Wednesday, November 6, 2013

New Blog!

It's been almost a year since my last blog post, and I'm just now starting to feel like blogging again.  I wrote about it over at  I would be honored if you would visit me over there!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Joy to the World!  The Lord is Come!

We are all another year older, maybe a tad wiser.

Reagan-8; Matilyn-6; Jack-3; Declan-22 months

I was reading in Proverbs yesterday; Proverbs 26:11, "Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly."

I identify with the dog...   But for now, Merry Christmas.  I hope the Lord blesses you with peace, understanding, and wisdom. ;)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kicking in a Skull

There is a Seinfeld episode called "The Fatigues", in which Elaine contemplates firing an in-house mailman, Eddie Sherman, for screwing up something in the mail room.  But upon meeting Eddie Sherman in his fatigues, instead of firing him, she promotes him.

So, eventually this ensues.

Obviously Sherman is unqualified for copy writing, so Elaine has no choice but to...promote him again.  Eventually she promotes him so high that he gets a better job at a better company.  And he's unqualified to run the mail room!  It's so funny.

And so incredibly ironic that the same thing is happening in real life.  The whole Susan Rice fiasco has me thinking about this episode nearly every time I read about Rice.

On Sept. 11, 2012, we were attacked in Lybia where our ambassador Chris Stevens was killed along with three other Americans.  The following month was filled with a story out of Washington that there was this little viewed youtube video that incited a riot which got out of hand.


The person designated to carry the water on this narrative was Susan Rice, our ambassador to the UN.  She blatantly lied to the American people about the Lybia attack, insisting that it was not terrorism but instead a riot in response to our apparent insensitivity towards Muslims.

What's so unbelievable is that now she's being considered for PROMOTION!  And those of us who dare to criticize her judgement in perpetuating a known lie are called racists and sexist.  I get the sense that Sherman is Rice, the Administration is Elaine, and we're the audience, laughing, smiling and nodding at the hilarity that is real life.

If I don't laugh, I'll cry.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Microwave Kettle Corn-Butter Free!

I have come up with a delicious, microwavable kettle corn.  And it doesn't use butter!

  1. In a glass bowl, melt a scant tablespoon of Coconut Oil in the microwave.  I cooked it for one minute.  I think this is one of the tricks to pop corn.  Hot Oil helps keep the kernels from drying out.  I read that somewhere.
  2. Once melted, stir in a heaping tablespoon of Sugar and stir, trying to dissolve.  It probably won't, but at least get it nice and mixed.
  3. Add a dash of salt.
  4. Then add in about a quarter cup of pop corn.  Stir that all together to coat the kernels.
  5. Microwave, COVERED, on high for about 2 minutes and 15 seconds, or until the kernels are popping more than one second apart.  I use one of those microwave plate covers over my Pyrex bowl.
  6. If you see steam rising from the vents of the plate cover, your sugar is burning.  STOP THE MICROWAVE IMMEDIATELY!  Or you will end up with burnt sugar smell all over the neighborhood.  And when someone comes to the door, like some poor unsuspecting Postal Worker to deliver a registered letter, he will ask, "Did someone burn sugar?"  And you will nod and admit that yes, you did.  And he will say, "Yeah, you can smell it all over the neighborhood."  And you will be embarrassed.  As if wasting the oil, sugar and corn kernels wasn't already frustrating, but now you'll be embarrassed.  Watch your corn!
  7. Immediately dump the corn into another bowl to slow the caramelizing process of the sugar.
  8. Feed to your family.  Unless of course, like mine, they don't like the same snacks two days in a row or they tasted the Kettle Corn Seasoning and realize that homemade food doesn't taste as good as the store food.  But whatever, more for me, I mean, you.
  9. Wash your bowl before making another batch.  Burnt sugar, people!  Burnt sugar, BAD!
Helpful Hints:

I tried shaking up the bowl halfway between the cooking cycle and that was actually a good idea.  The majority of kernels popped up and the shaking helped the sugar distribute.

To clean up the bowl do not, I repeat, DO NOT soak the bowl in water.  It will seize the sugar and become much more difficult to clean off.  I recommend using a nylon scraper to scrap off the minimally (hopefully) sticky sugar on the bottom of the bowl.  Once you've removed the cooked stuff, wash with soap and water. And Voila! Clean glass bowl ready for the next round!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Election Reaction

Well, let's just say I was surprised.  And I learned several things.

1.  Not watching T.V. for an entire year left me in the dark about the candidates' ads.  Although I enjoyed a lot of peace at not being inundated nightly with candidates' after candidates' ads, I had very little idea about what was being said.

2. Surprisingly, negative campaigning apparently works!

3.  There are a lot of unintelligent voters out there and the Democratic party got them mobilized.  We are now facing an entire electorate that has been solely educated through the school systems which has purposefully avoided the instruction of history and economics.

4.  We also have a large percentage of single-parent Americans which allows the government to step in and be baby-daddy.  Government and schools are all too happy to fill the void that parents and churches have left open.

5.  Mitt Romney was not compelling enough to get the Conservatives out.  He lost by more votes than McCain received, and I had to close my eyes and pull the lever for him.

6.  Obama won by fewer votes this time than he did in 2008.  This tells me that a lot of people are dissatisfied with the direction of his policies.  But that still wasn't enough to get more people out to vote for Romney.

Meanwhile, more people voted for Obama and we are left to pick up whatever we can and survive for another four years.  Taxes will go up for all of us.  But the majority of Americans will be comfortable in their poverty thanks to massive a Food Stamp program and Obamacare.  Which is why they voted last week.  They voted to keep for themselves a lifestyle for which they will not work.  As Rush Limbaugh said, "We were running against Santa Clause."

And Republicans stayed home.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

For What It's Worth

I realize that we are within four days of the election, and most of you have probably already filled out your ballots, but I thought I would go through the propositions and list out how I'll vote for them.

First up, the Western Maricopa Education Center District would like to offer a bond to the tune of $74,900,000, which will increase our property taxes by $3.93 per $100,000 of home value.  This bond will fund a new technical skills, job training program.
         *I'll be voting No.  I expect I'm a lone voice on this.  High schools and community colleges are more than capable to provide this service and training.  Why does the School District need more money to do something that high schools and community colleges already do?  Furthermore, there are no actual details to what the money will spent on.  For example, where will the building be?  Is there going to be an actual facility?  Or is the money for teachers and curriculum?  I didn't find any of that information in the document.  The days of reckless spending should be over and we need to start with exercising a bit of discipline when it comes to educational services such as these.

Now, onto the Props!

100's signify Constitutional ammendments, 200's signify citizen initiatives to create new or amend current state laws, 300's signify legislative referrals to create new or amend current states and 400's are local matters.

Prop 114

This prop would amend the Arizona Constitution to exempt the victim of a crime from any damages and protect the victim from liability of damages, death or injury.  "A crime victim is not subject to a claim for damages by a person who is harmed while attempting to engage in conduct classifies as a felony offense, while engaging in conduct classified as a felony offense of while fleeing from such conduct."

         *I will vote Yes on this amendment.  I love Russell Pearce's opening line in his support for this prop, "Here is a simple and good idea.  Let's stop the bad guys from suing their victims."   This is an amendment so that a robber breaking into a house and falls and breaks his neck on the property can't sue the homeowner because the injury occurred on the property.  Or if a homeowner is rightfully protecting his property with a weapon, and a gun fight ensues the criminal can't sue the owner.

Prop 115

This prop would amend the Constitution to make changes in regards to the selection and retention of state judges and justices.  The Superior Court judges would serve 8 year terms, the mandatory retirement age will be raised to 75 (instead of 70), and several changes for the appointment of judges in the case of vacancies.

         *I will vote Yes.  The Center for Arizona Policy is for it and that's a fantastic endorsement in my opinion.

Prop 116

This prop would allow farmers to exempt their machinery, equipment and store fixtures purchases from taxation.
         *I will vote Yes  for this amendment.  My hope is that with the tax exemption, the agriculture business will grow and pass on savings to consumers.  At the very least, it could possibly help farmers to hire more employees.  (Well, not if Obamacare is not repealed...another issue, but must be considered in the grand scheme.  Another post, another day.)  Also, I love it when we can reduce taxes...  Big fan...

Prop 117

This prop limits the amount of "full cash value" for the above tax-exempt machinery and purchases of farmers.  The amount may not exceed 5% of the previous year's value.

       *I will vote Yes for this amendment.  Limiting the amount of

Prop 118

This proposition would allow the state to collect 2.5% of the average market value to use the state-trust land for public instruction institutions.  We already collect an amount for land useage permits.  But the formula is really convoluted  this proposition would make the amount available pretty straight forward and would allow the state to harness more of the money.

         *I will vote Yes for this amendment.  This just makes sense.  Instead of raising property taxes on the citizens, how about we utilize what we have to pay for our education programs?  Yes, this is the right thing to do.

Prop 119

This prop will amend the Constitution to allow the state to exchange trust land for other public land in this state as long as two requirements are met: 1. The exchange must be in the best interest of the state land trust.   2. The purpose of the exchange will assist in preserving and protecting military facilities.  3. There must be two appraisals on the value of the land.  4. A public notice must be given.  And 5. the voters get the final approval of the exchange in a November general election.

         *I will vote Yes for this.  I'm always in favor of the state being able to use the land we have to our full advantage.  We are incredibly blessed in Arizona with lots of land, we should be using it as income, and we should be trying to keep our military installations here in AZ instead of losing them to different states.  I like this proposition.

Prop 120

This is another prop about land usage.  This prop will allow the state to declare sovereign and exclusive authority and jurisdiction over the air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife, and other natural resources, with the exception of Indian reservation land.  This amendment "would declare that each state possesses full attributes of sovereignty on an equal footing with all other states,as provided by the United States Constitution, and that state sovereignty is fundamental to the security of individual rights, free government and the inherent political power of the people"

         *I will vote Yes on Prop 120.  You had me at state sovereignty.

Prop 121

This proposition is perhaps the most controversial of the props on the ballot this year.  This is the "open primary" proposition.  This prop will eliminate the partisan primary election with an open "top two" primary election.  This is incredibly deceitful because they interests involved are suggesting this change to the primary election for fiscal interests.  "It's too expensive to print off sample ballots of the two parties!", they say.

Whatever.  This prop will in reality allow a massive amount of special interests to fund the top picks and essentially eliminate any other contender.  I don't like it, not one bit.  The proponents of this bill would say this is the best way to open up the election process.  But actually, it would make the primary process more convoluted since it would not compel a candidate to disclose their party identification.  It's also billed as a way to get more moderates onto the ballot and to increase the independent voter turn-out.  This is simply a fallacy.  Independent voters already vote how they want to vote.  And they can even petition to get on the general ballot.  There is no real hindrance to independents.

         *I will vote No on Prop 121.

Prop 204

This proposition would make permanent the temporary tax increases enacted in May of 2010.  This expires in May of 2013.

         *I will vote No on Prop 204.  I do not think that sales tax helps anyone.  I think it actually harms local business because it penalizes consumption.  I believe the best way to help schools and other municipalities is to help them be more responsible with what's given.  It may seem cruel, but it's not.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Financial Independence

I read an article by Thomas J. Stanley yesterday about the income levels of Goodwill Shoppers.

I was encouraged.  For the past year I have been fairly committed to only buying clothes for the children at resale stores, with the exception of shoes since a couple of the kids tend to need new shoes every other month, I've had to buy those new.  (I'm not sure if that's a run-on sentence.  It's late...)

We have not completed our goal of paying off our consumer debt yet, but we have been making headway and we have two months still to go until January.  I'm usually encouraged by Thomas Stanley's tweets with links to articles about the behavior of the wealthy and the legacy they leave for their children.

In addition to reading Stanley's articles I also listen to Dave Ramsey.  If you have IheartRadio I highly recommend the Dave Ramsey station.  You can listen to his radio broadcasts on a loop.  It's so great!  I'm always inspired to keep on keeping on!  Love him!!!!

To be clear, it's not about wealth so much as it's about my relationship with money.  I am desperate for the stronghold of debt to be released.  I am desperate to be free to fully live for Christ.  That is true independence.