Tuesday, March 31, 2009

video

Sissy just came to tell me that the woodpeckers outside are about to mate!!!

"give them some privacy"

She tells me that you need to know what kind of woodpeckers they are: Wally Waily Woodpeckers. (thank you for the spelling correction, Sissy!)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

cock-a-doodle-doo


She has a mild case of chicken pox. The health department was notified. Thanks to the vaccination, she should be spot free and able to return to school Tuesday or Wednesday.

We have faithfully checked for new polkadots at least twice a day since Thursday night. I began losing track of which ones were new and which were there the last time I looked. So I had a stroke of genius...

I marked each spot with a very small line with an ink pen.

Yeah, I'm one of those moms. The kind that is not ashamed to write on her own kid's ass.

I'm also the mom who received a fart right in the face tonight as I was checking said chicken pox lesions and ink pen marks.

I guess that makes us even.

WDW self-portraits and supper

Sissy took many self-portraits while at WDW. This is my favorite. It was taken outside Chefs de France.

This was taken at Chef Mickey's breakfast at the Contemporary Resort.

*****************

Yesterday, we took a nap. Everyone except Sissy, anyway. During my nap, I dreamed of a taco casserole.


2 lbs ground beef
chili powder
cumin
cinnamon
1 lg onion, chopped
1 pkg taco seasoning
3 T taco sauce
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 can fire-roasted, diced tomatoes, drained
1 c sweet kernel corn, drained
1 can diced chiles
1/2 pkg low fat cream cheese
1 c cheddar cheese

Sprinkle the meat with chili powder, cumin powder and cinnamon, add onion to meat and cook until meat is browned and most of the grease is evaporated. Stir in taco seasoning, taco sauce, cream cheese, corn and tomatoes. Blend until cream cheese is well combined. Add in cheddar cheese. Transfer to oven safe dish (or if you have a wonderful Pampered Chef Professional Series sauce pan, you can just leave it in that, covered with foil.) Bake at 300 for 20 minutes.


Sprinkle with more cheese. Serve with chips, sour cream or Paula Deen's Santa Fe Wrap mixture (which I've only made as wrap sandwiches ONCE, but have made as a dip at least a dozen times. Also, skip the olives and spinach.)


Eat until you can't walk. Roll over to the 'puter and tell me how much you loved it!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

if you listen closely, you may hear clucking...




Sissy may have chicken pox.




I'll let you know in the morning.




Now, pardon me while I share a prayer of desperation with you...




Dear Lord, I love you and thank you for loving me. Sometimes I'm not loveable at all, but that has never stopped you. Thank you also for restoring so much of my brother's health in such a miraculous way. I never doubted your power, and I get so excited when I witness it and have the joy of sharing my experiences of it. Thank you for that too. Here's the thing, Lord - not that I need to TELL YOU. I just know you like for me to talk to you. And, yes, I'm aware I need to work on my LISTENING TO YOU problem. Anyway, here's the thing: Tomorrow, The Mighty Hunter flies in from San Antonio. My mom has 2 doctor's appointments. Her car is complaining lately, and she needs me to drive her to those appointments. You were able to time The Mighty Hunter's flight arrival (remember? I have to pick him up from the airport this time) and mom's appointments so that it would work out for me to be the chauffeur for both. But now, Sissy seems to have these little bumps on her. And Lucky has never had the chicken pox either. And I don't know if The Mighty Hunter had them. And if he can't remember, his dad certainly won't remember either. And, well, you've got his mom up there with you, which kinda limits my access to her memory. KWIM? Carl and Beboo have had the pox, so they're safe. M was with Sissy Sunday, so she was exposed too and could share it with her boys. So, if it is AT ALL POSSIBLE, could you make sure The Mighty Hunter remembers having had the chicken pox at some point in his life? Could you also work it out for Beboo to care for Sissy tomorrow and get her to the doctor for me, the deadbeat mom who is currently stressing over this whole being-pulled-in-30-directions thing? 'Cause I need to remember who's got my back... I'd also hate for M and dher boys to get the pox from us because she was following your Good Samaritan example. Thank you for all the other miraculous, wonderful, amazing, cool, yippee-skippee things you've done for me. Most of all, thank you for my salvation. Amen.


Now, if you haven't had the chicken pox, go disinfect your screen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

blah yuk gumble groan


I don't want to write anything. Not here. Not anywhere.


I've got all these great pictures from WDW, and I want to share them. I want to put together the slideshow that holds those pics and make it cute and sleek and add music and captions.


But I don't want to actually, you know, do the work.


Truthfully, I am aware that I never finished the slideshow for Lucky's 2nd birthday. What a deadbeat!


So, if you're waiting patiently - or not... right, M? - for some kind of post or stories about our WDW trip, keep your pants on. It may take me a while.


Just don't let me forget to tell you about the cab ride and the song on the radio!
******************
Let me tell you about a friend of mine and what she did as a favor to my brother and me.
As I drove home from WDW Saturday, I talked with my brother on the phone. He asked me if I had any experience with online legal forms. I told him that I did not, but I would ask a friend who has legal experience.
That night, this friend put together a general will, living will and other legal forms for my brother. The next day this friend rode with me the 1.5 hours to Huntsville where my brother was in the hospital to review, witness and notarize these documents.
Does anyone out there have a better friend?
I'll bet my left thumb you don't.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

He's on his way home...

The Auburn Brother Always is on his way home from the hospital. His pacemaker did its job last night and kept his heart a thump-thump-thumping along like it should.

He is very sore at the site of the pacemaker, but is doing well otherwise.

Thank you all, again, for your kind comments and prayers.

(For all you google search alert-ers: carotid artery dissection, veterbral artery dissection, stroke after chiropractic adjustment) ;)

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Teaser and an update for you...

Our trip to WDW was wonderful. Except for the sinus infection and dual ear infection and high fever and trip to the ER/Walk-in Clinic. I'll post pictures and details later. Today, I have 1,382, 073 loads of laundry to wash and dry and put away and a yard of wild onions to mow and a floor full of toys to put away and a filthy Pimped-Out Mamamobile to wash and daughter to get to softball practice and homework to supervise and dinner to cook and... holy crap, I'm already tired.


My brother is improving. Here's the low-down. The chiroquack did assassin ninja neck twist move on him, but that wasn't what hurt him. After the assassin ninja neck twist, he put R on his side on the "bouncy table" (R's words) with his heck supported by the "bouncy cushion." He showed him a strange fist and said, "I'm going to press on your neck and realign your vertebrae. You will feel a lot of very intense pressure and pain for a few moments, but it will pass quickly."

pop

crunch

And R said he began moaning and crying out in pain that was so intense that he couldn't stop the yelling and groaning. Chiroquack touched him and R pushed him away, it hurt him so badly. He was helped to a chair where he vomited for 5 minutes (no lunch or breakfast to vomit.) They asked him if he wanted them to call 911. He waited for his wife (S) to arrive - 20 minutes. Then called for an ambulance.

was it not obvious that he needed an ambulance immediately? is it normal for their patients to scream out in pain and violently vomit during their adjustments?

?!?!?!?!?

He suffered a mild stroke in his cerebellum. His carotid artery and vertebral arteries were dissected, but not completely. He was unable to speak or stand or control his arms or legs or see. Most of these issues had resolved themselves quickly, with the vision taking the longest time.

Since those first 2, critical days, he has experienced heart arythmias, particularly during the night. They tested him for sleep apnea, which was negative. His heart is stopping for as long as 8 seconds at a time. They tried medication to regulate this, and it was unsuccessful.

He is on strong anti-clotting medications. These meds caused serious dehydration after they removed his iv. He is now tied to a saline drip 24/7 again and drinking unbelievable amounts of water.

He received a pacemaker this morning and did well with that procedure.

He asked about a stroke assessment test. This gave the doctors the opportunity to explain that they never did one, as they never expected him to survive. The huge portion of patients with his injury do not live.

CTs show that the carotid and veterbral arteries have not healed on their own yet. They may require stents, but the anti-clotting meds will make this very high risk and only a last resort.

I saw him yesterday. I was very encouraged and excited to see him doing as well as he is. If you didn't know what had happened to him, you'd never guess it. The only remaining effects from the stroke (besides the cardiac issues and arterial dissections) are balance-related. He was stronger than I expected, but tires easily. He is being very cautious and communicating very well with the nursing staff about how he feels. They are taking very good care of him.

He is almost "out of the woods". He may be home from the hospital late this week. They are being very cautious with him, but they do expect him to survive now.

Thank you all for your prayers and kind comments.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday, the End of My Obnoxious WDW Posts

We have breakfast at Akershus in Norway, in Epcot's World Showcase today. It is a princess themed meal.

Dinner is also in Epcot at Japan's Teppan Edo, a cook-in-front-of-you, throw-knives-in-the-air, make-flames-flash-up-from-the-griddle restaurant.

We will pack our bags tomorrow morning and load up the Pimped-out Mamamobile and take The Mighty Hunter to the airport for his next work assignment in God-Knows-Where, USA, and drive the 562 miles back to the Auburn Family Always Homestead.



I'm considering changing the name of my blog to WDW Gal Always. What do you think?

Prepare yourself for a slideshow of many obnoxious pictures.

Good grief, I dread the laundry I'll have to do tomorrow.



Wanna know a secret? I'm totally nuts. I wrote this post and all the other ones about our WDW week's plans at 1am Friday, knowing that I have to get myself out of bed and load up and wake the kids and leave town by 7am.

NUTS, I know.

I'm hungry too, but I'll ignore that and get to sleep. maybe

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday Surprises

We have meal reservations today, but will wing it on which park we'll go to.

Breakfast is at 1900 Park Faire at the Grand Floridian hotel. Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland and Pooh are the regular characters here.

Dinner is at Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I'm excited about this one. It's a "Signature Restaurant," meaning it uses 2 meal credits and is schmancy. I've also wanted to look around this hotel, and this will be my chance!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday and The World

Today we will eat a quick breakfast. This is the only day we do NOT have breakfast reservations.

I know. Just think of the pig's lives we'll be saving in just the bacon consumption alone!

We'll probably receive some award.

oohhh!!! Maybe a lifetime supply of bacon!

At 11:40am, we will eat lunch in Canada at La Cellier. We've had dinner here before and absolutely LOVED it.

Dinner is at 8pm at France's Chefs de France. We ate here once on Sissy's first trip and choked on the cost of the meal. The Deluxe Dining Plan allows to be able to justify it.

btw, the Dining Plans can save you a lot of money, if you choose your restaurants carefully. We got the Deluxe plan, which give us 3 meals at Counter Service (fast food) or Table Service restaurants plus 2 snack credits per person, per day. We are using most of our meal credits at character meals or very nice TS restaurants. Without the plan, we'd pay a crap-pot of money to eat at those places. With the plan, we pay a daily rate and eat the most expensive thing on the menu, plus an appetizer and dessert EACH!

So, while I expect to walk my Asics to death, I will probably not lose any weight due to the massive amount of calories I'll be stuffing down.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St Patty's in the Magic Kingdom

We're starting today a little later than our first few days with breakfast at Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Resort.

I've planned the evening with the precision of, well, um, a WDW-obsessed planning nut.

The Spectromagic parade is at 8pm.

The fireworks are at 9pm.

Dinner at Cinderellas Royal Table (in the castle) at 9:40pm. (Yes, that seems late, but remember WDW is in the Eastern Time Zone, and I live in Central! Which means that 9:40 there is really 8:40 for me. So, it's not horribly late. And! AND!!! when you calculate stupid Daylight Stupid Time in, dinner is really at 7:40!)

Are you getting sick of this yet?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mystery Monday

This morning we will have breakfast at O'hana at the Polynesian Resort.

We have dinner reservations at Tutto Italia in Italy, in Epcot's World Showcase. I love me some good pasta!

The rest of the day is open to whatever whim strikes us!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday fun

We're having breakfast at Disney's Hollywood Studios with the Little Einsteins and Jojo and Goliath the Lion.

We've never spent a whole day at this park. I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Guess what I'm doing today?

We're having breakfast in Ddisney's Animal Kingdom and dinner at the Polynesian Resort's Spirit of Aloha show.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Did I mention...

that I'm on my way to Disney World?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Auburn Brother Always

Randy is better.



The chiropractor adjusted his neck, at c1 and c2, with such force that Randy asked to leave the table and sit on a chair. He had to be helped to the chair, where he began vomiting and fainted.



911 was called.



His blood pressure was very high. He could not see or speak clearly or coherently. He could not walk.



The adjustment compromised his carotid artery and caused a 1/2" tear on the inside layer. The trauma and tear caused him to have a "mini-stroke" in the left side of his cerebellum.



Blood pressure is normal again. They're being all Edward Cullen and drawing blood every 2-3 hours, which is showing within normal ranges already.



He is able to move and feel in his extremities. He is able to sit upright, unassisted for a few minutes. But tires very quickly.



He is still experiencing double- and triple-vision, blurriness and extreme light-sensitivity.



He has a bad headache.


His neck still hurts.



When he was telling the ER staff what had occurred leading up to his ambulance ride, there was some rolling of the eyes and knowing sighs and nodding of heads.



He has already recovered from much of the damage. This is excellent news.



He will remain in the hospital for 2-3 days for monitoring. If he should have another stroke, then he would undergo surgery to place a stint in the carotid at the site of the dissection.


(How did you like how I threw in that medical term?)



He's gonna be fine. He has a long, tough recovery ahead of himself.



He will never again allow a chiropractor to examine or treat him.







Neither will I.



He has insisted that he is fine - fiiiiiiiiiinnnne!!! And we are going on with our trip to WDW.



Please continue to pray for him and his family. They're special to me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm making like a tree and splittin

or something like that.

Friday morning, I will load the Pimped Out Mamamobile with suitcases that are large enough to hold both Sissy and Lucky and weigh more than Sissy. I will retrieve Carl and Bev from their home. We will drive I-75 until we make a left turn and then follow the GPS to meet The Mighty Hunter.

Saturday morning we will begin our week at Walt Disney World.

That is if my brother is ok. Today, he went to the chiropractor for a sore and stiff neck. He had been a few times already with this complaint. Immediately after getting his neck "adjusted" he vomited and fainted and couldn't stand on his own.

The neck "adjustment" seems to have torn his carotid artery.

No shit. It caused him to have a stroke.

A stroke, people.

From the chiropractor's visit.

He's in the hospital tonight, waiting the results of the MRI to confirm all this. He will meet with a vascular surgeon and possibly have it repaired. He has already recovered from the "event" a great deal. His speech is not slurring anymore. His thinking is clear. He can feel and move his extremities (spell that for me, please!) He is still too dizzy to try to walk, but we're hoping that will recover soon also.

Please pray for Randy.

Truthfully, I'm not certain we'll go to WDW. I can still reschedule our trip. I really don't know what to do.



But, I do want to share with you a free pdf book that I will be printing to read while we drive to WDW or sit at the hospital. It's the link at the top of the right column. Click me.

lookie lookie

I was reading the Pioneer Woman and hopped the links over to Wild Olive Tees.

I love these tshirt designs. They're totally something I would wear as part of uber-cool mom uniform. They might even distract your eye away from my ugly, dirty Asics (the only shoes I can wear now. Thankyoustressfracturedfoot.)

Go look around.

Spend some money.

Stimulate the economy!!!

Get your verse on!

Oooh! And save some money. Free shipping through March 31.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The things I think about... (be afraid, be very afraid!)

When I shower and shave my legs, I think about my childhood friends that shared ideas, techniques, helpful hints, warnings, etc. about how to best get a smoothly shaven leg. How best to avoid razor burn. Am I the only one who associates things like that?

And do you shave the back of your thigh? I tried when I was a kid and thought it was necessary. But considering I'm lucky to put blade to hide once a week now, the back of my thighs are ignored - other than soap, bath oil and lotion. Part of the hair on my body is still sandy-blonde and thus only gently reflects the sun's gentle kiss of light, so I am convinced that no one sees it.

How many pairs of panties do you own? I have several. Honestly, I've never counted. But I wear my favorite 4 pairs until I realize that I don't have time to dig in the clean clothes basket to find the freshly-washed ones and resort to the ones that are the exact same brand, style and size, but do not fit or feel as well.

How many bras do you own? When I was pregnant and nursing Lucky, I had 3 bras. They were identical to each other. I simply rotated them equally, as I didn't identify any single one as being superior to the other's for some mysterious and impossible-to-quantify reason. When I stopped nursing and my milk and bosoms dried up, I tried a few different styles from different manufacturers and stores. I liked one particular bra from Target, but their selection was always spotty. I found one at Wal-mart and liked it. I returned and bought 2 more. A few weeks ago, I realized that 3 bras might not be a sufficient supply for 7 days at Disney World, so I got 2 more. (I would have gladly made the trek to Target - not in my town - to buy more from them, but W-M beat them for simply having the inventory and selection - every single time.)

Do you wash your undies in the washing machine?

Do you dry them in the drier with your other clothes?

I wash mine in the same load as towels and socks and pajamas. But I fish out my bras and lay them atop my drier to dry. I've somehow convinced myself that this lengthens their life. Nevermind that I have the most abusive washing machine in the world. It can turn a pair of blue jeans INSIDE OUT. I've never figured out how. I just know that I've removed jeans from the washer that were right-side out when they went in, only to find them inside out when the cycle is complete. My bras are safer and in better shape because they never go in the drier.

When I sit on the toilet - not that I'm on the toilet now, nooooo. ahem. - I raise my feet up and only put my toes on the floor. It's a comfort thing. It's not a phobia thing. I'm not afraid to touch the floor with my whole foot. The good Lord knows I'm not skeered of the germs on my bathroom floors. I've laid on them many hours, begging the pukes to stop.

I have chronic dry lips. I used medicated chap-stick for years -which, interestingly enough, causes your lips to only dry out more - thinking I could fix what biting my lips was doing. I just need to stop biting my lips.

I bit my fingernails until I was in the 3rd grade. Then, one day, I decided that I would quit, and I did. Now, I only bite the nail on my left thumb. This drives The Mighty Hunter crazy. My left thumb was squished off when I was in the 4th grade and is misshapen with a very thick nail that I can barely trim with clippers. So, I bite it from time to time.

When I was in high school, I over-tweezed my eyebrows, until I looked like a freak. A friend told me her dad said that she was prettier than me because of my eyebrows. I let them grow back in. I was not going to allow over-plucked brows keep me the ugly friend. She still has bushy brows and crooked teeth and her head is as big as a horse's. She scared me the last time I saw her in W-M, with her big horse head.

Why do some people gain weight on their heads?

Did you know that some people are allergic to certain brands of toilet paper? (Hey, M!) And some of those people have wonderful friends who deliver a package of dye-free tp to them at their new job. And then those friends call the tp-allergic friends and quote Ray Steven's songs while the boss is standing in front of them.

I sang along with Beyonce's "Single Ladies" song today, with Sissy sitting next to me in the Pimped Out Mamamobile. Should I have done that? Is that a song that is appropriate for my 8 year-old to hear her 22 year-old mommy sing along with?

Shut up, I can say I'm 22 if I want to.

I'm through now.

You're very welcome.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Things I've seen lately and liked

Ben Stein on CBS Sunday Morning News yesterday...

And Michael Phelps ad in my Kohl's email from yesterday...









Yesterday was a good day. Donchathink?

Friday, March 06, 2009

No need to call the HAZMAT team

Yesterday, I took a large black garbage bag, a backpack, a reusable shopping bag and a duffel bag. With these important items, Sissy and I cleaned out the Pimped-out Mamamobile.

We threw away receipts from the beginning of time. Stickers from every single stinkin' day of kindergarten, first and second grades. Candy wrappers. Snot rags. Shriveled-up french fry crumbs. Old, used flosser sticks. Straws. Napkins. Spoons. Forks.

We dug out jackets, loose change, toys, batteries, notepads, pencils, pens, clothes pins, socks, pacifiers, crayons (gasp!!!), empty dvd cases, dvds, and a million other things.

You can see the carpet in the van again.

You can see the carpet in the van desperately needs cleaning.

You can step walk from the side doors to the back seats without crushing something or breaking an ankle.

You can sit in the seats without wondering if you'll have crumbs on your butt.

You can ride without feeling the urge to wear a surgical mask or hang your head out the window.

The garbage bag wasn't full.

But the backpack, reusable shopping bag and duffel bag were full.

Now I've just got to find a place in the house to put those things that were stored in the van.

This completely ruins my organizational plan!!!

channelling my inner Scarlet O'hara: Whatever will I do???

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I'm sharing... 'cause it's the Christian thing to do

I have a favorite sandwich that I like to have for lunch. It's nothing exotic. It's nothing interesting. It's nothing much, except yummy.

And because I'm a wonderful, loving person, I'm sharing my sandwich recipe with you, my bloggy friends.

Sun-dried tomato basil wrap
6-8 slices of brown sugar ham
Ranch dressing or Santa Fe Wrap mixture (I skip the olives when I make it.)
shredded cheddar cheese
fresh green onions (only the green part)
fresh basil (chopped fine)

Preheat a skillet to medium-high heat. Microwave the ham until it steams (approx. 15 seconds.) Spread a small amount of ranch or Santa Fe Wrap Mixture onto the center of the wrap. Plop the ham onto the center of the wrap.

You must "plop" it. If you don't "plop" it, it will instantly become rancid and your toenails will grow crooked summer.

Sprinkle cheese, onions and basil on top of the ham.

"Sprinkling" is also required.

Fold the wrap into a square. Gently place the wrap into the skillet, allowing it to turn golden brown. Turn our wrap over and heat the other side.

Do not burn your delicious sandwich. You will cry and wish you would just curl up and die.

If you have succeeded in making this work of edible art, eat it and come back here to let me know what you thought.

Did you add or skip any ingredients?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Crisis

The life and world as we have known it - at least for MY life - will be changing. And it may be ending. I don't remember who said it, but I remember a very profound quote: "We are living in a nation where the belief in God and heaven and hell has ended. I can't think of anything more hopeless than to live believing that there is nothing left for us after this life."

And this is the crisis we face. Our nation is filled with hopeless people.

Hopelessness is a lack of faith. Faith in one's God, one's self, others. Faith in life itself.

If we don't have faith, don't believe in anything or anyone, then there is no reason to work, to play, to grow, to experience, to encourage, to live.

We are becoming a nation of wimps. We are so dadgummed afraid to offend someone, that we will intimidate into silence those who speak the truth. We are so accustomed to coddling those who will not take responsibility for their actions, that we bail them out of every jam they get themselves into. We are so convinced that those have who never provided for themselves can't, so we prop them up and arrange the world around them, perpetuating the cycle. We give birth to children and never allow them to mature and become adults; adults who support themselves and do not rely on government agencies or charities to save their tails. We teach them that the phrase "government of the people, by the people and for the people" means that government is there to take care of them. To provide for them.

What happened to us?

We have gone from the Greatest Generation to Flower Children to Generation X. Did the Greatest Generation not pass on to their descendents the traits that allowed them to overcome so many difficulties, conquer such evil, create vast industry, and witness incredible progress? Did us, as those who stride in the shadows of that age that overcame so much, rely upon their accomplishments and become lazy?

Or did we reach that point of diminishing returns? Did we build and spend and borrow until we created an excess that offends even our own selfish, spoiled sensibilities?

I am well aware of the complexities of the economic issues that our nation and the world face. I am not arrogant enough to claim to grasp even a small portion of it. It is greater than I.

Yet my Lord is greater than any financial, housing, mortgage or military crisis that we face today or tomorrow. I have confidence in knowing that this world is not all there is. I have faith that when my heart stops beating and my lungs stop breathing, my soul will leave my body and this Earth and go to another place. This other place is where I will meet my Lord. This other place is where I will account for the things I have done in this life.

I know these things. I believe these things. I have faith.

A sad fact is that even if others don't believe as I do, they will still face the same accounting. Believing in God is not a requirement for his existence. Denying Him does not eliminate Him.

I have decided that many in our country who rely upon others, when they are capable of doing for themselves, do not have faith in themselves. They lack this faith because they never saw it lived out before them. They lack this faith because we have told they are "underprivileged" and "disadvantaged" and "discriminated against."

I am not saying that discrimination has ended. It has not.

I'm saying that discrimination has been the excuse of choice. I'm saying that we should stop making excuses for others. I'm saying that they should stop accepting those excuses. I'm saying that ALL of us should stop making excuses for why we haven't achieved the things of which we are truly capable. There is no excuse for not doing what we can do.

As long as you hold on to excuses, you can't begin to believe in yourself. Why should you? You're underprivileged, disadvantaged and discriminated against. If you can't believe in yourself, then faith will forever elude you. And without faith, you will have no hope.

We can talk about change. We can talk about believing. We can talk about hope. But until we have hope in the Right Thing, hope in the Truth, we will always be looking for something more. We will always be looking for some magical change to make things easier, better, nicer. We will believe lies.

My perspective on all things political and economic right now centers on faith. We, as a nation, have placed our faith in things that are temporal. We have failed to remember Who allows each breath and to worship Him for that and the endless list of other gifts. I honestly believe that God is teaching a lesson to those of us who will learn. He is reminding us that this world is His creation, and He, alone, controls it. He is letting us see the flaws in the systems that we have planned and the programs we have in place. He is allowing us to fail so that we can learn from our mistakes.

There are those who will disagree with me. That's fine. This is my blog, and I'll say what I want. I've been pretty quiet lately. I haven't had anything on my mind that I felt was even remotely interesting or memorable to share. But this - our Crisis of Faith - has been nagging at me for days. I don't know that I have shared it effectively. I've simply let my thoughts flow out my fingers.

Just remember that we are in this together. If we spend money we don't have, then what must we sacrifice to afford it and repay it? Are we not doing the same with our federal spending that we criticize in those who borrowed more than they could afford to repay? Are we not in effect "maxing out our credit cards?" Who will preside over the federal government's bankruptcy? China? Saudi Arabia? Some other wealthy country whose ideals and beliefs are not compatible with ours? In an effort to appease those who can't pay their bills (many through no fault of their own), are we signing a promissary note that will haunt our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren for the rest of their lives?

I don't know the answers. But I am honestly concerned that there are people making decisions about our money - YOUR MONEY and MINE - that have no real understanding of what they are doing.

What part of increasing our deficit don't they understand?

That's all.

Thankyouverymuch. (stepping off soapbox. smiling sheepishly.)
And if you have stuck with me this long, you deserve a "reward" of some kind. Here's some silliness I captured around our house lately.


I have no explanation for this...
He is convinced he is Cookie Monster when he wears this. And Cookie Monster sounds a lot like a horse.