Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Where Did September Go?

Don't know where this month went.............
Wait................ now I remember.
I was buried in an avalance of work. We barely survived the Dems coming to town, and then I took on a software changeover. In the end, a good thing, but the last few weeks have been a bear.
October is upon us.........and another September gone.
September is my favorite month by far, and autumn the best season. Especially if you live in Colorado.
We had a mild month, weatherwise................no snow yet. Plenty of AMAZING BEAUTIFUL nights around the chiminea.
October brings the Halloween decorations, pumpkin carving, hot spiced cider, turning aspen, pumpkin beer, more smores, and yes.................... our first snowfall.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman Nobody's Fool

The Husband called on the cell phone this afternoon, to tell me the sad news of Paul Newman's death. Must admit........I shed a tear.

At age 10, my parents took me to see "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". It was love at first sight for both Redford and Newman. As a high school freshman, the parents dropped me off with a few girlfriends to see "The Sting"..............and we ran around laying our finger on the side of our nose for the rest of the year.

As I got older I went back and sought out videos of the older Paul Newman movies, and was amazed at his range. Though I never got over my Robert Redford crush...........through the years I really grew to love and respect Paul Newman. The fact that his marriage to Joanne Woodward stood the test of time, well, that just added to the admiration. I found a quote, "Once asked if he was ever attracted by the beautiful women with whom he worked Newman famously replied, "Why go out for a hamburger when you can have steak at home". Gotta love that man.

When scanning around for a photo, I chose the one above, because I think he became more handsome with age..........

Hard to pick a favorite Newman flick, there are so many, and so many different roles. Just a few that always make me stop and watch............."Nobody's Fool", "The Verdict" and of course, "The Color of Money".

Wish they could have done just one more..............

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Debate

I wonder if it's really possible to look at things objectively............ever.

I am a Republican, and I will vote for John McCain. By the way, I will not vote for John McCain BECAUSE I am a Republican. I will vote for for John McCain because I CANNOT vote for Barack Obama. He is not the man for the job. AND.....I think he is not ready for the job. Not EVEN CLOSE.

I look at things differently than most.......in the Event Business you notice all the small things. Senator Obama LOOKED terrible. He looked tired and sweaty and he needed a shave........

McCain has 30 plus years on him and he looked rested and sharp.

But all this is based on my frame of reference..............so it's clearly not objective. Through my Republican eyes I think McCain won by a nose.......

And it was boring as snot............


Couple of moments there when John shined................the "Oh Please" moment was the best.

Must say that the VP debate will be much higher on the entertainment factor.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dancing With the Stars (Again)

So happy that Dancing with the Stars is back on. The Husband and I really enjoy it together, (now that I have him brainwashed).

Last night was a real "hoot"as they say. Fun to see the new stars, new pros, and returning pros. (Lets hear it for Maksim). I loved Warren Sapp best of all.

So tonight they sent home Jeffery and Edyta.......clearly the correct choice.

In a hectic world, with the upcoming election, financial woes, troops around the world, Dancing with the Stars is a is a bit of escape.........a la Fred and Ginger.......and it makes me smile and laugh.

At our house, we won't miss a moment.

Breakfast in the Park

Had a nutty idea last weekend. The Husband, long suffering man that he is, agreed to go along with me.

We normally wake up Sunday morning, have coffee, read the Sunday paper and then he usually makes breakfast.

My nutty idea was to take advantage of two things..........

The unbelievably wonderful September weather, and our proximity to an amazing overlook.

So we changed up our firmly ingrained routine. We woke up, had one cup of coffee, threw on the sweats, and jumped in the Jeep to head to our nearby overlook.

Thermos of hot coffee, simple breakfast, two fold up chairs, and what a Sunday morning.....

If I could get the focus thing down on my camera, this would be and even better shot..........

It was peaceful and invigorating at the same time...........for me a real sabbath.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Enough Politics!

Who cares if the future of the free world hangs in the balance? IT'S TIME TO DANCE!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Crazy For God

I'm conflicted, and don't know what to think about this book. I read it quickly, and it held my interest. At times I loved it, then hated it, then laughed, then shed a tear. In other words, my typical reaction to a Frank Schaeffer book.

The full title of the book is
"Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back".

Yes, typical Frank Schaeffer.

I feel like I have a long standing relationship with Frank. My first introduction to Frank's writing was his 1981 book "Addicted to Mediocrity" I already knew of his father, Francis Schaeffer, and his groundbreaking "What Ever Happened to the Human Race". They showed the film version at our church.

"Addicted to Mediocrity" gave voice to thoughts I had been struggling with for a number of years. Frank (who then published himself as Franky) wrote, "Whenever Christians, and evangelicals in particular, have attempted to 'reach the world' through the media--TV, film, publishing and so on--the thinking public gets the firm idea that, like soup in a bad restaurant, Christians' brains are best left unstirred."

It rang true to me. Frank pointed out that in the past, many great works of art had been created "to the glory of God". You know...... stuff like....... the Sistine Chapel and Handel's Messiah. At the time I read the book (and sadly not much has changed) Christian bookstores were full of plastic "Jesus Loves You" combs and "Footprints in the Sand" plaques. I was moved and challenged by the book and it left me hungry to find "the good stuff" to this very day. It effected the way I looked at art, and literature, and in particular, music.

Frank freaked everyone out in 1994 with "Dancing Alone: The Quest for Orthodox Faith in the Age of False Religion". In that book he tells the story of his conversion to the Orthodox church. It was rambling, hard to follow, and cynical. He managed to tick off both the evangelicals and the orthodox. I still liked it.

But the book that really nailed me was "Portofino". I think I have bought this book 4 or 5 times, because I would give it to someone, then decide to read it again, buy it, give it away. I love Amazon's description of the plot.

"Calvin is the son of a missionary family, and their trip to Portofino is the highlight of his year. But even in the seductive Italian summer, the Beckers can't really relax. Calvin's father could slip into a Bad Mood and start hurling potted plants at any time. His mother has an embarrassing habit of trying to convert "pagans" on the beach. And his sister Janet has a ski sweater and a miniature Bible in her luggage, just in case the Russians invade and send them to Siberia. His dad says everything is part of God's plan. But this summer, Calvin has some plans of his own ..."

The story of Calvin was gritty and real. He was a boy growing up in the real world and trying to figure out how the "Christian world" fit in. Or rather, he was growing up in a Christian world, and trying to figure out how to apply that in the real world. He was embarrassed when his mother had a particularly long prayer over their meal in the restaurant. My gosh, the waitress had to wait! I lost my mind when his mother whipped out the "Gospel Walnut" while talking with someone on the bus. My kindergarten choir director at church amazed us with her gospel walnut.

Meanwhile, everyone one wondered how much of the "novel" was a description of his childhood, and the answer seemed clear.

If there was any room left for doubt, "Crazy For God" blows that doubt up. Franky/Frank tells us all. From his father's violent moods, to his mother's search to find her place in the creative, artistic circles, without compromising her faith. It's a sad and sordid story, and I think there were some things we didn't really need to know. But there were moments of tenderness and love and forgiveness too.

Frank doesn't spare himself in anyway. We now, officially, "know too many secrets, I wish now I did not know."(Rich Mullins). Frank was the "all too typical" "PK" (pastor's kid) who rebelled, all the while playing the part of the dutiful son and heir apparent to his father's ministry. Raise your hand if you've heard this one.

In the end, why did Frank write this book? To embarrass his parents? Considering his father had already died, clearly not. To make sure we all know the truth about life in the home of Francis and Edith Schaffer? Anyone who grew up in the church, if they are honest, knows that many families were not as they seemed. The church is full of imperfect people. Did he just need to get this all off his chest?

I will give him the benefit of the doubt, and hope that he just wanted to make sure we avoid the danger of putting leaders on pedestals. A lesson I learned early in life. For me it was a story about good intentions, with failed realities. I'm not sure I can really recommend it. For people who have walked this same road, it may be a comfort.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stuck in Traffic

My commute home tonight had a 30 minute delay. This is usually the kind of thing that makes me nuts, and grateful for talk radio.

But today's delay was a pleasure. Living out here in the vast suburbs of Denver, I had a little taste of small town America.

I got stuck behind the Homecoming Parade.

We live really close to both a high school and junior high. I can often hear the marching band practicing in their parking lot. Tonight as I got close to home the traffic was diverted to one lane, and we drove along side a very slow moving parade. Complete with floats, two marching bands and the entire football team.

Very very cool.

The Pom Pom girls were on the tepee float.

I'm impressed that the county sheriff's department helps the school facilitate this. It must be great for the students, and I thought it was a great slice of small town............in a big town.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Love in the Time of Cholera

I'm always way behind on the bestseller book wagon. I joined a neighborhood book club a year and a half ago. And that's a story for another post. However, one of the books picked OVER A YEAR AGO, was "Love in the Time of Cholera". At the point when this book was picked........ I was already pretty burned on the "Tragedy Novels" the group always seemed to pick.

But I have this thing with books.

If I start it, I finish it.

NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES. This book set a record. I'm certain 14 months is the longest I've ever taken to read a book. Now granted, I don't just read one book at a time. I have one in the car, one upstairs, one downstairs, and I grab whichever book I'm near.

So ANYWAY..........can I say this out loud???? I HATED THIS BOOK!!!

I don't care if it won the Nobel Prize for literature. I hated it. Now taking into consideration the fact that it was written in Spanish, and then translated into English, that still doesn't make up for the plot.

Boy meets girl, boy falls for girl. Girl's father makes girl marry someone else. Boy is heartbroken. Boy decides to wait for girl's husband to die so he can get her for himself. etc., etc.

Now by "wait for girl" we mean boy sleeps with any and everyone he can. I mean HUNDREDS of women. And he writes it all down in a diary.

It's a love story.

Really. This is great literature? What did I miss?

So I watched the movie.

It didn't help.

Guess I had bad lit teachers. If someone out there can explain why this book won a Nobel Prize, I'm dying to know.

All I can say is, "Wow, I'm glad that's over".

Thursday, September 11, 2008


There are no extraordinary men... just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with."
William Halsey

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Chili Festival At Altitude

Sure sign of fall............

Chili Festival.

Sunday was the annual "peeling of the peppers". Beginning 5 or so years ago, The Husband and I found a road side stand selling and roasting peppers. Actually these stands are all over the metro area. We found a young couple bringing their harvest from the fields north of Denver.

So each year we buy from them. A bushel does us fine. The smell when they are being roasted are the best.....and then back to the casa for the ceremonial "peeling".

Can be messy and tedious. But not when its a beautiful day......pinon wood fire going, some fine cerveca and The Husband helping............

Perfect September day.

The bounty from one bushel is 20 bags, 6 peppers per bag. Into the freezer for months of green chili or chili rellenos..........muy bueno.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Senator John McCain is not the speech maker that Ronald Reagan was.

This was no suprise.

Fred Thompson's speech two nights ago, took away all my hesitation about pulling the lever for John McCain. He really is an American hero. From that point on I will never be able to watch him on stage and not think about the fact that he can't raise his arms above his head........Even though "the left" thinks that's not enough.............I disagree. What qualifies someone to be President? Does being a hero count? Decades of public service?

He will do well in the debates. MAYBE "our opponent" will not.

Everyone knows the big ticket debate will be Sarahcuda VS. JoeBee.

CAN'T wait.......

Is it possible we will win?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

You Go Girl

I didn't expect to get nervous........I had sweaty palms.

With a slightly stiff beginning..........then she got warmed up.

I held my breath......and then I exhaled.

What I didn't expect.............was to get teary.

Probably only another woman can understand......what it's like to be told you can't do something......simply because you are a woman. For those of us who know what that feels like, then tonight was a huge moment in time.......

Whatever the election results............we turned a corner. It was a year when women really made their mark. (including Hilary).

I LOVED Sarah. She did a great job.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Better Than the Internet

One of the things that make me happier than just about anything else...... is people standing up for what they believe in no matter what it costs them. Al Gore picked a guy with real principles and integrity.

That is why I'm a fan of Joe Lieberman. I may not agree with him on all things, but even after being the Democratic Party's VP candidate, he leaves a Party which no longer represents him.

Then he's willing to speak on behalf of John McCain. Frankly, Joe Lieberman is probably closer politically to John McCain than I am, but it costs him a lot more than me, to say it out loud.

Thanks Joe, for taking speaking from your heart and not pandering to the polls.

I Heart Fred Thompson

Send in the pit bulls.

What a perfect person to tell the John McCain story. I heart Fred Thompson. Do you think he would do recordings for me that I could listen to when I go to sleep? I love his voice.

But more than that, who wrote this speech???

Freakin' awesome speech!!!!!!

The Husband said, and I quote, "the only thing he didn't do was flip the dems off and moon them."


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