Sunday, May 31, 2009

Domestic Violence

For those of you who didn't know of me last year, this lovely lady above is my cousin. She was murdered by her husband on this date one year ago. Why am I sharing this? In some small way I want to contribute to helping stop the cycle of domestic violence in the world.
Ginger was like a lot of us, she came from a family with a varied backround of experiences and history. Unfortunately some of that included domestic violence. She was a beautiful, smart, tough, creative and very hard working person. Able to turn any venture she undertook into a profitable one, she wasn't what most people think of when they think of a DV victim.
The fact is, there are no real stereotypes, DV victims come from all walks of life and back rounds.

So how do we help break the cycle of abuse? Well here are my thoughts on this, gleaned from my life experiences and the wisdom of those who know more than I about life. First, we need to teach our youth to have self respect. I'm talking both male and female. First off we need to teach our children the value of human life. That honesty, integrity, modesty, and virtue are key to being a good person. Teach them that nothing is more important than treating people with respect, and expecting them to treat us with the same. We need to teach our youth that virtue, and I mean chastity and the correct behavior to keep chaste will go a long way toward keeping us from getting into an abusive relationship. If someone doesn't respect your standards before marriage, afterward it only gets worse.
If your son or daughter is dating someone, make sure they are seeing them with wide open eyes, not star struck vision of the person they want them to be. People have a bad habit of thinking that any flaw they see in a potential mate can be changed if they just love them enough. What's the saying, date with your eyes wide open and then after marriage keep them half shut. There is more that I can say but you get my drift hopefully. I know I may sound old fashioned, but honestly, when I look around me at folks who have made less than stellar choices, and I fit into that category as well, a lot of misery could have been avoided by following the so called "old fashioned" standards.
A case in point. When my mother became divorced from my first stepfather, she met my second stepfather. If mom hadn't already been a sex abuse victim as a tiny girl at the hands of her real father, she would never have dated her second husband. She was easy prey for this man as she was sweet and forgiving, and thought that she deserved what she got in the way of abuse. I know he hit her before they got married, but she would say that they had an accident or something to cover up the abuse. He could be very charming when in public, and was with us before they got married, but afterward it started right away. He was gone all week logging and she was a stay at home mom, pregnant with my little brother. He would come home on the weekend, go to the bar and get drunk, then come home and beat her brutally. We would lay in the dark, fearful that he would start on us next, or kill her it sounded so awful. I can still to this day, after 37 years, hear her cries when I think about it. In talking to my stepsister she said that he would abuse her mother as well. So it wasn't something mom did, it was him. This shaped the way I reacted to men, and thought about myself as well. I was also a rape victim during all this, almost killed, and so that also had an impact on the boys/men I dated. Luckily for me, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I found the love and healing power I needed to eventually get beyond that. Unfortunately mom committed suicide and never found the healing power of God.
I was going to go through the signs of an abuser and so forth, but here is a link to where you can find out more. They say it much better than I could. Please, if you know someone who may be in an abusive relationship get them help. As someone who has lived through it the abuse victim often feels ashamed and hopeless. They need support! There is a number to call: National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224. Help stop the cycle!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Robins and things.....

As I stand at my easel painting this robin is busy gathering food for little ones. Sometimes he will come sit under my window, cock his head and look up at me, trying to figure out what I'm doing I suppose. I should give him what for for waking me up every morning at 4 am. Have you ever noticed that this time of year the birds all rise at 4am and start their chirping in tandem? It starts with one, then another and all of a sudden it sounds as if every robin on the planet is right outside the window. It's like airplanes taking off or trains passing by though, you do get used to the noise.
Here's a recipe for all you chicken salad lovers. It's probably a bit to yuppie for my hubby, but Annie loved it so it's a keeper.

Bowtie Pasta Chicken Salad
1 c. cooked, cubed chicken, preferably smoked.
1 small apple, chopped
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. fresh chives, snipped
1/2 5 oz container gorgonzola cheese
3/4 c. each plain non fat yogurt and mayonnaise
2 T. honey dijon mustard
2 c. uncooked mini bow tie pasta, cooked according to package directions
Combine all ingredients. Season to taste. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Fresh Strawberries and Rhubarb go into this recipe to make a winner of a pie. Here's the recipe below.


1 1/4 c Sugar
1/8 ts Salt
1/3 c Flour
2 c Fresh strawberries
2 c Fresh rhubarb, cut in 1" pieces
2 T Butter or margarine
1 T Sugar

1 Pastry for 2-crust pie
2 1/2 c. flour
1 cube butter
1/4 c. canola oil
1/2 t. salt
1 t. sugar.
5 T. cold water

Blend all dry crust ingredients together and then cut in the butter until evenly distributed.
The mixture should look crumbly with pea sized lumps. Sprinkle oil over mixture and toss
with a fork. Add water, one tablespoon at a time and toss with spoon. Form 2 balls of
dough and flatten into a disk. Wrap and chill while you are cutting fruit and preparing
filling ingredients. Roll out dough on lightly floured board or sheet of foil. Fit in
pie plate being careful not to stretch crust.


Combine 1 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and flour. Arrange half the strawbwerries and rhubarb in a pastry-lined 9 inch pie pan. Sprinkle with half the sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining fruit and sugar mixture. Dot with butter. Sprinkle a dash of Nutmeg over the filling before you cover. Install top crust and flute edges to make high-standing rim. Brush top of pie with cold water and sprinkle on 1 tablespoon sugar. Cut steam vents in top crust. Bake in hot oven (425 F) on lowest rack for 15 minutes then reduce heat to (375F), move pie up one level and bake for another 40 to 50 minutes or until rhubarb is tender and crust is browned.

Let cool for about 30 minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Now you see them, now you don't!

Oregon welcomed us home with quite a snow storm yesterday! Big fluffy flakes chased each other around the yard, and garage and house and apple tree and then landed everywhere, leaving a light blanket that was gone by the end of the day.
I have to say, that watching it snow was actually a thrill! I love to watch snow fall, but in Wendover it doesn't come down like this. I know this is a passing flurry so I enjoy the beauty of the the white cotton falling from heaven. But, where are the mountains?
Oh, wait! There they are! They like to play hide and seek alot, hiding behind the clouds trying to pretend they aren't there.
Then, out they come, majestic and gorgeous! Today I ran to Enterprise for some fresh produce from the fella that comes up from Hermiston. This is what I gazed upon on the ride home.
Can you believe this view? I pinch myself each Summer when we arrive; it takes a few days to realize that this isn't a dream.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

A special bouquet for all the ladies out there, whether you are a mother, grandmother, soon to be, or help take care of others, you have the mother spirit. May your day be filled with joy, love, laughter, and peace.