Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nie Recovery - Mr. Nielson

A lovely young couple with four children were in a serious private plane accident in Arizona. The pilot, Doug Kinneard did not survive the accident. The children of the couple were not with them. This couple's recovery will be long, painful and expensive, and their family has set up numerous ways wonderful friends in the blogging community can help...prayers being the number one request.

If you've been following the NieRecovery saga like I have, (on the young wife's sister's blog) and thousands of bloggers around the world have, you will be heartened to hear and see this.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rosie O'Donnell

Rosie O'Donnell was once called the Queen of Nice. She had a daytime talk show and everyone loved her. She went on to do The View and suddenly everyone didn't love her.

The public rarely knows anything about celebrities except what they read in the tabloids, and it's rare that the public sees the human being behind the makeup.

Take a look at this film clip. Watch the whole thing. This is the Rosie we rarely see. This is what she's about. I'm a huge fan. Can you tell? :)

And after you watch the clip, consider donating a few $$ to Rosie's Broadway Kids, or the Maravel Arts Center. It's for kids, and it's all good. :)

Here's how you can donate:
Go to Rosie's Broadway Kids and first watch some of the performance posted there. Then find your options for donating and decide which one is best for you.

Even if you don't want to donate anything I guarantee you'll be entertained for a few minutes.
Remember, it's all about the kids.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Good Cup of Coffee

Some days nothing else will do!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

John Williams is the Man


I love this!! I know it's not really the kid singing. The a capella group is called Moosebutter and they gave this kid their blessing when he pitched his idea to them. But still, I love it. Four part harmony, humor, Star Wars and John Williams....just the best. :)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Underbelly of Activism

I am not an activist, yet I am passionate and loyal to my cause. I'm a lioness, a wolf, a swan...dedicated to the deep connection and unconditional love of family. My family. Yours. The woman who migrates each night from bus stop to bus stop wrapped head to toe in her white blanket. I long to be loved by my own mother still.

And that is why I am so taken by this side of the election. It is, to me, the heart of what is to come. As joyful as parenting is, the ultimate intention, so too is it the most humbling of experiences. And that is what we need at the core of the president of our country.

" Malia Obama probably wasn’t sure if her Dad would make it home from work to watch her soccer game this past Friday night. He’s been pretty busy lately. But her Mom and her little sister would be there. The flow of the kids moving the ball down the field, under the lights of a chilly night in October. The families chatting on the sidelines. The starlight glow of downtown Chicago rising up from the north.

Malia Obama at mid field shouts “Mom!” And the smile, grace, and presence of the woman whose eyes never once leave her daughter---no matter who else she speaks to, waves back and sends a radiant smile. In that one wave and smile, you see hope come alive before your very eyes.

Then just a few minutes after eight; something like a shift in earth’s gravity occurs. To the casual observer, nothing in this scene has changed. That pull of the earth’s power must have been imagined. The true city dweller will feel it first, before they even see it. Blink your eyes and they appear. Ringing the shadows of this soccer field are people with guns. Serious people with guns. Like oak trees that move. The phrase, “Not on my watch” flashes through your head. You have to look hard to make sure they are even there. You never really see a gun. You’re not even sure they are moving. But when you blink your eyes, somehow their positions have changed. Something about the way they just appear calms your breathing. Instinctively you know. These are the good guys.

With that feeling of true safety pressed firmly in your very soul; you can remember the real secret at the heart of the city: we of the city are just a million small town kid's soccer game scenes all strung together. So the kids laugh and kick the soccer ball. Then some guy in a blue cap walks out of the gym next door. Hands in his pocket, face down, by himself. He walks over to Malia’s Mom, who has 3 conversations going on simultaneously with folks on the sidelines. The quiet guy in the blue cap puts his arm around Malia’s Mom. Shakes hands with a couple of the people. Talks with Malia’s Mom for a minute or two.

Just then a small miracle occurs. The quiet guy in the blue cap who nobody in the crowd of really paid all that much attention to; scrunches down so he is face to face with Malia’s little sister Sasha. He lifts up the brim on the cap. And then, standing 15 feet behind Sasha you see what she’s seeing up close. You see that smile. That smile that resounds with the very power and the glory of the city lights behind it. That smile now almost ready to take it's place in American history. You can’t hear, and are happy not to hear, what he’s saying to his youngest daughter. But you do hear her giggle. Then the father takes the daughter’s hand. The younger daughter. The one who is not in the game. The one who by all rights and purposes and measures any of us know at this time in our history---was destined not to get a lot of attention tonight. They move back in the shadows, behind the sideline crowd. Seen only by that quiet show of force here to keep them absolutely safe. Then the miracle: they have a foot race. While the soccer game is still going on. Just the two of them. Sasha and her Dad take off together, both running at full speed, as fast and then faster than either of them could ever imagine. Sasha laughing, and laughing at the finish line. Her Dad swoops down and picks her up. Then that smile. This time only for his daughter. No one else was looking. It was just for her. His youngest daughter’s giggle. It’s the music of his promise to make sure that everyone’s included.

And this past Friday night in Chicago: Malia Obama’s team won the game."

This is not mine. I copied and pasted it here from Busha Full of Grace and she copied and pasted it from Misplaced Mama.
She encouraged readers to copy this to their blogs.
It moved me. It spoke to me. The election is over. We have a new president. A man, a husband, and a father who sees the value of family more clearly than we've seen for a long time. Let's embrace this and see what happens.


The last three Chevy Blazers we've had have been equipped with OnStar. I love having OnStar in my car. It makes me feel safe and more connected with services I might need in case of emergency. When we travel I can easily find things like hotels, restaurants, points of interest, less congested routes, and local radio stations. In addition, I can talk on the phone hands-free to whomever I want. It's comforting.

I like it so much that in my fantasy camp mind, I've imagined myself in one of their radio commercials. You've heard them, actual taped conversations with an OnStar operator talking with victims of an accident. The commercial ends with the OnStar client thanking OnStar and wondering what they ever did without it.

I thought my 15 minutes of fame had come one summer when I needed OnStar for the first time. I was working on a Mission Project with my church. Families from our church were building a home for a family who lived in the heavily wooded mountains of Pa.

Our group traveled to the area and set up camp for a week. Everyone, no matter how young or old, had a job. Kids and adults hammered nails into the studs, guided the roof frame into place, drilled holes for the wiring, rolled on and attached the insulation, hung the dry wall, shingled the roof, installed the windows, laid tile on the kitchen floor, installed appliances, carried the supplies, etc, etc. You get the picture. Many hands doing many jobs.

So, what was my job? Feeding all those many hands three meals and snacks daily. And I was happy to do that. I can't hammer in a nail straight and I end up wearing more Spackle than I put on the walls. People laugh at me when I try any of the jobs...with a smile on their face and love in their heart, I'm sure.

Anyway, on this particular day, our first full day at camp, my friend and I were up at the crack of dawn preparing breakfast in the kitchen of a youth camp nearby. When everyone had eaten we cleaned up and began preparing sandwiches, drinks and snacks for lunch, all the while driving coolers of water, lemonade, and ice tea back and forth to the workers. Around noon, with lunch for 125 hungry workers securely packed in the back of the Blazer we headed to the work site to feed the masses.

We arrived on the single lane mountain road in front of the work site. Our plan was to stop there, unload the food and then park the Blazer out of the way so we could set up lunch. We jumped out of the Blazer and slammed the doors, quickly going around to open the hatch and get the lunches out of the back. When I slammed my door, I heard a very quiet almost inaudible, click and I knew immediately that all the doors had locked automatically. The keys were in the ignition, my bag was on the front seat and lunches for 125 hungry men, women and children were locked in the back as the temperature inside the Blazer on that hot summer day began to climb.

Lots of bad words were flying through my head, but since this was a church trip that's where they stayed, unlike the Mouse in the House incident of a few years back.

So instead, I remembered I had OnStar! Great! But, the number and my OnStar card were in the locked car. Luckily my friend had OnStar on her car and she did have the brains to take her bag with her when she hopped out of the passenger side. She had her cell phone and the OnStar number with her.

The conversation between OnStar and me went something like this:

OS: "Hello, this is Kelly from OnStar how can I assist you?"
Me: "Hi Kelly, this is LJ and I've locked the keys in my Blazer"
OS: "Okay, you've locked your keys in the Blazer and you want us to unlock it for you?"
Me: "Yes"
OS: "No problem, LJ, we do this all the time."
(Whew, I thought, I'm not the only idiot and they can fix this and I can do their next commercial. That fantasy camp mind of mine works 24/7.)
I gave Kelly all the information she needed to unlock my Blazer.

OS: "LJ? Just step away from the car leaving about four feet between you and the car and in about five minutes we'll have the car doors unlocked." And thank you for using OnStar. If we can be of assistance in the future please don't hesitate to call. Have a nice day! Goodbye."

About now the kids began to realize their lunch had arrived but there was a problem. Nothing makes kids hungrier than knowing the food is near but they can't have it. Suddenly about 50 starving kids began circling the Blazer like hungry tigers circling wounded prey, peering in the windows to see what they couldn't have.

My friend announced in a big, booming voice, "Step away from the Blazer boys and girls, so the OnStar satellite can unlock the doors."
The kids were intrigued and immediately became quiet as they backed away from the car. I could see in their eyes they were thinking a beam from the Mother Ship was about to descend on the Blazer, light it up and unlock the doors.

So we waited, and waited, and waited. Nothing. No Mother Ship. No beam. No magical door opening.

We called OnStar again and the kids began to move towards the Blazer.

OS: "Hello this is Donald from OnStar how can I help you?"
Me: "Hello Donald, this is LJ. I just called a few minutes ago about having locked the keys in my car. Do you have my information in front of you."
OS: "Let me look and see what I can find. Please hold.
Oh great, I'm on hold, the ice is melting, the lunch is getting warm and Elvis's "All Shook Up" is playing in my ear. How appropriate.
OS: Thank you for holding LJ. I see you've locked your keys in the car, is that correct?"
Me: "Yes, keys are locked in the Chevy Blazer. All doors are locked. Yes, everyone is standing four feet away from the Blazer. We're still waiting for you to unlock the doors."
OS: "Okay, Please hold."
(In my head I'm practicing my lines for the commercial while I'm on hold with Donald. Kids are inching closer to the Blazer.)
OS: "LJ may I ask, where exactly are you?"
Me: (Giving detailed information about our location.) ..."and we are on a small single lane road surrounded by the tallest most beautiful trees in the state of Pa. It's pristine and beautiful. (You can hear a script forming here for the OnStar commercial, can't you?)
OS: So, you are in the woods, surrounded by tall trees?
Me: "Yes!" "Yes we are, we're building a house for... (This was going to be in my commercial script too. A mention of our church and all the good things we do.)
OS: Interrupting..."LJ, The OnStar satellite can't find you if you are in the woods. We're sorry. Thank you for using OnStar. If we can be of assistance in the future please don't hesitate to call. Have a nice day! Goodbye."

And goodbye to the commercial in my fantasy camp mind as it disappeared with the click of the OnStar person hanging up."

There was only one thing left to do and why didn't I do this first?

Me: "Okay," I shouted, "You two older boys over there, get a crow bar out of the tool truck, plus a few shims. Does anybody have a coat hanger? Let's get these doors open the old-fashioned way so everybody can have lunch."
Big cheer from the starving masses and in five minutes everybody was eating.

Do I hear Hallelujah, Amen?!