Barbara Bush

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Love, love, love this quote by Barbara Bush, wife of President George Bush.  She was speaking to graduates of Wellesley College:

“But whatever the era, whatever the times, one thing will never change: Fathers and mothers, if you have children, they must come first.  You must read to your children and you must hug your children and you must love your children.  Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House but on what happens inside your house.”  (Washington Post, 2 June 1990, 2.)

On days when you feel that the world is in a downward spiral and you think there is nothing you can do about it, remember Mrs. Bush’s profound thought; what you do as a mother matters.  Small and simple things, reading, giving a hug and plainly loving your children will reap benefits on the world that will be seen and felt by generations.

You can do this.

All my love,
Jacque

Thoughts On Pulling Weeds

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I was reminded recently about something a friend of mine taught me a long time ago. Her name is Carol and she was my neighbor in northern Utah. Carol and her husband had raised their children and were living in a beautiful home across the street from ours. She had a knack with everything “homemaking”…she was a good cook, her home was beautifully decorated and their yard was immaculate. Carol herself is a lovely person who looks nice and is bright and friendly.

I was standing on the sidewalk in front of her house visiting for a minute one summer morning and as I admired her yard, I wondered how she kept her flower beds free of weeds. I mean, I couldn’t see one! I remember thinking that maybe when I got to that point in my life when I wasn’t on the constant treadmill of cooking, dishes, cleaning, laundry, etc. etc. maybe then I would be able to keep my flower beds free of weeds too…?

So, I asked her how she did it. What was her secret to a weed-free yard? In her sweet, energetci way she said that each morning (or evening) she would quickly go through her flower beds and pull out the tiny, almost invisible weeds that had sprouted the day before. It only takes a few minutes and then, she said, it never became a big chore. 

That was about the end of our conversation, but her idea and all it can be related to has stayed with me for many years. Slowly it has taught me some important things about the way I perceive my job as a homemaker.

I decided that the thing I love most about Carol’s answer is that it was full of accountability! We already know that when we have a yard that weeks will grow. We know when we cook and eat that dishes will get dirty. And we know clothes get dirty and laundry needs attention, and that when we start a project it will inevitably be followed by some kind of a cleaning-up process. Yet so often we talk about our dishes or laundry as if it is in charge and multiplying on its own! Like, “these dishes just keep appearing!” and, “when will this laundry ease up?”

For all of us who sometimes feel overwhelmed by the mundane, I hope that a fun an accountable voice might start to speak up and to make plans! When could we plan to pull weeds while they are small? Would having a sink of hot, soapy water ready to wash pots and pans during the dinner cooking make the evening lighter? What about thinking through the laundry schedule (or making one!) and finding a way to do it that doesn’t feel like drudgery?

As Dieter F. Uchtdorf has said, “we are the daughters of the most creative being in the universe!” We are in charge of our homes and we can use creativity in our desire and responsibility to keep our homes and families happy and functioning.

And, besides, now I know that Carol wasn’t in a time of her life when there wasn’t plenty to do! She wasn’t bored or lacking for something to fill up her days, but she was choosing to be in control of herself  and win the battle with those elements of our job as homemakers that have the potential of using up our mental and physical energy before we even begin! I’ve learned that even the empty nest is a busy and vibrant nest… and around that nest, the weeds still grow!

My Chicks Have Flown

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My chicks have flown. They came to nest in a bunch and then flew off in a flock. I guess I should have known it would happen that way. It’s just that for so many days and weeks and years, it seemed that they would never be able to fly on their own! Now looking back at the mind-boggling short time they were actually in our nest, I wish I could have loved every minute of the time I spent doing those seemingly mundane tasks that make up so much of a mother’s day. But loving the tasks is not the point. Here at the the end of one personal era and at the beginning of another, I see that I did LOVE every minute, that is, I did love THEM every minute, and that love motivated me to stretch further than I thought I was able, dig deeper into my soul than I thought I could, and hold tightly enough to the belief that making a family was the most amazing thing we could or would ever do, that I would make it successfully through…

I look back and feel gratitude.

What About Fat?

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A quote from Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions in response to the question in cooking class last week, “What about oils?”  And the implied question that comes up so many times, “Will eating fat make you fat?”

“..Our choice of fats and oils is one of extreme importance.  Most people, especially infants and growing children, benefit from more fat in the diet rather than less.  But the fats we eat must be chosen with care.  Avoid all processed foods containing newfangled hydrogenated fats and polyunsaturated oils.  Instead, use traditional vegetable oils like extra virgin olive oil and small amounts of unrefined flax seed oil.  Acquaint yourself with the merits of coconut oil for baking and with animal fats for occasional frying.  Eat egg yolks and other animal fats with the proteins to which they are attached. And, finally, use as much good quality butter as you like, with the happy assurance that it is a wholesome–indeed, an essential—food for you and your whole family.
Organic butter, extra virgin olive oil, and expeller-expressed flax oil in opaque containers are available in health food stores and gourmet markets…”  

Another book idea for this topic, Eat Fat Lose Fat by Mary G. Enig, PhD and Sally Fallon.

I would add that you can get great service and prices on oils and many other items at vitacost.com!  
http://www.vitacost.com/Referee?wlsrc=rsReferral&ReferralCode=2492331

Copy and paste this URL for $10 off your first order!

Happy cooking my friends!