Friday, March 27, 2009

Oh happy day

Today, I downloaded three free ebooks from Hillbilly Housewife. I highly recommend them because they are free and they are actually quite interesting. I'm grateful that she puts out so much free content. Between her Web site, the blog, and the free ebooks...and now there is going to be a Hillbilly Housewife club....well, it's quite a lot of free information. I'm guessing that this is her time to shine.

People are becoming interested in frugality as never before. I have seen the cutest posts on the Weight Watchers forums. Young married women are posting about their adventures in trying to shop and cook frugal. One young woman said that something weird happened when she cooked chicken stock from scratch. She put it in the fridge overnight and thought that she could lift the fat off the top in the morning. But she said the fat is "all mixed in" because the stock turned in to a solid block. I explained to her that the jelly-like substance is actually gelatin from the bones, not fat. Then she replied that she was able to see the difference between the thin layer of fat on top and the stock. That tickled me because I remember being mystified by a lot of things when I was first learning to cook and do things from scratch.

I have been feeling strongly compelled to learn as much about frugality and saving money as possible. It started a year or 2 ago. I'm not sure what started this feeling but maybe it was a sense that the country was taking a downward turn from prosperity and unchecked growth to our current mess.

I also have had a desire for a really long time to write a Christian cookbook. I hesitate to share the name that I have daydreamed about because I don't want to ruin it. But it would be about fellowship, sharing food with others, frugal cooking, etc. I think we should be called as Christians to be hospitible, even if we don't have a lot of money. I love the idea of sharing a meal with someone else in a spirit of humility and love of God.

By the way, if you have a strong stomach and can handle subject matter that is frankly disgusting and reprehensible, read this article by a Catholic theologian called "Roman Cruelty, Christian Purity". I didn't realize that the common culture at the time of the early Christians was quite so vile and immoral. I should have known. But the article kind of paints the full picture of what was going on. Sick beyond belief. Praise God's mercy that he brought the way of salvation to such a disgusting people.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I was banned from ravelry!

Yes, humble little me got caught up in Casey Forbe's dragnet. It seems strange. I mean, all I did was join the McCain/Palin group the day after the election. I was upset. My candidate lost! And I felt kinda bad that I didn't join his ravelry group sooner. Instead, I was all caught up in the Palin adoration and had joined a couple of ravelry Palin groups. So, yeah, I joined the McCain/Palin group the day after the election to make myself feel a little better.

Feel a little better, I did! Man! What a great group of ladies! They are conservative AND they knit/crochet/etc. We had so much to talk about, but mainly, our conversation in the days after the election was about how we felt about the new President and the expected changes (HELL, the promised changes, since Obama made such a big deal about being all about change). We laughed. We cried. We analyzed together. I will never forget those special times we shared together, as we started to realize how scary the Obama presidency was going to be.

See, I can say Obama is "scary" because I am a conservative, and liberal political agendas are scary. And what makes Obama's agendas even more scary is how far reaching and invasive they are. But that's besides the point.

The point is that we had something special there. Now, I don't know about whether there were some members causing trouble. I'm not omniscient. Maybe Obama is, because he seems to have a zillion people who think he is a god. But I am not aware of everything that is taking place around me in the whole wide world web. But I will tell you this. I never saw outrageous, abusive things taking place. What I did see happening every single day was this: overly zealous Obama supporters took it upon themselves to "visit" our group (which had been renamed, from McCain/Palin to "the bunker", as a safe place for conservatives to gather) and educate and argue with us about how we are wrong about Obama and he really is the next best thing to sliced bread. Then they visited us in droves and clicked "funny" on our serious posts and "disagree" on nearly everything we wrote. They would click "funny" to be hurtful, when the context made it clear it was an insult for there was nothing to laugh about (when someone died, for example).

We were harrassed quite a lot! And Casey Forbes knew it. But he wants to insist that his ravelry forums must remain complete open because that's his vision of the community, or whatever. He doesn't want to get rid of politics on ravelry. He just wanted to get rid of us, I guess! It was the only conservative group on ravelry that was really vibrant and popular. So that had to die a hideous death in the name of "fairness". (I won't go in to the bit about all the other groups on ravelry that do all the things we were accused of. You can read about that elsewhere!)

I just wanted to explain that the bunker was a cool thing because it was a rare experience. Most of the time, when I join a crafting website, it's predominantly liberal and there is no sense of "Hey, I'm a conservative crafter". The bunker stood out for that very reason. I really hope the bunkerites pull it together and continue on in that spirit.

You might be asking yourself how I know that the people on the crafting sites are predominantly liberal. Well, it's because they wear ugly horn-rimmed glasses and have boy haircuts.
That's how! Just kidding.

Actually, you know it mainly because of the obnoxious political icons and the way they are so free to express their liberal opinions all the time. The very fact that nobody bats an eye or argues with them tells you that the vast majority of people are liberal too.

Unfortunately, right now it's not very fun because everyone is in shock at getting banned for no good reason.

And I'm also sad that the bunker archives are wiped (or they are in the process of deleting them?) There were some great theads there, many of them started by me! (I love my own jokes the best!)

For instance, I really enjoyed the "You are invited to the bunker ball" thread where I said, "You are invited, but please, no barf green, matronly frocks or dresses that make you look like a mummy wrapped in toilet paper". Then many people posted pictures of ball gowns made of toilet paper and other assorted garbage. It was so great!!!

Those were the days! Now it's going to be much more boring and repressed on ravelry. People are going to think twice before posting stuff like that! Censorship is alive and well on ravelry!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A pretty crocheted necklace (pattern)

This is a pretty crocheted necklace. I might have to make a few of those and give them as gifts or perhaps even sell them.

Nothing much going on here these days. Just taking care of family and trying to get my act together!

Friday, January 9, 2009


I have no words these days. I really don't. I have been too busy and have experienced some things that I found uncomfortable and stressful. So when I find myself alone, I just rest and try to reconnect with God because only He can comfort me and give me peace. I wish things were different. I hope for things to improve in the new year. But I sense this will be a year full of challenges. I recently ran across Proverbs 14:1 and it hit me hard:

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

I need to remember to build up and not tear down.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Things about me you don't know

I have the hardest time getting a sense of familiarity or friendliness with people. I often am haunted by the feeling that people look down on me or disapprove of me or dislike me. I don't know how to read people. I read in to the slightest little things. But on the other hand, then I look at the big picture and I think I must be instinctively right that people don't like me because I have so few friends and people in all different situations in my life show a marked disinterest in me. For example, in college I was a loner and even though I tried really hard to socialize, I never made any friends. The friends I did have drifted away or just didn't seem to value my friendship very much (they didn't call me very often, they didn't ask me out, they would only sometimes accept my invitations, etc.) Then when I joined a church, I tried to be involved and it was basically the same thing. I served a lot. I went to fellowship meetings, etc. But after 7 years in the same church, I only have 1 or 2 friends to speak of. And they almost never call me. I call them and make invitations but they are usually unavailable or too busy.

It could just be a symptom of the times. People are just too busy/stressed/preoccupied to place much value in other people.

But I always get this weird feeling like I rub people the wrong way. I'm just out of step with the world. It's not a spiritual thing, or that I am special and different. I think maybe I just have that personality to be alienated or out of step. My values are a lot different than most people and I think about and care about things that most people might not be interested in.

Maybe I'm just so selfish and self absorbed that people can't handle me for very long. That's a possibility. I started going to a new church and I noticed after attending for awhile that the Pastor made mention in his sermon how we should make an effort to show interest in other people and ask them about themselves. I wondered if he thinks I am that way. I do talk about myself a lot. Mainly it's because I have a hard time knowing what to ask people. When I ask people about themselves, they might say one or 2 things and then just stop talking. I get tired of feeling like I am interviewing people. I feel like if they aren't inspired to share, then I can just keep talking or say something more. Conversations are tiring. I do make an effort. But I try to entertain people, I think. Because I'll do a bit of back and forth, but then I'll tell a little funny anecdote or make a joke, or whatever. I think perhaps I try too hard. And what is the point because it's not like I'm winning over people by doing this.

I would love to be able to be silently friendly, and when I do speak, I say something very appropriate and comforting to the person. But that's just not my style. I'm not that sophisticated. I just say whatever.

My husband has told me that he thinks people don't like talking to me because they see that I am too perceptive and they feel like they are being "seen". Or maybe he means "scrutinized". I am curious about people, but maybe I look at them weird when I am talking to them. I really don't know. I should carry a hand mirror with me and whip it out and see what I look like when I am looking at other people. But that would probably weird them out more!

I just honestly don't sense very much goodwill from other people. I can honestly say that there are exceptions to the rule. There are some really warm people I know. But I don't see them very often. I should give them a call. Or send them a card and just let them know I appreciate their warmth and genuine caring. It might come across as odd because I haven't talked to them in a few months. Since I changed my church, I really haven't had a reason to talk to the few people I did appreciate. But that doesn't mean I can't reach out.

I wish people were kinder. I really do!

I was reading about "Asperger's Syndrome" recently. Maybe I have that. It's a really mild mild form of Autism that has no intellectual deficit (you might even be gifted) but you have a lot of problems socially. I am guessing that I don't have that because I was actually very coordinated as a kid. And my handwriting was pretty good. But I remember always feeling socially out of step. Looking back, I was a pretty good looking kid. There was nothing really different or wrong with my appearance. Yet I had a really hard time in school and was picked on a lot. Mainly I felt it was because I was nice to the 2 girls in school that everyone else hated. So I was astrocized because of it. But anyhow, I was reading about Asperger's Syndrome and they were talking about how young Aspie's can get social training as a part of their education. This one program in San Jose is teaching the young kids to make "mental file cards" for each of their friends, so they can remember specific things about individuals. I assume the purpose is so that they can remember to ask, "How did your dance recital go?" and "I brought a twinkie in my lunch because I know you like them, here have this." I am just assuming. I really have no idea. But I was thinking that maybe a lot of us can use the "mental file card" system with friends. I think I'll work on that!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

the dreadful seattle trip! but it was GOOD

Well, I have been home for awhile but I am getting better from a dreadful flu that I came down with shortly after arriving in Seattle. My daughter and I were sick the whole time we were there and we had to stay a week longer to get better from ear infections before flying home. It was a really scary experience to be so sick when far from home. The irony is amazing. My mom was amazed. She said that she can't remember the last time we got sick, so it is so weird we would get sick on this vacation. And it's also terrible because I can't really afford to vacation, so I literally haven't been on a trip in years. So this was my one chance to have a real vacation and my daughter and I were dreadfully sick. Sometimes things happen like that. It feels very fated, or should I say cursed! But I know we were really OK. The saddest thing for me was losing my voice because I had brought some of my favorite hymns' lyrics with me. I knew I would not be able to go to church, probably (since my friend is not a Christian), and I wanted to have my Bible, my devotional, and my favorite hymns. But I couldn't sing since my throat hurt so bad I could hardly swallow. So I just read the Bible and wrote in my paper journal.

The worst aspect was being afraid for my daughter. I didn't have a car up there and a lot of the time, I was left alone with my daughter all day. I didn't even have a phone since my friend uses her cell phone as her line. I had borrowed my mom's cell phone but since I was out of state, I couldn't use the phone or it would cost 75 cents per minute.

I had nowhere to turn except to God. And it did feel like my whole life was whittled down to just me and God. I was quite a baby about it all. Yet God was speaking to me, and I was finally able to have that perfect opportunity to talk to my friend about God. You see, all week long, I was asking God what I could say to my friend. And all I could think of doing was to be as loving and kind as possible, every single minute. Even though I was hurting and scared and severely ill. I just kept washing baby bottles for her, and cooking food for her every day, and cleaning the apartment. I tried to be useful every single day, no matter how bad I felt or how much I wanted to collapse in to a ball of quivering flesh.

Then on like the last day of the trip, when I was feeling like a useless failure for not finding any opportunity to talk to my friend about God, then suddenly my friend started asking me questions about Jesus and faith. And I just let it all shine forth. I answered each of her questions, and I made sure to explain why atonement with God is the most important matter in a human life. God is supremely wonderful...

I have no idea if she will accept Christ. It appears not. But the important thing is that someone who loves her told her all about God and what she chooses to do with it is her responsibility. Some day, she is going to die. I just hope and pray that before that day comes, she makes the most important decision she can possibly make. By Grace, we are able to make that decision. I am so glad to see that God's Grace is at work in her life, because I saw that God was working in that situation, leading her and getting her curious about Himself.

Now my latest issue is that I am super late on my period so I am worrying about being pregnant. I know that being ill can delay ovulation, therefore delaying the period. So that's probably all it is. But it's weird to be worried about yet another physical thing.

Today, most everyone I know is sick. So I am staying home, feeling lonely. I have nothing to do and my hands don't feeling like knitting or crocheting or doing anything really. So I feel like a big lump, a very lonely lump. But I know that I just need to turn away from these thoughts of my self and think of better things. I'll probably finish the dishes and get something cooking for dinner. I love cooking. It always soothes me to prep ingredients and smell something good cooking.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Seattle here I come!

I can't believe it but a friend of mine wants to see me so bad that she is willing to pay for me and my daughter to fly up to Seattle where she lives. I am so amazed! I'm going to pay for part of the fare, because it's hideously expensive. But I was so overwhelmed by her generosity. I haven't had a vacation in a million years.

I'm trying to figure out if there is anything I want to do in Seattle. There really isn't! I can only say that there is one place I have been wanting to visit ever since I saw a t.v. program about it: Woodland Park Zoo. I saw this t.v. program that showed they have grizzly bears there. On their web site, they say they are "brown bears", and that the kodiak bear is one type of brown bear. so I'm not really sure what they have exactly. But I want to check it out. Other than that, I think we are planning to go see the local countryside. And we'll go see the first Starbucks and hopefully find someone nice enough to take our picture together without running off with my camera! But I really don't know of anything else I want to do in Seattle. I will definitely contact my cousin Ruth and see if she wants to drive down to the city and have lunch with us, or maybe she'd like to go to the Zoo or the aquarium with us. She has 2 daughters who I believe are teens now.

Mainly I just want to see my friend who I haven't seen in 3 years. She has a baby now. I'd like to help her move in to her new place and also start eating healthier. We'll cook a lot of healthy food and pack some whole grain lunches. Maybe we will go get our hair done or something girly like that. It should be fun.

I'm just grateful for the opportunity to see her. I think I need to go have a good cry. In a happy way!