Positively NO!

The problems of the world are there for us to see. Some of us are affected more than others but the daily news brings us all closer to the reality of a generation on a downward spiral. We need a positive thought to offset the negative. And I think I have found it. We need a negative to bring back the positive!

Upon reflection, the answer is in the hands of the females of the world. Yes, I think a lot of what is wrong can be righted by women taking a firm stand with using only one, simple word. The word NO! There is so much of a positive nature that can be accomplished with a negative – a NO.

“The word yes brings trouble, the word no leads to no evil.” Arabic Proverb
The ‘me generation’ could be turned around if there were stronger parents, especially mothers, who would, could, and should say NO more than they do.
Unmarried mothers are at an all-time high. One guess who could have prevented the problem with a heartfelt NO. And where does the ‘positive negativity’ begin? With a mother willing to not only say NO but to give a good example by living with the same rules of life she expects from her children.
The world takes advantage of women because so many women are anxious to be part of the workplace, one of the ‘guys’, They say yes when NO would have taken them along a better path in life.

The fashion moguls dictate scanty outfits, immodesty, and generally ugly fashions. Women must be either brainwashed or afraid to say NO because they go along with the current lack of dress code and self-esteem.
Women want respect yet lower their standards instead of saying NO. Many females bemoan the baring covers of supposedly classy magazines that reveal everything but good taste. Obviously not enough NO’s as they all stay in business. Where would all the popular swimsuit editions be if the stars would object and refuse to pose?

The world doesn’t shape our thoughts, words, and desires. We shape the world either by our active participation or lack of interest in making a change. We can do something and the world changes or we can do nothing and the world will change regardless, but probably not to its betterment.
Why are women calling themselves liberated when they are such slaves to what everyone else thinks and what everyone else does or dictates? Where is the liberation in being the same? We have become such a cookie cutter society. How many times have you seen a chubby woman squeezed into spandex because that is the fashion? What had she done with her liberated right to say NO, and to wear something becoming to her?

Why are so many women forsaking their purity because they are told it doesn’t matter, it is an antiquated notion? The Ten Commandments are pretty old, too. I haven’t heard that God had rewritten them lately. Again, another big NO would save a lot of sin and sorrow.

It is heartbreaking to think of the responsibility we, women have shunned by our silence. Can you imagine the changes in the world if each and every woman on earth began tomorrow with a NO to the sins to which the world wants us to say yes?

“One half the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quick, and not saying no soon enough.” Josh Billings

Barbara M. Barthelette

Reality Memories From Bygone Homeschooling Days!

When a new school year begins, we all anticipate great things being accomplished with our intellectually willing children. There are many things we would like to hear as we begin our studies but reality sets in all too soon.

1. Time for school! I thought we would take it easy today but several of you little darlings sent me private notes, begging to begin with math instead of art!

This is the third time I have called you to the school table! And you used up your art time yesterday when you crayoned your new math books.

2. Are you sure you wouldn’t like some fresh cookies and milk? It has been two hours since breakfast and you must be hungry. I promise we will still work on Geography afterwards.

No, you can’t have something to eat. You should have thought about hunger when you refused to eat breakfast this morning. Yes, you have to finish Geography and no ad-libbing on the maps today. No undiscovered countries that only you know about!

3. I can’t believe how neatly you set up your insect collections for science. And to think I only assigned this term project yesterday and here you are done already!

Smashed bugs don’t count for your bug collection even if you remember what it was before you squashed it. I don’t care if you weren’t the one who mashed the bug. You shouldn’t have put it in your sister’s bed to begin with!

4. How wonderfully you combined your poster paints to make a copy of one of the great Masterpieces! And you didn’t get a drop of paint on the floor, table or mommy’s art book.

Look, it is a numbered dot-to-dot coloring page. What do you mean you don’t understand the instructions?

5. Sweet child of mine! No wonder you asked for an extra two hours of school yesterday. You were busy composing this wonderful story for English class. Double-spaced and typewritten, no less.

A three-page composition doesn’t count if written in crayon! It was supposed to be on what we did on our summer vacation. And I did not spend it torturing you! But don’t give up on the idea – there is always next year!

by Barbara Barthelette

Ethnic Food Appropriation Night?

Not sure with the craziness of the world, but I think that we are still allowed to cook any kind of food we want in the privacy of our kitchen. Being of German heritage from my mother’s side of the family, naturally, I’m making fajitas and homemade tortillas for dinner!

Anyway, I learned a long time ago in my family meal preparation, homemade is better and less expensive. I’ve been making flour tortillas forever and no longer even follow any set recipe. When my husband had to be declared a gluten-free zone, I just switched the flour ingredient in my recipe to a gluten-free blend. Authentic Foods Gluten-Free Bread Flour Blend is currently my favorite although I still enjoy using BetterBatter Gluten-Free flour.

We decided we had a yearning for fajitas for dinner this evening. My husband only has one or two Saturdays a month off so we decided to celebrate this. I spent the afternoon with food prep and he cleaned the house for me. Since I’d rather cook than clean house and he’d rather clean house than eat the mediocre dinner he might venture to prepare, it was a good deal for both sides!

My recipe for flour tortilla? Basically, I put around three or four cups of wheat or gluten-free flour in the bowl, add a teaspoon of baking powder, a teaspoon of salt, combine, and then add hot tap water slowing to the dry ingredients until a workable dough evolves. I use an ice cream scoop to parcel out the amount of dough to roll out for each tortilla. I have a cast iron pan but most any frying pan would work for cooking them on both sides or until some bubbles and browned blisters show up. You want them baked but not crispy!

Hard as I try to roll them out to a beautiful, uniform circle, I usually end up with what looks like various countries removed from the map. I do have a tortilla press (More of that German heritage!) but it only makes small one and, sometimes, you need a larger size.

This is also a fun kitchen activity for mom and the children so they can see what goes into fixing a meal and be proud of the results of their efforts.