Sunday, November 30, 2008

Denver Bound....Soon...Crossing Fingers

Today we were suppose to leave to go Denver. But the weather is too bad to be on the road. We are hopeful that we can leave in the morning.

Since we ended up staying here today we had some time to do our Christmas cards. I got them all done and all in the mail. I think this is the first year in many that I got them done so early. That includes all the business ones too. Michael sat and did those while I did ours and then we swapped piles to sign.

I hadn't planned on us eating at home today because we were suppose to be gone. And our fridge was pretty empty. We had brunch as I had eggs and cheese in the fridge. I had some little packages of ham frozen from the last time we had ham. So I took one of those out and defrosted in the microwave and we had omelets. Michael makes the best omelets. For dinner we splurged and went to a new chinese buffet here. It was really good but I still think I like our other a bit better.

So as I said we are going to head to Denver. We are going to be there until Saturday. Michael's Dad is having surgery tomorrow morning so we are going over for that and we have business the end of the week there too. Please keep Michael's family in your thoughts and prayers. And us for safe travel tomorrow.

Most likely won't have any posts all week - just depends on if I have time at the computer.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Make Service Members Holiday

Here are a few links to send cards, phone cards or packages to service members, veterans and their families....

Cards need to be post marked before December 10th: Holiday Mail for Heros

American Armed Forces Exchange Services: Gift Certificates/Phone cards

America Supports You: Carepackages and a list of other things to give to such as phone cards, scholarships

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cloverleaf Rolls

Bread is really important to Michael and I. We love it and it is obvious! I used to love it when my Mom made cloverleaf rolls. I love pulling the sections apart and smearing them with butter straight from the oven so it melted all over. Yum!

So with the holidays I was thinking about them so decided I would make them for Thanksgiving. So I was fulfilling my craving - by having cloverleaf but Michael likes herbs in/on his rolls. My other requirment was that the dough needed to be mixed in the bread machine. I found a recipe that brushed herbs on the tops and was done in the bread machine.

Recipe: Fragrant Cloverleaf Rolls

They turned out great and everytime Michael has one he ends up going on and on about how good they are so I think they are a keeper.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


We had a really nice slow Thanksgiving. I paced myself on everything really well this year. Michael said I should have been taking some notes so that I remember how to do it next year - I might jot some down after this entry for next year. Everything got done right about the same time. Everything turned out. So it ended up being a very good Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a Thanksgiving filled with love. Just as I did. There are so many things I am thankful for and I try to be aware of them everyday as the pass through my daily life. And I will continue with that throughout the next year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Eve

Well pumpkin pie is cooling on the counter. Dough for rolls is in the fridge and I will make first thing in the morning. Everything else (that is non-perishable) is on the counter ready for me to use. So I think we are pretty much ready. It really is going to be a low-key Thanksgiving. I am not decorating and going crazy. Being sick really has put my energy level so low that I can't do more then what I am doing.

One of our cats has allergies. I am sure I have mentioned it before. Anyway, he was healing and doing so much better. All the fur growing back and we actually were starting to wean him off his meds (per vets orders). But tonight I saw him scratching the same spot he had it before that was really bad so Michael checked and sure enough it is back. We will need to put a call into the vet on Friday as we leave on Sunday for Denver for a week. I believe he is going to say up the meds again. Because of the spot we found Caesar had to have a bath. He was thrilled as I am sure you can imagine bathing a cat. But we do know it helps him so we have to stay on top of things.

Really tired so going to go get some sleep!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


We had an absolutately fantastic time. Relaxing and fun....just wonderful quality time. We saw some of the most amazing scenery. When Michael downloads pictures, I will upload some here. Very tired but so happy. More on it all later.

A link to the scenic byway we took today - San Juan Skyway. Only took a portion of it but it was so beautiful.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Doing Not Thinking Challenge

Here is the update for my Goals for the Doing Not Thinking Challenge:
1. I am at 115 books so passed my goal.
2. Made a loaf bread yesterday so that I could make sandwiches to bring with us. I will be making bread Wednesday morning though for stuffing.
3. Have made buns in a while but going to make rolls this week for Thanksgiving.

I think this challenge is up soon. I am glad I accomplished attempts at them even if I haven't got to where I want to be with the baking yet.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Escaping Tomorrow....

Tomorrow we are going to escape....just for overnight. We have some free hotel nights to use up before the end of the year. And we just can't seem to get away for a whole weekend so thought why not just an overnighter. Our first choice was Ouray but they are booked. So another place I have always wanted to go is Durango. Michael went to college at Fort Lewis in Durango so I have always wanted to see it. We are both looking forward to unplugging and just enjoying our time.

We are doing it on the cheap - with the free night. And then today I baked a ham and also made a loaf of bread. So we can bring ham sandwiches with us so we don't have to spend money going out to eat.

It is just so nice to get away from it all - even over night.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Art & Food

Today we were up early and out of the house for a Saturday. We had to go do some errands before going to The Gallery B&B's Art Show. It might be the last one of its kind as they are closing the Bed and Breakfast and 2 of their in house artists are moving to a new studio. So we really wanted to be there and support all of them as we have always loved all the art shows they have put on and they are just good people. I picked up a little bowl for Michael's office for his birthday - which he knows about since he was there and said he liked it. And we also got an art piece by Mary Mansfield. I really beautiful mixed media piece that we are probably going to hang in our bedroom.

They always have food out there at the shows one thing was ham with cream cheese spread on it and then wrapped around a pickle. It was really good. So I was telling the ladies there about something I made for a meeting that Michael went to...BLT Roll-ups. The BLT roll-ups was new for me. I was reading another roll up recipe that had bacon and thought why not BLTs. They ended up tasting pretty good. But I never can make my roll ups look perfectly round like most photos I see of them. Anyway....I mixed 1/2 cup of cream cheese (I used low fat cream cheese), 1/4 cup ranch dressing (also light), 1/4 cup mayo (and again light), 1/2 cup diced tomatoes and spread that on tortillas (used 8 tortillas total - I think). I cooked up a whole package of bacon but didn't use 5 slices. I broke the bacon up into little pieces and sprinkled on top of the cream cheese layer. I then chopped some greens up and sprinkled that on as the last layer. Rolled up and cut into bit size pieces - securing with toothpicks.

Here is a picture of them...

Side note: I love that plate I got it for $1 when we were out shopping while my parents were here for my birthday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful....
1. For the hours of entertainment Buffy the Vampire Slayer brings me
2. For orange juice - tastes so good when I have a cold
3. For an amazing friend that gave me a gift more then one...the book that will give me self-awareness that I have been seeking and for the note she included that means so very much to me
4. For fuzzy sock to keep my feet warm in bed...where I am going in a moment
5. For finding all sorts of good images online for collages

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Blog Hopping

I am a menu planner so this blog has 3 Mom's menus for the week. I always like looking through others menus to get new ideas for ours.

Because as I stated last week I love pumpkin...I found this at Simply Stated - 10 Pumpkin Cocktails and Desserts.

Free Thanksgiving tablescapes from Paper & Cake. Free download button on right sidebar top.

At Poppytalk decorating....Pumpkin Time. They are really unique.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Soul Collage

A very dear friend of mine, Jessica had been doing Soul Collage. I have seen her breathtaking and moving cards. She inspired me with them. It was one of those things that I thought someday I will get the book and do the work for it. Right now I am still in that "I am 40 years old (41 years old now but started when I hit 40) and what do I have to show for my life and where do I want it to go the next 20 years" phase. So doing that kind of work probably would be very good for me but as always things just get put aside.

Well after yesterday I don't have an excuse anymore. Jessica gave me a gift of the book and brought together 4 of us friends to do this together. I am looking forward to exploring all that comes with it.

Here is another link about them too that talks about how to make them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An Email 6 Years Ago

So yesterday was an anniversary of sorts. It is the day I wrote Michael back.

The story...

I had been out of town helping a friend set up a store she was opening and really hadn't been able to check email. On my way back home I stopped at another friend's home. I was telling her about an email I got before I left and said let me just pull it up and read it to you. While online at her house, I checked my email and there was an email from Michael. I was blown away by it because it was so REAL. When looking for a match online, it is usually email after email of nothing. They are the same three types of emails and none of them stand out from each other. But that was not the case with Michael's email. Reading his email was truly refreshing. And so I had to answer him right away. I was gushing with my friend how great the email was and she was like "umm it is just an email Darby." It just felt different to me. I knew this man was special.

So that was November 17th, 2002 that I wrote him back at K's house.

From there we did several emails back and forth. And in the emails I found out he had dated a friend of mine. But they decided they were better as friends. She told him that she had a friend who would be a good match for him and I was that friend. She gave him my email address. He didn't contact me for a while. But finally did after reading some things I wrote online he felt I was really a good match for him. But really this is his words - he thought I was out of his league so that he would never hear from me.

I am not sure why he thought that because I am truly thankful he did write me. As my first instinct after reading his email to me was right - he was different and special. So I am truly thankful that 6 years ago Michael wrote a really extraordinary email that touched me so much that I couldn't resist writing him back as soon as I read it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Doing Not Thinking Challenge

Here is the update for my Goals for the Doing Not Thinking Challenge:
1. I am at 115 books so passed my goal.
2. I want to make up a batch of Artisan bread this week. Might do that tomorrow.
3. Probably not get to making any buns for a couple weeks.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Recommended Reads

Kate asked me what books I would recommend from my list of books I have read...

The links below are to posts where I write about the book.

My favorite for 2008 so far...
1. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - I have read it 4 times this year. It really was an inspiring and touching book for me at this time in my life when I am uncertain of who I am/what I want.
2. Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - This book on my list is only 4 stars but really it is a 5 star book. I gave it 4 stars because I wasn't thrilled with how it ended. But once I got away from the book/characters because I was so attached to it/them - I can see it is a 5 star book. This book really got me invested emotionally and mentally. I wanted to keep on going with them for a long time and sad it ended.
3. I really like all books with vampires or werewolves so the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyers was a favorite. This series also got me really invested in the characters. I wanted to know what happened to Edward and Bella. And so I kept on reading the whole series. Good, interesting page turners.
4. Kitty series by Carrie Vaughn - which is about werewolves mostly but also vampires. The first 2 books were just okay - enough to make me want to read the rest but not developed enough. But the last 2 books including the one I am linking to have had really good character development. And I can't wait for the next on to be out.
5. The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlian - I really enjoyed the plot and characters of the book. I have actually read many books by Diane Chamberlian this year and know she will be my list to always read. Her books are easy reads but interesting plots that make them page turners.

Last year had some really good books too...
1. Outlander series by by Diana Gabaldon - I started it in 2007 and finished it 2008 and loved the whole series. It is about Claire Randall who on her second honeymoon touches a stone goes back in time. It has adventure and romance throughout the whole series. How it is written with some Scottish words in it was hard to get used to but then the story just captured me so that you get into it. And I couldn't wait to see what happened.
2. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - How it is told - the view point is really interesting. Good story and emotions that come with it.
3. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd - I really don't say much about the book in this link but it was a really touching story that made me laugh, cry and just made me feel a part of the story
4. He, She and It by Marge Piercy - a sci-fi with legends and romance
5. My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due - Basically a thriller that I read in one night.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We have Colds....

A little life update...

Michael and I have been sick. He was sick and I thought I was getting spared but then I let up on the airborne for one day and...the next day I woke up with it in my lungs. And of course that was yesterday, the day we were doing the live broadcast in Denver. So I was pretty much muddling through it. I looked horrible and wasn't very social or with it.

After we got everything loaded up, I couldn't breath. I was having a pretty bad asthma attack. Michael asked me if I wanted to go to the ER and I shook my head no as I couldn't talk. Not enough oxygen. Michael stopped and picked me up some things to help me. Just went out of his way to do everything he could to make me calm and better. As I said in yesterdays post, I am very grateful for all him and all he did to make me feel better.

The live broadcast went so well yesterday. Michael invested in a new piece of equipment that allows for really high quality streaming. And being the technology geek he is he was in heaven how well it rocked everything he gave to it.

Today we just really were taking it easy. We needed to go to SAM's for more airborne and a few other things. And also Tuesday Morning as they had a good sale ad. We picked up a couple packages of pillow cases there.

Tonight we watched National Treasure 2 and had take-n-bake pizza. So just taking it easy and trying to get over our colds.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful...
1. for the new piece of equipment we got for our business that ROCKED! Today was really extrodinary and the possibilities of where we could go with this is something I truly express gratitude in.
2. for all the people that have stood behind us for this change and really supported and believed in us...really Michael being able to give them quality.
3. for coming home after being in Denver and being able to sink into our bed that has clean sheets on it and extra blankets
4. for apples and crisp fall days - this past week I enjoyed our crisp fall days and bright red juicy applese too. Thankful for the beauty in those simple autumn reminders.
5. for Michael who truly is awesome in so many ways. Tonight after we loaded the car with all our equipment in Denver, I had a really bad asthma attack as I have a cold that moved to the lungs. It was to the point I almost said bring me to the ER. But he calmed me down, stopped and got me cold medicine, water, a little cute Christmas cup (because I requested airborne too so he wanted me to be able to take it right away) and just everything I needed to feel better. He pulled over and talked to me and held my hand - and just did everything he could to make me feel better. I am so very grateful to have such love in my life.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blog Hopping

This post I know I found via another blog but I can't remember where but it is a good one by Casaubon’s Book about Patriotism.

With the holidays coming upon us I am gearing up for all out baking! I love to bake for Christmas...for parties, for family, for gifts and just to have around the house! So in my blog hopping I found this recipe for Festive Bark. It looks so yummy! I know it would make a good gift in a pretty box or tin.

And then this one just looks fun Free Vintage Transfers for handstitching. But I see them for even painting on flour sack towels for gifts or on to a gift tag for a handmade gift. I am sure the could be good patterns for many things.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

100 Things | Art Classes

14. My art classes were good for me and bad for me as an artist.

When I was in college my major changed several times but I always had art classes. Most of the art classes I took were set up the same way. We sketched - did some specific assignments for about a week and then we had to bring in those works plus a sampling of any previous work. To give the professor a preview of what we did - who we were as artists. I don't remember the words said but always it was a form of rejection of my talent to out right brutally "honest" opinions that I did not have it as an artist.

One semester I took, another nude figure drawing class - as those were my favorite because I love drawing the form...curves, softness, roughness - so much to a body. I took this class however because I knew it was going to be a little different as the professor was an artist from NYC. I had seen his work and liked it. The university I went to owned a building downtown that they converted. It was one of those old brick buildings that had a lot of character and had probably been a textile mill or something of that nature. The first floor of the building was a gallery, second had about 5 or 6 studio classrooms and then the top 2 levels were studios and apartments for visiting artists. They could live and use the studios to work and show work with the condition of teaching an art class.

The start of his class was not different then any other. But this one still really stands out over all the others that told me I did not have talent. He was polite but basically said it was a hobby for me. He told me I probably would never sell anything (proved him wrong several times over by now). I had heard it over and over again. I always just gave it something - not enough really to me. But I didn't give up completely even with the comments. At the end of the semester for that class we had to do the same thing we bring in works from the class and anything outside of class we felt was significant. I arrived and he had long tables set up where I laid out each drawing. He got to the third drawing out of like fifty pieces. He looked ahead a little and then looked back at the 2 before and then again at the 3rd. He said, "I'm sorry." I said, "pardon?" I was so scared I did something wrong and he was going to fail me - as this was like a final for art. And he looked up at me and said, "I'm sorry....I should have spent more time with you."

See what the art professors I came in contact with did use that first viewing at the beginning of the semester to pick out the the students they think have talent to work with them and push them more one on one. The others just get skipped over or glances with passing one or 2 word comments. That is what he did to me all semester.

So he looked over the final portfolio and explained to me that he saw something that I should explore more. He went on to explain where he should have been pushing me more. We talked about each piece. He wrote down lots of stuff for me to remember and learn from. He had me explain what I felt and thought. We had a wonderful conversation. He wrote up a letter to give to my next professor. He told what pieces to put in my next portfolio for my next class. And sat and talked to me about my art in a positive way.

All those that came before him said things horrible - things that could have stopped me from taking art....from making art. Of course I let it affect me but I didn't stop or give up. It slowed me down. I didn't always push myself at times because of the things said. But still I have had it in me...that passion for art. And if I had let the previous professors stop me I might never have gotten that chance to stand there with a professor and artist that saw something.

So I had this positive happen with my art...I needed to work full time so I could save for my wedding. So I had to quit school to work full time and never got my degree in art - yes by that year I was an art major. So I gave it up. I worked on my art here and there through the years but I never gave it what I should have or wanted to give it. Mostly fear stopped me of course. Fear and doubts in myself. I then came to be with Michael and he not only encouraged it but insisted on me pursuing it more. I still don't give it what I should but I am so grateful for all he has done to support and encourage this passion. And glad that I have been able to create.

(top image: charcoal drawing from the class I talk about in post. just a rough sketch. middle image: mixed media on paper that I made for friends a few years ago - bottom image: mixed media on canvas that I did for my parents a few years ago)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Really Amazing Special Comment...

A moving commentary by Keith Olbermann only this time it is on love. As this issue is a matter of love, equality and honoring our fellow human being.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Doing Not Thinking Challenge

Here is the update for my Goals for the Doing Not Thinking Challenge:
1. I am at 112 books so passed my goal.
2. Leaving to go out of town this week so next week though I want to make up a batch of Artisian bread.
3. Probably not get to making any buns for a couple weeks.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Book List for far

This is my list of books read to date for 2008
1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (read 2 times)
2. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (read 2 times)
3. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (read 2 times)
4. Marked (House of Night, Bk. 1) by PC Cast & Kristin Cast
5. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
6. Stolen by Kelley Armstron
7. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
8. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
9. Betrayed: House of Night, Bk 2 by PC Cast & Kristin Cast
10. The Fiery Cross (Outlander series) by Diana Gabaldon
11. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
12. A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander series) by Diana Gabaldon
13. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
14. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
15. Photo Decor by Donna Downey
16. Specials by Scott Westerfield
17. Designers' Stationery: How Designers and Design Companies Present Themselves to the World by Roger Walton
18. Visual Thesaurus: A Quick-Flip Brainstorming Tool for Graphic Designers by Chris Goveia, Hatmaker
19. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel
20. The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
21. The valley of horses by Jean M. Auel.
22. Scrapbooking techniques for beginner by Rebekah Meier.
23. The Mammoth Hunters by Jean Auel
24. Tim Holtz Distressables 2 by Tim Holtz
25. What about Words? Creative Journaling for Scrapbookers by Memory Makers Books
26. The Plains of the Passage by Jean Auel
27. 601 Great Scrapbook Ideas by Memory Makers Books
28. The Shelters of Stone by Jean Auel
29. Scrapbooking Made Easy by Simple Scrapbooks
30. Creating Keepsakes' Encyclopedia of Scrapbooking by Tracy White
31. Keepers of the Light by Diane Chamberlain
32. Kiss River by Diane Chamberlain
33. Her Mother's Shadow by Diane Chamberlain
--- The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold -- didn't finish though
34. Acrylic Revolution: New Tricks & Techniques for Working With the World's Most Versatile Medium by Nancy Reyner
35. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
36. The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain
37. Collage Unleashed by Traci Bautista
38. Courage Tree by Diane Chamberlain
39. Scrapbook Fundamentals: Your Guide to Getting Started by Memory Makers
40. Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
41. Chosen: A House of Night Novel (Bk. 3) by P.C Cast and Kristin Cast
42. Stamp Artistry: Combining Stamps with Beadwork, Carving, Collage, Etching, Fabric, Metalwork, Painting, Polymer Clay, Repousse, and More
by Rice Freeman-Zachery
43. Designer Scrapbooks with April Cornell by April Cornell
44. Summer People by Marge Piercy
45. Handmade Greeting Cards by Maureen Crawford
46. Alphabetica: An A-Z Creativity Guide for Collage and Book Artists by Lynne Perrella
47. Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves me Back and How You Can Too by Shauna James Ahern
48. Beneath the Skin by Nicci French
49. How to Organize Your Scrapbook Workspace: Storage Solutions for Any Budget by Memory Makers Books
50. The Devil and Miss Prym: A Novel of Temptation by Paulo Coehlo
51. Extras by Scott Westerfeld
52. PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
53. Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn
54. Blood Noir by Laurell K. Hamilton
55. Christopher Lowell's You Can Do It! Small Spaces: Decorating to Make Every Inch Count by Christopher Lowell
56. Bread for Breakfast by Beth Hensperger
57. The Book of Us: A Guide to Scrapbooking About Relationships by Angie Pedersen
58. Speed Cleaning by Jeff Campbell
59. The Altered Book Scrapbook by Susan Ure
60. Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn
61. Natural Cleaning for Your Home by Casey Kellar
62. The Decorated Journal by Gwen Diehn
63. Rightsizing Your Life by Ciji Ware
64. The Escape Artist by Diane Chamberlain
65. Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn
66. Handbook for Hosts by Adam Bluestein
67. Living the Creative Life by Rice Freeman-Zachery
68. Catch Me When I Fall by Nicci French
69. Killing Me Softly by Nicci French
70. The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook
71. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept: A Novel of Forgiveness by Paulo Coehlo
72. Decorating Small Spaces: Living Large in Any Space by BHG
73. The New Book of Table Settings: Creative Ideas for the Way We Gather Today by Chris Bryant, Paige Gilchrist
74. In the Royal Manner: Expert Advice on Etiquette and Entertaining from the Former Butler of Diana, Princess of Wales by Paul Burrell
75. Touch the Dark by Karen Chance
76. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
77. The Venetian's Wife: A Strangely Sensual Tale of a Renaissance Explorer, a Computer, and a Metamorphosis by Nick Bantock
78. Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking by Jeff Hertzberg, Zoe FranCois
79. The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver
80. Brave on the Rocks: If You Don't Go, You Don't See by Sabrina Ward Harrison
81. 10-minute Decorating: 176 Fabulaous Shortcuts with Style by Susan Ure
82. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
83. Loving and Leaving the Good Life by Helen Nearing
84. Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger, Julie Kaufmann
85. Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
86. The Host: A Novel by Stepenie Meyers
87. The American Century Cookbook by Jean Anderson
88. Kitty and the Silver Bullet (Kitty Norville, Book 4) by Carrie Vaughn
89. Decorative Painting Made Easy by BHG
90. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
91. Once-a-Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson, Mary Beth Lagerborg
92. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
93. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
94. Real Simple: The Organized Home by Editors of Real Simple Magazine
95. Unveiled: Tamar (Lineage of Grace #1) by Francine Rivers
96. Cheesecake Extroadinaire: More than 100 Sumptuous Recipes for the Ultimate Dessert by Mary Crownover
97. Visual Chronicals: The No-Fear Guide to Creating Art Journals, Creative Manifestos and Altered Books by Linda Woods, Karen Dinino
98. Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins and More: 200 Anytime Treats and Special Sweets for Morning to Midnight by Carole Walter
99. Handmade Christmas: The Best of Martha Stewart Living by Martha Stewart Living Magazine
100. Sarah: Women of Genesis by Orson Scott Card
**also in here I read Eat Pray Love again (4th time this year)
101. Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
102. Homespun Christmas by Gooseberry Patch
103. Old-Fashioned Country Christmas by Gooseberry Patch
104. Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood book 1) by J.R. Ward
105. Love Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood book 2) by J.R. Ward
106. RubyGrapfruit by Rita Mae Brown
107. Fix-it and Forget-it Recipes for Entertaining by Phyllis Pellman Good
108. The Adulteress by Philippa Carr
109. The Paint Effects Bible: 100 Recipes for Faux Finishes by Kerry Skinner
110. Unveiled: How an American Woman Found Her Way Through Politics, Love and Obedience in the Middle East by Deborah Kanafani
111. Collage Sourcebook: Exploring the Art and Technique of Collage by Jennifer Atkinson, Holly Harrison, Paula Grasdal
112. Sandpiper by Ellen Wittlinger

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Let Freedom Ring

Michael and I are West Wing Junkies...which probably isn't surprising since we are political junkies too. All week I have had a song in my head that I heard on West Wing...well that version of it...My Country Tis of Thee by Crosby Nash.

It is a really pretty version....linking to it on Last FM.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful...
1. for seeing history made this week in the election of Barack Obama as President
2. for many creative ideas for things to make as Christmas presents
3. for finding really great deals grocery shopping this week
4. for being able to stock up on baking supplies for December baking
4. for the new equipment that will help us in our business
5. for having the business turning a new corner, hope that all will be alright with Michael's Dad, hope in positive changes for our country

I recognize that I have much more to be thankful for in my life.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Blog Hopping

I love pumpkin...pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars, pumpkin cheese cake, pumpkin name it pumpkin just makes me feel warm and is the feeling of fall when you take a bit of anything pumpkin. So in my blog hopping I found...

Pumpkin Parfits via Design Crush - the recipe is by Gourmet

Another from Creature Comforts* that I did a few weeks ago but landed on this post via Design Crush. It is a really cute -free- greeting card to print.

Free printable 2009 Calendar. Very simple but pretty. Via Vintage Glam.

* Featured another blog hopping post from Creature Comforts about the pretty doilies used on the wall

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Gay Rights...?

I am thrilled we have Obama as President-Elect. But I am really confused on how a country can elect Obama but still ban gay marriages? It really disappoints me that we as country don't give everyone equal rights. Even though that is one the foundations of this nation. I don't get it. I have had happy tears going last night and this morning but have some sad tears going now too. I have several friends that got married this past year - I was so happy for them and I hope that their marriages won't be annuled. And I hope that those bans are overturned and others who I love can get married too.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I don't know if I have words for what I witnessed tonight but it truly was history in the making. I think I have went through almost a box of kleenex.

His speech...again showed me one of the many reason I like him - his mind. He talked about finding ways to work on the issues which we all can agree on in order to move forward from all that we have facing us. This is big to very big that he wants us to be united instead of divided. His has steadiness even tonight in making history so calm and ready to lead. He has a knowledge to not just go with his thoughts but surround himself with many other smart people to help decide what is best for the American people. He reminds us that we have to do work too as Americans. He is so very smart. And I am thankful he is not the guy next door or a regular Joe. He is extrodinary.

(artwork from Wallpaper for Obama)

A Prayer for the Day of the Election

Almighty God, source of all grace and truth,
to whom we must account for all our decisions
and for all our powers and privileges,
Guide us in the election of our officials and representatives.
Give us grace to see ourselves, as individuals and as a people,
not as we want to see ourselves, but as you see us:
as we are and as you are calling us to be,
That we might see the candidates,
not as they want us to see them, but as you see them:
as they are and as you would call them to be.
Help us to discern your will for our choices,
that we may act and vote, not out of fear, nor out of anger,
nor out of any form of thoughtless bias or prejudice,
but out of your truth and love. Amen

Prayer for Voting and Election by Rev. Ken Howard. I love how it really just says it vote without fear or anger or "bias or prejudice but out of your truth and love." This is a good mixture of state and church because it isn't choosing sides and telling people who to vote for but telling them to vote in truth and love.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Doing Not Thinking Challenge

I haven't done an update for the challenge in a few weeks so.....

Here is the update for my Goals for the Doing Not Thinking Challenge:
1. I am at 111 books so passed my goal.
2. As I said last week I feel I got a good grasp on making my own bread but still not to where I want it. I did bake 6 loaves of French bread last week (made french bread pizza for snacks for a meeting Michael went to).
3. And I feel I have got a good recipe and good idea of what to do but I feel I need to make some more. I hope to be able to this week.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Spode Tea Set

I was sent a reminder by a friend that is having their 48-Hour Sale. November 2 and 3 only where you will save up to 65% on more than 400 products.

Of course there is several things caught my eye Chicago Metallic Commercial 6-Piece Bakeware Set, Pyrex Storage set...but this one is totally not practical but so pretty...

Spode Blue Italian 3-piece tea set

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Why I Didn't Vote for McCain

We voted last week and casted my vote for Barack Obama. No - I don't think it's was much of a secret who I support. When Obama gave the speech at the Democratic National Convention back in 2004, Michael and I both looked at each other and remarked that this guy is going to be President one day. We just didn’t think it would be in the next election of 2008. We were so moved by the way he spoke - the passion, the energy. But truthfully as the Democrat primaries were getting underway, we really weren't knowing who we would support even though we were so inspired by him before. It took us quite a while before we really could say: "He is ready to be President of the United States of America." We watched. We listened and we continued to read up on what he said, what his views were and before long we nodded along as he really was speaking to us and giving us hope for change.

He wasn't just saying those words - you got the sense and the inspiration that this guy could get it done. We found our opportunity to believe.

So when the Republicans lined up their candidate of choice, we compared the ideals, the views and the direction both candidates want for America and in the end, these are my reasons why I didn't vote for McCain...

Health Care/Health Insurance
I am one of the 47 million Americans that doesn’t have health insurance. So this issue means a lot to me and to Michael as he is no longer covered either. It's an important issue not only on a personal level, but it speaks volumes to the greater good for all Americans. Under a McCain's health care plan I get nothing. Absolutely nothing. With no allotment for pre-existing conditions and the promise of $5,000 does not change the broken spokes of our health care system.

In a study “20 million Americans who have employment-based health insurance would lose it under the McCain plan”. That means if you are employed, have a good job, and you have some degree of health insurance -- under McCain's plan, 20 million Americans will join the already obscene 47 million people who don't have health care.

McCain's plan also treats this $5,000 as income so the employees would have to pay taxes on their health insurance. While McCain hasn't said this outloud, I can't help but believe that one of the things McCain is hoping for that people will lose their employment based health care so that they are FORCED to buy from the market and drive the competition. But it's clear that his market-based approach is not unlike the system we've had for years as we witness more and more Americans who can't afford to have health insurance. Additionally the prices keep going up without addressing the core problems inside the health insurance system. This seems incredibly irresponsible and unreasonable.(NY Times - Herbert - Time - NYTimes again - Glassbooth - I really liked this last link as whole - the site when looking at issues of all candidates. And really every quote shown there about McCain's health care views affirmed my position that McCain will do NOTHING for me.)

As if that's not enough, John McCain wants to deregulate the health care industry just like we did in banking industry – umm anyone else seeing red flags waving madly and hearing the klaxon horns going off? Anyone see some alarming similarities with his plan to deregulate the health care industry and the incredibly scary economic problems we're facing in our current crisis? “Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation” (Contingencies - top right column of page 30 quote)

In addition we had a health care provider say to us that she doesn’t understand where people think having $2500 to $5000 (single/family) will buy health insurance or even put a little dent into a persons health care costs. When the average family pays about $3200.00 in insurance costs alone -- not including their deductables, prescriptions and the percentage they are expected to come up with. Forget the fact that employers are providing over $8800.00 to cover health care insurance. When you really look at the whole health care system: a LOT of money is changing hands per employee in a system that forgets 15% of the population can't get the help they need. McCain wants to preserve protect the enormity of this money exchange, rewarding insurance companies while punishing hard working Americans and watching our health care system degrade.

McCain's health care plan doesn't even address pre-existing conditions. Somehow, a $5000 magic bullet is going to solve everything for us. I found it interesting that when I read Elizabeth Edwards tell the LA Times how she won’t be covered under McCain's health care plan because her cancer is a pre-existing condition. Both Michael and I have pre-existing conditions right now that is a reason why we were turned down for insurance. We are willing to pay for it -- but no, we're refused. It's hard listening to Obama talking about his mother on the phone in the hospital arguing with the insurance because they were trying to say that she had a pre-existing condition so they didn't need to cover her. How inhumane is that, really? How can anyone aptly justify arguing with someone who is about to die about who is going to foot the bill -- especially when we get insurance anyway to PREVENT such attrocities from occuring?

How does one justify in their mind that it's somehow morally okay to let a friend, a neighbor or a family member be without some form of basic health coverage? This is a very hot button issue for me. It hurts to see people in pain and know they aren't getting health care because they can't afford it or they are turned down. Our household included.

Michael started his business a little over 2 years ago. One month after quiting his full-time paying job, his knee went out. He was uninsured at the time because a lot of focus was spent getting the business up and running. After the injury, he tried to get health insurance and was subsequently turned down for the same "pre-existing condition" reasons given to Barack's mother. Yes, COBRA was offered, but the "market" was going to be a LOT cheaper in comparison -- so why should Michael be punished because he has bad knees? He has gone 2 years without health care or treatment for his ailing knee. We still pay out of pocket right now but at least it is more affordable than COBRA or some astronomical insurance policy that would ineventably wreck the business and our finances. So right now we are covered but there is a catch of course with this coverage because it will most likely only last for a year so everything has to be done in within a year of the start of the coverage (which was the end of September.) Why is this a catch? Because the program he currently qualifies for will likely not accept him next year because he will have made just enough not to qualify for their services. (this link from the NY Times talks about pre-existing conditions also).

This source talks about how McCain’s plan won’t even address any help for lower-income people. It also talks about Obama’s and gives me concerns but again I feel I have a better chance with Obama’s as I have no chance with McCain’s plan. Plus I feel Obama truly wants to help those without health insurance where the sources just illuminate the fact that McCain is grossly out of touch with the problems of America. In many ways, it feels like he just isn't aware there is a large number of lower or middle class people in this country struggling and it comes off like we don’t matter in his world. As crass as that might sound, that's how I feel and it's pretty clear that this is what his policies show too.

"Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, told CNN Wednesday he agrees with President Bush's veto of legislation expanding a children's health insurance program " from CNN

Here are other links I read when reading about health care plans besides actually just reading the candidates websites that show me so many reasons why McCain plan won't help me. and again
Health Affairs (I looked at many of their source links also) - and another and yet another

Wall Street Journal and another.

NYTimes,, On the Issues, Lewin, MSNBC, McCain's plan, Obama's plan

During this recent economic crisis Barack Obama has had a very steady approach while looking straight ahead at what needs to be done for the American people. But when we saw McCain's reaction -- all of a sudden everything turned into a big chaotic show. McCain said he was going to stop campaigning to work on the crisis and admonished Obama for not following suit. My first thought was "if McCain can’t handle more then one thing at a time then he has no business even running for President." How can we expect the McCain/Palin campaign to govern if they can't do more than one thing at a time?

While I can’t imagine the pressure and issues that cross the President's desk in the span of a day, it's not entirely unreasonable to think that at the highest position of this nation - the office of the Presidency - we have a President capable of handling more than one thing at a time. Obama demonstrated that not only was he steady and strong in this crisis but he has the poise necessary and shown he can handle more then one thing at a time. So while McCain claimed that Obama was “mum” about the economic crisis the facts say otherwise. ( And as we would later discover, not only did McCain didn't really stop campaigning, he continued to do interviews and his offices remained open, ads continued to air and be distributed via mail. So when it was apparent that McCain was using the economic crisis as some form of political chess I was really annoyed. Instead of actually working as he said he was going to do -- it became more of a political ploy rather than really wanting to help out in the crisis. (Youtube video - about 7 minutes in and yes I know it is Letterman but it shows McCain not in Washington DC or stopping his campaign.)

Yet when you hear McCain or Palin talk about their own economic plans, they want to keep things the way they are and freeze goverment spending. How is freezing the government to protect his fabled tax cuts? Here’s his quote: “And I recommend a spending freeze that -- except for defense, Veterans Affairs, and some other vital programs, we'll just have to have across-the-board freeze.” (CNN - Transcript of Debate and Washington Post on Tax Cuts to Americans)

McCain wants to cut taxes which will only make the national debt skyrocket even more than we have today. A rising national debt and a falling dollar means that our goods and services aren’t worth more in a world market. But the last 8 years have illustrated the enormous problems of Ronald Reagan’s brand of “trickle down economics” approach to our economy. While the notion has been around for a very long time, it does sound good on paper: put a lot of money in the very wealthy with the HOPE that it eventually trickles down to you and I. But of course it is shown each time this is tried that, we are darn lucky to get anything trickling down. McCain’s tax policy creates an economic caste system. (NYTimes, Daily Kos)

Yet all Obama wants to do is to reinstate the tax levels back to where it was back in 2000. At a time when we had a very flourishing economy. Gas prices below $1.40, wages increasing, unemployment at its lowest in a very long time while BALANCING the budget and making a modest payment towards our national debt. And that is a very promising for the future.

McCain’s opposes raising minimum wage which to me shows exactly how he feels about the average American. Even before the economic collapse that happened on Wall Street, it's been tougher on the American Family to make ends meet. Energy prices have skyrocketed, our goods and services have also climbed in response while salaries and unemployment continue to lag behind. How does McCain think someone who is working for the old minimum wage could even afford anything close to college? They can barely make rent much less pay for food, health care and save a few modest pennies to better your position. Does McCain see how retirees are having to work because they have mortgaged their home to pay for their health care costs? (, AFLCIO, and Glassbooth)

"I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." McCain then denied saying this in a primary debate. (Newsweek, Wall Street Journal,,, McCain Fact Check, Youtube video)

"The issues of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should." (NYTimes, - Media Matters - McCain Fact Check)

Arthur Laffer and Phil Gramm are/were part of McCain’s campaign economics staff and advised the Republican nominee. Let's put it this way: Arthur and Phil are two people I simply do not trust. My reasons are contained in the sources but basically I feel they have done incredibly damaging things that have directly affected our current economic crisis and the divisive wedge that adversely affects the middle class American. Gramm authored and passed the infamous "Enron Loophole" which is one thing that is felt everyday at the gas pump.(Mother Jones, Bio on Phil at Wikipedia, Politico , CNN, Economist View, Huffington Post, NYTimes, IHT, Baltimore Chronicle - Enron Loophole McCain Defends, Daily Kos, Crooks and Liars: Video of Countdown regarding Enron Loophole)

McCain wants to eliminate the alternative minimums tax where 90% of the benefits of that would go to those making over $100,000. This would cost $1.6 trillion over 10 years at a time where our national debt has already exceeded the $10 trillion dollar mark. The alternative minimum tax is a tax that was designed to make sure that rich people who claim many tax deductions still pay their fair share of taxes. ( - there is a lot of interesting statements in that link that I feel hurt middle-class American’s.)

McCain wants to continue the failed Bush economic plan by permanently cutting capital gains taxes. (On the Issues - and the link in the last comment talks about that too, ABC News, )

Gay Rights
This is another strong issue for me that I support. Love is never wrong to me. McCain is against letting domestic partners have the basic right to health and tax benefits that married couples get. To put it a different way: when was the last time anyone was denied health benefits because he was Christian or Jewish? When was the last time your taxable income was predicated on your spiritual beliefs?

Now I need to preface this by saying that I don’t believe churches should be forced to marry gays if they feel it is against their beliefs, but the church rarely leaves this issue alone and continues to adamantly support issues against gays and lesbians while overtly crossing that line of church and state. The moment a church tells people how to vote on a candidate or on a particular issue, then their tax-exempt status should immediately be revoked. Because the moment they start talking politics, they're no longer talking about religion. Gay rights is a political issue not a religious issue. Truthfully it even bothers me that this is a political issue at all because as I said above love is never wrong so why is the government telling us who we can be involved with and our rights with that person.

McCain is against gay rights. (Youtube - McCain on Ellen)

He is in supports Proposition 8 in California. (LA Times)

From On The Issues:
- Hate Crimes - While in the Senate, McCain voted no on extending the definition of hate crimes to include sexual orientation.
- Job Protection - Voted no on prohibiting job discrimination based upon sexual orientation.
- He also didn’t feel gays should be in military although we are short on military.

Civil Rights
McCain is 72 years old. Someone who has been graced to live this long should know a thing or two about history. One of America's GREAT leaders was the Rev. Martin Luther King. When the matter came before the senate to honor this great civil rights leaders, McCain didn't even know who he was and voted against Martin Luther King Day. (Youtube, On the Issues) How is it that a person who desires to be the leader of the free world, doesn't even know who Martin Luther King was? It bothers me that if he doesn't know who Dr. King was, how well does he really understand the issue of civil rights? I realize that he now apologizes for not voting for it. But when you watch the youtube video it clearly shows he wasn’t even aware of Martin Luther King. Is it too much to ask to want someone who is aware of our own history and who has at least some working knowledge of the world around us?

Seperation of Church and State
Even though not it’s technically not a platform issue for McCain – it is relevant enough to include here because there is an alarming problem with the separation of church and state. Our country was founded on the basis of free speech and freedom of religion. The single most important attribute of our foundation is to ensure that no one religion or belief can control our government. Anything that crosses that line is inherently violating the basic tenets of our freedom to practice our religion, any religion as protected to do so. If we dare to cross the line it endangers that freedom.

McCain wants to cross that line to me....
  • “Ten Commandments would bring virtue to our schools”

  • On teaching creationism – “every American should be exposed to all theories”

  • School Prayer – He would like to allow but not mandate. I feel that allowing school prayer would make those that don’t pray feel displaced, odd or different. It could lead to teasing also for those that on both sides those praying or those not praying.

  • The alarming trend in the last 8 years has been the growing acceptance of allowing creationism to be taught in our schools. This represents an absolute violation of the line that exists between church and state. McCain's running mate is on record saying that she advocates the teaching of intelligent design in our schools. The moment we allow this as permissible is the moment you - as a parent - no longer have control of your child's spiritual beliefs.

    If you want your child to have those things that by all means place your child in a private school that does teach and allow those things, bring your children to church and teach those things in your home. But I strongly believe that our public schools is meant for all children of all religions and backgrounds. It shouldn't play favor to any religion or range of beliefs. Not when it's funded by the government and used paid by our hard earned tax dollars.

    Ultimately, church and family should be the only ones responsible for teaching our children the fundamentals of faith. Schools should be responsible for all other theories because our religions aren't always equal - and therefore it would be not only irresponsible, but it effectively re-writes our Constitution that protects our most basic fundamental freedom of religion.

    (McCain on the above issues: Glassbooth and another Glassbooth, On the Issues and another On the Issues.)

    Birth Control – Abortion - Sex Education
    I am pro-choice. I believe in a woman having a choice. The government should have no right to tell me what to do with my body - such as if I can take birth control. I also believe in sex education for prevention of pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

    McCain wants to over turn Roe v. Wade. "I will be a pro-life president, and this presidency will have pro-life policies." (Glassbooth, On the Issues, Time, Youtube,, CNN Video)

    In the past McCain said he could see that over turning Roe v. Wade would have devastating affects. But then later said he felt it should be overturned. (Washington Post, MSNBC)

    McCain strongly supports abstinentence only programs. You simply can't legislate hormones to respond the way that's most convenient for your particular faith. Instead of this incredibly bold and utterly unenforceable policy, why not make this information and education available for all to check out? You’re simply never going to be able to stop the teenage hormone process, so the only viable alternative is to provide the widest range of sources and information available. (Glassbooth, SFGate, The Caucus - NYTimes)

    When McCain was asked if he supported condom distribution, he was silent and then when asked about his policy on sex ed he said “I think I support the president’s policy.” He was asked if he thought contraceptives helped stop the spread of HIV, said “You’ve stumped me.” I'm sorry -- "stumped me?" Is he not aware that the use of contraceptives goes a long way to help stop the spread of HIV? If that wasn't enough, he then asked an aide for his policy paper on the subject and finished by saying “I’ve never gotten into these issues before.” (NYTimes, SPTimes) How is it that in the course of his 26 years in the Senate that he has never at least once THOUGHT about the issue of sex education, contraceptives, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases? Do we really want a President to answer a reasonable softball question like that - only to have the answer be "I've never gotten into these issues before?" There's a lot of issues we don't always think about when we contemplate what will happen tomorrow -- but you'd think that he has had a pretty long time to think about it.

    Voted against requiring health insurance policies to cover prescription birth control. (Planned Parenthood, Salon)

    Voted to terminate the Title X family-planning program that provided millions of women with health-care services. (Planned Parenthood)

    Voted for the domestic "gag rule." It would have prohibited federally funded family planning clinics from providing information about all reproductive health options. (Planned Parenthood, Naral)

    From Planned Parenthood everything form abortion to contraceptives to sex education:

    Foreign Policy, Military, Veterns all clumped together...
    I've never felt the war in Iraq was a place we should've been. As has been overly documented, Obama was against, McCain was for. While we could correctly argue the history of the second Iraq war, it would only prove that there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Commissions have reported this, investigations have said this, and even President Bush himself quietly admitted no connection. But since we're already over there - it doesn't really do us a lot of good crying over spilt milk. (Washington Post, CNN) But what has emerged in the primary and final run to the White House has been the overal strategy and plan for Iraq. Obama has long since stated that the war in Iraq should have time tables in place so that we don't stay in their country. McCain has criticized Obama's view because it's "quitting" or "surrendering." Obama faced this opposition on a scale that really made him look like a quitter or somehow against our fighting men and women.

    McCain wants to stay in Iraq until we win. Excuse me, but what is winning in Iraq? Can someone tell me that? There is close to 96,000 Iraq dead. And almost 4,000 Americans. (Iraq Body Count and Global Security) That isn’t winning. We have other threats out there and while we are in Iraq we are wasting money and resources that could be used other places.

    McCain said when went into Iraq it would be fairly easy, quick and we would be seen as liberators. Which of course didn’t happen. When he doesn't even understand the different factions in a country that is coming apart at the seams, how can I trust that he knows anything about Foreign policy if he was so off on that?
  • “Because I know that as successful as I believe we will be, and I believe that the success will be fairly easy, we will still lose some American young men or women.”

  • “But the point is that, one, we will win this conflict. We will win it easily.”

  • “But I believe, Katie, that the Iraqi people will greet us as liberators.”

  • (Huffington Post, CNN - Transcripts, CNN, Seattle PI)

    McCain says that we will be in Iraq for 100 years and doesn’t see a problem with that at all. Washington Post - Think Progress - yes a left website but they have links and has video that McCain says it - This video says it too but has lots of things he says that annoy and disappointment me regarding the war such that it is safe to walk down the streets of Bagdad but he was escorted by 100 soldiers, sniper teams, 10 armored humvees, 3 blackhawk helicopters, 2 apache gunships, predator drone coverage and he was wearing a bulletproof vest and only allowed to take off his helmet when authorized. (shows images of all that in that video but talks about it here as well here on Newsweek and CBS News

    McCain quotes Petraeus all the time yet Petraeus is even more towards Obama thoughts then McCain. (Washington Independent)

    McCain on war and peace – On the Issues

    McCain constantly confuses Shia and Sunni. (MNSBC).If it's hard or difficult, then it's unimaginable that he is running for the President of the United States of America. He is not going to fix our air conditioner. What I mean by this is I don’t need my repair guy to know not to confuse Shia and Sunni but I do need the President of the USA to know the difference and not confuse them. Again on the same lines of hopefully having a President that won’t confuse who the president of Iran. He was insisting that Ahmadinejad was the leader of Iran, not Khamenei (LA Time). This link has quite a few sources listed where McCain getting things mixed up on Foreign policy issues.

    The bomb-bomb-bomb Iran thing really bothered me. To even joke about bombing a country is beyond contempt. Making light of it not only diminishes the lives lost in our conflicts as some sort of “joke,” it further demonstrates an inability to raise the level of your discussion. Youtube - that is him saying the bomb bomb bomb iran and then this Youtube video is for him saying it was a joke and get a life - CNN Transcripts)

    He skipped over a dozen votes on Iraq in the senate (Vets for common sense)

    He thinks Cheney and him have similar strengths – which right there scares the hell out of me. (Huffington Post)

    McCain says Foreign Policy is his speciality so all of the above things don’t make a great case for him knowing much about Foreign policy so if that is the best he has then he isn't up to being President to me.

    Military & Vets
    There is no doubt that John McCain is a hero. What he went through when he was a prisoner of war is not only courageous it was incredible. Unless you have been in a similar situation, none of us can even begin to imagine what it was like for him. That said, I am incredibly puzzled of McCain's stance for our military and veterans. He says with conviction that since he is a veteran of war so he understands. But there is a critical difference of being a veteran and supporting your veterans and military. Yet when you look at his record, it's hard to look at exactly how he does support our troops.

    Voted against additional funding for the mental health care of troops and vets. (US Senate)

    Voted to table a bill that would have provided funding and equipment for Guard and Reserve units in Iraq(US Senate)

    Voted consistently against additional funding for Walter Reed Army Medical Center 2003 through 2007 (US Senate, another, and yet another)

    Voted against repealing a capital gains tax cut which would have funded soldiers. (US Senate)

    Voted against an amendment to make minimum rest periods for armed forces between deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan a requirement. (US Senate)

    McCain opposed the GI Bill (and as a side note President Bush didn't support it either). McCain was one of three senators who didn’t vote on it (one was in the hospital and one was at a funeral and he was campaigning)( “John McCain skipped a vote on the GI Bill to go to a fundraiser in San Diego. How is that Country First?” (headline from video)

    Voted against an amendment for Vets that would increase medical care by $1.8 billion by eliminating abusive loopholes. And then a year later voted against a bill for $2 billion for medical care for veterans. (US Senate and US Senate)

    Voted against an amendment for an additional $430 million for the Department of Veteran Affairs for Medical Services of outpatient care and treatment for veterans. He was one of 13 senators to vote No. (US Senate)

    On the Veterens Report card of Senate and Congressmen/women - McCain got a D.

    The US Vetern Dispatch feels McCain is unfit to run as president. This video is from someone who was POW at the same time McCain was and is against McCain. I thought his comments were interesting.

    IAVA offers a list of 10 things they feel Vets need help with asap - - I don’t feel they will get that help when looking at how McCain votes on military/vet issues.

    When you listen to Obama talk about the environment, he has a lot of great ideas that not only lead us towards energy independence, but we can also create new jobs through investing in renewable/alternative energy resources. Both of which is incredibly positive for our future. McCain opposes investment in alternative energy. (On the Issues and

    He doesn’t have a good record on environmental issues – (Yahoo News, Baltimore Chronicle, LA Times, Washington Post)


    Palin - Which really could be my number 1 reason for not voting for McCain at this point…Palin. Recently, I saw an interview of Matt Damon where he said that Palin as VP is like a bad Disney movie - Hockey Mom for President and I instantly agree with him (Youtube - Matt Damon). When you look at your typical Disney movie, there's a happy ending, good vs. bad, fairies, fairy dust and a nice wrapped story. But reality isn't a Disney movie. Reality is that this woman has such a long list of reasons I don’t want her anywhere close to the White House. Just naming a few ... she simply doesn't have enough experience. Mayor of a small town and governor for not even a term while lacking the fundamental knowledge of how Washington works, not to mention the fact she honestly thinks being neighbors with Russia is enough to give her the necessary foreign policy credentials to be vice president. McCain listed Palin's role on the local PTA in Alaska as being some of her "relevant" executive experience. She can't name one newspaper or magazine she reads - an obvious and easy lowball question that she can't even answer. Nor could she even cite ONE Supreme Court decision she disagrees with except for Roe v. Wade despite having publicly criticized the Supreme Court on a case that affected Alaska this past summer. (Youtube video, another Youtube and another Youtube)

    Ultimately, it comes down to a level of vetting by the general public and the media. We've gotten to know Obama, Biden and McCain for years now. We find out about Palin in less than 30 seconds (at least that's how it felt like) before she was announced as McCain's running mate. Already we have found out about several scandals associated with her. It's unreal that America is being asked to seriously consider including this person on the ticket - knowing that this person is realistically this close to the oval office and being president.

    What does the Palin pick say about McCain's judgment? It was a political ploy in a desperate attempt to sway Hillary Clinton voters. He chose someone that was likable, has charisma and is not afraid to get her hands dirty -- but someone who is also not ready to be the second most powerful person in the modern world. So instead of making the right choice for America, McCain made a political move instead.

    Lobbyist/Campaign – Obama had accepted $6,000 from lobbyist and gave it back. McCain had accepted $181,600 (that from July so might be more by now) From Obama’s website: “We don’t take money from Washington lobbyists or special-interest political action committees. Instead, we have a base of more than 1.5 million individual donors who ensure that this campaign answers to no one but the people.” One of McCain's transitional people is a lobbyist. A transitional person is who is in charge of filling positions in the white house if they win. He talks about reforming Washington but hiring a lobbyist for that kind of position really doesn't sound like reform to me. Sounds like...the same thing we have had for 8 years. (NY Times and Time)

    Deregulation of Teaching - “We need to encourage programs such as Teach for America and Troops to Teachers where people, after having served in the military, can go right to teaching and not have to take these examinations which -- or have the certification that some are required in some states.” (I have italicized the part that bothers me the most – this is quote from the debates - CNN Transcript of debate)

    Katrina – McCain had birthday cake with Bush several hours after the levees at New Orleans broke but later he blasted Bush about slow response. (Newsweek) He voted against Katrina Commission, extended unemployment assistance and medicaid access for victims of Katrina. (Newsweek and Washington Post). I feel that shows how he would handle a similar crisis. Again showing me he doesn't think of the people.

    Negative Ads - I have heard about that people are sick of the negative ads on both sides but it is like this every year. Do I like it? NO. But I, of course, feel McCain's ads are more negative and really downright sicking. It looks like it came straight out of the Bush campaigns about pushing the fear mongering messages, dropping subtle hints that Obama is Muslim, pals around with terrorists and linking Obama to the former Iraqi President by use of the name "Hussein." And you know so what if he was muslim? As (as General Powell said.) The things they say about him really upset me because they are out and out lies such as paling around with terroists. Which of course isn't true. So they smear that lie but seem to forget that McCain is friends with G. Gorden Liddy. Or McCain being friends with Pastor Hagee who is a contributor and Hagee said that Hilter was doing Gods will. It is just sicking to me how they take something twist it around but if they looked in their own yard would see the exact same thing they are accusing Obama of doing. I don't get it. Do they think we are dumb and can't use google and all the other resources out there to find showing the truth. It just annoys me.

    And my last thing...

    Same as Bush - I feel he is the same as Bush (Youtube video of him saying he is like Bush). I don't want the same as the last 8 years. I feel our country is in such peril we need real change and when I hear Obama speak and when I read everything he wants to do to help our great country - I feel hopeful. I feel that we really can turn this country around and with McCain I can't help but feel it will be more of the same.

    Obama's philosophy always centers around what is best for the American people. His genuineness, his compassion, his dedication and his strength is what America needs right now. The next 4 years are going to be incredibly challenging for America and we need the hope for change and resolve to correct the errors made by the last 8 years. That is why I feel Barack Obama will do what is best for the American people and that makes him the best and only truly qualified candidate to become President of the United States of America.

    (This was a lot longer and I cut out a lot of issues that are important too but just felt it was getting to long.)