Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Grammar Lesson Rebuttal

In the car with my three oldest boys I correct some grammar, "You should say 'where are you, not where are you at.'"

 "Where are you? just sounds rude.  Where ya at? sounds a lot nicer,"  was their logical rebuttal to my correction. 

Can you argue?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Political Writing...

This is in response to The Times News editorial on the election for House Seat 25B:

The argument that we should keep Pence as our representative because she is a "rural democrat," is an invalid argument. We should not elect our politicians based on filling minority quotas for the state house. If there is a district in Idaho that has a "rural democrat" whom the majority of people agree with his/her policies, then let THEM respond to this perceived "need."

Representatives should meet the needs of the people whom they represent; having Alex Sutter as District 25's representative, as opposed to Donna Pence would actually give District 25 conservatives at least one out of our three who is most likely to represent our ideals. The constituent’s needs in District 25 for at least one conservative voice trumps any need that The Times News may be promoting for the state house in general.

Alex is a dynamic leader, an articulate speaker who is willing to give of his time to serve the citizens of District 25. He knows what the Constitution is about, he realizes the State’s obligations and duties to its people, he understands how individual and family strength, productivity, and sovereignty is the backbone of our country’s founding. He will be a true leader to rally a people to their obligations both as public servants and private producers in a time of conflict and uncertainty in our nation’s history. He will be a very welcome figure in Idaho politics, and one that will in time by celebrated by the Times News as "one of the most important political figures in Idaho’s history."

Alex Sutter in no way falls behind on responding to the crisis in Education. And unlike his opponent who is a veteran in the obsolete bureaucratic system of American public education, Alex brings fresh ideas and vision for what education needs to become in our changing world. Alex also will be a proponent of agriculture and its responsible growth. His experience has shown him over and over again to be someone who knows how to bring people together and develop solutions that work.

When anyone with a conservative leaning set of values looks at Donna’s record, they can’t help but realize that she absolutely does not represent them. She is a very nice lady who is to be commended on the life work that she has and is accomplishing. But she is not the representative that District 25 needs at this time. Alex Sutter is.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Production, Duction, What's your Function?

(Can some of you remember the cartoon with this funny little phrase I used for the title, only used with "conjunction?"  Those Saturday morning cartoon spots aimed to educate still stick in my head. )

I've been reading and thinking about production lately, especially how it compares to consumption.  I asked my kids the other day, "Remember in Farmer Boy, what was the family always thinking about and doing?"  They caught on that I was trying to point out to them that their whole life revolved around production.  They produced what they ate, what they wore, what they needed for their animals, shingles for their home.  They were always producing.  And when they produced more than what they needed, they traded that production for money (stored production.)  They then could use this stored production to save to purchase more assets.

We compared that to the vast amount of people that we know today, and what they always seem to be thinking and talking about:  what can we buy, where is the next deal, what can I consume?   Ebay, Wal-mart, Craig's list, the coupon craze, sports viewing, restaurant eating, more and more clothes, and baubles, and stuff......it's all the rage.   Consumption is seen as fun and fulfilling.  And yet our homes are stuffed with too much, our garages bare the same fate, and most of our bodies have been the recipients of too much food.  We are all looking for happiness where it doesn't really exist.  Consumption is like a drug:  you may have the high during the process, but soon enough comes the let down, and soon you are looking for more.  It just doesn't truly satisfy.

On the other hand, production is creating, it's adding value, it's giving the world something new, something better, it takes real effort.  And it is so satisfying, and often tiring.  The real value of goods also becomes clear when you are the one producing them.  It gets harder and harder to spend you money (stored production) on anything other than quality necessities.

I think the answer to our national and global economic problems is for everyone to get the producer mentality again.  For families to produce together, communities to add value to their towns and neighborhoods.  This might not all get figured in the GDP, but it will be valuable and we will all be able to find true joy and contentment again.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Why I sometimes Hesitate to Post....

I always have atleast ten ideas floating around in my head at any given time.  I talk myself through them day in and day out.  I compose many essays in my head...and try to follow all these ideas to the end of their logical lines.  So why then do I post so little?

Because I get so discouraged at my own inability to live by the truths that I find.  "If to know were to do...." from Merchant of Venice could probably be the tragic motto of my life, maybe it is the tragic motto of all mortal life.  Thus the need for the Atonement, the dire need for us to lean on our Savior for all strength.  But, sometimes That even seems so locked up, so buried in the clouds of murkiness beneath all crazy hormonal emotions accompaning motherhood and all that is entailed there.

The embarrassment of hypocrisy leaves me without the courage to shout the inspiring ideals.

(Something less depressing soon.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Comments on the Hunger Game series.

From a discussion at misfitcygnet.com

Post image for The Question of Deception: LDS Ark Culture Embraces the Pornography of Violence

 So many thoughts….

I have read the books. Did I like them? well, I thought about a lot of things, a lot of important things because of them. Unfortunately, there was a lot to consider because of the place we find ourselves historically.

I thought about: the perverseness of “reality” games, control of the masses by the few, survival in harsh realities, making hard choices in the face of adversity, black-markets, semblances of virtue during war, resourcefullness and ingenuity, propaganda, power vacuums, media manipulation, martial law, the rationalization that leads to pragmatism, the ugliness and bitterness and confusion that war causes, that war is not neccesarily “fair” to those fighting for freedom, that messages and ideas easily get twisted for the political gain of the elite, ideas on how you would go about throwing off tyranny that slept on your front door, that public sacrifice is sometimes thrust upon someone, the realities of gross over indulgence both in food and style, that beauty and goodness can be found in the darkest of times…

Could I have found all these things in the scriptures, I am sure that I could have. I think the question is: is it appropriate and/or necessary for those trying to become Holy to read books that show the ugliness of a culture in ways that are descriptive? Should we read 1984, Brave New World, Lord of the Flies? These books are definately not Holy, but we have accepted them because of the idea that they allow evil to show its face for what it truly is. Sometimes, a fictional story well discussed can bring almost an experience level understanding. Just discussing the issues oftens leaves us unchanged as to the horror of the evil.

I know that you were concerned with the “twisting” of the “starving” issue. I have no family experience that would leave me to be sensitive to this. I didn’t find that to be troubling at all, the violence, on the other hand that was so easily displayed by some was troublesome, but it was not glorified in the overall purpose of the book. In fact, those that could figure out how to survive without the horrific violence were the ones celebrated.

I am not really sure what I think. I am not sure I would want to give up the ideas that I mentioned above, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. I totally agree with the idea that God would fight our battles for us, always, if we would merit his protection. I would be happy to know that I never had to read anything disturbing again, because I would not need that level of understanding. But, for now, in this human experience, I think I will choose to occasionally read something difficult that may lead to a depth of understanding into the human experience.

But of course, I could be wrong.

And Misfit's reply:

Joyful St, thank you for bringing up that viewpoint. I had wanted to address that in my post, but it was supposed to be a post, not a book, and I was already to lengthy, so I’ll tell you my point of view, if you are interested.

I never read 1984, Brave New World or Lord of the Flies. I protested to my teachers that I didn’t think they were worthy of my time and they all allowed me to skip them and read other things. They are not truly redemptive. There are other books about the depth of human experience that are redemptive.

You asked:

I think the question is: is it appropriate and/or necessary for those trying to become Holy to read books that show the ugliness of a culture in ways that are descriptive? Should we read 1984, Brave New World, Lord of the Flies? These books are definately not Holy, but we have accepted them because of the idea that they allow evil to show its face for what it truly is.

I think people have accepted these books because they have been influenced by the zeitgeist, or the culture of our place and time. Reading The Hunger Games didn’t do anything for me. It didn’t cause me to question anything. We already live in a dystopian society–I have the questions you mentioned you had while reading the book on a daily, sometimes hourly basis….

When I struggle with a question like this, I often go to the scriptures for guidance. Did Nephi need to read 1984 to understand or discuss the human experience with Sam or to deal with Laman and Lemuel and their dystopian values? Did Enoch, who was called to enact change and create a perfect society out of one of the most dystopian societies in the history of the earth, need to read Lord of the Flies to understand the people and how to reach them? No. The Lord taught them.

I think we (myself included) all too often rely on the works of man to teach us things that only God can show us in a way that will not be a temptation or allow me to become sullied with sin, depression, or expose ourselves unnecessarily to pornography and violence.

Why have I been so quick to dismiss the depth of understanding of the human experience I could find while making a true study of the Bible? Could it be because I find the works of man more interesting, more titillating, more worthy of discussion? While the inspired (not Songs of Solomon) scriptures speak of the effects of violence and the sexualization of women, these things are not recorded in a titillating, overly descriptive, or pornographic way. And, the spirit of the Lord can teach us things that are not written while we are reading the scriptures.

I have worked with many abuse victims and survivors in the past. I have found that I did not need to read fictional books about the depth of human experience to gain a level of understanding to help them or to become a deeper person…and a few of them, I helped intimately.

You know what they needed for help? The Atonement. All I had to do was ask God, “What can I do?” and He taught and directed me and gave me insight and understanding as necessary. And, some things I did or said or felt, I did not understand. I didn’t need to understand and see or hear everything. And people were healed. Not through me–through the Spirit, which knoweth all things and the application of the Atonement, which encompasses the depth of the human experience.

Your statement:

Sometimes, a fictional story well discussed can bring almost an experience level understanding. Just discussing the issues often leaves us unchanged as to the horror of the evil.

is compelling. I will tell you honestly that reading about the death of a child and experiencing it are two completely different things–no matter how effective the fictional story is. It’s just not the same. I agree that merely discussing issues without the Spirit does little to change us, but subjecting ourselves to the pornography of violence does not truly change us in a good way–it desensitizes us in ways we do not fully comprehend.

Perhaps reading these kinds of “broken” books might have been acceptable 20 or 30 years ago….things were different. Now, however, we must raise our expectations of ourselves and our children. These are man’s ideas, man’s philosophies, man’s interpretations and imaginations of human experience.

Has Suzanne Collins ever been starving? Obviously not. How can we expect to gain an almost “experience level” of understanding from an author who is only using what she has seen on television and her imagination? Has Suzanne Collins ever personally witnessed the gruesome death of a child? No, she is writing about things she has heard about, or seen on television shows, or imagined. She is writing about things she has not experienced, so our “experience level” understanding from reading is not based on reality…it’s based on imagination.

When God teaches us something, it is real. It is truly “experience level.” While books may be a good way to learn about the human experience, I believe the word of God is a better way, and the best way is to be taught by God Himself. If it is necessary for our missions in life to understand the darkest side of human nature (and I do not think it is necessary for everyone), it is God who will show us, at the right time, and we don’t need to seek after it in an uninspired man or woman’s non redemptive book (and I think it is up to us to seek the Lord in knowing whether or not a book’s author inspired).

Which brings me to my final point. Your heartfelt words:

I am not really sure what I think. I am not sure I would want to give up the ideas that I mentioned above, I don’t know, I don’t know…I would be happy to know that I never had to read anything disturbing again, because I would not need that level of understanding.

Your words have caused me to think about this deeply and the words of Elder Holland keep coming back to me:
So a more theological way to talk about Lot’s wife is to say she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she had. Apparently she thought, fatally as it turned out, that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind.

It is easy for me to sometimes think that there is no better way to do things, because I refuse to let go of my entrenched ways. Because I am so entrenched, the Lord cannot show me His way. There is no room, so I cannot learn more.

I don’t know the answers, either…I just wonder if it’s possible that we can ask the Lord if there is another way to understand the human experience…Maybe He will say, “No, you need to read these books.” Maybe some people need to read them and some don’t. I don’t think so, but maybe I am wrong. I often am. These thoughts are just me trying to stumble through finding the answers for myself and my family.

And, thanks again for posting. You always make me think.


Joyful St October 14, 2010 at 10:05 pm

I believe you are probably right. It is interesting to realize how much damage is done to our spiritual sensitivities as we have just been allowed to be a part of the world, oh, and also happen to believe in Jesus.

I use to love to read Sophie Kinsella. Her books are hilarious- and extremely pornographic, crude, wordly. So I was reading one (just a little brain candy, you know) a few months ago, and I was really loving the story line. When all of the sudden the Spirit told me, “DO NOT READ THIS.” I put it down, and only picked it back up to return to the library. I didn’t have that same experience with The Hunger Games, maybe I needed to read it for some reason, but more likely, I wasn’t open to the Spirit for something that “seemed” more tame. I didn’t really enjoy the books, but for some reason I felt obligated to read them. Pressures of culture or Spirit, I do not yet know.

I have started reading 1984, and Brave New World…never could get through them. I guess I am just not that in to darkness. Interesting that our culture does make them “required” reading.

Thank you for this forum….I, like you, am a “thinker” sometimes to my husband’s chagrine. I am glad for a place to discuss things that are real in our pursuit of Zion.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

In answer to "Old Relief Society Lessons"

Have you ever wanted to just talk with someone who seems to be on the opposite side of an issue just to see why they believe what they believe?   These are some comments from the blog:  feministmormonhousewives.org.  As I can see, some of my assumptions about being a "feminist" are probably wrong.  We actually might agree on similar things...(the copy from the blog is in blue and italics)

31.On a side thread of old RS lessons . . .

A RS lesson from 1914 would include

1) Work and business
2) Segment on local, national and political events. One months suggestions included Utah marble for capitol building, school shopping, suffrage methods in Washington, money markets, address by Woodrow Wilson, Ludwig of Bavaria - the new king, treaty negotiations with Denmark, votes for women as an international issue.
3) Genealogy and testimony
4) Home ethics & gardening. Example: personal pride in making one’s own homestead clean & beautiful, our responsibility as citizens in making and maintaining a good water system. Sisters received assignments such as sketching landscapes, or researching reforesting clearcut or how to procure clean water for their cities.
5) Literature, art and architecture. Example: studied for one year the autobiography of Ben Franklin, lesson on the study of the etymology of the word “bungalo” and instructions on how to adapt it to mountain living.
RS history is awesome, and I am excited about the emphasis coming.
Comment by Txgirl — September 30, 2010 @ 9:30 am

32.#31- Oh, I am SO jealous.
Comment by the milk (of the gospel) — September 30, 2010 @ 9:57 am

34.WOW. #31!
Why were those old-fashioned ladies more progressive than us? HUH?!
And why were those old-fashioned ladies ALLOWED to be more progressive than us?
I wanna be old-fashioned! That would be so awesome.
For what it’s worth, military wives, though always encouraged to be feminine and support their man, were also always encouraged and expected to be self-sufficient, capable, and upstanding citizens who pulled their own weight. A la the old-fashioned ladies of Relief Society.
Comment by Michelle — September 30, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

These things mentioned are similar to subjects I study and projects I do all the time, (as someone who considers herself "anti-feminist.")  By "anti-feminist" I don't mean someone who doesn't believe in equality and respect for women, I just mean someone who doesn't want to be a man, but is happy and content being a "traditional" woman.

So why then am I doing these things, and feminists are complaining about not being able to do them?  I have one short, not well-researched thought:

In 1914, people were still thinking in terms of freedom,  free enterprise, liberal education, local government, family enterprising to solve the problems of society.  Everybody's talents and education are vital and encouraged in this atmosphere.

 Now we have had almost 50 years of "dumbed down education," and a tendency to look to the Federal Government to solve our problems, it is now (unfortunately) out of our normal existance to expect ourselves and others in our families and communitees to be able or capable of providing these kinds of solutions.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Thoughts on Womanhood

About seven years ago, I began the journey of feminist to feminine with a beautiful Christian website called ladiesagainstfeminism.com. It made me start to question some of my own erroneous thoughts that I had been indoctrinated with in our current modern culture- ie that I needed to go and accomplish a lot outside of my home if I wanted to be/feel successful. Of course, being a “dutiful mormon” girl, I was “sacrificing” by staying at home with our first three children. Soon they would be able to go to school and I could be free to start my real life.

After that first website, I started to see a different way. And it was like coming home. It was what I should have been hearing. It was truth.

I have since enjoyed books, essays and documentaries from Visionarydaughters.com, largefamilymothering.com, awisewomanbuildsherhome.com, and others.  Even when I didn't fully agree with their applications, the principles they were promoting were amazing and inspiring, and true. But where were the voices like these from the LDS? Why was I having such a hard time having this conversation with sisters in my own ward? Why was I the only one finding peace and beauty in these biblical principles? Was I being misled? Was I not progressing? And then I found out about the “mormon feminist” blogs. These were reported to be the new voice of the LDS women. I read for awhile, but mostly just felt angst and stress, and doubt.

Still, always on aquest for truth: I just asked God to really bless me with understanding through the scriptures. Within a couple of days, I reread Lehi’s vision – notice “Lehi, is at the tree inviting the family to partake, not Sariah, nagging everyone.” Then to the words to Emma Smith – all of her calling was to support her husband.   I had other very profound and personal spiritual experiences during this time.  I decided to put some of these "old-fashioned" ideas into practice.

In my journey, these are some of the ideas that I have adopted and found much peace in through this time of searching, pondering, praying and fasting.

-Righteous Patriarchy is God’s governement. We are either in it, or out of it.

-My husband is my head through Christ. I look to support him in everything he does. I use my talents and gifts to further his vision (in which, he constantly councils with me for direction and advice) for our family. I get to do a lot of amazing and fun stuff within the context of my family and home. It is not at all limiting, but amazingly exhilerating and full of eternal purpose. I sometimes find myself doing things that help our family financially, because my husband has asked me to. We actually try to do a lot of family enterprising, it’s sort of an idea that just comes with being a farm family. It includes everyones, everyone has some gift to offer.

-The most important part of “our” vision for our family is a biblical posterity where children are the heritgage our Father gives us, his most wonderful and eternal gifts and responsibilities to and for us. We are no longer limiting our children, but relying on the Lord for his providence in taking care of them. "Heritages of the Lord," are not just merely provided physical needs, and then entertained so they stay out of the way – they are pondered and prayed over, they are trained, molded, corrected, educated,encouraged, disciplined, and LOVED. They are the blessings that have brought us to our knees in the deepest humility, they are the blessings that have made the LORD more real to us than anything else ever could. Why- because raising children is DANG HARD, and it requires the sacrifice of all.  And He does provide the sanity, and the means, and the health when I am truly willing to submit all to HIM.

-MAKING HOME is the most important earthly pursuit. Everything else that is done, like husbands having to go into Babylon, is only to support the mission of building Zion in the home.

-Modern culture and schooling do our daughters a huge disfavor by giving them the idea that to be successful, they need to be involved in “obtainining money,” and that they need to be stressfully busy all day long. Real motherhood is actually fairly slow paced, methodical, spiritual, ritualistic.

-Submitting to and learning to respect and encourage your husbands brings amazing blessing to marriages, to his spiritual growth, and to your ability to develop that “meek and gentle spirit.”

-Feminism was a “progressive, communistic” propaganda idea to get women out of their homes, so that the government could be the main partriarch of society. Read So Much More by E&AS Botkin. Wonderful book.

I do have a little disclaimer if you want to call it that. I have always been surrounded by men who loved, respected, cherished and protected me. They have all revered my opinion, talents, and gifts. For those who have not been so fortunate, I can understand how these ideas might seem very uncomfortable and scary to you. I have not the wisdom to know what to say, other that that Gods ideals are for everyone, and somehow through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he can make you capable of living whatever law He has set forth as His standard.

More later.  I have many ideas on this subject.  Some of those ideas I support as absolute eternal truth, others, I am willing to learn and grow and be challenged on.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Brown Rice Pudding

Brown Rice Pudding

•1/2 cup brown aromatic rice, such as brown jasmine or brown basmati

•1/3 cup dried cranberries

•1/4 cup sugar

•1 can light coconut milk, such as Taste of Thai

•1-1/3 cups nonfat milk

•1/2 cup liquid egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters

•1 tsp. almond extract

•2 bananas, sliced

•optional: brown sugar

Spray your slow cooker stoneware with nonstick cooking spray. Stir together brown rice, cranberries and sugar in Crockpot stoneware. In a separate bowl, whisk coconut milk, nonfat milk, egg substitute and almond extract together. Pour over rice mixture. Cook on high for four to five hours.

Serve with sliced bananas and brown sugar on top, if desired.

Serves 6.

Per serving: 240 calories, 2g fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 42 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 9 g protein, 11% vitamin A, 7% vitamin C, 21% calcium, 7% iron

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Plum Cobbler

Picked a big box of plums this morning (thanks Aliece.)  Now what to do with them.....here are copy and paste ideas I acquired while "googling."  Now they are all in one place,  how convenient.  Ambition to complete the projects is my next endeavor.

Plum Cobbler Recipe

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (170 g plus 30 g) of white sugar
10 fresh plums (we use Santa Rosa), sliced and seeded - about 4 cups
2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (110 g) all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (50 g) butter
1/4 cup (60 mL) milk
1 egg, lightly beaten

1 Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

2 In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup white sugar, plums, cornstarch and cinnamon. Place the fruit mixture in a 2-quart casserole.

3 In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter in with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the milk and egg until just moistened.

4 Drop batter on fruit, or if desired, spread batter in stripes. Bake in a 350°F oven for 35 minutes.

Plum-tangy Salsa
This plum-based salsa is great spooned over grilled chicken, fish or duck. To make it, combine 3 cups diced plums, 1/4 cup minced red onion, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon minced fresh jalape�o chili (use caution when working with fresh chilies; wash hands and work surface thoroughly upon completion -- and do NOT touch your eyes or face). Stir; add 1/4 chopped fresh mint or cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Plum Jam

6 lb. plums

1 pint water
6 lb. sugar

 Cut the washed and drained plums in half, and remove the stones.

Quarter the plums and add the water, in the pan.
Simmer until the fruit is pulpy, between 10 and 15 min's stir in the sugar and boil rapidly until setting point is reached.

Jam “set” or “setting point”:

Getting the right set can be tricky. I have tried using a jam thermometer but find it easier to use the following method. Before you start to make the jam, put a couple of plates in the fridge so that the warm jam can be drizzled onto a cold plate (when we make jam we often forget to return the plate to the fridge between tests, using two plates means that you have a spare cold plate). Return the plate to the fridge to cool for approx two minutes. It has set when you run your finger through it and leave a crinkly track mark. If after two minutes the cooled jam is too liquid, continue to boil the jam, testing it every few minutes until you have the right set. The jam is far more delicious if it is slightly runny.

Process in jars....I don't know.

To Prepare Fruit Puree:

Sort, stem, and wash ripe fruit or thaw frozen unsweetened fruit; crush fruit thoroughly; measure crushed fruit. Add 1 cup boiling water to each 4 cups crushed fruit and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer to soften--about 5 for soft fruits...about 10 minutes for firm fruits like cherries and grapes. Press through sieve.


4 cups puree
4 cups sugar
1/2 package or less powdered pectin (if desired)
3 or 4 Tbsp lemon juice (if desired)

1. Mix puree, sugar, pectin and lemon juice.
2. Bring to boil and stir for 2 minutes (boil till jelly thermometer reaches 218F).
3. Remove from heat, skim off foam, and pour into 1/2 pint or 1 pint jars to within 1/2 inch of top.
4. Adjust lids and process in boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

To Prepare Fruit Juice:

Sort, stem and wash ripe fruit or thaw frozen, unsweetened fruit; crush fruit thoroughly. Place crushed fruit in dampened jelly bag and drain. For clearest juice, do not press bag to extract juice. For firm fruits, heat is needed to start flow of juice. Add about 1/2 cup water to each 3 cups crushed fruit. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Place hot fruit in dampened jelly bag; drain.


4 cups juice
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice (if desired)
1/2 package or less powdered pectin (if desired)

1. Mix juice, sugar, lemon juice and pectin.
2. Bring to boil and boil 2 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, skim off foam, and pour into 1/2 pint or 1 pint canning jars to within 1/2 inch of top.
4. Adjust lids and process in boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Maybe just CAN some to puree and and 1/2 and 1/2 with barbeque sauce.  Will go great with our pheasant.  Yummm.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Feminine Fringe...on wearing a skirt

This is a letter I received from Generation Cedar..
Something I am beginning to believe in powerfully, but still find difficult to do.

Costume is powerful. It's more than just something to wear.A woman in a skirt or dress looks feminine. There's something almost mystical about that. Skirts make me stop and think. "She's a lady, not just a female clone trying to act like a man, or imitating a man.

"Oh" some women say, "pants are more practical". Sure they are. But you lose something.

"But", some women will say. "My job requires body positions that skirts interfere with."Really? Pioneer women WALKED (not rode) alongside covered wagons going out west. And they wore skirts. They had identity as women (distinct from men)

Queen Elizabeth (the first) wore gowns....not pants. She was powerful.And if skirts make your job more difficult there's a feminine alternative: Long pants sewn with wide legs....in silky fabrics and soft colors....and almost as feminine as a skirt.

Of course, if you're a woman who only cares about the masculine value of "efficiency at all costs", if you don't cherish your feminine power,as a woman; not a clone of men.....then by all means, keep wearing those pant suits." -Fred Bear

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Own Private Goshen

As I am considering the Babylon/Zion argument, I read today in Exodus....and basically, I think we as members of the Church are symbolically living in Goshen.  Goshen is the name of the area where the Isrealites lived while they were in Egypt.  For quite a while they lived a rather great life there.  They were allowed to stay within their own group of people, they were left alone to worship as they pleased, their monetary/physical needs were met as they left their "Zion" to make bricks for the Egyptians.  It all seemed to be working out pretty nicely, with a few small concessions.  Sort of a resting ground, a preparation place, a nice easy life.
Then the Egyptians became anxious about the Isrealites numbers and strengths, more and more of their "freedoms" were eroded.  Pretty quickly, Goshen wasn't quite so great a place to live.  But even as God was performing mighty miracles in their behalf to take them to their true promised land, their Zion, they still were looking back toward Goshen.  That steady brick-making paycheck and "Egyptian burger joint" was really a hard thing to give up.
I'll let you draw your own corollaries, if you see any.

Friday, May 21, 2010

To do, to do, to do

To Do Outside:  Updated May 25

Finish Planting the whole Garden and pray for sunshine.  Check.  still need to plant beans and tomatoes in a week.  Finally a nice day today

Put in second tier of strawberry beds  Been digging.  Need dearest to lay the ties.

Start first year pruning of espaliered fruit trees (replace dead apple with plum?)  Maybe only one tree still alive, how disappointing.  Placed posts, need to string wire

Fence around garden...no more Trampling, Stampeding livestock  This will be awhile.

Get rocks to rick-rack side of garden...plant herbs.  Made first load of rock, probably ten more loads.

Get grapes and raspberries....remember to start with the watering system first, you are not good at doing complicated watering routines when July comes...things sorta just end up dying...plan first

Keep watering new grassy areas (hopefully they come up)  I think we might have to start again, and just plant one area at a time.  They need to be constantly watered.

Design landscape for front knoll...good job getting all those rocks...thanks big muscle kids.  Now I have my big huge rock... thanks to dearest and a loader.

Make a clothes line. I can work on this today

Paint milk barn RED.  This will be great, and I already have the paint, from two years ago.

Paint picnic tables.  First unwindy day. (that will take a miracle)

That might be all the big projects for this year....now drink lots of lemonade and read good books.


Sometimes I am genuinely disappointed to see that no one has updated my blog...oh, was that supposed to be me?

A Little Bit of Politics

Dear Senator:

Please help me remain my child's parent , co-sponsor SR 519 to block the UN's Rights of the Child from becoming ratified.

Senator Jim Risch

Sen. Risch "contact" webpage for e-mailing (and other contact info.)


Washington, D.C. Office: 202-224-2752

Regional office in Twin Falls: 1411 Falls, Ave., Suite 201

Senator Mike Crapo

Sen. Crapo "contact" webpage for e-mailing (and other contact info.)


Washington, D.C. Office: 202-224-6142

Regional Office in Twin Falls: 202 Falls Ave.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sashes and Squares

A close up of the quilting...this will be the biggest quilt that I ever want to do on my little machine.
A sneak peek of my next project...look for it sometime in ahh, well, hopefully within the month.

Friday, April 23, 2010

To Ann at A Holy Experience

Just a line. We share so much. I could match most all of those farming pictures: kids piled in cab, tin-foiled suppers eaten on the back of an implement, watching from the end of the row, always wind blown (planting and harvesting always seem to be that way,) all those Pioneer seed bags, rock picking stories (glad to know other places have that same yearly issue- the dirt it's prolific with those rocks here in volcanic soil Idaho), young boys growing into men (not teenagers) and daughter learning from a humble mama how to be helpmeet: repentance neccesary daily, oh, and all the dirty husband clothes. I bet you've ran your share of part getting. And me here in Idaho, and you somewhere Canadian, to the East is it? We're farmwife sisters you and I. And I thank you for sharing your God -given gift of the poetic, inspiring words of life. I consider you to be a master at your art, and I'm not one to give compliments lightly (a character flaw of mine.) Someday I would love to cuddle up with your book (hint) and feed my soul with His words through yours.

Someday through the eternities - we would like to get to know one another, and I'll leave it at that.

All IS Grace.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Resting Place

Finally....a fairly unfinished version of the quilt.  As you can tell, it is still just in "quilt top" stage.  Haven't yet decided if I am going to machine quilt it (it will be the largest one yet for me and and my little machine if I do it) or to send it off and pay money to have it done on a long arm.   We will see.  I will probably end up doing it.  Machine quilting is probably my favorite part of quilting, and I am always trying to pinch my pennies.

You can sort of see the walls in the background.  The hand troweling turned out really nice despite my whining and aching arms.  Wish I had a before shot so I could appreciate the contrast to what a junkyard my bedroom had previously been.  The kids are a little upset that they are no longer allowed to just dump random things off in our new little "love nest."

When I can, I want a beautiful little antique chandelier hanging from the ceiling...that will be great.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Procrastination Chastisement

If I would just quit working playing on the computer and get busy...I could post the pictures of my new room and quilt sooner rather than later (the room is all done, the quilt, well not quite, but almost the top).....are you anticipating?  I am.  Now I just need to find the camera

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Whims are Wonderful

When I woke up Thursday morning, my intention was not to do a complete bedroom overhaul.  I started with the basic everyday cleaning, and soon I was thinking a good dejunking was overdue.  Soon the entire contents of my bedroom were deposited in the living room so I could paint. 
When darling got home he said, " we may as well go ahead and get these wall insulated and put up new wall board if you think you want to paint.  (Thanks darling for always being so willing to be me "hotty construction guy" whenever I have a whim. )We made a list of what we needed in town...and headed to our favorite store, The Home Depot.
But of course, the first place I needed to go was...the quilt shop...where else was I going to figure out what color of paint I needed.  Darling was sceptical, but he's starting to see the light.  Here's to the hope of having this all done...someday soon preferably.  And thanks to Moda (mostly) for always having such great color inspiration.  I think I'm going to like this quilt.   And hopefully the next quilt won't need a complete room overhaul for its genesis.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another quilt...doing what quilts do best.

One Spring Sunday Morning

One Sunday Morning

Bio for Alex Sutter

Some political writing I have been doing...a bio for Alex Sutter running for the Idaho House...

It was while serving on his local school board  that Alex Sutter began to understand how the strength of community governance was being eroded. No longer was his school district able to best utilize local resources and creativity to provide excellent educations for their children, all that was left for them to do was to fill in the blanks from the outline given to them by the state and federal governments. Alex, as one who believes that governance should always be done at the smallest level possible, was compelled to an in depth study of U.S. History and the ideas and intent of our Founding Fathers. He could see a gap between the ideal and the reality, and he sought the information so he could help bridge that gap.

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Alex found residency an easy decision when confronted with where he wanted to make his life and raise his family. He would choose the state that had been so good to his wife and his wife’s family: he would be an Idahoan. After nine years of living in the Gem State, Alex, along side his wife Deanna is most importantly raising a family of freedom- loving Americans - Olivia, Jared, Luke, and Caleb, by name. He is building an insurance and real estate business in the Magic Valley and is involved in the professional organization that serves the insurance field, he is serving in his church community, holding positions in the Republican Party, and now putting himself forward to represent the interests of freedom- loving conservatives in Idaho’s District 25.

Through the financial concerns of owning a business, Alex understands how increasing taxes only serves to deter entrepreneurship and employment growth. He believes that in tough times like these, we can not foster prosperity while spending our children’s futures.
Alex understands integrity and courage in facing the difficult decisions of our day. Eight years in the Army Reserves and National Guard along with a two-year church service mission have been schoolmaster in these lessons. It is not always easy to make the hard choices, but Alex realizes the truth that doing the tough things now, will make the future much easier. Alex is dedicated to the idea that families are the first sovereign unit of society and are deserving of protection; that the least amount of governance possible is ideal; that charity and good-will must be encouraged on a local level; that Idahoans must develop the God-given talents within themselves and continue to build and grow businesses, educational institutions, charitable organizations, and families with the least amount of assistance from government as possible; that the Federal Government is limited by the constitution, and that the state of Idaho must stand strong in protecting its rights. If these things are accomplished, our brightest years are still ahead.

Compare these beliefs of Alex’s with his opponents reliance upon socialistic ideas, support of higher taxes, more government generated quasi-solutions, non-support for resolutions aiming to protect state rights. Alex Sutter is the clear choice for times such as these.

Friday, March 26, 2010

To all those who put so much work and effort into public education:  I respect your intentions, but I believe you have a master you do not quite understand.  I know I take a risk in posting this, but I believe that a cultural shift demanding education be done at a more local level would greatly improve our chances for maintaining liberty.  You who cry-out in opposition to the "Health-Care Bill," what do you think public education is...?

Humanists on Education:  quotes from the founders of today's educational system...

"I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public classroom by teachers that correctly perceive their role as proselytizers of a new faith: a new religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the sparks of what theologians call divinity in every human being. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and new -the rotting corpse of Christianity together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent with the promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of 'love thy neighbor' will finally be achieved." ~John J. Dunhey in his essay, "The Humanist"

"Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school of humanism. What can a theistic Sunday school's meeting for an hour a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?" ~Charles F. Potter, in "Humanism: A New Religion"

"The children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone would be interdependent." ~John Dewey, signer of the Humanist Manifesto, Architect of the Modern Public School System

Every teacher should realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth. In this way the teacher is always the prophet of the true God and the usherer of the true kingdom of heaven." ~John Dewey, Pedagogic Creed statement, 1887

"We who are engaged in the sacred cause of education are entitled to look upon all parents as having given hostages to our cause." ~Horace Mann, "Father of the Public School System"

"Our schools have been scientifically designed to prevent over-education from happening. The average American [should be] content with their humble role in life, because they're not tempted to think about any other role." ~William T. Harris, U.S. Commissioner of Education, 1889

"In our dreams... people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from their minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk." ~John D. Rockefeller, General Education Board

The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Ghatto is the source for many of these quotes.

Credit to Jasmine Bauchman of joyfullyathomeblog.com for gathering these quotes.


Thankful for:

1.  Spring sprouting all around

2.  12 yo Son loving Narnia class

3.  13 yo Son being soo tired from track and wrestling

4.  Lots of "littles" to always keep me cuddled

5.  A Husband who grabs a broom instead of harsh words

6.  Sea salt and cayenne pepper in infected wound (instead of ER bill)

7.  Enough tax return to pay all accumulated medical bills

8.  Quilting, piano playing, ever helpful daughter

9.  The possiblities of projects finished and new paint

10.  Coming Easter....and the brightness of hope for Eternal Life

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A New Earth...."enlightenment?"

A have just read a very important books for my life:  A New Earth by Eckart Tolle.  Now when this book was really popular a couple of years ago because of Oprah, I just brushed it off (I think I have a real problem doing the "popular" thing.)  But I just picked it up at the thrift store the other day because it was on a reading list by Oliver Demille.  Although, my "doctrine" and his are not the same, the overall philosophy and spirit of the book is deeply life changing.

Two points:  Ego - that voice inside your head that incessantly thinks, and is always trying to protect your percieved identity through forms, or material goods and ideas.  Our individual and collective egos are the main cause of contention and dissatisfaction in our lives.  Ego forces us to never live in the current moment, which ultimately is all there really is for us.  Ego wants us to always look forward to the grandiose of becoming, achieving, obtaining, purchasing something more....or stuck in the past replaying history.  As humans we will have a really difficult time ever completely ridding ourselves of ego, but just being aware of it begins to erode its hold.

Present moment - always stay consciously in the present.  If you are doing anything, whether perceived to be mundane or important...focus on it, feel it, see it, hear it, live it.  This doesn't preclude planning:  but be totally present when you are planning, do it with purpose.  This will open up excellence in your life, maybe even answer the question of quality from a previous post with Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintanence.  It connects so well with another of my favorite life-changing statements:  from Our Town by Thornton Wilder.  "Mama, just look at me, really look at me like you see me."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sprouting Spring

                         When thoughts of spring are squelched with this view from the front door.....

The promise of spring is patiently sprouting on the kitchen windowsill - thanks to a recycled egg carton, some starting mix, a heating pad, lots of sunlight, and Roma Tomato seeds.   I can just taste the summer salsa.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spring Quilt for Grandma

Here's a bizarre angle to a quilt top I just finished for Mr Joyful's Grandma.  It was her 90th birthday, and we flew to Southern California for a quick weekend, the beach, and some yummy Birthday Cake.

Here it is finished....(wow, finished, that's a word I don't always get to use) and sitting on Grandma's lap.
Idea for quilt came from cluckclucksew.com.  This is a springy version of Alison's "January Quilt."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Table or Trunk Runner

I've been doing  a little creating lately (instead of the dishes, sorry mom.)  Here is a Valentine inspired table runner.  I got the pattern idea from cluckclucksew.com (my s-i-l's awesome quilting blog.) Just fabric from JoAnn's, but check out the free-motion quilting pattern: I can do "hearts."  Looking at these happy cheerful colors helps me to feel cheerful and happy during February.  And I chose brown as the "dark" to represent chocolate, of course.  Who can do Valentine's without chocolate?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Roses for me

NOT so joyful today.  I really HATE, don't like February.  Too much being inside for too long.  Too much mud.  Too many boys with too much energy that really just need to go outside and work, work, work.  Not enough sunshine yet.  Too much extra weight still hanging around from leftover holiday stuff.  Or something like that.

I feel like this every February.  I need a big beautiful bouquet, or a trip to Hawaii.  Oh, Michelle, I "wish I was there, too."

I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow.

Here is my bouquet, that I have to copy and paste in cyberland for myself, because no one else will do it for me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

This is my fantasy version of myself reading the book mentioned in the post below.   Add two babies, a couple of "littles" playing with toys (or throwing their toys at each other) at my feet, and three youths sitting at the dining table behind me because I am trying to coax them through math lessons, and sometimes(read: often) that table still has sticky syrup spills.  Maybe someday I'll take the real picture and post it.  Oh, and I am not this thin, nor am I wearing this beautiful of a dress.  Love the flowers though, that would definately be a possibility.  One other thing, I am perfectly aware that complete editing is not happening here.  Sorry.  If the occasional typo's or spelling errors bother you, please volunteer to be my editor.

The truth with this post.....

I noticed myself in one of my friend's sidebars, and well, with my "last post" being seven months ago, I felt kinda sad.

I don't post a lot, because I have such visions of beautiful pictures, and delicously profound words, (I am capable of both, you know) and yet it seems I rarely take the time to craft them.  So sorry.  If any of you might really care. 

Deep thought of lately circle around Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Persig.  What an odd book.  So full of importantly deep and difficult concepts, and yet bogged down with the pathetic father-son story. 

One idea perhaps:  Persig speaks of "knowing" things.  He asks the question framed by Kant:  "Are we capable of knowing something a priori (before it is physically before us)?  Kant was a little confusing for me, but my own take and take-off of his ideas is (are)  that the broader and deeper our knowledge base is, the more substance, form, categories, we are familiar with.  This leads us to be able to begin the understand, to perceive, to envision more and more truth (quality) around us.  

I simplify it by likening it to explaining a crochet pattern to someone who is competant at crocheting versus someone who has never done it before.  Because of a previous familiarty with the vocabulary, the forms, the patterns, someone who has crocheted before can easily visualize a new article made from a pattern that they are not specifically aware of.  The latter will most likely have a very difficult time. 

Even though this is a very simplified example, we can see how it can apply to the deepest questions of our being.  All of our previous experience, and knowledge really colors our lenses.  Try to consider how an astro-physicist might examine a starry night.  Would the physicist see things, understand things that are so blatantly clear and visible - and yet might be so completely obscured to someone else.  Could the physicist better understand and see an emerging truth in the universe?

Walt Whitman

                A NOISELESS, patient spider,

I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;

Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,

It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;

Ever unreeling them—ever tirelessly speeding them. 5

And you, O my Soul, where you stand,

Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,

Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,—seeking the spheres, to connect them;

Till the bridge you will need, be form’d—till the ductile anchor hold;

Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.

Are you filling your mind with knowledge broad enough and deep enough, that your bridge will be built as you connect, connect, connect, and sift for truth all around you.  The clear and the obscure, the new and the old.  Will you be prepared for what stands ahead?