Tuesday, May 27, 2008

KoKo Taylor's IRS Blues

*Please see the edit at the end of this post*

I hesitate to tell you to click the title link for the story because it was so obviously written by a non-blues lovin', disrespectful, a**, that never even heard her music, except for maybe Wang, Dang, Doodle at some stupid frat party when he was in college. Oh, he stated the facts as he interpreted them, but he never felt her music down deep in his soul. The comments were even worse. So what if she has hidden some assets? $2000 a year in royalties for a lifetime of work is nothing. Everyone knows how the record companies scammed the artists when she was coming along.

I think there should be an age limit on the IRS. Say, if you are "80" then you can't be prosecuted or persecuted.

So here is what I propose we do about it. As soon as my friend Keltic gets back to me with the name of the site then I will be putting up a widget where we all can make donations to help KoKo with her IRS problems through Paypal. I feel like we owe her to at least try to help, if for no other reason than a deep appreciation for all the soul soothing that she has given us throughout the years. Maybe we'll call it 29 Ways to tell the IRS to "Shove It". Please pass this along and/or put the widget on your site too. Not sure if that can be done but we should be able to do it...I'll have to check it out. Thanks.

Oh, almost forgot...the date on the ChipIn thingy says May 26th but does not say May 26th, 2009. I can only leave it up for a year. :)


I have deleted the ChipIn widget for KoKo Taylor's IRS contributions to a Pledgie widget. Pledgie seems to be easier to maneuver around and easier to get the code to add to your own site if you want. Thanks

David Baldwin's Trauma Information Pages

This site is the most extensive source for trauma I have ever found! The title link will take you to the site map. This link will take you to the "External Links" page. Each link has a brief description. I will be spending hours and hours here...he has so many resources (especially for stats!) I feel that once I have linked you to his site my work here is almost done :) Have fun!

Blogger Buzz: Blogger now schedules future-dated posts

Blogger Buzz: Blogger now schedules future-dated posts

Click the title link for directions on how to schedule posts for a later date...pretty cool, huh?

Friday, May 23, 2008

International Bureau of Education, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization--Site Map

Pretty cool resource. Click the title link to be taken to the page.

You can also find other UNESCO resources here, including the other modules like the one I have listed under "free pdf's/Social Work--The Basics. The specific page for the modules 1-10 are found here.
A complete list of all the toolkits available are listed here.

International Federation of Social Workers is also another great resource available.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pearson--Assessments for Educational, Clinical and Psychological Use

Click the title link to be taken to the site. I love Pearson! They are primarily a book publisher and I credit them with finally getting me out of algebra so imagine my surprise to find this comprehensive site. The site is mainly devoted to providing psychological tests for those qualified to use them. Since the APA has made it virtually impossible for anyone to use them...oh, I don't want to get into all that. The point is that there are some very good case studies here that you might be interested in :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Southern Poverty Law Center--School to Prison Pipeline

Click the title link for the full story. There are two new related pdf's in the sidebar. Here are some highlights:

Children with emotional disturbance (ED):

- fail more courses, earn lower grade point averages, miss more days of school and are retained more often than other students with disabilities;

- have the worst graduation rate of all disabilities; nationally, only 35% graduate from high school (compared to 76% for all students);

- are more than three times as likely as other students to be arrested before leaving school;

- have alarmingly high drop-out rates - and 73% of those who drop out are arrested within five years;

- are twice as likely as other students with disabilities to be living in a correctional facility, halfway house, drug treatment center or "on the street" after leaving school;

- are almost twice as likely as students with other disabilities to become teenage mothers.

Major systemic changes have been mandated:

* Significantly increasing the frequency and duration of social work, psychological and counseling services;

* Implementing district-wide use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports;

* Improving the students' academic progress at all grade levels;

* Eliminating many harsh and illegal disciplinary practices and policies;

* Significantly increasing access to less restrictive general education environments; and,

* Significantly expanding access to vocational training.

If you an advocate or attorney interested in learning more please contact ron.lospennato@splcenter.org

Happy Birthday to Me!

Got this great video from my friend Hockeydino! Made me smile a great big smile! Thanks again HD!

Monday, May 19, 2008

My Recipe for Feeding a Male Teenager on Our Budget :)

First I have to say that I was blessed with a teenager that loves my chili and it's just as well because before I discovered that he loved it, there wasn't very much of my cooking he liked. I was trained by a mother that liked to put something together and either boil it to death or put it in the oven and go sit back down. Being the hardworking ICU head nurse that she was, I just ate it...whatever it was. Now along comes my son and guess what? He doesn't like his food to touch...been that way since the highchair :) Oh, and no onions or mushrooms. I swear I did not know how to cook without onions, garlic and mushrooms :) So for years we lived on a hamburger patty, a box of macaroni and cheese or rice and a can of peas or green beans for supper.

A couple of years ago one Saturday when he was engrossed in football and I was bored I decided to cook up a batch of chili. From that moment on he has declared that it is my chili that led his beloved Georgia Bulldogs to their Sugar Bowl victory and their future pre-season number 1 ranking (his words) :) He swears that if I don't make chili when Georgia plays they will lose and gets irate with me if I don't do it. So it's become a habit...chili on Saturdays. So I've decided to share it with you...mainly because this batch turned out particularly well and I need a place to store it for future reference. I even figured out how to hide the smell of the onions in it :) Then I'll tell you what I decided to do with it when I was sick of it.

Georgia Bulldog Chili :)

3lbs fresh ground beef
6 cans red beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can chopped green chili peppers
1 small can tomato paste
2 small cans tomato sauce
1 15oz can petite diced tomatoes with garlic celery and onions
I use Hunts tomato products because there is no sugar in it.
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
2 pkgs of McCormicks Chili Seasoning
3-4 cups water
Handful or two of dry onion flakes

Brown hamburger completely, chopping up any big chunks. Drain and rinse with hot water. While the hamburger is browning, in your largest pot combine first the tomatoes, paste, sauce, chili's, salt, black pepper, red pepper and chili seasoning until well blended. Then drain and rinse the beans and corn and add to tomato mixture. Add hamburger and water. If the pot won't hold all the water at first let the mixture simmer until it cooks out then add more and keep simmering. Once you have the chili smell going good all through the house, throw in the onions and stir well. Keep simmering and stirring until it is the consistency you like. I just usually put it on med low and let it cook all day, or until it is discovered.

Now here's what I did with it tonight:

Georgia Bulldog Cornbread Chili Bake--Not for the faint of heart :)

3 cups Martha White buttermilk cornmeal mix
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups (apprx) chili heat and strain the sauce out
1 1/3 cup milk
1 large egg
1 can jalapeno peppers chopped
1 can cream style corn

Preheat oven to 450. Combine cornmeal mix, egg and milk. It's kind of thick. Add peppers and cream style corn. This will thin it to the right consistency. In at least a 13 x 9 (spray generously with cooking spray) pan spread 2/3's of mixture evenly to cover bottom of pan. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cup cheese. Spread chili out evenly over cheese mixture then add the remaining cheese over the chili. Top with the remaining cornbread mixture. Place on lower rack on top of a double walled cookie sheet for about 20-35 minutes. Allow to cool or wire rack for about 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream and fresh green onions or celery. When this has completely cooled it can be cut into squares, wrapped in foil and frozen for later when you don't want to cook :)

Oops...sorry if you are on a diet...we're just trying to make the food go very far around here, we'll diet later when I get a job :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Crow :)

This always happens...every time I get even the least bit "uppity" in my thoughts or my actions then the Lord decides to show me the error of my ways.

Yesterday, I went to the mailbox expecting the usual onslaught of bills we can't pay. You can imagine my surprise to find a check from Clickbank...a whopping $13.80. The last time I checked the stats I had almost $27 in there. I guess they needed those $1.00 monthly fees for 6 months and the $7.50 to cut me a check before they could send out the check. Anyway that's not the point. The point is that I opened my mouth big and stuck my foot in there all the way to my tonsils :) going on and on about the retired social worker that had monetized her blog and how I would never do such a thing :) The Lord had to remind me that I did put some things on my blog to possibly make money on with this blog. There are a couple of things in the "Helping Products" section when, if purchased, I will receive a commission, and I do after all have the adsense ads on here...which is really a running joke and I really should remove them.

OK, Lord, here it is...I am truly sorry for having been so vehement about another person's blog. After all, if a woman has devoted over 30 years to social work and wants to share her experience with the rest of the world and also supplement her retirement with a little change from it, then who am I to judge? I'm sure she earned the right to do with it whatever she pleases. I am sorry for doing that and to make up for it I am going to share with my readers the full name of her blog and the proper link to it and will truly hope she gets some traffic from here and makes some change from that traffic. Social Work World. I am linking to the resources page because that is what I'm all about, after all :) Social Work World can also be found in the sidebar along with some other social work blogs that I have recently had the pleasure of finding, Fighting Monsters and Blue Jean Social Work.

Aah, humility...it's a wonderful thing :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Well, Hell.........

Deep subject, I know :) I'm trying to find something to get my spirits up, as this has been the week from, you guessed it, hell. It seems that it just gets worse. Last weekend and all this week have been one crap day after another. My best friend's daughter died on Sunday. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor somewhere around two. She lived to be 31 and had been unable to care for herself since she was 18. Keisha was born on Easter Sunday and died on Pentecost Sunday. If there ever was a special child it was Keisha. The outpouring of support for Keisha and her family was just amazing. I have to take this time to thank her for allowing me to get to know her and for getting me back inside the church. I thought I would rather die myself than go back there. Some things you just have to get over, bite the bullet and do it. Seems as though I'm breathing lead from all the bullets I've bitten this week. I thank you, Keisha for making me realize what is important in this world, supporting your friends when they need it, going to mass, taking a bath everyday, actually putting on street clothes, full face makeup and going out in the world. I feel as though I am a better person for having done those things and I feel a little less guilty today about the kitties.

Now getting to the "Well, Hell" part. Most of you know that it was never my intention to make money from this blog. Most of you also understand that this goes way deeper than my benevolence. I have just never cared about money and so this is proabaly why I will never have any :) A few days ago I ran across a blog that insulted what I have here to it's very core. But yet, I have to say that I bet she is making a killing off of it, for it is monetized in every way that you can monetize a social work blog. Please don't think I'm jealous, because I'm not. It insults me, plain and simple. But yet she has been online half the time that I have and well, hell, here's a list of her stats:

Total 252,008
Avg. per day 235
Avg. visit length 2:25
Last hour 12
Today 52
This week 1643

Now, here's mine:

Total 2464
Avg. per day 8
Avg visit length 2:15
Last hour 0
Today 4
This week 57

K, so I am taking into account that school was basically over this month and I never have as much traffic when school is out. But still...I'm just sayin :) Maybe I should just monetize the hell out of this blog? Nope, then I could never come here again...I would have to be away, spending all that evil money :) Seriously, correct me if I'm wrong but isn't social work supposed to be about helping without consideration of our own gain? I guess I'm just being idealistic and believe me I do realize that it does take money to live. It's just that something about this irritates me to my very core.

If you want to go see it for yourself, go have a look here. It is quite impressive.

You might want to check some of my other pages, I've been adding new links lately. I'm also working on a new section for supporting victims of violent crime and their families. Look for that in a few days.

That's it for today...have a good one and as always Happy Searching!

Oh, one more thing...Would someone please go tell the preacher and governor that gathered the multitudes on the steps of the Capitol in Georgia to pray for rain last year to please get his multitudes together again to make it stop or at the very least to give us time to soak it all up and repair the damage before starting again....Geez those must have been some mighty powerful prayers :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Update on the Kitties...

Yesterday when I went to the pound to drop off the cats I knew that the bitch probably had Spit already in her trap because she didn't come when I called her. So I told them they would probably be getting a call to come back out there to pick her up. I called them later when I got home, I can't remember why now but they told me that I had left my cat carrier and that yes, she had just called for a pick up. So I asked them to bring me a form for Spit and asked if they would please bring my cat carrier too. Well they didn't come until almost 4 when I was supposed to be on the way to get my son from work, so I had to turn around to go fill out the form and get the cat carrier. Bitch was out there just a smilin' and being so righteous. I pulled right up into her driveway :) to talk to the pound guys and managed to ignore her. They told me that they had already called the "cat lady" to come pick them up. The cat lady lives about 30 miles outside of town on a farm. I'm not sure of her facilities but I hope to find out because I know she has other cats of mine and would like to go volunteer to help out. It is the best I could have hoped for, for them. It will be kind of like a retirement/group home for them. It makes me feel considerably better. My son and I both were hoping that's where they would end up.

So now, on to what to do about the animal trapping bitch. I'm thinking that the only things that I have seen her care about are her yard and her car (cat prints on that precious car are what started the whole thing). Since I would get in real trouble doing something to her brand new car...but oh, how I want to, I'm thinking salt at the roots of all her pretty flowers, right before a big rain so it would sink and disappear. What I want to do is spell out "cat killing bitch" in salt across her yard, so nothing will ever grow there again. Or filling that room where she keeps the trap with large big, scary mean rats, so when she goes to check on the trap she will get a surprise of her own. Or, filling her garage with brown recluse spiders (indigenous to this area). Or I could make a sign on plywood and 2 by 4's with florescent paint and put it up in my yard with an arrow pointing to her house that says "heartless, cat killing bitch" on it. Maybe I could rent one of those signs that you arrange your own letters on that you can plug in (do they still make those?). I want her to have to look at it at night, in fact I want it to glow so brightly it keeps her up at night.

God, that felt good. Which one would you choose? I won't do any of it but it sure did feel good to blog about it :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I sure don't feel like a mother today....

This post was started yesterday...hence the difference in time frames.

This will probably be the most depressing post I have ever written, but since I refuse to go to therapy anymore, or take anti-depressants, I'm writing it here...this is my therapy.

The most vivid dreams I can recall having as a little girl were of being a mom. Not just any mom, but supermom with at least five children and a husband that loved and provided for all of us in a great big old white Victorian house with yellow trim. I was sure we would have lots of love and lots of animals and flowers and all the great things a little girl can dream of. As I got a little older and I learned about Frank Lloyd Wright...the dream was altered to include me as mother and acclaimed architect :) My mother had this very large book entirely devoted to Frank Lloyd Wright and his creations, we even have an actual house of his in our town, I would sit with it in my lap and pour over it for hours at a time and dream. I am so surprised that it is still around and still in pretty good shape. Then there came an actual algebra class and my dreams of being an architect vanished. Then came the sexual abuse, then the abortions, then the drug abuse and self-loathing...to make a long story short. I was a fairly happy, strong-willed and fiercely independent little girl and kept those qualities through it all until now. In trying to figure out what has happened to that little girl I am at a loss. All I know is that she is gone, or at the very least, so...very...tired.

I know I've told you all about how I am mother to multiple cats. A couple of weeks ago I had eleven. A week ago I had eight. Today I have two. I have two because that is what the city will allow me to have. Thursday the bitch across the street got my Georgie in her trap. I did not find this out for sure until animal control came to empty the trap. When I went to get him back I was accosted by this big old meany asking me over and over again "just how many cats do you have?" and then when I didn't want to answer him "I can't let you have this one back until you tell me how many you have" and then the ultimate blow "you are not allow to have more than two animals on your property at one time." I left there with a large cage and orders to bring then in on Monday or they would be out here to pick them up and I would have to pay a pick up fee.

So this morning I shut down my heart the best I could and put them all in the cage and took them to the pound. My son was talking to them in the car on the way to take him to work, saying his goodbye's. I couldn't say a word, all I could think of was that as much as I want to blame that bitch across the street and call her a cat murderer, it is in fact me that is doing the possible murder. I am the one taking them. I am the one not able to find suitable homes for them. I am the one not able to get them fixed. I even had to take the babies that I hand fed and were so imprinted on me that I don't know if they will ever belong to anyone else the way they did to me. On Friday I prayed that God would give me my Georgie back. I have to say that was the quickest answer to a prayer I have ever gotten. Maybe it was His way of making me do something about my situation. Left to my own devices I guess I would have had forty cats in six months. I had five females, not fixed.

There were several good things that happened to make me feel a little better about it though. Animal control has a brand new building. They assured me that as long as they are able to handle them then they will not be killed. They assured me that they work with CARA(our no-kill shelter), the Humane Society and Petsmart to try to find homes for all the animals. They did let me put them all in their cages, so I got to put Peachy in with the babies. She is not their mother but she thinks she is. After she had hers and lost them she adopted Arabella's babies that she had abandoned for 4 days and I had to keep alive. I figured it was just as well that Peachy have those babies to ease her pain and theirs, even if just for a little while. Oh and as I was filling out the paperwork for six cats I could hear them in there and I swear before I left they were all talking to each other and to the other cats in there...sounded like a party. They didn't sound distressed at all. Maybe they gave me that :)Needless to say George and Minnie are pretty pissed at me now, even though they finally have the house to themselves, they can no longer roam free. They can no longer go out and catch bugs and such. I hope they will adjust, just as I hope I will adjust to only having two cats. Since my son was born, I have had multiple animals, he seemed to attract them...

I often wonder why some people are born beautiful and are allowed to have beautiful lives to go along with it and some are doomed from the get go. I guess that story is true, that if everyone were to line up their problems side by side and you could choose, then you would pick up your own problems and go on your way. It's just time like these that the story is a little hard to comprehend.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Obama's Consolidation of the Party

A very interesting article by Mike Lux of OpenLeft click the title link for the article delivered by AlterNet.

Toni Morrison's Endorsement Letter to Obama--Beautiful!

Toni Morrison, the Nobel and Pulitzer prize winning author who in 1998 first referred to Clinton as the "First Black President" endorsed Obama.

Here is Morrison's endorsement letter...

Dear Senator Obama,

This letter represents a first for me--a public endorsement of a Presidential candidate. I feel driven to let you know why I am writing it. One reason is it may help gather other supporters; another is that this is one of those singular moments that nations ignore at their peril. I will not rehearse the multiple crises facing us, but of one thing I am certain: this opportunity for a national evolution (even revolution) will not come again soon, and I am convinced you are the person to capture it.

May I describe to you my thoughts?

I have admired Senator Clinton for years. Her knowledge always seemed to me exhaustive; her negotiation of politics expert. However I am more compelled by the quality of mind (as far as I can measure it) of a candidate. I cared little for her gender as a source of my admiration, and the little I did care was based on the fact that no liberal woman has ever ruled in America. Only conservative or "new-centrist" ones are allowed into that realm. Nor do I care very much for your race[s]. I would not support you if that was all you had to offer or because it might make me "proud."

In thinking carefully about the strengths of the candidates, I stunned myself when I came to the following conclusion: that in addition to keen intelligence, integrity and a rare authenticity, you exhibit something that has nothing to do with age, experience, race or gender and something I don't see in other candidates. That something is a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom. It is too bad if we associate it only with gray hair and old age. Or if we call searing vision naivete. Or if we believe cunning is insight. Or if we settle for finessing cures tailored for each ravaged tree in the forest while ignoring the poisonous landscape that feeds and surrounds it. Wisdom is a gift; you can't train for it, inherit it, learn it in a class, or earn it in the workplace--that access can foster the acquisition of knowledge, but not wisdom.

When, I wondered, was the last time this country was guided by such a leader? Someone whose moral center was un-embargoed? Someone with courage instead of mere ambition? Someone who truly thinks of his country's citizens as "we," not "they"? Someone who understands what it will take to help America realize the virtues it fancies about itself, what it desperately needs to become in the world?

Our future is ripe, outrageously rich in its possibilities. Yet unleashing the glory of that future will require a difficult labor, and some may be so frightened of its birth they will refuse to abandon their nostalgia for the womb.

There have been a few prescient leaders in our past, but you are the man for this time.

Good luck to you and to us.

Toni Morrison

Winter Soldier Update

To view the newsletter with active links please click the title link. Thanks.

Winter Soldiers testify before Congress on May 15th

Up until now, Congress has heard from their fellow politicians, the pundits, and generals. Next week, they will hear from from the boots-on-the-ground soldiers who have served in Iraq. On Thursday, May 15th, IVAW members will testify before Congress, under oath, about the realities of the occupation.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus will host Thursday's testimony in the Rayburn House Office Building in DC, and will hear testimony on the rules of engagement, the killing and abuse of civilians, the use of drop weapons, and the true consequences of the "surge." Bios of the testifiers, including veterans who served during the surge, are available on our website. You can get more information about next Thursday's hearing on our website, and find out how you can support this important event by helping us pay for travel expenses for the testifiers.
Winter Soldier goes local

Winter Soldier was a watershed event for IVAW, and our members continue to bring the testimony we collected, along with new testimony, to people around the country.

Our Gainesville chapter recently organized a local Winter Soldier at the University of Florida, with six veterans testifying, and they signed up several new members in the process. You can read about the Gainesville edition of Winter Soldier here. Other chapters are planning local events as well. We'll announce future events through this newsletter, and on our website.

There's also a great article in the Houston Chronicle about IVAW members and their thoughts on speaking out at Winter Soldier. And the Christian Science Monitor has an audio slideshow of IVAW members at Winter Soldier.

(And don't forget, you can watch all the Winter Soldier testimony yourself on our website. And broadcast-quality video is now available for download on our site, as well.)

Veterans and Active Duty speak out

IVAW members have found many ways to speak out about why they're standing against the war. From bus tours to leafleting, books to concerts, movies to works of art, our members raise their voices both to spread the word and to let our brothers and sisters in the military know that they, too, have the right to express their opinions.

Warrior Writers and Combat Paper

IVAW's Warrior Writers project has be ongoing since January, 2007. Our members gather for writing workshops around the US, and their writing has been collected in two books: Warrior Writers: Shoot, Move, Communicate, and Warrior Writers: Re-making Sense. You can order your copies in our online store.

A recent article in the Boston Globe profiled Warrior Writers and Combat Paper, another project created by IVAW member Drew Cameron. Cameron and Drew Matott, a paper maker from Vermont, teamed up to turn the uniforms of veterans into paper. Cameron spoke to the Globe about his experiences with the project.

"For me it definitely has been an empowering and healing experience, but it also is very much my method of sharing my sentiment as a veteran that's against the war."

The article also features Aaron Hughes, one of IVAW's Great Lakes Regional Coordinators, who creates art that challenges Americans to stop and think about what it means for their country to be at war.

You can read the full article online.


In our last newsletter I told you about Tomas Young and Casey Porter, a veteran and an active duty soldier in Iraq, both speaking out, and both getting heard. The Los Angeles Times carried a story about Tomas recently, which you can read online. The documentary about Tomas, Body of War, continues to play in theaters across the country. Visit the Body of War website for a full listing of theaters where you can see this amazing film.

Casey, Tomas, Aaron, Drew, and all our other members are finding their voices, and the strength to speak out. Every time they do, new members find IVAW, and our numbers continue to grow faster than ever before. New chapters are being formed all the time, and those chapters provide support to members, old and new. And new members mean more expenses - that's where you can help. Your donations make it possible for us to pay for cell phone minutes, transportation, and new member packets so that we can welcome our new members into IVAW. Please make a donation today to help us continue to grow.

Kelly Dougherty
Former Sergeant, Army National Guard
Executive Director
Iraq Veterans Against the War

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Art of Manliness

There is a folder in my bookmarks completely dedicated to things I would want my son to know in case of my early demise...or stuff I have no clue about that he should. The Art of Manliness is a blog "dedicated to uncovering the lost art of being a man." The blog itself just cracks me up...but then I'm a woman and a little strange that way. For a young man...if you are raising one, especially without the benefit of a proper role model in the home, then it is an awesome place to find out things like "How to shave like your grandpa (he even teaches the proper way to pack a shaving kit)," "Lessons in manliness," "How to talk like Frank Sinatra," and "How to write a love letter like a soldier." It is chock full of informative tidbits that every young male should know at his very core. Even though I find it hilarious, I do applaud and thank it's author for teaching my son what I can't.