Super Savings Saturday – 9/23/17

Welcome to another edition of Super Savings Saturday.

Since it was a holiday week, I didn’t have much time or energy for couponing. I waited until today to shop and it was very quick. The two stores I went to are in the same plaza, so all I had to do was park once, shop twice. I scored free razors, free food items, and picked up some sale produce.

Rite Aid:

2 Daylogic 3-blade men’s razors, sale price $5.00. Total: $10.00 with $10.00 Plenti Points!

Shaw’s:

Naturesta hot sauce, regular price $2.99. Total: Free with store coupon!

Arla cream cheese, regular price $2.99. I used a $2.99 manufacturer’s coupons. Total: Free!

Red grapes, sale price $0.98/lb. Total: $2.26!

Green cabbage, sale price $0.39/lb. Total: $0.81!

“O” Orangics salad mix, regular price $5.00. I used a $1.00 store coupon. Total: $4.00!

 

 

Have you used any coupons lately?

The Curious Case of Jewish Pig Farmers

In the modern world, there are many different levels of Jewish observance. The pendulum swings from ultra Orthodox on one side, to totally secular on the other, with a little bit of everything else mixed in between. Each of us has our own beliefs and we are all entitled to live how we wish. I don’t claim to have all the answers and I’m certainly not anyone’s judge. That said, there are core principals at the root of our faith that Jewish life must be based around (for those who wish to actively practice). Some folks, while no doubt well meaning, seem to be genuinely confused.

This article, featured on Tablet, is a prime example. (Normally, I just link, but I’m including a few abbreviated snippets because it’s key and not everyone will click over.) Written by a Jewish farmer in Maine, he tries to explain why “My daughters may raise piglets, but they’re living a Jewish life.”

“Until we started using the hashtag #JewishAmericanFarmgirl, our daughters had never heard the expression Jewish American Princess…That said, all three of our daughters have attended Jewish Day School in Portland, so they’ve grown up with Judaism and Jewish culture being an active part of their everyday lives.

“We’re not observant Jews, but we are committed Jews, focusing on ways that Judaism intersects with our rural and agricultural lifestyle. We pick our own apples for Rosh Hashana. We love Sukkot. We grow horseradish for Passover. We don’t keep kosher, but follow our own dietary laws—we schect our own chickens and turkeys—but also eat pork, so long as it comes from a local farm, raised by farmers we know.

“Our middle daughter, Beatrice, is in a 4-H Swiners Club, raising a piglet with which she’ll compete in the pig races. Her plan is to continue to raise her pig after the fair, keeping some of the meat for our family and selling the rest to earn money for saving, spending and tzedakah.”

I don’t doubt that this father is a genuinely nice and caring person, but there are numerous things that strike me as incredibly odd about his ideas. First off, I seriously doubt that anyone, in the year 2017, is unfamiliar with the term “Jewish American Princess,” particularly when these girls attend a Jewish school. His implication is that their rural location causes it, but it’s not reality. I grew up in New Hampshire in the 80’s and 90’s, went to public school, and everyone, even the Christian kids, had heard of JAPs.

Yes, the classic Jewish American Princess can be seen as silly and vapid, but not everyone uses the term in a derogatory way. I don’t think being called a “Jewish American Farmgirl” does anything to counteract the JAP stereotype, either. Whether we live in Montana or Manhattan, we are all Jewish girls, after all, and the majority of Jews live in cities, not farms. I fully support family farms, but it’s just not the Jewish norm.

Secondly, eating and raising pigs for profit is definitely not what most would describe as a Jewish lifestyle. I’m not saying everyone needs to be kosher, but let’s not pretend that the dietary laws don’t exist. Certainly, we can choose or refuse as we want, but the laws don’t change to suit our preferences. And it definitely doesn’t make it better if the pig is raised locally.

By allowing his daughter to raise pigs, sell pigs, and eat pigs, he is leading her astray, yet at the same time, he is obviously committed to Jewish education, so much so that he’s paying private school tuition. This is rather unusual.

I do understand his perspective of living in New England, in a non-Jewish area, and trying to fit in with the community at large while maintaining a Jewish identity. (I’ve lived that way my whole life!) It’s perfectly ok for kids to have friends and interest of other faiths, but we have to be careful. 4-H offers many good activities for youngsters, why must it be pigs? Surely, she could be involved elsewhere.

There is no easy answer, that’s for sure, when it comes to balancing ancient traditions with the difficulties of today. For Jews living in isolated areas, their burden can be even greater. Do I think this particular father is sending the best message? No, not really, but I’m not in charge of his family. Regardless, there is something weird about Jewish pig farmers, and I’ll leave it at that.

 

Do you think Jewish kids should be allowed to pig farm?

Countdown to Rosh Hashanah – My Plan for the Day

Rosh Hashanah starts tonight and my day is sure to be jam packed with preparations. As I write this, it’s 9:40 AM and I’ve already been up for six hours! Not intentionally, mind you, just woke up way too early, probably because of anxiety. I enjoy holidays, especially the New Year, but I also fret and fuss quite a bit too. (It truly is a “Holi-Daze.”)

So far, I’ve finished two loads of laundry, cleaned the house, put an Atlanta Brisket into the slow cooker, gone through my email, done some blogging, and wow, am I exhausted already!

For tonight’s dinner, it will just be immediate family. I’m not wearing anything special (pink sweater and gray slacks), and the meal should be nice but simple. In addition to the brisket, we’re having round challah, salad, mashed potatoes and string beans. Dessert, of course, will be honey cake and apple slices dipped in honey. (I baked Sunday, thankfully, because I’m way too frazzled to mix and measure now.)

Once my 3 cups of morning coffee wear off, I do intend to chill out with some YouTube watching and/or take a nap, after which I desperately need to dye my gray roots, wash my hair and shower. I wanted to paint my nails as well, but that’s probably not gonna happen.

We like to go around the table, sharing our resolutions, and the littles always look forward to hearing the mini Shofar as they color some printable holiday sheets. Dinner will most likely be around 6:30, then a quick clean up and prepping for tomorrow. I like to set the table the night before to make it easier. I’m trying a new recipe which I posted last week for a One-Pan Chicken Dinner that supposed to be incredibly quick. If it works out well, that may morph into a holiday meal tradition.

So, that’s what’s going on around here. I want to wish each and every one of my wonderful readers a Happy and Healthy New Year. I hope that 5778 brings joy, peace, and love to all!

 

How will you be celebrating?

National School Backpack Awareness Day

There are many dangers we worry about as parents, but backpacks aren’t usually on the list. Surprisingly, this common item—which most kids use 5 days a week—can cause considerable physical problems if used incorrectly. To bring attention to this worrisome issue, September 20th has been designated National School Backpack Awareness Day.

The American Occupational Therapy Association suggest these tips to keep kids safe:

  • Always select a backpack that is the correct size for your child.
  • Make sure the height of the backpack extends from approximately 2 inches below the shoulder blades to waist level, or slightly above the waist.
  • Always wear well-padded shoulder straps on both shoulders so the weight is evenly balanced.
  • Distribute weight evenly. Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back and balance materials so the child can easily stand up straight.
  • Wear the hip belt if the backpack has one, to improve balance and take some strain off sensitive neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Check that the child’s backpack weighs no more than 10% of his or her body weight. If it weighs more, determine what supplies can stay at home or at school each day to lessen the load.
  • If the backpack is still too heavy for the child, consider a book bag on wheels.

Another one that I’ve done is to weigh the backpack. (Try it and you’ll be shocked how heavy it is!) A lot of the time, kids carry way too much stuff that they will never use. Paring down is a great idea. All of these tips are easy to implement immediately, and with the exception of buying a new bag, won’t cost a dime.