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
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  • World Vision

  • Granny Cooks (and Eats)!

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  • Full Bellies, Happy Kids
  • A Year of Crockpotting

  • Granny's House (and yours!)

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

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

  • Granny stays informed...
  • Real Clear Politics
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  • 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
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  • Granny is watching!
  • Blue Pencil Editing
  • Mighty Red Pen
  • Conjugate Visits

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

  • Thursday, October 30, 2008
    I won't be here at sunset tonight, but here's a late-day view from the balcony...


    has spoken at 9:50 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Karl Rove, one of the smartest (and kindest, despite his reputation on the Dem blogs) men in politics, has this advice today:

    Don't Let the Polls Affect Your Vote
    They were wrong in 2000 and 2004.

    hat tip: Pam Y.


    has spoken at 5:17 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    This is scary:

    DUBAI (Reuters) - An al Qaeda leader has called for President George W. Bush and the Republicans to be "humiliated," without endorsing any party in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, according to a video posted on the Internet.

    "O God, humiliate Bush and his party, O Lord of the Worlds, degrade and defy him," Abu Yahya al-Libi said at the end of sermon marking the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, in a video posted on the Internet.

    Whether or not they want to admit they are "endorsing," it's clear who al Qaeda think will be the better partner in its plans...

    Qaeda wants Republicans, Bush "humiliated"


    has spoken at 2:58 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Many of us appreciate a good, succinct economics lesson. Economics may be nicknamed "the dismal science," but there is much about our current situation that is NOT dismal. Here's the take of one of my heroes, Victor Davis Hanson:

    America Compared to What?


    has spoken at 2:11 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Good morning, Hawaii...
    I love Hawaii.

    I can never visit too many times. I love the crowded, tourist-y Waikiki and the lonely beaches on the windward side and the wild surf on the north shore and the desert of the Waianae coast...I love it all. I don't love GETTING here, but then it wouldn't be what it is if it weren't a long way away.

    We spent several years here during two different military tours, so coming back here now is, in a very special way, coming home as well as vacationing. [Of course, as you know, my trip is NOT a vacation; it's a mission of mercy to my poor husband who is forced to be here because of job demands. He loves his country...he grits his teeth and just does it. And I can't let him bear that burden alone.]

    Unfortunately, for four of the days I'm here he will be off working, and I will have to fend myself by shopping, lying on the beach, taking pictures, sleeping, reading, and listening to da kine music. Hey, I'm up for it. I can do this.

    Part of any Hawaiian vacation is getting used to several hours of time it's not unusual to be awake VERY early on the first couple of mornings here. The Papa got up and made coffee and we enjoyed it on the balcony of the 22nd floor...and I took a few phone snapshots of the lightening sky. It was characteristically overcast and we didn't get any spectacular sunrise, but it was fun to see the changes. Normally we stay in the Hilton tower that you'll see on the left, but this time we're in the one that's a little farther back--still a lovely vantage. Here was our view at 6:15 am... 6:22

    ...6:35 6:50 7:15

    at 7:35 8:10

    ...and then pivoting slightly to my right to see the city of Honolulu coming alive.

    Yes, it's going to be a lovely day.

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    has spoken at 11:49 AM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008
    Words on Wednesday

    I know I said no W.O.W. today...but I'm spending a lot of time waiting in airports and reading/surfing and I find that the funniest things annoy me. I was checking a message board and saw someone wishing her friend a "Happy belated birthday." Okay, maybe this girl DID have a belated birthday, but that's not what the writer was assuming. She meant that she hadn't been on the board to wish her friend happy birthday ON her birthday, and she was now wishing her a happy birthday, belatedly. So what she should have written is, "Belated happy birthday."

    If your friend is sick or in Lower Baltia on her birthday and you can't celebrate it on time and you throw her a party the following month, you have Granny's permission to say, "Happy belated birthday." Otherwise, when it's the wish and not the birthday that's "belated," go with the one that says what you really mean.


    has spoken at 6:03 PM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    Words on Wednesday on vacation! Although it may slip around on an odd day, so be watching :-)



    has spoken at 3:07 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    If the implications of the whole "redistribution of wealth" concept are kind of hard for your kids (or you) to understand, here's a little help. Warning: Don't try this at home your favorite local restaurant.

    Income Redistribution - A fulfilling experiment

    hat tip: Jeff & Miranda

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    has spoken at 6:15 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008
    Do the math.
    Our Tax System Explained: Bar Stool Economics

    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

    So, that's what they decided to do.

    The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers,' he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.' Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.

    But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share"?

    They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so:

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

    "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!"

    "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I got!"

    "That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

    "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.

    In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

    [Our Baptist friends, of course, will say they all deserve to be beaten up for drinking, but that's another post.]

    (i'm seeking the original source for attribution...until then, hat tip: Ben A., Annie W.)


    has spoken at 1:33 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Another animal species that will soon beat the national standardized test scores in math!

    Australia scientists say bees can count to four


    has spoken at 8:33 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, October 27, 2008
    At the risk of appearing that this is a mutual link-fest, I want to point readers back to Terry's new post explaining why she's voting for John McCain. This isn't a pretty election, but the differences are significant and can't be ignored...

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    has spoken at 4:33 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    The younger Schuller is "accused" of using too much Scripture in his sermons. Dangerous.

    Crystal Confrontation


    has spoken at 4:04 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Proving that I am an equal-opportunity critic, I applaud today's guilty verdict in the case of Alaska's Sen. Ted Stevens (R). His conviction makes it more likely (though not certain) that he won't be re-elected, and this puts the Republicans at further disadvantage in the coming exucutive / legislative / judicial Obamopoly. But this is a man who has derived his popularity from bringing home the bacon, no indeed the whole hog, to his home state, possibly coming in second only to Sen. Byrd (D) of West Virginia. And along the way he seems to have accumulated a few nice little benefits for himself, ones that just happen to be illegal.

    As it happens, Gov. Palin's refusal to buckle to the political machine of which Stevens is a part explains much of the motivation for continued "investigations" of her own ethics. She has helped dislodge and discredit "business as usual" in Alaska...and that's never done without making enemies.

    At 85, it's unlikely that Stevens will do much if any jail time for his seven convictions. But perhaps the United States will no longer be held captive by his self-interest.

    Jury: Stevens guilty on seven counts


    has spoken at 3:16 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Today, Pete Du Pont at the Wall Street Journal gives us an outline of what we can expect from an Obama presidency. Get ready.

    So where is the new Obama administration likely to take us? Seven things seem certain:

    • The U.S. military will withdraw from Iraq quickly and substantially, regardless of conditions on the ground or the obvious consequence of emboldening terrorists there and around the globe.
    • Protectionism will become our national trade policy; free trade agreements with other nations will be reduced and limited.
    • Income taxes will rise on middle- and upper-income people and businesses, and individuals will pay much higher Social Security taxes, all to carry out the new president's goals of "spreading the wealth around."
    • Federal government spending will substantially increase. The new Obama proposals come to more than $300 billion annually, for education, health care, energy, environmental and many other programs, in addition to whatever is needed to meet our economic challenges. Mr. Obama proposes more than a 10% annual spending growth increase, considerably higher than under the first President Bush (6.7%), Bill Clinton (3.3%) or George W. Bush (6.4%).
    • Federal regulation of the economy will expand, on everything from financial management companies to electricity generation and personal energy use.
    • The power of labor unions will substantially increase, beginning with repeal of secret ballot voting to decide on union representation.
    • Free speech will be curtailed through the reimposition of the Fairness Doctrine to limit the conservative talk radio that so irritates the liberal establishment.
    DuPont goes on to warn that

    These policy changes will be the beginning of the Europeanization of America. There will be many more public policy changes with similar goals—nationalized health care, Kyoto-like global-warming policies, and increased education regulation and spending.

    Additional tax advantages for lower and middle income people will be enacted: a 10% mortgage tax credit that would average about $500 per household per year, a $4,000 tax credit for college tuition, a tax credit covering half of child-care expenses up to $6,000 per year, and even a $7,000 credit for purchase of a clean car.

    More important, all but the clean car credit would be "refundable," meaning people will get a check for them if they owe no taxes, which is simply a transfer of income from the government to individuals. In reality this is the beginning of a new series of entitlements for middle-class families, the longer-term effect of which will be to make those families more dependant on (and so more supportive of) larger government. The Tax Policy Center estimates that these refundable tax credits would cost the government $648 billion over 10 years.

    Unfortunately, Du Pont doesn't do enough to draw the parallels between these predictions and what has happened to Europe. You'll have to go elsewhere for that information if you want to see what lies in our future.

    But it all makes me realize the prescience of the quote often attributed to Alexander Tytler (University of Edinburgh, 1787) on the fall of Athens (the origin is unclear, but it stands on its own merit):

    A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.

    How can it happen in a time such as ours? The poorly educated (and in some cases, the poorly motivated) remain at or near the bottom of the economic "ladder." The larger the group grows, the deeper the collective resentment of the ones who rise to the top. When there is a critical mass of voters near the bottom, they can then pretty much vote themselves whatever kind of benefits they want. Soon there are enough at the bottom to force those at the top to pull them up, to get what they call an "equal playing field." But the truth is that many have already lost the game on an equal playing field and they now just want to equalize the final score.

    Oh God, save us from ourselves.

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    has spoken at 3:06 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Having four kids currently in college, I'm particularly interested in what our presidential candidates will do for students. Here is the plan as presented in this morning's San Antonio Express-News:

    Economics for College Students

    Under Barak Obama:

    You make an A. Another student makes a C-. We will give part of your grade to him/her and you will both have B's. That is fair.

    Under John McCain:

    You make an A. Another student makes a C-. You keep your A, and we'll try to help the other student raise his grade.

    My caveat is: It's not even the government's job to be helping the other student. That takes money, and the money will no doubt come from the pocket of the student who's graduating with A's, but that's another topic.

    hat tip: Vicki and Micah W.

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    has spoken at 12:14 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, October 26, 2008

    Our east coast girls are back home, having left here Friday afternoon. We miss them and Dave and all the little ones who bounced on our trampoline and around these walls for two was sad to see them go but at least it was a nice long visit this time. Special thanks to son-in-law Caleb, the one one who didn't get to come, for being so generous as to do without his family for two weeks.

    Snippets that make you go hmmmm....sent along by The Papa: There are more employees in the Department of Agriculture than there are farmers in America. There are around 775,000 words in the Bible; there are 7,000,000 words in the U. S. tax code. Don't ever say your government isn't working hard for you.

    So this is the week I leave to go give aid and comfort to the troops The Papa while he's away serving his country in Hawaii. Of course I'd really rather stay at home than be with him in a full ocean view room with a balcony at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki for a week. But you know, when you've invested 35 years with a man, you know you're going to have to make sacrifices along the way. I thought long and hard about it and decided that this is more important than anything else on my calendar ;-)

    Grandson Sam had a rough introduction to the fall cold/asthma season this week. As of today he's avoided a hospital stay but the next few days will be important in restoring him to health...

    I'm increasingly disturbed about voter fraud in this election. This morning there was an interview on the news from an election official from a county in Alabama where 110% of the residents are now registered to vote. No one seems to know how that could have happened. Hmmm. On the other hand, I heard a (much too young) commentator claim that this could be the first presidential election to be won by fraud. Obviously said commentator is too young to know much about Lyndon Baines Johnson.

    Fab Fridays here continue to provide our kids with extracurricular activities and provide the moms, and sometimes the dad, lots of relaxed time to visit, nap, catch up on their own schoolwork, etc. Halfway through our fall term I'd have to say it's a big success!

    I smiled this week to hear that one of the books that Laura Bush returns to and rereads every few years is Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. I'm about halfway through it and not in any hurry to finish--it's that good. Don't know that as long as it is I'd be willing to read this one often, but I certainly understand the appeal. I'm sorry that I got to be this old without reading it, but then I'm not sure I could/would have fully appreciated it before now.

    Today our little church was blessed with the beginnings of our orchestra....Our hymns were accompanied by our new piano, plus violin, viola, and acoustic guitar. A small but significant beginning as we seek to deepen our use and appreciation of music in the worship experience.

    From this morning's glorious worship...

    Unnumbered comforts to my soul
    thy tender care bestowed
    before my infant heart conceived
    from Whom those comforts flowed

    ~~from "When All Thy Mercies O My God", Joseph Addison (1672-1719)

    Later in the week I'll share a few pictures from our visit with the kids, but for now I leave you with these, along with the only thing I can think of to quote: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth..." (3 John 4)

    This one includes a few "almost sisters" as well...

    Have a blessed Sunday!

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    has spoken at 3:25 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Saturday, October 25, 2008
    I appreciate all the interaction in the comments of my Thursday election post. I've also received dozens of emails from readers who either prefer to remain anonymous or who are having trouble with the comment feature. It's clear to me that Christians are struggling with this issue, and that perhaps more than ever before we see the gravity of the election before us. I remember the rhetoric of the Silent Majority days when during the elections of 1980 we were warned that this was "the most important election in history." Since then, we've heard the same mantra every four years, in ever-increasing decibels. Well my friends, this is the one where I want to climb to the top of the highest skyscraper in the country and shout at the top of my lungs, "Wake up! The enemy is invading!"

    Funny, then, that I should read this morning in Habakkuk what the prophet was doing when the Babylonian invaders were on their way. Knowing that Judah was about to be overrun by the enemy, he stationed himself on the rampart, stood at the guard post, and....screamed?

    Well, not exactly. Habbakuk declares:

    I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,
    And how I may reply when I am reproved.

    (Hab. 2:1 NASB)

    I am struck by the humility here! God has told Habbakuk that his nation is about to be invaded, destroyed, and its inhabitants taken captive. And yet here we see this great prophet silent and still, waiting to see what God will say. And even more striking is that he is considering how he'll respond when he is reproved. He understands that he is not guiltless, that he is one member of a sinful nation who bears corporate responsibility for its rebellion against the living God.

    We don't have the "advantage" that Habakkuk had of knowing what God was about to do. (I'm not sure I would want to know.) Until we know that God is ready to punish our nation with the invasion of the enemy, we must work, we must warn, we must resist the invasion with every weapon we possess.

    But we must also learn from Habakkuk: let us acknowledge our guilt and consider that we have little with which to respond when we are reproved. We as a nation and I as an individual are without excuse when we consider that we have squandered the priceless gift of freedom by our laziness, our selfishness, and our greed.

    Yes, let's shout from the towers and warn that the time is short before some of the evils here are locked in place for generations by the power we've given our courts. But let us not forget that it is also a time for self-examination and repentance. Let's "keep watch to see what He will speak to me."

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    has spoken at 12:17 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    To MollyWarrenHenryCarrie at the beach

    of small voices
    inhabit these halls

    they beckon playmates
    to scurry
    pillar to post
    above my head

    outlines of elves
    scamper up stairs

    does no one hear

    but me?

    (This was originally written in August of 2005. The Slaughter elves were living with us but were away at the beach and I missed them. Tonight, I miss them even more...Since I wrote this, little Liam, Erin and Judah have scampered inside these walls and the halls whisper with their voices, too...)

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    has spoken at 12:41 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, October 24, 2008
    A very thoughtful blogger, Terry at Ornaments of Grace, linked to my election post today, and in her post she also highlighted another post by Randy Alcorn. His very persuasive words include these:

    Yesterday someone else left a comment saying, Hurry and compose a blog to the under 30's Christians who are planning to vote for a 3rd party candidate in hopes of "sending a message" to the RNC! FOCA could very well be the last nail in the coffin.

    I sympathize with wanting to send a message to the Republican Party. I have done this both in state elections and once on the presidential level. One year I wrote in a third party candidate Alan Keyes, an African American who has boldly stood up for unborn children. There is a time to do this.

    But is this the time, when failing to vote for McCain could ultimately remove hundreds of laws limiting abortion at the statewide level—informed consent and parental consent and late term abortion measures? As a physician commenting on my last blog said, prolife physicians and nurses and hospitals could find themselves with a federal mandate to perform abortions, and lose their licenses if they refuse. The Freedom of Choice Act, which Obama promised Planned Parenthood he will sign if elected president (my previous blog has this on video), could ultimately do all this and more. It may also make life very difficult for Pregnancy Resource Centers.

    Would John McCain be a great president? I don't know. Maybe he wouldn't even be a good president. There are so many claims by both candidates that their words seem like wind to me. I don't feel like I know a lot. But I do know for certain that one candidate defends the right of the unborn to live, and the other is utterly committed to be sure that it remains legal to kill them. And on THAT issue I know what God says is right and wrong.

    You can check out the rest of Randy's post here.

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    has spoken at 6:54 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, October 23, 2008
    The Quadrennial Granny's House Presidential Election Post
    The Papa and I have voted.

    We both voted (and I tell you this with his explicit permission) for John McCain.

    I've written before about my slight queasiness when participating in my state's early voting, but this time I had no choice. I will be out of state (see sidebar calendar) on Election Day. And this one is too important for me to use vacation as an excuse to keep me from voting.

    I haven't made any secret here of my political leanings or of my leaning in this particular election. But because many of you have emailed privately and asked me how I intended to vote and why, I am going to do a very difficult (and lengthy) thing and try to explain what is for me an extremely weighty decision. Some of you will be very unhappy with me by the end of this post. I don't expect to change your minds....I ask only that you hear me out to the end of my argument and consider what I have to say. (Get a BIG cup of coffee :-) )

    In the Bible, Paul tells Timothy,

    1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone -- 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior... (1 Tim. 2:13 NIV)

    There is, of course, no way to draw a perfect parallel between Paul's admonition to pray for those in authority and our responsibility to vote for them, since the recipients of the letter to Timothy had no such privilege. But I certainly see my ability to vote as an extension of that responsibility. I believe that if there had been that opportunity in Paul's day, he would have included it in his direction.

    If the liberals are successful in this election, I believe it will have been only with the help of those conservatives who think McCain isn't conservative enough. They will either stay home, or they will cast a protest vote (or what they will refer to as a conscience vote) for a candidate who has no ability to affect whether we will continue to live "peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." They will say, naturally, that they'll continue to live that kind of life no matter who is elected, but that obviously flies in the face of Paul's direction: if our leaders have no impact on the lives we live, then the prayer wouldn't matter much, would it? He says pray so that this kind of atmosphere will prevail. Let's be honest. Paul wants us to pray with a certain outcome in mind. And here is the crux of my argument.

    The Bible nowhere teaches me that I am not allowed to cast a civil vote for someone unless he's right on most everything. It gives me no such guidance. So I can assume that I am free to use my voting privilege to make the best choice for my country at the time of the election. Because my goal, as stated in Scripture, is to live a peaceful and quiet (other versions say "tranquil") life in godliness and holiness (elsewhere translated "dignity"), my vote must be cast for the candidates who will be most likely to bring about that kind of outcome. I am not free to cast a protest vote or a conscience vote so that this country can be taught the lesson it "deserves," or to shake it to its senses, or because there is a man somewhere who believes more nearly all that I believe. Yes, in some sense my vote may be what my friends will decry as "the lesser of evils." But in this fallen world, dear readers, any choice we make involving a human is the lesser of evils. In this case, my choice among the lesser of evils is the man who is most likely to be in a position to make decisions that will effect the result Paul urges us to pray for.

    You may have often made use of this outcome-based approach without thinking of it this way. If you've ever voted a "straight ticket," you've voted for an outcome rather than individual candidates. I've done this often, especially in places to which I've moved shortly before an election and where I've had no way of knowing the particular strengths or backgrounds of the individual down-ticket candidates. I vote the straight ticket because I'm voting for an atmosphere that respects the sanctity of life, individual property rights, a market-based economy, minimal government regulation and interference, and the freedom to educate our children in whatever way God directs us. Yes, I may have inadvertently voted for a man or woman here or there who does not uphold one or more of these principles, but in the absence of that specific knowledge I have voted for the party who is most likely to create that atmosphere in my community, state, and nation. I didn't stay home because I was faced with "two bad choices" or vote for an alternative candidate (Christian or not) who had no possibility of determining the direction of our government.

    But too many of us have decided that we want the whole meal, appetizer, dessert and all, and we want it now. We'd rather starve than accept just the main course, even if partaking of the main course now would give us a greater likelihood of obtaining dessert later. Better to waste away and claim that it wouldn't have been right or "godly" to accept less than we were due.

    How much sense, though, does it make to elect a man who will allow murder of millions of innocents because his opponent will only agree to save MOST of them? Or to stand by while the country elects a man who will stack the Supreme Court with justices who will nullify all the "righteous" decisions of the next five ultra-conservative, even Christian, presidents? How does that square with my prayer for a peaceful, tranquil life or even just life for unborn babies? How can I look the other way while we elect a government who will continue to spill innocent blood and chop away at our "unalienable rights...[to]life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"?

    There may very well be a visceral satisfaction as we walk away from the voting booth having pulled the lever (or in our case, pressed the button) for the candidate who, if elected, would work for pretty much 100% of what we believe in. But how soon that sweetness will turn to bitterness when we have to explain to our grandchildren why, because the opposition prevailed, their parents can't homeschool them the way we did or why it's legal to kill a newborn in the first month after birth for any of the same reasons we can abort one before birth.

    There's an important concept here. We are in the habit of thinking that we are voting for a candidate, when in truth we should be voting for an outcome. I've not been instructed by Scripture to vote for the man with the highest character or the highest percentage of "correct" votes as tabulated by the American Conservative Union or any other group. Those are certainly things I will take into consideration, because I think they will play into, and to some extent predict, whether or not he makes right decisions. But I will not choose a man (or a woman), however upright and credentialed in conservative orthodoxy, who will have no chance to bring about the tranquil life I'm instructed to pray for...and especially not when this gives the opposition the ability to select justices who will set liberal doctrine in stone for the rest of my children's and perhaps grandchildren's lives. My belief in God's sovereignty does not relieve me of the responsibility to prayerfully cast my vote for the outcome I believe He desires. I cannot pray for one outcome and cast my vote in the opposite direction and then excuse it by saying that God is in control anyway.

    Even as believers, we must acknowledge and live within the systems now in place. Joseph, Nehemiah, and Daniel and friends all served in and actively worked for the success of God-less governments. Given the opportunity, they'd surely have chosen a new paradigm. Absent that chance, they chose to serve in the one they were given. We live in a political system where 95-98% of people will vote for one of two parties. The only effect that the other 2-5% will have is to swing an election in one direction or another. The reality is that in 2008 we have two choices. Whatever you do, and however much you protest that it's not so, you will be contributing to one of two outcomes.

    Interestingly, the most salient question I've heard in this whole campaign came from the youngest of my six daughters. "Mom," she asked, "doesn't the Bible tell us that the man who doesn't provide for his own family is worse than an infidel? So then if a man has a chance to cast a vote between two candidates, one of whom is more likely to provide security for his country and will more likely provide an atmosphere of respect for the things God says are sacred, how can that man stay home and not vote? Or vote for someone who won't be elected? How is that providing for his family?"

    Out of the mouths of (yester)babes.

    I've written this post in a spirit of prayerfulness over a period of six hours. I've ranted, deleted, rearranged and reworded over and over. I have tried to avoid the inflammatory language that I've heard elsewhere, and if I have caused unnecessary offense, I hope my readers will forgive me. But I feel a burden to use what little influence I have in this space at least to contribute to the discussion in a way that honors what I'm seeing in Scripture and in society. I will honor your right to do the same.

    (The Papa, who is not a blogger, asked me to use this forum to communicate his convictions as well as mine and has contributed to the writing of this post.)

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    has spoken at 6:23 PM
    36 Backtalks to Granny

    My apologies to those of you who have tried to leave comments in the last couple of days and have found the comment link broken. There seems to be an issue with the blogs that have customized templates and embedded comment forms, so I've switched to the pop-up comment form. I don't like that option, but until they get the bugs worked out of the other one we'll stick with this :-)


    has spoken at 12:59 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    He reveals mysteries from the darkness
    And brings the deep darkness into light.

    ~~Job 12:22


    has spoken at 12:01 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    I am posting this purely as an interesting fact, knowing that I'm on thin ice here. SOME of you out there (and you know who you are ;-) ) plan your lives around the latest chemical or nutritional scares, and I'm forbidding you to do that in this case (unless you live in a vacuum chamber, in which case we really need to talk...). I just think it's fascinating that they'd discover this after 50 years!

    NEW YORK (AP) - Just two weeks after a Nobel Prize highlighted theoretical work on subatomic particles, physicists are announcing a startling discovery about a much more familiar form of matter: Scotch tape. It turns out that if you peel the popular adhesive tape off its roll in a vacuum chamber, it emits X-rays. The researchers even made an X-ray image of one of their fingers.

    Who knew? Actually, more than 50 years ago, some Russian scientists reported evidence of X-rays from peeling sticky tape off glass. But the new work demonstrates that you can get a lot of X-rays, a study co-author says.

    "We were very surprised," said Juan Escobar. "The power you could get from just peeling tape was enormous."

    Tape measure: X-rays detected from Scotch tape


    has spoken at 8:08 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Words on Wednesday

    Boy, do I get requests! Here's a recent one:

    With all your newly pregnant friends, will you PLEASE do a WOW on "nauseous" and "nauseated?" Thank you.

    W.O.W. to the rescue!

    Well, yes, my friend, I will. But I'm afraid neither you nor the majority of my readers will be happy with me.

    Many of my readers won't be happy because they'll find out that they've been misusing and confusing the two words since they were children, and they'll be defensive.

    You won't be happy because you want me to say that there's an absolute right and wrong. But true to my belief that some word usage is developed by consensus, no matter how offensive, I will have to tell you that there is some fudge room on this one (as much as it nauseates me to say that).

    Nau"seous\ (?; 277), a. [L. nauseosus.] Causing, or fitted to cause, nausea; sickening; loathsome; disgusting; exciting abhorrence; as, a nauseous drug or medicine. -- Nau"seous*ly, adv. -- Nau"seous*ness, n. The nauseousness of such company disgusts a reasonable man. --Dryden.

    nau·se·ate (nô'zē-āt', -zhē-, -sē-, -shē-) Pronunciation Key
    intr. & tr.v. nau·se·at·ed, nau·se·at·ing, nau·se·ates
    1. To feel or cause to feel nausea.
    2. To feel or cause to feel loathing or disgust.
    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    "So, Lauren, how do you feel this morning?"

    "Not so great. I'm really nauseous."

    Ahem. Actually, what Lauren has just technically told you is that she either looks bad, smells bad, or is otherwise capable of causing nausea. Yes, I'm serious. "Nauseous" is NOT the same as "nauseated," which is what you are when you are experiencing nausea. Nauseous is an adjective applied to things (well okay, and some people) that are offensive or toxic enough to cause one to become nauseated. Never mind that hardly anyone knows to use it that way any more...that's what it means. "The odor in the shed was a nauseous combination of sulfur and rotten meat. It made me extremely nauseated."

    So there it is for the black-and-white among us. If you get sick and claim to be nauseous, you've used the word incorrectly.

    Sort of.

    Now comes the part of language that sometimes nauseates me. Often a word becomes correct when enough people use it badly so frequently and confidently that no one realizes it's being used incorrectly. There comes a tipping point when even language authorities give their grudging assent, only because there's nothing else to do. It's not noble; it's realistic. And this is quickly becoming the case with this pair of words, simply because our elders did not do a very good job of educating their young in proper usage. If you look up the word "nauseous" in dictionaries, you will now find a slight nod that it is being used to mean "nauseated" and will occasionally be allowed in polite company without a $1000 fine. In one particularly nauseous case, one dictionary has even decided to pander to popular usage by elevating the previously incorrect usage to the first definition!

    The website World Wide Words (not an authority, by any means, but an interesting source) comments:

    What seems to have happened in the US is that a new usage grew up some time before World War II — one writer suggests that it may have arisen first in the Bronx or Brooklyn — in which nauseous meant the same as nauseated: sick to the stomach. It was only as a result of this local usage that grammarians and usage guide writers after World War II seem to have begun to make a distinction between the two terms, one that some commentators point out is not altogether supported by word history. The Oxford English Dictionary has seventeenth-century examples of nauseous in the sense “inclined to nausea”, though in its entry — written in the late nineteenth century — it marks the sense as both rare and obsolete.

    That entry will definitely be revised when the new edition comes out, since nauseous has now regained this meaning, a change that has been widely noted and commented on. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage says firmly: “Any handbook that tells you that nauseous cannot mean ‘nauseated’ is out of touch with the contemporary language. In current usage it seldom means anything else”. The new edition of the American Heritage Dictionary concurs: “Since there is a lot of evidence to show that nauseous is widely used to mean ‘feeling sick,’ it appears that people use nauseous mainly in the sense in which it is considered incorrect".

    The above reference to the word's history indicates that the supposedly incorrect usage of "nauseous" was in play as early as the 1600's. That doesn't make it right or wrong, I simply offer it as proof that folks have been messed up for a long time. I report, you decide ;-)

    GRANNY'S ADVICE: If you've spent your life saying to your mother or your husband or your children, "I can't get up because I'm feeling nauseous," I am probably not going to convince you to change this habit, and no one in your family or close circle is going to think you the worse for it. However, around the office water cooler, I would suggest that, office politics being what it is, if you want to announce your nausea to your co-workers and your boss with "I'm really nauseous," you just might be inviting Ms. Golden Girl to remark sarcastically as you walk away, "Isn't she though."


    has spoken at 12:30 AM
    6 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, October 21, 2008
    UPDATE: 1.6 million cribs now recalled.

    Massive Crib Recall After Two Infant Deaths

    And speaking of purchases for baby...check your nursery for these:

    Infant Death Prompts Recall of Convertible Cribs by Playkids USA; Crib Poses Entrapment and Suffocation Hazards

    I understand that another death associated with this crib has come to light just in the few days since this article was written.


    has spoken at 10:25 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Would you let this man direct your child's education?

    If you don't vote, he may.

    Will William Ayers be secretary of education in a Barack Obama administration? All parents should ponder that possibility before making their choice for president on Nov. 4.

    After all, Ayers is a friend of Obama, and professor Ayers's expertise is training teachers and developing public school curriculum. That's been his mission since he gave up planting bombs in government buildings (including the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon) and assaulting police officers.

    Ayers speaks openly of his desire to use America's public school classrooms to train a generation of revolutionaries who will overturn the U.S. social and economic regime. He teaches that America is oppressive and unjust, socialism is the solution, and wealth and resources should be redistributed.

    In Ayers's course called "On Urban Education," he calls for a "distribution of material and human resources." His left-wing notions would be very compatible with those of Obama, who publicly told Joe the Plumber that we should "spread the wealth."

    Ayers's books are among the most widely used in America's education schools. Ayers even uses science and math courses as part of his "transformative" political strategy to teach that the American economic system is unjust.

    Ayers is an endorser of a book called "Queering Elementary Education" by William J. Letts IV and James T. Sears, a collection of essays to teach adults and children to "think queerly." The blurb on the cover quotes Ayers as saying this is "a book for all teachers … and, yes, it has an agenda."

    Do you care about your continued freedom to homeschool? Do you care about the kind of citizen and voter that are produced by public education? Then you don't want to have to answer to Sec. Ayers. Or any of the other likely far-left "educators" who might be put at the helm of a department that I don't believe should exist in the first place...

    The Papa's take:
    It won’t matter if you do homeschool or send your kids to private schools. Once guys like Ayers are in, they’ll get laws passed that apply to those areas as well, or better yet, outlaw homeschooling and place all private schools under the oversight of the education establishment.
    Don't think it won't happen. The NEA has wanted to outlaw what I and many of you know God has called us to do. They will publicly deny this and say they just want protective regulation. But if you have access to their website and to some of the materials they distribute internally, you know that they want to do this incrementally without alarming the silent majority. All they need is someone like Ayers in power and a veto-proof, filibuster-proof majority in Congress, along with a rubber-stamp Supreme Court, and guess what? No silent majority, no matter how big, will matter.

    Yet another reason to USE the vote God gave you, even if you are not crazy about your choices. Stay home and you've capitulated in favor of the opposition.


    Bill Ayers' Scary Plans for Public Schools

    hat tip: The Papa

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    has spoken at 1:58 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Here is a taste of what the Obama court will enshrine for the next half-century, until it's no longer even questioned...

    Finally, "Straight Talk" from the Homosexual Agenda

    hat tip: The Papa

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    has spoken at 11:11 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, October 20, 2008
    You gotta be kiddin' me.

    BLUE ASH, Ohio (AP) - Police in Ohio say an 89-year-old woman is facing a charge of petty theft because neighborhood children accuse her of refusing to give back their football.

    Edna Jester was arrested last week in the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash.

    Police say one child's father complained that Jester kept the youngsters' ball after it landed in her yard. Police Capt. James Schaffer says there has been an ongoing dispute in the neighborhood over kids' balls landing in the woman's yard.

    Jester said Monday she has received many calls and didn't have time to discuss the matter any more.

    Jester is to appear in court next month. The maximum penalty for a petty theft conviction in Ohio is six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

    The ball's in her court


    has spoken at 11:02 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    If you're trying to decide about cloth vs. disposable on the basis of which is better for the environment, don't count on the British government to tell you the truth:

    A government report that found old-fashioned reusable nappies damage the environment more than disposables has been hushed up because ministers are embarrassed by its findings.

    The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has instructed civil servants not to publicise the conclusions of the £50,000 nappy research project and to adopt a “defensive” stance towards its conclusions.

    The report found that using washable nappies, hailed by councils throughout Britain as a key way of saving the planet, have a higher carbon footprint than their disposable equivalents unless parents adopt an extreme approach to laundering them.

    To reduce the impact of cloth nappies on climate change parents would have to hang wet nappies out to dry all year round, keep them for years for use on younger children, and make sure the water in their washing machines does not exceed 60C.

    Ummm, by the way....if you're going to wash cloth diapers at less than 160F (approx. 70C), you may be achieving, uh, a very different kind of "green" before long. What if you were using a diaper service where you're getting different diapers back than you turned in, and you got a letter from the service telling you they'd decided to "cut back" (rather than raising their prices) by using warm water instead of *HOT*. Would you put their diapers on your little one?

    My hot water heater is not set to 160, but you can believe that if I were using cloth diapers it would be. It takes boiling water (212) to kill all germs, but every ten degrees below that leaves another layer of viruses and bacteria to which you expose your baby's bottom and your family's health. If you want to use cloth I applaud you, but don't rely on studies from "green" orgs to tell you whether it's really more environmentally friendly. They have an interest in the outcome of the study, and even your government may not want you to know the cold, hard wet truth.

    My "bottom" line: if you want to use cloth diapers because disposable ones cause your baby to have skin problems, or if you like the feel of cloth rather than paper, or if you're concerned about diapers clogging up landfills, or because it saves YOUR family money, then do it. Don't be bamboozled by claims that one has a heftier "carbon footprint" than another. I'd be willing to bet that the organization doing the study miraculously ends up with the result it wanted in the first place.

    Blow to image of "green" reusable nappy

    (second photo from Longenbottoms!)

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    has spoken at 5:13 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was doing research on the herbal supplement Pycnogenol, or pine bark extract. I started doing the research for a particular health problem but was soon stunned to see the number of uses this stuff has and the breadth of research that's being done by the medical community. Here is a summary from the website of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York:

    Clinical Summary

    Derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, Pinus maritima, a trademarked product, Pycnogenol®, has been used in clinical trials. Pine bark extract consists of proanthocyanidins which have strong antioxidant, antiinflammatory properties and exhibit immunostimulant effect in animals (1). It has been studied for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and endothelial dysfunction (2) in adults (3), and in children (4), cardiovascular disease, chronic venous insufficiency (5), and inflammatory conditions (6). In addition, pycnogenol supplementation enhances memory in elderly participants (7), reduces menopausal symptoms in peri-menopausal women (8), and improves osteoarthritis symptoms in patients with grade I or II osteoarthritis (9) (10). It is also used to treat skin disorders such as melasma (11) and erythema (12), endometriosis (13), and systemic lupus erythematosus (14). In vitro studies indicate that pycnogenol inhibits HIV attachment and replication (15), suppresses encephalomyocarditis virus (EMV) replication (16), and represses Helicobacter pylori growth and adherence to a gastric cell line, AGS cells (17). Pine bark extract, when used in conjunction with L-arginine, has been found effective in treating erectile dysfunction (18). Chewing gum containing pine bark extract may reduce gingival bleeding and plaque accumulation (19).

    Almost sounds like a nineteenth century "cures-all-that's-ailin'-ya" potion, doesn't it? I'm a born skeptic about stuff like this. Seriously. But this research is hard to ignore and I'm watching with more than a little interest, not only for my own problems but for treatment of childhood asthma and many other conditions that affect people I love.

    Anyway, several people have asked me about it, so I'm going to list here some of the links to studies I've found (many of which are referred to in the above Sloan-Kettering summary). This is not meant to be medical advice (heaven forbid that I'd ever do THAT) and I certainly have no financial interest here...though I wouldn't be above taking a small kickback from Vitacost, my preferred supplier, if they were so inclined ;-)

    JUST KIDDING. I'm providing these links simply so that if you're interested you'll have a shortcut to some of the medical studies.

    (And let me know if you'd be interested in an invitation to my 150th birthday party.)

    Pycnogenol((R)) in the Management of Asthma. [J Med Food. 2001] - PubMed Result

    Pycnogenol may help children manage asthma

    Benefits of Pycnogenol

    Pycnogenol as an adjunct in the management of chil...[J Asthma. 2004] - PubMed Result

    Journal of Inflammation | Full text | Inhibition of NF-kappaB activation and MMP-9 secretion by plasma of human volunteers af..

    Click here: Pycnogenol - Osteoarthritis Pain Reduced by Pycnogenol

    Reducing Knee Osteoarthritis - Biotechnology - an eLab Article at Scientist Live

    Prevention of edema in long flights with Pycnogenol.

    Study highlights Pycnogenol's anti-swelling action

    Pycnogenol Helps Hypertension

    Pycnogenol Aids Hot Flashes, ADHD

    Pine Bark Significantly Reduces Menstrual Pain - Pycnogenol(R) Reduces Need For Dysmenorrhea Pain Medication, New Study

    Pycnogenol Improved Diabetes Control and Reduced Hypertensive Medications - RedScrubs

    Pine Bark Improves Memory In Elderly

    Pine Tree Extract May Ease Menopause Symptoms - Associated Content

    Study Shows Pine Bark Naturally Reduces Cardiovascular Risk Factors in... ( Pycnogenol(R) improved diabetes c...)

    Pycnogenol® — A Powerful Antioxidant

    M. D. Anderson Cancer Center - CIMER - Pycnogenol (Pinus pinaster ssp. atlantica)

    Pycnogenol(R) inhibits growth of ovarian cancer cells in vitro. -- Buz’zard and Lau 2004 (1): 727 -- AACR Meeting Abstracts
    Pycnogenol induces differentiation and apoptosis in human promyeloid leukemia HL-60 cells .
    Pycnogenol enhances immune and haemopoietic functi...[Cell Mol Life Sci. 1998] - PubMed Result
    Astazanthin(R) and Pycnogenol(R) Proven to Protect Skin from Aging, Scientists Say
    Effect of PYCNOGENOL® on the toxicity of heart, bone marrow and immune organs as induced by antitumor drugs

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    has spoken at 9:33 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    a love like ours is love that's hard to find...
    Every time this crew gets together they make it a priority to get sibling pictures. You may remember the trampoline pictures from April, which now grace one large wall in our foyer.

    Since Nathan had to leave us yesterday and head back for school, the kids rounded up all the cameras and their wacky senses of humor and gave us some more for the memory books. The Papa commented yesterday that he wondered how many families with kids in this age group could be counted on to do their own pictures, every visit, with not a word of coaxing from their parents. Their love for each other and for tangible reminders of their time together are all the motivation they need to make sure they always make it happen.

    Here, then, is the flavor of the third Sunday in October, 2008...

    By way of explanation, the pic below is where all the girls make their "Shelley faces," and she pretends not to know what they're talking about...

    Oh, may they always love taking pictures :-)

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    has spoken at 9:00 AM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday snippets...
    ...didn't happen this Sunday.

    Watch for pictures tomorrow of my crazy kids :-)


    has spoken at 12:01 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    Okay so it's 3:30 am and I'm afflicted with way more pain than should be legal, so I'm sitting up in a chair surfing and came across something I just have to show you. I tell you my situation by way of disclaimer...I wouldn't want you to think that on a normal day at a normal hour I would stoop to such things. But pain and insomnia and the need for distraction can do funny things to the brain (and the fingers) and boy is it working its magic tonight this morning right now.

    There's no use hiding my age since it's plastered all over this blog, so I'll just go ahead and tell you that I am a fugitive criminal from another time and place, known as the Age of Crochet, hoping to just live out the rest of my life quietly, avoiding discovery, arrest, and incarceration in Crochet Hell. Fortunately, about the only remaining pieces of evidence against me are lovely pieces of white lace, the beneficiaries of other works of grace having discreetly and mercifully disposed of much of the body of my (worsted) work.

    And now, because it's a beastly hour and because laughing is the only sane way to deal with my predicament, I shall share with you a little-known corner (I accidentally typed "coroner" and then realized it might be more appropriate) of the cyberuniverse, devoted to the relics of my fellow criminals, some of them no doubt still doing time for their total disregard of the principles of mercy and good taste.

    CAVEAT: If you experience compunction (here lies a word I'd never use in the daytime) when gawking at the less fortunate and laughing uncontrollably on a Sunday morning before church, you are hereby given permission to set this one aside and check it out when you get home. Do not, however, forget.

    We should never, ever forget.

    What Not To Crochet

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    has spoken at 4:00 AM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, October 17, 2008
    I am not a Catholic, despite having often been mistaken for one through the years. I can't subscribe to much of Catholic theology. But I admire and respect the leadership of the Catholic church on matters of Christian morality and I bring you this video in that spirit...there is much here on which all of us can agree and it's powerfully, beautifully presented. And of course, it reinforces what I've been saying in this space for a long time: when it comes to the vote, Life trumps all.

    Please share.

    hat tip: Jack B.


    has spoken at 12:13 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    Those in my inner circle know that I have a soft spot in my heart for Rachmaninoff the Bee Gees. Well, now it seems that perhaps we ALL have soft spots in our hearts for at least ONE of the Bee Gees greatest hits...

    Stayin' Alive

    hat tip: Trish

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    has spoken at 8:38 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

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    has spoken at 12:44 PM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    Sometime today, please pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit long enough to read through this entire post from Al Mohler's blog. I've said before and I'll say again: I believe the issue of life, during the coming administration and the next generation (because of Supreme Court appointments), is the most critical issue facing us in this election. If we continue exterminating ourselves, it won't matter much how the health care system looks or whether Joe the Plumber gets to keep the money he earns.

    (And for a prof at Princeton to be arguing the case against electing the high priest of abortion is quite electrifying to my ears.)

    The Abortion Question and the Future

    hat tip: The Papa

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    has spoken at 10:29 AM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    All I have to say is that this might just make me croak before my time. Eeewww....

    Get it while it's hop

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    has spoken at 2:08 AM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    For those of you who have been squeamish about describing Obama's economic plan as socialism, there should now be no more doubt. He's admitted it. Here is the very definition of socialism:

    The fracas over Obama's tax plan broke out Sunday outside Toledo when Joe Wurzelbacher approached the candidate.

    Wurzelbacher said he planned to become the owner of a small plumbing business that will take in more than the $250,000 amount at which Obama plans to begin raising tax rates.

    "Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?" the blue-collar worker asked.

    After Obama responded that it would, Wurzelbacher continued: "I've worked hard . . . I work 10 to 12 hours a day and I'm buying this company and I'm going to continue working that way. I'm getting taxed more and more while fulfilling the American Dream."

    "It's not that I want to punish your success," Obama told him. "I want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success, too.

    Then, Obama explained his trickle-up theory of economics.

    "My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." [emphasis mine]

    Obama's fired the 'Robin Hood' warning shot

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    has spoken at 11:30 PM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    Words on Wednesday

    Ever since starting the W.O.W. column, I've been getting frequent requests and suggestions by email for future "lessons," usually involving either someone's pet peeve or one that the reader is finding particularly difficult. One of Granny's gentle readers, Johanna from north Texas, writes, "I don't suppose you'll be doing an edition that includes Southern slang, will you? I would love for people to start spelling y'all correctly!"

    W.O.W. to the rescue!

    Our HOPE group took a fall field trip today to the South Texas Maize, and the big yellow sign that bade us goodbye as we were leaving said something like, "Ya'll hurry back, hear?" When I saw that, I knew it was time to tackle Johanna's pet peeve!

    First, a reality check. Southern slang is just that--slang. It's far from being formal and accepted in all kinds of speaking and writing, but one thing it is: standardized. If you live outside the South or among people who don't appreciate Southern gentilities, you are by no means obliged to use the term "y'all." However, if you choose to use it in written form, Granny considers it mandatory that you punctuate it correctly. For those of you who are apostrophically challenged, here is the rationale.

    Apostrophes have two main functions. (There are more, but they are relatively minor and we will not deal with them here.) The first is to show possession, as in "Please put this in Steven's bedroom." And the second is to "stand in" for letters that have been left out in a contracted form of two words, such as, "They'll be here at ten o'clock." The apostrophe here substitutes for the "wi" in "will." [You very observant readers will no doubt raise your hands to tell me that I should have bolded the word "o'clock" as well, since it is a rather odd and arcane contraction itself. But I digress.]

    The term "y'all," friends, is a contraction. It combines the two words "you" and "all." Some of the more wordy of us Southerners still actually use the two words together instead of shortening them, since our drawls make it clear that we're in no hurry to say much of anything. But when we shorten the term to a contraction, we leave out the letters "ou" from "you" and replace them with an apostrophe, thus forming the revered second-person plural pronoun "y'all."

    Now, some of our friends who are not residents of this part of the country but who appreciate the softness and informality of the term in spoken language (and even some, who like at the Maize, don't have a Southern proofreader) try to transfer it to written language as "ya'll" or even "yall." Actually, of the two misspellings I would prefer the second, for the same reason I occasionally look the other way about the absence of an apostrophe in "its." At least the writer of the second is not ignoring the fact that the apostrophe in the first completely ignores the presumed function of the punctuation. Placing the apostrophe after the "a" indicates, mistakenly, that the contraction is formed from some word beginning with "ya," then leaves out some mysterious letter or letters before finishing with, presumably, the last part of the word "all."

    Enough. You get my drift. Bottom line: if you love our words, we would dearly love for you to borrow them. But when in Rome (TX), write as the Romans do.

    Thanks, y'all. Johanna and I are now happy women.

    Addendum: I was going to include another couple of our Southern idiosyncrasies, but I'm fixin' to go eat.


    has spoken at 3:27 PM
    14 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...
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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!"