Monday, March 30, 2009

Every Story Under the Sun


I have to make a full disclosure here - my family includes law enforcement.

With that said, I need to express my feelings about the Moat's incident.

I honestly cannot fault the officer and for the life of me, cannot understand why society at large is out for this officer's blood.

Let's really take this to the root of the issue. An NFL (National Felon's League) player was demanding preferential treatment for breaking the law.

Here's the fortunate thing - no one was killed when he ran a red light. No one in Moat's car - no innocent bystander because of his reckless and illegal behavior.

He deserved to be pulled over and cited just like anyone else that breaks the law.

Let's face it, people run red lights all of the time. I see the aftermath every day from someone's accident because their "life" was so much more important than someone else's. These offenders are often armed with a quiver full of excuses. "My wife's in labor." "I didn't have time to stop." and the ever popular "I have diarrhea." People lie ALL OF THE TIME to get out of tickets. It's just what our society does. I'm sure this officer has heard every excuse in the book and then some. Is it any wonder then, because we are a less than honest society, that he doubted the story?

A competent officer (and I believe this officer to be) investigates a story and moreover, investigates the person he has detained - that includes a warrant check and VIN check. If this innocent traffic stop had yielded a child molester just because he ran a red light, we'd have been singing this officer's praises! Many violent offenders, drug lords, etc. are caught on simple traffic violations. That's a fact, people.

I also find the hospital to be partially at fault in all of this. Encouraging a "speedy" trip to the hospital for final good-byes isn't the brightest move to make... unless they're hoping for more business.

While I sympathize with and offer my condolences to the family, it doesn't make what Moat's did any less illegal and potentially DEADLY.

Officer Powell should rest assured that many people support him and his decisions to follow protocol. He had no way of knowing if the situation was made-up or potentially volatile. I am sickened that he was made to apologize but I admire him for doing so.

The media has repeatedly found a way to vilify police officers who risk their lives to protect complete strangers every day.

This is one citizen who is sick of it. I challenge any of you who are critical of the police force to join and change it - of course, that would mean you'd be willing to take a bullet for me and every other stranger on the street.

It's easier to curse the darkness than to light a candle though.

... yeah, I didn't think you'd go for it either.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Let them eat cake!

Thanks to Lydia Netzer, writer extraordinaire, there's an article about my cake classes on Hamptonroads.com.

Lydia is doing cover stories about working homeschooling mothers (and fathers) and how they manage to work and homeschool at the same time.

I have to say, I love teaching my cake decorating classes at Michael's. It's the "Mommy Time" I need most nights and my students and I always seem to bond immediately.

At the risk of shamelessly plugging myself... if you've always wanted to learn to how to decorate cakes, it's so much fun and it's so easy. Those of you that know me personally, know that I love to make people laugh and this class is no exception.

While I always tease about starting the first night of class with icing all over my face just to see what the new students say, rest assured that we have fun in a professional and educational setting. We just giggle a lot while we do it.

In this economy, learning this one little skill is invaluable. You'll never pay $35 or $40 (and up) for a sheet cake again. And almost all of my students go on to make cakes for other people so it's a great side income!

What's more, it's so easy a child could do it which is a good thing because I teach classes for children too!

At any rate, it's a nice night out and chocolate... what more could you want!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

To everything, there is a season...

When I was very little, my mother and her father had a falling out. I never really knew my grandfather because of that. A few years ago, my mother and her father reconciled and the family was technically united but the strain of not being part of his life for almost 20 years took a toll on how the relationship should have been.

Granddad is a wonderful man. Very funny. Very handsome. His looks are similar to Lorne Green... so much so that his boat was named "The Ponderosa". Master of the martini, tells a joke with a twinkle in his eye. An all around good guy.

Two years ago he and my step-grandmother (affectionately known as "Granny Good Witch") moved to West Palm, Florida.

Try as I might, I just don't feel the familial connection with them that I should. It doesn't mean I don't love or care about them. It's just that without the routine of talking to them, we never really reconnected.

A few nights ago, my mother told me that my step-grandmother let her know that my grandfather (all 6' 3" of him) was now bedridden with Alzheimer's that was progressively getting worse. His mother had the same thing.

It is not lost on me that this is hereditary and that I should be doing things NOW to prevent being part of that chain. I already forbid drinks in cans (aluminum has been shown to cause Alzheimer's.) I do word puzzles and keep my mind active to help keep it stimulated. Still, it's in the back of my mind how cruel this disease is.

Today, my mother told me that his family said they'd be surprised if he lasted 24 hours. Such a quick strike.

I'm most concerned about my mother and what role guilt may play in his death for that long absence they shared.

When I asked about a funeral, my mother told me that he was donating his body to science. I was surprised because I have made arrangements for this for myself.

Hopefully, he can shed some light on this terrible disease.

I wonder if my Nana will be in Heaven waiting for him... complaining about that "damned boat."

Monday, March 2, 2009

SNOW!


I taught my son how to take pictures of snowflakes today.

Wanna' know how?

Actually, it's much easier than you think.

First, you'll need a dark fabric. Black works the best but any dark color will do.

Next, put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. If you start with cold fabric, it makes it easier for the snowflakes to land and not melt right away.

Even if you don't want to take pictures, this is a great way to study and admire them.

You'll need to be a good 3 feet from the snowflakes unless you have a macro lens.

Remember, use your zoom. From there, you can use a photo program like Adobe Photoshop to enlarge it.

These are some examples of what you get:


It looks like jewelry, doesn't it? Gorgeous! No wonder I love them so!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Socks, Unity, Retro Soda, and Recycled Greenhouses

As you can tell by my title, I've got a touch of Shiny Object Syndrome this week.

Lots of things going on but we'll start with socks.

I like sock knitting. It's probably my favorite thing to knit but I have a confession to all the yarn snobs out there, I've only recently knitted with sock yarn. No, it's true. I've been using worsted weight because it's fast and I can whip them out in two days time.

Earlier this week, I decided to break out the size one needles (which are only slightly smaller in diameter than a toothpick for those of you that don't knit) and the sock yarn which is well, thin and went at it. I started easy, though. Toddler socks.

I love making things for Connor. He's just the most appreciative little boy in the world. If you tell him, "I like your socks!" He says, "Meshu! Mommy made it!" (Meshu is toddlerese for "Thank you.")

Socks... yes... where was I? Two pairs of socks for Connor out of the way.

Next on the needles? I need to finish these tweed socks for Alan. They've been a UFO in my bag for over a year. Worsted weight, though. It should be easy.

That brings me to my newest knitting buddy - Kerri. Kerri's son and my son play in our church band. It's a groovy band. Her son (13, I think) plays AWESOME (like a hot dog) drums! This kid ROCKS! It's fair to say he KICKS ASS on the drums. Beside him on lead guitar is my son, Jake. It's been funny to hear parents tell me, "Wow, if I was a 13 year old girl." My son's a heart throb? Seriously? Him and the drummer may want to think about this band thing. :o) Enter, the girl singers. AMAZING vocals. 11, 15, and 19. BEAUTIFUL girls. Pretty is as pretty does. Wonderful family! Then there's Alan (yes, hubby) on bass. He's reliving his teenagehood. :0D On piano - John... another grown up and next to John on acoustic guitar? That's Canda. She's a joy to listen to and watch. You can just see that the music moves her.

Kerri has no guilt in knitting in church. I, on the other hand, am still trying to shed my great-grandmother's adage, "For every stitch you do on Sunday, you take out 9 in HELL!" Really, that lost it's scariness to me years ago. I'm queen of frogging it.

So... Unity Church. Wonderful place - concentrates on the positive message of Christ. I really like it there. "The Band" plays upbeat Christian music but a lot of pop music that's appropriate to the message. Today was "Love Train". Yes, the funky 1970 song featured on many an episode of Soul Train. I felt it my duty to buy fuzzy hats for everyone to wear and wild sunglasses. I mean, if you're gonna' funk, you gotta' funk it up big.



The choir (that sings more traditional songs ) was in full form today too from what I hear.

Unfortunately, I wasn't there to see it today. Connor had a 102 temp and was throwing up. That brings me to Coke. (See how it all relates? No red car here, my friends!)

Coke is something that's a Southern staple when you're sick. "You need some coCOla?" Something about the syrup being settling to the stomach. Now remember, we don't do HFCS so it's not something I'm happy about when it's the only thing to settle one's stomach. Never fear, though. If my thoughts are correct that the government is indeed monitoring my activity (that's a joke... I think... ) Pepsi got wind of my anti-HFCS stance and now has "Pepsi Throwback" - a soda with pure cane sugar instead of HFCS! YAY! Hopefully, it's not so sickening sweet.

Sweet... peas... peas... beans... beans... garden and now we're up to recycled greenhouses! This is how my mind works, people... you gotta' keep up!

Mother Earth News' newsletter came to my e-mail box today and in it an idea for turning plastic containers (that hold things like fruit or salads from salad bars) into little greenhouses! How cool! Not having one, I realized I had two rotisserie chickens in plastic containers that would be PERFECT for starting some lettuce. Yay!

Tomorrow, we'll be making newspaper planters for beans and little beds for lettuce. I've gotta' do SOMETHING to get out of this Winter funk. 35 and sleet right now, my friends. 65 on Friday. It's more than my brain can take.

If I don't start seeing some new growth soon, I'm going to go crazy. Not that I have far to travel. :o)

I'll post pictures of our progress - rest assured.