Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG

Lorsy Be!  What a week.  I can’t describe it, but I will only say the last ten days have been overly-abundantly filled with joy, love, peace, frivolity, laughter, contentment, about a billion presents, and an overwhelming realization of the deluge of blessings in my life.  


You guys — my friends who come here regularly– know that 2007 was a field of land mines.  But the odd thing is, when I look back over the last 12 months, I realize that I have never been held more tightly in my Savior’s arms.  I’ve been tried, yes, and disciplined, yes.  My eyes have been opened in so many areas, and I have been able to acknowledge my stubborn pride and truly repent.  And blessings always always follow obedience and repentance. Always.  It is most certainly hard, and many times the blessings are not immediately realized, but God is so gracious, and in my case, they have been.  And the truth of the matter is this… just like the pain of labor, which ultimately brings forth the joy of new life, so it is with many of the difficulties God allows in our lives.  They are tools used by a master physician to bring about a fuller life and is the catalyst to bring us closer to Him


In 2007 circumstances were set in place which ultimately led to reconciliation with my beautiful little sister, Jess.  This relationship had been so shredded, marred and twisted that I have never in my wildest dreams believed that she could or would become a best friend to me. There was no way I was willing to consider that I needed to repent until God allowed something to happen in my life which opened my blind eyes.  It is such a testimony of God’s grace and incomprehensible power. She and her husband are indescribably dear.  I do not deserve them, but I am so thankful for them both.


The relationship with my father has also been an incredible thing.  His battle with cancer has changed everything – and praise God, the prognosis is very good and I believe that we will have years left to recapture time that was wasted and lost.  He may be coming to stay with us for a few days this summer.  He has always lived far away (Pakistan and Alaska) and so none my kids have ever met him, and neither has my husband.  I cannot tell you how excited and joyful I am with the prospects this New Year holds.


No doubt, it is excruciating to go thru trials – but as I look back over 2007 I can clearly see they were necessary and even good. The bonds of friendship which have been formed could not possibly be what they are had the difficulties not been present.  It is gross being weak, helpless, dependent, penurious, deficient, etc.  Who likes that?  Nobody, I reckon,  but how else would one be able to see the beauty and glory of God’s people working together to sustain the body if there was never any need?  I’ve never realized anything like it in my life.  It is awesome in the literal sense. 


I have to admit, tho, even while being buried under the unimaginable amount of blessings and realization of the goodness of His sovereign plans, there is still a tendency and a temptation to fear. So I am praying that God would increase my faith and trust.  I can wish and hope that God will continue the course of these last two weeks… money problems suddenly abating, secure job condition, surrounded by people whom I love and who love me – and I can’t help but ‘wish’ that ultimately I could be in a position to bless our friends tenfold to “pay back” the kindness we’ve received.  I can’t lie; I would love for this to be.  But even more than that I want to grow in maturity, and so instead of wishing for material boons, which I would endeavor to use for His honor and glory, my prayer is that ultimately, in all things, God would grant me steadfast joy, contentment and thankfulness for anything 2008 may bring.  I can’t conjure those things up with my own strength or spirituality, yet I can do all things in Him — the giver of all good gifts.  It is my prayer for me, and it is my prayer for you, too!


Happy New Year My Friends!

December 31st, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

December 22nd, 2007
"Mommy’s Little Piggy"

Brrrrrr, I’m freezing this morning.  Finally!

My youngest son, who should know how to talk by now but can’t because all of my kids have Late Talker Genes, keeps asking me if Sinka Pause is coming to town. Sinka Pause;  I had to blog that so I’d remember.  We don’t do the whole ‘santa’ thing – we mostly just ignore it or let our kids know it is a fun game that people play – but he has seen all the Christmas movies and has been charmed with it all.


Speaking of Sinka Pause, earlier this week an entire fleet of semi trucks pulled up to unload enormously large boxes (the size of Utah) that my little sister sent.  Gracious Heavens I’ve never seen so many presents in my life.  She is such a gift giver, and so is her husband – and when their powers are combined they morph into Christmas Elves on steroids.  Now I know why they live in Alaska… close to the North Pole. I’ve somewhat been able to hide the boxes; my kids are going to faint dead away when on Christmas morning they wake up to an entire department store in their living room.  That is going to be fun.


Thanks for the prayers for my dad.  He seemed to pull thru the surgery ok, but he has been having some difficulty since.  They tried to send him home way too early (he asked to stay) and then apparently they found another issue and it sounds like he is going to have another surgery.  Hopefully I’ll figure out more of what’s going on today.  Jess is heading over there this morning.  He’s in a terrible amount of pain.  I hate being so far away, and I absolutely detest military hospitals.  I’m afraid they are completely bungling things.  I don’t if he’ll be out before Christmas or not. Yuck.


In other news, I got the first issue of my Victoria magazinemagazine subscription. That is a lovely publication. Thanks again, Tiany!  And it makes me feel all classy and cultured and elegant to have it displayed on my little black Japanese marble end table.


Oh, and in other news, I made meat loaf with the deer meat and everybody loved it. And even better, I used my new kitchen aid to make it.  I LOVE that thing!  I had forgotten that meat loaf was a meal option.  I get stuck making the same three things over and over and over again.  Tacos, Spaghetti, Curry.  I need to broaden my recipe list.


Lastly, for the best news yet, I found out that Geoff’s parents and his sisters and his grandfather (from Ca) are coming to stay with us next week.  I am SO happy and excited.  I was not expecting them to be able to make it again, especially so soon after Thanksgiving.  I am blessed indeed. 


Hope you all have an extraordinarily happy Christmas.  I (like many of you) will probably not be online much over the next couple weeks.  Oh! And I almost forgot to tell you! Geoff the Great got a good sized raise – much larger than I could have anticipated.  We are so thankful!! Isn’t that fabulous?  Things are seriously looking up – and it’s not even 08 yet.  

December 22nd, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

I don’t think our poor little Christmas tree is going to make it until Christmas.  It looks downright parched, chapped and ready to burst into flames at the slightest provocation.  

So anyways, the night before last our power went out at three in the morning.  The reason I did not simply sleep thru the power outage was because Ryann’s computer back-up battery started screeching bloody murder.  In my stupor of half hazed awakeness, I thought I was hearing our fire alarm going off, so I leapt out of bed in a panic and started stumbling around swatting at light switches, to no avail.  When I realized that the house was not burning to the ground (which took me more than several minutes) I started tripping about the house in search of a lighter or a pack of matches… also to no avail.  But finally, without any help from Coie (whom it is impossible to wake up for ANYTHING) I got all six of our little gas lamps lit by making a torch from printer paper and lighting it with our woodstove.  It was sooooooooooo cozy.  And best of all, in the morning all the power popped back on so I could have coffee, take a shower and flush the toilet.  Now that’s the way to be a homesteader.

Are you guys as busy as we have been?  This week will be fun because I get to spend some time with three of my favorite people .  Plus Coie has been making Christmas candy and we’ve been getting Christmas cards – and most of them are cards with family pictures on the front.  I really like that.  I’ve been sticking them to my fridge, and then I remember to pray for my friends, plus they are always there, grinning at me while I’m ransacking the kitchen. Happy sigh.  Geoff is bewildered because he figures he should know who everyone is — he just stares and then will ask, “is that so and so?”  me —“nope”  and then I let him guess several more times before letting him know they’re my blogger friends and he’s never met them.  That’s jolly good fun.

Lastly, if you think of it, please pray for my dad this week.  He is having his kidney and a large tumor removed today.  He should be out of the hospital by the end of the week.  I had not mentioned specifics before, because I had not gotten his permission to broadcast his business… but he has let us know that he is really coveting prayers and to let anyone and everyone, who might pray, know about it.  Jess is up there and will be able to be near him, help out, and bring him guacamole (a guarantee cure all for any ailment). I’m still hoping to make it up there, maybe this summer. 

December 18th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

As I started writing out this very entry – one in which I planned to use some very big words that I came across in my latest 1800’s treasure, which I found at the library (The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope) – I suddenly received a most incredibly special and exciting Christmas present from one of my very favorite bloggers (who also happens to be an all-around favorite friend in general).  What a fun surprise! I hope she does not mind me saying so, but I am compelled to publicly declare that Petite Drop Dead Gorgeous Asian women make INCREDIBLELY good homemade fudge.  It lasted all of about three and a half minutes (not really, I’ve saved some for Coie and Geoff the Great).  And Marsha, you’ll be charmed to know that my unclothable son, James, promptly fastened one of the Christmas pins to the front of his underwear (which is the only article of clothing that I can induce him to leave on) and is wearing it proudly around the house.  Yikes, that’s a scary place to pin things, wouldn’t you think? 


So anyways, are you wondering what the big words were that I was going to try to nonchalantly include?  …Pecuniary, parsimonious, profligate, prevaricate, antecedents, and vouchsafed.  Are those not marvelous?  It seems that Anthony Trollope had a bit of a fetish for impressive “P” words, and, being a girl who is very easily impressed with semi-lofty vernacular I’ve been in argot bliss.  My kids keep asking me, “how come you have to read that book with a dictionary on your lap?”  It’s a sad thought that when this was written it was probably considered “sixth grade level comprehension”.  Poor dumb us.  Yet I’m determined that it shan’t be the case for the Igarashi Students and I’m endeavoring to lead by example.  Matter of fact, the Bluedorns have a great philosophy on starting children out early on classics and non-flufficated literature.  I recommend their compilation of Good Books to Read Aloud to Children – The Hand that Rocks the Cradle by Nathaniel Bluedorn.  Good stuff.


Ok, this post doesn’t have much of a point, does it?


Have a famously swell weekend, and I hope your weather has been more Christmas-like than ours.  It keeps creeping back up into the mid 70’s out here. Sick!

And oh yeah, we are now on dial up… and you will not believe this but it actually goes faster than the dumb Hughes satellite service we had.

And oh yeah yeah, Coie and Ryann ended up with a total of seven butchered chickens.  Tasty!

And oh yeah yeah yeah, we also were presented with a load of fresh ground deer meat.  Whooo hoooo!  That stuff is yuh-meeeee.  …Ground deer meat, fresh butchered free-range chickens and fudge all in the same week, it must be Christmas-time!

Love, Jeneferocious Ig Maximus


December 14th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

December 11th, 2007
I Predict a Messy Morning

My  daughters are outside killing stuff right now.  They are endeavoring to slaughter 16 chickens before noon.  I just don’t think that’s normal. My job is to wash them off and either cook or vacuum seal them – the chickens, I mean. Not my daughters. 


Yuck, it’s too cold to mess around with dead chickens.  I don’t feel like being a farmess today.  I wish that lying on the couch reading 1800’s literature was considered productive.  Which reminds me, I just finished reading, Children of the Abbey (thanks to my most excellent friend).  Good heavens; that book was tornado-ish. The pace and subplot swirled with dizzying velocity and the suspense was downright agonizing.  I am putting it into my list of top ten favorite melodramas.  They just don’t write books like that anymore.


So yesterday I remembered (in the worst way) that I’m obsessively fond of miniature Baby Ruth’s and Butterfingers. Those little charmers are GOOD.  It is a bad idea to purchase Christmas candy so early.  I suppose I will have to go back and pick up another (several) bag(s).  I used to eat those when I was a little kid, but then I became an exclusive Recees Peanut Butter Cup consumer.  Anyhow, it’s a good thing I figured out my little diet trick, otherwise I’d be in big fat trouble. 


Lastly, do any of you know about any alternative treatments for cancer?  No, it’s not for me, but I am trying to do some research.  Have you heard of anything that actually is effective, and if so, can you leave a link to where I can find more information?  And have any of you heard of the work and treatment plans by Dr. Johanna Budwig?


Ok… I’m off to scrub and cook


December 11th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

I think I’m starting to become superstitious.  I have this idea that the year of 2007 is cursed, and I’ve begun to imagine that as soon as it’s over everything will magically reverse itself.  Seriously, it’s been one thing after another.  Guess what came in the mail today.  Just guess.  Ok, never mind, I’ll tell you.  It actually started last week when I got a letter from the IRS asking why we hadn’t paid any of our $2000 balance that we owe.  And I was thinking, “What the heck?!”  I thought we hadn’t owed anything. 

So I called up the IRS guy, who was actually quite pleasant and even wished me a Happy Christmas, and sure enough, he said that they’d been sending notices to us to the wrong address (however this would not erase any of the penalties that have been rackin’ up). And he said that they could set up a payment plan, but that he wouldn’t do it yet because he needed to send me packet of information about a problem with our 05 taxes, too. 

Today I got the packet with the 05 issues.  Apparently, our CPA did not include any of the income that I had made that year, and after it was recalculated, they’ve determined that we actually owe for the year of 05, even tho we had originally gotten a large return..  Guess how much the bill is.  Just guess.  Ok, fine I’ll just tell you.  Over $20,000.  No, I’m not kidding.  How is this possible?  I have no idea.  How in the world could we owe 20 grand, for 05 + another 2 grand for 06??  And now how do we pay all of that when 20 grand is about what we’re making for an entire year?

So I called up Geoff and just started laughing.  I mean, at this point, it’s just plumb funny.  He isn’t worried about it; he thinks our CPA will be able to fix whatever he messed up.  And there’s only like 20 something days left until 08.  If… I… can… just… make it… a little… longer….

And yes, I know ‘superstition’ is a bunch of tripe, but it’s sort of a comfort pretending that our run of awful news might finally be coming to an end soon.  I don’t want to even think about what else might go wrong, the possibilities are endless.  A lot can happen in three weeks.

In other news, yesterday I started a Blog Spot account, which apparently, is set up automatically as a service of Gmail.  Can you believe that “JenIg” was already taken for an address? Me neither, so my blog address for that account had to have a dash in it and is .  I am pretty sure I will be too lazy to double post, but I’ll try it for a while.  Plus, you can upload videos directly into blogspot posts, just like pictures or links.  Pretty neat-sy.  Not that I have any videos to upload.  Actually, that’s not true.  Ryann recently put together a humdinger of a video.  I’ll have to see about that.

Love, Jen – who will remain steadfast and faithful in the face of any and all circumstances.  I may get an ulcer in the meantime, but I will remain thankful in all things.  I think.  No, I will. I think I will.  No, no, really…  I will. I will continue to stand because “my Master is able to make me stand”.  And honestly, just look at all the blog material it gives me.

Happy Week before the week before Christmas!

December 8th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

Ok I’m going to just start out by saying that I LOVE gmail.  It’s true.  Jess set me up with it early in the week and I can FINALLY email again without wrestling with the diabolical Hughes program.  Still, sadly, all of my  contacts are still on my other compy (lord bless its little hardware) which has been ‘napping’ since August.  So, if you have ever emailed me, or if I have ever emailed you, or if you want to email me because you should be in my address book, then could you send me a quick note at so I can build my contacts back up?  I’d be mighty obliged.

Second of all, a number of you were as delighted with the little chocolate advent as we are.  You can purchase one here . The nice thing is, it is reusable year after year, unless you shower with it.

So last night was pretty cozy.  Me and Geoff went to the library and rented Frosty the Snowman, The Little Drummer Boy, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, The Christmas Toy, and Wallace and Grommit.  A few days before that we got, The Muppet Christmas Carol.  Have you seen that? It is seriously my favorite version of the Christmas Carol.  And I am not as weird as I thought, because I realized I am not the only one who digs it so much.  I love it when Miss Piggy is eavesdropping outside the door when the reformed Scrooge comes to visit on Christmas Day and she rushes out and screeches she’s gonna “raise him right off the planet” before awkwardly realizing he had just given her husband a pay hike. I can just *so* relate with that pig.  Me and Coie snorted thru the whole thing.

Lastly, if I wasn’t as lazy as I am, I would seriously write a diet booklet and sell it for big money.  I found an absolute foolproof trick to lose weight. – a trick I figured out right after Thanksgiving – Weeks before I had gotten down to 139, but Post Tday I was climbing up to nearly 145 and figured I should do something lest I sabotage all 17 pounds I  initially lost from Jessi’s dumb diet.   So here’s the trick… after I eat lunch around 2, I go to each of my kids and firmly shake their hand and solemnly swear that if I eat a single thing for the rest of the day or night they will win $10.  And lord knows I am *not* going to break my promise and end up paying $60 for an oatmeal cookie or a bowl of popcorn.  My kids think it’s a splendid game and for the rest of the day they artfully rub their hands together and plead, “ah come on mom, don’t you want some chicken?”

Brilliant, no?

December 5th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 24 Comments

Every few years I discover a new favorite Christmas song; this year it’s, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.  I thought I knew that song (the title was completely familiar), but I can’t remember ever hearing before. Last weekend we were singing carols at a party and this one came up.  I was almost moved to tears.  The melody is so beautiful and the words filled my soul with a bittersweet longing for things lost and with a hope of true and lasting peace… the only sort which can come from the Author of life when all wrongs are made right.


Here are the words:


(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men


You can click here to listen to a version that I found on youtube.


In other happenings, I’m looking online to find a cheap plane ticket to travel to Alaska sometime in January.  I got some news over the weekend that shook me up pretty bad.  It wasn’t good.  At all. I’ll know more this Wednesday. Anyhow, when I go up I’ll stay with Jess and Charley most of the time, and that, at least, will be very sweet.  I think the soul can only handle so much stress before it turns into a gelatinous mass of curdled cheese.  I’m pretty sure I read that in a science journal. Blech.  And also, do any of you know if it would it be cheaper to wait and look for tickets in January? Coie seems to think it would be cheaper if I waited until after the holidays.  Any ideas about that?


And lastly, we started our Chocolate Christmas Calendar tradition. We have a little Christmas tree that’s made up of 24 red boxes.  Yesterday Coie got to go first (they cast lots) so with the whole family gathered round, she took out the “Dec 1” box, which had two Hershey kisses and then turned it around and slipped it back into position.  When all 24 boxes are pulled out and reversed it makes a picture of a snowy Christmas scene.  After the winner gets their chocolate they pick a Christmas song for all of us to sing.  Coie picked Frosty the Snowman.  It was sad.  We only knew the first two lines and had to make up most of the rest.  Pathetic, but very funny.  I love this season and I love our little family traditions that make things ‘feel’ like Christmas.  Warm and cozy.


December 2nd, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments