Oh ... Really?

Monday, November 17, 2008

What a difference a year makes

I come from a rather small family. Growing up, it was my parents, my brother and me. Both of my parents were only-children, and their cousins, while numerous, were hundreds of miles away. The biggest gathering we had was with both sets of grandparents, for a grand total of 8 people for the holiday. Even after I had three children, my side of the family was still small and close-knit. Last year, it was two of my three kids, my parents and me ... 5 people, at Thanksgiving and Christmas, as it has been for years. This year, it is different. A LOT different.

I have joined up with a very large family. A HUGE family. So big, we are having two Thanksgiving dinners. Rich has 6 kids, plus a new daughter-in-law, plus my 3 makes 10. His sister and her husband have 5. His brother, the slacker, only has 1, but his Ex is still part of the family and has another son. Some of the kids have significant others, plus two babies. Then there's a couple of friends that are like family ... and I lost count of kids around 20. Then the 8 in our generation - Rich and me, his sister and her husband, his brother and his girlfriend, and two Ex wives. Rounding out this crowd are Rich's mother and my parents. Hmm ... 30-something-ish is the total crowd count. And I will be cooking for nearly all of them. With some help, of course. Being the geek that I am, I made a planner in an Excel spreadsheet, complete with a menu, recipes, shopping lists, Gannt timelines and then I shared it online with the family to coordinate this feast.

The feast itself will consist of two turkeys - one roasted and one fried, and a ham. Plus at least 6 veggie casseroles - broccoli, green bean, sweet potato; potatoes done two or three ways; two kinds of stuffing; gravy by the gallon; bread and rolls; overnight fruit salad; cranberry-pear relish; deviled eggs; caramel apple, pumpkin and pecan pies, raw apple cake, pumpkin gooey cake, and homemade ice cream.

Are ya hungry yet?

Being a foodie thoroughly addicted to the Food Network, I got most of my recipes from there, and quite accidentally, came up with an apple themed menu - at least for the parts that I am making - Brined Roast Turkey, Apple Sourdough Bread Stuffing, Apple Cider Gravy with Giblets, and Raw Apple Cake. Yum. Mee!

I can hardly wait. I love to cook, and I love having a big family to cook for. I could possibly achieve nirvana if the kids would clean up after me. Heh ...

Then comes the rest of the holiday season, and this year I am STOKED and ready for the Christmas spirit. We have already been up to The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge to look at decorations, then wandered around Gatlinburg one chilly evening. We even found our first Christmas gift. Can't say what it is or who it is for, because they read this site! (Neener!) Later we are going to try to catch A Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood and the annual Christmas Craft Show in Gatlinburg, and the Fantasy of Trees in Knoxville. I am hoping we can get to the Clayton Holiday Concert at the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, but that's the same weekend as the Tran-Siberian Orchestra concert, and we already have tickets for that. Somewhere in there, we are going to decorate the house with TWO trees and most of our combined accumulation of Christmas decorations, and plan our Christmas feast.

Whew! I'm getting tired just thinking about all that.

I really want this Christmas to be extra special because this is our first as a combined family, but I am well-aware that the harder one tries to have a good Christmas, the more screwed up it all gets. So, I am going to take it as it comes, and mostly, focus on the Reason for the Season.

But oh, I have a sudden craving for peppermint ice cream!

Posted by LissaKay on 11/17/08 at 11:26 PM in ~ Holidays
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Sunday, November 09, 2008

It’s a done deal ...

It's official now. We're (gettin')* hitched.

I talked him out of buying a gun at the gun show and get this instead ....


A little while ago, I realized that today is the 8th anniversary of a very significant event in my life, one that colored my perceptions of just about everything and changed the essence of who I am, which I have been struggling to come to terms with ever since. Today, I think I can safely say the healing is complete.

*We consider ourselves already married in God's eyes. We will have the public and civil ceremony in May of next year.
Posted by LissaKay on 11/09/08 at 10:04 PM in ~ Matters of the Heart
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Get a grip!


Look people, I know you are deliriously happy that your messiah successfully purchased won this election, but for heaven's sake, he is not going to save the world!

Oh yes, get it out of your system ... I'm just being all bitter and mad because my side lost, right? If thinking that makes you happy, go for it. The reality is, I was against your guy and only marginally for his opponent, McCain. I think Sarah Palin will one day be a mighty force, but her time has not yet come. My vote was cast against a man that appeared out of nowhere, with no experience, with ties to some pretty ugly ideologies, and a platform that promises economic disaster, higher taxes and big government. I was not taken in by the promises of "change" nor was I willing to support his socialist ideas. I believe that Obama will be very bad for our country, worse even than Carter.

So when I see people getting all weepy at how wonderful it all is, droning on and on about how beautiful the world is all of a sudden, I throw up a little in my mouth. Get real, people. This election was bought and paid for with rampant voter fraud and egregious campaign finance shenanigans. Someday that $600 million bill is going to come due, and you know what? You are going to hate paying it even more than I will. And pay we will, and so will our children and their children too.

I find it funny that all through the campaign, Obama and his throngs of fans insisted that race has nothing to do with it. Race is not a part of his campaign, and it should not even be mentioned. Now that he is elected, well ... NOW it's all about race! Ya'll have been telling me all this time that even noticing his race implied racism, now look at you all ... you RACISTS!

Even more hilarious are the calls for "unity" and "bipartisanship" ... give me a freakin' break, would ya? You have GOT to be kidding me! Not only have we spent the last 8 years listening to you harp on Chimpy McBushHitler and the evil Bush/Cheney/Rove machine, attributing absolutely everything bad in the world to Bush, but then you had your little slime fest at Sarah Palin's expense. And not just her, but her children as well! NOW you want unity and bipartisanship? Oh really??? Even as you whine about the crowd booing Obama at McCain's concession speech, in practically the same breath you still bash on Bush and Palin.

I'm sorry, but you have got to be out of your bloody minds!

You mocked President Bush with "Dubya" for 8 years. I claim the right to refer to Obama as Hussein. Fair enough?

I will give Obama just as much respect as he earns, or as much as was given to Bush ... whichever is the lesser of the two. I will mock him as much as he deserves, or as much as Bush was mocked, whichever is the greater. When he proposes policy that is not in my country's best interest, or is against the Constitution, I will say so loudly and repeatedly. I will fight for my liberty and my freedom, to death if need be.

Which reminds me, I've been meaning to ask ... just what is there, if anything, that liberals are willing to die for? Anything that they cherish and value as much as their own life? Anything they are willing to really fight for? (And that doesn't include marching up and down the street, holding signs with stupid slogans and chanting even stupider slogans). Is there anything in a liberal's little life that is worth defending?

Oh that's right ... they'd fight for "choice," aka the right to murder their children. Anything other than that?

I didn't think so. And that is so sad.

So, enjoy your little honeymoon and your dreams of Hopey Changefulness while you can. Reality is just around the corner, when you find that The One is just another corrupt politician spouting false promises to get your vote. The best that we can hope for now is that he really was lying his ass off during his campaign. You can't be taxed into prosperity, and appeasement will not bring peace. You really don't want the government to be your caretaker, because that also makes it your overlord.

Posted by LissaKay on 11/05/08 at 11:28 PM in ~ Politics
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What day is it?

I voted three weeks ago. For me, today is just another day ... except it is not. At the end of it, I will find out if the country that I know and love will continue to be strong and proud, a nation of self-sufficient, independent and free people, or if we will embrace a new way ... one in which we depend on the government for our basic needs, and cede responsibility for ourselves and our well-being to our socialist care-takers.

Obama's insane plans to "fix" our healthcare system (which isn't broken in the first place) and his outrageous energy plan that will leave us all in the dark after he puts the coal companies out of business, and his plans for a "national security force," his Truth Squads and his vow to take our guns, leaves me feeling quite ill. Now, if he does win this thing and is like most politicians and does not keep his campaign promises, we might be OK. But someone ... some unknown entity ... has bought and paid for this election. We will find out who and what that is probably shortly after the inauguration, and just before they put the stranglehold on our country.***

So, today, for the first time in my life, if I may paraphrase a bit, I am very much NOT proud of my country or half of my fellow Americans that will ask for this to be brought down upon us. I will say this ... I hope, and pray, with every fiber of my soul, that one day my Obama-worshiping friends can say to me, "I told you so!" but I deeply fear that the reverse will be the case. The best situation, of course, is the one in which Obama goes back home to Chicago to continue practicing his corrupt, radical politics there, and our nation continues to be the proud, free and independent people that she has always been.

I am not going to glue myself to the TV tonight, or internet news streams, or blogs, or Twitter tonight. We are going out to dinner and hopefully forget about all this mess for a little while. We can face the future tomorrow, whatever it may be.

***No, I am not going to cite sources to back up these statements. I am not going to waste my time and energy on something you can easily Google for yourselves. I have found, over the course of this election campaign, that linking to sources is useless ... people do not click the links. If they do, they don't read the article. If they do read it, they don't believe it. If they do believe it, they excuse it and continue to support the slimeball anyway, even in the face of factual evidence of his corruption.

Posted by LissaKay on 11/04/08 at 07:31 PM in ~ Politics
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Monday, November 03, 2008

Marking All Read

Since returning to work about a month ago, I have had to make some drastic changes in how I deal with my spare time. One of the major adjustments is in how and when I use the Internet.

While I was not working, I did keep fairly busy with school work. It seemed like there was always a quiz or assignment to prepare for, tons of reading, or just fretting over getting it all done along with everything else. But I still had time to cruise through my RSS feed reader several times a day and keep up with what was going on with my friends, local happenings and in the world in general. I had time to respond to anything and everything that got my interest, subscribe to new writers and check out all the recommended sites to see.

Now it seems that I am hitting the "Mark All Read" button quite often. Even over the weekend, since we stay quite busy with family and leisure activities, I don't have time to catch up on the feeds. I sometimes wonder what I am missing ... and right at the moment, it's either quite a lot, or nothing worth bothering over. I focus on a few feeds, mostly ones that are local people, and some general news. But the days of comparing what one pundit has to say with another, then contrasting that with yet a third, those are well and over. Entering into the fray of the discussion? Not likely at all. I am lucky to have time be able to comment with any regularity at the blogs of personal friends. A few media outlets have been interesting to post it and debate with others the topics of the day, but even those take quite a lot of time. So, I have pared down my reading list for now, hoping that, as my new schedule gets settled a bit more, I can get back to reading and responding as before.

And now, I must fly ... time to get to work!

Posted by LissaKay on 11/03/08 at 07:59 AM in ~ Blogging
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Monday, October 27, 2008

Sarah winked at me!

Yesterday, the weather was gorgeous. There was just a hint of autumn chill in the air, and the mountains of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina were in full color under a dazzling sun and sapphire blue sky. It was one of those days that reminds one just how awesome God is, and how wonderful it is to be alive. At the apex of this journey, we heard Sarah Palin speak at the Asheville (NC) Civic Center.

We also made the acquaintance of some really nice folks as we stood in line, and had a marvelous time in fellowship and good cheer. Even as protesters yelled out their epithets at us, we smiled and often laughed together. We stood in line for over two hours, and then we ended up just barely missing out on being in the same auditorium as Sarah, but we did get to listen to her via video feed in a smaller auditorium. It was almost as good as being there. The crowd was excited and roaring ... and for the first time in weeks, I was filled with optimism that our country will endure even if McCain and Palin are not victorious. All we need is for the good people that support them to hold the line against the "Change" that is in store for us, and "Hope" for a better day.

Sarah delivered an inspiring message, one that promises a McCain-Palin administration that will be for the working people, for small business, for opportunity, and mostly, for our country. She told the tale of Tito the Builder, a legal immigrant who came here to live the American dream, which he did, on his own, without relying on anything other than his own hard work. She promised that she and McCain would be there for us, a government of the people, by the people, for the people ... as it should be. This is the hope that America can count on, that we will be supported as we do for ourselves, live free and independent ... not relying on a government to take care of us and directing nearly every aspect of our lives.

That is the America that gives me hope for our future. What we saw outside ... gives me chills. There were dozens of protesters there, although quite a bit fewer than I had expected. Their signs and symbols of protest ran the gamut from amusing to confusing to irrelevant, to obnoxious to offensive to sexist and racist, to downright hateful. Many of them were just stupid. At one point, I engaged with a young girl who was trying to convince people that Sarah Palin was actually a socialist. I listened to her reasoning ... the rebate that Alaskans received is "spreading the wealth" so therefore Palin is a socialist. Except for the fact that the definition of socialism doesn't cover this. Silly little liberal, trying so hard to defend Obama and his radical agenda by projecting it onto his opponent. I then countered that spreading the wealth does no good for anyone in the long run ... it just creates ill will and a lack of desire to succeed in those from whom it takes, and creates lazy, non-motivated dependents on the state among those it gives to. It's no win for anyone. However, in the end, she came around to agreeing with me that giving hand outs is not good, but a temporary hand UP is what welfare programs should be about.

Other sights that I saw and things I heard ...

Numerous SUVs and large trucks, including one belching massive amounts of black exhaust, sporting Obama bumper stickers ... a family (in an SUV, natch) with the window next to their 3 year old in a car seat open so the child could chant "Obama! Obama!" for us. Nothing like indoctrinating them early on ... uncountable Obama fans that hurled out various slogans, yet on when challenged, they could not defend whatever it was they were saying ... one fellow in particular had a sign that had a purple triangle, bordered in silver or gray and beneath it said "No Palin, Know Peace" but he was absolutely mute when I asked what that meant, except to say that he was "not a second class citizen." Later, we encountered this young man again, and this time he offered, "I will not be denied my equal rights." Just to be clear here, he was white, looked to be early to mid 20s, dressed in regular clothes - nothing unusual at all. I was like, Dude, if you have a message here, you need to be more clear about it. No one gets it.

At one point, a vehicle (again, an SUV) drove past the line we stood in and the woman chanted "Obama! Obama!" and when she got to a black man behind us, she yelled at him, "Shame on you!"

We were dumbfounded. If we hadn't seen it for ourselves, we almost would not have believed it. You can see it too, over at Rich's. He just happened to have the video cam running at the time. Amazing. Another black man was selling McCain-Palin buttons to the crowd. A woman confronted him and asked if he was just doing that for a job, and if he was, it just proved how awful the economy is if he had to stoop that low. He roundly set her straight, telling her he wholly supported McCain and Palin, and she was a racist for saying what she did.

So much for the party of love, tolerance and diversity, eh? I guess that only applies if you are one of them. God help you if you are a black that is not voting for Obama, or a woman that believes in the sanctity of life.

Country First! Go Sarah!

I only got a few still pics, I got some video but I don't have the patience to sort through it now.

Happy people, even after standing in line for hours:

Of course, God-fearin' and country lovin' people just tend to be happy!

And here, the liberal elite look down upon the happy conservatives from their trendy downtown condo, white Cabernet in hand, of course.

(As always, click to embiggen the pics in a pop up window, if you want)

Posted by LissaKay on 10/27/08 at 10:38 PM in ~ Politics
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Like Mother, Like Daughter

A while back, I posted pictures and video from our trip to the firing range with some folks from our Bible study group. A few weeks ago, my daughter and some of her friends went out shooting ...

Isn't she lovely? She makes her Mama so proud!


Earlier today, a blogger associated with the local newspaper posted this:

Apparently, as the economy tanks, gun sales are up:

Gun purchases have also been climbing because of the worsening economy, which fuels fears of crime and civil disorder, industry sources and specialists said.

"Generally, we know that hard economic times always result in firearm sales," said James M. Purtilo of Silver Spring, who publishes the Tripwire Newsletter.

The story also notes that some nutty, paranoid people people are stocking up on guns because they believe that if Obama wins, he will ban gun ownership.

To echo another local blogger, gun and 2nd amendment right expert, Say Uncle: Gee, ya think?

Lock and load, baby. Lock and load.

Posted by LissaKay on 10/27/08 at 09:59 PM in
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Asheville Bound!

Sarah Palin will be speaking in Asheville, NC at the civic center there tomorrow. We plan to go. We will be taking cameras, so I hope that we can follow up with photos and video of our visit. We're excited about seeing her and hearing her speak in person, and if nothing else, the trip through the mountains during peak fall colors will be worth it. I just hope this cold I have gets better by then.

Posted by LissaKay on 10/25/08 at 07:38 PM in ~ Politics
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An Experiment in Socialism

Socialism seems to be at the forefront of discussion topics at the moment. It also seems that there is a wide variety of what people think socialism is. Most really have no clue. But the following tale sums it up fairly nicely, in terms most people can understand ... even those that are fervently in favor of a socialist government.

Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign the read "Vote Obama, I need the money." I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" tie, again I laughed--just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need--the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.

May have to try this next time I'm out on the town. And be packing I might add.

Now just imagine, instead of a merely curious, experimental lunch diner, a waitress and a homeless guy, this scenario played out on a daily basis, but with the federal government, hard-working taxpayers and lazy do-nothings playing these roles respectively ... and with YOU being one of the hard-working tax payers. Still think socialism is such a great idea?

Posted by LissaKay on 10/21/08 at 11:53 PM in ~ Our World
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Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Tale of Two Plumbers

America is, and always has been, a country where anyone can try to become anything they want to. It is the land of opportunity, where we are limited only by our own abilities and drive to succeed. Those times may be changing though, and one day we may find ourselves facing a government that will penalize us for being successful, that we will be forced to pay for realizing the American Dream. That just sends a chill down my spine.

The recent presidential debate was marked not so much by the contenders' policy positions and campaign promises, but by a new American icon ... Joe the Plumber. See, one day, Joe was out playing catch with his son in his yard when he saw Obama campaigning nearby. It sure looked like a neat photo op, with Mr. Middle America, the meat of what makes the Democrat party tick. It must have brought a tear to the eye of The One, who claims to be the champion of the middle class. What he got from Joe was not exactly what he expected, or really wanted. He got a tough question, of the sort that his fawning media never asks. Joe simply wanted to know if Obama believes in the American Dream.

"I'm getting ready to buy a company that makes $250,000 to $280,000 a year," he told Mr. Obama. "Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?"

Obama danced around the question, giving vague reasons why Joe, having paid less taxes for 15 years, should not be upset to pay more taxes as he became more successful. The key part of his response, "I think that when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody" shows his true socialist colors. Finally, he waved Joe off saying he had to go get ready for the debate. Joe the plumber entered into his 15 minutes of fame when the story was picked up by one media outlet after another, and finally, he became a luminary of the debate two nights later.

The despicable manner in which the Obama campaign and the media have savaged poor Joe since then is bad enough. It has bared for the world to see the dark underbelly of the liberal movement that, on the one hand rallies behind the banners of free speech, tolerance and civil rights for all, yet would stifle any dissent and crush anyone that dares to oppose them or their Chosen One. How dare a lowly little plumber dare to question The One!

Beyond that, the discussion has barely taken off. Conservatives have latched onto the "I think that when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody" statement as an indication that Obama has socialist tendencies and his tax plans are going to be a starting point for those goals. Liberals, on the other hand, shrug it off. "So what?" say they, who cares if some rich person has to pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes, it's only fair!

Well, let's look at fair. Let's take a look, in real world analogy at two plumbers, of what conservative and liberals consider to be "fair."

(Disclaimer: I know very little about the plumbing trade itself, so terms may be used incorrectly. However, I have been around an awful lot of people that brought themselves up from entry level positions to being very successful in their chosen trade, both blue and white collar, including my own journey.)

First, we have Larry the Plumber. He's a regular guy that does plumbing for a living. He started in the business at age 19, instead of going to college. Starting out as a plumber's helper, making minimum wage, he worked his tail off to learn the trade. Eventually he became an apprentice, then a journeyman, working for a master plumber that ran his own company, having come up through the ranks in a similar manner. Finally, he was able to go out on service and installation calls himself, with his own helper. He was also making a decent wage at this point. So, he decided to ask his girl to marry him, now that he could provide her a home and a secure living. They lived happily like this, not "having it all" with expensive cars and big houses, but nice and comfortable and secure. They had a couple of kids along the way, and provided for them as well. Life was good, so good that Larry started to dream about owning his own plumbing company.

Larry began looking into doing just that. He researched business law, tax code, licensing requirements. He determined that his community was plenty large enough to set up shop alongside his current boss, with business enough for both of them. He asked the bank about business loans, and inquired about business insurance policies. There were several locations in town where he could set up shop. Things came together nicely. The first few years in business were a bit tight, every bit of profit had to be turned back into the company to pay off loans and keep up with other expenses. But Larry had been smart and had saved money for his personal use during these lean years. Eventually, it became a profit-making company. He had employees of his own, maintenance contracts with area businesses, he partnered with some construction companies to do their plumbing installations and the phone rang off the hook from individuals with plumbing calls.

By his own hard work, tenacity and business savvy, he had become a success. His company was profitable, and his personal income was very comfortable. So comfortable he decided to take his family on a fabulous vacation to Disney World.

On the day they planned to leave, however, Larry was told that he could not go. You see, there was this other plumber ... Mike. Mike was not quite as driven as Larry. Ten years in the business and Mike was still a plumbers helper. He wasn't very good at the job either, when he even bothers to show up for work at all. So Larry, because he was successful and brought in a lucrative income for himself, he had to share.

It was only fair!

Larry not only has to give Mike a job, but he has to pay him a healthy wage ... about half of what Larry was making as the owner of the business. In order to do so, Larry would have to take a cut in his pay, and cut into the profits of his plumbing company.

It's only fair, you know!

See, Mike also has a wife ... he married her right after they dropped out of high school in their senior year. They also have 4 kids, and another on the way. It's hard to feed that many mouths! Between that, the payments on Mike's truck and his wife's car, and the house they bought with an interest only, zero-down payment mortgage, and their yearly trip to Florida to visit his sister, why there's just barely enough to buy groceries with what's left! Now with the bank foreclosing on the house, Mike and his family have to move in to Larry's house too. It's only fair! Larry has a really big house, and he's almost got it paid off.

It's only fair, you know! Why should Mike and his family have to do without when Larry and his family have so much?!

In an Obama-nation, Mike the Plumber won't have to do without! Because he can make Larry provide for him by paying higher taxes on the profits his small business makes, and Mike can continue to be lazy and unmotivated while his wife shops with food stamps and they live in subsidized housing all paid for by Larry's taxes. At the same time, Larry will have to give up on things like Disney vacations and paying off his mortgage in only 20 years, because those higher taxes cut into his company profits and his personal income, even though he has worked hard to earn that.

Isn't that nice and fair because when "you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody?"

(If you have a comment to make, please make it here. Twitter is not the medium for discussions that belong on blogs. Thank you.)
Posted by LissaKay on 10/18/08 at 04:19 PM in
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