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Sunday, September 25, 2011

5 Forget-Me-Nots


message by Dieter Uchtdorf 
design by SugarDoodle

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lip Smackin' Good

One of the many reasons I love this little monkey.



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Garden Tour 2011

Top of the morning! What a beautiful day! Let me give you a tour of the garden.

Here's some of the food Mommy gathered this morning.

We got a couple watermelons thinking about getting big.
Mommy is not pleased with what the aphids have been doing in her Brussels sprouts.

Two of my favorite things are doing my own hair and harvesting the green balls.

Our corn stalks are huge! They're even taller than me!

Mommy has been working on growing 3-legged carrots.

But I think I will stick with the regular old variety.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Falsely Accused Rich

Politics is not an interest of mine. Neither is knitting.

Still, some of the things discussed in politics don't make sense AT ALL to me, while at least in knitting, I can see that some of the complicated loop-de-loops at least create a pretty design.

I do not understand why the increasing population of people living below the poverty line is blamed on those considered wealthy. I must have missed the breaking news report of the Rich People Gang who in one fall swoop went among this country's cities, cornered unsuspecting citizens, and snatched their wallets.

Wealth is not some finite pie in which if one takes a piece it automatically means someone else won't get any. Where the heck did we get this idea?

Last I checked, there has been no law limiting the number of people who are allowed to start their own businesses or side jobs. There has also been no limit placed on how many inventions can be invented and placed in the marketplace. There has been no cap on the number of people the military branches will accept into their fold. I've yet to see a library that has neared the occupancy limit posted on its wall and thus forced to keep some of its patrons from educating themselves.

The old image of rich fat cats sitting in penthouse meeting rooms puffing on cigars as they plan the destruction of the common man is so archaic, but it seems that there are still people and political pundits who believe Mr. Dawes Sr. of Dawes Tomes Mousley Grubbs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank is indeed yanking out the few dollars left in their little hands.

Even if the wealthy are taking advantage of tax deductions for their businesses, it still does not TAKE from the poor and middle classes. So why blame the rich for what the other economic classes do not have?

First off, most people who are rich today were not born rich. That means they are self-made rich. This means they started out as middle- or lower-class and moved UP. How did they get there?

Second, I've heard people argue that the rich pay lower tax rates than middle class members. They yell this loud and clear but fail to point out that the rich still pay most of the taxes in the United States. The top 25% of the U.S. population pay 85% of the taxes while the bottom 50% of income earners pay 3% of the taxes. Who is paying their fair share?

Stop blaming "those greedy rich people" for the poor's and the middle classes' ailments; they are already paying for services and programs which they will never use and paying into a Social Security program from which they will never receive checks. The rich GIVE a lot to this country's citizens in taxes, in jobs, and in charitable donations. I fail to see how they take anything away at all.

Oh wait, I will concede on one point. Rich people do profit off others when the poor and middle class ignorantly purchase whatever gadget/fad/shoe/car/toy is marketed to them. But still, it isn't the rich who open the poor's wallet in the first place.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September Sun

It's September 11th, and my husband is on a plane to Chicago. This morning, when he mentioned where he was going, I asked, "Are you nervous about it?"

"At first, I was, but then I wasn't."

That pretty much sums up how we react to things. We feel the natural reaction, and then we decide to claim our power and rise above it.

Like everyone else, I remember Tuesday, September 11, 2001 and what I was doing (though not appropriate to share here) when David and I got the phone call to turn on the television. We pulled out our wood-paneled clunker from the closet and used a pair of pliers to turn it on. We were glued to the news for hours. What a beautiful release when my husband just after noon turned off the TV and said, "Let's go outside."

The sun was brightly shining and the neighbor's kids were happily playing outside. We were able to breathe again and renew our faith that life still goes on.

And this is how I feel about September 11th anniversaries. I know the pain still sears the hearts of those who lost a family member or close friend to the attacks. (I have a friend who was killed in the ensuing Afghan war, so I have some degree of understanding.) But I honestly believe there is way too much somberness attached to each anniversary. This gives power to the group of cowards whose desire is to instill fear and paralysis.

How I mark the anniversary is by going on with my life with continued resilience, power, and faith. So, when my husband tells me this morning he is getting on a plane today to Chicago, I feel he is a hero.

The rebel in me decides that no matter the attacks on my beliefs, my home, my outlook, I will respond with strengthened testimony, a holier family, and an undeterred hope for the future.

The smoke may billow and curtain the sun for a while, but the sun still is.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Camp Floyd


I had never, ever, ever heard of Camp Floyd, and it is less than a half hour from the house I've lived in for the last 7 years. My husband has apparently been aware of it for some time and this past weekend suggested we go out there for a family activity on this Labor Day.



 I found it most amusing that this place is exactly the thing one would see in a campy movie about a family going on vacation too see random off-route sites: old men in Union uniforms, preteens complaining about not wanting to participate in "dumb" activities, and regular town folks helping out at the local attraction.

My favorite thing hands down was watching my LilDhis as a Union soldier in training. She had no idea what was going on except that she was getting to wear a hat. That was all that was important! Once outfitted, we just stuck her in the line with the other "soldiers" to see what would happen.

Third from the left, she is the tiniest soldier learning military drills.

(Ignore my chuckling-- that's how I sound when I'm trying not to laugh. I did not want to gain the disdain of the instructor, who seemed to be taking his job quite seriously.)

In another video, she decides to march behind the drill instructor instead of in line with her comrades. She was so much fun to watch. I was also surprised that she stuck with the instruction as long as she did.


She was issued a weapon. But soon thereafter, she happened to look past the drill instructor and noticed the playground on the far side of the field.

"Swing!" she exclaimed, and the hat and uniform came off.

The rest of the activities were viewed from the playset.

  David and I recently decided to act on our impressions to go on random family outings and share in a variety of experiences. Thanks, Honey, for helping Mommy to also stretch out of her comfort zone!