Food, Food, Food

2 large freezers organized, contents tallied. several meals planned, nourishing, healthy, whole foods type stuff, much evidence we have been richly blessed:
Some of our ‘blessings’ may seem more like curses to some of you (including my kids):

Pig’s feet
Beef hearts (Yum)
Beef liver (lots of them, mostly from grassfed cows, a pain to prepare, but so good when cooked right)
Beef tongues (YAY)
Chicken gizzards
frozen organic sliced beets, okra, and brussels sprouts. Also shitake mushrooms and far more chopped spinach than I expected.
Frozen tofu
More venison then I thought we had left.
about 8 pounds of pork ribs. I don’t like them myself, but they were .59 a pound so my husband bought them. Well, he bought about 16 lbs but he and the FYG have cooked the other 8 lbs so far.

Also, a whole bunch of beef and lamb fat that needs rendering for soap making. It’s been there five years. I’ll get around to it one of these days. Sure, sure.

There’s also a big bag of frozen chicken wings, and that’s the only thing that really puzzles me. I can’t think why I bought it. Maybe I didn’t, but nobody else owned up to it. I don’t care for wings, mainly because I don’t consider them worth the trouble. Therefore, I don’t really know how to fix them nor do I wish to know. The wings will probably join the oxtail and pigs’ feet for a big batch of broth in the fall, unless my first born remembers to take them home sometime (she wanted the oxtail, and I am thinking I will throw in the pig feet and wings as freebies).

Large co=op order came in and the youngest two and I got it put away- mostly they put things where they knew they went or where I told them to while I got ten pounds of ‘natural’ blackberries repackaged and in the freezer.

New batch of Kombucha started (Vanilla black tea), and the youngest daughter started a pitcher of iced tea when I realized my original intended for the kombucha jar brewing of black chai tea had bergamot oil in it so I could not use it for Kombucha.

2 organic, grassfed beef tongues in the crockpot, then peeled and cut up in a container in the fridge.
Huge amounts of organic broccoli, all chopped, roasted with sesame oil and himalayan pink salt and in the fridge for snacking.
Kale, 1 large, MASSIVE bag, tossed in sesame oil and himalayan pink salt and roasted to kale chips (roasting done by the two youngest), ready for snacking
2 lbs chicken livers, onions, and garlic cooked and in the fridge, ready to be processed into liver pate for the Cherub (her iron levels are low) and me (I like liver pate).

Thanks to the youngest two for dish duty.

Back spasms: check
Headache: check
PTSD symptoms of overload because WAY too much of this was in or near the kitchen, ETC: Check (facebook wanted me to turn that into ‘checker demon tattoos’, a business in Germany, and there’s something kind of fitting about that)

Ergo, after all that healthy stuff, went to bed with a large bowl of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch cereal awash in a sea of very conventional, pasteurized, homogenized, store-bought whole milk. I am not going to say don’t judge. We can all judge me together, but I don’t actually regret the Capt’n Crunch as much as I probably should.

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Remember Freedom Fries?

In the wake of WWI, there was a similar effort to change the name of kindergartens because of the German affiliation (the word and its founder, Froebel, are German).  It carried on even after the close of the war.

Here’s an excerpt from an article where the author spends the bulk of her time assuring readers that Germany really didn’t accept Frobel or the kindergarten program, so there’s no need to consider it German at all.  She points out the problems with the suggested alternatives for ‘kindergarten’:

“Froebel and his ideas have not been accepted Germany, but they have leavened the American school system.

The kindergarten after long years of trial and testing has won its place in education. It has won its place because of its fundamental ideas which are expressed in the name. Garden suggests growth and guidance. It suggests natural growth under right conditions and the care necessary to flowering and fruitage.  No other name carries the same meaning.  Play School, the name suggested by Dean Burris,  is liable to misconception.  Primary Circle savors of the effort to eliminate the spirit and special methods of the kindergarten which have secured its recognition among parents and educators.  As for Baby’s Nest,  no self respecting child would allow himself to be connected with it.

With the signing of peace terms, we shall be able to take a more dispassionate view of values. May we protect ourselves from all intercourse,  commercial or educational or political,  which exalts a false and barbarous Kultur! May we not lose,  however,  the inspiration of the music, art,  and literature created in old Germany!- the noble heritage of unworthy heirs! May we keep our children’s gardens in name as well as in theory, to still bless the lives of American children.”

 LUCY WHEELOCK Wheelock School Boston

Here’s another, from the same magazine:

Not German in Spirit

Nina Vandewalker of the State Normal School in Milwaukee wrote:

“I YIELD to no one in my disapproval of things German, but an institution which Germany has refused to accept because it is out of harmony with her own spirit cannot justly be called such. It is because the kindergarten embodies the very essence of democracy that the United States has accepted it and should continue to accept, even to the name, unless its equivalent can be found. Changing the name of an institution that has been accepted the world over would result in many difficulties and I should only be willing to consent to it if its desirability had been agreed upon, after careful consideration by such organizations as the NEA and the IKU.

 I have thus far heard of no substitute that compares with the name kindergarten in its suggestiveness as to what the nature of a young child’s education should be. Of the terms that have been suggested- “primary circle,” “junior primary,” “home school,” and “play school”- none seems to me even worthy of consideration, for many reasons.

The first two contain no suggestion of the ideas that have made the kindergarten the symbol of the new education the world over. They imply nothing but the time honored grind of the three R’s for the beginning child. If present-day psychology and child study have taught us anything,  it is that the organization of the little child’s activities should constitute the first phase of his education and that instruction in the school arts should not come until later. Because the name and the thing named would tend to correspond,  the adoption of such a name would mean a return to all against which the whole kindergarten movement has been directed- instruction in the school arts at the very beginning. The kindergarten has been one of the chief agencies, if not the chief one, in advocating and illustrating the type of education which present day educational thought has shown to be the true one. Is it wise that a step so manifestly in the wrong direction shall be taken? The term home school is no less objectionable,  since it contains no hint of anything but the customary instruction in the school subjects for children of any age. The one distinguishing mark is the implication that it is given in the home instead of in the school. It is therefore completely misleading as a substitute for the term kindergarten.”

It’s a shame, isn’t it, that kindergarten now is much more like ‘instruction in the school arts in the very beginning’ and less about play.

She also said that due to state laws about kindergarten, many of which required kindergarten certification for the teachers (rent-seeking in action), the name change would present legal difficulties, and:

“There are over one hundred kindergarten training schools or departments for kindergarten training in normal schools, colleges, and universities. The change of name would present equal difficulties here. “

Above taken from The Kindergarten and First Grade, Volume 4, 1919

kindergarten and first grade masthead

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Killing Time, Heavy

Get your feet back on the ground….

I can tell you nothing about the song or the band except that this song was one of the songs used on a K-drama I watched this week, and it made me mellow.

Posted in Music | 2 Comments

Printable Craft to Make: Red Cross Horse and Cart, Circa WW1

red cross horse and cart

Me? I’d just make the horse.

These directions were once deemed suitable for use in kindergarten and first grade classrooms.

But it could be a sibling effort- younger child does the horse while a more capable older child manages the cart.

This is from a magazine printed in 1921.

Posted in index card files | Leave a comment

Public Schools: Blaming Parents Since….

“Much is said about the failure of the public school system. On this point the late Commissioner Kendall of New Jersey once remarked to the writer, ” Yes the public school is a failure. The source of the failure, however, is not in the school, but in the home. Reform the American home and you will have taken the first step in reforming the public school.”

Care to guess the date?

How about the decade?

1921 child welfare magazine


That’s 1921.

Posted in public school | 3 Comments

Government Dumps and Spoils Good Food in Michigan

The safety and health of the food was not in question.  The issue was paperwork, a regulatory glitch, selling over the internet.  AT no time was there any stated issue with the food itself.  So our government insisted that every single egg be broken, and gallons and gallons of milk sprayed over fields.  It couldn’t even be given to pigs.

This is madness, but there is a method to it:

ask yourself this question: When was the last time you saw government agents seize and condemn food from a place like Foster Farms or Taco Bell or Del Monte or Kellogg’s or Trade Joe’s when their food has been found to contain pathogens, or made people sick? There’s been not even a suggestion that food at My Family Co-Op contained pathogens or made anyone sick.


There were all kinds of other ways for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to have handled any problems they saw with My Family Co-Op. They could have warned Jenny Samuelson, the co-op’s owner that she was possibly violating a 2013 policy statement on herdshares. They could have given her a citation, listed the charges against her, held a hearing where she and the owners of the food could have attempted to answer the charges, and then levied a fine if she was found to be in violation. (Actually, the fine and such can still happen, since the seizure order placed on the food last week carries possible penalties, at the MDARD’s discretion.)


But those kinds of civilized steps would have forced the state to be businesslike and law-abiding. Collective punishment isn’t about being businesslike and law-abiding. It isn’t about presenting charges and letting the accused respond. It is about brute force and complete control. It is about sending a message about who is in charge, and what happens if you cut into corporate profits.

From the comments:

My Family Co-Op has just posted some videos of the food dump on Monday.
In this one, you can hear the MDARD inspector, Michael Juhasz, explain to farmer Joe Golimbieski the view that My Family Co-Op is re-selling food and thus needs a food handler’s license. (Explanation begins at about 2:06 of the video.)…

You can watch eggs being smashed here:…

Here the MDARD inspector seems to indicate that My Family Co-Op’s problem was that it was selling food via the Internet. When told this has been going on for at least two years, he backs off, doesn’t want to discuss. Then, he refuses to get involved in dumping any food to speed the process up, and says it can all be delayed further if co-op doesn’t have the labor to accomplish the dumping of 250 gallons of milk.…

The Facebook page with all these videos is at:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Great-Grandmother’s Journal, Second Half of July, 1952

4 generations


Pictured to the left: My great-grandmother Mary is in the bed, holding one of my little brothers- the only little brother at the time, the other wasn’t born yet.  Mary had four children, two girls and two boys.  My grandmother Anne is her older daughter (I forget if she was the first or second born child), pictured in the forefront. I think I still have that hat of hers, and if it’s not her hat, it’s remarkably like. I am the adorable little girl in pink, standing on the side of the bed. I’m probably about 3 in this picture.  Granny Tea, my mother, the remarkable Anne’s daughter is the pretty brunette in the back. (Grandma Anne was only 5’2″.  Granny Tea is 5’6″.  Mary, when she was well, was a stately woman of full figured proportions).

She kept a regular journal up for about ten years after her husband died. I’ve inherited them and from time to time I share some entries from the oldest two, usually timing them roughly with the same dates for today.


In the last half of July, 1952 (I’ve temporarily mislaid 1951), Great-Grandma Mary complained that temperatures were in the 90s, and it was just too hot to do anything outside. She stayed inside and made playsuits for the children.   Her renter cut out two of the sun suits and one for Grandma.  Grandma finished sewing those and then did two more.  She hand washed her summer dresses.  She babysat one of her grandsons.  She visited with ‘Marilyn Jean and Mrs. Fish’,  worked in the garden, mowed a lot of deep grass, cleaned up the whole house, had houseguests, made 3 glasses of jam from red raspberries and plums, she did a big wash of ten sheets and a lot of towels, got a few pole beans left from the rabbits, weeded and staked her tomatoes, had black cows with my mom and aunt (her grand-daughters, they were tweens about this time, black cows are root beer floats or ice cream and coke floats, a family tradition for grandmothers and grandchildren that dies with me because I don’t like them at all).

Her nephew came for a visit (the nephew’s father, Mary’s brother, had just died, I mentioned this last entry)- in preparation for that visit, my grandmother Anne killed two chickens and somebody else dressed them. John, the nephew, contributed a huge summer sausage.  Mrs. Cornwall (Cromwall?) baked an angel food cake for them.

Grandma Mary went to the show Pat and Mike (Wikipedia says “Pat and Mike is a 1952 American romantic comedy film starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.”). She says she didn’t much care for it. After the movie, she made up a ‘big batch of noodles from egg yolks Mrs. Cornwall gave me.”

She collected 110 dollars rent (from two tenants).

And the week she sewed the four sun suits, babysat her young grandson, she described her Saturday as ‘hot and lazy.’  It rained July 23, and that made it much cooler.

She went to our Chautauqua, where she heard Max Gilstrap.  She says he was a ‘grand speaker, in the evening he gave bird calls and whistled some good music.’  I don’t know if he’s the same man mentioned here, or if he’s this man:

Or if the two men are the same.

rattery door lock

Front door lock at the Rattery/Spiffery

The house she lived in when she stayed down here near my mother’s family is the Rattery, where Pip and Mop Top live now. To heat that house (and perhaps for cooking?) She laid in a ton of Pocohontas Briquette coal from the local Farmer’s Co.Op for 16.00. The receipt is in her journal. It says for coal, you pay ‘strictly cash,’ and there’s a place to write in the ‘name seam or vein” and penciled in is the word ‘Brigs’.  Whatever that means.

There are pictures of the cellar on our Facebook page.

Of course, it doesn’t look like that now.  It’s all cleaned up.  My husband power-washed the empty cellar (nearly killing himself in the process- seriously, carbon monoxide poisoning- he was taken by ambulance to ER, our home away from home and his levels were just barely below ‘why aren’t you dead already?).

Posted in grandpa's scrapbook, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Orange Chicken Salad

orangeMakes two or three servings

Two cups cooked, cubed chicken

1 cup sliced celery

1/4 cup chopped walnuts or almonds

1 teaspoon grated onion

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup orange juice

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 oranges, peeled and sectioned

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Combine chicken, celery, walnuts, onion, salt, orange juice and mayonnaise in mixing bowl; mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for an hour.  Stir in the orange sections.   Spoon mixture into a pie pan or square casserole dish, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

If desired, eat it cold, or bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes until mixture is heated and the cheese is lightly browned.  Serve with rolls.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A slice of history

Caroline HedgerExcerpt from an article in the 1919 edition of a magazine for ‘the kindergartener,’ as at the time the kindergarten was a progressive social and political movement as much as it was an educational one. The article is titled The Retardation of the Foreign Woman, and it is written By Dr Caroline Hedger of Chicago.  She speaks of the necessity of educating the Foreign Women into democracy, and putting into her mind the picture of freedom.

“The matter of building up the trait of persona decision, personal freedom, the degree of responsibility, in other words,  facing the music, must be done because it is right,  and because it is right,  it must be done. This is the problem that is ahead of us and of the foreign woman.  It is not the easiest portion, but it is the portion of spiritual evolution and growth, and if we mean to go ahead to carry out this democracy that our men have fought for for two years in the Great War,  we must face responsibility.  We did not do it before the war.  Are we going to now?”

‘Before the war [WWI] we sought escape from personal responsibility, and there were two or three avenues of escape that were interesting. The dance craze for seven years before the war, for instance. Why did people dance morning, noon, and night? To escape thoughts and responsibilities, introspection. They were successful, I know. I myself can dance the blues away at any time. I know an escape from this consciousness if we are big enough to take it, the next step in spiritual evolution.  Why do people go running over the country in high powered automobiles? At twenty five miles you cannot speak and at thirty you cannot breathe! They do this so they won’t have time to do the necessary things of life, and thereby escape the thought of their responsibilities. The rapidly passing scenery takes their thoughts for the time from all else but the movement of the car, and the delight in being carried along without seeming to think about it makes them forget obligations.

Then again the movies!  Why do intelligent people go to the movies?   They surely do not go to see what they see there, although they claim it is the screen star and the plot of the play. They are

deceiving themselves. I have a friend who is a frequenter of the movies and often after such an evening, she will stop in to chat with me. This is the usual conversation: “What did you see?”  ” Oh, a movie.”  ”Was it good?” ” Oh about the same thing as they all are.”  Why does she go to the movies? To escape serious thought of her responsibilities. The constantly moving film with the story that for the time being is interesting, takes her mind from all else and is an escape from what is binding and obligatory.

Why have we had within the last two or three decades a growth of new religions made up of repetitions of all other religions? Because the old religions became slow, and we were not willing to face our responsibilities and take our religion consciously, but are constantly looking for something more absorbing. Before the war we were trying to escape from our consciousness. There probably never was a time when so many people were on the verge of being responsible for their acts as preceding the war. Then when the sufiering was so intense it was necessary for us to think and to act as well.  I, myself, am a reformed pacifist but when this country called the men to arms and the women to assume the responsibility of keeping heads up at home,  then it was necessary to obey.  There was nothing else to be done but obey.

Can we gather up again the loose threads of ourselves,  of individual decision,  of individual will to do right? Can we gather them up? If we gather them up, are we willing to pass them on to the foreign woman who needs such things in order to live as we would have her live among us? Can we bring her to this sense of responsibility? If we cannot,  we shall be a failure, and I, who am a good suffragist say this. We must get into the game and take this foreign woman by the hand and lead her into a degree of freedom and responsibility.  It is the duty for every one of us to face the music and take that next step in spiritual evolution, that is, to do what is right because it is right,  and take the consequences.”

So much of interest there, isn’t there?  The idea that that moving at 25 miles an hour made it impossible to speak (which it might, in a car with inadequate wind barriers, I suppose), her views on the movies which might still apply today, the terms this very progressive woman who was active in the woman’s movement and in social justice issues of her day used to talk about the need to educate the foreign born into democracy.  It’s interesting to see the evolution of ideas, and to ponder how horrified she would be to see the fruit of some of the best efforts of the era.  And who is Caroline Hedger, exactly?

Carloline Hedger’s name appears in the “Program for the joint annual meeting with the American Eugenics Society“, held June 2, 1928 at the American Museum of Natural History. She served on the Committee on Popular Education, along with Josephine Arnquist, S.J. Crumbine, William M. Goldsmith, William Dayton Merrell, O.M. Plummer, Florence Brown Sherbin, Edwin E. Slosson, Paul Voelker, and A.E. Wiggam

There is at least one large apartment building in Chicago named after her.

Hedger is the topic of a research paper titled The physician of Packingtown: the life and impact of Dr Caroline Hedger.

Here’s part of the abstract:

“Findings – This research concludes that Hedger was an instrumental force and tireless advocate for the improvement of public health and social change. She was a constant driver for the creation of better living and working conditions of poor laborers, especially immigrants and women, desired the enhancement of child welfare, and was also helpful in supporting the labor movement and educating those involved in the process.

Originality/value – This is the first manuscript to explore the role played by Caroline Hedger in relation to her impact on the importance of the health of workers and their families. Her story is a testament to the powerful effect of a single person in a dynamic world, and demonstrates how understanding a worker’s health contributes to greater insights about management history.”

She was the author of a book called The Well Baby Primer, here’s a blurb about it at the time of publishing:
“This unique book is prepared by one who has exceptional understanding of the needs of the foreign mother. Dr. Hedger is a graduate of the Illinois Training School for Nurses, as well as a physician, and is specially interested in the welfare work in Chicago.
The author states that the object of the Primer is twofold: ‘to get the message across in time to save the baby’s life, and to bring the women into American (sic) standards by teaching English.’ The book is arranged in lesson form, like a primer, and actual demonstration of methods is urged. Each lesson is illustrated with an attractive photograph of the baby; or the method of caring for the baby. Particularly at this time, when the propaganda of church and state is for Americanization by adequate education, this Primer is both timely and useful. Price 15 cents…”"

The book had only 128 English words in it and was ‘profusely illustrated.’

This influential but now mostly forgotten woman at least once delivered a paper to a nursing organization, Her paper was titled VENEREAL DISEASES AND MORAL PROPHYLAXIS. She delivered the paper in person to a professional organization in NY. She wrote:

“I think we can arraign society to day on three counts.
One is the increasing amount of divorce. That is an ominous matter.
Second is the decreasing birth rate. You cannot have a state without citizens. If we are to have an America that is to be worth while we have to have Americans. If you want Americans made second hand from Bulgaria and Turkey that is a different matter.”

She also stressed the importance of children being reared by one father and one mother, and of proper sex education, which she said ideally would come from mothers, but since the mothers hardly knew anything about it, must come from nurses instead. She spoke briefly on the scourge of abortion and how bad it was for women themselves, and at length on the evils of prostitution and how it was causing a plague of syphilis and gonorrhea, but that if women were only given the vote, she knew they would eliminate prostitution through their power at the ballot.

She also wrote this for the Bulletin of the American Academy of Medicine, Volume 11

“The profit that shall accrue to a man who loses his own soul is but a suggestion of the profit that shall accrue to a state that slaughters its children.  You may heap warehouses with goods, but if those goods are made by women whose babies die untimely deaths your chance for future life of the state is gone.  Women work for pay,  six million of them. Where do they work? Either at home or away from home.  What do they work at?  295 different occupations: everything but firemen, soldiers,  sailors,  US marines,   roofers helpers,  copper smelters helpers,  street car drivers.

Did they always work for wages? Not to quite this extent.  In fact the increase in trade and transportation from 1870 to 1900 was 2369 per cent.

She was a doctor and a suffragette who nevertheless believed that soceity needed to reconsider working women, particularly in connection with “Those occupations that affect women in such ways that their child bearing capacity and instincts are injured,” and “Those occupations taken up by women after marriage that threaten the life of the child directly.”  She wrote that “We must consider every trade condition that depletes the woman’s vitality so that puny children are born,  every work that so fatigues the mother that her milk is bad whether at home or abroad,  any and every trade or occupation that takes a mother away from her baby longer than a normal nursing interval,  whatever conditions or work which attack moral standards,  and we have a right to consider these,  and when found,  to regulate such trades.”


She was one of Upton Sinclair’s sources for background information for his book The Jungle, particularly on the terrible health conditions for those who lived in ‘Packingtown,’ as she was a doctor and longtime worker in the settlement houses there.

And in spite of being a member of a eugenics society, she also wrote: “no one can do good Americanization work who has not a real love for human beings…. You cannot make Americans by going at the foreign born either in a hsotile spirit or with an idea that you are a superior being, about to confer wisdom.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Craft Project: Make a Swing for a Paper Doll

how to make swing for paper doll

From The Kindergarten and First Grade, Volume 4, published in 1919
I found it at Googlebooks

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment