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  1. 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. 

  2. Destiny
    Latest Entry

    By Destiny,

    It grieves us to share that long time poster and helpmeet @Arete has passed due to complications from cancer.

    Arete joined FJ in 2012 and described herself as "I'm in my early 40s, live in the Northeast US, and work as an ebil scientist. Born and raised Greek Orthodox Christian, and still am, got to have my smells and bells in congregational prayer. Politically liberal."

    She was glad to provide information about her church, her experiences in gardening, and her Greek family traditions.

    In respect for her family's privacy, we won't be sharing any additional details, but we know you will join us in honoring the memory of a graceful woman.

  3. 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.

  4. This post is brought to you by the amazing homemade ice cream at Good N Plenty and dedicated to @Mela99 This does not make up for my bitterness about not going to Shady Maple. 

     

    Today was........something. I'm remembering why I don't sign up for church-related things anymore. As a child, I always wanted to see a show there and I figured you're never too old for cute goats. I was slightly confused when I found out we would be seeing a production of Jonah but it ranks pretty low on the "potentially problematic" bible stories for me. 

    BOY WAS I WRONG. 

    I'll start off by saying the set design for the show was FANTASTIC. I want to hug the entire production team (especially the stage manager calling all those cues!) and feed them the baked good of their choice. The music is sung live over a pre-recorded instrumental track so there were a few timing issues but nothing that made the show unbearable. 

    I'm lying, there's one song where the harmonies are really grating. 

    Anyway, I'm sitting semi-enjoying the show, smelling too many roasted almonds, and crying over the worst $3 cup of watery iced coffee for all of act one. I shoot off a few texts to family members who I thnk would enjoy the show and settle in for act two. Now they open the show by explaining that they take some creative license with the storyline, biblical purists need not apply. Cool. I was not prepared for what was coming next.  

    (White) Jonah is projected out of the whale and onto.....an island full of brown natives. These are nice natives (they give him a donkey and clothes!) but they're definitely presented as an "other". Ok...slightly perturbed but we can still recover.

    S/N: Being surrounded by whale stomach acid for 3 days turned Jonah's hair from brown to boyband blonde. Seriously, it's in the script.

    Jonah Timberlake rides up to the gates of the city full of "evil people with no good in their hearts" who live by the motto "For the honor of Ninevah NEVER SHOW MERCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" full of condensation general disgust. Hmm, I wonder what kind of evil no good people he'll find within the city limits? 

    Black People. 

    Brown People. 

    People in shades darker than "HOA Beige" because of course brown people are ALWAYS THE PROBLEM amen. 

    The king and queen of Ninevah (and their brown child) are the only major speaking roles portrayed by persons of color in this entire damn show.  

    I'm pissed. I'm literally shaking. 

    The Ninevites sing songs that are more gospel than musical theatre. I just shake my head.  

    Honestly, don't ask me any of the finer plot points of this section because I was about 300% done by then. After Jonah's little vine dies I'm hoping they do an awkward curtain call and call it a day. Of course, you can't end the show on this wonderful (seriously, the moral is prophet or not- don't be an asshole) without having an appearance from the most important figure in American Christianity.

     White Jesus™ shows up. 

    That's right folks! No longer relegated to the much shorter New Testament, White Jesus™ makes an appearance just in time to teach Jonah a lesson and then walk off, hair blowing in the breeze. 

    If I had been any closer to an exit I would have walked out. They sing one last song in true curtain call form and then White Jesus™ makes another appearance just in time for the final pose. Then they do an abbreviated altar call. 

    TL;DR White Jesus™ is white and colored folks are evil.

  5. 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.

     

  6. Until recently, I foolishly assumed that since the laundry area shelves and brackets were 1.5 inch thick solid wood, that they had been properly anchored to the wall by the previous owners.

    Long story short, they weren't! :angry-cussingblack:

     They are now, and I'm extremely grateful that no one was hurt when one of the brackets holding up a fully loaded shelf pulled itself out of the wall. :pray: 

    Everyone, please check to make sure your shelves are secure! 

  7. "Dreich" is what the weather is like. It's a Scots word that describes the grey misery of a miserable cold, rainy day, when you feel like the damp will just seep into your bones and stay there forever. And ever. You will never get warm, or fully dry again. The rain will always teeter on that fine line between mist and drizzle. Not enough to warrant opening an umbrella, enough to get you soaked and chilled regardless.

    Since there is nothing I can do about the weather, I decided to cheer up our winter diet with a "Gratin Langedocien". Also known as the French version of an Italian Parmigiana. It was going to be a break from the endless rounds of cabbage that I feel compelled to cook in winter. Just a reminder that we will see the sun again, eventually.

    It all sounded so good. After hours of reading through different recipes, making sure I had all the ingredients on hand, I did what I usually do: I ignored all measurements, combined the different steps in several recipes to make it as easy as possible, and set about it. It was beautiful, it smelled gorgeous, and when I lifted the dish out of the oven, my fingers found a threadbare bit of oven-mitt, and...splat. My lovingly crafted aubergine/eggplant casserole lay on the kitchen floor, and I jumped across it to cool my burnt finger.

    In times past, this would have been a greater catastrophe. But back in the day, throwing away two days' worth of food was unthinkable. In the West, these days, we are quite used to throwing food out. It isn't a matter of life or death any longer, so I got the luxury of just feeling sorry for myself, rather than thinking "what am I going to feed everyone now?", and possibly scooping the whole mess back into the dish. The latter would have been horribly unsafe, since we are still battling a mouse. But in past centuries that was a luxury to consider.

    Spices and sauces used to be a great way to hide spoiled food. And in an age before refrigeration, especially meat spoiled quickly. Daniel Defoe, the author of "Robinson Crusoe" and "Moll Flanders", complained in 17th century England that:

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    in extreme hot weather, when meat will not keep from Saturday to Sunday, we throw, or cause to be thrown away, vast quantities of tainted meat, and have generally stinking dinners, because the butchers dare not sell a joint of meat on a Sunday morning.

    So, food did get thrown out, but apparently only when it had rotted so badly that it was past salvaging. Or dressing up with sauces, like this:

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    Beef à la mode

    Cut some buttock-beef a quarter of an inch thick, and lard it with bacon, having hackt it before a little with the back of your knife, then stew it in a pipkin, with some gravy, claret-wine, and strong broth, cloves, mace, pepper, cinnamon and salt; being tender stewed, serving it on French bread snippets.

    Besides sauces, there was advice for how to make your tainted meat smell less. You had to bury it, over night. That would take away the smell. While the advice is to wrap the meat up before burying, I doubt that even that would pass any modern "Health and Safety" check.

    As for fresh ingredients, well, peas were quite the thing in the 17th century. They were a fad food, made popular by the French King Louis XIV. Vegetables were plentiful, but expensive, in 17th century London. And salads were usually a boiled dish.

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    To make boiled sallads

    Boil some carrots very tender, and scrape them to pieces like the pulp of an apple; season them with cinnamon, ginger and sugar, put in currans, a little vinegar, and a piece of sweet butter, stew these in a dish, and when they begin to dry, put in more butter and a little salt, so serve them to the table; thus you may do lettuce, spinage or beets.

    Londoners who could not afford expensive ingredients, would eat fish. The sea-fish was usually already dried, salted or pickled. Fresh fish was expensive, since it had to be kept alive in water-tanks or carts, as the fishwives went around town hawking their wares. Or in the case of fish-tanks, stood around Billingsgate market. Apparently, Billingsgate market was infamous for the foul-mouthed fishwives, who would curse and swear at their customers during haggling. It was not a place for delicate ears.

    Or as Defoe said:

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    Not only strumpets, but labouring women, who keep our markets, and vend things about the street, swear and curse at a most hideous rate.

    Personally, I quite like the image of working women, who shocked Defoe's sensibilities. After all, they weren't there to pander to his imagination, but to make a living. And their customers had families to feed, and meals to cook. For someone who wrote a rather sympathetic book about "Moll Flanders", he really didn't seem to know much about the realities with which women lived. On the other hand, "Moll Flanders" is very sensationalistic, so he probably had a romanticised idea, imagined all hardships that life could throw at a woman, and ignored the most obvious ones. Like, trying to make ends meet. But, I digress.

    After all, this is about food, and one very popular and cheap food were oysters. They were plentiful and very cheap. Here's a recipe:

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    Oyster Pies

    Parboil your oysters in their own liquor. then take them out and wash them in warm water, dry them, and season them with pepper, nutmeg, yolks of hard eggs and salt; the pye being made, put a few currans in the bottom, and lay on the oysters with some sliced dates in halfs, some large mace, sliced lemmon, barberries and butter, close it up, and bake it, then liquor it with white wine, sugar and butter.

    Not only rather rich, but the ingredients in this, like in the other recipes, speak to a wealthy household. Pepper? Nutmeg? Just using the yolks? Salt? Mace? Lemons?

    Those ingredients were luxuries in 17th century London. If you were poor, your oyster pie consisted of oysters and greasy bacon. If you could afford that. If you were poor, your bread consisted of more chalk than flour. Chalk made bread look whiter, which was more desirable. If you were poor, your wine was likely stretched with lead - to make it sweeter. If you were poor in 17th century London, you were falling down a bottomless hole. The few charitable societies were never going to catch everyone, especially not women, who had children out of wedlock.

    If an unmarried woman had a child, the parish was responsible for the upkeep of said child. What did parishes do? They drove pregnant women across their borders, so someone else would have to deal with them. Or, they made you and your children beg, by handing out licenses to beg. You had to have a licence, otherwise you were a criminal, and gaol cost dearly. You got charged for board in gaol. By being poor, you could work up a real debt and stay in gaol indefinitely. Or, you could go for prostitution. The Bridewell gaol in London, a women's prison, charged 2 shillings to visitors, to pick any woman that caught their fancy. The two shillings went to the turnkeys, mind you. But you could earn a little on the side. If you made it tip-worthy for your rapist. 

    Let's not even go into all the punishments you could get for being pregnant out of wedlock, in the first place. Suffice to say that if you were a poor woman and set one foot wrong, trying to dress up rotted meat with a sauce was the least of your problems. So, what did poor people in London eat? Difficult to tell, since they weren't the ones bothering to write down their recipes. As mentioned, oysters were cheap. Kippers as well. And the undesirable cuts of meat, or offal. In the absence of the potato, which was not very popular in London back then, I'd also guess pulses and whatever grain was cheap.

    "Dreich" is too harmless a word to describe what things used to be like, in the good old days in Western Europe. Before Health and Safety. before women's rights, before human rights. In the spirit of the Billingsgate fishwives, I got to shout a few obscenities as I dropped that dish, but neither was there a Daniel Defoe around to complain, nor was it a cause for devastation. I just went to the shops and re-did the whole thing. It was indeed the perfect antidote to the dreich weather. And I was glad that I don't live in those times. So, in the grand scheme of things, all is well that ends well.

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    For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with religion.  I have devoured books and documentaries.  I have been in the front row of lectures.  I have asked questions, read blogs, articles, magazines, etc.  I have learned about major religions, fundamentalist groups, atheism, spiritual traditions, wicca, paganism, the druids, and the list goes on.  I have visited churches listening to sermons from multiple branches of christianity.  In searching through scientific papers, I hoped I would find the loopholes that would allow me to "just have faith".  I have searched high and low.  I wanted answers.  I still do, but these days, in my later years, I realize that answers may not come and that is okay.  I now know that I don't have to have all the answers to live a happy, productive and peaceful life.  I recognize that placing the burden of my life onto someone else's understanding of a supreme being isn't necessary.  I have survived (and sometimes thrived) through much turmoil and joy and I did it without giving the credit for either extreme to an unseen entity.  Those bad decisions were mine - not satans.  The good things I've done and experienced - they were from me too.  My consequences were my own.  My pain was my own and the love that I have for myself and those around me are all parts of me and me alone.  That isn't to say that I didn't recognize that something was missing.  I would look around at other people and see a deeper joy, a collective happiness of sorts and I would wonder - what does THAT feel like?  They would meet in groups and talk about their faith.  They had small meetings, studied books, held social events and played in bands.  There were entire festivals build around a belief in someone outside of themselves that had to power to either bless them with great gifts, give them diseases, take away their loved ones, start wars and impoverish whole nations...they gave all of their power to this outside force and relieved themselves of the responsibility of their decisions and found a way to blame consequences and bad decisions on another 'evil' being.  I recognize that I sound very pessimistic about the whole deal and in no way do I mean to thrash those who find there peace this way.  I simply don't understand it.  I am truly fascinated with the phonomena of faithfulness and those who are able to live their lives this way.  I am really enthralled with the scientific community that has found there way to jesus or allah or buddha or yahweh.  I want to know how they reconciled science and religion. I want to find the line between faith and reason.  Has anyone ever felt this way?  Do you know where that line is for you?  If so, what made you take the leap - on to either side?  My mind is open and I am always learning.

  8. Hanging On By My Teeth

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    Recent Entries

    beckerbuns
    Latest Entry

    At the end of December, 2014, I was forced out of my little duplex and sent scrambling for a place to live.  My own mother had decided that she would take my son in, but would not take me in.  This was not for any good reason that I could discern.  I am not a user of drugs or alcohol, nor a gambler.  I have always maintained employment.  I do not abuse anyone and I get along great with my mom.  She had just decided that she would rather I be homeless than help me.  It hurt very badly, because we had always been close, like best friends, and now she was basically dumping me onto the streets if I did not find somewhere to live.  A friend started a youcaring fundraiser to help me with moving and storage costs, but I knew I was skating a thin line between having a place, and living in my car or on the streets.

    On the day after Christmas, a friend offered me a place to stay in the nick of time.  I would be able to live in her mom's house while the mom was in the hospital.  When the mom came home, I would be her nighttime caregiver in exchange for room and board.  I was incredibly grateful and knew how lucky I was. 

    Going from a two bedroom, one bath duplex with lots of storage to one bedroom with no storage was my challenge.  I had managed to get rid of a huge debris bin (dumpster) full of stuff the previous May (therein lies a whole other story), but still had years of accumulated stuff to go through.  I was, of course, short on time, so I wasn't able to be thorough, but I paid to store what I ended up keeping.  I budgeted $500 per month; it ended up costing me $319 (which I'm still paying).

    I came to the new place with my bed, my desk, a dresser, and my computer, and a few boxes of clothes and minimal other items.  I used the kitchen and jacuzzi occasionally and otherwise stayed in my room.  I saw my boyfriend daily and went to work daily and otherwise I basically avoided people.  I worked swing shift and spent many morning and weekend hours ensconced in my room, curled up in bed crying and depressed.  The depression crushed me so badly I felt like I couldn't get out of bed even if I wanted to.  I had my daughter with me on alternate weekends and even on those mornings with her I could barely get myself out of bed, which distressed her and worried my mom.

    At some point... And I can't even pinpoint when it was... I came to the realization that I needed to see things differently.  Living by myself, away from my kids, really sucked.  But I had a boyfriend, friends and family members who loved me.  I had a job.  I was in relatively good health.  I don't know how it happened, but I started thinking differently, making the best of my situation.  My boyfriend and I cooked interesting new dishes that we found online, in the beautiful kitchen we had at our disposal.  I started spending more time out of the house when I had my daughter over for visits.  I went to the library.  I made an effort.

    I don't know why I turned that corner, but I am convinced that doing so saved my life.

  9. Elvis Presby
    Latest Entry

    For any of you interested in traveling vicariously I thought I would share some pics from our trip to Italy last month.  It was absolutely splendid!  I only missed eating gelato one day, but ate it twice on another day to make up for it.  :icecreamsandwich: (Ice cream sandwich emoticon will have to do).

    We spent 4 nights in Rome.  One of our days in Rome we took a day trip to Naples and Pompeii.  That particular evening we were able to eat dinner at usual time for Italy.  We tend to go to bed early and it was really hard for us to wait until 7 or 8 to eat dinner!  We spent 3 nights in Florence and on our last full day we took an afternoon trip to see Pisa.  We also stayed up late enough that night to finally get to try the restaurant directly across the street from our hotel.

    It was really hard to believe we were seeing all these amazing things.  It's humbling to walk the same roads, and be in so many places where such important historical figures have been.  I think that the oldest thing I have ever seen in the US has been the San Antonio Missions.  I was moved beyond words when we visited the missions.  Visiting all these breathtaking places in Italy had me moved to tears a few times.

    The Firenze Marathon was during our time in Florence.  There were people from all over the world running the race and also cheering the runners waving their flags.  This wasn't long after the Paris attacks, and there was a great show of French flags there.

     

    I really could write about this trip all day!  If you would like more details about any of the pictures, just ask!IMG_0766.thumb.jpg.ae74a64f27e144a90e516IMG_0768.thumb.jpg.d9bdb35f1d62ea550ac91IMG_0778.thumb.jpg.a1d1aad086234fe8476e9IMG_0795.thumb.jpg.356129106d95f6eb8d93cIMG_0834.thumb.JPG.88c459cbc3b630883fed4IMG_0860.thumb.jpg.9ffc24b11994b295da72eIMG_0880.thumb.JPG.87753050584604121a16aDSC_0126.thumb.JPG.e97bd0e27e4731fa10711DSC_0142.thumb.JPG.67256dbfe4c1baadbe85bDSC_0178.thumb.JPG.148619f76f8ddb1d67584DSC_0210.thumb.JPG.29a83a2c865d7ec722250DSC_0210.thumb.JPG.29a83a2c865d7ec722250DSC_0235.thumb.JPG.0a5f343aef172bd332a0fDSC_0248.thumb.JPG.bc356b1e989a00e1d2c97DSC_0279.thumb.JPG.698cf0a4c8981f35de852DSC_0282.thumb.JPG.941579696821823bb8d4aDSC_0291.thumb.jpg.8d12dae26d1e1959159e4DSC_0317.thumb.JPG.ed44b2eda45fb89400e88DSC_0321.thumb.JPG.abdfd4a055a37041ef871DSC_0344.thumb.JPG.30a9a4e649b0a07238071DSC_0347.thumb.JPG.f55060fb494a7268bc9d3DSC_0363.thumb.JPG.8d766a44eff7c79b1be57DSC_0369.thumb.JPG.fd6469e7b7fe8c25f3042DSC_0387.thumb.JPG.9e5d5e21e0bbbba0b04c9DSC_0090.thumb.jpg.d74518e275445b04e83a4DSC_0153.thumb.JPG.6fbf4ef6bab4d2fcf715e

     

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  10. The Bible Virgin

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  11. I haven't felt much like posting picture of the day entries recently for some reason, but my husband just scanned this one for me and I really like how it turned out so was motivated to post today.

    I did this one with prismacolor premier colored pencils.  I did use blending with the big flowers.  The rest is just plain old coloring.

    hummingbirdsugarskull.png.2cc6870a1bb825

  12. As I may have mentioned before, I am not a morning person. As the kids' summer break from school has gone on, they and I have been going to sleep a bit later and yet later than we should. :pb_redface: Our travel plans wisely took this into account.

    So, day 1 of our trip did not start early. We got up at about our usual time, and I packed for myself and the 2 kids while my DH swiftly packed for himself. We then travelled about 30 minutes and then stopped for a meal and a full tank of gas. (This is also the first trip that we've taken as a family when I have done the majority of the driving. My only requirement of my husband was that he do all the "big city" driving.)

    On the plus side, we only had a 4 to 5 hour drive to our hotel in the beautiful Wallowa Valley (Oregon). On the minus side, the only picture I got that day was at a rest area:

    20160725_175549.jpg

    By the time we got to Wallowa Lake, it was dark, all the lovely scenery was not visible, and the hotel registration desk was closed. (We did see a deer by the side of the road in the dark. Fortunately, it stayed on the side of the highway.) On a different plus side, the hotel staff were trusting enough to leave our room key where we could get it and have a nice night's sleep. Thus ended day 1 of the WWJCD family trip. (royal flourish)

  13. 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.  

  14. 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.  

  15. Musings of a (Future) Music Therapist

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    Recent Entries

    • 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) - Matt Redman
    • 4 Chords Song - Axis of Awesome
    • Abide with Me - Traditional/Hymn
    • Amazing Grace - Traditional/Hymn
    • Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) - Chris Tomlin
    • And They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love - Traditional/Hymn
    • Angel - Shaggy
    • Anything But Mine - Kenny Chesney
    • Away in a Manger - Traditional/Hymn
    • Because the Night - 10,000 Maniacs
    • Boom De Ya Da - Discovery Channel
    • Born This Way - Lady Gaga
    • Brave - Sara Barielles
    • Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson
    • Bring Him Home - Les Mis
    • Broken - The Sheytoons
    • By Way of Sorrow - The Wailin' Jennys
    • Count on Me - Bruno Mars

    ...To be continued.

  16. I have been rebuked by a fellow FJer for doing the cleaning post wrong. So, here's an attempt at doing it right.

    Today was the day of the week where my job makes us clean the ceiling fans. My boss took the initiative, telling me I'd better get off my cell phone and do some actual work if I was interested in getting paid. I purposed in my heart that I would dust the ceiling fans.

    While I went to the office to flip the switch that would turn on the fans, I thought about death. Would death be preferable to cleaning ceiling fans? If I fell off the ladder and broke my neck, did I know where I was going? What would happen if I fell of the ladder and broke my ankle? I would just have to trust in the lord that everything would be ok.

    I purposed in my heart to be brave, and prayed that God would give me the courage to climb that ladder, for lo, I do not like heights.

    I took the long handled dust mop, climbed the ladder, and wiped the blades with the dust mop. Since we clean our ceiling fans for Jesus every week, there wasn't much dust to begin with, and I forgot to take pictures. The before and after ones would have looked the same anyway, since everything here gets cleaned all the time. 

    After getting off that really high really scary ladder, I spent all the rest of the day praying for forgiveness for all my sins. Praise the Lord.

     

    There, was that better? Sort of? I really do hate that stupid ladder, but I exaggerated exactly how much it freaks me out. Well....sort of.....

     

  17. 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

    AF607C48-B487-405E-9CF9-FC467CCD0868.thumb.jpeg.d6f8c6355b72cac489eaf7c3839d1f3b.jpeg

    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.

  18. Hey everyone! In advance of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd share a family turkey recipe! Fair warning, this takes FOREVER to cook. I do it in advance of the big day.  Enjoy.

    Sauce: Enough for or a 15 pound turkey or smaller  

    Ingredients:

    Relajo (spice mix).. you can find this at some Mexican grocery stores in a little baggie or make your own

    ---chile ciruela

    ---chile wake

    ---ajonjoli

    ---pepitoria

    ---laurel

    ---ajo

    3 chopped onions

    2 Red bell peppers chopped

    1/2 small can tomato paste 

    12 peeled tomatoes (from a can, buy two large cans and use 12, plus juice)

    2 cartons Chicken stock

     

    Directions:

    Toast the relajo on a frying pan until its fragrant 

    Cook the onions until transluesent, add bell peppers and relajo

    IMG_1503.thumb.jpg.193c5d9d8f475e0516fcddc3d11348c3.jpg

    Add tomatoes and tomato juice 

    Cook low and bubbly for 30 min 

    Blend the sauce as fine as possible (you can use regular blender, but let it cool before blending, or immersion blender)

    Add half carton of chicken stock and cook for 20 min

    Get another pot. Place a fine strainer over the empty pot, and slowly strain the sauce into the pot using a spoon to push the sauce against the strainer and squeeze as much juice out as possible. This juice should be thin and red. Place the pulp into a bowl and repeat until all the thick blended sauce is strained.

    Now take the pulp and put it back in the original pot, adding another half carton of stock. Cook for 20 min.

    Repeat the straining. Cook one more time with more broth. Strain again. (so three rounds of cooking and straining)

    You can throw away the pulp, and what you have left in the pot is your sauce! Season to taste. If its too sour, mix in some brown sugar

    IMG_1509.thumb.jpg.f79d9341883e7065a101a270de8be7bb.jpg

    For the turkey:

    Ingredients:

    ·      Butter

    ·      Mustard

    ·      Worcestershire sauce

    ·      1/2 cup white wine

    ·      Stuffed spanish olives

    ·      Capers

    ·      Salt

    ·      Pepper

    ·      Paprika

     

    Directions:

    The night before, poke the turkey with a fork. Rub the butter, mustard, and worcestershire sauce all over the turkey and get inside the skin

    Put the turkey in a pan with the sauce, olives and capers drained, white wine, paprika and cook in oven. 

    Make sure you baste often it while its cooking

     

    The sauce gets its final flavor from the turkey. After cooking with the turkey, it can be frozen used as sauce on other things.  Also, a good Salvadoran post-thanksgiving meal is pan con pavo/ pan con chumpe, which is a turkey sandwich with the sauce, radishes, and cucumbers. Use a crusty bread.

     

    Sauce can be made a week in advance, and keep in Tupperware in the fridge. Or freeze if holding for longer.

     

    Throwback to last year's stuffing recipe: 

     

     

  19. Today here it's a day of Festa Nazionale or as you say a bank holiday. That must be the reason my daughter felt the compelling need to wake me up at 6am :my_confused:.

    Anyway this year's Festa della Repubblica is particularly felt because it marks 70 years since we got rid of the Savoia, elected a committee to write our Constitution and Italian women finally perused their right to vote. With this voting sheet we closed forever a chapter of our history not many are proud of. It was bilingual to accommodate Südtiroler German speaking citizens.

    scheda-referendum.jpg

    70 years ago started the process that in 1948 gave us a new Constitution, a new government and a new National symbol: the Star of Italy, a symbol strictly linked to our Risorgimento, the olive branch symbol of peace, the oak branch symbol of the unity of Italian people and the gearwheel symbol of the work of the people that is the foundation of our State as explicated by the first article of the Constitution.

    rps20160602_103527.jpg

    Honestly I am not much of a patriot, for many reasons, but I think that that day of 70 years ago our people did something right. I am quite proud of the first part of our Constitution, that deals with the principles of our State. And I am proud that five women were very vocal members of the Constitutional Committee, their names:  Maria Federici, Angela Gotelli, Nilde Jotti, Teresa Noce, Lina Merlin, are probably unknown internationally but are easily recognisable to Italian citizens because of some very important laws that were named after the women who proposed them and in particular Nilde Jotti was the first woman President of the Camera dei Deputati the third highest rank in our State, position currently held by Laura Boldrini. Sadly it's still the highest position ever held by women in our Establishment. 

    Reading FJ made me research more about USA Constitution and history. Today I wanted to reciprocate the pleasure for whoever may be interested. Here is the original writing of Italian Constitution as was approved by the Constitutional Committee in 1947 translated in English. It's under spoiler because it's composed by screenshots. 

    Spoiler

    Screenshot_2016-06-02-19-04-55.pngScreenshot_2016-06-02-19-05-42.pngScreenshot_2016-06-02-19-05-56.pngScreenshot_2016-06-02-19-06-21.pngScreenshot_2016-06-02-19-06-46.pngScreenshot_2016-06-02-19-07-21.png

    Changes have been made over time ie Military Service isn't compulsory anymore. But the parts I am proud of are still unaltered. This is only the first part of the document as you can see from the Table of Contents.  The second part designs the structure,  the power balance and the functions of the different parts of the State. It was crafted carefully doing everything to prevent the possibility of another dictatorship in the future. Unfortunately this requirement makes for an extremely bureaucratic State that in hindsight is the principal cause of the political mess and stagnation of the last 70 years. But that's another very very long story for another day.

  20. The Long Dark is a first-person survival simulation video game by a Canadian company called Hinterland. It's currently in alpha release (available on Steam for both PC and X box platforms), so there are constant changes, updates, and tweaking. The game is frequently updated with new areas, new mechanics,and new looks/feels.

    The setting is the frozen far-north Canadian wilderness after some kind of freak global disaster (currently not much info is yet available about that). So, there's no electricity or anyone else around (which they capture really well with an isolated/desolate feel to the game--you're on your own!), and you have to scavenge food, water, clothing, and other resources that will keep you alive all while protecting yourself from the elements.

    Oh, and the wolves. And did I mention the bears? Yeah, those godless killing machines, too.

    Currently, there are only 2 modes available:

    • "Sandbox"--you have the freedom to explore the world as you wish, with the goal being to survive as long as you can. And when you die, it's perma-death. No saves for you! (This perma-death/no save feature really pissed me off when the game glitched out on my longest survival run yet--529 in-game days, which put me on the leaderboard on Steam in the 42nd place).
    • "Challenge"--you can choose two pre-set challenges and try to beat the clock to accomplish the set goals (Oh, and watch out for that bear on "The Hunted, Part 1," because it's a bitch).

    There will eventually be a "Story" mode that will provide an RPG-type experience (and will allow saving, from what I understand), but that is still in development. I think the first chapter is due to be released sometime in the next month or couple of months.

    Let's take a look at just a few visuals, because the game is pretty visually stunning.

    Here's a gorgeous sunset over a frozen lake in an area called "Mystery Lake." There's a lot of walking, climbing, running, hiding (and falling and starving and freezing and dying) through these beautiful landscapes.

    Spoiler

    Overlooking ML 1.jpg

    A more typical snowscape, with a peach-tinged sunrise in the background.

    Spoiler

    peachy sunrise.jpg

    Here, I was trying to make it to a safe location in the dead of night, and turned around to catch the moon rising in between some stark trees.

    Spoiler

    moon on old connector.jpg

    Here's a typical shelter that provides refuge from the cold (and usually food, drink, and supplies). Actually, this is one of the swank digs in the game. A lot of the time you're kickin' it in a quonset hut, a little shack, or even a cave. Hell, I've been caught up in blizzards when out running for supplies and had to make due with a hollowed out tree. Oh, and there are also some "prepper caches" hidden in two of the maps, so you can luck out and find some really good stores of supplies.

    Spoiler

    pleasant_valley_farmhouse.jpg

    There are currently 5 well-developed play areas (Coastal Highway, Mystery Lake, Pleasant Valley, Desolation Point, and Timberwolf Mountain), with more (from what I know) still in development. You can do fun (or terrifyingly dangerous, depending on your level of adrenaline junkiness) things like rappel down mountains, climb up mountains, ice fish (there are some cool little ice fishing huts on the frozen lakes), or try to find the wreckage of your airplane to scavenge for supplies.

    You can also trap rabbits, hunt wolves (usually *they're* hunting *you*, though), or hunt bears, and their skins can be made into useful clothing that can mean the difference between freezing to death and being toasty warm as you explore the landscape.

    I have been greatly enjoying it, and even though it's still only in alpha release and Sandbox mode is the most in-depth game play mode right now, I haven't yet gotten tired of it. Well, not *too* tired of it. They just recently did an update, so that's made me a pretty happy camper.

    I plan to post more (I've got some more interesting screenshots and will probably post a couple "Day in the Life Of" type posts), but here's a video of the most recent update, which will give you a feel for what the game looks like in action:

     

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    Recent Entries

    'Iim not one to wax poetic. What's struck me is that we are becoming a family here, so I feel safe saying this. Look....I have several zautoimmune diseases crohns,psoriasis,fatigue,  and a chronically skip off events and fun stuff due to the illness. Lost a lot of friends that way plus I left the fundie church. This is sort of personal so please no trolls. Eating is not fun for me. I also  struggle with men--finding  attractive men who get it.  or even wanting to date me...are almost nonexistent. not surprising since I was the butt if jokes in middle and high school. I'd like to try to make something of myself by so fat I'm stuck as a receptionist.i want more than fundie education( no, I went to an excellent school, but people write me off fairly quickly.) stupid Heath. Any ideas? 

     

    Curious and HA if this OT please let me know and I'll remove. Itmust be awful if nobody cares! Romantically I mean. maybe I'm meant to be a nun. Who knows .....and before everyone gets worried I'm fine..

    meandering thoughts Monday....

  21. I've been lacking on my posts, and this is completely off topic from essentially anything on this forum, but I am completely obsessed with watching plane landings at the Maho Beach via EarthCam (mahobeachcam.com). I like watching planes lane (as established in the great duggar aviation thread 2015/16 RIP) but watching these planes land in a tropical paradise with the beach noises from the webcam is like heaven compared to the 4 inches of snow we have falling outside. Best of all, it only costs your internet connection. I've been to Sint Maartin, but never made it to this beach-- If I ever go again, I will have to go there in person!

    The other cams have cruise ships coming and going, but not as frequently, so they can get a little boring. When a cruise ship is actually leaving port though and you are able to catch it, it's pretty cool to watch!

    I need a vacation I think.

     

     

  22. ShepherdontheRock
    Latest Entry

    About a week ago, a former classmate of mine's parents were murdered; shot to death by her brother in their own house.

    The story was on the news, complete with his mugshot. (I'm not going to link to it here out of respect for her and her privacy)

    What gets to me is this: the murderer was known to be severely mentally ill, had been convicted of stalking a woman before and drug dealing, and had apparently sent death threats to his parents.

    And he had somehow gotten access to a firearm.

    I'm just baffled at the ease with which the wrong people can get these KILLING MACHINES.

     

    Honestly we are in dire need of stricter gun laws here.

  • Posts

    • Pecansforeveryone

      Posted

      Oh, I absolutely think JB is very insecure and wants to be the best and in control. I think Jeremy is more likely to want his children to succeed because that makes him look good, especially if that child is Jeremy, JR. 

    • PennySycamore

      Posted

      @Don'tlikekoolaid,  I think it's pretty cool that Manitoba(?) has a town called Gimli.  

    • SassyPants

      Posted

      3 hours ago, AtlanticTug said:

      Easy. They don't want their women too smart or God forbid, too ambitious.

      This is sort of related, but there is a lot of research and a lot of papers written about the increasing gap between the rich and the poor in the USA. And one of the contributing factors is that 50 years ago, by and large you had a stay-at-home population of women, married to income-earning men. That then began to change but overwhelmingly the men made more money, and there was often the effect of a high-earning man lifting a woman a level or more up from her socioeconomic position. For example, the much more common scenario of executive men marrying assistants and so on. What has changed with the influx of women into the workplace is that we have become a much more class-defined society. Meaning, the professional class tends to marry preferentially within the class itself. Lawyers married to other lawyers, doctors married to doctors, accountants, etc. And as time goes on, this will just become more pronounced.

      I still think the bigger question is if these men who think that they are super intelligent, and who may have married a woman they feel is less so inclined would want that woman to be the homeschool teacher for their own children. 

      Wouldnt they want their own kids to have the best of of educations, or is the goal for the pseudo intellect to always have the upper hand and control?

      I have always thought that JB was very insecure about himself and wanted to ensure that he was always the best...and in control.

      • I Agree 1
    • smittykins

      Posted

      Although admittedly, it would be handy to go behind a tree and whip it out when nature calls.  Squatting is hard, yo.

       

      • Upvote 2
      • I Agree 1
    • zee_four

      Posted

      On 1/8/2019 at 8:27 PM, Lurker said:

      This is my speculation only. 

      I wonder if Jim Bob is supporting them, I don’t know Cathy’s circumstance but maybe she is helping out too.

      I could see that JimBob pays for Derrick, maybe like the old fashioned remittance man found in old novels.  JimBob pays  him to keep away from the family brand and to lay off commenting on TLC.  Derrick shuts ups and finds a new path in life.

      Another thing that may have caused JimBob to find his way to underwriting the Dillards lifestyle is the control Derrick has over Jill.  She has probably told him the entire truth about her molestations by Josh.  She was groomed by her parents to have no self autonomy,  raised without knowing that incest is not normal (remember she claimed 2/3 of their circle had similar issues), raised to be a perfect doormat aka wifey. She seems desperate to please and appease him.  So if Derrick knows the truth, not the whitewashed story, he has a way to get Jim Bobs attention, albeit with lots of conditions by JimBob see above.

       

      I wonder if Derrick got some money when his dad passed? Maybe something in his will split the life insurance (if he had it) or there was another sort of inheritance. My brothers finally ex girlfriend he was with for 8 years was like this. Her dad passed away when she was 17 or 18 and even though they were run of the mill middle class she was left with a ton of money. She never worked until a year AFTER college despite getting an accounting degree and getting her CPA cert. She also had my brother who didnt go to college but busted his ass with computer work pay for everything. She could have easily gotten any job. She finally lucked out her first real job was with a company with lucrative government contracts, they paid for multiple employee vacations and she started at close to 6 figures.

       

      GAH she was so lazy and uncommitted and expected my brother to do everything for her, thank Rufus they broke up she wanted to get married and I figured my easy going brother would go along with it but he finally stood up and said no.

      1 hour ago, Don'tlikekoolaid said:

      The day Canada switched to Celsius they made an error calculating fuel volume and this was the result.  The pilot of the plane is up there with heroes like “Sully “ who landed on the Hudson River.

        Reveal hidden contents

      18D1B609-2B43-4807-BA3A-B99B7D306CC4.thumb.png.2b05c35f19fd6b647ef875c60f84d3e7.png

       

      Wow! My mum was in grade school in Ontario when Canada went from standard to metric so they had to relearn everything.  Shes great at converting back and forth off the top of her head though, super convenient for years of competitive trackwhere my jumps were measured in metric at big national meets and standard units in state. She'd even help all the other American parents of girls I was competing against hahaha.

      • Upvote 1


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      My ex has a kid now. This feels very weird.
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      HerNameIsBuffy

      Why do cuticles get hard sometimes and hurt?
      since time seems to move rapidly when I’m hitting the snooze or running late for work, or on lunch, and slows to a crawl while working it’s all perception.  How do I change my perception to reverse that?
      I am trying to teach myself to take micro naps with my eyes open ...it’s not working.
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      And 47of74 liked to say Fuck.  A lot.  Fuck this and Fuck that.  And every time 47 said Fuck, people on FJ land, while they cheered.
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