Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Growing Your Own

The latest coverage of the Urban Homestead® in Pasadena. Beauty, inspiration, self-reliance and hard work. What an excellent model of sustainable living in the city!

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Saturday, December 11, 2010


All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.
Flannery O'Connor, The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor , p. 307. December 9, 1958, letter to Cecil Dawkins regarding "people's questions about religion" and the faults of the Catholic church. Pages 306-308.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

New lands

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
André Gide (Quoted in The Artist's Way, page 199.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hot milky drinks

Maybe I'll start a series of blog posts with quotes found on the sidebars of others' blogs. Here is today's.
"What a pity we can't make some Ovaltine, was her last conscious thought. Life's problems are often eased by hot milky drinks."--No Fond Return of Love by Barbara Pym
From Frisbee: A Book Journal

Growing up, my favorite hot milky drink before going to bed was Milo. Now, I mix two teaspoons cocoa and two teaspoons sugar in milk and heat on the stove. I need my calcium, after all....

Monday, November 08, 2010

Here I Stand

Besides the "Home-Made Car," another movie we watched (annually?) at boarding school was the old Martin Luther film. As youngsters, we did not understand most of the theological arguments that were being debated (although we got that indulgences were wrong), but one scene we waited for each time the film was shown was the famous "Here I Stand" speech. Afterward, we would we see who could do the best imitation of Luther's refusal to recant.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A brand new ending

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
Author Unknown
From the sidebar of Firefly Cottage.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Urban Homesteading, Biblical style

So, it is just a bit anachronistic to use "urban homesteading," a term coined by Jules Dervaes in the 21st century (AD/CE!) to describe self-sufficient living, to categorize what women did during biblical and early post-biblical times, but this article, "Digging Up Women," nicely summarizes what was required of women in order to run a household without modern conveniences. Following are excerpts from the article, based on artifacts found at Bethsaida, near the Sea of Galilee.
  • To clothe a family of six would have required about three hours a day of labor (and taking the Sabbath off). If she produced more than her family required, there were local markets and fairs at which the surplus could be sold.

  • Feeding was a woman’s prime obligation. Bread was the staple, and this was the most time-consuming of household activities.

  • Lamps were among the most essential household items. [...] Lamps should not go out. The small oil lamps contained enough oil to burn for twelve hours. Oil had to be kept on hand. Who produced the oil? Women, of course, crushing the olives to extract the fuel by trampling on it.

  • Sheep and goats were kept in a courtyard adjacent to the house. They had to be milked on a regular basis. Cheese was made from the goat’s milk. [...] She bought her fish directly off the fishing boats.

  • Women brought water from the well. Numerous water containers have been located. These were carried on the top of the head.
Seasonal tasks included making wine and beer. Plus they looked after their appearance. I need to look into this statement further: "The Talmud required women to teach their children and to be learned in the law." When and how did they become "learned in the law"? (Via BiblePlaces.com Blog)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Home-Made Car

Score!! Found our favourite film from boarding school days, The Home-Made Car (1963)! We didn't know much about it except that it was one of two films played at half-term. We thought it was so funny (we girls liked the mischievous girl next door), and it was shown during the best part of school, our mid-term breaks.

Of course, we didn't pay attention to the BP "product placement" nor did we particularly appreciate the British classic cars featured. But we eagerly anticipated the oil-squirting-in-the-face scene! Watching it 30+ years later, I enjoyed the glimpse of domestic life--the apron and heels; serving tea; laundry hung out to dry; the hand-cranked sewing machine.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A new look

I finally decided to venture here to do something with my blog that I (sort of) transferred from my now-defunct ftp website: http://home.earthlink.net/~jbakke/

But, my, how things have changed since 2001! These templates are magical.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This blog has moved

This blog is now located at http://jbbsmusings.blogspot.com/.
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

The end is nigh!

I logged in to Blogger to post a once-every-few-months' weblog entry, only to read this message:
FTP publishing will no longer be available after May 1, 2010.

You currently have blogs that are published using FTP. You must migrate your blogs to a new custom domain URL or a blogspot URL.
Yes, it is the end of an era (in Internet time). I have been limping along on this almost-to-capacity site (10 MB!!), which stopped displaying archives back in February 2007, using a blog design circa 2001. Not that I write much here now, but it is a little nostalgic finally to be evicted.

To contemplate and to do

If you let your heart be open--not closed in prejudice or through fear--and if you truly desire and really "dig for" the truth, Christ will deliver to you the answers for which you have sought as a result of your sincere necessity.

It is critical to understand how this process of getting answers works. God is only bound to give us what we need to know and not what we may want or wish to know. We will always have what it is that is relevant--by His determination--to our salvation on any given day. We will always be provided with enough truth to grow on.

What determines the rate and the amount of further answers is our readiness as seen in the prior acceptance of what we already have been given. For every morsel of truth previously delivered, we must be acting on it, taking visible steps to make it a living part of us. Or, no more will be forthcoming. What is our universal condition is that we obstruct the process because we are not willing to accept all what God has been willing to offer!
Jules Dervaes, October 1991