Therapy Week Three (? I think)

wrestling with demonsI might post these once a week, I think, roughly coinciding with therapy appointments.  Or not. No promises (or threats).  We’ll see.

I’ve tended to post updates the day after therapy because I’m especially a big kind of a mess after therapy and blogging/writing is how I process.  I’m not so much of a mess this week because I didn’t have therapy this week, more on that momentarily. I’m also kind of conflicted about therapy itself at the moment. But writing a bunch of stuff about why I’m conflicted (and then deleting it, so HA) has kind of clarified it in my head, although that does not mean it’s going to be clear to you when I hit publish. Most blog posts are to a certain degree at least partially an exercise in unabashed narcissism, but maybe this one more so than others.

So.  After writing out the very long and emotional unloading post which I have now deleted, I’ve concluded that there are legitimate reasons why I might get quicker, more immediately effective results with a different therapist.  I wrote those reasons out and then deleted them because… delete, delete, delete.  So you just have to take my word for it.  Well, and I did share them with a close friend who was all, “Really? That’s crazy….” and other stuff that kind of agreed with me.  Did I pick this friend because I knew she’d agree with me? I will leave that to your imagination.

I also was writing largely out of frustration- the therapist wrote down one appointment time on the card she gave me last week, but a different appointment time in her appointment book, so when I got there for my appointment yesterday, the office was locked, nobody was there, and the cell phone number I have was disconnected.  And when I got home later there was an email canceling the appointment she had scheduled in her book for a different day, so… yeah.  I know stuff happens, and I understand why she needed the time off this week, it just was particularly complicated to get there and back yesterday.  So I was irked.

“Do I really need to keep this up? She’s given me some direction, surely I can just do this on my own from here.  Mabye there’s another therapist who could help me more.  What about _____ in _____, who does _____ therapy?  That would be better.  Why not just keep up with my current ‘homework’ on my own until I master it and am ready to move on, and then call her or somebody else to start the next step?”

That’s the direction my thoughts were running.

BUT- for me at this time,  the alternative isn’t a better therapist, it is none at all.  Realistically, there’s nobody else in town I’m going to go see, and there’s absolutely no way I can get myself to another town on a regular basis.  I’m pretty sure nobody in my family can commit to that (we’re talking an hour drive one way and inconsistent work schedules as well),  and even if they could, I couldn’t.  I know I’d be canceling appointments every week with lame excuses and exaggerated illnesses- the mildest prickle of pain in my pinkie toe would turn into crippling gout, arthritis, a sprained ankle- or my genuine distress about the travel would manifest as very real stomach issues and migraines as the therapy appointment loomed larger and larger in the oncoming semi-truck of life.

And it’s not that I am saying she is just better than nothing at all, because that’s not true, she’s much, much better than ‘nothing at all.’

One reason has nothing to do with me, it has to do with my family.  Just the fact that I am going to therapy at all matters so much to them I can’t even explain it.  A few weeks ago I gave the book Shock Waves: A Practical Guide to Living with a Loved One’s PTSD to my 16 y.o. to read.

Tonight my 16 year old boy who covers all emotions with a smile or a scowl and a joke or a jibe told me in a rare serious moment that he didn’t need to finish reading it, because the fact that I was going to therapy was kind of all he needed for now (necessary explanation: I’m paraphrasing, and I don’t think that’s all he’s ever going to need, and he may need to revisit the book in a few weeks or months), that it made a huge difference to him.  I could hardly quit going to therapy after that, now could I?

I did wonder if the therapy was actually helping, but I think the fact that I leave her office with a major head-ache and often have back spasms within a few hours, and the next day I basically feel like an antique toy stuffed with sawdust, particularly between the ears, indicates something is going on.

In talking to her about PTSD causes, signs, symptoms and issues, I know I also have recognized several things that indicate this goes way back.  I thought it was just from the Thing that happened a few years ago that I don’t discuss because hello, big, flashing, neon warning sign, symptom 6: Avoid thinking about or talking about a stressful  experience from the past.

And definitely, that is the Biggie.

But, as I mentioned last week, I realized my reaction to math is a classic PTSD thing and I know why.  I also have this other thing that I thought was just a random weird quirk, but my reaction is just too severe for that.  I hate having my mouth covered, and I mean hate it.  But that’s not strong enough.  I seriously cannot endure it, not for a second.  I might not hurt you if you walked up out of the blue and put your hand over my mouth because I’ve worked on self control with this ever since the time my firstborn child was maybe 1 year old and we were snuggling and having a fun mommy-daughter moment on the bed while my husband was at work, and without warning she clapped both her little hands tightly over my mouth and just as much without warning the next second I knew, she was on the floor crying.  I was horrified.  I don’t even know exactly what happened, but clearly, in pushing her away from my mouth I also pushed her right off the bed without even knowing it. But I think it’s a PTSD trigger. I don’t exactly why, and to be honest, if I don’t remember why, I’d rather just keep it that way right now.  I never reacted quite that extremely again, but my reactions were strong enough that none of my kids ever put their hands over my mouth more than once.

Another weird discovery- When I was in high school and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I had answers for them because I knew answers were required, but they were all fiction.  I didn’t really believe I was going to grow up.  I didn’t tell any adults this, but I did tell most of my friends that I did not see myself surviving high school.  They were kids, too, so they mostly put it down to my macabre and/or devil may care reckless personality, which was also true. But hello, symptom 12: Feeling as if your future will somehow be cut short.

Kids and teens can present PTSD symptoms a little differently from adults.  Here’s one list I found:

  • Fear, worry, sadness, anger, feeling alone and apart from others, feeling as if people are looking down on them, low self-worth, and not being able to trust others
  • Behaviors such as aggression, out-of-place sexual behavior, self-harm, and abuse of drugs or alcohol

Well.  I don’t think I was that aggressive, and I didn’t abuse drugs, so there’s that.

Impulsive is another character trait of kids with PTSD and I know I was pretty much off the chart for impulsive decisions. I thought it was a virtue.  I have some very dark and ugly thoughts about all this, including precisely how I know that I was off the chart for impulsive decisions. I’m not speaking metaphorically or figuratively there- I was given a psychological test that indicated I had almost no impulse control at all, and there’s more to that which I am not yet ready to share.

I would not necessarily know these things without therapy, or at least, I would not accept them.  My youngest brother also has PTSD and a few years ago when we were discussing our childhood he told me he didn’t see how on earth I didn’t have it, either.   I don’t remember exactly what I said to him, but I know that thankfully I did not say this even though I do remember thinking it: ‘because I have God and you don’t.’

I wasn’t being smug- at least not intentionally so- it was more in sorrow than in smug- I was sad for him.  Now?  I don’t know.  There’s a galaxy of empty space and unanswered questions in those three words.

I get frustrated when I think about it for a number of reasons, so I try not to- the above discoveries basically burst unbidden through holes in my defenses when I wasn’t looking.  Just typing this out brought out a couple other memories of my own behavior that make me seriously question my judgement about how aggressive I was or was not as a child.

So there’s something therapy has done, but I don’t know how helpful it is to know that I’ve probably had PTSD since grade school and more recent incidents and the Event of which we do not speak piled on with all the ambulance rides and traumas of this year just basically put gas and a match to an already existing problem.

ON a more positive note:

I’ve made a few advances in things I can do each week. I get frustrated because I know from the outside, it looks like all the progress of a three toed sloth, but on the inside a journey of sixty feet is like a marathon.  Saying a word I have not been able to say aloud is like climbing a mountain, and just as exhausting.

Here’s what some progress looks like:

Usually, I watch movies until I fall asleep against my will and without my knowledge OR I do the same by listening to loud and raucous K-Pop (seriously, who else puts herself to sleep listening to songs like this one because it’s calming?). Instead, thrice in the last 7 days I managed to go to sleep on purpose before 4 a.m. by sprinkling my sheets and pillow liberally with lavender oil, sniffing deeply and on purpose and concentrating on the smell while listening to Pachelbel With Nature’s Ocean Sounds.  Okay, before 4 a.m. means by 3 a.m. two out of three of those days, but still.  And also, one of the three days when thunder woke me up I had to resort to movies again.  But again, still.

I went someplace twice last week and twice the week before, and two of them weren’t to therapy.

Last week I mentioned the one activity that I really cannot do without drenching myself in panicked sweat within about 20 minutes.  Well, I still can’t.  I might have a better grip on why (or not, the jury is still out, but I’m working on it).  In addition to figuring out the why, I’m working on working around it- this is not going to work long term, but it helps for now (that’s a lot of uses of the word ‘work’).  I make a plan before I start, I set the timer, and I go work on doing that thing, being in that place, for at least ten minutes. Sometimes I’ve gone over 20 but that’s been a mistake every time. Waterboarding territory, and here there be most foul and horrendous dragons.

This morning I tried moving my base of operations to the adjacent room, so that I only have to be in that space that for some reason triggers me so badly for a couple minutes at a time.  I managed to stretch out my time working on that stuff to almost an hour that way, but I spent only about fifteen minutes total in the ‘trigger room,’ which also helped me confirm it’s that room in my house, not the activity, which is one more indication I’m right about the cause (updated to add that I don’t really know why I am being so mysterious about this- the room is my kitchen, and I think the cause is merely that I was in the kitchen when I got some very upsetting and frightening news this year, and I paced back and forth in the kitchen for almost an hour, I think, before we got word back that made everything mostly okay, and then I stuffed it and set it aside and almost forgot it completely because that seemed easiest, and it came back to haunt me).

A lot of things make me very angry.  Some of them are legitimately issues that are wrong, some not so much, and some of the legitimate ones it just doesn’t matter how angry I am, they are what they are.  This week it helped me a lot to just tell myself, “this is probably not as big a deal as you think it is, it’s just your PTSD brain doing what it does.”

I started using tension tamer tea in my green smoothies. Probably that’s just in my head, but I’ll take what I can get.

I use my lavender bottle like sniffing salts.  In all seriousness, I like essential oils for a handful of medicinal or cleaning uses (about five) that I consider legitimate enough to stand up to scientific testing.  Sniffing Lavender oil to derail an oncoming PTSD meltdown is not one of them- because I don’t think it’s the lavender essential oil that’s working, it’s me focusing on something physical that I really, really love, and I’ve always been one to notice smells.

On this screening test my score is a 79 and nothing is below a 3.  But a couple months ago my score was higher and nothing was below a 4.

I did two or three things this week and last week that I wasn’t able to do last month.  They were seemingly small things to most people, but it was a huge deal to me.

So I guess that means therapy is helping.

 

P.S. So, yes, I’m continuing.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Food Prices Rising, Again

vintage housewife grocery shopping at the butcher shopYou’re not imagining it- food prices rising faster than wages.

http://thefederalist.com/2014/07/22/american-families-are-right-to-be-worried-about-inflation/

Inflation is a tax on the poor.  But the gov’t doesn’t count food or utility prices when it calculates the cost of living.

Not all that long ago, a can of tuna was less than .50 at my discount grocer- and sometimes I could get it on sale for less.  Today it was on sale- a slightly smaller can for a dollar a can.

A can of black olives was just under .70 cents.  1.69 now.

Butter was 1.99, now it’s 2.99 and sometimes more.

If you want to eat ‘clean,’ organic, nonGMO foods, meat and dairy products from pastured reared animals, there are some tips here.  It’s helpful, but honestly, with the husband working part time and going to school, we just can’t even do that for the most part. I do buy raw milk, but our raw milk is not that much more than pasteurized.  But I couldn’t even do that if we were not buying with a group to help with transportation costs.

You can look for wild, local foods- there’s a list here (not all the foods listed are listed for food purposes, some are useful as dyes, or have medicinal applications, so read carefully).

day lily, edibleI do eat day lilies- the flowers and pods- raw and in stir fries. I’ve read the tubers are also edible but I haven’t ever tried them.

I eat lambsquarters (I like them in omelettes, I think I will try them green smoothies.

I like purlsane raw and in stir fries.

Also look for fruit trees in the neighbors yards- fruit trees where they aren’t gathering the fruit.  Often if you ask, they are willing for you to take it, or at least some of it.

More here

The Four Moms once discussed keeping the food budget under control.

And here I shared some tips for finding organic foods on a budget.

Other ideas here, with the reminder that you’re not a bad person if you cannot afford organic.

What about you? What are some of your best budget saving meals?  Do you have any wild foods you eat?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Illegals and Math Problems

border kidsThis is just a collection of links to stories where some sort of effort is made to quantify the issue of illegal border crossings.  I am making no claims about this, I just found it all interesting:

1/4 of those at the border have criminal records, only a small fraction are unaccompanied children. Story here.

Senator Dan Patrick said there are at least 100,000 illegal immigrant gang members in Texas and they have committed crimes such as rape and murder (they’ve been charged in nearly half a million crimes in four years, including several thousand rapes and 2,000 murders). But also, 60,000 illegal immigrant children have been apprehended since October of last year. Story here.

Perry sending Guard to the border because unaccompanied minors only make up roughly 20 percent of those being apprehended illegally crossing the border. Story here.

Indeed, “Nearly all of the illegal immigrant children who have been apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border in the last two years have been teenagers.
According to a new Pew Research report, in fiscal year 2013, 91% of illegal immigrant “children” apprehended at the border were teenagers. Of the nearly 60,000 illegal immigrant “children” who were apprehended since October of last year, 84% have been teenagers.” Story here.

There’s a reason, or several thousand reasons, why Texas is legitimately concerned about this:
“Each week, more illegal immigrants enter Texas than people who are born in the state during the same time period.
On Monday’s The Laura Ingraham Show, Dan Patrick, the Texas state Senator who is the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, said two weeks ago, Border Patrol agents “apprehended almost 10,000 people crossing the border, in one week.”
“Every week, week after week, we’ve been averaging for the last year apprehending between six and ten thousand people a week,” Patrick said hours before Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally announced that he would be sending National Guard troops to the border. “If we apprehend eight or nine thousand a week, that’s more people than are born in Texas each week.”
Patrick also said law enforcement officials have told him that somewhere between one in five and one in ten illegal immigrants are actually apprehended.
“Now, we think we catch one out of every five. That means twenty five or thirty thousand are crossing the border, that we don’t catch,” he said. “Don’t focus on the numbers that are apprehended, that’s the ones we catch.”" Story here.

Children 12 and under fastest growing group of unaccompanied minors at the border (okay, I do have an opinion about this one- somebody is trying to muck about with statistics to make this a bigger crisis than it already is).  Story here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Buffet of Books, Books, Beautiful Books

we love books bookshelf vintage

Historic Tales, Vol. 12 (of 15) The Romance of Reality

Historic Tales, Vol. 12 (of 15)
The Romance of Reality, Japanese and Chinese, by CHarles Morris
Excerpt:
THE FIRST OF THE MIKADOS.

The year 1 in Japan is the same date as 660 B.C. of the Christian era, so that Japan is now in its twenty-sixth century. Then everything began. Before that date all is mystery and mythology. After that date there is something resembling history, though in the early times it is an odd mixture of history and fable. As for the gods of ancient Japan, they were many in number, and strange stories are told of their doings. Of the early men of the island kingdom we know very little. When the ancestors of the present Japanese arrived there they found the islands occupied by a race of savages, a people thickly covered with hair, and different in looks from all the other inhabitants of Asia. These in time were conquered, and only a few of them now remain,—known as Ainos, and dwelling in the island of Yezo.

In the Japanese year 1 appeared a conqueror, Jimmu Tennō by name, the first of the mikados or emperors. He was descended from the goddess of the Sun, and made his home at the foot of Kirishima, a famous mountain in the island of Kiushiu, the most southerly of the four large islands of Japan. As to the smaller islands of that anchored empire, it may be well to say that they form a vast multitude of all shapes and sizes, being in all nearly[Pg 6] four thousand in number. The Sea of Japan is truly a sea of islands.

By way of the sailing clouds, and the blue sky which rests upon Kirishima’s snowy top, the gods stepped down from heaven to earth. Down this celestial path came Jimmu’s ancestors, of whom there were four between him and the mighty Sun goddess. Of course no one is asked to accept this for fact. Somewhat too many of the fathers of nations were sons of the gods. It may be that Jimmu was an invader from some foreign land, or came from a band of colonists who had settled at the mountain’s foot some time before, but the gods have the credit of his origin.

books black and white

Bellaria di Rivergaro: The story of an Italian country inn and the family that made it their home

Blurb: Bellaria di Rivergaro is the story about a family that lived in a beautiful valley in northwest Italy and the country inn they built in 1901 that was their home. Emilio and Evangelina meet in a small hamlet between the towns of Rivergaro and Bobbio along the Trebbia River. They fall in love, marry and raise a family of eight children in the place they name Bellaria di Rivergaro (Bellaria). Within a few years, their two oldest children, Luigi and Elisa, immigrate to America where they confront the challenges of assimilating into a different culture. Meanwhile, life at Bellaria continues through the turbulent events leading up to and through World War I, while sadly tragedy strikes Elisa and her family in the immigrant section of New York City.

Later, during the fascist period of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the family finds it must deal with economic hardship, terror and danger. However, they are saved from harm by an unsolicited memento from a notorious personage in the fascist government. The family at Bellaria confronts even greater danger during World War II when family members face possible execution because occupying German forces suspect they are engaged in partisan activities. In America, Luigi achieves success in industrial construction, but feels a deep sense of guilt for never fulfilling his promise to return to Bellaria to see his family.

The years pass with the economic fortunes of Bellaria rising and falling. Emilio and Evangelina pass on leaving Bellaria to their children. In 1980, after almost eighty years, Bellaria is sold to acquaintances of the family. However, in America, the grandson of Luigi makes contact with the family in Italy and with his wife determines to fulfill his grandfather’s promise, but in an unexpected way.

Reader Review: This novel begins as a love story between the two main characters, Emilio and Evangelina. However, it soon evolves into a compelling drama laced with interesting historical detail, challenge, heartbreak and tragedy, humor and danger. The author tells the true story about how his ancestors built a country inn and restaruant in northern Italy and about the human drama they experienced through the early to late 1900s as they operated the facility and dealt with the hardships two world wars, including life under the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. This is a well-told story that will be enjoyed by men, as well as by women.

books black and white

Japan

Reader Review: I found the book very interesting and helpful in understanding the history of japan since it’s existence on earth up to the end of the nineteenth century. The book illustrates the events of japan in chronological order with fair explanation. I was particularly amazed of the internal conflict between the different warlords and the share of power with the imperial family. Another interesting subject in the history of japan is the introduction of Christianity and Buddhism and the exchange of dominance depending on the warlords preferences. It is an easy read book with full of interesting information of japan history.

Exerpt: Chapter IX. Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

The death of Nobunaga in the forty-ninth year of his age left the country in a critical condition. Sakuma and Shibata had been his active retainers and generals for many years, and they had the most bitter and envious hatred toward Hideyoshi, whom they had seen advance steadily up to and past them in the march of military preferment. It was to Hideyoshi that the country looked to take up the work which Nobunaga’s death had interrupted. Akechi began to realize when too late that he must reckon with him for his terrible crime. He appointed two of his lieutenants to assassinate Hideyoshi on his way back to the capital. He sent word to Mōri Terumoto, who was trying to raise the siege of the castle of Takamatsu, concerning Nobunaga’s death, hoping that this tragedy would encourage Terumoto to complete his designs.

In the meantime the news had reached Hideyoshi. Terumoto had heard of the starting of Nobunaga with additional troops, and had determined to make peace with Hideyoshi. He had sent messengers with a proposition for peace. The measures [pg 194] for taking the castle had succeeded and it was surrendered. In this state of things Hideyoshi160 pursued a course which was characteristic of him. He sent word to Terumoto that Nobunaga was now dead and that therefore his proposition for peace might, if he wished, be withdrawn. You must decide, he said, whether you will make peace or not; it is immaterial whether I fight or conclude a treaty of peace. To such a message there could be only one answer. Peace was at once concluded and Hideyoshi started for Kyōto to deal with the traitors.

The attempt to assassinate Hideyoshi on his journey came very near being successful. He was in such eagerness to reach his destination that he hurried on without regard to his army which accompanied him. A small body-guard kept up as well as they could with their impatient chief. At Nishinomiya in this journey Hideyoshi, when in advance of his body-guard, was attacked by a band of the assassins. His only way of escape was by a narrow road between rice fields, leading to a small temple. When he had traversed part of this lane he dismounted, turning his horse around along the way he had come, and stabbed him in the hind leg. Mad with pain, he galloped back with disastrous effect upon the band which was following him. Meanwhile Hideyoshi hurried to the temple. Here the priests were all in a big common bath-tub, taking their bath. Hastily telling them who he was, and begging their protection, he stripped off his clothes and plunged in among the naked priests. [pg 195] When the assassins arrived, they could find nothing but a bath-tub full of priests, whom they soon left in search of the fugitive. As they disappeared, the anxious body-guard arrived, and were astonished and amused to find their chief clad in the garb of a priest and refreshed after his hurried journey with a luxurious bath.161

books black and white

Organic Lotion: Recipes for Beginners: How to Create Homemade Organic Lotions For Beauty, Nourishment, and Skin Healing (Treat Your Skin Naturally with … Organic Lotion Recipes Made for Beginners)

Blurb: Have you ever been filled with discontentment at the sheer sight of your own skin? If you answered yes to this question, then you are not alone. People all over the world must deal with a number of skin ailments, including dry skin, oily skin, aging skin, rashes and itching, and various skin conditions. What’s worse is that many people have haphazardly invested their faith in synthetic lotions designed to suffocate the outer layer of skin. Luckily, there is a solution to this, and it entails creating your very own, homemade lotions. With homemade lotions, you can actually control the course of your own skincare regimen.

First, as you delve into this book, you will learn about the critical importance of organic skin care as opposed to chemically based products. In the next chapter of this book, you will receive a brief review of essential skin care tips. Sometimes, owning the right product is not sufficient. If skin care is not executed properly, this can culminate in skin damage and irritation. The next section of the book will discuss the topic of lotion making tips so that you are adequately prepared for the lotion making process. Next, you will learn about the most popular lotion ingredients and essential oils, as well as their most important functions in the context of lotion. In the remaining chapters of the book, you will learn simple lotion making recipes for general skin care, youth and age prevention, as well as healing lotions for specific skin ailments.

books black and white

Paleo Frozen Desserts: 35 Delicious Homemade Dairy Free, Gluten Free Paleo Frozen Treats

Blurb:Summer is here, however if you are on the road to health and decided to rid your diet of the processed and refined foods, eating dessert may pose a bit of a challenge. Today’s supermarkets, ice cream shops and even desserts served by our neighbors are laden with refined sugars, soy, dairy as well as artificial flavors and preservatives that further contribute to weight gain, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. What if you could enjoy delicious, mouth-watering dessert in the comfort of your own home knowing it is 100% natural so that every guiltless bite could be enjoyed to the fullest?

You are in luck because Paleo Frozen Desserts will get you through the hot summer months! This book contains proven steps and strategies on how to make desserts that are in step with the Paleo diet and taste great. Not only are the desserts you are about to make creamy, rich and delicious- they are made without eggs, gluten, soy or refined sugar! Some of the treats you’ll enjoy include homemade ice cream, gelato, sherbet and popsicles!

In addition, this book provides you with more than just a list of recipes for Paleo Desserts; you will find out how dessert fits into the Paleo diet plan. You will also find hints and tips for how to manage portions so that you can control the amount of sugars in your diet, plus an explanation of the types of desserts and when it is best to make and serve them.

The following are just a few of the types of treats you’ll enjoy:

Strawberry Ice Cream

Vanilla-Hazelnut Ice Cream

Mint-Avocado Ice Cream

Coffee Ice Cream

Coconut Ice Cream with Raspberries

Coconut Pineapple Sherbet

Strawberry Lemon Sherbet

Lime Coconut Gelato

Peach Banana Gelato

Apricot-Raspberry-Banana Gelato

Blueberry Apple Gelato

Creamy Berry Popsicles

books black and white

Green Clean Your Oven: 4 Easy Ways to Clean Your Oven Without Using Toxic Chemicals

booklet
This new book introduces 4 Easy Ways to Clean Your Oven Without Using Toxic Chemicals. These methods will show you how to clean a very dirty oven without exposing your family to those harsh, toxic chemicals.

A couple of methods I’ve included:

- Baking Soda To The Rescue
- Baking Soda, Salt & Water

books black and white

Homemade Body Scrubs: 25+ AMAZING Body Scrub Recipes to Hydrate, Soften, Nourish and Exfoliate Your Skin!

Blurb: In the Homemade Body Scrub Recipes eBook you will discover:

::What are body scrubs and what are the health benefits that they bring

Find out what body scrubs really are, what’s the history behind them, and what health benefits they bring.

::How body scrubs are made and used

Learn about the basic principals of how body scrubs are made – what they consist of and how they are mixed. And also find out how they are used.

::A variety of amazing body scrub recipes

Recieve [sic] a wide variety of wonderful body scrub recipes

books black and white

Homesteading Essentials (4): From Garden Plot To Soup Pot! Modern Homesteading & Easy Tasty Soups – 2 Book Bundle

Blurb: Living A Self-Sustainable Lifestyle:
Whether growing your own vegetables or raising chickens; Homesteading is self-sustainability are all about consuming the fruits of your own labour – whether in the form of energy that you have produced or vegetables that you have grown, or indeed chickens that you have raised for eggs and meat.

In this 4th book in the ‘Homesteading Essentials’ series, Norman & Fay have combined to offer some great tips on the essentials of homesteading, and how to produce some fantastic tasty soups from your growing and rearing efforts.

Homesteading ‘Quick Bites’ Include:

Volume 1: Canning & Food Preservation

Volume 2: Raised Bed Gardening

Volume 3: Raising Chickens – 5 Top Tips

Volume 4: Growing Organic Vegetables

Volume 5: Vermin Control

‘Easy and Tasty Soups’ Contains 18 tasty soup recipes that are both simple to make and delicious. These include soups for the slow cooker that are mouth-wateringly moreish!

books black and white

There is quite a nice collection of these titles, all free, all best for the Kindle Fire or any other color option you have. i’m not even listing all of them.

Twenty-Four Claude Monet’s Paintings (Collection) for Kids

Twenty-Four Gustav Klimt’s Paintings (Collection) for Kids

Twenty-Four Johannes Vermeer’s Paintings (Collection) for Kids

Twenty-Four Paul Cezanne’s Paintings (Collection) for Kids

Twenty-Four John Singer Sargent’s Paintings (Collection) for Kids

Twenty-Four Mary Cassatt’s Paintings (Collection) for Kids

Twenty-Four Hokusai’s Paintings (Collection) for Kids

Twenty-Four Edgar Degas’s Paintings (Collection) for Kids

Twenty-Four Leonardo da Vinci’s Paintings (Collection) for Kids

Twenty-Four Marc Chagall’s Paintings (Collection) for Kids

Twenty-Four Andy Warhol’s Paintings (Collection) for Kids

books black and white

The Prepper’s ‘Lights Out’ Guide to Surviving with the Grid Down (Survival Family Basics – Preppers Survival Handbook Series)

reader review: We all hope we may never need this book but the reality is that we all depend on the grid and it could go down.
This book will teach you what to do if that ever happens. Contains essential information you need to know…
from water to hygiene to lighting. An essential survival reference.
books black and white

Homemade Cosmetics: Over 100 Recipes You Can Make at Home
blurb: Over 100 recipes for homemade cosmetics using primarily basic kitchen ingredients. Quality control, fresh and organic ingredients, no preservatives or additives, lower costs, better for the environment – these are some of the reasons to make your own cosmetics. Includes recipes for facials, toners, flower waters, lip balms/gloss, pine needle bath, bath salts, bubble baths, shower gel, mouthwash, tooth powders/paste, shampoo, hair rinse, dandruff cure, hair conditioner, sunburn remedies, rash remedies, body powders, body scrubs, athlete’s foot treatments, foot baths, foot tonics and lotions, fake “vasoline,” glitter body/hair gel, aftershave, cologne, perfume, bug repellents, fake “tigerbalm,” natural deodorant, rose petal beads, dream pillows, herbal suppliers, educators, links and resources. Includes special babies’, children’s and women’s herbals section and 31 photos by the author of herbs in nature and herbal processing techniques. Recipes come from the author’s 30+ years’ experience making her own cosmetics. Special bonus sections about herbs, women’s herbals and herbals for babies and children. Includes 31 photos by author of herbs in nature and herb processing procedures. The author has over 30 years experience making her own herbal cosmetics. She has raised her son using almost entirely medicinal herbs for any medical problems he incurred, and had a home birth, using herbs, from midwives during and after pregnancy. Much of her herbal knowledge comes from work with women’s groups, wilderness guides, midwives and herbalists, while most of the book explains her first-hand methods for using herbs.

books black and white

The Feral Spy: Shot down, with no contacts and no way home… (Sequel to A Gathered Radiance)

Lady Helena Templeton Forsyth has been arrested for stealing cat food, resisting arrest and faces additional charges of assault and actual bodily harm. Helena is living in dire poverty and cannot afford to pay a fine. She is persuaded by her defence solicitor to recall the story of her disastrous time in the S.O.E. in the hope of gaining sympathy from the magistrate. What follows is a tale of profound sadness, bravery, love, sacrifice and betrayal, Forced to bail out when her plane was shot down on the way to the dropzone, with no wireless, no contacts and no way home, Helena became a hunted fugitive with a price on her head. Yet she still risked her life to help the resistance. Will the magistrate even care, or will he still want to make an example of a woman he sees as a crafty old battleaxe? Just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, a long buried secret is unearthed in the grounds of Templeton Hall, her ancestral home, and she can’t talk her way out of this one…

The Feral Spy By Joyce Weaver.

Reader Review: Having thoroughly enjoyed A Gathered Radiance, I was anxious to read this sequel. It is indeed another fascinating time slip story. Set initially in the present and then going back in time intermittently, to before and during the war, we follow Helena Templeton’s dramatic life story. As a young, rebellious, vengeful girl in the early 1930s she has an uncanny knack of getting herself into all sorts of trouble.
Educated at home initially by a scheming governess, whom she strongly dislikes, things go from bad to worse, when the woman later becomes her step-mother. By which time, Helena and her cruel, insensitive father Edward Templeton have become totally alienated.
Eventually her own mother takes her away to France, where her grandparents live. There she gets expelled from a brutal convent school in Grenoble for her mutinous behaviour. She’s then sent to a boarding school in Geneva, but is kicked out after blowing up the science lab and nearly immolating herself in the process. This act alone is to bring her future ramifications.
When Helena learns that her father, has allowed his petulant step-daughter Marguerite and scheming step-son Luke, to become his lawful heirs, yet another rancorous facet to Helena’s story begins.
Indeed, throughout the book, Helena displays constant vitriolic resentment towards them, their mother Joan and her father, and this turns her into an even more revengeful young woman… who is always flying into rages, using venomous, bad language!
Helena is an extremely well drawn, feisty character, but owing to her sometimes offensive temper, she’s quite hard to warm to, particularly in the first half of the book. However, I have a feeling that this is intended by the author.

Book one of this set is also free at the moment: A Gathered Radiance

books black and white

Keeping Chickens: A Beginner’s Guide

books black and white

The Budget Cookbook: 57 Delicious Recipes You Can Cook at Home to Have Restaurant Quality Meals on a Shoestring Budget

The dishes in this book are easy to make but taste absolutely amazing. We are all trying to save money where we can these days and with the price of food increasing all the time its hard to cut back in this area but Sophia shows us how it can be done easily. I have tried two recipes so far – the pesto infused quinoa (wow!) and the chicken curry. I have Sophias quinoa book also and I have to say I am loving the style of her writing. I am looking forward to her next book already :)
books black and white

The Prodigal Father: “I Faked My Own Death” (Life after Death Book 1)
I read the sample pages of this one and it looks really interesting.
Blurb: ” I faked my own death and lived under other names for almost three years. I was the prodigal son, prodigal husband and prodigal father. I left my mother and father, ten brothers and sisters, and my wife and three children. I knew I couldn’t live a deceptive life and take God with me. I couldn’t take my family and live a deceptive life, so I verbally told my God goodbye. He left me alone. The children of Israel wanted meat in the wilderness. God gave it to them, but He sent leanness to their souls.——I got the freedom I wanted, but leanness to my soul. Through a series of miracles, however, God visited me again and persuaded me to come back…..to Himself and my family. That was over forty years ago.”

books black and white

Modern Homesteading – Self Sufficiency. 5 Books Bundle Beginners Guide: Canning & Food Preservation; Raised Bed Gardening; Raising Chickens; Growing Organic … Vermin Control (K.I.S.S Quick Bites Book 6)

Anyone that wants to get back to their roots and learn to live as our elders did… THIS IS the book you need to start with. Love the diverse content and the writing style that makes it easy and fun to read. As our society evolves into a spiraling mess of speedy convenience this and that…we are quickly losing site of the value and importance of this basic food storage and survival knowledge. This special collection is the perfect re-introduction into these practices. I have and will recommend to all my contacts.

books black and white

How to Declutter Your Home and Simplify Your Life: Tips and Techniques for a Clutter-Free Home

There may have been various instances in your life when you’ve looked around your home and felt rather weighed down by the clutter that was reigning over it. Naturally, nobody wants to live in a home that’s so filled up with clutter that it makes you feel like you’re living in some kind of a pig sty. As your home plays an important role in determining the physical and mental health of your dear ones, ridding it of clutter should be your first and foremost priority; you can’t be entirely happy unless you’re living in an environment that makes you feel good.
Once you’ve decided to make your home clutter-free and adopt a simpler lifestyle, the first question that pops into your mind is, “Where to start?” This is a very crucial question as people who are unable to answer it often tend to find themselves in a bit of a jam, leading to even more clutter in the house.
Thus, to help you get back the house of your dreams and transform it into a squeaky clean haven, this book will provide you with a step-by-step guide to hassle-free organization. The tips provided within this eBook will help you effectively clean and de-clutter your home and keep it clutter-free for months!

books border black and white

Housekeeping:

Sometimes when you click on a link, for some reason it won’t finish loading. Just hit refresh and it should work.

Subject to change without notice: Free Titles were free at the time I copied and pasted the links. But they don’t always stay free.  Deals were reduced prices at time of listing, but these prices generally don’t last more than the day they were listed.

Same for reduced price titles.

Shameless money grubbing: I thought this was common knowledge, but it turns out it’s not- these are affiliate links. If you click on a free title and download it, I get….. nothing.  If you click on a free title and while you are at Amazon also buy something else, I get….. something.  Depending on what you buy, it will probably be somewhere between 4% and 7.5% of what you spend (I don’t get a percentage on penny sales) but I don’t pretend to understand how all of that side works.

Also, Swagbucks remains my favorite source for free Amazon gift cards. And if you haven’t joined, please click on the link and join so that I can keep getting free Amazon gift cards because I am still shameless.

Don’t have a Kindle? : You don’t have to have 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, 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.  Personally,  I don’t like Kindle Fires because I am a crank like that.

If you like these free listings, you should also like my Facebook page, because I list other free titles there several times each week.

Yes, my Kindle gets slow because I stuff it too full. You can left click on a title on your Kindle anddelete it from your device, while still keeping it in your list of titles at Amazon in case you want to add it back to your Kindle later without paying for the title all over again. Don’t delete it from folder at Amazon unless you want to rid yourself of it permanently.

Most of the blurbs and book descriptions above are not mine, but come from  reviews on Amazon’s page.

Posted in Books | Leave a comment

Sausage and Cheese Turnovers

Makes 10 sandwiches

1 can refrigerated biscuits, the big, flaky ones (or make your own)

Filling:

1/2 lb bulk sausage OR ground beef, browned and drained (if you use ground beef, add spices and herbs to flavor it = I’d use sage, basil, onion and garlic powder)
four ounce can mushrooms, diced, or dice fresh mushrooms
1 cup shredded cheese (provolone or mozzarella recommended, but really, it will be tasty if you use cheddar or swiss, too)

Topping:
1 slightly beaten egg
a couple tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350

Grease your cookie sheet
Spread biscuit mix out into 10 five inch circles.
Combine the filling ingredients in a bowl, mix well
Spoon about 3 Tablespoons meat mixture onto the center of each biscuit circle. Fold dough in half over filling. Press the edges with a fork to seal them (or just pinch them).
Brush tops with beaten egg, top with Parmesan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

You can also flash freeze them- freeze them on the cookie sheet. As soon as they are frozen, put them in ziplock bags, or wrap well with foil or saran wrap. To cook, unwrap, defrost on a cookie sheet (or pie pan if you’re just baking one), and once defrosted, bake as directed above.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A Budget of Books, Mystery, Suspense, Christian,Self-help

The City of Man: Inferno

Book I of a trilogy based on a true story of the Italian Renaissance.

Renaissance Florence celebrated its Golden Age during the late 15th century under Lorenzo de’ Medici, the Magnificent. This was the age of artists, philosophers and poets like Leonardo, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Pico della Mirandola, Poliziano, and Machiavelli.

But a societal crisis was imminent by the century’s last decade. The Italian peninsula was surrounded and threatened by imperialist powers, trade declined and poverty increased in the face of obscene wealth. Avaricious popes made a family business of the Church while floods, droughts, famines, and the plague all combined to create an atmosphere of overwhelming fear and anxiety.

As chaos loomed, an obscure Dominican friar arose to restore order. Fra Girolamo Savonarola was a charismatic preacher and prophet who advocated religious and political reform. His mission was to transform his corrupt and decaying society into St. Augustine’s mythical City of God. At the height of his short reign he orchestrated the infamous Bonfire of the Vanities, riding a wave of popular discontent to become the most influential religious, political, and cultural figure of the age. The Savonarolan theocratic republic left its indelible mark on the face of Florence, Italy, and Western history.

The City of Man is the dramatic story of this preacher’s fantastic rise and tragic fall, symbolizing a critical juncture in the conflict between Church and State in the Christian world. More dramatized history than historical fiction, the story integrates the art, religion, and politics of this glorious period.

Young Niccolo Machiavelli provides the counterpoint to Savonarola as he develops his new political philosophy. Their momentous clash illuminates the transition from the Age of Faith to the Age of Reason, heralding the birth of our modern age.

In Book I: The Inferno, Fra Savonarola damns the societal decay of Florence under the rule of the Medici, first Lorenzo the Magnificent and then his son Piero the Unfortunate. With his prophecies and charismatic preaching, Savonarola helps drive out the Medici after Lorenzo’s death and Piero’s mismanagement. He foretells the coming of the Scourge of God to cleanse the city and restore Florence as the City of God. Niccolo Machiavelli enters the scene as an ambitious young political operator.

Formatted for the Kindle, the digital version of The City of Man incorporates special features to explore the world of Renaissance Florence, including maps, family trees, art images, dozens of internal and external hyperlinks to biographies and historical events on Wikipedia, an extensive glossary and selected scene index.

books black and white

Not free, it’s 2.99, but Sally Wright’s Ben Reese mysteries are very readable Christian mystery fiction:
Publish And Perish (The Ben Reese Mystery Series Book 1)

Pride And Predator (Ben Reese Mystery series Book 2)

Pursuit And Persuasion (Ben Reese mystery series Book 3)

books black and white

Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free

By Tullian Tchividjian

Blurb: In this world, one thing is certain: Everybody hurts. Suffering may take the form of tragedy, heartbreak, or addiction. Or it could be something more mundane (but no less real) like resentment, loneliness, or disappointment. But there’s unfortunately no such thing as a painless life. In Glorious Ruin, best-selling author Tullian Tchividjian takes an honest and refreshing look at the reality of suffering, the ways we tie ourselves in knots trying to deal with it, and the comfort of the gospel for those who can’t seem to fix themselves—or others.

This is not so much a book about Why God allows suffering or even How we should approach suffering—it is a book about the tremendously liberating and gloriously counterintuitive truth of a God who suffers with you and for you. It is a book, in other words, about the kind of hope that takes the shape of a cross.

REader review: I can’t say enough about how reading Glorious Ruin has been a tremendous blessing to my life. Tullian’s love for the Gospel is truly contagious and I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

Tullian addresses the reality of suffering in the first 3 chapters of Glorious Ruin. His section on the Theology of Glory vs. the Theology of the Cross is excellent. Tullian says, “A theology of the cross defines life in terms of giving rather than taking, self-sacrifice rather than self-protection, dying rather than killing.” I would highly recommend this section. It has a lot to offer. Also, Tullian’s comparison of the Law and Gospel in chapter 2 really shows that, “when we finally come to the end of ourselves, there God will be.”

Moralizing and Minimizing suffering is what the next two sections discuss. Moralizing suffering says that because of your bad behavior or particular sin is why you suffer. Minimizing suffering says to downplay or reduce the pain of the suffering that you are dealing with. However, we realize that the Gospel liberates us from feeling like we have to moralize or minimize our suffering. This is extremely important. Because of what Jesus Christ has already done, we are free to be honest and confront our suffering head on.

The last section shows us how we are saved by suffering. The Gospel is for defeated, not the dominant. God is truly found in the weak things of the world
books black and white

21 Steps to a CLEAN & WELL-ORGANIZED Home: A Supermom’s Guide to Completely Turn Your Place Around & Make it Spotless

Reader review: 21 Steps To A Clean And Well Organized Home by Robyn Reiter is a helpful little book about exactly what it says. The subtitle is “A Supermom’s guide to completely turn your place around and make it spotless”. The book goes through the house room by room – entry way, kitchen, communal living space, bathroom, laundry room, bedrooms. Until I got this book I was in despair about how to keep my home straight. She has encouraging tips all through the book. And tips on homemade do-it-yourself cleaning aids. (Hint: lots of lemon, vinegar and baking soda.) Her suggestions are simple, easy and cost effective. Like using baskets and hooks. I tried some of her suggestions already and my entry way is already tamed. I am retraining my husband and kids to keep thngs off the kitchen counter (as per her suggestion). A quick read.

books black and white

The Monkey Trial – Evolutionary Politics in the post-Traditional Age

Blurb: The Monkey Trial examines the political and social consequences of the Theory of Evolution. By utilizing the brilliant closing statements of William Jennings Bryan in the Scopes Trial, known as the Monkey Trial, Morse highlights the relevance and impact of the theory of evolution on society today. This book is not about creationism per se but rather focuses on the Theory of Evolution as a political idea and as a governing principle. While the author draws into question the validity of the science of evolution, The Monkey Trial focuses instead on the post-evolutionary emergence of Eugenics, Nazism, and Communism and the role that the evolutionary idea played in those political movements.

Chuck Morse is the host of the nationally syndicated radio talk show “Chuck Morse Speaks” and is the author of “The Nazi Connection to Islamic Terrorism” published by WND Books and “A Whig Manifesto” published by TrineDay Books. Morse columns have appeared in The Boston Globe, The Washington Times, The Providence Journal, WND, Newsmax and elsewhere. Morse, who lives in Boston, ran for Congress in 2004 against Rep. Barney Frank.

books black and white

Hometown Favorite: A Novel
Blurb: Talented, handsome, and personable, Dewayne Jobe rose from humble beginnings in rural Mississippi to play college football in Southern California and beyond. One of the best wide receivers in college ball, Dewayne is assured a promising career in professional football and easily finds success both on and off the field. Not only is he a great player, he’s got the wife, the kids, and the pristine white picket fence to boot.
But catastrophe looms right around the corner and ultimately strikes with a crushing vengeance. Will Dewayne’s faith and character stand the test of such tragedy? Or will he lose everything–including the love of his life? This modern retelling of the story of Job will capture readers with the age-old question of why bad things happen to good people–and how good people can survive.

Reader Review: I wouldn’t have chosen this book to read for pure entertainment. My major reason is football. I’m not only not a fan, I don’t get the game. I also do not care for omniscient point of view. The authors vocabularies and talent resulted in some overwriting as well. That said, I was won over by the story.

Though I skimmed football details fairly often, football non-fans can find something to enjoy in this story. I’m not going to give away many details since they would be spoilers. I will recommend this novel to folks who wouldn’t have issues like mine as stated above, and who are looking for edgy Christian fiction. There are usages of slang and a smattering of curse words in this novel. Heavy subjects like child endangerment, violence, sexuality,drinking and drug use give the book a solid PG to PG-13 rating depending on your sensitivity.

The authors paint a picture of grace and hope. Despair pops up, forgiveness and restoration are covered. It’s not a light read, but it could be just the ticket for some folks. Those who are fans of Creston Mapes novels may want to check out Hometown Favorite.

books black and white

Love Letters from the Edge

Downloaded this one for me.
Blurb: Millions of women in the United States battle with after-effects of suffering so great they’ve developed post-traumatic stress disorder—the same suffering experienced by soldiers who’ve gone through war. Sexual and physical abuse, catastrophic accidents, abandonment, natural disasters, invasive medical procedures, and many other painful and overwhelming events can trigger symptoms they are little equipped to deal with and hard-pressed to recognize. Love Letters from the Edge provides a voice for those struggling to express this pain and reveals intimate encouragement for those in desperate need to hear God’s words of love and deliverance. This heartfelt devotional focuses on the profound laments in the book of Psalms. Each meditation begins with a letter from someone in the throes of despair and then offers a tender response to their pain from God’s perspective.Fresh, honest, and intimate, Love Letters from the Edge will reach readers who never expected to hear good news from where they are and point them toward the hope and healing of Christ.

Reader Review: This book is a brave, authentic lifeline to the hurting. If you have experienced loss, abuse, or pain- you need to read this book. Authors Wanda Sanchez and Shelly Beach invite you into their thoughts and hearts, asking questions that many wrestle with and few dare to speak. In the pages of this book you will come face-to-face with hope for your broken places. This book is refreshing, unique and an important asset to the literary world. Love Letters from the Edge can help you heal as you get real, listen well and let God’s love wash over afresh.
books black and white

Love is for Eternity

Blurb: Love matters. Loving God and our neighbor is essential to the Christian life, but who is our neighbor and when do they become our neighbors? Join the author for a journey of faith and discovery in the arena of life. Encounter the riches of Scripture and learn what the Bible teaches about life’s source, beginning, purpose, dignity, worth, and inherent value. This daily devotional is more than a pro-life study using Scripture, fetal development, and history, it’s an invitation to become more Christ-like. Spend a few minutes each day contemplating God’s counsel on life and discover that love, like our life, is for eternity.

Reader review: Great daily devotional with life as it’s central theme. The Bible teaches that life in all forms in precious and should be cherished and this daily devotional helps keep this fresh in your mind, and with it being through Kindle reading software, it makes it very easy to look at anytime of the day on my Android phone (HTC EVO 4G LTE)!

I encourage any Christian looking for a pleasant life affirming message to pick this up and share with friends and family!

books black and white

75 Secrets Revealed on Time Management Skills: The New Organized You In Just 3 Hours (10 Mins A Day)

Reader review: I found this book to be full of great advice and actionable tips. If you are serious about mastering time management you will want to read every chapter and take the time to implement each tip that applies to your situation. I know I will be prioritizing at least ten to start that will make the biggest difference in my time management now and then add the rest later. Otherwise I would just be overwhelmed and be right back to procrastinating.

books black and white

Not free, a Kindle daily deal for 1.99:

Austerity Britain, 1945-1951 (Tales of a New Jerusalem)

Blurb: As much as any country, England bore the brunt of Germany’s aggression in World War II, and was ravaged in many ways at the war’s end. Celebrated historian David Kynaston has written an utterly original, and compellingly readable, account of the following six years, during which the country rebuilt itself. Kynaston’s great genius is to chronicle the country’s experience from bottom to top: coursing through through the book, therefore, is an astonishing variety of ordinary, contemporary voices, eloquently and passionately evincing the country’s remarkable spirit. Judy Haines, a Chingford housewife, gamely endures the tribulations of rationing; Mary King, a retired schoolteacher in Birmingham, observes how well-fed the Queen looks during a royal visit; Henry St. John, a persnickety civil servant in Bristol, is oblivious to anyone’s troubles but his own. Together they present a portrait of an indomitable people and Kynaston skillfully links their stories to bigger events thought the country. Their stories also jostle alongside those of more well-known figures like celebrated journalist-to-be John Arlott (making his first radio broadcast), Glenda Jackson, and Doris Lessing, newly arrived from Africa and struck by the leveling poverty of post-war Britain. Kynaston deftly weaves into his story a sophisticated narrative of how the 1945 Labour government shaped the political, economic, and social landscape for the next three decades.

Reader Review: Written for a British eye more than for an American, this American learned a stronger respect for the people of Britain for the way they won the war and then won back their share of industry and prosperity. Having won a glorious victory, within hours the victorious citizens of the country that sustained almost six years of war following on a prolonged depression realized that the trials of war time would be extended by the austerity of post-war Europe. While England won the war, they paid a high price. More important, the collective, heroic efforts of the large working class produced a tide of enthusiasm for nationalisation of industry, housing to replace the hundreds of thousands displaced by German bombing, and a broad social welfare plan focusing primarily on health care.

It is not a pretty story. Post-war England was drab, lacking many basics, watching its empire dissolve, and driven by a strong, centralized plan to restore the economy that changed the basic way people looked at business and government. And, with the continuing pressures of rebuilding the rest of Europe, the threat of further communist expansion, and the rise of American power, perhaps Britain went too far in moving towards a benevolent but often clumsy and experimental form of socialism. It would be almost another forty years and the decisions of the Thatcher government, that saw the maturity and, in some cases, the reversal of this social and cultural experiment.

This is a long, dense and colorful book, full of first-person details and observations, many of them from the surveys and observations of the government itself. Chapters focus on various aspects of the cultural and social revolution, in the classroom, on the factory floor, in the (mine) pits, in the shops, in the media, and more.

books black and white

Herbal Hair Remedies from Natures Pharmacy

Do you want exotic hair without paying an exotic price?

Possessing healthy hair that is full of body and shine is easy to achieve&if you just know how.

Every woman wants hair that is equivalent to a super models – shiny, smooth, voluminous, and, of course, manageable. We see these super models selling a variety of shampoos, conditioners,
and hair treatments while flaunting their beautiful hair in magazines and on television ads.

But did you know that using these products can actually do more harm than good? Commercial shampoos contain a variety of chemicals and unnecessary additives and preservatives that cause damage, not only to your hair, but also to your entire body. One of the most commonly used ingredients is Triethanolamin…

Genre: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Alternative Medicine, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Crafts & Hobbies, Nonfiction
Size: 83 pages

books border black and white

 

Housekeeping:

Sometimes when you click on a link, for some reason it won’t finish loading. Just hit refresh and it should work.

Subject to change without notice: Free Titles were free at the time I copied and pasted the links. But they don’t always stay free.  Deals were reduced prices at time of listing, but these prices generally don’t last more than the day they were listed.

Same for reduced price titles.

Shameless money grubbing: I thought this was common knowledge, but it turns out it’s not- these are affiliate links. If you click on a free title and download it, I get….. nothing.  If you click on a free title and while you are at Amazon also buy something else, I get….. something.  Depending on what you buy, it will probably be somewhere between 4% and 7.5% of what you spend (I don’t get a percentage on penny sales) but I don’t pretend to understand how all of that side works.

Also, Swagbucks remains my favorite source for free Amazon gift cards. And if you haven’t joined, please click on the link and join so that I can keep getting free Amazon gift cards because I am still shameless.

Don’t have a Kindle? : You don’t have to have 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, 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.  Personally,  I don’t like Kindle Fires because I am a crank like that.

If you like these free listings, you should also like my Facebook page, because I list other free titles there several times each week.

Yes, my Kindle gets slow because I stuff it too full. You can left click on a title on your Kindle anddelete it from your device, while still keeping it in your list of titles at Amazon in case you want to add it back to your Kindle later without paying for the title all over again. Don’t delete it from folder at Amazon unless you want to rid yourself of it permanently.

Most of the blurbs and book descriptions above are not mine, but come from  reviews on Amazon’s page.

Posted in Books | Leave a comment

By Law, Border Patrol Houses Violent Gang Members With Other Illegal Immigrant Minors

Crimes committed and confessed by gang members currently housed at Nogales include murder and extortion.  Are these creeps near the kids? http://t.co/9ewI16UWaP

 

Answer: Yes. Criminals and violent gang members are housed with innocent children:

“By U.S. legal standards many gang members operating in Central American countries and traveling north are classified as minors due to being under the age of 18. However, many young males are actively engaged in violent cartel and criminal activity, yet are treated as children when processed through the Department of Health and Human Services or Department of Homeland Security systems. Due to current policy, these “minor” gang members cannot be separated by Border Patrol agents from the rest of the general population of children. According to the FBI, MS-13 regularly targets middle and high school students for recruitment. The FBI also lists 18th Street as one of the most violent gangs in the country. Business Insider describes 18th Street as having special focus on document fraud and homicide.”

http://t.co/9ewI16UWaP

This article, and the slideshow called ‘Children’s Journey’ (toward the end of the article) are sobering.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

School bans Bible, makes excuses, backtracks, lifts ban

bible readingIt was free reading time- not assigned reading of specific books, but free reading.  Fifth grader Giovanni took out his Bible.  The teacher took umbrage and called him out during class, told him to put that book on her desk.

He refused.

Normally what happens in these situations is that the teacher makes up some story about how that’s not really exactly what happened, and it’s a kid said-teacher said situation and most people believe the teacher.

This teacher called the child to the front of the classroom, had him call his dad, and she left a message on the parents’ phone- during classtime and in front of the whole class! She actually told the child, in front of his peers, ‘get your dad on the phone’ that minute. She left a message where she said that the boy had a religious book in her classroom and children were not allowed to read religious books in her class.

She also made reference to reading books in the curriculum, but that wasn’t the issue- it was free reading period (the school later said it wasn’t free reading, but their story there also doesn’t hold water, more on that below), and there doesn’t seem to have been an assigned list of literature to choose from.

The school district doubled down on the dumb by sending out a letter on April 16th saying that any student could read religious books before or after class. I’m guessing their lawyer saw that after the fact, because on May 5th they put out another statement saying the kids could read religious books before or after class and during free reading time and that this had been communicated to the parents involved.

IT’s not clear to me that the May 5th letter actually went out to the students and their parents. It could have, but it reads to me like a press release rather than parent-school communication.

Giovanni and his parents want the teacher to apologize, since she humiliated their son while also violating his civil rights.

Note that the school later said it wasn’t free reading time, it was time that was part of the ‘Accelerated Reading Program,” only approved books were allowed, and the Bible isn’t on the list. But this also turns out not to be true- even if it was ARP time, almost all of the 66 books of the Bible are on the ‘approved’ list.

The AR program also is based on the student’s choice:

“There are three steps to using Accelerated Reader. First, students choose and read a fiction or non-fiction book, textbook, or magazine. Teachers monitor the reading. Second, students take a quiz. Teachers can create their own quizzes. Third, the teacher receives information that is intended to assist, motivate reading, monitor progress, and target instruction. Reports regarding reading level and comprehension skills are available through the software.”

Now, I can think of a couple of scenarios in the school’s favor (although not the teacher’s for the way she called out the child in front of the class). It looks like the approved reading list specifies NIV versions and perhaps the child was reading another version.*

But oops- that’s not what the teacher said. She said that no religious books were permitted in her classroom. That’s also not what the school said, even in their last permutation of excuses and justifications.

To use the AR program, the school has to purchase the software to keep track of the student scores, and usually tests for the books (although teachers can also write their own tests). It’s entirely possible that the school did not choose to purchase any tests for religious books (which is odd and a problem in itself, because there are quite a few included in the AR collection), but the thing is, if that were the case, then the school would have clarified that from the beginning. Instead, they first sent out a letter which stated only two times religious books could be read by the students- before and after school. Free reading wasn’t included. Their later statement was substantially different in including free reading, as well as in singling out the family and saying that this had been clarified to the family involved. So clearly, they cannot use that excuse.

At any rate, the school has now backed down, and says religious books are allowed during free reading and during the accelerated reading program.

We should all be so bold and firm about what’s right as this fifth grader was, and I wish all kids had parents as supportive as his.

*It should be noted, btw, that from what I can tell, books are on the approved list mainly because they’ve been rated, scored, and quizzes written for them. More are added all the time, and there is a process for requesting a book be added to the program.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Baked Chicken with Orange Soy Sauce

chopsticksplainServes 4

2 1/2 pounds chicken parts

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 tsp or more garlic powder

1/4 tsp ground ginger

2/3 cup of orange juice

Preheat oven to 400

Put chicken pieces in a casserole dish

Mix other ingredients, pour over the top.

Bake 40-45 minutes, or until the chicken is done.

You can put all the ingredients in a ziplock bag or sealed baking dish and freeze until serving day, then defrost and bake as directed.

You can also sprinkle with sesame seeds and add snipped green onions if desired.

Serve with sides of rice, seaweed, and green beans or broccoli steamed and tossed with a touch of sesame oil.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Not Adoption for Some of the Border Kids?

I am fully aware of the problems we have created with some of our international adoption drive- we’ve created ‘poverty orphans,’ given incentives for bribery and corruption and put poor foreign mothers in an even harder bind. Often, supporting the parents in their efforts to survive at home would be a much better, nobler choice than taking their kids off their hands with the smiling promise that we can give them better ‘stuff.’

horror-at-the-borderBut this situation is different. We aren’t going into their country to take their kids, they are sending their kids to us, often alone, or in the company of the coyotes, paid to transport human flesh. Of course, a lot of these ‘kids’ are teen-aged gang members who have already killed in their own country. But that’s a different issue. I’m talking about the children who are obviously children. I think we’re all worried about them and the deplorable conditions they have left, and the deplorable conditions in which they are currently housed, we just all have different ideas about the best solution for the problem.

There should be required DNA testing for those ‘family’ members showing up to take the unaccompanied children and then some parenting classes and oversight. I mean, after all, if we arrest an American citizen because she let her 9 year old play at a park behind her workplace during work hours, what are we thinking releasing an 11 year old child to a woman who says she’s his mother, but has been living without him in the US since he was 2, and left him under supervision so lax that he was able to leave for another country on his own?

border kidsThose children who do not have a DNA connection or some serious paperwork showing a relationship to the adults picking them up should be asked, at least if they are grade school age, if they would rather be deported or adopted, and nstead of deporting the youngest children, we should consider domestic adoptions. After all, they went through great hardships to come to America, let’s give them the best America has to offer- a family. This is completely different from going into their own countries and creating poverty orphans. They came to us.

Guatamala closed its borders to international adoption a couple years back, in favor of local adoption. I favor local adoption when possible, too, but Guatamalans don’t- they adopted 35 kids in a single year. I think it’s reasonable to wonder how many of these kids are the result of Guatamala’s anti-adoption policies.

We should continue humanitarian responses like this one, but I think we should add the option of adoption to the list of responses. In Florida, they are placing these kids in foster homes. Wouldn’t permanent homes be better? There are probably thousands of families who have already completed home-studies, are fully adoption-ready, who are waiting for an adoptable kid right now. They won’t all be interested in or a good fit for an older kid who doesn’t speak English, but a lot of them would be. Why not put those families who are looking for a child together with those unaccompanied children who are looking for a new life?

This would also spread the children around more evenly, so that states like Maryland, whose Democrat governor wants full asylum for all the kids, he just doesn’t want then in his state, wouldn’t be overwhelmed by a demand for services.

It would help reduce the pressure and work load of the Border Patrol so they can focus on catching the criminals and potential terrorists slipping through with the children.

And there’s something very wonky about the way the gov’t is handling this now.

Governor Mary Fallin (R-OK) told Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures that the feds sent 1,200 illegal immigrant children to Oklahoma to hold for 120 days. 90 of those illegal children were from India.”

IT’s not a perfect solution and it won’t take care of every single one of the nearly 70,000 kids that have come through so far, but it would certainly help some of them, and it would give those who believe in total amnesty a chance to put real hands and feet to their compassion. I think the quicker the children are out of the control of the government and in loving, permanent new family homes the better.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments