Friday, March 31, 2006


Our house in AZ is 3 miles from the Mexican border and I have to say it really irritates me when those who live 3000 miles away think they have a good grasp of the border situation and how to handle it.

Safety-wise I don't worry about illegals coming across nearly as much as I worry about the punk kids coming out from Tucson. Being run over by a 22 year old hot-rodding Border Patrol agent is more of a danger than being assaulted by an illegal alien in my neighborhood. Don't even get me started on their 5 AM helicopter patrols buzzing low and hovering. The black metal fence is lighted as brightly as a mall parking lot at night with a glow that obscures the stars and wastes an amazing amount of energy.

I have lived on the border for over 20 years. I have known illegal aliens personally - and years ago my Mom helped one young man get his papers so he could work legally. I guess my Mom was a criminal and I have to say I am proud of her for it. She fronted him $500 (he'd already managed to save almost $1000) and drove him around to the miriad of places he needed to go so that he could attain legal work status. It was amazingly difficult and confusing even for someone who spoke English. If we make this process easier MOST people would be happy to work legally. For those who say "But my ancestors came here legally!" keep in mind that most who went through Ellis Island had only to be free from disease and physically able to work to gain entrance in most cases. In their day the Irish, Italian, Polish, Chinese.... etc... were all looked at scornfully by many of those who had come before. Maybe this too is the American way.

I agree that we need immigration reform but locking down our borders with more ugly fences and armed military and making illegals criminals is not going to fix this problem. It will just make the border into a police state. Weren't we the ones who inspired Germany to tear down her walls? Now we are building our own...

This is a complex problem but I have some ideas about how we could start resolving it.

First: Start a program similar to the WPA that makes Americans work for their housing and food. This country needs all the help it can get to rebuild our infrastructure. Jobs mean skills...... skills mean better jobs. This would also fill some of the jobs that illegals are currently taking and reduce the need for their labors. I'd go a step further and say that if someone is on assistance they should also beon birth control. Sorry but you shouldn't breed them if you can't feed them. I worry a lot more about homegrown poor swelling in population than those who come in looking for a job.

Second: Get a guest worker program started like that of the Brazeros program of the 40's and 50's that will allow migrant workers to work legally. You might be surprised to know that most of them would far prefer this - and would gladly pay the taxes that go with it. Do I advocate throwing open our borders to just anyone? No. But if you give the bulk of what is currently illegal traffic a simple legal way to enter this country the traffic that remains would be MUCH easier to handle. Also keep in mind that those who blew up the Twin Towers were here comletely legally. Using the banner of KEEPING YOU SAFE in the immigration debate is just stupid.

Third: Target the employers who make money using illegal aliens. NOT people who give them aid (like water stations) but those who hire them LIKE WALMART. If some little old lady is caught giving an illegal a ride out of the desert heat she'll have her car confiscated ...but if a company gets caught with 50 illegals working in their warehouse they get a slap on the wrist. This is totally unbalanced. Typical of the GOP to be talking out of both sides of their mouths. I suggest that when big companies get busted with a warehouse full of illegals seize the warehouse and contents...

It is very easy to file illegal aliens under the heading of THEY and make them seem evil but THEY are just people trying for a better life for their families. This is the same thing that drove many of our ancestors to these shores - back in the days when immigration was a heck of a lot more straight forward. Modern legal immigrants from developed nations have a place to live and money in the bank while waiting for Visa or green card. Most that come through our borders to the south do not. We are a nation of immigrants and to say "we've got ours now screw the rest of you" is a sentiment that I hear too often these days.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Today Is The Day

Today Is The Day
Originally uploaded by rainvalley.
David and I have been going to Beaufort and Hunting Island now and again for a year. Sometimes we camp the weekend at Hunting Island and sometimes we just drive down for the day. Each time we go we think about climbing the lighthouse. It started out as a joke....the first time we went neither of us had any cash and they don't take plastic for the we couldn't climb it. From then on it was a question of if we would climb the lighthouse TODAY...and something else would come up. We'd get captivated by our fishing, linger over breakfast or decide we were just too darn lazy to make the climb. We didn't realize until after we got home and started downloading the camera's that the dates coincided with our first ever trip to Hunting Island...exactly one year to the day. It was worth the wait!

David - Workin' for the man.....

David - on his way to work the other day. He just looks so handsome!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Chris Bliss

This guy is amazing! His juggling is phenomenal and if you want a guaranteed smile the video will supply one! Click on The Grand Finale and just sit back and marvel. What I enjoyed most was the look of delight on his face when he'd competed some of the more difficult parts... Good stuff for your spirit!

When you are done looking at that check out some of his writing. Good stuff for your head!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sunrise Hunting Island State Park

It really doesn't get any better than this! Sunrise at Hunting Island - Beaufort SC, one of our favorite places.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Dad & I at the Dam - Augusta GA

David took this of Dad & I while he was here in GA a couple of months ago. I love it!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

David in blue

David in blue
Originally uploaded by rainvalley.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Peanut Sauce

Yes I do mean THE Peanut Sauce.
I've been hunting around in my cookbooks for this incredible sauce. I've made it several times but could not remember which book it was in......but now I've found it in one of my all time favorite cookbooks The Savory Way by Deborah Madison.

Makes approximately 2 cups.

6 Large garlic cloves
1 large bunch cilantro (leaves & upper stems only)
1 1/2 oz fresh ginger peeled & roughly chopped (about 2 tbs)
1 Tbs peanut oil
1 Tbs dark sesame oil
1 Tbs hot chili oil
1/2 c peanut butter or sesame-peanut butter. She recommends unsweetened but I've used either - if you use regular sweetened lower the sugar to about 1 tbs.
1/2 to 2/3 cup soy sauce
3 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs rice wine vinegar or to taste
hot water if necessary

Put the garlic, cilantro & ginger in the food processor and work until finely chopped. Add the oils, peanut butter, 1/2 c soy sauce, and sugar. Process again until well combined. Stop & scrape down the sides a couple of times. Add the vinegar and season to taste with additional soy sauce if necessary. If the sauce is thicker than you'd like thin it with hot water if using immediately. If you are using later wait on adding water until that time. Store sauce in airtight jar and keep refridgerated. This sauce will keep for months.

She has it over cold noodles and it is great for that but I also love it as a sauce for chicken or turkey. Also wonderful as a dipping sauce for spring rolls or any other goody. Warning - this stuff is addictive!

Introducing....Georgia the cat

When we got home the other night we had a surprise waiting for us. This tiny little cat sitting alone under a tree in the darkness. Someone had dumped her off down by the tracks and she'd made her way to our door. She was tired, hungry and scared but her wavery little meow became a purr of appreciation once she was fed and sheltered.
She's a good little cat - not demanding, just affectionate. It's obvious that she's happy to be safe.
This is her new favorite spot.....

Muhjadarra - Lentils Rice and Onion

I found this recipe on the web on and finally got around to trying it the other night. Boy am I glad I did! I can see all kinds of variations of this coming up in the future.

6 TBS olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
1 1/4 cup green French Lentils
1 cup long grain rice
Pinch of salt & lots of freshly ground pepper.

Heat all the oil in a frying pan. Add onion, and cook over a medium heat to a very dark brown. This takes a while and you don't want your heat high enough to burn - just carmelize.
Put the lentils in a large pot with a quart of water, and some salt. Bring to a boil, and simmer 15 minutes. Add the rice and quite a bit of freshly ground pepper. If the water is not enough to barely cover, add a bit more. Cover and cook on low until the rice is done, 15-20 minutes. Stir in half the onions with a fork. Turn off heat, cover, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Adjust salt and add a bunch of freshly grated black pepper. Spoon into a serving bowl, and top with the rest of the onions and oil. I garnished with some chopped parsley as well.

I served this on the first go-round with beef and veggie kabobs, hummus and an antipasto salad. It was good stuff!

Some thoughts on this - use a BIG onion - even though this sounds like a lot it doesn't taste oniony - just sweet and nutty. Use a good quality olive oil and don't skimp. It makes quite a bit but don't worry - the leftovers are even better. Last night I poured Gumbo over it and I have to say it was delicious!