The Effect of Truth

I just saw this quote and felt it is appropriate to today and what men are doing.

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

Winston Churchill

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Milk Delivery

Years ago, milk was delivered to homes in the United States. You know the glass bottles I’m talking about, right? Most of them are used for vases now, a few are considered “antique” and so hold a prized place in one’s home. Then came more industrialization and supermarkets and now, we go to the store to buy our homogenized, pasteurized milk. Hey, I’m not dissin’ any of this.

We were getting ready to leave for somewhere a few weeks ago when I got a great opportunity to take some pictures of milk delivery in Romania. I’d seen it numberless times, but didn’t always have my camera. This day, I did. We’ve not ever had milk delivered, you’ll see why.

First off, it’s delivered by car. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but this is a pretty big business. This guy delivers to the whole neighborhood. No, it’s not a refrigerated car, either.

To buy your milk this way is a really cheap way to buy milk. Lots of people think it’s also healthier to buy this milk than to drink processed milk. There might be a point to that, my concern is in the handling of the milk prior to it arriving at your house. People might not realize that you can catch some pretty nasty stuff from ill-handled cow’s milk. E. Coli for one, and I for two, don’t want to get that.

The bottles that you got your milk in last week are picked up. So, you say, what’s the big deal? Milk bottles have always been returned to be refilled. That’s quite true, only, last I checked the milk bottles we’re familiar with weren’t of this particular caliber. To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t a disinfectant wash. Sure, the milk might be carrying a “load” of E. Coli, but what about the bottles? (Everyone knows where E. Coli is found, right? Hence the reference to the “load”.) Did you get the same bottles that you turned in? I mean the very same bottles? Highly unlikely, unless you have your name scribed on them in some way.

Scribing might result in leakage. Oops!

So, once the milk has been “harvested” (ha!), we’ll say, collected, it’s put into these lovely, clean, sanitized specimens and loaded in the back of a nice warm, NON-refrigerated car. (Have I mentioned that everyone here is afraid of any breeze, the draft it’s called. So, it’s highly unlikely that the car is driven with any windows down, thus raising the temperature nicely.) Ah, yes, and upon delivery, they are set on your front porch, directly in the morning sun, to soak up any heat that might have been lost in the process of, well, processing. It wasn’t early when the milk was delivered, it was nice and toasty already. Sienna would say, “Nice and cozy warm.”

If they don’t ring the bell to let you know that the milk has been delivered, which they might not do, how long will it sit waiting for you? Maybe this is why there are so many “sour” kinds of milk to drink available at the store. Once people give up on milk delivery, the sweet milk (like we know it) doesn’t taste just right, so they’re looking for something with a bite to it. There’s buttermilk, Kefir, drinkable yogurt, and sana (another cultured milk). Let’s not forget the big buckets of sour cream, rich and creamy, full of fat — YUM! Anyway, since cultured milk has a longer “shelf-life” . . . it wouldn’t surprize me at all to find the people that get their milk delivered drink it after it’s gone sour.

Maybe that is what contributes to the major tooth decay, then again, not brushing your teeth can sort of lead to decay, as well.

Hope you enjoy your next glass of warm, slightly sour milk.

Oh, and so no one is confused OR offended, when I was a little girl we used to get a gallon of cow’s milk from a rancher once a week. No, it wasn’t homogenized, nor was it pasteurized, but we also knew them really well and they always took great care with their milk. Although, one week that rancher switched out the cow’s milk for goat’s milk. The next week he asked how we liked our milk. None of us had realized the difference and were all smilin’ and happy. He thought it was the greatest joke. Then again, he was also the one that showed up at our place with a trailer load of furniture, told my dad that he and his dad had had a fight and that he was movin’ on (he and his dad were on the same ranch, family thing, ya know?). My dad believed him because Doug could tell the most believable story without so  much as a hint of a smile. And that’s a whole ‘nother story!

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I’ve been doing some reading, I hope that doesn’t surprize any of you. Lately I’ve been reading/hearing/watching many different things, but they all at least mentioned modesty. Modesty can be taken to one extreme or the other. I recently ran across a brochure for a camp and was taken back by the list of acceptable and unacceptable clothing. Hey, I grew up Baptist, I know what modesty means, at least, I thought I did, until I read this list. See for yourself.

I, personally, think this is an extreme idea. Maybe, maybe with good intentions, but the good intentions do not justify the end. I also was following a link and found this site that sells swimwear for girls and women. I wouldn’t be caught in any of these contraptions because I can’t swim that well and anything like this would undoubtedly pull me under; I’d drown! Do I think myself better than anyone that wears something like swim culottes? Absolutely not! I would definitely think highly of her swimming skills. In all seriousness, I would not feel superior or inferior if faced with a girl/woman that chose to wear culottes, swim or otherwise.

We can go to an extreme the other direction, though, and no longer is it about modesty, it’s about fashion, or my idea of modesty. CNN, amazingly so, recently published an article that made me really think. Modesty is a personal choice, but have we taken the idea of personal choice to the extreme (to the left, some might say) and made it an issue to be proud about. Well, I can wear my skinny jeans 2 sizes too small, and you should hear all the catcalls I get! Oh, and my little girl looks just as (dare I say it?) sexy.

Which road do I take? The ankle length, shapeless, flour sack dresses, or the mini skirt with the halter top? Whatever choice I  make not only affects me, but it also affects that little person that watches (and learns from) everything I do. I can dress modestly and still carry myself badly. So while there are things that matter on the outside, what I’m really wearing is my heart (1 Sam. 16:7).

One more issue that came up with what I’ve been reading, etc; that was forcing my beliefs on someone else. My personal choice of modesty being the personal choice of modesty for all my church members, my conviction as the standard. I can’t do this, it isn’t right. I cannot set myself up as the standard for anyone I might teach or have an influence over. Doesn’t that exclude your daughter? Ah, good question. It doesn’t, since it is my responsibility to bring her up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:3). As a 3-year old, I won’t have her wearing clothes in Hannah Montana style, or any other pop star. As a 13-year old, I would hope that she has the ability to make her own personal choice. If she doesn’t, I, as her parent, have the right to request that she not wear “pop star” clothing. My job as a mommy starts when she’s born. I teach her what God expects, not what I expect. God is the authority, ultimately. She’ll answer to Him, as will I, in the end.

Should you disagree, I hope you’ll comment. Should you agree, I hope you’ll comment also. I reserve the right to approve or deny any comment.

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We Often Thought . . . .

I recently read an article that stated that of the companies that make inferior products, those products are shipped to eastern Europe to be sold.

There was one brand, Milka Chocolate, that didn’t have any differences between those found on the shelves of western European countries and eastern Europe. Milka is made by KRAFT, yep, the same one that makes Mac’ ‘N’ Cheese. The rest of the top companies, like Nescafe or Coka Cola, have inferior product that are sent here. The interesting thing about Coke is that for the rest of Europe it’s made with sugar, but, like the United States, what’s made for here is made with high fructose corn syrup. Hm, so does that mean that what’s sold in the States is inferior?

What’s more, the prices here for food, etc, are higher than in even Hungary. Hungary is our neighboring country! It’s just a 3-hour drive away! We know of people that actually go to Hungary to do their shopping, they only go every once in a while, but still. We’ve always made a list when we’ve gone, but they have products available there that they don’t have here.

Romania has had the highest rise in prices with the 2nd lowest growth in salaries. It’s amazing that people here survive!

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Abortion: Start to Finish

I was at the gym the other day when I saw on the news that a doctor had been found innocent in not helping a woman give birth. Those are sketchy details, but it did have the location. I was able to search that TV channel’s site and find the incident (I’m including the link to the actual article, not because I think you should learn to read Romanian, just so you know). Some months ago there was an explosion in the hospital in Giulesti. Giulesti is a town in the Bucharest suburban area. The explosion took place in the maternity ward. Babies and mommies were killed. It was a horrendous event.

Shortly after that our story takes place. A 39 year-old married woman found out she was pregnant. She kept the baby until she reached the 6th month when they did a test for Down’s Syndrome. The test came back positive. Both the father and mother wanted to end the pregnancy. The doctor came into the room and administered the shot to start the abortion (in these hospitals the rooms are still what you might imagine left-over from the Communists era). The doctor left. I don’t know how long passed before the woman started crying for help. Her husband heard her cries and found her all alone in the room. He delivered his daughter, she started to cry.

Just then, the doctor appeared behind him. The doctor told the “father” that he couldn’t have helped the “mother” because he has a religious conviction against abortion. The “father” told the press that the doctor didn’t help his wife, the press took the matter to the hospital, the hospital board did an investigation, and the hospital stood behind the doctor.

I’m not sure how to feel about this news. I know nothing more about the baby girl, except that I’m sure she died. Was she perfect? Did she really have Downs’ Syndrome? How does the “father” feel now that he’s delivered his daughter . . . and left her to die? Is he angry with the doctor because the doctor didn’t help? Or is he angry with himself, her blood is on his hands?

I am heartbroken, a baby died. I’m angry at the people that took her life. I’m amazed that there is at least one doctor that doesn’t believe in abortion (he has a religious conviction against it). I’m confused because it was the same doctor that administered the shot to force labor and then stood back and said he couldn’t have helped. If you really have a religious conviction against something, wouldn’t you have a conviction against starting it? I’m in wonder that the hospital stood with the doctor, or am I?

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