Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ahem.


Another Oldie but Goodie from the world of email forwards . . . 


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk’s office, was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean is,” explained the recorder, "do you have a job or are you just a ...."?

"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman.

"I'm a Mom."

"We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, 'housewife' covers it," said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall.  The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."

"What is your occupation?" she probed.

What made me say it? I do not know.  The words simply popped out.  "I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.  Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't) in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out).  I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters).  Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanity ties, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it).  But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3...
Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.


I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!  And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom."  Motherhood!  What a glorious career!

Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations?"


And great grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates?"


I think so!


I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants."



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Friday, December 18, 2009

We interrupt this program . . .

to bring you one of the neatest Ikea hacks I've ever seen . . . 





a yarn swift. :o)

It wouldn't be hard to drill a few more holes, to make the skein size adjustable.  Man, I do miss living near Ikea . . . 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vegetables in Winter?

So I've just ordered this book:



And I'm not sure I can adequately express how excited I am.  (I know, I know.  Vegetables.  In winter.  That's what the grocery store is supposed to be for.)  But I've been seriously uncomfortable with getting all of our food from mostly unknown sources, exposed to who knows what (pollution, unwashed hands, the treatments allowed under the "organic" label), and harvested long, long ago.  A Safeway produce lady told me they warehouse their produce for two weeks before it gets to the store.  I was astounded.  Not only does that mean it doesn't keep (good for them, I guess), but the nutritional value is pretty much gone by then.  Safeway successfully changes fresh, reasonably healthy produce into empty calories.  With fiber.

Since most of our diet is now fruits and vegetables (along with sprouted nuts & seeds, and fermented foods), the idea of providing our own, even in winter, is wildly attractive.  (Have you SEEN the prices of organic produce lately?  Ay yi yi.)  And as our growing season here is between 4-5 months, knowing how to continue to provide for ourselves gives me this great, warm feeling inside.

So, I'll let you know what I think of this book.  It seems to be the small-scale farm version of his Four Season Harvest, which I really really love.  Elliot Coleman has a respect for, and understanding of, the earth, its seasons, plants, and their needs.  The kind of understanding that I'm eager to gain; first through study, and then through faith*.

(You know, I really should probably post a few book reviews of books I actually ready lately . . . like Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, Thy Gold to Refine, 12 Steps to Raw Foods, Signature Family Dishes, Kabul Beauty School, La Hacienda, or any of the fourteen Georgette Heyer novels I devoured during the first half of the year.  Requests on which goes first welcome.)


*My definition of Faith: a belief which moves one to action, or the application of knowledge gained by teaching (as opposed to the knowledge gained by experience).  Faith is work--the application of principles learned and the true test of a principles truthfulness or validity.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lemme Hear Whoop! Whoop!

Google has delivered.


All y'all Mac users out there, go and try it out. Clean, light, and darn fast. And Google's home page logo today is a kick, to boot.

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

And so . . .

About two weeks ago "12 Steps to Raw Foods" by Victoria Boutenko arrived from Amazon. It finally filled in the gaps, and made raw foods accessible and comprehensible . . . it was a book on color theory when all the other recipe books and blogs I had read were more like paint-by-number kits. (A review of 12 Steps to Raw Foods to come . . . )

Here's what I've noticed after ten days on a very nearly 100% raw menu:

1. My back is FINALLY beginning to heal. I didn't stop to think about how much better it is until I noticed a broad white "healing line" through the darker area of my right iris which corresponds to my lower back. (Iridology fascinates me, btw.) That made me stop and think about how long it has been since I really hurt . . . and it has been quite a few days. (Five-ish.) The change in diet and a slightly firmer bed have really been a good combination. (Fwiw, we were sleeping on a firmer surface before the diet change, but it didn't help much.)

2. I'm rested when I wake up in the morning. Sometimes waking up is still tough, but it's NOTHING like the days of severe hypoglycemia. Within a few minutes, I feel cheerful, and have a reasonable amount of energy (total shocker for me). Oh, and a huge bonus: I no longer have nasty morning-mouth. That was a recent development (started about a year ago), and it's just lovely to have it gone.

3. My body is able to restore itself during sleep in a manner completely different than anything I've experienced in the last three years. Or, come to think of, since I don't know when. Possibly before the critically-sleep-deprived days of high school. The last two nights, I've woken up to the baby's cries before Vern stirred at all, got up to take care of whatever it was he needed without feeling depressed or frighteningly weak or like my back would literally not hold me up, and woke up the next morning feeling better than the nights two weeks ago when I didn't have interruptions. When I don't get sufficient sleep, I'm still tired, but it's wholly physical now . . . I'm no longer a hostile, depressed, snarling wreck. (My family is glad. lolol) Last night was a chopped 7.5 hour night. A solid 1.5 hour deficit from what I really have needed lately to feel reasonable solid during the day. Today has been a phenomenal day.

4. I no longer am driven by food cravings. I know I can eat all I want of whatever whole, good, fresh food I want (even if it's nothing but dates for a couple days, which I nearly did), and when I find myself hungry and wanting to root through the fridge, I know from experience that I'll find what will truly satisfy my hunger. It's a secure, solid feeling. Gone are the days of being driven nearly crazy by a deep hunger, not seeing anything that tempted me. (Barring frozen desserts and chocolate, which quieted the hunger, but never silenced it.)

5. I'm slowly dropping weight. I shed about five pounds of retained water the first two days (which was more than I could do, even with dieting, before!), and have lost a few ounces each day since then, except for Thanksgiving Day, and the two days bracketing it. Those three days I included a small amount of cooked foods, and I simply maintained. Not too bad, though, considering what has happened in the past to myself, and others. (T-day I had a 1" x 1.5" piece of turkey, no refined sugar, a couple small helpings of maple-syrup sweet potatoes, and lots of salad.)

6. My moods have been milder, lighter, happier, nicer, and far more buoyant than they have in a looooong, looooooooooong time. I'm a woman of no small will or drive . . . but depression really had me pinned the last few years. Even the last year and a half, living in such a great spot in Oregon with such great people as friends, I struggled. It has been so good to really want to smile, and then to smile and feel that smile grow and strengthen and deepen until it fills my entire body. Smiling at people today during church was so fun . . . especially complete strangers who seemed down, worried, or reserved. I'd smile at them, looking them in the eye, and I could see my happiness enter their hearts, and then break out over their faces. That alone is worth giving up every cooked, traditional, lovely comfort food I ever knew. Driving home from church today, Vern turned to me and said: "I've never seen you this happy." I replied: "I don't think I've ever felt this happy in my whole life."

I know things won't be smooth sailing. Life happens. People will have trouble with this choice I've made, even though I will do all I can to make sure those I love and interact with (who need to know my eating habits, lol) know that this is something I've done wholly for my own well-being, and is not something that I expect them to cater to, listen to, or (heaven forbid), have forced on them. My body simply wouldn't do what I need it to do eating the way I had been (and by American standards, I was eating darn good foods: organic, natural, and mostly whole--just mostly cooked, and very few veggies). This is a gift I'm giving myself, and my family who has to live with me. :o) Before and After photos will come . . .

Have a wonderful, wonderful week!

Annalea
(Who thinks she has had a small taste of why the raw-vegans she has corresponded with have always signed their emails with things like "In Joy!", and have used seemingly too many !'s . . . )

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quite the Bully, eh?

Seen today in a Ravatar*:

ENGLISH: A language that lurks in dark alleys, beats up other languages, & rifles through their pockets for spare vocabulary.

Ravelers are the best. :o)

*A Ravelry avatar.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kids say the darndest things.

This morning, Vern was helping Lil'MissL out the door to play while she told him about her recent trip to the chiropractor. She had bumped her elbow pretty well on a hard floor, and we took her in to see if there were any breaks. Dr. Webster used a tuning fork, held against various places along her arm, to test for fractures. Lil'MissL's highly recountable account:

"We went to the chiropractor. He touched my elbow with a forky thing. It was a tuna fork."

:o)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Requisitioning Contentment

I am grateful . . .


  • that packing tape holds boxes together so well
  • that we can pay the bills
  • that I recognize that I have the power to choose whether I grumble and grip, or count my blessings
  • for playsilks (one of the best. toys. ever.)

Monday, November 9, 2009

You've got to see this.

These are from Sir Ken Robinson's, PhD, talk on creativity. It's a must see. (And I don't say that lightly.) If you have children, you need to see this.

"All kids have talents. And we squander them. Pretty ruthlessly."

"Creativity is as important in education as literacy; and we should treat it with the same status."

"If you're not prepared to be wrong, you're not going to come up with anything original."

"We don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it. In fact, we're educated out of it."

"The problem is we educate children progressively from the waist up. And then we focus on their heads, and slightly to one side."

Please, go take the few minutes it takes to watch this. He makes you laugh, keeps it interesting, and points up one of the most serious problems facing the children of today. The fact that our educational system critically handicaps them for the unknowable world into which we're all hurtling. I remember my best friend, in fifth grade, repeating: "They're trying to take my imagination away from me." I couldn't understand it . . . but then again, I didn't have the kind of rich, full imagination she did. I had already succumbed.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Super-Cute Alert

This is one of the most adorable things I've seen. Ever.

I'll show you pics when I'm done. :o)

Friday, October 30, 2009

I Want to Cry

This morning, a 6' torchiere floor lamp was knocked over in the bonus room. The "catch all" room where the toys are. Carpeted. The lamp shade wasn't broken, but the top portion of the lamp that held the shade on was knocked into pieces, and the shade shattered the bulb as it came free, sending fine shards of glass who knows how far into the room. From where I sit, I can see glass more than ten feet away. There are boxes of blocks (tossed in willy-nilly, with plenty of cracks and crevices for the glass to settle into--boy, is this going to be an object lesson to remember), toys, blankets, open cardboard boxes from the move, clothing, shoes, stuffed animals, and who knows what else in the path. Yet another reason why I should let my OCD run wild and keep everything clean.

So, if you need me, I'll be in the bonus room. Probably until Wednesday. {Wry smile}

Friday, October 2, 2009

Today

There's a steady rain falling . . . a nice, even, soothing sound. Mom has taken the kids for the last two days, and the quiet nearly deafens me from time to time. Simply wonderful. I now have both the washer and dryer hooked up (what a miracle), my closet is slowly coming to rights, and a few less boxes remain to block the way into the living room.

I now know a little of what it feels like to live near family . . . really and truly nearby. When I used to think about friends who lived close to their parents, in their own little house, with their young families, making grandma and grandpa a part of their everyday lives, I always had this comfortable, settled, complete feeling. Now, when I think about us, Vern and I and our young family, living here . . . that same feeling comes sweetly for us.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We're here.

The trip went well, so far nothing has been damaged, and the house is great. We were blessed beyond our broadest expectations by generous help from our ward in Oregon, and have already had a lot of help unloading here.

More to follow . . . it's just such a huge relief to have the biggest hurdle behind us.

Thanks so much, everyone!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

On Choice

In essentials let there be unity;
in non-essentials, liberty;
in all things, charity.

--Unknown (to me)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wisdom from Plutarch

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."

Plutarch

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The trouble with Insurance Agents

Stephen Leacock: "I detest life-insurance agents: they always argue that I shall some day die, which is not so."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'd like to introduce you to Jace Vek

If you've never thought you liked orchestral music, you've never listened to Jace Vek's work.

Let me know what you think . . .

Monday, September 7, 2009

Brothers

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We are not amused.

"Your stories of a mild climate were inflated, underling."
(Why is it that cats always look at you that way? Or even worse, as if you weren't even there?)
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Of Course!

Or, The Practicality of the Antiquities

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thinking about someone today . . .





















Love you, Vern . . .

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Short Hello

Just stopping in to say the blog will either be quieter or busier than normal. I'm working my way up to my eyeballs in moving preparations, and if I know myself, my mind will either be too distracted by children and boxes and naptimes and meals and packing to remember to blog, or I'll have so much contemplative time as I fill boxes and endeavor in the aforementioned tasks that I'll stop by the iMac several times a day to toss off short posts just to get the ideas down somewhere.

So, enjoy the next few weeks, and let's see what happens in this more passionate of minds. :o)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Roots of Power

I have a great deal of respect for, and value in, tools. In your tools lies your freedom. --Me

Thought of the Day

"Life is all about energy. Try to feel it around you, through you, and in you. Distinguish the positive from the negative." --Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An Actual Conversation

Getting children ready for bed last night, I hear the doorbell rung quickly twice, followed immediately by a staccato knock. As yesterday was rather unwelcomely eventful, the last thing I wanted was someone at the door. So, I went down and opened it, to be greeted by a nervous-looking man in a purple sweatshirt, standing a good dozen feet back from the door.

Him: "Hi there! Idelivertoyourneighbors (motioning to a truck with beef and other meats on the outside) andthoughtI'dstopbyandseeifIcouldhelpyouout."

Me: "We're vegetarian."

Him: "Oh.Well,I'llletitgoatthat,then.Hey,doyoueatseafood?I'vegotseafood."

Me: "No."

Him: "Oh.Wellokaythen.Haveagoodnight."

Door-to-door sales visits are something I definitely won't miss.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mommy, he's copying me!

I'm so tired of patent law and it's attendant disputes. Even though the concept is frightening to a lot of people, I think Benjamin Franklin was right in opposing patents.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Moving On Up

Part of Unschooling is providing your children with the things they need, when you understand they need them. Play is the work of small children . . . but work is also important "play", as children grown and seek to find how they fit into the larger world around them. Well, MrC is nearing his 10th birthday, and it has become apparent to me that he would thrive with some structure. Yesterday, I read about the Robinson Curriculum. I really like it . . . the foundational principles, the fact that it follows very closely the model of the original small-scale frontier schools that worked so well, and that it teaches children to think. I love that it's full of original sources, that I can buy it once for all of my children, and that it provides a very solid approach: reading, writing, arithmetic. Best of all, the manner of learning isn't dependent on the children having me hold their hands. I'm there to answer questions, help solve problems when they're stumped, and keep the structure of our home solid. But it engenders self-sufficiency of mind--one of the most vital traits of a strong individual.

I know this is short . . . but it covers the subject, and there's plenty to read at the RC website. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

So Apropos

Calling all knitterly geeks . . . I love the IT Guy's "test run" of the new Knit Picks Zephyr needles.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Remembering

I could see the lights of houses, twinkling in the distance as we rounded the Point of the Mountain. The little white car's enging purred, kitten-like, as Cathy drove along the Wasatch front. One hand on the steering wheel, the other always seemed on the move . . . from the gear stick to the air to help tell a story, or to motion to something I should see out the window. She kept up a steady monologue, reeling off story after story with relish. And I loved listening to her. Cathy loved life with an intensity belied by her ability to brush off just about anything negative. She made the best of things, often with some cackling sarcasm, and she had always been a stalwart friend, even though she was old enough to be my mother.

Cathy was taking me home after a night out. She had picked me up at the Salt Lake City airport in the late afternoon, and had taken me out to dinner and then to the grocery store. "D'you need any pit polish?" she had asked in her matter-of-fact, dryly humorous voice. Now, I listened to her tell a story I had heard her tell the last time she had given me a drive home; about traveling to visit friends in the South, punctuated with bits of advice on how to travel without as much baggage as she'd seen me pack into her trunk. "I only need an overnight bag with a change of clothes and a Sunday dress when going to visit family or friends. They have a washer & dryer, and they all use shampoo and soap, after all," she'd say.

On our way down the hill, past the place where Thanksgiving Point would later be built, she told me the story of the last time she brought me home at night . . . how the snow was falling so thick you couldn't see, and how they closed the Point of the Mountain right after her car went by. She had followed the snow plow's and a police car's flashing lights all the way up and over, singing the same snatch of the Primary Song, I Am a Child of God, over and over to try to stay calm because she couldn't remember any more of the words. And yet she laughed and laughed as she told me, and I laughed, too.

Tonight I'm thinking about what if's. What if Cathy hadn't died in her early 50's from congestive heart failure, a complication of diabetes? What if I could have convinced her that if she would only break her lifelong rule of never eating anything green? What if? What if?

She would have seen her 13 year old daughter grow up. She would have been around for grandchildren. She could have met my children, and gotten to see how my life has turned out. I would still be able to pick up the phone and see how she was doing, hear all of the gossip from the little California town where I grew up going to church with her, and listen to her latest adventures in travel.

I miss my friend.

But one thing I have definitely learned: I will not allow time to steal away from me the opportunities I have to include loved ones in my life. I miss Cathy. I pray that God will allow her to know that. And I pray that I will remember it, so I won't let precious days slip past without calling a friend.

Tiger

The Tiger

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake 1757–1827.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday Morning



The light only held for a minute . . . just long enough to snap this.

Getting up early does have some perks, after all . . .
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Chaos Reigning



Still life, photons on CCD.
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Overheard at the Sock Summit

These are awesome . . . many of them even if you're not a knitter.

(My apologies to those who aren't Ravelers, if that link won't work for you. However, it's fast and easy to sign up, so why miss out? ;o)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On Rough Days

"Tough times never last, but tough people do."

-- Robert H. Schuller

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thoughts of Gerard, a Reckless College Boy

"Waking in a sweat, it was a little time before he could throw off the impression of the dream, and realize that whatever else Rotherham might do, he would not challenge his ward to a duel. But Rotherham was a boxer, and whether he would consider himself debarred by his guardianship from wreaking a pugilistic vengeance on his ward was a question to which Gerard could find no answer. Of the two fates he thought he would prefer to be shot."

--Bath Tangle, by Georgette Heyer

. . . "wreaking pugilistic vengeance" . . . I love it. :o)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

If you've wanted to try Soap Nuts . . .

. . . but haven't yet, you can go leave a comment at Passionate Homemaking, for a chance to win one of 20 free samples of a new liquid soap nut detergent. The 1 oz sample will wash 12 (that's right, TWELVE) loads in a front loading HE machine, or six regular top-loader loads.

I wasn't excited about the seemingly imprecise nature of the whole soap nuts, but this liquid version is really attractive.

Have a great day!

Friday, July 24, 2009

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

I just got off the phone with Tina, herself. I'm now an official Sock Summit volunteer, and am seriously excited. :o)

Maybe missing the classes I wanted to attend so much was a good thing, after all . . . lol

Wahoo!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Turn of Phrase

"The doctor is a worthy individual, Jim, but he knows
even less of the art of dressing than you do.
He does not understand the soul-agony of a man
who makes his first appearance in puce."

--The Black Moth, p 121.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Some of Chicago's Opinions

*~*~*~*~*~* Still working on the technical details of getting these photos to show. Ever since Gmail's right-click context menus quit on me, this has been a tricky business. Thanks for your patience! *~*~*~*~*~*

Here's another one of those emails . . . those who have visited will recognize the downtown area. Some of these posters are funny, some downright incendiary, others are fighting words. It's a clear indicator of how some of the people in Chicago feel about the new President's policy thusfar, especially as Chicago is fairly hard hit by all of the economic madness.




















































Voter's remorse. I wonder how many who voted for him now wish they hadn't. My dad was right . . . when my younger brother asked him what he thought of Obama, dad said: "If you ever want to make any money, you don't want to vote for him." I didn't vote for him, either . . . but am still stuck with him.

Most of the damage, economically speaking, has already been done. It now remains for us to watch and see how long it takes for the first few stones to bring down the whole snowy mountainside.

And thus we see, democracy can indeed be a tyranny of the majority.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Fellowship of the Unashamed (Take 2)

Please Note: This was mistakenly attributed to Elder Henry B. Eyring, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The proper author has been found, a Dr Bob Moorhead, and is taken from his book Words Aptly Spoken. Please accept my apologies for mis-attribution, and for not catching the glaring grammatical errors. (As a writer, I can only plead sleep deprivation. ;o) Many thanks to Doug & Jess, for finding the proper source of this great piece.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made--I am a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, worldly-talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean in His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer and I labor with power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, hired away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, give up till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes my banner will be clear!

I must go 'til he comes. Give 'til I drop. Preach 'til all know. And work 'til he stops me and when he returns for his own he will have no problem recognizing me. My
banner will be clear.

--Dr Bob Moorhead, in Words Aptly Spoken

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Monday, June 29, 2009

Good for a Monday

From the depths of email forwarding pops this gem . . .

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

With all the new technology regarding fertility recently, a 65-year-old acquaintance was able to give birth. When she was discharged from the hospital and went home, we went to visit.

"May I see the new baby?" I asked

"Not yet," She said "I'll make coffee and we can
talk for a while first."

Thirty minutes had passed, and I asked, "May I see the new baby now?"

"No, not yet," She said.

After another few minutes had elapsed, I asked again, "May I see the baby now?"

"No, not yet," replied my friend.

Growing very impatient, I asked, "Well, when can I see the baby?"

"When he cries," she told me.

"WHEN HE CRIES?" I demanded. "Why do I have to wait until he CRIES?"

"Because I forgot where I put him, Okay?!!"

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

When I feel like I'm losing my mind, I can be glad I'm not this bad yet! lol

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me

Frozen Yogurt

5 c. whole milk plain yogurt
2 c. pureed blueberries (frozen is fine--it's just more work to puree them)
30 drops Sweet Leaf stevia
1 1/2 t. lemon juice

Mix all ingredients well in a bowl. Put it in the ice cream maker, and let'er rip.

Yum.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Corn-Pancake-ucopia

Just thought I'd share my research for dinner tonight.

Pretty basic Cornmeal Pancakes from Many Veggie Recipes.

Deluxe Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes from Erin at You-Name-It-Free. (She's a girl after my own heart, what with that corn blip at the end. Love it!)

Whole Foods Market brings us a Whole Gran Pancake Mix. I'm so mixing this up (minus the dry milk). Talk about quick and easy!

And, for the very most serious of cornmeal fans, here's a flourless Cornmeal Pancake recipe from AllRecipes.com.

And now, decisions, decisions . . .

(Btw . . . does anyone know of a good stainless steel griddle big enough to cook pancakes for seven without keeping me in the kitchen for three hours?)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Future Furniture

Just watch . . . these will be all the rage . . .

Locally sourced, locally produced, repurposed, low-waste, low-consumption (you only need six bolts/nuts & six drywall screws!), comfy chairs.

This would have been a perfect Earth Day post, don't'cha think?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Silly Little Things

I get to do one of my favorite things in a few days: install cabinet hardware in my kitchen.

I have no idea why actual handles on cabinets and drawers have fallen out of vogue, but the last four houses we've moved into haven't had them. (Full disclosure: the first of those four was the house we built, and I just hadn't chosen them yet.) This will be hardware install #3 for me, and after conquering the gut-wrenching fear of destroying the beautiful cherry cabinets in our custom home, (which I didn't do--I installed them beautifully), I have enjoyed the whole process.

The first time, for our shaker cherry cabinets I chose these beauties:


(Satin nickel was the finish for all kitchen/bath fixtures in the arts & crafts-inspired House on the Mountain.)

The second time, for cordovan-finished beech cabinets, I chose these:

(I went eclectic in the Little Grey House, and I loved these. ;o)

And now, I'm not quite back to matchy-matchy, but rather loosely coordinating with the silvery tones in the rest of the house:


(The rest of this house has silvery-tones, in varying finishes.)

I highly recommend Cabinet Hardware Designs. This is my fourth order from them (I also ordered Schlage door levers for the House on the Mountain*), and not only are their prices exceptional, their customer service is top notch and their products are high quality. The knobs and pulls above are all priced like other sellers' budget line (and less than the "cheap-o" packages at big box stores), and are just as high quality as those sold for heinously more. Shopping at Home Depot last Saturday, I saw the very same hardware on their custom display . . . and get this: while the polished chrome pulls were the same prices I paid, ($2.37 ea) the oil-rubbed bronze & other finishes were $14-something. Someone is making a killing on those, and possibly trying to take advantage of customers' naivete. To which I take exception.

(I need to do a post sometime on the House on the Mountain, which we built. Beautiful, I tell you. And a tremendous learning experience.)

So, go check out Cabinet Hardware Designs. (Both their web store and their eBay store are linked above.) I've ordered through the eBay store, as I prefer the extra level of market forces to help make sure all transactions go well (eBay's feedback feature has proven a valuable ally in the past). And have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sock Summit Slowdown

Trying to register . . . but the page has been loading for two minutes now.

The tech guys just didn't get it.

They totally needed a scalable, hosted solution at a monstrous data center. Maybe next time, eh?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Attention all Geeks

Truth is stranger than fiction. Check out Method #2 here. Love that one. lol

Hope you're all having a great holiday!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ha ha ha ha ha ha . . .

This is hilarious. Jeremy Clarkson is a crack up. (I make no comment on the actual content of this article . . . but the writing is great.)

Have a good one!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More than Measuring

There's a saying Vern's often quoting (Covey?): "You get what you measure." (No, Covey said: "When performance is measured, performance improves." Don't know who said "You get what you measure.")

Today, the Yarn Harlot put a different spin on it: you get that upon which you focus. (My words, her idea.) Her words:

"I really believe that you get more of what you pay attention to. This has been my theory for some time now, and it has proved true with toddlers, teenagers, money and yarn. In keeping with this theory, I try not to complain, or focus on the crappy things that happen to everybody. It's just crap, and it does happen to everybody, and complaining about it really only makes things crappier and makes sure that you spread it to more people."

I'm reminded of a Buddist master (is that the proper term? Maybe teacher?) I met in Sandpoint. He was working in a pizza stand just off of the Farmer's Market, next to the pizza oven, in mid-July. (It gets pretty hot in Sandpoint in mid-July. Believe me.) Instead of sweltering in discontent and laboring under the idea he would melt, or something along those lines, he repeated to himself, in a cheerful tone: "I'm cool. It's all cool. I'm fine." He looked to be late 40's, early 50's, and did not have the build of one who takes heat well. And of the handful of people crammed into that pizza stand, it clearly showed on his face that he was happiest.

I wish more people in the world would take the truly civilized route, and not complain about whatever happens to be their momentary cross. Whether it's a sigh (that's my bad habit), or a short sound, body language, or actual words, we all communicate our displeasure or frustration far more than necessary. Here's to keeping that under better wraps, allowing it to pass unvocalized, instead of infecting all of those around us with a measure of our own discontent and malice before the mood passes.

Civilization is handy that way.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lovely, Lovely Thoughts

From my feathery friend, Birrd.

Don't you just love how she writes? So do I.

Monday, May 11, 2009

How to Stay Young

This came from a new good friend of mine today, and I thought I'd pass it on. It made me smile, and that's something I dearly love.

Reading this made me think of a picture of four women my mom has on her fridge. She's in it, along with three other women she served with in the previous Relief Society Presidency in her ward. One of the women is about 60, but has a 4-year-old at home. She looks at least fifteen years younger than her age would have you believe. Such a marked testimony to the old saying: "Act your age."

And now, How to Stay Young . . .

We all need to read this one over and over until it becomes part of who we are!



HOW TO STAY YOUNG

1. Try everything twice. On one woman's tombstone she said she wanted this epitaph:

Tried everything twice...loved it both times!

2. Keep only cheerful friends.?
The grouches pull you down. (keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches)



3. Keep learning: Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle.

'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!


4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh,

spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.


6 The tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.

LIVE while you are alive..


7. Surround yourself with what you love: Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.

Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it.
If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country,
but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

I love you, my special friend.


11. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance.

And if you don't send this to at least 4 people - who cares?

But do share this with someone.



Remember! Lost time can never be found.

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Good Job, and Hang in There.

To all the mothers I know:

Thank you for your examples, whatever they have been. I have watched and learned, and I value the influence you all have had on my life and mothering.

Thank you for showing me new ways to fill this ancient role in a day when the entire world seems stacked against goodness, gentleness, and love unfeigned.

Thank you for reminding me what's really important. For reminding me what family truly is, and should be.

Thank you for sharing bits and pieces of your lives, your time, and your laughter.

And please remember: on this day when ideal mothers are being held up for praise, when ideal motherhood is talked over and painted onto each one of us, know that I break down, lose my patience and my temper, and cry over the fear that I'll cripple my children's ability to succeed in our crazy world, and their own families, some day. You're not alone. Neither am I.

And to my own mother:

With each day, each minute, that goes by, I marvel anew at how you managed it all. I am so grateful for your faith, your strength, and your quiet determination to follow the path God laid out for you. Thank you for loving Dad, the boys, and I, and for being so kind and gentle about it. Thank you for teaching me so many basic, important principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and for modeling them every day. Thank you for making the house on the ranch bright and attractive, and for working so hard to take such good care of all of us.

I don't know how you did it. And I'm so glad you did. I love you.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Word of Caution

Let us be careful not to align ourselves with evil, simply because it seems to be doing more good than the conventional "good guys".

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Post on the Run

Just checking in. :o) We're all alive, and heading home tomorrow. Have had a great visit with family, and will tell you all about it soon.

There has even been spinning. Laceweight singles, on my Kundert. Good times.`

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nurture

The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated…. I should never have known how ladies and gentlemen really behaved, if it hadn't been for Colonel Pickering. He always showed what he thought and felt about me as if I were something better than a common flower girl. You see, apart from the things one can pick up, the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated. I shall always be a common flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me like a common flower girl, and always will. But I know that I shall always be a lady to Colonel Pickering, because he always treats me like a lady, and always will.

Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady



Amen.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday Tips: Mad Skillet Skillz

I don't know how many of you use stainless steel cookware, but I do. You just can't get the same crisp finish on various things in nonstick cookware. And steel doesn't offgas. ;o)

So, when I'm done warming tortillas, or frying the occasional batch of turkey sausages, sometimes the pan cools before I can get to it. The best way to clean a steel pan is when it's still hot--the food comes straight off with a light scrubbing if you get it soapy when it's still nearly too hot to touch. (Be sure you only use a nylon or steel scrubber with a little Bon Ami, as plastic brushes or scrubbies will melt!)

So, take your skillet, complete with burned or crusty remnants. Fill about 1/3 to 1/2 with clean water, and put it back on the stove. Turn it on to a decent medium-high heat, cover, and set a timer for about 10 minutes. (Don't do like I have, and forget the timer. Bad news.) The goal is to simmer the water for about ten minutes. It softens the rock-hard food, easing the bond between food and metal. For especially grouchy grime, add a little baking soda to the water. Plain water has always worked fine for me, though.

When your timer goes off, and you believe the water has done it's magic, scrape with a metal spatula and then scour as usual.

Voila!* You have a shiny, clean pan, with very little elbow grease. :o)

Sleep: An equation.

Regardless of when I go to bed, someone needs something.  (Nightmares, thirst, BabyB wants to nurse, someone has fallen out of bed, ad infinitum.)

There exists a direct ratio between the earliness of the hour I try to retire and the severity of neediness expressed.

I have three children who nap asynchronously.  (No reliable naptime for mom.)

When sleep = sanity, (and lack thereof = severe depression), given the above condition, I only arrive at irrational solutions.

This is unsustainable.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Am Glad for Many Things . . .

I made this list on March 26th. It's good to go back and read over things like this every once in a while. :o)

:: Family
I talked with my both my Mom and my Dad's sister today, and had a wonderful time. Having family that not only loves me, but plays a double role and fills so much space on the "Best Friend" bench, is a rare blessing indeed. (And it's a good thing that those benches expand as much as needed!)

:: Children
Vern took the older trio Nordic skiing today, and so I've had the two littlest ones with me. It has been a quiet, peaceful, slow-paced day, with plenty of time for smiles and little-kid play. Why did I ever think that two children were a handful? Or feel stressed and overwhelmed with just them? Having a 3.5yo and an infant in the house is gorgeously simple. I love them all, and I love it especially when I have the rare treat of spending time with just one or two of them.

:: History
In my 90+ minute call to my Aunt D, whom I love dearly and get along with so very well, we talked about family history. I learned more about my paternal grandparents' lives in that 90 minutes than I learned in all my previous 32.75 years on earth. While my paternal Grandmother spoke of these people and events to the adults, she rarely mentioned them to me. And now, my Aunt D will be sending a packet of historical information and documents, from things just a generation or two back, all the way to photo copies of letters a Civil War solider ancestor wrote to his wife. (I didn't know I had Civil War ancestors! I figured I might've, but it's so amazing to be certain! I can't wait to learn his name, and read some of his story!)

:: Sunshine
Even though we now live in western Oregon, famous for long, gray winters, it feels like I've moved to a land of sunshine. In Idaho, on average, there are 90 clear days per year. And out of that year, only about 100 days are really warm enough to be out without a coat. (My estimate on that last number.) I'm already outside planting and digging and working this year . . . Spring is but days old, and I'm out in it. I feel nearly as though I'm newly resurrected from a long, cold, gray grave in a snowy northern land.

:: New Friends
Making up a list of invitees to a jewelry party (like Pampered Chef, but you get to play dress up with gorgeous, shiny, sparkly stuff--so much fun!), it astounded me to see how many people I already feel comfortable inviting. I've met and begun relationships with more people here in the last nine months than I did in nearly three years in Idaho. Maybe living in a neighborhood isn't so bad after all. ;o)

Friday, April 17, 2009

To Anyone with Children under 80 pounds.

A seatbelt is NOT enough. (That video is only two minutes. Do go watch it.) That little boy was killed due to seat belt failure. At 3 years old, in a booster with lap & shoulder belt, while riding with his mom in the minivan, a 78-year-old senile woman ran a red light and plowed into the side of their van, causing it to roll into a ditch. His belt failed, and he was killed on impact when he thrown from the car.

Please don't let your little ones ride while restrained by belts only. (A booster seat only elevates your child to a better height for seatbelt restraint.) Seatbelts can, and regularly do, fail during crashes. The LATCH system, with top tether if possible, provides several layers of redundancy. And please, keep your toddlers rear facing to the limit of the seat requirements.

Here's a slow-motion clip of a lap-belt-only test. That's the beginning of a playlist, with several videos following on the topic of child restraint safety.

Here's how a larger child fares in a booster with belt. (20 second clip.) An even better one is here.

Here's a forward facing, five point harness test. (20 second clips.)

And lastly, here's how a child fares in a rear facing, five-point harness. (20 second clip.)

And if you're worried about your nine-year-old, sub 80-pound son complaining about how he's too big for a car seat, show him those clips. And then pull rank. Being paraplegic is so not cool. (And I'm sure you can find YouTube videos on paraplegic life, too.)

Keep you children safe. Please.