Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I support Israel and it's policies. Israel is surrounded on all sides by Arab nations that want to not only eliminate Israel but exterminate all Jews off the face of the earth. Everyone has a right to exist and in my opinion, you can't call any religion a religion that wants to cause harm to others. If our country experienced what Israel experiences, I doubt there would be any criticism. No other country would be as nice or as tolerant as Israel has been. No country should have to tolerate the hate, the daily bombs and rockets, the threats of extermination, the lack of safety. Israel has a right to defend itself. Israel has a right to exist. The territory of Israel is the Jewish homeland. The ancient Jewish temples, buildings, and history of the area confirm the right for Israel to exist. We have gone halfway across the world to bomb countries that haven't even been proved a threat so how can anyone in this country be critical of Israel when they face daily harm?

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Big Bang Theory

I love watching the CBS television show, The Big Bang Theory and my favorite character on the show is Sheldon.


Truvia is a natural sweetner made from the stevia plant. Truvia is now sold in grocery stores. I've been waiting for this day. http://www.truvia.com/

Next I am waiting for Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi to use truvia instead of aspartame because this will help all overweight and diabetic people.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bernie Madoff

I have been following in the news about the ponzi scheme of Bernie Madoff that amounted to $50 billion dollars. Today in the Corvallis Gazette Times is an AP article with the headline, "Some Jews fear Madoff case strokes anti-Semitism."

I watched a MSNBC special on the scandal of Bernard Madoff. It is my understanding that Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities has been in business for over 30 years with a good reputation and respect. It is only now that problems came to light at the time of the stock market crash, and bailouts for failed corporations.

I have a hard time coming to the popular conclusion that others in the news do. Putting everything in perspective, I do not see it in the same light. He isn't any different than any of the others in the news right now. I don't condone what he did because it is never okay to steal anything from family, friends or strangers. I don't like it that people are so ready to use a Jew as a scapegoat. It sounds like the actions were deliberate so it was inexcuseable but I see others in the news who have also escaped with wealth and no one is saying a word. All should be held accountable.

Does $50 billion compare to the $10 trillion dollar raid on the U.S. Treasury? None of the corporations or banks are being held accountable? They aren't even expected to pay it back? No one sees them as criminals. Why?

Does anyone point to President Bush's religion after he drove the U.S. economy into the ground? No one is seeing President Bush as a criminal after what he has done. He isn't saying he is sorry or accepting responsibility for what he has done.

Bernard Madoff admitted to his sons guilt of what happened or what was about to happen to the business. None of the heads of large corporations who have stolen money and take millions of dollars in bonus money have admitted any guilt after they have driven a business into the ground.

I remember hearing on one business network that the reason the first recent bailout was necessary was because the world economy is so delicately balanced that everything would collapse without the bailout. In other words, every financial institution in the world is dependent upon one another in order to stay afloat. One tanks and it has a dominoe effect. I think this is what happened to Bernard Madoff and others.

I wonder about Mutual Funds and if they are a ponzi scheme. The fund managers are the ones who benefit.

What about insurance companies who take your money and then don't want to pay out? What about banks who made loans to people who they knew couldn't pay them back?

Everyone should be treated the same. I watched one science show that said that the process of finding someone guilty is subjective. For every guilty person, there is an innocent person in jail. I was shocked at this. I guess if you want to see someone as guilty, they look much more guilty even if you have to distort the facts. This is unfortunate. I thought that facts were the facts.

Don't get me wrong....I am not condoning what Bernie Madoff did. He was wrong and he should be held accountable but so should others. Martha Stewart went to prison and yet the CEO of Enron wasn't held accountable. Why?

I guess what I want to say is that I see Jews as highly ethical human beings. I will always stand up for Judaism. If I were to choose one religion, I would have to say that I think that Judaism contains the basic truth.

At this point in my spiritual development, I am not sure of anything. I grew up in the Lutheran Church going to church every Sunday with my parents. At this time, the only thing that I can truly say with all honesty is that I believe in science.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Recipes

I've been having fun trying out new recipes this month. I discovered a new bread recipe to make dinner rolls. I found a great bread recipe in Mother Earth News that I love making since you keep the dough in the refrigerator and can use it as needed. I learned how to make focaccia from a Food Network show. I just finished making a chocolate cake from scratch that is an old recipe that is great. All this food and no one but Les and I to eat it.

We are going to spend the holiday season alone this year. We are having a nice time so far. Weather has made it impossible to travel plus Les has been so sick that he wants to just spend Christmas alone.

Christmas movies

I have been watching Christmas movies nonstop since Thanksgiving. It's been fun. There are some really good Christmas movies out there and some that are not so great. I've enjoyed it as I made and finished a quilt for my husband for Christmas and as I now crochet a blanket. I also knitted two baby blankets watching Christmas movies. Oh, the fun of it all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Norm Thompson

I received for Christmas a delicious Swedish Tea Ring pastry from my son, Benjamin. My husband and I both agree it is delicious and a special pastry for the holiday.

Please call to order yours at 1-800-821-1287 or visit http://www.normthompson.com/.

Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats

My husband received a wonderful gift basket delivered by Fed-Ex yesterday from Amanda and our son, Ben for Christmas from Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats. The breakfast basket was complete with everything for a delicious breakfast with lean bacon and pancake mix. It came in a nice basket that we can use for dinner rolls for meals.

If you want to surprise someone with a wonderful gift that will be appreciated and loved, please call 1-800-720-1153.
Neuske's Applewood Smoked Meats
Rural Route 2
Wittenberg, Wisconsin 54499

Shared Space System

In seven regions in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and the UK, the Shared Space system is being used with promising results. There are no street signs, no traffic lights, and no distinction between foot paths and roads, and yet a pedestrian can feel safe enough to walk backwards without looking through a busy intersection. Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians must interact in the Shared Space System and watch out for each other and stop watching signs. They have found that courtesy works.

During the four years prior to the Shared Space System in one busy intersection in the Netherlands, there were eight serious accidents. During the four years after the Shared Space System was implimented, there were zero accidents. At the busy intersection, there is a round-about. In the center is a water fountain with sensors that move the water up higher during times of busy traffic and the sound of the water drowns out the noise of the traffic.

In the last few years, there have been many tragic deaths of bicyclists in the Corvallis and Philomath area. I believe we need to consider using the Shared Space System to prevent any more tragic deaths and consider using it all over Oregon.

Teach Your Baby To Read

I just watched an infomercial about the reading program for babies called Your Baby Can Read. http://www.yourbabycanread.tv/
You can call 1-800-295-2899

I know that this works because I used the ideas for these materials with my own children. In college at Oregon College of Education, now Western Oregon University, I learned in one of my education classes about the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential. This institute studies the full range of human potential. It gives workshops and sells materials to parents. The Your Baby Can Read program comes from this research.

You have a small window of opportunity to teach your baby as a parent and given them a strong foundation for learning and success in school. When small children see that learning is fun, they amaze you with what they can learn. Nothing is impossible to learn in the first five years, if the material is explained clearly and without pressure. A few minutes a day produces amazing success.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Separation of Church and State

Many early settlers fled to the United States to get away from religious tyranny. The framers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights wanted to prevent this from happening on American soil.

The United States is the land of the free where you can have an opinion and worship as you wish without fear of repression from one powerful church that determines government policy. We are a melting pot of many philosophies, religions, opinions, and ethnic groups. All have a right to exist and deserve respect as long as they do not cause harm to others or represents hate.

However, when a church tries to violate the civil liberties and prevent some Americans from enjoying the freedoms that others take for granted, they need to be stopped and maybe it's time to look at their tax exempt status especially when our nation is severely in debt.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actively worked to stop Prop 8 in California, just as they actively worked to defeat equal rights for women under the constitution.

Maybe a test case needs to be brought before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Survivor Gabon

I love watching Survivor. My favorites on Survivor Gabon were Marcus and Charlie. To my shock and dismay, they were voted off so I had to find a new favorite so I picked Bob. I'm glad Bob won Survivor Gabon.

I look forward to the next Survivor. I wish I could be on survivor.

Starter Wife

Starter Wife is one of my favorite shows on television. The stars of Starter Wife are Debra Messing, Judy Davis and David Alan Basche. I love Debra Messing. I loved her in Will & Grace and now I love watching her in Starter Wife on the USA Network.

At the last part of the season finale episode, Debra Messing in character of Molly Kegan said these words....
"It's time...
time to be queen of Molly Kegan's destiny and I'm ready.
Ready to celebrate and cherish the moments,
to go after what I want without any guarantees,
to leave behind the things that are wrong for me.
Ready to forgive.
Ready to face all of life's unexpected twists,
to pursue happy endings which may never come
and to let go when it's too painful to hold on.
Ready to turn the page."

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Lars Olsen, attorney at law, with offices located in Albany and Salem, Oregon was our bankruptcy attorney. He was more than our attorney because he had been in our home and we thought he was a friend. His wife is such a nice person. I wonder if she knows all that he is when he goes to work. He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was a member of the Four Corners Ward when we became members in 1995. I used to have all kinds of dinner parties, welcome to the ward parties, baby showers, missionary parties, and lunches for women in our home on Burlwood Loop in Salem.

Life changed in the church when we tithed a medical malpractice settlement. We handed over a check to the Four Corners Ward for the amount of $16,179.00 and for the year of 1998, our yearly tithing came to $21,855.68. All of a sudden this check was not enough and we were pressured to spend more money taking care of the needs of members of the ward.

We decided to move. We purchased property at 333 Thistledown Lane in Gates, Oregon from Tim Bowman, land developer. There were problems with the property. Water was too close to the surface. We were on a hill overlooking the river. I love being up high. Les, my husband, put in a greenhouse for me, lawn sprinkling system, and faucets around the property so I could run an automatic drip system. I loved it and I had big plans to plant annuals along the wide area along the driveway and front of our house. He had a large garage built with extra storage area in back with a large fenced dog run. It turned out that as more parcels were developed the water runoff flooded the area below. In order to solve the problem, our deed was rerecorded with Ticor Title without our knowledge so that the developer could have more options with the entire acreage for development. This made it so that we couldn't sell the property. Our mortgage was with Washington Mutual Bank and they wouldn't help us. The Luba Appeal that we filed didn't work to help us that was filed by attorney, Donald Kelley. We ended up having to walk away from this property giving it back to Washington Mutual who resold the property, and we had to file bankruptcy.

Then Lars Olsen walks into the picture. We went to him for help. I have a letter dated in 2004 from a Salem attorney saying that, "You were clearly wronged....The intervening bankruptcy was poorly handled." The statute of limitations bars legal remedy. We felt betrayed.

We moved to Alsea and bought a small cottage that we can afford in 2001. We moved into a home and we had an inspection on the home that said everything was A-Okay. The inspector overlooked the fact that the water was undrinkable, and the pellet stove was broken, which is the only source of heat. Les decided that after being shunned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while serving a mission in Salem to help people find employment in an eight stake area and being betrayed by church members, he would ask for help with a new pellet stove. He thought this was fair considering the amount of tithing that we had given over the years. Alsea resident and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Carol De Young pointed out to other people in Alsea how wonderful the church was to help us buy a stove. She was part of the shunning in the church since she was a member of the relief society presidency at the time. Here in Alsea, I've been stopped from contributing in meaningful ways. I figure everything stems back to Mormons. I was asked by Relief Society what I needed. I told them that all I wanted was friendship since I knew it would be hard to live here. After all that has happened, I should put up a sign that says no Mormons allowed on our property.

When we moved into our Alsea cottage, there was a homemade water softner system that we were told used 12 bags of 40 pounds of salt EVERY month. Since the one who told us had a Ph.D. and taught at OSU, we believed him. The water at the tap was too salty to drink. I refused to drink it. After a few months, I finally convinced Les to take it out. He ended up taking it to the dump. Now we only use 4 bags of salt tablets and put it in at the well.

I still do not understand why we were treated this way in this church. Letters to Salt Lake brought responses that not all leaders are righteous but to attend anyway to be a good example. When I brought up some of my concerns to Bishop Wade Haslam of the Philomath Ward, he told my husband to "shut her up and control her," right in front of me. Wade Haslam is now the Stake President. This is how this church deals with problems and this is how they show respect for the members.

One of my concerns about this church was when I was working to serve my mission to help members in an eight stake area find employment in Salem. I came upon a document from the Hayden Lake Stake in Idaho outlining the employment goals for the members. I eyes bugged out as I saw the name Hayden Lake for I remembered that in 1999, this was the headquarters for a Nazi extremist group that was broken up by the FBI. I was shocked that there was a stake in an area that welcomed this hate group. About this time I saw a missionary come back from South America from this church. I was shocked that on the back of his missionary was a "Heil Hitler salute."

Another concern was after we moved to Alsea, my husband was told that Mormons think of themselves as the Jews of the Old Testament. Zion is supposedly in Missouri. I couldn't believe anyone could believe this. This is a major example of attempting to rewrite history.

Other concerns were about polygamy. The bishop of the Philomath Ward, Bishop Lear said that when the prophet decides that it is time to practice polygamy, he hopes that he is picked. I've heard this comment from other men in the church at other times.

I served as a member of the compassionate service committee, stake choir, primary president, secretary of the stake relief society, and a mission to help people in an eight stake area find employment. It wasn't until the end that I saw how corrupt leaders were and how they didn't practice what they preach on Sunday. Do I have any respect for this church? NO! Do I feel this church is the keeper of religious truth? NO! They use your faith in God and manipulate this faith for their own purposes. What is even more cruel is that after you faithfully go to the temple and wear the garments, that they use this belief that you will one day be reunited with your family together in heaven to manipulate your behavior. It takes a great deal of courage when you believed in all of this, wanted to do the right thing for God, to shed your garments and walk away. According to this church anyone who sheds their garments and walks away from this church enters outer darkness and is lost forever. This is brainwashing of the most cruel form. It is manipulative. It is cruel and abusive.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Ross Dress for Less

I'm really impressed with Ross Dress for Less and the treasures that you find at discount prices.

Ron Goldman

I watched an interview on television with the Goldman family who have vigorously made sure that O. J. Simpson was not allowed to get away with anything after he murdered Ron Goldman and got away with it. It makes me wonder whether laws should be changed. O. J. Simpson was not found guilty for the murders of his wife and Ron Goldman. When the truth comes out after a trial, maybe a new trial should be held to put the person behind bars for the crime they committed. Justice is not served when someone who is guilty remains free for something they did.


When I was coming home from shopping in Corvallis this week, a young woman seemed desperate for a ride. I never pick up hitchhikers but I did stop to see what this woman needed. Maybe it was because I’ve been watching a lot of Christmas movies in the last two weeks and because I’ve heard religious leaders in the past say that Jesus could be the one asking for help at the side of the road. After this experience, I will never pick up another hitchhiker no matter how innocent it seems. I will not pick up anyone with children or if they are in the middle of an accident. Never again. She could have had a gun. She could have meant to cause me harm.

I listened to her talk about the medication she was on, the trauma she experienced, and about her life. I watched as she rhythmically rocked back and forth in the seat. She obviously needed help. She needed to talk to someone professionally. She shouldn’t be driving at all. She should be living in a bigger place where she is close to the resources she needs and medical care.

I caught her in three lies and now I wonder if everything she said was a lie. First, she told me that her truck blew up and that’s why she needed a ride. When I took her home, her truck was in the drive way. Second, she told me that she lived close to town. She lived ten miles west of Alsea. Finally, she wanted a ride to her house. I didn’t feel comfortable going any further down her road so I told her she could get out in the driveway. After I backed out of the driveway, I saw a sign that said that cars shouldn’t go on the road.

No one should ever pick up a hitchhiker. I never will again under any circumstances no matter how innocent the situation seems.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

It’s interesting that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the keeper of the nativity scenes in Corvallis each year as an effort to find common ground between all churches in the area, when this church believes that anyone can be a god in the afterlife, if they are good enough, if they obey, and if they follow without question the teachings of this church and the leaders. Other churches believe that to think that you can be a god is sacriligious.

Dr. Rob Nebeker

Dr. Rob Nebeker is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a doctor with Benton County in Corvallis. My husband was prescribed medication by Dr. Nebeker that sedated him to the point where he was too drowsy to drive. He would fall asleep just sitting in a chair during the day watching television. Dr. Nebeker gave him this medication with the knowledge that my husband was driving back and forth to Salem from Alsea five days a week to finish a mission assignment for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help members in an eight stake area find employment. Dr. Nebeker ignored a letter that my husband gave to him that I wrote outlining my concerns, fears, and questions about the high doses of medication prescribed by him. Dr. Nebeker did nothing to make sure my husband was safe or received the care he needed when trying to get off this medication.

Could it have been done on purpose since my husband and I were challenging church doctrine and practice? Did Dr. Nebeker violate his trusted position as a doctor?

Monday, December 01, 2008


I question the wisdom of bailouts to failing corporations. I think there should be a cap on greed with a check and balance system set in place by Congress. Bail-outs to large corporations who didn't do a good job of doing business in the first place without accountability, without legal documents signed that ensures that money will be put towards an agreed-upon outcome is not okay. It's like giving $5 to the spoiled bully who stomps his foot because he wants it.

Is it really okay for a bully to take all the marbles and let no one else have any, destroying the entire game while doing it? I think not.

It isn't okay for corporate heads to rob and raid the U.S. Treasury without clear, outlined programs set in place that are agreed upon that will not only return the money but strengthen this country, create jobs, and do the job of revitalizing the corporation that the money helps. It isn't okay for the corporate leaders to be given money and not do what they said they would do. Members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are negligent when they allow this to happen. They are watching while public money is being stolen right before their eyes. I've heard one estimate that the total corporate bail-out could reach seven trillion dollars! All this without accountability or assurance that they will do with the money what they said they would, which is what is happening now.

And what about the FBI, Justice Department, and the U.S. Supreme Court? Why aren't these legal bodies doing something about the great theft of the U.S. Treasury? Why aren't they creating controls on what is being done to make sure our country remains strong? Why did Martha Stewart go to prison for something that is miniscule in comparison to what corporate leaders are getting away with now?

In listening to business commentary, I am amazed at people who say that if someone accepts a bad mortgage, it was their fault, as in buyer beware. People come to experts because they have specialized knowledge. They come because they trust. They pay a fee for this education and expert knowledge. Now everyone must be their own expert. Blame the victim.

Yes, we all must educate ourselves but if we can't trust experts to help us, what good are they? Why should anyone pay good money to an expert again? Why can't we expect as consumers that we get what we pay for? Why can't we assume that the legal system will get rid of the crooks? What about ethics? What about accountability? No one wants accountability in anything--business, government, health care, or education. Why?

It isn't okay when people are homeless and millions don't have health care for corporations to keep taking. A profit is okay but taking unlimited profit while those who buy are left out in the street to forage for food, isn't okay. There needs to be a cap placed on business profit so that everyone wins, not just those at the top holding the bag of money and power.

Everyone deserves a chance. Everyone deserves a chance to dream. Everyone deserves a good education. Everyone deserves to win, if they work hard and play by the rules. Isn't that what this country is all about?

Stem Cells

I was watching the show Beyond Tomorrow a couple of weeks ago on the Science Channel on television and saw a show about horse racing in England. When a race horse is injured, they often never race again. In England, they are using stem cells to heal the injury so the horse is about to return to horse racing and continue to make money. They are as good as new 80% of the time. They take stem cells out of the horse's bone marrow and inject it into the injury. Within a month, they are healed.

My husband has been sick for quite awhile. Now it's with the flu, bronchitis or whatever it is. I was thinking that if he were injected with stem cells taken from his bone marrow, it would do the trick. A simple injection into the lungs would heal. I imagine this same procedure would heal people with breast cancer, lung cancer, and all types of disease from which people die. It's already being used to heal people with heart disease to repair the heart muscle.

We need to do research with stem cells so that we are able to regenerate and heal our bodies.