Thursday, October 25, 2012

Don't Forget to Schedule....

Your imaginary mammogram!
This is a very important test for women, and our president, Barack Obama wants to be sure you don't miss out. He still thinks that women in the US can just pop down to the local Planned Parenthood clinic for this "service".
Well, see...two things.
First, Planned Parenthood doesn't do mammograms. They don't have the techs, they don't have the machines. The best they can do is an exam, which you can actually do yourself in the privacy of your own home. At Planned Parenthood these things don't come cheap. Seventy-nine bucks was the price a friend of mine was quoted, and that was the low-income price on the sliding scale.
Second, what they really do best, and where the money really comes in, is abortions.
They are specialists. They certainly do have those machines, and they do have the techs. They have it down to a science. And it's apparently just what women want, well except for the women that are on the wrong end of the umbilical cord.
The folks at Planned Parenthood don't care if you can't find out if you have breast cancer. Really.
They are in the business of planning your parenthood, or eradicating it.
They are on a national killing spree, and the president of the United States is all for it. Just ask him.
He continues to perpetuate this myth about all the great things that they are doing for women, and how much American womanhood will be set back if they aren't funded by taxpayers.
Well, I am an American woman, and they have absolutely nothing at Planned Parenthood that can make me a healthier, better person.
I occasionally go up to pray outside the clinic in Wilmington, where women are convinced that the deeds that are done there are for the best. I feel the weight of the sorrow and evil that surrounds that building.
There is nothing healthy going on there.
So, if you really cared about women, Mr President, you would check your facts, and you would make sure that all the things that you say are so important for the future of this country would be available to ALL women, regardless of age or status. Born or unborn.
I don't give a hoot where you were born, but I am a "birther". I believe that everyone should have a chance to have one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Post Debate Stress Syndrome

I watched the debate last night, between our fearless leader Obama, and our hopeful new leader, Mitt Romney.
It was the third and last debate between these two, and it was definitely much less exciting than the first two. I guess I had ramped my mind up for a Romney KO.
He did OK, but I feel like I was waiting the whole time for something profound and determining, and then it was over.
I then stumbled all over the internet for some commentary that would clarify what I had missed. Surely there must have been something that I didn't interpret correctly, but no, apparently what we saw is all there was.
OK, so the debate was a bit of a let down, after the way Romney delivered in the first one.
I am just PRAYING that the people in this country get it right in November. Really, I am praying.
I feel like we are sitting on this edge.
God listens to our prayers, and He answers them, but have we gone too far over onto the left-hand side of the road, collectively? Are we going to harvest the rotten fruit of a hedonistic culture, or is the balance going to swing because we are begging God for an end to the madness?
He let the Children of Israel sit around in the desert for a very long time.
He let David stew in his own iniquity for quite a while.
Sometimes he just has to let the kids make their mistakes and realize the consequences.
Where are we going in all of this?
Can we pull back from the brink of debt and cultural suicide?
We can, but it is going to take the will of the entire country, and I am not sure that we are there yet.
Romney pointed out that we can be strong again, or we can go the way of Greece.
It's the choice of the people.
Are we still a self-determining nation or have we become another EU, with our fate at the mercy of the tides of a global tsunami?
We'll see, won't we?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October Sunday....

October is such a beautiful month in Havre de Grace.
We are just enjoying the most beautiful weather right now and this weekend was one of the nicest!
Gorgeous Weather!

Pretty Maggie....

Backyard Boogie!

Love Our Backyard in the Fall

Tim and Nina 

Tim, Nina and Maggie

Ready for some fun

Starting to Carve


That's a big Pumpkin!

Lilly told SCARY stories!

Nina carving Crispy

Crispy the pumpkin

Sparkle, Lilly and Crispy

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Robots and Barn Dances!

It was quite a weekend!
We were all over the place.
John was by far the busiest, but Brendan, Paul and I kept a pretty good pace as well.
John went swing dancing Friday night, and got home around 11:00.
He knew he had to get up early, but he always likes to go if he can.
He and Tim got up around 5:00 on Saturday morning and headed out to pick up team members and robots, so that they could head up to New Jersey for a Scrimmage with their FTC! team.
The competition started at 9:00 but they needed to be early to get the bugs worked out of the robot.
Here are some pictures:

Meanwhile, back at home, Brendan and Paul and I got out the door to get them to their Piano "Master's" Class. This is a once-a-month seminar the their teacher does with all of her students together. They talk about pieces of music, play for each other, and learn to listen and play in a group. Sometimes they celebrate the birthday of a composer. This was the first one that our boys have been able to attend, so it was new for them, but they seemed to enjoy it.
While they were there, I went over to Home Depot, so that I could get my Fall Flowers and some stuff to try and bring our lawn into order. UGH.
I worked all afternoon and got the back beds cleaned out and planted new mums. I also mulched everything. Those beds have been so over grown. We have had lots of luck with the mums that we bought last fall, and they are so colorful.
I love seeing if they will come back in the spring.
I'll get some pictures of those up tomorrow.
We went to Mass at 4:00, and then John had his interview for Confirmation with Fr Jay.
Apparently he is doing OK... :)
After that we went over to a neighboring parish for a Barn Dance, hosted by their youth group.
These dances are a blast, and they always draw a big crowd.
The kids really have learned some great dances, and even Brendan got into the act at the end. He wanted to dance the Broom Waltz. This is a waltz that is a bit like musical chairs. Everyone finds a partner, except one gentleman. His partner is "Lady Eleanor", a wooden broom. All the couples begin waltzing, including the gentleman with the broom. When the music stops, all the gentlemen have to find another lady to dance with, and they can't dance with the same person twice. The odd man out gets to dance with "Lady Eleanor". For some reason this is one of the most popular, and the kids look forward to it every time!
Here is some video:

Can't wait for the next one!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Thought This was Interesting.

We are getting into the Autumn season and I have to admit, I am invigorated by the cooler nights and the changing colors.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, we didn't have the brilliant colors that we have here. Fall has got to be one of my favorite seasons. So I found this interesting...

How & Why Do Leaves Change Color?
by Matt Soniak - October 6, 2012 - 10:24 AM

leaves-redDespite their astonishing record of losses when dealing with lumberjacks and beavers, trees are pretty tough customers. Their trunks, branches, roots and twigs are all more than capable of enduring a winter’s worth of freezing temperatures, snow, sleet and hail. Their leaves, though? Eh, not so tough. The broad, thin leaves of a broadleaf tree (like a maple, an oak, a birch, or a poplar) are an Achilles’ heel when winter comes, and are vulnerable to freezing and damage from the elements. In order to survive, the trees either have to somehow protect the delicate leaves or shed them.
Evergreen trees—your pines, spruces, firs, etc.— went the protection route. Their leaves, or needles, are covered in a waxy coating to resist freezing, allowing them to live for years or even decades before falling off and being replaced. The leaves of deciduous trees, on the other hand, are cast off with the arrival of winter. The chemical processes that prepare them for their send-off also treat us to the season’s vibrant colors.

Color Coding

Green: The green color of leaves throughout spring and summer comes from chlorophyll, a pigment vital to photosynthesis. As we get closer to autumn and some parts of the planet get fewer hours of sunlight, trees respond by stopping the food-making photosynthesis process and slowing the production of chlorophyll until, eventually, they stop producing it altogether and the green color of the leaf fades
leaves-mapleYellow and Orange: Along with chlorophyll, there are yellow and orange pigments, carotene and xanthophyll, inside some trees’ leaves. For most of the year, these pigments are masked by chlorophyll, but as the chlorophyll breaks down and the green color dissipates, the yellow to orange colors become visible.

Red: Another class of pigment that occurs in leaves is the anthocyanins. Anthocyanins, unlike carotene and xanthophyll, are not present in leaves year-round. It isn’t until the chlorophyll begins breaking down that the plant begins to synthesize anthocyanin. Why do trees begin producing a different pigment in leaves they’re getting ready to lose? The prevailing theory is that anthocyanins protect leaves from sun damage, lower their freezing point, allow them to remain on the tree longer, and buy the tree more time to recover nutrients from its leaves. The colors that anthocyanins produce are dependent on the pH of the leaves’ cell sap. Very acidic sap results in a bright red color, while less acidic sap leads to a purplish red.
Brown: The humdrum color is the result of waste products trapped in the leaves.
That covers the basics of how each of the colors can be produced. But which color we ultimately see depends on several factors, such as…
Species: Certain colors are characteristic of particular tree species and can be used to help identify the type of tree you’re looking at. Oak leaves turn red, brown, or russet, hickories turn golden bronze, poplars turn golden yellow, dogwoods turn a purplish red, beeches turn a light yellow/tan, birches turn bright yellow, sugar maples turn orange-red, black maples turn a glowing yellow, and red maples turn scarlet. Some trees, notably elms, don’t go through much color change at all; there’s just a dull brown and then the leaf is gone with the wind.
Weather: The temperature and moisture levels a tree is exposed to before and during the time its leaves’ chlorophyll breaks down can affect color. Sunny days and cool nights favor anthocyanin production and bright red leaves. On cloudy days, anthocyanin isn’t as chemically active and allows the orange or yellow pigments to take center stage.
Geography: Autumn leaves in Europe tend to be mostly yellow, but the US and East Asia seem to favor red leaves. Scientists from Israel and Finland recently put forth a theory about this color difference in the journal New Phytologist1. The scientists think that some 35 million years ago—amid a series of ice ages—many tree species evolved to become deciduous and produced red leaves to ward off insects. In North America and Asia, north-to-south mountain chains enabled the north and south spread of plants and animals corresponding with the advance and retreat of ice. In Europe, east-to-west mountain ranges like the Alps trapped plant and animal life. Many tree species (and the insects that depended on them) died out when the ice advanced. At the end of repeated ice ages, say the scientists, the tree species that survived didn’t need red leaves to cope with the insects that were left, so they stopped producing red pigments and stuck with yellow.

The Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground

While all this color changing and autumn magic is going on, the tree is preparing to cast off its leaves. Around the same time that chlorophyll production slows down, the veins that transport nutrients and water to the leaf from the rest of the tree get closed off. A layer of cells at the base of the leaf stem, called the separation layer, swells and forms a cork-like material, gradually severing the tissue that connects the leaf to the branch. The leaf falls off and the tree seals the cut—so when the leaf is blown off or falls from its own weight, a leaf scar is left behind.

Read the full text here:
--brought to you by mental_floss!

Monday, October 1, 2012

New Desks!

The boys now have study spaces in their room.
John has had a desk, but Brendan and Paul are just getting to the point where they want to be doing their work away from all the comings and goings of the household.
Brendan and I went down to Ikea yesterday and had a look at what they had. He found one that he liked and we bought two of them. One for each.
We had so much stuff to sort and work through. Toys, and legos, and just all kinds of stuff that they have outgrown.