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Friday, October 31, 2008

Celebration Time, Come On!



It is 5:37pm on October 31st. I don't want to be premature, so I'm holding this back and won't post til THE DAY!!!

This is how I'm feeling.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Spirit of America

This is something that a friend of mine, Drew Williams, wrote for his hometown paper.

So many have asked the question: Who will win the 2008 Presidential Election? The answer is simple. The one who can capture the Spirit of America.


Several years ago, British Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke to the US Congress about its role in bringing down Saddam:


“and I know it's hard on America, and in some small corner of this vast country, out in Nevada or Idaho or these places I've never been to, but always wanted to go...


I know out there there's a guy getting on with his life, perfectly happily, minding his own business, saying to you, the political leaders of this country, "Why me? And why us? And why America?"


And the only answer is, "Because destiny put you in this place in history, in this moment in time, and the task is yours to do."


Prime Minister Blair spoke of a defining moment in our history and what he felt our obligation was as the Leader of the Free World. He understood the importance of our history and what the impact could be if we did nothing. He is wise beyond his years.


We have now reach such another moment. It is now up to us, Americans, to decide which side of our history we respond to for this presidential race. It’s not an easy choice. There have been some things said by the candidates that have cause Americans to draw a few lines. There have been some things said by Americans that have produced even more lines. Somewhere in the midst of all the myths and misleading statements lies the truth. That’s where many of us are today. Looking for a truth inside our conscience.


If Americans can remember, it is the efforts of all people that allows us to shine. In our darkest moments of war, famine, disasters, and disease we have overcome desperation with diversity, hunger with heart, and division with cohesion. This is our strength as a nation and it sets us apart from any other nation across the globe.


Whoever you may decide to cast your vote for, remember that you don’t need a President to lend a helping hand, to show compassion, or to just be a good neighbor. For these moments are reserved for you to define. How you manage these moments will define the manner in which your life moves forward. In your moment and in your vote, capture the Spirit.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Depressing Emails

From my last post, you can tell how I feel today. So. I get the following email from someone who I know meant well, but... Can we please just admit that those emails don't help too much. It's like when someone is drowning & instead of offering them your hand - or a rope or something to help them out of the damn water - they stand there singing an uplifting song. Doesn't mean the song is not meant to be uplifting, but it's not going to save the drowning person, is it? So, please: enough with those emails. They only sound good to someone who doesn't need the help.

One day I decided to quit...
I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality... I wanted to quit my
life.

I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.

God', I asked, 'Can you give me one good reason not to quit?'
His answer surprised me...
Look around', He said.. 'Do you see the fern and the bamboo?'

Yes, I replied.
When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care
of them.

I gave them light.

I gave them water.

The fern quickly grew from the earth.

Its brilliant green covered the floor.

Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the
bamboo.
In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.
And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on
the bamboo. He said.

In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed.

But I would not quit.
In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would
not quit.' He said.
'Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared
to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant...But just 6
months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.

It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong
and gave it what it needed to survive.


I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.
He asked me. 'Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been
struggling, you have actually been growing roots'.

I would not quit on the bamboo.

I will never quit on you.'
Don't compare yourself to others. He said.

The bamboo had a different Purpose than the fern.

Yet they both make the forest beautiful.'
'Your time will come', God said to me.

'You will rise high'
'How high should I rise?'

I asked. 'How high will the bamboo rise?' He asked in return.
'As high as it can?' I questioned.

'Yes.' He said, 'Give me glory by rising as high as you can.'
I left the forest and brought back this story.

I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on
you. Never, Never, Never Give up.

For the Christian, Prayer is not an option but an opportunity.
Don't tell the Lord how big the problem is, tell the problem how Great
the Lord is!

Heavens door opened this morning, God asked me... My CHILD...
what can I do for you?' and I said 'Protect and bless the one reading
this message. God smiled and answered ... 'request granted ............

Guess what, friend? Obviously your request wasn't granted. (I haven't given up on God, but this email got on my nerves!)

Someday We'll All Be Free

Just because of the way I'm feeling today in my tired soul



Doesn't make me feel better, but I don't feel alone in the gloom

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Alert: Missing Child

From Electronic Village comes this.

Get the word out, people.

I'm... Speechless?

Saw this on Perez this morning.

Well, this is what America is about. Picking a leader based on qualifications and not color.

(I'm not even going to comment on Palin's wardrobe function. Or her kids' travel expenses - representing the campaign my a**...)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Obama Endorsed & Others Chastised

I'm not surprised at the endorsement. I was feeling a little chastised. I, too, have been narrow-minded at times. Thank you, Mr. Powell


Friday, October 17, 2008

Food

Don't neglect checking out my Hoecake & Grits blog. Talking about food & I just put up the latest of the recipes from my fam's faves...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is It Over YET???

Whew. I don't know about anybody else, but I have election fatigue. I only got through part of last night's debate. I think it was when they got to Joe-the-plumber that I gave it all up...

Look (like the policiticians say all the time). I don't hear anything new from McCain - well, he had that good zinger about "I'm not Bush," but Obama even squashed that one. John's still trying to woo sane Republicans without pushing away those nutcases McCain is so proud of but that the Secret Service is checking out. Obama is still cool and controlled. Nothing has changed.

I did find it funny about Dan ("Potatoe") Quayle offering encouragement to Palin. Bless their hearts.

So, we've got, what? Nineteen days left? Oh, please let the time fly.

My family and I (all Dems) have been joking that if Obama loses, we're going to move to another country. Last night, we joked that if Obama wins, we might all have to move. It's like a lot of people have been joking about not wanting to go to work the DAY AFTER...

Personally, I have no idea how it's all going to shake out. I mean, what if there really is a Bradley Effect in this election? What if there's not?

At this point, I just want it over.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Palin really keeping an eye on Russia

This mention of Palin being "unaware" does not surprise me.

When I think of the "trade missions" Palin likes to refer to, I have to laugh a little. Why? Well, maybe because of the way a local talk show guy (Cary Carrigan) explained those missions - some of which he went on. Pretty much, a group of people (at least once including Mr. Carrigan) trot out their trinkets to interest the foreign parties & the foreign parties trot out their trinkets. They all look at each others trinkets & discuss ways to do TRADE (since that would be the mission). Oh, yeah. Then afterward, they all do a lot of eating, drinking & partying.

So, nice to know that Palin attended these trade missions where she got to practice her Joe 6-pack persona in the name of stimulating business for Alaska. Maybe since people like Cary Carrigan were also there, we should be looking to them to fill out future V.P. seats... At least Carrigan is intelligent and likable. Just saying.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Mac Told A Whopper...

... when he talked of being calm and steady (or whatever). Or else, all these folks are lying:






Thanks to Electronic Village where I first spotted this via Google Reader (get your own!)

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Debate. My Take.

They're trying to say that Palin won?

No.

What she did was not openly drool, fall off the stage, or mispronounce George Bush's name.

I guess that's a pass for her.

What did was spew the same old crap. All I could think of was that saying about if you can't dazzle them with brilliance, blind them with bullsh*t.

She not only avoided questions, she even tried to make herself sound gutsy for doing so... The woman deserves some kind of position for sheer baseless confidence.

But I did say it: she's not as dumb as she looks. Maybe I should say that she knows how to make being dumb work to her advantage.

Peace
--Free

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I'm SO Busted (or my personality is anyway)

I can thank Mz Newy for turning me on to this handwriting analysis program (free online & even tho they will try to sell you a registration, you can opt for the total freebie) that nailed the good, bad & ugly that is Free...

Mz Newy is so gutsy. She shared her entire analysis. I'm way more guarded (and that showed in the analysis, damnit) and will only share partials.

Ahem. Here goes (My comments in small letters):

Free is moderately outgoing. Her emotions are stirred by sympathy and heart rendering stories. (Heck yeah. The street-corner homeless LOOK for my car 'cause they know I'm good for a handout of a buck or two)In fact, she can be kind, friendly, affectionate and considerate of others. She has the ability to put herself into the other person's shoes.

Free will be somewhat moody, with highs and lows. ("Somewhat?" Nah. I'm "Allwhat" when it comes to moody!) Sometimes she will be happy, the next day she might be sad. She has the unique ability to get along equally well with what psychology calls introverts and extroverts. This is because she is in between. Psychology calls Free an ambivert. She understands the needs of both types. Although they get along, she will not tolerate anyone that is too "far out." She doesn't sway too far one way or the other.

When convincing her to buy a product or an idea, a heart rendering story could mean a great deal to her. She puts herself in the same situation as the person in the story, yet she will not buy anything that seems overly impractical or illogical. Free is an expressive person. She outwardly shows her emotions. She may even show traces of tears when hearing a sad story. (I bawl out loud over those orphan commercials. Can't help it & I don't think that's a bad thing. Just wish I had more money to give.)

Free is a "middle-of-the-roader," politically as well as logically. She weighs both sides of an issue, sits on the fence, and then will decide when she finally has to. She basically doesn't relate to any far out ideas and usually won't go to the extreme on any issue.

People that write their letters in an average height and average size are moderate in their ability to interact socially. According to the data input, Free doesn't write too large or too small, indicating a balanced ability to be social and interact with others.(Yep. Til they start getting on my nerves. Then I just go into hermit mode.)

Free will be candid and direct when expressing her opinion. She will tell them what she thinks if they ask for it, whether they like it or not. So, if they don't really want her opinion, don't ask for it! (Um... I've gotten into trouble for this trait)

Because Free has sharp needle pointed 'm' and 'n' humps, she has a very sharp mind. She instantly sizes up situations, making instant decisions. She thinks and evaluates circumstances very rapidly. Many people with this type of mind are geniuses, thus she may be seen as highly intelligent. Free is often irritated by slow talkers or slow thinkers. If she drives, she gets irritated by slow drivers in the fast lane. She quickly becomes bored when being taught on the level of the slowest student in class. She may be on problem number three when the rest of the class is on problem one. Free is curious and very active. In fact, in school she might have been a trouble maker because she thought so much faster than the other kids, she finished her work first, thus having plenty of time on her hands to make trouble! (And to think that my folks just thought I was being a pain in the ass...)

Kind of cool, huh? The thing is, some of the analysis disturbed me. Not because the observations were wrong but because they were right & I hadn't realized some things about myself. Shit. Now I'm pretty sure I need therapy. Too bad I'm broke.

I'm curious to hear what other people think after trying the analysis.

Peace

--Free

Biased But Interesting... (McCain)

Is it a little shallow of me to say that I so like the background music. Nice.

And the video? Interesting. (No mention of that Keating 5 thing)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Recipes (yes, I DO cook!)

Here are a couple of my recipes for those of working with a thin budget...

Dish-o-chicken
Since I've married, I've had to learn to improvise in the kitchen. A LOT! This is a pretty quick and easy chicken dish I came up with:
Ingredients
  • chicken pieces (I use whatever's on sale) and I used six legs
  • about 1/2 cup sour cream
  • about 2 cups bbq sauce (I used tangy honey flavored)
  • fave seasonings (I used garlic pwdr, italian, and crushed chicken boullion cubes)
Thaw and rinse chicken. While it's still wet, shake on the seasonings & let sit in a bowl, covered in fridge (for at least 1/2 hour, but try for a couple of hours).
Directions
  • When ready, heat oven to around 350
  • mix sour cream and bbq sauce
  • pour 1/2 of sauce mix into bottom of baking pan/casserole dish
  • layer chicken pieces in bottom
  • pour rest of sauce mix over chicken, making sure each piece is coated/covered/slathered
  • bake for about 30 minutes, then...
  • check and turn the chicken in pan, keeping covered with sauce...
  • continue baking, checking every 20 minutes or so (to keep chicken coated with the sauce) until done.
I serve my chicken dish with baked potatoes and steamed broccoli and instead of using butter on the taters, I used some of the chicken sauce (since I usually smother my broccoli with butter!) Once you try this, you can alter the sour cream/bbq sauce mix to be more or less tangy/creamy. And, yes, I came up with this one all. on. my own. Shoot, I'm thinking about writing a cookbook called the WalMart chef (for all of us po' folks!)
 
Easy One-Dish Meal
Hi guys. I know I promised something else, but I wanted to share this quickie recipe with you. I call it One Dish:
Ingredients
Hamburger Meat (browned with the seasonings) - or, if you like, chicken or tofu Potatoes (baked) Potatoes (boiled & smashed) Tomato Sauce Tomato Paste Garlic (chopped as fine as you like) Garlic (chopped in large pieces) Onions (chopped) Lawry's seasoning salt Black pepper (other fresh peppers if you want) Italian Seasoning Now - here's the cool part: I don't have any set amounts of ingredients to give you; use what you see fit for your family size. Personally, I use a pound of meat, 4 large potatoes to bake and 2 large potatoes to boil/smash, and then I season to taste. We have 5 adults and 2 kids in our crowd & at least 2 or three drop-ins at meal times! I have had leftovers enough for a couple of small lunch servings after all that. You'll need boiling bots, deep baking dish (or a couple of shallow ones), deep skillet.
Directions
Put the potatoes on to bake since they can take a while to be well baked Peel and chop other potatoes in chunks to be boiled later (When baked potatoes are half done, slit and insert pieces of garlic and finish baking) Start browning the meat & when mostly done, drain the oil (leaving a little in the meat to hold the seasonings) Add the dry seasonings to taste Add the Tomato Paste and Tomato Sauce (save the paste can) Using the Paste can, add water to dilute the meat sauce (it will cook down during the simmering) Simmer covered for at least 10 minutes on a medium heat (add more water if the meat sauce thickens too much) Start boiling your chunked potatoes Add onions and remaining garlic Reduce heat to low, cover & simmer for at least 20 minutes When boiled potatoes are done, mash them as smooth as you can, adding a touch of milk if you need to (can add a little butter, but try for plain mashed to keep down the calories). Set aside. When baked potatoes are done, peel off skin (or not; I sometimes leave the skin on) & line up in bottom of baking dish. With a knife sort of chop/chunk up the baked potatoes so they are spread around the bottom of the dish. Season the lining potatoes with some of your dry seasonings Ladle the meat sauce over the baked potato lining Spread the boiled/mashed potatoes over the top of the sauce Sprinkle top potatoes with seasonings if you want (I use the Lawry's for this) Put the dish in the oven on a VERY low broil just long enough to brown (you don't have to do this, but I like the brown-topped texture. You can serve by scooping portions out with a large spoon. NOTE: My niece likes to top her finished dish with cheese, but she is young enough where a couple of days at the gym works for her food sins! Enjoy!