Beyond Words

Words, Wit and Wisdom for Today's Style and Decision Makers

A Child or a Choice? July 10, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 8:10 pm

“A person’s a person, no matter how small”   Dr. Seuss

This might be one of my most controversial blogs ever.  I hope I don’t offend anyone but I’m just a bit perplexed.  All the talk in Texas politics of late centers on State Senator Wendy Davis’ recent 11th hour filibuster that resulted in a new bill not being passed…well, kind of.  The bill was actually passed but due to a large and vocal crowd in attendance and in support of Davis’ efforts, it happened just minutes past the midnight deadline.  A special session was called and the proposal won swift approval today in the House, which now sends it to the Senate.  It was the third time the Texas state house passed the bill and all but one Republican voted for the bill, along with four Catholic Democrats.  The Senate could vote on the bill as early as Friday,  making Texas far from the first state to legislate strict abortion measures.   The bill?   Legislation that would make it illegal to abort babies past 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in the case of severe fetal abnormalities or to protect the life or health of the mother.   Twenty weeks.  That’s five months out of a standard nine month pregnancy people.  More than half of that little fetus’ “life.”

 

Let me make this clear, this is not a pro-life or pro-choice editorial.  Those of you who know me know where I stand on the matter.  What this is about is it being okay to terminate a human life five months into gestation.  Experts agree that at this point in a pregnancy, the baby can hear and recognize its mother’s voice, has taste buds and is swallowing, has toe and fingernails, its hair is growing, its heartbeat can be heard, and the mom can feel it moving.  Babies have survived outside the womb at 21 weeks.  Does it make sense that killing a child outside the womb at 24 weeks is murder, but having an abortion at 24 weeks is okay?   Perhaps what baffles me the most is why on earth would someone need to wait five months to decide if they want to keep the baby growing inside of them?

 

The argument of course is that it should be a woman’s right to choose to have that baby, not the government’s.  Those for the bill’s passage contend that that very baby is a living, breathing being and terminating its life amounts to nothing short of murder.  Yes, I’m against big government being in my business but I also believe that a fetus at 20 weeks is clearly a human, as opposed to non-human, being that deserves basic human rights.  If you don’t agree with this, then you must not consider the fetus a human or a person for that matter.  I’m not here to argue the entire choice/life agenda; I’m just here to ask for clarification from the “I Stand with Wendy Davis” supporters.  Large, vocal crowds have a way of convincing fence-setters to join their side.  All I ask is for you folks to look deep in your hearts and decide just what a 20 week old baby is.  What did you look like at five months pregnant?  Did you feel that little bundle of joy inside of you was a mere blob of cells or a baby boy or girl who you may have already named?

 

“I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion is already born.”
-Ronald Reagan

 

Another argument is that of what to do in cases of rape, incest, or birth defects.   My question is, as catastrophic as those cases are and as horrified I would be if facing either of those realities, are those babies less human than others?  Who’s to say that fetus won’t grow up to find the cure to cancer?  I immediately think of Steve Jobs who was adopted and is quoted as saying about his birth mother, “I wanted to meet [her] mostly to see if she was OK and to thank her, because I’m glad I didn’t end up as an abortion.”

 

So, it’s a woman’s right to choose, right?  What about the dad?  Should he have a say?  What’s the answer when momma doesn’t want to have the baby but daddy does?  Isn’t society in desperate need of more fatherly involvement and guidance? Consider the following data compiled by “Children:  Our Ultimate Investment”:

• 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
• 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
• 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes
• 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes
• 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
• 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes
• 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes.
• 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes.

 

 

While a clear majority of Americans want abortion to be legal in some fashion, a solid majority supports more restrictions.  A 2013 Gallup poll   found that 64 percent of Americans believe abortion should be illegal during weeks 13-24 but 80 percent believe it should be illegal after 24.  Somewhat amazing is that women are more likely than men to think abortion is generally wrong, and more women (50 percent) support the Texas 20-week ban than men (46 percent) nationwide. Still, the pro-choice movement wants virtually no limits on abortion, including the quest to mainstream a medical procedure—elective late-term abortion—that most of the civilized world finds barbaric and abhorrent. In many European countries, you can’t get an abortion past 12 weeks, except in narrow circumstances.  In January, Gallup reported that 80 percent of Americans think abortion should be illegal in the third trimester, and 64 percent think it should be illegal in the second trimester.  Surprisingly, only 37 percent of today’s “Millennials” generation thinks abortion is morally acceptable. This makes them far more anti-abortion than were Baby Boomers or Gen Xers at their age.

 

Another point of contention for me is that for many pro-choicers, pro-lifers are not and cannot be considered feminists.  Aside from the choice/life argument I like to bring up two women who people either love or hate:  Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.  Feminists generally admire Hillary Clinton but abhor Sarah Palin.  This baffles me.  A feminist is defined as someone who advocates equal rights for women.   When one hears the word “feminist,” one thinks of a strong, smart, successful, ambitious, compassionate and accomplished woman.  Call me silly but I believe a woman who has gotten where she is on her own merits rather than her spouse’s, has raised a large family that includes a special needs son, has a loving and devoted husband, single-handedly toppled a long-standing political machine, can shoot a deer and then cook it for dinner, and successfully run a ginormous and physically rugged state that borders Russia is much more of a “feminist” than one who got to where she is on her husband’s coat-tails; a husband who cheated on her, publically humiliated her, and with whom she basically lives a separate life.  Okay, I digress.

 

For pro-lifers, much goes back to their faith that murder is just murder and that scripture uses the same language for the unborn as it does other children. Luke’s gospel uses the word “baby” and “child” interchangeably and the bible does not speak of the unborn child as an unthinking, unfeeling tissue mass, but as a person with whom God interacts.  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)   In addition, children were never seen as “unwanted” or as a nuisance, but as a gift from God — the highest possible blessing (Psalm 127:3-5, 113:9, Gen. 17:6, 33:5, etc.)

 

I know many of you wonderful readers of my blog disagree with much of this, but I am hoping this opens up a civilized dialog on the subject.  Yes, I know it’s the woman’s child she is carrying, not the government’s, but does society in the form of government have a responsibility to protect an unborn human life from being killed?

 

 

Okay, now back to fashion, décor, and witty musings!

 

 

 

Tuesday’s Tip July 9, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 9:10 pm

Today’s “Tuesday’s Tip” consists of nothing more than some products I’ve recently discovered and love!  I hope you do too!

 

The geniuses at Umbra have created a wooden spoon with a stylus on the end, meaning you can cook and browse through recipes on your tablet without making a mess.  Wow!

Umbra spoon with stylus

 

 

 

This “Willow” bag by Mulberry is fabulous, as it’s both a clutch and a carry-all.  The front pocket zips off and becomes a classic evening bag.  Also available in pink, green and black at Mulberry.

 

Mulberry Willow tote

 

 

 

Barefoot Dreams’ “Cozy Chic” robe is both stylish and comfy, and available in several color combinations.

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic robe

 

 

 

This mini broom is actually an Amish cake tester.  Simply hang it near your oven and break off a straw to test baked goods doneness.  Available through Linda Anderson and other sites.

Amish cake tester

 

 

 

Sick of sitting in the bathtub only to have your perfectly warm water drain out the overflow drain?  Me too!  That’s why I love this suction cup that slips right over the overflow drain.  Available through Solutions.com and other sites.

Bathtub overflow stopper

 

 

What to do with all those wine corks you’ve been saving?  Make a keepsake trivet out of this heat-safe and one-of-a-kind trivet.  Great for wine-tasting tours!

Wine corks trivet

 

 

 

I simply love the uniqueness and functionality of this laurel-shaped and flexible silicone roasting rack.  It fits almost any size casserole dish through its twisting ability and it stores flat.  What’s not to love?!  Available at Sur la Table and other retailers.

Roasting laurel

 

 

Although hard to find, I just love this Flexita grater by Yanko Design.  Its folding ability means your hand is protected and it stores flat.  Designed by Ely Rosenberg, if anyone finds where to buy one, please let me know!

Grater

 

 

 

 

I love the look of decorative and heirloom plates hanging on a wall, but I’m not a big fan of those brass plate hangars.  The answer?  These wonderful adhesive back disks with built in loops.  They come in a variety of sizes and are easily removed without damaging the plate.  Available through Amazon and other sites.

Dish hangars

 

 

 

Okay, so I saved the most “icky” item for last but I think you’re going to love it.  It’s Rubbermaid’s new “Clean and Dry” plunger that boasts a special water repellant coating so drips and messes don’t ensue after plunging a clogged commode.  Love it!

Rubbermaid Clean and Dry plunger

 

The Truth Hurts July 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 9:30 pm

mom

Why is it when someone in the family is not feeling well or recovering from something,

they demand and receive all of mom’s attention but when mom is sick, she is basically on her own?

 

Sunday Scripture July 7, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 3:28 pm

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“What your pour into yourself, pours out.”

I just read that on my friend MB’s Facebook page as she was attending services Gateway Church.

Not sure if this was part of a reading, sermon, or just fellowship, but I love it and thought it was perfect for today’s post.

Thank you MB!

 

 

Happy Birthday! July 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 3:22 pm

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Happy Fourth of July friends and readers!  I hope you are having a fun and safe day but do you know what we are all really celebrating?  Officially known as Independence Day, we are commemorating the July 4, 1776 adoption of the Declaration of Independence , which ultimately gave our country sovereignty from Great Britain.  In short, that’s when the United States of America came to be.

 

Happy Birthday America!

 

Made in America July 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 7:12 pm

KScott flag

(courtesy Kendra Scott)

 

Tomorrow the stars and stripes will be proudly flying across America, but do you know how to properly hang your flag?  The U.S. Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to our nation’s flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They include:

Displaying the Flag Outdoors

When the flag is displayed from a staff (pole) projecting from a window, balcony, or building, the union (stars area) should be at the top of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.

When displaying the flag against a wall whether vertically or horizontally, the flag’s union should be at the top, to the flag’s own right and the observer’s left.

When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east.

When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles that are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor – to its own right.  The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.  No other flag ever should be placed above the American flag.

When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height and flag should be the same size.

 

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Made in the U.S.A?

So now that you know how to properly display a U.S. flag, it’s time to consider where you actually purchase it.  Sadly, in 2011 $3.6 million worth of American flags were imported from other countries, with the vast majority ($3.3 million) coming from China.  Although that amount is a small percentage of the $55 million in total annual sales of made in the good ole’ U.S.A. flags, maybe it’s time to make sure your American flag was made in…America!  There’s no better place to start then Annin & Co.

 

The world’s largest and oldest flag company, Annin & Co. and its 500 employees produce 15 million U.S. flags a year. All are made in plants located in New Jersey, Virginia, and Ohio.  They are literally “Made in the U.S.A.” and have been for nearly 160 years.

 

Perhaps most impressive is the fact that some of the flags are still hand-made and hand-sewn.  Seamstresses carefully sew together stars and stripes, while highly trained embroiderers create meticulously detailed flags with foot-operated sewing machines.  Training an embroiderer can take up to four years!

 

The company’s roots go back to 1820, when Alexander Annin opened a small flag-making shop in New York City. Annin’s sons, Edward and Benjamin, followed in their father’s footsteps and in 1847 founded Annin & Co., moving to a large full-service factory on New York’s Fifth Avenue.

 

Today Annin makes 30 million flags of all kinds each year. The company has made state flags that fly over every state capitol and American flags manufactured by Annin have flown at both the North and South Poles, on Mt. Everest, in the rubble at the World Trade Center on September 11, and one remarkably draped Abe Lincoln’s coffin.   It was an Annin-made flag that Marines raised atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima in 1945, memorialized in a classic Associated Press photograph and  on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and “Buzz” Aldrin stepped out from the Lunar Module and planted an Annin-made U.S. flag on the moon’s surface, where it remains today.  The world’s largest American flag—104 feet by 235 feet—was made by Annin for the J.L. Hudson Co. in Detroit in 1949 and was retired in 1976.  It can today be found in the Smithsonian Institute.

 

(Adapted from “America’s Flag Maker” by Warren D. Jorgensen)

 

 

As Deacon Pete said in church this morning, those ordinary red, white, and blue fabric pieces are anything but ordinary.  Together they make up the star spangled banner, which represents the land of the free and the home of the brave.  They represent us.

 

 

Planning For the Fourth July 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 8:35 pm

July 4 party

 

Are you, like millions of Americans, planning a Fourth of July get-together?  Even with record heat hitting much of the country, people coast-to-coast will be pulling out boats and barbecues out and inviting friends and family over.  Everyone loves a good, old-fashioned outdoor cook-out and every year Independence Day northerners and southerners alike make it the most popular day for barbecuing in the U.S.A.  This may come as no surprise to many of you, but do you know how many hot dogs you can expect each of your guests to eat or the best way to set up a buffet?  Here, then, are some tips to make your Red, White and Blue party the best on the block:

 

Plan on each of your guests eating two hot dogs a piece.

 

Each of your guests will use an estimated four “Red Solo Cups” and two paper plates.

 

Drink-wise, for a two hour party, estimate one bottle of wine for every two guests and two bottles or servings of beer per person for the first hour.  In general, plan on two drinks per guest during the first hour of your party, and one each hour after that.

 

Be sure to have plenty of bottled water on hand…you can never have too much.

 

 

If your cook-out consists of a buffet, consider the following ideas:

                Mark the beginning of the line/table obvious by placing a tall stack of plates at it.

                Make the buffet servable from two sides to keep the traffic flow going.

                Don’t forget plenty of empty saucers/spoon rests for the guests to use after serving themselves.

                Make the serving bowls and trays both attractive and accessible by placing them at various heights.

               Place cards are always a nice touch, especially on dishes that aren’t easily identifiable like dips or cheeses.

                Place food that you have the least amount of at the end of the buffet.  Guests are less tempted to serve much of these items as their plates are have filled up.   

               Place napkins and serving utensils at the very end of the buffet line so guests don’t have to fidget with them while serving themselves.

 

A good and simple rule is to return an empty dish with something delicious inside.  In other words, if someone brings a covered dish to your party, when you return it, do so with a casserole or apple crunch dessert inside. 

 

If you don’t know what to bring as a hostess gift to a party you are attending, consider a bottle of wine, festive or theme-related coasters, cocktail napkins, a nice bottle of olive oil, a scented candle, or decorative tea towels.

 

Have fun planning!