Monday, December 27, 2010

I've Got a Peaceful, Easy Feelin'

Congress is outta there 'til 3 January. Ahhhhh. It's nice to be able to breathe freely and sleep peacefully!

With apologies to the Eagles. Sorta.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

What Christmas Looks Like

Two-thirds of our grandchildren having a bit of fun with Old St. Nick
We've been very, very good, Santa!

A parlor befitting royalty 
 at friends' home in the French Quarter

The Reason for the Season -- "Carols and Candles" at Jackson Square in front of St. Louis Cathedral celebrates the birth of the Christ Child.

A very merry and blessed Christmas Day to one and all.  May the peace of the Season stay in our hearts all year long.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve!

Wishing one and all a very merry, joyful, memory-making, full-tummied, warm, and blessed Christmas Eve.  Tomorrow is baby Jesus' birthday!

Now dash away, dash away, dash away to the grocery store and the merriment, whatever the degree!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Moogie Needs a Keeper

I apparently out-clevered myself.

Knowing I couldn't publish pictures while on Christmas adventure, I pre-wrote a few posts and saved them as drafts so I could quickly post them.  And when I just tried to post one, it posted all right, but under the date that I originally saved it.


So, unless you have me on a feed, please check "Shhh!  It's a Secret" under December 20.

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas With a Crescent City Flair

Courtesy of my friend, Janet -- the Queen of New Orleans -- I'd like to share a little local Christmas color:

and a recipe for a by-pass on a plate that might be worth every single bite:

This may be one of the most clever Christmas cards I've seen yet!  (Click to enlarge and try to ignore the misused apostrophe.  Banana's?  Really?!?!)

Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Has the Spring Run Dry?

The Spring is plugged!  And on a Sunday, no less!

Pepper and I came home yesterday afternoon to a large portion of the Sewerage and Water Board repair crew digging up our street, shovelling leaves and piles of dirt onto our lawn, hanging out, driving a front loader around backwards so that its reverse BEEP-BEEP-BEEP rang out loud and clear, and chatting with one another.  Most of the repair crew department's rolling stock appeared to be stationed at the corner of Moogie's Mansion, too, so we had to park a block away.

We're not sure how long they were in the neighborhood in toto because we were in and out all day and evening. But, when we arrived home for good around 8:00-ish with our Cajun Eggnog Drive-through Daiquiris after Carols and Candles in Jackson Square, we circled the block to be sure there would be a place for us to park, and they were gone!  Finished!  Leaving just a big mess and the absence of a fountain springing from the manhole cover as proof that they'd been there.

Maybe the saga of the Jena Street Artesian Spring has come to an end.  I'll miss its soothing, gurgling sound.

And I really wonder how much in overtime that nifty little repair job cost.

No -- I probably don't want to know.

Shhhh! It's a Secret!

Remember the post that described our Bouie as a "Calendar Dog?"

Well, now he is, officially!

I "created" a Bouie calendar for Pepper for Christmas on Shutterfly!

I chose the "calendar dog" pic for November because November is the beginning of "real" duck season.  Pepper and Bouie are going hunting over our Christmas trip to Arkansas.  As Pepper was loading the truck with tons of hunting paraphernalia (including Bouie's neoprene vest, which he has apparently outgrown), he told Bouie, "I wouldn't have to schlep all this *stuff* if it weren't for you!"  Ri-gh-t -- Bouie's the only one who enjoys the hunt and the camaraderie.

I really love that picture on the cover.  I took it on a Sunday when we had taken Bou to Audubon Park for a romp, and they walked ahead of me (as usual!) under a canopy of ancient, resilient oaks, together. What a great way to head into a new year -- together, with one best friend at your side and another watching your back.

But don't tell either Pepper or Bouie about the calendar!  It's a surprise!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Making a List and Checking it Twice

I've been keeping a list on my desk beside the computer for the better part of two years now.  Thus, contemplating the demise of one year and the commencement of another, I have consulted that list and now offer a few suggestions about some words, phrases, and people that we could do away with entirely and I'd never miss 'em.  They've been over-used, had their meanings tortured, and the mere thought of them makes me cringe, to-wit:


Teachable moment

Comprehensive reform

"Make no mistake"

"Let me make this clear"

"Some people say we should do nothing"

"Fighting for you"

Acronyms (TARP, DISCLOSE, GIVE, SHARE, DREAM, ad nauseum)

Boob belts and horizontal stripes

Justin Bieber.

Does anybody have anything to add?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Venezuela Kills Off Its Next-to-Last Functioning Brain Cell

Today I have offered up a genuine prayer of thanksgiving.  I am truly thankful that I do not live in Venezuela.

What are they thinking?!?!  Who among the Venezuelan citizenry cannot appreciate that by giving him another decree power the Congress has set Chavez up as a despot -- a dictator with royalty envy -- before the opposition gains a foothold in January.  And who in his right mind could possibly want to achieve such a thing?!?! 

Next they'll change his title to Emperor.  We'll just have to call him Napoleon "Dynamite" Chavez.

Seriously.  He has declared the banking industry to be a "public service," has expropriated private property without compensation, and is now turning his eye toward regulation of the internet.  AP reports:

The law to grant Chavez decree powers, the fourth such legislation of his nearly 12-year presidenccy [sic], also will allow him to unilaterally enact measures involving telecommunications, the banking system, information technology, the military, rural and urban land use, and the country's "socio-economic system."

Among the planned decrees already announced, Chavez intends to increase the value-added tax, now 12 percent, to raise funds for coping with the disaster caused by weeks of heavy rains. The government is erecting tents to house thousands left homeless and is accelerating public housing construction.

But, NappyDyn doesn't view this latest power grab as setting himself up as a Cuban-style dictator.  He just wants benevolent control of Venezuela's entire "socio-economic system."  More details at Fausta's Blog.

I guess the denizens of the Star Wars saga didn't see it that way at first, either.

We'd better watch our backs until 2012.  I can think of someone else who might like to add a laurel wreath headpiece to his Nobel medal via appropriation of the banking industry, the energy industry, the healthcare system, the . . . .


Friday, December 17, 2010


From today's email:

One day, long, long ago, there lived a woman who did not whine, nag or bitch.

But it was a long time ago, and it was just that one day.
The End

My thought?  That woman betrayed the rest of us!  Now the men will know that we can go a day without whining, nagging, and bitching! 

Get a rope.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Return of "the Spring"

Although Andy thinks the signs of winter have arrived, it's "Spring" here at Moogie's Mansion.

Yep.  You guessed it.  It's b-a-a-a-ack!

We have a whole-block bombard-the-Sewerage-and-Water-Board phonathon gearing up this afternoon.  You'd think they'd get a handle on this stuff after the entire East Bank of New Orleans went under a boil order in late November as a result of water pressure levels that fell below levels required to keep the water safe and uncontaminated.

At least this one's not on Moogie's nickel.

And, no, I'm not overloading the system by draining the pool for winter!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas, er, Winter

If this weren't so darn true, it'd be funny.  As it is . . .

. . . we just had better teach our children well.

Stolen at Chicks on the Right.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy 374th Birthday!

To the National Guard!  Take a big breath and blow out all those candles!

Deck the Halls

Since it's a really cold Monday in the Crescent City, I thought I'd share a bit of the Christmas spirit.

One of my very favorite things to do is to pull out the Christmas decorations and meander down memory lane while setting them out on display.  With other seasonal decorations, I can usually just make them fit but with Christmas decorations, there are so many of them -- and they all have memories of people or places attached to them -- that I have to put away the regular tchotchkes to make room.  Since there will not be any Christmas visitors this year, I kinda cheated and didn't put out everything (especially the big, heavy tree!), but downstairs is nicely bedecked, from creche to Kringles.  Stockings are hung by the chimney with care:

The cheesy light-string tree has been erected on the faux porch and the small tree that usually sits in a window upstairs now graces the back parlor window:

Christmas-themed books (Saving Mr. Bingle, The Nutcracker, The Polar Express, A Blue Dog Christmas, Christmas Long Ago, The Christmas Book given to me by my grandparents for my fourth Christmas in 1959 and accompanied by Mama's cross-stitch bookmark marking The Night Before Christmas) and my "interpretations" of them are pretty much all over the parlors:

The staircase sports Christmas finery:

Nighttime sparkles:

It's a Who Dat Christmas on the front door this year:

And yesterday I chased away the I-want-to-bake-with-my-friends blues by baking a batch of really good cranberry/coconut/oatmeal cookies:

It is a wonderful life, even if the rest of the house is in shambles while we have several repair and patch and paint jobs done, leaving a coat of fresh plaster dust and chemical fumes wafting through the rest of the house.  And even though I'll have to get all that mess cleaned up before leaving for Christmas in Arkansas because eleven (yes, you read that correctly -- eleven!) houseguests will descend upon Moogie's Mansion for the Sugar Bowl upon our return.   And then Carnival season begins on January 6th!

'Tis the season . . . .

Apparently Bouie is not a big Santa fan -- he'll probably get a lump of coal in his stocking this year.  No, wait.  Coal isn't politically correct, is it?  Maybe he'll get a miniature windmill instead . . . .

Or, maybe he can just by-pass Santa altogether and bribe the UPS guy for a little extra . . . .

And, just for fun, here's a vintage pic, I'm guessing circa 1987, of Moogie's daughters performing their annual "Christmas Tree Dress-up Decorating Dance,"  choreographed especially for decorating day:

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Home With a Good Smelling Kitchen For Christmas

I'm a little wistful today. 

When my girls were little bitty, a group of moms started an annual Christmas baking tradition.  In early December, we would meet in one of our kitchens -- usually mine because I had a double oven in those days -- while the kids were in pre-school.  We'd laugh and enjoy a little fruit of the vine and make treats to share with kids' teachers (both educational-wise and dance school), friends, and family.  One year it even snowed on Baking Day!

Some recipes became annual must-do, but we always seemed to try a new one or another, and some of those became new-must-do (especially "Christmas Crack," a delightfully addictive cereal-based sweet that also involves peanut butter, dark chocolate, and mounds of powdered sugar. Yum.)  There were Amaretto Balls, Soda Cracker Toffee, Peanut Butter Cup Temptations, Peppermint Coffee Mix, Lemon Nut Cakes, Creme de Menthe Bites, and other goodies.  Obviously, this endeavor consumed most of a day, and since there was usually all-day fruit of the vining, the husbands knew (1) not to expect a home-cooked meal that night and (2) to be on-call for carpool pick-up and potential designated driver duty. 

The cast of Bakers changed over the years as some people moved away and others joined in.  We moved from (cheap and nasty) Kringle White Zinfandel to decent wine to diet soft drinks and back to wine, mulled or otherwise.  Carpool duty became less of a concern at Moogie's house as time marched on because my kids (and some of the others' kids) were able to walk to and from school in the later elementary years when crossing guards were added to Fulbright Elementary's staff, and a bus took them to and from Dunbar Junior High.  They were on their own in high school! 

As the kids matriculated into college, they joined the ranks of Junior Bakers when home on Christmas break (it was still called Christmas break back then instead of Winter Break.  Egad.), and Bud Light was added to the "beverage of choice" list. 

We even managed to put Baking Days together after Moogie moved to New Orleans, usually in Little Rock -- but we did one travelling year to Hardy at JB's Bed & Breakfast.   Of course, that meant a change in Little Rock kitchens, but that was okay because we went to Diane's kitchen and I knew it as well as my own. 

Now, in addition to Moogie being in New Orleans, others are in Hong Kong and Chicago, and of course JB moved to Heaven, so it's harder to pull off.  Some of us have spoken recently about trying to do a Baking Day in Little Rock after Christmas when New Orleans, Chicago and Hong Kong will all be in town (and JB's always watching over us and making suggestions!).  It'll be a wonderful time, catching up and helping me put together treats for the swarms of people that will invade Moogie's Mansion for the Sugar Bowl!

So, why am I wistful today?

My cousin did a blog post about her Gingerbread baking day, and my girls and their friends held their very own Baking Day at Elder Daughter's house today!  They even used some of the must-do recipes! 

And they did it without me.

I hear Home calling me, louder and louder all the time.  Can you hear it?

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Tax Debate is Hazardous to My Health

I've avoided it long enough.

It's time for Moogie to weigh in on the tax debate spinning around Washington in a freakin' LAME DUCK Congress!  The chicken sh*ts facing re-election wouldn't even stand up for their "middle class values" in public and hunkered down until after they had been routed at the polls, so now they really feel the need to stick it to us.

Caveat -- Moogie offers her thoughts and opinions at the risk of bringing on apoplexy.

Perhaps it is a character flaw, or greed, or some other misfire in my make-up, but I cannot find a way even to comprehend the liberal view that some people are more equal than others.  The liberal view appears to favor low income folks over those who have higher incomes or pricier possessions.  Some low-income folks are not required to share their stuff with others at all while the more "fortunate" are expected to fork over nearly half of what they work to produce, or more.  Even after they're dead!

Let me tell you -- Pepper came from dirt poor to nicely comfortable not through some nebulous cosmic good fortune or roll of the dice, but rather by the sweat of his brow and backbreaking work and stressful dedication.  And, I might add, I did my part, too, since I was about 13 working in my parents' small family business, working my way through law school as a bartender and cocktail waitress, all the way through practicing law and then teaching it, and even doing another part-time retail stint, all while maintaining a pretty nice home life and raising some pretty good kids.  Neither of us ever worked fewer hours than people making minimum wage -- we probably worked longer hours since we weren't subject to overtime ramifications -- yet we are expected to contribute considerably more of our income to the public weal than minimum wagers.  WTF?!?!

And what about those people who work "for cash?"  They pay nothing in, yet send their children to public schools and accept the services of first responders and use the public roadways.  Yet another WTF.  But, some might say, those work-for-cashers do so in exchange for receiving no social security benefits upon retirement.  To that argument I say, WTF?!?!  Social security was never intended to be a total retirement income; it was sold by FDR as simply a supplement to one's own savings or pension to keep the wolf off the front stoop of really old  65-year-old folks (life expectancy in 1935 was roughly 61 years.).  But today, it has become a giant cache of cash that can be accessed by those who know how to game the system.

So, in essence, liberals in Congress, under the guise of "helping those less fortunate" are stealing from the producers and giving it to heaven only knows who.  Estate taxes are nothing less than a confiscation of private property without compensation and have no place in modern society; they're nothing less than an effort to prevent the endowment of an American privileged "class."  Well, folks, I'm here to tell you that there are several "privileged" classes in this country -- finding them only takes a tweaking of the definition of the adjective "privileged" and I'm pretty fed up with being the source of their endowments.

So, soon to be ex-Speaker Pelosi has marshaled her troops for one last ultra-liberal, communist hoorah to fight an extension of the current tax rates for everyone (while still retaining the very worst marriage penalty in eons) and to gig anyone for having the gall to die with accumulated wealth of over five million dollars (and that would not be Moogie or Pepper, if anyone's curious, so I don't have an actual dog in this hunt.  But it surely could be small business owners or family farms, and I do eat!).  I say it's time to put the "Speaker" in suspended animation until the next Congress convenes.  She and her minions are nothing more than anachronistic hold-over hippies, dreaming of an impossible idyllic communal life, and they need to heed the voters who recently told them to STFU.

I am sooooo ready for 2012.

Pardon my rather salty language today.  I had to do something to let off steam and hold apoplexy in abeyance.

On the bright side, I had a very good six-month follow-up screening yesterday and am good to go until June!  Woo hoo!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tickets? Check!

Our Sugar Bowl tickets arrived today!!!  Woooo Pig Sooieee!!!!!   Process the Buckeyes!  Or mill them, or do whatever one does with buckeyes . . .  .  Feed them to the livestock -- the livestock in the swine pen!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Santa Brought Me an Early Present!

The full Senate voted unanimously this morning to convict Federal District Judge Thomas Porteous on all Articles of Impeachment!  He was immediately removed from the bench and will be denied his $174, 000 per year pension.

You may recall that his primary defense centered around the notion that most of the things he and his cronies were accused of doing occurred while he was sitting on the state bench, so the feds shouldn't have any problems with them.  The very brazen idea!!

As a resident of southeast Louisiana, I have only this to say:  Merry early Christmas to me!

Since they actually voted to boot out one of their own, maybe they're not all crooked in D.C..  

What am I saying?!?  They almost sucked me in!  (See: Charles Rangel.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pour Some Sugar On Me!

I promise not to do a daily Sugar Bowl post for the next month, but today -- the day after the "official" announcement -- is special!  Accordingly:

I stole the picture from a Facebook friend and got the spin on "The Night Before Christmas" in an email today.  The meter and rhyme could use a little help, but you get the general idea --

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the town,
Not a single Razorback fan was wearing a frown;
Rooms were reserved and tickets were bought,
...A Sugar Bowl win was being actively sought.

The fans in my family were watching ESPN,
With visions of Hogs and BCS trips in '11;
And I, after wrapping a new Hogs cap,
Had just settled down for a nice long nap.

When out on the lawn came a thunderous roar,
The Arkansas fight song, Pig Sooie and more;
I quickly got up and rushed from my bed,
Sounds of Razorback Stadium being heard in my head.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the luster of stadium lights below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But members of the football team, in full Sugar Bowl gear.

With a determined driver, from what I could see,
I knew in a moment it must be Coach P;
With hopes for a bowl win his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.

“Now Mallett! Now, D.J.! Now, Adams and Wright!
On, Wingo! On, Sheppard! Let’s put up a fight!
To the top of the roof! Let’s play some football!
It’s practice time! Practice time! Practice for all!"

As quickly as Adams runs 99 yards,
They jumped in the team bus and headed upwards;
Up to the house-top the players they flew,
With a bus full of gear, and Coach Petrino too.

And then, from Mallett, I heard overhead,
The sound of a play call as practice was led;
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Coach P came with a bound.

He was dressed all in red, from his head to his toes,
Decked out in his very best Razorback clothes;
A bag full of footballs was flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes – how they twinkled! His smile how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His headpiece was on and it started to crackle,
With orders like pump fake, and handoff, and tackle.

I looked at Coach P, and then said with a sigh,
“This season’s missed assignments and refs made me cry;
But, with all of the talent we have on this team,
It’s definitely enough to make this fan dream;
We struggled some this year for whatever reason,
Please say we win our bowl game and beat 'Bama next season!”

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke no words, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And just as he was leaving, he spoke with no fear,
Exactly what this Razorback fan wanted to hear:
“We’re laying a strong foundation for many great years,
This season is over. We're focused on New Year's;
A bowl win, a strong class and hopefully Mallett’s return,
Will give our competition next year plenty of concern.”

Then laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his bus, to his team gave a yell,
And away they all flew like “Bats out of Hell!"

But I heard him exclaim, as he drove through the snow,
Merry Christmas to All and “Go Hogs Go”!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

An Unplanned Date Night in New Orleans

To celebrate the all-but-certainty that the Hogs will be playing here in the Sugar Bowl on January 4th, Pepper and I headed down to the Riverfront for an impromptu "Date Night."

South Louisiana has a quaint Christmas tradition -- bonfires along the Mississippi River to guide Pere Noel through the dark bayous on his way to deliver gifts to good little children.  We've lived here since 1999 and had never been able to see one due to one conflict or trip or another.  Then Katrina hit, and the closest bonfire went on hiatus -- until last night!

Our evening began with cocktails, charbroiled oysters, and fried crab claws at Drago's.  There was even a television in the bar showing the Nebraska-Oklahoma game!  Pretty darn good way to start off.  The weather was near perfect -- cool enough for a light sweater, but warm enough not to require socks.  Moogie is not a sock person.

Then, about 8:15, we headed over to the Riverfront across from the Algiers Point ferry dock and, there it was!  Wow!  It definitely could've guided Pere Noel -- or a 747 pilot flying several miles above!  This pic is from today's Times-Picayune.

Quite a few river boats did circular cruises over to the Point.  That would've been cool.  These were taken from the East Bank riverfront.

We oohed and ahhed for a little while, then strolled back up Canal, all dolled up in its Christmas finery.

I never realized that Harrah's flies the flags of all the uniformed services, even the Merchant Marine!  You can sorta see them below.

Then we headed back to Poydras where we decided to stop in at one of our favorite places in the CBD, The Swizzle Stick Bar at Loew's.  More cocktails, and, of course we had worked up an appetite after all that oohing, ahhing, and strolling, so we ordered Cajun corndogs (huge skewered shrimp wrapped in tasso sausage, deep-fried and served with a 5-pepper sauce) and some kind of alligator taco-y kind of things. 

Pretty tasty!  We offered, and took photos in front of the ginormous Christmas tree of a cute young family whose 3 year-old-ish son took a shine to us -- I guess he recognized a Moogie and a Grandpa when he saw them!

Knowing that dogs needed attention, we headed back toward the car at about 9:30 and stumbled upon the "Miracle on Fulton" across from Harrah's.  That was kind of serendipitous, because we had thought about trying to go earlier in the day.  I'm glad we waited until nighttime -- it was beautiful!  My photography skillz don't do it even a modicum of justice.

I even got a shot of some random guy picking his nose by the musicians' tribute!  Don't ask me why -- I'm not sure.

We were happy folks when we finally got back to Moogie's Mansion.  So were Rosie and Bouie.  It was a good day.  We should be spontaneous more often!

Geaux Saints!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving, Part Deux

With apologies to SIL2B#2, I've been saving this for months and months.  After the Saints' Thanksgiving Day rout of the Cowboys, it must now be turned loose in cyberspace for all to see (with a peck of humble gratitude, of course)!

Who Dat!!!  JerryWorld ain't got nuthin' on the Dome Sweet Dome.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Paying It Forward -- For Our Troops

Times are tough and funds are tight this time of year, we all know that.  But, this time of year also gives one pause, and the incentive, to think about those who are in need, whether physically or emotionally.

Having stuffed my own memories of deployments and trainings and schools in a drawer in my head since Pepper's retirement, I don't care to bring them out into the daylight.  But, currently having a son at an Army school during the holidays who is also preparing to deploy to Afghanistan within a year gives me a slightly different perspective on what military families go through -- especially the children -- when the mom or dad is away.  It ain't easy.  The road the little ones walk down is neither level nor completely surfaced.

Fortunately, there are groups out there willing to help them.  I found one today at Stop Shouting!, a delightful conservative blog I recently stumbled across.  You really should stop by and read the November 20th post, "My Rebuttal to a Progressive who Admonished Me to Play Nice .... ," if nothing else.  It'll get your blood flowing, in a good way.

The organization featured today is the National Military Family Association.  It's a genuinely joint group that assists children and families who have a parent serving in all branches of military service, both active and reserve components.  The Association is doing a December fundraising drive for "Operation Camp Purple," a free summer camp for military kids, and every dollar raised through December 31st will be matched by the Newman's Own Foundation up to $100,000. 

I've always been a huge fan of Newman's Own oil and vinegar salad dressing because it doesn't contain any vegetable gum stabilizers, like xantham gum or guar gum or whatever-the-heck gum.  But now I have a huge reason to love it all the more!  Now I know it'll help my beloved military families!

I made a donation today (and bought another bottle of dressing -- it's also a terrific marinade).  It'd be a shame if any of that $100 grand from the Foundation were left sitting on the table.  So, if'n you're so inclined and have an extra buck or thousand laying around, think about kicking in.  And spread the word.

'Tis the season to love one another!  Especially those who serve us.

Really serve us -- not like those clowns in Congress or the White House.  They don't even know the definition of service, much less its application.  Those who wear the uniform -- and those who love them -- live the definition of service.

Okay, Moogie's coming down off the soapbox now.  For a little while.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Correspondence and Documentary

I'm catching up on emails and stuff that got ignored or put on the back burner -- or completely missed -- over the holiday/party/SAINTS AND RAZORBACK VICTORY weekend.  Among the emails was this little missive from the Young President, with whom I'm apparently now on a first-name basis. I'm happy to pass along his Thanksgiving message (italics mine):

Terry --

When Michelle and I sit down with our family to give thanks today, I want you to know that we'll be especially grateful for folks like you.

Everything we have been able to accomplish in the last two years was possible because you have been willing to work for it and organize for it.

And every time we face a setback, or when progress doesn't happen as quickly as we would like, we know that you'll be right there with us, ready to fight another day.

So I want to thank you -- for everything.

I also hope you'll join me in taking a moment to remember that the freedoms and security we enjoy as Americans are protected by the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces. These patriots are willing to lay down their lives in our defense, and each of us owes them and their families a debt of gratitude.

Have a wonderful day, and God bless.

Do you suppose he really wants to thank folks like me for everything I've done?  And, God bless?!?!  Now he finds God?  One thing's for sure -- I am indeed right there, ready to fight another day!


At least he threw in a little bone for the military -- I'm certain his Progressive Pals were thrilled about that.

I also thought I would share a little video I shot (mainly to show our survivors what our last seconds on this Earth looked like) while heading over the river and through the trees to Aunt Penne's house in Bismarck, Arkansas.  In a driving rainstorm, with vicious winds knocking smaller cars off the road, temperatures fluctuating madly, and green clouds swirling overhead:

It was not fun. We had a lot to be thankful for once we got there!