Tue-much

It's all too much these days. Earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, rising oil prices, season finales. Sometimes I get kinda down this time of year- specifically when I remember that it's been quite some time since the first days of summer signalled anything more than a change in footwear. This Saturday will be my 30th birthday. I'm being rather ungraceful about it. (Even, dare I say, mopey?) Oh, I know it's just a number - but I feel like wallowing. At any rate, there's more than just a big birthday glooming up my outlook.

In a USA Today article by Greg Toppo, "Childhood lead exposure linked to adult crime" he brings to our attention a new link between violence and lead-poisoning. Now we may have a reason for the degeneration of some Baltimore neighborhoods (that bon mot is all mine, people.) The conclusions drawn by a research team out of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine are based on long-term data from a childhood lead study in the city of Cincinnati: "elevated prenatal and postnatal blood-lead concentrations are associated with higher rates of criminal arrest in adulthood." While this is not totally surprising - um, we all pretty much knew that lead in the water and make-up is what made those Romans go bonkers - wait you didn't know that? The EPA will tell you all about it in Lead Poisoning: A Historical Perspective.

In an AP article that I pulled from MSNBC.com, it's gonna be a bad year for tornadoes. According to The National Weather Service "2008 is already the deadliest tornado year in the United States since 1998 and seems on track to break the U.S. record for the number of twisters in a year." Worse yet, these babies have been super strong, with 21 so far having been rated a 3 or 4 and the one that hit Parkersburg, Indiana was rated the near-mythical 5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. Scary, no?

And Africa - oh, Africa. As I sit here surruptiously slurping down a (very small!) bowl of Tin Roof Sundae, I'm reading about the dire situation in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Can you truly imagine what it means to be starving to death? According to Jeffrey D. Sachs, a Columbia economist and top United Nations adviser, "These places aren’t on the brink. They’ve gone over the cliff.” The U.N. has declared large parts of Somalia a humanitarian emergency, (that's like a shade higher than famine) and it seems so hopeless.

Hmmm, looking back on these things, I'm starting to feel kinda dumb about my whine-fest. (Aw - you knew that would happen, didn't you?) Okay - 30! Yay! (You don't have to believe that, but maybe if I say it enough, I will.) It looks like tomorrow will have to be a post about my many, many blessings. (It is after all, "O'Joy" of my life...)
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Memorial Monday

It was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May.

Though it has become a holiday, often defined by barbecues, drinking games and beach trips, etc; it's meant to be a day of reflection. No matter your stance on war, we should all remember with gratitude the men and women whose lives and deaths were given in the name of our country (which made it possible for those same barbecues, drinking games and beach trips.) Those men and women believed that they were fighting for freedom and serving their country, and for that alone, they deserve high honor.

Yesterday my pastor, an avid fan of estate sales, read from a group of unopened letters he found recently. Dated June 9th 1972, a mother writes to her son about commonplace things, like family doings, the state of their garden, etc. Peppered throughout her letter are gentle reminders of her belief that God is watching and caring for her son, She admonishes him to remember prayer, and ends the letter with love from all, including The Almighty's. There were two other envelopes, and a telegram dated June 8. You can guess, I imagine, the contents of that telegram. The entire congregation was sniffling at the end of the sermon. I believe that God was indeed with that woman's beloved son.

It is important to know two things about Memorial Day. It is indeed, a day to celebrate our freedom, and celebrate we certainly should. However, it is also very important that it also be a day of reflection.



I hope that you will join me at 3 p.m. local time "To voluntarily and informally observe in their [your] own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they [you] are doing for a moment of silence" as outlined in the "National Moment of Remembrance" directive.

Thank you and as we are reminded by a billboard in Fort Meade, "Safety is ALWAYS in Season."
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Seven More...







It's another list! Oh - how I love lists, I like to make lists of everything. Travel lists, Places To See lists, Grocery lists, Baby Gear lists, To-Do lists (not that they become To-Done lists), you name it.


So here's another Seven Things I Really Love Right Now ('Cause I'm so fickle you know)


Uno: Click To Give, it's a button at The Child Health Site. "Every click on the "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button results in funding raised for Mercy Corps, Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Helen Keller International." (Straight from the site.) I feel good 'cause a child somewhere feels good - it's all good. I actually set the entire GreaterGood Network as one of my home page tabs in Internet Explorer so I'd remember to click on each page, every day. You could, too - I'm just saying.

Last year the GreaterGood Network gave over $1.7 million to charity, via it's Click To Give program and Site Stores which feature handmade, cruelty-free, fair trade goodies from all over the world. Show 'em some love people! You can also click for mammograms at The Breast Cancer Site, food at The Hunger Site, books at The Literacy Site, protection at The Rainforest Site, and care at The Animal Rescue Site. It's awesome, I tell ya!


Dos: Debbie Jordan Kravitz of D & R Custom Organizers, and her blog Virtually Organized. (Hah - get it? virtually? heh, heh.) I especially like her suggestion of a "Lost and Found" basket. All the toys, papers, clothes, etc; that are left lying around at the end of the day get tossed into the basket. Once a week all items still in the basket get tossed or donated. (The really cool stuff can obviously be donated to yourself - being the boss does have its privileges!) Now, my kiddos are a little young for this, but DH isn't!


The other thing I really like about her is her awesome giveaways. Right now she's giving away an amazing 6 month Virtual Organizing Consultant Package (Hello - who couldn't use this?) worth I swear, $570! I plan on entering myself (just as soon as I get my camera fixed, which has been broken since October and has been on that To-Do list for-like-ever, perfect example of how badly I need some organizing help.)
Do you wanna know how to get in on the action? Click the button below - or go here: http://www.votigo.com/contests/showcontest/4651 with a brief video about your own disorganization, and how you could so desperately use a little help from Debbie! The contest begins June 1st and entries will be accepted through June 30th. Git 'er up!






Tres: Crypto-Grams &



Quatro: Chuck Norris jokes



For your pleasure, I will combine them in a fun game. Really - it's a blast! The quote is courtesy of ChuckNorrisFacts.com For more cryptograms, check out Cryptograms.org





KTVGV XY UZ RTXU WVTXUA RTFRE UZGGXY' WVJGA. KTVGV XY ZUSH JUZKTVG IXYK.



Here are a few hints: The most common letters of the alphabet are R, S, T, L, N & E. Two and three letter words are usually the easiest to translate. Look for double letters - these are great clues. Good Luck! (Drop me a line if you just can't figure it out!)



Cinco: JacksonPollock.org You should really play here for a while. (It's a flash page.) My three year old loves it. It's like Paint, but it streaks and blobs, and you just click your mouse to change colors mid-stroke as many times as you like. It totally reminds me of that scene in Ian Falconer's Olivia.


Seis: American Idol - even when I don't agree with the way it all goes down. It's a ridiculous spectacle - I get that. I'm pretty sure it's that way on purpose. I knew from the get-go that it'd be the Davids in the final, but I would have bet money (if I actually had any, that is) that Archuletta would be taking the title. I'm sure that he'll still be a mega-star, I mean second place ain't no joke, as more than 35 million voting fans can attest. Yes, you may make fun of me. It's the only reality TV that I watch and therefore I am not ashamed to cop to it. Moving on, now.


Siete: In The MotherHood Oh, lord - I can't help but crack up at the antics displayed here. If you haven't seen these video shorts yet, you'd better get there quick. It's a web-series starring Leah Remini, Chelsea Handler and Jenny McCarthy. Each episode is inspired by real stories from moms and then played to hilarious effect by the leading ladies. My fave webisode so far? Nightmare on a Plane, Episode 2 from Season 1. Go on and submit your own story - it may be a winner, and then I can laugh at your crazy life.
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'S Monday Again



As my 30th birthday creeps ever closer, I'm finding myself looking for all new ways of occupying my little mind. (If i ignore it, it might go away.) Wanna here about a couple?

Enter Brain Foggles Blog Contest May 16 thru May 30

BrainFoggles is hosting an amazing giveaway. It's an SEO optimized Wordpress blog. But she doesn't just plan on leaving it there. This giveaway also comes with hosting for one year, keyword research, advice on picking a profitable niche for the blog, complete set up of Wordpress and associated plugins, (There's still more!) SEO theme, tech support and Advisory Panel input, and a custom header. I've been daydreaming about winning this and becoming a super special blog celeb or making lots of moolah, or even just how fun setting it all up would be - any of which would satisfactorily distract me from turning 30. (By the way - it's called fantasizing for a reason - I'm pretty well aware that it's highly unlikely that any of those things will distract me, lol.)


Another thing that's been pretty fun? Being a Research Guide at ChaCha. The pay is nominal, but I've been having a blast answering the huge array of questions posted by the "infoseekers" as we like to call them. If you haven't heard of ChaCha, you are so missing out!


What is ChaCha?
ChaCha is a human-powered search and answers service. We deliver answers
via text or PC, anytime, anywhere. It's free, available 24 hours a day, and has
30,000 active guides, with thousands searching each week and hundreds online at any time.*

*directly from the handbook

Just go to ChaCha.com, or text 242242 (chacha) with your cell phone and get answers for your questions! The usual wait time for an answer is about 3 minutes, often less, but no longer than 10. Each answer comes with a tiny url and the best humanly devised answer for your query. Typical questions are for driving directions, name searches, (a lot of people want to know what the internet says about them) movie times, jokes, pick-up lines, clebrity facts, historical references, that kind of stuff. I've heard that it's the perfect way to settle bar bets, spouse debates, homework trouble - you get it, right? Hey, I suggest you try it out, and maybe I'll be the guide responding to your question. Fun, yeah?
Last, but not least, I've been planning a Classic Rock Theme Party for my in-laws 30th anniversary this August. Invites, CD labels for favors, centerpieces, bowls made from vinyl records for dishing out snack items, killer music list - I've got that. Now I'm trying to figure out some 70's era party dishes to serve. Got any ideas folks? I sure would appreciate 'em.

Anyway - that's what I've been up to. Thanks for letting me share. Now I'm going to go hope that our laundry will be stimulating enough to make it worth the outrageous amount of time it takes to get it all done. (Another fantasy, I know.)
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Thoughts on Faith


So you might already know that I have struggled with faith - my biggest problem being the whole "Let go, and let God" thing. Giving up control is really, really hard for me. I've been known to dig in my heels just because I can't stand to let things be anyone else's way but mine. (You can imagine what a pain this is for DH.)

The other main issue is wrapping my head around unconditional love. That outrageous concept of God's grace as a matter of fact. I mean, whoa. I have made some major mistakes in my lifetime. Really foolish, selfish, sometimes hurtful, and once even fatal. I rejected Him over and over. Deserving grace? Me?

On Mother's Day, my daughter sang in the Cherub Choir at the beginning of service. She was adorable, and looked so little, but sang in her very best "big-girl" voice, it fair to broke my heart. What on this earth had I done to deserve that incredible little person in my life?

After the young ones filed out of the narthex, ushered into their respective Sunday school classes by Miss Sue, the call for the morning's first hymn seemed appropriate, "Jesus Loves Me". My reaction to the song was so completely not. I started crying! I mean seriously sobbing, hiccups and mascara streaks everywhere. DH looked amused, (I believe he thought I was crying over Liv's perfomance) but I was appalled. I don't do that!

I must have heard that song hundreds of times before, and sang it right here in my living room with my Bug, but never a hint of such of violent emotion. For the first time, I realized that the song was about me. Jesus loves me. Me, that foolish, sometimes selfish, always uncertain me. It shredded me, that realization.

I barely made it through the rest of the service. I was so preoccupied during the brunch DH treated me to afterward that I can't remember a single word said by my loved ones. (Though I know what I ordered, I always get the Greek Omelet - it's my favorite.)

Still fragile, that feeling of love and acceptance, my heart is now coming to know it, has even put forward the hand of friendship, as if to say, "We could do well together." Grace - what an amazing thing.




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Supery Dupery, People!

OK- its been a crazy, mixed-up week. DH's schedule has been outrageous - and so I've been running almost non-stop. Good news, though - I've actually made a live friend. You know, the kind who actually can come over and play in my yard. Well, we just sit and watch the kiddos play, but you get the general idea. Her daughter is just one day older than my Bug, and they are the exact same height (which is a novelty, as Miss 'Tude is generally a good four or five inches taller than most three year olds we've met.) They are like long lost BFF's from the get-go. It's adorable to see their little heads together, one redhaired, one blonde - and know that they are plotting some kind of mischief. At last, my girl has a co-conspirator. It fair to warms my heart, it does.
All right; enough about me per se, it's Tuesday! You know what that means my virtual friends!

I just love the Washington Post sometimes. Tonight Robert G. Kaiser is doing a live breakdown online tonight of the poll returns from those illustrious states of Indiana & North Carolina. (Don't know why these are so important? Arggh. Okay, check this out: Real Clear Politics' Adam Nagourney can fill you in with For Primaries in 2 States, a Variety of Scenarios.) Back to Robert, the man is just funny. Check out his response to a query from Kansas City, MO.

Thus far it looks like Obama is pulling ahead. Since Gary, Indiana has no real numbers published yet, it's hard to know exactly how it went down in Indiana, but right now, Obama has 1,842 delegates to Clinton's 1,692. If you know anything about the Democratic party, you'd know the game isn't over yet, as Hillary is carrying a lead of 14 Super Delegate votes. Barack is winning the popular vote by a measly 2.1% Yikes! On to the next one my friends. See ya there!


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