Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pork Chop and Rice

In a very large roasting pan, spread out uncooked brown rice.

Use whatever amount of rice you need to complement the number of pork chops you're serving.

I used 2 cups uncooked.


This photo was taken before baking.







After having browned the chops in a frying pan, place each on top of rice. Then *decorate* each with 1)thinly sliced sweet onion, 2)green pepper ring, and 3)stewed tomato.

Pour piping hot beef bouillon over casserole. Cover tightly (very) with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for one hour. Turn down to 200 for one hour. Remember that the baking time is governed by the thickness of the chops. Mine were thick. I left this pan in the oven while we were at church, having set the time bake function to warm the dish for 30 mins prior to our arrival.

There are all kinds of tricks to preparing this easy recipe ahead, from preparing and baking the day before and reheating to getting up earlier on Sunday morning. The total prep time for this dish is 30 mins.



More on this menu in the menu section of my Xanga

This picture was taken after baking, when I prepared the recipe on another day.

Hint: see that there are more chops in the dish :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ideas Have Consequences

Chapter Two: Distinction and Hierarchy

Offensive is the adjective I would use to describe Weaver’s message in this second chapter of his famous book, Ideas Have Consequences. By that I mean that many of the concepts he describes are repugnant to the average American, especially women, which explains the reason that this book no longer enjoys the popularity it once did. For example, its Amazon.com sales rank is #233,595.

"Uniformity and without distinction"

seems like a fitting title
to this picture of an
outdoor sculpture
found in Kansas City.







The phrase is taken from the Athanasius quote which opens the essay. The full quote can be found in Chapter One ("The Creation and the Fall") of The Incarnation of the Word of God.

Not only did the author deconstruct the idea that all men are created equal, but also he debunks the notion that the French Revolution (liberty, equality, fraternity) was a good thing. He actually discusses the positive aspects of “superior” and “inferior” roles in society. Do you read anyone else who does that?

Furthermore, Weaver points to the writings of America’s Founding Fathers to substantiate their reservations about democratic rule, placing his point of view squarely in opposition to just about every public school teacher today because most believe the United States is a democracy instead of a republic.

Now we are at the point of discovering the purpose for reading IHC. It’s education! And exercising one’s privilege to avoid (or refute) that misinformed public school teacher mentioned in the previous paragraph. Mr. Weaver states on pg 49,


It has been said countless times in this country that democracy cannot exist without education. The truth concealed in this observation is that only education can be depended on to bring men to see the hierarchy of values.

We are all in this boat called education. Some see it more realistically than others. Either way it is crucial. While there are many aspects to education, the best results are achieved with consistency in the application of the blueprints in all areas of construction (of the boat called *education*). This author is throwing you a life preserver.

Read this chapter again and again.

It is the best thing you can do today to help your child (student) tomorrow.



PS
There is an alternate definition of my summarizing adjective, “offensive,” and in tomorrow’s post I will try and list some applications of Weaver’s essays as they might manifest themselves in my family life where we live on the offensive, as opposed to the defensive.

PPS Did you figure out who Richard Hertz is?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Athanasian Creed

Whoever wants to be saved should above all cling to the catholic faith.
Whoever does not guard it whole and inviolable will doubtless perish eternally.
Now this is the catholic faith: We worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the divine being.
For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Spirit is still another.
But the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory, coeternal in majesty.
What the Father is, the Son is, and so is the Holy Spirit.
Uncreated is the Father; uncreated is the Son; uncreated is the Spirit.
The Father is infinite; the Son is infinite; the Holy Spirit is infinite.
Eternal is the Father; eternal is the Son; eternal is the Spirit:
And yet there are not three eternal beings, but one who is eternal;
as there are not three uncreated and unlimited beings, but one who is uncreated and unlimited.
Almighty is the Father; almighty is the Son; almighty is the Spirit:
And yet there are not three almighty beings, but one who is almighty.
Thus the Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God:
And yet there are not three gods, but one God.
Thus the Father is Lord; the Son is Lord; the Holy Spirit is Lord:
And yet there are not three lords, but one Lord.
As Christian truth compels us to acknowledge each distinct person as God and Lord, so catholic religion forbids us to say that there are three gods or lords.
The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten;
the Son was neither made nor created, but was alone begotten of the Father;
the Spirit was neither made nor created, but is proceeding from the Father and the Son.
Thus there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three spirits.
And in this Trinity, no one is before or after, greater or less than the other;
but all three persons are in themselves, coeternal and coequal; and so we must worship the Trinity in unity and the one God in three persons.
Whoever wants to be saved should think thus about the Trinity.
It is necessary for eternal salvation that one also faithfully believe that our Lord Jesus Christ became flesh.
For this is the true faith that we believe and confess: That our Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, is both God and man.
He is God, begotten before all worlds from the being of the Father, and he is man, born in the world from the being of his mother --
existing fully as God, and fully as man with a rational soul and a human body;
equal to the Father in divinity, subordinate to the Father in humanity.
Although he is God and man, he is not divided, but is one Christ.
He is united because God has taken humanity into himself; he does not transform deity into humanity.
He is completely one in the unity of his person, without confusing his natures.
For as the rational soul and body are one person, so the one Christ is God and man.
He suffered death for our salvation.
He descended into hell and rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
At his coming all people shall rise bodily to give an account of their own deeds.
Those who have done good will enter eternal life,
those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.
This is the catholic faith.
One cannot be saved without believing this firmly and faithfully.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Birthday Celebration















The Menu

Baked Pork Chops w/Brown Rice
Turnip Greens
Butternut Squash

Bread Ring

Iced Tea

Banana Pudding


Friday, October 26, 2007

Margaret Ann






















Baby picture of my mother whose birthday is today.

I figured out how to scan the picture, but have run out of discretionary time as far as figuring out how to photoshop it.

Better call Donna for help.

Update: After treating DM to Sunday lunch, she kindly shared with me the secrets of cropping a scanned picture :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

History and Hope

A passage from the writings of Robert E Lee, first made public by Colonel Charles Marshall in 1887, in Southern Historical Papers published in 1889, and used as an example in Richard Weaver's essay on the Christian warrior, found in The Southern Tradition at Bay, pg 209.

My experience of men has neither disposed me to think worse of them, nor
indisposed me to serve them; nor, in spite of failures, which I lament, of
errors, which I now see and acknowledge, or, of the present state of affairs, do
I despair of the future.

The march of providence is so slow, and our desires so impatient, the work
of progress is so immense, and our means of aiding it so feeble, the life
of humanity is so long, and that of the individual so brief, that we often see
only the ebb of the advancing wave, and are thus discouraged.

It is history that teaches us to hope.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy Fall Y'all
















Cutest jack-o-lantern I have ever seen.

Such creativity! I never would have thought to use the stem for the nose. I probably wouldnt have even bought that pumpkin because it looks like it would not sit up straight. Oh well.

Kudos to the artist.

See some of her photography here.

Fall is an identifiable season in my neck of the woods and I always enjoy it: the colors, the leaves, the food. Except I don't like it when it gets dark really early. And so, that's why I think I'll say I like Spring better.

Halloween can put a damper on the season, too. Without being a total stick-in-the-mud, I tried assiduously to avoid celebrating this holiday. When my children were very small, they were truly frightened by the constant doorbell ringing and the people dressed up in costumes. Because they attended a Christian elementary school, we didnt have too much trouble avoiding trick or treating. There were Fall Festivals or Reformation Day Fairs which provided good alternate activities.

But in the neighborhood if we were at home, I would buy candy and hand it out to the few visitors who came by. Mostly I would try and schedule a night away from home. It became traditional to see a movie, nothing scary. And horror is totally off limits. Something historical like Luther or Cromwell.

Here's the whole pumpkin family...on Fall Break.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ideas Have Consequences

Chapter One : The Unsentimental Sentiment

Quoting Scottish essayist, Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) at the outset, Mr. Weaver frames the ensuing essay with these words:

“the thing a man believes determines the rest.”


I distilled the 66-word quote from the book into the above eight-word one and not only does the title to the book become obvious, but also the treasure of chapter one. If you use this phrase as a filter when reading the wealth of information presented in this 15-page chapter, there will be less confusion.


Weaver launches immediately into a deductive-reasoning style of writing using “words as hard as canonballs” in order to prove his point. First, he defines sentiment, then unsentimental, discussing the pros and cons of both only to declare that the correct approach to all of life is espousing this catch-phrase “the unsentimental sentiment.”


Rational faculty will be in the service of a vision which can preserve sentiment from sentimentality. Pg 20


While Weaver never uses the term “presuppositional thinking,” it appears to me that that is what he is describing when he talks about the metaphysical dream binding man to the spiritual community. Neither does he use the currently popular word “worldview” but he plainly recognizes its value when he tells us that of paramount importance is “one’s attitude toward the world.”

Common answers to the “big” questions of life (religious or metaphysical) have the power to integrate and makes ones sentiments toward the world rational. Pg 22 This is called refinement, when our sentiments pass from feelings to illumined concepts (of what one ought to feel) and man is relieved to become “self-controlled” through this wisdom.

Weaver continues debating the pros and cons of his arguement by comparing and contrasting of the self-controlled man (man of correct sentiments last seen in the 18th century) with the barbarian or Philistine (exemplified in the American frontiersman). Finally, he laments that
“Today over the entire world there are dangerous signs that culture, as such, is marked for attack because its formal requirements stand in the way of expression of the natural man.” Pg 25

At so many things/objects am I (who is “cultural” in Weaver’s sense only by the grace of God) speechless and embarassed when forms and conventions are torn aside, trampled, and mocked by the emancipated libertines. Weaver explains to me with a quote from Burke (pg 27) why the French Revolution and its results are so indicting and incriminatory of our moderns.

Here is the crux of the matter and why I perceive that Cindy is so up in arms about the state of the world and desperate to rear/educate her children with the correct sentiment.

Weaver states:

No education is worthy of the name which fails to make the point that the world is best understood from a certain distance or that the most elementary understanding requires a degree of abstraction. “ pg 27

Only one who understands Burke’s comment on the French Revolution and Weaver's worldview can teach history properly. (You go, Cindy!) Never mind the fact that it is our privilege and duty before God to do so.

Faithful to his logical approach in an effort to persuade others, Weaver does not blatantly mention God, but that is what is meant by “understood from a distance” or “requiring a degree of abstraction”. These are phrases which signify a worldview or a lens or presuppositions which we (Christians) know must be applied consistently to the teaching of our offspring in order to achieve the most profitable results.

Weaver winds down his pummeling by giving four examples of the ravages of the barbarians (those seeking immediacy, i.e. the “real thing”) on our current society (1948):

1) the failure of the modern mind to recognize obscenity;
2) the deterioration of human relationships;
3) the decline of the belief in the hero;
4) and the growth of commericalism.

These obviously hold true for today, 2007.

By the way, I cant help but draw attention to Weaver's implicit plug for the teaching of vocabulary, derivations, and ancient theater when he intends the original sense of the word *obscenity* to make his point. As Magsitramater would say, "I get the reference."

In conclusion, Weaver pleads with us to reclaim the dream or vision that will save us from the sins/consequences of sentimentality and brutality.

He proposes “restraint imposed by idea.”

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ideas Have Consequences

The Introduction

Broadly painted brushstrokes paint the introductory canvas to Richard Weaver's masterpiece, Ideas Have Consequences, as the author/artist jumps feet first into the cold water of post war society. He readily states that he wants to talk about the decline of the West and propose a solution.


Sounds depressing as looks this 1966 Renee Radell painting, The Tide.

Weaver rapidly covers the philosophical landscapes of six centuries by describing nominalism (14th), then the new doctrine of nature (science vs unintelligibility); then rationalism (deism and materialism); Darwinism; pyschological behaviorism; and finally the abysmality of the 20th century. To wit, he lists the various the methods of education where logic was grammaticized (from vere loqui to recte loqui); definitions (denotations) were assaulted; and the Renaissance pattern was developed, adapting the course of study to produce a successful man. With amazing insight Weaver covers the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th century educational disciplines and cites the dominant type of leader from each of these epochs as proofs of the changes.

Declaring that there is a split in the 20th century camps, Mr Weaver labels one sentimental humanitarians and the other remorseless theorists.

"Nothing is more disturbing to modern men of the West than the logical clarity with which the Communists face all problems."


Yet Mr Weaver feels that it is extremely difficult to get people in any number to admit that our society is decadent.

Yet my blogging buddy Cindy is ready to tackle the world's problems and that's why we're all reading IHC.

Modern man has fallen prey to hysterical optimism, becoming insensible and apathetic. Stuck in that position until ready to distinguish between good and evil again, society will continue to spiral downward.

Nevertheless Richard Weaver plods along


laying the groundwork for his argument,

indicting society, making comments,

asking questions, and demanding answers.






He's searching for intellectual integrity.


Name his companion with the lantern.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ideas Have Consequences

By the time I was 17 yrs old I had a solid grip on what I believed about the world/people/things because my parents had done a good job. I understood even then that I was *philosophically-driven*, but I wasnt good at explaining to others why I believed what I did. Somehow the explanation *that's what my father says* didnt seem like the proper way to defend my positions. Pursuing a college degree filled in those gaps for me.



At Hillsdale College I was exposed to leaders/thinkers/writers who explained the reasons behind what my parents had taught me to be true and right. I read their books, listened to their lectures, and conversed personally with movers and shakers of Conservatism. That was my first introduction to Weaver's Ideas Have Consequences and a host of other authors and their books. Weaver had had an enormous influence on the post-war Intellectual Right and Hillsdale was a bastion of those young conservative intellectuals who were trying to champion freedom and tradition.



The edition of IHC in my library was printed in 1971, and published by The University of Chicago Press. I probably bought it at Hillsdale College (bookstore), where I attended from 1975 to 1978, graduating with a BA in History with French and German minors.

This morning I've re-read the Forward which Mr Weaver wrote over a decade after the initial publication in 1948. He does not feel compelled to make revisions, which I think is a good sign. I find it interesting that Mr Weaver was an English professor since the book is classified as *philosophy.* He does not feel that it is such.

It is an intuition of a situation.

He intended to challenge the forces which threaten civilization.

Sounds revolutionary, huh?

For those of you who are following our internet discussion, I post the Table of Contents. And because it's something I pay attention to.

Introduction (never, ever skip reading the introduction, forward, preface, or such)
I. The Unsentimental Sentiment
II. Distinction and Hierarchy
III. Fragmentation and Obession
IV. Egotism in Work and Art
V. The Great Steropticon
VI. The Spoiled-Child Psychology
VII. The Last Metaphysical Right
VIII.The Power of the Word
IX. Piety and Justice
Acknowledgments

How do you know about Ideas Have Consequences?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Richard Weaver













1910-1963

This is what Kirk says about Weaver whom he knew well.


According to Ambrose of Milan, it has not pleased God that man should be saved through logic. Richard Weaver would have assented to this, knowing as he did the nature of the average sensual man and the limits of pure rationality. Yet with a high logical power, Weaver undertook an intellectual defense of culture and did what he might to rescue order, justice, and freedom from the perverters of language



Among philosophers, Plato was Weaver's mentor; and among statesmen Lincoln. (Although a declared Southerner, in politics Weaver was a conservative Republican.)



Some of his closer Chicago friends - their number was not legion - might not see him during the course of an entire year. He never travelled; he endured stoically the ferocious Chicago winters, often wearing two overcoats, one over the other. Once a year he attended a church, and then a high Episcopalian service; the solemnity and mystery of the ritual, strongly though he was attracted by them, overwhelmed his soul: such a feast would last for months. The frugality woven into his character extended even to his very private religion.



pg 39-40
The Essential Russell Kirk

Addendum on 10/24/07

I emailed Mrs. Kirk to inquire about the details of Mr. Weaver's death at such a young age. She referred me to one of ISI's (Intercollegiate Studies Institute) managing directors. Mr. Vella's email indicated that while no official autopsy had been performed, Weaver's sister (whose husband was Weaver's literary executor) believes he died of a cerebral hemmorhage.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ten Exemplary Conservatives

1) Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman orator

2) Marcus Aurelius Antonius, Roman emperor

3) Samuel Johnson, English moralist

4) Sir Walter Scott, Scottish romancer

5) John Randolphe, Virginia politician

6) Nathaniel Hawthorne, New England novelist, short story writer

7) Theodore Roosevelt, American President, writer and fighter

8) Joseph Conrad, Polish sea captain novelist

9) Richard Weaver, college professor and recluse

10)Freya Stark, English wanderer in antique lands

This list is from Russell Kirk's essay,"Ten Exemplary Conservatives", originally published in his The Politics of Prudence (1993), but which I have from The Essential Kirk, George Panichas, editor.

Kirk chose these ten because they influenced his opinions. Burke and Eliot are not listed because even though they both greatly influenced Kirk's perspective, he has written extensively about them elsewhere.

I am posting the list because I am embarking upon the reading of Ideas Have Consequences AND Richard Weaver is on the list.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Booga Bag


















Perfect Fall colors, right?

Discovered in the mailbox last Friday, I opened the package carefully with scissors. In it was this fun pocketbook from my sister! Hand-knit and felted by her from leftover yarns.

I feel special.

Thank you, Noel!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Movies
















Choosing movies to watch is a task I usually leave up to DH. He does it well. I enjoy watching what he chooses. When he's not around, I don't usually watch movies. Too much else to do.

But in this case, two of my blogging buddies had recommended this film and I had some free time over the weekend. It was delightfully well-spent viewing this charming film. The story is a testimony to many things - the obvious being the power of love. However, the most remarkable to me was the power of non-verbal communication.

Have you seen Sweet Land?


Here's a link to a Minnesota Monthly article.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Slow Roasted Turkey















Preheat oven to 300 degrees. This takes at least ten minutes.

In the meantime, remove neck and innards from defrosted turkey. Run cold water over bird and rinse inside cavity. Pat dry. Place on a rack in a large roasting pan, breast side down.

Place in preheated oven for one hour. Set a timer :)

At the end of the first hour, without opening the door to the oven, reduce the heat to 190 degrees (warm on my thermostat dial) and continuing roasting for the same number of hours as the weight of the turkey in pounds. I mean if the turkey weighs 13 lbs, roast the turkey for 13 hours, AFTER the first hour.

The nicest thing about this method is the fact that the turkey can roast all night, when you dont usually need the oven. Or for smaller roasts, during the day while you are at work or running errands.

The down side is lack of oven space for baking other things, if you you have only one oven. I have taken my turkey out at noon, for example, pulled it apart and arranged it on a platter; covered it with wax paper; and not served dinner until 5 o'clock.

For detailed instructions about slow roasting, I refer to Adelle Davis's book, Let's Cook it Right.

I have successfuly slow-roasted beef roasts, legs of lamb, pork (fresh hams), and chicken. I do not recommend this method for small, boneless cuts of meat, although it works well for the Boston Butt cut of pork.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Assurance

Assurance of my salvation is not something that I have struggled with, but I did hear a phrase in this past week's sermon that would be good to use when explaining assurance to someone else. We're studying Thessalonians.

In the spirit of foreknowledge or predestination, which is so offensive to many, I know that God chose me. And while it did reduce me to tears when I realized this and queried *Why me?*, it was not the moment that I was saved. The two were years apart. He was continuing to draw me. John 3:44

At any rate, if I were to explain assurance to another I would focus on the fact that God made the decision to save me. I did not decide to save myself.

Because God is great, all-powerful, all-knowing, immutable (all those perfections), He does not made bad decisions. And He does not change His mind. He chose me once at for all. Two thousand years ago, Christ knew my name. Long before I was born physically on earth.

That means I dont have to worry.

It also means that I am His bond-servant.

May I be faithful witness.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Garlicky Spinach

2 - 20 oz bags Spinach
1 Tbs Oil
2 Tbs Butter
2 cloves garlic, pressed

In large frying pan or deep stock pot, melt butter with oil and saute garlic until the flavors blend (approx 1 min). Add spinach and cover. Steam until tender, stirring occasionally. This takes less than five minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Company Menu

Grilled Rib-Eyes
Garlicky Spinach
Mushroom-Onion Saute
Baked Potato

Cabernet
Iced Tea

Brownie Pie w/
Coffee Ice Cream



Posting this in an effort to get my shopping list in order. There will be six adults for a Saturday evening dinner party. After 20 years of faithful service, the downstairs A/C is defunct....but only because we're having company.

Was there a mishap at your last dinner party?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Docent of Glory

Witnessing for Christ isnt as difficult as I make it out to be, as indicated in this well-written article by T M Moore, Can I Get A Witness. The imagery, language, and Scriptural references are powerful. I commend it to your attention.

A few weeks ago, Carmon entreated us to talk about our faith and I embarked upon an entry entitled Testimony on Tuesdays. But I quickly got bogged down because I didnt want to talk about myself.

This article stimulates my perspective.

I can picture myself as a *docent of glory*.

My homework is to reflect on His Glory and come up with some testimony for next week's Witness on Wednesday.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Penne Pasta with Shrimp


















24 oz Shrimp (medium, frozen, no shell, deveined)
16 oz penne pasta, cooked and drained

1 large clove garlic, pressed
1 large red onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped

1 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup sweet red wine
2/3 cup heavy cream


In a large frying pan, melt one tablespoon butter with one tablespoon safflower oil over high heat. Add shrimp stirring constantly to cook quickly without overcooking. This takes only minutes. Remove from pan to large serving bowl.

Then in the same pan over medium high flame, melt another tablespoon butter with one tablespoon safflower oil. Add garlic and stir, add onion and stir, then green pepper. Saute veggies until tender.

Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 2 mins over medium heat. Add wine and cook a few minutes in order to blend flavors. Slowly add heavy cream, stirring constantly over medium heat. It's probably safer to remove 1 cup of sauce from the pan, and add the cream to that. Then return mixture to the pan. This will avoid the mishap of curdling the (cool) cream by adding it to a hot mixture.

Finally, add the cooked shrimp to veggie sauce. Simmer for a couple of minutes. Then toss together with penne pasta. Return to large serving bowl.

Serves eight.

Enjoy!