Sunday, January 25, 2009

Letting Ani speak for me today

Laird and I were blown away by this song last night listening to Mountain Stage.

A glorious hymn to the atom by Ani DiFranco.

Better sound here from her cd "Red Latter Year". You can also hear it here as part of the archived podcast of her January 16th Mountain Stage performance, but it takes a little more effort to get to it. Definately worth it.

Lyrics here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What if the mightiest word is love?

We went to the Inaugural Ball at the WVU Alumni Center to dance with a great crowd of people celebrating a new day in America, a new day for the world. When I woke the next morning, I had this thought: there are two kinds of Americans. There are the Americans who think this country is great because it is prosperous. And there are those who think America is great because people are free. (I guess you also have to count the ones who don't believe America is great, but I'm guessing they weren't at any of the Balls in this land on Tuesday.) The reason Obama's speech on Tuesday was so compelling is because he was speaking for all the Americans who define greatness by the freedom to be who we are, to work with integrity, to build and to give according to our abilities, and he is wise enough to know that with great freedom comes great responsibility. The responsibility to love one another. To love one another enough to tolerate their freedom to be who they are. To love one another enough to help those who are in need. To love one another enough to cry while smiling at your great moment of accomplishment, on the eve of your taking on the hardest work you have ever done. To love one another enough to know that prosperity is not the only, or even the best, measure of greatness.

Here is my favorite part of President Obama's Inaugural speech.

"Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

"This is the price and the promise of citizenship."
-President Barack Hussein Obama

And here is a link to the beautiful poem by Elizabeth Alexander, Praise Song for the Day.

Praise song for struggle;
praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I need Africa.....


Well, the electric stayed on, so court did progress. Sixty percent of our agency's families passed court on Friday - yippee! - all of them first time court dates. We, however, did not pass. The judge wants one more piece of paper from the local government from which the children came. Our new court date is March 5, and if we pass that day, we may travel in late March or early April. I think that is the beginning of the rainy season in Ethiopia. Good thing my mom taught me to LOVE rain! Meanwhile, we will be using the unexpected extra time to finish the house and learn more Amharic. Our fabulous helpers (trip companion and house-sitter) are still on board, thankfully.

We are enjoying all the MLK and Obama celebrations on tv and here in town. Today, I went to the MLK birthday celebration downtown and was treated to a live preformance of Ilene Evans portrayal of Harriet Tubman. It was awesome. And tomorrow night, I will be going to the local Inaugural Ball. My friend lent me a fabulous gown, but Laird hasn't figured out what he will wear as his suit is an hour-and-a-half drive away. Gotta go make supper so I can be done with that before the Kids' Inaugural Celebration on Disney channel. Oh My!!!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tonight is a Big Day

Friday is our court day in Ethiopia. Which means tonight, our time. Please send electric family vibes to Addis to expedite the homecoming of our three brave and bright Knights.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Oh, what a beautiful morning...

Maybe it is because I went to bed at 8 pm last night, it has been a Wonderful Morning after an exhausting week. I'm not sure why work was so tiring this week - we met our big deadline without a whole lot of stress and overtime - but I was so tired last night I fell asleep on the couch at 7 and went to bed at 8 after my wonderful husband finished the load of laundry I had put in that morning and made the bed.

So, this morning, after lounging in bed talking (one of the best things in the world!) we got up with ideas for a yummy breakfast. I made biscuits (from scratch - recipe courtesy my Nana's Joy of Cooking) while Laird made sausage and gravy. We had purchased a half a pig from a local farm friend of ours last month and we have a lot of happy pork in our freezer now. I squeezed some Florida oranges we had purchased to support University High to make juice, and Laird pulled out the little Espresso pot to see if we could figure it out. We have been without coffee for weeks because our French press fell off the counter and broke, so this morning, Laird was desperate for coffee. The little pot works and is really fast and the espresso was delicious! I made a latte; he had his straight. When the first pot was done in less than two minutes, he was surprised at the speed and I said, "That's why they call it espresso." He countered with "No, it is espresso because it is expressed from ground coffee." We like to argue about things when we really don't know the facts. So, after breakfast, we consulted The Oracle and found this link which told us that espresso is a cup of coffee made expressly for you.

Then, to top it all off, we cracked open the sweet potato butter my niece, Becky, made. I scored it at the Walker Family Christmas Party. That, on a warm home-made biscuit - OMG.

All Hail the Bialatti!

It is less than a week until our court date!!!! So, I am off to clean up the kitchen and attack my finances so I can apply for a refinance on my house to cover the travel expenses and be able to take off work for four to six weeks. Laird is using his new right-hand cordless drill to finish the fireplace project and then move on to installing the second bathroom. Did I mention it is less than a week until our court date? Ack!!!!! That means we could be leaving for Ethiopia in about five weeks..... if we pass court. Pray the electricity stays on in Addis on January 16th!