Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Pages

I've been busy being creative today and completely outside the loop of all things political. It was a nice change - just sitting around laughing with friends and being silly. Note to self: Must schedule in more of those days.


Here are my latest masterpieces:

Credit: Boy of Mine Kit by Melany Violette
*Photo dated September 24, 2007

Credit: Seasonal Scraps by Jen Wilson
*Photo dated October 22, 2007


Credit: Clowning Around by Dani Mogstadt
*Photo dated April 15, 2007

Credit Princess of LaLa Land by Shawna Clingerman and Lauren Grier
*Photo dates March 2008


Credit: Fresh Air by Dani Mogstadt
*Photo dated May 2002

Credit: Sassy Pants by Dani Mogstadt
*Photo dated September 29, 2008

You Got That Right!


Can I get an "Amen!" from all the moms out there? :)

Nancy Pelosi's Speech 9/29/08

It's long but important to hear. Everyone should be in the loop with what is happening TO us.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Just Because She's Cute and Silly


Bail Out

Ok people - let's talk bailout. As you may, or may not, know Bailout, Take 2 went down in defeat again today. The information tends to lend itself to the fact that many of us called to denounce the plan in its current form. The Republicans are reportedly the ones who tipped the scales with the school of thought being they didn't want to upset voters 5 weeks before the election. Fine and dandy - I'm just glad it was blocked and here is why:
This bailout is not designed to help you and me, Mr/Ms Average Citizen. This will in no way help us in any real manner. Sure, it could bolster the economy with a short sighted fix but I think "We the People" are demanding a long term fix for the price tag they are placing on it.

I do not care one stinkin' bit about the big financial houses who are struggling (and clearly they do not care about us). It won't help me if the government buys up the bad loans. I am sick and tired of "trickle down economics". We need "trickle UP economics". Help the little people down here in the middle and lower income brackets who are struggling to pay mortgages, put gas in our cars, buy groceries and pay for all the other millions of necessities (insurance, power, etc). Give US the help so we can afford to live and afford to put some of our hard earned money back into the economy. Let's use me for an example: if they would roll back mortgages (let's just say they take Whoopi Goldberg up on her idea of taking all mortgages taken out since 2003 and slicing them in half and writing off 50%) that would leave more "pocket money" and with that I could hire a guy to come in a weed our gardens. He would take his few hundred bucks and buy things for himself or his family (helping big business). I could afford to take the kids to the zoo more often thereby adding to the funds to pay caretakers who will buy things (again, taking care of big business). I could put my daughter in preschool which would pay teachers and building maintenance. Donate money to help my son's school and other very important, and underfunded, causes. The things we could do with the money could make a difference and then add to that the other people who would no longer be struggling to make ends meet and who could add their money to the economy. Trickling UP (probably more like pouring up as many of us would love to buy non-necessary things or take trips or splurge on something) instead of every so painfully and slowly, down.

Bailing out corporations isn't the solution. Reworking the loans into affordable terms for people - that's a good move. Buying down mortgages - that's a good move. But the government buying up bad mortgages? What good does that do the people who had the bad mortgage? None. They see nothing in return for that - they are still out of their home and struggling to make it.

It's probably true - some people over bought when they entered the housing market a few year ago. They were greedy, some might say. Sure, ok, let's go with that. But the majority are good, hard working, well meaning people who got into an adjustable rate mortgage they could afford for the first year, maybe even the second. Then the payment went up...and then gas...and then food...and then insurance...and then medical cost...and then the special dog food that is needed to keep their dog from getting sick again....and then..and then..and then. The rise in cost for everything is absolutely endless - unless you are talking about income. That has not gone up.

Is it any wonder some people have to walk away from their houses? When it becomes an either/or between mortgage or food for your children - what are most parents going to choose? And the thing is - it should not BE an either/or. Houses should be affordable and the fact that home values skyrocketed (some might say incorrectly so) is a huge factor in people getting in too deep.

So the bailout for big business...not the right move as far as I'm concerned (and I'm not alone). A bailout for the average American citizen is a MUCH better use of our (read that again: OUR!) tax dollars. And once WE are bailed out, people will be able to pay their mortgages, et al, thereby making the economy solid once again.

So politicians are afraid to vote for something the American people are saying is the wrong move but when, oh when, will they see what we are saying? I called all my representatives and left messages and according to articles everywhere, millions of us are doing the same thing.

Use out tax dollars to help US. And in turn, we will help big business. But use it to bail out big business and I'm afraid we are all in even more trouble than we are right now.

Monday

My sister called this afternoon to see why I haven't been posting today. The reason is I have been hard at work on my PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) stuff. It seems like it was all consuming today and suddenly my calendar is looking liking something exploded all over it and believe me, it was plenty full before! :)

And then to add to my chaotic day, I had to deal with Pay Pal who locked down my account because fraudulent activity was suspected. They were right to lock it down - it was definitely unauthorized activity (sending Euros to someone. Apparently the system recognized that I've never sent Euros to anyone before and immediately locked down my account and the funds are being held in suspended animation for the next 10 days). It was a lengthy phone call to Pay Pal this morning but it's resolved, my account has been appropriately secured and in 10 days, I'll have my money back.

So no, I wasn't off shopping for a new swimsuit or having coffee with friends. I was working hard.

:)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gotta Love Tina Fey!

If They Can See It....

If people in the busniness of politics for years and years and years can see it then please God, let the American people WAKE UP!!



Pathetic, indeed.

That's all I have to say about that. At least for today. Maybe. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Great Debate

I watched the debate last night with (I hope) all of you though I was about 90 minutes behind (so shoot me - it was Friday Family Movie Night and my kids take priority).

There are times I wanted to throw something at McCain's head but I somehow managed to restrain. I could write up a big post about it but frankly, I found one on a blog I frequent that is already up and waiting for you to read (and since it's Saturday, I don't have a lot of "blog time"). So this is where I say "Yeah - what she said!"


We Deserve It

This gem found its way to my inbox this morning and I have to say - it makes so much sense. It would never happen, of course, because the average American citizen struggling in the economy doesn't appear to count for much but wow - can you imagine if the government actually decided to do this? Economy crisis solved. And hey - so many people would be able to afford to buy energy efficient vehicles too which puts us well on the road to solving the energy issues.

I'm just saying....


I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in
a We Deserve It Dividend.

To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000
bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+. Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman
and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..
So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals
$425,000.00.

My plan is to give $425,0 00 to every person 18+ as a
We Deserve It Dividend.
Of course, it would NOT be tax free.
So let's assume a tax rate of 30%.

Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes .
That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.
But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.
A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?
Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.
Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads
Put away money for college - it'll be there
Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
Buy a new car - create jobs
Invest in the market - capital drives growth
Pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care improves
Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean - or else

Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks
who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company
that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed
Forces.

If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of
trickling out
a puny $1000.00 ( "vote buy" ) economic incentive that is being
proposed by one of our candidates for President.

If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every
adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG - liquidate it.
Sell off its parts.
Let American General go back to being American General.
Sell off the real estate.
Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't.

Sure it's a crazy idea that can "never work."

But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

How do you spell Economic Boom?

I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion
We Deserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in
Washington
DC .

And remember, The Family plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because
$25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

Friday, September 26, 2008

In Honor of the Debates Tonight

I thought I would share with you some photos we took at the store a couple of weeks ago when the kids noticed all the Halloween decorations and begged to go check them out. We couldn't resist the costume aisle. The kids and I just tried things on for fun but Dakota actually found her costume for the year.

She found the scariest thing she could find....check it out.

John McCain. Seriously. Need I say more? :)

And just for fun, here are the rest of the photos taken that night.








Halloween is coming which seems about right. Scary times and all.

So Cute I Can't Stand It!

I talked with Kelton a few weeks ago about starting a Secret Journal that he could write anything and everything in and then leave under our pillows. We would read it and then write something back. (this is not my idea, I actually read it on someones blog and thought "Great idea!" because we all have things we want to tell someone but speaking the words is too difficult. I figure this just might come in handy down the road as a communication tool.)

While I was getting the bed ready for sleep last night I discovered his journal under Dakota's pillow. I jokingly said "You have homework to do before you go to bed." She said "Oh! You're right! I do." and then she told me how he had come to her and told her he wanted to the Secret Journal so they had found one that would work. He had told her everything I had shared with him about it.

And then he went to work. He did four pages but these two are my favorite. He is just so delicious I want to eat him up. :) And I have to say, I am very proud of him and I love seeing him writing things.


This one says "I like Mama and Mama. Thank you God for making me."


And this one says "I wish I was a monster."

Sweet little boy of mine! :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Just call me Veep

Well now...how did *that* happen? I went to the PTO (parent teacher organization) meeting at Kelton's school tonight as just a regular parent trying to get her foot in the door to make the school a great place for my son to be and I walked out.....

*wait for it*

Vice President.

I KNOW! Crazy, right? I think it might be a really good thing though and the president (he arrived late) was so happy to hear the news. He said "Oh that is so good! I was going to talk with you about it tonight! Great!!" Could it be that I sprung into action the other day when he needed be? Maybe my (lengthy) full of suggestions email regarding my experiences with the school last year? Or maybe it was because I saved the PTO from looking unorganized when I noticed that the oh so very important "return by" date was missing off letter we stuffed into the 400-some fund raiser envelopes and then saved the day with a suggestion on how to easily remedy the situation? Yeah - I think it might have been at least one of those things. :)

The turnout tonight was much lower than the first meeting. It was disappointing to say the least but I think we can still pull it out and get some more parents involved. It's hard though because the focus on the PTO is fund raising to help the school do the things that make it a great experience for the students.

For example; the school district has implemented huge cutbacks because a bond failed last year (gee - think the economy is to blame? Yes, yes I do. It's why we voted no on it even though we didn't want to. It's why almost everyone I know who voted no, voted that way.) which means classroom supplies are in short supply and field trips have been cut unless the schools can pay for it all themselves (including buses, drivers, gas, etc). So - fund raising we must do while still having fun. We're going to have a Fall Harvest Spaghetti night, family roller skating nights, a spring dance, a pizza party night. I've volunteered to help with picture day and health day. It's going to be a busy year, that's for sure.

But fund raising brings me to this; we are collecting Box Tops for Education in an effort to raise money. It's a simple thing that you, my amazing readers, can help with without breaking a sweat or sitting through a meeting. All you have to do is watch for symbol on products you probably buy all the time. Clip them out, save them and when you have a few, send them to me. I'm happy to send you my address whenever you need it. Just email me. :) I'm even happy to reimburse you for the stamp. Seriously.

Believe it or not, just by doing this you can help our school raise thousands upon thousands of dollars. A school in our area last year saw a financial windfall of $23,000 just from collecting box tops. That's a lot of special events, fields trips and supplies for the kids!

So if you are willing, I would greatly, greatly appreciate it. You have no idea how much it would help us out.

All in all - it's been a day quite unlike I had been expecting. Vice President. I had no idea that would happen.


FYI: Box Top product listing is found here

Crack, Anyone?

Kaylen: "Mom? Why did they call it a butt crack?"

Me: "Umm...well...I guess because it's a crack in your butt."

Kaylen: "And it has to be cracked so that your poop and pee can come out right, Mom?"

Me: "Uuuhhh....yes. I..... suppose you're right."


I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. And I've never seem a parenting magazine article that addresses it either.

You just have to laugh. You have to.

Patient Hats?

My daughter and I are in the midst of playing doctor and patients right now. I've made the sign for the doctor office, we created a waiting room for the dolls and an exam room for the patients. She runs screaming from the room yelling "WE NEED PATIENT HATS!"

"Patient hats?" I ask. "What are those?"

"Hats you wear when your a patient at the doctors office!" came the impatient reply with just the hint of "I can't believe you don't know what patient hats are!".

Well of course.

So now all the patients are wearing hats. And so am I. Though I could have sworn she said I was the nurse.

*shrugging*

Ah the games of a three year old. :)

Oh Dear

This would be funny if it wasn't so damn frightening.

But in all seriousness - you cannot tell me this woman is prepared to run this country if called upon. You cannot watch the interviews with her and say "Oh yes. She's the one!"

*shaking my head*

And she damn well better participate in a debate. I'm just saying.

Letterman Rips into McCain for Cancelling

I never watch The Letterman Show but this found it's way to me today (and I'm sure to many, many people) and I have to say - he is spot on! I love the part (about 5 minutes in) where he says "You don't cancel your campaign - you let your VP nominee take over for you." EXACTLY RIGHT! Let's she if she has the stuff to be president of the USA. Any guesses on the answer to that one, my democratic friends? Yeah - that's my answer too.

Something is rotten in the State of Denmark...or in this case, the United States.

This is a long clip but good.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Page


credit: Babalicious By Shawna Clingerman, Julie Billingsley and Libby Weinfenbach
and
Still One of the Gang by Lauren Grier, Shawna Clingerman & Micheline Martin

The Great Debate of the Debate

I find it unbelievable that today the McCain camp came out asking to postpone the debate scheduled for Friday night; all in the name of "working together to fix the economy". I am heartened to hear the Obama camp reject that idea.

You can read about it here.

My personal view (and hey - it's great if you don't agree with me because that is, after all, the greatness of free speech but I am not going to debate where I stand on the issue) is that it is dead wrong to postpone the debate. Dead wrong. I want and I NEED to hear what both candidates have to say. Let's face it - we aren't going to fix the economy in the next week...two or heck - even 40 days but we do have to elect someone to office very soon and I want to hear what they have to say on the issues that most affect MY life.

To me, hearing McCain say, in essence, "Now isn't a good time to talk about what we plan to do if we are elected." speaks so incredibly loudly that I can't hear myself think. It's screaming "I don't really care about you, the little people. You certainly aren't worth my time. I have much more important things to do even though, yes, I could have been doing them for months and months." Granted - I get that isn't the message he is probably *trying* to send but that's what I'm hearing.

This crisis with the economy didn't just happen yesterday. We've been in a tailspin for months - dare I say more than a year - but NOW...NOW is when he wants to put on the brakes to find a solution. Ummm...no. NOW is when I need to hear your long term plans to pull this nation out of the crapper. NOW is when I need to hear hope for the future. NOW is when I need to know if you are up for the job because, God forbid, you get elected I need to know your plans.

This is not the time to leave us hanging. This is not the time to treat the citizen's of this country like we are children who must go outside and play quietly while the grown-ups see what they can do to get us out this mess.

This country is in crisis. There is no doubt about that. And now, more than ever before, I want to hear what McCain and Obama have to say about it.

Postpone the debate. That is frikkin' insane! And I hope people can see through it as a ploy and certainly something that is not in our best interest.

Please. Sometimes I feel like I'm living in some Sci-Fi fantasy world... a parallel universe. And I am angry about it. I am so, so, so angry at this development. And it just compounds my anger already in place over oh so much of it.

And just to be clear; I will not be answering comments. If you support McCain, so be it. I don't.

Overwhelmed

Today is one of those days were I feel completely and absolutely overwhelmed with my life. Completely.

So I did what I do when I feel overwhelmed. I cleaned stuff out and threw stuff away. I have organized most everything in reach today(except the magnets on the fridge). It isn't helping. Yet.

The clutter of a home with children seems to consume everything in sight sometimes. I can't stand it. I was never a clutter-lover before kids and I'm sure as heck not one now it's just that most days I surrender to it. But then...things sneak up on me (emotional, physical, imagined, whatever...) and I feel completely overwhelmed by all the responsibilities that are my life. Since it's so chaotic *inside* me, I try to regain control by cleaning up what is *outside* of me.

And so I clean. Or, more accurately, declutter and reorganize. And I hope it helps.

(side note to Dakota: Thanks for taking the last remaining plant to work with you. You have no idea what a relief it is not to see it sitting on the kitchen counter. So really - thanks!)

Interesting....

...and again...I'm just saying.



Click on it, make it larger, take a good long look....and then pass it around.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday Night

I've got nothing but instead of surfing the web and making myself crazy(er) I thought I would post something. As I was waiting for the page to load I reached over to grab the password/user name file so I could add some information for a message board I am working on putting together. When I flipped it over I saw something that stopped me in my tracks - a sticky note with unfamiliar writing. Well - not really unfamiliar but I'm not used to seeing it around the house just yet. Kelton had written down his password and user name for a new game he found and had been playing and then he put the note in the folder. Funny!

There it is, little boy writing on a sticky note. The first time of what I'm sure will be many, many.

First times are so sweet and special though. My little boy is writing down his important things all by himself. Wild. And crazy.

And he is reading like no one's business. And math? Don't get me started. He has yet to bring home a paper from school with anything less than 100% or a big smiley face. He whips through his week's worth of homework in less than 10 minutes and he actually said "Mom. Don't help me. I can do it."

Did you hear my heart break a little? Yeah, it did. I know he will need me at some point but for now, he's got it. Bittersweet, this parenting stuff. I'm thrilled for him, sad for me but mostly thrilled for him.

Dakota should be home around 8:30-8:45 tonight. It's an early night. *cough cough* Well - early when you compare it to 10:15, I guess. Tonight though I am particularly excited that she is coming home early because Boston Legal started last night and I cannot wait to watch it. To make me even more giddy, the 4th season DVD set of Boston Legal arrived in my mailbox today! It's Boston Legal overload - wahoo!!!! Of course, given Dakota's study and class schedule, not to mention the regular TV season, we probably will be watching the season 4 set all the way to Christmas. Still - very exciting.

I'm totally rambling. That happens sometimes you know - especially when a person is tired and overloaded. Oh - and did I tell you how the dogs are driving me crazy tonight? Geez lousie! Every two seconds they decide to bark, rough house, growl at each other or chase a cat. I am SO tired of it. Nights like this I swear I'm going to put them on the porch with a "Free" sign. Ugh! Hey - I gave away all my houseplants because I couldn't stand the thought if having to take care of one more thing....I just might give them away too.

Ok - probably not. Ok - I wouldn't. But they do drive me to want to take up drinking. I'm just saying.

I should stop before you all start thinking I really *am* drinking. :) Have a good night, ya'll.

PS..I'm not even going to bother with proof reading. Well - I never really do anyway but tonight I'm really not. So there. :)

A New Look - for a while at least

Did you notice the new header? Yeah well - I mostly did it to amuse one of my friends who jokingly mentioned that I should change the name of the blog to "I'm Just Sayin'" but who knows how long I'll leave it up. So Brenda - are you properly amused? :)

Now that I'm back into the digi-scrapping mode, who knows how often I'll create a new one. Shake it up a bit and all that. Maybe I'll change it as often as I change my air purifier filter. (Of course, that would imply I have an air purifier, which I don't. Not that we couldn't use one with all the dirt and dust the dogs bring into the house.)

But changing my header - that seems doable and fun! :) Who knows what I'll come up with.

You Tell Me

I'm just saying.....



Out of touch with the struggles of lower and middle class America? You tell me. I guess I wouldn't really care all that much about the state of the economy if I had 8 houses and an entire fleet of vehicles. Strong economy? Yeah I guess you might feel that way if you were in his shoes.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Revamped Page

I think I like this version better than the first. :)


credit: Star Brite by Shawna Clingerman and Lauren Grier


Of course, now that I look at them both - I think I like them both but for very different reasons. Isn't it weird how they can look so completely different?

New Stuff

This weekend I found myself getting some new stuff and new stuff tends to make me giddy. I rarely ever get new things as I seem to spend the "stuff getting" funds on the kids but I was wanting to get a cordless mouse for my laptop (you know - for all the scrapbooking I did this morning. Hee hee.) because the one we bought from eBay almost two years ago was well..really awful to use. So it was off to Best Buy we went!

I found the perfect cordless mouse for me. It's pink. I have no idea who makes it. I have no idea on the reviews. It's cute it's pink and it was less money than oh... say... Ferrari parts. And that was good enough for me. :) They did actually have these really funky mice (mouse-es?) that fold in half like a cellphone and while they were fun looking and feeling, I just couldn't justify $50 for a mouse when I could easily get one to do what I need it to do for around $20. Kelton was disappointed that I didn't get the cool one but hey - I'm pretty darn happy with my pink one.

Dakota needed to a new jump drive so we ended up getting a 3-pack set which means I had one to jump my scrapbooking stuff over to my laptop for today's "Excellent Scrapping Adventure".

New stuff is fun! :)

Digital Scrapping

What do you need to start digitally scrapbooking? A computer, Internet access (at least to download kits but once they are on your computer, you don't need access to the web to use them) and some sort of program that will allow you to work with graphics. I use Photoshop Elements.

Here are some helpful links to get you started:

How to make a basic layout:

A list of tutorials for Photo Shop Elements

ScrapGirls.com Learn lots of fun tricks!

Freebie kits can be found all over the place. The best way to find some is to type in "free digital scrapbook" or "Freebie digital scrapbook" into your favorite browser. To get you started, you can always visit Shabby Princess. When you are ready to buy a kit (or two or three or four), there are tons and tons of digital scrapbooking stores on-line to visit. One of my favorite designers, Shawna Clingerman, sells her kits through Sweet Shoppe Designs. The kits range in price but seem to hang out around the $7 range. The really nice thing about digi-kits is even if you use the elements and papers, you still have them because you are only copying them into your project. So that $7 can stretch a very long way. :)

Hmmm...what else? I know for some people digi-scrapping is a no-go because they love to touch all the elements/embellishments and papers and that's great but for me, I love digi scrapping because I can manipulate things, change things easily, resize, etc. For me - it's easy, fun and I love it! I can't believe how long I've been away from it - and I can't believe how good it feels to be back doing it. Just like coming home! :)

(And if you haven't seen them yet, I did five new pages this morning. Scroll down and take a look. :) )

Five New Pages from this Morning

My friend, Jeri, and I decided to get together this morning for some scrap-time while her two girls and Kaylen played. I was amazed what how much I accomplished in 2.5 hours. WOW!! Check them out!


Color My Mood by Shawna Clingerman, Lauren Grier



Credit: Princess of LaLa Land by Shawna Clingerman


Credits: Pile of Scribbles and Funk by Shawna Clingerman


Credit: Boys Rawk by Mindy Teresawa


credit: Out Loud by Shawna Clingerman



For the Undecided Voters

If you're undecided, what you should really be basing your vote on is how you feel on the issues and how your feelings match up to the candidates. For example:
- given what happened to the market this week, are you glad our social security isn't tied up in the market? If so, vote Obama who is against privatizing SS. If not, vote McCain who was for Bush's plan and still is.
- given the fact that deregulation was a huge factor in the market's collapse this week, do you want someone who is against regulation? Then vote McCain. Want common sense regulation? Vote Obama.
- do you feel that women who are raped and girls who are victims of incest who become pregnant during the crime should be further punished by being forced to bring this pregnancy to term? If so, vote McCain/Palin. If not, vote Obama.
- do you feel that there is a certain amount of common sense gun control that belongs in place, like keeping "cop killer bullets" off the streets? Then vote Obama. If you believe there should be no weapons restrictions at all, vote McCain/Palin.

I could go on and on, but there are huge differences between the candidates and their stances. So, if you really are undecided, take a deep look at the issues you care about and do research (i.e. not talk radio, but reading) and you'll be able to figure out who you match up with best.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

L'il Gardener Girl

From My Friend Jen

Hello all!

I have a couple more updates on my Examiner.com site; most recently an essay on the subprime mortgage crisis fallout on Wall Street. Click, read, comment, and tell your friends.

Economics of suffering

Thank you all for your support.

- Jen

Friday, September 19, 2008

For Emily

This post is mainly for Emily since she asked the question in her comment a few posts down but the response is just too long to leave back in the comment section. I did not do the research all myself - I had some help but here it is. For everyone else - if you don't want to read through all this data, scroll down and see the new scrapbook page I did. :)

But wait - there's more: If you are one of my readers who are leaning toward the conservative side, please read this. Just some food for thought. Thanks!
**********************
Emily,
Whoever told you Obama hasn't passed any legislation lied to you. But good for you for researching and finding out the truth for yourself! Here are some facts for you.

P.S. If you're worried about corruption and lobbyists (especially considering what happened in the financial markets this week) you should read up on the Savings & Loan Scandal of the 80's and the five senators involved. They were called the "Keating 5" and McCain was 1 of the 5. Anyway, here are the facts on Obama's accomplishments:

Highlights of Obama's Strong Record of Accomplishment in the U.S. and Illinois Senate

- The Obama/Feingold bill. Obama Was A Key Player In Assembling And Passing The 2007 Ethics Reform Law, Which Curbed The Influence Of Lobbyists And Was Described As The "Most Sweeping Since Watergate."

- In 2006, Obama was an original cosponsor of a bill to create a "Google-like" database of information on federal spending. So Americans can see where their money goes. He got it passed. The database is here.

- Obama Passed Into Law Legislation Requiring Lobbyists To Disclose Their Bundling Activity, Making Him Unpopular Even Among Other Democrats. Obama sponsored an amendment to require lobbyists to disclose the candidates, leadership PACs, or political parties for whom they collect or arrange contributions, and the aggregate amount of the contributions collected or arranged. Obama's amendment was passed by unanimous consent and attached to the Senate ethics bill, which was signed into law on September 15, 2007.

- Obama Passed Illinois Campaign Finance Reform, "Heralded As the Most Sweeping Good-Government Legislation in Decades." In 1998, Obama passed the Illinois Gift Ban that prohibited legislators, state officers and employees, and judges from soliciting or receiving gifts from a person or entity with interests affected by government.

- Obama Passed Law Requiring Comprehensive Nuclear Threat Reduction Strategy To Secure Weapons And Usable Nuclear Material. Senator Obama worked with Republican Senator Hagel on this law. The Obama-Hagel provision is aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism.

- Obama Passed Legislation To Keep Weapons Of Mass Destruction Out Of The Hands Of Terrorists. In 2006, Obama was an original co-sponsor of legislation to expand U.S. cooperation to destroy conventional weapons. It also expands the State Department's ability to detect and interdict weapons and materials of mass destruction. The legislation was included in an appropriations bill that was later signed into law by the president.

- Obama Passed Law to Promote Relief, Security, and Democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

- Obama Passed Bipartisan Legislation That Expanded Health Care Coverage To 154,000 Residents, Including 70,000 Children. In 2004, Obama sponsored and helped pass legislation that expanded and made permanent Illinois' KidCare program so that all children in Illinois have healthcare.

- Obama Passed A Bill To Create Hospital Report Cards To Assist Consumers; The Bill Was Sponsored By Members Of Both Parties. Obama was the chief sponsor of Hospital Report Card Act.

- Obama Passed An Amendment Into Law That Pressured The EPA to Comply With New Lead-Paint Regulations After Seven Years of Delay. In 2005, Obama passed an amendment, which became law, to the FY 2006 Department of Interior Appropriations Act prohibiting the use of funds in the bill to delay or contravene implementation of an existing but unmet statutory requirement passed by Congress in 1992 that the EPA rewrite regulations on dispersal of lead paint by home remodeling contractors by October 1996. This law protects children!

- Obama Passed A Law Requiring The Defense Secretary To Report On The Pentagon's Efforts To Prepare For Military And Civilian Personnel For A Possible Influenza Outbreak.

- Obama Passed Legislation Providing $25 Million In Funding For Avian Flu Research And Containment Efforts. Obama's amendment called for a stockpile of antiviral drugs and necessary medical supplies to combat and contain an outbreak.

- Obama Passed Health Care Justice Act. In 2004, Obama was chief sponsor of bill creating the Health Care Justice Act, providing that the State of Illinois shall implement a health care access plan that provides uniform benefits for all Illinois residents.

- Obama Passed Legislation Creating A Tax Credit For The Installation Of E-85 Fuel Pumps. Under Obama's legislation, gas stations would get a tax credit to install equipment accommodating E-85 - an ethanol-based fuel alternative that its promoters say is up to 50 cents cheaper per gallon than unleaded gasoline.

- Obama Passed An Amendment Into Law To Fund Research For Hybrid/Flex Fuel Vehicles.

- Obama Passed Into Law An Amendment Establishing A Grant Program To Support Summer Curricula That Emphasize Math And Problem Solving. In 2007, Obama sponsored an amendment, which became law, to the America Competes Act that established a competitive state grant program to support summer learning opportunities with curricula that emphasize mathematics and problem solving.

- Obama Passed An Amendment, Which Became Law, Preventing The VA From Conducting A Review Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Cases Aimed At Reducing Benefits.

- Obama Passed Legislation, Which Became Law, Improving And Increasing Services For Homeless Veterans. Obama's SAVE Act and Homes for Heroes Act.

- Obama Passed Legislation Extending Tax Credits For Military Families By Allowing Service Members Deployed In War Zones To Apply Non-Taxable Combat Pay To The EITC.

- Obama Passed An Amendment, Which Became Law, To Require The VA To Conduct A Campaign To Inform Disabled Vets Of Disparities In Compensation And Explaining Their Rights To Seek Review.

- Obama Passed Death Penalty Overhaul Package. Obama was the chief co-sponsor of the Capital Punishment Reform Study Committee Act, which would let judges rule out a death sentence for someone convicted solely on the testimony of a jailhouse informant, accomplice or single witness.

- Obama Passed Law To Require Videotaped Interrogations In Capital Cases. This law helps prosecutors prove that confessions were not coerced.

- Obama Passed Law Creating $100 Million Earned Income Tax Credit, Formed A Political Alliance Of Republicans And Democrats To Pass The EITC. Obama sponsored and passed a bill that amended the Illinois Income Tax Act to create the earned income tax credit.

- Obama Passed Law Creating The Illinois Temporary Assistance For Needy Families Program. Obama was a chief co-sponsor of the bill, which created flexibility for victims of domestic violence, set a five-year limit for receiving public assistance, banned anyone convicted of a serious drug-related Class X or Class 1 felony from ever receiving assistance, required that all recipients develop a personal plan for self-sufficiency, and listing the steps they will take to move from welfare to work.

- Obama Passed A Bill Requiring Advance Notice Of Mass Layoff And Plant Closings. Obama was the chief sponsor of the bill requiring employers to give 60 days advance notice of mass layoffs or plant closings to state officials to ensure timely unemployment assistance for workers.

- Obama Passed Whistle-Blower Protection Law. Obama was the chief co-sponsor of the bill, which prevents employers from prohibiting an employee from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency if the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of State or federal law.

- Obama Sponsored Law To Protect Overtime Pay To Counter Bush Restrictions. Obama was the chief sponsor of a new law that exempted Illinois from the new federal overtime rules and protected overtime pay for thousands of our state's workers.

- Obama Passed Legislation Prohibiting the Department of Homeland Security From Entering Into Open-Ended, No-Bid Contracts For Emergency Response Activities. Senator Obama worked with Republican Senator Coburn on this legislation, which will stop the abuse of no-bid contracting in the aftermath of a disaster.

- Obama Passed An Amendment Into Law Creating A National Family Locator System. In 2006, Obama passed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations Act that required the Department of Homeland Security to create a centralized family locator system through which family members can contact their lost loved ones during disasters. The amendment, which was signed into law as part of the final version of the bill, was based on legislation Obama introduced immediately after Hurricane Katrina.

For even more information, check this out.
http://factcheck.barackobama.com/factche....d_of_accomp.php

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Scrapping Good Time



I haven't scrapped in - oh about a million years and I am as rusty as they come in regards to my creativity but I just had to take a break from reality tonight and figured I would try my hand at creating *something*. Anything.

So here it is. I created. Now I just have to find my groove. I've missed it. I wonder if I can remember how to do all those cool things I used to do. *sigh*'

Shout out to Shawna....are you proud of me? :)

Interesting

I've been wondering about all the things the news media *isn't* reporting and feeling like maybe they are missing (deliberating?) telling us about significant events.

Like this: ‘Alaska Women Reject Palin’ Rally is HUGE!

Makes you wonder, doesn't it? This rally was massively better attended than the (small) 'Welcome Home' rally that news reported on many times and in great lengths.

Interesting, don't you think? And umm..if the women in your own state show up with such force to protest against you....well...you just have to wonder what is going on.



And yes, I know I've been focused on politics lately. I even got an email today from a (previous) lurker on my blog saying "Why do you care so much?" My response: "My question back is 'Why don't you?'"

Worth the Time

I just watched a short video of Barack Obama talking about how he's going to get our economy back on track.

He's offering real solutions.

Watch the video. It's worth your time. (this link will take you to Barack Obama's website. I went out and found it on YouTube so you can just sit back and watch it right now without moving an inch.

Thanks.

Just for Laughs

I know, I know...you will all be glad when the election is over so I can stop posting political things. Just a few more weeks people. Then it will be all over but the crying - though hopefully not for my side. :)

Dakota forwarded this to me yesterday and it made me laugh so I'm passing it along. Enjoy!

"There are only a couple months until the election, an election that will decide the next President of the United States ...

The person elected will be the president of all Americans, not just the Democrats or the Republicans.

To show our solidarity as Americans, let's all get together and show each other our support for the candidate of our choice.

It's time that we come together, Democrats and Republicans alike.

If you support the policies and character of Barack Obama, please drive with your headlights on during the day.

If you support John McCain, please drive with your headlights off at night.

Thank you for your participation."

Aren't these cool?


Ok seriously - aren't these pretty cool and funky? My friend, Brenda, made them for a prize in a Bunco game but when I saw them I said "You should really sell these! I'm sure there are eco-aware people out there who would love to buy one of these re-usable coffee cozies for their cup o' joe. "

Am I right, people? Just think of the design options! :)

Calling All Women to VOTE!

Oh my gosh - this shook me to the core. I have to confess that I know *nothing* of the ins and outs of the women who not-so-long ago fought hard to give the rest of us women the right to vote. Nothing. I knew nothing.

I think I received my "big history lesson" on the subject from Mary Poppins. Sad.

Lynilu posted this on her blog. You must read it. And remember all that was done so that you, as a woman, have the right to make your choice on each and every election day. (And I am proud to say that I have missed not a single election since I was 18 years of age. Not a single election. No matter how "small".)

Let your voice be heard, women. Let it be heard. There is just no excuse good enough to not vote.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday

Crazy day. We left the house at 9:30 after getting Kelton off to school and we didn't get back until 2:45 this afternoon. We were out and about running errands for the morning and then this afternoon we went to Kelton's school to work on a last minute fund raising project.

Just as we were about to leave this morning an emergency call for help email came through from the PTO president. Last night he got a call from the the distributor of The PayBack Book that our shipment was being delivered to the school in the morning. PayBack is a coupon book that is area specific and targets differently than, for instance, The Entertainment Book. (For us, the area's Entertainment Book focuses on Portland and since that isn't my city we rarely use anything from it and therefore don't buy the book.)

Apparently last years PTO president signed a contract for the fund raiser but the notes were not transferred to the new president and it fell through the cracks. Ironically, we had just decided last week not to do fund raisers where the kids have to go to friends, neighbors and relatives to sell things. But... the contract was signed and in place and we have no choice but to follow through on this one.

So after running around this morning, Kaylen and I headed to the school. Besides me and the president, two other people showed up to help and we whipped it all together in just about an hour and a half. I was impressed with the level of teamwork - it's as if we had been working together from a long time instead of just meeting today. Everything is done and waiting to go home with students on Friday. Now I just have to try to find people to buy a few books which is easier said that done but I'll do the best I can.

The (not so) funny part in all this is that I bought this exact same coupon book 10 days ago from a mom in my moms club. Oh the irony!

After finishing at the school, Kaylen and I raced home so I could get stuff put away and some chores in the house done before Kelton arrived home from school.

Phew! What a day!

But here is a really bright spot; Kaylen's sunflowers are starting to bloom! This little girl of mine has had a stellar year for gardening. Her Marigolds are still growing and blooming, all the veggies she help Dakota plant are doing well, her Zinnias are amazing and her pumpkins...well....they are there but I doubt they will be orange by Halloween. Next year we'll plant them earlier.

But check this out - isn't it cool? She is sooooo proud of herself!

Protect Women's Health

George W. Bush has launched a new assault on birth control and reproductive freedom.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently proposed regulations that could seriously undermine access to basic reproductive health services -- including birth control and abortion.

Instead of striking a careful balance between individual religious liberty and patients’ access to reproductive health care, the Bush administration has taken patients’ rights and their health care needs out of the equation.

This far-reaching proposal doesn’t need congressional approval. But, it can’t go forward without allowing for public comment. That’s where you come in.

The deadline for public comments is fast approaching -- September 20 -- and we have to generate intense opposition to these dangerous regulations.

I just sent HHS my comment urging them to stop efforts to block women's access to basic reproductive health services. You can do the same here.

And in case the link doesn't work; here is the address:
http://action.aclu.org/hhs_comment

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Seriously, People? SERIOUSLY??

Take directly from Newsweek
It was a mainstay of Jim Crow segregation: for 100 years after the Civil War, Southern white Democrats kept eligible blacks from voting with poll taxes, literacy tests and property requirements. Starting in the 1960s, the U.S. Supreme Court declared these assaults on the heart of American democracy unconstitutional.

Now, with the help of a 2008 Supreme Court decision, Crawford vs. Marion County (Indiana) Election Board, white Republicans in some areas will keep eligible blacks from voting by requiring driver's licenses. Not only is this new-fangled discrimination constitutional, it's spreading.


And... this little tidbit that is probably flying under the radar of the greater masses:

If losing your home wasn't enough in this oh-so-wonderful economy in Michigan, a key swing state, if you have lost your home to foreclosure, they are trying to keep you from voting. Today a law suit was filed in this case.

Wow. People. Seriously? This is 2008!!! Are we, as Americans, really going to stand for this kind of crap from the GOP?

Wow. What a proud, proud moment in American history. (And I do hope you caught the sarcasm dripping from that last sentence.)

Side note: Did you know that GOP stands for "Grand Old Party" as in "the good ol' boys". I didn't. I had to Google it because honestly, what I kept coming up with in my mind wasn't very nice. :)

When you cast your vote, when you vote for the Republican side in Novembers critical election, the above two examples of completely objectionable behavior are just a few of the tactics to which you are giving your overwhelming approval. Seriously? Deep in your soul, is that the kind of person you want to be? Weather you say you agree with a party's platform/beliefs or not, giving them your vote tells the world, and the person you are giving your vote to, that you absolutely approve of it.

Your vote speaks loudly. Use it wisely.

Note to Self

When someone looks obviously upset and, when asked, says "I just have a lot of stress...a lot going on and I'm really, really tired." it's probably best NOT to let them hack...err cut your hair.

I'm just saying.

It'll grow, right? Cuz right now, I'm not all the sure. *sigh*

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Won't Regret It

Tonight I did something I told myself I wouldn't do; I let the kids skip a bath on a school night. I'm OK with skipping on the weekend but normally I am strict with the "it's a week night and you are going to have a bath so I can have you both start the day clean and fresh." line of action. I'm not a fan of the stinky kid smell, you know?

Tonight I let them skip. And I don't regret it for a second.

It was one of those moments that is perfect in every way and one that I want to remember for the rest of my life. All three of us lumped together like a pile of kittens on one half of the couch (a dog was taking up the other half) as we flipped through photo books and scrapbooks. The kids were so absorbed with every word I read and the stories I told of when they were babies. It was truly like a magic spell had been cast upon us.

It was one of those perfect, perfect moments.

Baths can wait. Memories in the making cannot.

She's Just Too Much

This weekend while we were eating dinner, Kaylen looked at Dakota and said "What's the word on the street?" We, amazed and amused, said "What did you just say?"

She repeated it: "What's the word on the street?"

It took us a while to learn that it's the new catch phrase (or segment?) of Sesame Street. :)

Today she hit me with "And speaking of English....". And that was it. Over and over and over. "And speaking of English..." to which I would reply "Yes? What about English?" She'd give me this cockeyed look as if to say "What are you *talking* about, you crazy woman!?"

This is one crazy, nutty, funny and wild girl. She keeps me laughing so while she's not exactly a trip to the Mykonos villa rentals she keeps me going just the same. :)

Check Me Out - I'm Special!



Thanks to Fern over at Candle at Both Ends for this prestigious award. :)

What, you ask, did I do that so impressed her? Well now - that would be the posting "The World Wants Obama" I have to say, it's a darn nice feeling that people read, and like, what I had to say. So thanks, Fern. It means a lot to me.

As the rules state, I am allowed to pick blogs to pass on the award. I am going to choose three blogs that are special to me. They are all parenting blogs and appear here in no particular order:


Finding Chaos
These women are busy raising three infants (a singleton and twins 5 months apart) while both working in demanding fields. Now if they can manage to keep it together, than I can certainly do the same with my two (three years apart in age). I'm so blown away by their family. Amazing!

It's Taking a Village
I found them by "happy accident" right after their son was born. (I followed a link on someones blog) He was a very sick little boy but I am happy to report that he is doing very, very well now. This family has been through things most can only envision and yet, they have come through it, albeit forever changed and a little scarred, together and strong.

Pieces of Gray
This blog belonging to an amazing woman who struggles daily with the legalized loss of her daughter, an amazing step-son and the journey to adding another child to their lives. Keri is the non-bio mother of a beautiful girl who the courts took from her when they awarded full custody (with no visitation) to the birth mother who claimed "I'm no longer gay and do not want my daughter around this person who, along side of me, dreamed of her, helped bring her into the world and raised her for years". Yet another compelling and heartbreaking reason why second parent adoptions must be made legal in all states. No mother, no parent should lose their child for the reason of "no legal relationship".

Enjoy your awards! :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Yes, They Are For My Own Amusement

It's true. I use the children for my own amusement. Lately Kaylen has been burping a lot. As in all. the. time. And they have gotten progressively more "on purpose" because she has discovered how to make herself burp.

So yesterday, after about the fifth burp in a row and her laughing hysterically, I began thinking "Wow. So much for being a sweet delicate little thing."

Light bulb moment for self-enjoyment.

I taught her to say "I am a delicate flower." after she burps. :) For some reason, I find this very, very funny.

And yes, we talked about how it was just a family funny thing and around other people she still needs to politely say "excuse me". I'm not *that* bad of a mother. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Indeed!

Isn't this the parental dance?

Do what I say and not what I don't even realize I do to you.

I've said things of this nature - you know, treat people with respect and then I turn around and am harsh with my babies. *sigh* Being a role model is much more difficult than it looks, isn't it?

The Darn Birthday Party - Again

The drama is almost too much.

Last night, after arriving home from my first PTO meeting (Parent Teacher Organization: more on that another time) we discovered a birthday party invitation wedged in the door. You guessed it. The neighbor boy. Ugh.

It irritated me so much - I just can't even tell you. The party was 36 hours from the time we opened the invitation. The invitations at school were handed out last Friday. Yesterday was Thursday. Can you say "after thought"? You know - because Kelton wouldn't have already noticed the other kids getting their invites last week and well..neither would I since I was at the bus stop with the boy *and* his father the day he took them to school.

So fine and dandy. Whatever. I have the urge to boycott on principle. My principle. Which isn't fair to Kelton. I hate that sometimes I have to rise above and be the bigger person when really what I want to say is "For the love of all that is fair and right.....this is ridiculous and we will not be a pawn in whatever game your son is playing." But there is Kelton to consider. He was overjoyed that the invitation arrived and, bless his heart, tried his best to convince me/him/whoever that he wasn't left out, just "saved for last". He, being of pure heart, doesn't see it the same way I do.

So today, in addition to the other 5,000 things I need to get done, I have to find time to go to the store to spend money I don't want to spend on a gift I don't want to buy.

But I will because it is the right thing to do for my son. Even though I don't want to.

But I'm still pissed about the whole thing.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ballet and Tap Class

Today was the first ballet and tap class for Kaylen. This day has been months and months in the waiting and all morning I heard "Is it time, yet?" "Can we go now?" Finally - it was time. We drove the 15 minutes to the neighboring town to the only place around who will teach there year olds. We walked up to the door and Kaylen excitedly jabbered on and on and on. We meet her teacher and... for some reason she melted into a puddle of hysteria. Oh the tears! I carried her back to the room talking softly about "let's just go see the room" and "I think you're going to like it once you see the other little girls here" and anything else I could think of to keep her sheer panic in check. I could see the $58 tuition fee flying up, up and away and I so didn't want her to fail herself. I couldn't help but feel her pain though. We were the first ones there so I held her and walked around the room, talking about everything I saw. Finally she raised her wet little face off my shoulder to look. Others started to arrive and most of them were saying things like "I don't want to do this." "Let's go home." and other things of the like. Kaylen started to sob again begging me to take her home. I stood my ground for a few minutes and tried to talk her into her ballet shoes. The teacher came over and asked her what color tu-tu she would like but Kaylen buried herself further into me and kept repeating "I want to go home! Please!" Her teacher said "You know, if she would like she could just watch today while she sits on your lap." Kaylen's head tentatively raised an inch or so. I asked if she would like that and she nodded yes. Then she choose the purple tu-tu.

She hated her ballet shoes. Which is odd since she has gone through three pair exactly like them at home. I put my hand in them though to find that along the stitching there were hard places that poked my hand. Great. There goes another $18. I'd have to try to fix them to her satisfaction later. I let her go without shoes. We went up to the front of the room where the other little girls on the verge of breakdowns were sitting on laps in the circle and we joined. Little by little she started joining in for the warm ups. Slowly I backed up until I was a good two feet away. Other mothers were doing the same with their daughters. Kaylen remained hesitant but I quietly cheered her on and before long, she was participating and having fun! I was so happy I could have cried! Then out came the tap shoes. She happily put her pair on and all the girls noisily traipsed around the room. Oh my goodness - far and away the 15 minutes of tap was my favorite part! The girls were so happy to be making noise and Kaylen was animated and happy. I took some photos though they aren't very good. But seriously? Isn't she just the cutest? :)

September 11th



This day always brings me to my knees. I remember in vivid detail every minute of that day from the moment the radio snapped on to wake us for the day. I remember the view I could see from my bedroom window. I can still hear Dakota rustling around in the kitchen as she fed the dogs. I can hear the radio DJ as he began to share the confused tale of not knowing what was happening.

I remember being in a daze and wanting to retreat into my office when I arrived at work. I remember how panicked everyone around me sounded. I remember my supervisor coming to my desk to tell me that she thought I should go home. Now. She was the only one who knew I was 11 weeks pregnant with Kelton. I remember calling Dakota, who worked on the floor below me, and relaying the message. We gathered up our stuff and went home, stopping at the grocery store to pick up some food. The clerk recommended alcohol and we all laughed a very uncomfortable nervous and scared laugh.

I remember sitting on the couch watching it over and over and over trying to make sense of it until we just couldnt' watch anymore. We didn't talk. There was nothing to say. Our hearts were breaking for people we'd never met. And we were terrified - just like the rest of the country. And we cried. Oh how we cried for what was happening.

I remember the silence of the skies. All planes were grounded immediately and the silence of the overhead flight pattern was deafening. The whole world felt quiet as we all stayed inside our homes and with our families.

So on this, the 7th anniversary of September 11, 2001 I want to say I REMEMBER. I will never forgot.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The World Wants Obama

If you have been reading articles and commentaries from around the globe you would know that the world is indeed waiting for America to wake the hell up.

Here is an article from the Guardian in the UK. The absolutely terrifying part in all this is I am so, so afraid he is right. I am in shock that American women would be so taken in by the Republicans putting a female on the ticket. Just that fact alone, never mind who she is what she stands for, has increased the polls in favor of the McCain ticket.

The feeling is familiar. I had it four years ago and four years before that: a sinking feeling in the stomach. It's a kind of physical pessimism which says: "It's happening again. The Democrats are about to lose an election they should win - and it could not matter more."

***

More troubling was the ABC News-Washington Post survey which found McCain ahead among white women by 53% to 41%. Two weeks ago, Obama had a 15% lead among women. There is only one explanation for that turnaround, and it was not McCain's tranquilliser of a convention speech: Obama's lead has been crushed by the Palin bounce.


My female American people; you cannot be serious!! A good number of you are falling for this crap hook, line and sinker. Just like they knew you would. So.. you are willing to throw away this enormous chance of CHANGE because Palin is a woman? Really? Are we really that shallow? Because from what I stand we aren't seeing much substance there.

Yes, she a mother. Yes, she's a working mother. Yeah yeah, she's Governor of Alaska. I'm sure she is a darn nice person. That does not mean she is the right person to help govern this nation.

People, the world is waiting. They watched us, as a nation, screw this up two other times in recent history. If the freaking WORLD is rooting for us to make the right choice by electing Obama then why the hell can't we see that for ourselves? And I mean "we" as in the majority who will make or break this coming election.

So this is my call to you, my challenge as it were.....if you are planning to vote for the dark side** ...eeerrrr I mean for the Republican party I would like to ask, implore, beg that you examine your motives carefully. Are you voting Republican because you always have? Because your parents were Republican so you feel you are as well? Because your pastor is saying Democrats will go to hell and encouraging you to vote a certain way (and yes, it's happening)? Because your spouse/partner is voting that way so you may as well to? Are you voting (God forbid) just because there is a woman on the ticket? Are you voting because having a black man as President would make you uncomfortable?

If you are planning to vote for the Republican party for any reason other than you believe their platform 150%, because you honestly believe they are the right party to continue the work of the last 8 years and because you can see success in the last 8 years (as in a great, strong, vibrant economy; a low unemployment rate; a strong housing market; a strong stock market; a strong dollar; happy and proud members of our society; a country who works to better the world; etc.) then by all means, cast your vote.

But if you have doubts....or if you are just out and out voting because there is a woman on the ticket then please, please, please, please do your homework and consider the alternative. Please.

The world is waiting. And watching. And hoping. And praying.

Let's not make this ultra important decision for the wrong reasons. Please.

Please.


(**sorry - I just couldn't help myself. If you know my family and if you have come to love us, like us or at least be entertained by us, then you should know and really understand that the GOP agenda does not have my family in its best interest. Or hell - even as a blip on their radar screen. For them, my family is without value. Did you hear that? They think my family is worthless. Worthless. Sorry - but for me that makes them the dark side.)

A Flower and A Princess

After arriving home for a morning out with a friend, Kaylen and I both noticed something unusual in the patch of vinca that surrounds the big tree in our front yard. A flower. Not just any flower but a crocus (and no, it's not a fall crocus. We have never had any of them.).

And there, surrounding this singular early springtime flower were red and brown leaves of fall.

I guess I'm not the only one confused by the crazy summer weather of cold, wet, hot, dry, cold, wet and hot.


We admired the flower for a while and Kaylen kept saying "How unusual!" which cracked me up. After we finished looking at the flower we moved into the house as Kaylen was quite eager to work on her art project. On the way back from our coffee date, we stopped at the craft store and bought a container of foam stickers (the kids love them and they are only $3.99 for about a million stickers. It's a good deal if you have kids who love to use stickers.) but she couldn't possible work her magic without wearing her princess outfit that we bought to be her Halloween costume. She refused to smile for the camera but I managed to get a few good shots anyway.




I'm not sure today went. I swear I turned around twice and it was time to go meet the bus. I did undertake a project of putting together a photo book of our last beach trip. I've been horrible about printing out pictures or doing anything with pictures for such a long, long time. Mostly, the only thing I do with pictures is post them here, on my blog. I've been having twinges of mommy guilt over that so figured I needed to start working on creating some photo books. The kids (as well as their moms) LOVE to flip through photos from our lives but ever since we went digital (the same month Kaylen was born, incidentally) we have precious few hard copies of photos. Another huge project I need to get working on is copying and pasting the *cough* years worth of blog postings to have books printed up. My goal is to print books so that the kids will have a record of this time of their lives. Dakota gave me an incredible gift a few years ago when she created the first book of the first year of my blog. It sits on my dresser and I see it every day and I love knowing that all the stories from that time are safely stored inside.

I just need to, as the saying goes, "Do It."

Yogurt Covered Raisins

Oh my gosh. I haven't had these in such a long time and I had completely forgotten how good they are. Dare I say "addictive"? I am working on my third handful...eating them like they are some sort of fat burner. A girl can dream, right? But hey - it's not like they are *total* junk. They are raisins and raisins are fruit and therefore good for you.

Right? :)

Pass the bag, please.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Fish Hatchery

And with this post, I am officially up to date! Yay me! :)

Sunday we decided to take a trip up the Columbia River Gorge to the fish hatchery. We've been making this trip once every year since Kelton was three months old and it's one of our favorite day trips. It's so pretty up there and, for a mere $0.25 per handful, the kids get to feed the fish! They love that!

It was a beautiful day and the scenery both up there, there and back again was amazing! Here are a few photos of our day...and yes, Kaylen is wearing her baby in a sling. I had loaned my sling to a friend to use and when it was returned, Kaylen had many questions and seemed very interested in it. She had wanted to take her baby in the stroller to the hatchery but I knew that would be fraught with problems so instead, I fashioned a sling for her and she was in heaven! She was quite cute, too! :)