Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Hat tip: Biggsy
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Having lovingly nursed two babies for a total of 22 months (you'd have to love them to do that!), the logistics of how such a massive milk program would work has those little wheels in my brain spinning.
First, there's the collection. You'd have to set up thousands of milk banks. Since somebody somewhere would undeniably decide collection needed to be in a certified location, strip malls seem a likely choice.
Magazines would be a necessity as would multiple tv screens. There would have to be some multi-tasking feature, though,since multi-tasking is a mom's greatest talent. It probably isn't considered sanitary to pump while getting a pedicure, but wouldn't that be a great combination?
Oh! And we can't forget childcare! Those little ankle-biters are what got us the gold in the first place! They'd need a kind of activity center like they have at Ikea. Probably not themed, unless you'd want to provide them with free therapy when they're older.
And a vacation program! Since you can't really take time off, you'd need to be able to check in at random sub-stations -- kind of like working out at a different gym when you're out of town.
Whether we're selling Tupperware or tele-commuting, work-at-home moms have come to expect certain benefits. There would have to be some kind of incentive program. Instead of a free T-shirt, would you get a nursing bra with logo for your first "deposit?" Maybe a free cruise after 1000 gallons or a boob lift after 1500?
And we can't forget about additional benefits. Would you qualify for worker's comp if you got mastitis? And having used a pump many times, I'd think there would need to be some kind of intervention program for women who went batty from hearing that droning sound -- if you've ever pumped you know the sound I mean!
And labeling! There would have to be "Certified" organic breast milk and "Certified" breast milk free. Instead of boring old Cherry Garcia, you'd have Boobie Garcia.
Peta hasn't really been in the news in a while, and I'm sure this was just a cry for attention at a time when everyone is focused on the mundane -- our "cratering" economy and the election.
And I for one am glad they cried out. What fun I've had thinking about this!
Kait was a bit grinchy -- She's having a hard time with the whole back-to-school thing.
I'm so thankful that we live in a place where an event of praise like this is well-attended by teachers from our girls' school. Even with the lack of publicity, several of the teachers made their way outside to join us. I think it's good that our kids can see that their teachers love Jesus!!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Close-up on one of the squares...
Here it is with the border. This has definitely been a time-consuming quilt top. It's wall-hanging size, but has taken me two solid days just to get it pieced. I've had a blast doing it though, and think it may just be one of my faves!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Breast Cancer Education
Please attend this FREE seminar program that provides women, their families and friends with access to a wide range of financial education and breast cancer information. Mass Mutual will donate $20 to The Breast Cancer 3-Day and Komen for the Cure for every attendee.
Thursday, September 25th
Twin Creeks Hospital
1001 Raintree Circle
Allen, TX 75013
For more information:
FREE EDUCATIONAL SEMINAR
I was going for "Ace of Cakes" but think I ended up with Cake Wrecks!
The girls spent Saturday night with Mimi, and she brought them over just in time for the party. Here's Mimi, Kait and Nellie.
Kait wanted party hats for all the Webkins. So they all have mom-made party hats. I rock, don't I??
Monday, September 22, 2008
If you'd like to walk with us, you need to sign up by next weekend (if you want your packet mailed to your home):
Click on "Click here to register today" then click on "Join an Existing Team." THEN, you can type in Team Tiara under team name and it should bring up our team.
Please feel free to pass this along to others who might want to walk with us!
Carla Venette found me this article in the Christian Chronicle. I love it. I especially love this part:
I wish someone would make it harder to forward e-mail. Maybe the option could be buried under some submenu on our mail programs.
Or how about this: When you click “forward,” a confirmation window pops up: “I hereby certify that I at least made some sort of token effort to check the accuracy of the information I’m sending.”
Saturday, September 20, 2008
That's us. Eleven years ago. We got married at Church of the Hills in Fluvanna, Texas. As a cold front roared in with winds that rivaled Hurricane Ike, we vowed to stick with each other through thick and thin. And we have.
Nine moves, two kids and one dog later, we've reached a point in our marriage that I just love. I can truly say I'm married to my best friend. It hasn't always been easy. We've weathered a few storms -- with the loss of Mom being the worst. But through all the holes Jake has dug in the yard and "iffy" batches of spaghetti for dinner, we've made it through.
And we've shared some amazing times along the way -- the births of Abbie & Kaitlyn top the list by far. Vacations to Vail, Breck, Keystone, Tahoe, Costa Rica and a couple of cruises are in there as well. Sharing the funny moments of our lives -- especially the crazy things our girls say and do. We made it past the "penny challenge" Kayren posed when we all married and while I can't say much about that, I couldn't say enough about that.
We've coached softball teams. We've bought and sold cars -- and one truck that we never should have bought! We've argued and laughed and loved and cried and celebrated together. And it's that together part that has made it all worthwhile.
God couldn't have blessed me with a better mate -- no one on Earth would have suited me better. No one could have reigned me in the way Biggs does, or let me have my lead the way he does. No one could have put up with my quirks, and I'm certain he couldn't have found anyone else to put up with all of his. What a gift Biggsy has been!
Friday, September 19, 2008
"Anyway, I had to tell you about this dream I had over the weekend. My family and I were all camping with hundreds of other friends and their families, and you and D'Lyn were there. We were all hanging out having a good time, when, all of a sudden, D'Lyn turned into an Afro-American (literally, like her skin turned dark brown and her nose widened out and her hair got all frizzy), AND she insisted that her name was now to be pronounced D'Line. I tried to be as sincere as I could in the dream, apologizing for the way I had been pronouncing her name, but I woke up from it laughing out loud.
Ya'll have a great weekend!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
First, a little video. Not the best since I did it on my camera rather than the camcorder, but impressive nonetheless. This was Saturday morning about 6:00 (I think) -- the power was already out.
This is the tree that used to be in our front yard. It took all night for it to fall over like this. I think this was about 7:00 Saturday morning.
About the same time, Biggs (in his quest for the Darwin award) decided to check out the ditch by our house. Thankfully, he isn't Darwin material. There's some really cool explanation to why he was out there, but you'd have to ask him.
This was over closer to Biggs' office. From about 1960 on into town, they got hit really hard. It's bizarre how it all went down. Ikea is so big it's on two different grids -- one has power and one doesn't.
This was taken Saturday afternoon.
Okay. So this is the funniest part of the whole thing. When the power went out Saturday morning -- about 5:30 or 6:00 for the final time, we had a huge flash from the ditch behind our house, then Boom! No electricity! We were pretty sure if they could get that one tree taken care of we'd have power.
Saturday night, the electric company powered things up. This is pretty goofy video -- you can't really see anything, but it'll give you an idea of how things went down.
After the fire truck left, things really got interesting. The neighborhood rednecks would come out, try to remedy the situation, then go back in and drink a beer or whatever. About 20 minutes later, here would come another gang with a big truck to try to work on it. They finally gave up about midnight.
So Sunday afternoon, the electric company tried to fire up the lines again.
It only took about 20 minutes for them to clear the trees once they got there. Personally, I think that while I was on the phone with the electric company, one of my neighbors must have been on there saying, "Dude, if you don't fix this, we will. We've got a plan. We've got beer. And we've got a big truck."
If you were never lucky enough to go to Electric Camp with 4-H, you really should check out this next picture. This is what an electric line will do the top of a tree. Imagine what it would do to you if you hit it with a metal pole, kite, equipment, etc. Always look up!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
All of Fairfield has power now, but that's not the case all over town. www.chron.com has some amazing before & after pix of the storm damage down on the coast. If you haven't seen it, you should. It's mind-numbing.
Summer Camp continues at the Biggs house. We've had a lot of friends playing over today -- way too much fun!! Mimi and Pa came over tonight, so we let Kait open a couple of her birthday gifts while they were there. She's got a real, live American Girl doll now -- so she's happy. We'll have her party on Sunday if all goes well.
While we did plan well for the actual storm, I didn't do such a great job on post-storm plans. I sure didn't plan to have the kids home all week this week. I'm going to venture out tomorrow morning and see if I can find some crafts for them to work on. We have another round of friends coming to play tomorrow.
Mimi & Pa still don't have power at their house, and it looks to be awhile. Their company is out of Beaumont, and is under water. In fact, they're having such a rough time that today they have MORE customers out of power -- not less -- than yesterday. To add to that, as the storm went through the Midwest it caused a ton of damage up there -- so they've had to pull back crews that were supposed to be helping down here.
Small World Story #7860875. Our neighbors, Greg & Mary, are hosting a stranded ex-pat on her way to Rwanda where her husband works for Greg's company. We had them over to dinner last night, and she knows our friends Bart & Jennifer! They were all ex-pats in Nigeria at the same time. How cool is that???
That's the scoop for today. I'm going to try to find a way to get some pix on here tomorrow. It's Kait's birthday tomorrow, so I think we may venture out to IHop for breakfast!
Monday, September 15, 2008
I am writing for help for our friends Klynn, Whitney, Taylor and Addison Lundemo. The Lundemos were our closest friends in Austin, and Taylor and Luke are best friends. I am sure you've seen her picture on our blog! The Lundemos were members of FUMC Round Rock and Whitney is a past council member for Ministry of Motherhood. Taylor attended Council Oak Preschool at FUMC RR as well.
You are receiving this email because you know The Lundemos personally, or it's because I know you have a giving heart.
The Lundemos moved to the city of Seabrook in July this year. For those of you who don't know where Seabrook is, it's just off the coast of Galveston Bay near Clear Lake, Kemah, and LaPorte. They have shown lots of footage of Seabrook in particular on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.
Luckily, Whitney and family evacuated before the storm hit. They are all safe and well at her grandmother's house in Oklahoma. Unfortunately, however, they have lost everything. When I say everything, I mean everything. The shed in their backyard is compeletely gone. The corner of their house has been completely torn off. They are not allowed back into Seabrook to survey the damage themselves, but according to a neighbor, there is nothing to go back to anyway. All they have is what they took with them.
I am going to start collecting for a pre-paid Visa card that they can use once they do find a new place to live, but I am also asking for help with clothes for all of them. If you have any used clothing or you go shopping and can't pass up a sale, please consider the Lundemos and their needs.
Their sizes are:
Whitney - Large or 10/12
Klynn - Large shirts, 38x36 pants
Taylor - 5T or 5 girls
Addison - 18-24 months girls
They aren't sure when they'll be able to return home, but they do know that when they do, they will stay with KLynn's parents for a while until they can find a place to live and get back on their feet. You may send everything to me, whether it be monitary donations or used or new clothing for the family. When I asked Whit what she needed, she broke down and said "Everything."
My address is
5675 Worrell Dr
Ft. Worth, Texas 76133
If you plan to send a package conatining clothing, please let me know so that I know to expect it. I will be passing through Round Rock next weekend, but I will have limited space in my car for big items.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me 817.361.0905 or 512.921.5353 (cell)
Thank you for your donations, and most of all for your prayers for ALL of the people effected by Ike.
I do have plenty of pix and video -- but need to wait till I can upload all of those to my computer. For the Biggs family, we're good. The AC still needs to be fixed upstairs. Biggs is back at work. The girls are out of school until at least Thurs. They are having a blast running back and forth to Hannah's house and playing with Webkins.
As for our neighbors, much of our neighborhood is still without power. I'm sure you've seen more of the devastation on the coast than we have, but what we've seen is mind-numbing. The line to get into Wal-Mart is rumored to be an hour wait -- just to get in, and we're nowhere near the worst of the devastation. Pete and Jacquie are on their way to check on the Creek.
Please pray for the people whose lives are much more affected than ours. I've made no secret of how Hurricane Katrina pulled me up three years ago. Once again, there are millions of people who need help. Whether it's ice or water or support for a family that has evacuated or a home-cooked meal for a first-responder. God has placed in each and every one of you a desire to help others -- now is the time to unleash it.
I listened to John McCain talking about service the other night -- before the hurricane unleashed its fury. He and Obama were talking about all the ways people should serve. It was a timely discussion but one thing was left out. Service doesn't have to be about joining the Peace Corps or taking a low-paying job helping people find jobs. Both of those are admirable. But service can simply be taking the ice and water you don't need to someone who needs it. Or realizing that while FEMA and the Red Cross seem to be taking care of people on the coast -- there are people up here who need help, too. You could very easily be the Ice Fairy who makes someone's day. It doesn't have to be help on a grand scale -- you just need to help.
We love you all and are blessed to have you in our lives. We were blessed to have supportive friends and family that called to check on us and threatened to come get us whether we wanted them to or not. We were blessed to have a sturdy home that suffered no roof damage and only the loss of a tree that I didn't really like. But others weren't so blessed. Now is the time to be Jesus with skin on and show them some love.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Everyone's sitting outside, drinking wine / beer and checking out the wind. And we do have wind. Nothing huge or worrisome yet, but wind. It's kind of whistling around the house -- but nothing like what we're expecting later tonight.
No wind in the house. No AC, either. At least upstairs. It seems that our AC, like our microwave, decided to pick the most inopportune time to go out. I've got a service call in for both, so hopefully we'll be on the top of the stack when they get back to work (in 2-3 weeks, I'm sure.)
I've put all the pictures (mainly loose ones and in albums) downstairs -- just in case. The girls will sleep downstairs as well. We're not supposed to see any tornadoes on our side of the storm, but please be praying for our cousins -- the Wiggins clan. They live about where we live in relation to Houston -- just on the east side of town.
This seems like a really unusual way to park your car. The only thing I can gather is that if it gets pushed by the wind, it'll go across the yard -- not into the garage.
Our neighbor across the street (owner of Bob the cat -- the ones Jake attacked while we were on the cruise), is on his way back from Japan. His flight got cancelled, so he flew to L.A. instead. He's flying from there to Austin and renting a car to drive in. The guys helped his wife bring their giant frisbie / gazebo into the garage.
But really, we're okay. We're a couple of hours inland from what you're seeing in Galveston and Surfside Beach.
I will say, though, that you're going to hear a lot of stories over the next few days that are just going to break your heart. In spite of efforts to evac everyone from Galveston and that area, there are still people there. There are people on the Seawall right now clowning around and taking pictures. All the debris spread around them isn't giving them a clue.
I just heard a story on TV that was so, so sad. They had a guy on Crystal Beach on the phone. He and his wife are in their house -- the water is already at 5 feet -- and the storm isn't anywhere near here yet. They had planned to get out, but when they tried the ferry was already closed. "It's in the Lord's hands," is what he said. He thinks they could handle a 15-foot surge, but not the 20-foot that they're predicting. It was so sad to hear the fear in his voice. When asked about a rescue, he said they were older and couldn't do the whole climb on the roof to get in a basket hung from a helicopter thing.
He's not the only one. There are reports of families with small children "riding it out" all along the coast. I just can't understand how you could do that. The authorities have made it perfectly clear they'll get you out -- even with pets. And these people just stay put.
I will try to blog updates throughout the day today and tomorrow. But if we lose electricity, I'm sunk. Word has it that if the cell towers go down, we will still be able to send texts.
So... If I text you, please report my text under "comments" on whatever the latest blog entry is. That way, we can get the word out on how things are going. Most likely I'll be texting M'Lys, A'Lise, Anthony & Cheryl -- people that I know have ready access to texts / Internet. All our phones, lanterns, etc. are fully-charged and ready to go.
The storm is intensifying. How much remains to be seen, but it's a possibility to come in at a Cat 3 instead of a Cat 2. A Cat 4 would really be a jump that it probably doesn't have time to make. The track is still through Galveston, although there's some thought that it may turn more north towards Beaumont.
Here are some pictures from yesterday afternoon -- I thought "Before" pictures might be interesting to have! Biggs took the net and tops of the poles off the trampoline. Right now it's tied to the tree. Hope that holds it in place!
Here's the kids' playhouse that Dad gave them a couple of years ago.
This is our neighbor Scott -- he's the girls' soccer coach. They still have boards left over from Rita -- already cut and labeled.
The neighbors at the end of the street. Their daughter Brittney is in Kait's class.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
All neighborhoods... and possibly entire coastal communities... will be inundated during high tide. Persons not heeding evacuation orders in single family one or two story homes will face certain death. Many residences of average construction directly on the coast will be destroyed. Widespread and devastating personal property damage is likely elsewhere. Vehicles left behind will likely be swept away. Numerous roads will be swamped... some may be washed away by the water. Entire flood prone coastal communities will be cutoff. Water levels may exceed 9 feet for more than a mile inland. Coastal residents in multi-story facilities risk being cutoff. Conditions will be worsened by battering waves. Such waves will exacerbate property damage... with massive destruction of homes... including those of block construction. Damage from beach erosion could take years to repair.
While we're not in danger of any of this, our sweet little fishing hut has spent much of the last 48 hours in the target zone. That zone has moved, but in thinking about what this would mean to Sargent, I can visualize what it would mean to other areas such as Galveston -- and that would be on a much, much larger scale.
If you've ever been to the Creek with us, you know about the Revetment that protects Sargent Beach -- it was built to keep Sargent Beach in place because the Intercoastal Canal lies right behind the beach. A key factor in shipping, with barges running up and down, the Intercoastal Canal had to be protected from erosion -- so the Army Corps of Engineers built a Revetment out of granite. It's very impressive -- miles and miles of granite. And it has helped. The beach has been coming back.
But I'm wondering if the Revetment would be able to hold back the storm surge of a hurricane. I've never measured it, but I'm guessing the 9 feet of water that would go 1 mile inland would probably flood the Sargent Grocery. It would definitely wipe out the Krusty Pelican and Little Taste of Sargent. While Charlie's Bait isn't anything fancy, it would be in danger. But most of all, our sweet little Sargent Library would be under water.
It's sounding like this will all move further up the coast -- but the devastation will be just as real. Grocery stores, libraries, bait shops, restaurants -- businesses of all kinds will be wiped out.
Right now, it's perfectly calm outside -- not a cloud in the sky. It's crazy to think that this storm is headed our way.
Please keep the coastal residents in your prayers tonight and through the weekend.
A huge percentage of people ask, over and over, if they should board up their windows on such-and-such a street. And there's no telling how many times people in Katy have asked if they need to evacuate. And he's always really patient about saying, "No."
During Eduardo he got a question that was something like, "If I'm in the north loop at 8:45 in the morning and am driving an SUV that is 12 inches off the ground and a wind gust from the southeast hits me at 45 mph, is that going to be a bad thing?"
Anyway, yesterday some guy from the Woodlands wrote into the chat and asked, "I really don't want to bring my dog into the house during the hurricane because he might leave a brownie on the carpet. Can I just tie him to a tree?"
Eric's response: "Why don't you at least put him in the garage? Would you want to be tied to a tree during a hurricane??"
Today's chat read, "I might add, in an attempt to forestall such questions being asked during the chat, that it is NOT safe to chain your dog to a tree during a hurricane in order to prevent said dog from leaving a "brownie" on the carpet."
Now that we've got that covered, what about a cat??
And in comes Ike.
Update from Cypress: No school in Cy-Fair tomorrow. Dresser is closed tomorrow. Word is that Contraflow will start at 5:00.
The idea of this coming in right there is very disconcerting for me. While it's a sparsely-populated area, in comparison to other areas of the Coast, people live there. Yes, many of the homes down there are owned by weekenders, but there is a solid community that lives and works there. We've grown to know many of them -- especially Wonnie, our librarian, and we know that many of the people who live in Sargent don't have a lot. So please pray for them.
If the storm does track in at Sargent and then comes due north, like they say it will, it's going to pretty much go right over us here. YIKES. Earlier, they were saying the path might be a bit west of us -- more like Brenham. What that means for us is the "dirty" right side.
But really, it's no use worrying at this point. Ike is going to go in somewhere -- and much of this area will be affected to some degree. This storm is so huge and has such a large wind field, it's bound to have some affect on us -- how much remains to be seen.
Please continue to pray for the DeCarlos as they wait out the storm at Texas Children's with Justin. He had some difficulties yesterday when they extubated him, and it was very scary for Danielle and Randy. I can't imagine what it's like for her -- she just wants to jump in there and make Justin feel better -- and can't. They'll be weathering the hurricane in the Medical Center, while their other son, Travis, will be up in Spring. I know it's going to be difficult for them to be apart!
While we're on the prayer list, the Lewis bunch still needs your prayers. Carol had the pacemaker put in, Shelly still hasn't had that baby, and Amy's having trouble getting her chemo treatments done because her "numbers" keep messing up.
I guess things here will just play out however they play out. Kaitlyn's birthday party is supposed to be on Saturday. I'm toying with the idea of moving it to Sunday if we have electricity. I'm thinking that once the storm goes through, everyone will want to get out of their houses -- if they have electricity! If that doesn't work, I can move it to next weekend -- I just kind of hate to do that since it's mine & Biggsy's anniversary. We'll just have to see!
Oh, and on top of everything else, Abbie has strep throat. I guess I have to give back my "Super Mommy" badge that I've been proudly displaying since neither of my kids have ever had Strep. Man! So we have that going on on top of everything else.
What a mess!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I have too much West Texas in my talk.
You see, the phrases that I grew up with, that are very much a part of my vernacular might be considered rude or even racist.
This has become exceedingly apparent the last couple of days. Last Thursday, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, of the Grantville, Ga., Westmorelands, said he thought the Obamas had become a bit "uppity." The democrats wasted no time before jumping on that supposedly racist remark and declaring the need for an apology. Apparently, to some, the word, "uppity" refers to black people who are seeking equal treatment -- going back to the Old South when this might have referred to them seeking a higher station in life than they were called to serve.
Are they sure? Because around here, uppity means snobbishness or snootiness. As in, "That girl sure has been uppity ever since she got elected cheerleader." Or... "Since she moved into town, she's gotten all uppity -- like she's too cool to ride around Sonic in the farm truck."
Then, today, I see that the tables have turned. This time, Obama made a reference to the McCain / Palin being the agents of change -- he said that was like putting "lipstick on a pig." Of course, the McCain camp jumped all over that and demanded an apology for such a sexist remark. Frankly, I think they could have heard much worse.
Growing up, we used lots of terms that later I learned weren't quite kosher. I didn't realize the term "wet" was off limits until I met Biggs, and I have to admit that I never thought twice about it when someone said they "jewed down the Kirby vacuum guy." Back home, they'd find out that "If you put a monkey in a red dress, you've still got a monkey." I'm sure Obama wouldn't hesitate to point out the racist quality of that, but it's never been racist to us -- it's a Nelva-ism if there ever was one. And it's always been a fun little phrase to use when applicable.
Had Hillary showed up in Fluvanna last spring, she might have been told to "pull up her knee socks," or better yet, "put her big girl panties on and deal with it."
Dude.. Wouldn't a campaign stop in Fluvanna be a hoot? You'd have to have them stop at the Community Center for a potluck -- or maybe an ice cream supper. They'd have to check out the women's restroom where we stuck all those wet paper towels to the ceiling. Uncle Don could put the media up in the Gin House. And it the trip wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Caprock or a tour of the windmills. Maybe we should suggest that!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
On a much more serious note, Justin DeCarlo, the infant son of our longtime friends Randy and Danielle, had heart surgery yesterday. He's in the ICU at Texas Children's Hospital here in Houston. The "worst case scenario" storm that the meterologists are wary about could really affect the situation with Justin and the other kids at TCH.
Shelly (Lewis) Bolton is WAY pregnant right now -- due any second. Carol came down about a week ago and ended up in the hospital at Methodist over the weekend with heart issues. They've been doing tests, and at one point thought they would put a pacemaker in. With everything going on in their lives, the Lewis family could use some good news. With the barometric pressure dropping if the hurricane comes in here, Shelly could be naming that baby Ike. Ike Bolton. Hmmm....
It's wait and see for us. We're trying to just keep an eye on things and see how it goes. If you're interested in a couple of really good hurricane sites, you might check out:
But for the people who live in South Texas -- who live in all the colonias down there -- this is not good news. The best landfall? The King Ranch -- not much other than cows.
As for us, we're still prepared! We've got groceries for this week and next -- and Biggs has enough Chunky soup to last a lifetime!
Monday, September 8, 2008
Last summer, I had no idea what to expect. I bought four rechargeable Coleman lanterns at Academy -- that was the extent of my getting prepared. All four spent the last year in their boxes on the floor of my closet.
That brings us to this summer when Eduardo came knocking on the door -- in the middle of our vacation. We packed up, came home early from the Creek. If you remember, the Creek got almost no rain -- we got tons here. We should have stayed! The bonus? Step 2 of my hurricane prep occurred during the run-up to Eduardo. Suzi Bruin went and bought us water. We'd have nothing to eat, no gas for the grill -- but we wouldn't get thirsty! Oh! And I finally got the lanterns out of the boxes and charged!
Gustav brought another layer of prep. Before it roared ashore in La, it looked like it was headed for us. I went to the grocery store and purchased a few supplies (we ate them this last week.) BUT we did manage to fill up both butane tanks for the grill. And we had a great hurricane party on Labor Day!
Which brings me to Ike. This one has me nervous. He's huge. I've followed all the weather news and blogs. As of this afternoon, it looked to be coming in at Galveston. I headed to Wal-Mart. Tired of all those other paranoid moms beating me to the water bottles, I stocked up. More water, granola bars, canned chicken & tuna, Pop-Tarts, green beans, corn, Bush's beans, canned fruit, batteries and SEVERAL cans of Chunky Soup for Biggsy. It's all home in the cabinet above the fridge -- just waiting. As of tonight, it looks like Ike is going in at Matagorda bay -- right on top of the Fishin' Hut. We'll watch it for a couple of days before panicking. But if it did hit right there, we'd have the Creek house in the middle of things. And here in Houston, we'd be on the "dirty side."
Really, panicking isn't the right word. We're prepared, right? It's taken us a year and four or five storms to get it right, but we've got everything we need. We wouldn't want to "evacuate" -- remember the mess with Rita?? But I can assure you, if we're going to be out of electricity for 2-3 weeks, I'm headed somewhere. And it'll be in the opposite direction of Ike!! So if you live North or West of here, you'd better watch out! You might have company headed your way!
"This commercial was done by a local kid. You have to watch the whole thing. When he finishes talking and walks away, you get a sense of how this could be the commercial of the campaign season.
Hi, My son Joe just did a commercial for John McCain.
Please pass this on.ThanksBob Cook
Saturday, September 6, 2008
*Subject:* Sarah Palin
From an old Air America buddy in Alaska - actually sent to someone else but Cc'ed to me.
And from a Alaska man who is a very serious cynic about all things political here is my take on Sara.
I met and spoke with Sara Palin about two years ago at our downtown Park Strip. It is a place for walking, carnivals, political outdoor things and such. She was cooking hotdogs at a fund raiser and introducing herself to the public as a Governor hopeful.
She came by and said the usual "Hi, I'm Sara Palin and I am running for Governor"...and I expected her to keep on to the next person but she asked me who I was and what I did in Alaska and we ended up talking for 15 minutes about me, Air America (she was all agog!) and my career in the Army and AAM. She is a pilot (Super Cub) I'm told although all she told me about that was that she loved flying.
As I watched her over the next six months as she successfully ran for Governor I was really impressed. I was impressed greatly even before that after she resigned a good position (Alaska Gas and Oil Regulatory Commission) because a fellow Commission member (Chair of the Alaska Republican Party) misused their office and position. He was using the FAX, computers, printing room and all to promote the Republican endeavors while in a State job. That is a huge no-no in any government employment position.
She resigned and made her point and within weeks Randy Ruderich (the above bad guy) found his ass out on the street and a subsequent investigation found him guilty and he was fined $12,000. Small change actually but a giant point was made.
Next she went after our most horrible Governor ever, Governor Murkowski, and damned if she didn't beat him! All of us here in Alaska , except the Democrats, are sick of our State's corruption. That fact was shouted to the heavens after she was elected with an overwhelming point spread.
After she got into office she started after corrupt legislators and with the FBI's help we've put four of them in prison, indicted six more and the "Corrupt Bastard's Club" as they arrogantly called themselves (even had hats made with CBC on the front!) suddenly found it no fun anymore. Club membership is now in the toilet!!
The current flap which has cost her a ten point loss of popularity (she's still 82%!) was over firing a popular Commissioner of Public Safety who is responsible for our Alaska State Troopers. She fired him for no STATED reason which was her prerogative as the Gov. He served entirely at her option. She and her whole family had a bad, bad experience with a rogue Trooper who was married to Sara's sister. His name is Trooper Wooten. This dimwit Trooper had threatened Sara's father (death threat!), threatened Sara ("I'll get you too"), tasered his 12 year old stepson, drove drunk in his AST cruiser, got a pass by a fellow Trooper who stopped him for erratic driving a second time while in civvies and just a host of other things not yet released to the public. He got away with it and got another pass by the Commissioner's appointed AST Trooper Internal Affirs investigator with a tiny slap on the wrist. Five days off without pay to be exact!!
This maverick Trooper is still on the payroll but only just. The Union intervening saved his malcontent ass. He'll yet get his I'm sure. Incredible heat is being heaped on the Troopers. Public heat, not the Governors office.
The Democrats had the audacity to appoint a obviously biased investigator, Rep. "Gunny" French (so called because he lied about being in the USMC while running for the Legislature) is a staunch liberal and under the orders of Senate President Lyda Green who hates Sara. She hates Sara because after being elected Governor Sara told the whole Legislature in one of her first meetings with them that, quote; "All of you here need some Adult Supervision!!!". Sara was seriously pissed and not afraid of anyone there.That played wonderfully well with Alaskan's after all of our corruption and after all of her successful battles against a seriously entrenched corrupt government here in Alaska . It pissed off the whole Legislature though! They have stayed pissed but also afraid of her because of her popularity.
She reminds me personally of our Alaska wolverine which will fight anything in it's path if it see's fit to do so. No respect at all for size or position. Wife Cindy is in this category too. Unfortunately.
In closing I must tell you that she is the best, most moral and most focused leader I've seen since President Reagan. I feel, really strongly, that like Alaska the rest of our country will love her within a few weeks. Put simply, she represents middle America like NO leader we've ever had. I think McCain made a totally brilliant move in choosing her. She's a maverick who is probably tougher and more focused than McCain himself....and she won't be a total "Yes Man" or more appropriately, woman. McCain will love her.
In 2012 she will be President.
My best to all of you in the hurricane belt. I hope you are all OK. We just had another mini Air America reunion here in beautiful Soldotna, Alaska along the Kenai river. We'll be doing this every year now I guess. Like our Flying Tiger pal's before us there are not that many Air America guys left. I'm 71 myself this September 16. Where the hell did the years go so fast?
**George W. Murray**
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Is that considered a snub in the ol' Blogosphere??
Wow. This is kinda bizarre.... While it shouldn't at all, it kind of feels like when your first-grader comes home one day to tell you so-and-so has decided to be her best friend. And the next day she comes home to tell you that so-and-so no longer wants to be her friend.
I just wrote a short novel on my friend K-K's blog. She apparently offended someone with a post about her lack of interest in the election. I told her not to apologize. When you blog, it's kind of like letting people read your diary. You're putting yourself out there -- good and bad. If people don't like it, they don't have to read. And I really tried to encourage her.
And then I realized I'm no longer listed as one of the "daily reads" for one of my daily reads.
Since my blog has focused on two main things lately, I guess it could be either one.
1. I HAVE been a bit over-the-top on the 3-Day. And since I've been hyperactively blogging lately (a product of not being able to train), maybe that's it. Here's an update. Our team has raised over $63,000. We're within sight of doubling what we raised last year. But we still don't have a cure.
I'm not going to apologize for hammering away at breast cancer via my blog. ALL the time, I hear about young women my age or younger who are being diagnosed. Or I hear about their Moms who are being diagnosed.
And you know what? We're coming into the season that I've begun to realize will always be the most difficult for me. The season when any shopping trip inundates me with the sounds and sights and smells of Christmas. I was in Garden Ridge this week, and Santa has arrived. And as I take the steps that lead to this second Christmas without my Mom, I realize that it's going to slam me once again.
So no, I won't apologize for going on and on about the 3-Day. Because one thing that has helped me get through the last 14 months has been the fact that I am taking ACTION to stop this monster we call breast cancer. I'm working my butt off to make sure we raise enough money for everyone on our team to walk in the 3-Day. We have about 60 team members. When we all walk in November, and everyone on our team gets to experience the healing, the pride, the energy, the spirit of the 3-Day, then everyone on our team will share that with their friends and loved ones and this grassroots effort will grow into something even greater -- and rather than just taking steps toward a cure, we'll get there by leaps and bounds.
2. So the other topic I've been quite enamoured with lately has been this election we're in. AND boy, have I been enamoured with it. I've had CNN on all day today as I painted the upstairs. (I know! More painting!)
Ours is an interesting household. I won't say that Biggs is "for" Obama, but I can tell you he sees what much of America sees -- Obama is a likable guy. A great speaker. A charmer.
Abbie has made it clear that she'd vote for McCain if given the chance. Why? "McCain has more experience," she says. "That other guy only has a couple of years of experience. But McCain has a LOT of experience." When we asked her where she learned that, she said Mrs. Smith said so. Mrs. Smith is her switch teacher. Yea Mrs. Smith!!
Kaitlyn would vote for anyone who promised her ice cream on Fridays.
And then there's me.
This spring I got myself in some really hot water because I couldn't keep my mouth shut. It's a problem I've had before. Those emails were going around about Obama being a Muslim, and it kind of hacked me off. I was kind of spoiling for a fight, I guess. I thought if there was going to be a playing field, it should at least be one built on the truth. And while Obama's Christian beliefs and mine aren't exactly mirror images, I don't think it's fair to be telling everyone he's a Muslim.
So I got into some hot water over that -- a discussion that eventually questioned my own Christian beliefs and the way I was raising my family and all sorts of stuff. I was accused of being a Democrat (egads!), and it was implied that I wasn't a "real" Christian. As Biggs said, if I couldn't take the heat I should have stayed out of the kitchen. And I guess he was right.
The fact of the matter is, until last Friday I really couldn't get excited about anything in this election. I'm pretty sure the media is run by the devil. They foster lies and half-truths and try to make the pure as ugly as possible. They glorify sin and evil and corrupt natures. If you don't agree with me on that, pick up a copy of Us Magazine. And look, really look at what's in there. Think about the way you were raised and the things that you were brought up from an early age to believe were right and good.
Maybe your formative years were different than mine. But the stories portrayed in much of the mainstream media, the glorifying of Jamie Lynn and Britney Spears, the shots of women's panties or lack thereof -- that's not how we were raised. But that's what the media would have you believe the world behaves. And who does the media want to be President? Barack Obama. You'd have to be blind, deaf and living in a cave to not realize that.
That world that they promote isn't the world I want for my children. I won't stand for it. I won't have my children think that it's "cool" to follow the likes of Lindsay Lohan. I don't want them to grow up thinking that abortions are just something you "do" because it's easier than not.
So yes. I support McCain. Not so much because I think McCain is "one cool dude," but because Obama sure isn't. The America he wants to offer my children isn't the one I'm looking for. Do you really think he can do all that he's promising to do without taxing us more?? Think about it. All the plans and programs and feel-good things he's peddling are just like drugs -- quick high, then reality hits. Let's look at that.
Healthcare for everyone -- If the government can't run the post office, moving PAPER around, what makes you think they can manage your healthcare??? I mailed a package to Austin two weeks ago. It took TEN days to get there!! People, I could have WALKED it there sooner! A vote for Obama is a vote for the shambles of government-controlled healthcare. I refuse to put my children's future health at stake. There are two children in our school right now who are in remission from leukemia. The very fact that they are ALIVE right now is proof positive that we need direct access to impeccable healthcare. Take a look at the Socialist governments in our world and at the healthcare available to their people. I assure you there's a reason why people from all over the world fly here to go to MD Anderson.
Pulling out of Iraq -- We're WINNING! Why would we pull out now?? My cousins Gary, Robert and Jordan have been over there fighting so YOU would have the freedom to vote for whoever you want. In fact, Gary and Robert have both been to Iraq multiple times. They keep asking to go BACK -- not come home. They take pride in the job they're doing over there and know we need them to keep doing it.
Terrorism -- McCain makes me feel safe. Obama doesn't. I think Obama is too easily swayed. Look at how he handle the situation in Georgia. To some, that's a "minor" situation -- it's not over here. But if he can't figure out how to address a situation miles and miles away, what makes you think he's going to be able to address it in our own backyard?
The Economy -- I've posted about this before -- Maybe that's the reason I'm off "The List." I've laughed all week as the MEDIA and Obama complained that the Republicans haven't addressed the Economy. I see that as being one of two things. Either they were too dumb to figure out that the Republicans have addressed it continually, or they hoped you were too dumb to figure it out. EVERY time someone mentioned smaller government, lower taxes, energy -- any of those buzz words alone stand for improving the economy. ALL of them together mean HUGE improvement.
And then there's the addition of Sarah Palin. I like her. She's not afraid to call things as she sees them. And you know what?? Last night she AMAZED me. She had been hammered all week. LIES were told about her and her family. Her daughter was attacked in the media. Everything was ramped up -- and she got out there, knocked it out of the park, and showed that she's got strength beyond measure.
It's been asked a lot this week if she has the "experience" needed for this office. If she can handle what will come her way.
I'll tell you something, if she can handle that crap that the media has dished out for the last week, she can handle anything the rest of the world wants to throw at her. There can't be much worse in life than having your family attacked by the gossip mags and having your teenage daughter's pregnancy discussed at length by every commentator out there. Yesterday, they were accusing Palin of using her daughter and future son-in-law's presence to keep the conversation going. Excuse me? The MEDIA were the ones that were keeping the conversation going -- not Palin.
So yes, this thing around my blog have been a bit political lately, and I'm sure there's probably more to come. If that's the reason why I'm off "The List," then so be it. But this is my journal -- even if it's out there for all the world to see. And I have hope.
My "hope" isn't the same as Obama's. My hope is a prayer -- a prayer that people will come to their senses soon. That they'll see that as far back as Adam and Eve, Satan has tried to blind us with the shiny and seemingly perfect.
Now, don't go telling everyone that I said Obama is Satan. It's just that somewhere along the way, Satan has been able to convince people that the Bible they grew up with in Sunday School was "just a book." That sex outside marriage is fine as long as you "love" someone -- or even if you don't. (Newsflash: I'm not the only person I know who was a virgin when she got married. Believe or not, they do exist!) Living together before you get married is a great way to get to know each other. (Did you know when couples live together before they get married, 80% of those marriages end in divorce??) Abortion is okay if you don't have the time, resources, patience or space for a child in your life. Oh, and if you're a man who prefers men, go right ahead and do whatever it is homosexuals do -- never mind that it specifically states in the Bible that that's a sin. Remember, it's "just a book."
HELLO??????!!!!!!! Do we really think we can promote these ideas without passing them along to our children? Do you really want your 14-year-old daughter to lose her virginity in the gameroom at her boyfriend's house? Do you really want to have to hold her after she's had an abortion and try to help her get through that grief? The grief and pain and guilt of an abortion never go away. And for the rest of her life, she'll be hammered by that decision every four years when election season rolls around and abortion becomes the "hot topic," and it's all anyone at church or in the media or politics can talk about. Do you really want to have your son come home from college to tell you he's gay and is marrying his Poly-Sci professor??
Well, folks, if we promote these ideas and this "Shiny new world," those are the scenarios we're setting ourselves up for. If you vote for someone who's for abortion and same-sex marriage, you are voting for those to be possibilities for your children and grandchildren -- not just someone else's.
The way I see it, terrorism, socialistic healthcare, teenage abortions, gay marriage, turning away from the Bible this country was built on and all the rest are kind of like rabies and rattlesnakes. There are so many dangers in this world that we can't do anything about (like rattlesnakes). We've got to do something to stop the dangers that we can. For me, a vote for McCain / Palin is the vaccine we need.
And that is all I have to say about that.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I do have say, though, my favorite line of the evening was from Mike Huckabee -- "Sarah Palin got more votes running for Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, than Joe Biden did running for President."
And with all that, Piper Palin stole the show, didn't she? Did you see her lick her hand and then use it to smooth baby Trig's hair? Wonder where she learned that trick!
Palin has my vote -- 100%. Let's get McCain in the White House, with Palin by his side. AND FOUR years from now, it'll be Palin for President!!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I was late.
I was glued to the TV as John McCain announced that Sarah Palin was his best-kept-secret Running Mate.
As I learned about her, it almost seemed like her resume had been crafted JUST for this campaign. For EXACTLY this moment in history -- when the Republican campaign desperately needed a shot in the arm.
A hunting, fishing, NRA-carrying, union card holding, anti-abortion, Christian, feminine, oil-minded, energy-minded shot in the arm.
And they got it.
But then all the "dirt" hit the soundwaves. Of course the dirt is going to hit the news. And it makes me wonder....
What would have happened if McCain had stood up and said, "I want to introduce you to this great candidate. She's just what this country needs. And by the way, her husband once had one too many beers before driving -- that was before he was officially registered as an independent. This running mate is kind of in some hot water with goings-on in Alaska, but she swears it's not her fault. Oh, and she has an un-married daughter who happens to be pregnant.
"We're just telling you this because we know it's all going to come out in the wash. But we've fully-vetted her, these are the only skeletons in her rather small closet, and we know she is the best choice for Vice President."
Sure... It would have made everyone a bit nervous at first. But at least they wouldn't all be sitting around wondering what the Democrats and their fans in the media are going to dredge up next.
As for me, Palin has my vote. I think if they were going for someone "real," there couldn't have been a better pick.