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Our community blogs

  1. Maggie Mae
    Latest Entry

    By Maggie Mae,

    Sundays

    I remember reading about Sundays in Farmer Boy! They sounded awful and boring. 

    Regardless, Laura and Mary also find Sundays to be long, since they have to stay inside and be quiet. They get to take baths on Saturday night, which is nice for them. In the winter, Pa and Ma (the text says Pa, but let's just be historically accurate) melt snow for bath water. They have a screen made out of a  blanket hung over two chairs. Laura goes first, then Mary, then Pa has to empty and refill the bath tub for Ma, then Pa. I guess Carrie doesn't have to be clean on Sundays? Or maybe Carries gets bathed as needed. 

    On Sundays, they sit quietly and listen to stories. 

    Spoiler

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    Laura likes to look at the pictures in the Bible, and learns that Adam didn't have clothes to wear on Sundays. Laura wishes she had nothing to wear but skins. Eventually she acts up and instead of getting  a spanking, she gets a story from Pa. 

    Grandpa's Sled and the Pig 

    Pa's story is about Grandpa and how Sundays used to begin on Saturday night, and no one was allowed to work or play. Everything was solemn.  I did some independant research trying to figure out what religion Grandpa was but it's not really known. Maybe if I had an Ancestry.com account, i'd be able to figure out where and when they came to the states and figure it out from there. But it's just generic Christianity. Laura ends up at a Congregational Church, which is interesting to me for personal reasons. 

    Old Timey Grandpa Christian rules include going to bed on Saturday night immediately after the after-dinner prayer, sitting up straight, walking to Church (Which also led me to just delete a long, judgmental story about my Conservative Jewish college teammate) and a prohibition on smiling. I thought prayer and Jesus was supposed to bring comfort and joy? NO SMILING! (Also no working, so no horses or cooking. Cold food only.) After dinner on Sundays, they sat in a row on a bench, studying their catechism until Sunday was over. 

    Grandpa's house was on a hill, so they liked to sled. Grandpa and his brothers made a new sled. They had 2-3 hours on Saturday to play. But their father kept them longer on Saturday and they missed their chance due to chores. So during church, they thought about the sled. Then at dinner, they thought about the sled. Eventually, they hear their father snoring and they sneak out to try out the sled. Just once. Be back before he wakes up. (We've all heard this story!) The sled goes faster and faster and I just realized that there was no mention of a mother :(. The sled speeds out of control and they go right under a pig, which sits on James (one of the brothers). The three boys and the squealing pig sled past the house, where the father (this would be Charles' Grandfather) is watching them from the doorway. The pig runs off without goring anyone, the sled gets put away, and the boys go back to sitting and studying. After Sundown, the father takes them out to the woodshed and "tanned their jackets" which I am going to say is a euphemism for "beat them with a stick or some plumbing line." 

    Laura asks if little girls had to be good like that, and Pa said it was harder for little girls, because they were never allowed to sled.  They could only stay in and stitch. 

    Much like Laura (and Arya Stark), I'm very happy to not be restricted to that. Pa brings out his fiddle and plays. Laura falls asleep to the sound, then wakes up and Pa says it's her birthday and she needs a spanking. She gets six. (Soft, not hard) She's actually five, the last one was to "grow on." I wonder how long he does this. It's weird. 

    Laura is given a stick person to keep Charlotte company. Ma has five cakes for her, one for each year. Mary made her a dress. (Jesus, Mary's like, what, 7? I still couldn't make someone a wearable dress.) Although when I was 7, I did teach myself how to read music and play piano on a little keyboard, which convinced my dad that I needed to go outside more. Pa doesn't buy or make Laura anything, he just plays a song for her. 

    It's pop goes the weasel. They list out the lyrics and the girls are supposed to look for the weasel and they can't find it and I'm sure this would be fun to read to a kid. 

    ---

    So thinking about putting this into a historical context, this was taking place sometime around 1870; under Grant's administration. After the Civil War. Wisconsin has been a state for maybe 30 years, there is a university in Madison. The economy is centered around logging and brewing. This little family is just homesteading. There are probably miners and trappers and other resource type people.  It seems so lonely to be so far away from town. I know when I was around Laura's age, I was well aware of various states and countries and the space program,  my neighbors, different churches, towns, candy stores. 

     

  2. 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.

     

  3. clueliss
    Latest Entry

    By clueliss,

    I posted this in the coloring club (or whatever it's called).  But I'm conducting a bit of an experiment since I've managed to find my way to where I can post a blog entry.  (it doesn't appear as an option now under Create - well it does but it comes up blank)

    This is my most recent project.  I've got a couple of smudges that make me batty when I see them.  Otherwise, I've very happy with how this turned out. IMG_20190317_064139.jpg.a2378d5049d788552f19f741c3dbfaab.jpg 

     

  4. crazydaffodil
    Latest Entry

    Really good point!

    5JhFYzi.png

    Just sayin...

  5. 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.  

  6. Imrlgoddess
    Latest Entry

    Someone had a big adventure this week!  

    We've been trying to get our house sold and some of the feedback mentioned the urine smell from the cats.  So the last two showings I put the Princess outside and took Thor to our office complex along with his litter box.  The first day I had my grandkitty Rowena and he.  One of our buildings has a series of classrooms with an office inside an office, so double doors plus the main entrance doors.  When I put he and Roweenie kitty they stayed in the office with just the door pulled shut.  He got down between a pair of desks and stayed there till it was time to leave.  Well the second time I guess I didn't pull the door shut well enough and Mr. Thor the Wanderer needed to go exploring.  

    We called and searched inside and took turns sitting in the back classrooms (storage space these days) and just listened for his bell or him to move something.  There was a pretty nasty thunderstorm so I know his nerves were bad, I understand him hiding out.  7 hours ya'll.  He didn't make a peep and I started to get freaked out that he'd somehow slipped out the main doors.  My husband toured the grounds and called and called.  He came home and got his food bowl and shook it in around.   Nothing.  So we called the alarm company and asked how high the motion sensors were set and told them about the rogue kitty.  

    I cried till I was sore.  I was so scared that he wasn't in the building.  He managed to set the alarm off twice in the early morning hours so that made me 100% better.  I got up this morning & went to the office and called him and then just sat for a while.  It was a few minutes later he comes sneaking out of the most packed room in the back.  He had some random cobwebs stuck to his whiskers and he was a little freaked but he came right to me and let me pick him up.  He's home safe and sound but now I know....if he has to go back for a visit, SHUT BOTH DOORS! 

    Thank you, thank  you for every prayer, every candle, every good thought.  

    OH! also we have a new addition to the family, meet Mina.  I rescued her from our local pound about a month ago, she's somewhere between 2 & 3 years old and I believe she's a Kelpie or a mix of Kelpie and Terrier.  She's really great and loves the new farm land we bought. Thor was not amused but he's warming up to her. 

    Spoiler

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    Spoiler

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    Spoiler

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  7. 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.

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  8. Trying to keep tabs on multiple families isn't the easiest task!

    Bob knows that red roses are a solid romantic gesture.

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    "Bethany, you are such a beautiful, Godly young woman..."

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    "... will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?"

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    Front hugs a go-go!!

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    Popping back over to the mothership, where little Hannah had aged up. I changed her outfit.

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    Then we go to Andrew's house. Time for the twins to age up!

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    Here's Molly! 

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    And here's little Morgan on the xylophone! This is also the 800th screenshot in my album. 

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    This top and this skirt are the most modest options I have for formal/bridal wear. I'm guessing that all the females will be wearing this combination, or similar. You may be able to notice the subtle floral decoration I added for Bethany's outfit. I could go for a slightly shorter skirt (still covering those *sinful* knees), or else something that doesn't cover the shoulders. I wish I could create my own CC sometimes, but I don't have those sorts of skills, so I have to make do with what I have.

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    Hand-holding!

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    It's happening! Wedding #2 for the Taylor offspring!

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    I didn't capture the kiss that occurs as part of the wedding vows action. But just-married-that-second Sims, particularly fundie ones, don't need an excuse!!

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    I couldn't spot Diana in the immediate congregation, and then, searching the lot, I found her.

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    Cake time!

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    Slow dancing in a bedroom. This was where Bob slept when they weren't married; it'll probably be a kids' room in the future.

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    That's two weddings down and six more to go. Of course, the two youngest are only toddlers. 

     

     

     

  9. 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.

  10. Tonight's song I've been listening to over and over is "I'm Not the Man" by Ben Folds. I am basically trying to find every live version I can on youtube. I have been obsessed with this song since the album came out. It gives me a lump in my throat when I listen to it sometimes. In February, I'll be seeing Ben live with a local orchestra. I have no clue if he'll play this one but I might go a bit crazy if he does.

    A lovely live version is behind the spoiler tag.

    Spoiler

     

    In high school, I liked the song "Brick" by Ben Folds Five.  But I never really listened to Ben Folds much until around maybe 2010 or so. Since then, I've been kind of obsessed. I listen to him almost every single day. I'm not sure if that's healthy or not...ha! He just has so many great songs. The one I posted above is from his most recent album. I've only seen him perform live once in 2012. We're finally seeing him again next year and I am so freaking excited about it. As dumb and cliche and it sounds....his music has really helped me get through tough times. This won't be the last Ben song I post here.

  11. 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. 

  12. This week I have accomplished something great, HUGE even:

    I have finally found shoes that don't make my little toes feel like they somehow missed their amputation appointment.

    Color - check
    Ease of purchase - check
    Ability to reorder 1000000 pairs at once - near check (I actually want to wear them a bit more first to make sure they'll hold up ok).
    No attack of the allergies while shopping - check
    NO squished painful toes! - CHECK!

    You have no idea how happy I am about this. YEARS and MANY shoes of attempted this made me wonder if it might be impossible without emptying my bank account. Apparently it IS possible. YAY! I'm so happy. I once found a pair of shoes when I was really desperate that were good, except they were something like 5 times my budget at the time which wasn't really possible.

    So, long live internet shopping and long may I be able to purchase shoes with free return, and no import taxes.

    (and may internet shopping greatly improve. I got my feet scanned so I could find out what shoes would fit best and the damn thing won't even tell me that. I have to look at each individual shoe *sigh* At least the scan did inform me that I have WIDE feet, and thus I'm not imagining that ;) )
     

    The search for work/formal shoes/boots continues. I ordered some 'wide' ankle boots online. People complained in the reviews that they were too wide. I try them on and was so terribly terribly saddened. I'm not sure how much foot binding those reviewers did in their youth, but those boots made me want to get rid of 2 full toes spread over 3 toes, on each foot. They were NOT wide enough. I guess the bonus was I could actually squeeze my feet into the boots. There have been times in the last five years and the 100s or possibly 1000s of shoes/boots tried on, where it just wasn't possible to do that.

    And I guess while I talk about footwear, it's time I got some new gardening shoes. I don't know what I want, or how to find cheap enough footwear that'll fit, is sturdy enough and won't get full of dirt every time I step outside (ok ok, today it was manure and dirt)

    Then I might need some gumboots , and I'll be sorted for the next 20 years. One may dream right?

  13. 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

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

    Spoiler

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    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

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    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

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    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:

     

  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. Keeping Up With The Dunkels - Chapter 14: Dunkels Double Date

     

     

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    Back at the Miceli's, Hobart brought his doctor friend home for dinner again one night, and one of Adalyn's sisters just happened to be visiting to help with the baby.

     

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    Wow! Aimee Joy and Christian seemed to be hitting it off! "What do you think about an ice cream sundae reception?" she asked him.

     

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    "Huh? That's crazy."

    Hmm... maybe not.

     

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    Uh oh... is there trouble at Adam and Mehrissa's new house?

     

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    Nope! Apparently when you adopt a pet, the police are nice enough to bring it over. Er... sure. Why question it? Adam and Mehrissa's boys had been begging for a pet for ages, and their parents finally decided to get them a little puppy named Bear. Aww!

     

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    With Mehrissa expecting another (hopefully) tiny blessing, it sure was going to be a full house soon! She wore her hot pink maternity pajamas, hoping God might take the hint.

     

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    Not long after Aimee Joy was introduced to Hobart's doctor friend Christian Cwik, Anna Grace started talking to another young man from church, Waylon Menon. She was a little worried when he expressed his admiration for women who kept in shape - that wasn't her at all! But it COULD be her! 

     

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    After Waylon left, Anna Grace jumped right on that treadmill. She got off to a rocky start, but she purposed to work out every single day, determined to win Waylon's affections, and soon she was physically fit!

     

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    "Wow, I can tell you're a young lady with a heart for the Lord, who also LOVES to lift!" Waylon exclaimed, impressed, and promptly went to talk to her brother to see if he could start a group text.

     

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    *To the tune of Butterfly Kisses* "I know the cake looks funny, Daddy... but I sure tried!

    Oh... wait... my daddy's dead. And he wasn't my real daddy, anyway. Oh well."

    :pb_eek:

     

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    Guess what? Christian and Aimee Grace Joy (I am seriously surprised I don't mess up these names more often, folks) may have gotten off on the wrong foot (seriously, ladies, enough with the ice cream sundaes), but soon they were getting along just fine. In fact, little adopted brother Alexander was only too happy to chaperone as they started an OFFICIAL COURTSHIP!

     

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    Aimee Joy was thrilled that her educated and employed suitor took her out on nice dates (don't worry, the chaperones are right there at the next table). She didn't mind at all that he had a gay brother in the city. What was one gay brother?! They were totally in sync on everything. They even discussed the sort of house they would move to if, Lord willing, they got married!

     

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    Anna Grace wasn't far behind her twin sister. Her dates with Waylon were a little more low key, but she didn't mind at all. She was more than happy to show off her homemaking skills by impressing him with the most complicated meal any of her sisters had ever made: spaghetti and meatballs.

     

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    Both sisters were totally sure they had found the men they were going to marry! FINALLY!!! Being single in your mid-20s is such a trial, ya'll!

     

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    Back in the Big Scary City... Abigail was still fuming about the way Gilbert had treated her. She decided she was finally going to take the plunge and try online dating.

     

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    Her first date was with a firefighter in a trench coat. She thought that was kind of weird, and she'd had bad luck with guys in trench coats - plus, all she could keep thinking about was how mad she was at Gilbert. But she decided to give trench coat man 3.0 a shot anyway.

     

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    Sadly he turned out to be totally meh. All he could talk about was himself, and Abigail found herself far more interested in the basketball game on TV than him. She didn't even like sports!

     

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    A couple weeks later, she had another date lined up with a guy named Neil. This guy seemed much more promising. He looked normal, didn't wear a trench coat, and didn't try to jump into bed with her on the first date (which is a good thing, since Abigail is still trying to get over her fundie upbringing and hasn't had the best of luck with dudes and, er, hasn't even kissed a guy yet. Shh...)

     

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    WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS.

    Abigail and Neil planned to meet up for another date the following week. When he texted her to let her know he was outside, she asked him to come in, because she was going to be about another five minutes getting ready. But when he walked in the door, he was dressed like THAT.

    "Um, hey Neil, what's up with the outfit?" she asked with a light laugh, trying not to show her alarm. "Are you in a play tonight or something?"

    "What? Nope, 'course not. I'm taking you out on a date. This is just how I dress. Haha! I know it may seem weird, but I'm part of a plant-worshiping group and we have to dress like this to do our rituals. It's not a big deal, we just have sexual intercourse with plants to gain their leafy powers for ourselves. I was hoping you'd come to tonight's meeting with me."

     

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    Abigail kindly asked him to leave.

    "Fuck you, Gilbert!" she thought to herself, as Neil walked out the door. Some misdirected anger there, I think, but okay.

     

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    Things were going much better back at the Dunkel homestead. The twins' suitors coordinated between themselves to do a... double proposal! Oh my gosh! How sweet and how neat! 

     

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    Aimee Joy and Anna Grace were absolutely ecstatic. This time they both say, "YES!" Looks like there's a double wedding in the (VERY NEAR) future!

     

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    NIKE! Don't worry, Cara was alone in the privacy of her beige bedroom as she celebrated her third pregnancy. #Blessed!

     

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    Adam and Mehrissa's boys were growing up. So far little Bryson was the only one with Mama's colouring.

     

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    Bear grew up too! Good dog.

     

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    Addyson liked to escape the Dunkel homestead now and then to visit her cousins' house, where there were only six people and a dog.

     

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    Happy Birthday, Braydon! Time for a haircut, I think, little buddy.

     

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    Much better!

     

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    Just as Mehrissa put Bryson down for his afternoon nap, she went into labour for the fifth time. This labour was the fastest yet, and they didn't even have a chance to call the midwife! Thankfully that baby just slid right out of her, a mere 10 pounds even, and she was back on her feet making tater tot casserole that very same night! Meet...

     

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    Brody Dunkel! Yep. It's another boy. Sorry Mehrissa - maybe next time! I mean, look on the bright side. There will definitely be a next time.

     

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    Adalyn was soooooo enjoying being a mommy. It was the most precious thing ever! As she watched her little David grow into a toddler, all she could think of was how much he looked like his daddy. Where was Hobart, anyway?

     

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    Out schmoozing, it seems. Look, the man is a DOCTOR, he has to make connections in the community. He can't be expected to sit around at home with his wife and kid all day. How else is he supposed to provide for them? And yes, he's at a disreputable establishment with GAMBLING, but that's where the work luncheon was held. He can't help that, can he?

     

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    Okay, I know this looks bad, but Dr. Amanda [mumbled last name] is European, okay? It would be the height of rudeness not to greet her with a kiss!

     

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    But it seems Hobart tried to do a little more than greet her, if you know what I mean. To her credit, she was having none of it. "Are you crazy, Hobart?" she exclaimed. "I know you're married! We're standing outside your own house, for God's sake! I'm out of here."

    Hobart could only hope that this little 'misunderstanding' wouldn't get spread around town by his colleague...

     

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    Meanwhile, inside the house, Adalyn was about to welcome their second precious blessing! "Hobart! Hobart?! Where are you?!" she called. 

     

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    Oh well. Adalyn was sure he'd be along to welcome his newborn daughter Daisy to the world eventually.

     

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    A few days later, Abigail was surprised to see Hobart out and about downtown, and at the sort of establishment fundies usually steered clear of. "Hobart? What're you doing here?" she asked. "Didn't Adalyn just have a baby?"

     

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    Hobart laughed her off and told her he was there for a 'work event', but she watched in consternation as he sat down to play poker with some strange women, who seemed more than a little interested in how much money a doctor of his calibre made.

     

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    Guess who? While Abigail was out and about and worrying about her brother-in-law, her "ex-boyfriend" Gilbert showed up outside her house AGAIN. Good thing she wasn't there to see him, because there might have been a throw down, and not in a sexy way.

     

    So long for now! Hope you enjoyed today's update. Check back soon for... a Dunkel Double Wedding! And so much more. Maybe a Dunkel restraining order, too (take a hint, Gilbert)!

  16. This fucking summer. This fucking year, really. So. My marriage, which limped along while I was super depressed because I just didn't care, is really rocky right now. I'm not sure he knows that it's total shit- I think he thinks everything is great. I mean, I finally stopped nagging him. I'm just really quiet all the time. I never ask him to do anything around the house anymore and just do it all myself. Because I'm fucking tired of having to tell a grown man, over and over and over again, that he needs to put effort into his own life outside of work. For the first time in a long time I'm thinking about the future and I'm just exhausted by the thought of however many more decades with him. I get one life and I'm not sure I want to spend it as someone's damn live-in help- there is no mystical property of a penis that prevents the owner of said genitals from cleaning the shower once in a fucking while, without being reminded six times, and without whining about it.

    It all came to a head when one of his friends (who, silly me, I thought was my friend too- hahaha, no) told him that he's avoiding me on purpose (we're next door neighbors, it was getting pretty weirdly obvious) because he's got some Mike Pence flavored asshole ideas about the world. Well, the dude didn't acknowledge his own Mike Penceness, just said that he won't be alone with his friends' wives*. Like, what the fuck, dude, I'm a PERSON. I'm a PERSON. I don't BELONG to my husband, and I don't just drop my fucking pants every time I'm alone in a room with someone! As a matter of fact, the vast majority of times I have ever been alone with another human being, I was wearing my pants the whole time. The whole time!

    *I'll note that this rule was clearly not in existence last year, before I lost 50 pounds.

    Believe it or not I swallowed my rage (it took some serious swallowing) and did not make him eat his own mailbox. See? Agency. Choices. Not ruled by my emotions/gonads/instincts. Almost like I'm people or something.

    Like, holy shit guys, I'm being treated like I'm an appliance with tits by basically all sides these days. This sucks and MANY things officially tasted better than thin feels.

  17. 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! 

  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. Blahblah
    Latest Entry

    So I finally caved in after struggling with combs and bristle brushes and bought a Furminator at the recommendation of a couple of websites and the woman at the Pet Barn (who clearly had no ulterior motive in selling me a stupidly expensive cat grooming item). I was skeptical and for $Aus56 I was crossing my fingers (and everything else) that it would be worth it.

    And then this happened.......

     

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    image.jpeg

     

    This is thing is FREAKING AMAZING. Both of them sat for ages purring away and loving every second of it. Oh, and that bottom photo? That all came out of Alfie's tail.

    However I am feeling like a bad cat parent because I clearly haven't been doing much good with my previous combs and brushes :( 

    image.jpeg

  20. I've recently been playing around with watercolors a lot (mostly because I wanted to paint something nice for my bestie for her birthday) and I just kinda wanted to show off some of the things I've done recently. So this post now exists. 

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    Most of these are from my #drawweirdaleveryday project (which I gave up for a long while but am now doing again) but the cat is my friend's cat Khéops. I painted that for her birthday. 

    I've got one more I could show, but it's not quite done (it's also meant to be a surprise yet and its recipient hasn't seen it yet). 

    ART!

     

     

     

  21. I feel the need to get this off my chest, even if nobody really reads this.

    Yesterday marked the end of a chapter of my life that was open for 16 years - since I was 16 myself.

    When I was 16 I met someone online. We were the same age (or so I thought - years later she admitted she was actually 6 years older than me) and had similar interests and immediately clicked as friends. In fact, it turned into more than friendship and we started a long-distance relationship. I was infatuated, in love as only a 16-year-old could be.
    I vividly remember our first fight. It was around the time of my 17th birthday. We had a mutual friend who was interested in a site called Furcadia. She'd invited us both to play with her but my girlfriend wasn't interested. I decided to give it a try, though. When she found out I'd been hanging out there with our friend she was furious. I was taken aback, but I placated her and it was over.

    Thus began my dealings with a person suffering from psychiatrist-diagnosed Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In the early years she broke up with me several time. Each time I was sobbing and heart broken. Each time I was told to get over it. At one stage I moved across the country to live with her. I had no car and no way of catching public transport so she promised to drive me around. Three days before my flight she dumped me. When I moved there, she refused to drive me around. My parents had to buy me a car and drive it cross country. Two months later she decided she didn't want to live there any more and broke the lease to move back home. I had to do the same.
    She told me to move on because we were never getting back together. Eventually, I did.

    I kept it from her, knowing that in spite of her telling me to move on she would be furious. I didn't lie about it, I just never mentioned it. I didn't really try to hide it. Enevitably she found out and the fallout was phenomenal. Eventually, we began talking again. She wanted to resume our relationship after mine ended, but after she had stranded me across the country without so much as a single apology for her actions I'd seen her true colours and could never feel the same about her. I was willing to be friends, but any love I'd felt had been crushed by the hurt I felt.
    Despite not being in a relationship, she rewrote the history of mine. She accused me of being with him while I was still with her. She claimed that she'd never said to get over her and that she'd been trying to get back together with me while I was with him. None of that was true. After telling me so many times I had to get over things she'd done in the past, she never let go of my 'betrayal'.

    Once I found out about the NPD I began to learn how to avoid the arguments and brush off the constant criticism. I was a bad friend, I made her wait too long when we talked online, my illness got in the way all the time, she made all the time in the world for me but I wasn't reciprocating. Somehow, amidst the constant barrage of criticism she kept hinting at us getting back together, but she wanted me to be the one to make the move.

    That's when I realised - she didn't love me. I was her backup plan. When she had a better prospect she was happy to let me go, but when there was nobody else she wanted me. She took for granted that I'd wait around for her and ask to get back together and be grateful for the opportunity.
    She was wrong.

    A couple of years ago, I met someone new. Somebody whose love didn't come at the cost of my self worth. Someone who didn't complain about making endless sacrifices for me and ignore the sacrifices I made from then. In fact, I didn't need to make sacrifices for him at all.

    It was a love different to any I've felt before, and the first time we met up I realised I couldn't imagine my life without him. Earlier this year, we got married and it was the best thing I've ever done. Naturally, I did not tell her.

    I told him everything about her - how our relationship had started, the ways it had ended, and our continuing 'friendship'. I told him that she viewed us as being in a relationship even though I hadn't agreed to one. I was completely honest, and he was completely supportive. He encouraged me to disconnect with her, made me finally believe I didn't deserve the constant criticism, that even though I'd learned to deal with her and didn't rise to the bait it still negatively affected me. He didn't push. He just let me do it at my own pace.

    Yesterday, I finally disconnected for good.

    It was over something relatively minor in the scheme of our rocky relationship. I was going through something difficult and she was angry with me for being distracted by it because she was having problems too. I told her I was dealing with a potentially terminal illness in my family. Most people would at least offer some perfunctory sympathy. An 'I'm sorry', even if the next word was 'but'. But she didn't. She was just angry I wasn't asking about her issues.
    And that's what did it.

    I told her I had nothing more to say to her, and this time I truly meant it.

    I know how different the story would be coming from her. I am a horrible person, a heartbreaker, cold and cruel. I am a cheater and a liar. I am not a saint and I know I've done things out of anger or hurt to lash out at her. I am not blameless. I feel genuinely sorry for what she's going through right now and it's very hard to not tell her so, but I can't get drawn back into contact. My words yesterday confirmed to her every bad thing she's ever thought about me and she will never forgive me. She'll hate me. I needed it to be that way. I wasn't cruel, at least I tried not to be. I wanted to say she was a narcissist and a hypocrite, but I didn't. I didn't get mad. I just said I could no longer be in contact  - but that's all it will take. Ending things myself, on my terms - that's an unforgivable sin. I still feel guilty, despite everything. I hate hurting or upsetting anyone.

    But at last, I can finally breathe.

  22. 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)

  23. 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.

  • Posts

    • HurricaneBells

      Posted (edited)

      38 minutes ago, DillyDally said:

      In the funeral video Jill posted on Instagram where the whole family is singing on stage, you can see Jinger with a noticable bump. Looks like Baby Vuolo No 2 is on the way. People on tumblr are talking about it (I usually don't partake in pregnancy speculation/body scrutiny, but that's definitely a baby bump.)

      Ha I just posted in the Jabbie thread that the media is speculating they are pregnant as Jessa said something about babies due in both fall and winter on insta but then I watched the video and I completely agree its Jinger...

      Edited by HurricaneBells
      Fat fingers...
    • ladyaudley

      Posted

      Martha has posted in her stories about hanging out with Aunt Flo - I wondered why anyone would post about that but she also hashtagged it no more amenorrhea and hormonal imbalance. I guess she’s crediting Plexus...

    • Italiangirl

      Posted

      If, big if, the marinated cucumber is right and Jb really said that there is someone due in January, it could be that Jing is due in December and Abbie is due in January...I guess we will know better kn a couple of weeks. 

    • HurricaneBells

      Posted (edited)

      So various sites are starting to speculate that she is pregnant since Jessa made reference to Mary looking forward to babies due in both fall and winter... Who is due in winter? Isnt Amy due... first and the rest in Nov?

      Screenshot_20190619-185120.png

      Edited by HurricaneBells
      Eta. It may well be Jinger, the little darkhorse. An observant poster just posted she seems to have a noticable bump in Jills insta vid and I kind of agree.... Its a Duggaroff!
    • DillyDally

      Posted

      In the funeral video Jill posted on Instagram where the whole family is singing on stage, you can see Jinger with a noticable bump. Looks like Baby Vuolo No 2 is on the way. People on tumblr are talking about it (I usually don't partake in pregnancy speculation/body scrutiny, but that's definitely a baby bump.)

      • Upvote 1
      • I Agree 2


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      louisa05

      Sick rabbit. Our vet is out of town. Can't find a vet that treats rabbits to see him. 😓
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    • PumaLover

      PumaLover

      Mr. Puma just surprised me with a much newer, much faster laptop! Now I can read more FJ! Yay! #besthubbyever LOL.
      · 1 reply
    • nst

      nst

      I start my new part time job today in a non profit company. 
      Not nervous because it's part time. 
      I am so glad I am no longer with the professor. 
      I just want to be a ray of light and service 
      · 2 replies
    • LittleOwl

      LittleOwl

      Apparently I am trying Bouldering on Saturday.  With the upper body strength of a flower, this can only end well... right? 
      · 4 replies
    • OyHiOh

      OyHiOh

      Went to a writer's group meeting yesterday.  First time I've gone to this group's meetings.  Different from other groups I've participated in - this one was a series of prompts and exercises.  I was in a bit of a mood going in - Father's Day weekend for a recent widow is no laugh matter; several social/annoying things happened at Shabbat service in the morning, and one of our service leaders made a "somebody really should" statement of the writing variety and once I hear someone say "someone really should" I usually can't unsee the idea until I've had a try at it.  We did a word association map for one exercise, then wrote something based on part or all of the word map.  I picked a section of the map that had some references to knives and fancy dress balls to write from.  I'm pretty proud of what I wrote in 15 minutes but it's pretty clear that I was in a "mood."
       
       
      The night of the long knives came and went as a plague on the first born of the land.  Men perfectly healthy went to bed only to be jerked from sleep with knives against their throats.  Here were the leaders of men, thrust against walls at the point of a stiletto, there the young men only following their orders, and over there again the family men who didn't exactly plan to pursue this path but perfectly content where they'd found themselves.  At the end of a blade, deep in the depression years, taking their payslips home at the end of the week feeling they'd done a good job, and a little extra for mother in the kitchen. The years of children, church, and kitchen. The good women. Most of them not owning a fancy pair of shoes or a party dress, for who had time?  The children needed their mothers at home, the men away at work.
      The children of course, were not silent.  Soldiers burst into their homes, dragged their fathers out of bed.  Mothers clutching their husbands, children wailing for their papas. The ones who understood left quietly, reassuring the children on their way out - it's a special exercise, I couldn't know about it beforehand, otherwise I would have told you.  Hush child, I'll be home in a few days. They knew they'd be lucky to make it to the end of the block, of course, but let the children hope for a little bit longer, before all hope fell away and their eyes opened to the hatred their own fathers had taken part in.
      Others didn't understand, resisted and fought against the soldiers who came into their homes.  They'd believed in the banners and flags, they'd stood and cheered, they'd enjoyed seeing fear cross the faces of those who understood.  Now they themselves fought back in fear. Fear of losing their lives for who could possibly know what comes next? Wagner wrote of Valhalla, their wives faithfully attended church; surely there was something to greet them when the heart stopped quivering, trying to pump blood flowing onto floors, and truck beds, and sidewalks.  
      · 1 reply
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