Raised to Profess Social Justice and Faith!
108 years ago, my ancestors came as strong-willed, hardworking and God--loving intellectuals from Europe. They came
to pursue the promise of land, freedom and education for their children, and a brighter future than they fear they faced
in the political and social climate of Germany. Here they encountered the lies and broken promises many immigrants
to America faced. My family largely worked themselves to death in the squalid conditions of the packinghouse industry,
bluecollar workers who broke their hearts and backs for my white-collar future.
My BlueCollar Beloveds and
I desire to live a life exemplifying the Christian walk, a walk we feel is entirely
compatible with intellectual endeavor, good humor, and activism.
We consider ourselves "blue sheep" of the Religious Left and embrace
a fiscally liberal, pro-labor, egalitarian philosophy which values an active
fight for social justice. Our faith in Jesus Christ emboldens us to fight against poverty, injustice, discrimination, ignorance, intolerance,
arrogance, greed, racism, sexism and oppression in all its institutions.
Our family lives an afflicted victory thruogh which we seek to encourage, enlighten and bring hope and joy to others
through Spirit-led works of the hand, heart and mind. We invite you into our family and welcome you to join us in our
endeavors for the good!!!!....
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Ridiculous Grilled Cheese Day
Wed, March 31, 2010 | link
Today was Ridiculous Grilled
Cheese day for the menfolk at the BCD house. It occurs only twice a year (once in fall, once in spring),
and here’s why:
Ridiculous Grilled Cheese Platter
(feeds one burly man with hyperlipidemia and two pre-K’ers)
--4 slices fresh baked sweet
challah bread (or whatever’s left after Roo’s raid on the breadbox)
--copious amounts of real butter
--thickly sliced double cream brie, (no rind,
bag of fresh large leaf spinach, deep fried (YES) into crunchy spinach crisps in canola oil, sprinkled with kosher sea salt
--red grapes (only red)
--ginger mango chutney
Grill two slathered cheese sandwiches in a vat of butter, smear with chutney, garnish with spinach crisps, serve with
chilled red grapes and a Lipitor shooter.
Lest you think I am trying to slowly murder my family with saturated fat, note the “only twice
a year” in my first sentence. Also, remember, they ask for it (plead, really). In
addition, there are further rules and regulations regarding Ridiculous Grilled Cheese Day and they are as follows:
1. Never describe this sandwich to your RN sister who is always on The South
Never, ever, no matter how they beg, deviate from the twice-yearly limit.
3. Never allow anyone you truly love to eat more than one half of this sandwich as a serving.
4. If your Hub has cholesterol issues, act prophylactically and slip him a double dose Lipitor fizzie
Never allow your diners to operate heavy machinery, make important life
decisions, or engage in high-impact exercise immediately following the meal.
Then, just hang on till Fall.
If I were a Jewish mother (and I am in my heart),
I would probably say the little gonif has khutspe (or, maybe, "Oy, not the seder bread!"). After baking...
Wed, March 31, 2010 | link
Roo steals the challah...
He noshes on the challah...
He leaves this sad breytl behind.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The real Tooth, er...Gnome? Elf?
Tue, March 30, 2010 | link
Now celebrating 5 years cavity-free….DRUMROLL:
Toe “The Grinder” Braun-Schaus! In second place, we have “Chompers”
Roo (not pictured), well into his third-year without dental incident (Roo was too busy playing “Wild West” Dinosaurs
with the new mini T-Rex and plastic, gun-slinging cowboy he chose from the bin of rewards at Pediatric Dentistry).
Please, no applause. Toe has always had a bad case of bruxism (maniacal teeth-clenching and grinding),
especially in sleep, and may with his adult teeth need to wear a night guard. He also has slight dental
blemishes in the core of his front teeth, caused either by fluorosis (from the high St. Paul water fluoride content) or the
amoxicillin he took as a baby for an infection—but this has no impact on the integrity of his teeth and will not be
present in his permanent choppers. Yay for healthy pearly whites!
I don’t know about other kids these days,
but Toe and Roo love going to the dentist. It helps that we are fortunate enough, unlike so many Americans,
to have great dental insurance for our kids and can help keep them from needing scary and invasive procedures by following
a schedule of regular visits (the ADA now recommends kids starting dental cleanings at 18 months, which we have followed). It’s bonus that we found a phenomenal pediatric
specialist (Dr. Rick, we heart you!) who looks, dresses and acts like a youngish, extra-hairy Margaritaville-style
Jimmy Buffet (see this).
Dr. Rick is literally bouncing with kinetic energy (hmmm,
who does that remind you of?) and walks—dances really—around his office on the tip-toe. I
have never in over 3 years seen his heels touch earth. It occurs to me I hope he is wearing quality and
supportive shoes in his life (see my homey Megan’s blog for details on the best of healing
and protective footwear). Dr. Rick also adores everything dinosaur and has outfitted his practice accordingly
(colorful complimentary dinosaur flossers, a waiting room filled with a giant saur collection--including
a dinnertable-sized prehistoric jungle diorama for the dinos to “hang out” in—and a generous selection of
dino-themed “reward” toys to choose from for after the visit. Roo is at ground zero of heaven
at the dentist, and thinks Dr. Rick is the real tooth fairy (except his manliness and deep voice make him more of a gnome
or elf than fairy). Dr. R. gives hugs and is extremely knowledgeable about Super Mario Brothers
(which makes Toe adore him), his smile is of course glistening and constant, his staff cheerful, child-loving and bubbly (I’ll
bet none of them can sleep past 4 or 5 in the morning), and his wild-maned and upbeat bedside manner infectious.
Gratitude, thy name is DDS.
Hub and I often talk about how we wish our childhood dental experiences were so fab. Mostly
we remember dismal and dingy mint green
and chemical-scented interiors, glum faces and grumpy impatient men who belched their coffee and talked to the hygienist about
what great new rums they tried on their most recent trip to Club Med (all while digging around in our gaping mouths with their
chapped oversized mitts). The air in these offices was one of penalty and scolding, even if we came out
cavity-free. The tools in retrospect, seem grotesque and barbaric, like things you would see at the old
Minnesota Museum of Questionable Medical Devices . Nonetheless, we are grateful we had dentists and therefore continue in our middling
years to have sound teeth (thanks Mom, Dad, and all the strong unions who made sure we had insurance!), but some free dinos,
a hug, and a Dr. Tooth Gnome woulda been nice too.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Happy Birthday Skeeter!
Mon, March 29, 2010 | link
Nine years old today, you
have lived through a lot: your beloved buddy Biscuit’s countless seizures and eventual passing, 3
major moves, 9/11, the birth of 2 irritating human “siblings”, the arrival of your mentally-challenged dog sister
Birdie, a parade of stray “foster dogs” putting you on high alert, going blind, wars, poverty, and a house now
filled with squeaking, buzzing, flashing toys you can’t kill.
You have earned your keep, little rat terrier, though you proved terrified of rats.
Always loyal, always obedient, you were a faithful alert dog who lets us know when your epileptic sister was going
to seize. You stand guard at the door when hooligans make noise on the street, you bare your fangs to threatening
neighborhood mutts who get too close to your yard, you keep your body between us and danger as though you were a tank of a
dog (though you are only the size of a clutch purse).
We love you, barker-of-great-annoyance! Happy birthday (and many more)!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
April is Autism Awareness Month
Sat, March 27, 2010 | link
Some quick autism facts:
in 100 children now has autism
aOver 1.5 million Americans are affected by autism
aA child is diagnosed with Autism every 21 minutes
Help raise awarenes or fund research
and education by getting involved in any one of a number of local or national autism events in the month of April! Here
are just a few suggestions:
Toys"R"Us April 2010 donation drive (nearly $1 million dollars raised alreadyand it is still March!)
Autism Society of
Minnesota's Journey of a Flutist concert to benefit autism at Hamiline University
Mall of America/ Fraser Family Center 2010 Walk for Autism
TJ Maxx/ Panera Bread/Build A Bear Workshop/ White Castle Customer Awareness Fundraising
Event (donate by purchasing puzzle pieces in these stores throughout April)
National "Light it Up Blue" Shine a Light on Autism 2010 lighting even (buildings, bridges and other architectural structures of
prominence across the United States will be specially lit on certain dates in April to foster autism awareness). You
can also organize a Dress it Up Blue event at your place of work, school, church or other community location to show support for autism
education and research by inviting everyone to wear blue on a planned date in April.
Lindt and Sprungli Chocolatiers
will donate 10 cents of the purchase price of every gold foil-wrapped Lindt chocolate bunny bought in April to autism research.
Illusion Theatre prodcutions of the play Autistic License throughout April.
Lake Calhoun Autism 5K Run/Walk for Autism
MN movie theatres present sensory-friendly film screenings for kids with autism (and other sensory conditions) and their families.
15th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference (Doubletree Hotel/ Minneapolis)
Riverview Health and ARC Walk for Autism 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The Fixit Gene
Wed, March 24, 2010 | link
We all are born with natural gifts and affinities: music, languages, compassion, athletics,
saying the wrong thing at the worst possible time. Maybe “gifts” isn’t always
the right word.
Since Roo is the grandchild
of both a journeyman diesel mechanic and a career airline mechanic, it comes as no surprise to me he takes to tools.
That he would correct me when I accidentally called a bolt a screw the other day surprised me a little
(especially coming from a kid who can’t yet properly pronounce his dipthongs, but whatever).
Now, I can swing a hammer. I can plumb a line, have shingled a roof, dry-walled
and built a garage—also an outhouse (long story). There have been times when, yes, I have installed
mufflers and plug wires, smoothed rotors and grouted, routed, ratcheted, soldered, stripped, sanded, jigsawed.
Perhaps you don’t see me that way, but I am and have always been my daddy’s tool-time girl.
Certainly I have the training and some of the skill, but I wouldn’t say, however, that I have
Some revelations of
The car is malfunctioning
and making a terrible noise. Dad, from another state, says, hold the phone up to the engine, and
after 5 seconds of listening diagnoses the problem and tells you how to fix it.
After seeing a news clip about a plane crash, you call your dad who tells you what caused the
crash (about 3-8 months before the NTSB “knows”).
have a list of about $800 worth of household repair items you need for your “fixer upper” Victorian home.
Dad walks into a salvage yard bay with his toolbox and emerges 20 minutes later with every single item, for a cost
of about $20 (and a thank you meal at Shoney’s).
dad refers to the Car Talk guys as “fairly good mechanics” and wonders why no one is calling in when
they obviously misdiagnose a problem.
Growing up your parents
never in 18 years had to replace a car, a phone, a toaster, a faucet, a furnace, an air conditioner, a coffee pot, a washer
or dryer, a fridge, a stove, a television, a lawn mower, lighting fixture or a vacuum due to unfixable brokenness.
I think Roo may have the gift. When he and Toe recently received a gift
of some very complex “transformer” toys that even Hubby couldn’t seem to unpuzzle, Roo sighed, cocked his
head (in the calculating and impatient way only the mechanically-inclined do when dealing with us mortal morons) and voila!
Applauding himself, he picked up his hammer and ran off to “repair” the broken cupboard door, shouting
“I did it!” as he toddled.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Our Autism odyssey: Kickin' it with Dr. Hugsy
Tue, March 23, 2010 | link
Today was Toe’s quarterly
visit with his neurologist, a renowned ASD and ADHD disorder specialist at the University with a name that means “ripe”
in a very guttural language. He is bearded and rotund, warm and fuzzy--in a Burl Ives sorta way--and everything
Toe says and does seems to tickle him. We call him Dr. Hugsy.
Toe (to DH): “Dr. H, roar like a fish!”
DH (to Toe, fiercely, through
guppie lips): “RrrrrGLUB, RrrrrrrGLUB!”
Toe: “Excellent roaring!”
They get each other. For
example, when Toe tells Dr. Hugsy to “push your crazy button,” DH reaches down, pokes himself in the
clavicle and starts to gibber and wiggle maniacally. Toe rolls on the floor laughing, jetsam shooting from
his nose, clutching his belly. “You be quiet!” DH barks at Toe (but with a twinkle).
Toe sobers up instantly and begins to chatter wordlessly, flapping his gums and moving his hands as if talking a mile
a minute except no sound comes out. “Excellent being quiet!” says DH. Then
the two of them bust out a tub of Fisher Price Rescue Hero action figures DH keeps in his office and start fighting over who
It’s hard enough to find a good doctor when you’re a full-fledged grownup
with skills and all, and even scarier when looking for good doctor for your precious child. Add to that
the needs of a child with special medical concerns. These are the members of Toe’s team:
pediatrician, behavioral pediatrician, neurologist, speech pathologist, OT, dermatologist, behavioral therapist, adaptive
nutritionist, autism psychologist, allergist, PCAs, teachers. We researched our minds raw over months and
years to find them, combed through a ball field of possibilities to hone the list.
I can’t imagine
what kind of list you’d see for some of the children whose parents we meet in the Supper Club of the Living Dead.
Parents of kids with very severe ASDs, attachment disorders, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, terminal conditions.
Their experiences have been often bad, their doctors overwhelmingly indifferent. They hear another
parent mention a groundbreaking test or helpful new medication, a fabulous physician or an indispensible resource and their
butts literally come off their chairs. What was that? Can you spell that for me?
When Hub and I tell them about Dr. Hugsy, they look at us like a kid does when you tell them
they are going to a little place called Disney World. There’s no way. Keep
the faith, we tell them, here’s the number, and yes way.
Monday, March 22, 2010
The Dead Sea in Me
Mon, March 22, 2010 | link
It’s so nice after having been a scholar of something for so many years to finally have a tangible connection
to it. Like when I walked through Albrecht Duerer’s house in medieval Nuremberg and touched with
my own fingertips the stones of the table he used to create his work. To have my hands in the same
place where Duerer’s faithful hands painted so much beauty , where his hands painted those hands. The meeting
of learning a thing and living it is such a gift on any scale.
I know the Dead Sea scrolls have only been publically displayed
a handful of places outside of Jerusalem since 1967, and that people waited over 20 years from the time they were discovered
in the 40s to have a glimpse of their content at all. If you don't plan on making it to The Shrine of the
Book in Jerusalem anytime soon, go see the scrolls in St. Paul if you can—the Spirit will be near
you there. Despite the airport-like security checks and darkly-dressed Isaraeli security agents hovering in the background,
the Science Museum of Minnesota’s exhibition of the scrolls is quite something. There is reverence
in the room where the fragments are viewed, a restrained joy and weighty silence. People walk slowly and
gingerly—even Toe didn’t speak above an occasional cautious whisper, a miracle in itself. The
magnitude of the work and faith involved in what the Essenes—and inspired holy scribes throughout history—have
done in obedience to bring us god’s word is awesome.
And if you haven’t seen what the monks at St. John’s abbey in Collegeville
have been up to with their hand transcribed, illuminated Bible, you should check that out at the SMM too. Gorgeous, and also a landmark in history.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Happy 6th Birthday, Nicholas!
AKA: Nikolai, Sknickerdoodles, SnakeMan, the Snicker.
Sending you love on your special day, "cuz!"
Sun, March 21, 2010 | link
Birthday Boy, Nick "Venom"
The ToeForce 2000
The Norhteast Suburbs Annual Towheaded Boychild Convention 2010
Casino Preparedness for Kids 101
Just hours after emergency root-canal, a Marcane nerve block and narcotic painkillers help Daddy put on his boogie
Love (and brawny cousins) lifted thee...
Little known mission statement of the "Secret Society of Ecstatically Hyperactive Boys"
Sickytoe, et al.
Sun, March 21, 2010 | link
Another fine young lad falls victim to the germ(an)s.
Toe, already light as a faierie feather, has been unable to eat for several days due to the (now infamous) Sickyroo
GI virus (and is now actually as light as the pixie dust on a sunbeam on a faierie feather).
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Hungry Refugee from the Planet Zofran
After an interminable stay at the ER yesterday, Roo returns slowly
to himself with this, his first glorious bite of food in 5 days.
Thu, March 18, 2010 | link
Roo's Pediatrician sent us there when, after
the most horrible stoamch virus I have ever seen, Roo could no longer lift his head off his pillow, and would only croak,
"Help! It's scary!" from his dry, cracked little mouth.
Rehydration and the magical medication
Zofran broke the cycle of sickness. Just hours after receiving treatment he was tearing up the ER and begging for pizza,
donuts and ketchup. Now he is no longer green and lifeless, but we are starting with Cheerios and toast.
Toe, Hubby and I have so far escaped the bug--yay! Thanks for prayers!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Wed, March 17, 2010 | link
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
we'll always have Venice (the one in Maple Grove)
Tue, March 16, 2010 | link
Born under the sign of the Sea Goat, Capricorn
Toe is always at home in the H2O.
Scorpio Roo, while enjoying his water play, would prefer a hot sandy beach and gravitates toward the sauna...
It wouldn't be Fake Venice without the cheesy ersatz gondola and spooky waxlike faux gondolier...
Roo, practicing bobsled for Winter Olympics 2026.
Roo: So, what do you think his problem is?
Roo's new badass waterpark buddy,
Roo: Lame! (Unspoken: What's wrong with that?
Toe and fellow hooligans explore their hoop dreams.
See, this is why we only buy the cruelty-free tuna. You never know what they will catch in those oldschcool
It's time to go when Roo has major navigation failure and has finally run aground.
The lifegurads are so vigilant--they hardly seem real!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Beware the Ides of March
Sickypoo Sickyroo! Although too weak to lift
his head for a dose of liquid Tylenol, somehow Roo is never too sick to play Diego Saves the Dinosaurs.
Mon, March 15, 2010 | link
a bitty prayer for our little invalid who came home from the waterpark with 103 degree fever and is on day 2 of being too
sick to even keep down juice. He has spent the day trilling Wookiee noises of distress and languising in Mommy's
(tired, aching) arms. Today in a fit of moaning he exlaimed, "I'm so sad! I'm scared!" then
collapsed back on the couch to read his dragon books. Life among the germ(an)s.
Welcome to Club 41!
Mon, March 15, 2010 | link
Happy Birthday both to "Uncle" Jimbo and "Tante"
Joan! Born to other mothers, but each of you are a precious part of our beloved forever family! We love
Saturday, March 13, 2010
March 13, 1989
Sat, March 13, 2010 | link
It’s 21 years now that you’ve been
gone. I have officially lived on this earth now longer without you than I did with you. It
doesn’t seem like that, though. It seems like you were just here, singing You Are My Sunshine
and smiling at me with your chin resting on your hand.
Your youngest child of six by 5 years I got a lot more alone time with you than the others.
Did I treasure that well enough? I was so little. Did I know yet how to love
a person well?
remember the first time you took me up to the unfinished spare room and opened your enormous creaking wooden art kit for me.
You told me oils were the best of anything to paint with, and I admired you for that even though I had no idea what
it meant or if it was true. You showed me all the different little tubes, all the different browns, how
they could be mixed to look like anything: the rough beams of the ceiling, a perfect hen’s egg, my
suede Buster Browns. Burnt sienna—that was the first time I heard that, the first time I found out
colors had names like poetry, so many names it seemed endless and unknowable. But you knew.
I miss you, Mom.
Hubby tells me he misses you even though he’s never met you. Toe tells me you talk to him
in dreams, mostly giving him permission to do things I would forbid. Roo touches his favorite picture of
you, the one when you’re not yet 18 years old, sitting on your narrow bed with your cat. He calls
you Grandma Bobo.
We all can’t wait to see you again.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Spring Staycation 2010. WooHoo.
Fri, March 12, 2010 | link
In this economy, of course
the family trip to the usual destinations (Nice, Monte Carlo, The Caymans) is off. This
is what came out of the collective brainstorm of where we should go for vacation instead (see if you can guess who said
To the Pink Elephant
The Brown-Circle House
Ranch (with full time German Nanny)
After much consideration (and a little tweaking
of the plan), last night we launched the BCD house spring “staycation” with our monthly Dinner Club of the
Living Dead (autism parent group). Our “trip” itinerary continues today and through Tuesday
with a visit to the Science Museum’s Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit (with a tangential visit to the dinosaurs
of course), The Minneapolis Auto Show, a visit to Uncle P. and Tante Lynn, and then, of course, a two day whirlwind stay in
Venice (the waterpark).
are such jetsetters. Don’t even try to keep up. See you soon!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
5 going on 15
Thu, March 11, 2010 | link
Flak. Sass. Cracking wise. Insolence, mouthing off, giving
lip, cheekiness, sauce, guff. Impudent retort.
Toe’s going through a stage.
I don’t know if it’s senioritis over graduating pre-school, cabin fever from the scent of an emerging spring,
or if he has been hanging out with the Hiltons. This is the conversation (one of many like it) we had the other day when he
decided he was sooooo not going to school:
Mommy, that’s a bad school. I can’t go back there (bored
sigh). I’ll play Leapster!
Uh, Toe, you love school. It’s so much fun!
No, Mommy (rolling
eyes), it isn’t. NOT AT ALL.
He has also begun ordering us all around, including his classmates at school (and
teachers) who are starting to view him as an adorable but somewhat unsavory Hall Monitor.
Yesterday when Toe wanted a toy
Roo had, I overheard this from the kitchen where I was making dinner:
Roo, no more R2D2 for you! You get in the kitchen and
help Mommy stir (drags Roo by the arm into the kitchen and deposits him in my service). Here you go, Mommy.
Roo is ready for the working!
He orders Skeeter off the couch, orders Skeeter to jump up on his bed,
orders Skeeter to be quiet (poor Skeeter). Toe tells us to stop talking, tells us to stop telling him to
It’s a strange place to be in, after years of begging and training your quiet autistic son
to talk more more more, to then one day just want him to hush his mouth. I guess now I will be
going through a stage too.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
THE DAY AFTER THE DAY AFTER THE DAY AFTER
Tue, March 9, 2010 | link
I remember walking
a 1990s summer’s day up the sun-splashed grazing slope of a neighboring dairy farm with Dad and Hubby. The
panorama was lovely, the weather bonny, the cows fat and placid. The Terrell Nike missile silos (MS-20, Lake Lavon, north gully) : quiet. Yah, Dad’s farmette was apparently a huge red dot on a yellowing
old Cold War map somewhere. Still, the picnic we brought was nice and a girl hardly ever has time to visit
a SAM with her menfolk anymore (except maybe in the former Republic of Georgia and some of the “-stan” countries).
I have heard all
the stories about you Boomers and how you hid pointlessly under your little plywood desks. Poor you.
Yes, you had the Cuban Missile Crisis and all that, but you had loveably youthful JFK to comfort
you, lull you with hopeful ruddiness, beachy windblown hair, yachting clothes.
After all, his kids always seemed to be lurking under his desk in the photos and they appeared perfectly safe
and happy--the Kennedy family still took vacations near major Navy bases, cripes. All we Gen Xers had was
wrinkly old Reagan and endless night after night 60 Minutes Special Reports on the imminence of atomic death.
We had great living-color three-dimensional schematics of all the ICBMs and Borei SLBMs and their red trajectories
streaming across the horizon toward our Holly Hobby style bedrooms. And we had that damn book
(and movie, billed as a sort of grow-up-fast After-School Special “you shouldn’t watch alone”:
shame on you, ABC!), The Day After. Oh, the vaporizing.
I still get a stomach ache whenever I hear a clear-sky civil
defense siren. Every first Wednesday of the month, 1 p.m., you know where I am and what I am doing:
St. Paul, MN, chewing a Tums. Last Wednesday, as Toe skipped joyfully from the schoolbus to the
door at 12:57 p.m., he asked, “Mommy, what’s that big owl sound?” Woooooo.
“Well, son, that’s the sound of Mutually Assured Destruction. But don’t worry—here,
have a chalky minty candy.” Woooooo. Oh, the flashbacks. The
flashbacks and the fire and the vaporizing. Oh, the vaporizing.
So, you if Boomers think you’ve upped us Xers
with your fearful childhoods, awaiting the monster from behind the Iron Curtain, plug in. If you only knew.
You should read Steven Church’s awesome blog (and now book) The Day After the Day After: My Atomic Angst (and maybe you could chip in a little for my Prevacid prescriptions and eventual perforated ulcer surgery?)
Now, about you millennial kids and your fear of unattended suitcases left in public
Monday, March 8, 2010
Roo would like to thank the Academy for awarding in the prestigious
and competitive category of "Best Picture of a Dorky 3 year-old Who Cuts His Own Hair with Kitchen Shears While
Mommy is in the Basement Doing Laundry." It's a great honor.
Mon, March 8, 2010 | link
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Just monkeying around
Since the lads got up at 3:45 a.m. (apparetly unaware
we have discontinued the Saturday morning milkings...), the BCD house was finished with the morning routine and entirety of
the weekend chores by 8:00 a.m. Saturday.
Sun, March 7, 2010 | link
Giraffing around. This is an original Pho-Toe.
Toe, who can sympathize with a wild animal in the cage of the city.
No urban zoo complete without fauxraffes.
Brain-teaser: find the two immature beasts in this picture.
Thank God there was a cafe serving iced tea and rootbeer just on the far side of the jungle (note:
DiegoRoo sprinting ahead).
Saturday, March 6, 2010
So, Glenn, Jesus was a Nazi?
Sat, March 6, 2010 | link
am really honked and can't help myself.
Once again politically-progressive people of religious faith come under
fire as a suspect class. This week Glenn Beck upped the ante on his persecutory stance toward churches
that support a progressive socio-political agenda when he told his Fox News listeners
“I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic
justice’ on your church web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they
are code words. Now, the idea, hang on, am I advising people to leave their church… yes!… If you have a priest
that is pushing social justice, go find another parish.”
Beck, in his inflammatory
rhetorical style, went on to compare folks pursuing social and economic justice not only to communists (the old familiar meme),
but also to Nazis.
Now, I am not a Mormon, but I know a few, and I have read their bible.
And I do know a central theological tenet to the faith for both Christians and Mormons is faith in Jesus Christ and
his Great Command to love and serve God while loving and serving your neighbor as yourself. Social equality,
social justice, economic justice, selfless giving: all pretty much main points of instruction in Jesus’
teachings and ministry. Care for the less fortunate, the sick, the fatherless: very
much God’s thing. But don’t trust me, take a look at some of the more than 300 verses which
riddle the Bible with what Beck would consider dangerous pinko ideas:
15:7. If there is a poor man among you, one of your brothers, in any of the towns of the land which the LORD your God
is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand
to him, and generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks
Lev. 19:19. Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall
not reap to the very corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. Nor shall you glean your
vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger.
I am the LORD your God.
Prov. 31:8. [Commandment to kings.] Open
your mouth for the dumb, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights
of the afflicted and needy.
Luke 12:33. "Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing
treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys."
Luke 3:11. And [John the Baptist] would answer and say to them, "Let the man with two tunics share
with him who has none, and let him who has food do likewise."
Mt. 5:42. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
I could go on and on, but you don’t need a sermon and can read for yourself.
Just yesterday, The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good , a faith-based non-profit with the mission to offer “a renewed
Christian public witness for the sake of the Gospel and the common good,” responded to Beck’s statements by mobilizing to expose the fallacy and danger in his
We are launching a campaign to reclaim
love of neighbor, especially the least, last, and lost, as an Evangelical Christian value. We believe love is central to everything
Jesus taught, and we think Glenn Beck needs to hear about it. And, we need your help. We are working to quickly raise $5,000
to develop and distribute a short video that will directly confront Glenn Beck and his assertion that caring about the lives
of others is code-language for fascist or communist infiltration in our churches. This short video will show the faces of
the young and old remembering the call of Jesus in Matthew 25 that when we feed the hungry and clothe the naked, we do so
to him. We will begin by putting this video on YouTube and on our own web site. We will also launch a national press campaign
to help get the word out.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Fri, March 5, 2010 | link
heart, wrapped in a woman’s hide!
After a self-imposed gag order, I am back today to my blah blah blog. Did you
miss me? Yah, I didn’t think so.
Here’s the thing. I am known to be a bit of a mother tiger,
and this week my claws have been out, fangs bared. I don’t think anyone has used the word scary
to describe my protective and advocating behaviors in regard to my children, but I know I have heard these terms (and
not half of them behind my back): impassioned, unswayable, inarguably steadfast, and (once) formidable
in debate. School social workers have asked me to come and help teach other parents how to advocate
for their students in IEP (individual Education Plan) meetings. Parent organizations use Hub and me as
a database for “make sure your baby gets his.”
All week long has been one tempestuous meeting after another, all culminating in the
finalization of Toe’s Kindergarten placement for Fall 2010 (mission complete just this morning!). But
wait--first things first: praises to report! An answered prayer: Toe will be going to
our first choice school for him, a perfect fit and exceptional site. It’s an environmental sciences
magnet school, so all subjects are infused with an overall curricular theme of ecology, botany, geology, meteorology, limnology,
zoology, biology, astronomy—all Toe’s first most special loves (rocks, nature, stars, planets, animals, weather,
etc.). In addition to that, the school has the city’s most experienced autism education staff, an
amazing and well-appointed building, and terrific resources It borders on one of the most beautiful wildlife parks in all
the Twin Cities (which they use throughout the year in their teaching), a park system I loved more than any growing up in
St. Paul as a girl. Yay, God! Yay, everyone who helped it happen for little Toe!
Already in Kindergarten Toe will spend over half his day in mainstream education, but have the understanding arms of
a stellar autism education team to help him with any issues that may impede him. We are incredibly happy,
and we can see him being very happy and successful at his new school.
I cannot convey to you what Hub and I went through to make this seemingly simple
act of school choice become a reality. They wanted my precious cubby to go to a substandard school, a failing
school, andy number of schools that were not right for him in so many ways. They wanted it because it was
cheaper and closer and easier and because it is the way it is done in the crowded city with suffering schools and Republican
governors who cut budgets and underpaid teachers and soaring autism rates. In the last week we have been
ambushed, badgered, stonewalled, misinformed, discouraged, watched and denied. Laws were bent, lies were
told (not by us, people), PACER was contacted, The Disability Law Center consulted.
Wise staffers and sage educators were sought out by us—fine people went against professional pressures from superiors
and advised, advocated for, educated and encouraged us. There were sleepless nights and upset tummies and
research and pouring over the IDEA Law , and finally, after one last triumphant roar (with the last energy in me and a strong circle of support),
agreement with the mother (and father) tiger among the other animals.
Until today, I could only growl.
Now world, hear me purr.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The best birthday present:
where there were two feet, now there are eight!
Tue, March 2, 2010 | link
Monday, March 1, 2010
What a girl wants...
Since I am turning 14 tomorrow, let me share these awesome gift ideas from the "Hottest Gifts for 14 Year Old Girls."
Any of them would be so ravin' (remember Joans Brothers CDs and Build-A-Bear gift cards are soooo lame)!
Mon, March 1, 2010 | link
The World's Largest Gummy Bear
The World's Largest Gummy Bear is the lion of the candy world. There is no candy more magnificent
or more powerful. This five-pound beast is the equivalent of 1,400 regular sized gummy bears and packs a whopping 12,600 calories.
"Queen For A Day" Tiaras and Crowns
Perfect for homecoming, beauty pageants, or just feeling like your neighborhood Queen and more!
Tough Silvery Duct Tape Wallets and Watches
Keep your cash glued to your hip with the strongest tape on earth. This silvery Super Duct Tape wallet won't lift,
peel or get sticky, but it will keep your cards and bills safe whether you're bungee jumping from a bridge or installing
plastic sheeting. Reinforced metal holes accommodate a security chain.
Momiji Friendship Dolls
Like a pet rock, friendship bracelet and Tamagochi all in one! You are bound to fall in love with these cute and
funky Japanese friendship dolls. A combination of eclectic Tokyo style and fortune fun, each doll has a unique personality
and saying, and includes a matching button. Give one of these pint-sized resin dolls to a favorite person, best friend or
Mod Mood Room Orbs
Forget meditation and tai chi... skip your therapy and hot yoga too... even tell your feng shue master you don't need
him. If you're feeling stressed, all you need are Oggz! Oggz are soft pliable egg-shaped lights with gooey, morphing colors
that utterly ooze stress away. They're wireless!
Play With Your Food Marshmallow Gun
Award Winner! It's all in good taste! The Marshmallow Shooter is not only fast and furious, it's deliciously
harmless fun! Rapid-fire pump shooter sends miniature marshmallows more than 30 feet. Dishwasher-safe magazine allows for
easy firing and reloading. Holds up to 20 rounds of "ammo."
Peanut Butter and Jelly of the Month Club
Free shipping, instant gift messages and club newsletter with all orders. Available in 3, 6,
12 month and quarterly lengths!
...oh, wait. I'm turning 41, not 14. In that case, just send
cash and liquor.
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aUpdated August 2009
©Angela R. Braun, June 2009 test