Thursday, March 31, 2011

Art Workshop

Off to a new adventure! Tomorrow I am leaving my dear family for a WEEK to attend an art workshop out in KENTUCKY! I am excited and apprehensive at the same time! This is a watercolor portrait workshop offered by Mitchell Tolle Studio and Gallery in Berea, KY. My longtime friend Angela G told me about it and offered to put me up in her home if I would take the class. My dear husband will have the two children all by himself to feed, clothe, and help with homework! haha  Both of them have a special field trip scheduled with the school while I will be seems there never is a perfect time for anything, but my DEAR husband encouraged me to take this opportunity, so I AM OFF!

Will Blog Later! Hopefully I will have some nice things to share after the workshop is over...

Wish me success, won't you?!! SMILE

Here is a link to Mitchell Tolle's website.

And here is one of his beautiful art works.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In Praise Of Femininity

Above Rubies ministry founder Nancy Campbell has some encouraging words for women in the March 2011  issue of the magazine that I have edited to share here- I hope you can enjoy it! For more info on this outreach for women visit their webpage

"We find that our daughters naturally behave femininely (until they are) conditioned by society. They love to dress like princesses, which is an area of femininity we have lost. As we look around today we see most women in the uniform of the day- jeans and top. I am not into legality and would not say that you should not wear the 'uniform' but does it really convey who we are? When my little granddaughters go to my dress-up box, what do they want to wear? Each one of them wants to be a princess. I have never noticed that they want to dress up in a business suit! One of my helpers shared with me that she and her sister sewed Civil War-time dresses with hooped skirts for a historical fair they were attending. They had to run some errands, and rather than changing into street clothes, decided to wear their costumes. They were amazed that in every store, both workers and shoppers, stopped to exclaim: 'Oh, you look so beautiful!' or ' What beautiful dresses!' I was thinking about this when travelling some time back. Delayed in a long line at an airport, I decided to look around for beautiful women (feminine women). Every woman wore the 'uniform' but I spotted one lady who stood out...she was dressed in an apricot sari with scarves flowing around her. She looked gloriously feminine...How sad that we have degenerated so far from our intrinsic femininity that we can only wear a dress that makes us feel like a princess if we are 'in costume'!

I believe a woman also reveals her femininity in her home. This is her domain-to make her home a restful place where God's presence dwells, to raise and nurture children, to create a delightful atmosphere her children will remember into the next generation...This is a full time career, especially as the couple are blessed with children.

Gentleness and meekness are also the inner essence of being female. 'Your adornments...must be of an internal nature, the character concealed in the heart, in the imperishable quality of a quiet and gentle spirit, which is of great value in the sight of God.' (from the Bible, 1 Peter 3:3-4) These qualities in a female are very precious...they are called an unfading charm. Is it weak to have a gentle and quiet spirit? NO! It is a woman of STRENGTH who keeps a gentle spirit in the face of harshness or rebuke. It is a STRONG woman who keeps an even temper when she feels overwhelmed and angry. Have you tried being meek for a week? This is certainly not a challenge for the WEAK!

This gentle and quiet spirit is also revealed in her speech. Soft and gentle words exemplify femininity. Sweet words are becoming to a woman. Sweet words personify our femaleness.

(Some) have come so far from God's original intent for his female creation...Can we allow God to work in our lives to bring us back, little by little, to the original glory He planned for us? Can we no longer measure our lives by the world around us, but by God's original design?"

(end of Nancy Campbell's article originally entitled 'Quintessentially Feminine')

Now from the Above Rubies website, this bit is from the article Fully Female.
"As females, I believe we should seek to be as feminine as we possibly can. We should glory in our femininity. We should talk femininely. Is there anything more revolting than a loud-mouthed screaming woman? We should walk femininely and train our daughters to do so. We should dress femininely—that is, within the liberty of how God uniquely made each one of us. God didn’t make us robots, nor did he create us to be in bondage. There are some women who love frills and bows, and others who hate them. Some are sportier. But whatever our uniqueness, let us make sure that we reveal to our family and the world around us the femininity of our femaleness."

My oldest daughter is out "on her own" now...she used to tell me, "I was born in the wrong era!" We enjoyed looking at the styles that were in vogue in the 1940's- she loved the way the women dressed around the turn of the last century- she loved the clothes in the movie "Anne of Green Gables"...We have spent hours together pouring over pattern books, trying to find the classic look that she loved. But then- - she got a little older! and went for the cowboy look for a while! LOL I'm not knocking it TOTALLY- - she has to dress corporate now and gets excited when she finds a classy looking outfit. I've had a lot of success finding old patterns on ebay for myself that are not in production today that have, what used to be called, "designer details" that make clothing feminine, and yet professional looking. One book I found at the public library was on Princess Diana, all about her clothes- a great resource for someone who can sew and wants to get ideas from her great dresses.

My youngest daughter loves feminine clothes and FLOWERS! She can't get enough of flowers- especially roses. We are looking forward to beautifying our property together as we can afford it with LOTS OF FLOWERS! I want to encourage her as much as possible to keep FEMININE!

Now on a confessional note...I was in the public library a few weeks ago. It was chilly that day, and I looked around at all the women waiting for their books to get checked out, and practically EVERY ONE was in sweat pants! I was noting that to myself when I realized, this dress I have on is just another version of sweatpants! LOL It was a velour, shapeless thing that is warm and comfortable, but certainly not becoming or womanly! The only thing going for it was, it WAS a dress! So, I have to work on this too.  Seriously, these articles have affected me in a good way. I'm going to be working on being more feminine, in my dress and in my speech. You know, people really appreciate seeing a feminine female!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cooking Rice

I thought I knew how to cook rice!

After all, I'm a born-and-bred Southern Girl, and in the South we always had more rice dishes than potato dishes. Growing up in Louisiana, my mother usually had roast beef with rice and brown gravy for our Sunday dinners. I never remember the rice being gummy, and she didn't seem to take any pains with it. I know she told me that my grandmother, her mother-in-law, always had used long grain rice, and that she learned to cook it from her. My mother is an Okie gal and only moved South when she married my father. So she had been used to POTATOES POTATOES. I married an Okie man and had to learn to cook more potatoes!!!
After I started cooking for us, I began to introduce rice to him- he had always thought you were supposed to eat it with sugar and milk as a cereal for breakfast! And my father-in-law...I would purposefully cook a rice dish sometimes when they came for supper so he would have to eat it without complaining! LOL He always said, 'rice has no taste! ' To which I would always retort, 'Potatoes too! You have to add so much butter and salt!'

So, over time I did not cook plain rice too often, and now that I am beginning to do so again, I find that it usually turns out GUMMY! not yummy to us, as we are not trying to use chopsticks to eat it! Everyone around here seems to want to eat it fluffy, me included.  I've been prowling around online to see what I'm doing wrong...there are so many conflicting hints and tips! Two days ago I cooked brown rice specifically following the tips I had collected, and it turned out HORRIBLY GUMMY! So I tossed that site...Today I have found a few more that I shall try. Over at Rice Science ttp:// their information makes sense...I will experiment with this method soon.

I didn't realize that all the many types of rice cooked up so different. The Rice Science site was really interesting- about the two types of starch in rices and how that determines whether the cooked rice will be more sticky or separate...also the varying ways of cooking can determine the successful outcome. You may want to read their short article yourself!

I also had a question about converted rice- it cooks up nice and separate but I wondered about the nutritional content. I was happy to find this information: "Converted rice is steamed before it's husked, a process that causes the grains to absorb many of the nutrients from the husk.  When cooked, the grains are more nutritious, firmer, and less clingy than white rice grains. " Converted rice from Uncle Ben is the only brand I have ever seen, and it is pricey, but it DOES cook up NOT GUMMY. Actually the whole point of cooking rice for us right now is to save money, so converted rice doesn't really fit this criteria!

My dish I fixed to use the rice for this week was Chicken Gumbo.

My mother had taught me to cook long-grain rice 1 part rice to 2 parts water, and that's what I've always done. But now with my new information I will try cooking with a little less water- some sites say to use 1 1/2 parts water. So I'll see... also some say to cook the rice a short time first in a little oil or butter...

I guess I need to call my mom!

(OH! If you read my blog- please leave a comment telling how you like to cook YOUR rice! That will make my day!!)

Friday, March 25, 2011

The A to Z of Me

Hello ! It's a beautiful day in OKLAHOMA USA!

I found this fun fact thingy while browsing some beautiful blogs this morning- thought I'd do this myself. Nothing to do with anything important, but fun nevertheless! I followed several back links to try to find the originator but after about 4 blogs, the trail ended with no confirmed author.

AGE- I'm at 48 for now

BED SIZE- Queensize- but at one point we had a king. Sure did dwarf the room...

CHORE I DISLIKE- Mopping floors

DOGS- Right now we have two, a miniature black poodle inside, and a mastiff mix outside. We have had several Jack Russell terriers, 2 Anatolian shepherds, 2 German shepherds, 2 Catahoula Leopard hogdogs, and 2 Rottweilers- of course not all at the same time!

ESSENTIAL START TO MY DAY- I confess I like to have breakfast alone, after my husband leaves for work and my children are off to school.

FAVORITE COLOR- for a long time it has been red, but now...I love all the deep jewel tones.

GOLD OR SILVER- I don't wear jewelry but all my watches have been silver. I have a brooch-type watch that is silver but I don't wear it all the time.

HEIGHT- 5' 5 3/4"

INSTRUMENTS I PLAY- right now it's just the piano. I used to play the cello in middle school, and I learned guitar after high school. My first love was guitar but after leaving it sit for so many years, I lost about whatever I had learned. But the piano you can never forget! I can barely remember when I began piano- I know I could play a little bit before I started kindergarten, and I took lessons for years.

JOB TITLE- Again, right now it's DOMESTIC ENGINEER! LOL translate that as SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) or full time wife/ church I lead the congregational singing, so am I considered a Worship Leader? (smile) Before marriage, my job title was USPS Employee, CFS dept (that meant computerized forwarding system). For a brief while, when my two older children were in school, I was Postmaster Relief at a tiny town in western OK.

KIDS- 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. We had 2 2 years apart, then after 9 years 2 more, 2 1/2 years apart. The boys were born c-section, the girls VBAC.

LIVE- in Oklahoma, USA. I was born and raised in Louisiana...

MOTHER'S NAME- Genevieve

NICKNAMES- one friend called me Lisa Jane when I was a child, one of my friend's fathers called me Liza Jane, my husband calls me Leese now...

OVERNIGHT HOSPITAL STAYS- 4 times, for all the childbirth experiences.

PET PEEVES- maybe I should just mention one! Chewing with the mouth open!!

QUOTE FROM A MOVIE- "Right? Of course Right!" from Fiddler On The Roof. (This is what the matchmaker lady, Yente, said when she wanted a Yes answer from anyone) I say this to my children a lot for fun, although my two younger ones have not seen this movie.

RIGHTY OR LEFTY- Righty. But I do cast a fishing line with my left hand, because my lefty husband taught me how to cast! Then I have to switch to my right hand to fish.

SIBLINGS- 2 brothers, and I am the baby of the family.

TIME I WAKE UP-  Usually right before the alarm goes off...on schooldays the alarm is set for 6:40AM.

UNDERWEAR-  cotton. I was just telling my husband last night, "No other fabric feels better than cotton"

VEGETABLES  I DON'T LIKE- I could live without green beans, but I can think of none that I really can not stand.

WHAT MAKES YOU RUN LATE- not being able to find my glasses, or leaving my cell phone behind, or waiting on my husband to be ready!!!LOL

XRAYS I'VE HAD- Well, for dental work. Maybe that's all.

YUMMY FOOD I MAKE-  I am "famous" on my husband's side of the family for my Cherry Pie! And on my side, they love my Chicken Stir-Fry dishes.

ZOO ANIMAL FAVORITE- This one is difficult- - I like to watch the monkeys...really sometimes going to the zoo depresses me, when I see the bears pacing, or the polar bear swimming in an endless circle, or the gorilla mother staring past you like she can not see you. I like to see the elephants pick up food with their trunks...Oh the one animal I think is most pitiful is the kangaroo! Those little arms that seem so useless...

So there you have it, a little glimpse of me! I'm glad this did not include giving out my weight! But what about my favorite books, or favorite place to visit, or my father's family name, or my favorite website, or my favorite Bible verse, or how my husband proposed to me? Lots more could be said, but I'll cease and desist for the time being.

So glad Spring is here!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cool Computer!

OOOHHH!!! I just love this computer fixup!
Here is the original link for you...


Spring Is Springing!!!!

"Came the Spring
with all its splendor,
All its birds and all its blossoms,
All its flowers and leaves and grasses."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Enjoying Last Year's Apples

When we moved to our property last July, we were happy to see the heavily-laden apple tree, full of fruit. For a while we thought it must be a Granny Smith variety because the apples stayed green so long. We even ate some green, and the tart taste made us think that even more. But they did start to turn red, so we decided they are a late-ripening type. I would love to know what they are! ( the apple picture I used at the beginning is just one I found on the internet, not one from my tree ) To end up, the apples were a beautiful red with some yellow undertones. They were large for the most part, and not too many were lost to wasps and as far as we know, the tree was not sprayed at all...we had a VERY bountiful harvest. I made a lot of applesauce, filled several zip-lock freezer bags for pie-making, and made lots of APPLEJUICE! which was a first-time effort that was very rewarding! I borrowed a steamer from my sister-in-law at the beginning, but it took so many hours to extract the juice that way that we decided to buy a juicer to do the rest. The steamer  produced BEAUTIFUL, perfectly clear juice, but keeping the stove on so long...we just decided a centrifugal-type juicer would be a better way to keep up. After comparison shopping we settled on a Breville Juice Fountain Elite.

By the way, we also experimented with making vegetable juice, carrot juice etc., enjoying the pulp-free juice and giving the pulp to our horse and pigs! This machine is very easy to use and sure saved time last summer when we were putting up all the apple juice. I also saved most of the pulp, especially from the green vegetables, in the freezer to use in soups and stews, and some of the apple pulp I put into my applesauce, to see how we liked it that way.

We are not new to apple trees...when we lived in western Oklahoma we planted two special types, an Arkansas Black and a Spitzenberg. We were very happy with both of them when they became mature. We liked the Spitzenberg best actually; it had huge, beautiful, and delicious fruit. It is a type that Thomas Jefferson grew at Monticello! The Arkansas Black was also a good tree for us- it's skin is very dark and you can see how the type got it's name. But this tree here in our new yard is a very prolific producer! This spring will be our first time to see it in bloom- hopefully I will be able to get a good picture to post here. There is a mature silver maple tree growing actually too close to our apple tree, making the apple tree grow lopsided. But lopsided trees seem to be the norm in Oklahoma, where the wind blows so often as to make the trees grow crooked! Really, some places you can tell which way the prevailing winds come from by seeing the way the trees stand when the occasional day comes that is NOT windy.

But to get to the point...this last week has been our Spring Break from school. I am trying to get with my little girl to teach her some cooking, so last night we made an apple pie! I just had to pull a bag from the freezer to defrost the apples that were already cut up and prepared with the sugar, flour and spices before freezing last summer. So Easy!! We mixed the pie dough ingredients in the food processor, and she watched me roll out the bottom crust. Nothing to dumping the bag of prepared pie filling into it! Then I let her roll out the top crust, not being too particular about the finished product. So it wasn't a thing of beauty when we were complete, but it was a thing of DELISH!

Now, I must say that I have never been an apple pie fan, really not even a fruit pie of any kind fan, so last fall when I was "drowning in apples" I did not prepare too many freezer bags of apple pie mix. But this pie last night was SO GOOD, that (I must confess) I had TWO PIECES! yes, at one sitting! (yes, I did have them with cream, but...) So this year, when apple harvest arrives, I plan to put up many more bags for pies than I did last year. Here's a little tip an old neighbor gave us years ago- to prevent your apples from browning as you are cutting them up, have a large (like a gallon) container of water to put them in and add a tablespoon of salt to the water. As you slice up your apples, drop them into the salted water; then when you have enough to fill a freezer bag, dip them out with a straining device like a slotted spoon or french fry basket/spoon and fill the bags with the amount needed for one pie, adding the dry ingredients called for in your recipe. The apples will not turn dark and the salt cannot be tasted! I had to try this to believe it, but it really works. I know some ladies use the canning method to put up pie filling, but freezing is so much faster and easier. We have a chest-type freezer and also an upright, so I have plenty of space to do this.

Looking forward to SPRING! when I can post a picture of our own tree! This picture that follows is one I found on the web...

Remember this scene from 'Anne of Green Gables'? Enjoy!

--The "Avenue," so called by the Newbridge people, was a stretch of road four or five hundred yards long, completely arched over with huge, wide-spreading apple-trees, planted years ago by an eccentric old farmer. Overhead was one long canopy of snowy fragrant bloom. Below the boughs the air was full of a purple twilight and far ahead a glimpse of painted sunset sky shone like a great rose window at the end of a cathedral aisle. Its beauty seemed to strike the child dumb. She leaned back in the buggy, her thin hands clasped before her, her face lifted rapturously to the white splendor above. Even when they had passed out and were driving down the long slope to Newbridge she never moved or spoke. Still with rapt face she gazed...  When three more miles had dropped away behind them the child had not spoken. She could keep silence, it was evident, as energetically as she could talk. "I guess you're feeling pretty tired and hungry," Matthew ventured to say at last, accounting for her long visitation of dumbness with the only reason he could think of. "But we haven't very far to go now--only another mile." She came out of her reverie with a deep sigh and looked at him with the dreamy gaze of a soul that had been wondering afar, star-led. "Oh, Mr. Cuthbert," she whispered, "that place we came through--that white place--what was it?" "Well now, you must mean the Avenue," said Matthew after a few moments' profound reflection. "It is a kind of pretty place." "Pretty? Oh, PRETTY doesn't seem the right word to use. Nor beautiful, either. They don't go far enough. Oh, it was wonderful--wonderful. It's the first thing I ever saw that couldn't be improved upon by imagination. It just satisfies me here"--she put one hand on her breast--"it made a queer funny ache and yet it was a pleasant ache. Did you ever have an ache like that, Mr. Cuthbert?" "Well now, I just can't recollect that I ever had." "I have it lots of time--whenever I see anything royally beautiful. But they shouldn't call that lovely place the Avenue. There is no meaning in a name like that. They should call it--let me see--the White Way of Delight. Isn't that a nice imaginative name? "--
from 'Anne of Green Gables' by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's Going On?!

This is copied from a military blog (milblog) and I edited out the "language"...It's true that NOW the pay is minimal. And new servicemembers ARE taken advantage of. When Ben came home from USMC we took over his pickup payment that he had acquired out in CA during SOI- because Galen needed the 4WD and Ben did not, besides just being nice as parents. The car sellers told us that they purposefully raise the price to these young men because "it's very probable they won't be able to keep the vehicles they buy" etc. Other reasons I can't remember right now. So out of the goodness of our hearts we are stuck with a pickup that is worth probably at least HALF of what is still owed...but we wanted to help Ben out and not have him get a bad credit from letting it go back. Also everything, their uniforms, gear, equipment, necessities,each little "stripe" or badge, has to be bought out of their paycheck, leaving almost nothing to live on. I can't imagine a family living on what Benjamin was making. And was this fully explained by the recruiters? or in the fancy ads that mention "the few, the proud, the Marines" ? I think not.

Here is the rant from Blackfive:

“U.S. troops could be required to report to work without pay if a budget clash in Congress results in a government-wide shutdown, according to draft planning guidance circulating in the Pentagon.”

I cannot think of a more cruel way next to spitting on your military than not paying them, especially when we are at war. At least the Viet Nam Vets that were getting spit on were getting paid. When we discipline Marines for violating the UJMC one way that you can really make the punishment sting is taking a Marines pay, that hurts them and more so it can have residual effects on their spouse and family, something that is weighed heavily when dealing out the punishment to junior servicemembers.Is that what this is, punishment? It’s going to seem that way especially to young warriors because political organizations cannot come to an agreement they are going to make the little guy (young Marines & servicemembers and their families) suffer by not paying them.

At such a crucial time of war we are going to eventually put the strain on the backbone that is keeping this country free? For those not in the military, here is a look a little deeper how this will affect your servicemembers. Not only young servicemembers but 90% of servicemembers live from paycheck to pay check in the military. On top of that, they are so heavily dependent on direct deposit that one month’s pay neglected to a young servicmember will mean many other planned scheduled things will fail into a domino effect.We aren’t talking about luxury items here we are talking about things like food. Based on the 2011 military pay scale, a Sergeant in the Marine Corps with over 3 years of service makes just over $28k a year. Lets break that down further grunt style. $2,338 (not much to start with) is actually $2k after taxes a month. Broken down romper room style, that’s basically $500 a week. What if he is married and has a couple kids? If you only made $500 a week could you continue to support your family while being deployed? One month’s pay not deposited in a warriors bank account will lead to bounced checks, because the devildog has to eat and feed his little warriors and pay bills, bounced checks will lead to bad credit and to hammer him into submission, when he bounces those checks he will be under the UJMC and could be punished for bouncing checks. Now you put yourself in the young Marines wives shoes, whose husband is deployed killing bad guys and putting his life on the line and she is holding the homefront together only to have her Marine “work without pay.” Ya, that’s the added stress our military wives need on top of oh I don’t know, having their husband killed and to never return. Does this make sense to you? Is this the type of government that we want, that tries to fix the deficit on the backs of our service members when there are so many other places to cut?They can try to blow smoke all they want and tell me it would be spread so large that it wouldn’t be noticeable. To who, them or the young warrior barely making it as it is? More even, they will get paid for that month but they rather not let their military get paid? Why doesn’t Congress take on some of the pain for their created friction and simply walk to work for that month. Sell their (Mercedes & BMW) cars and contribute that to the military spouses & wounded warriors trying to hold things together. They want to “help” their military? Actions speak louder than words. Help them or don’t pay them which is it?“Troops and essential civilians who report for work without pay would receive back pay when government funding is restored” This plan is sad and written like the steely eyed warrior in Afghanistan has the option not to come to work today. Not. Furthermore, when they give the servicemembers “back pay” I’m sure the credit card companies are going to understand when the young Marines tells them I didn’t get paid but I’ll pay you next month. The young military family needs the money when you told him you would pay him. Period. If he doesn’t deploy when you tell him, you charge him under the UJMC. Is that what we should do to Congress? Charge them for not doing their job? How is it different?The sad part in all of this is that this is the exact type of poor leadership that develops into a domino effect, is poorly thought-out and ultimately causes our sharp, experienced military members who are doing more deployments than planned not to reenlist and then every one of us will pay not just those deploying.Contact your state representative by writing to them or even better CALL them and ask them the hard questions mentioned above.

The original post is here

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Must-Have Book

My sister-in-law recently gave me a book to read...she wanted me to pass it on to the next adult female in our family, and keep it going the rounds that way. BUT EVERY WOMAN NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK NOW! This is on my list of the Best Books I Ever Read. I am just about finished with reading it through once, but I will go back to re-read it again . I cannot say enough good things about this book.

If you have no Christian bookstore locally, you can order this from Amazon:
Remember, if you buy from Amazon, you do not have to get a brand-new can order one of the used ones for a very small amount of money.

I promise you, this is one of the most helpful, important books you will ever read!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Reading in America

Once again I am a little late in bringing this post, but nevertheless...

Last week - the first week of March - was Read Across America Week. Our private Christian school celebrated in the elementary levels by, on Thursday, allowing the children to bring a pillow and blanket from home, "getting comfortable", and reading for 1 straight hour. Friday, the students could come to school dressed as their favorite book character, provided they brought the book along, also. My daughter dressed as Nancy Drew and brought one of the many mystery books in that series. My son dressed as Batman and his book was on Superheroes, of course!

All this READING is an annual  motivation and awareness program that asks for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss. In May 1997, a small reading task force at NEA, National Education Association, came up with a big idea. "Let's create a day to celebrate reading," the group decided. "We hold pep rallies to get kids excited about football. We assemble to remember that Character Counts. Why don't we do something to get kids excited about reading? We'll call it 'NEA's Read Across America' and we'll celebrate it on Dr. Seuss's birthday." And so was born on March 2, 1998, the largest celebration of reading this country has ever seen.
My son's teacher dressed as The Cat in The Hat, which I did not understand until I was preparing this post for my blog and found out the background for the school event (which we were not told, as parents...) Some of the other students dressed as The Cat, also.

In a related story, "Using Cell Phones To Promote Reading" ....
 ???? What next? Here is the original article from Oklahoma Living newspaper/magazine, from our electric co-op.
Needless to say, I AM AGAINST this method of promoting reading and have "no use" for the parents who signed up their children for this program. The blame for poor reading skills MUST be put back on the parents who do not reinforce their child's learning. It doesn't matter if the family is poor and underpriviledged- there is no excuse. I have been in Government Aid programs myself at one point when some of my children were babies, like WIC, but my child's education is not going to be determined by "A VILLAGE" (reference "It takes a village to raise a child").

Restore Oklahoma Public Education website (ROPE) posted this opinion on the use of cell phones to promote reading, with which I Perfectly AGREE! I am very disappointed with the bigshots who set this up

Also from ROPE, a response to KOSU's story on The Million Cell Phones As Incentive Reading Program can be found here...

Another reason my children are not in the Public School system...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Women Speak Out

I'm a couple of days late in passing this information on, but the tour starts March 7. Already ads are in place. Go to the link at the end of this post to find more, also for youtube videos.

'Women Speak Out' Bus Tour Attacks Planned Parenthood Funding, Rallies Pro-life Grassroots Support
in Blogosphere Print


CONTACT: Kerry Brown at (703) 470-1926 or


Washington, D.C. ─ Today, the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) announced a 13-district “Women Speak Out: Defund Planned Parenthood” bus tour from March 7 to 10. Led by former Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave and Live Action President Lila Rose, the tour will include press conferences in 13 congressional districts featuring local pro-life leaders thanking Members who voted for Rep. Mike Pence’s amendment to defund Planned Parenthood in the Continuing Resolution (CR) and targeting those who voted against it.

The tour will make 11 stops, covering 13 districts across Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island and New Hampshire from Monday, March 7 to Thursday, March 10. There, SBA List staff and local pro-life leaders will join forces to rally grassroots support for Reps. Joe Walsh (IL-08), Randy Hultgren (IL-14), Frank Guinta (NH-01), Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25), Mike Kelly (PA-03), Patrick Meehan (PA-07) and Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08). Other stops will target those who voted against defunding Planned Parenthood, including Leonard Boswell (IA-03), Bruce Braley (IA-01), David Cicilline (RI-01), Jason Altmire (PA-04), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) and Bill Owens (NY-23). A tentative schedule is available at

“Planned Parenthood's business model is destructive for women, unborn children and young girls and is offensive to taxpayers,” said SBA List Votes Have Consequences Project Director Marilyn Musgrave. “This campaign is a reminder of what the mid-term election was all about – the power of the pro-life grassroots. Pouring millions of dollars into an organization that has been repeatedly exposed as a frequent and willing ally of those who sex traffic women and underage girls makes no sense, especially at a time when our country is drowning in debt. The message is clear: not with our tax dollars. We will accept nothing less than the total defunding of Planned Parenthood.”

“Congress can no longer hide behind the lie that Planned Parenthood puts women first, especially not when they’ve been shown repeatedly willing to aid in the sexual exploitation of young girls,” said Live Action President Lila Rose. “A vote to funnel federal dollars into this corrupt organization is a vote to make taxpayers accomplices in the exploitation of women and at a time when our country is broke. We commend our Representatives who have taken the first step by voting to strip Planned Parenthood of its taxpayer funds, and implore that they hold the line in negotiations with the Senate.”

The tour is a part of a larger $200,000 grassroots campaign including radio and television ads thanking Members for their votes to defund Planned Parenthood. The ad campaign launched on Tuesday, March 1, with a four-day $75,000 television ad airing throughout NY-25 and the Syracuse-area thanking Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25). The same day, the SBA List commenced a series of one-week radio ads in the districts of Reps. Joe Walsh (IL-08), Randy Hultgren (IL-14), Frank Guinta (NH-01), Patrick Meehan (PA-07), Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) and Allen West (FL-22) thanking them for their votes.

The Susan B. Anthony List spent $11 million during the 2010 midterm election cycle. Overall, the SBA List was involved in 90 races including 62 wins and 28 losses. Successes included: defeating 15 of 20 so-called "pro-life" Democrats who voted for abortion funding in the health care reform bill; increasing the number of pro-life women in the House by 70 percent; filling the void of pro-life women in the U.S. Senate and increasing the number of pro-life women governors from one to four.

For further information, please contact Kerry Brown at (703) 470-1926 or

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Care For Me

As the daylight follows night,
As the stars and moon give light,
So, dear Lord, with all Your might,

As the Springtime brings the flowers,
As the minutes turn to hours,
So, dear Lord, with all Your powers,

As with Peace the swift-winged dove
Looks upon me from above,
So, dear Father, with Thy love,
-Olwen T. Godwin

Flower Fairy art by
Cecily Mary Barker

Spring is Coming!!!!! My flower bed in back of our house has all sorts of promising green shoots coming up...since we moved here in July, I do not know what to expect in the springtime in this yard. But the bed is really full of shoots that look like bulbs, so I'm excited about what will unfold soon! It has been a time of birthdays the past month- my husband, daughter, son, a dear friend...and March has more coming! My mother-in-law, a nephew, a cousin...We had my mother with us a little longer than a week. I had thought she was here to stay- to live with us- but some issues came up that she has not settled in her mind, so I took her back to her home in Louisiana this week to talk to my brothers and try to make long-range plans that she can handle. There is no stopping time- I wish I could slow it down. I am all set to go to an art workshop the first week of April that my friend told me will be a 5-day event out of state. It will be time to go probably before I realize it. My husband wants me to cook up some meals and freeze them so he will not have to worry about cooking for the children and himself while I'm gone. I've got ONE down at least! Last night I made chicken gumbo with rice and already have the leftovers in the freezer. Hubby has our garden spot all plowed up- it's been so long since I've worked in a garden I hardly know how to begin now! but I've looked forward to this for a long time. So glad we are in the country, and in AMERICA, where we can easily have a piece of land to do with as we want.