Monday, April 28, 2008

I like it here - in this time - my present

Growing up I heard a lot of "back when things were better". I'll admit I thought that when I grew older and saw that the adults I thought had it together - didn't. It seems like so many people want to live in the past. I'll admit - the draw of Gone With the Wind and Jane Austen attire, and manners do have a certain draw for me.

Then again - I remember that Scarlett had to deal with the Civil War, scandal, slavery, and all manner of backwards behavior towards women. My Austen heroines had to figure out how to find love and secure financial/class position in an era where women held little value. I think it would always bother me that a man's whoring was acceptable and if a woman took a coach alone, her reputation would be indelibly stained.

That's why when I see folks jonesin' for a period of time - be it the 40s with WWII or any other period... I wonder wha...???

Here's how I see it. I'm so grateful to live now, in this dispensation. Sure we have our share of troubles. But I don't think any time is supposed to have a period without challenges. I'm grateful that I don't have to do my laundry by hand. That I don't have to worry about gathering food from sunup to sundown.

I'm grateful that I can keep in touch with my family and keep tabs on each other with the touch of button. I'm grateful that I have a wealth of information and opportunities to learn with a teeny tiny click.

I love that as a woman today, my value is entirely what I make of it. I am grateful that my husband doesn't expect to sit around the house after working outside the home. That he comes home and knows it's expected to share the load. And he cleans the toilets.

I'm grateful that I live in an area and time where not being white is not a disadvantage. That I live where people have diverse ideas and thoughts. I am grateful that I live in a time where making charitable donations and giving time is something that actually can enter my thoughts during the day.

I am grateful for modern science and medicine. That intelligence continues to find ways to help us live better. That lives are saved daily. That we no longer die from a common cold. That giving birth isn't also a chance to leave a child motherless. I'm grateful for maxi pads/tampons.

I'm grateful the garbage is taken from my street every week. I'm grateful that we have five times more recycling than we do garbage.

I'm grateful for fresh fruit, veggies and specialty chocolate. I'm grateful for my car. It makes me feel sporty and sexy while transporting my precious cargo.

I'm grateful for blogging - it connects those of us that have always felt sort of out there with validation. I'm grateful that I can shop online and not have to waste time looking confused and over stimulated in the store. I love air conditioning.

I love that I can go to the library or bookstore and find a wealth of literature at my finger tips. I love the ease of travel. The chance to explore and experience new places. I love living where I can sample a variety of gourmet foods. I'm grateful that I have to work at staying healthy and fit. I'm grateful for my glasses - so I can see clearly. I'm grateful for Saul my hair guy who does brilliant things with color.

I'm grateful for TV - that has shows that can help educate, and entertain. I love that my girls are babbling Chinese from watching Ni Hao Kai Lan. That I can sustain our Prophet via satellite in my family room. I love how much time and money is saved in this day. That I can get clothing, home accessories...etc... that we actually have time to think about the design of our living space.

People may bag on this present and choose to live in the past. Not me. I like to learn from the past and embrace the present, looking with hope for the future. I like it here. It's just... awesome. Check it below.

The World is Just Awesome

Dear God,

Thank You.

Love,
Your Child

I saw this posted on my friend Silvergirl's blog. Loved it so much - thought I'd post it anywhere I could.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Little Things


It is strangely satisfying to make a bed with a fitted sheet and find out that by chance, the tag in one corner of the fitted sheet just happened to make it to the foot of the bed. My neurotic self CHEERS... that the sheet is in the right position - and I didn't have to readjust the corners once today. How awesome am I??!

Now I can go back to being Sisyphus...with the laundry, dishes, picking up toys and all myriad of stuff that keeps rolling on down the hill. That boulder is what housework feels like to me every-friggin' day.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Food Storage - Cannery

So my ward RS is freaking out about food storage and ordering things from the Cannery. They've been talking about storing wheat... and beans and rice... There was also an article about food rationing, citing Costco running out of rice and rationing it in the Bay Area. This one I paid attention to because my last two trips to Costco for Jasmine Rice yielded only a sight of empty pallets. They only had Basmati rice... I think I still have that sitting in my pantry.

Anyway - my question is - have you ordered from the Cannery? If you have - what did you order and how do you use this stuff? I'm having a hard time trying to figure it all out because I like to eat fresh, whole food types of stuff. However, in an emergency situation - it's all about sustenance and to hell with health. So... I don't know exactly what to do. My hubby suggested we get some of those cup o'noodle ramen stuff...and I balked. But he's right, in an emergency we'll eat anything. What am I going to do with oats, wheat, dry milk? What about black beans? Other than... produce flatulence?

What do food snobs do when the economy or food supply goes south?

So... can't wait for your experience, advice... quirky comments. Thanks.

Ballard's Talk... continued

As promised from this post on conference, here are my favorite quotes from Ballard's Talk:
Author Anna Quindlen reminds us not to rush past the fleeting moments. She said: “The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less”(Loud and Clear [2004], 10–11).

What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else.

It is crucial to focus on our children for the short time we have them with us and to seek, with the help of the Lord, to teach them all we can before they leave our homes.

We need to remember that the full commitment of motherhood and of putting children first can be difficult.

The first question: What can you do, as a young mother, to reduce the pressure and enjoy your family more?

First, recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction.

Second, don’t overschedule yourselves or your children. We live in a world that is filled with options. If we are not careful, we will find every minute jammed with social events, classes, exercise time, book clubs, scrapbooking, Church callings, music, sports, the Internet, and our favorite TV shows.

Families need unstructured time when relationships can deepen and real parenting can take place. Take time to listen, to laugh, and to play together.

Third, even as you try to cut out the extra commitments, sisters, find some time for yourself to cultivate your gifts and interests. Pick one or two things that you would like to learn or do that will enrich your life, and make time for them. Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, and if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you will have less and less to give to others, even to your children. Avoid any kind of substance abuse, mistakenly thinking that it will help you accomplish more.

Fourth, pray, study, and teach the gospel. Pray deeply about your children and about your role as a mother.

There are many things the Church offers to mothers and families, but for my purpose today may I suggest that the bishopric and the ward council members be especially watchful and considerate of the time and resource demands on young mothers and their families.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Not smart


I don't know why...I'll be bone tired... so tired my eyes barely stay open, and yet I won't go to bed before 11pm...what is wrong with me? Like now, it's midnight... one minute past and I'm still here... I really have to pee and I need to start the dishwasher...and I need to floss, brush my teeth and wash my face... somehow the thought of all that action makes me just sit here. I drive myself nuts.


ps. Fact about me... I high school I used to love Garfield. I don't know why specifically - never been a fan of cats in real life. I recently discovered this fact as I was cleaning out our library/guest room. I found two stuffed Garfields sitting atop the closet shelf. I also found a comic postcard that said JUST DO IT! (Just do what?).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Check it

I saw this link on Azucar's site. If the polygamy goings on in Texas makes you go huh? This is a fabulous diversion. Go HERE.

Friday, April 11, 2008

My latest obsession


It must be PBS' fault. With the last few months of Austen every Sunday I've been guzzling tea... with my pinkie up. Maybe not the pinkie...but hot with honey. For me there's something so cozy about a nice cup of tea. My Grandma on my father's side told me that the Chinese believe women should drink liquids that are not too cold, preferably room temp, or warm. It's the yin yang thing. I'm to the point I don't like things cold. So a cup of tea before bedtime is the perfect way to end an evening.

I think I'm starting my own little collection of tea. The lovely green tea pot is from my friend Sally and the cute butterfly compact set is from my friend Candice. Both were thank you gifts and... both times I was surprised and so giddy from their thoughtful appreciation.

Every time I drink tea my oldest wants to drink it with me, in her own tea cup. I think I need to get little lady tea set for her...and me. Isn't it cute?


Tomorrow night I'm hosting a Jane Austen tea night. We're going to watch an Austen themed movie (Becoming Jane or The Jane Austen Book Club in case you were wondering), exchange tea cups, drink tea and eat tea munchies. Scones, clotted cream, and lemon curd here I come.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

A solution - not a bandage


This post is not going to make me popular. Not that I care to be...but I thought I needed a disclaimer before someone's irrational, knee-jerk anger rears it's ugly head.

I'm a fan of helping people. I don't like helping people who take advantage of me or people who never learn to help themselves. I'm a big believer in personal accountability. I also believe in the whole idea that when you pick up one end of the stick it brings the other end too. There are consequences - the natural laws of cause and effect are in play in our world. I believe in these laws.

Another disclaimer - I did donate last year to Idol Gives Back. I was so manipulated by the images and the injustice of children growing up in that horrific environment that I gave with tears streaking down my face. I'll admit I cried again. I blame my hormones.

This year however, I felt empty. Empty because I looked and the nagging feeling kept entering my mind. How did these adults get aids? Why do these people who can't afford to have children in squalor, keep mating?

I know these questions are not politically correct - this blog is mine - I don't give a doo-doo about being PC. It's not my style. I prefer truth. I want honest answers.

I would think that a solution to stopping people from doing things that give them aids - would be a better torch to carry, than a bandage approach to the disease. I would imagine that preventing a disease would be 100x more helpful than just some meds to deal with a disease. I would think a birth control program would also be better than another million orphans left to fend for themselves and carry the burden that no child should have to shoulder.

Why doesn't anyone mention accountability in these glorified documentaries...paid for by Exxon Mobil? (ps. I'm annoyed that my gas at Costco is 3.65) Why is it my responsibility to fix someone else's poor choices? I don't mind helping someone once - but when they continue the same behavior... honestly - what the?

My husband told me he listened to some radio guy talk about this. He was giving the analogy of removing all the traffic signs and instead just having ambulances sit around on the street to save people after they were in accidents due to the removal of all the traffic signs. This is how the aids issue is currently handled. Anyone would think that the traffic analogy is irrational and insane... where is the voice of reason about this aids issue? Is it the trendy thing to do? Are we lemmings who follow whatever celebrity cause is blowing in the wind?

The ones I feel most sorry for are the children. It seems whenever adults screw up - in the third world or ours... the ones that suffer...the ones that lose are the children. As a mother it infuriates me. Do all of us a favor - tie those tubes - wear a condom - stop mating like rabbits. I find it hard to believe that anyone would willingly put a child at risk of starvation, knowing they can't feed the ones they already have. Why?

Certain things I do believe in. I believe that each child deserves a loving home. A home that will take care of their physical and emotional needs. I believe that despite what "forward thinkers" say - there is still right and wrong in the world. I believe that the mass of society that would like to blur this line and elevate tolerance into an exalted position are fooling themselves and the rest of the world. In regards to last night's charity event, I do believe in helping folks with the Malaria nets - the vaccinations... but really... stop engaging in activities (*wink, wink*) that put more innocents at risk regarding starvation and aids.

Yes, I know there are other circumstances... but it would be nice to have some accountability and a real solution... no more ineffective bandages... bandages that will have to be applied over and over and over until the behavior that put us here is changed.



ps. One more thing... all these celebrities travel out to Africa and see the squalor and suffering of individuals and families. Do they just talk to them? Or do they actually provide some food, clothing...necessities? I kept wondering as I watched Annie Lenox talk about the family of boys with no adult relatives - well, did you give them food, money, clothing? Or did you just interview them, play with them and send them back into their meager lives? How disconcerting to be the people who these rich folks come, visit, interview, act sad and then... adios? I want to know that they did something... rather than just make a pretty documentary. This feeling kept nagging me through the night. These folks have so much... millions... and here they are asking for help...I'd like to see a disclosure of how much each of these celebrities is giving. Seriously. I don't want to hear..."I gave my time...my name..." oh shut-up and show me - put your money where your mouth is. Then I also think of the widow's mite... but that's another post.

Hippie

A while ago someone called me a hippie because I like Kashi cereal. In this same conversation they also discovered that I wash my fruit in salt water before feeding it to my girlies. For some reason that was funny too... hum... I am so weird.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I still do what my Momma tells me


So my parents have been using this blender for years. They are such good examples of eating healthy and changing their food habits to suit the different stages of their lives. Plus, they do a really good job of looking out for each other and taking care of each other.

Naturally they want my babies to be healthy...seeing as my oldest refuses to eat veggies - this blender was the perfect solution.

Now we have a smoothie everyday, loaded with:
1 cup grapes (peels and seeds)
1 cup strawberries (with core and leaves)
1 banana (peeled - if the monkey's don't eat the peel - neither do we)
1 apple (with peel and seeds)
1/8 of a cantaloupe (with the seeds not the peel)
1/2 a cucumber (with peel)
1/8 of a cabbage
1/2 cup of carrots
1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt (organic)
1/4 cup of juice (100% variety)
1/4 cup flax
ice

I can't tell you how happy it makes me that they are eating veggies and don't even know about it. I love how easy it is for me to blend it and then clean this machine. It's literally a 5 min max to clean. We are now buying fruits and veggies in bulk for the four of us. It's fantastic. This can work as a total meal replacement. I love that summer is on it's way... just think of all the other fruits I'll be mixing in...

ps. I've been meaning to mention this - my Mom taught me to wash grapes, strawberries... in salt water. It's amazing how much extra dirt comes off the fruit. I tend to rinse 2-3 times after too... salt is an amazing tool.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Snippets of Conference


I've always loved conference. I have notebooks full of notes...since having kids it's been snippet listening, reading... so I was really pleased when, because I tivo'd conference... I was able to watch and hear Ballard's talk... I LOVED it... once the text is posted I'll be able to pick out the exact quotes that made me shout "YES!" over and over again. I wanted to shout out loud - "are you all hearing this??? This is exactly how I feel!!!" ROCK ON BALLARD... ROCK ON.

ps. During President Monson's last talk of conference - the feeling of his mantle as Prophet was so clear to me I started to cry. I'd been needing that personal confirmation and it came. I feel so blessed that the Lord didn't think I was insignificant...that I was worth letting know, that yes, he is leading the Church now.

pps. I have yet to hear the entire of conference, but I also really enjoyed Holland's talk about being christian.

ppps. My friend Jon posted a bunch of links for specific conference talks...here.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Stuff I'm not...


  • a pick-up truck girl - I don't like the look, I just don't get it
  • monster truck rally girl - I don't understand how this is entertaining
  • chuck-e-cheese girl - the whole vibe turns me off
  • walmart fan - seriously...this is where scary trolls go during the day and night, there's a reason why there are metal detectors
  • marshall's, ross, kohl's, tj maxx... shopper - it requires you to shop all the time to find something decent...I don't have the patience and time to shop like this - I want to get-in and get-out
  • nascar fan - like the trucks, I seriously don't get it
  • fast food consumer - I hate feeling greasy inside...I do get a craving for a burger once in a while... but it'll be six months before I do have another because I can feel my body bulge after just one.
  • thrift store girl - the idea of someone's old stuff...kinda creeps me out. I know the rage is vintage...but um...isn't that just old crap? If so...i have a lot of vintage stuff in my garage - have at it. (I do like new vintage... stuff that's new styled very nicely)
  • King's fan - never ever been interested...most people in the Sac area are nuts about them. Course I'm not big on sports period...unless it's to play.

Frozen


This is the first time I've avidly watched Dancing With the Stars... I'm more a "Do You Think You Can Dance?" fan...but thought since my hubby and I like dancing together... to check it out.

I just want to say...I don't care that Priscilla is Elvis' wife... her face won't move and it frightens me. Also...would the judges stop kissing her a** because she is Elvis' wife? The fact that she can't move anything above her upper lip should immediately eliminate the paddle points.

While I like hearing the commentary from my hubby about how Adam Corolla isn't enjoying being in the show... his jokes about Mormons are falling flat.

I love Marlee Matlin... enough with the constant mentions about her being deaf - she's so much better than Priscilla. Give Marlee the paddle points!

...and of course Kristi Yamaguchi is good... she's a figure skater... I'd be surprised if she doesn't win...and I always did like her skating.

...oh and poor Monica Seles... that white girl can't dance. I cringed every time she tried... poor thing.