Monday, June 27, 2005

Not Sunday

I just found out how to add music videos to my blog. How much fun is that?

The first song/video selection is Beautiful Day by U2. The reasons for this choice are:
  1. I love U2 (minus Bono's political views - despite his good intentions).
  2. I love this song.
  3. I love Persian rugs.
  4. I really love airplanes.
  5. It's my blog. I can do what I want.
  6. This song is very optimistic which is the feeling I want to convey in this blog.
  7. The lyrics are easy to remember.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Support Our Troops

Sunny Hi 112 Lo 84 for Baghdad, Iraq
Possible Thunderstorms Hi 94 Lo 71 for NKY, USA

Sup*port -- v.t. to carry the weight of** to prevent from falling, sinking, etc.** to be actively in favor of** to assist or strengthen morally** to be or provide an argument in favor of or additional evidence for** to bear the cost of providing for** to give assistance to

Words can become cliche... The most prevalent catch phrase we hear today is "at the end of the day". Ughhhhh!! If I hear that one more time, I believe I may just have to hurl... Another catchword we hear all the time is "whatever". Dear God!! Brilliant comeback!! Sheesh!! (Please note I am not exempt from using these- please smack me the next time you hear either of these come out of my mouth!!)

In the same sense, "support our troops" is also suffering the same fate. However, let me remind you that supporting our troops is NOT a passive endeavor and should never become cliche. Supporting our Troops isn't just putting a magnetic ribbon on our vehicles. We must remain vigilant and remind those that are calling Iraq a "quagmire" that they are wrong and need not fall victim to the likes of Senator Kennedy, Susan Sarandon, MM (I'm not giving this guy another Google entry), NBC, CBS, and ABC.

Please read Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum or My 18 Month Vacation to the Beach. A different perspective on the work our men and women are doing comes from the Messopotamian. Also take a look at Iraq War News or The MI Guy and my personal favorite Major K. None of these blogs present views through rose colored glasses. War is ugly, but I submit, we are making progress despite what we are being told in mainstream media. Most of the frustrations the military bloggers show are when dealing with our own bureaucracy and ridiculous rules and regulations- political correctness is destroying our military (I'll save that topic for another day). It is critical to provide these men and women with the support they need so they can get their job done and come home safely. If we lose the war at home we will inevitably lose the war on terrorism and that is simply unacceptable. With the help of men and women like you, we won't let our troops down. Something that you can do immediately to help a discouraged soldier is to send an email of encouragement and gratitude. The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler has an email address listed: "rottmope-at-yahoo-dot-com". (change the words "at", "dot", and "com" to symbols) Please send an email to this discouraged soldier.

There are countless ways to support our men and women in the armed forces and I ask you all to please SHOW your support. Support can be as little as sending an email. It can include sending care packages to soldiers; there are countless groups doing good work out there. If you are uncertain (because sadly, there are some bad ones too), drop me a note and I'll let you know if they check out. In turn if you are involved with a group that is doing good work, please let me know and I'll add a link. It is important that we write our government representatives to make sure they are being kept in check. We must keep pressure on men like Senator Kennedy and Senator Durbin. Some of the filth that has spewed from the mouths of these two is just deplorable. Finally, to the left, under Support Our Troops, I have listed several ways of actively showing support to these brave men and women.

This time next weekend we all will be having cookouts and parties celebrating Independence Day. Maybe this year we all can take a few extra minutes and send a couple of notes to those in harms way to show our appreciation for their choice of serving our great nation and keeping us safe. Maybe a table can be set up at your picnic with cards and pens so that everyone can send a heartfelt handwritten note giving thanks.

Enjoy your week!

To our troops... Posted by Hello

Looking down into a valley in Owen County Posted by Hello

simple pleasures Posted by Hello

Why Kentucky is such a pretty state... Posted by Hello

Wildlife in Kentucky. I was this close... no zoom used... Posted by Hello

Steam engine mentioned last Sunday Posted by Hello

Mentioned in last Sunday's entry Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Pursuit of Happiness

Sunny Hi 110 Lo 84 for Baghdad, Iraq
Mostly Sunny, Hi 84 Lo 62 for NKY, USA

Happy Sunday and Happy Father's Day!!

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--"

The Pursuit of Happiness... Our Founding Fathers had enough insight to realize that when declaring our independence, being happy was critical. So, generations after our Founding Fathers risked death for treason against the crown, we honor them by continuing to strive for the American Dream.

We live in a country that allows us to have differing opinions. We peacefully have elections and the transition of power is civil. WE are given all the opportunities to succeed and to pursue happiness. How profound. How wonderful.

I know, I know... Liberals trying to change that is another story and not my focus on this fine Sunday. I encourage your thoughts, but I ask you to stay on topic with me.

Yesterday, we drove out to visit with some old friends that bought a home in the country... waaaayyyy out in the country. Keep in mind, he works just north of Cincinnati, she works in Northern Kentucky. They bought a home about 20 minutes from Frankfort, Kentucky. OK. I know they will read this, but I thought they were nuts... Why in the world would anyone do that?? The cost of gas-- the long drive-- what about in the winter when it snows? -- What if they break down, or hit a deer??-- what if they need to get to a hospital, fast???? Good Grief...

Michael and I hop in the car and take the scenic route to their new home. As we drive, the beauty of this fine state we now call home becomes quite apparent. As a prejudiced native Ohioan I must tell you, the rolling hills of Kentucky, the vast open valleys that hold tobacco farms and horse farms, the friendlier folks -- there is nothing like it...

Along the way we see an ancient steam engine, all kinds of wildlife, swamp like ponds and lakes, the river, smiling folks waving hello, (one kid had a shotgun--- don't see that in Burlington), postcard perfect farms, 19th Century Victorian homes, a "fish market", small towns with populations of 23, open fields and thickly wooded areas. All the things that Michael and I like to discover and enjoy. When we finally arrive at their home, we fall in love instantly with the charm of their home. It is a home one would see in "Connecticut Digest". The interior of their home was just as welcoming-- Lots and lots of character. They anxiously guide us through their home to see all the amenities. They are excited to show and share their home with us. Michael and I feel at home and are already secretly planning our next visit. We are finally lead outside to the deck. They have a view of the river. Deer go through the wooded back yard-- they live in a wildlife haven. It is perfectly quiet except for the sounds of birds chirping and singing. We eventually had dinner. It was a lovely evening-- good food, good drink, good conversation.

What's my point? Everyone has the right to pursue happiness in their own way. Our two friends, although sacrifice a longer drive, have found a place that they call home-- Home in the truest sense-- Home when you think of those wonderful memories of childhood- those warm fuzzies we all carry in our pockets but sometimes forget to pull out and cherish now and again. Am I so obtuse that I didn't think our friends would have taken everything into consideration prior to this move? Shame on me. This new home makes them profoundly happy. They are pursuing THEIR American Dream- not mine and not yours. We all at some point or another are willing to choose what makes us happy. Pursuing happiness was never intended to be simple--it was never a "gimmee" or entitlement. Our Founding Fathers knew that the importance of happiness was not necessarily "happiness" for the sake of "happiness". The journey and the struggle to obtain our goals and dreams is the most important part. It simply doesn't get any better than that.

To all the Dad's-- Have a wonderful day. You are important in ways that can not be counted. I offer a humble thank you to all of you. And remember, Dad, we need you.

WebSites and Blogs to Visit:

For an unbelievable look at life from the opposite side of the fence, take a look at Margaret Cho's blog. You may remember her. Comedian... supposed to be funny... funny like Al Franken...apparently...

Take a look at Cool Blue. This will splash some water on your face and cleanse you of the previous blog.

My conservative chick blog of the week Knowledge Is Power.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

A perfect day Posted by Hello

God's handiwork Posted by Hello

The pursuit of happiness even in the most difficult situations Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Coshocton, Ohio

Sunny Hi 105 Lo 77 for Baghdad, Iraq
Rainy Hi 85 Lo 71 for NKY, USA

Hello All!

As you can see, I'm fumbling through this whole "blog thing". Hopefully, you will see improvements in my technical ability as time progresses. My main objective is to keep the content interesting or at least mildly amusing. Your feedback is requested and appreciated unless it hurts my feelings then "foe- Get abouuut it".

It seems to me that today is the perfect day to stretch out on the couch, read the newspaper, watch an old movie, possibly piddle around in my craft room (known as the purple room). The movie I'm contemplating is Philadelphia Story starring Katherine Hepburn, James Stewart, and Cary Grant. I love that movie. Three actors that were wonderfully diverse in their acting abilities.... All three quite funny in this gem.

Yesterday Michael and I drove up to Coshocton, Ohio. It's east of Columbus.... Waaayyyy east of Columbus. We went to a place called Roscoe Village- I think it was about a 3 hour drive. Roscoe Village was a 19th century canal town. The canal was lost due to flood. Someone explain this to me. Honestly, losing a CANAL to a flood--- don't canals and floods both involve water??? In any event, it is a restored town. There are shops and tours that you can take. We visited the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum. Also, a nice little find. Roscoe Village is quite pretty and as Michael put it, "scrubbed and very clean for such an old town - too clean." **play conspiracy music now**

We want to get to Amish Country - if any of you are familiar with where to go that isn't real touristy please let me know.

This time of year, Michael and I love to tour old historic homes--- a great one is Whitehall. If you haven't been there, I highly recommend it. Great history and a great man- Cassius Clay. If you are familiar with some historic home tours in the tristate area, please let me know.

As some of you know, I belong to a conservative organization called The Beacon - Informed Patriotism. Along with being active politically and making certain that the boys in Washington know my thoughts, my real passion within the organization is our Support Our Troops Committee. We have adopted 3 active duty soldiers/Marine. We send monthly care packages to all 3- things we believe they need and when possible small luxury items to bring them some comforts of home. The most important thing I feel we do is offer our support to these brave men. If you are interested in helping/donating items, please contact me through this blog.


  • Take Back the Memorial -This one is important. Please show your support to this effort.
  • Roscoe Village -Make sure when and if you go, you have other "stuff" on your itinerary...
  • The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museuem -A beautiful collection of Indian textiles, Japanese and Chinese aritfacts. If you go to Roscoe Village, visiting this musuem is worth the time-- Takes about an hour to go through the entire museum.
  • White Hall -An abolitionist, a great Kentuckian, a great American.
  • Your Sight of Sights -A fan website/tribute to Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks. Anne Bancroft passed away earlier this week. A charming woman that was married to Mel Brooks for over 50 years....
  • Reykjavik -A pictorial blog from a young man from Iceland. Can't read a word of his descriptions, but his photos are truly breathtaking.
  • Norman Roswell -An old friend of mine has taken his artistic talents, sense of humor and blended them to offer these fun posters/t-shirts...
  • Ankle Biting Pundits -Conservative blog of the week.

  • Have a great Sunday and enjoy your week!!

This is the kind of Sunday I intend to have.

Sidney asleep in my arms.... Posted by Hello

Part of the lock on the Coshocton Canal. It reminded Michael and me of Chitza Itza. Posted by Hello

Roscoe Village Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Hi 102 Lo 78 for Baghdad, Iraq
Hi 88 Lo 70 for NKY, USA

Happy Sunday Everyone!

My original plan for this weeks ramble was to share ALL our experiences in New York City. First, I must tell you we had a wonderful time. We were only able to do a fraction of what we wanted to do, but more importantly we were able to spend time with family and this was much more important than any itinerary. (This also gives Michael and I an excuse to go back to see and feel and taste and smell (eww) NYC again. Yes, we got to do some wonderful things and I will be more than happy to bore each and every one of you with stories of gangsters, incredible architecture, crazy cabbies, wonderful food, luxurious accommodations, and even rabid attack yorkies with rhinestone barrettes in Bloomingdales if you seem just slightly interested.
Where we stayed -;jsessionid=HOMEVCDLQKC2YCSGBIX2VCQKIYFCXUUC?ctyhocn=NYCWAHH
Where we ate -, ,,
Possible celebrity sighting - (this is a correction as we first kept thinking of Ray Bradbury and not Kurt Vonnegut Jr.)

What I want to focus on this morning is remembering and reflecting…. Remembering what happened on a Tuesday morning a few September’s ago. I personally never want to forget what happened. I want to be vigilant and not be afraid and be willing to take a stand and fight for what I know to be right and just.

We went to Battery Park. There we saw the Sphere that stood between the 2 towers. Seeing this was completely unexpected and caught me off guard. But it was a reminder that New York City was attacked. It’s easy to walk around this huge city and forget that. See photo 1.

We walked from Trinity Church to Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange. One couldn’t help but notice that no vehicles were permitted and the city had placed huge concrete and steel pylons strategically in front of all the buildings to keep them safe. We also saw these huge steel plates on the ground that worked as blockades at the end of the street. You can sort of see one of them right in front of Trinity Church in the picture below. See photo 2.

We went to Ground Zero. I expected and was prepared to cry as I tend to do, however the sight is simply a gathering point for tourists – which was great because you could literally hear every possible language being spoken. I wouldn’t describe the scene as hushed or reverent. It was just quieter than other place in the city, but it was simply a hole in the ground… a very large hole. Posted on the fence was a minute by minute account of what happened that fateful day. I started to read it, but I soon realized that timeline is burned on my brain… and then I remembered why this place should be held in reverence. See photos 3 & 4.

As we left Ground Zero and crossed the street, we saw a couple of Pakistan sailors in for Fleet Week. Today, Pakistan is an ally… See photo 5.

We all noticed the church they were standing in front of- crossed the street from Ground Zero and saw there was a beautiful cemetery. Michael and I have a fascination with old cemeteries so naturally we had to go in. Before we walked in a local woman told my brother in law and me that it is well worth going in, that it wouldn’t take long but it is a great reminder of what happened on September 11. As we walked in, I was immediately overwhelmed by what I saw. This sanctuary had become a memorial to those who died and a tribute to those that volunteered tirelessly to try and find survivors. The fence outside St. Paul’s Chapel looked familiar to me – it was the fence that we all had seen countless times on the news – pictures of missing people… teddy bears, flowers, this church was home for the Holy Spirit for this broken city. God made this a place of sanctuary a place to begin healing. I couldn’t walk through it. I stopped and went to a pew and cried and prayed. See photo 6.
Go to the website – This church has an amazing history. George Washington attended church here when the nation’s capitol was NYC. Be sure to go to the time line and click on the video for 9/12/01. There is a lot to digest on this website. I urge you to spend time. It is a great reminder of what happened that awful day and to remember that they aren’t “insurgents” but rather terrorists… See photos 7 thru 14.

Never forget. When we returned to Cincinnati, I was asking everyone what was their favorite part of the trip. My niece said that she could have done without the Ground Zero stuff. She is a very sensitive girl and feels very deeply, so the emotion of revisiting those memories was difficult for her. I told her that it was important to remember- that we should never forget. But I didn’t tell her why… So, I’ll make a feeble attempt to explain why--- We are supposed to live our lives, to find purpose and to enjoy all the things that God has given us and to be thankful. We are also to fight evil in the way that has been asked of us. We are to remind and let others know that all things are possible through Christ. So, Aimee, although it was difficult to remember what happened on that day, it reminds me of all the things that matter. Family matters. You matter and I love you very much. See photo 15.

I have finally created my own blog so this will be the last installment of this weekly email. My goal is to continue with the same theme and post to the blog on Sunday mornings. I’ll attempt to post this email as my first installment. This will give you a chance to post comments and I hope you do.

Photo 16 Never Forget Posted by Hello

Photo 15 Posted by Hello

Photo 14. Artist Jessica Stammen used steel from the collapsed World Trade Center as the base for this 14-pound chalice. She cast a bronze sculpture of a tree trunk to evoke the tree in St. Paul's churchyard that was struck down in the attacks. Two beams extend from the tree trunk to represent the Twin Towers, and the hands of God cup the top of the chalice. She said, "These trunks are cupped by the hands of God to symbolize the grace and spirit that the Lord is pouring out on people. As a container for the blood of Christ, [the chalice represents] our hope in re-creation, transformation, and rebuilding."
Posted by Hello

Photo 13 Posted by Hello

Photo 12 Posted by Hello

Photo 11 Posted by Hello

photo 10 Posted by Hello

Photo 8 Posted by Hello

Photo 9 Posted by Hello

Photo 7 Posted by Hello

Photo 6. St. Paul's Chapel Posted by Hello

Photo 5. Pakistan Sailors in front of St. Paul's Chapel Posted by Hello

Photo 4. Ground Zero Posted by Hello

Photo 3. Ground Zero Posted by Hello

Photo 2. Trinity Church from Wall Stree Posted by Hello

Photo 1. Sphere Memorial Posted by Hello

George Washington watching over the New York Stock Exchange Posted by Hello

Manhattan as seen from the Empire State Building Posted by Hello

The view from the Empire State Building was breathtaking. I have to fill you in on a little secret though -- getting up to the observation deck isn't as simple as in An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle... It took nearly an hour to get to the top, 2 security checks, not so nice people, and several different lines all at $14.00 a head... Was it worth it? Next time we'll go at dusk.

Statue of Liberty as seen from Battery Park Posted by Hello

Brooklyn Bridge Posted by Hello

street festival New York City Posted by Hello