Thursday, February 24, 2011

The NEA - It's Not Because We Care About Children

As a teacher, all I can say is Bob Chanin, General Counsel to the National Education Association clearly illustrates why I am NOT a member of the NEA.

I hope I'm not the only one that is taken aback when he says the following:

"Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas; it is not because of the merit of our positions; it is not because we care about children; and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child.

The NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of million of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them; the union that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees"

Saturday, February 19, 2011

We Renewed Our Vows Valentine's Day Weekend

cathy & darryl vow renewal

I've been wanting to make this post all week but with one thing or another there just never seemed any time for me to get my thoughts down in a post.

About three years ago, Mr. Thrifty and I had planned to renew our vows. It seemed as though everything in our lives had finally settled down after we had spent the first five years of our marriage not just adjusting to married life but facing serious life challenges which score high on the Holmes and Rahe stress scale. During those early years we provided hospice car for my Mother-in-Law, sent my youngest son off to college and then Iraq, moved to a state where we knew no one, and we both began new jobs. We felt that we had met these challenges head on and we were both stronger for the experience. We wanted to renew our commitment to the love that had sustained us through those difficult times.

We cashed in our frequent flyer miles, made hotel reservations, and I had begun looking for the perfect dress.

We had made the mistake believing that the peace and satisfaction would keep us in a protective cocoon, safe from the trials and tribulations that we had both faced in the past. There was no way for us to know that just a few months later our lives would change so drastically.

While we began planning for a trip California to renew our vows, the company where Darryl worked began laying off employees eventually closing the plant within the year. Like so many other Americans we found ourselves on the slippery slope of losing everything. We scraped our plans for our trip and cut our budget to the bear bone while Darryl began searching for a job.

Darryl and I eventually did make it through these hurdles but we both knew that one day we really did want to renew our vows. When it comes down to it we really do have it all because we have each other.

We decided to enter the FISH (104.7) contest to recreate that special "I do" moment with Valentine Vows. We simply had to tell them why we should be chosen. With that in mind we set to work and finally came up with an essay we felt would communicate how important it was for the two of us to publicly recommit ourselves to one another. We wanted to have an opportunity to reaffirm the tremendous love that we share that has only deepened with the passing of years.

As part of the Valentine Vow Renewal we would be able to attend a special reception decorated with elegance by Your Seamless Events and The Rental Place AND featuring wedding cake from Orna’s Cakes. These cakes weren't just beautiful but I had the opportunity to try a slice of each sample they had there and they were all very delicious.

wedding cake with pastel flowers

We were both very excited when we learned that we were one of the 500 coupons renewing their vows at Mt. Pisgah.

The ceremony itself was very memorable. I felt the message that marriage is a verb and not a noun was a very relevant topic. We were reminded that something bigger than us brought us together for a reason and we should celebrate the love we share each and every day in ways both large and small.

After the ceremony "wedding singer" Josh Wilson perform a private concert. If you are not familiar with Josh Wilson, he truly is an amazing talent. Even though there were couples who ranged from newlyweds to one couple married for forty-eight years, Josh's music carried a message of love we could all get behind.

As a sweeper I was excited to learn that every couple selected to take part would be registered to win prizes that will be given away throughout the evening like round trip getaways on AirTran Airways to anywhere they fly in the U.S, a pair of VIP tickets to the Dove Awards, a copy of the movie Fireproof with The Love Dare book, a Blu-Ray DVD player with a 5 DVD movie pack from Provident Films including Facing the Giants, Bringing up Bobby, Mysterious Islands, Rust and Upside AND a beautiful 3/4 qt 7 diamond journey pendant from David Douglas Diamonds, plus a conference registration to the FamilyLife Weekend to Remember!

Even though we didn't win any of these great prizes I still believe that I walked away from the event as the luckiest woman of all. That's because Darryl is by my side and I know as long as we're together we can make it through anything life throws our way.

cathy with wedding cakes

I want to thank the people at the FISH (104.7)who made this day so special for the two of us.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Justine Winter Found Guilty Of Two Counts Of Homicide

The verdict is in for Justine Winter. She was found guilty of two counts of deliberate homicide Thursday night in Flathead County District Court.

In case you don't remember Justine, she drove her car into oncoming traffic in an apparent suicide attempt and was charged with the deaths of Erin Julie Thompson who was pregnant at the time of the accident and her 13-year-old son who were killed in the crash.

Then to add insult to injury she then sued the estate of the victims. That's right, she sued the victims. I have yet to hear about the outcome of that particular case but it I will keep you updated.

Justine was immediately taken into custody amid an emotional scene that followed a jury’s unanimous verdict delivered at 7 p.m. after about five hours of deliberations.

The verdict came after a nine-day trial that began Jan. 24 with jury selection and ended Thursday with the prosecution and defense providing their closing arguments over the course of nearly four hours.

Winter, who was charged as an adult, is scheduled to be sentenced March 30 at 1:30 p.m. in Flathead County District Court.

The convictions for two counts of deliberate homicide carry maximum penalties of 200 years to life in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Vistaprint - Free Valentine's Mug

For a limited time, get one FREE customized Mug for Valentine's Day! The mug is free, just pay shipping and processing.

Graphic Footage of Cops Beating Teen

In general I support the police. My father is a retired cop and my brother was a cop until he was shot in the leg during a drug bust forcing him to leave the job he loved. So please do not get me wrong. I understand they have an extremely difficult job. I get it.

Law enforcement officers are the men and women who are standing between the criminal element and the law abiding citizenry.

As you may be aware there was a spate of shooting attacks on law enforcement officers has authorities concerned about a war on cops.

Deputy Sheriff Suzanne Waughtel Hopper - Jan 1 Deputy Sheriff Suzanne Hopper was shot and killed after responding to a call of a window being shot out at a trailer park in Enon.

Chief of Police Ralph Painter - Jan 5 Chief Ralph Painter was shot and killed after responding to a local car stereo shop in which a man was attempting to take a car that did not belong to him.

Police Officer William H. Torbitt - Jan 9 Officer William H. Torbitt was accidentally shot and killed by uniformed police officers after responding to a fight at a nightclub on North Paca Street

Police Officer Christopher Matlosz - Jan 14 Matlosz was shot three times during a routine patrol stop.

Police Officer Larry Nehasil - Jan 17 Officer Larry Nehasil was shot and killed in Walled Lake while conducting surveillance on two suspects wanted in connection with several burglaries and home invasion robberies

Detective Roger Castillo - Jan 20 Detectives Roger Castillo and Amanda Haworth were shot and killed while serving a felony warrant on a man wanted for murder

Detective Amanda Haworth - Jan 20 Detectives Amanda Haworth and Roger Castillo were shot and killed while serving a felony warrant on a man wanted for murder

Police Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz - Jan 24 Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz was killed while attempting to serve a warrant on a suspect wanted for aggravated battery.

Sergeant Tom Baitinger - Jan 24 Sergeant Tom Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz were shot and killed while attempting to serve a warrant on a suspect wanted for aggravated battery.

Police Officer David Moore - Jan 26 Officer David Moore succumbed to gunshot wounds suffered three days earlier after stopping a stolen vehicle at 9:05 am in the 3400 block of North Temple Avenue.

During a 24 hour period back in January at least 11 officers were shot. Three officers were shot — two fatally wounded, and one injured — while serving an aggravated battery warrant at a home in St. Petersburg, Fla. The next day, four officers were shot at a Detroit Police precinct; two Kitsap County (Wash.) Sheriff's deputies were shot at a Walmart while responding to a call reporting a suspicious person; and police officers in Indianapolis and Lincoln City, Ore., were critically injured in shootings during traffic stops.

Police officers take risks and suffer inconveniences to protect the lives, defend civil liberties, and secure the safety of fellow citizens. Police work is one of the more noble and selfless occupations in society and maybe that's why I expect more from them.

That's why I don't get is this violent video of police repeatedly kicking and stomping a teenage burglary suspect in Houston, TX.

The video taken March 24 shows a number of policemen surrounding then 15-year-old Chad Holley, who is face down on the street after being chased by patrol cars. The officers can be seen kicking, punching and stomping Holley, and some of the blows appear to have been administered after he had been handcuffed.

Wearing a badge does not put you above the law or above any citizen you are sworn to protect and each defendant is innocent until proven guilty by a jury of their peers. An officer is supposed to capture and bring that person to be tried, not beat the crap out of them.

Use of necessary force STOPS after the suspect is subdued. Necessary force does not include stomping a suspect. This is not my expectation for people who wear a badge. We can and should expect better.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Parker Schenecker Speaks at Memorial for Slain Kids

Wednesday evening some 1500 community members attended a service at First Baptist Church of Temple in Terrace, Fla., to honor the lives of the murdered Tampa teens, Calyx and Beau Schenecker, (16 and 13, respectively).

According to reports, Calyx and Beau Schenecker died tragically at the hands of their mother, Julie, last week.

Police discovered Mrs. Schenecker on the back porch, unconscious and wearing a blood soaked robe. Calyx’s body was found in her bedroom; Beau was found in the SUV in the garage.

Both had been covered with blankets.
Authorities say Julie Schenecker confessed, and found a note detailing her plans to kill the children and herself. The reason given for the double murder was the teens were mouthy, and talked back.

(A copy of the warrant can be found HERE.)
Their mother, Julie Powers Schenecker remains jailed without bond on two counts of first-degree murder.

I humbly send my condolences and prayers to Col. Parker Schenecker and all those affected by this tragedy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Spring Just Not Today

Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted that spring will be sprung in six weeks, I'm certain people in places like Chicago were hoping Phil could maybe rush things up a bit.

A winter blizzard of historic proportions stranded hundreds of drivers for up to 12 hours overnight on the city's Lakeshore thoroughfare and giving many Chicago schoolchildren their first ever snow day.

Chicago's O'Hare International Airport received a record-breaking 19 1/2 inches of snow, according to the service.

“Two-thirds of the country was affected by the storm,” said Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “As far as Chicago goes, they have never had this amount of snow with this much wind.”

A mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain blanketed 30 states and is now sweeping up into the U.S. Northeast.

In New York City the storm glazed the streets with ice and it shut schools and curtailed rail services across the U.S.

In Massachusetts, a number of roofs collapsed under the weight of rain-soaked snow, including the roof of a large commercial building in the town of Easton, according to fire captain David Beals. Up to 100 employees were evacuated prior to the collapse, he said. There were no injuries reported.

Here in Georgia, we were able to dodge this latest storm. We are having some high wind warnings and rain over the past few days but I'll take that over the snow.

So Phil, could you please call in some favors and ask Spring to come early?


I have been in touch with the winner of our Shutterfly Valentine's Day giveaway. Her name is Deborah W and she's from Teutopolis, IL.

Congratulations Deborah. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chris Matthews Things The Panama Canal Is In Egypt

Isn't it ironic that the man who constantly proclaims that Palin and Bachmann are absolute idiots by misquoting or mischaracterizing what they say does not receive the same scrutiny himself.

Ah but the fact that this won't be covered ad nauseum in the press as proof of his "blaring ignorance" should be no surprise. After all recently Senator Charles Schumer (DNY) recently impressed us all with his knowledge of the Branches of Government. He claims that the House, the Senate and the President make up the US Government. Gee if only we could have said that Sarah Palin had said that, we'd be hearing that quote over and over and over again.

Don't worry Chris, I understand that this was just a simple mistake. I mean you could have just as easily have said the Erie Canal. All canals are the same aren't they?