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feathermaye’s perch

  • FemDefence: Realistic, Or Ridiculous?

    Posted on Friday, December 19, 2008

    As indicated on [Link Removed] , "...Femdefence is [a theoretical approach] to contribute to the debate on men's sexual violence against women in society...".

    Without getting into the obvious purpose of the object, I will say that the information on [Link Removed] indicates that although it is designed to do damage, it would be completely safe for the woman wearing it.

    Although this is not a “real” product at this time, it is an on-going project that was begun after several high-profile rape cases in Sweden were unsatisfactorily handled by that country’s judicial system.    

    Assuming you were guaranteed to suffer no injury by wearing it:

    What are your thoughts on this sort of new line of defense against sex crimes?  

    Is it something you would wear? Or provide for your daughters?

    Or do you think it is an unrealistic answer to an ongoing problem?

    Feathermaye, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

    40 Replies
  • Give the gift of... Botulism?!

    Posted on Monday, December 15, 2008

    This year, like so many other years, I got a certain wild-eyed enthusiasm during the second week of December that has made me antsy to get into the kitchen and whip up something foodie-fancy for Christmas giving.

    However, since for the other eleven months and three weeks of the year I typically avoid the kitchen as if it contains the black plague of death, I have no have baking supplies on-hand. Neither do I have appropriate pans, recipes, or a single clue as to where to begin.

    Last week, when the urge overtook me, Scott immediately went into hiding and I went to the internet. I decided to put my 150+ followers on twitter to the test, figuring that at least one of these folks would have a really cool idea. I was looking for something unique, something that would be so completely feathermaye, but without the insecurity and thirty extra pounds.

    And I found it! One particularly stellar little twit(terer) sent me a link to a [Link Removed] on baking pies in pint-sized jars! The blog was brilliant, and--all things considered--it seemed pretty easy to pull off. Plus, what a great little gift, right??

    Unfortunately, I’m not much of a pie kind of person. I’m also known for not giving gifts that I wouldn’t want to receive myself, so the idea of giving pies, even cute little personal-sized pies made by my own hands, didn’t quite grab me by the short hairs. (Scott’s idea of individual-sized pot pies is interesting, but not for Christmas! Maybe a future blog in that? We’ll see.)

    So today, not quite ready to let the idea go, I turned to google for an alternative to the pie-in-a-jar idea. Immeidately I was thrilled to be presented with so many recipes for cakes, breads and even cookies—all of which were baked in jars. I found explicit instructions on shopping, prepping, baking and storing; there were scrumptious pictures that made my mouth water; and the recipes were so easy that even I could totally see me pulling it off.

    That wild-eyed enthusiasm took complete hold of me at that point and I started making lists of recipients, of stuff to be bought and ingredients to be stocked-up on! My fingers were flying across the keys and I was filling up a new bookmarks folder faster than you can say Ctrl-B. I could already see little printed labels announcing the contents, with festive ribbons and bows on little pint-sized jars of love!

    Aren’t you excited? Doesn’t just the idea of that make you think of holiday foods and family gatherings? Don’t you totally hope that you‘re on my list of recipients for such a neat little gift??

    Well, get over it. It ain't gonna happen. Because, apparently, Botulism runs amuck in canned breads and cakes. In fact, according to [Link Removed] published by Penn State University,

    Several years ago, a professor of Food Science at Penn State University developed a recipe for canned bread. It was carefully formulated so that acid and moisture levels would prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum spores during room temperature storage. The product can be safely made as long as the original Penn State recipe is followed exactly as written. However, there is a significant risk that the creative cook may make ingredient substitutions or omissions that could significantly change the pH of the product such that conditions might be more favorable for growth of Clostridium spores.  

    What they don’t tell you, though, are the ingredients and/or instructions for the only freakin’ recipe that’s oh-so-safe for this little project. No clue as to where to find it! And in this aspect, google failed me grandly.

    I know, I know... You’ve probably done breads and cakes in jars for years and never even considered the botulistic potential, but I’m telling you right now that if there’s any chance a food product will kill someone, it most assuredly will if gifted from me. That’s why I stay the hell out of the kitchen in the first place.

    So, back to the drawing board I go. Back to considering pies that I probably won’t eat (which, when considering those thirty extra pounds, is probably a good thing anyway), or moving on to normal old regular cakes, breads and cookies. Or, in a desperate move to keep it unique to me, maybe I’ll go ahead and give Scott’s pot pie idea a chance. I’ll keep you posted...

    Feathermaye, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

    9 Replies
  • I love that you still talk to me (but OMG the things you say!!)

    Posted on Sunday, December 14, 2008

    Jonathan and I have definitely developed our own form of communication over the years.

    When he was in elementary school and middle school, I knew better than to believe a single word issued from his lips. Although he fancied himself a fantastical story-teller, he was really an abysmal liar. Getting him to share a single piece of relevant (and truthful) information about his day required an act of Congress and the promise of a hot-cooked meal.

    In high school, I heard more about his friends that I would have initially cared to hear. However, before making the major mistake of squelching his chosen form of communication, I recognized that in the stories of his friends, I was learning more about my son. As such, I allowed him to share with me the woes of the high school hormones, with all its ups and downs.

    When it became clear that Jonathan would be moving out of our house and into the dorms at the Job Corps, I was sure our lines of communication would break down, and I’d be left wondering what was going on his life. I was a little bit saddened by this thought, but considered it to be the natural course of things and resolved myself to toughen up about it. He was on the verge of being a man, after all, and most grown men don’t share the little details of their lives with their mother.

    Oh, if only that were true...

    Within the past eight days I have had conversations with my son that have left me reeling and weary. While I’m glad he still chooses to confide in me, I’m a little stunned that he’s not developed a filter on what could be considered appropriate to share, and what might not be.

    Unless, of course, he has developed this filter and these are the items that made the cut. Good God, let me not dwell there long! Moving on...  

    Just over a week ago (as a preface of things to come, I suppose) Jonathan led me into a conversation about how he and some of his dorm mates were talking about hickies; who’d had the worst hickies; the oddest places they’d ever received hickies; and how many hickies they each might have given out. When I mildly responded something to the effect of hickies seeming to be par for the course when you‘re an eighteen year old man, Jonathan casually announced:

    “Yeah, I pretty much have hickies all the time now.”

    To which I replied (for lack of anything better in the midst of my stunned wonder at why I needed to know that little piece of information): “Thanks for letting me know that, Jonathan. Now, when I see you at Christmas I won’t worry that they’ve been using leeches on you up there.”

    And his snappy comeback? “Why would they use leeches on us?”

    When I relayed the conversation to Scott later, all he could offer was: “I just hope he’s using condoms.”

    I swear.  How my husband ever made it to fifty years old thinking that a condom is going to prevent a hickey, I’ll never know!

    So, a few days later, Jonathan called again. Scott answered the phone this time (I was in the other room) and I heard him say, “Who’s calling? Oh hey, bud. I barely recognized you. Hold on a sec,” as he walked toward me with the phone. As I put it to my ear, I heard:

    “Mom! Gueth what! I got my tongue pierthed!”

    I’m sure you’ve heard of a “swoon” from the days of old movies and overwhelmed damsels. I’d heard of them, too. I’d never quite experienced one though, before that moment. As the world swam a bit out of focus I closed my eyes, not caring to see where I fell. Before I could tumble and miss the rest of the conversation, however, Jonathan continued:

    “It doethn’t hurt a bit! Ith kinda numb, really. But it lookth really cool!”

    “Does the Job Corps have any rules against tongue piercings, Jonathan?” I really had no idea what else to say!

    “Um, I don’t think tho. But if I keep my mouth clothed, they’ll never know the differenth.”

    “Yes, Jonathan. Keep your mouth closed. That sounds like a plan.”

    Today, another call from Jonathan brought another volley of shocking news briefs. He had gone home with another Job Corps student for the weekend and was hanging out with that young man’s family. They were shooting firearms (“We‘re being supervised, Mom! They‘re civilian-issue, so it’s no big deal.“) and looking forward to food that wasn’t cooked in a cafeteria.

    And, naturally, Jonathan had some news.

    “Well, I took my tongue ring out. I decided that since the Army doesn’t know I have it, I should probably wait until I’m done with boot camp to actually get it.”

    Can you say hallelujah?! “I think that was a smart decision, Jonathan. I’m very proud of you for thinking it through like that, however latently.”

    “Yeah,” he agreed, “besides, it hurt when I tried to eat and you know I like my food.”

    He also got a tattoo this weekend. Well, he had a tattoo completed, I should say. (When we took our trip to see him a few weeks ago, I discovered a partial tattoo on Jonathan's arm. At first I thought that someone had just written on him with a pen, but with much chagrin he revealed that a friend had started to give him a tattoo of his last name with a needle and a bottle of ink. However, Jonathan had not anticipated how badly such a thing would hurt, and only allowed the first two letters of his last name to be embedded under his skin. The result was a tattoo of the letters P and E. That's right: PE.) It turns out his friend's mom is a licensed tattoo artist, and she offered to complete the tattoo for him, professionally. And, since the Army does  know about the partial tattoo, Jonathan decided to take his chances and agreed to have it done.

    Lastly, and hopefully the final piece of mother-son sharing I am to endure this calendar year, involves something Jonathan could only describe to me as “one of those machines that sends a shock into the muscle and tightens it up“. His friend’s father (based on the little information I have) suffered a spinal cord injury to some degree at some point in this life, and is in possession of a machine as so eloquently described by Jonathan.

    Apparently, Jonathan and his buddies decided to jolt various parts of their bodies “just to see what it felt like“.  If you can imagine a deep-voiced giggle, you’ll be imagining the voice in which my eighteen year old described the various shocks that escalated from fingertips to nipples.

    “And then, Mom, I figured this was my one chance to prove that I was tougher than all of them.”

    “Because that was in question?”

    “Well, because I wanted to show ‘em, ya know? So I decided to take all four of the electrode-thingies and hook ‘em up to my right pectoral at one time. I knew better than to do it to the left one, since it was so close to my heart, right?”

    There came that swoon again...

    “So anyway, man, Mom! That thing is powerful! When I had them all hooked up, I told him to do it, and he asked if I was sure and I said ‘Do it, man, before I chicken out’ and I swear to God I thought my pec’ was gonna jump right out of my skin, it was so flexed.”

    “But did it hurt?” I asked through the gray that used to be my vision.

    “I dunno. I was too freaked out while it was happening to really notice how painful it was until it was all over.”

    Much like parenting, I must say.  

    So, I guess I’m still to be glad that my son is sharing with me, regardless of the ‘what’ of it all. And I am. But now, just as a precaution, I’ve asked Scott for one of those electro-shock machines for Christmas, to be hooked up to my LEFT pectoral the next time Jonathan calls... Just in case!

    13 Replies
  • When Houston Freezes Over??

    Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    It is currently snowing in my little pocket of Houston, Texas.

    I can’t speak for the rest of the city, but it’s pretty cool to be me, right now.

    If you ignore the concrete surrounding that is my life, the pictures came out pretty good!

    The last time it snowed was about 3 or 4 years ago, on Christmas Eve and we got 6 inches. None of this is sticking right now, but it’s still oh-so-cool!!

    33 Replies
  • My Mom's Christmas Madness!

    Posted on Sunday, December 7, 2008

    Each year, as we approach Christmas, I'm certain that my mother loses her mind a little bit. In a good way, of course.

    We drove into our old hometown today to pick up our granddaughter for our every-third-weekend sleepover. It’s about an hour’s drive from us to pick her up, so we maximize on the trip by taking her with us to my mother’s house before returning home.

    Arriving at my mother’s house this afternoon, I was struck by my mother’s holiday spirit. She’s had one helluva year, suffered some pretty severe roof and cosmetic damage from hurricane Ike, and yet is still infused with the enthusiasm of a child when it comes to Christmas.

    Her front yard, from left to right:

    And peeking between, to the front patio:

    She does the same sort of thing for Halloween, but nothing on the scale she does up Christmas. And, to hear her tell it, she’s only half done!

    I told her tonight I thought it was really cool that she worked hard all year to pay her Christmas electric bills!

    Do you decorate it up outside your home for the holidays?

    10 Replies
  • Wigs and Extensions... For Your Eyebrows??

    Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008

    If you use gmail, you’ve probably noticed that you will get little text ads that are plugged into your inbox based on keywords from the emails you send and receive.

    A little while ago, I got a notifier that someone had replied to the Eyebrows Poll   

    My ad/text link, then, switched to [Link Removed] .

    What an interesting product. And one that I will NEVER need, I’m sure. Still, it’s nice to know that someone’s got our backs... or brows, as the case may be. ;)

    As borrowed from their website:

    The fake eyebrow wigs are beautifully and skillfully hand made and each will vary slightly in shape, color, and thickness. These individual characteristics enhance the natural appearance of the false eyebrow wigs. Each hair is carefully placed to simulate the growth pattern of real eyebrows. Light to medium shades of brow powder can be carefully applied, if needed. Many different styles can be flattering to most face shapes. Our styles are very natural, fit the contours of the brow area, and can be worn by almost anyone. Most people can wear brown and dark brown. Try several styles for slightly different looks!  

    Does anyone have any experience with these? At $55/pair, they seem a little pricey to me, but I don’t have a basis for comparison, so I’m not sure.

    Feathermaye, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

    25 Replies