Twenty-three Years Ago

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Lately, I seem to be writing about anniversaries or birthdays.  Who knew so much went on at the beginning of the year?

Twenty-three years ago today, I was in labor.  It was a Saturday.  I can picture the snow on the ground, not freshly fallen but piles of it that I had shoveled from storms since Christmas.  You see, the twins turn 23 today.

The doctor had told me, regardless of a February due date, I would have those babies around Christmas.  The disability from week 26 on seemed to have worked as those two liked where they were and were not coming into the cold, harsh winter any sooner than necessary.

The day was not the quiet planned birth I had anticipated.  The day quickly filled with yelling.  The doctor was in surgery but wanted an ultrasound done.  One of the twins had been breech.  Was she still?  The nurse was screaming that taking me to radiology would guarantee I delivered babies in radiology.  Who knew I was that far along?  A portable x-ray and I was put out.  One twin still breech, the doctor was taking no chances and did an emergency c-section.

My first memory in recovery was the nurse telling me that Baby A was 7 pounds, 15 ounces and Baby B was 5 pounds, 11 ounces.  I told her, in a groggy state, those couldn’t be my babies.  I had twins.

The Twins (#2 and #3) Christmas 1987

Happy Birthday, #2 and #3!!!!!

Roe versus Wade at 37

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Yesterday, while I was off guest blogging at Drama For Mama and Motherese, a birthday party happened.  The watershed SCOTUS ruling on Roe v. Wade turned 37 yesterday.

Do you remember, if you are older than 37, what you were doing at that age?  Had you become complacent in your life, with your thinking?  Did you take things for granted?

Do you, if you are old enough, remember what you were doing in 1973?  I have to admit I couldn’t give you details.  I had turned 11 the fall previous.  I had worked, that fall of 1972, on my first political campaign – stuffing envelopes.  I don’t remember hearing the SCOTUS ruling at all.

As I became a teenager, Roe v Wade became more prominent.  I read stories of how abortions had been performed illegally prior to the 1973 ruling.  I read of women dying from these.  I was a firm believer.  I read feminist magazines and books and knew, 100% for sure, that it was my right to do what I wanted with my body.

In my 20’s, as I became a Roman Catholic and then a mother, the pendulum swung, not the big swing like on a clock but somewhat.  I remember having a discussion with a close friend while our kids were listening to story hour.  It must have been January so an earlier anniversary of the decision.  I was explaining how I could see her point of view but it was not mine at that time.  I didn’t deny that I still felt women should have access to legal abortion services.  I just didn’t think I could partake in those services.

Now, I am sitting and Roe v Wade is 37.  The initial ruling has some chinks in its armor.  Things have eaten away at it.  Some states still make it extremely difficult to receive abortions.  Doctors have been killed over the ruling and, then, their services.  I am fearful that this decision may not, as I will in a couple years, celebrate 50.

The past presidential election is what scared me on how long Roe v Wade has left in our society.  It was not what either candidate said or did in the election.  It was not a matter of how or who they would appoint to SCOTUS if given that opportunity.  The scare came from young voters, women voters in the 18-24 age range.  The ones I know, when asked, would say that abortion will always be legal here.  That was not a concern for that.

The complacency I mentioned at the beginning of this showed in these women.  Abortion had always been available in their lives.  They could not foresee a change.   I am hoping, but it is difficult, that they are correct.  I am hoping that reproductive rights do not become a center point in US politics again, that reproductive rights do not spawn more killings than have already happened to doctors and health care providers.

If you would like more information, please view some of these links below.

RH Reality Check

Sarah Weddington on the 37th Anniversary of Roe v Wade

Reflections on a Decade of Reproductive Freedom

CNN Coverage of Yesterday

Where Can You Find Me Today?

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Well, if you are jonesing for a dose of my writing today, you will have to head to two other blogs I read frequently.

You can read all about my mapped out strategy – yes, I am a planner – for the year and my running at Kristen’s place – Motherese.

You can also find out all about the most recent drama in my life over at Becca’s new WordPress digs – Drama For Mama.

Should you stop here all the time, please consider contacting me to guest post here starting February 5.  You can get a hold of me at nconroy {at} stny {dot} rr {dot} com.

SCOTUS Ruling on Campaign Finance

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In returning a 5-4 ruling concerning Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court of the United States has given life to corporate personhood and, in many ways, limited the effectiveness of the everyday person’s contributions to political campaigns.

Many who are happy with the decision feel that SCOTUS has ruled in favor of free speech.  Corporations generally speak to the public through advertisements.  Advertisements would be purchased speech, not free speech.  On top of that, corporations are not guaranteed free speech under the Constitution of the United States as they are not citizens.

With the ruling taking effect immediately, we will definitely be able to see what will come to pass during this mid-term election.  While I am not delusional enough to think that corporations did not pour money into campaigns before, there was, at least, some regulations as the money had to go through a set up PAC.  Laws and regulations had to be followed and the IRS forms filed for the PACs.  Now, that step and additional regulation is no longer necessary.

My biggest problem is that corporations and unions and other special interest groups are not citizens.  They are not guaranteed free speech.  They do not necessarily deserve a voice in our politics.  Now they have an unbridled voice with little constraints.  Which way are the scales of justice tipping?

Photos of Snow

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I have blogged before about the Photo Club I go to in Groton, New York.  The beginning of January brought the monthly meeting and a homework assignment – take pictures of snow.  Remarkably, it snowed that night.  I need to pick my favorite five so am going to let you all help me.

Vote by putting the number as the caption in your comments.

NYS Executive Budget Presentation

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Yesterday, Governor David A Paterson presented the Executive Budget for the fiscal year 2010-2011.  New York’s fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31.  In introducing Paterson, Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravage used the word collegial twice.  This should have been a warning to all – lawmakers and others – listening and watching the presentation that hard things were to come.

Paterson opened with the usual thank yous and started with telling us of the budget gaps that have been closed in the two years he has been governor – all working with the legislature.  In the process and unlike many other states with extreme fiscal difficulties, NYS has maintained its excellent bond rating.  He ended his overview by saying that this is not a budget of choice but rather a budget of necessity.

Paterson has long been a proponent of a spending cap.  He stated that all the cuts he is proposing will be within the perimeters of a spending cap even though he is not legally required to have such a cap in place.  My problem with a spending cap has always been it cannot be put in place without mandate relief.  If a spending cap is put in place without mandate relief, the state is just pushing the costs down to municipalities.  This budget includes mandate relief.

The largest of the over 100 mandate reliefs will be repeal of the Wicks Law for municipalities and school districts outside of New York City.  The Wicks Law was enacted in 1924 and requires that services for construction, electricity, HVAC and plumbing be bid separately.  While this is a blow to organized labor or unions, it is a necessity in the world we are currently living in.

Details can be found online here.  I strongly suggest that we all look at this budget carefully.  Cuts are across the board.  Many are going to hurt areas I support but I do not see how NYS can continue the way it has been going.

Salmon Patties

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I am a huge salmon fan.  Like my fanaticism surrounding the sport of hockey, I find new and delicious ways to serve salmon all the time.  My favorite is simple and grilled on cedar planks.

I have also done salmon with lentils in a crock pot.  The lentils cook all day and the salmon goes in on top of parchment paper to steam when you get home from work for 25 minutes.  It is a wonderful recipe and tastes delicious.

This past week I wanted salmon and just couldn’t justify the current market price for fresh salmon.  I always keep a can of salmon available, just in case of power outages and such in the winter months.  So, I went in search of a salmon patty recipe that I had all the ingredients on hand.  This in itself is no easy task.

As I do with many recipes, I modified this one I found on AllRecipes.com slightly as I did not have dill weed or celery salt available.  My version is below.

Ingredients

  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can salmon, drained and flaked
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup garlic and herb seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup dry potato flakes
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

In a medium bowl, mix salmon, eggs, garlic and herb seasoned dry bread crumbs, dry potato flakes, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Form the mixture into 2 inch balls, and flatten into patties about 1/2 inch thick.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. In batches, cook patties about 5 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.

And the final product

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