Monday, November 29, 2004

My activities: I have explored the 'about atheism' forum some, read a few atheist articles on the Christians Right, explored numerous Christian blogs, checked on how the stockmarket is doing (down today), drank my daily quota of coffee, and blogged a bit.

I am getting ready to go offline, check the kids schoolwork, get something to eat for lunch, and hopefully fend off a threatening headache.

I don't want to start into my schedule..... I am majorly procrastinating. I need to load in some wood into the stove. That's all for now, folks. I will rev up sometime later today or tomorrow.

I am sure of it;)

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Today we had our first Advent devotion. It was nice to have the two boys participate before they traveled the long way to their homes in the South. We sang a few worship songs and a few carols, three of the kids took turns playing the guitar accompianment and they all played surprisingly well. Wow:)

We prayed and then hung around together before they left. Good start to the season, with one candle lit and twenty-six or so to go. Don't make me count- anything except count!

I wrote a piece for the other blog and that is the account of my day, mostly. Attended church this morning, yes.... but that actually seems long ago in my thoughts for some reason.

Friday, November 26, 2004


The Thanksgiving celebration went fairly well this year. I did struggle, but all came out well and I didn't struggle as much as some years. All Blessings. I made the whole huge feast... but it was more bland tasting than I like. I am not sure why. Maybe I tried to have too many dishes and made more bland tasting choices. Like a sun-dried tomato dressing for the salad instead of a sharp Italian type. Apple stuffing for the turkey... things like that. Everyone voiced their pleasure for the meal, but I guess I have a certain persnickety-ness on holiday food.

What went particularly well was the devotional time. Usually we cram it at the table- when everyone is sort of hungry to eat, or afterwards, when everyone is sated and just wants to lie down and digest. So this year I decided to serve some hors d'oeuvres stuff first and then gather in the living room for prayer and sharing time. It was very ...awesome. I hate to use that term, but it just was so spiritually satisfying!

I asked one of my sons and the youngest daughter to find some applicable thanksgiving scriptures, had the husband lead the prayer, and we did our usual corn kernel sharing of things we are personally thankful for.

It was relaxed, deeply open-hearted and the centerpiece of the day ( 'cause once we start serving/eating it is downhill from there as far as attention to quiet introspection) It becomes one very loud and celebratory feast.

Everything was good except for my one son not being here. That was hard, because it was not involuntary. It was a breach in the family circle. We have been there before, but this year was hopeful for unity. Maybe next year, God Willing and people agreeable. We mentioned him in our thankfulness, but he was not here to hear it.

Late into the night everyone hung around and had a good time together. Today everyone is just sort of hanging out with no real plans or demands.

I have a fluctuating, underlying depression, but it isn't out of hand and I do feel truly grateful for so many things in my life. One of the greatest antidotes for depression is a thankful heart. I swing from being thankful to feeling like such a failure. But most of the time I am ok. And I functioned for the holiday- always a great asset.

I have several things started on my other blog and hoping I don't fizzle out. Sometimes I am torn between feeling I want to put more time into the online work and feeling that I shouldn't because it leaves so much other stuff undone... and for what? I don't have lots of people I impact.. if I impact anyone -really- at all.
And my houseplants are dying for lack of attention. Most still in the basement. I am a cruel master for those poor plants.

At least I have kept at the homeschooling. But that is one area that is guaranteed to make me feel like an utter failure. I try not to personalize things so much and just keep a steady schedule. Otherwise I would probably curl up like a sensitive fern... Have been known to do that before!

If I could cut the personal downtime for agony, I would do it. Even though when I am successful I go into what feels like an emotional suspension. It is how I keep going when there is too much that I perceive as disappointing.

I don't know what I expected life should be like. It's like I accept life, but do I?
I think I have a nihilist seam running through me. I give up too easily and then hate myself for that.

I heard an interview with Max Lucado on his new book about 'coming thirsty' - that might be the title, but I didn't quite catch it. Anyway, he mentioned that the results of being thirsty spiritually are such things as these types of attitudes that I exhibit. But how often does one get to absolute dehydration and still recover?

As the prophet once said " Am I better than my fathers?" Am I better than what I seen, Lord? To what end are my expectations?

Well, enough of this... onto whatever is next.....

Friday, November 12, 2004

That Chai recipe was from the Chicago Mensa Site, btw. Check out the many interesting recipes in their "Cheap Eats" section.

I am getting ready to write another essay on the subject of being a SAHM. But in the meantime I am thinking about creative ways to try to contribute to our family's income. Seriously looking into trying ebay...since I have a veritable wealth of clutter and I always try to de-junk my life. The trouble is, as with many clutter-ers, my junk is good junk. Ebay was made the force it has become by and for people like me.

I just have to get past that initial inertia phase.... better known as procrastination. I have dabbled as far as I dare to with stocks. I am so conservative and bitty with it I am almost ashamed. But so far it sure beats the savings account. Which I still have because I am still bitty and conservative.

I ought to be a bit scared since we have no real retirement. Really. Not just poor talk there. I didn't go bust after the stock ( of which I had none) boom went bust. No, I had my own future investment boom called babies. Most of which are growing long nicely, but I amnot sure where that leaves retirement..... unless I turn out to be a VERRRRY late bloomer in the investment club trade....

I have to say that my math handicaps are a real liability. I can't figure worth beans. I pray and go with the gut... and figure things out with research.

Anyway, that is the latest with my endeavors. I looked into paralegal work, but they are changing the requirements and it is more time and money than this old bird can manage.

I figure lots of people my age are having to look with new eyes at what they can do in their years.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Want to make your own Chai?

Try this recipe:
Hindi Chai
Indian Spiced Tea

2 green cardamom pods
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Generous dash or two ground cloves
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped (optional)
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1-1/2 Tbs. sugar
2 heaping tsp. black tea or 2 tea bags

Lightly crush the cardamom pods in a mortar, to release their fragrance. Alternately, you can crush them with a rolling pin—but do it on a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, so it’s easy to collect. Do not completely powder the cardamom, however, as this can discolor the tea.

In a saucepan, combine the spices, milk, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat (watch the pot carefully —boiling milk boils over more quickly than just about anything else you can cook), then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and tea and continue to simmer for about 1 minute longer, or until the tea has clearly released its color into the liquid.

Strain into cups and serve at once. Alternatively, you can let the strained tea cool to room temperature, then pour it over ice.

Serves 2. Enjoy.

Learn more about the terms used in 'tea culture'

Tea Glossary

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Everyone I read is being so genteel about the election, so far. That means "so far so good".

The stock market is up, and that is excellent. Yes, I care about that since inheriting a bit of stock. I have no retirement. nil. So I am very thankful to be part of the capitalists of society now. Not that stocks are a sure thing.... they are not. But even if I had much in the way of Soc. Sec. how sure is that?

I used to be sort of put-out about my parents generation. I am more mellow now. Maybe. Resigned? whatever it is. I could go into it if I was riled, but as I said....

Anyway, every generation is selfish. It is the human condition. My generation is considered the ME generation. I don't know about that. Yes and no. There was some true idealism there, but I guess that could be said of most generations, too.

Same stuff different outfits.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Here was my day. Got up late since I stayed on the computer way too long last night, rushed off bleary -eyed to a bank to clear up a discrepancy in what was supposed to be closed acct., then went to another bank to deposit a check. It was like a mausoleum. I hate buildings that are like mausoleums. The close, musty smelling vault-like feeling. Major Ick. Think of going to work in a building like that ...e.v.e.r.y. day.

Anyway, after that had a nice trip to Wild Oats natural grocery store. I hadn't been there in a couple years, but always liked it. Took a wrong turn that sent me in that direction and decided to make it good and shop for a few things. It perked me right up -buying things that are good for you and looking over the interesting herbal and organic concoctions does that.

Then I went to my voting place. They moved it this year.... so glad my husband reminded me because I was fully prepared to go to the old place ( a church). I would've gotten to the parking lot and thought "hey, where is everybody?!" But it just goes to show that there are times it is good to marry your opposite. I hit at a non-busy time and chatted with some guy in charge of making everything run smoothly. Maybe he was a challenger, but he didn't say. He did say that I was there at the quietest time all day... long lines earlier in the morning.

I'm telling you, this election is wild, in a good way. I suppose it has the makings of going sour afterwards.... but I am glad people care about their priviledge to vote.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Mixing it up a bit TOO much

I have mixed around the blogs a bit again. TrueGrit is not supposed to have all my emotive whining.... you are dear tea blog! Do we cry in our tea? Or is that something else? Cry in the whiskey? I don't remember. Maybe it's milk, but the whole purpose of having the different blogs that I kept alive was to keep their focus relatively pure.

After making the mistake of filling my website with about ten sites worth I thought I had learned the lesson. Anyway, my health is not co-operating with my wishes again. That makes me feel so old. That and if I start recording what I ate during the day.

I like elderly people alot (and now that I am getting closer to that appelation, myself- good thing!), and something I noticed about the communications of the elderly is that they spend an inordinate amount of time talking about their meals.

Although if I counted diet talk in younger ages, I suppose it wouldn't be so proportionally inordinate..... HA!

It's *that* time

Voting time, what did you think? I'm going to go out early tomorrow to vote. I can't believe how different this election is. With "challengers" and "proxy" voting, things I don't recall ever hearing about before. Did I just miss that, or is it new?

The challenger roles sound fairly intimidating. I just read of it when the local newspaper editorialized on their action of making sure a number of their journalists were challenger qualified to make sure they could get onto the voting sites for observations and all.

It seems as though voting will be encombered by all this. Previously, in my lightly populated rural area, I pretty much popped in and out, with only some waiting in the more interest-stirring elections. Now I am not sure what to expect. And if I had only paid more attention I would have realized sooner that Ohio votes on the gay marriage ban.

I have been very remiss in keeping up with the news. I thought the discussion was due to it being a controversial subject. I don't know if I would have written more on it or not, if I had realized it would be on the ballot. I haven't really come down clean on the view I hold on what the place of government is in such matters.

I do know I feel strongly that the definition of marriage should not be changed. And the traditional cultural view in almost every culture is that of the nuclear family consisting of man, woman and offspring. Protection of this has suffered assault in the past several decades. There are more than a few voices who think that the traditional family should be done away with altogether. How close are we to this in our culture? What is the outcome of redefining?

There are lots of times I just want to be left alone....let me live a quiet traditional life and leave me alone. Don't make me think of all the things that create a threat to my family life. Sometimes I am in war mode, but sometimes I just want to be left alone... and leave everyone else to their lives. Laissez faire.

but I know that is not how it works.

And tomorrow I vote. If Kerry gets it, I'll mourn, but I think that the election process is going to be a bit protracted this year and we really aren't going to know quickly.

Talk about mixing it.... political stuff was supposed to go in truegrit. I was supposed to only obsess and whine for you here. Oh well. Life is not so easily compartmentalized for some of us!

Still love me, Kerry-ites? ;)