‘No Easy Day’

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Recently there was a big stink over a book publication. And by big stink I mean the Pentagon, US Special Operations Command, Defense Department, and Navy members were upset about what was written. ‘No Easy Day’ was written under a pseudonym, Mark Owen. The authors real name has since been released, and is now widely known.  For those who haven’t heard of it, the book chronicles the operation from last year in which SEAL members ended the decade long hunt to find Osama bin Laden.  The government is debating taking legal action on the author for not having had the book reviewed properly before it was published, and having the possibly of classified and sensitive information out for all the world to see thereby compromising national security. In the beginning of the book, Mark claimed that he changed all names in the book, changed time-frames, and only used information that was available to the public. He also states that he hired a “former special operations attorney to review the manuscript to ensure that it was free from mention of forbidden topics and that it cannot be used by sophisticated enemies as a source of sensitive information to compromise or harm the United States.” The reason he wanted to write the book was because he was upset at the way the story was coming across to the public. It was incorrect and he wanted to set the story straight.

With all that being said, I wanted to give my two cents. Not on the controversy surrounding it, but on the actual story itself. There are enough opinions and accusations swirling around this that mine won’t matter. I’m not writing this to bash the author or say writing this was a terrible crime against the US, or anything like that.

I finished the book last night, and I literally can NOT stop thinking about it. I bought it shortly after it came out- I can’t lie, the big thing for me was BECAUSE it was so controversial, it made me want to read it more (which I think had that effect on a lot of readers). The type of genre I usually stick to are romance, comedy and any other combination of the two 🙂 I like to read books that will be quick easy reads, and don’t require too much out of me to follow along. This book had my attention from page one, and it was hard for me to put down. There were a few parts that were a little bit on the boring side, but for the most part it got better with every turn of the page. It starts with a background on him and all his SEAL training, and how he got to where he was. The second half of the book is the reason this guy sold any copies- we all want to know what went down the night they got bin Laden. He was very specific in his details and reading it, I felt like I was there (which is a scary thought). I was a lil sad when I got to the end because since it was over, I felt like I was missing out of what else was going on in his life. I felt invested. I felt compassion for him, and all the others in the book. I have always had respect for members of the armed forces, but after reading this, my respect grew exponentially. These people risk their lives each and everyday so that we can be free. And to them, it’s just their job. They don’t think themselves any better than anyone else, they are just doing the job they are meant to be doing.

Whether or not Mark violated the non-disclosure he signed upon joining the SEALS is a whole other story, and one that I don’t even care to get into. I want to stay out of the politics of it all, and just bask in the afterglow of reading a great book.

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Amish Amos is it?

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There is this man who walks around town All. The. Time. Elijah and I call him Amish Amos, although I’m almost certain that’s not his name. And he probably isn’t Amish. (I’m not trying to be disrespectful by calling him Amish, but he has the signature look that many Amish do. And plus it went with Amos, soo…) But he looks sad. Not even just sad, but SAD sad. Where my heart would almost want to break because he looked so sad. He wonders through town, head down, and always walks in the road. Even where there are sidewalks. He always wears the same clothes, and he often wears a heavy winter coat when it was barely even jacket weather. I often wondered if he had family or friends? Did he even have a home? Did he have enough to eat? What did he do when it rained, or was 20 degrees out? These were the questions I always thought of when I saw him. Often times I would see him coming from the grocery store, so I knew he had to have a little bit of money, at least enough to buy SOMEthing to eat.

Well, yesterday I stopped at Giant Eagle on my way home from work to grab a few things. I got in line, and oh my goodness- Amish Amos was in front of me! He has money for food- this made me happy. He had bought several cans of beef ravioli and some sort of pasta from the deli (Obviously, I’m assuming you’ll want to know what he bought, just like I did). I was thinking it’s good he has money for food, but too bad he is just buying cans of beef ravioli. At least he’s eating though, right? His hands were shaking like crazy when he was paying for his bill, and he was having a hard time with the addition of how much he owed- yet another reason I felt compassion for him. His purchase was put into a paper bag, and the gal was getting his change for him. At the end of the checkout, there are extra bags, some flyers, and a couple of advertisements. He was looking at them, and started freaking out. He was first saying things like “Oh no, this won’t do” and “Evil”  and “What is he going to do now?”. I was trying to see what the problem was without being too obviously nosy, but couldn’t tell what was bothering him so much. The woman asked if everything was OK, and he said No, but it would be, and then started talking about witchcraft. Now I was even more curious- what kind of witchcraftery was Giant Eagle participating in now?? She asked if he wanted his change and he said no- “Throw it away. Throw the receipt away, and the change. I’m going to throw away my groceries and come back and buy everything again” and he walks away. So I moved up since it was my turn, and the girl asked how I was, and I said “I think I’m doing better than he is”. She chuckled and said “Oh my gosh- he comes in all the time and thinks everything is Witchcraft. This is what set him off today”, and she’s pointing to a picture. Wanna know what that was??

Yup- that’s the logo for The United Way. She said he will often leave a line if he thinks a piece of jewelry or other accessory is witchcraft (for instance she had a flower in her hair once, and he left the line because he thought it was). I watched and he threw away his bag of groceries, and started his shopping all over again. She said he has a nice amount of money that was left to him by a family member (although I’m not sure how she knew this). That made me feel better- he at least has money and a place to live, so I can stop ‘worrying’ about that I guess. I can stop feeling sorry for him for being broke and homeless- and start feeling sorry for him because he’s clearly not right in the head. Again- I’m not trying to be disrespectful or derogatory here- I’m just stating what I observed- he seems to fixated on the fact that everything is Witchcraft. And that’s a little sad that he can’t enjoy life normally.

With yesterday’s discovery, I’ve decided his new name is “Witchcraft Willie.”

Mmmmmm- Chili

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I love Chili- It’s one of my favorite Fall/Winter time foods. It’s been chilly here the last few days and nights, so I decided I was going to make a batch for this weekend. I got the recipe from All Recipes and it’s cooking as we speak. I had a tiny taste of it before I left for work today, and all I can say is this day is going by WAY too slow. Here’s what you need:

1 pound of ground beef (I actually used 2. I like meaty chili)
3/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced green pepper
3/4 cup diced celery
2 gloves garlic, minced
2 cans (10.75 ounce) tomato puree (I used one giant 29 ounce can)
1 can kidney beans with liquid (I drained half of it- I like thick chili)
1 can kidney beans drained
1 can white kidney beans with liquid (Again- I drained half of it)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dries oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I didn’t have any, so I didn’t add this)

I browned the beef last night, threw it in the crock pot, and put in the fridge. This morning I just added everything in, gave it a stir, and turned the crock pot on low for 8 hours, and call it a day.

Clearly, these are the spices you need

Beef with green peppers, onions, and celery

Added spices

And the beans. I like to use dark and light kidney beans, with the white- I like variety. Plus, I don’t like to discriminate

I can’t lie- my stomach totally just growled looking at this picture

I love chili with a little bit of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top. Mm-mmmmmm perfection. And my seester is coming over tonight to share the love- perfect Friday night 🙂

I know there are many variations to chili out there- what do you guys do differently?

Me and My Seester

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OK, I have to talk about my sister here for a minute. She and I have not always had the best relationship. In fact, growing up we didn’t really get along at all. She is four and half years older than me, which was just enough to keep us apart so to speak. This is us growing up

Really? No wonder we didn’t get along- ugh

I remember we had to do these pictures All. The. Time. I honestly don’t know how often we went(or WHY we had to go like every other day), but it seemed like we were always going. Sears, Penney’s, O’Neils (or something along those lines), Kmart, we were all over the place. I think it was more whoever had a coupon was were we going to go.  And go we went. We could probably make a flip book with all the pictures we took and watch us grow up in seconds. Maybe that’s why I hate pictures so much today. In any case, we didn’t really get along growing up. After she graduated high school, I was still in Middle school, which made the gap seem that much bigger. After I graduated high school, I moved to Chicago, thought I was big and bad, and didn’t get along with much of anyone from my family.

Once I had Elijah though, we started getting closer. And in the last two or three years, extremely close. Close like we talk everyday, see each other nearly everyday, and sometimes it still feels like it’s not enough. If we go a day without seeing each other I feel kinda lost. She is the ONLY person who I am not afraid to tell anything to. I know she won’t judge, and she’ll keep it to herself if I ask her to. No matter what I tell her. I’m so glad we have finally gotten to this point in our lives that we can be close like this- this is how I’ve always wanted it, but it never was.

This is my absolute favorite picture of us.

Sometimes it makes me sad that it took us 30 years to get to this point. But I think we are finally both at a point in our lives that we have matured, realize how important it is to have family, and to have someone you can always count on. Our boys are growing up close, which makes us both happy. They are one year apart, almost to the day (Elijah was born on the 29th of the month, my nephew the 26th). They go to the same school (finally), play football for the same team, ride the same bus, go to the same church- they are always together as well. They used to fight a lot more than they do now, so I’m glad they are getting along better.

I’m truly grateful for my sister, and don’t know what I’d do without her. And I wanted the entire blog world (or at least the few who read mine) to know. Love you TT 🙂

A Few of My Favorite Things

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I love Fall. I like Spring and Summer too, but Fall has always been the absolute number one. I can’t think of any ONE thing I love the most about it, but I always look forward to Fall the most. I love the fresh, crisp smell that comes with the changing of the seasons. Here are a few more of my favorite things:

Hoodies (I would love to wear jeans and hoodies on a daily. Unfortunately that does not go with my work dress code)

Apple picking (obviously it was still quite warm when we went last Fall)

Chili

Hot drinks. Any hot drinks

Mums

Of course- the change over of leaves. Gorgeous.

Did I mention I love hoodies?? (Or maybe I love pictures of my stud-muffin)

The one thing I DON’T like about Fall? It’s the season directly before Winter, which I’m not a huge fan of. I don’t mind the cold per se. I don’t like the snow. Correction- I don’t like DRIVING in the snow. Snow is ok as long as I can stay in and enjoy it from the warmth of my home, snuggled in a blanket in the couch. Another fun thing to do in the snow:

That was one fun snow day!

But, with Winter comes Christmas, and that’s my favorite holiday.

It’s Santa!

I think this year will be a little less exciting because Elijah no longer does the Santa thing, and that’s what made it so much fun.

So tell me- what are a few of your favorite things that come along with the seasons and the changes??