After a dream week with Lyric in southern California, I slid up the coast on a short flight into Sacramento, and when I got off the plane, The Papa was there to meet me right at the gate. He flew in 40 minutes earlier from Texas and we were off on the next leg of our end-of-summer adventures! We're now enjoying a lovely mini-vacation outside of Modesto with our newest soul-mate friends. It's been a long time since I spent two weeks in this state, but it's all been good :-)
And one of the best parts is that I got to have an In-N-Out burger on the way to the airport. Just thought you'd want to know.
And of course while we're on the left coast, all eyes were on that "other" coast, watching a half-million or more people gather in Washington DC to raise the standard for honor, freedom, and a restoring of American values. Very inspiring.
Counting down to the wedding, we're 41 days away. All the large pieces are in place and we're just working on the fine points now. I'm still sort of in denial that CJ is moving AWAY...I have no problems with her marrying the man of her dreams, I'm just still thinking that something magical will happen and they'll stick around.
Pizza tastes better cooked outside. And Pear Gorgonzola Pizza is my new fave.
It felt a little funny to get school going and then leave for two weeks, but that's the way things worked this year. I'm anxious to get back to working with the boys and also the fall meetings of our HOPE group.
FIVE years since Katrina? Wow.
My next trip will be a redux of last year's ill-fated vacation in Hawaii. I didn't realize that the pain I was having while I was there was because I was still walking around on a broken leg. Though I was happy to be there, I wasn't able to do much outside of our hotel room, so we're having a do-over. Papa has to be there for two weeks in October/November, so I'm going to go for one of those weeks while the kids take a fall break. Hopefully, this time I'll be able to enjoy all those things I love about the islands!
Can someone please tell me why there are so many voices on TV saying, "Our economy is headed in the right direction"? Are they serious, or is this a case of "Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes?" (Juan Williams, I'm lookin' in your direction.)
Anyone using a great new curriculum this year that you're dying to tell me about? Or complain about?
I have the coolest kids in the world. And I miss 'em.
Did you catch Jennifer Griffin this past week? What a great lady. Her return to FOX News this week FROM AFGHANISTAN, including her coming unglued at the emotion of it all, was about the best thing I've seen on TV all year.
We're going to Yosemite tomorrow! It'll be our first visit there and I'm so excited...I'm sure I'll post some pictures.
Hope your week is as much fun as ours is. Have a great one!
Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything
hat tip: Penny P.
Granny is on Day 3 of her visit with Lyric in southern California. So far we've watched three movies, walked and bought fruit and veggies at the Monrovia Street Fair, literally right outside her front door in Old Town Monrovia, cooked a wonderful meal with said produce, spent a morning at a Pee Wee scrimmage football game, visited with several other family members including sweet four-week old Asher, and gotten a little bit of work done.
And for the record, Lyric has one of the most gorgeous and elegant apartments I've ever seen. I feel very pampered.
If you want to see a fairly short, feel-good flick, get "Babies." Adorable.
This part of California can get pretty warm this time of year, though not as predictably as south Texas. But a ten-degree break is a welcome one. I'm hoping for an even bigger margin next weekend in northern California before I return to the furnace.
The Wedding is fast approaching! We're at 7 weeks and counting, with still a lot left to do but plenty of time to get it all done. It's going to be very memorable :-)
What is it with the olive craze, anyway? Accidentally getting one of those things in my mouth is just a step away in desirability from accidentally drinking a fly in my iced tea, but there seems to be a whole new industry springing up trying to convince people that they're edible! I think olives are meant to have the oil pressed out of them and that's it.
On Tuesday, Nathan raised his hand and swore in to the Texas Air National Guard. He's waiting to find out when his date to report will be. Glad he'll be serving his country while finishing his degree.
Granny's House is full of teens and young adults these days...it's a good thing we currently have some grandkids living with us to keep the average age down for a while or I'd be feeling much older!
One of the late teen/young adults in our house is Shelley, who wrote this extraordinary little piece for her blog yesterday: Waiting on the world to change
And we just THOUGHT our lives would be free of Blago after this week.
From the files of "What Not to Wear"...I'm thankful I wasn't flying that day.
Just a reminder: if you haven't yet registered to vote, or you don't know when and where you can vote on November 2, please don't let this sneak up on you and deprive you of your chance to make your voice heard this year. Ten weeks to fire Congress!
Off to get another cup of coffee. Next week I'll greet you from northern California, where I'll rendezvous with The Papa for some more days of refreshment and visiting with friends. Have a lovely week!
Our Daughter Isn't a Selfish Brat; Your Son Just Hasn't Read "Atlas Shrugged"
hat tip: Dr. P
Don't let your kids study for their spelling tests on the way to shcool.
Crew Paints "SHCOOL" on Road Outside N.C. School
(The Papa would say there's a reason these guys work on a road crew.)
Tomorrow, we start Year 26 of our homeschooling journey with only two (male) students. After missing so much of last year I am chomping at the bit to get started. Can't say as much for said male students, but I'll have 'em on my team in no time.
This week was momentous for our country, and not in a good way. We've now installed on the Supreme Court a woman whom I firmly believe is in the "enemy camp" as far as matters of morals, the Constitution, economics, and the role of government in our lives. Yes, elections have consequences...and those who were so keen on voting for Obama just to say we'd elected a black president forget that his choices for the court will outlive his term by a factor of ten. And we can't un-elect her.
At O'Hare airport last week, I made an uncharacteristic impulse purchase of a book I had seen on the bestseller list and started reading it during my trip. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (author of The Time Traveler's Wife) is a fairly mindless but pleasant modern "ghost story" with a lot of interesting characters and some occasionally inspired writing. It's been a nice foil for my rather plodding trip through Herodotus.
URGENT REQUEST: Please, please check now to find your state's voting schedule for November. If you want to vote early or need to vote absentee because you'll be out of town on November 2, then find out NOW what the deadlines are, mark them on your calendar, and send yourself email reminders with the pertinent dates. Then use your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and every other means you can think of to remind people in your state what those deadlines are. Every vote matters, and only by restoring a Congress who respects the Constitution can we have any hope of stopping our slide into the abyss. (Here's the schedule for Texas)
And at the risk of sounding like a broken (vinyl) record, download a copy of Atlas Shrugged onto your iPod, iPhone, iPad, or Kindle, or get the book from Amazon now and increase your awareness of just how close we are to a socialist state and how quick the trip will be to totalitarianism.
From the recent annals of nationalized health care in the country that our decision-makers (read: High Priests of Obamacare) worship, there's this tragedy, coming soon to a country and hospital very near you. May God have mercy on all the little humans born before 24 weeks.
Guacamole? Yes. Please.
I spent quite a bit of time this past week listening to clips of madrigals, an early music form that shaped much of my music education. Just listening made me feel young again.
Said I wouldn't do it, but I did. Signed up for Netflix again. I vowed that I wouldn't do it until they stop using pop-up ads to advertise, and they haven't stopped. But what they have done is made a lot of the stuff I want to see instantly available through streaming and I could no longer resist. Last night I watched the first episode of the mini-series Pillars of the Earth. I loved the book, and unlike with many book-to-movie/TV conversions, I was not disappointed. Looking forward to the next parts.
I'm off to finish up plans for tomorrow...I hope that whenever you're starting your school year, you're as enthusiastic about it as I am! Have a great week!
La Shawn Barber is one of today's great minds. Plus she can say things that, today, only a black woman can say...
Hey Jude Flow Chart
"At home certain trends—crime, cultural tension, some cultural Balkanization—will, we fear, continue; some will worsen. In my darker moments I have a bad hunch. The fraying of the bonds that keep us together, the strangeness and anomie of our popular culture, the increase in walled communities . . . the rising radicalism of the politically correct . . . the increased demand of all levels of government for the money of the people, the spotty success with which we are communicating to the young America's reason for being and founding beliefs, the growth of cities where English is becoming the second language . . . these things may well come together at some point in our lifetimes and produce something painful indeed. I can imagine, for instance, in the year 2020 or so, a movement in some states to break away from the union. Which would bring about, of course, a drama of Lincolnian darkness. . . . You will know that things have reached a bad pass when Newsweek and Time, if they still exist 15 years from now, do cover stories on a surprising, and disturbing trend: aging baby boomers leaving America, taking what savings they have to live the rest of their lives in places like Africa and Ireland."
Prescient. Hard to believe she wrote this 16 years, ago, but then again, not too surprising if you're already familiar with Noonan's uncanny ability to perceive long-term trends that are just snapshots in time to the rest of us.
Too bad more people aren't listening to her and Mark Steyn and a few others, determining to swim upstream and get others to swim with them...because the weird detachment of the decision-making classes in politics and academia and the pessimism of the rest of us about the probability of change is leading us right into the world of Rand's Atlas Shrugged -- frogs in a pot with the water gradually turned up until there's no getting out.
Noonan ends today's national portrait:
When the adults of a great nation feel long-term pessimism, it only makes matters worse when those in authority take actions that reveal their detachment from the concerns—even from the essential nature—of their fellow citizens. And it makes those citizens feel powerless.
Inner pessimism and powerlessness: That is a dangerous combination.
Finish reading Noonan's in-between insights here and know that, likely, in 2026 you'll look back at today's column and wonder, "How could she know that?"
Labels: Social Observation
During the month of July, Bethany spent her days making all manner of crafts with Erin, 5, and Jude, 2 1/2. And I don't mean just construction paper cards and pipe cleaner people. They did some pretty elaborate stuff together, and when I got here I was able to see some of their projects. Below is their "garden" that now dresses up the room they share and a bird they made with real feathers.
Bethany, you ROCK!
New mommy Annie, reading to all three of her children. Baby Savannah is ten days old and is slumbering peacefully in the sling behind the book :-)
Next up on the priority list of The One and his Merry Band of Outlaws: Outlaw Farm Dust. No really, there's got to be a way to farm without all that mess, and they're going to penalize you or even put you out of business if you can't find a way to do it, uh, hygienically. And why should we be surprised?
(You ARE reading or listening to Atlas Shrugged, right?)
EPA to Crack Down on Farm Dust