Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Today I made bierochs (beerocks - a German cabbage and hamburger filled roll). I once told my grandson they were called that because the dough has beer in it which was, of course, patently untrue but a deliciously wicked fiction as they do taste yeasty. I love the way these smell when they are baking and relish the fact that this recipe will feed a kitchen full of hungry folks plus a pan of sweet rolls for breakfast the next morning since the dough is a sweet one and I never seem to have enough meat filling for all that dough. Dried cranberries replaced the raisins in this batch of cinnamon rolls. Yummy.
These frugal satisfying rolls are not new. Along with hard red winter wheat and industrious, peaceful ways the Molotschna Mennonite immigrants brought bierochs to Kansas where they were often brought out and served to the men in the fields by the farm wife.
The history of these Mennonites is the old, old story of our nation, the story of a christian group of people seeking refuge here from the persecution not just from other religious groups but from other christian groups, seeking the peace to worship as they believed right, seeking the freedom not to bear arms against another human, seeking asylum from the persecution of a state ordained church (Czar AlexanderII had a slogan, “One Czar, one religion, one language.”)and most especially looking for a government to protect them as they exercised their liberty of conscience.
I'm thankful, once again, that our forefathers chose to protect this liberty for us all by agreeing with Locke that the care "of every man's soul belongs to himself, and is to be left to himself ".
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Unaccountably, to my shame and regret, in my part of the country I apparently hold a very quiet minority view! Many, many people are vitriolic in their wrath that the President of this country would dare to speak to their children without their consent. Without their parent's consent.
Is the paranoia so great, so rampant, so free floating in this country that some people are saying we must protect our children from the bogymen of a fairly elected President of United States? A man accorded respect for the office that he holds all over the world but here, at home, in his own country, he needs permission from parents to speak to students. I thought working in conjunction with the Department of Education was probably all the sanctioning an event like this needed. In the country I mistakenly thought I lived in it was.
Have we, as parents and grandparents, so little confidence in our own ability to instill our individual patriotic values to our own children that we fear their corruption and doubtless irreparable indoctrination from one 30 minute speech from President Obama? Have we raised a whole generation of students who can no longer reason for themseves at all but are so subject to manipulation that we must protect them from any thought delivered to all of them at the same time that might deviate from our own dogmas least they fall into the clutches of..of..of what????? A Vulcan mind meld?
This might be funny if it were not so absolutely pitiful - please excuse me while I weep.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
There is truly nothing new under the sun is there? The CDC is now promoting a "new" program KidsWalk-to-School under the umbrella of their Nutrition and Physical Activity Program.This isn't a new concept - the I Walk To School organization has been around since 1997. October was designated as the International I Walk To School Month in 2007. This year October 7th has been chosen as the I Walk To School Day in the US. In August 2005, federal legislation established a National Safe Routes to School Program that provided $612 million towards Safe Routes to School from 2005 to 2010.
The program's objective is to get groups of kids accompanied by adults (preferably parents?)to walk or bike from home to school and back again as was done back 'in the day'. I say Hoo-ray! By working with the community, creating safe routes and encouraging participation this fun healthy activity could once again become the common routine it once was. Probably the biggest stumbling block is going to be some parents. Parents who do not want to spend 15 to 30 minutes, twice a day, walking to and from school. The good news is that with all the lay-offs there may be a greater number of parents actually at home, who will not have the excuse of 'I'm at work and can't' and who will have the added incentive of needing to save that gas money. The healthy benefits of a brisk walk apply to parents as well as to kids. Back 'in the day' no one rode buses but farm kids and most farm kids had been up since dawn doing chores before school. Few of them suffered from lack of exercise.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
For some there seems to be no truth at all in nuance.
This little black and white tale has just enough color to make a point.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Ever felt just invisible; like an alien looking for even a small friendly "hello"? We all have days when we feel like a stranger in a strange place don't we? And most of the time we are hoping to run into someone who'll say "you are welcome here" wherever you are on your journey. Well, those kind people and those caring places are sprinkled all over this great land of ours. Is that because we are a 'Christian nation'? More importantly, are we a 'Christian nation'?
James Watkins makes an excellent case that historically, no we are not, beginning the argument with this :
"True or False: The Founding Fathers of The United States were Christians who formed a government based on godly principles.
That's a more complex answer. The "revisionist left" would like to make them secular and the "religious right" would like to make them saintly. Let's take a look at some of the more prominent Founding Father's beliefs . . . in their own words."
And ending with this note:
"I am a subscriber to the Apostles' Creed (I've had a "subscription" since second grade). I would love to document that the most prominant Founding Fathers were orthodox Christians.
However, I'm also a journalist who is committed to being an OAF (Objective, Accurate, and Fair), so I have only included quotes where I could find at least two collaborating, reliable sources."
James Madison said "The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity" (Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, Dec 3, 1821).
So yes, while we are a nation of primarily kind caring Christian folks, 62% at last count, as President Obama said, in 2007 and again in April of this year, we are not just a 'Christian nation'.
- "I think that where -- where there's the most promise of building stronger U.S.-Turkish relations is in the recognition that Turkey and the United States can build a model partnership in which a predominantly Christian nation and a predominantly Muslim nation, a Western nation and a nation that straddles two continents -- that we can create a modern international community that is respectful, that is secure, that is prosperous; that there are not tensions, inevitable tensions, between cultures, which I think is extraordinarily important.
That's something that's very important to me. And I've said before that one of the great strengths of the United States is -- although as I mentioned, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values." from The White House Press Office
Anyone interested in doing more research on their own will find a wealth of information on Beliefnet and The Separation of Church and State
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
- An old law says, “Nobody’s thrown a ball so high it didn’t come down.” I don’t think anybody believes that an economy can just grow and grow and grow forever.
- It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission. I get so frustrated when I speak at a seminar and the first question is “But is it legal?” Who cares if it’s legal? If it’s right, do it.
Thinking about subsistence farming could lead us to crofting -in Scotland or Kentucky or Finland and then inevitably, when thinking of redemption and working in harmony with the natural order of things, when thinking of being self sustaining, to Wendell Berry (you may remember he will not buy a computer) and to his Mad Farmer poems. One of my favorite lines is from his poem The Man Born To Farming - " He enters into death yearly, and comes back rejoicing."
Sustainable agriculture won't make anyone rich -that isn't the goal. Sustaining and subsisting so often go hand in hand.
Still, "He enters into death yearly, and comes back rejoicing."
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Well, Pysanky is derived from the Ukranian verb pysaty meaning "to write". Pysanky are a special type of easter eggs that have been decorated using beeswax and dye; it is a very old art form. Traditionally. eggs were decorated uncooked and only fertized eggs could be used. These eggs are decorated with a batik technique - a design is writtten on the eggs with a Kystka (or electric stylus) containing beeswax then the egg is dyed. Traditional dyes were made from dried plants or other vegetable matter by the women in each household who passed the dye 'recipes' on from mother to daughter as they did with the designs used and the accompanying forlklore. Successive layers of beeswax and dye are added until the artist achieves the desired result. Pysanka designs are usually geometric using traditional symbols such as triangles, circles, straight and curved lines to tell a story. Deirdre Le Blanc uses the term Sacred Geometry in describing the practice.
The process of making these beautiful and complex eggs (each egg may take from 3 to 11 hours to complete) is described many places but the most comprehensive site (over 400 pages ) on pysanky was built by Luba Petruska.
This wonderful, well organized site is just full of the most interesting pictures of all types of pysanky, it also contains a how to section, history, traditions, easter cards, post cards - you name it this site has it.
She also has a What's New page that is more 'blog like' if you are more comfortable with that format.
Martha Stewart also has a very good how to page that includes a supply list as well.
Pysanka is the singular form of pysanky. The biggest non chocolate easter egg in the world, the Vegreville Pysanka , is a wonderful ode both to math and to art, achieving nine mathmatical, architectural and engineering firsts when it was completed in 1975. Sitting at a 30 degree angle, on a massive steel and concrete base, turning in the wind like a weather vane, it remains a testament to the vision of Ron Resch. and a tribute to the Canadian Mounties whose 100th anniversary it commemerates.
If you'd like to know more Dr. Myron Hlynka, has an extensive list of links here:
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
This year's poster features these lines from the T. S. Eliots poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" "Do I dare\Disturb the universe?", which also contains these lines, of which I am quite fond :
"And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea."
In addition to participating in A Poem In My Pocket Day , or the Free Verse project, there are more than 30 other ways to join in this celebration.
So, for all the questions dropped on your plate, for instance yesterday , remember poetry and dare to disturb.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
- The best use of a bra in a national park?
- Which state may drop 'northern scum' from their state song?
- How O'Reilly got 'ambushed' back?
- Who was The Kool Ade Wino?
- Where The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is located?
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I Snoped this when I first got it and again when it started showing up on blogs recently. Few of these blogs tell you this is not exactly a current event but is rather a historical one.
Isn't that a little deceptive?
The prayer was actually given by Rev. Wright in 1996. Not this year, not at the start of a new legislative session in Kansas this year but in 1996 -13 years ago.
And according to newspaper reports at the time only one legislator, not many, walked out during the prayer although several did criticize it after the session closed. Who knows if 'The Rest of the Story' story is accurate or not but based on the above I'd say it's doubtful.
The prayer itself is pithy, brief, full of truth, enjoining us to engage in self examination and repentance, powerful enough to stand the test of time, un-gilded. And yes, that pastor did have guts in delivering the prayer.
The question is who has guts today?
I'm reminded of the story of the two little old ladies in church, who one Sunday morning were loudly seconding their preacher as he denounced cheating (Amen Brother), swearing (Amen Brother), stealing (Amen Brother), coveting (Amen Brother), dancing(Amen Brother), smoking (Amen Brother), dipping snuff - Now hold on a minute here, one said as she turned to the other, He's done quit preachin' and started meddlin' .
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
A book review in today's NY Times of a book by a guy known as Cadillac Jack reminded me of this little story a friend had e-mailed me some months ago:
The Two Wolves
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride,superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grand son thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
I wonder if these were "The Wolves at Evelyn" ?