Our community blogs
Haven't done one of these in years, but it's National German Chocolate Cake Day.
Fun fact, the cake isn't German like my father was German (i.e. being born in Germany to German people) but ratherSpoiler
Sometimes I miss sugar more than I miss men. And that's saying something.
Chocolate and coconut is by far my favorite flavor combo, followed by chocolate and black cherry (when is Black Forest Cake Day?),Spoiler
and Italian dressing and cottage cheese. That last one may be specific to me, though.
I feel like this week has already being going on for 19 days and I'm so ready for the weekend. Last weekend I organized my storage area and put away my winter clothes and this weekend I plan to...shower and brush my teeth. That's pretty much it unless someone on @Kailash 's status cares enough about productivity to post to do list motivation.
I know, Friday memes are trite and overdone and so true they aren't even funny...yet they still speak to me.
At the end of part 5, Lisa had just found out that she was going to be doubly blessed - she was expecting TWINS!
Just a screenshot of the upstairs extension, with a girls' room, boys' room and bathroom.
Back to the usual first-person (Lisa's POV) narration...
I always love it when my kids play together! Elizabeth and Naomi love playing at the dollhouse.
Rebecca is a great musician, and loves practising her violin. We converted the old boys' room into a music room, so we now have more space in our living room where the instruments used to be.
All too soon, it was time to give birth to the twins! We named them Bethany and Susanna.
It's so useful having a teenage daughter round the house who can help cook and clean!
I went into my bedroom to find that Elizabeth had made a mess.
"Elizabeth! You mustn't make a mess on the floor! If you wanted some paper, you should have asked me."
Andrew grew up!
Bethany and Susanna aged up too!
It happened to be New Year's Eve, and I allowed the kids to stay up late and watch the countdown. (The blonde woman is Michael's work colleague - I know, a WORKING WOMAN *gasp* In my head, he's OK with it because they have similar political beliefs).
As I put the twins to bed one night, I wondered whether I'd have any more children. After all, I was getting older, and couldn't expect to have kids forever. I wasn't Sarah from the Bible!
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I am now 43 (yikes!) and time is moving too fast for my liking. Most day's I don't feel grown up enough to be an adult lol.
My son is now 26 and after finishing college decided not to join the army but got himself a good job with plenty of opportunity for career progression and has already moved up in his company and is currently working from home like lot's of people due to covid.
The kiddo is turning 13 next week and is finally back in school full time after lockdown 2 here. They came out as gender neutral to me last week and although they were nervous I am so happy they were comfortable enough to tell me. I will never reject my kids and as long as they are happy that's what matters most to me. They have kept up with drawing and has come on leaps and bounds since the day's of foxy.
Alfie cat is now 7 (how did the time pass that quickly!) and still likes to pull dvd's out of the unit and steal my seat if he get's the chance. I also got myself a dog. Her name is Luna, but will answer to Lunatic and Lulu. She is 4 and is a chihuahua, I got her when she was 8wks old and although I had wanted a dog for a while I chose to get her as it coincided with my pain management course and was my way of helping to gently up my exercise without flaring up my fibro by doing too much too soon. She has been a god send during lockdown for me as it made me get up off my backside and go out to walk her.
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Why, hello there!
It's just me, meep.
Awake at 2 am, wired and nervous, the norm around here. 😇
I've been doing the community college thing here in the USA and this semester was my time to apply for transfer to a 4-year university. I got accepted to 6 schools (wooo!) but I'm having a hard time deciding where to go. To be honest, I thought 1 or maybe 2 schools would accept me, and I'd be forced into a program/school by sheer limited choice. So while I'm proud that I have these choices, I'm also back to square one with my indecisiveness! Although I've already thrown one school out of consideration as it was my true "backup in case I literally have nowhere else to go" school.
Each school has their pros and cons. I know it’s ultimately up to me (and my fam) to choose what is right, but I’d love some objective points of view. Will you help me FJ?
💕 School 1 💕 is a public (in-)state university with full tuition covered for this year. It’s one of the cheapest options anyways, so if next year I don’t have costs covered, I wouldn’t have a mountain of debt from loans. It’s all online, so I wouldn’t have transportation costs either. However, its online nature means I’ll have limited course options. It is not my top choice major but it’s a very interesting, interdisciplinary program where I will be required & encouraged to take classes from my favorite major (which wasn’t available as an online option and is too far away to attend in-person). Nearly all my credits will transfer, but I might have some issues with completing the foreign language requirement (ie might need to pay out of pocket for community college classes and the credits won’t count towards required residency credits for graduation).
💕 School 2 💕 is also a public (in-)state university with full tuition covered for this year. It is also one of the cheapest. This program is in-person, so I will have more support but also transportation costs. I’ll also be able to engage in research or at least a work-study if I wanted to. I applied to a program I’m regretting and I plan to switch my intended major if I accept. They do not have my top-choice major and I’d at most only be able to take 1 or 2 classes in my favorite subject. I don’t have access to my transfer evaluation report yet.
💕 School 3 💕 is a public (out-of-)state university with an online program. It’s my top choice major! No transportation costs! My FAFSA status for this school is currently in progress. It is not as cheap as schools 1 & 2, but it is still a lot cheaper than the private universities. Nearly all of my credits will successfully transfer. I might have some issues with the foreign language requirement (again with the issue of paying out of pocket and the credits not applying for graduation) and course selection will be limited because it’s all online. With it being so far away, there’s really no way I could ever set foot on campus - even for graduation (I know that doesn’t matter for some people, but walking is something I always wanted to do since I didn't get to do it for homeschool).
💕 School 4 💕 is a private non-profit university with an in-person program that is slightly closer to home. Though this means it’ll still have associated transportation costs. It is expensive and this year’s FAFSA & scholarships will cover about 80% of the costs. It will reject about 10 of my credits for transfer, putting me at sophomore level. The program is my top-choice major with some interesting classes I’d be excited to take.
💕 School 5 💕 is a private non-profit university that will be in-person. It won’t be my top major, it is not offered there, or any classes even related to it. My transfer evaluation is unknown at this time. The portal and websites are almost non-existent, and even applying was a giant, complicated hassle. FAFSA & scholarships will cover only about 65% of my tuition this year, it is expensive. Okay...this one doesn’t have much going for it so far. But here’s the trap! It is literally 5 minutes away from me (I could even walk to class!). You know how much of positive that is being an older student! It’s so tempting! This also makes opportunities for research and/or work study a ton easier.
So what do you think?! Any schools I should instantly take off my list? Any clear winners in your eyes? Something I haven’t thought about? Let me know!
Full disclosure: I am 100% Anti HOA. There are no arguments that will ever change my mind on this. This may or may not be relevant in a few minutes.
Over the weekend, I noticed that my "Next Door" app was "blowing up" (by that, I mean, there were multiple reports and people were posting on it.) We have a local person who started a couple of facebook groups and volunteer groups to help people find their missing dogs and cats. (We have a separate one for birds.) The dog/cat rescue people have been searching (and receiving tips) about a missing Aussie for a few weeks now. I've seen the signs.
Someone on ND posted a plea for people to start taking down the signs. He said they were making the neighborhood "trashy" and then he called the pet owners "crazy" and that the dog must be dead. I voted to remove his post because it was mean and ridiculous and the pet group has permission to put up signs. They are still getting tips, and it's likely that the dog has been stolen, or is being cared for by someone who doesn't know it belongs to a family, or the dog is just in survival mode. There are enough people around here that leave out food when they see animals that it's not impossible for the dog to still be alive.
Someone had screencapped the post and shared that with a plea to not take down the signs. You'd think that would be the end of it. Nope. Going on day four or five of this. Someone filmed two women taking down signs. The women didn't want to be filmed and one assaulted the photographer. People are arguing and getting passionate about their hatred for a couple of missing pet signs. Which then causes the normal people who have hearts and compassion and aren't just walking bags of disaster to tell them why they are being jerks. Now people are citing state laws and municipal code. Supposedly there are news stories looking for the women who stole the signs.
And there are still people whining about how "trashy" and "bad" the signs make the neighborhood look. The signs come down eventually. They are laminated. These are probably the same people who want to live in HOAs and have their house look identical to their neighbors and choose between three different shades of white for their mailboxes, while taking away resources from the rest of the city, forcing more people to have to choose between ugly pre-planned neighborhoods controlled by over-zealous people who care what color your flowers are and will put a lien on your house for daring to use the front yard you paid for as a yard.
Anyway, this last year has shown me a lot of the misplaced passion in my municipality. For years, it seemed like no one really cared about anything. But then Covid hit, and suddenly there are people being outspoken about the most bizarre things. Somehow wearing masks is an agenda by our progressive assembly to take away rights. Missing pet posters are a scourge and people just need to let their pets die, I guess. Anti-cat people posting about how much they hate cats when no one brought up cats in the first people. Opening a homeless shelter in an unused building is hurting people who make $100,000 a year, somehow, I don't know.
Have people always been this selfish and they just didn't talk about it? Is there some sort of collective unconscious that's making people just lose their minds at the most bizarre things? Are we all just stressed and acting out by focusing on weird things?
Iowa is about to get hit with the winter storm that hit the Rockies not too long ago. Right now it looks like we're getting several inches of snow over the next couple days. I cut my job interview trip short and started to head back home, I'll have to do the interview on zoom. I was looking forward to meeting my potential new employer in person and checking out the town too. Ugh.
Here in the upper Midwest it always seems like winter has one last blast before giving up and letting spring come in full time. In 2018 when I was in Minnesota for school we got hit by a blizzard in April which delayed me getting home for a day. Two weeks later I was mowing the lawn at home.
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While I sit here and wait for a massive spreadsheet to recalculate because I'm trying to delete lines, a blog subject popped into my head. So here we are.
Back in 2014 my life went sideways. And at the time, I was already battling a depression and anxiety slide that was the result of my spreading myself too thin at work and in my personal life in 2011 through into early 2013. I can see that now. At the time, I didn't. I did know I went into a slide from the scale. I was a WW lifetime member at goal and began crawling up the scale. I now know the connections between my mental health issues and compulsive eating. I didn't then. But that isn't what this is about.
February 2014 I went to visit my mom. I walked in, she had been sleeping. She asked me 'which one I was.' And I knew and didn't want to admit what was going on. Actually, I knew back in November 2012 or 2013 (they sort of blur together) because Mom had an car accident and was in Kansas City Mo at the time of the accident - a good 45 minutes from her small town Kansas home. My sister was all up in my grill that Thanksgiving because she thought I was upsetting Mom. I can tell you now, it was because I knew Mom was 'off' and not behaving normal. Mom was trying to hide her issues. But I could see it and the more she tried to hide, the more I noticed and worried.
May 2014 a Deputy from the county sheriff's office where Mom lived called because Mom was in a part of the county she never went to. And seemed, to him, to be having a dementia/Alzheimer's episode. I will be forever grateful to this officer for taking the time to alert me. It was what prompted me, after some coaching from one of my cousins, to haul my mother to her doctor and begin the process of getting her diagnosed. And it began a period of over a year of my driving back and forth (~3 hours one way) every weekend, no matter the weather.
At that same time, I was told that my name was brought up for a project at work. And my boss told them no, without consulting me. Because my stress level was off the chart. A very small part of me was annoyed because I wanted to make the decision myself and how dare he. The larger, slightly saner, part of me remains eternally grateful because it saved me from me. I probably would have say sure, I'll do it and tried to kill myself even more than I already was.
The whole "Mom Thing" put my career into a holding pattern. Because even after I put her in memory care in June 2015 and dealt with her estate and such for a few months after, I still had the responsibility of handling her finances and making reports to the county. I had to become my mother's legal guardian and conservator. And I did it mostly alone because my sister had crawled into a hole and was non responsive.
Mom died in early February 2019. It has been two years. I spent the last 11 months of pandemic world extremely grateful that she wasn't around for covid. That I didn't have to handle the worry and issues that would have meant. Her passing also meant more relief than grief to me. Because it meant the beginning of the end of the holding pattern I was in. Sure, Covid slowed progress down. As did the departure of a coworker and her replacement coming in from outside so time was spent on boarding someone new to the plant/organization.
And we're in 2021, still dealing with covid. But I'm feeling a bit more invigorated. And something has popped up in the last few weeks at work that is allowing me to shine. The Controller handling a transition of something to a new system left in January. And, as I actually suspected partway through last year, he hadn't dotted all the i's or crossed all the t's. He didn't understand all the stupid audit requirements. He didn't ask either. A reconciliation process for the new system wasn't picked up. My boss tried and delegated it to me to work on. And I had to dig out someone's sketchy instructions for the old system and try to make it work. While I couldn't get it completely tied out, I came within $2k and considering the total inventory value I thought that rather kicked butt. Made the boss happy too.
Yesterday I began to ask questions to my Boss's boss because, well, there's on particular issue that I know, because I'm the person that for the last 4 years has gotten the question, that our external auditors ARE going to ask. So, it was - so, how the heck do we audit column Q. And first I had to make them understand, no no, not that tie out. That one I've done and it's under control. Nope, the stupid one we can't do and old system we had to keep reminding them about. But they will ask so how do we handle?
Then yesterday afternoon Boss's boss sends everyone an email. Use the old system (even though we had been moving forward with new) because my questions brought to light validation issues with the new system. So now I've faced with redoing the reconciliation process to the old system (because Controller who left did that before - he picked it up after my coworker left and knowing what I know now, I should have been in the room for that little bit of training)
So don't mind me. I'm using this as a way of reminding everyone who I am. I'm out of the holding pattern. I WANT to work on this. I makes me happy. And while yes, it would be nice if other locations took stuff on, I'm grabbing this one and making it mine.
Bye Holding Pattern.
2020 happened. I think we all know that. Travelling, especially international, has become nigh impossible. In the past 28 years, since I was born, I have been to many, many places both here in Finland and abroad. Looking forward to 2021 I don't much will change eihter.
I've minimised international travel ever since I moved back to Finland six years ago both due to environmental and health reasons - it's extremely emotionally and physically taxing.
I had planned that in 2020, I'd finally do some big travelling again, like visit Costa Rica together with my lovely sister for her 30th. She lives on a whole other continent, so we don't exactly get to see each other too much. Going there has been our plan for nearly a decade now.
Another big trip would have been a two night mini holiday in Tallinn, Estonia. I've been there many times, but my boyfriend has NEVER been abroad. He was raised by parents that had the mantra "when you go abroad, you'll either get mugged, raped or killed." My boyfriend has grown to learn that all of that is BIG bullshit, but he can't shake the nervous feeling away. So, we decided to start slow. Then, COVID-19 started to spread. So we had to postpone. Borders got closed. Postpone. Postpone. Postpone. Until we finally cancelled.
Lastly, I was supposed to go home this Christmas. Glasgow to me is home. I was just about to announce it to my friends in March, but everything blew up. I'm going to spend Christmas alone. When I was supposed to spend it with a friend's family, and party all night long in New Years, as my friend's birthday is on the 1st of January. I miss everyone so much, and I feel like I've been betrayed by God, in a sense.
In the upcoming posts I'll be reminiscing my past adventures, both heartwarming memories and things that really weren't the greatest things. There's a lot to unpack (ba-dum tsh!), so buckle up. As a warning, there will be a lot of talking about throwing up and other possibly upsetting themes, but I will add a trigger warning to all posts where applicaple.
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By Maggie Mae,
I thought it might be fun to rewatch some old Disney films and examine them under modern day morals and norms, and see how they hold up. If this isn't your thing, that's cool. I'm sure I'll get bored before I make it to the Renaissance Disney stuff, anyway. Full disclosure, there are several I haven't seen, and one that I've only seen in French. So I don't have the same level of nostalgia that many of you might have.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, is the first full length Animated Feature. Released in 1937, at great cost for the time, it won an Oscar (and seven mini Oscars.)
For me, personally, this one reminds me of my Grandmother. She told me about going to see it, with my aunt, when it came out. I don't really remember details, just that it was a Big Deal. And that my Grandmother much prefered Fantasia, but I'll get to that story later. She did, however, like Snow White, and had a copy of it for me to watch when I would have to stay at her house. On VHS, in the plastic clamshell case. I can almost smell it if I think hard enough.
To the recap:
Snow White opens with the old school credits before the film, and an overture, much like going to a live theatre. Not sure when credits changed to end credits, but I can see advantages for both systems. Walt Disney placed a note:Quote
My sincere appreciation to the members of my staff whose loyalty and creative endeavor made possible this production.
and signed it with his now well known signature.
The story opens, literally, with someone opening a book, and we are expected to read some back story. Which we all know. Once Upon A Time, there was a lovely Princess named Snow White. Her vain and wicked Stepmother the Queen feared that some day Snow White's beauty would surpass her own. So she dressed the little Princess in rags and forced her to work as a Scullery Maid.
This little paragraph begins a long tradition of Disney tropes.
- Wicked Stepmother! ✔️
- Vanity being a Major Sin ✔️
- Woman being jealous of other women's looks! ✔️
Turn the page and it's more back story. Blah blah, the Queen consults her magic mirror, and as long as the mirror thinks the Queen is the "fairest" one of all, Snow White is safe. You'd think a Queen could just pay someone to tell her she looks good. That's obviously what a certain American President has done for at least the last 30 years.
Finally, we get some actual animation. The Queen, who is very "fair" if "fair" means pale, looks into her magical mirror and gets some bad news. A girl, with "red lips, and skin as pale as snow" has surpassed the Queen's beauty. She looks into the sky, like a proper villan and hisses out "Snow White." Next scene is Snow white, looking slightly more tan than the doves/pigeons she is serenading while she hand washes some steps in a cherry orchard. The flowers are painted, and it's quite lovely. The music is very dated. Snow White sings into a well and makes wishes.
She's wishing for "the one she loves" to "find her today." Her hair is cut into a very fashionable 1930s bob, tied with a blue ribbon. Some random guy shows up and starts to sing with her, she runs away. It's very Romeo and Juliet, with a dude singing at her while she stands around on a balcony. The Queen watches this from a different balcony, scowling and making herself less beautiful. Come on evil queen. You just need to drink more water, do some meditation, volunteer, and maybe take another spin class. You aren't ugly! Snow White is just younger. Do you want to marry Prince Whatever? But no, instead of working on Evil Queen, she goes with the "pay a huntsman to bring back her heart in a box" plan.
I still love Snow White's iconic outfit with the yellow and the blue and the red that she wears while running into the woods, away from the huntsman and the Evil Queen. It's quite a frightening scene, with trees grabbing her clothes and disembodied forest eyes lurking. She collapses and cries and cries. All of the herbivores and some omnivores come out to console her. She apologizes to them.
It's yet another Disney Trope!
- Young girl befriends animals. So many animals. ✔️
They take her to the cottage where the Seven Men live. It's filthy. She lets herself in, followed by half the forest. Gross. Squirrels do not belong in houses. Anyway, so she decides, with the help of some deer and rabbits, that seven orphans without a mother live there. Enlisting the assistance of these magical creatures who would rather wash dishes than poo all over the floor, she gets to cleaning. There is a german style beer mug, which is a little tribute to the Grimm Brother story of which this film is adapted from. But only one, and it's decorative.
The "Seven Dwarves" are digging in a mine and sing a song. Then they sing another song to go home. For some reason, they hang the key to the vault next to the vault. They all have pickaxes, except Dopey who only has half of one. No idea what that's about. Snow White, being such a wonderful houseguest, enters their bedroom for presumably the first time and falls asleep, along with most of her new pets. Exactly what everyone wants, to come home to a deer in their bed. And why didn't she clean their sheets when she was having the rest of their laundry done?
Aww Dopey has a red lantern! Doc trips over his words more than anyone with a phd in mining should. Or is he a medical doctor?
Grumpy complains about "females," while the rest of the little men discuss how pretty she is. They all know that Snow White is the Princess, and that the Queen is a witch.
Snow White makes grown men wash their hands. Grumpy is the last hold out, of course, and complains about "women."
It's honestly kind of infuriating. He even spits on the floor, while trying to convince everyone of some grand conspiracy to make them wear perfume and put ribbons in their beards. So now we've got some entrenched sexism of the "boys are dirty" variety, and only two characters who are women.
The other men hold Grumpy down and wash him, while Dopey eats soap. I don't know what the deal is here. Should I be offended about the portrayal of little people? Is Dopey supposed to be intellectually disabled? Or are they not even supposed to be human? It's making me kind of uncomfortable.
The stupid magic mirror tattles on the Huntsman and the Evil Queen who has no name storms off, cape moving nicely. She needs someone to clean her lair, there are cobwebs all over her magic books. Maybe she shouldn't have kicked Snow White out so soon. She could have just disfigured her somehow, if she was so hung on being the most physically beautiful person ever. Not that she ever specifies that to the mirror, so as Snow White continues to force standard hygienic practices on stranger men, the Queen is just obsessed with killing her.
The Queen poisons an apple and steps over a skeleton that is not explained at all. It could be Snow White's dad, for all we know.
With 14 minutes left of an 84 minute film, we get our first conversation between Snow White and the disguised Queen. This is a very scary moment.
The Queen tells Snow White that the men folk prefer apple pies to gooseberry pies. (Wikipedia says that gooseberries are common in Europe and Northern Africa.) Considering that the Queen is not named anything other than "Evil Queen" and Snow White is named so because of the color of her skin, and they talk about what to feed men, I do not think this film passes the Bechdel test.
The animators did a nice job on the scene where the dwarves chase the disguised Queen in the rain. We get another trope!
- Villian dies offscreen by falling off a cliff! ✔️
The Dwarves are sad and decide that they can not bury the dead Princess. This makes me ask the question - What is the plan for this supposed kingdom? If the King died, leaving his daughter in the care of his second wife, who served as Queen Regent, what happens to the realm? Or is the King still alive somewhere?
Another title card explaining the plot. The "plot" being that the dwarfs stuck the Princess in a glass box and the Prince (is this a prince of a neighboring kingdom?) has heard stories of it.
And look! Prince No Name shows up singing, while the animals and dwarves keep vigil. He sees her lying there and just kisses her, right on the mouth. That is NOT OK. Who just sees a young girl sleeping or dead and just kisses her right on the mouth. They didn't even know each other! They sang one song together, a few days ago.
- True Love's Kiss saves the day✔️
Snow White runs off with him. Well, she hops on his horse, and he leads the horse off into the sunset.
5/10. I thought it dragged on, and on, and on. The artwork was excellent, and thinking about how they animated it without the technology we have today was pretty cool. The "story" is barely a story. The dwarves make me uncomfortable, in a "is this still OK" kind of way. The background music is well done.
I could see a modern remake being a thing, though. They would have to actually film the backstory, make the "dwarves" either actual children, or explain why a group of people (there are seven of them, they don't all have to be men. You could have men, women, and non-binary, as long as they have actual names) live together in the woods. Maybe she just stumbled upon an actual mining operation? Snow White and Seven Miners? Let Snow White have a female friend that she talks to about being hunted by the Queen Regent. Have a conversation when the Queen and Snow White talk to each other or fight or whatever. And let's have the Prince just hold her hand, or figure out a different way to bring her out of the coma, and a back story where they had been seeing each other in secret for a while.
I am getting so fucking sick of the handyman we have “working” on things around the house. He makes Alf and Ralph Monroe on Green Acres look like the Scott Brothers. He has been fixing the attic store room for freaking months. He keeps disappearing, and every possible thing that can go wrong for him personally has.
ordinarily, I’d say fuck it and hire someone else, but he’s a family friend...sort of.
added to all that, he owes us $$ he is supposed to pay us off. By finishing 3 jobs, but at this point I’ll be damned if he gets near my bathroom.
Welcome back to 66 Goodbook Avenue!
Year 23, 2032, was a big year for the Edens! Well, for some Edens.
First up, Elsie, our auxiliary Eden. Even though she's still nervous about alcohol she took a class on Mixology and received a promotion for her efforts! She is now head caterer. Yay! She also went out with some coworkers and acquaintances after work. Despite the Woman In Overalls From the Vet's Office being real cute, Elsie didn't make any big connections, but was still happy she put herself out there.
And Romano Johnson finally finished his science project! He was so so proud. An almost-Eden getting extra credit in a science class?! Amazing.
Now onto the Edens proper. Proverb Eden, #17, was born Feb 2031, and despite plenty of God-honoring, Biblical fellowship,
Eva's womb remained closed throughout 2031 AND all of 2032. Since Eva was 41 during Proverb's birth, her fertility decreased again to 20% (Try For A Baby success was set at 80% ages 20-35, and at 50% 35-40). She's still got a shot at 1-2 more Edens before her cutoff at 45, but time is ticking!
Unfortunately, Adam and Eva still have 17 children! In 2032 Ruth, now 14, finally got her teenage birthday celebration (a full year late) #eighthchildproblems! She's the one who started growing her hair out for Nathan Bates 10 years ago, and I'm pleased to report she sports a shorter, more natural 'do now. She's very artsy and loves painting and design. (Oh! And Jesus. Naturally.)
Proverb also aged up into a toddler but no one knows anything about her or even took a picture because #seventeenthchildproblems. Maybe Eva will start paying more attention now that Proverb might actually be the caboose on this crazy train.
Favored first child Genesis had a milestone year as well. She was promoted to the intermediate course for music education (level 2 of entertainer career) and licensed her first song! It was a haunting melody entitled "Smelly and Unlovely." shiver
We'll get to #2 in a bit (giggle), but what about #3, Leviticus? Well there were ups and downs. He attempted to make dinner for the family, but that's wimin's work!!! How could he have known to keep watching the oven?
This time it was not Genesis, but a different Eden daughter (Deuteronomy, #5) who extinguished the blaze. You go girls!
But back to Levi. He and Exodus met up with younger bro Judges (#7) at ALERT Academy for some Manly Bonding. Behold the ALERT campus.
Note: I didn't make this. I downloaded this "military barracks" from the Sims gallery. And filled it with fundie men including Kyle Vera and now Judges Eden.
Exodus, Leviticus, and Judges punched bags and swam in basement pools as only Godly Young Men can do. It's nice that Judges isn't totally banished.
And the reason for this Manly Men's retreat? Exodus was soon to be a groom.
Exodus, 20, was set to marry Maya Mahan, newly 19. They courted for two years and were childhood friends. Maya is a creative, geeky young lady who loves the outdoors, painting, her infant brother, and her parents. (Oh yeah. And Jesus.) And while no one bothered to learn Maya's last name during the courtship, it turns out the Mahans were LOADED. Maya's childhood home was so beautiful...
That it made a lovely spot for a wedding!
Maya got ready for the big day in her childhood bedroom. How very symbolic. (The baby is legitimately her brother! No shenanigans here)
But what emerged from the house was no longer a child, but a beautiful bride. In the Mahan's culture, white is the color of mourning, but Maya also wanted to respect the Eden's dress standards and compromised with this absolutely lovely bridal gown.
The wedding was beautiful!
(Note that Maya, typically with a pixie cut, grew out her hair the tiniest bit in another compromise, but she still looks stunning. You guys, I think I have a crush on a digital woman.)
Elsie was even the caterer!
After the wedding, the new Mr. and Mrs. Eden went on their honeymoon to Granite Falls! Since they fell in love under the stars in Salvadorada and were engaged on a camping trip, it made sense to honeymoon in the great outdoors as well.
It was a cozy little one-bedroom without a stove or even hot shower,
But that didn't stop them from enjoying Exodus-prepared BLTs together.
And even though Exodus kept getting distracted by the first tv he's ever been allowed to watch,
he was still more than ready to enjoy all the benefits of marriage with his bride.
And unless the Lord intervened, there would be a very low chance of a Honeymoon Blessing. At least for tonight...
And while a few more things happened at the very end of 2032, I think I'll save them for next entry as that was a lovely place to end. Congratulations to Exodus and Maya and until next time, Edens out!
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Keeping Up With The Dunkels - Chapter 14: Dunkels Double Date
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.
Wow! Aimee Joy and Christian seemed to be hitting it off! "What do you think about an ice cream sundae reception?" she asked him.
"Huh? That's crazy."
Hmm... maybe not.
Uh oh... is there trouble at Adam and Mehrissa's new house?
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!
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.
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!
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!
"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.
*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."
Guess what? Christian and Aimee
GraceJoy (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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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...)
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."
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.
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!
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!
NIKE! Don't worry, Cara was alone in the privacy of her beige bedroom as she celebrated her third pregnancy. #Blessed!
Adam and Mehrissa's boys were growing up. So far little Bryson was the only one with Mama's colouring.
Bear grew up too! Good dog.
Addyson liked to escape the Dunkel homestead now and then to visit her cousins' house, where there were only six people and a dog.
Happy Birthday, Braydon! Time for a haircut, I think, little buddy.
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...
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.
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?
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?
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!
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...
Meanwhile, inside the house, Adalyn was about to welcome their second precious blessing! "Hobart! Hobart?! Where are you?!" she called.
Oh well. Adalyn was sure he'd be along to welcome his newborn daughter Daisy to the world eventually.
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?"
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.
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)!
I need away from where I live. I came here to finish my college education when I was a single mom in my 40s. I finished it and ended up staying because my children were in school. They are out now, my youngest just turned 20, and I need to go.
Some years ago I became aware that one of the biggest events in this town is a particular festival that is supposed to celebrate the diversity of this community. I'm ashamed to say it's really all about showcasing the wealthy white families - and there is a HUGE income disparity here. The highlight of the festival is a ball where a queen is crowned, debutante style, and once my kids got into high school I really began to understand the real function of this ball. It showcases the white daughters of the rich. There are no kids of color. This is embarrassing in today's world. I really hate it.
Then, one of my children was involved in a school activity that requires fundraising. Because this activity requires clothing and equipment, of which new must be purchased every year. The students must travel long distances to stay a week in expensive hotels to properly train, never mind the same exact camp is offered IN THIS TOWN as a day camp at a considerably lower cost. The main fundraiser is the Dad's BBQ, which assumes right off the bat that every participating child has an active father. No amount of asking or persuading would change the minds of the wealthy white parents who locked down the booster club which funds the activity. Tradition. Child must come from the right family, even though this was a public school. So we live through that marginalization, for which I had to pay several hundred dollars in fines because there was no dad to appear for my child and I could not be there that day because I couldn't take off work.
Part of the fundraising is to sponsor a trip to sunny Los Angeles, half way across the country, every other spring break. I had to pay money to the booster club to support this, then my child had to try out for and didn't make the activity the following year, so she didn't get to go. Bitter? You bet.
So now Daddy/daughter dances have started up - as part of the local public schools. I live in a primarily rural area where the small city has the biggest school system in the county, but numerous small communities have their own districts within the county, and it's the small districts that have picked up on this.
I don't want to be here anymore. When I was in college, one of my jobs was as a student worker in the dean's office. The Dean, a woman, got her daughter into cheer in 8th grade and she was talking about how they had to start going to church because all the cheerleaders are active in a church. And she did it! A professor turned dean, but there's no lack of educated people around here. It's just that even with public school education and state college education, everyone still seems to fall into the black hole of church.
I'm having a bad weekend. This soul sickness from Trump's acquittal has seeped into my soul and it drowns me. I need out of Cruz country. When Teddy was running for office, his signs permeated the landscape and they all prominently featured "God." Recent local elections showed Republicans running for Jesus. This place is blood red and I need out of it.
Until I can get out, you bet I'm voting for any and everything possible, and it won't be anybody Republican.
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Here is the post about our second and last day with Kiki. We picked her up at around 10am, the Grandma gave her to us, because her foster mama was at work. We decided to drive into the little town first and go to our apartment after.
We walked around the pedestrian zone, went into the tourism office, a few stores and whatnot. She was the star once again. First a mail lady stopped and talked to us and her, then another older couple. The wife was afraid of dogs, but she was okay with Kiki.
Kiki showed her cheeky personality too. Her foster mum does not allow her to jump up and down the stairs, but on our way back to the car she literally jumped on every little step (not really stairs, just a small step in front of stores due to the old buildings) and she was so happy doing that. We noticed that a few hours later. Haha! Good thing we only have her for a few days and are allowed to be a bit more relaxed about rules and treats.
We went to the apartment to have tea and coffee and rested for a bit on our bed afterwards. She was allowed to join us (big sister is also allowed to join us in the bed here at home) and she had the best time. She rolled on her back and snuggled with us.
We decided to go out once again and so we drove to a pet store and a hardware store. She was perfect again in both stores. Especially seeing her walking around the big hardware store was amazing. She acted like she lives there. Really confident in herself. The automatic doors were also no problem. In the pet store we put her in a dog bag and a dog stroller to test how she would look like in them and she let us do it with her.
And that was the last day. We don't know yet when we will be able to visit her again. Maybe in April/May? We are already planing what we are going to do with her.😊
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I have been a part of two churches in my life: One was a toxic church which drove to seek fundamentalism in my teens as my parents insisted in being of part of it. The other was a perfectly decent and kind church that was pleasant for me, but this experience drove me away from church due to my family’s drama. At the former, my parent’s excuse was that they felt like they were “missionaries” to that church.
I am starting to realize more and more that my parents’ determination to be the “true Christians” in their churches is a way for them to bond in an otherwise dysfunctional relationship. Of course, the fact that they were/kind of are still participating in such a strange mission is quite a dysfunctional act itself. Although it was hurtful at the time, it’s been fascinating in retrospect how they would twist bad behavior of my dad sometimes into attacks of satan through people in the church. While it was annoying my mom stayed with my father, I am grateful she would call him out on most of his shit. But sometimes, things went very awry...
As silly as this sounds, I have a hard time sharing this story with my husband because he already has such strong opinions about my parents, but I remember my ex at the time was a lot more sympathetic to my family and he was astounded at this situation: My dad apparently was checking out a woman at church (no surprise). This took place at the good church, the one I went to as an adult with family. So my mother thought the only logical explanation for this particular situation was that...
the woman is a witch.
I know. The most embarrassing part? I believed it for a minute. Now, this turned into what is an almost 4 year long battle. I quickly realized what bullshit it was after the first couple of months, but I have since been neutral in appearance and intensely skeptical on the inside. I once even went to my church’s parking lot in the middle of the night one night to “anoint” a place the woman would usually stand with frankincense and a prayer so she would leave the church. Oddly enough she didn’t come to church for several months. Anyway, it’s all completely ludicrous and I am ashamed of my brief participation of what is basically an out-of-control coping mechanism for my mom. But things kept getting worse: my mom believing this gal put curses on people in the church, how she would not walk past the woman so she herself would not get cursed.
One time, service was over and I was in the front of the sanctuary talking with the only other person my age in the entire congregation. My family have always been backseat people, and they were gathering their things there and talking with various folk as everyone filtered out. I noticed my parents come and sit towards the front, a little ways from where this girl and I were standing. They both looked annoyed, so I ended my conversation to see if they needed to talk with me (my brother and I drove separately from them most of the time so there was no need to leave together). No, the “witch” was standing by the exit speaking with the pastor, and they did not want to walk past her. I KNOW.
Now, I do not care for this woman in the first place. She does come off as ingenuine and there is something that rubs me the wrong way, but I do not possibly think she is witch. What I disbelieve even more than that is the power she could have on folks in the church if she was. I quit attending regularly after an incident that deserves it’s own blog post took place, but I have gone periodically since. One time during one of these visits I was in
line for food talking with a family friend and the gal was standing near me, so my mom comes up behind me and puts her hands on me and says “I’m protecting you”.
No, you’re not mom. You’re protecting your false sense of security by demonizing this woman. And you wonder why I won’t go to church with you.
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Last week my daughter's school called to let my husband and me know Twin B was going to be tapped in to National Honor Society. This is a goal B has worked towards for years. She was nominated last year and was devastated when she didn't get in but she took that disappoint and she was determined to make it in this year; and she did it!
My mom was still alive when Twin A was selected for National English Honor Society a few months ago and we are all proud of both of them; however, NHS has a ceremony and more prestige than NEHS.
When we got the phone all from school about B's NHS tapping my first thought was "I have call my mom so she can come to the 'tapping in,' too!" Then I realized right after that I can't call her. I cried the entire tapping ceremony because I know my mom would be so very proud.
On an another note, I have a friend whom claims she is a medium and offered a session as a gift to me. She met my mom a couple times seven or eight years ago but we never really spoke of my childhood nor does she know my family. We met in rehab and were in the same group but she didn't know anything about my parents nor did we ever speak of the really personal things in our lives, that was saved for one-on-one with our councillors and doctors. We have kept in touch as a group but I haven't spoken with just her in years. I went into her house with skeptical optimism and with an open heart. Well, l was able to voice record the almost 2 hours I was with her and she knew so much, in such great details, and even answered questions I had written on a piece of paper in my pocket that I didn't tell anyone about. I figured if she was the real deal I would get the answers because my mom knew what I wanted and needed to know.
And one last thing, I was always told my parents planned their pregnancy for me. I asked my dad and he refused to give me any other answer except this: When your mom found out she was pregnant she wanted a girl. I said "Yes, Dad, but was I a PLANNED pregnancy?" He just said "Your mom was so happy when you were born and the doctors said you were a girl." I said to him "Yeah, Dad, I get it, I wasn't planned, I was a surprise!" He just chuckled. LOL!!
I truly do not know some days what I am supposed to believe anymore.
I believe in God, and I believe that Jesus is the only way to God, which will probaby get me into trouble with certain people.
But people can, have, and do use the name of Jesus to lie, to manipulate, and to exploit. I've been there.
People use the Bible to "prove" that they are right about everything.
I am supposed to support immigrants and open borders . . . Or I am supposed to support border security.
I am supposed to support women in ministry . . . Or I am supposed to follow the versesthat say "women can't preach"
I don't dare post this onFB because I don't want to get into an argument with people there. But even here, I'm afraid of coming off as too conservative or too fundy.
And it just seems that to know what the Bible really says, I have to do university-level study. And I am just too overwhelmed at the moment to do it.
News these days is fake. I don't know what fact-checking sites to believe. And even when I share fact checks, there are the people that scream that "they're liberal and they're biased!" All news seems biased and I don't know who's telling the truth.
"Think for yourself" carries the undercurrent of "as long as you come to the same conclusions I do".
"Let love lead" translates into "you don't love me if you call me out on my behavior, so you have to agree with everything I do/say."
There's no one I can really tell everything to, except for God. There's some subjects I don't want to delve into even with my BFF even though she's assure me that I won't lose her friendship.
It has become exhausting just trying to live from day to day at times. I don't know who to trust. And the day in, day out of living is just exhausting. I have to do work for pay this afternoon. I can't keep the house clean. I'm trying to write and I'm stalled. I'm 55 and running out of time to write everything I want to. I have a son with a disability that needs to be provided for and the mechanisms of doing so are just plain overwhelming. And the longer I put stuff off, the harder it's going to be for him. My husband talks about "We" doing this stuff, but it usuall ends up being "me" because I'm the one with the time to do it.
And I haven't done any sewing or knitting or crocheting in months.
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AKA Beyond Jordan
- I’ve gotta say, the aerial shots are enjoyable.
- PP says the goal of the trip is to visit as many biblical sites as possible. I do not believe that showcasing the holy land was ever the only goal of the film from the very beginning based on what I already know. Like the #FreePalestine he attached to the description of the film on Youtube.
- PP isn’t even 100% sure the Israeli govt will let him in.
- Watching PP and Roger Jimenez joke about all of the countries PP has been banned from is eye roll worthy. It’s not really something to be proud of.
- Airplane shots are pure filler. We get a shot of a random Jewish guy donning tefillin on the plane.
- They let PP in. It’s almost as if he’s not as important and (in)famous as he thinks he is. 🙄
- The generic ~eastern~ music is predictably here to remind us we’re in the Middle East.
- PP washes his face with water from the Jordan river. He says it’s kind of salty.
- Listening to Jimenez preach at Herod’s fortress is such a snooze fest.
- We see the Dead Sea and a member of PP’s entourage points out how there is all this salt on the shore, but the first thing I see is litter. PP dives in headfirst and gets salt in his eyes. They all then proceed to float in the Dead Sea like you’re supposed to, and it’s supposedly one of the weirdest things EVER. 🙄
- They go to the Church of the Nativity and PP manages to avoid making an ass of himself on camera. We get to hear the tour guide sing the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic which his kinda neat.
- PP gives Bethlehem’s water a rave review.
- PP moans about all of the idolatry in Bethlehem and the “false religion.”
- I start passing skipping the mini sermons that come with each site around this point.
- At Petra PP talks about why he was hesitant to visit the holy land before now; He doesn’t support the “modern, fake state of Israel.” Blah, blah, blah. Then he goes into how all of the sites they’ve visited so far aren’t even in Israel. He makes it a point to tell the viewers that at this point, they haven't even gone to Israel and everything we’ve seen so far has been in Jordan or Palestine.
- They hit the rewind button to show us how this trip REALLY went. They arrived in Amman, Jordan and crossed into the West Bank.
I paused at this point because I'm tired and can only watch the Pisser for so long. The film is almost 2 hrs long. I can tell the focus is probably shifting from "look at all of these cool holy sites" to PP whinging about Israel real soon.
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.
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Hi guys! This is my first blog post and I hope some of you will find this content intriguing. Apologies in advance for poor grammar - hopefully I get better with time. The two games I'm considering playing are vastly different from one another. Harvest Moon (recently renamed Story of Seasons) is a series of life and farm simulation games with the main objective of each game being to rebuild a farm and/or town and to befriend the townspeople. Corpse Party is a horror adventure RPG - decidedly different from Harvest Moon. More about their plots and origins below:
Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town:
Originally released in 2003, Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town (henceforth referred to as MFoMT) is the third Story of Seasons game that focuses on the female perspective.
The player is sitting alone in her apartment, thinking about how tired she is of her life in the city. She wants something new, and as she's looking in the newspaper, she sees an advertisement in the newspaper about a farm for sale.
She decides to purchase the farm, and goes there to see it. Upon arriving, she meets with the mayor, Thomas, who is surprised to see that somebody has replied to the advertisement. Although the farm needs a lot of work, Thomas says that the people of Mineral Town are desperate for a person to revive the farm. The player decides to live on the farm, and the game then begins.
Originally released in 1996, the plot of Corpse Party concerns a group of Japanese high school students who, after celebrating their school's culture festival, are telling ghost stories when a sudden earthquake transports them to a dilapidated schoolhouse in an alternative dimension that is haunted by the ghosts of people who have been trapped there. The main playable character is Satoshi Mochida, a kindhearted high school student who is teased by his classmates for his cowardly nature. Three of the other characters are students from Satoshi's class: Naomi Nakashima, Satoshi's childhood friend; Yoshiki Kishinuma, an intimidating yet good-natured student; and Ayumi Shinozaki, the class representative. Rounding out the group is Yuka Mochida, Satoshi's younger sister.
The game's story is split into five chapters, each focusing on different characters and featuring multiple endings that are achieved based on the player's in-game decisions: a "True Ending" required for the game's progression; and several "Wrong Endings" that are unlocked when the player performs events irrelevant to the main storyline. Characters also possess hit points (HP), which measure how much damage they can take before dying, in some instances leading to a wrong ending. As players progress through the game, they will unlock ten optional "Extra Chapters", vignettes that focus on the game's side characters and expand the storyline.
If I post about Corpse Party, I will include a NSFW warning, trigger warnings, and keep everything under spoilers, as it's quite... disturbing.
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to nor do I intend to advertise Story of Seasons, Harvest Moon, Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town, Corpse Party, Nintendo, or Natsume.
I mentioned in one of the threads that I'd attended a charity dinner where JK was speaking and had a theory that I wound up defending in a Tumblr challenge a few years back.
My theory is that Molly Weasley had her own Deathly Hallows in the final battle.
While viewed as a children’s story, or a physical quest, there was much more to the Deathly Hallows than that, the mastery of death could lie not just in objects, but in the right mix of people. The theory, hotly debated amongst vigilant believers, was in current contest as those three Hallows were united as they dueled against Bellatrix Lestrange.
There was Luna, the Resurrection Stone, the girl who fed thestrals, missed a mother and danced in and out of everyone else’s version of reality. The girl whose haunting alternate ways so often helped others get back to themselves when feeling lost or alone asking nothing in return, helping them resurrect who they were when they vulnerable.
There was Hermione, the Invisibility Cloak that had shielded others so many times, often invisible and unthanked in her constant support of everyone. The cloak’s true gift lay in the ability to shield others, not just a single wearer and never tired out. For Hermione had never left Harry’s side, had helped Hagrid for ages on his case for Buckbeak, had knit hat after hat for house elf rights, had been the constant plan maker to hide them from trouble. The girl who was tortured to shield others.
There was Ginny, the Elder Wand. The girl who stood toe to toe with Voldemort in a very private battle for months on end and ensured the only causality would be herself. If it is assumed the castle wasn’t doused with Flelix Feliciats, then Ginny was actively thwarting the giant, murderous creature she kept releasing while blacked out from killing. Chamber opening, rebellion leading, unmastered Ginny who showed Tom Riddle having a thing was not the same as being able to use it.
Their mistress was one Molly Weasley, who could selflessly possess the attributes. A daughter by blood, a daughter by heart from across the hill, a daughter to be. When faced with a depraved killer who had felled notable duelists, Molly could not be beat. The mother in her, the fresh grief she had might have been enough, but her Hallows ensured Bellatrix would never harm again.
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I want to preface this by saying I am kind of embarrassed that this is my third blog post here in a row and if other people don't start posting let my insecurity be on your heads.
Also - I am well aware that I'm FJ's Jill Duggar of food photography. I'm terrible ... snark away, judgey people.
I love cranberry-orange muffins and in company meetings I'd make sure they ordered one for me from Panera, but I prefer mine because they are slightly less sweet.
The three bears reference is because I always bake these in 3 sizes: Jumbo, regular*, and mini muffins.
I have three kids and this is one of the few things they all love. Sometimes they like the jumbo when grabbing one as a breakfast muffin on the way to work or school, we all love the regular, and mini-muffins are great when you want just a little bite without eating a whole one...because for me breaking into a whole muffin means I'll try to save for later but will finish it in short order so mini-muffins are perfect for those times you need a little taste of happiness without making a cupcake sized commitment.
*regular being typical cupcake tins.
This is my grandma's recipe. I am sure she got it from Ocean Spray originally and tweaked it as it's similar. This is for a double batch which will make a tray of each size (6 jumbo, 12 regular, and 24 mini.) It is also good in loaf pans as cranberry bread, but muffins leave less crumbs on my counter. Those of you who have neater families who wipe up their own counter crumbs may enjoy the bread, this recipe makes 2 loaf pans.
- 4 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 cups orange juice
- 4 tbsp melted butter (or Imperial margarine)
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 4 cups fresh cranberries* halved or lightly pulsed once in food processor.
(*I do not use nuts in this recipe. If you prefer nuts then cut the cranberries to 3 cups and add one cup of pecans)
- Preheat oven to 350
- Butter tins or line with cupcake liners...I'm a big fan of spray butter
- Sift together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.)
- Mix together wet ingredients (OJ, butter, and eggs.) Add melted butter to OJ before adding eggs so they don't scramble from the heat.
- Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix together by hand until just combined. Like with all such muffins do not over mix or you will get a very tough end product.
- Fold in cranberries until evenly dispersed throughout the batter, again don't over-mix. You don't want them whole, but not minced - big chunks are best. I use my food processor on all 4 cups at once and pulse it once.
- Regular - 1 ice cream scoop of batter per muffin.
- Mini - 1 melon baller scoop per muffin
- Jumbo - 1.5 - 1.75 ice cream scoops per muffin.
- Loaves - split the batter between 2 loaf
- Regular - 25 minutes
- Mini - 15 minutes
- Jumbo - 30-35 minutes
- Loaves - 50 minutes
Done when tops are golden and butter knife comes out clean.
(posting now but will upload pics from phone shortly.)
I remember being about two years old (I have a long memory) and watching my dad plug in Christmas lights. That was probably the last year our family celebrated Christmas.
Both my parents grew up celebrating holidays like most of middle-class America, but as they began their slide into fundie-dom they started reading tracts and booklets about the evils of holidays. They believed that Christmas, Easter, and Halloween were evil throwbacks to paganism that had been perpetuated by the Catholics (who, of course, weren't "real Christians"). I'm linking here to something similar to the many booklets we had around the house: http://blowthetrumpet.org/AChristmasDefenseHowGodsPeopleJustifySin.htm
This refusal to celebrate holidays set my family apart, even from the fundamentalist Christians we associated with, and definitely caused a lot of confusion when people casually asked us kids what we were doing for Christmas, and we told them we didn't "do Christmas." We got asked a lot if we were Jehovah's Witnesses, since that's who usually comes to mind as not celebrating holidays. Sometimes people asked if my parents were Christian, because the idea of a Christian not celebrating Christmas was so astonishing.
Birthdays were only grudgingly allowed: we normally had just a family gathering, similar to the Maxwells' descriptions of their birthday celebration. It was often pointed out that the only birthdays mentioned in the Bible were the birthdays of evil men (Pharaoh and Herod). Also it was seen as being likely to draw to much attention to one person and make them self-centered.
This story has a bit of a happy ending, at least for me. After I left home, I embraced holidays with a vengeance. Christmas was amazing, my children got Easter baskets from my in-laws, Halloween was a pure delight of dressing my kids and taking them trick-or-treating. Now that I've left Christianity, I still look forward to the holidays. Christmas/Yule/Winter Solstice--whatever it's called, it's a time of joy and giving and yummy food. Halloween--it's a joy to watch my children enjoy what I didn't, with no fear of "Satan" to hinder their steps. The cycle of the seasons is cause for celebration, even if "Easter" isn't really a thing for me. And I want my children to feel special on their birthdays: to know that they're important and valued.
This rejection of holidays stemmed from anti-Catholic and anti-Pagan attitudes. It was promoted as being "God's way," but all the tracts reviled Catholics and Pagans, making it obvious that the real problem was with other people's belief systems. Of course, we were the ones with the "right" understanding of the Bible. As with everything else.
Nowadays, my parents still don't celebrate religious holidays, except for having or attending a Thanksgiving meal (apparently there's some justification in the Bible for "a day of thanks," don't ask me). They are free to do whatever they want on the holidays; meanwhile, at my house, there will likely be a delicious dinner cooking and a living room full of loved ones.
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