Guest Speaker 1.26.17 @ 8pm eastern 01/22/2017I am pleased to announce that we have are going to have a Q&A with an ex-evangelical on Thurs, January 26, 2017 @ 8pm. The Q&A will last for approximately 1 hour. I will be setting up a subforum for guest speakers as I hope to be able to get some other folks come talk to us. Our guest on Thurs will be Chris Stroop. Here is his bio: Christopher Stroop grew up a rank-and-file member of the Christian Right in an Evangelical enclave community, Stroop's childhood social milieu consisting mostly of family and people associated with church and/or Christian school. From about the age of 16, Stroop found himself dealing with an increasingly acute crisis of faith that was not addressed properly by the people he talked to about it, and he was subjected to spiritual abuse. Stroop nevertheless went on to earn a BA in history and German from Ball State University (summa cum laude) in 2003, and then a Ph.D. in modern Russian History and Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities from Stanford in 2012. Subsequently, Stroop spent three academic years teaching in the School of Public Policy at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration in Moscow, where he kind of sort of almost got in trouble for "teaching Pussy Riot lyrics." Currently, Stroop teaches nineteenth-century European history and Russian Studies classes as a Provost's Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of South Florida and, as a freelance writer and public speaker, speaks out against the abuses of conservative Christianity in general and the the white Evangelical subculture he comes from in particular. You can find many of his writings in this vein on Religion Dispatches. If you would like to support this work financially, please click here (for monthly support) or here (to leave a one-time gift). Stroop's more academic writings can mostly be found here, and you can follow him on Twitter - @C_Stroop. We are going to use the Q&A forum format. I will be setting up a special forum just for Chris. I will open the forum about 15 minutes before the Q&A starts so you can start asking your questions. We have a few rules. Failure to follow these rules will get you temporarily placed in the Prayer Closet so we can preview your posts. If you get put in the PC during the Q&A you will be released once it's over, but lets just follow the few simple rules so none of that is necessary. Rules for Q&A: 1. Be polite. This is not an event meant for snark. Chris is taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to us. He is an expert in the things we discuss here, so let's give him respect, please. 2. One question per post. Please don't bog him down with a bunch of questions in one post. We are using the Q&A format so he can easily answer questions. Putting a ton of questions in one post defeats the purpose. You can continue discussion on the thread as he answers and ask another question in the same thread if you have one after he answers. 3. Please try to keep thread drift to a minimum during the Q&A. After it's over, if you want to continue discussion on the topics and they drift, that's fine. 4. Be polite! These rules are subject to change as I and the helpmeets think over possible loopholes (cause there is always one person that has to push boundaries)
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I hope this comes out alright (as this marks my first official post in this blog). This picture comes from an "adult"coloring book I got from Amazon, & it's called "Make Life Your Bitch" by John T. I used Sharpie fine point markers for this.
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Made his vet appointment! Basic shots & his little fuzzies are going bye bye at the beginning of February. In the meantime he's tromping all over everything in the house & being super slut kitten when we go to bed. Lots of head boops & wet nose kisses. And he really loves his daddy's chair!
So this is the beginning of a blog. Just something I can write out that may or may not be interesting. I am Sadie. I am 30. I work in the local hospital, providing care for psych patients. I am also a mom of 3. My oldest has autism and my youngest is hyper as heck. I am married to Micah, a die hard atheist who is an engineer. Probably the most interesting of all things is that we were raised in a religious cult until we were adults (ish. I was 17.) So there will be posts of the struggles that everyone goes through when they leave. It can be hardcore.
So basically today I'll just go into a bit of it. It was patriarchal, women were oppressed hard. We were subjected to four hour long church services, multiple times a week, and were beaten if we did not comply. My family decided to leave when I was 17 due to them trying to marry me off to my husband, as a minor, and because of the disrespect my mom was given. We've never looked back. My husbands family left probably five years ago, because of how my mother in law was treated. My father in law is still struggling. It should also be pointed out that my husband's grandfather is now the leader. We will go into all of this later at some point because oh how I've got stories.
Other things I will probably blog about are my patients (without violating HIPAA) and how I am in a quest to find a way to help the ones with dementia a bit more than, I already do, fashion, or my lack of, music, because oddly enough I sing opera and am a huuuuuuuuuuuuge music nerd, Maybe some books, definitely my kids, and stuff like diet and all that crap. So please enjoy. I promise I'll try to be a regular at this.
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"I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice.
A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love." - (Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence by Rev. Martin Luther King - 4 April 1967)
Linkin Park used the above verbiage in a clip that is an intro to their song Iridescent. Although he spoke this in 1967, when I first heard it because of LP, I heard a truth that still echoes today. Which often makes me sad.
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So I work basically self-employed. I drive a man around to his appointments and such and I help him get in and out of his wheelchair. As such, I don't really give half a flying dickfuck about how I look as long as the dude doesn't start complaining. He's pretty chill, doesn't give a fuck if I wear weird combinations of leggings, shorts, and graphic tees. Has never complained about my multicolor hair or my weird ass eyebrows.
But every once in a while I get a stupid fucking twatknuckle cockface jizzbucket extraordinaire like I had today. Oh my fucking SHITFUCK. I was driving the guy to an adult daycare type thing this morning and there were some new faces in the waiting room as I pushed his chair on through the clinic it's at to the back area where it's held. I only noticed because I could feel myself being stared at, which is nothing new when there's people waiting for appts and whatever, but this felt… different.
Sure enough, I get my boss dropped off and checked in and I'm heading back to my car, and I hear this one blue-haired bitch (the ancient variety of blue-hair, not the young n hip variety) say "Well at least she can do SOMETHING useful and help her granddad out. CLEARLY she's never going to have a real job looking like that."
And I glance over and this rickety old bitch is pointing at me and stage-whispering this to her daughter, possibly her sister, I couldn't quite tell they both looked like death warmed over twice. Now, I glare at her and continue toward the door, before stopping as her stupid cunt sister/daughter decides to add: "Just think how embarrassing her grandfather must think it is to be brought places by someone dressed like THAT though."
I stop, take a deeeep breath, and I stalk over to their little table in the waiting room.
"Can I help you?" I ask. They shake their heads, looking thoroughly weirded by this point. "Are you sure? Because I could hear you talking about me from all the damn way over there, and guess what? That's *not* my grandfather. THAT is my BOSS. I'm paid to drive him places." I look the daughter/sister in the eye. "I'm willing to bet this old bag is demanding that you drive her out of the kindness of her heart. I make fat stacks pushing a wheelchair and having pleasant conversation with someone older than me. Tell me, what's your SS check looking like? $50/month? I just made $50 walking through this goddamn waiting room."
Speechless cunts just stared at me as I turned and headed for the door. The receptionists were trying not to laugh. This isn't the first time they've heard me go off on some random bitch who's decided that I MUST be some deadbeat loser mcfuck just because I look different.
Do these people ever, EVER stop to think how goddamn expensive it is to dress like this and dye my hair as often as I do? Like fucking shit man.
The paper here published an article about a website you guys might want to be aware of-
My ex-husband commented that it didn't even know who his grandfather was, the site seems to be pretty much exclusively useful for easy stalking.
Okay, so by some bizarre cosmic coincidence one of my very best friends (who happens to also be my only friend that still lives in my home town) is also getting married. She is also marrying a guy from overseas. Her fiance is also moving here. She also met her fiance online. She is also getting married rather quickly. Her fiance is also tall and skinny. They are also having a very low key registry wedding. They are also getting married very soon. They too are inviting only a handful of very close guests. It's pretty fucking weird how similar our circumstances are. However they have diverged with her unexpected announcement that she is expecting.
I'm happy for her but there's a very real and selfish part of me that feels cheated. Not long ago she and I were discussing children and how they weren't really on the cards for my fiance and I. She agreed that she had no pull towards being a parent. That made me happy because literally everyone else I grew up with except this friend has kids. It was a relief to have a close friend to navigate childlessness with. We could continue to make out plans to meet up whenever it was convenient. We'd continue our beloved traditions of trawling thrift stores and going to the market, meeting up on a whim. We could maybe sometimes do couple things and it would be great. Now that's all changing very suddenly. Mostly I feel very protective of her. She's going through some hard shit that I won't write about here, even on a totally anonymous not-a-blog. I know she won't be one of THOSE parents whose identity becomes their child. I still worry, though. I want my friend of over 20 years. I want her to be recognisable on the other side for MY sake, and for that I'm sorry.
I can't help but feel left behind.
I honestly don't know if I can ever carry a child to term, and if I did there's a strong likelihood they would be a very sickly child like I was. Still, the idea of having our kids growing up being friends the way we did is a tempting one. I have to remind myself that really isn't on the cards for me, and hey - maybe if I did have a kid our kids would hate each other.
She really needs a friend right now and I'll be there for her no matter my worries and selfish impulses. I can promise her that.
Wow, that got heavy. Ha ha. Wasn't expecting that because the whole point of this blog post was something a lot more light-hearted and far more frustrating: shopping for wedding clothes.
She and I went out shopping this morning at our favourite vintage store. My friend is gorgeous and very slim - even now she's pregnant - and found a billion different things to try. Sure, it was harder than usual because she had to accommodate the kid, but she managed to find this gorgeous blue dress. Good thing she did, because the wedding is about 10 days away!
I found a few things to try on but sadly vintage clothes just aren't made for busty girls. It doesn't help that the store mostly has sizes 6-10. Vintage 6-10s are even smaller than regular ones. Even in my teen years when I was a 6 I would have been too busty to find a good fit. Now that I'm a 12 it's hopeless. I tried on a 16 (and it was such a gorgeous dress!) and it was WAY too small for my chest, and swimming in other areas.
It's a shame because I LOVE vintage clothes. I have a few in my closet I could wear to her wedding but they're very much winter dresses and there's no way in hell I'm wearing anything wintery in the middle of summer.
So I'm calling bullshit on clothes shopping. I knew it would be painful. I wish I could just wear jeans and a nerd t-shirt like I usually do. Or even better, ripped jeans, my leather chucks and a flannel shirt (I'm not getting married 'til Autumn). In fact, my friend told me to go ahead and do it! But I have parents to placate and I think I'll look back with regret if I didn't dress up just a little.
I'm definitely not wearing a wedding dress, or anything white. I have ordered a dress but it's wholesale and from China and I have no expectations of it fitting in any way even though I ordered two sizes bigger than I am. It's more of a guideline for when I inevitably have to have a dress quickly made because my tits are too big, my legs too short and the rest of me too average.
It's not meant to be painful. TV and magazines say getting a wedding dress is a huge milestone in life, one to be witnessed by family and friends (and cameras!), a time when the blinders fall away and you realise in a moment from a fairytale just how beautiful you can be.
Bullshit. Not for me. I've been cheated and it's just not cricket.
In this part we're introduced properly to Rebecca's friend Sandra, and her daughters Annie and Marissa are also mentioned.
It was a hot summer day. Sandra and I had arranged to go to the County Fair together, not least because I had never been.
“Jessica! Come downstairs, please!”
My oldest daughter, Jessica, came running. Her blonde hair was tied in bunches decorated with pink ribbon bows that matched her pink t-shirt.
“Jessica, how many times have I told you not to run down the stairs? You could really hurt yourself.”
“Sorry Mommy.” Like all young children, her knees were constantly being scraped and covered in plasters.
“That’s OK. I just don’t want you to break a bone and end up in the emergency room.”
“No. Are we going now?”
“Yes. That’s why I called you down.”
The fair was packed. As I approached the entrance, I saw Sandra’s red hair.
“Look, there they are,” I said.
“Hi, Becky,” she called, waving.
“Hi, Sandy. My, Annie and Marissa are so big now!”
“I know! Sometimes I catch myself thinking, where did the baby years go?”
She smiled at her girls. It seemed almost ridiculous that we both had two daughters, who were the same age- Annie was three weeks older than Jessica and Marissa was two months younger than Faye.
We’d spent no longer than 30 minutes inside (primarily playing and failing at a hook-a-duck game) when Faye tugged at my arm.
“Moooommmmyyyy,” she whined, “I wanna driiiiiink.”
“OK,” I said brightly, “let’s go find one.”
I took her hand and we ventured forth in search of one. I reckoned that there would be plenty of vendors.
Almost immediately, I spotted a large sign emblazoned with the words “Free Soft Drinks!” Instinctively, I paused. Something was telling me that this seemed a little dodgy, that there was some catch. I wasn’t sure what, though, so I carefully ventured a little closer.
It was then that I noticed two of the people standing beside the booth. One was a woman, with greying hair, dressed in a white t-shirt and navy pinafore dress (what would be called a jumper in American English). The hem stopped at her ankles and the whole ensemble gave a shapeless appearance. The other figure was a man, also with greying hair, wearing a white polo shirt and blue jeans. The polo was tucked into the waist of the jeans. I guessed they were married.
A figure moved to stand beside the woman. I noticed that she, too, was in a white t-shirt and navy jumper. She had long, dirty blonde hair that cascaded down her back. She was holding a sheaf of small bits of paper.
It was then that I took in the crowd surrounding the booth properly. There were five male figures, all of differing ages, dressed like the first man, who I now guessed was the father. Beside the mother stood a small girl, who couldn’t have been much older than Faye. She looked incredibly bored. Even the navy bow in her hair drooped forlornly.
Who the hell were these people? Why were they all dressed identically? The age range was too wide to be a school group- and besides, it was the holidays. The girls all had long, loose hair.
“Mommy, what are you doing?”
“Sorry, sweetie,” I said absent-mindedly, totally confused as to who these weirdly-dressed people were.
It was then that I overheard one of them speak.
“Do you know the Ten Commandments?”
Huh? What kind of a question was that?
After observing them for a few more seconds, it transpired that getting a free drink came with being quizzed on the Ten Commandments. I grabbed Faye’s hand tighter and hurried away. I knew most of the Commandments, but I didn’t fancy discussing them with a bunch of matching strangers.
I purchased Faye and myself some orange juice before going to find Sandra.
“Are you OK? You look kinda weird,” she asked.
“I just saw the weirdest people…” I began. “The women were all in long jumpers and they were talking about the Ten Commandments…”
“You met the Taylors,” Sandra grinned, holding up a hand to stem my gibbering. “They’re fundamentalist Christians.”
“Fundamentalist Christians. You saw them proselytising- trying to convert people. The little pieces of paper they were holding are called tracts.”
“How do you know about them?”
“I got proselytised at last year,” Sandra grimaced. “I couldn’t get away. They made me feel awful. I told them I’m religious and go to church but they still made me feel bad for not being like them. Once I finally tore myself away I scrunched up the tract and burnt it.”
“Ouch,” I sympathised. “Sounds like I had a lucky escape. If they found out about my atheism they’d probably have some kind of apoplectic fit.”
“Oh, they’d love you. You’re exactly the kind of person they’d target.”
Despite being Christian, Sandra didn’t make it the biggest part of her life. We agreed on pretty much everything. She just happened to believe in Heaven. She certainly didn’t go round trying to convert everyone she came across.
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Jane shivered. She turned up the setting on her electric blanket as Maude aimed a blowdryer at the window. She was covering them with plastic for the winter, which was a pain in the ass to do. Alexa, having already helped her grandmother attach the plastic to the windows, was boiling water on the stove for hot chocolate and Kahlua.
All of a sudden, the doorbell rang. Grandma Maude glanced out the window at the swiftly falling snow. "Who on earth is out on a day like this?"
"The mailman?" Jane asked. "I know Alexa's been expecting a package."
"I have," said Alexa. "And it's somewhat expensive, so I asked the post man to require a signature."
"Again? How many Christmas presents is that you've bought yourself? 5?"
"No, grandma. I bought myself three Christmas presents. The other 3 are birthday presents." Alexa threw open the door and said, "I'm so glad you're here!"
Unfortunately, Alexa was not looking at the UPS man. She was staring at the bundled up Doodys.
At least, Alexa thought they were the Doodys. They were the only people she knew who would be insane enough to wear long denim skirts over their snowpants.
"We Wish you a Merry Christmas...." Sang The Doodys. Alexa grabbed the dog, who was making a beeline for the open door. She hugged the dog close to her chest, as if trying to absorb her body heat. Alexa was so shocked the Doodys were singing something secular that she forgot to note that their voices were off key, and that some of them weren't even bothering to sing at the same speed.
Alexa hadn't noticed her grandma leave, but she must have, because when Maude came back she had on a thick winter coat. Jane refused to get out from under the electric blanket. She pulled it over her head and groaned. "Close the door, it's freezing!"
No one heard her, and neither Maude nor Alexa felt like standing out on the porch listening to the Doodys sing. So they stood there, letting the heat escape.
"How nice!" Maude exclaimed forcefully when the Doodys had finished the song. She was desperately hoping the Doodys weren't going to try and sing another one. "Would you like something hot to drink?"
"No thank you," said Howdy Doody, and Maude was glad he was wearing a facewarmer, because she didn't want to see the robotic look on his face.
"Well, then, thank you for singing. Have a nice day." Maude started to shut the door.
"But--" said one of the children. Maude hesitated. That was her mistake. The Doodys began to sing Silent Night.
"It's too cold!" Maude shouted. She slammed the door. She'd already sat through one song and besides, the cats were starting to act like they were thinking of escaping out the open door. Maude could hear the family still singing, but she didn't care. "What are the Doodys thinking?!" She exclaimed. "What's the temperature?"
"--20, grandma," Alexa said, checking her watch.
"What's that in American, honey?" Maude snapped. She was in no mood for Alexa's metric bullshit.
"Uh, in Fahrenheit that would be...." Alexa googled. "-5."
"Well, that's not as bad as I thought, but still! With this windchill, it feels much colder than that!"
Jane poked her head out of the blanket. "Is that hot chocolate done yet?"
"No." Said Grandma Maude. "I turned off the stove when the Doodys showed up. In case they thought they were gonna be here a while."
"But grandma," Alexa said, gently putting the squirming puppy on the floor. "That could have been an excuse to--"
"I don't need an excuse," said grandma Maude, taking off her coat and draping over a nearby chair. "It's simply too cold to stand on the porch and listen to them caterwaul. I mean, sing."
Alexa turned the stove back on.
"Besides," said grandma Maude. "I needed to give them a piece of my mind, and I didn't want the house to catch fire."
"I'm glad you did," growled Jane. "They're so inconsiderate!"
"They're wearing coats and snowpants," said Alexa, handing Jane a steaming cup of hot cocoa.
"Ow!" Jane winced.
"Oh, by the way, it's freezing cold. Straight out of the freezer, I pulled it."
"That joke hasn't been funny since the first time my mom said it. When we were 2!"
"Who do you think she got it from?" Asked Grandma Maude, attacking the window plastic with a hair dryer. "Damn!" Maude had accidentally put a large hole in the plastic. She threw down the hair dyer in disgust.
"Time for new windows?" Asked Alexa. "You can ask your good friends The Doodys to help you install them. They'll be glad to help you, since you're a 'widow' and all."
Grandma Maude glared before she burst out laughing. "They are hilarious, aren't they?"
"Sure,"Jane said sarcastically. "We'll look on this and laugh. If we ever move to Florida!"
I don't really know where I am going with this. This just kind of ends because I ran out of idea. I need to think of maybe other ways this could go... and or a conclusion.
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Tonight's song I've been listening to over and over is "I'm Not the Man" by Ben Folds. I am basically trying to find every live version I can on youtube. I have been obsessed with this song since the album came out. It gives me a lump in my throat when I listen to it sometimes. In February, I'll be seeing Ben live with a local orchestra. I have no clue if he'll play this one but I might go a bit crazy if he does.
A lovely live version is behind the spoiler tag.Spoiler
In high school, I liked the song "Brick" by Ben Folds Five. But I never really listened to Ben Folds much until around maybe 2010 or so. Since then, I've been kind of obsessed. I listen to him almost every single day. I'm not sure if that's healthy or not...ha! He just has so many great songs. The one I posted above is from his most recent album. I've only seen him perform live once in 2012. We're finally seeing him again next year and I am so freaking excited about it. As dumb and cliche and it sounds....his music has really helped me get through tough times. This won't be the last Ben song I post here.
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I was just using the books to visualize levels but I kind of love this. Old books and some of my favorite tiaras...
But I'd never be able to sleep nights if I stored books improperly so alas only temporary.
Oh and apparently the only maker of tiara displays and plinths for the home are in the U.K. and don't ship to the US. That's some discriminatory shit right there.
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This year I mentioned some minor GI complaints to my doctor, who suggested trying a low FODMAP diet which is all scientific, and stuff.
Cool, but I have a fair bit of experience with low carb diets, and have considered going Paleo many times. As such, I'm comfortable being grain-free for the most part. I do cheat. A lot. ANYWAY. I discovered the paleo Autoimmune Protocol, which looked like a
fun toughinteresting challenge, and I'm not reallyhalfway there already, as a low carber. In addition to grain, I have cut out a lot of dairy as I'm not big on cheese, and milk products tend to disagree with me. That doesn't stop me from eating ice cream by the pint (and usually regretting it later, but still doing it again and again ).
I mentioned all of this in passing to my therapist, who suggested GAPS. Said therapist was a big believer in the hypothesis that there is a gut-brain connection and that I could possibly improve my mental health and IBS-type symptoms at the same time.
Looking more closely at the GAPS diet, I'm not convinced that the author is someone whose advice I want to completely follow. It seems pretty woo to me on one level, but on another level hey it's just food. I have to eat either way, so it won't hurt to try eating soup and homemade yogurt... and sauerkraut juice. This is where she starts to lose me. Homemade everything. Nothing in cans, not even sardines, which are really really good for you imo and pretty much only come in cans. And don't get me started on the fermenting. At home. Home-fermented yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, kefir, beet kvass. The list goes on and I can't help but think about Emily and Dna, and of course Therese, which gives me a chuckle.
So I'm going to do all three diets at the same time, which leaves a very short list of acceptable foods. Low FODMAP rules out most dairy, some grains, onions and garlic, honey, apples, many many other fruits and vegetables. Once you've eliminated everything as prescribed, you start adding things back in and watching for reactions and proceed accordingly. AIP rules out eggs, nuts and seeds (which covers most spices), refined sugars, nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant). GAPS disallows dairy & eggs to start, but they're reintroduced fairly quickly. No sweetener except honey.* Also grain and "starchy" vedge. The author is a bit vague and contradictory about that one, allowing and disallowing some unexpected foods. I want to look into it a bit more, but I've decided not to buy her book because her advice is precisely so confusing that I don't think her book will provide much clarity.
But I'm going to accentuate the positive! I can have all of the chicken, beef, seafood I want. Preferably grass-fed, free-range, etc, but I can't afford that. I will definitely look more closely at labels and avoid additives. GAPS and AIP seem to frown on pork, but I love it and it's affordable right now, so I will be eating a lot of it. Between the three diets, pretty much the only produce I will have in the beginning are carrots and leafy greens. I studied the food lists with one eye on my low carb habits, so there may be more that I can have but that hasn't registered with me because of the carb content. Also, the more gelatin and bone broth, the better. Here is where I roll my eyes for Sparkling Lauren, because she once put out a request for bone broth on social media when one of the kids was sick.
This is my new years resolution. I'm stocking my pantry and pinning lots of recipes in preparation for January 1. I have a collection of mason jars and a freezer full of bones. Found a cheap source for lard made inhouse at a local supermarket, although it's not grass-fed. Mason jar fermenting accessories are on their way. I'm also thinking about how to replace my current favorites with allowed substitutions, so I don't feel like I'm suffering. Nothing is worse than quitting ice cream and soda and not having anything to fill that void. I think it will be a fun challenge, and I give myself permission to adapt as needed or even to quit if I feel like it's not working out.
Now I'm off to try water kefir for the very first time!
Here is a very timely slideshow about food trends for 2017. Half of those items are from one or another of these diets.
*I will be using maple syrup and evaporated cane juice (aka azucar morena at my latino market--and it's cheeeeeep) as my sweeteners, because they're low in FODMAPs and minimally processed, so mostly paleo-approved. I'm interested to try piloncillo from the latino market, too, (which is the same as jaggery if I'm not mistaken), but I really shouldn't have much sugar at all, and I'm not quite sure how to work with sugar in solid form.
I had an idea last month for a new muffin recipe that incorporates some of the flavors of the holidays. I took my recipe for tart cherry pecan muffins with vanilla butter, and started tweaking. Here's what I came up with:
Gather up the following:
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
8 Tablespoons (1/4 pound) melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 oranges, zested and juiced
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, washed and sorted to remove any icky ones
1 cup toasted pecan halves ( you can chop them afterwards if you prefer smaller pieces)
Medium size mixing bowl and big spoon for stirring
2 regular size muffin pans
Oven-proof skillet or baking sheet for toasting nuts
Set your oven to 400F, either grease your muffin pans, or line them with cupcake/muffin liners and set aside.
Zest and juice the oranges, strain out the seeds and pulp, and set the juice aside. You are not going to use all of the orange juice you got from juicing the oranges for this recipe, so someone is going to get a small glass of freshly squeezed orange juice when you make these. I've made double batches of these the last two times I've made these, so please don't stress if it looks like I have more zest or juice than you will have. I took pictures from different batches I made and I'm not sure if these are all from the same batch or not.
If you look closely, you'll see that I haven't strained the juice yet. I like to go through the seeds/pulp mixture, fish out the seeds and save the pulp to add it to the muffin batter for extra fiber. Be sure to measure out the juice without the pulp if you choose to incorporate the pulp in the recipe. The recipe works either way, it's your choice.
Melt the butter and add the zest to the bowl with melted butter.
Take the pecans and place them in a single layer in your oven-proof skillet or baking sheet and place in oven. Bake them just until they start to color and smell like toasty-nutty-goodness. Be sure and shake the pan every few minutes so they cook evenly. It takes about 8 minutes in my oven, but ovens do vary, so watch and make a note of how long it takes for your oven. Place the toasted nuts in the bowl with the melted butter and orange zest. The hot nuts will make a sizzling sound when they hit the butter, so don't be freaked out that something bad is going on in your bowl.
I forgot to get pictures of each ingredient going in the bowl, so to the zest, butter, and nuts lounging in your bowl, add the following and stir well after each addition:
1/4- 1/3 cup of the reserved orange juice ( Put in 1/4 cup of juice for now, and add more at the end if the batter looks too dry.)
Eggs ( We are adding the eggs at this point, as raw eggs added directly after hot nuts could possibly end up with tiny bits of cooked egg in the batter. We obviously don't want that.)
Washed and sorted cranberries
After everything is combined, place in your prepared muffin pans:
This batch was done with only 1/4 cup of the orange juice so it is a thicker batter. I made a batch this weekend with 1/3 cup orange juice so the batter was much thinner, but it baked up just fine and had more orange flavor.
Bake the muffins at 400F for 17-20 minutes or until lightly browned. I like to bake one pan at a time on the middle oven shelf. If you choose to bake both pans at once, open the oven at the halfway point and switch the positions of your muffin pans to help get more even results.
Okay, because of the cranberries, these can be a little tart when you bite into a whole cranberry. If you like that sort of thing, then just warm these up, slap some butter on them and eat. If they are too tart for your liking, then make up a quick batch of vanilla butter.
8 Tablespoons softened butter (1/4 pound)
3-4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
These amounts are approximations, don't stress about it, just do it to where it tastes good to you.
Place the softened butter in a mixing bowl and whip until fluffly. Beat in the vanilla extract and sugar to taste.
Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of these muffins with vanilla butter on them, but here's one with some orange butter from the trial run of these muffins. Orange butter is just whipped butter with orange zest, orange juice, and powdered sugar to taste.
Happy holidays to you and yours.
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I was a huge supporter of Obama because of his health insurance plan. And then we got stuck with "Obamacare" which is anything but affordable if you don't live in one of the big cities. My "insurance" is now three times as much as it was three years ago, and offers less. Four years ago I didn't have health insurance and I think I might go back to that.
So now I get to decide if I want to pay into my retirement plan or pay for insurance. OR, I can just not have health insurance and still pay a $695 fee. FUN TIMES. LOVE IT.
By Maggie Mae,
The credits tell me this is a Netflix Original, but I thought it was a BBC Show? Whatever. It's probably something they bought and added another season.
For some reason there is a 50s style car, 70s style architecture, 80s music, and 80s movie fashion. It also appears to be American, and what I'm guessing is the main character is entering into a bar called Tuckers. Main character girl can be best described as movie star plain. She's tall, thin, dressed in boxy clothing and has glasses and a ponytail. Obviously she just needs Freddie Prince Jr to take out her pony and give her contacts.
She finds an arcade in the bar (???) and immediately goes to put a quarter in a pac-man knock off called Bubble Bobble. A nerdy guy hits on her. She's like "fuck no." She is drinking coke out of a glass bottle with a straw. I love her. She is me in the 90s. Except for the hair. And I got rid of those glasses in 7th grade.
An 80s stereo type girl sits down next to her and gets rid of the guy who is hitting on her by pretending they are friends and the main character is dying. They have NAMES! Kelly and Yorkie! Oh, Yorkie sounds like Willow in season 2 of BtVS. They talk about some place called the Quagmire. I bet that will be important later. They are majorly flirting right now. Turns out Yorkie doesn't need the glasses.
Commentary I've heard a thousand times before about authenticity. Every hipster, every teenager, so much angst about being authentic. This is different for an episode of Black Mirror. So far it's in the past, it's appearing to be a love story. Who is going to die?
Kelly is a pretty good dancer, for an 80s stereotype. Yorkie appears to be overwhelmed. Is this a gay bar? I just realized there are a million women and like, 4 dudes. Kelly is so bedazzled I love her too. Yurkie runs off the dance floor. Kelly follows her into the rain. They talk. Yurkie is worried about people's reactions. Kelly is like "this is a party town!" The word bodacious is used. They flirt. This is a nice representation of what appears to be a fairly normal relationship. Although Kelly is kind of creeping me out with her forwardness. She asks Yurkie to go to bed with her. Yurkie claims to be engaged. Kelly doesn't believe it and asks her to to bed. Yurkie says no, reluctantly, and runs off. They shake hands.
The camera lingers on the moon's reflection in a puddle for a very long time and we cut to "one week later" and an 80s music montage where Yurkie changes music and clothes, like, a thousand times. She's totally not plain, except for movie star plain. Where is Freddie Prince Jr to force her into a makeover.
Kelly has a dreamcatcher hanging on her rear view mirror. I don't know why that amuses me but it does. She gets out of her car and argues with some guy she had sex with. His name is Wes. He looks like Jean Ralphio's father in the 80s.
Kelly is wearing a sequined blazer. It's green and sequined. She dances with a guy wearing a globe tee-shirt under a grey suit with an almost mullet. Kelly and Yurkie make eye contact throughout the night. This is so far NOT anything like Black Mirror. Where is the technology? Yurkie and Kelly have a discussion in the public bathroom. They leave the bar and go for a drive.
My boyfriend distracted me, and I looked up and they are having sex. There are waves crashing. It's the most California of California shows. Kelly apparently has a beach house. Who is this person??? I wonder if she is evil or a robot or what. This is Black Mirror. Is it an illusion? Yurkie tells her that she "deflowered" her. And the fiance is "complicated."
Kelly was married and always knew she was attracted to girls, coworkers, waitresses. It's pillow talk so I get up to get another drink. At 11:59, Kelly says that "time is nearly up." I miss my rewind button. Clock hits 12 and the screen goes black and the graphic says "one week later" again. There's a guy at Tuckers dancing in a tennis sweater. The hit "lean on me" is playing. Yurkie asks the bar tender for Kelly. He hasn't seen her. She says something I don't hear and now she is walking up a stair case to the other part of the 80s. The part with sterotypical drug use and a girl wearing a snake. The kind with chainlink fence inside. Grrrrl power punk. Mohawks and people fighting in a cage.
Some guy recognizes Yurkie as Kelly's friend. Wait. That might be Wes. Oh. Now we are getting sci-fi. He says to try a different time. he's seen her in 80s, 90s, and 2002. The stupid graphic says "One Week Later." What are these people doing the rest of the week?
Walk Like and Egyption is playing again at Tuckers. Yurkie goes into the arcade and talks to the same guy who is now playing actual Pac Man. He looks different.
One Week later.
Commercial on TV shows that it is 1979.
One Week later. 1996; Alanis Morrisette and Scream. Dear God. I think I had her outfit. Oh, nope. I didn't wear mom jeans. Just oversized army green coats.
One week later.
2002. Her hair is long.
What is going on?
She found Kelly in 2002. They sort of fight in the bathroom. a reminder that this is a party town. Kelly punches a mirror, it breaks, camera pans to her non bleeding hand and then back to the mirror which is not broken. WHAT.
Kelly looks for Yorkie. Finds her on the roof.
85 people are dead because of Kelly, I think. Something about "full timers." Kelly doesn't "do" feelings. It freaked her out. She doesn't know how long there is, and she's unprepared. I don't know. It seems like she's genuine. But who knows. This is a show where she's probably some sort of killer robot.
Yurkie is getting married in a week. She "has" to go through with it. What is San Junipero? God I hate this show sometimes. There are still 26 more minutes. Which I am both excited for and stressed out about.
Kelly says she has 3 months and it spread. But that was before 6 months ago. The cigarette she's smoking doesn't taste like anything. She says when she's done, she's done. She won't stay in San Junipero. Her huband's name is Richard and he died 2 years ago. He had the opportunity to stay in SJ, but he didn't take it. He didn't believe in it.
Yurkie thinks that if they met somewhere else that Kelly wouldn't like her.
Oh. Sad. Kelly is from Carson City NV.
Yurkie is from Santa Rosa. They talk about looking up each other. Yurkie is scared for her to see her. And Kelly is dying. They stare at each other longingly. Cuddles on the beach. Clock turns to 12.
We cut to an assisted living facility. A woman, who i suspect is Kelly, is elderly and helped into a vehicle. She is helped into some sort of facility. A hospital? It's all white. Kelly is wearing a yellow coat that stands out nicely.
A white woman in a coma on a ventilator.
Some guy name Greg tells Yurkies' story. She's a quadriplegic. He's known her 3 years. Sad story. 21 years old, comes out, they don't like it. Fight. She runs her car off the road. That was 40 years ago. So San Junipero ... she gets 5 hours a week. It's there for Immersive nostalgia therapy. Oh, Greg... going to marry her so she can use state euthanasia. Her religious parents are a no, so she is going to marry the orderly on his coffee break.
Kelli begs Greg to give him 5 minutes in SJ. She proposes. They get married. All systems are suspended. Yurkie dies.
Then she is on a beach. She's basically Mallory Pike. OH, then she takes off the glasses and puts the min the sand. Kelly is on her way back to Assisted Living. The instrumental music makes me sad as she struggles up the stairs and coughs and either dies or just takes her five hours (I see she has the dot on her head.) They wear wedding dresses.
Yurke wants Kelly to pass over and stay. Kelly seems hesitant. It's ... sad. I think she wants to be with her husband? They fight. Kelly's husband of 49 years, and she's not going to San Junipero. Oh. Yurke never asked about kids. They had a child. Oh god I might cry.
Their daughter didn't cross over to San J.
They fight, Kelly speeds off in a car, hits a barrier. Clock read 11: 59. She is thrown from the vehicle. I think she might be ... nope, she's back in the "real world." Old lady Kelly is sleeping in a chair. Yurkie is wandering in a brides dress but no glasses.
Sad music plays in "real world" while old Kelly looks out at the world from a mountain side. She coughs and nurses rub her back. She decides she's ready. She decides she's ready for "the rest of it."
1980s Yurkie gets in a corvette and "Heaven is a place on earth" close the episode. It also opened the episode. OH KELLY DECIDED TO GO TO SAN J.
This episode is heart wrenching. So far my favorites are (in order of most to least favorite)
- 15 Million Merits.
- White Bear
- Be Right Back
- White Christmas
- The Waldo Moment
- San Junipero
- Shut Up and Dance
- National Anthem
- The Entire History Of You
I was at the park once and met another mom with a son the same age as mine. The boys hit it off and played happily together. She had three kids. The two oldest were biological a boy and a girl, and my son's new friend was adopted from Africa. The older ones went to a private Christian school, and her son was a preschooler. At one point she applied sun block to her bio kids then said the other boy didn't need sunblock since he was black. I thought that was strange. While he would not burn easily he still could burn, and get skin cancer. That was WTF #1.
We were talking about preschools, and asked me where mine went. I told her how much we liked where ours went. She started ranting about the preschool her son went to because they did so many crafts and crafts were not appropriate for boys. She kept bringing it up. She was totally against boys doing crafts. I was so surprised I couldn't think of anything to say. Like, "carpentry is pretty much crafting for adults."
Anyway, I have four kids. Three girls and a son. Of all my kids, my son is the one who likes to sit and do crafts with me. I spent the evening making ornaments with him. He made this Pikachu by himself.
The others pout and sulk. My 15 year old insists she sucks at any art and does the bare minimum. My eldest is pretty talented at art but does not want to do it with ME. My ten year old sometimes humors me, but sneaks away any chance she gets. She would rather play soccer, or sing loudly off tune, she never stops moving and she is loud and boisterous and clumsy. She pretty much only wears sweat pants. My eldest despises cooking and any 'home arts' preferring real art and design. She also has what my husband calls a 'salty personality'. My 15 year old is my girly girl. She likes to dress nice, does her hair and makeup every day, and for the most part has a cheerful demeanor. But still hates crafty things, and is good at math.
My family would be miserable if we had to adhere to strict fundie gender roles.
Every now and then when creating stuff with my son I think of that little boy at the park and wonder if he is allowed to be himself.
Hey Everyone! I wanted to share this delicious stuffing recipe that I found online a few years back, and have been making ever since! This is not my own recipe, I just wanted to make that clear. I am not that creative or good in the kitchen lol but I just wanted to share the love of this recipe. If I can make it, anyone can do it! This year, I am going to make it again, but gluten-free, so we'll see how that works out. I have some of my own pictures from making it last year in my tiny apartment kitchen, and down below are the links to the original creator's blog.
The pumpkin cornbread, which is delicious by itself! I cut into cubes for drying.
Sauteeing the onions and celery and cooking up the hot Italian sausage!
Sage, the ultimate Thanksgiving herb!
Here it is all mixed up before going in the oven, and then after once taking it out. Stuffing isn't much to look at, but it is absolutely my favorite Thanksgiving dish!
The link to the blog is here: http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/pumpkin-cornbread-stuffing-with-country-sausage-and-sage/ and the cornbread recipe: http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/pumpkin-cornbread/
What is your can't-live-without Thanksgiving recipe?
It's done!! Oh friends we are so happy it's done! It looks fantastic! Our new wall tree came too and we got it put up and our coats on it. Now just waiting for the floor to acclimate and we'll get it down probably next week. We do have a few more things to hang in the front room, some photos and the Jolly Roger flag over a window as well as a ships wheel and some nautical themed lights.
Gilda is our 2nd oldest female, after Lily. Gilda's loves are cardboard boxes, straws, plastic spoons, and potato chips. Fluffybutt loves her some potato chips. That's about the only people food she's ever touched. You could set a steak dinner in front of her and she would just look confused. Like Josie, she has her own language of sorts. She has a very soft and delicate meow that we only hear once in a while. She sort of grunts and gurgles in response to us - like she says 'err! err .' She also has a penchant for wanting to play with my nail art supplies and polish whenever it's out.
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So the MLB regular season has ended and the playoffs start tomorrow. Thanks to the Giants sweeping their series against the Dodgers this past weekend, my Cardinals are out of the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Because I love baseball, I'll watch anyway. Now I have to decide which team to root for.
The teams playing for it all are:
American League: Orioles, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rangers, Indians
National League: Cubs, Mets, Giants, Dodgers, Nationals
I'm a National League fan all the way; so by process of elimination, cross off the American League teams. I grew up watching the Cubs because my family, especially my dad, liked them. Watching those games led me to watch other National League teams. Besides that, I didn't like American League games because they used the designated hitter, which (to me) simplified the game and removed a level of strategy. (However, if I had to choose an American League team, I guess I'd choose the Blue Jays because I saw them in Toronto earlier this year and had fun, even if my poor arms fried to a crisp because some certain dummy *points at self* didn't bring or buy sunscreen that day.)
Re: the National League teams... (and I will probably root for whichever one of them makes it to the World Series)
Nationals: Nah. No attachment to them. I only know who a few of their players are and have no strong feelings about them either way.
Dodgers: Nah. See: Nationals, although I do like Clayton Kershaw. Also, if they'd won even one game against the Giants this weekend, the Cardinals would have at least played the Giants in a tiebreaker to determine who'd go to the Wild Card game. Thanks for nothing, Dodgers. That, and they didn't even give Vin Scully one last chance to broadcast a winning game this weekend. Nice sendoff...not.
Mets: Up until last year, I'd have said no way in Hades. There's a back story there I won't go into. Suffice it to say that the hate is gone and I could like them again. They're an interesting group and they've overcome A LOT of injuries to make it this far. If they make it to the World Series, I'll pull for them. Until then...probably not.
Giants: Normally I would pull for them. Normally I like them. But I'm feeling a bit not-fannish (yeah, I know, that's not a word) toward them after they went out and won every night the Cardinals won during that last week of the season. Couldn't they have lost even one game to give the Cardinals a chance? Besides that, even though I know it was in their best interest to cut Tim Lincecum loose after last season, dang it, I liked him! To me, they're not the same team without him. Maybe better, maybe worse...but to me, less interesting.
Cubs: Hmmm. Until about 4 years ago, they would have been my no-brainer choice. You see, I grew up a Cubs fan, as I said above. Dad was a Cubs fan and the family followed. Several times, we all hopped on the bus and the L and rode up to Wrigley Field to watch them play. Eventually (except for one year when my sister went with me instead), it was just Dad and I who went. Later, I went alone. In 1989, when they made the playoffs, I sat on the phone from Friday evening to late Sunday afternoon trying to get through to Ticketmaster to get tickets. I finally got through, got 4 single seats for Game 1, and then proceeded to watch them lose to the Giants 11-3. Yes, I was a diehard Cubs fan. But that love affair went sour along about 1997, when I worked for a creep who had bought season tickets along with a bunch of his business cronies. One afternoon, the jerk ordered me to go up to Wrigley and scalp his tickets for that game on the street near the ballpark. I was so ashamed and embarrassed. Another day, he invited me to take the afternoon out of the office and go to the game, only to leave after a few innings and return to the office, where he ripped into me so badly that I was catatonic the rest of the day and that weekend. I never went to another game until 2003, when I took my now ex-boyfriend to a game. (He is one guy I should have just stayed friend with and not gone any further. But I digress.) Eventually, I got fed up with their losing ways and what appeared to me to be apathy on ownership's part. Did they not care about the product they put on the field? Didn't look that way to me. Of course, I didn't realize what they were doing (intentionally gutting the roster and rebuilding from the bottom of the farm system on up to improve the team)...I had just had enough. I was done. I wanted to follow a team that I could tell knew what it was doing.
In the meantime, Dad passed on; my oldest sister and her family became Cardinals fans; my other sister followed her (my brother and other sister never showed much interest in baseball); and I moved away from the Chicago area and into Cardinals territory. I'd always liked the Cardinals, even though they and the Cubs were bitter rivals; so when I decided I'd had enough of the Cubs once and for all, it was obvious to me which team to follow. (Interesting story: one day, maybe Christmas 2013?, I announced to everyone that I was officially a Cardinals fan. My nephew ordered me to walk over to him; when I did, he swept me up in a big hug and said, "Welcome home.")
The Cubs and the Cardinals are bitter rivals. My sister used to go to Wrigley when the Cardinals played the Cubs there and says she, as a Cardinals fan, always got beer dumped on her. I turned my back on the Cubs. It wouldn't be right for me to decide to root for them now...that is called being a fair-weather fan and that's not right, not after I said I was through with them. Yes, they're interesting to watch. Yes, they seem to be having so much fun; and I have to admit, I've watched a few more games than I should have watched.
So...which team do I choose? I've got until Friday to decide. LOL
So as I mentioned the other week, I'm moving. TOMORROW, in fact. I've been a bit sad to move out of my little flat - it's in a rough area but I haven't had any issues - at least until today when I noticed some douchebag had KEYED MY CAR.
Seriously? My second-to-last day of parking here and someone decides to key it. Luckily, it's not too bad - i managed to rub the surface off and it's not as bad as it looked initially. Just to make matters worse though - I didn't even notice until the man who'd come to fix my windscreen pointed it out. Yep, in the space of a week my windscreen cracked and my car got keyed. LOL. What the hell.
I'm doing okay, though. It will be expensive to fix and I'm pretty protective of my car, but at the end of the day - it's a hunk of metal and I'm not hurt. Things could always be worse.
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34 minutes ago, Koala said:
What a ridiculous question.
Ah, it was just a spot of hyperbole as you seem prone to it.
As I said, it is a very slippery slope when it comes to deciding who should or should not have children. We'll be back to eugenics, forced sterilization, and so-called euthenasia of people with disabilities if we are not careful.
I always think it is sad when people think they can judge capacity to consent so accurately over the internet. How do you know Larissa made a unilateral decision? How can you possibly judge Ian's capabilities from where you sit on your high horse?
Competency and capacity to consent are incredibly complex and controversial issues. That's why they are both medical and legal issues. Also be glad that they are taken so seriously. You don't want your rights taken away from you if you ever have a brain injury, believe me.
I'm done with this discussion, Koala. Deliberate obtuseness irritates me. So do people who sit in judgement over things they obviously don't understand.
I truly wish the best for Ian, Larissa, and Little Deitrich. Along with the other challenges the family faces, they are going to find an awful lot of Koalas sitting in judgement.0
Seriously, i don't get what's wrong with theese people. If I went todo a march to fight what if was sure it'si a mass killing, I would not be taking happy selfies. They do not give a fuck about it0
1 hour ago, Howl said:
And the precious Scripture booklets probably tell the recipients that their relatives who have passed on who didn't believe in Jesus in the right way are burning in a lake of fire in eternal torment.
Does he think Rodrick's uncle is in hell too?0
3 hours ago, Carm_88 said:
"According to man's law". I know he means people and not the male gender but it's 'man's law' -as in men - who are chipping away at Roe vs. Wade. Trump signing that executive order surrounded by men and not one woman. It's infuriating.0
Comment by Jennifer:
"You allocuted to Criminal Sexual Conduct - Third Degree. That means either you used force to overpower your victim or your victim was too incapacitated to give consent.
Which one was it?"
Infuriating for the victim that he's whitewashed his crime publicly and gets away with it from his family/friends. NOT surprising, just so maddening.0