This is actually happening..

The Supreme Court in London yesterday ruled against the Scottish “named person law.”  This law, which was scheduled to take effect August 31st, would assign a teacher, “health visitor,” or other official to every single Scottish baby at birth…to “ENSURE their well-being”  until they reach adulthood.

Just think of it as your child’s very own governmental ‘fairy Godmonitor.’

fgm2

Golly, when I left the hospital with my babies, I was happy to get 3 free diapers!

Even though the Supreme Court put the law on hold, it clarified that the idea is coming from a ‘good place’ and has given the Scottish government 42 days to amend the law to address citizens’ privacy concerns. Education Secretary John Swinney said they would make changes to “provide greater clarity” about “information-sharing.”

(Yeah, that makes it all so much better…)

Can you even imagine what it would be like having representatives of the government personally involved in raising your child?

fgm

 

What could POSSIBLY go wrong here..?

heart

And for the love of liberty- what’s next, “marriage minders?”

 

.

.

photocredit:jardinprimario.blogspot.com,www.playbuzz.com,www.keyword-suggestions.com

 

 

 

 

 

The Summer of George & Elvis

 

el

New Jersey was surely the greatest place on earth, and in the summer of 1977 my Uncle George and Aunt Marge escorted me to the US for a visit I will never forget.

I got to stay with them in their modest, one story, brick home in Atco; a name that reminded me of those awesome contraptions they sold on the television for $9.99. Actually the name was derived from the Atlantic Transport Company which set up shop in that area in the early 1900s.

I watched a lot of American TV that summer : cartoons and talk shows, some creepy clown with huge shoes and a preacher who touched people and made them fall on the floor.

70

I couldn’t get enough.

My uncle and I would sit in his darkened, air conditioned TV room eating juicy watermelon off metal folding trays and laugh at all the shows. Sometimes he’d set up his movie projector and we’d watch old family films as well.

My uncle and I worked in his massive vegetable garden every single morning.  He’d set up a table in his front yard near the road and pile the extra produce onto it.  Neighbors would help themselves to this bounty throughout the day.  I spent the entire summer eating bushels of fresh, sweet corn and warm, red beefsteak tomatoes that I’d pluck right off the vine. Nothing in my life has ever tasted as good.

My uncle and aunt had three, tall and active sons constantly going in and out of the house. Once, when they were all home together, they got into their SEARS above ground pool and started walking clockwise in the water to create a huge whirlpool. I got to jump into the middle right as it was at ‘peak swirl.’ It was awesome!

I was the cousin from far away that nobody ever got to see, so I was treated kinda special.

pool

Elvis died that later that summer.  I heard it announced on the radio as I sat at the kitchen table counting all the fruit on Aunt Marge’s wallpaper.  I was surprised how much she cried and cared.

I really didn’t know much about  Elvis.  The only big, sweaty, singing man in a jumpsuit that I cared about was the one I could see through the sunny window that morning; the small town guy with the huge heart who shared his love for “growing things” with all who slowed down enough to receive it.

 

bud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

.photocredit:www.pinterest.com,www.pinterest.com,www.downvids.net,Sonya Myers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advice for Life

If I wrote a book and did nothing but list advice for life, it would have to include the following:

Don’t get out of your car if you’re driving through the tiger section of a wildlife preserve.

It’s hard to watch, but there is actual video on CNN.com today of a woman at the Badaling Wildlife World animal park near Beijing doing exactly that.  Seems she got into an argument with someone else in the car and decided the only answer was to get out of the vehicle and change seats-immediately-regardless of the fact that they were basically  smack-dab in the middle of a safari.

tiger

 

Before she could get back into the car, a huge tiger comes out of nowhere and snatches her away like a rag doll. Two of the horrified passengers in the car jump out to her aid; one of them is subsequently killed by a second tiger.

Advice for life?

Anger is blinding. Don’t make any rash or impulsive decisions when you are caught up in a swirl of raw emotion. Give it a few minutes.. or a day.. or a week .. or whatever time is needed for the air to clear so you can see well enough to make smart choices that won’t do damage to yourself – or others.

And oh yeah, don’t be one of those “I’ll show you” types who believes they can make a point more dramatically by putting themselves at risk.  This woman may have thought she was making a big statement about how angry she was by flippantly and purposely exposing herself to danger, but in the end- she exposed everyone to it.. and someone else paid the ultimate price for her recklessness.

anger

 

Photocredit:www.maxxgraphix.co

 

 

 

Life in the Fast-Pass Lane

You’re standing in an endless line waiting for your turn on the Dumbo ride. It’s high noon in Orlando, Florida – mid-sweltering July. It’s been an hour and twenty seven minutes of hell-fire scorching agony and just when you think things couldn’t get worse, your 5 year old looks up at you from where he’s wrapped around your leg like a sweaty boa constrictor and with his cotton candy lips informs you that he’s gotta “go.”

Hey, don’t be embarrassed by your emotions..Disney can bring out it’s own unique version of the “dark side.”

dum

To add insult to injury, you’ve probably been watching guests with “fast passes” zip right on by the long lines and jump onto the same rides you’re waiting an eternity for. You are starting to rethink the wisdom of not forking over the extra dough for these front of the line special privileges.

fp

Oh well, no one to be mad at but yourself.

At least you knew the pass was available and you had the choice to buy one.

Contrast this to our politicians who seem to LIVE in the “fast pass lane.”

Whether it’s the head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, asking for seven (!!) tickets to see Hamilton for a girl’s night out, hob-knobbing with celebs, “free” trips and meals, private jets and sporting events..

ham

or even more concerning, the “get out of jail” pass that our public servants are able to use to get themselves out of seemingly ANY trouble..right before they either quietly retire (Lois Lerner) to a full buffet of benefits..or..

run for president..

card

I mean seriously, ever wonder why these folks never want to give it up unless their backs are against the wall?

hill

Perks and passes folks… perks and passes.

mc
John McCain-running again at age 80

When it comes to our political class, it’s not just two sets of rules, it’s quite literally two different lanes.

And let me tell you, for the average American sitting in the heat and smog of a backed up, backwards, back-logged system, nothing makes them angrier than watching these politicians whiz on by.

la

 

Photocredit:www.dadsguidetowdw.com,www.disneybymark.com,www.smh.com.au,www.wired.com,santamonicacentric.com,www.neatorama.com,www.whatdoesitmean.com

 

 

 

The long awaited bathroom remodel is finished!! (No, not ours.)

There are some questions a mother just shouldn’t ask..like:

“What do you mean you brought that bath tub home all by yourself?”

and

 “Is it true that you and dad were cutting tile with a wet saw at 1 am?”

You especially don’t ask if you’re fingering your prayer beads in a house in North Carolina  and your ‘kid’ is working on his house all the way in St. Louis, Missouri.

At some point you gotta let go..

This bathtub remodel has been in the works for a long time. My son and his wife bought a lovely town home when they moved to St. Louis two years ago and, like is so often the case, it seems the previous residents ran out of cash right at the threshold of the master bathroom. The rest of their unit is beautifully appointed with dark hardwood floors, a gorgeous, white kitchen with stainless steel appliances and a large farmhouse sink that overlooks their private patio area.

(Did I mention there’s a fireplace..IN the kitchen?)

So yeah, it’s a beauty..which made it especially hard to understand the condition of the bathroom upstairs.. My son and his wife knew they’d need to eventually address this problem, especially their decrepit bathtub, which was starting to show signs of not only increasing general ugliness but serious wear and tear.

The pictures below tell the story. Notice how low the tiles on the wall were set.

Yeah, it was gross and rusty and very old.

BEFORE:

My son did demolition on his own and also purchased and staged all of the needed tile and tools in anticipation of my husband flying out there for a long, post July 4th, week-end to help with the actual construction.

DEMO & CONSTRUCTION:

Choosing the right color tile was no small issue as they were trying to match the existing, but discontinued, tile on the floor. The final choice was a 4 X 16, very decently priced, almost taupe colored product from their local tile shop.  It was complimented with a light gray grout. My son also picked out a contrasting mosaic to blend in with the black counter top the previous owner installed that is located directly across from the shower. The chrome shower system is Hansgrohe, and I’m not sure.. but I think the half shower door is from Home Depot.  These doors are very popular right now.

AFTER:

bm10

Instead of installing bullnose tile pieces, my husband and son used a thin, tile edging  called a shluter. These are available at Home Depot and are a much cheaper and more modern alternative to bullnose tile.

sh

bm12

You can see in the picture below that they also took the tile all the way up to the ceiling. They weren’t initially going to do that because the ceiling isn’t perfect against the wall, but it was clearly the right choice and made the shower feel even that much more spacious.

bm14

When I picked my exhausted husband up at the Charlotte airport after returning from Missouri he had bloodshot eyes, a beard starting to sprout and basically looked like the Gorton’s fisherman coming home from a sail straight through the Bermuda Triangle. I guess that’s what happens when you squeeze 6 days of work into 4, pull a final all nighter and slightly underestimate the number of unanticipated problems.

storm
“What do you mean the tub won’t fit?!”

He had already texted me from the luggage pick up zone while he waited for his suitcase full of tools to arrive: “I will pay whatever I have to for someone else to do our bathroom tile.”

HAHA.

Yeah..we’ll see.

 If laying tile is like giving birth, he will eventually forget the pain. But these guys really  did do a great job, and I am very proud of them both. I’m proud of my son for having the temerity to take on a project so far out of his comfort zone with precious little free time available to plan and actually do it, and I’m proud of my husband for being willing to help with another bathroom project while he’s still knee-deep in our own. Honorable mention must also be bestowed upon my son’s wife who had to try and sleep through all the daytime construction noise as she was working the night shift. 😧

The final product did turn out well and I’m confident that the money my son and his wife spent on this remodel will allow them to sell their home at a higher price once it’s time to move on. You know what they say, the two most important rooms are the kitchen and the master bathroom.  They have those checked off now. 👍

(And yes, my husband and I are still waiting to have our  bathroom floor and shower tile installed…😐)

.

…… Stay tuned.

mb

.

.

photocredit:www.nyrock.com

Fresh Summer Corn Cakes – What a treat!

 

Ripped this recipe out of my August OPRAH magazine while at the beach last week-end. I LOVE summer corn, and the ingredients had me intrigued. These corn cakes are just as delicious as I thought they’d be. Serve with a dollop of salsa or sour cream on top.. add additional finely chopped veggies or spices as you prefer..just make sure they stay moist enough to shape into cakes and fry -Delicious, impressive looking and easy to make ahead and keep warm for a buffet.

 

  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour (I used a bit less)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp paprika (I used some Chipotle powder)
  • pepper to taste
  • 3 cups corn kernels. (I put 5 ears in a pot of water and boiled them for about 6 mins. let them cool, removed kernels.)
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 3 chopped scallions. (I used chopped  green onion)
  • 2 large, beaten eggs
  • About 3 TBSP olive oil- for frying
  • I added finely chopped red pepper, garlic and jalapeño powder.

 

Mix all the ingredients together well with a spatula, adding the egg mixture last and making sure everything is well combined. Texture should be sticky enough to mold into small patties.

Before I placed the cakes on a plate to refrigerate, I dredged each one in a bit of flour, tapping off all the excess. I felt like this created a better seal that would help them keep their shape. I think it also prevented the cheese from melting out when I fried them.

Remove the cakes from fridge about an hour before you cook them so they can come back to room temperature. Fry them gently on Med-low in oil, turning them once when browned.

These cakes are super flavorful if you add enough spice and a bit on the drier side so some kind of topping like salsa is perfect for them!

 

Recipe by Nikki Dinki, author of an intriguing new cookbook entitled: “Meat on the Side”

CAUTION- Sharp Claws!

One of the great things about going to the beach is reading. I stuff a stack of magazines into a big bag, drag them to my towel draped ‘chaise’ and immerse myself in a sea of creative recipes, the latest fashion trends and of course, self-help tips.

The number of magazines we receive at our house is slowly starting to dwindle to a manageable number after a period of complete inundation-thanks to my husband’s frequent flier miles. Magazines are actually no fun if you get too many of them, and at some point, they all seem to cover the same stuff.

Example A – I took this picture at the nail salon:

mag

No wonder so many women have issues with their physical appearance..look at all these issues featuring perfect bodies! 😟

Two magazines I actually do enjoy reading are OPRAH and REAL SIMPLE. This past edition of Oprah had a terrific article about how well-meaning people can keep each other down.

The author started out with a fascinating illustration. I guess if there are a bunch of crabs in a bucket and one crab tries to climb out, the other crabs instinctively grab onto it and  pull it back down. (How sad!!-I did not know that, did you?)

crab1

Anyway, this example was used to illustrate how our family, friends and co-wrokers can sabotage our plans and goals because they are threatened by a change in the status-quo.

Ever been the one girl in the office on a diet?

Ever been the one guy who is looking for a better job opportunity?

Ever been the one family member thinking about relocating to a different state?

Watch out for the “crabs” who may try to keep you ‘in your place’..not because they don’t like or love you, but because they simply want things to stay the same

not just in your life,

but more importantly in theirs.

crab

.

.

photocredit:www.filipiknow.net,valuationapp.info