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Tuesday, May 23rd 2017
Compliments of the Weimaraner
Posted Tue May 23 2017 10:06
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After four years of feeding that dog, he's finally returned the favor...

We let him out around 9:30pm for his last potty break, but then became so entranced with Josh Gates hunting down the Yeti in Nepal, that we'd all forgotten about the dog.

Around 10pm, Our ten-year-old jumped after having seen the dog through the french doors, swinging a rather limp hare from his chops.

The five-year-old shrieked, "Calvin killed the Easter Bunny!", lamenting the loss as a very personal one, a death that could cost him Peeps next year.

We all went onto the back deck where the beautiful grey specimen male proudly displayed his gift to our family. He continued to sniff it up one side and down the other, inspecting his kill as if the USDA would arrive at any moment.

My girl dog, a German Shorthaired Pointer, was unimpressed. After all, she'd already killed three groundhogs this spring, one of which weighed in at an astonishing nine pounds. She was jealous of the attention that bunny was getting from me.

She didn't understand the stark contrast between the three groundhogs she produced vs. that solitary hare. Namely, that fresh rabbit is a delicacy whereas I have no desire to taste groundhog, unless forced.

My husband patted Calvin on the head then asked the kiddos to grab a pair of rubber gloves. He was tired as are most adults of four children at 10pm...and not at all interested in butchering the animal but rather finding a lawn bag to bury it in so Calvin doesn't attempt to redeliver.

A little background...My husband did a German exchange while a young cadet at West Point. It could be the fact that my husband and his family are thoroughly German already but the exchange went so well that over the years, the families made a point to visit one another. During those trips my husband particularly enjoyed the more rustic German foods such as stewed wood-dwellers.

A profound gastronomic experience was how he described the humble "hasenpfeffer". He still talks about it, twenty-five-years later. So, to entice him enough to clean and butcher the still-warm bunny, I offered to make his favorite Bavarian dish (he happily relented!).

I zeroed in on a recipe after surfing, my go-to site for new ingredient prep ideas. Over the years, epicurious has guided me through acquisitions of venison, bison, pheasant, and chucker, skate wing, rockfish, oysters and cactus pears.

But the fun is often in making the standard recipes my own. So for the hasenpfeffer, instead of bacon I used prosciutto, and in place of the current jam I substituted black raspberry preserves made with love by my dear mudder-in-law. In place of the dried herbs, I tossed in finely minced rosemary, chives, greek oregano, and lemon thyme. But I did keep to the recommended shallots. My preferrable red onions would have been too pungent for the young Argentinian Malbec that would be both acid and braising liquid in which to steep a small handful of black peppercorns.

Rabbit and crispy prosciutto being added back to the wine/shallot/herb/peppercorn reduction (below).

My kids couldn't wait for dinner despite the fact that the dissection was rather graphic. They went to school the next morning and told their teachers that they'd be eating a critter that the dog brought home. Sounds a little country, but we're far from sophisticated anyhow. I gave up on that years ago when my husband introduced me to camping, country music, and truck nuts (which I am still not a fan of).

To say the hasenpfeffer was good is a gross underestimation. It was crazy good atop of buttered noodle dumplings and there were no remnants of the poor thing after dinner was over. It was a good lesson in self-sufficiency and so enjoyable that the kids suggested we eat from the yard once a month, which may just become a new tradition in our family...

As long as we avoid the Easter Bunny.

Monday, May 15th 2017
Victims are our heroes, which is bizarre because no one used to think like this. Instead, people thought of warriors--killers and conquerors--as heroes. My fiction aims to revive this concept.
Posted Mon May 15 2017 13:43
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Victims are our heroes. Survived an attack? You're a hero. Survived a tough illness? You're courageous; you're a hero. Lived through a traumatic event through no action of your own? You're a hero. Ours is a bizarre culture, because no one used to think of victims as heroes. Instead, people thought of warriors--killers and conquerors--as heroes. And stories can help us reclaim this rightful view of heroism. My fiction aims to do just that.

Jonathan Eig wrote, "Why You've Heard Of Jessica Lynch, Not Zan Hornbuckle - As Sentiment About War Evolves, Victims Grab Attention, Not Fighters," for The Wall Street Journal in 2003. It's a long read but the story and analysis are worth your time.

Gene Edward Veith of World Magazine noticed the article at the time of its publication and wrote a column of his own about it. Here are some of the insights he had in, "Victims as heroes - Sentimentality has replaced both martial virtues and clear thinking." . . .

Read the entire post at Liberate Liberty.
Tuesday, April 18th 2017
You will only hand them power.
Posted Tue Apr 18 2017 09:08
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In the last post, perhaps some were curious about our dog's name: Ego Sum Attila, Flagellum Dei.
When the original Attila was rampaging all about the crumbling Roman Empire, the church in Rome spread the word that he and his Hunnic hordes were actually sent by God himself to punish them, as with a scourge or whip, for their disobedience to God and to his church. Attila may have been a hard case, but he was by no means stupid and quite literate, so it wasn't long before he would surround a village or town, and when they inquired as to who commanded the host before their walls, he would answer in perfect Latin - Ego sum Attila, flagellum Dei. "I am Attila, the scourge of God." Often resistance would end with this simple declarative sentence. (Our Attila has often been the instrument of God's discipline in our lives, but that is another story.)

In our own Civil War, we see that Lee's reputation swiftly became his own most powerful psychological weapon. Grant, ordinarily as cool as the cucumbers he liked to eat, let some of his commanders have it upon this subject:

"Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you seem to think he is going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command and try to think what we are going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do."

In North Africa during WWII Rommel, as the famed "Desert Fox," got inside his opponents' heads in a big way, to the point where British Gen. Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief Middle East, had to issue the following order:

"There exists a real danger that our friend Rommel is becoming a kind of magician or bogey-man to our troops, who are talking far too much about him. He is by no means a superman, and it is highly undesirable that our men should credit him with supernatural powers.... We must refer to "the Germans" or "the Axis powers" and not always keep harping on Rommel."

Today we face adversaries in the Middle East, in Russia, in North Korea and elsewhere, and while it is always true that one should never underestimate one's enemies, it won't do to make them larger in our minds than they actually are either. That leads to paralysis when action should be the order of the day.

Sunday, April 2nd 2017
Who died and made you the queen of white educated women?
Posted Sun Apr 2 2017 13:49
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Tina Fey- I'm not looking away, I can promise you that.

But women like myself should scare you plenty, and I suspect we do when you're not on camera. Because I couldn't care less about who you are or what you think. And it seems from your most recent interview, you don't care about me either...

As an absolute conservative, my views seem simple. You think I spend my waking hours in front of HGTV and that I'm too preoccupied with pretend things and people to see the Pro-Life movement as the preeminent U.S. champion of female oppression. Your kind are the very same that claim to support women outside of the home yet insisted Ivanka Trump's pumps get out of Nordstrom. You only empathize with working women who think like you.

Yes, you are funny and clever and successful. But that doesn't mean that I must worship you. You are not my leader. You never were nor will you ever be.

You have great taste in glasses. I'll give you that. But beyond the spectacles, you are most certainly guilty of poor taste. Associating with Alec Baldwin? The last time he said something memorable was, "Coffee is for closers!" If only the ACLU truly represented the civil liberties of all Americans, especially the seemingly unwanted. (In case you missed the ACLU telethon, last evening, here's a link. Pictured below are the celebrity headliners.)

You believe that as a white educated woman, I should not be so concerned with the security of our nation, private servers, the care of our vets, the economy, our trade issues, my right as a Christian to stand up for my beliefs, or the right to teach my children (my way) about reproduction. My vote every four years should be limited to the bullet-points of your liberal feminist manifesto, only.

But it is not your job to explain "LGBT" to my thirteen-year-old at public school, and it is certainly not your place to silence the interpreted voice of the unborn.

You call it "women's health" but beat your battle drums as if Trump personally pulled the sponge out from under your vaginal floor.

But fear not! For women everywhere do know where babies come from...and could feel compelled to buy contraceptives if the American Taxpayer is no longer funding abortions. Better yet, they might even forgo no-strings interludes for a man who actually cares.

Heaven forbid that happen. Hmmm....What would Lena Dunham do?

And Ms. Fey, despite your claim, no one is threatening to take away your pap smears, certainly not Donald Trump or Mike Pence. They have more important things to do like figuring out how to beat ISIS.

Entitlement is not my biggest beef with you and your ACLU cohorts. It's the message that none of those tiny lives matter. So in case you haven't heard-

Those aborted babies were wanted

Maybe not by someone like you but by someone like me, or someone much better than me. Someone that believes that all life is precious, no matter how dependent or inconvenient.

Perhaps you should ask an adopted adult if they would have preferred to die. Because the adopted people I know are not only pro-life, but also educated white women. And they aren't looking away either.

I have four cousins who were adopted by my aunt who could not conceive with her husband. They were crack babies, fetal alcohol syndrome babies, or otherwise seemingly undesirable, sickly, and expensive newborns. But guess what? They were wanted.

It is not up to you or Hillary Clinton or Gloria Steinem or Ashley Judd to decide who is wanted and who is not wanted. Who the hell are you to decide who lives and who dies?

The sick thing is that your liberal friends would no doubt have an issue with puppies being cut out of their mother and distributed to high school biology classes to be dissected for the sake of science. Yet somehow, human remains "fortifying" a wrinkle cream with fresh cells is something to celebrate.

How very funny.

Friday, March 31st 2017
Learn from your dog...
Posted Fri Mar 31 2017 09:30
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Ego Sum Attila Flagellum Dei ("Attila" for short, or "Tilly" to his Mommyand nobody else!!!) is almost ten months old now. We got him at eight weeks, and he proceeded to turn our lives - and our house - inside-out and upside-down. His Mommy never had a dog before; let alone one that would grow to a 90 pound mass of rambunctious muscle and fur. Fortunately, having raised three of our own children and being a retired elementary school teacher, she has a behavior modification skill set, and a lot of patience. She needed both.

There are general principles that minimize the disruption (and destruction) a dog can cause, while at the same time maximizing the kind of satisfaction with life only a dog can render unto you. These principles can be extrapolated to life writ large.

First, even though a dog can possess many noble human-like qualities in abundance such as loyalty, love and pure joie de vivre, he is not human, so don't expect him to act like one. He is a dog. You, on the other hand, are human, and as such you can learn to be a dog, or at least try to think like one, even though you will never know what it is like to have your brain constantly bombarded - kaleidoscope fashion - with sights, sounds and especially smells coming from up to a mile away.

General Application: Do not go through life as an obnoxious egocentric who cannot bring himself to see things from another's point of view - else you will live out a lonely and bitter life.

Second, contrary to popular belief, most dogs do not wish to be the leader of "the pack" (your family). The job involves too much stress and responsibility, and interferes with his main desire to simply have fun. But there must be a pack leader, and if you won't do it, he'll have to, even though he knows he is not as good at it as you are, because it's your (human) world.

General Application: Do not be cavalier in assuming responsibilities, but when you do so, take the job seriously. Others may have to take up your slack, and the results may not be pretty.

Third, never discipline a dog for something he stopped doing more than a few seconds ago. He lives only in the present, and will act as though he is being punished for what he is now doing. If he tore up your slippers while you were out, for example, and you yell at him when you get home, in his mind he is being punishedfor greeting you as his bestest buddy in the whole world when you came through the door. Is that what you want? Although it is often necessary to discipline a dog, remember that punishment is the least effective means of behavior modification - it does not remove the reinforcement that caused the undesired behavior, and inadvertently reinforces simple avoidance of the punishment or punisher (you). Always try to reward alternative behavior whenever possible.

General Application: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." You don't react well to punishment, so don't expect others to. You could also afford to spend a bit more time in the present, just like your dog: "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Matthew 6:34. Try to enjoy life as it is right now... You KNOW your dog does!

Fourth, most dogs (unless their are behavioral issues that need to be cleared first) need to be walked daily, in addition to off-leash play. Spending day after day cooped up in even a large back yard simply won't do for many of them. Dogs are descended from wolves, and wolf packs roam. Ideally, the dog should be trained to walk loose-leash, and be allowed to stop and sniff here and there (and of course leave his scent for the others). Walking over familiar ground with a few new sights, sounds and smells each time is just enough excitement without undue stress. A tired dog is a happy dog, if the fatigue is from a full day of new experiences balanced within the usual rhythm of his life. Watch him as he flops on the floor, unable to keep his eyes open anymore. They flutter and close.... In a few minutes they roll around under his eyelids - he twitches and maybe whimpers, as the film of the day's happenings rolls in his brain, and he is content with his world.

General Application: 'Nuff said...

Friday, March 24th 2017
Two liberal friends accused my husband of "oppressing me" because I am a mother of four.
Posted Fri Mar 24 2017 13:31
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What they see.

What I see.

At first I thought they were kidding. After all, I gladly consented on all accounts. Does being married to someone I actually like (perhaps too much) make me oppressed? According to my uber liberal friends the answer is absolutely yes...if I keep getting pregnant. And that was no joke.

I tried not to laugh too hard. After all, they were concerned. But I wish they'd channel their worry on truly oppressed females.

White American Feminists supposedly care for all females but fail to address black child brides in Niger or the black fourteen-year-old girl who was knocked up by 20-year-old Alton Sterling* before he was killed by cops in Baton Rouge, July 2016. But that's another issue--What black men with prison records do is of no consequence. Because they are just as I am. No freedom, no choice.

"He's oppressing you! Four kids is way too much!" they insisted.

When I assured them that I had a hand in my own feminist demise they dismissed it as a kind of Stockholm Syndrome. I am a brainwashed conservative well-churched female who has been socialized to submit to my Roman Catholic husband. The fact that he's former military and doesn't kiss up to them only exasperates the problem.

And he's pasty white. I think they'd be more gracious if he had a little fun in his gene pool. Worse yet, he's smarter than they are and that really offends them. Although he didn't grow up in an especially blessed household, he's successful, and doesn't apologize for it. And that's incredibly irritating to the white-guilt set.

Last time someone asked Joe about reparations for the descendants of American slaves, he replied, "If they're demanding reparations, then they can pay me for the death of three white relatives who fought for the North." That was the end of that conversation...

When our Ravens Rolls arrived at the table, my increasingly agitated friends continued with more unfounded accusations, "And Mike Pence is demanding that every woman in American registers her periods online."

I giggled, "That's right! Menstruation will be stopped and women who are having sex and still having a period will be punished! Did your Huff Post bother to cite whom will be overseeing the menstrual spread sheets? I don't know much about Pence, but he seems a heck of a lot more decent than Trump...If Trump had a heart attack and Pence was sworn in accordingly, I wouldn't be terribly upset."

"He hates women! Pence and Trump both hate women!"

"Trump likes women...too much, I think."

Of course, this was also shortly after Trump's first week in office, so then I had to hear about how women all over the world were going to die because Trump was elected. "How so?" I asked.

"He put a ban on overseas women's health funds! Can you believe that?"

"Why should we be taking care of women overseas when there are women dying here? And I'm pretty sure this is about American taxpayers funding overseas abortions, isn't it?"

"No! That's just the story he's putting out there to cover up the fact that female health does not concern him!"

"Maybe your right. But why should we be trying to fix everybody else's problems with our tax money when there is plenty to fix here. Perhaps Americans who want free abortions overseas should send those groups some money...I'm sure they'd take it."

The lunch just went downhill from there. It was the most brief and heated ever, and I've been lunching with them for twenty-three years. I just don't see any clarity in their anger. Perhaps having a conservative in office has emboldened me, but I'm sick of just sitting there while being shot at.

I'm turning 43 next month and will no longer spend time with people who won't respect who I am or how I choose to live. Shunned by other working married women who might be less smug if they'd practice getting knocked up a little more...

Breeding with someone who loves you is a blessing and watching that love grow into four wonderful little people has not been a burden, it's been a bonus. Even in the quiet hours I have at least one pair of arms around me, someone that wants to brush my hair, or paint my toes.

T-Rex (5) made me a lovely sterile thirst-quenching gift yesterday...a blue surgical glove full of Frostie Root Beer. And our thirteen-year-old surprised me by making dinner last night- Nachos! (not my idea of a healthy dinner, but whatever). Our ten year old, who emulates my hubby with such inherent likeness (read: grouchy) woke me up at 11pm last night with one more hug and an "i love you, mom". And this morning before school, Q-Tip (7) made me a flying Hummer-like Lego vehicle covered with lasers and machine guns (then got it thoroughly tangled up in my hair).

We'll be sending our youngest off to kindergarten in the fall...but if Joe hadn't taken so long to find me then I may have even been more happily "oppressed" than I am now.

*Sterling is a poster boy for the Black Lives Matter who was also in and out of prison and a convicted child molester who was later shot in the chest by white cops, causing a racially charged stir-among-stirs in this nation.
Monday, March 20th 2017
The first two chapters of an original, serialized story about the government using a superhuman for a national security mission is now available.
Posted Mon Mar 20 2017 12:48
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Mortal Gods: "HVT" is a brand new story I am serially publishing here at Liberty Island Magazine and at Liberate Liberty. This short story tells the tale of the U.S. government figuring out how to use a superhuman individual in a unique way for a national security mission.

The schedule is to publish a new chapter every Monday. Chapters 1 and 2 are available now.

Mortal Gods: "HVT" is set within the Mortal Gods universe and falls after the events of, "Like Hail and Fire, Mixed with Blood," in the book, Mortal Gods: Ignition.

So start reading Mortal Gods: "HVT" today--or wait until the full story is available and then binge it all!

And don't forget to contribute to my Tip Jar if you like what you read.
Monday, March 13th 2017
Mortal Gods: "Presidential Pardon" will deal with subversion and espionage, national security, injustice and justice, and the power of the presidential pardon.
Posted Mon Mar 13 2017 14:04
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In a story that fits with current times, the in-progress, Mortal Gods: "Presidential Pardon" will deal with subversion and espionage, national security, injustice and justice, and the power of the presidential pardon.

Spying and treason accusations are all the rage in the news. So "Presidential Pardon" will be a short story in the Mortal Gods universe that will fit right in with the times. There will be espionage and betrayal in the story, with some people supporting it and others opposing it. There will be accusations of injustice followed by demands for justice. Some people become very outraged with what has happened and this leads to further conflict between characters.

Adam White is again the protagonist of this tale and through it all he will face difficult circumstances where he must make tough choices. . . .

Read the whole post at Liberate Liberty.
Monday, March 6th 2017
Mortal Gods: "HVT" starts early next week. Here is a tease of what the story is about.
Posted Mon Mar 6 2017 23:39
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Mortal Gods: "HVT" is the next story coming from Liberate Liberty, with the plan being to publish it serially here at Liberate Liberty and also at Liberty Island Magazine. I have the first installment currently scheduled for early next week. Here is a tease of what the story is about.

The story takes place sometime after the events of the short story, "Like Hail and Fire, Mixed with Blood," which is part of the Mortal Gods: Ignition book. The government has recruited Adam White to work in a brand new unit (that is not connected to any real-world DOD or intelligence community unit). The government doesn't know much about him but even so, it knows it wants to take advantage of all his unique skills and abilities.

So what exactly does the government plan to do with Adam? Many things likely, with the first story showing one way--a unique way that addresses a real-world challenge by using the abilities that Adam has. . . .

Read the entire post at Liberate Liberty.
Sunday, March 5th 2017
Here is the latest on the forthcoming artwork for the forthcoming tales from Liberate Liberty--here is what it will be as of now and here is what it can be if enough people support the stories.
Posted Sun Mar 5 2017 22:31
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Prose stories do not require artwork. However, prose stories struggle to find an audience without it. And what good is a story if no one is reading it? So here is the latest on the forthcoming artwork for the forthcoming tales from Liberate Liberty--here is what it will be as of now and here is what it can be if enough people support the stories.

I commissioned original artwork for both Mortal Gods: Ignition and Winning through Losing. The total of four separate commissions cost a significant amount of money. But it was worth it for those books. I'd like to commission more artwork for forthcoming stories (more of which I will post about this week--including how the first story will begin its serial publication this week or the next) but I need to make sure there is the demand for it.

So as of right now I'm creating the artwork for my latest work. I'm teasing excerpts of some of it above and in the images below. Some of what you see now might be different in its final form. And some of it I may not use at all. Also, while all the teased artwork is for Mortal Gods stories, I will be creating artwork for other tales as well. . . .

Read the whole post and see the art at Liberate Liberty.