Thursday, July 30, 2009

Save A Tata

Today I helped my boss and friend set up a blog to chronicle her journey to beat breast cancer. The blog is to help her family and friends stay current on the situation, so she doesn’t have to repeat the details 1,000 times.

Janet found out at the beginning of July she has the most aggressive kind of breast cancer. But it should not spread throughout her body and once it’s gone, it should not come back. “The Thing,” as she calls it, is quite large, so she will require lots of chemo therapy.

I have never known anyone close to me who has to go through this, but now I will see it daily. She begins her chemo tomorrow, so say a little prayer for Janet. Pray for her to be strong in what ever way she needs. Pray for her cancer to go away. After chemo she will the tumor removed, or likely have a double mastectomy, but one thing at a time—one day at a time. My job will be to try to pick up the slack at work. I hope I will do a good job.

Here I am trying on one of the wigs she bought for when her hair falls out.
She wanted everyone to try them on for some giggles.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Leftover Remix

I give myself A+ for color and interesting use of leftovers. This was leftover rosemary bake pork chops and leftover barbecued onions and yellow squash. The remix is mango jalapeno chile sauce with coconut simmered for 30 minutes with the pork chops rinsed of the rosemary and chopped into cubes, and two sliced strawberries for garnish. Yay me!...and a couple cutie patooties on the side.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wisdom from Hollywood?

This is another one that is funny because it's true. This clip makes me think of the movie "Idiocracy." If you haven't seen it, do. It's vulgar, but it really hits a chord in present day society.

More Heat!

I received a lot of reply messages to my little global warming rant, which is funny, because it proves my point that the chatter about this gets really heated in the middle of the summer.

Now, I want to point out that I never said whether I personally thought global warming is "real," "man made," or "happening." (Global warming debate buzzwords.) I was simply pointing out that we hear A LOT about it during the summer, and that I heard about a new book on the debate. You always hear about the side that we are undergoing global warming and it is caused by human polution. So I thought it was interesting that there was a new book about the history of weather and warming and cooling trends.

Another point I was trying to make was that most people do not really have the slightest clue about the history of the earth's weather--or even what cause weather patterns. It would be presumptuous to claim to have knowledge about this topic simply because you viewed a documentary, or read a National Geographic article. Yet, lots of people speak as though they are experts on it. In order to be truly informed, scientific training and historical knowledge is needed.

In my opinion (here it is), I do not have a clue, I am not a trained professional on this, and there is very good expert advice from both sides, therefore my understanding of this is as inconclusive as the expert data.

This morning, this article was the headline of the Wall Street Journal, "Texas Scorched by Worst Drought in 50 Years: Crop and Livestock Losses Reach $3.6 Billion, and Tourism Industry Takes a Hit; Meteorologists Predict Relief in the Fall." It was an interesting article, stating the facts and it did not once mention global warming. I applaud this journalist's restraint. However, pray for Texas, because this drought will undoubtedly have a severe effect on the economy, which something no one needs at this point.

Sometimes I think it is my imagination that it is so hot here. But, this confirms it. Andrew and I have finally adjusted to the heat. We no longer gush sweat immediately when we enter the heat from indoor air conditioning. For the first time since we have lived here, Andrew turned the air conditioner down last night and endured slightly warmer temperatures in the house (our electric meter was spinning madly we couldn't even see the needle). Well done, Andrew--he is naturally hot natured and prefers cooler temperatures like the Pacific Northwest. :-)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Operation Cookie Drop

I decided to help make cookies for our troops with a few other cool ladies. My sister is in the Air Force and I would want someone to send cookies to her when she is overseas too. It's not easy being far away from home working hard. It's all explained here. I think three more bakers are needed if you like making 5 dozen cookies every once and a while and shipping them overseas. I am sure this is going to get a little expensive. I made oatmeal spice with chocolate chips and double chocolate with peanut butter chips. Then I wrapped them in cling wrap to keep them fresh and travel better. I hope they make it. God bless our troops.

...And a couple of cutie patooties.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Judgment for All

With the Supreme Court nomination of Sotomayor being discussed in the news, I cannot help think about Roe V. Wade, since this question always comes up in nomination hearings. Sotomayor does not make her opinion about abortion explicit. She thinks it is mute, since the court has already decided. But the Roe V. Wade decision has made the biggest impact ever on the world’s history. Therefore, it is not insignificant to discuss it. Despite there being a high court decision the question will always remain.

McCorvey, the defendant in Roe V. Wade is now a pro-life activist. She said there is something crucial we are missing, because Roe V. Wade has not been overturned. SHE thinks that there needs to be pro-life judges in the court order to help overturn the Supreme Court decision.

Quite frankly, abortion existed before the “landmark” court case Roe V. Wade, and would have continued without this case. However, now that legal precedence has been established in the courts we can not stop abortion by fighting it in the courts. They have made their decision. Since abortion has existed for a long time (it is mentioned in ancient texts), people will still want to do it—so long as murder exists so too will abortion.

We have prayed a lot about stopping abortion and clearly that grace only goes as far as the heart is open to it. We will continue to pray, but all humans have free will and all are fallen.

I think what we need is social norm-ing. We need a strong campaign flowing into the mainstream of society sending the message to the public. “Abortion ends a defenseless human life and that is wrong!” “There are alternatives to abortion.” I think the crucial component missing in the fight is money and an effective campaign. We need money to pay for the campaign to enter into the mainstream.

The Supreme Courts decision was that the U.S. Constitution does not provide for the government to stop an abortion. The decision and message went across the land that “We, as a government cannot stop this.” They were right. The power to stop abortion rests in heads of those who choose to abort their procreation. The decision is ultimately the mother’s. Breaking this decision down even further, if society tells her it is acceptable to take this action, then she will, and not feel badly about it. If society tells her that it is of bad moral character to make this decision and it comes with great risk to her own life, she still may make the bad decision, but she would be FAR less likely to do so.

So finally, our battle within the courts was fought and lost. Do not try anymore to enter this impenetrable fortress known as the Supreme Court. The weapon they hold is the Constitution in which they believe abortion is an inalienable freedom. Let us find new, battle ground—let us use new and different weapons.

Maybe I do not know anything about any of this (law, medicine, psychology) and I am showing my ignorance. But, there is no substitute for good character. Just the same as there is no effectual substitute for exercise and healthy eating. This has been haunting me. I keep thinking that abortion and euthanasia are not freedoms at all. There are simply quick fixes to very weighty, perplexing life events. They say, “I do not WANT to deal with this, so I am going to end it.”

Freedom was defined for Americans in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Very famously we never forget that what we seek is, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The first of these is “life,” and therefore, we must be a pro-life nation first and foremost in order to fulfill our national creed. This judgment made by the Supreme Court violates the first tenants of our nation. It’s not a state’s rights issue. It is an ethical quandary for all humanity seeking civil society.

May God have mercy on us all.

De-clutter-ization of My Mind

I do not know why, but I am feeling a little down and restless. Maybe I am a little disappointed in myself. Kristiana has been waking a lot in the night lately, so I have been really tired. She has had a lot of ear infections. It runs in the family. She is going to have tubes put in her ears, I think. We have an appointment with an E.N.T. We have also had family visiting, which has also changed my regular routine, but it was nice to see them. Because I have been really tired, I have not been getting up in the morning to pray and exercise for a couple of weeks. I have also been drinking way too much coffee to deal with my tiredness and lack of focus. I have not had time to blog to get out the pesky clutter in my mind. I always seem to get a little stressed and glum when I am not keeping up good habits and a regular routine.

This blog will be about the clutter intermingled with some family chronicles.

I have been seeing all these fun things to take pictures of, but either don’t have my camera, or the batteries are dead, or I never get around to downloading them, or I think about taking a picture and then think its awfully conceded to think about taking a picture just because it might be fun to post on my blog. MY BLOG—about ME and MY life. That’s so conceded. Every time I post a blog, I don’t like it to be about myself. I like to give the honor elsewhere. This whole paragraph has been about me, and now I am embarrassed. Anyhow, sorry if you have been looking for fun and interesting posts from Claytonopolis and they have been absent.

There are some things that have been haunting me a lot lately (other than not exercising and praying.) I have been hearing a call to learn icon writing and I have been hearing it louder and louder this summer. Major reasons I have not answered the call are time and money. I would need the tools, which would cost a small fortune. I found four books on amazon that I think would give me enough knowledge to learn this on my own. I could find short stints of time in the evenings and on the weekends to work on this, but not large amounts of time like going to an icon writing workshop. With no time and money this will continue to haunt me daily.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Eternal Memory - Adam Pray For Us

May 11, 1986 - July 16, 2006

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


By Renée Clayton

All my worldly trappings bound me
To a life of ugly falsity
My mind and body anguished
Nothing could set me free

I sobbed in remembrance
Of a youth so unencumbered.
I longed for those days.
Life seemed truly simple then.

I called out to my Maker,
Asked to be directed to the Light
All I heard in return was
The quiet, quiet, night.

Angrily I questioned His existence—
Or had I been forsaken?
Had I let my soul be evilly imprisoned—
Or was there even a soul to be taken?

Suddenly, in this hot, whirling fury
Of thought and emotion I remembered,
Faith like a child.
I said farewell
To things that had kept me—
Then I surrendered.

I numbered the things I clung to so dearly—
Goodbye family, goodbye wealth, goodbye health.
These things were not mine—
Provided to me by Holy happenstance.

I accepted my place.
Creature enslaved to my creation.
I surrendered the trappings
That had caused my ugly conflagration.

The Dawn had come,
The tempest inside of me had subsided.
I Glorified the Lord for what he had provided.

Then I said once more
As I stepped out into the day Light,

I surrender.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Global Warming – Also Known As Summer (A Little Rant)

Have you noticed how every summer the global warming debate really heats up (pardon the pun)? Yes, maybe some discussion happens during other times of the year. But the chatter gets really loud in the late part of June and continues through the fall. Why? Because it’s so darn hot! It’s 102 degrees Fahrenheit in Waco today. When it’s that hot it is real easy to convince folks that there might be something to this global warming thing.

It was pretty smart to bring the “Cap and Trade Bill” to congress in the middle of summer.

One congressman to another, “Man it’s so hot. Those polar ice caps are melting you know?!”

“Man, you’re right it was so hot today when I went to the café at lunch. It’s so hot! We’ve got to stop this global warming thing.”

“Oh, I know! Let’s pass the Cap and Trade Bill!”

“Dude, what a good idea!”

It’s not global warming! It is a season we call sum-mer.

Global warming is especially convincing when most people do not have a clue about the history of global weather. Did you know that the earth was much warmer 4,000-7,000 years ago? That’s during the time the pyramids were being built. The Medieval time period was a mini ice-age. Throughout history the earth has constantly experienced warming and cooling cycles. What we need to do is adapt and stop complaining about “it” in the heat of summer.

I heard about this book today. It looks pretty interesting. If you are interested in the global warming debate, it might be helpful to check out what this expert says.

Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media By Patrick J. Michaels

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Negotiator - The Jelly Bean Saga Continues

Alexander's well advertised jelly bean phase has taken on a new depth. We have been offering jelly beans as rewards for acquiescing to our demands. I'd rather have him go to bed with dinner in his belly along with a few jelly beans, than have him go to bed with half a cup of milk in his belly and a bad attitude. We think it's a win-win situation. He has also taken on a defiant two year old attitude. He would say "no" to ice cream if he thought it would spite us, his parents (he actually did say no to ice cream in a series of "Do you want...?" questions).

This morning he was being moderately defiant and he was also zoning into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on T.V. Both Andrew and I asked him individually to get dressed and he ignored us both, and upon another request he said, "No." So Andrew, in sleepiness and little patience said, "Alexander, come get dressed and I will give you some jelly beans."

So I chimed in to make sure he didn't get too many. "Okay, Alex you will get three jelly beans if you get dressed." He was still kind of ignoring us. "Alex, do you want jelly beans?"


Andrew jumped up to get the jelly beans, "Okay, I am going to go get three jelly beans for you."

As Daddy walked away Alexander replied to him, "Yeah, okay. Four!"

We both chuckled. Did he just negotiate the price of getting dressed? Andrew said, "Okay, four and you will get dressed."

It still took some coaxing to get him to get dressed and accept payment of the jelly beans. He didn't quite understand that because he was getting jelly beans that meant he needed to get dressed NOW. Instead of on his own time. He insisted the jelly beans be in his hand as he got dressed.
"Arthur's Jelly Beans" is this week's favorite library find due to the obvious co-star.