Saturday, December 20, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas


Christmas Eve has been a bit of a conundrum for me. Growing up my family knew the night before Christmas was spent at my grandparents’ house. Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and family would gather at the family home and celebrate with gifts and good food. Pa would be standing at the stove all night cooking up the linguica. Nana would make sure there was a present for everyone under the tree, even just those who were passing through our lives, something for everyone. We would wait for Uncle Moneybags to show up before the gifts could be doled. He liked to make a grand entrance and have all of us wait on pins and needles for him to arrive before the wrapping paper could start flying. My brothers and I would take turns standing with our arm around Aunt Bobblehead to see if this was the year we would finally be taller than all 4ft. 7in. of her, without her catching on (she always did). Yes, it was a night of magic, a tradition grander than all others and one that I miss each and every year.

So, oh yeah, the conundrum. Well, I had sort of hoped that the tradition might live long enough for my children to experience it. But, alas, Pa is cooking linguica with the big guy upstairs, we don’t keep in touch much with the aunts, uncles and cousins, and we live (sometimes blissfully) 2400 miles away from the cast that made up those nights of infamy. What do we do when we have no family to spend December 24th with? What do we do to build up the excitement the night before the biggest day of the year? How can I make sure that my kids have a tradition, a grounding, that they will remember fondly for years to come? What’s a girl who misses her family to do?

We make our own party. We get party foods, we put on party clothes, we dance to party music, we make the night before Christmas as good a time as we can with only the 5 of us, two of whom are too little to really understand why Mommy is acting nuts. Sometime during the festivities the Honeybee will get a phone call from Santa (really Bub, his grandpa) that makes him shake with excitement. I really couldn’t say if I do it for them, or me. It is something that is a part of me, and a hole I feel in my heart now that those days from my childhood are over. Christmas Eve has to be more than just a regular night. It is supposed to be festive and loud and fancy. It is supposed to push your excitement level into overdrive so that little sleep will come as you lie anticipating the thrills to be had in the morning.

After our “party” the kids get new Christmas pajamas. We load them up in the car with a warm drink and a few cookies and we drive around the neighborhood looking at all the Christmas lights. When we get home everyone is mellow and ready for bed. We put out the cookies for Santa and hang his “magic key” on the doorknob, since we have no chimney. The kids go to bed and the magic begins. Playing Santa is my favorite thing in the world. I love setting up the stockings and the presents just so, to maximize wonderment on Christmas morning.

The last thing I do before falling into bed on December 24th is go out in the driveway with a set of sleigh bells and jingle them and “Ho! Ho! Ho!” under the children’s bedroom windows (yes, I realize you are probably laughing at me right about now). Then I make a bit of a racket coming in the front door, eat the cookies and eggnog that has been left and take one last look at the gifts under the tree and know that Santa did good this year.

What is your family tradition on Christmas Eve? Care to share, leave a comment!
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Silent Night



When we lived in Michigan each holiday season we would wait for hours in a line of traffic to view the magnificent Wayne County Lightfest. HUGE blinking, animated, jaw- dropping light displays lined the long and winding road through a state park. (The picture at left is a snapshot of a part of the Santa's Flight School display). We would bundle the kids, bring Christmas cookies and a thermos of cocoa and would play our favorite Christmas songs on the radio. It was one of the highlights of the holiday season for us.

Last year we decided to attend New Mexico’s equivalent of our Michigan tradition. The big difference was that the light display here is held at the botanical gardens, which means leaving your warm car and being forced to walk around in the bitter cold along the Rio Grande, fighting crowds and dragging whining, cold children. Jude screamed for two hours straight. Not going to become our annual tradition any time soon.

This year we decided to try something new, a luminaria festival held at a park very close to our home. It is a much smaller affair and if the kids were fussy we were just a few minutes from home and it was free, so no worry about money lost if we needed to cut out early. Of course, I wasn’t expecting too much because really, how can paper bags weighted down with sand and a lit votive compare to the holiday lights we were used to?


Imagine my surprise that this will probably go down as one of my favorite holiday memories and I hope it becomes a family tradition for years to come. We walked into the park and there were thousands and thousands of luminaria lining the walkways. There were luminarias on the lawn spelling out “Happy Holidays” and “Feliz Navidad”; over 12,000 luminaria in all. We walked through the winding paths and heard choral groups signing carols and ran into friends. It was such a lovely night. But what I remember most was the peaceful, tranquil feeling of it all. Right off a major highway, hundreds of people and you could practically hear a pin drop. It was such a beautiful, mellow way of commemorating the season and we all left feeling awed and delighted.



I would love to hear what places you visit each year as part of your holiday traditions. These last few days leading up to Christmas will be all about our family traditions, and yours if you choose to share them with me. Leave a comment; I would love to hear how you mark the season.

Peace.
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

On the Other Side of the World

On the other side of the world lives an 11 year-old boy named Yehune Solomon. I have never met Yehune, but he lives in my heart and he is a connection to the world my daughter left behind.

We "met" Yehune 3 years ago through our adoption agency. We had just recently brought home our daughter from Ethiopia, and in our hearts we struggled with the fact that she was just one of millions and millions who needed a family. It was difficult to try and get through each day without feeling absolute sorrow for the children that we left behind, children who were 6 or 7 years old raising themselves as both parents and sometimes older siblings had vanished. Just a few months after our daughter made her American debut our agency began a sponsorship program in her birth country to support those little ones we thought about so often.

Without hesitation I told my husband we would be sponsoring a child. Our $400 American dollars would mean clothes, food, housing, a social worker and school for a child living in the Ethiopian countryside. Shortly after signing up we received a letter from Ethiopia and attached was the picture of a tiny 8 year-old boy, Yehune. Like more than 5 million other children in Ethiopia, Yehune has no parents. The reality is that an entire generation of people is missing from the Ethiopian population, most succumbed to AIDS, some to war and famine. There are children, and there are adults in their 40s and 50s with almost no other age groups in-between.

For the last 3 years our measly $400 has allowed Yehune to have a childhood. He does well in school, he plays football (soccer), he writes us letters and Christmas cards. He is living life and we are the better for it. Seeing Yehune grow and learn and play and thrive has given new meaning to the value of money. $400 is less than half our grocery bill for the month. I probably spend $400 a year at Starbucks. In Ethiopia all it takes is $400 to save a life, to preserve a future, to offer hope to a child who has seen everything he once had slip away.


I entered this amazing contest and the winner will receive too many HP goodies to name. In the spirit of giving and all that is good with the world if I won I would love to be able to donate a few of the computers and some of the other items to the foster home run by my adoption agency in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They have recently renovated and finally have an internet connection. With more than 30 children living there at one time I can only imagine how much use they would get out of it. They could learn English, they could have web cam chats with friends in America who have found forever families, they could have access to email to keep in touch, they could learn about the world around them, other than just what they see in their walled off backyard and the nannies and staff who cared for these children as their own could see how well they are growing. The possibilities are endless and makes my hair stand on end at the exciting prospect of it. The only thing we would keep would be a laptop, for my pilot husband who travels...a lot.

I hope this season you will find a way to share the spirit and do something, no matter how big or small, for someone who needs it. I have much to be thankful for and I find there is no better way to appreciate all I have then to share.

Wishing you peace and good tidings this holiday season. Merry Christmas to Yehune too, as always.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Sinner

I know it is a sin to covet and while I usually don’t care what kind of house you live in, what kind of care you drive, or what the label says in the waist of your jeans, I do care what kind of Christmas decorations you have, and often, I covet them.

This year, I am coveting an advent calendar. I remember an advent calendar as being one of those little cardboard things with a chocolate behind every window that you bought at the grocery store for $1.99. Because my kids are vegan they can’t have the kind of calendar I remember as a kid, so I had to come up with something else to do for them to carry on one of my favorite holiday traditions.

When the Honeybee was a year old I bought a wooden advent calendar. I found it on eBay and for $20 it was cute and would serve it’s purpose. It is pretty much the epitome of the three C’s (cheap Chinese crap) but the kids love it. It has an ornament to hang on the door for each day and enough room for me to stash three little treats for my three little beasts.

Being cheap Chinese crap this advent calendar hasn’t held up well to the test of time. Some of the doors are falling off, and some of them won’t stay closed under the weight of the tiny ornaments. I decided that after the holiday I would begin the search for a new calendar that might be worthy of being handed down to the grandkids I see celebrating Christmases with in the future.

Then, I found this:


I mean, COME ON! What are you trying to do here, kill me? I mean this…this makes me…drooooooollllll.

This is out of my price range at the moment, so I have been sitting at the computer each day checking on this little morsel of lovely and coveting until my jealous heart can covet no longer.

Santa, if you're listening, well ummm, please, pretty, pretty please. Love you! Also, I realize this seems very, very pathetic to those of you without a Christmas fetish, but I am fully aware of my problem and I don't need you to make me feel any worse, k?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Eating Inside the Box

Recently my MOMS Club read the book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver, and while I had some issues with the book, the idea of eating locally and organically certainly appealed to my vegan sensibilities.

One of the moms in my chapter mentioned a local organic farm co-op that offered memberships to the public and each week of your membership you would receive a box of delicious, in-season, organic, locally grown veggies. We had a similar thing available to us in Michigan, but in order to participate you had to work 15 hours a month at the farm and it was difficult for us to fit it in with Buzzer’s work schedule. This though, this sounded perfect, we would definitely have to give it a try.

I went to their website and signed us up for a 10-week membership with a box to be delivered every other week. It just so happened that I got us signed up in time to receive our first box on the week of Thanksgiving.

I was so excited to head down to the local health food store where the boxes are delivered and to see just what luscious treats awaited us. I had to run to the grocery store to get the rest of the ingredients for our Thanksgiving feast, but I wanted to wait and see what was in the box first since it might save me a trip and some money.

I was so pleasantly surprised. We received 5 lbs. of organic russet potatoes, 2 lbs. of sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, apples, oranges, broccoli, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, a cheddar cauliflower, and a bag of mixed baby salad greens. I was in vegan heaven.


With our box o’goodness we made: mashed potatoes, stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes with caramelized apples, stir-fry, mac and cheese with cauliflower, salad and pasta sauce. We even have a few herbs and potatoes left.

We get our next box tomorrow. I might not be able to sleep tonight in anticipation of the treats that await us tomorrow morning.
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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Vegan Thanksgiving

Ok, so I am way late with this post, but after Thanksgiving I switch into Christmas mode full-throttle and I haven’t had much of a chance to sit butt in chair and put thoughts to paper.

Once people find out you are a vegan there are many, many questions (don’t you DARE ask where I get my protein or I may have to smack ya) and one of the most common is, “What do you eat on Thanksgiving?”

While everyone else is enjoying their turkey, we usually partake in TOFUrky (toe-fur-key) with all the usual fixings that you would find on any holiday spread, ours are just veganized.

This year we had company for Thanksgiving, Buzzer’s brother, we’ll call him Uncle Funzy. It is rare for us to have company for the holidays and even more rare to have company at Thanksgiving because the traditional foods are such a huge part of the day no one is really willing to come have a turkey-less Turkey Day. Because Uncle Funzy was coming to town I made the holiday roast I had planned on making and a Tofurky too since I thought he might prefer that.

Our menu:

No Turkey Holiday Roast
Tofurky
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramalized Apples
Maple Glazed Carrots
Mashed Potatoes
Peas
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Cranberry and Wild Rice Stuffing
Cranberry Sauce
Tofurky Mushroom Giblet Gravy

Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Peanut Butter Pie

Ok, so it was way too much food for 3 adults and 3 little people, but it was really fun to make it all, and what are the holidays good for besides excess?

Anyway, I hope you had as nice a Thanksgiving as we did. I am glad it is over thought because it means the Christmas season is in full swing and for that I couldn’t be more thankful.
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Monday, November 24, 2008

Mmmmmmmm Monday: Buckeyes


This is a great treat to make at Christmas time. They make a nice gift when you need to give just a little something. But, they are delicious anytime. As a vegan I really miss a good Reese's Peanut Butter Cup every now and then and these are an easy way to get my piggy fix.

Here's what ya need:

2 cups all-natural peanut butter
1 cup margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ½ cups sifted confectioners' sugar
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Here's what ya do:

1. In a large bowl, mix, mix, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners' sugar. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. (I prefer to use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Otherwise, I would recommend using an electric hand mixer. Mix the heck out of it until it is nice and smooth.
)

2. Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

3. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.

4. Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.

This recipe makes a ton. Eat them all by yourself, share with friends, or save them for a particularly PMSy day.

*These candies get their name from their resemblance to the nut of the buckeye tree, which is related to the horse chestnut.
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Here Comes My Baby

I was recently reminded that November is National Adoption Month. Adoption is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, it is something that touches me on a daily basis.

Three and a half years ago our daughter, Maia Yordanos (a.k.a. The Dani) joined our family. She traveled half way around the world from her birthplace in Ethiopia to be our daughter, The Honeybee’s little sister and best friend and big sister to The Jooch. Every day I look into her beautiful little face and wonder what I did to deserve her. I think about her birth mother all the time and wonder if her heart aches over the choice she made for our daughter or if she has made peace with her decision and knows she did the best she could for the child we share.

There are a lot of things I will have to teach Maia. She will have to learn about her heritage, the food, clothes and language of where she was born. She will need to know about the family that remains in Ethiopia without her. She will need to learn and always know in her heart that adoption isn’t second best and that she is loved just as much as her brothers. She will need to learn how to take care of her hair, and then maybe she can teach me! But, most of all, she will need to know who she is and how to be confident in her own skin, no matter what color it is.

Enjoy some pictures of Maia's homecoming and our joyful family reunion at Detroit Metro Airport on April 11, 2005. (I can't get through it without bawling like a baby.)

I love you Yordanos Mengistu, always.


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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Left of Center


Lately I have been feeling like the kid who showed up late to the ball field. The teams have already been picked and all I can do is just sit on the bench and watch the other kids play.

I have always been on the wrong side of the curve as far as friends go. I got married at 19, something my high school friends couldn’t fathom. We soon went our separate ways, them to college, me to a full-time job to help support my new marriage.

When we moved to Michigan I had been married for two years. All the friends I made weren’t married yet. When I met my very best group of friends in Michigan they were all in college, I was buying a house and trying to get knocked up.

Once I had my first baby my girlfriends were just graduating from college, still hitting the clubs every weekend and embarking on their new careers. The most we got together was once a month for dinner, when I could get out of the house without kids.

When we moved to New Mexico I was so excited to find a local moms group in our town. I thought finally I would be on the same page as these other women. We are all stay-at-home mothers who live in the same town and have a common need for support and friendship.

I am the type of person to just jump in with both feet and figure out group dynamics later. Everyone was so welcoming and kind and I never felt like it was cliquey. It was nice to have some kind of “built in” friends who had to accept me as long as I paid my dues. It was also a perfect fit because I could bring the kids to every event we have! I had always struggled with finding things to do for myself because Buzzer travels so much and I have the three kids to myself a lot. To be able to attend a book club meeting and be able to bring the kids too was like a miracle.

I had been a member for about 5 months when they asked me to run for club President. I can’t lie, I was flattered. I also thought it would give me ample opportunity to get to know the members of the club better and hopefully to make some of the same friendships I had seen the other woman cultivate.

In July I took over as President and while it has been much more work than I expected and sometimes stressful and taxing, overall it has been a lot of fun. What it hasn’t meant though is immediate and intimate friendship with the other women.

I think I just expect too much from things. When I try something new I have to be good at it right away or I give up. I can’t be bothered to practice and fumble my way along until I get it right. I guess I approach friendships much the same way. I want to be able to slip into a new friendship the way I would an old pair of slippers. I expect to just have someone choose me as their friend right away with all the benefits that includes; lengthy phone calls, impromptu get togethers, shoulders to cry on, etc.

Instead I am on the sidelines looking longingly at the close friendships I see and feel an ache in my chest where my best friend should reside. It seems like everyone has already been paired off with their BFF. I do have a best friend, but she lives on the other side of the country and so I have to be content with emails, instant messages and phone calls. Lots and lots of phone calls. She is totally the bee’s knees and I know I can call her about anything and everything. But it just isn’t the same as having a local buddy to lean on.

I guess I am just going to have to give it more time and not expect that adult life will be the same as childhood on the school playground. I hope that something lasting and meaningful will come out of the acquaintances I have made. If not, and all I get out of it is what I get right now, laughter, adult conversation and a social calendar, I think that will be okay too.
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

My First Time

Get your head outta the gutter, I am talking about my first time receiving a blog award!


AND, I was nominated TWICE!! My best gal pal Susie Kabloozie over at Knitting Knoobie bestowed the honor, as did Sharon, the snarky island dweller at As Seen On The Bathroom Wall.

The only requirement is that I post a list of six things that make me happy, so here ya go, get yo' grin on:

1. A working oven: My oven has been on the fritz for the last two weeks and completely inoperative for the last few days. Don't you know that now I am just itching to bake a million things and my cookbooks and pantry are just beckoning me to bake, and I can't! The repair parts should be here tomorrow for Buzzer to get us up and running again. By then of course the urge is sure to have passed.

2. Iced tea: I am literally lost without a big jug of iced tea ready to go in the fridge. I would rather go thirsty than have anything else to drink.

3. Being pregnant: Probably the happiest times of my life were when I was pregnant. There is just something about being pregnant that makes me feel special. It helps that I had two really wonderful, easy pregnancies. Plus, I think (and the husband agrees) that I look adorable pregnant.

4. Christmas: What, you didn't read my blog all about how much I adore Christmas? Get to steppin' yo.

5. My kids: Three very little, but very big reasons to get out of bed every day. I don't know what I love more, how much they love me, or how much I love them.

6. My husband: He is the reason for my life. He is like oxygen and water. He is just...I don't know what, but it is something better than words can describe.

Now, I am to bestow the honor on four other bloggers. I'm not sure I even know four who know me back, but I'll give it a shot!

Feathermaye - Check her out for a good time. She's gives good read.

Lattes and Life - Tiffany is a hoot and a liberal, even though she lives in Georgia. A true enigma!

Good Life - This is my real life friend Katie, another mom in the trenches. She does awesome webdesign, bakes a mean scone (from the rumors I've heard) and is into being green. She is also a foodie and has to find ways to enjoy all that is delicious in the world without it being contaminated with peanuts due to her son's severe peanut allergy. Katie is cool. Check out her other blog at: {goodLife} eats.

Alright, those are all the people I could think of. I'm off to my vegan potluck. Thanks for the nominations friends, you light up my life!
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Addiction


For just about my whole adult life I have battled an addiction. Every year I promise myself it will be different and every year always ends up the same way; resentment, overindulgence and guilt. My name is Megan, and I am a Christmasaholic.

This year I promised myself we would have a low-key, thrifty Christmas. I have a list from the Honeybee and have decided on a few gifts for the Dani and Jooch that won’t break the bank. I told Buzzer there would be a $50 spending limit on gifts for each other this year, and all seemed well. Until today.

Today I had to run to the store that shan’t be named (Wal-mart) for some items for a craft I was planning on doing with the kids. While I was there I thought I would pick up a gift box for a little something I had picked up for my mom. I promised myself I would just pop down to the holiday section, get the box I needed and get out. Just the idea of heading to the holiday section made my heart rate start to quicken slightly.
In my head I was repeating to myself, “I am just buying a box. I am just buying a box. I am just buying a box” to try and keep myself on task and budget. But, when I rounded the corner and saw aisles after aisle of all that is good and spendy about Christmas, I wasn’t sure I would get out of there for less than $100 and a divorce lawyer.

Some people complain that Christmas comes earlier and earlier in retail land each year. I am not one of those people. As far as I am concerned Christmas decorations should go up right around Labor Day. White shoes may be a no-no, but fur(faux)-lined boots, yes sir!

The only problem is I don’t want to blow my wad before I have had a chance to peruse every store’s holiday offerings. As I walked down the aisles loaded with cards, wrapping paper, gift bags and home d├ęcor my palms were sweating, my heart was racing and I could feel goosebumps rising on my legs. I am always so tempted to jump at the first beautiful Christmas card I see and then later find one I like better and I need to buy that one too. And another, and another. I must have 30 rolls of wrapping paper in my garage, but I can’t resist buying one (or four) roll more each year. I literally cannot help myself. If I had the money and the drive my house would be the crazy Christmas house.

This year though I am determined to curb by enthusiasm and maybe even use some of that wrapping paper in the garage. I was successful in my mission this afternoon and left the Christmas section with only the box I went in for. Well, and some tissue paper and gift tags. What?!? I told you I have a problem!
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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mommy's Little Guest Blogger


My 7 year-old son, The Honeybee, was so inspired by the election that he sat down and wrote his thoughts. I thought they were perfect to share. Enjoy.

"Barack Obama Won the Election

Well, now the election is over, and all the votes have been counted. Now we should move on throughout these days and look forward to new things.

Our new President, Barack Obama, has gone through a day where people count the votes and call out who the new President will be. So far, Barack Obama has 349 votes, and John McCain only got 176. The 44th President, Barack Obama, has now gone into the Oval Office and now the White House is his.

I think Barack Obama will take good care of the country. His health plan is going to help our country and help our citizens. I think that our new President Barack Obama, is the best President ever. We hope the new President, Barack Obama, and our Vice President Joe Biden, will take good care of our citizens and our country. Hopefully, Barack Obama and Joe Biden will be President and Vice President for 2 years. We hope that nothing will wrong and everything will be the way it always was."

By, The Honeybee

This boy makes me proud to be his mama.
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Friday, November 7, 2008

Still Flying High

I know it's over, but I am still just flying high about Obama's win. I want to let go of my annoyance with the Republican party and conservatives everywhere who are being salty about it. But, I saw this for the first time this morning and it brought tears to my eyes once again so I had to share it. Seriously, I have not been able to stop crying for the last three days.



Then I saw this and it made me crack up, and then cry again.




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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

This Moment


I think my friend Billy said it best when he said that today we were waking up to a brave new world. It does feel like that, doesn’t it? For eight long years I have felt the absence of respect, dignity and hope and the death of the American Dream. We forgot the lessons of 9/11 and the camaraderie and unifying sadness we felt on that day. We have wasted 8 years being feared, hated, and mocked. The last eight years have pitted friend against friend, colleague against colleague and sister against sister. It was a dark and lonely time in America’s history. It seemed all was lost and nothing and no one would be able to restore our faith in America.

Today, I feel a freedom and a sense of peace I have never felt in my adult life. The joy I am experiencing is unimaginable, an unbridled euphoria. I am walking through my day and my feet aren’t touching the ground and no one and nothing can spoil what will undoubtedly go down as one of the happiest days of my life. The tears of joy will not stop flowing and I am absolutely blown away that I could ever feel this strongly about a Presidential election.

My children will always remember President Obama, and will never know the idea that a black man would not be allowed to vote, never mind hold the highest office in the land. My adopted black daughter is going to grow up watching a black First Lady make diplomatic inroads abroad and little black girls make their home in the White House. My son will always be able to remember watching President Obama’s election night speech and casting his own vote for Obama in his school election.

I am not expecting miracles; I am being realistic and cautiously optimistic. I know that the world will not change overnight and there may be a lot of things that he just isn’t able to accomplish. However, there is hope. Hope that things can change. Hope that America can regain trust overseas. Hope that racism is finally going to die a lonely death. Hope that every man, woman and child will have access to healthcare, education and fairness.

I feel badly for those that aren’t able to feel the bliss I am experiencing today. There are those that will waste this moment feeling bitter and angry. To those people I say, life is too short, and this moment too powerful to squander. Lift up your heart and your voice in gleeful celebration of this moment in history, in America and the significance and wonder of it all. This is a brilliant day, as one American Dream has been realized. In the immortal words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal”. Rest in peace Dr. King, your dream lives on…
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And So It Was Done...


I am ready for an inspiring First Family in the White House. What a wonderful night. Sleep well, America, the real work is about to begin.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm Lazy, are You?

There are people out there who don’t like the idea of “spreading the wealth”. Those people are what we call elitist rich fucks. Yes, ELITIST, and notice I did not say LIBERAL ELITIST. Say it ain’t so Joe.

Take a look at this cartoon that Republicans across the country are having a hearty chortle about this week:



Oh ho ho, hee hee hee, that is funny stuff right there. So, those of us who make less than $250,000 a year are now lazy? Forget that some of us work 2 or three jobs, or 15-hour days, just to make ends meet. And, that Republicans have a reputation for voting against minimum wage increases and the like.

As has been pointed out time and time again, the tax code in America has always been that the more you make, the higher your tax bracket. Now, this does not mean you pay more taxes than your lazy, liberal, elitist anti-America counterpart. What it means is, you pay taxes commensurate with your income. There seems to be some sort of misinterpretation by the Joe Six-Pack $250,000+ bread winners that the more money they make, the less they will take home because they will be paying so much more in taxes.

I know without all the fancy college edumication booklearnin’ of the liberal elite at your disposal this might be a difficult concept to grasp. You will not make more, pay more, and take home less. Come on, surely even the regular Joe the Plumbers and Tito the Builders out there can understand that that is a bunch of hooey.

As a matter of fact, as reported by Salon.com in this article, if you make $280,000 a year, you will pay exactly $257 more per year in taxes under Obama than McCain. $257. Basically, less than your latte tab for the year. (BTW, if you make $280,000 a year your take home after taxes is approximately $19,000 a month. Weep for them.)

On top of that, only 5% of Americans make more than $250,000 a year. The rest of us are living in the middle or lower classes and rely on public schools, welfare, and public health clinics. Is it really so wrong to expect those who make more to contribute to the national good? Let’s face it, all of those services benefit ALL American’s. There is no such thing as a self-made person in this country any more.

Look at it this way: You are a business owner, making $280,000 a year. You have a staff of employees. Your employees were probably taught in public schools, they (and you!) drove on county roads to get to work, or used public transportation. If you don’t provide health care because it is too expensive, they probably have none and rely on public clinics for their care so they don’t miss a day of work. If your business burned down the public fire department would come put out the fire. If it were broken into, the public police department would be on the scene.

Let’s be honest here people, it’s not like the lower and middle classes are going to come into some sort of spreading the wealth inheritance. We may get a small tax cut, and you may see a minor tax increase. All I have to say is, it’s a long time coming and quit your bitchin’.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Voted


And gawd is it always feels exhilarating. In February Buzzer (a.k.a. the Hubs) and I each spent four hours in line just to vote for our girl Hillary in the primary. Four hours. It really sucked, but still was so worth doing and felt really incredible to be a part of something that made people turn out in record numbers.

This year we had talked about doing a mail-in ballot, but we are a battle ground state this year and we didn’t want our absentee ballots to be counted weeks after November 4th. Fortunately, or so you would think, we are in a state that is offering early voting.

Polling places around our county are open October 18 – November 1 for those who would like to vote early. After the experience back in February, we planned to participate in early voting. Honeybee was at school; we dropped off the Dani at preschool, packed up the Jooch and hit the polling place ½ an hour after it opened. Still, the line was incredibly long and parking was very scarce.

Two hours and a good sunburn later (who knew you should pack sunblock to vote), we were able to cast our ballot for the first black President of the United States. My black daughter is never going to be able to remember a time when black men were not welcome in the White House.

It’s such a relief to think about having a nice guy in the White House. It gives me hope for my children and their future, which is something I haven’t had the luxury of enjoying since they were born.

It is a new dawn people; you don’t want to miss it. Get out there and vote!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Black Cat Pie

I have never been a fan of pecan pie, until now! Regular pecan pie with it's sugary goo is just too damn much. This pie is soft, just sweet enough, and has chocolate. Obviously it is superior. Once again, this is a vegan recipe, but feel free to cow it up with "regular" ingredients if you are an omnivore.

½ cup water
¼ cup soy margarine
2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup vegan chocolate chips
1/3 cup flour
1 cup raw sugar
pinch of salt
½ cup soymilk
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1 unbaked 9-in vegan pie crust
2 tsp. soymilk

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil, and remove from heat.

Whisk in margarine, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips until melted.

Add flour, sugar, salt, ½ cup milk, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

Stir in pecans and pour into prepared pie crust. Bake 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.

Remove from oven and immediately brush 2 tsp. of milk evenly over the top of the pie.

Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or as is. Share with your favorite hottie. This is a very sexy pie.
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Monday, October 27, 2008

A Little Friendly Competition

You know with all the talk about the Presidential contest (which thank gawd will finally be over next week, and us Obama fans will be celebrating in the streets) it's nice to take a break and talk about contests that are fun!

I have been a contest entering fool this morning, and while it is self-serving to that end, I am also finding some great blogs and having a lot of good laughs. Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival is here and fine bloggers around the country are offering wonderful goodies to people who check out their blog and comment. One of my favorites is this little cutie courtesy of the snarky Obama mama, Scary Mommy.

So get out there and see what special little nuggets of goodness you might be able to snag for yourself. But, lay off Scary Mommy's basket, that sucker is mine!
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Survival of the Tiredest

The birthdays are over, the leftover cake is on it’s way to the city dump, my parents have vacated my bedroom and we are all back to sleeping in our own beds. We really had a terrific visit with my parents and the kids were all in tears to see them fly back to the other side of the country. I also realized a lot this time around.


Here is what I know:
• It’s okay if the kids exist on a diet of French fries, cake and lollipops when Gramma and Bub are here because it is only a week or two a year.

• The kids don’t need big parties and lots of events, they are happiest when we are enjoying a dinner of munchies and snacks at home, or a leisurely trip to the zoo.

• It’s not all about the presents, as the wrapping paper or a pen and paper are often more interesting than the new toys.

• Next year we need a lot less cake, a LOT less!

• Call my gal Tracye again next year, her cakes were beautiful and no work for me!

• Christmas is going to be about time, quality, food, and togetherness. The presents will just be icing on the cake.

• No more big blow-out parties with all the friends, neighbors and classmates. Dinner and cake with family is the best way to go.

• Having three kid’s birthdays three days in a row feels an awful lot like the movie “Groundhog Day”. There are only so many days one can feel normal waking up and singing “Happy Birthday” to someone, again!

• Thank gawd all three kids chose to be born on three consecutive days, because once a year is plenty for this!

• Every bit of it was worth it see their smiling faces and feel their joy.

All in all things were a rousing success and I don’t have any new gray hairs or ulcers. The kids had a great time, I had a great time, and we are over the hump. Now it’s time to set my sights on Christmas!

Happy birthday babies, thank you for making me your mommy.
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nailin' Palin: a video blog

Have you heard about the rumored Sarah Palin porn spoof? I know you are just dying to see it, and I am here to scratch your itch. Here is a clip of Thandie Newton and Ricky Gervais (very funny) performing a bit of the script. Notice the Brits are doing this on national television because a good Christian nation like ours couldn't possibly allow such debauchery. Enjoy!


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