Even though the calendar still says "spring", Memorial Day weekend marks the first official weekend of summer for plenty of people, my family included. The weekend, spent in my hometown, was marked by family visits, a cookout, a graduation party and a trip to the movies. It was wonderful to see everyone. We had the opportunity to visit lots of family members at my aunt and uncle's campsite Saturday night. M2 enjoyed her first s'more...stick-ee!! Sunday, after attending services at the church where we married, we spent time celebrating the graduation of a dear friend's daughter & I had the opportunity to help clean up after the party--I like to be able to lend a hand like that! And, on Sunday night, my husband and I went to nearby town to sit in the movie theather we went to on teenage dates and see The Longest Yard starring Adam Sandler. Despite the frequent teenaged boy humor, I enjoyed the movie. Oh! And lest I forget...thank you to the pastor and congregation at our hometown church for recognizing not only my husband's service, but also expressing gratitude to the girls & I for our stiff upper lips during his absence. That recognition meant more to me than I can say.Monday was spent as always--Main Street in my hometown watching a "parade" of under six units, walking to the American Legion hall, listening to a guest speaker, and participating in a ceremony to honor those who served our country. The ceremony last year took a great deal from me as it was held less than a week before my husband deployed. This year, it was still significant, but in such a different way. We spent the afternoon with my husband's family watching the kids run around in the yard, taking photos of the fun. I, for one, imagined all the scrapbook layouts I could make once I upload and order my photos.Throughout the weekend, I remembered too those still fighting the good fight. Those young men and women who couldn't celebrate the long weekend at home. Those who didn't have the chance to stuff their faces with hot dogs, have ice cream dripping down to the elbows or hoist their child on to their shoulders so the tot could see a hometown parade. To those folks, I'm profoundly grateful. And, I also have a big, soft spot in my heart for those missing the deployed military personnel as summer approaches. It is a lonely world when your loved one is deployed. I remember that a little too vividly yet.I don't know all the names, but I do know a few...to the husbands of those on my iVillage support board--I salute and thank you. To Mark...keep writing and enjoy the rest of your R&R. To Joshua and Denver...praying for you each day and reminding you to keep an ear out for mail call.There are lots of ways to honor the men and women who made your carefree holiday weekend possible. I would encourage you to do so in your own way and not to forget those who are left behind to keep things running--military families need you too.
Three weeks after my post about Georgia, I realize Ohio has nothing to really be proud of either so I should have kept my mouth shut! Granted, there's that murder suspect who has been suspended from a crane for going on three days, but all in all, Georgia has been surpassed by Ohio all the way. Think I'm kidding? Let's review:
* Governor Bob Taft...enough said.
* The brain trust who thought $50-million in rare coins without careful supervision was a safe investment for our fair state. Now, at least $12-million of that $50 is missing along with the rare coin dealer (and GOP contributor) who oversaw the collection...NICE going!
* Former governor, George Voinovich, has capitulated and departed from the wishes of his constituents yet again. Dubbed a "maverick" (read sniveling, whining, chicken little girly-man) by the mainstream media, Voinovich has demonstrated he has zero in the way of gonads when it comes to his feelings about the UN and thus, has done the Left's work for them in opposing John Bolton's appointment to be the UN ambassador from the US.
* Mike DeWine. This guy is REALLY on my last nerve and I pray to God that someone opposes him during the next election because it would warm the deep, dark recesses of my heart to see him move back to the nothing town of Cedarville. He, along with a few other ninnies, worked to usher in a new era of bipartisanship in the Senate...and how long did THAT last? Less than 72 hours. GOOD MOVE.
Part of me wishes that the Republicans in Congress had brokered the "no filibuster" deal to give the Democrats enough rope to hang themselves...as in today, when they delayed the cloture vote on John Bolton, the Republicans would push the red button and be done with it. The "nuclear option", though still available, will more than likely never see the light of day because the Republicans are such PANSIES. We FINALLY have a majority and we're being stalled by a minority of liberal Democrats. So ridiculous and an affront to those of us who worked like dogs to get them in office in the first place as well as disrespectful to the President and the party.
Yes, Ohio is certainly doing the nation proud. To my friends in the Peach State...I apologize. We suck too.
I watched with great interest the unraveling of the tales told by former CNN executive Eason Jordan and his eventual resignation. Sites formed by united bloggers such as EasonGate forged new ground in holding the mainstream media responsible for statements made in regard to the US military.Apparently, some just don't get it the first time around...people are listening and yet there are still those making unsubstantiated claims that lead to deadly places. Just ask Linda Foley whose slanderous statements were picked up by conscientious bloggers like Blackfive and documented for the world to read. Foley, president of the Newspaper Guild, has offered "clarifications", but is unwilling to make further comment. This is par for the course, but no less despicable.Although I know I'm not read by thousands every day, I value those of you who do visit regularly and I appreciate your interest in my opinions and information regarding the state of the world today...I also know the power of one. Therefore, I have received my warning order and am anxiously awaiting my Operation Order regarding the newly founded MediaSlander.com. I'm not sure what I will be able to do, but I'm willing to do it because I refuse to sit idly by while good men and women doing the same work my husband does are held out by the mainstream media as nothing more than mercenaries and goons. The mission statement is enough to get my buy-in and their history as straight shooters is more than enough to earn my respect.What's been said about our nation's finest is BS and we know it. Now it's time to push back.And, as they say over at Blackfive land...standing by for OpOrd...Out.
Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Kellogg's Tony the Tiger, has passed away. Thanks to Fox News and the AP for this sweet photo.
Talk about a wonderful life! In reading about the man who for 25 years provided a raucous roar of "GRRRRR-eat!" over a bowl of my all-time favorite cereal, I'm sad I didn't realize what a cool cat he was before now.
I will post about all this exciting stuff after next week as I'm using Mr. Ravenscroft as the subject of a project in my interviewing class and I don't want to give away all the answers to my students!
I'm not sure why I've never been in to things like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, but I'm not. I have friends who were so appalled that I never saw a Star Wars movie that they MADE me see the original movie when it was re-released a few years ago...I didn't go to the theater, mind you, I watched it at home. My review? No big whoop.I'm not sure what the uproar is about nor am I compelled to don a storm trooper uniform and head to the theater with this latest installment. I guess I'm missing something?As far as Lord of the Rings is concerned, I was forced to read The Hobbit in high school and I still haven't recovered! What a mess that was! I literally dated a senior who'd already read the book so I could pass without getting overly involved in some little dirty elf's life and times. And, for the record, I've also never seen X-Men either. Sorry.
On Saturday night, my husband and I celebrated our anniversary weekend by taking in a baseball game at our city's minor league ballpark. We had taken my alma mater's invitation to join an "Alumni Night" at the ballpark where for $22 a person we would have tickets to a special designated seating area, a ball cap, a great dinner and unlimited beverages throughout the game. The weather was picture perfect. Sunshine, a light breeze and beautiful blue skies. We couldn't have asked for a better scenario.During the national anthem, which was being sung by two young girls who were finalists in our city newspaper's "Star-Spangled Banner" competition, I nearly started to cry. Between myself and the flag stretched an expanse of people from all walks of life, ages, and experiences. The sweet sound of children singing, the green of the grass, the blue of the sky...it made my breath catch in my throat.This is what it's about, I thought. This is what so many young men and women are fighting for and in my heart, I thought if those who were tasting freedom for the first time could see the possibilities--to go to a ballgame, eat a burger with ketchup and drink a cold beer among friends--there would be no one afraid to stand tall for themselves, their families and their children's future.It's that moment that reminds me that even with the shift in our perspectives over time, there is something pure about fresh air, sunshine and basic freedom to walk about unimpeded.So, thanks to those who sacrifice every day to make sure that the simple pleasures of life are reality and not fond memories. I am thankful for that not only for myself, but my daughters as well.
Not that I have much time for pondering these days, but on occasion a story drags on long enough that my mind has time to pose some questions that I simply cannot answer.How does one reconcile themselves with their political affiliation when the juxtaposition of planks in the platform are so convoluted, I can't walk through the ideas without tripping?...and I'm not the least bit clumsy.How an ever-growing contingency of the liberals in government can continue to tout how they are there for the "little guys and gals" and all those disenfranchised people from races other than caucasian with a straight face is astounding to me.Of course, it's painfully obvious that they pander to the votes of those they spoon feed with the victim pablam of "woe is me" because God forbid someone break the chains of a troubled or less-than-privileged youth. Do that and you're subject to vilification.Take for instance, Justice Janice Rogers Brown. In tooling around the Web, I see that she was a product of the segregated South. The daughter of an Alabama sharecropper who rose to the California Supreme Court. She has been nominated by the President to sit on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and her nomination is stalled thanks to those lovely liberals who would like you to believe that they are common folk. I have also found copious websites decrying Brown as being "too extreme" and offering "dangerous" positions in opposition of things like affirmative action and the like. I decided to make an informed opinion about her, I should probably keep reading. On the face of this issue, I like her very much. She appears to believe, as I do, that people in this country, when determined and qualified, can do anything they put their minds to...that separating people into "special" sections based on something superficial, like race or gender, will harm the equality in a culture in the long run. She believes that people in our country should be treated equally by the government regardless of their race. Doesn't seem like a bad idea, but maybe I was wrong?I found a speech on-line that Janice Rogers Brown had delivered in April 2000 at the University of Chicago Law School. Her thesis of this speech? "...the sheer tenacity of the collectivist impulse--whether you call it socialism or communism or altruism--has changed not only the meaning of our works, but the meaning of our Constitution, and the character of our people. According to the Democrats, she's extreme because of that believe and her positions like the following:"Our problems, however, seem to go even deeper. It is not simply that the same words don't have the same meanings; in our lifetime, words are ceasing to have any meaning. The culture of the word is being extinguished by the culture of the camera. Politicians no longer have positions, they have photo-ops. To be or not to be is no longer the question. The question is: how do you feel.""...in the heyday of the liberal democracy, all roads lead to slavery. And we no longer find slavery abhorrent. We embrace it. We demand more. Big government is not just the opiate of teh masses. It is the opiate. The drug of choice for multinational corporations and single moms; for regulated industries and rugged Midwestern farmers and militant senior citizens.""The great innovation of this millennium was equality before the law. The greatest fiasco--the attempt to guarantee equal outcomes for all people." "Democracy and capitalism seem to have triumphed. But, appearances can be deceiving. Instead of celebrating capitalism's virtues, we offer it grudging acceptance, contemptuous tolerance but only for its capacity to feed the insatiable maw of socialism. We conclude instead that its ends are worthy of any sacrifice--including our freedom."And, if this doesn't describe the way I feel most every day when I ponder where we are in our society, I don't know what does:"We find ourselves, like the captain, in a situation that is hopeless but not yet desperate. The arcs of history, culture, philosophy, and science all seem to be converging on this temporal instant. Familiar arrangements are coming apart; valuable things are torn from our hands, snatched away by the decompression of our fragile ark of culture. But, it is too soon to despair. The collapse of the old system may be the crucible of a new vision. We must get a grip on what we can and hold on. Hold on with all the energy and imagination and ferocity we possess. Hold on even while we accept the darkness. We know not what miracles may happen; what heroic possibilities exist. We may be only moments away from a new dawn."The liberal Democrats hate everything she stands for and, much like Dr. Condoleeza Rice, they refuse to give her credit where it is due. So, what do you think they have in store for you? And, it appears the willy nilly, wishy washy Republicans aren't willing to stand up for this woman who is so clearly qualified and learned...what makes you think they will stand up for you?
This morning as I drove my girls to school, I drove past a Dayton landmark only to discover it was no more than a pile of rubble stacked in a crater along the sidewalk. This institution, in business since 1969, isn't truly gone. It just moved next door in to a super nice, brand new, bigger facility. In fact, it appears the new Milano's is already open.I don't have a photo of the old Milano's to post for you...unfortunately, I didn't know it was coming down at all, let alone so soon, and none of the local papers on-line seem to have one. Just seeing this created a pit in my stomach! And, since I haven't eaten anything from Milano's since 1993, you can see easily that I'm disturbed and also opposed to change.In 1993, I was a junior in college. I was living in one of the most recognizable and storied houses in my university's "student neighborhood" which to everyone and anyone except administration is called The Ghetto. Out my back door, across an alley and through a parking lot and I could be at Milano's. My favorite? Ham and Provolone. Heated up into a big, melty mess, this sandwich hit the spot EVERY time and probably did more to damage my waistline than my Freshman 15 could have hoped to do. My housemates and I were addicted. Someone was always hungry and Milano's was always an option.Later in the year, I had broken up with my long-time boyfriend (who, incidentally is now my husband) and begun dating a UD grad who also enjoyed Milano's. It was just one more thing that made this match seem it had been made in heaven.Unfortunately, the folks who worked at Milano's weren't the cleanliest folks going, I guess. And, I was among hundreds of people who were on the receiving end of some pretty awful food-borne illness. It's the only time in my life I ever prayed for the sweet relief of death. I threw up every fifteen minutes, like clockwork, for over six hours. You do the math. It was horrific. And, where was I? Not in the comfort of my own home...oh, NO! I had been on a date with the new boyfriend when the urge to turn my insides out struck and he and his roommate wouldn't let me leave because I was THAT sick. The kicker? He married me anyway...guess he figured he'd already seen the "worse" and "sickness" parts so he felt pretty safe.Sure, I made it as far as the parking lot a few times, but I never could go in to Milano's again. I've never eaten another food product from there. But, it's not the place itself, but the thought of the place that made what I saw this morning so weird.Maybe now that it's in a new place and the spector of the old buidling staring at me is removed, I can do it? I'll keep you posted.
In high school, we had to give a speech in English class our senior year. The speech was to answer the question: What I Want to Be When I Grow Up. I decided I'd like to be Oprah Winfrey. I had aspirations in the media that I met and then refocused my priorities after marriage to less time demanding career options. But, I still enjoy Oprah.I also especially enjoy Oprah's Favorite Things shows. In fact, one aired on the day I was in the hospital trying to have M2 and I really annoyed my doula when I told her I was taking a break from walking the halls for an hour so I could watch Oprah and her favorites.I thought it might be fun to record some of my own favorites. Who knows? Maybe they will become a favorite of yours too!I am a freak for paper products, stationery and general office supply/school supply items. The clearance aisles in Target following back-to-school sales are nirvana to me. In last year's aisles, I made some terrific finds including a Dymo Label Maker at 75% off...I paid under $6 for it! I organized my new office's filing system using this and come up with new reasons to use it every day!While Hubs was overseas, I was constantly on the lookout for funny cards, but I also enjoyed blank cards. I found this great stationer on e-bay and loved her products. Not to mention, the price couldn't be beaten, she offers ridiculously personal customer service and ships so quickly! I love to give personalized items as gifts so I've been a repeat customer of hers as well.I love to scrapbook. I'm an early adopter of lots the paraphenalia that goes along with the art even though I am pretty old school in my techniques. I love Creative Memories albums, but don't use them very often because of the inflexibility of page placement...I like to load my pages in to page protectors so they are mobile and can be moved throughout my album easily. What I don't like is adding new pages to my post bound albums...too hard! Until now!! Check these snap-bound album modifiers. So easy to use & they do great things for the album itself!For tools, though, I haven't found anything to top Creative Memories. Their pens, cropping tools, and alignment tools rock. I don't see all that straight for some reason, so these helpers come in handy! One of my favorites is their very simply corner rounder which rounds off the four corners of the photo for a finished look. My scrapping space is shaping up too thanks to the addition of a rocking architect's table some creative uses of crates to hold paper and my nifty new scrapbooking light.
I'm also a sucker for music--all kinds of music. Right now, I am hooked on Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company. I can listen to it over and over and never tire of it. I used to have a few favorites on the album, but now they are harder to choose. I am especially fond of "Crazy Love" with Van Morrison, "Here We Go Again" with Norah Jones and "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind" with Bonnie Raitt. Winners all.
Additionally, I enjoy country music. I like Sara Evans' work a great deal as well as Toby Keithand Kenny Chesney. Chesney's "Anything but Mine" is so melodically poignant, it could make your heart ache.
My other musical interests lie more in the hip-hop and rap spectrum. I think it's because I have an idiot savant ability to immediately memorize and remember forever lyrics from rap songs. And, I truly enjoy the way many of these rappers sounds vocally when they are laying down their tracks. Jay Z's Black Album is one I knew I couldn't let slip by without owning. I also have a soft spot for Ludacris. I know, I know, he's a horribly potty mouth, but it's only the cleaned up version we hear on radio anyhow; he's just very vocally interesting. The Ying-Yang Twins have made a couple songs I liked and I still have a soft spot for Rob Bass & DJ EZ Rock's "It Takes Two" and the Digital Underground's "Humpty Dance"...nostalgia!
I also love checking out other people's favorite things so if you post ideas in comments, I'll check them out!
The buzz being generated by the midnight showings of the latest Star Wars flick is almost as deafening as a stadium jam-packed with fully charged light sabers. However, a news clip on the radio this a.m. has me perplexed.Seems a man in a town a bit south of mine was quoted as saying that he had "given up women" because of his commitment to his Star Wars lifestyle.I'm going to venture a guess here and say that if this individual was ever in the business of having women in his life, it is more than likely that they made the decision for him.Now that I'm writing about it, it's probably best he removed himself from the gene pool.