Friday, June 28, 2013

Small Victories; Big Defeats

Wingnut and I firmly believe in political engagement. It is the only way to protect our rights and our way of life in this country. We even do our very best to stay abreast of local politics and vote in even the primaries and off season elections.

This last week our county had a single ballot issue come to the polls. Our county board was pushing for a levy to be passed that would raise our property taxes just a tad, but raise them nevertheless. The revenue raised would go to hiring more teachers in our "overcrowded schools". Isn't that always the argument? Don't get me wrong, I love teachers, but I despise the NEA, who is always behind this nonsense. Our county is one of only seven counties in Utah that has never had a levy pass. Our county is also the highest taxed county in Utah. We definitely did not want this ballot measure to pass.  Wingnut and I even persuaded our newly registered Utah voter, Karate Kid, to vote on the issue.  Ya know, the county turned out like gang busters to vote on Tuesday and the measure was defeated handily 2:1--which meant a win for our side. It was quite a satisfying little victory.

Our celebration was short lived once the Supreme Court had its day of decisions.  As a Catholic Christian it was completely disheartening to see traditional marriage take such a huge beating at the hands of the court. Unfortunately, this is the direction our country is taking and I do not foresee a return to traditional values in the near future.  We have chosen immorality over Godly values.  Even worse, morality is not even part of the discussion.  A dear friend posted this excerpt from an article on The Remnant that I feel nails the disappointment right on the head:

The saddest part about the decision, however, is the dissenting opinions of the Catholics on the Court, who although they would have upheld the Defense of Marriage Act do so using liberal principles. They would uphold the law not because it is a restatement of the immutable Natural Law, but rather because it is the “will of the People”.

Whether the government should bestow the rights and benefits of marriage on non-marriages is not for them an issue of truth and justice but merely a choice to be left up to the “political branches.” Justice Scalia, for example, dissents out of his conviction that the people should decide whether or not to deny reality, violate the principle of non-contradiction and declare that which is not a marriage to be a marriage. He writes: “We might have covered ourselves with honor today, by promising all sides of this debate that it was theirs to settle and that we would respect their resolution. We might have let the People decide.” All hail the “divine” revelation of the god of the People. The people had spoken in DOMA and therefore, according to Scalia, the cause is closed.


I don't know when or why the morality of an issue became a forbidden topic for discussion.  I have a feeling we are afraid of harshing someone's buzz by proclaiming the Truth.  When did we become so timid and where do we reclaim our courage?
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Violated

If you are an active follower of the news, you may have heard about a shooting that occurred during Mass in an Ogden parish.  Saint James the Just is in fact our home parish, fortunately our family was not there during the shooting, and we did not know the family involved.  We followed the story closely, prayed, and worried for our priest, our friends, and the Evans family, all of whom were indeed affected by the violent act. Otherwise,  I had felt pretty removed from the whole thing until we went to Mass this last Sunday.  As we walked into the sanctuary there were three full pews missing.  They had been sent out to be reupholstered.  It was disconcerting, to say the least.  It was then I realized our parish, our sanctuary had been violated.  It was then I realized how deeply those who witnessed the horror of the previous Sunday had their peace violated, and here they were once more, undaunted, and ready to celebrate the Mass in this sacred space.  Evil could hold no sway over our parish.

Our priest gave an awesome homily on Sunday.  You can read it in it's written form here on his blog, but delivered personally it held that much more power and conviction.  Jim Evans is home and recovering as well as can be expected.  His attacker is in jail, awaiting trial and man's judgement.  Our parish community is deeply wounded but not defeated.  Please keep the Evans family, Father Erik, and our parish family in your prayers. Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, June 24, 2013

45



It's my birthday today and I really don't feel 45; at least not in my head.  My body sure is telling me I'm 45.  As I get older I find I'm more thankful each year for the gift of life.  Thanks mom and dad.  Life is a beautiful gift. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, June 20, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} 6/20

round button chicken





{pretty}


The view on our nightly walks.  Everything is so lush and green right now.


{happy}


bugs



wrestling




brothers


baseball mitts




even when we don't know what they are for




catch with dad







finally making catches.  Summer is made for little boys.


{funny or naughty}



As much as Lil' Lamb loves to help water the garden,





he loves spraying us with the hose even more.  Look at the impy grin on his face.




I've learned to stand back just far enough to avoid his spray.





 {real}


This was one of our weed patches.  Now that it is basically clear, we need to decide what should go there.  I'm thinking of filling in part of this area with river rock and then Skoshi A wants to plant a butterfly/hummingbird garden with Utah tolerant perennials.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Greek Roasted Chicken Pitas




Greek Roasted Chicken Pitas
(Makes 8)

For the chicken:

4 bone in, skin on, split chicken breasts (you could use boneless, skinless breasts but would need to adjust cooking temp and time and the chicken would not be nearly as juicy or flavorful)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
grated zest of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place breasts skin side up on a broiler pan.  In a bowl stir together remaining ingredients and then rub each chicken breast evenly with the oil mixture.  Roast in the oven for one hour.  Allow to cool enough to handle.  Remove meat from the bones and slice or shred.

For the sandwiches:
Serve in homemade or store bought pocketless pita.  We make our own using this recipe.  It is worth the little extra effort to have fresh made pita.  Top with sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, sliced red onion, Tzatziki sauce (I have tons of fresh mint growing in my herb garden and so I use it instead of dill for my Tzatziki) and crumbled feta or goat cheese
 .  For my little guys and big guy with milk allergies, instead of the Tzatziki sauce I made a second recipe of the oil mixture I rubbed on the chicken before it was baked and drizzled it over their finished pita sandwiches. Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Garden

Because of our elevation and the fact that we live nestled in a bowl surrounded by mountains, our growing season is late and short.  I got the last of the garden in just today as my Maryland friends are already harvesting their early summer produce.


We bought fairly decent sized plants for our tomatoes and peppers but planted seeds for most everything else.


Here is the full view of the garden.  This is only about 1/4 the size we hope to have it in years to come. It has taken me the better part of the spring to weed this much of the bed.  As we build our compost and mulch layers the weeding will not be nearly so time consuming but it is indeed a major work in progress.



Peas and cucumbers occupy one planting box




Our lettuce and spinach look pretty sparse.  I may have planted those seeds too early. I just re-sowed another crop.



 I'm trying our these grow bags for potatoes.  Each bag should yield 30 lbs of potatoes.




Chili pepper


JalapeƱo peppers



 Onions


 Tomatoes--4 different varieties.
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

{P, H, F, R} June 13

round button chicken

{Pretty}


Our dear friend and the JP's godmother got married last weekend.  We made the trip all the way to OKC for the celebration.  She was absolutely beautiful, radiant, and joyous.  




One of my pretty daughters heard there was a daddy/daughter dance number at the wedding.  She kept dropping hints that she wanted to dance with Wingnut and then she acted all shocked and coy when he asked her to dance.  It was really sweet.  Lil' Lamb insisted on joining in.



{Happy}


The brides family hosted an after party on the night after the wedding on their beautiful ranch south of OKC.  They roasted a whole pig and served it up with all the southwestern fixings.  After dark they brought out about 500 sparklers for the 30 or more children at the party.  The kids had a blast.  500 sparklers lasted all of about 5 minutes.













{Funny}



These are our children and a couple neighborhood kids dressed up in costume and hiking the hillside to their film site.  They are filming their own version of The Lord of the Rings as a summer project.


{Real}


While in OKC we went with old friends to the Alfred P. Murrah Bombing Memorial. We were stationed at Tinker AFB the day of the bombing.  Wingnut and I will never forget where we were on that day.  This is the survivor tree.



 Along the reflecting pool.





We lost our friend Julie Marie Welch that day.  She and her boyfriend had just been to our house for dinner days before the bombing.  She was a lovely girl, just 23 years old, and worked in the Social Security Administration offices.  She was found intact and wearing her brown scapular.  Requiescat in pace.






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