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User: stryck
Name: Stryck
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The Chocolate Chip Country
Adventures in writing, cooking, and living.
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Welcome to my livejournal. Feel free to look around.

I keep my poetry posts (both of mine and others') under the poetry tag. Click here or just click the tag on the sidebar.

If you are looking for just my free/crowdfunded poetry, look under "Poetry Kitchen". Click here or on the tag on the sidebar.

I often post recipes and other experiments with cooking and baking. Click here or use the "cooking" tag on the sidebar to browse food posts.

I do make political posts, or sometimes link something that is less politics and more social observation. I keep these cut-tagged if they're more than a link and a couple of sentences, so that people who prefer not to read them can skip over them. If you are interested in them, feel free to click the political foo or social foo tags.

I sometimes get on a world-building kick, where I'm working out history and geography and cultures for various settings. I enjoy feedback on these posts, old and new. You can use the world-building tag for an unsorted view of them, or the world-building section of my memories to view a more filtered version.

If you want me to do more of any of these things, you can encourage me two ways. You can comment, or you can leave a tip. If you choose to tip from this post, please include a comment as you pay to let me know what kind of posts you enjoyed. :) I won't starve if you don't tip; I work full time at a regular job. Tips let me know you enjoy some part of my work.

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Just some musings..

We live in such a risk averse culture, don't we? Helmets, padded everything. Rules and regulations on how to wash hands or grow vegetables.

Capitalism may be shown to create improvements for everybody in an entire culture, but it's full of risks. Old industries and jobs and methods die, to be replaced by new ones. STarting a business is like jumping off a cliff and growing wings on the way down. Most end in a damp thud after a few months.

Our politics are full of safety, too. If only everybody could act this way, or agree, or do things the same way, then finally no crazies would hurt us. Let's exile those people far, far away so their unsafe ideas don't get in and break our perfect world we're building.

Our world is so full of comfort and technology, it's easy to fall into the idea that we can make a perfectly safe and comfortable world. A place where you need not suffer any threat to your body, or your emotions. So many battles are fought over control, so we can make that perfect world. If you stand on the other side, you're a threat. You're trying to control the thing I'm trying to control, and only one of us can win.

No wonder Christianity is so despised in such a world. To be Christian, first you have to understand that control is an illusion. That the World itself is unsafe. Building walls to keep out the chaos is like building sand castles in the rain.

If we lived in a time where disease was more rampant, or had wars in our backyard (instead of halfway around the world), it would be obvious that this is so. Life is unfair and unpredictable.

God is the only thing that endures, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And He doesn't promise safety. Indeed, if you want what He has to offer, you have to give up safety and control, and let Him do the work.

Imagine, to hand over your whole life to someone else! We have changed quite a lot from the days when knights pledged undying loyalty and obeyed their kings unto death. These days, such devotion is mostly found in salacious stories about dom/sub sex. It's kinky. Heaven forbid that a man and a woman might be so devoted to each other (or to God) without being into bondage or contracts or threesomes.

A stumbling block to the Greeks, indeed.

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Ephesians 6:10-18New International Version (NIV)

The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
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I suspect that just about anybody who might read this is already familiar with the people forced to bake cakes and take pictures for gay marriages, and the bills in Kansas and Arkansas designed to prevent that kind of coercion in those states.

I find it sad that our country has come to this. Several of the colonies that later became the United States were started by religious folk who wanted to practice their religion without dealing with the (rather strict) rules governing it in Great Britain at the time.

The political part aside, though, there is a theological issue to consider. Would it be sinful to perform your calling in service to an event like a gay wedding ceremony? Is it participation? Endorsement? This is a different question from whether secular law requires it or not.

Today, it occurred to me that there may be a Biblical answer to that question.

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On the dragon breeding game, Flight Rising, there are "parentless" eggs that you can find. A group of us hatched a bunch of random eggs and then tried to make Valentine's dragons out of them. Below is my dragon, her familiar, and the submission I included with her.


With stained wings;
With third eyes;
Hunt sharers,
Claw print and ghost mark
Step as one.

Endless ice.
Chains of black water.
Bright eye frozen

Fierce ice hunter
Dons the sun
And seeks its mate.
Ghost-eyes guards her
And knows not why.



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Indiana had a rough week leading up to Christmas, weather-wise. First, it snowed a lot. Then the snow melted so the ground was sodden and the creeks were full. Then, it rained biblically for a couple of days. As soon as the rain ended, it suddenly dropped well below freezing.

My parents live in Ellettsville, and were briefly cut off by high waters from the rest of the world. As my dad remarked, not that different from any other day.

My in-laws are up in Yorktown, Indiana. A river runs behind their house. Below are pictures from their river and its banks.

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Taking it slow today. Yesterday was busy and full of people, so today is for long showers and naps and recovering. Friday, we will see all the cousins from my husband's family again, including the other kids. Younger werecub is the youngest of six little kids that gather together. The oldest is a boy, the next in line is his sister, then our older cub, then two brothers from a different family, then younger cub. All of them and their parents and the grandparents were gathered together with some spare cousins who don't have kids yet.

So, it was fun, but I'm glad to have a quiet day so I and the cubs can recharge.
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While watching the episode of Good Eats about pumpkin pies, at one point Alton is holding a pie pumpkin and off-handedly says you could just fill one with cream, honey, and spices and bake it.

This sounded good to me, so our last pie pumpkin we bought a while ago was opened, seeds removed, and then I added some ingredients:

1/2 pint heavy cream
a handful of crystallized ginger, chopped
ground cinnamon
ground nutmeg
ground cloves
a little brown sugar

I oiled the outside, put it in a baking dish, and baked it in the oven at 350 degrees. After about an hour, the hubby scraped down some of the inside and hit it with the stick blender, but it wasn't pumpkiny enough. So we put it back for another 20 minutes, then took it out, scraped down some more, and used the blender again.

It tastes wonderful. And if we wanted to turn it into ice cream, I think we could easily pour the insides into a bowl, cut out and add a bit more of the sides and puree smooth, then add some whole milk to lower the overall fat content to an ice cream level. Chill and then send for a round in the ice cream machine.

Sound good?


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Cubs are keeping me busy. The younger one is learning to crawl. Not mobile yet, but every time he's on the floor, he rolls onto his tummy and tries to get moving. It's just a matter of time.

Older cub had a playdate last weekend to coincide with our anniversary. Hubby and I got some much needed couple time while the baby napped. However, it came at a cost. He brought home a bug and now we're all sick. No fevers, just some coughs and tired. This barely slows the cubs down, but leaves me wanting to crawl into bed.

No sick days for moms, though. Onward!
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We went to Indiana to visit with family last week. Tuesday evening, we were out the door after the hubby came back from work and arrived Wednesday afternoon at the in-laws. There was a big 4th of July party with all the cousins there, and then on Friday we tootled down to visit with my folks at Wilderstead, which is their backwoods property. You can find pictures of all of us playing in the woods over here:

Saturday afternoon, it was up to my folks' regular house, then church on Sunday. Younger cub was baptized and is now officially part of the Church family.

We tried to get straight home after church on Sunday, but the younger cub is not a good traveler, it seems. After five hours of driving (more than that on the road), he just could not be cajoled into any more driving time without full on panic and screaming, so we got a hotel. Fortunately, we had thought ahead and the hubby had taken Monday off just for the extra defrag time, so it didn't wreck any plans.

I've had plenty of time to observe, and it seems the younger cub doesn't like higher speeds. The faster we'd be going, the harder it was to keep him calm. It makes me think there may be some motion sickness or something similar going on there. I hope he grows out of it. If not, at least in a few more months we can get him a forward facing seat and that'll make it easier on him.

We are all very glad to be home, indeed!