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All About Merri and Her Musings

I’m not the best at talking about myself, but readers have asked the all important question “who the hell *are* you and why do you have a blog, anyway?!?!?” While this entry will likely keep morphing, here’s some fast facts about me and my musings.

1. I’m 39. I was, and still am, a child of the 80s. Chances are, I can tell you who sang a song in the 80s, sing you most of the words, and tell you what fashion item was in style when that song was in the top 40.

2. I was born and raised in a small town outside of Omaha, Nebraska and have never left this part of the country, although moved to the “big city” of Omaha some time ago. How did we get here? My dad was in the Air Force 21 years and had been stationed here a number of times. They decided to retire here as it was half way between Mom’s roots in New Mexico and Dad’s in Michigan.

3. I’m happily married for 10 years to Vinnie at Vince Aut Morire. We met on America Online, but ours is a story purely of fate. Through our happenstance meeting on AOL, we discovered we lived in the same city, same apartment complex, two doors down from one another. He’s the guy I had also flipped off because he almost creamed my car in the parking lot. …and yes, he remembered!

4. We have two wonderful children…a son who will be 11 in September and a daughter who will was 7 on May Day. Our lives have never been the same, thank God! Our first-born was a preemie, but we were extraordinarily blessed to bring him home after only 11 days in the NICU. Our daughter was quite timely, born exactly on her due date! Both of them are amazing - I can’t get over how smart our son is and how entertaining our daughter is. I predict, however, if there are broken bones to be had, our daughter will be at the finish line first. They are the center of my life!

5. We also have a house full of pets. Three dogs, two African Grey Parrots and a ball python snake. Well, the snake really belongs to “the boys.” They don’t scare me…it’s kind of like the Discovery Channel around here.

6. We like to go boating, tubing, jetskiing, etc. We have a boat and several tubes. I think we enjoy boating…it seems the boat costs us money but we don’t use it much. I recommended selling it, but hubby tells me we’ll use it again. Someday???

7. We also like to take yearly vacations. We’ve recently (in the past few summers) been to Orlando, Vegas (hubby and I for our delayed honeymoon) Lake of the Ozarks (in Missouri), Sarasota and the Black Hills of South Dakota. This year we are meandering around the Midwest - Chicago, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Let’s just hope gas isn’t $5.00 a gallon by July!

8. I lost my mom to lung cancer a few years ago. She had been sick a very long time between cancer and heart disease. I miss Mom terribly. Dad, while he still misses Mom, is doing great and has even found some companionship! A lot of lives changed the day she left us for Heaven!

9. I work for a major internet company as an outsourcing manager. I’ve been there quite a while. I love what I do and love the company! It will be interesting to see what the next 5-10 years bring. The internet is an amazing thing!

10. The internet. Why do I blog? Interesting story! I worked an alternate shift for quite a while so my kids could stay home versus daycare while they were very young. When I got a day shift, I missed my hubby as he was always reading, typing, and laughing in front of his computer. He was blogging and had met some interesting folks out in the ’sphere. In order to see what this was all about, thought I’d give it a try. I didn’t think I had much to say, but really liked Rachael Ray and thought it would be fun to have a website about Rachael Ray and then I could post recipes of my own or hers with my own spin on them as needed. My first site was called Rachael Ray Redux.

11. Why the change to Merri Musings? Well, let’s just say I found out that I had more to say than I thought. While I continue to talk about Rachael Ray, I continue to post recipes on occasion, there are other topics of interest that just didn’t fit with a Rachael Ray themed site. Merri Musings was inspired from that. A little play on my name, Merri, and musings to represent all of the things I wanted to say.

12. What, exactly, am I passionate about? Let’s see….

13. I’m Republican, although I first registered as an Independent (one step away from my Democratic parents. Heh.

14. I’m pro-life, whether you speak about abortion or right-to-life cases that we’ve seen within the last year. I also think the father of a child should have a say in what happens to his child. I don’t think it is only a woman who should choose whether they should get an abortion or not - she wasn’t the only one involved in creating life.

15. Except if you kill someone. Then I’m pro-death. While I believe in due process and a fair trial, I do think it’s a waste of space to house someone who will 1) never come back into society again 2) caused another person or people to die and was found guilty (and/or admitted guilt) and 3) should be an example in an effort to deter such crimes in others.

16. I cannot stand the ACLU. The founding principle was sound, but anyone who supports NAMbLA, hates the Boy Scouts, hates Christians and comes to the defense of sex offenders and other similar heathens has lost all credibility to me.

17. Sex offenders…rapists, child molesters. Those who end up back in society should be no where near our kids. In most cases they end up back in prison because they’ve harmed another person or another child. I agree with the registries, but more needs to be done. Or the penalties for the crimes should be stiffened. These people shouldn’t be walking the streets.

18. Child murderers, especially those who murder their own children, should all be put to death immediately and in a fashion similar to their victims if I had my way. They do not deserve to breathe the air they chose to take from innocent kids. I personally do not care if the words “mental illness” come up. They are still dangerous and should not be given a break. You cannot tell me that a person who chooses to murder another human being is completely sane, anyway.

19. People. I’m passionate about people. I love people and at the same time many drive me crazy. Us human beings can do amazing things (cures for disease, medications to slow down cancer, take care of hurricane victims or victims of other disasters such as 9/11) but at the same time some do stupid stuff (Cindy Sheehan, Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore, Paris Hilton, Obamatard) and earn lots of money doing it. This all fascinates me.

20. I’m proud to be American. I stand behind our troops during war and think the war on terror is the one choice we were forced to make in order to keep our country free ultimately. Is it an easy choice? Hell no. But neither was any other war. 9/11 will be burned into my mind forever. When you have a 4-year-old wondering who Osama Bin Laden is and whether he was going to send a bomb to kill us, it makes you solid in your resolve to purge such filth from existence.

21. Yes, I’ve been passionate about Rachael Ray, and cooking in general. I found her when I worked nights. I didn’t have a lot of time to watch TV during the day, and there really wasn’t much on, so I got hooked on the Food Network. I really like Alton Brown and Tyler Florence as well, but there were a lot of concepts I learned from Rachael Ray in order to speed up my cooking. I’ve cooked all of my life and she just “fit in.” Yes, there was a lot of luck and fate involved in her being discovered. But look what she has accomplished! I know some hate her, but I find it hard to understand why other than sheer jealousy. I own her knives (although her original Wusthofs are my favorite), I subscribe to her magazine, I still TIVO her shows, I own almost all of her cookbooks and I use EVOO, and some of her cookware. I get the most hits on my site by men looking for her photo spread in FHM. I think it’s funny that some think *I’M* Rachael Ray. Boy - if only for a day…how fun would *that* be?

22. On a side note, as Rachael Ray’s talk show is in its second year, I’m discovering more and more that she’s a screaming liberal. I’m getting a bit disappointed in that. Vegan meals, partnering with Bill Clinton with charity work, her constant barrage of “living green” is all getting a little old.

Anyway…that’s enough for now. I may add more later. If there’s anything you want to know about me, don’t be afraid to ask. I may just add it here!

Richard said:

I think that is so cool how you met Vinnie. I enjoy the stuff on the Jawa site and he always posts some good things. I get a lot of comfort knowing there are people out there like me! It's easy to feel like the world is becoming a cesspool (as my posts on Jawa will attest), but there are lots of intelligent and thoughtful people too. It gives me hope for the future of this country.

Glad I found your site (of course Vinnie linked it)!

Your About Me could have matched my own except I didn't write mine down. I am about 24 years older than you, but our ideals are the same.

Robin Mathew said:

So what about an Iraqi child wondering who the hell George Bush is and why he bombed his house killing all his family members. Doesn't that child s parents deserve the right to live?
Probably not since he is not American right. Lets go ahead and nuke the whole world yay!!! Earth is for the Americans........Hooray

Merri said:

Obviously you haven't seen the thousands of pictures of Iraqi children with smiles on their faces as they interact with our troops, knowing that their country becomes safer every day, that their family won't be drug out of their beds in the middle of the night and beheaded for no good reason. You, Robin, haven't a clue.

SSgt Terranova said:

Well, I was reading your views on the world, etc. and for the most part, I will agree with you 100%. However, I think that most of the U.S. has been misinformed about the "War" in Iraq. People here will only see the photos and comments that the media allows you to see. I have seen the truth over there and that is the only way that you can see it.

There are Iraqi children, familys, men and woman who honest to god hate us just for being there. We as humans, hate what we fear and yes, we have been told to fear Iraq and all muslims. We can go ahead and say that we don't, but inside, would you be willing to go spend a week or two with a Muslim family over there? Probably not.

We are free to say what we like or dislike, we are free to pretty much live the way we prefer - but those people have also been able to live the way they prefer for thousands of years. I will also say that we would like every country to become just like to U.S. because we are perfect. Never mind the fact that we do let child killers and rapists walk after their "punishment" that we deemed necessary. Never mind that we have millions of people starving and millions that cannot afford healthcare for themselves or familys (children included). Never mind that we feel it necessary to send our children who just graduated (in most cases) from high school and basic training at the ripe old age of 17, 18 and 19 to a foreign country to be slaughtered - these are the ones on the front lines, not the middle aged man.

I hate to be bitter about this whole thing, I do appreciate sites like your's, but we Americans need to know and see the truth before jumping to conclusions. We need to learn to wipe our own as!@s before we try to clean up someone elses.

Staff Sergeant Terranova
U.S. Army - Aviation

Mitch said:

I hear that Rachel Ray's marriage is in trouble. Maybe I should ditch my wife of 25 yrs. and take my chances with her. If she can cook, too... bonus! Great! But who cares? Take-out!
JK! :lol:

Excellent blog , btw.

Merri said:

I heard that too, but in the National Inquirer....I think you'd be better off with your wife....just sayin'! ;-)

R. Brady said:

TO ROBIN MATTHEW: You have major attitude problems. If you don't like America, you have 100's of choices. There are many countries where you can move yourself. We don't need the likes of you. Our troops are putting their lives on the line for Iraqi children.

Dustin said:

I have spent so much time on this site since I discovered it 24 hours ago. Excellent blog site! Thanks Merri

Katie said:

I'd like to start to do more to fight the war on pedophiles and child exploitation in general. Do you know of any good organizations that I can join? Like when some asshole spams me with child porn (no idea how they got my yahoo address) who can I report it to besides the police? The police are great and all but isn't there some reputable website that I can just dump the link on so that it can be investigated? I don't always have time to sit on the phone for half an hour trying to file a report and sadly I do have to use the term "Always" because I come across this garbage so often.

Merri said:


Start with the Cybertipline: ... It's a good place to send that kind of garbage.

Thanks for stopping by!

M said:

While i do see what you mean by being a pro=death person in the event of a murder, you have to understand it costs on average 11 million to put one person to death, and about 1 million to support them (this being the 'average' life sentence). Unless you're going to take them out behind the jail, and put a .33 bullet between their eyes: it doesn't really pan out.

Otherwise, I love this post.

Kerry said:


I was enjoying reading your bio until it got progressively more rigid, ultra right wing and disturbing. Wow. There really are people like you in this country. Please, whatever you do, stay here in America and cook, blog, etc....but please, don't ever travel abroad. That would be really bad news for all of us.

Kindest regards,


Merri said:


Yes, at least 50 percent of America is like me. A conservative. Far from disturbing....what, are you upset that I don't care for Rachael Ray like I used to? That I don't care for this new administration? Isn't it nice that we live in a country that allows us to have our own opinions?

No one says you have to read my blog, that has been on hiatus for quite some time. Now, run off and hold your hands out - I'll bet you are waiting for Obama's golden unicorn to poop skittles at ya!

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