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Everything posted by Doran

  1. Hey folks!! I know I'm new to many of you these days, so pardon me injecting myself here all of a sudden. And pardon me, again, while I step up on my soap box. :heaveshimmy: Here's the deal: You should totally take a moment out of your busy life to vote for Out of the Gray. You can vote, in part, because - like me - you love Mama Bear, and you trust that there is a great deal of integrity built into anything she touches. But, the more compelling reason is that it's the least you can do for a group of people who sacrifice SO MUCH in order to make their children's lives better. Better? Shoot, how about possible!? And, they do it by putting themselves last, day after night, after challenging day after sleepless night. Really, it's not much to ask. Just the click of a button. What a difference you might make. Hurry. Time is almost up!! http://brooksidefoods.maker.good.is/projects/nurturingcaregivers Thanks, folks. :shimmyheave:
  2. Been working as a freelancer for about 2 years now, though we'd starve if not for my husband's job. Actually, we may starve anyway, except that before becoming a freelance writer, I was a farmer. So, at least I know how to grow food! :D I write a monthly column for a local publication, and I have had numerous articles printed in the local paper. Sadly, none of these include bylines. Also worked with an environmental organization for about a year writing pieces for their newsletter. Though the reach was narrow, those, at least, included my name. ::sigh:: It's a tough road. I fantasize about writing books. Or -- let's be realistic here -- one book. But, I'm not even on the starting block with that dream.
  3. Nah, nothing that fancy. Just a simple name search, that's all. Pity, though. A bat beacon could be handy. :D
  4. :seeya: Hi, y'all! ThatCyndiGirl -- I'm a real hooman, and I used to be a real regular here. But, when my daughters went to public school in the fall of '08, I found myself feeling less and less apt to join in the discussions at TWTM. I do pop in every now and again (well, duh!) for a bit of nostalgia, or a good laugh. Back in the day, I often came up with sarcastic replies to posts that struck my funny bone. Like this, for a quick example: What is fair to charge...? Darlin', the way I see it, anything's fair as long as the hubster doesn't find out. Because, you know, "there are some things money can't buy." I think it's great that the tradition...and its variations...lives on. ;)
  5. I decided, well in advance, that I wanted my 40th to include my closest friends for more than an evening. I wanted time to BE with my community. I decided to go camping. The stars were most definitely aligned, because all of the people most important to me were willing and able to be there (I think we had about 8 families). We spent the weekend enjoying communal cooking, singing, laughing, swimming, talking. I will turn 50 in 2011, and in the decade since my 40th, while all of my birthday celebrations have been satisfying, nothing has compared to that trip. It was perfect! :D
  6. Life is treating me well enough, thanks. Hope the same goes for you, Kids.. Hard to believe it's been 3 years since I could legitimately call myself a homeschooler! :001_huh: Glad to see the ol' gang is still going strong.
  7. I don't want to wean the baby, but.... He's 25 and, well, it's getting a little embarrassing. Feminist Litmus Test? When you start burning your neighbor's bras, you're well on your way. Embarassing homeschoolers... I know, right? Like, they can't even spell or nothing. How do I cure ds of talking out of turn? Staple his tongue to the floor. Silly poll--Do you like raw bread dough? Do I ever!! The way it swells up in my belly, and makes me look like a Telletubbie. Whoa! That's the greatest. Guess what I found today? Your marbles?! If you borrow books from separate libraries, do you have a system... Why yes, yes I do. First I go to one library. Then I go to the other one(s). Hope that helps. May I scream for a minute? A whole minute? Or, maybe more like half a minute, or a quarter? Because really, a minute is a very long time, and if you're going to stand there shrieking for an entire 60 seconds, I'm going to end up with a wicked headache. So, I'm going to insist that you clarify yourself before I answer. Best tips for newlyweds...lay it on me. Sweetie, I think we need to start with the *on* part. Geography Birthday Party Huh? What? I'm lost. IF you are an evangelical Christian... You're going to want to tell everyone you don't wear pants!
  8. You guys are a stitch!! :smilielol5: You know, I sometimes wonder if there are people here who scratch their heads and go off Googling in puzzlement over who...or what...is "Doran." :D
  9. So, our schools are filled with teachers working to indoctrinate our children, such that they [might] end up with a general understanding of why it's useful to conserve resources, or important to stay out of gangs and away from drugs? How dare they propagandize our children that way! And, it's worst when they go after the very young who don't have the reasoning skills to discern what it is their commie/hippie/ fascist teacher is really trying to do. We need balance! I expect my child to understand that every story has two sides. Our children should also learn all the ways that plastic water bottles are saving lives all over the planet, how gangs give our youth a place to belong, and drugs expand their minds and financial opportunities! Honestly, people. I view this as a straightforward assignment: It purposefully involved parents, and possibly engaged the child in thoughts about how personal choices may impact more than just one person. Why does it have to become a subversive plot to turn children into environmentalists (oh the horror!!)?
  10. I'm not 100% certain, but I'd be willing to bet some money that it's pokeweed. Also known as poke, pokeberry, and others. It matches my memory of what it looks like, though photos via Google mostly show the plant in its mature state, so it's harder to tell. The fact that it's coming up willy nilly all over the place speaks to a weed, not something intentional. Do you have a Cooperative Extension office nearby? You could send the photo to them (Penn State surely has one) and see if they could give you a positive ID. If it is pokeweed, you'll want to dig it out now, because the roots on those beasts are about 100' long when they are mature. :glare: Hope this helps.
  11. When our family was first starting, we lived on a farm (caretaker situation - we did not own it). For 13 years, we lived the consummate country life, raising produce, chickens, living in a wide open space. Like others, it took us 15 minutes to get to the nearest grocery store and 30 for most of our events and for big shopping days. We always felt we'd relocate one day when our children approached their teenage years and would want to have greater access to friends and jobs. So, three years ago, we moved "to town" when our daughters were 10 and 12. The town we live in is very small and quaint, a place where it is safe for children to walk around independently. We are loving it!! It was so hard for me to give up the idea of leaving all that space, and the access to fresh food. And, yes, I absolutely miss those things on some level. But, the benefits of (1) living in a place where I don't have to drive my kids somewhere everyday in order for them to feel connected to the world, and (2) living within walking distance of the library, grocery, restaurants, etc. has been a joy for us and well worth the trade-off. Yes, as has been said already, it is a very individual choice. The grass isn't really greener in either location, and every place has pros, cons and compromises. Personally, I'm happy to be spending this chapter of our lives in a place that affords my children access to the life they crave without me having to be the one to take them there. That's important to me.
  12. Four years ago, at the age of 44, I decided I was sick of dying my hair. I had mostly used the permanent vegetable dyes available at natural food stores (Naturtint), except for a single professional coloring years earlier, which I disliked, and true henna before that. I'd been covering gray since the age of 29, and I was ready to be free of that drudgery. Contrary to the poster who felt she wouldn't want gray hair until she was in her 60s, I believed I would want to "go gray" even less in my 60s than at a younger age. I figured, by then, other parts of me might not look so youthful or perky anymore. For me, it felt smarter to let the gray show when I was still "youthful" in most other ways and could handle the emotional struggle of the transition. And, yeah, it was kind of a struggle. Its hard to let the world see the real you. And, it's easy to consider copping out part way through and just go back to coloring...especially when/if you get the two tone thing going, like I did. But, now that it's done, I'll never go back! I get compliments on my hair, and I finally feel like the real me. My hair is long, thick, curly, and slow growing. The last few times I colored it, I chose gradually lighter shades, which, by the last coloring, faded to nearly blonde (my hair is/was naturally a medium-dark brown). That way, when the gray came in, there was less of a contrast. I chose to not cut off the length of my hair, instead pinning it up in ways that sort of masked the bi-color thing. A lot of women go with a short style to decrease the time it takes for full grow out. Others follow suggestions you've been given here. I just wanted you to hear from someone not yet 50 who now sports a head full of gray! The other day, I was talking with my teenage daughters about how it seems pubescent girls all strive to look 20-something, and how older women all seem to want to look 30-something. And how that just seems crazy to me!! Living beings age, but human females are the only group I know of who work so danged hard at hiding that from the world. In Native American tribes, age - and the gray hair and wrinkles that come with it - was laudable and indicative of wisdom. I've guess I've struck out on my own little personal mission to bring some reality back into the aging process. :D Here's a website you may find inspiring/helpful. I've attached a photo that shows more of my hair than me. Best wishes!
  13. I haven't read this entire thread, but perusing the first handful of posts makes something fairly clear: sourcing healthy/ethical food at the typical supermarket is very difficult. This, in a nutshell, is one of the key components of brokenness of our food systems. Grocery stores, for the most part, carry commercially produced products, most of which are neither especially healthy or ethical. So, with that caveat, here are the recommendations given by Michael Pollan in his recent book, In Defense of Food: (1) Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. (2)Avoid food products containing ingredients tat are (a) unfamiliar (b) unpronounceable © more than five in number or that include (d) high-fructose corn syrup. (3) Avoid food products that make health claims. (4) Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle. (5) Get out of the supermarket whenever possible. So, there's that. As an idea for how to source foods in your area that you may not know about, try the Local Harvest site. A CSA might deliver somewhere near you. Finally, since it's challenging for you to get to your Whole Foods or other "far away" places regularly (I put "far away in quote because I lived 13 years in a town which was 30 minutes from any decent grocery, and even now, the Whole Foods is 1.25 hours away. :)), you might consider asking around for others who might want to co-shop with you. Farm visits, etc. get a lot less bothersome when you're splitting up the burden with 3-4 others. Worth a shot? Good luck!
  14. Poinsettias are native to Central America. They'll drop their leaves in temps below 50° or above 80°. You'll not have much luck with them outside unless you live somewhere other than where your screen name suggests. ;)
  15. ("No, thanks, I'd prefer if you lied...") :001_huh: Seriously (grin) I considered myself fortunate to be able to watch the premier show while visiting my mother this weekend. We don't have t.v. at home, but I knew about Mr. Oliver's ambitious plan from watching his TED award presentation. That this topic has finally made television is a watershed moment. That the outcome will be positively predictable is..well, predictable. That Mr. Oliver is a Brit makes absolutely no difference. That our food and food systems (particularly institutional) are haywire is evident, and I'm glad someone is finally bringing this to the public eye. I share Mr. Oliver's passion, but don't quite have his clout. :D
  16. What a sweet, pink, dumpling! Goodness is she ever precious!! You must be beside yourself with joy. Again, congratulations! :001_wub:
  17. Oh. From here? Sorry, can't help with that, but my reply will help bump your topic up all the same. I recently made a variation of this one. I used kidney beans, which are a little too large but all I had on hand. And, I didn't use andouille sausage, because...yup, didn't have them on hand. Instead, I threw in a ham hock. We put it over precooked rice, and it was a huge it. Good luck.
  18. Pictures? No! Where are they? Congratulations to you!! :001_smile:
  19. My avatar came into being during a particularly momentous time on this board, well over a year ago. A new term was coined, thanks to the wit and wisdom of women like Amy Loves Bud and Nicole M, while a whole bunch of women, and a few men, had a discussion that many thought they'd never, ever have, and certainly not on a homeschool discussion board. America was in the final months of its Presidential campaign, and tensions here ran as high as they did across the nation. My avatar seemed an appropriate way to cement the tenor of the times and to remind me, again and again, just how much can be accomplished over a good cup of tea.
  20. I've been the friend who has drifted away and also the one to see friends drift. For the most part, I've let it go, reminding myself that they will always care about me, and I them, but that intimate friendships do have a way of evolving into something different over time. Quite often, it's distance or life circumstances that create the environment for change, and for most relationships, those things are difficult to bridge. I'm sorry it hurts. There's no harm in continuing contact, intermittent or not, as long as you accept that it's likely to be rather one-sided. I suppose making that choice comes down to whether maintaining the relationship is "worth it" to you. Would it, eventually, be less painful if you let them go completely, or would you prefer to know that there is still a thread of contact between you, regardless? Hugs.
  21. If I could have my very first pick, I'd pick a dual fuel range - gas cooktop, electric oven. But, since those are out of my price range, I voted for gas. I can manage using a gas oven without too many ill effects (I don't bake a lot of confections or things that require oven precision), but I hate cooking on an electric cooktop.
  22. You might be able to work with a friend who has a DVD burning feature on his/her computer. Otherwise, check out the services at Kodak, Shutterfly, and Snapfish.
  23. As I understand it, he is actually very approachable. But, probably less so when he's faced with a room full of "adoring fans." (Still, the photo is a keeper!) Here on the right coast, our former landlord's daughter & husband bid at a fundraiser on an auction item for a dinner with him. Pretty sure it was in Berkley. They spoke very highly of their time with him, and of his knowledge and accessibility. I agree w/ Carol in CA -- he has a gift for synthesizing a lot into a sparkly gem. He has made some huge inroads into a very broken system (as, btw, have you and Hans), and I respect him tremendously for that. I'm glad you got to attend the talk, Colleen. At least it may inspire you a bit to continue working so hard at what you do. Oh, and yes. Facebook. Let me know if you ever get over there. ;)
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