July 25, 2006

Does Israel Have PMS?

Does Israel have PMS?
by Janelle Meraz Hooper

This week, I’ve been reminded of a bumper sticker I once saw on a car going down the freeway. It said: I have PMS—and I have a gun.
At least, the woman going down the freeway gave a warning. Where’s Israel’s bumper sticker?
Even worse, this little skirmish in the Middle East is just one of many. Trouble spots abound. The world is so full of hate that it isn’t doing a good job of caring for anything—it’s children, it’s parents, or the planet. Shame on Hezbollah. Shame on Israel. Shame on the warring factions in Iraq. Shame on the rebels of Somalia. Most of all, shame on the United States because, as a world leader, all Bush has done is lead us into war and squander our resources so that we can no longer react to a crisis as it happens. The best we can do is sweep it under the rug until, finally, even the rug explodes...
Here’s an idea for those people planning and executing the killings: stop the insanity and take care of your people. Look at what you've done! Stop it. Stop it now!
By the by…please don’t send me any more emails begging me to pray for the people of Israel. What about the poor people they’re killing, displacing, or making orphans? For that matter, when the two soldiers were kidnapped, there were two Israeli mothers crying. How many are crying now? It’s over a hundred, at last count. How smart is that? In the comic strip Pogo, Walt Kelly once said: “We have met the enemy, and it is us.” Pass out the bumper stickers.

July 21, 2006

A Mom On A Hot Day in Oklahoma

A Mom On A Hot Day
by Janelle Meraz Hooper

I feel like a mom on a hot day in Oklahoma. In my neighborhood, when it was hot and we kids starting fighting with each other, moms would snap, rush out into the backyard, and cut a switch from the willow tree. They would wave it high in every direction until the kids that were not of their loin were banished from whichever direction they had come. Left with only their own, they'd lower the height of their switch, and herd them into the house. The switch would run from side to side of their kids hind ends, playing on their little buttocks like a kid running a stick on a picket fence. Once inside, the kids were bathed, given a snack, and sent to separate corners.

What the Mideast needs is a hot mom with a switch, sending each country to their own corner. They cannot play together in peace. Israel has reacted outrageously and inappropriately. Iran and Syria are busily exporting hate across their borders. Even the Lebanese government waited ten (?) days before it asked the United Nations for help. The rest of the Mideast countries are playing deaf and dumb. What is this? A little summer diversion to replace summer camp? I, for one, am repulsed---and bored. I say, lock the fence, put the dogs in the garage (where it's cool) and let the little buggers go to it. The rest of us, let's go for ice cream!

Okaaay--maybe I'm a little cranky. Just tell me...do they have willow trees in the Mideast?

July 18, 2006

That precious ladle...

7-25-06 Still trying to lad the graphic....

The graphic won't load---I'll try again later.

7-18-06-The above graphic is my name tag from the 4th of July Steilacoom Street Fair. I was in the Northwest Authors booth talking to my readers. If you missed me, I'm scheduled to be at the Proctor Fair, on August 5th, near Starbucks. Look for the Northwest Authors booth.

The Ladle
by Janelle Meraz Hooper

I don’t know why I was washing dishes by hand last night—I have a dishwasher. Maybe it was because our Mariners were behind the Yankees 2-4. Or maybe it was the latest war in the Middle East. Or maybe, it was the sight of our president stupidly talking in front of an open microphone and chewing with his mouth open at that big mucky-muck meeting of leaders in Russia (that man is such a hick!). I dunno what it was.
Anyway, there was a soup ladle in my sink, and it brought back a flood of memories (that happens to me a lot—maybe I should seek help). I can remember exactly when I got it. It was given to me at a bridal shower my friends gave me in our college dormitory in 1963. I don’t remember the name of the girl it was from, but I can see her as clear as yesterday. She was so fragile, maybe a size one, with reddish long hair. That year, she’d been working on a student talent show with us, and she’d objected to a poem by Ogden Nash because it had a swear word in it (A strange bird is the pelican—his beak can hold more than his belly-can—in his beak he can hold enough food for a week—but I don’t know how the hell-he-can). She was such a sweetheart.
That ladle has been with me from that first pot of soup until now. It has served delicious soups with beef and pea pods. Spicy, aromatic Cajun soups with chicken and ham. Sometimes, it has ladled soups that were more frugal. It has even spooned more than its share of beans. It has seen lonely times when my husband was in Viet Nam and happier times when his whole family gathered around our table for gazpacho. It has ladled tomato soup decorated with popcorn into my daughter’s bowl. Soup made with vegetables from our organic garden. Even soup made with leftover salmon (okay, that one was a mistake!). That ladle. That precious ladle.
It is still in good shape, made soundly from stainless steel by a company named Ecko, I think. After all these years, it is in no danger of replacement. How could I replace it? How could I purchase one of those new plastic ladles with lots of color but no memories?
I don’t know what happened to my friend who gave it to me. I hope she is well and happy—and I hope she has a ladle just like the one she gave me, oh so many years ago…

For shame! I've learned that the 4th of July piece that I posted was a hoax! Don't ya hate it when that happens?

Comanche Dictionary-Do you have your copy yet?

On my bed table: Gaby's Penance by Aline Lesage. Set in the early 20th century, Gaby's Penance is the gripping saga of a tormented and ambitious Québécoise, whose sin cost her more than she could possibly fathom. Read her story and you will never forget her! iUniverse, $19.95. This is the perfect summer read. Aline was born in Quebec, Canada, although she lives in the Northwest now.

Quote du jour:

"Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training." Anna Freud (quoted in the July 2006 issue of the OWFI magazine) I wonder what her definition of survive is?

July 02, 2006

"The ballot is stronger than the bullet."

Deer in backyard last week...
July 5th-The piece below is late, but I think it's worth a read. I have no idea who wrote it, it just showed up on my screen from that forward guy...
THE 4TH OF JULY- Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of theRevolutionary War. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.
Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton ofVirginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer,Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the BritishGeneral Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters.He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid towaste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.
Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't. So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.
Quotes du jour:
"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." Benjamin Franklin
"The ballot is stronger than the bullet." Abraham Lincoln (Vote, America, vote!)
"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home."
Edward R. Murrow (George Clooney) Good Night and Good Luck