Monday, May 30, 2011

Mrs Palin Goes To Washington

Heh. Gotta love the Drudge Report's headlines:


"Media confused..."

Texas For Sarah Palin has Mrs. Palin's dispatches from Mount Vernon, and, of vast importance, the National Archives. When we need to know the truth these days, it is essential to go to the source documents and read them for ourselves, rather than relying on fifth-hand interpretations. Our Sarah seems to agree when she says "These are nonpartisan, valuable historical tools we all need to see, read, and absorb to learn the truth about our past, so we can move forward successfully."

Read it all here.

God bless the woman. She doesn't have to run - I'd love to vote for her but she doesn't need to - her greatest power is the innate and inalienable power every American Citizen shares: the power to govern ourselves via the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

"Who More Than Self Their Country Loved"

The Memorial Day remembrance in our household includes these men of the 3rd LAR, the subjects of the video, seven Marines and their Navy medic, who served with my son, Sgt Ethan D Arguello, and paid for our freedom with their lives in 2006 in Iraq:

Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus
Lance Cpl. Anthony E. Butterfield
Cpl. Adam A. Galvez
Lance Cpl. Jason Hanson
Lance Cpl. Shane P. Harris
Seaman Chadwick T. Kenyon
Lance Cpl. Randy L. Newman
Sgt. Christian B. Williams

Last year, I wrote:

"While some boys their age spent 2006 making cool protest posters in frat houses at elite universities and cementing their futures as unelected political advisors to the White House, these men were Marines lodging an effective prohibition against totalitarianism, against slavery, against cruel and unusual punishments, against theocracy, against religious persecution, against kidnapping, against abuse of women and children.

"Those who gave their lives gave them not once but every single day. Each of them and each of their brother Dragoons gave their lives every dusty deadly freezing boiling intense tedious extreme exhausted hour of every single day they spent in the desolation that remains of cursed Babylon before the terrible day when their lives were taken from them.

"The Marines whose wounds of body or spirit will forever declare their personal mettle of Honor shouldered the burdens of potential injury every single day before the attacks that cost them dearly, in faithful love for their comrades, their families, and their America. You are not named here, your stories are your own to tell or not as you see fit. But we remember you, and are grateful.

"These youthful men who returned home also give the coming years of their far horizons: they are witness and example to the sacrifices American heroes willingly made to bring liberty to lost and pitiable lands suffering under the yoke of dead history and the darkness of brutal tradition."

How can we not cherish each day of our lives in these great United States, and how can we not stand firm against encroachment on the liberty bought for us with the sacrifices of patriots who said no to tyrants again and again and again throughout our history?

Thank you God, for sending such men to protect us and our country.

Please also visit the blog "Through The Eyes Of A Gold Star Mom": the amazing, hope-and-love-filled story of Amy Galvez, whose son died for Freedom in Iraq.

In this post, you can find links to memorial sites and guest books for these heroes, if you would like to leave a note for their families.

Links to the series of all 5 posts:
Part I Introduction
Part II Body Armor Saves Lives
Part III Greater Love Has No Man: 4 killed by Bomb
Part IV The Whole Universe: 3 killed by IED, 1 killed by IED
Part V Apprendix: Links to articles about these men & the 2nd Platoon

UPDATED May 30: Thank you, Pat @ And So It Goes In Shreveport, for the link.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"An Englishman Prays" A Timeless Story From World War I

Donald Hankey was a British soldier in The Great War for Civilization, which we call WWI. He served in the trenches in the terrible Battle of the Somme, the bloodiest battle in Britain's history and was killed in action on the Western Front near Le Transloy on October 26, 1916.  His grave is there, with those of the comrades who fell with him, marked by the Thiepval Memorial to the 72,195 missing or unidentified among the 1.5 million men who gave their lives in the long Somme Campaign from July 1915 through February 1918.

Some of his essays were published before his death, and others collected and published posthumously. His stories were either autobiographical or based on genuine experiences of the men with whom he served.  My copy is a slim, straightforward volume of three stories published in 1917, with no extra material - biographical or otherwise - included.

An Englishman Prays

By Donald Hankey (EP Dutton, 1917)

In civil life he had always said his prayers. They had done him good, too, in a way. They had been a sort of squaring of his accounts morally. He had tried to see where he had failed, made resolutions to amend, and acknowledged to himself at any rate, that he had failed. He had remembered his relations and friends before God, and it had helped him to do his duty by them. At the same time, he was not in the least degree a mystic. Even in his prayers he had never felt the reality of God. "God" to him was rather the name for the principle of goodness than a Being of infinite power and intimate importance. His greatest religious "experience" had been a spasmodic loyalty to the Christ-man, stimulating him at rare intervals to sudden acts of quixotism.

When he first enlisted he continued the habit of saying his prayers, more because it was inconvenient than for any other reason, perhaps. The other fellows in the barrack-room did not say their prayers, and he was too English not to feel the more resolved to say his. He was not going to be afraid. So he said them, deliberately and very self-consciously, half expecting to be laughed at. It was very difficult. He could not concentrate his mind. He whispered the words mechanically, his head full of other thoughts.

The other fellows paused in their talk the first night, and then went on as if nothing had happened. After that no notice was taken at all. No one followed his example. No one commented, or interfered with him. A little persecution would have hardened his resolve. Being ignored weakened it. He could not bring his mind to bear on his words, and there seemed to be no point in going on. He tried saying them in bed, in the privacy of his blanket. Then one day he forgot; and after that he just omitted to say them ever.

After all it made very little difference. And yet at times he felt that there was a difference. It was a little like a man sitting in a room with a frosted window that only opened at the top. He understood that it gave on to a garden, but he had never seen the garden. He used to sit with the top of the window pulled open, and then somehow one day he forgot to open it, and after that he never bothered. It made so little difference. At times he did notice that the air was a little less fresh, but he was too lazy, or too busy about other matters to bother.

This Englishman's religion had always been a bit like that, like a window opening on to the unknown and unexplored. He liked to think that his window gave on to a garden, and to think that he sometimes caught the scent of the flowers. But he had never had the energy or the faith to test his belief. Suppose he were to find that after all his garden was only a paved yard.  Anyhow he had left the window shut now. At times he regretted it; but a kind of inertia possessed him, and he did not do anything about it.

When he first got to the front he prayed, half ashamed. He was not quite sure of himself, and he prayed that he might not be found wanting. But when it came to the point everything was very prosaic. It was boring, and uncomfortable, and at times terrifying. Yet he felt no inclination to shirk. He just drifted on, doing his bit like the others, and with not too good a grace. He was asked to take the stripe, and refused. It meant more trouble and responsibility. His conscience told him that he was shirking. He grew angry with it. "Well," he demanded of it, "why have I responsibilities more than anyone else? Haven't I failed?"

He put the question defiantly, ostensibly to his conscience, but with an eye to the "Christ-man" in Whom he had almost ceased to believe. To his astonishment he got an answer. It was a contingency with which he had not reckoned. Like a flash this sentence wrote itself across his mind — " Strengthen My brethren." It staggered him. He felt that he knew what it meant. " Don't whine about failure. If you are willing to serve, here is your job, and the sign of your forgiveness — Strengthen My brethren." He took the stripe after all, and fathered the boys of his section.

The final stage came later. There had been a charge, a hopeless affair from the start, undertaken in broad daylight. He had fallen between the lines, and had seen the battered remnant of his company retire past him to their own trench before a hail of bullets. He lay in the long grass between the lines, unable to move, and with an unceasing throbbing pain in his left leg and arm. A whizz-bang had caught him in both places. All the afternoon he lay still, his mind obsessed by one thought — Would anyone find him when it was dark, or would he be left to die?

He kept on wondering the same thing, with the same maddening persistence. At last he must have lost consciousness, for he woke to find that the sun had set, and all was still but for an occasional flare or a random shot. He had lost a lot of blood; but the throbbing had ceased, and if he kept still he felt no pain. He just lay there, feeling strangely peaceful. Above him he could see the stars, and the moon, though low in the heavens, gave a clear light.

He found himself vaguely wondering about the meaning of everything. The stars seemed to make it all seem so small and petty. All this bloodshed — what was the good of it? It was all so ephemeral, so trivial, so meaningless in the presence of eternity and infinity. It was just a strife of pygmies. He suddenly felt terribly small and lonely, and he was so very, very weak. He was cut off from his fellow men as surely as if he had been on a desert island, and he felt somehow as if he had got out of his element, and was launched, a tiny pygmy soul, on the sea of immensity, where he could find no bearings. Eternity and infinity were so pitiless and uncomprehending. The stars gazed at him imperturbably. There was no sympathy there but only cold, unseeing tolerance.

Yet after all, he had the advantage of them. For all his pygmy ineffectiveness he was of finer stuff than they. At least he could feel — suffer. He had only to try to move to verify that. At least he was aware of his own existence, and could even gauge his own insignificance. There was that in him which was not in them, unless — unless it was in everything. "God!" he whispered softly. " God everywhere ! " Then into his tired brain came a new phrase — "Underneath are the everlasting arms." He sighed contentedly, as a tired child, and the phrase went on repeating itself in his brain in a kind of chant — "Underneath are the everlasting arms."

The moon went down behind the horizon, and it was dark. They fetched him in at last. He will never again be sound of limb; but there is in his memory and in his heart that which may make him a staunch fighter in other fields. He has learnt a new way of prayer, and the courage that is born of faith well-founded.


You can find the full text from which this story was excerpted in Hankey's Memoir "A Student in Arms", by clicking here.

Photo via Wikipedia, British War Photographer Ernest Brooks "Cheshire Regiment trench Somme 1916"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Not That Left, Your Other Left.

So are all my readers Southpaws? Maybe that's why no one told me til today about the goof I made in the post below. The one about Old Style Disaster Prep. In the Post Script (PS) paragraph. About the location of the little Red Kettle on my blog. The part that says " on my blog (over on the left side)...."

For those who aren't left handed, that translates as " on my blog (over on the RIGHT side)...."

Thanks to Paul for noticing. :-)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Old Style Disaster Prep: Thinking Ahead as a Way of Life

 So many terrible situations around the South right now: fires, floods, storms and destruction. We pray for those in harm's way, or who are affected. And we wonder what we would do, ourselves, in those situations. It is wisdom to think it through, and learn now what we might need to know later.

I'm not so much a "prepper" (good site BTW), as maybe a good Boy Scout: part of my way of living since I was a little kid is to try to "Be Prepared". I've always kept a full pantry and freezer, a $20 bill in my wallet, a spare tire, always packed twice as much as we need for trips. When I smoked, I not only bought by the carton but kept an emergency carton in the freezer and when traveling stowed cigarettes AND nicotine lozenges AND matches in every piece of luggage and on my person. Whether you need an aspirin or a packet of sugar, a needle and thread or a tape measure, an apple peeler or double AA battery, I probably have one in my purse.

One of the tales Ethan tells of his first tour in Iraq is about his unit being given two hours to prepare for a 3 day mission that ended up lasting a couple of weeks. Some took 3 pairs of socks. He packed 18 pairs. On day seven-ish, after all the tobacco was gone, and with only 3 MREs among them, Ethan opened his pack, and pulled out.... homemade venison jerky from Texas.

After the hubbub from that died down, he opened his pack again, and pulled out...a handful of cigars sent weeks earlier by a radio station in San Antonio. He said his CO kissed him on top of his head!

He made his momma proud! :-)

After sheltering in place while Hurricane Claudette went right over our house (and during the aftermath), we spent the next two summers obeying mandatory evacuation orders in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. we were living near Port Lavaca/Port OConnor at the time, near the center of the Texas coast.

Here are some things we learned to apply to our own preparedness as a result.

(1) Plan to both shelter in place AND to evacuate. Good neighbors & the company of our local community make a world of difference when we can stay put, but it is not always going to be possible. Good, educated, decisions on the fly are the best tools regardless of the situation.

(2) Keep the gas tank full. Local supplies will begin to be depleted as more people fill up and deliveries aren't arriving. As more stations have to put up "out of gas" signs, the lines at other stations will get longer. Especially if you live in a city, it will be harder to get fuel when the news of the emergency has gone out. In our case, we were in a small town and the congestion was still surprisingly high. Having been through it, I now top off my tank once it gets down to half-empty out of habit.

(3) Plan your route to avoid the places everyone else is going (while still following safe practices and all official recommendations). Remember when  Houston tried to evacuate? The crush of population movement affects not only cities, but rural areas as well. The bottlenecks are in the routes we sheep tend to take when we go places. So stay on paved, safe, well-travelled State or County roads, but aim for locations that are a little less likely to be major destination points.

The first time we evacuated, for Hurricane Rita, we tried to go up to Austin, where our sons lived. Surprise! That's where everyone was going. We finally got as far as Gonzales  - three hours to make a one hour drive - and Paul said this is crazy, so we cut off down a Farm to Market Road and went west instead.

A week later, we went over to East Texas for the drive home, and saw the devistation wreaked when the hurricane - and the coastal population - had come inland, and all aimed northeast toward Texarkana. There were almost no hotel rooms to be had from Paris to Brenham, vast areas were without electricity, and schools were still closed while the gyms housed evacuees. Restaurants and cafes told us they had closed for lack of food to cook after the 2nd or third day - thousands of people stopping to eat, grocery store shelves emptying, and no delivery trucks running.

So the next time we "bugged out", we went South and West first, cutting across the traffic patterns to get beyond the coastline evacuation roads before turning north towards the sparsely populated areas of the Permian Basin. It worked like a charm. We made good time, and had no traffic. We did find that supplies of gasoline were still spotty, since deliveries were sporatic even out here, but by filling the tank at every opportunity, we did fine.

(4) Avoid reliance on gadgetry. Keep a good road atlas in the car trunk - one of the large Rand McNally ones that shows all the little roads is very good and will still be accurate years from now. Put a magnifying glass in with it in case your eyes age a little bit before you need to actually read it.

Keep an old fashioned non-electric plug-in telephone with attached-by-a-cord handset in a drawer somewhere. Our land lines still worked after the hurricane even though electric power was out. And cell phones did not work after Hurricane Katrina, so there is the possibility they might not again. Put a written list of family/friendly phone numbers in your wallet. If your cell phone can't access a tower, it may not pull up your address book.

A final note: now that cell phones and smart phones do our remembering for us, parents of very young children should still teach a main phone number for safety's sake. Among the first pieces of data we were required to memorize as soon as we could talk were my grandparents' phone numbers: "Capital 3, 8504" and
"CR 6, 3241". We learned these by heart long before we could even understand how to dial a phone or knew what numbers were. In today's world where we expect our cell phones to keep up with these numbers, it's still a good idea to teach children the actual numbers.

(5) Keep some cash and a supply of paper checks on hand. When the power was out and deliveries disrupted, most businesses were unable to process credit or debit card purchases. ATM machines that ran out of cash were not replenished. So keep a small supply - enough to purchase a few tanks of gasoline - somewhere handy, just in case. And keep it in $10s or $20s. No one is going to give you change for a $100.

A case of bottled water is another good thing to keep in the trunk. This is another commodity affected by deliveries. By carrying your own, you won't squander your small supply of cash in a tight. You can then refill the small bottles as needed from any potable source.

(6) Trust yourself & your own companions, and think for yourself. Don't expect any government body or outside agency other than God to be able to take care of you. We found that no matter how well prepared everyone is, it will still take at least 48 to 72 hours before any outside help can get to a location.

The Salvation Army does better than most at mobilizing its food carts (they were in tiny Magnolia Beach by Wednesday morning after the Monday hurricane, serving hot cooked meals 3 times a day to all comers and would not take a single dime even of donations from any of us), but we must plan to take care of ourselves, our families, and our neighbors.

That is what adults do.

At the end of it all, no one can make the best decisions or choices for us. It is our own accumulated knowledge and experience that we must rely on, whether in everyday life or in some unexpected emergency situation. Those skills we use every day are the ones that we will continue to use when our survival depends on it.

PS: The Salvation Army is the only national organization I trust with my money. We've moved all our other giving to direct-spending local congregations, agencies or individual benefits, but we still give actively to the Salvation Army. If you wish to donate to help "The Sally" serve people affected by any disaster, there's a red kettle here on my blog (over on the left side) that will take you to the Salvation Army's own site for a donation (you can designate which geographic area you want the money to go to ), or go directly to their site yourself to learn more:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Flood Watch: Louisiana

Pat Austin at SIGIS is in Shreveport, away from the flood zones, but is keeping the watch and posting roundups of information on the cresting waters of the Mississippi River, including the work the Army Corps of Engineers is doing, the preparations the people are making, and the human determination in the face of disaster.  Pat has a series of posts up already that can keep you up to date with reliable sources.

Bobby Jindal shows his mettle as a fine leader who is having to make terrible decisions. It's remarkable what a difference a good governor makes in preparing for the inescapable.

To all of you in Louisiana, we hold you in our prayers. May God keep the people and the land in His hand throughout this ordeal, and give you stamina, and good hope.

 Photo: one we took coming across the Mississippi Bridge between Mississippi and Louisiana last year.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Texas Wildfires Are Still Burning.

Tuesday May 24 2011 UPDATE: Breaking news of out-of-control range fires today in the Permian Basin area of West Texas: Midland, Andrews, Coahoma, Stanton areas. There were evacuations and road closings in North Midland today, with homes and several hotels evacuated, including the Marriotts, Sleep Inn and Residence Inn. Those needing shelter are being put up at the Horseshoe Arena and at Stonegate Fellowship Church on Wadley - I'm sure other churches have opened their doors as well. 
There's a live news feed on KWES's site with continual updates.

An Andrews County wild fire has burned more than 14,000 acres, is not contained, and is moving toward Martin County (Stanton). It is being referred to as "the Derrick Fire" and CBS7 has a continually updated report with photos here.    A separate fire, called  "the CEED Fire" was 6 1/2 miles long and a mile wide.

For continual information on the situation with Texas fires,  see the links in this post to the Texas Forest Service's site: "Governor Perry isn't the only one praying". 

Please pray for rain - we could use a couple of hurricanes - and for the winds to die down. They say this is the worst drought in the 117 years they've been tracking precipitation for the state.

Here's another good article (article is better than the goofy title) on WEAA that explains why the damage caused by these range fires and the drought will reach far beyond Texas and the people immediately in the path of the inferno.


Original post Tuesday, May 10, 2011:

These photos  of a new range fire were taken by my friend in far South West Texas near Alpine. It started Sunday, and the pictures were taken from her porch. The beautiful, clean mountain air is as tainted as that in California cities - but in Alpine, this is smoke from a raging wild fire, not smog from a million commuting cars.

 Where I am, in Central Texas, there are small fires each few days that are so far under control. We also passed a burned area last weekend that looked like a back-burn to protect a house in event of flames running at it.

 There has been a little rain, sporatic, and spotty. We got a little rain Easter, and a little more the next day with hail of mixed size, up to golf ball size, about 2 inches across, and last Sunday we got about an inch and a half. Not enough to make the green grass grow or moisten the ground so that a fire can't catch hold.

This state has seen 135 new fires just in the past week - the map doesn't look much different than the one three weeks ago.  From my area all the way down to Austin, all around out West, all up in the Panhandle near Lubbock, over into Deep East Texas, the Piney Woods and the National Forests: all of Texas' wild areas, grasslands and woods are still suffering from deep drought and the resulting range fires.      

Did our President look out the window when Air Force One passed over the many fires and burned areas the flight path crossed on his way to El Paso to ask Texans for money for his reelection campaign?

Or will he continue to approach Texas the same way his administration gives out tickets for White House Tours?

I'm proud of our Governor for putting his integrity and the interests of the people of the State of Texas first. He tried to reach out to President Obama long ago on the tarmac and was snubbed for his trouble.

Governor Perry tried to reach out again when  Tropical Storm Hermine ravaged 40 counties - most of them inland - in our state. Then as now, the Salvation Army came through    but the Obama Administration did not.

He has tried to reach out when the Obama Administration rejected his request for help fighting these fires, and was derided for seeking help.

Governor Perry is no fool. He will not play Charlie Brown to Obama's (or Valerie Jarrett's?) Lucy.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Best of the Week in the Blogroll

My computer was unusable for several days this week, due to some kind of ugly "hoodoo" that attacked it. Thanks (HUGE THANKS) to my husband Paul for his diligent effort in fixing it for me.

I took advantage of the enforced internet idleness brief cold snap to make up a year's worth of chili (about 15 pounds) and put into the freezer. By using our FoodSaver vacuum sealer to package it, it will keep, frozen, indefinitely. I an not an Amazon affiliate, but if you want to look on line for a vacuum sealer, stop in at SIGIS and use Pat's Amazon Search box - she'll get a small comission for the referral if one makes a purchase. It's an easy way to for us consumers to support our favorite bloggers and doesn't add to our costs. 

When Paul handed my machine back to me on Friday evening, I found it had been a rich week in the blogging world. Lots of people outdid themselves - here are a few of those:

Josh Painter (of Texas for Sarah Palin) has a new blog focused on Texas politics: Brazos Valley Pundit. In one post this week, he reported the excellent news that the Texas Senate has approved "The Ultrasound Bill" - a law that finally gives pregnant women the right of access to their own medical information by allowing them to see the ultrasound of their baby before they make a final decision to abort. The bill also "ensures that every woman has the right to speak with the abortion doctor at least 24 hours in advance about risks, complications, and alternatives, just as they would receive from a physician prior to virtually any other procedure."

Miss Fuzzy Slippers has a satirical tour-de-fource that is almost too close to possible reality for comfort. Read it and laugh: "Fuzzy's Faux News: Central Planning/Unintended Consequences Edition". This has generated a LOT of commentary. It's a brilliant post, with a long life ahead of it.  Be sure to read it!

In a story that just keeps climbing back up after being pushed off the fence, Political Junkie Mom tells us about the White House's latest attempt to "have a chilling effect" on freedom of the press.  The Obama Administration threatened Reporter Carla Marinucci and her newspaper for reporting the truth, then lied about their attempts to bully the San Francisco Chronicle ... Big events have the spotlight, but we all need to see this little tale of genuine, honest ethics by the San Francisco Chronicle's newsroom and editorial staff.

"Watts Up With That" is the best climate-science blog around. Whatever element of weather, atmosphere or climate I am interested in, there are great posts (with superior comments) about the topic. Want to understand Sun Spots? How about El Nino? Historical weather, like the middle ages' Maunder Minimum? is the place to start. One of this week's posts, "Back to basics: “Green Electric” becomes “General Electric” again", spreads word of real science's ultimate triumph over pop-sci. It
seems the whole "Green" thing is just so yesterday, and the popular kids are ready to move on to something new.

Clifford at Red Stick Rant has his take on it at "Guess What Isn't Selling?".  Oh and while you are there, check out one very interesting post by a new Guest blogger "The Grey Man": "The Man Who Shot Osama Bin Laden" He proposes that this plot line is THE campaign strategy for Obama's last two years in office. It makes a lot of things make sense to know the narrative they are using as their hook....

What were women's lives like before Sharia law's body & soul-destroying tenets took hold of the Moslem countries of the Middle East? They were free, independent, and educated - virtually on a par with modern women in Western nations today. Alice @ Just Genesis has a great overview "The Status of Women in Ancient Egypt and Arabia".

And last, but oh most certainly not least, is Gagdad Bob's stream of uber-consciousness musings on the struggle "between conservative individualism and leftist collectivism" (as well as a commentary on Mr
Obama's Osama Bin Laden speech) in "Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Obama". Bob's posts are never easy but they are always accessible. This post is well  worth printing out and taking with you to read in quiet on your lunch hour. While you are there, be sure and take a look at another post from the week: "God Spends Most of His Timelessness Arranging Meetings and Marriages"....

Have a great week - and pray for Rain in Texas, please!

Photo: One of my favorite pictures of my three Mother's Day presents! :-)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Refinishing the Bath Tub

As I mentioned in the bathroom remodeling post, our choices with the worn-nearly-down-to-metal porcelain enamelled cast iron tub were to (a) bring in a cutting torch and cut it in half to enable two power-lifters to carry it out through the door or (b) tear out the entire exterior wall of the room including removing the weight-bearing framing in order to hoist it out that way.

We chose (c): give the ugly tub a make-over and restore its erstwhile beauty.

I had planned to have a professional come refinish the tub, but no one local does this. So, I bought a two-part spray epoxy kit called "Magic ReNew Tub and Tile Refinishing", and did it myself.

Some years ago, I used spray Appliance Epoxy to paint a built-in oven exterior with good and lasting results. So I figured, as bad as this tub was, I certainly couldn't make it worse by trying.

If we only had one bathroom, we'd have had to arrange to shower at a friend's and brush our teeth in the kitchen for the couple of weeks this project required. As it was, we have two so just kept the door shut on this one.

The hardest part was cleaning and prep. This took a long time (several repetitive hours over the course of a week), but the final result will not work if the preparation is not scrupulous. Any residue of soap or oil hidden in a scratch will prevent the epoxy from adhering and cause it to peel.  I was careful not to stay on my knees too much and did as much work as possible from a crouch or sitting position.

I removed the drain cover and overflow cover before starting. The I put on my goggles, my rubber gloves, and set to work. I scrubbed, cleaned with TSP (per directions on refinishing kit & using all precautions listed on the TSP package itself), sanded, steel wooled.. then scrubbed, cleaned with TSP, sanded, steel wooled... some more for at least three times. I'd work on it after work each evening until I gave out, then start over the next day.

After the final final rinse, I let it dry for several days. That's another essential - absolute dryness.  Then I  masked EVERYTHING.

Seriously, this job can't be done without covering everything from the floor to walls with sheets and paper, as the spray paint will drift and settle and is impossible to remove. I left it all masked until the whole job was finished.

I followed all instructions carefully, especially the safety instructions, and including the interesting chill one/heat one method for mixing the contents of the two cans.

This task requires an experienced hand with canned spray paint. It would be wise to practice by repainting a set of wicker lawn furniture or something until one gets comfortable with the on/off, back/forth motion that covers without drips. I applied the several coats of epoxy over a course of days in the evenings, and closed that bathroom off completely to allow the full length of time to cure undisturbed.

While I will not be volunteering to do this for anyone else, and I still would recommend a professional if you can possibly get one, I am VERY happy with the results for a "homemade" job of it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

God Bless Our Heroes: Bin Laden is Dead

Ethan just called to tell us that Bin Laden is dead, killed by American Heroes in Pakistan.
God bless our troops. God bless the men and women who since 2001 have voluntarily put themselves in harm's way to break the back of Islamic Terror of the kind led by Osama bin Laden.This war is not over, but they have obtained a singular objective towards its end.

Who gets the credit for this? In our household, our son Ethan and his comrades in arms in the Marines. We especially honor those who gave everything:
Seaman Chadwick T. Kenyon
Cpl. Adam A. Galvez
Sgt. Christian B. Williams
Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus
Lance Cpl. Anthony E. Butterfield
Lance Cpl. Jason Hanson
Lance Cpl. Shane P. Harris
Lance Cpl. Randy L. Newman

To our Gold Star families: May the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ bless you all and at the fullness of time reunite us all in joyous victory of Eternal Life in Christ Jesus.


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