Thursday, December 31, 2009

And so this is New Year....


Licensed image. DO NOT COPY.
Thank you to Ambrozjo for this photo. :-)

This is the obligatory Thinking-of-the-New-Year. I am trying to figure out what my great accomplishments have been in the past year and the Lennon song "Happy Christmas (War is Over)" keeps going through my head...."so this is Christmas and what have you done?"

I guess the year is mainly a blur for me...other than that I just got accepted to a school that I really want to attend.

On the 29th of last year (2008)....December 29th...I found myself rushing to the hospital. My mother could not get up out of a chair and had to take an ambulance ride. She had bronchitis or something with a lot of fluid....I don't think that was really figured out. She also had diabetes....that she was unaware of. And a silent heart attack. And Stage 4 Breast Cancer with a lump the size of a baseball. So this has been a rollercoaster year really...full of hope and fear....over and over.

The old year has also been filled with:
-----The cuteness that is our Doggie. We are so lucky to have such a beautiful and clever puppy...currently using my leg as a pillow.
-----Helping people. It seems that a lot of people in our life have gone through problems and tragedies in the past few years. This has been the source of a lot of worry.
-----Figuring out goals...of which there are many. Of course, this can cause stress...but also peace.
-----Listening to a lot of music and trying to read more.
-----Going to a job that I hate. The job market is bad here...given the layoffs that have occurred at ALL the places I started to apply to, I am glad that I did not finish the applications. Benefits at my current job got a lot better at the end of the year...because the company I work for is doing well. I am glad that I stuck to my guns...despite the pressure to do otherwise. I hope that I find something that makes me happy in this upcoming year.
-----New thyroid symptoms.
-----A lot of watching the Food Network. I am not part of that trend where people like to just watch it all day....yes, there is a trend where people use it as background noise and then say they are addicted to Food Network. I investigate topics mentioned and try new things.

What I want the new year to be like:
-----For my Mother to go into remission. Please keep this in your thoughts and prayers.
-----I would like to learn about how to identify birds in our yard...and how to attract them there.
-----To have a better relationship with God. To have a life where I have time to do something like praying the Liturgy of the Hours.
-----To have more quality time with Husband.

Monday, December 28, 2009

President Obama's Speech Today

I am not feeling well today and also waiting on some stressful news (regarding my Mother's Breast Cancer possibly spreading). When it came on C-Span, I was able to see Obama's address on the foiled terrorism plot.

I was glad that this was addressed by the President instead of politicians and reporters battling over the issue with no official import from the highest office.

At the end of the speech, the protests in Iran were mentioned...our support of those fighting oppression there was spoken of. I did not like the bit at the end where a reporter tried to turn it into a press conference/confrontation....it just seemed pointless to try to pressure the President when he had just acknowledged that there WAS analysis needed of our Watchlist systems.

-----I feel bad for the father of the young man who was attempting to bring down the plane (his father reported the extremist views that he was observing before this incident).
------I wonder if we would give the terrorist a chance to reform into society if they were from this country.
-----Of course, I am impressed with the actions of the passengers/crew during the flight. It is sad that people now have to be vigilant for violence when taking public transportation. It is also sad that religious holidays are targeted....I am glad that this is now frowned upon for American militaries (I would not want to attack someone on their religious holiday).
-----I wonder what we/Nigeria will do about punishment for this young man.

Complete text of Statement by the President on the Attempted Attack on Christmas Day and Recent Violence in Iran

In My Life....

-----These are the compost bags that we are likely getting for kitchen scraps. They decompose down to water and CO2. I think they are pretty affordable. There are also completely compost-able kitchen bags and lawn clipping bags.
-----Captain Eo is coming back to Disneyland. I would love to see this. I do not know how long it will be staying.....and do not know if we could somehow afford to go. We are planning a vacation to Atlanta in September 2010 to, among other things, see the John Mellancamp/Stephen King musical "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County"....and we have to budget closely for that.
-----I never finished "Julie & Julie" when I got it from the library. I get to now, as one of my Sister-In-Laws bought it for me as a Christmas present. I like Julia Child a lot but do not identify with the real (versus movie personification) Julie Powell that much. I will never be making "Valentine's Day Liver for Two."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

-----Apple and Onion Beef Pot Roast Interesting. I don't think I have ever tasted an apple gravy.
-----Pot Roast Caribe. I have not eaten many Caribbean-inspired foods.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thursday Thirteen......

1.
Mural Wizard
the artblog

2.
I have been watching the Tiger Woods coverage. It is now being said that his wife is divorcing him. I know many talked of her possibly staying for the kids or forgiving him....like Bill Clinton and John Edwards were lucky enough to have their wives do. I was not surprised, that the media is now certain there will be a divorce. I am sure there can eventually be forgiveness....but I have never met a woman who does not live in a culture where multiple marriages are condoned who would likely be able to live with man who cheated with 14 or so woman on a long-term basis. Would you stay with a spouse who cheated with as many people for such long periods of time?
-----This whole thing upsets me as Tiger was a role model to many. I hope that he is able to redeem himself in some way.
-----It comes as no surprise, that there is talk of Tiger Woods appearing on Oprah.


3. What do you think of the plans to move detainees from Guantanamo to Illinois? My thoughts on this are here.

4.
I like the "Livin the Simple Life" blog. There are a lot of really pretty home decor projects presented on this blog. Living the Simple Life inspired me to ask Husband if we could paint our bathroom and kitchen another color....happy to say he thought this was a viable idea.

5. Did you get any freezing rain this week? I hope that everyone reading stays safe throughout the Holiday Season. Drive carefully.


7.


8.
I am doing a quick giveaway. The winner is the first person to respond to this post. I am starting a series of posts about seeking out one's inner child. Life has left me kind of sad lately....just too much stress and not enough stress-relief. I am sighing as I write this. I have been meaning to do this giveaway for a while....and thought I would have so many fun things to contribute....but I don't.
To enter:
-----Leave a comment on this post about ideas for adults/children/both to have child-like fun. Ideas that are low-cost or free would be great.
OR
-----Leave a link to a fun snack recipe.
OR
-----Tell me your thoughts/impressions of Yoplait's kids products.
The winner:
Recieves a insolated bag, color-changing spoon, reusable placemat, a twisty toy,coupon for a free Yoplait Kids' Product (they come in packs). Please make sure there is an email contact or blog address associated with your response....so I can contact you and get your shipping details.
Coupon is not valid in some states including Idaho, Lousiana,Nevada, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Tennessee.
What I thought of Yoplait's Less Sugar Yogurt for Kids:
I bought a six pack of Go Diego Go themed yogurt. The yogurt contained two flavors with three containers of each....Peach and Strawberry Banana. This yogurt was firmer than a lot of yogurt I have tasted. The peach was not particularly sharp....that is a plus for children. I think I might even try to use the peach in some sort of recipe. The Strawberry Banana was a hit with me. I was impressed by the quantity of yogurt one gets for 3 dollars and change.
Thank you to Yoplait, General Mills and MyBlogSpark for providing me with this pack...which made me a little happier. :-)
P.S.
After someone wins, it would still be GREAT to continue this conversation. :-)


10. Recipes:
-----Basil Chicken Over Angel Hair Angel hair is one of my favorite pastas.I love recipes that add small amounts of hot pepper sauce without the hot pepper sauce being the star of the recipe.

11. Days of Our Lives thoughts:
-----I hope EJ isn't really a drug lord. Could he be trying to offset his father in some way? Maybe, his Father is actually the drug lord?
-----I have read spoilers and I would have considered a few other people to be who kidnapped Sydney. I will talk about this after the whole storyline becomes more open.

12. In My Life:
-----I found out this week that I have problems with eating cayenne. This is too bad because many things with cayenne in them taste good....particularly the hot sauce that I was getting when eating Chinese food.
-----Part of my Christmas shopping will need to be done on Christmas Eve. I am stressed by this.
-----I can't decide if I like "The Dresden Files" or not.

13.
SITs is a great way to meet other bloggers.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

-----Bankers who did not show up to meeting with President Obama.
-----A Christmas strike at British Airways will disrupt many travel plans...and will be economically damaging to the company.

-----Besides Obama, who would you nominate for the Nobel Peace Prize? When I decided to think about this, I could not immediately think of anyone....then my first thought was of Bill Clinton. While Bill Clinton has done much for our country, I think it is a sad comment on our media coverage that he, the Dalai Lama and the Pope are the only people I can think of who might be slightly Peace-Oriented. Also, with the Pope, I was thinking more of John Paul.
-----The real people who should be nominated for Nobel Peace Prizes might not even be famous...and have likely done more quietly than many winners of this award.
-----Where have all the John Lennons gone??? Peace is not getting much of a chance lately.

-----I know that President Obama has said that he would give himself a solid B+ grade for his first year in office. I would give him a B with two minuses after it.

Guantanamo, USA.

Photo by Adam.
Licensed Photo...DO NOT COPY outside of License Terms.

Guantanamo is being moved to Illinois. This has me a bit uneasy. I just don't know if it could really be secured. I suppose it is the best thing for those being detained....in light of some of the cruelties visited upon them under previous arrangements. This is a location where more monitoring of the situation can go on. I just worry about the area then becoming a target, pawn for verbal warfare or distraction from other issues.

@DougMeacham pointed out the fact that there are hundreds of people labeled as terrorists already incarcerated (and asked if the terrorists at Gitmo pose a greater risk). I don't know the answer to this...other than the first thing I think of is that some of these people are maybe those committing acts specifically against our government/individual leaders (vs. our country). I guess it would depend on the individuals we were discussing as to whether I think they are a greater threat.

@DougMeacham's comment did make me wonder what the reaction would be if American citizens who threatened the President,etc. were taken to this New Guantanamo. Would such a decision cause more Patriotism in our country or more division?

I know that some who live in the Thomson area will be happy for the jobs this facility brings....but I can't help but think that for some this is another thing to say "NOT IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD" about.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spammers make me exercise.

exerciseforcomments

Spammer "comments" have been helpful lately. I am suffering an influx of Spam comments for many different topics....mainly older posts where it is thought I won't catch them. I think this might not be an effective use of one's time spent on Spamming....but it is benefiting me as far as exercise goes.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Fill-In



1. Good times: _____________.
For some reason this prompt had me craving McDonald's French fries. I think these are the fries that claim to be America's favorite fries.
-----Chip Truck Fries
-----Yuca French Fries
-----Spicy Stir Fry French Fries
-----Rosemary French Fries
-----Perfect French Fries (Emeril)
-----Totally Tangy Baked French Fries

2. _________ my home.
I wish I liked my home. I love how pretty it is...especially the yard,kitchen and porch. I just feel like I am stagnating in my present location. I am trying to find a way to change this....but it just seems to be taking so long.

3. Sleigh bells ring __________.
are you listening? Some bells have the most annoying sound...so I wish I weren't listening. I have a set of bells that I sometimes experiment with playing (Jingle Bell,etc.). I wish that I had a more professional set of bells. Co-workers who obsess over wearing Jingle Bells at Christmas are annoying.

4. _____________ little.
Pray a little. I need to pray a little more and read my Bible more.

5. Once more ______________.
with gusto. Practice makes perfect. Sometimes it is frustrating when you don't know what it is that you need to practice....sometimes a subject is just too broad to easily break it down into approachable goals.

6. ________ end?
Happy

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _____, tomorrow my plans include _____ and Sunday, I want to _____!
Tonight----Watching Wall-E with Husband. I have heard that it is a really good movie. Husband has said that it is kind of boring though.
Tomorrow----Working on finishing my library books. Tidying a closet.
Sunday----Continue to tidy the large closet...mainly full of boxes with books in them.

Participate in Friday Fill-in #154

Monday, December 07, 2009

-----Notable deaths of 2009
-----Are polar bears resorting to cannibalism? When I thought about what was being depicted the two pictures upset me...it is hard to make out what is pictured but upsetting when fully realized.
-----I wonder what the motive for the chicken-licking was. (Thanks to Mick for this link.)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

-----Reality TV show contestants charged with animal cruelty for cooking a rat. One of them is a chef. The penalty for this could be prison time.
-----Man assembles LEGO gun in his office. SWAT team gets called. At least everyone was doing the right thing and doing it well. Strange things happen and I am glad that no one reacted in a way that caused shooting to occur. Here is the man, Jeremy Bell's, account of his arrest. I would hope that I remained that calm when I couldn't see what was going on.....thinking it was a joke might lead to someone's demise.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Bourbon Street Buffalo Wings (recipe). Likely too spicy for most of the palates I deal with (except my own) but I will try these at some point. I usually like anything poblano/ancho.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

My initial thoughts on Obama's speech....

-----Seems to me like we are declaring war a second time. Reminds me almost of a pep rally with it being at West Point (rallying the soldiers).
-----Sounds like President Obama is trying to define what "victory" means....this is good. If the acceptable and responsible ending is not defined, then this war could go on....and on and on.
-----We have been at war now for eight years.
-----I am glad that there was a message to the Afghan people....that we do not take over. I wonder if Afghanistan believes this. I do not know much about how the Afghanistani people feel towards the troops being there.
-----Are we next going after terrorists in Pakistan? It is hard to tell.
-----Acknowledged the comparisons to Vietnam....and said that this is not like Vietnam.
-----I am sure that not everyone in the audience agreed with Obama. I applaud all for giving the respect of listening. I also feel bad for those who disagree...listening in this manner and capacity had to be painful at times.
-----"The need to maintain balance in and among national programs."
-----"We can not afford to ignore the price of these wars."
-----The thing with setting timelines....how do the terrorists feel about our timeline? What exactly happens if we don't meet the timeline???....do we simply leave, does occupation continue, are bigger weapons used?
-----"We must promote our values by living them at home." America will speak out on behalf of human rights....I think this is a delicate stance for us to take (when to get involved and how much involvement is too much).
-----"It is easy to forget that, when this war began, we were united."......I guess that was our pep talk....our call to rally together.

The White House's website has published full text of the speech.

-----Movement to ban divorce in California

:-)



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