Plain to Pretty in 10 Minutes: A Cake Story
Thursday, January 31, 2008
I like to think I'm a spontaneous kind of Mama. Planning is nice, but I'm also usually game to throw caution to the wind and take an opportunity for fun when I can.

Last weekend we celebrated Miss E's birthday. That Friday, we decided to visit Grandpa at the beach after church on Sunday, and I planned to bring a cake for her. I'd make it Saturday.

Saturday was the Boy Scout Pinewood Derby. Which went on. And on. And on. We got their around noon, and left after 5 pm. Husband dear had to work, so I had the kids on my own (the stars aligned and ALL of them were so well behaved!). Mr. R was the Bear champion and took second place overall, and we celebrated by going to Ryan's buffet for dinner. Also, Mama did not start the crockpot, thinking the whole ordeal would last 2 hours, tops. Not to mention, I was going to take full advantage of the fact that all seven munchkins had finally figured out how to use their manners. No way was I going to waste that calm, happy mood on scrambled eggs or some other throw together dinner at home!

Saturday was shot. I baked her cake at 10 pm. I also made up a batch of frosting (so easy to make yourself, and so worth it!)

Super Easy Homemade Buttercream Frosting
(This is quite a heavy, rich frosting and holds its shape well for decorating.)

Whip two sticks of softened butter until very creamy.

Add in at least 3 cups of powdered sugar, more if you like it really sweet, until it is crumbly and dry looking.

Then add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting is smooth.

Add vanilla, cocoa powder, or both.

Add in more milk if you need to thin it. Store in the fridge - it's better the day after you make it.

I tried a new cake recipe, so I made the cake in a pan and two cupcakes so I could try it before serving it to everyone.

Miss E mentioned she wanted a Mermaid cake, and we looked at various Mermaid designs on the Internet on Friday, but really, at that point I didn't think it was going to happen. But how could I let the little girl's birthday fall victim to spontaneity?

I knew I wouldn't have time to decorate on Sunday - we leave for Mass at 9:15 and don't get home until just before 1 pm (CCD is before Mass, and we live 30 minutes from the church). It takes 45 minutes to drive to Grandpa's house, and we were scheduled to visit at 2:30-3 pm (it gets dark around 5 pm, and he doesn't have room for us in his house, so we visit in their amazing garden.) Add in making lunch for the hungry mob, and that left me with 20 minutes to decorate the cake while everyone changed out of their church clothes.

So. I had a 9x13" yellow cake still in the pan, 1 cupcake, and a little girl with Mermaid dreams. A quick stop at the dollar store on the way home from Mass produced vanilla wafers, Swedish fish, and a generic Barbie doll. We're ready to go!

First, I whipped the frosting (it hardens when refrigerated, so we had to get the butter smooth again.) I divided it in half, and tinted half blue. The other half I added a bit of cocoa powder to, so it was brownish tan. (Mr R can't have food dyes, which is why I was making everything from scratch to begin with.)

I had a vague thought of frosting Barbie's legs like a Mermaid tail, briefly lamented the fact that I don't buy fruit rollups, because that would have been easy, and then remembered that I had green plastic wrap (also from the dollar store) leftover from Christmas baking.

Take two pieces of green plastic wrap, about the size of the cake pan. Fold one in half, and one in thirds. This will become the Mermaid tail to top the cake with.

The one folded in thirds, fold up in triangles like you are folding a flag. This is your flipper.

Wrap the long piece around the dolls legs, adding the flipper at the end.

Instant Mermaid!

Now put some vanilla wafers in a bag. Make husband dear crush them using brute strength and a rolling pin. It should look like sand.

Put the cupcake in the middle of the cake for "interest", and to become a rock for the Mermaid. Frost half the cake with brown frosting, and sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Frost the other half with blur frosting. Use the back of a spoon to make waves.

Decorate with fruit gummies, and add in the Mermaid.

This picture was taken after Miss E had repositioned the Mermaid about 1400 times, so she's a little ...askew. But you get the idea! And, Miss E loved it!

UPDATED: I've linked this to Shereen's Sew Crafty Friday. Also, please note the Mermaid's clothes. I didn't give her a clam shell bra on purpose - if I wouldn't let my daughter dress like that, why would I put such a thing on her cake? Although, I'm not planning on coloring her hair purple, either...well, anyway, modesty begins at home.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/31/2008 08:35:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: What's That Bird?
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
St. Joseph's Academy for Wayward Children (or, as I like to call it, "Hey Kids!"), uses an eclectic approach incorporating Montessori, Charlotte Mason, Classical education, and free printable worksheets.

Part of our curriculum this semester involves nature study - specifically the nature of our backyard. Mr P made a bird feeder at Scouts, and we have that hanging in the front yard; we throw spilled oatmeal and grapenuts on the deck in the backyard. We have a large window in our dining room that looks out over the deck and we bird watch. We have a flock of cardinals (college of cardinals?) that interrupted our history lesson last week, and the children are becoming more observant about the birds we see.

But, what the heck are these things? I can identify a cardinal and a blue jay, and that's about it. Enter WhatBird. Click on "Visual Search", and you can enter where you saw it, what color the feathers are, how big it was, and more and it will narrow down your choices. Search by icon until you find the one you are looking for, and then you can pull up all kinds of information, including sound files of their calls!

Mr P also hates to draw; his little brother Mr S gets frustrated when he tries nature sketches. So I print out these coloring pages in the shape closest to the bird they chose, and they color in the plumage to add to our book.

Here's Mr S's House Finch (he informed me that he couldn't find the white crayon so he used yellow, but the yellow should be white. I guess it didn't occur to him to leave the white areas uncolored.)

Here's's House Finch. Pretty close, huh!

WhatBird works for me! For more tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer!

UPDATE: Get the scoop on The Great Backyard Bird Count here.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/30/2008 08:36:00 AM | Permalink | |
Is There Hope for SC?
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
South Carolina, I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed that Barack "Let 'em Die" Obama won the primary, and I'm ashamed that John McCain won for the GOP.

Despite his desperate protests, McCain is not really pro-life. That is, he is not a staunch defender of life, standing against an increasingly hostile culture to say that each, and every life is precious and it's not our decision whether someone is good enough, human enough, or healthy enough to live.

Case in point:
DENVER (CNA) - John McCain has set his sights on Florida as the state’s primary draws closer. In a conversation with Catholics in Florida and CNA this afternoon, McCain maintained his support for embryonic stem cell research while emphasizing his hope that it will become an academic issue given the latest scientific advances.

He continued, saying, “All I can say to you is that I went back and forth, back and forth on it and I came in on one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had, in favor of that research. And one reason being very frankly is those embryos will be either discarded or kept in permanent frozen status.” The senator, while standing firm on his decision added, “I understand how divisive this is among the pro-life community.”

This stance is almost worse than the typical "embryos aren't people" defense. McCain admits the embryos are human babies, but since their parents are just going to throw them away, it's okay to use them for human experimentation. I wonder how long it will be in our society before they are taking people we know who are unwanted and using them for human experimentation or as a handy supply of spare parts - oh, wait, that already happened. And, it is still going on.
(Mama asks: How can our government decry China's harvesting people for their body parts when our very own legislators support doing the exact same thing?)

It's just sickening that after making that statement, he thanked pro-lifers for standing up for the rights of the unborn. Sorry, McCain, but we are all created with inalienable rights endowed by our CREATOR. Our parents, friends, or the State do not confer those rights based on whether or not we are wanted, whether we are perfect, or whether we will be born at a convenient time.

Our culture continues to slide further and further down an evil path. The culture of death is an apt name... as Jen at "Et Tu?" muses, we're not the first culture to buy into the lie. The Greeks left their children to die, too, even as they were the most cultured of the Western nations.

Oh, BTW, McCain also is the one behind the McCain-Feingold Act, which curtails freedom of speech around election times. (!)

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/29/2008 09:08:00 AM | Permalink | |
Another bad recipe
Monday, January 28, 2008

I found a new website called Mambo Sprouts, which collates coupons for organic/health foods. Since I found a local EarthFare, and plan to at least once a month, I signed up for their e-mail newsletter.

I was quite interested to find they had a recipe section. I found a promising sounding recipe, "Pasta with Spinach Pesto Sauce" - I love me some spinach, and so do the kids (it's our favorite veggie around here, I have to cook a double portion).

We eat a lot of pasta, and I'm always looking for new ideas, especially if I can make it meatless or nearly so.

Here's the recipe:

Pasta with Spinach Pesto

1 package EDEN Organic Vegetable Spirals, cooked
1 can EDEN Organic Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, drained
1 can EDEN Organic Navy Beans or any EDEN precooked bean, drained
3/4 cup artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/3 cup capers
1/4 cup EDEN Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. EDEN Red Wine Vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 tsp. EDEN Sea Salt

Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse and drain. Prepare vegetables and dressing. Combine. Add pasta just before serving

Notice anything missing? Like, spinach?

Anyone have a great pasta recipe that is not meat, cream sauce, or tomato based, and doesn't require $12 worth of basil and pine nuts to make? Let me in on your secret!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/28/2008 09:22:00 AM | Permalink | |
Ancient Egypt for Elementary
Friday, January 25, 2008
We are using The Story of the World, vol. 1 by Susan Wise Bauer for history. I bought the book, but not the companion activity book. Here's what we are doing (and plan to do) instead.
(Hey, I need to put our lesson plan somewhere where I'll be able to find it in 2 years when we do this all over again. I've got several more 2nd grade students to go!)

We'll be putting a timeline on the wall and mapping the various lessons. I really like this book because it interweaves the different cultures. We're studying ancient Egypt, then the Mesopotamians, then the Hebrew people and Abraham, and then it ties it back to Egypt with the story of Jospeh.

Ch. 2 - Egyptians lived on the Nile river

The Nile Delta; Upper and Lower Egypt
  • We made a model of the Nile river in a box lid out of sand clay, including the mountainous region so the kids could see that Upper Egypt is actually south of the delta, and at the bottom of the map.
  • We looked up the Nile delta on Google Earth

King Narmur unites Upper and Lower Egypt
  • We made Pharoah Bear! We made the white crown, red crown, then put them together. We're using a teddy bear and dressing him like a pharoah instead of making real costumes for the kids to wear.
How to Make Egyptian Head Attire

Egyptian Myths; Osiris and Set
  • Used the story for narration
  • Drew an illustration of the story

Ch. 3 - The First Writing
  • Modeling clay fun, of course! Used a popsicle stick to make marks. Children wrote their name by pressing the stick into the clay, then wrote their name on paper. Discussed how long it took to write even a single word in the clay.
  • Looked up examples of cuneiform online. Found this alphabet. Talked about why cuneiform used straight lines instead of curved ones.
  • Followed a brief rabbit trail into tally marks and Roman numerals.
A nice chart of heiroglyphics
Printable templates of heiroglyphics
  • Using these charts and this clay, we will make cartouches of our names. (Note: I buy a big tub of cornstarch at Sam's Club. It comes in a square jar and I can't wait to use it up so I can repurpose that jar!)
  • Put chart of heiroglyphics on wall.
  • After clay dries, we will set them aside for our papyrus lesson

  • Saw and touched an actual papyrus plant (A good friend is growing them here in SC)
  • We may attempt to make our own papyrus; if not with actual reeds, with paper pulp.
  • We will write our names with ink on paper, then compare with our cartouche - which is better? Better for portability, easier to stroe in a library? Which is more likely to last several thousand years? Which is heavier? Waterproof?

Ch. 4 - The Old Kingdom of Egypt
  • Mummify Pharoah bear with 2" gauze, or more likely, toilet paper.
  • Tomb diorama (maybe)
  • I told husband dear about an activity that actually mummifies chicken livers, hearts, etc. and put them into jars... he vetoed that pretty quickly!
  • Discuss animal characteristics of the Sphinx.
  • Color Sphinx picture
  • Find Sphinx on Google Earth
  • Draw our own sphinx creatures, with head of people and bodies of animals.
  • Tell riddles
  • Maybe we'll make one. This one, or perhaps make another batch of sand clay and form it.

Other links:
Great Ancient Egypt coloring pages

Making Egyptian Materials

Very nice bookmarks to print

Comprehensive and includes challenges and games - a beautiful and informative site from the British Museum

More coloring pages

More activities than we could possibly do in a month


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/25/2008 09:17:00 AM | Permalink | |
Eat on the Cheap
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Elena at My Domestic Church links to this great article:

Meals for Hard Times
(with how to get through the week for $30).

If you're in a tight spot, check out Hillbilly Housewife's $45 emergency menu.

I posted a week's worth of dinners for under $30 here.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/24/2008 10:04:00 AM | Permalink | |
Free Timeline
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Homeschool EStore is offering a free Charlotte Mason timeline (Century Chart style) with instructions of how to use it.

If you sign up for their email, they will send you a new freebie download every Friday! Sometimes it's a "free with purchase", sometimes it's a free download.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/23/2008 03:32:00 PM | Permalink | |
Vegetarian Chili

...or how to feed a family for under $5 on the fly in 10 easy steps.

1. Look at the clock. Realize that it is noon, and not only is there no meat thawed, you have no idea what to make for dinner because of an accident involving a Sonic Route 44 Lemon Berry Slush, inadequate cup holders, and your menu plan for the week.

2. Open pantry and stare. Consult handy list of meals that can be made using pantry ingredients; decide you are "just not in the mood" for any of those healthy, nutritious meals.

2a. Open freezer and stare. Briefly contemplate the 6 lbs. of bacon end pieces. Would it be possible to just cook that and eat it? This is the South, after all. Perhaps cooking up a mess of collard greens to go with it would make it count as a meal? Snap out of reverie with the realization that cooking 6 lbs. of bacon will doom your diet to failure, and you are only on day 2.

3. Get sidetracked swapping laundry, making lunch, putting children down for a nap, tending the nursling, and mopping the floor.

4. Realize it is now 12:45 and dinner is still a blank. Go to various cupboards and stare. Stare harder - maybe Alton Brown will materialize and whip something up while teaching your children valuable science principles. Realize AB isn't coming, but spy an 80 oz. can of crushed tomatoes anchoring the pantry in case of earthquake. (Hey, it was $2.88 at Sam's Club, and I probably *will* use it!) Notice large shelf bulging with beanery of all types, mocking you from plastic bags and recycled peanut butter jars.

5. Decide that vegetarian chili fits the bill as filling, diet friendly, cheap, and most importantly, available.

6. Get crackin' on the beans. Rinse, pick over, then bring 2 lbs. of pintos to a boil. Boil 3 minutes, then let sit for 2 hours. (Notice that the package says boil 1 minute, let sit 1 hour. Life gets in the way sometimes.) Now the beans are pretty soft.

7. It's now 4 pm. Cut up one large onion and two carrots in a fine dice. Or just whack at it with your chef's knife, whatever works. Get a big pot. Look at 80 oz. can of tomatoes. Get a bigger pot. Drizzle in some olive oil, add carrots and onion, cook for a few minutes until onions are soft and yellow.

8. Add beans and 3 cups of water. Boil for 5 minutes or so. Test beans - they're just the right firmness. Add crushed tomatoes. Look at pot. Add some water. Add seasonings (chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder.)

9. Realize you are out of milk, and ask husband to watch pot while you leave. Have a good time shopping.* Go to teacher store and buy dinosaur stuff. Notice that the children's consignment store is having a clearance sale and buy the baby some church clothes. Hit The Pig**. While wandering the cheese aisle, contemplating the merits of mozzarella vs. pizza blend, realize it is now 6 pm. Hightail it home.

10. Make this cornbread as a side dish. Eat and enjoy!

* My town has the Stripmall of Silly Housewife Bliss. There is a Piggly Wiggly, children's consignment store, an Education Station, Dollar Tree, Goodwill and a Tuesday Morning all right next to each other and sharing the same parking lot. The only thing lacking is a Starbucks or a Chocolate Factory.

** Hit the Pig, v.: Southern colloquialism meaning to shop at the Piggly Wiggly Supermarket. Martha Sue hit the Pig to buy some oxtails to cook with her mess o' greens and grits.

For more tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/23/2008 07:39:00 AM | Permalink | |
More Recalls - games
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Not even board games are safe!

Cranium's Cadoo game recalled for violation of the lead paint standard (do your kids put the dice in their mouths? Mine do. Even the ones old enough to know better.)

You can see a complete list of children's items recalled due to lead paint violations here.

My First Kenmore stove set is recalled, too. This is due to poor design. When the door is open, the whole thing can fall over on your child.

Visit last month's Not Made In China Linkymark carnival for more links and ideas for safe toys.

Mama Says:
You should probably stay way from the cheap metal jewelry entirely. For more information on why Chinese metal jewelry has so much lead, read this. Or this.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/22/2008 08:46:00 AM | Permalink | |
Themes and Plans, January
Monday, January 21, 2008
The St. Joseph Academy for Wayward Children has strayed off the path. Things just haven't gone according to plan since Thanksgiving - with holidays, sicknesses, husband dear having two weeks off. Everybody is off schedule and we were starting later and later (waiting for Mr P), because we start our day with prayer all together. We also are not fitting in the things I really want to fit in. Basically, it came to a head last week when Mr P and Miss E were assigned to just fill in the blanks of their lessons and worksheets. Time for a change!

I rescheduled things so that we have Math, Spelling/Phonics, and Penmanship every day. Tuesday and Thursday we have language and Social Studies. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are Science days and Culture/Religion/Art. Friday is more of a day for review, working on weak skills from the other days, and experiments and projects. This is the day we will do crafts, work on lapbooks, etc. Thursday nights I work from 10pm - Midnight, so I needed a more unstructured child-led day.

I wrote out complete and detailed lesson plans for the next 2 weeks, and sketched out a couple more. This is huge because we tend to enjoy rabbit trails, and I'm an unschooler at heart.

Miss E loves to do worksheets, so I copies and printed ones to go with her spelling. I made a worksheet of reading comprehension questions for Mr P, and bought him a new language book at the Barnes and Noble Educator Sale. Miss E loves our language book, First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, but Mr P hates it. We are using CHC spellers, and there are language lessons built in hter as well (alphabetizing words, looking things up in the dictionary, punctuating paragraphs.)

I took a cue for Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight and filled in my themes for January (and got a start of February).

This month, we're feeding the birds, with a birdfeeder in the front and a birdbath in the back. The birdbath we made from a blue enamel camping plate. We've started a nature notebook. I print off the appropriate template here and the kids color in the birds with the plumage that they've seen. Then we go here to identify it. I like this site because it steps you through identification and then you can listen to the bird calls. We have a pair of cardinals and a pair of mocking birds, have seen an Acadia Flycatcher, a house finch, and a Carolina wren.

We will be planning the garden and sowing the cool weather crops.

We are enjoying oatmeal and winter citrus.

We are building Pinewood Derby cars for scouts (and AC Moore had wooden car craft projectes for $1, so the non-Scouts are building those.)

We will be celebrating the Feast of St. Agnes today, January 21.
I will read the story from "57 Stories of Saints for Boys and Girls". I ran off a copy of the Colosseum coloring page for the older kids (Mr R is home from school today) and the little ones will color a picture of a lamb. The littlies also have a craft - gluing cotton ball "fleece" to a lamb. Then we will attempt cookies. Husband dear unexpectedly returned home from work at 8:30 am and Baby X is a crankpot, so cookies might not get made.

We are getting into the swing of Ancient Egypt for World History. We'll be doing cuneiform tomorrow.

I still need to plan some Kindergarten and Preschool weekly themes. This week is going to be letter A for the littles (good review for Mr S too) and I think... penguins, because that is a current hot topic of interest for now. I also want to do the 5 senses, Valentine's day, My Family, Pets, and several other themes.

Sprittibee is also having the January doldrums, it seems and she's starting fresh this week also.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/21/2008 08:51:00 AM | Permalink | |
Six Things...
Friday, January 18, 2008 never knew you wanted to know about me.

Daisy tagged me for the Six Random Things Meme. Here goes!

The meme rules:
Link to the person that tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
Tag at least three people at the end of your post and link to their blogs.
Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Let the fun begin!

1) I am a reader. I have a car book for times when I'm stuck at the drive-thru, bank, etc.; a computer book, for those long load times, a book in the living room, for commercials, and 3 books on my nightstand (depending on what mood I'm in to read that night.)
So, I'm currently reading:
Sarah Orne Jewett's Country of the Pointed Firs and Collected Short Stories. SOJ is a master of characterization, and every writer would benefit from a few nights with her!
Foxfire 1, 2, and 3 I flip through these because they are just so interesting.
Catch-22 Still working on this, because it is my "car book" and since I'm a SAHM I never go anywhere. (Ha!)
Mass Confusion, because nothing says relaxation like the GIRM
8 Ways to Optimum Health, Andrew Weil
The Book of Matthew by, well, St. Matthew (this is my bible study)
America's Test Kitchen Cookbook. Yes. I read cookbooks for fun and information.

2) I like nicknames. My children all have nicknames that they will answer readily to, but that aren't actually their names. I call my husband Jo, but his name is not Joseph. Mr R's nickname is Trando. Short for Bertrando, of course, which is also not his name. Mr P's nickname is Ricky. His name is not Richard. We also call him Patch. Miss E answers to Mims. Mr S is called Spez. Miss V's nickname is Larry (well, actually it's Leri) Miss C we call "Kweh". Larry started that one! Baby X is most often called Big Boy and sometimes affectionately called Xavminster Fuller. That's a math joke. Yes, I do need to get out more.

I, myself, do not have any nicknames.

3) I cover my head in church, the only one in the entire congregation who does so. Perhaps that's why I got so touchy last week when our visiting priest was making fun of the nuns in habits during the "Liturgy of the Bulletin".

4) I have a secret life as an entertainment journalist. Okay, journalist is perhaps too strong a word. I get paid to write recaps of reality shows (yes, that means I have to watch those reality shows) and also sometimes provide coverage for aspiring screenwriters. My specialty is continuity, as well as basic copy editing. This means I read Scr(i)pt, Creative Screenwriting, Entertainment Weekly, and watch DVD's with the commentary on which drives my husband out of his mind. In fact, my first foray into blogging came from writing movie reviews for a publicity company.

It also means that not only is husband dear subjected to DVD commentary, he also gets an earful about the WGA strike quite frequently thiese days.

5) I got my husband at K-Mart.

6) A review of my entire life reveals that my best accomplishment so far is to create and enforce the Bathroom Rule. This rule states that whatever a child asks through the bathroom door, the answer is automatically no. In fact, I'm thinking of having it engraved on my headstone, to help the other mothers who may be wandering through the cemetery, desperately seeking five seconds' peace.

I'm going to tag some other South Carolina ladies!

Kitchen Madonna

Monica, who is on bedrest and needs diversions!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/18/2008 02:02:00 PM | Permalink | |
Renaissance Woman or ADHD?
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I *just* figured out how to organize my Bloglines (143 feeds, after deleting several!).

My feeds are all over the map. I've got some family and friends, of course. My sister just started a public blog, Leave the Lights On. You can see who the smart one is in the family.

I've got several with names like Biblical Homemaking, Keeper of the Home, The Homespun Heart.

Some for the lighter side of SAHMY land: Queen of the Dirty Laundry, No Fighting, No Biting,

I've got clergy and religious, including Fr. Philip's excellent, A Shepherd's Voice Fr. Gonzales' at Overheard in the Sacristy, and tongue in cheek Ask Sister Mary Martha.

Birds of a feather flock together, and there are quite a few with names like Catholic Mom of 10 My Domestic Church, and Mothers of Many Saints.

And of course, some "biggies" like Mommylife, Like Merchant Ships, the Sparrow's Nest, and Rocks in My Dryer.

Homeschool blogs are on the list (even though I hate the homeschool blogger hosting and find it hard to use and harder to comment). By Sun and Candlelight is a peaceful stop before diving into our own mash-up of Charlotte Mason, Classical, and Montessori.

I've got blogs of kindred spirits - like the Traditional Catholic large family homeschooler in Colorado Starry Sky Ranch. I was clued in by the chapel veils in last year's picture of the new baby's baptism.

Then... we've got a blog that documents the side effects of atypical antipsychotics. A blog about bipolar/depression, that aggregates important news and documents withdrawals. Natural food blogs. How the brain works blogs.

I've got frugal blogs - Wisebread, the MoneyDummy's, MotherLoad, Stop the Ride.

I've got crafty blogs - Primrose Design, Sew!Mama!Sew!

I've got fun blogs - like Mental Floss.

I've got political and good citizenship blogs: Consent of the Governed, MizReport.

I've got no-nonsense big-sister-tell-it-like-it-is blogs: SAHMY Says (check out her Get Off Your Butt Challenges.)

I've got special needs moms helping their kids with sensible solutions (Aut-2B-Home in Carolina) diet (Gluten Free Frugal), and love (Cause of Our Joy).

I've got writing blogs - Kung Fu Monkey (Transformers, CatWoman) The Artful Writer, Jane Espenson (a TV writing and producing vet of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls, currently working on Battlestar Galactica.)

I'm not discriminatory, I have blogs written by men too! Catholic Cavemen, the Curt Jester, dadwithnoisykids at Scorpion Stalking Duck and friend IRL Random Brown are all my bloggy buddies.

Perhaps this grasshopper needs to focus.

What unusual blog is on YOUR feed? I didn't link to all my Blogline feeds. 143 People! It's a sickness! And that's TODAY'S count!

Please note: Some of the blogs linked are not for kids.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/17/2008 07:35:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Chisel Me This
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Every frugal Mama worth her salt serves oatmeal. And every toddler in the known universe smears that oatmeal on whatever surface is handy - hair, floor, table, chair. Any chemist can tell you that oatmeal has stronger bonding properties than concrete, or indeed, any substance known to man (with the possible exception of baked-on egg or Cream of Wheat).

What's a Mama to do?

Bring out the big guns:
I bought a set of plastic putty knives - it was three pack for around a dollar. I use them for everything. Oatmeal on the table, modeling clay on the floor, burned popcorn in a pot.

They work beautifully on stoneware. They really help get my flat top stove clean. They have multitude of uses for cleaning, plus they are cheap and easy!

What? You don't have to scrape day old food off the floor with a chisel? You've never stepped in playdoh? Well, let's just keep this tip between us, then.

For more tips, check out Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Don't forget to check the sidebar! I found some more great coupons!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/16/2008 08:34:00 AM | Permalink | |
Feeling old...
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Nothing makes a person feel as old as when the youngsters speak and a translator is needed. Using the word youngster also makes one feel old, but not as much as not understanding slang.

Mr R: Mom! Baby C busted a grumpy big time!

Mama: What?
Mr R: She busted a grumpy!

Mama (yelling in the vicinity of the playroom): What broke guys?

Mr R: No! She busted a grumpy. A grumpy!

Mama: Um. Okay then.

Mama Says:
Random musing: If your floors are uneven and the toilet has a tendency to overflow, take that into account before choosing the location of clean towel storage in the bathroom. Especially if that towel storage involves baskets on the floor. In the lowest corner of the room. While the toddler is potty training.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/15/2008 08:31:00 AM | Permalink | |
Jedi Justice
Monday, January 14, 2008
A boy in England defended his mother with a lightsaber.

We start training ours at birth. Shh... don't tell the ATF.

H/T Rocks in My Dryer
posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/14/2008 08:47:00 AM | Permalink | |
South Carolina Shout Out
Friday, January 11, 2008
Mama Says:

I'm going to try to attend the SC March for Life this Saturday, January 12 in Columbia, SC.

Anyone else going? Want to meet up? Drop me a line!

Phil Kline is the featured speaker - I'll be there if husband dear doesn't have to work!

Also, please keep Baby S in your prayers. She is one year old and has Downs Syndrome, and as is so often the case, needs heart surgery. Thanks!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/11/2008 10:16:00 AM | Permalink | |
Hypothetically Speaking...
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I really enjoy John C. Wright's blog. He's a sci-fi author that also touches on religion and politics.

How can you not like someone who has this to say about Hillary's breakdown?
I was moved. It was the first time this women seemed like a real human being to me, instead of sleazy lawyer addicted to falsehood. I felt sympathy for her-- and I don't consider myself a very sympathetic man.

Of course, the Dems regard us, the normal people, as devils, and they think the world is on the brink of destruction from which only their latest crackpot fad of junk science or junk economics, socialized medicine or socialized environmentalism, will save us. They are the crusaders, theirs is the true faith, and we normal people who just want to live our lives and be left alone, we are the Paynims. Fine. I got it. I am not on their side.

But still, you have to feel sorry for her when a woman sobs, or else you are not a man any more.
He has a very interesting moral exercise posted here.

A hypothetical law case for all you students of morality out there: the case of the Three Blind Sons.

How do you rule?

>>>BTW, people who read this blog and find it racist, offensive, and radical (you know who you are) - don't click the links. I wouldn't want you to upset your delicate constitutions.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/10/2008 04:47:00 PM | Permalink | |
Jill Stanek quotes Obama defending his decision for voting against the BAIPA, in a top ten list format. Yes, he tried to justify it ten different ways!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/10/2008 11:36:00 AM | Permalink | |
I Get CVS Now
Okay, I totally get why everyone blogs about the great deals at CVS.

I just went shopping and bought this:

Actually, there were four candy bars, but husband dear got to it before I could take a picture.

I used the coupons from las Sunday's paper and paid out of pocket - one cent! To be fair, I also used $2.00 ECB's which actually only rang up as $1.81 because I didn't have enough in products (once you use an ECB, you don't get any change back. It's gone.) I think the penny was to complete the transaction somehow, the computer wouldn't take a $0 or a -0.19 sale. The cashier didn't know... and I thought a penny for all of that was a great deal so I didn't quibble.

I got two bottles of Aleve, 1 Visine Tears, 4 boxes of Bayer aspirin, 2 Colgate toothpastes, 4 candy bars, and 2 Ultra Mini glucose monitors. The monitors I'm going to give away or donate. (If you need one or have been wanting one of the Mini's, let me know!)

I probably could have gotten even more stuff, but our little CVS doesn't carry a lot of things and inexplicably does not have an Extra Care book available this month. I also noticed that none of the sales were marked in the store, so I'll definitely be shopping with circular in hand!

I also got $7 in ECB's to spend next time. ECB's stand for Extra Care Bucks, and they work like gift certificates. I'm going to try to keep up with my year totals on my sidebar, and idea inspired by Sense to Save.

How did you do? Did you get any great deals this week?


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/10/2008 09:28:00 AM | Permalink | |
Poisonous Baby Bottles?
Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Today is Works for Me Wednesdays, graciously hosted by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer. It's another backwards edition -which means instead of bossing you around, I ask for help!

Here's my dilemma.

Since it came out that water bottles are leaching BPA, a chemical known to cause hormone disruption in humans, and the recall of polycarbonate and Nalgene water bottles (read about that here. And here.), I've been checking our plastics.

Most plastic items have a number inside a triangle on the bottom, which tells you what kind of plastic it is (and how to recycle it.) The consensus seems to be that numbers 2, 4, and 5 are safe for food use with humans.

Our plastic baby bottles are #7 - they've got to go! But what do I replace them with?

Thankfully, this is not a pressing issue for us right now. Baby X is still a champion nurser and I don't remember the last time he had a bottle. However, not everyone can nurse their babies.

Sometimes bottles are required (and thank goodness we have the technology to nurture infants without wet nurses, which was the only option for a long time!)

Any ideas?
::: Sideline editiorial :::
In Europe, #7 plastic has been banned in products for children. Meanwhile, our illustrious FDA says there's not enough evidence to consider such an action here. It was no secret that the plastics lobby campaigned hard on this issue! Almost every recall story I read makes me trust the FDA less and less. I think it's time our government created an independently funded organization that was prohibited from getting money from anywhere else to be in charge of food and drug safety. Maybe they can do independent studies of medication safety as well, instead of relying on Big Pharma to tell them if something is safe or not.
Yes! Mama actually endorses the creation of more government! Maybe we can get rid of most of the federal Department of Education in order to pay for it.

The National Institute of Health thinks this is a concern, even though the FDA does not. This is a 400 page paper on their review of current data from around the world. Table 10 on p. 37 records a British finding that infants bottles caused a BPA intake of 7-8 μg/kg of bodyweight per day; however, toxic levels in humans have not been adequately studied (I hear the Canadians are on it, though).

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/09/2008 10:14:00 AM | Permalink | |
Why A Celibate Preisthood?
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
I started to put this in the comments on this post, but then decided to put it up here instead.

Usual disclaimer: I am not a theologian, this is how *I* understand the teachings of the Church. If I have made a mistake or am not clear, please leave a comment! I'm typing this "on the fly" while nursing the baby; it's not a doctoral thesis. 'Kay?

Since I am not a theologian, I'll post Pope John Paul II's reflections instead. A particular quote stands out:
[Referring to Matt. 9:11-13] Christ spoke of continence "for" the kingdom of heaven. In this way he wished to emphasize that this state, consciously chosen by man in this temporal life, in which people usually "marry or are given in marriage," has a singular supernatural finality.
This list of the Scriptural basis for remaining a virgin might be helpful in understanding, as well. Celibacy is not required, but is encouraged as a higher calling. St. Paul was unmarried, and "wishes that all men were as I am." 1 Cor. 7:7

In the Roman Catholic Church, priests take a vow of celibacy prior to receiving Holy Orders. It is a Discipline, not a Dogma, and the requirement can (and has) been waived for extenuating circumstances. The Second Vatican Council (1965) relaxed to the rule to allow married deacons. Priests in the Eastern Orthodox tradition also do not observe this discipline, although if they are unmarried before they are ordained they must remain unmarried.

This vow of chastity is a freely chosen action on the part of men (and women). They can serve the Church in many capacities while married. Lectors, Cantors, Acolytes, Catechists, Liturgical Directors, and Deacons all may be married (and in America, probably are.) If a man chooses to become a priest, recieving the sacrament of Holy Orders, then he is choosing to take a vow of chastity. (A married man can become a priest if his wife is no longer living.)

Additionally, there are consecrated virgins who have taken a vow of chastity but have not made a religious profession.

It is a very old discipline of the Church. Pope Siricius in 385 emphasized it, quoting previous Popes (records of their remarks have not survived.) It is mentioned in Canon 33 of the Council of Elvira, which took place in Spain on or before the year 324, and probably predates the Edict of Milan.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/08/2008 01:21:00 PM | Permalink | |
32I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife.
1 Corinthians 7:32-33

You know all those progressives who think the shortage of priests would be eliminated if the discipline of celibacy was relaxed?

They're wrong. In Evangelical circles, the number one reason for a man to leave the ministry entirely is wive's issues.

Guess St. Paul might actually have known what he was talking about, after all. Fr. Hardon weighs in as well.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/08/2008 10:19:00 AM | Permalink | |
Better Budget Challenge #1
Sense to Save is running a better budget challenge, which fits right in with what I had planned to write about today - so of course I joined. BTW, I'm stealing your Drugstore Savings sidebar idea, too, Kacie!
Here are the questions she came up with:

How have you used a budget in the past? I used to use Quicken. Before that I had Microsoft Money or a piece of scrap paper. I love budgets and would make three or four different ones for all scenarios - I had a "bare bones" budget, with the minimum our household could spend. An everyday budget. A budget for if husband got that raise. A budget for if I went to work, and later, when I was working a budget for if I was not working. I love to play with numbers.

If you’ve never had a budget, how have you made decisions on how to manage your household finances? N/A

How did you put your budget to work?
I used a cash system for some categories, such as groceries, gas, etc., for a while. When I was using Quicken, I would just enter everything in the different categories. At one point, I tried a system with two checking accounts (one for paycheck deposits, then transferring money to the second one to pay bills, etc.) and an all-cash system, but those really weren't practical.

In what ways did your budget (or lack of) work for you?
Having a spending plan helped us plan upcoming expenses, and also remember to pay the bills, such as the car payment.

I used Quicken, which let me track our spending and categorize receipts (if we bought food, clothes, and tools at the same store, for example). It also was awesomely easy to balance the checkbook.

In what ways did it fail?
Husband dear was never really on the same page. I'm an ant, and he's a grasshopper. I want to save every penny, he wants to spend it while he has it. We balance each other out fairly well - his generous spirit really counteracts my natural stinginess miserliness conservativism.
However, the cash system for gasoline did not take into account the fact that he usually fills up the car, and usually pays at the pump with the debit card. Or the fact that if he paid inside (with debit card), he usually added several things - Cokes, chips, maybe a coffee for me.

My "thoughts" when budgeting was to average our gas purchases for a few months, and then divvy it up by the week. The theory was, when we were out of gas money, we didn't go anywhere.

The reality was, we very rarely just took a drive for fun, or a day trip to the next town, or whatever. We bought gas and used it to drive to work, school, or the grocery store. If a family member invited us over or a friend needed help, we never said "Sorry, I've used up the gasoline budget for the month." People, not budgets, were the priority. When that part of the budget was out of whack, everything else got out of whack too.

Also, we were budgeted within an inch of our life. We barely made ends meet. Any unexpected shortage of workhours or extra big bill would throw us off for months until we got back into balance.
Also, our last budgets were on Quicken, which I loved - however, it was difficult to adjust the budget monthly and currently our desktop needs a new motherboard, so I don't have access to it.

Think about your past experiences with budgets and your home finances. How do you want to use a budget in your personal finances?
I want to see what we are spending with an eye to reducing it. Also, to get a better handle on where the money is going. We are so used to living paycheck to paycheck, that now that we have a slight bit of breathing room it just slips through our fingers because we don't have a plan.

What is your overall purpose in establishing a household budget?
We started Dave Ramsey's Money Makeover last year, but got thrown off track by several extenuating circumstances (husband disabled from work, car accident, suddenly needing to move to a new house). We want to get back on track with the Baby Steps.

What do you hope to gain from it?

More money to put towards a house. Validation of money saving strategies. It's one thing to use coupons - but seeing how you saved 30% off your grocery bill is motivating to keep up with the work involved.

Anything else you want to mention about your past or future budgets?
I'm putting our household spending on the sidebar as an accountability tool. My goal is to spend $160/week ($640 a month) on household goods. This includes everything, including food, paper goods, diapers, cleaning supplies, birthday presents, celebrations, etc. We have a birthday or celebration almost every month (September and October are party free, for the most part, but we stock up on school supplies).

I'm going to post the numbers for each month. It's easy to come in totally under budget for a week or a month (eating only out of the pantry, for example) but then the month prior and the month after are budget busters because you have to stock the pantry or restock the freezer. By posting over the whole year, those type of gimmicks will even out.

Right now our budget is on a partial cash system. $160 in cash to an envelope for household, and husband dear and myself get $20 for "whatevers" - cookies from the drive thru, Cokes, collectible football cards. The children's allowance usually comes out of the household money. They get $1 a week (four older ones) but they only get paid if their room is clean so it's more like $4 a month.

How about you? Do you have any budget goals for the year?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/08/2008 08:42:00 AM | Permalink | |
Ain't That The Truth!
Monday, January 07, 2008

At least I'm not the only one with nosy strangers in town

H/T Starry Sky Ranch

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/07/2008 01:25:00 PM | Permalink | |
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Well, I did it! Okay, it's not quite done, but I just couldn't wait to show off my new template.

Plus, we're all home sick from church today and a girl's gotta have something to do while she waits for the Vitamin C to kick in!

Many, many thanks to the generous Mrs. Mecomber for help and hand holding!

I'm still working on it, getting the comments back up and not all my links are working, yet so bear with me. Comments working now!

Let me know how you like it! How are the colors?

Do they give you a headachache, look nice, hurt your eyes, or what?

Did I miss your link? Any thoughts

I think I'll be changing the header as well.. we shall see!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/06/2008 10:26:00 AM | Permalink | |
Notebook and the New Year
Friday, January 04, 2008
All over the mommy blogosphere, it seems women are revisiting their household notebook. (Don't know what that is? It's a binder that has your to-do list, routines, household information. Flylady calls it a control journal. Here's a good example, and look at her right sidebar for a complete collection of links to all of her sections)

I've seen lots of good links and inspiring ideas, but since our move to SC, my notebook just...hasn't ... worked.

I think Jennifer F. has perfectly described my problem. Her post is a great read - hop on over there, I'll wait.

I've set up my notebook with tons of lists and routines... but assuming that taking care of the home is my only job. There is no room for sick days with the children, teething babies, potty training interventions, or rabbit trails in the homeschool.

I always do those things, however. Mr P brings me an interesting seed pod from the backyard, and we go online together, research the tree, gather leaves, make a poster and I leave him creating a shelter a la Survivorman - and suddenly I'm two hours behind schedule, again. The oven broke, the crockpot broke, and suddenly I needed a lot more dinner prep time - time that was not available according to the schedule, but time that must be taken. Those issues are solved, but our dishwasher finally suffered an unhappy death so we wash everything by hand - again, not on the schedule, but something that must get done. And so at the end of the day I am exhausted, but only have one or two things marked off my list which is depressing. I also find myself getting defensive about it, and husband dear ends up hearing a long list of why I couldn't do what I what I thought I should have done, and I would have done, if Real Life hadn't gotten in the way. Oh yes, in my mind I'm not Martha's equal, I'm her superior! (BTW - poor husband dear really doesn't care as much as I think he does so those diatribes are really, really boring for him.)

I am going to take Jen's idea and create my new notebook with a peaceful home and domestic church as the new priority. Time to develop spiritually and creatively will get top billing.. I will have a list of tasks that should get done, so if I happen to have time I will have a guideline, but I'm no longer going to have "empty all trash", "weekly fridge and microwave cleanouts", or "cupboard reorganization" staring at me everyday. Those things will be done as needed, because that is what I need at this season of my life. Instead of a schedule, we will clean under the couches occasionally or when the keys are lost. My bed probably won't be made everyday (no change there), and I won't have the task mocking me from my book and giving me a reason to tell Mr S "no, I can't play Snakes and Ladders with you". My baking day will be whichever day is is cool outside and nobody needs me to help them make the Nile river or hold them because they have a cough and can't breathe lying down. And it might not be Thursdays.

My triage notebook will include:
  • Lots of time for schooling - more than just cramming in the basics, it will be such a luxury to have built in time for noodling around with the fun subjects. No more guilt over using Google Earth to check out the layout of the Nile Delta and location of the pyramids and getting sidetracked into viewing other sites of interest!
  • A lot more time set aside for my bible study, and preparing my Sunday School class - instead of the half hour the night before currently scheduled.
  • Time set aside, more than once per week, for a liturgical tea. I already do Open Wednesdays, which I LOVE, but this will make it more exciting and I can include Mr R, who is at school when we usually read the week's Scripture. Also, I want to include a Saint of the Week, and perhaps a craft. I have several books with liturgical crafts that I really want to get going with.
  • Gardening -growing healthful, organic food and flowers to liven up the house. Bonus, this goes with schooling, as it is an extremely useful skill that can be applied at all age levels. Another blogger I read this week (I'm so sorry, I can't remember who, but if it was YOU let me know and I'll link!) mentioned this, and that gardening should not be a hobby but should be as important as shopping for the food and planning the meals. She's right! Now, if only I can make my black thumb a little greener and actually produce some... you know, produce.
  • Training the children and working with them, instead of nagging-nagging-nagging about their chores. (This will probably be the hardest thing for me to work on. I'm not very patient with watching others do things that I know I can do better and faster.)
  • Writing, especially now that I'll be getting paid for it (more on that, later!)
  • Cleaning the house.
I'll let you know how it goes!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/04/2008 12:49:00 PM | Permalink | |
Underdog Day
Well, it looks like the underdogs won out in Iowa. Obama (and Edwards) beat out Hillary, and Huckabee beat Romney. Interesting to see that Ron Paul got 10% - and poor Giuliani only got 3%. I'm not sure what he was expecting - he's not actually a Republican, despite the R next to his name.

I was so disappointed to see Obama take the win. He gives a good speech, but in his core he is morally bankrupt. He voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

The BAIPA has nothing to do with abortion rights, pro-choice, etc. It simply says that if a baby is born alive, doctors and nurses must treat that baby like any other and not stick her in a closet or lay her on a shelf until she dies of exposure. Barack Obama voted to allow that practice - letting newborns die while competent medical care stands by doing nothing - to continue. Lord help us if he's elected. (What does it say about America, that such legislation is even needed?)
(What does it say about America that this actually happened and is not a hypothetical situation?)

(Don't view the Youtube with the kids around. Jill Stanek tells Bill about her experience being forced not to treat a Downs Syndrome baby, who died after 45 minutes of medical neglect in a hospital)

On a lighter note, why is that when the baby gets two teeth in one day, it's Mama that feels the pain and gets nothing done?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/04/2008 09:25:00 AM | Permalink | |
Hurry up already
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Can't wait for SC caucus to be over. I'm tired of politics. Well, actually, I'm tired of not having anyone to kvetch about politicians to. And I'm tired of trying to pick the best of a mediocre crop.

Some thoughts on Huckabee:

I don't care that his bookcase looks like a cross. My bookcase also features right angles.

He isn't quite truthful. A politician? No way!

He is a scab, crossing the WGA picket lines. So now Hollywood picket signs are railing against him (like they were going to vote for him, anyway. We're talking about a place where the Governator passes for a Republican.)

And, quite frankly, I'm confused that the HSLDA has come out and said that he's their man. The NEA has also said they'll endorse him, and the HSLDA has criticized Huckabee in the past for signing anti-homeschooling legislation and reducing parents' right to direct their child's education.

Sigh. What's a slightly green, quasi-Libertarian conservative with social justice concerns to do?


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/03/2008 10:06:00 AM | Permalink | |
Ora et Labora - sin Ova
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
(Wow. The whole title is in Latin. Please do not tell me how ungrammatical it is. Ignorance is bliss - and I only know select vocabulary words, not declinations!)

Remember last year, when PETA set about browbeating the local Trappist monks because they - gasp - sold eggs to grocery stores, in order to fund their monastery?

PETA decided to stage a picket of the dastardly partners in chicken exploitation - Piggly Wiggly.

Piggly Wiggly is standing their ground, declaring they will be selling Mepkin Abbey eggs for as long as the monks supply them. Yes, folks, the Pig has redeemed itself and Mama just may be shopping there again soon! (Well, they also have the best produce in town so I couldn't really stay mad for long.)

The monks have a peaceful, reclusive way of life. In fact, they have built a senior wing onto their monastery, so that older members can be cared for on the grounds and never have to be sent to a nursing home. They are real monks who work and pray.

They also have a really awesome library packed to the gills with all sorts of scholarly books, and academics wait to get appointments. I can't wait to get in there someday without the children present!

There was a possibility that the protesters would disrupt church services, particularly on holy days (Christmas Eve, for example) causing a spectacle, police involvement, or worse. So the Abbot, in a preemptive strike, declared that Mepkin Abbey will be phasing out their egg operations. PETA, having nothing to protest against, will hopefully leave these poor men alone.

A particularly ironic twist to the saga is that the monks were planning to phase out egg production for some time - they were simply waiting until they had another source of income first. Now there is some urgency to replace the egg money. I've heard they are starting a Native Plant program, and perhaps will be selling plants sometime in the near future.

They also have a store, featuring sculptures of the Holy Family handmade by nuns and more. Check out their compost tea - made on site. A $5 bag makes over 30 gallons of goodness for your garden! Get it while you can - when the chickens go, so do the natural fertilizers (another revenue stream that will have to be replaced.) It doesn't look like you can order online, but you can print and fax an order form as well as call.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/02/2008 10:59:00 AM | Permalink | |