The Scoop on Granny


Dreaming of the mountains...

Who is Granny?

I'm the incredibly blessed mother of 9, "Granny" to 16, and wife of "The Papa," the knight-in-shining-armor whose loving support has made it possible for me to stay home and give my life to mothering, homemaking, and 26 years of homeschooling. Life at Granny's House is full of laughter, friendship, books, music, lively debate, writing, and good things to eat. My days are made even more meaningful by coming alongside other moms, giving them the support and encouragement that I lacked as a young mother and helping them to network with each other in ways that strengthen homes and families. A few times a year I board a plane to visit my "away" kids, to attend the birth of a grandchild, or to enjoy some lazy days with my best friend, but I always love coming back to...Granny's House.

My Complete Profile

On Granny's Calendar
  • August 15 - SAC Day begins
  • August 16 - Sam is 7!
  • August 20 - Kristen's birthday
  • August 30 - THE WELTYS ARRIVE!
  • Sept 3 - Chris' birthday
  • Sept 5 - Henry is 9!
  • Sept 7 - Isaac is 10!
  • Sept 17 - The Papa's birthday
  • Sept 23-30 - Granny and Papa go to Hawaii
  • Sept 26 - PawPop is 88!
  • Sept 29 - Tim is 15!
  • Oct 2 - Cheyenne's birthday
  • Oct 4 - Liam is 5!
  • Oct 7 - John Caleb is 17!
  • Oct 18 - Tony's birthday

  • Email Granny!

    Get your own calendar

    Granny Cares
  • Care Calendar
  • Agape Pregnancy Help Center San Antonio
  • World Vision

  • Granny Cooks (and Eats)!

  • The Pioneer Woman Cooks
  • Once a Month Mom
  • $5 Dinners
  • Full Bellies, Happy Kids
  • A Year of Crockpotting

  • Granny's House (and yours!)

  • Simple Mom
  • The Nesting Place
  • Between Naps on the Porch
  • The Inspired Room

  • Granny gets around...
  • A Holy Experience
  • MommyLife
  • Confessions of a Pioneer Woman
  • Preschoolers and Peace
  • Breathing Grace
  • theMangoTimes

  • Granny stays informed...
  • Real Clear Politics
  • Fox News
  • Drudge Report

  • Granny Thinks...
  • Al Mohler
  • Between Two Worlds
  • Blog and Mablog
  • First Importance
  • Equipping the Saints
  • Desiring God

  • Granny says you may go to...
  • PowerLine Blog
  • Michelle Malkin
  • SteynOnline
  • WSJ Opinion Journal Best of the Web
  • GetHuman
  • Home School Legal Defense Association

  • Granny goes to the movies...
  • Netflix
  • Rotten Tomatoes

  • Granny is watching!
  • Blue Pencil Editing
  • Mighty Red Pen
  • Conjugate Visits

  • Granny smiles at...
  • Purgatorio
  • ScrappleFace
  • LarkNews
  • Sacred Sandwich

  • Monday, December 31, 2007
    There is no frigate like a book... take us lands away.

    Here is a more or less complete list of all the books I read or listened to in 2007. Following the author's name is my rating of one to five stars:

  • The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards****

  • Thirteen Moons, Charles Frazier****

  • Life As We Would Want It...Life As We Are Given It: The Beauty God Brings from Life's Upheavals, Ken Gire****

  • The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini*****

  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell*****

  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, David Allen***

  • The Most Beautiful Mathematical Formulas****

  • The Stolen Child, Keith Donohue*

  • Digging to America, Anne Tyler****

  • At First Sight, Nicholas Sparks*

  • Back When We Were Grownups, Anne Tyler****

  • No One Cares What You Had for Lunch,Margaret Mason***

  • 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Charles C. Mann**

  • America Alone, Mark Steyn****

  • The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova****

  • Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series), Alexander McCall Smith*****

  • The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom*****

  • The Everything Meals for a Month Cookbook, Linda Larsen*****

  • The Kalahari Typing School for Men, Alexander McCall Smith*****

  • A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens*****

  • Organizing for Life: Declutter your Mind to Declutter Your World, Sandra Felton**

  • The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection, Robert Farrar Capon****

  • The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History, John M. Barry**

  • Pot on the Fire: Further Exploits of a Renegade Cook, John Thorne***

  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Ishmael Beah****

  • God's Equation: Einstein, Relativity, and the Expanding Universe, Amir D. Aczel****

  • The Grand Weaver, Ravi Zacharias*****

  • Five Years to Life:The Story of a Wayward Son and His Father's Relentless Love, Sam Huddleston****

  • Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand*****

  • The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield****

  • Night, Elie Wiesel*****

  • Breathing Lessons, Anne Tyler*

  • Song of Saigon, Anh Vu Sawyer*****

  • Hinds' Feet On High Places, Hannah Hurnard***

  • Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood, Oliver Sacks***

  • Shopping for Time: How to Do It All and NOT Be Overwhelmed, Mahaney, Whitacre, Chesemore, and Bradshaw***

  • The Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan*****

  • The Island of the Day Before, Umberto Eco**

  • Not quite average of three a month. Not as well as I would like to have done, but probably more than most years. I think I'll shoot for 50 in '08!


    has spoken at 5:06 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    I just saw
    a woman on TV say that she makes New Year's resolutions but that she doesn't worry about too much pressure from keeping them all year because she gives them up for Lent. Hmmm....maybe I could manage to keep some for a few weeks!


    has spoken at 9:22 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, December 30, 2007
    Sunday snippets...

    It's the last snippet of the year...2007 is about to go in the memory books. A fresh new year lies ahead, and just like last, it holds both promise and dangers. We will have new joys, perhaps new sadnesses and lingering bits of old ones, and no doubt there will be surprises. I am privileged as a Christian to walk into the New Year with the surety that I have a God who will never leave me or forsake me. In 2008 I want to do a better job of conveying that truth to those around me, both with my words and with a more visible trust in the goodness of the Father...

    Some other things I'd like to do this year:

    A sewing project. Don't know just what yet, but I have missed sewing and don't want to lose those skills or the joy of creating something from fabric. Whether it's clothes or dolls or home decorating projects, I will try to resume a lifelong hobby.

    Frame some old cross-stitch pieces. I can't really cross-stitch any more--my eyes won't let me. Oh, I could put on strong glasses and do it anyway, but it would be so stressful that it wouldn't bring me the relaxation and enjoyment that it used to. I still have, though, between 15 and 20 pieces that I did as long as 20 years ago that have never been framed. I'd like to do a few for use here, and then have the rest framed so the girls will have plenty to divide when I'm gone.

    Finish the quilt I started before Bethany (now in college) was born. The quilt top is one that was pieced by John's grandmother during and right after WWII and I have it almost just needs the border finished. I want to leave that to my family in a completed condition.

    Redo all the shelving in our pantry. The shoddy job done by the builder here has left much of the shelving pulling out of the wall and I live in fear that I'll get up one morning and have a whole diner's worth of food on the floor. The master bedroom closet re-do from two years ago was so successful with Elfa shelving and drawers that we will probably go with that system in the pantry, too. One of the wonderful things about Elfa is that it only require holes up near the ceiling. Everything hangs from a master track. Plus, in January ALL Elfa stuff is 30% off and that makes a substantial difference! We may do it in three stages, but it all needs to be done.

    This week I finished the audio version of Umberto Eco's The Island of the Day Before. Earlier in the year I had started on the hard copy version and got bogged's very, very hard to read and I hoped that listening would be easier. But it's also very long, so I did something I NEVER do: bought the abridged version. Good thing. I just barely got through that. It does have some redeeming qualities--allusions to interesting parts of seventeenth century history, a weaving in of the fascinating story of the discovery of longitude, and some clever illumination of European philosophy along the way. But the tale itself is painfully tedious, and by the end, irritatingly ridiculous. I will put it down on my finished books list, but only by the skin of its teeth.

    Next up on the iPod was G. K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday, a novel nearly as improbable but so delightfully told (and narrated) and with so many twists and turns that it is immensely more pleasing to me than the previous suitcase of a book. I probably won't finish it until later in the week, so it will be first on my "Finished in 2008 list." (Sometime in the next few days I'll rate all the books from this year so if you're looking for something I highly recommend, check back.)

    And speaking of iPods: here's a story that has boggled my mind. I have bought very few songs to put on my iPod...99% of my music came from CD's that I had purchased and transferred to the iPod via my laptop. Now the RIAA, already pushing the envelope to make more and more of us criminals, wants to make it a crime (or contends that it already is, actually) to transfer YOUR OWN LEGALLY PURCHASED CD's to your computer. Hopefully soon, voices of reason will prevail and stop the music industry terrorism that has already exacted huge sums of money from people who crossed lines that shouldn't even BE lines. And if the RIAA would like to make me a test case, a granny who listens to worship music and James Taylor on her hot pink nano, COME GET ME. MAKE MY DAY. Sorry, but the whole intellectual property thing has just gone way too far. If you write a song that you don't ever want on my iPod, put it under your bed. Whew. I feel better.

    I wonder if the interest groups (some of whom I tend to agree with on some issues) who decry the exploitation of cheap overseas labor will be as quick or as loud in denouncing this:
    World Outsources Pregnancies to India

    Well, that's it for the Snippets for 2007. I need to finish cleaning out my closet!

    Labels: , , , , ,

    has spoken at 6:05 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, December 28, 2007
    Scott Ott, aka Scrappleface, writes a rare non-satirical piece in response to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

    The voice of one crying in the wilderness, I'm afraid.

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 2:03 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    This is my favorite week of the year.

    No, not my favorite holiday, just my favorite week. The one between Christmas and New Year's.

    Sometimes it's my favorite because the Christmas holiday season has left me so exhausted I can barely move and I love having a few days to sleep late, walk around in a robe until 2pm, and eat the last of the Christmas cookies before I start de-toxing.

    But that's not all there is to it. I know that because I'm not exhausted this year and I'm still relishing the week.

    There's something about my internal makeup that treasures this week of closure and of preparation for a new year.

    Some of the tasks are the same each year. I'm a calendar junkie, so this is the week the old ones come down and the new ones go up, pretty much one in every room of the house. The Papa and I clear out our closet and get several bags of clothes, shoes, even spare linens ready to donate. I file all the paperwork that's been collecting on my desk so I can start the year fresh. I check the bank account to make sure that any transactions that need to clear before the end of the year are showing up. Back when I used to write checks, I would take the old pad of checks out of the cover and insert a new one, even if the old one was barely started, so I wouldn't have one pad containing checks from two years. These days, I don't GO through a whole pad in a year, so I don't worry about that. I clean out the gift wrap cart of all the Christmas things and replace the all-occasion wraps and bags and ribbon.

    And then some tasks vary from year to year, depending on the distinctives of the past twelve months and the landscape ahead. This year we're completing lots of tasks related to getting three kids in college, both financial and logistical. I have a list a mile long (okay, an inch and a half) of calls that need to be made, forms that need to be mailed, purchases that need to be finalized as our crop of young adults settles in for a new semester (and in one case, a whole new life!)

    This year, since we're having friends in on both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, I'm assembling grocery ingredients, games, and other party stuff as well as putting away some of the Christmas decorations.

    Always, there's the annual choosing of a new verse or passage of Scripture that I focus on in the New Year. This year's (see my left sidebar) was particularly meaningful to me for a variety of reasons; today I'll begin choosing a new one. It's also a time to review and recite to myself all the ways that God blessed during the year and once again proved His sufficiency and His faithfulness...

    One of my favorite things of the week is reviewing my list of completed books for the year and starting my "wish" list of new ones. This list usually starts with all the ones I receive for Christmas and gets lengthened with suggestions from friends, blogs, bestseller lists, and emails from I've started the new list, also on my left sidebar, but have only added a fraction of the ones that are already floating around my head.

    What do you do this week? Is it an interlude you enjoy or one you dread? Do share :-)

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 10:20 AM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, December 25, 2007
    One of the things I've enjoyed most about this Christmas is the abundance of thoughtful, inspirational, and convicting posts on my daily blog-rounds. Thank you to all of you who have shared from your heart what God has taught you during this Advent season...He has taught me through you.

    We've had a lovely day together, and as I end the day I have a stack of new books and music beside me, the sweet gifts of many of my loved ones. I'm compiling my list of books for next year, and these will certainly make the list:

    Here's one I've been looking forward to...I am, like millions of others, smitten with Mitford and with Jan Holly Springs has been on my wish list for months.

    This one WASN'T on my wish list, because I hadn't heard anything about it! Fortunately someone who knows me well saw it and knew it was right up my literary alley!

    This raging bestseller must be really good, because not too many people will read a thousand-page paperback. But The Papa, having already read it, recommends it highly and knows it's another one likely to captivate me!

    A while back I wrote of my visit to an Indian restaurant...I came right home and put this one on my wish list :-)

    And as a Food Network junkie, this is one I've been wanting for a while now. Ina is one of my favorites for her simple but elegant food and her laid-back style. I'll be reading this one in bed the next few nights!

    Oh, to have unlimited time to read! What's your top pick for 2008? Share in the comments!

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 10:56 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, December 23, 2007
    A snip of a Sunday snippet...
    It's not been a good day. I've been sick for 24 hours or so with one of those bugs that's supposed to go away in 24 hours, if you know what I mean. So focusing on posts or on anything else hasn't been easy and I'm going to give myself a break.

    I am grateful that before I got sick I actually got all the wrapping done, other than the gifts we'll be taking on our Boxing Day trip to Fort Worth. I figure I can do that on Christmas afternoon if not before. Tomorrow we'll have our traditional Tex-Mex dinner with tamales for those with taste and Sam's Club taquitos for those too young for taste :-) The San Antonio grandkids and a few precious friends will be with us as we celebrate the coming of the Saviour among men. I hope that all of you having a meaningful time with your families and friends and that the preeminence of the Christ inhabits your holiday.

    Merry Christmas!

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 8:42 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, December 21, 2007
    I didn't send out Christmas cards this year, but if I had, it wouldn't have been this one. of those things that just leaves me too speechless to comment.

    hat tip: Annie :-)

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 10:21 PM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    Well, I'm so proud of all the kids and young people from our church that I could just about bust. They have just put on a terrific performance of Psalty's Christmas Calamity, and I don't think there's been a better bunch anywhere. All six of our at-home kids were involved, either in direction, tech crew, or performance, and the way they've worked together really blesses my heart. Not only that, every bit of it honored the Lord of Christmas...

    Here's a group shot...

    and here's our beloved Psalty (Cody Longenbaugh) and our dear little GrandKrug Zachary, singing his beautiful solo.

    Congrats to every one of you!!

    Labels: , , , ,

    has spoken at 10:08 PM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    Out of the mouths of the step-kids.
    I'm not sure my own kids were ever this any case it's a lot more fun when it's the grandkids :-)

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 1:03 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    I don't intend to be overtly political in this space, though from time to time I will be expressing observations and views as the election cycle progresses. This is one of those times...there are instances where I feel I must speak out.

    In case any of my readers are leaning toward a Democrat candidate and feel that choice could be consistent with a respect for the sanctity of life, you need to read this article.

    As a decades-long supporter of crisis pregnancy centers that provide women with information on alternatives to abortion, I am really, STUNNED to read John Edwards' sliming of the good men and women who volunteer to work with women in crisis:

    "I oppose any effort to restrict abortion as an option for women who depend on the government for their health care needs. I support public funding of abortion services for low-income women," Edwards added. "While in the Senate, I voted against restrictions on funding for abortions for federal employees and District of Columbia residents."

    Edwards also bashed pregnancy centers and said he would not support federal funding for them to help women choose alternatives to abortion.

    "No, federal tax dollars should not endorse or support programs that knowingly include medically or scientifically inaccurate information and that mislead and intimidate women," he said.

    It's okay to use tax money to kill the babies, but not to show women ultrasound pictures of their own babies and to offer them the help they need to keep their babies. And the implication that these centers exist for the purpose of misleading and intimidating women with "scientifically inaccurate information" makes my jaw drop. I am (nearly) speechless.

    Labels: , ,

    has spoken at 12:38 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Just when you think you've heard it all...

    VAIL — A 60-year-old man is taking an 8-year-old boy and his dad to court, claiming the third-grader caused a ski-slope collision that left the older man with a shoulder injury.

    David J. Pfahler of Allentown, Pa., filed suit in Denver federal court claiming Scott Swimm, of Vail, then 7, was skiing fast and recklessly when they ran into each other in January. Pfahler's suit says he suffered a torn shoulder tendon.

    The boy told Pfahler he was sorry and started to ski away when the man grabbed Scott’s legs, cursed at him and said he would sue, Robb Swimm told The Aspen Times.

    “I was really scared,” Scott said to the Times.

    Scott's father, Robb Swimm, said he saw the crash and that Scott was skiing slowly and in control.

    "It wasn't a violent collision or anything, Scott just kind of tapped his ski boots," he said this week.

    Scott's mother, Susan Swimm, said her son weighs 48 pounds and couldn't have been going more than 10 mph.

    I guess the slopes are even more dangerous than I thought.

    Merry Christmas, little Scott. I hope all the other people in your life give you a better picture of our famous "holiday spirit."

    Boy, 8, sued in ski crash

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 11:57 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007
    Ya THINK?
    NEW YORK (AP) - Lynne Spears' book about parenting has been delayed indefinitely, her publisher said Wednesday.

    Lindsey Nobles, a spokeswoman for Christian book publisher Thomas Nelson Inc., said Wednesday that the memoir by the mother of Britney Spears was put on hold last week. She declined to comment on whether the delay was connected to the revelation that Spears' 16-year-old daughter, Jamie Lynn, is pregnant.

    The only surprise here is that Thomas Nelson had fallen for this!

    Watch for the media to pretty much ignore the statutory rape angle. After all, Lynne Spears had let her 16-year-old daughter LIVE WITH her boyfriend.

    Friends, is the world upside down or something?

    Lynne Spears' Parenting Book Delayed

    Labels: , ,

    has spoken at 11:30 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Just when you thought Google couldn't think of anything else...check this out!

    Track Your Holiday Flight with Google

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 10:27 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Just now getting around to updating my post-surgical news. I had an appointment with my surgeon yesterday and had nothing but good things to report. He was very pleased at the progress and said he wanted to see me again in two months, and he'll xray to make sure that the bone graft was doing whatever it's supposed to do.

    I'm still pain-free, at least from the trouble I had before the surgery. And the pain left in the muscle from the procedure gets milder every few days. I remarked to the doctor that it was the first time in years that I'd been in the orthopedic clinic and not asked for a refill on some kind of narcotic pain reliever, but this time my big request was just for some ibuprofen 800's! That, my friends, is a milestone!

    So...Dr. K is my hero; and I'm giving thanks to the Great Physician who knew what I needed and led me to a surgeon who agreed to perform the operation. The holidays are much more pleasant for me this year than last!


    has spoken at 10:00 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    I am cracking up at Tami's dilemma!

    Who's Who

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 9:57 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007
    It's all in the perspective.
    This is how I must have sounded to the tech support people this month.

    hat tip: Penny


    has spoken at 3:19 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, December 17, 2007

    It's a sign that you're getting old when the people that defined your generation begin leaving the scene. I woke this morning to the news of the passing of Dan Fogelberg, and a real sadness came over me...similar to the feeling on hearing of the death of John Denver some years ago. Fogelberg was, and still is, one of my favorites, a staple of the REAL "soft rock" of the 70's and early 80's. Who, coming of age in those years, could forget "Longer" (which I sang at two weddings), "The Leader of the Band", "Same Auld Lang Syne", or "Run for the Roses"?

    Fogelberg died of prostate cancer and was 56, the same age as The Papa. Oh my, how the years have flown....

    Labels: , ,

    has spoken at 10:25 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, December 16, 2007

    Can it be the 16th already? And how is it that when we were kids, December just c r a w l e d along? I have so much I still want to do, and the time is slipping away...

    Today I was reminded that as wonderful as the holiday season can be, for many families it's a time of turmoil, of pain, of real anguish. I ache for friends and family this year who will be happier to see New Year's Day than Christmas. What is it about this season that seems to magnify and amplify all the heartache and discord that's palpable enough all year long? If you're one of the ones who would like to tear out the last calendar page of the year and move on, my heart is heavy for you today and I am praying a special prayer for you and your family.

    Tomorrow I will mix and bake cookies for a good part of the day, making sure that they're ready to decorate by Tuesday, our annual Cookie Day at Granny's House. This year we'll have the Texas grandkids, the Krug boys, and a couple of special guests with us so I need to make sure we have lots and lots and lots of cookies and frosting! (Oh, and brooms and mops!)

    Yesterday was Shelley and John Caleb's Christmas piano recital. I was so very proud of both of them! John Caleb played "It Came Upon The Midnight Clear" and for the first time ever played it flawlessly. Shelley played a spectacular arrangement of "O Come All Ye Faithful" with a backup CD of orchestral accompaniment. She brought down the house, if you can believe a mother's opinion :-)

    There's got to be some clever use for all these tags of wrapping paper. You know, the ones that are 4 inches by 3 feet. I have a whole pile and every year I detest throwing them away...I used to make tags out of them, but now I'm addicted to the self-stick ones so I'm back to wondering how to use the scraps.

    The weather has gotten really frosty here, just in time to make it really feel like Christmas. I'm itching for a fire in the fireplace, but the Papa keeps using some excuse about not having any wood. You would think the answer to that would be to go get some, but that's evidently a little too creative. I might have to resort to breaking down all the Amazon boxes and starting a fire with those!

    Raspberry hot chocolate is a very good thing. In the absence of Starbucks' holiday lattes, that is.

    From this morning's worship service, a verse of my favorite carol that was especially meaningful:

    And ye, beneath life's crushing load,
    whose forms are bending low,

    who toil along the climbing way

    with painful steps and slow,

    look now! for glad and golden hours

    come swiftly on the wing:

    O rest beside the weary road

    and hear the angels sing...

    May you have
    a lovely week of preparations and of remembering the waiting of the world for the Savior.

    Labels: , ,

    has spoken at 8:54 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, December 14, 2007
    I have no illusions that this is going to last, but I love the clever headline:

    Huckaboom and Hillabust


    has spoken at 3:17 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, December 13, 2007
    ***NEWS FLASH***
    Hillary's a good person. Her mom says so.

    Then go read this related story :-)

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 8:43 PM
    6 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007
    Ah, sweet mysteries of life...

    WASHINGTON (AP) - With all that growing weight up front, how is it that pregnant women don't lose their balance and topple over? Scientists think they've found the answer: There's are slight differences between women and men in one lower back vertebrae and a joint in the hip, which allow women to adjust their center of gravity.

    I feel so much better. I wish I had known this while carrying ten babies. I was constantly worried.


    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 12:44 PM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    And if you should, despite Dr. Benatar's pleas, decide to bring a baby into existence, beware the Green Police:

    A WEST Australian medical expert wants families to pay a $5000-plus "baby levy" at birth and an annual carbon tax of up to $800 a child.

    Writing in today's Medical Journal of Australia, Associate Professor Barry Walters said every couple with more than two children should be taxed to pay for enough trees to offset the carbon emissions generated over each child's lifetime.

    Professor Walters, clinical associate professor of obstetric medicine at the University of Western Australia and the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth, called for condoms and "greenhouse-friendly" services such as sterilisation procedures to earn carbon credits.

    Somewhere in our country, a Greenie is wringing her hands because the Americans didn't think of this first. But it's not too for ideas more and more like this to take hold as part of the Global Warming Hype.

    Happily, the voices of reason are not yet extinct. In response to the plan, Angela Conway of the Australian Family Association had this to say:

    "I think self-important professors with silly ideas should have to pay carbon tax for all the hot air they create," she said. "There's masses of evidence to say that child-rich families have much lower resource consumption per head than other styles of households.

    Baby tax needed to save planet, expert claims

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 10:51 AM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    This one WON'T be on my To Read list...

    How about this for an uplifting read to start the new year? From's description:

    Book Description

    Most people believe that they were either benefited or at least not harmed by being brought into existence. Thus, if they ever do reflect on whether they should bring others into existence---rather than having children without even thinking about whether they should---they presume that they do them no harm. Better Never to Have Been challenges these assumptions. David Benatar argues that coming into existence is always a serious harm. Although the good things in one's life make one's life go better than it otherwise would have gone, one could not have been deprived by their absence if one had not existed. Those who never exist cannot be deprived. However, by coming into existence one does suffer quite serious harms that could not have befallen one had one not come into existence.

    Drawing on the relevant psychological literature, the author shows that there are a number of well-documented features of human psychology that explain why people systematically overestimate the quality of their lives and why they are thus resistant to the suggestion that they were seriously harmed by being brought into existence. The author then argues for the 'anti-natal' view---that it is always wrong to have children---and he shows that combining the anti-natal view with common pro-choice views about foetal moral status yield a 'pro-death' view about abortion (at the earlier stages of gestation). Anti-natalism also implies that it would be better if humanity became extinct. Although counter-intuitive for many, that implication is defended, not least by showing that it solves many conundrums of moral theory about population.

    For a taste of his argument in the author's own voice, consider these eloquent words:

    I shall not claim that the never-existent are literally better off. Instead, I shall argue that coming into existence is always bad for those who come into existence. In other words, although we may not be able to say of the never-existent that never existing is good for them, we can say of the existent that existence is bad for them. There is no absurdity here, or so I shall argue.

    Any time you think man's depravity and his poverty of thought have sunk as low as they can go, beware. You are bound to be disappointed.

    Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 10:47 AM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007
    Those of you have watched the progress, or lack of it, and the sometimes unintended consequences of 'No Child Left Behind' might be interested to read George Will's common sense observations and his rationale for returning public education to local control.

    No Child Left Behind, supposedly an antidote to the "soft bigotry of low expectations," has instead spawned lowered standards. The law will eventually be reauthorized because doubling down on losing bets is what Washington does. But because NCLB contains incentives for perverse behavior, reauthorization should include legislation empowering states to ignore it.

    This, by the way, is more ammunition for those of us who remember life before the Department of Education and would like to see it abolished. Though I believe that the way to make sure most children don't get left behind is one-on-one instruction in their homes, I also believe that if we're going to have public (and mandatory) education, the control of that education needs to remain in local hands, as close as possible to the end users...

    Getting Past 'No Child'


    has spoken at 10:50 AM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, December 09, 2007
    Sunday snippets...

    This week I started driving again, after more than a month. It felt good to be a little independent again, if slightly slow. My progress continues to be encouraging...I still have some muscular pain, sometimes quite intense similar to a charley-horse in the muscle closest to the incision, but much more important is the sense I have that the surgery has corrected the bulk of the problem that was causing my chronic pain. I won't know for sure until all the pain from the procedure itself has faded away, and I don't know if some of the original pain will remain, but right now things are looking very good and I'm filled with hope!

    I'm paying closer and closer attention to all things election lately. I mentioned a few months back that I'd be for Huckabee except that he didn't really have a chance. Well....HUCKABOOM! I shouldn't have spoken so soon! Disclaimer: there are a couple of things about Mike Huckabee's positions that concern me, but then there's no one with whom I'm in complete agreement. On the other hand, some of the concerning things that I've checked into turn out to be either fabrications or perversions of the media or his opponents, so I'm learning to be very careful about who shapes my political leanings!

    I've started listening to the audio book Song of Saigon and think it may turn out to be one of my favorites of '07. That is, if I get it finished in '07!

    And I'm already compiling my list of Books to Read in '08. Have any suggestions for me? I will read just about everything but romance novels, which I don't consider to be real books. So if you've got a favorite, old or new, fiction or non, long or short, tell me!

    To update my computer saga: my old new computer is in the box and DHL will be picking it up tomorrow. A very patient young man at Dell in OKC helped me in two long phone sessions to get everything transferred from the lemon Inspiron to the replacement, and now everything seems to be just peachy. Well, everything but the nasty Windows Vista, which I'd ditch in a heartbeat if I could. Not that there aren't a few new features I like, but I'd trade them for the comfort and the stability of my XP without hesitation. Even though I can't switch to a Mac, I am SO enjoying Apple's TV campaign making fun of Vista and all the people who are trying to "downgrade" back to XP!

    So we're waist-deep in the delightful project of filling out and submitting FAFSA forms. I didn't think I'd ever fill out financial forms more confusing than the ones the IRS dreams up. But I was wrong! Did I mention that in January we'll have three kids in college? Yeah, it's gonna be interesting :-)

    One of the sites I've used to come up with some GREAT deals this Christmas season is Pinching Your Pennies, specifically the Screaming Deals Online forum. Over half of the gifts I've bought this year, including almost all of the toys and electronics, are ones I found through this forum and I got a lot of deals that beat anything I'd imagined. I'll be checking it often through the year, for birthdays and for buying ahead for next year!

    How many of you are reading one of the Arnold Ytreeide Advent trilogy books this year? We're reading #2, Bartholomew's Passage, and enjoying it as much as ever. For those of you who have tried to locate one of these books and can't find anything but a $400 used copy (NO, I'M NOT KIDDING), I'm hearing whispers that they'll be republished in '08. I'll broadcast it when I hear for sure, and then I'll be urging everyone to grab them while they can, just in case it turns out to be a limited run!

    Snip, snip...that's all for the snippets. Have a wonderful week!

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    has spoken at 2:34 PM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    Saturday, December 08, 2007
    Okay, so eloquence isn't everything.

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 10:52 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Dialing for HOPE

    Here's a fun story (unless you were one of the baffled callers or the unwitting woman on the other end!).

    Bush error has

    school's phone busy

    Star-Telegram Staff Writer

    Mr. President: Next time, double-check -- even triple-check -- your numbers.

    That might be what officials at North Texas' Freedom Christian Academy would say to George W. Bush after he gave a speech about helping homeowners with their mortgages. The president gave out the wrong phone number -- theirs. And then repeated it.

    The number takes callers to the academy in Ponder, near Denton, where most now get a message that the mailbox is full. White House officials gave out the correct telephone number, 888-995-HOPE, which connects callers to the Home Ownership Preservation Foundation.

    I just saw the woman interviewed on FOX, and she says that as inconvenient as it's been, she has already had the opportunity to share with many of the callers information they asked for about homeschooling their children!

    Her website: Family Christian Academy. Note the very similar phone numbers.

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 12:42 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    I am watching with interest and amusement what's being called "Oprahbama"--the tour through Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina that Oprah is doing with and for Barack Obama. While I will never be an Obama voter, I can't help but see this move as a stroke of genius and I will be anxious to see whether this one tactic could singlehandedly tip the balance away from Hillary Clinton.


    has spoken at 10:32 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, December 07, 2007
    Uh, yeah...
    I think this was made last week when I was pulling my hair out with DellIndia. Oh my goodness. Thankfully my brother rescued me from the Dell black hole and got me some real help...

    hat tip: trish

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 12:21 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    And all she got was probation???

    DAVENPORT, Iowa — A Davenport woman received five years of probation Thursday for attempting to sell her 4-year-old son to help pay for a wedding dress.

    Marcy Gant, 32, was convicted in October of purchase or sale of an individual and could have been sentenced up to 10 years in prison.

    Gant was arrested in October 2006 after offering her son to a retailer to settle a $200 bill for the dress. Police said Gant offered the trade at least twice.

    Gant's sons, ages 4 and 10 at the time, have been removed from the home by Iowa Department of Human Services.

    There are many crimes I can understand. This one I can't even get my head around. For a $200 dress?

    Iowa Mom Gets Probation for Attempting to Sell 4-Year-Old Son to Pay for Wedding Dress


    has spoken at 11:01 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Today is the last day of school for us before the Christmas break. Hey, I know it's still early, but I used to take the entire month of December off so I feel really good that we did an extra week! Anyway, now I will turn my attention to baking, organizing, and wrapping the mountain of gifts in my bathtub. I'd show you a picture but my camera has gone to the Great Camera Graveyard. Besides, I'm not sure I could have done justice to get it all in one frame I'd have had to stand WAAAY back, as in somewhere near Tyler. (The other evening when we had Family Dinner Night I told Dirk to go look in my tub and he came back complaining that he couldn't FIND my tub !) Suffice it to say that I have several long days of work ahead of me and that 3M Corporation is going to make a ton of money from the Scotch tape purchase.

    So...we close up our books until the New Year and turn our attention to Advent and the Christmas holidays.


    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 10:38 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, December 06, 2007
    Aren't they sweet?

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 8:26 PM
    10 Backtalks to Granny

    Welcome, Judah Knox Welty
    born 12-6-2007
    6 lbs. 13 oz.

    Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 1:09 AM
    9 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, December 05, 2007
    UPDATE: slooooooooow labor. If they weren't in the middle of a snowstorm, the doctor would have let her go home to wait some of it out, but they can't chance it. So they're staying put until Judah shows his face. Well, and his feet, too :-)

    Annie is in labor! We should be meeting Baby Judah very soon!!

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 10:44 AM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, December 04, 2007
    This one is deliciously are gonna love it. Remember Kellie Pickler?


    has spoken at 6:09 PM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    Ah...the colors of the holidays...

    There are just some stories where commenting is superfluous...

    Green Hanukka


    has spoken at 11:57 AM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, December 03, 2007
    Now here is a fascinating that could lead to better understanding and treatment of autism and related brain disorders.

    Fever can unlock autism's grip temporarily

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 11:28 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, December 02, 2007

    WOMEN can give their children a lifelong taste for “healthy but horrible” foods such as broccoli and brussels sprouts simply by eating them during pregnancy or while breast-feeding, researchers have found.

    I love broccoli. I want to like Brussels sprouts. I really do. But I think I must have been born during The Great Brussels Sprouts Famine of '53'-54.

    Love of broccoli begins in womb


    has spoken at 10:54 PM
    6 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday snippets...

    Today is the beginning of Advent. I love the season...I love the contrast of festivity and contemplation and the annual call to understand the human condition of waiting, both for the Messiah and for His answers in our lives. Tonight we'll begin our family celebration of Advent and once again savor the wonder of the Incarnation.

    I'm trying to figure out how I sent CJ to Virginia with two FULL suitcases of Christmas presents (Yes, thank you Southwest Airlines for allowing THREE pieces of checked baggage!), then rearranged and consolidated some of the boxes, and my bathtub is now heaped at least a foot higher than it was!

    At any rate, the shopping is DONE! Now the fun part of seeing the rest of it roll in and then carefully wrapping each gift. The only thing left to do is stocking stuffers, and that is usually the province of The Papa, so I'm relaxing. Well, okay, I usually do have to chip in on some of the girls' stockings if I don't want them getting only flashlights and poker chips. But at any rate, I've pretty much reached the finish line on gift purchases!

    And speaking of stockings, I've only just this week become aware of a raging controversy among my kids: Who's getting the stockings in the will?

    Say what?

    Umpteen years ago, when the A team was little, I made four (beautiful) patchwork stockings. Why four when we only had three children, I don't know, but there were four. Then later, when the B team started arriving, I made two more from the same basic pattern, so we've always had a set of six since then. Obviously I was acting out of a lack of faith that we'd ever have more than six children, or was I just hoping that they'd start moving out in time that we'd never need more than six? Anyway, seems that most of the kids think that the set should STAY a set (we've never assigned one stocking to one child permanently--they find out on Christmas morning). They don't want them split up when we die...but each of them has a great reason why he or she should get ALL of them! I'd tell you to stay tuned, but I hope this one doesn't get settled for a very long time...

    I never thought I'd see the day when the Los Angeles Times called CNN the "Corrupt News Network". But I offer them my "high five"! That so-called debate was a travesty.

    I've received so many great email questions this week...about celebrating Christmas, about the whole idea of Advent, about child discipline, about theories of education....To those of you who are still waiting for answers, I haven't forgotten you. I just happen to have clocks that are missing two or three hours each day and I'm trying to figure out where they've gone LOL...

    Lots to do yet this evening, so snip, snip, that's all....except for these Advent lyrics from this morning's worship service:

    O come, O come, Emmanuel,
    And ransom captive Israel,
    That mourns in lonely exile here
    Until the Son of God appear.

    O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
    Our spirits by Thine advent here;
    Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
    And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

    Rejoice! Rejoice!
    Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

    Labels: , , ,

    has spoken at 7:22 PM
    13 Backtalks to Granny

    Saturday, December 01, 2007
    Remember this post from Monday, where I was thinking:

    So I'm wondering how factors like this will affect the year's bottom line for retailers. I'm guessing that they're going to be able to end the year claiming it was one of the best ever based on gross revenue, but will their profit sheets show it?

    Well it seems I might have been onto something.

    NEW YORK (Nov. 29) -- Are the nation's retailers giving away the store?

    Blockbuster discounts have so far attracted hordes of shoppers this holiday season, which was officially kicked off the day after Thanksgiving. But analysts fear that many retailers - anxious about flagging consumer spending - might have sacrificed too much of their profit by cutting prices.

    "We're surprised at how well the traffic numbers looked, especially on Black Friday," said Love Goel, chairman and CEO of Growth Ventures Group, a specialty retail private equity firm.

    Robust start to holiday shopping season "When the chickens come home to roost, we'll find out how much of the profit margins were traded off for revenue," Goel said.

    Methinks it's a buyer's market this year. I'm okay with that...retailers won't be as happy.

    More analysis here.


    has spoken at 8:48 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Yes, I know it won a Pulitzer Prize. I will forevermore be slightly suspect of Prize winners.

    I finished Breathing Lessons this week, after what seemed like an eternity. I know I must be right smack in the middle of the demographic for which this book was written: female, fifty-something, and married for practically my whole life. So I expected to love it. I don't have to have an action-packed suspense novel full of plot twists and turns...after all, I have adored the other two Anne Tyler books I've read (Back When We Were Grownups, Digging to America) and they weren't exactly full of nail-biting drama. But I suppose this one shows me where my line of tolerance is for watching paint dry. In my book, Breathing Lessons is insufferably boring, irritating, and pointless. I came away feeling empty and cheated. I actually wasted an credit on this thing!

    I will leave room here for the possibility that, listening to the audio version, my sense of the book might have been affected by one of the worst narrators I've ever heard (Alexandra O'Karma). I honestly thought about ditching the whole thing thirty minutes in, but it became sort of a game with myself to see if I could stick it out. And as I think I said before, I was slightly attached to the thought that it had to get better, else why would it have been a Pulitzer darling?

    It didn't. It was a yawner from start to finish. The only lessons I needed were in how to stay awake...the breathing took care of itself.

    My advice: Skip it.


    has spoken at 12:45 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    I KNEW there was a good reason not to eat chicken gizzards:

    FAIRMONT, Minn. — More than two decades after Aaron Giles lost his identity bracelet, he's finding how it was discovered tough to swallow.

    A meat cutter at Olson Locker in Fairmont came across the shiny object in a chicken gizzard and saw a name, address and phone number engraved on it.

    "I've heard of livestock swallowing unusual objects, but this situation stands out," Mark Olson, who owns the meat locker, told the Sentinel of Fairmont.

    Giles had lived in Fairmont as a child and played hide-and-seek and other games with his brothers in their grandfather's barn near Sherburn.

    "I would spend most of my time out at his farm, and that's the only place I can think of that I would have lost it," Giles said about his bracelet on Thursday. The 31-year-old said he thinks the bracelet was lost when he was 4 or 5.

    The barn was dismantled a few years ago, and Giles thinks his bracelet was imbedded in materials used to construct another barn in Elmore, about 45 miles away.

    The bracelet was found in a chicken that came from an Elmore farm.

    Olson was able to track down Giles' father, who had moved to Arizona. Giles, who now lives in Gloucester, Mass., said he received his old bracelet in September.

    "It was in pretty immaculate shape. Everything was working on it, and all the engravings on it were still legible," Giles said. "It was quite the surprise."

    Giles said he expects the bracelet to stay in his family for many years to come. "I have no plans on trying to lose it again," he said.

    This would never be a problem with fried chicken livers :-)

    Bracelet hides in gizzard

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 11:55 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Granny's Mission Statement
    "...Tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done....that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children."
    ~Psalm 78:4-6

    My Focal Passage for 2011...
    Philippians 2:5-11

    5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

    6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

    7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

    8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

    9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

    10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

    11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    ~Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)


    "The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it."

    ~Samuel Johnson

    [Oxymoronica, n., A compilation of self-contradictory terms, phrases, or quotations; examples of oxymoronica appear illogical or nonsensical at first, but upon reflection, make a good deal of sense and are often profoundly true.]

    Books on the iPhone, the Kindle, or on the nightstand...

  • The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, Alexander Mccall Smith
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Arthur G. Bennett, editor

  • Books finished in 2011...

  • Oxymoronica, Mardy Grothe
  • Some Sing, Some Cry, Ntozake Shange, Ifa Bayeza
  • English Society in the Eighteenth Century, Roy Porter
  • One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann Voskamp
  • His Word in My Heart, Janet Pope
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, John Piper
  • Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer
  • Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Red Queen, Philippa Gregory
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Eric Metaxas
  • The Confessions of Saint Augustine, St. Augustine
  • Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats, John Keats
  • Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell
  • Words That Work, Frank Luntz
  • NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
  • Poke the Box, Seth Godin
  • Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, Gary Taubes
  • A Patriot's History of the United States, Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen
  • Song of Saigon: One Woman's Journey to Freedom, Anh Vu Sawyer
  • The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide for Fitting Creativity into Your Life, Shona Cole
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, Elizabeth Kantor
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, David McCullough

  • Oh, the thinks you
    can think...
  • Tapestry of Grace
  • Anatomical Charts
  • America's Library
  • George Washington's Mount Vernon - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Thomas Jefferson's Monticello - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Hurricane Demo

  • Oh, the places we'll go...
  • The Alamo
  • Majestic Theater
  • The MAiZE
  • Magik Theatre
  • Sheldon Vexler Children's Theatre

  • Granny always says...
    Saying goodbye...
    Sunday snippets...
    Sunday snippets...
    Coming soon to a country near you...
    Making (a) room...
    Just in case this might make an impact on your spe...
    Midweek snippets...
    What's up?
    She said YES!

    Granny used to say...
    October 2005
    November 2005
    December 2005
    January 2006
    February 2006
    March 2006
    April 2006
    May 2006
    June 2006
    July 2006
    August 2006
    September 2006
    October 2006
    November 2006
    December 2006
    January 2007
    February 2007
    March 2007
    April 2007
    May 2007
    June 2007
    July 2007
    August 2007
    September 2007
    October 2007
    November 2007
    December 2007
    January 2008
    February 2008
    March 2008
    April 2008
    May 2008
    June 2008
    July 2008
    August 2008
    September 2008
    October 2008
    November 2008
    December 2008
    January 2009
    February 2009
    March 2009
    April 2009
    May 2009
    June 2009
    July 2009
    August 2009
    September 2009
    October 2009
    November 2009
    December 2009
    January 2010
    February 2010
    March 2010
    April 2010
    May 2010
    June 2010
    July 2010
    August 2010
    September 2010
    October 2010
    November 2010
    December 2010
    January 2011
    February 2011
    March 2011
    April 2011
    May 2011
    June 2011
    July 2011
    August 2011

    Grace Notes

    "Were the whole realm of nature mine
    That were a present far too small...
    Love so amazing, so divine
    Demands my soul, my life,
    my all!"