Month: April 2013

Midweek Miscellany: Rough Week, Silver Linings Edition

Last week was a rough week for America. I’d say it has to get better from here, but we both know that’s not true and I don’t know about you, but I’m in no mood to tempt the universe. In the thick of it all […]

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Rhubarb-b-que Pork Spare Ribs + Asparagus

This post is ten parts shameless food porn, to it’s one part actual recipe. I rest assured you’ll like it anyway.

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I can take absolutely zero credit for the recipe that will round out the end of this post. It can be found on page 259 of the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I was simply reminded of it (and the four pints I still had stashed in the back of the pantry from last year) when Renae comment on the Marinated Asparagus post.

The Complete Book is the first home canning book I ever owned and I still can from it regularly. My mother bought it for me when I first started out. She just up and delivered it one day, along with one of those handy dandy canning tool kits. Which was a nice surprise given that we are not particularly close and she has never been terribly interested in the domestic arts herself. (more…)

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Saturday Swine-tacular: Home is Where The Heart Is

I don’t think this one requires explanation folks. It just is. Happy Saturday! :: :: :: Saturday Swine-tacular is a (mostly) weekly account of all things both spectacular and swine. The curious, the delectable, the downright ridiculous; all porcine, all the time.

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When Pork Chop Meets Bacon

When Pork Chop Meets Bacon

Lacking both opposable thumbs and a knack for the finer things in life, swine are not prone to a proper handshake and a gentle greeting when getting to know one another. Far more often they hurl themselves full tilt at one another, lower their heads, […]

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Marinated Asparagus Recipe

Canning Preserving Asparagus

I’m allergic to asparagus. Which is probably only half the reason I like it so much. The other half is surely the part where it ripens so early in the spring. Because as much as I’m a rebel, I’m also a sucker for any sign of warmth after our long, dark winters. (more…)

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Midweek Miscellany: Early Spring

You wouldn’t know it from the howling wind outside my office window, but as I type this spring is on its way into Michigan. The grass is greening, the winter wheat is growing, there’s a small lake at the bottom of the hill where a […]

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A Mother’s Day Gift That Gives Back

Last fall, in the blur of days that followed our return from Ethiopia, there was one piece of news from our trip that trumped all others. In an email from the owner of Live Fashionable, a scarf maker we’d visited in Addis Ababa we learned […]

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When Worlds Collide


Meet Mihret.

One day last week this adorable little girl’s mom called me about buying feeder pigs. At the time, neither of us knew we had a reason to discuss Mihret. She’d seen an ad for the pigs, one not tied to our website, and I don’t make it a habit to screen potential pig owners for ties to Ethiopia.

A few days later I received an email, “Hi Diana,” it began, “My family and I are new to the adventures of raising feeder pigs. I was doing some research and ended up on your site. Ironically, I think we are coming to pick up 3 or 4 pigs at your farm on Wednesday morning.” Kelly had a few questions about feeder pigs, but my eyes were immediately drawn to the latter part of her email. ” I’m really enjoying your posts about Ethiopia. I spent a month there in 2010. Even though she is only three, my daughter will be excited to learn you have visited her home country.”

Her home country!

To say that I never expected my work with ONE and our little patch of rural Mid-Michigan to cross paths is an enormous understatement. You don’t find many people out here who are familiar with and passionate about the state of extreme poverty in Ethiopia. And yet, here I had a family with ties to just that coming to our little hog farm. I’ve been walking on cloud nine ever since and today all the excitement culminated with the wrangling of four pigs into the back of a truck as Mihret and her older sister Olivia looked on.


Afterwards, with their Mom and Dad’s permission I brought out my camera and both girls broke into gorgeous smiles as soon as the lens was pointed in their direction. Mihret is the size and weight you’d expect of a normal three year old, was dressed in warm and adequate clothing, her feet protected by boots so she could safely accompany us as I showed her parents our various fencing. She will sleep in a warm bed tonight, with a full belly, and her Mom and Dad won’t have to worry that she’ll be bitten by a mosquito and contract Malaria as she does. When she’s old enough she’ll get an education, there’s no question about it. But looking into Mihret’s beautiful brown eyes I was immediately transported back to Ethiopia where none of this is true for thousands of kids just like her.

Recently, by leveraging the voices of ONE’s membership we were able to protect some of the most important global health initiatives of our time; initiatives that, among other things, could virtually eliminate extreme poverty by 2030. Unfortunately, some other programs continue to come under fire as details of implementing budget cuts in Washington are worked out.

I’ve written extensively in the past about how these programs are not partisan, about why preserving funding behooves all of us, regardless of our political affiliation. If you’re not sure why the less than 1% of the federal budget that goes to funding global health initiatives are important for everyone, please click that link and find out. We’re winning many of the battles, but the war is far from over and one misstep could cost us the victory we all so desperately need.

As ONE continues to work to ensure transparency and efficacy from world governments and tracks the progress of programs on the ground in the poorest countries they’re going to need more voices to make the hardest battles well fought. They never ask for your money, only your voice. It may seem silly, but your voice really is most effective. The tweets, emails, Facebook messages, and letters you send to your legislators make a tremendous difference in their work on The Hill. They know who ONE members are and they listen when we speak up as a group. It’s how ONE gets things done.

So please, join the ONE Membership.

And consider signing their active petitions, including the one focused on the on going U.S. budget crisis.

Do it for Mihret. For me. For all the people who continue to live without even life’s most basic amenities; food, water, life-saving vaccinations. If nothing else, do it for you. Do it for national security, for saving our country the money it cannot afford to spend in the future.

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