Friday, January 31, 2014

Farm Friday

Once again, I was unable to post Farm Friday last week.  I had every intention of doing so, after my usual Friday errands, but I got a call from our son telling me that our granddaughter had a 4-day weekend and, if we wanted, she could come stay with us.  Of course, we did so I drove to their house, stopped at the grocery store on the way home, and, as anyone who has spent time with an 8-year-old, the weekend was spoken for.  Below some highlights from the last two weeks:

We had our fourth meeting of Piedmont Sustainable Living Group.  We had a new family attend and hope they will return.  They brought three children with them and our granddaughter had a great time playing with them.

We had our first real snow of the season (and got our second snow yesterday):

Of course, as a result of this snow and the two arctic blasts (with temperatures sometimes hovering around 0), Mr. Fabulous still hasn't made it outside full time. 

We also had a power outage that lasted from early afternoon into the evening on Wednesday.  Over 4,000 homes were affected.  We have a generator to power some things so we didn't suffer.  We were worried about those who didn't as we faced one of the coldest nights of the year.  Fortunately, the power came back on around 8:30.

Last Saturday our farm made the front page of the local paper!  We had been interviewed and photographed and thought the article would appear in the "lifestyle" section of the Sunday edition.  Imagine our surprise when we found ourselves on the front page:
Farm Life
I continue with my "nothing new" challenge.  It really hasn't been difficult.  For anyone wanting to make a lifestyle change that includes reducing their environmental impact and promoting social justice, I recommend doing such a challenge.  A key to doing this is to 1) avoid all advertising and 2) avoid going to stores except when necessary (i.e., when you need food from the grocery store).  At the end of the challenge, I think you'll be surprised by how much money you've saved and how little you actually need.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

10 Reasons Why Men Should Not be Ordained in the Church

Priest 5
Today I'm going to have a little fun mixed with some serious business.  I've seen this list before and it really resonates.  It always amazes me the mental gymnastics that men in churches go through to keep women out of leadership roles.  At the photo exhibit I mentioned in an earlier post, a quote from the husband/father in one of the Christian families had my group puzzled. While he stated that the Bible was "clear" that only men could be leaders in the church, he also cited this verse:  "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ." (Galatians 3:28 NIV).  One of my friends was indignant and said, "That doesn't make sense. How can their be neither male nor female and yet limit women's role in the church?"  Yes, indeed; it is contradictory.  We're equal...yet not.

Recently, I was scanning some evangelical church websites, looking at photos of the church leadership, that is paid positions within the church.  Every single one I looked at was a middle-aged white male (I confess that I looked at predominately white churches so it makes sense that they'd be white.)  Yet who does the majority of the work in the church?  Women.  Women volunteers. Unpaid.  Oh sure, they get certificates of appreciation and gift Bibles and occasional luncheons to thank them for their dedication, etc., but they don't get the cold hard cash to compensate for their tireless work.  The few paid staff/leadership positions are almost always wives of the leaders, and these positions are usually in the children's area or they are "co-pastors" with their husband.  (Hmmm, interesting how the money always stays in the male leader's hands or household.)

Of course, we've come a long way, baby.  Thanks to the efforts of our foremothers, most mainstream and a few other denominations do have women leaders.  These are women who have gone to seminary to study for their leadership roles, separate and apart from who they happen to be in a relationship with.  It is the fundamentalist, conservative, and evangelical churches that tend to keep the women down. Even those few non-mainline denominations that officially accept women in leadership roles almost never actually hire women.  Sometimes this is because the men in charge think having female co-workers (i.e., anyone above the level of secretary - funny how it's okay for the secretaries to be female) would be distracting or affect their marriages or cause gossip. Yada yada. (I don't know how these guys could function in the non-church job market.)  Yet time and time again the scandals within the church are almost always caused by the behavior of male leaders.  (I only know of one female pastor who was outed for misbehavior and, again, she was a "co-pastor" with her husband.)  Why prevent women from being in leadership roles when it is the men who misbehave, despite the absence of female leaders or co-workers?  (We all know about the past church scandals.)

So maybe it's time to rethink positions of leadership and let the ladies have a go of it. Here's some of the reasoning:

10. A man’s place is in the army.
9. The pastoral duties of men who have children might distract them from the responsibility of being a parent.
8. The physique of men indicates that they are more suited to such tasks as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do ministerial tasks.
7. Man was created before woman, obviously as a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment rather than the crowning achievement of creation.
6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. Their conduct at football and basketball games demonstrates this.
5. Some men are handsome, and this will distract women worshipers.
4. Pastors need to nurture their congregations. But this is not a traditional male role. Throughout history, women have been recognized as not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more fervently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.
3. Men are prone to violence. No really masculine man wants to settle disputes except by fighting about them. Thus they would be poor role models as well as dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.
2. The New Testament tells us that Jesus was betrayed by a man. His lack of faith and ensuing punishment remind us of the subordinated position that all men should take.
1. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep sidewalks, repair the church roof, and perhaps even lead the song service on Father’s Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the church.
Don't you see the truth and logic in this?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wellness Wednesday

Here's yet another reminder to continue making wise food choices this year - and avoid long-term weight gain:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Morning Amazement

This young Vanderbilt student reminds us that, while hard work is necessary for success, you still have to take a chance and ask for what you want:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Quote for the Day

"I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is:  I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat."
~Rebecca West

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Social Justice Saturday - Human Trafficking

I don't know if anyone has noticed, but I haven't been blogging as much as I used to about social justice and other serious issues.  I'll address that in another post.  However, with January being Human Trafficking Awareness month and Valentine's Day just around the corner, I want to share an infograph.  What do the two have in common?  Chocolate.  Unless chocolate is labeled "fair trade," it's likely the product of trafficking in the form of forced child labor.  Innocent children are forced to work under harsh and dangerous conditions to harvest the cacao beans necessary for chocolate.  We present one another a token of love brought to us by those who don't feel loved.  Of course, there are all types of human trafficking that involved adults and children.  See for yourself:


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wellness Wednesday

Plastic.  It's all around us and very difficult to avoid, no matter how hard we try.  While we can't avoid plastic altogether, we can avoid certain types of plastic.  Here's a handy reference chart:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Taste of Tuesday

Last night I made some delicious sweet potato hash browns.  I prepared in advance to make them by dicing, blanching and freezing sweet potatoes from this year's harvest, so the recipe was quick and easy. Thanks to EcoGrrl for turning me on to them.  Below is a condensed version.  You can find detailed steps and hints at the original source, the blog Head in the Forest.  

Sweet Potato Hash Browns 
(using frozen sweet potatoes)

First, blanch diced sweet potatoes for 5 minutes in water that has lemon juice added to it, then plunge into an ice bath.  Thoroughly dry the sweet potatoes and spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Freeze, then transfer to a ziplock bag to keep until ready to cook.

2 cups of diced, blanched sweet potatoes
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. of chopped green onions
1/2 tsp. of Cajun seasoning
dash of sea salt and pepper (to taste)

To prepare your hash browns, heat the oil in a pan on medium-high heat.  Add 2 cups diced, blanched sweet potatoes.  Sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the green onions, Cajun seasoning, sea salt, and pepper. Sauté for another 10 minutes, until hash browns are browned and heated through.

Bon appetit!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Morning Amusement

Since I'm a vegetarian, I had to share this in its entirety (link to source is below).  Some or all are true for most vegetarians.

1. You will get overwhelmed at a vegetarian restaurant because you can order ANYTHING from the menu.

21 Things That Happen When You Don't Eat Meat
And not just the token vegetarian entree!

2. Someone will be confused about why you can’t just remove the pepperonis from the pepperoni pizza.

Someone will be confused about why you can't just remove the pepperonis from the pepperoni pizza.

3. You’ll eat your weight in hummus.

21 Things That Happen When You Don't Eat Meat

4. The server will enthusiastically explain the restaurant’s specials (which include filet mignon and pork chops), and you’ll have to smile politely the whole time.

21 Things That Happen When You Don't Eat Meat
Lol, not ordering that.

5. Jokes about “rabbit food.”

21 Things That Happen When You Don't Eat Meat

6. People will constantly tell you how they could “NEVER stop eating bacon.”

People will constantly tell you how they could "NEVER stop eating bacon."

7. You will get paranoid about your roommate using your pans to cook meat.

You will get paranoid about your roommate using your pans to cook meat.
Omelette residue :(

8. You will develop laser-sharp vision for identifying meat in buffet salads and sandwiches.

You will develop laser-sharp vision for identifying meat in buffet salads and sandwiches.
Thanks for NOTHING, potato salad with secret bacon.

9. Someone will apologize for eating meat in your presence.

21 Things That Happen When You Don't Eat Meat

10. Everyone will tell you about that time they stopped eating meat for “like six months.”

21 Things That Happen When You Don't Eat Meat

11. You will eat this at every steakhouse:

You will eat this at every steakhouse:

12. You develop fervent preferences for store-bought veggie burger brands.

You develop fervent preferences for store-bought veggie burger brands.

13. You will be secretly ashamed of how much you look forward to French fries.

14. You will have to decline three-quarters of hors d’oeuvres.

You will have to decline three-quarters of hors d'oeuvres.
And then you’ll get drunk twice as fast as everyone else because you’re not eating.

15. You will develop an overreliance on peanut butter and jelly.

You will develop an overreliance on peanut butter and jelly.

16. You will develop a really good elevator pitch for “So, why are you a vegetarian?”

21 Things That Happen When You Don't Eat Meat

17. You will realize that vegetarian sushi is both super tasty and not good at filling you up.

21 Things That Happen When You Don't Eat Meat
2 p.m.: cucumber roll

18. You will become hyper-paranoid about chicken broth.

You will become hyper-paranoid about chicken broth.
Is this soup made with chicken broth? Was this rice cooked with chicken broth? Are there chicken broth particles floating through the air???

19. You will leave weddings being totally hungry.

You will leave weddings being totally hungry.
Also, choosing between the steak and chicken options is kind of hilarious, because you’re just going to scarf the mashed potatoes regardless.

20. You will be able to scan ingredient labels for problems in the blink of an eye.

You will be able to scan ingredient labels for problems in the blink of an eye.

21. You will forget what meat actually tastes like.

21 Things That Happen When You Don't Eat Meat