Friday, June 27, 2008

From My Cold, Dead Hands

So yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on the interpretation of the Second Amendment. While the interpretation was accurate, the vote was far too close. I for one am tired of liberal tromping trash trials such as this through our courts hoping that some officious judge takes it upon himself to legislate from the bench.

But, for now, I would like to address the second amendment of our US Constitution. The amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

This seems to be a fairly clear and straightforward addition to the Constitution. Our founding fathers had recently fought a war against a tyranical government and were bent on ensuring that should the government they created become out of control, the PEOPLE, that would be you and I could form militias and defend themselves. They clearly state that for a free state to exist, The People must be able to keep and bear arms.

But this amendment says even more than that. It uses the phrase, "A Well Regulated Militia". In the days of the founding fathers, well regulated did not mean monitored by the bureaucracy. It meant proficient. The Fathers stated that the men within the militia needed to be proficient with their firearms, not simply armed. I believe that this is where our country has gone astray.

As a small child, we had guns laying all over our home. I remember rifles propped up between two stools while the finish dried. I remember handguns stuffed between the mattress and the box spring. Most of all, I remember being dragged to the shooting range and being taught how to handle and proficiently shoot handguns and rifles. How many hoodlums and outlaws can say the same?

Now, the argument against the following theory is that you cannot change human nature or force parents to raise their children by your standards. To this I say B*** Sh**. If Switzerland can do it, we can do it. Our Republic is set up in such a way that we could, in theory, require every able bodied man in our Great Nation to take regular proficiency tests in their use of a firearm. This would be a grand solution and would effectively force the older generation to learn and *hopefully* pass their knowledge down. It could be part of high school graduation or required prior to a driver's test. Not a bad idea, considering cars are more dangerous.

If PARENTS in this great country would take the time to learn to shoot and then, and this is by far the most important part, if they would then take time and teach their children from very young ages, so many tragedies could be averted. There would be no curiousity about that box in the closet. There would be far fewer "gangsters" roaming the streets with a piece tucked in their waistband like some badge of honor. If parents would stop selfishly spending their spare hours at bars, clubs, divorce court, or even watching television and instead arm themselves with both knowledge and a suitable weapon to teach their children, we would see fewer broken homes, fewer drive by shootings, and far fewer criminals willing to break into homes and cars and violate women.

After all, when you are hungry, it makes no sense to hunt lions when you are surrounded by sheep. Let us throw off our reputation as a nation of sheep and instead let us become the proud, fierce country that once inspired the world but now draws only ridicule.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

Waking up this morning, I could never have believed what I found as I exited my house. My first rose is in bloom!!! Ladies and Gentleman, I would like to introduce you to "Blaze of Glory". Blaze is a foster child in my garden. I found him at Costco, lonely and alone in the world, save only for his identical twin (who is not as healthy). After living in Costco for more than two months, this little fighter had not succumbed to the lack of water and flourescent lighting as many many of his comrades had done. No, this little guy was growing! Despite being marked down to $5, this plant was producing new leaves and even a bud!

Now I have a soft spot in my heart for tough luck cases and I figured, Heck, if he can survive this kind of neglect, he might be able to survive MY gardening skills. So I brought him home and planted him in the only space available, which happens to be full shade. But when the going gets tough, this climbing rose gets going. I trimmed him back (And sadly cut off that first bud). Within no time I glanced outside and noticed he was covered in buds. There were at least 20 little buds starting on this poor plant. And wouldn't you know, despite the fact that he was considerably less expensive than any other rose in my garden, he was the quickest to blossom.

Now, as I went in the backyard to water my vegetable garden, I noticed that my Brigadoon rose was not to be outdone. She had managed to produce three open blossoms in the night. And I must admit that they smell AMAZING. However, it seems a little petty for her to be so competitive with my poor little orphan. She has been spoiled since she was planted with plenty of nice rotted manure and compost, banana peels, even a little fertilizer. But, this little premadonna demands to have her picture included as well, so here it is.

But, the real glory of my time this year is the vegetable garden. I have never gardened before, so to me, each little seed that grew into something more has been an incredible miracle. How do the cynics justify their claim that there is no God? Have they never planted anything? I know that it was Him who touched each of those seeds and blessed them to grow. My pathetic efforts would never have been enough!!! Despite the fact that I under watered, over watered, added too much fertilizer and then forgot to fertilize again, my plants are doing just what they are supposed to. I have peas on my pea plants, tomatoes on my tomato plants, and green beans on my green bean plants. I have LOTS of blossoms on my zucchini, squash, and pumpkin plants. My raspberries and strawberries are ripening. I can't check on the carrots, so I trust they are doing what they are supposed to.

So, it seems that this little hobby is paying off. I also have many cucumbers and look forward to canning in the fall. I think that the crowning achievement of my garden would be to make and can my own spaghetti sauce (from my own tomatoes, basil, parsley etc), my own
salsa & chutneys(from my own tomatoes & jalapenos), my own pickles, green beans & peas. Hopefully, Thanksgiving will be graced by pumpkin pie made from pumpkins grown in my very own yard! I am even hoping for a batch of raspberry jam from my own raspberries. And when Weston & I go to Oregon in August, hopefully we can pick our own wild blackberries & marionberries for some delicious jam to die for.

They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion;
they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD—
the grain, the new wine and the olive oil,
the young of the flocks and herds.
They will be like a well-watered garden,
and they will sorrow no more.
Jeremiah, 31:12 TNIV

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Eleven Roses

So, we all agree that I am, by far, the most spoiled wife, right? Well, Weston continues to make sure that I can lay my head on the spoiled pillow night after night.

Last week, in an attempt to make me happy, he bought me six red roses from the grocery store. Now, this is a sweet attempt, but I really don't love grocery store flowers. They are small, they never open, and they don't have any smell at all. But, I thanked him profusely, placed them in water and promptly, well, honestly, I forgot about them all together.

But, my darling husband who knows how much I LOVE flowers, noticed on Monday that I had nothing to put as the centerpiece of my dining table. The peonies have all bloomed and faded and my roses are still working on producing buds, so as far as free flowers, I am out of luck. So, considerate and sweet husband that he is, he stopped by the florist and purchased a dozen roses. They are absolutely gorgeous and I know now, for a fact, that I am extremely spoiled.

However, while I was cutting them to place them in the vase, I noticed something a little odd.

"Honey, did you buy a dozen roses?"
"Yes, why?"
"Well, I think that they only gave you eleven."
"Are you Sure? Did you miscount?"

Now, I forgive this questioning of my elementary counting skills due to the fact that I am staring at eleven HUGE blooms. The rest of our discussion was about what the florist did with the other bloom. Is this his way of saving a little extra money in a down economy? Every twelve dozen he sells, he gets to sell one extra that is pure profit? We can't be sure (and neither Weston nor I feel comfortable calling him on shorting us one rose).

The only thing that is truly for sure is that I am the proud owner of nearly a dozen roses and the delighted wife of probably the sweetest man in the world.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

And Life Goes On

So, sometime in the middle of last week (On Callie's First Birthday, in fact) Weston and I became and Uncle and Aunt respectively. Remarkably, nothing changed. Our lives are exactly the same as they were before. I guess I expected to feel something, but no. I found that I was neither happy nor sad. Perhaps it is because the event simply does not affect me at all.

Oh, sure, the gatherings with the in laws are going to be noisier and thus fewer, but other than that, my life remains unchanged.

In more eventful & important news, Callie turned a year old! My darling little puppy is growing up! She is now considered "full grown" and has tipped the scales at a miniscule 41 pounds. Now, on the one hand this is fantastic. She is still small enough that I can pick her up and carry her home. When she is curled up, she fits just right on my lap. I am sure she is grateful that she didn't get so large that she doesn't fit between me and the stove when I am cooking. However, now I get to have the following conversation three times a day every day for the rest of our lives together:

Ignorant Bystander: "Oh, what a cute puppy!!! What kind of dog is it?"

Me: "She's a lab."

IB: "Really? She's so small! How old is she?"

ME: "She's a year old"

IB: "Oh, really? What is she mixed with?"

Me: "She's pure bred, just a little smaller than usual."

IB: "Really? Are you sure? I haven't ever seen a purebred lab that color."

ME: "Yes, she is considered the darkest shade of yellow. Its called fox red."

IB: "Hmm, she looks like she might have some golden retriever and maybe something else mixed in."

ME: "No, she is 100% lab. We have her papers."

IB: "Hmm, well, ok.......?" (IB Walks away thinking I am dumber than a sack of rocks. I walk away wishing I had a sack of rocks to hit IB with)

Well, I suppose that is the price that must be paid for having the absolutely most adorable dog in the world. To all those who read, let this be a lesson to you. Dogs are cuter than babies. Except my babies, which will (of course) be cuter than any dog you might stumble across. However, puppies will trump all babies every time. Sorry, but that is life.