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

  • Friday, October 30, 2009
    Ms. Noonan, you have an uncanny ability to sense both the national mood and the national direction. Thank goodness there are still a few adult voices left...

    We're Governed by Callous Children


    has spoken at 11:48 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, October 29, 2009
    Please, say it ain't so...
    I so hope this turns out to be untrue:

    NEW YORK (WPIX)-- It appears Jon Gosselin isn't ready to part ways with reality television. The former star of "Jon & Kate Plus 8," is reportedly slated to appear in a new show in which he'll date Octomom Nadya Suleman.

    Former "Cheaters" producer Bobby Goldstein told In Touch Weekly that he heard Nadya had an "insatiable desire to spend time with Jon and put their families together." The comment apparently prompted Goldstein to come up with an idea for a pilot called, "Jon - Kate = Jon Octomom."

    Suleman apparently gushed to an online website that she had a crush on Gosselin.

    Jon - Kate + Greed = 22 kids

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    has spoken at 1:28 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Atlas Shrugged watch...
    WASHINGTON -A year after Lehman Brothers collapsed, helping to trigger the worst financial crisis in seven decades, the Obama administration is pressing Congress for the power to dismantle other nonbank firms considered so large and influential that they could bring down the entire economy.

    So all it will take is some kind of government assertion that your company is too big and they'll dismantle you. Your goal, I suppose, is to keep your company small, unsuccessful, and, most of all, under the radar.

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    has spoken at 7:03 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    WASHINGTON -A Colorado company said it created 4,231 jobs with the help of President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan. The real number: fewer than 1,000.

    A child care center in Florida said it saved 129 jobs with the help of stimulus money. Instead, it gave pay raises to its existing employees.

    Elsewhere in the U.S., some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two, three, four or even more times.

    The government has overstated by thousands the number of jobs it has created or saved with federal contracts under the president's $787 billion recovery program, according to an Associated Press review of data released in the program's first progress report.

    I'm shocked. Just SHOCKED.

    Or not.

    Stimulus jobs overstated by thousands


    has spoken at 12:35 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009
    Is public opinion on abortion nearing a tipping point? What you never thought you'd see on network TV:

    As you can imagine, not everyone shares the same opinion. Some of the fallout here.

    hat tip: Dr. P.

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    has spoken at 2:49 PM
    8 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, October 25, 2009
    Sunday snippets...

    Today I cooked a turkey. No, I'm not doing it early for Thanksgiving and freezing it...I just decided to pull a fairly small one out of the freezer and have it for Sunday dinner. No big fancy meal, just new potatoes and carrots with it. And oh my, it was delightful. I think that I miss most of the goodness of turkey on Thanksgiving, because although it's sort of obligatory and is certainly the visual centerpiece of that meal (for those of carnivores), it gets overshadowed by all the elaborate trimmings and desserts. This time, I was able to savor it for its own sake...and look forward to a sandwich tomorrow.

    Our south Texas weather can't seem to make up its mind. Today we're up in the mid-80's again, after a fall teaser that was gone all too soon. Okay, well I'll have patience until we go off daylight savings time next week. After that, I'm going to get really grumpy.

    Is it just me, or is there a marked decrease in the amount of Halloween yard displays this year?

    Saturday afternoon/evening, our church will celebrate one of the highlights of our church year: Reformation Day. This year, in honor of the 500th birthday of John Calvin (yeah, he's as old as I feel sometimes), we will focus on Geneva and the Swiss arm of the Reformation. And, because John Calvin was originally from France, we'll take the liberty to enjoy French food. You know, because Swiss cheese and Swiss chard make for a rather limited meal :-)

    I'm in a dry spell as far as reading goes. I've been working on the same little stack of books for months now and don't know that I'll finish too many more this year. No excuses, just a lack of fire, I guess.

    I guess you saw the story about the guy who broke the world record for the number of (live, 2.5 inch) Madagascar hissing cockroaches he could hold IN HIS MOUTH for ten seconds?

    I'm more than halfway done with Christmas shopping. This sweet deal makes me wish I still had a little girl. Shelley would like it, but she's much too tall.

    CJ made homemade bagels yesterday and we eagerly gobbled them up for breakfast. An incomparable Sunday morning treat!

    Yesterday I gave my gift wrap cart a thorough cleaning out. There was stuff in there that's been hiding since The Papa first put it together for me several years ago, and it was sorely lacking in most things useful. So I ordered a whole bunch of new wrapping paper (non-Christmas) and ribbon and bows and restocked for the fall birthday season.

    See you back here next week. An hour later, of course. If you don't move your clock back and you show up here early, you'll have to hang around :-)

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    has spoken at 4:40 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Saturday, October 24, 2009

    And in a new discussion that's certain to pit the greenies against the animal lovers (and won't that be interesting), we hear this alarming news:

    A MEDIUM-sized dog has the same carbon impact as a Toyota Land Cruiser driven 6,000 miles a year, a new book claims.

    Time To Eat The Dog: The Real Guide To Sustainable Living also suggests a cat is equivalent to running a Volkswagen Golf.

    The findings are based on the amount of land needed to grow food for pets. Even a pair of hamsters do the same damage as running a plasma television, say the book’s authors Robert and Brenda Vale.

    But rabbits and chickens were eco-friendly because they provide meat for their owners, while a canary or a goldfish does little harm to the planet, the authors said.
    Perhaps you can be forgiven for your selfish pet-owning if you an manage to enlist Fido's help in the recycling and composting chores. I'm just sayin'........



    has spoken at 12:34 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    I hear this ringing in my brain...
    There's certain to be a lot of back and forth about this report (which is actually a survey, not a study, per se) and it will no doubt be a long time until we have definitive answers. But it seems to me that the evidence may be piling up in favor of extreme caution.

    I, for one, will be training myself to rely a lot more on speakerphone. Unfortunately, as an iPhone user I possess one of the worst speakerphones known to modern man, and so this will definitely play a large part in my decision about my next phone: new iPhone/Blackberry/some other smart phone whose features may beat out the others by the time I'm ready to replace mine in March. Well, I'm ready now, was ready two months after I got my iPhone...but AT&T isn't yet ready for me to switch providers, which I will probably do when I get a new phone...

    Cell phone use linked to brain tumours

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    has spoken at 12:23 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, October 23, 2009
    Hey, I can't brag about our weather...

    ...but this is a nice consolation prize!

    San Antonio, TX

    Overall rank: 1

    San Antonio, the second-largest city in Texas and the site of the battle of the Alamo, has one of the strongest job markets in the nation. Construction, which slowed during the recession, remains relatively robust, in part because of a new JW Marriott, a Caterpillar plant now under construction, as well as school, hospital, and military projects. Employment in San Antonio peaked in the second quarter of last year. Gross metropolitan product in the second quarter was down just 0.8% from the peak in the third quarter of 2008. Home prices grew 3.1% in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. And the unemployment rate in June was 6.9%, up 2 points from a year earlier.

    Forty Strongest U.S. Metro Economies


    has spoken at 1:13 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, October 22, 2009
    First, a disclaimer: I am very much on the fence about the need to get, as well as the safety of, the H1N1 vaccination. I've chosen not to go into it here, but thought you might enjoy a little comic relief from all the hoopla:

    Louis Farrakhan: H1N1 Vaccine Developed to Kill People

    Comical, yes...but he's dead serious.


    has spoken at 2:28 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Let's see...I have my list of excuses here somewhere....

    The table below compares the White House's February 2009 projection of the number of jobs that would be created by the 2009 stimulus law (through the end of 2010) with the actual change in state payroll employment through September 2009 (the latest figures available). According to the data, 49 States and the District of Columbia have lost jobs since stimulus was enacted. Only North Dakota has seen net job creation following the February 2009 stimulus. While President Obama claimed the result of his stimulus bill would be the creation of 3.5 million jobs, the Nation has already lost a total of 2.7 million – a difference of 6.2 million jobs. To see how stimulus has failed your state, see the table below.

    (I tried to post the table here, but it turned out too small to read, so go look here at the sad figures:)

    7 Months After Stimulus 49 of 50 States Have Lost Jobs

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    has spoken at 1:33 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009
    I smell a lawsuit.

    In the case of Sarah Palin's new book, imitation may not be the sincerest form of flattery.

    When the failed vice presidential candidate's memoir hits shelves Nov. 17, it will have some competition from a lookalike tome that spoofs the title of her book.

    "Going Rouge: An American Nightmare" bears a striking resemblance to Palin's book, "Going Rogue: An American Life." Both feature the photogenic politician in red, but the spoof has her against a backdrop of black thunder clouds and lightning, instead of the image of a blue sky scattered with clouds on the ex-governor’s book.

    'Going Rogue' spoof: 'Nightmare'stories may have Sarah Palin seeing 'Rouge'

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    has spoken at 6:44 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Spelling it out.

    How many times while growing up did you ask an adult how to spell something and he or she responded, "Go look it up. You'll remember it better than if I tell you." Familiar?

    Though I won't claim to be guiltless in this, my kids will tell you that my standard strategy is to ask, "How do YOU think it's spelled? Just try it." Some of my kids nearly always spell it right for me; some nearly always get it wrong. But I've always thought this was a better approach than just having them look it up. It helps me know where the flaws in their thinking are, and it helps them understand their own tendencies. For my naturally good spellers, it helps them learn to rely on their "gut" instinct. For the more challenged spellers, it teaches them where their weaknesses are--homophones? Vowel sounds? Changes in plurals? As I point out the errors and we talk about why they were wrong, I believe an imprint is made that is lacking when they just go "look it up."

    So today, some scientific back-up for my theories!

    For years, many educators have championed “errorless learning," advising teachers (and students) to create study conditions that do not permit errors. For example, a classroom teacher might drill students repeatedly on the same multiplication problem, with very little delay between the first and second presentations of the problem, ensuring that the student gets the answer correct each time.

    The idea embedded in this approach is that if students make errors, they will learn the errors and be prevented (or slowed) in learning the correct information. But research by Nate Kornell, Matthew Hays and Robert Bjork at U.C.L.A. that recently appeared in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition reveals that this worry is misplaced. In fact, they found, learning becomes better if conditions are arranged so that students make errors.

    Please go read the whole article here. This has implications for all kinds of learning...but also for bigger life lessons. Allowing kids to fail, especially when there's no lasting physical or emotional damage, may be just as important as what we teach them.

    Getting It Wrong: Surprising Tips on How to Learn

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    has spoken at 1:50 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    When I first saw the header on this story, I thought to myself, "Oh great. Another article trying to scare us out of using computers." I'm glad I read on. This study and others like it could hold the seeds of advances in the prevention/treatment of dementia, Alzheimer's, brain injury, stroke, etc.

    (I often tried to convince my mother during the early days of her Parkinson's to get and use a laptop, but she resisted and now wouldn't be able to maneuver it. She did some work on a desktop computer before becoming ill, but it never became second nature and was always a laborious process for her. I wonder if a little more encouragement from me would have enabled brain changes that could have delayed her deterioration...)

    UCLA Study: The Internet Is Altering Our Brains

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    has spoken at 12:00 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, October 19, 2009
    Okay, so maybe it WAS seeing my preferred generational moniker in the title of this piece, but should be just as interested as I am. You're going to be old.

    Step Away from Granny's Ventilator, Sir

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    has spoken at 12:40 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, October 18, 2009
    Sunday snippets...

    Nothing gets me going internally like waking up in a room that's 50 degrees. It always seems like I can conquer the world, if I can just get out from under the covers.

    It was lovely to get to worship and then eat with my precious church family this morning. Our fellowship is very "child-heavy" and I say that in a good way...this morning I sat watching and listening to all of them and thought, "Here is the future of our church. And from the looks of it, it's a very promising future."

    So I have had a good week of Christmas shopping. My bathtub, unused for much of anything other than storing Amazon boxes seasonally, is beginning to fill up and I catch the grandkids peeking around the corner once in a while to measure its progress.

    Speaking of Christmas shopping. Every year I say I'm going to start in June and then don't really get going until October. This year was no exception since I was sitting still all summer! I've always "known" that you do better if you take advantage of sales throughout the year instead of waiting. Well as it turns out, it really isn't true, at least not any more. I am finding so many good deals right now that weren't there during the summer, as retailers desperate for their bottom lines not to bleed cut merchandise by 50-75% right before the holidays. I am VERY glad I waited.

    This weekend The Papa got my ticket for our post-Thanksgiving Hawaii trip...and surprised me by getting it First Class all the way. That will make the flights so much more pleasant. I don't mind flying as much as some long as the flight is about 45 minutes. Long flights, though, tend to panic me, and I think the perqs of First Class will make it easier to get through that Pacific leg. He will be on business there, of course, and wanted me to join him for a week and actually November-December is my favorite time of year there. Yeah, I know. I'm strange. (As it now stands, The Papa will be in Hawaii for part of every month from now until May and then has an Australia trip in June. I ask you: who should be allowed to have a job like this and get paid for it?)

    Excuse me for a moment, I need to go in the kitchen and see if we have any more chicken and dumplings.

    Ah yes, good. Okay, where were we?

    Oh, I was about to give out the weekend political reading assignment. There will be a quiz, especially for those of you too young to remember Chairman Mao. Mark Steyn: Limbaugh bad, Mao good

    Thanksgiving plans are shaping up at Granny's House. I'm scouting for tablecloths and taking inventory of flatware and especially serving utensils, for which we seem to scrounge at the last minute every year. I've used ebay to beef up my supply of glassware, and we've taken a count of all the dinner plates and dessert plates. I'm going to buy a couple of extra tables this year to make sure we have places for all of our guests that don't include the coffee tables. And the menu is coming together as well, thanks to my handy-dandy Google spreadsheet that everyone can access. Still more than a month away, and we're making great progress!

    And as far as physical therapy progress, in case you were wondering: last week I was able to walk to the end of my driveway (and if you know our driveway....) and back with no cane, no walker, no support at all. I'll admit that the walk back was not as easy as the walk out there, but I made it all the way back to my room without help. Can I do the airport yet? No, but the driveway comes first :-)

    So...these are my stories and I'm stickin' to 'em. Hope you have a wonderful week!

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    has spoken at 7:55 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Saturday, October 17, 2009
    Well, there's that...

    "First of all,
    I did get elected president, so not everybody hates me."

    --Barack H. Obama, October 16, 2009


    has spoken at 1:10 AM
    6 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, October 16, 2009
    Right now most people who are thinking of vaccinations are thinking flu, either seasonal or H1N1 or both. But here's a study that applies to all infant vaccinations...who knew?

    Giving babies Tylenol to prevent fever when they get childhood vaccinations may backfire and make the shots a little less effective, surprising new research suggests.

    It is the first major study to tie reduced immunity to the use of fever-lowering medicines. Although the effect was small and the vast majority of kids still got enough protection from vaccines, the results make "a compelling case" against routinely giving Tylenol right after vaccination, say doctors from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Giving babies Tylenol may blunt vaccines' effects

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    has spoken at 12:12 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, October 15, 2009
    Al Mohler takes on the topic of contemporary children's literature and how it mirrors and influences the discipline of today's children:

    Literary critic Lionel Trilling once referred to “the dark and bloody crossroads where literature and politics meet.” In reality, almost all literature is political in some sense. Oddly enough, the most explicitly subversive literature is often presented to the very youngest among us — our children. Far too many parents seem not to notice.

    In “The Defiant Ones,” a recent essay published in the New Yorker, Daniel Zalewski argues that picture books for children now reflect a world turned upside down in terms of the relationship between parent and child. As he explains, in the newest picture books for children, the kids are solidly in charge.

    In this sense, the books we read to our children reflect the cultural values of our age. Inescapably, these narratives for children reveal far more than a storyline. Indeed, the books tell us more than we may want to know about the tenor of our times.

    Read the rest here:

    Parents, Obey Your Children?

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    has spoken at 9:13 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    No comment...

    hat tip: Pam Y.

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    has spoken at 5:30 PM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009
    You are not gonna believe this.
    First, let me say that I'm not a pet owner. I don't dislike pets...I really do like both dogs and cats. As long as they're yours.

    But liking your pets does not make me believe I should be asked to help foot the expense for your kitty's chemotherapy. Yet, that's just what this bill would do:

    A bill making the rounds on Capitol Hill marries two feel-good propositions -- tax cuts and pet ownership -- to generate a novel idea: A tax break of up to $3,500 per person for pet care expenses.

    "We think this is as much a health care bill as any," said Nancy Perry, vice president of government affairs at the Humane Society. "It's a human health issue to ensure that pets are provided with better care because of the role they play in our families."

    It's not enough that I will be subsidizing the health care of millions of (in some cases voluntarily) uninsured people. I may now be forced to pay for their dogs' and cats' health care as well. Never mind that some of the uninsured could afford their own health care if they gave up their pets and saved the associated costs--evidently pet ownership is a right even if we have to force the American taxpayer to help with the financial burden they cause.

    Really, it's easy to look at your pet and think, "Hey, yeah, I would love to get a tax break for the vet bills." But what that really means is that you want to spread the cost out among all of us, even non-pet owners, so that I have no choice but to, in effect, write a check to your vet. Let's don't lose sight of what a tax break really means: it means a break for you by a tax on everybody else.

    And it never ends. Two years ago if I'd posted this story, you wouldn't have believed it. Now, not only is it not out of the realm of possibility, it seems reasonable to a sizable chunk of the public. Next, if it's up to one or more of our czars, we'll be footing the bill for your dog to get a lawyer if you neglect his health needs or maybe his food preferences.

    Oh, and to add to the "feel good" nature of this oh-so-compassionate effort:

    The measure even has a snappy acronym: the HAPPY Act, as in Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years.
    Oh sheesh.

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    has spoken at 11:54 AM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    Some like it hot...

    With swine flu sweeping across the country, health officials are reminding Americans to wash their hands often to reduce the spread of the disease.

    Soap and warm water have long been said to prevent the spread of infections, but is warm or hot water really more effective than cold?

    Separating fact from conventional wisdom:


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    has spoken at 8:53 AM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, October 12, 2009
    A much needed post-Nobel smile...
    LONDON (MarketWatch) -- In a decision as shocking as Friday's surprise peace prize win, President Obama failed to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences Monday.

    Obama fails to win Nobel prize in economics

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    has spoken at 11:03 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, October 11, 2009
    Sunday snippets...

    Well, no sooner did we feel a chill in the air than I was inspired to get out my Thanksgiving menu grid, get serious about Christmas shopping, and look through my holiday magazines to find some new recipes to try. Part of me wishes we'd have cool/cold weather all year long, and the other part of me knows that I'd miss the change--that sudden rush of high energy and optimism and yes, ecstasy that fall brings me every year.

    But of course, with changes in the weather come risks. We have a metal gazebo with nice zip-up mosquito netting and an outdoor chandelier light fixture on our deck...or rather we did. It's usually screwed down onto the deck because everything we own blows away out here, but when Dave got ready to resurface and enlarge the deck we unscrewed it and put it in the yard. Alas, we waited one day too late to replace it, and now it's just a memory, sawed up into pieces and waiting for the dump. High winds threw it across the deck and very nearly into our Suburban, stopped only by other deck furniture that was in its path. we have 1400 square feet of new decking with very little on it.

    If you've ever misplaced your cell phone and your land line isn't handy to call from, here's a quick, nifty way to get it to ring. (Now, if you've left your ringer off, you're on your own.) Where's My Cell Phone?

    And speaking of phones, we're about six inches away from the decision to give up a land line altogether. We can always be reached by cell phone, and for the two youngest who don't have cell phones yet, we can get one cell to be left here in the house for when all of us are gone and they need to reach us or be reached. Tacking a new cell onto one of our two family plans will just cost us $9.99 a month, much less than what we're paying to keep a redundant land line.

    I LOVE this quote from Mark Steyn on Obama's hemming and hawing over Afghanistan when he'd really rather being working on socialized medicine: "Why squander your presidency on trying to turn an economically moribund feudal backwater into a functioning nation state when you can turn a functioning nation state into an economically moribund feudal backwater?"

    For your afternoon historical/political reading assignment, I submit this piece from Townhall. (hat tip: Pam Y., who wonders with me why we see Dick Morris everywhere but never his wife/coauthor Eileen McGann.)

    Anyone know a good source for inexpensive but dishwasher-safe charger plates?

    Many of us are holding our breath waiting for the new cookbook--The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl . It will be out week after next...go pre-order one. And if you aren't already hooked on her web site, go here and here.

    Have you enjoyed a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte yet this season? Ahhh....and I can already taste the upcoming EGGNOG Latte. What day does that start?

    This is a fun story. Something about it smacks of Seven Brides for Seven guys still do this?

    Granddaughter Carrie, 5, came in my room this week and looked at my bed. I have a very large feather body pillow that helps me greatly (now that I'm sleeping in the bed again) by giving me a place to rest one of my legs and keep pressure off my hip. It was under the covers and the quilt was spread up over it when Carrie arrived. She looked at it, looked at me, looked back at the bed, back at me, and said, "Granny, did you put that under there so I would think it was you?"

    Smiling with you through a new week!

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    has spoken at 4:00 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, October 08, 2009
    Now here is a fascinating answers yet, but certainly important questions worth exploring...

    Taking the pill for past 40 years 'has put women off masculine men'


    has spoken at 12:09 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, October 07, 2009
    I have an amazing son. John Caleb turned 15 today, and he decided to spend his last day of being 14 baking his first pies. Not just baking, but mixing crust, rolling, making filling and shaping the pies. Did I mention he was 14? His first pies, a peach and a blueberry-peach, looked better than many of my pies after years of practice. And he did all this with not a stitch of help from anyone other than 8-year-old Warren, who helped him stir the filling.

    Rolling out and shaping his first crusts ever...

    Helping Warren get the filling ready....

    Filling the pies....

    Ready for the oven...isn't it great?

    Making the whole house smell good...

    ...and the finished product! I am so proud of John Caleb!

    Happy birthday, John Caleb...and I hope the next year brings a lot more pies!

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    has spoken at 6:12 AM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, October 06, 2009
    "...God has no needs that I could ever be required to satisfy. God has no deficiencies that I might be required to supply. He is complete in himself. He is overflowing with happiness in the fellowship of the Trinity. The upshot of this is that God is a mountain spring, not a watering trough. A mountain spring is self-replenishing. It constantly overflows and supplies others. But a watering trough needs to be filled with a pump or bucket brigade. So if you want to glorify the worth of a watering trough you work hard to keep it full and useful. But if you want to glorify the worth of a spring you do it by getting down on your hands and knees and drinking to your heart's satisfaction, until you have the refreshment and strength to go back down in the valley and tell people what you've found, You do not glorify a mountain spring by dutifully hauling water up the path from the river below and dumping it into the spring. What we have seen is that God is like a mountain spring, not a watering trough. And since that is the way God is, we are not surprised to learn from Scripture--and our faith is strengthened to hold fast--that the way to please God is to come to him to get and not to give, to drink and not to water. He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him."

    --John Piper, The Pleasures of God, (Multnomah Books, 1991), 208


    has spoken at 7:30 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, October 05, 2009
    Well, we may not have the greatest impersonator in the nation here, but he does have the details down...

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    has spoken at 3:09 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Wanna decide
    if brown-bagging it to work or school is a lot cheaper than grabbing a burger or a sub sandwich at the shop next door? Enter

    The Sandwich Price Calculator

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    has spoken at 9:16 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Gotta love Hollywood.
    2012, the end-of-the-world feature film that critics say is a disaster all by itself. See the hilariously OTT trailer here.

    Really, don't miss the trailer. Did they mean this to be comedy?


    has spoken at 6:00 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, October 04, 2009
    Sunday snippets...
    It happened fast. Annie and family, after being with us for a lovely three months, drove away on Tuesday morning with only a few hours' notice. Monday night Caleb received a call that a company in Virginia with whom he'd already interviewed once wanted him back for a second interview, and because it looked like a good "risk", they took off in their car the next day. We sure miss them, but we're praying that this job is the one that will have them settling down in his chosen field and building the next phase of their lives. Once again, the house seems way too quiet without grandkids...

    Here in San Antonio, we're trying to figure out where to put all the water from the torrential rains in the past two days. Last night was one of the loudest electrical storms I've ever heard, continuing for hours and hours. It seems like nature is trying to make up for two years' drought in one or two nights!

    After a rather up and down week, I received good news on Friday from all fronts in my recovery. I was freed from my PICC line, which although better than being hospitalized for IV's, is still a big headache and no fun. Now I can turn over without having to worry about everything getting tangled. Not to mention the pleasure of discharging my home health care nurse :-)

    McDonald's at the Louvre. Gotta love what this is doing to the culture snobs:

    "This is the last straw," said one art historian working at the Louvre, who declined to be named. "This is the pinnacle of exhausting consumerism, deficient gastronomy and very unpleasant odours in the context of a museum," he told the Daily Telegraph.

    Didier Rykner, head of The Art Tribune website found the idea "shocking".

    "I'm not against eating in a museum but McDonald's is hardly the height of gastronomy," he said, adding that it was a worrying mixture of art and consumerism. "Today McDonald's, tomorrow low-cost clothes shops," he said.

    What? No Marshall's in Paris yet?

    Last night, the kids of our church, including most of my children and grandchildren, put on another fabulous musical, this time "Psalty's Camping Adventure". The culmination of six months' work, it was once again a dazzling combination of costumes, choreography, music, humor, and teamwork. I'll post a few pictures tomorrow.

    On my list: renewing my driver's license. It expired on my birthday, June 20, while I was still recovering from my June 5 femur fracture. Obviously I haven't needed to drive since then...but now that there seems to be light at the end of that tunnel, I'd better get it renewed before they decide to make me take a driving test!

    While I did not actually buy any Christmas gifts this week, I DID fill up my Amazon shopping cart with quite a few. That counts, right?

    Family favorite ND (4-1) pulled out another ugly win yesterday. Good thing we have a bye week to breathe before taking on USC on the 17th! Look for some of our family to be scrounging for tickets when the Irish come to San Antonio to play Washington State on the 31st...

    The Postal Service complains that mail volume goes down year after year, necessitating spiraling increases in stamp prices. I say hike postage prices on all these catalogs that stuff my mailbox the second half of the year and they'd have more than enough to service the bloated union contracts that keeps USPS in the red. Every day, The Papa brings in fifteen or more catalogs, of which I keep approximately ONE, and the rest go to the landfill. What a waste.

    It's birthday season around here! From September through December we have one or two birthday celebrations every week, keeping Granny hopping with the gift bags. Today it's Liam, youngest son of Kristen and Dave. He's three today--Happy Birthday, Liam!

    I can hardly wait to see the coloring of the few deciduous trees in our area. We're not exactly a mecca for autumn leaves here, but any little bit makes me smile!

    Happy October from Granny's House, "where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average" (apologies to Lake Wobegon, but here it really is true).

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    has spoken at 12:40 AM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, October 01, 2009
    Of horses and legs...
    What does Scripture mean when it says the Word is "alive"?

    All my life I've heard people of good intentions say it means that, unlike any other book, a passage from the Bible can mean something different every time you read it. But I don't happen to believe in a God whose Word changes its meaning every time it speaks...rather, I believe that as *I* am changed, sanctified, I understand it at new levels and that it never fails to speak the very same message to the very different circumstances of my life.

    Last night, sitting in the recliner that has pretty much been my home since June 5, I became acutely aware of the state of my muscular atrophy. Oh, I'd long recognized the sorry state of my quads--they've been cut into so many times in the past six years it's a wonder there's any tissue left there at all. But last night I suddenly realized that I have almost no calf muscle left, either. And no one has put a scalpel anywhere below my knees!

    There are all kinds of exercises to build up your calves, but the truth is that most people get all the exercise they will ever need just by walking or running. Trouble is, I don't do much walking these days, and haven't really done much of it in years. I can sure see it in my calves...and that makes me feel pretty crummy. The state of my legs in general makes me feel pretty bad, even when they're not causing me pain. Not just pretty bad, but embarrassed as well.

    I don't know how many times I've read the Bible all the way through, and I've certainly read through the Psalms many more times than that, so there's no telling why this passage never really stood out to me:

    His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
    nor his pleasure in the legs of a man;
    but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
    in those who hope in his steadfast love.

    Psalm 147:10-11

    I ran across these verses while reading one of my current books, The Pleasures of God by John Piper. After spending some time speaking of the intersection of love and fear, Piper returns to the question implied in the first part of the passage.

    Now we must ask why God does not take pleasure in horses and legs as it says in verse 10:

    His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
    nor his pleasure in the legs of a man.

    The point here is not that strong horses and strong legs are bad. After all, God made them. In fact...he rejoices in the strength and freedom of mighty horses. For example, he asks Job,

    Do you give the horse his might?
    Do you clothe his neck with strength?
    Do you make him leap like the locust?...
    He paws in the valley, and exults in his strength,
    He laughs at fear, and is not dismayed;
    he does not turn back from the sword...
    he cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
    He smells the battle from afar,
    the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.

    (Job 39:19-25)

    Clearly God exults in the strength of the horse that he alone has made. Job can't take credit for any of the horse's wonderful powers. No, the point is not that this glorious animal is bad. The point is this: in the day of battle, men put their hope in horses instead of putting their hope in God. But Proverbs 32.:31 says, "The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD." Therefore Psalm 20:7 says, "some boast in chariots, and some in horses; but we boast of the name of the LORD our God." And Psalm 33:17 says, "The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great strength it cannot save."

    God is not displeased with the strength of a horse and the legs of a man as good things that he has made. He is displeased with those who hope in horses and in their legs. He is displeased with people who put their hope, for example, in missiles or in makeup, in tanks or tanning parlors, in bombs or body-building. God takes no pleasure in corporate efficiency or balanced budgets or welfare systems or new vaccines or education or eloquence or artistic excellence or legal processes, when these things are the treasure in which we hope, or the achievement in which we boast. Why? Because when we put our hope in horses and legs, then horses and legs get the glory, not God. [emphasis mine]

    The Word is alive! All my life I've read these verses and never had the ears to hear what it was saying to me. Still, God doesn't give up on me...He gives me circumstances that will allow His Word to speak to me where my ears have been stopped up.

    I've never owned a horse and probably never will, so I'm not really tempted to put my literal hope in one. But I do own a pair of legs that used to serve me well and are now largely lifeless. I've been putting a lot of hope into the return of their usefulness through surgery and exercise. And I'd be lying if I said I don't want God to answer my prayers for strong, healthy legs. That would give me a lot of pleasure. I want to be increasingly aware, however, that HIS pleasure is "in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love." If He chooses to restore my strength, wonderful! But may I ever have my eyes on the eternal and put fearing and hoping in Him above all else.

    That kind of life has legs.

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    has spoken at 6:34 PM
    3 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!"