Tuesday, December 20, 2005

NOW, I've got something to write about...

There I was quietly eating my late mid-morning snack when I happened upon this editorial in our local paper. It nearly made me spill my coffee and we all know what a grievous crime that is.
Here is the original article in its entirety (thankfully, a small piece)

Of Births and Butterflies

I read that Japan's population, about 125 million, may be falling, ahead of previous projections that the decline would start in 2007. The estimate of the average number of children a Japanese woman has in her lifetime has slipped to a record low of 1.29. The high cost of education, among other things, is cited.

Unless Third World immigrants' fertility stays surprisingly high, similar declines will probably appear in other developed countries: In general, the fertility rate of people who move to developed nations from the Third World gradually falls toward the native's rate.

While this will affect pension and medical costs, and pose other challenges, world-population stabilization and even decline would generally be very good indeed. The earth cannot forever take the ravages of consumerism and a surging population; how many of us can move to Mars to free up space on this old orb?

Heavily armed Mexican park rangers are trying to keep ruthless loggers from destroying the winter nesting grounds of millions of beautiful monarch butterflies that migrate from Canada. There are few such forests that do not face destruc­tion because of insatiable demands for more and more building materials and other commodities, as both our numbers and our individual demands for natural and manmade stuff swell.

The news from Japan holds out some hope that there might be a future for the monarch butterfly.

-Robert Whitcomb, Vice President and Editorial Pages Editor

The Sunday Providence Journal

December 18, 2005

My first response was "What kind of crack induced, lunk headed editorial is this?!?"
My more appropriate response is this:

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to Robert Whitcomb’s editorial in this Sunday’s Providence Journal. I had to read the article twice to make sure he was serious and not being tongue in cheek.

I am quite honestly shocked by some of Mr. Whitcomb’s statements. He states, “The earth cannot forever take the ravages of consumerism and a surging population;” Consumerism and its subsequent damage to the earth is a function of behavior and not quantity. Blaming the “ravages of consumerism” on overpopulation is like saying the problem of bad Rhode Island drivers would be alleviated if there were less of them. So which Rhode Islander would Mr. Whitcomb vote off the “island”? We are bad drivers because we are lazy and inconsiderate of others, not because there are too many of us. If the issue were amount of people, our small state would not be so notorious for its poor drivers.

I would also add that regardless of your belief system, one must question who will destroy whom first. After the tsunami of last Christmas, the hurricanes of this year, and other natural disasters, I tend to believe that the earth can fend for herself if provoked.

Mr. Whitcomb mentions “Heavily armed Mexican park rangers are trying to keep ruthless loggers from destroying the winter nesting grounds of millions of beautiful monarch butterflies that migrate from Canada.” Are there ruthless loggers because there are too many people on the planet or because their parents did not teach them to behave? Are they destroying the butterfly habitat because there are too many people on the earth or because they haven’t been educated on the environmental impact of their behavior? Again, the issue here is behavior and not one of quantity of people.

I might also point out the second, third, fourth (and I could go on) children of their families who have created new building materials, found ways to more efficiently use materials that we have, and have found new and ingenious uses for naturally occurring, renewable resources. Not to be sophomoric, but what has the butterfly done? The children born today are more likely to find a way to protect that butterfly habitat that the butterfly will be able to resolve our pollution issues.

However, it is Mr. Whitcomb’s last sentence that truly held me aghast. He states, “The news from Japan holds out some hope that there might be a future for the monarch butterfly.” Are the Japanese to look at their forthcoming social and economic difficulties and say “Well, suffer we must but at least we can be a role model for the Mexicans so the butterflies will have their winter home” I agree that the monarch butterflies are beautiful, majestic and deserve to be preserved, but at the cost of the economic and social well being of nations?

Children used to be evidence of one’s wealth. There was a time when we did not count ourselves blessed because we had a large house and X-Box 360, but because our holiday table overflowed with our children and their children. Children were valued in Japan to the point that there were holidays created to honor them. Even today, they are brought to the temples during their childhood so their parents can thank the gods for them. They are the parents’ source of comfort and security in the final stages of their lives and now Mr. Whitcomb says that the lack of children in Japan provides hope? Is he serious?


Dawn G. Kerr

Monday, December 19, 2005

Oh my goodness

Y'all have really flattered me with your warm and encouraging responses to my blog. I am humbled. As a matter of fact, downright speechless (it is possible, sometimes). For those of you who responded "you're scaring me", well, the fun is just beginning. However, now I'm intimidated and befuddled. How does one be witty on demand? I don't make up these amusing events in my life, they just happen and right now, I'm getting no material (maybe I should wake the kids up from that four hour nap). I also don't know how to write: to just muse on some subjects, to inform/educate/to rant? Do I write to acquaintances? or to the larger public? Do I keep in mind that Mom is reading this and might blush or do I go for it (no chanting "go for it!")?

So I leave you with some ramdom thoughts until I get the hang of this blog thing.
1. Any husband who brings home a slice of chocolate mousse cake for his pregnant wife deserves to be sainted (warning-get use to me gushing about the hubby because, yes, he is that good)
2. Those kiosks in the middle of the aisle in a deparment store that are jammed with "gifts for under $10" should be outlawed. They make the aisle smaller, no one really needs that stuff and it all goes on sale for $3.00 the day after Christmas anyway.
3. There's a lot of "remember the reason for the season" stuff going on out there. Yes, we know Jesus is the reason and our salvation is a wonderful gift, but let's take that down to a practical level. Because I know God through Jesus

  • Nothing is random and inconsequential any more (i.e. why the heck do they behave like that?!?)
  • There will always be someone who is patient and loves my kids/spouse on days that I can't/won't.
  • I'm not soley responsible for someone's happiness
  • I'm now friends with the creator of the universe!
  • When I've completely blown it with everyone on a given day, God still likes me
  • When things are going to hell in a hand basket (and are taking the appliances with them) I know someone bigger that me is in charge (and I don't mean girth)
  • Coincidence makes sense
Pretty good gifts, eh?

Ok, enough preaching for now. If you want to actually read more, send for the book, only $19.95 on Amazon!

Monday, December 12, 2005

There is a God

This was in the latest issue of Focus on Your Child Early Stages magazine (free from Focus on the Family), right under the article regarding depression (I wonder why...)

"Babies Love Chocolate, Too!
Let the prenatal celebration begin! New research suggests that chocolate consumption during pregnancy is good for both the mother and the baby. Previous studies have associated certain chemicals in chocolate with a positive mental attitude [duh!-ed.], and now it seems that babies may benefit from it as well. Researchers monitored the stress levels and chocolate consumption of 300 pregnant women throughout their pregnancies. Six months after birth, the babies of those mothers who regularly ate chocolate appeared much happier and calmer. They even smiled and laughed more than babies whose moms didn't eat as much chocolate. These sweet results seem to show that chocolate is a calming treat for both mothers and their preborn babies. Not that we needed one, but now there's another reason to love chocolate."

hint-I'm due in May and Christmas is in two weeks

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

This recipe is not an original but it has served well as a "welcome to the neighborhood" gift with the recipients usually asking for a second one. Since it's a quick bread, it's easy to make. You could become the most popular person on your block!

2 c. flour
1 ¼ c. sugar divided (1 c. & ¼ c.)
3 tsp. baking powder
3 ½ tsp cinnamon divided (1 ½ tsp. & 2 tsp.)
1 ¼ tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 c. buttermilk (I use 1 c. milk with 1 tbl. Lemon juice or vinegar)
1/3 c. oil
2 tsp. vanilla
3 tbl. butter (melted)

Combine flour, 1 c. sugar, baking powder, 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients. Pour ½ of the batter into a 9x5x3 loaf pan (don’t use 8x3 or it will overflow). In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp. cinnamon, ¼ c. sugar and butter. Drizzle half of cinnamon mixture over batter and swirl. Pour in remaining batter and drizzle remaining half of cinnamon mixture on top and swirl. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove bread to a rack.


Since becoming a homemaker and mother, I've had to suffer the slings and arrows of many a critic who doesn't understand what a burden it is to be a domestic goddess. Most folks figure they can change the world on their own. I say, why not send out an army? My five little soldiers are more likely to rule the world someday than a lone dictator!

I hope this blog will enlighten those who think that being "just a mom" is some sort of scarlet letter. In fact, it is the most noble (and exhausting) thing one could pursue in life.

Thanks for stopping by!