Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Civility & False Tolerance"

clipped from str.typepad.com

Civility & False Tolerance

"The right to believe anything is freedom of conscience; but the idea that anything anyone believes is right is just plain nonsense. Civility means I engage with them persuasively, but civility does not mean a false tolerance where anything goes."

Os Guinness, The Case for Civility

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Politics: Cap & Trade bill passes the House...but just barely

clipped from www.congress.org
Congress.org Logo
Cap and trade

On Passage

House Roll Call No. 477

111th Congress, 1st Session

Passed: 219-212 (see complete tally)

The House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which aims to reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change through a cap and trade system of pollution credits.
Votes For :
Votes Against :
Not Voting :
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I'm proud to say my Rep. voted against this. It has been theorized that this little bill may increase our energy bills by 90%. One supporter of the bill was reported as saying, "We'll make it so that people have no choice but to conserve." This may be a very cold winter & next summer may be quite warm.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Health Care: "FRC Launches Health-Care Conscience-Rights Site"

clipped from www.citizenlink.org

FRC Launches Health-Care Conscience-Rights Site

Congress will continue its retooling of the U.S. health-care system when members return from their break next week. Committee votes could come quickly, with full congressional action shortly thereafter.

Family advocates are skeptical of the direction the Obama administration and Congress are taking on health care “reform.” President Barack Obama has already taken steps to weaken the conscience rights of health-care providers and advance the abortion industry’s agenda by overturning key Bush administration policies.

FRC Action is just one pro-family group that has created a Web site that can help keep you informed about these health-related issues, including rights of conscience and health-care reform.

Visit FRC Action’s ClearConscienceHealthcare.org Web site.
You can also visit The Heritage Foundation and the Galen Institute.

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Great Video: Uncle Jay -- 6/29/09

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Great Video: Piano Duo

clipped from www.womansday.com

Feel-Good Video of The Week: Piano Duo

Each Wednesday WomansDay.com will bring you a video clip that is sure to brighten your lunch time. This week, watch as this sweet husband and wife (both 90 years old), who have been married for 62 years, play the piano together in the atrium of the Mayo Clinic.

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I made bread!

That's right. I did.

I woke up Saturday morning around 6 am (way earlier than I wanted) & thought, I think I'll make some bread. I used this recipe from Annie Eats. However, I couldn't find my dry milk I had bought so I just poured in a bit of my skim milk. I also only had Splenda blend instead of sugar so I used a little of that & then squirted in some honey too.

I also don't have one of those cool stand mixers with the paddles like most bread bakers have so I mixed my dough using my spoonula. I figured if the pioneer women didn't use a mixer surly I could mix mine with a spoon too. Let me tell you, that is hard work. Finally, I got to the fun/exciting part...the kneading. I kneaded the dough for about 10 min having to add a lot more flour. I had dough stuck to all parts of my hands & flour was everywhere, but it was fun. I plopped the ball into a bowl to rise. All recipes say that the bread will double in size at this point & they are not lying. It got HUGE. I started searching the cabinets for extra pans that I might could bake the bread in. Then as I was about to transfer it back to my cutting board for shaping & a bit more kneading, it started shrinking. Apparently it is supposed to do this but I got a little concerned but thought I'm going to see this through.

After shaping it, I realized it would fit in my bread pan & I wouldn't need the extra pan I had found. I covered the dough again to let it proof but after about 20 min it was growing exponentially again so I decided to go ahead & get it in the oven. After baking it for about 15 min I wanted to see how it was coming & the monster must have continued to grow once in the oven because the top of the bread was actually touching the top coils. So I quickly pulled it out of the over, lowered the rack, & stuck it back in without burning myself (which is actually a miracle with my history).

After baking for about an hour, I let it cool. And, let me just say, I think I did pretty good. It's not bad at all. It is enormous but quite good.

My parents & grandmother was in town this weekend so I took some of it over to my aunts & they tried it & everyone seemed to think it was pretty good. So, huh, I guess I'm a baker now. :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A bit of a rant: What did you say?

Maybe I'm getting old, maybe it is my growing love & respect for writing, maybe it is my English teacher mother's influence on me but sometimes I just have no idea what someone is saying when they write a comment (not here but on another media outlet I am on).

I can usually estimate fairly closely within a few words of a comment the general age or at least the generation of the author. I recently received a comment on one of my videos on YouTube that I really questioned if it was in English at all. I am fairly sure this person had to have been under the age of 18...if not, this is just sad & inexcusable.

First, there were no capital words. Irritating. At one point in the comment, I got the impression he/she was talking about some store but I'm not sure if it was the name of the store or the type of store.

Second, there was an absence of any kind of punctuation. Punctuation is so important. Now, I'm not an expert at it, & any of you teachers out there have probably mentally marked this whole post in red, but, at least I use periods, question marks, exclamation points, whatever necessary to indicate that I have finished that particular statement.

My final, irritation with this comment was the great usage of abbreviations for things. I swear, every other word was a series of letters, I'm sure represented something but I'm not sure what (espcially with no capitalizing or periods). This kind of writing makes me think the person writing it must be drunk or some type of mental illness. This is usually the number one indicator as to the age of the author, however.

Anyway, that rant is over. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Celebrity News: Michael Jackson dies at age 50

clipped from news.yahoo.com

Michael Jackson dies in LA hospital

FILE - In this Aug. 25, 1993 file photo, American pop star Michael Jackson

LOS ANGELES – Michael Jackson, the sensationally gifted child star who rose to become the "King of Pop" and the biggest celebrity in the world only to fall from his throne in a freakish series of scandals, died Thursday. He was 50.

Jackson died at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. Ed Winter, the assistant chief coroner for Los Angeles County, confirmed his office had been notified of the death and would handle the investigation.
The circumstances of Jackson's death were not immediately clear. Jackson was not breathing when Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a call at his Los Angeles home about 12:30 p.m., Capt. Steve Ruda told the Los Angeles Times.
Jackson was preparing for what was to be his greatest comeback: He was scheduled for an unprecedented 50 shows at a London arena, with the first set for July 13. He was in rehearsals in Los Angeles for the concert, an extravaganza that was to capture the classic Jackson magic
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It sure seems a lot of celebrities are dieing lately.

Celebrity News: Farrah Fawcet dies at age 62

clipped from news.yahoo.com

'Charlie's Angel' Farrah Fawcett dies at 62

FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2006 file photo, actress Farrah Fawcett poses for

LOS ANGELES – Farrah Fawcett, the "Charlie's Angels" star whose feathered blond hair and dazzling smile made her one of the biggest sex symbols of the 1970s, died Thursday after battling cancer. She was 62.

Ryan O'Neal, the longtime companion who had reunited with Fawcett as she fought anal cancer, was at her side, along with close friend Alana Stewart, Bloch said.

She had been diagnosed with cancer in 2006.
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What books are on my night stand?

As I said in my last entry, I am following several homemaker's blogs. One blog I just found a couple of weeks ago is A Quiet Heart. In a post this week she discussed the books that are on her nightstand. I thought it was quite interesting & reveals a bit about oneself, so I decided to do the same.

Ok, yes, I know that is a lot of books for one to be reading all at the same time but at least half of them are reference books that I only use on occasion & a couple of them I haven't even started. So, to get to it, I will be starting with the book on the left & moving right as I describe each one.

Perspectives: A Spiritual Life Guide For Twentysomethings by Colin Creel: I am totally loveing this book. There are parts in it that I think are changing my life. I better hurry up & read it, though, since I am 29. However, at least from what I have read so far, most of this could apply to any life stage you happen to be in.

Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance No Longer Tolerates Religion by William J. Federer: This is a very interesting book. I started it about a year ago but put it down & just haven't picked it up much since. It is a very interesting book but I tend to get distracted easily, I think I was reading a couple of other books at the time for some small groups. Anyway, the title pretty much sums up what this book is about. I'm only to the point where the American colonies have decided to allow Catholics to hold office & such.

Sanctuary: Creating a Blessed Place to Life and Love by Pamela J. Bailey: I just got this book last week. So far, I'm only a couple of pages into the book & she is talking about how she came to the point where she decided to turn her house into a home. I'm enjoying it so far. She has said a couple of things that I have really liked. The most meaningful for me being, "Intentionally or not, a home is a reflection of the person or people who reside in it." That is basic knowledge I already knew but that really "hit home" for me because I do not like what I see around me right now & I want to reflect something much nicer & peaceful.

Lady in Waiting: Becoming God's Best While Waiting for Mr. Right by Jackie Kendall & Debby Jones: This book was recommended to me by a friend about 9 or so years ago & I just now decided to read it. She really liked it & said she got a lot from it. I guess I need to keep reading because of what I've read so far, I've gotten very little from it. The first chapter dealt with issues single women typically deal with but that I feel I have already put behind me. This book seems very surface level & probably would be great for 17-21 year old women. Granted, I did start this book coming off my Captivating high. (Captivating being a very deep book that I can not recommend enough & has completely changed my life & idea of God.)

Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson: This is one of the books I haven't started, so I have no idea what it will be like. I'll let you know later.

A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others by Karen Ehman: This is another book I haven't started yet but I really like the title & I can't wait to get to it.

Too Much Stuff: De-Cluttering Your Heart and Home by Kathryn Porter: This book I was probably the most excited about ordering but since Santuary came first, that's the one I started reading first. So, this one will probably be next.

No Ordinary Home: The Uncommon Art of Christ-Centered Homemaking by Carol Brazo: Not really sure if this will be relevant for me at this life-stage but I'll give it a whirl. It is highly rated on Amazon.

Life Application Study Bible (NLT) by God with help from His prophets: It's the Bible. I've been reading this particular one for about 3 years & it is beginning to show it's wear. I love all the little notes that they put at the bottom of each page.

Where To Find It In The Bible: The Ultimate A to Z Resource by Ken Anderson: This is one of my reference books. I don't use it that often but I really like it.

The Ultimate Guide to the Bible by Carol Smith: Another reference book that is quite good but I've read very little of it.

Halley's Bible Handbook: This is a great reference book that I grew up seeing my dad searching through all the time when he was preparing for a Sunday School lesson.

The Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Martin (author) & Ravi Zacharias (editor): This is a fantastic book wonderfully detailing many of today's religions including Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science, the LDS, Buddhism, Scientology, New Age, Islam, & others. Both of these men are highly respected & probably considered two of the leading Christian apologists. I am a particular fan of Ravi Zacharias after listening to a few of his radio sermons. I've only made it through their chapters where they define a cult & other language they use & only half way though their discussion of the psychology of a cult.

Handbook of Today's Religions by Josh McDowell & Don Stewart: This is another apologetics book I occasionally pick up. I am highly interested in differing religions to the point that, one day, I would like to write maybe a small group study on some of them. I may write more someother time about my interest in this subject. Anyway, this book covers many of the same religions as The Kingdom of the Cults including a few more like Occultism, some religions I've never even heard of, & some that people may not classify as religions such as atheism, agnosticism, Marxism, Secular Humanism, etc... I've only read through Islam & most of their chapters where they introduce & discuss the language & definitions of a cult.

Handbook of Denominations in the United States by Frank S. Mead, Samuel S. Hill, & Craig D. Atwood: This book is pretty interesting in which it breaks down each denomination within the US. It gives the founding date, the estimated mempership, how they formed from the parent group, what their basic doctrines are, &, if available, their headquarter's address & website address. I haven't really used this book much but I'm pretty sure it would be interesting.

Webster's II New College Dictionary: It is a dictionary. :) I have it here because, while reading, I occasionally come across a word I don't really know, so I look it up. Very old-school, I know.

Well, that's about it right now. I think I'll end up moving most of the apologetics books & reference books to one of the shelves on the bookcase in the living room as soon as I get them organized. If I don't use them regularly, I really don't need them out, do I? :) I know I have a couple of more books in the apartment complex office that I need to go pick up but they should be the last for a bit.

So what books are on your nightstand or desk or car or purse or where ever you tend to read?

Ok...it is definitely WAY past my nap time. Later.

The Year of The Home: Getting my act together.

The Lord has been convicting me for sometime about a certain area of my life. That area is homemaking. If any of you know me "in real life" (IRL), you probably know this is a serious area that I consistently fail in. At least I'm consistent, right? ;)

Anyway, I am working on this. As Christians, we are called to be hospitable & I know I am not. I never feel like my home is clean enough (& it really isn't) for guests & I don't feel that my cooking skills are where they should be to offer meals to people who need them.

A couple of weekends ago, I finally told God, "Fine, let's do this." & really allowed Him to convict me fully on the subject. That Saturday, when I went to church, what do you think the pastor preached on? That's right...hospitality. "Ok, God, I get the picture."

So how does one go from pig to princess? From clutter & chaos to comfort & peace? From "get me out of here" to "I wish I could stay longer?"

Well, I don't know about others, but I'm a nerd & I research things to death. I ordered several books on homemaking, organization, clutter, etc... I have become obsessed with several blogs regarding homemaking, organization, cooking, frugality, cleaning, anything to do with running a home.

I know it sounds a little like feeding a problem to order more books for a person who already has a serious issue with clutter & way too many books to begin with, but I'm working on a plan. A couple of weeks ago, the weekend I finally had gotten the message, I cleaned out a cabinet in my bathroom hallway that had been bugging me for weeks. I threw out boxes of stuff. I felt guilty about throwing some of those things out but I've had them in that cabinet for almost 5 years now & still haven't used them, I doubt I ever will...I usually just end up buying another what ever it is when I need it anyway. For example, I found 5 large bottles of Tums in that cabinet. I can't even remember the last time I had indigestion. By the way, I kept one bottle & took the rest home to my mom & dad.

That same weekend, I also cleaned my closet & got things a bit more organized in there.

My next project, I hope to go through my book cases in my living room. Like I said, I have a serious issue with too many books. I'm going to be very selective & only keep the ones I am extreemly serious about reading. I have several that I have had for years & haven't even attempted to read them. Even though I always say, "I'll read it eventually," I never do, so those suckers are out. I have a friend who reads books like crazy so I'll offer some of them to her & the rest I'll take to Half Price Books & see what I can get for them, if there are any they refuse to take (which I highly doubt), I'll take them to my hospital (they have roving book shelves for the waiting rooms & patients). To be honest, I have gotten away from fiction lately. I use to say I would never read non-fiction..."it doesn't require any creativity, no imagination, it's boring"...but that's not really true. I love non-fiction now. I glean so much from it & I find it quite interesting. Like I said, I'm a nerd, I love to research & learn.

Most of the research (blogs, books, & websites) I have been making is by Christian homemakers, aka, stay-at-home wives/mothers/homeschoolers. I mean, they are the experts of homemaking, right? That's their job. I'm not sure if I'll ever marry or become a mother or a stay-at-home wife/mother but that doesn't really matter. If I do, I'll have learned a lot of great advice on how to run a home & if I never marry, I'll still have my own home to run. Practical life wisdom rarely goes wasted. I have already learned quite a bit &, hopefully, having real life friends that are homemakers & reading these other ladies blogs will continue to inspire me get my life on the homefront in order.

Last year, I guess, was the year of my physical life. God convicted me about my health & helped me to get in better shape, learn to eat healthier & like it, and loose approximately 70 lbs. While I still have at least 30 lbs to go, I guess God thinks it is time to move to another area of my life. I came to the realization that, like loosing weight, I can not get my house clean & in order in a day, a weekend, or even a whole month, it is going to take a long time to get it where I want it, even then, like struggling with weight, it will be a daily battle to keep undercontrol. When I realized that, I seemed to relax a little. I've been looking at this mess for so long thinking, "There is so much to do, I don't know where to start." & then I would find something much less productive to do. But knowing it will take months to sort & thinking in small goals, like my cabinet in the hallway or one book self at a time, seems much more manageable & much less stressful. The entire living room in one day, forget it...I'll just play Rock Band for a while. But, one shelf for today...I think I can handle that.

So, a couple of years ago, it was The Year (or Two) of Spirituality; last year, it was The Year of Health; & I guess, this year, will be The Year of The Home.

How to insult a Senator without her knowing it.

In case you haven't heard, Senator Barbara Boxer(D-Calif.) interrupted Army Brigadier General Michael Walsh while he was testifying before her Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works requesting that he stop referring to her as "Ma'am" & refer to her as "Senator." (You can watch the video clip here.) Clearly a demonstration of the arrogance we are becoming more & more accustom to seeing in our politicians.

Well today, I read a short but wonderful article by Jeffery Jena in which he discusses we allow different people to call us by different names depending on how well we know a person & in what manner we are associated with them. Then he went on to reveal that by Sen. Boxer making this request of Brig. Gen. Walsh, she actually was asking him to insult her...which after her scene, I'm sure he was more than happy to oblige.

In his article, Jena talked about how he, a comedian by trade, was doing a show where the commanding officer happened to be a woman &, not wanting to insult her by calling her by the wrong title, he asked another decorated officer as to the proper way to reference her. He told him to refer to her as ma'am but then he went on to warn him never to refer to a military person by their title only unless you are trying to insult him or her.

Imagine, for example, you are an enlisted man and you are under the command of a Lieutenant Smith. If Lt. Smith is a competent leader you would address him as “Sir,” “LT” or “Lt. Smith.” If Lt. Smith is an arrogant moron you would always address him simply as “Lieutenant.”

So when General Walsh quickly came back with “Senator” and not “Senator Boxer” I laughed because I knew what he meant; this is a substandard person for whom I have no respect!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'm a terrible blogger

Ok, I admit it, I'm really terrible about sticking to this...especially lately. I'm going to get better. I will. I know I've posted several articles lately using ClipMarks, but that isn't really the same thing. I have so many ideas but I just can't seem to narrow them down. I think I am going to take a page out of some other bloggers that I follow's book & devote each day to a different series or topic. I'm not really sure what they will be about just yet. I'm still thinking. I know what a couple of them will be so maybe I'll just start with 2 or 3 days a week & see where that goes. I also need to get back on my 2000 Questions book, although I may limit that to one day a week also. I have been planing the next question for about a week but I have been really thinking about the question, trying to decide which way to go with it...or, more realisticly...procrastinating. I have another book I would like to start also with questions, but we'll see.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my thoughts before I head off to bed...late, again...but tonight is my "Friday" so I'll be fine. :)

Celebrity News: "Ed McMahon: 1926-2009"

Ed McMahon 1926-2009

ed1Beloved Johnny Carson sidekick, Star Search Host and known for many other- Ed McMahon has died this morning at Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles this morning..

McMahon was not only famous in other areas, but McMahon was a Fighter Pilot in the Marine Corp. during World War II.

His entertainment career included his most famous role as Johnny Carson’s sidekick on the Tonight Show, Star Search, T.V. bloopers among many others. He was survived by three daughters and three sons. He was recently diagnosed with bone cancer, and unfortunately that took him from us.
He was 86!
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Monday, June 22, 2009

Nutrition: "Nutrtion in a Nutshell"

Good Nutrition in a Nutshell


Inspired by the book What the Bible Says About Healthy Living (I only wish that I had come up with them myself!), here are the principles that I claim as my nutritional foundation:

1. Eat only those things that were created for food.
Anything that is created or greatly altered by men was likely not intended by our loving Creator to nourish and sustain our bodies.
2. Eat foods as close to the way they were created as possible.
3. Do not let any food become your idol.
examples of putting our desires and cravings for a particular food above our desire to use self-control and honor God with the way that we eat. I have also noticed in my life times when I allowed my "need" for something (a comfort food or a caffeine fix) to override my need to go before God and receive His strength and mercy instead. This is another less obvious, but equally serious, example of idolatry in our lives.
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These are good guidelines to follow. However, I struggle with everyone of them. I'm not a huge advocate for organic or raw living but I do think it is probably healthier to limit the amount of man altered foods in our diet.

This blog entry was found at Keeper of the Home.

Website: "How You Can Stop the EPA from Enforcing Global Warming Regulation"

clipped from www.stopepa.com

How You Can Help Stop the EPA from Enforcing Global Warming Regulation

The Environmental Protection Agency is trying to enact harmful regulations on
carbon dioxide.

Intended to fight global warming, these new rules would hurt ordinary Americans,
constrain the economy and impose vast quantities of red

Your Support Can Make a Difference
EPA's Greenhouse Gas Finding Endangers U.S. Economy
Costs and Red Tape for Ordinary Americans
Lost Jobs
Negative Impact on Businesses
Reduced International Competitiveness

Voice your opposition to the EPA declaring carbon dioxide a
greenhouse gas and harmful to humans' health:

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Visit StopEPA.com to sign the petition. You have until tomorrow (6/23/09) to sign. President Obama sent me an email today asking all Americans to get involved/volunteer/help their community. Well, here's one way I will.

"Weed, Booze, Cocaine & Other Old School 'Medicine' Ads"

Weed, Booze, Cocaine and Other Old School "Medicine" Ads

Lloyd Cocaine Toothache Drops
In the US, cocaine was sold over the counter until 1914 and was commonly found in products like toothache drops, dandruff remedies and medicinal tonics.
Bayer Heroin
From 1898 through to 1910, heroin was marketed as a cough suppressant by trusted companies like Bayer -- alongside the company's other new product, Aspirin.
Smith Glyco-Heroin
Pantopon Roche Injectable Opium
Ayer's Cherry Pectoral
Depending on which list of contents you reference, this cure for colds, coughs and "all diseases of the throat and lungs" contained either morphine or heroin.
Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup
Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup
Dr. Batty's Asthma Cigarettes
Anheuser-Bush's Malt-Nutrine
Pabst Extract


Kimball White Pine and Tar Cough Syrup
Coca-Cola was invented in the late 1800s as a "coca wine" (see above) mix of wine and cocaine, but the alcohol and cocaine were later replaced with syrup and coca leaves, respectively. Nevertheless, typical coca wine claims of increased vitality remained for many years.
McNeil Butisol Sodium
Nembutal Suppositories
Lakeside Pentobarbital and Phenobarbital
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