Yes - I am updating!

8/27/2004 05:50:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Ok. So. I have an aunt who has an undiagnosed mysterious illness, which has been progressively getting worse. She even went to the Mayo clinic in Arizona to see if they could help. They thought she could have ALS, which is Lou Gehrig’s disease. Not at all a good diagnosis, but as we find out, it’s also sort of a “catch-all” diagnosis. Sometimes, when the doctors don’t know what’s wrong, they say, “Well, it could be ALS.” And, as of late, she is showing small signs of improvement, which someone with ALS never does. Anyway, the whole point of this is she keeps this blog for her journey back to health, along with my other aunt who is taking care of her. And when I go to read it and they haven’t updated it, I get disappointed because I like to hear what’s going on with them and the family in general. They don’t just post health issues; it’s also become the News Channel of our family. And I always wanted to comment “UPDATE!!!!” when it had been a little while but now that I’m keeping my own little blog, I think I’m more understanding about trying to find the time to “UPDATE!!!!”. I can’t do it at work, although I will post little short ones like the peanut butter thing since it takes about a nanosecond. And once I get home, there’s homework, dinner, showers, lunches, setting stuff out for the next day and finding quality time to be with the kids, then bedtime. Hello – where on this list does blog priority fall? It’s down there on the bottom with cleaning out the refrigerator. So, therefore, I am more sympathetic when it’s been a while since the Auntie’s fill in what’s going on.

And it’s Friday again! This week hasn’t been that bad so even though I always wish for Friday, it’s been a good week, with the exception of my little calamity at the grocery. I was down another 1.75 at weigh-in Wednesday, which makes a total of 31.85 pounds. My jeans are doing a major sag thing in the butt and these are the ones I had to squeeze into before! Ever notice when you lose weight your legs get shorter? Not really, but you pull your pants up over your belly (at least I do – can’t stand those hip hugger things) and when your belly is bigger, your pants go up higher on your ankle. Now that my belly is getting smaller, my jeans are getting longer. Kind of cool, but I thought my legs were really long until I realized it was just my belly was big. Dang.

Mom went to her doctor appointment on Wednesday. And this is what he said. There are three types of glands in the skin. Sweat, oil and wax glands. You sweat when you're hot, obviously, but the skin first secretes oil and wax to keep your skin from shriveling up (or frickling as Sam and Lizzie say) from being wet, as it would in the bathtub. In mom's case, one of the wax glands became clogged and over a period of time (he said a LONG period), the wax became trapped in there with nowhere to go. It eventually became unclogged but at that point the wax was too large to come out but bacteria could get in. And bacteria feeds off of the wax stuff so it became incredibly infected as the bacteria grew. That was the reason for the surgery and now they have to close it from the inside out to keep it from leaving another big hole on the inside susceptible to more infection. The actual term from the pathology report was: a soft tissue, abscess cavity, excision: "Squamous epithelium lined cyst consistent with epidermal inclusion cyst" and "Acute and chronic inflammation". Sections of the abscess cavity showed a cyst lined by squamous epithelium (the tissue that covers the external surface of the body and lines hollow structures) with keratinous debris (dead skin, hair cells). So - basically - she had a big infected abscess on her ass and they've fixed it. (I could've done a much better, simpler pathology report) She goes back next Wednesday and the doctor told her they’d talk about not having to do any more cleaning to it. They had told her previously she had to sit in a warm bath three times a day and then clean it with Hydrogen Peroxide. She has very sensitive skin and her dermatologist had advised against showering more than once every other day so she's developing a secondary problem with her skin since she's been in the tub so much. Now she doesn't have to do that anymore so let's hope we can get her skin back to normal, too. And he has given her the go ahead to be able to go camping as long as she keeps it clean and does the Hydrogen Peroxide thing daily. I told her that means she can't roll around naked in the dirt with Dad. The doctor also said this infection she had was a very serious thing and it could've been fatal! I'm glad she went in when she did.

I woke up this morning at about 4:30 to a strange noise that sounded like somebody sneezed but was trying to cover their mouth, and it came from the hallway. Robbie is already up at this time, so I thought it was him until I noticed he was on the front porch. I thought I was going crazy so I just about went back to bed when I thought I’d check on Lizzie. Lo and behold - she wasn’t in her bed and I couldn’t find her anywhere. She wasn’t downstairs with Sam, she wasn’t in the garage, she wasn’t on the front porch with Robbie and I, once again, started to panic. My first thought was of that little girl who’d been taken in the middle of the night from her bed and her parents never heard from her again. Once again – Robbie to the rescue. She had gotten up to get a drink of water and sneezed in the hallway and heard me get up, thought I would be mad at her and went downstairs in Sams room and hid in the closet. Then seeing how upset I was, she started bawling, I started bawling and everything turned out ok. She took off in the not too distant past while we were camping at the lot and by the time we found her, we had initiated our own sort of “CODE ADAM” at the valley. She decided to go for a walk and then got lost and ended up way on the other side of the valley by lake 2. I have never in my life been as scared as I was that day. Except maybe the night Sam had his major asthma/allergy attack and I couldn’t get him to breathe. Children do this to us. I know now why my mother is silver. I think I earned 40 silver strands, at least, this morning. I also know why animals eat their young.

Well, goodbye, blog. I will update as I can, but remember, my refrigerator is really messy, too, and I'm still working on that priority list.

"What Flavour Am I" Test

8/26/2004 09:03:00 AM Edit This 3 Comments »
So I took this test last night - here's what it said.">What Flavour Are You? I taste like Peanut Butter.I taste like Peanut Butter.

I am one of the most blendable flavours; I go with sweet, I go with sour, I go with bland, I go with anything. I am practical and good company, but have something of a tendency to hang around when I'm not wanted, unaware that my presence is not welcome. What Flavour Are You?

Do I really have a tendency to hang around when I'm not wanted, unaware that my presence is not welcome? It also said if I wasn't Peanut Butter, I was alcohol. I think I like that one better.


8/24/2004 09:47:00 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
Ever wake up in the morning suddenly thinking you're late - when in all actuality you're not - but you rush around anyway and the whole day seems like that until you realize it's 9:30 pm and almost time to go bed and you feel like you haven't stopped since you were rudely awakened by a mistaken sense of being tardy? I hate those kinds of days. Thats the kind of day I have had. Mainly because I hate to grocery shop. I went by to pick up "a few" things after work and, wonder of wonders, they were having a 10 for $10 sale on nearly EVERYTHING in the store so I found about a bazillion things that I needed which of course, I didn't need before I entered the wonderland of mass propoganda. Ok - so why exactly do I NEED 10 bottles of ketchup? And instead of spending $1.99 on one bottle, I spent $10 on 10! Yes, it's a great deal, but when you're also dealing with limited storage space, the money I saved is spent on Ibuprofen. So, of course, I spent more time in the grocery store than I wanted. And it never fails that no matter what check-out aisle I decide to patronize, the lady in front of me either has a big issue with paying 17 cents more than what the sign says or, in today's case, the lady was paying by some sort of government funds and spent $174.00. Not a problem in the least, but apparently the highest denominator of these government funds was $5.00 and she had to tear out and sign 35 of these things. And then the check-out lady had no idea what buttons to push on the computer thing so we had to have "Management to lane 4 please!" By the time I was done, I figured I'd just stop by the pharmacy and see if I could steal a prescription for high blood pressure.

Mom is doing much better. Her spirits seem to be lifting as her wound heals. She has a follow-up visit with her physician tomorrow and I'll be meeting her there since I've technically been her home-health care nurse. Besides, she may need more moral support than my dad. He tries really hard, he really does, but I think he daydreams alot, which makes him not very observant when it comes to seeing the signs of an impending emotional breakdown. But he's really been great through this whole ordeal with mom. I just hope she gets well enough to do a little camping before summer is officially over. I bought her some new shampoo today, and then while I was having my little grocery store crisis, I also bought her some new mascara. (It wasn't 10 for $10 but it was a Loreal close-out sale, $2.49 instead of $8.49!) She rarely ever wears make-up so she rarely every buys it, either. I think everything she owns is left over from when her daughters lived there and left the stuff there. I was "gussying" her the other day to make her feel better and her mascara was ookey. (catrina-ism) So, I got her some new. Should make her happy.

Uncle Walter e-mailed me. It was great to hear from him. We kept in good contact for a while some time back but we kind of lost touch. I'm glad we're e-mailing again. It's nice to have a talk with someone who has similar political views and has as much insight as he does. Kind of like talking to my dad. They both have the experiences that are awesome to just sit down and listen to. I think they should both write a book. Hell - if Clinton can do it, I'm sure Uncle Walter and my dad can.

Sam and Lizzie started school today. They both apparently really like their teachers, which is a good thing. Sam did his homework at his new desk. He thought that was "most awesome". Even used his little light. Sam is learning cursive writing and is very excited about it. Lizzie had a phone call from one of her new friends. They want to get together sometime. Dear Lord, it's already starting. At least it was a girl. They both got new shoes over the weekend so it was easy to wake them up this morning. Obviously hard for the world at large to see the relevance there, but anytime my kids get new shoes, all I have to do to roust them out of bed in the morning is lure them with the concept of getting to wear them. Robbie talked with Matt and Drew and their first week at school was good. Drew is going to a technical school, he wants to be a commercial pastry chef. Matthew is doing high school Algebra. He's in 4th grade. Hard to fathom, but I miss the little boogers. Two parents, four children, two dogs, and two turtles in this tiny house made for a cramped summer and I thought it would be good to get back to normal, but it feels kind of empty. Hard to do here.

Robbie is diligently working on my new desk downstairs. We got a great deal on birch wood and it's beautiful. And HUGE. A big L shape, one side is 10' and the other is 8'. Man - lots of room to spread out there. I can't wait until it's finished. It's going to be "most awesome", to use Sam's words.

My eyeballs are slamming shut and my pillow is screaming my name. I'll close with a thought. This is out of the calendar I made for the family, full of quotes, birthdays, and anniversaries and pictures of everyone. "What if the question is not why am I so infrequently the person I want to be but why do I so infrequently want to be the person I am?" That has been on my mind since I first read it. Food for thought. Goodnight blog.

The Ant and The Grasshopper Story:

8/22/2004 11:07:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
OLD VERSION: The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!

MODERN VERSION: The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS AND FOX show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green."

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome." Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Tom Daschle & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Peter Jennings that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share."

Finally, the EEOC drafts the "Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act," retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients. The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Vote Republican


8/21/2004 12:54:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
And we have Matthew and Andrew. Between them all, we are quite a good looking little family. Even Norman, the Bassett. I have to get one of Harley, the Pointer. And Gus, the Red-Eared Slider turtle. And Fred, the Red-Eared Slider baby turtle.

8/21/2004 12:54:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Drew Posted by Hello

8/21/2004 12:54:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Matthew Posted by Hello

I'm a dolt

8/21/2004 12:47:00 AM Edit This 2 Comments »
Ok - had to post a picture of Sam and Lizzie. I realized I had my dog on here, but not my kids. How incredibly awful of me. You do have to admit though, all three are just darling.

8/21/2004 12:18:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Sam & Liz Posted by Hello

Halleluia - it is Friday!

8/20/2004 11:10:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I wish all week long for this day. I start Monday morning about 6:00am (okay, 6:30 after I hit this snooze a few times) longing for Friday at 4:30. I'm wishing my life away, I know, but I can't seem to help it. I did get a bonus today for a life policy and a group policy I sold. So that was good. I made up some of my time for having to take off to go to the ER with Sam when he fell at Tumbledrum. It made for a long day, though.

I took Sam to Meemaw's house this morning. He wanted to hang out with them today. I am also helping mom out with her wound, being like home health care. I was worried I wouldn't be able to do it at first but I learned alot about myself during the week mom and I were bedbound in the hospital. I'm not as weak stomached as I thought. When the necessity calls for it, I apparently do pretty good. And I think I've realized my true calling is to be a nurse, actually it always has been. That is all I wanted to do during my teenage years and then I just decided I didn't want to do that anymore. I heard mom say she thought it was because of Jessie and that her death kind of dashed my dreams. She thinks I decided if the medical profession couldn't help her, I wanted nothing to do with it. I have been wondering ever since if maybe my mom is right. Jessie's death took alot out of me, so why not that too? It's been 16 years. I was only 12 when she was born, 17 when she died. I also think I felt like I never had a right to voice just how much her death affected me because if it was that hard on me, I could not even fathom how hard it was on Stef. My God, it would've killed me. Stef is my sister, Jessie was her daughter, my niece.

Lizzie comes home tomorrow. I can't wait. I think I'll be able to sleep again once all my babies are back in the nest. I did get an anonymous comment on my problem with her being homesick and I think my anonymous commenter is right. The grandparents need to come here to visit Lizzie instead of making her miserable by her having to go there. And they are very understanding people and they care so much for Sam and Lizzie that I'm sure they will be more than happy to comply with that. So - whoever you are, anonymous commenter, thank you for your insight.

I lost another 3/4 of a pound this week. It doesn't sound like much, but my total is 30.1. Weight Watchers is an awesome, awesome program. There are 8 people in my office including me, and because of my enthusiasm and success, 4 others have started weight watchers. Of those 4, two of their mother's have started and one of their sisters. I think Weight Watchers should start giving me a portion of the proceeds. My goal is another 50 or so pounds. I really haven't set a firm goal yet, because I'm taking it one day at a time and I'll decide how far to go when I get there. What I'd really like to be able to do is wear Robbie's jeans. He is a skinny guy who can eat ANYTHING and usually does. He can eat anything and alot of it. Hard being married to someone like that when I can just think about eating a candy bar and I gain 5 pounds from the thought alone.

Well, I thought my boys were sacked once again on the couch but it looks like it's just Robbie that's doing the snoozing. Sam is completely engrossed in a movie about a volcano with Tommy Lee Jones and Ann Heche. I forgot the name of it.

I think the idea of a blog is a pretty good one. It's kind of like keeping a journal but it's open to public opinion and comment, which is fine with me.

I think I'll say goodnight. Until then -


8/19/2004 09:01:00 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
I just looked back over my blog and decided I sound like a right wing Republican and like that's all I talk about. But it's really not. In fact, I'd have to say, quite the opposite. I'm the least political person I know but I guess I was having one of those days where I went philisophical and decided I'd air my deepest political feelings.

My mom is doing much better, which I am glad to say. After her bout in the hospital and her issues with the doctors/nurses, I'm glad she is home. I am also glad I had the opportunity to spend the time with her that I did. She keeps thanking me and dad keeps thanking me like it was a sacrifice and I guess in their eyes it is, but in mine, it was something she would have, or has, done for any of us. Even though she was not feeling well and she had a lot of other issues to deal with, I am grateful that I got to spend as much one-on-one as I did with her. I hope it portrayed to her how very much I love her. I have always known my biggest fan is my mom. Maybe my only fan now that it's become known I'm a "right wing Republican who doesn't use her head", but there's my mom standing behind me saying YOU GO GIRL!

The daycare called from Tumbledrum and Sam had fallen in one of the tube things or something and hurt his foot. They were afraid he'd broken it, but turns out it's just sprained. Right now, he and his dad are sound asleep on the couch. How cute.

Lizzie called me at least 5 times tonight. Poor thing - she's very homesick. She is in North Carolina with her paternal grandparents, who I found out tonight, feel like they've traumatized a 6 year old. She wanted to come home the minute she stepped off the airplane. Tell me how to handle this! I don't want to take them away from their grandparents, and I would never want to take their grandparents away from them, but man, there's only so much a mom can take and I know she's miserable out there. What do I do? Anonymous comments are welcome. Ha Ha. ( Lizzie is my 6 year old daughter whose "biological contributor" walked out on us the day she was born). She and Sam (who is 8) are brother and sister and their paternal grandparents are wonderful to them. The grandparents cannot help the fact their son is a, well, (insert expletive here). Sam and Lizzie have been adopted by their stepfather who loves them more than they've ever dreamed of being loved by a father.


Now that my ramblings are done I guess I better put the boys to bed, they are still sacked out on the couch. So - good night for now, blog.

Something to ponder....

8/18/2004 11:18:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Here is an e-mail I received from Michelle today. Thought it was quite interesting!

At about the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution,in the year 1787, Alexander Tyler (a Scottish history professor at TheUniversity of Edinburgh) had this to say about "The Fall of The AthenianRepublic" some 2,000 years prior."A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as apermanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist upuntil the time that voters discover that they can vote themselvesgenerous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, themajority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefitsfrom the public treasury, with the result that every democracy willfinally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followedby a dictatorship.""The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from thebeginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years,these nations always progressed through the following sequence:From Bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage;From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance tocomplacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; Fromdependence back into bondage."Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul,Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the most recentPresidential election:Population of counties won by:Gore=127 millionBush=143 millionSquare miles of land won by:Gore=580,000Bush=2,2427,000States Won ByGore=19Bush=29Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:Gore=13.2Bush=2.1Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush wonwas mostly the land owned by the tax-paying citizens of this greatcountry. Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens living ingovernment-owned tenements and living off government welfare..."Olson believes the U.S. is now somewhere between the "complacency and"apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy; with some40 percent of the nation's population already having reached the"governmental dependency" phase.

8/17/2004 10:39:00 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
Norman - the camping dog Posted by Hello

Bush Quotes

8/17/2004 10:03:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
After the chaos and carnage of September 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers.

America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.

America stands for liberty, for the pursuit of happiness and for the unalienable right for life. This right to life cannot be granted or denied by government because it does not come from government, it comes from the creator of life.

America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.

Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

Everywhere that freedom stirs, let tyrants fear.

For all who love freedom and peace, the world without Saddam Hussein's regime is a better and safer place.

For diplomacy to be effective, words must be credible - and no one can now doubt the word of America.

Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended.

I can hear you, the rest of the world can hear you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.

I understand I'm running against a person who is so anxious to become president, he will do whatever it takes.

If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy or steal an amount of highly enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, [it] could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year.

If you're sick and tired of the politics of cynicism and polls and principles, come and join this campaign.

Leadership to me means duty, honor, country. It means character, and it means listening from time to time.

On September 11 2001, America felt its vulnerability even to threats that gather on the other side of the Earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat from any source that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America.

One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above that which is expected.

Presidents, whether things are good or bad, get the blame. I understand that.

Redefining the role of the United States from enablers to keep the peace to enablers to keep the peace from peacekeepers is going to be an assignment.

Saddam Hussein is a homicidal dictator who is addicted to weapons of mass destruction.

Senator Kerry has been in Washington long enough to take both sides on just about every issue.

Some have argued that confronting the threat from Iraq could detract from the war against terror. To the contrary, confronting the threat posed by Iraq is crucial to winning the war on terror.

Some have argued we should wait, and that's an option. In my view, it's the riskiest of all options, because the longer we wait, the stronger and bolder Saddam Hussein will become.

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

The action we take and the decisions we make in this decade will have consequences far into this century. If America shows weakness and uncertainty, the world will drift toward tragedy. That will not happen on my watch.

The deliberate and deadly attacks which were carried out yesterday against our country were more than acts of terror. They were acts of war.

The momentum of freedom in our world is unmistakable - and it is not carried forward by our power alone. We can trust in that greater power Who guides the unfolding of the years. And in all that is to come, we can know that His purposes are just and true.

The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got.

There can be no peace if our security depends on the will and whims of a ruthless and aggressive dictator. I'm not willing to stake one American life on trusting Saddam Hussein.

There's no bigger task than protecting the homeland of our country.

They said, "You know, this issue doesn't seem to resignate with the people." And I said, you know something? Whether it resignates or not doesn't matter to me, because I stand for doing what's the right thing, and what the right thing is hearing the voices of people who work.

They're for tax cuts and against them. They're for NAFTA and against NAFTA. They're for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act. They're in favor of liberating Iraq, and opposed to it. And that's just one senator from Massachusetts.
This was not an act of terrorism, but it was an act of war.

This way of life is worth defending.

We cannot blame the schools alone for the dismal decline in SAT verbal scores. When our kids come home from school do they pick up a book or do they sit glued to the tube, watching music videos? Parents, don't make the mistake of thinking your kid only learns between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbour them.

When I take action, I'm not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It's going to be decisive.

When you turn your heart and your life over to Christ, when you accept Christ as the savior, it changes your heart.

With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States. And war is what they got.

You can't put democracy and freedom back into a box.

August 17, 2004

8/17/2004 03:53:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I'm doing this blog thinking no one will ever look at it. This way, I don't offend anyone. This is just for my little thoughts and inspirations, beliefs, etc. I've learned there are two things one should never discuss with family, especially if they are not of like minds on the subjects. Politics and religion. Escpecially politics. We are such a diverse family, that it does make for excellent discussion sessions, but I always fear doing irrepairable damage to the relationship so I most times keep my mouth shout. That way I don't stir up the beehive. This war thing in Iraq is really an issue in the family. Dad was in Korea and lifetime military man, straight Republican. Most of the rest of the family is liberal Democrat and I think I'm somewhere in the middle.

While I agree that the deaths and dismemberments and maiming of our soldiers in Iraq are a tragedy beyond description, I also feel that the incredulous acts inflicted upon our country on 9/11 are just as horrible and had we, as a country, taken the proverbial bull by the horns beforehand and willingly gone into another country by force, maybe we could have prevented that terrible day forever etched in everyone's minds.I do understand Saddam Hussein is not behind the 9/11 attacks, but I feel by going into Iraq by choice, we have prevented a future attack on our country in our homeland. I can't help but think if we had acted on the intelligence information ahead of time and prevented 9/11 by forcefully invading Saudi Arabia, the liberal belief at that point would be "Why are we over there, fighting this war, when they've done nothing to us?" And I would have to say - Yet. As I do now. Why are we over there fighting this war when they've done nothing to us? - Yet. I also must remember that our soldiers are there defending our country by choice, as well. By signing up for the military, they know the risks involved and are signing up to defend our country. I'm sure that none want to die for their country, but all know the risks of that happening. If my sons were to sign up at 18, I would be incredibly proud of them following in their Grandfather's footsteps as well as many of the great uncles on both sides. I don't think my dad is any lesser of a person for being a combat soldier, in fact, I feel quite the opposite, he is more of a person. I also think it is Veteran's like him that have fought and defended our country that I must thank for the fact that I speak English and not German, Korean, Japanese or Iraqi and we have the freedom to do as we please inside our luxurious air conditioned homes. I don't think that would be the case had we been passive and insisted upon peaceful means instead of forceful ones. I understand there are times for peace, but there are also times for force. In our day and age, to secure peace is to prepare for war.