The Gardens of Serendipity Shore

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05/19/2004 5:27 PM

Gardening Challenge at Serendipity Shore
Serendipity Shore, Kaitlyn, is the name of grandmother’s new home. Her old home was named Critter Cove and grandmother wrote a book of the same name. It has never been published but you may read it someday if you’ve a mind.

I called the new abode Serendipity Shore because a)it’s near the shore and b)the purchase of the new home, the sale of the old one, the transition of jobs and property-all went fluidly and as if pre-ordained. The nasty neighbors on either side notwithstanding, Kaitlyn.

The lawn beckoned before me, Kaitlyn, and at the time the entire front yard was but a big gully with dirt piled everywhere. This is because the septic field went kerplooey in the year prior to our purchase. The sellers had to fix everything before Billy and I purchased the property but I did not insist on repair to the lawn landscaping.

This is because grandmother had great plans for the grand front yard to include using the dismayed land to install a garden on two.

Which I did.

However, because I was in the process of moving, came the time for me to put down grass seed, well I was not around to properly water the fresh seed as often as required. Hence the front lawn at Serendipity Shore became a mish-mash of grass and weeds that defy description.

This year, Kaitlyn, grandmother has to make sense of that front lawn. For while my gardening and eco-system self has never been a slave to lawns, the complicated system of weeds interspersed with rare stands of grass that comprises our front lawn is not acceptable.

So grandmother schlepps to the hardware store to see what she can find. Kaitlyn they sell bags of stuff that only have to be strewn across the landscape. The bags contain grass seed, mulch, weed killer and fertilizer. One application and the lawn becomes one suitable for the glossy magazines.

God Bless America.

Okay, so it hasn’t been quite that simple and grandmother’s husband is the lot’s main mow guy and is horticulturally challenged.

“You mean you just lay the stuff down and it kills the weeds and not the grass?” Billy asks with an air of disbelief.

Like I said, God Bless America. For the stuff has yet (it’s been a week) to make stands of waving grasses on the fruited plains. It has, Kaitlyn, killed every damn weed on the landscape.

I don’t know how it knows to kill weeds and not grass but it does and now the front lawn is void of weeds and only sparsely populated by grass. It’s enough for grandmother, Kaitlyn, because if nothing else those weeds will stop springing up overnight and immediately after a mowing. The whole effect was one of the proverbial urban corner sandlot.

Besides the lawn issue there’s been many garden challenges as grandmother learns and studies the new eco-system so different from Critter Cove.

Two beautiful bushes, Kaitlyn, bushes I’ve yet to identify but in May they’d hang heavy with pretty pink flowers. Both of them died, boom, may they rest in peace, over the winter.

Grandmother hung her head in shame. One year in the new eco-system and grandmother kills two beautiful bushes.

Amazingly, the seller of the house had the entire front professionally landscaped, including, get this, an underground watering system.

“Just turn this on once a day,” the seller told me with pride, “and it will water all of your bushes.”

“How long do I leave it on?” grandmother asked, never once owning or even imagining owning, a complicated in-the-ground drip irrigation system.

“About four hours,” the seller told me.

The landscaping around the house is lovely with a handsome assortment of bushes that mostly thrive when not outright dying. Burning Bushes line the porch front. There a gazillion lovely hostas that open their precision leaves gracefully every spring. Grandmother could never have hostas in Critter Cove, Kaitlyn, because of the slugs. There are a slew of azaleas, all a pretty vibrant pink that are mature and perfectly sized. Rose bushes, lilacs, and a huge honeysuckle vine, Kaitlyn, line the fence.

Here’s a promise, Kaitlyn Mae. When you are, oh about four years old, grandmother will make you a honeysuckle ice cream. I made them as a child and yup, you actually suck on the stamen of the honeysuckle.

While it might all sound lush, well not quite. The landscapers installed Clematis which tried to grow but did not. The rose bushes placed alongside the fence need more sun. They’ve all shriveled up with the ubiquitous mold throughout Delaware. A lone rhododendron managed a few weak blooms. I don’t know what those landscapers put along that fence but grandmother had to rip them all out.

Grandmother brought a little bit of Critter Cove with her, Kaitlyn, and crossing fingers, so far the results have been spectacular.

Beginning with the hedge roses. Ah, yes, Kaitlyn, grandmother loves roses and these guys were the only kind that would grow at all in the very shady Critter Cove. The gardens here at Serendipity Shore are all mostly in full sun. I transplanted every hedge rose then growing with only a mild enthusiasm in Critter Cove. In the new garden carved out square alongside the driveway I planted those buggers, all scraggly and tired from the long trip from Merryland to Delawear. This year they are filled with buds drooping heavy on long green and happy rosebush limbs.

I brought every single whiskey barrel planter from Critter Cove to Serendipity Shore and yes they were a pain of the highest order to transport. But along with the containers came every bush I'd planted in them. Of course I had to make some changes in the combinations and permutations but so far so good.

The peonies have always been in a container and that’s because I heard it was impossible to transplant a peony. So I figured I’d plant them in a container then move the container when and where I wanted it. There’s a reason, Kaitlyn, that peonies are hard to transplant and it’s because it would take two sticks of dynamite and a mortar round to get those stubborn roots out of that container. I have two peony bushes in containers, one a whiskey barrel planter and the other a decorative resin thing. Since the peonies won’t go to the soil I had to put the planters where the bushes would normally grow directly from the land.

The whiskey barrel peony always did sport big fuschia colored triple/quadruple flowers but this year, Kaitlyn, aided and abetted by the full sun it never got in Critter Cove, the thing blooms outrageously and shamelessly.

I now have another problem with the happy peonies in that back in Critter Cove, when it would produce one, perhaps two, enormous but vibrant flowers, I would stake them proudly. This year I have used every stake used for the errant fence garden, once used to hold dying clematis and moldy roses, and still those huge blooms droop like a blowsy bunch of pretty ladies what had too much to drink. There’s something inherently suspect about a flower bush that cannot even bear the weight of its own bloom.

If I had it to do over I’d leave the peonies to the gardening matrons.

I moved the hydrangea OUT of the whiskey barrel and planted it alongside that ugly fence. I also went out and purchased a bunch of bushes, little things but as I envisioned it, they would grow to leafy abundance and soften that fence. If I was lucky I’d never have to see that awful neighbor again. This is when I made my second big mistake, Kaitlyn.

For the landscapers had put down at least a foot of mulch when they put in the inappropriate clematis and rose bushes alongside that fence. Dumb grandmother dug a hole for the new bushes but never did dig down to the actual DIRT. The tiny bushes did survive but for a while I wondered why everything I planted there kept dying. Or looked like they were dying, because the new bushes and the transplanted hydrangea are now all happy and growing guys.

I discovered that whatever those pretty bushes were that bloomed last spring and died over the winter, they are evidently not hardy in this area. I noted during a drive down the road that a few other folk had these big dead things in their yard. In fact, Kaitlyn, grandmother did save part of this pretty bush by lashing the thing directly to the house. The warmth from the house likely kept it alive. Not that I knew what I was doing, but I could see ugly dead brown limbs and I know dying when I see it. So I acted to save one bush but frankly, now, what’s the point of any bush or plant not appropriate for its environment?

An eco-system must be studied, Kaitlyn. The landscapers had a standard set of bushes that, through study and experience, they knew most homeowners with no love of gardening would appreciate. And that three feet of mulch all over the place drives me nuts. Even the dumbest should know not to plant clematis and rose bushes under a big nut tree of some sort and a huge towering pine wasn’t smart. The rest of that front yard, Kaitlyn, is filled with sun. They put the plants requiring the most sunshine in the one shady area of the lot.

As for that drip irrigation system, well it’s been disconnected. Grandmother doesn’t want to sound old-fashioned but the notion of turning a faucet on then four hours later turning it off doesn’t seem quite right. I have no idea what bushes and plants are getting watered, or how much, or if it’s enough. Besides, watering a garden with a hose in hand is, for grandmother anyway, one of the more pleasant of gardening activities. I have control this way is what I’m saying here, Kaitlyn.

There’s much more but as of now grandmother is studying the eco-system and given time, will do a much better job than the professional landscapers.



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05/18/2004 4:50 PM

With “Friends” Like These …

To date, Kaitlyn, many words have been written about the end of the hit series “Friends”. Which will likely be yet another grainy TV show from the early 2000 to you in your uncertain future, Kaitlyn.

So grandmother must too weigh in on the Friends demise and really, I don’t have all that much to say. But for posterity, Kaitlyn, for you, I’ll try to unearth an opinion. I do have one.

Which is, specifically, that Friends was really a nothing show about four people alleged to be “friends”. TADA! Whatta plot!

Now the show was mildly entertaining as a form of background noise for other activities then upon. For grandmother, it was never the sort of show deserving of my undivided attention as if a drama of the highest order. And grandmother never did get all that involved with the characters, their quirks and depth. On a purely surface level, none of that cast ever impressed the hell out of me. Or the story line either.

After a few years the relationship of the characters began to confuse me. Of course there was always the interesting, and stupid, saga of Ross and Rachel. Rachel was Ross’ true love but for some reason she got mad at him and the relationship had never been cemented. Oh it had been brought to some sort of fruition as I could swear those two had a baby together. But they never got together as a couple until the last episode, I’ve never been sure why. At one point the Ross character married another woman! And get this, Kaitlyn, Ross had been married to a woman, the mother of his son, who turned out to be a lesbian.

One night I tuned in and lo and behold, Chandler and Monica were suddenly item. And desperate to conceive a baby in the episode I watched.

Phoebe was the only interesting character of the bunch, a dizzy blond who was worth a laugh or two. Joey was the ignoramus of the bunch but with that proverbial soft heart of gold. In some fashion Joey was once involved with Rachel but that sub-plot is vague to me.
The characters in Friends were representatives of the current “X” generation, the thirty somethings of this day that present themselves as cynical, canny and all knowing.

Sex was always on their minds.

Okay, sex is often on a lot of young minds. The Jerry Seinfeld show, a “Friends” pre-cursor, once had an episode where each character joined in a challenge to see who could go the longest without “pleasuring” themselves, may you be old enough to understand this at the reading, Kaitlyn.


Seriously, I do not have now and have never had any group of friends, colleagues or acquaintances that would ever publicly join in such a “challenge”. How on earth would one prove such a thing even if one were to admit to it?

Grandmother is not a prude, Kaitlyn, and shows such as Friends with its sexy undertone provide some juvenile yuks.

The other day I began watching “Laverne and Shirley” on Lifetime TV, Kaitlyn. This show takes place in an earlier and much more innocent era. Sure, there’s references to sex but somehow on Laverne and Shirley one gets the feeling it’s more about making out that actually doing the deed.

At any rate, I laughed out loud at the exploits of Laverne and Shirley. The comedy is a slapstick affair after all and yet I have never laughed out loud at the Friends show. If Laverne and Shirley aren’t desperately trying to fight their way out of a bed that insists on folding itself upright and neatly into a wall unit, then they are struggling to free themselves from the hooks they hang upon, both characters lifted and placed there by a crooked thug, once Shirley’s heart throb.

Okay, corny but I’d argue it’s as funny as a fart and by me farts get entirely too much yuk time in today’s comedy.

So the whole entertainment establishment interviewed the cast of Friends and the wisdom of Jennifer Aniston, mostly famous for her hair, was rained upon us. Perky Katie Courac gushed over the foursome when they appeared on the Today show. Jay Leno laughed it up and asked for their secrets. Ross still looks like a retard and Rachel still appears to have never had a serious thought enter her head.

But someday you shall re-visit the Friends, Kaitlyn, and likely there will be at least one Friends’ reunion a year.

Consider your grandmother unimpressed.


Mom Mom Meets Kaitlyn Mae

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05/11/2004 5:35 PM

Mom Mom Meets Ms. Kaitlyn Mae

This is a grandmother type of entry, Kaitlyn, and likely boring for the political readers. So let me try to intrigue with the notion that as I follow the life of Kaitlyn Mae I will contrast it to national events and their potential effect on the future American citizen to be known as Kaitlyn Mae Frey. I think it’s a pretty name.

Anyway, through no fault of your own you have, lo these first four months since your birth, failed to “wow” me on any level. Fear not young sweet baby girl, for grandmother loves you even though you inherited your father’s total lack of lips and that lazy eye. I tell him about it, too. Your grandmother, Kaitlyn, brings only the finest of genes into the equation from a lineage documented and proven to go back to 1763 in this country. Save for a few marriages to a first cousin or two, the genes are cleansed and strong from my side of the family. Mental health is a whole nother issue and will be discussed in a later chapter.

When I say you’ve yet to “wow” me, it’s really grandmother being a bit selfish. For I want to discuss the war in Iraq with you, young Kaitlyn. I want to walk around my flower beds with you, showing you the happy pansies and explaining just why this will grow and this won’t. I want to identify the birds singing in your surround so when you hear the sound without grandmother in attendance you will know that only the wren sings in the winter and a catbird’s song is the loveliest.

So far in your first few months of life I’ve yet to do any of this with you, Kaitlyn. So when your Mom and Dad drove down to kill two birds (not that your parents kill birds, Kaitlyn) with one stone to visit both grandparents for Mothers’ Day, I was delighted to finally meet you. Because for the first time grandmother got a real peak into the personality of my first granddaughter, Kaitlyn Mae.

I’ve explained to your parents that with immediate psychotherapy and entrance to a special school, it will likely be okay.

Hahahahahaha, Kaitlyn, I made a joke.

Which you will probably laugh at my joke Kaitlyn because you are definitely a person who loves to laugh. One of my fondest memories is your mother standing behind you and laughing, just laughing and making laughing sounds. She’s a nut anyway. Grandmother was holding Kaitlyn who responded to her mother’s maniacal laugh coming from over Mom Mom’s shoulder with sweet little baby giggles and guffaws of her own.

I was wowed.

Evidently the two of you have a great time just sitting around and giggling so I had to laugh myself. Not a joke in sight and we’re all just laughing.

You also are quite adept with the toy things, Kaitlyn, and you got to meet my big dog, Jo-Ann, who grandmother fears might tear Kaitlyn limb to limb in her exuberance. Your eyes immediately darted down to the big dog at your Dad’s knee and I knew then that you rather liked what you saw.

You did seem to like that big dog, Kaitlyn and I certainly hope so. We are a family of animal lovers, Kaitlyn, including your Dad. The big dog did think Kaitlyn was quite the sweet little thing though she had no idea just what, exactly, you were Kaitlyn Mae. Jo-Ann thought you were some sort of human puppy but there were times when your pudgy hands made a scary move of some sort and the dog barked a warning. Causing you to only get more curious about the dog making all that strange noise in front of Kaitlyn Mae. You certainly were not scared.

At this point I think Jo-Ann “gets” it and understands that Kaitlyn is a human puppy and grandmother, Jo-Ann’s stern owner, would not be happy should Jo-Ann harm Kaitlyn Mae. The dog licked you all over, Kaitlyn and nothing we could do would stop her. Made all the more difficult by Kaitlyn Mae enjoying all that licking so much that she encouraged the dog and don’t tell me not. Jo-Ann connected with you Kaitlyn, and understood that the proper thing for introduction was a thorough licking and Kaitlyn approved. She licked your face, your hands, your feet, Kaitlyn the dog loved licking your tiny feet and Kaitlyn’s laughing with the feeling. Jo-Ann established that she was a dog and would lick tiny Kaitlyn, a strange but essentially boring sort of human thing from Jo-Ann’s perspective, in agreement with those terms. Kaitlyn smiled and laughed in human response to the terms.

So far as Jo-Ann sees it the human Kaitlyn does not throw the ball but her father does. Jo-Ann thinks Dad is a way more interesting human than this Kaitlyn thing the humans fawn over.

Sadly, Kaitlyn, you still have failed to “wow” Jo-Ann.


The Propaganda War-Part II

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05/06/2004 5:47 PM

The Propaganda War-Part 2

And so we are in day three of the relentless attack against all things American due to some kooky MP types in the army that did equally kooky things with some Iraqi prisoners. The idiots took pictures of naked terrorists with bags over their head or in other homo-erotic positions.

It takes all kinds, Kaitlyn, and dear God you’d think an Arab so much as never touched a hair on another human’s head. The Middle East is probably the most violent area of our planet just who are we kidding here?

Well so far the President has apologized to the thug rulers beginning with the wonderful Saudi Prince freaking Abdullah. It’s like having Sharon Stone’s mother apologize to Charles Manson.

Someday, Kaitlyn, I’ll tell you who these people are.

So okay, whatever got into those U.S. army guys (and GIRLS!), they should be punished. By whatever rules the U.S. army has for that sort of thing. Because The United States should be taking the high road here, Kaitlyn, as we are billing ourselves as liberators of the Iraqi people when we treat their prisoners like this? Consider this American outraged.

But the debates continue to rage and I must ask how low the United States must go before the media, Democrats and Arabs are satisfied with the resolution of this serious faux pas.

Let’s see, the media would like a nice long juicy trial, commencing at 8 pm every night with adjournment at 11 pm for the nightly news. They’d like to see riots take place all the over the world for the nightly newscast that they continue their ride. They’d like to see a commission appointed by congress to study the problem, commencing at 11 am, stopping at 2 pm.

How about the Democrats? What punishment must the country take on in order to satisfy them that justice is done? Already several of the more left wing types are calling for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of Defense. When every single one of them would drop dead on the spot if the President took them up on it. Fire the Secretary of Defense when we’re in the middle of two wars? Kaitlyn, even the Democrats don’t want that.

Now I suppose that if the Secretary of Defense himself were pictured cavorting and laughing at the naked prisoners he should be fired. I suppose if about 6 kooks out of over 250,000 soldiers now deployed were a bigger percentage than .000000000001% that it currently is, he should be fired.

The proper “cure” for this crime by our army, per the Democrats, would be for every single person in the current administration to be fired and replaced by Democrats. That would keep our army from such misbehavior.

How about the Arabs, Kaitlyn? Goodness knows their sensibilities have been offended, the tender little lamb boats. Remembering, please, Kaitlyn, that no prisoner was actually killed or physically hurt during that strange humiliation session that some idiot (probably a Democrat) actually photographed.

So far America has found enough mass graves in Iraq that populated executed Iraqis in excess of a half a million. Where the hell was all that Arab outrage then?

The Arabs argue that maybe we didn’t kill any of the naked terrorists but we did the worse thing that a human being could do to an Arab male. Muslim males consider it an utmost humiliation to be naked in front of another male. Worse than death even, if you believe Hosna Mubarak.

Last week, Kaitlyn, the worst thing you could do to an Arab male was to step on his face with your shoe, not that this is a familiar act in the United States. The week before it was the supreme insult to Muslim males not to paint their cells baby blue in Guatanamo and provide 72 virgins for their captivity.

These Arab men, Kaitlyn, sensitive souls.

Everyone’s winning the propaganda war except the United States of America. Which is not, Kaitlyn, perfect. Almost. A whole hell of a lot better than the rest of the world even if you factor in the Democrats.

The Arabs, Kaitlyn, are masters at propaganda and why wouldn’t they be? Let’s consider some of the great hoaxes successfully pulled off by the thug leaders of the Muslim world.

--Yassar Arafat is a nice guy. He won the Nobel Peace prize, Kaitlyn! Arafat skimmed all the foreign aid coming to the “poor” Palestinians to his many co-thugs in charge of the oil wealth throughout the Mideast. The man is a terrorist and supporter, aider and abetter of suicide bombers.

--The UN’s vaunted “oil for food” program would feed, clothe, house and medicate the depressed peoples’ of Iraq or so it was pitched to my soccer Mom self. Kofi’s son himself got a few billion from the program and it goes down from there. Rule of thumb: the supporters in favor of keeping Saddam in power were generally recipients of money from the oil for food program. Note the Iraqi people kept piling up in Saddam’s mass graves.

--Al Queda had nothing to do with Iraq. Osama Bin Laden hates Saddam. Yeah, right. They found airplane fuselages in Iraq, better to practice our hijackings with. The perpetrator of the 93 bombing of the World Trade Center lived the rest of his life in a Baghdad safe house and finally died there. What the hell was he doing there, Kaitlyn? What about the airplane fuselages? What about Saddam’s grant of $25K, publicly and openly given, for Palestinian suicide bombers? Saddamn had nothing to do with terrorism and Al Queda?

--Here’s a good one. Recently Israel went up in an airplane and dropped a right nice bomb in the head of Hamas’ leader’s lap. Poor guy was just an old crippled mullah or iman type. For years, Kaitlyn, this guy cajoled little Palestinian children into strapping a bomb vest on and ambling over to Israel and killing some folks. Someone had to teach these 8 and 9 year old innocents how to do it, how to act real casual, how to situate yourself into a crowd that the bomb do the most damage. Someone arranged for their rotten parents, already raising a house full of kids one less doesn’t matter, to get a nice check once the deed was done. Someone arranged for this child to receive a bomb belt affixed not only with bombs, but nails and screws that the horror of the detonation cause maximum injury. The kid sure didn’t design and build that thing.

Suppose we had a person like this in America, Kaitlyn? Suppose someday sweet Kaitlyn is approached by the crippled elderly gentleman down the street and is told that she can become a wonderful saintly heroine if she would just wear this belt for an hour or so? Kaitlyn’s parents encourage sweet Kaitlyn, “Go on, sweety, do what Mohammad tells you. Your Mommy and Daddy will be so proud of you?” Kaitlyn’s Mom asks for the cash before further encouraging Kaitlyn.

The nice elderly man teaches Kaitlyn how to act innocent, how to please her parents, how to get to heaven.

Such a fellow would occupy the nightly news under the true crime heading for months! And Kaitlyn’s parents would be indicted and tried for something as well.

And yet this gentle, elderly Moslem holy man did the same thing and the entire planet…Kaitlyn the entire damn planet…believed he was beloved and kind. And the UN, God Love Those Thieves, condemned Israel for killing this creep!

It’s all about perception, Kaitlyn. While the US are really the good guys, or at least “good” as defined by Hollywood, without the counter-propaganda, it means nothing.

America is doing a really lousy job of propaganda.

The Arabs are the absolute best at it. Which is likely because their leaders are mostly mafia dons with everything to lose should their empire fall. Criminals make the best liars, they are so practiced at it.


If you’d like to receive regular updates on when the Kaitlyn Mae Blog is updated, please send an email to PATFISH1@aol.com.

Please visit http://www.dlsijpress.com/fish/index.shtml
For information on my book “Everything You Need to Know About Being a Woman Can Be Learned in the Garden”.

04/26/2004 3:49 PM

Matt Tillman

Thought I’d take a moment and document the story of Matt Tillman for you young Kaitlyn. For who knows what the history books will say come your time to study American history. Assuming there is still an American history subject in your schools when you are in attendance, Kaitlyn Mae, as they hardly even teach the subject today. Thus your grandmother must document great events and great people as they happen lest you never know the truth granddaughter.

Matt Tillman was a football player, Kaitlyn. Now I don’t even like football and before this past week I never heard of Matt Tillman. I have learned that he was a young man of tender years, the same age as your mother as I write this, Kaitlyn. Matt Tillman is now dead, died at age 26 from wounds received during fighting in Afghanistan.

Before he left for the army, Kaitlyn, Matt Tillman had a 3.6 million dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals locked up.

Yet he left it behind and joined the army.

Something greatly affected Matt Tillman by the attack on our country on 9/11/01, Kaitlyn. He watched his countrymen falling to their deaths from the mighty NY Twin Towers and nothing, not the money, not the fame, much mattered beyond what he felt he had to do.

Tillman did not even ask for the fame of the army, ordering army brass not to capitalize on the publicity of his enlistment and asking his family not to discuss his decision with the press.

Matt Tillman did what he had to do and I’ve been thinking about it all these past couple of days. I’m trying to get behind the hoopla of the press and the spin of the story.

For I’ve become jaded in my middle years, Kaitlyn, and have this endless desire to peak behind the motives of what would seem to be a purely good action.

The politicians taught me this, Kaitlyn.

Anyway, I am stopped cold by the actions of Matt Tillman and yes, I have allowed my mind to accept, however briefly, that there are truly good people in the world…STILL.

Matt Tillman should become an American hero of the likes of Nathan Hale. Who regretted, Kaitlyn, that he had but one life to give for his country just before they hanged him. Lest this factoid isn’t in your history books you must understand.

Sure, the arguments have raged, Kaitlyn, that all of America’s fallen soldiers are heroes on the level of Matt Tillman. But the fact that the pundits have to even say this over the air waves disproves that very statement.

Every soldier currently enlisted did not willingly leave behind a 3.6 million contract for essentially playing a game to earn $18,000 a year working perhaps the hardest and most dangerous job in the world.

I wouldn’t have done it, Kaitlyn.

You may think less of your grandmother for such an admission but your grandmother always tells you the truth my granddaughter.

Now I’d like to attribute noble intentions for my monetary largesse, Kaitlyn, assuming I had a contract for 3.6 million in my hand and the chance to join the army in the other. It’s a stretch but go with me Kaitlyn.

For I too was greatly moved by the events of September 11 on that fateful day. Had I been a young man and under the right circumstances, I am absolutely sure I would have joined the army my own self from the force of my sentiment at the time.

So it’s not like I don’t appreciate the deep emotion that came from watching my country being attacked and my countrymen killed. Yes, I would have joined the army right then, assuming I was a young man and assuming no other pressing obligations in my life.

Obligations such as a 3.6 million dollar football contract.

I know deep in my mercenary heart that I never would have did what Matt Tillman did.

Oh I may have justified my decision with some noble idea that I would contribute greatly to the USO with my largesse. Perhaps I would send elaborate “care” packages to the soldiers in the field.

But I never would have left that money, Kaitlyn, and frankly I still must wonder about Matt Tillman’s sanity. Should such a choice ever confront you my granddaughter, consult with your grandmother first before doing anything rash.

I can only conclude that Matt Tillman did what he did because he deeply believed in what he was doing. He loved his country and the attack upon it stirred something within him that wouldn’t be quelled by money or fame.

I can understand it, Kaitlyn. Because I like to think that no one loves this country more than your grandmother, Kaitlyn, and this love grows every day I see the plight of so many peoples across this planet in my time. IF the country was in danger of immediately being taken over by the crazy Muslims or that nut in Korea (future column on this, Kaitlyn) then I would fight back with all my might in a minute, even with my aging back and flowery mu-mu for uniform.

But under the circumstances existing during Matt Tillman’s time, the country was not currently under attack. The war on terror could have continued on just fine without Tillman is what I’m saying here. Under those circumstances, Kaitlyn, I would have kept the money.

Whether this makes me a lesser person than Matt Tillman is subject to debate. Every football currently playing did not eschew their handsome salaries to join the army. Every accountant or police officer or CEO didn’t walk away from their jobs to take up arms for that matter.

Matt Tillman was driven by an inner urge and after much thought, I have to grant him this.

He was an American, Kaitlyn, and because of young men like Tillman this country is the mightiest on the planet. It might be politically incorrect to mention this but the very first time the Iraqi security patrol went into action most of them either ran away from the battle or just switched sides!

American soldiers do not do this, Kaitlyn. Rare are the times when our army suffers a deserter, coward or traitor. The newly minted Iraqi “army”, Kaitlyn, trained for combat by the mightiest of American marines to defend their country when we would leave them on their own, didn’t have the conviction of our American soldiers.

I could take the low road and call these people natural cowards and I don’t know, perhaps they are. The truth is something a bit more complex I suspect. For Iraq is a newly freed country and as yet those fledgling Iraqi soldiers didn’t have as much of an “investment” in their country.

We have too much to lose in America to risk attack and takeover of our country. Our citizens, Kaitlyn, feel this way, witness your grandmother in her colorful mu-mu uniform and driving a tank.

The citizens of oppressed nations at best could care less if anyone takes over their government, at worst, like Iraq, welcome a conquering army. Citizens of a prosperous and free nation do NOT want any other country taking over control of their lives.

I always say you got to start somewhere, Kaitlyn, and right now America is trying to start with a newly liberated Iraq and give its citizens an investment in their country’s free survival.

Americans kind of like their setup, Kaitlyn, and have formed an impressive army to defend it. All of our citizens (well most, except the kooks) have something to lose if hostile armies conquer us. Which is why the United States has a dedicated army of volunteer soldiers financed by taxpayers very willing to pay the tab for our protection.

We have an investment in our own survival, Kaitlyn. Too many countries are ran by nasty despots who look out only for their own survival and luxury lifestyle.

Some of us are more moved than others to protect our country and frankly, those so moved are likely the ones more apt to serve it well. An army populated by aging grandmother’s with flowing mu-mus would be a sad sight indeed.

It’s about freedom of choice and capitalism and it’s a system that serves us well. Sometimes a keen mind or motivated heart is driven to buck the trend towards prosperity, feeling a stronger call to protect it for everyone.

Matt Tillman was just such a man, Kaitlyn, and he is a hero of our time. He should be in your history books but if not, then consider him forever remembered and admired in your grandmother’s tome to you.


Monster House-Liberal Think at its Worst

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04/26/2004 8:26:41 AM

Monster House-An Example of Liberal Think

Someday, Kaitlyn, The Monster House series might be a cult classic. Perhaps in your era you might watch the grainy re-runs of this show to your complete amusement.

For now, let me explain the show’s concept and how it works. A team of construction workers come into someone’s home and in seven days they practically rebuild the entire structure.

The family’s house that is rebuilt is selected from applicants who tell their story of woe. I assume that the producers choose a lucky family for a home remodel based on public appeal.

One week, for example, they selected a family about to give birth to triplets. Well triplets, Kaitlyn, is an unusual occurrence and my soccer Mom self approved. I cried along with the fortunate family as they shed tears at the sight of their new and greatly improved abode. Hell, triplets, damn I thought, this family DESERVES a new house. Usually, Kaitlyn, the recipients have a small and outdated home. It’s part of the allure to see a tiny house transformed into a mighty mansion. And all in one hour and in living color.

This past week I could not believe my eyeballs at the choice of a family for a home makeover.

Their claim to fame, Kaitlyn, was the fact that a runaway SUV plowed into their home one dark and rainy night.

Now understand a big ass car ramming into your living room is a most unpleasant thing. But there are people all across this United States who have suffered worse fates to their homes. I often read of families left homeless due to raging fires. In California, houses regularly slide right off the cliffs into the ocean.

But okay, let’s allow that an SUV ending up in one’s living room is very sad and a home makeover for such misfortune is greatly warranted. At least this is how I figure the producers saw it.

Let’s look at this family a bit closer, Kaitlyn, and examine how the show played out.

First, the damage by the errant car was not all that bad. At least as I saw it. The car did ram into their living room but it’s not like the entire house collapsed or anything.

Yet the producers saw a good story so okay, let’s grant them this.

The family consisted of a married couple, their teenage daughter, her boyfriend and their baby. You read that right, Kaitlyn. This young couple could only have been around 18 or so and already they have a 6 month old baby. Of course they weren’t married.

The female of the couple is a teacher. The spin begins.

“Being a teacher is a labor of love,” one of the show’s many participants seriously intoned. “Just for this the family deserves a home makeover,” the serious voice continued.

Bullshit, forgive my language Kaitlyn. Last I looked teachers get a PAYCHECK! Not to mention entire summers off, personal holidays should a snowflake fall and benefits that would impress most Americans. What the hell is this labor of love crap? Most teachers are also members of a powerful union that blocks any attempt at actually testing students to see if they have been taught properly not that we should expect teachers to do their jobs or anything. The educational scores in this country at this time, Kaitlyn, are woeful indeed. And the people churning out these educational misfits are doing a labor or love?

It’s liberal think at its worst.

Now let’s continue on. The show sends the lucky families off to some vacation spot or other while the house is being made over. THIS family chose to go to Las Vegas for the week their home was being remodeled.

“We love Las Vegas,” the teacher told the loving cameras. “And I’d love my bathroom to be modeled from the luxury bathrooms in the casinos’ suites for high rollers,” she went on.

This lady is very aware of the bathrooms designed for high rollers, eh? Which means the bitch must spend a lot of time in Las Vegas and I’m betting they do quite a bit of gambling to know the high roller suites so intimately.

As normal, the cameras will roll through the house, ostensibly to show the tiny dreary rooms this unfortunate family must live in. The audience is given an insight into the “before” in this manner, Kaitlyn, that we may be wowed by the “after”.

Kaitlyn, there’s no politically correct way to say this other than these people were piggish slobs and nothing less. And I’m not talking about the room where the SUV crashed. Also, Kaitlyn, note it was an SUV that rammed into their house. SUV’s are the new evil in this country as defined by liberals. Had I crashed into their house with my rather normal Chrysler 300 I am sure this family wouldn’t have been chosen.

More liberal thought at its worst.

Every room in that house was jammed with bonafide junk. I don’t know what the producers thought we were supposed to think but Kaitlyn, slobs don’t impress me. Even the poorest can be neat and clean.

And so the makeover went on, peppered with the drama this show loves: fears that it won’t be done on time, problems with structure, contractors full of woe.

At some point the young couple with the baby were filmed in Las Vegas looking at engagement rings. “They are trying to get their selves straight,” the show’s host lamented. All I could think is they should have gotten themselves straight before they went around screwing without birth control. Hey, it’s a thought and I’ll throw it out there.

Anyway, the young fella picks up a ring in some swanky casino jewelry shop. The ring was studded with exquisite diamonds. The vignette was meant to cause kind soccer Moms like me to lament this poor couple’s unfortunate situation that they could not afford $12,000 diamond rings.

You read it right, Kaitlyn. A $12,000 diamond ring and what does the show’s host do? Calls up the Vegas jeweler and BUYS THE RING!

Just exactly what this young couple needs, Kaitlyn, a twelve freaking thousand dollar diamond ring. Forget college for the poor baby they ill-advisedly brought into the world. Forget such as groceries and money in the bank. It made good copy to give them a huge diamond ring. But hey, maybe they’ll get married and make their poor child legitimate. Stranger things have happened.

I can’t think of any family LESS deserving of a home makeover than this gang. Gamblers and slobs.

It’s liberal thinking at its worst, Kaitlyn.


Vietnam, Iraq and the Lying Politicians



Kaitlyn I am so sick of the politicians’ rhetoric on Vietnam I could spit. Currently in this year of our Lord, there is one would-be president who will NEVER be this country’s president, who is a Vietnam veteran. His name is John F. Kerry and Kaitlyn by the time you read this the man will be a total unknown. Still the man brings to the nation’s conscience the era of a dirty little war fought in the jungles of some small spit of land in the far east somewhere. A war fought for no discernible reason, at least as the American public saw it.

There is also on this date and time a war being waged in a mid east country known as Iraq. Inevitably, the comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam are debated as if they are even remotely similar.

They are not.

Vietnam was raging over 35 years before the date of this writing, Kaitlyn. Not a small span of time and a lifetime when one considers the difference in the weaponry, war methodology, theaters of engagement and public sentiment.

For a minute forget all of this. Read the words of one woman whose life was profoundly affected by that nasty little skirmish in the jungle. Turn deaf ears to the politicians and read how one American’s life was tried, tested and changed forever by the Vietnam war.

The army during that time, Kaitlyn, was NOT a volunteer one. This makes all the difference in the world. The politicians would have us believe that this little factoid is not part of the debate but like I said, deaf ear, Kaitlyn. Learn with your eyes and read on.

The United States of America was not attacked, Kaitlyn, with the result being a war waged in the jungles of Southeast Asia. America is now occupying Iraq in the mideast as a result of a direct attack on our soil, Kaitlyn. This too makes all the difference.

I was a young 18 years of age, graduated from high school and still in love with my childhood sweetheart. We did, like so many of the time, get married at age 19 with hopes of happiness ever after.

Of course we were both aware of the ongoing conflict in Vietnam and the possible repercussions it would have on our lives. We talked about it. My youthful husband didn’t want to go.

I didn’t want him to go either, Kaitlyn, but my sentiments were of a different sort than those of my new husband.

So far as I was concerned, the war in Vietnam was naught but a quagmire (pay attention to that word because it’s raised his ugly name in the rhetoric of the current Iraq war) of a battle that resulted in endless body bags of young American men without any end in sight.

There was no beginning of Vietnam in sight either, Kaitlyn, save some vague notion that the United States needed to stop the North Vietnamese from invading the land of the South Vietnamese. North Vietnam was aided and abetted by the communists. South Vietnam was home of the good guys. At least this is how my muddled mind understood it but it’s no mind, that dirty and ill-fought war in Vietnam was not being battled to win and get out so far as I saw it. Me and much of the rest of America, Kaitlyn, as the era of Vietnam was a time of great unrest in this country and I was right in there marching with lit candles in my hand.

Eventually the United States withdrew from Vietnam due to public pressure because Americans, God bless ‘em, thought a war should be fought to some end and the politicians just weren’t doing it. Instead they were throwing young American bodies at the problem and the public got sick of it.

They didn’t get sick of it soon enough, Kaitlyn, because my young marriage was destroyed by that dirty little war.

My husband didn’t want to go to Vietnam. And he was willing to move to Canada to avoid the draft.

This became problem number one.

As opposed as I was to Vietnam, I didn’t want to leave my country. When Rick brought up the notion of moving to Canada, I totally balked.

By this time the politicians had instituted a lottery, Kaitlyn. Indeed, dates were plucked from a drum. Draftees were enlisted based on their birth date and in the order that the dates were pulled from the drum. My young husband’s birth date was the sixth one pulled from the drum, Kaitlyn. He was going to Vietnam whether he liked it or not.

His parents too were against the dirty little war and agreed to finance our move to Canada. When Rick brought up the idea the blood drained from my face.

Sure I didn’t want my beloved spouse being drafted against his will to go to some steamy jungle for a possible return in a body bag. But to move to another country?

“Supposed America was attacked?” I asked Rick.

“That’s a whole different thing,” he said carefully. “But Vietnam is a politicians’ war, not a battle being fought to win or as a result of our need to defend ourselves. I don’t want to die for the politicians.”

He was right, Kaitlyn. The Democrats were in charge of Vietnam, Kaitlyn, and like Democrats since the beginning of time, they simply cannot run a war. I didn’t want my husband to die for the politicians either.

I also refused to move to Canada.

Rick began preparations for the move with an eye to the draft board’s siren call.

It was the end of my young marriage, Kaitlyn.

I did dearly love the man; loved him since I was 14 years old. With sad eyes I watched him plan and prepare to leave the country. I would not be going with him. How can a marriage survive with the spouses living in different countries? We both knew it was the end.

As it turned out the draft board did call and as it turned out, Rick got a health deferment. Something about bad feet.

It was too late. Something died in our marriage when Rick began to prepare to leave the country. We couldn’t revive it. Perhaps we were too young to work on it, perhaps I resented him for asking me to leave my country, perhaps it was just indifference.

To this day I still love him though he has been remarried for many years, as have I.

So when the politicians go on about Vietnam, comparing the current Iraq conflict to that war, I get angry.

They don’t know what the hell they are talking about.