March 2007

29 Mar 2007 10:34 am


The news that Tony Snow’s cancer has returned left me feeling heart-sick. I had been concerned recently by his gaunt appearance but attributed it to the great job he was doing as the White House spokesman. Anyone who has to deal with Helen Thomas and David Gregory must have the patience of Job.

My Dad was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1997, less than two months after my father-in-law had died of cancer. That was a scary and heartbreaking time. For a year my dad had to endure a lowgrade chemotherapy that affected his appetite and left him feeling ill quite often. But he didn’t lose his hair! He’s been cancer free for over ten years now. My Dad has a strong will, a great sense of humor and most important, faith in God.

Those three elements we know Tony Snow has in spades. I’m praying for him and his family as he makes that walk through the fire again.

Sometime in the summer of 2004 my husband returned from a trip to Fort Leonard Wood. As he was unpacking his car I had an errand to run so got in my car and turned on the radio. The Tony Snow show was on.

The topic was the WMD not found in Iraq. Tony had a caller who was an active duty COL who had been involved in the planning for the invasion while serving at V CORPS in Heidleberg, Germany. The caller, who was named Bob, told Tony that he had seen enough evidence in the message traffic and military briefings before 911 and in the aftermath to believe that Iraq was a danger to not only the U.S. but the rest of the world.

As I listened to the Army officer and Tony engaged in conversation a slow realization came to me that Tony was talking to my husband. But how could that be I thought. I had just seen my husband a few minutes before, unloading his car. He wasn’t talking on the phone.

Big confusement.

Then I realized that Tony’s radio show must have been tape delayed.

After I got home I told Bob that I had just heard him speaking to Tony. For a moment he looked perplexed. Then he told me that he had been listening to Tony’s show as he was driving through Missouri and decided to call him to add his two cents worth.

Tony had engaged my husband in conversation for about five minutes, giving him an opportunity to express his strong belief that the media had ignored the military intelligence in favor of that of Joe Wilson’s CIA.

That was just one serendipitous Tony Snow moment.

I was so glad when Tony decided to take the position of White House spokesman because with him, President Bush actually had a strong advocate who could not only defend the president from the assaults of the press but dish it right back to them. His calm but feisty demeaner exposed the bias of David Gregory.

I’m praying for Tony’s complete and speedy recovery. He has done great and good things for our country. My Dad offers this word of encouragement to Tony…

Tony, don’t let this get you down. Giving up is your enemy. Don’t give up.

The White House has set up a get well page for Tony.

G.M. Roper has a wonderful post encouraging Tony to fight on. Hat tip: The Anchoress

28 Mar 2007 10:56 pm

Fausta reports that the “youth” are rioting in the Gare du Nord, one of the largest train and subway terminals in Paris. The Gare du Nord is also a terminus for the Eurostar trains.

Up to 13 people have been arrested after an argument over a ticket in a Paris metro station sparked riots.
Police used tear gas to disperse up to 100 youths at the Gare du Nord, one of Paris’s major transport hubs.

Rioters smashed windows and attacked vending machines and shops, after objecting to the treatment of a man arrested for jumping a ticket barrier.

With French elections due next month, the left and right were quick to offer their interpretation of the violence.

Interior Minister Francois Baroin condemned the violence.

My daughters, niece, friend and I were in Paris in July, 2001 and took the Eurostar through the chunnel. After we returned we were sitting in the terminal checking our map and a Frenchman approached us and started to beg. Not so unusual one might say, except that while he was begging, his mouth was so full of bread it was spilling out as he spoke.

How times have changed. A Frenchman begging for bread is much more preferable than a gang of violent “youths” rioting, smashing property and generally terrorizing the public. That ought to be intolerable to those who live in a civilized country.

25 Mar 2007 11:52 pm


When I was a child I loved the wisteria vine in our yard. Every spring when it made its beautiful presence known I would run around the yard yelling “Wisteria!”

My sister called it my “Wisteria hysteria.”


Last year the wisteria didn’t answer Springs’ RSVP. I saw only a little of it in the backyard.


This year, however, it’s flourishing all over the yard.


And crowning the tops of trees.


Wisteria may share her glory with other blooming flowers.


But it’s still wisteria fever for me.


Sweet redbuds and lilacs are merely plain stepsisters compared to the exquisite Wisteria.

25 Mar 2007 05:40 pm


Sabby loves the scanner. He sits on it all the time.


He has a perfect view of the computer monitor so I suppose you could call him my editor.

He’s pretty good.

Sumtimes I knead a editor. :lol:

The Modulator is hosting the #132 edition of the Friday Ark. Hop on board.

UPDATE: The April Fools Edition of the Carnival of the Cats is hosted by IMAO. It’s a wild one.

24 Mar 2007 05:44 pm

Some men cry too much nowadays and can’t even get the better of mice.

But some women are going in the opposite direction.

24 Mar 2007 01:03 pm


Art by Laura Lee Donoho

I’m a proud “cat lady” but not a stereotypical one. (whatever that is.)

Our two cats, Sabby and Captain do have free reign in our home and our two boarder kitties, Asta and Amos, live in the Charlotte Wing of our house until our daughter finishes law school. All four cats are indoor kitties and except for a few escapades into the outside world, usually prefer living their lives indoors with us.


Adorable Amos

We use non-clumping kitty litter. The clumping kind got on one of our cat’s paws and found it’s way into his intestine, causing a blockage. Captain’s a clean freak, always licking his paws and that clumping litter really did some damage. He’s okay now but no more clumping litter is allowed in our home.

We keep our home clean except for an occasional hairball.


Birds frighten Asta.

We have been lucky in our choice of food for our cats. Although they do eat Nutro Max Cat dry food, the kind we have fed them is not on the list of life endangering Chinese rat poison cat food.

Our cats have traveled with us all over the world, from Panama to Germany. They’ve never caused any problems during our travels. In fact, I believe our cats’ travels have broadened and informed them about life as a whole.


Don’t try feeding Sabby people food. He won’t eat it.

Nothing attracts Sabby to my lap more than when I’ve got a good book in my hands. Cats are intellectually stimulating. If you don’t believe it, check out Sissy Willis.

The cats have shared their lives with us and if they could speak the human language or were literate, I am sure they would have some interesting tales to tell.


Captain tours the renovated kitchen a couple of years ago.
It’s his favorite room.

They’ve never done any harm to anyone, except the time (full disclosure) that Sabby bit me because he was upset at another cat and I interfered in the fight.

That caused a trip to the doctor, resulting in a shot and antibiotics. For me.

So do I think our family needs to invest in a Feline NeutralTM Cat Offsets Program.?

Hell no!

So what if our cats celebrate National Bad Cat Day every few months? If they want to disturb the peace inside our own walls that’s our problem and we don’t have to appease any over-protective song-bird lovers by selling them out. Hasn’t anyone ever heard of Blue Jays?

Don’t get me wrong. I do love dogs. Most of our family members have dogs as well as cats and we did too until our beloved Pattertwig died. But our home has no fence around it so we decided not to get another dog for the time being anyway.

When we lived in Germany we had an odd neighbor who was afraid of every living creature, especially rabbits. This woman lobbied the post officials to get rid of the rabbits! Unbelievably they did. One day while we were away for Christmas, German hunters were allowed on post to hunt the rabbits. We discovered bullet holes in our living room window when we arrived home and called the MPs. That’s when we learned about the unbelievable German rabbit hunt.

I never saw another rabbit on post.

Then the nutty woman started in on the birds. I was outside one day watering some plants and the lady walked over, pointed up to the tree, and said, “look, there are birds in that tree.”

I looked at her and thought, duh.

Apparently she wanted the post officials to remove the birds. Because they sang and disturbed her peace.

My idea is - let the birds fly, the cats chase the birds, and the dogs chase the cats. In other words, let nature take its course. My cats won’t be involved in that business because they are safely indoors, sitting in the windows, watching. Not bothering anyone. So what if they go on occasional riots in our house? If I miss a nights sleep that’s my problem.

The only offset for that is a nap later.

Go see many more independent minded cats at The Modulators Friday Ark #131.

22 Mar 2007 10:58 am

Lileks has such a way with words.

I used to sleep in until noon. Those were the carefree college days – or, more accurately, the carefree college days in which I had stopped going to classes. (A small but important distinction.) Oh, I had spent a few years getting up for early classes, sitting half-awake in dark rooms with a cup of cafeteria coffee until Prof. Canedy jolted everyone awake with another exceptional lecture on the miracles of Renaissance Art, but towards the end of my college career I took one afternoon class, wrote a lot, waited tables at night, played a lot of pinball, and argued over The World in a booth at the Valli after bar rush. I’d go home, listen to Larry King in the dark, drift off, and wake on the cold, shame-draped steps of Noon.

Boy, that evokes some shameful memories of my own. I was a world class sleeper in my youth. So was my sister. One summer when we were teens we were sleeping in. Both our parents were at work and our brothers had gone on an errand. But I wasn’t aware of any of that because I was sleeping the day away.

One of my brothers burst into our room telling us that there had been a wreck. Lucy and I ran outside (barefoot I am sure) to discover the little yellow Dodge Colt in the ditch. When my brother was turning right into the narrow driveway a taxi driver plowed right into them from behind, knocking the car in the ditch.

My brothers were unhurt but the car was totaled.

When the policeman arrived he immediately gave my teenaged brother the ticket, preferring to believe the foul-mouthed old taxi driver’s account. I saw red. The cop actually threatened to arrest me because I argued with him. Luckily, our father’s best friend, Pete Howard, the head of the art department at our local college, came to our rescue. He happened to be driving by and stopped to help. Mr. Howard’s calming words helped to settle me down.

My parents went to court over that ticket and eventually won. But it took several years.

I felt pretty weird about sleeping through all that commotion but continued to stay up too late and sleep in when I went to college. I learned to schedule my hardest classes in the afternoon. I couldn’t make the eight o’clocks. Dr. Doss, my Western Civilization professor, was hard to take even in the afternoons. She was an extreme feminist and anti-war advocate. She was also very boring. I remember the class laughing at her when she tried to rouse us up to demonstrate against the Vietnam War which was in its last days. She had a few true believers but most of us were offended by her rhetoric. Arkansas Tech University was never a hotbed of anti-war activism.

Sleeping after becoming a mother was quite a shock. My babies didn’t respect my sleeping habits at all. Things changed. I learned to take little catnaps when they were sleeping and to drink strong coffee. I remember asking my mother how she managed to sleep after having three babies in four years. She looked at me and laughed. “I didn’t. You just do what you have to do.”

So I did.

Moving all over the world produced a new phenomenon called jetlag. Another assault on my sleep. For a few years after we returned from Germany I still had problems sleeping. I would wake at 2:52 in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep. It got really bad when I was working and had to face the day in a state of sleep deprivation. Sometimes the hour on my clock would be 3:27. Odd times.

I am sleeping in this week because it’s Spring Break.

Anyway, read Lileks. Every word is worth it.

22 Mar 2007 12:16 am


BERLIN — The Berlin Zoo’s abandoned polar bear cub Knut looks cute, cuddly and has become a front-page media darling, but an animal-rights activist insisted Monday he would have been better off dead than raised by humans.

“Feeding by hand is not species-appropriate but a gross violation of animal-protection laws,” animal-rights activist Frank Albrecht was quoted as saying by the mass-circulation Bild daily, which has featured regular photo spreads tracking fuzzy Knut’s frolicking.

“The zoo must kill the bear.”

I detect a tinge of yearning for the good old days of 1939 in Mr. Albrecht’s comments. Must be something deep in his German conscience which leads him to think he can assert his will over a group of people or animals. Many animal activists seem to have very controlling, over-righteous, personalities.


I went to the Little Rock Zoo today. I saw tigers.





We also saw a lot of chimps and other primates. Evidently, Judy the chimpanzee was staying put.

The Little Rock Zoo was a bit shabby and I’ve heard that a lot of funding, which should have gone to the zoo, went instead to the Clinton Library. But the animals were glorious.

UPDATE: I was really sleepy when I posted this last night so was sparse in my comments. Sissy Willis has the whole thing wrapped up, however, re Polar Bears and other exquisite creatures such as the fantastic Cathy Seipp. She will be missed. May God surround her family with all the comfort and blessings they need for now and in future days and months.

20 Mar 2007 12:21 pm

The Anchoress reminds us of that moment, five plus years ago, when President Bush threw a perfect strike and the American people were united behind him.

He makes me nuts sometimes - I wish he’d fight back more - but I can understand why he won’t waste his energy on anklebiters and partisan snipers when he has troops in harms way, and people at home to keep safe. And he has kept us safe. And yes, I still pray for him, every day. Do you? Have you stopped? Maybe you should start again.

At one time the media was compelled, due to that great surge of emotion and spirit of unity by almost all of America in the days after 911, to cover the president in a proper and respectful manner. But the moment the Democrats could no longer restrain themselves in their poll-driven pretense of support for our country, the media gladly joined them in their political game, hence, Bush Derangement Syndrome, like a whale lying quiescent for a time, became manifest.

No longer would the media coverage of the President be in any way positive. The American people would be subject to months and years of coverage of extreme hatred of the president and his mission through the mouths of Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, The Dixie Chicks, John Murtha, Al Gore, Joe Wilson, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and other Democrat and leftist haters.

As Sissy Willis writes, when God gave tyranny a face, he gave it a fool’s face.

Some hard working Americans who only glanced at the news out of the corners of their eyes began to believe the sly pronunciations of all the slogans of the left by the media.

“Bush Lied, People Died”……”No Blood for Oil” etc…

Instead of covering the great work our troops were (and are) doing, the media instead, chose to focus on the sad story of Abu Ghraib or any other negative military news they could find. The New York Times has never covered an anti-war rally it didn’t attempt to portray as significantly representative of the sentiment of the American people as a whole.

Of course this past weekend when the Gathering of Eagles outnumbered the war protesters in Washington D.C. the New York Times couldn’t have that. It was just a little too much truthiness for them.

The Times of course, seemed more eager to cover old gray-haired hippies’ glorious recollections of Vietnam War protests than in informing the American people that their president is indeed a human being of great compassion. None of the media outlets covered what happened in the days after the tornado in Enterprise, Alabama when President Bush went to visit.

Thanks to The Anchoress for finding and linking this article. The title, White House Involved In New Scandal seemed quite incongruous until I thought about it. Scandal + Bush will get attention. Bush + Compassion, sadly, will not.

Nevertheless, President Bush is still the leader of our country and the Commander in Chief in this war on Islamic terror, no matter how hard or long the leftist media is in denial of that fact.

Of course, as Lorie Byrd writes, the Bush administration needs to be more aggressive in communicating their message. They should have enough experience in these past six years to know that the media will not do it for them.

On the fourth anniversary of this war, even though it has affected our own family directly with the deployments of two of our own to the war-zone and one in the states in the earlier days of the war, I still believe that it was the right thing to do. So does Christopher Hitchens.

I believe history will also concur.

Welcome The Anchoress readers.

18 Mar 2007 04:18 pm


There is joy in Wide Awake Cafe-ville this weekend because our son is home for his two week R&R from Iraq.

He reports that things are definitely looking up in Iraq. They sure are here!

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