The latest posts from Paratus Familia Blog
I live a life of ultimate women's liberation. My freedom is abundant and life-giving. I truly am blessed among women. I, Enola Gay, a stay-at-home wife and mother am the poster child for a new breed of women libbers.
Traditionally, women's lib has been associated with breaking the bonds of a restrictive home-centered life and pursuing the "fulfilling" passions of life beyond the family. It has been about the "self" focused desires of women to stand on "equal" footing with men. Unfortunately, rather than women achieving their longed for freedom, women's lib has effectively shackled women with the responsibilities of both women and men.
When I was growing up, I bought into the "new normal" for women. I eschewed the thought of marriage and children, embracing the idea of being independent, powerful and marvelously free. I left my family home, moved to the city and went to work, enthusiastically embracing my new found "freedom".
Little by little, I realized that my "freedom" was nothing more than an illusion. I had embraced women's liberation and in doing so I had shackled myself to the responsibilities traditionally shouldered by men.
Ten years I lost. Ten years of doubling my burden. For ten years I carried the responsibilities of both a man and a woman. And then I woke up. I left the false world of "women's liberation" and became truly liberated. I was liberated from being responsible for financially supporting my family. I was liberated from working for someone else for mere money. I was liberated from having to go to work when I was sick or when my children were ill. I was liberated from having to put aside my passions and desires simply because I had to collect a pay check. I was liberated from working for someone else and was finally allowed to simply work for my family and myself. I was liberated indeed.
Today, my husband got up and went to work. It was 5°. He works outside. And his knee is still sore from knee surgery. But he went to work. He went to work because it is his job to support our family. He doesn't particularly like his job, but he does it anyway. Why? Because that is his burden and he does it because he loves us. My husband has relieved me of the job of living in a man's world. I don't have to work outside when it is 5°. I don't have to do physical labor with a sore knee. I am liberated.
As a stay-at-home wife I have tremendous freedom. I have the freedom to pursue dreams that would have been unattainable had I not left the working world. I have the freedom to cultivate creativity, to create a beautiful home and to freely minister to all of the people that I love. I have the freedom to work for eternal purposes, not just monetary gain. I have the freedom to be a woman - nothing more, nothing less - just what I was created to be.
I can't tell you how thankful I am to have been liberated. I am so glad that I do not have to bear the burden of both man and woman, that I am free to fully embrace my wonderful, abundant life. Oh, the blessings of true women's liberation.
We didn't have a television when I was little and we never went to the movies. I didn't have any scary images filling my mind. My childhood was wholesome and uncomplicated - and yet I dreamed unspeakable dreams. I couldn't understand my dreams. I had no idea where they had come from. I knew only that they terrified me and filled me with dread. And then I read "The Diary of Anne Frank". At 9 years old, I sat curled in a chair next to the wood stove, engrossed in the story of young Anne, knowing in the very core of my being that this atrocious persecution was the stuff that filled my dreams.
That night, as I lay in my cozy, warm bed, I prayed. I thanked God for warm blankets and a roof over my head. I thanked Him for enough food to eat and indoor plumbing. I thanked Him for my family and my gloves and my boots. I lay in bed thanking God for every good thing I could think of.
My dreams kept coming, however, they didn't scare me as they once had. I dreamt of running with my family and hiding and always being two steps ahead of my pursuers. I dreamt of hiding in plain sight yet never being seen. As a little girl, I began to plan for the future rather than fear it.
I grew up. The dreams ceased, for the most part anyway. I got married, had children and chased the American Dream. Even so, every night when I got into bed, I would thank God with a grateful heart. When the weather was snowing and blowing outside, I would snuggle into my blankets and thank the Lord for my comfortable bed and warm quilts. And I would know that this could all end tomorrow. Tomorrow, I could be on the run, cold and hungry. But tonight I was warm and impossibility comfortable and I was thankful.
When we moved to our "Little Shouse on the Prairie", I learned to be even more thankful. Living without electricity or hot water or flushing toilets make me thankful to have oil lamps, a wood cookstove and an outhouse. Living without refrigeration made me thankful for my pressure canner and living without a dryer made me thankful for the clothes horse my husband built for me. But more than all of those things, I have learned to be thankful for every hardship, every inconvenience. Why? Because every difficult thing has been my schoolmaster. Every impossible situation I have endured has strengthened me and built my faith. Hardships and trials have wrought in me the great gift of thankfulness. Because I have lived without, because I have struggled, I have the capacity to be truly thankful.
When I crawl into bed tonight, I will thank God for my impossibly cozy, comfortable life. I will thank Him for the hardships that He has allowed in my life, knowing they have been His way of preparing me to trust Him completely. I will thank Him for my warm bed knowing that tomorrow I could be running for my life. And even then, I will thank Him for preparing me, in His perfect wisdom, for just such a future.
Years ago, I felt compelled to continue the traditions I had been raised with - namely the Sunday Afternoon Dinner. You know the one - Roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, freshly baked rolls - the tradition many of us grew up cherishing. I loved walking in from church and breathing in the heady aromas emanating from my cozy kitchen. I loved the familiarity of Sunday Dinner and the memories it would build for my children. I loved that I always had dinner in the oven for spur of the moment hospitality opportunities. But I didn't love the work - the hurried, even frantic Sunday mornings spent barking out orders to my children, just to keep things moving along so that I could have everything ready before we walked out the door for church. I didn't love the mountains of dishes that awaited me after our big dinner. And I didn't love never really getting a day of rest.
And so, I changed our tradition. I began to cook our big family dinner on Saturday. I varied the menu and rotated between roast, ham, chicken and even pork chops. Knowing there would be leftovers, I began to plan soups for Sunday dinner. Making roll dough the night before, I was able to turn Sunday into a true day of rest. Now, Sunday morning is peaceful, no rushing or hurrying about and with a big pot of soup on the stove and rolls raising in the warming oven, we always have a meal ready for guests. Sunday has become restful indeed.
Every once in a while, instead of soup, I will make Tea on Sunday afternoon. Tea is generally light, not involving a lot of work. Sunday Tea, served on our best china, bathed in firelight, is the highlight of a dreary winter afternoon.
This Sunday, Maid Elizabeth and I served a simple tea of Bacon Onion Galette and Biscuits with Raspberry Jam. A Galette is nothing more than a savory, rustic tart with a fancy name. It is quite simple to make - here is a rough recipe.
Bacon Onion Galette
1 pound bacon, chopped (or bacon bits)
3 large sweet onions
1/3 C butter (optional)
2 bulbs garlic, chopped
1 tsp. (or more to taste) Dijon Mustard
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 C Parmesan cheese
1 pie crust (I used my buttermilk pie crust recipe cut in half).
Chop bacon into small chunks and saute in large saucepan until just beginning to cook. Add onion, sliced into rings. Cover and continue to cook for 15 minutes, adding butter if more fat is needed. Remove cover and continue to saute, adding chives (optional) and garlic. Saute until the onions until they are caramelized. Add the Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Set aside.
Roll out pie crust into a rectangle (on a cookie sheet or rectangle baking stone). Sprinkle the crust with about 1/3 C Parmesan. Pour the onion/bacon mixture into the middle of the pie crust and spread to within 2 inches of the edge. Sprinkle with another 1/3 C of Parmesan. Fold the excess pie crust back onto the Galette.
Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 C Parmesan and return to the oven for 15 more minutes. Serve warm.
|Sauteing the bacon|
|Rolling out the pie crust|
|I spread out the bacon/onion mixture and sprinkled with Parmesan|
|The crust has been folded over the Galette|
|Biscuits fresh from the wood cookstove|
|Tea is served!|
This Galette is rich - you can only eat a small piece - but it is wonderfully flavorful! Served with veg and a biscuit, it is perfect for Sunday Tea.
Sunday mornings at our house are often a hurried affair. Getting 7 people ready for church does not leave a whole lot of time to prepare a hearty breakfast, but not having breakfast is not an option. The few times I've hustled my family out of the door before feeding them I ended up regretting it - seriously.
Although I am sure that breakfast cereal is the quickest option, I can't quite reconcile myself with throwing sugar-laden fruity-O's at the children right before I expect them to sit quietly for 3 hours. And so, I am always looking for ways to produce a good, hearty breakfast with the least amount of work in the shortest amount of time. Well, a girl can dream, right?!
One of my favorite standbys is eggs in sausage cups. They take about 5 minutes to prepared and 25 minutes to cook (during which time I can get everybody ready). During the last 5 minutes of baking, I put homemade bread in the oven to toast and by the time the sausage and eggs are done, we have a complete breakfast - hot, hearty and full of protein.
|Cracking eggs into the sausage cups|
|Notice the ones with just the whites?|
|Mostly cooked - I add Sir Knight and my eggs now|
|Add some toast and breakfast is ready!|
Bake the sausage cups at 350° (or thereabouts) for 25 to 30 minutes (or until the eggs are done to your satisfaction).
Remember, sausage doesn't have to be pork. Just about any ground meat mixed with sausage spices will work well.
NOTE: Our children love to eat these cold - grabbing one on their way out the door to work or to play!
Joe weaves an adventurous yarn full of TEOTWAWKI excitement, carrying the reader on a rollercoaster ride of end of the world thrills. Sir Knight has been anxiously awaiting Holding Their Own VI: Bishop's Song, since he was laid up with a knee injury and devoured the first 5 books.
If you have a Kindle and have been awaiting Joe's new book, you can click on the link below and satisfy your Bishop and Terri craving.
Although our immediate family has not yet been affected (not yet, being the operative phrase), my parents health care has seen a marked change. For years, they have scheduled a yearly physical. They have no major health issues and their physical is merely preventative maintenance. This year, they called to schedule their physical and were told that under the new Affordable Care Act legislation, they were no longer allowed to have a "physical", however, they could make different appointments, each specifically dealing with one aspect of their previously scheduled yearly physical. During one appointment, they could discuss any health concerns with their doctor. During another, completely separate appointment, they could have blood tests performed. Yet another appointment would be required to address any of their previously discussed health concerns and test results. Wow! That makes sense - three appointments where one would have sufficed.
While this may not seem excessive to some of you (although I can't imagine anyone who would think this was a good idea), when you take into consideration that my folks live way out in the boonies and have to travel over 2 1/2 hours, one way, to make a trip to their doctor, legislation like this becomes ridiculous. Not only did my parents have to make three 5 hour trips, they also learned that their coverage had changed significantly. They had been deemed too old for numerous routine tests yet they now qualified for STD testing and birth control pills. What?!
As you may have guessed, I am no fan of Obamacare. I do not believe that the government has any business melding in our health care. So why do they? Because we have forced them. We have become terrified of death and dying. We have bowed down to worship at the feet of health and youth. We no longer rely on God for our every breath. Having dethroned God, we now believe that the State issues life. And if the State issues life, then the State must also be responsible for health.
The truth is, that our very existence is a gift from the One True God. The State has nothing to do with it. I am not the State's responsibility - I am God's responsibility. He made me, He cares for me and He sustains me. He numbered the days of my life before I was born. He counted the hairs on my head and breathed existence into my being. As a child of God, I have nothing to fear.
I know that I may fall ill tomorrow. I know that one of my children may be in a horrific accident. But when push comes to shove, do I demand redress from the State, for help from an unfeeling bureaucrat? Or do I appeal to the maker of the universe?
We have forgotten where our life comes from. In our earnestness to make sure that everyone has equal access to health care - to take from one person and give to another, we have forgotten that we already do have equal access. Rich or poor, healthy or sick, black or white, we all have the ability to kneel before the throne of God and plead our case. We have forgotten that health is not our god. That sickness and death may, in fact, be the very path to the salvation of our souls. We have forgotten that our soul is by far more important than our body and that suffering can be the cocoon from which the greatest blessings and beauty emerge.
I am in no way advocating deserting prudent health care. That would be poor stewardship and completely ridiculous. I am, however, advocating that we become less focused on our "right to accessible health care" and more focused on the author of life. The State is not our god. The King of Kings alone bears that title.
The State is but a puny god. Worship in Truth.
Today, I didn't roll out of bed, stumble into the shower and get ready for work while trying to figure out how to get all of the kids fed and properly clothed before sending them into the dark morning to catch the school bus.
Today, I didn't spend 15 minutes at a drive-thru coffee shop waiting for my morning cup of liquid energy just to give me the courage to make my morning commute.
Today, I didn't gossip with the ladies at the front desk or file paperwork for my demanding boss.
Today, I didn't spend my hours at the office feeling guilty that I wasn't home with my children.
Today, I didn't spend my hours at home feeling guilty that I wasn't at the office.
Today, I didn't grab lunch on the run.
Today, I didn't stress about missed deadlines.
Today, I didn't feel overwhelmed and resentful while making dinner for my family.
Today, I didn't eat dinner slouched in front of the television.
Today, I didn't get angry with my husband for asking me to do one more thing.
Today, I didn't go to bed feeling guilty about not spending enough time reading to, talking to or playing with my children.
Today, I didn't have to think of any man other than my husband.
Why do I love my life? Because I have freedom. I have the freedom to live my life for my family, to serve them, nurture them and care for them. I have the freedom to create a beautiful home, cook wonderful meals and raise future heads-of-state (or at least heads-of-households).
Today, I got to have tea with my husband before he left for work.
Today, I got to cuddle with my children and make breakfast for them.
Today, I got to study the bible.
Today, I got to teach my children how to read, how to count and how to reason.
Today, I got to grind grain and make bread.
Today, I got to steam a pudding for dessert.
Today, I got to put dinner in the oven early, do the dishes, peel potatoes and create an impossibly cozy home for all of my family to gather at days end.
Today, I got to have tea with my husband when he got home from work.
Today, I got to read to my children, pay the bills and trek in the newly fallen snow.
Today, I got visit with my girlfriend as we watched the snow fall gently to the ground.
Today, I got to pray for my daughter's friend, shaken as she faces life's uncertainties.
Today, I got to stretch my feet before a warm fire and sip hot cocoa in the candlelight.
When asked if I am just a stay-at-home mom, I smile. Yes, I am just a stay-at-home mom. It is what I was created for - the job description was written in my DNA. It is my job - and I want no other.
As I mentioned in "Providential Preparedness", this year the roses have produced fruit (rose hips) in abundant profusion. They are everywhere - looking like small apples hanging from low-slung bushes. Realizing that God doesn't provide unless there is a need, Sir Knight and I decided it would be wise to get rose hips while the gettin' was good. We have spent the last few weeks transforming our rose hip harvest into many wonderful things - wine, jelly and dried hips (well, almost).
Our first order of business was wine making. After picking pound after pound of rose hips, we lugged them home, plucked their stems, washed and weighed them and prepared to make wine. This is our first time making rose hip wine so I scoured the web for a recipe. After looking over many, many recipes, I combined a couple of different ones and came up with one that looked good to us.
Our basic recipe is as follows:
Rose Hip Wine
4 pounds fresh rose hips
3 pounds sugar
1 gallon boiling water
1 tsp. black tea
1 tsp. wine yeast
Wanting more than 1 gallon of wine, we picked 19 pounds of rose hips. We adjusted things here and there and this is the recipe we used:
19 pounds of rose hips
26 C sugar
4 1/2 gallons boiling water
4 tsp. pectic enzyme
1 pkg. wine yeast (Montrachet)
Sterilize (2) 5 gallon buckets and dived the rose hips between the two.
Add the sugar (divided between the two buckets) and the black tea (the black tea adds tannin - which naturally occurs in grape wine - and body to the wine. Use 1 tsp. per gallon of wine for flower and grain wine).
At this point we also added the pectic enzyme. The pectin enzyme is NOT required. It does nothing to affect the taste, it serves only to keep the pectin (naturally present in rose hips) from congealing and making the wine cloudy.
Pour the boiling water (divided evenly between the two buckets) over the rose hips, sugar and tea. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and gone into solution.
Cover tightly and allow to sit for 24 hours.
After the must (the wine liquid) has been allowed to sit for 24 hours, add the yeast (we split one package between our two buckets - 1 pkg. of wine yeast is good for about 5 gallons of wine).
Cover tightly for another 7 days, stirring once a day.
At the end of 7 days, strain the liquid through a strainer lined with cheesecloth into a demijohn or carboy. Fit with an airlock and allow to ferment.
Rack (siphon) the wine after about 6 weeks into a clean demijohn, fix the airlock again and allow to ferment. The wine will continue to "work" (bubble and ferment) for another 6 months or so. If the fermenting appears to cease (there are no longer bubbles moving), rack again and see if it gets bubbly again. If it does, allow to ferment some more. It may take 2 or three rackings before it is ready to bottle. When fermenting has ended, bottle and cork. This wine (from what I have read) really needs to age for about two years - but then it is out of this world. In two years, we will let you know what we think!
|Straining into a demijohn|
|We found that it was easier to hold the rose hips back while straining|
|Straining through cheesecloth|
|The left-over rose hip sludge (this is why we strain through the cheesecloth)|
|This is the beginning of rose hip wine|
|Rose hips spread on a cookie sheet, ready to dry|
|Drying in the wood cookstove|
Dried Rose Hips
Dry the rose hips (whole), in something other than a hot wood cookstove. A dehydrator works well, or a gas range with the pilot lit, should be fine.
After the rose hips are thoroughly dried, quickly whir them through a food processor (or coarsely chop them).
Shake the rose hips through a metal sieve (mesh) to remove all the little "hairs".
Store your coarsely ground dried rose hips in a jar and use at will. A few teaspoons steeped in boiling water makes a lovely tea.
Back to the jelly. I tried a new recipe this year and I think it turned out wonderfully. Rose hip jelly has a slightly wild, sweet taste to it - not something to miss.
Rose Hip Jelly
8 C. Rose Hip liquid
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 box pectin (or 1 C bulk pectin) (for looser jelly could reduce to 2 boxes or 2/3 C bulk)
8 C sugar
To make the liquid: Use 2 quarts of cleaned rose hips. In a large pot, place the rose hips and enough water to cover well, plus a little extra. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
With the back of a spoon, gently press the rose hips against the side of the pot to release more juice. Try not to cause the rose hips to burst (if they do, you'll just strain the seeds through cheesecloth).
Strain the juice through cheesecloth to measure 8 cups. If you don't have 8 cups of liquid, use water to make up the balance.
To make the jelly: Measure the rose hip liquid into a large pot, add the lemon juice and pectin. Stir well. Bring to a full, rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the sugar. Continue to stir, return to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute (timed from the beginning of the rolling boil).
Remove the pot from the heat. Skim foam from the top and ladle jelly into jars. Wipe thread and rims carefully, then top with prepared lids and rings. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
|Bring the rose hips to a boil|
|Gently pressing the hips with the back of a spoon|
|Straining through cheesecloth|
|I strained a second time - just to have clear jelly|
|Ready for the shelves!|
So, there you have it - all of my rose hip recipes. I hope you take time to gather the harvest and enjoy the abundant blessings of God.
When Maid Elizabeth was in grade school we made our way through Noah Webster's Value of the Bible and Excellence of the Christian Religion - 1834. It is a wonderful book that was designed to walk young children through the bible so they could understand this incredible world that God made specifically for humankind. One section really struck me with its simple wisdom - truths that should be apparent, but aren't. Mr. Webster contends that even the geographical makeup of our planet is providential. His conclusions are summed up in these few paragraphs....
29. Esculent grains - The different species of grain intended for the food of men, and fitted to grow in different climates. Of these rice is one of the principal kinds. It grows only in warm climates, and its qualities are peculiarly fitted for a wholesome diet in such climates, which tend to produce fevers of a bilious type. Probably half of the human race subsist on rice.
30. Wheat, rye and maiz - Next to rice in importance is wheat, which give us the finest flour and best bread. This plant is fitted to grow in almost every habitable latitude. Rye, though less valuable, constitutes a large portion of food in parts of the earth not fitted to produce rice or wheat. Maiz or Indian corn, a native grain of America, supplies an abundance of nourishing food both for man and beast. This grain is wonderfully fitted to grow in different climates. In the warmer latitudes, where the summer is long, it rises to the height of seven or eight feet, and in colder climates, its height is not more than four or five feet.
31. Plants of less general use - In distributing the materials of food, the Creator has given to every country such plants as the climate will bring to perfection. Oats are fitted for cool climates, and in such climates, grow to a larger size than in warmer latitudes. Certain varieties of turnips and potatoes grow to higher perfection in the cool climates of Sweden, Scotland and Nova Scotia, than in the warmer climates and richer soil of more southern latitudes. Such facts prove the benevolence, as well as the wisdom and power of the Creator.
What struck me was that God provided the grains that would be most beneficial to peoples in every part of the world according to their climates and their physical needs. He created everything to serve mankind before he even placed men on the earth. As I schooled Maid Elizabeth, I began to call this concept Providential Geography. It seemed a fitting description.
|7 Gallons of fermenting Apple Cider Vinegar|
|A bowl full of elderberries|
|Divided into buckets to make wine|
|Elderberry must fermenting in a demijon|
|Cleaning rose hips|
|Washing the hips|
|Divided for wine making|
|Sugar and yeast added|
As we worked, I realized that we need to prepare as God provides. This year we had an abundant berry, apple and pear harvest. Honeysuckle, elderberries and rose hips grew in profusion. As God provided, we prepared.
I don't know if this is going to be a hard year. I won't prognosticate on the likelihood of famine or plague. I will, however, prepare for the future with whatever the Lord provides. I will practice Providential Preparedness, just like my brother Joseph. And I will know that God has provided, in advance, for whatever my family needs - as long as I have the wisdom to see His providence.
Finally, the glitch was fixed. One woman, at the end of her $700 transaction, was discovered to have a .49 cent balance on her now restored EBT card. .49 CENTS! And yet, she had filled her cart with over $700 of government assistance approved groceries. This woman knew she had only a .49 cent balance on her EBT card, but she chose to take advantage of a glitch in the system to steal $700.
And really, why would we expect anything different. Every day, millions of people in our country take money they didn't earn and consume services they didn't pay for. Our government, in their misguided attempt to provide a social safety net, has encouraged generations of Americans to become thieves. We have taught people to freely take - no, demand - what they didn't earn. We have taught them that they are incapable of providing for themselves short of voting for the politician that will provide them with the biggest "paycheck". Our government has encouraged promiscuity, slothfulness and lying. They have invested billions to ensure a compliant, dependent citizenry, all under the guise of helping the "underprivileged".
And how do the "underprivileged" return the favor? They steal from the government (that's us, by the way) any and every chance they get. And why not? The government set the example by stealing money (they like to call it taxes) and spending it with absolutely no accountability.
When I heard of the Walmart raids, I thought of an Aesop Fable I had read to my children when they were little. It is called....
The folks that rushed to buy groceries that they knew they weren't "entitled" to were that scorpion. They did it because that is their nature. They are used to spending money that they didn't earn, so if they have the opportunity to do it on a larger scale, they most certainly will.
Years ago, Sir Knight and I had the opportunity to spend time with a troubled young couple. They had two small children and a history of bad decisions. Although living as husband and wife, they were not married and every disagreement or argument ended in one of them leaving, at least for a short while. She had a history of drug abuse but was actively staying clean. He was young and hotheaded and had no idea how to be a father or a husband. For some reason, they found Sir Knight and I and our family fascinating. Every time we bumped into each other, they asked us questions. Questions about parenting, relationships and what a family was supposed to look like. Sir Knight and I became convinced that were supposed to minister to this couple in whatever small capacity we could. It was messy. Frequently we had crying children and hysterical parents on our doorstep. I spent hours teaching the mother how to cook and how to love her children. Sir Knight spent hours teaching the husband how to lead and how to serve. This couple disrupted our lives. They required time and energy. But they were put in our path and we believed that it was our duty to walk along side them.
One evening, the mother called in tears because she didn't have the money to buy her children diapers. She couldn't afford to feed her baby. If we could just help her make it to the end of the month, she would never ask us for anything, ever again. After quickly discussing the situation with Sir Knight, I told her I would come to her house and help her shop. Because we weren't made of money, I gathered up a stash of diapers I had tucked away, a bit of baby rice, a few other necessities, piled them into the truck and set off to pick her up. Thankful as she was, she was certain I didn't need to accompany her to the grocery store. I could just leave the $100 with her and she would take care of the shopping.
I told her that I couldn't do that. It was my job to be a good steward over what God had provided for us and I would be remiss in my duty just to hand it over, with no questions asked. I would go to the store with her and help her do her shopping. Our shopping excursion was a real eye-opener. This young mother had very expensive tastes. She wanted the most expensive baby wipes, the most expensive boxed cereal and the most expensive pre-packaged meals available. She wanted to buy a movie for herself (it would help her get her mind off her troubles) and a 12 pack of beer for her boyfriend (it really mellowed him out). She wanted to spend my money on things my own family went without.
We did finally make it through our shopping trip. The boxed cereal had been replaced with oatmeal, the pre-packaged meals with raw ingredients and the expensive baby wipes with their inexpensive counterparts. We decided to forgo the movie and the beer and instead settled for another package of diapers and some tea that she could share with her husband. It was not the charity she wanted but it was the charity she needed.
I believe in charity. I believe that charity should be administered in person, one-on-one. I believe that charity is messy and complicated and that one size doesn't fit all. I think that when you are on the receiving end of charity you don't get everything you want, but you will get everything you need. I think that without accountability there is no such thing as charity, it is only legalized theft. And I think legalized theft is soul destroying.
We have become a nation of scorpions and frogs. I, for one, choose to be neither.
Fall is in the air and the apples are heavy on the tree. For our family, that means all kinds of wonderful apple delicacies.
This morning, the children where behaving as though their throats had been cut, so I set about making Bouchons for their breakfast. Bouchons are nothing more than oddly shaped quick breads that can be baked in muffin pans quite nicely. Bouchons are small in diameter and rather tall, requiring a special baking pan. Not owning a bouchon mold, I just put my batter into a humble muffin tin and call it good.
This recipe just screams fall. With apples, nutmeg and cinnamon how could you possibly go wrong?
Apple Cinnamon Bouchons
1 T butter, melted
1 large apple, diced
1 3/4 C flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg (can use powdered)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C oil
3/4 C sugar
1 large egg
3/4 C milk
1/4 C butter
1/3 C sugar
1 T cinnamon
Melt the butter in a medium skillet and add the diced apples. Saute on medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the oil, sugar, egg and milk stir until well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon and stir only to combine. Fold in the apples.
Pour into greased and floured bouchon molds (or muffin tins - I use papers with mine). Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For the topping:
Brown the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan until golden brown and fragrant. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
Remove the bouchons (muffins) from the pan while still hot. Dip the top of the bouchon (muffin) in the butter, then into the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Serve warm.
|Sauteing the apples in butter|
|Stirring until just combined|
|Prepared muffin tin|
|Dipping the tops - Yum!|
Enjoy and have a wonderful autumn!
Wildcrafting is nothing more than harvesting and preserving wild edibles, so it seems reasonable that hunting fits nicely into this category. And hunting, along with our other wildcrafting endeavors, has proven to be a worthy occupation.
Deer and elk season is in full swing in our little neck of the woods, along with grouse, turkey and bear. Miss Serenity, being quite an accomplished huntress, has been combing our woods for game with which to stock our larder. She has harvested a number of grouse (which have mostly become appetizing luncheon dishes) and regularly sets up on her bear bait. Last week deer season began, with a buck-only hunt until the first of November. Serenity gained the permission of a corporate farming enterprise which operates directly to our west to hunt their vast holdings and commenced the hunt. Two evenings Serenity checked out the lay of the land, rifle in hand. She determined the travel pattern of the local deer and found the most likely location from which to take her shot. The third evening, Serenity set out for the hunt, rifle, pack and radio in hand. She took up residence in her previously scouted location, lay down prone with her rifle resting on a bipod and waited. Soon she saw movement. She tracked the migrating deer through her rifle scope, searching for the buck that she knew was with the group. Finally her buck appeared. Once he was within range (100 yards), Serenity whistled, aimed, set the first trigger, breathed out, squeezed the second trigger and sent her bullet downrange. Down the buck went, Serenity's one and only round hitting his heart.
|Miss Serenity and her buck|
After hanging for two days Sir Knight, Serenity and Hand Grenade began the butchering process. They set a table up outside (it was crisp and sunny) and went to work. While they were butchering, Princess Dragon Snack and I readied the kitchen. We washed canning jars, heated up the pressure canner and began cutting deer meat into stew meat and roasts. We filled those jars quickly as the outside crew made short work of the entire deer carcass. Within hours we had butchered and processed the entire deer.
|The butchering process begins|
|Hand Grenade the Butcher|
|Jars are ready and lined up awaiting venison|
|Princess Dragon Snack doing her part|
|She really is handy with a knife|
|The finished product - truly fast food|
|Slicing the backstrap|
|Creating butterfly steaks|
|See how they fillet?|
|And now you know why they are called Butterfly's!|
|Raw fried potatoes|
|And dinner is served|
|Boiling the skull|
|It takes awhile|
|Ready to be cleaned out|
|Hosing out the cavities|
|Getting every last little bit|
|Soaking in peroxide|
|Ready to be mounted!|
Just a little slice of life in the American Redoubt....
I love hosting tea parties and use just about any excuse to do so. My excuse this time was autumn! Rather than having the party at "Little Shouse on the Prairie", I decided to host the tea party at the lake in an antique "Summer House". The day dawned bright and beautiful - a perfect setting for a picture perfect afternoon.
|Gathering fall tea party essentials|
|Put in a basket for easy transportation|
|The fire is built and the table set|
|Tea was enjoyed by mothers and daughters alike|
Pressing cider is a much anticipated autumn activity. Our friends hosted a pressing and we wasted no time in accepting their invitation. We took a 6 gallon demijohn to fill so that we could make a batch of apple cider vinegar. It was a perfect, crisp fall day with cider and conversation flowing freely.
|Pouring apples into the "apple eater"|
|Getting ready to press|
|Straining the cider|
|Just a small portion of the 100+ gallons of cider that was pressed|
|We happened upon a road full of cattle|
|Following at a respectful distance|
|Keeping the cattle moving|
|I'm wondering where this cowboy put his horse?|
And there you have it - a slice of our life. Have a wonderful weekend.
As I mentioned earlier, Sir Knight and I have considered caching as a very real option for securing necessary hardware. Before printing the first part of this story, I told you about Z-Corr preservation bags, which will ensure your hardware is completely usable when you need it. The next step in the process is the actual caching. You need something solid, waterproof and able to withstand the pressure of being buried. Again, the good folks at StoreGuns.com have you covered. They have designed the MonoVault - "light enough to carry, tough enough to bury". The MonoVault comes in any number of sizes, capable of caching anything from a handgun to multiple long rifles. They can be used for transport, boating or caching - very versatile. Although there are caching options too numerous to mention, Sir Knight and I liked the idea that the MonoVaults are designed specifically for caching purposes. If you need help deciding which MonoVault to go with, just give StoreGuns.com a call - they will answer all of your questions.
Who knows - you may be caching your stash for your future needs - or, it may be up to your grandchildren. Be sure not to just cache your rifles - include "The Sword of Truth" and your foundation will be firm.
By Raymond K. Paden
We have been silly-busy this fall. I keep thinking things are going to slow down, only to be proven wrong time after time.
Sir Knight has been off work. He has been battling a knee injury for the better part of a year and finally stopped long enough to have surgery. Wow - what a difference the surgery has already made! Although he won't be back to a hundred percent for a month or more, the improvement over the last few days is amazing. He can hardly wait to be running through the woods with a pack on his back, building up his lost muscle base.
Maid Elizabeth has been in training for a new job. She has been putting in long hours, with no rest in sight. Hopefully, she has only another week of intensive training before settling into her new schedule and getting back to a modicum of normalcy.
While keeping up with her rigorous training period, she has been preparing herself and her siblings for participation in a renaissance faire. They have attending meetings all summer in anticipation of the big event, which happens to be this weekend. Maid Elizabeth is the town midwife/healer (I know, typecasting!), Master Hand Grenade is a Knight (he is helping with parking and is an extra due to the fact that he spent his summer away - working and was unable to attend the meetings), Miss Serenity is the "Evil Squire" and has many parts to play and Princess Dragon Snack is part of the "Fairy Guild". They will spend their weekend living the life of medieval characters - complete with swords, chain mail and magic potions.
|Our Fairy Princess|
|The whole crew|
The end of the gardening season brings zucchini squash in abundance. We aren't big zucchini fans, however, we do love zucchini cupcakes with caramel frosting. We like these little treats so much that I can zucchini just so that we can make them year-round. Yesterday, I made by first batch of the season. Feeling the need for a little romance in my life, I made our cupcakes into "Butterfly" or "Fairy" cakes instead of plain old cupcakes. They are really simple, and can be made with any cupcake. Rather than frosting the top of the cake, you just slice the top off the muffin, slice the part you cut off in two equal pieces, frost the top of the cupcake and set the cut parts into the frosting to form wings. The children love them and they look lovely on the tea table. From plain and simple to delectable in minutes!
1 1/3 C sugar
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 C milk (or orange juice)
1 tsp. almond extract
2 1/2 C flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 C shredded zucchini (or carrots)
Preheat oven to 350°
In mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil, milk and almond extract. Combine dry ingredients; add to the egg mixture and mix well. add zucchini and mix well. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 20 - 25 minuets or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack.
1 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C butter
1/4 C milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 to 2 C confectioner's sugar
Combine brown sugar, butter and milk in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually beat in confectioner's sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency.
|Cupcakes ready to put into the oven - next to that really handy cookbook!|
|Cooling and awaiting frosting|
That is all that has been happening on our home-front. I hope everything is well on your's.
This isn't the world I grew up in. When I was growing up the biggest threat were the Russians and our war-cry was "Wolverines!!". That is not the case today. Our biggest threat now appears to be coming from within our own country - and that changes everything.
Sir Knight and I have been giving a lot of thought to caching a few essential pieces of equipment for future use. Not only has this been a topic of conversation with my husband, but my parents as well. My Dad, realizing the necessity of securing items might need to be taken care of sooner rather than later, began researching storage options in detail. Knowing that he wanted to make sure that his equipment didn't fail him, he began looking into preservation bags that would then be put into another container for secure long term storage. After testing a number of preservation bags, he came across the Z-Corr Preservation Bags. Reading the information presented on the website, along with numerous Internet forums dealing with caching and gun preservation, convinced Dad to give the Z-Corr bags a try. He called the good folks at StoreGuns.com and liked what he heard. Not only where the Z-Corr bags designed for the USMC, the gentleman Dad spoke with at StoreGuns was a wealth of knowledge on gun storage options and a really nice guy to boot. Dad was sold. He ordered a number of bags on the spot.
The Z-Corr bags were everything Dad expected them to be. They were significantly thicker than the other bags he had ordered and the quality appeared to be heads and tails above the others.
If you are considering cashing your valuables you might want to take a look at StoreGuns.com. If you haven't thought of caching before, please read this story, originally published in the Blue Press. We're not in Kansas anymore.
Sundown at Coffin Rock
Sunday before last, Sir Knight, the children and I spent the day manning our booth at the Spokane, Washington Sustainable Preparedness Expo. This year the Expo was held at the Fairgrounds and Expo Center - a perfect venue for the preparedness crowd. The wing that housed this year's expo was full to overflowing with people seeking to expand their preparedness skills and knowledge base. We met people from every walk of life - from those brand new to preparedness, to seasoned survivalists, to everything in-between.
|All the guys like the gear|
|Somebody admiring the shot-up body armor|
|Sir Knight doing his thing. Yes, that is me tucked back in the corner.|
As vendors, Sir Knight and I thought this year's event was a success. I would love to hear from those of you who had an opportunity to attend and hear your take on the Expo.
Until next year...
When I was growing up, my mother made bread every week. One week she would make white bread, the next wheat and the next French bread. Every Saturday I could be found in the kitchen, chattering at her as she expertly kneaded our bread on the antique dining table that graced our tiny kitchen. When the bread was supple and silky, she would have me wash my hands, flour them, and then push the dough around a few times, showing me how to use the heal of my hand to knead the bread well. By the time I was 8, I knew how to make bread perfectly - or so I thought.
Many years later, I was a new wife, a young mother and a fledgling housekeeper. Drawing upon my vast home economic skills, I proceeded to whip up a bread dough, knead it to perfection and set it to rise. Imagine my surprise when I lifted the towel covering my dough, only to discover a dense, pale blob of cold, raw dough. The dough was solid, having not risen even one tiny little bit! I was thrust into the depths of despair. This couldn't be - I had been baking bread since I was knee-high to a grasshopper! Or had I?
The truth of the matter is that I had been hanging onto my mother's coat-tails. A majority of my supposed home-making skills were not mine - rather I had borrowed them from my mother - and the funny thing about borrowed skills is that you have to give them back.
The next two years of my life were dedicated to transforming my home-making efforts into honest to goodness skills rather than an inherited legacy. I spent hours talking to my mom, reading books and trying recipe after recipe. I kneaded bread and kneaded bread and kneaded yet more bread. I failed - tried again - failed and tried just one more time. Finally, after more disappointments than I can count, I learned how to make a simple, lowly loaf of bread. This wasn't my mother's bread, using borrowed skills - this was my bread - made from the hard-won wisdom of trial and error and perseverance -fresh from the oven and perfect! I was officially a bread-baker in my own right.
Our children have grown up immersed in the self-sufficient lifestyle. Most of them have never known grid-power, flushing toilets or store-bought bread. They have grown up baking on a wood cookstove, canning venison and making soap. They have survival skills that most people would envy - but are they really their skills?
For the most part, we have included our children in all aspects of our survivalist lifestyle. They hunt with us, they bake with us, they cook with us and they shoot with us. Everything we do, there are our children, right beside us. However, just being with us doesn't guarantee that we are transferring our skills and knowledge. Our children have to be actively involved - even to the point of being allowed to fail. What does that look like? It looks like an apple pie - hot and bubbling - being dropped onto the open door of a hot wood cookstove because a certain young lady didn't have a proper hold on it as she brought it out of the oven. It looks like a pair of Kevlar saw chaps with a gaping hole across the thigh reminding a young man to always have a solid grip on a powerful chainsaw. Teaching our children the skills of life means letting them get dirty and learn through experience. It means that we have to be willing to let them make a mess, do things the hard way and yes, even fail.
We have some acquaintances who are striving to live a preparedness lifestyle. Although not originally country-folk, they are making a Herculean effort to become self-reliant survivalists. Their children were young when the family made the transition to country life and now, as teenagers, they truly believe that they are the ultimate survivalists. The only problem? The children have absolutely no survival skills. They assume, since they have watched their mother (the father really isn't involved in much - other than physically being there) milk the cow, gather the eggs, grow the garden and make the cheese, that they know how to do all those things - but they don't. In fact, they don't really have any skills of their own - although they believe otherwise. These children have mistaken their legacy for their skill set.
It is really easy to forget our children's skill level (or lack thereof) in our earnestness to prepare our families. We have to actively cultivate skills in our children rather than allowing them to borrow ours. When the lights go out, the only skills your children will be able to rely upon with be their own - the ones you cared to instill in them.
Don't just assume that your children are learning alongside of you - give them the opportunity to learn for themselves. Don't ever allow them place their trust in borrowed skills. Make sure they are equipped with the real thing.
September is here and with it has come a new school year. We are well into our second week and things are moving right along. This year has brought unique school challenges. With two older children our schedule is nothing short of hectic. Miss Serenity has secured a job at our local grocery store as a checker. She is working three days a week for five hours a day. Serenity is acquiring a huge amount of discipline as she juggles her school workload along with her gainful employment. She has noticed how challenging it is to go to school in the morning work all afternoon and still have home chores to take care of in the evening. Oh, and of course she has been hunting as well.
Master Hand Grenade delivered his application, along with a cover letter and letter of reference to the same grocery store that employs his sister earlier this week. He is applying for any job that might be available with the hope of become an apprentice in the meat department upon his 18th birthday. His plan of action is to check in with the store manager on a weekly basis until an opening comes along. In the meantime Hand Grenade has been working on our winter wood supply and helping me with general "Estate Management", in addition to his normal schoolwork.
Princess Dragon Snack and Master Calvin are taking their roles as students very seriously. Dragon Snack is reading up a storm and I can hardly contain her from doing multiple math lessons a day. Calvin is so excited to be in school that he claps his hands every time he gets one of his letters right during reading or when he executes a flawless E in handwriting! It is so much fun to teach excited littles.
Last week we added to our household number in the form of a Tibetan Mastiff. He is a beautiful dog that we love already. Tibetan Mastiffs are known for being people guardians and are unlike any dog I have ever met. "Grimm" stalks silently through the house, checking in every room at regular intervals. He is very alert, highly intelligent and somewhat aloof. He likes to be petted but does not feel required to fawn over us. So far he seems to be the perfect dog for our family.
Along with getting ready for winter and doing school, the kids and I have been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. We have gone through every room in the house along with every outbuilding. Just yesterday we cleaned out our shed (that is attached to the shouse). It seems to be the depository for everything that has no other permanent home. Without regular cleaning, it can become impassable within a matter of weeks. Due to the fact that our generators are in the shed, I make it my personal mission to inspect it at least once a week and take whatever measures are necessary to ensure its tidiness. As much work as the cleaning was, we were handsomely rewarded when we made a trip to the dump to dispose of our garbage. There, sitting next to a dumpster, was an old, chippy cupboard. The doors had been damaged by water but the structure was sound and somewhat charming. After a quick inspection, Miss Serenity and I loaded our treasure onto the trailer and headed home. Within minutes we had the cupboard unloaded, the doors removed and had scrubbed every inch of our find with bleach water. It turned out beautifully (if you like the country shabby look, that is). I had been needing a new bookshelf for quite some time and our dumpster find was just right. Oh, the blessings we reap every day!
As I mentioned, we have been busy, busy, busy - and this weekend will be a continuation of that busyness. Sunday is the Sustainable Preparedness Expo in Spokane and we will have a booth. This year it is being held at the Spokane County Fairgrounds. We think it will be a much better location than last years event, which was held at the Spokane Convention Center. If any of you are planning on attending, look me up!
That's it for now - be back soon!
It seems like we are always busy with one project or another. Mostly, we work together, like when we split and stack firewood or butcher a deer, but, every once in a while, each member of our household seems to be knee-deep in a project of their own. Such was the case this weekend when we were all competing for limited workspace to bring our individual projects into fruition. Our home was a positive hothouse of industry!
After numerous attempts to repair tears on our leather couch, I decided it was time to make new covers for the cushions. It really looked a mess, but it is so comfortable, I couldn't even think of junking it in favor for something else. I have a bad habit of keeping upholstery fabric laying about, just in case - so I dug through my stash and came up with a partial bolt that had enough fabric left to make cushion covers with enough left over for a few pillows as well. After I took measurements of the couch cushions, I cleared the table, rolled out the fabric and began cutting. An hour later, I had all of the pieces I needed to make new covers and transform our tattered couch.
|Our tattered couch|
While I was busy cutting and sewing, Maid Elizabeth was busy weaving. She decided that our dog needed a new collar and went to work fashioning one out of black and green para-cord, adding nails here and there for added armor. It took her a number of hours, however the finished product was rather impressive.
|Weaving a collar|
As I sewed and Maid Elizabeth wove, Sir Knight and Master Hand Grenade put new furniture on a 10/22. Master Hand Grenade wanted to turn his humble .22 into a fierce looking HK G36 (which is isn't really, of course, but the Archangel kit just makes it look like the G36).
|Installing new furniture|
|Dad's help required|
Our afternoon was brought to a close with many finished projects. Our couch was newly dressed, our dog had a new collar and Master Hand Grenade had transformed his varmint rifle into something fearsome. Oh, the satisfaction in a job well done!
Awhile ago, I asked the question "What is it about Survivalists and Zombies?". Well, I believe that I have the answer to my own question. It's all about identifying the enemy.
When children are little, their world is so cut and dried. They see things in black and white. They play "Cops and Robbers" and "Cowboys and Indians". On one side you have the "good guys" and on the other side you have the "bad guys". There is no blurring of lines or gray areas. Just good and bad. And the good guys always win. Always.
The world in which we now find ourselves is completely subjective. There is no good or bad, right or wrong, just or unjust. It's all relative - depending upon your point of view. Once, our elected officials were held in high esteem and served with integrity and honesty. Now, they openly do drugs, "sext" their constituents and defile their offices with unending regularity. Although there is still honor in their position, the people occupying those positions are far from honorable. Once, our police officers were regarded for their commitment to serve and protect. They were trusted and revered. Now, you are by far more likely to be killed by a police officer than you are by a terrorist*. Tell me again who the good guys are? The list could go on and on. Priests and pastors used to be revered men of God - the very best of us - and now many populate an ever growing list of pedophiles and sexual deviants. Even some teachers, entrusted with our most precious treasures, have joined the ranks of predators. The lines between the good guys and the bad guys just keep getting fuzzier.
And now we have the rise of Zombies. Really, it was inevitable. Human nature needs to be able to identify the good guys and the bad guys. In a society where you can no longer tell who is good and who is bad, where the lines have been blurred past recognition, you have to create those definitions for yourself. When you no longer know if your government, your military, your police force, your educational institutions or your churches are allies or enemies, you create a world in which your enemy is easily identifiable and ultimately defeat-able. In a desperate attempt to define good versus evil, you create the ultimate, non-negotiable survival scenario - the Zombie Apocalypse.
Unfortunately, the cataclysm our nation is facing will not be quite so cut-and-dried as a Zombie Apocalypse. It will be far more insidious and difficult to maneuver. Rather than just hacking the head off the nearest embodiment of the undead, we will have to use discernment and wisdom to identify our enemy. History has shown us that our enemy often comes masqueraded as the giver of light. He promises safety, equality and abundance for all, while quietly setting his snares for our destruction.
Beware not the Zombie, but rather the giver of gifts.
* Statistic for fatalities due to terrorism and police officers.
It has come to my attention that society seems to have a general misconception as to what constitutes growing-up or adulthood. Lets establish a few basic definitions:
Adult, n [L. adultus, gown to maturity] Having arrived at mature years.
Mature, adj [L. maturus, developed] Relatively advanced physically, mentally, emotionally etc.; grown-up. Hallmarked by maturity: Sense of responsibility, experience, sense, wisdom, sophistication, level-headedness, matureness.
Child, n [Old English. cild] A person between birth and puberty. One who is childish or immature. A person who behaves in a childish manner.
Childish, adj. Indicating a lack of maturity; "childish tantrums"; "infantile behavior".
By these definitions, our society has become overwhelmed by children masquerading as adults. Although their years would signify adulthood, their attitudes and behavior betray them - they are nothing more than big, out-of-control children. Miley Cyrus, of course, is a perfect example, however, there were many before this latest unfortunate victim of arrested development. Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Justin Bieber are also card-carrying members of this not-so-elite club.
Interestingly, a large number of the "Hollywood Elite" (whatever the heck that means) have defended Miss Cyrus and her lewd, repulsive displays of out-of-control childishness as nothing more than "coming into her own" and "showing the world that she has outgrown Hannah Montana and is growing up"! If Miley Cyrus were truly growing up, she would be showing signs of maturity - wisdom, level-headedness and sense. She would be responsible to the fan base on which her empire was built. She would tirelessly seek to maintain a flawless reputation and strive to inspire young women the world over to become true gentle-women. Instead, she has succumbed to base human nature. She has elevated the unlovely and mocked the genteel. She is a child playing dress-up. And we are paying her to watch.
Unfortunately the playacting doesn't end in Hollywood. Children, pretending to be grown-ups have infiltrated every aspect of American life. Don't believe me? Take a drive on any interstate in the nation and watch road-rage in action. Listen for a minute when the boss in the corner office throws a hissy-fit because something didn't work in his favor. Walk into your local grocery store and take stock of people too numerous to count that consider slipper and pajamas appropriate "going-to-the-store" attire. We are a nation of children!
Childhood doesn't magically end when you reach puberty. Adulthood doesn't just happen on your 18th birthday. Maturity requires cultivation. It requires care and effort. We can't just plug our children into modern culture and expect ladies and gentlemen to emerge. Turning children into mature adults takes work. It takes sacrifice and discipline. We must cultivate a crop worthy of harvest. If we have any hope for the future, we cannot continue to cultivate a nation of children. Parents - this is your calling. The nations rest on your shoulders. Take heed.
I have to admit - I find human nature endlessly fascinating. Often, I write blog posts that I am certain will offend everyone who happens to read them. More often than not, the comments I receive on my most "shocking" posts are nothing short of positive. And then, out of the blue, I will receive a scathing, hate-filled comment on a post that I thought was completely benign. Go figure!
Recently, I wrote about Master Hand Grenade returning to the nest. I wrote of his achievements and how proud Sir Knight and I were that he was not only well thought of but that he had the wisdom to discern between the wheat and the chaff of life. Pretty unobtrusive, huh? Well, apparently not. In response to that post, I received the following comment (anonymously, of course). I chose not to publish it on the post, but rather save it for another day.
Why don't you get Mr. Dumb Ass, er, I mean, Mr. Hand Grenade into a college so that Mr. H.G. won't be yet another loser walking around armed waiting to go postal when the world, which he is not prepared for, overwhelms him and he realizes that he is a working class cog and will never get ahead or have anything on a butchers wages.
Wow! So much hatred in such a small package. The night this comment came through, I began praying for the writer. I woke up praying for them the next morning, as well. You can be sure that I will continue to pray. I am certain that whomever wrote that comment hates themselves. With a passion.
Anyway, I digress. The comment made me think of a blog post that I had read recently, that summed up my personal thoughts regarding higher education. The writer, Matt Walsh, made more than enough valid points to make any parent (or child, for that matter) rethink their higher education position. He said:
Have you noticed the not-so-subtle national change of perception regarding terrorists? Once upon a time we believed that terrorists were wild-eyed crazies with bombs strapped to their bodies wreaking massive destruction on a cowering populace - in far-away third-world countries. Silly us. Thankfully, our government has re-educated us. We now know that the real terror threats are much more insidious and difficult to detect. Homegrown terrorists - the real threat to the safety of our nation - can be found right in our own backyard. They are in our churches, our military and in the local Cabela's store. Terrorists are especially prevalent down lonely dirt roads and in isolated pockets of rural America. Heck, our very country was framed by radical terrorists! Can you believe how misguided we have been? Now, thanks to our government, we know that terrorism doesn't require any physical action at all but rather is simply present in "seditious thought".
Well, I for one am grateful to be armed with this new, revolutionary information. Knowledge is power, you know. Next time I see a news cast televising the destruction of lives and property at the hands of crazy-eyed folks with bombs strapped to their person, I will know they are just exercising their "religious freedom" and all is well. But you can be certain that now that I have been made aware of the real threat, I will be on high alert - ready to intercept "seditious thoughts" at every turn. With a new awareness of what constitutes terrorism, I can plug my children's ears when confronted with such life-destroying ideas as individual liberty! We can run screaming if we have the misfortune to come face to face with a returning military veteran. And don't even get me started about the so-called "Patriot Movement"!
In an effort to win the battle on the War on Terror, we must be educated. We must be on high alert, especially around:
- Those that are "suspicious of centralized federal authority"
- Anyone that "is frustrated with mainstream ideologies"
- Citizens that have "bumper stickers" that are patriotic or anti U.N.
- Those that possess "a belief in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism"
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