18 Sep 2011 03:14 pm

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President Obama and former President George W. Bush one week ago at the September 11th, 2001, ten year memorial service in New York City.

Some have suggested that Obama was praying to himself in this photo while others have mused that Obama was simply bored at the tenth anniversary of the deaths of three thousand Americans.

I dunno. He could have just been feeling like the Maitre D’ in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off who couldn’t abide the fake Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago, the type who gave old whats his name, Paul Shrugman, the heebie jeebies.

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Perhaps Obama simply realized he was standing beside the Walrus and it really pissed him off.

11 Sep 2011 08:20 am

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“Oh! God! Oh” were the last recorded words of Kevin Cosgrove on September 11th, 2001 as the South Tower fell. Kevin Cosgrove,in his desperate and heart breaking 911 phone call mentioned that he, Doug Cherry and others were on the 105th floor of the South Tower when the plane hit.

I wrote about Kevin’s call back in 2006. The recording was played at the Moussaoui trial.

Ten years gone, and three very important elements are being left out of the September 11th Remembrance this morning in New York City. Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t want any representatives of religion at the remembrance of the tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, 2001. There will be no firefighters, no police and no representatives of clergy present at the ceremony. In other words, no First Responders and no Last Responder.

No Comfort, no peace.

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Kevin Cosgrove’s body was found in the rubble of the World Trade Center on September 22nd, 2001. He was buried at St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery in Huntington, New York. He left a widow and three children. He was 46 years old.

Imagine going to work on a Tuesday morning and everything suddenly turning to madness.

This could happen again in a world that forgets. When we forget to honor those who ran into the towers in an attempt to save the Kevin Cosgroves of the world something is terribly wrong. When we forget the shouts and prayers of grief that went up to heaven on that clear Tuesday morning we forget the monstrosity of the moment and how much in that moment we needed God.

When we forget the policemen, many of whom also laid down their lives to help their friends and neighbors on September 11th, we dishonor the civilization that emerged from the madness of the day.

When political correctness rules the mouths of men and women we become, again, the weak horse that enticed Osama bin Laden in the first place.

May we never forget all of those who perished on September 11th, 2001. May we never forget that we were attacked by those who are still scheming to kill us today. May we never forget that it is the very freedom that we cherish that they hate.

Let us not forget that we are Americans.

31 Aug 2011 12:28 pm

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(The photo comes from a UM Facebook page via Bill Cooke at Random Pixels)

Donna Shalala, who served for eight years as Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton has been President of the University of Miami since 2001.

First, Shalala’s history with powerful men.

Soon after the sex allegations about Clinton’s involvement with White House intern Monica Lewinsky broke, Clinton had a meeting with his cabinet. Afterwards they met the press on the White House lawn.

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Clinton did meet this morning with his Cabinet and afterward, his appointees voiced their support. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said, “I believe the allegations are completely untrue.” Commerce Secretary William Daley added “I’ll second that. Definitely.” “Third it,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala.
Albright and the other Cabinet members said the president told them “to remain focused on our jobs.”

Shalala’s tenure as President of the University of Miami.

At Miami, Shalala claimed to always be on alert for violations against NCAA rules.

Again, others might not laugh. At Miami, president Donna Shalala personally hires each coach. She studies the NCAA rulebook and weekly compliance reports. During football games, she scours the sidelines for suspicious guests. “I’m on alert all the time,” she says.

Obviously not too alert. The photo below belies Shalala’s claims. She is gazing down at a $50,000 check from Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro who is now in jail and has been singing like a bird.

In 100 hours of jailhouse interviews during Yahoo! Sports’ 11-month investigation, Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro described a sustained, eight-year run of rampant NCAA rule-breaking, some of it with the knowledge or direct participation of at least seven coaches from the Miami football and basketball programs. At a cost that Shapiro estimates in the millions of dollars, he said his benefits to athletes included but were not limited to cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to high-end restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for on-field play (including bounties for injuring opposing players), travel and, on one occasion, an abortion.

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As school president, she is involved in the Nevin Shapiro sports recruiting scandal which broke in August 2011. Shapiro, who is convicted of a $930 million Ponzi scheme, allegedly provided cash, goods, prostitutes, and assorted favors to University of Miami football players and even purchased a yacht on which sex parties were held, again including prostitutes. 72 players have been implicated. Included in the case is a photograph of Shalala with Shapiro and Miami basketball coach Frank Haith receiving a $50,000 check from Shapiro in 2008. In an interview with time magazine earlier in August 2011, Shalala is quoted by Time as saying that such depravity “would not have lasted two minutes under me,” and that under her leadership there would be “no tolerance for breaking the rules.” [6] There is currently speculation that the scandal may prompt the NCAA to impose the death penalty on Miami’s famed football program.[7][8]

Guess Shalala’s been “thirding it” all along. She can’t tell those powerful football coaches how to run their teams.

Oh my, according to Wikipedia, Shalala was a friend of Angelo.

In June 2008, Conde Nast Portfolio reported that Shalala allegedly got multiple below-rate loans at Countrywide Financial because the corporation considered her a “FOA’s”–”Friends of Angelo” (Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo).

Forbes is calling for Shalala to fall on her sword. It’s really doubtful that she has a sword, being a feminist. I love college football but it’s getting harder to watch, knowing there is so much cheating going on. Allowing and encouraging it via “boosters” and others is sickening. Shalala, in her quest for a big seat at the top either didn’t have a sense of discernment when dealing with Shapiro or any of the coaches or players when she claimed to be so alert. Since she failed at that she should resign.

21 Aug 2011 11:42 pm

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Queen Elizabeth ll boards a First Capital Connect train at King’s Cross Station bound for King’s Lynn, Norfolk, en route to Sandringham for Christmas, 2009.

European royals make do with a less lavish lifestyle than the supposed citizen-executive of a so-called republic.

Thus speaketh the Steyn.

The man hits the funny bone of truth and it hurts.

He turns the knife in even deeper.

Symbols are important. In other circumstances, the Obamas’ vacation on Martha’s Vineyard might not be terribly relevant. But this is a president who blames his dead-parrot economy on “bad luck” — specifically, the Arab Spring and the Japanese tsunami: As Harry S. Truman would have said, the buck stops at that big hole in the ground that’s just opened up over in Japan. Let us take these whiny excuses at face value and accept for the sake of argument that Obama’s Recovery Summer would now be going gangbusters had not the Libyan rebels seized Benghazi and sent the economy into a tailspin. Did no one in the smartest administration in history think this might be the time for the president to share in some of the “bad luck” and forgo an ostentatious vacation in the exclusive playground of the rich? When you’re the presiding genius of the Brokest Nation in History, enjoying the lifestyle of the super-rich while allegedly in “public service” sends a strikingly Latin American message. Underlining the point, the president then decided to pass among his suffering people by touring small town Minnesota in an armored Canadian bus accompanied by a 40-car motorcade. In some of these one-stoplight burgs, the president’s escort had more vehicles than the municipality he was graciously blessing with his presence.

When I was a little girl my parents would take me to see my paternal great grandmother Emma Fletcher. She was an immaculate housekeeper so when we visited her we were allowed to snoop all over her house. My brothers and sister and I went into her dining room on our way to her fascinating kitchen and in passing would see Grandma’s hooked rugs. She never stopped working on her beautiful creations and had everything in her dining room set up as a display even though it was a work in progress.

We were intrigued with Grandma’s kitchen. Besides her pies tucked away safely in her old punched tin pie safe there always seemed to be something cooking in the oven. But it was the old ice box that fascinated us. My brother used to dare me to open the door to peak inside. There were always strange things that we never found inside the ice box at home. Things like pigs feet, ham hocks, and chitlins.

Our strolls through our great grandmother’s home were pretty good entertainment for us but one of my most striking memories is of the framed certificate that she had hanging in her bedroom above the framed photo of a young image of her husband, our great grandfather, who had died when I was five years old.

The certificate was from President Truman, an acknowledgment and thanks to my great grandfather for being the engineer who drove the train on one of the legs of President Truman’s whistle-stop campaign tour through the United States.

I was always in awe of my late great grandfather. I knew that he had been an engineer of the Frisco train and that he had told my father that he had put a million miles on the engine. Reading that certificate just put a little more burnish on the memory of the man who, in my last memory of him, had been cutting roses from his prized rose bushes and let me pick out my favorite rose.

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President Truman (not an Ivy Leaguer but most certainly a buck stopper) engaged in a re-election campaign in 1948 that was “made in America”.

Truman’s 30,000 mile whistle stop train tour through the heartland of the United States was taken on the Ferdinand Magellan, the only car custom built for the President of the United States in the 20th century. Originally built in 1928 by the Pullman Company and officially the “U.S. No. 1 Presidential Railcar”, the Ferdinand Magellan is currently on display at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami, Florida.

But to undertake this feat, in each railroad region it took an engineer and an engine to power the railcar and it’s hard to imagine the U.S. Secret Service allowing that to happen in this day and time. It would take more than one massive train to carry the load of Obama advisers, aides, press handlers, political hacks, advance crew, mother-in-law, staff, cooks, hairdressers, dog-walkers, babysitters, golf-walkers, page-turners, and the like heading to Martha’s Vineyard.

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And what a bummer for Obama! Now it appears that Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi has flown the coop for parts unknown. (perhaps Algeria) Chaos and euphoria are reigning in the streets of Tripoli and Obama must be terribly worried about his golf game plans for tomorrow. Should he make a statement right away or should he wait a few days to take credit?

How dare Gaddafi interrupt his ten day vacation only two days in?

18 Aug 2011 01:00 am

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The most transparent president ever traveled through the midwest this week on a tricked out rock star black bus. It reminded me of the Rolling Stones hit, Paint it Black, a source of nightmares for me when I was a kid. (I don’t know why the song gave me nightmares but it did)

I’ve written about it before here.

Obama’s trip around the three midwestern states he needs to shore up for votes may be a magical misery tour but that is all he has in common with my beloved Beatles.

Of course he stayed up north where things are a might bit friendlier for him.

So on to Martha’s Vineyard Obama goes for a ten day vacation. As far as I am concerned Obama does have a great plan to fix the economy as long as he stays there permanently and does nothing but golf and talk and golf and talk and golf and talk……………

08 Aug 2011 11:01 pm

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It’s still really hot in Arkansas. Fires are still burning. I had to go to the river to find a scene like the one above.

Which is the sky and which is the earth?

I needed to look on peaceful water after the news of this weekend. The horrible news that America’s best were taken down by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Two of the Navy Seals came from Arkansas.

What made my soul bleed was the fact that in the initial press reports an “unnamed official” confirmed that those who were killed were from Seal Team 6 and the 160th Avn. Bde., which is the special ops aviation unit. This “unnamed official” asked not to be named because the families had not yet been notified. I could just imagine the agony the families were in knowing that one of their own was most likely killed. In this email to Instapundit John Lucas explains his disgust at the Obama administration official’s callous attitude toward the military families who were waiting for that knock at the door.

I ache for those families - the Mothers, the Fathers, the Wives, and the children. Life will never be the same.

“I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death,” General MacArthur said in his West Point address in 1962, speaking of the fallen American soldier. “They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them Duty, Honor, Country. Always their blood and sweat and tears as we sought the way and the truth and the light.”

“However horrible the incidents of war may be,” MacArthur went on to say, “the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country, is the noblest development of mankind.”

Here is a link to help the families of the fallen.

Bad news all around. We’ve been attacked from without and from within. Our economy was downgraded this weekend which was not really surprising. Obama played the blame game today which was also not surprising given that the man either doesn’t have a clue how to lead or has planned this “change” all along.

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America the Beautiful has been brought down low and how fortunate that Gov.Rick Perry was praying for her this weekend. We need bold leaders who are not afraid to stand up for their beliefs and we need prayer.

Especially prayers for the families of our valiant fallen heroes.

04 Aug 2011 10:17 pm

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Historic Hospital Engulfed by Fire at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.
Fort Smith, Arkansas was once called “hell on the border.”

The historic city fit that description once again yesterday as the temperature hit 115 degrees, breaking all records for heat.

Fort Smith breaks all-time heat record, currently: 115 degrees. The hottest temperature since record keeping started in late 1800s.

Yes, we Hobbits, we tea drinkers, we American citizens, have been spending this summer trying to keep our homes and yards from catching on fire while we were calling our representatives and senators in D.C. pleading with them, reasoning with them, to restore fiscal sanity to our country.

While minding the stores, the homes and the schools, going to work day in and day out, Tea Partiers were still keeping a watch on the doings in D.C. and working the phones and the blogs, wiping the sweat from our brows as we watched the corrupt doings in Washington D.C. We saw the threats of default for what they were. As a result, we can recognize a Satan Sandwich when we see it.

We are not at all impressed with the results of the Debt-ceiling deal and the name calling in the aftermath of it is deplorable.

The bumbling, Joe Biden blamed the results of the deal on the tea party and called conservative tea party members terrorists; Maureen Dowd tripped all over herself calling us cannibals, vampires and zombies; Martin Bashir of MSNBC had on an addiction expert, Dr. Stanton Peele, who proceeded to analyze the tea party as delusional and prone to violence. Tea Partiers want “to end life as we know it on this planet,” screeched Nancy Pelosi, even before the debt ceiling fiasco deal was sealed.

Democrats, if they haven’t already, surely must have gone over the bend, or on a bender.

Sarah Palin, wise woman that she is, might have said this during the Battle of the Bulge, “They’ve got us surrounded again, the poor bastards,” which in reality is a quote of General Creighton Abrams Jr.

What Sarah said in response to Biden is just as rich: “”If we were really domestic terrorists, shoot, President Obama would be wanting to pal around with us, wouldn’t he?

Because we think spending is irresponsible and downright crazy we are called nuts!

Jonah Goldberg’s mild response to the calumnious remarks of the media liberals and democrats was most appropriate. It’s mild in comparison with their extreme remarks, that is. It also reminds me of World War ll, American Commander, Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe who, when the Germans demanded that the Americans surrender Bastogne replied, “Nuts!” The Germans did not understand, so the Americans explained that “Nuts!” meant “go to Hell!” Jonah wrote, “Well, go to Hell. All of you.”

By the way, the Germans redoubled their efforts to destroy Bastogne and its “Besieged Bastards.” They did not succeed.

Hell on the Border in Arkansas is small change compared to the hellish deeds done by our so-called friends in Congress. Boehner and his fellow Republicans sat down with Reid, Pelosi, and Obama and signed a deal with them so our economy (supposedly) would not go into default. Obama won’t have to worry about paying the piper until after the 2012 election.

The economy is really on a roll now…..rolling right down to the bottom.

We will remember the hot summer of 2011 in November, 2012.

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Obama is done. The magic is gone. The words he utters these days are clumsy and lackluster, and he’s still blaming Bush.

“It’s been a long, tough year. But we have made some incredible strides together. Yes, we have. But the thing we all have to remember is, as much good as we’ve done, precisely because the challenges were so daunting, precisely because we were inheriting so many challenges, that we’re not even halfway there yet,” he said.

Boehner is diminished. He stuck his neck out a mile for nothing.

A summer of severe drought  and heat has kept shoppers home.The jobs situation is getting worse in Arkansas as it is in the rest of the country.

The long hot summer still has long to go. Hell has been on our nation’s southern border for quite some time. The White House and the Justice Department and the Operation Gunwalker scandal may be playing six degrees of Kevin Bacon.

29 Jul 2011 09:17 pm

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Life before fast food was slower.
 
It sure was a much more meandering pace for our family. For the readers who were not born during the fifties: there were no microwaves, but there were stoves and ovens and ice boxes (refrigerators). Although many women did go to work during and after World War ll, most women were still at home raising children during the early fifties.

  1. They were cooking. Cleaning. Reading cookbooks. Cracking eggs. Chasing their kids around the house outside with a switch when they didn’t behave themselves. (hmm umm)

The food may have even tasted better.
 
I remember taking my own good time at the supper table. I liked to linger and count the peas left on my plate. Make faces at my little sister. The food was pretty simple back then but it was fixed by my Mother who just happened to be one of the best cooks in the world.

Anyway, I thought so. My mother graduated from high school and married my Dad several weeks later. When I came along she was already an accomplished cook because, as she told me, she made straight ‘A’s in Home Economics.

Mother could cook anything without measuring cups or spoons but she always had her high school home economics text book on the kitchen counter which helped her to prepare wholesome, healthy meals. I always liked books even before I could read and I remember poring over the menu section. Mother never cooked duck that I can remember but I used to wonder what it tasted like. In the cookbook were menu suggestions for everyday of the week and for holidays.

I remember one menu for a January dinner:

Avocado Cocktail salad, Duck with Sauerkraut, carrot and celery souffle and Hot Mince Pie with Rum Sauce for dessert.

The only way we ate saurekraut at our house was with weiners. It wasn’t one of my favorite dishes. Being a Baptist family, household rum wasn’t consumed but I often wondered how Mince Meat Pie tasted with Rum sauce. That sounded yummy to me.

Anyway, there were, of course, grocery stores in the fifties. I remember going with my Mother a few times when I was really little but she usually managed to do that chore without us. We had chickens and ducks when we were young and I recall gathering eggs and bringing them in to the kitchen. We had a milkman who would deliver milk in glass bottles. I used to watch in a mixture of horror and awe as my mother cut up a chicken. To this day I cannot do it. I just don’t have the pioneer spirit I suppose.

We were of English/Scotch/Irish stock and when it came to the partaking of meals, we called them: breakfast, dinner and supper. No one had lunch. That was for people who lived in Missouri.

My Dad was a finicky eater so when my Mother strayed from the meat and potatoes route she received scant appreciation. She used her creative passions (and she had a lot of them) on her desserts. Mother made the best date candy, pumpkin, and apple pies, cobblers and cakes.

When the cupboard was bare Mother still managed to whip up magic with the use of a little white cornmeal, sugar, milk and hot water. I was fascinated by an old cookbook Mother inherited from her New England grandfather. I spent many hours thumbing through the cookbook to find exotic receipts such as Turtle Soup and Johnnycakes. Yes, my Mother made the Johnnycakes from the recipes she found in Grandfather Whitmarsh’s cookbook. So, it’s true, a little bit of Yankee cooking was handed down through the family.

We didn’t drink soft drinks or eat potato chips. Mother taught us that vegetables and fruit should reflect the color wheel during our daily meals. She enforced the drinking of milk unfortunately. I always hated milk. The first thing I did when I went away to college was  stop drinking it.

Food was cooked from scratch.
 
There were no mixes, no MSG, no shortcuts in our family’s larder. According to some food writers and experts the time after World War ll brought many modern conveniences to fifties housewives with processed foods such as Cheeze Whiz and frozen products. They tended to be too pricey and lacked nutritional value for my Mother’s uses. Sometimes I would find myself sitting on the front porch swing shucking corn or snapping green beans.

My favorite meal was a dish my Mother called, Arkansas Pie, which was yellow cornbread covered with butter beans, and topped with a slice of onion and a dollop of ketchup.

Along with the Arkansas Pie we had fresh cooked green beans, fried ham, and coleslaw. There were usually tomatoes from the garden. Daddy was a frustrated farmer who always had something growing: kale, asparagus, corn or tomatoes.

Sometimes on the weekends, Mother would make banana pudding which she always served with meringue topping.

  • No, none of us had weight problems. We weren’t couch potatoes, there was no such term back in the fifties. We were active, busy kids, spending most of our time outside.

Oh, but the fifties pressure cooker. It was a big, aluminum pot that scared me something awful when Mother had it going. It hissed and splattered and seemed to always be on the edge of exploding. But Mother operated it like a cool scientist who understood her science. She used the cooker often to cook chicken and other meats. When she finished preparing the chicken the dumplings she made after wards were worth the terror the pressure cooker caused. Mother wouldn’t allow us in the kitchen when the pressure cooker was at work.

It never did blow up on us, although it did explode many times in my imagination.

Another delicious dish Mother made in the pressure cooker was her beef and vegetable stew. Mother put pretty tough slices of beef in the cooker, along with tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, celery and other vegetables and within twenty minutes or so, have a great stew. The meat was tender and tasty and most of us were right on time when called to the table for supper.

Leftover roast beef was made into a special treat by the use of a hand-crank meat grinder that clamped onto the side of a counter. Feeding the ingredients into the little mechanical miracle was some kind of thrill for me and I was always up for helping my mother make the roast beef salad. She added chopped pickles, salt and pepper and mayonnaise. We served it up on Wonder Bread and it was delicious. My siblings liked to have a side of cottage cheese with the roast beef salad sandwich but it made me gag. The sandwich alone was good enough for me.

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Fishing at Silver Bridge

My grandparents were fishermen so we went fishing a lot when we were young. The family’s favorite destination was a place up in the Boston Mountains called Silver Bridge. Most of the fish fries occurred at our grandparents’ house, but I got the feeling my Mother didn’t much care for cooking fish. Still, she made great Salmon croquettes. The salmon fillets came from a can but she managed to make it taste like something special by adding green onions, an egg, bread crumbs (or crackers) and frying it in some vegetable oil.

We were never allowed to eat much popcorn or peanut butter because our family doctor advised against it. He suspected that popcorn and peanut butter might cause appendicitis. Anyway, that’s what Mother told us. After I grew up I made up for that deprivation. I love popcorn.

When t.v. dinners came along they were too expensive for my parents’ budget and my Mother wasn’t convinced that they were nutritious. I remember wanting to try the Mexican t.v. dinners once for my birthday so Mother made an exception for that. There was a little Mexican Tamale place downtown and occasionally our Grandfather would pick up some tamales and bring them over to us. The t.v. dinners didn’t compare to the downtown tamales so I never asked for Mexican t.v. dinners for my birthday again.

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In the fifties people didn’t go out to dinner that often. Sometimes when Mother took us downtown to see our grandparents at their dry-cleaning shop, The Rightway Cleaners, on Garrison Avenue we were treated to dinner at Woolworth’s counter. My sister and I loved their mashed potatoes and brown gravy and rolls, which is what we always ordered.

  • My Mother and Grandmother could always be counted on to go down the block to The Wide Awake Cafe to get a cup of coffee. I hated milk but loved the cream that was served with the coffee and my Grandmother always shared her cream with me. I also loved the red headed waitress who always served us. That was my Aunt Jeanine.

The Fun Guy in the Kitchen
 

  • My Dad never ventured into the kitchen unless our Mother was really sick and the only foods he knew how to make were fried potatoes and pancakes. He’d open up a can of pork and beans and serve it along with the fried potatoes and his children thought he was some kind of cool chef from outer space. He made his pancakes in the shape of animals.

Lucy and the Liver

  • When my Mother fixed liver for supper my sister, Lucy hightailed it over the little foot bridge to our neighbor, Ellen’s house and hid in her room. She couldn’t stand the smell of liver. My Mother would send us out looking for her. We knew where she was but would take our time looking for her because we knew there would be the usual scene at the table. Lucy was really clumsy and spilled her milk at almost every meal. She didn’t do it on purpose either.

Unlike my sister, I liked my Mother’s Liver and Onions. In fact, it had something to do with my romance with my future husband. One of the first times Bob came over to our house my Mother was making Liver and Onions for dinner. I was sort of embarrassed about the humble food she was preparing but Bob’s eyes lit up and he invited himself to eat. Mother had fixed mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade biscuits, the liver and onions, peas, etc. Bob was smitten.

He sat down in the onlooker’s chair. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Onlooker’s Chair
 

  • The Onlooker’s chair was just an extra chair at the dinner table that a neighbor or friend who dropped by unexpectedly was invited to sit down in to have a meal with us. It became the “onlooker’s chair” one day when our friend,Tommy came over.  When we invited him to eat supper with us, he said,”no, I already ate, I’ll just look.”
20 Jul 2011 08:20 am

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6:10 am Central Standard Time

I am up taking my dog, Penny out to do what little doggies do, plus things Penny, in particular, likes to do. Penny has very sharp eyes and can see a quarter mile away to the end of the now brown yard where, in front of the hedges, sits a very still brown rabbit. Penny freezes, her nose is fixed in place, one paw seems to be pointing straight ahead and we stand there for what seems like an eternity, although it’s probably about a minute. I am pretty patient with Penny because I like to see what she will do. I move steadily forward, Penny stays fixed.

After another quiet eternity I feel the need to get the rabbit hunt moving along so I edge a few more steps forward. Still eyeing her prey, Penny doesn’t move at all. Neither does the rabbit.

Penny has me on a leash. I have moved to the end of it. I am anticipating coffee and a quiet morning inside the house and yet Penny is transfixed by the silly rabbit.

I tighten my grip on the leash. I stomp on the ground. Penny leaps and leads me flying across the yard only to end up sniffing frantically under the hedge because the rabbit has disappeared under it.

That adventure sadly concluded, I give Penny a consolation stroll back round the house and she decides to take a turn up the hill and to the right. There at the end of the backyard sits a very large calico cat. This cat is so large that when my husband has taken Penny out at night he has mistakenly identified her as a bobcat, a possum, or some other kind of “panther” of the night. After he got new glasses he realized that she is just a really large cat. Whatever, Penny believed his reaction and was very frightened of “Calico”.

I suppose Penny has learned a healthy respect for cats from our own in-house felines, Amos and Sabby, so she just paused and glanced at the Calico and turned to go back down the hill.

We were back in the house by 6:26 am and I was sipping coffee and checking out the news by 6:40 am. Instapundit had already posted four or five links by the time I had taken my dog outside. Does he not have a dog or cat to tend to? I know he can schedule links and all that but he comes up with great takes and succinct and economical commentary all day and night.

Evidence of a dog-less lifestyle? Perhaps more interest in all things bacon?

I find this particular link striking. It makes me think of President George W. Bush and his stirring words about every human heart’s desire for freedom. Now Iranians are responding in an important way. They are defying the Islamic Republic fatwa against owning dogs and are buying and selling dogs online. Yes, dogs as pets are good for human hearts. (cats too)

04 Jul 2011 02:49 pm

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It is America’s 235th Birthday. She deserves more than a cake, a gift and a card.

A parade, fireworks and a barbecue could be meaningful of course but if we go away and forget what this day means tomorrow, shame on us.

Matthew Spalding at The Heritage Foundation explains why we celebrate the 4th of July. Here is just one excerpt:

The ringing phrases of the Declaration of Independence speak to all those who strive for liberty and seek to vindicate the principles of self-government. But it was an aged John Adams who, when he was asked to prepare a statement on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, delivered two words that still convey our great hope every Fourth of July: “Independence Forever.”

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