Friday, April 30, 2010

Dear Cora: Modesty

 Note: I will suggest that this is a ladies-only post. Thank you very much! :-)

"I would really enjoy hearing your elaboration on how you view modesty. I am a (16 year old) christian, and I wear both skirts and pants, jeans most of the time.... however, hearing people talk about only wearing skirts and hearing valid, biblical reasons makes me wonder if I should stop wearing pants. haha, that sounds funny. Anyways, I would (really, really) love to hear a bible based view on why to wear pants. Thanks a bunch!!"

Dear Laurel,

 Firstly, I would like to stress this point: If God has called you to abandon wearing jeans and switch to skirts, do not listen to me. My first reason is unique to me and my life situation, and may never apply to you.

Okay? Okay. On with much talk about clothing and stuff.

1. My dad told me to never, ever, ever wear skirts while doing work around the farm. As a fireman/EMT, he has seen too many people die or be seriously injured from wearing loose clothing (like skirts) around machinery. So in order to obey him, I must not wear skirts working around the farm. He also believes I should not wear skirts in any situation where I might get dirty, like, say, cleaning the house or gardening. So... Only pants at home. So I don't have very many skirts at all. When I'm out of my dad's house and in my own, I will probably continue this rule, as... well... my dad raised me to be uber-safety-conscious. :-)

2. I say I wear men's pants. Why not women's?
*Women's jeans (aside from work-jeans and a few brands of regular jeans) are designed to be sexually attractive. From the fancy stitching/patches/etc. to the cut of the legs, to the use of stretchy fabrics that fit like a second skin to the hips, they are meant to make men look at places they should not.
*Women's sweatpants are also made to hug the body, often with words in inappropriate places. Again, sexual attraction.
*Even the slacks I'm required to wear at work get the wrong kind of attention from male customers.
*Women's shorts - ALL of them are too short/tight/revealing.
*Skorts - Don't get me started. It looks like a wrap mini-skirt. So what if there are shorts underneath? No one knows that. They see a flappy, little mini-skirt.
*Men's pants - They don't style for sexual attraction, because most women don't get a high off of seeing men in tight pants. They style for coverage and comfort. I'm willing to take teasing and put-downs to cover my body and ward off the stares of others. I value The Cowboy too much to purposely make myself "used goods" when I marry him.

3. Shirts - I know Laurel didn't ask about shirts, but I'll throw this in just for kicks and giggles.
*I strongly avoid V-necks and wraps (even with a shirt underneath), as they draw the gaze of the beholder down to regions he should not be ogling.
*Words and decorations on the front must be big enough for the beholder to understand without intently studying.
*Necklines: Nothing lower than 1.5" below the collarbone for me, please. I have been known to wear something lower than that (slightly lower, not "Yikes!" lower), but as a general rule? No.
*Quoting Miss Jocelyn Dixon, "Tight enough to show you're a woman, but loose enough to show you're a lady." Nearly every Christian young lady I know looks poured into her shirt. It makes me ill.
*Sleeveless is iffy.
*Shoulderless/strapless are OUT OF THE QUESTION. Period.

4. Bathing suits. Again, Laurel didn't ask, but I'll go ahead.
*There are no modest bathing suits in my book. If I don't feel comfortable wearing something in my grandmother's living room for tea, I will not wear it in public at all. I wear long shorts and a black T-shirt over a bathing suit when I swim (in case the shirt comes un-tucked, you know).

There's all the TMI you could ever want. ;-)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: Names That I Like 2

For today's Thursday Thirteen, I'm posting girl names I like. Last week, I did boy names. These are names that just strike my fancy at the moment, not ones I'm planning on using for kids or whatever. ;-)

1. Brigitte
2. Honoria
3. Jess
4. Katherine
5. Lorelei
7. Maxine
8. Milly
9. Svetlana
10. Tanya
11. Tess
12. Tzeitel
13. Wendy

Linked over HERE. What is a list of 13 things you want to post?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Dear Mother and the Meaning of Life

The meaning of life is not 42. It's very far from 42. My dear mother is convinced that we exist for no purpose other than cleaning the kitchen. How we came to discover this:

Cora: "Where should I put the Weck?"
Dear Mother: "You can clear off the counter over there... Actually, it might help to clean the whole kitchen first!"
Cora: "You ALWAYS think cleaning the kitchen helps. If I was going to do a sewing project in the basement, you'd tell me that it would help to clean the kitchen first!"
Dear Mother: "Well... it would! You're not going to escape from cleaning the kitchen. When you're 80, you'll still be cleaning the kitchen!"
Cora: "Douglas Adams was wrong, then. The meaning of life is NOT 42! It's cleaning the kitchen!"

 I did get the dishwasher unloaded, reloaded, counters cleared... and then commenced baking... So it really doesn't look like I cleaned at all. Guess what I have to go do now!

Embrace the cleaning of the kitchen. It IS your destiny.


Well, Knock Me Over With a Feather!

Check out this headline:

Calif. county bans toys in kids' meals in attempt to cut fat

Really? Where's a wall. I need a wall... *smacks head against it*

Katie's Whole Wheat Pan Bread

My friend, Jenna, over HERE was asking for favorite recipes that are relatively healthy. I think this fits the bill...

This is the food my family refers to as "hard tack" and devours the moment I make it.

WW Pan Bread
From my dear friend Katie

7/8 c Warm Water
1/3 c Oil
1/4 c Honey
  1  t Salt
3 1/s-4 c Whole Wheat Flour

Mix into a stiff dough and roll flat on baking sheet. Poke repeatedly with fork and score into squares. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until done. Fend off hungry family members until you get a bite.

There is no picture because it was all eaten before my darling brother came home with the camera. *Rolls eyes*

~From Cora's Cooking And Poetry Book
(a Thomas Kinkade journal serving a better purpose)

Monday, April 26, 2010

There's a Snake in My Boot!

Once upon a time
 (about an hour ago)
I pulled up to the gas station
To fill up my truck's tummy.

I stepped out of the truck
(right down into a puddle)
And thought, "My lands!
Methinks a snake has made a home
Inside my tire tread!

The hiss was loud - too loud
(and angry, seems to me.)
I bent down to the awful noise
And found the wretched beast.

Shiny was the awful thing,
(small and silver, too.)
It sat there hissing up at me
And I a mite confused.

For it was no snake inside my tire
(instead, a giant screw)
Embedded in the rubber
And naught there could I do!

I called up my dear papa
(he can fix these things, I know!)
He said to bring it home
For I was not far away.

So I took my poor C-3PO
(that is my lil' truck's name)
Back toward my house,
But on the way...

My eldest brother'd come
(to follow me)
and see me safely home.

Big thanks to my brother, Mighty Mike! :-)

On a side note, the bats in the barn are very much alive and well. :-/

Saturday, April 24, 2010

We're a'doin' this a-gain.

Yesterday, I said to myself, "Self! I want to make a snackie that only I will eat so my peeps will leave it alone." So I made something that my family has, in the past, lovingly referred to as "Whole wheat hard tack." Oil, water, WW flour, a little honey, and salt. I mixed it up. I kneaded it up. Then I baked it up.

And then The Lego Maniac ate it up.

...What? AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! Nothing is safe around a teenage boy.

So today, I said to myself, "Self! The darling brother is probably sick of it now. It is my chance!" So I ground up the flour and commenced baking.

The little bro just looked up from the computer and said, "Hey, are you making more of that stuff?" Cora: "Um... yes?" Darling brother: "I have to work this afternoon, so make sure there's enough for me to take some with for snackage!"


*sigh* Hopeless. It's hopeless.

Shabbat Shalom!

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

-Based on the Swedish poem "O Store Gud" written by Carl Gustaf Boberg

Friday, April 23, 2010

Must-Read Post!

Our brother in Christ, Mr. Batson, wrote an excellent piece on character. I highly encourage you to read it.

Take a lesson on Character from the NFL; Who'd have thunk it?


The Writings of Cora

I write for a few purposes:

1. I have stories to tell, and I love to tell them.

2. I want to write stories that people enjoy. Not to teach lessons or have a subliminal message. There is no "And the moral of this story is _____" at the end to convict the reader and make them want to go home and re-think their life. Nope! Just a fun and exciting story. If you get something out of it, bravo for you! If not, I hope you liked the story and the people in it!

3. I've discovered a distinct lack of gripping fantasy novels that have no magic. I've gotten bored with magic, think it's dumb, and it tends to turn dark quickly. It seems like when an author can't possibly think of an explanation or a fix for a plot hole, he says, "Why, it's magic, of course! Didn't you know?" Blech! I was even encouraged to use magic in my stories by one friend because it was an easy excuse. Why do people buy that excuse so willingly? So. No magic. To the trash bin with it! *tosses magic into bin filled with crumpled paper, eraser dust, and pencil shavings* *fixes lid* Ah, that's much better!

4. ON THE OTHER HAND, lack of magic in fantasy is usually a synonym for boring, super-sweet, annoying stories. For example: genre Christian fiction. The main character is practically perfect, though they're allowed 1 flaw, and it's usually pride. Then they have some issue with that flaw, and the whole story takes a melodramatic turn for the worse. After a few pages, the main character says, "What have I done?" and apologizes, repents, and all is good again. Then an older, wiser character comes to the main character to say, "Son, this just goes to show you that nothing good comes of being proud." The authors avoid magic simply to create a super-sweet story that all Christian parents would let their children read. You can only read so many books like that before you can predict the ending after reading the book's first paragraph. Eventually, you have to look for something else. I'm writing that something else.

In my first book, the main character does not have a huge, glaring flaw because it did not fit the story. She does not have a flaw merely for the sake of having a flaw to teach the reader to be a better person. My goal is not to teach lessons on how bad pride, greed, etc. is throughout the story. I am assuming you know that already and don't need me to tell you.

I'm a Christian. I write fiction. I do not write genre Christian fiction. I write fiction from a Christian perspective.

So I am writing to fill the gap I've found in the "epic fantasy" genre. Swords, leathers, cloaks, dungeons, desperate ventures... and characters that are lovable. Or love-to-hateable. :)

All fueled on the power of coffee, M&Ms, and sheer willpower.

........Mostly the M&Ms.....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: Names That I Like

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood! The sun shines through wisps of clouds, and everything is bathed in a golden light. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise Him, all creatures here below!

*Thursday Thirteen*

Here is a list of random guy names that I like. Not necessarily that I would use - just ones that I like. Next week, I'll post 13 girl names. :-)

1. Andreas
2. Donald
3. Evander "Evan"
4. Gilbert
5. Jonas (NOT because of the Jonas brothers. I almost disowned this name because of them [ick!], but there is still Jonas Quinn...)
6. Jonathan
7. Martin
8. Matthew
9. Oliver
10. Peregrine
11. Wilbur
12. William
13. Zachary

What 13 things do YOU feel like listing today? Leave me a comment and tell me!

(added to the Mr. Linky HERE)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cora, Mommy to 4

Just recently, I became mama to 4 little kids. Two sets of twins, in fact! Their names are Jacen and Jaina (someone is a Star Wars geek around here...); and Gareth Joraiem "Super Gary" and Jerusha Rielle. Yes, I name every animal, including the ones that will end up on our plates someday. My animal-naming-style is Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Character Names With A Flair Of Hebrew Whenever Possible.

Here are some pictures of my adorable babies

Gary and Jerusha just after birth:

Me feeding Jacen, and Gary supervising:

Mom feeding Gary and being pestered by a hungry Jerusha:

The tichel (hair covering) is to keep the smell of goats off my hair, because my hair is a magnet to barn smells. It is not part of my normal attire. :-)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Flashback #1: "O! What a Tangled Web We Weave!"

I am posting a series of fun "Flashback" posts from my old blog.

"O! What a Tangled Web We Weave!"
Aug. 25, 2007

As my first show n' tell, I wanted to do something that was uniquely me. Something that would make everyone who knows me nod and say, "Yep, that's Cora!"... or it could make them cower in the corner and pretend they don't know me. That's entirely possible, too. However, I couldn't think of something like that, so I went with this.

I came home from the fair inspired to take up a new craft. After all, spending 8 hours a day in the Home Ec. Department will get to you. I decided I wanted to do something easy... like spinning! Ah, spinning. There's nothing to it, really. You put your foot on the foot-press-thing, which drives the wheel, which turns a string, which, in turn, turns the thingamabob. The thingamabob turns the doohickey, which makes the fuzzy stuff into yarn. See? Clear as mud. So, armed with my vast knowledge, I began. This is all by myself, mind you, no adult supervision.

I carded the wool, which I know how to do really well. I learned how to do that while we were watching Galaxy Quest with Susan and her kids a few years ago. Then, I hand-rolled a short piece and tied it to the starter yarn. I was off! It went pretty well at first, except that the string on the wheel kept popping off. Tightening fixed that for the most part. I figured how to get the wheel spinning constantly. Then, I realized that something was terribly, terribly wrong.

That's what it looks like when the smaller gear (turning the spool) does not turn fast enough. Obviously I learned that through trial and error. Mostly error.

That's what it looks like when you abandon the project.

The moral of this story is: If you're going to take up a craft that your mother stopped doing a few years ago, ask her if the device is broken FIRST, instead of waiting for her to come home and tell you it is!


"Don't let your worries get the best of you. Remember, Moses started out as a basket case."
~The Great and Wise Man Named Anonymous

This has been a favorite of mine for viele Jahre (many years).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

He's home! :)

My brother is now home from the hospital and resting. *sigh* It's been a long two days.

Monday, April 5, 2010

"He'd better be saving someone's life..."

That's what my mother said while we were driving to the hospital yesterday afternoon. My brother had just been taken there, and we didn't know any details more than, "He fell out of the back of a jeep."

We got there and waited. And waited. And waited some more. Then they let Mom in. So David and I waited again. Over an hour later, she came out and told us that he would be ok - just really dizzy and sick. Michael had been sitting there in the back of a running, but parked jeep (so they could listen to the radio) with a couple of friends. Some kid (who didn't own the jeep), jumped in and took off driving. Michael reached out to keep his two friends from falling out and in the process went flying out onto the pavement.

They said he'd be fine to come home soon, since he didn't have fractures or anything really bad like that. I don't know when "soon" is. We spent 7 hours in the ER waiting room and finally left around midnight. I have no idea how he's doing now, 9 1/2 hours after that. It was kind of funny - half the people who came into the ER as patients were people we knew, and about 50 people came by over the course of our 7 hour stint to pray with us, talk, play cards... We are blessed with so many friends.

Could you please pray that Michael comes home soon? Very soon. :(