here it is, one of my dream homes

I have several dream homes. Here is one in Tuscany. Note the plunge pool overlooking the vineyard and rolling hills. I love it! It's *only* $1,314,000. Maybe I could have gotten the loan before all of this Wall Street stuff blew up...

this is a time of change

The Republican party is falling apart. They don't have a leader to unite them. We are living in a time of great change.

These are just for fun. I did them today in honor of the bailout discussions.


Today we went to the library...

and to the grocery store...

and then got ready for bed...

I'm not happy with what I heard last night from each candidate regarding how they are viewed by the men and women in our military. John McCain thinks of himself as Johnny Soldier, the one who understands what our troops are really going through, the one who truly supports them. But in reality, the troops who are serving now are supporting Barack Obama in large numbers and older veterans, who may have once supported McCain, are finding themselves backing Obama because his track record for supporting veterans is far superior to McCain's. Vets for Obama is one organized group that speaks out against McCain. And you can see Paul Rieckhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America talk about it here:

We need to spend a little more time listening to the people who serve and have served in our military. In this day and age, most everyone is close to someone with military ties. I think it's a bigger deal than we are making it.

On another note, I predict that Palin will "resign" from the campaign (be forced out) by late Tuesday or early Wednesday and a new VP candidate will have the pleasure of debating Biden on Thursday.

If that doesn't happen, then something else extraordinary will have to happen to keep Palin out of the debate. They can't risk having her go in.

Did you happen to catch the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC a few days ago? Keith Olbermann talked about the McCain strategy and how they are hoping for a win by doing one outrageous thing after another.

Every once in a while I get completely sucked into politics and current affairs. It's a guilty pleasure.


$700 billion? with no outside oversight, little mandatory reporting, and under the control of someone whose job could potentially end in 4 months? the whole thing is disgusting and pathetic.

an easy Saturday

Jeff got home late last night. He spent all day on a few different airplanes. He was tired.

One half of our family woke early, and the other half slept late (until 10!). I used up some ripe bananas and frozen local blueberries this morning in this yummy banana bread.

Then we went for a family walk at the Saratoga Battlefield. It's a very peaceful place and we always love going there. Jeff and I are spending time freshening up our American history knowledge, something that's always good to do.

when will we start eating Spam?

Do they even make Spam anymore?
I'm very concerned about what's going on with the economy.
That's an understatement.
I'm totally freaked out.
I watch the news channels and the talking heads spend time reassuring viewers that we're not entering a depression, that we're barely in a recession, and that the events of this week, although very serious, are going to be fixed up with no problem and we shouldn't worry at all.

I don't believe any of it. I'm counting my cans of beans in the cupboard and thinking about how I can cut down on driving to save gas. I had already cut out wine and I am gearing up for a winter with minimal heat. In reality, as long as Jeff stays in his job and the prices of goods and services don't rise dramatically, my lifestyle won't change that much. What does change is the amount of fear and anxiety I feel. What will happen in the future? Will I be able to re-enter the work force full time in the next few years? Will I be able to retire? What about health care in the long run?

What I really want to know is how we are paying for this bailout. I know that at least $40 billion is in bonds that will be sold to... whom? Foreign nations? At what point do the other countries (like China) start to OWN us? That is what really scares me.

Now, onto some exciting news -- did you know that Rachel Maddow's show is on MSNBC of all places? I think she's great - she's not only a wonderfully free and critical thinker, but she's my age, too. I never thought of MSNBC as a progressive channel. I guess you learn something new every day.


Chris Bernd saved me today

This is the chipmunk that spent half of today in my bathroom.

'A'came to me this afternoon and said, "There's a bird under your bed, Mommy." She took me to show where it was. We bent down together and peeked under the bedskirt, but saw no bird. "How do you know?" I asked. "I saw it. It flew under there and I heard it too." I wanted to believe her, but if you've ever met a 3 year old, you know that they have active imaginations. So I dismissed her account and said, "Please don't say things like that if they aren't true. It makes me upset to think that there's a bird in my bedroom."

Fast forward to two hours later. I'm walking past my bathroom and I saw a CHIPMUNK scurry across the floor! I screamed, of course, and then shut the bathroom door tightly. Then I called everyone I knew who was close by.

Judimarie loaned me a Havahart trap. When I got it home, I realized I was too wimpy to open the bathroom door to set up the trap, so I called Chris and Sue and asked them to come over for dinner and some fun chipmunk chasing. Chris set up the trap and we relaxed and ate, confident that the chipmunk was resting comfortably in the trap.

The little thing never made it into the trap. Chris started picking up the laundry basket, the wastebasket, the shower curtain... and no chipmunk. "Maybe it snuck out somewhere and is outside..." Sounded good to me! Then I heard a lot of yelling, "Stand still! No! Stop!" and after a few minutes, Chris emerged from the bathroom with the chipmunk in a plastic grocery bag. Yay, Chris! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tonight has the potential to be tough. 'H' is getting all 4 canine teeth right now and is in a lot of pain. She has also been hit hard with seasonal allergies and her little nose is stuffed up. Tonight 'A' had very bad behavior and pushed poor 'H' down the stairs, and now her lip is swollen and bleeding. And I'm sure her insides are feeling sore. She's having trouble staying asleep tonight.

the next wave of the women's movement

Have you been wondering when the next wave of the women's movement will come, and what it will look like? Look no further. In fact, look down, because you're riding on it right now.

I usually don't mix my politics into this blog but there is something that I feel Americans need to be talking about, so I'm going to talk about it. It's about the path of the women's movement - where it's going - and what the heck the women's movement is these days. I'm not going to talk much about Sarah Palin, but I will talk about the people who are supporting her because she is a woman, not because they agree with her views.

When the women's movement started as an official movement over 40 years ago, the original intent was to put the issue of gender, and how gender affects us, on the table for discussion and take action to eliminate obvious injustice. Over the years, the discussion has included topics such as women and work; women and families (marriage/partnership and motherhood); women and the economy... and the list goes on. Now it's time to add a new discussion to the list: the differences among women.

What does it mean to support women and women's rights? Does it mean that women should support other women in positions of power simply because they are women? NOW PAC Chair Kim Gandy says no, and I agree with her. She says, "Gov. Palin may be the second woman vice-presidential candidate on a major party ticket, but she is not the right woman. Sadly, she is a woman who opposes women's rights, just like John McCain. The fact that Palin is a mother of five who has a 4-month-old baby, a woman who is juggling work and family responsibilities, will speak to many women. But will Palin speak FOR women? Based on her record and her stated positions, the answer is clearly No."

I am disappointed that so many people who want to see a woman in public office would support the GOP ticket simply because a woman is on it. I studied Women's Studies at UConn in the 90's and one of my professors told us to remember one thing above all else: there are just as many differences among women as there are between women and men. The Women's Movement is not about women v. men; it's about people coming together to recognize that women and men face different challenges and deal with different issues. And not only are men and women different, all women are not alike. Understanding those different issues and coming up with realistic, fair solutions is the goal.

People who believe that having any woman in a position of power, regardless of her views, is a good thing for women are not using necessary critical thinking skills to make sound decisions. As I have often heard, "Gender is what happens between your ears, not between your legs." Just because someone is biologically built as a woman does not mean she supports women's rights! It's time to start talking about it. It's time to have a national discussion about what "women's rights" means these days.

It's okay to vote for a man instead of a woman, if that man is going to address women's needs and issues better. And while we're on the topic of women's issues, let me clarify what I think women's issues are. They include: things that affect our bodies and minds right now, like access to affordable, quality healthcare (including abortion and birth control) and mental health services; things that affect our household budgets like the economy and taxes; things that affect our future, and our children's future, like education, the environment, medicare and social security; things that affect our outlook and sense of well-being, like culture and the arts, community action and volunteerism; and things that affect our standing in the world, such as a foreign policy that places emphasis on diplomacy.

Women need to start talking about the differences between themselves and other women, and understand that it's okay to disagree, to have different opinions, and most of all, it's okay to not support another woman's rise to power and still proudly say they support women's rights.

I do not support Sarah Palin's political views and I will not vote for the McCain-Palin ticket. I do support women's rights and I believe Barack Obama is a better choice.

It's almost autumn now

My internal calendar turned the page today. It's Fall now. I know because I seem to do the same things every fall and work to satisfy the same cravings year after year. Today I had the urge to make applesauce, drink some tea, and roast a batch of root vegetables. Yesterday I harvested herbs. I'm winding down, settling in, getting ready for winter. It feels good.

Here is my food mill. I've had it forever and I really only use it to make applesauce.

Something else that feels good as autumn nears... I'm starting put on my pajamas earlier and earlier! Now I put them on right after dinner, when the girls do. It feels nice to be cozy.

bedtime routine

This is for you, honey.

About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!