HoydenSeek’s Weblog

hoy·den: a boisterous, bold, and carefree girl; a tomboy + seek: to go in search or quest of

Meet Ginger! December 15, 2009

Filed under: Doggie Delight — suzanne turner @ 9:43 pm

The newest addition to our family. 😀

 

Re: Political Disagreement with Lovable Grandmother

Filed under: Rants (Politics) — suzanne turner @ 9:21 pm

Well, I love my family and friends like no other, but I still can’t shut my mouth when we see things from different perspectives. Luckily I haven’t lost any friends or family over this big electronic mouth of mine…I’ve even made a few during discussions (some heated, some not) with friends, and even friends of friends on facebook. It’s going pretty well, but hopefully, my dear Grandma understands when she gets this response to her email forward tonight. I’ve held my tongue mostly til now, though she knows my stance politically. I don’t know if she sends them to me to try to persuade me to change my mind, or if she just sends them to a bunch of people in her address book… regardless, here’s how it went. Already hit send, reply to all… Am I a jerk?

Email forward from dear Grandma:

“Excellent letter to AARP

This was sent to the Executive Director of AARP.

THIS LADY NOT ONLY HAS A GRASP OF ‘THE SITUATION’ BUT AN INCREDIBLE COMMAND OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE!

This has been authenticated by Snopes –
http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/aarp.asp

Dear Mr. Rand,

Recently you sent us a letter encouraging us to renew our lapsed
membership in AARP by the requested date. I know it is not what you
were looking for, but this is the most honest response I can give you.
Our gap in coverage is merely a microscopic symptom of the real
problem, a deepening lack of faith.

While we have proudly maintained our membership for several years and
have long admired the AARP goals and principles, regrettably, we can no
longer endorse it’s abdication of our values. Your letter specifically
stated that we can count on AARP to speak up for our rights, yet the
voice we hear is not ours. Your offer of being kept up to date on
important issues through DIVIDED WE FAIL presents neither an impartial
view nor the one we have come to embrace. We do believe that when two
parties agree all the time on everything presented to them, one is
probably not necessary. But, when the opinions and long term goals are
diametrically opposed, the divorce is imminent. This is the philosophy
which spawned our 200 years of government.

Once upon a time, we looked forward to being part of the senior
demographic. We also looked to AARP to provide certain benefits and
give our voice a power we could not possibly hope to achieve on our
own. AARP gave us a sense of belonging which we no longer enjoy. The
Socialist politics practiced by the Obama administration and empowered
by AARP serves only to raise the blood pressure my medical insurance
strives to contain. Clearly a conflict of interest there!

We do not understand the AARP posture, feel greatly betrayed by the guiding forces that we expected to map out our senior years and leave your ranks with a great sense of regret. We mitigate that disappointment with the relief of knowing that we are not contributing to the problem anymore by renewing our membership. There are numerous other organizations which offer discounts without threatening our way of life or offending our sensibilities.

This Presidential Administration scares the living daylights out of us.
Not just for ourselves, but for our proud and bloodstained heritage. But even more importantly for our children and grandchildren. Washington has rendered Soylent Green a prophetic cautionary tale rather than a nonfiction scare tactic. I have never in my life endorsed any militant or radical groups, yet now I find myself listening to them. I don’t have to agree with them to appreciate the fear which birthed their existence. Their borderline insanity presents little more than a balance to the voice of the Socialist mindset in power. Perhaps I became American by a great stroke of luck in some cosmic uterine lottery, but in my adulthood I CHOOSE to embrace it and nurture the freedoms it represents as well as the responsibilities it requires.

Your website generously offers us the opportunity to receive all communication in Spanish. ARE YOU KIDDING??? Someone has broken into our ‘house’, invaded our home without our invitation or consent. The
President has insisted we keep the perpetrator in comfort and learn the
perp language so we can communicate our reluctant welcome to them.

I DON’T choose to welcome them.
I DON’T choose to support them.
I DON’T choose to educate them.
I DON’T choose to medicate them, pay for their food or clothing.

American home invaders get arrested. Please explain to me why foreign lawbreakers can enjoy privileges on American soil that Americans do not get?

Why do some immigrants have to play the game to be welcomed and others only have to break & enter to be welcomed?

We travel for a living. Walt hauls horses all over this great country, averaging over 10,000 miles a month when he is out there. He meets more
people than a politician on caffeine overdose. Of all the many good folks he enjoyed on this last 10,000 miles, this trip yielded only ONE
supporter of the current administration. One of us is out of touch with
mainstream America. Since our poll is conducted without funding, I have
more faith in it than one which is power driven.

We have decided to forward this to everyone on our mailing list, and will encourage them to do the same. With several hundred in my address book, I have every faith that the eventual exponential factor will make a credible statement to you.

I am disappointed as hell.
I am scared as hell.
I am MAD as hell, and I’m NOT gonna take it anymore!

Walt & Cyndy

Miller Farms Equine Transport

I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO KEEP THIS MOVING FORWARD”



And my response:

I’m sorry, [I love you Grandma!], but I have to say I disagree with every part of that letter, but maybe that’s because I’m still under 30 for a couple more years. 🙂

What does AARP have to do with politics anyway? I think this gal is barking up the wrong tree. The fact that their website information is available in Spanish shows that they respect the fact that people who immigrate here are also Americans.

The belief that everyone should have access to decent health care is not Socialist. I don’t have affordable access to health care right now; I was born in this country, have been employed since I was of age, have a college degree, and pay my taxes just like everyone else. The fact that I work for small businesses, am a contract employee or have done seasonal work (not to mention my friend who is my age who has suffered from lymphoma and been refused health insurance as this qualifies as a “pre-existing condition”)… these are reasons I have not seen a doctor, dentist, nor optometrist in quite a few years. This is also why my friend has to come up with thousands of dollars if he needs bloodwork and tests done to see if his cancer has returned. Or he could just sit and wonder I guess, since he is a Graphic Designer who does contract work supplemented by part-time work for a small business as well.

No matter what you hear on FOX News, other countries are kicking our ass in the health care department. It’s time to reevaluate. Unfortunately, the health care bill is getting bogged down with frivolous issues while the ones that really need to be addressed are being thrown off the table.

Ok, enough. I respect your opinions whether or not you agree with the letter’s stance. Just had to put it out there that this is not something I can say I agree with.

Love to All,
Suzanne

 

Frustration!!! September 7, 2009

Filed under: Rants (Politics) — suzanne turner @ 3:46 pm
Frustration!!!
Frankly, I am dismayed at all the resistance to President Obama’s upcoming speech and the blockades put in front of him already as he tries to make positive speeches, positive changes, have a positive, progessive impact.

So many people who hate him have no grounds- admittedly. They say its not his policies, it’s not anything he’s done, they just hate him and don’t trust him. Well, why is it then? I can’t help but wonder if it has to do with the color of his skin. I thought we’d come a little farther than this as a country. But apparently not.

The fact that people would rather listen to the negative drivel pumping out of the mouths of Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh than hear a positive speech given by our nation’s President- it makes me very sad. People don’t mind that their chidren sit watching commercial after commerical for fast food, Barbie, and make-up and programs that glorify models, actors, pro sports stars and gyrating, barely-dressed “musicians” but they absolutely don’t want their kids to watch a historical moment in politics where their President encourages them to work hard and stay in school.

The media hype in this country and the resulting hysteria over absolutely nothing shows me that the reporting (and the reaction) is beyong partisan. It is negative, fear-based, petty, unfounded, baseless, illogical, counterproductive, hate-driven and utterly unintelligent propaganda.

People had no problem with Kennedy saying “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” In fact they loved it and rallied behind it. Lest we forget we are in a time of war, a time of recession, a time when great change is needed. And when someone strong enough to make those changes steps up and aims to get things done, people want to step in his way, for no other reason than they didn’t want him to win, and now don’t want him to succeed. That attitude is childish, selfish, prideful, and shortsighted. How can they not see that hurting his efforts would hurt themselves?

Get over yourself, your party, and your attachments to what you wanted. Stop stamping your foot and accept it- you don’t like him, you didn’t vote for him, but now he might actually do something good. You voted, you showed that you care about your country enough to show up and participate in the process that defines our great democracy. Now let’s get it together and show that we care enough about our country to get it out of the crapper, no matter what it takes or who is doing it. Giving more support, being more informed and thinking more for ourselves are the best things a person can do right now if we care about our country.

Regarding the speech- by all means, do your best to monitor what your kids see. Keep in mind that there are a lot of things your kids are going to see and hear over the course of growing up that you wish they didn’t or don’t agree with. Maybe make it a habit of having discussions with them about everything so they always know how you feel. For parents to be afraid that this speech is trying to indoctrinate their children is ludicrous. You, as a parent, have the ability and the responsibility to teach your children as you see fit. If a think few minutes of someone else talking to them is going to counteract all you’ve taught them, you’re going to have a really hard time if they have friends, see movies, watch tv, listen to the radio or go to public schools.

Here’s the speech:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/

Read it and decide for yourself what you think and if you would let your kids watch this speech. If he goes off course from the prepared remarks, starts goose-stepping and his tongue rolls out of his mouth like Gene Simmons, and he starts ranting on live TV about wanting all the kids to take up arms and form his personal militia wearing little brown shirts, then we’ll have another talk.

P.S. Can you think of any reason that Hitler and Obama would have been friends? No. Hitler would have wanted to kill Obama. So actually that is something that Hitler had in common with that backwoods Pastor saying he wants Obama to die. (Hmmm, Christian indeed.) In that regard, people who hate Obama would have something in common with Hitler. Chew on that.

 

Thoughts on Religion March 12, 2009

Filed under: Religion & Spirituality — suzanne turner @ 9:38 pm

So I’m trying to do a little extra work from home, and so I should be looking at the ads, but I started looking at one of the articles in Spirituality & Health Magazine. It is by Rabbi Rami Shapiro on how to answer childrens’ questions about religion, and this answer is to a child asking about trying to find the right religion. I think it is very beautiful, and most adults would do well to take it to heart. Truly following what you profess to believe is at the heart of living well. You can say whatever you want about your faith, but you shouldn’t have to. The way we live our lives speaks volumes about our beliefs and values, and nothing else.

“Religion is like a bucket you drop into a well to draw up water. In this analogy, ‘water’ refers to those transformative experiences that lift you out of your ego and into the One, leaving you more just, more kind, more humble. The ‘bucket’ is the means by which you engage those experiences. The bucket is a tool; it is the water, the experience that matters.

Unfortunately, we forget this and worship our buckets rather than use them. The water in the bucket soon dries and we go in search of another bucket. At first, the new bucket, brimming with fresh water, is wonderful, but in time we make the same mistake and again find ourselves spiritually dry. What we have to do is shift our attention from the bucket to the water, and when we do, any bucket can be of service. Every religion has contemplative practices for drawing up water from the well. My advice to you is this: don’t worry about finding the right religion; find the right practice, the one that works for you. Once you have found it, you will never leave it.”

 

Perfect Mix & Match Salad February 23, 2009

Filed under: Food,Health & Beauty — suzanne turner @ 12:20 am

I always crave the same kinds of flavors- complex, contrasting, crunchy, bold, balanced. I have found I can often achieve the correct blend of flavors to satisfy me in a salad. But the formula is nearly always the same, and its nothing new. I first had this type of flavor combination in Marcia Dow’s AMAZING salad years ago. I have lost that recipe and asked her for it again so many times, but now I pretty much have the main points committed to memory because I can’t bear to be without it. Then I had a similar combo at Panera, and now they are doing it everywhere. The basic recipe is always greens + cheese + fruit + nuts + dressing (poppyseed vinaigrette is my favorite and always seems to pair well with these ingredients.) You can add anything and use practially any variety of each component. I add chicken like Panera did in order to get protein, add some warmth and make it a seriously satisfying meal.  Marcia’s salad used candied pecans, feta, and craisins and it is seriously good.  Tonight I used sliced almonds, crumbled gorgonzola, and halved grapes and sliced apples. Then I topped it with chicken that I had cooked stovetop with halved cranberries and sliced onions in 1T butter, about 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, and a splash of real maple syrup and about 1 T honey. I reduced that and let the chicken strips and onions brown all over adding black pepper to taste. I was really just throwing things together hoping it worked, but it turned out exactly as I had envisioned. The gorgonzola is so creamy and delicious. I would say I used about 2 T for a medium-sized salad. The greens were a mixture of green leaf lettuce, red chard, and the “fresh herb mix” from Sprouts’ small box. I always rinse the greens for a minute and then chop into small bite size slices. I think it helps the other flavors mix into the greens easier when they are small, and it’s easier to eat. So I plan to play around with this a lot more and try all the combinations! Here are the basic combos:

Balsamic glaze with turkey breast, chicken, pork chops + strawberries, cranberries, or raspberries

Red or white onions raw or in glaze

Pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts

Apples, pears, plums, grapes- cold and crisp on top

Feta, blue cheese, gorgonzola, goat cheese     

Diet Bonus: You get a good amount of protein, antioxidants, a bit of calcium plus good fats and a limited amount of carbs from the fruits. I try never to add anymore sweetening than is neccesary, which makes this a great way to control your blood sugar, especially late in the day.

In my current self-designed nutrition plan, I try to eat complex carbs mostly in the morning with a little protein, and then swith the ratio the other way throughout the day, adding protein and subtracting carbs as the day progresses. This gives me sustained energy for the day’s activities, and then prevents carbs from storing as fat toward the evening. I also try to stop eating 2-3 hours before bed to keep any remaining carb calories from being stored overnight as fat. That is the reasoning behind the salad as a dinner choice. If I had it at lunch, I would want to have a small bowl of whole grains on the side, like brown rice or barley. They could also just be added to the salad. This never bothers me. I just have to be mindful about adding the right portion size of grains. Usually, I cook a good amount of barley each week to have in the fridge ready to add to soups and such, but I’ve noticed it needs to be used within a day or two. I also just have a few crackers or a bit of granola or cereal. I could also add whole grain croutons, wonton strips, or crumbled Terra chips. I have Terra chips in small portions as a topping or a treat from time to time. I can’t resist them if they’re on sale. The apple slices also give a little bit of low GI carb content.

 

slacker.com & the slacker portable February 11, 2009

Filed under: Entertainment,Very Good Things — suzanne turner @ 1:59 am

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ – Website; Handheld Internet Radio/MP3 Player

I know a lot of people enjoy internet radio, and I think a lot of people use Pandora or Yahoo music like I used to… until I discovered Slacker Radio. (Actually, Kim discovered it and enlightened me. Thanks Cheesehead Sr!) Anyway, it has so many great things about it, I’d better get to it.

  1. The site has tons of premade stations, so you can just click one and go. Or…
  2. It also has the option to make your own station, which is really easy. You can start with another station and edit it, or add artists you like manually to build stations for every mood. It’s like an ever-changing playlist.
  3. Whenever a song is playing that you like, you can tell it so. You can also ban songs and artists that you don’t like from ever being played again on that station. So it gets to know what you like and plays more of it. I can’t possibly go into all the details, but suffice it to say that it is extremely customizable.
  4. You can listen to other people’s custom stations, including those made by your friends.
  5. There are comedy stations, both clean and explicit that can brighten any day in a minute.
  6. You can tell it how much you want to be exposed to new artists. It’s a great way to get suggestions. It knows that if you like Jeff Buckley you might also like Elliott Smith and may never have heard of him. Or say you then become a huge Elliott Smith fan… you can quickly make an Elliott Smith station, which automatically plays primarily his music and the 25 other artists most like him. It’s a great way to deeply explore your favorite genres and really branch out.
  7. There are no commercials! That is one of the things I can’t stand about regular radio- half of it is talk, and the other half is nearly all commercials. The small remainder is music. Very rarely on Slacker, there is a little blurb that just says “Slacker Radio” I would say it’s about 5 seconds long. I hear it once about every hundred songs or so. I can live with that.
  8. Best of all, the basic use of the site (unlimited) is FREE. I have never felt the need to upgrade. Though if you do, you can save songs you like to your library, request certain songs to play on your stations, and skip an unlimited number of songs.
  9. Slacker, Inc. Headquarters : 16935 W. Bernardo Dr. Suite 270, San Diego, CA 92127  – Woohoo SD!!!

In addition to the awesome site which keeps you company at your desk, there is also the slacker portable player. Joel and I both opogled these over the summer and finally sprung for them. And we’re so glad we did. I still use mine every day. (My iPod is now my backup player, if that gives you any idea how much I love it.)  Also, if you have an iPhone or Blackberry, you can use the applications without even buying the Slacker portable. Again, the app and the service are FREE. But if you are in the market for a portable player, here is the rundown:

  1. It is great for working out, though it is a little bigger than an ipod. The iPod is still better for running because it fits in an armband. Luckily, I don’t run! 🙂 (Keep in mind, we got the first generation of portables, and they have already since come out with a slightly smaller version.) They have great pictures of it on their site, of course.
  2. It has buttons to quickly let you “heart” or ban a song from your portable stations.
  3. It updates when you connect it to the internet to refresh with the changes you may have made to your stations, and to get new music for them.
  4. It comes with pretty decent earbuds, a wall rapid charger, and a USB cable that connects it to your computer.
  5. It has a library that you can use to store songs from your current music collection. It even has a user-friendly drag & drop method for transferring songs from Windows Media Player right into your portable library.
  6. It has a great big glossy color display that will tell you about the songs and artists.

The minor drawbacks:

  1. The portable is a little larger than I would like, though very light.
  2. I don’t really like or use the protective tough cloth case it comes with, though Joel uses his.
  3. Sometimes it can take a while to connect and update. It depends on your internet connection, but I think it is pretty slow. You don’t have to refresh it all the time, though. It prompts you every few weeks, but you only have to do it every few months. I never get bored with all the stations, so I hardly ever update it.
  4. I wish it had more stations that were separate regarding movies and musicals. I like musicals, but not all Broadway music. And I wish they weren’t lumped together. I also wish they had soundtracks separate from scores…

Obviously, I’m splitting hairs and reaching for cons, but it is to illustrate that I am being thorough. Overall, it is the coolest thing ever. So despite the drawbacks, I still give it 5 hearts. They may even have addressed some of these issues once I got my first edition. 🙂 And even if they didn’t, I would buy it again in a heartbeat… Though, I may have just bought a Blackberry or an iPhone if I had known about the compatability. But the Slacker was cheaper.  🙂

 

Denver eats, so far February 9, 2009

Filed under: Food,Very Good Things — suzanne turner @ 2:07 am

India’s Pearl         

Food: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥    Atmosphere: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Duffeyroll              

Food: ♥ ♥ ♥           Atmosphere: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The Hornet          

Food: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥        Atmosphere: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Fontana Sushi    

Food: ♥ ♥ ♥         Atmosphere: ♥ ♥ ♥

Yume Sushi        

Food: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥        Atmosphere: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥