Friday, January 15, 2010

do you think jesus ever wants to b%#&h-slap someone?

i am truly struggling with writing this blog entry. as the days have passed since the earthquake struck haiti, i, like most of the country have been glued to the television, moved by dramatic images, and praying that the kingdom of god will overlap that little nation in a powerful way. so basically, anything i write, i feel, will be trite. i mean how can i even begin to comment on something so gut-wrenchingly horrible. my home is in tact. i kissed my children, healthy and whole children, before they went to bed last night. i sent them to school today with food in the their bellies, the money to pay for lunch, and as i write this blog, i am making dinner that i will feed them tonight. again, i feel that anything i can contribute in the way of commentary will be trite at best.

earlier today, i decided i would write something because i was mad. i am, of course, appalled by the despicable comments made by pat robertson and rush limbaugh. and on wednesday, i got into a bit of a tiff with a local 'politician' when i heard he had been part of a contingent that would send $25,000 to the republican (brown is his name, i believe) in massachusetts that was running for ted kennedy's old seat. when i 'suggested' that the money would be better served in haiti, he informed me that no one should send money outside of the united states. that there were people right here, in this country, in the same shape as those in haiti. so i asked him two questions: 1. where did the earthquake that registered 7.0 and created mass devastation happen (in the us)? and 2. if the $25K he and his cronies, um, i mean friends, raised would then be sent to those people? it didn't get any prettier from that point forward. i'm not proud of that moment, but i don't regret it either. i guess that's the best you can hope for.

so i guess i am writing this blog because my little altercation with a local politician is not the end of the story. that same morning i had a meeting planned with stephen saxton, staff pastor at my church, regarding a missions trip we hope to take next summer to africa. we will (it is my hope) be taking a team to zambia to build desks for a school. during this meeting stephen and i were discussing the happenings in haiti and wondered how our community could respond. amazingly, approximately 24 hours later, resources and volunteers were mobilized in response to this communal effort. new community will be collecting money and putting together hygiene kits that will go to the people effected (or affected, i can never remember the difference) by the earthquake. we are partnering with a local umc and umcor (united methodist committee of relief) to get the packages into the hands of people in haiti. and all of the details just fell into place in such a cool way.

so that is a reaction to one icky comment. what about robertson and rush? well, personally, i want to b*t*h slap the both of them. but, um, probably not the right thing to do. speaking of trite, the whole 'what would jesus do?' thing is as trite as it gets. and though i would like to think that (my) jesus would have a similar desire, the words in red lead me to believe he would probably love them in spite of it all. so below i am posting a link by donald miller, author of blue like jazz and one of my fava-flaves. i love donald miller and would love to hang out with him. ( i think you're truly a nerd if you daydream about meeting your favorite author(-s). i would also love to hang out with anne lamott, elizabeth gilbert, zora neale hurston, and mark twain. and yes, i know the later two are deceased). so the response to pat robertson by miller is authentic. christlike. and probably, the right way to respond.

so what about rush? below i have posted a link to a recent opening monologue from the craig ferguson show. it's not mean. it does however, contain humor and perspecive.

bad (tragic, terrible, unbelievable) things happen. people react, inappropriately. but, we all have the choice as to how we will respond.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

a public service announcement exposing the dangers of unmonitored chocolate use in seven year old girls

i would like to start this post by thanking all of my friends for their words of encouragement this past week as i endured a time of great spiritual crisis. for those of you who happen to be intrigued and are still reading, the answer to the 'what happened?' seven year old daughter. formerly known as little miss sunshine, gb, during this past week, was a mixture between britney spears on the night she shaved her head and mary catherine gallahger (molly shannon's catholic, school girl character in the movie 'superstar'). there is scene in the movie where mary catherine gets angry with her grandmother, runs upstairs and proceeds to slam the door to her bedroom over and over and over. i once thought this scene was funny. now, not so much. the mornings were horrible. on tuesday, the morning we went back to school, i tell you there was weepin', wailin', and gnashin' of teeth. it was like living out a southern baptist sermon on hell, fire, and damnation. all i was missing was the brimstone. the afternoons were not much better. the afternoons are when gb made a run at the mary catherine gallagher impersonations. so, my solution: put her to bed early. this child needs to get some sleep. she has always been a child that needed sleep to function. so, tuesday night brought and early bedtime. unfortunately, wednesday morning still had the need for several come to jesus meetings.

at this point, i resolve myself to the fact that this is just a phase (i used to be in sales, i can sell myself if need be). i remember a few rocky years around this age with my oldest. guess it's time to strap myself in and hang on, again. it is during this pep talk with myself that i proceed upstairs to get laundry out of gb's room. i find that if you combine unpleasant activities, they get done faster. gb's room is in a bit of chaos as her sister is crashing on her floor while her room is being painted. now, gb has a loft bed, and the loft bed was still covered with christmas bags. (she had been sleeping on the floor with the teen-aged child.) brilliance strikes me! she must not be sleeping well because she's on the floor. if she were to sleep in her own bed, surely, this would solve (or at least help) the attitude problem. i put down the laundry basket, climb up to the loft bed, impressed by my own parenting skills and intuition, then I made the discovery pictured below:

what the...???? it all makes sense now...the consecutive days in a row that gb seemed to be ping-ponging off of the furniture and then coming to me two days later begging for candy..."mom, you are so pretty. you are the best mom ever. can i PLEASE have some candy, PLEASE, PLEASE???" this explains why when i told her she could not have candy, that she should find a healthier snack, that she crumpled into a quivering pile on the floor. i guess i was not mistaken, she really did have the shakes. i thought it was all an act. who knew that this little 60lb. body was going through chocolate detox. she was jones-ing and i would not give her the godiva fix that she wanted. i guesstimate, factoring in that she got chocolate from both grandparents, a few aunts, and santa claus, gb ate around 30-40 pieces of godiva and lindt between december 26th and january 2nd or 3rd. i think we have passed the critical detoxification time period. things seem to better this week. however, as this is a difficult time in her recovery period, please see the following announcement:

attention well-meaning grandparents, sister, aunts, uncles, neighbors, and friends:

i realize that this kid is cute. i mean, she's mine and i would think she was cute even if she wasn't. but, beware: SHE KNOWS SHE'S CUTE AND SHE WILL USE IT AGAINST YOU. do not be fooled. call her mother, immediately.

Friday, January 8, 2010

tales of the feminist bread baker

ok. so i tend to obsess over things from time to time. little or big, there is no pattern to the things that capture my attention and distract me from an ever-present to do list. this is why school was so wonderful. i like thinking in semesters. i like having a syllabus for a class and rubric for projects/papers. these things keep me on task. they tell me what i must accomplish, especially if i want to make an a. and with the exception of my math class, i always wanted to make an a. now mind you, not much was accomplished outside of school during my tenure as a student. this is why the home in which i have been living for the past three years has many unfinished projects. anyway...

my latest obsession revolves around the food that i feed my family. i have been a member of the 'holy church of the high-priced organic' since my oldest daughter was about 7. it was at this time that i knew of a child, a girl my daughter's age, that started her monthly cycles. it freaked me out! i started doing some research, and well, i have been buying organic ever since. it has been hard in this current economy to continue to buy organic. we are currently a one income household with two income's worth of bills each month. organic eggs and milk are twice the price as regular. then , this weekend i became acquainted with the evils of high fructose corn syrup. this crap is in everything!!!!!! early sunday morning found me going through my pantry and fridge reading every label. the room started to spin and i began to hyperventilate. HFCS everywhere. about this time, my seven year old came down stairs and picked up the loaf of bread (a loaf of bread containing HFCS) off of the counter to make her usual peanut-butter toast when i tackled her and covered her with my body as if to protect her from a grenade or something. i think i weirded her out a little. anyway. it was on sunday that i decided i would start making my own bread. (when i announced this to one of my girlfriends, her response was, "you need a job.") well, that is true but, i think i would have had the same reaction even i were gainfully employed. there is a limited amount of bread without HFCS on the market and it is pricey. so, there was a link to a homemade bread recipe on one of the 'evils of HFCS' web pages, which is where i got the idea. so sunday after church... i. made. homemade. bread. and it didn't suck! below i have posted the pics from that afternoon. a shout out to my photographer, g. who said he took the action shots of me kneading the dough in 'sport mode'. (i have also posted pictures so that my mother will stop thinking i lied to her.)

this recipe was super easy. i had always pictured women who made their own bread as, well, um, amish. who has time? this first step, where you mix everything together, takes the longest. probably about 15 min, if you have everything set out.

here i am kneading the dough. this part was the best. it was very cathartic beating and working the dough. however, after making two batches of bread, i have learned that during this step you have to be careful not to add too much flour. i use less flour when i use my kitchenaid mixer, an appliance that i have just come to appreciate. but it is not as much fun, and the small child likes to help during the kneading part.

here is my little doughy-baby. all snuggly
and warm in her bowl. yes, bread is feminine! now here is where bread is time consuming... you have to let is rise, for like an hour. this is god's way of helping me with my instant gratification issues.

another action shot with the flour just a-flyin'. more kneading. you have to punch it down and get all of the air out so you can shape it into loaves.

here are my loaves ready to go in the oven. but you have to cover the loaf pans and let the dough rise one more time. i did take a picture, but this posting pictures thing is getting tedious and i am lazy. one more picture, though. finished product.

isn't she pretty? my little doughy-baby is all grown up with a loaf of her own. i told you bread was feminine!

the wrap up: things i learned while making bread...

1. too much flour makes the bread dense.
2. you can alter a recipe and nothing explodes. my first batch was white bread because the website that convinced me i could do this said white was the easiest way to get started. my second batch was honey wheat.
3. i can still have feminist tendencies and bake my own bread. once upon a time, i shunned anything domestic. cooking. cleaning...well, i still shun cleaning. but really anything that labeled me a 'homemaker', i tended to poo-poo. i felt like i was betraying all of my sisters by admitting that i liked to do homey stuff. i just couldn't talk about potty training or casserole making for hours on end...but now, as i am less than 365 days away from being a 40 year old woman, i am beginning to embrace many of these homemaker-esque tendencies. and i'm doing it willingly. i have thoroughly enjoyed baking bread for my family. i know that i have done something good for them. something that gives life to their lives, especially to my growing daughters. what could be more feminist than that?

i have also become obsessed with the high cost of organic eggs. i am currently scheming a way to raise chickens within the city limits in my subdivision that has covenants against livestock. i even have a blue print for my coop. another blog for another time...