Political Assessment Quiz

How about yet another what flavor of politics do you call home test?

You are a: Right-Leaning Anarchist Isolationist Humanist Traditionalist
Collectivism score: -33%
Authoritarianism score: -100%
Internationalism score: -50%
Tribalism score: -67%
Liberalism score: -17% 

I have trouble with statements like this one: “The culture of dependancy on the government has created an entire class of useless people “

Aside from the spelling error, I absolutely do not believe there’s an entire class of human beings anybody could call useless at all. But I do believe a culture of government dependency has crippled, undermined, and harmed the people it was supposed to help. I think the results have been as devastating and just as evil as slavery.

I do believe that most foreign aid should stop because that’s not a proper function of our government, but I don’t think the government should just spend that money on other things, it should return it to taxpayers and stop collecting those taxes. And individuals can and should as charitable as possible and as international about it as they want (and our charities are not limited to America) – but there were no questions really about that.


What do you get?

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Of Motherhood, Pumpkins, & Time

Almanzo asked Father why he did not hire the machine that did threshing. Three men had brought it into the country last fall, and Father had gone to see it. It would thresh a man’s whole grain crop in a few days.
‘That’s a lazy man’s way to thresh,’ Father said. ‘Haste makes waste, but a lazy man’d rather get his work done fast than to do it himself. That machine chews up the straw till it’s not fit to feed stock, and it scatters grain around and wastes it. All it saves is time, son. And what good is time, with nothing to do? You want to sit and twiddle your thumbs, all these stormy winter days?'” ~ from 
Farmer Boy  by Laura Ingalls Wilder (emphasis added)

I just finished re-reading the Little House books a few weeks ago; initially I told myself I’d read one a month and stretch it out over several months. Ha. I discovered that they’re even more captivating when read as an adult than they were in my childhood. And this passage in particular has been resonating with me ever since.

Don’t get me wrong, as a mom of three littles (aged 3, 2, and 1), I appreciate saved time. I know the chances of  twiddling my thumbs are slim to none these days and I perpetually feel behind on, well, everything. So this post is not a condemnation of convenience, time-saving options, or even canned food. It’s about an attitude I’m trying to do a better job of instilling in myself and my mode in motherhood. Because what Father Wilder had to say reminded me so strongly of this: If time saved comes at the expense of better things, it’s not a transaction I should be making. 

Take this picture:



I bought 12 pie pumpkins this month. One cold, drizzly afternoon the children and I spent a couple hours chopping, baking, and pureeing these pumpkins. It was sticky. It was messy. It was very time consuming and it was glorious. At one point, I asked the boy to gather up the tops for me to dispose of them. “Look, mommy! Pumpkin hats!” he declared jubilantly. Ever one to join in the fun, his sister grabbed one for herself and started modeling them too. These were such golden moments, dear readers.

We did more together, too. We talked about where and how pumpkins grow. We counted the pumpkins we had. We talked about the colors of the pumpkin. We learned about safety rules (“mommy uses this knife… and, no, stabbing a pumpkin with a butter knife is not wise.”).

Later on, I made pumpkin pie (not surprisingly, it was the most delicious one I’ve ever made). I made a pumpkin/sage/cream/cheese pasta sauce that was also a winner. The most enduring product from that afternoon of “wasted time,” though, was getting to nourish the eager minds and bodies of my precious children. Opening a store-purchased can of pumpkin would have taken a fraction of the time we spent preparing pumpkins together, but what would we have spent those other hours doing? The children would probably have played, made more messes, and had fractious bouts. I probably would have attempted some cleaning, felt despair as I watched their fractiousness, slipped into Grouchy Mom Mode, etc. You get the picture.

Or, you would if we hadn’t done those pumpkins. Instead, you get this:



Isn’t their joy infectious? 

I may not have “saved” much time making pumpkin pie this month, but I certainly redeemed time with my children.

Full disclosure: The other thing Almanzo’s father talked about that caught my attention was the waste associated with some time saving mechanisms. I had every intention of roasting the pumpkin seeds and blogging merrily about how doing our own pumpkins meant using more of the pumpkin, being more prudent with our resources, not making waste, etc. What *actually* happened: we got busy (baby shower for a friend, normal life, birthday celebrations for a family member) and those beautiful pumpkin seeds sat on my counter and got moldy. Fabulous, eh? I suppose I should be cheerful about there still being room for improvement, but mostly I’m depressed. :P

Anyways. Don’t be afraid to embrace inefficiency when it’s packaged with wonder. There is more to be saved in this life than time.

Posted in cooking with kids, food | 3 Comments

Vintage Colouring Page, Autumn Walk

This is a 1918 primary page for use in language arts class. The original has words for the children to use when they are telling a story about the picture. I don’t like scripted assignments like this, so I made a copy where I turned all the boxes of vocabulary words into blank boxes.

You could use those for word banks of your own, or the kids can write what they want in those margins, color them as part of the design, or draw other fall images or designs in the boxes- whatever they prefer:

vintage colouring page autumn walk with blanks squares in the margins

vintage colouring page autumn walk with suggested words

Madge Anderson, I think, is the artist.  I did a lot more work on the first image, cleaning up the background, adjusting the margins and side images to be more symmetrical, filling in gaps left by the scanning process and so on.  So while the second image (with the word bank) can be said to be public domain, the first image no longer is.  You have permission to print it out for your personal use, or even classroom use, but don’t sell it and please link back to The Common Room.  Thanks.

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Empire Day School Program, 1915

From the time of Queen Victoria’s death to somewhere in the mid 1950s, England, her colonies and other Commonwealth nations celebrated something called Empire Days.  You can read more about it at the link.  In the midfifties it became Commonwealth Day.

In a 1915 publication for public schools, I found the following suggested programme for Empire Day.   Empire Day was celebrated on May 24, Queen Victoria’s birthday (at least this seems to be the case at the time this programme was written).

While researching Empire Day and some of the material in this programme, I came across an interesting bit of footage from an Australian celebration probably also from 1915.  It’s about 3 minutes of silent film showing various schoolchildren in different costumes.

World War I, you may recall, began on 28 July, 1914 and lasted until 11 November, 1918. This gives you some good perspective on the sketch below-




By Margaret Ellis Lawrence. (DHM’s note: this is the name given as the mother of a 22 year old Canadian nurse who served in the military in WWI.  A Margaret Ellis Lawrence, 1865-1942, is buried in an Anglican church cemetery in Nova Scotia)

(A fantasy, adapted and arranged for school purposes.)




Peace — A young girl, fair, with a white gown, over which she wears a long dark cloak.


Patriotism — A young girl, tall, dark, dressed in red, white and blue, and carrying flags — she must be very bright and gay.


A Boy Scout.

A Sailor Boy.

A Boy in Khaki.

A Red Cross Nurse.

vintage red cross nurse sewing picture


Chorus of children carrying flags of the Empire and those of the Allies.

vintage some ww1 allies flags


(The ingenuity of the teacher may introduce other characters, songs, recitations, etc. Those may readily be obtained).


The Skit:


Peace enters walking slowly, and as though weary. Sits down clasping her hands on top of her staff, and looks out, saying sadly:


Oh, will the time ever come, I wonder.

When war and the terrors of war shall cease.

When no more shall be rolling the cannon’s thunder —

Silence, blessed silence of peace?

When armies no more are by bullets riven.

And prisoners all shall receive release;

And we see, flung aloft to the cloudless heaven.

Floating fair, the banner of peace?


As she ends the sound of music is heard and the children all enter led by Patriotism and singing very spiritedly,

“We’ll Never Let the Old Flag Fall.”

DHM’s note: this is a rousing, jingo-istic song sure to get the blood moving:

Lyrics: Britain’s flag has always stood for Justice,
Britain’s hope has always been for Peace,
Britain’s foes have known that they could trust us
To do our best to make the cannons cease.
Britain’s blood will never stand for insult
Britain’s sons will rally at her call,
Britain’s pride will never let her exult,
But we’ll never let the old flag fall.

Britain’s sons have always call’d her Mother,
Britain’s sons have always lov’d her best,
Britain’s sons would die to show they love her,
the dear old Flag laid on each manly breast,
Britain’s ships have always rul’d the ocean
Britain’s sons will serve her one and all.
Britain’s sons will show their true devotion
And we’ll never let the old flag fall.

Refrain: We’ll never let the old flag fall,
For we love it best of all,
We don’t want to fight to show our might,
But when we start, we’ll fight, fight, fight.
In peace or war you’ll hear us sing,
God save the flag, God save the King,
At the ends of the world,
the flag’s unfurl’d,
We’ll never let the old flag fall.

Peace must bury her head in her hands, but as the little play goes on, she must gradually become more and more interested.


After the song. Patriotism says:

“Oh, I am the patriot spirit!

My heart for my country beats true.

My ancestors’ love I inherit

For the glorious red, white and blue!

Accepting each patriot’s ovation.

May the country we love ever stand;

Hurrah for the flag of our nation!

And may God bless our dear native land.”

the maple leaf forever ww1 Canadian poster

Children all sing, forming half circle about Patriotism with Peace outside of it:

“O Canada” or, “The Maple Leaf Forever.”

O Canada

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land, glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee;
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow,
Great prairies spread and Lordly rivers flow!
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western sea!
The land of hope for all who toil,
The true North strong and free!
God keep our land, glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies,
May Stalwart sons, and gentle maidens rise.
To keep thee steadfast thro’ the years,
From East to Western sea.
Our own beloved native land,
Our true North strong and free!
God keep our land, glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion, in thy loving care.
Help us to find, O God, in thee,
A lasting rich reward.
As waiting for the better day,
We ever stand on guard.
God keep our land, glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

Updated to note: Mama Squirrel reminds me in the comments that this is a later version of O, Canada.  In 1915 there were several versions of the lyrics floating around, and they were all quite different to each other.  You can read more about that and see some of the other versions here.

The Maple Leaf Forever

In days of yore, from Britain’s shore,
Wolfe, the dauntless hero came,

And planted firm Britannia’s flag,
On Canada’s fair domain.
Here may it wave, our boast, our pride,
And joined in love together,
The thistle, shamrock, rose entwine

The Maple Leaf forever!
The Maple Leaf, our emblem dear,
The Maple Leaf forever!
God save our Queen, and Heaven bless,
The Maple Leaf forever!

At Queenston Heights and Lundy’s Lane,
Our brave fathers, side by side,
For freedom, homes, and loved ones dear,
Firmly stood and nobly died;
And those dear rights which they maintained,
We swear to yield them never!
Our watchword evermore shall be,
The Maple Leaf forever!

Our fair Dominion now extends
From Cape Race to Nootka Sound;
May peace forever be our lot,
And plenteous store abound:
And may those ties of love be ours
Which discord cannot sever,
And flourish green o’er freedom’s home
The Maple Leaf forever!
On merry England’s far famed land
May kind heaven sweetly smile,
God bless old Scotland evermore
and Ireland’s Em’rald Isle!
And swell the song both loud and long
Till rocks and forest quiver!
God save our Queen and Heaven bless
The Maple Leaf forever!

When singing the children must not wave their flags, but stand with them “at attention.” After this, the children all say together very distinctly, holding aloft the flag carried:

“I pledge my allegiance to my flag and  to the country for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”


WWI uniforms haswell millerThen the soldier boy steps forward with the sailor on  one side and the Boy Scout on the other, and recites (or if they care to sing, all sing):



Oh flag of a mighty Empire!

Oh banner of the free!

Old Union Jack, you nothing lack

To bind our hearts to thee.

Your red, the blood of heroes;

On many a hard-won field

A nation’s pride, they fought and died

They died, but would not yield.

Your white, the motive pure and just.

True greatness, goodness is;

Our God will fight but for the right

The victory is His.

Your blue, the loyal hearts and true —

The hearts that know no fear.

For Britain’s name and Britain’s fame

They count their lives not dear.

Oh flag of the clustered crosses!

Oh banner of the free!

Old Union Jack, you nothing lack

To bind our hearts to thee.” — Emma Veazey.



Patriotism (coming forward after they have finished):

“Well said, ye champions of the red!

And you, of white so pure!

Well said, ye champions of the blue

That ever will endure!

For courage made the red, you see.

And purity the white:

‘Twas truth that made the azure

That gleams so shining bright.

And mark you! as in times gone by

It is the same today.

You make or mar your country’s flag

In all you do and say.

So search the Holy Word of God,

For they alone can make the flag

Who in God’s law abide.

Then let me hear what each can do,

Remembering, ere you boast,

‘Tis those who serve the Lord the best

Who serve their country most.”


vintage boy scout circa 1920Boy Scout steps forward and says:

I can help the making of my Empire by remembering the pledge of the boyscout, (repeats): On my honor I will do my best: —


1. To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the scout law.


2. To help others at all times.


3. To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake,and morally straight.


Sailor Boy steps forward and says:

“I can help the making of my Empire by remembering always that England expects every man to do his duty.”

Recites the last verse (or the whole) of ” The Hour” (in the Canadian club programme for Empire Day-

We've shut the gates by Dover Straits,
 And North, where the tides run free,
Cheek by jowl, our watch dogs prow'l.
 Grey hulks in a greyer sea.
And the prayer that England prays
to-night —
O Lord of our destiny!
As the foam of our plunging prows is white;
We have stood for peace, and we war for right,
God give us victory-!

Now slack, now strung, from the main-mast flung,
The flag throbs fast in the breeze;
Strained o'er the foam, like the hearts at home
That beat for their sons on the seas.
For mothers and wives are praying
to-night —
O Lord of our destiny!
But we've no time, for our lips are tight,
Our fists are clenched, and we're stripped to fight.
God give us victory!

The west winds blow in the face of the foe —
Old Drake is beating his drum —
They drank to "The Day," for "The Hour" we pray,
The day and the hour have come.
The sea-strewn Empire prays tonight —
O Lord of our destiny!

Thou didst give the seas into Britain's might,
For the freedom of thy seas we smite,
God give us victory!
 — James Bernard Fagan,


vintage red cross nurse costume school childGirl with Red Cross steps forward and says:

“I can help the making of my Empire by being merciful:

The heart with mercy all aglow

The speedy way will wing.

And on the needy help bestow

That will sweet comfort bring.

And when all mortal pleasures fade

This heavenly joy will live

The joy of giving others aid, because we love to give.”


children at Belgian war school colony in Pourville Dieppe FranceBoy with Belgian flag steps forward, takes girl with Serbian flag by the hand, and says:


“I can help the making of my Empire by never coveting my neighbor’s property, by remembering that right is might, (recites):


By Blanche Weitbree.

The little peaceful people were working in the sun,

For summer time was waning and the harvest had begun.

The crops were full and golden, the arching sky was clear;

The little peaceful people found life and living dear.


The little friendly people went out to cut their grain.

And, singing, in the evening sought their cottages again.

Another good day ended, another sun was red;

The little friendly people kissed and laughed and went to bed.


Vintage WW1 Serbian orphan girlThe little quiet people rose up before the day,

A- whispering together while yet the dawn was gray;

The little anxious people met together in the street,

For they heard a sound of cannon, and the ring of tramping feet.


The little valiant people, they buckled on their swords.

To meet unflinching, breast to breast, the foe’s advancing hordes;

Unnumbered hordes descending like dead leaves before a blast.


The little dauntless people rose up and held them fast.

The little angry people saw the city gates give way;

Spent and panting in their anguish they had not strength to pray.

Their swords were growing heavy, for the day was almost done;


The little tired people fell sadly, one by one.

The little conquered people lie asleep in ravaged lands.

But a dreadful power is vested in shattered, pulseless hands,

For justice over Belgium is keeping watch and ward.

And the little murdered people wait the vengeance of the Lord.


Children come forward two by two, each holding up a

flag, and say in turn:


First two

We can help the making of our Empire by remembering the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.


Second two — We can help, etc., by honouring our father and our mother that our days may be long in the land that the Lord God gave to us.


Third two — We can help, etc., by being pure in heart.



Boy with Russian flag comes forward and recites (or

the children all sing): the Russian national anthem.

(DHM’s note: it was probably this one, which would be replaced as the National Anthem two years later during the February Revolution of 1917 ):


Bozhe, Tsarya khrani!
Sil’niy, derzhavniy,
Tsarstvuy na ‘slavu, Na ‘slavu nam!
Tsarstvuy na strakh vragam,
Tsar pravoslavniy.
Bozhe, Tsarya khrani!

English translation

God, save the Tsar!
Strong and majestic,
Reign for glory, For our glory!
Reign to foes’ fear,
Orthodox Tsar.
God, save the Tsar!

Fourth two — We can help, etc., by being truthful.


Boy with French flag steps forward and all sing the Marseillaise.

Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny’s
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts

To arms citizens Form your battalions
March, march
Let impure blood
Water our furrows

What do they want this horde of slaves
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings?
For whom these vile chains
These long-prepared irons?
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage
What methods must be taken?
It is us they dare plan
To return to the old slavery!

What! These foreign cohorts!
They would make laws in our courts!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would cut down our warrior sons
Good Lord! By chained hands
Our brow would yield under the yoke
The vile despots would have themselves be
The masters of destiny

Tremble, tyrants and traitors
The shame of all good men
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will receive their just reward
Against you we are all soldiers
If they fall, our young heros
France will bear new ones
Ready to join the fight against you

Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors
Bear or hold back your blows
Spare these sad victims
That they regret taking up arms against us
But not these bloody despots
These accomplices of Bouillé
All these tigers who pitilessly
Ripped out their mothers’ wombs

We too shall enlist
When our elders’ time has come
To add to the list of deeds
Inscribed upon their tombs
We are much less jealous of surviving them
Than of sharing their coffins
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or joining them

Drive on sacred patriotism
Support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished liberty
Join the struggle with your defenders
Under our flags, let victory
Hurry to your manly tone
So that in death your enemies
See your triumph and our glory!

(see here for more information, and a big thanks for the translation)

Girl with British flag steps forward and others cluster about her as she recites three verses of:


It’s only an old bit of bunting —
It’s only an old colored rag — •
Yet thousands have died for its honor,
And shed their best blood for the flag.
We hoist it to show our devotion
To our King, to our country and laws;
It’s the outward but visible emblem
Of advancement and liberty cause.
You may call it a small bit of bunting,
You may say it’s an old colored rag,
But freedom has made it majestic
And time has ennobled the flag.

vintage WWI Canadian War Poster

Fifth two — We can help, etc., by never taking the name of the Lord in vain.


Sixth two — Praise the Lord all ye nations. Praise Him all ye people. For His merciful kindness is great towards us and the truth of the Lord endureth forever.


Boy with Canadian flag comes forward and says: “I can help the making of my Empire by loving the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and by loving my neighbor as myself.”





Over the seas they come

From alien shores

Passing an endless throng

Through Canada’s doors;

Teuton, and Celt, and Slav

Latin, and Greek,

Urged by one impulse strong,

One goal they seek.


Strain of the Motherland,

Welding the throng —

Sons of the sea-girt isles

Stout-hearted and strong;

Some mystic charm there lies

In Canada’s call;

Lo! a few fleeting years

Canadians all.


Challenge of mountains vast.


The cataracts leap,


Thunder of ocean’s voice.


Deep calling deep;


The lure of vast prairies —


Insistent they call


And lo! a few fleeting years,


Canadians all!




Oh cataract, thunder

Your message again!

Ye deep-rolling rivers.

Take up the refrain!

This, this is the message,

Hark ye to the call,

“For God and for Canada,

Canadians all.”

Emma Veazey.

Patriotism steps forward. Peace arises and stands with  her cloak thrown back, while children sing Kipling’s, “The Children’s Song.”(Or Patriotism may recite the poem, the children all joining in the last verse):


The Children’s Song



Land of our Birth, we pledge to thee
Our love and toil in the years to be;
When we are grown and take our place
As men and women with our race.

Father in Heaven who lovest all,
Oh, help Thy children when they call;
That they may build from age to age
An undefiled heritage.

Teach us to bear the yoke in youth,
With steadfastness and careful truth;
That, in our time, Thy Grace may give
The Truth whereby the Nations live.

Teach us to rule ourselves alway,
Controlled and cleanly night and day;
That we may bring, if need arise,
No maimed or worthless sacrifice.

Teach us to look in all our ends
On Thee for judge, and not our friends;
That we, with Thee, may walk uncowed
By fear or favour of the crowd.

Teach us the Strength that cannot seek,
By deed or thought, to hurt the weak;
That, under Thee, we may possess
Man's strength to comfort man's distress.

Teach us Delight in simple things,
And Mirth that has no bitter springs;
Forgiveness free of evil done,
And Love to all men 'neath the sun!

Land of our Birth, our faith, our pride,
For whose dear sake our fathers died;
Oh, Motherland, we pledge to thee
Head, heart and hand through the years to be!

(From Puck of Pook’s Hill)


Then as the last verse is reached Patriotism steps forward and draws Peace into the centre of the group with herself. Patriotism then says:


O God, the strength of those who war

The hope of those who wait.

Be with our sons gone forth to fight

And those who keep the agate.


Soldier Boy —


We draw the sword to keep our troth

Free from dishonour’s stain.

Make strong our hands to shield the weak

And their just cause maintain.


Patriotism —


Give to our hosts in battle’s hour

Firm hearts and courage high;

Thy comfort give to those who fall;

Thy peace to those who die.

Red Cross Girl


Breathe on our land the spirit calm

Which faith in right bestows.

And in the hours of dark suspense

A faith which stronger grows.


Patriotism —


In Thee alone we place our hope

Thou Keeper of the just

And Thou through fight and fire and fears

Will justify our trust.


Patriotism steps forward with Peace, children form half circle at back with flags waving — and with Soldier, Boy Scout, Red Cross Girl, allied flags, kneeling at either side,  and hand in hand with Peace.


Patriotism says:


The ways are wonderful, O God ‘

Who maketh wars to cease

O let this be the final war

That ushers in Thy peace.



God Save the King.


Above taken from a 1915 issue of the:

Educational Review,

Devoted to Advanced Methods of Education and General Culture,

Eleanor Robinson, Editor and Manager


A couple of the poems were mentioned only by title.  I searched for those and put them in their respective positions, and tried to adjust the formatting to make it a little easier to follow, as well as hunting up the youtube videos and the illustrations.  All the pictures are added.

The war found the Boy Scouts true to their motto, "Be Prepared." In London alone 25,000 Scouts were organised to help the various Government departments by acting as messengers. Along the south and east coasts nearly 3,000 went on duty to guard culverts, telephone and telegraph lines, railway stations, reservoirs, etc. Numbers of Scouts also worked as harvesters in the place of men who had joined the Army. The boys above are "doing their little bit" by carrying soldiers' baggage to the railway station.

The war found the Boy Scouts true to their motto, “Be Prepared.” In London alone 25,000 Scouts were organised to help the various Government departments by acting as messengers. Along the south and east coasts nearly 3,000 went on duty to guard culverts, telephone and telegraph lines, railway stations, reservoirs, etc. Numbers of Scouts also worked as harvesters in the place of men who had joined the Army. The boys above are “doing their little bit” by carrying soldiers’ baggage to the railway station.



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Vintage Thanksgiving Colouring Page

vintage colouring page Thanksgiving Prayer

In the Primary Education, volume 20 (1912) issue where I found the above illustration, it is accompanied by this poem:

by Susan M. Kane

A very little child am I,
Yet I can thankful be
To our kind Father who has sent
Such wondrous things to me.

For fruit and flowers, rain and shine,
And skies of deepest blue;
The twinkling stars that light the night,
The frost and pearly dew.

For songs of birds, and rippling brooks,
And fairy things that fly,
And all the creatures of the woods
That shyly pass me by.

I thank Him for all things so fair,
Around me and above;
But most of all I thank Him for
A heart with which to love.

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Another Officer Abusing His Authority

This video showing interactions between an on-duty officer and two young (white) men he apprehended is laced with F-bombs.  They are not from the two young men.

The Saratoga cop has been suspended while an investigation is taking place.  No charges currently, because his victims haven’t asked to press charges.  I’ll tell you why I think that might be- there’s a history of this happening.  Cops act like the thugs they are supposed to be apprehending, violating their own rules, and usually violating the law and the Constitution as well (not the young man here refuses permission to search his car, and the cop takes his keys and directs somebody else, presumably another cop, to search it anyway).

They get caught.  But charges almost never pressed by their victims because the police department makes it quite clear that if those victims do press charges, the police will find that they have to do some further investigations of their own, and will be making life rather difficult for the subjects.  “Nice little life you have going there.  Shame if you had cops on your tail every waking moment, or your previous criminal history got leaked to the press.  We’d hate if for that to happen.  I wonder if your neighbors would like it if you were under surveillance all the time, or if you employer would appreciate the cops showing up at your place of business to question you a few times each week?”

Few people want to deal with this kind of interference and so they agree to call it even and not press charges.  A few months of internal review, maybe a few weeks of a desk job, and everything is back to normal- for the cops.  Not so much for citizens.

This is about more than race issues (everybody on this tape is white).  It’s about an abuse of power and an ‘us versus them’ mentality.

Racism exists, I’m not saying it doesn’t.  But my son is a white teen aged boy, and his defense mechanism when he’s scared, nervous, or embarrassed is sometimes to be mouthy.  Sometimes he’s not even meaning to be mouthy; his intention is to be funny.  But he’s a member of the human species, so sometimes what he meant has a joke comes across as an insult or as something obnoxious. I have absolutely no trust whatsoever that if he came across as mouthy with a cop he would walk away from that unscathed, and  if he were to be mouthy with a cop, I have zero faith that the grief he’d get from that would be within legal limitations.   I personally know a white girl who mouthed off to to some LA cops  some thirty years ago, and what they did to her was so horrible that she wasn’t even able to talk about it five years later.  Our national problem with police officers who imagine they actually are the judge, jury and hangman is not just limited to race.

This video makes it clear this cop violated the civil rights of these young men, he threatened them, and it certainly sounds like he slapped them.  I don’t think it should matter if the victims press charges or not.  It’s far too important an issue to be left in the hands of citizens who might be subjected to retaliation should they press charges. It should be automatic when something like this is caught on tape that the officer involved be charged.



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Molasses Sourdough Bread

2014-11-07 20.37.0610 to 48 hours in advance:

Combine one cup of sourdough starter with 2 1/2 cups of warm water and 4 cups of whole wheat flour.  Stir together in a large bowl (4 qrts is good) or a clean bucket or pail, of even a large soup-pot- whatever you have.

Cover and let it set for 10 to 48 hours.

When you are ready to use it:

Stir it (there may be liquid on top, that’s okay. Just stir it back in.  Now remove one cup and put it in a clean jar or bowl, cover and refrigerate.  This is starter for your next batch of bread.*

Sourdough Molasses Bread

Grease two large bread pans

Combine the remaining starter with:

1/2 cup of molasses

2 teaspoons salt

4 Tablespoons of oil (I used olive. You can use melted coconut or butter or whatever)

1 cup cornmeal

6-8 cups of whole wheat flour (the amount you will need depends on many variables, including humidity, when the flour was ground, the amount of fermentation of the sourdough, and possibly the alignment of the stars and whether you stir clockwise or counterclockwise).

Stir in all ingredients except the flour.

Now stir in the flour about 1 or 2 cups at a time, stirring well between each addition.

When the dough stiffens and starts to pull away from the bowl, it’s time to knead it.  You can do this on a lightly floured surface, on a well oiled surface, or in the bowl itself.  I wear disposable gloves, lightly greased, and knead the dough in the bowl.

Knead until you have a smooth, elastic bread dough that is not too sticky.

Separate this into two parts.  Shape each one into a loaf and put in the bread pan.

I then use my fingertips and go around the outside edge of the loaf gently pushing down the outside edges so the center rises a bit.

sourdough molasses bread dough Brush with oil or milk.

Score the loaves.  Place in a warm place and let them rise for about 40 minutes.

sourdough bread

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

Remove from pans, cool on racks. Slice (You don’t have to wait for them to cool to slice):

Baked sourdough molasses bread

Baked sourdough molasses bread

sourdough molasses bread, baked and scored

I should have cut deeper while scoring the diagonally sliced loaf, because it cracked on the side instead of along the top as I intended.  Actually, for loaves baked in bread pans, I prefer the long center scoring.  For loaves baked on a baking sheet, I prefer diagonal scoring.

*If you want to bake almost every day, don’t put it in the fridge. Cover and leave on the counter, feeding it every morning and every evening until you are ready to use it. I feed mine about 2/3 a cup of Kamut or whole wheat flour and 1/3 cup of warm water.


About molasses- I think this is what is known as black treacle in Great Britain.   It’s a byproduct of manufacturing sugar from sugar cane, and sometimes beet sugar.  It is one of the distinctive flavors in gingerbread and rum.  It has more essential minerals and trace nutrients than white sugar.

My midwife with the FYG recommended a spoonful of unsulphured blackstrap molasses after birth or any event involving bloodloss. It’s high in iron.  Blackstrap is also the strongest flavored molasses.  It’s made from the third boiling of the ripe sugar cane plant, so more sugar is extracted from it, and more nutrients left behind in the molasses.

Some people think it’s the same thing as sorghum or sorghum molasses, but sorghum comes from the sorghum plant and is actually more refined than molasses.

I buy my blackstrap molasses locally because the little bakery/deli/gift/specialty store sells it for a very good price and I and I can take advantage of the FYG’s employee discount.

Amazon and Vitacost both carry it.  Vitacost’s is the better price, particularly of you  Sign up for Ebates and go through them- you get an additional 4% discount- AND have enough items in your cart to qualify for free shipping.

OR- Amazon currently is offering 5% cashback if you go through ebates. Golden Barrel Blackstrap Molasses, Unsulphured – 32 oz

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Mother Goose Colouring Page, Printable

vintage 1918 colouring page Mother Goose Goosey Goosey Gander Rhyme

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Too wicked to summarize

Independent lab tests revealed that the tetanus vaccine provided by WHO/UNICEF in Kenya was deliberately laced with hormones designed to cause infertility and miscarriages in an unbelievably Orwellian birth control scheme.

This is wrong on so many levels.  The women’s own free agency was stolen from them.  They live in a culture where fertility is prized and infertility has a stigma, and without their knowledge or consent that stigma was forced on them.  When I consider the subsequent health issues associated with repeated miscarriages, not to mention the emotional damage, I am just gobsmacked at the arrogance of the officials who implemented this wicked scheme, and bowed down with the grief for the victims- the mothers who lost children they wanted, the children who died because of the hubris of strangers.

Incidentally, it appears Kenya is not the only place WHO has killed children and rendered women infertile because of their hubris.

Read it all here.

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Vintage: Jointed Pig Printable

Jointed pig printable

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