Saturday, July 26, 2008


That's it; I've had it. I'm leaving you all.

For a little while anyway.

I have had a gun put to my head while someone twisted my arm behind my back and I've agreed to go camping.

I know, I'm out of my mind.

With as many potato bugs and squash bugs as I'm fighting, the last thing I need to do is go cook and clean and mother my children somewhere without a washing machine or bathtub or electricity.

Oh, and did I mention my husband won't be there? At least not for the greater part. He and five others are going backpacking and I'll be awaiting their return (and be sure I have biscuits and gravy waiting, I'm told) with my three young'ns, my half-blind grandmother, and my pregnant sister-in-law. Where's that gun training and conceal & carry permit when I need it??? No, not to fend off the blind or pregnant among us, but to protect them. I'm feeling the burden of this trek already.

I've spent an absolutely unreal amount of money and time and effort to get this off the ground, and I'm sure we'll have fun, but a small part of me wishes I could just stay home and feed squash bugs to the poultry.

You never know, maybe the poultry will survive and the garden pests will die. Probably the other way around, though.

So, I'll be scarce this week. And if I hadn't been menu-planning and shopping and pre-cooking, and sewing and borrowing coolers and registering my green monster, I'd have post-dated a bunch of fun posts for while I"m gone. Heck, I'd have written a bunch of real-time posts these past two weeks!

And when I return, after I've climbed out from beneath a monstrous laundry pile, I'll try to gather my twitching brain cells and put together another worthwhile read (okay, so they're not usually worthwhile. Humor me.).

Friday, July 25, 2008

...And It Begins...

Not that it hasn't been happening; they've just found another avenue to exploit.

The Common Room has a great post that details how the FLDS issue is being used to target the rest of us.

Tired of me linking to her? I know, but she posts so many doggone good ones I just can't help it. You really should be reading it every day on your own anyway. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ERGO Indeed

To Update:

Monday in the mail I received my ERGO replacement part, and am happily dragging the baby from the chicken house to the garden to the galley where I row with the slaves...

Organique has successfully mastered the speed-crawl and the pincer-grasp-of-itty-bitty-things. Those things are not too bad, really, but combined with the elbow reflex that puts all itty-bitty-things into her mouth, and Mama is on damage control all day long.

Big Sister has given up trying to save her from her self-induced choking hazards due to her mastering of another great skill: the combined use of her two bottom teeth and three uppers.


So -- the ERGO in working condition is handy. Praise the Lord.

Monday, July 21, 2008

FLDS Inquiry

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding an Inquiry into the FLDS. The Common Room has some important information: (the whole post is worth reading)

On July 24, 2008 the United States Senate is holding a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the FLDS Church and the polygamist lifestyle. Only the only people invited to help the Senate understand this group are people who are hostile to them. This committee has no intention of hearing both sides.Petition protesting this here.

You should also call and/or try emailing your Senators, especially if any of them are on the Judiciary Committee. It will mean more to them to hear from their constituents.

And let me point out that in 2005 when Hilderbran of the Texas state legislature got it into his head to do something about the FLDS, he targeted all homeschoolers. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and one needn't believe the FLDS lifestyle is all tulips, roses and God's daisy chains in the sky to see that if it's acceptable to the Senate to investigate one religious group and not even seek to hear from members themselves, others will follow.

In case you were wondering, this contradicts the rights allowed in the First Amendment.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Responsibility and Dependency

I've been having snippets of conversations lately with people, and usually don't have the time or spare brain cells available to do the conversation justice. I thought I'd try to be a little more concise from the keyboard.

Some people are surprised to find that the thought of an Obama presidency prompts me to fear. Or that the government running certain banks, industries, or healthcare prompts the same reaction.

I'll try to make this make sense... But don't hold your breath.

Power and responsibility go hand-in-hand. I am responsible for my children, therefore I exercise power over them. I am responsible to keep them from getting run over by cars, so I exert power by teaching them the dangers, training them in safety, and jerking them by the hair* to keep them from such death, if need be.

Dependency and servitude are also close bed-fellows. My children depend on me for sustenance. They cannot provide for their own nutritional needs, and therefore are at the mercy of what I might or might not provide. They don't earn the money, so they don't get to say how it's spent. They don't drive or understand budgeting, so they can't do the shopping. Preparing and cooking food would be dangerous to their wellbeing, so they don't do that either. They don't have the know-how to care for a garden, so they can't depend on a harvest to feed them. Their dependency limits their choices. And because I am the one they are dependent on (the one with the power), I control what is available to them.

When these relationships develop between people and the government, it spells disaster. If the people depend on the government for their food, the government can decide what food is available to the people. If the people depend on the government for their healthcare and medicine, the government decides how to appropriately disburse those things. If the people depend on the government to educate themselves or their children, the government gets to define education.

And this is only right and natural. The responsible party (the government) has the power, in the same way a parent does. The dependent party (the people) are at the mercy of the powerful.

But, unlike most parents, the government can not operate out of love, and will not sacrifice greatly to provide the best choices. Corruption is unavoidable, whether the motive is to kill or control the people, or just make 'necessary' shortcuts to keep the bottom line balanced. What might this look like? Well, in the case of food supply, contamination might be ignored, cheap genetically-modified products pushed, and nutritionally inferior items provided. In the case of education, teachers would be trained to government specs, subjects and information filtered to match the agenda of the powerful, the government would define 'truth' and 'right,' eventually. Opposing viewpoints would have to be deemed 'hateful,' or silenced. And healthcare? Yikes. There are only so many doctors, and only so much money, so the resources will have to be allocated appropriately. Maybe they'll tag each of us with a value, and once our healthcare costs exceed a certain point, it just won't be worth it. Too young? Handicapped? Old? Looks like you get 2 aspirin. Insurance and HMO's (because we depend on them) have been limiting choices and options for a long time.

So far, the people I've talked to (who don't mind the thought of depending on the government), don't seem to have thought through these things. Or maybe they think these scenarios are completely absurd. I don't. I already see some of this in several places the government has 'responsibility.' I don't want to be dependent on the government for my daily existence. I depend on them where necessary, like law enforcement and judiciary, but my life belongs to me, and I am to be dependent on God. He has a better track record anyway.

What do you think? Do I make sense? Am I crazy? (okay, I mean crazy about this subject..)

*Just to clarify; I don't jerk on my kids' hair as a punishment of any sort. I am imagining the scenario where a kidlet is running into traffic and I would do what I must to keep them from it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Therefore, ERGO.

Have I mentioned that I have an ERGO Baby Carrier? Have I mentioned that it works?

I was the hardest to convince. I'm one of those who have tried so many different front/back/wherever carriers, and none of them fit the bill. My main excuse was that my babies have all been 14 lbs by 2 months of age, and because they can't hold their heads up at that age, they have to be front-carried. And the reasons my babies get so big so quickly are also front-carried, if you know what I mean. Let's just say that made for many short-lived attempts at front-carrying my babies, and some considerable backpain.

I bought the ERGO because it had a 30-day money-back guarantee. :)

And you know what? It worked for me. I used the infant insert for a while (again, my big babies made that somewhat awkward), then when she could hold her head up, we practiced using it without. It took some getting used to, but before long it was our preferred option for grocery shopping (no carseat-carrier to fill the cart) and more. As far as my back is concerned, it isn't any worse than holding my baby close and carrying her around. Which is entirely doable.

As great as all that is, I'm happy to say it gets even better.

I noticed the other day that the big waist clip (think grocery-cart seatbelt, but MUCH bigger) was fractured (I think I recall enlisting Hubby's too-strong help once, to fasten it -- oops), and part of it was hanging by a thread. I could align the loose part okay, and it seemed to fasten securely, but I didn't want to take any chances. I googled replacement parts and came up empty. I went to their main site, and emailed their customer service about purchasing the part. Within hours, I got this response:

Hi {EllaJac},

Thank you for contacting us at ERGObaby. We can certainly send you a male waist buckle. Send us your mailing address (we go through the post office) and we will get the buckle to you as soon as possible so you can get back to baby wearing.

You'll get it in a few days. Hold off using your carrier until then. And take a good look at how it is looped into the buckle. You first loop through the back of the buckle. Go through the slot that is closest to the prongs.

Thank you {EllaJac}.


Customer Service

That was yesterday. I replied with my address and got word today that it had been shipped. I am quite impressed, considering the so-called customer service I have been subjected to in the past (someday, after therapy and/or deliverance, I'll share the rest of my story). I will remember this. Thank you ERGO!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Can It 'Pop' Your Brain?

Update: Apparently it IS 'a bit too much.' It's a marketing ploy for bluetooth headsets (thanks, homehandymum!). By the way, some claim those are as bad or worse than regular cell phones. I'm all for the string-and-tin-cans at this point, anyway. :)

This is a bit too much.

Apparently cell phones can pop popcorn.


"Yeah, I've got you on speakerphone. I'm across the room! I'm not getting any closer to that thing..."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mouse House

A couple weeks ago Big Sister saw a mouse run through her room, into the hallway, and into my room.

This surprised me, because our rooms are upstairs and I've never seen mice or any evidence of them there.

The next day she saw one exit the computer room and enter the sewing/guest room. This also surprised me. I began to wonder if she wasn't just seeing things or embellishing for effect.

Until I saw something scurry under the crib and into the furnace duct. Ewww...

And then I heard something chewing decidedly and loudly under the kitchen stove. At least it was downstairs.

And saw something scurry along the cabinets and into the crack beside the dishwasher. Ick.

Hubby saw something scurry into another under-cabinet hole, and followed the sighting up with a half-hour stake out on the kitchen floor with his blow gun at the ready. After I asked him to put his new .45 semi-auto away. I like my kitchen.

We set some live traps, but didn't have good follow-through. I'm not motivated to look for live mice, after all.

THEN - last night - I was cooking pork chops. Lots of them. I had them on a cookie sheet (before cooking) to the right of the stove, where sits my kombucha brews, and my blender- and food processor-bases. And some dirty dishes. Always. I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and looked over in time to see one of those nasty little somethings gallop through the mess of dishes, across my cookie sheet*, onto the stovetop, behind the frying pan (in which pork chops were cooking), across the stovetop to the left-hand counter, dodging the egg-basket and bowl of cookie dough to disappear behind the rear of the stove.

I let out the most girly scream I've ever uttered... high-pitched, loud, and with that blood-curdling warble you hear in the old movies.

I am so ashamed.

Moreso by my scream than by the realization my beautiful kitchen has been molested in such a wicked fashion.

When I went to town on Thursday, I bought a handful of traps. When I discovered that Stuart Little had discovered the pile of barley my Little Artist put in a drawer ages ago, I set my fanciest trap.

An hour later, the thing was fed to the cat. And while I was hoping that we just had one incredibly mobile mouse, Hubby fed another offering to the felines when he got home and checked it, so I'm guessing my hope was delusional.

So - here's to my new pasttime: washing every dishtowel, apron, and potholder and the miscellaneous items in The Drawer (including the wax paper and egg-slicer). And getting rid of the barley.

*In case you happen to be one of the delightful guests that visited the night I discuss... and took away pork chops as a "to-go" version of my deprived (yes deprived, not depraved. I don't get to do it much) hospitality, please be assured that no pork chops were harmed in the galloping of the Nasty Critter. I am a careful cook, and nothing which you ate had, at any time, come into contact with anything the Nasty Critter may have molested.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Girls Will Be...?


Girls are sugar and spice and all that, right? Pink, and dresses, and ribbons and tea parties. I'm not a very frilly girl, and my girls aren't overboard either, but they're definitely into dollies and doilies.

So why am I having to deal with weird bugs being left in jars... in my house? Mothers of girls should never witness their darling cherub tearing the head from a grasshopper in the garden. Should they? Yes, praying mantis are good... but do we have to pick them up, even if they're little and unlikely to attack? I just don't like fondling worms. I don't like to talk about spiders at the dinner table, and I should not be stain-treating muddy clothes three times daily. I especially don't like hearing about the amount of blood (or whatever is inside them) that shoots out from a Colorado Potato Beetle when you mash it. My four-year-old said, "I like to break beetles."

Good grief.

They like to watch the cat toy with and munch mice, or catch and chew a writhing snake. At Hubby's company barbecue at The Country Club, they were cradling and petting something small... "What do you have there?" I asked. "A snail!" they exclaimed. I looked closer at their pet and made an exclamation of my own. "That's not a snail, that's a slug! Ewww!!! Yuck! Put it down!"

I think Little Artist is scarred from the incident. My reaction. Not the slug snuggling.

I don't mean to assume that this is what mothers of boys go through. Lord help us, if my girls are this bad, I can't imagine how boys are. How do you survive mothering sons? I'm not sure I'm going to survive these not-so-girly girls...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Darn the Safe Place

In an effort to properly care for my 37 tomato plants, I have been searching for an article on pruning and training them. The article was in the somewhat-radical Acres USA which I subscribed to last year. Last year's wind damage caused much confusion on my part... After they died and resurrected, it was hard to determine where the 'main' stem was, if it still existed, and which were suckers, etc. I did my best, but there was no matching what I had to the nice diagrams included in the article.

Of all the articles on organic dairying and earthworm raising and peak oil and super-composting, the tomato article was one I knew I could put into action immediately (or, when the wind subsided). I made a mental note to keep that issue on hand (mental note: mental notes are not to be trusted).

I am assuming it is in the June 2007 edition. I assume this because I have located February, March, April, May, July, August, September, October, November December 2007 and January 2008 editions.

I must have put it in The Safe Place.

Do you have one of those? Apparently mine is a worm hole or portal into the fourth dimension, and everything that goes there is sucked out of this reality entirely.

Acres USA is currently working on an online searchable database of all articles. Currently working on won't help these tomatoes today.

I know, there are dozens of online resources that tell you how to stake or cage your tomatoes, or train them to a wire trellis or canopy or tunnel or fence, or any other of dozens of plans. They'll also tell you which suckers to pluck, depending on your 'philosophy', and whether to let them grow a bit, or leave the ones just below a flower cluster.... and my brain starts to melt right out my ears.

I don't want to have a philosophy. I just want tomatoes.

The Acres article gave me one idea, and one way to do it -- complete with the daggum diagram. I was going to photocopy it, laminate it, and affix it to a pedestal in my garden, like a roadside historic site.

So my tomatoes are getting bushy, my brain is melting, I have no cages or trellises or stakes -- and I'm not even sure which varieties are determinate or indeterminate!


Now if I could just put the squash bugs, colorado potato beetles, and morning glory in The Safe Place, I'd feel like we were even.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day!!!

I'm so glad the post I tried to post last night had a blogger error and fell through. It was rife with whining and frustration over circumstances these days. Not uplifting at all.

Today we celebrate our nation's independence. More than that, we celebrate our freedom. I don't usually refer to it as "The Fourth of July," because that doesn't reference anything about it's meaning. I don't call Christmas "The Twenty-Fifth of December" after all. I call it Christmas.

I think of myself as fairly patriotic. I love America. I can't think of a place I'd rather live. However, I'm also sometimes beside myself with the state of America. "Kids these days..." My mind just can't comprehend so many things our nation embraces. So much of what it puts up with and chooses gives me great sadness. I think my patriotism is more for what America was, or should be, or was intended to be.

How are we debating the idea of nationalized healthcare? Did you know that the very existance of the Department of Education is unconstitutional??? How did we get to this point?

Perhaps it's inevitable. Nothing truly is perfect, outside of Christ, and while the Left sure wants to Save Us All, it just can't be done. Even something as divinely-inspired as the founding of the U.S.A. can't produce Utopia.

But it makes a place for us to produce our own.

What can we do to better this place? To return it to something George Washington would recognize and be proud of? I'm sure you can find all kinds of articles about that online. For me, though, it boils down to one thing.... To teach my children well. To do my best to make a place where they can grow and learn and understand the potential God has put within them, the Calling they have on their lives. To help them understand that with freedom comes great responsibility. Responsibility to keep themselves from idolizing whatever pop icon is in the news, from letting fantasy suck their life away (whether in the form of video games, online, movies, novels, tv shows, etc). Responsibility to live they life they've been given by God. Just think; if we take responsibility for our own lives, we won't be whining for someone else to pay for our medicine. If we take the responsibilities outlined in Scripture, we will be supporting the church and the needy, and politicians who stand up with promises to steal from the successful guy to pad the lifestyle of the needy won't have as big an audience. The needy will have understanding too.

So this Independence Day, I celebrate the freedoms I do have. I am free to teach my children and support my family and community and live my life, inasmuch as I can.

And as soon as I find a cannon, I'll have my own not-in-support-of-China fireworks. :)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Mighty Joe

Kendra, of Preschoolers and Peace, and her husband Fletch, of theMango Times have been posting regularly about their sudden challenge this past week. Their little (not yet) 2-month-old boy, Joe, caught a terrible virus but God's hand has been evident through the circumstances. He's not out of the woods (or the hospital) yet, but the story (begins here) of God's goodness is wonderful. I'm praying he recovers miraculously, without any brain/liver/kidney/whatever damage at all, if God wills!