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Blogs

 

Back to Coloring

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.    

clueliss

clueliss

 

Taylors Part Ten: Introducing Bethany Wilson

Trying to keep tabs on multiple families isn't the easiest task! Bob knows that red roses are a solid romantic gesture. "Bethany, you are such a beautiful, Godly young woman..." "... will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?" Front hugs a go-go!! Popping back over to the mothership, where little Hannah had aged up. I changed her outfit. Then we go to Andrew's house. Time for the twins to age up! Here's Molly!  And here's little Morgan on the xylophone! This is also the 800th screenshot in my album.  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. Hand-holding! It's happening! Wedding #2 for the Taylor offspring! 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!! I couldn't spot Diana in the immediate congregation, and then, searching the lot, I found her. Cake time! 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. That's two weddings down and six more to go. Of course, the two youngest are only toddlers.       

mango_fandango

mango_fandango

 

Happy Valentine's Thorsday!

We've had quite the adventures the last few weeks.  Roweenie Kitty has been visiting for a while, the daughter's complex caught on to their dog so she snuck the kitten out just in time.  (They need to pay all their pet deposits)   Two weeks ago the older kitties were sick, I thought Princess had caught mange from somewhere outside but it turned out to be just a case of fleas and some serious scratching.  Some meds and and a good bath got her fixed up.  While she was itching I noticed her sneezing a bit as well.  Not long after, The Old Man caught her cold and Thor soon followed.  Old Tex being...well...old, I sent him to the vet.  Unfortunately he didn't come home.  His age had gotten the better of him and we all agreed to let him go peacefully.  I need to go pick up his ashes.  His last few days were spent laying in the sunbeams with his buddy. Thor kitty recovered with some antibiotics and some steam therapy.  He and the Princess were a bit down for a few days, they knew someone was missing.  Then Ro Ro came to visit and play.  She seemed to pull everyone out of the funk.  I noticed her sneezing a bit yesterday so I made sure to give her some vitamins and keep her little nose clean.  Got meds on standby just in case.   We have a new farm we'll be fixing up just in time for spring.  The babies will have a different house to explore and enjoy.  I do hope they'll like it.

Imrlgoddess

Imrlgoddess

 

Driving lessons, roundabouts and fog

Last week we were invited to a 50th birthday party in another suburb, maybe 20/25 minutes to drive. The party started at 7pm and lasted until after midnight. I drove my Mum and it went really great. I reverse parked like a pro! 😉 On our way back there were literally no cars on the roads. I was so much fun driving around town alone. I did some roundabouts twice and we had music on. It was better than the party!!! 😂 There was also a pretty foggy part outside of the town, almost no visibility. Took me a second to find the fog light (I know were they are, but finding them without looking for the first time was a bit difficult). It felt so great being able to drive my Mum. I also gave my mum her first lessons in an automatic car. She is only used to driving manual cars and has never driven an automatic. She is doing great, her left food is no problem at all, but she always wants to shift with her hand. So I have to remind her constantly to have her hands on the steering wheel. Driving alone still isn't really happening. I feel safer with my mum next to me. Totally crazy, because she never says something. I don't need her help at all. I need to face my fears a bit more and drive alone. Also I don't drive on the motorway and I don't plan to change that. I'd rather drive longer on the other roads. Driving on the motorway isn't the problem, but pulling into it. Maybe I will practice when there is very little traffic, but due to the area here, there is always traffic on the motorway. It still feels unreal to drive. I wonder when that will change.

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

If one door closes, another one opens

You might have noticed my status updates about something I did not want to talk about. I decided to start writing through this process as well. I already wrote about getting another dog after our current fur monster passes away. I'm all in for #adoptdontshop and animal shelters and our current dog is from a shelter, but that is also the reason why we are opting for a responsible breeder this time. That is another story, but I just want to mention that there are reasons why we don't use a shelter and even the people at various shelters have told us to opt for a breeder in my case. (In Germany no dog is killed in a shelter, so that is also something different.) We have found the perfect breeder already, visited her in august last year and are in contact ever since. She has a lot of knowledge about autism and my problems. I won't get a puppy, the dog will be at least a year old and she put one up for sale we met last year. My mother had a long phone call with her today and unfortunately the little lady is not fit for my needs. She is too shy.  BUT there is another dog who might be good for me. Those are the good news! We for sure want to wait with getting one. Our current dog is 14 and we couldn't bring another dog in. It would break her heart and it wouldn't be good for the new dog as well due to her problems. But if the dog at the breeder would be good for me, the breeder would keep her until it is time.  I need to give the people some fake names, because only writing about a "breeder" feels wrong. She is such a special person with a huge knowledge. It will be a Chihuahua due to the size. It should be possible to take her in the cabin on a plane (8kg limit incl. carrier) and have her on my lap when I need support in public transport, ect...    As for the car & driving: I will write another post about that. No news is good news I guess. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Taylors Part Nine: Babies and, err, Degrees??

It's been some time since I updated on the Taylors!  Gabriel is a cute little dude. Melissa was pregnant with #8 and went into labour in the music room. Only Francesca (hidden by the piano) is really freaking out. Elijah is so bored he's yawning!  And here's baby #8, Hannah. I've decided that she will be the last blessing, as the next generation has started now. Sadly, Melissa wet herself. Over at Andrew's, Natalie goes into labour again! Andrew is totally freaking out but Natalie is so chill she's eating dinner. She gave birth to twins Morgan (boy) and Molly (girl). I haven't really got any photos of them yet. It's always hot in Appaloosa Plains, so Joey decided to head to the beach and sunbathe. The triplets became young adults whilst I was playing with Andrew and his family. Elijah went somewhat bald, and for some reason Melissa is wearing a very NIKE dress. Diana adopts her mom's hairstyle. Francesca rocks the casual look. I've got a "rebellious" daughter in Sims 4 (Emily Smith), and maybe Francesca will be my "rebellious" Sim in this game. Here's Gabriel playing with some toys... ... and baby Hannah in her crib. For some reason a babysitter randomly spawned even though there were two adult Sims on the lot. I think this just happens when you play a family with kids, go to a different family, then go back. Here's Andrew feeding little Molly! I'll make sure to take photos when they age into toddlers. Matilda is three days off becoming a child. The Taylors are a pretty musical family, and Natalie fits right in. Bethany has a special friend! His name is Bob Wilson.  I went to briefly check in on the Andrew Taylor family, and... erm... there was a bit of congestion going on. Don't sit on your siblings, Matilda! That's not very loving! The second part of the title refers to something odd that I've not noticed before. I clicked on Andrew and he'd been randomly given a Fine Arts degree, grade B. What's even weirder though is that MELISSA was given the exact same thing!! Having googled, I think it does happen sometimes. I never sent them, and they didn't even get an extra trait. I can't screenshot with the UI up, so here's a random shot of Andrew in his work gear. Back to Bethany and Bob. Flirting in a BAR? They didn't partake in any sinful drinking, though. I got Bethany to do the Sims University Aptitude Test, just to see which degree she'd be suited to. I'm planning to make Bob a politician, and I'll give him some skills and maybe send *him* to university.  HAND HOLDING ALERT Y'ALL "Will you enter a courtship with me?" Late-night dancin' And here's Bob doing the aptitude test.  I foresee marriage for these two! Well, of course they're gonna get married, that's the Godly way.   

mango_fandango

mango_fandango

 

Did it happen

My small group is working their way through the book Forgotten God by Francis Chan, which is about how we Christians tend to neglect the Holy Spirit.  We watched a video this past week that's with the study, and Chan told the story about a church he occasionally visits in Maui.  

He ran into a woman that was acquainted with the pastor who said, next time you visit there, tell him I said hi.

So he did.  The pastor asked, did she tell you how we met?  

His story was that he'd felt a prompting, which he attributed to the Holy Spirit, to go talk to a woman at the end of a pier.  

I guessed the punch line before he even said it:  he ended up saving her from suicide.

It could be that I'm not being fair here, because I don't know the people involved and probably will never meet them.  It could very easily be that the Holy Spirit DID prompt the guy to go talk to the woman and she ended up not killing herself as a result.  

But in a discussion with my husband on the way home, I told him, "My question is, did the event even happen?"

It just sounds too neat, with too many loose ends tied up too neatly.  

I'm finding myself questioning a lot of "preacher's stories" lately.  I wonder if we're really being told the truth about something that happened, or if it's just a packaged story that's meant to make God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit look good (when really, they don't need our help at all!)  

On the flip side, I can tell you of a baptism that happened a couple of weekends ago, because the baptism was videoed.  It happened down at the Gulf during a youth group retreat from my church.  A young man with autism was baptized, and the reason I knew he had autism was because I know the young man.  When he was asked if he was ready to be baptized, he said, "Oh, yeah!"  I know some of his family's story and I was able to congratulate him when I saw him in person.

If that story were told and someone like me said they didn't believe it, that would be hurtful.  

I fear my experiences in an abusive church and my observations of abuses in the evangelical world have turned me into a total cynic.

fransalley

fransalley

Little House in the Big Woods Recap: Sundays

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.  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.   

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Edens Year 17: Adam lies, Elsie thrives

Welcome back to 66 Goodbook Avenue! SO much happened in Year 16/2025, that this year was naturally a bit slower - at least for the Edens.  Adam and Eva have now turned 35, which means their Try For A Baby % success rate has gone down to 50% per day (4 months Sim Time) vs the former 70%. However, Adam and Eva can't keep their hands off each other so naturally Blessing #15 (!!!!!!!1!!!1!!) was on its way soon enough (and how)!  Which was really a shame, as things at the Edens were falling apart. Sure, Genesis was still diligent about her musical studies and toddler care, and the eldest two boys were learning home repair and now mowing lawns for extra cash, but the younger kids were out of control. Staying up all hours, making messes all over the place, and even just wandering off.  Below, see Ruth just by herself, sad, in the middle of a forlorn park. And Ruth wasn't the only one who wasn't Safe At Home.  Oh Adam what have we here? He decided he would also take himself to a park, and enjoy a hot dog with a short-skirt and makeup-wearing hussy. Usually that much eyeliner is associated with Plexus shills and an RV enshrouded in a cloud of hairspray, but this time Adam found himself in a flirty conversation with a married woman.  Too bad his daughter Ruth had to show up and ruin it all. Adam went home, embarrassed, to enjoy his perfect, pure, Christ-like marriage. Let's see if he can stay on the straight and narrow from now on. Other notable events include Chronicles, the fiesty 11th kid born on Halloween, aging into an outgoing and fiesty child. You go girl! At the end of the year, the TWINS Esther and Nehemiah aged up as well.  And just like that, the house is full of toddlers again. Also, there is now officially no more room in either the boys or girls rooms for more beds, and the nursery is full up too. Ezra ages up in two months and there's another baby on the way, so who knows what the Edens will do!    Across the neighborhood, the Johnsons are having a much more sedate time. Romano turned 5 and started Kindergarten at a private Christian school. He's so cute in his uniform! On the weekends and before school, Romano does his homework while Elsie practices her cooking and reads about mixology. She still feels uncomfortable with the idea of alcohol, but she has to be able to describe drink options for her catering clients, and so she studies diligently. They have a very picturesque life now, but it's been quiet. A little too quiet. Elsie is home alone in the mornings after Romano has left for school and before her shift starts, so she and Romano got a kitty! Romano thought it was going to be hard to pick out just one cat. But then he met Nacho. Nacho, with a cheese name just like him! It was love at first whisker touch. Elsie has started to consider putting herself out into the dating world again, but for now, she has a happy family and her big empty house is starting to be filled. Yay Elsie! We are all so happy for you! Until next time, Edens out! (and Nacho, get off those counters!)

neurogirl

neurogirl

 

What is truth?

Pontius Pilate asked the question, "What is truth?"

More and more, I'm finding it impossible to figure out what the truth is.

Of course, Jesus IS the way, truth, and life, but I have problems figuring out what that means for me in day-to-day living.  (Note:  I speak from a Christian world-view.)

But when people lie, and everyone seems to have an agenda, it's impossible to figure out who's telling the truth.

Either we want to make ourselves look good or the other person look bad.

 

fransalley

fransalley

 

Christianese

Anyone besides me hate "Christianese"?

Some time back, I was in a Bible study group where one of the participants said something to the effect of, "Well, we just need to step out on faith, get out of the boat, and learn to walk on water!"

I didn't say anything, but I thought, "Do you even know what it is that you're saying?  Do you even know what all of that means?"

This is my problem with what we call "Christianese".  These are the words and phrases that we throw around that make us sound spiritual, but in reality, when pinned down for a definition, we couldn't give one.  

My number one "beserk button" is the phrase, "God is in control."  Before the 2008 Presidential election, I said that I was really scared, and immediately, two people chorused, "God is in control."  I thought, "Of COURSE you can say, 'God is in control.' Your candidate is going to win!"

"God is in control" is one of those phrases that people say when they want to sound spiritual.  I agree to an extent that "God is in control," I believe he will watch over us and work things out for good, that my needs will be met somehow and that we will be taken care of.  But sometimes, I think it's used as a throwaway cliche, or as a "thought-stopper".  It's what people say when they're not comfortable with our questions, our doubts, and our pain, but they know they need to say something that sounds encouraging.  So they'll say, God is in control, and they have fulfilled their Christian obligation and they don't have to acknowledge the pain that the other person is dealing with.

"Give it to God" is another one.  I mean, what exactly are you doing when you do that?  The picture I get is of someone opening their hands and holding them up to God, saying, "Okay, God, I give it to you."  Then they sit back and do absolutely nothing while God magically solves the problem.

And "The Lord will provide" also lands on the list.  I read a FB thread about working on Sunday, and at least one poster didn't believe that people should take a job that would require them to work on Sunday because it would interfere with "the assembling of the saints".  When asked, what is the person supposed to do if the only job they can find requires working on Sundays, the poster responded with, "The Lord will provide."  I nearly saw red.  I understand the need to be with fellow believers, but is the person saying, "The Lord will provide," willing to contribute to the financial support of that believer just so they can worship on Sundays? 

If anyone has any other "Christianese" examples, feel free to share!

fransalley

fransalley

Little House in the Big Woods Recap: Christmas

Christmas Here's a list of things I enjoy about this book:  It is apolitical. Trump does not exist.  It is pleasant to read.  There is no comment section full of people yelling at each other about things that have nothing to do with the article.  The illustrations are perfect. They fit the theme and aren't too modern, yet still nice too look at.  I enjoy the setting & it's a picture perfect view of a time when things were likely not picture perfect.  Trump hasn't even been born yet. World War I and II haven't happened. It's just Mary and Laura and Ma and Pa.  Things I dislike:  Casual racism. Bullet making. Trapping.  Anyway, so Christmas is coming and Wisconsin is full of snow. I love snow. I love our hoarfrost. I especially love talking about the hoarfrost with young teenagers who get excited that they are allowed to say "whore" and their dumb jokes.  Pa makes Ma an intricate shelf, which Ma puts a "china woman" on.  I'm guessing it's some sort of porcelain doll? Or is it actually a Chinese doll? I have no idea.  I am inspired by Pa's woodworking skills though.  Ma cooks for Christmas - "rye'n'Injun" bread, Swedish crackers, baked beans, salt pork, molasses. Vinegar pies, dried apple pies, and cookies. Okay, I know what Swedish crackers, baked beans, salt pork, and molasses are. No idea on the Vinegar pies or rye'n'injun bread. I feel weird typing out the rye bread name.    For Christmas, extended family visits! All of the kids run around shouting, and get yelled at. There are no ages listed, but Laura is obviously younger than Peter and Alice and Ella. They flop around in the snow for a bit, and get so excited they can't sleep. See, olden days people are just like us, but without the internet. Or automobiles. Or Beat Saber.  Uncle Peter and Aunt Eliza tell a story that Laura eavesdrops in on. It involves their family dog protecting them from a panther. Man, there must have been a lot of big cats back in the day.  Ma realizes the kids are all awake and tells Pa to play fiddle for them.  Then it's Christmas! They all wake up and get their stockings! They all got candy and mittens. Laura gets a rag doll. The other girls are not jealous because Laura is the littlest, other than Carrie and Dolly Varden (OMG that's a fish). The dolls name is Charlotte.  Peter jokes about no one getting only a switch. I wonder if that's like the "you'll get only coal" that some parents threaten now?  Then they do chores because life during westward expansion and homestead isn't easy. They eat pancakes and now I want pancakes.  It's too cold to be outside (ha!) and so they look at the bible and Laura holds her doll, and they eat candy.  They are served dinner and we are reminded that children should be seen and not heard, which is so weird. And their aunt and uncle and cousins leave.  Not a lot happens but it's just a nice story. Definitely for kids. Very nice distraction from the very stable genius. 

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

The Loop

Here's the loop I find myself in:

Everyone believes they're right.
Everyone can prove it by Scripture.
But too often, people use Scripture to come to diametrically opposing conclusions.
So who's right?
I don't know.
It's impossible to figure it out.
And I'm afraid of getting it wrong and going to hell.

fransalley

fransalley

 

Thor Made a Fwend!

Thor made a friend this week. I've been kitten sitting, she's a wee tiny scrap of a thing. Her mom is munchkin, not sure what dad is, but she wasn't a full price kitty. The first day or so was a bit hairy, she's small but has no fear! She was telling those big cats what side their bread was buttered on! By the end of this week she & Thor have been ripping & roaring. They are quite the partners in crime. I give you: Mistress Rowena Longbottom (Rowena, I added all the fun bits) And Thor's "I'm not guilty" face after they midnight trashed my kitchen table & stepped on Honey's macaroons 

Imrlgoddess

Imrlgoddess

 

What I resent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

fransalley

fransalley

 

Smiths Part Thirteen: Babies Galore

So, we start off with not long left until Emily gives birth.  You need the toilet a lot when pregnant! It's go time! Daniel freaks out. It's... ... a BOY! Welcome to the world, Martin Westbury-Smith!  Over to the Pearsons. Eliza works on writing a new violin tune. Here's Adam as a Child. His hairdo is very similar to Mark's. Uh oh, Adam thinks it's a good idea to play with ketchup and flour... Eliza reads to her son. Hmm... Mark's gone stripy. He got a "Giggly" moodlet, so I guess the diagnosis is Gas and Giggles. No, me neither. Sim illnesses are weird. Adam sure is a helpful kid! And now it's go time for Eliza! TWINS! Eliza has the Fertile trait (from the Rewards store), so it's not entirely unexpected. And they're her first daughters, Chloe and Delilah. It's also Harvestfest! Harvestfest is a bit like Thanksgiving, in that one of the traditions is being thankful. Another tradition is "holiday gnomes"... yeah, Sims being Sims again. Gnomes appear in your house and you have to appease them. This one didn't appreciate pie. WHAT KIND OF GNOME DOESN'T LIKE PIE??? Adam going to meet his sisters. Chloe is in the pink crib and Delilah in the green one. Eliza threw a Harvestfest house party. And I was reminded that pretty much all the males in the family have the same dang shirt! L-R for the guys: Elijah, Eddie, Mark, Elliot.  Eliza eating some turkey dinner. One tradition is to cook a "grand meal", with a choice of turkey, ham, fish or tofurkey. (I much prefer the Sims 3 name for veggie turkey, Tursoykey). Once you've had a plateful, you get a "dazed" moodlet called "food coma" #soaccurate Emily decided to use the bath. Ah well, Eliza had puked in Emily's toilet a couple of days earlier... Adam decided to eat some spoiled food. Bad idea. Yup, bad. Now he feels nauseous. THERE WAS A PLATE OF TURKEY THERE WHY DID YOU GO FOR SPOILED OMELETTE  

mango_fandango

mango_fandango

Little House in the Big Woods Recap: The Long Rifle

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.  Or these guys.  Other cows also deserve love.  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.  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. 

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Hello!

I am a new member here.  My name is not really Fran, this is my non de plume here.  I'm a Christian who's appalled at the abuse I see in conservative Christianity and I don't always feel safe to talk about my concerns with others.  I don't believe Jesus would treat women the same way that certain Christian leaders have.  

I think the Baptist church I grew up in may have been influenced by Bill Gothard.  I remember hearing the saying, Jesus First, Others Second, and Yourself Last spells J-O-Y.  I also remember hearing a class about rock music, especially about the backward masking and how if you listened to songs with a particular drumbeat, it would cause your heart to beat irregularly.  

I went to college in the '80's and got involved with an offshoot of the Church of Christ known as the Crossroads Movement.  They eventually morphed into the International Churches of Christ.  I learned some good things there, such as methods of Bible study; but there was a lot of pressure put on members to "perform", and I left there after graduation feeling like I could never measure up.  I deliberately moved to another city that had a church which was trying to get away from the bad things of that movement . . . and eventually, that church splintered into independent house churches which turned out to be just as bad as the group we were trying to leave.  We went from "you must believe this" to "whatever you want to believe is fine, as long as you believe in God and in Jesus".  

My husband and I are in a Church of Christ now that is considered "progressive"; e.g. we have a service with instrumental music on Sundays and we don't believe that we are the only Christians.  We've been part of this group for many years, and even with that, I wonder if I've really fully come to grips with the unhealthy teaching I learned.   I hope this will be a safe place to explore.
 

fransalley

fransalley

Little House in the Big Woods: The Story of Grandpa and the Panther

The Story of Grandpa and the Panther  This is Grandpa Ingalls.   Pa tells a story in which Grandpa is hunted by a panther on his way home from town. Grandpa shoots the panther.  That's it.  Which lead me to some questions about taxonomy. It's likely that Grandpa saw a cougar, which are common enough in North America. They are not normally black, though.  There is no follow up as to what happened to the body. If I shot a jaguar that had been stalking me, I would get it stuffed and then have a large black cat to pet. I imagine it was beautiful, plus it was over a 100 years ago so that cat was probably huge!  Oh, and Laura asks "How does a panther scream" and Pa replied "like a woman." I have no words for that. 

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Edens Year 16: The One in Which A Lot Happens (Like, a Lot)

Welcome back to 66 Goodbook Avenue! This one's a doozy. So much happened! Let's start off slow. In March, Romano Tobias Johnson turned 4 years old! Elsie threw a birthday party over at her house with some of her favorite Edens. She made tator tot casserole, naturally, and made sure not to defraud her cousins by offering any alcoholic drinks or f*n of any kind.  Still, there was birthday cake, and after blowing out the candles... Romano aged into a handsome little school-aged boy! Speaking of, Elsie decided to enroll Romano into a private Christian school! She's doing alright financially now, and thinks maybe socialization with other kids (Christian of course) may not be a bad thing for little Romano. Plus, she can always withdraw him if Satan begins to build a fortress in his heart.  Look at his enriched life! You go Elsie and Romano! Back with the Edens, Leviticus (now age 12) decides to host another youth group meeting. But Maya (left, age 15) and Billie (right, age 14) are growing up too! (And still wearing those damn pants! Haven't they listened to a word he said?) Levi is so nervous around the pretty girls that he ignores them entirely. Exodus (age 13) wipes his sweaty hands on his jeans. Then Maya up and grills burgers, which completely emasculates him.  "So, er, do you like...Jesus?" BECOOLBECOOLBECOOL Billie, by the way, isn't having any of it and keeps shooting Maya looks saying she can't believe they're still entertaining these fools. They leave, unsaved. Another year, another birthday cake for Genesis to make. This time it's for Kings (#10).  He transitions from a clingy toddler into a rather gloomy (though also rather well-dressed) kid. And of course, the young Edens make so many sweet and precious memories doing jinder-approved activities in the backyard. #family And against all odds, Maya found Exodus' awkwardness endearing and they become friends cellular prayer partners. But wait, there's more!  Heavily pregnant Eva feels the Lord laid it on her heart to write her latest tear-jerking memoir, "In the Valley - My Journey with Infertility." She hopes her struggle and testimony to conceive #13 can be a real blessing to those couples praying to be parents. What a heart for the barren Eva has! (Also notice #12, Ezra, no longer a baby but a toddler. No one knows a thing about him.) The 4 hampers and 2 washing machines are completely overrun at this point and laundry piles up around the house. Even the boys are conscripted into laundry duty. It's a bleak day for the Edens.  Also, in a truly harrowing moment of kids homeschooling themselves, the science table burst into flames! This makes fire #4 for the Edens, but the first in a very long time. Everyone runs around like mad, and it is 14-year-old Genesis who saves the day! Adam, the patriarch, was stunningly useless. This girl is truly amazing.  During all the chaos, Leviticus turns 13! Genesis was upgraded to sister-mom at 11, Exodus had to start repairing things and minding littles at 12, but #3 Leviticus got to wait until actual age 13 to be "upgraded". He was still pretty bummed though. Cheer up, Levi! Think about all the souls you will pester/deeply vex/enrage win! And finally, in December of 2025, Eva went into labor with long-awaited #13...  AND 14?!?!?!?!  Surprise TWINS!!! Welcome to world, Nehemiah and Esther! We can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for you! Clearly Eva is blessed beyond measure with her double-womb opening! After all, God wouldn't give her more than she could handle.  Right??? Until next time, Edens out!

neurogirl

neurogirl

Little House in the Big Woods: Winter Days and Winter Nights

Winter Days and Winter Nights It's winter now, and Pa is trapping animals. I can't imagine how much work he must be forcing on poor Ma. They are trapping small animals, big animals, and medium animals. I also despise trapping, more so than any other type of hunting. And now, in 2019, selfish trappers who can't be bothered to follow regulations occasionally trap someone's pet. Anyway, so back in 1873, Pa goes to check his traps and comes back with a bear and a pig. Pa "didn't know" where the pig came from, so he took the meat home. (The bear attacked the pig, this is the rest of the pig.) My guess is that he knows exactly which homestead it came from and decided to just take it. The meat is frozen, because it's winter. It snows a lot.  In the mornings, the frosted over windows have beautiful pictures of trees and flowers and fairies.  I might be reading this incorrectly, but is Ma drawing pictures for the girls? That's so nice of her. I never cared much for Caroline on Little House on The Prairie (the TV show), but this just seems like such a sweet thing to do.  Of course, I could be wrong. It could be natural phenomenon. We have one window that isn't double pained, and during the last cold snap (we had a high of -2C last Friday, I don't know what in US terms, I only know that because my non-American friend posted it on Facebook) I noticed it was iced over. I pulled the blinds down and hoped that the moisture would evaporate before it caused any real issues.  Laura and Mary have to help with chores. Boo. They wipe dishes every day, and air their own bed. The illustration of the little trundle bed is so cute and reminds me of Kirsten from the original and best American Girls. I should read those again. Or maybe I should read something intended for 36 year old women. Oh, wait, things that are marketed to my demographic seem to be "romance" "drama/romance" or the occasional comedy about shopping and being a Lady Boss. I wonder if there is a market for strong female characters in fantasy or historical fiction but not super historical because I'd rather not read about seducing Mr Darcy again thanks. (Never mind I love Bridget Jones).  There is an adorable poem about chores! I should use it!  I'd get to take Tuesday, Wednesday AND Thursday off! My poem would be more like this:  At no point do I ever do any dusting, churning, or ironing. If I am having people over, then I dust.  Laura loves churning.  Side note: My mom loved LHOTP, much more than I ever did. I loved Kirsten from AG because she went on adventures, not because I have a love of self-sufficiency and old-timey projects. I also usually went to camp for most of every summer. One year she sent me to a weird Girl Scout Camp. It was only 2 weeks and it was pitched as some sort of "Pioneer Girl" experience. I didn't really want to go, I liked the regular camp much more, and I wouldn't know anyone, and I'd never even heard of corncob doll making. I was most excited about the part where I was promised to "learn how to make your own butter" and I had pictured myself using one of those old fashioned wooden churning devices. Turns out we just put the ingredients in an old cool whip container and took turns shaking it.  I am very excited to learn that they colored their butter with a carrot! I am equally pleased that Ma scalded the long wooden churn dash before putting it into the cream. I've been wondering how clean those things really were. Wood traps bacteria. We have a very nice wooden cutting board, but we always use a plastic cutting board over the top because it's more sanitary, and glass destroys knives. Just a little kitchen tip from Maggie.  After the butter is removed, she washes and salts it, and then molds the butter! When I made butter at camp, it was just served out of the recycled cool whip container. No one liked it, probably because it wasn't salted.  Never send your kids to discount girl scout pioneer camp. They also had us "do real live pioneer chores" like "feed the horses twice a day." I seriously think they had our parents pay to use us as labor. We measured out oats and fed the horses, and we groomed the horses, and cleaned all of the riding gear, and didn't do normal camp things like "ride the horses" or "canoe" or "swim in the lake." (Well, we got to swim once or twice. But I'd think for a two week session we'd get to swim daily or at least every other day.)  Ma gives Mary and Laura a drink of buttermilk on butter making day. (Eww) And wow, that seems like a lot of butter if they are doing this every week.  On Saturdays they make bread. If I were a stay-at-home mom, I'd make bread more often, it's fun and bread goes stale quickly. Granted, I don't really eat bread which is why whenever I buy it it goes stale or moldy. Maybe I'd just make us go live in one of the two neighborhoods that have bakeries and then buy bread daily. I'd like to live like a French person, starting my day with a fresh croissant, eating herbed salads for lunch and coc au vin for dinner, with wine, and still stay within an appropriate weight range for my frame. Seriously, do they put something in the water? I've been watching my diet for 10 years and I am no where near french sized.  Ma sounds awesome or very bored. (Or both, they are not mutually exclusive.) After she does all of the work for the day, she does more work, and cuts paper dolls for her kids. Yet they seem to think the best part of every day is when Pa comes home. The girls run to him, and sit on his lap while he warms up, then he goes back out to do chores in the barn and bring in firewood. If the traps were empty and he comes home early because he found game early in the day, he would play with his children.  Ma yells at Pa because the girls are scared. He plays fiddle and sings. (Can you play and sing at the same time?)  Everything seems so cozy, a family with a dog and a cat living alone in the woods next to a lake. This is the setting for the next chapter, which is called "The Story of Grandpa and the Panther."  It's story time! 

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

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      Disclaimer: if being On Trend is what makes you feel good, rock every trend you can find.

       

      Secondary disclaimer: I also have blue hair, so I’m very defensive about color-related grooming and this isn’t directed at any one poster 💙

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