Refugee Vetting

Let’s be clear on one thing: The refugee vetting process in the United States is already ‘extreme’. It is the most difficult way to get into the country, and by turning away people who have already been through this onerous process, we are not making ourselves safer, we are just hurting them.

The current travel ban would not have stopped the September 11th attacks. There have been NO fatal terrorist attacks in the US committed by anyone from ANY of the countries currently banned. There have been no fatal terrorist attacks that have been committed by refugees since the current vetting process has been in place.

And while we are at it, the Trump travel ban is completely different from when Obama limited immigration in 2011. What Obama did in 2011 was to temporarily halt processing of refugees from Iraq in response to a specific incident. The difference is that it was a narrow action in response to a specific threat, and it didn’t lock out people out whom we’ve already welcomed in.

There’s a post going around Facebook, something about “I don’t lock my door at night because I hate the people outside, but because I love the people inside.” But, if I had a renter, someone who I had lived with for years and was on good terms with, would I be justified in changing the locks and barring the doors while they were out? If my neighbors house was caught fire, in the middle of a snow storm, wouldn’t I open my doors and welcome them in? Right now, we aren’t locking out strangers, we are slamming the door in the face of friends.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” Matthew 35:25


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Folly Cosplay: Apron

“She wore an apron – but it looked to be made of leather, and was burned in several places, a smith’s garment rather than kitchen wear.”

I started my costume research online. I found some nice smith’s aprons with the look I wanted, but they were all way more than I wanted to spend. (Probably reasonable if I was actually working in a forge.) I started checking thrift stores for something I could cannibalize for leather-like fabric. I found a nice leather jacket half-off at Goodwill.

I ripped the seams and reassembled it into an apron. The body of apron is the back of the jacket – I got a jacket large enough that I only had to shape it instead of piece it together. I only really had to shape the curved sides on the top. I hemmed all of the edges, but I was able to keep the original hem at the bottom.

The strips for the neck strap and waist ties were cut from the sleeves then stitched on. The waist straps included the sleeve seams, for stability. The neck strap is made of two strips, sewn together with two seams.


The burn marks were harder than I expected. I took a box of matches, some paper, and a bucket of water out to a corner of the parking lot with the apron. If I just lit a match and held it to the apron, or set it on the apron, it wouldn’t scorch the leather. The best solution I found was to set a match on the apron, then use a second match to light it. Sometimes, I would pile a few matches together, so it would burn longer. I had to be careful not to let it burn too long or else the leather would pucker more than scorch.



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Jayne Hat

Lion Hometown –Pittsburgh Yellow, Syracuse Orange, Tampa Spice (red)

Size 11

CO 44 in orange

Knit all in stockinet

Knit for 18 rows (5.5 in), switch to yellow (leave long tail on the orange, for seam), knit 7 rows (2 in), decrease.

Decrease: always knit first and last stitch for seam. *K4, ssk* to end, knit next row, *k3, ssk* to end. Continue until decreasing every stitch.

Cut, leaving long tail (for seam). Seam.

Ear flaps:

Count 9 stitches from the seam, pick up 9 stitches, 4 stitches up from bottom. With red (all in stockinet), knit 8 rows, dec first and last (7 st), knit 1 row, dec first and last (5 st), knit 1 row, dec 1st and last (3 st), knit 5 rows, dec 1st (2 st), dec 1st (1 st). Cut yarn, leaving about 4 inches, pull through. Tie knot in end of tail (to avoid unraveling). Cut another length of yarn, about twice as long as the tail, and pull it through. Knot both ends and knot together with the tail.

Do on both sides of hat.


Next time: Make the body shorter by about 3 inches. Make the ear flaps larger: wider by 2 more stitches towards the front, longer before decreases to 18 rows about 5 inches. Decrease at beginning of each row instead of at the beginning and end of every other row. Attach ear flaps to inside of hat instead of outside. I need to work on the puff ball too.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grandma Sis’s Best Ever Cookies

(Open Line)

1 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar
1 c. oil
1 c. Crisco
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
4 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
4 t. cream of tartar
1 t. salt
12 oz. chocolate chips

Mix ingredients together.  Drop walnut size balls on cookie sheet.

Bake 350°, 10-12 minutes.

57-IMG_6225 56-IMG_6223

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Giant Easter Egg

I was giving an Easter gift, and I wanted to put it in a giant egg, but any plastic eggs I found were too small, so I decided to make my own. So, maybe it ended up looking more like a weird missile than an egg, but whatever.

Start with a large rectangle of cardboard, score the entire length of the cardboard every two inches with the grain.


Roll the cardboard into a tube, with the scores on the outside. Overlap the last strip on each edge and hot glue together.


Score the outside of the tube to make shape the ends of the egg. My cardboard already had creases, or I would have scored it again about half way down. This would have been easier before gluing it into a tube, but I wasn’t sure how far up to start the curve. Cut through the scores delimiting the strips, up to the farthest circumference score.

Do the same on both ends. On one end make the circumference score farther down the tube, so one end of the egg will be pointier.


Put two balloons inside the egg, inflated to just fit inside of it. Use these as a base to help shape the ends. Pull each strip down, each strip overlapping the previous one. Hot glue may have worked best here, but I couldn’t find any more glue sticks. So, I used duct tape. Lots and lots of duct tape. I completely covered each end with colored duct tape and used that for the coloring too.

I wrapped the middle section of the egg in blue painters tape. (Painters tape because it was handy.)


Cut through the score along the length,then cut through the scores on the top and bottom of each of the flaps, to make an opening to put things inside the egg. This will pop the balloons.


Close the flaps and tape them shut. I was hoping to put just one strip of tape to close the flaps, but they kept popping open, so I wrapped the whole thing in tape a few more times.


It…kinda looks like an egg…

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Chocolate Oatmeal

Chocolate Oatmeal

35 g        Old Fashioned Oatmeal
1/2 T      Chia
14 g        Almonds, ground
1/2 T      Cocoa
20 g       Chocolate Chips, 51% cocoa
3/4 C      Water
1/4 t       Vanilla Extract

  1. Put the cocoa and chocolate and almonds in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Put the oatmeal, chia seed, and water in a large microwave safe bowl (6 cups, at least – it seems overkill, but I have never had my oatmeal boil over in the microwave).
  3. Microwave for 2:30 on high power.
  4. Pour oatmeal into the bowl with the chocolate, add vanilla, add milk to taste, stir.

353 calories (without milk)


I prepare oatmeal packs ahead of time – one container of oatmeal and chia, one of chocolate and cocoa, and one of the almonds.I measure out the vanilla last minute.

The advantage of this division is so I can make different flavor combinations. Sometimes I use walnuts instead of almonds. And sometimes I’m in the mood for cinnamon raisin instead of chocolate.

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Flavor

¼ C Raisins
½ T Brown Sugar
¼ t Cinnamon

Prepare as chocolate oatmeal, but add the above ingredients to the oatmeal before microwaving and omit the chocolate and cocoa.

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Nutella Cresent Star


  • Recipe source:
  • Modifications
    • Used two tubes of ‘big and flaky’ crescent rolls instead of four regular tubes
      • They are cheaper and four tubes seemed like a lot
    • Shaping the dough
      • Not as easy as it looks in the video
      • I tried rolling it, it wasn’t working for me
      • This is more of a bread dough than a cookie dough, so I treated it as such – more pinching and pressing and stretching than rolling
    • Used an 8 inch circle instead of a 10 inch
      • Because I used less dough
      • And I have an 8 inch circle handy
      • And I don’t have a pizza pan, so I had to fit it on a cookie sheet
    • I didn’t use the whole jar of Nutella
      • Because I used less dough
      • Next time, I will use the whole jar
    • Used a tiny Tupperware cup instead of a mason jar
      • Because I used a smaller circle, and because that seemed like a lot of unused dough
    • I did not cut off the excess dough to make a perfect circle
    • Skipped the egg wash
      • Mainly because I forgot



A friend tagged me in a video recipe of Christmas Tree shaped pastry made of puff pastry and Nutella. But I didn’t really like that recipe – I’ve never used puff pastry before, and the shaping of the tree looked unnecessarily finicky. So I searched around and I found this recipe. Then I simplified it even further. I didn’t make it for Christmas, but I did bring it for new years. It was delicious, and big hit. There was none left by the end of the evening.

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