Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

From Ben Stein

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary. (I am putting it here because I think it has merit).

My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham 's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina ).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem ( Dr. Spock 's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace. Are you laughing yet? Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it.... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.
My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

oh the joy

Well- looks like I need to find $446.00 a month for insurance. They won't cover me.

Just another perk of life right now.

I'm glad I have coverage- just sucks that you must pretty much lie or twist the truth (see I learned) to the insurance company to get better coverage.

On the upside- my kid is healthy and I am too. I just need to figure out how to pay for the insurance this month, along with all my other bills.

Guess I'll figure it out- but good grief- the stress levels....

Monday, December 14, 2009

When it rains it pours

Well, first, no word on the job I interview for last Monday. She seemed very impressed with me and I really thought I had a chance. She said she'd get back to me probably at the end of last week. Nothing heard yet.

Second, I got a bill for blood work at the hospital totalling almost $700.00. Luckily they were able to modify it to $260.00- the downside- I have to pay it by the end of the month. Tough, but I can do it.

Third, car insurance. 1996 piece of crap car with over 130,000 miles costs $254.00 to insure for 6 months. Oh boy! Let's get into that nest egg you managed to save last year and spend even more.

The piece de resistance though- I tried to upgrade insurance and they say they'll cover the Pipsqueak- but won't cover me. If I can't get it resolved - I need to come up with $446.00 a month to keep my current insurance.

That's a week of subbing (in the highest paying district) And since you're paid bi-monthly as a sub I'd have one check and less than half of the other to live on.

ARGH! Stop the world I want to get off!

I'm sure it could be worse- though I don't want it to be. I'd just like it to not be so damned hard all the time.

Friday, November 20, 2009


As for the previous post... I posted it only because I don't feel the government has the right to tell women (or anyone) what they can or cannot do in regards to their own bodies (health care).

It doesn't matter what I would do or what my beliefs are- what does matter is that the Stupak Admendment is trying to take away my right and the right of every other woman in this country on what they could do if faced with perhaps the most difficult decision of their lives.

Protect Women's Reproductive Rights: Strike Down Stupak!

Note: As I am putting this post together, I am getting news that the new senate bill doesn't include Stupak language.That could change any moment. We need to keep up the pressure.

Just as the country is on the brink of making a crucial and historic overhaul of our health care system, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) forced a poison pill into the House health care reform bill. The Stupak amendment would bar coverage for abortion under any plans that use federal funding. It would be the most far-reaching abortion restriction in decades – more severe than the Hyde Amendment.

Millions of women who have access to abortion services would no longer have it. Women receiving tax subsidies could not even use their own money to purchase private insurance that covers abortion. In most cases, low-income women would have NO ACCESS AT ALL to abortion services.

If the bill passes with the Stupak amendment, it would break President Obama’s promise that women would not be harmed by health care reform. Women would be worse off than they are today.

We cannot let this stand, and our window to do anything about it is closing fast:

Please call Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and let them know you want the anti-choice Stupak amendment stripped from the health care reform bill!

1) Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office: 202-224-3841 (To e-mail Sen. Feinstein, follow this link: )

2) Sen. Barbara Boxer’s office: 202-224-3553 (To e-mail Sen. Boxer, follow this link )For more information about the Stupak amendment, go to:

Please help us save health care reform and make sure women are not left out! Your calls are what make the difference!

Note: This post was written by CityMama's friend Sue Hutchison, Communications Director/Writing Specialist at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, San Jose CA.
She has graciously allowed CityMama to reprint it and hopes that YOU WILL, TOO. If you've wanted to blog about this important issue but haven't had the time to put your thoughts down--here you go! Please cut, copy, and paste the above post into your emails, Facebook notes, and blog posts. Tell all your like-minded friends to do the same. We must strike down the Stupak Amendment and its anti-women's reproductive rights language.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Life Sucks

No job yet. My old job opened up and she gave it to a guy. Yup- a student teacher last year... but he can pee standing up so therefore he must the right candidate for the job. Talk about being ticked off.

Right now I'm on almost every subbing list in the area and will be on every subbing list come Friday I hope.

No jobs yet- but hopefully the swine flu will hit and I'll be busy busy. Or maybe some pregnant lady will decide to take all year off and I can be a long term sub. Anything to bring money in.

Other than that I'm trying recipes out of the book "Cook yourself Thin". The show is on Lifetime-an import from England and so far I've liked everything I've tried- as has most of the family.

The biggest hit was sweet and sour pork. Making it this week with beef. We had crunchy chicken fingers tonight, and spaghetti carbonara last night. Even has recipes for deserts and breakfasts. All recipes are easy and fast. My kind of recipe.

Nothing much happening here. Better head out though- I'm going to try and post again on a more regular basis.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July Already?

Sheesh. I can't seem to get this blogging thing going. We spent the 4th weekend at the lake and except for the last day- it wasn't too much fun. Cold, rainy, icky.

The Pipsqueak has a loose tooth that is really causing her pain, and we were up a lot last night because of it.

Nothing on the job front yet. I'm scared and know I need to fill out aps in other districts- but just don't want to. Guess I need to do that this week and just get stuff in order. Let's hope I'm able to be called back.

My tomato and pepper plants seem okay for now. Not sure how they'll do in the end- but there is one teeny tiny pepper on the plant. Hopefully, more will follow as will the tomatoes.

Better head out and am going to try to get the blog posts from my head onto the computer from now on.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

June Already?

F0r the one or two readers I may or may no longer have... Sheesh- it's been a rough month or so.

Still no job, but I have a few leads in another district- but pay is much lower and not sure if it's enough to live on.

Meanwhile, the Pipsqueak and I went to the zoo recently and saw some amazing animals. Including lions, zebras, and hyenas... Oh my!

I'm still trying to be optimistic- so I am house hunting... Let's just hope I am able to find one and purchase before the new year. I want that tax credit!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

More Pink

Looks like I was wrong about the call back list. With the type of contract I had- I'm basically on the bottom of pond and let's "Hope to goodness" you get called back.

I was so angry last week- to the point of spitting nails. My administrator should have known this- but she seemed as shocked as I was. Meanwhile, I've submitted my letter of interest, gone to the union rep, and will be trying to get in touch with HR head until I do reach her. I have a few questions.

Why can't it ever be easy?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Feeling Pink

Yup. I've been pink slipped. Ugh! I'm on the recall list though- so I'm hoping an ESL job will become available next year and I can do that. I love teaching ESL and really want to stay in that area.

If not, well- I'll teach anything for a year just to stay in the district.

I was out car hunting recently as I desperately need a new vehicle and think I've found what I want- I'm just afraid to buy without the contract.

Why can't life ever be simple?

On the upside- we went to the Indian restaurant last weekend to celebrate the Pipsqueak's homecoming and adoption day. Her homecoming day and adoption day are on the same day- but a year apart.

My mother went with us- only the 2nd time she's had Indian food (and a diff. place). She seemed to like what she had. We got the buffet and my child again gorged on chicken tikka masala, lamb gorma, tandori chicken, chickeny birayni, rice, and naan. She couldn't even finish her desert. She loves the golub ?? (can't remember name or spelling) but only could manage a bite. The desert looks like donut holes- but they are soaked in rose water I think.

All in all it was a great day.

Now- let's just hope I've got that contract in May.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Indian night

Well, it finally happened. I managed to cook an Indian dish that tasted "right" and didn't cause us to run from the kitchen and immediately order pizza.

Using a paste from Sukhi brand, I made Chicken Tikka Masala. The Pipsqueak loved it and is looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow. We couldn't find Naan bread so we used pita bread that I heated in the pan and had rice to finish the meal.

Finally- a hit from my daughter's birth heritage. Makes me feel better knowing I can cook at least 1 Indian dish as easily as I can cook German, Japanese, Italian, and Mexican food.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One more thing

Why oh why did they let Aretha ruin such a beautiful song in that way?

She has a great voice- use it- don't screech it.

No words

Okay- we got a new President today. I'm not overexcited by any means. Yes, I'm still holding a Hillary grudge.

Also- is anyone else bothered by the fact that everywhere we look it's "The first black president"? Wrong! He is bi-racial. Is this not denying that his mother is white? Aren't we "forgetting" that half of him that isn't African?

With all that is said for children (especially transracially adopted kids) to come to terms with their ethnic identities -especially when raised by white people- I would think that O*bama would want to acknowledge all of himself. Not just the half that got him elected.

Yup- Hillary grudge still intact.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I really hate dealing with people sometimes. I hate living in a house that also houses my parents and my sibling.

When ordering pizza and garlic bread from a local establishment you expect your order. Nope- brought garlic sticks. My kid wanted a garlic stick, badly. We called to get the bread and our change (the sticks cost more) and asked what to do with the sticks. The kid answering the phone said- keep them, I guess. The manager said- no- they have to give them back.

Hello! They can't resell the food- it was their mistake... but give them back. What are they going to do with them? Toss them or more than likely eat the sticks themselves.

Poor customer service and they wonder why I don't order from them much. Meanwhile the bread/sticks debaucle cause a huge uproar because my 8 year old really wanted the sticks and the bread was ordered for an adult (my sibling) who needed it because of his medical status.

What a suck a** night. And to top it off- my kid got her feelings hurt and wouldn't eat the pizza my mom ordered for her- so my mom gets ticked off about "wasting money".


Friday, January 16, 2009


Anna Mae He Update
For anyone interested- there is the latest news involving the Chinese-American child who was raised by one family for almost 8 years before courts made her to live with her bio-family whom she barely knew.

Bad situation on all sides- and it seems not much better now, almost a year after having to move to China. The only upshot is that her bio-mother allows a once a week phone call from her other family. I'm sure that helps Anna feel a bit better- knowing that they still love her and want what is best for her- just as her bio-mother does.

On the homefront- it's COLD here. Minus 18 F before winchill factor is figured in this morning. Cold, cold, cold. Brrrr...

Okay- I'm heading off and trying to keep warm.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chicken Perloo

I found this recipe in a wonderful murder/mystery book by Laura Childs. I hope she doesn't mind my sharing it here. We made it the other night and it was a hit with all... including the Pipsqueak.

Give it a try- and also try reading the Tea Shop Mystery Books. They're a wonderful read.

Chicken Perloo
1 tsp. olive oil (I used Safflower- it's what I had on hand)
4-5 pieces of chicken- skin removed
2 slices bacon (cut in 1/4" pieces) or 2 oz. diced salt pork (we used bacon)
1 large onion sliced (we diced it as well)
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 cup long grain rice (not instant)
1 can chicken broth (1 3/4 cups)-- I used chicken stock
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 TBS. minced parsley

-- we didn't have the parsley on hand-- and added garlic powder as well.

Heat oil over medium-high heat using nonstick fry pan (12 inch). Add chicken and cook about 8 minutes or until golden, turning over once. Put chicken on a plate. Reduce heat to medium and add bacon, cooking for 4 minutes until browned. Remove bacon with slotted spoon to small bowl. Discard all but 2 tsp. of back fat from skillet.

Add onion and green pepper to same skillet and cook, covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add rice and stir until evenly coated. Stir in bacon, broth, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup water. Return chicken to pan; heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, 10-25 minutes. (We cooked it 25 minutes). Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Serves 4.