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Friday, October 02, 2009

7 Quick Takes

I keep intending to do this, but evidently cannot get up the gumption to even jot seven things down lately.

1. It is Fall. For real. It was 37 degrees in the morning on Monday. Evidently in our new home, fall is code for winter. I am renewing my plan to sit in a south facing window with layers of clothing and sweaters and gloves, the heat on, a fire going and not leaving our home for four months. They talk of snow on the ground from Halloween until March. I am not built for this. There was a story in the paper of a woman and her children who froze in their car when it ran out of gas (this was 60 years ago) and they were stuck in the snow. I want to hibernate.

2. I hate when bloggers post a portion of something they have written elsewhere and then say click here to read the rest. Either write it on your blog or don't. If you want to direct people to another site, then say "I wrote something really cool for blah blah blah that I'd like to mention. If you want to read it, then go here." Then continue with whatever post you have for the blog. Don't make the ad your blog post. I actually don't click through to those posts on purpose because it annoys me so much. So there. (But I will click through if someone just mentions it while also still blogging or if it is a post on something like facebook.)

In related bloggy opinions, I don't like it when funny people try to get deep. Often they are better at funny. However, this post really struck me. Especially the line "You can fast forward childhood, but you can’t rewind it." That is so true, it is something I wish more parents realized.

3. We had a proud moment in our house this week. I asked Rich to peel and dice up the pears for the serpent filling (or dragon guts, if you will). While I was dealing with dough I directed him on how to make the filling with dried cranberries, sugar and cinnamon. What I didn't tell him was that we wouldn't need all the pears. So, we had quite a lot in the bowl. Dominic came into the kitchen and saw the bowl and asked about the potato salad. What? "The potato salad with the sun dried tomatoes in it." Now, how many other nine year old boys know and think this much about food? It did my heart well.

4. We had a dinner failure this week. The chicken I used for the chicken soup had been in our freezer, but must have degenerated somehow. This wasn't just freezer burn. It had that brown smell to it. I don't know if you know what I'm talking about, but it doesn't smell rotten, just neutral and not food like. That smell. Anyway, the reason I mention it is that even though we don't live on a big income, for us, it just meant that I had to go to a plan B and pulled out the chili from the freezer from last week's dinners, thaw and layer it in a pan with corn tortillas, top with cheese and we had dinner. In most of the world today that isn't the case. Most people still have to choose between eating the bad food and going hungry. We have never had to do that. Please join me in remembering to pray for the poor and destitute.

5. In addition, if you have the means, try to stock up on supplies that you think your neighbors might need if times were tough or the weather prevented them going out. I was reading this post about that and I loved the idea. As someone who tries to stock up so we have what we need on hand, this was something that I thought we could do to bless those around us. Though, of course, I will have to send the children out to deliver anything, since I am not going outside in the cold after this month.

6. I love this. Yes, the USDA does seem to think that Jell-O, Twinkies and other non-foods are safe, but raw milk and home butchered meat is dangerous. Meanwhile, recalls happen and people just keep buying their meat and produce from agribusiness, hoping the government will magically protect them, even as they work to put church bake sales and grandmothers out of business. All while agribusiness repackages recalled food and works toward things like the NAIS which will put small producers and family farms out of business and keep them in charge of the food chain in our country.

Which leads me to this: If you haven't clicked on my NAIS links in my sidebar, please do so now. The small farmer has more to lose if he makes you sick, and therefore, has more to gain by having a good, clean farm. Support them and fight the NAIS. Know your farmer, grow your own and work to help others do the same. We haven't bought meat from unknown animals in a long time. We rarely buy produce from people who didn't grow it themselves or know who did.

7. I have been asked to review a book and post about it on my blog. I agreed to it, somehow not noticing that the author wrote a book I didn't really care for and that this was another book in that series. On top of that, I have now received two copies of it (it came two days in a row) and don't know what to do with the extra advance copy. I am a little nervous about reading it, as I foresee having to grit my teeth and force myself to do it, as well as reviewing it because I don't think I will like it any better than the first one I read, unless her writing and storytelling have improved a whole lot recently. What would you do in these situations? (On the upside, FedEx can find our house east of the mountains.)

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Hi Ranee,

I just wanted to thank you for linking to my "fall cleaning" post and the comments about stocking up for neighbors. I appreciate the "linky love". I'm so glad you liked the idea! And yes, I went to our commissary today and got those cans of formula for my neighbor. ;-)

I have to say I agree with you re: NAIS! Also your music note on the sidebar gave me a chuckle - as I type this comment one of my favorites is playing (Fields of Gold by Sting). Fun stuff!

Last thing: re: the double review copies - if I receive something I've agreed to review and realize upon its arrival that I can't stomach it due to personal preferences or beliefs, I contact the author or press agent (whoever the original contact was) and tell them so. I then offer to a) return the product/book or b) pass it along to another blogger I know who might be more inclined to give a positive or neutral review.

Hope that helps! And thanks again, so much, for the linkage! :-)

You are very welcome Melonie. I loved your idea and have been making use of it here. We don't have a garden to offer to the neighbors, but we have lots of toilet paper. :-)

Fields of Gold is the first song Rich and I ever danced to over 15 years ago. I liked it anyway, but now it has a sentimental value as well.

I'm still working through the book. My goal is to have it finished and reviewed by the end of the month. I still need to e-mail to ask what to do with the extra copy.
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