Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tax Day Tea Party - April 15, 2009

I’ve only been an activist one other time in my life.

When I was a kid, my mom homeschooled me in 5th and 6th grades, and we once took a field trip to Jackson from our hometown of Clarksdale for a pro-life rally. I vaguely remember standing inside the state Capitol, surrounded by other pro-life folks, listening to elected officials talk about their support of the movement. This was in early 1987, when the pro-life movement was largely still in its nascent days.

On April 15, 2009, I returned to the Mississippi Capitol more than 20 years older but not a whole lot different otherwise. I was a child on that cold January day, but even then I knew in my heart that what I was doing was important. I knew that what I believed was right. I heard family and other pro-lifers around me talk about the battle being long and hard, but I knew, even then, that it was worth it.

That battle still rages, and will become even tougher in the coming months and years, but yesterday, I stood with my fellow Americans on the cusp of a different battle, and my changed season of life brought it so much more into focus.

This time, I’m an adult. This time, I pay taxes. This time, I have a mortgage. This time, I have a husband. But most important of all, this time, I have a son.

I went to the state house on Wednesday for my child. I went for his future. I went for his children and his grandchildren. I went for your children, too.

I stood side-by-side with other Mississippians ready to begin the process of taking this country back. No, we’re not the rightwing extremists the Department of Homeland Security would have you believe. There will be no riots. There will be no violence. There will be no burning effigies or flags. There will be no acts of treason against our government. Anything even appearing violent or treasonous will not be accepted by us, because we love our country, we respect our leaders, and we wish no physical harm ever to come to any of them.

What there will be is prayer. There will be groups of people joining together to stand before the Lord and beg His forgiveness and intercession. They will ask Him to go before us into the fight, because they know there will be no lasting success without Him.

What there will be is knowledge. There will be reading, and discussion, and study of our history and our form of government. There will be careful, serious thought and scholarship.

What there will be is action. There will be more people joining whichever party most closely lines up with their beliefs. There will be campaigning, and questioning, and letter-writing, and phone-calling. There will be running for office. There will be change.

I couldn’t wait to get to the Capitol yesterday. My aunt graciously came from out of town and kept my sweet son at our house so we could be totally focused on the event. I arrived at the Capitol before 1:30, ready to work. I helped sell t-shirts. I carried a walkie-talkie for the first time ever. My bright green STAFF shirt and credentials garnered lots of requests for assistance and information. I was in my element, apparently!

The crowd started to gather, and I noticed especially the groups gathered around our Pledge of Allegiance and Declaration of Independence tables. We asked fellow patriots to sign the Declaration as a symbolic gesture, a reaffirmation that our allegiance as Americans, after God, is to the republic. The scroll was 100 feet long, and by the end of the event, the paper’s end had been reached. Every inch was filled with signatures.

About five minutes before the start, I ascended the Capitol steps with my husband and looked at the crowd. I got tears in my eyes and said to him, “We did it.” My expectations were exceeded. On February 27, at our first tea party, there were 12 of us there. I didn’t yet know how many we had this time, but I knew the number was far greater.

The event began with the Pledge of Allegiance and our national anthem and my tears fell again. We heard from a variety of speakers, from elected officials, to businessmen, to a conservative radio show host, to a minister. We heard from a microcosm of the real Mississippi, both black and white.

Each speaker drove home the point that this is not Republican vs. Democrat or conservative vs. liberal. This is not about black or white. This is about freedom and fiscal responsibility. This is about elected officials doing what their constituents send them to Washington to do: Keep us safe, adhere to the Constitution, and vote fairly. No more, no less.

This will not be the end of the Mississippi Tea Party, or the greater movement nationwide. This week, the silent majority has been awakened from its slumber. This is only the beginning. We went from 12 people in Jackson on February 27 to upwards of 3,500 people on April 15. That’s less than seven weeks of time. Imagine how this will continue to grow in the coming months. Imagine the change we will bring in 2010 and 2012.

My growing involvement in the political process probably gets my name written in the DHS book of rightwing extremists. So be it. I’m doing this for my son, and there is nothing in the world that will stop me. This is my county. I’m taking it back.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Most Amazing Soup Ever

This soup has some sort of name like "Super Foods Soup", but that's kind of lame. Plus, I've changed the recipe so much that it barely resembles the original. Whatever you want to call it, it's awesome. It couldn't be any simpler to make, cooks as fast as it takes to come to a boil, and is even better a day or two later as leftovers. This is the kind of thing to take to a friend who's sick. You'll score major points with it. My son and I are currently mucho sick with bronchitis (both of us) and double ear infections (him) and I know it helped us both feel better when we had it tonight for supper.


1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, diced
32 oz. frozen chopped spinach
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
32 oz. chicken broth (can substitute water)
1 pkg. (8 slices) pre-cooked sausage (can substitute turkey sausage), roughly chopped
1 pkg. (refrigerated or dried) tortellini, any flavor
salt and pepper

  1. Open and drain canned vegetables
  2. In a large stock pot, saute garlic and onions in a small amount of olive oil
  3. As soon as the garlic and onions are done, add spinach, corn, black beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, sausage, salt and pepper to the stock pot. Stir well
  4. Cover and bring to a boil; add tortellini and stir well
  5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer approximately 20 minutes

This makes A LOT of soup. You'll easily be eating the leftovers for days, but it gets better the longer the flavors boogie together. We love spinach around here, so I use 32 ounces. You could easily halve that and still have plenty of bulk. You could leave out the meat, or do a different pasta, or throw in a bag of shredded cole slaw mix instead of spinach. It's so easy and so quick that there's no trouble making it your own. Enjoy!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Mississippi Tea Party

Bear and I met up with my husband today at noon on at the Mississippi capitol building. We took part in the nationwide tea party to protest Obama's stimulus package. We had a merry little band turn out. Below are some of the pictures I took today.

Thanks to Rick Santelli for getting angry and speaking up, and to Smart Girl Politics, Top Conservatives on Twitter and Michelle Malkin for organizing the events and spreading the news.

Bear's first political rally!! He was the only baby there and really got into it, hollering out a few chants of his own.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Praise Baby

I'm happy to be able to take part in a bit of blogging for Praise Baby, the CDs and DVDs that have saved a parent's sanity more than once! We love the sweet music in our house! Go check out the fun new blog! Here's my entry:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I draw the line at discarded food, though.

Every girl grows up swearing she'll never turn into her mother, and then there's that inevitable moment when she realizes that dadgum it, her mother has taken over her body. Don't deny it.

I realized this about myself a few months ago when I took a few extra streets to get home after choir practice, just so I could listen to a song I liked on the radio. As providence would have it, I drove past a house that had just been moved out of, with piles of junk at the curb, waiting for the trash men.

My mother's spirit entered my body (despite the fact that she's alive and quite well, thank you) and forced me to slow down. I saw something amazing there on the curb and raced home to get the stroller out of the car and breathlessly tell my confused husband that I'd found a treasure and would be right back. And then my mother's spirit made me do the unthinkable: I drove back to that house; pulled over; stopped; got out; raised the hatch on the back of my station wagon; and there, in the dark, hoisted no less than 50 pounds of abandoned mirrors into my car.

I drove the short distance home with a huge grin on my face and my heart pounding. For me, other people's trash (literally) is often my treasure. I couldn't believe somebody would throw these gems away, because I instantly knew what to do with the two smaller mirrors. The huge, heavy one is still in my garage, untouched. I think these must've gone on top of a dresser. Beats me why they were thrown out.

The two side mirrors, plain and with an oh-so-80s discount furniture store patina. But they're HEAVY, so they're real wood. They also have sweet beveled edges on the glass.

I started by using newspaper and painter's tape to protect the glass. This was by far the longest and most tedious part of the whole process.

Then I got out a cheap girl's best friend: black spray paint. I don't live at Morticia Addams' address, so these certainly weren't going to stay black. But I needed a base color, so I let these dry until the next day.

And then, be still my shabby heart, I spray painted them white. I could barely stand the nearly 24-hour wait to make sure the black coat was dry.

Here's where several steps are missing, because I get excited about these things and forget to take pictures. I let the white paint dry for about 45-ish minutes, until it was nearly dry but still a bit tacky to the touch. I went to town on it with some heavy-duty sandpaper. I attacked all the edges and the corners and it really did end up looking like an old piece of furniture that's been moved around and beat up and loved for years.

I waited two long, torturous days for them to dry completely, and then! THEN! Here's what I did with them!

Pretend there's no pumpkin there and that I didn't take these photos back in the fall. (Oh, here's a tip: the pumpkin got lost in the bottom of the compote dish, so I gave it some height by standing it up on top of a baby bottle cap. Fancy.)

Scruffy, shabby corners!

I like to pretend these beauties' former owner is reading, all sad she threw them away and didn't see their potential. Sorry, sucka! They're mine now!

Kidding, kidding.

My mom paid them a high compliment and said they look like they belong there. She should know, since it was her conniving spirit that forced me to dig them out of the trash in the first place.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Are we sure we know what's in the bottle?

I had to get antibiotic and cough syrup prescriptions filled for Bear this afternoon. He's got a sinus infection and a cough bordering on bronchitis, though you'd never know it from his energy level. I swear the liquid is laced with speed.

Anyway, this instills loads of confidence, no?

Whatcha got cookin'

What did I get up to on Valentine's Day? Cupcake baking!

If the way to a man's heart is indeed through his stomach, then my man's heart is made out of all things cherry. (That made better sense in my head). He LOVES anything cherry-flavored, and these preserves, from a nearby fruit and veggie stand, do not disappoint.

Doesn't that batter look great? I had to remind myself that it contained three raw eggs and wasn't really good for me to eat raw. Boo.

OH YES I DID. I stole this idea from the awesome Jen Lancaster, who stole it from Martha Stewart. Martha probably stole it from somebody else.

I'm pretending to put a spoonful of preserves in my mouth, but it looks like I'm kissing them. I promise I did neither.

It's blurry because it was time to EAT. Mmm, these were yummy. The preserves all ended up on the bottom of the cupcakes, stuck to the papers, so next time I think I'll let them bake a little while before adding the preserves. Still, they're delish! (I don't have a recipe to offer, because any old fool can figure out how to work a Duncan Hines cake mix and Betty Crocker frosting. Ahem.)

Stains approves!

So, what'd you do for your sweetie on the big day?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wanna be startin' somethin'

I'm listening to my son beat on the kitchen window while my husband corrupts him with some kind of techno version of a Michael Jackson song on the TV's music channels. If that doesn't say love and romance on Valentine's Day, I don't know what does.

Actually, that's okay. That's how we roll around here. It's an overcast and chilly day out there, so it's fun to be inside with my favorite fellas, one of whom is not Michael Jackson.

(In case you're wondering, and I'm sure you're not, the rest of the word LOVE is spelled out up there on my mantle. Unfinished letters from Hobby Lobby, scrapbook paper, Mod Podge and an X-Acto knife. Voila.)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This is what it's about...

My fellas went out of town today to visit the in-laws and give me an entire day to myself. This is the first day I've had alone since the Bear was born 14 months ago, so this is also the longest I've ever been away from him. I miss them both fiercely. They'll be back tonight, and there will be much hugging and smooshing (kissing) and cuddling.

Yesterday Bear and I met two dear friends and their daughters for lunch and playtime at the park. It's been unseasonably warm, even for Mississippi. For two days we had glorious sunshine and temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Today it's back to rainy, grey and 45. Bear loved the park. He loved the sand at the swings, going down the slide, playing ball with his friends, gathering up pinecones, and touching the soft - if a bit dead - grass. Spring and summer are going to be so fun with a curious toddler who's definitely all boy!

I love this picture of him and had to share it. This is what life is all about: exploring God's beautiful creation with joy and abandon, with the sun shining down on you and the ones you love most close by. Life is good.