Sunday, January 22, 2012

Someone finally did it

Picture blatantly stolen from Stitchlily. I admit it.

So someone finally did a screen shot collection. I've always wanted to but I've never managed it. Now I can just send you there.

Jam Bars

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 jar jam, any flavor *
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Line a 9x13 "brownie" pan with foil and grease (I use cooking spray)
  2. Mix together the sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon.
  3. Cut in the butter until it's reached the large clump stage
  4. Add the oats and rub. Literally put a glove on and mix with your hands, squishing and rubbing until it cam make large clumps that hold together.
  5. Place 4 cups of this mixture in the bottom of the pan and press down until it's level and solid
  6. Spread the entire jar of jam over the top of this layer to within 1/4 in of the edges
  7. Sprinkle the remaining dough over the top and press lightly
  8. Bake for 35-40 min or until golden brown
  9. Let cool then cut, preferably with a bench knife
Makes 24 cookies.

* You can use any flavor of jam, but I've found that the tarter jams like raspberry or four fruits work best.

Recipe found at and modified. Not a clue where I found the picture, sorry.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

How to cook

So for lack of anything better to post at the moment I'm going to start a series sharing my favorite how-to cook videos? Why? Because so many women who keep homemaking blogs think they can cook and quite frankly it's scary. I'm leaving my lessons up to the experts.

To that end I give you my all time favorite cooking show, Cook's Country.

Season 01, Episode 01, "Forgotten Cakes"

In this episode they show you how to make Chocolate "blackout" cake

Strawberry Jell-o poke cake

And share some baking secrets.

Season 01 Episode 02 "Sunday Dinner"

They do Garlic roast beef and mashed potatoes.

Compare dish washing liquids and show how to choose cuts of meat.

For the record it's not my show, I don't own the copyright, and if anyone from the show would rather I not share I will gladly take it down.

I hope you all enjoy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The problem with Christian Privilege

I found a list of 40 points of Christian Privilege in the Wayback Machine. I'm using it to make a point, so be sure to check all the way to the end.
  1. It is likely that state and federal holidays coincide with my religious practices, thereby having little to no impact on my job and/or education.
  1. I can talk openly about my religious practices without concern for how it will be received by others.
  1. I can be sure to hear music on the radio and watch specials on television that celebrate the holidays of my religion.
  1. When told about the history of civilization, I am can be sure that I am shown people of my religion made it what it is.
  1. I can worry about religious privilege without being perceived as “self-interested” or “self-seeking.”
  1. I can have a “Jesus is Lord” bumper sticker or Icthus (Christian Fish) on my car and not worry about someone vandalizing my car because of it.
  1. I can share my holiday greetings without being fully conscious of how it may impact those who do not celebrate the same holidays. Also, I can be sure that people are knowledgeable about the holidays of my religion and will greet me with the appropriate holiday greeting (e.g., Merry Christmas, Happy Easter, etc.).
  1. I can probably assume that there is a universality of religious experience.
  1. I can deny Christian Privilege by asserting that all religions are essentially the same.
  1. I probably do not need to learn the religious or spiritual customs of others, and I am likely not penalized for not knowing them.
  1. I am probably unencumbered by having to explain why I am or am not doing things related to my religious norms on a daily basis.
  1. I am likely not judged by the improper actions of others in my religious group.
  1. If I wish, I can usually or exclusively be among those from my religious group most of the time (in work, school, or at home).
  1. I can assume that my safety, or the safety of my family, will not be put in jeopardy by disclosing my religion to others at work or at school.
  1. It is likely that mass media represents my religion widely AND positively.
  1. It is likely that I can find items to buy that represent my religious norms and holidays with relative ease (e.g., food, decorations, greeting cards, etc.).
  1. I can speak or write about my religion, and even critique other religions, and have these perspectives listened to and published with relative ease and without much fear of reprisal.
  1. I could write an article on Christian Privilege without putting my own religion on trial.
  1. I can travel without others assuming that I put them at risk because of my religion; nor will my religion put me at risk from others when I travel.
  1. I can be financially successful without the assumption from others that this success is connected to my religion.
  2. I can protect myself (and my children) from people who may not like me (or them) based on my religion.
  3. Law enforcement officials will likely assume I am a non-threatening person if my religion is disclosed to them. In fact, disclosure may actually help law enforcement officials perceive me as being “in the right” or “unbiased."
  4. I can safely assume that any authority figure will generally be someone of my religion.
  1. I can talk about my religion, even proselytize, and be characterized as “sharing the word,” instead of imposing my ideas on others.
  1. I can be gentle and affirming to people without being characterized as an exception to my religion.
  1. I am never asked to speak on behalf of all Christians.
  1. My citizenship and immigration status will likely not be questioned, and my background will likely not be investigated, because of my religion.
  1. My place of worship is probably not targeted for violence because of sentiment against my religion.
  1. I can be sure that my religion will not work against me when seeking medical or legal help.
  1. My religion will not cause teachers to pigeonhole me into certain professions based of the assumed "prowess" of my religious group.
  1. I will not have my children taken from me from governmental authorities who are aware of my religious affiliation.
  1. Disclosure of my religion to an adoption agency will likely not prevent me from being able to adopt children.
  1. If I wish to give my children a parochial religious education, I probably have a variety of options nearby.
  1. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence and importance of my religion.
  1. I can be sure that when someone in the media is referring to G-d, they are referring to my (Christian) G-d.
  1. I can easily find academic courses and institutions that give attention only to people of my religion.
  1. My religious holidays are so completely “normal” that, in many ways, they may appear to no longer have any religious significance at all.
  1. The elected and unelected officials of my government probably are members of my religious group.
  1. When swearing an oath, I am probably making this oath by placing my hand on the scripture of my religion.
  1. I can openly display my religious symbol(s) on my person or property without fear of disapproval, violence, and/or vandalism.

Please notice #32 up there. Not only will being a Christian not prevent you from adopting, they will probably gloss over your homestudy and make it much easier for you to adopt. For example they will probably overlook the parenting guidebooks promoted by your church that suggest you beat and starve your children in order to break their will and thus draw them closer to the Lord.

And then this is what happens:

Recent high-profile stories of adopted children being starved have officials reviewing placement guidelines.

An alleged child starvation case near Longview is one of more than a dozen cases -- including one death -- that have state officials reviewing how adopted children are placed and treated.

The number of abuse cases is small compared to all adoptions. But a string of high- profile child starvation cases last year -- including one from May accusing Jeffrey and Rebecca Trebilcock of starving their five adopted children at their Bunker Hill-area home in Cowlitz County -- has state officials alarmed.

"Starting in the beginning of 2011 we started seeing a cluster effect of these types of cases," said Mary Meinig, director of the state's Family and Children's Ombudsman office, who included a section about adoption abuse in her annual report, released last week.

Many of the cases include starvation. "We have so many great adoptive homes in the state, but then we also have these. ... I think it's apparent that it needs to be looked at."

"We want to jump-start this as quickly as possible," said Denise Revels Robinson, assistant secretary of the state Department of Social and Health Services. "There's a sense of urgency here. Not crisis, but urgency, because these are very serious issues."

One adopted child, 13-year-old Hana Williams of Sedro-Woolley, died in May from hypothermia and starvation after being left outside as punishment. The Trebilcock's adopted son, then 13, landed in emergency room in March so severely malnourished that he weighed just 49 pounds, according to court documents.

There's a list of families on that page. And if you go and look them up I do believe every one of them is some kind of Evangelical/Fundamentalist/Independent Baptist Christian. Because if you're Christian, you're automatically good adoptive parents. That's what we call privilege.

Personally when the time comes for my husband and I to adopt, I expect to be well and thoroughly homestudied, including being asked how we plan to discipline and feed our children. But then I don't expect privileged treatment.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

On Christian Compassion

You know, I was going to try to keep this to homemaking topics this time around. But these problems keep coming up.

So over in Rhode Island a young woman name of Jessica Ahlquist won a court battle against her high school to have an unconstitutional prayer banner removed from her high school. Yes, folks, a public school cannot promote any given religion over any other given religion. Think of howpissed you would if that banner had been written in Arabic.

Now they didn't say destroy the banner, they didn't day shutter every church in town, they didn't say no more Christians allowed EVAR!!! They said take the banner down. It could easily be displayed somewhere else. I remember when a similar kerfuffle came up about the Nativity scene on display in my home town. It was unconstitutional to display it in front of city hall, so they donated it to the museum who displayed it on their lawn right across the street. Problem solved. So all they have to do is move the banner to, say, a display of town historical objects in the library or something and there you go.

But it has given the local Christians a chance to show off their compassion. These were some of the comments she's received. (Per Freethought blogs)

“May that little, evil athiest teenage girl and that judge BURN IN HELL!”

“yeah, well i want the immediate removal of all atheists from the school, how about that?”

“Jessica Ahlquist may have won her case, but she’s going straight to hell. #Godovereverything”

“I hope there’s lots of banners in hell when your rotting in there you atheist fuck #TeamJesus”

“If this banner comes down, hell i hope the school burns down with it!”

“U little brainless idiot, hope u will be punished, you have not win sh..t! Stupid little brainless skunk!”

“Fuck Jessica alquist I’ll drop anchor on her face”

“definetly laying it down on this athiest tommorow anyone else?”

“Nothing bad better happen tomorrow #justsaying #fridaythe13th”

“Let’s all jump that girl who did the banner #fuckthatho”

“literally that bitch is insane. and the best part is she already transferred schools because shes knows someone will jump her #ahaha”

“”But for real somebody should jump this girl” lmao let’s do it!”

“Hmm jess is in my bio class, she’s gonna get some shit thrown at her”

“I want to punch the girl in the face that made west take down the school prayer… #Honestly”

“hail Mary full of grace @jessicaahlquist is gonna get punched in the face”

“When I take over the world I’m going to do a holocaust to all the atheists”

“gods going to fuck your ass with that banner you scumbag”

“I found it, what a little bitch lol I wanna snuff her”

“if I wasn’t 18 and wouldn’t go to jail I’d beat the shit out of her idk how she got away with not getting beat up yet”

“lol I wanna stick that bitch lol”

“nail her to a cross”

“We can make so many jokes about this dumb bitch, but who cares #thatbitchisgointohell and Satan is gonna rape her.”

You can find the actual screen shots here. I don't believe they shared where someone posted her home address, the better to encourage a good beating and rape of a 16 year old girl to teach her a lesson about the true message of Jesus.

But when someone says they're really tired of hearing about Tebow they "hate Christians".

Edited to add: Oh wait, there's more.

Friday, January 06, 2012

What I did last summer, part 1

Last summer I did something I always wanted to try.

I turned this:

Into this:

Yep, 18 jars of peach jam. Not the best jam, the peaches weren't as ripe as they could have been. But still, homemade peach jam.

Sorry about the overexposure, but this one really catches the color:

Yes, it was as hot and sweaty and miserable as our foremothers used to say, and I finished them just in time to cur carbs and stop having toast at breakfast, but it was worth it. If I ever get the front burner fixed so I can process more than two jars at a time I plan to make apple butter, strawberry jam and tomato sauce in the future.

Yes, I am proud of myself.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

New sewing room

Image stolen from Su Loves Sew. I lust too.

So the husband and I recently switched personal rooms. This means that I have the smaller of the two spare bedrooms as a sewing room now, which is just the right fit, while he gets to share office/den space with the exercise bike, treadmill, and litter box. Given that we had also cleaned out the garage we managed to get the 6 spare chairs that were being stored in there out as well, and he is currently using the old TV stand as a side table.

Please note the lack of complaints about the smaller space on my end.

I rather wish my room looked as Easter egg pretty as the ones up there. I can't paint, of course, and at the moment I'm working with thrift shop findings for furniture, but it's highly functional and tidy. I'm hoping this will be the year that I get a real desk and real sewing table and perhaps real armoire to store fabric. And hopefully this week-end I'll make up a valance, which ought to help.

Consider this a work in progress.



Everything out in the living room.

Everything back in and being unpacked

And the current state of "done".

Hopefully better pictures to come. And maybe even some finished projects, stay tuned.

Monday, January 02, 2012

A restart for 2012

So, a restart for 2012. And why not.

Resolutions for this year:

1) To read one book of the Barnes & Noble Classics list every month.
2) To finish the Aubrey & Maturin series.
3) To knit one sock per week until I have completed seven pairs
4) To finish a sweater
5) To finish a lace scarf, three kerchiefs, new mittens, a balaclava for the husband, all technically small projects
6) To finish the Grandmother shawl and a Catkin
7) To finish three cross-stitch pieces
8) To stay on a house cleaning schedule
9) To get to the gym twice a week
10) To write 1,500 words/day at least 5 days a week

I know, good luck to me. But it's the first of the year and one has to start out with a good intent.