Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Countdown to Halloween

I was thinking that I had a little more time to get costumes ready. But the girls have Halloween parties in the dance classes this week.

I just finished putting the finishing touches on Allegra's polka costume. Her class is this evening.

I have everything I need to turn Deanna into Padme from Star Wars 2. She has class tomorrow.

I just need to make a tulle skirt to finish up Nina's Sleeping Beauty costume. This one is going to take me the longest. I hate gathering tulle. But, it will be done in time for her class tomorrow.

Gabe is going to be Batman and he is so cute in his costume.

They are all looking forward to carving pumpkins tomorrow. We are going Trunk n Treating at the church on Friday. We have done this ever since we have lived on the High Desert. The little ones want to go house to house, but it is just safe and convinient to be at the church for it. Plus they get to see their friends and so do Steve and I.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just a few thoughts from Alexis de Tocqueville

from "Democracy in America"

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.

When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.

The health of a democratic society may be measured in the quality of functions performed by private citizens.

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common by one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.

Simple Woman for 10/27/08

For today, October 27, 2008

Outside My sycamore tree is changing colors and dropping leaves. Beyond that I can see the trees in the riverbed changing colors.

I am thinking...that I can't believe tomorrow is the first anniversary of my father's death.

I am thankful for...the gift of my father. He taught me many things. The best gifts he gave me were his marriage to my mom, the love that he gave to me, the faith that he nurtured in me, and his believing in me.

From the learning rooms...the books are opening. We are having afternoon school today. I had to clean the studio and then had a chiropractic appointment. I am still having treatment for the injury in the hit and run accident that I was in a couple of weeks ago.

From the kitchen...things are quiet and clean.

I am wearing...a chocolate colored shirt with 3/4 sleeves and jeans. Bare feet as always.

I am creating...a list of things I need to get done for the week.

I am pick up the cones and barriers I need for the trunk n treat at the All Hallows Eve celebration at the church on Friday.

I am reading...Rashi's Daughters: Book 1 Johoved

I am hoping...that Steve doesn't take too long in coming home from his parents. I miss my boys.

I am hearing...Neil Cavuto on the tv.

Around the house...some things need to be straightened up.

One of my favorite dad's laughter.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: dance classes for the girls, piano class for Deanna, finish costumes, make cocoa krispie treats, make cupcakes for the cake walk, get together with my family to celebrate dad's life.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...This is a photo of my parents in Aiea Hawaii on June 24, 2006, the night before their 40th anniversary. At the time there were 17 of us in my family and all of us were in Hawaii to celebrate. It was a great time. Since then there have been two more grandchildren. One of them my dad had the chance to meet. One of them is the first grandchild who will not know my dad.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

We cannot find God in noise or agitation. Nature: trees , flowers and grass grow in silence. The stars, the moon and the sun move in silence. What is essential is not what we say but what God tells us and what He tells others through us. In silence He listens to us, In silence He speaks to our souls. Take some time out to be silent with Him.
~Mother Teresa~

I think that I need more silence in my life. I am going to fast from the news about the presidential race this weekend.

I am going to enjoy the leaves changing color in silence. I am going to enjoy watching my swimming pool ripple in silence. I am going to enjoy my children as they lay asleep tonight and say a special prayer over each of them.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

An arguement for marriage from a liberal Democrat

It isn't just the conservatives of the country who think that marriage should be one man, one woman.,0,2093869.story

Protecting Marriage to Protect Children
Marriage as a human institution is constantly evolving. But in all societies, marriage shapes the rights and obligations of parenthood.
By David Blankenhorn September 19, 2008

I'm a liberal Democrat. And I do not favor same-sex marriage. Do those positions sound contradictory? To me, they fit together.Many seem to believe that marriage is simply a private love relationship between two people. They accept this view, in part, because Americans have increasingly emphasized and come to value the intimate, emotional side of marriage, and in part because almost all opinion leaders today, from journalists to judges, strongly embrace this position. That's certainly the idea that underpinned the California Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage.
But I spent a year studying the history and anthropology of marriage, and I've come to a different conclusion.Marriage as a human institution is constantly evolving, and many of its features vary across groups and cultures. But there is one constant. In all societies, marriage shapes the rights and obligations of parenthood. Among us humans, the scholars report, marriage is not primarily a license to have sex. Nor is it primarily a license to receive benefits or social recognition. It is primarily a license to have children. In this sense, marriage is a gift that society bestows on its next generation. Marriage (and only marriage) unites the three core dimensions of parenthood -- biological, social and legal -- into one pro-child form: the married couple. Marriage says to a child: The man and the woman whose sexual union made you will also be there to love and raise you. Marriage says to society as a whole: For every child born, there is a recognized mother and a father, accountable to the child and to each other.
These days, because of the gay marriage debate, one can be sent to bed without supper for saying such things. But until very recently, almost no one denied this core fact about marriage. Summing up the cross-cultural evidence, the anthropologist Helen Fisher in 1992 put it simply: "People wed primarily to reproduce." The philosopher and Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell, certainly no friend of conventional sexual morality, was only repeating the obvious a few decades earlier when he concluded that "it is through children alone that sexual relations become important to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution."Marriage is society's most pro-child institution. In 2002 -- just moments before it became highly unfashionable to say so -- a team of researchers from Child Trends, a nonpartisan research center, reported that "family structure clearly matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage." All our scholarly instruments seem to agree: For healthy development, what a child needs more than anything else is the mother and father who together made the child, who love the child and love each other. For these reasons, children have the right, insofar as society can make it possible, to know and to be cared for by the two parents who brought them into this world. The foundational human rights document in the world today regarding children, the 1989 U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, specifically guarantees children this right. The last time I checked, liberals like me were supposed to be in favor of internationally recognized human rights, particularly concerning children, who are typically society's most voiceless and vulnerable group. Or have I now said something I shouldn't? Every child being raised by gay or lesbian couples will be denied his birthright to both parents who made him. Every single one. Moreover, losing that right will not be a consequence of something that at least most of us view as tragic, such as a marriage that didn't last, or an unexpected pregnancy where the father-to-be has no intention of sticking around. On the contrary, in the case of same-sex marriage and the children of those unions, it will be explained to everyone, including the children, that something wonderful has happened! For me, what we are encouraged or permitted to say, or not say, to one another about what our society owes its children is crucially important in the debate over initiatives like California's Proposition 8, which would reinstate marriage's customary man-woman form. Do you think that every child deserves his mother and father, with adoption available for those children whose natural parents cannot care for them? Do you suspect that fathers and mothers are different from one another? Do you imagine that biological ties matter to children? How many parents per child is best? Do you think that "two" is a better answer than one, three, four or whatever? If you do, be careful. In making the case for same-sex marriage, more than a few grown-ups will be quite willing to question your integrity and goodwill. Children, of course, are rarely consulted.The liberal philosopher Isaiah Berlin famously argued that, in many cases, the real conflict we face is not good versus bad but good versus good. Reducing homophobia is good. Protecting the birthright of the child is good. How should we reason together as a society when these two good things conflict? Here is my reasoning. I reject homophobia and believe in the equal dignity of gay and lesbian love. Because I also believe with all my heart in the right of the child to the mother and father who made her, I believe that we as a society should seek to maintain and to strengthen the only human institution -- marriage -- that is specifically intended to safeguard that right and make it real for our children. Legalized same-sex marriage almost certainly benefits those same-sex couples who choose to marry, as well as the children being raised in those homes. But changing the meaning of marriage to accommodate homosexual orientation further and perhaps definitively undermines for all of us the very thing -- the gift, the birthright -- that is marriage's most distinctive contribution to human society. That's a change that, in the final analysis, I cannot support. David Blankenhorn is president of the New York-based Institute for American Values and the author of "The Future of Marriage."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Car Accident

I was the victim of a hit and run on Wednesday night. I have to say that it was Ted Nugent's fault.

I had heard that his book "Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto," was out, so I thought that I would stop at Costco on the way to Mom's Night Out and pick it up. I was so close to Costco! I was going through the last intersection before the turn into Costco, and a car that was intending to make a left turn decided that it was going to test the laws of physics.

I didn't realize that this guy wasn't going to not turn until it was too late for brakes. He (but I don't know for sure that it was a he) hit me where the front driver door and the back door seam. Since he didn't stop, he also got the back fender, bumper and the framing around the bottom of the doors is phlanged out.

I put the car in park, getting ready to get out and exchange info, but I turned and didn't see anyone, until I looked back over my right side and saw the car going slowly in the direction that he had turned.

But, a police car just happened to pull up to the intersection just then. By this time I was on the phone with 911. I got the officer's attention, he pulled over to me, I told him what happened, and he went to go try to find the car. No luck. Some how the car managed to get away.

My only consolation is that, if the guy was drunk like I think he was, he woke up the next morning and couldn't figure out what the heck had happened to his car.

I am pretty sore. My doc said that the worst will probably be this weekend. I will keep up with the ibuprofen, hot baths and ice packs.

Oh, and the Grand Am is going to be ok. Thank goodness the estimate came in lower than what the car is worth. We had just finished paying it off at the beginning of the year. I would have hated to have to get another car payment.

I haven't cussed a blue streak like that in ages. I am so glad that no one was in the car with me.

Milk and Honey Toast

This is French Toast, Alton Brown style. I just made it this morning and it was so yummy, I could have eaten it without the syrup. But, it needed something on top. My challah bread was pretty big, so I needed a double recipe. And, if your bread is still not completely dry, you are not going to need to soak the bread in the custard mixture for as long as 30 seconds per side.

French Toast
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 24 minutes
Serves: 4

1c half/half
3 lg eggs
2 tbs honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
1/4 tsp salt
8 1/2 inch slices day old country loaf or challah bread
4 tbs butter

In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. You may do this the night before. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes.
Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tbs butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a tie into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.