Saturday, October 30, 2010

Things My Mother Didn't Tell Me

I find daily new things that my mother never warned me about.  Today has been truly enlightening.  For a month or two I have been amazed at the ads for the TV show about the guy who is married to three women and in the show he took on another wife. 

I can't say this is shocking.  I heard about Warren Jett a long time ago, and the Mormon groups that practice multiple marriage.  I thought it was illegal for people to engage in polygamy.  When did they change the law? 

I have never watched the show.  I suppose it is prejudiced to make up my mind about it without even watching it, but the idea is offensive to me and I don't choose to watch it.  I think the idea is contrary to the customs and practice of married life in the United States.  Why is media and television so intent on trying to promote ideas that are offensive, illegal, and otherwise, unwholesome? 

Of course there are lots of things that are unwholesome and disgusting on TV and the Internet.  There is porn and Satan worship,  and that is just the beginning.  Somehow, porn and Satan worship try to keep out of the spotlight, but there are other things that are blatantly offensive that are scrambling for the spotlight. 

Besides being offensive, I find this is be destructive to our stability as a society.  Of course, most of what is going on in the world is destructive to society.  Terrorism, child abuse, pornography, mob killings, cholesterol, and high sugar content are all threats to our way of life. 

I find it funny that everybody is trying to keep kids safe without scaring them.  How dumb!  We need to scare them, but that is tomorrow's post.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Seasons or Cycles?

Fall has begun.  It is my favorite season.  It represents harvest and the relief that comes after the crop is gathered in.  It means we can celebrate and party till spring.  The only hard part now is feeding cows and making sure the calves don't get in the fence.  We have to put out hay two or three times a week, and check the cows every day to make sure none of them get down.

The year is dependent on these seasons of planting and harvest; life has that too.  The seasons come and go with their special flavors and moods and rhythms.  Life does that too.  I am have entered the autumn of my life.  There are still things I have to do and obligations I have to attend to, but most of the feeding and chores are over for me.  My kids are grown now, so I don't have much of the real raising of a family to take care of anymore.  My husband has beat me to Glory, so I don't even have him to share the last tasks with.

What is there that graces my life now?  I still yearn to study and understand the new stuff.  See?  I have this computer I'm still trying to figure out.  I studied Latin a couple of years ago, and I still read it sometimes.  I'm not any good at it, but it does inspire me.  I have taken up the study of Hebrew.  Now there is a life long task, but I'm too late to do much with it.  So here I am in autumn with the crisp, new feel of the season on my skin, and the odor of burning leaves in the air.  I want to continue the joy of life, but I know that winter and the long sleep is next.  My only option is to enjoy the fall as long as I can.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Learn to Be Frugal or How to Slaughter a Pumpkin

My mother was very careful with money.   I was young, but I knew that she did not spend money foolishly.  Her sister said she could stretch a dollar until it snapped.  I did not learn that lesson from her.  I wish I had. 

Frugal does not mean cheap.  Frugal means you use goods or resources to the fullest measure.  You don't waste it.  I did learn that part from her.

This week I was frugal.  My church participated in the Pumpkin Patch.  To engage in an activity to extend the money making potential of the Pumpkin Patch, the youth department hosted a bake sale.  That is being frugal:  Use the activity to the best advantage. 

It so happened that the local grocery store did not have any canned pumpkin.  I thought it would be nice to have pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, but because of a bad crop last year, they had run out of pumpkin.  The obvious solution to this dilemma was to cook the pumpkins from the Pumpkin Patch.  I did it.

I bought a small pumpkin.  They call them pie pumpkins.  Now if you have never slaughtered your own pumpkin, take it from me, it is an experience.  I had pumpkin blood and guts all over me, the cabinet, and the floor.  I baked the pumpkin, per instructions from the Internet, on a cookie sheet with a little water to prevent it from burning at 350 degrees for about an hour--maybe not that long.  I don't know.  It was soft and squishy.  I scooped the pulp from the peel.  It was perfect; it made six cups of pumpkin. 

The recipe called for 2 cups of pumpkin pulp.  I had bought 2 pie crusts. Obviously I had to make three pies.  Frugal, remember?  The problem then was when I adjusted the recipe to triple it, God blessed it, and I still had filling left after I filled three crusts.  I bought more crusts.  I made five pumpkin pies. 

I later did it all again and made pumpkin bread.  It did the same thing.  Instead of the two loaves I intended to make, I ended up with four.  And I roasted the seeds.

I truly hope my frugality helps the youth make money for their trips and activities.  And I have learned a lesson that I don't think I will soon forget:  the lesson of frugality.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Did You Know that Christians Are Still Being Persecuted?

We studied in school the terrible assualts made on Christians by people like Nero in the First Century, but I never would have thought that those kinds of terrors were still occuring.  The thing that bothers me most is that we don't even know about it.  The information is available, but it is so terribly unpleasant--lets just remember that in many places Christians are not respected, and the Christian faith is denounced. 

NO!  It doens't work that way.  In our nation we honor those who fell in battle.   It is time for Christians to acknowledge those who persevered and lived their faith in the face of opposition and death.  Wake up Church!  Pay attention!  You are under attack!  Pray for those who are dealing with this challenge.  Learn from their struggle, and be inspired by their sacrifice. 

For other information, click here.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Keep Your Mouth Shut

My mother told me to keep my mouth shut, but I don't.  She said you will get in more trouble for what you say than for what you don't.  She was right.

My uncle told me a story about himself and his brothers.  He said his father would correct him and the brothers or gripe at them about something.  The three of them each had a different response.  Their names were Ed, Mack, and Jimmie. 

Ed was the oldest.  When his father corrected him, Ed did not respond.  He just hung his head in shame. 

His father said, "Look at me.  Do you hear what I'm saying.  I told you not to do that."

Ed just nodded and dropped his head again.  No matter how angry or serious the infraction, there was nothing else to say.

With Mack, things were more fun from the observers point of view.  When Mack committed an infraction, his father would tell him where he erred.

"But Papa, I didn't mean to do that.  I just want to..."

"Mack, I told you not to do that.  You do this every time I tell you not to, you just have to do it anyway."

"No, Papa, that's not the way it happened.  I tried to fix it and then it slipped anyway."  By this time Papa's anger was mounting to explosive ranges.
"Mack, get over here and fix this and don't do this again."
"But Papa, I can't fix it now..."
"Get out of my way, Mack; you are useless.  Now you get your hoe and get to work."

Jimmie did get corrected, but he used a different response.  When he made a mistake in working in the field or with the cow, he just owned up.
"Jimmie, I told you not to let the cow out."
"Yes sir, I'm going to get her back right now.  Should I let her loose in the lot or tie her up?"
"She's all right in the lot."

Ed's infraction may have been the worst of the bunch, but he didn't get much yelling while Mack got yelled at for a long time because of his defense.  Jimmie tried to see what his father's goal was.  His questions were focused on his father's intention.  Let's all remember this is all from Jimmie's viewpoint.  I'm not absolutely sure he was as good as he reported.  He did have great respect for his father though.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Am Concerned About the Environment

So many people are promoting environmental concerns in the news that we must all take note of it.  It is definitely something we should be aware of, but biofeuls are not the cure-all.  Read my article
Facts About the Economics of Renewable Energy  for further information.
Cars run on biofuels, but it takes more fossil fuels to make the biofuels that it produces.  I think they call that dimenishing returns.
It worse than cutting the dogs tail off to feed him.  And it's detrimental on several levels.  All this production of a fuel causes more polution, removes resources from the food chain, and increases a complacient attitude toward to real problem.  There is a source of biofuel that may be viable.  I haven't heard near the same level of hype about it, though.  Maybe someone with a vested interest is driving some of this feeding frenzy.  Look at the use of algae as a source for making biofuel, and leave the corn and soybeans for the cows.