27 July 2008


I'm trying to post a video I saw. Let's see if this works.

I hope you enjoy it. Requested updates on the kids coming soon.

14 July 2008

Identity Crisis

In case you hadn't noticed, this blog has been having a terrible identity crisis. I can't decide if I want to blog about parenting, knitting, activism, or what. I have mostly been blogging just about what happens to inspire a post. It probably doesn't help that I read such varied blogs on a regular basis. The only blog type I read regularly that hasn't influenced this blog has been comics. Be very thankful of that. :)

I don't blog often enough to separate the content into multiple blogs, so I suppose I will have to figure out some other way of organizing the content. Or maybe a multi-purpose blog isn't so bad after all. Any thoughts?

Monkey update

Well, I made a huge mistake and washed Monkey after Eirik smeared chocolate all over his head. I had originally stuffed him with woollen and linen fabric scraps. This was for a few reasons: 1) it used up the fabric scraps so I didn't have to just throw them in the trash; 2) it gave Monkey a bit more weight; 3) I didn't think I had enough polyester fiberfil to stuff him. So I put Monkey in the washing machine and then in the dryer since I knew he would never dry satisfactorily on the clohtesline with all that fabric inside him. I learned that that particular yarn felts up beautifully -- if you want to felt something. That means it shrinks, too. It also shrinks around the stuffing, so parts that had more stuffing didn't shrink as much as parts that had less stuffing. Originally his mouth and his butt were the same size. Now he has a teeny butt and still has a big mouth. Not only did Monkey shrink and felt up, he also didn't dry as well as I had thought. A week later I was trying to identify the festering laundry smell near Eirik's pillow. I finally realized it was Monkey. I took a pair of scissors to Monkey, but I stuffed him as I knitted him, so I have to unstuff him through several incisions. The good part is he won't unravel due to the felting. The bad part is I have to work the stuffing out through much smaller holes. I cut open his crotch (I figured that was the most logical place to start since that is where the stuffing when in, and it was quite the enterprise to pull the packed stuffing out of his feet and up through the shrunken legs and out the crotch. Of course, I had to make some rude comments about it to Caitie who was watching to make her laugh. That was some stinky fabric that came out, and it still wasn't dry! I still have to cut open his armpits, tail, mouth and ears. Then I will see if I can salvage Monkey. If not, I will have to make a new Monkey since Eirik likes him so much.

03 July 2008

Response from my Congressman

I heard back from my Congressman today regarding the letter I wrote to him (see here). Here is his response, and my return reply is below that. Let's see if I get another canned response or if this one actually gets read.

Dear Mrs. Anderson,

Thank you for contacting me about the rising cost of fuel. I truly appreciate hearing from you, and I am working hard to stand up for New Hampshire 's interests in Congress.

I understand how important affordable fuel is to you personally. Oil companies are reporting record profits while New Hampshire families are struggling to deal with rising gas and heating oil prices. I am working in Congress to find both immediate and long-term solutions to this problem.

One major cause of rising oil prices is unregulated speculation in the oil market. I am a co-sponsor of H.R. 6334, the Increasing Transparency and Accountability in Oil Prices Act. This legislation would stop excessive speculation in the petroleum markets by closing loopholes that drive up energy prices. Energy analysts recently testified before Congress that if excessive speculation was limited, gas prices could drop to as low as $2 per gallon. H.R. 6334 has been referred to the House Committee on Agriculture.

To help lower the cost of fuel, it is also critical that we increase our domestic energy supply. There are currently 68 million acres of federal lands that have been leased to oil companies but have not yet been drilled, limiting supply and driving up fuel prices for New Hampshire families.

I am an original co-sponsor of H.R. 6251, the Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act, which provides a common sense solution to this problem. This bill prohibits oil companies from receiving new leases unless they have demonstrated diligent efforts to develop the lands they currently own for the production of oil or natural gas. On June 26, 2008, I voted for H.R. 6251, which, unfortunately, did not pass in the House of Representatives. I will continue to fight for sustainable energy policies and encourage responsible drilling on federal lands.

The House also recently passed legislation to encourage new, affordable energy sources. I am an original cosponsor of H.R. 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008. The bill extends existing tax credits for the production of renewable energy sources, as well as credits that will make it easier for families power their homes with less expensive energy sources. Greater production and consumption of these new energy sources will reduce demand of fossil fuels and lower prices. On May 21, 2008 H.R. 6049 passed the House by a vote of 263 to 160 and is now awaiting action in the Senate.

While curbing our dependence on foreign oil is critical, drilling in places such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and off our coasts will take as long as ten years to increase in our oil supply, and will not bring immediate relief to our skyrocketing fuel costs. Through development of new technologies and renewable energy, the United States can achieve energy independence and lower energy prices even more quickly than by threatening our public health by drilling for non-renewable energy sources. Please know that I will keep your views in mind as I continue to work for lower fuel costs for New Hampshire citizens.

I encourage you to continue to contact me about the issues that are important to you. Please visit our website www.hodes.house.gov where you can also sign up for my electronic newsletter and receive periodic updates on my activities as your Representative in Washington .


Paul Hodes

Member of Congress

And my response back:

Dear Mr. Hodes,

I can see that you did not fully understand my original letter or did not read it in its entirety. I do not want you to find ways of keeping gas prices down. On the contrary, gas and oil prices should keep rising so that we will use less and less of them. My desire is for you to help enable us as citizens of New Hampshire and as citizens of the United States to reduce our dependence on ALL oil. Encourage the rail system to be re-established, improve interstate bus systems, encourage re-localization of all parts of the economy. Stop importing everything from China and Taiwan. Only then can we truly be free of the tyrannical rule of oil.

Mrs. Judith Anderson