More on hurting homes

Jimmy Hinton is a pastor.  He is the son of another pastor who was guilty of many crimes against children.  Jimmy Hinton conducts an annual workshop and webinar on child sex abuse with guest speaker Les Ferguson, Jr.  Video here:



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Free4Kindle Books- mostly Christian Living titles

we love books bookshelf vintage1.99 for Kindle: The Vow: The True Events that Inspired the Movie

Blurb: Life as Kim and Krickitt Carpenter knew it was shattered beyond recognition on November 24, 1993. Two months after their marriage, a devastating car wreck left Krickitt with a massive head injury and in a coma for weeks.

When she finally awoke, she had no idea who Kim was. With no recollection of their relationship and while Krickitt experienced personality changes common to those who suffer head injuries, Kim realized the woman he had married essentially died in the accident.

And yet, against all odds, but through the common faith in Christ that sustained them, Kim and Krickitt fell in love all over again. Even though Kim stood by Krickitt through the darkest times a husband can ever imagine, he insists, “I’m no hero. I made a vow.”

Now available in trade paper with a new chapter and photo insert, The Vow is the true story that inspired the major motion picture of the same name

Note- this book has nearly 400 five star reviews, but it also has 25 one star reviews, and most of them are about the quality of the writing. So you might want to check out the free sample first to be sure this is for you.

book shelf border small


The rest of these books were free at the time of listing:

God’s Worn Out Servants

My note: This is only about 14 or 15 pages long. It’s a well written tale conveying the message that we need to make sure we’re not too busy doing things for God to actually be in relationship with God, doing what God wants us to do. The opening sentence is a throat grabber.

book shelf border small

Church – I have somewhat against you: Effective not affected Christianity

Blurb: Parts of this book could probably be described as more of a personal polemic or rant that has arisen from the frustrations of a long standing Church History Teacher who has consistently seen and experienced history repeat itself over and over again in his own lifetime. However there is plenty of serious material within the pages of this book to encourage effective Christian living along with various interesting historical characters and analysis that is definitely instructional for contemporary Christians. For the most part I have provided Bible study particularly from the Beatitudes to encourage and inspire Believers to make a difference and yet understand some of the complex and strange trials that confront them while trying to make the difference. But focusing on my polemic sections: I genuinely get disturbed by the appalling and wholesale turning away from God and Christianity. It has reached phenomenal proportions. And the antagonism towards religion, and the resentful and belligerent attitudes are widespread and condemnatory of the church, and basically people revile Christianity. I find myself continuously defending the Faith, the church, and Christianity. Lately, it has occurred to me why people revile Christianity and the reason is obvious: Christians have miserably failed to comprehend the type of church that they should be. Instead the church, administered by men and women with ‘feet of clay,’ have made a horrible mess of things and people are correct to pass scathing judgements upon it. Look at the countless lives that have been ruined and utterly put off the church because of what Christian institutions have failed to do. The great sins of omission that have occurred as people have suffered at the hands of the church, not to mention all the other hidden as well as openly blatant miseries caused in the name of Christ.
In my polemic and analysis I compare and discuss the natural thinking and religious man still caught up in the Old Testament way of thinking as opposed to the spiritual man or woman who follows the New Testament grace teachings.

book shelf border small

The Sovereignty of God

My note:  Arthur Pink was solidly and firmly Calvinist, and that’s what this book is, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody.  I am not a Calvinist, but I do enjoy his writing.=)

Blurb: Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952) explores the rich biblical doctrine of God’s sovereignty in creation, redemption, and providence. The God of the Bible is in control of all things. This book is invaluable, as Pink also deals with objections to the doctrine of God’s sovereignty and apparent conflicts of the doctrine with the responsibility of man.
1. God’s Sovereignty Defined
2. The Sovereignty of God in Creation
3. The Sovereignty of God in Administration
4. The Sovereignty of God in Salvation
5. The Sovereignty of God in Reprobation
6. The Sovereignty of God in Operation
7. The Sovereignty of God in Human Will
8. Sovereignty and Human Responsibility
9. God’s Sovereignty and Prayer
10. Our Attitude Towards His Sovereignty
11. Difficulties and Objections
12. The Value of This Doctrine
13. Conclusion

book shelf border small

Free Grace Broadcaster – Issue 214 – Union with Christ

Blurb: from Chapel Library. Articals in this edition of the FGB include: Baptized into Jesus Christ, by Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892). Surpassingly Wonderful Union, by A. W. Pink (1886-1952). The Nature of Union with Christ, by John Murray (1898-1975). An Eternal Union of Love, by John Gill (1697-1771).In Christ Jesus, by David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981). Faith Unites Us to Christ, by William Cunningham (1805-1861): in union with Christ, Christians are able to lay hold of all the blessings purchased by Christ’s redemptive work through faith. Justified in Christ, by Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758): a detailed explanation of faith, justification, and being in Christ as they relate to each other. Sanctified in Christ, by A. W. Pink (1886-1952): believers are supernaturally in union with Christ; because of this, they will bear the fruit of holiness. The Foundation of All Happiness, by Thomas Boston (1676-1732): a believer’s knowledge of union with Christ is a doctrine of great comfort.

book shelf border small

The True Gospel of Christ versus the False Gospel of Carnal Christianity

Blurb: from Chapel Library. This book examines in detail the common modern message sometimes called “easy-believism,” where justification in Christ is presented without mention of one’s responsibility to forsake sin and live set apart from the world. This gospel holds that one may “make a decision” to “receive Christ,” without bowing to His authority over one’s life. The problem is that many conclude: “a little sin won’t hurt—I’m just carnal, and God has saved me any way.” This false gospel leaves the professing Christian without any power over sin and a false confidence in heaven, even to the point of resisting calls to repent because “I don’t need to; I’m already saved.” Romans 6 is used to develop a Biblical understanding of self-denial, and passages in 1 and 2 Timothy are used to explain the deceitful nature of selfish sin. Finally, the book explores the rich new life provided in the true Gospel of Scripture.

L.R. Shelton, Jr. (1923-2003) was born and raised in New Orle-ans, Louisiana, where he later became associate pastor in his fa-ther’s Baptist church. While he did not have the opportunity to attend college or seminary, as a young man he devoured the writings of Spurgeon, Pink, the Puritans, and Lloyd-Jones. In 1970 he began a church, Christian bookstore, and Gospel outreach in Litchfield, Minnesota. There he developed a God-given burden to share classic Christian literature from prior centuries freely worldwide.

book shelf border small

Just Between Us-Inspiring Stories by Women

Blurb: This is a wonderful compilation of short stories by six women. I admire their courage for baring their pasts and cheer that each one was able to find a form of peace through their relationship with Christianity. Make no mistake – the stories are personal and gritty. That each one was able to overcome whatever their adversity was is a testament to them,to their faith, and gives hope to all who are presently struggling with some form of adversity. This is a book that makes you believe again! Enjoy!

book shelf border small

Hope – Four Week Mini Bible Study (Becoming Press Mini Bible Studies)

Blurb: I have finished this book, took a long breath, and as I exhaled I couldn’t help but reflect on the fact that God’s word clearly tells us that in this world we will have trouble. Not a surprise to God, not a welcome to man, but certainly how we process it and it plays out in our life seems to be predicated on our own free will choosing. Author Heather Bixler says that we can choose to be a victim or obedient to God. In her book Hope, she’s not only familiar with pain and trials but lives today, not like in the past in the valley of defeat, but with a stronger resolve in God’s grace, love, and good will toward her even when circumstances have not changed. She has learned to cling to God as never before and in the process has found what her heart shares fully in this book- that God alone is sufficient for all our needs.

If you find yourself in any of these struggles I encourage you to grab hold of the contents contained in this book.
-Difficulty letting go of control and surrendering your will to God.
-Frightened of the current circumstance you find yourself in and feel immobilized.
-Buried your dreams because situations seem so contrary to what you envisioned.
-Struggle with hopelessness and despair and see no way out.
-Have shut down your heart in pressing in to the things of God.

I have been victim several times of shaking my fist at God and though perhaps we have all done it sometime in our lives, know that there is remedy for a tired, weary soul. In author Bixler’s book, I found it to be a healing balm as she uses her current situation to share truths she has gotten in the Word and in the things God has been teaching her through the physical challenges her husband endures.

book shelf border small

A Call to Prayer – with Study Guide (Chapel Library)

Blurb: “A Call to Prayer” was one of J.C. Ryle’s best received works in his day and has remained so ever since. It is a direct exhortation to pray fervently and without ceasing. “I want the times we live in to be praying times. I want the Christians of our day to be praying Christians. I want the church to be a praying church. My heart’s desire and prayer in sending forth this tract is to promote a spirit of prayerfulness. I want those who never prayed yet, to arise and call upon God, and I want those who do pray, to see that they are not praying amiss.”—from the Conclusion.

Contents include the following chapters, with study questions for each chapter (used by permission of Mount Zion Bible Institute):
1. Prayer Is Needful to a Man’s Salvation
2. The Habit of Prayer: Mark of a True Christian
3. Prayer: The Most Neglected Duty
4. Prayer Produces Great Encouragement
5. Diligence in Prayer: The Secret of Holiness
6. Prayer and Backsliding
7. Prayer and Contentment
8. Advice to the Unsaved
9. Counsel to the Saints

book shelf border small

Hell Is Real (But I Hate to Admit It)

Blurb: Does hell matter? Pastor Brian Jones wants readers to know the truth.

Jones believes that the reason most Christians don’t tell their friends about Jesus has nothing to do with not knowing how—it’s because they don’t think they need to. As Jones writes, the first four years he was a pastor, he didn’t believe in hell himself. Today, he shares his story of discovering the truth that hell exists—and why many Christians are afraid to believe in it.

Hell Is Real motivates Christians who have grown complacent in their view of hell. Drawing on the teachings of Jesus, Jones leads readers into a head-on collision with apocalyptic urgency—the all-consuming, inspiring conviction that will overcome readers when they realize that hell is real and they can help save people from going there.

book shelf border small

Alive: A Cold-Case Approach to the Resurrection

Me: Only 22 pages, so more of a tract than a book.

Blurb: About the author: J. Warner Wallace is a cold case homicide detective, a missions leader, and a church planter. As a result of his work on cold cases, Wallace has been featured on numerous television programs including Dateline, FOX News, and Court TV. Wallace’s visual presentations in the courtroom have revolutionized how capital offense trials are presented in Los Angeles County and across the country. A vocal atheist for many years, Wallace is now an apologist for Christianity and the founder of the Blog, Podcast, and Website. He has a master’s degree in theological studies. He and his wife have four children and live in southern California.

book shelf border small

Deeper Christian Life, by Andrew Murray

Blurb: This classic of Christian devotional literature features the wisdom of an influential 19th-century preacher and missionary on how to live life more deeply as a Christian. In clear, easy-to-understand language, this 1895 work discusses:
* how to achieve a daily fellowship with God
* the blessed privilege of living with a relationship to God
* the “low experience” those who live without God
* how to deny the carnal and embrace the spiritual
* securing the Blessing of God
* and much more.

This timeless volume is sure to appeal both to those new to the faith and longtime believers looking for a source of inspirational teachings to refresh their faith.

book shelf border small

Exposing The Ponzi Masters – True Crime Account Of 00 Million Online Scam

Blurb: Jim Paris’ new book, Exposing the Ponzi Masters, is a must read for every Christian that has more than a dollar in his or wallet and wants to keep it! Paris will take you on an international adventure with all the twists and turns of a spy novel, except that it’s real and his life is on the line! The Ponzi Masters, exposes what may be one of the most ambitious money-laundering scams of the 21st century.
L. A. Marzulli
Author – The Nephilim Trilogy, On The Trail Of The Nephilim, And Host Of ‘The Watchers’ Video Series

A True Crime Exposé – The Profitable Sunrise Scam Exposed
A reporter is plunged into the dark world of money laundering and a worldwide crime network when he stumbles across a scam so big that his life is on the line. Now, the true story can finally be told. An investigation that will take you across the globe to England, Eastern Europe, Australia, Panama, Africa, and New Zealand. How an international network of money launderers got away with more than $100 million dollars – stolen from the Christian community. Exposing The Ponzi Masters, is the true account of one man determined to expose the truth, and the legions that tried to stop him. A story so dark, that you won’t believe what you are reading – a story so important, its being monitored by government agencies worldwide. Exposing The Ponzi Masters, a true crime expose’ from James L. Paris the Editor In Chief Of

DHM’s note: I downloaded this one because of my interest in and concerns about people who are, IMO, duped by certain MLM companies with shady backgrounds and emotional rather than logical claims. I haven’t finished it yet. I wouldn’t call this exciting, and most of the above is hype (all blurbs about books tend to be hyped), but it is an interesting read. I’d call this more of a long article than a book. Its primary value- to me- is in showing *how* to look at claims that seem too good to be true, how to do some investigating of your own, and why being skeptical and checking claims out is not a bad thing. It was also informative to see the progression of tactics used by those defending this particularly Ponzi scheme. I was struck by how similar it is to the defenses that come from powerful abusers once they have been caught, as well as their supporters.

book shelf border small

Just for fun: Jerome K. Jerome page

The humour is dated and very British, which is right up my alley. I enjoy Jerome K. Jerome’s writing very much. This should take you to a page of his free books available via Kindle. You can also download some at Gutenberg. Enjoy. They make me laugh, I hope they make you laugh, too.

Something else that made me laugh- I recently saw my free kindle listings churlishly described as a transparent attempt to make money. That’s like calling a store or a catalog a transparent attempt to make money. When banks offer free gifts for new account holders, that is also a ‘transparent attempt to make money.’ Um, was there a secret? I have a blog with ads, obviously, I would like to bring in some money from it. I try to give good value in exchange by taking time to look through the listings and pick titles I think my readers would actually like- I end up deleting quite a few each time I have one of these posts.

I do not make money from people just downloading the free links, but of course, if you click on the links and order other things while you are at Amazon, I will make a percentage from what you actually spend (from about 4% to a possibility of 7.5% of what you spend, I think).

So just in case anybody else was confused about it, yes, I hope these free listings result in some extra dollars in my Amazon Affiliate Links (Gasp. Shock! Get me smelling salts! Another transparent attempt to make money, those evil affiliate links).

People are funny.

Posted in Books | 3 Comments

Q and A

Q. Do all your stories and conversations really happen just the way you tell them?

A. Not all of them, no.   The ones most likely to be slightly edited are the ones where I tried to make them funnier.  Sometimes I am successful at that, and sometimes wildly….  not. It’s a good thing I don’t get paid for being a comedian.  Okay, one other area where I might embellish or change things up a bit- if I am actually very angry or upset about something.  It helps me deal with things to write them funny (or at least an attempt at funny).

Sometimes I leave something out because other people involved prefer that.

Q. Why do you blog under a pseudonym?

A.  That’s a hard question to answer.

~There was a very good, sound, and necessary reason when to be mostly anonymous on the internet when I first started doing internetty stuff fifteen years ago. It had to do with an unstable person who liked to track us down and whom we did not want to track us down.    That particularly reason expired a few years ago (not the person, the reason- as the children are grown now, that reason is less compelling).  As it happens, I’m not all that good at it- I could so very much never, not ever, be a spy-  which I think I have mentioned before, but fortunately for us, that person was even less skilled at tracking than I was at hiding, so my attempts at anonymity were good enough for the purpose.

~I don’t think my kids’ future employers should be able to google their names and find my blog telling all about some of their exploits.

~I am involved in another internet project under my real name, and I know my ideas and opinions about a lot of things are in whacked out territory for a lot of people.  I try to keep them out of the other project as much as humanly possible, and I don’t think my comrades in that project should have to be associated with my crazier ideas more than necessary, so I like to keep this blog and that project loosely separated in people’s minds.

~There are a handful of other, less important reasons why I continued to use a pseudonym after the original reason no longer applied-  but I think the bottom line is that it is just that I am more comfortable with the anonymity, even though I also know perfectly well the anonymity was and is mostly an illusion- thin cover at best.  It’s like  making sure I sleep with the closet door shut and no appendages hanging over the edge of the bed. I know perfectly well there are no monsters in my closet or under my bed.  I still shut the closet door and don’t let my hands or feet dangle off the bed.  I’ve thought from time to time about adding my real name to the blog (on purpose, vs the times I’ve done it by accident), but I hyperventilate and get heart palpitations just thinking about it, so I don’t.

Q. Is that true?

A. No, but I think it’s funnier than saying I get a sick, scared feeling in the pit of my stomach and feel like crying, which is true.

Q. Did somebody really ask you about whether or not you really get heart palpitations etc when you think about blogging under your real name?

A. Nope. Neither did anybody really ask me the question I am answering now, but I have been asked all the other questions in this post. (P.S. except the last one or two, which should be obvious when you get there)

Q. What’s up with the Cherub and the FYG?

A. Still waiting on the next appointment for the FYG.  The Cherub had x-rays yesterday and her lungs are clear and pretty, and we all remain baffled about what happened in the first place.  The C-Diff appears to be clearing up, but, as the infectious disease doc reminded us, it’s notoriously difficult to get rid of.  We have to finish off the antibiotics and then watch her to see if it comes back.  Not that we’d actually have to *watch,* you understand.  She still wears a pull up and it will be pretty awfully obvious if the C-Diff returns, and I mean awfully in the worst possible way.

Q. What are the FYG’s plans after graduation?

A. She does want to go to college.  She’s not sure about career path.  The broken leg and all its complications put a crimp in her former plans.  Personally, I think she would make an amazing physical therapist, and I have always loved all the physical therapists we have had to deal with (there have been many)- the things they know are so cool.  I’m pretty sure the FYG’s opinion of that is that if I think PT is so cool, I should go into the field myself.  She has a point there, except that I think she would actually be good at it, and I would not.

Q. When did you change your mind on girls and college?

A. Never. I’ve never been opposed to college for girls.  I just am opposed to it being the default choice, and I hate it when people equate ‘college’ and ‘education’ as though you cannot have one without the other.

Q. What are the FYB’s plans after high school?

A. Right now, I’m not sure any of us knows, and he has three years to decide.  Probably college. He’s talked pretty consistently about the military.

Q. Do you have any special plans after your last two graduate?

A. I’ll have to do more of my own cooking.

Q. What are the Little Boys doing these days?

A. Visiting us on most weekends, planning camping trips with us, and their mother is homeschooling them again.

Q. What happened to the Four Moms?

A. It just sort of petered out.  In retrospect, I think we should have put an expiration date on the project.   We were all busy with various other projects, too, and we just felt like we were saying the same things.

Q. How much longer does the HM have to his degree?

A. That’s kind of complicated.  There are two factors- he could get his Master’s with only a wee bit more time, and he’s trying to decide if that’s worth it.  And he could whack at least several months off his time to his bachelor’s in education if he could get a waiver for part of the program.  I forget the exact details, but I think the deal is his program requires X amount of hours student teaching, but for some reason, this is not supposed to be paid. He already works in the classroom, and several people who should know have told him he can get a waiver to have what he is already doing count toward that student teaching requirement.  The problem is, several other people who also should know say they don’t think that’s possible.

Q. Why did you stop blogging about making your husband’s lunches?  

A. Can I plead the fifth?  Wait, I know- I was worried that it sounded like bragging, so I decided to be humble and stop blogging about it?  No? Not buying it?  Well, it’s probably for the reason you are assuming.


Q. Do you really have PTSD, or did you just diagnose yourself on the internet?

A. I really have it.

After a couple people I know who also have it told me they thought that’s what they were seeing, and after a few internet searches, I finally went to our family doctor and he gave me an official diagnosis about four years ago.  He prescribed several medications- not all at once, one after the other trying to find a good fit for me-  but I didn’t like the way most of them made me feel physically-  sick, dizzy, nauseous.   I did find one helpful when I took it as a half dose- it took the sharp edges off the worst, and it didn’t make me sick, but the doctor wanted to try other things instead of continuing that one, and the other things made me feel awful.

I now self-medicate with K-dramas.

Q. PTSD isn’t funny. Do you think it’s cute to be so flippant about it?

A. No, but this is how I cope and by cope I mean tread water.  I can’t do more.  Talking about it is a trigger. Talking about the biggest event behind it is a trigger (which is why I never do). It doesn’t matter how obliquely I refer to that event, either.  Emotionally, I just can’t.   Things that remind me about what caused it are a trigger. Well, that’s not true.  Nothing ‘reminds’ me of it because I am almost always holding both hands down over a hot geyser threatening to blow. That geyser  is full of memories that do not feel like memories, they feel like current events.  So, more accurately, any time anything that is similar to that event is brought to my attention, that is also a trigger.  Listing triggers is a trigger and I am not being flippant about that.  This paragraph alone has been unbelievably hard to write, and has taken me more time just to type these words than to do the entire rest of the post.

Q. Well.  This is awkward.  What question is anybody supposed to ask after that revelation?  A real conversation stopper, that was.

A. You do realize you’re talking to yourself again, right?  So you can stick any question you want after that revelation.  Nobody here but us chickens, as they say.  Only in this case, it’s only one chicken- Me, Myself and I.

Q. Isn’t that three chickens?

A. Oh, shut up.

Posted in Uncategorized | 17 Comments

April, 1951, My Great-Grandmother’s Journal

4 generations

Just skimming through the first two weeks of April in my great-grandmother’s journal for 1951-

She paid the last installment on her annual church dues, 25.00 (I was astonished- I have never been a member of a church that required dues, is this still a thing?)

She had an ‘x-ray treatment’ for her hand.  (I don’t know why)

She paid some bills, one dollar for electricity on what was then a weekend house (the Rattery), paid 2.34 for water, 4.53 for the phone, and 37 dollars and change for the taxes on the house. The utilities are shockingly low, except for the phone, but I am not sure they were due monthly. She pays another dollar just a couple weeks later for the electricity, so perhaps these bills were due twice a month?

She spent 22 dollars for screens, underwear, and a black petticoat.

She went to Chicago for a conference of some sort (‘wonderful program’), had another x-ray treatment and paid 20 dollars for her two week bill with the doctor, and paid half of her other taxes (102 dollars and change).

Her grandson Philip (my mother’s second youngest cousin) was baptized.  My recently widowed great-grandmother wondered ‘if dad was with us,’ and also wondered about the Philip the baby was named after.  She had dinner with two of her four children (one of her children lived in New Jersey and I think the eldest was in Wyoming by then). She said it was good to have half her family all together and she had much to be thankful for.

Fun fact about the family- two of her children were married to a sibling pair.  The son who lived near Chicago (baby Philip’s father) married a gal from New Jersey, and when her brother came to visit, he fell in love with his brother-in-law’s little sister (and vice versa).  So when the New Jersey in-laws came out for a visit, they took my great-grandmother back to Jersey with them so she could visit her daughter and son in law.  They drove, and stayed in some ‘lovely cabins’ on the way.  They also went the funeral for Ruth. Great-grandmother said she felt sorry for the four children, ‘especially Judy and the youngest boy.’

They arrived late and she stayed with her daughter’s in-laws that night- “Betty was so upset that I wasn’t going to come. Guess I was needed more than I realized.”

Betty had a new baby, and already two or three older boys. Once Great-Grandmother arrived, other than two or three short, once or two sentence entries noting that the boys had grown, the baby was a darling, she had her birthday with Betty’s family (she shares a birthday with her great-great-grand-daughter, Jenny), and the darling baby was christened James at the M.E. church, my great-grandmother had no entries for about ten days- very out of character for her. Those boys must have kept her hopping.

On April 22nd she wrote that they took a long drive around New Jersey and saw lovely homes and all the cherry blossoms at Newark Park were in full bloom.

Her son back home paid her health insurance dues for her (39.50), and she finally headed home. She said she hated to leave, but she knew she was needed at home as well. She said the two week absence had marked such a change in the babies at home- the little baby was so fat, and his big sister had a ‘whole new list of words at the end of her tongue.’

Nothing profound, but every time I read her entries I am taken back to the nursing home she was in when I was a small girl.  I have a picture in my mind of visiting with her over the top of the rails on her bed. I remember feeling a sense of awe, shyness, and strangeness when we visited. Who was this kindly but mysterious being?  She seemed removed from me and all I knew by a chasm fathoms deep and miles wide.

Reading her journal entries makes me feel closer to her than I ever did standing on a chair on the side of her bed, just short of five decades ago.

Posted in grandpa's scrapbook | 6 Comments

Cubed Radish Kimchi- Kkakdugi (깍두기)

The color is a little bit off because of the lighting, but yes, this 깍두기 should be redder than it is. It will be more red tomorrow:

Kkakdugi (깍두기- cubed radish kimchi) close up


In spite of the lack of red color and the error I made in seasoning, I had a piece of this 깍두기 minutes after it was mixed and it still made my tongue very, very happy.

Kkakdugi 깍두기

My son made the 깍두기 following my directions, based on the recipe here.

The 깍두기 is good, but it will be better next time. Unfortunately, I did not have four pounds of radishes, I only had 3 pounds. When I did the math to adjust the recipe I didn’t figure right on the salt or the red pepper, so there’s a touch too much salt, and much too little red pepper. But after looking at the pictures above and chewing a still very delicious fresh piece of 깍두기, I had him add some Sriracha sauce to the jar and that should be exactly the missing taste it needed.

I like this fresh, I like it lightly fermented, and I love it minced, fried, and mixed in with Kimchijeon
(김치전).  I am ridiculously excited, and don’t know why it took so long to get this made.

Well, besides our nightmarish January, February, and March, I mean.

I have 3 pounds of freshly made 깍두기 on my counter, and I feel like a queen.  And I have included the word 깍두기 in this post more than half a dozen times just because I could, and that makes me happy, too.

Posted in cookery | Leave a comment

At the Creek

Saturday we went to the creek. It was 80 degrees outside. Today, there was at least an inch of snow on the ground.

I prefer Saturday.

nature study 3 kids

piggy back 2 piggy back new son-in-law

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

In Nevada

If you haven’t already, watch this video.

And read this about inside sources warning that the Feds are planning a raid on the Bundy home:

Not only is the BLM not actually backing off of Cliven Bundy, Sheriff Richard Mack of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association has revealed stunning information: on Ben Swann’s radio program, Mack said that he has received intelligence from multiple, credible sources inside the BLM and the Las Vegas Metro that there is “no question” that the federal government is planning a raid on the Bundy home and the homes of their children who live on the property.

According to Mack, the so-called retreat was nothing more than theatrics. “It was a ploy to get people to back off, to get people out of the way. They weren’t expecting us to get this amount of people here. They were surprised by the numbers and so they wanted a way to get us out of here. This was a ploy to get us out of here and then they’re going after the Bundys.”  Mack said that when he was at the Bundy ranch on Saturday there were an estimated 600 to 800 protesters present when federal agents were releasing the cattle.

Read more:

Follow @BenSwann_ on Twitter



The U.S. federal government owns and manages more than one-fourth of the nation’s acreage. The bulk of it rests in the West. In fact, more than half of the West is federally owned. Yet the acts that enabled states to be a part of the nation promised transfer of public domain title.” – See more at:


More here- was there nearly a bloodbath, a la Waco?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

GMO Foods Possibly Linked to Rise in Gluten Disorders

I have been kind of on the fence about GMO foods.  Well…

If I am given a choice between GMO and non-GMO, I choose non- unless there’s a huge price savings.  But I haven’t gone out of my way to look for non-Gmo foods the same way I will go out of my way for raw milk, whole milk yogurt, seaweed, good miso, or kimchi, and I will pay more for most of these things as well.

I would rather not see our crops reduced to monocultures dependent on the goodwill and functions of a couple of corporations who put a patent on all the seeds from those monocultural crops. But I don’t write letters to my representatives or blog much about it.

I have viewed with skepticism the claim that scientific research had been done and had conclusively proven there was absolutely no difference between a GMO food and its natural equivalent.  That’s ridiculous, since we also know that we don’t actually know all there is to know about plants, seeds, foods, and nutrition.  But I only look at the headlines of the GMO articles I see posted, I haven’t taken the time to read most of them.  Not the way I do read every link I find about vaccines (yes, pro and con), breastmilk, homebirth, and G-Dragon (oh, wait, sorry.  Don’t know how the K-Pop culture reference slipped in there).

But I haven’t expended much energy on the topic.

But this was interesting, and worth further research and consideration:


In soy, corn, cotton (oil), canola (oil), sugar from sugar beets, zucchini, yellow squash, Hawaiian papaya, and alfalfa, “Bt-toxin, glyphosate, and other components of GMOs, are linked to five conditions that may either initiate or exacerbate gluten-related disorders,” according to Smith.


It’s the BT-toxin in genetically modified foods which kills insects by “puncturing holes in their cells.” The toxin is present in ‘every kernel’ of Bt-corn and survives human digestion, with a 2012 study confirming that it punctures holes in human cells as well.


The GMO-related damage was linked to five different areas: Intestinal permeability, imbalanced gut bacteria, immune activation and allergic response, impaired digestion, and damage to the intestinal wall.


The IRT release also indicated that glyphosate, a weed killer sold under the brand name ‘Roundup’ was also found to have a negative effect on intestinal bacteria. GMO crops contain high levels of the toxin at harvest.


“Even with minimal exposure, glyphosate can significantly reduce the population of beneficial gut bacteria and promote the overgrowth of harmful strains,” the report found.

Read more at the link.


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Your Doctor Is Not a Nutrition Expert

I have a friend with a tube fed baby.  The baby has been fed with formula, I think some breastmilk when Mama can get it.  Baby is now past the age doctors generally recommend formula continue.

So Mama did some research (she has a degree in the field of nutrition as well, but more importantly, she is smart and able to understand what she reads), and created a meal plan for him that she can puree in a vitamix.  At their regular meeting with the GI specialist (gastroenterologist, a doctor who specializes in stomach, esophagus, etc), my friend told the GI what she was going to do.

The expert, and I use that term scornfully, objected:

“I’m going to advise against it because those vitamins and minerals are already in his formula… I mean they make it that way for a reason…
…. I mean there’s all these myths about breast milk being better for babies, and I just don’t see how it’s any better than formula, I mean really… and the convenience..” 

“You really need to just keep him on the formula and think about maybe talking to a nutrition expert before you start researching this blenderized stuff… seriously, it will be incredibly time consuming and it’s really not what’s best for your child.”

I’m pretty sure my friend’s eyes bugged out of her head so far they nearly fell on the floor.  She explained a few things, and concluded with:

“I am a nutrition expert, I’m his mother, we are starting this diet.”

But here’s the thing that worries her ( and me).  This specialist works at a large, renowned children’s hospital.  She deals with tube fed babies and children on a regular basis.  How many other mothers has she given this wretched, totally unscientific advice to?  And how many of them listened to her because she’s the doctor, after all.?

Don’t go all emotional about the breastmilk vs formula issues here.  That’s a distraction.  Three of our seven were formula fed, two because I didn’t get them until they were well beyond breastfeeding age, one because my milk dried due to my own ignorance, a deathly ill child, and a lack of an adequate support system.  Our second grandson had to be on formula when he spent his first 41 days in the NICU, and on a couple occasions after he came home (tube-fed as well).

While I do wish it were otherwise, none of that negates the fact that breastmilk actually is healthier than formula, they are not the same, and formula is merely artificial baby milk.  They cannot duplicate everything that is in breastmilk and distill it into formula because they still don’t even know everything that is in breastmilk or what it does.  Breastmilk also changes with the age of your baby and even when your baby is sick- something formula cannot do.  It’s just incredibly, fantastically, gob-smackingly ignorant and ill informed for a medical doctor to claim they are the same, or that formula is ‘made that way for a reason.’

Formula has corn syrup in it, for the love of all that is crunchy. I have to wonder if she has ever even read the ingredients on a can of formula (she has no children, by choice, this doctor) yet, she felt qualified to state, as an expert opinion, that formula was just the same as breastmilk.  This hubris based upon absolutely nothing at all other than a degree in a completely unrelated field and no reading at all in the field of nutrition is regrettably common.

My friend shared this in a discussion with a few other crunchy mamas, and one of them told us about a microbiology professor who also works for the CDC who recently advised a class of students that formula is the equivalent of breastmilk.

The Striderling’s doctors all told his mother that it was no big deal to give him formula instead of breastmilk- and then we learned a year later that what he actually had included a genetic mutation that would have made formula fatal.   I’ve mentioned it before, but their totally wrong diagnosis was a diagnosis that was actual malpractice, since the information they needed for a correct diagnosis was actually in his very first blood test when he was just a day or two old.  When they found out they were wrong, they went back and looked- and there it was.

Science done right is always right, but scientists do not always do it right and they are very, very far from always being right themselves.

We need to lose this cult of the expert.  It doesn’t do the so-called experts any good either. If more parents had challenged Dr. GI on her bizarre insistence (bordering on a religious claim) that they “make formula that way for a reason,” and therefore, it must be as good as if not better than breastmilk, then she might have been challenged to do some additional reading and studying on her own and she would have, one hopes forlornly, learned something.

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments

Scientific Ideas Ready For Retirement: The Mouse Model

walter crane mouse

Professor of medicine and director of the MDS Centre, Columbia University, New York

An obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed in cancer research is that mouse models do not mimic human disease well and are essentially worthless for drug development. We cured acute leukaemia in mice in 1977 with drugs that we are still using in exactly the same dose and duration today in humans with dreadful results. Imagine the artificiality of taking human tumour cells, growing them in lab dishes, then transferring them to mice whose immune systems have been compromised so they cannot reject the implanted tumours, and then exposing these “xenografts” to drugs whose killing efficiency and toxicity profiles will then be applied to treat human cancers. The pitfalls of such an entirely synthesized non-natural model system have also plagued other disciplines.

A recent scientific paper showed that all 150 drugs tested at the cost of billions of dollars in human trials of sepsis failed because the drugs had been developed using mice. Unfortunately, what looks like sepsis in mice turned out to be very different than what sepsis is in humans.

You must read the rest. I find the reasons for continuing the mouse model research particularly telling:

Robert Weinberg of the Whitehead Institute at MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] has provided the best answer. He was quoted in the press, noting: “[There are] two reasons. First, there’s no other model with which to replace that poor mouse. Second, the FDA [the US Food and Drugs Administration] has created inertia because it continues to recognise these models as the gold standard for predicting the utility of drugs.”

There is a third reason related more to the frailties of human nature. Too many eminent laboratories and illustrious researchers have devoted entire lives to studying malignant diseases in mouse models and they are the ones reviewing one another’s grants and deciding where the NIH money [US government medical research funding] gets spent. They are not prepared to accept that mouse models are basically valueless for most of cancer therapeutics.

Raza focuses on cancer research because that is her field, and on mice because they are most often used in her field. One suspects much of what she says is applicable to other diseases and other lab animals as well.

One problem with lab mice is that they are bred and raised as couch potatoes:

“I began to realize that the ‘control’ animals used for research studies throughout the world are couch potatoes,” he tells me. It’s been shown that mice living under standard laboratory conditions eat more and grow bigger than their country cousins. At the National Institute on Aging, as at every major research center, the animals are grouped in plastic cages the size of large shoeboxes, topped with a wire lid and a food hopper that’s never empty of pellets. This form of husbandry, known as ad libitum feeding, is cheap and convenient since animal technicians need only check the hoppers from time to time to make sure they haven’t run dry. Without toys or exercise wheels to distract them, the mice are left with nothing to do but eat and sleep—and then eat some more.

That such a lifestyle would make rodents unhealthy, and thus of limited use for research, may seem obvious, but the problem appears to be so flagrant and widespread that few scientists bother to consider it. Ad libitum feeding and lack of exercise are industry-standard for the massive rodent-breeding factories that ship out millions of lab mice and rats every year and fuel a $1.1-billion global business in living reagents for medical research. When Mattson made that point in Atlanta, and suggested that the control animals used in labs were sedentary and overweight as a rule, several in the audience gasped. His implication was clear: The basic tool of biomedicine—and its workhorse in the production of new drugs and other treatments—had been transformed into a shoddy, industrial product. Researchers in the United States and abroad were drawing the bulk of their conclusions about the nature of human disease—and about Nature itself—from an organism that’s as divorced from its natural state as feedlot cattle or oven-stuffer chickens.

Think about the implications of this for every single piece of labrat tested science you thought was proven. (One report from 2008 found that lab rats and lab mice account for 4/5 of all animals used in animal testing in the EU that year):

Standard lab rats and lab mice are insulin-resistant, hypertensive, and short-lived, he and his co-authors explained. Having unlimited access to food makes the animals prone to cancer, type-2 diabetes, and renal failure; it alters their gene expression in substantial ways; and it leads to cognitive decline. And there’s reason to believe that ragged and rundown rodents will respond differently—abnormally, even—to experimental drugs.


That’s the drawback of the modern lab mouse. It’s cheap, efficient, and highly standardized—all of which qualities have made it the favorite tool of large-scale biomedical research. But as Mattson points out, there’s a danger to taking so much of our knowledge straight from the animal assembly line. The inbred, factory-farmed rodents in use today—raised by the millions in germ-free barrier rooms, overfed and understimulated and in some cases pumped through with antibiotics—may be placing unseen constraints on what we know and learn.

“This is important for scientists,” says Mattson, “but they don’t think about it at all.”

They don’t think about it at all. But, science! That’s almost a direct quote from somebody who was trying to convince me about something or other- the what is neither here nor there. The point is that yes, science is great, it’s lovely, I love it (really, I do), but it’s also done by scientists, who are human and not demigods.

Raza (quoted at the top of the post) works with cancer. Clifton E. Barry, III, is the government’s top researcher on Tuberculosis, and he’s noted problems with the mouse model as well.

The process of drug discovery has been carried out in the same way for decades. You start by testing a new compound in a Petri dish, to find out whether it can slow the growth of a particular bacterium in culture. That gives you the smallest dose that has an effect, known as the minimum inhibitory concentration, or “MIC”—the first M. Then you move to a living animal: Does the compound have any effect on the course of disease in a lab mouse? If so, you’ve cleared the second M, and you’re ready to test the compound in the third M, man. Each step leads to the next: No drug can be tested in man until it’s been shown to work in mice, and no drug is tested in mice until it’s been shown to have a reasonable effect in the dish. “The bad part of that,” says Barry, “is that no part of it is predictive:” A new compound that succeeds in the dish might flunk out in the mouse, and something that can cure tuberculosis in a mouse could wash out in people.


The fact that nothing gets to humans today without first passing the mouse test, says Barry, “has cost us a new generation of medicines.”

He doesn’t say so, but Raza alluded to it- this obviously means the converse is true- drugs that did pass the mouse text have made it to humans- and then failed.

Back to tuberculosis:

Indeed, there’s been no real breakthrough in treating tuberculosis—no major pharmaceutical discoveries—since the early 1970s. The first antibiotic to have any success against the tuberculosis mycobacterium, the first that could penetrate its waxy coating, was discovered (and tested in guinea pigs) in the early 1940s. The best vaccine we have was first used in humans in 1921. (It works pretty well against severe childhood forms of the disease, but less so otherwise[emph. mine- dhm].) And the closest thing we have to a miracle cure—the multidrug cocktail that doesn’t work against every strain and requires a six-month course of treatment with severe side effects—was finalized during the Nixon administration. Since then, almost every new idea for how to treat TB has come from experiments on lab mice. These have given us enough new data to drown the infected in a tsunami of graphs and tables, to bury them in animal carcasses. Yet we’ve made little progress—OK, no progress at all—in treating the human disease. Tuberculosis causes more than 2 million deaths every year, and we’re using the same medicines we had in 1972.

One major problem with the mouse model—and the source of its spotty track record in the clinic—is well-known among those in the field: The form of TB that mice happen to get isn’t all that much like our own.

Emphasis mine, again.

Why? Basically, we keep doing this because we started doing it in the first place. Because we started doing it in the first place, government grants, government contracts, and industries worked together to create a situation that feeds back into itself, requiring that we continue to do things this way:

The feedback loop began more than 60 years ago, when federal investment in biomedicine was growing at an exponential rate. To eradicate the last vestiges of infectious disease, win the war on cancer, and otherwise mobilize the nation’s resources for an industrial revolution in science, the government needed a more streamlined research model—a lab animal, or a set of lab animals, that could be standardized and mass-produced in centralized facilities, and distributed across the country for use in all kinds of experiments. An efficient use of federal research funds demanded an efficient organism for research.

In part because of their size and breeding capacity, and in part because they’d been used in laboratories since the turn of the century, the rat and mouse were selected for this role. As major research grants began to flow from Washington in the 1950s and 1960s, private rodent breeders picked up huge contracts with government-funded labs.

A few researchers are moving to other animals for research, but it’s hard, it’s expensive (the article says it’s almost like changing your religion), and it’s difficult to convince other scientists that it’s necessary.

It’s not clear how one might prove, in a satisfying and scientific way, that any given lab animal is better than another. We can’t go back and spend the last 50 years studying monkeys instead of mice, and then count how many new drugs came as a result. The history of biomedicine runs in one direction only: There are no statistics to compare; it’s an experiment that can’t be repeated.

One last quote, but you really should read both articles (the first is short, the second quite long):

Assembly-line rats and mice have become the standard vehicles of basic research and preclinical testing across the spectrum of disease. It’s a one-size-fits-all approach to science. What if that one size were way too big?

Think about how this information applies to other topics as well.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment