Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I love my pumpkin.

I've started shopping at Wal-Mart. Only on desperate days when Nora is between a nap and a hard place and I REALLY REALLY need groceries AND goodies, so my Target (which has no groceries) and my Safeway (which has no goodies) won't do the trick.

So, here's my $2.98 pumpkin.

I looked up online to get some ideas, because I'm a Mom and I'm tired. And the only ideas I have left involve the very old school triangles and toothy grins.

So I got on BHG.com (don't go there, it's a pop-up nightmare) and got this idea for a Mummy pumpkin. You can't see the back but there's a number of cuts so if he was a white pumpkin, like the BHG website showed (don't go there, it's a pop-up nightmare), you'd see how cool it would look like there were strips of things coming off him.

I went to the store and bought about $50 worth of candy. I hope the kids in the neighborhood show up or it's going to be a very long winter alone with my stash of Milky Ways, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and more...I'm trying to lose the baby weight now that the kid's a toddler...so C'MON kids!

And No, NORA will NOT be trick-or-treating. I can't get her to walk ANYWHERE in a straight line, and I can't imagine corralling her down the street to go to people's houses for candy she can't eat...

But to my credit I DID give her chocolate today, her first edge of a Reese's...and as her little blue eyes lit up, I said "That, Nora, is chocolate. It's your FRIEND."

By next year, she should know exactly what I'm talking about. Not just hear "Blah blah blah Nora. Blah blah blah Nora."

Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

If You're STILL Undecided...

Stung By Halloween

Nora isn't a big fan of anything being on her head these days, so when I put her all in black this morning and tried to get the bee costume on her just for a picture's sake. I was not trying to fool myself into thinking she'd walk around in it all day tomorrow...well, that idea got shot down in flames.
I took it off of her and laid it down on the ground where she promptly inspected it.

She thought the antennae were really cute.

And she REALLY thought it was funny when MOMMY put the bee on top of her head.

NOW THAT is funny, she says...well, I imagine her saying.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cute Picture of the Day

Nora got this cool Wyoming sweatshirt from Aunt Jill and Uncle John while they vacationed with family near Jackson Hole this summer.

It's a 2T. It's big and roomy, but she loves her soft new sweatshirt.

There's nothing quite like that first time you put on a fuzzy new sweatshirt is there?

Buy A Vowell

I've recently become a big fan of Sarah Vowell...a youngish writer who I've seen interviewed several times on TV.

She's quirky.

She's a historian.

She's hilarious.

Yes, that's right...a hilarious historian.

Sarah has written a number of books on American history, including one on the assassination attempts against American Presidents called "Assassination Vacation".

I remember listening to her get interviewed...she has a dry sarcastic wit that just had me rolling.

She's recently written a book called "The Wordy Shipmates" about the Puritans who came over to the New World, and how misunderstood they were.

"My Puritans," as Vowell calls them, were not the "generic, boring, stupid, judgmental killjoys" history makes them out to be.

"Because to me, they are very specific, fascinating, sometimes brilliant, judgmental killjoys who rarely agreed on anything except that Catholics are going to hell," Vowell writes in her new book.

Anyway, take a look.

Buy a Vowell.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Day Late...

But the feeling's still there.

I got up yesterday to a text message from my brother in New York, who at 7 a.m. HIS TIME, thought it'd be swell to be the first to acknowledge October 25th with "Can you believe it's been 16 years? Love you all..."

When I got that at 4 in the morning, I thought "Sixteen years since what?"

Oh yeah.

The next morning when I really woke up, I realized it was the anniversary of my Dad's death.

My Dad.

Boy do I still miss him.

I was on the way to the store yesterday flipping through radio stations when "Dance With My Father", a song sung by Luther Van Dross, came on.

If you've lost your Dad, you know the song. If you haven't, you probably don't. Good for you.

But as I drove towards the store, the song came on, and before I knew it I was sobbing at an intersection, reaching for the Kleenex behind the passenger seat, and hoping I could get my shit together before walking into the store to buy Brian a bottle of his favorite Jack Daniels.

I really didn't feel like as much of a wreck as I looked that moment, but no one wants to walk into a liquor store looking like you're a train wreck.

I pulled into the parking lot, I looked skyward and said "I sure miss you Dad."

I remember my last conversation with my Dad. It was the Monday before he died. I would call him on Monday mornings while I was doing my filing and paperwork from the week before, and we would talk sometimes for as much as an hour.

That week they had a lot going on at the ranch they had recently moved to in Colorado. Dad told me about the meetings they had been to, and some of the politics they were running into there.

As most people know, I do a lot of talking, but this particular week, Dad talked the most. The last thing he said to me was "Thanks for listening, Julie. I love you."

I used to reimburse the company for our phone calls, so I kept the bill from that last phone call for years. I probably still have it somewhere.

It doesn't take much to go back to those days...to remember the loss, the drive out to Colorado with my brothers. The funeral, the cards, the kind people of Galeton, Colorado who did everything they could to put us all up and give Dad a proper service.

In the two short months they'd been there, Dad had already endeared himself to several people in town, of course. He was that kind of guy.

Yes, time heals wounds. It certainly does. But I still miss my Daddy. I miss his bear hugs. I still wish he could see my daughter. I still think I see his silly evil grin in her face. And I still think he'd get a kick out of it all.

I miss you Dad.

Proof of Life

Proof of Life.

Dumb movie? Definitely

But Daddy's visit after two weeks away was kinda like a simple proof that he's alive this weekend. Brian showed up LATE Friday night and was gone by late Sunday afternoon for a week of training in Seattle. Fortunately we won't have as many long separations after this past month or two.

We didn't do much this weekend, and it still went way too fast.

But we have a couple of examples that show Daddy was here.

One, is this picture of him with Nora upon arrival.

Second was this more obvious photo that Daddy let Mommy sleep in one morning, and he took charge of dressing Nora.

"I wanted to dress her in something that you wouldn't have put on her," he said.

Pink onesie with flowers around the neck, purple flower power pants, with bright turquois summer top.

You got that right there, Daddy-o.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Phone Pix

Mom and Aunt Kathy were at Powell's Books (the best bookstore on The Planet Earth), and they found this fabulous book on "Tails" for Nora.

Nora's big on pointing these days.

BIG.

She LOVES putting that little index finger out and pointing at whatever you ask her that she has an answer for.

She knows noses.

She knows kitties.

She knows tails.

This particular page is her FAVORITE! It's the page that makes her flap her arms and point and point and point some more at the beautiful peacock.

Did you know that Oregon has lots of peacocks?

They're gorgeous. And Nora thinks so too...

My silly girl.

What can I say, except she's not over the fact that sticking her tongue out is funny.


She is so very sweet.

So very difficult to pin down.

So very fun to try and photograph anyway.


Oh SARAH! Oh ODETTE!!

COUSIN Odette gave Nora this beautiful set of lions from the movie "Lion King" -- And Nora LOVES LOVES LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVES them. Whenever I wave one in front of her, she runs right for it, and gives it the biggest hug...

Then drags them all over the place all day long.

The other day we brought home Nora's first pumpkin of her very own. She loved it when I put it in the seat next to her, and belted it in.

We took this picture just to e-mail it to Daddy and Bestema so they could see our event of the day!

Ask Nora about Obama, and really, she's one.

She doesn't really get it.

But Mommy got her ballot this week, and voted early for Obama.

There was a lump in Mommy's throat as she delivered her ballot to the Marion County Courthouse.

It was the first time in Mommy's life SHE got to vote for someone she really believes in.

Nora says "Thumbs UP for that!"

I'm Gonna Getcha Getcha Getcha!!!

I chase her through the kitchen...and it takes a few seconds, but we come back through and that's the cutest of her.

She just loves it when I say "I'm gonna getcha getcha getcha!"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Today's Guest Blogger is...Joselyn Martin

I have to post, pretty much in its entirety, a forwarded e-mail that I received from my friend Heather, who knows someone's sister who wrote this lovely e-mail discussing Jesus, politics, and the role that religion should (or shouldn't) play in this election.

She wrote it in response to a circulating e-mail that had a number of misquoted facts, which she very eloquently works to dispel.

What's astounded me throughout this election is how the basis for some people not voting for Obama has either been religious (believing that because he has a Muslim name that he must be Muslim, and therefore unelectable), or the perpetuation of other myths like his alleged support for Black Supremacy or certain kinds of abortion. I'm always fascinated that when Republicans have NOTHING else to talk about, they absolutely must scream about the Right To Life, but you certainly may not ask about the Right to A Life Once You're Here.

So I'll get out of the way now. This is from Joselyn Martin, and I think she put it more brilliantly than I could:


"Obama only moved to Chicago in 1993, shortly after which he took a hiatus to go to Harvard Law. When he became president of the Harvard Law Review, instead of using it to appoint all black liberal writers, as his friends urged him to do, and Trinity pastor Wright probably would have liked, he appointed the best writers, which happened to be white, three of the top spots going to Republican whites. So, no Trinity church for 20 years, no black supremacism.

As for his affinity for partial birth abortion, this was a vote that was on the state floor of IL, and Obama didn't vote for it because such a law already exists in the Federal government. In fact, the IL branch of the board of medical professionals wouldn't even vote for it. Some Republicans wouldn't even vote for it. This was a bill intended to be inflammatory, to get votes from people who didn't do their homework enough to see that there were other measures in the bill that had nothing to do with abortion, but had everything to do with certain state senators who wanted money fortheir special interests. So to say that Obama supports genocide is not only incorrect by definition (genocide is the killing off of a certain race of people, babies are not a race), but incorrect by voting record since Obama supports the current Federal law against infanticide.

And while I'm getting my nickers in a twist about the abortion issue, let it be known that McCain is a Federalist on the issue, meaning that he favors measures to put the power of determining the legality of abortion in the hands of the state, rather than the Supreme Court, regardless of whether that means that the state would allow abortion to remain legal. This means he opposes the idea that abortion is a constitutional right, but does not support a federal-mandated ban on all abortion. He is very clear about his distaste for abortion, but would not use it as a litmus test to rule out the appointing of new Supreme Court justices. He said just last night, and has said before then, that he would appoint a pro-choice supreme court justice as long as they were qualified and had a record of complete understanding of the constitution.

Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, and Hamas do not love him, and it's kind of silly to say something like that.

One last thing about Sodom and Gomorrah and the flaming gays: The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed because they had men living in civil unions with other men. Homosexuality was only one thing in a whole long list of reasons Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, among them were greed, mistreatment of the poor and widowed, and pride. The fact that there are homeless women and children and crazy old vets in the streets where corporations employ some of the wealthiest in the country does not enrage because its easier to call someone a baby killer than call them indifferent.

When Jesus walked the earth he didn't look at the prostitute and say 'you're a prostitute because you have no ambition to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps,' nor did he attempt to outlaw prostitution as a practice. He simply loved the person, gave them food and turned their hearts so that the prostitution itself became a non-issue for them. I take issue with people who want to make darn sure every pregnant mother in this country brings her baby into this world, but don't want to lift a finger to help that baby once it gets here. Most of these babies will be born poor, most will be born without expectations of education or even access to health care. What would Jesus think of that?

I don't care who people vote for. My role as a Christian does not change based on who wins the election. But for goodness sake, vote for someone because you agree with their policies, their views on the role of government, their rojections for the future. Don't go around making up silly and inflammatory ideas about either candidate, and don't go around speculating about who Jesus would vote for. I have a feeling He doesn't appreciate it.

And now I will very carefully dislodge my panties from betwixt my fanny halves.'"





Thank you Jocelyn!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This Is The Reason...

First of all, don't we all just need a little laugh these days?

This makes me ask a couple of questions, the most pressing of which is "How on earth does Sarah Palin have time to work out to the extent that her arms are that ripped?"

But I digress...

Boys and girls, this photo is the VERY reason that if you're ever in court and someone shows you a picture that shocks you, if they ask you something like "Did Barack Obama and Sarah Palin compete together in "Dancing With The Stars" your answer should be "It LOOKS like they did, but I can't say that I saw it for myself."

But don't we all love just a little fun with PhotoShop?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Harder to Come By -- Pictures

It's getting tougher to get pictures of Nora these days.

Most of the time, and I mean from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, Nora is on her feet if she's not in her high chair eating.

Otherwise, she's often a BLUR, but in the past few days I've been able to nab a few:
BOTH the pets have figured out that when the high chair is in use, the Kitten Hopper and Lucy now wait underneath for the inevitable droppings...
And Aunt Kathy is visiting this week from Sacramento! She hasn't seen Nora since she was just a couple of months old, so she has enjoyed watching Nora run around.

Since Nora's sitter is sick (I go to a Chemistry class twice a week) Mom and Aunt Kathy have come over to watch her. Last night, Nora had a blast moving from room to room and playing with Mom and AK...and she let Aunt Kathy hold her before the night was through! Another friend made...

Nora loves feeding herself. She likes grilled cheese sandwiches a lot.

She is happiest with big pieces of food that she bites off and eats. Tonight we had baked potato cut up into little pieces with cheese on them, and we drank out of a sippy cup all day except for one before a nap and one before bed.

Look at her, all growing up!

Nora LOVES pulling things out!

Whether it's toys or now dishes, she gets a little disconcerted look on her face when she sees me put things away.

This week we discovered the Tupperware cabinet. Mommy took the rest of the ceramics out, and put those up and put some more plastic stuff in there that can't be broken.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nora's Fleeting Baby Moments...

As Nora started teething about a month or so ago, I got into the bad habit of waking up with her cries at night, and meeting them with a bottle and a diaper change.

Any seasoned parent know that this was probably not the best thing to do, but they probably also understand my rookie mistake: Wanting to shut up the child -- I mean "soothe" the child -- and thinking that because this is America, surely food must be involved.

So with Brian gone and a few hints from my Mother Who Doesn't Want To Give Me Advice But Should Anyway, and a few friends too...I decided to cut out that nightly bottle and move to the full on, cold turkey, cry-it-out method.

Now it's not like I did this lightly. Nora has lungs on her. She is nothing if not persistent and loud when she wants something. And I knew that going in there empty-handed was kind of like waving my arm in front of a shark and saying "please don't bite it."

So I decided just not going in at all was best.

So for a few nights I've not gone in at ALL. I've slept on the couch in the interest of getting a full night's sleep, and it HAS worked to the extent that I have no idea whether or not she's spent 1/8, 1/3, 1/2 or say, the WHOLE NIGHT crying her little eyes out.

Which I realize is probably statistically impossible since she has to exhaust herself eventually, and you can probably realize now how much that does to assuage my Mommy Guilt.

So tonight, just for a a minute, it was 10 p.m., and I heard her fuss. It wasn't much, and it wasn't loud, but it was going to start ramping up as she does about this hour for the first cry of the night.

So I snuck in (BOTTLE-LESS THANK YOU), and I picked her up, and in the light from the other room, I settled her down, watched her fall back fast asleep in seconds, and then I just sat there and watched her.

My baby isn't going to be a baby for long, if she is at all. She's beautiful and perfect, and when she sleeps, she looks so much like that little 5 lb. peanut in the NICU at St. Vincent's in Portland that we had 13 months ago.

Goodnight my sweet angel. How you're going to get ME to sleep through the night is the true mystery because my heart wants to fix everything, including the late night wake-ups that seem to plague you.

I love you Precious Angel Girl.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sometimes I'M a little too awesome...


Dear Sign Thieves:

Thank you for stealing another one of my Obama yard signs.

In direct response to your sticky fingers, I have sent Obama another $50.

And made this sign, of which there are MANY more waiting to replace this one, should you decide to take this too.

Although it WILL be much harder considering it's practically tied AND taped AND glued to my white picket fence.

Peace out.

Jules

ROFL...

I LOVE this video clip of Obama's rendition of "Who is Barack Obama?"

"Sometimes I'm a little too awesome."

HILARIOUS!

Another Voice for Obama...

It's amazing to me what's starting to happen in the last days and weeks toward the election...

There's been chatter for a while now that Colin Powell would endorse Obama, and today he did.

Powell said the election of Obama would "electrify the world."

Yes, yes indeedy.

It's hard not to get too excited about this election. The closer we get the more I want it over, but I would wait another year if I knew Obama would be President at the end of it.

Come on America TURN ON THE JUICE!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Blog That Makes Me Squirm

I know I'm prattling on about politics a lot these days...And I'm sorry for those who are Republicans who still like me anyways, who come here for pictures of Nora and end up reading my political diatribes, or scanning and avoiding them.

I've lost friends in this election cycle. I've never lost friends over it before.

I know part of it is that I've been part of some boards where politics used to be banned entirely, so I didn't really know where people stood, and we just didn't talk about stuff, so there was little to get divided over.

These same message boards have been sources of support for me as I've gone through pregnancy loss after pregnancy loss, so it's almost impossible for me to turn my back on anyone from there.

Still, sadly, some people have chosen to turn their backs on me, and some of my Democrat friends. While retreating into a domain where they can feel supported, they close the very doors that allow open respectful debate.

It feels better to talk to people you agree with anyway, doesn't it?

Sure it does. We always gravitate towards our own kind. It's how segregation went on for as long as it did in this country.

But many of us crazies in the Democratic party think that we should be talking to EVERYONE. ALL the time. Well maybe not all the time. But to really keep an open mind and an open heart and hear all the sides, you do have to keep a door or window open, even when the wind that is blows in isn't from the direction you were hoping for.

I've had a few people tell me that the message that many of us Democrats seem to drip from our pores is that if they DON'T vote for Obama, that they are racist.

In fact, I have never said that about anyone, nor will I unless they make themselves known to me that they are indeed racist. Like my Racist Neighbor who yanked my Obama sign out of my yard because I was (in her words) "A Nigger lover".

I think it's fair to say she's a racist.

Then today I read this story. It comes from a favorite spot of mine on the web, a blog called "Racialicious".

This blog makes me squirm a lot. I'm a white girl. I squirm when I feel uncomfortable being nailed in between the eyes with a fact that while true, hurts nonetheless.

And I think often that that is what my friends who are so very squirmy right now about talking to me about politics. I make them uncomfortable.

But I hope that if nothing else, perhaps they think a little more about things before coming to their white girl conclusions, just as I try to.

But this race is so important. So very important.

There are amazing forces at work in this election. As the numbers increase every day towards a win for Obama, the hatred spewn out by those who are honestly starting to lose their heads over the fact that they won't be in power anymore is getting louder, more vicious, more desperate than ever.

It doesn't have to be that way at all.

That's all I got.

Peace.

October 15th

There's a lot of "national" days here and there, ones we all just blow by not giving a thought to.

But today put a lump in my throat as a friend posted that today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Our story is unique in that nothing has ever been found in us that would indicate that we'd have trouble having a baby...and not so unique in that we just like everyone else, always assumed we'd be able to have kids.

In January of 2002, I was 35 and Brian and I had been married for a couple of years. I went off the pill, and quickly became pregnant the next month. Like so many I thought that that was "it" and the babies would come.

I was so very wrong.

Our first loss happened in May of 2002. We found out at a 12-week ultrasound, where we discovered no heartbeat, even though all the tests were positive and all the pregnancy symptoms were there. The baby had been lost about 8 weeks, according to the size of the sac and the placenta that grew, even though no baby could be seen. Devastation, shock, and surprise that such a thing could happen, what they call a "missed miscarriage".

Our second loss happened nearly 2 years later. It took us forever to get pregnant, and we spent some money and time with a specialist to test out what was wrong. Nothing could be found, and we got pregnant on our own with Samuel.

We saw Samuel's weak heartbeat at just 7 weeks in February of 2004. We saw it again at 8, and by 9 it was gone. I've never been so confused and angry with "God's Plan" whatever the hell it was...than I was after that. Or so I thought.

The following winter would bring our third pregnancy. January 2005. We got help that time with IUI, a relatively non-invasive assistance from the specialists. At 7 weeks, again, no heartbeat.

At that point I was sure something was wrong, even if the doctors couldn't find anything. We gave up and began to visualize our lives with no biological children. We considered adoption and foster parenting.

Then, accidentally, we got pregnant with Jacob in the winter of 2006. At 7 weeks we had a heartbeat. Growth was good, and our angel Nurse Practitioner let us come in for weekly ultrasounds until 12 weeks, when he pronounced that "if everything looks good at 12 weeks, you're pretty much having a baby."

Little did we know that at the 20-week ultrasound, we would find out our son was a boy, and that he too would be lost.

Diagnosed with Trisomy 18, Jacob had multiple problems, including severe Spina Bifida, only 3 chambers on his heart, and a host of other problems that would mean certain death. His growth had leveled off.

A couple of weeks later, he was born silently into the world on July 7, 2006 after 30 hours of labor. Words will never express the loss of hope, and yet the abundance of love in that delivery room that day. We finally held a baby of hours, saw his little face and feet, and told him how much we loved him, at the same time we said goodbye.

There truly is no greater pain than the loss of a child, no matter how small.

I am not alone in all the loss. I have many friends who have been through losses, some just one, many more who have had as many or more losses than me.

A few have never had to have biological children, but most have. We all share different levels and different kinds of pain over our infertility and loss.

Our miracle Nora was born September 17, 2007. She has saved me from the despair that would come from having nothing come from all of those pregnancies and so much heartache. As I type this, she's running into the room with a laugh and her arms up in the air. She's a bandaid on a large wound -- she doesn't heal it, but she sure helps.

So remembering today, all our babies.

If you see fit, wherever you are, light a candle at 7 p.m. for at least an hour. The idea is that there will be a wave of light going around the globe in remembrance of all those who went before us.

Goodnight sweet babies. Your Moms and Dads in this world will never forget you.

Random Wednesday

I love this picture of Nora and Lucy.

The symbiotic relationship between Dog and Baby has begun, as Lucy has discovered that Nora's an awesome source of grilled cheese sandwiches and Goldfish.

See? I have to explain this picture. I have to explain most of my pictures. It's nice how my friends often post a really nice picture with no explanation on Wednesdays, called "Wordless Wednesdays."

Well, here it is Wednesday and I'm not wordless at all. I feel random and chatty and nervous.

First of all, I have an exam in about two hours. Mom's coming over to watch Chica here, and I have to go see if I know the first four chapters. At some point this week I need to learn Chapter 5, do the homework for that and then start reading Chapters 6 and 7 for next week.

That's the part that makes me nervous.

The rest of it is just from yesterday...Including the middle of the night.

Nora's latest trick is to only wake up once instead of twice, which is good. But for two nights in a row, she's cried on and on and refused to go back to sleep at 2 or 3 in the morning.

That sucks.

I finally gave her a little Benadryl and realized she's got the nasty cold going through the families. Poor kiddo.

For the big finish for today's randomness, the good news: I went shopping at Penneys yesterday after I got done studying and bought myself a new pair of jeans. No only were they on sale for $17, which I LOVE, but they were a size smaller than I've been in recent months. All that Weight Watchers crap is finally starting to work.

I guess it's not great news that my bra-buying went well sale-wise, but not size wise. I'm not the busty gal I was while pregnant, but I was still wearing the bras. Perhaps in some desperate attempt to maintain the illusion that I would get to keep "the girls", I didn't want to face facts that they had in fact left about the same time as the smaller jeans were made possible. So I got to go back to my old size.

Boo. Hiss.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Anxious About Prison?

No. 1 hip-hop star: I'm 'anxious' about prison.

I keep reading this headline and thinking "GOOD! YOU SHOULD BE!"

Isn't that the whole point of prison?

It's a bad place, so you don't do stupid shit that puts you there?

Hmmm? #1 Hip Hop Star?

I Got an A.

I'm an A student tonight.

My next quiz and exam are Wednesday (yes in the same day) so God knows if I'll be the flavor of the week NEXT week...

But I got an A on my first Chemistry quiz, and on the two labs I got back I got 10/10 too. We went over the quiz and very few did well on the test.

So I'm feeling all happy and a little cocky tonight, cause I'm an A student.

Right this minute.

Defiance

It still amazes me that Sarah Palin continues to be defiant in the face of the investigation into her inappropriate influence-peddling to have her ex-brother-in-law fired.

In a report released today, Palin's aides were warned that continuing to push for his removal could cause embarrassment.

What really gets me about those within the Republican Party (I'm talking about George W. Bush particularly, but his cronies including Karl Rove and others) who seem to think the law doesn't apply to them. That flying in the face of the law and ethics or God help us -- The Constitution and the Bill of Rights -- somehow proves that you're a maverick -- not a low-life fraud.

Do you know what the definition of fraud is? It's getting someone to trust you, then letting them down.

I assure you Republicans, that's exactly what's happened here.

The law MUST apply to everyone. It MUST not be open for interpretation based on whether or not YOU are in power, and it MUST not be abused in a stupid family feud.

But really? I don't expect Joe 6-Pack to vote differently because of this, because we all know that those who are staunchly for the McCain/Palin ticket aren't going to change their minds over something as trivial as the law.

I DO hope, however, that anyone sitting on the fence recognizes Palin for who she is: An opportunistic power grabber who will say anything and do anything, if it suits HER interests, because she sure as hell doesn't care about YOU if you stand in her way.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Love Gary Trudeau...

Click on this so you can see it full size...

Miracles of Miracles

Here I sit crying in a Starbucks.

I was just finishing up my studying for a bit today before Brian leaves for another stint out in the wilds of Eastern Oregon.

I had asked Susan last night if I could share a picture or two of her babies on my Blog.
And she not only said yes, but she sent me these beautiful pictures of her little ones, including our Miracle Boy Louis, and his new brother and sister, Kadie and Samuel, born just this last Tuesday!
Susan and I were pregnant at the same time with boys -- our Jacob was lost the summer before Louis was born. Louis came into the world on Oct. 25, the anniversary of my own Dad's death.

Before that Susan suffered losses as well, including one of her daughter Madeline, born still at nearly full term.

As you can imagine, our shared loss has brought us together like sisters.
So this morning I got a note and the pictures of the babies on the purple quilt are especially special...I made that quilt for Louis that summer as I was going through the loss of Jacob. And I made it especially for my artist friend Susan as my first non-geometrically repeating pattern. It's meant to symbolize the mountains of Colorado.

So, when she just sent me these pictures I couldn't help but get all teary eyed.

"I have a very special one from this morning. I’ll attach some in a follow up e-mail. It is all of us sharing our first morning together on the quilt you made us after Jacob and Louis were born. My exact words to Doug this morning were, ‘I could care less what any one says about the economy, our financial status, or our tiny house. I feel incredibly wealthy!’

Anyway, we were thinking of you, your family, Jacob, life, etc.. this morning...as Louis discovered Samuel’s pee-pee place, his belly button (which has a ‘boo-boo) and that Kadie will suck his finger if it goes near her mouth.

Love you guys

Susan"


Hugs and love to you, Doug, and your beautiful kids Susan! And WELCOME to Kadie & Samuel!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Expalin This To Me...

I can't help but wonder how everyone who's so in love with Sarah Palin is going to be able to explain this.

But I guess as the pundits on CNN already tried to say, those of us who never supported her will chalk it up as further proof as to why she shouldn't be on the ticket.

And those who support her will just say it's a politically motivated character attack.

Speaking of which, how would Republicans like to explain this?

You see, it doesn't really matter that it was just one goombah who did this. The fact is it's just as outrageous because it's out-and-out voter tampering and fear-mongering.

Do I need to be the one to point out the craziness of this election?

The desperation is only going to make this campaign uglier.

I can't be the only one wishing it were Nov. 5 already.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Road Not Taken...

Brian's job these days has been a special project of replacing aging and/or dying generators at the top of mountains in remote places in Oregon...

So today they said they were supposed to be working on Steens Mountain in ALL CAPS REMOTE Southeastern Oregon, but they couldn't get up there safely to do the work.
I laughed at first just because I've already heard of the roads he HAS taken, so I was a little surprised to hear there was a road that could NOT be taken...
So Brian showed me the picture of Steens Mountain today, the place they were supposed to work, but due to snow falling on it, they weren't able to get up it.

At first glance, it didn't seem like a HUGE deal.

I made the wisecrack about "What, you couldn't get up that thing? What a bunch of bedwetters!"

But click on that first picture and take a look. Then realize the elevation at the end of that long road is 9700 feet.

And that snow-blown ribbon going up the side of the mountain is the ROAD.

And that there's a point on the road where if you start sliding off it, as Brian said, one side sends you down about 4700 feet before you stop, the other about 2000.

"And either way, at your funeral, you won't be having an open casket."

Yeah, that can wait til next spring...

Daddy's Littlest Shadow

Daddy's Home!!!

Brian called tonight with the "bad news" that Steens Mountain got a foot of snow on it, so they couldn't install the new generator up there, since the roads became impassable till, say, SPRING.

So the GOOD news was that he was not only on his way home, but he would be home in time for dinner!

I didn't realize how happy I was til I started crying. This whole single mommy thing is NOT for me. I LIKE having MY husband around. I LIKE having my guy who helps around the house and rescues me from the late-night feedings or early morning wake up calls on the weekends...

I ran to the grocery store to get a few things for dinner, so we could do a good home-cooked meal, and just as Nora and I pulled into the driveway, Daddy pulled in front of the house in his truck.

And as you can imagine, the whole night before she went to bed, Nora held onto her Daddy. From the first shy look to the broad smile that quickly followed.

If he left the room, she cried. He had to take a shower (see the first picture), so after Brian had a chance to clean up, I put her in the shower with Daddy.

When they got out, I dried her off, dressed her quickly, and she toddled right in to see Daddy who was still drying off.

The poor guy isn't going to be able to shave or go to the bathroom the next few days without "Daddy's Little Shadow."

For some reason, I don't think he minds...

I Know Someone Who's Actually Saying...

That us Obama people are so closed-minded.

This is the same person who after her signature on posts to her friends, would put the kicky quote: "You're entitled to your opinion no matter how wrong it might be..."

I think everyone is a bit closed-minded once they settle on their candidate, but not all of us advertise the fact!

Where's the ROLFMAO icon when I need it?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Little Applause, Please...

Nora finally put both hands together today and has spent most of it applauding everything, including dinner and herself. And she expects me to join in. It's been a fun day!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

It's been busy lately...Brian's traveling still.

I've hired a sitter to come over a couple of nights a week while I take a Chemistry class (that's another post, involving the dusting off of my brain to try to shove information about isotopes in).

He's been gone for 10 days, and we just found out he'll be gone a few more days now instead of coming home this weekend.

He said the other night "Thanks for your patience", after hearing he won't be home until almost Wednesday and not sounding mad about it. But I laughed and said "It's fake patience, hon. I want you to come home soon!"

So, these pictures are from my Mom and niece Miriam who have been over a couple-few times this week to help out with Nora so I can go out and get a little studying done.

Nora, of course, has had a blast with it all.

Tonight Miriam came over and was chasing Nora around for so long that she was running from room to room, panting and huffing really loudly and laughing at the same time, sometimes just falling down because she was trying to go too fast.

It's been so neat to watch Nora get more and more active, and more and more entertained by family.

She just loves everyone so very much!

The Desperation Is Starting To Show...

It's amazing to me what the Republican leadership and some of their followers are saying these days.

President Bush just signed his name to his $700 billion legacy, and the McCain/Palin show is not doing as well as they hoped as their numbers dip in the polls.

For Sarah Palin to be saying that Barack Obama is "palling around with terrorists" just shows clearly how desperate they're getting.

I had someone actually say that we Democrats are acting all high and mighty like we have the moral high ground.

Well, gee whiz, Wally. When you have a VP nominee accusing our presidential candidate of an offense just this side of being caught in bed with a minor and it's a bald faced lie, what position do you think we have?

And what's next?

I even see the anger in the voices of those I know who talk about politics. The friendly debates are ending, and people are taking things personally.

The reality is, the people who hate Barack Obama are the ones who routinely reduce themselves to name-calling ("Oblahblah's" just a recent one) while their candidates make false accusations so they can grab headlines.

And yet I can type John McCain's name without calling him anything other than Senator, or The Republican Candidate?

Does that make me a better person? Maybe not, but I like to think that because I show some restraint by not name-calling the candidates, or even their believers, that I am taking the higher road.

But I still have to blog it and call them on it when they do it, isn't that fair?

So I have to ask this question: Is Sarah Palin's willingness to stretch the truth into lies really that "breath of fresh air" in politics that you all were looking for?

I'm afraid regardless of whether they found a cute hockey mom to deliver the message, the Republican strategy is still the same old stale cabin air you get when you fly in an airplane at 30,000 feet just like it always has been.

There's nothing fresh about it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

As Much As I'd Like To Keep My Campaign Promises...

It's hard. I mean HARD to keep my promise not to bash someone who is so WOEFULLY inadequate to be president of anything other than my PTA...For you ferners, that's "Parent Teacher Association"....

OK, back the the debate at hand.

Yes, the "debate" between Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska and Sen. Joe Biden (D-Deleware).

The predictable, but disappointing part for the Democrats? Watching Joe take the advice of everyone everywhere and never EVER attacking Sarah Palin on the fact that she wasn't answering a single question with anything other than what her prep people told her to say.

The predictable, but disappointing part for the Republicans? I'm not sure if it was actually listening to Sarah spew Republican policy without any context to the actual question at hand, or if it was the fact that she practically opened her statement with "I may not answer these questions to the satisfaction of the moderator or Sen. Joe Biden, but I'm not talking to them. I'm talking to YOU America. I'm talking to Joe 6-Pack."

Yes, I realize I may have paraphrased a bit. But you know what I'm talking about.

You know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

And while I'm wondering out loud about things...I wonder why Gov. Palin doesn't say that she can see Canada from her house. I wonder why she doesn't mention THEM as her foreign policy experience.

Is it because no one is afraid of Canada? Is it because she's trying to make us feel like she's on the "edge" of something great like Russia, but not on the "edge" of something as boring as say, Yellowknife, Northwestern Territories?

Really Gov. Palin did ok. I'm probably in that 84% that think she did better than expected.

But really if "Better" just means "She didn't fall on her ass" and instead means "She performed the function of cheerleader by rallying support behind all the usual cliche's of her party", I'm not sure that's much of an improvement.

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