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Monday, May 26, 2008

Honoring Our Troops This Memorial Day 2008

Photo © Chance Agrella

I wanted to post a few things today that would help honor and remember our troops.

From A Family Remembers Their Medal of Honor Recipient. A riveting story about Medal of Honor recipient, Lt. Michael P. Murhpy. The end of the story will bring tears to your eyes.

From that same story, a link to photos of the medal and a few recent Medal of Honor Recipients.

From Riderless Horse Adds Poignancy to Military Burials. The history of the riderless horse and the explanation of its symbolism and current usage.

From, an AP story about President Bush honoring the troops in Arlington, Virginia.

Also from, a video, U.S. Soldiers Mark Memorial Day.

Fox News Special: Company of Heroes courtesy of Hulu (1:20:37)
*NOTE: a caution at the beginning of this special warns that it is not for children and contains language and images that may be disturbing.

And, a personal note to my cousin and her husband who are members of the Marines. She is the first female in our family to serve, and the only member of our family in our generation to serve:

“S, I am so very proud of you and J!!!! I keep you both in my prayers. Be safe, and keep up the fine work. Hope to see you soon! Much love, ME.”

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend USA – A Tribute to the American Solider

What you do is something many would not. Regardless of your personal and religious beliefs, you serve your country with honor, and do as your country dictates for the sake of its people and the people of other lands.

Your daily life is difficult, dirty, and partaken under some of the most extreme conditions in the world. Some honor and respect you – while others revile and despise you – and still you march on, doing what you feel is the right thing to do.

Your sacrifice, your service, your selflessness have not gone unnoticed. Today, I pay you tribute and honor you for all you do for me, my family, the country we share, and for so many others across the globe.

From the bottom of my heart, on this Memorial Day Weekend, and every day, I thank you. You have my love, respect, support, and prayers. This tribute is for you.

Fox News Special - V for Valor: American Heroes in Iraq courtesy of HULU TV (39:05)

Toby Keith’s American Soldier from Beevmeister

Project Never Forget honors fallen soldiers by offering a free photo charm to family members.

Until Then - a photographic and musical tribute from the employees of GSC Distributing. The music is from the Brigham Young University Choirs. The song is titled, “Homeward Bound”. The presentation was created by T. Clegg. is a site completely devoted to honoring our servicemen and women. The man behind the site also personally sends out care packages to our troops. Check the “Ways to Write/Support Our Troops” link on his site for more information.

K-Love’s Wall of Prayer for our troops is a place to post a name (First name only please) of a soldier to be prayed for. Please respect the safety and security of our troops by not posting full names, dates, locations, troop movements, etc.

Dear American Solider Letter Writing Campaign from American Family Radio
. Write or email a letter to an American Soldier to let them know how much you appreciate them.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Military Service Makes McCain Unfit for the Office of President of the United States?

There are reports that Democratic Senator Harkin has stated that Sen. McCain’s military service makes him unfit to serve as the country’s president.

I vehemently and most adamantly disagree. Since the President of the United States is also the Commander-in-Chief for the military and must make decisions that affect our military, I think it is a benefit to understand how the military truly functions, and what serving your country during a time of war means.

Our country’s defense and foreign aid through military support systems must be run by those who understand it best. Those who have never been in the military do not understand the intricacies involved, or what goes on in war situations. How can they possibly tackle such an important aspect of running our country when they have no background with our military, and perhaps even have protested against it? Common sense dictates that it would be those who would be unfit to run the country due to their skewed perspective.

I personally think it should be a requirement that anyone running for president should have some military experience as well as other life, diplomacy, and business experience in order to make the best decisions possible for our country.

Too often too much power is given over to advisers who may have their own agendas or may put their own spin on things. If our president has a solid background in the areas that truly count, he will be less likely to be steered wrong, and more likely to spot inconsistencies and agendas in the Intel he is given.

I come from a proud family history of military service. In my youth, I did consider joining, but at that time women were not allowed to be fighter pilots (which is what I wanted to do), and a high school injury cast doubts upon my being able to pass the physical with both the Navy and the Air Force. However, I have worked as a civilian on two different military bases, and have dated many military men. I understand there is a difference between military personnel and civilians, as well as how the military operates versus how civilian enterprises operate. In this day and age, we need a leader who understands those things, too. Only such a person can see how to have the best of both worlds in order to produce the best possible outcomes for us, and for the others in the world who need or ask for our help.

Video created by Littlebrat672

How to Tie a Tie

Photo © MShades. Used with Creative Commons Attribution License.

While performing some related research, I stumbled across an amazing website that is all about how to tie neckties. The site is called 2 Tie a Tie and is owned and operated by three teenaged young men.

The website not only offers advice on how to tie a wide assortment of tie knots, but also has other related tips such as how to care for your tie, how to clean your tie, and how to prevent and remove wrinkles. How to dress for an interview and how to choose a suit are also topics that are addressed.

The site is easy to use, the diagrams are easy to follow, and the video how-tos are fantastic. 2 Tie a Tie is a fun and informative site that I recommend for anyone who needs to tie ties, or needs to teach others how to tie neckties.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Global Warming, Going Green, and Responsible Citizenry in Tough Economic Times

First, I do not buy into the global warming scare. The history of the earth and our climate reveals that nature has a mind of its own and produces extreme climate changes. That being said, I do buy into being responsible citizens of the world.

My own nature is that of abhorring waste, so there are many things about the ‘green’ movement that are appealing to me. The ease and accessibility of many ‘green’ changes are appealing, as well. In this busy world, it is hard to ‘go green’ when it requires consuming more fuel and time to do so. In line with that, it is more appealing to ‘go green’ when the economy is in bad shape. Recycling, upcycling, and living a lifestyle of * “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” are practical and necessary parts of survival in difficult financial times.

My own town has been taking recycling into the nineties (it is behind a decade or so around here . . .lol) and not only has a recycling center for green waste that is resold, but it also now has a center of town drop off point for plastics, paper, and cardboard.

An entrepreneur in town has had the market for years on the aluminum can recycling business, but now a new can recycling entrepreneur has begun advertising his services.

Some of our pharmacies will take care of your drug disposal needs, and some auto service centers in town will take your used oil. There is a rumor that a local tire company will take used tires, too.

Large appliances, glass, and metal cans (soup, vegetables, etc) still need a place to go other than the dump.

Our only second-hand store has tightened their used goods acceptance policies which is saving them money which they are passing on to their customers – but its landing more stuff in the dump, and costing those who need to dispose of it more money and fuel – so that one is probably a wash.

Two things I find interesting about the green movement is the near hysteria about faulty science that many buy into without checking into it past the fact that 'someone said so', and the hypocrites in Hollywood who speak it but do not live it.

Hollywood Hypocrites Video:

If the video does not work, please use this link instead.

A few of the things I have been doing are:

Using organic and natural means for controlling weeds and pests in my yard. This means I have chemical-free yard waste, which then can go into my compost bin and later be reapplied to my yard and garden. I also can add some household/kitchen waste into the compost bin, which results in less garbage going into the can for city pickup.

Though my new place came with many perennial flowers, the only things I am adding are those that have use such as vegetables, edible flowers, and flowers and plants that aid in pest control. The perennials are clipped and brought indoors for the appearance and beautiful fragrance – then they go out to the compost bin.

I have reusable shopping bags – though I am still working on building a habit of putting them immediately back in the car when the groceries are put away, and of taking them into the store with me.

I have been checking out sites such as Etsy and Threadbanger in order to find new ways to use and makeover what we have. Both sites have YouTube memberships that offer free how-to videos.

About half of my light bulbs are now the compact energy-saving bulbs. Little by little, I add to my collection and by year’s end, I will have all of my bulbs switched over. They are not as pricey as they used to be, and if you shop around you can find multi-packs that are a great deal. Be sure to compare the life expectancy listed on the box. Not all will claim the same life expectancy or savings.

I am working on my own garden that will lessen trips to the store and save money. I know basics of canning, dehydrating, and freezing foods, so I can preserve my crops. I am using containers/raised beds and will be implementing portable trellises in order to maximize space. Anything that has vines or is bushy can be used with the trellises.

I have been finding and trying homemade organic cleaners that mostly use water, vinegar, and baking soda. Some require a little more elbow grease than others do, but so far, so good. There are some commercial products I am not ready to give up yet – and that includes my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. For me, the move to go as chemical free as possible began due to health issues, but is now being fueled by the desire to be a more responsible citizen of the planet.

I am looking into ways to convert my vehicle so it will use less or no petroleum. The water conversion plans are looking very appealing to me. Those with a diesel engine may find the vegetable oil conversion of interest – though it will make your vehicle smell like French fries.

What things are YOU doing and how do YOU feel about ‘going green’?

*This quote has been attributed to several sources including Spencer W. Kimball, pioneer women, and people in the depression era of the 1930’s.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Simplify My Life: Food Storage with Simply Living Smart

Photo © Aleksander Momirovic
I have been taking steps for several months now to simplify my life. My whole life makeover has included living on less, finding new ways to use/reuse, and working smarter not more/harder. These things free up more time for me to spend with my family and doing the things I love to do. They save me money on top of all the time they save. Many of these things are environmentally friendly. Above all else, they add to the peace and joy felt by my family and myself.

With the rising costs of food and fuel, I am so grateful that I have so many things in place to help my family not feel “the crunch” so much.

As I continue to search for more information on how to add to my life overhaul, I come across some websites or articles that really make a significant impact when incorporated into my plan.

Today, I found yet another of those websites, and wanted to share it with you. I was reading the news on, and through that found a link to Simply Living Smart.

This website is jam-packed with great info into how to set up a realistic and affordable food storage system. The plan’s foundation is, in part, to see food storage not as something separate, but as part of your kitchen pantry. Eating what you store and storing what you eat helps make this system practical, easy, and affordable.

Food storage staples such as powdered milk, wheat, and dried beans are discussed along with innovative and delicious new ways to incorporate them into daily menus – thereby saving money and adding into the ‘eat what you store and store what you eat’ philosophy. Items such as powdered dairy products, grains, and legumes all have a long shelf life, which increases your food storage viability as well as your spending dollar.

However, food storage is not all about wheat, beans, and dry milk. Canned, boxed, and frozen foods you love are also part of the plan.

Another thing discussed is how to quickly and simply make your own affordable mixes. These mixes save you time and money, and increase the opportunities your family will have to eat healthy. The introductory video mentioned that healthy meals using these mixes could usually be made in about 20 minutes or so. Gotta love that!

Joining the site is free, and members can get access to vendors with quality products willing to give discounts to them just for being a member.

As they continue to add to the site and improve the features, I am sure many more great things will be added that will make this site a favorite among many.

Be sure to check it out, and then let us all know what you thought about the site and tips offered.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Austrian Monster Doesn't Like the Name "Monster"

Boo hoo.

According to an Associated Press report, the Austrian man now being referred to in the media as a "monster" due to the facts he held captive for more than 20 years, repeatedly raped and repeatedly impregnated his own daughter in addition to holding captive all of the resulting inbred children . . .and possibly raping one of them . . . is offended by the reference.

Do we care? Does anyone honestly give a flying fig what this man thinks about being labeled as such due to his horrific and unthinkable crimes?


I think 'monster' is a kinder and more generous word than I, personally, would use.

Taking it one step further, the man justifies his offense by saying that without him one of his inbred children would be dead. He fails to address the issue that one of them IS dead and was incinerated by him. His attitude suggests he thinks he should be shown some type of consideration or mercy because one of his inbred children conceived by rape is in a medically-induced coma in the hospital.

Gimme a freakin' break.

Associated Press Video Brief:

He has admitted his crimes to police, and the photos of his "house of horrors" as it is being called, are all over the news and the internet. If I understand correctly, the incestuous partnering with his daughter whom he held hostage and hid from his wife/her own mother, is being questioned by his attorney as to whether it was rape or not, and should therefore be referred to as "alleged".

Yeah, cause young women held hostage and hidden in dank basement dugouts are all about 20+ years worth of repeated consensual sex with daddy - and repeatedly having inbred children with him while having no contact with the outside world. ~please note the sarcasm~


So now that I have shared how I feel about it, what are YOUR thoughts?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Walmart & Chrysler vs Politicians & The US Government

As I was catching up on the news, an interesting tidbit caught my attention. Listen to what I heard on the Tom Sullivan Show today:

*If this video does not work, click here for a direct link.

I did a little looking to find out what they were referring to about Chrysler. More about it may be found in this online ABC News report and in this radio show clip.

Here is a link to the latest from Walmart about Phase 3 of their Prescription Drug Program, which includes over-the-counter drugs.

So what does all of this mean for you and me? This is all about how it should be when it comes to we the people and our government. We have clear examples of what happens when the government has its fingers in every pie ~ i.e. China, Russia, Cuba. We have examples in our own country of what happens when the government is in control of programs designed to help the people ~ i.e. the I.R.S. and the Social Security Administration. Both organizations are plagued with problems; and are seemingly unaccountable to the public whose money they mandatorily take, and our government that is supposed to be in charge of these organizations.

But, don't take my word for it. Talk to anyone who has ever been audited or had any kind of dealings with trying to collect Social Security Benefits of any type.

Politicians talking about 'going after' big companies will only result in lost jobs and lost income from investments made by retirement plans and individuals. As stated in the radio show snippet - let the economy correct itself.

If capitalism is the name of the game in this country, then let's reward capitalism for doing what the government can't and probably shouldn't. When organizations such as Walmart take on these massive programs to help people (and yes, they will somehow make a profit, too) let's reward them for it. Give them tax credits for making prescription drugs affordable. Let's encourage business at all levels to do the same - to help the public with housing, food, medical care, etc. Those businesses that take the incentive and go the extra mile to help the public at large - reward them. Don't penalize those who don't, but do reward those who do. It's called 'Positive Reinforcement' and it works well.

Take it a step further and reward that decreasing number of employers who pay the full cost of health insurance for their employees. Reward those employers who have programs that give back to the community through service hours and donations.

Reward those employers who help their employees by allowed flex time, family leave, in-house daycare or daycare subsidies, and telecommuting options. Reward those businesses that go above and beyond the call of duty to help accommodate employees that face serious medical situations, disabilities, etc. By helping employees to remain productive employees, employers are helping to keep people off public assistance and from going bankrupt.

Consider this:
if taxes were not raised, but tax deductions were even slightly increased for businesses who went the extra mile to benefit the public, what would happen to the need for government assistance programs? How many more families would be able to afford to eat, put fuel in their car, have medical care, and therefore have more money to spend and save?

In line with rewarding businesses that help those in need, this charity would be one example of a charity that helps people that businesses could then donate to and get an little extra tax write off. With affordable cars, people can more easily get to work, get the kids to daycare, be on time for work, etc.

What do YOU think?
Copyright © 2008 - 2011 Daniella Nicole. All rights reserved.