Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Hope your holiday remembrances for this year were worth cherishing. Our Christmas was pretty good all things considered. The kids & Mom loved their presents. Tom & I enjoyed the few goodies we couldn't resist getting for each other. Even the venison roast & ham dinners (for Christmas Eve dinner & Christmas respectively) came out very well. Becka's garlands hit a new height in artistic beauty & DS made an adorable Gingerbread house scene. Even the kitties enjoyed their catnip mice and feathered toys. The feathers are still floating around, actually. Well, at least they were loved to death ;)

Weather was warm-ish - mid-50's- and overcast. No snow at all, though there was plenty on the news for other places.

Read on one Christmas site that if Christ was truly born in September, as many now believe, then Christmas is actually near the anniversary of the Annunciation - His immaculate conception. That would work too, IMHO

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our Christmas Card 2U

Our new card is up. This is just the tiny version. You can see the big, wallpaper-y one at the site. We've added all kinds of hidden object & flash fun too.

Wishing You and All Your Dearest a Happy Holiday!

For Such Things

I don't want to get into a downer, so I will try to deal with this as quickly as possible and get back to happier things ('choosing joy' :). I do feel like I should say this. While a lot of us are enjoying the holiday, and trying to make others happy, the spirit of anti-Christmas seems to grow every year. I've met entirely too many people who avoid any sort of recognition of festiveness in this season - and others who want to make your day a bad one if they can, even when you've gone out of your way to be good to them.

Its a part of the general 'end times' garbage, yes. The love of many has been growing cold. But its appalling to me how acceptable being overtly ugly has become. Too many 'dark' sitcoms and comedies are having their effect, sad to say. Realized that selfish sitcomness was what one frizzy-haired female was playing toward at the village movie place the other day. I was taking my son to see their last showing of Bolt, basically because their prices are cheaper. When I got there, the female made a big 'show' (with no other audience - no line) how she had printed out the website page (she said) that showed they had stopped it one showing earlier. Now I knew that the website had showed the kiddo movie listed to play not two hours before. I also know what their page should look like if it were printed out, and that wasn't it. The fact she was so happy to wave it around actually proved she expected to be challenged - which would be a tad suspicious if the website had ALWAYS said the showings she claimed... But beside pointing this out, there was nothing to do but take DS to the GOOD theater, where the prices are the national average, but they have a good selection of films, they treat you with respect, its clean, the chairs are comfortable, there are no funny lines in the screen, and the sound system is perfect - you know, everything her shop is not. We arrived 15 minutes before their next showing, with lots of time to get parked, get snacks, and get settled. Primo. Job well done.

[Bolt is another good kid's film, for the record. It was a tad cliched, but well done. Loved the nutty hamster. Recommended!]

As I went up the road to the other, BETTER, movie house - I worked to let go of the minor irritation induced by said goofy female by talking quietly to God about it. I soon realized that my annoyance was in my belief she was deliberately lying to me - but I seemed to hear God was unhappy with her wanting to make us feel bad...a sin that is becoming all too common. She manage to aggravate me mildly for about 15 minutes, but she wanted very much to ruin my day. I don't know for a fact that this is correct, but I believe this is what I heard. I have been seeing more and more people being ugly to each other as a form of humor out on the streets, as I have been shopping. I rarely get any of it aimed at me personally, but its not that fun to be around.

One day we were at Trader Joe and everyone was ssooo nice - and happy --- and peaceful with one anther. We were tripping to get out of each other's way - it wasn't just the employees that were being so nice. We chatted to each other about holiday plans as we looked at the various goodies, and tried TJ's cheeses and whatnot. Then I realized how rare such scenes have become. Why? Because most people aren't trying to be nice to those they meet. They don't feel like they have to - and they don't particularly want to be good to those they meet. They refuse to recognize the season with anyone they don't have to - won't even send politically-correct, secularized expressions of Merry Christmas/ Happy Hanukkah/ Kwanzaa/ Blessed Winter Solstice or whatever.

I keep opening my Bible to places where God talks about the ugly way people were behaving in ancient Zion as He began to judge them. I would like to say we don't deserve to get what they got, but it seems to me that many I meet and hear from here are getting closer and closer to that negative checklist. (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah...go have a look)

I just can't see God blessing America much until we are more inclined to bless one another with such goodwill as we have. If people can't summon up enough goodwill to wish those they meet a happy holiday, can't even desire it for strangers, its not likely they will have a blessed Christmas themselves. For, pagan origins or no, God likes to see us love one another- and the Christmas season has been the best opportunity for many centuries here in the West to bless all those around you. Its sad to see this die, and scary to think what will follow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Holidays

Always loved that Snowglobe :))

Just had to upload this old fav when I saw I could share it with you. You can shake it with your mouse - but be prepared to feel a little guilty ;)

We've been very busy with continuing trips to the orthodontist (mild complications), and catching up on Christmas obligations after finally getting past that bad cold/flu whatsit, but we are making progress! The last of the larger mail went out today. Our youngun's Christmas is pretty much bought. The house is decorated. We've eaten through 3 crates of Celementines & 1 tin of Swedish Gingersnaps. We're doing an Advent calendar in the shape of a house this time, and we're nearly ready to make the gingerbread house. Hoping it comes out well this year. Some years it does, some years it doodnt. lol

& Best of all, we are finally getting this year's goodies updated on - now located on a much better server. Its not all up quite yet. Looks like we need to tweak this year's e-card a bit more first. But there are changes! Becka made some lovely wallpapers this time, and I have added some Christmas Hidden Object challenges using our pictures. Feel free to dig into our digital Christmas present to you all whenever you have a minute - or three.

Susan & family

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well- Happy Thanksgiving weekend anyhow. :)

Hope yours was nice. Ours was quiet and full of tasty treats which we were able to eat - a little. Colds weren't completely gone, nor are they now, but at least I didn't have to set the box of tissues and a candy bowl of Ricolas next tot he cranberry sauce, as I joked. Mind you, they weren't far away...

We didnt take many pics, but maybe you'll like these. Also bday ones & latest cute kitty

I don't do the Black Friday thing. I'm out in the country, and the local ads did not inspire extreme efforts, especially given I'm still recovering from aforementioned bug and end of the month sales on after 2 birthdays & a holiday are always poorly timed for our finances anyway... We spent a little time talking about it and I am not all that happy with the whole concept. I admit this upfront as I am not so sure my negative opinion hasn't been affected by the fact that these events have never even been remotely convenient for us. So you can take these ruminations with that grain of salt.

It seems to me that planning these big sales events on the next morning past Thanksgiving would tend to cut into the holiday in several ways. There would be those who are visiting from out of town who would lose those hours to visit while this shopping goes on, unless they belong to that select minority who enjoys chit-chatting in crowds and queues. There would be those who would at least be tempted to end their visits early on Thanksgiving (or shoo away relations) so they can rest up for these early hour sales, and may be surly if family stays 'too long.' They might excuse it by saying they want to get these Dear Ones even better presents at that half-off discount, but wasn't the present thing all about enjoying and appreciating each others company? If you are the type to dread shopping but can only afford what X wanted when its dirt cheap between 5-9am (supplies are limited) - you might spend the whole day dreading that next morning. Will I manage to get one? Will it get ugly at the store? How early do I have to be there to ensure they don't run out (its so WRONG of merchants to brag about a huge sale of an item to THOUSANDS and then only send like 3, 5, 10 to the store! The limited early hours thing is bad enough!)

Why on Earth do these merchants insist on pushing into our holiday? Why couldn't they wait until Monday at least? Okay, thanks for your patience on my latest growl.

Tune in next time while I wonder why no one is considering a possible connection between the Somali pirates who attacked the Indian Navy last week & the 'unknown terrorists' who are using the same sort of weapons & arrived in the same sort of speedboat in Mumbai this week....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Wow... I let my blog languish much longer than I'd intended! This entry probably won't be very long either as I am /still/ fighting with a nasty cold. Feels like I've had it forever, but its only been a few weeks we've been host to the Genghis Kahn of cold viruses. Yucka!

That's a lot of what has kept me too busy/disinterested to do a lot of blogging. I don't like coughing on my keyboard. Its hard to clean. Also its hard to concentrate with a full load of Nyquil on. lol

So...what has been happening? Two birthdays in the family, both of which went very well. They loved their ice cream cakes & regular cakes & prezzies :D
We made a bigger deal than usual out of our son's bday. Usually its the other way around - in a way. Its not that we never tried to make his bday as big a deal to us as his sister's, its just that Becka's comes first and its always been easiest to put the decorations up for her and leave them up for his big day ~a fortnight later. It may look just as good to the family generally, but he finally let on that his birthday celebrations often felt slightly....recycled.
So this year he got his very own decorations. Took hers down and specially got a banner/ribbon/balloon pack, put on a nice tablecloth, and deliberately made a bigger deal about how much we looked forward to the day & sharing HIS cake etc. One of his presents was a small trunk with an antique map texture on it...looked very pirate-y- and we put all the presents we could inside it. The effort was well worth it! Despite still feeling pretty rotten, DS obviously had a great time.
He had two reasons to feel a bit under the weather, btw. He had the cold invading his life, yes, but he was also recovering from a small bit of oral surgery. He had the first followup visit right around his birthday, and it left his gums very sore. Thankfully we had already planned egg drop soup and some other soft Chinese dishes for the big night, and very soft cake. heh

So, yep, we're hanging in there..and trying to prepare for Thanksgiving despite the colds we're all still fighting. Turkey is thawing in the fridge and all that. Hopefully at least one or two of us will be up to cooking the lovely food we have planned.
I think the unseasonably cold weather, and rapid changes in temps are making it tougher to beat the bug completely. But soon, we will, I hope!

Seems like one or two at most manage to get completely well at any given time. Grasping this reality, I stumbled out with our son to see Madagascar 2 on a good day for him. I had this feeling he wouldn't be up to it on the big day, and I was right. Fun movie, btw, graphics, and especially pacing were much improved from the first effort. The storyline was reasonably involving, but it suffered from everyone knowing the gags already. The penguin sequences could have been longer too in my totally biased opinion. LOL They are the funniest penguins I've seen in awhile. Oh- the other really good penguin movie was the the one DS got for his birthday, "Surf's Up." That one is surprisingly good. It would have been decent even if it hadn't featured all those adorable penguins. btw - right after watching it again, we happened to play an episode from season 2 of the Muppet Show and saw Chicken Joe again! He was the sheriff in this silly little Wild West skit.

Other than that, I am working on my crochet - hoping to finish that blanket I started for Tom during all those hospital stays. I got it finished to a width and length that worked well in the hospital beds (with sides up). That's a bit small for a regular bed, so I've been crocheting all around it, slowly expanding it. Seems to take forever, but it should last well once its done. Its a dense weave. I was too tense to do anything looser. heh

Other than that, I have played a bit of the hidden object stuff, read a few cozy mysteries, and prayed often. I am craving some hot chocolate and time with my latest mystery, so I guess that's enough up time from me for now. Take care, friends.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Explaining the Financial Crisis

Best piece I've seen thus far. Sent to me by email. Let's get what joy we can from the mess, eh. :)

By Bird & Fortune

If that's too close to be funny for you, may I suggest meditating on this...

Michael Card - "Never Will I Leave You" from Soul Anchor

Sunday, October 12, 2008

City of Ember fun

Its another slow day, with my kitty peacefully sitting on my toes. We don't do much with Columbus Day remembrances anyway, having long had doubts about whether he was more famous or infamous. DS is still adjusting to the new braces. The black powder event was pretty empty when we went by yesterday, so we went to the library instead - which seems to be much better run these days btw. I remember ranting about how they were, but hadn't told you what happened when a necessary bathroom break sent my family in to talk to them again. So far, they've been as good as their word- and the collection is MUCH better than I remembered.

Went by the City of Ember site (deciding whether we want to see it). I've been a sucker for (non-horror) cave people stories since:
1) missing numerous field trips to area caves while growing up. I was sick every single time we were supposed to go!
2) high school study projects, where I was in one of those experimental programs that had me roaming the stacks at the local uni more weeks than not- and afterward I spent time exploring left out resources their collection happened to have. As a former homeschooler I was more than happy to educate myself far beyond scholastic requirements. [grin] Some manuscripts were quite rare and included copies of documents stored since the French Revolutionary era - (minutes of the Committee' etc). Among the more fascinating bits was a collection of reports about 'cave people' who had supposedly come up all over Europe (from France to Germany, England, Gibraltar, and even Turkey!) Some were probably recent hideouts from the Terror, but other reports were positively intriguing. None of the adults in these reports survived for long after 'returning'? to the surface - but some of the children did adapt. Oddly, several were reported as having to learn the local language - but seemed to be speaking an unknown tongue of their own. A few told stories of a now lost civilization deep within the Earth that had suffered some kind of recent disaster. Several Native American tribes also told stories of living underground for a time. Were these all fairy tales? Possibly, since none of it has been proved aside from the comparatively shallow cave cities of Turkey, but the stories inspired Jules Verne and many after him - and apparently inspired the makers of Zork & Myst too. (at least secondhand. Once images enter the public imagination they take on a life of their own.)

Millions have been enchanted by the fascinating idea of a hidden city deep underground, safe from outside troubles, but challenged by their limited land and from the darkness within the hearts of mankind. The old stories still intrigue me too, so I took a look into the latest rendition, curious to see which of the classic tales or games this one would resemble most. So far the synopsis suggests neither Zork nor Verne. Ember's storyline (as written in the official synopsis and on Wikipedia) reminds me of several Dr Who storylines, old Star Trek episodes, Wall-E, and (faintly) of Logan's Run - but without 'lastday' and other violent Huxley-ish overtones. I guess I've read and seen too much fantasy & scifi works to find it original. But who knows, it might be reasonable to watch. Still haven't decided.

At the site, I played a couple of puzzle games - one based on ye olde "Pipe Dreams" and the other on the ever popular 'flip all the Switches on' challenge - used in so many adventure, rpg, and platformer games that it'd be difficult to list them all (Spyro 2, Mario 7 Stars, Lufia, etc etc). Maybe you'll enjoy them for a few minutes. Yeah, I'm still a puzzler at heart. :)

Monday, October 06, 2008


I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh."

Those were my real answers. I then answered the way I'd 'like' my life to be and got...

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"You have a sunny disposition and are normally one of the first to show up for the party. You don't need too much attention from the host once you get there as you are more than capable of making yourself seen and heard."
Actually, if you are doing as well as the answers required you to be to get this result, no host or hostess in their right mind would ignore you!

According to Celtic tree calendar thingy, I would be a fir tree .
Fir Tree (Mysterious) -- extraordinary taste, handles stress well, loves anything beautiful, stubborn, tends to care for those close to them, hard to trust others, yet a social butterfly, likes idleness and laziness after long demanding hours at work, rather modest, talented, unselfish, many friends, very reliable.

That goes pretty well with a Christmas tree quiz I found.

You Are a Cranberry and Popcorn Strung Tree

Christmas is all about showcasing your creative talents.

From cookies to nicely wrapped presents, your unique creations impress everyone.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Little Hidden Object fun

Right now Viqua games is graciously allowing all and sundry to make their own Hidden Object game screens. You just input a background picture of your choosing and add objects to click from their inventory. Its easy & fun.

Here's the 2nd Hidden Object minigame I put together using a family photo. Its got lots of shiny treasure. ^_^

Thanks to Brown-Eyed Tiger & Stellaluna

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Trusting Him

As we watch the unfolding news, we have been spending a lot of time in prayer for our future, as we look to move beyond the medical trials that have dominated our lives for the last five years (and more!), but we also praying for many of God's people who, like us, are wondering what will come next. Many are rebuilding their lives today, after Ike & Dolly & other storms. Others are weathering the loss of savings they recently would have thought were quite secure. Its not an easy time, but it is an opportunity to grow in faith.

"As The Mountains Are Around" by Lamb, available on Songs For the Flock
(performed well here by a church band)

May this video offer comfort to those whose answer is to trust in the Most High God.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Despising the Message/ Messenger

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln, 2nd Inaugural Address

Had a rough day last Saturday - and days recovering from it. (Praise God those symptoms passed!) The last few days we've had another storm - a nor'easter this time with 30-60 mph winds. (Its a sea storm that spins the other way. They don't name those.) This gave me plenty of time to catch up on my reading. I finally got deeply into "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James Loewen.

It turned out to be a very thought-provoking book, and as those are dominating my thoughts, I feel like sharing them. So here's my book report! lol

I read a lot of histories, even as a kid, and I thought I could see through all the spins and deadly-dull verbiage of the average textbook. Nope! I had never realized the history - and the implications - of a number of very basic terms used - like "settler" - "frontier" and even the reason for continually focusing on the living of only the nomadic plains Indians and the desert dwelling Navaho. I knew how incomplete it was, I just didn't realize there was a purpose in the focus. I thought they had just gotten over-fascinated by two groups in particular.

I always wondered why Helen Keller was so often pushed at students, long after her personal fame would have naturally faded. I assumed it was as an encouragement for those with disabilities.

Apparently, that was only part of it. She was also seen as proof that 'anyone' can make it - even though she realized herself, in time, that her story would have been far different 'had she lacked the benefits of her environment and station.' Some wealthy factory bosses created a tour just for her to show the poor people they so grossly underpaid that 'anyone' can become a success. Actually extremely few people got the training, breaks, pay, or mentoring that made lasting financial improvement likely - until the unions - which they were then fighting - and which have since been largely undermined. Most textbooks now suggest unions are an anachronism - even as pay continues to fall and jobs get sent to underpaid people overseas.

Helen Keller felt she was being used to fool the poor, and she grew angry about the exploitation described to her, eventually becoming a radical supporter for Debs & others. I knew she had been an advocate for handicapped persons, and for labor reforms, but somehow didn't take in how far she went - and why. Nobody likes to be used as a tool. I don't guess I blame her.

& If this fellow is correct (and his bibliography at the back is impressive), we've all of us received a serious snow job over the legacy of Woodrow Wilson too. I had no idea he'd been so racist in his administration! I read very little of our foreign involvements in the Latin countries in WWI years.

Its been awhile since one of these 'correction' books had so many shocking things in it I didn't know already. I never expect a book like this to fill in outlines of many events - as they usually stick to overview, but in order to show why the textbooks he studied were doing a disservice to the historical events he covers, Loewen does go into some detail. I *did* know that Lincoln was truly for the freedom of all peoples, and that the quote most often used against him is both out of context and incomplete. I did NOT realize to what extant the Lincoln- Douglas debates altered public opinion in his own time (that they were important in and of themselves) - and probably that of the participants themselves as they went along. It was a fight for the conscience of the nation. I don't think anyone ever mentioned before that one of the things Douglas threw at Lincoln was Lincoln's previous efforts to repeal the 'runaway slave' legislation that had made escapees at risk all over the US. I certainly didn't know how low down, and abusive Douglas had been to Lincoln. I really was surprised how openly ugly and ungentlemanly the opposition had been. I mean, they prided themselves on their good manners back then! Lincoln's Second Inaugerual speech is also a shocker. I think I had heard a bit of it before, but its worth reflecting on.
Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-men’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn by the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.”

Imagine any public leader saying something like that now...

The thing that surprised me most, was Loewen's recognition that the biggest historical decisions made for the majority of people were based on moral & practical considerations - or on unenlightened self-interest by a controlling faction. History is very much about whether our forebears chose the high road or brawled over the low.

He pointed out as early as his chapter on Columbus, that the earliest descriptions of the Native folk the big C encountered, allowed that they were handsome, intelligent, and reasonably generous. After they'd been mistreated awhile, he describes them as 'brutish, savages' and worse, deserving the atrocities his men inflicted. Loewen gives this as a classic example of "cognitive dissonance" - the psychological term that explains adding insult to injury, by recasting your victims in an ugly light in your own mind.

It is due, the psychologists say, to the ego's desire to feel good about self, even when doing evil. When the ego has chosen to abuse another, aware that its choices are inconsistent with keeping that good opinion of itself, the base temptation will be to despise the victim. The abuser will use every social stereotype and magnify all real and imagined personal failings of the victim(s) to justify their own behavior before others (and self).

Now this makes it very hard for victims to be heard with fairness by their abusers. They may appeal to whatever ethical constraints their abusers should have, but this common mental attitude then devalues whatever truths the oppressed may speak. They don't have to listen 'to the likes of you.' [I had never understood this sort of deafness before. Truth is truth no matter who speaks it.]

Many such abusers go on until they have 'vindicated' themselves by getting as many as possible to agree with the abuser that the harm was deserved, and would have been done by anyone else there 'who had the guts.' If not significantly opposed, The arrogant abuser will eventually demand a form of praise/homage for their screwed up acts & beliefs about the victim(s).

Somehow, I had thought repentance was a more common occurrence than it seems to be.

I knew about this principle, after a fashion. I just didn't recognize it as a mainspring of history! Psalms & Proverbs mention repeatedly the way attackers justify their garbage, and hate the oppressed even worse when allowed a measure of success. The Prophets spoke plainly about these issues! God hates it!

To some extent the history of colonialism/imperialism seems to be largely an exploration of the way the greedy & powerful de-humanized those they dispossessed & abused, and finally even enshrined their bad opinion of them into law to oppress future generations!

Loewen gives it as the root of our current problems with racism, the continual problem with our rapidly jaded leaders, and our frequent lack of sympathy for the poor and oppressed in our daily lives. Our books claim EVERYONE has a fair shot to do or be anything they want. Not a wonder if those who hold the advantages don't look too hard at what they were given, and what a difference it makes. He makes a good case. I was just astonished that this cognitive dissonance issue became the philosophical heart of his book, as it is incredibly close to saying that all history is about choosing sin & self or choosing justice & kindness to others - and then justifying your choices - even to the next generations in your textbooks.

It is absolutely tripping to read the quotes by our Founding Fathers that frankly flattered the Iroquois League, when they were acknowledging their ideological debt to them in forming the Articles of Confederation, and contrast it with the abuse heaped on those same Native peoples later, when their governing body chose to back the British who had sworn to prevent further theft of their lands by 'settlers.' Some of this was due to the high feelings any war will provoke in those who 'choose the other side' - but some, yes, was cognitive dissonance, because the colonial authorities could not & would not promise to uphold Native American rights to expel European-descent squatters or hold full property rights under their law - and these were plain justice issues as far as the Native Americans were concerned.

He shows how slavery rapidly challenged the motivational ideals in a number of the founding fathers, and the social pressure the more southern colonial leaders faced to continue holding slaves or be counted out if they released them. He showed the spread of the social cancer that eventually used 'race' (genetically stable melanin amounts in families) to define value and rights of everyone. If your solar reflectivity could be used as an easy way to mark winners from losers, how about gender? How about wealth? How about age groups? How about distinctive religious practices? Our beliefs about liberty, very much influenced by the culture of the Native Americans, has been under siege ever since the beginning - when their rights were so often ignored. Its hard to realize how often the early discussions of our Founding Fathers took a bad turn - in order to keep slavery, and bless the ambitions of the greedy and the hopes of the desperate.

The best bit thus far (I haven't finished the book) was a hypothetical showing what he would expect to happen in a strapped economy if everyone with the last name "L" was suddenly 'accused' of being sub-human (assuming no one could change their name). Soon people whose name began with other letters might start looking hopefully at the possessions of neighbors that did have unfortunate surnames. If public sentiment sanctioned the abuse, agreeing to consider this segment as a target, they could quickly find themselves being openly insulted & provoked, then stripped of everything they owned, then killed. After all - they were sub-human. They had 'no rights worth worrying about' (a phrase that was actually used repeatedly in history). If mass murder was not allowed, they would be ghetto-ized- sent to reservations, or similarly imprisoned, with few hopes of normal life left to them. The 'survivors' would soon recarve the social pie without those surnamed "L" getting anything like a fair share, and tell them to grateful for what little remained! Within a single generation, the textbooks would cast it all as ancient history, establishing a staute of limitations via trained public opinion, and imply that the "L" people had incited the trouble they faced. "L" people - like all other people probably would resist, and even strike back, but as the losers of history they would receive little justice until & unless many in the society became aware of the truth and expressed regret for such behavior. Some changes MIGHT be made then.

Never in the history of mankind - not even in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia - has there lacked at least a few reformers - usually religious, but all idealists - who stood up and denounced the evil intended, regardless of what it cost them. I was fascinated by his research which showed that when the nation repented (at least to some degree) - the messenger was also honored -though he/she might still be killed by an extremist on the other side (IE: Lincoln). If the nation did NOT repent, then the messenger often died and would be deliberately forgotten for a season. The time came, however, when the nation became embarrassed for what had once been done, and then they dusted off the records and sang the praises of the good guys among us who prove we weren't ALL like that (IE: Bartolome de las Cases) Apparently mankind is still killing its prophets...and then building shrines to them later.

Loewen points out that those who dared bring a message of conscience into a controversy, got smeared personally by those who didn't want to hear. Cognitive Dissonance definitely played a role. Loewen offers a well-documented example of Helen Keller receiving this treatment. Helen Keller rebutted a bit of her abuse by simply contrasting quotes of the very same public speakers before and after her social epiphany. Papers & editors had called her 'extremely intelligent, generous, independent-minded, evidence of what the indomitable human spirit can achieve' as a young person on tour of factories, mines & mills - but said she was 'still a bit brutish, grasping, famous by chance, and one who is being fed opinion by others that she can't possibly understand' only a few years later when she was trying to use her fame to combat social injustice. Suddenly she's a brainless nobody for saying what they didn't want to hear? Ouch. Poor Lady.

So here we have a long book of victims, their abusers, those who championed justice, and those who are inclined to belittle such people...and why...with a lot of detailed history included. I am seriously impressed with this author.

Now this is not a perfect book. While Loewen goes on at some length about the necessity for complete fairness and openness in the history we teach our children. He didn't always succeed himself - which somewhat excuses reviews I have read mentioning a 'politically-correct' bias.

Loewen's mention of early Indian massacres chose to highlight the cruel, treacherous poisoning of Indians at West Point in 1623 - a story I happen to know well. He does NOT however mention that this was in retaliation for massacres of Colonials in 1622 at a party to which the Indians were invited. On a silent signal, they had risen up and slaughtered their hosts, young and old alike. That was also awful, treacherous, inhuman - and killed at least as many people.

Loewen puzzled me by carefully documenting the deplorable resurgence of racism in the US from the 1890's -1920's - but remaining unable to recognize the plainly ascribed source for its respectability in source documents I have read- the rise of the theory of evolution (and scientific materialism) which increasingly displaced Christian ethics as a basis for human governance. He actually asks why it happened, as if there was no way to know. Very strange.

Friday, September 12, 2008

No News is Good News?

So glad Ginger's family has weathered Gustav and come back to us online. Sure felt for what she said about the lack of coverage of the damage in Houma, Baton Rouge et al. As another lady pointed out, even the Katrina coverage consistently reported on New Orleans at the expenses of large damaged areas elsewhere like.. a LOT of Missippi. When Isabel damaged our area, it was the same thing. People saw a lot of damage here. One little city was wiped off the map, but you would never have known it was serious in my state based on the national news others reported to me. When I came back after two weeks, few seemed to understand what we'd just been through, and how much there was to fix.

and - yes- we're praying here for all those facing Hurricane Ike's wrath now.

About the tv national news coverage. Some of the weather coverage for the last storms seems to have improved. Its good to hear of some intended reform in the regular news too, like losing Oberman & Mathews at NBC, as their excessive bias (and political focus) was evident to everyone, but it hasn't gone far enough. There is still the problem of privileged areas of coverage (anything happens to the chosen 'darlings,' the media screams all day) versus the 'regular' stories. To give some examples:: Lately there was a huge explosion at a plant near a major city & college campus in West Virginia, national tv news barely mentioned it! There were earthquakes in Vancouver Island & central Canada & concerns the whole line was getting active. No reports here. There were train derailments, other explosions, & some were suspicious. There's all kind of stuff going on and all we can get on CNN/MSNBC those days is some celebrity flap (who on Earth is that anyway you keep going on about?), unfair attacks on Palin (not exactly getting the breaks they expected for Hillary - though she seems to be a real nice lady), endless coverage of the one little missing girl (probably deceased) and skimpy coverage of the hurricane damage (after it passed New Orleans). Let's not wait for the Glenn Beck hour to cover the most critical stories, okay? He can't get it all in in that time either, especially with all the soliloquizing he feels is necessary. (I won't say I don't know why he feels that way, even when I don't agree with him, but it does cut into news time.) Oil refinery damage is a real story, but so is INFRASTRUCTURE, so is HALF MILLION AFFECTED IN RURAL COUNTIES. Caylee's story is sad, but so was the story of the 4 yr old locally who was found dead in her own apartment. It surprises me that our state's political scandals of councilmen & supervisors hasn't gotten a mention. The N.C. coastal county flap got five minutes... Okay, you're the big news, you can't cover every tragedy. Fine, so FOCUS on big news stories! Local news does local news! Let Hollyweird do its own promotions! Worry about the affect on whole REGIONS - not just the cities you like! Tell us how the power grid is doing. Tell us what Missippi bridges are still affected by that flood this spring. Tell us what roads are affected by what is going on now. Tell us once in awhile how rural people are coping weeks/months after damaging tornadoes, hurricanes, firestorms etc - you know - all those areas outside LA, NY, & New Orleans. Stick to political stories that matter, and otherwise work on the biggest stories that affect the most people! There's too much spin going on still. The national news media has gotten a very strange idea of what is important enough to talk about. Right now you do better combing through Drudge Report , Lucianne, WN, BBC, Worldnet, Fox Online, Breitbart, AP Breaking, & even Wikipedia! that back out of my system. Its what I get for watching so much hurricane coverage. ;)

As for the candidates - I am not pleased with the choice of Sen. Biden from Delaware. Sure he's the guy that helped Delaware's economy. Doesn't everybody know how? Don't they remember how many corporations & banks & bankcards companies are headquartered in that tiny province? That's how everyone knows Delaware! Biden would NOT be my choice to remember the little cardholder guy. Wasn't inclined to believe the citizenship flap, but Obama making plans to change the Prez seal isn't a good sign, even though he says its just for the campaign. I'm told that you usually do that only when changing a form of govt. Yes? No?

So that leaves McCain (or Barr) - now- I would still have preferred Huckabee, but I gotta admit, Palin is looking pretty good to me, family issues and all. So she's not a SAHM - few ladies are these days. She does support the right to life for even the littlest of little guys - and gals, even when it could cost her and her family. That shows some integrity. Then too McCain did a cool thing in trying to move the whole convention when he knew Hurricane Gustav was coming. Saw his various attempts reported online & though they wouldn't cancel, the Republicans did cut it down & cut it down to let the 'government' party focus on helping people during the crisis. That was very responsible of him..and them.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Working things out

We did get that half-off leather kit, as it will be a few weeks until we know if DS's necessary orthodontic work is covered. He has made his first set of moccasins. We bought a little extra leather so his older sister could also make a pair, and those came out reasonable well too, despite interference from the kitties. They stole laces, and hissed at the finished products, until they'd been worn enough to pick up some people scent. Its hard to make 'craft' moccasins tight, the pattern is very generalized, but you do get that sense of - hey, I can make what I need! Once you've made your simple shoe, you feel less intimidated about working out what tweaks or embellishments might improve your basic model. You start to see yourself as a 'can do' type person. That's what DH & I found so freeing when we did these crafts as teens. Glad to see the both of them get that same experience. DS will be making a belt soon, learning tooling. Tell you how that goes.

Both young'uns are being very good about keeping up their Wii fit exercise. Becka, especially, is getting some results. DS balance is improving noticeably! Mom was a bit discouraged that several of the games need her to move quicker than she can, but she still putters with it now and then.

Math arrived and DS dove right into it. He's quite enthused, thus far. Shifted to World History readings for now. We can get back to the Middle Ages later.

We're still getting some nice veggies from the garden, though its begun to slow down in this unusually dry summer. We didn't even get that much rain from T.S. Hannah. We're not at drought level, but this is usually a wetland, and all the drainage ditches (many are more like moats) are built with that in mind.

& I did get some Wisteria pictures uploaded. they all are!

(click to see larger versions)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Getting fit for the new school year

Okay so we finally got our Wii fit thingy last week - I say finally because I put a deposit on one back in May, We were supposed to get one by the end of June, and the local Gamestop actually coughed up one in the middle of August. They kept promising to call, and not doing it, and not holding them at all, and then saying things like "I didn't know we had anyone else still waiting" & (later) "But we have 72 people with a hold on it"(they admitted none of those were deposit people). They never honored that deposit by actually putting our name on one and holding it until I came in with the paperwork - until the day hubby managed to wander in while some were available and growled in their face about it. He stayed there and watched it until I could arrive.

I really wanted it to aid in my son's PE this year, but I wasn't in a super rush, as I had other kiddo books to buy etc. I truly didn't mind at first, but after awhile it was getting ridiculous. All in all, I am seriously inclined to do my pre-orders with somebody else. They honored the first few things I pre-ordered with them - but I can't honestly say that I felt they did right by us this time. I gotta wonder if those 72 other people had a better experience than I did.

But the good news is that we have one now, and its better than I'd hoped. Wii Fit has yoga, aerobics, balance games, and what they call 'strength training' - those seem to be 'regular' exercises. The kids both love doing their exercises indoor now, when the weather's too hot or mosquito-ish.
We didn't actually stop homeschooling this summer. Our kids covered the crucial subjects during these years of medical trial. In fact, they did very well on their end- of -year exams. I knew, however, they had some areas we really needed to work on when DH finally felt well enough for me to concentrate the way I felt was necessary. That turned out to be this year. So - as hubby got better, I got more into it. This effectively turned into summer homeschool, despite my concerns about bookworm burnout. Its gone pretty well. DS, in particular, has made a lot of progress.

Thankfully, the Wii fitness program does make the new school year feel - new. An effect that should only be intensified when the Teaching Textbook Math programs arrive. DS is looking forward to those. We did several of their lessons online and he felt they were much superior to the SOS math disks he had tried. Our son will be - actually already is - using Jensen's Grammer & ABeka I Comp, reading Huckleberry Finn (I'm using a collection of children's classics to start), studying basic Physics, and continuing the Spanish he ignored last year when I couldn't pay enough attention. Becka (DD) is officially off the public school's radar & did fine on her SAT. She is studying history, literature, logic lessons, etc - and continuing her CG stuff. Mom is enjoying the Wii fit program too, though Pat isn't officially 'studying' it as a kind of PE. We just finished our American history study and will start readings on the (European) Middle Ages asap. I am hoping to work in some real leather working soon. DS has some artistically ability, but is not as much into drawing as his sister. He prefers to work with his hands. We've done models & clay modeling to excess IMO. He's learned some practical home crafts, he's done one of those circuit board kits, but he's wanting to do something 'real' and, understandably, he doesn't mean a lot more sewing. Its time for 'guy stuff.' Hoping to work in some leather crafting for him soon. We have some leather, as it happens, and - if his orthodontist visit doesn't' break the bank, we may manage a small kit of tools soon. Hubby sounds reasonably enthused about giving a few lessons. Here's hoping!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Michael Card

Its Sunday, and in honor of El Shaddai on this Protestant Sabbath, I decided I'd like to share from one Christian artist whose work blesses me every often, most every day. I am blessed by his music, his books, and the witness of his and his wife's life. He shares decent devotionals too. Card's loves the Mysteries of our faith, and has found great consolation in Christ for the worldly Things We Leave Behind. (What John Michael Talbot - JMT called 'the marvelous exchange').

It bothers me that the artists who have most encouraged me to walk closely with Jesus Christ are often marginalized by the largest Christian venues. I am sincerely hoping that showing a few samples of his work here will bless you so much you will look for them from your favored Christian music suppliers. Michael Card's site allows you to buy directly if you don't know any others. You can buy the dvd with all these and many more of his greatest hits on too ^_^ Its called "Scribbling in the Sand"

"Starkindler" is my husband's favorite, from the Starkindler cd.

"Why?" [My favorite version of this song is on the Brother to Brother cd with JMT.]

"Love Crucified Arose"

"God's Own Fool" from Scandalon

"Poem of Your Life" (Poiema) is one of the best Christian living songs I ever heard. Its become virtually my personal mission statement ever since I first heard it. May the poem of my life ever praise my Lord & King!

Here's Michael Card in a concert in our area.
"Come Lift Up Your Sorrows" from his album The Hidden Face of God

May we always find "Joy in the Journey" as we wend our way toward heavenly shores

All Praise to our Risen Redeemer!

Grace Be With you All

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Finally! some pics

This is a very small smattering of the photographs we taken this year, but the delay and small selection hasn't been entirely my fault.

Every service I have ever seen online has been glitchy sometime, and I ran into a snag the last time I seriously tried to upload everything. Some pictures I know I added just didn't stay up. I was disappointed that one of them was a spectacular shot of a wisteria 'waterfall' in the nearby woods - which is probably why I didn't bother to post then, figuring I'd make some time and fix it soon. This decision seems to have resulted in sharing nothing for months - so - now that I've teased you sufficiently about the one that got away- here are some of the others. lol

These are mostly from this spring.

Seriously, I will make an effort to upload the wisteria picture soon. :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

news gripes

Still waiting to hear if either of the presidential candidates will pick a good running mate we can live with. Both are so flip-flopp-ish this matters enormously. I think the proof of that lies in how long it has taken both of them to pick a running mate. I don't recall any election that delayed on this point for so long!

Now I'd love it if Obama picked up Bill Richardson (my real Dem fav among the earlier prez candidates) . Naturally, I also like Gov Kaine as a choice. Kaine has been a good governor for VA. Obama still has inspiring rhetoric, but some of the terms he uses are beginning to concern me. He's coming off as an advocate for radical change all right, but not necessarily the best kind . His comments about foreign language use sounded way too Nanny Government, even a bit elitist - even though I agree that all who can should learn a foreign language. I also think we need some kind of regulation of the health insurance & medical industries, but what exactly does Obama have in mind? People can't afford it anymore because the prices are so insane, but that doesn't mean they want even more over-priced under-efficient 'charity' that sacrifices even more personal freedoms! He's not making a good showing here in VA lately all around. Some veterans even expressed displeasure over his European tour, and especially the big speech at Brandenburg gate, saying something him 'not having earned the privilege.' (?) MY question is - does he recognize religious, familial, & educational rights outside the NEA? Other people are wondering if he would respect our constitutional freedoms, especially those relating to self-defense. Kaine does, and that makes him a well-balanced governor for our state. Even the hard-line conservatives here have come to respect our governor. If he could promise to be like Kaine, VA might just vote Democrat this time around.

Then again, if McCain picked up Huckabee, that would just about ensure my vote. No other candidate all season has mattered as much as Huckabee IMHO. Romney isn't even close. I kinda saw him as a younger McCain with less military experience.

& I have a strong feeling that the VP job is gonna be an important slot in the days ahead. This business with Russia invading Georgia is bad, bad news - worse than the oil crisis and the economy together IMHO. Something like this was always predicted to kick off WWIII. I don't want that, obviously, but we can't just look away while this peaceful little nation goes down either. Hoping Glen Beck is wrong and Georgia's Western allies offer some substantive help real soon.

No, the big news isn't good right now, in more ways than one. With all the extreme weather & big fires etc, another failing is becoming increasingly obvious. News outlets sometimes fail to put the various disasters in proper context (How big is this fire compared with the usual? How will this affect the ecosystem down the road? How many pollutants will be released by this?How many people affected by this latest problem are still down from the last storm/earthquake/tornado?)

But they always seem to miss 'the bottom line' these days. At one point, the USA was nearly split again by the Mississippi River. Highways/bridges were affected, and boats couldn't cross. All that was left were HUGE redirects of hundreds of miles - and air traffic. They actually had to tell people to give it up, and wait for the water to go down. Some bridges needed repair afterward - SO, when and where did the media get around to telling folks which major highways & bridges were safe & available? No when. No where. Not that I saw. Ditto for the thousands of acres/towns/roads burnt up in California, Washington and N.C. Okay, its under control now, great. Now...what is left? What roads are safe to use around there? Don't they think people want to know these things? What if there were a major earthquake? Its a major omission not to find out how the infrastructure is affected and make sure the public can easily access the information.

My biggest whinge about the local news lately has been the uneven coverage. All news outlets- video & print- are devoting much time to the latest fallen hero, a police officer. I am glad they are honoring a guy who seems to have lived a commendable life and fell in the line of duty, but sadly this much more deserving recipient is coming after many similar stories and we wish they would spend a bit more time making sure they get out all the major news events. A deadly accident of motorcyclist this last weekend appeared ONLY in one newspaper. A suspected sex offender case was briefly on tv, but local papers didn't seem to have any follow-up. Only the main regional paper keeps up with the ongoing political investigations in several counties & the continuing fallout from these situations (recall petitions etc). No one seems to know even yet any more about that guy who got run over by a vehicle some months back, or they just don't care. Gives the impression of an odd weighting given to some lives over others, even when there's continuing risk to the public, but I think its partly due to these nearly continuous tributes cutting so badly into their 'real news' space. TV News Media here basically suspends much of their regular newscast in order to give more time to personal tributes and time spent at ALL the local memorial services for each dignitary- sometimes for weeks on end. One case was a high school guard/police officer who died in a single car accident. Several others were for military heroes whose bodies had just arrived from Iraq or Afghanistan. We're starting to have to skim all the news sources regularly even to learn about major local incidents & accidents, but, overall, the newspapers are doing the best job lately - except for weather forecasts.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Summer changes

These last months have felt eventful, and flown right past, but I haven't felt like talking about it outside the family much. I have uploaded some pictures from this year. Maybe soon I will get around to making & sharing some cool slide shows again. It won't be today, though.

I've been busy in the garden, reading my histories & mysteries, sewing clothes, teaching, knitting, and all that good stuff. Sorry to have neglected so many of you online, but I lose track of the days during periods like this. We've had a few household changes. We lost Greylady, the elderly Russian blue-mix kitty who delighted us for so many years. Another kitty, Sandy, never was ours, but used to like to visit occasionally. It seems he has now moved on.
My natural father, who I've hardly known at all since I was my son's age - and didn't know well even then, decided to visit near my birthday to celebrate it with us. The weather didn't entirely cooperate. It was unusually hot those weeks, with tropical systems threatening both times he planned to come by, but we did see him finally for a couple of days. Finally got him to our favorite Mexican restaurant but the planned museums will mostly have to wait for another trip. He dropped off his old laptop to the kids as well, which has been well received.

It works remarkably well for being 8 yrs old, and plays a few older excellent edutainment titles we had held on to for our son, but had trouble running on the pcs here when the time came. (one was too old, the others too new). Nice to have Stowaway and The Way Things Work running perfectly again. (TWTW ran on newer systems, but was a bit glitchy/crashy. Some of these links go to updated versions, for your convenience.) Pinball Science & the old teaching disks (Switched-On-Schoolhouse, Dinosaur Hunter, Spanish etc..) ran well already.
I was watching those tropical systems very carefully indeed especially TS Bertha, since the last Bertha in 1996 prompted one of our evacuations because, when it came toward us, our son was still little and endangered by any lengthy power outages. Taking the road north, I encountered numerous little tornadoes on either side of the highway...for miles. We arrived to our haven safely, but you never forget stuff like that, especially given its proximity to my birthday both times. Becka says she will never forget it either! Ironically Bertha did no damage at all in our county in '96, not even lost power (which back then seemed to happen every time a butterfly sneezed.) The old Bertha was supposed to have 120mph winds, but the meteorologists said afterward that these high winds were not on the ground, which explained why it was such a non-event outside of that tornado zone I drove through. I was surprised they never retired the name given the official strength of the storm, but apparently this is tied only to damage. The new Bertha strengthened & weakened & strengthened & weakened, but never made land, so one supposes there will be another Bertha years from now. Hope she's as polite as the last two, especially if she wants to celebrate with me again.

My presents were pretty cool. I got some comfy clothes, some fancy clothes, Crosswords DS, and one of those Nifty Knitter doohickeys. Its actually fun! Will probably go back to handwork in fall, as the weave is pretty open with the big loom set I have, but am working on a dandy summer throw right now. When my natural father was here we saw Journey to the Center of the Earth with him, which proved to be a decent choice for a Verne fan like me. The kids and I also went to see Wall-E (Pixar makes yet another instant children's classic!) & Space Chimps in July, which wasn't bad either.

Hubby and I went out to our favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant. We've been going there since we first dated and the place never changes - which is a good thing, because the people are nice & the food is excellent.
The biggest event of all was the passing of my hubby's eldest brother, which I guess is why its the hardest to talk about - maybe later.
The yard continues to recover, with effort. Still haven't replaced all the plants lost after Hurricane Isabel, but there are some new azaleas in the ground & amazingly the fig tree came back from the dead yet again. This is the third time! Seriously, its the phoenix of fruit trees!

Hubby continues to heal and managed to fix the old family tiller, and though it was a little late by then to get in everything, we did get a garden going this year. It is doing us some good. Its been great having one to work on again - and the fresh veggies were right on time when they started all those recall concerns in the news. We're still more cucumber heavy, than tomato-ish supplied, but that should change soon. The peppers produced well earlier, but we may have lost them to the extreme conditions. The extreme storms skipped us every time, but the heat and tropical-style cloudbursts seemed to be too much for the hot peppers. How ironic is that?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fav Actors & Actresses

Inspired by a thread, I decided to list some of my favorite actors & actresses here, along with a few of their best known productions. I figured these might good suggestions when it comes time to figure out which golden oldies might be worth your time to rent.

Note:: I define 'favorite' as a performer whose name on a production would immediately cause me to consider watching it...


Will Smith (Independence Day, Men In Black)

Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Carribbean movies, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory)

Sean Connery (Bond films, The Man Who Would Be King, The Wind and the Lion)

Orlando Bloom (LotR, Pirates of the Carribbean films, Troy)

Elijah Wood (Deep Impact, LotR)

Sir Alec Guinness (Star Wars, Lawrence of Arabia, Murder by Death, Doctor Zhivago)

Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Witness, Frisco Kid)

David Tennant (Dr Who, Harry Potter/Goblet)

Peter Ustinov - (Evil Under the Sun, Thief of Baghdad, Blackbeard's Ghost)

James Earl Jones (Conan, Star Wars, Lion King)

Kenny Baker (Star Wars, Time Bandits, Amadeus)

Billy Barty (Willow, UHF, Foul Play, Rumpelstiltskin)

Roddy McDowell (My Friend Flicka, Martian Chronicles, Planet of the Apes)

Jim Dale (Disney- Hot Lead & Cold Feet, Pete's Dragon, Harry Potter audiobooks)

Jimmy Stewart (Harvey, Its a Wonderful Life, Rear Window)

Peter Sellers - (Pink Panther, Dr Strangelove, Being There)

Peter Davidson - (Dr Who, Campion, All Creatures Great & Small)

Derek Jacobi (Cadfael, I Claudius, Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Donald O'Conner (Singing in the Rain, Francis series, The Buster Keaton Story)

Peter O'Toole (Man of La Mancha, High Spirits, Masada)

David Warner (Hogfather, Time Bandits, Masada, Tron, Time After Time)

Patrick Troughton (Dr Who, Sinbad & the Eye of the Tiger, The Six Wives of Henry VIII )

Tom Baker (Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Rasputin, Dr Who)

Mandy Patinkin (Princess Bride, Alien Nation, Yentl)

Billy Crystal (Princess Bride, Monsters Inc, Howl's Moving Castle)

Ian Holm (LotR, Brazil, Madness of King George)

David Suchet (Hercule Poirot, Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Gene Wilder (Blazing Saddles, the Frisco Kid, Haunted Honeymoon, Young Frankenstein)

John Rhys-Davies (Indiana Jones, LotR, Shogun)

Jeremy Brett (Sherlock Holmes, My Fair Lady)

Michael York (Logan's Run, 3 & 4 Musketeers, Romeo & Juliet)

Oliver Reed (3 & 4 Musketeers, Oliver, Adventures of Baron Munchausen)

Jonathan Pryce (Brazil, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Haunted Honeymoon, Pirates of the Carribbean movies)

Mel Gibson (Chicken Run, Air America, Braveheart)


Maggie Smith (Harry Potter, Evil Under the Sun, Sister Act)

Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins, Sound of Music, Shrek 2)

Angela Lansbury (Pirates of Penzance, Sweeney Todd, Murder She Wrote, Bedknobs & Broomsticks)

Emma Thompson (Sense & Sensibility, Harry Potter, Much Ado About Nothing)

Kate Winslet (Sense & Sensibility, Titanic, Finding Neverland)

Eileen Brennan (Clue, Murder By Death, Private Benjamin)

Goldie Hawn (Foul Play, Private Benjamin, Overboard)

Faye Dunaway (3 & 4 Musketeers, Chinatown)

Katherine Helmond (Time Bandits, Brazil, Overboard)

Jennifer Ehle (Pride & Prejudice)

Katherine Hepburn (Rooster Cogburn, African Queen, Lion in Winter)

Audrey Hepburn (My Fair Lady, Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany's)

Lesley-Anne Down (Sphinx, Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter/Phoenix, Wallace & Grommit/Wererabbit, Hamlet, Corpse Bride, Twelfth Night)

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Got inspired by this blog to take a new quiz. Problem is - playing with blogthings is like eating popcorn. Its hard to stop!

What Your Fridge Says About You

You like to be surrounded by things you love. You aren't greedy, but you can be materialistic at times.

You tend to be a fairly thrifty person. You splurge occasionally, but you're mostly a saver.

You are a very adventurous person. You love to try new things, and you get bored very easily.

You are responsible, together, and mature. You act like an adult, even when you don't feel like it.

You are likely married, possibly with kids.

Took this quiz a long time ago. Got the same result.

Your Inner European is French!

Smart and sophisticated.

You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.


You Act Like You Are 27 Years Old

You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel like an adult, and you're optimistic about life.

You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

You're still figuring out your place in the world and how you want your life to shape up.

The world is full of possibilities, and you can't wait to explore many of them.

Your Dominant Thinking Style: Exploring

You thrive on the unknown and unpredictable. Novelty is your middle name.

You are a challenger. You tend to challenge common assumptions and beliefs.

An expert inventor and problem solver, you approach everything from new angles.

You show people how to question their models of the world.

You Are a Tomboy

You're having too much fun to bother with nail polish and crazy diets.

Guys are instead impressed by how much you know and do!

You are a Hippie

You are a total hippie. While you may not wear birks or smell of incense, you have the soul of a hippie.

You don't trust authority, and you do as you please. You're willing to take a stand, even when what you believe isn't popular.

You like to experiment with ideas, lifestyles, and different subcultures.

You always gravitate toward what's radical and subversive (even when subversive means traditional). Popular, mainstream culture doesn't really resonate with you.

Today, I like purple best.

Your Brain's Pattern

Your brain is always looking for the connections in life.

You always amaze your friends by figuring out things first.

You're also good at connecting people - and often play match maker.

You see the world in fluid, flexible terms. Nothing is black or white.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Only in God -Psalm 62

This song means more to me than I could readily express. Hope it blesses you too.

(adaptation by John Michael Talbot)

Only in God is my soul at rest;
In Him comes my salvation.
He only is my Rock,
My strength and my salvation.

My stronghold, my Savior;
I shall not be afraid at all!
My stronghold, my Savior;
I shall not be moved!

Only in God is found safety,
When enemies pursue me.
Only in God is found glory,
When I'm found weak and found lowly.

© 1980 Birdwing Music/BMG Songs, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

Get this from
Free Orkut Memorial Day Graphics

Hope your remembrance celebrations were blessed! Ours were of the peaceful variety - home prayers & small fireworks and dinner. Prayers went up - not only for our soldiers but all those who suffered loss on the day - for the everyday folks of Iraq being victimized by their extremist neighbors, and for the victims of the tornadoes & quakes. We grilled Nathan's hot dogs & burgers, added potato salad, cole slaw, water melon to the picnic table and ate outside in the screen tent, watching the aggravated mosquitoes ping off the netting as dusk deepened into a peaceful night. Becka (DD) filmed the fireworks, so maybe a she'll post images before long.

Talking about faith & fighting for what you believe in, we had seen Prince Caspian a few days before so we spent part of our weekend talking about its imagery, and what we liked & didn't. Overall, we thought it was pretty good. Too bad the reviewers were so unkind. I was (and am still) hoping to see their version of the Dawn Treader with the new guy. Somehow I never pictured Prince Caspian (and the Telmarines) as conquistador-Spanish type pirates, but it works! I found it interesting the way they stressed a pre-romantic situation between Queen Susan & Caspian. The movie was fairly faithful, even in this, but sometimes things seem different when you see them. As a kid, especially after having read the whole series, I felt this was a misstep by Lewis. Aslan would not have lost his 'own' - and would not have forbidden a course that would have ensured saving his dear one - in favor of outcomes that were much more miserable for both followers. I felt Lucy's visions of Aslan could have been handled a little better. It would have been nice if the audience, at least, had a glimpse. Also the time spent on the wrong track seemed so brief, and so necessary that Lucy's questions about it make little sense. A few more scenes made more sense if you had read the book, like when Aslan roars in Trumpkin's (the brave, grumpy dwarf) face at the end. If you knew that Trumpkin had said that he'd believe in Aslan when the great lion appeared and roared in his face, then you understood the humor. Likewise, Reepicheep's gentle correction would have made more sense had more of his pompous 'knightly' speeches been retained. Hoping these scenes are waiting to be restored in an extended cut edition? Like the Fellowship films, this movie seems to be begging for this lengthier treatment.

Free MySpace Memorial Day Graphics