Archive for August, 2008

It Takes A Village To Bash A Kid

I guess you’d have to be living on Mars not to hear the garbage being tossed about by the political spin doctors.  In a sick attempt to try to discredit McCain’s choice for VP, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the Democrats have sunk to an all-time low.  They’re accusing her 16-year old daughter of being the “real” mother of Palin’s infant child, who was born with Down syndrome.

Are there no morals in politics at all?  Since when is it OK to attack an innocent child to accomplish one’s nefarious goals?  Kids should be off-limits to any attack; I don’t care who their parents are.  I wouldn’t bad mouth my worst enemy’s children.  Kids can’t help who their parents are, and their young fragile egos are still developing.  They are still trying to learn about the world and find their place in it.  Imagine how you would feel if your child’s name was dragged through the mud for any reason.  Imagine that what they were saying wasn’t even true.  This is the ultimate despicable act of desperation and I can’t believe anyone would stoop so low.

First of all, what if the outlandish story turned out to be true?  The worst transgression here is that a mother was protecting her daughter from nasty public scrutiny.  IF there was any truth to this at all, it really would have nothing to do with Governor Palin’s ability to do her job, just as the Democrats claim that John Edward’s cheating on his gravely ill wife (and denying his love child) does not make him less effective on the job.  It would merely be a mother protecting her child, which is something a lot of us mothers have a tendency to do.

Secondly, not one of these accusers has produced an iota of evidence that this ludicrous story is TRUE!!  If they had evidence, they would have shared it.  Instead, they dig up some meager circumstantial “evidence”, saying that Governor Palin didn’t look pregnant.  Well, I’m betting they wear heavier clothing in Alaska so maybe it wasn’t as obvious as if she was wearing a tank top or something.  And it’s not so uncommon to hear about a woman who doesn’t even realize she’s pregnant herself until she delivers the baby.

And how stupid are these people?  Don’t they know how hard it would be for anyone in politics to pull off a scam like this?  It would have been “discovered” long before now.  And the fact that the baby has Down Syndrome makes it so much more unlikely that he was born to a young girl, since the cause of Down Syndrome is a genetic mutation most often found in the eggs of women past the age of 35.  But nobody ever said these people were smart.

Something Pooped on My Bra

I’m hot, tired, and kind of bummed that I didn’t make it into the pool today.  But I got a lot of needed housework done.  I washed all the bathroom rugs and hung them out to dry this morning.  Then I hand washed three bras and hung them on the line also.  I scrubbed the steps, paid the bills, scoured the powder room, scrubbed the powder room floor and went to the store to get some beef jerky to send to Soldier Son in the care package I’m shipping out tomorrow.  After we finished eating the pasta I made, I gathered up some veggies from the garden, then went to the clothesline to take in the laundry.  And there were several crusty black splotches on one of my bras.  And they definitely were not there when I hung the thing out.

As you can see, this was the most exciting event of my day.  Some flying animal chose my bra to do it’s business on.  I’m not at all happy about it, because I don’t much like to hand wash clothes.  But I am grateful that at least it didn’t choose to poop on one of the rugs, which take all day to dry.  And it didn’t poop on the two newer Victoria Secret bras.  It pooped on the bra that’s already slightly stretched out from me throwing it in the washer when I was too lazy to hand wash.  And that’s right where it’s going to go now.

A Familiar Voice–From Germany

Oh my gosh!  How cute is this?  I answered the phone this morning and heard this familiar manly voice on the other end that just made my heart skip a beat.  It’s been 12 whole days since I’ve heard that voice, although I recently received and sent a couple of text messages.  Well, today J was calling from his apartment in Germany asking me if I knew what 350 degrees Fahrenheit translates into Celsius.  The poor boy wants to make himself something to eat (of course) and he doesn’t know what temperature he needs to use on this European oven!

We had to talk fast because he gets charged International roaming, although if he can pick up Wifi signals somewhere, he can talk to us for free supposedly.  I told him I’d look up the conversion on the computer since we Americans really barely touch on the Celsius system (or the metric system) in school.  I found out that 350 degrees Fahrenheit translates into 176.66666… degrees Celsius.  Besides, even if I knew the conversion, I’d have to calculate.  We accountants can’t do that kind of stuff without at least a calculator.

Other tidbits about his surroundings:  They have strange round outlets over there but since he’s in Army quarters, they also have regular American type electrical outlets next to them so he doesn’t have to get an adapter for all his electrical items.  They don’t have regular flushers on the toilets, just a big rectangular button (about 15″ x 8″) on top of the toilet which you push to flush, and there are no light switches.  He said instead of light switches like ours, there are just buttons on the wall that you push.

My baby’s experiencing a whole new culture.  And getting paid to do it.  I just hope he doesn’t go hungry trying to figure it all out!

On Democrats: Are They Really Female Friendly?

Watching Senator Hillary Clinton’s speech at the DNC really made me wonder.  Why isn’t she their presidential candidate?  She is very intelligent, articulate, and experienced enough to become an effective leader.  I know I’m eating some of my very own words.  She and her group-think policies scared me at first; however, after hearing some of the very scary leftist policies of Senator Obama, the United States bashing done by some of his closest allies, and his lack of any real solutions other than pretty rhetoric about how we need change (any idea how all this change will be funded–besides more stealing from the middle-class and the job creators?) and Senator Clinton looked better and better.  In fact, she’s not that far left of Senator McCain.  They both are pretty much near the center of the political spectrum, closer in ideology to the majority of hard-working everyday Americans who love this country and want to make it better.  The Democrats seem pretty excited about Michelle Obama playing the traditional role of devoted mommy and supportive first lady, but for all their feminist talk, do they really want to see a female president?

As a lifelong feminist myself, I could never understand the Democrats single-minded support of policies that are so damaging to women.  On the surface, abortion seems to be all about female rights.  It’s “freedom of choice” for the woman, or so it’s touted by the Dems.  It actually is a desperate reaction by a scared woman who is blinded to better options.  It’s a painful choice made by a girl that lacks support from others in her life.  Who it actually helps is the guy that made her pregnant who no way wants to be saddled with 18 years of child-support payments, or maybe the big-shot married bum that doesn’t want his wife to find out he was playing around.  At some point in her life, I would bet that any feeling compassionate woman would feel some pain and remorse for her child that might have been.  In fact, I worked with a girl that had an abortion when she was a teen.  I could sometimes see the pain in her eyes when she talked about it (which wasn’t often).  I’m sure the pain was much keener when she went on to have her other two children and saw how special they were.  Making women over-reliant on government aid is another thing that keeps females poor and dependent.  These are not things that are helpful in the long run to our sisters and our daughters.  But it might earn the Democrats a few votes.

Warranties–Protection or Scam?

Mom’s timing is impeccable.  Once again she called while I was on the throne this morning.  I rushed to answer the phone, and she had a question for me.  She prefaced it by saying that she tried asking her sister and brother-in-law (who live across the street from her), but “they’re too old to give her any kind of answer…,” which I know in Mom-speak means that they disagreed with her first impulse and now she’s shopping around for someone to give her the answer she wants to hear.

First of all, let me say that mom is very gullible.  She still thinks Bill Clinton is a saint and she truly believed OJ Simpson was innocent.  If something doesn’t jibe with her gut feeling, she ignores the evidence no matter how solid the proof.  However, she takes as gospel truth anything she hears on TV or radio if it reinforces her initial beliefs.  Today, she wanted to know if she should pay $39/yr. to some company that promised to pay for any unexpected repair to her water line.  They claim that any water line from the street to your house is your property and as such any repairs to this would be your responsibility.  This warranty could save you up to $2000 in repairs.

I told her how I feel about warranties.  Although I believe people should manage their risks by carrying homeowners or renters insurance, and provide for their families with term life insurance and even disability insurance, I’m not a big fan of warranties.  More often than not, they are loaded with fine print exclusions so that many things that you think are covered actually are not.  And even when something is covered, they make it awfully inconvenient to collect.  A co-worker had to wait a week for an authorized repair person to fix her only refrigerator under her warranty service.  Even if this particular company is legitimate, I told mom that it probably isn’t likely that her line is going to spring a leak.  Her house isn’t that old.  But she kept saying, “It’s only $39.”  I wanted to say that if $39 was so expendable to her on her fixed income, then send it to me and I’ll put it towards the kids’ college funds, but I held my tongue and said that I would personally throw the thing in the trash and live with the risk.

My Alpha Males

I am way too nebby to let the phone ring without rushing to answer it.  Same with my e-mail.  My neighbor was saying the other day that when her inbox gets too backed up, she just starts deleting.  I’d be too afraid I’d miss something important, not that I ever get much more than junk ads.  But even those have coupons sometimes!

So, the one day I forced myself to not drop what I was doing to run and answer the phone, it ended up being Middle Son J calling to say he was settled in Germany.  Luckily, he got a hold of Big Daddy on his cell phone.  J had been quite worried about what his living arrangements were going to be in Germany.  He had heard a story where someone over there lived 25 minutes away from where he had to work.  J was extremely concerned about that, and whether or not he’d be near a gym so he could work out.  And my middle son likes his creature comforts and his privacy.  So we were extremely happy to find out that he will be living in a very nice 4 person apartment with only one other guy so far, and it is only a 5-minute walk to the hospital where he will be working.  Plus, he got the master suite with it’s own bathroom.  He told the other kid he was getting that room or he’d kick his ass.  He always does stuff like that and he’s always mostly kidding.  But nobody ever tries to find out.  So alpha J has the master suite.

We finished moving Youngest Son into the dorm on Saturday.  His roommate got permission to move in Friday, so I had called to find out if we could move Youngest Son in Friday also.  I immediately got a song and dance about how it was too late to get permission to do that, and they had so many Freshmen moving in that day that they really couldn’t let anymore upperclassmen move in etc etc. so I didn’t argue.  But we ended up going there Friday night anyways, after most of the chaos was over.  His roommate was going to be there and so we would be able to get in the room.  We wanted to at least bring the carpet and some of the big stuff there, so that the boys could at least start setting the room up the way they wanted it.  Thank God we did that.  There is no elevator in that old dorm building and 4 flights of steps to climb up to get to our son’s room.  It was a mess on Saturday with everyone vying for space on that narrow stairwell carrying boxes, luggage, and clothes baskets.  But Friday night was not so bad.  However, everyone that was there on Friday night was quite impressed to watch Big Daddy with his adrenaline kicked in.  This 51-year old man carried the big 3/4 quarter size refrigerator up 4 flights of stairs single-handedly.  The roommate’s sister and I just looked at each other wide-eyed.  The old man did most of the heavy furniture lifting also so that they could lay down the carpet.  When Son’s roommate, a big football player, advised Big Daddy that the dresser was heavy and would probably need 2 people to lift it, but then saw Big Daddy pick it up and move it by himself, he was also quite impressed.  No wonder the man has aches and pains all the time!

By the time we left Saturday, Youngest Son and his roommate probably had the sweetest room in the building.  The carpet made the room look nice and homey.  Jon and his mother had gone to Big Lots the night before and bought the most comfortable futon that I had ever sat on, and we placed it across from Jon’s flat screen TV.  We bought little white lights to string up along the side walls, accenting the vaulted ceiling and the exposed brick back wall.  Youngest Son and his roommate are already popular with the ladies, both of them being smart, athletic and handsome young men.  And now they’ve got that sweet room!  Thank goodness they are very focused on getting good grades.

Zucchini Burnout–Here Are Some Recipes!!

I’m trying to use up the rest of our zucchini from the garden. It grows and produces like a weed for us, which is why I quit growing it for a few years when the kids absolutely did not like it. But now they actually will eat it. They don’t crave it or anything, but cooked like we do in the following recipes, they actually like it–and Big Daddy and I looove it. We decided to grow two separate mounds this year, each planted about 2 weeks apart, so that we didn’t get the whole harvest at one time. And always pick them when they’re small–like cuke size. Torpedo zucchinis are tough and lousy. Here’s the recipe I’m making tonight. It tastes like pizza–and it’s simple to make.

Zucchini Bake

  • 1 cup pepperoni, sliced thinly and quartered
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup Bisquick mix
  • 1/2 cup canned grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried or 1/2 Tblsp fresh oregano
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 Tblsp oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl (except for the mozzarella). Bake in a 9×13 pan at 350 degrees for 35 mins. Halfway through baking time, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. (I use extra cheese). Serves 6.

Our favorite is grilled zucchini. We cut two zucchini lengthwise down the middle, and put cut side down into the following marinade for about 2 to 3 hrs. Cook on your grill (on high I believe on our gas grill) for about as long as it takes to grill chicken breasts (about 20 mins.) basting occasionally with marinade. Then slice the cooked zucchini halves crosswise into serving pieces. It’s sooo good!

Ingredients for Marinade

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup vinegar (preferably balsamic)
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

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August 2008
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