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The Economy is So Bad...

(Received in email; author unknown)

The economy is so bad that I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

It's so bad, I ordered a burger at McDonalds and the kid behind the counter asked, "Can you afford fries with

The economy is so bad that CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

The economy is so bad if the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

The economy is so bad Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

The economy is so bad McDonalds is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

The economy is so bad parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children's names.

The economy is so bad a truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico.

The economy is so bad Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.

The economy is so bad Motel Six won't leave the light on anymore.

The economy is so bad the Mafia is laying off judges.

The economy is so bad Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

Tribute to the Troops

This was made over two years ago, but it's the first I'm seeing it.
Saw it on Facebook.

God bless our servicemen and women.

Trip to Luray Caverns

Yesterday, Mr. Mo, a couple of friends and I went to Luray Caverns in the Shenandoah Valley, VA. It had been literally 35 years since I'd been there, so there was not a whole lot I remembered. Two in our group had never been there, so it must have been mind-blowing for them.

For the best photos go to the hyperlink above, but here are some I took.

In the parking lot, walking towards the visitors center:

Entering the cavern.

"Dream Lake". It's not immediately obvious it's water reflecting a mirror image of the stalactites.

Here's some video I took of "Dream Lake" and "Giant's Hall".

Fallen stalactite. We were joking "Hmm... will one fall on us?" But that's the thing. Anything that's fallen from the top of the cave would have done so thousands of years ago, and there'd be plenty of advance warning, modern day.

Double Column.


Giant's Hall, with the Totem Pole-like formations.

Saracen's Tent

The folds of some of these stalactites are so intriguing. It really does look like drapes.

More stalactites....

Wishing well.

And of course there were plenty of er... double-entendres along the way

The stalacpipe organ.  I remember that it was not being played when I visited as a kid. Pretty cool to hear it, finally.


As wide open as some of the caverns were, there were narrow passages, as would be expected.

The famous "fried eggs".

This was a nice tribute at the end of the trail that recognized veterans from Page County who lost their lives in World War II, Korean, and Vietnam wars.

And this is the view as we left the visitors center, looking at the Blue Ridge mountains. Some nasty clouds were directly behind us. Good thing we left when we did. They followed us over the mountains but stayed east, so we missed getting any precip on the way home. It was obvious it had hit our home area at least briefly, and the storms came back last night.

It's been clear today and cool.  Autumn has arrived!

Conservatives vs. Liberals

Someone emailed me this.  I don't know who penned it, and don't disagree.


If a conservative doesn't like guns, they don't buy one. If a liberal doesn't like guns, then no one should have one.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, they don't eat meat. If a liberal is, they want to ban all meat products for everyone.

If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy. A liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

If a conservative is homosexual, they quietly enjoy their life. If a liberal is homosexual, they loudly demand legislated respect.

If a black man or Hispanic is conservative, they see themselves as independently successful. Their liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels. Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church. A liberal wants any mention of God or religion silenced.

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A liberal demands that his neighbors pay for his.

Last Saturday, Mr. Mo and I attended the Taxpayer March on D.C. One of my friends who used to live in our area but moved to OH a couple of years ago called me to see if we were going. Indeed! So, she and her husband drove down and we met up at the Dunn Loring Metro around 8:00 a.m.

We purchased tickets and waited for the train which was delayed due to track maintenance. Around 8:30 we found a car that had a few seats available. We were lucky. The train filled to capacity, and we were packed in like sardines.
Everyone was friendly and excited. For the majority of us, this was the first time we've ever done anything like this.
I went to two Sarah Palin rallies last fall, but nothing prior to that.
This is a cause that we all feel so strongly about. Our government is and has been out of control for quite some time, and we've had it. They aren't listening to us, they ignore our letters, emails, and phone calls.
Enough is enough. They need to start representing us.

Many of us had signs, and some were really clever and made us laugh.
I came up with this idea when I recalled a Rita Rudner skit in which she said PMS stands for "pardon my screaming".

BTW, that's a "Proud Conservative" baseball cap. Check out Trent's site. He's got some great T-shirts and other goodies.

When we got off at our stop (Metro Center) and just before rounding the corner, you could hear a roar that wasn't recognizable as human voices at first, and as we walked a couple of blocks to Freedom Plaza, it sunk in that this thing was going to be huge. The crowd was fired up and we were getting goosebumps.

We just kind of milled around, and I think we all realized that this march wasn't going to wait until 11:30 as scheduled. People started walking past us to Pennsylvania Ave., and around 10:40, we joined in.
We were lucky in that we were far enough ahead that we snagged a couple of spots along the west lawn of the Capitol. I took this video with my regular camera (sorry about the horrible audio when the crowd cheers-- it's apparently a cheapo mic built in).

Everyone was well-behaved (countless others have reported the same thing) and we didn't trash the place (unlike those who attended the 2009 Inauguration).  The trash bins were overflowing, but at least the trash was confined to that area.

It was the most awesome thing I've ever participated in. People traveled great distances and spent a lot of hard-earned dollars to get there.
I was so proud of these fellow patriots, especially the ones who had disabilities, and the elderly.
God bless them all.

Freedom Plaza:

Notice the Joker depiction under the yellow flag. It had BOTH Obama's and Dubya's likenesses.
We are ticked at ALL of them!




And anyone who believes the leftwing media's estimates of only 75,000 people is being fed a lie. There were easily 100,000s of thousands and much closer to if not a million.  They are relying mostly on Metro ridership numbers, and forgetting that there were a ton of buses from all over the country.   Additionally, the traffic cam timelapse that most everyone has seen by now was shut off around 1:30, doesn't capture the people who went directly to the Capitol instead of starting from Freedom Plaza, plus there were still more people coming in that weren't captured on traffic cams whom we saw as we walked the several blocks back.

VA Beach Half Marathon

I am WAY past my self-imposed bedtime since I'm supposed to get up in 5 hours.

So proud of hubby that he is participating in his second half-marathon. First time was in Fredericksburg in May under rainy and cold conditions. Plus hilly areas.

This time it's flat, and looks like the weather will be pretty good.

Anyway... I'm so proud of Mr Mo. He's in even better shape since May.   We'll head out at dawn, pick up our friend Roxy in Culpeper, stay overnight at a hotel, and be ready to rock 'n' roll on Sunday morning.

Heading back Sunday afternoon.

Hope the traffic isn't horrendous!

Update: Traffic awful heading down on I-95, but we took an alternate route which took longer mileage-wise, and didn't have backups until we approached the bridge on Rt.64 leading to the tunnel. It goes from 4 to 2 lanes.  On the return trip we had the same tunnel/bridge backup, but after that it was smooth sailing all the way up I-95.  Good thing we came back Sunday instead of Monday.

And here is the photo finish.  Mr. Mo in tan shirt and gray shorts... Roxy in yellow top and black shorts.  They look even more fit than they did for the Marine Corps Half back in May.  And they should! They both dropped even more weight and built more muscle since then.  AND, shaved 30 mins. off their times!   Weather/course was worse/more challenging in Fredericksburg, but losing weight and training in-between made a big difference.

Can't Say I Disagree With This

Bill O'Reilly is an obnoxious...

That summed up my feelings well.  O'Reilly says more and more things lately that I disagree with. He's lost his nerve, I think.  Maybe he's just taking the easy way out and letting Glenn Beck take the hits.  Beck, who is the most honest opinion journalist on the air these days, IMO.

Random Thoughts of the Day:

  Received this in email. Don't know who came up with this list, but I've had many of these thoughts, too.

Random Thoughts of the Day:

I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that
I can’t wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that’s not only better,
but also more directly involves me.

I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great,
no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?

Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the
complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead
of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you
have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm
gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks
you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently
became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work
email with the phrase "Regards" again.

Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work?
You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem.
Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem?
There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out.
Today's kids are soft.

Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly
realize I had no idea what the f*** was going on when I first saw it.

I think everyone has a movie that they love so much; it actually becomes stressful
to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around
to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just
a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who
really, really gets it.

How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips
to bring my groceries in.

I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer
history if you die.

The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.

A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the spread of
mono and the flu.... Yeah, if you suck at it.

Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger..

Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is;
"I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile
because you still didn't hear what they said?

I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a
dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to
get out of my neighborhood.

Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can
wear them forever.

Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public
I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I
always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!

Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?

Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and
say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know
my name, I know where I'm from; this shouldn't be a problem....

There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die
after leaning your chair back a little too far..

I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save
any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

"Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's
so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet
everyone is wishing we weren’t watching this. It's only a matter of time before they
all get up and leave the room.. Will we still be friends after this?'

I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Darnit!), but when I
immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do
after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone
of importance the entire day. What a waste.

When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already
told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about
one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...

As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter
what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

I think that if, years down the road when I’m trying to have a kid, I find out that
I’m sterile, most of my disappointment will stem from the fact that I was not aware
of my condition in college.

Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket,
finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I’d bet my a$$
everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds,
eyes closed, first time every time....

It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on C NN.com and the link takes
me to a video instead of text.

I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind
obeys the speed limit.

I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night
more kisses begin w ith Miller Lites than Kay.

The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had
included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant
packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there
must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food.
Too bad I was eating by myself. There’s nothing like being made to feel like a
fat b@st@rd before dinner.

From the Kurmudgeon Korner

I have to agree with Director Mueller. I am a great fan--and great consumer--of Scotch whisky, and have tried to do my part for the last 12 years to keep that industry thriving. As a result of this outrage, I have decided to boycott any products of Scotland, including, I'm sad to say, all scotch, until a formal apology is made and MSP MacAskill is forced from office. Sadly, I don't think this will happen any time soon, given the mindset of the terrorist-loving moral-equivalence-believing milquetoast socialists in the Scottish parliament (and, apparently, the Scottish nation). For the foreseeable future, it's Jameson and Bushmills for me. And I now count it as a smug victory that a Japanese whisky has been chosen as the world's best single malt scotch at the World Whisky Awards. I'm off to purchase a bottle of Suntory Yamazaki.
~Mr. Mo K.

Letter from FBI's Robert S. Mueller (via BBC news link)

This is the content of a letter from FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, sent to Scottish Minister Kenny MacAskill regarding the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi.


Dear Mr. Secretary:

Over the years I have been a prosecutor, and recently as the Director of the FBI, I have made it a practice not to comment on the actions of other prosecutors, since only the prosecutor handling the case has all the facts and the law before him in reaching the appropriate decision.

Your decision to release Megrahi causes me to abandon that practice in this case. I do so because I am familiar with the facts, and the law, having been the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the investigation and indictment of Megrahi in 1991.

And I do so because I am outraged at your decision, blithely defended on the grounds of "compassion."

Your action in releasing Megrahi is as inexplicable as it is detrimental to the cause of justice. Indeed your action makes a mockery of the rule of law.

Your action gives comfort to terrorists around the world who now believe that regardless of the quality of the investigation, the conviction by jury after the defendant is given all due process, and sentence appropriate to the crime, the terrorist will be freed by one man's exercise of "compassion."

Your action rewards a terrorist even though he never admitted to his role in this act of mass murder and even though neither he nor the government of Libya ever disclosed the names and roles of others who were responsible.

Your action makes a mockery of the emotions, passions and pathos of all those affected by the Lockerbie tragedy: the medical personnel who first faced the horror of 270 bodies strewn in the fields around Lockerbie, and in the town of Lockerbie itself; the hundreds of volunteers who walked the fields of Lockerbie to retrieve any piece of debris related to the breakup of the plane; the hundreds of FBI agents and Scottish police who undertook an unprecedented global investigation to identify those responsible; the prosecutors who worked for years - in some cases a full career - to see justice done.

But most importantly, your action makes a mockery of the grief of the families who lost their own on December 21, 1988.

You could not have spent much time with the families, certainly not as much time as others involved in the investigation and prosecution.

You could not have visited the small wooden warehouse where the personal items of those who perished were gathered for identification - the single sneaker belonging to a teenager; the Syracuse sweatshirt never again to be worn by a college student returning home for the holidays; the toys in a suitcase of a businessman looking forward to spending Christmas with his wife and children.

You apparently made this decision without regard to the views of your partners in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the Lockerbie tragedy.

Although the FBI and Scottish police, and prosecutors in both countries, worked exceptionally closely to hold those responsible accountable, you never once sought our opinion, preferring to keep your own counsel and hiding behind opaque references to "the need for compassion."

You have given the family members of those who died continued grief and frustration. You have given those who sought to assure that the persons responsible would be held accountable the back of your hand.

You have given Megrahi a "jubilant welcome" in Tripoli, according to the reporting. Where, I ask, is the justice?

Sincerely yours,

Robert S. Mueller, III


The President Without A Country

Pat Boone asks some poignant questions.

Saturday, August 08, 2009
The president without a country
Exclusive: Pat Boone questions Obama's loyalty in light of quotes about faith
Posted: June 06, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

By Pat Boone

"We're no longer a Christian nation." – President Barack Obama, June 2007

"America has been arrogant." – President Barack Obama

"After 9/11, America didn't always live up to her ideals."

– President Barack Obama

"You might say that America is a Muslim nation."

– President Barack Obama, Egypt 2009

Thinking about these and other statements made by the man who wears the title of president … I keep wondering what country he believes he's president of.

In one of my very favorite stories, Edward Everett Hale's "The Man without a Country," a young Army lieutenant named Philip Nolan stands condemned for treason during the Revolutionary War, having come under the influence of Aaron Burr. When the judge asks him if he wishes to say anything before sentence is passed, young Nolan defiantly exclaims, "Damn the United States! I wish I might never hear of the United States again!"

The stunned silence in the courtroom is palpable, pulsing. After a long pause, the judge soberly says to the angry lieutenant: "You have just pronounced your own sentence. You will never hear of the United States again. I sentence you to spend the rest of your life at sea, on one or another of this country's naval vessels – under strict orders that no one will ever speak to you again about the country you have just cursed."

And so it was. Philip Nolan was taken away and spent the next 40 years at sea, never hearing anything but an occasional slip of the tongue about America. The last few pages of the story, recounting Nolan's dying hours in his small stateroom – now turned into a shrine to the country he foreswore – never fail to bring me to tears. And I find my own love for this dream, this miracle called America, refreshed and renewed. I know how blessed and unique we are.

Is Shariah law coming to a court near you? Get "Stealth Jihad" – Robert Spencer's expose about efforts to quietly establish the Muslim system in America

But reading and hearing the audacious, shocking statements of the man who was recently elected our president – a young black man living the impossible dream of millions of young Americans, past and present, black and white – I want to ask him, "Just what country do you think you're president of?"

You surely can't be referring to the United States of America, can you? America is emphatically a Christian nation, and has been from its inception! Seventy percent of her citizens identify themselves as Christian. The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution were framed, written and ratified by Christians. It's because this was, and is, a nation built on and guided by Judeo-Christian biblical principles that you, sir, have had the inestimable privilege of being elected her president.

You studied law at Harvard, didn't you, sir? You taught constitutional law in Chicago? Did you not ever read the statement of John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and an author of the landmark "Federalist Papers": "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers – and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation – to select and prefer Christians for their rulers"?

In your studies, you surely must have read the decision of the Supreme Court in 1892: "Our lives and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian."

Did your professors have you skip over all the high-court decisions right up till the mid 1900s that echoed and reinforced these views and intentions? Did you pick up the history of American jurisprudence only in 1947, when for the first time a phrase coined by Thomas Jefferson about a "wall of separation between church and state" was used to deny some specific religious expression – contrary to Jefferson's intent with that statement?

Or, wait a minute … were your ideas about America's Christianity formed during the 20 years you were a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ under your pastor, Jeremiah Wright? Is that where you got the idea that "America is no longer a Christian nation"? Is this where you, even as you came to call yourself a Christian, formed the belief that "America has been arrogant"?

Even if that's the understandable explanation of your damning of your country and accusing the whole nation (not just a few military officials trying their best to keep more Americans from being murdered by jihadists) of "not always living up to her ideals," how did you come up with the ridiculous, alarming notion that we might be "considered a Muslim nation"?

Is it because there are some 2 million or more Muslims living here, trying to be good Americans? Out of a current population of over 300 million, 70 percent of whom are Christians? Does that make us, by any rational definition, a "Muslim nation"?

Why are we not, then, a "Chinese nation"? A "Korean nation"? Even a "Vietnamese nation"? There are even more of these distinct groups in America than Muslims. And if the distinction you're trying to make is a religious one, why is America not "a Jewish nation"? There's actually a case to be made for the latter, because our Constitution – and the success of our Revolution and founding – owe a deep debt to our Jewish brothers.

Have you stopped to think what an actual Muslim America would be like? Have you ever really spent much time in Iran? Even in Egypt? You, having been instructed in Islam as a kid at a Muslim school in Indonesia and saying you still love the call to evening prayers, can surely picture our nation founded on the Quran, not the Judeo-Christian Bible, and living under Shariah law. Can't you? You do recall Muhammad's directives [Surah 9:5,73] to "break the cross" and "kill the infidel"?

It seems increasingly and painfully obvious that you are more influenced by your upbringing and questionable education than most suspected. If you consider yourself the president of a people who are "no longer Christian," who have "failed to live up to our ideals," who "have been arrogant," and might even be "considered Muslim" – you are president of a country most Americans don't recognize.

Could it be you are a president without a country?

Letter from a Whole Foods worker.

I get so tired of the smears and exaggeration from the left.  They have no shame. 

Well,  I'm going on an anti-boycott mission. Besides, Whole Foods is the only store around that carries the Shirataki noodles.
I'm not a fan of the fettucini ones so much, but the lo mein noodles are pretty decent.  Must prepare them exactly as Hungry Girl instructs: Rinse VERY well and drain thoroughly.

UPDATE:  Well, maybe nahsofast.  This is disturbing news. I'm going to rethink my stance. I still think WF shouldn't be blasted for the healthcare statement, but for supporting a terrorist university??  That's a different story entirely.

Dinner with Obama, a parable

Received in email. Author unknown, but this is a great read.

Once upon a time, I was invited to the White House for a private dinner with the

President. I am a respected businessman, with a factory that produces memory

chips for computers and portable electronics. There was some talk that my

industry was being scrutinized by the administration, but I paid it no mind. I

live in a free country. There's nothing that the government can do to me if I've

broken no laws. My wealth was earned honestly, and an invitation to dinner with

an American President is an honor.

I checked my coat, was greeted by the Chief of Staff, and joined the President

in a yellow dining room. We sat across from each other at a table draped in

white linen. The Great Seal was embossed on the china. Uniformed staff served

our dinner.

The meal was served, and I was startled when my waiter suddenly reached out,

plucked a dinner roll off my plate, and began nibbling it as he walked back to

the kitchen.

"Sorry about that," said the President. "Andrew is very hungry."

"I don't appreciate..." I began, but as I looked into the calm brown eyes across

from me, I felt immediately guilty and petty. It was just a dinner roll. "Of

course," I concluded, and reached for my glass. Before I could, however, another

waiter reached forward, took the glass away and swallowed the wine in a single


"And his brother Eric is very thirsty." said the President.

I didn't say anything. The President is testing my compassion, I thought. I will

play along. I don't want to seem unkind.

My plate was whisked away before I had tasted a bite.

"Eric's children are also quite hungry."

With a lurch, I crashed to the floor. My chair had been pulled out from under

me. I stood, brushing myself off angrily, and watched as it was carried from the


"And their grandmother can't stand for long."

I excused myself, smiling outwardly, but inside feeling like a fool. Obviously I

had been invited to the White House to be sport for some game. I reached for my

coat, to find that it had been taken. I turned back to the President.

"Their grandfather doesn't like the cold."

I wanted to shout- that was my coat! But again, I looked at the placid smiling

face of my host and decided I was being a poor sport. I spread my hands

helplessly and chuckled. Then I felt my hip pocket and realized my wallet was

gone. I excused myself and walked to a phone on an elegant side table. I learned

shortly that my credit cards had been maxed out, my bank accounts emptied, my

retirement and equity portfolios had vanished, and my wife had been thrown out

of our home. Apparently, the waiters and their families were moving in. The

President hadn't moved or spoken as I learned all this, but finally I lowered

the phone into its cradle and turned to face him.

"Andrew's whole family has made bad financial decisions. They haven't planned

for retirement, and they need a house. They recently defaulted on a subprime

. I told them they could have your home. They need it more than you do."

My hands were shaking. I felt faint. I stumbled back to the table and knelt on

the floor. The President cheerfully cut his meat, ate his steak and drank his

wine. I lowered my eyes and stared at the small grey circles on the tablecloth

that were water drops.

"By the way," He added, "I have just signed an Executive Order nationalizing

your factories. I'm firing you as head of your business. I'll be operating the

firm now for the benefit of all mankind. There's a whole bunch of Erics and

Andrews out there and they can't come to you for jobs groveling like beggars."

I looked up. The President dropped his spoon into the empty ramekin which had

been his creme brulee. He drained the last drops of his wine. As the table was

cleared, he lit a cigarette and leaned back in his chair. He stared at me. I

clung to the edge of the table as if were a ledge and I were a man hanging over

an abyss. I thought of the years behind me, of the life I had lived. The life I

had earned with a lifetime of work, risk and struggle. Why was I punished? How

had I allowed it to be taken? What game had I played and lost? I looked across

the table and noticed with some surprise that there was no game board between


What had I done wrong?

As if answering the unspoken thought, the President suddenly cocked his head,

locked his empty eyes to mine, and bared a million teeth, chuckling wryly as he

folded his hands.

"You should have stopped me at the dinner roll," he said.

Wake up America.
Saw this brilliant piece on a Facebook link.

It's so simple it's scary. To leftists, that is!

A Two-Step Plan for Really "Fixing" Health Care


The Heartland Institute , Chicago-Based Think Tank


By Greg Scandlen, Director of Heartland's Consumers for Health Choices

Having been in
health care policy for a very long time, I have read literally hundreds of six-point plans, eight-point plans, and 10-point plans—all developed by very sincere and earnest people who think if only the world would do as they say, it would be a better place.

No doubt they are right. If only the world would conform to their vision, and if only they could control people’s behavior, many problems would be solved.

Unfortunately, that is the same chain of thought that led to Napoleon, Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin. I’m not suggesting that
health reformers are all little dictators (though some would like to be), but the whole notion that a single person, or committee of persons, can sit at a table and plan the future of hundreds of millions of people is offensive to the ideas of human dignity, freedom, and sovereignty.

So when a colleague suggested I come up with an alternative, I was reluctant. He told me it isn’t enough to be the “Party of No!” I had to offer an alternative.

So here is my two-point plan to reform health care in America:

1. Give the
money back to the people.

2. Get the hell out of the way.

Perhaps this plan needs some explanation, though it seems pretty simple to me.

Point No. 1: Give the money back to the people.

Every penny that is spent four our health care comes from us, the American people. There is no other source. The money is taken from us in the form of
taxes, insurance premiums, or lost wages, but it is still our money. And it is supposed to be used for our benefit.

Over the years we have let insurance companies, employers, and government agencies use that money because we thought they would do a better job of spending it than we could. Turns out we were wrong. In fact, they have done a lousy job of buying health services for us. The services they buy are overpriced, inconvenient, and of questionable quality. And they take an administrative cut out of every dollar for doing it. It is simply not a good deal for us, and we could hardly do a worse job than they have.

Obviously some people do not have any money and need assistance to get the health care services they need. They, too, should be allowed to choose the services they prefer. They could be given
vouchers to help them do so, rather than being enrolled in a government insurance plan like Medicaid.

Point No. 2: Get out of the way.
This is probably the hardest thing for the elite to do. Everybody’s got an opinion about what everybody else should be doing—for their own good, of course. There was once a time when it was considered rude to express those opinions publicly. No longer. Now perfect strangers feel entitled to tell everyone else what they should be doing.

If the stranger is just a person on the street, we can ignore him, or tell him to mind his own business, or punch him in the nose if he gets too insistent. But when it is the government doing the telling, our options are limited.

However, if we take responsibility for making our own decisions in health care, we have to be free to exercise that judgment according to our own values and priorities.

We have to be free, for instance, to spend our hard-earned money on the insurance coverage that is best for us and our families. That may or may not include coverage for in vitro fertilization or for counseling by psychiatric social workers. It should be our decision, not something mandated by the state.

We have to be free to choose the best level of deductible for our families. High deductibles mean lower premiums, and vice versa. We should make our own decisions on that trade-off.

For that matter, we have to be free to go without insurance coverage if we want to. We may want to take six months to finish our educations or start a business. Or we may need to skip coverage for a few months because the car’s transmission needs to be replaced, and we can’t get to work without that vehicle. Why should we need a bureaucrat to give us permission to make that decision?

In shopping for health care services, we need to be free to spend our money on the service that delivers the most value. If I have back pain, I might seek a chiropractor, but if your back hurts, you might prefer an acupuncturist, and someone else might seek a physical therapist. Who should care except the person feeling the pain? It’s our backs and our money!

If I have heart disease I might want to go to a physician-owned cardiac hospital instead of the giant Medical Center. Why should Congress get in the way of that decision?

And on and on. Once we are spending our own money, health care providers will be eager to get our business. Physicians might offer weekend and evening hours so we don’t have to take time off work. They might start seeing us at the time of our appointments instead of making us wait for an hour. If our kid is running a fever late at night, it might be worth paying $10 to e-mail the doctor to see what we should do, instead of running down to the emergency room. Or $20 for a phone call.

Some people have told me we can’t allow consumers to have money to buy health care until we educate them about health care. But that’s backwards. Once I have the money, I may pay to educate myself about choices and options.

My two-point plan would “reform health care” in ways none of us can imagine. And that is a very good thing. No one could have imagined the Internet and
cell phones 20 years ago. Free people to spend their own money and make their own decisions and an entirely new world opens up. Just in time.

H/T: Kerri

Received in email (author unknown).....

12. CEO's are now playing miniature golf.


11. I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.


10. I went to buy a toaster oven and they gave me a bank.


9. Hotwheels and Matchbox car companies are now trading higher than GM in the stock market.


8. Obama met with small businesses - GE, Pfizer, Chrysler, Citigroup and GM, to discuss the Stimulus Package.


7. McDonalds is selling the 1/4 ouncer.


6 People in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and are learning their children's names.


5. The most highly-paid job is now jury duty.


4. People in Africa are donating money to Americans. Mothers in Ethiopia are telling their kids, "finish your plate; do you know how many kids are starving in America?"


3. Motel Six won't leave the lights on.


2. The Mafia is laying off judges.


And my most favorite indicator of all.


1. If the bank returns your check marked as "insufficient funds," you have to call them and ask if they meant you or them.


The Ten Commandments According to Obama

Yup. This sums it up well.

The Ten Commandments According to Obama

By Patriot Update

© 2009 The Patriot Update. Feel free to circulate this article, but please link / give credit to The Patriot Update.

After observing Obama on the campaign trail and during his first six months in office, we have concluded that our President lives and governs according to his own set of “Ten Commandments.” They’re certainly NOT the Ten Commandments you learned in Sunday School. In fact, many are the direct opposite! To prove that our conclusions are correct, you will find a link to source documentation for each commandment on the Patriot Update web site.

I. Thou shalt have no God in America, except for me. For we are no longer a Christian nation and, after all, I am the chosen One. (And like God, I do not have a birth certificate.) SOURCE

II. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, unless it is my face carved on Mt. Rushmore. SOURCE

III. Thou shalt not utter my middle name in vain (or in public). Only I can say Barack Hussein Obama. SOURCE

IV. Remember tax day, April 15th, to keep it holy. SOURCE

V. Honour thy father and thy mother until they are too old and sick to care for. They will cost our public-funded health-care system too much money. SOURCE

VI. Thou shalt not kill, unless you have an unwanted, unborn baby. For it would be an abomination to punish your daughter with a baby. SOURCE

VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery if you are conservative or a Republican. Liberals and Democrats are hereby forgiven for all of their infidelity and immorality, but the careers of conservatives will be forever destroyed. SOURCE

VIII. Thou shalt not steal, until you've been elected to public office. Only then is it acceptable to take money from hard-working, successful citizens and give it to those who do not work, illegal immigrants, or those who do not have the motivation to better their own lives. SOURCE

IX. Thou shalt not discriminate against thy neighbor unless they are conservative, Caucasian, or Christian. SOURCE

X. Thou shalt not covet because it is simply unnecessary. I will place such a heavy tax burden on those that have achieved the American Dream that, by the end of my term as President, nobody will have any wealth or material goods left for you to covet. SOURCE

A fallen hero returns home

this excellent video of the motorcade and all of the respectful citizens, as they welcome home Staff Sgt. John Beale for the last time.  If this doesn't make your heart swell with pride, nor cause you to shed a tear, then I feel sad for you.

And yet there's a media frenzy around Michael Jackson's death, and even congress observing a moment of silence.
It's embarrassing.

Happy Independence Day

Yeah, I'm a bit late in posting this, but technically it's still the holiday weekend.  Hubs and I were away at an overnight BBQ pool party and I'm still catching up on emails that were sent during my visit to NC (and subsequent sudden trip to OH) where I have no computer.

And I didn't see this until a few minutes ago, which was created by our dear friend Jim yesterday.

Once again, a beautiful slideshow of his, with an important message to remember each Independence Day, and every day.

 Well done, Sir Leafman!



"Perfect Day"

I remember this from the end of "Legally Blonde", and it's always stuck with me. Love the Chihuahua with the tiny graduation hat.

It's being used on some resort commercial lately, and I decided to look it up. Catchy.

Got up around 5:00 a.m. this past Saturday after less than 5 hrs. sleep (I just can't turn in early and fall asleep, unless I've been sleep-deprived for a few days prior), in prep for the Komen 5K on the D.C. Mall.  

This is the first global race for the cure, and I was glad to have participated. Wow. Around 50,000 runners and walkers!

We were blessed with good weather after so much rain in preceding days, and the cloud coverage helped keep the temps. bearable.

Six of us met up at our house and drove to the nearby Metro subway station to meet our seventh. 
Good thing we were near the end of the "orange" line, because it quickly became standing-room only, by 6:30 a.m.

Blondie's hubby, Jim, took some photos of the event and our group and assembled them in this excellent slideshow presentation.

BTW, Candy Coburn was there and sang "Pink Warrior". First time I'd heard it. Great song.

Here are some pics I took, as well. Unfort.,  with my cellphone. 

Looking towards the left when heading to the start line:

Taking a constitutional on Constitution. Pausing to take a pic of the distant White House:

Random shot of the crowd, with the Capitol just visible in the distance. Interesting, how the jumbotron doesn't "convey" in some photos.

Near the start line for walkers:

Gotta say, this one of the Washington Monument has me LOLing. I must have moved slightly.  It wasn't easy to get out of the way of the crowd during the walk and stand still a few seconds in order to take a photo.
I have to explanation for this, but all kinds of crass commentary come to mind! 

And here's our group.  Pic is from Renae, who is in Jim's slideshow.

Love you guys!


Vintage Virginia

Yesterday we ventured out (again) to try our luck getting into the venue at Bull Run Park, Centreville.  We were leaving ourselves open to both Sat. and Sun., but preferred Sat. as we had a neighborhood cookout on Sunday --but that wasn't scheduled to start until 5:00 p.m. anyway, so no biggie.

The festival starts at 11:00, and on Saturday, we thought we'd try to get there around noon, but we didn't actually leave until 12:15 or so, which was a bad calculation. After an hour of barely inching along when we still had miles of winding road, we decided to ditch the plan and head for Wegmans instead. Mr. Mo had never been there, and it truly is an experience not to be missed. It's amazing to us that they can keep prices so low and yet be so "gourmet".

So, our spur-of-the-moment "plan B" actually worked out well.  Plus, we figured it had to be more crowded that first day at the festival. 

On Sunday we left home around 10:30 (still later that we thought we should) and had no traffic tie-ups whatsoever. It was fantastic.

Lesson learned!

Mr. Mo got some photos with his i-Phone, which didn't turn out badly. 

This one was kinda funny-- an inflatable slide with a Roswell theme.

Making my way over to the Mountfair Vineyard tent.  We enjoyed the "Engagement" Merlot.

This was an interesting idea by "Thousand Oaks Barrel Co."
Make your own spirits using vodka, or aging a bottle of whatev that much faster.

This new cosmetic company from France "Votre Vu" had a unique gimick: a Jetstream trailer where they were giving out free samples of the "Snapdragon" health drink, and samples of various cremes. I tried a combo lipbalm and hand lotion that was very nice, and they gave me a sample of neck cream. It was really too warm to try anything, even on the back of one's hand.
Temps. yesterday were in the high 80s.

And lastly, a pic overlooking about maybe 1/3 of the venue.

To the left, some nasty clouds were making their way over, so after about three hours we thought we'd better scoot.

Before we left, we spotted some people with plates of cheese, fruit and bread and were thinking we should probably get a little something to eat, keeping in mind that we were having the BBQ later, so eat light.  It was a Trader Joe's tent, and they were actually giving these generous plates away!  "Just remember to patronize the stores!" they asked in return.
Uh... no problem there.  We love T.J.'s!

I just wished I had some wine to go with this brie, swiss, cheddar, grapey goodness!

The samples we had MAYBE amounted to a full glass. I estimate we sampled maybe 1/10th of all the wineries, and not even all the wines that one particular winery offered.
We didn't make any wine purchases, but did bring home some garlic and herb Virginia peanuts from "Purely American", as well as Virginia Farmstead Cheddar Cheese with Garlic, Chives & Parsley by "Marshall Farms".

I'm detecting a theme here :-) The Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival is in October at Rebec Vineyards in Amherst.  Don't know if we'll make it, but it sounds like a lot of fun.

One of the other vineyards that is new to us is Hill Top Berry Farm.
I'm not generally a fan of sweet wines, but these were absolutely mind-blowing, especially their various meads. Leaps ahead of any mead I've had at a RenFest, for example. Many of them are infused with various fruit such as apple, pear, blackberry, blueberry.... and they were not cloyingly sweet in the least. Very refreshing.

The last purchase we made was at this booth with funny  T-shirts, hats and gadgets, which was actually focused on beer and ale instead of wine. A couple of Fairfax Co. policemen were amused as well, promising to come back and purchase items later.

Front:                                                                                                                 Back:

The guy had all kinds of novelty items, and to hear him talk about and demo this stuff was very entertaining.

This is the first wine fest that we had not gotten together with a group of folks. Everyone else had other plans.

But we had a fun time, just the two of us. 

Egg Genie Review

So as I mentioned in a previous post this month, I received the Egg Genie.
I wanted to make an egg salad, and gave the machine a test-drive on 3 eggs (you can cook up to 7 at once).

The directions were clear, and it comes with a little measuring cup that you fill with water, and has markings for the number of eggs being cooked, as well as desired doneness (e.g. soft, medium or hard). Don't ever lose that cup!

I carefully measured the water, poured it in the bottom of the cooker, pierced the pointy end of the eggs with the steel pin, and placed the eggs randomly in the egg tray.
Lastly, plugged it in, and waited until the buzzer sounded (indicating all of the water had evaporated).

I let it cool for a couple of minutes, removed the lid, took the warm eggs out, ran 'em under cold water for several seconds, then peeled under cold water.

Perfectly hard-boiled! There's virtually no clean-up, either. I'm looking forward to using the steamer insert for veggies.

Now about that egg salad. OMG, this is the best one I've ever had. It's from "Taste of Home 30-Minute Cookbook", 1997 Reiman Publications. The original one makes 6 servings. I halved the recipe-- here's my version:

"Grilled Ham And Egg Salad Sandwiches"

3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 cup diced fully cooked ham
1/4 cup diced celery
1 tbsp. diced onion
1/4 cup Smart Balance mayo
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Combine eggs, ham, celery, onion, mayo, mustard, salt and pepper; spread 1/3 of mixture on a slice of bread, and top with another slice. Add lettuce, if desired.
[What I did was spread the outer sides of the bread slices with a thin layer of Smart Balance buttery blend and grilled the sandwich in a small pan at med-low heat.]

The original recipe continues with a batter mix that you coat the sandwiches with and fry. I'm sure it's wonderful, but I wanted something easy and healthier. But here are the steps (also halved) if you want to try that version:

1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 egg

In a bowl, whisk batter ingredients until well blended. Heat about 1/2 in. of oil in a large deep skillet. Dip sandwiches into batter. Fry in hot oil for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.


Memorial Day

Enjoy your weekend with cookouts, family, & friends.

And never forget the sacrifices of our fallen military heroes.

Pastor began with a very patriotic message today, acknowledging those killed while serving, observing a moment of silence, prayer, and reminding us that Jesus Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

We sang all verses of "My Country 'Tis of Thee", "The Star-Spangled Banner", and "O Beautiful for Spacious Skies". If you're not familiar with the lesser-known verses, you should do yourself a favor and look them up.
They are powerful, and full of references to God and fighting to preserve God-given liberty.
(Secularists, you will be mortified. But go ahead and read, anyway, so you can know what the mindset was behind what made our country great. Our country that you seek to destroy.)

His main sermon was about living in harmony with each other. I strive to do that... I really do. The people I know personally are much easier to achieve that goal with. Like most people, I do not like conflict, and I avoid it whenever possible and when it's sensible.
Where I'm most challenged is on the Internet. You don't get to see these people as a "total" individual. You only get to see what they choose to share. And many of them just like hurling insults. It's hard to find harmony with someone like that.

So, that's one reason I will disengage for awhile and not post anything nor comment. It's a stress in my life that I just don't want. There are times when it's a "release" to fight for something I believe in, and other times, I'm glad I held my written "tongue" because my anger would have led me to make poor word choices which would have distorted my message.

Well, once again, I've started out posting about one thing and it kinda morphed into something else.

Never forget how lucky and blessed you are to live in the United States of America.
Thank a member of the military.

And don't apologize for any of it.

Happy Mothers Day

First heard this one a couple of years ago. It applies to both my real mom and my birth mom (hope you'll change your mind one day and we will correspond and maybe meet each other-- I don't know anything other than some medical history, and your first name)

Happy Mothers Day. I love you both so much.

Egg Genie

Just saw an infomercial for the Egg Genie. I've just recently started incorporating hard-boiled eggs into my diet.  I usually add them to a salad, but sometimes I just like to take one out of the fridge and add some pepper and Bacon Salt to it, and eat it all by itself.

Decided to order the Genie as much for the main product as for the "bonus" Baconwave.   I've used something similar to cook bacon in the microwave over the years, but it developed a crack, so I threw it out and have been looking to replace it.

I haven't done a "does it really do that?" (a la consumer adviser Liz Crenshaw on our local Ch. 4 (NBC) news) for quite a long time. 

I'll be sure to post a review for these products in upcoming weeks.

Weekend Getaway

Two of my beautiful nieces (twins)-- daughters of one of Mr. Mo's sisters graduated from college, and we celebrated at their mom's house after the ceremony. We missed the ceremony itself, considering they were gathering a group at  P.'s house around 8:30 a.m., and we were just getting on the road around 9:30.
Hey, they're in Roanoke! It's a good 3.5 - 4 hour drive, so it was completely understandable.  They knew to expect us in the early afternoon for the BBQ.  I brought a cold ham and pasta salad that I haven't made in years. Used some of the Paula Deen Smithfield ham that I'd been keeping frozen from Easter. Good stuff! 

I didn't get any pics of family (probably should have, and asked their permish to post here, of course), but Mr. Mo's other sister was there and she got plenty for the family.  Her hubby (Jimmy the Greek ;-)  whom I've referenced in the past, and Mr. Mo's brother were there, too. It was a rare family reunion, and especially nice because it was on a happy occasion, not a funeral!

I did get pics of our drive through the Shenandoah Valley. What a lovely state Virginia is. We will miss it very much when the time comes to pull up stakes and head out west. The time for that is still unknown. We're not in a tremendous hurry, but feel the "call" regularly.

Apples painted on the water tower. Cool.

So much we want to see before we leave, though.  Mr. Mo has never been to Luray Caverns. I was there as a child, and remember it vividly.  We passed all kinds of wineries, signs for caverns and various museums on our way there and back.

Looked like smoke coming out of the hills.

The skies were cloudy all day and we did encounter some rain on the way there, but it held off for the grad. ceremony and the cookout. You never know, in mountainous areas.
We stayed overnight at a nearby  Days Inn, and while it wasn't the Bates Motel, it was still a motel. And since when do motels not have vents in the bathrooms?
We were on the lower (non-smoking) level, and the people with kids above us let them run through the balconies until at least 11:00 that night.   *sigh*

Fortunately, the Richmond Sprint Cup race is always on a Saturday night, which helped drown them out.  But I swear... next time we're staying at a nearby Marriott, or a hotel.  Couple that with the fact that when Mr. Mo went to get ice he saw a guest talking to police officers in the lobby, reporting a break-in of his room. Lovely.

Sunday morning greeted us with lots of rain. We decided to forego rt. 81 on our return trip and avoid all the trucks. We went 581, rts. 29 and 15, to rt. 66.  A longer but even prettier drive, in spite of the rain that followed us all the way home.

Oh, and a stop for lunch at the Cracker Barrel soon after we got onto rt. 29.  I had one of their new fireside country skillets-- the veggie one, with scrambled Egg Beaters and toast instead of biscuit. 
OMG... yum!

Almost forgot...   when we were at the motel, we went to nearby Gander Mountain, our first time to any of those stores.  Now I know what all the buzz is about! 
Got me a pepper/mace spray in a cute pink camo for when I'm walking, and also some Uncle Bud's Garlic Deep Fried Peanuts "....so good, you can eat 'em Shell-n-All"

Good lawd! They are awesome. I'd make a point of going to Gander Mtn. for those alone.  Fortunately, I can order 'em online.  Well, actually, you can download an order form and mail in your order.
Which I did :-) 

Got Pollen?

SchMObile has been a wee dusty lately.

Ah, that's better :-)

First Ever

Only since last year when I purchased a separate birdfeeder for sunflower chips, did I see my first goldfinch in our backyard.  

Well, there haven't been many visitors to that feeder in awhile, and I don't know why. It's the same seed that I've used in the past. I thought maybe it was wet, but it's completely dry, so it's kind of a mystery.

I've had the finch feeder out front for a few years, but never have I seen a goldfinch at it.  Today I saw up to SIX of 'em in the dogwood.  Managed to get a pic of a group of three.

They were there for most of the afternoon. It was a comfort looking out the kitchen window and seeing them. Another sign (just like the robin) that spring really is here.

I've been in a "down" mood today overall, upon hearing about the death of David Kellermann.  As some of you already knew, and those who've read my post from last October know, I worked at Freddie for over 20 years. I think of my former colleagues as extended family.
I didn't know David personally, but I remember his name from email distros over the years, and our internal and external websites.

It's such a senseless loss. I can't imagine what his family is going through. I suspect they will be haunted for the rest of their lives.
It's just so incredibly sad.   I have heard rumors of a note he might have left behind, but until that is known, and the contents revealed, only his family will  know why he did it.

To anyone thinking about taking such a permanent decision, PLEASE think of how your loved ones will be affected.  There's nothing so horrible (well, short of you being a terrorist and executing innocent people) that would make them want your existence wiped out.

Thank God he didn't take his family out with him, as the guys in Middletown and Towson, MD did. 


Tax Time Surprises

Eff me!  I finished up taxes 2008, and we owe a pretty whopping amount.  Here I thought I was being so good about paying the estimated, and actually a few thousand over, because I knew hubs was bringing in more income than in previous years.

But not THAT much more (and it's still not really obvious to us, compared to last year and '06), and when he got his FTE status in early 4th quarter, I didn't make that last payment, because it wasn't applicable anymore. Had I only known, I would have erred on the side of caution.  But it was counter-intuitive at the time.   I also hadn't factored in his side business-- some cartography jobs here and there, but still, it was low 4-digit stuff, not something you could subsist on.

So, tapped big time into savings.  Needless to say, belt-tightening will ensue, and no big trips or purchases planned anytime soon, until both checking and savings balances are brought up.  I always assumed we'd need to take out a small equity loan to do the kinds of remodeling of kitchen and bathroom that we wanted to do, in order to get the house seriously marketable.

Fortunately, we didn't need to for the kitchen countertops, lights (including some electrical work in spare bedrooms) and flooring, but for the bathrooms I just assumed so, if we're talking two of them. They're small, but they really need the whole 9 yards with new lighting, cabinetry, sinks, showers/tub.  
Plus, in almost all rooms we have to rip up old carpeting and get the hardwood floors refinished, or in the case of rec. room and perhaps master bedroom, replace carpeting.

And just a couple of days ago,  I discovered the newest  "something that needs fixing". I had flushed the master terlet, and after the tank filled up and all was silent, I heard what sounded like crackling noises coming from the laundry chute on the wall right next to it. I pushed the flap open to try to determine if that's where it was coming from. My first thought was "OMG, there's a fire in the basement!!"  I was scared to death, adrenaline coursing through my veins, and grabbed the extinguisher on my way down.
I was relieved when I cautiously opened the basement door to see that there wasn't a fire. I would have felt the heat, besides. What I was hearing were these droplets of water hitting some plastic bags and other items under the pipes.
Realizing that things could have been sooooo much worse with a FIRE, I also reminded myself that heck, we've had at least two major floods in that d#mn basement.

We use that laundry chute regularly, so while some water did end up on the floor, most of it went into the container with dirty clothes, thankfully.

I have no idea how much it's going to cost to replace the 1-2 foot section of corroding cast iron branch drain pipe (whether replacing with cast iron or PVC) but I'm hoping it won't be much over $1,000. Will be getting estimates this week. I guess I'll call Roto-Rooter. We've had two different fellows out here to remove clogs, and they've been excellent. Those were bet. $200-300 as I recall.

But anyway, it's a huge weight off when (if) you can get to the point of not living paycheck to paycheck and being able to pay credit card balances off completely. We've been able to maintain that for a couple of years, now.

I figure it's best to dip into the savings rather than start owing interest again.  

I've made my share of mistakes money-wise over the years.  I will freely admit that.  But not to the point of having a horrible FICO score that I could have done something to prevent, but didn't.

The thought of  "not having serious money worries" going away is a real motivator to live "fiscally conservative" again.

And one last thought, anyone who wants or expects a handout from government will never be truly happy, because they'll have surrendered a huge part of themselves., along with liberty.

Full Moon

Just one of those rare times I can look at my kitchen window and see a full moon.   Even more rare that I happen to be tuned into "Wolf" on AMC.

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