Daughter of Feminism

Rebecca Walker, daughter of feminist author Alice Walker, writes about the impact her mother's radical feminism had on her life. It is interesting, not only for what it says, but for the credibility her family name gives to the author.

Lest we stereotype, let's be clear that not all who consider themselves feminists adhere to the more extreme ideology of the well-known gurus. Still, as second generation feminism comes of age, it is revelatory to see how those raised in its ideas approach it


Memorial Day

Several families from our church went to New York this weekend, where the pastor has a cabin and several acres in the Catskills. Some of us camped in tents while others slept inside. The men helped with some work on the grounds, fished in the neighbor's pond (One of them caught a 4-pound, 20-inch widemouth bass!), and played several rounds of whiffle ball with the teens. The ladies (with some help from the guys) cooked meals, cleaned up the kitchen, went for lovely little walks, and played round after round of Scrabble. It was beautiful weather, country, and company. We really enjoyed it.

Here are Kevin and I, just before leaving to come home:

On the way there, we drove through Harrisburg. They have a nice area of restaurants, jogging paths, etc. along the Susquehanna River that reminded us of Tulsa--except that this river has water.

Sunday afternoon, I went to Watkins Glen with 3 others, and we hiked up through the gorge. The landscape is absolutely verdant--and when you read verdant, think vibrant and vivid and green.

This picture didn't turn out quite as well as I had hoped, but they are wild columbine.

For Baby

We were fortunate to find a bassinet and rocking chair last weekend, so here are the pictures.

Around the House

Kevin started stripping the lead paint off of our mountainous pile of trim last weekend--it's going to be a long process.

This cheeky little rodent was sitting on the railing of our back porch. I was inside, but only about 2 feet away from him. Opening the wood door didn't budge him a bit, and I wasn't about to endanger my life by opening the glass door. Note those sinister little eyes. He's dangerous, I can tell.


Free Ice Cream!!!

. . .if you're pregnant

at Baskin Robbins


Now that's a clever PR deal. :-)


"Boo, bad things."

There is a concise, thoughtful post over at World about international hunger, poverty, and false solutions we employ to make ourselves feel better, to feel like we're doing something. My favorite quote?
It’s a coincidence of factors, I suppose: inadequate economics understanding, a bumper-sticker mentality, an overindulged democratic sense that leads perfectly rational Westerners to think that the world can be made better by their collectively saying: “Boo, bad things.”


Quote of the Day

"Don’t you wish there were a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence? There’s one marked ‘Brightness’, but it doesn’t work."

- credited to Gallagher, who is (apparently) a comedian


Tip of the Day

from our Bradley class materials:
Contact sports should be avoided during pregnancy.
I wonder if it's too late to get a refund on my summer football registration fee. . . .


My Hands Smell of Onion and Garlic

My mother’s hands
are not lily-white,
smooth and soft,
belonging to a lady of Victorian standards;
nor unblemished, bearing baby skin
as a wealthy plantation mistress
of antebellum days.

Her hands are work-worn and often weary,
betraying years of
hand-washing, diaper-changing,
rustling up family meals,
scouring pots and pans,
and cleaning sinks, showers, and stools.
They are surgery-scarred,
the remedy for hours of secretarial typing,
augmenting the family income in her spare time.

My grandmothers’ hands, too,
have cut too many messes of
slippery squash and prickly okra.
They have canned too many
pears, figs, tomatoes, and beans;
baked too many cakes and cookies;
planted too many gardens;
swept too many floors.

Newly married,
preparing food daily for the first time,
the stench arrested my hands,
onion and garlic,
claiming their territory.
Lamentably striving with
lemon juice or lotion, soap or showers
masked little for littler time.
The offensive odor always faded on its own--
just in time to dice one-half cup of onions
for the next recipe.

A few years later,
onions and garlic continue to waft upward
from my changing hands.
The once-smoother, softer skin
bears small calluses of kitchen knives, minor burns, and too little lotion--
if you look closely, as I do.
The ginger citrus of my body wash
lingers only a short time,
hurried away by the stronger scents beneath.
And I continue to chop onions and mince garlic,
wash dishes and clean the counters,
because I am a homemaker,
and I, too, will be a mother.

Proverbs tells us:
the children of a godly woman
will rise up and call her blessed.
I want them to remember,
my hands smell of onion and garlic.


And There Was Light

Kevin worked very hard today hanging our new light fixture in the dining room. As always, it turned out to be a slightly more involved process than anticipated. It looks lovely, however, and I'm very pleased. It's very bright.

You probably can't tell in these pictures, but the glass is a frosted champagne fading down to white. I'll try to remember to take a picture with the light off during daylight hours tomorrow.

Update, 05/11/08:

One more picture


American Goldfinch

I know this is an awful picture, but birds are not known for coming close enough and remaining still enough for stellar up-close shots with the average camera. Nevertheless, the neighbor's yard was astir with American Goldfinches today. See the three yellow blurs on the feeder? They're amazingly vibrant and it's fun to see them flitting about. I counted at least 3 males and 1 female. I think there were more, but they wouldn't obligingly line up to be counted, either.

For Love of Cooking

The overwhelming urge to bake something--anything--finally motivated me to scrub the homemade, fume-free, baby-safe cleaner out of my very old and blackened oven last weekend. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the cleaner worked and how the oven (mostly) came clean. Suffice it to say that I emptied bowl after bowl after bowl of Turkish-coffee-colored water as I rinsed my sponge.

Since then, I've baked. . .well, quite a few things. Enough to know that it's a bad idea to bake during the afternoon or with the windows closed--unless I want to turn the whole house into an oven. Cakes, cookies, and more have come out just perfect, however, and I am pleased with The Ancient One's performance.

The cleaner? For any of you who are environmentally-conscious, fume-phobic, or just plain thrifty, make a paste of 1 part each baking soda, salt, and water. Smear it in the oven. Bake at 500 degrees for one hour. Cool and wipe out.


Educating on a Soapbox

Before I get into trouble, let me state unequivocally that I agree education is good. Learning is beneficial. Ignorance, while it may be bliss, is not godly.

Nevertheless, the fact that all men are created equal does not mean that all men are created the same. The education community, in the last 20 years, has gone to great lengths to educate teachers on the many different types of intelligence. It has required teachers to plan lessons that appeal to multiple types of intelligence. It has urged teachers to recognize and reward various intelligences. Yet it has not changed its expectations that all students perform equally well--or at least above average. (Incidentally, if all students DID perform above average, wouldn't the average then rise? Wouldn't some students then be below average again? But what do I know about statistics, I'm an English major. . . .)

So, I like to read reasonable people's writings about education, such as this:
Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute explains that one of the central problems of K-12 education in America is the romanticizing of it. Which is to say, the fiction that all children are capable of at least being average, given the right circumstances. Unfortunately, this idea ignores what some scholars like to call “reality.”

Read the rest here. But, in short, let me just say that we are not all designed to be doctors and lawyers--or even college graduates. Some of us are amazingly gifted at putting machines together, preparing tasteful food, or dealing with difficult grocery customers--and the rest of us should be sincerely thankful.



This has been a productive weekend.

Yesterday, we bought a lawn mower, weed whacker, tiller attachment, and garden hose. Kevin then promptly mowed and weed-whacked the yard. Here he is with one of his new toys. Er. . .tools.

We're at 24 weeks now, and here I am with our pretty white azaleas.

Today, Kevin did quite a few things outside, one of which was to till a garden patch for me. I'm working on getting the grass and weeds out, and hopefully we will plant tomatoes and peppers by the end of the week! As you can see, the robins are already claiming the area as their dirt bath. . .but they're in for disappointment when I fence them out of it.


Come Again?

And I quote, "A San Rafael minister who presided over several same-sex ceremonies didn't violate Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) rules, because same-sex marriages don't exist in the church, a church court ruled Tuesday." How's that for rhetorical run-around? The article is here, and it talks more about the confusion.

HT: World on the Web, where Harrison Scott Key also writes, "In related news, the same church court ruled that a man who committed intellectual suicide in a local church sanctuary isn’t actually dead, because intellectually sound behavior doesn’t exist in many PCUSA churches, either."

Whichever side of the debate you're on, surely it's at least better to pick a side rather than spew decisive nothings into the melee?