Saturday, October 21, 2017

Fall Baking 2017



From Victoria:
Victoria Classics’ Fall Baking issue is a culinary tour de force and a kitchen companion that will guide you through a season of entertaining. With a focus on cakes, pies, and breads, we present the most mouthwatering offerings on a spectrum from sweet to savory, with the fruits of the orchard, where lemons, apples, and muscadines keep company with pears and figs; the ambrosial combination of chocolate and caramel, which combine to create a truly divine nectar; and a rich bounty that harnesses the flavors of the harvest, where coconut meets pumpkin, gingerbread embraces citrus, and those perennial enticements—pumpkin and squash—reach new heights of taste. (Read more.)
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Checks and Balances

From The Federalist:
When President Barack Obama was governing through executive fiat for more than six years, there was precious little anxiety from our elite publications regarding precedents of abuse or the constitutional overreach. Not so today. Take today’s post from Monkey Cage at The Washington Post: “Candidate Trump attacked Obama’s executive orders. President Trump loves executive orders.”
Trump might love them, but the content of these executive orders is more important than the number.

Whenever people criticized Obama’s overreach, the reaction was to demand that we contrast the number of executive orders signed by the president’s Republican predecessors (in those heady days “whataboutism” was not only tolerated but favored). This is an exceptionally silly, or perhaps just an exceptionally dishonest, way to compare presidential records. Bean-counting the sum total of executive orders tells us nothing useful about the effects of those orders; one action could be more consequential than 15 or 50. Most of Trump’s executive orders to this point have been either statements of intent, administrative moves, or reviews of Obama-era orders.

There’s nothing improper about executive orders or actions meant to implement law or derived from the Constitution. (Trump’s order promoting free speech and religious freedom, for example, didn’t go nearly far enough.) But there’s plenty wrong with executive orders and actions meant to circumvent those things. Not only did the last administration habitually craft what was in essence sweeping legislation from the ether, it often framed these abuses as good governance. “Congress won’t act; we have to do something” was the central argument of Obama’s second term. Every issue was a moral imperative worthy of the president’s pen. (Read more.)
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Brain Starvation

From Homeschool Your Boys:
I recently had the privilege of attending several seminars by Dianne Craft, who is a special education teacher and a nutritionist. Dianne shared some information with us that I had never heard before. She told us that sixty percent of our brains are made of fat. Thirty percent of that fat is in the forebrain, which is made of DHA, an essential fatty acid. The only sources of DHA are fish oil and mother’s milk.

Diane told us that we all need healthy fats in our diets to make our brains function properly. The corpus collosum, which is the bundle of nerves that connects the right and left hemispheres, is made of fat. The myelin sheath which coats the nervous system is also made of fat.

[...]

Our modern diets are deficient in good fats. We are told to eat margarine instead of butter, egg beaters instead of eggs, skim milk instead of whole milk, and to stay away from nuts because they are high in fat. A lack of essential fatty acids causes our bodies to become deficient in serotonin.
Serotonin has the following beneficial mental effects:
  • Creates a natural, antidepressant release in the body
  • Relaxes the mind
  • Instills a sense of well-being
  • Helps us handle stress
  • Keeps our mind focused
  • Promotes good sleep patterns
  • Helps us to have a positive outlook on life
  • Helps us control our impulses
Our society is becoming more and more deficient in serotonin. There are more people on anti-depressants than ever before. Children are being put on Ritalin and other psychotropic drugs at an alarming rate. Dianne informed us that Ritalin works by releasing serotonin in the body. If parents knew that they could help to positively affect their child’s body chemistry in a more natural way, do you think they would elect to put their child on drugs which may have harmful side effects? I think not. (Read more.)
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Friday, October 20, 2017

The Real Mata Hari

From The Guardian:
She was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle into a prosperous family in the capital of Friesland, Holland, in 1876. Despite her father’s relative wealth as the owner of a millinery shop, his speculation in oil shares ended in financial disaster and, penniless, he departed for the Hague. Her mother died when Gretha was only 15 and she was sent to live with relatives, away from her twin brothers. At 18, she responded to a lonely hearts ad in a newspaper and, four months later, was married to Rudolph “John” MacLeod, who was almost twice her age and a hard-drinking officer in the East Indies army. According to a relative, “she passed from the hands of a caddish father into the hands of a caddish husband”. (Read more.)
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How Socialism Ruined Venezuela

From the Mises Institute:
In order to understand the disaster that is unfolding in Venezuela, we need to journey through the most recent century of our history and look at how our institutions have changed over time. What we will find is that Venezuela once enjoyed relatively high levels of economic freedom, although this occurred under dictatorial regimes. But, when Venezuela finally embraced democracy, we began to kill economic freedom. This was not all at once, of course. It was a gradual process. But it happened at the expense of the welfare of millions of people. And, ultimately, the lesson we learned is that socialism never, ever works, no matter what Paul Krugman, or Joseph Stiglitz, or guys in Spain like Pablo Iglesias say.

It was very common during the years we suffered under Hugo Chávez to hear these pundits and economists on TV saying that this time, socialism is being done right. This time, the Venezuelans figured it out. They were, and are wrong.

On the other hand, there was a time when this country was quite prosperous and wealthy, and for a time Venezuela was even referred to as an “economic miracle” in many books and articles. However, during those years, out of the five presidents we had, four were dictators and generals of the army. Our civil and political rights were restricted. We didn’t have freedom of the press, for example; we didn’t have universal suffrage. But, while we lived under a dictatorship, we could at least enjoy high levels of economic freedom. (Read more.)
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The Perfect Mom?

From Making Her Mama:
People do judge us, though not usually as harshly as we judge ourselves.  In today’s culture, we are obsessed with perfection and it holds us to a level that isn’t realistic; with our bodies, in our homes, for our children.  We want to be the perfect mom, but this goal can be really overwhelming and isolating. And then you add in all the mom bashing that happens online, behind closed doors, and even face to face. It’s easy to feel like everyone is just doing better;  that others have it all figured out….and maybe there are some moms that do.

But, I’m not one of them.  I am not a perfect mom.

In my teen years, many people called me a baby whisperer.  I could calm any crying child and put kids to sleep without even blinking an eye.  And then I had my own children. Without strings attached, anyone can walk in and do something effortlessly for several minutes or even hours.  It’s a lot harder to do it day in and day out; especially when you aren’t sleeping well (or at all)!

If I’ve ever looked at your circumstances and thought to myself that I could do it better, I’m sorry.

I have run a daycare in my home and cared for multiple children on a daily basis.  I LOVED this job, it was busy, fun, crazy and great for my kids.  It made me want to fill up my house with little feet all belonging to me.

But, until I had 2 children of my own close together in age, I didn’t understand the demands on a mother of having little ones all the time.

I love them dearly and I am so grateful that I get to stay home and raise my children.  However, I apologize to you because I really didn’t understand before just how demanding and physically tiring it can be.  It’s a job that leaves all hope of being a perfect mom in the dust. (Read more.)
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Harvest Bounty


I tried the Roasted Onion Soup recipe and it was delicious. From Victoria:
As the afternoon sun begins to soften—gilding every leaf over hill and dale—loved ones gather for an alfresco fête. A pastoral setting provides an idyllic escape for experiencing the delights of fall. Counter an evening chill with the warmth of Roasted Onion Soup, garnished with fried shallots. Culminate the celebration with Roasted Butternut Squash Tart, where a thick cinnamon-molasses crust is crowned with a whipped cream-cheese filling, slices of the vibrant gourd, and walnuts. (Read more.)
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Hungary Hosts First Ever Government Conference for Persecuted Christians

From The National Catholic Register:
It is time for Europe to free itself from the shackles of political correctness, speak the truth, and face the facts about the violent persecution of Christians, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Thursday. In a hard-hitting speech delivered at the opening of the first major conference ever held by a government in support of persecuted Christians, Orbán said that the “forced expulsion” of Christians from parts of the Middle East and Africa are “crimes” against the people and communities concerned that also “threaten our European values.”

“The world should understand that what is at stake today is nothing less than the future of the European way of life, and of our identity,” he told the delegates in Budapest. Over 300 participants from 30 countries, including Christian leaders and representatives from think tanks and charities, gathered for the Oct. 11-13 international consultation on Christian persecution — “Finding the Appropriate Answers to a Long Neglected Crisis.” (Read more.)
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