Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pumpkin Bread.

Found this recipe online. Tried it and loved it! Thought I'd share it!!!

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, & baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, eggs, water, & spices. Pour into the bowl w/ dry ingredients & mix just until all are combined - don't stir too much! Stir in the nuts, if you're using them (I like it better w/o the nuts). Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3-in. loaf pan, bake 50-60 minutes until done in the middle. Remove from pan, cool on a rack.
Keep wrapped in the refrigerator. Really good w/ cream cheese, or chopped walnuts in cream cheese.

I baked it for about 30 minutes in a muffin pan and sprinkled walnuts on top right before I put them in the oven. I will say I think next time I'm putting a tad bit more sugar (Splenda at our house...) than it calls for, but wow, it made some delicious pumpkin muffins that were killer with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. And looked like something you'd find for 3 bucks a piece at Starbucks. And probably loads better for you, too.

Ps... I did wonderfully on my World Lit exam!! :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

global population, my front porch, and cup of reheated coffee.

So, I have to write a paper in my geography class about this article from Foriegn Policy magazine written in like, 2001... and I have been trying to write it all weekend. Everytime I sat down to finish reading the article (with pen in hand to make notes) I fell asleep. This afternoon, I knew I HAD to finish it, so I laid down on the couch with pen and paper and tried again. Sleepy & bored. Hubby is outside cutting our ridiculously tall grass (alas, school makes yard-work time basically nonexistant!) and it's such a beautifully breezy autumn day, that I found myself a bit jealous. I went and found my favorite slipper socks, an old band hoodie from my days as a piccolo player in the Wildcat Band, and grabbed my laptop. Here I am. Feet propped up on a chair, breeze in my hair, and Blogger on the screen. God, I could kiss whoever invented Wireless... All that aside, I figured talking this population phenomneon out in the unformal, unrestricted form of my blog would help me flesh out what I need to for my paper. That's why I blog after all, right? So... here goes...

We hear on the news and read in textbooks constantly about our population growth. Places like India, Pakistan, parts of Asia, and especially Africa are experiencing population explostions. Quite literally. In fact, this population growth is so sudden (in terms of world history) that the growth chart of our planet looks something like a straight line until the agricultural revolution, when the ability to sustain ourselves through the ability to farm shifted us from a nomadic lifestyle to one more stable, thus allowing enough food to be grown and enough stability to allow for more children to be born (and survive) and thus the line on our growth chart rises, like a small hill. Up until this point, our world population had spent 1200 years a a stagnant 300 million. This upward climb continues until the 1750s, when the Industrial Revolution caused our population to grow even more, due to the fact that technology and machinery allowed us to produce more food more quickly and suuport more people worldwide. The line on the chart rises a bit more. It kind of looks like the line on the treadmill when you have the incline turned on. Then, somewhere around 1950, the little "hill" becomes a mountain. The line on the chart literally looks like a vertical line, rather than a horizontal one like before. Based on this chart, our world population grew from about a billion people in 1800 to 6 billion and some change in a period of just 300 years. Talk about a growth spurt! With figures such as these and constant attention on the need to conserve and reduce our consumption levels, it seems counter-intuitive to worry about a decreasing population, right? Wrong. Actually, according to the article I'm reading for this class, the population is now "imploding," if you will. These popualtion growth brought on by advances in health and technology, have caused death rates (mortality) to decrease in modern countries. That means that if you live in Europe, Canada, the US, Japan, or other well-developed nations, you can expect to live to a ripe old age. At the same time, however, across the globe, families are becoming markedly smaller. People are having less and less children, especially in these developed nations. What this is creating is what the writer of this particular article calls "subreplacement regimes." In theory, in order to "replace" our population, each man-and-woman pair need to produce 2.1-2.5 children. The .1 part is supposed to cover infant mortality and deaths in childhood, but to make life a little easier, we will just call it 2. Naturally, this is supposed to work itself out insomuch as some people have 0-2 children and others have 3, 4 or more. What's happening though, is that world-wide, more and more people are having less and less children, causing the population have drastically less people between the ages of 0-15 and many more people between the ages of 15-65 (working age people) and 65+ (thanks to health care). This means that when these older folks eventually die, they will not be "replaced" by their children. If this trend continues, their children may have none or only one child and then, the population shrinks even more. This phenomenon shrinks our developed nations. Meanwhile, lack of heath and fertility education in places like Africa cause the population areas like these to be very young. High birth rates and high death rates mean that there are many young people, but few live very long lives. To keep countries like Japan and Italy from decreasing in population, there would have to drastically large waves of migration from places with high fertility rates. Migration on this scale would change the face of the globe. Races and cultures would change globably. The question boils down to what caused this dramatic global desire to decrease family size? I believe (totally just my semi-educated opinionm here...) it is a combination of natures way of regulating hereslf in addition to the cultural change in modern nations were women are waiting longer to bear children in order to do other things for herself. The longer a woman waits to have children (tick, tock, tick, tock.. right, ladies!?), the less children she will be able to have over the course of her life. I think this has caused the family size to shrink, and less modern nations have mimicked this lifestyle choice. Another big question this whole phenomenon poses is what this will cause in relation to consumption of natural resources. It has long been said that we are playing a dangerous game in terms of our consumption. We create so much waste and garbage, that some cities even have to ship their garbage out of town because they produce so much, I don't even have to discuss the shortages of water and gasoline we've experienced in the last thirty years and the consequences we've faced as a result. Over a long period of time subreplacement regimes could, indeed, continually decrease the population to dangerous levels... but will it get that far? I doubt it. Hopefully, lowering our populations globally will result in less consumption and level out at point where we can sustain our current lifestyles comfortably. What will actually be the case? As the writer of the article so perfectly stated figure that one out and "your nobel prize is in the mail."

If you just read all of this, I appreciate the attention, but to be honest, I just wrote about this article to get all theses ideas about subreplacement regimes, the population explosion, migration, and all the other nuts & bolts of population geography into sentences.
I'm going to try and shape what I just wrote out into a paper (ekk, it's due Monday!) before Hubby finishes mowing the yard... He's half way there, right now... then we're gonna carve our pumpkins and make dinner! I'm pretty excited.

BTW, only 3 days of class until falllllllll break!!!!!! :)

Happy Fall!

Monday, October 06, 2008

New focus.

I am definitely behind on updating my blog about my life. Here is it in a nutshell:
Summer was full of wedding madness. We did get married on June 14th! It was beautiful! We honeymooned in Mexico and I wish we could have stayed for WEEKS. :)
School has started and now Jake is teaching 4th grade math and science at an elementary school a few miles from our house. I am still commuting to Winthrop and it's about to KILL me. I am incredibly ready to graduate.
I'm thinking about selling Thirty One Gifts. It's a Christian company, they have cute stuff, and I could use the money.
I am tired a lot. If I wasn't on the Pill, I'd think I'm preggo as emotional and exhausted as I have been lately. Jake and I have been fighting the last few weeks alot. I think it's because we need a break. School is just pulling us apart. No time to talk, to love, to laugh... it's taking its toll. So we are in the midst of planning a little retreat to work on US time.

I'm hoping to shift the use of my blog as less of a journal of retelling, but more of reflection. And not just as a new wife, Christian, and young woman in a hectic world, but as a student. I want to use it to study and grow. So, that being said, here's my first attempt at using my blog for studying and learning...

What's on the menu:
Geography: I have a test on Wednesday. I'll be making notecards after I finish my post. I am also working on a paper.
Here is the premise...
This assignment will have you read the journal article titled “The Population Implosion” (Foreign Policy,
March/April 2001 ‐ www.foreignpolicy.com/Ning/archive/archive/123/thepopulationimp.pdf) and in
conjunction with the class lecture on population answer the following series of questions:
1. What are the “three tendencies” that are identified in the paper? Provide a brief description of each.

2. The article suggests that many of the “most developed” nations have sub‐replacement fertility regimes, yet many of these nations continue to exhibit overall population growth. What accounts for this continued increase and what impact does this have on the country as a whole?

3. What reasons can be suggested that might explain a declining birth rate? What has changed in society that has prompted or encouraged a declining birth rate?

4. Despite advances in medical technology and gains made post WWII many countries are
experiencing an increase in death rates – what factors or reasons might account for this, explain?

5. What impacts does an ever aging population have on society? Explain your answer.

6. What impacts does a rapidly growing population as a result of natural increase have on countries that are experiencing it? How does carrying capacity relate to these impacts?

Okay, so that needs to be done.

OMG, I love this class! It's fun, it's interesting, and it's soooo applicable. I am doing a paper in here on my diet based off an anaylsis of my own diet. As it turns out, I am only consuming an average of 1375 calories a day, WAYYY under what a woman who's active and planning a pregnacy in years to come. And I learned what vitamins and minerals I am super low on. I gotta write a paper on this. Easy enough. and Fun.

Those where my classes I had today. I need to go shower and get started on note cards. I think I am currently blogged out for now.

OH, BTW. I am IN LOVE with the fall season. We went to the fair last week and got the traditional roast turkey leg, ear of corn, vinegar fries, and homemade lemonade. May just say, those foods are a once-a-year gift from above! I love fall!
Cleveland Co. Fair 2008