Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We're OFF!

Okay...it is about 7:19 (about, though) in the morning here on Tuesday--6 hours ahead of my Eastern Time Zone. John made it in okay yesterday (yippee) and we are on our way to Lake Como. Then to Vincenza. Then to Greek Islands. Then to Nice/Cannes, France. Then to Provence. Then somewhere else French. Then back to Stuttgart. John is taking me WAY out of my comfort zone by insisting that we just drive, see a nice place we might like to stay, ask them if we can stay there, and then just be part of the culture. SOOOOOO not me. I realize that I am WAY out of the culture, and feel uncomfortable about trying to blend. It doesn't work so well for me....Just like in our country, you hear people ALL the time, "Why don't they speak English?" Well, for those that live in our country, I believe they should learn the language of the land. For those visiting, though, bless their hearts...what can they do but try. For the most part, Germans and especially the French in Strasbourg have been helpful. I TRULY appreciate that. So, not only is this a vacation, it's a whole new version of immersion therapy for behavior modifications for my anxiety over change. Guess it will be nice to get me ready for Kyrgz.

Au Revior, Aulfweidelsein and Ciao...forgive the spellings for all those....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ramblings and musings...

Okay, for the ramblings...

I love that I just paid about $1300 and spent countless hours of fretting on the whole CPA package only to find out that it was for nothing. Mostly.

I love that on Wednesday at about 11:30 in the am Eastern time, I spoke to my caseworker, and she told me what the home study packet HAD to look like and about 48-52 hours later, I get an email that says to change it all. AFTER I HAD IT CERTIFIED in the county that was 2 plus hours away (and on the day of the great gas incident, no less) and I will have to do several things over again and hike up there AGAIN, but not for at least another 3 weeks.

I love that the state AND FBI clearances we ALREADY had are no longer good (or needed) because apparently now the fingerprint cards have to be part of the package.

I love that my doctor, who was WONDERFUL and willing to do ANYTHING needed to help this adoption process go through was REASSIGNED to Bethesda, and I will now have to desperately try to get in touch with her somehow and beg her to continue to help me, though I am no longer her patient and that's asking a lot of her.

I love that all these little bends in the road have happened and we haven't even sent the darned dossier in.

Now for the musings...

Today we went to an international festival in some nearby town called Sindelfiegan or something to that effect. I marvelled at the myriad of cultures I got to see.

I find it funny that in one week, I have gone from freezing and stealing my nephew's sweaters to sweaty thighs and sunburn (only lightly) and that the weather truly is ever changing from minute to minute.

And last, I believe it is hysterical that, according to this book called Do As The Germans Do, a book on what we can do to understand today's German culture, the Germans find people who smile all the time (or unnecessarily, as they say) are considered to be foolish, weak-minded, and maybe even a little mentally challenged.

I guess they call me crazy. Smiling to people, especially to strangers--no, wait, German strangers, is just fun to do.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Viva (or vive?) la France!

What a wonderful day! As you can tell by the title, I don't speak so much French. Or German. So, whether it is viva or vive, I loved it! We went to a great little town, and forgive the spelling right now, Zussenleheim or something to that effect, known for it's pottery. There was so much fabulous stuff! I was very proud of myself...held restraint. I got a container for kitchen utensils, which I had planned to do, and a sweet little piggy bank for the baby--it's an adorable pastel colored elephant with a key...too cute. We also got chocolate croissants--YUM.

We then went from there to Strasbourg--which went back and forth from the French hands to the German hands several times....so though it is French, most speak German as well. Actually, being in the Alsace region, there is some unique dialect that incorporates French, German and even English a bit. We went to the Strasbourg Cathedral, famous for none other than Notre Dame and a lovely dedication to the American forces for their help with saving Alsace. My nephew and I climbed the 330 spiral, steep stairs to the top of the cathedral, and though my legs shook after, I'm glad I did it--he's so teenager now, it's hard to still love on him without him hating it :)

After, we went on a river cruise of the Ill river...it was GREAT! We saw all the town on a beautiful and sunny day and enjoyed learning the history through headphones. My niece helped me pick out two Christmas ornaments (I also bought a little pink heart ornament that said "Baby's First Christmas," for when we finally get to use it...) and then we came home. Just a lovely day. I loved it.

On the adoption front, we got another message. Apparently other clients sort of complained to our caseworker that we didn't get the dossier changes in a timely fashion--I was not one of the complainers, though if that was the case, it doesn't settle well with me. I guess it's just me, but there were rumblings of things changing, they change all the time, our agency had to send some paperwork for accreditation proof, and as one of the newest to the country, that may have taken longer, and maybe they just got the requirements. I'm ok with it. Now. Like I said the other day, I was NOT ok. But there's a reason...so I'll wait to see what it is.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

There was sun AND it was warm!!!

Well, two days in a row and it has been sunny and warmer. Beautiful day, actually. We went to a very small international bazaar, emphasis on small, on the other base right near here. Then we went to a biergarten for lunch. What a concept....they are basically restaurants with playgrounds outside so the parents can sit there with their beers and the kids just run like banshees all over the place. It's brilliant--the Germans just say--"oh, it's okay...their kinder...let them play." Amazing.

Tomorrow we are going to Strasbourg. I am excited about the new places we go to, but I have to say that I really don't adapt well to change, or new situations, or foreign languages, or foreign anything as much as I really would like to. It's the anxiety, the control freak in me, if you will, that causes me to just really be uncomfortable. Not so much that I am not enjoying myself, but enough to say I will be glad to be back with familiarity. That's sad too, because when you get outside of the United States, you really, truly realize how isolated we Americans are--even though we think of ourselves as a cosmopolitan group of diverse people with a melting pot mentality, it's very sad when we as a country worry more about the life of Paris Hilton rather than what's happening in Africa with oil hostages--which happens frequently, apparently. I love our country, great military wife that I am, but we as a country really need to realize that there's so much more to the world than what's on the cover of Star magazine.

Okay...off my soapbox. As always, I pray for our leaders and I pray for our country. And I try to be informed and make informed decisions. That's about all I can do.

Off to France....reading on the boards about age and how our I600 needs to have the same age as our home study...not sure mine does. But hey, what's one more hurdle? Ha ha.

And, it seems that Emma Jane won. I like that because of the homage to my mom, but several family members say it sounds too much like Imogene. So...here's some new stuff to try.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Luggage found, language lost!

Woohoooo! My bag got here last night! Hot shower and clean underclothes never felt so great! I had to do some 'talking' with a lovely gentleman from Lufthansa, but we eventually came to the understanding that if I had to pick my bag up myself, when they found it, I would, BUT I was going to get my bag--regardless of whether it was convenient for them to drop it off or not yesterday. Hmmph...I got stuff like:

"Ma'am, your bag is in Germany, so that is good for you."
"Uh, sir, it is not where I am in Germany, so that's bad for me."

Later in the conversation, after putting me on hold and finding out it wasn't, no, it WAS, in Stuttgart...

"Okay, great, now you know it's in Stuttgart, when will it come?"
"Ma'am, I cannot predict the future."
"I realize you can't, but surely you can give me a time frame?"
"Ma'am, it depends on the weather in Stuttgart, the staus (traffic), how many bags we need to deliver..."
"Sir, I am IN STUTTGART, it's lovely. I will be here for a few weeks, so I don't mind if your driver incurs a little traffic, and I don't care HOW MANY BAGS YOU NEED TO DELIVER. YOU HAVE ONE YOU NEED TO DELIVER TONIGHT--MINE!"

So...after we agreed that it would just be in Lufthansa's best interest to get my bag to me ASAP, it came last night. Ah...thank GOD so many countries teach their children English.

As for the heartbreaking news of not even being CLOSE to being done with my dossier, after some clarification from Ally, we are not in as bad a shape as I thought. We DO need the FBI Clearance, we just need to change a couple of things on cover letters that we already have done, we DON'T need our realtor's license or a psyc eval (due to the fact that we signed on before June 1, 2008--any clients that signed on after will) and our medicals are fine for now, but when we get the updates, we will need the new rules. Apparently, Ally's computer had a problem with some changes she made to emails, so we got an email that was meant for clients after June 1, but she sent out some clarifications (and a response to my questions) so I feel better. Still some work, but my heart is so much lighter knowing that some major hurdles are not hurdles any more. They basically are mirroring Kaz, and I thought it was funny because on the email from her on Friday, at the bottom of the page in the right-hand corner, KAZ was written in light grey print, as if it was the name of the document. I am guessing that Kyrgz is probably working to mirror Kaz (and maybe some of Russia?) or at least our agency is, so whatever...just as long as I don't have to basically start over again!

Okay...gotta go --even though it's light out side and almost 10 (different sun over here!) I need to try to sleep. I love that at least for the next week or so, I have email and internet access...I can keep up, at least a little bit!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

We made it...sort of...

Quick post...made it to Frankfurt...minus my main bag. I was assured that it IS in Germany. Well, that's comforting. That basically says that ALL my underclothes, and most of all my other clothes are somewhere in Germany. Just not with me.

Friends, after the trip to Frankfurt, from DC, which is not too bad a flight, I have to say that I am a little concerned about a trip to Kyrgyzstan. Of course, with all the dossier issues to redo...won't need to worry about that for quite a while.

Don't know how much I can post, but to all who read (and to all those of you that I read) I'll try to check often.

Thank you Lord, that we made it safely. With the bag that has jeans TOILETRIES. And I can where my nephew's sweaters. All is gut.

Friday, June 13, 2008

You've got to be kidding me...

Well, back to the old drawing board.

The lovely dossier that I thought was complete sans the immigration approval? Yeah, well, today Ally sent out the new checklist. Some of the same stuff, but 'substantial' changes as she calls them. Uh, ya think? Now we have to get a psych eval, I have to get a new medical cert as my doctor is gone and I need her signature or a new one altogether, our realtor's license, new home study cover sheet (since the COMPLETED HOME STUDY cover sheet I certified TWO DAYS AGO has things that are no longer needed) new certification, new authentication for our marriage licenses (oh, and now it is saying that they need to be Apostilled? I need to ask Ally about that) the FBI clearance--though we have one already, we didn't get our card back and it isn't stamped the way it now has to be...and the list goes on. Though this is supposed to make things easier? Yeah, right.

I'm so sad. After ALL the work I've gotten done, now to have so much more...and to be leaving for A MONTH and not being able to do anything. I just feel so helpless because in about 12 hours, I'll be incommunicado for the most part and my baby girl (who I am now DEFINITELY convinced is not conceived yet) won't be home as soon as I was hoping. I know, my problems are small apples compared to so many of those on the boards who are in the midst of worse--I guess it's that feeling of loss of control that I now have since I will be gone.

Not sure when the next posts will be, but I'll try to keep updated on everyone and pray that everyone out there waiting for their children has a contented heart knowing that while they may not be in your arms tonight, they are always in the Lord's.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I've got the right stuff!!

Ok, Ok...be warned....this post is going to SCREAM with my excitement about going to see....


I know, I know...they are men, husbands, dads...even a little bit creepy in their new video with those little hoochie mamas they are dancing with, but I don't care. I LOVED THEM in my high school days. Let me emphasize the word LOVE just a little bit more. LOVED THEM. I had my room covered with their pictures, magazines, scrap books--sang all the songs, loved the dances, went to see them in concert (with Tiffany!) and basically worshipped everything that was NKOTB.

Now, I should tell you, I feel like sort of a heel because the ticket is coming via a sweet little girl's decision to be kind and let me have her ticket. Nanci, of Nanci's Nikes, bought two tickets--one for her and one for her sweet 5 year old. This was before she knew that I LOVED them (funny how we find out things about friends in the oddest ways) and thought she might be able to talk her daughter into Disney on Ice or something like that so that I could go and be a crazy fanatic with her. She let her daughter make the decision (THANK YOU, GA) and she decided that Miss Lori should go with her mommy. So, now, I get to go!! 3rd row seats. They cost an arm and a leg, really, but will be SO worth it if nothing for the good time we are bound to have together and the lovely trip down memory lane for me. I'll just be Hangin' Tough until October. Ha ha.

As for adoption news....well, glad I rushed around to do all I did yesterday. Because today was NADA. I had a terrible migraine, and was out of my Imitrex (AGGGGGGGHHHHHH) and since I no longer have a doctor (thank you, military health care) and couldn't get an appointment (again, thank you military health care) with anyone else...I suffered. No matter, though because after faxing all that stuff to Ally, and emailing a couple of questions, I heard nothing from her today. So...maybe she finally got tired of me being a big pain in the butt. I know I would! Honestly, though, there's a LOT to go through, so I am sure she is just going through it. I had already resigned myself to not getting to actually send the dossier until I got back in July, and that's still the case, so no worries.

I'll save my worries for the fact that I am about to leave the country for A MONTH and have not yet packed a single thing. Not one thing. I am leaving tomorrow...well, at least for mom's, since she lives by Dulles and we leave Saturday AM, and have NOTHING prepared. No mail stopped, no medicine refills picked up, no itineraries for family members in case we need to be reached, nothing but my little Rick Steve's Italian popular phrases book I bought yesterday. I'm crazy. I would like to note, though, I do my best work, and always have, under pressure. I think that's why God gave me the wiring he did--as much as the anxiety KILLS me, He knows that I thrive under those MUST DO conditions...and I really do. So, I am not worried about packing. I'll pack what I can, get what I can get done tomorrow done and be off to Europe for a month...praying I come back to my lovely little immigration approval form.

Thanks for the comments about the gas pump! In hindsight, I laugh hysterically. That is so typical of my life. Good friends of mine say that those kinds of things only happen in LoriLand. I agree. LoriLand is a quirky little place to live, let me tell you!

Until the next post, I'll Be Loving You Forever! (TOLD YOU I WAS EXCITED!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

So close, I can taste it!

First, let me tell you that if you have never been able to claim you knew someone who drove away from the gas pump while the hose and nozzle were still attached to his or her car, you NOW can! Yep. That's how my day started. Well, actually, it was an argument about getting the right papers for notarization because John, God love him, still thinks that someone somewhere is just pulling all our legs and all these minute details and RIDICULOUS requirements are just someone punking us. Yeah, because I just LOVE making my life even more difficult. He asks "Why?" all the time. WHO KNOWS? IT JUST IS! Why am I short and he's tall? Why is he so stubborn and passive aggressive and I am just a pleasure to compromise with? Who knows? IT JUST IS. But I digress...

So anyway, after the argument of "Why does it have to be the same pen?" that we have had 5000 times, and he STILL used a different pen ON PURPOSE, just as I put the correct one in his face, we drove off to our respective destinations. Him work, me to pick up the home study!! I was sooooo excited! I drove to a local gas station because I needed gas and a cup of coffee desperately. So, I put my credit card in, push the cheapest button (don't even look at the price anymore because I cry) put the nozzle in my tank and stroll in to get my coffee. Yes, yes, yes...I know you are supposed to stay there, as I was ever so gently reminded by HAZMAT (more on that later) but no one does. Whatever. In the store, I got my coffee, and got into a new line that the manager opened because the lines were so long. "Pretty little girl like you shouldn't have to wait." YES, I KNOW...sexist, creepy, you name it. But hey, it's Southern Maryland and it got me out of waiting. So, he and I chat briefly and I thank him ever so kindly and walk out. I put my coffee in my car and realize I need to put the pump back. However, as I got back out of my car, I instantly saw the price--$61 for a flipping Honda Accord with GREAT mileage. I was shell-shocked, I guess. Call it what you want, but for whatever reason, I just stared, and got back in the car to drive on. Still just amazed at the price of gas, I start driving away and hear, "Ka Thud Thud CLACK" I look in my rear view mirror and dear Lord, I have driven away with the gas nozzle and hose!!!! People started running, laughing, pointing...I IMMEDIATELY stop, get out of the car, and run into the store yelling, "Help, Help. I broke the pump, Help, Help!" The manager (yep the same one) rushes over, some guys in vests rush out there, people are running around (and yes, still pointing) and I am bawling! "I can barely afford gas, I can't buy a gas pump!" (Imagine me WAILING that statement over and over in a pitiful, mournful and desperate cry!) Then, I start begging, "Please don't tell my husband, please don't tell my husband! We have to pay for the baby, please don't tell my husband!" (Crazy things ran through my head...must have been the GAS fumes!) The manager was very, very, VERY nice and told me it was ok, HAZMAT was on their way (refer back to how I was gently reminded that you STAY WITH YOUR CAR) and it was going to be ok. I did have to fill out some paperwork for HAZMAT, and I asked what I was going to have to pay and the manager said, "Honey, don't worry about it. It happens. And you didn't mean to! I was watching you out to your car (KIND OF CREEPY) and I know it was an accident. Not like them people who get so busy on those cell phones they don't pay no attention and just drive off. Don't you worry about it, honey." Of course, HAZMAT again reminded me to stay with my car--who are they? Like the Gas Pump Gestapo? So.....then, I picked my home study up. The end.

Ha ha...not really...got in touch with Ally just to be sure how to put it all together, went to the county court (Annapolis is cute, but a pain to navigate around) and SO VERY EASILY got my home study packet certified (what we Marylanders have to do before we authenticate) for the dossier! I drove back (by the way, a good half of that full gas tank is now gone) and spent an hour in Hell, aka STAPLES copying center. Not because of Staples, but because of all the copying and keeping papers together, etc. I was going to fax it to Ally there, but it would have cost about $80 so I decided to just use my all-in-one machine at home. Which took FOREVER because you have to scan EACH page in one at a time, and when the memory gets full (which is what happened the first time I tried after scanning 24 pages) it just DUMPS the project and you have to start all over. Which I did.

So now, a copy of my dossier sits in Ally's office for review before certification and authentication, and my original and complete dossier (sans any changes she makes) sits happily in my hands as I type. I'm so excited...and feeling very close to a finish line. Not THE finish line, but A finish line. And these days, I'll take what I can get!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Go and Stop...

Well--good news! Our home study is OFFICIALLY done and I am picking it up tomorrow morning, getting it certified (remember, lovely Maryland requires certification of the notarization before it can be authenticated) and hopefully getting the rest of the documents I have certified here in good old St. Mary's county. Then, my goal is to get to Annapolis on Thursday and authenticating it all at the state level, and THEN wait for our immigration approval so that our dossier can get sent to AA! In July, of course. Which is the stop part! I am SO excited about our trip, but on the same token, it does put a damper in our dossier submission. In light of what many people have told me about how long that wait is, I guess I am really blessed that I have a great vacation to take my mind off of waiting. My fear is that there will be some snafu while we are gone, and won't get to take care of it until I get back, which will make the dossier submission longer...and fall right in line with our process as of late! I am just not going to worry about it, though. It is what it is. Like the CPA bill. For the work she did in April, $700. Now, while that sounds like a load--and it is--don't get me wrong, it is a very discounted rate from what she quoted me. She originally quoted me $140 an hour and expected it would take about 4-5 hours. Ahem. It didn't. Due to her integrity and dedication to thorough accuracy (for which I am appreciative) it took about 2-3 times longer. She DID however, cut us a big break because she was excited to be part of the adoption process--so, she lowered her hourly rate to $54.27 an hour. Which was extremely nice of her. Mind you, there's still a bill coming for the work she did in June, which includes her driving to meet us and the notary to take care of all the paperwork and will probably be a few hundred dollars more, but the bright side is that she did give us a humanitarian rate. Was it an arduous process, working with such a stickler? YOU BET. Would I have preferred someone who was not quite the stickler (and was cheaper)? Of course, a teensy bit, but in light of all the things that I read on the boards every day, I am just fine with someone who wants to do everything she can to be as honest and forthcoming as she can, all the while covering my back. Which, I feel both she and my social worker did COMPLETELY. So...chalking it up to a little less money spent in Europe. Ha ha! Who am I kidding? With the Euro kicking our butt, there will be a LOT less money spent in Europe!

Speaking of Europe, I am excited, but I have to say that I am addicted to the blogs, the boards--all of it surrounding the bringing home of our girl, and worry I will go into withdrawal from 24/7 access to my computer. So, if there are fewer posts in the next month or so, realize it is because I don't have access. If any of you who read this find out anything that you feel I must know, please send it to me via email because I hope to be able to check it at least every couple of days-

Today was the official last day of a hellish school year. Thank you LORD for helping me through it. I can't express the weight I feel lifted right now. Next year is going to be better, I know it is. Mainly because I plan to bring home a baby girl at the end of it!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It just gets better and better...

Well, let's recap a lovely day in descending order of severity--if I can, that is.

First, my sister miscarried. She was only about a month along, it was a surprise but a true blessing, and she (and I) are heartbroken. She has lupus, and two children, but between her two children, she suffered 9 miscarriages. Now, I won't lie and say in truth, as her sister who loves her, I HATE that she and her husband (who would like a biological child together) even contemplate pregnancy because of the trauma to her body, but as a woman who desperately wants a child, who am I to say what she should or shouldn't do? In any event, heartbreaking.

Second, I found out my doctor is transferring to Bethesda. Now, for many of you, that makes no matter. For ME, it is devastating. I have chronic issues (asthma, allergies, not as strong an immune system as most) and I finally had in my doctor, a military doctor who KNEW me, trusted me and took time for me. NOT TO MENTION IS THE DOCTOR WHO COMPLETED MY MEDICAL EXAM FOR THE DOSSIER THAT WILL PROBABLY NEED UPDATING IN A FEW MONTHS. I emailed Ally to see if this was going to be a problem, considering that when the medical certificate needs updating, and it will, it will be a different doctor--same military clinic--but different doctor updating it. And let's just hope that doctor is as understanding of the need to be 'flexible,' if you will allow the term, in dates. AGGGHHH.

Third, I emailed the CPA basically asking her to just take the freaking dates out and have not heard back. WHY NOT? It's a basic YES OR NO and needs to be done before Friday afternoon when we are supposed to get it notarized. I do not in any way question her integrity--I admire it--but I really just need a little bit of flexibility here.

School is wrapping up (thank God) and it is HECTIC. We have several things we are planning for this weekend and I have SO much to do I just feel like I am so out of time.

Oh, and did I mention that I am leaving for Europe for a MONTH in one week and 2 days? Uh, yeah, add that to the agenda. I haven't even begun to plan for that.

On the appreciative side, please note that I put as last the fact that I haven't planned for a MONTH-long vacation to Europe? Please! What a whiner I am. Forgive the previous ranting...but pray for my sister. She's just beside herself.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Oh, the frustrations!

So close, and yet, so far...our home study is STILL not done, mainly because we want the numbers our CPA verifies to match the numbers in the home study. The information for the home study was in February, CPA (who is VERY STRICT) is using numbers from April 30, and it is common for the financial numbers to need updating to match as they are often done at different times and money situations change even in a couple of months. The big thing, though, is like I said, our CPA is VERY particular, a trait I admire, but a trait that is also causing me and Ally some frustration. In our income letter, she uses median income info from 2006--which is the most current available (and she parenthetically says that it is the most current available) but Ally said NO WAY because it is 2006 and this is 2008 and the CPA letter doesn't even need what year the info is based on but our CPA is putting it there anyway. I emailed her and asked her to just word it as based on the most current data available and leave out the fact that it's from 2006. If not, then well...heck. I don't know. We've already sunk a ton of $$ in her, I REALLY like our CPA, and she and Ally have had several conversations that I wish I was a fly on the wall for based on each participant's side of the story!! Funny, though, Ally said to just let her keep calling her and she'll argue for me. I don't know how far that will get me, though, because it seems as if there is no love lost between the two. Who knew?

On the name front, John actually used the words, "Emma Grace is a nice name, Lori." Which, I must say, is about as much as I have ever heard from him on any name opinions. I like it a lot too, but I still like Jane a lot as it would honor my mom. Emma Grace would be Strong, All Consuming, and in the Divine Favor of God. Emma Jane would be Strong, All Consuming and the feminine form of John--which is The Lord is Gracious. They would both be very appropriate. So....of course, at this rate, I'll have TONS of time to think about it. Ha ha...and I planned to have my dossier in by June 14th. Ahh...silly me and my thinking that I had any control in anything.

Oh, and I'm just watching now NBC declare Obama as the democratic nominee. Guess we know who our president will be in November. Look, whatever your political beliefs, it's my blog and I can say what I want to say. I TOTALLY respect those who may have opposing ideas, and truly feel that is what makes our country great. Bottom line is that I am not really thrilled with anybody for President--though I am a conservative (Baptist, no less), pro-life, military spouse who believes in prayer being allowed in school if children so choose, I am also (or would like to consider myself) an educator who realizes the SEVERE lackings in school, a woman frustrated with the disparity in our country between the haves and the have nots (and I blessedly consider myself a have) and don't necessarily feel PETA goes about getting their point across in the most appropriate ways, believe wholeheartedly in the humane treatment of all animals. I prefer the Washington Times to the Washington Post but also have NPR on in my radio fairly regularly. Not to mention that I read John McCain's book and consider him a true American hero, but I worry about his age. I love the fact that he considers himself a Reaganomics man (yep, I loved Reagan) but also really appreciate Obama being faithful in marriage for all these years. Regardless of who wins in November, I will do as I have done every night before I go to bed. I will pray that God grants them the wisdom and compassion they need to take care of our wonderful country.