Saturday, December 31, 2005

My New Year's Resolution...

Looking back upon the last year, examining all my choices and accomplishments, there seemed to be only one conclusion I could come to, with regard to the next path I should take in life. It's not that it's been lacking. After all, I have a wonderful husband, a house full of cats, and a job that hasn't quite yet, forced me to the bottle...not yet. However, despite all these things I have to be thankful for, there is still room for improvement, which leads me to my one and only New Year's Resolution...

I resolve to become more like Wonder Woman.

Now, I know what you're thinking...Come on Cathy, dare to dream! But hear me out. You see, she is my hero...I love her more than anything...she's so smart...and beautiful...and gracious...and everything I could ever hope to be.....

Oh! Uh...Cathy! I didn't see you there! Umm...I was just keeping your blog warm for you, while you get your computer fixed...what am I writing? Uh...nothing...nothing at all...

Yes folks. I'm afraid it's true...I am an imposter. However, little does Cathy know that by asking me to sub for her, while she weeds through her technical difficulties, she is playing straight into my eeeevil plans for ultimate world domination. First this blog - next, maybe yours....MWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA....

The Wonder Woman action figure I sent her for Christmas still does my bidding, and has been very busy, initiating the sabotage that allowed me to assume control of this blog, and Michael's. And don't laugh Rob - you're next!

So, who knows how long Cathy will have me dancing on this stage - I used to get paid for this, Cath! But, for the time being, my mission here is to wish you all a Safe and Happy New Year, from Cathy and Michael...and the house full of cats!

This post brought to you by the smart, beautiful, gracious and maniacal Wonder Woman from A North American Patriot

Come on.... click it...sign it... this will stay at the top for now...

Come on... please.... I'm now averaging 20 whole visits a day (please note the sarcasm in the bold print) and only 5 folks are on my map... including me... come on.... especially you.... you that never leaves a comment... yeah... I'm watching you... I have your IP address... I'm watching... come on!!

Check out our Frappr!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

crash and burn

Our computer has died... you'll know when it is up and running again... Could this have anything to do with Albany, Oregon?????

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Special Christmas Eve Edition:

For Sunday:
Rain Hi 64 Lo 46 for Baghdad, Iraq
Rain Hi 40 Lo 29 for Northern Kentucky

Song of the Week: Christmas in Sarajevo, Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Thanks to Rob for the suggestion)


My friend, Rob has posted the story of the birth of our Christ, Jesus.

"I had an uncle who used to remind me that although this is a joyous time of year, it can be a very sad and lonely time for many. All the declarations of Christmas cheer can be weigh heavy on those who have experienced sorrow in the previous months. The beauty of the true Christmas story is that it is not just a story but the presentation of the best Christmas gift of all, and it is not just available during the holiday season but 365 days of the year - to all people regardless of your of financial situation or any manner of distress you may have encountered in months or years past. It also cannot be taken away by the PC police when they deem that wishing someone "Merry Christmas" may be offensive. Wish me "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" if you would like. I will be truly grateful and wish you a "Merry Christmas" in return. You see, I believe Christmas belongs to everyone. It's a gift that is always there, it is up to you if you seek to accept it."
Go visit Rob for the real Christmas Story.

Be sure to read the following story to your little ones and "not so little" ones tonight. OH, and don't forget, you can track Santa and his reindeer here. Thanks NORAD!

The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse,
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their bed,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads,
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap...
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder* and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled -- his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his teams gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Clement C. Moore

Now, I'd like to take a moment and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. This is a time to be with family and friends and to remember those that can't be with us. I want to thank those of you that have stopped by and said hello over the past 6 months since I started this blog. Michael and I want to share Christmas "cheer" with men like Michael O'Rourke, Capt. B and Major K and countless others. We sleep safe and sound in a most amazing country because of brave men and women like them. I will remember them on this most holy of nights.
I have made some wonderful friends and the goal is to meet all of you--ok... some of you...
I was unsuccessful in getting a video for my favorite Christmas song. I can hear Judy Garland singing it now...The movie was Meet Me In St. Louis, released in 1944.... The movie... I don't even remember the story line, it's been so long since I've seen it, but the song?.... The song transcend the movie. Judy was singing for all of America. You see, we were at war at the time. She was singing for all the wives and girlfriends and mothers and sisters...Their very special someone, was away in a foreign land in unthinkable circumstances... Can you hear the longing in Judy's voice now? Can you hear the melancholy? The words fit today as much as then... Sing it now... sing it with me...

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the yuletide gay
From now on our troubles will be far away
Once again as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more

Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now

Once again as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more

Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now

Happy Christmas to All and to All a Good Night.............




Thanks to:
SmplySoft , 7 Oaks , and Wonder Woman

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Festivus

Mid week song: Go Away, Go Betty Go

The most important holiday of the year is this Friday. Yes... Festivus is upon us once again. As you know, Festivus has been around for a very long time. Here are some of my favorite traditions:

  • Festivus always begins with The Airing of Grievances.
  • At the Festivus Dinner, the entire family gathers at the table. The head of the household reviews the past year and all the disappointments he/she has with each person seated.
  • Christmas has the tree (not to mention that whole baby Jesus thing). Chanukah has the menorah. Festivus has the pole, which must be tall, skinny, aluminum and devoid of tinsel (too distracting) and have a very high strength-to-weight ratio."
  • Feats of Strength is the high point and the final part of any Festivus Celebration.

The Festivus Dinner is the most important part of our holiday celebration. The food must be perfect and since Michael was a chef in a previous life, we are the envy of many estranged relatives (which gives them suggestions for their personal grievances).
I'm so excited about this year's menu, I just have to share:

hors d'oeuvres:

Creamed Corn Tacos (the first taco consumed without corn oozing out and spilling is considered the first Festivus Miracle)

Limburger Cheese and crackers

Skyline Chili Dip (a Cincinnati favorite)

Salad:

Arugula, curly endive, nasturtium salad with vinegar (symbolizes the bitter spirit possessed by all)

Main:

Ham with a Mountain Dew and black strap molasses glaze ('nuff said)

Mashed potatoes (a reminder of all our mashed hopes and dreams)

Asparagus spears (representative of the Festivus Pole- no tinsel)

Braised Bulb Fennel (can't wait to watch our guests squirm when they try to eat this crap)

Dessert:

Fruitcake (but you haven't tried myyyyyy fruitcake....)

I have 2 grievances to share... (I'm saving the best ones for Friday)...

  1. Albany, Oregon guy... You are still creeping me out... make your presence known man... We know your creeping around other places too... we've seen ya over at Michael's, Master Jedi Rob's, and Wonder Woman's.
  2. The left lane is for passing.... GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. OK... 3 grievances.... LEAVE A COMMENT!!!!!!!!!

How do you celebrate Festivus? Have you experienced a Festivus Miracle? I want to know!

HAPPY FESTIVUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to:
CrazyGirl.com, Wikipedia, Seinfeld-fan.net

Musical Suggestions

I'm already panicking over music for this Sunday's blog... I need help... any suggestions? Keep in mind... VideocodeZone has limitations... I know I want something that invokes the spirit of the season... Please, help... I beg on bended knee...

Also, a quick little sidenote... Don't forget the 23rd is Festivus!!! Prepare for The feats of Strength and The Airing of Grievances!!!!

Merry Christmas and Festivus for the Rest of Us!!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Goodbye Mr. A, I'll Miss You

Sunny Hi 69 Lo 50 for Baghdad, Iraq
Scattered Flurries Hi 25 Lo 15 for Northern Kentucky, USA

Song of the Week: Daughters, John Mayer

OK... couple of things...

  • With the help of Michael's friend, Ahmad, I have decorated SMC and Scootertrash Conservative for Christmas... Please note, the occasional snowflake you see... (its supposed to be a heavier snowfall than what it actually is...it looks great in preview!!) Anyway, hopefully more snow will fall next week... and hopefully it isn't taking forever for my blog to load...
  • Will the person from Albany, Oregon, leave a note, say hi... say you hate my blog, say you like the polka dots, find my rambling amusing and confusing, something...anything. I completely appreciate you spending time here... after all, that is what a blog is for... however, you are freaking me out with your extended visits and not writing anything... come on.... say something... I don't bite.... swear! :-)
  • I now have 9 folks that have signed my map! I'm nearly in the double digits!! WOOHOO! Just for that... it stays at the top!
  • Monday begins Thank a Soldier Week. Please take time to show your appreciation. I saw a few guys in the mall and was able to shake some hands and thank them. Don't be shy... If I can do it (I am the most shy person on the planet- swear) you can do it... I promise you will make someone's day... Don't forget our vets too... a lot will wear ball caps showing that they are a vet... thank them... too...

I was going to wait until Father's Day to make the following post, but tonight, while Michael was at work, I went out to dinner with my family- My grandparents, mom, brother and Kamae, Caleb and Cory. Watching my brother with his daughter convinced me to write about this tonight despite the events below just occurring and are too fresh... the emotions too raw... but it dawned on me, that I needed to write about this now... In hindsight... I should have written this in a Christmas card... last year... but I didn't...

As long as I can remember, I have always been an observer of people- Not just "people watching", but attempts at sneaking glimpses into the souls of those around me... people I love, as well as perfect strangers. I've always paid particular attention to the relationships between fathers and daughters. Since June, when I started this blog, I've danced around the story of my own father (my brother refers to him as the sperm donor-- and that is most assuredly the only thing he contributed to Terry and me). The Reader's Digest version is Mom and SD met when he was a Marine stationed in Okinawa. He met and fell in love with my mom, brought her here, they had me and then Terry... He ______ (fill in whatever excuse you prefer) and then left us... I think I was 5 or 6 and Terry was 3... He disappeared and did not show up again until the day O.J. Simpson was aquitted.... At some point I'm sure I will write about him... It is inevitable... I use this forum to exorcise my demons... and that man has created a lot of demons and baggage for me... So... anyway... that explains my curiosity of relationships between fathers and daughters. In fact, I get twinges of jealousy and melancholy when I steal a glimpse of a father and daughter sharing a moment...

So, like anything else, I don't consciously think and dwell and obsess (ok, maybe a little obsessing) about these things... It's just something else about me that explains some of my "quirkiness".............. (I love that word... quirky...rhymes with perky... I'm neither of those things... make no mistake...) So, why am I writing about this? I'm making my way there... (ramble ramble I know)... This past Monday I got to work... happy to be there (riiiiiggghhhhttttt) and I open an email from an old friend, Jimi... It started like this:

"Cath,

Well, My dad passed away yesterday[...]"


Crap...

Jimi continued with:

"I wanted you to know how much I appreciate you sending my dad Christmas cards over the years. You have been a dear friend. In September, when I visited, he mentioned the cards and asked how you were. We talked about your car accident and I avoided telling him that I argued over politics with you before the election. Having seen the heated discussions I've had with my brothers over the years, Dad kept our conversations centered on spirituality and making the most of life while we are here..."

Jimi was my first true love... we dated in high school and for reasons probably still unclear to him, we broke up while we were in college... Jimi is another one of those talented artists that passed through my life and left a mark that will last my lifetime... I adored him and his family... I even went on vacation with them to Myrtle Beach... at least that is my memory of the past. That is how I have tucked away that part of my life...

So, I read this email from Jimi a few more times...The few times we had seen each other included 2 funerals--his older sister Mary and later at Rodney's. Upon reading Jim's email, I was unbelievably grief stricken--a complete and utter sadness rushed over me unexpectedly and I couldn't fathom why. I mean, Mr. A was a nice man, but good grief, I hadn't seen him for over 20 years! I had talked to him a few times throughout the years, but really, why was I so upset?? I remember Jim telling me some time ago that his father had been diagnosed with cancer. Why did I think it was not that serious? Good grief, Cath... Cancer! Why did I not ask any questions? How unlike me... I called Jimi and we talked, he and Myrna, his lovely wife, were headed back to Cincinnati for the funeral. They had just been home the week before and at the time he realized it was the last time he would see his father.

It took me all day to realize why I was so distressed and I tried to articulate this to Michael. I hate crying in front of Michael, because it hurts him to the core to see me upset. He held me and let me cry... Do you realize what an amazing husband I have?

Later after I pulled my act together, I tried to explain to Jimi and I will try to explain here as well... Throughout my lifetime, I have always adored men...I prefer the company of men (gross out habits and all) over women. I have never been good at small talk and being delicate and supportive of "women" things... I can not stand those stupid chain emails that start off "the difference between men and women... blah blah blah..." As I have gotten older... it has become more difficult for me to relate with most women... Conversations typically revolve around children... Michael and I don't have children...so, I am always odd man out on those conversations, However, at times these conversations can be amusing, because women tend to do this weird competition thing... but I'm rambling in the wrong direction...

My grandfather has always been here for me... He is my grandfather and he has always treated me like a princess, but our relationship has always been that of grandfather and granddaughter... I am the oldest of his grandchildren and the only girl... I am not his daughter (I thought I did a post about this, but can't find it... maybe I just thought I did...If I find it, I'll link it-in any event, my namesake, Aunt Cathy died of leukemia at the tender age of 5), but I can never replace her, nor would I want to, In any event, being the eldest grandchild and only granddaughter has had its privileges over the years... In my childhood, I created relationships (in my mind) with some of my uncles that was a father/daughter type of relationship... but, in reflection, those relationships were more polite than anything else... and maybe, just maybe a little pity on their part.

As a kid, when we first moved to Anderson, we lived in a neighborhood where there weren't any fathers.... tons of kids... tons of moms... all divorced... I never realized it..not until years later. My best friend back then was a girl named Julie, she lived here until the end of 6th grade, but her Dad was THE Dad to the entire neighborhood... He was the only man around and Julie's family was quite literally my first exposure to a "normal" family where there was a Mom and Dad and 2 brothers and 2 sisters and a German shepherd named Princess. Mr. B was great! He did Dad things... ahhhh... but he wasn't my Dad... Later, I was friends with a gal named Amy, and I adored her family too... Mr. and Mrs. T... They were childhood sweethearts... As I recall, they got married when Mrs. T was 14. They are still together... happily too. Mr. T was Grizzly Adams-- remember that show? Big Guy with diverse interests--boat building, muzzle loaders airplane pilot... Best memory... Amy invited me to dinner with her Mom and Dad... We got in Mr. T's Cessna and flew to a little restaurant in Louisville... How cool is that for a 14 year old? Mr. T would always joke with me... torment me just like he did with his own kids... Because of my heritage, he'd always ask me to walk on his back... Too funny!

So, fast forward to Jimi... His family treated me as part of their family. Mr. A always treated me like a daughter.... always... He was interested in what I had to say, in what I thought... I remember he would side with me against Jimi...all in good fun. He would make sure that his son was treating me with respect-always. He even gave me my first office job...I blew up his computer...

So, that's why I am sad... Besides my grandfather, Mr. A was one of an elite group of men in my life that I had placed in that father figure role... and now he is dead.... and I didn't get to say good bye... I didn't get to thank him for the gift he gave me... I had lost touch with someone that made me feel special... made me feel like someone's daughter.... What a wonderful thing!! And I will be forever grateful.

So, the point of my story (because there always has to be a point...) is that it is ok that my Dad wasn't around, Terry and I are pretty convinced we would have ended up being white trash had he stuck around. Yeah, I have times when I feel bad that I didn't have a Dad growing up, but I pity him more because he missed out on so much... including 4 amazing kids that could have called him grampa... besides there were and are plenty of people in my life that fill that void...

My point to Fathers... pay attention to your daughters...we women can be so complicated, we have run amuck, so help raise your little girl to be a beautiful responsible bright woman... Don't like high maintenance? Don't spoil her... teach her the value of the word "no", yet put her on a pedestal and teach her to accept nothing less... a fine balancing act...Teach her to respect men and not bash them... But above everything teach her to respect herself...

so
fathers be good to your daughters,
daughters will love like you do...

-John Mayer

Maria, Terry and Kamae

Sam and Aimee

Have a great week everyone. Take time to wish folks a Merry Christmas... enjoy the season...

Friday, December 16, 2005

Tagged... the pressure!!!

OK... I'm finally getting around to this... (note to self...get some sleep it is 3:30AM... why are you awake?)

Cutie pie Joshua over at Peakah's Provocations tagged me with a meme here. What on God's green earth is a meme? Well, thanks to girlfriend Diane who was tagged also, I now know... Thanks Diane. I am supposed to name my 5 weirdest habits... OK... "we" are going to give this a go... not sure if this is my thing....Once I have completed this task... I then in turn get to tag someone else... who will then curse my name and mumble "what the heck is a meme?" Well if they had just clicked above... they'd know, now wouldn't they? I tend to take things of this nature way too seriously... and it is all in fun... right? Riiiigggghhhhhtttttt........... I will obsess over something like this... Should I be funny? Should I go serious? Should I just ignore it? OK... what if I try to be funny and it's not... funny... OK... well, then I could be serious... divulge real weird crap about myself... Yeah, now that's a great idea... really expose my jugular for all to slash... yeah... brilliant... I could of course just ignore it... and potentially subject myself to being an outcast... "does not play well with others" type of thing. I've been called "intense". What the heck is that supposed to mean? HUH? Can we make this my first one? I think we can! WooHOO 1 down 4 to go!!

#1 I ramble. See above.

#2 I burp loudly whenever or where ever the urge hits me.... Michael always follows it up with, "Better?.... My delicate flower?" Michael is so proud...

#3 I get sayings wrong... For instance... "A watched pot boils eventually" ... or "A shut mouth gathers no food" ... or "Count your chickens before they hatch"... Nice, huh?

#4 I have conversations with my cats... When Michael is out and about and it is just the cats and me... I will talk to them... and sometimes they talk to me..................................... I'm serious.

#5 I love to swear... Four letter words are not only a habit... it's a hobby...This is an awful awful awful thing... I really have to keep it in check at work... in front of children... here...

#bonus I love to use ".............................." a lot.

OK... pretty painless... now it's time to pass this meme to others....

I pick:

Michael
Rob
Roberto
Wonder Woman
Chrys

Go to it... share your 5 weirdest habits...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

My Picks for 2005 Weblog Awards...

My regular Sunday post below this one...


OK... I know what you are thinking..."Thank God, Cathy is finally weighing in on her choices... Now I can go vote with confidence!"

Yes, the wait is over and although I am not a finalist in any category... I'm not bitter, no not at all..I find it important to express my opinion... because there are some mighty fine blogs out there.

As a sidenote, it is this author's humble opinion that the nomination round was rigged...Afterall, I did nominate myself...Not to mention I even had a sponsor! Ahhhwww.... go figure...

OK the real reason I did not make it to the finals is due to the simple fact that MY category does not exist.... That's right... There isn't a category for "Best Pointless Rambling Blog That Takes Forever to Download". I'd bet big bucks that I'd win if that were a category...

Here we go.... My picks are:

Best Blog: Michelle Malkin When does she sleep?

Best New Blog: Wuzzadem He makes me laugh.

Best Conservative Blog: Ace of Spades . A tough choice until I saw Ace's campaign. No kittens will be killed on account of me...

Best Media/Journalist Blog: Michael Yon It doesn't get better than this guy...

Best Culture/Gossip Blog: The Llama Butchers. I like saying Llama...

Best Photo Blog: Japan Window No matter how chaotic my day has been, I can visit Andy and be instantly calmed by his photography.

Best Military Blog: This is a tough category for me... I visit nearly all these blogs faithfully... I've narrowed it to 2... Major K and One Marine's View. I connect with these 2 more for whatever reason. I am rallied and angered and encouraged and saddened and hopeful because of the inspired words these two men write...

Best Podcast: Morning Coffee Notes. Voting solely because I will occasionally have lost souls show up at my doorstep looking for my "pod"... Thanks for the traffic...

Best Canadian Blog: A North American Patriot Wonder Woman is a unique gal and should be read daily. Besides, we started our blogs at the same time and I believe I was her first "fan". I'm not a stalker though...

Best UK Blog: The Policeman's Blog Does he even know he is a finalist?

Best European Blog non-UK: OK... this is another tough category for me... simply because I love all the Italians listed and visit all of them and I don't speak or write a lick of Italian! I am rotating my votes between Otimaster, Robinik, Right Nation, and Free Thoughts. These folks are loyal friends to the United States... Don't let anyone tell you otherwise...

Best 251-500 Blogs: Nickie Goomba Why is he lagging in the numbers?

Best 501-1000 Blogs: Vince Aut Morire This is the first guy to add me to his blogroll... sometimes it's all about loyalty.

Best 1001-1750 Blogs: The Rebelution A couple of teenage twin Christian brothers...How do Christian teenagers stay true to God. It ain't easy... not in the world today... Great blog!

Best 2501-3500 Blogs: Diane's Stuff I like Diane 'cause she is one tough chick and writes about things that I think about... without the rambling...

Best 3501-5000 Blogs: The Reign of Ellen I just adore her.

OK... I think that's it... now go vote....vote often...

I think Kevin @ Wizbang should get a special award too... What a great guy, all the work...Holy smoke!!

Now... this is all in fun, I ask you to remember... Monday is an important day for the fight for democracy and freedom in Iraq. Remember and pray and stand in solidarity with them.

Open Letter from Bill Bennett

October 2005

Good Will Toward Men

Sunny Hi 76 Lo 54 for Baghdad, Iraq
Morning Snow Hi 32 Lo 22 for Northern Kentucky, USA

Song of the Week: Little Drummer Boy, David Bowie and Bing Crosby. This is for you, JoAnna.




South Park rendering of JoAnna
courtesy of her husband

Thanks to Diane @ Diane's Stuff, Ann @ Spiced Sass, My honey @ Scootertrash Conservative, and Cherry @ The Book of Secrets for stopping by here and leaving a comment for Mike. If you have not left a comment of encouragement, please do...OUR guys are being pummeled by crap they don't need to worry about... This time of year far from home in harm's way feeling unappreciated... They need to know we have their back... Please go now.

OK... now I need you to send some cards to these injured soldiers... (I know... demanding today, aren't I?)

Something wonderful has happened... My two favorite beverages have merged to form one...

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co. (KO.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the world's No. 1 soft drink company, on Wednesday said it will launch a coffee-infused soft drink called Coca-Cola Blak in various markets around the world in 2006"
more here...

Michael and I had our Annual Power Shop Til You Drop Day...Michael hates to shop-- and I mean with a capital H.... hates it. Because of this, we have figured out a way to get it over with in one clean swoop. It is a carefully orchestrated event. It takes a lot of prelimary planning and decision making-

1) a list of everyone and a few "fill in the blanks" for those "unexpected" folks.
2) a theme for each person- if a specific item is available, we'll go with that. These ideas are typically kept in my head and not shared with anyone.
3) a list of stores to visit and the order that makes the most sense. (Michael and I hate malls so we avoid them whenever possible)
4) Michael is the the coat and bag holder.
5) I am the check writer (no credit cards... cash only)
6) a generalized budget...

With the advent of the wonderful world of the internet, I already completed a lot of shopping... What a wonderful thing... So, anyway, Michael and I set off at 11:30AM- I wanted to get started earlier... but that didn't happen...we don't push things on this day... there isn't a set time (something that I can get weird about)... We have 3 simple rules that must be followed to make this "power shopping event" a success...

*Rule# 1 - Be patient while driving, this includes highways, back streets, and parking lots.
*Rule# 2 - Be nice to everyone - sales help and other patrons- even when they don't deserve to be treated nicely.
*Rule# 3- Be nice to each other - the most important of the rules.

All 3 rules can be extremely difficult to follow, but because we have done this for a number of years now, it is something we both look forward to. Michael's version of the rules can be found here........please go check them out... So anyway, we left home about 11:00AM-ish and got home about 9:00PM-ish. This included a trip to Jungle Jim's... the only place Michael loves to shop... other than Lawrenceburg Motorsports.
(Wonder Woman: Jungle Jim's is in Ohio, Lawrenceburg Motorsports is in Indiana.) We have completed our Christmas shopping with the exception of my Grandfather, but we know what we are getting him and Michael will pick it up on Monday. So as far as I'm concerned, we are finished! Wahoo!

We had a lot of fun today, including a late lunch at P.F. Chang's. Mmmmm... lettuce wraps....
After reviewing the events of the day... we accomplished our mission: Shopping complete, good will toward men...

I'm pooped... Now... we still have to finish decorating the house...1st floor still needs to be finished. Last year I made our Christmas cards and had them mailed right after Thanksgiving. This year, they are store bought and I haven't finished all of them... Now I have wrapping to do. I'll wait until I get everything I ordered via the internet before I start on that. Michael wants to make cookies....

I hope you are in the Christmas spirit. It is the season for giving. 2005 has been a year that has been trying for so many folks. There are so many people that Michael and I know, that have suffered loss this year... loss of good health, loss of loved ones, loss of personal possessions, loss of faith, loss of hope... We as Americans must persevere... This is what we do best... we give of ourselves...we reach out with a helping hand... Give of your heart, give of your time- so as you are fussing over there not being enough time to get everything done before Christmas, take a moment. There is no such thing as the Christmas blues, even if you are lonely... give of yourself to someone who needs more than you and you'll see... you will feel better...

I'll watch these while wrapping gifts...

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Little Drummer Boy
Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Spongebob Squarepants Christmas
The Powerpuff Girls, 'Twas the Fight Before Christmas

I have a couple of additional items that I want to post because I value my own opinion, I'll be putting up a separate post of my picks for the 2005 blog awards...

In addition, I now have the added pressure to get my 5 weirdo personal habits posted because of this man.... Actually, it should be fun... Rob feel free to make suggestions...

So... with that said... I bid you all good night and I'll see you in the morning with a cup of java in hand... look for additional posts from me... in between decorating and Christmas cards, that is...


"It came without ribbons!
It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Christmas Card List + 1 + 9

Someone needs to receive a Christmas Card from you... My step-nephew-in-law, Michael (got that?) sent me a note this morning that I must pass on...

"This morning on the FOX morning news/talk show, there was a story about Col. Ollie North and Col. Hunt (both members of the FOX news staff) visiting wounded US mil service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. They were talking to a recently wounded in Iraq Marine, a Joshua Sparling, who is recovering/re-hab'ing. On a wall next to the young Marines bed was a single card that said something akin to "die Marine".....

Some anti-war and anti-US military puke had sent this Marine an "I hope you die" get well card. It was the only card that this brave kid had received. True to form, he put it on the wall next to his bed as an inspiration to recover, rehab and get back to his unit and USMC buds.

Both the Colonels and the FOX news people thought this brave kid was an inspiration and certainly deserving better than a one time "go die" card....

Very likely written by a liberal democrat........

So, FOX put out his name and address at Walter Reed so he can get some Get Well Cards...... Bet you a $100 that his Xmas stocking is going to be overrun with cards and another $100 that he shares them with the other WIA's at Walter Reed. If there was ever a reason to go out and by a card this is it......Send it on to everyone you know. "

Joshua Sparling
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Ave NW
Bldg. 2 Ward 57
Washington, DC 20307-5001



Go here for the Fox news story. Good Lord! What is wrong with people. My worst enemy, the one person on this planet that I truly can say I detest, loathe, even hate... I do not wish death upon... [big sigh]

Go send this man a card... NOW (please)!!!

Michael, thanks for bringing this to my attention. (Yet another Michael in my life... I know...)

Also... I typically don't blog this much throughout the week... Sunday is the only day I have made a personal commitment to blog (hence the name...Sunday Morning... blah blah blah...) Remind me later that I need to do a rant about how ignorant we are in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area when it comes to snow... good freaking grief....

Update: Here are other wounded troops that could use some words of encouragement

Capt. James Ollinger
Sgt. Zavian Simspon
Specialist Brian Radke
Specialist Jason Braase
Sgt. David Nevins
Sgt. Jose Ramos
Cpl. Todd Bishop
Sgt. Ryan Donnelly
Sgt. Eva Diane Cochran

Send cards and care packages
c/o: Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20307-5001

(hat tip to Michelle Malkin)

One Marine's View

I can't get enough of this Marine---Capt B


"Many people leave comments (thank you very much by the way) and send emails about what they can send us, what do we need. What do we need? Really? Its more armor right…..nope. Its more troops right?..........nope. Its gotta be the stooper idea of pulling us out of here, right?..........mention that again and someone’s getting hurt, NO.

We simply need your support. Think back during past holidays. How many American flags have you seen flying? Cmon think!!!! Oh I know you see the usual holiday decorations and flags at the post office and bank but how about your work place, neighbor’s house or even your house? Im not trying to drive up my stock in American flags but the fact that they arnt that expensive and cost about as much as a lunch at McDonalds why don’t you have one flying??? Well???"

Go visit him.

More...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bombs Bursting in Air

On December 8, President Roosevelt spoke to a nation, a world...



"Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of American was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."


I urge you to visit Capt. B at One Marine's View for his remembrance of 7 December, 1941.




Photos courtesy of Specwarnet


USS Ronald Reagan in Pearl Harbor

For audio or transcript of President Roosevelt's Infamy speech visit History Matters.

We can not forget...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you.


Tonight... take a few minutes and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas....celebrating 40 years... an American tradition. Aren't we all a little bit like Charlie Brown? I know I am.
I have been watching this my entire life (I'm 40 too)... I don't remember crying as a kid... Am I the only one that cries? please tell me I'm not the only one...



Charlie Brown:

Isn't there anyone out there who can tell me what Christmas is all about?!?!


Linus:

Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you. Lights, please. (A spotlight shines on Linus.) "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you this day is born in the City of Bethlehem, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men'". That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.




Sunday, December 04, 2005

I Will Remember You

Partly Cloudy Hi 78 Lo 56 for Baghdad, Iraq
Cloudy Hi 35 Lo 22 for Northern Kentucky, USA

Song of the Week: I Will Remember You, Sarah McLachlan

**Thank you to everyone that posted a comment here for a discouraged soldier. I will make sure Mike sees them all. Please, if you have not done so, please leave a comment for Mike here. Uh... you too, honey... please.

Thanks to my American pals:
Chrys @ Pettifog Jots and Tittles
Joshua @ Peakah's Provocations
Diane @ Diane's Stuff

And of course thanks to my Canadian friends:
Paul @ Blue Blogging Soapbox ---I voted for you for Best new Canadian Blog.... :-(
Lindsay @ United Right
As usual, girlfriend Wonder Woman gave me some link love here. Vote for her here for Best Canadian Conservative Blog.

And wow... what about my friends in Italy: Go visit these folks... it is so cool to know we have friends and allies this strong and loyal. Yahoo offers a translator to make reading easier.
Roberto @ Otimaster also gave me some link love here. (I know you rallied everyone- Graci)
Roberto Nicolai @ Robinik
George Walker @ Pro American Movement
Carlo @ I Diavoli Neri (The Black Devils)
Elena @ Robinik
and Lo Pseudosauro

George also sent this link If I Die Before You Wake, a sobering tribute.
Thank you to Anonymous, Tom and Anonymous too!

**OK, on to older business... The correct answers to last Sunday's quiz here and here are as follows:

Since You Went Away
A Christmas Carol
Little Women (June Allyson, Elizabeth Taylor version)
Big Fish
Wizard of Oz
Serendipity
Sound of Music
White Christmas
Scrooged
Holiday Inn (the Song White Christmas was performed in this movie first)
Planes Trains and Automobiles (watched at Thanksgiving)
Auntie Mame (watched New Year's Day)
National Lampoon's A Christmas Vacation
A Christmas Story
Miracle on 34th Street
Elf
It's a Wonderful Life

Rob was the closest... missed by one, but Right Girl was on it. The movie that stumped everyone was the first one- Since You Went Away. Wow... rent it! The wonderfully talented Claudette Colbert, the beautiful Jennifer Jones and the lovely teenager, Shirley Temple. Joseph Cotten and Lionel Barrymore are also in it. In fact, there will be other faces you will know and recognize. The story takes place during World War II, but no battles are depicted except the one on the homefront...The hardships and struggles, dreams and fears of one family. This is a perfect movie to reflect today on the families of our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Yes, it is full of smaltz... and I love every second of it. The movie was made in 1944, so the realities of war are throughout this piece. It's a long movie so make extra popcorn. Let me know what you think.

**Last night, we were supposed to go to a benefit dinner and dance for Marine Nick Erdy who was killed back in May while serving in Iraq- An IED . I have been looking forward to this benefit since October. I would be able to pay my respects to the parents of a fallen Marine. Unfortunately, weather was not agreeable and we had to "abort" our trip due to icy road conditions. Quite frankly, I am very disappointed and I feel like a major wimp- I mean, here is this guy, Nick... his parents... his family... his friends... the hurt, pain and suffering, the loss of someone so young... and I couldn't make it because of weather... I'm a big loser and I don't feel like writing anymore. Not looking for an "it's ok, Cath..." Just let me sulk. I should have gone.

I'm sorry. Mr and Mrs. Erdy. I'm so sorry.
NOTE: This in NO way is a reflection on the other 5 individuals with me tonight. You all know what I'm capable of and I did not insist on going... I was wishy washy and not insistent, persistent and an all around nag. Again... I was a wuss tonight...



"Remembering The Sacrifice"
As the Helmet is designed to shield us from harm... Lord, we ask that you hold Nick in your loving hands. Comfort and shield him as he did us as he served.
Bless him and his family for the selfless acts they performed for us in our time of need. Our brothers and sisters ask this in your name. Amen.
-Milford Community Fire Department
2005
Fire Chiefs Helmet Retired

-- presented to the parents of Nick Erdy



...And I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

How Do I Tell Liberals to F off on a PG Rated Blog?

OK... I need help from anyone that reads my blog. We have another discouraged soldier on our hands and I believe it is my responsibility to change that. I am asking you to do 3 simple things: 1) Read the email below 2) Leave a comment for this soldier offering words of encouragement- I'll make sure he gets a copy or gets connected to this blog 3) Refer 1 person here and have them do steps 1 and 2 also.

I am so sick and tired of these men and women having to deal with this sort of shit!!! They need to know that we are behind them, that we support them and we support their mission. Please, give this man and those he stands with some words of encouragement. Thanks. -C


From: Michael
To: Tom
Subject: Your Package
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2005 11:47:03 +0000

Hello Tom,

I received your latest package a few days ago. Great! Excellent! More stuff I can use and enjoy. I appreciate it. I'm glad you and the fellers are keeping up with your support. Hell, we need more Americans like the patriots of your rod & gun club, sure! Yes, many Americans,
nay, most Americans are opposed to this war. I've heard as much. It bothers me. Personally, I believe we should be here. Hell, if we don't do anything about terrorism, who will? Iraq is the heart of terrorism, and us soldiers must pluck out the heart in one fell swoop. I agree that America should be waging this war but, from my point of view, the thing I don't agree with is the manner in which we are doing it. Mind you, I'm only seeing this from my own perspective, but I think the tactics we are using have got to change; they are killing us. If we are going to win, we must change our battle tactics. Anyway, I had a wee bit of free time (believe it or not), and I thought I'd go through my e-mails, answer some, as well as read 'em. Stay in touch, Tom. Thanks for being an ardent, patriotic supporter. I may be back in Ohio sometime in late February/early March.

-Mike

Then Tom forwarded this email:

From: Tom
Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2005 8:04 PM
To: XXX

Kim, Kyle, and everybody,
(for those who don't know Mike XXXXX - he's a soldier stationed in Baghdad, Iraq.)
Here's my latest from Mike. I took exception with his statement (see below) about most Americans being opposed to the war and sent a response to him that said "I don't know who you heard that from, but it's bullshit". I refuse to believe that most Americans, or even many
Americans, or even more than a few short sighted people who happen to live here, are against the war on terrorism. I told him I was old enough to remember the Johnson and Nixon eras where there was a lot of dissention on the war - but I believe that's not the case today. I also told him to tell his buddies what I said. I think he needs a little support from lots of people. As I understand it, mail to soldiers in Iraq is free. I think it would be great for him to receive a ton of letters that tell him we believe in what he and his comrades are doing and that we support them 100%. Can you imagine those guys reading a letter that goes something like this:
"I understand that you think most of us are not behind you, praying for you, believing in you. Well, I don't know where you got that idea, but it's wrong. We remember 9/11. We saw what happened in Spain. We don't expect to sit around and wait for that to happen again. We expect the most powerful military in the history of the world and all members of the coalition to solve this problem for us. So, please, quit whining and get back to work - and remember, we all love you." Or, whatever words of support you can come up with. These guy need a HUGE cheering section. If you think this is worthy to pass on, do it. Mike's address is:

For obvious reasons I have removed the address. Please leave a comment and I'll make sure Mike gets it.

For those of you that know me and would like to send a card, please drop me a note or call me and I'll give you Mike's address.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Chop Chop Hurry Hurry Quick Quick Stop... for just a minute

Sunny Hi 76 Lo 54 for Baghdad, Iraq
Rainy Hi 60 Lo 54 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Clocks, Coldplay

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we are now into the the fast paced Christmas Season. How many of you went out Friday and faced the crowds? Not I said the cat... actually, I did quite a bit of shopping on line.... love it... Saturday, I spent the day with my niece... Monday is her mom's 40th, so we shopped all afternoon for just the right gift. Tonight we are all going to Montgomery Inn for dinner.

Take time during this Christmas season to enjoy it. At the bottom of this post are some of our favorite movies to watch this time of year. Michael and I will eventually watch all of them. Can you name them? Special prize for the person that names them all...

Michael and I need to start putting up our Christmas decorations... so this is it for today's post... Spend some time with these folks:

I guess I'm way behind, but I will go on the assumption that some of you may have not been familiar with this blogger or his story either. The blog - In the Red Zone, the blogger - Steven Vincent. I didn't put this together with the guy I read in National Review... He was murdered in Iraq. My intention is to read this blog in full. Maybe you will do the same...

Spiced Sass ---I'm not quite sure if this is 1 person with multiple personalities or 1 blog with 3 bloggers or some combination in between- Actually, I'm not sure if this is even the correct name for this blog... I DO know that I intend to read the archives- seems to me I have found another soul that is supportive our military... that gets my attention- an incredibly nice and well written blog. They were kind enough to link to my blog... and besides they are from Cincinnati! Who knew? Go Bengals!

Spend time with Phil at Camp Katrina. He has expanded the blog to share good news from Iraq. Besides he is a cutie. I know he is in Ohio....not sure if he is a native Ohioan...

Another cutie is Matt at Lag in Iraq. Matt is over in the "sandbox" so it will be interesting to watch and read and see how his blog develops. Someone to keep in our prayers.

Ellen over at The Reign of Ellen has been bringing a smile to my face for quite some time. Honestly, I forgot about her and in my search to look for blogs to bring a smile to my face... well... she is sunshine...

Lastly, if you haven't done so, please read my post from Friday... Final Thoughts from a Soldier in Mosul. This is a powerful letter expressing one soldier's opinion of the war.

OK... Name 'em!!


















Posted by Picasa
Have a great week everyone! I'll see you next Sunday (maybe sooner if something comes up...)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Another must read

I ask you to go visit Ron. I missed his Thanksgiving post yesterday.... but it is still timely and quite moving.

Final Thoughts from a Soldier in Mosul - A Must Read

I received this email last night. It wasn't until this morning that I read it... then read it again. I have not received permission from this soldier to include his name. I will add it later if he so chooses. The following email is printed in it's entirety. When I start to get uptight over the hustle and bustle of the holidays... I will remind myself of this man and the countless others that are doing their job and keeping me safe.

Please note: emphasis added

Sent: Thu 11/24/2005 5:01 PM

Hello everybody, this is Sgt. XXXXXX from Mosul, Iraq again. After sending out my thank you letter, many people wrote back and asked that I try to send out updates on my progress in Iraq, some even suggested that I start my own blog. Well, time didn’t allow me to start my own blog, but as my deployment comes to an end, I thought I would write a final letter on my thoughts, and let everybody know that I made it through o.k..
The hot summer days and nights seem to have come to an end, and the days are now growing cooler as fall begins to sweep her hand over Northern Iraq. In a little over a month or so, I will be sitting on a plane headed back to the states, slowly leaving Iraq behind me with only my pictures, thoughts and memories to take with me. Even as I begin to pack it hasn’t set in that I am finally leaving this place that I have come to know with both hate and love so well.
This experience has been, and will no doubt be the most challenging of my life. When I first arrived here, I really wanted to hate this place. Try as I might, I found it impossible to hate Iraq. Although there is no place like the United States, Iraq is as beautiful a country as any. Sometimes you might have to look a little beyond the surface to find the beauty in it, but I assure you, it is there. There is no more an awe inspiring sight than that of an Iraqi night. While in the city of Tall Afar for a few days, I sat outside my “hooch” under the night sky and listened to the sound of 155mm Howitzers keep a thundering cadence on a distant target, and watched as a countless number of shooting stars passed over head. Under that same moon I have contemplated what my loved ones back home were doing at that very time; have had many great conversations with my fellow Soldiers; and let the lingering thoughts from the day pass out of my mind before I would go to sleep. And at times, it seems that Iraq had literally sucked all life from my body. There have been times that I felt that I was little more than a walking zombie.
The history and culture of Iraq has much to give to the world. I have found the Iraqi’s to be kind, loving, gentle and extremely resourceful. I feel that we have as much to gain from their friendship as they have to gain from ours. It seems to me that most Iraqi’s want nothing more than what the average American wishes for. A family to love, a home to come to at the end of the day, and most of all, the freedom that we all enjoy and love. It is my most sincere hope that they all get this and more.
As for the war itself, it is hard to put my thoughts and feelings into words, but will try to do my best. After a year of participation and observation, I can only say that war is horrible. Perhaps the most horrible of all actions. It’s not an adventure, or a right of passage. It’s visceral and evil. Carnage and violence at it’s worst. It is a place where one man willingly dispatches the life of another, lest that fate come to him. It is the only place where the amount of blood shed in the street is the measure by which you can judge success. It is not a movie that you can watch abstractly from the comfort of a theater seat. It is very real. It is a place where people die, and their loved ones are left heartbroken. At times it seems to be a living breathing entity. The most horrible monster you can imagine. It has no rhyme or reason, it just is. There is no point in trying to make sense of it, because there is no sense to be found in it. Yet, even through all of this, we have brave men and women who continue to charge into battle, and fight for all they can so others unknown to them may gain something from it.
Horrible as it is, it is a necessary evil. After a year, I still hold firm in my opinion that we are doing the right thing in Iraq. I don’t want you to mistake me for a warmonger, because that is as far from the truth as could be. I don’t believe there is a Soldier who is currently serving that is happy they are serving in a war. Don’t mistake pride of service for your country and your fellow man for joy of war. It is not the same. Believe me, the battles that are won here every day are not known to any human outside of the borders of this country. I don’t mean the major military victories that you can see on the news, or read in the paper, but the victories of the heart and will of the human. Every day an Iraqi awakes with the realization that they are free. That they can willfully speak their voice, right or wrong. Every day, as shown by the referendum, more and more Iraqi’s begin to place trust in their country, and in the protection that we are here to give to them. As contradictory as it might be, watching a country begin to take shape from this monster is an awesome thing to behold.
It will be hard for me to leave Iraq. Our time is done here, and now the battle is in another’s hands. I know that when I board that C-130 for my flight out of Mosul, and take my last breath of the Mosul air, that I will leave a piece of me in Iraq, and take a little piece of her home. She will be with me forever. The memories of her smiling children’s faces, the hot summer air, the gorgeous Arabian nights, and most assuredly, the thought of all the brave men and women who have fought and died for it all.
We have all followed the headlines of the vote in congress about a possible pullout of troops here. In my opinion (I want to make this clear, this is only my opinion, and I am only a Soldier, not a policy maker), a pullout at this time would be the most detrimental of all actions that our country could make, not to mention irresponsible. Truth be told, I don’t understand why there was ever a need for congress to even push the issue? What’s to debate? I will admit that I wasn’t completely sold on the war in Iraq in the beginning either, but after a year of witnessing the war for myself, I truly believe in what we are doing here. To me it doesn’t matter why we are, I am a Soldier, and go where I am ordered, but on a personal level, at the beginning, I thought hunting terrorists in Afghanistan was a more worth while fight. I was wrong. There are as many terrorists (not “insurgents”) here. I’m most certainly biased, but I’m certain that the U.S. Armed Forces are the best in the world, and I know for a fact that we are doing the best we can over here. Most of the Soldiers I have talked to feel exactly the same way. LET US DO OUR JOB! If we were to pullout now, everything that my unit has fought for this last year will be for nothing. Not to mention all of the men and women who suffer through severe injuries, and who’ve given their lives. It would be the ultimate of injustices to them to pullout now. Let us see this through to the end. If not for all the other reasons that I have mentioned; then for the simple fact, that it is unquestionably the right thing to do, and that all the people of Iraq, especially the children deserve it. I write this knowing full well, that I face the possibility of another deployment.
Many of us are looking to the future with optimism, both for Iraq, and our own lives. Some of us don’t know what the future holds for them, but will no doubt be just as successful as they were here. Unfortunately, for some, this war has taken a greater toll than just a year of life. Some of us have paid almost as much as the ones who will never again breath life, going home to broken lives due to the stress of being so far apart from their significant others. Personally, I will go back to my civilian job, and my family. I have a great girl that is waiting for me, and I just can’t wait to hold her in my arms again. Since I last wrote, I have re-enlisted in the guard for another 6 years (a sure sign I believe in what I preach), and don’t know if I will have to come back here again. If I do return here, I will hold my head high knowing that all of you great Americans back home are supporting me and have my back!
I just want to let all of you know that during the harder times in Iraq I have re-read some of the e-mails that you all have sent to me, and I still check the account for any new ones that might come my way. This has done wonders to lift my spirits at some very challenging times. Thank you! Please continue your support for us, and say thank you to any service member of any conflict that might come your way. They all deserve it. Maybe someday our lives might cross paths. If not, thank you again.
As I sit here and write this on Thanksgiving, although I have a lot to be thankful for this year, I thought I would share a little with you about what I am thankful for today. I am thankful for my family, they have been there for me, and without their guidance, I would be completely lost. I am thankful for God, that he has seen fit to protect me this last year, that he helps my battalion make it safely back home, that he continues to protect the troops that will still be here, and that he has taken into heaven with open arms, the men and women who have given their lives in this war, who he just couldn’t live without in heaven. I am thankful that I was born in America, and not a country like Iraq. As strange as it may seem, I am thankful that Americans still have the right to voice their opinions about this war (whether I agree with them or not), if America still has the right to voice it’s opinion, that means we’re doing our job over here, and doing it well! Most of all, I am thankful for my fiancĂ©, who has braved one of the most ultimate in hardships this last year, and stuck with me throughout it all. For certain, true love does exist. Finally, I am thankful that there are people back home who understand what we are fighting for, and proud of us.
God Bless!

Sincerely,
Sgt. XXXXX
Mosul, Iraq


Keep these fine men in your thoughts and prayers... Go to my sidebar... there is still time to adopt a soldier or two for Christmas.

....And I am thankful to you Sgt. Godspeed.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Day to Give Thanks

To everyone:


Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. To put a little perspective on this holiday read, One Marine's View. And to all the men and women in uniform that can't be home, please know that you are in my prayers. Stay safe and God bless.


A Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer

"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor-- and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially in a form of government for their safety and happiness.
"Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday...to be devoted by the people of these states to the service of that great and glorious Being Who is the beneficent Author of all that was, that is, or that will be--that we may then all unite in rendering Him our sincere and humble thanks...
"And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions...to render our national Government a blessing to the people...to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations...and to bless them with good government, peace and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true knowledge and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of prosperity as He alone knows to be best..."

--President George Washington, 1798 Courtesy of Bible.com


Thanksgiving Prayer

-President George W. Bush prays with troops before sharing Thanksgiving dinner at Fort Campbell, KY, November 2001.

"As the Pilgrims did almost four centuries ago, we gratefully give thanks for the beauty, abundance, and opportunity this great land offers. We also thank God for the blessings of freedom and prosperity; and, with gratitude and humility, we acknowledge the importance of faith in our lives.
Throughout the Thanksgiving holiday, let us renew our commitment to make our country and our world better...This Thanksgiving, we recognize the ties of friendship and respect that bind us together. And we renew our pledge to uphold the timeless principles of freedom, equality, and opportunity that have made our country into a great Nation. By working together, we will continue to build mutual trust, peace, and hope for all across this land and around the world." --

--President George W. Bush Courtesy of Bible.com

I'll see ya Sunday!


Update 11/23/05: Go visit Insolublog for a wonderful post. Hat Tip to The Gunn Nutt.

Update 11/24/05: Go visit Daisy Cutter. Hat Tip to the great Nickie Goomba. Stop by and say hi to Rob and Chrys. My drinking pal, Joshua has done a round up of several blogs. Special thanks to my girl Wonder Woman, and my sexy Italian pals Otimaster and Robinik.

If you have time, stop by and see some of our mil bloggers. Let them know we support them.

OK... Now for the toughest decision I have to make today... picking out the perfect outfit... you know... one with just the right amount of elastic in the waist....

See ya Sunday! (unless something strikes my fancy before then) Oh and don't forget... be nice and spread some Christmas cheer if you decide to go shopping tomorrow... !!!



Free from Want

Courtesy of Norman Rockwell Museum Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Dick Cheney

This post is dedicated to "Phil" that left a comment here.... Phil... pssst... hey Phil...please, next time have the courtesy of at least leaving an email address. Oh... and here's a tip... Be polite when visiting someone else's blog... no nasty words... how rude... why don't you get your own blog... That way, you can impress your liberal friends AND amuse conservatives....

Friends--- "Phil" posted this at 4:27.... is there a way we can trace him? I'd love to send him a love note... if anyone is savvy to this... please let me know!!

Now... as far as Dick Cheney... I adore him. I have loved him since he was part of the Reagan Admininistration where as Secretary of Defense he perfected that beautifully wonderful smirk.... I love that he can say just the right thing to cause folks such as Phil to go into a frenzy... I am disappointed that he won't run for office... and yet I respect him for this decision, because I don't expect that he has an agenda... oh... wait.... I forgot....

HALIBURTON
!!!!!
(play screechy Psycho soundtrack now)


Oh.... wait.... he divested himself.... he has no monetary interest in the company... This is a requirement for executive office...


So... Here's to my man.... I love him I love him!!


To Phil:

Peace through Victory!!!

See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!

Regards,

Dick Cheney

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Visit Grey Eagle

Thanks to an email from Paul at Blue Blogging Soapbox, he alerted me to a post from Jay Tea at WizBang. Grey Eagle, a soldier serving in Iraq needs our support. I urge you to drop by and offer words of encouragement and thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving Monkey Man

Partly Cloudy Hi 73 Lo 55 for Baghdad, Iraq
Partly Cloudy Hi 53 Lo 35 for Northern Kentucky, USA

Song of the Week: Kind and Generous, Natalie Merchant

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of my favorite time of year, but as all 12 of you know, work has been so hectic and stressful for me. One way I have been trying to combat the blues has been to listen to music- jazz and classical instead of my beloved talk radio shows. One afternoon this past week I listened to NPR and they played some music that I really liked by a group called Hem... The announcer mentioned the group members... Gary Maurer, Steve Curtis, Sally Ellyson & Dan Messa. Huh...whadyaknow... I had a dear friend a lifetime ago named Gary Maurer... back in high school...I wonder if he is one in the same. So, of course I "Googled" him... and found a picture of the band... wow... my old friend, Monkey Man... The rush of fond memories...There was a group of us that used to hang out in his basement everyday after school, listening to music, discussing music and the artistic value of videos (way back in the day many music videos did have artistic merit), smoking cigarettes, comparing Surrealism to Expressionism, drinking coffee, and discussing the world and our place in it, occasionally working on homework. It was always the same group in one form or another- Jimi and Rodney and Pam and Scott and Robert and Sophia and Adam and Butch and Carl and a revolving door of others. Gary's mom was always so sweet to us. She would always say to anyone that would listen, "Gary's going to be a rock star." I always thought that was so cool, that his Mother was so supportive of his dreams. I believed her, Gary and Jimi (another artist) were talented beyond their years already. As I remember, his guitar of choice back then was his Fender Stratocaster. There were a couple of bands over the years that were formed- one was pretty good and they actually played a few parties. After we all graduated from high school, we all stayed in touch for the first couple of years of college, but then slowly drifted apart. As I recall, after Gary graduated high school, he moved to New York City (pre Mayor Rudy Giuliani days) to study music and his first months there were staying at the YMCA. I always thought that was really brave...to move from a little suburb of Cincinnati, a place that Mark Twain once reportedly said, "When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always twenty years behind the times." In any event, I had some wonderful times with these folks and think of them very fondly. Most recently I received several emails from Jimi during the 2004 elections and they were heated and at times ugly, but Jimi made a comment about that time being the most formative time of his life. At the time of our correspondence, I didn't really acknowledge what he wrote, but in reflecting on his statement now, Jimi was right. It was a turbulent time for me- the on again off again animosity I feel towards my mom stems from those days (without valid reason, mind you), but that circle of friends as well as a few others really kept me grounded. God we had fun!

So Gary and his new music brought me a sense of calm and I thank him for that. Hearing his name made me remember all the great times we all shared. Best concert ever- Talking Heads Stop Making Sense Tour. Worst movie to see on Christmas Eve - Scarface....

I have no idea what else is in Monkey's life, but I wish him happiness and success for all his days...

So now with fond memories floating in my head rather than self pity, I want to share with you all the things that I am thankful for. I love Thanksgiving. I love Christmas and I expect that since this is my favorite time of year, my posts through the end of 2005 will revolve around them in one way or another. Indulge me please and let me know if I forget anything and if I do, please do not take offense as it is 3:30 in the morning and I'm bound to forget something.
  • My husband. Of all the people on this planet, he has given me so much. He is the kindest gentlest soul you will ever meet and I'm fortunate to call him my best friend, my love, my reason for living and Natalie is singing for him.
  • God's grace
  • My family- mom, grandparents, brother, sis in law, my nieces and nephews I'm grateful to be born into this dysfunctional family of mine. I wouldn't trade one of them... no... not one........
  • Michael's family- the other dysfunctional family in my life.
  • My beautiful nieces and nephews
  • Our friends, close and distant
  • Planes Trains and Automobiles
  • Our cats--- all 5 of them (oh.... she's one of THOSE people...)
  • Long drives in the country with Michael
  • Long walks in the woods with Michael
  • My ability to laugh at my own stupidity
  • Being born in the greatest nation
  • Jean Schmidt's balls: Congresswoman from right across the river
  • U2
  • fond memories of old friends
  • our home
  • air shows
  • Kentucky bourbon
  • My purple room
  • lava lamps and Japanese lanterns
  • Michael's Thanksgiving dressing
  • My grandmother's sarcasm
  • My grandfather's gentle soul
  • My brother's moodiness
  • My mother's laugh
  • My mother in law's melodic voice
  • My sis in law's better than Martha Stewart ways
  • Old people moments
  • Michaelisms
  • I'm glad I was able to meet Michael's father
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Ketel One Cosmopolitans
  • Laughing until my stomach hurts
  • The ability to cry for joy
  • The ability to cry freely at the playing of our National Anthem
  • The fact that my sis in law has more gray than I do
  • Monet
  • GW
  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • popcorn
  • a healthy fear of carnies
  • Jimmy Stewart
  • Yul Brynner
  • Cary Grant
  • Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame
  • good neighbors
  • new friends
  • A Christmas Story
  • our men and women in uniform, past and present

2 small pieces of advice for this season of giving:

  • Take time to thank as many folks as you can that wear a uniform... from policemen to firemen, to EMT's to nurses and doctors, to our military.
  • When shopping make a truce (Michael and I do this every year when we go Christmas shopping) to not get nasty or short with each other or others. We go through a checklist of sorts.... ***don't get impatient when sitting in traffic or trying to find a parking space- it's inevitable, so why get upset?, ***smile and make eye contact with all sales help, wish them Merry Christmas- chances are you are the first soul that has been nice to them all day. (discussing lack of quality sales help is not the issue here.. bringing good cheer is) ***smile and make eye contact with other shoppers and when possible wish them a Merry Christmas (especially the impatient ones).

I promise you, although awkward at first, if you follow those 2 simple rules, every single time you go out -- your holiday season will be that much nicer. Yeah, you do occasionally get the Scrooge that will never lighten up, but just say BahHumbug AND Merry Christmas to them. People do get it and chances are they will start to think of the true meaning of the season as well...

I leave you with this. Click on the link below to view a moving slideshow. Remember there will be so many of our finest that won't be home this season. If you can, set up a table with a card(s) for your family and friends to sign. There are countless ways to get cards and letters to our soldiers... make room in your home so we remember that they are still there...


This presentation is dedicated to those who will "stay the course." They know that if we do not, it is our children or their children that will have to finish or even repeat what we have started and those who have sacrificed so much will be all for not.
Courtesy of GCS Distributing


[U.S. Representative Jean Schmidt] told her new colleagues of a phone call she had just received from freshman Ohio state Rep. Danny R. Bubp of West Union, a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve. "He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message - that cowards cut and run, Marines never do," said Schmidt, of Miami Township. "Danny and the rest of America and the world want the assurance from this body that we will see this through." By Malia Rulon Cincinnati Enquirer Washington Bureau


Here are a couple of places I wanted to share with you:

A must see for all you Paris Hilton fans and a train wreck for those of us that can't help but stare when confronted by... well... you'll see... Her facial expression never ever changes...
Peru 2005 November
Native Eye

you've been so kind and generous
I don't know how you keep on giving
for your kindness I'm in debt to you
for your selflessness, my admiration
and for everything you've done

you know I'm bound...
I'm bound to thank you for it

you've been so kind and generous
I don't know how you keep on giving
for your kindness I'm in debt to you
and I never could have come this far without you
so for everything you've done

you know I'm bound...
I'm bound to thank you for it

I want to thank you
for so many gifts
you gave with love and tenderness
I want to thank you

I want to thank you
for your generosity
the love and the honesty
that you gave me

I want to thank you
show my gratitude
my love and my respect for you
I want to thank you

I want to...

thank you
thank you
thank you
thank you
thank you
thank you

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!



My oldest niece went to her first dance earlier this month (with a group of girlfriends). I can hardly believe it.
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Michael and I go for walks at the Boone County Arboretum. This was the last of the fall color.

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Saturday, Michael and I toured Buffalo Trace Distillery . The following photo is of a wood sculpture made on site from a 300 year old sycamore tree... impressive use of serious manly power tools.

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Barrels of Buffalo Trace Bourbon... This was barrelled 12/30/99.

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Buffalo Trace offices.

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Buffalo Trace Campus.

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