The Simple Woman’s Daybook: April 16, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY

Outside my window… it was sunny but now seems cloudy.

I am thinking… about where my printer cables are so I can print out my tax extension form.

I am thankful… Daniel is adjusting to preschool slowly but surely. He only cried for an hour today which is a huge improvement.

In the kitchen… some Bertolli soup for dinner, I think.

I am wearing… forest green v-neck shirt and capri sweats.

I am creating… tax files and this entry.

I am going… to hopefully find printer cables and stuff tomorrow so I can print out my extension form.

I am wondering… where they are.

I am reading… Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter by Hallie Lord.

I am hoping… I hear back from Reece’s Rainbow about being a Guardian Angel tomorrow.

I am looking forward to… the quiet of weekday mornings while Daniel is at preschool.

I am pondering… assorted things in my heart.

A favorite quote for today… ??I think we all sin by needlessly disobeying the apostolic injunction to “rejoice” as much as by anything else.” — C.S. Lewis

One of my favorite things… Crystal Light peach tea.

A few plans for the rest of the week: probably errands, taxes, and a massage on Friday.

A peek into my day… Daniel and I at Miwok Park at his last physical therapy session

Daniel and I at Miwok Park for physical therapy

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11 Things

Ann of House of Estrogen tagged me in this meme going around the Internet. Whee!

Rules
1.) The first rule is to post these rules.
2.) Post a photo of yourself then write 11 things about you/your life.
3.) Answer the questions for you set in the original post.
4.) Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5.) Go to their blog/twitter to tell them you have tagged them.

OK… so let me find a picture I like.

Me after a haircut

OK… 11 things about me.

01.) I’m a night owl. I get most of my blogging done after 9 p.m.
02.) I’m 5’1 on a bad hair day. People tell me that I seem taller online.
03.) I’m incredibly shy and very introverted. I’d prefer to people-watch rather than socialize.
04.) I have a weird accent that makes me sound like a valley girl Canadian. It makes it really hilarious when I switch into academic mode and I’m using polysyllabic words while sounding like I should be on a beach in southern California tanning myself.
05.) I graduated from college in 3 years. I’m not smart — just strategic. The fact that I was sick of being in a long-distance relationship also didn’t hurt.
06.) I read murder mysteries for fun. I’m currently reading Buried in Buttercream by G.A. McKevitt.
07.) I have part of a Masters in Theological Studies. I’m incredibly good at it but theology in general bores me. I’m more of a historian and linguist.
08.) I’ve been singing Handel’s Messiah since I was 15. It was a holiday tradition for my mom and I throughout high school and college to do the You-Sing-It-Messiah with the San Jose Symphonic Choir.
09.) I love t-shirts with interesting messages. I love my We Will Not Be Silent shirt and am heartbroken that I’m having to replace it.
10.) My promise not to blog on the Republican candidates is grating on me. There’s SOOOOOOOO much snark I want to post!!!!!!
11.) I’m a princess darnit!

OK… my questions to answer!

1.) What is your favorite movie? It varies. I like the classic Disney cartoons like “The Aristocats” and “The Sword and the Stone” as well as “Forrest Gump”, “The Birdcage”, “The Spitfire Grill”, “Whale Rider”, and “Saved”.

2.) If you could go back and give your 16 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be? Stop worrying about what people will think and join a church. (I’m a convert to Christianity.)

3.) Why do you blog? So many reasons. Generally, I do it because it’s cheaper than therapy and I’ve made so many friends doing it. It also was my way of accessing the outside world when I lived in remote areas of the US.

4.) What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you doing that? I wanted to be a lawyer until I was 15 when I started wanting to be a doctor. I’m not doing either though I’m discerning doing training as a respiratory therapist because they’ve been the coolest health professionals that I’ve encountered in my own adventures and with Daniel.

5.) M&M’s – plain or peanut? Coconut.

6.) What was your first car? 1984 Volvo 240 GL.

7.) What is your favorite Halloween costume you’ve ever worn? The cat costume my mom made us when we were 3.

8.) What are your favorite blogs to read? I have at least 30-40 in my feed reader. They range from Canadian pastors to young Catholic women to Mormon housewives. Most blogs these day happen to be mommy blogs because all my bloggy friends have kids.

9.) If you were to have a boy and a girl tomorrow, what would you name them? Aidan Michael and Hannah Grace.

10.) What was your favorite class in college? Women’s Chorale, my advisor’s history classes, Religion and Social Change, Science and Human Values, the Making of the Modern Middle East, my Organic Chemistry labs, and my college’s Core course.

11.) What celebrity do you think it would be fun to be friends with? Definitely Pauley Perette (Abby on NCIS). She’s very much in person like she is on TV and she’s also incredibly socially conscious. I also love anyone who can pull off the goth look over the age of 30. (She’s in her 40’s.)

OK… now my questions!

01.) What food would you never eat even if you were paid to eat it?
02.) What is your favorite Bible verse or quote?
03.) Should jello at church be in the proper liturgical color?
04.) What was your high school or college mascot?
05.) What do you wish you could do?
06.) What book should everyone read?
07.) What is the weirdest thing you’ve eaten?
08.) Pretend I magically arrived on your doorstep. How would we spend your ideal day?
09.) Manicure or pedicure?
10.) What is the best type of ethnic food (i.e. Italian, Japanese, Indonesian)?
11.) Grey or orange tabby cats?

Now for the tagging!

Beth @ The Catholic Couponer

Nikkiana @ Authentic Experience

Kate @ ImperfectKate

Kathleen @ So Much to Say…

The Preoteasa @ Fear Not Little Flock

Dawn @ ladydusk

I know all of you have lives and such. Please find a way to mold this meme to your blog. If you can’t post a picture of yourself, post one of your kids or something that represents you.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: March 19, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 19, 2012

Outside my window… mildly sunny and in the 50’s.

I am thinking… that I hate allergy season.

I am thankful… for Daniel signing “more” on his own while I was bouncing him on my sister-in-law’s exercise ball. After he spontaneously signed it, he got LOTS more bouncing.

In the kitchen… making pasta salad at some point this week.

I am wearing… black zip-up hoodie, light blue v-neck shirt, and Left Behind shorts.

I am creating… clean dishes.

I am going… to do laundry at a parishioner’s house tomorrow. (Our dryer is demon-possessed.)

I am reading… Fearless by Max Lucado and Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner.

I am hoping… Daniel goes down for his nap soon.

I am looking forward to… my anniversary dinner on Friday. (10 years!)

Around the house… doing dishes. Whee.

One of my favorite things… Bertolli’s frozen soups for two.

A few plans for the rest of the week: PT tomorrow, speech and mid-week Lenten dinner on Wednesday, OT and leaving for San Jose on Thursday, haircuts for Daniel/me and dinner out for our anniversary on Friday, and coming home on Saturday.

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Stewardship and Properly Sourced Foods

Then God said, ??Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.?? God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, ??Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.?? Then God said, ??Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food??; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
–Genesis 1:26-31 (NASB)

It’s a joke within my family (my parents, evil twin brother, and I) that food needs to be properly sourced. Part of it comes from me working at an import brokerage and seeing all the Chinese dumping that goes on in our economy, part of it has to do with all the health recalls of foods and such that have tainted ingredients from China, and part of it is the whole idea of yuppies who shop at Whole Foods to get “organic” fruits and vegetables and cruelty-free products. (I have “organic” in quotation marks because the simple definition of the word is “carbon-based”. In theory, you could grow a plant in a vat of pesticide and it would still be carbon-based and therefore “organic”.) All three things have merit — China does dump a lot of cheaply-made goods into our economy at various points along the supply chain and a lot of their goods (*cough* iPads *cough* iPhones) are made in ways that are unhealthy for the workers and the food unsafe for us to consume. Due to this, a lot of people look for organic foods from places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s because they maintain a standard of quality that places like Wal-Mart don’t. It is a definite problem in our society that people pay through the nose for quality in food that should be there in the first place because GMO and processed foods are cheaper.

Looking up at our portion of Genesis, God gives us dominion over the plants and animals. Some people look at this as license to pillage the environment as much as they please because hey… God told us to rule over the earth, right? (Nice try but no.) A better reading of this is that God calls us to be stewards of the earth and make responsible decisions regarding Creation. This ideally means that we kill animals in an ethical fashion and grow our food in the same way. (*glares at Monsanto*) Unfortunately, we’re sinful beings and as such, we have an annoying tendency to cut corners to make a quick buck. It costs more to make things ethically in the U.S. so we send our industries overseas where there is cheap labor and suddenly when people (or pets) start getting sick, we act completely surprised that our bad decision-making had consequences.

So how exactly can we be good stewards of our environment and our food supply (among other things)? Well…

[+] Support your local farmers. I know that in California, even WIC gives checks for fruits and vegetables from farmer’s markets during the summer. Get to know your producers and how they grow their food. If you have ranchers in the area, buy your beef through them. If you know people who raise chickens, buy your eggs and meat from them as well. I know that in Montana, I could have been almost a complete locavore if I had really put my mind to it because I had parishioners who were ranchers, parishioners who sold eggs to supplement their income, the Hutterites sold meat and vegetables, etc. This was in a rural area 25 miles between the two towns with grocery stores. In California, I could do this with vegetables during the summer and possibly even into the winter.

[+] Know the supply chain for your grocery store of choice. This takes some research but it’s worth it. Find out where they buy their meat and their dairy. In Montana, I found out from a parishioner who was part of Farmer’s Union that certain brands of milk at Albertsons were from Montana dairies.

[+] If you take vitamins, look into where they are produced. My mom discovered that the generic supplement she took from Costco was made in China. Yeah… not a good thing, especially with China’s track record. You want to read labels.

[+] Pay attention to where your seafood and meat are from. As much as people whined about country-of-origin-labeling (COOL) in Montana, it’s essential from my perspective, especially as we dealt with cows imported from Alberta where there had been Mad Cow disease. This is also imperative with seafood because there have been problems with restaurants and grocery stores claiming that their fish/seafood was a fish that it wasn’t or that it came from a place where it didn’t. There should be something on each sign in the seafood display saying “Product of [insert country]”. Don’t buy fish unless it states it clearly.

[+] Be aware of where your honey comes from. They actually did tests and a majority of honey bought from the grocery store and labeled as a U.S. product did in fact contain honey from China. Some of that Chinese honey wasn’t honey which truthfully unnerves me greatly. (I can’t remember who was bad and who was good other than Wal-Mart being bad and Trader Joe’s being good. It was on CNN.Com.)

As strange as this sounds, the whole issue of our food supply and sourcing really is a spiritual issue. We are called to take care of each other throughout the Bible (i.e. more verses than I care to quote) and making sure that we are all fed and that our food is safe is a part of that. A clean food supply chain also increases jobs as it allows U.S. farmers to stay on their land longer and to make an honest living.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: March 12, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY

Outside my window… sunny and probably in the 50’s or 60’s. Apparently, this equals rain in the eyes of Sacramento weather people. Umm… yeah.

I am thinking… that my little bear should hopefully be going to sleep soon given that I gave him some Benadryl and have changed his diaper a few times.

I am thankful… that the Girl Scouts are going strong 100 years after their founding. I’m also thankful for the cookie program, especially for Samoas which are making me happy (and we’re not going to talk about their effect on my waistline).

In the kitchen… probably heating some Bertolli’s soup or something.

I am wearing… my black Arabic shirt and Jon’s navy “Left Behind” shorts.

I am creating… this entry and pondering ideas for Lenten ones so I can stay with my Lenten discipline.

I am going… to Bible study tonight while Jon stays with Daniel.

I am wondering… how people can claim President Obama is a Muslim when there was the grumping about Pastor Jeremiah Wright in the 2008 election — you know Obama’s PASTOR?!?!?!?!? (“Obama is Muslim” was trending on Twitter today.)

I am reading… Fearless by Max Lucado.

I am hoping… Daniel takes a good nap and goes down easily tonight.

I am looking forward to… various things this week.

I am pondering… things for Lenten writings this week.

A favorite quote for today… “If we discover a desire within us that nothing in this world can satisfy, also we should begin to wonder if perhaps we were created for another world.” — C.S. Lewis

One of my favorite things… Samoas!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Bible study and “Hart of Dixie” tonight, PT tomorrow, speech and mid-week Lenten stuff on Wednesday, OT on Thursday, possibly Confession and dinner with Dean and Kym on Friday, and family gathering for my dad’s birthday on Saturday at my evil twin’s house.

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7 Quick Takes — Occupying Lent, Veggie Burgers, and #ashtag Loveliness

7 Quick Takes

Wow! My first couple days of Lent have been sooooo amazing! I’m just gaining so many insights into my faith and… yeah, I’ll just shut up now and move on to my Quick Takes.

— 1 —

Please help my friend Paula win an award from Circle of Moms. Her daughter Anna has Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD) and has been waiting two years for a liver transplant. Their transplant blog was nominated to be in the Top 25 Moms with Inspiring Families. If you’re a mom, please go vote. At last glance, she was #26 or #27.

— 2 —

I have a mirror site for my Lenten writings on WordPress.Com. Want to read my Lenten writings (which are crappy thus far) but do not want to have to look at my eeevvvvvvvvviiiiiilllllll Obama button? Go here. You’re welcome.

— 3 —

Need some ideas for food on meat-free days? Priest’s Wife has a great entry on meatless means for manly men. My recommendations are Gardenburgers and various Morningstar Farms products (both in your freezer section). I can personally vouch for both brands’ iterations of Portabella/Mushroom Lovers burgers and spicy black bean burgers. I’m also a fan of Morningstar Farms Tomato & Basil Pizza Burgers and their veggie corn dogs. (Truthfully, I prefer them to regular corn dogs.) I can’t speak highly of Morningstar Farms breakfast products because the texture is just wrong to me and I’m also mildly allergic to eggs (i.e. no breakfast sandwiches) for me. My vegetarian husband, however, loves their veggie bacon and veggie sausage patties and links.

— 4 —

I know that the vast majority of you are Catholic but I have a source for interesting and worshipful music. Ron Pogue at Unapologetically Episcopalian posts Morning and Evening Prayer every day and includes a Youtube video of sacred music each time. Some of it is Anglican chant (which is incredibly beautiful) and some of it is classical music. He’s also on Facebook which means that you can get it in your news feed… if you haven’t given up Facebook for Lent. 😉 If I didn’t already have a devotional that I use, I’d totally do Morning Prayer using his site and my Book of Common Prayer.

— 5 —

Along the lines of interesting and worshipful music for prayer, I can’t recommend Pray As You Go enough. I used to use this (in addition to Our Daily Bread) during my hour-long commute to work in Montana. It was mostly silent prayer but there was always some kind of music at the beginning and it spanned the spectrum from Taizé to chant to Ladysmith Black Mambazo. I also used the silent time after I hit mile marker 379 on I-15 to pray for people.

— 6 —

My thanks to Kate for coming up with the idea of posting pics of our #ashtag loveliness on Twitter. (Thanks to Beth Anne for compiling them.) My tweets are protected so here are my pics of me rocking my #ashtag.

Me with my ashes
What I normally look like (with ashes)

Me attempting to look happy.
Me attempting to look happy and not like I’m fasting.

Me with the uncooperative bear child.
Me with Mr. Uncooperative.

— 7 —

For want of a simple salt, a woman and her baby died today. What? You didn’t hear about that on the evening news? Oh wait… that’s because it happened in the Third World! Quoting the Preeclampsia Foundation website:

Globally, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. By conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year.

One of the treatments for preeclampsia (to keep it from jumping to full-on eclampsia) is magnesium sulfate (MgSO4), a simple salt that we refer to in the USA as “Epsom salt”. The shortage of a solution of that salt (the concentration needs to be specific) and the lack of a medical professional trained in its usage means the mother and baby die. Want to help combat that problem? Sponsor me in the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia.

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: February 20, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY February 20, 2012

Outside my window… gray and yucky when I got up. Much nicer now though probably still cold.

I am thinking… that it was a good idea to give Daniel some Benadryl after his second (?) vomit episode this morning. He’s on juice and Cheerios at the moment and we’ll add stuff in as he does better.

I am thankful… for the goulash and spaetzle I brought home with me from my parents’ house. It was two meals worth that I didn’t have to cook.

In the kitchen… the leftover goulash and spaetzle. Also coming up with meatless ideas for this week.

I am wearing… blue maternity shirt and penguin pajama bottoms.

I am creating… ideas for posts for my Occupying Lent category.

I am going… to check on Daniel when I’m done with this.

I am wondering… why my Obama button looks so skewed on Firefox even though I re-sized it and re-uploaded the smaller version.

I am reading… Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner. I also snuck in The Chocolate Castle Clue by JoAnna Carl this weekend.

I am hoping… I don’t have a dentist visit this week given my jaw pain.

I am looking forward to… my massage on Friday and my brother and sister-in-law coming on Saturday.

Around the house… clean living room floor. Yay!

I am pondering… what to write about on Wednesday when I start my Occupying Lent series.

A favorite quote for today… “The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not.” — C.S. Lewis

One of my favorite things… teryaki chicken at my favorite sushi/noodle bar.

A few plans for the rest of the week: PT tomorrow, speech and Ash Wednesday on Wednesday, OT on Thursday, massage and cleaning on Friday, and time with family on Saturday.

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