Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

WOOT!! Let garden 2009 begin!!

January 2, 2009

Our local extension recommends planting peas in January as soon as you can work the soil.  I’m thinking it’s a bit early, but I did start a few seedlings today.  Here’s a picture of 1/2 dozen each Russian Sugar Peas, Alaska Sno Peas, Sugar Ann Peas, Cascadia Peas, and Oregon Sugar Pod II that I started with my helpers.

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WHAT SHOULD WE BECOME

December 30, 2008

This is an open letter to anyone who will take the time to respond.  What do you think the United States should try to become this year.  I’m not looking for a ditzy “world peace” response.  I’d love to hear a few well thought out responses.  Be fairly warned: I will not allow anyone to post anything that is foul.  My disagreeing with your perspective will not denote what I consider foul.  Thus, if you say, “I think global warming is real and castles is a big dodohead.”  I’d post that.  If you take issue with my heritage being partially Jewish, save it for your autobiography or your psychiatrist, cause I won’t post it here.

Here’s mine.  I’m reading a bit about Monsanto.  I don’t quite know what to think of this business yet, but I will tell you that one thing in particular worries me about the direction my country and my fellow citizens are headed in right now, we are becoming unwilling to demand science.  The studies that have been released for public view on various Monsanto products by FDA are woefully lacking.  There is a serious appearance of evil in the moving of personnel from Monsanto to the FDA.  That may be easily explained by the fact that the pool for folks who can actually do this work being very limited.  If that’s the case, certainly, they should recuse themselves from working on research from their former employer.  We have to demand this as citizens, else, all of FDA’s research becomes useless.  The last thing we need is ANOTHER useless agency.

NASA funded research dealing with global warming was proven wrong by a blogger.  The blogger proved the data was a y2k glitch (see http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/2007/08/1998_no_longer_the_hottest_yea.html).  After proving the researchers wrong, the researchers came back and re-released their data saying they had corrected the error.  When the blogger requested the algorhythm the researchers had used to correct their data, the researchers refused to release it.  Basically, they said, “You just have to trust us.”  Hello!  NASA belongs to the public.  ALL of your research should be open source.

I realize that I’m the least scientific person you’ll probably ever meet.  I am also the most serious Libetarian I know.  IMHO, though, if your research is funded by federal dollars, it should be open source.  If you take government grants, your research belongs to the public.  If the US government underwrites your corporation by giving you massive tax incentives, your research belongs to us.  If you are taking money from the American Cancer Society for research, the research is open source.  Thus, if you discover an amazing cancer drug, guess what?  You’re only going to make a fair profit from producing the drugs.  This would also enhance competition for pharmeceuticals.  It seems to me that if my employer gets to keep anything I discover while I work for her, the same rule applies to you anytime you are working for the US.  Yes, I understand that this takes away the profit motive for research.  It should force companies to decide between working for profit OR working for the government.  You wanna cure cancer and charge $6k for each pill?  OK, don’t ask me for handouts.

So, in summary, I believe the United States needs to become a transparent nation in more serious scientific ways.  We need to really embrace the concept of demanding what our tax dollars pay for be returned to us.

SNOW!!

December 16, 2008

Lots of snow out here this week.  Sadly, my chard did not make it.  My garlic, however, is still growing away.

So, here’s a recipe I used for my garlic greens today.  Apparently, you can use the tops of garlic just as you would use chives.  Their flavor is strongly garlicy (is this a word?  aaah, well, you get it…) and a bit spicy.  Because my family could swim in garlic, we love this.  If you have a strong streak of vampire in your bloodline, you might want to skip it.

I made bacon for breakfast for the kids.  Then you just take the bacon grease when it’s hot and scramble an egg in it.  Then you move the egg to a plate on the side and chop it up a bit.  Then you add two cups (or more) of cooked rice.  After you fry the rice in the bacon grease, you add a bit of sesame oil and whatever veggies you have on hand ( you can add greens, celery, onions, chives, etc…) except tomatoes.  Then add whatever leftover meat you have on hand or beans, if you like a nice veggie meal.  Then add some garlic chives, or regular chives and the egg from earlier.  Just toss this a bit to fry the whole thing.  Then remove to a plate to serve.  I top this with a couple pieces of crumbled bacon but I’ve eaten it without it.  There you have it, a quick, easy meal out of leftovers.

Book Report: Do Hard Things

December 8, 2008

I didn’t like book reports when I was in school and now that I’m out, you can bet your last dime I wouldn’t write one if I didn’t think it was important.  I just finished the book Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris.  If you have a teenager, run and get this book, quickly.  This website called http://www.therebelution.com/ is the website kept by these teens who speak nationally about our national tendency to downplay the importance of teens and their abilities.  I bought the book for my young sister in law and I try to read anything I send to youngsters.  This book talks about how teenagers are being told that they are waiting for their lives to begin.  Reality is that teenagers throughout history have been accomplishing amazing things.    An endless list of historical figures from King David to Sacagawea were teens when they first were in power or did their first historical work.   Benjamin Franklin wrote his first political works at the age of fifteen.  San Martin joined the army at ten.  There are literally hundreds of examples. 

So, as we head into one of the most challenging times of our nation’s history, I fully intend to embrace the tenants of this book.  I want to teach them to my kids.  I want my kids to understand that we, as a people, always move forward.  Because, we do hard things…

I Homeschool My Kids

November 12, 2008

My husband and I have made the choice to educate our kids at home.  Personal experience tells me that if you’re over forty, you now think I have horns and a tail, if you’re under forty, you think I’m with some weird cult.

There are a number of reasons to homeschool your kids.  The reasons I hear most are:

  1. Public schools teach strange indoctrinal practices that I’d rather my kids not have to deal with.  (BTW: if this sounds crazy to you, try this one on for size:  http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=77734)
  2. In search of the best education for children. 
  3. You can customize homeschooling far more effectively than group situations allow.
  4. Homeschooling allows high achieving students to set a more challenging pace and allows students with shortfalls to go slower in areas that are difficult (ie: a child who is in fifth grade Math and second grade English).

Our reason is a bit different.  When my husband did youth ministry and I did social work, we met lots of parents who didn’t know their kids.  Not only would they not understand the dark side of what their kids would and could do, they wouldn’t know the bright side.  Some parents couldn’t pick their kids out of a lineup if they were blindfolded.  This bothered us then and bothers us now.  We want the blessing of knowing our kids.  We intend to shape their character to the best of our ability.  We were blessed enough to be able to afford the finances of having a parent at home.  It isn’t easy.  We don’t go out much and we don’t take fancy vacations, etc…, but we were willing to sacrifice that for the ability to know these kids.

We don’t make any pretense of knowing what is right for every kid, but for our family, this was the best choice.  For more info on homeschooling, I encourage you to look at NHERI.org.

Just Another Day

November 3, 2008

Had a meeting today just down the street.  You know you’re a crazy composter when you think about trying to take a rake and your pickup during work hours to “take” other people’s leaves.  In my area, you could end up with buckshot in your fanny and an unsypathetic ER if you try to step on someone’s lawn without permission, so maybe I’ll have to go knock on some doors.  But, hey, they aren’t going to use them, and judging from the general unkempt look of their yard, they aren’t going to rake them.  I just think there’s room for a judgement call’s all I’m saying…