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I remember it well from when we lived in New Jersey. A trip on any major highway whether traffic was stopped or not would most likely reveal some driver, totally not paying attention to driving. I have seen drivers putting on makeup while driving (seems dangerous to me), talking on cell phones, texting on phones, even reading the newspaper (I kid you not, the paper splayed out over the steering wheel as they do 70 on the Garden State Parkway). Most states have required hands-free use of phones while driving to try to make it somewhat safer to be on the road with these people. The state of Utah has recently passed a law making it the strictest law in the country for texting while driving. Drivers who are texting and cause a fatal collision can be face felony charges and jail time up to 15 years. The state has likened texting or talking while driving to driving while intoxicated -reasoning that drivers who are distracted by texting or talking while driving are just as unfit to operate a vehicle as drivers who have had too much to drink. Texting have been found to be even more dangerous since the driver is more distracted and engaged than with just talking on the cell phone.
From a legal perspective, the difficulty in enforcing the law lies in the ability of the prosecutors to prove their case. Unlike drunk driving where there are objective testing in the form of a breathalyzer, there are no such instruments available in texting while driving cases. The prosecutors or law enforcement officials are forced to subpoena phone records and logs to demonstrate that the driver was texting immediately prior to the collision. The law in Utah presumes that all drivers are aware of the inherent risk of texting while operating a motor vehicle, akin to the presumption in most states regarding the consumption of alcohol and the operation of a vehicle. With this presumption in place, the evidence in the form of phone records provide the proof necessary for enforcement.
We returned from vacation and I thought it kind of odd that the tomatoes on the patio didn’t seem to have many ripe tomatoes. Last year, the tomato plants around the patio gave us lots and lots of tomatoes. This year, not so much. Then this morning, we spotted this:
And then we noticed this:
Evidently this little guy or girl and his or her entire family (we spotted three total) are helping themselves to my tomatoes. We watched it pick the tomato right off the vine and proceed to carry it over to the stump and munch. Tyler found about 7 tomatoes on the ground over there that looked like this:
Please…..if they are going to eat my tomatoes that I worked so hard to grow then at least have the decency to eat the whole thing and not leave the evidence behind. Little thief.
The blog has officially passed 10,000 hits. Wow! That’s all I can say? Who would have thought that there are that many people out there that love me so much or at least give a hoot about what I have to say. Quite the compliment and I thank you! Now, the pressure is on to be smart and spunky and informative and post regularly – yikes – what monster have I created? Seriously, I appreciate the fact that there are a lot of regular readers and evidently lots of new or occasional ones also. Pretty darn neat. I’ll have to celebrate…….
Here’s a recipe for a good white sandwich type bread that was quick. I started this at 4 and it was on the table for dinner at 7.
The recipe is from allrecipes.com
Amish White Bread
- 2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoon yeast
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 6 cups of bread flour
- Mix the sugar and warm water in mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar.
- Add yeast and allow to proof until foamy. (About 10 minutes)
- Add salt and vegetable oil and flour
- Knead all ingredients together with mixer equipped with dough hook for approximately 3 minutes
- Turn into a bowl greased with vegetable spray. Cover.
- Let rise for one hour.
- Punch down dough and shape into two loaves. Place in loaf pans. Cover.
- Let rise for another 30 minutes or until dough is about 1 inch above top of loaf pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Place a small saucepan of water in the bottom of the oven for a nicely browned crust.
Did you notice how there was a lull in what was reported in mainstream media about the H1N1 or Swine Flu in recent weeks? In the past few days, however, there has been a flurry of news articles related to the flu, approximations about possible scenarios with the flu in the United States and more information about the flu as it strikes around the world. There has been particular attention to the countries which are facing winter or just coming out of winter at this time of the year.
Perhaps I have been married to a paranoid man for too many years and it is beginning to rub off but I have to say that the recent news is rather scary. Projections from the US government are anticipating that approximately half of the population will contract the flu and 90,000 will die from it. Okay, that might seem horrific to some and not so bad to others. Perspective. What scares me is the information released today from the WHO which is touting that the flu is hitting those who are young or otherwise healthy and going directly into the lungs. This is counter to the demographic that traditional flu strikes. This scares me since I have a husband and a son who both suffer from asthma so they already have respiratory problems and a virus that is pretty much bee-lining for the lungs scares the crap out of me. The statistics released that most of those individuals are requiring intensive care unit attention in the hospitals in these countries is even scarier. ICU is reserved for the sickest of the sick. The ones that need the one-on-one monitoring that goes with the unit. This is very frightening to hear.
“Data continue to show that certain respiratory disease, notably asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and immunosuppression,” WHO said.increase the risk of severe and fatal illness. These include
The figure of 90,000 US deaths is rather startling since it is more than double the national figures for deaths from regular seasonal flu. While certainly not the Black Death, the swine flu seems to be of concern, more than not. The CDC was quick to maintain that the quote of 90,000 deaths was a worse case scenario projection…blah, blah, blah, but one has to wonder if the government was doing some backpaddling there to avoid hysteria. Feedback?
Here are some pictures of the beautiful dark green celery that I pulled from the garden this afternoon. Celery was one of the things that did well this summer with all of its rain and less than perfect weather.
The celery, together with the carrots I picked (and had already sliced before I thought about pulling out the camera) went into a big pot of chicken soup. The weather around these parts has definitely taken a change for the cooler and soup on a Friday night seemed a good idea.
Evidently a missing 11-year-old girl that was abducted on her way to school in 1991 walked into a California police station and identified herself. The pair, a man and his wife, who supposedly held her all these years were arrested. The now grown woman is being reunited with her family. There will be a news conference later today which will supposedly provide more information. My question would be, why would a 29-year-old woman, suddenly appear in a police station maintaining that she is the kidnapped girl. Why now? What was the chain of events that suddenly caused her to want to turn in her kidnappers and be reunited with her family? Was there a reason or was the woman being held under some type of restraint and this was her chance to break free and seek help? While it is truly amazing and probably surreal for her parents who grieved, I am sure, for the loss of their daughter. Their waking and sleeping hours for a long time after the child’s abduction must have been ruled with all of the horrible things that might have happened. I truly cannot imagine what that phone call and the conversation afterward must have been like.
I will be interested to see when the story unfolds further, what happened during those 18 years and what led to this woman coming forward at this point in time.
The air was downright chilly here this morning. I did in fact see people sporting coats, jackets and sweaters. Fall is in the air and I keep looking for the first signs of leaves changing. It seems that as abruptly as summer finally arrived, it is also leaving Vermont. I don’t mind since autumn is one of my favorite times of the year. School seems like a success since everyone returned yesterday in happy moods with smiles, eager to chatter on about their new teachers, classes, and the like.
I am still in the process of reassembling everything in the house after vacation preceded by weeks of various different camps and activities. Maybe things will be all in their place soon.
Relaxation is over. The RVs have been returned and the vacation is but a memory. Today I am wading through the contents of two trailers, plus all of the kids’ clothes and paraphernalia that has been accumulating in our den/laundry room through the summer, the canoe trip, the week at scout camp, the soccer camps, the electronics camp and now finally, vacation. Add to the mix, just for fun, the fact that our house is undergoing some renovations at the same time, and literally I cannot find a thing. I hope that someday I will find the things that I have pretty much given up on locating, figuring that they are the things that are hidden well underneath the piles that have been growing here and there.
Be that as it may, tomorrow is the first day of school. For the little one (relaxing so nicely in the photo above) tomorrow is his first day in middle school. For the oldest, it is the first day of high school. (Boy, do I feel old – high school!). The middle guy is entering 8th grade. Everyone is well back in the swing of things as soccer practice started for the 7th and 8th graders yesterday and TJ rejoined his team yesterday after coming back from vacation. Tomorrow is his first scrimmage. We have left the comfort and ease of summer’s lazy days for the more hectic, crazy days of school and fall sports. Our days are no longer our own, but at least we went out with a nice, lazy week at the beach.
I love the fall, the start of school, the beginning of a new year of sorts. I guess that it is perpetual student in me that thinks the year starts more at the beginning of the school year rather than at new year’s. Oh, and by the way, the weather tends to agree since evenings are forecast to dip into the 30s on Thursday night. Brrr…winter cannot be far behind.
The boys scoffed at us last night when we told them that we had heard on the television that the town of Wells had recommended that no one swim in the ocean due to the severe weather. “How much worse could it be?” was the resounding cry of boys who had enjoyed themselves so much that day in the ocean with the crazy waves. By about 2 p.m. the lifeguards were pulling everyone out of the water – rain was coming and so were the more severe waves when high tide was to hit.
This evening, we learned that a little girl from New York state died when she and I presume her family were merely sightseeing the “awesome” waves that were hitting the Maine coastline this afternoon from the storm. The waves took 5 sightseers right off the rocks and into the water, prompting a Coast Guard rescue. Unfortunately, while 4 people were rescued the 5th, a little girl, did not survive and could not be resuscitated. The tragedy reminds us that we must respect the ocean and its power. Mother Nature should not be messed with by anyone. And it is another reminder to us and the boys, that sometimes, we adults really do know best.
Here is a video of one of the rescues that the Coast Guard undertook not that much further away from where we are now staying.
The waves definitely kicked up for the last part of the week. The boys had a blast in the surf with the high waves. Here are some pictures. Tom’s mother and I had to keep retreating up onto the rocks due to the ferocity of the waves and the disappearing beach. All in vain however since we returned two drowned looking rats despite our best efforts.
We were fortunate that we missed the rain that hit most of the rest of the East Coast until this afternoon/evening. Due to the incoming weather, no one was allowed to swim in the ocean today so it was a good day to head up to Scarborough and Freeport and hit Cabela’s and LL Bean. We lunched at Pedro O’Hara’s (go figure) and had a pretty good day. We are relaxing now, enjoying our last evening at the campground. The boys were hoping for another campfire, but I don’t know if Mother Nature is going to let that happen. Guess we cannot complain, a night in the camper isn’t bad for the last night of vacation. We could have been stuck in here together all week, now that would have just been less than good.