Today’s stories -
- New York’s Leading Lesbian
- Healthy Body, Sick Soul
- Sunday Death Discount
- Beach Bishop Busted
- Improv Doesn’t Pay
- A Predatory Lifestyle
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Psychology of self-esteem? What is it? Does it address cowardice? If so, how? I asked myself this when I first encountered the riddle. Well, at least it’s a riddle for my low-IQ’d grey and white matter within my cranium. Psychology is the study of the mind or behavior(s). Self-esteem, confidence/self-worth, or self-respect. These aspects of the riddle seem to be abundant in today’s societies. Why? I have a theory – commerce. If I tell you you’re beautiful, what is the ideal behavior to recapture such a wonderful privilege to hear me say those words again? A trip to the beautician? A new wig? Depilation of the eyebrows, a feathery mustachio, perhaps? Hmm!
Megan Ryam’s Voice - Ooh ooh! Pick me! Pick me! I love it when you say I’m beautiful and I don’t even have to go to the beautician, etc., to hear you say it. Your opinion is the only one that counts, my love. Self-esteem…ha! I remember when I was young in public school. They used to get us all together in the gymnasium and show us films about how to have good self-esteem. I mocked it then, but now I see it for what it was. A misguided attempt by society to help children feel good about themselves. It was misguided because good self-esteem can only be taught by loving parents and family members. All the public messages in the world cannot undo (or prevent) the damage done by one or more narcissistic parent, or a parent messed up in any other way like alcoholic, psychotic, etc. Just like in the old saying, “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”
Liam Marcus’ Voice – My personality is the result of society. Now that’s a statement worthy of study. What I have lived, how I have lived, how others affected me have shaped my personality. In essence, this must be true because psychology has taught us that through numerous scientifically deduced experiments, behavior can be shaped and that the environment is the epicenter of such a scandalous supposition. Now, one must define the environment. It could be one’s genetics as much as it could also be the outside world. Genetics? Sure. The body is in and of itself a world rich with life, of which is composed of an autonomous system. This system can be plagued with outside agents and affected, can it not? Therefore, it is in and of itself an environmental establishment capable of affecting our consciousness, and our actions, to say the least. The outside world – really bad TV, dangerous friends, melodrama, etc. – mixed with one’s internal ups and downs (arthritis, spasms, etc.) can ultimately add to a reciprocal action or inaction expressed outwardly or inwardly by the being. Don’t take my word for it. After reading this, how do you feel? How did you behave?
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Funny, you and I were discussing this the other day Marcus. I was telling you about how, since my eyes have been opened to Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), I seem to be finding it all over the place. Even the so called good guy characters have NPD qualities. It bothers me how so many characters in the hero role are actually antiheros. Especially in shows that are geared towards children and teens. I think this sort of influence teaches kids that narcissistic qualities are acceptable and even desirable. Take the movie Megamind for example. On the surface it is a harmless, goofy movie about a bad guy turned good, but I won’t allow it in our house. Why? Because 95% of the movie is spent showing him as a funny but obvious bad guy who converts at the end of the movie. Yay for conversion, but I fear it goes largely unnoticed by children. Let’s be honest, how many parents are out there who watch everything with their children and then explain the morals to them? Not even Marcus and I fall into that category. Try as we may to do it 100% of the time, we still fall short. I miss the days when good and bad were clear cut like in the Andy Griffith Show.
What do you miss from the good ol’ days?
Megan Ryan’s Voice – We’ve been making this recipe like crazy for the last two weeks so I thought I’d share it with you. Use it as a dip, sandwich spread, or anything else you can think of. This recipe is also a nice basic hummus that you can tweak to your own preferences, or jazz it up with other ingredients like avocado, tomato, olives, artichoke, etc., etc.! This is my modified version of the recipe from A Few Shortcuts, Click Here for the original. Remember, we use organic so if you use conventional spices, you’ll need to use more to get the big flavor.
What are your favorite extras to jazz up hummus? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
- 3 cloves fresh garlic (1 clove if using organic)
- 1 can drained organic Garbanzo Beans
- up to 1/2 cup water
- juice of 1/2 organic lemon
- 1 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or organic coconut oil
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 6 leaves fresh organic chive (optional)
- Throw everything but the water into a blender or food processor.
- Blend, then add water as needed, until desired consistency is reached.
- Place in serving dish and sprinkle with more paprika.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – We finally emerge victorious from a prolonged battle with Infant 0.9′s wicked diaper rash! We have cloth diapered her since the beginning and use an organic disposable at night. We did the same for Preschooler 4.9 although his disposables weren’t organic. In fact we use his same old cloths on her, because that’s the beauty (and $ saving) of cloth diapers. To make a long story short, she developed a large, painful looking, burn-like rash a while ago. Nothing we did made it go away. Out of desperation we switched her solely to organic disposables (ouch – SO expensive!) and the rash faded after a while. Switched her back to cloth and !BAM! rash city. Hit the reset button. Back where we started. So we sent an email shout out to our Catholic homeschooling group for help. Why not just go to the pediatrician? Because when it comes to curing things naturally and without prescriptions, we don’t have much faith at all in modern medicine. Once you read below, you’ll have a better understanding why. NO WAY would a pediatrician in our town have figured out the problem. They would have simply treated symptoms over a series of wasted office visits. Sad but true. We got tons of great advice from our friends, and now we’ll share with all of you the advice that won the day.
I washed all of her diapers several times in hot water alone, then once with a long soak with washing soda, followed by a few more rinse cycles in hot water. The washing soda balanced out the pH of the diapers as there must have been some buildup. The several hot rinse cycles removed any oily residue from the store-bought organic detergent (with fabric softener) I was using. An oily residue also would have trapped ammonia and contributed to the pH buildup. Click Here for the website that taught us about pH.
Then I made some homemade, organic laundry detergent using Dr. Bronner’s organic castile soap, washing soda, borax and water. It wasn’t much effort at all and yielded four gallons of detergent – yay! I made a liquid version of my friend’s recipe, but you can Click Here for a similar version.
In the meantime I used organic disposable diapers and liberally applied a homemade balm of organic coconut oil and tea tree oil with every changing – just in case it was a yeast/bacterial thing. The recipe is 10 parts coconut oil to one part tea tree oil. I used tea tree oil because it is anti-fungal, but diluted it with coconut oil because the tea tree can be quite strong. I chose coconut oil because it is anti-fungal AND antibacterial while remaining very mild.
Finally, I switched from using a wet diaper pail system (a plastic kitchen garbage can filled with water and detergent) to a dry diaper pail (no water/detergent). This also helps keep the pH neutral.
All in all, she has extremely sensitive skin. The same system that gave her a horrible rash was the same one (the diapers too) I used with our previous baby with no problems whatever. I guess it proves (once again) what one of my wise momma friends told me: Just when you think you have the parenting thing down, you get a new baby with a whole new set of obstacles to overcome
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Thanks be to God. We spent a few months battling the little one’s issue with her rash. Megan had to stop eating certain foods for fear that the foods may have been the culprits. Little did we know. Megan, don’t forget about all those baths in the natural goat’s milk soap we got from the local lady at the farmer’s market. It appears that the way to cleanliness isn’t always what doctors and commercial product companies have in mind for us. What I mean is that chemical soaps apparently aren’t reliable enough to keep us clean from everything. I personally wouldn’t mind doing it the way it is healthy and literally clean.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Yay! Last day of school! Summer has begun! I am probably just as excited about it as the boys. No more homework to grade for a while All they have to do over the summer is practice their typing skills, and once they reach 30 wpm, I’ll let them take a break from that too. I think we’ve all earned a little R&R this year…even if it is only for a couple of months.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – And study law, Scriptural and man-made. We are trying to determine which man-made laws contradict God’s laws and which ones are in agreement. The obvious ones are “thy shall not kill” and “false witness”. “False witness” is defamation. Something else we can claim in court when they try to pin some sort private jurisdiction over our person, is “thy shall love God above all things” – pursuant to their laws, here in Florida, it would be the Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1998, and Public Law 96.1211, “the Bible is the Word of God”.
Marcus’ & Megan’s Voices – We were shocked and appalled at this article. No more breakfast cereals in THIS house! We didn’t buy them on a regular basis anyway (too expensive), but we would buy organic sometimes when we got a good deal pairing coupons with a sale. No. more. ever. PLEASE take the time to click the link at the end of the article to read more than just this excerpt below.
THE DANGERS OF MODERN BREAKFAST CEREALS
from the Weston A. Price Foundation
Modern cold breakfast cereals are made by a process called extrusion. The grains are mixed or mashed with water to make a slurry and then forced out a tine hole under very high temperatures and pressures. The shape of the die on the hole determines whether the final product will be a flake, a little O, a puffed grain or a shredded grain (for shredded wheat or triscuits). Extrusion represents extreme cruelty to our grains.
The industry has convinced the FDA that high-temperature, high-pressure extruded grains are no different from non-extruded grains and has contrived to ensure that no studies have been published on the effects of extruded foods on either humans or animals. However, two unpublished animal studies indicate that extruded grains are toxic, particularly to the nervous system.
One study was described by Paul Stitt in his book Fighting the Food Giants: Stitt worked for a cereal company and found this study locked in a file cabinet.
Four sets of rats were given special diets. One group received plain whole wheat, water, vitamins and minerals. Another group received Puffed Wheat, water and the same nutrient solution. A third set was given water and white sugar, and a fourth given nothing but water and the chemical nutrients.
The rats that received the whole wheat lived over a year on the diet. The rats that got nothing but water and vitamins lived for about eight weeks, and the animals on a white sugar and water diet lived for a month. But the company’s own laboratory study showed that rats given vitamins, water and all the Puffed Wheat they wanted died in two weeks.
It wasn’t a matter of the rats dying of malnutrition; results like these suggested that there was something actually toxic about the Puffed Wheat itself. Wrote Stitt: “Proteins are very similar to certain toxins in molecular structure, and the puffing process of putting the grain under fifteen hundred pounds per square inch of pressure and then releasing it may produce chemical changes which turn a nutritious grain into a poisonous substance.”
The other study, also not published but described over the phone to Sally Fallon Morell by the researcher, Loren Zanier, was performed in 1960 by researchers at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Eighteen rats were divided into three groups. One group received cornflakes and water; a second group was given the cardboard box that the cornflakes came in and water; and the control group received rat chow and water. The rats in the control group remained in good health throughout the experiment and lived over a year. The rats receiving the box became lethargic and eventually died of malnutrition. But the rats receiving cornflakes and water died before the rats that were given the box – the last cornflake rat died on the day the first box rat died.
Before death the cornflake rats developed schizophrenic behavior, threw fits, bit each other and finally went into convulsions. Autopsy revealed dysfunction of the pancreas, liver and kidneys and degeneration of the nerves in the spine – all signs of “insulin shock.”
The startling conclusion of this study is that there is more nourishment in the box that cold breakfast cereals come in than in the cereals themselves.
Millions of children begin their day with a bowl of extruded breakfast cereal. Do the toxic protein fragments in these cereals explain why so many of our children cannot concentrate at school?
Although there are no published studies on the effects of breakfast cereals on the health of humans or animals, there is one published study which looked at the process of extrusion on the proteins in grains (Cereal Chemistry. American Association of Cereal Chemists. Mar/Apr 1998 V 75 (2) 217-221). The study looked at zeins—grain protein– which are located in spherical organelles called protein bodies, found in corn. The researchers found that during extrusion, the protein bodies are completely disrupted and the zeins dispersed. The results suggest that the zeins in cornflakes are not confined to rigid protein bodies but can interact with each other and other components of the system, forming new compounds that are foreign to the human body. The extrusion process breaks down the organelles and disperses the proteins, which then become toxic. When the proteins are disrupted in this way, they can adversely affect the nervous system, as indicated by the cornflake experiment.
By the way, health food stores also carry extruded grain cereals. These cereals are made by the same process, and often in the same factories, as the cereals sold at the supermarket. Usually these cereals are made with organic grains. Organic grains contain more protein than non-organic grains. . . Which means that these health food store cereals probably contain MORE toxic protein fragments than supermarket cereals.
Breakfast cereals are a bad deal, all the way around. They are very costly in terms of food dollars spent and their effects on our health. So much better to have eggs and bacon for breakfast, or soaked and cooked porridges with butter and cream. Click Here to read the entire article from the source.
Megan Ryan’s Voice - I made my in-laws recipe for chicken and rice soup this week and the Teenagers asked for an encore since we annihilated the first big pot in 24 hours. All of their recipes are delicious, and I try like crazy to duplicate them. Unfortunately, they don’t go by written recipes so I have to stand by, watch, and write it down the best I can approximate the amounts. As always, try to use all organic ingredients for the best flavor.
Rice & Chicken Soup
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, shaved into thin, irregular slices
1 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
1 red pepper, diced (or one 4oz. can pimiento)
6 leaves sawtooth culantro*
1 tbsp dried coriander (or ¼ cup cilantro chopped)
8 oz. tomato sauce or puree
1 whole chicken, deboned and cubed**
1 large potato, cubed
1 ½ cups rice, white and short grain
Water (or your favorite bone broth), enough to fill your pot ¾ full
1 – 1 gallon pot
Add sofrito to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for five minutes. Add all other ingredients. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until potatoes are done – about one hour.
*Sawtooth culantro is not too common so you can omit it if needed. The soup will still be delicious, but the culantro truly makes a difference. We grow our own specifically for recipes like this one.
**Pork or beef also works nicely. On meatless Fridays we omit the meat and use bone broth instead for the rich flavor.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Mark my word, an aneurysm may become her. She went out in the middle of the evening yesterday to no other place than a GMO lathered, chemically created doughnut shop. Yeeawk! The thought of it makes me want to…. Okay, enough with the guilt trip. How do you feel this morning, honey? Like a two-ton steak? That’s how I would feel. Hey, that’s all right. She has the right, right? We need to find a way to make and bake some wholesome homemade doughnuts. That’s all. PLEASE, anyone out there who may know how to do this… HELP! Yes, I know how to search the internet for something useful. However, I trust our friends and readers to provide us with something honestly, brutally, direct and wholesome. Okay, leave us your comments! God bless!
Okay, honey, what do you have to say for yourself? – Megan Ryan’s ‘confession’ - Okay, so I ate a donut. What’s the big deal? Okay it was three donuts…all in one sitting…and two more today. I only have a modicum of guilt because we eat so healthy the other 364 days of the year so I’m okay with a crazy splurge like this one. Surprisingly, I feel just fine. Actually, I feel GREAT! Not because of the donuts, but because I got a good night’s sleep for a change. Infant 0.8 only woke up twice and slept like a rock in between. <sigh> Thank you, Jesus. I was super cranky that (infamous donut) day because Infant and I got the worst night’s sleep ever the night before. She is cutting her top teeth so, woe is us. That’s why the emergency run to the donut shop after Preschooler was in bed, a little treat at the end of a looooong and cranky day. Hmmm, maybe all the donut junk I ingested got into my breastmilk and made her crash…
Infant 0.8 has been busy lately! She took her first few unassisted steps about two weeks ago, and now she will toddle a good eight feet or so all by herself and unprompted. She is almost two months ‘behind’ Preschooler when he started to walk, but she is much more sure-footed than he was. He was walking and falling/crashing all over the house, but she rarely falls. Instead she just plops down onto her bum, or catches herself with her hands. Bravo muñeca! You already know she says bye-bye, but now she is saying “Gah!” every time she sees one of our cats (cat = gata in spanish). Plus I just retired her infant car seat today and moved her into Preschooler’s old toddler car seat. I could let her sit forward-facing too, but I honestly think she would miss watching Preschooler 4.9 since he sits right next to her in our tiny backseat. He is a huge help when she gets cranky back there, plus he always tells me when she drops a toy, etc. Cute!
So waddya think? Is Megan going to keel over dead tomorrow from her splurge? How about a wholesome treat recipe of yours so she won’t have to go nuts next time?