Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Bible

I have read through the Bible every year since we moved up here (nearly eleven years now). I don't think I'll make it this year, though.

I did the final edit on my commentary on Genesis this month. Now I am starting my two newest books: The History of Israel (commentary on the history portions of the other Mosaic books), and The Law (commentary on the Law portions of the Mosaic books sorted according to subject.)

I began Exodus this AM. This is the hard part, copying and pasting the actual scripture into a word document.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


My state's elections are held this weekend, so I guess I'll go ahead and weigh in. We have a caucus so I won't be able to go. Anyway, I'm registered with a third party.

If I were a Republican, my first choice would be Ron Paul. We have had socialists and socialists-lite running the country or too long. We need the pendulum to swing back to small government and Ron Paul would take us that way.

I also like Santorum. Don't know much about him, but what I do know I like.

Never really liked Newt, but I would take him over Romeny in a heartbeat.

I'ld vote or Romney over Obama. He's better, but not my much.

Now, I would really have liked Cain. I think that would have been an un-election. In fact Cain always looks like he is having fun. That would have been a nice change or president. Oh well.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Holiday Letter 2011

Happy New Year All!

This year has been full of babies of all kinds, though it ended the same way it began; with illness and cow milking.

The cow I won on a radio program last year is still giving milk, and she is the gentlest cow I have ever met. Joy and I enjoy the morning ritual of watching the sunrise as we milk her. It’s a nice time to quietly reflect on God and His creation.

The calf she came with grew up nicely. We put him in the freezer last September. Quite delicious.
Sadly, the calf she birthed last summer died. Dairy cattle are fragile and, unfortunately, have a high mortality rate.

Joy’s rabbits are doing fine as are our chickens, even our three roosters. Our hens managed to hatch out two chicks this year and they both ended up being boys. We are looking forward to a couple of chicken dinners soon.

That’s quite a few babies, isn’t it?

Well, God had one more in mind for us this year.

Joshua Clinton Tracy was born at home on September 25 of this year. He was 8lbs even, my smallest baby, though at 22.5 inches long he is tied for the tallest. He is such a joy to us all; a member of the family we have truly needed. All the children, but especially the girls, love holding and playing with him. If it wasn’t for nursing I am not sure I would get to hold him at all! He is a happy, content baby who enjoys being in the center of everything.

All last year we suffered with one cold or flu after another. Most have been very minor, though a couple came with bad fevers. It’s been more annoying and inconvenient than anything. We did have a few weeks over the summer with no illness, but as soon as the weather cooled off we started again. My midwife says every large family she knows goes through one or two years like this and there doesn’t seem to be anything that can be done but to wait it out. Illness, however, is why I am late with the cards this year.

Other than that minor annoyance, Andy’s gout has been our only health problem of the year. The doctor told him to quit drinking. He told her we are tea-totalers. She told him to quit eating sweetbreads (organ meats). He told her he never has eaten them. She asked if he had any relatives with gout. Bingo! His dad did and we have since found out some of his brothers are likewise afflicted. Unfortunately there isn’t anything you can do about heredity. He has instituted some dietary changes (no sweet peas, daily herbal supplements, lots of water) and that seems to have cleared it up.

School is doing fine. We recently switched curriculums and everyone is learning even more. The only parts everyone didn’t like better were spelling and grammar. I didn’t like this spelling program either, so we’ll switch. But there was a universal, grudging admittance that they had all learned more in this grammar so we will stick with it. This curriculum is more independent study and so takes less of my time so I can do my own thing more, a nice bonus.

Joy has been doing some college-level studies here at home. She had some things she felt she needed to learn outside of a traditional K-12 course and has been concentrating on that. And, of course, it has been wonderful for me to have another adult woman around the house all day. I know I ran the house without her help at one time, but I don’t remember how! And she is mostly in charge of our “farm.” I get to play farmer when the mood strikes but she takes care of it most of the time. She is such a beautiful woman and has well lived up to her name.

Jim is finishing up his studies this year and looking at various options for the next couple of years. He enjoys his guitar and is our handyman as part of his schooling.

Jon is growing a mustache along with extra height. He is now taller than me. He is studying various science fiction stories. I expect him to write a book some day. Maybe something like “Harry Potter goes to the Star Wars?”

Joe is the same height as I am now. He is always building something; origami yesterday, whistles from scratch out of wood today, Legos tomorrow.

Jessie, Jennifer and Jackie are all most fond of playing house, though their “toy stove” doesn’t run off a light bulb and cook a cake for one person. It runs on propane and can cook an entire meal for a large family with desert to boot at the same time.

Jessie is also very fond of animals and helps with the milking daily.

Jennifer is fascinated with medical books and herbs.

Jackie loves to dance and is a beautiful singer.

Jane fell so much in love with our ukulele that grandma bought her her own for her birthday. She calls it her guitar and has a real good sense of rhythm. As soon as her hand/eye coordination is good enough I will begin to teach her cords on it.

Andy’s job is the same as it has been for the last eleven years. We are very thankful he is still working. There are so many in the area that can’t say the same.

I took the year off of my herbalist courses. What with the cow and the pregnancy (growing a baby is hard work!) I felt like it would be too much. I won’t get to it this year either, but maybe next. The midwife studies are going good. Slow, but good.

I finally got my health book, “Caring for Your Masterpiece” finished. I am doing the final edit on my commentary on the book of Genesis now. I hope to have it done in a couple of months.

I just finished editing my older brother’s second book, “Ephesians: Who We Are In-Christ.” He and his wife now have four grandchildren and, since both their boys are out of the Navy, they get to see them often. It will be even better when their daughter-in-law, Ashley is out and back home. We all appreciate her service to our country but miss her here.

Mom and Dad are as busy as usual. Dad has his minister’s meetings every week and is installing a solar heating system in their home. Mom has her hands full just keeping up with Dad.

One day this summer Dad was out working on the irrigation system for their trees. A herd of mustangs wandered up to see what he was doing. There were fifteen of them including several foals. One of the foals let him pet her. When he backed up they amused themselves playing with the hoses. He had to make more repairs later because of their play, but it was worth it.

We’ve had a couple nice visits with my younger brother again this year. His boys sure are growing fast!

Our church started a weight loss support group for our members. All together we lost 139 pounds!
For our vacation this year we went to Scotty’s castle in Death Valley. The children had never seen it before. They really enjoyed themselves, though I think they remember the mule-sized jack rabbits in the campground better. We also went to the train museum in Laws, California. I can’t wait to go back there.

Jane came to me in fright one day saying she had seen a snake in the storeroom. We got out the field guides and she promptly identified it as a Giant Anaconda. A few days later I saw it in my kitchen (not quite Anaconda sized! It was a 15” Gopher snake.) Jim, the ever faithful hunter, eventually caught it and released it outside. I don’t mind the mouse-hunting snakes as long as 1) they are not poisonous and 2) they STAY OUTSIDE!

We were eating in the local Carl’s Jr. one day in December when a man walked up to the children’s table, dropped a gift bag, and mumbled “I’m just the messenger.” Then he hurried out of the restaurant. Jim opened the bag to discover a New Testament Bible and a $50 gift card to Wal-Mart! We were flabbergasted! I suspect an elderly couple who watched us very closely as we came in were the actual gifters, since they stood by the bathrooms watching until we found the card. What fun that must have been for them! I hope to be able to do that kind of thing too some day. We re-gifted the Bible to our favorite clerk there at CJs, but used the card! ☺

All in all, it has been a good year. We hope your’s has been as well.

Andy, BettySue and the children.

Friday, January 20, 2012

For my files:-)

Callaghan noted the U.S. had once set a goal of bringing its rate of maternal deaths down to 3.3 per 100,000 live births by 2010. The country has made no progress toward reaching that goal, he said.

In fact, the government has now given up on it. Now, it proposes to reduce maternal deaths to 11.4 per 100,000 live births by 2020.

While the national rate stood at 12.7 in 2007, and seems virtually stuck there, state rates vary widely.

Only five states met the 2010 standard, and Oregon was not one of them. Its rate was twice as high. Nationally, rates currently range from 1.2 in Maine to 34.9 in Washington, D.C.


In “Deadly Delivery,” Amnesty International noted that a woman is five times more likely to die in childbirth in the U.S. than in Greece, which has the world’s lowest maternal mortality rate.

The United Nations releases a new report every five years. The United States ranked 41st in child mortality in the 2005 report, but had slipped nine spots to 50th by 2010.

The United States averaged 12.7 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2009, up from 7.1 a decade earlier. Nearly every industrialized nation in the world does better than that, as do several developing nations, according to the U.N.
of which lead to lasting impairment.

In the U.S., it said, “Severe complications that result in a woman nearly dying, known as a ‘near miss,’ increased by 25 percent between 1998 and 2005. During 2004 and 2005, 68,433 women nearly died in childbirth in the U.S.A. More than a third of all women who give birth in the U.S.A. – 1.7 million women each year – experience some type of complication that has an adverse effect on their health.”

What’s more, at least half of maternal deaths occurring in this country are preventable, according to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sham representation signals end to liberty

Yep. That's what it looks like to me.

Sham representation signals end to liberty

I Love Greed

I have said it before and will say it again; the most compassionate system is free market capitalism. Not "capitalism" where people bribe government officials to regulate their competition out of existence. The real thing where the consumer is the ultimate decider on the value and even existence of a product.

I Love Greed by Walter E. Williams on - A Syndicate Of Talent

Ron Paul

Blog Grace Family Baptist Church

I agree with this Brother. I, too, would prefer to vote for Ron Paul, but I don't think I'll get a chance. I think it will probably be Romney for the GOP because he appeals to the moderates. The thing is, the GOP can't win without the conservatives and I'm not at all sure the conservatives will vote for MR. (and no, it isn't because of his religion. It's because he's not much better than a Democrat)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Please help me

My laptop is dying. At least it has the decency to warn me. the screen blanks out occasionally, keys are falling off, the charging cord doesn't like to stay in.

To add to the frustration, the laptop used just for the kids school is also dying, though not as badly. keys have fallen off (unfortunately a and e among them.) the mousepad is, uhhh, clumsy? sticky? anyway...

I have been looking at the bewildering aray of choices out there. The simplest might be to just pick a cheapy used one (or two) off of Amazon. We have had failry good luck with that. I can get one for about $130.

But I noticed at Target the other day that a brand new, though tiny, laptop was only $250. Its worth something to have a machine no one else has ever messed with and has totally up to date software.

Then I began looking at tablets. Eye, eye, eye, eye, eye....

So here's what I need from you: What device(s) would you recommend I buy?

laptop 1: Used for word processing (I write my books on it), facebook, blogging, maybe music and the occasional youtube. I store all my books on a thumb drive.

laptop 2: Used for light word processing (need thumbdrive port), school DVD and computer programs, searching Amazon (though I have considered disabling this feature so if internet wasn't included I am ok with that.)

I'm not too concerned about speed on any of these. Would a tablet with a bluetooth keyboard work?

Saturday, January 07, 2012

As a reward for working so hard to clean up Christmas I am letting the children watch some cartoons. It is so fun to listen to my children laughing at the same cartoons I enjoyed as a child (Tom and Jerry)

We have moved on to Minnie Mouse. She is upset at her cat chasing her canary. She should be thankful her cat isn't chasing her. She is a Mouse after-all!