I can hear her purr...

What kind of Muscle Car are You? (pics)

1967 Shelby GT 500
You are a 1967 Shelby GT 500. You love your car because it's rare. You know you can whoop on most other cars, but you tend not to because you don't want to scratch your paint. You try to keep as many miles off of your car as you can.
Take The Quiz Now!Quizzes by myYearbook.com

Just call me Eleanor, baby!


- hfs


Lead, follow, or get out of the way


One of the most frustrating things about driving around here is the fact that, with 4 lane roadways being the norm around here, it is quite common to get stuck behind someone in the left lane just puttering on down the road 10 miles BELOW the speed limit.

Rarely do I speed anymore. But I do like to drive the speed limit and stay with the flow of traffic. Hard to do when you're stuck behind someone in the left hand lane going 40mph in a 55mph zone. I'm sure this would help drop my blood pressure a few points!


- hfs



To give you an idea of what all we've been up to lately...

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My SIL was on island for a conference a few weeks back and we managed to get up to the North Shore to catch the sunset. Mother Nature did not disappoint!

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Little Man doing his sunset pose.

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The kids had a great time playing around in the surf and watching the sun set.

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Princess Trouble chose the first "adventure" of the summer - ice skating! Both kids picked it up quickly and had a great time. By the end of the day, neither of them needed me to hold their hands!

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Then it was off to McDonalds with our friends for lunch. Little Man's signature smile...

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Princess Trouble.

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A few days after that, one of Princess Trouble's friends had a performance so we made a "Girls' Night Out" and all of the moms and daughters went to dinner and then to the show.

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Me and my baby girl.

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And then there was dinner out for my birthday. I must say that Ruth's Chris is even better than Sean Hannity describes it. My fillet literally melted in my mouth and the potatoes (all THREE varieties that we ordered for sides) were DELISH! There was almost as much laughing as there was eating.

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And this picture pretty much sums the evening up. It was a YUMMY evening!

So that's what we've been up to!


- hfs


Happiness is...

...a wonderful dinner out with great friends. Chatting with McGyver via Instant Message on my cell phone en route to dinner. Laughing so hard that your cheeks hurt and you're afraid you're going to pee on the seat. Steak at Ruth's Chris. Bread pudding with whiskey sauce and creme brulee for dessert. Singing really bad 80s songs on the way home.

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One of the best birthdays I've ever had. Thanks y'all. I love you!


- hfs


Just breathe

Had to remind myself - force myself, actually - to breathe this morning. I sat down to check e-mail and in my InBox is a message titled "VBIED in JACK ARMY'S area". My heart instantly sank to my stomach and my stomach immediately clamped down. Took forEVER for that stinking e-mail to load too.

Jack's ok and so are his men. Head over and read the whole story. Then say a prayer, or two or five. Stay safe, Jack.


- hfs


It's Monday

and I need a laugh. Do you?

Here ya go...

And this one...

Then, of course, there's always the Office Linebacker...

And I'm not one for commercials but this one makes me chuckle every time I see it...

To round things out, Matt over at Blackfive has up a hilarious post about The Differential Theory of the Armed Forces (Snake Version)...

The Ultimate Differential Theory of US Armed Forces (Snake Model)

Upon encountering a snake in the Area of Operations (AO)

Airborne: Lands on and kills the snake.

Air Force, O-6 and above: "Get that damned snake off the fairway!"

Armor: Runs over snake. Never knows it,as well as where the tank and the snake is on the battlefield. Continues directly ahead wondering what all those new buttons in his turret do.

Army Aviation: Has GPS ten digit grid to snake. Stands off at a range greater than any other weapon system and destroys snake with precision fires at a cost equivilant of one Mercedes 350SEL. Returns to base for fighter management and a "cool one".

Army Shrink. Attempts to get snake to explain its sexual feelings about its mother.

Chaplain. Tries to get snake to attend services, mend its ways.

Combat Controllers: Guides snake elsewhere.

Combat Engineer: Studies snake. Prepares in depth analysis based on obscure 5 series FM about how to defeat snake using counter mobility assets. Complains that maneuver forces don't understand how to properly conduct doctrinal counter-snake operations. (Engineer School tries to hide the fact that M9 ACE proves ineffective against snakes).

Field Artillery: Kills snake with massive Time On Target barrage with three Forward Artillery Brigades in support. Kills several hundred civilians as unavoidable collateral damage. Mission is considered a success and all participants (i.e., cooks, mechanics and clerks) are awarded Silver Stars.

Infantry: Snake smells them, leaves area.

Military Intelligence, G-2: Sanke? What snake? Only four of 35 indicators of snake activity are currently active. We assess the potential for snake activity as LOW.

Judge Advocate General (JAG): Snake declines to bite, citing professional courtesy.

Marines, ForceRecon: Follows snake, gets lost.

Marines, Infantry: Kills snake by accident while looking for souvenirs. Local civilians demand removal of all US forces from Area of Operations.

Mech Infantry: Runs over snake, laughs, and looks for more snakes.

Military Intelligence, S-2: Reports to ground troops that snake is a non-combatant. Six Infantry wounded. MI states that if the ground forces would have read the nesting diagram provided in the 24 page enemy intel report, they would have known the snake was a possible threat.

Military Police, Criminal Investigation: Handcuffs snake's head to its tail, reads it its Miranda rights, then proceeds to beat snake to a pulp with night stick.

Missileers, Air Force: Lays in target coordinates to snake in 20 seconds, but can't receive authorization from National Command Authority to use nuclear weapons.

Military Police, Field: Snake safely infiltrates rear area of operations.

Navy SeaBees: Build snake elaborate rec room, complete with secret still.

Navy, SEAL: Expends all ammunition and several grenades, then calls for naval gunfire in failed attempt to kill snake. Snake bites the SEAL, and dies of salt water poisoning. Hollywood makes film in which SEALS kill Muslim extremist snakes.

Navy, Surface Action Group: Fires off 50 cruise missiles fro several ships, kills snake and makes presentation to Senate Appropriations Committee on how Naval forces are the most cost-effective means of anti-snake force projection.

Ordnance: IDs snake as having improper scales. Deadline snake and order parts against snake. Parts come in 15 days later but the snake has been upgraded to FMC due to scrounging of parts through improper channels.

Para-Rescue: Lands on snake upon descending, thereby injuring it, then feverishly works to save the snake's life.

Pilot, A-10: Has Global Positioning Satellite coordinates to snake. Can't find snake. Returns to base for refuel, crew rest and manicure.

Pilot, Air Force, B-52: Pulls ARCLIGHT mission on snake, kills snake and every other living thing within two miles of target.

Pilot, Air Force, F-15: Misidentifies snake as enemy Mil-24 Hind helicopter and engages with missiles. Crew chief paints snake kill on aircraft.

Pilot, Air Force, F-16: Finds snake, drops two CBU-87 cluster bombs, and misses snake target, but gets direct hit on Embassy 100 KM East of snake due to weather (Too Hot also Too Cold, Was Clear but too overcast, Too dry with Rain, Unlimited ceiling with low cloud cover etc.) Claims that purchasing multimillion dollar, high-tech snake-killing device will enable it in the future to kill all snakes and achieve a revolution in military affairs.

Pilot, Air Force, Fighter, Generic: Mis-identifies the snake as a HIND and engages it with missiles. Crew Chief paints snake on airplane.

Pilot, Air Force, Transport: Receives call for anti-snake equipment, and delivers two weeks after due date.

Pilot, Army, AH-64 Apache: Unable to locate snake, snakes don't show well on infrared. Infrared only operable in desert AO's without power lines or SAM's.

Pilot, Army, HH-53 Jolly Green Giant: Finds snake on fourth pass after snake builds bonfire, pops smoke, lays out flares to mark Landing Zone. Rotor wash blows snake into fire.

Quartermaster: Encounters snake, then loses contact. Can not identify who owns snake by hand receipts. Orders new snake through supply channels. Request is denied by higher authority; issuing the unit a snake will bring the manager to a zero balance; one snake must remain on hand at all times as per their boss' guidance.

Ranger: Plays with snake, then eats it.

Signal, Enlisted: Tries to communicate with snake . . . fails despite repeated attempts. Complains that the snake did not have the correct fill or did not know how to work equipment a child could operate.

Signal, Officer: Informs the commander that he could easily communicate with the snake using just his voice. Commander insists that he NEEDS to videoconference with the snake, with real-time streaming positional and logistical data on the snake displayed on video screens to either side. Gives Signal Corps $5 Billion to make this happen. SigO abuses the 2 smart people in the corps to make it happen, while everybody else stands around, bitches, and takes credit. In the end, GTE and several sub-contractors make a few billion dollars, the two smart people get out and go to work for them, and the commander gets what he asked for only in fiber-optic based simulations. The snake dies of old age.

SJA: Swear they saw something like that on the Discovery Channel . . . spend weeks arguing if it was a snake or not.

Special Forces: Makes contact with snake, ignores all State Department directives and Theater Commander Rules of Engagement by building rapport with snake and winning its heart and mind. Trains it to kill other snakes. Files enormous travel settlement upon return.

Supply: (NOTICE: Your anti-snake equipment is on backorder.)

Transportation Corps: "Snake? What snake? We were sleeping in the truck."

War Correspondent. Decides snake is patriotic nationalist agrarian reformer being molested by imperialist U.S. forces, asks snake for directions to nearest bar. If bitten by snake, charges U.S. troops with neglect of duty to protect freedom of the press.

Click on over and check out the comments - they are just as funny as the post itself! Have a great Monday!

And, in case you are bored or looking for something to do to keep from having to do what you HAVE to do, check out this request from Marine RCT 6's COL Simcock. The Marines (got it right this time heh heh) would LOVE to hear from you all. Send them a little email love. It only takes a minute or two.

Send to : rct-6lettersfromh@gcemnf-wiraq.usmc.mil

Their goal is 6,000 emails - one for each Marine. To date, they have about 2,000. Let's get moving!


- hfs


Jumping on the bandwagon

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes. My first name is that of a friend of my mom's that she liked. My middle name is an Irish derivative of my father's name.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? About a week ago. At the Army Ball. (see post below)

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Depends on the writing implement I'm using. It honestly makes a difference. Usually I like my handwriting though. It's an interesting mix of printing and cursive.


DO YOU HAVE KIDS? 2 of my own and hundreds that I've taught and coached.


DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Me? Sarcasm? Nah...


WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? yes. I've wanted to for a while but have not yet had the opportunity.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? For breakfast? Wheat Chex or Product 19. For snack, Frosted Flakes.

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Um, I live in HAWAII. You can't unti flip flops.

DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I've survived this deployment and 9 years in the Army with the bulk of my sanity in tact. Hell yes I'm strong!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Hands. Definitely hands. You can tell so much about a person by their hands.

RED OR PINK? Definitely red.

WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? my inability to establish boundaries with those I know

WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Read the blog.

WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? gray workout shorts. No shoes. Again, I live in HAWAII!

WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? a bowl of Frosted Flakes for a late night snack last night

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The kids in the other room watching Saturday morning cartoons and the birds outside enjoying the cool morning


FAVORITE SMELLS? My children (when they are clean). Rain. Colorado. MacGyver when he's come home from work.

WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My friend who was on her way to pick up her daughter that I babysat last night.

FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? on TV ~ college football. In person ~ water polo.

HAIR COLOR[S]? reddish blonde (too much time at the beach...I miss being a true red head!)

EYE COLOR? Blue unless I'm really angry. Then they turn gray.


FAVORITE FOOD? Anything I don't have to make or clean up after. Seriously.

SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings. Life has enough scariness in it.

LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Surf's Up with the kids. Funny movie.


SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer in Alaska. Winter in Colorado. Heck, any season in Colorado is fine with me!!!

HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs. Goodness I miss hugs.

FAVORITE DESSERT? Godiva chocolate cheesecake from the cheesecake factory!

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The Bible and "Kingdom Come" by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.

WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? My laptop doesn't have a mouse.


FAVORITE SOUND[S]? My children laughing. Rain. The quiet that comes with snowfall.


WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Seeing as how "home" is where my family is, I'd have to say Washington, D.C. for the MilBlogging conference last month. That was about 6,000 miles away from my family.


WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Southern California



Lex started it

Please take my Blog Reader Project survey.

Lex had one up and he asked his readers to take his survey. So I did (how, exactly, a belief in UFOs figures into the whole thing is beyond me) and at the end they ask if you want to set up your own survey. I'm of a curious nature so I did.

It will only take a few minutes, I promise!


- hfs

Army Ball 2007

Far be it from me to let a silly little deployment stand in the way of getting dressed up and and heading out (party girl that I am). AUSA put out the word that they were going to pay for several spouses of deployed soldiers to go to the Army Ball.

An excuse to get dressed up AND head to a ball for FREE?!? Works for me! So several of the women in my churchs' Military Ministry decided to all go together. What's the old saying..."If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with"? Sounds like a plan.

I managed to con a friend in to not only watching Princess Trouble and Little Man for the evening, she actually agreed to let them spend the night! So I had the entire evening to myself. Novel concept.

First thing on my list was to get my toes done up. I think the last time I had a pedicure was in 1999 so I figured I was due. It was heavenly!!!

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I already had a dress hanging in the closet (yay for having to be a chaperone for proms and bridesmaids' dresses!) so the only other thing to do was get my hair done.

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The finished product!

So then it was off to the Hilton Hawaiian Village for the evening. General Brown of USARPAC was our MC for the evening. He threatened us with a 45 minute speech about the history of the Army and US Army Pacific and all sorts of other history tidbits but thankfully the coordinators of the evening prevented him from giving it. They did decide that the evening should be an "emotional experience" and ran a retrospective slideshow of 25ID casualties (set to Toby Keith's song, "Hero") that had me in tears by the time they got to Tuc's picture. Then they played "Taps" and what was left of the makeup I had spent a half hour putting on was now running down my face. Lovely. Not a cool thing to do to a room full of women whose husbands are deployed. But we recovered nicely (we always do) and the rest of the evening was a blast!

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The group of us from church.

After hitting the dance floor for a round of the "Electric Slide" (it's been a while since I've done that dance and I would have been a lot better had I not been squished between men in dress blues...I was too busy drooling!) we took off. One of our friends had her niece in town and had heard that there were penguins and flamingos on the grounds. So off we went in search of them.

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We found turtles.

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We found penguins.

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And we found flamingos. The night was a success!

And what did I do when I got home and had the house to myself? Why, folded laundry and watched a chick-flick, of course! I lead SUCH an exciting life!


- hfs


Clarification of sorts

With regard to "stumping General Pace"...

I'm not even sure how to start this post. It seems that I gave the impression that I expected General Pace to have the answer to the question I posed.

I did not.

And I'm well-aware of the fact that it is unlikely that I will get an answer from the General OR his staffers. I'm not THAT naive. The fact that I was able to merely POSE the question to the man was worthy of mention. I'm pretty easy to please.

The best part of the morning wasn't the fact that I asked General Pace a question to which he did not know the answer. The best part was being able to draw his attention to Soldiers' Angels. And I don't know if he knows what Soldiers' Angels is or not. For all I know, he could have visited the Soldiers' Angels website just that morning or been on the phone with Patti Patton-Bader the night before. I have no idea.

But on the off chance that he WAS, now he is no longer unaware of Soldiers' Angels.

THAT was the point. THAT was the best part. THAT is what matters.

Not whether General Pace knew the answer as to why the Army is shortchanging its pilots and then scratching its' head as to why said pilots (and crew...thanks for pointing that out Teresa!) are leaving the service like rats fleeing a sinking ship. Not whether one of his staffers gets back to me. None of that is as important as helping Soldiers' Angels become more well-known.

And, who knows? Now that the good General will be looking for things to do with his spare time, maybe he will get in contact with Patti Patton-Bader and go to work for her at Soldiers' Angels.

You never know. Do you?


- hfs


Well, NUTS

Mullen tapped to replace Pace as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Just NUTS.

(h/t Bob for the heads' up)

And what's up with the squids taking over the world? Did I miss a memo somewhere? Lex, is this one of your conspiracies??


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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace, U.S. Marine Corps, tours the Faces of the Fallen exhibit in Arlington, Va., on June 7, 2007. The exhibition opened in 2005 and consists of 1,319 painted portraits of U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.


- hfs


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I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
(2 Timothy 4:7)

And like John says, "Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance:
In Memoriam


- hfs

I stumped General Pace

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UPDATE:A friend forwarded me the following news articles:
Pace Meets with Families, Extended Soldiers

Pace Faces Tough Questions From Young Citizens (the questions these two kids asked, and the answers General Pace gave, brought the room to tears. Both were incredible.)

General Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conducted a Town Hall meeting here today. Everything I have heard about the man was confirmed by what I saw today. He is a consummate Marine. He is professional, articulate, disciplined, and (amazingly) warm. The last quality surprised me. It seemed to be in contradiction to the rest of the image yet it fit perfectly.

He started off the meeting by thanking the families for their sacrifices and their service. He also thanked the soldiers that were in attendance. He discussed the same concept that Sarah articulated a while back - "anticipatory grief" - and the burden it adds to the stress of a deployment.

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He then confessed to us that HE is responsible for the decision to extend deployments to 15 months. He discussed the route by which that decision was made. He talked about how, in 2006, the Pentagon was planning to downsize the number of brigades in Iraq to 12 or fewer but the bombing of the Golden Dome mosque brought about new violence. At that point, General Casey told him there was no way they could go below 15 brigades and there was a strong possibility that more would be needed. After doing the math (General Pace is a math man) he realized that the only way to meet those needs would be to increase deployments to 15 months.

After discussing a few other points regarding the extension, growing the Armed Forces, and such he opened the meeting up to questions. He offered up a coin to the first person chosen to ask a question and my hand was UP and my script was out.

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My question was:

What are the incentives for an Army aviator to stay in past their original 6 year commitment while facing longer and more frequent deployments coupled with the fact that the amount of Aviation Continuation Pay offered by the Army is less than ONE HALF that of what the other branches of service offer?

A little background information:

Aviation Continuation Pay is is for pilots who remain on active duty after the end of their active-duty service commitment (in the Army, that tends to be a 6 year commitment).

For 2006, the maximum bonuses by service are:

•Air Force, $25,000 per year.

•Navy, $25,000 per year.

•Marine Corps, $18,000 per year.

•Army (for certain warrant officer pilots only), $12,000 per year; and $25,000 per year for special operations warrant officer pilots.

The Army is bleeding pilots, especially those with combat experience. Who wants to stay in the Army when all you have to look forward to are 15 month deployments with a 'supposed' guarantee of 12 months' dwell time (IF you stay with that unit. All bets are off if you PCS) AND crappy incentive pay? So I asked.

He had no immediate answer other than to tell me that he believed that incentive pay should be comparable across the services (I agree). He said he had never had that question posed to him before and tasked one of his assistant with tracking down a viable answer for me (said assistant took my contact information, gave me his name and contact information, and promised to get back with me by the end of the week.

So we will see. The coin he gave me is incredible.

But it gets even BETTER.

After the meeting was over, General Pace was at the exit, shaking hands and thanking people for coming. As I walked up to shake his hand and thank him, I handed him the Soldiers' Angels coin that I had in my purse. He was shocked and he paused to look at it. He said that was one of the rare moments a spouse has ever given him a coin and he asked what Soldiers' Angels was. I briefly explained that Soldiers' Angels was a worldwide support organization dedicated to providing aid and comfort to the armed forces and their families. I had also handed him a thank you note that had the URL on it and he said that he would look it up as soon as he had a spare moment.

I don't know if he knew what Soldiers' Angels was or not but he seemed genuinely interested in it. Hopefully he looks into it further if he has not already done so.

I look forward to hearing from his staff about the ACP. I would love to see something come of this (preferably that the ACP for the Army goes UP, not that they bring the ACP for the other branches of service DOWN) but I am not holding my breath. Call me a cynical optimist.


- hfs

P.S. Tim ~ I fixed it. Hope that makes the rest of your day bright.


If you could ask General Pace a question...

...what would it be? Because I'm possibly going to have an opportunity to do just that in the next few days.

I'm trying to come up with a question that makes him stop and THINK.

Any thoughts? Please?


- hfs


This made me chuckle


As most of you receiving this know, New Orleans residents are challenged often with the task of tracing home titles back potentially hundreds of years. With a community rich with history stretching back over two centuries, houses have been passed along through generations of family, making it quite difficult to establish ownership.

Here's a great letter an attorney wrote to the FHA on behalf of a client that I thought was absolutely priceless!! This is one lawyer you gotta love!!...... It's too good not to share!

A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted, if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer three months to track down.

After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply:

(Actual letter): "Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin."

Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows (actual letter):

"Your letter regarding title in Case No. 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 194 years covered by the present application.

I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased, by the U.S. , from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application.

For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France , which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain . The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the Spanish monarch, Isabella.

The good queen, Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus ' expedition.

Now the Pope, as I'm sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world called Louisiana .

God, therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back, to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it AND the FHA.

I hope you find God's original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our damn loan?"

The loan was approved.


Just a little update on us. We're ok. The memorial for our friend's husband is this coming Wednesday here. She seems to be holding up amazingly well and is blessed with not only a strong faith but also a wonderful group of close friends and supportive FRG. For that, I am grateful.

The names of those on board the Chinook that went down last week have not been officially released but I have seen them and none of the names are familiar. Yet, I pray for their families and their friends that were left behind.

And I pray that this week is a better week.


- hfs


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...