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Monday, December 28, 2020

Our World Has Changed, God is Still Unchanging

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
Isaiah 40:8

Please view this post at my new blog, Hope Cottage. Here is the link: Our World Has Changed, God is Still Unchanging.

Shalom!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Spiced Fruit Compote for Winter Morning Breakfast -- The Homemaking Party

 
This delectable compote not only tastes divine---it's gorgeous too! 
Serve with a simple sweet bread at breakfast or as an after dinner dessert with tea.

Welcome to The Homemaking Party! 

About fifteen years ago, we lived in a very tiny town in Eastern Oregon called Weston. There were a couple of plum trees, as well as an apple tree in our yard, and all the blackberries you could pick just down the street. At the end of the summer, someone gave me a huge bag of walnuts so I began looking for ways I could use them and came across a recipe for fruit compote. 

I made a TON of jars and gave them as gifts, as well as stored many in the cold storage room off the side of the house. Since then, I've made compote a couple other times and I do it different every time! Here's a fast way to make a yummy topping for breakfast bread, biscuits, muffins, and more.

 One year I was in a hurry, so I did a quickie method and baked it in the oven instead of cooking it on the stovetop. Since there wasn't time for the fruit to cook down, I added some apricot jam to give it a better spreading consistency. Wonderful idea---it was great! If you want to skip the jam, just let the mixture cook in a saucepan with a little water until it's soft.

Give it a try and let me know what you think! It's great for the holidays---and all year round!


Oven Baked Fruit Compote (serves about 8)

6 apples, cored and diced
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup raisins
1½ cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water 
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 tsp. each cloves, nutmeg, ginger
1 c. apricot or peach jam

Preheat oven to 450ยบ. Mix all ingredients, except jam, and spread into a greased 13x9 dish. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes. Mix in jam and serve over bread, or alone!

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Sunday, December 20, 2020

Addressing the Uproar Over Instagram / Facebook "New" Terms of Service


Dear Friends: on today's edition of "Let's All Not Freak Out Now with Sarah Coller" I'd like to address the newest trending freakout: Instagram Terms of Service. My kids, their friends, my friends, my enemies, almost EVERYONE is in an uproar about the new IG TOS. I don't claim to be an expert, but I'm married to one so that gives me secondhand wisdomy powers. Plus I worked in social media professionally for about 6 years where my entire life was on display for the whole world to download and I became very familiar with the different ways in which companies use, store, retrieve, and sell our information. AND….I'm a thinking-about-recovering addict so, you know… Anyway, most of what I'm going to say here is my OPINION---but it's based on some knowledge and a whole lot of that good ol' fashioned common sense you've come to adore in me.

First of all---yes, IG (and Facebook) can, will, and has been using your photos/info/contacts/location for all the nasty nefarious purposes. Without going into too much detail, let's just look at it from a common sense perspective: You are using their site for FREE. It might be hard to fathom how much time, cost and man/woman/undecided power goes into running a small little side gig like Instagram, but trust me: it's a lot. You are loading your photos to their site---what would be a better way to compensate them, do you think? Cash? I guarantee you that if IG asked you to pay $20 or even $5 per photo loaded, you'd sign off the rights to your stuff instead, without question. Furthermore, this is nothing new. It's just that now they're being more straightforward in telling you about it. Why? Well has anyone been paying attention to the Zuckerberg Senate Judiciary Committee stuff? Yeah, me neither. But, the powers-bigger-than-Zuck have been on him and my guess is that IG, FB, etc are going to be held more accountable to clearly define their Terms to users.

Here's the thing though...like I said, this kind of sharing, selling, using your info is not new. Why do you think you can be chatting with a friend on Messenger about changing your laundry detergent to Arm & Hammer and three minutes later, you see ads for it when you're browsing Amazon? You like cookies? Well in the internet world, cookies are bad bad bad. Every single internet-capable device that you own has the power to track your conversations, contacts list, location, etc. Some of these settings can be disabled---most can not. Which brings me to….

Instagram is tracking my movements through my front camera!!!!! Aaaaaahhhhhh!!!!! Are you on a laptop right now? Look up at the very tippy top middle of your screen. Camera? Camera on your phone? GPS in your car? Use a credit card online? Shop at Walmart? Ever seen the self-checkout cameras? Ever returned something at Walmart and had them say you no longer need your receipt as long as you paid by card? They just swipe it and can pull up all your shopping history. You'd literally need to live more primitive than the Amish to not have the potential of being tracked by someone. Does that mean they're actually doing it? Yes, probably, but. There is not some crew of bad guys sitting in some dark room chugging coffee and actually watching your movements. Companies usually store this information for a time so it can be retrieved for little things like targeting you in advertising (again, you're using their site FREE...and way too often, by the way) or for big things like catching sex offenders, kidnappers and thieves. Remember, you're talking to one of the top 10 antisocial, way-too-private, hermits in modern times---but if I ever had a child go missing, I'd be thanking God for Facebook or Instagram's "invasive" tracking methods.

So how can you keep your content from being used against your will? It's SO SIMPLE. You can stop posting it to a site owned by another entity. Listen, if you leave your stuff at my house and expect me to leave it out and display it to anyone who comes to my house, you'd better believe I'm going to do one of two things. Either I'm gonna chuck your stuff and tell you to go find your own place to display your stuff or I'm gonna find a way to make this stuff work for me. I might use it or keep it for my grandchildren or even *gasp* modify it to better fit my purposes. 'Cause I'm the one paying the big bucks to store and display it, right? You're using a service, you pay the price. IG's Terms have not changed so much as your understanding of them has changed. This is the case on every single site you visit. That's the way of the world right now, fellas. That's what this fantastic new technologically advanced civilization has given us. Woop Woop!

If we don't like it, we can leave. Will you leave? Probably not. A few might for a while, but those who do usually find that it's a lonely world when everyone else is having a digital relationship and you're over there trying to live like it's 1999. Just promise me this: if you're going to leave IG or FB over their tracking/selling/using policies, leave everything. Be consistent so you don't look foolish. Get rid of your cell phone, your internet, your GPS in your car, your credit and debit cards. Don't pay your bills online or even over the phone, and when you go out, be sure to avoid all "security" cameras in all drive-thrus, shops, ATMs, freeways... you get the picture. In the words of my parents: they can kill us but they can't eat us.

Yeah...I don't know what that means either.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Chocolate Cornflake No Bake Cookies for The Homemaking Party

 

Hello friends! Welcome to The Homemaking Party! I went looking on my blog for this recipe as I can't find my card and thought I'd share it here with all of you today. Let me know what you've been doing in your kitchen and be sure to link up your homemaking posts below! 

Chocolate Cornflake No Bakes

1 c. sugar
1 c. corn syrup
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. peanut butter
5 c. cornflakes

Bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil and boil for one minute. Add chocolate chips and peanut butter and stir until smooth. Mix in cornflakes and drop onto wax paper to cool.


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