• The 2006 Weblog Awards



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This is News?

I know I live in hicksville when this makes the news:

The Veterans Administration Hospital sits at 41st Street and Woolworth Avenue, but its new sign reads Woolworth Street.

The VA said it noticed the problem right away, and so did numerous employees and neighbors who called to report it.

Wow….now *that* is cutting edge reporting!


Video of Two Deceased U.S. Soldiers Released by al Qaeda

I can remember the horrific images we all saw on television on 9/11. Terrorist thugs ramming planes carrying people into our buildings - lives lost as they fell from the buildings to the earth. Much destruction all because the bastards thought we should die. These are the most vile, souless, disgusting creatures that have ever lived and al Qaeda proves it again by releasing a very graphic video of the desecration of two kidnapped U.S. soldiers, Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker of the 101st Airborne.

Rusty over at The Jawa Report has the full story, including the video and pictures. Why, might you ask, am I linking you over there if the videos are so disturbing? Well, we cannot forget who the enemy is. We cannot forget what they are capable of. The MSM paints a picture of Gitmo as some torture scene and these assholes are beheading, desecrating and parading our dead soldiers for all the world to see as some kind of bullshit “revenge” story that makes absolutely no sense. What, truly, is the real evil here? Watching the video was tough for me in the sense that I know these soldiers were not only soldiers, but they were sons, and they were cousins, friends, nephews, brothers, grandsons. The difference between a person like me and these soldiers is bravery and a dedication to fighting for my freedom and yours - knowing there is a cost. But also knowing that the price they pay will keep freedom’s gift a part of America’s future. I will always stand behind our soldiers and I will always support them, but I need to understand as well - we can get somewhat forgetful with a body of water and the MSM filter between the front lines and here. This war is REAL - this isn’t some made up story to increase presidential approval ratings, or some street fight started by the U.S. for no reason. These people want us dead and will not stop until we stop them. You can choose to watch the video or not - some may not be able to, but I had to. This is the face of the enemy and it doesn’t matter your view on the war - it’s enraging.

All the anger and pain I felt on 9/11 resurfaced in just over 4 minutes of video. But along with the anger and pain comes strengthened resolve.


The Canning Green Beans Experience

What, might you ask, has Merri been doing all day?

Well….this.

…and this.

Twenty pint jars of freshly grown green beans. All nicely packed and sealed into jars for the dead of winter. YUM!

Next on the canning list for summer? Tomatoes and catsup. The first is simple, the catsup is a 2-day job (and takes a LOT of tomatoes to do!). Is it worth it? My kids sure think so! :-)


Words, Words and More Words

From over at Beth’s

At this site, you can actually get t-shirts with a word cloud from your blog on it! Here’s mine:

Pretty cool, huh?


Missing Child: Reachelle Marie Smith

Please be looking out for this beautiful little three-year-old girl. She’s been missing since May under suspicious circumstances.

Also posting: PC Free Zone, Alabama Improper and MVRWC. Even one lead could help save this little girl!

Additional information (thanks, Linda!): The suspect that they believe had abduced Reachelle was found dead - an apparent suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning. Here’s another somewhat recent article discussing the search efforts for Reachelle and more about the case.


MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy linked with (Re-post) Missing Child: Reachelle Marie Smith
Alabama Improper linked with HELP - MISSING CHILD
Theodore's World linked with Missing Child: Reachelle Marie Smith
Army Cpl. Jeremy Jones’ Family Should be Left to Mourn Privately
OMAHA, Neb. — Army Cpl. Jeremy Jones will be buried Saturday with full military honors. It’s a service that will attract dozens of protesters to Omaha along with a contingent that plans to buffer Jones’ family from their message.

A roadside bomb in Iraq killed the Omaha man on June 27. As his family gathers to say goodbye to Jones, members of a Kansas church will protest nearby.

Unfortunately, the story of these protesters has come up more than once here in the Midwest.

The Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church said it plans to share its anti-gay message at Jones’ funeral. Westboro Church leaders feel God is killing U.S. soldiers for defending a nation that tolerates homosexuality.

Growing up Baptist, I am absolutely puzzled about this church group’s behavior and judgments. A man died fighting for the very freedoms they have to protest and speak out and they thank him by subjecting his grieving family and friends to their insulting remarks that don’t even apply to this man’s situation or circumstance. When will they understand that a funeral for a fallen soldier is about the fallen and not about their twisted cause? Never, of course, because to them it *is* about them.

With a new law in Nebraska requiring protests to remain 300 or more feet away from funeral services and a group planning to shield the family and friends from the protesters, my hope is that Jones’ family and friends will be allowed to honor him privately and with the respect and dignity he deserves.

At the same time, a group of bikers called the Patriot Guard said they planned to protect Jones’ family and shield them from the hateful words of protestors. More than 300 guard members plan to stand between the protesters and the church where the funeral will take place.

Guard members traveled to Omaha from Iowa, Minnesota and Kansas. Many of them are military veterans, like Cliff Leach. “Every time I do one of these it’s a Band-Aid on my heart,” Leach said.

Leach said the group’s mission is to support military families and give fallen soldiers the respect they’ve earned.

The Jones family is in my thoughts and prayers. My hope is that Westboro Baptist Church figures out that their prayers would be much more meaningful than their protests.


The Jawa Report linked with Today's Jawa Report Brought To You By The Number 300
Rachael Ray Daytime Talk Show

For my Rachael Ray fans…

Rachael Ray’s new daytime talk show will debut on September 18, 2006 according to the show’s website. The show is, of course, called “Rachael Ray.” Their tag line? Everyone needs a little R & R. The site is easy to navigate and will even tell you which channel and time her show will be on in your area. there are also pictures for those of you who always seek them!


Post-Independence Day Thoughts

Of course I know that the number one reason we celebrate Independence Day is to commemorate our freedom, those who fought for our freedom and those who continue to fight so we can have the gifts of freedom. I do think of those things on a daily basis, honestly. We usually celebrate the day with a cookout and fireworks, and this year was no different. We did the hamburger and brats thing, and I surprised the kiddies with this fun cake (which tasted awesome, by the way!):

Ain’t it cute? Look at the inside:

I love Jell-o and what it can do. :-)

We wrapped up the night with some fireworks. The neighborhood was illuminated with tons of fireworks, but we had a great show, too, including this big daddy finale, which was no less that 1 foot in diameter and close to 3 feet tall. Put it this way, I had a hard time carrying it outside!

Hubby said that watching the kids kinda brought him back to the past a bit, and I wouldn’t disagree. They had a great time and we’re ready for next year already! I won’t mention the 2 pitchers of mango fruity drinks I downed, either. Heh.


Happy Birthday, America!

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee,
across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,

From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA,
Well, there’s pride in every American heart,
and it’s time to stand and say:

I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.
~Lee Greenwood “God Bless the U.S.A.”

God Bless America! Happy Independence Day!

UPDATE: Something special, below the fold…(thanks Wild Thing!)

(more…)


Why Football is ALWAYS Better than Tennis

Without a doubt, football beats tennis any day of the week.

…or how about this?


…He May be Crazy, but We’re Running a Close Second!

So, Hubby shared his daring adventures in Orlando, riding the Sky Coaster and the Sling Shot. Do I think he’s crazy? Damn right I do. Every time I thought about getting on one of those rides, I kept pondering whether my life insurance would cover it. Heh.

While I didn’t ride those rides, our 8-year-old was tricked into interested in riding G-Force, which is styled after drag racing. It propelled us to 110+ MPH in under 2 seconds. I have to say it scared me plenty (mostly going through my head was…”um, are the breaks working?!?!?!?!?” It was actually quite awesome, only paling in comparison to the pumped up look on my son’s face!

This isn’t us, but it could have been!


I’d recommend this ride to anyone who has a soooper seeeekrit wish to drag race!


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