Weird but True: The Kentucky Meat Shower

The Kentucky Meat Shower happened on an ordinary farm, just like this one

The Kentucky Meat Shower happened on an ordinary farm, just like this one

Today, I’d like to take you back in time to a weird but true part of American history that I recently heard about. The Kentucky Meat Shower.

Now, you may be asking yourself. What in the world is a meat shower?

Well, it is, in some ways, exactly what it sounds like. Meat, raining from the sky, like a rain shower. It happened in March of 1876 in Kentucky, when flakes of meat fell from the sky. Some pieces were big, other pieces were merely like snowflakes. It was witnessed by a woman making soap in her front yard and her husband.

And I know what you’re thinking, it’s a hoax! But actually, it was reported on as being serious by several major sources, including the New York Times, so it’s unlikely that it was a hoax. (The New York Times article, by the way, is delightful in only the way that old style reporting can you. You have to read it.)

Nobody is quite sure what kind of meat it is, though some people who tasted it said it was either mutton or venison. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t think I would have been brave enough to try mystery meat that fell from the sky with no apparent explanation. Some also said that it was beef or even bear meat.

Scientists even came to collect samples and they thought it might have been lung tissue either from a horse or a human infant. Now, it sounds like those two things would be hard to mix up, but you have to remember that this was 1876 and things were not the same for science as they were now. For context, the meat shower happened about a week before Alexander Graham Bell made his first successful telephone call. So for it to spread as far as it did and for as many people to hear about it as they did is kind of remarkable. Imagine if there was a meat shower today and how fast that would be all over Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

However, they were able to further back up that these samples were muscle, cartilage, and lung tissue, even though they didn’t know what kind of animal they came from.

For a while, they thought it was Nostoc. Which apparently you can eat, but look at that, who would want to? There was also, briefly, a theory that like the asteroid belt, there was a meat belt in space. I mean, we know this to be completely impossible, but I find it highly amusing to imagine.

Now, do you want to know what caused it? The most likely theory?

Vultures. Yup, those carnivorous scavenger birds. Apparently, they will vomit when they are scared or need to take altitude quickly. Definitely reason number two not to eat strange falling meat from the sky because it could be vulture vomit. But, then you ask, how come no one saw the vultures? Well, apparently, some species of vultures can fly at 40,000 feet.  That’s taller than Mt. Everest, so I understand that that might not be visible to the human eye.

Have you ever heard of the Kentucky Meat Shower before? What’s your reaction to this strange but true history? Do you have any great alternate theories about what caused it? 

Sources:

Bible Reflection Sheet for Kids

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Last week or so, I turned to Facebook looking for a Bible reflection sheet for kids in Dominic’s age range (Kindergarten/lower elementary). We are reading through the Bible one chapter at a time. This will probably take us forever, but I think it’s good for both of us. However, I wanted a way for him to not just hear, but also think about what we were reading. I asked my friends and in a Facebook group, but I wasn’t finding quite what I was looking for, so I decided to make my own. I also googled, but there are about a billion things on google when you are looking for Bible stuff and when I couldn’t easily find it, I figured it would be faster just to make my own. And then, I figured, if I was looking for this, other people probably were too. So, I thought I’d share it here for you.

I asked my friends and in a Facebook group, but I wasn’t finding quite what I was looking for, so I decided to make my own. I also googled, but there are about a billion things on google when you are looking for Bible stuff and when I couldn’t easily find it, I figured it would be faster just to make my own. And then, I figured, if I was looking for a Bible reflection sheet for kids, other people probably were too. So, I thought I’d share it here for you.

do have to tell you that it is not pretty or fancy. It is very basic, but it gets the job done. I wanted a space where Dominic could draw a picture as well as write what happened. While he can write, at this point getting his thoughts down in long sentence form can be frustrating for him. His brain often moves faster than his fingers. So, usually, I let him dictate that part to me and I write it down for him.

We do talk about what happened, but I try very hard not to guide him in what he says in the dictation part, though sometimes I do give him prompts about what is happening if he tells me he can’t think of anything, like “What did Moses do?” (We’re in Exodus).

I also included a section to circle what part of the Bible it’s from. This is because we’ve been having a lot of discussions lately about Old Testament and New Testament and what the difference is.

You can see an example here of one we did last week. In case you can’t tell, the picture is a tent and the little circles around it are Manna.

Bible Reflection Sheet for Lower Elementary Students

BibleReflection.pdf (145 downloads)

Let me know if you download the Bible reflection sheet for kids what you think of it! 

Ella Builds a Wall by Ruth McKeague Book Review

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free, but as always, this is my honest and truthful opinion. If you buy the book through my link, part of the money will come back to me. Just through reading this review you are supporting me, so thanks! 

I am very excited today to bring to you a review of a new book, Ella Builds a Wall by Ruth McKeague. As you might know, we are big readers in this house. I read a lot. My kids read a lot. We own over 1,000 books, 800 or so of those alone being children’s books. Needless to say, including library books, my children and I have read a lot of books. However, just because we have read a lot of books, it does not stop us from the Ella Builds a Wall by Ruth McKeague continued search for children’s books. Reading has so many benefits. And our continued search for children’s books helps to broaden my children’s view of the world. You can learn about so many people and places and parts of the world through books.

But enough about reading – let’s talk specifically about Ella Builds a Wall. 

Name of book: Ella Builds a Wall

Author: Ruth McKeague

Summary: I think that these videos do a great job of the summary, so instead of reading my summary of the book, I’d encourage you to watch the summaries below instead! You can also read about Ruth’s journey of writing this book. 

Rating:  5 stars

Reason for Rating  

In Ella Builds a Wall, Ella learns from her Sensei about the walls that we build around people. She learns about the walls that make us stronger and help us defend ourselves. She also learns the walls that make us weaker by shutting people out. As a kid, I was bullied and I was often told to Dominic Reading Ella Builds a Wall by Ruth McKeagueignore the bullies, which, to be honest, I don’t think is exceedingly helpful advice. Even if I didn’t ignore them, it didn’t change how I felt on the inside after hearing mean things. I feel like this book provides an excellent framework, as a parent, to be able to discuss with our kids what is in their control – which is their emotions and their reactions. I want to use this with my kids to be able to talk to them about how we are the master of our feelings. That’s something that I still struggle with as an adult. However, I hope that I will be able to give them the tools so they don’t have to struggle when they are my age. I loved that it wasn’t just about Ella fighting bullies. It was also about how to be a good friend to people that you think are strange and not at all like you. In the book that’s Sarah, who is not the bully, but who Ella thinks she has nothing in common with. The book shows them able to become friends. The book made me think about all the times that we build walls and shut people out. We think that their actions are directed at us. Really, they are just trying to live their lives and get through the things we are all trying to get through. Dominic told me the book was “very cool” and “great!” I’d recommend this book for kids who are struggling with bullies or with big emotions. I think that you could even use this in sibling relationships. I think it is a good read with Dominic now. However, I’m excited to see how he can grow with this book and how we can talk about it more as he grows and changes.

Thank you again to Ruth for providing me with a copy of this book! It was an excellent read and I hope that you enjoy it as well! If you’d like to purchase it, purchasing through the link is the best way to go as a part of the proceeds will come to me if you do! What are your favorite books that deal with feelings and bullying? Will you pick up a copy of Ella Builds a Wall

Child Marriage in America

Child Marriage in America is a thing, but it definitely shouldn't be

A lot of you know I studied political science in college, so paying attention to the going on in the world around me is important to me. Of course, since the kids, I can’t pay as close attention as I used to/as I’d like to, but I still like to think that I am aware of things. So when I read in the New York Times that child marriages are happening in America, I thought no way. This is America – we have laws against such things, right? And even if child marriage in America is happening, it can’t possibly be legal, can it?

Imagine my surprise and shock when I learned that no, these marriages are legal. And over half of states have no legal minimum age for marriage. I always just assumed this was one of those things you couldn’t do until you were an adult or at the very least, 16 with your parent’s consent. At least that’s what I’ve always heard and it does turn out that Wisconsin has a minimum legal age of 16. So perhaps that’s where some of my thinking that everywhere in the United States has a law like that comes from.

But I mean, it’s absurd. I don’t want to say that I think it’s always a bad idea for people to marry young. While I was not a teenager, I was only 20 when I married. So obviously, I feel that marrying young can be fine. But there is a big difference between a 20-year-old and a 13-year-old. Most teenagers can not even go to the bathroom at school without permission. They can’t vote or do other things that we consider to be adult things, so why should we be allowing them to get married? In one case, it talks about an 11-year-old being married. You can not tell me that the 11-year-olds you know are prepared to be married. At the very least, the 11-year-olds I know aren’t. I don’t want to rehash the article, but I think that you should definitely read it.

But, as with anything, I did not stop at one source. When I learn about something, I want to dig in all the way deep. So I did some more searching about child marriage in America. I thought I would include some more of the things I turned up in my search for further reading.

Like this older New York Times article that explains that while the minimum is 18 in most places, there are exceptions and even if it appears that the kids don’t want to be married, judges have little they can do about it and there are few laws explicitly forbidding forced marriage. Girls in forced marriages often have little resources if things go wrong.

If you are a numbers person, Pew has compiled some data on this issue. If you want a global perspective, the Independent has an article comparing the US to the situation in Europe and worldwide.

Marriage is a beautiful, wonderful thing and forced child marriage is a terrible thing to do.  But lest you think all hope is lost, states are starting to pass bills restricting this practice. There is still a long way to go. However, I feel like child marriage in America is an issue we could learn to all come together on. The stories are hard to read, but I don’t think we should shy away from reading things just because they are hard. We can’t change things we don’t know about or we won’t admit are problems.

Were you aware of this problem? What do you think should be done to solve it?

Photo by Celia Michon on Unsplash

Stay at Home Mom Guilt

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I have touched on stay at home mom guilt briefly before, in my other posts, I think, though definitely on Facebook. But today, I want to touch on it more directly.

Because sometimes, honestly, I feel guilty being a stay at home mom.

Stay at home mom guilt

Honestly, sometimes it’s hard not to.

We live in a society where our value is frequently measured by what we can do. What job we hold. What promotions we gain. How much money we make.

So what then, does it mean, to spend my life with no job, with no promotions on the horizon, with no money to show for it?

Sometimes it can lead to this overwhelming sense of guilt, that I feel like I’m not contributing to the family.

But then, this gets back to the idea of money. The idea that my only value is the money I can provide. But this is not true. In fact, this runs counter to everything in my value system. I have never believed money is the most important thing, but yet, for some reason, I get caught up in this societal idea that without a paycheck attached to my name, my value to society is worthless.

I struggle with feeling like I’m contributing enough, which is where the stay at home mom guilt comes in. This is ridiculous though! I do not say this to brag on myself, but I do a lot and not all of what I do can be quantified with a price tag and that’s okay. It’s not all about the money.

But yet, someone I know once called me a freeloader. And despite knowing that I am not a freeloader, despite knowing that I work hard, it has always stuck with me. The negative words do always stick too easily to me. Is that what everyone thinks about me? Are the sometimes subtle or not so subtle hints from other people that I should get a job proof that they think I’m a freeloader too?

Even if I did nothing, wouldn’t I still have value? I believe yes, in the same way that I believe babies and the unborn and the elderly and so on have value because they are human beings. I believe our value as human beings comes from God and it’s not something that can be taken away just by your status or standing in life. All people are valuable.

But the struggle with stay at home mom guilt is real. The struggle to run counter to the messages all around me is real. There is no reason for me to feel this way and certainly, in the moment, when I’m with my children, I don’t feel this way. It’s only in the quiet moments alone that I start to wonder. Maybe the solution is to never leave my children 😉 Just kidding, like everyone, I need time and space for myself to exist as well.

Sometimes, I don’t have a good conclusion for these posts that are just thoughts, because sometimes, there is no neat bow to wrap it all up. There is no perfect solution to the guilt. I can’t tell you how to overcome this guilt because every time I think I have, I find it comes right back again. But I know Christ did not set me free to live in this guilt. So at the very least (or perhaps, very most), I can turn to him to free me from my guilt. He is enough. And He has made me enough.

It’s not about accomplishments. Or money. Or the job I work or anything else that might give status for a moment, but in the end all fades away. Most people do not become famous in their jobs – sure, a small percentage of people do something world changing that gets remembered forever – but most people, most average people, don’t become famous in their jobs. And you can’t take all the money and accomplishments in the world with you when you die. But we chase after these things sometimes as if they will give us meaning. But they are only temporary things. Money can be lost. Jobs can be lost. People forget your accomplishments. That’s why you have to rest secure in your identity apart from these things.

I am more. And you are too.

Do you struggle with this guilt? How do you combat it? Or is there another kind of guilt you struggle with? 

P. S. I am not even touching on the other kind of stay at home mom guilt I feel, because that’s too big for this post and I don’t even know where to begin. But the guilt of your kids not listening and then you not parenting the way you want to parent and the resulting guilt from that is also a struggle to deal with. But that’s a different post perhaps for a different day. 

P. P. S. If you are a young adult in SE Wisconsin, Awake and Alive is having Pastor Jeffrey Bonack speak on guilt and shame. This is an awesome event and they pick their speakers very well. If you struggle with guilt like I do, it’s definitely something to look into. 

5 Comedies to Watch on Netflix

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good drama. But sometimes, you need to watch a show or a movie that makes you laugh. Here are my top 5 Netflix suggestions for when you need to laugh. For simplicity’s purpose of narrowing down just a little bit (it doesn’t really narrow it down that much but a little bit), I picked only movies and only those with a PG rating or less. So, don’t take this as an exclusive list as the best or anything like that. Just a list of 5 comedies that are good to watch. I could probably make 500 5 comedies to watch on Netflix lists and they’d each be different. So in no particular order, here are 5 movies from the comedy section on Netflix to watch.

5 Comedies to watch on Netflix

This picture isn’t from any of the movies, but it made me laugh in the same way. Plus, my sister has a thing for pineapples.

Trolls

I know I said they weren’t ranked, but this is probably still my favorite of the list. Yes, it is a kids’ movie, but we love kids movies around here. On our weekend away, we watched Zootopia haha. I have to admit, when I saw the premise of this movie, I thought it was kind of dumb. But I was wrong and I thought this movie was actually quite delightful. It has catchy tunes too, though it’s no Moana.

Johnny English Reborn

This is a spoof/parody of James Bond and you all know how much I love that genre. This is much better than any of the James Bond movies I’ve watched. It stars Rowan Atkinson, who of course, is brilliant. It made me laugh. It’s brilliant and the comedic timing, delivery, and set-up are well done.

Cool Runnings

Very, very loosely based on the debut of the Jamaican bobsled team into the Olympics, this movie had me laughing so hard. The members of the team are real characters and even though, after looking it up and realizing they changed so many details from the true story, it’s still a funny and entertaining movie to watch.

Around the World in 80 Days

While this novel has been adapted more than once, the one I recommend (and the one I found on Netflix – I’m not sure if the others one are on there) is the version with Jackie Chan. This version is heartwarming, funny, and charming all at once. You really fall in love with the characters and root for them. It’s not just a story about adventure, but also a story about love and friendship.

Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves

Okay, admittedly, this isn’t the best movie. I don’t think it’s winning any awards. But I feel like since having kids, I have a new and fun appreciation for this movie. I can totally relate to the parents and their feelings and emotions around being shrunk and also, their kids. It wasn’t as funny as some of the other movies, but it definitely had me laughing at points.

So, there you have it. Five fun comedies to watch on Netflix if you need a laugh or you have some time to kill. This list was current as of June 18th, 2017, but Netflix does change its selection frequently, so I can’t guarantee they’ll be there forever.

What comedies on Netflix do you enjoy? 

Picture from Gratisography. I love his unique pictures. 

When Getting Through is Enough

When Getting Through Is Enough

Today was a good day. But not every day is a good day.

Like last week Friday. Last week Friday was a disaster. My kids weren’t listening. I was exhausted because I caught a cold from my kids and I wasn’t sleeping well at night due to my throat hurting and my nose being so stuffed up I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I fell down the steps and landed on the toys I was carrying when I tripped (don’t worry, I was close to the bottom so I didn’t fall far and it hurt and I bruised the bottom of my foot so that hurt for a few days, but no serious injuries). And of course, this was also the day I had planned to make a pasta salad for co-op but then because of all the other stuff, I never got around to that, so I had to pick up something at the store, which made us late for co-op. We went to check out books at the library and that day was the day that I got billed for my missing book and then, when I was about to pay the fine, I realized that I left my wallet in the car on accident and so I had to separate my wailing child from his books and go back out to the car to get the wallet then come back in and pay the fine before we could check books out.

Needless to say, it was not a good day.

I just needed to get through that day. Forget making it wonderful, which even though I think is overrated, I still feel this pressure to do sometimes. I just needed to get through that day.

Sometimes getting through the day is enough.

Let me say that again.

Sometimes getting through the day is enough.

Somedays are just hard. That’s a part of life and a part of parenting. But sometimes we make those rough days ten times worse by telling ourselves all the things we should be doing that we are just not on top of. Like me, with the pasta salad. Did anybody care that I stopped at Costco instead of slaving over the stove? No. Me, I was the only one who cared. But we sometimes put all this pressure on ourselves to do certain things. We have these expectations on ourselves and when things don’t work it, it can be easy to feel like a failure.

But getting through a tough day is an accomplishment. And sometimes, I jokingly say at the end of a tough day, “We’re all still alive.” It’s a joke, but actually, it’s also pretty amazing. There are like a billion (a trillion if you believe every blog you ever read) ways that you could die. Getting through the day with everyone still alive is a success.

Yeah, the good days are great, but the bad days? They’re not the end of the world. You got through the day. And that’s enough for this day.

What helps you get through the days that are hard? 

P.S. In case you’re wondering, for whatever reason, I felt like this post needed a picture that would make you smile and/or laugh. So if you’re wondering about why I picked the pug in the blanket, that’s why. If you’re wondering why the pug is in a blanket, I can’t help you with that. 

Photo credit: Foter.com

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