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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Monday, March 30, 2009


A good old gully-washer hit yesterday. We were at our very first soccer game - my oldest just started in the local athletic league soccer program. She's pretty good! (I'm SO not a team sport player.) Anyhoo - it was a beautiful day. Over 60 degrees Farenheit and a bit cloudy. We all had our attention on the game and one of the mothers kept getting calls on her cell. Thunder started rumbling, they stopped the game (it was tied 1-1), and she said that the phone calls were people telling her that there were tornado watches and warnings for our area. It was pretty nice out and then I looked to the Southwest. Dang! The sky looked so nasty. The clouds were that really dark brownish-greenish color and the wisps were hanging down and the wind was just tearing them apart ferocious-like.

I hurried the girls into the car and we took off. Within 5 minutes the storm was almost on us. I kept thinking that I've been told too many times that you just can't outrun a storm in a car. I swore I saw a funnel cloud off to the left as I was driving, but it was gigantic - really fat and big and freaky looking. We got home and into the house and then it poured buckets and buckets. I was ready to run to the basement with the kids at a moments notice. I was watching the cats behavior, they weren't hiding but just wanting to stay close to us. We turned on the weather channel and sure enough the warnings are beeping like crazy. It passed very quickly and then we heard the sirens. Fire trucks, ambulances - all heading west. No damage or loss of power for us. It just missed us. A mile down the road heading out of town we saw signs blown over and some telephone poles down when we ventured out to the store.

The pictures today tell the tale. Several mobile homes destroyed - 3 people injured. A farmhouse and barn with the roofs ripped off - and in Denver borough a few miles to the northwest there is lots of damage all over town. Trees down all over the place. There was golfball sized hail in some parts - we got pea sized hail. It hit Philly a bit later with hail the size of a quarter or less - and no tornado.

The weather service is trying to ascertain if a tornado hit, or it was straight line winds that caused the damage. Many people saw the same funnel cloud that I saw.

This is what happens to mobile homes in a tornado:

Here is a pic of the farmhouse and barn that were damaged:

Lots of damage in Denver Borough:


The National Weather Service has confirmed that it was an EF-1 tornado and not straight line winds that caused the damage. The tornado was 1 1/4 miles long and 200 yards wide. Its path of destruction was 10 miles long. It destroyed eight mobile homes, and damaged 200 homes and 30 businesses or barns. Three were injured by the tornado.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Leap of Faith

Letting go of the things that have defined us - the truths that we learned at our mother's knee - can be terrifying. Questioning those truths is difficult at best, and at worst can feel like dying. (What will happen when I let go?) The foundation is ripped away - the abyss that we imagine ourselves dangling above is endless. All we know is that what made us 'us' is gone. It feels like being a helpless child again, our very survival is at stake. The feeling is huge - an enormous feeling - that many cannot face.

I can imagine that being excommunicated, shunned from the Amish community, would equate to my own isolation from my family of origin. Terrifying at first. We choose to make the break, but it is not an easy break. That moment when we're hanging on by our fingertips, too afraid to let go but knowing there is no other way. It is the leap of faith. The reality is that we don't know if we will be okay, and the overwhelming feelings of fear, regret and doubt muddle our senses.

Time and experience have taught me that my faith will be rewarded. But that moment of letting go, it is a scary one. I let go all the time, now! Sometimes what is happening in my life doesn't make a damn bit of sense to me, but I just turn it over and trust.

I had a conversation with a young Amish father recently. He approached me in the WalMart - I don't know why. But he did and we talked. He shared a bit of his belief and experience, and then asked me to take a look at Trouble in Amish Paradise. I read of the struggles that some of the Amish have had with themselves and their communities. Many have been excommunicated. I will pray for them, and I ask that - if you are so inclined - you pray for them, too. Pray for them all, because the ones who can't take the questioning are lost, and the ones doing the questioning are being incredibly courageous in my opinion.



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patrick's Day

O Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side.
The summer's gone and all the roses falling;
It's you, it's you must go and I must bide.

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow,
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow.
And I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow;
Oh Danny Boy, oh Danny Boy, I love you so!

But when ye come, and all the flow'rs are dying,
And I am dead, as dead I well may be.
Ye'll come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an Ave there for me.

And I shall hear, though soft you tread above me;
And all my grace will warmer, sweeter be,
For you will bend and tell me that you love me;
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me!

Image found here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A New Kind of Tyranny

"I think, then, that the species of oppression by which democratic nations are menaced is unlike anything that ever before existed in the world; our contemporaries will find no prototype of it in their memories. I seek in vain for an expression that will accurately convey the whole of the idea I have formed of it; the old words despotism and tyranny are inappropriate: the thing itself is new, and since I cannot name, I must attempt to define it.

I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men, all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives...

Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?

Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things;it has predisposed men to endure them and often to look on them as benefits.

After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd."

Alexis de Tocqueville - Democracy in America, Chapter IV; What Sort of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear.

Not bad for a French guy.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

National Republican Senatorial Committee

I was invited to support the National Republican Senatorial Committee - NRSC - and I think it's a great idea and agreed to be linked. I don't believe for one minute that the conservative movement is dead, and using 'new media' is the hip and happening thing to do. I applaud the committee for understanding that there is a majority in this country with conservative values - and that well needs to be tapped and it needs some energy. I believe that we are facing a crisis in America - we are losing America to idiots who believe in the pipe-dream of socialism.

I am unabashadly conservative. I believe that capitalism is an outstanding political and economic philosophy that guarantees individual rights and freedom. Capitalism creates wealth and not just for a few - for all who are willing to work for a better life. I believe that small government is the answer to our woes.

Senator John Cornyn is the new committe chairman. I will admit that I have never heard of this man. Old Grizzly Mama can only keep up with so much, y'know? It's a big world out there and things are just happening fast and furious - it's crazy. Anyhoo - he's from Texas. He's got an 'A' rating from the NRA. He voted against the Obama so-called 'stimulus' package. Good on taxes.

Where I take issue with Senator Cornyn is his statement , as reported by Politico, that "the GOP may need to recruit fewer conservative candidates in order to win in 2010." I heartily disagree with this statement.

May I suggest to Senator Cornyn and the NRSC that this attitude is what has gotten us into the shit pile in which we find ourselves today? During the Bush Administration, Republicans became the party of huge government. That pissed us off. The Republican Party pushed McCain as our candidate - I think believing that a more 'moderate' candidate would win more of the vote. Wrong. You will not get the conservative vote promoting the likes of McCain - a RINO. And what's with the love fest over Specter in the Republican Party?? Gawd - what a horrible man. I voted for him in the last election, at the behest of my party, in spite of the bile rising in my throat, and I will never do it again. The RNC - and Bush - dissed Toomey. I will vote for the Democrat who's running against Specter if he's the only choice next time. Promise.

There you have it. A strong conservative voting for Democrats. Yikes!

I will support the NRSC and I trust that a vigorous debate will take place on the direction that the party should go. Stop drifting away from conservative values. Stop it right now!

It's the only way we'll win.