Thursday, April 30, 2009

Eyes on Leo

My nephew Leo was born in 2002. A few weeks later, my sister started saying, "His eyes don't look right. How do they look to you?" We were all smiling inside, thinking to ourselves, "new mom" with that knowing superiority. Karen took Leo to the doctor, "His eyes don't look right." The pediatrician said, "No, they don't look right," and sent Karen and Leo to Children's Hospital. Leo was blind. A few weeks later, Leo had surgery for congenital cataracts, and now Leo had vision. He started wearing hard contact lenses as a tiny infant, and sometimes he wears those Coke bottle glasses.

In the meantime, Leo was slow on hitting developmental milestones. It was a bit concerning. And then at 18 months, Leo caught up to other children his age. And at 21 months, he knew all his colors. Yes, I'm not exaggerating. Leo spent the next several years learning about machinery and trains and electricity, and pretending to BE machinery and trains, complete with sound effects. He makes that sound that a train makes when it pulls into the station and comes to a stop. It's wonderful and funny and adorable.

Nobody ever really knew what Leo could see out of his eyes, 'cause we weren't in there with him, and he didn't know what to compare his vision to in describing his vision. We knew that his depth perception sucked, nevertheless, by age four he was able to run. Granted, he'd run with his arms up to guard his face in case he ran directly into a wall or something, but the running was a big relief to the rest of us.

One day Karen and I took all the kids to the Butterfly Pavilion. The other kids looked at the spiders and centipedes and butterflies. Leo would look behind the display cases at the cords plugged into the outlets. Then he'd follow the cord to the machinery that it operated, in an attempt to know what service the machine provided with the electricity. Okayyyy. Leo was destined to be a bit unusual.

When he turned six and entered first grade, Leo began multiplying out to the thousands, in his head. When he turned 6 1/2, he picked up a Harry Potter book, and finished it within two weeks. But his eyes...what was going on in there? His eyeballs didn't move in tandem, and when he'd watch t.v., he'd hold his head sort of sideways and glance out of the sides of his eyeballs, not straight-on like the rest of us.

Last week, Leo had eye surgery again. The doctor cut right through the white part of his eyeballs, detached the mucles, repositioned the eyeballs, and re-attached the muscles. He was a good sport, and brought his blankies and doll into surgery with him. Everything went seemingly well.

Yesterday, Leo's dad Mark said, "Leo, look at me. How many of me do you see?" "I see one of you Dad, but I'm only looking out of one eye." (Leo used to see double.) Mark said, "No Leo, you're using both eyes, and you're looking at me straight-on. That's the way your vision is supposed to work."

Hurray for Leo!

Leo will begin a gifted & talented program in second grade. We're looking forward to what else the LORD has in store for Leo. I hope it includes more sound effects!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Danger, Will Robinson!"

I used to believe that people who weren't logical in their thoughts and actions were just "different", and I was grateful that I was not one of them, because I couldn't imagine how I'd get through my day, my semester, my career, my life without a logical sense of how I would proceed.

A few years ago I was speaking to "Bob", an intelligent man who was known for living an illogical life and suffering through mental challenges. Bob told me that he always knew what the logical choice was in a given situation, but long-term behavior patterns and thought processes compelled him to choose the illogical behaviors. That was a stunning moment for me; a lightbulb moment. I started to see logic as a function of mental stability, and I felt like I finally had the right frame of reference for illogical behavior.

Fast forward to 2008, when I kept reading things about Barack Obama which screamed "logic-alert! logic-alert!". So much of what he'd done publicly made no sense. Choices that a normal political candidate would never make, because it would look bad, thereby impeding on their ability to get elected. He launched his political career in the home of famous unrepentant American terrorists. He sat in a church pew, year after year, listening to racist, hate-filled sermons, which distorted biblical Christianity. Even if he had never studied the bible, thereby not realizing the distortion in the sermons, surely the political candidate within him would have realized, "this would be bad for my career if it got out that I listen to racist, hate-filled sermons". And still, he sat there. He sat in the legislature and voted "present", over and over again. Surely he would have realized that the electorate expected him to have an opinion?! And then, when he finally had the big opportunity to vote "present" in an attempt to hide his disdain for aborted born-alive infants, he voted AGAINST protecting them, thereby revealing to the whole world that he was willing to kill perfectly good children.

The list of illogical moments and public denials of facts is seemingly unending. Who lives like this? Mentally ill people live like this. I was raised by a person like this. She had borderline personality disorder. She wasn't a sad, unfortunate woman. She was evil and vindictive and superior and destructive. And when I think of our President, I think of my mother.

* * * *
I just thought of this at 4:00 AM. Barack Obama grew up Muslim, pretty much memorizing the Q'uran, because that's what Muslim children do. And what did he learn? Well, the Q'uran teaches Muslims why, how and when to be violent to their children, their wives, their neighbors, and to infidels (non-Muslims). The Q'uran itemizes which races are inferior, specifically referring to some groups of people as swine and monkeys. He was immersed in that for a minimum of several decades, because we know that even in college, his two freshmen roomates were Pakistanis. In 1981, he travelled to Pakistan to visit their families, to a place where U.S. citizens weren't allowed to go, so he must have had a very strong motivation to go there, and he must have had close Middle-Eastern friends with the money to sponsor that trip.

Then at some point, he switched to "Christianity". Except it wasn't any normal, biblical type of Christianity. It was a wolf-in-sheep's-clothing brand of Christianity, in which hostility was taught in the name of Christ.

And all the while, he remained close with his original Pakistani roommates, because they worked on the part of his Presidential campaign which accepted foreign internet contributions. (Widely reported on the Internet w/names included.)

It's possible that Barack Obama has never been exposed to any religion that teaches love or peace or industry or the Golden Rule. Perhaps when he hears of such a thing, he scoffs with sarcasm and disbelief. Maybe he sat through Jeremiah Wright's sermons for all those years because he TRULY DIDN'T KNOW that most of us consider it appalling that anyone would immerse themselves in hateful teachings.

Another fascinating potential aspect of the psychology of our President.

Lemon Bars

Crust: 1/2 pound butter (2 sticks), 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups flour
Filling: 4 medium or 3 large eggs, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 4 tbsp. flour, juice from 1 1/2 - 2 lemons

To make the crust: Melt the butter. Add the flour and sugar to make a dough. Press into the bottom of a greased 9-by-13 inch pan. Bake 20 minutes until slightly brown at 350 degrees.

To make the filling: Whisk all the ingredients together and pour over cooked crust. Bake about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Do not overbake. Bars will firm up as they cool.

(This recipe originally came from a restaurant called Pasta Pasta Pasta in Colorado, and was printed in the newspaper in the 1990's. It's okay to use a different size pan.)

* * * *
What's the point of eating baked goods? THE TASTE. The calories will be the same, whether you use cheap ingredients or quality ingredients, but the taste ratchets up significantly when you use quality ingredients. I always use unsalted Challenge butter, organic eggs, and real lemons.

If you're one of those people who uses cheap ingredients, it's time to kick that habit when you bake. These are the best lemon bars you will ever eat, IF you use good ingredients.

If you love this recipe, then send me an email begging me for my lemon cookie recipe.

H.R. 45: Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sale Act of 2009

May 1 update: This bill looks dead in committee; NRA no longer very concerned; will monitor the bill's death. Thank you for your activism!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Congress is now starting on the firearms confiscation bill. If it passes, gun owners will become criminals if you don't fully comply. Basically this would make it illegal to own a firearm - any rifle with a clip or ANY pistol unless:
1. It is registered
2. You are fingerprinted
3. You supply a current Driver's License
4. You supply your Social Security #
5. You will submit to a physical & mental evaluation at any time of their choosing
6. Each update/change of ownership through private/public sale must be reported & costs $25.

Failure to do so: you automatically lose the right to own a firearm and are subject up to a year in jail. This is just a "termite" approach to complete confiscation of guns and disarming of our society to the point we have no defense: chip away a little here and there until the goal is accomplished before anyone realizes it.

Action Steps, in order of importance and effectiveness:

1. Call your U.S. Representative and ask him/her to oppose the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009. U.S. Capitol switchboard 202-224-3121, and you can google their office info, too.

2. Call the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security and ask them to oppose the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009. U.S. Capitol switchboard 202-224-3121, and you can google their office info, too.

Committee members include Democrats: Rep. Robert Scott, Chairman, VA; Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico; Jerrold Nadler, NY; Zoe Lofgren, CA; Sheila Jackson Lee, TX; Maxine Waters, CA; Steve Cohen, TN; Anthony Weiner, NY; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, FL. (These are Congressmen.)

Republicans: Rep. Louie Gohmert, TX; Ted Poe, TX; Bob Goodlatte, VA; Dan Lungren, CA; Randy Forbes, VA and Tom Rooney FL. (These are Congressmen.)

3. Give this information to people you know who are conservative voters, hunters, current & ex-military, and patriots. None of these people will be offended by receiving a political alert about guns. Think big -- forward this to people in other states. It's their country too!

4. Find a local gun shop or shooting range in your phone book. Send them this info. Ask them to give a copy to all clients, and forward it to their client email list.

5. If you’re brave, forward this info to others you know, such as relatives, parents from school, neighbors, friends from church, co-workers, and people in your book club, bunco & bridge groups.

This legislation will take a while to work its way through Congress. It’s not happening tomorrow, so you have time to print this out and contact one or two legislators each day. You can keep track of the bill’s progress at this website: .

Thank you all for your efforts. We’ve made quite a bit of progress via public outcry lately, including in-state tuition for illegal aliens in CO (killed), HR 669 (killed) and the raiding of Pinnacol Assurance in CO (averted). Please stay on top of your activism, and find more voters who are willing to get involved. If you don't know what to do with those voters, provide them with a link to this website.

Blessings to you all!