Date the frog, not the prince?

I just ran across this and thought it was a curious article. I guess I’ll put a poll at the bottom. No commentary to add as of yet.

Date the frog, not the prince begins:

The secret to long-lasting love could be as simple as dating a frog instead of a prince.

Relationships are more likely to be successful when the woman is paired up with a less attractive man, according to a new study.

After listing the criteria for the study, they offered this analysis:

The study had “Beauty and the Beast” results — women were happier with less genetically blessed hubbies, who compensated in the relationship with acts of kindness, including giving gifts, sexual favors or completing extra housework, according to Esquire UK.

“The husbands seemed to be basically more committed, more invested in pleasing their wives when they felt that they were getting a pretty good deal,” the study said.

Meanwhile, women who had hot husbands were found to more likely obsess over exercising and dieting in an effort to be slim.

“The results reveal that having a physically attractive husband may have negative consequences for wives, especially if those wives are not particularly attractive,” said Tania Reynolds, an FSU psychology doctoral student.

I should probably just add a category tag titled, “things that make me go hmmm…”



Minor quibble: Our hair grows just fine.

I already warned y’all that I have very little interest in a deep blog, so…

I was reading a site where  a debate was kicking up about whether women are required to wear a head covering when we worship. The post author was of the opinion that the Bible says a woman’s “long hair” (it doesn’t say that) is sufficient covering.

On that particular issue, my opinion doesn’t matter all that much. Covering is a sign of submission to God and to appropriate authority. For the married women, husbands are appropriate authority. Mine doesn’t want me to cover, so the Biblical answer for me is to not cover. We are Protestants and covering (except during communion) was not a tenet even when I was a child.

In the comments of the post I referenced there was a comment that caught my eye:

People have different terminal lengths of hair and these people have very short hair. This is the way God created them so they are not in disobedience to God by wearing short hair. Some African women (and many black American women) actually add hair to give them length that they cannot achieve on their own.

I have seen this asserted numerous times througout my life. I can certainly understand why people think this is the case, but it isn’t. Well, the part about black women adding hair is certainly true, but the rest isn’t. I touched on this quite recently, so I won’t go into a long re-hash, but the appearance of short hair on black women is a matter of texture and not a lack of hair. Cases in point here.

African women wear their hair short on purpose. They cut it. It’s hot there, and the access to products and services for styling is limited compared to the U.S. Almost every African woman I have encountered who emigrated to America stopped cutting their hair when they got here. There are more options and styling products available, and it’s not as hot year round.

As for American black women, many have shorter hair due to the damage and dryness caused by precisely the things mentioned, including adding hair, and all the hair drying and scalp destroying techniques that go along with it. I’ve never had a problem growing a lot of hair, but I have never in my life (not even once) worn a wig, weave, or braids with artificial hair. Not because I was too good for it. Just always been around men who hated it.

So for the record, ’tis not true that black women cannot grow long hair. It’s good to be  informed since misinformation abounds; on everything from the “dangers” of saturated fat to the life saving technology of mammograms to global over population. I could probably list a dozen more commonly acceped myths off the top of my head.

Reading really is fundamental.





Black family sues school for refusing to protect their daughter from abuse by peers

Found this one interesting. We raised our kids in an area where none of the schools had high percentages of black students. They too were usually the only black kids in their honors classes. er.

They got their share of occasional digs and comments for being different. Basically, the “everyone has a place in the public school” mantra is more accurately translated, “everyone has a place in the public school so long as you conform to the expected behavior of your group”.


Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union

I just thought the following story was astonishing. My heart really goes out to this little girl, who is just trying to work hard and make a life for herself.

This is from The State.


Parents of an African-American girl at Columbia’s Hand Middle School have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Richland School District 1, alleging school officials did little for two years while their academically advanced daughter was physically and verbally abused for “acting white.”

“Hand Middle School students called (the girl) racial slurs and physically assaulted her on numerous occasions,” says the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Columbia by Alex Young, a soldier at Fort Jackson, and his wife, Toschia Moffett, a consultant.

“Although approximately 50 percent of the students at Hand Middle School identify as African American, (the girl) was one of…

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There’s no such thing as hurricane crunchy.

We needed a few minor items, but are mostly good to go in the event  Irma decides to pay us a visit on Sunday.

I popped in the grocer to pick up ingredients for a plaeo barbecue sauce and the lines were snaking through the store as people were trying to get water. We already had water, and one of our girls has an inside track at a retailer that is going to see to it that their employees get first dibs on supplies when the truck comes in, should we need it. My man  always ensures we have the essentials needed in case of the worst, so I was able to avoid the madness to some degree.

However, there is the issue of non perishable food, and right in the middle of my Whole 30! So off I went to buy canned soups, canned tuna, etc. On the soup aisle I ran into a cute old lady who struck up a conversation with me about how the sodium content alone in that food would be a massive problem for her because of a health condition. Her son, who lives in another state, insisted that she stock up nonetheless. I helped her find some low sodium options even as I sympathized with her dilemma. I’m hoping I can just donate the cans to our church’s food bank if Irma misses us and never have to eat them.

It struck me coming home how crunchy our family is about our food. Even my husband is crunchy-tolerant about food choices. Combatting health issues in your child will do that. Other things however, he’s not at all crunchy about. Truth be told, I would be crunchy about a lot of things if my man was crunchy. He is not crunchy however, ergo I can not be crunchy.  Not fully.

If I’m going to wear makeup, he wants me to spend the money for the best brand that is  good for my skin. Good skin care products are also considered reasonable budget items. Ditto hair products and the like. We’re not big shoppers, but when I shop, he wants me to buy good, classic clothes. “Weekend Wife” (his terminology) needs to break out some heels. Like I said, crunchy tolerant on some things, but not all.

Because I’m crunchy at heart, I was glad to learn of a really nice consignment store in a trendy part of town where I’ve gotten some really nice things that even my husband likes to see me in. Splitting the difference, as it were.

When the stom hits though, the priority is eating because there’s no such thing as hurricane crunchy. So if comes to it, we’ll be eating gluten bread sandwiches, mecury lined tuna, and canned soup.



Beauty in the ashes.

I read this piece by Rod Dreher and it immediately resonated with me.

Dreher gets that there are many facets of life. He highlights how three dimensional living adds a richness to life which opens us up to rich, meaningful relationships with all kinds of people.

As I read it, I was reminded of several life affirming, beauty deriving,  uplifting moments spent with family or friends just in the past four weeks:

  • A mini road trip I took with our daughter to try out a great bakery.
  • A picnic in the park with SAM and our two youngest.
  • Great conversation with a group of other mothers over lunch.
  • Surprising my sister in a way that brightened her day.
  • Listening intently and enjoying something new as my husband shared the music of an artist he recently discovered.

Those are just the tip of the iceberg, but Dreher’s expression of moments like those juxtaposed against his professional presentation and reputation was masterfully articulated:

I’m serious when I tell you I thought about that catfish all day, and it made me so happy.

But I am limited as a writer, and cannot find a way to express in more than a few words how eating that catfish with my girl was pure sunshine. So I didn’t write about it. Instead, when I got home, I found in my e-mail queue several outrageous things that were happening. That’s easy to write about, in detail. The late Roger Ebert once observed that the worse a movie is, the easier and more fun it is to write about it. It takes a writer of rare skill to essay about how a platter of fried catfish in Manchac made the big mess that is our world seem farther away, and in fact reminded one that life, despite it all, is good.

I am not that writer. Alas. And this is why people who meet me for the first time are always surprised that I’m so easygoing, and want to do nothing but eat, drink, and sit around telling funny stories. I’m not playing a cynical role; I really do care about everything I post here. It’s just not reflective of who I am, deep down: a guy who thinks the world is probably going to hell, but who believes good food and the company of people he loves redeems it all.


No matter how bad things are, and no matter what we think -or write- about them, beauty is available to appreciate and joy can be spread and shared.

Go, read, be encouraged:

Fish and chips as a guide to life.


Summer’s Last Hurray.

Today begins my nutritional reset from a summer of excessive celebrations. I’ve written before that Whole 30 is my favorite reset and I will be doing that until Thanksgiving.

Actually everyone in our family is doing a reset of some sort for at least 30 days. Everyone except my husband. He’s not a bandwagon guy. Speaking of SAM, his birthday cake is the title reference.

While I have passed the baking torch to our daughter in many areas, when it comes to SAM’s birthday cake, no delegating is allowed. That is just fine with me, because I wouldn’t have it any other way.

He doesn’t like anything that is overly sweet, which includes lots of frosting, so I made him what is referred to as a naked cake:

As you can see, the caramel frosting is only on top and between the layers.

It was delicious, an apple pecan spice cake with caramel frosting topped with glazed apples. I know it isn’t quite fall yet, but it is exactly the kind of cake he likes.

Between homeschool, supplemental school, church,  homemaking,  and other activities there is no way to eat paleo without a meal plan and prep work. As a result Saturday afternoon is dedicated to meal prep for the week.

It may be September 2, but fall has come early to our house.

Just ignore the sweltering heat.

Common sense, Life hacks, real living in a virtual world, Uncategorized

Friday Frivolities 11: Proper focus edition.

I was thinking about modern life, and how to enjoy our novel conveniences and creature comforts without internalizing the worst traits modernity opens the door to.

For example, being healthy and fit is good. Health is not a frivolous pursuit. Being obsessed with health and fitness to the point of obsession, however, reduces it to vanity and creates a frivolous pursuit of perfection at the expense of dealing with weightier matters Hearthie dropped a few links in the comments sextion recently which brought this to the forefront of my thinking.

The Dreamstress offered two posts exploring the shifts in what was considered the “ideal figure” in generations past. You can take a look at those here and here. As I read through them, looking at the advertisements and pictures, it struck me that most every one of the body types offered as ideal were within striking distance of most of women simply through eating moderate amounts of real, fresh, food, and eschewing junk food. In addition, by just avoiding a sedentary life; not sitting around all the time.

Today’s ideal however, is out of reach for most normal men and women without copious amounts gym time and usually cutting out whole food groups (cookies are not a food group). In other words, it requires that we spend a lot of time thinking about things that we wouldn’t have had to think about so much in a different time and place.That’s not an indictment of any person’s chosen path to good health. After all I’m starting a Whole 80 myself this month. I am just as modern as the next person, but it still strikes me more and more recently.

The other thing I’ve been thinking about is the culture of distraction. It started as I read Magistra’s posts (here and here) on the book Deep Work, by Cal Newport. That book is on its way to my house as I type. I hope. I also picked up The Organized Mind during my recent library trip. I guess it’s obvious that clarity of mind is on my list of things to discover and/or recapture.

In the meantime, Hearthie shared this video with me which -in about 20 minutes- offers a Cliff’s notes version of Deep Work with strategies we can start today:

Have a great weekend!


Book life, homeschooling, and a solicitation.

Because I’m soliciting suggestions of resources and don’t want to miss anyone who might know some good ones, two posts probably increases my odds of finding what I’m looking for.

El's Reading Room...

I still have a few book reviews in draft, which are being slowed down significantly as we adjust to our new homeschool workload. Sometime over the next two weeks, I expect to post reviews of the following books:

  • Captains Courageous
  • Hillbilly Elegy
  • A Bear Called Paddington
  • Your Man is Wonderful

In the meantime, we are experiencing quite the challenge juggling the demands of homeschooling, the homework and readings associated with the supplemental classes our kids are taking, and regular homemaking necessities.

The positives are that our kids are getting top notch instruction from some amazingly gifted women (and a few men) in subjects I could never have tackled with the same depth of knowledge and enthusiasm. Latin, literature, drama, speech, visual arts, and art appreciation taught by teachers with passion for the subjects, years of studying them, and a wholly Christian worldview are pretty priceless. We are thankful to have…

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