Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year and all that jazz, see ya'll next year.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Blasphemous Teddy Bear

What is it about Islam that it inspires such hatred and violence?

The people calling for the death of Gillian Gibbons because she "insulted Islam" are the same people who for the past 5 years have been complicit in the murder of more than 300,000 of their Muslim countrymen because of the color of their skin.

The problem with organized religions is that, whether it be Islam, Catholicism, orthodox Judaism or right wing Christian fundamentalism, it is far too easy for extremists to use a selective interpretation of their religion in order to justify their political beliefs.

I do wonder what has happened to the Teddy though. Forty lashes maybe? A stoning? No wonder so many Muslims want to live in the West.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The War on Christmas

Lou Dobbs has it right, my blogger friend also.

America is losing her culture bit by bit to political correctness. We no longer require immigrants to learn the language, we have to be understanding and caring of their culture, a culture that was so good they left it to come here. Americans are told they cannot have public displays of their religion, or pray in public schools (unless your religion is a politically correct religion such as Islam). I'm not offended if someone wishes me Happy Chanukah or Happy Kwanza, so why should anyone be offended if I say Merry Christmas?

Don't tell me that I can't celebrate Christmas.

Don't tell me that I can't say Merry Christmas.

Don't tell me that a Christmas tree is a "family" tree.

Don't tell me that December 25 is no longer Christmas Day because the United States Code, section 5-6103, states that December 25 is a legal holiday and that legal holiday is called Christmas.

Christmas is a wonderful holiday, it wishes peace on earth and good will towards all, what other holiday makes that wish? If you don't want to celebrate Christmas, don't. But don't tell those of us that do, that we can't.

We are losing the freedom of speech to political correctness, and we are losing the freedom of religion to political correctness.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened at Mass

My brother would have been proud:

In the Catholic Church, after Communion and all the "housekeeping rituals" are complete (washing the chalices and eating the remaining Hosts), the Priest stands and lifts his arms and (kinda) chants "Let Us Praaaay." Well, my brother always muttered "ooootay" (in a kinda chant) under his breath in response. On the day of his burial, the three front rows of pews on both sides of the aisle was all family, so when the Priest said "Let Us Praaaay" we all quietly chanted "ooootay" in unison. The whole congregation seated behind us paused for a split second and then broke up laughing. Even the Priest had to stop and share why we had done that and was laughing himself. I could almost see my brother give us all a "thumbs up" and flash that shit-eating grin of his.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My Brother Ed Passed Away 11/1/07

RIP dearest and best big brother in the known Universe. What am I going to do without you?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Some Halloween Safety Tips

1) Never read a book of demon summoning aloud, even as a joke.
2) Do not search the basement or attic when the power is out.
3) As a general rule, do not solve puzzles that open portals to Hell.
4) When it appears you have killed the monster, never check to see if it's really dead. It isn't.
5) Do not take anything from the dead. No matter how much you like it, it's bound to disagree with you sooner or later.
6) If you find a town that looks deserted, there's probably a good reason for it. Don't stop to look around.
7) Don't fool with recombinant DNA technology unless you know exactly what you're doing.
8) Never stand in, on, or above a grave, tomb, or crypt. This rule also applies to any other house of the dead.
9) If you're running from the monster, expect to trip or fall down at least twice--more if you're female.
10) Beware of strangers bearing strange tools like chainsaws, staple guns, hedge trimmers, electric carving knives, combines, lawn mowers, butane torches, soldering irons, and ice picks.


5.6 Earthquake in California, 8:04pm

When I got to work this morning, the elevators were shut down and we were escorted to our offices by Security. Pictures and books were on the floor, a flower vase I had was smashed beyond repair, and this being an 8-story library, you can IMAGINE what the book stacks looked like. We all helped re-shelve them throughout the day.

They say we've had about 30 aftershocks, with the epicenter being about 9 miles from downtown San Jose, on the Calaveras Fault. I actually live about 60 miles away, on the San Andreas Fault, and felt it fairly strongly at home last night. The Loma Prieta quake (on the San Andeas Fault) in 1989 was 6.9 but this one felt just as strong. No major damage has been reported so far. Lots of stuff tumbling off shelves, etc.

The scariest thing was that for about 10 minutes afterwards, we had no land or cell phone service. The funniest thing was watching (in disbelief) my husband trying to hold up our 100 gallon fish aquarium (which was in no danger of collapsing). I asked him who he thought would win, him or 800 pounds of water? OK, so that's a no brainer!

When you live in Callifornia, you gots to live with earthquakes. Thankfully, all is well.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

California Fires

Since they began Sunday, the fires have burned at least 373,000 acres, or 583 square miles — an area larger than New York City. Fully a quarter of the California coast is ablaze. More than half a million people have been ordered to evacuate across California. 20,000 weary evacuees are huddled inside Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers football team right now. There are at least 17 separate fires, spanning a region from north of Los Angeles to south of the Mexican border. Some of the fires are so vast that they can be seen from space and the smoke so thick that weather radars mistake it for rain clouds. Can you imagine?

Side note: our illustrious leader, Little Boots, said in a news conference today that not only were prayers being offered for those affected, but that we will “send the help of the of the federal government as well.” Now that's a real comfort...Wonder if those words sound vaguely familiar to the victims of a hurricane named Katrina?

I'm about 330 miles north of where the fires are but my thoughts and prayers are with my neighbors to the south.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My brother Ed

My oldest brother, Ed, is 62 years old and losing his battle with inoperable liver cancer (first appearing in his stomach).

It was early September 2006 when he was first diagnosed. I blogged about it last year. Chemotherapy was a real roller coaster ride and has had no lasting effect. He’s had the best Doctors, even some from Stanford University Medical Center. This past Tuesday, he was told he had “a couple weeks.” He probably will not make it to Thanksgiving, maybe not even to Halloween.

The jaundice has returned. He is losing bowel and bladder control and has difficulty swallowing (he has to wears Depends and hates it). He cannot walk or stand alone. He has refused Hospice and does not want to die at home. Morphine is his best friend.

I am going to visit him this weekend. I’m baking his favorite cookies: chocolate chip with toasted pecans. I cannot stand to think that this may be our last time together. I cannot imagine my world without him in it. 62 years, 30 years, 99 years, it all goes too fast! It’s not fair. It’s just not fair!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Did I mention that I love Fall?

Actually, I am addicted to Fall: crisp air, that “autumn blue” sky, raking leaves, freshly picked apples, dried corn stalks, and pumpkin patches. (Note: I could be genetically predisposed as my birthday falls on the first day of Autumn most years.)

My house begins to fill with the scent of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice. Around the end of July, I begin scouring my old magazines for Fall arts & crafts and decorating projects, comfort food ideas, and new baking recipes. I am a woman obsessed! I go down to the basement to begin sorting through my Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations, all carefully packed in plastic storage boxes (I’ll spare you my obsession with Christmas and how I put up 3 Christmas trees each year).

This past Sunday, in honor of my birthday, my husband took me out to breakfast, my favorite meal to have out and also to cook. As we drove south on Hwy 1, along the coast to Moss Landing, overlooking Monterey Bay, I spied my first pumpkin patch of the season. My husband of 30 years knows well my reaction to seeing the pumpkins for the first time and pulled over just in time (he’s really as bad as me) to take in the gorgeous sea of orange and white. Pumpkins of every size imaginable, as far as the eye can see, rolling down to the water’s edge.

Did I mention that I love Fall?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Touched by an Angel

So, yesterday morning I was hurrying through the library (where I work) to the upstairs cafe, trying to get my morning cuppa before the line got too long. A little girl, maybe 2 years old, was being strollered through the security gates by her Mother. I had a lot on my mind and do tend to furrow my brow when deep in thought, but looked up just in time to see her beam me a smile. It stopped me in my tracks. I gave her a short, somewhat embarrassed little smile in return and hurried on my way. Ten minutes later - short line for a Wednesday - returning with coffee in hand, I heard a child yelling "hi" over and over again. Annoyed that some slacker parent was letting their child yell in the library AGAIN (and thinking why weren't they in the children's room instead of the adult browsing area), I looked around for the source: that's when I realized the loud hi's were for me. The same smiling angel was trying to get my attention. Did she know I was going through some difficult times? How did she know I needed a smile and a friendly hello at that moment? So I gave her my best smile and a wave in return because you never know when you're going to be Touched by an Angel.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Riverbend has left Iraq

I have followed the blog of an Iraqi woman who calls herself “Riverbend” since August 2003. She has not written since April 2007. A new post appeared today! Riverbend and her family have made it safely out of Iraq and are now refugees in Syria.

It shames me that it is this country’s fault they were forced to leave their home. I wonder if they will ever forgive us, or if it makes any difference to them that so many of us have been against that ugly invasion from the very beginning.

I'm sorry, Riverbend, for what my country has done to you, and done to Iraq.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Abu Gonzales has resigned

Better late than never. Next?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Four suicide bombings kill 175 in Iraq

Ah, yes, further proof that Little Boots' surge is working.
Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

More Snails and Nails and Puppy Dog Tails...

Our family welcomed a new wee one into the world yesterday: Andrew David (the David in honor of my husband) was 8 lbs, 12 oz. Andrew is the new son of our nephew Richard and his wife Susan. Big sister Reagan isn't sure if she wants to keep him or not...

I'm going to the hospital Friday to "Ooooo and Ahhhhh" over him.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Snails and nails and puppy dog tails"

Jerry Falwell must be rolling over in his grave.

Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, welcomed their sixth grandchild, Samuel David Cheney, Wednesday, May 23, 2007. He weighed 8 lbs., 6 oz and was born at 9:46 a.m. at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C. His parents are the Cheneys’ daughter Mary, and her partner, Heather Poe. White House photo by David Bohrer.

Monday, May 14, 2007

North, to Alaska!

My husband and I are off on our 2nd trek to Alaska, returning on May 25th. I can't explain the beauty or 'majesty,' I've never actually used that word, but somehow it's appropriate (if you've ever been to The Great Land, you'll understand.) We will spend this week in Seattle -my fave BIG CITY (must be all the coffee!) - then sail on Friday. Signing off until we meet again...Peace.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Le Petit Prince

I have begun reading for the upteenth time, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Originally written in French in 1943, there's always been a debate whether this is a children's book or a children's book written for adults. I tend to believe the latter. Having read it for the first time in my early college years at about age 19, it was a life-changing experience- REALLY! (I was also reading Alan Watts and Krishnamurti at this time-ahhhh, those were the days!)

Basically, a pilot crashes in the Sahara Desert and meets an extra-terrestrial -the Little Prince- from planet B612, but the powerful essence of the whole story is spoken by the fox (my favorite character) to the Little Prince: "On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur, l'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux" = "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye." The first time I read that it BLEW MY MIND!

If you haven't read it, check it out at your local public library. If you have read it, read it again this summer, you won't be sorry.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Last Night's State Dinner Menu

Spring pea soup with fernleaf lavender
Chive Pizzelle with American caviar
Newton Chardonnay 2004
Dover sole almondine with roasted artichokes, pequillo peppers and olives
Saddle of spring lamb with a chanterelle sauce and fricasee of baby vegetables
Peter Michael Les Pavots 2003
Arugula salad with savannah mustard and mint romaine in a champagne dressing
Trio of farmhouse cheeses
Rose blossoms
Schramsberg Brute Rose 2004.

I wonder what the survivor's in Greensburg, Kansas had for dinner?

Monday, May 07, 2007

May 1, 2007 -High School Students Walkout in Protest

Isn't it interesting that when such protests are scheduled after school hours, the turnout of student "activists" is usually very small.

Too bad these young "activists" do not understand that their parents came here to make their lives better, and part of that is education.