other and they are really likable .

And that is why “Big Love” is one of the few TV programs I look forward to watching. There are people to like. Likability is not highly prized on the small (or not so small) screen these days. If you watch programs like “Mad Men,” “Damages” and “The Shield” (which has now concluded its run), you would think that the point is to keep introducing characters who are even more repellent than the characters you already shrink from. Any hint of a redemptive quality is quickly overwhelmed by deeds so heinous that you literally cringe.

No doubt this is “realistic” (a sure-fire honorific) and an antidote to the sentimentality everyone likes to put down. But sentimentality is good for you, especially if it comes wrapped in first-rate acting, crisp dialogue and a directing style (imitative of “The Sopranos,” “Deadwood” and “The Wire”) that ferries you from dramatic moment to dramatic moment without asking you to think too much about what is going on. (The thinking comes later.)

Readers of this column or of an earlier column listing my 10 best American movies ever (and let me rectify an omission by adding “Die Hard”; how can you not love a movie that makes dramatic/comic use of both Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Vaughn Monroe’s rendition of “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let It Snow!”?) will not be surprised to hear that one of my all-time favorite TV programs is “The Waltons.” Another big family living under one roof, even more multi-generational — mother, father, a slew of children, grandma and grandpa, visiting relatives and assorted neighbors, all interacting in an endless array of storylines.
The heterogeneity of the sprawling cast is reined in and given shape by the core commitment everyone has to the family’s survival and flourishing. External forces are always threatening to break it apart, but they are always repelled and the goodness of life on Walton’s Mountain is always reaffirmed. Each story comes accompanied by a moral lesson, but its didacticism is tempered by a clear-eyed awareness of the travails one cannot avoid in this vale of tears.

“Big Love” is the new “Waltons.” It gives more scope to the travails than to the lesson, but the lesson is there, and it is the same one: loyalty, solidarity, love. Indeed, it would be entirely appropriate for the newer series to pay tribute to the older one and end each episode with a round-robin of “good nights.” Good night Bill, good night Barb, good night Nicki, good night Margene, good night Ben, good night Sarah and, maybe (though I doubt it), good night Ana.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

my PSA -

from ...

Did you know.... 70% of the world's chocolate is produced in West Africa, where an estimated 12,000 children are currently in slavery. That's right, over two-thirds of all of the chocolate we consume every day. Without a screening process that ensures child and/or forced labor was not used, we have no guarantee that the chocolate we buy is not promoting modern slavery. So, what can you do?

This Valentine's Day, we're calling you to give love and spread justice by purchasing your chocolate Fair Trade.

"Here are two examples of the best Fair Trade Chocolate we've found! I encourage you to support these companies this Valentine's Day when you do your chocolate shopping. And keep a look out for Not For Sale's Conscious Consumer Campaign, coming soon! We'll be offering you ways to get Fair Trade chocolate into your local stores. All part of Free2Work... launching in late February!" - Kilian Moote, NFS Program Director

Theo Chocolate:
"Because Chocolate Grows on Trees!"
Theo Chocolate, the first and only organic and Fair Trade chocolate factory inside the United States, carefully screens all its ingredients to ensure they meet their standards for social and environmental responsibility. As a wholesale producers inside the United States Theo Chocolate offers competitive wholesale prices.
What Makes Theo Unique:
Using only pure ingredients that are grown sustainably. They source their ingredients locally whenever possible, and ensuring that their growers are earning a liveable wage and have access to education for their families.
Click HERE to find a Theo chocolate supplier near you, or click HERE to visit Theo's online Chocolate store. Yum!

Equal Exchange:
Equal Exchange's organic fairly traded chocolates offer consumers a delicious way to support small-scale farmers and their communities. As a leading U.S. purveyor of organic Fair Trade chocolate, all of Equal Exchange's bars and cocoas support a sustainable and just supply chain.
To be Fair Trade Certified, Equal Exchange has followed numerous regulations, including adhering to International Labor Organization Conventions 29, 105, and 138 on child labor and forced labor.
For delicious Fair Trade chocolate, click HERE to visit Equal Exchange's online store! For information on purchasing wholesale, contact Equal Exchange at 774-776-7333 or email:

a different face of Human Trafficking

US subcontractor keeps 1,000 Asians confined in Iraq warehouse
A Kuwait catering company, hired by KBR, kept its workers in a windowless warehouse near Baghdad for as long as three months.

BAGHDAD - About 1,000 Asian men who were hired by a Kuwaiti subcontractor to the US military have been confined for as long as three months in windowless warehouses near the Baghdad airport without money or a place to work.

Najlaa International Catering Services, a subcontractor to KBR, the Texas firm formerly known as Halliburton, hired the men, who are from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. On Tuesday, they staged a march outside their compound to protest their living conditions.

"It's really dirty," a Sri Lankan man told McClatchy, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he still wants to work for Najlaa. "For all of us, there are about 12 toilets and about 10 bathrooms. The food, it's three half-liter (one pint) bottles of water a day. Bread, cheese, and jam for breakfast. Lunch is a small piece of meat, potato, and rice. Dinner is rice and dal, but it's not dal," he said, referring to the Indian lentil dish. the rest of the story

mid week post

I have been able to get in two sessions of hot yoga this week. And what is even better; when I checked in today they said my class was free! woo hoo!
The classes were super hot 103 degress - both really good and much needed.
Tomorrow we are celebrating with the family for my daughter's birthday. We are headed to Olive Garden - it should be nice and simple and fun. Her birthday is Saturday and her friends are trying to work up a plan. Funny - I called to see if we could get a deal at the Broadmoor and have them just have fun - but the lowest rate was 150.00 and that did not include service to the spa/pool.
I am making one more call tomorrow just in case I can find an alternative. She had a minor car repair this week for $250, so much for saving that!
She requested an éclair cake. So, I had this amazing bakery - Boonzaaijer’s Dutch Bakery concoct something for her. I am anxious to see what they come up with.
We did find out great news - Her HS is paying for all of her college classes this semester - We are so lucky! I paid for the pottery class at Beamis - put they are picking up the tab on the others!

Monday, February 02, 2009

I watched the movie The Reader – It was great. I loved it.
I will caution there are several scenes that have full Nud*ity.
If you are distracted by that, you might want to skip it.
The story is sooo good. I am sure I will be thinking about the premises of the movie for awhile.
I did not read the book, but I can see why it received the attention that it did.

I finished reading
It - How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It
By: Craig Groeschel

I made it to the swim class on Saturday and did a little home yoga yesterday.
For yoga, I really prefer instructor led interaction. I am never sure if I am doing the pose correct and the feedback or adjustment from the instructor is always appreciated.