Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The strangest things can happen in small rural areas

OK, so it was Thanksgiving break, and I was sitting on my futon with Sprout on my lap, and she was going at her bottle like a little starved thing (she's a big girl!), and lo and behold, CNN has a newsflash - FROM OHIO - and close enough to home for it to count. I had to hear this.

Pike county made national headline news on CNN. Say what? They have GOT to be kidding me. Pike county is a small rural area, and, for the life of me, I couldn't imagine what in the world could have been so important as to make the national news. Now, the US Enrichment Corporation (USEC) is located not too far from there, and I thought to myself - "I hope and pray that there hasn't been an accident, or we're toast". Enriched uranium is, um, scary stuff (my high school physics teacher would be aghast at this understatement); then, I heard the news that a lion was attacking cars on US 23 South! Whew, is that all? I listened, intently, and had to shake my head. I'm sure glad that I don't travel to work that way!

Here are some links, which I found posted on AOL News, Fox News 28, and CNN:

"Pet Lion on Loose Chases Cars in Ohio"

Here's the story, which also ran on Fox News 28 (there's a picture of this lion actually in this link):
"Pet Lion on the Loose Chases Cars in Southern Ohio"

and the transcript from CNN.

. . . and y'all thought nothing interesting ever happened back here in "dem woods." There's even a kangaroo rescue within 45 minutes from my house, but that's another story...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Whew, what a nice holiday break!

Life has just been so fast-paced here the past couple of months, and this little holiday break was just what we needed here at home. I've had some time to relax, to play with lil Sprout, and to get caught up on things around the house. It's nice to have some time to sit back and reflect on what is really important in life after the crazy schedules we've been maintaining lately. It's just too easy to get caught up in all the "to-do lists" and things that have to be done on a rigid time schedule that it becomes too easy to forget to take the time for friends and family. Thank God for a day of thanks - so that we can appreciate all the good things we have in life.

I've thoroughly enjoyed this break and my lazy Sunday morning here. We've tidied up the house, paid the bills, and now we're planning for the rest of the day. We have guests coming in just before noon (for deer-hunting season), but this morning has been a nice quiet day: perfect for coffee-drinking and playing with Sprout! She was very helpful this morning (with her great big, easy, toothless smiles, her constant giggles, and her "singing")! Sprout supervised (and kept me motivated) while I tended to the paperwork, but she finally drifted off to sleep once Handel's "Water Music Suite in G Major" came on. What a lovely day!

We've had a great break, and we are ready for the start of a new work week. Soon, we'll be back on that schedule, but we're re-charged and ready to take it on! We hope you have a super week!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Through the looking glass", or a view from the van on the way home.

When I was a little girl, Thanksgiving Day (well, any of the holidays, actually) were "the thing". Mom made real food - everything was farm-fresh and "made from scratch" - there were no artificial colors, no unpronounceable chemicals, or preservatives. We KNEW where our food came from - back in those days. We got eggs from granma's chickenhouse, my auntie's, or the little ol' lady who had hens further down the road.

Today, we go to the supermarkets to buy our veggies. Not many people have the time, the land, or the patience and energy to do as my parents did "in the old days." Today, we save time and prevent back-strain by buying most of our foods, but what we get today is not always what we want - or need. A bag of lettuce is now, more than likely, a fancy bag of e. coli, and only God knows what is on the apples, which have been rubbed down with "something" so they have that deep glossy shine that makes them "oh so irresistible" to "the grab-it-and-go" consumer. Nevermind, how (or where) they may have been grown and harvested! Back in MY day, apples came from Ohio, Michigan, or Washington state, and all was right in the world.

Now, I'm not anti (FAIR!) trade, or anything like that, but WHY do we need to IMPORT our foodstuffs these days? Why, also, do we have to import MOST of it? Are we not The Nation Formerly Known as "The World's Breadbasket"? I'm sorry "Prince" - I mean no disrespect to you - I am just trying to make a point. Why is my apple juice labeled Made from apples imported from China? Why?

China has long been in the news for their violations of civil rights. I remember (and mourned) for those lost in Tiananmen Square, while I was an undergraduate at The Ohio State University. In fact, I had friends from China, and I had long admired their culture. That day, we cried on campus as we walked together, to class, as we passed those beautiful flower-blossomed trees (I forget what they are called, white flowered trees with rose-colored streaks). These days, we see China in the news again, all too often, with lead-based paint in/on our children's toys - what kind of Christmas shall our nations' children have this year? How many will be hurt, poisoned, or die? WHY SHOULD THEY? Why has there been so little action to resolve these issues? How are we to trust China (or any other country's imports, for that matter)? Why are we, as citizens of the United States, not screaming out in rage for the insanity and injustices to stop? Yet, we trust the Chinese with our food... This country has really gone to - nevermind, you already know, don't you?

Anyway, this is a time of Thanksgiving - so let us be thankful. Even though it seems that we have less and less to be thankful for, and more and more to be fearful of (and with good reason, too. What is going on with Pakistan, Iran, and what are we still doing in Iraq?). I support our soldiers, and I would never wish to place them in any greater danger than they already face. I just wish they were home. Safe. OK. How about "safer." I wish they could be home with their families.

I am still thankful for my health, my family, my two precious daughters, and ol' John, who tries so hard. My sister, typical blond that she is, and her three beautiful kids (my niece and two nephews), and also my extended family: a step-son, a step-daughter and "son-in-law" and three of the most beautiful babies (my honorary grandchildren - and the new baby girl on the way, who is due near my own birthday). Yes, for all of these things, I am thankful. I'm thankful that my parents are still here, with me, and that my daughters know their grandparents. Not all children are that lucky to know, firsthand, the depth and devotion of their grandparents' love. Many are separated by hundreds, or even thousands, of miles. I am grateful for all that my parents have done for me, and I realize (and remember clearly) the sacrifices they have made in their lives for my sister and me. I love them tremendously for all that they have done and all that they are. I'm also thankful for my pets (and I have a lot of them): my silly thieving ferrets; my cute, ornery, and rambunctious sugar gliders (the reason for this online presence, such as it is, for me to ramble on and on - if even only for myself), and my big dogs: Dewey, my "gentleman" Yellow Lab (who loves singing to "Master and Commander"); Fang, my Husky-mix, who thinks he's a little kitten (he's so mistaken, he's at least 100 lbs), and Baby, my beloved Boxer of nearly 10 years... they do their best to protect me and to make me smile. Tommy Lee, the "bark until eternity comes and goes" Min-Pin... and the deer, who graze ever so leisurely in my backyard.

I'm thankful for my job, my co-workers, and my students (even the stubborn ones who don't want to do their schoolwork: they challenge me and surprise me when they do turn their work in). I'm thankful for the unexpected smiles (and giggles) they bring me - sometimes when neither of us expect it. I'm thankful that I don't have to walk to school like my grandparents did (that would be a LONG walk - 50 miles one way), and I'm thankful that, this year - and I hope for many years yet to come - that I have parents to go back home to, and that, once again, I will have "real food" - made by my mother's own loving hands. Nothing packaged, frozen, shrink-wrapped, and imported from "where ever". I'm truly thankful that we're all still together.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, dear reader. What are you thankful for?

PS: Oh, yeah:  Ohio State BEAT the University of Michigan - AGAIN!   GO BUCKS!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

November 4th at 4:04 a.m. - we celebrated!

Yeah me! Today, I am four months old, and now I'm allowed to begin eating cereal! This is one of our favorite videos, and mommy and me thought we'd share it (even though it was not taken today). Happy Four Months to Me!