Mud on the Wall

My daughters have a way of telling me that not only are we, as a family, not normal, but they wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

She was Gracious...

Well... Having survived the economics of the latest Art Show, but having thoroughly enjoyed the companionship and comraderie, we took some time on Monday to go into the city and spend the day at the United Nations.

It was a different experience from when I was there last with my fifth grade class... this time we spent quite a bit of time going through the security tent, we couldn't wander around the grounds and very few of the 'public spaces' were open to the public any longer... made it a bit tougher to demonstrate to Xan (our 13 year old) the grandeur and intention of the designers of the plaza.

We had a a good tour guide- a woman from France- whose presentation was complete enough to anticipate most of the questions we might have put to her. We saw the various rooms and had their functions explained to us; we saw various gifts that different nations had presented to the UN, (I was amused to find out that the gift that Nancy Regan presented was a mosaic of a Norman Rockwell painting that was rendered in Italy); and then we went to the General Assembly room where our tour guide talked to us about how the organization functions on an ongoing basis.

She told us that the UN budgets for two years at a time. The entire budget for all of their operations for 08-09 is about 4.5 billion worldwide... the burden is shared by all of the members based on the wealth of the nation and it's ability to pay... the U.S. is responsible for 22% of the budget. Roughly 500 Million a year. Roughly about half a day of "War on Terror" money...

Now here is the really amazing part: We, and by this I mean the U.S., are a year and a half behind in our payments to the UN!!! How is it possible that we can spend billions each week on this war and yet we can't manage to make an annual payment that represents Dick Cheney's lunch money?

I was ashamed to stand in front of this young French woman and have her tell us what slackers we Americans were. She was very gracious...

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Free Rhubarb anyone?

I was thinking about all of the bragging that we've been doing about our $10 building and it reminds me a lot of the free box of rhubarb that Victoria got last year...

Victoria works at the Farmers Market and her employer had a case of rhubarb that he wouldn't be able to sell, so he gave it to Victoria! Free! A full case of rhubarb that amounts to about 35 pounds...

Well... Victoria has a wonderful recipe for rhubarb marmalade and so we had to get a 25 pound bag of organic sugar (about $2.50 per pound), about 10 pounds of oranges and lemons and then the jars and pectin... The "free" rhubarb cost quite a bit by the time we had an opportunity to give away the marmalade to our friends...

So... I have a feeling that our $10 building is another case of "Free Rhubarb"... of course, we are still going to make it into an amazing, welcoming place- a free form creation produced by all four of us and the rest of the community in Paducah...

It is going to be delicious!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

We have The House

We got a great little email this morning... someone in the City Hall of Paducah let us know, unofficially, that the Urban Planning Committee has decided to let us have the house!

We have the house.

We went on about our busy days and met again- after singing lessons; after classes; after working and shopping and all of the other thousand tasks- and we took ourselves out to a fun dinner in a fun place nearby, in celebration.

We have the house.

We've been planning and drafting plans and thinking about the space and all of that... observing that the kitchen space in the upstairs will be as big as our entire apartment here... everyone will get their own room... Victoria will get a loom large enough to make rugs...

Hey! Guess what?

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