Thursday, June 29, 2006

Vacation time

Soon my little science projects and I will be visiting a favorite uncle of mine in Michigan. The perfect setting...a nice-sized private lake, a pontoon, wave runner, fishing poles, zebra mussels(oh, yeah, that's a bad thing). No worries, mate. He is hosting my Yankee mom's- side- of- the- family reunion while we are there, many members of which I haven't seen in a while and my children have never met. It will be a good time, I'm sure. A nice change of pace from my southern counterparts. I'll be the only representative to the Hillbilly clan. I think I can make a good showin.
After the reunion, my uncle leaves the place to us while he starts his fishing vacation in Colorado. That's when the Vet (That would CORvet, not the animal doctor) in his garage will get taken for a run. I just need to lift the keys and make a copy while he isn't looking.
Hoping to post some pics while I'm there.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Saturday home improvement

My 2 bathrooms have needed exhaust fans and light fixture since we moved in. I had them bought since Spring break back in March. I finally got enough dirt on my family friend, David, to blackmail him into showing me how to do the jobs. He actually did most of it but I tried to anticipate tool needs (did that sound dirty?) , install the GSFI switches, add the new switch plates and keep tools gathered up. I learned enough to do some more things on my own, I think. I may have to do my bathroom's exhaust fan installation since it sets up next to the sharp pitch of the rafters and David only got to one before it was 120 degrees in the attic which kicked his ass. Or wait until fall.
The first 2 shots are during the installation process( i.e.- hit and miss, trial and error as with any home improvement job on an existing (freaking annoying) structure) of the light fixture and exhaust fan/fixture in the kid's bath. The next 2 with the electric on. The last is in my bath. I sure was looking forward to having that exhaust fan...Oh, well.
I didn't anticipate the bulb needs so I scavenged from other sources and still came up short. But even with bulbs missing, it's like Vegas in the bathroom it's so much brighter! Yay, David!!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I ran across a very eloquent, down- to- earth take on my view of whats going on in politics.
Providing it for as many people as possible to read.

Last week, congress voted itself another pay increase. They now make almost $170,000 a year... for about 100 to 120 days of work.
Same week - congress denies (yet again) an increase in the minimum wage... something that has been stuck at $5.15 per hour since 1997. Nineteen-ninety-seven. Almost a decade. And the denial is done in a most unseemly manner, by attaching an anti-abortion amendment that is referred to as a "poison pill," which is designed to derail the original bill. Senator Bill "always thinking of myself first" Frist (R-TN) was solely responsible for taking any chance of a minimum wage increase off the table for another year. Well, that's not exactly true, politicians hunt in packs.
Why is it even possible to connect or attach unrelated amendments? It's an obvious attempt to kill the original bill, rather than to actually "show your cards" on the issues and have a real vote. The tactic is also used to introduce pork legislation that would have no chance of passing otherwise. I'm not clear how this procedure became commonplace, but it needs to stop.
These recent congressional pay increases (eight of them in 10 years, totalling more than 25 percent) are just another example of how this country has gone so severely off course politically, that we can start looking back at some of the huge crashes of empires throughout history for a peek at our fate. Truly. The greed, corruption and... gasp, should I say... even religious influence that has infiltrated our political system will be it's undoing.
Did you notice how congress convened an emergency session for one right-to-die case,(Schiavo, and it was all about mobilizing the religious right) put front-and-center the issues of gay marriage and flag burning, (which Americans aren't even concerned with) but still finds ways to avoid doing the REAL work, such as cleaning up the environment, (which will cost corporations money) dealing with health care issues (which will cost corporations money) and other things they've been conveniently ignoring? (most of which would cost corporations money and God knows we can't piss off our lobbyist friends)
I'm not a liberal. I'm not a conservative. I'm an independent thinker and have differing opinions based on the ISSUES, not political affiliation. I understand the need to keep corporate America solvent, I really do. It's vital to keep money flowing freely, to protect businesses who drive the economy and make us competitive with the international marketplace. I understand all of that. But come on.
Republicans have morphed into a barely recognizable version of a party that once truly repesented a good percentage of Americans. Democrats have lost all clout, backbone and initiative, barely providing the balance that defines our political system. And all are controlled by corrupt outside influences that can best be described as a dark underbelly OF the dark underbelly that is the District of Columbia. There are no brakes on this train.
I'm not predicting doomsday, but it's time for Americans to wake up and start caring about what is going on under their noses. It doesn't take that much time to stay informed.
And stop it with voting for career politicians like Bill Frist and Ted Kennedy. You are aiding in the mass production and distribution of corruption.
posted by Dave Morris at 11:01 AM

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I feel inadequate on holidays. Never quite able to make the people they are for feel as special as they are to me. I'd love to make it happen this year but I don't think I can.

I had a vivid dream night before last...I was outside in a crowd in a park. I was looking for something that led me down some sidewalks. I then realized I didn't have my father beside me where he should be. I turned around with a scared feeling in the pit of my stomach and thru the sunny, breezy air far away I spotted him wandering around looking lost. I managed to get back to him through the crowd but I was worrying all the way over to him about how scared he must feel. Easy to figure out....
My dad has Alzheimer's.
I'm not covered up with my garden this year. I didn't put in that much. I have my fingers crossed for some sweet corn though. I haven't ever grown it myself although there were gardens every year of my life at home.
I even have some Charlston Gray watermelons and Ambrosia canteloupes. I haven't grown watermelons before but I have canteloupes. Believe it or not a person can't get good RIPE fruit here at all, even when you know the grower. They pick everything greener to hold up to the shipping. I don't think people really know what a ripe canteloupe or watermelon tastes like! Growing up, my family was friends with a family that grew melons. We would go to their house and he would hand my siblings and me his jackknife. We would EACH choose a melon and cut it open and WASTEFULLY eat just the hearts unless we could hold more. What a pleasure because that was really before they started cutting them off the vine instead of them slipping off because they were ripe so all he had on the trailer were ripe ones. My dad told us about his grandfather who was known for his wonderful watermelons and how he would dig a deep hole, add a shovel full of composted manure, add back the soil, and plant the melon seeds on the hill. He grew them huge and perfect, apparently.
In the same vein...Where my parents live is a ridge known for peach orchards- maybe 15 different orchards. I grew up eating the fruit so ripe, the juice would run down my arms. The peach pies and fresh peach ice cream...OMG! The town even had a peach festival! Now, you cant get ripe fruit in the whole town. They are picked to ship, not to eat. A person really has to have a fruit tree to get that kind of ripe.
So you get it...I LIKE RIPE FRUIT!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Over very in-depth exploration this afternoon, I've decided the only things I would really hold dear besides my family and friends are:
#1- plenty of money to travel and eat anywhere I want to. ( I'd stop traveling long enough to send my kids to college)
#2- a house and grounds in the country big enough to be comfortable( I'll get back to you on square footage and acreage).
#3- good shoes. Hey, my feet are getting up there in years and they need a good arch support but need to look good too.
#4-good alcohol. Some might think this goes under the food catagory. It is totally separate.

That really is all. I might have added a very nice reliable car but if Im always traveling, won't I be renting that fab car? Anyway, I am not one to figure an expensive car makes me more than I am. I know I would look fantastic in an expensive import car. I just don't NEED it to feel good about myself. Reliability is more important. Same goes for very expensive clothes.
I can't think of anything else that would improve my or my kid's world.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Is that all?

Here's half of my crop of broccoli, ready for blanching and freezing. My acheivement I'm proud of. I love to have produce from my garden, especially in the middle of winter when I open up a jar or a bag from the freezer and think of the experience of bringing that certain product to our table. I still marvel at the process of soil to food to stomach. The seed and plant is like art to me. Soil is something to coax and work and prod and amend , I guess like any relationship, although I believe I do better with soil most of the time. Watching seed sprout, caring for the plants, finding the first fruits is a passion for me, pleasure I can count on every time. Ok, Ok, I know...

My first husband asked me once what it was I loved so much about plants. He didn't understand my passion. I tried to tell him it was a visual , organic, nature sorta thing. Obviously he could understand that, right?!

Last night was my daughter's 14th b-day party held here under duress...her's I might add.
Before it had always been held at the father's house in the country with a huge backyard and 21 acres of woods fields and trails to cavort on. But since he has moved to the city far away, I offered to have it here. E was figuring it would be a disaster in town with a smaller yard and neighbors and secretly she figured I would be in the way, I think. But I stayed behing the scenes and didn't dance with the lampshade on my head , tho I wanted to....
The turn out was sufficient to be wild and fun and that was her take on it as well. I've proven myself worthy as a party house. I just hope Im always here for them in the future....and not out of town.