Fun Days and Shelves! and Hobby Lobby

We started the morning with me going to the farmers market for many good things including red potatoes, cantaloupes, carrots, broccoli, lettuce, peaches, apricots, and cilantro. I think a couple other things snuck into the baskets too. Meanwhile, the man ran his errand and finished the project he was working on. We then set off for Portland. Oh, yesterday I bought a used desk. It’s very nice and I can pick it up next Saturday. It should fit well into my office. Yay! So okay. Went to Portland today to a shop that has unfinished furniture (we were also going to a consignment shop to look at desks, but I found one locally on craigslist, so that dropped off the list). The shop was in this really kitchy cool part of Portland near the Lloyd Center (Lloyds? uncertain).

We ordered shelves for the front room and started working on the shelves for the office, but we can’t fully plan those out until we get the desk situated. What’s nice is that the shelves are birch and alder, well made, and will be quite lovely. We will finish them ourselves. We can’t have them for 4-6 weeks because the order has to be made and a local guy makes them. I’m really excited though. It means I’ll actually get to visit the books I haven’t seen for years, some of them. (We had packed up a bunch when we were getting ready to sell the house and then the house took 2 years to sell).

After that, we had some lunch at Chipotle, and then drove back home on a meandering route that took us through a bunch of Portland. We found an estate sale and stopped in, where I bought some bundt pans, a plastic bundt pan carrier/cover, a couple of full aprons (one is pink and the girlie loves it), and put a couple of bids on some furniture. We’ll hear tomorrow if we got them. One is a really cool little coffee table with drawers at the ends. Could be awesome. The other is a rosewood plant stand. Our bids were on the low side, though, so we may not get them. Ah well.

After that we popped into a tool place and grabbed a furniture dolly for moving the desk, and then we chugged on. The kids were desperately looking for a Krispy Kreme shop (which we did not pass). Sadly, nothing. (Not so sad for me. I was and am still stuffed from lunch at this writing). We decided to meander back through some small towns and farmfields and I was on the hunt for some blackberries to pick. I finally found a good bush–off the main road and easy to get to, plus we were all wearing sandals and shorts, so fairly easy to reach. We picked for about a half hour. Filled the bundt pans and the bundt cake keeper. I estimate at least 16 cups, probably closer to 20. Pie and jelly are in our future.

Now I am about to try getting some words down. I wrote about 2K last night and I’d like to keep the groove up.

Oh, and then this. Hobby Lobby has been, at this point, allowed not to provide birth control to its employees as part of its insurance. I wrote a bit about this on FB this morning, but I was thinking more about it. I got to wondering about whether a judge would have approved this if they were Muslim. Really I wonder if many religions would be approved, but in particular I think Muslims would be excoriated by the courts, partly because of Sharia Law (which I admit I know precious little about, but which is demonized in this country, and I have no idea how ordinary Muslim faith actually follows Sharia Law or not), and partly because of 9/11 and the Taliban. Would Muslims get this same approval? I not only doubt it, I think pigs would fly and screw butterflies first. I think the same would apply to Mormons, frankly. And Amish. And Hutterites. I could go on.

And that leads me to this question: why is it right for one religion to have the ability to dictate the health/sex lives/fertility of its employees, but not others? Well, for me, the answer is it’s not right, not for Texas, not for Arizona, not for Wisconsin, not for anyone. What a woman or man chooses to do with their bodies is their choice, including whether or not to have children.

/off soapbox

Feel free to agree or disagree, to correct me, explain to me, or otherwise discuss.  I merely ask for civility in this discussion, and respecting that other people have opposing beliefs and ideas. The discussion is important to have, regardless of agreement.


  • Douglas Meeks

    The thing is that there are going to be a large group of people who will always see it as akin to murder at some point. That point is always up for debate but it is not such an easy answer or this debate would not still be going after so many years. Many (probably most) of those same people support a woman’s right to do most anything else but in their eyes abortion is the taking of a human life.
    Unfortunately, that is unlikely to change and as far as Texas is concerned I have to believe they are following the wishes of the vast majority of their citizens or they will get voted out of office.
    Many people try to make this a women’s rights issue when it really is a basic belief issue which is going to be a fight long past my life on earth I feel sure.
    I am ambivalent (AKA hypocritical) on the issue because I have taken both sides of this argument at some point in my life.

  • Tine

    I am living out here in Amish Country, (PA). One of the things that I have learnt while out here, is that the Amish school their own children and that they attend until the 8th grade ( I knew this). What I did not know is that they, by law, must teach their children English. As far as I am aware, they are the only group that MUST teach English here in the USA.

    • Di Francis

      I wonder if that’s because other kids in public schools are required to learn English in school. That would mean that homeschoolers were required as well I should think.

  • Adrianne

    I’m completely with you on the Hobby Lobby/abortion issue. Until every man, woman and child in this country has free access to 100% reliable birth control, I cannot support anti-abortion legislation.

    Anti-abortion legislation does the most damage to poor women by forcing them into care-giving roles before they’re through school and before they’ve established a career to support their families. I don’t think it’s an accident that that is exactly the type of person Hobby Lobby is most likely to hire.

  • ChrisP

    My daughter is very artistic and last year she won some gift cards from Hobby Lobby. When we found out about their refusal to provide insured birth control to their employees, we decided not to patronize them… but we are going to use the gift cards, since they are already paid for.

    We believe that anyone who denies birth control should pony up to support the resulting children. Also, we believe that most religions are evil and/or bad for mankind. You may disagree, but that’s how we feel.

    • Douglas Meeks

      Well first let me clear up something, what the lawsuit was trying to prevent was NOT birth control (which Hobby Lobby insurance pays for), what they objected to on religious ground was the “Plan B” set of drugs, commonly referred to as the “morning-after” and “week-after” pills.

      So please feel free to support what you like but at least get all the facts.

      “We believe that anyone who denies birth control should pony up to support the resulting children. Also, we believe that most religions are evil and/or bad for mankind. You may disagree, but that’s how we feel.”

      Glad to see that narrow-mindedness is not the sole property of the religious right.

      • Di Francis

        Hey now, civility please. My understanding is that that was the original lawsuit, but that when that scope of lawsuit wasn’t allowed, they expanded to include all birth control. So really, they’d rather prevent women from accessing any birth control in order to make sure others follow their belief system. Many argue that employers are entitled to that, but I simply do not believe that. If that is the case, then employers who don’t believe in any medical care would refuse benefits on that basis. Or take Christian Scientists who believe that certain conditions don’t exist or that they shouldn’t be treated with drugs. Do they then get to tell their employees that they don’t get to have that healthcare? Of course not. It comes down to women and women’s reproductive health. Then apparently it’s fair game and frankly, it’s just damned wrong if you ask me.

        • Douglas Meeks

          So it is OK to force an employer to provide benefits that go against his beliefs, Hobby Lobby has a history of adherence to those beliefs and according to what you say the government’s insistence that they provide day/week after pills was actually their ONLY request but had to be expanded because our legal system is so screwed up.

          I take it that you believe that the employer has no rights in this matter?

          • Di Francis

            No I don’t. I think a standard of healthcare should be available to people wherever they work. I think that if you don’t like that you have to provide that, then you get involved in teaching your beliefs, you talk to your politicians, and you deal with the fact that no everyone believes what you believe and not everyone is subject to your beliefs. You might say that those people could work elsewhere, but can they? They are trapped in an economy where they have to work. I find the practice discriminatory. If the employers were to refuse to hire someone because they were black, it would be discriminatory. What if their religion said black people were devils? Would it be justified?

            I just think that no employer has a right to tell anyone what to do with their sex lives. So no, the employer gets no rights to what my vagina does or doesn’t do.

            • Douglas Meeks

              So that is a long way of saying that the guy who is paying your salary has no rights. No matter what his beliefs are about birth control, they are immaterial and the government and the worker decide what he will offer and he will provide it no matter what objections he/they might have.

              Welcome to the new government of the workers and the state, death to the evil capitalists. Sounds like I read about this before …….

              • Di Francis

                That is exactly what I say. Because I believe in an equality that the government sometimes has to guarantee (even though I do believe it frequently oversteps). But I don’t see that as an attack on capitalism. I see that as an attack on religious zealots who would force me to be like them. Much like the Taliban. This is why the Puritans came to America in the first place, for religious tolerance and the ability to live their lives without others telling them how to live.

                Clearly we disagree, which is fine, but please don’t attribute to me an anti-capitalist bent or otherwise. I see this as freedom from persecution.

                • Douglas Meeks

                  and I see it as just another stepping stone to the government running our lives. Freedom is not lost in a fell stroke, it is lost in infinitesimal pieces and this is just one more of the government deciding what we should believe and substituting the state for religion in effect.

                  Once more they decide what you will believe because they will enforce those beliefs on anyone who does not accept them, that is what you support in reality. Zealots are not the problem here, you support the government saying to people who built a business that their beliefs are worthless and the accepted beliefs of the government is the only “faith” that will be tolerated. You have just chosen a different master but instead of wrapping it up in the flag as many do, you just wrap it up in a belief in your rights as a woman trump all others.

                  • Di Francis

                    I just don’t see it that way. I believe that individual rights are protected when they don’t infringe on others. No one is preventing the owners from practicing their religion. I just disagree that they have the right to impose their beliefs on others. Though it appears that the government is, at least at this point, in agreement with you. Nevertheless, I have the right to vote with my money and so I won’t shop there unless they change policies.

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