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

  • Thursday, July 31, 2008
    Go read what PoliWax says today about the housing bailout. (He is the husband of Joanna, who comments here occasionally.)

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    has spoken at 9:25 AM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008
    Finally, some really good news.

    A new drug halts the devastating progress of Alzheimer’s disease, say British scientists.

    It is said to be more than twice as effective as current treatments.

    A daily capsule of rember, as the drug is known, stops Alzheimer’s disease progressing by as much as 81 per cent, according to trial results.

    Patients with the brain disorder had no significant decline in their mental function over a 19-month period.

    ‘We appear to be bringing the worst affected parts of the brain functionally back to life,’ said Dr Claude Wischik, who led the research.

    Read more here.

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    has spoken at 11:38 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    This kid is going places.
    Proving, once again, that music knows no borders :-)

    hat tip: Shelley

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    has spoken at 10:32 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Coming soon to Already in a school near you:

    The nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association, attracted 9,000 delegates to its annual convention in Washington, D.C., over the Fourth of July weekend. Delegates sported buttons with provocative slogans such as “Gay marriage causes Global Warming only because we are so hot!,” “Hate is not a family value,” “The ‘Christian Right’ is neither” and “Gay Rights are civil rights.”

    The delegates passed dozens of hard-hitting resolutions that now become the NEA’s official policy. The resolutions authorize NEA members and employees to lobby for those goals in the halls of Congress and state capitols.

    NEA resolutions cover the waterfront of all sorts of political issues that have nothing to do with improving education for schoolchildren, such as supporting statehood for the District of Columbia, a “single-payer health care plan” (i.e., government-run), gun control, ratification of the International Criminal Court Treaty, and taking steps “to change activities that contribute to global climate change.”

    The NEA fiercely opposes any competition for public schools, such as vouchers, tuition tax credits, parental option plans or public support of any kind to non-public schools. The NEA strongly opposes designating English as our official language even though such a designation is supported by more than 80 percent of Americans.

    The NEA opposes homeschooling unless children are taught by state-licensed teachers using a state-approved curriculum. The NEA wants to bar homeschooled students from participating in any extracurricular activities in public schools even though their parents pay school taxes.

    And that's only the beginning. Children should have access to counseling that will help them determine their gender identity, and all kinds of other atrocities. More of the ugly truth here:

    The NEA spells out its policies

    hat tip: The Papa

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    has spoken at 10:10 AM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, July 27, 2008
    Sunday snippets...

    Two weeks from today we leave on our BIG family vacation in Tennessee. There is still so much to do, but the last two weeks are the most fun. We often comment when we're about to do one of these that we almost don't want it to start, because the minute it does, the time is already ticking off the clock on our week together. So really, the prep time and all the fun phone calls and emails that go back and forth are as much fun as the actual vacation!

    The Papa and I, freshly back from our anniversary trip where we ate way too much really good food, have started back on a controlled-carb eating plan (sounds better than low-carb diet, huh?). While both of us would like to take off some pounds, my main impetus is my health...I'm seeing my blood sugar numbers creep up to alarming levels, and my blood pressure could use some attention as well. Controlled carb is the ONLY way I've ever been able to take off weight, get the blood sugar under control without meds or insulin, and see my cholesterol and triglyceride numbers in the safe range. And now that the American Diabetes Association has given a grudging nod to this approach, maybe I won't have to fight my doctor about it. And maybe I'll be able to get off the nasty Metformin.

    Haven't finished any books lately, partly because I'm trying to read so many at once! I'm listening to four and reading two, so it's going pretty slowly. Maybe vacation will see me finish off several and start some new ones!

    Several people have been asking me lately about the iPhone and whether I'd buy it again if I had it to do over. I don't have a black and white answer, but for those of you who are trying to make a decision about one, think about it very carefully. And especially if you already have a BlackBerry--you might want to stick with it until some of the iPhone bugs have been worked out. There are a lot of features about mine I like, but I am not convinced it's worth three or four times what other phones cost. And if you're running it with a PC rather than a Mac, get ready for some major headaches.

    So the really big news around here this week was yesterday's performance of Psalty's Funtastic Family. The house has been swimming in paint and glitter and scripts and costumes and all the trappings that made the musical a night to remember. And every one of the six kids who live here was involved in some way, so the excitement level was high and so were the noise and activity levels. No one needed any caffeine around here, though there were a FEW Mountain Dews consumed late at night :-)

    The Del Sisters started us off with some mesmerizing harp/violin duets...

    Shelley, who did much of the music and choreography for the musical, also sang and acted as Psaltina, in a fabulous costume made by Teresa F....I'm maintaining that Shelley only did this so she had an excuse for buying an outrageous pair of shoes. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it :-)

    Grandson Jonathan and our dear friend Anaiah started the musical with the barn sketch...

    The famous "Body Song"...

    Psalty (Cody L.) and Psaltina, with the Booklets: the Meeker sisters and Tim F....

    Jonathan learns about singing with joy from the Psalty family...

    Granddaughter Abigail and Malachi H. showed remarkable poise during their solos...

    Following the performance, our church treated the crowd of nearly 200 to a Texas BBQ dinner. I was eating so much I didn't get pictures of that :-)

    Congratulations to CJ, Bethany, and Shelley Warren for producing a real "barn burner," and to all the kids and grownups of COG whose hard work and cooperation made this a beautiful illustration of the Body of Christ. You're the best!

    Snip, snip, that's all folks!

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    has spoken at 10:30 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, July 25, 2008
    Pinning hopes on the Big Mo(jave)
    Okay, I gotta think of a way to leverage this kind of strategy with my kids:

    REDMOND, Wash.--After months of searching for ways to defend its oft-maligned Windows operating system, Microsoft may just have found its best weapon: Vista's skeptics.

    Spurred by an e-mail from someone deep in the marketing ranks, Microsoft last week traveled to San Francisco, rounding up Windows XP users who had negative impressions of Vista. The subjects were put on video, asked about their Vista impressions, and then shown a "new" operating system, code-named Mojave. More than 90 percent gave positive feedback on what they saw. Then they were told that "Mojave" was actually Windows Vista.

    "Oh wow," said one user, eliciting exactly the exclamation that Microsoft had hoped to garner when it first released the operating system more than 18 months ago. Instead, the operating system got mixed reviews and criticisms for its lack of compatibility and other headaches.

    To be sure, the focus groups didn't have to install Vista or hook it up to their existing home network. Still, the emotional appeal of the "everyman" trying Vista and liking it clearly packs an emotional punch, something the company has desperately needed. Microsoft is still trying to figure out just how it will use the Mojave footage in its marketing, though it will clearly have a place.

    The Mojave project is likely to be just one of many efforts designed to resuscitate Vista's image as well as lend strength to the Windows platform among stepped-up competition from Apple and Google.

    Good luck, Microsoft. When are you gonna realize that rehabilitating Vista is a lost cause?

    Microsoft looks to 'Mojave' to revive Vista's image

    hat tip: The Papa, again

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    has spoken at 3:04 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    The idea that people have an innate mathematical ability has been questioned by a study of an Amazonian tribe that has no sense of number.

    The ability of tribal adults of the Pirahã to conceptualise numbers is no better than that of infants or even some animals and their language, with only 300 speakers, has no word even to express the concept of "one" or any other specific number.

    The team, led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor of brain and cognitive sciences Edward Gibson, found that members of the Pirahã tribe in remote northwestern Brazil use language to express relative quantities such as "some" and "more," but not precise numbers.

    It is often assumed that counting is an innate part of human cognition, said Prof Gibson, "but here is a group that does not count. They could learn, but it's not useful in their culture, so they've never picked it up."

    Hmmm...I think I've had some kids who must have some connection to the Pirahã tribe. Maybe some grandkids as well.

    (I see in the photo that even the use of homeschool manipulatives didn't help these poor folks.

    Yeah, BTDT.)

    Amazon tribe has no words for different numbers

    hat tip: The Papa

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    has spoken at 2:41 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    This is perhaps the funniest piece of political satire so far this election season.


    Gerard Baker, The (UK) Times Online

    The anointed one's pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a miracle in action - and a blessing to all his faithful followers

    And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

    The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

    When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”

    The only thing that takes away from its humor is that so many people take it seriously! Read the rest here:

    He ventured forth

    Double hat tip: Pam and The Papa

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    has spoken at 11:16 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    Priorities speak loudly.

    Unfortunately, the MSM won't.

    Sightseeing or Wounded Soldiers? For Obama, an Easy Choice

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    has spoken at 12:50 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Hide the children.

    FORMER NASA astronaut and moon-walker Dr Edgar Mitchell - a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission - has stunningly claimed aliens exist.

    And he says extra-terrestrials have visited Earth on several occasions - but the alien contact has been repeatedly covered up by governments for six decades.

    Dr Mitchell, 77, said during a radio interview that sources at the space agency who had had contact with aliens described the beings as 'little people who look strange to us.'

    He said supposedly real-life ET's were similar to the traditional image of a small frame, large eyes and head.

    I sent this to The Papa and he replied, "Like I say, when some folks get older their brains turn to mush."

    I told him we have no way of knowing how old these aliens are.

    Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up


    has spoken at 8:41 AM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008
    Two very different doll stories.

    This one is a doll for little girls dreaming of growing up to be bad girls.

    This one is, uh, I guess, for big girls who don't want to have little girls but would like to pretend they do? I dunno. This is very....very....weird.


    has spoken at 7:59 PM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    I started to just send this to Blair, but then I decided there might be a lot of you out there, struggling to make and decorate cakes for your kids' birthdays, your grandkids' graduations, your nieces' weddings, who would enjoy the camaraderie. This is a HOOT!

    Cake Wrecks


    has spoken at 6:31 PM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    ...our 35th anniversary celebration getaway is now tucked away in the sweet memory book that comprises three and a half decades of priceless memories. The latest chapter was a complete delight.

    Sunday after church, we drove north into the Texas Hill Country, and to my great surprise pulled in at a charming bed and breakfast where I'd stayed once before several years ago. Rose Hill Manor, located in Stonewall, TX between Fredericksburg and Johnson City, is close enough to the nearby towns to provide pleasant things to do during the day (and especially on weekends), but secluded enough to be relaxing and romantic and restful. And for us, it was all of those.

    The most remarkable feature of this lovely inn is its restaurant--no doubt one of the best kept secrets in this part of the state. John and I splurged with a five-course meal to die for, enhanced by five excellent wine pairings. Here are pictures, albeit not ones that do justice to the dishes since they were taken with my phone in lighting that was designed for ambience and not photography...

    Amuse Bouche

    White Gazpacho
    Picpuol De Pinet, France

    Handmade Parpadelle with Wild Mushrooms, Asparagus, Pearl Onions and Parmesan Cream
    Chateau Lamy Corbieres, France

    Spot Prawn Spring Rolls with Coriander, Cucumber, Mint Miso and Coconut Sauce
    Pfeffingen Estate Dry Riesling, Germany

    Grilled New York Strip with Garlic Potatoes and Tomato-Pine Nut Relish
    Murphy Goode Liars Dice Zinfandel, California

    Our Famous El Rey Chocolate Dome
    Sonoma Creek Merlot, California


    ...and of course, the vintage couple...

    All right, so that was the most wine I've ever had at one sitting, and both of us were glad we were walking back to our cottage...but it was a pleasant walk :-)

    Thank you, my love, for a dreamy retreat and for 35 years of being my knight in shining armor. Happily ever after is not just in fairy tales...

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    has spoken at 1:27 PM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    Saturday, July 19, 2008
    The Papa and I are off tomorrow after church and brunch, to...well, I'm not sure to where, but away! Sunday we're celebrating our first 35 years whizzing by in each other's arms, and I can hardly wait to start on the next 35 :-)

    So, if you check back for the Snippets, they probably won't be here. I'll be sure to give a report on just where we went on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Have a great Sunday!


    has spoken at 10:53 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Americans are beginning to notice Obama's elevated opinion of himself.

    There's nothing new about narcissism in politics. Every senator looks in the mirror and sees a president. Nonetheless, has there ever been a presidential nominee with a wider gap between his estimation of himself and the sum total of his lifetime achievements?

    Obama is a three-year senator without a single important legislative achievement to his name, a former Illinois state senator who voted "present" nearly 130 times. As president of the Harvard Law Review, as law professor and as legislator, has he ever produced a single notable piece of scholarship? Written a single memorable article? His most memorable work is a biography of his favorite subject: himself.

    Fortunately for Obama, the Germans have decided to save him from himself and from what would almost certainly be a near-fatal "Brandenburg moment." Ugh. Read more if you can bear to...

    The Audacity of Vanity


    has spoken at 12:27 AM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, July 17, 2008
    Welcome news in my book!

    Oh Baby! Births Set Record in 2007

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    has spoken at 10:22 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008
    My granddaughter turned four today.

    And her mommy has written a moving tribute to Carrie and to motherhood that I wouldn't want you to miss.

    But maybe it's just me.

    Happy to Be So

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    has spoken at 10:26 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008
    It's an interesting time in our country. I'm not feeling good today so I've been sitting up in bed watching story after story about the economy--oil, food, the auto industry, the housing market, mortgage institutions, banking, the stock market, the value of the dollar. Lyric called this morning and said she was driving past and seeing first-hand the line snaking around the block in front of Indymac Bank, investors desperately trying to withdraw their life savings or the money for next month's rent. And all of us are juggling the dollars and putting more each month in the gasoline column! Most of us have never lived through a time when there was this much uncertainty and concern about the future.

    What I'm sensing today as I watch the coverage is that we're on the edge of a nationwide panic. And panic can create an atmosphere where we are likely to take measures that end up producing widespread and devastating unintended consequences. Federal bailouts and quick votes on bills that give support packages to groups and industries who are feeling the current pain threaten to inflict real wounds on our future. New entitlements doled out by the government (read: your tax dollars) may very well imprison our grandchildren, for it's a rare entitlement devised in crisis that was ever revoked or even reduced when the crisis was averted.

    If we don't tighten our belts and refuse to take what seem like the easy paths out of this current mess, we will only compound the problems and pass them off, exponentially, to the little guys at the local preschool. I'm afraid that Boomers are all too ready to do this, feeling that we've paid our dues and should be allowed to retire in luxurious comfort while our grandchildren and their grandchildren are left holding the bill.

    Why we as Americans feel we're owed $1.50 gas or a low-interest 30 year mortgage on a place we really can't afford will be left to the social historians, but I'm afraid we're going to jeopardize even our current levels of affluence by bailing out everyone who has felt disadvantaged by the downturn. Let's let our government stick to the functions assigned to it by our constitution, and let's give churches and private charities the chance to "bail out" those truly falling through the cracks.

    The rest, if history is any measure, will sort itself out.

    Granny has spoken ;-)

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    has spoken at 3:14 PM
    8 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, July 14, 2008
    This too shall pass...
    Remember when everything was caused by El Nino?

    Yeah, well now it's global warming.
    More Americans are likely to suffer from kidney stones in the coming years as a result of global warming, according to researchers at the University of Texas.

    Kidney stones, which are formed from dissolved minerals in the urine and can be extremely painful, are often caused by caused by dehydration, either by not drinking enough liquid or losing too much due to high heat conditions.

    Yes. They're serious. Hey, it's hard finding a researching job these days.

    Global warming may increase kidney stones


    has spoken at 11:12 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, July 13, 2008
    Sunday snippets...

    In the past 48 hours I've been left in a puddle of my own tears a dozen times as I've watched FOX News' amazing coverage of the life and death of Tony Snow. I think I love him more than ever after seeing the concentrated attention to this most rare and remarkable man. And I think the highest compliment I can pay him is to say that he bears quite a resemblance to my husband and the father of my children...

    And speaking of The Papa...he has told me to be ready to vacate the premises after church next Sunday morning and be away for two nights. I don't know where...don't know what we'll be doing {vbg} but I do know that it will be in joyous celebration of the event you'll see in the righthand sidebar calendar. News next week. Or not :-)

    My girls' oatmeal raisin cookies make one of the world's best breakfasts. Okay, it's a recipe I've been making all my life, but they've been making them so long now that I think of them as theirs. And eating them is better than baking them anyway.

    On the subject of food...we had a delightful family over for lunch today, and two of the girls write a lovely food blog. Go check it out and get it on your bloglines, and do leave them a comment to let them know you were there! Del Sisters Kitchen

    We're in that oppressive part of the year where the 7-day forecast looks like this:
    With nary a drop of rain in sight. And in this part of the country where it's still in the mid-90's at 8:30 in the evening, it really wears me down.

    My crazy kids have bought tickets for the 12:01 a.m. showing of "The Dark Knight" (rated PG-13 for "intense sequences of violence and some menace" LOL) so they can be some of the very first to see it. Who'da thunk that my children and grandchildren would be so crazy about a character I watched as a child? Same Bat-channel; whole different Bat-time...

    Our big family vacation is now less than a month away...time to be getting all the details in place. 27 of us in one big house for a week requires a course in logistics!

    From this morning's service, words that remind me Whose I am...

    O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
    Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.

    (from "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," lyrics by Robert Robinson, 1735-1790)

    Have a lovely week!

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    has spoken at 7:11 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Saturday, July 12, 2008
    On the way back from dinner last night, we stopped and checked the mail and were greeted with this emergency notification. Please stifle the giggles. (Bold is mine):

    Dear Valued Sam's Club Member,

    Thank you for your recent purchase of a Member's Mark Gas Grill with Oven (#882960). We hope you are enjoying your grill. It has come to the manufacturer's attention that your grill may contain two misspellings located on the tempered glass control panel. The misspellings are NOT a safety hazard but can be misleading.

    If your grill is affected, the misspellings would be located at the searing burner and rear burner control knobs. The control knob marking should read "IGNITE/ON" but it regrettably may read "IGNITE/NO."

    In conjunction with Sam's Club, the manufacturer has committed to correcting the spelling error. We have included with this letter two weatherproof stickers that can be permanently affixed to the control panel over the misspelled words if you desire. If you feel that the stickers are not an appropriate correction for you, please call the manufacturer, Mean Young Trading Limited, at your earliest convenience and they will schedule a service technician to come to your home and replace your control panel. They can be reached at 1-800-XXX-XXXX or If you choose to email them, please provide them with your name, address and telephone number so they can contact you.

    We strive for excellence in Member service, and your complete satisfaction with our products is our number one goal. If you have any questions, please call our Sam's Club Call Center at 1-888-XXX-XXXX.

    Again, thank you for your patronage, and we apologize for any inconvenience.


    Patty Warwick
    Sr. Vice President, Experiential Shopper
    Sam's Club

    And, as promised, on the bottom of the letter are affixed two small stickers that say "IGNITE/ON."

    Three points here:

    1) Every company, and every department of every company, needs proofreaders.

    2) When you outsource your manufacturing, including translation of labels and manuals to Hong Kong, you need more than a proofreader. You need an American. (I know that's not PC, but I'm just sayin'...) A Chinese-speaking proofreader will read "NO" and think that's a perfectly good English word.

    3) What else but a hyper-litigious society would require not only this letter, BUT THE OFFER OF A TECHNICIAN TO REPLACE YOUR WHOLE CONTROL PANEL for the misspelling of a TWO-LETTER word? I know, just think of all the tragedies that could occur...

    The Papa says that he noticed it the first time he opened the grill, and thought to himself, "Oh, they made a mistake and wrote "no" for "on." End of story.

    Only, in today's America, it can't be the end of the story.

    Now where was that number...

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    has spoken at 9:43 AM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    If you're younger than I am, you probably don't remember Dr. Michael DeBakey, who died yesterday at 99. But regardless of your age, you've almost certainly had a friend or family member who has benefited from one of the scores of inventions or procedures that proceeded from DeBakey's brain as he labored most of his life to increase lifespan through repairing damaged hearts. A whole generation of cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons derived their inspiration from DeBakey's brilliance and courage.

    His patients ranged from penniless peasants from the Third World to such famous figures as the Duke of Windsor, the Shah of Iran, King Hussein of Jordan, Turkish President Turgut Ozal, Nicaraguan Leader Violetta Chamorro and Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.

    But he said celebrities don't get special treatment on the operating table: "Once you incise the skin, you find that they are all very similar."

    DeBakey, the man, has passed from the scene. The DeBakey legacy lives on in every person who's had bypass surgery or any number of other life-saving interventions of the heart.

    Pioneering heart doctor Michael DeBakey dead at 99

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    has spoken at 9:19 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Tony Snow, RIP

    Tony Snow, Former White House Press Secretary and FOX News Anchor, Dies at 53

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    has spoken at 8:38 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, July 11, 2008
    And from the files of "You can't make this stuff up".....
    ....comes this story, one more in a line of developments that will gradually remove any concept of public decency:

    Bristol City Council wants to prune bushes and remove cover from an area known as the Downs to improve the landscape and encourage rare wildlife.

    But its own g*ay rights group has opposed the move, claiming that cutting back the bushes was "discriminating" to homos*exual men who used the area for late night outdoor s*ex known as dogging.

    Work on the beauty spot has been temporarily delayed while talks with g*ay rights groups take place to try and break the deadlock.

    And like I've said before, don't take any solace from the fact that this is in England. The shrinking globe makes stuff like this contagious, and you can bet that rights groups here are cheering and looking around at the undergrowth in their "neighborhoods."

    Plans to clear undergrowth from g*ay s*ex spot branded discriminatory

    (NOTE: modifications to the spelling of words, both in my copy and in the quotes, are added by me to help avoid searchers for these words from landing on my site.)

    hat tip: The Papa

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    has spoken at 3:59 PM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    I don't make this stuff up.

    Germany plans to give vote to babies

    has spoken at 1:19 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    There's a host of scary things these days...
    ...but I'm not sure you could beat this one:

    Woman's Cell Phone Turns Out to Be Live Bat

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    has spoken at 1:13 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    I'm going to say right off that I have no "litmus test" for my presidential candidate that would include whether or not he (or she) is a believing, regenerate Christian. I've known many committed Christian men and observed many Christian politicians that I wouldn't want anywhere near the White House. Conversely, I've trusted many government leaders who did not possess or profess faith in Christ.

    What I strongly object to, however, is when a candidate decides it's to his advantage to couch his beliefs and his campaign in spiritual terms and woo a segment of the electorate by attempting to sound like an orthodox believer, while at the same time denying the non-negotiables of the faith in circles where orthodoxy is not so fashionable.

    Here is Barack Obama, speaking to Cathleen Fasani, author of a forthcoming book on the spiritual lives of public people:

    "I'm rooted in the Christian tradition," said Obama. He then adds something most Christians will see as universalism: "I believe there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people."

    Falsani correctly brings up John 14:6 (and how many journalists would know such a verse, much less ask a question based on it?) in which Jesus says of Himself, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." That sounds exclusive, but Obama says it depends on how this verse is heard. According to Falsani, Obama thinks that "all people of faith -- Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, everyone -- know the same God." (Her words.)

    And later:

    Here's Obama telling Falsani, "The difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and proselytize. There's the belief, certainly in some quarters, that if people haven't embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior, they're going to hell." Falsani adds, "Obama doesn't believe he, or anyone else, will go to hell. But he's not sure he'll be going to heaven, either."

    "I don't presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. When I tuck in my daughters at night and I feel like I've been a good father to them, and I see that I am transferring values that I got from my mother and that they're kind people and that they're honest people, and they're curious people, that's a little piece of heaven."

    So my question is, just what belief DOES qualify one to be viewed as a Christian?

    Obama is no Joshua; denies uniqueness of Christ, hell

    hat tip: dee dee


    has spoken at 12:52 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, July 10, 2008
    A lot of voters during this election season who would otherwise vote Republican are concerned enough about the availability of affordable health care services that they are considering a vote for Obama. Why? Because he is known to favor a Canadian-style single-payer health system. And the liberal media has made single-payer the panacea for all that ails American health.

    But now, one of the architects of the Canadian system has the courage to speak the truth: it's in shambles and there's now no way to fix it. Unfortunate Canadians who can't get health care through their own system can cross the border for American care; but how many Americans know that obtaining private health insurance in Canada is illegal? And guess's now being proposed as the only remedy for the Canadian crisis:

    "We thought we could resolve the system's problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it," says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: "We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice."

    Castonguay advocates contracting out services to the private sector, going so far as suggesting that public hospitals rent space during off-hours to entrepreneurial doctors. He supports co-pays for patients who want to see physicians. Castonguay, the man who championed public health insurance in Canada, now urges for the legalization of private health insurance.

    In America, these ideas may not sound shocking. But in Canada, where the private sector has been shunned for decades, these are extraordinary views, especially coming from Castonguay. It's as if John Maynard Keynes, resting on his British death bed in 1946, had declared that his faith in government interventionism was misplaced.

    What would drive a man like Castonguay to reconsider his long-held beliefs? Try a health care system so overburdened that hundreds of thousands in need of medical attention wait for care, any care; a system where people in towns like Norwalk, Ontario, participate in lotteries to win appointments with the local family doctor.

    When it's too good to be true, it's too good to be true. May God save us from trying to emulate a failure.

    Read the whole article here:

    Canadian Health Care We So Envy Lies In Ruins, Its Architect Admits

    hat tip: Marty Nemko's blog

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    has spoken at 9:54 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny


    Brandon REALLY needs new golf clubs.

    hat tip: people who really care.


    has spoken at 9:30 AM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, July 08, 2008

    I'd suspected as much, but had little to go on but my own observations. Here's at least anecdotal evidence to show the left-leaning biases of the administrators and top editors of Wikipedia, supposedly the people's encyclopedia. More like the People's Republic of Political Correctness.

    (Oh, and you can add Google News to that as well. Unlike Wikipedia, they don't even deny it.)


    hat tip: The Papa

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    has spoken at 2:29 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, July 07, 2008
    Remember our discussion about Texas' Governor Rick Perry's "executive order" mandating that all sixth-grade girls receive the Gardasil shot? The vaccine protects against HPV, a s*xually transmitted virus, which is one of the leading causes of cervical cancer.

    I said at the time that I hadn't formed an opinion on whether the safety or efficacy of the vaccine was a concern; I was outraged at the attack on parental rights represented by this order. And yes, I believe our Republican governor was allowing himself to be used as a tool of Merck, the drug company manufacturing (and therefore SELLING) the vaccine.

    But now there are early indications that in addition to the heavy-handed tactics insisting on compliance, there are other concerns with the safety of the vaccine itself. So, just as you take care with all the other vaccines you give your child, do your homework and stay alert for the latest news on Gardasil. You may have to dig, because the MSM and the medical establishment aren't anxious for you to know the risks. The FDA has refused to allow the use of Gardasil for women older than 26, but for your 11 year old daughter, it's okay.

    I'm linking here to a blog giving more details, including this very important point: there is a vested interest in removing the consequences of promiscuity, indeed in the case of Texas of forcing the removal of the consequences against the will of the parents. It's one more step in producing a society where the pursuit of pleasure is the highest goal, unimpeded by natural consequences.

    Note: just as with AIDS and other STD's, there are girls and women who contract HPV through rape or incest. This may, in some cases, actually lead to cervical cancer, and that is a tragedy. But forcing you to have your sixth-grade daughter vaccinated against it, especially when there are concerns about the safety of the vaccine, is downright foolish on more levels than one.

    Gardasil Has Suspected Link To Paralysis, Brain Damage & Death

    Finally: "Complaints cause cervical cancer vaccine scrutiny"

    hat tip: trish

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    has spoken at 2:51 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Just when you think the world can't get any sillier:

    LONDON, July 7 (UPI) -- Toddlers who say "yuck" when given flavorful foreign food may be exhibiting racist behavior, a British government sponsored organization says.

    The London-based National Children's Bureau released a 366-page guide counseling adults on recognizing racist behavior in young children, The Telegraph reported Monday.

    The guide, titled Young Children and Racial Justice, warns adults that babies must also be included in the effort to eliminate racism because they have the ability to "recognize different people in their lives."

    The bureau says to be aware of children who "react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying 'yuck'."

    "Racist incidents among children in early years settings tend to be around name-calling, casual thoughtless comments and peer group relationships," the guide says.

    Staff members are advised not to ignore racist actions and to condemn them when they occur.

    Please, take my advice. When serving your babies ethnic foods for the first few times, draw the blinds and play loud music. And don't take them to Chinese restaurants.

    Kids who say 'yuck' may be racist

    hat tip: trish

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    has spoken at 2:28 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, July 06, 2008
    Sunday snippets...
    All of a sudden I'm looking at kitchen books and shows and web sites everywhere. But I can see myself being (uncharacteristically) patient as I work through how I want to do the remodel...there is SO much I want to do that I think I'm actually going to have to start with a designer or even an architect so I don't make any big, expensive mistakes.

    "They say that breaking up is hard to do..." (Am I dating myself if I quote a Neil Sedaka song??) This week I'm hearing pundits everywhere talk about how Obama is "breaking up with the left." And though it seems that way and the types are none too happy, look deeper into every single "flip-flop" and you'll see the real story. For instance: he claims he's going to keep and strengthen Bush's "faith-based initiatives." Well for the first thing, most of that plan didn't ever pass anyway. Plus, he insists that any church/parachurch org getting approved for his programs would have to agree not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Well, there goes a huge chunk of the programs that are really faith-based enough to make a difference. At this point, I think Obama is actually WANTING people to think he's flip-flopping when he's not. No matter how much the lefties complain, they're going to vote for him anyway. And in order to get the crucial middle, he HAS to appear that he's abandoning some of the more radical positions on the war, on FISA, and on taxes. Stay tuned.

    So how was your 4th of July? We had a nice group of family and friends here and we broke in the new grill. And while out shopping this week, I made sort of an impulse buy of a 10 x 10 gazebo which allowed us some extra shade and atmosphere on our deck. Little did we know we'd also need it to shelter us from the rain which hit, of course, just as the chicken went on the grill!

    We decided to get XM satellite radio in time for our big road trip this summer. The kids are excited about being able to listen to Broadway showtunes and movie soundtracks, and I will be happy to check in with FOX news on the road. It was frustrating, however, to get the radio and then realize it doesn't come with everything you need and we had to go looking for the adaptor we need to make it go through the FM radio system in the car. If you get one, talk to someone who's installed one before!

    One more (much) smaller purchase lately: while at Lyric's two weeks ago we were shopping and I spotted something I'd seen on TV and already done a little bit of research on. So I picked it up and she and I promptly fell in love with it. And now The Papa keeps stealing it! It's the PedEgg--a little contraption that makes a pedicure, at least the dead skin part, easier than should be legal. And since nail salons are now legally prevented from doing the stuff they USED to do to make your feet nice and soft, it's nice to have a safe and effective option at home! So go get'll be one of the best ten bucks you've ever pampered yourself with :-)

    I just counted, and I've finished 29 books so far this year, so I'm on pace to top 50. Currently reading Three Cups of Tea, a birthday gift from Lyric, and listening to several on the iPod.

    One other thing I did the math on yesterday: was it time to trade in one of our two Suburbans on a new, small gas-efficient GM car while GM is offering 0% interest? After a lot of complicated calculations that include gas prices, distances, and the patterns of use among our three vehicles/five drivers, I concluded that gas would have to reach $10 a gallon before it would pay us to take on another car payment, higher insurance, etc. So for now, we're a two-Suburban one Toyota family. Spending a lot on gas.

    Beloved lyrics from this morning's service...

    Summer and winter and springtime and harvest
    Sun, moon and stars in their courses to shine
    Join with all nature in manifold witness
    To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love!

    (from "Great is Thy Faithfulness," lyrics by Thomas Chisholm, 1923)

    May God's great faithfulness be seen and acknowledged in your life this week...

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    has spoken at 6:55 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Saturday, July 05, 2008

    While stories abound of government aid being squandered, here's a beautiful example of private (in this case, a church) initiative making an investment with exponential returns.

    The Luckiest Girl in the World

    hat tip: Lyric

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    has spoken at 7:46 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    With four kids in college either full or part time this fall, here's a topic most interesting to us:

    The Most Defensive People in the World

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    has spoken at 6:20 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, July 04, 2008
    Some stories are outrageous enough to get me out of a funk :-)

    Sharon Stone's remarks about how bad karma caused the deaths of millions of innocent Chinese men, women and children during the recent earthquakes shocked the Chinese government, which promptly banned her and her films from the country.

    Her callous statements also horrifed Dior, which dumped her from its ad campaigns. Even the Dalai Lama has taken her off his speed dial.

    But PETA says it's not surprised. Not one bit. In fact, the organization has sent the actress a letter offering to pay for a scan of the frontal region of her brain to see if her empathy deprivation is the result of a physical defect.

    Hopefully this "offer" is being made somewhat tongue-in-cheek. And I don't like either party here, believe me. But it does give one pause: how long before people with anger problems or excessive shyness, or people with strong religious convictions, or meat-eaters, or those who have any behavior outside whatever is considered the societal norm, are required to have brain scans to try to discover a physical cause (and then, presumably, a "cure") for the anomalies? I'm not sure that it's too far down the road.

    It's all in your head, Sharon

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    has spoken at 2:42 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Yeah, so I'm in a blogging funk. Several things have crossed my mind in the past few days that I wanted to comment on here, but the impulse to do other things instead has won out. It's made me think about how much longer I want to do this...but every time I think about stopping I end up not liking that option either. So that will be down the road a way...

    I've just finished marinating loads of chicken, shaped 32 hamburgers, and gotten a few minor things ready for our cookout this evening. We'll be initiating the new grill and enjoying family and friends to celebrate Independence Day. No fireworks here...we're covered by a burn ban and even though I'm sure we'll hear people all around us violating the ban, we won't be. And we hope that none of the violators sets off a spark that puts our drought-baked area in real trouble.

    Yesterday I came to a decision: I'm going to do a kitchen remodel. It may not happen for two years as we save money and do a lot of research, but it has to happen. I mean, gut the whole thing and start over, putting in the kitchen that the builder refused to give me the first time around. By the time I've lived here ten years, I want to LOVE my kitchen.

    Okay, off to make guacamole :-)

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    has spoken at 1:05 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, July 01, 2008
    And for today's (tragic) lesson in American government...
    Why did the Founders bother toiling in the summer heat of Philadelphia in 1787 writing a Constitution when they could have relied on the consciences of Supreme Court justices like Anthony Kennedy instead?

    No answers, but the sad truth here:

    The High Court's Supreme Clown


    has spoken at 11:57 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Okay, the juxtaposition of these two stories draws some helpful lines for us as we think about what the increasing Islamicization of the West is going to mean to civilization.

    First, go here.

    And then, compare with this story.

    The Muslim faithful would be more concerned about the former than the latter.

    How about you?

    hat tip: trish

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    has spoken at 9:12 PM
    0 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
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    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!"