Saturday, February 28, 2009
The babysitting itself went fine. The only annoyance was an inside dog, which I am not used to. And I don't like dog hair- I guess I have dog-hair-phobia, which I don't know the scientific name for. I got to take care of a little girl for once, though, and she was really cute until about 2am last night after several hours of her crying hysterically every ten minutes. I would go comfort her, she'd go back to sleep, and ten minutes later we would repeat. Around 5am I just took her into my room. So it's gone well, and even though we got more snow yesterday I am hoping to get home safely in my tired state and go to bed early.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
They are also, I hear, looking for volunteers. I might look into it. Volunteering is always a great experience, and I plan to keep doing it, but money for food and gas has to come from somewhere! Don't quite know what to do about that.
Monday, February 23, 2009
It's a quote from George Mason, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 14 June 1778:
"[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, - who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia."
It's the boiling frog thing again, or is it a lobster, I always forget- It's easier to get people to gradually give up their freedoms rather than quickly and all at once.
Another daily email I get is Dictionary.com's "Word of the Day":
ellipsis \i-LIP-sis\, noun:
three dots used to show an omission in writing or printing; the omission of a word or words in text.
I guess I didn't learn much about grammar- actually, I know I didn't learn much about grammar in school, and I did not know what this word meant before today. I confess.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I don't have anything to say about Washington or Lincoln- enough has been said about them already. I want to post about a few of the Presidents you never hear about. Some of the Presidents have really heart-wrenching stories. For example:
Andrew Jackson: Two years after Andrew Jackson married Rachel Donelson, the Jacksons discovered that Rachel's first husband hadn't finalized the divorce papers. "All her life Rachel was unjustly slandered for her too hasty second marriage". During Jackson's campaign for the Presidency the story of Rachel's marriage was used by Jackson's opponent, and it upset Rachel so much that she took to her bed and died shortly before Old Hickory moved to the White house.
Franklin Pierce: Gave no speeches during his campaign and did not want to be President. "In January, just before coming to Washington, the Pierces lost their third and last child, a boy of eleven, in a railroad wreck. They were with him at the time and saw him killed before their eyes".
You don't often read much about some of the "middle" Presidents, and I was glad to learn a little about these lesser known men:
Chester A. Arthur: Lost his second campaign for the Presidency because of his "courageous reforms" in American politics, but he "won the gratitude of the American people."
William McKinley: McKinley's wife, Ida Stanton, lost her mother and two baby daughters in three years. "These calamities so shattered her nerves that she could not tell from one minute to minute when she would fall unconscious. With a Patience and kindness rarely seen, McKinley shielded her, insisted that she go everywhere with him and responded to her every summons." When he was not working he was by her side. When an assassin mortally wounded McKinley in 1901, he immediately whispered to his aides to be careful how they told his wife.
So who is your favorite President?
"The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife."
Saturday, February 14, 2009
1/4 C. butter
1 can cream corn
1/2 C. milk
2 beaten eggs
1/2 C. cornmeal
1/2 C. flour
1/2 t. bkg soda
1/2 t. salt
1/8 C. sugar
1 T. oil
Bake at 350 F in greased 9 by 13 baking pan, 45 minutes.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Robert E. Lee married Mary Anna Randolph Custis (1808–1873, great-granddaughter of Martha Washington by her first husband Daniel Parke Custis) on June 30, 1831 at Arlington House, her parents' house just across from Washington, D.C.
I can't help but admire Robert E. Lee- he had such a strong Christian character, and was a loving father and husband. I've enjoyed learning more about him through this book of original documents. It was saddening to read about the long separations of Lee from his wife and children throughout the years. It was fun to read how much Lee loved children, and how he urged his sons(but "with his daughters he was less pressing") to get married and have some grandchildren(To his son Rob: "You must get a nice wife. I do not like you being so lonely"). Lee died in 1870, when only one of his children was married and had a family. I was curious to see what happened to them after his death:
1. George Washington Custis Lee (Custis, “Boo”); 1832–1913; served as Major General in the Confederate Army and aide-de-camp to President Jefferson Davis; unmarried
2. Mary Custis Lee (Mary, “Daughter”); 1835–1918; unmarried
3. William Henry Fitzhugh Lee (“Rooney”); 1837–1891; served as Major General in the Confederate Army (cavalry); married twice; surviving children by second marriage
4. Anne Carter Lee (Annie); 1839–1862; unmarried
5. Eleanor Agnes Lee (Agnes); 1841–1873; unmarried
6. Robert Edward Lee, Jr. (Rob); 1843–1914; served as Captain in the Confederate Army (Rockbridge Artillery); married twice; surviving children by second marriage
7. Mildred Childe Lee (Milly, “Precious Life”); 1846–1905; unmarried
All the children survived him except for Annie, who died in 1862. They are all buried with their parents in the crypt of the Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
So it turns out that only two of his children married, and he never got to enjoy his grandchildren. At this point in my life, marriage seems to be the event of a lifetime, and I wonder why none of Lee's daughters were married.
One thing's for sure, the Lee family was serious about passing on family names, something people don't do much of today. It gets a little confusing sorting out all the Custis's, Roberts, Edwards, Carters and Lees in this book. One name I would like to pass on to my children is my Grandma's maiden name(and now my brother's middle name) which is, incidentally, Lee(reportedly a relation of R.E. Lee, but I doubt it).
"The southern Israeli city of Sderot sits right next to the border with Gaza, and it is the target of choice for Hamas and Islamic Jihad's Qassam rocket barrages. The first time I visited the city under fire was immediately after the Second Lebanon War in August of 2006. Israeli civilians were still on their way back to Haifa, Kiryat Shmona, and other urban areas that had been emptied of people when Hezbollah turned the northern sixth of the country into a free fire zone. Lebanese villages were still smoldering, and their dead were still being cleared from underneath rubble. Sderot, by contrast, seemed downright sedate even though rockets packed tight with metal fragments and ball bearings still fell from the sky every day."
I learn more about Israel and Gaza in the ten minutes I spend on his blog, than I would in either of our local libraries and all the TV news stations combined. Really- I am not exaggerating. I want people to know what is really happening in the middle east. It infuriates me to watch the evening news and see the terrorists portrayed as the victims! So if you're not reading Michael Totten's blog already, start now.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
I've never made any real candy from scratch- I never thought it was worth standing over a boiling pot “stirring continuously”, especially if the end result wasn't chocolate. So I had never made fudge until this past Christmas, when I found this recipe in one of Paula Deen's cookbooks. No boiling, very easy to make, and so very addictively tasty. And it's chocolate!
Chocolate Cheese Fudge
½ Lb. Velveeta cheese, sliced
1 C. butter
1 t. vanilla
1 C. chopped nuts
In separate bowl, stir together:
4 C. confectioner's sugar
½ C. cocoa
Stir the melted cheese/butter mixture into the sugar/cocoa bowl. Dough will be stiff. Press into greased 9 by 13 pan and chill.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
"Iron Jawed Angels is a 2004 film about the American women's suffrage movement during the early 1900s. It was filmed in Virginia, produced by HBO Films, and released in 2004."
I have to say that the filming was good and the actors were good, but beyond that not much of the movie was what I would call good. The heroine of the movie, Alice Stokes Paul (1885 –1977) "was an American suffragist leader. Along with Lucy Burns (a close friend) and others, she led a successful campaign for women's suffrage that resulted in the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920."
Born into a Quaker family, Paul was well educated(or some would say, brainwashed), spending almost ten years in different colleges and eventually completing a PhD in political science in 1912. Her dissertation topic was titled "The Legal Position of Women in Pennsylvania".
Some history from Wikipedia:
Paul's "focus was lobbying for a constitutional amendment to secure the right to vote for women. Such an amendment had originally been sought by suffragists in 1878. However, by the early 20th century, attempts to secure a federal amendment had ceased. The focus of the suffrage movement had turned to securing the vote on a state-by-state basis. When their lobbying efforts proved fruitless, Paul and her colleagues formed the National Woman's Party (NWP) in 1916 and began introducing some of the methods used by the suffrage movement in Britain. Tactics included demonstrations, parades, mass meetings, picketing, suffrage watch, fires, and hunger strikes. These actions were accompanied by press coverage and the publication of the weekly Suffragist. In the US presidential election of 1916, Paul and the NWP campaigned against the continuing refusal of President Woodrow Wilson and other incumbent Democrats to support the Suffrage Amendment actively. In January 1917, the NWP staged the first political protest to picket the White House. The picketers, known as "Silent Sentinels," held banners demanding the right to vote. This was an example of a non-violent civil disobedience campaign. In July 1917, picketers were arrested on charges of "obstructing traffic." Many, including Paul, were convicted
and incarcerated at the Occoquan Workhouse. In a protest of the conditions in Occoquan, Paul commenced a hunger strike. This led to her being moved to the prison's psychiatric ward and force-fed raw eggs through a plastic tube. Other women joined the strike which, combined with the continuing demonstrations and attendant press coverage, kept the pressure on the Wilson administration. In January, 1918, he announced that women's suffrage was urgently needed as a "war measure." Wilson strongly urged Congress to pass the legislation. In 1920, after coming down to one vote in the state of Tennessee, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution secured the vote for women."
The history of Woman's suffrage is something I had not thought about a great deal until now. I tried to find out if the movie was historically accurate or not, and the only thing that seemed to be inaccurate about it was Paul's love-interest, stuck into the movie, for what reason I don't know. You'd think in a feminist movie they could do without men. It disgusts me that the 19th Amendment was brought about through political pressure and antagonistic tactics, not by any reason or logic, and Congress passed the legislation just to get off the hook.
And I do disagree with the idea that women should have the right to vote. When America was founded, though the qualifications for voting differed from state to state, only land-owning male citizens could vote. John Adams was an advocate for responsible voters:
"The same reasoning which will induce you to admit all men who have no property, to vote, with those who have,.... will prove that you ought to admit women and children; for, generally speaking, women and children have as good judgments, and as independent minds, as those men who are wholly destitute of property; these last being at all intents and purposes as much dependent upon others, who will please to feed, clothe, and employ them, as women are upon their husbands, or children on their parents..."
The qualifications for an eligible voter was a State's rights issue, and by 1850 the last state had repealed the land-owners only law. But the point is, our founders didn't want mob rule, or a Democracy, where every individual votes, but a Republic, a country full of little family and state governments.
But which is the Biblical view: for or against votes for women?
"Reformed churches have generally believed that the New Testament presents voting as a leadership/representational issue that was only appropriate for men(1 Cor. 14:34-35; 1 Tim. 2:11-12, 1 Cor. 11:3-16) and this New Testament practice was simply the continuation of the Old Testament practice of voting by heads of households."
(Download the free PDF booklet "Universal Sufferage" here)
I think it hurts the family to undermine our Biblical family leadership- the Dad. And while I did learn quite a bit doing research on this topic, prompted by watching this movie, I think its messege is not worth two hours of anyone's time.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
God moves in mysterious ways,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Last week I finished book two of John Piper's Christian biographies series, "The Hidden Smile of God":
"John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd suffered in the midst of their kingdom labors. For Bunyan it was prison and danger for preaching the gospel. For Cowper it was life-long depression and suicidal darkness. For Brainerd it was tuberculosis and the "howling darkness" of American forests.
In these three biographies, John Piper explains how their steadfastness through trial sweetened and intensified their song of faith. The stories of how they suffered, how they endured, and how their affliction bore fruit will ignite radical Christian living, God-centered worship, and Christ-exalting mission.
Consider their stories and be encouraged that no labor and no suffering in the path of Christian obedience is ever in vain. As Cowper wrote, "Behind a frowning providence God hides a smiling face.""
I should have written my thoughts on the book last week, when it was fresh on my mind. The chapter on William Cowper was the most thought-provoking for me. The lifelong depression he endured was incredibly intense, so overwhelming, that I don't think I can comprehend how hard life was for him. The small experiences I have had with depression, though very small, makes me very sympathetic for him. Reading the chapter on his life brought back a question to my mind that I've discussed with people before: Can Christians commit suicide and go to heaven? If anyone has some good thoughts on this, I'd like to hear from you.
The part I liked best in the David Brainerd chapter was the line from his journal, "Oh, that I might never loiter on my heavenly journey!" I seem to be at a loitering stage in my life right now and it annoys me. The chapter on John Bunyan just made me put "Pilgrim's Progress" on my reading list. It was a good book, worth reading.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
A blogging World War Two Veteran: "Solomon Fein of Middlebury may be the unlikeliest of bloggers. Fein, who is 86, didn't learn how to use a computer until 10 years ago, when he was living in Flemington, N.J. Students at a high school were offering an afterschool class to teach seniors how to use computers, so he decided to give it a shot."