Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Last time the two had a "private suite" so they could stay together, and Casey got a "Sugar Cookie Bath" We have to do our part to help out the economy :) The consumption function says spending is good!
They even do a blog! Check out Jasper's (the sheltie) cute pics (Casey didn't go this day)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Charlie's war was the catalyst that brought down the Soviet Empire in the 80's. It was a relatively small war between Afghanistan and the Soviets, but such an important one.
"That was the experience that will always be seared in my memory, was going through those hospitals and seeing, especially those children with their hands blown off from the mines that the Soviets were dropping from their helicopters. That was perhaps the deciding thing... and it made a huge difference for the next 10 or 12 years of my life because I left those hospitals determined, as long as I had a breath in my body and was a member in Congress, that I was going to do what I could to make the Soviets pay for what they were doing!"
Charlie Wilson led the largest ever covert CIA operation in US history. Appropriating enough money and weapons to the Afghans that they were able to successfully defeat a super power.
What happened after the war was won is something Charlie regrets even today. We just left. We left a broken country that had no leadership but many weapons of war. The appropriating committee was no longer willing to give money to Afghanistan once the war was over.
In his own words "These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world... and then we f'd up the endgame."
Charlie Wilson has a great respect for the Afghans and called them the bravest, fiercest fighters he had ever seen. He also said that what we need to remember is that 2/3 of the Afghans are with us. 2/3's of the Afghans also want Al-Qaeda out of their country. Although it is terrorist groups from this country that were responsible for 9/11 there is some thought to be given to the fact that the groups developed as a result of leaving a country broken and defenseless after they fought a war that ended decades of communist rule from the Soviet empire.
He believes that we should stay in Afghanistan and rid the country of the terrorists that now hide there.
People like Charlie Wilson are so intriguing to me. They are reckless, the kind of reckless that can produce amazing things.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
One of the things that made it even more fabulous was that we were able to go to a members only event. So instead of having to see the exhibit with hundreds of other people there were only about twenty people in the entire exhibit with us at Tut After Dark. We were able to really take our time and get up close and personal with the tomb artifacts.
One of our best purchases this year has been becoming a member of the Dallas Museum of Art. The perks with a membership are great. At the Tut exhibit for instance not only do you get a semi-private viewing but there are also hor d'ourves and a cash bar so afterwards you can have a glass of wine and discuss the exhibit. They also have the option of seeing a movie at the museum with this event. Throughout the year when new exhibits come in you get the same private viewings and sometimes the artist is in attendance. Since I am not a crowd person at all, it makes my museum experience very valuable. Check out membership to your local museum!
On this particular night I thought about my girl Kylie alot, with the Chihuly's in the atrium and remembering her dream to become an egyptoligist :) Had to get you a present! I'll put in the mail asap and love ya.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I chose Mint
All you have to do is enter your username and password for any account you want to keep up with checking, savings, credit cards, investments etc. You can then set up a budget under any category, many of which they already have or you can enter your own. And it is FREE!
What I like about it is it will send you an email or phone alert when you go over budget on something or when a payment is due. It also pulls your spending into categories and shows you where you are spending the most money. For instance "food and dining" if you click on that it will show all transactions related like the grocery store, dining out etc. You can compare your spending from month to month.
One concern of course was the safety of online budgeting. But this is safer than shopping online. Your banking information is not stored on this site and no money can be transferred or moved by using this site, unlike sites where you shop online and they store your credit card information. Here is more in depth information about safety http://www.mint.com/privacy/
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
-- 4:15 PM ET-----
Stocks Fall Sharply on Fears of Deepening Recession
As hope for an emergency bailout faded Wednesday for American automakers, shares on Wall Street began to slide. The DowJones industrial average was down 427.47 points, or 5percent, settling below 8,000, while the broader Standard &Poor's 500-stock index was 6.1 percent lower. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index was down 6.5 percent
See post below for relevancy.
Now lawmakers will feel pressure to stop the Wall Street madness and they will bailout the auto makers anyway. No congressman wants the label of the one who tanked the economy.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
GM (GM, Fortune 500) has about 120,000 U.S. employees. Ford (F, Fortune 500) has about 80,000 and closely-held Chrysler LLC has about 66,000.
In addition, the three automakers have about 14,000 U.S. dealerships that between them employ another 740,000 workers.
The suppliers used by the Big Three also employ an estimated 610,000 people.
Add that up and you have more than 1.6 million jobs tied to the auto industry.
We know that our current economy can not absorb 1.6 million jobs, an excellent economy couldn't do that.
-So lets do the math......
- 1.6 million jobs and lets say that there is an after tax average of each worker making 40k/yr.
- With unemployment you get ~60% of your salary and let's just say for 1 year , which is 24,000
For a grand total of $38,400,000,000 in unemployment pay tied to the auto industry alone.
This is not including other government needs like medicaid for those that no longer have nor can afford health insurance.
This is not including a trickle down effect that will happen to the suppliers of the auto makers, the business in the town that these plants are located in. The towns and states depend on the tax revenue. The aftermath of letting the big 3 automakers go under will cost taxpayers exponentially more than a 25 billion dollar loan. Not to mention that this will again send panic through Wall Street and the financial markets.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
That did not happen however in June a video of a supposed meeting with Fidel and Chavez was released and this week a picture of Fidel meeting with a church official was released.
But I want you to look at them....and the difference in Castro in both. The first one released in June is of a thin man with almost white hair. Then the pic last week it seems Castro has put on a lot of weight and his hair got much darker! Something isn't adding up. Not to mention I can't believe that this media loving leader who would give speeches to the public that would last for hours, would not be out and about if he was able.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7729254.stm - November
You can look up just about any food that you might eat including restaurant meals. You can enter everything you ate in a day or just an individual food and it will tell you not only calories, fat and carbs but also the vitamin content. What you will learn is that no matter how healthy you think you are eating you probably need to take that daily vitamin. These features are under "MY ND"
You can also enter recipe ingredients and find out calories per serving. For instance I make these chicken enchiladas that I made up the ingredients to and I found out that they are only 98 calories per enchilada! However, I also discovered that no matter how hard I try I almost never get enough calcium without a supplement.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Because I am going to teach someone how to read.
I am excited about this opportunity. I was looking for volunteer opportunities in Plano and ran across Literacy for Life. One of my favorite things to do is read and I just couldn't imagine not being able to do it. So I decided I would dedicate a Saturday to learn and 2 hours a week with a student and teach them how to do something I treasure. I haven't met my student yet but I know she is a 36 yr old woman who wants to learn to read so that she can help her young daughter in school. I hope I am successful.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
While I will not tell you who to vote for, I will ask one thing. Please do not chose your candidate based on what your friends or significant other say, or information in emails forwarded to you (it is usually false information). And certainly do not base your vote on what the television says! Take just a few minutes to read about each candidate and what it is they are trying to do with our nation.
Something I think all should consider.....even though I am still not telling you who to vote for.....you should consider history.
The longest reign of peace and prosperity, with a balanced budget and federal surplus came from former President Bill Clinton
When Clinton took office from Bush Sr. the economy was headed south and Bush Sr. had driven the national debt higher than any other president in history. (only to be topped later by his son) http://www.lafn.org/gvdc/Natl_Debt_Chart.html
So don't let anyone tell you that Bush Sr. set Clinton up for success or that Clinton set Bush Jr up for failure. After 8 years your successes and failures are your own.
And finally, you know what situation we are in today with the economy. So I voted Thursday for the candidate that I believe will bring back that peace and prosperity that we enjoyed under Clinton.
Either way VOTE
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
We did pumpkins this weekend! Shawn carved, I painted and pinned. I think fall is my favorite season for sure. Also, I have probably blogged about it before but you have to get some Blue Moon Brewery, Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale. It's seasonal and sells out fast! I was so excited I loaded up the shopping cart. Last year when I discovered it I only got a few six packs and never saw it again on the shelf.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
read more here
Sunday, October 5, 2008
SEC. 211. TRANSPORTATION FRINGE BENEFIT TO BICYCLE COMMUTERS.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Paragraph (1) of section 132(f) is amended by adding at the end the following:''(D) Any qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement.''.
b) LIMITATION ON EXCLUSION.—Paragraph (2) of section 132(f) is amended by striking ''and'' at the end of subparagraph (A), by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (B) and inserting '',and'', and by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:''(C) the applicable annual limitation in the case of any qualifiedbicycle commuting reimbursement.''.(c) DEFINITIONS.—Paragraph (5) of section 132(f) is amended by adding at the end the following:''
(F) DEFINITIONS RELATED TO BICYCLE COMMUTING REIMBURSEMENT.—''(i) QUALIFIED BICYCLE COMMUTING REIMBURSEMENT.—The term 'qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement' means, with respect to any calendar year, any employer reimbursement during the 15-month period beginning with the first day of such calendar year for reasonable expenses incurred by the employee during such calendar year for the purchase ofa bicycle and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage, if such bicycle is regularly used for travel between the employee's residence and place of employment.''
(ii) APPLICABLE ANNUAL LIMITATION.—The term 'applicable annual limitation' means, with respect to any employee for any calendar year, the product of $20 multiplied by the number of qualified bicycle commuting months during such year.''
(iii) QUALIFIED BICYCLE COMMUTING MONTH.—The term 'qualified bicycle commuting month' means, with respect to any employee, any month during which such employee—''(I) regularly uses the bicycle for a substantial portion of the travel between the employee's residence and place of employment, and ''(II) does not receive any benefit described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph(1).''
(d) CONSTRUCTIVE RECEIPT OF BENEFIT.—Paragraph (4) of section 132(f)is amended by inserting ''(other than a qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement)'' after ''qualified transportation fringe''.
(e) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2008.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 slices mozzarella cheese
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate. Place the ground turkey, onion, cilantro, chipotle chile pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, and black pepper in a mixing bowl; mix well. Form into 4 patties.
Cook the hamburgers on the preheated grill until the turkey is no longer pink in the center, about 4 minutes per side. Place the mozzarella slices on the patties 2 minutes before they are ready. Serve on the toasted buns.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
2 cans kidney beans (don't drain)
2cans black beans (don't drain)
1 can 7oz diced green chilis
1 cup frozen corn OR 1 can corn
1/2 onion diced (we like onion so go by your own taste)
1pkg taco seasoning
1pkg ranch dressing mix
1lb ground turkey OR beef
Cook ground meet as usual in a pan, then combine all ingredients in large pot stir well and simmer for 30-45 minutes stirring every 10 minutes or so. Judge the consistency, you made need to add a cup of water to the soup while simmering.
Great when eaten over tortilla chips and topped with grated cheese.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
I am posting this in hopes that some of my friends will be booking hotel rooms too! I am giving you almost an entire year to plan :) http://www.jdvhotels.com/drisco/ Stay here..it's only five blocks from Fillmore.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I asked Shawn to bring me some eye drops. He replied in all seriousness....we're not eye drop people. Which made me laugh hard enough to bring the needed teardrop. And he's right I don't believe I have ever in my life purchased eye drops.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
And there is a great need for coffee on these trips. Not the stomach ripping gas station coffee but a nice civilized non fat white chocolate mocha or on a hot day a non fat iced caramel macchiatto.
To my great delight sometime last year a Starbucks opened in McAlister, OK and exit 5 off I-40 (possibly Van Buren but I am not sure it is actually in the city limits.
To my great despair today I found out the Van Buren store had closed and the McAlister store is set to close the end of September.
I found great comfort in the Starbucks green (which is now sometimes brown). Not only for the coffee but for a reasonably clean restroom. I am mourning the loss of my comfortable starbucks but I must figure out what to do before the next trip because I have actually been frightened in certain locations that I tried to stop for coffee or a restroom.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
1 tbsp of fat free cream cheese
1/2 banana sliced very thin
sprinkle of cinnamon
little bit of powdered sugar
Place your crepe on wax paper or foil so it won't stick. Use a butter knife to spread cream cheese thinly over your crepe then put the thin sliced bananas on top ( I would recommend putting them on in straight lines, it helps make the rolling up easier. Sprinkle cinnamon to taste. Roll them up, place on foil and put in the oven until golden brown. I had mine at 300, but who knows? Take them out and sprinkle powdered sugar on top and enjoy!
Best part....Crepe 50 cal 1g fat, Fat free cream cheese 1tbsp 15 cal 0g fat, 1/2 banana 50 cal 0g fat. Oh yeah for a grand total of 100 calories and 1 g fat!!!!
I have been using this great site for a while where you can find the nutritional value of just about anything, right down to the vitamins. http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2
Monday, July 7, 2008
Most of it is finished, there is some trim to finish and we still need to get a shower door as well as towels and decor. I know I am putting it off...the doors have to be custom glass and I just got a shower curtain which is the "oh it's temporary....that turns into 6 months. It was not an enjoyable experience and I totally dread doing the other bathroom and kitchen. I do wish I had a before picture and I think Shawn's mom does. Imagine beige porcelain tile, white ugly tile in the shower oh and a tiny tiny door, we knocked out the entire wall in front of the shower. Imagine white cabinets almost the length of the wall with a countertop from the late seventies early eighties (gold swirly stuff in it) and ugly ugly brass fixtures on everything.
With this being my first remodeling experience I didn't realize 1. that everything is twice as expensive as you think it might be and 2. you have to pick out so much stuff!~wall color, sink fixtures, shower fixtures, lights, tile, toilet aggghhhhhhhhh
We had a great time the whole week, Shawn's parents met us at the house when we got in on Sunday and we had a great lunch. Then the week was in full swing, Trevor went to a summer day camp and loved it. I loved it too, there is nothing sweeter than riding in the car every morning and afternoon with a little boy that tells you he loves you to space and forever. But we were so busy I didn't get many pictures which I regret!
But I did get some at the airport, I took Trevor on his first plane ride from Dallas to Little Rock where we met up with mom and Jaime, Steph and Liv. Then Sunday Mom, Trevor and I had a great breakfast with Katie at Ozark something something.....Great chocolate chip pancakes!
Monday, June 16, 2008
And we brought Trevor home with us for a week. He is going to day camp, which should be a blast for him and is going to have his first plane ride next weekend when he and I will head to Little Rock to meet up with mom and spend some time with the girls once again!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Shower in progress, travertine tile and some drywall
Casey getting away from the stress of it all.
I'll post more when I have time to breathe in between picking out tile, vanities, shower heads, faucets, toilets and paint colors.
Monday, April 28, 2008
The wedding was beautiful. Among other cool things like speaking six languages, Joe has been knighted by the Vatican and had the required attire including a sword at his hip. Then off to the dinner at the Presidio officer's club. Joe is Portuguese and has recently moved to Brazil so we had wonderful Brazilian cuisine for appetizers and Caipirinha's!
Friday, April 25, 2008
DECLARATIONS By PEGGY NOONAN
America is in line at the airport. America has its shoes off, is carrying a rubberized bin, is going through a magnetometer. America is worried there is fungus on the floor after a million stockinged feet have walked on it. But America knows not to ask. America is guilty until proved innocent, and no one wants to draw undue attention. America left its ticket and passport in the jacket in the bin in the X-ray machine, and is admonished. America is embarrassed to have put one one-ounce moisturizer too many in the see-through bag. America is irritated that the TSA agent removed its mascara, opened it, put it to her nose, and smelled it. Why don't you put it up your nose and see if it explodes? America thinks.
America makes it through security, gets to the gate, waits. The TV monitor is on. It is Wolf Blitzer. He is telling us with a voice of urgency of the Pennsylvania returns. But no one looks up. We are a nation of Willie Lomans, dragging our rollies through acres of airport, going through life with a suitcase and a slack jaw, trying to get home after a long day of meetings, of moving product.
And, as always: Why do we do this when you know I am not a terrorist, and you know I know you know I am not a terrorist? Why this costly and harassing kabuki when we both know the facts, and would agree that all this harassment is the government's way of showing "fairness," of showing that it will equally humiliate anyone in order to show its high-mindedness and sense of justice? Our politicians congratulate themselves on this as we stand in line.
All the frisking, beeping and patting down is demoralizing to our society. It breeds resentment, encourages a sense that the normal are not in control, that common sense is yesterday. Another thing: It reduces the status of that ancestral arbiter and leader of society, the middle-aged woman. In the new fairness, she is treated like everyone, without respect, like the loud ruffian and the vulgar girl on the phone. The middle-aged woman is the one spread-eagled over there in the delicate shell beneath the removed jacket, praying nothing on her body goes beep and makes people look.
No one in crowded gate 14 looks up to see what happened in Pennsylvania. No one. Wolf talks to the air. Gate 14 is small-town America, a mix, a group of people of all classes and races brought together and living in close proximity until the plane is called, and America knows what Samuel Johnson knew. "How small of all that human hearts endure / That part which laws or kings can cause or cure."Gate 14 doesn't think any one of the candidates is going to make their lives better. Gate 14 will vote anyway, because they know they are the grownups of America and must play the role and do the job.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
So I end up on a different road and I call the office to get some directions there are two or three other roads I am going to have to connect to now to get to my meeting.
Well after some wrong directions and alot of driving I end up about miles past my meeting and many many more miles from Dallas :) If you go from right to left the orange stickers show where I started, where I was supposed to be and where I ended up. Thanks to my colleagues I have this nice map to commemorate the trip, labled "Scarlette travels DFW" :) It was waiting for me at my desk the next day.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
This one is by far my favorite, it was a good enough resolution to have printed in 14X18
Monday, March 24, 2008
There wasn't a moment of silence when we were all together, it was so fun to catch up. The disappointing part is somehow I didn't take any pictures.....uggh I hate it when that happens! That's ok though, we are going to plan another trip soon and I'll take bunches.
Love you both, and I cant' wait to see you again!
Monday, March 10, 2008
Jaime picked me up and the best part was Livia running to greet me as I came off the plane. Nothing better than a sweet little girl running to you with her arms stretched wide :)
We met up with my Mom, "giggle" finally :) I was excited to see her and excited for Liv and Trevor to get to see each other. He hasn't seen her since her first birthday and still talks about Livia, I hope they grow up to be friends like Jaims and I.
Saturday was a wonderful day filled with time spent with Steph , Jaime and the kiddos. Saturday when mom and I went to dinner, I ran into Lauren, who I hadn't seen since I moved. After two years away, going to Little Rock is like going back home, everything is familiar and comfortable....I just love it.
Sufficient Grounds (I don't care what they call it now)