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Blogs

 

When your body tells you to slow down

Like I wrote in my status update, I got sick on Friday evening. A really horrible cold. Because my immune system does not do well at all when I'm stressed and the whole drivers license thing makes me incredibly stressed. I got not one, but two cold sores inside my lips on Tuesday. My upper lip is still twice the size of normal. The last time I had more than one cold sore at the same time was over ten years ago. (Also in a very stressful situation.)  I'm going to class tonight and next week Monday (Thursday is a holiday) too, but no driving next week. I need to get better first.  This will be so incredibly embarrassing with my lip looking like a failed beauty operation and my social anxiety when it comes to young people. Living in an Asian country right now would be great. Being able to wear a mask to hide it all. (That reminds me, that I need to tell my instructor, that I'm not going to do the lessons with other students he usually does at the end before the final exam. I can't drive with teenagers sitting behind me. I couldn't care less about old people though.) So, next week is more normal life. I need to support my Mum at work at the end of the week and we have a meeting with the new nursing service for my great uncle. The old one goes out of service in July.  At least that shows everyone in real life that it really is hard for me doing this. I'm not telling lies.

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Adam and His Pet Dinosaurs

I was raised to believe without question that every word of the Bible was true, breathed from the lips of God and miraculously preserved over thousands of years.  And not just any Bible: the King James Version (Authorized Version) is the preferred, almost idolatrously revered version for a lot of Reformed Presbyterians and other Christian sects. Don’t try to convince a KJV-only believer that there’s anything better than their 17th-century translation! If you can’t understand the antique English phrasing, that’s your problem. You are obviously a lazy modern Evangelical, and not a true yoke-fellow. You should get comfortable with “thees,” “thous,” and the horrible “dung” of 400-year-old patriarchal bias, or you may be smitten with emerods. (I just had to look up what the heck an emerod is, and I was raised on the KJV!) However, this article isn’t about versions of the Scripture, although I find it hilarious that the King James, of all the versions of the Bible in existence, is so adored by anti-gay fundamentalists. It was commissioned by King James I, who most likely had several male lovers in his lifetime. Not to mention that it was commissioned for the “apostate” and “Papist” Church of England. But that’s a story in itself. You can still be a Biblical literalist even if you use a different version. Literalism is a way of interpreting the Bible that holds that every word is inspired by God and therefore infallible. According to this view, there are no mistakes in the original works as they came from the pens of various writers. Any errors or contradictions are either tortured into harmony or explained as an error of transcription from the originals. Even with literalism, though, there are different shades of interpretation. I wasn’t raised to believe that the Earth was flat and that the Sun revolved around it, as described by the ancients. I was, however, taught that the creation story in the book of Genesis was absolutely true in a literal sense. My siblings and I memorized a song about the days of creation, naming the various things created on each day and culminating in the seventh day of rest. We made little booklets and drawings of the events during science unit studies. Adam was real, Eve was real, the serpent in the garden was real, and the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was as real as the apples on the kitchen counter. The Earth, we were told, was approximately 6,000 years old, based on Ussher’s chronology. Any ideas to the contrary were suppressed. We didn’t have many books on dinosaurs, because such books were full of references to “epochs” and “millions of years.” We were taught that humans co-existed with the dinosaurs, and that the dinosaurs probably died out after the Great Flood of Genesis, which actually covered the whole earth with water and drowned everybody except Noah, Mrs. Noah, and the kids. (Side note: it is such a relief to me that I no longer have to believe in the Great Flood. It just doesn’t make sense, and I think it bothered me subconsciously for a long time). When I got into my teen years, I had access to “science” books “debunking” evolution. Darwin was practically the Antichrist, and Ken Ham was a true prophet of the Lord. I feel a little sad looking back, because not accepting evolution as a legitimate explanation for the world as we know it cut off so many avenues of study and interest. Anthropology, astronomy, zoology—you’re most likely not going to get very far when you hold a viewpoint contradicted by the evidence. At best, you’re going to waste a lot of time inventing workarounds for the contradictions. I remember being probably 9 or 10 years old and attending a “Creation Seminar” put on by the Institute for Creation Research, or ICR. The seminar consisted of the usual explanations and defenses of Young-Earth Creationism, but what I remember most (besides being thrilled by apocryphal tales of dinosaurs still living in remote rainforests) was talking to my parents about how I’d heard of a view called “Old-Earth Creationism,” which accepts the evolutionary process and doesn’t interpret the days of Genesis as literal 24-hour days. I was pleased by this idea. It made sense to me. But when I mentioned the theory, it was shot down immediately. I was disappointed—I still remember that disappointment—and I retreated back into the hard-core fundamentalist interpretation of Genesis. I want to stop and make a point here. Young-Earth Creationists are not necessarily stupid. They really aren’t. My parents are highly intelligent people who excelled in college before they “went fundie.” I’ve known lawyers, teachers, accountants, business professionals, and other highly-skilled, highly-educated people who held to a literal interpretation of Genesis and the rest of the Bible. I was well out of college with a 4.0 GPA before I began to question the Genesis account. It’s not stupidity; it’s a huge blind spot. I know some people assume that creationists are stupid, but it’s like assuming that people in cults are stupid, when psychology assures us that we are all vulnerable to the cult mindset. In fundie circles, there’s a lot of pressure to believe a certain way. But why is Creationism such a big deal? Why can’t fundamentalist Christians just accept the evidence of how the world came to be? Evolution does not preclude God. You can believe in the divine and in the process of evolution simultaneously. The reason that Creationism is such a big deal is that once you begin to question the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis, you might begin to question everything. If you believe that the entire Bible is literally true, contains all the answers, and has no mistakes, you can live your life in a closed system of belief. But when doubt creeps in and evolution starts making sense, you’re on a path that leads beyond the walls. When you realize that the creation story is a metaphor, an ancient praise of the divine essence lacking in scientific validity, it opens up a whole new can of amoebas. What else might be interpreted metaphorically? The story of Abraham and Isaac? The story of Jonah? (Yes, for over twenty years I firmly believed that Jonah really was swallowed by a giant fish and lived in its belly for three days until being vomited out.) The Virgin Birth? Should it be taken literally? Oh, heresy, heresy! For me, the shattering of my belief in Biblical literalism took many years to happen. A crack here, a chip in the plaster there, until the walls crumbled around me. Questions about the validity of the Bible weren’t really encouraged—everything was biased in one direction. If someone were to ask the deep questions, like: “Is there a God?” they’d be promptly answered by “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” (Psalms 14:1). The serpent in Genesis (yeah, the one that literally spoke) was a questioner, asking if God had really said not to eat the fruit of Knowledge. So if you questioned the Bible, you were on a par with the serpent.  No longer believing in an infallible Divine book has left me with a lot of uncertainties and mystery, but I find myself delighted at the freedom to question. I also feel relief from the burden of disliking God. A God who suggests killing little babies by smashing their heads on rocks and ripping up pregnant women with swords (Psalms 137:9) is really hard to love. I was so tired of the trite explanations for how we should love a God like that. Fuck, I didn’t want to love a God like that, but we were supposed to. So I tried, I tried, I really, really tried. Cognitive dissonance is forcing your conscious mind to believe that you love the fundie-Christian God while deep, deep down inside you…you know he’s an asshole. It’s such a relief not to have to believe in a divine asshole. I believe in the Divine, but not in God the genocidal maniac who created people and then drowned them in a fit of rage. It gives me joy not to believe in that. And I have the freedom now to ask questions, and the freedom to look for answers.    

Lisafer

Lisafer

 

Questioning my ability?

Wednesday, 16.05.2018 - Lesson 14 We drove almost the same route as Monday. He said we are now practising more situations I have problems with. In my case narrow roads and driving on the right side in situations like that. I'm too much in the middle because I'm afraid of hitting parked cars on the side. Lots of priority-to-the-right rule (according to Google this is the proper word) situations. Not a problem in automatic cars, but I struggle a bit with going down into 1st, driving slowly into the crossroads and then going back up to 2nd and continue and that in those streets every couple of meters. On a normal road switching into the different gears works okay. 1 to 3 at least, 4 to 6 is a bit difficult. (I haven't used 6 yet, I think we can do that only on the Autobahn when there is not too much traffic.) Next lesson next week. He said we are going into the down town. Everyone I know hates driving into the city. So I'm a bit worried. (At least this is not in the exam area but he said I should be able to drive there anyway. Thursday, 17.05.2018 - Theoretic lesson 11 (of 14) I had to think about the situation in the US with police controls a lot before this lesson. I knew that the topics included the lights on a car, driving through a tunnel, cars with special lights (ambulance, police, heavy transport....) and how you should act in a police control. Thing is we used like 70 minutes of the 90 in total for the lights. And the teacher is so good that he can make lights and their use a really interesting topic. I have never seen someone speaking so passionately about really boring topics. And he does this since 30 years. Police control came last and took like three minutes. Slow down, drive to the side, open your window, talk to the officer, say you did not drink if they ask (and do not drink & drive!!!!!! ), hand over your papers from the glove compartment and that's it. I guess in the US you should learn about the danger of being shot in a situation like that if you happen to have the wrong skin colour and move without someone telling you too.  I think you have to have your hands on the steering wheel and what not. Different worlds I guess.  *** Other than that I'm still worried about being able to do this. Driving slowly feels more normal, but I still lack the "I can do this"-feeling. My Grandpa asked how driving is going and I couldn't answer because I have no idea how I'm doing. Even though my instructor compliments me in certain situations during the lesson. Like every time we cross the tram railway. I cross it and next to me he goes "that is how you look, well done!". So I must be doing at least something right.  

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Why I'm Not Pro-Life (Anymore)

I grew up absolutely entrenched in pro-life (or pro-birther) beliefs. I had no doubt whatsoever that abortion was murder. Women who had had abortions had sinned heinously, and abortion providers were basically demons in white coats. My family was pretty quiet about their pro-life stance, though. We were not found protesting clinics or participating in marches. My parents were not demonstrative people, and also not terribly interested in something like abortion that did not directly affect them. They were completely anti-hormonal birth control, of course, and I would say that their beliefs about fertility pretty much aligned with the Quiverfull movement. I remember once, in my teens, helping a local pro-life activist host a dinner for some nationally known protesters that had come to the city. I don’t remember their names, I just remember they were considered important and well-regarded. And I remember the very odd vibe I got from them when they came to the dinner. They seemed fanatical, focused on one thing only: “saving the unborn” or whatever they called it. They made me uncomfortable, a feeling I couldn’t reconcile with the belief that they were doing the Lord’s work. (So many times, growing up, my feelings did not align with my beliefs. I try harder now to pay attention to what my emotions are telling me). Still, even as I grew up and phased through flavors of Christianity, the pro-life beliefs remained with me. I took no hormonal birth control, fearing that some poor fertilized egg would perish in my womb if I did. Unlike my parents, though, I saw no problem using barrier methods to prevent pregnancies. No way was I going to pop out kid after kid, especially when it turned out that pregnancy was hell on me mentally and physically. As I became more of a feminist and less of a fundie, I struggled to understand the hate directed at pro-lifers. (Naturally, any hate we directed at “abortionists” was well-deserved). I didn’t get why pro-choice people were so angry. I wanted to be a feminist, but I still thought abortion should be illegal. I read an early version of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” and a tiny crack showed in my thinking because the women who wrote the book were so obviously caring, respectful, and determined to make the world a better place. But they were still wrong about abortion. Weren’t they? But it was in the throes of hyperemesis, puking my guts out, unable to keep down even water, medicated to a state of semi-consciousness, that I heard about women who terminated wanted pregnancies because they couldn’t take another day of illness. And I understood how they felt. I was able to keep my baby. I survived. But for once, I had stood for a moment in someone else’s shoes, and the crack where understanding kept leaking into my brain got wider. I progressed slowly but steadily in my thinking, every rerun of my beliefs beginning to play a little differently. I stopped taking the Bible at face value; I stopped believing in Hell; I became a little less of a Christian and a little more of something else every day. I read conversations on Free Jinger and other websites. I read how pro-life people turned pro-choice. I tried so hard to understand. People were saying that beliefs that I had held were wrong. I wanted to see past the hate and anger (lots on both sides) and understand what I was missing. It was like a puzzle, and I couldn’t find the last piece. Finally, one day, everything came together. It clicked. What I was doing, as a pro-life supporter, was taking away bodily autonomy and personal choice. It wasn’t about the “human life” of the cells inside someone else’s body: it was about taking away somebody else’s freedom. I had valued my own freedom enough to defy my parents and my church so that I could live my own life. What was I doing taking away someone else’s freedom and choice? What right did I have to do that? I don’t think it was ever about the “baby.” The baby is the red herring, a distraction from what is really happening when protesters block an abortion clinic or harass an abortion provider. It’s about control, about making sure that other people follow what we have deemed “the rules.” What I began so slowly to understand was that it is not my right, or anybody else’s right, to demand that another human create, or grow, or terminate, or deliver a baby. That decision is not mine. I can’t speak for others, but for me the pro-life teachings outlasted my belief in Jesus and my belief in the Christian Heaven and Hell. I think that’s an indicator of how deeply it is ingrained for fundamentalists. I still struggle when I think about abortion; that dark feeling of horror still floats to the top. But if I had a friend that needed me, I would walk by her side to the abortion clinic or to the delivery room, whichever one she was going to. And now I respect abortion providers, because they face all kinds of obstacles as they try to help women. Women that have had to fight through crowds of screaming protesters for their chance at freedom and choice. I think my beliefs changed mostly because I was open to change, but if you want to help someone come out of the pro-life movement, I think respect really helps. When I read respectful articles about being pro-life, read stories about abortion providers, and well-reasoned thoughts on the internet, I could grasp the ideas without being bogged down in puzzled distress at name-calling and accusations of stupidity. I understand, though, that some people are venting justified rage about pro-life beliefs, and that’s okay too. But if your goal is to help pro-lifers understand why they’re wrong, then remember that these beliefs run almost as deep as believing that the Earth is round, and that it requires more than an explosive argument to win them over. It’s like the shifting of tectonic plates, that happens slowly but changes the face of the world. It’s a paradigm shift.          

Lisafer

Lisafer

 

Monday, 14.05.2018

Guess which idiot hurt her left little toe Monday morning? Yep, me! After the initial shock, I put ice and tape on it and the neighbouring toe. Walking hurts but thankfully not stepping on the pedal for the coupling. I tried that out as soon as I finished taking care of it. (But I informed my instructor about it anyway. But driving painless is possible.  I then had my lesson and it went well with the toe. It didn't hurt at all, in fact driving is better than walking! We went into the neighbour town and did the usual things. Adding another part that I need for the final exam, "verkehrsgerechtes Wenden" - turning appropriately for traffic conditions. I reversed parked the car three times perfectly without help. But he was not pleased with my handling of the coupling and starting to drive. He said that I did it so well and perfectly in the beginning. I have no idea what happened and why I stopped doing it that way. He told me to concentrate a bit more on that. He wanted to do a lesson today (Tuesday) as well, but I'm mentally done with two lessons per week, so I decided to have my next one on Wednesday. Last week I had three lessons and that was a bit too much. In theory we discussed how to park properly. As you can imagine Germany has rules on everything, and parking too. We do not have a lot of parking space, so those rules do make sense. How much space to leave on bus stops, junctions, rail ways... Using ticket machines and the parking disc. Enough to fill 90 minutes. Parking is a huge problem in our area here, there is simply not enough parking space. We do not have mega parking lots like the US. The politic concentrates more on public transport.  By the way, it slowly feels more "normal" to sit in a car and drive. Still so surreal, but better. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Wa-La Diner Revisited, Part Three: Close Encounters of the Fundie Kind

The Taylors finished their nasal singing at around the same time as we finished our main course. I could feel the grease around my mouth.  "Christ on a cracker, fundies eat this stuff all the time?" Marissa asked, wiping her mouth with a paper napkin. "Not all of them, some are very into healthy eating," Annie replied.  "Dessert, anyone?" I asked. "Yeah, why not," Faye said. "It's not that bad, actually," she added, mainly for Annie and Marissa's benefit. Anna came back. "How are y'all this evening?" she asked. She had a strong Southern accent, unsurprisingly. "Very well, thank you," I said. "Are y'all related, or - " "Yes," I replied, explaining which ones of us we were related. "We haven't seen each other in a while, so we thought we'd come here to catch up." I felt it best not to explain why we hadn't seen each other; I knew that some fundies went to colleges like Pensacola and Crown, but I didn't want Anna asking too many questions. "Lovely!" she trilled. "Are y'all wanting dessert?" "Yes, please," I said. "We'll share some ice cream pie and some cinnamon rolls." I paused, then remembered something. "I'm sorry I didn't ask earlier, but is there any way in which we can pray for you?" "I recently got engaged," she replied, waving her ring around. "So it'd be neat if you could pray for my marriage." No gratitude, I thought, as we agreed to pray and she walked off.  "No please or thank you," Marissa whispered; she was always one for saying what everyone was thinking in situations like this. "You'd think gratitude and politeness would be part of the SOTDRT, but apparently not," Faye said.  *** Nobody took to the stage as we ate dessert, but as we left the table (after tipping with tracts, which I'd brought along) I saw the RV family walk up the steps. "Crikey, they're skinny," Faye said. I laughed at her usage of such a British term; Mom used them liberally. "Maybe they took advantage of the 50% off if you sing or preach deal," Annie commented. "Oh, they definitely would have done," I said, as we walked through the door of the gift shop. "Ovulation kits?" Marissa exclaimed, holding one. "Well, you know how much fundies set store by their fertility," Annie said.  Just then, a very familiar family walked in. "Who are they?" Marissa whispered. "He's a preacher, very anti-gays and Obama," I hissed, feeling the hairs standing up on the back of my neck.  I watched as his children looked at the board games. "Come on, we don't have time now, my slot is in ten minutes," he said, before the family trooped back out. I heaved a huge sigh of relief. "He's preaching??" Faye said, looking worried. "Is he going to start screeching about how men should pee?" "Let's leave before then, then," Annie agreed.  I was in front of the book section, seeing which titles I recognised, when another familiar voice. "What do yer think of this?" the man asked, holding up a pair of earrings. "Very pretty," the wife said. "Did you hear ma preachin'?" Weenie Man asked.  We all froze to the spot. "Y-y-yes, sir," Faye said, being polite. We'd actually barely been able to discern what he was saying, not because of his accent but because he'd been so rambly and failing in grammar. "Do you go to church?" "Yes sir." Annie answered this time, as she was able to answer the question truthfully. I never remembered what denomination she was, only that it was a fairly liberal church and that she was part of the choir. "Would you like us to come be part of yer preachin'?" Marissa was determinedly not looking at him, and was sending me a message with her eyes that read "FUCK NO!" "Oh... I... er... don't know... we're rather busy for the next few months," Annie replied.  "Alright, it was worth askin'," he said, turning back to the jewelry (or joory as he'd been calling it).  We left as quickly as we could, knowing that this would be an amazing story to tell on Dumb Things Fundies Do.  
 

Sabbatarianism

Since today is Sunday, I thought I'd make my first real blog post about Sabbath observance in my family of origin. I wrote this a couple months ago, and was waiting for an opportunity to share it with others. Enjoy! Or be appalled...whichever.  In Christian circles, there’s a range of views on the Sabbath and how it is to be observed. Most Protestants agree that the Sabbath is on Sunday, based on the New Testament description of Jesus rising on the first day of the week and Acts 20, verse 7: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples were come together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.” (KJV of course!) To celebrate the Sabbath on any other day could be perceived as a denial of the Resurrection. Reformed Presbyterians, such as I was, proclaim their freedom from the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament. They chow down on ham, bacon, and shellfish, wear mixed fibers, shave their beards, and shake hands with menstruating women. But somehow they think the commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” is still in force and now refers to keeping Sunday holy as a day of rest. There’s really only a very shaky basis for that in the New Testament books of the Bible. Sure, according to Acts, Paul preached on a Sunday, but there’s no indication that the Gentile believers felt bound by any legalities of the Jewish religion. None. But Reformed Presbyterians can be very…very…fond of rules and legalities. Really, it might be easier for them to follow all the laws of the Pentateuch, rather than trying to make distinctions. For most of evangelical Christendom, keeping the Sabbath holy would probably mean showing up for church on Sunday. No fuss, no muss, and out by noon to make it to Applebee’s. If you’re Reformed Presbyterian, though, attending church is only the first step into a legalistic quicksand. This is an area where it’s definitely hard to find any consistency of practice, even in the tiny denomination I grew up in. Some people are hardliners (even cooking meals the day before to avoid excessive work on the sabbath) some are middle ground (reading secular novels and watching Netflix is allowed) and some people are so lax that they even go out to eat at restaurants, committing the double sin of violating the sabbath and causing others to violate it as well (those poor cooks at Mickey D’s!). Working at a job is very much frowned upon unless it is perceived as necessary, like nursing, emergency services, etc. To a well-balanced person, this probably sounds like a lot of fuss over a trivial matter. But when you’re a Biblical literalist and come across Numbers 15:32-36, a horrifying story about a man being stoned to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath, you are bound to interpret Sabbath-breaking as a very serious matter. If God killed someone for picking up sticks, and God is still the same today, then the slightest infraction of the rules means that you are deserving of the same death. I cannot stress enough that I am not kidding here. Any thought, any action that violates the Sabbath is deserving of death by stoning. That is what I was taught, and that is what I believed. But the Reformed Presbyterians don’t want to end up on the news. They won't stone you literally, only figuratively. As long as you realize how worthy of death you are, and are seized with crippling anxiety as a result, they’ve done their job. So  how could I break the Sabbath? Let me count the ways, as a child of parents who took everything, including Sabbath-keeping, to painful extremes. Also as a child with untreated and undiagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety. Sunday dawns, and I rise from bed. I do not perform my normal exercise routine: that, of course, would be sacrilegious. Going for a walk might be permitted later, as long as it’s kept to a gentle pace and a reverential attitude. Thank God for hot showers. At least in my family of origin, we were permitted to shower. Nobody wants a houseful of stinky people, not even Jesus. He was grateful for the prostitute that poured incense on him, wasn’t he? I’ve heard and read plenty of debates about the use of electricity on the Sabbath, because somebody is presumably working at the power plant. However, the general consensus is that electricity is necessary to the function of present-day society, so somebody has to work at the power plant. It most likely won’t be a Reformed Presbyterian, though. Breakfast is not fancy, maybe some scrambled eggs, to keep labor minimal. Big involved breakfasts are not for the Sabbath. From breakfast until time to leave for church is about two hours of trying desperately to keep my thoughts focused on what we called “Sunday things.” We weren’t supposed to even think about schoolwork, jobs, hobbies, or, basically, anything fun. God, sin, death, Bible, God, sin, death, Bible. God, sin, death, list of chores…wait, that’s a worldly thought-oh-God-forgive-me-for-that-in-Jesus’-name-amen. God, sin, death, Bible… As a family, we drove quite a ways to church on Sundays (only sinners and misguided people went to the regular local churches). The family van had to be gassed up on Saturday for the trip, because it would be a sin to fill the tank on Sunday morning. That would be unnecessary work, and also involve the sin of buying and selling on the Sabbath, which gets its own special mention in Sabbatarian hell. Many times, the drive to church included memorizing the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which is second only to the Bible among Reformed Presbyterians. It's a screed more dry than sawdust, but at least the questions provided a distraction from trying to shut off all non-Sabbath-related thoughts. Yes, it was like trying not to think of a pink elephant! Church was the main event of the day, of course. I don’t need to get into the routines of that here: the music was the Psalms of David, there was no accompaniment and we sucked at singing; the prayers were long, the sermons Calvinistic to the core. There was no excitement or running up and down the aisles shouting “Hallelujah!” As they say, you know you’re a Presbyterian when the preacher says something you agree with and you smile as loudly as you can. We were the Frozen Chosen. After church came the potluck dinner: everyone brought food (prepared the day before, of course) and the congregants shared a meal. This was usually the best part of the day, because for some reason you were allowed to think about food. Not too much, or you’d make an idol of it (ha! like Pepsi!), but at least you were allowed to enjoy lasagna and jello cake. Cue the Bible verse about Jesus plucking grain to eat on the Sabbath, blah, blah…Of course there were quaverings of unease even about the meal. Were we putting too much work into setting up tables and preparing food? Were people spending too much time chatting about worldly things? Were the children playing tag outside instead of walking quietly? Once the meal was concluded and we went home, the rest of the day stretched out gray and bleak. Catechism questions, Bible reading, sermons on audiocassette, a small supper, Psalm-singing in the evening (since it wasn’t public worship, my mother played the piano for that, thank heaven). We had a collection of books determined to be worthy of Sunday reading, so we read those over and over. I kid you not, some of them were republished tracts from the 19th century. Small children were not allowed to play with toys, except for the Noah’s Ark with its little plastic animals. Sometimes I could sneak a nap in, always with guilt about how I was using the Lord’s Day for sleeping. And most of us went to bed as soon as possible so we could end the misery. I used to get horribly depressed on Saturdays, knowing that Sunday was coming. That one day felt as long as the rest of the week put together. My OCD made it worse. OCD by its nature focuses on a source of anxiety, and my Sabbath anxiety was fear of sinning by thinking about secular things. I spent a lot of Sabbaths mentally chanting prayers for forgiveness every few minutes. If this sounds miserable, believe me, it was. The restrictions on what could be done on the Sabbath would have been bad enough without the sheer torture of trying to control every single thought that crossed your mind. Instead of being a day of rest, it became the most labor-intensive, mind-fucked day of the week. And they told me that Heaven would be one long, everlasting Sabbath.      

Lisafer

Lisafer

 

Introduction

Hi everyone, and thanks so much for welcoming me into the Free Jinger community! I'm very excited to be here. Please pardon any glitches with my new blog, since I'm just learning. To introduce myself: I was born into a large family, and homeschooled all the way through high school. My parents were from fairly normal American middle-class backgrounds, not fundie at all, but over time they became absolutely entrenched in the Christian fundamentalist way of thinking. We attended church services at a Reformed Presbyterian church (RPCNA) for almost my entire childhood, after my parents left a more mainstream denomination. I'm going to use fake names in this blog, if I have to use names, as my siblings did not ask to be part of my story. I might change a few minor details as well, to keep certain people's privacy. Not that any of you would know us! We were very small fish in the pond, and my parents' attempts to indoctrinate us failed miserably for the most part. We are a family of stubborn, determined people, and by our late teens most of us were most determinedly going our own way.  But I think that all of us, in different ways, were hurt by the attitudes and doctrines of fundamentalism. I, personally, was extremely hurt. I have had multiple counselors to work through years of guilt and fear induced by black-and-white doctrines and controlling personalities. I have mental illness, which was exacerbated by my upbringing. And I want to write about what I went through. It helps me process, and maybe it will help somebody else too. 

Lisafer

Lisafer

 

In the previous episode...

I already wrote a bit about it in status updates. Took me a while to figure out that I could actually use a blog instead. So here are the previous updates in chronological order, starting with the oldest. FYI: I use the date format I'm used to, DD-MM-YYYY. Just the original updates, no comments to keep it simple. 03.04.2018 (#0) So I just signed up for my first driving lesson. (Ten years later than normal, but I just needed some time and develop my self esteem first. Now I feel ready.) 17.04.2018 (#1) 1.) Had my third lesson today. Lesson one was just the basics, but also a short trip on nearby roads in heavy traffic. Lesson two was a round trip trough nearby villages/small towns. Roads my mum hates to drive on because of the people, traffic, tram... I killed the engine a lot and had to hold back my tears during the last kilometres. My teacher said that it wasn't bad at all, but as a perfectionist I was so disappointed. Once we were back I broke down crying next to him. Yay me. Lesson three was today and much much better. He said that it was really good for the third lesson. Killed the engine only once. Lots of right of way situations today. Driving slowly into a crossing and so on. I asked him what he did with his pedals and he said basically nothing. I did all driving by myself. So far my fastest was 60 km/h. We weren't on any roads where you can drive faster. 2.) Theoretical lessons are kind of boring. With 27 and lots of years sitting next to my Mum while driving and talking about rules/traffic there is not much to learn. Finished three as well, 11 more to go. 3.) I envy everyone who drives automatic, but I will conquer the stick.  26.04.2018 (#2) Had my 7th lesson yesterday (30 lessons is the average norm here, for comparison) and I did pretty good. My teacher praised me.  I parallel parked the car backwards (a huge point in the exam, you can't get your license if you fail that), lots of right-of-way situations and rail ways. I did good with the stick this time. Slowly I get that feeling when to change into a higher gear. (But I have trouble going down before traffic lights, so I mainly drive in the 3rd until I reach it and go down to 1st then.) Next theoretical lesson is tonight. Number 6 of 14. (I have to know the answer to over 1000 questions and the exam later will be 30 multiple choice and video questions out of them. My learning app says I'm 93% ready.) On Sunday I have a first aid course (necessary for getting the license) and next week the eye test, but I wear glasses anyway so I get that written into my license for sure that I have to wear glasses to drive. 29.04.2018 (#3) I survived my first aid course. With the help of my mother who was with me as my helper. I did some exercises in a extra room, so not in front of the others. The whole thing was seven hours long with a break of 30 minutes.  Next lesson (#8) is tomorrow and the next theoretical lesson as well. When tomorrow is over I'm halfway through my theoretical lessons. Yay!  Not sure if I can squeeze in lesson #9 next week as well. Tuesday is a holiday (Workers Day) and on Thursday I have my eye test and work plus the next theoretical lesson in the evening. But I'm so so so glad that I survived today. On Friday I plan to hand in my application to the authorities. It takes a few weeks for them the check it and then I'm allowed to do my exam if I have my lessons ready. If they approve the thing, every offence I make could result in a year ban or something like that. Like driving without license, doing drugs, anything like that. (Not that I do that, but it suddenly feels more real when you have that back in your mind.) 04.05.2018 (#4) Here we go again. I think this is going to be a weekly thing now.  1.) Had two lessons this week. Lots of parking. And we added a new thing, in German it is called "Gefahrenbremsung" and since a few years part of the final exam. It is basically emergency braking. I have to drive 30km/h, look in the rear mirror to make sure nobody is behind me and when my instructor gives the command I have to hit the brakes with full force. That is a fun thing to do. I think this will be the best part of the exam. I wasn't too happy with the lessons, but I guess it is because he basically throws every problem you can hit on the road at me. I do quite good on roads outside of the city/village, but those small roads inside are a challenge. I even missed a traffic light. (It was green, but he asked me afterwards if I noticed it. Oops.) 2.) Yesterday I did my eye test and because I already have glasses it was clear that I need to wear them when driving and this will be written into my license. Not a big deal.  3.) On Monday I hit the peak of the mountain with my theoretical lessons. Lesson 7 of 14. Yesterday was #8. So I should be done with them in early June. (With Pentecost coming up there will be some holidays and that means no lessons.) Next week more lessons and we have an appointment to give my application to the authorities.   08.05.2018 (#4.5) I just need to write it down. Lesson on Monday was pure hell, felt like driving for the first time, or worse than that. Just finished my lesson for today, one of the five required drives outside of cities and it went very well. And here is the thing: Tomorrow I will be driving on the Autobahn for the first time!  09.05.2018 (#5) 1.) Like I already said, the lesson on Monday was shit. There is not other word to describe it. He took me in a housing are with tiny one way streets and it sort of was all too much. A little old lady was walking ON the street (we have superb side walks, no need for walking on the street) and I had to drive past her three times. And a lot of other problems. My instructor said that it is normal to kinda break down and drive like an idiot at least once, so I'm fine, but it was a horrible day and a cried a lot because I was so disappointed.  2.) On Tuesday he said that to make it a bit easier we would be driving on country roads and this was also the first of the required 12 lessons by law. That went pretty good. And it was fun. 3.) Today around 9am we had an appointment at the town hall to hand in the application for a drivers licence. Once they have checked me over (criminal records,...) they approve it, and I can make my final exam if I'm ready. The lady was really nice and told me that I am at an excellent driving school. Her daughters were there too! (Not the first time I heard that!) 4.) And later I had my first lesson on the Autobahn. To be honest my instructor did most of the driving, explaining me things and so on. He "scolded" me in a nice way for looking to much while driving in the highway. We had to cut the lesson short because his wife was waiting for him with lunch but we just add that bit on another lesson. The fastest we went was 100km/h because there was a lot of traffic and obviously I'm a beginner. Next lesson on Monday.  *** As a special surprise I have added a picture of the car I'm driving (I edited the logo of my driving school out):  

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Wa-La Diner Revisited, Part Two: The Meal

"Dude... what is up with all these random lace doilies..." Marissa wondered aloud.  Annie explained. "She sounds nuts," Marissa said. "Oh, that's only the surface," Faye replied drily. Anna returned, with a sheaf of menus. As she walked away again, I noticed that she had a silver ring on her left hand. "Big Salad?" Marissa asked. "Garnished with raw egg dressing," Annie said. Marissa gagged. "Seriously?" she exclaimed. She glanced at the menu with a look of disgust on her face. "Ooh, weens and gravy. Isn't that a breakfast dish?" "Yeah, but they don't have many starters here," Faye said. "I like sausage gravy, I'll go for that." Faye and I exchanged significant glances, but Marissa was oblivious.  "Hello, are you ready to order?" Anna seemed to possess that high-pitched baby voice all young fundie women appeared to have. "Yes... three lots of picnic eggs, and one portion of weens and gravy," I said, ignoring Annie, who was sniggering. I looked back at the menu. I noticed that each dish could be served as individual portions, or could be served buffet-style with everyone helping themselves. To this end, I ordered tater tot casserole, chicken-etti, and burritos to share, as well as some raspberry Kool-Aid. Anna scribbled down the order, and, as had happened back in Summer Springs, presented us with a complementary jar of pickles. "OK, Marissa, lemme introduce you to some of these people..." Annie said, bringing out her phone.  As I talked to Faye about college (I had also done political science, so we were comparing courses), I watched Marissa's face. It was a joy to behold. From the lack of utter disgust, I deduced that Annie had taken the simple decision to *not* introduce her sister to Weenie Man.  "HAY-MAYUN!" We all jumped out of our skin. Filled with dread, I looked at the stage. Sure enough, Weenie Man was here in person.  "Bloody hell, that nearly gave me a heart attack!" Faye whispered.  "Who's that?" Marissa asked. "He's a preacher," Annie explained. "What the heck was that HAY-MAYUN?" "God knows," I said. "People on DTFD are trying to work out if it's some kind of Tourette's-type tic or something he says a la Robert Tilton's Hoo Ba Ba Kanda." As we watched on, I knew that this would be perfect to mention in the thread. Many of us had mentioned possibly going to see our various grifters in action, but nobody had actually done so.  After a couple more HAY-MAYUNS, Weenie Man ended his message and walked off the stage, picking up a KFC bucket as he went. As the Taylors shuffled up on stage, having clearly brought along the entire family, I barely noticed the arrival of our starters. "What... the fuck... is this?"  Marissa was eyeing her plate of weens and gravy with a look of pure nausea.  "Man food eating," Annie grinned. "Why is it pink?" Marissa asked, ignoring the "man food" comment. "Red weens," Faye explained. Picking up her fork, Marissa poked at it, as though worried it would jump down her throat. "Go on, it's made with real flour!" I said, barely able to contain my laughter. Despite my misgivings, the picnic eggs were quite tasty. Looking as though she would rather be doing anything else, Marissa cut off a tiny portion and put it in her mouth. "Oh God, I'm never gonna be able to look at sausage gravy in the same way," she said sadly, putting the fork down in defeat. "That is the most disgusting thing I have ever had the misfortune to eat." At that moment, the Taylors began to sing.  "Oh Christ, I thought we'd left these people behind?" Annie asked. "They're probably desperate for money now that their conferences have dried up," I reasoned.  Faye, who was sitting opposite me, stared in the direction of the entrance. "What?" I asked, somewhat unnecessarily as I whipped my neck round.  "Is that the Big Salad woman?" Marissa whispered. "Is that her husband? Nice pornstache." "Bit of a shame for her that a lot of the food is unlikely to be organic, or fermented," I commented. "Well, all she'll need is her Big Salad and she'll be done for the evening," Annie reasoned. The main courses arrived on foil platters with plastic tongs stuck into each dish. Marissa eyed them warily. "I hope these are better than ween puke," she said. "They're surprisingly OK," Faye explained. "They'll clog your arteries, but they're not as hideous as ween slop." Marissa picked up a burrito and bit into it. "This is a burrito?" she said in disbelief. "Where's the meat? The salsa? The rice?" "According to the originators of this dish, there's no difference in taste between burritos with meat and without," Annie said. "Huh." She continued eating it, although she helped herself to a portion of tater tot casserole. *** Here endeth Part Two. Part Three will consist of a close encounter of the fundie kind... but with whom?
 

Wa-La Diner Revisited, Part One: The Set-Up

Clearly, this is not a fundie Sims post. This is going back to my parody fic, featuring the Mason family (mom Rebecca and daughters Jessica and Faye). Unlike previous entries, this is narrated by Jessica. Jessica has recently graduated from UCLA, and has recently begun studying at a graduate law school. Faye has embarked upon her junior year at UCSD, doing a political science degree. The family previously lived in the fictional town of Summer Springs in Kansas, but have now moved to San Francisco. *** Reading over my notes on contract law was giving me a headache. I brought up a new tab and opened up Dumb Things Fundies Do. As I scrolled through the latest Weenie Man thread, a notification popped up saying that I’d been tagged in a comment. Apparently Wa-La Diner is opening a new branch in San Francisco! Hey @jessidugg95, you in? Intrigued, I googled the restaurant. The news was indeed true. Even worse, it was really close to where we lived. I hadn’t seen anything about a new restaurant opening, but I didn’t usually visit that part of the city. I explored the website, which was promising new dishes.  “Ew, gross,” I said to myself as I read the updated list. ”What?” Mom asked. ”There’s gonna be a new branch of Wa-La Diner here in San Fran,” I said. ”Oh dear. What’s ew gross?” ”They’ve got some new dishes. Including some inspired by our favourite grifter.” ”Huh?” ”Pink weens and gravy.” ”Dear Lord,” Mom shuddered. “How can these people market this slop?” “Christ knows,” I replied, closing my laptop. ”Are you considering going?” ”Dunno, I wouldn’t go alone,” I replied. Faye wasn’t coming back from college for a couple of days. She’d decided on doing a political science major and was really enjoying it. Unlike me, she wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to do, but I was sure she’d get a good job. I had some real-life friends who were part of DTFD, but I wasn’t entirely sure if they’d want to get involved with an actual trip to Wa-La Diner. ”No, fair enough. I was gonna suggest you should wait till Faye gets back.” *** Eleven days later, Faye was home. I’d told her about the new restaurant, and unsurprisingly she was very much up for a visit; she had always been more interested in fundieism and was more active on DTFD. I'd managed to persuade Annie and Marissa along: Annie knew about fundies, but wasn't part of DTFD; Marissa knew very little, but was always up for an "experience" and a laugh.  “Dare you to order the pink weenie gravy,” Faye grinned, on the day of our visit. ”I don’t fancy food poisoning again,” I said. I’d only had a bout last week and didn’t fancy spending the night leaning over the toilet. ”How are we going to dress?” she asked. “The dress that served me so well last time got ripped, so...” ”Well, it's winter, it'll be easier to layer,” I said. “I’ll wear my denim skirt again.” We spent a while in my room, discussing college and guys and the usual things young twenty-somethings discussed. Faye still had the boyfriend she’d had on our first visit, but he was still in Kansas.  “It’s weird to think that, if we were fundie, I’d probably be married by now,” I said.  “Yeah. And my relationship with Charlie has gone on longer than most fundie ones, so we’d be at least engaged,” Faye replied. ”Poor beggars get no choice,” I sighed, braiding my hair.  "Makeup or not?" she asked. "I'd go with subtle," I replied, carefully applying my mascara. "Yeah, I don't suit the 80s look, I don't have any green eyeliner," Faye replied. *** Annie and Marissa were already waiting outside when we arrived, dressed almost identically in sweaters, knee-length denim skirts and boots.  "So, what kind of cuisine do they serve here?" Marissa asked. "It's very much of the cream-of-crap soup and packet mix variety," I explained. "You'll understand better when we're inside." The interior decor was very similar to the Summer Springs branch. We were enthusiastically greeted by a girl in a hot pink polo shirt, black maxi skirt and brown sandals.  "Table for four? Right this way, we've got a table right by the stage. By the way, my name is Anna," she said.  "Stage?" Marissa asked. "Oh yes, we have musical entertainment and preaching tonight," Anna replied, not noticing Marissa's tone of worry. I exchanged glances with Annie, both of us trying hard not to giggle. "Lovely," Marissa said quickly.  *** Here endeth Part One. Watch for Part Two, after which poor Marissa will never be able to look at her favourite breakfast dish of sausage gravy in the same way ever again...
 

Oops

I'm sorry that I've not come back with this blog and tips and tricks!

I took a vacation - the first vacation I'd taken in 8 years! - to Seattle in March, where I got to finally meet my best friend in person, and we got to go see Hamilton on tour! Then I fell into a Stardew Valley on the Switch rabbit hole, and I was a bridesmaid in a wedding, and then... well. Work. Lots of work, lots of turn around. And Cubs games on TV to watch, and my boys in pinstripes kind of take precendence since I get to watch so few games because of work and refusing to shell out $90 a year for MLB.tv.

I might change my focus of this blog (because I have a fafillionty Stardew screencaps!), but I'll try to still put some makeup stuff in here too.

applejack

applejack

 

Smiths Part Nine: The Next Generation is (Finally) Here!

Another one where the title says everything... Eliza brings Mark over to her parents' house. Things go well. Eliza shows off her violin skill. Mark is impressed. Mark and Eliza go on a date to the Humor and Hijinks Festival in San Myshuno. Luckily they had chaperones! With the Humor and Hijinks Festival, there is a competition between "Jokesters" and "Pranksters". Mark and Eliza joined the Jokesters. (Incidentally, both Nicole and Edward became Pranksters). It's separate beds... for now. (The jug thing in the background is the reward for a Gold level date). Still in the "getting to know you" phase. It's official! They're in a courtship! Well, THAT escalated quickly...! OHMYGODYES! Mark and Eliza didn't want to waste any time! This is at Myshuno Meadows in San Myshuno. (I did set Eliza's dress to be white, but I guess the game generated a random outfit when they travelled to the venue). THE FIRST KISS! I even got a notification saying that they were sharing their very first kiss  Eliza entertains the guests. You'll notice that even though Emily wears pants now, she still wears a modest formal dress. Ahem... Congrats, Eliza! "We're going to have a baby!" "Hey Grandma!"
"Huh? OH!" Lunch date at new restaurant in town, Chez Llama. It serves "experimental" food dishes, such as Volcano Pasta and Free Range Sixam Pit Beast (me neither). Never forget your Bible journal. Eliza elects to have a hospital birth. For some reason, you have your baby in this weird contraption. It's a BOY! Welcome to the world, Adam Pearson!  
 

Bancrofts Part Nine: The One with the Mass Drop-Out (Plus a Wedding)

I may have said this before, but I actually find the University aspect pretty boring. It just becomes this cycle of eat, sleep, go to class, study that is repetitive and boring. There are so many Bancroft kids that it's hard to keep up.  So, with this in mind, I instigated a mass drop-out.  I decided to check in with the college-student Bancrofts. In the big house was Max, Mason, Martha, Matthew, Mark and Morgan. Max was close to graduating, so I decided to let him. Like Madison and Michael before him, he did this with Summa Cum Laude (GPA of 4.0.).  This is Max working on a Term Paper, one of the three methods to boost your grade. Once he'd finished his final exam, he used the phone to move back to Sapphire Springs. The others completed their semester exams and decided to drop out, one by one. The exception was Mason, who had one semester left and wanted to see things through. (This is Matthew). In Sapphire Springs, I decided to move Max in with another family... and have that family move out, leaving Max with his own space. I decided to make things easy for Max and created a helpmeet in CAS to move in with him. This is Lily Matthews. The bathroom is the best place to get hot and steamy. Incidentally, I haven't yet had a bathroom baby in either Sims 2 or 4... maybe it'll happen soon. Best friends! A thunderstorm struck. I managed to get a photo when the screen was completely white due to lightning. They had to sleep separately that first evening, even though they were already in love at that point (things happen fast in Sims world). Next morning! I told you things happened fast in Sims 2! (OK, I might have used BoolProp to speed things up a little. Shoot me). Max then had to go to work, so they held the wedding once he'd come home. Madison and Michael decided to have a pillow fight. Also in the photo: Mary (Michael's wife) playing the piano to no audience and Max talking to Martin (possibly the sex talk?) Max has a pillow fight with Martin. Lily's pooped and napping on the couch.  Max and Lily are currently on their honeymoon in Twikkii Island.  There will eventually be ten Bancroft couples, which will be a bit much. So, to narrow things down, I'll primarily focus on the Bancroft daughters (Madison, Martha and Mackenzie). I'll check in with the others occasionally. I may have one of the kids move back in with Karen and Martin, to take over the house when those two eventually die.         

mango_fandango

mango_fandango

 

The Random Nature of Life (and Death)

My grandmother was born in 1898 and died at the age of 102 in 2001, thus living a life touching three centuries.  At the time of her death she was of diminished stature and eyesight but was otherwise ‘healthy’.  She had never contracted polio, as my grandfather had, and she was never stricken with cancer or heart disease, or any other ailment.  She simply died of old age as her body just could not sustain life anymore. My grandmother lived most of her life in England, moving to Canada when she was eighty.  She survived two world wars, and was not among the millions of people who perished in the bombings or in concentration camps.   Grandma was not in Manchester in 1996, nor was she on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. She was not visiting the World Trade Centre or the Pentagon in 2001.  She was not on a flight that day destined for a quiet field in Pennsylvania.   She was not on a train in beautiful Madrid in 2004, nor was she strolling along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice in 2016.  She adored visiting Paris, but was not there in November of 2015.  My grandmother was not enjoying a summer afternoon on La Rambla in Barcelona last year.  She was also not crossing London Bridge in the city she loved so much. My grandmother would likely never have gone to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and, similarly, would not have enjoyed a wonderful country festival in Las Vegas.  Grandma was not in Oklahoma City or San Bernadino, nor was she teaching innocent children in Dublane, Scotland or Sandy Hook, Connecticut, or Parkland, Florida. My grandmother was also not walking on Yonge Street in Toronto yesterday.   In over a hundred years she was never in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not once. But so, so many other people were.  They left home one day and never returned. None will live to the age my grandmother did. They have all had their futures stolen from them and their families have been forever destroyed.  Simply because they were in those places at the worst possible moment. In many of those instances, a few short minutes was the difference between life and death. I’m glad my grandmother was not alive to witness 9/11 and the continuous horrors exacted across the globe in the subsequent years. I sometimes imagine that human beings are an experiment; one that will prove to be a complete and utter failure.  It seems we will never cease finding ways to kill each other.   Yes, my grandmother was lucky. As am I as I write this post. And all of you, my lovely FJ friends, are, too. I hope we will all be as fortunate as my grandmother.  Because it is all just so fucking random.  

Fascinated

Fascinated

 

Edens Year 12: Expansions/Free Elsie!

Welcome back to 66 Goodbook Avenue! This one is a doozy.  First of all, managing a home of 11-12 Edens has gotten a little crazy for Eva (and me!!!!). And as the Edens are so blessed by the Lord, the baby-making train shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. To help Eva keep sweet, the Edens grifted $7000 for a home expansion. Priorities- a third bathroom/second laundry room with second tub for the little ones, and a school room. As a result of the expansion, the boys and girls dormitories were slightly expanded as well. (Elsie's room remains intact though it is currently un-used)
Additional items for family enrichment were also added to the backyard.  Lastly, the Edens redecorated their living room with the MOST IMPORTANT verse of the Bible (KING JAMES of course), Genesis 1:28 "be fruitful and multiply." 
And boy have the Edens listened! A HUGE milestone for the Edens occured in June 2021, as the 10th little Eden, baby boy Kings, arrived. Welcome to the world Kings! We can't wait to see what the Lord --- yeah ok.  Check out the swarming main floor! (2 Edens not shown) In the above picture you can also see Eva writing her latest manifesto, "Homebirthin' - the natural, easy, God-given way to bear quivers for Christ."  Genesis had to clear her mind after witnessing the latest God-given no-drugs home delivery at age 12. Look how non-sluttish Genesis is, even while she works out. What a great example she is for her new children younger siblings.  Speaking of new children...there is drama in the extended family. As you may recall, Elsie and Cale FINALLY received an incoming blessing from the Lord in their third year of marriage. Here, Elsie experiences the easy, blessed, Christ-honoring HomeBirth for the first time. And it's a boy!! What a blessing a first-born son is. Welcome to world little Romano! We can't wait to see- wait - Romano??? Isn't that the name of a cheese? Well. Though mama and baby are healthy, I still have some sad news for everyone. The courtship model did NOT serve Elsie and Cale well. Never able to speak in private before the wedding, Elsie did not learn that Cale was INSANE until after she was transferred to his authority. What's possibly even worse is that his life aspiration is...GRILLED CHEESE. I am not making this up. NO THANK YOU MAXIS for making that a life aspiration and for giving it to an already questionable townie. So, Cale is insane, all he cares about in life is grilled cheese, and he's been given authority over Elsie via a fundie marriage ceremony. So he named the baby Romano. He's hoping for a Brie next.  Elsie was hoping that a baby would bring Cale down to reality, but this naming business was the last straw. All Elsie could do after labor was aggressively chop tomatoes and call Genesis over to break the tension.  FREE ELSIE. Take Romano with you and RUN.  Now before you get too sad, Elsie and Romano have been spending more time with the Edens lately. It may not be entirely fundie-realistic, but I need more for Elsie than a loveless marriage with an unpleasant man and I know you do too (seriously, Cale sucks and I didn't realize it). Keep your hopes up for 2022. But let's return to the Edens proper so we don't get too sad before we go. Samuel, #9, aged into a fussy toddler (YAY) with a surfer's hairdo before #10 made his arrival.  And after #10 arrived, Adam and Eva were somehow able to enjoy a newly-wed moment in the kitchen. While their 9 other children slept upstairs! I really don't know how they do it! Oh yeah, and Eva's pregnant again. Because of course she is.  Well friends, I apologize that this wasn't the funniest of blog posts, but it IS realistic. Looking forward to further expansions and the rescuing of a beloved sister next year, Edens out! Stay tuned!!

neurogirl

neurogirl

 

Smiths Part Eight: WE HAVE A SMITH GIRL IN PANTS

We'll start where we left off. Where's the best place to have mommy-daughter time? The bathroom, of course.  "I know, Becky, our dishwasher is, like, totally broken, and Daddy should, like, totally fix it, but he's just sooooo busy being an amazing Godly husband and father." "Why am I eating standing up when there are eight free seats behind me? I am so sick of this househo- oops, gotta keep sweet. Gotta keep sweet." "Yeah yeah your music is neat, Mrs Smith, but I'm just *that* much more interested in molding this clay." "So the square root of 169 is.... wait... why is there a plate in the way?" "Don't ask me. I'm a Bear." "I mean, I just LOVE having six children, but I sometimes feel like something is missing now my blessings are all growing so fast... Lord, help me to deal with this new season of life..." "Lemme just crank this up a notch, even though such a steep gradient makes me fall down... just a reminder that God has everything under control, and if I try to change things too fast, I slip up and need to slow things down to where God would have me." "Wait... wait... what's happening? Am I older? Oh no! Will I still be able to have children? I feel like life has gone so fast..." "Oh, help... now I'm older I'm feeling much less secure. My Bible journal has always helped. Lord, I pray that you will continue to support my family and I in the coming years, I'm feeling somewhat lost right now..." "I'm so thankful that the Lord blessed me with such skill in the violin so that I am able to glorify Him in so many diverse ways." "So what if video games are a distraction and not a direct way of glorifying God? I can earn money through doing this. Blicblock is hardly going to corrupt my mind." "I bet Mommy is so proud of me, I do my Bible journal without prompting!" "So what if talking to yourself is the first sign of madness? I'm just interacting with God's creation." "I can't believe Mom let me get my own place already! I am so excited to be in this new season of life and I am so ready to have as many blessings as God will give me... but I've got to find a husband first..." "FREEDOM AT LAST! I was never much of a girly girl. God, it feels so LIBERATING to wear PANTS. I hope Mom can see that wearing pants doesn't make me any less Godly."    

mango_fandango

mango_fandango

 

None and done

I've dove into Lori Alexander's world of twisted commandments. The one about a woman's duty is to have children, no matter her circumstances. Also, there is the horrible way she criticizes her dd who is childless.  I, too have a controlling and critical mother. At least my mother tries to put her own wants and needs aside on occasion. It was a tussle for her when I announced at not yet 30 that I would NEVER marry nor have children. Now I'm 50, still childless and I do not ever regret my decision on either choice. My choice between me, myself, and I. And it's a very healthy choice at that. To start with my mental health is not good and that is the tip of a ginormous iceberg. There was a point in time when a certain someone who would have made a decent sperm donor was available but I found I was not interested. When me and Mr Wild got together we decided not to marry or have children. It saddened me a bit, to be honest, but that was simply a healthy pause like when you leave a place you love to move on to more exciting things.  I am not writing this to prove anything but for the fact that I was feeling a bit sorry for her today. Then it occurred to me that she doesn't have a relationship with the only grandson she has and this makes me really sad that she is this much broken. She is widowed now and if not for my sibling with autism she would be all alone. Her life is so small. I live an interesting life and I often run across women who are her age that I've befriended and their lives are rich and full of adventure. I want so much more for myself.   
 

How to Ruin a Restaurant's Atmosphere

This is a non fundie family, the Farnleys. Consists of Anna and Matt, their adopted daughter Cassia, and their bio twin daughters Alicia and Maddie.  Anna owns a restaurant, which is moderately successful. She's there at the moment. An elderly couple arrived, she greeted them. Suddenly, the male Sim got up... and DIED. Right there, in a corner of the restaurant. DUN DUN DUN Grim Reaper appears. I gave the post this title because the restaurant has always had a good ambiance rating (you don't get an ambiance rating per se, but it's one thing that can influence a customer's enjoyment). Witnessing a death is rather a dampener. 

mango_fandango

mango_fandango

 

Edens Year 11: The Return of the Sister-Mom

Welcome back to 66 Goodbook Avenue! We've been away for a while, but now we're back with an eventful year 11 in the Eden saga.  Leviticus began 2020 in a "bear phase" which is SEVERELY testing his fundie parents. (Though at least it's not a "unicorn phase" or something) Here, Eva experiences the trials of a large family as she tries to feed and dress her brood in time for church. It takes a good 2 hours plus one bear-less Leviticus in tears.  Ah what a beautiful Sunday at True Believer's Baptist Church. We are surely in store for an uplifting message of loving thy neighbors whom are destined for Hell  The wholesome gang's all here (baby Ruth not pictured)...including Elsie and Cale! And Elsie has a SHOCKING UPDATE for the Edens... She's expecting!!!!! Eva is of course, WAY more pregnant with her 9TH BLESSING, and Elsie is only in her first trimester with her first *cough Jill* but what a SWEET SISTER BUMP PIC they took together! God is so good!!! Eva and Adam also celebrated their 10th anniversary! "I just want to thank the Lord for his greatest blessing to me- my wonderful husband Adam. He works so hard for our family and leads us all closer to Lord. He's a great daddy and also not bad to look at! I thank the Lord for you honey and hope for many wonderful years together! -Eva" "Happy anniversary Eva! How many kids do we have now? -Adam" 8 Adam. You have 8 children now. Just kidding Adam! You now have 9 children! Welcome to the world baby Samuel! We can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for you! Precious baby Ruth aged up to an inquisitive toddler just in the nick of time. She and the next youngest, Judges, will probably be very good friends (both curious) until she has to be trained up as a lady. Enjoy childhood while it lasts Ruth! Come on, give us a smile! She's so precious.  Ohh! That looks like the face of a fundie who just found out she's been blessed by the Lord again! Get prepared for child 10 Adam! That should be an easy number to remember. A pregnant Elsie visited the Edens to celebrate Joshua's birthday! This angelic, forgotten toddler is now a good, forgotten 4 year-old. Happy birthday Joshua! Mommy and daddy love you so much, even if they don't know who you are! As a minor detail, some of the children went to the park and curious little Judges got to be king of his own world for a moment. Free Judges! But back to the main story, it was getting rough y'all. 9 kids and another on the way. Messes, fights, diapers, the inexorable piles of laundry...something had to be done.  Congratulations Genesis! For your 11th birthday we got you...a toddler! That's right! Precious first-born Genesis is being promoted to sister-mom and given a buddy of her very own- little 1yr-old Ruth. This was earlier than intended of course, but Genesis is just so mature for her age. And she loves it too! Plus Mama Eva is just far too busy with unsafe diaper changes to have time for her second-youngest. (Or third. Or fourth. Or...) What a servant's heart you have Genesis! Lastly, Leviticus' budding preacher's heart has been somewhat hampered by his latest fashion choices, but he's not letting that discourage him.  "Hey Billie- for no reason at all, what's your favorite kind of cake? Also if you don't come back to youth group we're going to have to pray for your soul" - Leviticus, probably And that's a wrap on 2020/year 11. Everyone still gets to sleep at the same time, and there's only 4 children in each room, even if newly-minted sister-mom Genesis (age 11) is sharing with 1-yr old Ruth. They just insisted on sharing. How precious. Coming up in year 12- which Johnson sister will have their baby first and will Billie ever block Leviticus' number?! For now, Eden's out! 

neurogirl

neurogirl

  • Posts

    • AlwaysExcited

      Posted

      "Obey Jesus or Hellfire" also seems like a weird sentence. I guess there wasn't enough room for "burn in hell". 

    • RosyDaisy

      Posted

      Ankle biters? That's what we call little, toy-breed dogs. So Jesus hates dogs? LOL

    • Is Benjamin Lockwood 18 yet? The Lockwoods are going to have a child turning 18 every year now, but I don't know any birthdays. 

    • Someone Out There

      Posted

      For cheating I'm not sure how I would personally react, however I do think it depends on what the expectations are going in to the marriage.  In the American Evangelical Christian context expectations are of fidelity.

      For some cultures it is not as much of issue e.g. a workmate lived in Japan at one point and his friends there didn't really understand the concept of being with only one sexual partner for the rest of your life though being married for the rest of your life is not an odd concept, my understanding is that mistresses are more tolerated and in some positions expected in France.

    • Marly

      Posted

      1 hour ago, VeryNikeSeamstress said:

      Aren't all adult women supposed to wear head coverings in mosques? I noticed Jill isn't wearing one.

      It is possible that this is a special iftar celebration open to non-Muslims to show them what it's like. In that case, depending on the religious convictions of the organization, head-coverings aren't always required for non-Muslim women. However, I have only known of those kind of "open to all" iftar celebrations being held in large halls or someone's home, and not in mosques. So I'm not quite sure if this "no head covering for non-Muslim women" would apply during a celebration in a Mosque as well. But if it was a requirement I don't think Jill would have been let in without one, so I'm leaning towards "no head covering required for non-Muslim women".



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