WFMW: More Lentils
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We're still cleaning out the pantry. Unfortunately, the freezer is pretty much empty, leaving us with bottom of the barrel healthy options for protein.

Previously, my lentil enchiladas were a hit - except for the baby.

Last night, I made lentil sloppy joes. I used bulgur instead of rice. Bulgur is easy to cook! Use 1 and a half times more water than grains, boil, let stand for 15 minutes. Just like rice, but with less water.

This is a great, fast dinner - perfect for days when you forgot to thaw the meat. Lentils are cheap and shelf stable. It's a great budget stretcher - a bag of lentils costs less than a dollar, and will make at least two meals for 9 people as a ground meat substitute. Bulgur cost 58 cents a pound (I think?) at EarthFare (bulk food section).

Cook one chopped onion until translucent. Add 1 can tomato sauce and 1 can tomato paste (ok, I used a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes. Whatever works for you.) Add some garlic powder, then lentils and bulgur (I used half a pound of lentils, cooked, and 1/2 c. bulgur cooked in 3/4 c. water). Salt, pepper, etc. and serve it up on buns!

We also had carrot salad, as I have 10 pounds of carrots in the fridge and not much else. I just made up a recipe of shredded carrots, salt, balsamic vinegar, and one scoop of sour cream (use what you have!). The kids liked it!

Pantry cooking on the fly - works for me! For more Works for Me Wednesdays, check out Rocks in My Dryer.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/30/2008 10:43:00 AM | Permalink | |
You Can't Keep a Good Two Year Old Down
My previous post was wrong. Or rather, the ER was wrong.

Miss C does have a concussion. Should clear up within two weeks, nothing to worry about, her pediatrician assured me. Um, okay. Yeah. Serious head injury on my darling baby - no sweat. Uh huh.

She is not walking, and in fact is doing worse today. Her doc got her in to see a pediatric orthopedist tomorrow. Poor girl.

She was so funny, though. She can't walk, so she was pulling herself all over the house by her arms. Nothing is allowed to go on in our home unless Miss C personally supervises the activity. I finally took pity on her and brought her little scooter inside. She's hauling around on it, one legged.

Children are resilient!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/30/2008 08:05:00 AM | Permalink | |
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
We got the house we wanted!

It's almost twice as big as the one we live in now - 2400 sq. ft.!

Now I need to make some decisions. It has four bedrooms upstairs. There is a small study downstairs (basically, a bedroom with no closet.) Downstairs, there is a formal living room right when you walk in, then a formal dining room (carpeted! Ack!) and then the kitchen. There's no way we're eating on carpet in a rental.

There is also a huge loft area at the top of the stairs.

So. Right now, we have a boys room, a girls room, and my room - each room has three occupants. Baby X will be 13 months old when we move, so I'm thinking he can go with his brothers.

The laundry is upstairs, directly across from a bedroom. I am coveting this:
Family Closet

or this:

Family Clothes Storage

We currently have a version of a family closet and I LOVE it. Taking the clothes out of the kid's room was the best thing I ever did. Right now, we have mesh storage cubes - the boy's are in the laundry room, and the girl's clothes are in a hallway next to the bathroom.

I would love to sew, but I don't right now because I have to use the kitchen table for cutting and sewing. The same table we do school on, and eat three meals a day on. You can see why it never happens! One family has a sewing/craft room with a door that closes, and the other half of the room is the family closet.

Or, would we be better served putting two boys in each room and the girls in a room? It seems like such a luxury to use a whole bedroom for a closet - on the other hand, we do need to store seven people's clothes there. (Mama and husband dear get to have their clothes in their own closet, because we know how not to make 300 lbs. of dirty laundry in one day.)

I am planning on using the loft for toys, and the formal dining room as a family room with the television (we only have one TV and I prefer to have it where I can see it from the kitchen in order to keep an eye on things.)

Here's the loft - it's huge!

I'm kicking around the idea of making the formal living room into our school room/Montessori room - even though it is the very first thing you see when you walk in the house. The study would be a library. Swoon. Or should I put school behind closed doors?

Have you ever seen a Montessori prepared environment? Gorgeous!

The catch? I have not seen the house and I don't know how big the rooms are! Husband dear took a look at it and I've seen pictures, but that's it!

What do you think? I'd love to hear what you do, your thoughts, or any links! How better to procrastinate when I'm supposed to be throwing away my beloved babies purging my books and packing?

And... we will probably put the desktop upstairs in the loft area. We also have a laptop. Is there anyway I can install spy software so I can see what the kids are doing upstairs on the laptop downstairs?


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/29/2008 08:49:00 AM | Permalink | |
Good News and Bad News...
Monday, April 28, 2008

The good news is...

Miss C does not have a concussion or broken legs.

How do I know? One ER visit, one CT scan, and about 18 X-rays.

The bad news is...
I lost an entire day to pack declutter before our move - next week!

Two year olds are really too big to play in infant car seats. 'Nuff said.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/28/2008 05:47:00 PM | Permalink | |
I want to join Ebates. First person to comment with their referral e-mail gets the bonus!

You must be a friend, though - either someone who has commented before on my site, linked to me, or that I comment on your site!

Anyone else have a discount program to recommend? We've got to get a moving truck, plus eating out, plus tourism coupons for Houston... lookin' to get me some deals!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/28/2008 08:22:00 AM | Permalink | |
And Now More...
Friday, April 25, 2008
...of someone else.

Dana has some great points about homeschooling and state oversight.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/25/2008 09:24:00 AM | Permalink | |
InTowne Suites
Thursday, April 24, 2008
You stink!

Our house will be ready June 1. Husband dear starts work on May 12. There is no way he's leaving me behind. Been there, done that, and it wasn't pretty!

So we need a place to stay for a couple of weeks. No problem, they have those corporate hotels, complete with mini-kitchens, right? I've even lived in them for several weeks before, back when we only had three children.

InTowne Suites hates children apparently. Their maximum occupancy is ONE child per room.

Most families aren't as big as mine, but most have more than one child!

Sigh. Anyone own a timeshare in Houston I can rent?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/24/2008 03:52:00 PM | Permalink | |
Go Somewhere Else
I'm packing decluttering first.

John C. Wright, once again, has an excellent post on the illogical defense of abortion - "it's not a person".

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/24/2008 07:27:00 AM | Permalink | |
More Homeschool Laziness
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I hope my readers can help.

Is "zero" an even number?

I had learned that an even number is something that you can divide in half evenly, without a remainder. Zero doesn't exactly fit that category. So you can see why, when my son came to me with his math book, and I was busy cruising WFMW's, waiting on hold for our prospective landlord, and making a list of kitchen items *not* to pack on the U-Haul, I couldn't be bothered to look up the answer in the book.

Merriam Webster defines "zero" as:
a: the arithmetical symbol 0 or denoting the absence of all magnitude or quantity
which would make it neither odd, nor even.


The teacher's guide (Lab Sheet Annotations) explains it like this:
odd + odd = even
even + even = even
odd + even = odd

2 + 0 = 2
(even) + (?) = (even), therefore 0 must be even.


5 + 0 = 5
(odd) + (?) = odd
since we know that odd + even = odd, therefore 0 must be even.

They also have this secondary explanation
"an even number lies between two odd numbers. 1 and -1 are odd. Therefore, zero must be even"

Except the second grade child is supposed to work that out for themselves, and indeed, Mr P did think 0 was even.

In case anyone was wondering, we're using Miquon Math, and this was the Blue Book.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/23/2008 10:15:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: White Boards
We're loading up and moving out, but one thing we'll be leaving behind is our giant, 6 1/2 foot wide dry erase board. I'm just going to leave it on the wall.

What? Don't those things cost an arm, leg and a firstborn child? Relax, I got it for less than 10 bucks!

It's a shower tile board. $9.50 for a 5'x7' piece! We mounted it to the wall, cut it for a custom fit, and added some molding. Perfect dry erase board, for a fraction of the cost!

I clean it with a baby wipe - or if I'm in a real white-glove kind of mood, some hand sanitizer on a Kleenex. We're classy like that around here.

Cheap and easy school supplies - Works for Me! For more tips, check out Rocks in My Dryer!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/23/2008 09:00:00 AM | Permalink | |
About Stinkin' Time
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
President Bush is going to be making changes to the No Child Left Behind Act.
Perhaps he will address which school you are supposed to switch to when every single elementary school in your district fails (but 33% are reading at grade level! Yay!). I guess that comes from living in a state that ranked 49th overall for schools.

Let's just hope he doesn't pull a Jimmy Carter and make things worse.

On another note, how could I have lost my tape gun and four rolls of packing tape before I even got started? I'm also missing my mop head, which does not bode well for the state of our floors.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/22/2008 08:18:00 AM | Permalink | |
Cuz I'm Lazy
Monday, April 21, 2008
Can anyone sum up TX homeschool law in a quick nutshell?

When we lived there before, you basically declared yourself a private school and that was it. That was, of course, when Bush was governor and not making up stupid educational policies like No Child Left Behind. So how goes it down there?

In SC, you have to school 180 days per year. We've got about 120 days behind us, 60ish still to go.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/21/2008 02:38:00 PM | Permalink | |
Moving On Up!
We're moving! To Houston! In nine days.

Blogging will be light. Unless I procrastinate slip into denial lose my mind from the stress... in which case I'll update you.

Stress much? We are not packed. We have no place to live. We do have a job though!

Here's a quick review of how moving goes around here:

Like Tears on My Soul (from Colorado to South Carolina, 2006)

Moving Right Along (From Podunkadunka, SC to slightly larger Podunkaville, SC)

Is there a patron saint of Not Losing Your Mind. Oh, right. St. Dymphna. We're old friends, she and I!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/21/2008 09:31:00 AM | Permalink | |
Friday, April 18, 2008
Oh, I'm a bad Mama. Really bad. One of those moms other moms say "What is wrong with her? I would never do that."

My son got busted on the bus for having pictures of nekkid people. And yes, I spelled it the third-grade way to try to trick the search engines.

Let me explain, wouldja, before you click away and write my blog off as a Bad Mama Blog? I do have an excuse for everything.

Mr R wants to be an archeaologist. He spends hours carefully uncovering bottle caps and concrete chunks from the backyard using my makeup brushes specialized tools. His grandfather gave him a book, The Archaeology of Mesopotamia. It really is college level, but it has tons of pictures of dig sites, maps of the cities they are uncovering, cuneiform, and Mesopotamian art.

He reads it often - really! He took it to school to show his teacher his favorite book.

We've also used it in our homeschool curriculum, as we are using The Story of the World, Vol. I for history.

Here's the picture (Blogger won't let me upload my scan of the book, but Google helpfully found it for me.)

Here's the caption:
Unprovenanced fragments of the Akkadian relief, showing naked prisoners after a victory; a rare example emphasizing the high attainments of Mesopotamian sculptors at this period.
Even more embarrassing? Just last week, I sent Mr R's Animorphs library book back to school with the note that it was inappropriate for second graders and that he was not to check out books from that series again. (Seriously, I flipped through it, and the book starts with kids making jokes that their online girlfriend, who is so "hot", is really a 73 year old postal worker. Really? Internet pedophilia as a joke, in the second grade?)

I must add, that someone on the bus (Mr R? Or some other delinquent?) circled the private areas.

I've talked to his teacher and now I'm waiting for the Vice Principal to call me, while I eat crow at home. It's a good thing he didn't take in his Sistine Chapel coloring book.

How do you handle "cultural nudes"? And do your kids giggle at naked cherubs in religious artwork, too?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/18/2008 08:54:00 AM | Permalink | |
I'm An Idiot
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
There are certain things in my house that I just don't do.

I just don't make shells and cheese. I think it tastes weird. A proper mac n' cheese should be powdered and reconstituted with butter substitute in the pot. Of course, we can't have that chemical stew around Mr. R., so I've lived a largely mac n cheeseless existence for the last few years. However, I am cleaning out my pantry...

I also don't usually leave butter out on the counter. Yes, it makes it soft, but the kids mess with it. Especially now that Baby X has learned how to scale the stool onto the counter...

Generally, I cook from scratch. Frozen corn dogs make a rare appearance around here, despite the fact that I could cook them everyday and the children would happily wolf them down.

One other thing I almost never do? Hide dirty pots and pans in the oven. I just never do that. I let them bask on the counter, in all their greasy glory.

Except, perhaps, if the house is actually looking pretty good for a change. And the AC repairman shows up unexpectedly, and the only thing marring the thin veneer of Martha Stewartiness is the dirty pot on the stove. Ahh, pride. It goeth before the fall.

Yes, if my life was a George Clooney movie, today was The Perfect Storm.

And so when I caught Baby X on the countertop while the oven preheated for the corndogs, and discovered he had buttered six dogs but only chewed the breading off of four, I thought dinner was still salvageable. I'll just whisk them into the oven while I bathe butter boy, I thought.


Anyone know how to get processed cheese off a pot after baking at 400 degrees for 10 minutes?


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/16/2008 05:24:00 PM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Feeding Babies the Lazy Way
Baby X loves to feed himself. He is a late teether, though. At 8 months, he barely popped one pearly white out! What's a Mama to do?

Find a miracle at Target, that's what!

It's like a pacifier, but you can put food in it. We've done apples, pears, canned peaches, melon...

It cost around $5 for a two pack at the store - I have no idea why is so expensive on these.

These are awesome, but heed my warning. Never, ever put a banana in here. You will never get it clean even if you run it through the dishwasher twice, and then use a toothbrush to scrub it. And if your husband dear pries it apart with a screwdriver, well, it will never be the same again.

If you can't be the good example, be the horrid warning.

Looking for more tips? Head over to Shannon's and check out all of the Works for Me Wednesday goodness.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/16/2008 09:30:00 AM | Permalink | |
So Easy A Gringo Can Do It
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
We're trying to eat from the pantry as much as possible, because a) we have no income right now and b) we might be moving.

Last night I made lentil enchiladas. A very easy, and surprisingly tasty replacement for ground beef is a lentil and rice mix. Even better, 1 bag of lentils (at 78 cents) will replace 4-5 pounds of hamburger.

I cook 1 lb. bag of lentils, picked over, 3 c. brown rice, 12 cups of water, and a finely diced onion. Simmer 45 minutes until rice is tender. Keep in fridge for up to a week or freeze.

Baby X is not a lentil fan, however.

I made enchilada sauce, too, and finally have a recipe I love (I detest the canned stuff, and I'll eat my enchilada naked before I use Old El Paso!)

Enchilada Sauce:

4-6 dried red chiles. Find them in the mexican food section.
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can carrots, drained
garlic powder

Cut the stems off the chiles, shake out the seeds, and cover in boiling water. Use about 1/2 c. water per chile. The more seeds you keep, the hotter the sauce will be. Let it sit until chiles are soft (a few minutes).

Dump chiles and water into the blender. Throw in the canned tomatoes with juice, and drained carrots. Add an onion.


Add spices to taste. I go heavy on the garlic. Blend.


The kids liked the enchiladas.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/15/2008 11:19:00 AM | Permalink | |
The Plot Thickens
Monday, April 14, 2008
Well, husband dear signed with the lawyer yesterday for the wrongful termination suit.

Here's the situation in a nutshell.

A couple of months ago, husband dear's "Foreman J" brought drug paraphernalia out to the site, as well as devices for cheating random drug screens. "Foreman J" had been cheating and stealing from the company for months, and husband dear finally had enough and reported him (supposedly anonymous. Ha ha ha!). "Foreman J" got fired (but managed to get hired on at a company working on the same job site.)

Foreman J is the brother in law of "Supervisor J" and "Foreman E". "Supervisor J" and "Foreman E" are brothers. It's a family affair, and so is the cheating and stealing.

"Foreman E" took over husband dear's crew. "Supervisor J" was always the super of husband dears department.

Husband dear's father went into the ICU, and then died. Husband dear missed a lot of work. "Foreman E" and "Supervisor J" both told him to take as much time as he needed, and not to worry. This absence was covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Husband dear returned to work on a Wednesday. "Superintendent T" told husband dear that he was going to fire "Foreman E" and "Supervisor J". But before he could actually fire him, "Supervisor J", he showed up half drunk and failed a breathalyzer. So he was fired by the safety department. "Superintendent T" offered husband dear the foreman's position, and they struck a deal.

Husband dear showed up to work on Thursday, and was fired. "Superintendent T" did not even talk to him, simply sent the pink slip out with an assistant. The reason listed was "missing work". Two of the days listed, husband dear was actually at work (and has the paystubs to prove it.) Two of the days were when his dad was in the hospital. (Interestingly, he missed close to 20 days total for his dad, but they only listed two.)

"Foreman E" and "Supervisor J" were rehired within a week working at a different jobsite, despite the failed breathalyzer. Husband dear called the HR department, and out to the site, and was told they weren't hiring anyone else.

Then "Superintendent T" gave his son-in-law husband dear's old job. And they called one of husband dear's friends back to work in the same department.

So, we're suing - right now for violation of the Family Medical Leave Act. Perhaps we'll throw a little bit of the whistleblower protection in for good measure. Today husband dear's old co-worker called and offered to speak with our lawyer to corroborate husband dear's story.

Unfortunately, we are without income.

Husband dear has big job interview later this week - pray it goes well!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/14/2008 11:53:00 AM | Permalink | |
Horror Movies
Friday, April 11, 2008
A lot of people are surprised when they hear that I am writing a horror movie (well, someday I'll get back to it after we get settled). That's because the latest string of scary stories on film are full of slashing, blood, gore, and torture. In fact, on the writerly message boards and film related articles, the business refers to movies such as Saw and Hostel as "torture p*rn".

That is not the movie I'm writing. I detest slasher flicks and cheap thrills. A scary movie should be scary, not gross.

Last night we watched 1408, a horror movie. It was very good. There were no naked people. There was no drunken priest having a crisis of faith. There were no angels, good, fallen or in-between. Santeria, Voodoo, and witches are thankfully absent. Nothing melted upon the application of holy water. There was a Bible, but it only appeared incidentally.

It was scary. Suspenseful. Sad. Different. A few pictures of dead people. Also, there were some bad words. (It's horror, not rated "G"!)

The plot was more in the vein of Hitchcock or Ray Bradbury. It's about a hotel room, and an author who writes books about haunted hotel rooms. He's cynical and doesn't believe in the paranormal, but that hasn't stopped him from writing book after book about haunted stops.

If you want a good, scary movie I recommend 1408 with John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. John Cusack is one of my favorite actors - and so is his sister. I've never seen a movie he was bad in (although I have seen some bad movies he was great in!)


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/11/2008 11:30:00 AM | Permalink | |
Gypsy Rose at Heart
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Kim over at Starry Sky Ranch checked out her design style - and I did too!

I'm "ethnic eclectic", a "mix of bohemian chic and contemporary ethnic flair".

Which is odd, because my house is decorated in NewlyWed Poverty/Fisherprice Primary.

The houses I love are "modern country" or "contemporary casual". Simple lines (no nooks and crannies carved furniture to dust), lots of drawers, cupboards, pie safes (no open shelves), and a polyurethane finish on everything. That might just be Lazy Mama talking though.

Although, I am Czech, so maybe there is something to that bohemian comment!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/10/2008 09:56:00 AM | Permalink | |
I Ain't the Crazy One
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
The infamous Church of Scientology has been outed.

Wikileaks has thousands of pages of their "religious texts". The Scientologists have sent threatening letters, but so far the docs are still online and Wikileaks promises to release more.

I'm going out on a limb here and copying a few lines from the text. If I disappear and am never heard from again, make sure you investigate Tom Cruise.

Advanced Level 1 drills:

5.Seat yourself unobtrusively where you can observe a number of
people. Spot things and people you
are not. Do to cognition. Note it down.

8.Observing people, spot things that are not wrong with them.
Do to cognition. Note it down.

10.Walk around and note how people stick to the ground and their
sense of weight. Do to cognition.
Note it down.
Really, people pay money for this? Lots and lots of money?

From 1963 (or, 13 AD, that is, After Dianetics).

This same pattern, but given in an amusement park with a
single tunnel, a roller coaster and a Ferris
wheel, was used between about 319 trillion years ago to about 256
trillion trillion years ago, a long span.

The symbol of a Gorilla was always present in the place the
goal was given. Sometimes a large gorilla,
black, was seen elsewhere than the park. A mechanical or a live
gorilla was always seen in the park.

This activity was conducted by the Hoipolloi, a group of
operators in meat body societies. They were
typical carnival people. They let out concessions for these
implant "Amusement Parks." A pink-striped
white shirt with sleeve garters was the uniform of the Hoipolloi.
Such a figure often rode on the roller coaster
cars. Monkeys were also used on the cars. Elephants sometimes
formed part of the equipment.

The Hoipolloi or Gorilla goals were laid in with fantastic
motion. Blasts of raw electricity and explosions
were both used to lay the items in.

L. Ron Hubbard was a science fiction writer, can you tell?

I made a new label for this post: Crazy is As Crazy Does.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/09/2008 11:09:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Remembrance Table
Since I just finished with all of the funerary events for my FIL, I thought I would post about a table I set up. It seemed to be quite a hit and the guests liked it a lot.

It was a remembrance table. I pulled all of the photos of my FIL I could find out of photo albums. I bought a bunch of frames - some from the dollar store, some from WalMart, some from GoodWill. My theme was black and silver, and I painted a bunch from Goodwill black with spraypaint. I found some nice silver ones at the craft store as well that weren't too expensive. The frames didn't all match each other, but they coordinated and looked nice.

I put some shoeboxes on a table and covered it with gray fabric. I had some black fabric that I used to accent the table as well. The boxes created "lift" so all of the photos weren't at the same level. With FILG's help, I was able to get some violets (state flower of his birth) and yellow jessamine (state flower of SC, where he died) and put them at either end of the table as well.

I even had FIL's birthcertificate with his footprints on it! I put that at one end of the table and then a progression through life. At the other end, I placed a journal and some pens with the note, "Please leave a favorite memory or message for FIL's children".

I did print out some captions on cardstock and folded them so they would stand (like place cards) explaining the who and where of some of the earlier photos.

It was simple, but it really helped us as we looked through the pictures, framed them, and talked about them - and his friends at the reception could see the highlights of his life. And, we have a book of messages from his friends!

Head over to Shannon's for more Works for Me Wednesday Tips!

And, check out my guest post on my sister's blog, Leave the Lights On!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/09/2008 09:35:00 AM | Permalink | |
Microcosms, God, and Crosswords, Oh My!
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Fr. Jackson is the pastor of my previous church in Denver (the FSSP in Littleton).

In one of his adult catechism classes,
Fr. Jackson alluded to the idea
that the universe is held in existence
by the power of God.

In "Wisdom Today" it says,
"...we have been called into existence by the
infinite power of God,
and we are maintained moment to moment by
that same power,
else we would lapse back into the nothing
from whence we emerged."

In the March 10, 2008, issue of
"Chemical and Engineering News" on page 88
there is an article bearing on this issue.

The rage these days in the world of tiny things
is nanotechnology
(chemistry of nanometer particles). But Richard Feynman
(a noble prize winning physicist, now deceased)
gave a lecture in 1959
entitled "There's plenty of room at the bottom."
The bottom being smaller and smaller. Below
nanotechnolgy in 10 to the -3 power increments, come
picotechnology, femtotechnology, attotechnology,
zeptotechnology, and yoctotechnology.

Now things get interesting. To quote the article
"Feynman, in his paper,
hints with some dark humor of a potential end-game
scenario, in which, say,
unwitting yoctotechnologists cause the vacuum of
space itself to transit
to a lower energy state. If that were to happen (by packing
several cosmic-ray-caliber packets of
energy into one spot, for example),
a spherical front would begin sweeping out at the
speed of light
from the
initiation point, changing all of the constants
of nature as it went along
its journey to the edges of the universe.
All protons, neutrons, and
electrons would pop out of existence like soap bubbles."

"One consolation is that from pole to pole on Earth,
the annihilation would take only four-hundreths of a second.
Terrible, yes, except for one
thing: There would not be enough time for regret,
Feynman pointed out with a sardonic touch."

So it appears that as Fr. Jackson seeks the truth and
Richard Feynman seeks
the truth, each in their own way, they both suggest that even the
vacuum of space is in a higher energy level and that
if a relaxation were to take place, everything would
disappear at the
speed of light including the
vacuum of space. In 18 billion years the known
universe would be gone including
the space that it occupied.

p.s. a nanometer is about one-hundreth of one-millionth
of an inch or 4 times ten to the -8th power.

Feeling smarter than a rocket scientist today? Solve Feynman's Math Puzzler!

If you are in the mood for something a little...less brain bending, check out my sister's new site:
My Puzzle Fix.

She writes a new puzzle everyday, and you can compete with other players for rankings. Yeah, I'm the dumb one in the family.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/08/2008 08:57:00 AM | Permalink | |
Chinese Olympics - A Go?
Monday, April 07, 2008
Previously on this blog, I've decried the fact that America is going to look the other way and head to Beijing for the Olympics. China's human rights abuses, in my opinion, were simply to egregious to ignore. Then the story came out that the Chinese government had kicked almost a two million people out of their homes in order to make the Olympic stadium, and simply bussed them out of town when foreign dignitaries came to visit.

Then Tibet rebelled. The Dalai Lama does not want to secede, they merely want autonomy. They want to practice their religion. Free Tibet protests have broken out around the world. In Paris today, officials had to extinguish the torch twice in order to smuggle it past the protesters.

China exercises tight control of any information its citizens might read. The great Firewall of China effectively blocks any stories, websites, or news that does not line up with the Chinese governments communist agenda. The average Chinese citizen has no idea that the world is rooting for Tibet, the the world criticizes the government for abusing its people, that the world cares about them. Instead, the Chinese government is telling their people that they have found dynamite and plastic explosives in the Buddhist monasteries, and whispers about suicide bombers.

When China became a host city for the Olympics, they agreed to allow the foreign journalists uncensored access to the internet. The Firewall would be lifted, at least for the duration of the event. It might be the only chance for the Chinese people to have unfettered access to the Net. If the Chinese people realized that the world was watching, and for the most part, rooting for an overthrow of the oppressive regime from the inside, what would happen? Could a week's worth of access to the rest of the world change the future of the Chinese people?

I'm for the Chinese Olympics now. It's their only chance.

How the Beijing Olympics Got Their Logo
(Don't let your kids watch this quickie cartoon)

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/07/2008 09:08:00 AM | Permalink | |
My Troubles are Minor
Thursday, April 03, 2008
It is amazing how close one we can get to people we have never even met. Somehow, we are linked. Our shared joys are increased, our shared sorrowful burdens become lighter.

A few minutes ago, I left the computer after reading some sad news. Husband dear asked me what was the matter, but I just told him nothing. How could he understand the tragedy of someone I've never met making his wife sad? He persisted and I told him... he not only knew who I was talking about (once I described his blog header), but he was sad too.

This is, I think, how the Communion of Saints is. Even though we are separated from our brothers and sisters in Christ who have died, they still love us from afar and feel for us, even if we've never met.

Dadwithnoisykids, of Scorpion Stalking Duck blog, asks for prayers for his son who died suddenly. His family recently lost another child, Therese Mary Catherine, in October.

Dadwithnoisykids has revised his original post. He explains that he has had the great privilege of having a special needs son, one who remained innocent even as he grew into an adult. His son never said "No" to God, and Our Lord gave him his eternal reward at a young age.

Please pray for the family instead, as they miss their son, brother, and friend.

May the Lord bless them and keep them, and may the be reunited with their children in the happiness of Heaven.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/03/2008 08:30:00 PM | Permalink | |
Lawyering Up
I've only had the occasion to hire a lawyer once in my life - when MY OWN car insurance company refused to cover an accident (they listed me as an "excluded driver", despite the fact that I was single, it was my car, and I paid the insurance bill. Thanks Progressive! You STINK!)

Now, in a single week it looks like we may be hiring three - medical malpractice, probate, and employment law. Actually, it's looking like we won't need the probate lawyer. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Yesterday, his first day back after the whole FIL illness/funeral, he was told that he was getting a promotion to foreman and a raise. (Finally! Remember the problems he'd been having?)

Today they fired him instead for too many absences. All of husband dear's absences were excused, his boss (who also got the ax) OK'd them, and he's never been written up. He's been there for 23 months - an eternity in industrial construction.

His "replacement" - is a carpenter from...let's just say South of Texas... who doesn't speak English. Said "replacement" has been messing up work in husband dear's department for a while, actually, but now he's the only "journeyman" out there.

Looks like we're moving on top of everything else.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/03/2008 09:01:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Greatest Hits Edition
Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer has Spring Fever, so for WFMW she's running your greatest reruns hits.

Here are a few of my favorite WFMW!

At the school table: Secret Math Weapon

For tight budgets:

In the kitchen: Make your own Hamburger Helper
This is the post that was plagiarized a couple of weeks ago! I guess it must be a hit if other people want to steal it!

For Parents: Sibling Rivalry solution

Favorite Laundry Hack: The Family Closet


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/02/2008 09:59:00 AM | Permalink | |
Dumb Ideas
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
I love to look at decorating magazines. I also love me some HGTV.

Every once in a while, though, I'll see a decorating "trick" that is the stupidest thing I ever heard of. White chenille slip covers for a beach home with children comes to mind...

Last month's Country Home magazine featured this house:

Is that the stupidest library idea ever? I guess it's for people who don't actually read (but then how are you supposed to impress people with your collection of Great Works in pristine condition?) If you can't see it, all of the books are backward "in order to create a neutral backdrop."

Then again, on their website they have a primer for shredding plastic grocery bags to make a fake flower centerpiece. It's the WalMart of the decorating magazines, apparently.

What silly, impractical decorating ideas have failed you?


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/01/2008 12:15:00 PM | Permalink | |