Um… Salad? From the REcipe Card Files

2015-05-17 20.56.01


This is one of those everything but the kitchen sink salads- I mean, look at that- oranges, carrot, red cabbage, cucumbers, celery, frozen peas, chickpeas, and your preferred form of onion.

For a whole30 version, you could substitute just about any diced, roasted vegetables for the peas and chickpeas.

As I recall, this one is really piquant, and very, very pretty for potlucks.

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Magi Shoeboxes for Children

Most of you are probably familiar with the shoebox projects various charitable organizations collect to give to children.

Samaritan’s Purse has one such program. In fact, they have perfected the program so that you don’t even have to go out and physically pack a box- you still *can*, but you can also spend 25.00 and pack it online, selecting things from the options they give you.

There are Magi Boxes

Healing Hands International also does Magi Boxes.

Here’s some great advice to think about when packing your boxes. Take it seriously. I’m pretty sure I’ve included stuffed animals or beanie babies in previous boxes I have done, and it never occurred to me that might be a terrible idea, but it definitely makes sense.

Hand Crank & Solar Powered 3 LED Flashlight (this looks like it would also be a good gift for a college student, a camper, the homeless.

For an older teen, something like this might be good:
Study 10-Piece Compass and Geometry Kit with Shatterproof Box, Assorted Colors (897010), along with various other school supplies, as mentioned in the above advice link.

Ribay Soccer Ball Size 5 + BONUS Soccer Ball Pump – Best Soccer Ball for Training & Matches. SELECT SOCCER BALL: Professional Quality for Major League Soccer & Kids

And I wonder about a roll of duct tape.

(this post contains affiliate links)

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More Charlotte Mason Bookmarks

These have the 18 principles found in the front of the first five of Miss Mason’s books on education.  In volume 6, she updated it to 20 principles.  I’ll do a set of those later.  I took the colours from the wood violets growing on our property.

Click to enlarge.

Set printer paper to landscape and margins to .5

Charlotte Mason bookmarks vintage violets principles 1-9

Charlotte Mason bookmarks vintage violets principles 10-18

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From the Recipe files

I’m sorting through my ancient index card box of some of the thousands of recipes I’ve saved over the years.  This quick crockpot beans and sausage recipe is fairly inexpensive, very fast and easy to put together, and tends to be popular with teens, making it a good one for when your teens are having a get together.
2015-05-17 20.56.42The ingredients list calls for 4-6 cooked brown and serve sausage links, cut into pieces.  Cook a bunch for breakfast and cut a few of them directly into the crockpot (hold them over the crockpot by one end, with tongs, a fork, your fingers… cut the other end with shears).

For the cans of kidney beans, you could use canned, or you could cook up a big batch in advance and freeze them, 2-4 cups per container, for easy meal prep later.   Or freeze them with some diced, browned sausage or even hotdogs to use in this recipe on another day.

The pineapple and vinegar give it a necessary tang.

It doubles very easily.

good side dishes to choose:




cucumbers and celery sticks

corn chips


It’s not the healthiest meal, but it’s tasty, fairly cheap, and easy.


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Maher and Rose on Islam

I want to share this important interview between Bill Maher and Charlie Rose, both liberals, both fairly hostile to Christianity, but one of them is more honest (and more informed) about Islam, and more honest about the double standard. I’ve also included a rough transcrip because I know that sometimes we have guests who are deaf or hard of hearing.

I apologize for the quality. This is far from a professional transcript. I listened to it over and over and typed it out as I heard it, but a few times there’s crosstalk where Rose keeps interrupting but I can’t really understand what he says, and some of it is just him making ‘I hear you’ noises, and I didn’t always include that.

Maher: I saw Howard Dean on tv the other day and he said something along the order about the people in Isis and he said “I’m about as Islamic as they are” you know distancing the vast number of Islamic people around the world from it. That’s just not true.

Rose: It is true.

Maher: it is not true, Charlie there is a connecting tissue between-

Rose: You mean behind every Muslim is a future member of some radical-

Maher: LEt me finish.

Rose: I thought I was doing that.

Maher: There are illiberal beliefs that are held by vast numbers of Muslim people that I don’t

Rose. vast number of Christians, too.

Maher: No. no, that’s not true. Not true. Vast numbers of christian people do not believe that if you leave the christian religion you should be killed for it. Vast numbers of christians do not treat women as second class citizens. vast numbers of Christians –

Rose: I agree with that, I’m just saying

Maher: Do not beileve that if you draw a picture of Jesus Christ you should be killed for it. So yes, does isis do khmer rouge like activities where they just kill people indiscrimianately for not being just like them? Yes. Do most Muslims in the world do that or condone that? No, but most Muslim people in the world do condone violence just for what you think. For-

Rose: How do you know that?

Maher: First of all they say it. They shout it from-

Rose: Vast majorities say that?

Maher: absolutely. there’s a pew poll of egypt done a few years ago.

Rose: Saying?

Maher: over 82% do condone stoning as the appropriate punishment for adultery. I think it was over 80% thought death was the appropriate punishment for leaving the Muslim religion.
I’m sure you know these things.

Rose: I know (stammers) I know of them well I do but I don’t th-

Maher: so to say that this religion is like other religions is just naive and just plain wrong. It is not like other religions. The NYT

Rose: There’s a program I want to do.

Maher: The NYT pointed out in an op-ed a couple weeks ago that in Saudi Arabia, just since Aug 4 I think it was, they have beheaded 19 people, most for nonviolent crimes including homosexuality.

Rose. Plus they cut the hands off of thieves.

Maher: Right, so we are upset that ISIS is beheading people which we should be upset about but Saudi Arabia does it, but they are our good friends. Because they have oil. Okay, but they do it too. This is the center of their religion, I’m not saying that-

Rose- (couldn’t understand part of it), saying that they are now joining us in the fight against ISIS, too, as is the emirates.

Maher: They are both fighting and for ISIS

Rose. Well, not the government.

Maher: certainly the government.

(cross talk and something I couldn’t understand about somebody named Cutter. I think the tape is cut here)

Maher: but I mean in mecca where infidels, nonmuslims, are not even allowed in the holy parts of the city. I mean, right there, we don’t have examples of that in other religions. They do behead people. Now, if they were beheading people in vatican city, which is the equivilant of mecca, don’t you think there’d be a bigger outcry about it?
So this is the soft bigotry of low expectations

Rose: Well, I’m not a fan of that term

Maher: that we have with Muslim people.
When they do crazy things and believe crazy things, somehow it’s just not talked about nearly as much.

Rose: Would you come to this table and have a debate about that with a moderate Muslim?

Maher: Find one. Yes. Find one. Find a Muslim-

Rose: Yes, I promise you I will. I do believe that what we have with ISIS is not representative of

Maher: Well, it’s as I said, connecting tissue

Rose: Is not representative of the Islam religion. I do not think the Koran teaches them to do this kind of thing.

Maher: WEll, you’re wrong about that. the koran absolutely has on every page stuff that’s horrible about how the infidel should be treated. But for example, again, Isis says they should perform genital mutliation on all women 11 to 46. Would most Muslims agree with that? No. Or carry it out? No. But as Ayaan Hirsi Ali points out, she says can we really say

Rose- and and and I have tremendous respect for her, too.

Maher- and she would know, better than you,

Rose: (cross talk), and she’s been a victim, too

Maher: she said can we really say that women are treated equally int he muslim world? I mean, their testimony in court is counted as half. They need permission to leave the house in some places, so

Rose: But a lot of moderate, moderate, muslims would say that, in fact, one of the things that we need to modernize is the idea of the way we treat women. Lots of them.

Maher: But in this country, if you just use the wrong word about women, they go nuts. And in all

Rose: As they should.

Maher: these other countries, they’re doing things like making them wear a burqha, and I hear liberals saying, “Well, they want to.”
They *want* to? They’ve been brainwashed. You know they don’t want… it’s like saying a streetwalker wants to do that.



Basically, Rose is totally schooled here by Maher, but I am not sure if Rose is able to see out of the liberal-think hole in which he lives enough to understand how confused he is about reality.  Rose was genial and friendly enough, he just doesn’t agree with Maher at all that Islam is an order more violent than Christianity today.  His reasons for disagreeing are basically that he doesn’t agree.   And somehow, the fact that there may be some moderate Muslims who think maybe they could look at rethinking the idea of how the Muslim religion treats women is supposed to render irrelevant the rampant genital mutilation, banning women drivers, stoning women for being the victims of rape, ‘honor killing’ of wives, daughters, and sisters, preventing girls from going to school, polygamy, wife beating, and more.

Updated to add this link.Beheadings in Saudi have increased so much that the government is advertising for new hires:

“A downloadable pdf application form for the executioner jobs, available on the website carrying Monday’s date, said the jobs were classified as “religious functionaries” and that they would be at the lower end of the civil service pay scale.”

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Mad Max and the F word

I don’t much care about the new Mad Max movie, although I find it bizarre that the author of the ‘vagina monologues’ was hired as a consultant.  It should be noted that while it’s being marketed in some circles as a feminist film, in other circles (viewers who watched it), that’s largely being mocked as mere marketing to dumb feminists who value the marketing puffery over the actual events and characters.  Still, I don’t care which is correct.

I do care about this, however, which is ubiquitous in action movies and television shows:

You know all those portrayals of dystopian post-disaster reality that the movies portray?  I have news for the movies.  I’ve been in such realities.  I’ve seen them.  I’ve smelled them.  I’ve lived them in more than one African nation plagued by war, or famine, or other disaster.  I know what dystopia means . . . and what it does notmean, ever, is any kind of female physical ascendancy.  It simply doesn’t happen.  Women don’t have the strength to endure against men who want to take anything and everything they have.  I’ve seen it time and again.  I’ve stopped (the hard way) men trying to do that to women . . . and it was never enough, because when you turned your back, there were always more desperate men with nothing to lose (and nothing to care about) who were prepared to renew the attack.

Any movie that tries to portray a woman kicking male ass and taking male names under such circumstances will get nothing more from me than scorn, derision and contempt.  It ain’t gonna happen, people, not in a thousand years.  If you don’t like reality, I’m sorry, but that’s your problem, not mine.  I’ve been around the block too many times to be in any doubt about the real world.  It’s a cold, ugly, hard place when the chips are down.

I get that action movies are not realistic to begin with.  But the thing that really bugs me about this trope of the female warrior who repeatedly beats up thugs three times her size, or two or three of them at a time, is the fact that in drama land, she’s not even an anamoly.  She’s now in just about every show with any fighting at all.   Warrior Chicks don’t lose those fights, and that is a total crock.  It’s a dangerous myth being sold to our culture.

Fight back all you want, and you should, and you might get lucky and place a surprising well timed blow- especially if you are fast and fight dirty.  But it’s not a given.  No matter how strong you are, no matter how well trained you are, the biological reality is the vast majority of men are going to be stronger than you in upper arm strength, that while women tend to have a vastly higher pain tolerance, pain also tends to cloud our thinking but sharpen theirs, and men are generally bigger, stronger, and faster.  There are a few exceptions, but that’s what they are, exceptions.

I’m not talking about value as a human being, I’m talking about being able to protect yourself in a time or place where western civilization’s values are trampled underfoot or never existed in the first place, and that ability will depend largely on access to good arms and marksmanship and, honestly, good men around you- not your hand to hand combat skills.

It was interesting as an out of the ordinary innovation the first few times the chick fighting the dude in hand to hand combat and winning thing got airplay.  But now it’s just boring, dumb, dishonest, and more than a little bit dangerous when people start to believe it.

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Amazing reduction in human poverty levels around the globe

80% Reduction in world poverty over the last 36 years!! Why? How?

“It’s the greatest achievement in human history, and you never hear about it.

80 percent of the world’s worst poverty has been eradicated in less than 40 years. That has never, ever happened before.

So what did that? What accounts for that? United Nations? US foreign aid? The International Monetary Fund? Central planning? No.

It was globalization, free trade, the boom in international entrepreneurship. In short, it was the free enterprise system, American style, which is our gift to the world.

I will state, assert and defend the statement that if you love the poor, if you are a good Samaritan, you must stand for the free enterprise system, and you must defend it, not just for ourselves but for people around the world. It is the best anti-poverty measure ever invented.”


Along the same lines, watch this video interpretation of the statistics behind health and wealth in 200 countries over the last 200 years.

philippine street childThis does not mean that we don’t still have plenty of horrible cases of poverty and hardship, of course.

But it does mean we could learn from this and be more effective in helping those who need it.

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What to read when you have a newborn

Your baby.  Read your baby.  Study your child and learn from what you observe.  Learn your baby’s cues, signals, and rhythm.

It’s not just babies.  The Cherub is a nonverbal 28 year old.  I know she probably has to go to the bathroom when she leaps up and paces the floor.  I know she’s stressed and upset when she twiddles her fingers in just a certain way.   I know she wants something to eat if she’s awake…

Okay.  But seriously, this was a fascinating article.

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Printable Bookmark to Colour

Or embroider, if you’re that good. That’s what this image is originally intended for: vintage embroider or colouring outline woman by sea


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Our Ancestors Were Stoopid

There is a tendency of every era to think of itself as having arrived.  Oh, we give lip service to the idea that there will be new discoveries, inventions, technologies, progress.  But what we mean by that is obviously that all future progress will be moving forward from here, from now, from what we know and where we are. We don’t really mean that what we currently hold closely as discovered and proven science might one day be turned upside down on its head and turn out to be so completely muddled a misunderstanding of reality that our grandchildren will be shaking theirr heads and giggling over us and saying, “Can you believe it?  Our grandparents believed…..”

It’s a very valuable exercise for our young scholars (and our old selves as well) to really get inside the heads of those who went before us and not only see the world as they saw it but understand something about why they saw the world that way.  Being able to do that in just one subject area will give us insight and understanding into many more.

This is one of the best aids I have seen for doing that.

Here it begins:

Before you laugh at your ancestors, TOF invites you to prove that the earth is, contrary to your senses, in wild and careening double motion: spinning like a top and whipping around the sun without (somehow) leaving the Moon and Air behind, and without everyone stumbling around like dunkards.  You are not allowed to appeal to authority or to the success of NASA, or suchlike things.  You’ve got eyeballs and armillaries, and that’s pretty much it.  Go. TOF will wait here.

You really gotta read the rest.  If you have middle school students or above, they should read it, too.

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