Saturday, March 28, 2009

Grab Someone and Dance



Go on, you know you want to.

Saturday Linky Goodness

I am actually, for real, sitting on a two hour conference call with work. So instead of posting anything substantive from my own brain, here are some links to good stuff:

The Anchoress has an hysterical (and sad) story about Hillary Clinton's visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, where an image of Mary was miraculously imprinted on cloth in the 16th century. Asks Ms. Clinton "Who painted it?" Sigh.

The Anchoress also recommends this site, and I have to wholeheartedly second that recommendation. It's the story of a young mom who has given birth to a truly miraculous baby, Faith. Faith has anecephaly - she is missing most of her brain. And yet she lives, 32 days after her birth, without a ventilator or any medical help other than a feeding tube. Faith's mom, Myah, was told to abort Faith, as the only value she had was as body parts for other children.

Today is Earth Hour, where we are all to turn out the lights from 8:30 to 9:30pm as a silent reminder that our energy consumption is ruining the planet. Personally, I'm going to turn on every single electric appliance and light in the house for that hour and maybe run the cars in the driveway, but then again I always eat red meat and run the AC really high on Earth Day, so perhaps my celebratory efforts are not always in line with the norm. Do as you see fit.

Why Are These Vegans Sent to Plague Us? "Vegans, you see, exist so that others may feel guilt about something completely normal: the desire to eat food that is tasty, nourishing and appropriate to our physical specifications."

Here's a review of the latest Hollywood dreck for children: Monsters vs. Aliens. Final verdict: "... nifty presentational tricks won’t make the movie less grating or shallow. Even the most advanced 3-D glasses can provide only the illusion of depth."

Check out this great article on How to Read the Bible.

And that's all for today. Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

If Only

If only someone in this country had the guts to stand up to President Obama and every Democrat in Congress and say the exact same thing as this:



"The truth is ... you have run out of OUR money."

"You cannot spend your way out of recession or borrow your way out of debt."


HT: Instapundit - where else?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Graphic, Isn't It?


If anyone can explain to me how this ultimately helps the economy, I'm all ears. But absent a good explanation, to me this looks like it puts a bullet right in the heart of my childrens' financial future. And I don't like it one single bit.

From The Heritage Foundation. HT: Instapundit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The End is Near

"Alcohol consumption in Ireland dropped dramatically last year because of the weak economy and cross-border sales in Northern Ireland, bringing average consumption levels in 2008 back to where they were a decade ago, an industry association says."

From The Age.

If the Irish are too poor to get drunk, what is this world coming to?

I. WANT. TO. RUN. AWAY.

When I read something like this - a summary by George Will of the many irresponsible (and in some instances, unconstitutional) things happening in Washington lately.

WANTED: Country full of unpretentious, hard-working citizens that is governed by a small, fiscally responsible group of lawmakers who care more about said citizens then they do their own pocketbooks. Willing to trade dark blue passport in order to secure my children's economic future. Please call The Grass Widow anytime with more information. No Europeans need apply.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Mumbers

Elizabeth at Three Channels has an hysterical post you must read - honestly, if you have time to read just one, skip this one and read hers.

Are you still here? Okay, the theme is numbers - how many times a particular thing has happened as a way to describe recent events in your life.

Here's mine - we've had quite a day so I'll just limit it to that

0 = number of keys waiting for me when I arrived at my new office today just in time for a conference call (they moved us to a new floor on Friday night).

11 = minutes I was late for said call after calling security to let me in.

140 = the decibel level of the HR executive next door to me, while she was discussing whether or not our health insurance covers colonoscopies.

1 = conference call that was cancelled today because the other side still hasn't bothered to read the agreement.

8 = days until the end of the quarter at work.

1 = emergency phone call received by yours truly from school today, telling me we had:

1 = potentially broken elbow attached to Two.

120 = my heart rate as I flew down the freeway to pick up the boys.

80 = approximate speed of the minivan.

5 = minutes we waited before the nurse rushed us in to see the doctor.

45 = the number of gray hairs that grew on my head while we were waiting for the x-rays.

3 = shouts of joy when we discovered his elbow was still intact!

4,000 = pieces of popcorn eaten by Two as part of his "unbroken-elbow" celebration.

2 = hours before I can put the boys to bed and actually start to relax!

A post-script: the funniest part of the whole day came when a colleague called while were were waiting for the x-ray tech. He started laughing as soon as I picked up the phone, since he'd seen my flurry of emails as I started this crazy fire drill. I told him not to laugh at me, and Two interrupted with "who is laughing at me!?" I told him it was Mr. B, who he's talked to before, and he yelled "give me that phone!" He then proceeded to give my colleague a dressing down, shouting "B, are you listening to me? This is NOT FUNNY! Do you know why it is not funny, B? Because I might have a broken arm, that's why!" All the time he was addressing him by his last name only, like some 4ft tall Drill Sergeant. I could only lean against the wall of the x-ray room and laugh.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Where Does it Come From?

The boys, as I've said before, are significantly more creative than Husband and I combined. Examples? Here is Two's latest fad - he loves to build paper airplanes, but he's graduated to making them out of paper towels. And yes, they fly beautifully.

One has learned to weave over the past year - you can see in this picture the progression of his skills. There is a loom at school that the children take turns on; his latest creation, the largest of the three, only took him four art classes to complete.

Where do they get this stuff?

Well Everything Looks Better, with Bluebonnets on it

Wordless Days has some pictures from our spur-of-the-monent trip out to the country this afternoon - it's bluebonnet time, everyone!

Pictures there at least through the 29th, and not all of them are of beautiful purple wildflowers.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I'm Chiquita Banana and I'm Here to Say

John Hinderaker at Powerline on whether the US is turning into a banana republic.

"If the Pelosi bill is actually enacted into law (which I still think is doubtful) and upheld by the courts, there is no limit to the arbitrary power of Congress. In that event, we have no property rights and there is no Constitution--no equal protection clause, no due process clause, no impairment of contracts clause, no bill of attainder/ex post facto law clause. Instead, we are living in a majoritarian tyranny."

Isn't it unbelievable to everyone that Congress passed a bill that states that everyone who works for a company receiving bailout money and who makes more than $250k a year is taxed at 90% on all income above that limit? Yes. Seriously. They did that. I don't think you have to have the slightest knowledge of the Constitution whatsoever for that bill to fail to pass the smell test. John is right: if they can do this, they can do anything. And then the difference between the US Federal government and Robert Mugabe would be ...?

More here.

HT: Instapundit

And a final note: I came up with the label "Topsy Turvy World" to describe some of the inexplicably foolish things that have been going on in the UK for some time; I never expected to use it about anything that happened here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm Tired

I'm tired of being a grass widow. No, not of being The Grass Widow - I'm simply tired of being a real, live one.

I'm tired of having the main portion of my adult married life consist of:

  • eating no more than 2 meals a week at the same table as my husband
  • not sharing a bed with my husband
  • talking to my husband on the phone while he's at work far more than we talk in person
Is this is what marriage is supposed to be? Are we really supposed to spend so few hours together? Sometimes I just don't understand all of this. I don't want life to be like this anymore, and there is no way to stop it. It will never change.

I. am. so. very. tired.

Jesus and Politics: a Five Second Post

This could turn into a really long post, but I am working today and also have to take One to the doctor for strep throat (?) in 45 minutes. So more on this later. But here is a quote from Internet Monk that you need to read:

"If you think the Kingdom of God is getting a 100% score on a Limbaugh or Obama values checklist, you need to meet Jesus. You’ve apparently misplaced him."

And to that I have to say (it being Rodeo Time and all): YEE HAW!

Talk to you in a while.

True Beauty

A wonderful article written by Very Rev. John Breck on true beauty as found in God's creation - check it out.

"Beneath the artificial orderliness we try to impose on the world, there is a natural beauty, a loveliness perceptible only to those who can penetrate exteriors to behold the inner essence and value of things -- and of persons. To such visionaries, all of reality, every aspect of creation, is potentially capable of revealing ultimate Beauty, ultimate Goodness. As Fathers of the Church such as Ambrose and Augustine affirmed, any truly beautiful thing, like any truly beautiful person, is an epiphany of Divine Beauty, a revelation of God."

I love this idea that everyday beauty constantly points us to God. I've thought about it a lot (and written about it once). God's creation is beautiful, even as broken and marred by sin as it is. There are so many places we can seek out beauty - beauty that can remind us of how much our Creator loves us and loves this world He created. Take the time to look beyond the obvious, to find the hidden beauty in small things, and you will find a divine blessing there every time.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How I Know Spring is Here

Someone sneezes every 10 minutes

The boys smell from playing outside constantly

The dog smells from playing outside constantly

Everything outside is green - either because it's grass or leaves, or because it's covered in pollen

I've lost all desire to cook hot food inside


UPDATE: I forgot one thing:

Attack of the June bugs!

New Jersey Saves the Day

In the face of soaring national and state government deficits, massive bailout programs run amok, looming tax increases, and all the other problems facing Americans:

NJ is considering banning bikini waxing.

Way to go! Solve some problems! Cross that item off your list and give yourself a big, fat "good job" star at the same time!

Whew. I'm glad they are solving this huge problem for us. I will sleep much better from now on.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Vicious Honesty

PJ O'Rourke flays the President on his reversal of the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

A few choices quotes:

"President Obama went to hell not with the stroke of a pen, but with the cluck of a tongue. His executive order was an error. His statement at the executive order signing ceremony was a mortal error: 'In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values.' A false choice is no choice at all--Tweedledee/Tweedledum, Chevy Suburban/GMC Yukon XL, Joe Biden/Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Is there really no difference 'between sound science and moral values'? ... A false choice means there's no choosing. The president of the United States tells us that sound science and moral values are united, in bed together. As many a coed has been assured, 'Let's just get naked under the covers, we don't have to make love.' Or, as the president puts it, 'Many thoughtful and decent people are conflicted about, or strongly oppose this research. And I understand their concerns, and I believe that we must respect their point of view.'"

Well, last time I checked, there was a difference between morality and science. There always has been; in fact, they don't have much to do with one another as far as compatible subjects go. Science is at best neutral, it is certainly not by necessity good. It can be quite good, for a great many people, but without morality in the picture as well it is merely a tool without anyone to guide it. A tool that can be used to create a vaccine against polio, or a tool that may or may not help anyone but will certainly kill teeny weeny babies while trying.


HT: The Anchoress, who I recommend highly that you read. Any woman who loves PJ as much as I do gets my "Google Reader" vote, any day.

Are Farmers' Markets Unsafe?

Apparently Congress thinks so.

HT: Instapundit

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This is So Helpful

Senator Charles Grassley, Republican from IA, has this to say about AIG:

"I suggest, you know, obviously, maybe they ought to be removed," Grassley said. "But I would suggest the first thing that would make me feel a little bit better toward them if they'd follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say, I'm sorry, and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide. And in the case of the Japanese, they usually commit suicide before they make any apology." [emphasis added]

Doesn't this help the public discourse so much? Isn't demonizing people who make more money than the average bear a great idea? Yes! Let's increase the amount of class envy in this country! What a great idea!

What a stinking idiot. We've already thrown a pot of money at AIG; now they need to use a portion of that to insure the employees who will make the money to keep them afloat stay put and do just that. If we intended AIG to fail, we shouldn't have given them a dime, and they would have gone under quickly as their competitors picked off all of their best people. Which is exactly what will happen if AIG doesn't pay these bonuses.* The only added benefit now is that we have thrown taxpayer money away to save a company, and then hampered that company so it can't save itself. Guess what? The people getting these bonuses at AIG don't work for free; they don't even work for less - if they can make more down the street they will do so. You don't get into that kind of job without deciding beforehand that more money = ultimate good, and acting accordingly in all instances.

And if I were a politician, I would think twice about throwing all the blame on Wall Street and "greedy corporations." Not only does it create unnecessary class warfare, something this country is not supposed to be known for, but generally, people in grass houses shouldn't throw lawnmowers. Congress is at least as much to blame for our current mess as anyone else, and if the public is actually smart enough to figure that out (and some have already) Mr. Grassley and his lawnmower-throwing brethren are in a pile of trouble. And it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

*Thank you to Husband for making this argument so vociferously from the couch the other night.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two on Cookies

"Mom, is it really true that grownups get to have two?"

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sin for Sixteen Year Olds

Compliments of my sister in law: Check out the John Burroughs School prom invitation at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website:

http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/parents-talk-back/parents-talk-back/2009/03/john-burroughs-high-schools-prom-invitation-pushes-the-envelope/

Oh please, please click through and see this. You just have to. You really have to see this.

It would seem, as the article points out, that since the "after prom" party is sponsored by parents, some parents at least saw the invitation. Gah.

"Let the Sin Begin". Oh, I can't even begin to comment on this. Except to explain that, for those of you not familiar with St. Louis, that John Burroughs is a $20k a year plus prep school, Husband's high school's rival, and one of the few schools in St. Louis filled with the children of the county's elite.

I'm speechless.

Happy Blogaversary to Me

I'm sure I'm supposed to say something deep and important about the fact that I started this blog one year ago today, but I'm afraid I don't have anything deep and important to say about being the Grass Widow today. Just know that I'm not going away any time soon (I know, you are so relieved).

Here are some of my favorite posts from the year, in place of anything coherent from me this morning (and in addition to the delightful posts in the sidebar):

The Time Has Come, the Walrus Said
I Hate Valentine's Day
That Little Acronym
The Gift of Forgiveness
The Hollow Ring of Prosperity
Un-frustrating our Children
Which Children?
Ode to Mike Rowe

Enjoy.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Bees! They're Coming for Me!

I told Husband tonight that I had such a hard day at work, it was as if I'd been attacked by swarms of bees all day. Sitting here alone in the quiet I realize why: my Blackberry buzzes angrily every time I get an email. It's gone off so many times today I subconsciously thought of my clients (and their emails) as angry bees.

Maybe I need some more therapy ...

A Valid Observation

Two, in bed this morning with Husband, Lambchop and me:

"Mom, how did we get into this mess?"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Be Not Afraid

I look around me lately and there is so much to fear. I look at the deficits our government runs up and at many of its policies and I'm afraid for my boys' future. I wonder what they will inherit from us in this place. I hear the fear-mongering about the markets and the banks even though I try not to watch TV. I read fear in a friend's email; he's in NYC and connected to the financial industry, and everything he knows seems to be falling apart.

I read that evangelical churches will be gone in 20 years. I watch an acquaintance lose her son. I see a family that I thought my church was helping to get back in their home instead stuck in FEMA trailers, desperate for help with medical bills. I learn that 3 miles from my house 25 babies a day are put to death in the state's largest abortion clinic. I hear friends at work tell of canceled vacations to Mexico - it's too unstable, "we're too afraid to bring the kids", they say.

Fear and worry have surrounded me. Tonight as I watched my work email, folded laundry, and cooked dinner (all simultaneously) I felt as if I'd never been a grown-up before now. Did I truly have any responsibilities before this weight settled itself on my shoulders? Is fear a load we carry as adults? Does it define adulthood for us, this worry, this unsettled feeling, as if nothing will ever be made right again?

Even though I wasn't thinking of losing my faith at that moment, I was doing exactly that. Not my faith in markets or governments or the U.S. of A., but my faith in my Creator. The only faith that matters. The only place from whence my security and peace and, indeed, my future, comes.

I listened to Jill Paquette sing "'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word. Just to rest upon His promise...oh for grace, to trust Him more." and how I was looking at the world turned upside down. I read James 1 with the boys tonight, and heard:

"Don't run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure." - James 1:2-3 (The Voice translation)

I constantly forget the word of God and remember only the world. Fear and worry don't make me an adult; they make me a frightened child. Lord, help me to hear your word, remember it, and put it into practice in place of that fear. Amen.

Give Obama a Grade

MSNBC has a report card you can vote on here. Would you be terribly surprised that I gave him an F? I didn't think so.

HT: Instapundit.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Reason #487 Why I'm Glad I Don't Live in NYC

It makes me happy to think I don't know anyone who would ever, ever say things like this:

"Mindfulness is supposed to bring people together. By embracing your essential humanness, getting in touch with and accepting your body, sensations, emotions and thoughts, you are supposed to join with, and empathetically connect to, all humanity... 'One thing I like to do is send my silent good wishes to people all over the world who have problems exactly like my own. Contexts may change, but emotions are universal.'”

From the New York Times, of course.

HT Ann Althouse.

Beach Family Fundraiser

This Saturday from 1-4pm there will be a fundraiser for the Beach family at the Kemah Boardwalk. The events will take place near the fountains and stage; a donation of $10 is requested for entry.

You can read more about the Beach family at the link above or here. They have 13 children, most of them adopted and many with special needs. Their home was close to destroyed in Ike and they need help with medical expenses.

If you'd like more information about the event please contact Kelly Williams at kellyjw18@verizon.net. If you can't make it but would like to make a donation anyway, you can mail it to the Beach Family Medical Fund, P.O. Box 272, Kemah, Texas 77565.

“We have our days,” Melissa Beach said. “But the rewards are awesome.”

Photo compliments of Cvent Destination Guide.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

While I'm sitting here running Excel spreadsheets to try and decide if we will be able to keep our home* should the Obama budget pass in something close to its current form, The Obamas are partying like it's 1999.

"At the dinner in the State Dining Room, the Obamas looked comfortable, chatting and smiling with their guests. Afterward, they escorted the governors down the hall to the East Room, which had been arranged with few tables and chairs to encourage dancing to "September," "Boogie Wonderland" and other hits from a musical group Obama listened to growing up."

Husband grew up in North Saint Louis listening to the same music, but there's not a whole lot of conga line going on in this house these days.

HT: The Anchoress, who has the greatest tag line ever: "When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set." Sweet.

*Answer: most probably NOT. Thanks Mr. President.