Tuesday, September 30, 2008
i just knew yesterday, when i woke up to the sound of the rain, that it was going to be a good day--and it was. i needed it too because i was starting to feel a little blue. SAD = Seasons All-look-exactly-the-same Disorder.
we made hay, you might say, while the sun didn't shine. here's a pass-along from our fun fall day:
if your Little sleeps in the afternoon (and if she's the girl kind), then you can make her a whole mess of skirts during nap time. if i can do it...it must be easy.
the free instructions (no pattern required) are courtesy of oliver + s. jaymie, remember how we were talking about skirts for ruby? this one might be for you.
i added pockets to this one from a ruined dinner napkin (bad, bad bleach!):
this one is a little longer 'cause Little skins her knees sometimes if she runs real fast. she likes the freedom of squatting in the dirt, running and jumping, without the hindrance of pantaloons.
Monday, September 29, 2008
three more major banks implode, it's RAINING(!), and there are crickets living behind my dishwasher.
so, two good things out of three. any moment i expect that unicorn. whoa, not that one. try this one. no? there. something lasting that i can believe in.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
"I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after."
-blackbird, william lewin
loosely related thoughts for today:
dieter uchtdorf endeared himself to me tonight in his address to the women of the church at the general relief society broadcast. i can't quote him (my memory's not so good right now--or ever), but i can say that he talked mostly about the creative nature of man/woman. as he said, he wasn't giving a "pep talk"--just recognizing, honoring and encouraging our human impulse to make something that wasn't there before.
-small group, annie gedicks
when i was studying poetry in college i sometimes wondered if it wasn't a little bit...wasteful. i had friends doing important things, like beginning careers in social work and therapy. once i realized the good that comes of trying to beautify the world, i stopped feeling guilty. (although i should totally apologize to the world for some of the poetry i created.)
for the rest of the ride i ran around outside the gate trying to keep up, as Little bounced and shook the saddle to make her pony to go faster.
"We're proud to welcome you to one of the nation's largest banks; as of September 25, 2008, All WaMu customer deposits are now deposits of JPMorgan Chase, one of the strongest financial institutions in the world."
how about now?
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
for better or worse i didn't get anne hathaway eyebrows or brooke shields eyebrows, where you can donate to locks of love, sculp a dinosaur shrubbery and still have something left to work with. i got the kind where every lash counts. one hasty move and wham! i did it again! one half of my face looks angry and the other half looks like it's asking a question.
fortunately there are only 2 mirrors in my house and i don't have to look at them unless i'm trying to.
this after i basically planned my weekend around plucking the brows, and still didn't do it. i recently heard some girls on NPR talking about how gas prices have driven them to remove their own facial hair, and i sympathized. i too miss the days of quick, cheap NYC waxing. pretty vain?
no, just pretty.
not that i haven't been thinking about christmas (every day) and having my family come to my house. but i don't have my craft picked out yet. let me know if you have any suggestions. here's one that's in the running:
i've recently taken up needle felting. Little calls these little clippies "cutes." nice compliment. it might be worth something if she'd wear one in her hair for more than 10 seconds.
once in a while i make a toy for Little and remember why i don't want to go into the toy making biz. oh, i just don't. Little plays hard and usually finds a way to break whatever i make. not her fault, really. i get impatient to finish and my workmanship gets shoddy. but i did make this long-legged owl for her last week. she peeled off its eyes.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
shawn and others have noticed that grandma and shan are working pretty hard at home to help grandpa. wapato seems so far away right now and i know that me and mine probably won't be able to visit until next summer's reunion. in the meantime, we can keep them encouraged by keeping their mailbox full.
let's write some letters!
if you'd like to participate, please sign up (in the comments section) for a day of the week. let's fill all the days before we start to double and triple up. wouldn't it be fun if they could look forward to at least one letter every day? i think it would be nice to include some memories we have for grandpa. pictures would be great too.
i'll take monday.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
sometimes i blog because (admit it) i like to be agreed with occasionally. and sometimes because i can't sleep, and sometimes because Little did something cute that i want to remember, and sometimes because i just can't rest for wondering. isn't it sometimes painful? i've been hit hard by some questions of faith and reason lately and there's an impulse to run for the protection of conformity, or at least, the oblivion of past assumptions. i just can't escape from myself, tho. do you feel this way? like on the outside you're a nice gal with a ponytail, but on the inside a screaming banshee swinging a crowbar over her head? just kidding.
tonight, here's something to wonder about: is it more valuable to be right, or to have the ability to change? and to become a new creature (ideally a better one), don't we have to be pretty brave and pretty, um, unlike ourselves? doesn't it require us to cast off from our parents and our history, and from the pretense of our own convictions, and enter that scary land of not-so-sure, where (if we're doing it right) we have no ground beneath us: where we give it all up to truly ask, and honestly receive?
on sunday with my beehives we talked about the harsh beauty--the gift--of weakness and arrived at the inevitable admission: that in our vulnerability we are closest to god.
always, despite the agony that comes with uncertainty, i have to believe that a yearning to know is innate and divine. and that humility isn't about not having stuff; it's having nothing of one's own but a want. a dogged desire.
and isn't that where the real work of change is done? not really in our debates with others, and even less in the delicious vindication of agreement with our allies, but in the debate within ourselves.
i have wanted to be like martin luther,* and i guess i still do, to say with all the faith and conviction in the world, "here i stand. i can do no other." certainty feels sooo good. and sometimes i really do feel that way. it feels like something great and important. something to build on. hey, what about this?? what if the philosophy is true: that we invariably end where we began. and who we are is who we have always been. if so, our internal changes may be nothing but a fiction that, like the best literature, helps us to truly understand others--if only for a minute.
*of course, half the point is that he changed too. big time.
i can rely on one constant: i'm inevitably challenged by more questions--the need to rethink, retest, reimagine. it can feel exhausting, even discouraging. self-doubt? or just a pretty sure feeling there is something larger yet to discover? sometimes i wonder if this is what winston churchill called the black dog. painful or not, it's an impulse we can thank abraham lincoln for indulging when he fought to maintain a union in the midst of blood, hatred and fear. he, for one, didn't think he was right all the time.
i've started too many questions to answer any of them, but if you're up late like me, then you're probably more interested in musing than accomplishing anything anyway. so, goodnight. i'll most likely kill you (post) in the morning.
take it away, abe:
"I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."
just before leaving miami i found a darling old wooden school desk at a garage sale (the kind with the little bench attached behind the desk, you know, like laura ingalls would have used?) and i wanted it. $20. i couldn't justify buying it a week before moving cross-country, tho. we had to mail everything that wouldn't fit in our car.
so when we got here i magically happened on another one. different style. different price. did i mention it was in terrible condition? it wasn't until i'd wrangled the thing--which weighs as much as a tank--into my car and unloaded it at home that i realized it was almost certainly covered in (peeling) lead paint.
many months pass. many trips to the hardware store to buy: lead test kit, sand paper, wood filler, spackle knife, dust masks, rags, brushes, white lithium grease, biodegradable paint remover, red paint, primer, silver paint, more red paint, more primer, more silver paint...is this boring?
i hack away at the project hour by hour as Little sleeps. i ruin a tarp and a pair of jeans. i leave it outdoors exposed to the elements. rust happens. a black widow spider takes up residence and weaves a sac of baby black widow spiders. i continue the fight.
it's not quite over yet, but i am close. stay tuned for my redemption, should it ever come.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
i won't go on (much) because others have taken up the subject much better than i can.
her for starters.
some honest, unbiased fact-finding will lead you to more. i know some of my readers won't agree and that's okay. i myself am unsure of how much any party's executive branch can accomplish against current odds, but let's not kid ourselves. things could still get much worse. at the very least, let's vote us a VP who knows what a VP's job is, and who has the diplomacy to represent us to the world. i can think of a lot of nice--yea, even godfearing--people i'd enjoy having dinner with, but i wouldn't necessarily give them executive power (and certainly not 'nucular' power). emotions are running high, but with some steady thinking and old fashioned research, we can all agree on some basic needs for our country. come and let us reason together.
Friday, September 12, 2008
the 90s: i think i still have wallets of this one
the 80s: those were wild years. mm, boy
the 70s: the blush of innocence
the 60s: rockin' the hairspray
the 50s: charming!
(thanks clin, for sharing the link to one of the coolest web sites ever)
Thursday, September 11, 2008
maybe i'm feeling less threatened by terrorists because my house is under attack by more menacing foes.
like appendicitis! bim got it. and today the mighty scrubs got his appendix. who won? and does this make hubs less manly? i think not. the appendix is apparently a wimpy, do-nothing body part. having it cut out actually makes hubs more powerful: he no longer has to divert precious resources to maintain a fleshy innard that refuses to pull its own weight. resources that could be channeled toward taking out the garbage and various lawyerly duties.
#1 lesson learned: don't stand back and let hubs take tylenol for level SEVEN pain that keeps him up all night, chucking every 45 minutes. after all, why did god give me feet if not to put them down? and why did he create the ER if not to keep people sitting under fluorescent lights all night clutching their sucking wounds? poor little cowboy.
#2 lesson learned: if you think there might be a black widow spider in your baby's toy car, check it. i noticed a web in Little's car, which we keep in the garage, and brushed it away. webs are pretty common around here. but as she was climbing inside i got suspicious and turned it over to check for stowaways. i'm not against spiders as a species (live and let live, eh?), but this one chilled me to the bone. i know it was a black widow spider because it was too small to be a regular widow, and i have done my research. don't worry. it's good and dead.
#3 lesson learned: move close to awesome people who cheerfully care for your Little all afternoon, with 2 minutes notice. THANK YOU, DANA!
so, today was a big day here at the ranch. here's the final tally:
:: husbands spared to fight evil another day: 1
:: diseased organs vanquished: 1
:: brothers-in-law turned another year hipper: 1 (party on, eric!)
:: venomous black widow spiders pulverized: 1
:: healthy toddlers still delightfully oblivious to danger: 1
:: wives/mommies doing the happy dance: 2 (i counted me twice)
Monday, September 8, 2008
we had the ultrasound today. i won't be posting the fetal photo, which was still a bit...fetal (but beautifully healthy). Little came along and enjoyed the following highlights:
:: gel smiley face on my tummy. she's been wanting me to repeat the show now that we're home
:: cool space glasses i got to wear so i could see what was happening. hubs got to watch on a big flat-screen tv
:: lying on the table when it was "ally's turn"
yay for sisters!!! for the purposes of this blog, Little's baby sis will henceforth be referred to as Wee.
calling all baby girl name suggestions.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
the following opinions are based on the limited learnings of a political moderate (i am neither republican nor fully democrat--though registered as such. also, i sometimes listen to country western music. you might say i am a little bit country, a little bit rock'n'roll. discuss.)
i hear a lot of people are pretty worried because obama didn't vote for a ban on late-term abortions. i can see how that would be really upsetting, if that's all you've heard. while i fiercely support letting people be captains of their own destiny, i am not strictly "pro-choice" on the subject of abortion in the US. i'll explain why later. and so i listened to the fervor around me and looked carefully at this man, barack obama, and asked myself: is this seemingly reasonable person with two kids indeed a sadist and a butcher (not my words)?
looking into the matter further i was a little surprised by his position on abortion. i find him comfortably moderate--and i am duly appreciative of his counsel to other democrats: that they should consider abortion not only a physical and legal decision, but a moral one as well.
as for his not voting against the abortion bill, as always there is more to the issue than you can glean through rumor and speculation (otherwise known as "the facts" that many of us use to form our opinions--though probably none of you do that).
here is what i respect about obama's record and position on abortion: he would keep the vote in the jurisdiction of the states. why do i like that? because above all other hot election topics, this is the one i care about most dearly: there must be a limit on how much the federal government can and should legislate people's morality for them (taking choice away just doesn't jive with my LDS theology). not to mention that changing the constitution is a very serious matter.
in the case of abortion, there are the rights of the unborn to consider--their choices. in my state, given the opportunity, i would vote to save the lives of late-term babies--yes, even when they are born to mothers who don't want them (a pretty grim reality, isn't it? do you see why we need social welfare progams and s.e.x. e.d.u.c.a.t.i.o.n?). as obama says, "those who are opposed to abortion have a moral calling to try to oppose what they think is immoral." unlike gay marriage, abortion has an impact on the physical rights of others. i just can't get around that.
more of obama's position: "On an issue like partial birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions. I have said so repeatedly. All I've said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didn't have that."
here's a good old lesson i learned in high school, and again in college... with every vote on every bill, it's not enough to see whether a candidate voted "Yes" or "No" because bills are so often packaged with both good and unacceptable, counterproductive provisions. i, like obama, want to keep the debate in the states, where the process can account for the votes of more of the people, not just the few representatives we may or may not have voted to send to congress.
oh, how i hate to reveal my own ignorance, as i may have done here unwittingly. i invite all of you who might have one up on me in the knowledge department to learn me something. if you want a crack at changing my mind, here's your chance.
p.s. sarah palin holds an even more conservative stance on abortion than the LDS church. she opposes it even in cases of rape and incest. her words, which are muy difficult for me to understand: "I'd oppose even if my own daughter were raped."
p.p.s. some facts: since 2003, partial-birth abortion has been illegal, except to save the life of the mother (no provision exists when the mother's health is at stake). before the statute was passed, partial-birth abortion (late-term abortion occurs during the 2nd trimester) accounted for less than 0.17% of abortions. i have read the definition of p-b abortion and it's pretty horrible. i'm glad the senate agrees.
i know what you're all thinking...WILL NOVEMBER NEVER COME??
Friday, September 5, 2008
in honor of the greatest person who ever lived (they say people idealize the departed, but i am not one of those people), this post is all about my mom, ceri jo.
what made her so unlike any other? oh, kids. this post could never end. but since it must, i will leave with you a few great memories, tidbits, evidence of the comic mastermind who now roams freely through the universe. you'd better watch yourself, your chocolate covered orange sticks, and your diet pepsi.
:: getting notes in my sack lunch at school written on napkins and signed with x's and o's
:: getting letters in college covered in stickers (under which were hidden 10, 20 and 50 dollar bills)
:: being taught that even queen elizabeth, when by herself, probably passes gas
:: being picked up from school when i was sick, except...when i would try to get into the car, she would pull forward just a little bit. over and over again
:: having to adhere to a strict ONLY 2-at-a-time rule when eating cookies, cupcakes or brownies
:: night shopping
:: driving lessons: how to "give a little wave" in the rear view when a driver let me merge ahead. and how to discretely and sweetly give the bird (with both hands on the wheel) to a driver who ignored my blinker
:: being taught to get down on my knees to pray. but why? "because you can"
:: stopping to get fast food in a kid's meal so we'd have toys for the kids at church
:: wonderful trips to the fabric store, leaving no christmas decoration unnoticed
:: wearing wigs for our family picture
:: working on christmas and easter crafts during spring and fall general conference sessions
i told you i could go on forever. so i think i will. some of you knew her. leave a little memory, will you?
"all this beauty...you might have to close your eyes."
-deb talan/the weepies
so i thought i'd open up the question to you all as i do a little history refreshment course.
were they? did they view us as a christian nation? and, if you feel inclined to comment, how much do their religious/secular leanings matter to christianity's chance to thrive in america?
i need to find out more before i comment either way, but i will say that i'm not sure it matters to me which (if any) religion they identified with, so long as they made provisions for ALL of us to worship, or not worship, "according to the dictates of our own conscience." indeed, could it be that we threaten other citizens' religious rights when we assume that the state's moral code does/should conform to the moral code of christianity?
(or, if you're not in the mood, you can get full credit by posting the link to a funny/cool website on any topic.)
Thursday, September 4, 2008
wow, a record FOUR posts in one day. i am done now. off to read a fluffy legal thriller.
PS - if my political posts are making you die a little every time you visit my blog, be comforted. after november, no more politics from this yahoo.
i have enough objections to his proposed policies to send my vote elsewhere, but i appreciate that his speech (unlike mitt romney's) did not rely so very heavily on pity and fear as rhetorical tactics. i know it worked for the greeks, but they had better handling. nor did he categorically blame "liberal democrats" (a title romney gave mccain, incidentally, during the primaries) for the consequences of the last 8 years under the bush administration. mccain is famously congratulated for trying to cooperate with members of congress from both parties. whether or not that's true or even remarkable, it sounds pretty good and i'd like to give him full credit for it. i don't blame him for tragedy of this war, only for planning to extend it.
if you believe mccain when he says that he hates war--and i do (he has good reason to)--you have to wonder why he would support its extension. i haven't heard him talk about a humanitarian crisis ensuing from our rapid withdrawal--i have only heard him play to an audience that can't bear the idea of defeat any more than his predecessors could bear to leave vietnam.
his words: "i'd rather lose an election than see my country lose a war." it seems a lot of people would give up a lot of things to avoid losing what is largely viewed as an unwinnable war. things like civil liberties for all people (including US citizens). things like constitutional protection for the few as well as the many. things like social welfare programs that could, and often do, thrive under efficient leadership and judicious, not gratuitous, spending. things like nonrenewable environmental resources. things like the lives of our soldiers and the people they are sent to destroy. again, i can't lay all of this at one man's feet. at least not this man's. but why not break from this dangerous path?
as i listened to the speech i thought of another arizona native, spencer w. kimball, who called us a warlike people. he didn't mean it as a compliment. how the word "warrior" became synonymous with "righteous" or "patriotic" is confusing to me. Here are his words:
"We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel—ships, planes, missiles, fortifications—and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we align ourselves against the enemy instead of aligning ourselves with the kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior’s teaching:
“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:44–45.)it's a beautifully written sermon and i feel both uplifted and condemned every time i read it. but i especially love president kimball's words of optimism. he asked himself this question: "'if you were going to create a world, what would it be like?' Now with a little thought, the answer seems so natural: 'just like this one.'"
someone at the convention held up a sign that said, "peace through strength." i think i know what they meant by that, and i also think it just doesn't work that way.
this is how i am feeling tonight. in closing, please join me, linda ronstadt, and aaron neville in my theme song for today: "i don't know much, but i know i love you. and that may be all i need to know..." (enjoy)
(somehow this post got erased, so this is a do-over.)
Little and i started "mommy & me" dance class this week. she loves to tap around the room but isn't convinced there is a good reason to wear ballet shoes. she made a little friend and they held hands and blew each other kisses for the last 5 minutes of class. i know she's young for this, but it's just worth it. soon enough she'll figure out she's WAY taller than the other ballerinas, and she might want to switch to beach volleyball.