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  1. Finding Fran

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    Recent Entries

    fransalley
    Latest Entry

    With Christianity itself, I'm rather orthodox/traditional in my beliefs.  I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ as His Son, I believe in the Holy Spirit.  (I explain the Holy Spirit to my son as "the part of God that lives inside us to help us do what he wants".)  

    I don't understand how it all works.  I don't understand how God can be "three in one", how Jesus can be both God and God's Son.  I also don't claim to understand how God works.  I've long given up on there being a formula on how I can please God, or a formula for the perfect prayer.  I don't always understand evil, why evil happens to people that did nothing wrong; or why those who are evil do not "get theirs".  

    But I do believe in God because I believe He is bigger and smarter than I am, and I do believe there will come a day when all will be made new, when wrong will be righted.  

    I may have problems at times with what God does, but I don't believe that I resent God.

    What I do resent is how people have used the name of God to hurt and abuse people.  I resent how people use God to justify their bad behavior.  

    And I also resent the shallowness of how faith is presented.  I resent simple explanations and simple formulas, of "this is how God works, if you do A, he will do B".  I resent the explanations of, "Oh, if such-and-such didn't happen, you must not have had enough faith."  It's all on the backs of the believer.  You know, sometimes God does say "no", for whatever reasons He has, and it's really unfair to blame people for "not having enough faith" when things didn't work the way the believer wanted.

    I also thoroughly resent "Christianese".  Anyone who tells me, "God is in control," does not value their life very much.  There's a sense in which I believe "God is in control," as in, He will cause things to work out for my ultimate good.  I just resent it when "God is in control" is used as a throwaway Christian cliche.  

    I also resent, "the Lord will provide," being used as a throwaway Christian cliche.  It falls along the same line as "be of good cheer, keep warm and well fed" from the book of James.  I read a social media thread about, what happens when you're a Christian out of work and the only job you can find is on Sunday?  Someone answered, "The Lord will provide," in the context of, you shouldn't work on Sunday because that would interfere with you attending church.  I guess that person forgot about the first responders, the doctors, nurses, soldiers, etc. that work on Sundays.

    I've experienced abusive faith and I've read about it, and sometimes, those experiences have left me with more questions than answers.  I want true faith.

  2. So, we start off with not long left until Emily gives birth. 

    You need the toilet a lot when pregnant!

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    It's go time!

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    Daniel freaks out.

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    It's...

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    ... a BOY! Welcome to the world, Martin Westbury-Smith! 

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    Over to the Pearsons. Eliza works on writing a new violin tune.

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    Here's Adam as a Child. His hairdo is very similar to Mark's.

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    Uh oh, Adam thinks it's a good idea to play with ketchup and flour...

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    Eliza reads to her son.

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    Hmm... Mark's gone stripy. He got a "Giggly" moodlet, so I guess the diagnosis is Gas and Giggles. No, me neither. Sim illnesses are weird.

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    Adam sure is a helpful kid!

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    And now it's go time for Eliza!

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    TWINS! Eliza has the Fertile trait (from the Rewards store), so it's not entirely unexpected. And they're her first daughters, Chloe and Delilah.

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    It's also Harvestfest! Harvestfest is a bit like Thanksgiving, in that one of the traditions is being thankful. Another tradition is "holiday gnomes"... yeah, Sims being Sims again. Gnomes appear in your house and you have to appease them. This one didn't appreciate pie. WHAT KIND OF GNOME DOESN'T LIKE PIE???

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    Adam going to meet his sisters. Chloe is in the pink crib and Delilah in the green one.

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    Eliza threw a Harvestfest house party. And I was reminded that pretty much all the males in the family have the same dang shirt! L-R for the guys: Elijah, Eddie, Mark, Elliot. 

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    Eliza eating some turkey dinner. One tradition is to cook a "grand meal", with a choice of turkey, ham, fish or tofurkey. (I much prefer the Sims 3 name for veggie turkey, Tursoykey). Once you've had a plateful, you get a "dazed" moodlet called "food coma" #soaccurate

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    Emily decided to use the bath. Ah well, Eliza had puked in Emily's toilet a couple of days earlier...

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    Adam decided to eat some spoiled food. Bad idea.

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    Yup, bad. Now he feels nauseous. THERE WAS A PLATE OF TURKEY THERE WHY DID YOU GO FOR SPOILED OMELETTE

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  3. Maggie Mae
    Latest Entry

    By Maggie Mae,

    The Long Rifle

    Laura and Mary are schooled in the art of bullet making. Every night, Pa makes some bullets for the next day. I want to know why he doesn't plan ahead. The food will last. The woods are plentiful. This isn't like living in Huslia or Kobuk or Shungnak, where it's all hands on deck when a caribu herd comes around. He's got lots of food stored up. He can spend a day a month making bullets, which would likely save some resources. 

    Also, let's talk about the fact that bullet making involves melting bits of lead, pouring it from a spoon into a mold, and telling his daughters to stop touching the still hot bullets. Lead. I hear lead is delicious, maybe that's why they keep touching them and then sucking on their fingers. 

    After the bullets, Pa cleans his gun.  The illustration of Pa, Mary and Laura looks more like Mr Olsen (best character in the show), Nelly, and a brown haired toddler.  But I digress. Oh, nope... I just noticed he is NOT following basic gun safety in this illustration, but I'm not going to share it because I'm not sure sharing every single illustration falls under fair use. Sorry. He's holding like a cane, with his hand over the top. Never point the gun at anything you don't want to shoot! This must mean he wants to shoot himself through his hand and into his chin. 

    Pa also keeps the gun loaded at all times. In my world, guns are always unloaded and locked in a safe, not hung on a hook across a door. The ammo is kept in a different safe. My coworker, however, just keeps hers in her purse. I dislike that immensely. She has kids. I don't. 

    Also, what a pain in the ass. Pa has to stop after firing and reload by measuring gun powder, putting in a "patch" and then a bullet and a fresh cap. I just make sure the shell ejected and then slap a new one in. Technology! I also don't shoot animals. I shoot clay things with a shotgun and the target at the biathlon range with my biathlon rifle.  

    Pa is a very good shot, and he always kills bears and panthers in one shot. I don't have panthers, but I always carry bear spray for bears because it's safer and more effective. I also don't think I would hit a bear that was charging me. I saw The Revenant. 

    After the bullet making, Pa tells the girls a story. 

    The Story of Pa and the Voice in the Woods

    Pa was once young and his job was to track down the cows. One time, he got distracted by all the other creatures who lived in the woods and pretended he was an "Indian" until the birds started doing bird things. He called for the cows and they didn't come. (I can't imagine cows coming when they are called, but also now I want to go pet a cow. I used to have a great aunt in Northern Michigan (not the UP) who owned a dairy farm (not a factory type place) and I was SO shocked when I learned that dairy cows aren't black and white like on the package of milk (in the 90s). I was so shocked and upset that I didn't want to pet the depressing brown cows. I am sad now, because all cows have such big dumb eyes and soft fur. 

    Look at this guy. 

    Spoiler

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    Or these guys. 

    Spoiler

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    Other cows also deserve love. 

    Spoiler

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    I don't know how I can reconcile my love of cows with my love of carne asada, skirt steak, beef bourguignon, bolognase sauce, sunday gravy, steak, and beef wellington. UGH the struggle is real. I want to be ethical and a good person, but there is nothing like tenderloin wrapped in mushrooms and puff pastry. Or a corn tortilla with grilled carne asada, cilantro, chopped onions, and hot sauce. I also really like pigs and would like to stop eating them, but then there is pasta e fagioli. 

    I should blog more on Feed Jinger. 

    Oh, right. Pa is out in the woods being racist against Native Americans but it was well before the civil rights movement and I'm not entirely certain Wisconsin was even a state yet, and he lost his family's herd of cows. It's after dark, and he's in the woods. He's running around calling for the cows, and I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit amused by a small child running around aimlessly yelling "here cows."  He thinks he hears a panther, but it's only his own breathing. He yells "Sukey! Sukey!" and then a VOICE from the woods starts yelling "Who?" back at him! He runs and runs. 

    Spoiler

    1:10 if the embedding didn't work. 

    Anyway, spoiler alert, it's an owl. 

    All of the cows had already come home on their own (or Grandpa had brought them home, It's unclear), and Pa had torn off his toe nail. 

    Pa gets a thrashing at 9. His dad also makes fun of him a bit for being scared by an owl, which tells me he had his eye on the kid the whole time. 

    __

    I liked the glimpse of Pa's early childhood. The story had lots of adventure and excitement. I am less interested in bullet making and gun cleaning. However, I do like that these books are giving a very interesting and not - textbook approach to learning about day-to-day life in a bygone era. 

  4. Welcome back to 66 Goodbook Avenue! This one's a doozy. So much happened!

    Let's start off slow. In March, Romano Tobias Johnson turned 4 years old! Elsie threw a birthday party over at her house with some of her favorite Edens. She made tator tot casserole, naturally, and made sure not to defraud her cousins by offering any alcoholic drinks or f*n of any kind. 

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    Still, there was birthday cake, and after blowing out the candles...

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    Romano aged into a handsome little school-aged boy!

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    Speaking of, Elsie decided to enroll Romano into a private Christian school! She's doing alright financially now, and thinks maybe socialization with other kids (Christian of course) may not be a bad thing for little Romano. Plus, she can always withdraw him if Satan begins to build a fortress in his heart. 

    Look at his enriched life! You go Elsie and Romano!

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    Back with the Edens, Leviticus (now age 12) decides to host another youth group meeting. But Maya (left, age 15) and Billie (right, age 14) are growing up too! (And still wearing those damn pants! Haven't they listened to a word he said?)

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    Levi is so nervous around the pretty girls that he ignores them entirely. Exodus (age 13) wipes his sweaty hands on his jeans. Then Maya up and grills burgers, which completely emasculates him. 

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    "So, er, do you like...Jesus?" BECOOLBECOOLBECOOL Billie, by the way, isn't having any of it and keeps shooting Maya looks saying she can't believe they're still entertaining these fools. They leave, unsaved.

    Another year, another birthday cake for Genesis to make. This time it's for Kings (#10). 

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    He transitions from a clingy toddler into a rather gloomy (though also rather well-dressed) kid.

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    And of course, the young Edens make so many sweet and precious memories doing jinder-approved activities in the backyard. #family

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    And against all odds, Maya found Exodus' awkwardness endearing and they become friends cellular prayer partners.

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    But wait, there's more! 

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    Heavily pregnant Eva feels the Lord laid it on her heart to write her latest tear-jerking memoir, "In the Valley - My Journey with Infertility." She hopes her struggle and testimony to conceive #13 can be a real blessing to those couples praying to be parents. What a heart for the barren Eva has! (Also notice #12, Ezra, no longer a baby but a toddler. No one knows a thing about him.)

    The 4 hampers and 2 washing machines are completely overrun at this point and laundry piles up around the house. Even the boys are conscripted into laundry duty. It's a bleak day for the Edens. 

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    Also, in a truly harrowing moment of kids homeschooling themselves, the science table burst into flames! This makes fire #4 for the Edens, but the first in a very long time. Everyone runs around like mad, and it is 14-year-old Genesis who saves the day! Adam, the patriarch, was stunningly useless. This girl is truly amazing. 2142421807_01-13-19_9-09-40PM.thumb.png.19165a99808343a8f8085f40734edd97.png

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    During all the chaos, Leviticus turns 13! Genesis was upgraded to sister-mom at 11, Exodus had to start repairing things and minding littles at 12, but #3 Leviticus got to wait until actual age 13 to be "upgraded". He was still pretty bummed though. Cheer up, Levi! Think about all the souls you will pester/deeply vex/enrage win!1344081691_01-14-19_9-07-04PM.thumb.png.23051f3e0de9dd059088e03705dee49d.png

    And finally, in December of 2025, Eva went into labor with long-awaited #13... 

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    AND 14?!?!?!?! 

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    Surprise TWINS!!! Welcome to world, Nehemiah and Esther! We can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for you! Clearly Eva is blessed beyond measure with her double-womb opening! After all, God wouldn't give her more than she could handle. 

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    Right???

    Until next time, Edens out!

  5. Casual Gaming Adventures

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    Hi guys! This is my first blog post and I hope some of you will find this content intriguing. Apologies in advance for poor grammar - hopefully I get better with time. The two games I'm considering playing are vastly different from one another. Harvest Moon (recently renamed Story of Seasons) is a series of life and farm simulation games with the main objective of each game being to rebuild a farm and/or town and to befriend the townspeople. Corpse Party is a horror adventure RPG - decidedly different from Harvest Moon. More about their plots and origins below:

    Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town:

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    Originally released in 2003Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town (henceforth referred to as MFoMT) is the third Story of Seasons game that focuses on the female perspective. 

    The player is sitting alone in her apartment, thinking about how tired she is of her life in the city. She wants something new, and as she's looking in the newspaper, she sees an advertisement in the newspaper about a farm for sale.

    She decides to purchase the farm, and goes there to see it. Upon arriving, she meets with the mayor, Thomas, who is surprised to see that somebody has replied to the advertisement. Although the farm needs a lot of work, Thomas says that the people of Mineral Town are desperate for a person to revive the farm. The player decides to live on the farm, and the game then begins.

    source: fandom.wikia

    Corpse Party:

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    Originally released in 1996, the plot of Corpse Party concerns a group of Japanese high school students who, after celebrating their school's culture festival, are telling ghost stories when a sudden earthquake transports them to a dilapidated schoolhouse in an alternative dimension that is haunted by the ghosts of people who have been trapped there. The main playable character is Satoshi Mochida, a kindhearted high school student who is teased by his classmates for his cowardly nature. Three of the other characters are students from Satoshi's class: Naomi Nakashima, Satoshi's childhood friend; Yoshiki Kishinuma, an intimidating yet good-natured student; and Ayumi Shinozaki, the class representative. Rounding out the group is Yuka Mochida, Satoshi's younger sister. 

    The game's story is split into five chapters, each focusing on different characters and featuring multiple endings that are achieved based on the player's in-game decisions: a "True Ending" required for the game's progression; and several "Wrong Endings" that are unlocked when the player performs events irrelevant to the main storyline. Characters also possess hit points (HP), which measure how much damage they can take before dying, in some instances leading to a wrong ending. As players progress through the game, they will unlock ten optional "Extra Chapters", vignettes that focus on the game's side characters and expand the storyline.

    source: wikipedia.org

    If I post about Corpse Party, I will include a NSFW warning, trigger warnings, and keep everything under spoilers, as it's quite... disturbing.

     

    Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to nor do I intend to advertise Story of Seasons, Harvest Moon, Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town, Corpse Party, Nintendo, or Natsume.

     

  6. Time for another update. And I converted the kilometers in miles because it sounds so much better. I drove 125 miles so far. 

    Were do I start? Maybe with last week. We went to the hardware store to buy our baby tree for my Grandparents living room. Only a meter high, but they want it to be on their table so we are limited in size. Due to my Magic Seats I was able to fit that tree easily behind the drivers seat.

    Driving feels great. Still really weird but it is so much fun. I drove alone for two short drives already, but most of the time I have my Mum next to me. Here in Germany you can make your license with 17 but then you are required to have someone (they need approved) next to you all the time until you turn 18. I'm 27 so I don't have that requirement, but I still think that is a really good thing. I can always ask my Mum something if I need to. Or she can give some tips on parking ect... 

    This week I'm going to drive alone again, to pick my Mum up from a Christmas party and on Friday we will drive to IKEA for the first time. I'm so hyped! My parents hate IKEA and up until now I always had to ask them to go and I went there maybe once a year. Now I can go whenever I want. Also first time driving a longer distance on unknown roads. I could take the autobahn, but I don't want to. I love driving on normal roads. Much more relaxing. And I still can drive up to 60 miles per hour on certain sections if I want to. 

    I have planned since beginning my license to buy that big lion on my first visit. Going to use my gift card from the advent calendar (is that a thing in other countries?). You buy the calendar for 12,95€ and there are two gift cards in it who are worth at least 5€ each. 

    So that is the update so far. And yay for falling gas prices. I paid 1,56€ for the liter of gasoline when I got the car, it is down to 1,42€ currently. (I don't get that gallon thing, so I can't compare it. I paid around 50€/56$ for a full tank. 

  7. Confetti and Funfetti

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    cascarones
    Latest Entry

    I mentioned in one of the threads that I'd attended a charity dinner where JK was speaking and had a theory that I wound up defending in a Tumblr challenge a few years back. 

    My theory is that Molly Weasley had her own Deathly Hallows in the final battle. 

    While viewed as a children’s story, or a physical quest, there was much more to the Deathly Hallows than that, the mastery of death could lie not just in objects, but in the right mix of people. The theory, hotly debated amongst vigilant believers, was in current contest as those three Hallows were united as they dueled against Bellatrix Lestrange.

    There was Luna, the Resurrection Stone, the girl who fed thestrals, missed a mother and danced in and out of everyone else’s version of reality. The girl whose haunting alternate ways so often helped others get back to themselves when feeling lost or alone asking nothing in return, helping them resurrect who they were when they vulnerable.

    There was Hermione, the Invisibility Cloak that had shielded others so many times, often invisible and unthanked in her constant support of everyone. The cloak’s true gift lay in the ability to shield others, not just a single wearer and never tired out. For Hermione had never left Harry’s side, had helped Hagrid for ages on his case for Buckbeak, had knit hat after hat for house elf rights, had been the constant plan maker to hide them from trouble. The girl who was tortured to shield others.

    There was Ginny, the Elder Wand. The girl who stood toe to toe with Voldemort in a very private battle for months on end and ensured the only causality would be herself. If it is assumed the castle wasn’t doused with Flelix Feliciats, then Ginny was actively thwarting the giant, murderous creature she kept releasing while blacked out from killing.  Chamber opening, rebellion leading, unmastered Ginny who showed Tom Riddle having a thing was not the same as being able to use it.

    Their mistress was one Molly Weasley, who could selflessly possess the attributes. A daughter by blood, a daughter by heart from across the hill, a daughter to be. When faced with a depraved killer who had felled notable duelists, Molly could not be beat. The mother in her, the fresh grief she had might have been enough, but her Hallows ensured Bellatrix would never harm again.

  8. He's the most helpful helper who ever helped! He inspected the Amazon box & contents for danger, he kept me company while I worked. He's a very curious kitty. I mean it's entirely possible that I was cutting cheese on the walking around on thing, he had to be ready in case a piece fell. 

    Thank you @EowynW for the gift idea! I've never made lotion bars before. I do soap pretty regularly but haven't ventured into butter territory. I got some 2oz screw top tins from Amazon, they are purrfect!

    I used: shea butter, beeswax, Jojoba oil, a drop of Vitamin E, & French lavender & sage for scent. 

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  9. Oh gosh you guys!  She went to college, worked, and had been in love before meeting her husband - no wonder they quarrel.

    this is full of awesome.

    I just found the above amusing.  it actually pro-education even for women so progressive by Duggar standards.

     

  10. Because in all seriousness what else does one listen to on Thanksgiving

     

  11. HerNameIsBuffy
    Latest Entry

    By HerNameIsBuffy,

    I want to preface this by saying I am kind of embarrassed that this is my third blog post here in a row and if other people don't start posting let my insecurity be on your heads.  :)

    Also - I am well aware that I'm FJ's Jill Duggar of food photography.  I'm terrible ... snark away, judgey people.

    I love cranberry-orange muffins and in company meetings I'd make sure they ordered one for me from Panera, but I prefer mine because they are slightly less sweet.

    The three bears reference is because I always bake these in 3 sizes:  Jumbo, regular*, and mini muffins.

    I have three kids and this is one of the few things they all love.  Sometimes they like the jumbo when grabbing one as a breakfast muffin on the way to work or school, we all love the regular, and mini-muffins are great when you want just a little bite without eating a whole one...because for me breaking into a whole muffin means I'll try to save for later but will finish it in short order so mini-muffins are perfect for those times you need a little taste of happiness without making a cupcake sized commitment.

    *regular being typical cupcake tins.

    This is my grandma's recipe.  I am sure she got it from Ocean Spray originally and tweaked it as it's similar.  This is for a double batch which will make a tray of each size (6 jumbo, 12 regular, and 24 mini.)  It is also good in loaf pans as cranberry bread, but muffins leave less crumbs on my counter.  Those of you who have neater families who wipe up their own counter crumbs may enjoy the bread, this recipe makes 2 loaf pans.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 cups flour
    • 2 cups sugar 
    • 1 tbsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1.5 cups orange juice
    • 4 tbsp melted butter (or Imperial margarine)
    • 2 eggs, well beaten
    • 4 cups fresh cranberries* halved or lightly pulsed once in food processor. 

    (*I do not use nuts in this recipe.  If you prefer nuts then cut the cranberries to 3 cups and add one cup of pecans)

    • Preheat oven to 350
    • Butter tins or line with cupcake liners...I'm a big fan of spray butter
    • Sift together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.)
    • Mix together wet ingredients (OJ, butter, and eggs.)  Add melted butter to OJ before adding eggs so they don't scramble from the heat.
    • Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix together by hand until just combined. Like with all such muffins do not over mix or you will get a very tough end product.
    • Fold in cranberries until evenly dispersed throughout the batter, again don't over-mix.  You don't want them whole, but not minced - big chunks are best.  I use my food processor on all 4 cups at once and pulse it once.

    Fill tins:

    • Regular - 1 ice cream scoop of batter per muffin.
    • Mini - 1 melon baller scoop per muffin
    • Jumbo - 1.5 - 1.75 ice cream scoops per muffin.
    • Loaves  - split the batter between 2 loaf

    Bake:

    • Regular - 25 minutes
    • Mini - 15 minutes
    • Jumbo - 30-35 minutes
    • Loaves - 50 minutes

    Done when tops are golden and butter knife comes out clean.

    (posting now but will upload pics from phone shortly.)

     

     

     

     

     

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  12. Maggie Mae
    Latest Entry

    Earlier today,  I was at work with my Google Play Music on shuffle, and a song from the OBC recording of Annie popped up randomly. Weird, but whatever. It was one of my favorite musicals as a kid and I still have a bit of a soft spot for spunky red-headed orphans (see also PIppi Longstocking, Sansa Stark) Of course I listened to the entire thing, including a bunch of early mixes I hadn't heard before. I grew up in the time of tapes, and we were poor for a good portion of my life. I still remember my first walkman and the first two tapes - Amy Grant, Heart in Motion, and Annie. So I've listened to it a few times. (Eventually I also got an Ace of Base tape, a Madonna Tape, and some early 90s R&B, before moving on to CDs). Anyway, so I'm listening to some early mixes, and it hits me. 

    I love musicals. 

    This wasn't a revelation. But I love musicals because they are political. Every single one I've ever loved is political at it's very core. Annie - wealth disparity, the New Deal, history, Hoovervilles, all wrapped up in a shiny happy broadway theme. Rent - AIDS crisis, HIV stigma, poverty, wealth disparity, journalism integrity, the American Dream. Newsies - history - newsboys strike, Christian Bale singing with Bill Pullman, poverty, journalism, wealth disparity. Cabaret -   rise of fascism while everyone parties. Les Mis, Chicago, even Mary Poppins has a liberal political message/history lesson in the middle of it. Sound of Music. Fiddler on the Roof.  West Side Story. South Pacific. Avenue Q. 

    Hamilton

    It appears that my favorite musicals (other than Mamma Mia, which we should just not talk about because I will fight you if you hate it) are the ones about living in poverty and doing the best you can with what you got. Not throwing away your shot, if you will. 

    Which brings me to a different memory. 

    I was talking to a guy on skype. He had lived next door to a very close friend, and he was dating a different "friend" of mine from high school. This was in the early 2000s and everyone was talking about the election, Bush V Gore, the Patriot Act, Ralph Nader, John McCain, and assorted topics. This guy was literally the first person who didn't even humor me with my "you should vote for x person in the local election." He was just "no. I don't vote." And even with his reasoning, I could not accept that. I still can not accept that. I don't understand that viewpoint, and I probably never will. It's been at least a decade since I talked to that guy, and I just don't get it. What do you do all day when you aren't political? What do you talk about? When you talk about "how to make the world better" what do you say? Is the number of people who hate politics at all correlated to people who hate musicals?

    Which brings me to how does anyone hate musicals? I know they exist and are out there but why? Is it like my hatred of country music? They hear it and have the same full body uncomfortable feeling? That's so sad. I feel like I owe so much of my knowledge of history to my love of Broadway, as these groundbreaking musicals inspired me to study things in history that I probably wouldn't know about otherwise. I wouldn't have read Allan Ginsburg's Howl without Rent. I wouldn't have read The Berlin Stories  without Cabaret.  Fictional characters set during war time give the audience a grasp of what it was like for those who aren't Generals or State Politicians. 

    BTW. If Cabaret comes to your city, go see it. It's topical. 

  13. I remember being about two years old (I have a long memory) and watching my dad plug in Christmas lights. That was probably the last year our family celebrated Christmas. 

    Both my parents grew up celebrating holidays like most of middle-class America, but as they began their slide into fundie-dom they started reading tracts and booklets about the evils of holidays. They believed that Christmas, Easter, and Halloween were evil throwbacks to paganism that had been perpetuated by the Catholics (who, of course, weren't "real Christians"). I'm linking here to something similar to the many booklets we had around the house: http://blowthetrumpet.org/AChristmasDefenseHowGodsPeopleJustifySin.htm

    This refusal to celebrate holidays set my family apart, even from the fundamentalist Christians we associated with, and definitely caused a lot of confusion when people casually asked us kids what we were doing for Christmas, and we told them we didn't "do Christmas." We got asked a lot if we were Jehovah's Witnesses, since that's who usually comes to mind as not celebrating holidays. Sometimes people asked if my parents were Christian, because the idea of a Christian not celebrating Christmas was so astonishing. 

    Birthdays were only grudgingly allowed: we normally had just a family gathering, similar to the Maxwells' descriptions of their birthday celebration. It was often pointed out that the only birthdays mentioned in the Bible were the birthdays of evil men (Pharaoh and Herod). Also it was seen as being likely to draw to much attention to one person and make them self-centered. 

    This story has a bit of a happy ending, at least for me. After I left home, I embraced holidays with a vengeance. Christmas was amazing, my children got Easter baskets from my in-laws, Halloween was a pure delight of dressing my kids and taking them trick-or-treating. Now that I've left Christianity, I still look forward to the holidays. Christmas/Yule/Winter Solstice--whatever it's called, it's a time of joy and giving and yummy food. Halloween--it's a joy to watch my children enjoy what I didn't, with no fear of "Satan" to hinder their steps. The cycle of the seasons is cause for celebration, even if "Easter" isn't really a thing for me. And I want my children to feel special on their birthdays: to know that they're important and valued.

    This rejection of holidays stemmed from anti-Catholic and anti-Pagan attitudes. It was promoted as being "God's way," but all the tracts reviled Catholics and Pagans, making it obvious that the real problem was with other people's belief systems. Of course, we were the ones with the "right" understanding of the Bible. As with everything else. 

    Nowadays, my parents still don't celebrate religious holidays, except for having or attending a Thanksgiving meal (apparently there's some justification in the Bible for "a day of thanks," don't ask me). They are free to do whatever they want on the holidays; meanwhile, at my house, there will likely be a delicious dinner cooking and a living room full of loved ones. 

  14. I'm making my first attempt to cook rice in my Instant Pot. I am completely incapable of making rice that isn't either mush or crunchy, no matter what I do. Here's what I have done so far:

    1 c. wild rice

    2 c. water

    1tsp better than bullion veggie because it sounded good.

    1tsp. butter

    Put in pot and set to 25 min per https://www.platingsandpairings.com/cook-perfect-rice-instant-pot/.

    Prayed Rufus' blessing on my endeavour.

    Blogged about it on FJ. Updates to follow.

  15. Musings of a Former Pole Dancer

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    The title explains it all: My MIL is moving back to the region where husband and I live. We are state line to her home state (and mine), so she will be uber close to us. NEITHER of us is excited or looking forward to this B moving back with her mother (who is also not excited).

    She's not a job type person, and already told GMIL she cannot get a job because she's unskilled. She's not even 60 yet. The unspoken truth is she is going to wait for her mother to die and leave her the trust fund she's expecting. It feels like a page from a fundie soap opera because I cannot even with the amount of laziness bullshit from her.

    I'll have more updates later. She's supposed to be back by October 1st, but we don't know if she's going to cancel and try to "work things out" with her abusive, bipolar, alcoholic husband (for the second or third time). 

    In case you were wondering, my MIL is nowhere near fundie or even religious. 

  16. BlackberryGirl

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    BlackberryGirl
    Latest Entry

    Whoa!  Last night was weird as hell. At some point within minutes of me falling asleep, Mark took my hand and kissed it, in his sleep, and I went through the ceiling. I was startled awake and somehow thought a heyena had licked my arm. 

    Then a couple hours later I surfaced to see a ninja in full black costume jump over the bed and crouch by the window. 

    Fuck. Obviously I didn't go back to sleep. I had taken tramadol twice yesterday for the migraine and arthritis. I generally average 2 tramadol every 6 months or so..and its the lowest dose. Apparently some lucky people have halucinations as a side effect to tramadol. 

    I need some kind  of pain relief. Codiene is absolutely out.  At least the headache is gone and I feel generally better. Stil need to make dr Appointment, they are closed today, I'll call tomorrow. 

  17. Wild, Wandering, Wondering

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    wild little fox
    Latest Entry

    I don't know what happened but suddenly my depression has disappeared. I'm looking forward to the future. 

    I have gone as far as starting an exercise program I found on YouTube. It's for people with mobility issues to get them moving forward. I've been able to do the first episode three times. Today I purchased some hand weights designed for walking but they will fit in my hands without exasperating my hand pain. 

    My t-shirt fit better this morning because I'm already tightening up in my upper body. My pants were too long so I know I'm moving forward. I did need to use my cane when walking to and from the courthouse, but overall I'm feeling stronger. I'm looking forward to doing the program tomorrow. 

    Goals:

    Keep at it.

    Find a picture or pictures of bicycles. When I drop some weight I'm buying one! Mobility this winter in SoCal will be so much easier.

     

     

     

     

  18. I'm old, so I apologize for using a blog for this because I can't find the jibber-jabber place to post random things like this. 

    You know where the ads are on FJ, right?  We all do, and 9 times outta 10 I couldn't tell you what the ad was for because I just ignore them.  But Sears,  somehow, popped up with an ad for power tools.  Lots of power tools and tool boxes.  And a Windola (maybe not exactly a Windola, but I'm close).  After clicking on her and finding out you can do so many different things with her I decided I'd lingered long enough on the ad.  Gods know what's going to show up on the ad space NOW since I showed an interest in a poseable life-size barbie doll.  

    Has anyone else been blessed with this abomination or is it just me?!  

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    applejack
    Latest Entry

    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.

  19. 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.  

  20. The Fundees - Sims Style

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    nomoxian
    Latest Entry

    Despite keeping Jill away from David as much as possible when Steve and Steve 2 were at work, she still liked-liked him more. Steve was too boring and the other Steve was too angry for her tastes.

    David and Mrs David - not Ms. thank you very much! - got married in a Godly church, and are currently waiting for God to bring them their first child. In the meantime, David is spending his days fishing in Gods green gloryness, and Mrs David is spending her time singing Godly tunes to praise Him. She hopes that God will provide a guitar and piano, though she wonders how a piano will fit in the RV since there is barely enough room for the crib. Darn Sims baby is required to sleep in a crib even though their bedroom with attached private bathroom has more than enough room for a cage.

    (I'm not sure if I'm going to continue this. I was playing it with the hopes she would end up with someone else, so the gameplay would be more interesting and less... real.)

  21. I'm jumping ahead a bit in time here, but hopefully, I'll be able to do some catch-up posts in the next couple of days. Anyway, the Lord has decided to bless the O'Hurleys with twins. In addition to the two toddlers already in the house. Thankfully, Matthew is only one day away from aging up. I caved and used the free real estate cheat to buy them a nice big house in Brindleton Bay. Now, I'm off to look into the MC Commander mod since we've almost got a full house already!

  22. HarryPotterFan
    Latest Entry

    By HarryPotterFan,

    One of my closest friends is getting married this weekend. Since her initials will become PBJ, I made her this card. Now I have to figure out what to write inside. I feel so much pressure!

    Spoiler

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    There’s also a memorial they visit every time they are in town and is the location where her fiancé proposed. So nce it’s small I couldn’t find any souviners online as a gift, so I contacted park services. I spoke with someone there and got them a magnet and postcard, which I’m putting in the envalope as well.

  23. Don't get me wrong.  I actually do love my sister.  Except when I do not.  And she has made it really really hard to love her in the last (doing the math here)  3.5 years.  (no really last 'contact' was June 2014 in a cryptic 'stand down, I'm alive' Facebook post - oh and this was in the period when I was getting Mom diagnosed with dementia and dealing with drive-offs and actually needed to talk to her).  

    And yesterday was her birthday.  And Facebook likes to remind me of this because her birthdays are turned on (for the record, mine is not because I don't always react well to 'everybody' screaming happy birthday at me for days) - even though her last post was June 2014.  

    I assume she is alive.  That assumption is based on statements I receive (no, really) regarding her storage unit when the payments are late.  My means of communicating with her is via facebook messages that indicate no receipt but trust me they are getting through somehow (I care not how) because a few months ago the storage unit threatened to sell her stuff and I communicated that to her and for a month or so no notice.  In the mail today - yup, another notice about late payment.  So I just sent another message and the lovely I miss you pangs have reverted back instantaneously to I hate you.  

    My suspicion based on a limited about of internet research/stalking is that she's having financial issues and hiding from creditors (because that is always a great way to deal with issues).  And I cannot help her if she doesn't want to be helped (as indicated by her hiding from everyone).  

    I did not wish her a public happy birthday yesterday because in the past that has resulted in friends of hers, some dating back to high school coming out of the woodwork and then I have to go through this whole weird explanation of I have zero clue what is going on or where she is.  Which always feels so sad and stupid.  I'll also admit to not attending certain family functions (mainly on the paternal side) because my uncle is going to ask about her and really I want him to leave it (and about half dozen other subjects) alone but he won't.  (and really dude, you are my father's brother and you know how he was so whey the hell are you of all people expecting me to know or figure out or get through to my sister who is acting the same way he did)??

    The positive news of the morning from the same batch of mail is that the Recovering State of Brownbacistan has renewed Mom's Medicaid for another year.  

  24. Christmas is over, New Year is gone, I'm out of excuses. Back to weekly posting plan.


    And, so, what's going on in Ranford household?

    To be honest, not much. Life continued in familiar, chaotic misery. 

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    Viola started a new parenting strategy. You put a crying baby on floor and lecture it. Very fundie-like, and very unproductive. 

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    She decided to share this wisdom to the world with her first book. Basically, it’s a collection of her blog posts, but readers now must pay money for it. 
    Smart life choices!
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    Reed is a bit of a bully towards Huckleberry. He gets along with twins and doesn't care about quads yet, but every time he sees Huck with a toy, he takes it away. 
    Zachary and Viola would encourage Huck to give Reed his favorite childhood position, but, unfortunately, Huckleberry doesn't have anything that belongs just to him. 
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    But Reed has a good side, too. He catches more fishes in one day than Zachary has managed to catch in his entire life. 

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    The fishes Reed provides is the main food source for entire family now. 

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    And he remembers to pick up all the old bottles from kitchen floor. And, trust me, there are lot of bottles. 

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    #StoryTime: During one night a total stranger entered a house!!! Viola was busy potty training Huckleberry and didn't notice until it was too late!

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    The ungodly stranger turned out to be a hobby instructor! They are almost as bad as social workers, running around and telling kids that it's ok to enjoy something!!
    (Apparently, Forest likes this one particular toy so much he has gained enough enthusiasm to be in zone. And he is only toddler. I'll take it as a sign.)

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    And, yes, no pregnancy announcement from Ranfords... Have Lord closed Viola's womb? Without giving her a precious little baby girl? Or is this just temporally hardship that will be overcome with combination of praying and sweet fellowshiping? Viola sure hopes so. 

  • Posts

    • Pecansforeveryone

      Posted

      32 minutes ago, Audrey2 said:

      All of these questions about homeschooling are bringing a very dark question into my mind. I wonder after how many generations, the offspring of the fundies we follow will be functionally illiterate? The first generation moms had high school or even college degrees. We look at Jill Rodrigues and her homeschooling as an example of a second generation, which we can get some idea of her schooling ability by the way Nurie writes. Nurie homeschooling a large brood of her own terrifies me.

      I worry about the exact same thing with the Rodrigues children. Someone once guessed that Nurie is writing at a 4rth grade level. I find that believable which is 4 years less education than the Amish! There is no way that is a functional adult level of education, not a snowballs chance in hell. 

    • louisa05

      Posted

      @SongRed7, to quote Elaine Benes, "I don't know how you guys walk around with those things." 

      • Upvote 1
      • Haha 2
    • PennySycamore

      Posted

      The formulae are:

      F = 9/5 (C) +32

      C = 5/9 (F-32)

      The doubling of the degrees Celsius to get the Fahrenheit temperature is pretty close though.

    • SongRed7

      Posted (edited)

      3 hours ago, Free Jana Duggar said:

      Oh y'all, I just can't with today's "men invented everything"  post.  This has got to be in the Lori Top Ten of Stupidity, (and she's just got to talk about a man's sex drive again).  

      Yeah...I just don't get it. What's the point?   OK...men have more testosterone. No one is arguing that.  Men have invented things. So have women.  Maybe men have invented more things, because traditionally MEN limited WOMEN in the things they could do (especially when it come to academics.) 

      And again, what with the football reference.  It seems Lori and Ken and always using football analogies and examples. Once a week (it was twice for Lori this week) one of them talks about football.  Ken once said child birth was no big deal and men could handle the pain because "football" so they know pain. 

      Despite all of Lori's protestation, I don't know anyone who thinks men and women aren't different. Of course they are different.  But what Lori is arguing is that makes men BETTER than women. No, Lori. It just means they are different.  And it doesn't mean women wish they were men.  I'm not jealous of my husband's or any other man's testosterone.  And i am really GLAD I wasn't born with a penis between my legs.  I can't even imagine how uncomfortable it is and all the adjusting and shifting one has to do as a matter of routine. :pb_lol:

       

      Edited by SongRed7
      • Upvote 1
      • Haha 1
    • refugee

      Posted (edited)

      3 hours ago, BobJonesBabe said:

      Yikes!! What is that supposed to mean?! That he's merely affirming the taste of Spanky's "God is sovereign..." or, something more nefarious?!  

      Sounded to me like it was claiming “god was punishing RC Jr by killing these two mothers of many, bereaving their families, etc.” Really f...ed up thinking.

      Edited by refugee
      Clarification. Not my thinking, but the writer’s.
      • Upvote 1


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