For example, in 1991 Cindy McCain was visiting Mother Teresa's orphanage in Bangladesh when a dying infant was thrust into her hands. The orphanage could not provide the medical care needed to save her life, so Mrs. McCain brought the child home to America with her. She was met at the airport by her husband, who asked what all this was about.
Mrs. McCain replied that the child desperately needed surgery and years of rehabilitation. "I hope she can stay with us," she told her husband. Mr. McCain agreed. Today that child is their teenage daughter Bridget.
I was aware of this story. What I did not know, and what I learned from Doris, is that there was a second infant Mrs. McCain brought back. She ended up being adopted by a young McCain aide and his wife.
"We were called at midnight by Cindy," Wes Gullett remembers, and "five days later we met our new daughter Nicki at the L.A. airport wearing the only clothing Cindy could find on the trip back, a 7-Up T-shirt she bought in the Bangkok airport." Today, Nicki is a high school sophomore. Mr. Gullett told me, "I never saw a hospital bill" for her care.
A few, but not many, of the stories told to me by the Days have been written about, such as in Robert Timberg's 1996 book "A Nightingale's Song." But Mr. McCain rarely refers to them on the campaign trail. There is something admirable in his reticence, but he needs to overcome it.
I don't really like to cook that much, but one thing I always enjoy making the night before Thanksgiving is candied yams. I make them, let them cool down, put them in the fridge and then warm them up in the microwave right before the meal.
Here's how I make them. First preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Get two cans (or one large can) of yams with juice. Open the cans and empty the juice into a saucepan and then dump the yams in a casserole dish. Dump a whole bunch of brown sugar into the juice. (I don't measure it, but I make sure it's a generous amount -- enough to turn the juice a dark brown.) Add generous amounts of cinnamon, ground cloves and pumpkin pie spice. Put the juice mixture on high and bring it to a boil while stirring it. Once it starts boiling, you have to quickly turn the heat down to medium or medium-high. You may also need to grab the saucepan and lift it off the burner until things cool down some or else it will boil over.
You want to let the juice mixture attain a gentle, rolling boil. Let it boil and keep stirring it. When the juice starts to thicken into a syrup and starts clinging to the spoon, you are ready for the next step. It usually takes about 15 or 20 minutes for the juice mixture to turn into syrup.
Pour the syrup over the yams in the casserole dish and place the dish -- uncovered -- in the oven. Let it bake anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. Every 10 minutes or so, take a spoon and baste the yams with the syrup. You want the yams to not be too firm or too mushy.
Some people like to add marshmallows or nuts to the yams, but I don't think that's necessary. The syrup makes them delicious enough!
Update: I would post a picture of my most excellent yams, but my digital camera is broken and I've sent it off to be fixed. Canon is fixing it for free because the problem was caused by a flaw in that particular model.
Coca-Cola in the little glass bottles.
Chocolate Venetian glass -- especially Millefiori.
My sound blocker headphones.
Online Christmas shopping.
Being able to truly relax after a long day.
Dawn Eden has posted some things she is thankful for. I feel like I'm so negative all the time, and I'm such a complainer, that perhaps I should do the same. So aside from the obvious (God, family, country), here are things I'm thankful for in no particular order:
My dog. My cat.
Hot bubble baths when my back is hurting.
Hot bubble baths when I'm cold and can't get warm.
Hot bubble baths. LUSH Creekside Soap
My new car.
Being able to play my iPod in my new car.
The free XM satellite radio for a year that came with my new car.
Being able to listen to my iPod while I work.
Music Not having to wear glasses anymore.
Altoids Tangerine Sours
That's all I can think of right now. I may add more later.
Update (7/13/05):LGF posts about how one Sarah Boxer at the New York Times thinks the website is "brutish" and is "turning into a place where the haves of the world can show that they're not afraid of the have-nots."
Yes, it's just so mean to let terrorists who blow up innocent people know that they are not going to intimidate you. We must be more compassionate to the poor, oppressed terrorists and not do anything that "humiliates" them or makes them feel inferior, otherwise they may hurt us again! [/sarcasm]
Now I'm definitely going to have to contribute an entry! I wouldn't want to miss out on any "brutish flaunting of wealth and leisure."
NASIRIYAH, Iraq (Apr. 2. 2003) -- Chief Hospital Corpsman David Jones of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (15th MEU (SOC)) holds the two-hour- old newborn Rogenia Katham, daughter of Jamila Katham. The infant was born in the Battalion Landing Team 2/1's Battalion Aid Station after arriving at the 15th MEU's position. U.S. Marine Corps Photo by SSgt. Robert Knoll.
The Two Towers, that is. I saw it Sunday afternoon and I thought it was just awesome. It didn't seem like a three hour movie and at the end I wished it was longer. I can't wait for the third LOTR movie.
It's been a long time since I read the books (the late-eighties) and I'm not even sure if I finished the series or not. Even if I did, I don't remember the books that well, anyway. Now, I want to get the books and read them again.
Of course, during the movie, I got a bit distracted a couple of times. I had to keep shoving the lame, anti-defense statements by Viggo Mortensen out of my mind during the more bellicose Aragorn scenes. I always try to separate the art from the artist, although some artists will cross a line of obnoxiousness that makes any enjoyment of their art impossible.
Other thoughts (you may or may not consider these spoilers, so beware)...Gollum just about stole the whole show. I liked where the Ents, after saying they were going to stay out of the war, wrecked havoc in defense of their own. The part where the Orcs were pounding the ground before battle at Helms Deep was eerie. And I like the way Sam looks out for Frodo, especially since Frodo's personality is becoming darker due to the ring.
If you haven't seen this yet, go see it in the theater while you still can.
The website for the Blue Angels (who are based here in Pensacola) have been deluged with people wanting to download this: The Blue Angels fly over New York City June 1, 2001. Here is the picture, showing the Blue Angels flying with the WTC in the background. Enjoy!