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History Lesson

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So I imagine some people wonder how a Chicago raised city girl wound up out here in the Missouri wood. Now first my biggest reason for wanting to live here like I do is making sure my family has a good source of food, and that we get regular meals. This is because while I grew up in a middle class family (dad was a welder and mom went back to school to be a social worker). I married not long after high school to the biggest mistake in my life. The ten years I was with my husband we lived homeless and with little food for nine. This piece of work thought it was better to play things like video games, D&D and Magic: The Gathering and spend money on supplies for it rather than feed his family of five.

We had months where we’d be living on a pound of meat with about two cups of dry rice for dinners for all five of us. We were lucky we had WIC so we had cereal and peanut butter for the other meals for the kids. I generally wound up eating only once a day.

I eventually tossed my husband out (for something much worse but that’s not for telling now), and even though I lost the home my father bought me (due to my husband not paying the bills while I worked 2 jobs), I did get a stable home and job. Then I met Silver and we eventually moved here to live our dreams of being in the country and having food we know where it came from and is healthier to eat.

As for my desire to live in the country itself, I was never one who liked to be around people much. I get panicky around crowds, including going to town to buy food when we need it; or when we pay the bills. So living out here where I can be away from a large group of people and just be me I am happy. WE manage, even if we don’t get everything we want done here in a month. Biggest thing to me though is. We get the bills paid, we get the crops planted. We slowly add to our meat animals, and get all the buildings we want built. That so far is happening so I am happy.

Watching a commercial this morning while doing dishes made me think about posting this and to point out a few things. A lot of people think that there are countless people in other countries who have poor nutrition or not much food. That the people “over there” have to decide on if they pay their bills for their home or buy food for their family. Let me tell you, it’s a hard choice to make. When you are sitting there trying to make you money stretch to feed yourself and pay everything so you still have a home and power and put food in your kids’ mouths you wind up hurting yourself sometimes.

I still have a hard time eating three meals a day and most often than not I don’t even think about a midday meal, because if I eat breakfast I tend to not be hungry until evening. It’s leftover from only eating once a day and me learning what it feels like to honestly be hungry.

So now you know why I live out here in the woods and spend my time growing my own food and trying (desperately trying) to teach my girls that it’s a good thing to do.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed BE…

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Black Berries!

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That lovely picture is of this morning’s harvest or if you will the product of my foraging, as I got them from a location I didn’t plant intentionally. That is about 3/4’s of a gallon of blackberries in one morning! They are being frozen until the season is over and I have some rose hips, then I am making some jam and maybe some syrup.

It made me think though, as I had help after I had gotten 2 pints already on my own by at first my youngest… then my oldest and then finally the middle child. I –LOVE– fresh blackberries, not as much as fresh strawberries; but hey nothing adds up to them.

To me there is nothing better than putting into my mouth a blackberry just off the bramble that has exploded into my hand from being sooo ripe. Sweet with a lite bitterness that comes from natural sugars. I did pause this morning when I tasted a particularly sweet one, with a moan escaping my lips. As oddly, considering modern life I prefer my sweets in the form of berries now. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate… but it’s just not the same.

I think many kids and adults miss something good when they don’t eat something freshly picked, like fruit. It has it’s own flavor and it’s very unique. To me most of the processed sweets have all the same flavor, and it’s missing something.

The other part that I was thinking on is how my kids pick berries. Had I handed them my berrying bucket and sent them out I’d have been lucky to get maybe a pint. ..and the thing is it would not be because they were eating while picking. Part of it is they don’t seen them all on the brush. They also want to find the “perfect” berry. It really made me think when I realized that, as I just finished a book about primitive man(novel) and how they lived and that included gathering food.

If my kids had to rely on what we had found to eat.. they would wind up picking more of them. My youngest admitted that, so I told her then just think that way and we’ll have tons of berries to make things with. One or two blemishes mean nothing, and partly dried out? Come on, people pay tons of money to buy dried fruits; pick them yourself. It’ll do you some good to be out in the sun enjoying the fresh air… and grins getting covered in berry juice! It’s an old family pastime, that I think needs to be revitalized.

People use to spend whole days going out “berrying”, and they’d bring a picnic lunch and the dessert would be the fresh berries with sometimes some home made cake. To me that sounds much better than going to the store and “foraging” for a nice looking package of berries. As that is what you are doing when you are in the store turning the berry packs all around to check every angle until you find just the right one that looks to be “perfect”. WOW.. I just realized where my kids’ idea of perfection on berries comes from. As if you don’t do “perfect” on ones in the store you are likely to have rotten berries.

I don’t know if any of you remember seeing an older orange commercial a number of years ago from the orange growers. It had a woman explaining a ripe orange isn’t always fully orange, which tech if it’s green it’s not ripe… but the point is most people have no clue what “ripe” is… I certainly don’t know what a ripe wild blueberry looks like. So I am learning that, maybe true ripeness should be taught to all people; most of all children.

I hope everyone out there gets to experience the freshest of the season!

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Child Poverty in the US

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The following new article does not surprise me one bit:

 

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/05/30-6

 

The article shows that the US is listed as the second highest child poverty rate in developed countries worldwide. I know this exists as for almost a year me, my three kids, and their biological dad lived in a nasty trailer park outside of Chicago.

 

Now in this trailer park you had to walk past pimps, drug dealers, and gangs to just get into it. Then the trailer we lived in had no running water, no working toilets of any kind, and very little electricity. I had to feed my whole family on $20 a week, this was with me scrounging at food pantries when I could get to them via walking. I had to use a cut milk jug to empty out toilet we did uses twice a day… and trust me in the summer it was not fun. Then I had to find a place to dump it.

 

We spent that time living off of rice, ground beef, and grilled cheese sandwiches… along with peanut butter. We only had all of that thanks to WIC, because then my kids were young enough to still get it. So we did have milk and cereal as well, have you ever tried to make 2 large boxes of cereal last a month with 5 people…? I can.

 

The problem isn’t that poor people want to be poor, most of them truly want to work; and cannot find work. Even in big cities jobs are scarce, and people with obligations generally wind up less likely to get work. For a brief time I had to work and leave my kids home alone, hoping they would be ok so I could give them a place to live and food on their plates.

 

The big BIG problem with these rates is that in the US the general “public” doesn’t want to hear about poor children in the US. They prefer “those people” be in other countries. It’s not “our problem” to these people. I’m sorry but it is everyone’s problem, not just a problem “over there”; where ever that “there” might be.

 

There is a MAJOR homeless, and hungry problem in the US and we as a country need to do something about it. While I think the idea of the “backpack program” that is in a good portion of the schools is a good idea. I do have major issues with it. Most of the time when I had allowed my kids to be part of it when we first moved here, the “food” included was just junk. In my area the food is provided by donation, only; I don’t know if the same happens everywhere though.

 

I have seen the same with food pantries in my life. Donations half the time are outdated, or what you get makes little sense. Yes, people with no food are very happy to get it. Here is a good question though for in the cases of people with food allergies, how comfortable would you be to ask they not include something you are allergic to?

 

What if you receive something that requires milk to make and you have none and received none? I would like to ask all my readers out there if they chose to donate to food pantries please put some thought into what you get. If you are donating mac and cheese, include some evaporated or dried milk. I’ve made powdered mac and cheese minus butter but you NEED milk. Lots of times I would get mac and cheese (powder type) and no milk. I’d ask the food pantries all the time if they have any milk… “you have kids”.. granted they are standing next to me, but I say yes. “Sorry but we don’t have any”. Ok, fine.. then why ask if I have kids?

 

However I could spend hours going on about what happened in my life back then. What I experienced up till now even when I needed help and it was poor assistance. Or for some odd reason I did not qualify, even with kids. My main point here is, there is a problem with children in poverty; a BIG one. …and it needs to NOT be “brushed under the table”, it needs to be fixed; or at least worked on. Hell, it needs to be recognized by the general public.

 

What do you think?

The Gates Foundation

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Wonderful organisation right?  I really do wonder sometimes check out this article:

 

http://healthfreedoms.org/2011/07/18/131-children-vaccinated-at-gunpoint-in-malawi/

 

In this article their foundation used police to round up and vaccinate children at gun point, because their parents chose to not let them get vaccinated.  Now whether or not you believe vaccines are good, shouldn’t the parent’s choice in this matter hold some value?  The Gates’ are Americans they come from a country that supports freedom and the choice of the individual.  These people did not have much choice in this, one man was sentenced to 3 years in jail because his child died from measles and he refused to get his other children vaccinated.

 

quote from article:

 

The Gates banner says “Human Rights! We come generously bearing good gifts of health and peace,”take the gifts or else…get shot?

It is also clear that the Gates applaud and support this type of force. Either way, the children get shot.

 

Do you think this is a good idea?  Or even a good way to show these people the best way to care for themselves and their children?  By forcing it a gun point?  Personally I do not think so….

Incandescence of Low Blood Sugar

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Today after a phone call I received from the camp one of my daughters went too today I decided to look up low blood sugar.  Now I already know that I suffer from it, my son does; apparently so does my older daughter.  I had gotten a call from the camp she and her sister are at about 30 minutes ago.  Seems she collapsed while playing outside but is fine now.  Well to say that is odd for her is 100% correct, as it has -never- happened.  I did know that this morning because the girls were in a hurry to leave neither of them had, had breakfast.  I thought no big deal right as my son has the low blood sugar.  Well after I told the camp director that she had not eaten breakfast and that the kids had not had lunch yet they and I think it might be low blood sugar.

OK, so now I wonder; is low blood sugar somehow genetic?  Did my daughter “suddenly” develop it?  Is there something else I don’t know about this?

Well I spent the last 30 minutes trying to find out if it’s a genetic disorder, also if there has been any rise in low blood sugar in recent years.  I could not find any answer(s) to those two questions.  I did find one interesting article though:

http://www.whale.to/v/sandler10.html

Anyone worrying about low blood sugar might take a moment to read this info.  Now I get to sit and wonder if my other daughter will have the same problem.  I do think it interesting how this is popping up after we have stopped eating and ingesting most processed sugars.  I know I have the odd moment of feeling faint due to it, but not as bad as it use to be.  The thing I wonder about is once we are off the “food grid” will it change all of these blood disorders.  Me and my kids’ low sugar and Silver’s diabetes?

It will be interesting to find out as time goes on what happens to us health wise fully with this.

A word on our education system

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I thought I’d take a moment and comment on public schools today.  This thought came to me today when I saw my daughter reading a book she brought home from the school at the end of the school year.  Both of my girls brought some home.  What they brought home were histories and how-to books, the library was clearing them out.  Why?  Not because they were old, but because; they had no tests on them.

Personally that is just stupid.  My kids cannot check out of the school library a book just to read for fun unless it is on their “approved” test list.  To me this stinks of censorship… Especially when one of the books that they “allow” in the library is one called “The Compound” by S. A. Bodeen.  In this book a family rushes into a “fallout” shelter as the father thinks that a nuclear launch has happened.  The shelter has supples in it for 15 years “supposedly”.  Now they did not have all the children one of a set of twins did not make it and their grandmother did not either.  After about 10 years they were running out of food, due to some “mishap’s” that later you find out were not happenstance.  So to ‘suppliment’ their food the father convinces the mom to have more children… to well.. I’m just not mentioning it.. it’s disgusting. -ESPECIALLY IN A KIDS’ BOOK-!  To make matters worse.. because mom now has more children and she’s lactating the father tried to get the older kids to drink breast milk as they were out of milk.  Then because mom wasn’t  “producing” enough the father tried to convince his adopted daughter and the twin that made it to  “produce” more ‘suppliments’ for them.

Now… it might just be me but I find this disgusting, and it was my 11 year old who came home with it.  I am so glad that I read it before she did as I -will not- let her read it at her age.  If she wants to read it once she is high school age then she can.  I will not let one of my kids read about implied cannibalism, I’m wary of letting my  15 year old reading something like that.

If this is “approved” reading that they will then test a child on in 5th grade, I really do wonder if i should be homeschool my children.  Also not giving them other options to read just because they have no tests on them is utterly ridiculous.  What happens in this ‘modern’ world when you have parents to busy to make the time to broaden their kids’ minds?  Then you have robots, not kids.  i don’t normally get up in arms over what goes on in the world around me as I like to keep to myself.  However, this bothers me a lot.

How can you have people who can think for themselves if they are taught at a young age that you must only do -this- or you can only do -that-?  Please people… if your kids attend public school like mine do watch what they are learning, or you might be very suprised one day.

 

Be well and Blessed Be…

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