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From country to city, From farm to fireworks…Through marriage & children, Through employment & ownership, Life continues to be an amazing journey…

Wednesday, May 30

Wednesday Hero - Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie

This Weeks Soldier Was Suggested By Kathy

Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie
Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie
41 years old from Ann-Arbor, Michigan

Specialist Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie is a Iraqi American U.S. Army linguist soldier, from Ann-Arbor, Michigan who was kidnapped on October 23, 2006 in Baghdad and has not been seen since.

al-Taayie joined the Army in 2004 to help not only his country, the United States, but also his birthplace of Iraq and was deployed in 2005. On October 23, 2006 he was visiting his wife in the Karrada Shiite neighborhood in central Baghdad when he and his cousin were kidnapped by a group calling themselves Ahel al-Beit Brigades. His cousin was released shortly after. On November 2, 2006 al-Taayie's uncle received a ransom demand of $250,000 for his return. Along with the ransom came a grainy video that showed a man beaten up who was identified as al-Taayie. No more has been heard from al-Taayie or his captures.

For more information on Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie you can go here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.

Wednesday, May 23

Wednesday Hero - Pfc. Joseph Allen Jeffries

Pfc. Joseph Allen Jeffries
Pfc. Joseph Allen Jeffries
21 years old from Beaverton, Oregon
Army Reserve’s 320th Psychological Operations Company
May 29, 2004

Below is all the information that could be found on Pfc. Joseph Jeffries.

Pfc. Jeffries was killed with two fellow soldiers, Capt. Daniel W. Eggers and Sgt. 1st Class Robert J. Mogensen, and an unnamed sailor, when their vehicle drove over an IED in Kandahar, Afghanistan. All four service members were attached to the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan. He is survived by his wife, Betsy, and his parents Mark and Linda Jeffries.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. To find out more about Wednesay Hero, you can go here.

Tuesday, May 22

Thousand Hand Guan Yin Dance

Take six minutes and be amazed. The Thousand-Hand Guan Yin dance is performed by a troop of dancers that are all DEAF MUTE! They are guided only by trainers at four corners of the stage. Read about their mission at the link above.

Thursday, May 17

Thursday Thirteen #11

Thirteen Things about SANDAL SEASON

OK Ladies...The weather is warm, and it's officially sandal season now. There ARE rules to sandal season, and in case some have forgotten...this week's list is a reminder to all my sisters out there just what they are. You may raise your big toes and repeat after me...(also promising to laugh along the way).

1. I promise to always wear sandals that fit. My toes will not hang over and touch the ground, nor will my heels spill over the backs. The sides and tops of my feet will not pudge out between the straps.

2. I will go polish-free, or vow to keep the polish fresh, intact, and chip-free. I will not cheat and just touch up my big toe.

3. I will sand down any mounds of skin before they turn hard and yellow.

4. I will shave off any hairs on my big toe.

5. I won't wear pantyhose even if my misinformed girlfriend, coworker, mother, or sister tells me the toe seam really will stay under my toes if I tuck it there.

6. If a strap breaks, I won't duct-tape, pin, glue, or tuck it back into place hoping it will stay put. I will get my shoe fixed or toss it.

7. I will not live in corn denial; rather I will lean on my good friend Dr. Scholl's if my feet need him.

8. I will resist any urge to buy jelly shoes at Payless for the low, low price of $4.99, even if my feet are small enough to fit into the kids' sizes. This is out of concern for my safety and the safety of others. No one can walk properly when standing in a pool of sweat, and I would hate to take someone down with me as I fall and break my ankle.

9. I will take my toe ring off toward the end of the day if my toes swell and begin to look like Vienna sausages.

10. I will be brutally honest with my girlfriend/sister/coworker when she asks me if her feet are too ugly to wear sandals. Someone has to tell her that her toes are as long as my fingers and no sandal makes creepy feet look good.

11. I will promise if I wear flip flops that I will ensure that they actually flip and flop, making the correct noise while walking around. I will swear NOT to slide or drag my feet while wearing them.

12. I will promise to go to my local nail salon at least once per season and have a real pedicure (they are only about $15-$30, and worth EVERY penny).

13. I will promise to throw away any white/off-white sandals that show signs of wear. Nothing is tackier than dirty white sandals.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, May 16

Wednesday Hero - Lance Cpl. Steven Chavez

This Weeks Soldier Was Suggested By Cindy

Lance Cpl. Steven Chavez
Lance Cpl. Steven Chavez
20 years old from Hondo, New Mexico
2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
March 14, 2007

Tears ran down cheeks and strong men choked back emotion as the city of Hondo, NM payed tribute to fallen Marine, Steven Chavez. LCpl. Chavez lost his life on March 14, 2007 in a non-combat incident in which he was accidentally shot.

Chavez enlisted in the Marine Cops. right after he graduated in 2005. "You pray and you pray that the day never comes, and then it does," said Novelda Chavez, Chavez's mother. "Your emotions are mixed — it’s not true, it’s a bad dream, a bad dream you never wake up from."

In a letter Chavez wrote before he was sent to Iraq, he wrote:
"First of all I would like to thank everyone for your support. When I'm home on leave and when I'm away. That is so important to me. Thank you for your kind, supporting words in your letters and for the packages I've received. Those are awesome.

I've been through some pretty hard times, in the short time I've been in the Marine Corp. None harder then what I'm about to face. Yes I'm scared; nothing is scarier than the uncertainty of what your future holds for you. I'm prepared to face whatever lies ahead.

I put my life in the hands of the Lord. And pray that He guides my fellow soldiers and I down a safe path, that He will calm our fears, and give us the strength to do the job we have been trained to do, and to do that job well.

There are many lonely nights, when you're lying in your bunk thinking of family and friends, wondering what they are doing at that very moment. Wondering what mom is cooking for supper. I can almost taste the tortillas on the griddle.

I want to say to all of you tonight, I wouldn't change one thing about my life.

I've never been more proud of the choices I made in my life than the day I graduated from basic drill instructor placed that Anchor, Globe and Eagle Pin in my hand I knew then I was a UNITED STATES MARINE!

I'm Proud to protect and serve My Country

I'm Proud to protect and serve My Community

I'm Proud to protect and serve you

Thank you so much for your Support. Keep those letters coming. Mail is a precious commodity when you're so far from Home.



These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. To find out more about Wednesay Hero, you can go here.

HELP Soldier Christopher Cooper, Jr.

This story comes to me from Lone Star Pundit...LET'S JOIN TOGETHER AND HELP THIS SOLDIER... This post will remain for a while at the TOP as a sticky post in hopes to help this soldier and his family...


For six years now we have seen the bumper stickers and heard the sound bites from both sides of the aisle: “We support the troops!” (Whether or not they support their mission normally depends on which side of the aisle the individual leans toward.)

Well, now it’s time to put up or shut up. One soldier from Magnolia, Texas — just 20 minutes up the road from here — needs our support, both with prayers and if possible with a little financial relief:

A Magnolia man serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq recently had to take out a loan which is debited from his check to help pay for his father’s funeral expenses.

According to his mother, Laura Cooper, her son barely made it before her husband died, but is now having to sacrifice even more.

Christopher Cooper Jr., 23, came home to attend his father’s funeral but only had five days to grieve with his mother and younger brother before having to head back to Iraq to take part in the Untied States’ military campaign in the Middle East. His brother, Justin Cooper, 20, is attending Texas State College.

Chris Cooper Sr., 47, died April 9, only months after finding out he had lung cancer in November. His widow, Laura Cooper, works part-time for A+ Autos in Pinehurst and was already struggling to work and take care of her disabled mother who went blind due to diabetes.

Laura Cooper has worked for the auto shop for eight years. When her husband developed cancer, her struggle to care for her ailing family and work got harder and it left her with little funds.

With one son in college and the other in Iraq, there was no one for her to turn to. She said her son is already sacrificing so much for his country, but he offered to sacrifice even more by taking out a loan against his military pay to help cover his father’s funeral expenses.

This young man is doubly a hero, sacrificing both to serve and protect his country and at the same time to care for his family back home.

The family’s church, led by pastor Gerald Sadler, has already done what it could to raise money to help the Cooper family, but this is a small church within a small community. According to the pastor,

… funeral expenses alone amount to $7,200. So far, $1,200 has come in from various donations. Sadler said that unless the community can help, the rest will be being taken out of Christopher Cooper’s son’s military pay for the next two years.

An account has also been set up at Woodforest National Bank under the name “Funeral Fund for Chris Cooper.”

If you are able and would like to help the Cooper family with the funeral expenses and lingering medical bills, you can either email me or call Pastor Sadler at his place of business (A+ Autos) at 281-356-5100.

And whether you can contribute financially or not, please be in prayer for this brave young soldier and his family.

Monday, May 14

My Mother's Day

Gee! I've been too busy today to get much posting done...but I wanted to share my Mother's Day. How much you wanna' bet I'm the only chick in America that got a Bearcat police scanner for Mother's Day, and was THRILLED! Don't ask me why, I've wanted one of those things for YEARS...this year was the lucky year.

My guys all chipped in and got me one so nice though, that I may need a college degree to figure out how to program the beast. As much as I can do with computers...I began to read the manual that came with the scanner, and I TOTALLY DIDN'T GET ANY OF IT!!! I have weather though by golly...got that much going :) I've been online cruising around for new local codes and tips and tricks. A new hobby...yeah... A Bearcat scanner, a dozen gorgeous pink roses, and a fabulous meal. What more could a Mom ask for :)

I hope all Mom's had a great day, I surely did. I had both my boys at home, and my "girl-friend-in-law" and her daughter too. I don't get to visit with them too often, so it was a real treat. Oscar the beagle came along, so my border collie Reno had an all afternoon play date as well :)

We turned the guys loose in the kitchen...that was the rule...we got to be spoiled, and they cooked a fabulous steak dinner for us. That's comical turning your sons and husband loose in a kitchen to cook for six! Thanks guys, another special day made wonderful by those I love!

Wednesday, May 9

Thursday Thirteen #10

Thirteen Things about Malinda
Well...I've made it to double digits! Number 10! This week's list is thirteen things that really touch me. At first, when I started this TT thing...it used to be hard to find THIRTEEN WHOLE THINGS FOR ..., now...sometimes thirteen is just not enough :) I'm touched by the following in no particular order. I could do this list again one day and come up with many more :)
1. Song lyrics that tell stories: A few of my favorite artists that have touched me are, Tom T. Hall, Willie Nelson, Journey, Ozzie Osbourne (YES…with Mama I’m Comin’ Home), Pink Floyd, Bon Jovi, REO Speedwagon, Melissa Ethridge, Willie Nelson…oh heck…there are HUNDREDS…can’t go on and on…

2. Children Laughing: My dear Mama Ann, God rest her soul…used to say…”For today, my day has been made complete…for today I heard a child laugh”. No matter how old my kids get…my eye will leak with a moist moment of joy when they truly laugh.

3. Compliments: No matter how trivial or small…if someone tells me that something I did or something about me is good…I’m touched, and my day has been made. Once when I did theater long ago…as a morale boosting exercise our director had us all write the thing we most liked about everyone else in the cast. No names were signed, and she took all responses from all participants (must have been about 20 or so of us), and she typed for each person a list of everything everyone else said about them. That one lesson and exercise in human kindness never left me. It was Godspell the musical, and for years I kept that list. Most common on my list were my eyes…don’t know why…but it was. Perhaps that’s why I find it important for anyone I have contact with to be able to look me in the eye. I like to see others’ eyes.

4. My family HAPPY: Each day, if my family is happy and there is no bitching or “issues”, it’s a great day. My baby will graduate and move out soon, so it will be just me and the hubby. If a day goes by that he’s happy and doesn’t have any cross words to offer…it is a true blessing. He tends to be a venter…a wonderful man and loves me dearly. He’s just a venter, and I’m not. I’m more of a discusser. I’m touched if everyone around me finds an intellectual way to converse even adverse ideas. Sometimes hard for teenagers or husbands :) Perhaps, it’s the chick they live with…huh?

5. Flowers, Trees, Rainbows, Barns & Windmills: I just LOVE these things. Probably has something to do with growing up in the great expanse of a West Texas cotton farm…but these things always touch me. If I have a camera in hand, I will take a picture of any of them.

6. Simple Get-Togethers: I miss my family in Texas dearly. Whenever we are together, it’s a party. Be it friends or family (and it happens rarely with our busy lives), I am happy and touched if people I care about are around and we are just doing whatever, eating some good food, having a few drinks, and just visiting and laughing.

7. Sad or Profound Movies: I’m a sap, and whether it stirs my psyche, or my heart…I’m a sucker for a good movie with quality drama, suspense, or thought provoking content.

8. Freedom: I’m touched by freedom believe it or not. I do not take it for granted even on the smallest scale. I’ve worked hard for years. I’m an honest woman, love my family, and outside of some rare and occasional civil disobedience from time to time in minute form, I try very hard NOT to do anything wrong…no wrong in family, friendship, business, or person. SO…DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO! I like to do what I want, and when I want. Be it banging away on this laptop, a phone conversation that is inconvenient for others, setting unreasonable time schedules for me based on others’ issues, etc. I’ve gotten really anal in my “old age” with my freedom. I suppose it touches me when I’m truly free to do the things I love, but a bit selfish for those I care most about :) Must be why I’m a staunch conservative and fight so hard for the freedom of this nation :)

9. My Boys: I can never say enough about how much I love my sons. Any moment I’m with them, whatever we do or talk about…anything that has to do with my boys touches me. As with any parent, there have been times that being “touched” by things to do with them have been a hard punch or slap…but bad times or good…I’m touched by their very being. Motherhood, what a trip…what a blessing!

10. Holiday Smells: I love Thanksgiving, Sunday Dinner, any day I actually cook a good meal and can smell the aromas of a good meal and family and friends being around. Nothing smells better than baking bread, turkey & dressing brewing on the stove, cookies baking with a child to bake them with…etc. The smells of the home are soul comfort.

11. Music: While I don’t do it often enough…just listening to music is so touching. I have a stereo that was upgraded by my wonderful husband from the one I purchased as a struggling single mom years ago (I gave that one to my son). It holds 400 CD’s and plays at random. Believe it or not, whether purchased or downloaded by me, I almost have it full. Country, Gospel, Rock & Roll, 1930’s-1950’s tunes, Christmas / Halloween tunes, party tunes, Reggae, Blues, some Jazz, Zydeco, Alternative, even a tiny bit of Rap…I have it all. I like to put on the stereo whenever I’m cleaning house or doing a project. Sing me a song piano man…

12. The Little Things: Whether it’s a surprise gift (especially little tiny inexpensive ones), a phone call from someone I care about that I haven’t heard from in a while, an e-mail just for me, or a note…something on the table. I’m a true sucker for thought. It truly is the thought that counts. It doesn’t have to cost a dime, but if someone really thought about it, and it gets to me at my heart, I’m in. I love little tiny surprises. I love those times when for no reason at all my boys, or husband, or even friends just give me a hug. Warm fuzzys I guess…LOVE ‘EM.

13. Comments: Yes…I could have listed any number of things for 13 that matter…but this one is real too. Even if the comments are negative, if thought provoking, I publish them. I like comments on my blog, and get so few :) How can 150-200 people a day read your blog, and only 5-6 leave a comment…? Comments do touch me. Keep ‘em coming…they bring a special place to my busy business day. Have a happy Thursday Thirteen all…

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Why I Blog

I got tagged by Sunni Kay to list five reasons why I blog… I am to tag five others at the end :)

  1. 1. As with a lot of really cool things I find out about, my little brother turned me on to blogging. I’d never heard about it, didn’t know what it was, but grew to love it after he originally showed me how.
  2. 2. I do seem to have an opinion on just about everything. However, I don’t mind other opinions as long as they are tasteful and well explained. The ability to view several opinions and make a decision ourselves is what made this country great in the first place. Blogging allows me to speak my opinion, and reading others’ blogs allows me to see how the “rest of the neighborhood” thinks.
  3. 3. I like to write. I’m not sure I’m particularly good at it, and don’t think I’d ever be able to pen an entire novel and make several hundred pages meld together, but a few paragraphs at a time I enjoy. And hey…at least a few people read my musings.
  4. 4. Intellectual stimulation. I’m a bored and restless type, and need mental exercise to enjoy the day. My husband won’t sit and listen to me babble on and on about whatever, but my blog never argues. I love computers. Typing thoughts into written script, and blogging allows me to ramble incessantly about whatever pops into my head. The HTML code and changing design of the site itself allows me, the novice, to play web designer and pretend I have a major cool website :)
  5. 5. The hope that somehow it all makes a difference. A blog allows for a global audience, and also a small community audience. If one thing I share that’s funny makes someone else laugh, it’s good. If I share a story, whether tragedy or triumph, and one person was touched, I’ve done a good thing. If what I write makes others think, even for a moment, about making changes that would better our nation…I’ve succeeded. Very few pop into my little corner of the blog world. I blog because I like to (if it were based on the number of comments I receive…I’d have given up long ago), but I hope with each post that someone out there will laugh, think, cry, or be happier that day just because they stopped by.

The following five are blogs I read regularly…of many dozen favorites I have bookmarked. If they happen to stop by and see this, and agree to be tagged... I’d love to read the answers…

364 Days

Big White Hat

Mayden’s Voyage

EDog’s Everything Page

Aunty Belle’s Front Porch (Her Back Porch is FUN too)

Accounting Paradise - Small Business Help

Accounting Paradise…no, that’s NOT an oxy-moron believe it or not! I own three small businesses, do most of my accounting and my entire payroll in-house, and have often teased that we should be the poster children for QuickBooks. However, I know many other owner-operator business people that are not big enough to need a full time expensive accounting staff, and don’t have the knowledge or time to do it themselves.

There is now a solution…WOW…this IS a great idea. Knowing QuickBooks inside and out, and knowing what it usually costs, and what can be expected from out sourcing accounting, I understand most people’s doubt. When I looked over the website of Accounting Paradise, I was pleased with the prices, the ethic, and the possibility for so many to find affordable out-sourced accounting online. Imagine being able to handle your payroll, accounting, and business tax issues on your own time, and online. Discounts are available for those needing to purchase QuickBooks, and the bookkeeping fees are explained right on the website. Your main question, “Why Would I Use Them?”, and the underlying doubt of “How Would This Work?” are both addressed at AccountingParadise.com. This post sponsored by Accounting Paradise.

Wednesday Hero - Spc. Josiah H. Vandertulip

Spc. Josiah H. Vandertulip
Spc. Josiah H. Vandertulip
21 years old from Irving, Texas
2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division
October 14, 2004

Louise Vandertulip fussed at her son about his spending. He bought wild, overpriced hats that had flames on them or horns coming out of the top, she said.

While in Army basic training, he bought portraits of himself. His mother told him to save his money.

She's glad he didn't listen.

The hats and the pictures are all a part of her memories now.

Spc. Josiah H. Vandertulip was killed in Baghdad when his patrol came under small arms fire.

Josiah Vandertulip joined the Army right after his graduation from Irving High School in 2002. He spent a year in South Korea before being stationed at Texas' Fort Hood in February. Against his mother's advice, he volunteered to go to Iraq. She told him to wait, to go to college.

"When he was determined to do something in his heart, he would do it and hell or high water couldn't keep him from it," she said

By going, he knew someone else with a young family could be saved from serving, relatives said.

He always had the important things right, Louise Vandertulip said.

"There's a lot of rest in knowing that he died doing what he believed in and doing what he thought was right," she said.

"We have a much more real sense of the cost for the freedom that we enjoy now," said his father, Robert Vandertulip.

"Josiah was the first brand new soldiers I recieved as a dismounted team leader in Korea. He was one of the Best soldiers I have had the honor to train and work with. He loved being a soldier as much as any guy I have met. He was a great leader in the absence of his superiors. I could always count on him to make sure the mission was accomplished. I watched him change over the year I had him from a goofy kid, to a hard charging soldier."
Sgt. Nickolas Faul

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. To find out more about Wednesay Hero, you can go here.


OK horror movie creep lovers…FINALLY, a new movie is being released that will spark your screeches and wiggles for real. Not since the Exorcist, has such quality in horror hit the big screen. Lionsgate Films has teamed with the academy winning director William Priedkin (The Exorcist and The French Connection), to bring us BUG. There hasn’t been a really believable and “creepy-crawly” bug movie released in a very long time.

Imagine Agnes, a down and out waitress just trying to get by and escape the regular horror of a mean and abusive husband. After finally beginning to live again, and attempting romance with a sexy drifter…THE BUGS COME! The bugs live in her blood and FEED ON HER BRAIN (is your skin crawling yet?). In a world where nothing is as it seems, and reality is nightmarish…Lionsgate Films chose the stunningly beautiful, down to earth, and extremely believable Ashley Judd to star in this unimaginably disturbing bug movie. The film also stars Michael Shannon, Lynn Collins, Brian O’Byrne, and the very popular Harry Connick, Jr.

If the story line, the cast, and the director aren’t enough to draw patrons to the theater, the movie posters surely will entice the artistic doubters. Brilliant spooky art splashes one poster, creating a giant bug with Ashley Judd’s silhouette embedded in the bug’s body, and its feelers created from wisps of long hair. Apparent splotches of blood create optical illusions of other bug parts, or by-products perhaps. Perhaps it’s the bug’s dripping fangs that cause the spots. The other movie poster features a shadowy serious pose of Ms. Judd…with a silhouette of her co-star embedded within her face. They share the same eye, giving the appearance of like thought, but the mystery of difference as he’s turned away, and apparently living inside her head…much like the bugs! Very mysterious bug movie indeed. BUG – IN THEATERS MAY 25TH. This post sponsored by Bug.

Tuesday, May 8

M&M's Fish & Chicken Shack

Today, I experienced a little slice of heaven in an otherwise regular and mundane day. I had lunch from M&M's Fish & Chicken Shack. Where have I been???

I'm not sure where the owner Mr. Mitch Moore is from...but I'd swear he stepped off my Grandmama's back porch in Texas. M&M's is a discreet little hideaway nuzzled in the heart of Reno's industrial district. Who'd know one of the cities' most fantastic culinary wonders is hidden away as a sleeper joint located at 3080 Mill Street, just off Terminal Way. Living so far away from my native roots, it's very rare that I find home style food that I would consider anywhere CLOSE to Texas home style...even when the food is good. And, finding fried okra at any restaurant, much less GOOD fried okra is a near impossibility!

This is truly DOWN HOME cookin'. They advertise southern cooking and soul food, specializing in fried fish, BBQ ribs, fried okra, gizzards, gumbo, greens, yams, black-eyed peas, red beans and rice, sweet potato pies, peach cobbler and MORE! I had a simple rib basket with potato salad, black-eyed peas, and fried okra. They drilled the fried okra right smack dab on the head for the way it always was back home. The ribs were meaty and tender, with a perfect sauce. My potato salad was just like it is "supposed" to be...I was at home back in the South rocking on the back porch with every bite. If you do not have the time to travel across town to Mill Street for your lunch...call (775)-348-0707 and order lunch and pick it up. It's worth the drive.


Monday, May 7

Peace Be With Greensburg, Kansas

My heart goes out to the devastated people in Greensburg, Kansas. I grew up in Tornado Alley. While experiencing three tornadoes in my lifetime, NONE were major. However, I still remember the terror of even the small ones. One small one killed three people.

May your hearts find peace, strength, and hope. May the wings of angels carry your spirits onward and upward and soothe the absence of normalcy in your eyes. There are no words to make devastation better.

Thanks to Amazingly Enough for this link to local aerial photographs of this disaster.


Saturday, May 5

My Sons - Iraq - Liberal Spew

"Are either of your children old enough to join the armed services? If so, send them to Iraq and wait for their heads to get blown off.
If not; shut up!"

I recently posted a new e-mail address at this site for the purpose of allowing blog readers to contact me. WOW...amazing how much stuff hit my in box and junk box afterward. Most are either true spam and immediately deleted, or are good e-mails from folks that read. Some don't agree, but offer up nice dialog.

I have been lucky at this blog in that I don't often get really nasty comments. However, if it's not obvious spam, I will publish ANY comment positive or negative. I got an e-mail tonight...not a comment...an actual e-mail. Most people that want to slam you or disagree will leave a nasty comment with Anonymous as the name. However, this person sent me a very short e-mail...complete with a return address. I do appreciate the fact that the person had the decency to send the e-mail rather than comment, but I would have published the comment had it been such, and my response would have been the same. This short e-mail though hit me strangely.

I was not angered by this e-mail, I was just further saddened that I try so hard to get average every day people to remember what made us America. I just want to go to work everyday and live my life. However, my country is at war. It's a war that is messed up at the moment, I believe due to media persuasion based on ratings, and the fact that "political correctness" has taken over good common sense in otherwise rational people. I support my troops, and I support this war even though I'm not stupid and I realize that a change in course needs to happen in order for us to come out accomplishing what we set out to do in the first place.

Here below is my response to this e-mail. I certainly hope that if even for one moment the individual that sent it to me...a perfect stranger...will take a moment to realize what America and our unwanted and uninvited war means. We were attacked, and we had to answer. But...we have forgotten WHAT we were answering, and we've changed our kick butt war to a war of school children. Our soldiers are perfectly willing and able to win...our soft liberal citizens and our stupid spin media just won't let them...

"Yes... I do have children old enough to fight. Our country still has a voluntary system of military. I have one son that given a draft, would be happy to go...but since there is no mandatory calling, remains in the private sector respecting the amazing choice of those that do volunteer. I have another one that is about to be 18, about to register for selective service and has die hard respect for armed service personnel. He too must debate his personal choices.

However, thank God, both my sons realize the real truth. If either of them were to go and fight...they both know that fighting the enemies on foreign soil, or at home is for a simple truth...to give people like you the freedom to speak your mind and send me e-mails suggesting that the only reason one would join the military service would be for one mother to offer up her son as if he were a disposable commodity to get his head blown off. The real truth is that with the freedoms Americans enjoy, the greatest is the freedom of choice. Even God Himself began this human existence with one rule...the freedom of choice with Adam and Eve. Have no worries though...there will always be enough of us in America willing enough to continue fighting for a place like America to offer up freedoms for people like you that do not see the big picture. If there were no sons that ever horribly had their heads blown off, you'd not have the opportunity to bitch about it.

The other thing you need to realize is that people like Cindy Sheehan who bitch incessantly at the cost of their sons' honor did NOT offer their sons up for slaughter. Any son or daughter that valiantly joins this nation's armed forces does so out of personal choice, the same personal choice that allows you to freely and with welcome to spew moonbat ideas regarding my children and where I "send" them. And those that do not choose to join are no less patriotic than those that do. Don't sit around on your high horse pretending that Mothers "SEND" their children to Iraq, or Korea, or Germany, or Normandy, or Vietnam, or ANYWHERE there's ever been a war. Mothers sit at home and cry for their children and wish and pray for them the strength to make the difference and then come home to reap the rewards of great service to a nation that enjoys the benefits of freedom, but takes it all for granted. People like you think that if we just sit around and do nothing, and let anyone come on in that wants a piece of our pie will accept it graciously and never stir the shit pot. Open your eyes...open your ears...the great melting pot is melting and boiling over. I'm sorry, but if a few not really highly educated bad guys with a couple of radical thoughts were able to confiscate FOUR MAJOR COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT and commit an act of terrorism greater than any attack on this nation in over half a century (the only other being Pearl Harbor) didn't open your eyes...what will? If 19 bad guys can shut down an entire country (the MOST FREE NATION ON THE PLANET for a couple of days and kill over 3000 people), what will open your eyes to the fact that your ability to bitch could be shortly taken away? What would it take to make YOU realize that YOU can no longer be a liberal? If you had to wear a burkah, or if you were stoned to death for liking a person of different beliefs and wanted to marry them, but your father stoned you to death for it...or if you didn't happen to have blond hair and blue eyes, or if you were homosexual and were a man and wished to wear a prom dress in the town square, or if your particular liberal nutjob circle of friends were gassed to death...what would you do? I don't agree with you, I actually can't stand people like you that send e-mails to people like me about my children, my blood and life...but I accept you. I DO AGREE that my sons would be honorable for fighting to their death to protect your dumb ass ability to sit back and not get it. That's what America is all about. We are about letting us all speak our minds and have our personal bitches...but also have the miraculous ability to VOTE. And...in this country, if you get VOTED OUT...you have to live with it. Right now, folks like me are voted OUT...but hopefully the majority of the nation will see how "far it's gotten us so far", and VOTE REALITY back in next time.

Your e-mail to me was short and not so sweet...but it was this... "Are either of your children old enough to join the armed services? If so, send them to Iraq and wait for their heads to get blown off. If not; shut up!"

Well, I say to you...is there anything you're willing to get your head blown off for? Would you let your head be blown off to save your son? I would. Are YOU so AGAINST THIS WAR that you're willing to get your head blown off to STOP IT? Be very careful about how you feel about my sons getting their heads blown off. Over 3000 people got their heads blown off at the World Trade Centers, and they didn't sign up for it, they never saw it coming. They were living the dream, like all of us are...just going off to work, and living another wonderful free day in the USA. EVERY MOTHER that has had a son or daughter lost in any war that continued the availability of our freedoms would have gladly given up their own head in place of their son's...or daughter's. You are obviously against the war, therefore you have not signed up to fight. You obviously have schooled your children NOT to sign up, and therefore you will not "send" any of your children off to war. I however, have tried to present all sides of any circumstance to my boys. I have tried to teach them whatever little I know about any subject, and to lead them as adult men to make their own personal choices, and to feel secure that they had enough facts to make a clear concise decision. I try to respect their adult decisions even when I might not agree. That too, is an American blessing...the ability for a child to grow up and not necessarily agree with their parents. Children in countries that we fight are often KILLED for the simple fact that they didn't agree with their parents...getting their heads blown off for speaking their minds.

I say this, which is an old cliche of conservative thought. "I may not agree with what you are saying, but I will defend you with my life your right to say it." Now, the radical conservative side of me says...You say in a negative way that if I don't SEND my children to Iraq to get their heads blown off, then I should shut up. I'm not going to shut up. It isn't about Iraq, or Muslims, or Nazis, or Viet-Kong...it's about your freedom to be you. It's about your freedom to tell me to shut up. It's the sheer principle of that simple word. PRINCIPLE...GET IT??? HEAR ME AGAIN...PRINCIPLE...say it, breathe it, smell it, hear it, see it, touch it, feel it. You fail to realize that without a FREE COUNTRY AND NATION like the USA...all you nutjob moonbat
folks would be out of business. So look at it like this, if you can find no other reason than this to support the war...without people like us who can adapt and survive...folks like you will stand no chance if America folds into the quagmire of everything's OK at no cost, and without conflict. If you stand for NOTHING, then you will surely FALL for ANYTHING.

I won't let you fall, and the great men and women that CHOOSE to fight for you, will be there for you as long as there are still people standing that believe in the true American way. What scares me, is that people like you are willing to give up valuable time and effort better spent elsewhere...but you'd rather preach your anti-American babble, not realizing that you aren't offending me, or ruffling my feathers in any way...you are only digging your own grave. You are laying your own self and your own family out on the chopping block for the sheer belief that the world can behave appropriately with a "time out" whenever a disagreement comes along. SORRY...when 19 guys, and one dictator can kill 3000 here, and several tens of thousands there...a time out won't work. I really hope that more and more of my sons and your daughters don't have to die before we figure this all out. We have the ability to end such skirmishes in a few fell swoops, but WE continue to respect the maniacal wishes of folks like YOU, and just don't take care of business. Even Spock realized that the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few. RADICAL persons, people that are jealous of your freedom, no matter the color of their skin or faith beliefs, DON'T SIT AROUND A CAMPFIRE and sing Kum-Bah-Yah...

Thanks though for using the e-mail button on the blog. That too is a freedom granted by blown off heads, of someody's son. Please at least...when you see a service man or woman...take the time to shake their hand and tell them that you appreciate their effort to fight for your right to bitch. Someone's son got their head blown off for your right to bitch. Amazing, isn't it?

Thursday, May 3

Mama Said - DON'T TAKE Candy From Strangers!!

I LOVE the few young people that "keep me in the loop". I'm tired, and have been so busy I've neglected my favorite hobby the blog this week, but one of my employee's daughters keeps me on her e-mail list (Thank You Renee), and gave me the inspiration for a quick post on my way to bed. I laughed my butt off at this, and thought of my dear Mama Ann that reigned my life with an iron fist when young, but did teach me about " NO Candy From Strangers".

I think all of us know how we teach children about the dangers of true strangers. However, I grew up in a small West Texas town on a cotton farm. NO STRANGERS would ever find my house unless they were invited with explicit directions. But, thank goodness my Mama Ann DID teach me to watch out.

Do any of you know what "Spree" candies are??? They are basically a bit bigger, and more colorful with a shiny candy coating, and are the
"high end" greater version of Sweet Tarts. Well, in my West Texas town, when I was in high school and an "A" student...my mother found Sprees in my purse, and I SHIT YOU NOT...she took them and gave them to the local pharmacist at our local drug store... that would be Rick... and asked him to analyze the "drugs" in her daughter's purse! When she found out it was actually CANDY... and she was WRONG... it was priceless.

But...I can't post this, and not admit that occasionally on more minor things like exceeding my allowed mileage on my car, and sneakin
g a phone call or two to boys, or even some more major things in life she WAS right about...I HAVE been guilty a time or two...REALLY GUILTY...


Just curious...as an 'old fart...is this the visual aid and true meaning of San Francisco Values??? Let me know, 'cause I think it is...and while I'd give this guy a kudo at a talent show for balls, I WOULDN'T VOTE FOR this being OK on a daily basis driving down the street. He's FUNNY, and he's obviously GAY... who cares? But, he should save this kind of gayness for at home with his partner.

Same way that I like to fly the Confederate Flag as a symbol of sheer Southern heritage and history...doesn't mean anything, but THAT, and I like the design... But I GUARANTEE YOU, if HE and I were walking down the same street...and he was the gumball machine guy, and I was the redneck chick waving a Confederate flag girl...I'd get the shit, and he'd be OK.

Thanks again to those that send me funny stuff that reminds me of memories, whether or not my crazy memories meet with what the "norm" expects or not. To those of you that are of my age...laugh with the young, they will set the policies and standards we will live by later. It's fun to laugh...DON'T TAKE CANDY FROM STRANGERS!

Thursday Thirteen #9

Thirteen Things about MALINDA

This week's list is 13 things / habits about me that will probably never change, in no particular order of importance. It's funny the little things about each of us that make us unique. Some things on this list are just mundane facts, some are really odd...but hey, it's our nuances that make us all eccentrically individual isn't it? You all have them too :)

1. Lawry's: I'm Southern, and if it's cooked in my house...chances are it has some Lawry's sprinkled in it or on it. My Mama used it, as did my Grandmother and so on. I even buy the "industrial" size bottle.

2. The Rubbing Pillow: My little secret nervous habit. Since I was a baby, if I have a certain kind of cotton cloth around me, I will rub it back and forth between my fingers. I guess it's my little version of OCD. I have a pillow on the bed that's just perfect for such a habit. My husband laughs at me, but knows...the rubbing pillow stays...

3. Crackers & Cheese: Saltines, or Ritz...Wheat or grain crackers...I always have a stash of them close by somewhere. And cheese...I could live on the combination probably. It doesn't matter...squeezy cheese, American cheese slices, spreadable cream cheese, just about any cheese...love it!

4. My computer: OK, I'm a geek. I work on one all day, and grab the laptop when I get home to sit on the couch and relax. Work or play...as long as I have a computer and internet access, I'm a happy camper. And yep...on the rare occasion one crashes or my connection is down...it's just about like cutting off my oxygen supply.

5. Office Supplies: I think I have an office supply fettish. I swear I could nickel and dime myself into poverty if left alone long enough in an Office Depot. So many trick gadgets, colored paper and pads, always something to make life in the office more convenient or jazzed up. I have 18 rubber pre-inked stamps on my desk :)...AND...I use them all believe it or not.

6. Green Olives: I buy the "industrial" size bottles of these too. Love them anytime day or night. I can get a small bowl of them and just munch during a movie. Usually followed by a cookie or something sweet. Have always loved the salt / sweet combinations...I'm a wierd snacker!

7. Blue Jeans & Tennis Shoes: I'm a country girl tomboy at heart. My life has taken various turns financially through time...and no matter how rich or poor...you're likely to find me wearing jeans and tennis shoes. I'm just not big on getting all gussied up. But...I have some "gussy" jeans, and some cool tennis shoes with sparkles down the side...does that count? I love my "bling-bling" jewelery though! Diamonds & Blue Jeans...that's me.

8. A1 Steak Sauce: I love a great steak meal. I've been fortunate enough to eat many times at some wonderful and expensive restaurants that prepare the finest filet mignon imaginable. But, you just can't take the redneck out of some people. You should see the looks I get from some of the waiters at a fine dining establishment when I ask for A1 with the meal, as if I'm desecrating the heavenly creation of the chef. However...I've only been to ONE restaurant in my life that didn't have it...so I must NOT be the only one :)

9. Instant Tears: Oh...to be a fairly tough and tumble lady when I need to be...I swear I'm such a sap! If I'm touched or moved by it, my eye will leak every time. I cry at sad movies, I cry when I see cute babies loved by their mothers, I cry EVERY time one of my boys does something really good and special like when they play ball, or get an award at school, etc. And worst of all...if I get REALLY, REALLY MAD...the tears come then too. But...over the years, I've managed to keep it under control and down to a drop or two...my friends will laugh and say..."Oh Lordy...she's gonna cry again..."...then we laugh together, and my eyes water up again at our giggles. Silly me and my tears of joy...

10. Two Vices: Smoke like a chimney, and drink like a fish... That's an ole' cliche, and a description a bit radical to describe me...but I do love my cocktails in the evening, and the cigarettes too. However, bad as it is...I've smoked since I was 16, and still remain under one pack per day...and I can smoke at work, and Reno still has a few restaurants where smoking is allowed, and you can smoke at any bar that doesn't serve food.

11. Procrastination: If I could fix ONE thing about myself, it would be this one. I just can't seem to find the motivation or self will to get in gear and accomplish more things that I need to do around my house and in my life sometimes. I know I need to do them, I tell myself I should change my priorities to include them...but hey...I could be sitting on the couch relaxing and pecking away on my laptop or something right? Malinda needs to get off her butt more :)

12. Natural Vampire: Some folks just have an odd biological clock...I'm one of them. I don't like going to bed early. It's nothing for me to be up and occupied with something until 1am. I'd like to blame it on my 20 year casino career when I worked 6pm - 2am, but I can't. That just happened to be a perfect job for someone like me. Drives my husband insane, as he's one to crash very early. But, I can't change that...and I tell him someday when we retire, I'll retrain him and he can stay up all night with me. Of course by then, old age will most likely set in, and when I CAN STAY UP as long as I want to, I probably won't be able to :)

13. Babble & Ramble: Just ask my husband...I'm a babbler and a rambler. I'm not good with the short version :) I over explain, and provide too much detail in conversation according to him. I also have a bad habit with interruption. Darn it...I really DON'T MEAN too, and I know it can be frustrating to others. And...even though I'm aware of it...it just still seems to happen too often. However...if ya' tell me right up front...the short version please...I'll laugh and get right to the point :)

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Wednesday, May 2

Wednesday Hero - Hospitalman Luis E. Fonseca Jr.

This Weeks Soldier Was Suggested By Echo9er

Hospitalman Luis E. Fonseca Jr.
Hospitalman Luis E. Fonseca Jr.

On August 11, 2004, Navel Hospitalman Luis E. Fonseca, Jr. was awarded the Navy's second highest decoration. The Navy Cross, which is awarded for extraordinary heroism while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States and must be performed in the presence of great danger or at great personal risk, was awarded for his actions while serving with Amphibious Assault Vehicle Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, Task Force Tarawa, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

On March 23, 2004, Fonseca, Jr.'s unit were trying to take the Saddam Canal Bridge. Five Marines were injured when their vehicle was hit by an RPG. Fonseca, while still being fired upon by machine guns and RPG's, pulled the Marines to safety and established a casualty collection unit inside his own medical evacuation vehicle. After his vehicle was hit once again, Fonseca organized litter teams and directed the movement of four of the Marines, while personally carrying one wounded Marine over open ground to another vehicle. On November 15, 2004, Seaman Fonseca was awarded the "Grateful Nation Award" from the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs for his actions.

"I was doing my job," said Fonseca. "I wish I could have done more."

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.