College not the great equalizer

Via Instapundit: 

“Whether a student graduates or not seems to depend today almost entirely on just one factor — how much money his or her parents make. To put it in blunt terms: Rich kids graduate; poor and working-class kids don’t.” So encouraging poor and working-class kids to go to college may leave them without a degree, but with debt, and thus worse off than if they hadn’t gone at all.

It’s not that college is always a bad thing.  It’s that it should not be the default position, and not all college degrees are equally rewarding.  And loans for college should definitely NOT be the default position.  

Beware of debt.  Work hard, save money, study hard, get good grades, consider doing your general ed requirements at at a community college at home, look into CLEP credits, consider trade school instead- and continue to read and study on your own, with friends, with local programs, online.  

Education is a lifelong endeavor and college is far from the only way to do that.

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Spring Recipes


Lactofermented dilly beans

Harvard beets- we have a bunch of frozen, organic beets in the freezer, and I am the only one who loves beets as they are.  However, years ago I used to make harvard beets once in a while, and my husband liked them that way, so I think we’ll try it again.  I especially love pickled beets on salads (with sunflower seeds)- and here’s a way to quickly get that pickled flavor. (scroll down here for a yummy way to use the greens – or, if you have chickens, give the greens to the hens).

This kale recipe (a quick stirfry with currants in it) is delicious and once you gather the ingredients, it’s only a few minutes from pan to table.  Or drink your kale. I bought a large bag of already torn and ready to serve kale leaves at our discount grocer’s last week, and have had kale in a green smoothy almost every day for the last week.  I don’t measure- I put a mug of green tea in the blender, add a couple huge spoonfuls of whole milk yogurt, a handful or two each of fresh spinach and kale, and then top it off with frozen fruit, mostly berries (I’ve used a blend of strawberries, raspberries, frozen banana, an apple an avocado, and rhubarb- not all at once), and a dropper of berry stevia (optional)

Blueberry soup is just as good made with other berries, so whatever is in season and thus more affordable right now.

Corn- it’s on sale in our area right now.  We like corn in a chili corn salad that we use as a dip with corn chips.  Be sure to choose the right sort of onions- the last time the FYG made this for company it was delicious, some of the onion bites were a little hot for our guests.   There are a couple of different recipes using corn at that link.

You can use just about any crunchy vegetables in these easy veggie tortilla wraps- any combo of  thinly sliced or grated carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, jicama, bok choy stems, chinese cabbage, zuchini- it’s a very flexible recipe.

Noodle fritters are a good way to use up odds and ends of leftover vegetables (and meats) in the fridge.

Garden vegetable pizza uses crescent rolls as the crust, and then you top it with a cream cheese/dill spread, and add all kinds of yummy fresh, diced, chopped, or grated vegetables to the top of that.

vintage illustration eggplant

vintage illustration eggplant

Eggplant- Slice in rounds. Toss in a bowl with a bit of salt and let sit for half an hour. Rinse. Drain, and pat dry, or, if you have time, set a weight of some sort on them to press more liquid out (I put them on a broiler pan over the sink and then put a cookie sheet on top of them and a heavy bowl of water on that). Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with Italian herbs and a bit of parmesan cheese and broil for five minutes or less- just until golden.

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vintage black and white roosterThe Boy put in long, hard hours last fall and early this spring turning one of the stalls in the stable into a chicken coop and fencing an area for a chicken run in the horse pasture.

Somebody gave him four laying hens and two bags of feed, so we’ve been getting eggs for a couple weeks now.  They are good layers.  I’m eating two of those eggs for breakfast as I type (along with a green smoothie made of kale, spinach, raspberries, strawberries, and Korean green tea).

He is ordering chicks this week.

We’ve done chickens before.  We had them for about four years when we lived in Nebraska, but that was before he was born.  Then we had them for about two years in Colorado, but that was when he was a toddler/preschoolers.


His big sisters say that’s why he’s the only one who wants to do chickens again.

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Kindle Deals and Steals: Cookery Books

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Standard disclaimer: These books are listed as free or at the prices posted below at the time I created this post.  Amazon can change that at any time.  Double check the price before you click ‘buy’ at Amazon.

Transparent Money Grubbing: I don’t make anything from the free books, but if you click one of my links and buy something else while you are at Amazon, I will get a small percentage of that sale (it can run from the occasional nothing at all – for penny books- and is more often from 4% to 7.5% of the sale, depending on various factors).

book square  This one is 2.99- Paleo To Go: Quick & Easy Mobile Meals for Busy People on the Go! (Paleo Diet Solution Series)

Blurb from Amazon: I know you’re busy so I want to cut straight to the chase… There are a TON of Paleo books out there. You’re checking this one out so I’m sure you’ve bought others.
That means you’re most likely familiar with the basics, you’ve read the same rehashed definitions, explanations, and background in all the other Paleo books and what you’re really looking here for is practical recipes and new ideas to maintain your new (or maybe not-so-new) Paleo lifestyle – am I right?

I mean, it’s a LIFESTYLE, you shouldn’t be stuck eating garden salads, celery sticks, and flavorless sautéed chicken breasts for the rest of your life!

Healthy doesn’t have to be bland or boring…

You want yummy recipes, that don’t take a ton of work, and most importantly that you can take with you.

WHY, because humans are mobile!

We don’t stay in one place all day long (neither did our Paleolithic ancestors) so our food has got to travel right along with us.

Thirteen reviewers loved it- it has mostly 5 star reviews and a couple 4 star so far.

book square1.99- this one looks really interesting:
Salt Block Cooking

This is the definitive text on Himalayan salt blocks, written by the man who wrote the definitive text on salt. Enough with salting your food—now it’s time to food your salt!

“Mark Bitterman knows more about salt than anyone else on the planet. If you’ve ever wondered what to do with those handsome slabs of Himalayan salt you see at cookware shops, Salt Block Cooking will inspire you with wildly innovative uses you’ve never dreamed of, from cocktails to candy, from curing to grilling, and from ceviche to pizza. Along the way, you’ll learn the half-billion-year history of the only food that starts as a rock.” ––Steven Raichlen, author of the Barbecue! Bible series and host of Primal Grill on PBS

“Cooking on salt blocks will blow your mind, jump-start your creative process, make your food taste better, delight your friends, and cut down on the time you spend cleaning pots and pans. And what better guide for your new experience than Mark Bitterman, a man who has forgotten more about salt cookery than I will ever learn.” ––Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel

book squarePaleo Crock Pot: Simple and Scrumptious Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes (Gluten Free Cookbooks)
Also 1.99: Paleo slow cooker meals do not have to be the same old boring stews – in this book you will find exciting ways to prepare a variety of healthy, tasty and appealing Paleo recipes for every occasion – from weekday family dinners to elegant meals for entertaining. Best Selling Author, Jennifer Golden, has put together diverse, great tasting recipes that will appeal to everyone, earn you plenty of compliments and most importantly, save you a lot of time. Take a look as some of the recipes you will find inside:

Chipotle Pulled Pork
Sweet, tender, healthy, spicy and juicy – all at the same time! And with the added bonus that you need less than 5 minutes to throw this dish together and let the slow cooker do the rest. There will be no leftovers – guaranteed!

Countryside Chicken with Bacon and Yams
In this perfectly balanced and flavorful dish, the lean turkey bacon compliments the earthiness of the yams and to make it even healthier, it also features kale, one of the superfoods!

Coconut Cream Fish Chowder
An incredibly easy to make one pot recipe yet exceptionally creamy and yummy, it will be an instant hit with your family. For an authentic New England taste, add some bacon, clams, mussels, and scallops.

Root Vegetable Curry
If you are looking for an inspiration for the perfect weeknight dinner, go no further. This colorful, rich, and satisfying curry has such deep flavors that no one will even notice it has no meat inside.

And Many, Many More!

book square .99 for this one: Per Pound Grocery Shopping

It sounds to me like this is less of a cookbook with recipes you can copy at home, and more of an ideas book on what to buy, how to choose it, and ways to use it in general.

Here’s one Amazon review: “If you know how to cook from scratch and have ever lived on a budget then this book is basic common sense. If you are younger, never learned to cook from scratch, or have never been on a tight budget it is a great basic guide on how to do so gluten free. The only thing missing is some basic recipes to get the beginner started. I know there are links to recipes but for someone inexperienced at cooking from scratch it would have been nice if the book were more made more user friendly by including some easy to prepare recipes from scratch that use basic inexpensive ingredients that would be available on a limited budget.”

One of the most negative reviews complained that the author uses salt (the reviewer says “Salt can be very harmful to our health and should only be used sparingly, if at all.”) as well as butter and margarine. Any reviewer of a cookery book who thinks salt is always completely bad for us is a reviewer to be laughed at.

Here’s a more positive review:
“Let me start off with a minor disclaimer….I’m a big fan of the Gluten Free Cooking School and Mary Frances. I’ve read most of her work and find it to be consistently helpful to me in the kitchen. I highly recommend looking up her other work, especially if you’re gluten free. Her information can be a lifesaver in the event of a new gluten free diet! Also, it’s concise, well-written, easy-to-read and never preachy!

This is a neat little ebook that gives you some serious bang for your buck! Not only does she give you a very detailed description of a grocery store savings strategy – she includes some great basic cooking knowledge as well.

Times can get tough and you may need to implement a QUICK and BIG adjustment to your grocery budget. This ebook provides the footprint for how to do that. Buying these cheap – but not heavily processed – items creates a lower budget but also a cooking problem for many. For example, buying a whole chicken is a lot cheaper per pound than buying just the parts. The author not only tells you how to purchase your cheaper groceries, but also the basics of how to prepare them as well. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way to cutting the costs in your kitchen.

Without a doubt, if you purchase this ebook, you will make up it’s cost in your grocery store savings ten-fold on the first trip to the store!”

we love free books


The books below are all free at the time of listing.  This can change.  Double check before you click on the buy button at Amazon.

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Frugal Cooking for Simple Living (90+ Recipes)

It sounds like the way the recipes are written, this is not ideal for beginners (add flour to thicken cookie dough until it drops from a spoon was one example a reviewer gave. That reviewer also said oven temps were often not provided).

Here’s another review:
Mother’s Homemade Noodles
Poor Family’s Bread
Sweet-Milk Doughnuts
Tomato-Cuke Layer Cake Salad
Home-Style Fried Mac and Cheese
Meatless “Meat” Loaf
Potato and Ham Patties
Rice and Beef Casserole
Breakfast Dessert Rice
Hermit Cookies
Chocolate Fudge Cake
Sweet Frozen Custard

There is an interactive table of contents making navigation easy.

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Green Smoothie Recipes For Weight Loss and Detox Book

The book 40 Green Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss and Detox is a collection of green smoothie recipes for those who seek an effective weight loss program that does not put a strain on their health. It is a great companion for dieters who want to lose a few inches and pounds while enjoying their journey to a healthy body.

The book contains 40 different green smoothie recipes that incorporate only greens and fruits, those that use non-dairy milk and yogurt and grain-filled mixes for an indulgent way of losing weight with green smoothies.

Each recipe also offers recipe variations and a note explaining the weight loss benefit of key ingredients used to make the reader better understand why each fruit or vegetable is ideal for losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Recipes are easy to follow to encourage even a smoothie newbie to begin and carry on a healthy and effective way to lose weight.

The book 40 Green Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss is ideal for those who want to start on a juice diet and even for those who are already juicing for weight loss and want to keep it healthy all the way.
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The Detox Factor: 101 Tips & Tricks To Lose Weight Without Dieting! (Detox Cleanse Book)

Lots of positive reviews. Here’s one of them:
Angie Newson has done a fantastic job of compiling these 101 detoxifying lifestyle habits in her book ‘Detox Cleanse’. Some of them require more action on the reader’s part than others, but I’d be surprised if after implementing only a fraction of them, you didn’t feel healthier and more energized. The list is well researched and the writing style relaxed and fun. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for practical advice on detoxing and cleansing!

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101 Quinoa Recipes: Today’s Superfood, Facts, Health Benefits, Weight Loss (Today’s Superfoods)

Quinoa, Today’s Superfood

Learn how to use these seed of a grain “mother grain” in your everyday cooking. Plentiful and easy recipes that will help you incorporate this wonderful Superfood in your daily life.

What you will Learn:

• Tons of Recipes and ways to incorporate in daily eats
• Recipes for Breakfast
• Recipes for Lunch
• Recipes for Dinner
• Recipes for Salads
• Recipes for Desserts
• Recipes for Soups
•• History of Quinoa
• Nutritional Value and Benefits

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Paleo Express Quick and Easy Recipes for Paleo Moms: Ready in 15 Minutes or Less!

Paleo diet guidelines mandate real, unprocessed, and nutrition-rich food ingredients. That’s fine by us!

This is a guide for all the busy Moms out there who don’t want to sacrifice good taste in their food choices because of their busy schedule. The recipes in this book are EXPRESS, in the fastest sense of the word! Thanks to the recipes in this book, you can literally have your cake (a Paleo cake, that is) and eat it too! You can prepare these quick and easy meals in 15 minutes or less!

In this book you will find:

• Collection of 35 delicious and nutritious choices!
• Quick and easy meals that can be prepared within 15 minutes
• Breakfasts, appetizers, soups and salads, wraps, dinner, and dessert recipes
• Serving sizes and nutrition information for each recipe
• Recipes for every meal of the day.
• Gluten-free guidelines are followed

Grab your copy today!

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Probiotic Recipes – A Healthy Diet & Lifestyle with Probiotics

Blurb: Probiotics are a distinctive food which is key to living a balanced diet and lifestyle. The most common misconception is that probiotics are only found in yogurts. There are plenty of sources for probiotics one fairly unknown source is pomegranates. Probiotics can be acquired in a variety of delicious foods from yogurt, cheese, kefir, sour cream.

Inside You’ll Learn
- Variety of Easy Probiotic Recipes + Select Advanced Recipes
- Probiotic health benefits
- A history of Probiotics

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Paleo Grilling Quick and Easy Paleo Recipes for the Grill

Blurb: Grilling doesn’t have to be limited to burgers, dogs, and soda! We can stay true to the Paleo lifestyle and maintain a lean, strong, and energized body by eating healthy on the grill – both in and outdoors – while enjoying the grilling experience and ensuring that we reap the full health benefits that are often attributed to the Paleo diet, such as: Increased energy, reduced allergies, better night’s sleep, healthy blood sugar levels, clearer skin, and stronger teeth.

As followers of the Paleo diet, we have a unique opportunity here with grilling. Grilling the Paleo way produces lots of nutritious and great tasting dishes. In this book you’ll find great recipes for:

• super-delicious and healthy Paleo meals that can be quickly prepared on the grill
• refreshing, delicious, and health-boosting beverages to accompany your meals
• grilling recipes for: vegetables, beef and lamb, chicken, pork, seafood, and desserts
• marinades and rubs
• basic information and tips about grill and grilling

Paleo Grilling means healthy food with the great taste of grilling any time during the year. Eating right has never tasted so good! Explore the variety of options we have made available in this book and spice up your options by creating your own tasteful combinations using the marinades and rubs that are included.

The sun is out! Grab this book and hit the grill; You’re in for a treat!

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Anti Inflammatory Diet: How to Fight Inflammation with Diet, Slow Aging, and Eliminate Pain (Anti Inflammatory Diet Guide – Control Inflammation, Beat Disease, Get Healthy)

One of the several 5 star reviews:
What a wonderful discovery when I found this helpful book on Amazon in Kindle form and on sale for free today! Even if it was not free, I still would have paid for it. This book is the most helpful book on Anti Inflammatory foods that I have ever read. There is first a section on NO NO foods that cause inflammation and then there is a section on HEALING FOODS that begin to heal inflammation or fight it in the first place.

That old saying You are what you eat – this is so true. Since I have been following the suggestions in this book especially about the importance of eating fish, whole grains, soy, low fat dairy, eating tomatoes and more, my Gum Disease is better, my Psoriasis is better, and also my shoulder pains better. By eating these healing foods, they have acted like medicine for my body.

This is a must read book if you are concerned about your health and have health problems.books border black and white

Infused: 26 Spa Inspired Natural Vitamin Waters (Cleansing Fruit Infused Water Recipe Book)

This helpful book is chockfull of great ideas on how to live a more healthy existence. It is apparent that both authors are very health conscious and have an “unquenchable thirst for naturally infused water”. Needless to say, they have definitely done their research by noting the differences and advantages between commercially purchased vitamin water versus the benefits of making your own.

As with any homemade recipes, the preparer of the recipe has control over the ingredients. As noted by the authors….genetically modified foods are rampant so they stress the importance of using organic products. They also stress the use of purified water over water treated with fluoride and give several reasons why. Both authors encourage the use of natural spring water or water purified through reverse osmosis in all of the suggested recipes.

After quite an extensive description of the positive effects of using homemade vitamin infused water…26 fruit packed recipes are given stating the health benefits of the ingredients in each recipe. There are several pictures of delicious looking, cooling glasses of infused vitamin water to wet your appetite which accompany each easy to prepare recipe. To add to these delightful quaffs, the authors have creatively dubbed each recipe with refreshing names such as…Clean Machine…Rest & Digest….Alive & Thrive etc. Each recipe also describes the food value of the fruits used and the vitamin content and their respective benefits in promoting good health.

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Coconut Oil Nutrition Book: 30 Coconut Oil Recipes And 130 Applications For Weight Loss, Hair Loss, Beauty and Health (Coconut Oil Recipes, Lower Cholesterol, Hair Loss, Heart Disease, Diabetes)

Coconut oil has recently become ‘the ultimate cure’ for many people all over the world incuding ‘massive’ kindle publishers. I have seen thousands of ebooks called ‘coconut cure’ or something similar with a word ‘cure’ in it, haha, that were just a repetition of something that can be easily found on-line and so I was a bit sceptical when I saw this book. But now after reading it I can tell you I recommend it, let me just mention a few reasons why:
- The author is passionate about the topic and it is not another coconut book that reads like wikipedia( thanks Lord for that!)
- The author shares his personal experiences as for healthy lifestyle and lifestyle transformation
- The recipes are extremely well-written( just like the whole book), well-explained and really engaging
- There are many recipes that I have never even heard of( even though I am aroma therapist and spa therapist and work with plenty of oils everyday- I did learn a lot from this book) and the author really did a great job on researching some info that can’t be just learned from our old uncle google.

Overall, a fantastic read, really informative and I will check out more work from this author.His remarks on healthy nutrition were just brilliant! This book is not only about coco:)!

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Freezer Meals: 39 Gluten Free Meals From Freezer To Crockpot Plus Shopping List To Save Time And Money-Cook On A Budget And Eliminate Gluten Converting … Freezer Bag Cooking, Freezer Crockpot Meals)

Review from Amazon:
I love this book! It has the recipes for gluten free foods first of all.Then it also has how to prepare them for freezing. This is a great way to store food that is ready to put in the crock pot. Talk about easy! It’s so handy because you always have something ready to go. The book has the recipes which are great, then how to freeze them properly as well as when to take them out of the freezer so that they will be ready to be prepared in the right time frame. Very good recipe collection and instructions.

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Unravelling Paleo: Beginners Guide to Paleo & Interviews with Robb Wolf, Dr. Loren Cordain & Nell Stephenson & Where to find Hundreds of Paleo Recipes for Free! (Unravelling Paleo Series)

Amazon review: It doen’t get better than this. This book has All you need to know about the Paleo diet- just like it says in the title. Literally, Paleo for kids, diabetes, heart disease, weight loss, saving money..its all in there and easy to understand and implement.Then they show you where to find free Paleo recipes and then -three of the world’s leading experts interviewed.. Really, what else could one need?

My favourite section was the one where several fitness plans for Paleo dieters are discussed. I had always wondered what exercises are recommended on the Paleo diet. Also, the list of permitted and disallowed foods comes handy. I loved the interviews as well, the one with Dr Loren Cordain is very informative and the others are interesting as well.

I highly recommended this book, Good job by the author, Thanks

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Paleo Smoothies: 33 Delicious Gluten Free Smoothie Recipes For Weight Loss And a Healthy Lifestyle (Weight Loss Plan Series)

81 pages. 11 5 star reviews, one 4 star, no others.

Author’s blurb excerpt:
In This Book I’ll Show You:

-Why Paleo Smoothies are great for Weight Loss (and Weight Maintenance!)
-33 Tasty Paleo Recipes great for Weight Loss, Detox, and keeping your body Healthy every day!
-How to make the Paleo approach easier!
-Important facts about some of the ingredients you’d like to know.
-Planning and Preparation – how to get started fast!
-How to maintain your motivation, finally lose the extra pounds and be happy with a Sexy Body!

Table of Contents:

Introduction Why Paleo?

Chapter 1: What Is Paleo Diet?

Chapter 2: Getting Started

Chapter 3: 33 Delicious and Healthy Smoothie Recipes

Chapter4: Paleo Diet During Your Weight-Loss Program – How to Stay Motivated


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100 Healthy Coconut Recipes: Paleo style: free of gluten, grains, dairy and refined sugar

79 pages

Authors blurb:
Are you a coconut lover like me?
Following a Paleo style diet or just trying to eat healthy?
Looking for new delicious ways to incorporate coconut products into your diet?

Then this e-book is for you.

I have cooked with coconut products for almost 8 years and collected my 100 favorite recipes in this e-book.

All recipes are free from gluten, grains, soy, legumes, high omega 6 nuts/seeds (oils), additives and refined sugars. Only real whole healthy foods.

Dressings and Sauces
Meat and Fish Dishes
Salads and Sides
Sweet Snacks
Savory Snacks
Ice Cream
Natural Body Care
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How to make Roti

Honestly, I mainly include this book because this review made me laugh:

I had to learn how to make roti before i got married… i lied to my future hubby saying i knew how, and this book saved me. i can finally make a round roti with out it being bun bun (burned). i would like to commend the author for writing such a helpful book.. if you see this message, Dexter, thank you for saving my marriage :)

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Don’t have a Kindle? : You don’t have to have one.

You do not need a Kindle to take advantage of these offers. You can read them on various free reading apps. I often read mine on my laptop if they are short enough books, even though I have two kindles.  That’s because my kids keep taking off with the Kindles to read their school books and they don’t remember to recharge them before returning.  I wouldn’t say I’m bitter about it, but I might be a little disgruntled. If you’re curious, this is the Kindle I have been using for about five years now, and I have used others and mine remains my favorite. Mine has Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and I don’t have commercial screensavers.  The second Kindle is actually one I was given in exchange for some writing work, and I gave it to my two teens.  It does not have 3G, which is why it’s their Kindle.  I don’t like Kindle Fires.

If you like these free listings, you should also like my Facebook page, because I list other free titles there several times each week. Most, if not all, of the blurbs and book descriptions above are not mine, but come from  reviews on Amazon’s page.


Posted in Books, cookery | Leave a comment

Camping Award

selfiecropApologies for the poor focus. The rest of my family (including the Little Boys) just returned from a week at a family camp. At the end of camp every year they give out paper plate awards. The awards are different each year, based largely on the behavior and traits of that year’s campers.

My son and one of his besties (a friend who lives in Estonia but was here with his family visiting relatives) are essentially clones when it comes to personalities and senses of humour.

The bros put a new spin on photobombing. All week long whenever anybody left their picture taking device unattended, these two used it to take a selfie.

And that was their award- the first ever “First, Lemme Take a Selfie” award. That’s a cartoon sketch of my son done by one of the campers, and it’s pretty much exactly what he looks like, the scamp.  Except the feet should be bigger.  Much bigger.

ego2I asked if he was embarrassed.  He said not.  He and his friend won another paper plate award, too.  It was the biggest ego award.

It was drawn on the back of their two Selfies awards.  They are proud of it.

That’s my boy.

Posted in Boy, Boys, or Blynken and Nod | Leave a comment

Rules Their Mother Never Told Them They Needed to Make

  1. “Don’t stick your hand in the peanut butter.”
  2. “Don’t head-butt your mother.”
  3. “We don’t pick babies up by their heads.”
  4. “Don’t lick your cousin’s tongue.”
  5. “Don’t throw blocks at the window.”


The grandbabies are here today, and these are all statements I have heard today.   I am pretty sure that we have also needed at least rules 2, 3, and 5.   We had to add no sling-shotting objects into the window, too.

Posted in Rules Mama Never Told Me I'd Need To Make | 4 Comments


I was looking to see if there were any newly available for free on my Kindle Grace Livingston Hill books. (The Witness, A Voice in the Wilderness, Exit Betty, The Enchanted Barn, The City of Fire, etc, etc, and etc.)

Then I looked over at the sidebar where there’s a list of other authors, you know, ‘people who bought these books also bought books by these authors….’

Now, if you don’t know, GLH novels are my brain candy of choice when I am reading something for the purposes of self-medication because I don’t want to think (whether because I am sick or very stressed). I blush and I admit that it’s cotton candy at that, all predictable, sugary, full of air and fluff. Good girls are very good (and never wear make-up), bad men are bad. Good men are manly. Bad people get their comeuppance, and if possible, deathbed conversions. They are mostly written around 1920 to the 1940s, which is part of their charm for me- the inadvertent details revealing the culture of the time. I also love the details about food, about making do in poverty and the comfortable feel of the formula.
They are devoutly spiritual/Christian in nature.

So I clicked through to some of those authors that people who like Grace Livingston Hill also bought, and most make sense, but then there was this one:

” eight time Lambda Literary Award finalist in romance, mystery and erotica–winning in both romance… and erotica”

“Saints and Sinners Hall of Fame” (this is for the LGBT literary community).


 Which, for some reason, just really tickles me.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Protecting the wolves, while further victimizing the sheep

“In Gene Abel’s landmark study,[1] 232 child molesters admitted to 55,000 incidents of child molestation and had a total of more than 17,000 victims – that’s an average of 73 victims per molester.  Men who molested out of home girls averaged 20 victims.  Men who molested out of home boys averaged 150 victims.  “Out of home” means the victims were not living with their molester. 

Sex offenders often deceive people when they are caught by claiming it is their first and only offense.  Sex abusers will even say they are grateful they got caught before they “hurt” anyone else.  Don’t believe them.  Call the police.  Remember, the typical offender has molested scores of victims before they are caught.  

Boz Tchividjian, who prosecuted hundreds of sex offenders in central Florida for eight years, points out something about these predators that is extremely important.      

“People have to understand that sex offenders are perhaps the most deceiving living beings on this planet.” 

Here are the three things people must know that typify sex offenders.  One, they have many victims.  Two, they are master manipulators and accomplished liars.  Three, you would not suspect them because you trust them!  Sex offenders can include immediate and extended family members.  “

More here.

I suspect that sex offenders really love it when they are around people who believe they have the gift of discernment and are not easily fooled. There is an element of pride in that belief, and it may make it even easier for the offender to play you.   Keep in mind that manipulation and successful deceit are actually part of what the offender enjoys.

They also have to be likable and well respected- everything they cherish most (the opportunity to abuse, the successful manipulation and deceit of those around them) depends on being trusted, liked, and well respected.

Unfortunately, even when confronted with clear evidence that abuse has occurred in their midst, too many church leaders prefer to handle it in-house, ignoring the needs and best interests of the victims, protecting, not the sheep, but their own reputations.   This allows the abusers to continue to prey on the vulnerable:

How many lives have been devastated because Mahaney, the “chief shepherd” of the flock, did not report sex abusers or suspected sex abusers to law enforcement?  He did not report Charlie Llewellyn (nor did Layman).  He did not report Nathaniel Morales.  He did not report other perpetrators.  This resulted in the proliferation of sex crimes that devastated so many lives.  The number of predators and victims only grows as more evidence is acquired. 

Defendant Mahaney should have reported Nate Morales to the police the first day he learned about his sex crimes.  Then he should have immediately alerted every parent in the youth ministry that a wolf had been aggressively devouring their children.  Then he should have helped and comforted the victims.  He did none of this.  That is why he is being sued. 

If you click through the link above, and I hope you do, you will see some good advice on how to make sure that your church leadership knows and agrees to handle such offenses in a way that helps and comforts victims rather than protecting predators.

 Postscript: The perpetrator Nate Morales was found guilty on all counts.  Keep in mind he wasn’t charged for all his crimes- this is typical, because not all victims are willing or able to testify.

And under oath, former pastor Laymen of a Sovereign Grace church admitted that he knew about the abuse and did not report it.

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This World Is Not My Home

Growing up I lived in Arkansas, Texas, Canada, Arizona (two different houses), Oregon (two different apartments in the same building), and California.  The longest I ever lived in the same house was five years- and we left that house when I was 8 years old (Canada).  Growing up, my husband lived in two houses, both in the same town, all his life.  He sort of went back and forth from his grandmother’s to his dad’s two or three times, and then Grandma said ‘enough is enough, the boy needs stability,’ and he stayed with her until he left school and became a roofer. he moved around a little bit between the ages of 17 and 20 (lived at a campground for a while), but always in California.

Then we got married.

Domiciles 1, 2, and 3: In the first year of our marriage, we lived in three different apartments. We moved from apartment a to apartment b to get away from a flat-mate from Hades, and then we moved from apartment b to apartment c because our new flat-mate’s promiscuous lifestyle and unwillingness to help clean were only marginally better than what we’d left. Apartment C was smaller, cheaper, in a worse neighborhood, and altogether more pleasant to us, but we didn’t live in any of them long enough for me to work out functional routines.   Also, we had a baby while living in apartment C.  Our neighbors were migrant workers- a large group of men who sometimes gave me produce they brought home from the fields, and we could hear them all snoring at night through our thin walls.  Once I got a call from my dad to shut my curtains, open my door and let one of my upstairs neighbors in, lock the door behind her and stay quiet and out of sight- her husband had a gun and was threatening to shoot her.  Help was on the way, but she didn’t have time to wait.

Domicile 4: Then my husband joined the Air Force and while he was in basic training, the baby and I moved into my parents’ house for two months.  In lieu of rent I did the grocery shopping (with my folks’ money) and cooked dinner for all of us and did some light housecleaning.

Domicile # 5:  One month after our first anniversary after my husband got out of basic training he moved to Illinois, where he was supposed to be for less than 12 weeks. Baby and I ‘foolishly’ (according to wiser heads) joined him, and tech school ended up lasting six months. We managed by renting a furnished trailer near the base and checking out dishes and baby supplies from the temporary housing office on base (they did this for students in tech schools. I do not know if they still do). Our trailer had two bedrooms, but we could not afford to heat it all, so we just closed one up, let our bedroom freeze, and Baby and I spent all our waking hours in the living room, kitchen, and dining room. We owned very little, so it wasn’t hard to tidy up quickly. The dining room windows had cupboards beneath them all around the three walls (the fourth ‘wall’ was the kitchen). Homeschooling at the dining room table would have been easy there because of those cupboards (children could sit on them as window seats, too), but I only had the one baby.  I don’t remember needing to store anything at all in all those lovely cupboards.   Baby and I liked to feed the birds and watch them outside the windows.  We lived there from November until early April.

We had no car and it was winter. I had to call a cab to do laundry, grocery shopping, or doctor appointments. My husband walked to and from school.  When we moved, everything we owned fit in a U-Haul pick up truck with room to spare.

Domicile 6: We moved to New Mexico, and spent the first six months in a rented, partially furnished trailer across the street from a cattle farm. It reeked to high heaven. A cow came in our yard a couple of times. I was pregnant with our second child and so sick all the time that the dishes and laundry piled up a shockingly embarrassing amount. The landlord was a thief and a cheat, the swamp cooler leaked continuously, and the place was dank and dark. Although the trailer was slightly larger than the previous trailer, the layout was lousy and everything I did was complicated by that. There was no dining room, just space at the end of the hall for a small table and chairs which were always in the way, there was less storage, and we were so poor that was the period of time when the toddler and I subsisted on a baked potato, cottage cheese, and a glass of milk for lunch every single day.

It really was a far less felicitously arranged trailer than our previous abode. Unlike the previous trailer, there was no built in storage. I did have a washer and dryer (in my bathroom), we had a car, and we had a fenced in yard, occasionally invaded by a cow.
The lack of storage, the darkness, the stench (across from a stockyard), and the wind blowing constantly so it was sometimes difficult to hear anything over the wind-buffeted trailer would have made homeschooling difficult, at best, but I still only had the one baby and the one on the way.

clovis houseDomicile 7: Then we moved into the house to the left- a two bedroom adobe house on the wrong side of the tracks in town.  It had wood floors and beautiful log beam ceilings, and a major roach problem.  It was in a rough neighborhood.  We never had any problems with the neighborhood, but during a two month stint when we sublet the place while on another temp assignment somebody broke into our subletter’s car and also stole tools from their porch. Oh- we did have one problem with a drunk neighbor losing his temper and throwing things at our house, but he apologized later.  He was the only other white resident in our street. I occasionally bought home-made tamales from a Mexican lady three doors down.  Her son would go door to door taking orders, and then she’d make the tamales to order and he’d deliver them and collect payment.  They were delicious.


Our rent was 185 dollars a month.  The landlady didn’t like to call plumbers on weekends. She wanted me to use a bucket when the plumbing went out.  It was a tricky little house- one room opened on the next, which opened on the next so you could walk in a circle from room to room and end up back where you started. My girls and my home daycare loved to line up with musical instruments and march that circle.
The washer and dryer were in the kitchen, which left no room for the fridge, so it was in the dining room, which mean there was no room for the microwave, so it was in the master bedroom. That was inconvenient, but I know homeschooling would have worked there because I had a group daycare that grew and grew and grew. The rooms were conveniently laid out, except for having the laundry right in the middle of the kitchen. There was a built in ironing board that let down from the wall, and that was handy for children to sit on stools at and use for a table to color or do a puzzle while I cooked. The large fenced in yard was great (the front yard was just dirt), and if the kitchen and dining room were small, the bedrooms were spacious.  In fact, they were so spacious that when a co-worker of my husband’s ran into financial difficulties, he, his wife and their two kids moved into the kids’ bedroom, and my husband, I, and our then two little ones all slept in our bedroom.  There was one bathroom – it was between the two bedrooms.  I think we lived like that for just a few months.

Domicile 8 – Just two or three months in New Mexico in another trailer on a lake campground, an Air Force recreation center. My husband scored temporary duty as a caretaker at the campground (that’s when sublet the house in town to the family who had been living with us), about 3 hours from our base.  Here the location was the key factor- we had loads of space and all to ourselves except on weekends. I neither spoke to nor saw any adult but my husband for days on end, and that was fine with me. We now had two small children and the babies and I made mudpies, waded in the lake, drove to a nearby playground, and read stories and sang in our trailer all day long.

Domicile 9- We got orders to Japan, Okinawa. We shipped out our stuff and spent about three months with no permanent address (we’d saved up leave), visiting the relatives, and helping out with my dad, who had a stroke while we were visiting my parents.  We moved to Japan and rented a three bedroom house off base in Yomitan 

The seawall was a block from the house.  We could (and did almost daily) walk to a beach and wade and gather seashells.  We lived there about a year- for part of that time there was one other American family on our street, but mostly we were the only Americans.  The houses on that street had previously been built for family housing for a nearby army base (Torii station), but returned to the locals.  Our house was old, and the HG had horrible allergic reactions to either the mildew or the coral dust (allegedly, coral was used in the concrete).  So after a year or so, we moved on base to…

Domicile 10: We’d now been married about 4 years.  Our base house was more than roomy enough for us- it had two stories, 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms (the first time we had a second bathroom).   My husband got a moped to drive to work, so I had our van, which I had to push out of our driveway and down a hill while jumping in the driver’s seat to jumpstart it most mornings.  We also had central air conditioning, which really helped the HG’s allergies.  We had a huge grassy hill behind our house, and another massive grassy hill and field just three doors down.  The house was a duplex, and we enjoyed and were friendly with all our neighbors on the street.  When we moved there the family sharing our duplex were a single working mom and her daughter just a little older than the HG.  The family next door were a family of four including two kids close to the ages of our kids, and it turned out I had known the husband when we were teenagers and I lived in Yuma, AZ and he was in Gila Bend. We’d gone to a lot of the same parties in the desert.  Small, and sometimes very embarrassing, world.   The family who shared their duplex most of the time we lived there were a smaller family of three- Mom was Japanese, Dad was African American, daughter was about two years older than the other kids and she saw herself as big sister to the whole group- she taught them all how to ride a bike, shared snacks with them, and kept an eye on them while they walked to school.   Our third child was born when we lived in this house.

Domicile 11: After five years in Japan we got orders to Alaska.  We shipped out everything, flew to California to visit most of the relatives, bought a van and drove to Lake Michigan area to visit my grandparents and some other relatives on my side, then bought camping equipment and tent camped through Wisconsin, Canada, up the Al-Can highway to Fairbanks.  I think we took about six weeks.  We then lived in billeting (an AF temporary housing that includes a kitchen) for 2 months while we hunted for a place to live.  Then some newly revamped base housing opened up and we moved in to a huge house with three bathrooms, and three levels.  We had a great basement, a family room, dining room, and huge living room, an attached garage, and three bedrooms upstairs. We moved in around October, early November, and we moved out again the next April.  We only lived in Alaska for 8 months.  The AF sent us to Nebraska.

12: We stayed with friends for a couple of months while we looked for housing, then got a house on base.  Base housing was not very conveniently arranged.  We ended up using the master bathroom shower as a closet for brooms, mops, and tools.  We had three bedrooms.  We had a room the military called a storage room (it had no windows), that we used for a dining room.  We lived there for a little less than a year.  I was pregnant when we moved there, but we lost that baby at 16 weeks, and the month the baby had been due we adopted two of our daughters, making our third child become our fifth child.

blue house13: We bought a house in a little town with a population of about 300.  It was the last house on our street. We kept chickens and dairy goats.  We ate some of our chickens and some of our goats.  We had lots of room, and I loved my kitchen, my bay window, my two front porches, my beautiful paneled hall, wide enough to line with bookcases, my parlour, and the room we had for the kids to play.  I did not love trying to keep that house warm in Nebraska winters. The curtains billowed in the breeze when the windows were shut.  The dining room and bathroom had carpet in them, which I have never understood.  Our sixth child was born while we lived here.

14: After four years, we got orders to Washington state.  We rented a four bedroom house with the smallest kitchen I had ever had.  There was about 2 feet of counter space, and no pantry.  The dining room was so small we had to walk sideways around the table.  It was in a rougher neighborhood- the subsidized apartments were across the street from us.  We heard gunshots once or twice, and one night while I had the door open with a croupy baby, I spotted a car theft in action.  They saw me at the same time and ran.  We had a gorgeous yard with several apple trees, and we lived close enough to wild black berry patches to walk to them and pick a five gallon bucket full in a matter of half an hour or so.  Our son was born while we lived there.  We lived here for almost 3 years.

15:  Colorado-  We bought a house on five acres east of Colorado Springs.  We had one tree on the whole acreage.  We had a horse or two, and chickens again.  It was a modular with four bedrooms and one room called a ‘parents’ retreat’ that was a large enough room just off of our bedroom that we put the three little children in it- the FYB and FYG and the Cherub.  The other four girls each had a room-mate and then we kept the fourth bedroom for a guest room.

16: We moved here, first to the little house we lived in while I started this blog- it was 900 square feet and had one bathroom.  The kitchen was again, a place with about 3 feet of counter space. The dryer was in the summer kitchen (a concrete room off the kitchen were farmers canned in the summer in the old days), the washer in the kitchen, there was no dining room.  Shasta and Equuschick live there now.  We lived there between 2 and 3 years.   There were nine of us, plus my books.

17.  We live here.

I still don’t feel like I live here.  I feel like we are waiting for orders and could be moving any day now.  The longer we live here, the more foreign it feels to me.

This world is not my home….


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Headlines and news

Mail Online: World’s top climate scientists told to ‘cover up’ the fact that the Earth’s temperature hasn’t risen for the last 15 years
“Scientists have been urged to cover up the fact that the Earth’s temperature hasn’t risen for the last 15 years amid fears it would provide ammunition for deniers of man-made climate change.”

More here:

“Global warming proponents are quick to accuse those who are skeptical of their theory as ignoring a scientific consensus. According to a front page story in the UK Times, that supposed consensus may have been built in part by suppressing research which disagrees with their global fear mongering.

The article tells the story of research completed by five climate experts rejected by one of the world’s top academic journals after a reviewer privately the study it as “harmful” to the promotion of climate change theory.

Lennart Bengtsson, a research fellow at the University of Reading and one of the authors of the study, said he suspected that intolerance of dis- senting views on climate science was preventing his paper from being published. “The problem we now have in the climate community is that some scientists are mixing up their scientific role with that of a climate activist,” he added.

When trying to prove a hypothesis scientists are supposed to be dispassionate, but as revealed in the Climategate emails and many times since,  global warming  proponants have abandoned their quest for scientific truth and replaced it with a skewed advocacy which prevents the truth being discovered. ”

Seventh VA office finds secret wait list — with over 200 veterans on it

VA dept seriously unprepared for his turn at Congressional hearings.

CNN asks how many dead veterans it takes before they stop trusting the folks in charge and start replacing them.


“VA Head Shinseki: I Accept Full Responsibility for the Horrors My Agency Inflicted on Veterans, and I’m “Mad as Hell,” But Why No, I Won’t Be Resigning


“I take full responsibility” stopped meaning “I take full responsibility” around 15 years ago. Now it only means “I’m willing to say the words I take full responsibility.

Watch the video to see what “mad as hell” sounds like. What “mad as hell” now sounds like, in 2014, is a bloodless bureaucratic robot reciting scripted talking points.”

More here.

First resignation in the VA scandal.  Not Shinseki. There are indications from this resignation, however, that Shinseki either lied to Congress or he is incredibly incompetent.  Could be both, I suppose.

Trolling Ed Schultz turns out to be easier than falling off a log:

“I accidentally got on the show one day after directly quoting one of Ed’s insightful comments about the GOP (they’re racist, etc.),” the WFB digital managing editor tells Mediaite. “After that, I thought I’d see what the bar was for liberal nonsense they’d allow on the air. Turns out it was pretty low.”

More at the link.


“It’s easy to mock VOX DOT COM. (Trust me, I know.) But, for some strange reason, they’ve decided to make it even easier. To wit: Matthew Yglesias recently discussed the evils of the accumulation of wealth with anti-income-inequality auteur Thomas Piketty … at the bar of the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Now, for those of you who aren’t aware, the St. Regis, located steps from the White House, is one of the nicest hotels in the city. And the bar, as you can see from the menu below, isn’t exactly the sort of place the One Percent would feel uncomfortable…”

Check it out here.


“More than half of international grants distributed by the Labor Department are missing documentation, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).”  More here.

This is totally ridiculous.  Camels are somehow a racist dogwhistle or something.

John Kerry knows what Libya should and could do because he was a senator for Massachusetts.  Totally the same thing.

Why does the USDA need ballistic body armour and submachine gus?  What are they planning?

Climate Change…. on Jupiter.

17-Year-Old High School Student Wins W.Va. GOP Primary On Pro-Life, Pro-Gun Rights Campaign



Scientists say they found a 13,000 year old skeleton of a teen ager discovered under water, DNA intact. What most interested me- the admission that water levels were over 350 feet lower during the last ice age.  Well, that, and the gomphothere.

University of Queensland threatens lawsuit over use of Cook’s ’97% consensus’ data for a scientific rebuttal- this is not science. It’s more McCarthyism.   And the ‘consensus’ paper was published under a Creative Commons license.  What are they so afraid of?  (more on Cook’s faulty methodology in his consensus study here).

When hashtag activism might be useful, and when it’s merely humiliating and foolish:

“When a superpower, with multiple means at its disposal, reverts to rhetorical emptiness and hashtag activism, it has betrayed both its impotence and indifference. But if you’re an individual citizen without power, if you lack access to media, drones or special forces, then hashtagging your solidarity with the aggrieved is a fine gesture and perhaps even more.

The mass tweet is, after all, just the cyber equivalent of the mass petition. And people don’t sneer at petitions. Historically, they’ve been a way for individuals, famous or anonymous, to make their views known and, by weight of number, influence authorities who, in democratic societies, might respond to such expressions of popular sentiment.

The hashtag campaign for the Nigerian girls — originated in Nigeria by Nigerians — was meant to do exactly that: pressure the Nigerian government to respond more seriously to the kidnapping. It has already had this effect. And attention from abroad has helped magnify the pressure.”

Why don’t we eat swans? 

Ever since I took a marine zoology course at Maryland University, I have thought that octopuses are about the most interesting animal species there is.  (note: some of these experiments are a little ghoulish to my way of thinking. But then, I really like the octopus).   Article is a review of this book: Octopus!: The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea
this one also looks interesting: Octopus: The Ocean’s Intelligent Invertebrate


Another book review: 

In 1998, the biologist E.O. Wilson wrote a book, “Consilience,” predicting that the 21st century would see the integration of the social and biological sciences. He is surely right about the long run, but the signs for early progress are not good. “The Bell Curve,” which the late Richard J. Herrnstein and I published 20 years ago, should have made it easy for social scientists to acknowledge the role of cognitive ability in shaping class structure. It hasn’t. David Geary’s “Male/Female,” published 16 years ago, should have made it easy for them to acknowledge the different psychological and cognitive profiles of males and females. It hasn’t. Steven Pinker’s “The Blank Slate,” published 12 years ago, should have made it easy for them to acknowledge the role of human nature in explaining behavior. It hasn’t. Social scientists who associate themselves with any of those viewpoints must still expect professional isolation and stigma.

“A Troublesome Inheritance” poses a different order of threat to the orthodoxy. The evidence in “The Bell Curve,” “Male/Female” and “A Blank Slate” was confined to the phenotype—the observed characteristics of human beings—and was therefore vulnerable to attack or at least obfuscation. The discoveries Mr. Wade reports, that genetic variation clusters along racial and ethnic lines and that extensive evolution has continued ever since the exodus from Africa, are based on the genotype, and no one has any scientific reason to doubt their validity.

And yet, as of 2014, true believers in the orthodoxy still dominate the social science departments of the nation’s universities. I expect that their resistance to “A Troublesome Inheritance” will be fanatical, because accepting its account will be seen, correctly, as a cataclysmic surrender on some core premises of political correctness. There is no scientific reason for the orthodoxy to win. But it might nonetheless.


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