? ??????????????????? ????Easy Install Instructions:???1. Copy the Code??2. Log in to your Blogger account
and go to "Manage Layout" from the Blogger Dashboard??3. Click on the "Edit HTML" tab.??4. Delete the code already in the "Edit Template" box and paste the new code in.??5. Click "S BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND TWITTER BACKGROUNDS ?



In the decade of the 90s we really began to know what the definition of terrorism was. Terrorist groups were crawling out of the woodwork, becoming more sophisticated and shouting their hatred of the United States to the heavens. Perhaps the scary thing about it was that they in no way tried to be sneaky or keep their feelings for themselves.

Al Qaeda took over Afghanistan and turned it into their personal playground of terrorism apparently while our own government apparently rocked back and watch to see what was next on their agenda while there were attacks on American interests and our citizens. At this time Bill Clinton was president so the Republicans were blaming him for the problem. Never mind that from 1995 on the Congress was Republican-controlled and handled (or didn’t?) things in the same way. Another odd fact of that was that during the entire presidential campaign during the year 2000 neither of the candidates seem to find it advantageous to bring up the tide of terrorism that was rising ever higher.

Am I the only one that sees a similarity in our government's lack of response to the threat of terrorism as well as to the energy crisis? I'm not talking about a lack of energy resources. Indeed we are told that energy resources are rather plentiful and that the United States has enough coal for the next 100 years.

What I'm referring to is the fact that our planet possibly can not survive another 100 years using coal and oil as our primary energy resources. The reason I believe that high gas prices might be a good thing is that it will prevent further resistance to the avoidance of conservation. We need to develop new energy sources as well as to practice conservation of our current energy resources.

Perhaps with these high prices creative individuals will be given funding from major corporations in response to the need to develop new sources not because they are philanthropic but because they see the opportunity to make a large profit. It's my opinion that if oil prices were to stay at sky high levels might actually prevent a true crisis. These are thoughts that crossed my mind last night after a mind blowing trip to the gas pump. After I thought it over I reconciled myself to the fact that higher gas prices might prevent a few of those last-minute trips that are unnecessary and indeed might serve to make better planners of us all. Then this morning the reports are out that inventories are up and the prices of a barrel of oil began falling. It seems that I can't get used to one scenario before another unfolds.



In the area where we are spending the summer (we have to travel hither and yon for dear husband’s work) nobody seems to recycle anything unless you count the large deposits of fast food cartons and boxes that I see thrown onto the sides of the roads to biodegrade. There are no recycling receptacles in public areas and no separate bins for household trash whatsoever.

When I asked some of the locals where to put the recyclables they looked at me like I was from Mars and then looked at each other with an almost imperceptible nod and a wink to acknowledge to each other that “She’s not from around here.” I almost wanted to scream at them that while I might be a temporary transplant from another part of the country that they should wake up and realize that while each area might have its own unique culture (or lack of) that we are all part of the same planet.

In the face of this frustration, you can imagine how beautifully it kicked off my day to see that a news program will air this evening regarding how foreign countries are considerate enough to be taking garbage off the hands of the United States of America. I don’t have time to do in depth research on the subject but have read some excellent books by those that do track the “American Garbage Trail” that were very interesting. One was Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash by Elizabeth Royte who was surprisingly non-judgmental of non-recyclers as she states the pros and cons of the practice. I especially found the section on the New York waste-water treatment plants riveting. Gross facts on waste water for enquiring minds who just want to know and then might wish they didn’t.

What I would love to hear more about is why foreigners can find it profitable to buy our waste and pay the expensive cost for transportation in order to ship it overseas for recycling and yet we as a nation can’t find a way to skip the fee for transport and do it ourselves. What is the deal? Could someone please explain the economics or environmental reasons that our garbage is traveling so far from home?


When Birth Control Becomes an Environmental Problem

There is a path in the park by a lake where I like to take my children strolling every day that we are in the area. It's a lovely place to teach them about nature and we have managed to take some fabulous pictures of owls, redheaded woodpeckers and most magnificent of all of our birding efforts was the day that we saw a bald eagle perched in a treetop no more than 20 feet above our heads.

This is a wonderful, wild and wooded area where we can watch people catch fish, do some bird watching and get our exercise with the children. It's a rare day when the weather is so poor that it keeps us from enjoying our daily walks on one of our favorite paths. Last December as we were strolling along something caught my eye about a foot to the side of the nature trail. As we drew closer it became crystal clear that someone had been enjoying our favorite place to observe nature and all its wonder to experience a little something more adventurous.

To put it bluntly, what lay directly ahead and that my oldest daughter almost stepped on was a neon yellow condom that from all appearances had been used. While I’m no prude I also don’t like to dodge people’s used personal products when out for a walk with my kids. Whether it’s chewed bubble gum, women’s sanitary products or a q-tip; I would rather not have contact.

Getting back to the issue, after the stroller and my toddler moved ahead a bit I nudged the condom off the trail and under some leaves. That prophylactic sighting took place in late December and yesterday afternoon after a strong rain came through the area guess what? The bright yellow condom resurfaced. It was dirtier, partially ripped away from the top, but in the same place. Here it is almost July and I know that it’s been lying there covered in leaves, has gone through one of the wettest seasons that we’ve had in quite a while and yet shows no signs of deterioration. Pardon me for the pointing out in a rather graphic manner that this condom is just one of the millions that have been thrown out the car window, flushed down the toilet or put into the trash in seven months. Along with all of the other environmental problems we have to deal with; I wonder if are going to wait until the ozone is gone and the garbage is on our doorsteps before we do something about it? Is there such a thing as a recyclable condom?



Our household is sad today. You might not think that the fact that Bo Diddley died would cast a pall of mourning over a four year old girl's day, but it most certainly has. But she's no average child, she practically did her teething on the neck of a guitar and she didn't have your run of the mill baby girl nursery theme her nursery was decorated with guitars on the walls and whole and half notes on every possible surface.

The reason for the musical obsession is that my husband is a musician (and a darn good one if I do say so). His dad loved really good guitar and exposed him to the great players. I have nothing against some of the modern players and enjoy listening to some. But anyone who knows squat about guitar knows that if you want to be any kind of a player you have go back to the roots to get to the good stuff. Jimi Hendrix knew it; Eric Clapton knows it and look where it got them. They were smart enough to know that the music that came out of the heart of Mississippi had the best beat. Each guitar god that followed has added a new layer; most are smart enough not to say they improved the original sound and to pay homage to the true stars like Bo Diddley who came before them and gave them the tools of the trade.

I'm very proud that our little girl who knew the words to "Who Do You Love" and "Hey Bo Diddley" before she was three years. But it hurts to see her be so down because she was so connected to the old blues musician and feels the loss so keenly that music lovers all over the world have suffered on this day. She knows in her soul that there aren't any more Bo Diddley's to replace this one that's gone.

I need to find some way to turn this into a learning experience for my grieving daughter. Maybe the right words to tell her that while another of the original blues guys have joined the band in Heaven will come to me in time. This girl might not ever play the first note or become a musician, but she certainly has the sensitivity and the soul of one.



First the tennis moms, now the soccer moms are getting cliquish attitudes. I make no bones about the fact that I'm too darn tired to worry every minute about fashion trends and making a personal statement thereof. I have three baby girls whose appearance says more about me than my own. I know that makes me sound codependent as all get out, but it's just a matter of pride that my girls all leave the house and look clean and well dressed for a few minutes, anyway.

Yesterday the trio and I went to a friend's birthday party at the lake. I knew as soon as I pulled into the parking lot that I was a fish out of water. I have a small SUV, (a Honda CRV to be exact) and have at times felt guilty that I didn't get a hybrid car that would get better gas mileage. In exchange for some inconvenience in stowing gear and loading and unloading children you feel better about your contribution to environmental causes. The parking lot at this party should have done away with my feelings of guilt in spades; it was filled with the biggest trucks that are sold like the Hummer, Yukon and Tahoe.

It became obvious pretty soon after our arrival that the guest list was heavy on soccer moms and their kids. Some of the kids even had on their team uniforms and were bumping a soccer ball around with their knees. I couldn't help but wonder about this, because isn't kiddy league baseball in full swing? Maybe baseball or Tee
Ball isn't as attractive to elitists as soccer?

The botox injected faces and the lips full of collagen of the soccer moms didn't bug me; I do my very best to not judge people by their appearances. But the attitudes of these unfriendly women just about made me want to lose my lunch. Amazingly, the kids all did fine but the women around the picnic table were just about to send themselves and me to an early grave with all their self-centered chitchat.

Each one ran over the other's conversation with soccer mom stories about what they had bought lately, where they were going on vacation or how their child was just so much more advanced than the other kids. One thing that struck me was how none of them had a question addressed to the other moms about anything. Everything that rolled out of their mouths sounded like sales pitch that was geared toward raising the asking price for her and her stuff.

When did people become so wrapped up in themselves that they could not care less about anybody else? When my mom used to take me visiting, the objective was to hear what other people were up to in their family. After all, don't we already know all about our own?

If you are a mature soccer mom that doesn't have a haughty attitude, fake breasts and collagen injected lips I would love to hear your side of the story. Usually I don't paint an entire segment of the population with the same brush and tomorrow I will probably have regrets. But today, the activity is rather therapeutic and feels pretty good.

The bad thing is that we have another invitation to a party next week and I'm pretty sure that the same group will be in attendance. So, this may not be the last of my soccer mom stories.