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Could Be Cruisin' - 08/07/14

  We could be on a Baltic cruise right now, but I have to honestly say with all of the unrest in that region, I'm relieved we're here on Tennessee soil. 

   My husband qualified for the 11 day all expense paid trip because he pours his heart and soul into his work as a wealth strategist, helps a lot of people reach their dreams and works his bum off for them.  While I appreciate the sacrifices he makes for our family,  we were just unable to leave our children during their summer break for that length of time.   So, we had to decline this wonderful opportunity.   Mom guilt got the best of me and with summers out of school getting shorter and shorter (see Yesterday's Blog )-- we just couldn't logistically or mentally wrap our heads around being gone that long. Both sets of grandparents were dealing with health issues and not able to take on that kind of kid commitment for that length of time.  Suffice to say, it just wasn't meant to be and we were okay with that. 

      Fast forward several  months from the time we made that decision to pass up the cruise and look what all has happened now.  Russia and Ukraine are at odds as Russian President Vladimir Putin seems increasingly determined to send troops into the sovereign territory.   That region, where we would have been, is a dangerous place to be.  Today, militants downed another plane.. this time a Ukranian military plane--- but mind you... they don't know what kind of plane they're aiming for... they're just shooting UP.    That's how they hit Malaysian Airlines flight 17 in eastern Ukraine.  Now, when investigators try to visit the crash site to find remains for brokenhearted families... they're greeted with more gunfire and have had to abandon their investigation for their own safety.    
  
      I feel terrible for all the families living in terror right now as this conflict between Ukraine and Russia escalates and for all the families who lost their loved ones simply because they happened to be flying over Ukraine that fateful July day.  The day it happened, my husband and I looked at each other and said.... "That could have been us."  It was a chilling moment of clarity and confirmation that we'd made the right decision to stay home.  Don't get me wrong, we looooove to travel.  This was the first time we've ever taken a pass on a trip of any kind... work, leisure, reward, etc...  But it was for the right reasons, even reasons we could not have fathomed that continue to unfold and horrify the soul.

 

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Last Update on March 30, 2015 07:07 GMT

PINK CHICKENS

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- If someone said they saw pink elephants, you'd ask what drinks had gotten into them. When people in Portland, Oregon spotted pink chickens -- it turned out it was because of the drinks the birds had gotten on them. Animal control officials picked up the pink pullets after they were spotted running loose in the city's waterfront park. Turns out the owner used food coloring, beet juice and Kool-Aid to dye the birds. He says he released them for a while to "make people smile." He may not be smiling at the result. He got a bill for the time the chickens were in county care -- and a scolding about the dangers of releasing birds in public areas.

PIANO MOUNTAIN

CALABASAS, Calif. (AP) -- You've heard of Mount Rushmore and Mount Everest -- but Mount Piano? Hikers who made the trek up to Topanga Lookout in the Santa Monica Mountains of California recently have come upon an odd sight: a battered upright piano, sitting on a graffiti-covered concrete slab. Turns out the piano was used for a music video. The video producer says he and four others used a dolly and rope to haul the 350-pound instrument a mile up the trail last week. After the shoot, it was too dark to get it down. The video maker says while it seems people are happy to see it there, he will haul it back down if necessary.

SNACK RUN

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- We've all had those times: you have a craving for something to eat or drink in the wee hours, and hop out of bed to get it. In this case, the person with the craving in the wee hours was a wee lass: just 4 years old. And to get to the store, she hopped on a Philadelphia bus. Police say the girl slipped on a purple raincoat, slipped out of her house at 3 a.m. in a downpour -- and boarded the bus. Driver Harlan Jenifer says the girl swung her legs in her seat as she chanted, "All I want is a slushie." The driver called police, who took the girl to a hospital where she was reunited with her mom. Authorities say the girl's family was unaware she had gone on her slushie run.

ANGRY BIRDS?

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) -- It's a game of angry birds no one in Melbourne, Florida wants to play. Officials say ducks, geese, seagulls and other feathered friends are acting more like feathered fiends -- chasing people and tying up traffic in Wells Park. Animal officials say it appears the birds are losing their fear of people. And in some cases, that means people are gaining a fear of birds. City Manager Mick McNees tells the Florida Today newspaper three white geese chased him as he jogged in the park. He says he had trouble scaring the birds off -- but fears that an older person or child may not be able to. Officials have put up signs barring people from feeding wildlife to try to restore the balance of nature in the park.

 
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