Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You might be married to Burt if......

I was talking to my husband the other evening, and I noticed a certain eerie resemblance between him and the character of Burt in the iconic survival flick "Tremors".  Now, I am not advocating that you run out and see the movie (it has terrible language, for starters), but for those of you who have seen it, these comparisons will give you a glimpse into our lives!

As I listened to myself and my husband talk, I noticed some startling discoveries.  Here are some of my observations.

You might be married to Burt if........

1.  Your idea of buying precious metals is investing not in gold and silver but in lead and brass.

2.  You actually believe that "Dillion Blue" is an acceptable living room color.

3.  You think a Barrett Light .50 is a nice carry piece.

4.  You know that "plastic is not an oxygen barrier".

5.  Your pastor's entire survival plan is making it to your house alive.

6.  You know the difference between a magazine and a clip.

7.  You find you really are attracted to Hoppe's #9.

8.  Your idea of a "dirty magazine" has nothing to do with nude women.

9.  You think an MRE is one of the four food groups.

10. When looking at real estate, your first requirement is "geographic isolation".

11.  You know the difference between standard "hollow points" and "Hydra-shock hollow points"

12.  You stock supplies of "a few household chemicals in the proper proportions".

13.  You don't count ammunition by rounds, but by cases.

14.  Your favorite color is OD (Olive Drab if you have to ask).

15. When company comes over, your first thought is "troop rations".

So, there you have it.  I think I am married to Burt!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Arrangements

When the seasons change, my house, too, needs to change!  Generally, they are small changes - different curtains, summer china, opening up the sun room.  But from time to time, I go all out and start moving furniture.  Sir Knight gets a twitch in his right eye when I start talking about re-arranging the furniture.  He threatens to move to a house with a basement and use lag bolts with non-service removable loc-tite to screw the furniture to the floor.  Thankfully, our shouse has concrete floors, so I can still move the furniture at will, but I do try to restrain myself so Sir Knight doesn't have to resort to drastic measures!

I love having comfy, living room style furniture in our kitchen.  It makes cuddling up next to the wood cookstove a wonderful treat in the winter.  But come summer, It is nice to have the kitchen  opened up a bit so that it feels a little more spacious, and since we don't have the cookstove fired up, we don't use the love seat so much.

My big idea this year, was to move our old English pub table into the kitchen, and the love seat to the foot of the stairs.  The pub table was a little to tall for a standard kitchen chair, but a little too short for a standard bar stool.  Sir Knight to the rescue!  He cut some 4x4's to fit the bottom of the table legs.....

Maid Elizabeth is brushing olive oil on the wood to darken and age it so that it matches the table a little bit better....

Master Hand Grenade and Master Calvin get in on the action - they are tightening a little table that we moved....

The Pub Table in its new home (for now)....complete with new leg risers!

 I love the fresh feeling of changing the house out for the seasons.  I am so thankful that Sir Knight is willing to put up with my flights of decorating fancy!

Men at Work

Land Cruisers eat brakes.  At least that is what my husband says.  Sir Knight has changed brakes on our trucks more times than he can count.  This time, both our Cruiser and Maid Elizabeth's needed brakes so Sir Knight decided that he would do one set of brakes while Master Hand Grenade assisted and Master Hand Grenade would do one set of brakes while Sir Knight assisted.  There is something about useful, handy men that I find incredibly attractive!

Getting the tire off....

Working together.....

All hands are needed......

Look Faver... I found it!

A teaching moment...

Turning wrenches....

Rattling the tire back on!

What a blessed woman I am, to have a husband that can do ANYTHING!  And all the more blessed that he is teaching my son the ways of a man.

Working with "Faver" (from Livin' the Dream)

For those of you who don't know, Faver is the term of endearment that Milly Molly Mandy (of the adorable English Milly Molly Mandy books) uses when she talks of her Father. One of her greatest joys in life is working with her "Faver". It never ceases to amaze me how much my children LOVE working with their dad. That's not to say that they don't like working with me, but given a choice, they always choose him! I have come to realize working with dad is an integral part of kids growing up and becoming usefull, competant human beings. With mom, they do regular, ordinary things...dishes, school, mopping, canning, cooking, baking (read boring!). With dad, they get to transform their world. Here, our 10 year old daughter is helping her dad install new solar panels on our roof - she is literally lighting up our lives!

Here, three of the kids are "helping" till the garden. I guess I can see why they would rather work with dad than do the dishes with mom!

As our children have gotten older, we have noticed that its REALLY important for the boys to work with dad. We call the boys MIT's (Men in Training). There are so many things guys have to know! Our youngest son is helping his dad put up racking.

Youngest son, who is two, wants to be just like dad. The only thing that he asked for for Christmas was a chainsaw. His big sister, our oldest daughter, made him saw chaps, just like dad's. Last weekend, the men got their saws out, and went to work on the wood deck.

As you can see, all of the kids get into the action. Oldest son (14) and middle daughter (11-almost) usually are in charge of the wood splitter, that just leaves "Faver" and youngest son sawing!

All that work going on outside, and eldest daughter (20) and I are left in the house doing the housework and making breakfast! Sigh....Sometimes I feel like I get the short end of the stick when it comes to "big, big help", but at the end of the day, I know that our kids are the lucky ones. For them, working with "Faver" will form lifelong memories, good work ethic and the knowledge that they can do anything they set their mind to. We all come out ahead!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Communist Rules for Revolution

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Communist Rules for Revolution

According to Snopes.com, the following information is false.  However, Snopes has been known to be less than factual, and more than a little liberal leaning.

You decide!

In May 1919 at Dusseldorf, Germany, the allied forces discovered a copy of these ‘Rules.’ They were first printed in the United States in the ‘Bartlesville, Oklahoma Examiner-Enterprise’ the same year, 1919.
Almost 20 years later, in 1946, the attorney general of Florida obtained them from a known member of the Communist Party, who acknowledged that the ‘Rules’ were then still a part of the Communist program for the United States.
Have we been witness to a hundred years long ploy undermine the strength and integrity of the American people?
Rules for Revolution:
1. Corrupt the young: get them away from religion. Get them interested in sex. Make them superficial; destroy their ruggedness.
2. Get control of all means of publicity. Get peoples’ minds off their government by focusing their attention on athletics, sexy books, plays and other trivialities.
3. Divide people into hostile groups by constantly harping on controversial matters of no importance.
4. Destroy the peoples’ faith in their natural leaders by holding the latter up to contempt, ridicule and . (speak against, condemnatory utterances)
5. Always preach ;true democracy; but seize power as fast and as ruthlessly as possible.
6. By encouraging government extravagance, destroy its credit; produce fear of inflation, rising prices and general discontent.
7. Foment strikes in vital industries; encourage civil disorders and foster a lenient and soft attitude on the part of government toward these disorders.
8. By special argument cause a breakdown of the old moral virtues; honesty, sobriety, continence, faith in the pledged word, ruggedness.
9. Cause the registration of all firearms on some pretext with a view of confiscation of them and leaving the population helpless.

Truth in Media

I found this gem of a quote in an old book I was looking at recently and found it to be so outlandish that I though I would do some research to determine it's authenticity.

The quote of which I speak is credited to John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff for the New York Times.  Called by his peers "The Dean of his Profession", John was asked in 1953 to give a toast before the New York Press Club, and in so doing made a monumentally important and revealing statement. 

After researching this information, it appears that the quote is accurate, however the date (John Swinton was long dead in 1953) and place of the speech are inaccurate.  The correct date, location and speech contents are as follows.....

One night, probably in 1880, John Swinton, then the preeminent New York journalist, was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying:
"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.
"There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty_four hours my occupation would be gone.
"The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?
"We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."
(Source: Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979.)

Garage Sale Gold

This weekend was a grand event in our small community - City Wide Garage Sales!  It never ceases to amaze me what treasures there are to be had if you are willing to dig.

We are still planning to move, so we were very selective about what we acquired.  We did find some gems, nonetheless.

For a total of about $45, we made this wonderful haul!  Notice the old trunk/suitcase (with drawer inside) for .50 cents!

I am a sucker for restaurant wear.  Look at these beautiful divided plates!

Ugg Boots for, get this, $2.00!

A COMPLETE cross-country ski set-up.  Telescopic poles, boots, binding, ski's - used twice!  $25.00 (These fit Maid Calamity)

And another windfall - a camo (no less) blizzard coat from Polar King - in like new shape - just the right size for Master Calvin, come fall!

How true is the adage - "one man's junk is another man's treasure".

Buckets, buckets and more buckets!

Buckets, buckets, buckets!

Sir Knight brought home more spoils of war in his white chariot on Friday.  He and the kids spent part of Saturday scrubbing, drying and sun-bleaching 60 buckets and lids!

Sitting in the sun to dry... with Maid Calamity giving lids the sniff test!

Ready to put in the container!

What a blessing!

Martial Law!?

Wow! Martial Law?

I just read this article on Fox News.  I couldn't believe it!  No more than 3 people may peaceably assemble without a permit?  There are 7 in our family!  What happens if you have to leave for work before 6am or get home later than 9pm?  Just wondering!  Perhaps the nice folks of Chester should think about arming themselves!

Credit Card Parenting

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Credit Card Parenting

When I was growing up, my mom and dad often said that they had disciplined my brother and I when we were little so that they would like us when we were older.  Of course, I didn't fully understand this statement until I was grown and had children of my own.

It wasn't until we had our oldest daughter that I began to realize the true significance of my parents statement.  Sir Knight and I endeavored, from the time Maid Elizabeth was a little girl, to raise her to be obedient, respectful, kind and responsible.  The most resistance we encountered was from, can you believe it, other parents!  While we expected our daughter to obey the first time we spoke, her playmates were allowed free rein.  Outrageous disrespect and just plain naughtiness was regularly excused under the umbrella statement "it's just a phase".  It wasn't.  These same children grew up on Ritalin and other mind-altering drugs, plugged into the TV or video games day and night, with their parents ringing their hands saying things like "I just don't know what happened - we gave him everything, and look how he has repaid our love".

They did give their kids everything.  Everything that is but discipline.  Everything but guidelines and boundaries.   They succumbed to Credit Card Parenting.

Sir Knight coined the phrase "Credit Card Parenting" while watching some kids in front of us at church.  One family, in particular, had the happy distinction of raising 8 perfectly awful hooligans.  These kids, while quite old enough to control themselves, took every opportunity to crawl under the pews, look up ladies skirts, lay on the floor and kick elderly folks in the ankles.  All the while, their parents sat, apparently completely unaware, sweetly singing hymns, or with hands folded on their bibles, graciously smiling at the pastor.  When confronted with their children's unacceptable behavior, they merely chalked it up to "kids will be kids", or "It's just a phase, they will grow out of it".  Of course, their kids didn't "grow out of it" and now their adult lives look like so many train wrecks.  Credit card parenting.

Ultimately, as parents, we have to deal with poor behavior, disobedience and disrespect now, or we will be paying later....with interest.  Compound interest at that.  And, to top it off, not only will we have to pay, our children will have to pay the interest debt also, with broken lives and hopeless existences.

Not too long ago, Sir Knight was sitting in the waiting room at our local dentist office and a woman who had been our neighbor when Maid Elizabeth was little was sitting in the next seat.  A slouching, unhappy looking young man was sitting next to her.  The woman immediately recognized my husband, and started talking about the "old days" when we had been neighbors.  She talked about our children playing together, and how cute they were then.  Then she went on to say "don't you just HATE teenagers?  They are terrible, I can't stand them.  At least when they were little, they were cute!  Don't you HATE teenagers?".  Her son was sitting right next to her!  He was made in her own image.  He was what she had designed him to be.

Now, don't everyone start yelling at once.  I fully understand that children are people with their own moral compass.  I know that children are sinners too, and sometimes, regardless of their parents best efforts will fall into the trap of sin.  But, I also know, that when we give our children guidelines and loving discipline, we are, in essence, giving them hope for the future.  If we train them, when they are young, to obey our instructions, how much easier, when they are older, will it be for them to obey God's instructions?  How can teaching our children respect and responsibility ever produce bad fruit?  And, yes, when you discipline your children when they are young, you will enjoy them when they are older.

One of Sir Knight and my greatest joys are evenings spent with Master Hand Grenade (14) and Maid Elizabeth (21) after the littler children have gone to bed.  What fun they are!  We talk about everything under the sun.  Last night it was a discussion on the differences between the Kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of Israel.  Fascinating!  They knew so much more than I would have given them credit for.  And then, Maid Elizabeth tucked her cold feet under Master Hand Grenade's shirt, and the evening digressed from there.  I had to make a run to the bathroom from laughing to hard!  And who said teenagers were terrible?  I've never had so much fun!

Whatever you do, don't become a victim of a credit card scam!  You will miss out on some of the greatest blessings of you life - liking your children!

Sir Knight with Hand Grenade (in their kilts!)

Maid Elizabeth (trying not to laugh)

Maid Elizabeth and Master Calvin

Children truly are a blessing from the Lord.

Charity in Preparedness

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Charity in Preparedness

We are so blessed to live in a land of plenty that we have a unique opportunity to gather items for charity as a hedge against unthinkably difficult times.  All of us, regardless of income, have the ability to pick up an extra tube of toothpaste at the dollar store or pick up an extra box of soup mix when they are on sale at the local grocery store.

Sir Knight and I have made it a habit to gather items for charity anywhere we can.  He occasionally works at a customer site that loads him down with products they sell as a thank you for quick, quality service.  He brings this bounty home and we immediately put it into long term storage under the label "Charity".  When God provides, he does so not just to provide for our needs, but to provide for his other children as well.  What an honor to be included in His providence!

We have made it a habit to squirrel away things that would be very easy to hand out in an emergency.  These includes items packaged in small amounts and food stuffs that only require water to prepare.  We can't really give out our home canned food - we need the jars for more canning, and the probability that we will have a ready supply of plastic bags or containers to send folks on their way with dried beans or wheat is not very likely. Besides, how many of them will have a grain grinder to grind the wheat or the cooking skills and knowledge to deal with dried beans.  My guess is not many.

As Christians, we have an obligation to our fellow man, and in ministering to the needy we are fulfilling a basic christian principle.  When we offer "a glass of water to the least of these" we are offering water to Christ himself.

God has opened our eyes to the need of preparedness.  We need to look beyond ourselves and realize that we have been put in the unique position of ministering to the masses.   We can choose to run people off at the end of a shotgun, guarding what little we have for ourselves, or, because we have seen a need and prepared, we can minister to peoples bodies through food while we minister to their souls with the meat of the Word.

As you endeavor to prepare your families for worst case scenario living, give a minute of thought to the people, who, for whatever reason, haven't taken the time and effort to prepare.  Think about how you can impact the kingdom of God tomorrow through your savvy preparations today.  Think about how you will offer "a glass of water to the least of these".

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Joy of Work

The Joy of Work

I was vacuuming the other morning, thinking about the fact that I vacuum, sweep, do laundry, cook, bake, dust, make beds, do dishes and more....EVERY DAY!  It gets old.

But then, I thought of the alternative.  What would life be like with no work?  Well, for starters, I couldn't truly appreciate rest if I didn't work first.  I would have no scope for comparison.  Would I be able to really enjoy sitting down with good book and a cup of tea, if I hadn't first cleaned the toilets and scrubbed the floors?  Probably not.  My book and tea would be somewhat anti-climactic.

And then, there is the intrinsic joy of serving other people.  Serving requires work.  When I do laundry, I am serving my family with clean clothes.  When I make dinner, I am loving my family with wholesome, delicious food.  When I vacuum and sweep the floors, I am honoring my family with a pleasant and inviting home environment.  Work is love.

There is also the practical side of work.  Work is part of our preparedness plan.  When natural disasters strike, plagues hit and economies collapse, we will all have to work harder.  What are we going to do if we don't know how to work?  Talk about culture shock.  If we are used to spending the majority of our day in front of the TV or computer or a video game, how well are we going to adapt to planting and tending a garden, milking a cow, grinding grain and making all of our meals from scratch.  Not to mention, doing laundry by hand, chopping wood with (gasp) an axe, felling logs, building fences and the myriad of other tasks that will be required of you.

And what about the kids?  Are you raising them to be productive members of society?  Or is your philosophy "Let them have their fun - they are only kids once you know". If you are of the latter ideology, you and your children will be in for a rude awakening!  Suddenly, you won't just be dealing with the intense hardships of a world turned upside down, you will be dealing with kids who resent even the thought of work, much less the actual practice of work.  Your job will be doubled or tripled as you try to work to provide for your family, all the while attempting to counteract your "let them be kids" attitude with your children.  TEOTWAWKI is not the time to teach your children to work.  They already have to know how to work and they have to realize their worth as a integral part of your family unit.  Remember, we are raising our children to be adults, not children.  Teach them now the blessings of work.

So, when did work become a four letter word?  Somehow, it became a dirty word when we stopped seeing and embracing the value of service.  It became something to be avoided.  It became viewed as an evil to be avoided, not a blessing to be encouraged.

We have a great opportunity to reclaim the blessing of work.  We can begin to view work as the blessing it was intended to be by God.  We can teach our children to value work and what it represents.  We can be and create productive members of society, serving one another.  And then, when the SHTF, we can be ready, mind and body.  We can be beacons of light in a dark world.  We can work.

Use it, use it, use it

Monday, June 14, 2010
Use it, Use it, Use it!

I have been noticing a homemade laundry detergent recipe pop up all over the Internet - again. It uses as main ingredients Borax, Super Washing Soda, and Fels Naptha soap.

I acquired this same recipe prior to the Y2K fervor, and when we moved to an empty shop on 30 acres with no power and no money, I thought it would be a good time to put it into use. It turned out great! It gelled nicely, smelled good and made a lot of detergent! I was so excited.

I used this homemade detergent exclusively for about 6 months. At first, I thought it was great, probably because it was so inexpensive to make. However, after about 2 months, I began to notice that our clothes didn't smell very good. It wasn't all that noticeable until we got sweaty and hot, and then they really stank! Pretty soon, I noticed that our clothes look DIRTY. After about 6 months I gave up in despair and went back to a standard store brand. The difference was HUGE and IMMEDIATE! Clean clothes again!!!!! Yeah!

Now, there are a couple of factors that could have hampered the homemade detergent's effectiveness. First, when I began using the homemade detergent I was doing laundry by hand on our wood cookstove. Essentially, I was just scrubbing the clothes with my hands. Not very effective. Secondly, after using the detergent for about a month, Sir Knight hooked up my washing machine, but I only had cold water. Washing in the washing machine did not seem to make any difference in the cleanliness of my clothes.

My caution is this. Don't stock up on ingredients for laundry detergent (or anything else for that matter) that you haven't first tested and found to be reliable or produce the desired results. Don't just acquire things....use what you have! You are going to be in a serious pickle if you have a huge stock of something that doesn't work just when you need it most.

I am not in any way advocating that you don't make your own laundry detergent. By all means - try it! See if you like it. It very well could be the best thing since sliced bread. Just know what you have, know how it works and be sure that you can rely on what you have when you need it!

Don't take my word for it. Use it, use it, use it!

Dire Predictions for 2011

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dire Predictions for 2011

Arthur Laffer wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal outlining his take on the current economic outlook and his predictions for 2011.  Mr. Laffer is the father of Supply Side Economics, on which Former President Ronald Reagan based his economic strategies.

The article is pretty riveting reading.  I highly recommend taking note!

The Feminizing of America

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Feminizing of America

Have you ever wondered how we got from "there" to "here"?  What slippery path led us from the glory days of strength and character that this great nation enjoyed in the infancy of our republic to the current void of moral fiber and true leadership that now fills our homes, churches, corporations and government?

The answer is too complex for this mum to begin to understand, however, I have seen a deceptive beast, lurking in the shadow in days gone by, now emerging as a triumphant destroyer in our current culture.  The beast of which I speak is "Feminization".

God, in His infinite wisdom created both men and women.  When He created us, He gave us very different role.  Not a greater role and a lesser role.  Just different.  And perfect.  He made men to take dominion.  He created them to slay dragons.  Make decisions. Case in point being the Garden of Eden.  God had Adam name all of the animals. It was up to Adam to appropriately and creatively come up with names for each of God's creatures.  God didn't wait for Eve before tasking Adam with naming everything.  He expected Adam to take dominion.  Then He made Eve.  He tasked Eve with helping Adam.  Not taking his job, but helping him to accomplish it.  God noticed that Adam, in and of himself, was not complete.  But He had the perfect answer.  That answer was Eve.  She was the rest of the story.  The completer of God's character in mankind.  In man, God created His character.  God gave man his attributes of leadership, dominion, single-minded decisiveness, justice, passion.  He also gave man a jealousy for his position.  Men, as well they should be, are jealous for the passions of their wives.  They are jealous for their positions of leadership.  They don't like to be challenged.  Just as God said, "Have no other God before me", men, in their household, say "Have no other Leader before me".  This is right and good.  It is as it should be.  But as women, we rebel.  That rebellion caused the rise of feminism.

When God created women, he created the other side to His nature.  The side of His nature that is merciful, relational, nurturing, creative and encouraging.  All of the elements God needed to refine and perfect His most glorious creation. In short, God put in woman all of the attributes that compliment and refine the raw, powerful character traits he formed in man. He made a helper, completer for man. Perfect.  But, Women, in our sinful nature, can't stand to be put in the position of a mere help-meet.  It demeans us, degrades us.  Or so the enemy screams into our souls at every opportunity.  "You can do everything he can do, only better".  Just ask any woman on the street, she will tell you she "lets" her husband "think" he's in charge - but we all knows who wears the pants in the family...wink.  But, where has this demi-god of feminism gotten us?

It has gotten us from there to here.  Just take one look at our justice system.  In Exodus, God gave us very specific instructions for dealing with criminal activity and even for our daily dealings with each others.  If you do this, this happens.  Cut and dried.  Black and white.  Masculine.  Contrast that with our justice system today.  "I know he murdered 17 people, but he was abused as a child, therefore, we must show "mercy" - we have to "reform" him".  Relational.  Blurred line of right and wrong.  Feminism.

And it's not just in our justice system. It has permeated the very fabric of life.  It is in our families, our school systems, our churches, our government.  Everywhere we have lost the decisive nature of man and replaced it with a "form" of mercy and grace propagated by woman.  We have become unbalanced.

As women, it is our job to bring things to the attention of our husbands that they might have otherwise missed.  We gently remind them of situations that may have contributed to our children's naughtiness.  We should encourage them to be forgiving and merciful.  But we should follow their lead.  We shouldn't urge them to accept sinful behavior in our children simply because they are "tired".  We may remind them that tiredness may be a factor in their behavior, but we need realize that whether they are tired or not, they have to act like civilized human beings.  We need to encourage our husbands to require good behavior from our children.

Take this to the next level. What would our justice system look like had it not been feminized.  Criminals would be dealt with fairly and swiftly.  If they murdered, they would be put to death.  If they stole, they would be required to make financial reparations, regardless of the reason they stole.  Stealing is bad.  Murder is bad.  Cut and dried.  Black and white.  Masculine.  We would not need tort reform.  We would not need an endless supply of attorneys.  It would be simple.  Straightforward.  Masculine.

Instead we have a feminized court system.  Rather than having definite boundaries, we have appeal after appeal.  We have criminals suing homeowners when they are injured breaking into their homes.  We have people sitting on death row for 30, 40 or more years because it is "inhumane" to provide prompt justice.  Feminization.

Our churches have succumbed to the same fate.  Rather than preaching the Word and making a stand on the scriptures alone, our churches have bought into the prevailing culture.  The ends justify the means.  No more do our churches say "this is right and that is wrong" we now say "come as you are.  God loves everyone".  No longer is being homosexual, having sex before marriage or dressing like a prostitute reasons for not going to church.  The attitude now is "who are we to judge?"  And, my personal favorite "Judge not, lest ye be judged".  Our pastors are willing to take government money and preach environmentalism from the pulpit in order to achieve the "greater good" of  having more money so they can  "effectively" witness to more people.  Feminism in action.

Men, in general, function in boxes.  Good and bad.  Right and wrong.  Forward and backward.  Yes and no.  "Did he run over the toddler?"  "Yes."  Masculine.  Women, on the other hand function in "what if" and "ya but".  "Did he run over the toddler?"  "Ya, but he was in a hurry because his cousins, sisters, brother-in-law just fell into a coma and he wasn't in his right mind.  And he was having flashbacks to his childhood, when his dad used to get really mad and hit him, so he had tears in his eyes and couldn't see very well.  And he just had an argument with his girlfriend because she wants to get married and have kids and he doesn't think, because his dad wasn't nice, that he will make a very good father. So, as anyone can see, he was very distracted.  It was an accident.  He didn't mean to."  Feminism.

The beast of feminism needs to be slew.  We need to take back our culture, our families, our churches and our government.  We need men to stand up and take dominion, regardless of the consequences.  We need women to quietly encourage each other to return to the God-given role of women and meet the challenges of our counter-culture attitude with strength and resolve.  We need to encourage our men to embrace the character traits God built into them.  Encourage them to take dominion, lead, make decisions and have passion.  We need to not second guess their methods or belittle their thoughts and ideas.  Be a help-meet.  Put yourself in the position God designed specifically for you.  Encourage, built relationships, show mercy, be graceful.  Build your family from the inside out.  Change your church, country and culture by becoming the woman God designed you to be.

We got from there to here by allowing the beast to deceive us with feminization.  We get from here to there by taking back our God given roles.  By tearing down the strongholds the enemy has used us to build.  We need to be like the Kings of the Old Testament that destroyed the "high places" and tore down the temples built to worship foreign gods and instead return to the God of our Fathers.  We need to exalt our husband, to be like Sarah and call our husbands "Lord".  We need to help our husbands rebuild our families, our churches, our nation and our culture.  When we reclaim our God-given position, God will return the years the locusts have eaten.

Survival Bars

Survival Bars

O.K., so their real name is "Filled Oatmeal Cookies", however, they are wonderful "stored foods" cookies, full of fiber and packed with nutrients.  They are our cookie of choice for a quick breakfast.  They are great if you are out hunting or hiking.  They require NO fresh ingredients!

They are also GOOD!  Our neighbor girl says they are the best cookies that I have ever made (and I make a lot of cookies!).  I got the recipe from my dear friend "Lady Day".  Here is the recipe.

1 1/2 C. Shortening (or lard or butter)
1 1/2 C. Brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda mixed with 6 T. hot Water
3 C. Oatmeal (I use thick cut)
3 C. Flour (may use white or whole wheat)
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. Salt

Combine shortening, sugar, and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add soda in water, nutmeg, salt, flour.  Stir in oatmeal.  Add more water or flour to make a nice, workable dough.  Roll out thin.  Cut out with round cookie or biscuit cutter (or whatever shape floats your boat).  Lay cookies on cookie sheet, place desired filling on them (1 tsp. or so) and top with another cookie. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  There is no need to seal the edges.  My preference for filling is raspberry or blackberry jam.  However, any kind of jam would be wonderful or you could use a raisin filling (good stored foods item).

Being filled with raspberry jam...

Being filled with blackberry pie filling....

Raisin filling:
Grind or chop fine 1 1/2 to 2 C. raisins, dates or prunes.  Add 1 C. sugar and 1 C. water.  Bring to a boil.  Mix 2 tsp. cornstarch with a little water for thickening.

These cookies have a drizzle of frosting on them.  This certainly isn't necessary, and I generally don't include the icing - I just wanted them to be a little fancy this time!


Weck Jars

Monday, June 7, 2010

Weck Canning Jars

 About 10 years ago, Sir Knight (my husband) and I bought a pallet load of Weck Canning Jars.  They are those beautiful canning jars that your see in the Lehman's Catalog with a glass lid and a rubber seal.  We anticipated all of the jars we thought we would need for our family and bought accordingly.  We bypassed Lehman's and went straight to the importer, Glashauss and had them drop ship a pallet of jars in various sizes and styles.

Here are some of the Weck styles.  Back from left to right: Juice jar, 1 1/2 Liter Tulip jar, 1 Liter Tulip jar.  Front from left to right: 1 Liter Deco jar, 1/2 Liter Deco jar.

Let me start off by saying that I LOVE the jars.  The shape makes them by far superior to the Ball and Kerr jars we use in America.  They stack nicely on top of one another and the jar openings are TRULY wide mouth.  You can fit anything in them.  Because of the wide jar opening, they are supremely easy to clean.  You can practically put a whole roast in a liter jar without having to cut it up and canning pickles and other things that you have to pack is a cinch.

Here are Tulip jars.  The one on the left is a 1 1/2 liter and the one on the right is the 1 liter.

The jars themselves are beautiful.  They look pretty just sitting there.  I am especially fond of the Deco jars (I call them "belly pots" because of their squatty, round shape) for jams and jellies, because they look so nice on the table.  The juice jars have a carafe shape, so they too are beautiful to look at and have a very pourable shape.  Another benefit is that they all come with snap on plastic lids.  This is especially nice for jam, juice, jelly, pickles - anything that you open the jar and then put it into the fridge.

This is the carafe style Juice jar.

Here are the Deco jars.  The one on the left is a 1 liter Deco.  The one on the right is a 1/2 liter Deco.  Notice the handy, snap-on plastic lid on the 1 liter Deco!

The jars seal with a natural rubber ring.  According to the Weck website, the seals can only be used one time.  However, I spoke with the importer of Weck jars and they said that the FDA requires them to list the rubber seals as one time use only, but in Europe people use the seals until they are no longer viable, generally about 10 years, depending on whether you water bath or pressure can.   I used the seals every season for about 10 years and only had a few failures that required replacement.

Notwithstanding all of the benefits of Weck jars, I have come to the conclusion that the old standby Ball and Kerr are the way to go.  The biggest problem that I have found with the Weck jars is their high failure rate.  I estimate a 50% failure rate while pressure canning and about a 20% failure rate while water bath canning.  Because the seals are sandwiched between the glass jar and the glass lid, and held by three or four steel clamps, they have a tendency to "spit" out the seals during processing.  They are very sensitive to pressure extremes while pressure canning (if the pressure gets to 13 pounds, most of the jars will spit out their seals) and are very sensitive to how full the jar is in both pressure and water bath canning.  They are not very forgiving, unlike Ball and Kerr jars.

Another major drawback of the Weck jar is their unusual shape.  Although I much prefer their shape to that of the Ball and Kerr jar, they just don't fit in the canner.  European canners are made differently from our canners and therefore are more suited to the Weck jars.  I can fit 14 quarts (Ball or Kerr) in my canner, but can only fit 8 Weck liters in my canner.  During the fall when you are scrambling to get the harvest in the difference between 14 and 8 is tremendous!

Here is the 1 liter Tulip jar next to two standard canning jars.

All in all, I would prefer the Weck jars if they fit into my canner properly and didn't have an unacceptably high failure rate.  But, those factors being what they are, prompted me to return my allegiance to good old American Ball and Kerr jars.