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The Cotillion - a Post-Party Wrap-Up!

Okay - so periodically I turn the television to E! Entertainment Television.  I know, I know - I should check myself into some twelve step program.  But you know how they have those post awards show wrap ups?  I just thought it would be fun to do the same on the great success of today’s debut of the Cotillion.  I am fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to participate in my small way in this rather grand event.

We were well-received in the blogosphere with an early morning link by Michelle Malkin.  How fun to be called a "hot conservative gal of the blogosphere!"  Later on in the day K.J. Lopez at The Corner on National Review Online pondered what Susan Estrich might think.  I do declare, I don’t believe we care what she may think.  Lastly, the Cotillion had a nice mention on CNN’s "Inside Politics" - exerpt of the transcript here (please pardon the errors and typos, ladies and gentlemen, however the emphasis is mine):   

So, bloggers, expanding, the most successful of them setting up companion sites to go with their regular blogs.

SCHECHNER: Now, another site of collaboration that wanted to show you today. Remember when you were a kid and you had to go to Cotillion (ph), the fancy dance where the boys had to learn to take the girls out. Well, today they formed the Cotillion it’s a CotillianBall.blogspot.com, and it’s a coalition of conservative female bloggers. We start over at CommonSenseRunsWild.typepad.com.  It’s Beth of My Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, Jody of Steal the Band Wagon, and then, Jeanette of Common Sense Runs Wild," the three of them, so the were annoyed at people saying, where are all the female bloggers? Where are their voices? Why aren’t they being heard?

So, what they did is they put together this collaboration of women. And it’s not based on linkage or traffic or anything like that. It’s basically just based on a group of women whose voices they liked and postings they liked. So, if you go to the companions that are the actual site itself, cotillion ball.globspot.com. Its got an introduction. Then it has a collection of women who are talking about various things. Just to bring some more female voices out there.

So ladies - we’ve been a part of history today!  Congratulations on a job well done to all, and in particular to our Web Mistresses Beth, Janette and Jody.  The ladies of the Cotillion Ball:


Potbelly Stove linked with Invitation to a Cotillion Ball
sisu linked with They could have danced all night
Fistful of Fortnights linked with "I do declare...."
thebandwagon linked with Wow
Vince Aut Morire linked with Knockers UP!
Scenes from a Rainy, Dreary Day at Home

Ahhhhh…..this was the life - a rainy, dreary day and snuggly children and animals…makes me dread going back to work tomorrow!


Emily-isms

Out of the mouths of babes….and an adorable 4-year-old babe she is!

Last evening my daughter, Emily, had just got out of a rather lengthy, splash-filled bath and as I was combing her hair she looked down at her rather pruny hands and said "Mommy my hands are ‘Grammy’ed!"  I thought this was absolutely hilarious, considering her Grandmother’s nick name is "Grammy."  One bright - and funny - cookie she is!  We laughed a good couple of solid minutes on that one!


Welcome to the Cotillion

"We ladies have gathered together for the presentation of these dazzling darlings of the blogosphere, and yes, proper etiquette dictates that you shall kindly direct your devoted attention to each of these fine young women! Please, gentlemen callers, remove your hats indoors in their presence! I do declare!"

I feel very privileged to be in the company of some of the best bloggers out there.  Surely you wouldn’t disagree.  Please take your turn at the Cotillion - you won’t be disappointed!

Ladies of the Cotillion:

Update: Beth, Janette and Jody have represented us well, ladies - Michelle Malkin has taken notice of these "Hot Conservative Gals of the Blogosphere."  Hopefully our dance cards will be full!

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Thank You, Servicemen of Longwell Flooring and Sanding!

I admire these men for their sacrifices both in Iraq and at home.  One tends to forget that when our service men and women are called to duty it impacts even more than family, friends, and the soldiers (emphasis mine):

An Omaha company is back in business after being shut down by war. All the employees had been called up to serve.

Jim Longwell and Chuck Ebel are now rebuilding Longwell Flooring and Sanding.

Jim says, "It concerned me, an 83-year-old business closed down for a year-and-a-half."

It was the first shutdown since Longwell’s father started the company in 1922 but there was no option.

In December of 2003, Longwell, Ebel and a third member of the flooring company, Dennis Baxter, were all called to duty. The three Army Reserve members were sent to Iraq with the 172nd transportation company.

Longwell says, "It’s kind of tough just closing the business down. There’s nobody else to run it so you’ve just got to grin and bear it."

The typical stress of wartime for their families came equipped with a financial burden and an uncertain future. By putting the business on hold there was no guarantee that customers would stay with them.

After a much appreciated welcome home in late March, it was time to get back to work.

Longwell says, "We’re all back now, hacking away and seeing if we can get going again."

Ebel’s second son was born while he was away and was eight months old when Check got home.

"It was tough," he says. "A lot of e-mails, photos coming through the mail, watching the young guy grow up."

Despite the downside, they have no regrets after seeing the result of their efforts in Iraq.

Ebel tell us, "You’ve got children who get to go to school for the first time in generations and you see the looks on these people’s face and you know that’s the majority of people over there."

"I wouldn’t trade it for anything," Longwell said. "It was worth going."

God bless these men and their families, and may their business flourish.  If I need some new flooring in the future, I think I know the place to go.


NIF linked with Sub-Pope of Sleeping In
Watch for it May 31st


That Chicken is INNOCENT, I Say!

As a follow-up to my previous post regarding the chicken who got a ticket for crossing the road:

RIDGECREST, Calif.  — A chicken that got a ticket for crossing the road has clawed his way out of it.

The $54 citation for impeding traffic was dismissed Friday after Linc and Helena Moore’s attorney argued that the fowl was domesticated and could not be charged as livestock.

State law restricts livestock on highways, but not domestic animals.

The chicken was ticketed March 26 for impeding traffic after it wandered onto a road in Johannesburg, a rural mining community southeast of Ridgecrest.

The Moores said they got the ticket because they were among several people who complained that deputies have done little to curb noisy off-road vehicle riders.

"For the last two and a half years, no one has been able to stop the kids riding their bikes in the middle of the road or the neighbors’ dogs running around our neighborhood," Linc Moore said. "But when our chicken escaped and crossed the road once it became a huge issue."

Sheriff’s officials said the ticket had nothing to do with the Moores’ complaints.

There were no updates regarding the indecency charges.  Heh.


Honor Them Always, Not Just on Memorial Day

There is nothing I could possibly add to what my dear husband eloquently said on his post.

Thank you for protecting us, for your part in preserving my family’s freedom.  I will be forever greatful.  There must be a special corner of Heaven for you!


Justice Was Served?

In a day when dangerous sexual predators, attempted murderers, pedophiles and other criminals are given a slap on the wrist, this story seems so incredible to me:

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) - After 35 years in prison for stealing a black-and-white television set, Junior Allen is a free man.

Allen, 65, walked out of prison Friday, ending a case that attracted widespread attention because he remained in jail while other inmates convicted of murder, rape or child molestation were released.

"I’m glad to be out," Allen told supporters outside Orange Correctional Center. "I’ve done too much time for what I did. I won’t be truly happy until I see a sign that says I’m outside of North Carolina."

Allen was a 30-year-old migrant farm worker from Georgia with a criminal history that included burglaries and a violent assault when he sneaked into an unlocked house and stole a 19-inch black-and-white television worth $140.

Some state records say Allen roughed up the 87-year-old woman who lived there, but he was not convicted of assault.

Instead, he was sentenced in 1970 to life in prison for second-degree burglary. The penalty for the offense has since been changed to a maximum of three years in prison.

He got life in prison for second-degree burglary which is now a maximum of three years?  What an illustration for how the system has changed!   

The state Parole Commission decided last year to release Allen if he behaved and completed a transitional work-release program. He worked at a restaurant washing dishes and floors and had no prison infractions during the past three years.

He did so well he was released several months early - on his 26th try at parole.

I wonder how much 26 parole hearings cost?  I imagine more than the TV did!

His parole could last up to five years, meaning he could gain complete freedom by age 70.

Rich Rosen, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill law professor who took up Allen’s case three years ago, said it was a shame that Allen had not been released decades ago. "At least he’s got some years left," Rosen said.

Allen did not meet with the parole commission until January 2004. Prior to that time, his record was reviewed regularly by the commission and denied.

Rosen said the parole commission "hasn’t been able to articulate a reason that Allen wasn’t released."

"He wasn’t the best prisoner, (but) he wasn’t the worst," Rosen said.

Once outside the prison, Allen got into a car with two friends who were driving him to Athens, Ga., where he planned to meet relatives and return home to Georgetown, Ga.

Enoch Hasberry, the programs director at Carteret Correctional Center in Newport where Allen went through work-release, said he worries Allen might not adjust well to life on the outside.

"For a black-and-white TV, how much do you have to pay?" Hasberry said. "We’ve got an in-house joke here: How much time would he have gotten if he had stolen a color TV?"

Now think about this case and think about the case of John Couey, the sick, pig of a human being that murdered Jessica Lunsford.  An exerpt from Fox News on his criminal record:

Couey has an extensive criminal record that includes arrests for burglary, carrying a concealed weapon and indecent exposure. In 1991, he was arrested in Kissimmee on a charge of fondling a child under age 16. Records don’t show how the case was resolved.

During a house burglary in 1978, Couey was accused of grabbing a girl in her bedroom, placing his hand over her mouth and kissing her, Dawsy said. Couey was sentenced to 10 years in prison but was paroled in 1980.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I understand that times have changed, but there’s something seriously wrong when you look at these two situations side-by-side.  TV stealing conviction gets 35 years and 26 parole hearings.  Man convicted for fondling underaged girls, one in the act of burglary, gets a 10 year sentence, but paroled 2 years later.  These crimes were committed a mere 8 years apart. 

If Couey had remained in prison for the crimes he committed (what I have above is but a snippet), we may have a beautiful young girl still with us.  I can’t firmly say what would have happened in the great black-and-white TV stealer’s life, after all there is suspicion that he may have assulted the woman in the home he took the TV from (but was not charged for it).  I don’t believe, though, it would have been too bad if he had gotten out and stolen another black-and-white television, do you?

I also can’t help but ask one big, lingering question.  Where is the ACLU?


Koran Library Woes

Um….can’t a guy get a copy of the Koran at the library without having to bend over backwards?

Sneak a peak under the fold….
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The Jawa Report linked with Karnival of the Koran Krapping (UPDATED: Now even more offensive!!)
Carnival of the Recipes #41

Angela over at Fresh as a Daisy has the 41st Carnival of the Recipes posted - she did an awesome job of compiling a rather large list of mouth-watering recipes from breakfast to cocktail hour!  I read through it this morning and had a hard time figuring out what I was going to cook next, also realizing it was a bit too early for cocktails, darn it!

I submitted my recipe for Fresh Strawberry Pie and for those of you looking for a sweet pie pastry to go with it, I have that recipe for you right here.

Enjoy! 


I’m Happy My Children Have the Gifts of the USA

I, innocently enough, looked around the Internet tonight trying to get inspired to put a post up, but was not having a lot of success until I found this piece here, put out by Combined Forces Command Afghanistan:

Afghan children and local police led Coalition forces to three rockets and a missile May 24 near the town of Bamian.

The children reported the location of a cache consisting of a rocket-propelled grenade, three mortars and approximately 40 small-arms rounds to New Zealand soldiers working at a Provisional Reconstruction Team site near Bamian.

"These children were doing the right thing by reporting these munitions to Coalition forces," U.S. Army Maj. Michael Hicks,

As the children took Coalition forces to the cache, local police also led the soldiers to another area where three serviceable rockets and a surface-to-surface Russian-built missile were discovered.

"These children were doing the right thing by reporting these munitions to Coalition forces," said U.S. Army Maj. Michael Hicks, commander of Combined Joint Task Force-76’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team.

"We cannot do enough to remind parents and children that unexploded ordnance is dangerous and deadly. These items explode every day, killing and maiming Afghans."

"The most important thing children should remember if they discover unexploded ordnance is to not touch it and tell a grown-up," Hicks said. "Adults should immediately notify local police or Afghan and Coalition forces."

The cache, missile and rockets were transported to a nearby base where they will be destroyed.

Meanwhile, at a border-control point along the Pakistan border, an artillery round was discovered hidden inside a tree trunk after an Afghan child reported its location to forces there. Afghan forces safely destroyed the round.

Shouldn’t we count our blessings every day that we live in a country that affords our children the very precious rights of freedom?  I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday, but when I look around me, people seem to be more concerned about Paris Hilton, American Idol, gas prices, and how much it will cost to put the kids in daycare for the summer.  We tend to forget that we have men and women of the armed forces overseas fighting for the same freedoms and liberties that so often are taken for granted here.  We should be reminded of their bravery every day, but instead we are subjected to lines of crap put out by journalists who want "the story" or think it’s okay to get "creative" with their reporting (and causing riots and mayhem).

When I read the aforementioned story, my day-to-day concerns paled in comparison.  So what if I’m tired, at least I have a bed.  Who cares if I had a rough day at work, at least I have enough money to truly "live."  So, it’s my son’s last day of school tomorrow - at least he *can* go to school and doesn’t have to be on the watch-out for weapons buried in the sand. 

These Afghan children, while in a much safer and more livable environment than they had been during Taliban rule, face each day with concerns that many of us Americans would never even be able to comprehend.  Did you ever walk to school and uncover a weapons cache? 

I so admire the bravery and the tenacity of children in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.  I imagine that the challenges they face now will help to build them into the leaders those regions need to bring peace and freedom to countries that had been truly demoralized and held in fear by vicious leaders who had no qualms about slaying people for their own perverted pleasures.  Things that we have taken for granted brings the greatest joy to these children - oh, for my children to be in awe of something as simple as paper and pencils!

As a nation, we should be proud that we are contributing to something as great as helping other nations procure freedom.  It is not shameful, it is not a waste of time and it is not an atrocity.  It should not be a political bargaining chip and it should not be taken lightly.  I am personally grateful for the freedoms we have - so we *can* worry about Paris Hilton, American Idol, the price of gas, and the end of the school year…and thanks to the bravery of our men and women in uniform, I am comfortable in my belief that I will wake up tomorrow with those freedoms intact.

Update:  Chris of Two Babes and a Brain, pointed me to a story of an Iraqi girl, named Maria, who was seriously burned while lighting a stove.  American troops took care of the girl and helped her get on a road to recovery.  Please take a look at her story, one of strength, persistence and a true demonstration of the compassion our troops have for the Iraqi people.  Thanks, Chris!


Cotillion linked with Cotillion Carnival Debut!
basil's blog linked with Breakfast: 5/27/2005
Merri’s Pan Shrimp Scampi

I’m a mom who also has a full time, crazy job outside of the home. As was the case tonight, I got home at 6:30pm (work, pick up my daughter, stop at the store). I brought home some steak and shrimp, with the idea of finding a really good, quick shrimp scampi recipe out in the world. I didn’t find anything simple enough, so I came up with my own version. I thought it turned out pretty good, and wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), 2 turns around the pan
3-4 tbsp butter, cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic, crushed from skin, but not chopped
1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled with tails on (pick any size you like - I used large)
1/2 tsp (or to taste) grill seasoning (or kosher salt and ground pepper to taste)
2-3 gentle shakes of ground cayenne pepper
2-3 gentle shakes of Old Bay Seasoning
Juice of 1 lemon
A handful of seasoned breadcrumbs
A handful of grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Heat up large skillet and add the EVOO, butter and garlic. Let the garlic sweat a little, over medium high heat until it starts to soften, but does not brown. Add the shrimp, grill seasoning, cayenne pepper and Old Bay and cook shrimp until pink/white, tossing occasionally. Toward the end of cooking time, add the lemon juice and toss the shrimp again. You will see the sauce start to thicken nicely right away. Add the breadcrumbs (I added enough to lightly coat the shrimp once tossed) and the grated cheese. Toss the shrimp together and serve immediately. I served mine with a nice, pan seared bacon-wrapped filet. YUM!


Meanderings linked with Carnival of Recipes
Stop the ACLU! Blogburst

It’s that time of week again - time to ponder what the ACLU has its hand in today and what it plans to have its hand in tomorrow. 

Normally, I spend quite a bit of time writing a nice article, or I borrow Jay’s weekly blogburst information and post it here.  However, there are two articles on Stop the ACLU! that I encourage you to read, so I’m choosing to refer you there. 

One discussion involves the ACLU’s involvement in abortion "rights."  As a society, we are so worried about the rights of the person in the "right now" - so much that a law was passed to legalize abortion, to me known as the murdering of innocent babies.  The ACLU is involved in this due to the lucritive financial opportunities presented.  Sure, they go off on their tangents and support organizations such as NAMBLA, or prisoners who are being "mistreated" (shoot, they get better treatment than innocent babies), but the financial opportunities aren’t as prevalent there.  This article on Jay’s site has some great debate going on so I urge you to take a peek!

Also, please don’t forget to check out the Blogburst post - this ties nicely into the aforementioned post - selective civil rights.  While it’s stated that "everyone" has a right to speak their mind, have peaceful protest, etc., when it comes to pro-life, the ACLU is reluctant to support those pro-life protesters. 

"To the ACLU, anti-abortion protesters are not seen in the same light as civil rights demonstrators in the 60’s, but as lunatic fascists out to destroy freedom.

I’m so tired of the double-standard and tired of being put down for my beliefs - if a person speaks of pro-choice, it is a "right."  If a person speaks of pro-life, they are imposing their religious beliefs.  I could care less if anyone has the same religious beliefs as me, as a matter of fact, my religious beliefs are irrelevant when it comes to how I feel about abortion. 

As a woman, I know what I need to do to prevent pregnancy.  That’s my responsibility and my obligation if I do not want a child.  Abortion shouldn’t be used as birth control and if I become pregnant after being careless, I shouldn’t kill my baby because of my own stupidity.  If I don’t want my child, there are others out in this world who are incapable of bearing a child, but have a heartful of love to give.  My father was adopted and I know quite a number of others who are adopted as well, and greatful that they didn’t end up as "medical waste" following an arranged murder by their own mother. 

I would add that it is completely unfair that a man does not have the right to be involved with what happens to HIS child.  The baby didn’t arrive in the woman’s womb due to some fluke - he is as responsible as she is and should have the right to say that he wants her to carry the child to term so he can raise the child.  He should also have the right to say that he doesn’t want his baby killed and would like him or her adopted by a caring family.  Does the ACLU step up for these dads?  Absolutely not. 


Burn in Hell, Ivan Henk

My hubby, Eric, over at Vince Aut Morire has an update regarding the Brendan Gonzales case.  For those of you not familiar with the case, Brendan’s "Dad" - Ivan Henk - killed the four year old boy, stating his son was the Anti-Christ.  He dumped his body in a dumpster at least 10 miles from the boy’s hometown and Brendan’s body ended up in a landfill.  After six weeks of volunteers and rescue crews searching endlessly in the heat of summer, Brendan’s body was never found.

One of our local television channels in Omaha, NE did a story on the video of Henk’s interrogation - released recently - during which he used Brandon’s body as a bargaining chip, or at least as a means of having some level of perceived control.  I won’t steal Eric’s thunder, because he has been a champion of Brendan’s cause over at his site, but one snippet of this interview, a statement from this vile, disgusting pig stood out for me - in fact I almost lost it when I saw it on TV:

"Stupid body. Who cares? I don’t give a s— about it. You do, other people do, maybe, OK. Not me.   

Text on a post cannot possibly do this justice.  To hear the venom and the hatred in this man’s voice is indescribable.  This is the body of your own child, your flesh and blood four year old beautiful boy, you SICK, PERVERTED, DISGUSTING, VILE MURDERER.  How could a parent do this to their own child and then just throw him away like the weekly trash?!?!? 

The guy plead guilty and got life in prison, the bastard.  He’s attempted to take his own life - if it were me watching him in prison that day, I’d have turned the other way and hoped that he was successful.  Pretty awful thoughts to have, but this man is not human and will NEVER be released, NEVER be rehabilitated.  Why does society have to continue dealing with this monster?

Brendan was such an adorable, sweet 4-year-old child and his memory and life will be honored forever, whether his body is found or not.  Please checkout the website dedicated to him (link is over at Eric’s site).  Be prepared, and have extra tissue on hand because you’ll need it.


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