Theology of the Epic

Every good story is really a Christological story, said somebody visiting my house recently. I wish I remembered who, but we had so many people coming and going this month because of the wedding. Interesting. It just occurred to me that weddings themselves are Christian analogies, aren’t they?

I thought of that discussion when I read this article:

So I suggest that the inner and the outer adventures, in the epic, are one; or rather that the world-crossing adventure of an Aeneas or an Odysseus is dependent upon, and is expressive of, the spirit-soaring adventure of the human heart answering the call of what transcends it. The epic is thenessentially theological.The epic is vast, and requires a vast field; as vast as the seas sailed by Ahab, that tormented theologian and captain of despair; as vast as heaven and the deep tract of hell; as vast as the love that moves the sun and the other stars.

Read more:

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Kindle Books- Churchill for 2.99 each, other books free

Prices (free and otherwise) as posted at the time I pasted the links.  This can change.  These are affiliate links:


Winston Churchill’s WW2 Series is on sale today only for 2.99 per volume:

The Gathering Storm: The Second World War, Volume 1 (Winston Churchill World War II Collection)

Their Finest Hour: The Second World War, Volume 2 (Winston Churchill World War II Collection)

The Grand Alliance: The Second World War, Volume 3 (Winston Churchill World War II Collection)

The Hinge of Fate: The Second World War, Volume 4 (Winston Churchill World War II Collection)

Closing the Ring: The Second World War, Volume 5 (Winston Churchill World War II Collection)

Triumph and Tragedy: The Second World War, Volume 6 (Winston Churchill World War II Collection)

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Clean Food Diet: Avoid processed foods and eat clean with few simple lifestyle changes(free nutrition recipes)(natural food recipes) (Special Diet Cookbooks & Vegetarian Recipes Collection Book 4)

This book contains fifty natural recipes designed for healthy living. Vine‘s book contains an introduction, explanations on what is clean eating, what to eat, how to eat clean, and how to cook clean. His recipes are for appetizers such as whole wheat zucchini and white bean hummus; soups, such as gazpacho, Thai tomato soup, and cabbage soup; salads, such as Mexican bean salad, strawberry spinach salad, and light waldof salad; main dishes, such as buttermilk marinated tofu, kababs, and eggplant; deserts, such as cookies, grilled peaches, and smoothie.

In his introduction he speaks about additives. He writes that clean living is a lifestyle of avoiding processed foods and ingredients you cannot identify. One should eat whole foods, fruits, and vegetables. He identifies coconut, avocado, and olive oils as healthy fats. He stresses that cooking for oneself is cheaper and healthier, and it is necessary to drink a lot of water to keep the body hydrated – two liters of water. No sodas at all. Cooking destroys some nutrients so one must learn how to cook properly. Fried foods should be avoided. Salt should be reduced. One should, he writes, think of food as a medicine and our body as a temple. These are just some of the many healthy advices that he gives along with his fifty recipes.

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5 Simple Tips To Declutter Your Basement: From Cluttered to Clean (Happy House Series)

Have you ever entered a house and thought, “Wow, how can ANYONE live in a place like this? It’s an absolute mess, there is so much stuff!” And then you realize that it’s your own home and you have no idea how it got this cluttered? Well, relax. Don’t get overwhelmed. Here you have the solution for how to de-clutter your home in 7 days

Don’t worry! You are not a terrible slob just because you may not have a natural gift for organization.A lot of the people who seem to have it all together haven’t done so with just pure ingenuity and innate cleanliness – they have had access to training and tools to help them. Organization is a type of discipline, but it’s also more than that.

Have you even wondered how to take control of your life? Have you thought, you have so much clutter in your home, and you do not know where to start to organize your life? Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed by the clutter in your home or office? Rest assured, you are not alone. Many people struggle to find a way to de-clutter their lives. There are many reason why clutter might take over your life. For many people they may be busy at work, raising a family or a small few may be downright lazy. The fact is, the clutter in your home- affects all areas of your life. How many times have you looked all over the house for your car keys before work? If you had a set place to place your keys, you would know exactly where they are- and not waste any time looking for them.

7 Reasons To Buy This Book

= > 1. Its Short And Informative No Fluff!!
= > 2. This Book Is Straight Forward And Gets To The Point
= > 3. It Has A Great Concept
= > 4. Learn What You Need To Know FAST!
= > 5.Don’t Waste Hours Reading Something That Won’t Benefit You
= > 6.Specifically Written To Help And Benefit The Reader!
= > 7. The Best Compact Guide To Learn What You Need To Learn In A Short Period of Time

Check Out What You Will Learn After Reading This Book Below!!



How To Organize In Just 7 Days

How To Clean And Organized Fast And Easy

How To Improve Your life Using This Book

The Most Fundamental Thing That Everybody Should Do

The Organization Tools You Needed

How To Prioritize Your Goal In Cluttering

The Easy Ways In Organizing And Cleaning

How To De- Clutter Fast And Easy

Tips To Clean Ur Home

Minimalism Cleaning

DIY Household Hacks

Minimalism Hacks

The Reasons Why Clutter Will Take Over Your Life

The Different Process Of De-Cluttering

The Most Important Plan In De- Cluttering

The Key To Happiness In Your Life

How To Clean And Organize Your House

The Few Rules To Go By As You Organize

How To Motivate Yourself To Start Cleaning And Organizing




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Smoothie Recipes: 95+ Tasty & Healthy recipes for Weight Loss, Cleansing, Low fat, Detoxification and stress releasing, Reduce Bloat, Skin care and blood cleansing, to boost your Immune System

Review: Ekta Singhal has compiled a selection of 95 recipes for smoothies that serve well for everyday diet, for weight loss and for regaining a sip of that fountain of youth! As presented in the Introduction ` Smoothie is not only a delicious and tasty drink but also it is a meal replacement because it is packed with nutrients that help in weight balance.’ Each of the recipes takes only about five to seven minutes to prepare and the ingredients are wholesome and fresh and of the season.

There is a fine section on the definition of `smoothies’ – how they differ from juices in that they utilize the entire fruit or vegetable thereby conserving the minerals and vitamins so often contained in the outer portions and stems of these foods. They differ from Slushies in that Slushies are blended with crushed ice and artificial flavorings whereas Smoothies are a blend of fruits, natural juices and yogurt.

The common ingredients are strawberries, blueberries, bananas, raspberries and yogurt and at times soy milk, cinnamon, flax seed, wheat grass, spinach, kale and on and on. Recipes are then divided into categories – Basic, Weight loss, Weight balance, Cleansing and Detox, Bloat Cleansing, Skin Cleansing and Blood cleansing. Then come recipes for Green and Vegetable smoothies, Kiddie Smoothies, Coconut, Chocolate smoothies an ways to enhance the immune system and energy levels.

Ekta Singhal has obviously made this book not only an easy Smoothie recipe book to follow, but there is a lot of information of achieving a high standard of eating and living. Grady Harp, June 13

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Clean Eating: How I Lost 145 Pounds By Eating 5 Times a Day and Not Counting Calories
Reader Review; The story of Brenda is very moving. She talks frankly about her struggles with weight, and how people, her ex husband, and even family members continuously added more strain to her journey rather than add support to what she needed. She considered everything from invasive surgery (bariatic) to pay-per month membership diet plans.

The problem with these plans, according to Brenda herself, is that they never come with a continuation plan. They do approach the weight loss process as temporary and not as a lifestyle choice. Even those who do claim to do lifestyle can only extend so long.
The solution that Brenda found was to use protein as a base for every meal and then indulge on vegetables while keeping grains low. The clean aspect of clean eating entails non-processed foods, that is, foods that come straight from their source and are not adulterated or boxed with preservatives. The idea is that the body gets used to process natural pure energy food rather than process foreign ingredients. Brenda’s success shows that it is a doable plan which is inexpensive and easy to follow.

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Minimalism for Moms: The Busy Mom’s Guide to Keeping things Clean, Staying Organized, and Decluttering for a Stress Free Life

Reader Review: I liked the book because it was a very easy read. The tasks were explained in simple to understand ways, also alternative ways were given if you are not ready to make the huge change at once.
The book explained sentimental items and care ways to use them or pass them on. I felt there was nothing I nothing in the book I couldn’t do.
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Cleaning Hacks: Saving Time, Money, Health and the Environment DIY (Cleaning, Organizing, Natural cleaning, Cleaning Hacks, Declutter, House cleaning, Efficient cleaning)

Reader Review; I found this ‘Cleaning Hacks’ book to be very useful. It offers great advice about how to get a cleaning job done without having to rely on expensive products and tools. I am not a very big cleaning fan (who is?) so I am always excited to find ways to get the job done faster. For me, the best part of the book were the tips that help reduce the amount of effort you need to put into various cleaning tasks throughout the house. ‘Cleaning Hacks’ delivers exactly what it describes: simple tips that help you save time, money and effort. It’s a simple book, but a useful one for people who could benefit from some external advice.

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Requirements for a good writer

distinguishing essential differences tom jonesI stumbled across this online while looking up something else. It’s from Henry Fielding’s  History of Tom Jones, a Foundling:

“To prevent therefore, for the future, such intemperate abuses of leisure, of letters, and of the liberty of the press, especially as the world seems at present to be more than usually threatened with them, I shall here venture to mention some qualifications, every one of which are in a pretty high degree necessary to this order of historians.”

“this order of historians” is writers of plausible fiction, like Tom Jones.  And can I say that the line about how world at present is more than usually threatened with intemperate abuse of the liberty of the press made me giggle.

“The first is, genius, without a full vein of which no study, says Horace, can avail us. By genius I would understand that power or rather those powers of the mind, which are capable of penetrating into all things within our reach and knowledge, and of distinguishing their essential differences. These are no other than invention and judgment; and they are both called by the collective name of genius, as they are of those gifts of nature which we bring with us into the world. Concerning each of which many seem to have fallen into very great errors; for by invention, I believe, is generally understood a creative faculty, which would indeed prove most romance writers to have the highest pretensions to it; whereas by invention is really meant no more (and so the word signifies) than discovery, or finding out; or to explain it at large, a quick and sagacious penetration into the true essence of all the objects of our contemplation. This, I think, can rarely exist without the concomitancy of judgment; for how we can be said to have discovered the true essence of two things, without discerning their difference, seems to me hard to conceive. Now this last is the undisputed province of judgment, and yet some few men of wit have agreed with all the dull fellows in the world in representing these two to have been seldom or never the property of one and the same person.”

Emphasis added.  Really, it seems to me, one could live a long, fulfilling, and useful life on the talent of “sagacious penetration into the true essence of all the objects of our contemplation.”
“But though they should be so, they are not sufficient for our purpose, without a good share of learning; for which I could again cite the authority of Horace, and of many others, if any was necessary to prove that tools are of no service to a workman, when they are not sharpened by art, or when he wants rules to direct him in his work, or hath no matter to work upon. All these uses are supplied by learning; for nature can only furnish us with capacity; or, as I have chose to illustrate it, with the tools of our profession; learning must fit them for use, must direct them in it, and, lastly, must contribute part at least of the materials. A competent knowledge of history and of the belles-lettres is here absolutely necessary; and without this share of knowledge at least, to affect the character of an historian, is as vain as to endeavour at building a house without timber or mortar, or brick or stone. Homer and Milton, who, though they added the ornament of numbers to their works, were both historians of our order, were masters of all the learning of their times.”

Emphasis added again.  This is the answer to those who say it doesn’t matter what the children learn so long as they learn how to learn.  It’s nonsense.  Of course it matters what they learn- what they learn will also inform how they learn.  They cannot be separated.

“Again, there is another sort of knowledge, beyond the power of learning to bestow, and this is to be had by conversation. So necessary is this to the understanding the characters of men, that none are more ignorant of them than those learned pedants whose lives have been entirely consumed in colleges, and among books; for however exquisitely human nature may have been described by writers, the true practical system can be learnt only in the world. Indeed the like happens in every other kind of knowledge. Neither physic nor law are to be practically known from books. Nay, the farmer, the planter, the gardener, must perfect by experience what he hath acquired the rudiments of by reading. How accurately soever the ingenious Mr Miller may have described the plant, he himself would advise his disciple to see it in the garden. As we must perceive, that after the nicest strokes of a Shakespear or a Jonson, of a Wycherly or an Otway, some touches of nature will escape the reader, which the judicious action of a Garrick, of a Cibber, or a Clive, can convey to him; so, on the real stage, the character shows himself in a stronger and bolder light than he can be described. And if this be the case in those fine and nervous descriptions which great authors themselves have taken from life, how much more strongly will it hold when the writer himself takes his lines not from nature, but from books? Such characters are only the faint copy of a copy, and can have neither the justness nor spirit of an original.”

In addition to book learning, we need the jostling and bumping that comes from real conversations and interactions with real people, with real things, with real work, and exposure ‘in the round’ to the things we study in books.

I have read about the division between North and South Korea many times and places.  I’ve seen it on screen.  The deepest impression, however, came from a conversation with a complete  stranger- a South Korean man on a bus in Seoul the week that the wall came down in Germany.  His mother had been pregnant with him when North and South Korea were cut off forever- and his father was on the North side.  Father, grandparents, aunts, uncles- and not just paternal relatives, but some of his mother’s people also- all contact suddenly stopped, and at the time I met Mr. Lee (이 or 리) on that bus, he and his mother had never heard another word about whether his father was alive or dead. (I know the surname Lee is even more generic than Mr. Smith in English, but that was his family name. I have long since forgotten his given name).

What’s interesting to me is how interconnected it all is- while that conversation made the deepest impression on me, it wouldn’t have been the same without already having some context in which to put the story, and that context came mostly from what I had read.   Mr. Lee’s personal story brought what I knew to life, gave it a face and a real human story- but in order to do that, I had to first have the bones, the form, the structure of the story.

In a different vein, I could read about staining the skin with black walnut in Kipling’s story of Kim, but until I played with black walnuts in my grandfather’s woods as a child and then tried to wash off the stains myself, I did not have a complete understanding.  The story informed my understanding of why my hands were so stained and how many days it took to wash that off, and my experience first hand deepened my understanding of the story as well.
“Now this conversation in our historian must be universal, that is, with all ranks and degrees of men; for the knowledge of what is called high life will not instruct him in low; nor, _e converso_, will his being acquainted with the inferior part of mankind teach him the manners of the superior. And though it may be thought that the knowledge of either may sufficiently enable him to describe at least that in which he hath been conversant, yet he will even here fall greatly short of perfection; for the follies of either rank do in reality illustrate each other. For instance, the affectation of high life appears more glaring and ridiculous from the simplicity of the low; and again, the rudeness and barbarity of this latter, strikes with much stronger ideas of absurdity, when contrasted with, and opposed to, the politeness which controuls the former. Besides, to say the truth, the manners of our historian will be improved by both these conversations; for in the one he will easily find examples of plainness, honesty, and sincerity; in the other of refinement, elegance, and a liberality of spirit; which last quality I myself have scarce ever seen in men of low birth and education.”

Be willing to learn from and converse with people from all walks of life.
Nor will all the qualities I have hitherto given my historian avail him, unless he have what is generally meant by a good heart, and be capable of feeling. The author who will make me weep, says Horace, must first weep himself. In reality, no man can paint a distress well which he doth not feel while he is painting it; nor do I doubt, but that the most pathetic and affecting scenes have been writ with tears. In the same manner it is with the ridiculous. I am convinced I never make my reader laugh heartily but where I have laughed before him; unless it should happen at any time, that instead of laughing with me he should be inclined to laugh at me. Perhaps this may have been the case at some passages in this chapter, from which apprehension I will here put an end to it.

I think what Fielding is saying here is that if you want to write well, you must feel what you want your audience to feel.


I loved this passage, but I have to say that none of my children that I recall were willing to read more than a few pages of Tom Jones. They thought it was bawdy, unedifying book. Bawdy and ribald it certainly is, but I cannot agree that it is wholy unedifying.    However, children being born persons, I did not mortify them by forcing the issue and making them continue reading.


I have mortified them enough in plenty of other ways.

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Four Free Kindle Reads

These had a high sales rank and quite a few four and five star reviews at Amazon:
Frugal Minimalism: Declutter and Simplify (Sustainable Living & Homestead Survival Series)

Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool

Modern Homeschooling: From amazing travel and adventure to early entrance to university, has homeschooling finally evolved enough for you to take it seriously?

Blackbelt Tightwad: Frugal Ninjutsu for the Fearless

Free at time of listing. These are affiliate links.

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Reading and word-spacing

This stylistic innovation in the middle ages changed the way we read (and the way we think about it):

Word spacing began as an aid to reading aloud, but it soon gave rise to two new practices: silent copying and (paradoxically) silent reading. Scribes who copied texts were supposed to do their work in silence. Previously they had developed means of copying in silence: most notably, such as breaking texts into lines of 10-15 characters, which they could remember in their entirety. Adding word spacing “increased reading speed and permitted more rapid copying.” (378) The enforcement of silence became stricter as word spacing diffused through scriptoria, and scribal iconography shifts from showing scribes receiving dictation from angels, to scribes copying from texts.

Reading likewise became a silent activity, we evidenced by changing interpretation of the rule of silence. Before about the 10th century, “oral group reading and composition [were] in practice no more considered a breach of silence than were confession or the recitation of prayers. Cluniac monks were judged to have violated their vows of silence only when a word they spoke was not written in the text.” (383) But later, “silence” comes to mean real silence.

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Whew. I’m ready for a nap.

Since the wedding, we have had MRSA infections, a bout of mononucleosis (still not sure we’re through that one), sinus colds, another house guest or two, and the usual basic life stuff.

I also got to hear the heartbeat of an unborn grandchild and eat out at a new-t0-me Korean/Japanese restaurant (these were part of the same event).

2015-01-22 16.01.45 2015-01-22 16.09.37 2015-01-22 16.54.48 Udon noodles and seafood

The Boy started a class in Parkour gymnastics.
The Husband started a new class in school and we started talking about maybe moving overseas after all since he may have his Master’s when this term ends.

Son-in-law MopTop got to go to the March for life in D.C. and met our local state rep, who talked to him about a job (in general terms, but still).

Son-in-Law Strider got a new position at work because he’s such a good employee.

Son-in-Law Shasta continued to work hard at his new job doing taxes in the distant state of Nebraska.

I got to spend some time holding my second youngest grand-daughter, as well as snuggling with her two older siblings:

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I cooked a beautiful batch of bone broth:

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I made probably fifty breakfast burritos, numerous stir fries, blackberry syrup for waffles and pancakes, and more.

And JennyAnyDots and her husband the Carpenter came back by our house for a few days after their honeymoon in Austria.  She had some of her household goods to pack up, some to take, some to store, and this also gave us a few days of time together without fifty or so houseguests to feed and visit with and a wedding to pull off.   No matter how lovely your houseguests are, and ours were all wonderful, fifty of them (give or take a few, we really don’t know) makes it hard to get in meaningful visiting time.

They drove off to Jenny’s new home today.  They’ll be in Pennsylvania first, as the Carpenter has a business to sell there.  When the business is sold, they will move on to New York.

It was hard, of course, to see her go, but her new groom is so sweet, so gentle with her, and so in love (and she, likewise), that it made parting just a little bit easier than it otherwise would have been.

This nap?  I think it should last about a month.

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Helping the Poor

Some people give money to the presumably homeless people they see on the streets.  Some won’t give money, but will give food, socks, blankets, toiletries and so forth.  From time to time I often hear, or read, the people who give money say that God doesn’t tell them to make sure the money is being wisely used rather than used to buy booze- or in other words,  simply continuing the problems that may have contributed to that person being indigent in the first place without actually offering any meaningful help or relief.

As you can see by my wording, I really disagree with that mindset.  I don’t think it’s helpful or compassionate- I think it’s all about the giver feeling satisfied about having done her or his part rather than focusing on the best immediate relief for real problems the recipient might be facing.

But it’s also just flatly untrue.

God has a lot to say about being good stewards, and I can’t seen any way that a person who has finite funds to share is being a good steward of those funds by giving them to a person who has no food, no roof, no shelter, has some infected sores, and has been wearing the same dirty, wet socks for weeks and who also has an addiction problem so there is a high probability they will use the cash for the addiction rather than for real needs.

You can take the easy, feel good about yourself way and just throw money at the indigent and feed their addictions, or you can spend a little more time and effort, feel less good about yourself because you can see how limited your help is, but buy and share food, first aid, clean water, dry socks, and so forth.   I know which one I think is the better steward.

Now, there may be times when the immediate problem seems so immediate, that it’s give money now or give nothing, and it’s not the time to ask questions.  I understand that.  I am talking about a general approach.

And then I hear, “It’s not my job to find out why they are poor, God just tells us to help.”

Yes, He does.  But He also says this:

2nd Thessalonions, chapter 3:

“…For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.…”


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1915 Mother Resolutions

resolutionsThese resolutions are from The Woman’s Home Companion, January, 1915 issue:

Recognizing that the health and happiness of my family, during the coming year, will depend largely on myself as the home-maker, I am
I. That I will guard my own health and nerve strength in every possibly way.
II. That every member of my family, including myself, should have the proper amount of fresh air in our home by day and by night.
III. That I will do my housework in properly ventilated rooms and allow myself at least one hour of outdoor exercise daily.
IV. That I will recuperate my physical and nervous strength by lying down at least half an hour each day.
V. That I will conserve my health by sitting down at my work whenever possible.
VI. That I will simplify the dishes served on my table, because variety, nourishment, a properly balanced diet, and fresh fruits are more important than fancy cooking.
VII. That I will place safety first by knowing the source of our ice and milk supply, by demanding good drainage from my house, and by fighting flies and mosquitoes.
VIII. That I will join hands with my neighbors in fighting conditions which imperil the health and hygiene of the individual family and the commmunity.
IX. That I will give a little time each day to the intelligent study of child life, the care and feeding of infants, diet for older children, discipline, and the formation of good habits.

Here’s a printable version you could use to post to your fridge to inspire you.=)

Click to enlarge.

resolutions on william morris background

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Thoughts On Education for Young Women

How’s that for a high-falutin’ title? Snicker.

If one is going to look at the calling of motherhood as a career and make a conscious decision to train oneself for it deliberately then The Equuschick would recommend that any young lady planning to manage a home should do some serious study on essentially, management. How to be a manager. Not just of resources, but of people. The Equuschick had a light bulb moment a few years ago where she realized that a large part of parenting is learning how to lead people.

The conservative homeschooling movement (whatever that means, but it seems the right label to use at this time) seems to have spent a great deal of energy in the last generation or so emphasizing that their young men should learn leadership skills, and this is good. Young men need to know how to lead a family. But women need to know how manage a home. Not just the money, not just the mess, but also the people that she is at home with. Among all her other hats, she will be the manager of the (small) people in that home.

This was a tough day at first for The Equuschick, when she realized “I can’t just tell them what they did wrong, I have to lead them forward.” Yes, it is a tough skill. But the good news is, it IS a skill, and as such it can be taught and in time learned.(Not that The Equuschick has learned it, she’s just sharing certain revelations in her learning process.) Whole books and courses are devoted to it.

Being assertive without being aggressive is a skill, and one that’s necessary for a manager to learn. Communication is a skill, both learning to listen and learning to make oneself understood. One that’s very necessary for a manager. Rewarding people (or children) for meeting small goals and challenging them to grow towards larger goals, that’s a skill very necessary for the leading of people.

Learning that “more is caught than taught” and that “attitude reflects leadership”, those are skills that mom-agers are going to need. General people skills, momagers need those too.

But if it is a skill, it can be taught. The Equuschick is working on learning these skills with a great deal of blood, sweat, and tears. But hard-won skills stick the longest, that’s more good news.

So it is of The Equuschick’s high-falutin’ opinion (at the All-Knowing and Wise Age of 30) that any high-school curricula for young women, especially those planning to stay at home and raise a family, should include precisely those sorts of books on leadership and management that business majors have to study in college.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition) is an obvious choice, and the rest of John C. Maxwell’s books. Also The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (25th Anniversary Edition). For a fun break, a whole study guide on leadership could probably be written in conjunction with Remember the Titans (Widescreen Edition).

These are not the types of books The Equuschick would have chosen to study because they interested her. Or because she particularly liked them. She doesn’t. (She yawns at them.) But nonetheless, for all the emphasis given on submission and gentleness to aspiring home-makers, we should not neglect the practical and everyday (and often assertive) aspects of being a manager in a mom-world. And so The Equuschick has been reading these sorts of books and concepts and will probably have her daughters, as well as her son, read them too.

The Eqquuschick once heard a study on gentleness where it was pointed out in some translations, that word is actually better translated “reasonableness.” Having a reasonable and adequate response to the situation, whatever the situation may be. In proportion, that’s what Mr. Speaker said, a very long time ago, and that’s part of what prompted all of this thought process.

It is hard to be in proportion as a mom and to think of mom-child relationships in such pragmatic terms, but if we were always only to work against human nature and urge children to just Do Right Always No Matter What Their Personal Feelings, than The Equushcick isn’t sure why we even have the Book of Proverbs. A great deal of the book of Proverbs seems to be devoted to instructing the reader on human nature so as to better be able to work with it, instead of against it.

blog leadership pic

One Step at a Time

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Blackberry Cake

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This Blackberry cake is really rich and deeply satisfying.  The crust is chewy and delicious.  I got a lot of compliments on it, and it’s also quite easy.


1/2 cup, or a quarter of a pound of butter- slice it into smaller pieces
1 cup flour
 1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened blackberries (or any juicy berry except, I’ve heard, strawberries)
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar (optional, I left it out)

1. Butter a 9 inch cake pan and dust it with flour.

2. In a bowl, combine 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup butter. Slowly beat with a mixer to blend, then beat on high speed until well mixed, about 3 minutes.

3. Add 1 cup flour, the baking powder, and eggs. Stir to combine (this is a stiff dough), then beat on high speed until the stiff batter is well blended, about 2 minutes.

4. Scrape batter into cake pan.  It’s very thick and you’ll think you’ve made a mistake.  Use the back of your spoon or a spatula to spread the top out so it’s smooth.

5. Scatter berries evenly over batter. Sprinkle the fruit with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.

6. Bake on the center rack of a 350° oven just until cake begins to pull from pan rim, 55 to 60 minutes. When you take it out of the oven, run a butterknife or other thin blade between the pan edges and the cake, but let it set for another ten minutes or so.  I didn’t cut this prettily as you see from the pictures.  I just scooped it into bowls.  It would have been great with ice-cream, but it was quite good plain, too.



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