Thursday, February 27, 2014

Linkety Links for February 2014

Just a few things I've enjoyed chewing on this month; they're random, but good in their own rights.  Please note that a link here doesn't mean I endorse everything said on the other end (and likely vice versa!).  I'd love to hear what you've been fascinated by during this cold, dreary February!

"Instead of crafting a nation of self-fulfilled, happy workers, our DWYL [Do What You Love] era has seen the rise of the adjunct professor and the unpaid intern: people persuaded to work for cheap or free, or even for a net loss of wealth."
In the Name of Love
Slate offered thoughts on how damaging the phrase "Do What You Love" is to the laborer's psyche and sense of societal just about every field.

"My reason for quitting Facebook primarily had to do with the danger of (a) talking too much and of (b) pride. The Bible exhorts Christians to refrain their lips (Prov. 10:19) God warns of the dangers of hasty speech (Prov. 29:20). I found that social media encouraged me to violate both of these principles."
Why I Kissed Social Media Goodbye
Adam Groza makes some excellent points, and while I'm not ready to pull the social media umbilical cord, I am spending less and less time there.

"I decided that if Mama is what I want to pursue as a job, then that’s exactly what I want to treat it like... I want to be present and intentional which is not at all easy for me with so many distractions. I am just ready to be a little more proactive and a little less reactive, and I think that is the great discipline of motherhood."
The Discipline of Motherhood
I feel like I'm still crawling out of the life-with-this-baby-has-been-so-crazy-and-sleepless-and-why-does-she-still-have-this-horrible-eczema hole.  I'm ready to inch toward intentionality again, and this was a good kick in the pants.

"And for me, I’m letting go of this idea that just because life isn’t going my way, my children aren’t perfect, there are meals to be cooked and laundry to be washed and folded in the midst of growing hearts into adults (that I pray love the Lord), that being a Mom is hard."
Stop Saying Being a Mom Is Hard
Speaking of kick in the pants...I needed to hear every word of this.  All jobs are hard, but that doesn't make endless whining okay.

"Now I loathe and despise the media in a way I did not think possible. I used to engage with the media knowing that some of it would be adversarial, but now it’s superfluous at best and toxic at its worst. If MSNBC went off the air tomorrow, what difference would it make? If the Huffington Post went out of business tomorrow, what difference would it make? Arianna Huffington accomplished what she wanted to accomplish. She created this wonderful thing. And what have they done with that? They want clicks, I get it. They’ve gotta have clicks for their advertisers, so they’re going to need as much Kim Kardashian and wardrobe malfunctions as possible. The other day, they had a thing on the home page about pimples. Tripe. Liberal and conservative media are now precisely equivalent."

Alec Baldwin: Good-bye, Public Life
Alec Baldwin's open letter to the world about retiring from private life is long, winding, full of profanity, and opinions I can't even begin to agree with.  That being said, I share it because it demonstrates just how much media has changed in the past ten, or even five, years.  I'm done with celebrity news; no more random clicks in sidebars, no more following celebrity storylines (though that had decreased in my life significantly, anyway).  Increasingly, the news is worth less and worthless and I'm wondering how to stay informed in such a hate-saturated, polarizing, skin-deep media culture.  Suggestions?

I Hate Celebrity Culture
Similar to the above, though much more philosophical and academic (and with a fun accent!).  This actor discusses the American glorification of charisma and personality and other fun nerdy topics.

And to end on a positive note, I dug up this gem on a CD from the library...and I pretty much haven't stopped playing it since.

Here's to warmer weather (and much excitement in the Jorgenson household!) come March!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Twitterature :: February 2014

Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy hosts a monthly link-up for sharing casual, tweet-sized book reviews.  Here's what I've been reading since last time around...

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode :: Crystal Paine

Delivers on its promises.

A must-read for harried mamas everywhere.

I'm already re-reading it...


The Holy Bible (ESV) :: Uh...God

A lifetime in church, eight years of making my faith my own.

And I've only just read this thing cover to cover.

Probably time to do it again.


Eat Move Sleep :: Tom Rath

30 days of research and tips to help you eat, move, and sleep better.

Already going to bed earlier.  And sleeping better.

Can't wait to put more into practice.

The Power of Play :: David Elkind

Research to back up what I've suspected all along:

Kids learn best from play until around age six.

Looks like a formal homeschool year of kindergarten is off my agenda!

Notes from a Blue Bike :: Tsh Oxenreider

Beautifully written memoir on intentional living,

strikes the perfect tone of "how I did" rather than "how to"

and how we can all take more time out of the rat race

and get on our own bikes, riding in the slow lane.

What have you been reading?  I'm always looking for the next great title!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Food Budget Freedom

{via Microsoft Office}
I found an online calculator to see if my family would be eligible for food stamps, just for funsies.

You know, because that's something normal people do for funsies.

The calculator asked about my family members, their ages, our income and assets (bahaha).  A few painless minutes later, it gave me a number.

And that food stamps number was bigger than our monthly grocery budget.

Or, I should say, it was bigger than our grocery budget was last year.  For February, we rolled out a shiny new grocery budget...which is a bit more than the SNAP number--and more than I've ever had for groceries each month in my entire married life.

We came to that new number after much hand-wringing and putting-things-back and not-eating-fruit-because-there-isn't-enough on my part...and an easy, breezy, "Well, just up the grocery budget" from Professor.

Enter more hand-wringing.  Lots of "but what if..."  Thoughts like, But I'm supposed to be frugal.

"Really?" I asked, still wringing my hands.

"Yeah.  We need to eat," Professor replied.  "The girls are growing.  Maybe if we put more in the grocery budget we'll buy less stuff on Friday nights."

I could dig in my heels and stick to my frugal guns.  I could stretch meat more, bake more bread, skip things we really enjoy...


I could rejoice in that big, fat number.  I could thank God for his provision and remember to lean on Him for groceries and everything else.

My friend, this was a watershed moment for me.

My grocery budget seems so big now.  Cheese was on sale, and I had money to stock my freezer.  I even picked up some treats that were on sale because of the Super Bowl.

Also, I ate two bananas yesterday.  Yeah, that's right: two servings of fruit in one day.  Granted, they were both from one of those 99-cents-because-they're-overripe bags (because this still-frugal girl couldn't pass up 14 bananas for a buck), but they were delicious.  And they tasted like freedom.
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