Archive for November, 2007

Are All Men Pedophiles?

I am deeply disturbed. I read a blog post by a concerned mother over a comment another child’s father had made to her own daughter and how she felt about it. While it is natural for a mother to be protective of her children, it made me think on how society at large perceives men and their connection to children. This is not a jab or attempt to belittle the concerned mother, I won’t link to the post, but I would like to address this type of topic.

In today’s society, it is generally ok for a woman to say she loves children. For a mother to be present at school functions or even in classes, if a man states he loves children the first thought that often comes to mind is ‘Oh my gosh, he must be a pedophile’ or ‘That is so weird’. So generally, all men who love children is a pedophile in many minds. I’ve seen enough of this type of talk in forums, chats, and in person to know this is a major frame of mind.

This is very scary to mothers out there who encourage their children’s fathers to be involved in their children’s lives. A father who spends the same amount of time, if not more, with their children at school, in extra curricular activities, or allowing their children’s friends to visit suddenly is a weirdo. Why is this? There have been women who take advantage of young men or boys throughout time. But I have heard people when viewing such stories covered in the media think the women involved were punished too severely. It is like a rite of passage for a teen boy to be sexually involved with an older woman. Take a peek at any of the American Pie movie series if you don’t believe that one. Older woman + young man/boy= acceptable.

Don’t think I am advocating that older men should be allowed to touch a younger girl. Quite the opposite. Women should be given the same treatment as men who make advances on young girls. It is not fair, not at all. We should all expand our views to first look at a man as a good father for being involved in his child’s life before making assumptions based on his sex.

Sexism is stereotyping people based on their sex alone, not women, people. Men are the victims of sexism far more often than women. We assume men need to fit into a male model that has been moldeed throughout centuries, millennia even. Men are written about undesirably concerning their lack of emotions, insensitivity, hot looks, and beyond. What makes that ok?

Maybe I’ve went off on a rant here, but it irks me to no end how society at large wants everyone to be equal, which in the end means that if you are a woman, minority, or gay it is not acceptable to say anything negative without backlash. I should probably remove the minority from there, because men from all races put up with this type of sexism. Men deserve more respect for just being human. They should not have to fear assumptions being made if they care for their kids and love kids.

All of you guys out there…here’s to you. Keep being who you are, don’t let people or the media get you down. Some of us love ya however you are.

**I have decided to add a note here concerning the above post. I had already written that this is not intended to belittle the poster from the other blog. Her post caused me to think and it led down this path. Any writer or blogger who reads usually finds that their thoughts continue down the ‘what if’ path. One of the best freelance writers out there, Jenna Glatzer, spoke of finding another story within a story. This is what I have done. I have the utmost respect for my fellow bloggers and writers, I would not stoop to making insults nor ‘calling out’ someone on a blog meant for families. Making others think is why we all blog or write, so I thank J. for her original post.**

Posted in Uncategorized, Parenting | 6 Comments »

Xbox Live: Predator Game Space

Do you know what your children are doing online?

With the internet, many parents have become more careful in the time they allow their children to spend online. Parents monitor the sites kids are visiting and have restrictions set on their computers. In some cases the kids get past those restrictions and meet adults online. While this happens, many parents are trying harder to combat this issue.

Cue Xbox Live.

A few days ago we subscribed to Xbox Live. My husband and brother in law wanted to play Halo 3 online and see what else they could find to distract them from their manly stresses. (insert a chuckle here, I know what they do all day) I didn’t mind, thought it would be fun.

Imagine our horror when we heard some sad sack hitting on a 13 year old girl! The horror wasn’t really from the man hitting on her, it stemmed mainly from the fact that she gave him information on where she lived. State, home town, and the name of the apartment building. Anyone plugged in to that particular scenerio could hear her.

Scary stuff. Parents should think twice before buying a younger teen a subscription to Xbox Live or at least monitor the child’s gaming activities. Children must be responsible enough to not relate their personal information to anyone who asks.

Predators will use any outlet to reach their target. When you use Xbox Live, remember that it is the same as the internet where any number of people came meet and chat together. Some of the people do not have the best of intentions. I cannot stress this enough: Teach your children to never, ever give out their home address, school location, or real name to people met online or via Xbox Live. (or any other platform with interweb capabilities)

Posted in Uncategorized, Parenting, Personal Safety, Technology | 3 Comments »

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

Lovely Decoration

Many families like to put their Christmas trees up the day or week following Thanksgiving, or in the end of November if Thanksgiving is not part of their holiday tradition. While I will be talking about how to choose the perfect tree, let’s first discuss safety. Proper handling of your tree will avoid any potential accidents and make your holiday a safe and happy one. Use the following list to stay safe!

1.When you first bring your tree home, if you are using a live tree, be sure to cut a 2 inch section from the bottom before placing it in the stand. This will encourage the tree to ‘drink’ the water you provide. A dry tree is a dangerous one. Needles will fall more quickly and dry branches are apt to cause a fire. Check the water and replenish it each day that your tree is used with lights.

2.Check your lights whether you use new lights or the ones from previous holidays. Examine the wires for cracks, breaks, or fraying. Exposed wires can lead to sparks and fire.

3.If you must use several strings of lights, use a power strip with surge protection. This will prevent problems with your power outlets.

4.Many light strings may have lead in their construction. Wear gloves and wash your hands after decorating with lights.

5.If you have children, especially small or special needs children, please use large plastic ornaments. Small children and special needs children tend to mouth objects. Tiny ornaments can be a choking hazard.

6.When choosing plastic ornaments, try to avoid those with the label ‘Made in China’. With the recent levels of lead found in plastic toys and other products from China, it is a good idea to either avoid them or use latex gloves when handling any decoration made from materials imported from China for now. Do not allow children to touch them. Place them high on the tree, out of reach. Wash your hands.

7.Do not use edible decorations like cranberries or stringed popcorn if you have small children. As with the previous points, small or special needs children will mouth nearly anything. The strings can become entangled in their intestines if swallowed or choke them by balling up in the mouth/throat.

8.No glass around children!

9.Do not place any tree near a used fireplace, live or artificial.

10.Unplug your lights when leaving home or before bed. Removing them from their power source is much safer than just turning them off or turning off the power strip.

Posted in Holidays | 5 Comments »

Classic Pumpkin Pie

Yeeks. It seems I saved this recipe as a draft instead of posting it. Sorry all, you can still enjoy this pie for your holiday meals!

Since 1950, the Libby’s brand of pureed pumpkin has included this recipe on it’s label.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can Packed Pumpkin
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Since I make pie for a large crowd, I line a 13×9 pan with the pie crust, then pour the pie batter in. I bake the pie at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. For a decorative effect, cut some leaf shapes from leftover crust and place around the edges of the pie. Cover the edges with foil to protect from overbrowning.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

A Holiday Plan.

Here it is, the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday as it’s called here in the States. Do you have a holiday plan?

If you’re sending out cards, now is the time to begin addressing them. I like to have my cards out by the first of the month, just to make sure they are to my recipients in time for the holidays. But what if you want to send cards to friends who might not be of your faith?

Do a little research. Simple solutions to the quandary is to just ask how your friends plan to spend their holidays. Or maybe, “Do you and your family get together for the holidays?? is a sneaky way to find out if your friend(s) celebrate a specific religious holiday. Be sensitive to your friends, send a card that is either for their holiday or a generic holiday greeting without religious reference.

If you are going to send gifts, don’t go overboard with people you are not very familiar with. For example, I recently made a recommendation of tea or coffee for a business acquaintance. A gift is great, but your boss may feel as if you are trying to bribe them into giving you a better position or pay raise if you buy something extravagant. Keep it simple and thoughtful. The same goes for a boss, a card or gift card is a nice appreciative gift for your employee(s). If your company supplies a bonus for the holidays, then adding something extra is not perhaps the best course of action unless handled in private. Other employees may become jealous.

In the coming weeks before the holidays, keep checking back for posts concerning holiday gift buying, safety, and more!

Posted in Holidays | 4 Comments »

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Posted in Finance, Home and Mortgage | 1 Comment »

Reader Letter, Special Needs

Just today I received my first reader letter with a question. I’m thrilled to publish it here along with my answer. If you have a question about family life you’d like to ask, just email me at familyresourceblogger@gmail.com . Be sure to include if you would like for the email to be published on the blog.

Dear Julie,
I read your blog often and I have a question, if you have time to answer. You wrote about special needs and school systems in September. My daughter is learning disabled and I am not happy with the class she is in. How can I go about having her moved to a different classroom? I hope you can help me.

Thanks,
Amy in New York

Amy,
I always have time! You’re in luck because I live in New York, too. Not NYC, though the same rules apply throughout the state.

What you need to do is contact your daughter’s school and ask to speak with their Special Education Teacher. Once you are in contact with her, ask where you should send a letter requesting a re-evaluation of your daughter and her skills. Write a detailed letter that addresses your concerns and request the evaluations. Your school system cannot rightfully deny this. The evaluations will be performed and a meeting will be scheduled for you and if this applies, her father, to meet with your child’s teacher, a psychologist, special ed teacher, and social worker. You will discuss options and hopefully come to a resolution that works for your daughter.

I hope this helps! If you need more information, write me again. Good luck, keep me updated!

-Julie

Posted in Child Education | No Comments »

Traditional Side Dishes

Side dishes are a little easier than the main dish, because so many sides for Thanksgiving are vegetables. Green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, and cranberries are just examples. You can take each one of those veggies and give them a tasty twist to wow your guests.

Fresh green beans are so very yummy when deep fried. Just pop them into hot oil a handful at a time and fry for 3-4 minutes. Plate them all lying in the same direction and sprinkle a bit of your favorite seasoning on top.

Corn can be brightened with the addition of chopped green and red peppers. A touch of sweetness will compliment the hot. Add in a touch of vegan safe sugar. (check with the company, some sugars are refined with charcoal from bones)

For your mashed potatoes, use vegatable broth as the mixing medium. It will give a great taste, plus add in a softer texture.

Fresh cranberries are easy to cook with! All you need to make your own cranberry sauce is a bag of cranberries, a little water, and some sugar. Pour the cranberries into a saucepan with about a cup and a half of water. Cook until the cranberries are soft (low heat). Add in sugar to sweeten the sauce to your preference. Remove from heat and stir vigorously, crushing the berries. If the sauce is too thin, slowly add a little cornstarch roux to the mix and stir until thickened. Orange peel added to the water, then removed before mixing will add in a great taste.

Posted in Uncategorized, Cooking, Holidays | No Comments »

Vegan Thanksgiving

With all of the hullabaloo about Thanksgiving and turkey recipes floating around the ‘net, Vegan families, especially those who have just made the change to veganism might feel left out. There is absolutely no reason to not enjoy a happy holiday based on dietary preferences, though.

Are you running short of ideas? Perhaps the recipes you’ve found involve ingredients you’re not familiar with or that seem too expensive. Never fear, Family Resource is here with ideas to make your table the envy of your meat eating friends!

You see, as a vegan, you have an edge over us carnivores. Less time spent on cooking a large bird, plus room in the oven saved. Plus, you don’t have to obsess over a stuffed bird and the possibility of unpleasant side effects from undercooking that stuffing. But, you probably already know that!

If you’re wondering what will be your main dish, why not try the dressing recipe from the previous post? Just use the vegan substitutions. For a unique presentation, cook the dressing in a large metal mixing bowl. Bake it on a lower heat for a slightly longer period of time. Once the dressing begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, remove from the over and invert the bowl into a large roasting pan. Carefully remove the bowl from the dressing, try to make sure the dressing stays together in one large mass. Place back in the oven at 400 degrees to slightly crisp the outside of the dressing. If you’d like, place the dressing in a pan that is safe for oven to table presentation.

Now you have a main dish to place in the middle of your table! For added effect, drizzle a tasty vegan gravy over the dressing.

Tomorrow-Easy Side Dishes

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Granma’s Thanksgiving Dressing

Thanksgiving

When I was growing up in rural North Carolina ,(that’s in the south eastern USA for all of you outside of the US), my great-grandmother made every holiday special. Our entire family would gather and spend time together just being happy. I loved those times, the warmth, the love, the eating of great home cooked food.

Everything was made from scratch and when my great grandmother passed on in 1996, I took over the celebrations. Things moved slowly that first year, not everyone came by. But my grandmother spread the word that the food was just like her mother’s and suddenly the following years found everyone in the family coming to my home.

Grandma made the best dressing to go with our Thanksgiving turkey and each year I call her about a week before the holiday to make sure I have the recipe right. She knows it is just a ritual of habit, because I know the recipe by heart and have for years now. But sometimes it is nice to let someone know they are needed…no matter how well I know the recipe, I’ll still need her approval to know it’s right.

Here’s to you Grandma, now everyone will be able to share your dressing.

Momaw Evelyn’s Best Pan Dressing
(All measurements are estimated, most times I just use my judgement. Adjust to your taste)
20 Buttermilk Biscuits. (from a mix is fine)
20 corn muffins (again, a mix is fine)
1 large onion, chopped
Celery chopped (as much as you’d like)
6 hardboiled eggs, chopped
Shredded turkey meat from the neck, cooked
Turkey broth from the roasting turkey (can substitute with canned chicken broth)

Crumble and mix the two breads together. Add in all other ingredients. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and rubbed sage. Use enough broth to make the mix very wet, ‘sloppy’ is what my grandmother calls it. It will look almost like quick bread batter. Pour into a large pan and bake until the top is golden brown and the sides are pulling away from the pan.

This recipe takes a bit of adjusting. You can add the broth a bit at a time, but do not cook it until you have a nice, wet batter or it will be chokingly dry when baked.

For a vegan version, omit the eggs, turkey, and use vegetable broth in place of the meat broths. I’ve mixed in cranberries, walnuts, and apples. Have fun with it!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

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