Another Book Meme
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I looked so smart with my last book meme, I'm ready for another! Luckily Crystal tagged me. Although if I would have known it was coming, I'd have put better books on my desk.

Here are the rules:

Here's the rules:

  • Grab the nearest book.
  • Open the book to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your journal/blog along with these instructions.
  • Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.
  • Tag five other people to do the same.

I have four books on my desk right now.
"Sam and the Bag" Phonics reader doesn't have 56 pages (and it's not my book, anyway!)

Bible, RSV Catholic Edition, which has two page 56's, because they start numbering again in the NT:

Exodus 11:4-5 And Moses said, "Thus says the LORD: About midnight I will go forth in the midst of Egypt; and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die...


Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the Sabbath day.

I also have a Greek-English Interlinear NT on my desk. Page 56 is Matthew chapter 20, but I can't type Greek so look it up on your own. ;)

(Oh my goodness! Did I just use a smiley? Must be having a good day!)

My last book on my desk is "Square Foot Gardening". Guess what, mah peeps! I'm making a garden! In Houston, you can still plant in October. This whole Wall Street thing is freaking me out. I'm in survivalist mode. Which means only going to the store once a week instead of every other day - we all must sacrifice in these times of trouble!

Plus, you know, it's the 1st graders science class. We're starting with rutabagas (they're good! Really!), lettuce, spinach, peas, and radishes. Cool weather crops, despite the 90 temps.

Page 56:

"When constructing your SFG box, cut all four pieces of your wood sides to the same length adn then rotate the corners to ensure you end up with a square box."

I'm not tagging five people... if you subscribe to me in Google Reader, bloglines, etc., consider yourself tagged - and leave a link in the comments!

Oh, and I'm moving my Obama poster up so it stays on the front page. Feel free to grab it for your blog!

I frequent another website that always seems to involve apologetics - even though it shouldn't!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/30/2008 10:16:00 AM | Permalink | |
Art Organization: Montessori Monday
Monday, September 29, 2008
In our house, crayon boxes don't last long. The children dump all the of the crayons out in order to see the colors, and we have myriad stumps and broken ones, too.

Here's how we started organizing our crayons. I try to keep it in color wheel order: ROY G. BIV.

I got the galvanized cups at Ikea, 3/$1 and I put them on camping plate.

Organized and beautiful!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/29/2008 08:19:00 AM | Permalink | |
Shopping At Target is Fun!: Friday Funny
Friday, September 26, 2008

After 10 years of loyalty, I'm down on WalMart. Target, here we come!

Shopping at Target is certainly more entertaining.
From (not a kid friendly site, so surf when they're in bed if you must!)

The employees don't always read directions...

Sometimes they run out of advertised sale items, and the substitutions are ... strange...

They apparently think Jedi Knights are an ethnic group:

Wonder when we'll get a two story Target?


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/26/2008 09:15:00 AM | Permalink | |
Me and My First Baby Meme
Thursday, September 25, 2008

Crystal tagged me...Mr R was my first baby.

I made a few changes for adoptive mothers...

1. Were you married at the time? Yes

2. What were your reactions when you found out you were pregnant/approved? disbelief

3. How old were you? 19. I turned 20 two months before Mr R was born

4. How did you find out you were pregnant/on the waiting list? I don't remember. I'm sure it involved a home pregnancy test. I do remember that the test had a special way to cut out the two lines so you could put it in a scrapbook, which I thought was absurd. I mean, it's a stick that I peed on!

5. Who did you tell first? Husband dear

6. Did you want to find out the sex? Yes

7. Due date/Expected arrival date: My due date changed often. June 17 - July 11. It was a strange pregnancy.

8. Did you deliver/meet your child early or late? 5 1/2 weeks early

9. Did you have morning sickness/anxiety? No. I never do!

10. What did you crave? Mexican food. Good thing we lived on the Gulf Coast of Texas! And split pea soup.

11. Who irritated you the most? My boss. I worked at a gas station across the street. At one point, I had to have emergency outpatient surgery and my boss called to demand I come in to work. She did offer to get me a chair to sit in. Husband dear quit my job for me.

12. What was your first child's sex? male

13. How many pounds did you gain throughout the pregnancy/while munching Fritos as you waited for The Call? Honest to Pete, I don't remember. Lots. My weight gain was enhanced by the bed rest and gestational diabetes. We didn't have much money, so we had an air mattress instead of an actual bed... 10 weeks of sitting on an airmattress made me want to never go camping again!

14. Did you have any complications during your pregnancy/complications with Red Tape? First, I got an infection that necessitated draining my lymph node in my leg. This involved sewing a rubber tube in for three days and was the most pain I've ever had (and I've given birth without pain meds 6 times!).

Then came the premature contractions. Terbutaline and bedrest for me! (had these with all but ONE of my pregnancies, and been on bedrest for 5 of them)

Then came Gestational Diabetes (had 6 times now). Hard to manage on the terb and bedrest.

I was going to the hospital about once a week when contractions wouldn't stop on their own at home. Mr R was born early after one of these visits - my blood pressure got waaayyy too high and they decided to induce (after spending 2 days on meds to stop labor. Fun times!)

15. Where did you give birthmeet your child? Port Lavaca, TX

16. How many hours were you in labor/between The Call and holding your new child? I first felt labor pains on May 23. Mr R was born on May 26. Although two days were spent injecting me with all manner of evil in an attempt to stop labor.

17. Who drove you to the hospital/airport/office? Husband dear. Although I walked home (we lived across the street) because we didn't have a baby car seat!

18. Who watched/went with you? Husband dear

19. Was it vaginal or c-section (no adoption alternative here. Sorry)? vaginal

20. Did you take medicine to ease the pain/self medicate to calm your nerves? They finally gave me a spinal, but Mr R was born 20 minutes later so it didn't "take" yet. Oh, and it was a failed spinal that was horrible. Headaches for days!

21. How much did your child weigh? 6lbs 10 oz. And he was 5 1/2 weeks early!. Thanks, GD!

22. What did you name him/her? Named after his two granfathers. R - M. One is the patron saint of catechists. One is an angel who the patron saint of policemen.

23. How old is your first child today? 10 years 4 months

I'm supposed to tag five mommies - Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo... I choose:

Wait... how can I pick just five? I will have to discriminate based on geography.

I go for fellow Texas moms:



Kim C.


Jennifer F.


...But, really, anyone can play along! Leave your link in the comments!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/25/2008 09:08:00 AM | Permalink | |
Cleaning the High Chair Nasties: Works for Me Wednesday
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
We don't have a regular high chair, but rather Baby X sits in one of those boosters with a tray that attaches to a regular kitchen chair.

It has a seatbelt.

Baby X stuffs the things he doesn't like in the cracks. Add that to the standard food droppage and it's nasty in there! And impossible to clean.

So I vacuum it. The crevice tool is the perfect shape to suck every last Cheerio out of the nooks and crannies.

Sucking it up works for me! For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, check out Shannon.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/24/2008 09:49:00 AM | Permalink | |
Who Put Them In Charge?
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Does anyone feel this way about the bailout situation?

$700 billion dollars? No taxation without representation!

Why does Paulson have the power to spend that much taxpayer money? Who elected him? Oh, no one. He's an appointee.

And the proposal they sent to our elected officials? Laughable. They want the supreme power of the universe handed to them (or at least, the US Taxpayer checkbook) with no accountability, no oversight, no one to reign in the spending, for the next two years!
The proposal:

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Sigh. This is why it's good to have a fiscal conservative in the White House. The president picks these people. Too bad Bush forgot he wasn't a Democrat.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/23/2008 10:04:00 AM | Permalink | |
Hurrican Ike Aftermath: 1 week later
Monday, September 22, 2008
Some rambling thoughts that have been tumbling around my mind lately...

We have electricity, air conditioning, internet, and cable. In so many ways, our lives are back to normal. My sister is staying with us for a while until she gets electricity back.

And then... you'll be driving down the street and pass a gas station, the canopy twisted and upside down.

You'll be cruising, and slam on your brakes when you realize the light at this intersection is dark.

You'll go to the store, and there are no fresh vegetables, frozen foods, eggs, or bread.

Many gas stations have gas, but not the capacity to pump it. There was a shortage last week - no gas to fill up the tanks in the gas stations that were open; no way to pump gas at the gas stations that had fuel.

We live in the lucky end of the city.

Houston is in store for an economic meltdown. Many, many stores are still shuttered, a week later. Many others are on shortened hours, closing at 6 pm instead of 10 pm. Thousands of hourly workers - the type most likely to live paycheck to paycheck -have missed at least a week of work.

Office Depot is trying to help businesses, offering free copies, free faxes, free internet service in store, and free cell phone charging. Walgreens also is offering cell phone charging. I went down on Saturday to get some copies made - and while Office Depot was opened, Barnes and Noble, PetsMart, Linens N Things, and Subway were all closed. No sales = no pay for workers.

The schools are closed, and my school district won't open until Wednesday, 10 days post Ike. Daycares and preschools are closed. How many parents have a job in a business that is open, but can't leave their children home alone? How many more are used to leaving their preteens and teens, but are wary of leaving them now that there is no power?

How many man-hours have been lost?

Meanwhile, FEMA is not the joke it was during Katrina, but still very much a bureaucracy. In order to get food or ice, one must register. The only way to register is online or by phone. Most people who need assistance have no electricity. Ummm... hello?

Many more have unlivable homes and are given vouchers for hotel rooms. The qualifying hotels are booked. FEMA tells these residents they must relocate to another city - except they have jobs to go to here. They need to work to get back on their feet, but need a place to live. FEMA is unable to provide trailers, RV's, generators, or any other temporary forms of housing.

Between the Wall Street meltdown and the coming city's meltdown... I'm plantin' a garden! A little boot-strapping always makes me feel better.

Oh, and it turns out we do have some water damage - seeping up through the foundation and buckling our baseboards. Thanks goodness we're renters on this one!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/22/2008 08:03:00 AM | Permalink | |
When Philosophy Majors Play Ball: Friday Fun
Friday, September 19, 2008
My favorite line? "Coach Del Rio chewed Taylor out, telling him to quit pondering the inconsequence of being in a universe governed by chaos and just play some football!"

H/T Evolving Thoughts via Leave the Lights On.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/19/2008 09:58:00 AM | Permalink | |
Bad Back Angst
Thursday, September 18, 2008
***This is a repost from Aug. 15, 2007***

"Thank goodness I don’t have a bad back."

Ahh, how those words, like a child who won’t stay in bed, would come back to haunt me.

Awakening with a lump between my shoulder blades, I attempt to lay perfectly still under the sheets, frantically combing the spotty memories of the previous day. Was it from carrying the fussy baby on the walking tour, grimly pushing an empty stroller with a not-so-free hand? Was it the groceries?

Unfamiliar noises surround me, the sighs and whispers of sleeping little girls. Ah, yes. The toddler has climbed into bed with mommy closely followed by the preschooler. They curled their chubby legs up to their chins, deftly and expertly wiggling between their parents. Their parents, who in turn had to curl their legs to their chins in order to make room for four people in the bed, a feat not easily accomplished once the downhill slide of adult physicality has become the avalanche called middle-age. I'm not really middle aged, yet, but each pregnancy counts as dog-years, so I am actually 97.

I take some ibuprofen and putter around the kitchen. By "putter", I actually mean simultaneously fixing some sort of sustenance for six different little tummies, unloading the dishwasher, and pondering aloud on the difference between frogs and toads for my sons. I realize it would be easier to let them fix their own breakfast, but I've spent too many mornings cleaning up after the "easier" part.

It's actually harder to wash the entire contents of the sugar bowl off of the toddler than it is to just sweeten the stuff myself, despite what efficiency experts would have you believe. It becomes even more difficult when you are unable to lift said child due to back problems. How does a stay at home mom apply for time off due to disability, anyway? Perhaps a call to the ACLU is in order.

Later, after too much coffee and not enough chocolate, I beg my husband to untie the knot hovering next to my spine, under my neck. He rubs, he kneads, I get no satisfaction.

Wait here, he whispers. I’ll be right back. We’ve been married long enough that I have no fantasies of a romantic surprise, of my man slipping over to a hiding place in order to reveal a bouquet of flowers or mended backdoor squeak, the things that make a woman giddy.

He returns with a rolling pin and orders me to lie face down on the ground. I fear he's been watching too many shows on the Military channel, and switch to HGTV while he attacks my spine with the enthusiasm of a pastry chef. Unfortunately, the human back is curved and contoured, not lending itself to a unilateral steamroller approach.

My vertebrae, in a stunning gesture of defiance, refuse to be flattened. I have a sudden insight into where my eldest son's personality may have come from - he does have rather too much spine, sometimes.

I mention that I do have a tart shaper that would be better suited to the task at hand, but husband dear determines that one try with a kitchen implement is enough. I am left to my own devices, which, while very useful for baking, are not going to be putting the chiropractor out of business any time soon.

I spy a wayward child, one of the lasses responsible for this mess in the first place. I wheedle and cajole her to put her cherubic piggie toes on my back. Her balance is spotty, but she gives it a go. The therapy ends abruptly with a topple and tears.

I lay on the carpet and ponder the status of our aging vacuum cleaner. I decide to keep it at Status: Baby it Along, to be shortly followed by Needs to Be Replaced. I wonder idly why there are Cheerios under the couch, when I only buy bran flakes. I am all too briefly caught up in a short but poignant advertisement on the television. Oh, that Pillsbury Doughboy! He's such a prankster!

I suddenly realize that Advil is truly a gift from above, as long as you give it a little while to kick in. And that I have, perhaps, taken too many. Springing to my feet with the energy of a Galapagos Tortoise, I get on with my day.

Thank goodness I'm not prone to headaches...


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/18/2008 09:49:00 AM | Permalink | |
Emergency Gas Stove Cooking: Works for Me Wednesday
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Today's Works for Me Wednesday comes to mind in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

If you have a gas stove, you can still cook when the electricity goes out. Use a match to light the burner, since the automatic ignition won't work.

This came in handy when we heard that everyone needed to boil their tapwater!

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, check out Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/17/2008 09:20:00 AM | Permalink | |
So Not Blogging Today
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I don't have much to say - yet.

Scratch that. I have lots to say, but I'm not confident I know what I'm talking about yet!

I'm mad that these big businesses take horribly bad risks to make a buck, and when their business model doesn't pan out, WE bail them out. Make no mistake - a government bailout is US. Was there any discussion? A vote by our representatives? Whose fiat declared American tax dollars would pay these debts?

I'm mad that several thousand gallons of gas were released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve on news that Ike might damage refining capacity. That's our little oil nest egg - and we blew it on the first bump in the road. And we'll have to import more oil to restock.

I'm more than a little ticked that the "news" magazines will find out what Lindsay Lohan and Matt Damon think about the candidates and broadcast them far and wide. Could they find anyone who knows less about the issues? It's pretty clear they are just broadcasting ad hominem attacks by proxy - letting the actors say what the Obama campaign and MSM can't. I wish they would have just found some people at the post office or the grocery store and asked them - an actual conversation, not a three second news blip. Yo! Campbell! I'm available for phone interviews!

And, I'm looking for bean recipes that don't have tomatoes as an ingredient. Tried and true tasty recipes. And trying to figure out how to bake without butter or eggs. Any help my readers can provide is much appreciated!

I have quite a stock of beans, all types, about 8 lbs. of cooked beef roast, carrots, onions, garlic, and potatoes. BIL can't eat tomaters, though, and all my recipes have red sauce!

So, I'll be back later.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/16/2008 10:56:00 AM | Permalink | |
Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog
Monday, September 15, 2008
Hurricane Ike Update!
Hello, mah peeps! Thanks for all of the concern, comments, and emails. We are safe, happy, and healthy.

Well, we survived Ike! The storm rolled in late Friday night. Husband dear had Thursday afternoon and Friday off, which was great because we only have one car. I was able to get to the store and lay in some extra supplies (we had our 3 days' worth, but I'm a worry wart). We also cleaned out the garage so we could park our van inside, and cleaned out the van in case we needed to leave.

I couldn't find any duct tape for the windows, so I went to Dollar Tree and picked up several clear plastic dropcloths. I saw some battery powered fans, and bought several.

The power went out about 3 am Saturday morning. The rain stopped around 2 pm Saturday afternoon. We checked in with the neighbors, and I gave a couple of the fans away to one who is 7 months pregnant.

Fortunately, we didn't lose water pressure at all; our water was safe. I had hot coffee on Saturday morning (boiled in a saucepan, but hey, it was still good! We have a gas stove, so we were able to cook if we used a match to light the burner.)

We decided to leave Saturday evening, and stay with some friends who live north of Waco. The grand plan was to go visit my parents in Denver for the week. 95 degrees in Houston + 99% humidity + no A/C = get out of town if you can.

Sunday morning, I called my neighbor and our neighborhood has power! Our development is very new, and our power lines are buried. We have internets, people! Thus, this post.

My sister and her family are staying with us. They're neighborhood is older, and full of huge trees. She might not have power for a couple of weeks.

We lost some fence in the backyard. Mr P is prepared to use his Jedi skills to defend the homestead from looters.

Our Japanese Maple is leaning a bit.

There's a dent in the roof, but no shingles missing. That's all the damage!

A miracle in my backyard - I can't believe this survived the storm.

Lost some trees in the neighborhood. Lisa A., your house is PERFECT! No damage at all. The neighbors grabbed your patio furniture and basketball hoop.

Since we decided to leave, we drove over to my sister's to check on them and give them some of our bottled water.

As we drove north, we saw some downed trees.

A row of houses lost their fences.

Lots of stoplights were dangling. None were working. Most people remembered how to drive and remembered their manners - we made better time to than usual!

Some businesses lost facades and a couple of roofs caved in.

Utility poles were down at the mall.

My sister's house.

As we left town, there were two blocks near Cypress that had power, including two gas stations. Let's just say it was insane!

Driving north, whole towns were without power as far as 100 miles outside of Houston. I later found out a major transmission line from New Mexico was down.

I was glad I went to bank on Friday and got cash - and made the teller give me small bills! We thank the Lord that this month, we had breathing room (we tend to be a paycheck to paycheck family.) I had money available so I could get plenty of cold hard cash.

Safe and sound.

We passed several FEMA trucks loaded with supplies, and a few backhoes making their way into town last night as we returned. What an amazing country we live in! Sunday morning, I was at my friend's house and went for donuts and a gallon of milk. We decided to leave, got in our car, and went. We didn't ask anybody. We didn't pay $10 a gallon for gas, thanks to price gouging legislation and enforcement. We didn't have to bribe any officials to get through checkpoints. America is a wonderful place!

We lost all of the food in our freezer and fridge. I only had a little drink sized cooler, but we stopped at a grocery store in College Station and I bought a ham and a block of cheese. I also laid in a supply of fresh fruit and 7 loaves of bread, so I'd have some to pass out to the neighbors if they need it.

Husband dear ran to Kroger this morning and they have milk! No poultry or eggs, though, and they have guards standing at the doors letting only a certain amount of people in at a time.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/15/2008 09:45:00 AM | Permalink | |
Hurrican Ike Blog: 7:00 pm Friday
Friday, September 12, 2008
We've decided to stay and ride out the storm, and if the power is out for an extended time after the storm we're going to head up to Denver. This way we can tape over any windows that get broken and so on.

The eye of the storm is 50 miles wide, and should take 4-5 hours to pass. It's not raining yet but it is definitely windy!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/12/2008 08:03:00 PM | Permalink | |
Hurrican Ike Blog: 4:30 pm Friday
It hasn't started raining yet.

From the Wunderground blog:
I expect hurricane force winds of 74 mph will penetrate about 110 miles inland, near the cities of Huntsville and Livingston to the north of Galveston, and not quite reaching Lufkin. We can expect Ike to cause the largest and longest-lived power outage in Texas history, with power knocked out along a 200-mile wide swath in eastern Texas and extreme western Louisiana extending 300 miles inland to I-20. Dallas will be at the fringe of the region of widespread power outages, and should not suffer major power failures.

We are thinking of leaving. If we do, now is the time! My main worry is being without power for weeks on end. I don't know if I'm being prudent, or making a mountain out of a molehill.

We don't have anywhere to go yet... decisions, decisions.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/12/2008 05:21:00 PM | Permalink | |
Hurrican Ike Blog: 2 pm Friday
We got the garage cleaned out enough to park the van inside - a huge relief!

Ike is a category 2 storm, but it's huge. They are predicting a 25-30 ft. storm surge for ; the previous Texas record was 22 feet during Hurricane Carla in 1961.

Houston should expect 75-80 mph winds for about 8 hours, starting at midnight tonight. It's the duration of the winds that is dangerous.

According to the Dr. Jeff's blog on Wunderground:
Hurricane Ike is closing in on Texas, and stands poised to become one of the most damaging hurricanes of all time. Despite Ike's rated Category 2 strength, the hurricane is much larger and more powerful than Category 5 Katrina or Category 5 Rita. The storm surge from Ike could rival Katrina's, inundating a 200-mile stretch of coast from Galveston to Cameron, Louisiana with waters over 15 feet high. This massive storm surge is due to the exceptional size of Ike.

Last night I made unexpected run up north, but didn't refill the gas tank when getting home. That was a mistake! I had to try 4 gas stations before I found one with fuel to sell, and it's up 30 cents since yesterday -$3.59 a gallon.

People are boarding up windows in our neighborhood, and husband dear thought perhaps we should get some duct tape to keep glass from flying if a window breaks. Being the dutiful wife I am *snort*, I set out.

Home Depot was closed at noon. Lowe's next door was a madhouse. I didn't even try to get in - there were at least 100 people lined up outside waiting for their turn to get in. I headed over to Dollar Tree, which was remarkably calm. I got some plastic dropcloths there, in case our windows break we can at least cover the hole. We have nails and packing tape, so that will have to do!

We are fairly well prepared with food and water. As I said before, the real story will be next week when we find out if there's going to be a disaster with the power coming back on. We'll be filling our bathtubs tonight, and I'm going to fill the washing machine with water so we can flush the toilets. My big endeavor is to get all of the laundry washed and put away, in case we leave next week!

Skies are cloudy and gray, but not raining yet. It's starting to get windy, though.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/12/2008 03:14:00 PM | Permalink | |
Ike's Comin' to Dinner!
Thursday, September 11, 2008

We should start getting rain tomorrow from Hurricane Ike. We're not planning to evacuate, but if the power is out for an extended period of time, we might have to rethink that (we're hearing horror stories of no electricity or water for 4-7 weeks post Andrew and Rita.)

We're pretty well prepared, but are going through boxes in the garage (still haven't unpacked 3 MONTHS later) getting old photo albums, etc. ready in case we need to leave after the storm.

I'll try to check in when I get the chance, but if the power goes, it'll be quiet here for a few days!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/11/2008 06:58:00 PM | Permalink | |
They're All Pigs To Me: Thoughtful Thursday

More politics, y'all. I know. I'm sorry. I just can't help myself.

So you've probably seen the news, that Obama used the phrase "lipstick on a pig" and the crowd immediately connected it to Palin's acceptance speech, where she talks about lipstick on a pit bull. Obama went on to talk about "old fish", clearly meaning McCain.

So McCain called him on it. And Obama, instead of apologizing, said McCain was acting falsely offended.

Yeah, whatever. I don't care. Are you shocked?

Maybe I'm just cynical, but this is politics. Maybe I'm thinking of old time politics portrayed in movies, or what I've gleaned from reading history books about 19th century America. And you know what? I kind of like it.

No, I don't like the rumors and mudslinging... but... only in America. Candidates can call each other pigs (might not be the wisest move, but go ahead!). Only in 21st century America can every word that falls from their lips be instant gossip fodder. With new media - blogs - and YouTube, so people can see what is not on the nightly news, everything seems to sort itself out.

You might think I'm being hypocritical, in light of my little rant on Biden, stem cells, and disabled children. Biden's remarks, however, were not mudslinging. They were flat out wrong. And, don't expect me to sit back and be quiet when some guy accuses the mother of a special needs child of not caring, because she doesn't support the same therapies as he does.

Bring it on. It's time we see the candidates true colors, the unscripted nominees. It's time we get a real measure of the man.

And you know what? Constant harping on minor offenses makes people tired. It makes them not care. They become mentally disenfranchised. A shame, since there are important, tangible reasons for choosing one candidate over the other. Let's talk about the issues.

I'd love to McCain take Obama on regarding his extreme radical death views - not just abortion, but infanticide and the death penalty for non-capital crimes. How about when he told O'Reilly that Bill could afford paying 39% income tax, when challenged on his tax policy? How elitist! How does Obama know what we can afford? Exactly how much does Obama think he should get paid to consider when life begins? Inquiring minds want to know.

I'd love to hear McCain defend his horrible McCain-Feingold Act, now that he's the one running. Does McCain still support the Real ID act? How's that gonna happen, anyway? I want to know what he plans to do about the housing crisis and the resulting meltdown of the financial markets. I want to know if McCain (and Obama) supported the government takeover of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

I want to hear actual plans for America's future, not white-paper abstracts that are ultimately meaningless. And if I have to wade through the mud to get answers, so be it.

art by Norman Rockwell


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/11/2008 09:33:00 AM | Permalink | |
Hurricane Tips: Works for Me Wednesay
Wednesday, September 10, 2008

First, I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who told me they eat onions that have black powder on them and didn't die. Since I didn't hear from anyone who DID die from eating it, I will continue in my hillbilly ways. At least I don't use spit and a thumb to clean it off!

My works for me Wednesday tip is lifted straight from my post yesterday, Preparing for Hurricanes the Lazy Way. Don't let the fact there are 12 steps fool you. There is much sitting and thinking involved.

Here's the tip: If you store emergency food, keep Ovaltine or Tang on hand to make powdered milk or stale water more palatable and kid friendly. Plus, the vitamins can only help.

Have a great day - and if you feel lead to, please take my Obama poster and put it up on your blog, too!

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, click over to Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/10/2008 01:02:00 AM | Permalink | |
Say Wha? Biden Thinks Palin Doesn't Care.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Sen. Joe Biden, Obama's veep nominee, stuck his foot in his mouth today saying:
“I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy, because there's joy to it as well, the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect. Well guess what folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research?”

Except... Republicans do support stem cell research. Many Republican's don't support embryonic stem cell research, which destroys a living human in the process of harvesting said stem cells and hasn't shown the therapeutic benefits adult stem cells have.

But, nevertheless, McCain also supports embryonic stem cell research. It's one of those "quirks" that makes him a "maverick" (and make people like me NOT want to vote for him.)

The Obama camp swears the remarks weren't intended as a slam of Palin or her baby Trig, who has Down Syndrome, but the statement clearly references Palin's VP Nomination acceptance speech, where she said:

Our family has the same ups and downs as any other ... the same challenges and the same joys.

Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge.

And children with special needs inspire a special love.

So what, Joe, are you saying? That Palin doesn't really care about disabled children? That Republicans don't support stem cell research? You're wrong on both counts.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/09/2008 05:31:00 PM | Permalink | |
Hurricane Preparation for the Lazy.
Looks like there's a storm coming!

We didn't get any rain from Gustav, and I hope if nothing else Ike cools things off. It's been very hot, and I haven't been using the oven at all - not even to make a promised birthday cake for Our Lady yesterday! We had countertop cookies instead.

All the major sites have the basics of hurricane prep outlined and ready, but here's a few things you should do TODAY if you are in the storm's path. Keep in mind that depending on where the storm hits and how strong it is, you might lose power even if it's not very bad where you are.

Hurricane Preparation for the Lazy
1. Find out about evacuations. Go ahead and print out a list of shelters, even if you are SURE you won't evacuate. You just might need it (or a neighbor will) and you can't count on internet service or electricity when the time comes.

2. Make sure your car has a full tank of gas. Also, consider how you will get it out of the garage, in case of emergency. If you have an automatic garage door opener, can you open it manually? (Not theoretically, I mean go out there and try it.) If you can't, park your car in the driveway.

3. While you're at it, clean out the car a little bit, you know, just in case. And actually go outside and "put your eyes" on the gas shut off valve and water shut off. Do you need a special tool? Now, while you have access to the internet and eHow, is the time to figure out how to do it! You're not gonna want to be problem solving in the driving rain.

4. Do your laundry. If you have to leave, or are without electricity for a couple of days, you'll appreciate that stack of clean clothes!

5. Consider hospitality. Where we live, we probably would not evacuate. We are more than 40 miles from the shore. But, we have many friends that live within 10 miles of the coast, who might need a place to stay. Take some time to freshen up the extra blankets, just in case!

6. Consider the food situation. You should have three days worth of food - take some time to consider and plan WHAT you're going to make with all those cans and boxes. In our case - vegetarian chili, here we come. The rule of thumb is also 1 gallon of water per person per day. A three day supply for OUR family? 27 gallons. Keep in mind that this includes liquids, so cans and bottles of juice count, too. A good way to store water? Fill milk jugs with water or gallon zipper bags with ice cubes and keep in the freezer. It'll keep your food cold during a power outage, and you can drink it, too.

7. Eat your emergency food in times of plenty. This tip won't help you out NOW, but it's good to do.

If you stockpile powdered milk for hurricanes and blizzards, but your child has never even tasted it, you are going to have a problem on your hands. Occasionally cook up emergency rations so that it is not entirely foreign. In the case of powdered milk, it tastes terrible unless it is thoroughly chilled. I keep a can of Ovaltine with it (extra vitamins!) and my kids think that's how you MAKE Ovaltine all the time. Or use it in oatmeal or cooked dishes, instead of drinking straight.

If you keep cans of tuna on hand, but only eat it in casserole, consider exposing your children to tuna salad or even a nice antipasto dish (canned white beans, canned olives, and canned tuna for a emergency Nicoise salad). The last thing you'll need during an emergency is more stress, so consider stockpiling some comfort foods and treats. There's nothing wrong with squirrelling away a package of oreos or box of poptarts to boost morale!

8. Consider how you'll cook, if there is no electricity. I have a gas stove, but will need matches to light it. We have a grill, but it's outside and not much use if the rain is heavy. Perhaps spend some time now looking up raw foods or at least reading about cooking over a can of sterno or camp stove. Is your can opener electric? Better get a manual one!

9. Consider how you'll see. Do your oil lamps need to be filled and trimmed? Dig out your campling lantern and set up the mantles. Get extra batteries for the flashlights. Don't forget that you'll need a separate light - hanging if possible - for the bathroom!

10. Consider the children. What are they going to do? You might want to stop off at the dollar store for some extra goodies. Get some decks of cards, coloring books, or puzzles. My Dollar Tree carries glowsticks, which would be fun if the power goes off. You might want to check your diaper and baby wipe supply while you're at it... if you run out, baby will have to live in the bathtub until the stores reopen!

11. Clear a path. If your house is messy, do your best to clear the floors at least. You won't want to be stumbling and tripping when the power's off and waters seeping under the door!

12. Put it all together. Grab an old backpack, totebag, even a grocery bag. Put your emergency supplies inside, including flashlights, can opener, radio, batteries, etc. Keep it all in the same, easy to find place until the storm is over.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/09/2008 09:11:00 AM | Permalink | |
Food Stamp Challenge
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Sep. 7-13 is Food Stamp Challenge week. An average food stamp recipient receives $21 per week - $1 per meal and the challenge is to see if YOU can live under a food stamp budget.

Well, you might notice I am *actually* doing the budget challenge this month, and our monthly budget for all household goods is $750.

Our food stamp budget, for 9 people, would be $756 for 4 weeks. So I suppose I'm already doing the challenge!

During Hunger Action Month, I pledge to take the Food Stamp
Challenge in order to better understand how the program is working on a personal
level. For one week in September 2008, I will take part in the challenge and
will live on the nationwide average food stamp benefit. According to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for administering the Food Stamp
Program, the nationwide average monthly benefit in FY 2005 was $94.05,
approximately $3 a day or $1 a meal.

You, your spouse, friends, and co-workers are encouraged to join the
Challenge and share your experiences of a week of living on a food stamp diet
online at
Now, according to the rules you are not supposed to eat food you already have in the house, but I'm not going to follow that rule. We have lots of food stocked, and on my shopping trips I basically buy the same things to replenish the supply. Also, two weeks ago hubs bought pork ribs (99 cents per pound) with the intention of grilling them Sunday.

I'll be posting a menu after I hit the stores. In my coupon box, I have index cards with different cuts of meat listed and dishes I can make filled in underneath. We'll see if there are any specials at the store before I make my list. I'll be hitting HEB for meat and sale items, and FoodTown for produce and canned goods.

Anyone want to join me, as I join Shanda at Embraced and Being Embraced in this challenge?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/06/2008 09:59:00 AM | Permalink | |
Milehimama: Friday Fun
Friday, September 05, 2008
Many people have wondered about my name, since I live in Houston.

I grew up in Colorado, although I wasn't born there. I went to elementary school there. I had middle school bullies there. Graduated high school there. First kiss, first date, first driver's license - all in Colorado. I met my husband there, got married in Denver, and birthed four babies... all in the Mile High City.

Thus, the name. That, and when I started blogging I was totally going to have an awesome site like A to Z Homeschool, but chock full of all things Denver. So my name had to be branded.

I may live in Houston, but my heart is in Denver.

Why Milehimama, and not MileHighMama? I'm simply unnaturally prejudiced against silent letters, I guess.

I even cut my brownies into the shape of the state, and make sure my muffins come out of the oven with peaked cones. That's how much I love Colorado.

Colorado is a great state. You can't sell cars on Sunday. You can't put your sofa on the porch. You can't cause light pollution with your porch light. And they eat every part of the animal. Ever hear of Rocky Mountain Oysters?

Every year, the Columbus day parade is a MAJOR event, complete with protests. Cinco de Mayo shuts down half the city. We have a state dinosaur, people!

Colorado is also infested with aliens.

Who left their mother ship in a Woody Allen movie.

What's not to love?

My heart will always be a mile high.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/05/2008 11:39:00 AM | Permalink | |
Bipolar Child, Psych Drugs: My Child is Not His Medication
Thursday, September 04, 2008

When we took Mr R off the Risperdal in November 2006, we didn't tell anyone.

His school, you see, defined him by his IEP and his medications. If he had a rough day at school, I'd get a call wondering if he skipped his pill. Occasionally I'd get a helpful note, reminding us of the nurses guidelines for prescription dispensing. It was irritating to know that he was a faceless number tagged with an Rx by his name.

My child is not his medication. Sometimes we all are irritable, annoyed, and short tempered. So is my child.

My child is not his medication. We all feel sad sometimes. Children cry. Some children are more sensitive than others. An occasional melancholy mood does not mean he missed his meds.

If there was a pill available that would deaden his soul, and numb his heart so he would never be sad, I would never give it to him. Tears are necessary, sometimes, to water the garden of life.

My child is not his medication. Children are childish. They can be foolish, impulsive, irresponsible. When my child acts like a child, it does not mean he needs another dose. Sometimes he, like all children, gets overexcited.

My child is fearfully and wonderfully made. I have faith the God knows what he is doing. My child was created just the way he is, for a purpose.

My child's medications are controlled by us, his parents. We love him. We know him.

You are simply a stranger, who sees him at his worst in the toy department. An interloper, here only for a couple of semesters. You may be an extended family member, but you are also an occasional observer of life's most stressful and happy moments. You see him at his most difficult hour; you judge what you do not understand.

Instead of this:

Look at him and see this:

My child is not his medication.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/04/2008 05:39:00 AM | Permalink | |
Obama Campaign Sign
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
***UPDATE*** I posted a link to this page in the moderated comments on the Catholics for Obama website. I comment there often, and always from a prolife point of view. The moderator deleted my link AND disallowed the link to my profile! I think it is true, a picture speaks louder than words. I left the mod the following comment:
Wow, it is a little disingenuous and cowardly to remove the link from the comment and also disallow the link to my profile.

May God soften your heart towards these babies, who have no hope unless our leaders change things.

May you be filled with God's mercy,

Please pray for Catholics who support abortion. It will be a terrible day for them when they have to face Christ - and the souls of these babies. Pray that their hearts will change, and that they learn to love ALL life, just as Christ tells us to.

The Obama campaign, ever hungry for the Evangelical and Catholic vote, is all atwitter over a new PAC - the Matthew 25 PAC. Obama has used Matthew 25 as his main talking point when addressing matters of faith and politics.

Here's a poster I made up just for them!

Picture is of a 20 week old fetus.

I will never vote for a leader who abuses his power by fighting for children to be killed so that they won't pose an undue burden to their mother.

Feel free to grab this for your blog - just link back and leave a note in the comments!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/02/2008 03:36:00 PM | Permalink | |
Black Powdered Onions: Work for Me Wednesdays Backwards!
It's backwards day for Works for Me Wednesdays, and I have something to ask you.

My onions often have black powder under the skins. It's not really mold - it's dry and dusty. I'm guessing it's some kind of mildew. So far, I've been peeling/cutting that part off, and using the rest of the onion.

I store my onion in my pantry, which is a built in closet. I've tried putting them in a basket with my potatoes, and I've also tried hanging them in the mesh bag from a nail on the wall. It doesn't seem to make a difference.

What is it?

Why does it grow there?

Can I wash it off and use the whole onion, should I keep cutting the bad parts off, or am I taking my family's life in my hands with toxic mold?

To solve more dilemmas, check out Rocks in My Dryer.

***Off topic, but I made a campaign poster in response to Obama's new PAC that quotes the Gospel of Christ as proving that he is a worthy leader. I'd love to see it spread, so feel free to grab it for your blog. Link back and leave a note in the comments so I can see where it's going!***

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/02/2008 02:09:00 PM | Permalink | |