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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Dressing, whether made from chicken or turkey bits, is a wonderfully variable and easily adaptable snack. Today, partially because I didn’t shop in time for the ingredients I listed on the last post (the stores were all out of raw sunflower seeds – go figure), and partially because things otherwise never go as planned, I made several substitutions and variations in the recipe for the Pecan, Mushroom, Sunflower Seed, Turkey Dressing.    Dressing is a very forgiving kind of food.  It doesn’t mind if you change things up a bit. When you vary things, use your nose to decide what goes together.  Use an extra fork or spoon and your tongue to determine how much of something is needed.

1) I didn’t spread the butter and spice mixture on the bread before it got dried out.  I added it to the cooked turkey giblets instead.

2) I didn’t leave the all the giblets in the pot as my cats were begging, and I took pity on them (the smell was driving them crazy).  I gave them the liver and heart, and other small bits from the neck bones.(there was plenty of meat left as I did have the two turkey wings in it).

3)  I added a whole cup of chopped Hazelnuts to it.

4) My turmeric had previously been combined with some curry powder, thus, my recipe now had added ginger and some other unidentifiable spices into it.

5) To compensate for the ginger, etc., I added more of the full bodied Molasses, all total, about 1/4 cup full bodied type.

6)  I added a little more iodized salt (salt to taste)

7) I toasted the bread to get it dried in time.

8)  I used hot dog buns instead of bread slices.

9) I used 1/2 cup of roasted in the shell sunflower seeds, painstakingly taken out of their shells by me and my youngest daughter ( it was so hard not to eat them while doing so).

10) I added  a little more butter to the pot of cooking meat and all, etc.( It makes so much difference in the way things taste).

As the meat, nuts and seeds cooked down I added water along the way to maintain enough moisture to be able to stir it all into the dried bread chunks.  All in all, I had a whole sauce pot of ingredients when I finally added it all to the dried bread in the pan.  I had enough left over that I added the rest into the already slow cooking turkey in the crock pot (I have a 6 quart crock pot that I used for the turkey, hence, no wings on my bird).

Yummmmm….. it smelled so good, I could hardly stand to wait for it.  It’s a good thing I’m the cook, I got to taste test things all through the process  🙂

This happens to be another great way to use up turkey left overs.  Make several different types of dressing out of it.   It tastes good with many different meals, and works well as a cold refrigerator snack as well.  Happy cooking to you all.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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I don’t know about you, but I always have enough left over turkey to feed my family for another three or four days. Who wants to eat the same thing for three or four days, if they can help it? not to mention that what’s left are the parts I don’t enjoy as much (of course).
So…. What to do with the leftovers…..

My favorite way to eat leftover turkey is as barbecue sandwiches.

Tear up leftover turkey (as much as you want to prepare at a time)
place in large saucepan or large frying pan ( Whatever works for you)
Pour your favorite barbecue sauce all over it,
heat it up together, stirring until it looks all shredded together,
Place on your favorite bread, with or without mayo,cheese, lettuce, etc.
Eat and enjoy.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I told my family that I didn’t want the usual sage type dressing. This year I want something yummier. So this is my new turkey dressing recipe for the year 2011.
Also, since my oven is broken, I’m using a toaster oven for all my baking. This is going to be baked in a pan that happens to fit inside it. My turkey is being de-boned and cooked in a slow cooker as a turkey roast.

The day before you cook this, lay out a full loaf of sliced bread. Brush both sides of each slice with a combination of:
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1 tablespoon paprika,
1 tablespoon turmeric,
1 pinch of saffron,
1/2 teaspoon salt.
Make sure all these ingredients are smoothly combined before brushing onto the bread slices. Let the bread slices dry out over night.
When bread slices are dry on both sides, but not all through the middle yet, tear or slice into little pieces. Then let the pieces finish drying all through.
If there is any spice mix remaining after brushing onto the bread, save it for the next days mixture.
When bread chunks are dry through.
Cook the turkey giblets in a large saucepan.

In a 2 quart saucepan combine:
The turkey neck, gizzard, wings (if you are roasting the whole bird, leave out the wings), liver and heart with 1 1/2 quarts of water.
Add1/2 teaspoon iodized salt. Boil down until the meat comes off the bones.
When done take the bones out, but save the meat and the broth. There should be about two cups of liquid remaining.

While the meat is boiling:
dice 1 whole onion, and
crush 1 garlic clove
(if you don’t have these you can substitute:
1 tablespoon onion powder and
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
Chop and combine:
1/2 cup of pecans,
1 cup of diced Portobella mushrooms
1 cup raw sunflower seeds.
1/4 cup Golden Molasses, or 1/8 cup dark molasses.
Combine all these ingredients with the turkey giblets and remaining broth.

Place your dried bread chunks in the pan you are going to bake them in.
Add the two cups of turkey broth with the other ingredients added to it and stir thoroughly. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour, or until dressing is the consistency of a heavy bread pudding. The time may vary some depending on the oven you cook it in. The mixture should hold together when sliced, but not be dry.
Serve in the same pan it was baked in.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I have been pondering this for a while.  A recent article that oddly mixed news of whale bones and Hooters waitresses in the same article got me thinking about it again.  Someone at a Career day in a special needs school got offended that a person who was a waitress at a Hooters restaurant was speaking to the children about her type of work; that is, serving tables in a Hooters restaurant.

Wow.  I thought.  What is her problem?  Does she never go out to eat?  Maybe she only eats in fast food restaurants, or buffets, and doesn’t let anyone wait on her.  Or maybe she only cooks at home and does all her own serving.  Still, even if that were the case, why look down on someone who is taking food orders and delivering it to people who want it that way?

If this is because of the pay scale…..  again, I say Wow.   This is a subject that seriously needs addressing.  The inequalities present in our system are there because we put them there.  We choose to place one person’s type of work above another’s, in spite of the fact that we want all those different types of work to exist within our society.  We choose to assign different levels of pay to those different types of work, in spite of the fact that all the types contribute to the smooth functioning of all our lives.

Does the person who works in the tall buildings with the corner window office actually believe they would be able to do their job as well without all the things provided him or her by all those people interacted with on a daily basis?  What makes you think that the  person serving you your coffee at the drive up window, to help you be alert and ready for your job,should be paid less than you?  Or the person who cleans your suits to make you look presentable for your other interactions. Why is their  job considered less valuable than yours?   The arbitrary dollar value someone places on the different jobs is not actually a good indicator of the worth of either the person doing the job, or the necessity of the job being done.

The fact that some people had to pay large amounts of money out for a required education is sometimes used as a justification for charging higher fees for services.  That is a subject for another day, but suffice it to say, that the founding fathers wanted our nation to be educated in order to compete with other nations.  A College education should be free for all our people, all the way through a Bachelors degree, since that is what is required to be competitive.

If we take out the need to repay the educational dollars as a reason to assign an arbitrary dollar value, that leaves just the expense of doing the job.  For doctors, that would mean more, since their equipment is more expensive (shared offices help with that),  and the liability issues become another factor (torte reform).

Some people believe that the number of people served is a justification for an increase in pay scale.   Does the person who thinks this live on an island, entire of itself?  Yes, that is a reference to Don John.  We do not exist without each other.  There is no real independence except for hermits who live in caves in the hills or holes in the desert, and they don’t get paid by anyone.

The garbage collectors in New York city proved that they are a necessary and valuable part of your existence.  They had to stop doing their job to make you acknowledge it, but you finally gave them their dues.  Now they get paid a better wage.  The person who harvests the food that you eat is also worthy of the same consideration.  Alabama is now finding out just how valuable that job should be.  No one who is Not an “undocumented worker” will stay with the job at it’s current pay scale.  The tomatoes are rotting in the fields because there is no one to pick them.

The person who drives the bus to carry so many people to work is valuable, and so is the person who drives the bus that carries your children to school so that they may have the ability to properly co-exist with others both in the now, and in the future. Why should their pay scale be so low?   Or the teacher who shapes their views of the world?  Why should you think that the advertising executive should get paid so much more than the street sweeper?  Does the advertising executive actually improve the most people’s live’s?   The street sweeper keeps the streets in a state of clean that makes it possible for many people to walk about or drive on it in a reasonable condition.  The successful advertising executive only improves the lives of  those who work inside the firm that they work for.  Why should you respect the advertising executive, and not the street sweeper?

Why should the worker who serves you the hamburger be despised for their work?  Are they not giving you something you want?  Are they not providing you with a valuable service?  If you wanted to be serving yourself, you’d be in a different restaurant, or at home, making your own food.  If you don’t directly benefit from someone who serves hamburgers for a living, then you benefit indirectly.  The hamburger server provides a service to many people.  All of them members of your society, in one context or another.  When someone, anyone, provides any service to you or any member of your society, that you could not, or did not want to do for yourself, that service is valuable to you, and should not be dismissed as beneath you; neither the work, nor the worker. They have added value to your life, they are worthy of your respect.

I’m still pondering the ways and means of how we could change things in a fair way, to raise the pay of one type and lower the pay of another type of work until we all get paid the same for an hours work.  Maybe this isn’t possible, given that no one would then harvest the food, being as it is harder work than sitting at a desk writing.

Hah!  Wouldn’t  that be something, when the food harvester gets paid more than the advertising executive.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I had the privilege recently of guest writing on my daughters blog.  So I’m introducing her to you and it’s her turn to be a guest on my blog.  After reading the post I just published, she was laughing, and wanted to comment on the value she thinks milk brings to my life.

Here she is, Just call her Naomi:

Well, I know that my mother definitely drinks more milk than I do. She was able to open up the pickle jar earlier when I could not.

I definitely know not to mess with my mom. She could easily break my arm if I ever tried to oppose her physically. But of course I’m never going to do that and she will never break my arm, even if I did physically oppose her. She’d more likely smack me down since it’s quite effective when it comes to me 🙂 otherwise all she has to do is yell.

Now she’s ranting about the milk again (lol) and pacing the kitchen. This is how much she loves whole milk. I myself love whole milk but can occasionally settle for 2%. I hate 1% and skim. You give either to me in a glass and I won’t touch it. Skim milk just tastes like water. Yes people, we love our whole milk and don’t like it when it’s been tampered with.

Don’t reduce the fat to 3% and call it whole milk. It won’t work. Us whole milk lovers will most definitely notice. And don’t try to replace it with something else because again we will notice.

My opinion, whole milk is sacred and should not have to be changed. If it is changed it is not whole milk.

I’m going to apologize up front.  This is going to be a rant.  A Milk Rant.  I love whole milk.  It’s my favorite drink.  I grew up on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and whole milk.  They were the main staple in my picky-eater diet.  Milk is still my mainstay.  Whole milk. It’s my go to food when I’m in a hurry.  It’s my re-hydrater after a really hard work out. It’s my snack between meals, and my treat when I get home from work.

For a while there, when I was a child, we even had real, whole, un-homogenized milk straight from the dairy farm.  That milk had a Lot of cream in it.  It would rise to the top when the milk sat for a little bit.  We would skim part of it off and put it into a quart jar and shake it for about 45 minutes and turn it into butter.  Even after we did that, there was plenty of cream left in the milk to make it taste good.  It was wonderful milk.  And I never got fat on any of it.  We just didn’t have the total caloric intake to make that happen. Not for any of  the 13 of us (including step siblings).  We weren’t starving, but we didn’t any of us get heavy.

The milk at the grocery store had to have at least 5% volume of cream left in it to qualify as whole milk.  It tasted pretty good.  Then they came up with 2% Milk.  Yechchch!   And then 1% milk.   Bleh!   And the final insult was the even worse skim milk, which had no taste of milk at all, just awfulness. Ptuie!!!!

So Ok, I bought 5% pasteurized homogenized milk my whole life.  Until lately.  What is this stuff?  I bought a gallon of milk with the red cap on it, like it always had when it used to say it had 5% milk fat in it.  My mouth was watering for it.  I was all set to quench my thirst with that rich cool liquid food.  I filled a mug with it and raised it to my lips, poured it over my tongue and swallowed.  “What,  I thought, is wrong with this?”   I tried it again, savoring the liquid for a bit to sort out what was different.  “It tastes like it doesn’t have enough fat in it”, I thought.  I called my teenage daughter over and asked her to try it. She likes milk almost as much as I do.  She raised the cup to her lips and tasted the milk.  A puzzled expression came over her face.  She tried it again.  Yep. she said, it’s 2%.

We both looked at the labeling, in case we accidentally bought some that said 2% but had a red cap on it.  Nope.  There’s no indication at all of the percentage of total milk fat.  They have changed the labeling.  It doesn’t say what the cream percentage is anymore.  It has a whole lot of percent daily value per serving going on in it, but nothing about the volume of cream in the milk.  I compared the new jug of milk to an older jug that I bought from a different store.  We had drunk that milk and then cleaned out the jug and put water in it for emergency storage.  Surprise, it too had no indication of the total percent volume of milk fat in it.  That gallon of milk, though, didn’t taste like 2%.   It  tasted normal.

So, what is the deal?  Why the change in labeling?  Are you trying to change over all the milk to a lower fat volume without us noticing it?  It’s not going to work for those of us who are true milk lovers.  I never liked the 2% milk.  It’s barely recognizable as milk.  It’s tolerable if it’s added to sugary cereal, or if you add chocolate to it, but otherwise I’d just as soon not drink it.  By the way, adding 2% milk to sugary cereal doesn’t reduce your total caloric intake.  It raises it. No fat, plus sugar does not equal a diet food.  And who wants to drink a glass of reduced fat milk with a carrot or an apple anyway?  No one.  It’s wholly unsatisfying and therefore will not work.

Stop the nonsense and get back to real food.  The milk fat levels for whole milk should remain at 5%.  And put it back on the label!

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A report on the Fox news channel in Michigan highlights the progress we’ve made as a nation, or lack of it, in the last 60 years.  It  has never been made more evident than by the threat from a city in Michigan to a woman growing a vegetable garden in her front yard how much freedom we’ve lost to the never ending cycle of create legislation to appease the complainers.  Imagine the effrontery.  How dare she attempt to feed her family with home grown vegetables, and then flaunt it by planting the garden in her front yard.

Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan used her front yard to showcase a very orderly vegetable garden.  Someone in her neighborhood complained that she shouldn’t have it in the front yard.   The city of Oak Park decided to interpret a city ordinance that stated that a front yard should have suitable live plant material in it, to mean it should only have grass, trees, and flowers.  No vegetable garden allowed.  At least, it’s willing to spend a lot of taxpayer money to go to trial over that.  I guess they didn’t get the memo from the First Lady.  Vegetable gardening is good.

In my opinion, the woman should be given an award for community service.  Her garden will help those around her who may not have as much knowledge of gardening, to understand more about where our food comes from; not only that, but growing her own food may be helping her stay off of food stamps.  If she can help teach others how to grow food, maybe some of them could avoid food stamps too; or at least, not need as much help from the state.

I’ll go a step further and say that we should require that people who live in government housing grow vegetable gardens in their front yards, and give them the seeds and the assistance from the county agricultural extension agent to succeed at it.  In a time where every state and city and community is stretched to it’s max for tax dollars, we should be encouraging people to grow their own food where ever a garden can be grown.  Front yard, back yard, side yard, or roof-top garden.  It’s all good.  It’s all food that helps people live better.

We should support her efforts.  Create your own community protest and spread the gardening.  If your front yard gets good sunshine plant some vegetables in it.   A little border of lettuce, some radishes, a cucumber growing up the trellis.  Tomatoes in pots on the doorstep (they used to be grown for their decorative quality).  Put onions in the planters with Marigolds, and potatoes up against the porch.  Grow a pumpkin around a corn stalk, or a patch of Sunflowers with squash in between.

Do you like flowers better?  Look up the plants for an edible flower garden.  All lilies are edible except Lilies of the Valley.  Hibiscus flowers dried and powdered and added to water make a great drink. Hardy Kiwis are beautiful green and pink vines (you need a male and a female) to grow over an arbor. Plant some real fruit trees, dwarf or full size,  instead of the flowering only decorative kind (coordinate with a neighbor if you need both a male and a female tree and you don’t have the room for both).

Use this coming winter to plan and prepare your protest garden.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When a grass roots movement on the right meets a grass roots movement on the left, and they share some common goals, it’s time to pay attention.

Adrian Sainz of the Associated Press reported that during a lively question and answer session, the members of the Occupy Memphis movement informed their cultural counterpart Memphis Tea Party movement of some of this groups aims. When the Memphis  Tea Party movements group heard how the Occupy Memphis group wanted to limit the influence of lobbyists on Legislators, they extended an invitation to join ranks.

If the two movements link up, even temporarily, to achieve the goals they have in common, the legislators are going to have a tough time ignoring them.  If members of both movements can meet in each city, and discuss what their goals are, and when finding common ground, agree to work together for those goals, there will be no wriggle room for their respective legislators to deny them success in those goals.

I became an Independent voter because of the apparent lack of a rational middle ground in either party; however, I believe there are people of all parties that desire, or at least would settle for,  a rational middle ground, rather than the total stalemate that currently exists.  Our legislators will continue to use the extreme issues to deny us all of any forward progress as long as we continue to polarize ourselves.  It’s an easy control measure for them only if we let them use it.  We have to be smarter than that if we want real, effective change in our government.

Our Forefathers, who set our form of government up, did not agree on everything, but they came together and discovered their mutual goals, and agreeing on those, fought for their independence from the tyranny of any corruptible Crown.  Our legislators have become confused by influences that do not have our countries best interests at heart.  The personal and professional agendas have taken precedence over the health of the nation.  This has caused an egregious burden on the average working person, no matter what your party affiliation.  As a result our people are re-discovering their power to influence, because if we don’t do it, who will?  Each movement has some valid points.  Each movement has people with good intentions in it.  But neither movement can, by itself, obtain goals that both movements want.  Joining forces to achieve common goals, like our Forefathers did, is a sensible and probably necessary thing to do.  For the health of our country.  Perhaps it’s not everything that either movement wants, but it’s some progress, and some progress is better than no progress every time.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Is a blog an appropriate place to express ones religious beliefs?  If not here, than where would be more appropriate?

I’ll not burden my reader with any expectations of agreement.  I’m not so insecure that I need your affirmation of my beliefs to shore them up.  I believe because I feel it in my heart, because I have seen His hand at work in my life, not always pleasantly.
I tell you these things that you may know where I stand.; where my faith is, where my heart is, and in what direction my efforts lie.  I struggle here with the inexactness of my ability to communicate to you what I believe.  Or of the inability to convey the scope of this belief.  Or the utterly inconceivable scale of what  I believe God is.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I am not a member simply because my parents were.  I have had more than enough time and experience, both in and out of The Church, to have opportunity to question and explore on my own.  My experiences with faith, and doubt, and re-newed faith are my own.  My questions were my own, but the answers I finally learned to accept were always there.  God loves me, and is aware of me, and cares about what happens to me.  He cares enough to chastise me, betimes sharply when it’s needed, but like the loving God He is,  shows forth more love again after, lest I esteem him my enemy.

God doesn’t just love me, He loves all his children alike, but not all his children are listening, or recognizing His hand in their lives.  Some, like I did, believe they are not worth enough for an all wise God to take notice of them.  They don’t give Him enough credit for His abilities, His love, or His reach.  Because the concept of a God so powerful bothering to take notice of any of us, who are so Not good, or powerful, or pure, or  whatever, is so foreign to our understanding, we fail to give Him credit, and we turn away from what He has to offer us.

He loves and has loved all His children throughout history, so much so that he has visited all of them, throughout all the isles of the seas; and left with each peoples instructions on how they should live with  and treat each other.  As he stated to His apostles in Jerusalem , John 10:16 And other sheep I have, not of this fold: Them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.  One of these accounts of his instructions is contained within the Book of Mormon which is an excerpt of a history of a people spanning a thousand years and more.

I can’t convey to you properly how well this book explains the Divinity of Jesus Christ.  Nor how clearly it explains gospel truths.  I can tell you that I find in it’s pages such a profound oneness with the Bible, that I cannot even imaging one without the other.  They are a complimentary set.  Beautiful truths contained within each one, and tragedies recounted in each, all proclaiming the sameness of God, and His certain  and unchangeable promises.

What I believe is that God and His Divine son,  Jesus Christ, have worked out a plan so complete, so intricately woven through our lives, so all encompassing, that we could not begin to fathom it all; but every once in a while, a few of the details concerning our own place in it are revealed to us, if we ask in faith.  Just enough for us to know we matter to Him, insignificant though we may seem to ourselves. and yet he notices us.  This knowledge is breathtakingly humbling.  Such joy as can be had among people will be had when it is understood how much He loves us.  We have only to turn to Him, to`a ask in faith, believing that He will answer, and listen with all our heart.  When we are willing to follow his example,; When we understand that willing and happy service to our fellow men and women is the only way to follow in his footsteps, when we fianlly understand that working for the welfare of others Is working for ourselves, and we do it because we love them, and want their joy and happiness as much as we want our own, this then is the way, the truth and the light that Christ taught.  To love God with all our heart, might, mind, and soul, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Mine is not the only testimony of the truth of this gospel.  There are Other testimonies from many places, and many voices, all understanding that the Book Of Mormon is a second witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ, and a clear set of instructions to assist in filling in the gaps of knowledge not contained any more within the pages of the Bible.  A book such as this could only have been preserved and brought forth again through the gift and power of an unchanging God, and the raising up again of a Prophet in the latter days, like unto old times.  That there are doubters…. that is like unto old times too.  That there is confusion,  likewise.  Where truth lies there also lies Satan, that deciever, waiting to trip you up, so that you cannot tell the truth from the lie; therefore, you will be needing a personal revelation from God, to affirm the truth  of His holy word, wherever it is found.  Fear not that you are not worthy of His telling you of it.  His word is worthy enough.  His desire that the truth should be made known, that the accomplishments of His son should be accepted and proclaimed throughout the world.  This is enough reason alone for Him to reveal the truth of any of His works unto even such as yourself.  That you should know the truth of a thing, and the truth shall set you free.  Free to embrace the gospel in all it’s enlightened latter day sentiment.  Free to believe His son died for your sins, that if you are willing to follow Him, and take His name upon you, that you might havehis spirit to be with you in this life, and everlasting and eternal life with Him hereafter.

And now I sound like a fanatic, but it is not so. I am just another human like yourself.  I am not perfect, far from it.  I have need daily of repentance, fighting against my nature which is indeed an enemy to God.  I am entirely too likely to want to sit and be comfortable when I should be doing something else.  Too immersed in my everyday world to take note of things that need attending to. Too caught up in my own fantasy of what I want the world to be to make room for other view points.  Too idealistic to understand that what I consider an ideal may not be the best way to handle something.  Too human to understand that not all things come in a time and a place of my choosing, but rather that of God’s choosing, for He has understanding of all things that have an impact on our lives.

I have had enough time here in this world to finally see that what I think I understand is only shadows of what is, and what I think I know is only one facet of the whole.  As was mentioned in the New Testament by the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 13:12  For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

I will wait and trust in the Lord, that all things in the end will be revealed, and I will understand and know finally, what I do not understand and know now.

My brothers and sisters, for you are all my brothers and sisters, I tell you these things, my feelings, and my knowledge; such that it is, in all honesty, in the name of the only begotten of the Father, Jesus Christ, Amen.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Well, it’s that time of year again.  It’s getting colder, and the days are shorter.

It’s high time for a warm bowl of chili with some crunchy spiced  popcorn in it.

This is an easy treat to make.

You ‘ll need:

1, 2 or 3 cans of chili.  However many will feed your group, and a pot or crock pot big enough to heat it up in.

Heat the chili on low heat while you cook the popcorn.

Add the required amount of water to the canned chili mix while heating (my youngest daughter likes to forget this part).

1 popcorn popper or a large pot that you can cook popcorn in.

(Preferably a heavy  aluminum one ’cause the popcorn doesn’t burn as fast in that).

3/4 cup of popcorn kernals

some light cooking oil (can be peanut, or cocanut,  sesame, or sunflower if you like a more distinctive flavor)

Onion Powder

Mild Paprika or New Mexico Chili Powder

Chili powder

Cayenne Pepper

Salt

Butter  or margarine if possible, if not use some light flavorful cooking oil instead.

(I don’t recommend olive oil for this though.)

1 saucepan to melt butter and add spices to.

Three bowls for spiced  popcorn

Serving bowls for the chili.

optional Shredded Cheese of your choice.

Preparation:

Cook 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels in the popcorn popper.  Put popcorn in a separate bowl.

Melt 1 cube of butter or margarine in pan on low heat. ( If you don’t have butter or margarine you can  use 1/4 cup of the light cooking oil instead)

Add 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon Paprika and 1/3 teaspoon salt.  Stir thoroughly until all mixed together and you can smell the spices.

Pour over popped popcorn.  Mix thoroughly.

Pop another 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels.  Put in separate bowl.

Repeat melting 1 cube of  butter or margarine or 1/4 cup of light cooking oil,  but add 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder,  1 teaspoon paprika, and 1/3 teaspoon salt.

Pour over second batch of popcorn.  Mix thoroughly.

Pop the last 1/4 cup of popcorn. Put in a separate bowl.

Repeat the melted butter or margerine, but this time add 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper,  and 1/3 teaspoon salt.

Pour over the last of the popped popcorn and mix thoroughly.

Ladle heated chili into serving bowls.  Add your choice of spiced popcorn into the bowl.

As an option, you can top the chili with shredded cheese.

Eat and enjoy 🙂

These ingredients are good for disaster food preparation too.

You can successfully store popcorn, canned chili, light cooking oils, including coconut oil, sesame seed oil, peanut oil,  and all the spices for this recipe.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’m sure that my next few statements will surprise some people.  Many of my opinions have been on the side of what most would call conservative.  But the protesters of Occupy Wall Street aren’t just a bunch of crazies any more than the Tea Party protesters were.  There are thoughtful people in both camps.  Sure, there are some who are protesting with no fixed objective in mind, just a general sense of dis-satisfaction, but that can be enough when things are squeezing you so bad.

I found that there are some thoughtful writers who seem to be catching on, but still leave open any specific agenda for the movement.  Others have picked up on one or two points, like Re-instating the Glass-Steagall Act but believe that the movement has a  potential for negative impact and therefore will continue to be largely marginalized.

My first reaction to the movement was a happy grin.  At last, someone is taking the money lenders to task again.  My second reaction was, gee, isn’t this kinda how the Bolshevik revolution started?  Maybe this last point is the reason that more people are not getting involved.  I thought about this a while, and decided that it was unlikely that any of the protesters wanted the U.S. to turn into another failed communist regime, with it’s incipient lack of production incentives, and dreary one party system.  In fact, some of the protesters are actually complaining about the lack of any real, effectual diversity in our current party structure (see comment below).

LG

Chicago
November 17th, 2011 4:38 am
That, and there’s the fact that we of the movement are Post-Partisan. No one thinks a system historically entrenched in two-party politics is a healthy system. How can what is theoretically only two voices (effectively one, in most ways that we care about) possibly speak for the most diverse nation on this planet? Even practically homogeneous Germany has a multiparty system.

So, given that, I’m thinking that there are probably a number of things that the occupy protesters would agree with me on.

1) Since the banks were seen as “Too Big To Fail” and required a hand out to save us from their fall (which was entirely due to their own greed, and not just to the fact of being told not to discriminate on home buyers), the banks should be required to break-up into smaller pieces.  I would recommend  that they also be required, like many Credit Unions, to only hold real-estate in an area near where they are physically located.  This would solve some of the problems of the bundled investments, and the inability to actually discuss ways to stop a foreclosure from happening.  At least people would have someone they could go talk to about it.  If this causes a problem with really large loans, then several banks in one area could go in on a single loan together, but they would all have to be in the same area.

2) Banks should be taxed at the same rate that they charge interest on their most risky loans, flat out, no loopholes.

3) Bundled investments have to go.  If people want a diverse portfolio, they can shop around to get what they need, or their stock broker/agent can shop around for them.  Practically guaranteeing that an investment won’t fail has Never been allowed.  You pays your money and you takes your chances.

4) I absolutely agree on re-instating the Glass-Steagall Act, and on putting a reasonable cap on usury. Getting charged more than 15% is pushing the boundaries of robbery.  Especially if the initial sign-up had a much lower interest rate.

5) The Credit companies should be required to leave due dates where they were when the person signed up.  There is no reasonable argument for changing a due date.   People who have an automatic payment set-up in their online banking shouldn’t have to read every piece of mail that comes in from the credit companies and jump through hoops to keep from getting charged extra fees.

6) There should be a reasonable cap put on fees.  Getting charged $35.00 or more for a credit purchase that the company allowed to go through is outrageous.  If the company didn’t want the purchase to go through, they should have just said no.  If they  are willing to let it go through, they are already making interest on it anyway, there is no need to charge more for the transaction.  The neediest people are being destroyed by unreasonable demands, and unreasonable changes in their agreements.

7) Congress may not like taxing themselves more, but they need to listen to the roar that is coming up around them.  The other millionaires are telling you to tax them more too.  You cannot expect to live so well, when so many are living so poorly, and not reap what you have sown. If you don’t actually raise the tax, then you need to lower the benefit of the tax loopholes.  I would still be in favor of encouraging investment in research and development, but at a lower rate of tax incentive.  If the little guy has to pay taxes, so should you.

8)  Corporations are Not people.  Legally, we may treat them as an entity for lawsuit purposes, but they don’t have a vote.  The people that work there have enough votes already.  If you are going to treat them as people, then they should have a cap of $2,500.00 put on their contributions too.  That would include the money spent on informational commercials in support of any particular agenda.

9) Since insurance companies did such a fabulous job of lobbying to set up the Health Care Reform, they should carry the burden of the results.  I had a boss who owned a company, and was a partner in several others.  He had a heart attack.  His insurance company sued the state to cover him with Medicare so they wouldn’t have to.   We get told all the time that it’s the poor people who are the reason that health care is so expensive.  This guy wasn’t poor at all.  And neither was his insurance company. If insurance companies don’t like this, then they should be nationalized.

10) The credit reporting companies, Equifax, Transunion, and Experion need to go away, and no other system of large scale collaboration between loan companies should be allowed to exist.   Manipulating our credit scores to be able to charge the most interest, or whatever they do….   wrong, wrong, wrong.  It’s nothing short of a Financial Cartel.

If you agree with me on this, like my post.  If you agree on some things but not on others, comment and let us all hear what you really want.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I read with interest Steve Almond’s “In Defense of Male Clutter”.   Though I am not male, I too have a lot of clutter, and I wanted to see what his defense consisted of.  The main points were memories (I cheer for that one) and the second one was about someday being able to do something with an object.  I sympathize with that one.

I grew up in a military family.  Every time we moved, we got rid of everything not essential to the household.  I had very few items left to remember my childhood with.  There are few objects to help me picture a scene, or moment from my childhood.  I have little to pass down to my children.  So I treasure odd things now.  I keep things that others do not understand the reason for keeping.

I have lately come to realize that some of the things I keep could be put into scrapbooks, the more easily to tote about and the more easily to pass on to my children as well.  Sorting through the boxes of items that have been lugged about is a daunting task. One that has so far been put aside for other priorities.  So I still have boxes full of things cluttering up the spaces in my home.

The other things I keep are more about the idea that I will do something with them sometime.  Every time I follow someone’s well meaning advice and get rid of something, I end up wishing I had it back six months later.  Of course, that’s when I needed the item.  It doesn’t matter what it was, it only matters that I don’t have it anymore and now I have to go out and buy another one to do what I was going to do with the item in the first place.

This wouldn’t be such a problem if I had unlimited resources, but I don’t.  In fact, my resources, like many other people’s are very limited.  So I’ll keep my clutter, thank you, and live better with the results.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Once again I find that irrational hatred gets top billing.  Well, I hope that it doesn’t stay that way.  Christopher Hitchens posted a piece pretending to be an expert on Mormons and their cultish ways. All he really managed to do was to prove himself to be ridiculous.

Point one of his ridiculous rant was that the church’s supreme leader was the President/Prophet.  Wrong.  The Leader of The Church is now and has always been Jesus Christ; hence the name The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Point two of the tirade was that members could be ordered to shun someone.   Ahem…  not so.  We are not ordered by anyone.  The choice for Free agency (free will) is the paramount feature of being here in this world.  We might be asked not to pay any attention to the sad ravings of an obviously frustrated and unhappy individual, but nobody is ordered to shun anyone.  In fact, there will be efforts to address the unhappy persons needs as long as that person is willing to tolerate the visits from members.  As soon as a person tells his visitors that he or she does Not want any more visits, the members will stop bothering him or her.

As for underwear, whose business is it what underwear anyone wears but the wearer?  Frankly, Christopher sounds a little jealous there.  Does he wish that he could wear the distinctive underwear too?   I’m sure there’s some underwear out there somewhere that is special enough for him to enjoy wearing instead.

Point four seemed to suggest that members of the church are somehow superhuman in their adherence to moral and health codes.  Would that it were actually so.  Any adherence to moral or healthy food restrictions is strictly done by personal will power.  Abstinence from any practice is a personal choice, not a built-in feature.  Temptations are every bit as hard for any member of the church to resist as it is for the average Jill or Joe.  Repentance is a very real and welcome feature in the gospel.

Point five claimed that there was some word  (not indicated from where) that said leaving the church was harder than joining it.  Well, I haven’t found either one to be difficult.  I have been both in and out of The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church) and back in again.  I had the privilege of being raised inside the church where I was reminded frequently that I was a worthwhile individual, and that God cared about what happened to me.

When I made the mistake of believing that just because the Doctrine was excellent, that meant that the people were supposed to always do what I expected them to do, I walked away from the church for a while, looking for a more perfect group of people to associate with.  In five years of looking, I did not find a more perfect group of people.  The doctrines I encountered outside the church were sadly, much less perfect.  Eventually I went back to the church and was welcomed with open arms.

Point six had to do with Tithing.  Tithing is one tenth of your yearly increase.  It’s a flat tax that works, but it’s voluntary, and private.  There is no passing the plate around for anyone to see you make a contribution of any kind.  Any other monies you wish to donate for various causes is also voluntary.  In the case of those with more than enough, a Bishop may ask if you would be willing to assist a little more in something that needs more assistance, but it’s never an amount that the giver can’t afford to give even if it might be difficult. Sacrifice sanctifies the individual who makes it.  And again, it’s voluntary.

Point seven:  Hmmm….  how to answer such rubbish.  It would be more dignified Not to answer it, but this person has a rather large platform to spread his hatred with, so I’ll make the effort anyway.  Christopher claims to Know that Joseph Smith was a fraud and a conjurer.  He bases this on someone else’s book, another hater who also did not live in the same place, or time as Joseph Smith, Jr., and whose information all came from others who also hated.   I’d like to point out that a complaint against someone does not mean that an actual misdeed was performed by the person the complaint was made against.  Just because someone did not get what they wanted from Joseph, does not mean that he was a fraud or a conjurer.

As to whether you believe or not, in what Joseph presented, that is entirely between you and God.  Read the material, and then ask God what it is.  Being afraid of reading a book is just silly.  Do you not have a mind of your own?  Does not your brain function properly?  Or your heart?  To believe that reading false material and then praying to a loving God about it, that you would get an answer that will lead you astray…..  What kind of loving God would do that?  If it’s false would he not tell you that it was false?  If it’s true, would he not tell you that it was true?   That  is if you believe in a God at all.  If not, then this is not for you.

Point eight……  Where he got the idea that Joseph Smith, Jr. ever had any knowledge of the Islam, let alone the Koran is mystifying to me.  He never had any contact with that religion.  Joseph Smith never said anything of the kind.  Utter trash.   Joseph Smith and the church helped found several small cities before he was murdered. One in Ohio, several in Missouri, and one in Illinois.  They were thriving communities, very orderly and clean.  The fact that the church held together after his death should speak to anyone that there is something more to it than just the schemes of a conman.

The Church did not believe in slavery and Joseph Smith actually ran for President at one point in order to present his platform which detailed a method for reimbursing the slave owners by giving them portions of the Louisiana purchase in exchange for freeing their slaves.  The fact that the church did not hold with slavery was the real reason behind the persecution that drove them out of Missouri.  Many powerful people in Missouri wanted the territory to come in as a slave holding state, and the votes of the Mormons were seen as a possible block to that desire, especially as they were bringing in new members from England who were also against slavery.

After the church was driven out of Missouri and the powerful interests succeeded in getting Missouri brought in as a slave state under the Missouri compromise. The same interests tried the same tactics in Kansas, against those who were not members of the church.  The massacre of all the men and boys in Lawrence, Kansas rallied the rest of the territory of Kansas and it came in finally as a free state.

The rest of Christopher’s rant is equally ridiculous in it’s assertions.  Members of the church don’t pray dead people in.  Some of them do baptisms for the dead, as was done in the ancient church.  Reference the King James Bible, 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 verse 29: Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all?   Why are they then baptized for the dead?

Even in the world of the dead, those who have passed on still have their free agency.  They choose whether they wish to accept the baptism or not.  It is a physical ordinance, therefore it has to be done in the physical world, though by proxy.   The baptisms and other ordinances such as marriages, are performed by proxy in order to link family members together from this side through to the other side.  The church teaches that family is the most important structure we can aspire to.  No other success can compensate for failure in the home.  If, as some believe, that none of that is possible,that no one rises after they die, that there is nothing for us after we are dead, then  what harm does it do if someone wants to indulge in the fantasy?  At least the church is very helpful in assisting anyone who wants it with their family genealogy.

If Christopher Hitchens or anyone else does not wish to be a part of any of it, he or they will get their wish.

I’ve long stated that the best investment you can make is in canned goods, and other necessities.  You can’t eat gold, or stock certificates, or even real estate (though you can grow gardens on that last).  In the wake of all the repeating disasters, it seems even more important and more sensible.

So, all right you say, I’ll stock up, but what are the best things to stock up on?  The answer isn’t as obvious as it might seem.  There are some things that last well, but you won’t eat them, and some things that you eat regularly, but that don’t last well.  So storing disaster food and resources can be kind of tricky, unless you have lots of extra money to spend on the pre-packeaged ready made disaster food supplies.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any extra cash laying around for things like that.  My disaster storage shopping comes out of my regular budget.  I just buy a few extra cans of food each time, and stash them in the back, the oldest stuff up front, so I’ll always use the canned goods before they go bad.

A good can will last at least five years (yes, I’ve tested this with some very well canned peaches).  Some will last longer, depending on the contents, and the way the can is made. So how do you know if it’s a good can?  Test it.  Buy two or three different kinds of any type of canned goods your family likes to eat.  Taste is even more important than can type, because if you and your family don’t like the flavor, or texture, you won’t eat it, and the canned goods will spoil from disuse.   Look at the inside of the can.  Does it have a plain tin can interior?  It’s shelf life is more like two years.  If it has a sort of yellow/gold coating on the interior, it will last longer.

How do you know if a can of something has gone bad?  If the can is leaking any sort of fluid, it’s bad.  If it’s visibly rusting around the rim, check the seal.  If the can lid is movable (that is, it can be pressed inward), it’s bad.  If the can is bulging anywhere, it’s bad.  Throw out bad cans immediately.

The next thing to consider when shopping for disaster storage is what does the meal need to be prepared?  If your recipe calls for something to be added that may not be available during a disaster, due to electrical failures, or road closures or some other form of shortage, then you’re going to have a problem.  Consider storing things that go with each other, so you will have all the ingredients together to make your meals.  I have a few favorites that work for my family.

One of them is Chili Mac.  You guessed it, a box of  macaroni and cheese and a can of chili.  You have to also have canned milk and be able to make this without butter, just in case butter isn’t available at the time.  It’s not bad and it’s easy to make.  Also store water.  Noodles need some of that to cook in.  I re-use milk jugs with the screw on caps, and the heavy plastic Apple juice jugs with screw on caps are even better.  I just wash them out thoroughly and refill them with tap water.  It already has all the additives it needs to keep for a while (not years, but months).  I store the milk jugs in the basement or around the bathroom floor, because milk jugs sometimes break down too fast, but the heavy plastic apple juice jugs can be washed out, refilled and stored anywhere.  They hold up longer.

The other thing you have to consider when storing things for disasters is how to cook it.  A hibachi grill is pretty good.  You need to store charcoal and fluid (please store lighter fluids in an Outside storage area).  Or some of the camp stoves and their accompanying fuel cylinders (again, please store these in cool, dry spaces away from your living/sleeping areas).   I have found that a three wick candle under a coffee can can cook a meal as well.  A three wick candle is easy to store and won’t accidentally blow up, so I like to store these.  You do have to keep the candles and matches out of the reach of children.  I recommend a locked storage, or child safe cabinet if you have small children around.

In case you fear you’ll get tired of chili mac, here’s another recipe for food storage items that work for us.

Beef stroganoff:  You’ll need

1 two quart sauce pan

1 small skillet

6 cups water to cook in

1 lb. package of egg noodles

1 16 oz. can of cream of chicken soup

1 16 oz. can of beef chunks

1 tablespoon of your favorite seasoning mixture

(mine are a mixture of salt, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, new mexico chili powder/Paprika)

Cook the noodles in the six cups of water till done and then add the cream of chicken soup.

Open the beef chunks and drain the water into something else (don’t use it in the cooking, I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the flavor of the water in the beef chunks)

Put the beef chunks in a skillet and add the seasoning mixture.  Let simmer for a few minutes, then add the seasoned beef chunks to the noodles and soup mixture. Stir together and serve.

*If you have butter, or margarine, you can simmer the beef chunks in that before adding to the noodles.

My family loves this meal.  You can also use cream of mushroom in this recipe if your family like mushrooms.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My youngest daughter and I read an article about a girl who video-taped her parents form of discipline and then saved the video for 7 years before releasing it the day after her father reduced her funding and took away the Mercedes she had been allowed to drive. The headlines were all about an eight minute video which recorded a beating with a belt she had received when she was 16 years old from her Father and Mother. The comments were Mostly about outrage that anyone, let alone a Judge, would use that form of punishment on their child. It seems that if the statute of limitations had not already run out on this event, that the Judge might have been brought up on assault charges.
While I would agree that disciplining while you are angry (which the Father certainly was) is unhealthy, and unwise (but who of us with children have not at some point been guilty of that?) I had to take a step back and think this one through. This is the same form of discipline that many of us grew up with, and we did Not complain that it was abuse. It was largely the norm for discipline through several decades of the 20th Century at least.
When I was a child/teenager, I distinctly remember thinking at least once that I would prefer the long hard spanking that was my Father’s tool, or even the “go out in the yard and get me a switch” routine that my Mother employed, to some of the other loss of privilege options that might have been used for discipline.
A spanking (even the long hard ones) are over after a bit (maybe you can’t sit for half an hour after, because it burns). Even the switch marks (because you chose a skinny little green branch thinking it would hurt less than a thicker branch) will go away after a couple of days; but a loss of privilege usually lasts a lot longer. In our household, there weren’t many privileges, and those we had were shared among many siblings. A loss of privilege left you with precious little to do.

The girl had apparently been downloading some things which she should not have been downloading.  Illegal file sharing…. tut, tut, tut.  I’m sure she knew better.  This activity would also put her parents in a bad position, hence, their anger.
My youngest daughter thought that maybe the Judge should have taken her computer away for a couple of months, and wiped the hard drive instead.
I agreed that that would certainly have been an appropriate response, but mentioned that this girl seemed to have a distinct dislike for loss of privileges. If given a choice between the two at the time, she probably would have picked the whipping. Who knows…. maybe she was given the choice, which is why she had time to turn on the camera. Then she saved it…..
She must not have felt all that tortured or she would have revealed it to her teachers in school at the time. And she must not have felt all that tortured after that while she was at home either, because she still didn’t reveal it to anyone. Not until she was out of the house, having been granted the privilege of going to college (no doubt paid for by her parents), and driving one of their cars, and being given additional support for this effort, did she reveal it. She claims it was Not a revenge move in response to having her funds reduced and the car taken away after she dropped out of school.
All in all, I think it was a pretty ignorant move by the girl. She is not likely to have access to those privileges again, especially now that her father’s income will get reduced as well, in response to the criticism he is now receiving.

When one complains about what life dishes out, one should keep in mind what the options were, including your own part in it.

hope she likes her new lifestyle. She is likely to be enjoying it for some time to come.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I wrote this a few years ago… It’s still relevant today.
Dear Friends and Family,
I was just sent an email in a round about way from an old friend. There was apparently a discussion going on about God, country, and natural disasters. Many people have asked, “Why did God let this happen?”Some sources blame the result of the natural disaster on God’s getting out of the way because we as a country have backed away from praying in schools, acknowledging God in our institutions of learning, or requesting his help in our governing practices, whether on the home front, or in our places of governance.
Here’s a different thought ….. God gave most of us the ability to tell right from wrong, to understand the difference between a Good outcome and a bad one. In addition to that, we have several books full of guidance on what works well and what doesn’t, know matter which religious order you follow. With all that, I’m sure he or she or it (depending on your personal interpretation of what a higher power consists of) expects us to follow along doing the right thing by each other, and not just think about ourselves and the short term expediency.
Unfortunately, even though for several decades, we have known that the levees around New Orleans weren’t built well enough to withstand a major Hurricane, we have shrugged our collective shoulders and said, we’ll do it another time, gambling people’s lives that a major force hurricane wouldn’t happen before we got to it. This didn’t happen because God allowed it to happen….. It happened because WE allowed it to happen. The same thing could be said for any number of other massive destructors. We have the technology for early warning systems for things like Tsunamis, but not the political will to put them in place and give up some other comfort. In fact, it’s those other comforts (luxuries – not necessities) that stop us from doing a Lot of things we should be doing. How many people really NEED a nintendo or an Xbox. and yet, how many people Have them? How many people will put themselves in debt for a new item that is just coming out, but won’t spend the time or the effort to fix things that need fiixng around the house, their neighborhood, or in their local communities.
Until we start seeing the needs of others as As Important as the needs of ourselves, we will Not prosper as a nation, as a people, or really, as individuals. One way to start making a real difference in the world, is to look around and find a family or an individual in your area who is worse off than you and give them the help they need to make their lives more successful. In raising others, we raise ourselves. This is the essence of Godliness.

If everyone did this just once, we would be better off, but if everyone does this as a matter of course, sprinkled throughout their lives, there would be no poor, no needy, and no major force natural disaster would catch people by surprise.

If we were a more ideal people, we wouldn’t lie about each other, expect to be treated more specially than others, believe ourselves better, or treat others poorly. If we really Wanted to work together we could accomplish so much more than we have already, and even in an unstable natural environment, we could protect ourselves and other people better.
People would move out when a force of nature threatened, and would have somewhere to go, because other people would help them get out in a timely manner and take them in. A sudden Earthquake might collapse poorly built structures, but since we know how to build better ones, we would have done that already too. We’d be prepared for disasters. We wouldn’t build downstream from Dams. We wouldn’t maintain dams incorrectly, we wouldn’t cut corners on construction projects and we wouldn’t ignore the warnings given us by our local officials when it was time to move out to maintain our safety.
Too bad we aren’t that ideal of an people yet….. Maybe it’s about time we started working on that, from within each and everyone of us. May your Holiday be Happy because you did something to make someone else’s Holiday more successful.
Best Regards,
Ellen

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Am I the only one who feels that the down time from being unemployed or underemployed is not as productive as one might like.?  I spend so much time looking for work, preparing specialized resume’s, and cover letters, and researching companies, that I don’t get anything else done.  So at the end of the day, when I look around and see all kinds of daily tasks still not finished, I wince, and think, could my time have been better spent doing that, instead of this (especially when there isn’t a positive response to all the other work).

This blog has begun on a whim.  An impulse to make something I do stick; to have something to show for my efforts at the end of the day.  Maybe it’s not much, but it’s something; and something is always better than nothing.

Have you ever wanted to  do something to make a difference?   Grow a fabulous one of a kind flower?  Or save a whale?  Or spot a roadside bomb before it goes off?   People have all sorts of dreams, and all kinds of gifts to share.  The gift that is most needed lately is kindness.  The dreams that occur to people most often seem to have little to do with the use of that gift.

I propose that we concentrate our efforts on being deliberately kind; not just randomly on a whim, and not just civil, but truly kind, everyday.  Where you see suffering, bring healing.  Where you see sadness, bring joy.  Where you see want, bring plenty.  Make the effort to get out of your comfort zone.  Search for those who need what you have to give.  Everyone has something; be it time, energy, money, food, abilities, or any combination of those where and when it’s called for.  I’m not advocating giving where it’s not needed, or being an enabler of continuing poverty, providing hand-outs to those who could make an effort of their own.  I am advocating being a catalyst for better things; for others, as well as for yourselves.

Starting new things is exciting, and nerve wracking at the same time.  There is the adrenaline rush of daring to make the effort, and the fear of creating an epic fail.  This isn’t epic, this is just a little blog to say I’m launching a new effort.  This is my new day.   I have talents that I haven’t begun to tap, and opinions on a variety of subjects that may or may not be helpful to someone, but I feel the need of expressing them anyway.  I hope you are all having a good day, and that you make it even better by making someone else’s day as well.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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