Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

Yasser and Me

I read this post in Daddy's Roses and naturally had to go see who my twin was. So I went to My Heritage to see what celebrity I looked like - or which celebrity looked like me.... I put a recent photo of myself and - with not a little bit of fear and trembling - clicked the go button. I was shocked to see Britney Spears pop up as the closest look alike. Now, I'm twice her age and thought that was rather suspicious, but hey, they go by face structure, so I decided who was I to question the wisdom of the computer (g). I was so relieved that my look-alike wasn't Madelene Albright that I fearlessly pressed on. They give you several look-alikes with a percentage of how close they are to your likeness. As I clicked along, I ran across a few that I had to click by quickly, fortunately they weren't anyone that anyone would know. Emboldened, I tried some different photos of myself. I was so vain by this time that I put in a photo from my college graduation thinking the computer might just explode from the sheer beauty of my 20 year old self and whoever the computer decided was my lookalike. And the results were ..... (drum roll) Here's me at my college graduation (an undisclosed number of years ago): Here's my computer generated twin: Yasser Arafat is my twin.
Sigh. My vanity got thrown into the Bonfire!
Happy New Year!

Monthly Marathon

The Median Sib has started a Monthly Marathon starting January 1st, 2006. I don't like making New Year's Resolutions, because I never keep them. However, I think keeping in shape is a pretty good resolution and this is really pretty reasonable. Get Details Here Maybe we can keep this resolution! Trackbacked to The Median Sib, Daddy's Roses

Great Quote

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. Theodore Roosevelt "Man in the Arena" Speech given April 23, 1910 26th president of US (1858 - 1919)

Hitting Nerves

I seem to be popular with anonymous people. Apparently my last post Are We Doomed hit some nerves with a few people. I decided to answer a second anonymous comment here because my answer to him/her wouldn't fit in the comment area. Mr. Anonymous #2 wrote that he would not read my blog again and would block me so I wouldn't darken his screen. So I don't expect Mr. Anonymous #2 to read this. But his response is just so full of the talking points we hear repeatedly from the progressives (the new word used for those of liberal persuasion) that I thought it was worth a response. Plus, he/she ended each paragraph with a question as to how I'd feel in such a situation, with great condescension. Mr. Anonymous #2, I realize you have done a fly-by, leaving your comments and then stating you will not read/listen to any rebuttal. All the same, I feel compelled to reply. Since you won't read it and you have blocked me from 'darkening your screen again', it shouldn't matter to you. You start your comment by stating I have berated Mr. Anonymous #1 and then proceed to call me a 'raving hate filled lunatic'. And that's just the beginning. Mr. Anonymous #1 chastised me for not being 'loving' enough, for not having enough 'compassion', and then implied I did not have enough insight to understand that our President is really the problem here. He couched his attack in 'loving' words. But it was an attack all the same. I suppose I didn't have to make the recruiting office comment - but you have to admit that I'm probably right about that. Where did I berate him? You accuse me of 'buying into' the hate-filled propaganda filling our airwaves. Would you consider your commects 'berating' and implying I don't have the ability to come to my own conclusions. The issue you raise in your first paragraph of imagining the roles being reversed is a complicated issue that is not so easily put into the box you seem to want to put it into. The history of the United States making promises to assist the Iraqi people in freeing themselves from the sadistic dictatorship they were subjected to goes back many years. During the Clinton administration there was a coup attempt planned and backed by the US. Clinton backed out at the last minute resulting in the execution of the Iraqi conspirators. No wonder the Iraqis were a little reluctant to trust that we would stay true to our word this time. Did that bother you? Or is it just the Bush administration that bothers you? Are you aware of how upset the Iraqi people are at the idea of the US pulling troops out prematurely? Do you know anyone who is there and knows or do you just rely on CNN to tell you what to think? Mr. Anonymous #2 - do you really believe that our soldiers are 'bullying' the citizens of Iraq? I find your statements about our soldiers particularly insulting. I suppose that was your intention, wasn't it. Contrary to your statements, our soldiers are honorable for the most part. I'm sure there are some bad apples, there always are. But this is an all volunteer Army - and the world knows that the American soldier is by far the most humane. Why else would the Germans have wanted to surrender to Americans rather than to the Russians in WWII? The worse American abuse the MSM has been able to come up with are the childish fraternity hijinks of the Lindi England episode. That certainly shouldn't be condoned and is an embarassment, but you can hardly compare that to torture. Regardless of language barriers, one can identify with compassion. Can't you? Our soldiers are not without compassion. They are citizen soldiers. They are our sons and daughters. American Soldiers are our sons and daughters, our kin, our neighbors. They are not monsters. You hide behind your anonymity and sling insults to the men and women who stand, sleep, eat and fight in that desert while you sit in the comfort of your home getting your feelings hurt sitting at your computer reading a blog. How would you feel if those roles were reversed? Regarding the Roman Empire, you need to brush up on your history a little bit. You state that you love our country, but 'find it despicable' that I would make a comparison to the Roman Empire. That's perplexing. Are you aware that our founding fathers based our Republic on the Republic of Rome? Yes, there was a time the Emperors of the Roman Empire perscuted Christians. That is part of the Roman history. Rome did thrive for 1,000 years so there is more than that to their history. As I'm sure you remember from elementary level history classes, the Emperor Constantine was a Christian and, in fact, made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. Constantine is considered one of the most powerful and influencial emperors of Rome. He spread Christianity throughout the Middle East. Contantine is credited with transforming Christianity into one of the world's major religions. So to paint the entire history of the Roman Empire by one episode in their history is just a tad narrow minded, don't cha think? Would you like your entire life to be judged on the worse year you had? And you, as a Progressive (the new word for Liberals), the 'understanding' and 'compassionate' Progressives, you call all Romans 'Christian Hating Warmongers'. I wonder if any Italians will read this. How would you feel if you were them? I agree with you that America is a generous and aware place. I agree that 'We The People' do not want to kill people who just disagree with us. That is evidenced by the great reluctance with which we have entered any war throughout our history. Your comment about the 'paternal kindness of a superpower...' is indicative of the Progressive's (the new word for liberal) overall paternal attitude towards 'We The People'. What would we do without the Progressives (the new word for liberal) telling us how to live, how to think, what views we should have, what to spend our money on, and where we can and can not do whatever the Progressives (the new word for liberals) think we should or should not do. You spend several paragraphs explaining to me why the terrorists attacks of 9/11 were really not that bad in the big scheme of things. The big Right Wing Conspiracy is 'whipping me up into a frenzy' while they steal my soul. No big deal. Right? No big deal at all. I submit to you that if you had been there, if your child had been there, if your own home were threatened, it would be a bigger deal to you. An intentional attack on our nation, into the interior of our nation. An attack on the very symbols of our financial and military might is a big deal. I submit to you that your defense of the attackers, your willingness to blame your own country for being attacked (blaming the victim), your insistance on minimizing the attacks and framing them in words like 'tragedy' rather than calling them what they were, attacks, is born out of fear. It is freightening to wrap your mind around the idea that there are people who want to kill you just because of where you were born and because you do not have the same belief system they do. You are an infidel and there's nothing you can do about that. And then you end this tirade by telling me you will not listen to anything further from me or my kind. You will not engage in debate. You will just slam me with your insults and then leave without avenue for debate. That is also typical of the talking points. You don't really want to see another point of view, hear another take on issues. Your mind is made up and you will keep it closed, shut tight. I'm sorry for you for that. Since you laced your insults with 'love' and 'understanding'. Since you associate yourself with a group that claim to be the 'understanding', 'accepting', 'liberal', 'open minded', etc. I thought it would be interesting to list the insults you slung at me in this one comment. List of insults: I berated a previous commenter; I'm a raving hate filled lunatic; I don't think for myself as evidenced by 'buying into the whole group hate thing...' ; Good intentions be damned - if they are good intentions; My reference to the Roman Empire is despicable; You imply I 'want' to kill people who disagree with me; I'm clueless; I should be ashamed of my hate filled angry call for vengeance and war; You berate me with comparisons between automobile accidents, suicides and terrorists attacks; I've been 'whipped into a frenzy'; I'm a sheep person; I see the world through a narrow angry lens of sensationalism; I'm a victim of out of control fear; I'm been sold a bill of goods to divert my attention while I'm being robbed; You don't want my blog darkening your computer screen again; I'm spreading fear and hate. I think all that added up together would make me a stupid and bad person, huh?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Are We Doomed?

Watching some talking heads on TV just a while ago, my curmudgeon dearly beloved said, ‘I guess I’m a dinosaur.’ He states this as fact and has stated it before when watching the news or certain shows on TV. I know what he means when he says that. He’s irritated that true costs of the freedoms we enjoy do not seem to be even known by the news readers or celebrities. The notions of personal discipline and personal responsibility don’t seem to be in their consciousness. In fact, these concepts don’t seem to even flicker in their sub-consciousnesses. They appear to be completely alien concepts. Watching some of the talking heads on TV I see poofy, briefcase toting, pink-fingered little metro-sexuals, stylin’ and prancing down the street, ipod and Treo in hand, taking full advantage of our freedoms without giving a fleeting thought to current events. Thinking only about their stock portfolios and when they’ll be able to fit in their next pedicure. Please don't misunderstand. I don't have a problem with metro-sexual males. I don’t think men should be a bunch of knuckle dragging cretins. I don't have a problem with how anyone wants to dress or behave. I don't care what their sexual preferences are. I really don't care. BUT - there are some serious issues at hand. We are in the midst of the most dangerous war this country has ever faced. We don't have the time our parents had during World War II. We can't afford the luxury of internal debate about isolationism and appeasement. The oceans don't protect us from our enemies as they once did. Our enemy can attack at any time, any where, without warning, without us having time to prepare. This war is not against another nation, it is a clash of ideologies. It’s a blood feud. It is a war with a religious paradigm whose adherents are fanatics. These fanatical religious extremists have declared war against not just the United States, but against western civilization. Their stated purpose is to destroy us, all of us. They've made no secret of what they intend to do. And yet, we ignore them. In spite of all evidence to the contrary. Apparently we don't think they can really do it. Or we don’t think they mean what they say. That's not all of it either. This war is being waged on two fronts. Externally and internally. We are fighting amongst ourselves. There are those of us who hear the declarations of Jihad - and believe they mean it. We are the ones that are not willing to risk that they don't really mean it and are willing to accept that it's not about Afghanistan or Iraq - but about Jihadists who will utilize any means necessary to achieve their purpose. The purpose being to kill Americans and other westerners. There are others who flat out refuse to accept that as reality. Even when it is explained in excruciating detail, they argue and flail around and refuse to accept it as fact. This faction seems to prefer to blame us for the problems we are facing and rage against their own nation for the problems of the world. Criticizing the United States or other western nations is certainly safer than criticizing Jihadists. Accepting this reality is not so simple. To accept this, one would have to accept that the way of life we take for granted is being threatened. It would mean that we will undoubtedly be called upon for personal sacrifice. Real personal sacrifice. We will have to take personal responsibility. Personal responsibility. Personal discipline. Personal sacrifice. Do Americans still know what that means? Do we still know how to do that? Are we willing to do that? Maybe we can call up the old crusty Vietnam era drill sergeants, sober them up and tell them to make warriors out of the youth of America today. Could even they make men out of these guys? What will happen when we can no longer ignore the fact that we are at war, and can no longer deny who we are at war with? Who will fight this war? The Roman Empire lasted 1,000 years. How long will the American Republic last?

Just Desserts!

Ha!
I found this at The Median Sib who found it at Dr. Sanity. I thought I'd pass it along - great parody!

One personal post, then off to bed ....

For my family: Here they are on daughter's first night in Germany, out on the town. Son and daughter ... Daughter and daughter-in-law .... And son and daughter again .... Enjoy :) By the way, my son is a tanker. He really liked that I had this picture 'Bring the Noise' on my blog!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Soldier's Returning to Normal Life ....

My father was a Marine in World War II, my husband served in the Navy in Vietnam as part of the Mobile Riverine Force, and now my son is serving in the Army in the War on Terrorism. I've asked my husband what must it be like to live in a war zone, to be a soldier in battles, for a year or more and then come back to 'normal' life. He's never really answered me. He doesn't talk about Vietnam very much - at least not about his 'feelings' about it. I've never known a veteran who did talk about their war experiences that way. I just found a blog that is written by a soldier, for soldiers who are returning to 'normal life'. He describes his blog like this:

This Blog is for soldiers returning to normal life after serving in Iraq. It doesn't matter if you are active duty adjusting to family and friends or a reservist returning to work, this Blog is for you.

Check it out .... Adjusting To Live After Serving In Iraq

Schwarzenegger is Erased From Graz!

Politicians in Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's hometown of Graz, Austria apparently didn't approve of the governor declining to overturn the decisions of the numerous courts and the jury that sentenced The Gangster Tookie Williams to death for murders he was convicted of committing. Review: Local officials in Graz started a petition to have Mr. Schwarzenegger's name removed from the town stadium. They sent him a letter to this effect. Governor Schwarzenegger took the offensive on the matter and rather than biting his nails and waiting for their decision, he faxed them a letter. In his letter he told them he would 'spare them any further concern' and instructed them to remove his name from the stadium and, oh by the way, they can't use his name or identity to promote their city anymore. To bring the point even further home. He returned a ring presented to him by the City of Graz. Here's part of what he wrote in his letter:
"I considered the ring as a token of sincere friendship between my hometown and me." "Since, however, the official Graz appears to no longer accept me as one of their own, this ring has lost its meaning and value to me. It is already in the mail."
A few years ago the city council voted unanimously for Graz to be designated as Europe's 'City of Human Rights'. The Green Party, Communist Party and Socialist Party members of the city council prevailed over the minority conservative Peoples Party members. That alone should tell us what happened there. But there's more. A poll has shown that over 70% of Graz' population is in opposition of their leadership's decision on this matter. A professor in Graz, Wolfgang Benedek, explains that, among other things, this is the European elite vs. the popular opinion. That also explains a lot. Suggestions for renaming the stadium included naming it after the Crips (the gang Tookie founded). It was also suggested it be named 'Hakoah' after an Austrian Jewish Sports Club that was banned when Hitler annexed Austria in 1938. The Hakoah idea didn't go very far. It seems their ideals of human rights only go so far. It was stated they didn't want a day to day reminder of their not so pleasant past! The town officials have taken mention of Schwarzenegger from their website. They say American's are 'barbaric'. Now, here's the thing. 1. Schwarzenegger was not the only avenue of clemency that Tookie had. He was the last and the one taking the heat for not granting clemency. Even the 9th District Court of California refused clemency for crying out loud! 2. Why is this any city in Europe's business and why do they care what American laws are? I don't have a problem with it if they want to release murderers to live in their neighborhoods. That's their country. They can do what they want. 3. Lastly, I know that Österreich is not the exact same as Deutschland. However, Österreich did become a part of Deutschland during World War II and their other most famous son was ... well ... Adolf Hitler. Now, I know they don't like being reminded of that, but it is, in fact, a fact. With a history of executing an estimated 6 million Jews and Lord only knows how many Gypsys and other untermenschen the Austrians/Germans seem to have a new found compassion for their fellow human beings. But they are reformed. So it seems they can now sit in judgement of the U.S.A. How reformed are the Austrians? Not enough to name the Stadium Formerly Known as the Schwarzenegger Stadium after a Jewish Sports Club that was eliminated by their former most famous son. Will their new found compassion not embrace their Jewish citizens? Will their reformation continue in the face of an ever increasing Muslim population that is hostile towards their Germanic lifestyles? My guess is the Austrians are just about as reformed as Tookie was.
More info on this case if you want to read more: Brietbart This is London International Herald Tribune Brietbart, December 28 The Drudge Report Previous post I've written about this case:
Thanks to Cao's Blog for the Mid-Week Open Track Back Party!

Going to Frankfurt

My daughter has been enroute for Frankfurt, Germany since this morning. So I've been up late waiting till her plane is supposed to land. I still have a hard time sleeping when they are traveling. She should have landed by now and is, hopefully, on the train to the town my son and daughter-in-law live in. It's 9:00 a.m. there. (I have my Treo set to give me Berlin time). She's going over for a 3 week visit. I wish I could have gone with her! If I could stay up a couple more hours I could call and see if she got to their apartment alright - but I don't think I'm going to make it. If you read this when you get there, I hope your trip was uneventful and pleasant and that y'all are having a good time. Leave me a note here, or email. Send me pictures! Haben Sie eine gute Zeit und eine gute Nacht!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

ARRGGGG

I decided to make a new template for this blog. I do several webpages and know a little about CSS (well, I know what it is anyway). So I thought I'd spruce this place up a little. That turned into a time-consuming mess! I fooled with it and fooled with it. I got all wrapped up in it and would suddenly realize I'd spent hours at the computer and still didn't have anything that looked even half-way decent. I have about 10 templates on my computer that looked terrible when I proofed them! Either the column was way down at the bottom of the page or the posts were down at the bottom of the page. One turned out where everything in the post went all the way across the page. I ended up downloading templates and using them as guides. Still didn't get very far. Although, I have to say I've learned a lot from doing this. I have found out that having a wrapper or container in the template is pretty important. So this is my current final product. I'm not 100% happy with it, but it'll do for now and I have to stop. I'll keep tweaking it and hopefully end up with something that I like better. This template is a modified version of a template I downloaded from V4-NY Templates Only. It's actually this template modified. In all my foolin' around with templates, I have noticed that the ones made by V4-NY Templates Only are well made and stand up to modifications (some don't, I've found). I'm glad there are people out there that make templates available for those of us who are CSS challenged :) So now, back to seeing what is going on in the blogging world. ciao

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Birthday

My dearly beloved was born on Christmas Day. I strongly suspect that has something to do with his general attitude about the Christmas season. Bah Humbug pretty much sums it up. Last year we spent Christmas/his birthday with his children in Boston. We spent a wonderful week with his son, daughter, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Aren't they all beautiful? It was a very nice Christmas/birthday! As long as I've known him, I've suspected that he secretly likes Christmas. He's just too manly to admit it. We celebrate Christmas in the morning and his birthday in the afternoon. He's bound to feel cheated. His mother told me that when he was a child they tried to celebrate his birthday in June so he'd have a seperate celebration. But when people asked how old he was, 5 1/2 just didn't cut it. So it went back to Christmas Day. Maybe he was disappointed when he got old enough to realize all the decorations and celebrations weren't just for him? So this post is for you, honey. It's not wrapped in Christmas paper and not a single jingle bell on it. Just wishing you a Happy Birthday. You da man! Love you, Me

Merry Christmas to My Children

I forced my children to pose in these homemade fleese scarves we made last year. You can see how thrilled they look :). We made them from leftover material from the fleese blankets we made. I think my daughter-in-law thought of making the scarves. She's quite handy with making things. They are all in other places this year. So - I'm sending a Merry Christmas via blog to my sweet children. I wish for you long, happy and prosperous lives. I love you!

Remembering Christmas Past

Christmas Day was spent at my grandmother’s house when I was a child. Really through my young adulthood, until her death in 1994. She insisted on it. I didn’t understand until I was older that she pretty much made everyone come to her house on Christmas. To me, it was just what we always did. All of her sons and their families were dutifully at her house on Christmas. I’m not sure anyone questioned her authority. She decorated – really decorated. The photo in this post is perfect of her. It’s how I remember her, especially at Christmas, with all the frills, lights, candles and garland she could fit into her house. It didn’t seem to matter that she was living in a mill town in Georgia and her husband was a barber. She had my grandfather, and after his death, my uncle take her into Atlanta to Rich’s to do her shopping. She was a lady and she would have the nicer things. Period. She wasn’t a bad person. She had a difficult childhood and a strong will and with all sons, she was not going to be take a back seat to anyone. I’m not sure she wasn’t right, she set up a family tradition that contributed considerably to the closeness of the family and some very fond memories. She worked us all hard. There were no excuses for not contributing. That was expected too. She raised 5 hard-working, very fine, honorable and just basically good sons. So she obviously did some thing right. That was Christmas. We got up in the morning. Daddy always made us wait in the hall while he got his movie camera out (the kind with the huge hot lamps), when he had everything set up, we could come into the living room and see what Santa had laid out for us during the night. Then we all got ready and went to my grandmothers for the evening and opened presents again. One or the other of my uncles always had a prank gift for someone. My uncles were all hilarious. They played as hard as they worked. After dinner the men would go and sit on the porch and smoke and tell tall tales. The women went to the kitchen and cleaned and prepared for opening gifts. When I was very young I could go out on the porch with my granddaddy and uncles. I always liked going out there with them. They talked about more interesting things than the women did and they thought I was cute. They would sit me on their laps and let me light their cigarettes with those old-fashioned propane lighters and laugh at everything I said and did. I loved them very much. As I grew older, I had to help in the kitchen, but escaped as quickly as I could to go back out to the porch with the men. I remember the last real Christmas there. The last one before they all started leaving. It was crowded in her house, as usual. I remember we were at her table and she was opening presents. My daddy’s youngest brother had gone into the kitchen to get more coffee and was coming back into the dinning room, I bumped into him as he came through the door. He made some kind of joke out of it, as he always did, I wish I remembered what he said. What I do remember is that I looked straight into his eyes and I remember behind his laughter I saw a sadness. He was beautiful, he had strikingly beautiful eyes, and he was so very young. It was the last time I ever saw him. A week later he died of a massive heart attack at 47 years of age. He was the first. My father died just before Christmas the next year. Within a couple of years, 3 of the 5 brothers were dead. All died suddenly of massive heart attacks, just like their father did. Nothing was ever the same after that. My grandmother still insisted on the Christmas gatherings at her house. But it was different now. The laughter was more forced, if it was there at all. Unspoken sadness inevitably hung over the gatherings. The two surviving sons talked together and became closer than ever. My grandmother outlived all but one of her sons. When her 4th son died, she seemed to decide it was time to go herself. Eventhough she had been remarkably healthy during her life, she died within just a few months. We haven’t had Christmas together with that side of the family since then. I’ve rarely seen them at all since then. I find true joy in my family and friends who are in my life now. But during the Christmas season I always find myself thinking back on those years with a certain amount of melancholy. I am always sad for the times that have been tucked away into the past. Times that I had no idea would ever end. I miss the people who have left. I miss them, everyone.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Open Trackback Weekend

I found this Open Track Back Party on Cao's Blog . Following the links in her Open Track Back Blogroll, I found some very interesting posts and new blogs of interest. I linked this post back to the links below to see if I can figure out how this works. And because I'm proud of my son.

Caos Blog Stop The ACLU The Right Nation

More in a little bit - we are watching the Andy Williams Christmas Show. I think I've seen it at least a dozen times. I think I saw it when it was new.

I'm finding myself wondering who would be caught dead in those outfits nowadays :)

Christmas at Arlington

Greater Love Hath No Man .... Than To Lay Down His Life ...

The picture speaks for itself. I found this at Freedom Folks Trackback url: Freedom Folks

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Behold, the Death of Unions

Ladies and Gentlemen, pull up a chair, pop some popcorn and grab a drink. Sit back and watch. We are all eye witnesses to the death of unions in America, at least for the time being. This is one of those, What Are They Thinking kind of moments in life. You know ... when you can't for the life of you figure out what the thought process is of someone who is doing something that is obviously self-destructive. I'm sure the union bosses in New York think this is perfect timing to put the squeeze on New York City. I'm sure they are thinking they are going to strong-arm New York City into caving into their demands. I'm sure the powers that be in New York City are thrilled to death to have this opportunity to get rid of the overpaid, over-benefited workers. They can and will be replaced with non-union workers at much less expense to the tax-payers of the city. Unions served a purpose at one time, but they have been dying out for a while now. Their power slowly eroding with ever increasing and unreasonable demands of the work place. Now, right before our virtual eyes, the last strong hold is going the way of other unions. They are strong arming for 'rights' that most of us can only dream of having. Their 'rights' are costing the small business man in New York City his Christmas season earnings. Their 'rights' are making the average man in New York City have to increase his work day by hours to walk to work - in the cold. They make $100,000 per year - bus drivers! They are striking for better pension guarantees. They say they 'should' be able to retire at age 55, not 62. They say they 'should' get a pension plan that requires the city to put $23,000 into their pension per year. They say they have the 'right' and 'deserve' this. They say they are doing this to save all unions. If this strike successes, unions will regain some of their power. If New York City breaks the union, it's over for unions. It is a death struggle. My opinion is that the union will be broken. There is no sympathy for the exorbitant demands of the union bosses. Most Americans would love to make $100,000 a year in a job they don't have to take home with them (I would!). Most Americans would love to be able to retire at age 55 (I would!). It's hard to feel sympathy for an inarticulate guy on TV talking about his 'right' to retire at age 55. This guy says, 'I shouldn't have to work till I'm too old to enjoy retirement.' He said this seriously. I figure one day someone will come into my office and I'll be slumped over my laptop. They'll move me out of the way and start looking for someone else to run the place. The sympathy I feel for these guys is that they are inarticulate and seemingly not very well informed. They have followed their union bosses to their demise. They are replaceable, as we all are. Unions will come back in 20 or so years, when the pendulum swings back in the other direction. Stay tuned. It's gonna get ugly up in here.

Quote of the Day

The gallery in which the reporters sit has become a fourth estate of the realm. Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay 1800–1859

Being the Boss Without a Voice ....

I am soooo sick .... I don't expect anyone to particularly care about reading this. But I can't complain to anyone else, this is my blog, so I figure I can complain here. I am sick. I woke up this morning sicker than I was yesterday. I tried to speak to my husband and an awful croaking sound came out of my throat. Yuck. So I whispered. 'What?', he asked. 'I can't talk', I croaked out the obvious in a barely audiable whisper. 'You sound terrible', he said, again stating the obvious, 'poor baby, you're sick aren't you'. I glared at him. He left for work. Later, he wondered out loud if he could keep me this way. He thought that was funny. I croaked out, 'You'd miss me if I was gone.' 'What?', he asked. I tried again, 'What?'. Again I tried. 'I can't understand you, just rest your voice.' What voice? I gave him my best version of the dirtiest look I could muster. He just laughed. I called work to have my assistant call to reschedule some appointments. It's obviously pointless for me to meet with people today and I can't be sure I'll be okay tomorrow. Plus, I'm probably contagious. Someone answered the phone. I said, 'This is ...., may I speak to ... please?'. 'What?', came the reply. I repeated. She put me on hold. For a loooonnnnggg time. I hung up, cleared my throat, determined to put on my best 'boss' commanding voice and called again. Someone else answered and we went through the same rigamarole. I was put on hold again. For a long time again. I hung up again. I was steaming. I called one last time. This time my assistant answered. I was so relieved. I started telling her what I needed her to do. 'What?' she asked. I started again. 'I'm sorry, but I'm having difficulty understanding you,' she said, 'would you please repeat'. !!!!!!!!!! AGGGGHHHHHH. I croaked out, 'Stay at your desk, I'll email you'. I mustered up all my energy to get the words out and sound authoritative, but I'm sure I sounded more like a bad connection at the drive-thru of a fast food place. 'I'm sorry, will you repeat?', she asked. By this time I not only felt like death warmed over, I was irritated. So I deluged them all with emails. Phone etiquette being top on my list at that particular moment. I was bombared with emails in return. This appointment is rescheduled, they took care of this that and the other. They didn't realize it was me (I just wish I could express how much that irritated me). What did bosses do before email?

Picture of the Day

My Mother and two oldest sisters. My father took this photo with him during World War II.

My Mother, A Train Trip, Scarlett Fever and Her Marine

My mother recently found a letter she wrote to her mother during World War II. It was in it's original envelop, addressed to her mother's formal name as was proper then. The address included a PO box and the name of the town. No long hyphenated zip codes or complicated addresses. Just name, box number, town and state. She found the letter in a cedar chest that had belonged to my mother's sister. I guess it had been tucked away in the bottom of that chest for 60 years. It had been mailed from San Diago Califonia to Georgia in April 1944. The letter began 'Dearest Mother', in my mother's familiar handwriting. She then wrote 9 pages asking about people at home, particularly the two young daughters she had left in her mother and sister's care. Most of the letter she told her mother of her adventures on the train traveling to California and all that had happened since she'd gotten there. 'I just got out of the hospital .... I was quarantined for 21 days.' she writes, explaining that she couldn't write letters while she was in the hospital because the paper couldn't be sterilized. My father was a great storyteller. A real pro. He could make anything interesting and make you laugh at whatever he decided to weave into a story. He was of Irish decent - do you suppose that had anything to do with his storytelling? I remember him telling about that trip Mother made to San Diago. She had gone all the way out there to see him before he was shipped out to the South Pacific to fight the Japanese. He was a Marine and he was leaving for no one knew how long. Mother contracted Scarlett Fever on the train trip and was quarantined. He used to tell about bringing his buddies to see his beautiful wife. They would look through the windows of the hospital and he'd point out which one she was. All they could see were her feet. He pointed her out with great pride and his friends would say, 'Well, she has pretty feet.' Mother wrote in her letter that the doctors had new sulfa drugs that made Scarlett Fever not so bad. She writes about how expensive California is, 'Every time you eat out here it costs $1', and even that doesn't buy much food. She wrote about Balboa Park and all the animals she saw there that she'd never seen before. She wrote, 'It makes me feel more confident in Victory for the U.S. to see so many Servicemen taking a big part in the (church) service.' Especially since they were 'in a town with bar rooms and gambling places on every corner.' She also wrote that on the train ride the only people misbehaving were civilians, not Servicemen. It seemed her attitude was that our Servicemen were fine, upstanding, brave, strong and would save us from our enemies. My 25 year old father got furloughed to take my mother home on the train. A long cross-country train trip for a short furlough. My 21 year old mother would stay home with two young daughters while her husband and brothers and friends were off to war. When I read that yellowed letter, it struck me how young she was. How young they both were. That was my mother long before I was born. Her words made me think about the fact that they didn't know the outcome of the war then, it was uncertain. They didn't know what my father was going to have to live through before he got home again, or if he'd get home again. Some of their friends didn't come home and some came home broken with wounds that wouldn't heal for the rest of their lives. They didn't question the sacrifices they had to make. Our country had been attacked and the country had to be protected. We've never been called upon to make those kinds of sacrifices and can't really comprehend it. As I was reading the letter, Mother told me she and Daddy had destroyed the letters they had written to each other while he was gone to war. They were so young and, I suppose, wanted their communications to be theirs alone. Or perhaps to put those years behind them in some symbolic way. She seemed glad to have found that letter. It reminded her of things she'd forgotten. I was glad to read it. It gave me a glimpse of who my parents were in those years. And now she has her own blog - RuthLace - go figure.

Cough, Cough

I started feeling sick yesterday and felt worse today. I went to the doc today and he said that I was, indeed, sick. I have bronchitis. I went back to work after my doctor's appointment and everybody there kept telling me to go home. I can't imagine why they wanted me to leave (cough, sneeze, sniffle, sputter, moan and groan). So I stayed tucked away in my office a couple more hours and finally left to go home. At least everybody stayed out of my office. I should make a recording of myself like this for future use when I want everyone to leave me alone. (g) I was really just hanging around till my prescription got filled cause I knew I wouldn't want to go back out to get it. After work I took my prescribed antibiotic and thought I'd piddle around the house and get a few things done that I've neglected terribly over the last few weeks. I was home around 4 p.m. and I'm hardly ever home that early in the day. A load of laundry got put in the washer, I picked up the broom and sat it down again without using it. I decided I'd feel better if I took a shower, so I did. Then I sat down at the computer. Long story short ... I just spent the entire evening roaming around the internet and playing with Paint Shop Pro trying to get a new template going for this blog. How pathetic is that!?! Totally useless time spent. About as useless as this post! Oh well, I'm supposed to be resting anyway. buonas noches

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Quote of the Day

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. Winston Churchill

Monday, December 19, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me

Well, so much for slimming around blogdom anonymously. I have a large family and at least half of them have blogs! lol It's hopeless. The story of my life actually. Thank you for the happy birthday wishes from The Median Sib (who has been despicable and posted photos of me, one in a diaper and one covered in chocolate!). Daddy's Roses has posted a very nice birthday wish along with some Christmas trivia and info about a colonoscopy (do those things belong together?). Thanks to both of you for your birthday wishes :) My mother is over at RuthLace with an excellent post about a Chaplains report from Iraq. She also has some wonderful tells of her childhood. She has a wide variety of interesting articles on her blog, but not a mention of my birthday! That's okay though, she wrote me a very nice email reminding me of how pretty my daddy thought I was when I was born! lol My brother, Alone on a Limb didn't mention it, but he's male so he can't help it. I have a cousin on a blog too - but she's not likely to remember my birthday. I don't remember hers so I can't hold that against her! She's a Cozy Reader and has really been dressing up her blog a lot lately. I guess that's why she didn't think about my birthday. She says she's been sick and her son's inlaws are in town - but I see how it is! There are probably others, but they shall remain annonymous :) My husband actually remembered my birthday today. That's new and different. I think he saw the email my mother sent cause he mentioned it when I came home briefly after lunch. He took me out to dinner tonight, which was nice. Both of my children wished me happy birthday first thing this morning. Even my wonderful son who is overseas. It doesn't get better than THAT. Speaking of my husband and birthdays. Until the last few years, he always put my birthday down as December 21st on everything, so that when I tried to use insurance, for instance, it was turned down because the birthday didn't match. I've finally pounded it into his head - the 19th!!!! If for no other reason then that I can go to the doctor without having to go through an ordeal to get the insurance straightened out every time. He tries, but he doesn't remember anybody's birthdays. His children have to call him and remind him when it's their birthdays. It's pitiful really. But he means well :)

The American South: America's Whipping Boy

Everything that is wrong with this nation is due to the despicable influence of The South. It's true. Ask anyone from another part of the country. In a previous post I mention an author whose whole premise seems to be that The South has infected the rest of the country. He seems to feel it's up to what he calls 'the creative class' to stop the virus from overtaking the country and leaving 'the creative class' isolated and outnumbered. That got me to thinking about how The South is perceived. Election night 2004. I watched as the commentators commented as the poll results were coming in, with no attempt to mask their dismay. I heard Chris Wallace say something to the effect of, 'It looks like most of the country is voting like the south!', with astonishment and disbelief in his voice. One morning a couple of years ago I heard Katie Couric commenting on a news report that had just aired about racial conflict somewhere. She seemed disgusted and shook her head and questioned/commented as to why The South is 'like that'. She was corrected by her co-host. This incident had happened in a northern state (I don't remember which one). She looked confused for a second and then just shook it off. She didn't get it. I can't tell you the relief I feel when I hear news of a KKK rally and find out it was up north - Michigan or Wisconsin. Thank God it's not in Georgia or Alabama. That would be fodder for endless analysis of the evils of The South. There was a news story that occured close by where I live. It involved a young black man. The national press took it and ran with it. The spin the story got in the national press was that it was 'The South' punishing a black man for getting a scholarship to college. Of course, if that were true, there would be all kinds of punishing going on down here. Lots of people get scholarships to college. We'd be slap worn out from punishing. This young man was painted as a victim. I happen to know the rest of the story, and the rest of the story was certainly NOT related in the news. He was not a victim. Some of the leaders of the national black community came to this area to shoot reports about this incident. It was ludicrous and embarrassing. Our black community booted them out of town. I was proud of them for that! One of the news reports I particular remember was done by a nationally known reporter. He stood in front of a raggedy ol' barn that had a confederate flag painted on the side of it for the entire segment. He told his national audience about how backward we are and how hard we work to keep 'young black men in their place.' That really was news, it was news to the people who live in this area. Now, I live close by, like I said. I have NEVER seen a barn with a confederate flag painted on the side of it like that. Since I saw that segment, I've kinda kept an eye out for that barn. I still haven't seen it. He had to have looked high and low to find an old run down barn with a confederate flag painted over the entire side of it around here. If there is one. I'm not saying there aren't any problems here. I know there are. I'm not saying there aren't confederate flags here and there. There are. But come on! Well, as my husband says, The South is the nations best kept secret, otherwise everybody would be moving down here and that would not be a good thing. Let them keep thinking if they come down here they'll have to wrestle with albino banjo picking hillbillies. We'll just keep our little secret.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Monthly Marathon

The Median Sib is starting a Monthly Marathon. Sounds like a great idea. Check it out.

The New Year is almost here, and I have a good idea for those of us who want some inspiration to exercise regularly. Let's do a MONTHLY MARATHON. I'm going to work on a blogroll for it. Here are the conditions to join the blogroll: (1) For 2006, you promise to walk, run, skip, hop, or crawl 26.2 miles each month. This is a very do-able goal. You can cover 1 miles 26+ days each month, 2 miles 13+ days per month...You get the idea. (2) You will check in each month with your total mileage for the month. Who's interested? Let me know, and I'll get the blogroll started by the first of the year!

America's Earliest Terroists

I ran across Collecting My Thoughts today (well, actually, I went there because she had left some comments on mine). She has a lot of interesting and informative information. Facts, in fact, that are well-researched and documented. If you are really interested in understanding some of the issues our society is facing dealing with, you can find a good collection of articles in her blogs. She touches on a wide variety of subjects. I found an article I found particularly interesting having to do with the Our Earliest Battles With Islamic Terrorists. She states, among other things, that in 1786 Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Tripolitan ambassador to Britain. They met to negotioate a peace treaty and protect the United States from the threat of Barbary piracy.

"These future United States presidents questioned the ambassador as to why his government was so hostile to the new American republic even though America had done nothing to provoke any such animosity. Ambassador Adja answered them, as they reported to the Continental Congress, "that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise."

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams came to learn back in 1786, the situation becomes a lot clearer when you listen to the stated intentions and motivations of the terrorists and take them at face value.

It's worth reading and thinking about.

The American South: The Scourge of the World

I was happily reading blogs a little while ago, feeling a little guilty that I was wasting time when I have work that needs doing. But I was adequately suppressing my guilt to be able to keep surfing. The TV was on Book TV and I was basically ignoring it. UNTIL, I heard the speaker make a statement to this effect, 'Our society as a whole is moving dangerously close to the same type of thinking we see in the South.' That got my attention, my ears perked up. I even left the computer for a moment and went over to another chair in the room to listen to what this guy was saying. Richard Florida, a professor of some sort, was lecturing on his book, 'The Flight of The Creative'. He made statements like, 'Conservatives are frieghtened of creative people.' 'Creative people need to come together to educate the conservatives and the southerners to broaden their minds.' 'Conservatism equals fearful.' etc. By Golly Gezz. We sure are ignorant. Being from the South, I have known that for a very long time. There are two incidents that stick out from my childhood that were light-bulb moments when I realized that we, as Southerners, were different than the rest of the nation. And, more importantly, that we were inferior. The first time was when I was 7 or 8 years old. My father had taken us on a trip 'up north'. We were in Pennsylvania on a beach and I remember my father had given us some money to buy a coke from a vender there. I went up to the vender and ordered a 'coke'. He acted like he couldn't understand me. I repeated myself. He still couldn't understand. I said it again. He said I didn't talk right. I remember feeling humiliated and confused. I went to my father crying. My father went to the vender and said something (I don't know what). The vender got all red-faced and mad looking and I got my coke. My father told me the guy couldn't understand perfectly good English and it wasn't my fault. He told me that guy didn't talk right, not me. The other time was in an English class in elementary school. I remember the teacher was teaching us to diagram sentences. She was a stickler for doing it correctly and for speaking properly. We all moaned and groaned when she told us to do it again and again until we did it correctly. One day, she explained. She told us that Northern schools were better than Southern schools. She told us that Northerners think they are smarter and better than us. She told us that we must speak properly and learn and be well educated because it was up to us to not be the sterotype we were painted to be. I remember her little talk to us well. It was the first time I understood that we were different and inferior to our northern brothers. I have seen proof of this repeatedly throughout my life, especially as an adult. It would take a book to write all the incidents and nuances down. Mr. Richard Florida of the Creative Class is not the first to use Southern synonymously with ignorant, backward, racist, close-minded, stupid and/or well, NON-creative. For the record, I have an education (higher education), I come from a family of well educated people, I have all my teeth, I wear shoes, and we have inside toilets. So there.

The Healing Power of Chocolate

I went to a big whoop-te-do of a Christmas party this evening. Got all dolled up and looked pretty dadgume good if I do say so myself. The party went even better than I had hoped. We got 'er done. It was a great success and I'm still hyped. Preparations have been going on for weeks, painting, cleaning and planning. We had a decorator come in who said we needed more 'bling-bling' and he blinged the living daylights out of us. We were well blinged and it looked cheerful, tasteful and festive. He did a good job. I've worried and worked long hours and planned and worried some more. I've dreamed about it and thought of things I had not planned for and worried some more. Thought of things right up until people started arriving. I had a phone in both hands all day today. My husband commented this afternoon that I had a phone in both hands and was balancing one on my head all day. I haven't slept much and have eaten less. I didn't eat at all today. As the last of the guests were leaving tonight, I finally made my way over to the buffet. Wow! It was spactacular. The caterer I had hired really did a world-class job. The layout was stunning. The tables were artistically decorated with huge magnolia leaves among other things. And the food. The FOOD! I guess I was just standing there looking at it because all of the sudden I was aware of the caterer handing me a plate and saying, 'Ms. Beth, I'll be insulted if you don't eat some of everything.' Oh gee - I hate that!!! I wouldn't want to insult. She started loading the plate she had handed me with a little bit of everything. Salmon, meatballs, sauces that were to die for, some pineapple cheese ball type concoction, little stuffed tomatoes, all sorts of healthy and absolutely delicious delicate combinations of tastes. Even the punch was delicious. But, as my adrenaline levels started going down, and I was finally able to sit down for a minute, I kept eyeing the chocolates. Little squares of cheese cake, baklava, and little squares of some sort of chocolate nut pastry. I dutifully ate a little of everything (not wanting to insult the caterer). But it was the chocolate nut pastry things that kept my attention. I ate 3 of them. THREE! I'm a pig. But, oh my, all the planning and preparation had resulted in a very good party, the task was done, the fun had been had, the mission had been more than accomplished, the worry and work was over and I was starving. When faced with a decision between healthy food and chocolate, I will always choose chocolate. Today was a very good day. buona notte

Saturday, December 17, 2005

An Email Home

For the record ... I take a great deal of pride in knowing that I am an American soldier. I have not forgotten dark morning hours of 11 SEP 2001. This past weekend I was watching ESPN and they had a special about the World Series that took place right after the Attacks. It showed the president going to NY to throw out the first pitch and it showed Americans in the crowd still weeping over the loses of their slain friends and loved ones. The thought of it all, over three yrs later, still jerks the tears from my eyes. Although I did not personally know anyone who was killed on 9/11, I mourn their loss. I do know soldiers who have been killed in this war, some of them very well. I pledge, just as I did three years ago, to avenge all their deaths. I joined the Army right after 9/11. It has taken all this time to train but now I am ready to fight, and fight I will. I could think of no better way at no better time to serve not just my country but all of you as well.

"Every man's death diminishes me, for I am a part of mankind, and therefore send not to know for whom the bell tolls ... It tolls for thee"

2nd Liet. J. H.
{a note my son sent home about a year ago as he was finishing up his officer's training at Ft. Knox. I'm proud of you, son.}
Trackback to Open Trackback Weekend
Caos Blog Stop The ACLU The Right Nation

Friday, December 16, 2005

E-Day In Iraq

I know everyone has seen this photo - but it's worth seeing again. It's interesting to me how so much of what we hear in the U.S. is about how terrible things are going in the Battle of Iraq. All the evidence points that things are going very well there. We are winning this battle in the War on Terrorism. But telling the world we may pull our troops out, telling the world we 'can't win' is foolish in the extreme. We must not give the appearance of weakness. To do so will only result in the deaths of more soldiers, and more American civilians. The Daily Life of a Marine Mom has posted an excellent article E-Day In Iraq by Oliver North. Thank God most of the people in the 'Fly Over Country' have more sense then the media gives us credit for.

Blue Star Families and Friends

Empress Baggie left this note in my comments. I wanted to highlight it here because her website is very much worth visiting. And - well - it relates to this blog :) Thanks Empress for the great work you are doing for the families of soldiers in your town!

Dear Blue Star Chronicles: Please keep up the good work. We had a group in our town get together and sew service flags (Blue Star Banners) at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. We're not able to continue sewing the flags (interest waned and myself and only one other person were left doing all the work), but here's the Web site that shows the work we did. We hope to get it going again this coming year. Blue Star Families & Friends May God bless you. I'll be visiting your site often. Merry Christmas! Very truly yours,

EB

Visit Blue Star Families & Friends

Miscellaneous Remarks

I just visited Empress Baggie's blog and had a good laugh at her post about Captain Jack Sparrow. She also has a link that takes you to a post for National Talk Like a Pirate Day. It's good for a laugh. Miladysa has a wonderful post sharing part of her father's autobiography. It's a wonderful story. I have been reading Miladysa's blog every since I found it a few days ago (after she left a comment here). It's a beautiful blog and it's also a great read. Natalie 'Lou' - you asked for more suggestions for soldiers. I look at it as anything you send is something else they don't have to spend their money to buy. The post office has flat rate boxes that are very useful to send items to the troops. The boxes are $7.50. One is about the size and shape of a shirt box and the other is more square and deeper. Items that are useful are toiletries (ie: toothbrushes, deoderant, etc.), playing cards, any kind of hand-held game and CANDY/SWEETS. Make sure any food items you send will travel well. I know one guy over there that like Nerds. If the soldier you send it to doesn't like whatever you send, he'll/she'll share it with his comrades. So you really can't go wrong. One thing they all like to get are phone cards. If you send phone cards, make sure they are international. A regular US phone card will get used up in just a few minutes. You can get international cards most places you buy regular phone cards. You can click on the link on the right side of this page. Cloncom.com has some good prices on calling cards. It's wonderful of you to want to help!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Guns in Kennesaw

There has been a crime surge in Boston this year. In the last 6 weeks alone there have been 22 shootings in Boston. Gun related arrests are up 39% from last year and fire arm seizures are up 34% from last year.

Community leaders are saying there are 'just too many guns on the streets.' They are talking about sophisticated survellience systems and community awareness to attempt to ebb the tide of gun related violence that has the city under seige.

Article in the Boston Globe

Boston has very restrictive gun regulations. It is very difficult, if not impossible for the average citizen to legally obtain a permit to carry a gun or purchase a gun.

San Francisco has also experienced a surge in gun related crime. San Francisco has strict anti-gun legislation. Only 10 people in the San Francisco area have permits to carry firearms.
TEN PEOPLE in all of San Francisco!

Washington DC has had a ban on law-abiding citizens owning guns legally for almost 30 years. Washington DC has been the 'murder capital' of the nation 14 of the past 15 years.

In 1982 Kennesaw Georgia passed a Mandatory Gun Ownership law. The head of each household is required to keep at least one firearm in the home, with just a few exceptions.

I've been to Kennesaw. I've seen people walking around there with guns on their hips, like in the old west.

After 1982, Kennesaw Georgia saw a 74% drop in their crime rate. It's murder rate has plummeted to 0.19 per year, almost non-existant. Other crimes, like rape and robberies have decreased at a similar rate.

Wonder why we never hear anything about the success Kennesaw Georgia has had in virtually eliminating crime in their city? Wonder why that's not on the news. I would think these cities that have out-of-control crime rates, gang violence and surging violence would be interested in learning from communities that have successfully dealt with crime.

I guess not. The Second Ammendment guarentees the self-evident right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, their families and their property. This right is not given to the state or the city, but to the citizen.

This is a violent and brutal world. Like they say,
don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Treats for Troops

I have been getting packages together to send to my son and his new wife overseas. Being in the military they are poor as church mice, so I send them what I can. Just everyday things are helpful and not that expensive or time consuming to get together and send. Some tips on sending packages:
  • Make sure you have the correct APO address.
  • Be sure to fill out a customs receipt at your local post office
  • If you are are sending food, the more airtight the better. Send vacuum-packed cookies, or you can remove air from a zip-lock bag by sucking the air through a straw.
  • Layers! The more layers the better. Wrap items in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in zip-lock bags.
  • Pad items with soft usable items. Toilet paper is great for cusioning and something that will be much needed itself.
I have found the post office personnel to be very helpful when sending packages to APO addresses. Packages can take 3 or more weeks to get to our soldiers, especially if they are deployed. So make sure they are packed well and that the contents are the type that will travel well. Some suggestions for travel-friendly treats. Crispy Peanut Squares 1 cup sugar 1 cup light corn syrup 1 cup creamy peanut butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 6 cups crisp rice cereal squares 1 cup peanuts Combine first 3 ingredients in a glass bowl; microwave on HIGH 3 to 4 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Stir in vanilla. Fold in cereal and peanuts. Spread mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Cover and chill 1 hour or until set; cut into small squares Spicy Pecans 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate 3 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon pepper 3 cups coarsely chopped pecans Cook first 6 ingredients in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and stir in pecans. Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until toasted. Cool and store in an airtight container. Chocolate Nut Brownie Cookies 2/3 cup shortening 1 1/2 cups brown sugar 1 tablespoon water 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels 1 cup chopped walnuts Beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, beating until blended. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to mixer, beating at low spped jut until blended. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls for small cookies or 1/4 cupfuls for large cookies onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or untils et. Cool cookies on baking sheets 1 minute, and remove to wire racks to cool completely.
** These recipes aren't original with me, but I don't remember where I got them. But they travel well.** Check out Samantha Speaks who has a post about deployed warriors today. Also check out Any Soldier for more information about sending packages to our soldiers. At Treat Any Soldier you can order packages and have them sent to 'any soldier'. Hope this is helpful!