Friday, June 29, 2007

War on Terror continues

From the BBC.

It is not noted, who is taking responsibility for the car bomb at this time.

I will give you one guess, that it has something to do with Islamists.

Police avert car bomb 'carnage'


Police say the area will be closed for some time

Reaction to car bomb
A car bomb planted in central London would have caused "carnage" if it had exploded, police sources have said.

A controlled explosion was carried out on the car, packed with 60 litres of petrol, gas cylinders and nails, in Haymarket, near Piccadilly Circus.

An ambulance crew saw smoke coming from the green metallic Mercedes, near the Tiger Tiger nightclub at 0130 BST.

"International elements" are believed to be involved, Whitehall sources told the BBC.

Read the rest here!


My Blog Daughter has lost her Father, to illness. Please go offer your condolences, and prayers.

She is HERE

This will be a difficult time for her, as her DH is fighting the war on terror.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Took the plunge...

After a fifteen minute discussion, actually probably only 5. I took the plunge.

I am brunette, the first time since my Brother got married.

Sir Rowland likes it, because they straightened it.

Sir Rowland: "Mom, you look like Hanah Montana" (I know she is on Disney, she is like 12 and blonde)

AWTM: "Buddy isn't she blonde?"

Sir Rowland: "Yes, but she has straight hair, you look nice with straight hair."

Guessing Sir Rowland's first date will be with a girl with straight hair...

Must go tend to chores...

Root of the problem....

Today is "brunette day".


I am terrified per usual.

I kill me.

The Collective have backpacks packed, and they are READY to go.

Mom on the other hand, is having some anxiety about going back to her roots.

I have a birthday coming up, I will be 37.

Holy Crap.

I do not feel 37.

I do not want to look my age either.

So why do I think dark hair will automatically bring out every line in my face?

I am shallow, and vain.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

There are evil people on this planet

From the BBC

Kazakh HIV medics found guilty
The trial in progress (file image)
Not all of the accused were given jail sentences
A court in the Central Asian state of Kazakhstan has found 21 medical workers guilty of causing an HIV outbreak which has so far killed 10 children.

At least 119 children and babies contracted the virus after receiving treatment in hospitals in Shymkent.

The judge said that the accused had acted recklessly, and that corruption and malpractice led to the outbreak.

The HIV outbreak was first discovered last year, but the number of cases is still rising.

The night before the verdict, another child died. He was two years old.

This trial is over but the Shymkent HIV problem is not, says the BBC's Natalia Antelava in the town.

Unnecessary transfusions

The judge announced that all 21 medical workers on trial were guilty. But for each defendant he announced a different punishment.

Medical workers accused of trading illegal blood were sentenced to eight years in prison.

Several doctors were sentenced from three to five years.

But the former head of the regional health department and four of her deputies had their sentences suspended.

Mothers of the victims wailed and shouted as they heard that one woman, who many local people hold responsible for the outbreak, would not be jailed.

Many said that this was not the kind of justice they were hoping for, and added that they would appeal.

An investigation into the outbreak found that many children had unnecessary and often multiple blood transfusions.

Medical equipment was often not sterilised properly.

One boy, who is now aged two, contracted the virus after receiving a blood transfusion prescribed to treat pneumonia.

The prosecutors alleged that the doctors were selling blood to make money.

It is unclear why the suspected infected transfusions affected only children.

The Dog speaks Dutch

We started off the morning here with a breakfast, that included a scumptious pineapple. I love pineapple, and it is affordable right now. The 3 of us, ate almost the entire pineapple for breakfast. Yum.

Off to the library for the summer reading program. Today's topic stranger danger. A hard topic to be certain, especially when ages range from 18 month olds to 9 year olds. The good news is Sir Rowland, who hates discussing stranger danger did quite well. He also sat through the entire lecture without antsing around, or flapping his hands. They brought a police dog in as well, and Sir Rowland loves the police dogs. We are able to watch them train once in a while, when the police happen to be at the park when we are. Today his questions were appropriate. He wanted to know what language the dog understood, which means he recalled the last 2 police dogs we met spoke French and German. Today's dog understood Dutch. Sir Rowland also remembered that these dogs are $$$$, and asked the officer how much money the dog had cost. $9,000.00, for this gorgeous dog. The breed was a Belgian Melinois. Very Pretty. Sir Rowland did excellent to be sure. The library here is excellent, and has provided excellent topics. Pink Ninja seems to do better with these sorts of group activity learning situations. Sir Rowland claims "I am bored", and "this is not interesting" with most things." Today both were good, and were promised ice cream with strawberries as a treat.

Then it was off to Sears for shoes for Sir Rowland. A size 13, and wide as they are long. Like a triple EEE width. Holy Smokes. He does not have his mothers narrow feet. At 5 years old, this seems HUGE to me, no wonder he complains so much about his poor little legs and feet aching at night.

He had to try on 10 pairs. He has a terrible time finding shoes. They cannot have seams, or fit snuggly, anything with laces, anything with a charactor on it. Shoe shopping is best done when Mom and sir Rowland can tolerate it. When the lady finally found him a pair, he hugged her, and said "you always have the solution for me." No shoe shopping for at least a month I hope.

Then we took the escaltor to floor 2, for a dehumidifier. I have been looking for one, (not very hard) for the last 4 years. And as humid as it is here you would think, every store would have one. Not the case. Most hardware stores will order you one, but rarely have them in stock. I did find one. I had to drop $200, but I have one now. I am wondering how long it will take to pull out the humidity from the air? I can laready hear water dripping into the pan.

The air conditioner runs non stop here, so much so, that I lay in bed at night and listen to money screaming as it is flushed down the toilet. Seriously. The electric bills run high here. It was 100$ for the month I was gone. And that my friends was with the air set at 83 while I was gone. Blinds drawn, energy efficient appliances. The thermostat is currently set at 75, and that is about as high as I can tolerate. We get our energy from New Orleans, and as I understand, they are hitting us up for as much money as they can. In fact at the end of summer last year, they announced a straight across the board $50.00 dollar increase on EVERY RESIDENTAIL property. 50$, just to have power. That is before you use any of it. Seems like highway robbery, but until I figure out how to convert The Collectives energy to some form of usable energy...what can I do?

So I am going to try this dehumidifier and see if it costs too much to run, or if it makes a difference in our bills.

I know I have not been quick to run an oven. Dinners have been typical summer fare, salads, sandwiches, fruit, and veggies. The oven heats up Casa De Dust quickly.

Forgive the lapse in blogging over the next few days. It will be light. I have plenty a project here to complete. Tommorow, I swear I am going brunette. WE will see how that goes. Plus I get to take The Collective with me. Should be interesting.

I also have to prepare for DH's arrival. He gets in late late Friday. We are celebrating Father's Day, and Fourth of July. Weekend plans include fishing, Ratitoullie, church, swimming at the pool on post, the park and a picnic, oh and fireworks. Should be fun for The Collective. They miss Daddy, he has not tucked them in since March.

Ladies I do want entires of your red/white/ and blue desserts! (photos as well as recipies might be fun!!) I am looking for the layered dessert recipe with cream cheese in it...yum.

So off to catch up on some things around here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Funny how the Kennedy line STILL works

Saw this at Dollard's tonight...

Andrea Shea King Interviews Bill Rogio

I missed this last night!!

However, you can go to Blog Talk Radio, and catch it now.

What Book Got You Hooked?

There are some books that no child should have to grow up without. For 15 years First Book has been providing brand new books to children in low-income communities nationwide. Join us in celebrating the distribution of our 50 millionth book this summer: tell us what book got you hooked and you'll have the chance to share the magic with thousands of children in one lucky state.

Share the memory of your beloved first book, then help the next generation develop memories of their own: vote for the state you'd like to receive 50,000 new books for children in need.


I had a hard time narrowing it down to one book....


And now the garage door is not "working correctly."...

For the love of Pete.

Now for something completely different....

The worst summer job ever?

Well heck it is almost a toss up. I mean, I have had, a lot of jobs.

My reasoning with job hopping when I was young (I started working full time at age 15), anyway if I hated a job, I would just end it. I watched both of my folks HATE they're jobs. My Mom, not so much, but my DAD...oh how he loathed his job. When I was 16 I sort of thought. "What a responsible guy to keep a job he has hated for 30 years.". Well Dad retired this year after 43 years with the "same" company. And I thought, what a fool for wasting his time with a job he hated so much. 43 years of "gotta get up and go to this job I hate". Frankly, looking back, I am not sure why he stayed there. It was certainly not the money. God knows it was not the money. It was not advacement. He ran the same machine for years, with no advancement. The hours sucked, he missed holidays, lots of holidays. Heck, after my Mother died, he was at work the following Friday. She died on a Wednesday. We could never ask him about work. Well you could, but he would be so pissed off at the simple "how was work?". His entire mood would change. I learned quickly that you just did not ask.

"The man is keeping me down." sort of thing.

I have gone over and over it in my head. Why in the hell, he did not advance in the company, why he was so antagonistic with management, why?

It makes no sense to me. the older I get, the stranger I find it.

Like I said when I was 16 I found it "almost heroic, that he would "martyr himslef, for the family", by going to this shitty job. But I do not see it that way any longer.

I see it as cowardice, fear of failure, and laziness.

There I said it.

43 years of loathing the place you spend about 10 hours a day?

No wonder he has heart problems.

My worst summer job? I almost forget the question.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Random Crappola....

I am currently sitting in a makeshift pit-stop that The Collective have made for The tricycle, and the little motorcycle. I blew Pink Ninjas tube out of her front bicycle tire the other day. Don't ask, I have no idea how it happened. I do not think it was from overfilling. I do think it had something to do with the stem thingy. However she is fine, and riding her tricycle all over the place.

Sir Rowland, is enjoying his motorcycle. His bike, is making him nervous. He is terrified of falling. Terrified. So I am not going to push it. He used to hate the motorcycle. It is motorized, and when he was small, the noise freaked him out.

I am thinking a big wheel might be a good thing to build confidence. Do they even make big wheels any longer? I have not seen one in ages, they keep making bikes smaller and smaller, so I only see bikes, even for tiny folks.

The bad news about that the motorcycle, it doesn't seem to be holding a charge. I am unsure if it is the battery, or the fuse? I wish I was more "handy" with mechanical things.

DH is due here late late Friday night. He will be here for a very quick 2 1/2 day visit. I was hoping to have all things caught up and done, so I would not immediately hand him a honey do list.

Ha! Currently he has to help me move a chest of drawers into Sir Rowland's room, and a dresser into Pink Ninjas room. Sounds easy but they are of the Dutch Modern variety and will need to have legs put back on, etc. plus the darn things are heavy. They were my parents set, but my Father's Girlfriend wanted them out of the house. (understandably so, I suppose).

There are a few projects that I need to complete, before DH comes home. It seems as though I am always going through children's clothes. Always. They outgrow things quickly.

My Sister is supposed to come for a visit in July, and I think I am going to use her visit for a garage sale. HAWT, of course it will be. Sir Rowland has been planning a lemonade and cookie stand for almost a year. I promised him, he could do it, if and when we had a garage sale. Of course, I thought this would be simple. However, as with all things Sir Rowland, he is trying to convince me, that we should provide different flavors of lemonade, and different kinds of cookies. I have convinced him that 1/2 of the proceeds should go the Academy's new playground. He agreed. Now if I can convince him, straight lemonade, and plain ole chocolate chip cookies are fine. The items for the garage sale seem to accumulate daily. I seem to notice immediately, as our home is on the smallish side, and with no basement. So as soon as something goes unused, I try and find another home for it. I normally take things to the neighbors, church, someplace. However with Sir Rowland getting ready to attend private school, I am sure the extra little bit can help with "something". Also great for a lesson in economics, and free enterprise for The Collective.

Anyway, as always the list the never ending list, that turns into...If You Give A Mouse a Cookie thing.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Today was a satisfying and busy day

As a Mother, there are nights when I head to bed, and beat myself up for how I handled things, and run the plays of what I could have done better today" thing.

Tonight is not one of those nights.

Tonight I am satisfied and will sleep hard.

We went to church, behavior was good.

We went out to lunch, behavior was excellent, and The Collective were great company.

We came home, and although I atempted, and failed at repairing a tricycle for Pink Ninja she was still able to ride it. (Barefoot, and in her swimsuit no less)

They dug in the dirt, and found a spoon, that was left here by a previous owner. Which doesn't sound like much, but when you are 3 and 5, a spoon buried in the yard holds great mystery, particulary when you just dig at random.

There was dressing for church. (After a week of discussing how milk is not cow urine, and milk, and an entire week of good old fashioned farm animal education about mammals and nursing.

AWTM: "what should Mom wear to church guys, pink or orange?"

Sir Rowland: "how about an orange boobie dohicky, and a pink shirt."

AWTM: "I do not have an orange bra."

Sir Rowland: "bra?"

Pink Ninja: "you mean a boobie trap?"

Sir Rowland and I collapsed in laughter, because she is right.

There was swimming, and a water fight.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Swinging in the hammock out back, not particulary comfortable, but sweet, and having The Collective ask me, when there will be more Brothers and Sisters. They want 5 more. And the look of disappointment on their faces when I told them "I think we are done having babies guys".

Sir Rowland earned his Leapster back, with the new rule of "30 minutes only please". And when the time was up, and I announced to him (cringing on the inside and waiting for an argument), that I needed the game back.

He said: "here you go."

And those 3 little words, in addition to a wonderful day, made tears come to my eyes.....

And now I sit, ready to do dishes, and laundry. I am staring at 6 bags of clothing that no longer fit these little people, and a shabby chic crib set that will NEVER be used again.


Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance.
~John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice, 1851

You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen. But if you are beautiful at sixty, it will be your soul's own doing.
~Marie Stopes

I have an appointment at the salon Thursday. I am very "rooty" right now, and look spooky. So I had to break down and make an appointment. And this time, I am breaking down and going brunette. I swear. I know I say that every time, but this time I am serious as a heart attack.

DH is gone, I have no where to go, and frankly I can hardly stand to go in for maintainence hair care, not now. Especially right now, with the single parenting thing going on, while DH is at school. The only "places" I have to go are the gym, pool, library, church etc. No big events, or anything pressing going on right now.

All of the sitters I know, are either on vacation or on "mission" trips.

So I will be taking "The Collective" with me to The Salon.

I figure I can take nail file, and fix up Pink Ninja's nails and let her watch all things beauty. Sir Rowland, should have earned enough good behavior points to be able to have his leaptser back. I will also be swinging by McDonalds so they can snack while I am getting a color.

I seriously thought about coloring it myself, but oye....honestly I just refuse to. I do not need to ruin my hair. I just don't. I have VERY FINE, and THIN natuarally curly hair. I do not need to burn it.

Hopefully going back to my roots, will help rid myself of the hassle. Although I could be going gray. I do have a patch, where last time I checked, I get about 5 stray gray hairs. I pulled them out, and have refused to check them again.

Gray hair would mean, I am aging.

So Thursday, I will be a brunette.

I think.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Weekend reading, and listening

go to SpouseBuzz.....

Or you can listen to the very first episode of SpouseBuzz Talk Radio

What in the chupacabre is going on?

I was awakened earlier than normal this morning.

I woke to the sound of mariachi.

No, I am not in El Paso....

or Jaurez.

I am not passed out surrounded by empty shot glasses.

My agoraphobic neighbor, who I have not seen since my return, is having a garage sale.

This should be entertaining.

You see she is agoraphobic for months at a time, and then BOOM, she over socializes for about a week.

It should be entertaining.

how cute are they?!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dangerous Book for Boys Part Deux

You better buy one

The MOST Dangerous Book For Boys

I just returned from Grim's Hall, and just have to put my 2 cents in on The Dangerous Book For Boys. Particularly after reading Sarah's post, which has spurred its own post entirely.

Upon our last trip to visit DH, we made the obligatory bookstore visit, and I found this book at the end of an aisle. The title catchy enough to have caught my eye. I quickly skimmed and passed the book to DH. DH was immediately intrigued. You see he had wanted to do this himself for our little guy. He wanted to be the one to combine a resource for his son.

It opens with the following.

'Don't worry about genius and don't worry about not being clever. Trust rather to hard work, perseverance, and determination. The best motto for a long march is "Don't grumble. Plug on."
You hold your future in your own hands. Never waver in this belief. Don't swagger. The boy who swaggers - like the man who swaggers - has little else that he can do. He is a cheap-Jack crying his own paltry wares. It is the empty tin that rattles most. Be honest. Be loyal. Be kind. Remember that the hardest thing to acquire is the faculty of being unselfish. As a quality it is one of the finest attributes of manliness.
'Love the sea, the ringing beach and the open downs.
'Keep clean, body and mind'
Sir Frederick Treves, Bart, KCVO, CB, Sergeant in Ordinary to HM the King. Surgeon in Ordinary to HRH Prince of Wales, written at 6 Wimpole Street, Cavendish Square, London on 2 September 1903, on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Boy's Own Paper

The Dangerous Book For Boys, does a fantastic job at compiling useful information.

-Rules of Rugby Union and Rugby league

-Understanding Grammar

-Making a Bow and Arrow

-How To Play Poker

-Essential Gear

-How to Make Cloth Fireproof


-Latin Phrases Every Boy Should Know

-The 10 Commandments

-First Aid

-Famous Battles


Of course we bought it! Every household should have a copy of The Dangerous Book For Boys. Even if your Boy is 40.

What a wonderful resource for our children, and what a great book for every Father to read with his Son.

By far the best spent $24.95 in a long while

I guess I need to fix this, any ideas.

OK, so I made Mr. Black @#$%ing 5 put my language alert back up.

Only to find out...

I am rated

What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Whisky Tango Foxtrot is going on?

The case of the missing food

Last night I took The Collective out for dinner....

I posted about it, at SpouseBuzz

National Lampoon's 72 Virgins

I told you it looks funny

Thursday, June 21, 2007

MKH on O'Douchbag, I mean O'Reilly

The National Lampoon 72 Virgins movie does look funny.

MKH, always brilliant, and foxy.

MKH, fantastic job!

You Air Force types are all the same.....

Couldn't help but crack up after watching this video Andi posted at Milblogs.



AFW, sent me this UPDATE last night.

The Conversation...

I read Christine, but rarely leave a comment.

I do like to read her "conversations with her Mother" out loud to DH.

Here is a great example ........

It made me laugh this morning, a great way to begin the day.

*Please note Christine's Mother was born and raised in Vietnam. I think that is important to know, before reading*

The Conversation...

For the birds....

Every summer for the last 3-4 years, we have been alerted to morning by a lovely woodpecker, that seems to like causing a ruckus.

The darn woodpecker, taps on my metal chimney for a series of 3, he then leaves, and finds another metal chimney on the block.

It is the strangest thing.....

I think he likes being a smart ass.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What can I do?

I am always trying to find some way we can help with the War on Terror.

There is not a lot fo extra cash here at Casa De Dust, which seems to be the case in most homes.

However Mary Ann, has found a way for some of us to help AGAIN.

She posted this earlier this week.

From SA contact LtCol Eric in Mosul:

I am writing to you today because of the sad and destitute situation that the children of Mosul, Iraq find themselves in on a daily basis. After seeing these unfortunate children in the urban battlefield everyday for six months, I can assure you that their difficulties are very real and beyond the power of their parents to fix. These children, in many cases, lack some of the most basic necessities that you and I take for granted and that we would never let our own children go without.

A great deal of media coverage has been devoted to the efforts of our Army today and humanitarian groups to bring comfort items like new backpacks and soccer balls to Iraqi children. This battalion has even aided those initiatives on several occasions and, although I know they enjoyed their toys, I had to watch these same five and six year old children run outside to play with their new soccer balls in the sewage and filth of the city without any shoes. I know that there is no parent among us who would ever let their children play in such an environment at all, much less without attending to their most basic clothing and sanitary needs.

As I am sure you know, this war is not a war of battles won, regiments destroyed, and cities captured. Rather, this is a war fought on the "human terrain" of the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people; a war for the very soul of a nation where single gestures and one time events can be as profound and far reaching as a hundred Gettysburgs or D-Days. If we can just provide shoes for these children we stand poised to win a major victory indeed.

Therefore, I am asking your help in turning this goal into a reality, and play a vital role in bringing comfort to the local Iraqi children and in striking a victory against a cold and murderous insurgency. Given the unique nature the conflict we are embroiled in, sending something as simple as shoes to local children will aid your Soldiers in this fight just as surely as a shipment of bullets or bombs.

I feel I must warn you that these people will probably never know who you are, or recognize the role you played, but I can assure you that little boys and girls like the one pictured in this letter will be profoundly grateful for even the smallest bit of help from you. Please take a moment to clean out a closet or visit a shoe store and do your part for our cause. Any and all donations are welcome. Please send them to:

Operation Good Shoes
HHC, 2-7 Cav
FOB Marez
APO, AE 09334

On behalf of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment and the citizens of Mosul, I thank you for any help you can provide. A single pair of shoes may not win a war, but the difference it will make to the one child who receives them just might help push us in that direction.

Feel free to forward this email to any family, friend, church, classroom, or civic group who might have asked you how they can help a Soldier in Iraq. Rest assured, helping these people helps us Soldiers a great deal.

LtCol Eric

Hook did it before with Operation Shoefly, and I sent loads of shoes.

We can do it again, as the Collective seem to be able to wear shoes for only weeks at a time, before they outgrow them.

We have several pair of gently worn shoes.

The best part of this.

The Collective can help this time, they can pack shoes, color pictures, we can look at a map and learn about where we are sending these shoes.

It is never too early to start.

An excellent project for Children for the summer. I encourage you to join us!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fowl Play

*The following is a transcription of a phone call from this morning*

"Suburbia" Animal Control: "Hello, Suburbia animal control, can I help you"

AWTM: Yeah, this is AWTM, from #12 Casa De Dust Way, and I have just noticed the strangest thing."

"Suburbia" Animal Control: "Yes ma'am?"

AWTM: "Well I just left Casa De Dust Way, and noted two young chickens in the neighbors front yard, and I am not sure if chickens are legal, but I thought you may want to know."

"Suburbia" Animal Control: "Chickens are actually legal in "Suburbia".

AWTM: "In the front yard?"

OK folks, I understand the benefits of chickens, I do. I come from farm folk. I know Guinea Birds are some of the best insect control/watchdogs you can get. I also have no problem with people raising their own food....

But chickens in the front yard, in a town where we cannot leave our vehicle in the same spot in the driveway fro 24 hours? The city that insists you have a regulation sized fence? The city that will not let you build a home, that does not fit the "scheme" of town....

Chickens are ok in the front yard?

Maybe I ought to get some chickens. Lord knows I could use the extra money. I could start carrying baskets of eggs from door to door. I could start bartering dental care and medical care for eggs, and chickens....

The Collective need something to do, and God knows with the farming genetics they certainly wake early enough to care for them.

Oh, and if I buy chickens, I am buying fancy ass chickens. You know like "show chickens".

Maybe The Collective and I could go on the road showing our fancy chickens.......

SpouseBuzz Radio

You will be able to LISTEN HERE

Go to SPOUSEBUZZ for all of the details

SpouseBUZZ Talk Radio

June 15, 2007|Andi

The SpouseBUZZ authors are very excited to announce the debut of SpouseBUZZ Talk Radio. There is nothing we like better than to actually talk to our readers. We love traveling to military installations with our LIVE events because it gives us an opportunity to have face-to-face conversations with military spouses. We can't be on the road all of the time, and we can't get to every military installation, so a radio show is the perfect solution.

Please join us on Tuesday, June 19 at 6:00 p.m. EST when we host our very first show, which will be a "Meet and Greet" program. No script, no special guests, just a free-for-all chat between the SpouseBUZZ authors and you. No topic is off-limits.

Click here at 6:00 EST on June 19 to listen live. If you have a question or comment, you can be on the show by dialing 646.478.5665. You can also submit a question or comment via Yahoo Instant Messenger. Our Yahoo IM screen name is spousebuzz. We'll read your questions or comments on air during our program. If you miss the show, the program will be archived and you can listen at a later date by clicking on the show archives.

Going forward, we'll be bringing you some interesting programming, including interviews with special guests. We're very excited about our new radio program, it promises to be a lot of fun, mostly because we get to talk to you!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pray for these Children

*do not view with children*

My DH called , and informed me of the story below...

The photos are VERY hard to view...these children were treated so horrifically, it physically hurt me to view them.

Thank you 82nd Airborne

Watch video here

Photos here

BAGHDAD, June 18, 2007
U.S. soldiers rescued 24 special-needs boys from a Baghdad orphanage after finding the children suffering in horrific conditions. (CBS)


"I saw children that you could see literally every bone in their body that were so skinny, they had no energy to move whatsoever, no expression on their face."
Staff Sgt. Michael Beale

(CBS) It was a scene that shocked battle-hardened soldiers, captured in photographs obtained by CBS News.

On a daytime patrol in central Baghdad just over than a week ago, a U.S. military advisory team and Iraqi soldiers happened to look over a wall and found something horrific.

"They saw multiple bodies laying on the floor of the facility," Staff Sgt. Mitchell Gibson of the 82nd Airborne Division told CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan. "They thought they were all dead, so they threw a basketball (to) try and get some attention, and actually one of the kids lifted up their head, tilted it over and just looked and then went back down. And they said, 'oh, they're alive' and so they went into the building."

Inside the building, a government-run orphanage for special needs children, the soldiers found more emaciated little bodies tied to the cribs, CBS News reports exclusively. They had been kept this way for more than a month, according to the soldiers called in to rescue the 24 boys.

"I saw children that you could see literally every bone in their body that were so skinny, they had no energy to move whatsoever, no expression on their face," Staff Sgt. Michael Beal said.

"The kids were tied up, naked, covered in their own waste — feces — and there were three people that were cooking themselves food, but nothing for the kids," Lt. Stephen Duperre said.

Logan asked: so there were three people cooking their own food?

"They were in the kitchen, yes ma'am," Duperre said.

With all these kids starving around them?

"Yes ma'am," Duperre said.

It didn't stop there. The soldiers found kitchen shelves packed with food and in the stockroom, rows of brand-new clothing still in their plastic wrapping.

Instead of giving it to the boys, the soldiers believe it was being sold to local markets.

The man in charge, the orphanage caretaker, had a well-kept office — a stark contrast to the terrible conditions just outside that room.

"I got extremely angry with the caretaker when I got there," Capt. Benjamin Morales said. "It took every muscle in my body to restrain myself from not going after that guy."

He has since disappeared and is believed to be on the run. But two security guards are in custody, arrested on the orders of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Two women also working there, who posed for pictures in front of the naked boys as if there was nothing wrong, have also disappeared.

"My first thought when I walked in there was shock, and then I got a little angry that they were treating kids like that, then that's when everybody just started getting upset," Capt. Jim Cook said. "There were people crying. It was definitely a bad emotional scene."

There was nothing more emotional than finding one boy who Army medics did not expect to survive. For Gibson, that was the hardest part:

Seeing a boy who was at the orphanage, where Logan reported from, "with thousands of flies covering his body, unable to move any part of his body, you know we had to actually hold his head up and tilt his head to make sure that he was OK, and the only thing basically that was moving was his eyeballs," Gibson explained. "Flies in the mouth, in the eyes, in the nose, ears, eating all the open wounds from sleeping on the concrete."

All that, and the boy was laying in the boiling sun — temperatures of 120 degrees or so, according to Gibson.

Looking at the boy today, as he sits up in his crib without help, it is hard to believe he is the same boy, one week later — now clean and being cared for along with all the other boys in a different orphanage located only a few minutes away from where they suffered their ordeal.

Another little boy right shown in the photos was carried out of the orphanage by Beal. He was very emaciated.

"I picked him up and then immediately the kid started smiling, and as I got a little bit closer to the ambulance he just started laughing. It was almost like he completely understood what was going on," Beal said.

When CBS News visited the orphanage with the soldiers, it was clear the boys had been starved of human contact as much as anything else, Logan said. Some still had marks on their ankles from where they were tied. Since only one boy can talk, it's impossible to know what terrible memories they might have locked away.

The memory of what he saw when he helped rescue the boys that night haunts Ali Soheil, the local council head, who wept during the interview.

Later at the hospital, Lt. Jason Smith brushed teeth and helped clean up the boys. He and his wife are both special education teachers, and he was proud to tell her what the soldiers had done.

"She said that one day was worth my entire deployment," Smith said. "It makes the whole thing worthwhile."

This is a tough test for the Iraqi government: How a nation cares for its most vulnerable is one of the most important benchmarks for the health of any society.


She shoots, she scores!!

drawing board

*this is part of his rendition of a milk factory*

-yes we are still talking about milk.

Sir Rowland started drawing last week. A lot. He had the Magna Doodle with him all day.

The bad part about that, all of his creations GONE after he was finished.

So I set up the drawing board, and bought newsprint.

He has been very busy.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sir Rowland knows a good story when he hears one

I was speaking to my Mother in Law on the phone the other night, when she tells me this story.....

So of course, I decide to relay the story to The Collective, as a warning against strange animals, rabies etc....

Thinking to myself, it could not possibly bother them. Heck, children are raised on stories like Hansel and Gretel, the Big Bad Wolf, The 3 Little Pigs etc....

By Mary Anderson and J.D. Walker -- Staff Writers, The Courier-Tribune
Posted: 06/12/07 - 09:48:08 pm CDT

ASHEBORO — Two Asheboro women were attacked by an apparently rabid fox while in their yard in Asheboro early Tuesday afternoon.

Nellie McKenzie, 80, grabbed the fox that bit her granddaughter and choked the animal almost to death before her husband, James, heard their screams and ran outside to hit it with a board.

Nellie McKenzie said Tuesday evening that she and her granddaughter, Kendra Wallace, were sitting on the patio at the McKenzie home on Oak Drive, watching Wallace’s children, ages 2 and 4, play in the yard.

Wallace, who lives in North Asheboro, was sitting in a swing. She suddenly screamed and jumped up. A fox had bitten her on the lower back through the swing.

“The fox was still hanging onto Kendra and when I tried to knock it off, it jumped down and bit me on the leg, then bit my hands when I tried to grab it around the neck,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie said the attack was a total surprise, but she had the presence of mind to try to deliberately choke it to death.

“Kendra grabbed a stick and began hitting the animal, but it would still kick and fight,” McKenzie said. “James got out here and hit it with a board and it let go.”

McKenzie said she had a deep bite on her leg and bites on each hand.
“We are so thankful the children weren’t touched,” she said, “but it scared them nearly to death.”

Nellie McKenzie and Kendra Wallace were treated at Randolph Hospital. McKenzie was started on strong antibiotics and had the first series of rabies shots. On Tuesday evening, she said she wasn’t feeling very well and was afraid to go into the yard.

“I am sitting on the deck, and it’s up high,” she said in a telephone interview.

Jodi Wilson, Asheboro animal control officer, said the fox appeared so suddenly the women didn’t know which direction it came from. An animal that aggressive is in the early stages of the disease, Wilson said.

“A rabid animal is either very aggressive or acting very stupid ... actually, they are in a stupor, and stagger around like they are drunk. That is the last stage and they die within a few days,” Wilson said. “Until then, any animal or person who comes in contact with them is at risk, even if they aren’t actually bitten.”

MiMi Cooper, Randolph County health director, said this is the eighth case this year. In 2006, six rabies cases were reported in Randolph County.

As recently as May 24, Cooper said, area resident Nancy Toomes reported being bitten by a rabid fox. Toomes said she arrived at her home off U.S. 64 East and was attacked by a fox that had gotten under her car. Toomes was bitten several times on the ankle and is currently undergoing treatment for rabies.

Toomes reports unpleasant side effects from the vaccine, including headache, swelling, emotional swings and blurred vision. Toomes said her doctor told her the side effects vary in individuals and some people have few or none.

The series of shots is very expensive, Toomes said, and estimates that her total treatment will cost upwards of $6,000.

Wilson said that the results from tests on that fox had come back positive for rabies. The fox on Oak Drive was the first one in the city this year.

“We do have rabies in the county and in the city of Asheboro,” Wilson said. “It is very important for people to know that. Get your animals vaccinated and be aware of what’s in your yard. Pay attention to everything.”

Rabies is a viral infection common in foxes, raccoons, skunks and bats, but any animal can be infected with rabies, said Cooper, and her office has even seen cases that involve cattle. Rabies is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal, she said. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), domestic animals account for less than 10 percent of the reported rabies cases, with cats, cattle, and dogs most often reported rabid.

Rabies virus infects the central nervous system, causing encephalopathy and ultimately death, say CDC experts. Early symptoms of rabies in humans are nonspecific, consisting of fever, headache, and general malaise. As the disease progresses, neurological symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hyper-salivation, difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia, which is fear of water. Death usually occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.

The CDC reports that in the United States, human fatalities associated with rabies occur in people who fail to seek medical assistance, usually because they were unaware of their exposure. Cooper said bats in the home present the most common vector of this type of exposure.

“People can be bitten in their sleep and never realize it,” she said. “That’s why we now tell people, if they find a bat in their home, don’t just kill it and dispose of it or run it out of the house. They need to get it to us so that we can test it for rabies.”

There is no cure for rabies after symptoms of the disease appear, said Cooper. That’s why prevention is so important. Since dogs and cats are most at risk of coming into contact with a rabid animal, all pet owners should have their pets vaccinated against the virus, she said.


So I give them the short version while swinging in the hammock.

I tell them a fox attacked a Grandma while she was sitting in a porch swing, and the Granddaughter grabbed the fox and strangled the fox.

I then say..

AWTM: "what do you think about that story?"

Sir Rowland: "I think it is great!"


AWTM: "Well, I feel bad for the Grandma, but it is a GREAT STORY."

Oye Vey

I just spent 40 minutes reading an Usborne book about farm animals, to help explain milk isn't pee.

Oh interesting line of questions this spurred.


If I "udder" the word teat in 1 year it will be too soon...

Today is brought to you by the letter "P"

I treated The Collective and I too lunch today. Actually DH treated The Collective and I to lunch, but who is keeping track?

We decided to go out to lunch, as I had to go to the commissary at the AFB. So during lunch, I was treated to a discussion that included this.

Sir Rowland: "You know milk is cows pee, don't you Mom?"

AWTM: " sorry, it is not cow pee."

Patrons at said restaurant: staring blankly

Pink Ninja: (In the highest and loudest squeaky voice she could muster) "Mommy, it is cow pee. White cow pee is white milk, and Brown cows with white spots are chocolate milk."

Mind you both of my children are looking at me like I am an idiot, because I do not know this.

AWTM: "Actually guys, milk is intended for baby cows. Just like human milk is for babies, and cows milk comes from cows udders, which is the cow equivalent to human breasts."

Pink Ninja: So do brown people make chocolate milk?"

Patrons: all listening

AWTM: "no"

Patrons: STILL listening intently.

AWTM: "guys, I have a book on this at home, it even has pictures, why don't we discuss this later."

Sir Rowland: "I told you it was pee."

Large Shoes to fill

With Daddy gone, I am noting there are moments I shuffle around in his shoes.

There are some things I cannot do "like Daddy".

I do not smell like Daddy.

I cannot wrestle like Daddy.

I cannot kiss boo boos like Daddy does.

I cannot throw like Daddy.

I cannot catch like Daddy.

I cannot do the underwater voice in Green Eggs and Ham like Daddy.

I do not hug like Daddy.

My geographical knowledge is nothing like Daddy's.

The Collective miss Daddy.

A lot.

And last night as I sat here, thinking about the separation...

It struck me at once.

Daddy has been gone for almost 1/2 of Sir Rowland's life, even longer with Pink Ninja.

It has certainly given me a an inordinate amount of time to practice my Daddy skills.

It is for not.

Because he is irreplaceable.

Hurry home DH.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Summer is hot

It was a hot one today, like 92 with an icky amount of humidity. No wind. Sort of like walking through a steam shower.

I took The Collective to the park this morning before the heat became a factor. Lucky me, the behavior was a factor. They got one chance and we left.

AWTM is not playing...

So we came home and made DH is stepping stones for Fathers Day. Beleive it or not, not much mess at all.

WE played in the sand. Moved some plants around, watered, weeded( never ending), and piddled around.

The Collective asked for watermelon....I have been putting that off, even though WATERMELN IS SOOOOO my favorite. You could put a candle in a watermelon for my birthday and I would be happy.

So we went down the road to my little man and bought 4 crook neck squash, 4 cucumbers, 5 tomatoes, a HUGE WATERMELON, and a pint of blueberries, that were just picked yesterday.

I remember when my brother and I were younger, we used to take the radio flyer across the highway and load it with watermelons from the neighbors field. We would eat just the very reddest centers from them....for hours we would sit and eat the centers of the best black diamond watermelons in the state...

Sweet because we stole them?


The watermelon I bought today was $7.99


I was told by Stacy, that the crook neck squash fried up , are good on tomato sandwiches. We are going to try it this week.

Tonight we had bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches.

The entire pound of bacon gone...

Oh and since I watered the yard a bit, and the flower is gonna rain!

Old People Dressup Chelsea

Friday, June 15, 2007

Fred Fredburger likes yogurt

I needed this...


Guess how the last day at VBS ended?

It wasn't good.....

All people are intact

nuff said.

The only way to get Sir Rowland a placement in summer care...

divine intervention

Door #3

With some gentle prodding by DH I have decded to go with the pedicure....

What the heck.

So I am actually sitting in the spa, with my feet soaking, and yes all while typing.

A live pedicure of sorts...

I have no idea what they are saying, Vietnamese, I am sure.

I am afraid they are talking about how nasty my feet are right now.

I did try and offer a precurser to the pedicure....

explaining that I have been in the yard.

I am certain they think I am simply dirty and lazy.

The lady next to me is reading a People magazine, pictures of Denise Richards in a binkin, and Paris Hilton in some stripped jailhouse costume.

ICK, I won't look at that again.

Oh my I have a man doing my feet.

I thought for sure I would get the female.

I would explain the icky feet thing once again, but I do not think he cares.

I do not have callouses or corns on my there is that.

I am tempted to spin my Macbbok around and take a photo of my feet soaking, and this strange man, rubbing my right foot.

Although some foot wacko might come to the sight and like it....all too much. Before you know it there will be all sorts of special requests for more feet photos.

Did I mention I have Mortons toe?

yeah, that is when your second toe is longer than your big looks gross, and makes me self concsience when wearing open toes. I guess it freaks some people out to see it.

Hey I just realized this is the same guy, that when i came in one time for a simple manicure, he started clipping my "real" nails off. He thought I wanted fake nails.

I hope he doesn't start clipping my toes off.....


The lady next to me was treated to a chesse grating session for minutes. It looked horrible and I just kept thinking, ouch....I do not want that or need that.....ouch. Not relaxing having foot skin removed with a cheese grater...

:He was amazed at my baby feet, no cheese grating required.


Wanna see a picture of people making out?


Don't forget to leave a note.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


OK, Friday is the last day I have 3 hours...

What to do, what to do?

It has been suggested by some readers in e-mails, that...

I get a manicure. Well my nails are gone...gone. With all of the shoveling, and scooping (I need one more load), shrub trimming, weeding, and rock moving. They are gone.

My hair done. My hair lady is BOOKED. She is popular, she is booked. No chance in hell.

Go get a Brazilian wax. @#$% that!

Get a pedicure. Frankly my feet are a mess right now, from working in the yard, not only am I covered in bug bites and look like I have some sort of Amazonian induced malaria. They will be a mess for most of the summer. I wear TEVAS, I am in the yard or garden almost daily.

All of those are great options.

But I think I am going to wash bed linens.

But after the week I have had fresh sheets will be the best GIFT to myself ever.

Shrubbery DONE

It took a while for me to trim my shrubbery. Tis not one flesh wound either...

The Time

The Collective have been dropped at VBS, I stopped and filled the truck for 2.79, which is the least expensive gas I have bought since in Mississippi.

I stopped in and spoke to the "daycare" director about getting them in 1 day a week from 9-5. They are unsure if they can swing it. Understandably so, as they would take up a full time kids slot. So I am unsure if it will work. They are going to see what they can do. I think it will not only benefit me to have a free day, but will prepare Sir Rowland for a more social environment.

I have noted that 3 hours goes by quickly.

When your spouse is away often it seems as though 3 hours can be an eternity, but when you NEED 3 hours to catch up on things, or to get things done...well 3 hours seems like 20 minutes.

I have managed to weed the front flower beds entirely. They look terrific. Like I said they were huge. I also managed to weed the back yard (almost entirely. I finished moving the rocks to the back fence. I do need some soil for my cannas. Cannas are supposed to be HUGE, mine look dwarfed. But since I am working with primarily clay, and rock...I guess I will have to baby them. I want some yellow cannas, that would sure be pretty.

I am going to attempt to trim the shrubs with the electric shrub trimmers today while The Collective are gone. So if there is not another post up by 10pm, I might have sliced my arm off.

Not looking forward to picking up all of the branches from all of these damn shrubs.

Oh and they will not be simple to trim. We have 2 fancy holly shrubs that require sculpting, so they look round at edges and flat up top. This is going to require a ladder.

So picture me on a ladder, with an electric hedge trimmer....

The good thing about doing it today, most of the neighbors are at work, so I will not feel like the matinee.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Smart cookie

*Pink Ninja, cuddled next to Mom in the hammock, watching birds and enjoying a popcicle*

Last night, the lawn mower man stopped in, and fixed us up.

Today I note crunchy spots, and decide I had better get the sprinkler out.

Pink Ninja: "Mom, why are you watering the grass?"

AWTM: "It needs a drink, it is dry darling."

Pink Ninja: (in an exasperated tone)"But Mom the lawn guy just cut it last night, you are just going to make it grow again."

@#%* you!

I think if I read it right, which I am sure I did, you can go cuss over at Mr. @#$*ing Blackfives place now!

Something about buying us all a drink if we cuss enough.


Oddy put up a great post today, about weight, worry, perception...

I have not been to the gym, since my return, but I have been working like a farm hand. I start back next week, and i am looking forward to it.

I do not strive to look perfect any more, it isn't going to happen unless I visit some plastic surgeon and use The Collectives college money. And it isn't important.

I will say this, I feel better, STRONGER, and more physically capable than I ever did when I was "smaller".

I am not going to regret having a cookie today.

Go here to read the post BLAM

Off to school

Once again, I am getting the Collective ready for VBS. Both seem to be liking it. The church has done a fantastic job of organizing this. And the amount of people it takes to run a summer program like this, is amazing. There are 31 in Pink Ninjas class, 19 in Sir Rowlands. It is a lot of children. A lot.

They have made everything fun for the children. Even entering is fun, they have to get a ticket, enter a ticket booth, and get it stamped. A very detailed bunch of folks. The Collective are loving it, and I have no idea how they will feel when they realize it is over.

Sir Rowland is getting along fantastically. A few problems transitioning from one activity to another, but I guess a little pep talk worked. Pink Ninja is just so darn happy all of the time, she is loving it.

So another morning, putting pigtails in, and getting ready to go.

I have to make a small run to the post office, and get gas. I will spend the rest of my morning catching up on small projects around here. Ahhhh, I am enjoying the quiet.

The church is starting and AWANAs program on Sunday nights, and I did volunteer to help with that. (have any of you ever been involved with AWANA's? Did the children enjoy it?) As I am really unable to volunteer my time in too many sectors at this time. This church is an active one. The Pastor just told everyone in the congregation last Sunday, "if you wanted a quiet place to come and sit down, folks you are at the wrong church". He is right. There is ALWAYS something going on at the church. ALWAYS. They have a BMX thing for the pre-teens, and teens, there is band, and youth group, a softball team, a basketball team, women's prayer, men's prayer, the list of activities fills the bulletin every Sunday. It is by far the busiest church I have ever seen.

Well I am off, I have to get those pigtails in.

Darn it

*female bits discussed here, you have been warned*

I spent most of the evening with a migraine. Ughhh.

No fun really, but since I have been back on "the pill", I can almost count on this. They put me back on the pill to regulate my hormones, they were being wacky. So the good news is, my cycle is shorter, and less painful as they promised. This is good. But about 4 days after my cycle starts and I am taking no hormones WHAMMY, like clockwork. So from about 4:30pm, until I managed sleep after midnight,I had one hell of a migraine. Enough pain to induce vomiting. Not much fun. Perticularly with The Collective.

And I tried all of the tricks, caffiene, advil, and count them 1, 2, 3, imitrix. It took 3 imitrix before I was able to sleep last night. Never good.

I am better this morning, but there is enough of a residual, that I am nervous, that it could return today.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

a new friend

When i picked up the Collective from Vacation Bible School today, I was greeted by Pink Ninja running and smiling with arms outstretched, and screaming "Mommy, Mommy!!!" She was so proud that she was at school, and playing, and she missed me. I must be doing something right to get such a grand welcome. I then see Sir Rowland out of the corner of my eye running hand in hand with a little girl with long sandy brown hair. "Mommy, Mommy, you have to meet my new friend (insert name here)), I love her, she protected me from getting tagged. She is Pink Ninjas replacement."

He was sad we had to leave this little girl behind.

Smoking Hot

Daniel Craig, is not a pussy like Pierce Brosnan

I am far behind in my cinematic ventures, far behind. I also had a lot of trepidation about viewing the "new" Bond film, mostly due to "critical reviews" I had read about Daniel Craig as the new Bond. All of the Brit publicity I had read was horrid...

But after watching it last night, after DH swore I would love it, and said it was a romantic story line, and believable classic Bond. So I gave in kicking and screaming.

Pierce Brosnan, ruined Bond for me the past few years. Simply not rougish, or quiet, or tragic enough for me I suppose. I also thought Brosnans Bond was really a little hyper chatty. (yes I said hyper chatty, and I am the queen of hyper chatty) Plus Brosnan, was not exactly physically, what I would expect for Bond. I always looked at Pierce Brosnan and felt like if need be I could kick his ass in a fight. Who wants a Bond that AWTM could possible kick his ass? Not me.

I love Daniel Craig as Bond, roguish, quiet, and intense certainly. Believable innuendo, and boyish (classic Bond) and little dialogue made this very watchable.

And every woman wants Mr. Bond to fall in love........

Monday, June 11, 2007

Joining the ranks

More good news!

The Crackerbox

Gets, a special visitor!

Guess who?

I will offer a hint...

"He wasn't carrying a gun so I figured we were safe to shake his hand. J.R. had a wonderful conversation with him about fly fishing."

Go here to find out who!!



the three hour tour

I guess the kids did great.

Sir Rowland thought the kids were TOO LOUD. He is prone to auditory overload.

(shaking my head in agreement, a gymnasium full of kids can be loud).

Pink Ninja (appropriatly named) did well, until class was over, she then spotted her brother, kissed him, hugged him, and tackled him to the ground and proceeded to wrestle him. He in turn defended himself.

Nice huh?

I guess they enjoyed the day, the singing and new songs.

They want to go back, that is good.

Three hours was enough time for me to get a lot done. Not everything as always, but that is ok. I did manage to spot clean the living room carpets. Which was needed but not something I planned on having time for.

3 hours?

The Collective have vacation bible school today. Well at least, lets hope so. The ages are 4-12. Pink Ninja comes in at 3. I went ahead and registered her in hopes they will let her participate. Sir Rowland is looking forward to it, and so is Pink Ninja. Praying they will let her stay.

If they do, I have 3 hours.

Yup, that is right 3 hours.

3 hours!

3 hours.

Frankly, there should be no reason I shouldn't get toilets scrubbed, dishwasher unloaded, or all of this laundry done.

3 hours.

Did I mention it is 3 hours?

Did I mention it will be 3 hours, everyday this week?

15 hours.

The only thing is, I had no idea, otheriwse I would have made a dental and hair appointment.

15 hours this week, alone, in the house?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The girl has pipes, yes a skanky behive, but pipes...

and if I had pipes like that, I would have a skanky behive too.

Amy Winehouse's vocals much better accoustic, than with the overproduction...

Mother Tucker

There is a difference between cold weather tucking in, and hot weather tucking in, I learned this from my Mother.

In the winter, blankets and sheets are tucked around the little person to keep them snug and warm. Hands should be able to escape for a final goodnight hug.

In the summer, the blanket and sheet should be brought in the air, and with a slight snap, they will fall with a gentle wooooooosh...that cools one of enough to sleep.

The summer tucking has began, and Sir Rowland asked me about it.

Sir Rowland: "I like that refreshing breeze when you tuck like that."

AWTM: "I used to like it when I was little too, that is how my Mom used to tuck me in."

Sir Rowland: "How did your Mom die?"

AWTM: "Well she had a terrible disease called cancer, and she fought for a long time, but it just kept getting worse, and she just got tired. You know, she got to meet you, and she loved you soooo much, she would hold and hold you, she thought you were the most beautiful baby ever."

Sir Rowland: "And then she died, and there was a funeral, and we put flowers on her grave."

AWTM: (thinking this baby has been to more funerals than some grown people I know)

Sir Rowland: "Well Mom, it is OK, because Jesus made us another Grandma."

AWTM: "We are lucky aren't we?" "Good night my sweet boy."

Sir Rowland: "Can you tuck me in again?"

AWTM: "sure."

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Food LOG

My God, I think I am going to start blogging about Sir Rowlands increasing appetite.

2 nights ago for dinner he consumed 3 tuna salad sandwiches, carrots and a salad.

Last night he he ate 4 pieces of pizza.

Today he ate

2 bowls raisin bran
2 pieces toast with butter

1 apple
1 banana

(he went to the pantry and got 3 small cans which contained, black olives, corn, and mushrooms, and requested a "legendary salad". Do not ask me where he got this idea.)

I went ahead and made a lettuce salad, with 5 cherry tomatoes, and put his "legendary ingrediants on it, ranch dressing and some cheese.

1 Legendary salad

I left the inside of the house with Pink Ninja, and we wandered to the front flower beds, to weed. Pink Ninja goes into the house to powder her nose, and comes back out telling me Sir Rowland is into something. I found him sitting at the kitchen table with a gallon of ice cream and a spoon.

unaccounted amount of ice cream

2 bowls scooped by Mom

1/2 quart strawberries

1/2 t-bone steak
1 salad
5 carrots

He is 5 folks...


If I were Emma Peel....

I would so kick ass today

How to Freeze Tomatoes

After the post below, I figured something a little more domestic was in order...

People are asking me how to freeze tomatoes.

First off, I do prefer canned tomatoes, but any of you that have actually performed that process, realize it is time consuming project. I also have a fear of using a canner with small children in the house.

So here is a great resource site to go to.


Blanching them, makes it easy for the skins to slip right off.

I think they taste much better than any canned tomato, or any tomato that you have to buy in a grocery store in October-June.

Plus, if you want them in a salad in winter, just place them in a colander overnight and let them drain.

I was able to purchase very large boxes of fresh organic tomatoes, from my little man down the road, for a very minimal price. I think I have a few bags left, which means. $52 kept us in tomatoes, all winter long. (Which when you use at least 2 quart bags a week) It is not a bad deal.

I may have a potty mouth, but I am frugal indeed!

Free media?

*Rant, which I stay away from, because of plain anger*

*The end is not so nice either*

*sorry folks*

I spent my evening trying to catch up on news. And noted the media outlets find Paris Hilton so fantastically intriguing, that she is all the rage. I am amazed that anyone finds the story of an overindulged woman so fascinating AGAIN.

There is a cost to this, Americans (not all of us), but apparently enough to continue to feed the beast of old media. The cost? A populous of uneducated, narcissistic idiots.

A populous, that thinks the only Wars on Terror going on are in Afghanistan and Iraq. Oh and let us also remember, there is an entire group of people that think "there is no REAL THREAT of terrorism.

What about this?

Saturday June 9, 2:31 AM
One dead, 22 injured in bomb attack in Thai south

AFP Photo

At least one woman was killed and 22 people injured when a bomb exploded outside a crowded tea house late Friday in Thailand's restive Muslim-majority south, police said.

Officers suspected it was the work of Islamic militants as the targeted shop in Yala was popular among government officials and students.

The bomb was triggered by remote control, said Colonel Acra Tiproch, an army spokesman.

Among the injured, five people were seriously wounded.

The bomb went off inside a public phone booth located next to the tea shop, police said.

"Two men on a motorcycle placed a bomb inside the phone booth. Immediately after they left, the bomb exploded," said Police Colonel Poompetch Pipatpetchpoo.

Following the bomb attack, authorities cut off mobile phone services across Yala as militants often use the phones to set off bombs.

Earlier, two local government officials were killed and a third injured in a drive-by shooting in Narathiwat province, and two marines on patrol were hurt in a roadside bomb attack in the same area.

More than 2,200 people have been killed and thousands wounded in separatist violence that erupted in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala provinces in January 2004.

The violence has escalated despite peace-building measures by the military-installed government, which came to power following a coup in September 2006.

Or this?

Muslim hardliners storm Indonesia church

Muslim hardliners stormed a church in Indonesia during services, smashing images of Jesus Christ and demanding that it be closed down, the pastor said on Monday.

Dozens of churches have had to be closed in the Muslim-majority country in recent years, and Sunday's attack was the second on the small Protestant church in the West Java town of Soreang since 2005.

Reverend Robby Elisa, who heads the church, said around 100 hardliners attacked while Sunday school was in session. He said his wife was beaten and that at least four stained glass depictions of Jesus were smashed.

"They came and forced their way into the church," he said. "The attackers claimed to be from the Anti-Apostate Movement Alliance. The same group had already attacked the church in 2005."

The secretary of the church's headquarters in Jakarta, Reverend Budi Setiawan, said that the attack had been reported to the Indonesian Church Association (PGI).

West Java, where Islam is strong, has seen a series of attacks on churches to force their closure.

The Jakarta Post newspaper said that more than 30 churches have had to close their door in West Java since 2004 because of attacks by Muslim hardliners. Dozens of churches have also been forced to close in other provinces, it said.

According to a current decree by the religious affairs ministry, houses of worship must obtain the approval of at least 60 percent of local residents and have at least 90 followers to be able to operated.

Elisa said that his church was small and only had a congregation of some 20 adults and 40 children and teenagers.

"Where else can we go? We are too far from the city and our congregation needs a place to worship," Elisa said.

The district police chief could not be immediately reached for comment, and the officer on duty at the district police declined to comment.

Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim-majority nation with over 90 percent of its 220 million people adherents of Islam.

Although the constitution gives all religions equal footing, laws make it difficult for religions other than Islam to establish houses of worship.

And there is more...MUCH more.

And it is OUR responsibility to inform ourselves. It is not the medias job to chew up the easiest subject matter only to have it spoon fed to us.

People have forgotten about terrorism as a threat. It is simply not a few thousand fundamentalists. And it is not simply 2 or 3 countries.

But it seems as if the MSM, is aiding in the War on Terror by contributing to feeding us flatline opioid. Heck, the other day Ben Affleck, was on Chris Matthews, below his "credentials were the words "political activist".

Frankly I do not want my news from someone, or about anyone, that should be wearing a t-shirt that says one c@#* at a time...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Auntie Mame Part2



Just when I think the neighbors are crazier than I am...

I stand on the front porch and take a photo of a plant.


It is 90 degrees, no sun, no wind...and hazy.

90 degrees and no sun?

now that is just nasty.

I am sweating more staying sedentary here in the back yard, than I di unloading sand. And i am not kidding.

WE need the rain, it just needs to shake loose and do so already.

Calender Girl

When DH was deployed the last time, I played this little game with myself, called "Do not look at the calender".

Since I was a SAHM, and The Collective were babies, there was little need to know the date. Plus I was always pleasantly surprised when I would say. "What is the date? March...?" And the person would look at me in horror and reply "Uh Ma'am, it is July".

Since The Collective are not in school, and I continue to be a SAHM, I have maintained that habit. I am unsure if it is good or bad. But I am shocked to see the date, and day.

It is Friday, right people?

Where does time go?

This coming week VBS starts, I have been out of the church loop, so I need to go and find out the dates, times etc, and write them immediately on the calender.

Hard to believe Sir Rowland starts kindergarten in just a few months.

The days of ignoring a calender will soon be over. I promise it has been nice. Well expect for the couple of times I have missed a borthday, or been late paying a bill.

Which considering my calender avoidance has not been too bad.

Weekend goals, are to work on the back yard projects. Try and get something done indoors. I prefer to work outside. But there is laundry, and some dusting (more than some) That need to get done. I also must get to my fruit and veggie man down the road, I am in need to tomatoes, and peaches to freeze. Last year I did not freeze nearly tomatoes or peaches. I should freeze some strawberries while they are still inexpensive. The collective have eaten 6 quarts since being home. SERIOSLY.

DH, where is the blueberry place, and when do they come in? I think they are late in the year, but I forget? And was it $11 for a 5 gallon bucket?

if so, we need to do that.

My guess is I will continue to bore you with my crap lists.

Sir Rowland must be growing...

I am in the kitchen a lot.

The good news is, he continues to eat VERY healthy

Thursday, June 07, 2007

One Piece at a time...

-After 2-3 days of feeling like I am running very fast on a treadmill, I can say some things are done. (I think my estrogen levels are off again, and I am keeping track of this. Me pissed off about "things" is not typical. The bad thing about me and estrogen. I will be consulting the Vagina Whisperer about this development.) DH be glad you are gone.

-The Collectives new play area, ALMOST done, and actually almost better than I had originally planned, AND all because of the snags I ran into. The little cottages are even moved (thanks to the neighbor teen!) I did try moving them alone, it was ridiculous, but (I HATE ASKING for help) I am getting better at it. I emptied the old sand turtle, and realized it will work nicely to hold buckets, shovels, play kitchen things etc. Oh and the cottages will be an ideal place for the sidewalk chalk, etc, and they can draw on the fence in that corner. I also dumped out all of the shells they collected while at Oak Island, they LOVED that small addition the best. I do need more sand, and more river rock. But I can see an end in site. The corner is SHADED!

-I located the hammock, it was in the attic. Ahhhhh, the darn thing has never been christened, and will not be any time soon. But ahhhh, I cannot think of a better place to read this summer. In the shade with The collective.

-Hose fixed, the washers were exactly where DH said they would be in the comments section. YEAH. New hose, non leaky.

-2 sprinklers replaced.

-shrubs in back got a haircut

-round up'd the weed growing through the cracks in the sidewalk

-built a sand castle with The collective

-bought 4 months worth of air filters and replaced one

-weeded part of the back yard

-weeded part of the front yard

-had a water fight

-threw away a lot of broken crap

-got all of my pots filled for the front (I will try and get photos in the morning, with my macbook.)

-trimmed an oak tree

Progress finally, so perhaps this anxiety will wane now.

I do need to get the darn hedges up front trimmed, they are driving me nuts. It is a must do at this point.

I also have some thank yous that NEED to get out. NEED.


I also need to plant out back. I am in desperate need of some color, and beauty for the rest of the yard. My cannas I moved to the fence line, are not doing so well. I can blame it on the soil. We have very little of it. The rest of my beds are all raised beds.

*degree anti-persp deoderant is a joke

*I am not sore from all of the scooping. All of that sand and not requiring anti-inflammatories, that made me feel strong and capable.


And Now I Give you Auntie Mame...

Enjoy... tis a long CLIP, but it is MY FAVORITE MOVIE

No one can deliver a one liner better than Rosiland Russell

Enough is enough...

From BBC

Last Updated: Thursday, 7 June 2007, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK

North Korea may have test-fired a number of short-range missiles off its west coast, South Korea's Yonhap news agency has quoted a source as saying.

The unnamed official said Seoul was investigating the reports and details of the tests.

Pyongyang test-fired at least one short-range missile at the end of May - off its east coast - as part of what appeared to be military exercises.

North Korea's military programme is a major source of international concern.

"We are confirming intelligence that North Korea fired short-range missiles into the West Sea on Thursday morning," the unidentified official was quoted by Yonhap as saying.

"We suspect the number of missiles fired today was one or two. We are working to distinguish the types of missiles."

The official said Thursday's suspected test off the west coast may have been carried out after a similar test failed on 25 May, when the North test-fired missiles off the east coast.

"It's seen as the North firing the missile that it didn't launch at that time," he said.

Missed deadline

South Korea confirmed at least one missile was test-fired into the Sea of Japan on 25 May, although earlier reports suggested several had been fired.

It coincided with the launch of South Korea's first destroyer equipped with US-supplied high-tech Aegis radar.

Despite international alarm at the North's long-range missile and nuclear tests last year, the US and Pyongyang's regional neighbours played down the May test.

The US State Department described it as a "routine exercise" that would not affect six-party talks regarding the North's nuclear programme.

There has been no immediate reaction to Thursday's reported tests.

The tests come weeks after the North missed a deadline to shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor in return for economic and energy aid.

Pyongyang has refused to move forward on the deal until it has access to North Korean funds in a Macau bank, which had been frozen amid claims the money was linked to counterfeiting and money-laundering.

Continued Jackassery from the road

The day after my little adventure at the The National Infantry Museum, we packed the Collective, and drove them to Atlanta for a day o fun at Fernbank Natural History Museum. A very well kept museum, with enough hand on hand to keep The Collective interested, so we spent the day there.

Well there was an interactive section of the museum, they had a series of glass resonance tubes. So I have the Collective put their ears to the tubes, and listen to the shortest tube, and then the longest tube.

AWTM: "do you hear the difference in sound?"

Pink Ninja: "it sounds like the ocean."

Sir Roland: "the short one sounds high, and the long one is low sounding."

AWTM: "How do you suppose it works?"

Random guy standing next to us: "Well Ma'am, I am sure the length of the tubes, has something to do with it."

AWTM: *staring at this jackass* and wondering, why on Earth I get 2 random jackasses in 2 days. The guy from the day before had sort of lowered my tolerance to any chitter chatter with strangers.

DH: *backing up and snickering, and waiting for my short fuse to finish burning, because he knows I have had enough of random jackasses*

AWTM: "Sir, uuuuhhhh yeah I was actually asking my 3 and 5 year old, but I passed 2 grade science, thanks."

Random guy standing next to us: *looking VERY uncomfortable*.

And of course, we ended up on the same track through the museum as this guy and his family.

Point here being, situational awareness, at an interactive section of the museum, did this guy really think I was asking him? Did he think he was Bill Freaking Nye? Why wasn't he interacting with his own family, instead of gracing random women with his VERY scientific mind?

2 days in a row, jackassery?