Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blast from the Past

Yesterday Melanie Hale and Rachel Tanner came over to help clean out a rather dirty and neglected closet. It's a weird closet that actually hides behind a large hutch. I keep my food storage in there and occasionally, other things that I don't know what to do with find themselves residing there.

Melanie and Rachel did a great job. I bid on their services as part of their fund Raising for camp and both their moms can be proud that they did an excellent job considering they weren't actually getting paid. One of the things they un-earthed was an old poster Holden made for me when he was in kindergarten. I had wondered what happened to it - for a while I had it framed and hanging in my house I loved it so much.

I scanned in the artwork and here is the poem that accompanied it (this was a mother's day gift):

I've got a good mom. She has short brown hair.
She has greenish eyes just like mine. She is so beautiful. She has a pretty smile.

My mom likes to wear black shoes that slip on.
She likes to wear make-up. She wears pretty dresses that have flowers on them.
She wears necklaces and earrings. Some are big, but some are little.
She looks good all the time.

At home, my mom has to do all the jobs.
She has to make our baby happy. She plays with me, too.
She reads me books at night and again in the morning.
She has to clean up a lot of toys. She washes clothes.
She goes to the grocery store. She has to go to the bank.

To help my mom I watch the baby when my mom takes out the garbage.
I clean up what my mommy tells me to. I sweep outside.

My mom is a very good cook. She makes Sloppy Joes.
She makes burritos and chilli. She makes strawberry shortcake.
She makes really good oranges in a roll.

For fun, my mo likes to go to ABCO. Sometimes she even goes to Bashas.
She loves Target and Toys R Us.
She likes to go to church and to the camp at our church.
She likes to go to the library.
She goes to the electric company to buy electricity.
she goes to the park with me.

To relax, she likes to go to movies with my daddy. They are not kid movies.
She likes to make things for the church.
She likes to lay on her bed while I watch TV. She likes to watch Oprah.
She likes to talk on the phone for a long, long time.
Sometimes she likes to talk to my daddy. They talk a lot.

I really think that I have the goodest mom.
She makes me happy because she is so wonderful.
She loves me so much. I like that she's really nice.
I like it hat she loves me too. She reads me stories. She tucks me in and kisses me.
She calls me her honey. She teases me a lot.
She even calls me super hero names like "Earthworm Jim." She's a funny mom.

I am so happy to have a mom like her.
I love her all the way to infinity. That means I'm going to love her forever.

Holden, 1996

What a great thing to find in the forgotten recesses of the closet! I'm going to so miss this kid when he leaves in a little over a week.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thoughts from All Over...

I can't put together a cogent thought to write any one coherent blog but there are lot of random things things floating in my brain:

I love, love, love the website Apartment Therapy. If you've never checked it out maybe you should.

Mean people sometimes comment on my blogs. Usually I don't erase the comments but sometimes I do. It's weird. Sometimes it makes me question even having a blog at all. Actually I question having a blog A LOT.

There are a lot of things I never talk about here, that I probably would talk about it the blog were private. So lately I've thought about making it private again or having it open to friends only. We'll see.

I am sucker for a really well thought out store display or a store with lots of cute stuff. I don't need any of that stuff, but when I'm surrounded by it, it is hard to resist. I walked into Paper Joy today and almost walked out with a bunch of paper I didn't need and some ribbon too. I stopped myself just in time.

I am not joking around when I say that I could live at La Grande Orange. - that's another place I'm a huge sucker for. When I'm in there getting a tuna fish sandwich to go suddenly I think I need a new soy candle, or a zip up lap top case that's a uber cool print, ohhhh these notebooks look super's ridiculous. I'm massively influenced by the general coolness of the place itself - the open kitchen, the blackboards, the yummy food, the smell of the coffee bar, the music (which at any given moment might turn on a dime from Diana Krall to New Pornographers without warning, lighting momentarily on a Doors song) all the little baskets filled with fresh granola and specialty cheeses, aromatic breads and the fresh squeezed juice. It's like someone figured out how to shove all the things I love into one space at the same time. I never really want to leave.

When my husband is out of town I cannot go to bed before 1 am. What is up with that? I'm not nervous to be home alone at all either. It's just a weird thing I have. I have a hard time sleeping without him around.

These days, I'm pretty content with my house. Unless I start to think about all the things I'd still like to do to it, which include:

New metal door on the laundry room
New metal door on weird closet I hide behind the red hutch
Turn studio into a walk in closet
turn Holden's room into a studio
completely re-do kids bathroom - new floor, fixtures, etc.
Re-carpet back rooms
Re-carpet Jordan's room
Re-do all other flooring in main part of the house - probably in real wood
buy new office chair (one that looks cool)

Maybe sort of like this:

I'm going to miss Holden like crazy. He makes us all laugh so much. He's this ball of creative and hysterically witty energy - it will leave such a huge void in our life to have him gone.

On the other hand. I'm so EXCITED for him. He's sooooo ready to go.

It's very conflicting.

I am not a worrier by nature at all.

Sometimes I worry about that. Sometimes I worry that my life is too perfect. I feel guilty about that (I feel guilty about my good fortune, not the worrying). Is that weird? Do other people do that?

There's this one lady who is one of many people who write on a mormon blog who I really like to read. I don't know, she's just very interesting. Her name is annegb (well on the blog anyway) She just amuses me.

I have a hard time getting things done when my kids are around. It's weird, but I cannot concentrate on bill paying or phone calling. Even if they aren't really bugging me. I hate making phone calls. I have to be in the exact right frame of mind for that sort of thing.

I've often felt if there is any failure in my mothering it is in that area - where there is some part of me that just really likes to be solitary more often than most people. Being a mom and craving solitary time do not really go together. I think this is part of the reason women with large families both fascinate and horrify me.

When I was young I thought I wanted to have 10 kids because I did not realize how much I valued being alone. It has kind of come as something of a shock to me.

A lot of the people I went to high school with are on Facebook. It's weird to be updated every day on their comings and goings. It's kind of cool sometimes too. Some of them have turned into very cool and inspiring people. Some of them have turned into nut jobs.

I'm making chicken enchiladas tonight -

I just thought you might want to know that.

ooops, I messed up some of the links...they are updated and fixed least I think so...

Monday, July 13, 2009


The other day I was driving home from somewhere when I heard Michael Jackson had died. In a weird way I was sort of surprised by my reaction. First of all I found that I was not all that shocked by it. Second, I sort of didn't feel like I cared very much. I came home and flipped on the TV and everyone seemed to be sort of caught up in this thing that had just happened and I started changing the channel to find something else to watch because...well, I just didn't find the fact that he had died all that compelling and frankly I couldn't work myself up to care about it all that much.

And over the past few days/week or so... (how long has it been since he died? see I don't even know) - I just haven't really thought about it all that much. It's been on the news, he's on the cover of practically every magazine. You'd have to be living in a cave to not know that it's been widely reported that he was likely on heavy doses of prescription medication which, in all likelihood contributed and/or caused his death. I've seen several version of a chart that shows the changes of his face over the years. I didn't watch the memorial or pay all that much attention to any of the details. I saw some photos of his children and remarked that they are very pretty kids. It was sort of heartbreaking to see that youngest one (Blanket...seriously, I will never get over that name...I've come to accept weird celebrity children names like "Apple" and "Inspector" and even "Kal-el" but I will never get used to "Blanket" as a name...I think Michael made that up when he was being interviewed on that one documentary because he didn't want to give out the real name...I still refuse to believe that is the kids name) holding a doll of his father during the memorial. How seriously sad is that? And I thought his little girl talking about her father was also heart wrenching. But otherwise, my emotions have just been...well, nonexistent really.

Some background. I grew up never remembering a time when "The Jacksons" didn't exist. They were on lunch pails and Saturday Morning Cartoons when I was kid. They were all over the place. And Michael, was a cute as a bugs ear. By the time I hit Jr. High I had a crush on him. One of my first 8 tracks was "Off the Wall" which I listened to over and over again. I even had a Michael Jackson poster on the back of my bedroom door. By the time High School came around (Junior Year to be exact) Billie Jean was all the rage and Michael was about to astound us all with his moonwalk. Honestly, there wasn't much cooler than Michael Jackson long about 1984. Around this time Michael also seemed to be getting a little bit paler and his nose seemed to be getting a little bit more narrow. I remember him saying in an interview that he was just losing all his "baby fat" and I sort of bought into that version of reality for a while. I loved Thriller but his narrower nose and lighter skin were even more apparent by then.

It wasn't long before he was "Bad" and a "Smooth Criminal" and I sort of started to loose interest. Bubbles the Chimp? And why did his nose keep disappearing? I liked the old black Michael better and I wasn't too sure about this new white one. Then Neverland Ranch got all weird. And then the accusations started. He just seemed to get more bizarre by the year. Every once in a while he would intrigue me again. I really liked the "Scream" video he did with Janet. I thought "Remember the Time" was a catchy song. And the music video he did with Naomi Campbell for the song "In the Closet" was gorgeous. Every once in a while I would catch some footage of him dancing and realize, he was still amazingly talented. But his talent seemed to be eclipsed by his strangeness. Lisa Marie? Kids with Debbie Rowe? The Martin Bashir documentary? Hello? The man seemed to lose all sense of reality.

So when I saw some old footage of him from the Off the Wall era the other day I remembered why I had liked him so much in the first place. He had so much energy and vibrancy and everything he did seemed cool. He was talented. Really, really talented.

So today, I bought a few songs on itunes that I remembered fondly. And sometime in there, while listening to all these songs that made me feel happy back in 1979, I shed one single solitary tear for Michael. Which suprised me, because up until that moment, I just had not felt anything about him dying. But I realized that I was sad for that Michael. For lost potential. For all the things that can go wrong in a persons life. For all the little things that add up to big things.

I don't pretend to know what all went wrong in Michaels life and how much of it was self-created problems and how much of it might have been mental illness, or drug addiction or a multitude of other things. All I am saying is that it's complicated isn't it?

Did he molest all those young boys? I have no idea. It didn't look too good did it? Either way it's tragic. It's tragic if he did and it's tragic if he didn't.

In our celebrity obsessed culture we seem to have an appetite for chewing people up and spitting them out. So many talented people seem to be ruined by their own success don't they?

What am I even saying? I don't know. I guess what I'm saying is that I'll always really like the late 70s early 80s version of Michael. Listening to PYT will probably always put me in a good mood. And it will be a long, long time before someone with as much raw talent as Michael will come along again.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Color Decisions I'm Happy With!

I'm happy with how all the bold colors turned out, here's a slideshow of a pretty much completed back yard.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Peace in a World of Conflict

This morning I've perused a long list of political articles, and read a few left leaning and right leaning blogs. Wow, we are really conflicted in this country!

Last week I ran into someone at a store who I know is rabidly right leaning. Perhaps rabid is a harsh term. But it's fairly accurate. Everything this person believes from a political stand point is in direct opposition to everything I believe politically. But this person and I happen to belong to the same church. Which makes all the difference.

I realized as I stood talking to this person that I have nothing but deep down in my heart good feelings towards them. I thought about that later in the evening and I felt especially peaceful about it. How nice is it that the gospel gives us that power to feel at peace.

I'm not saying I'm able to have that feeling about EVERYONE at church all the time. There are a few people I have a hard time with. But it has nothing to do with their politics. If I think someone is inherently mean spirited, I have a hard time feeling charitable towards them. But I try. I try to figure out what makes a person the way that they are and to evolve myself to better feelings about them. But I digress...

My point is that we can disagree with our fellow church goers on points of politics while maintaining good feelings. Here's an excellent talk from a recent Ensign article I thought was especially apt, enjoy:

I have a friend who is a member of a political panel that is seen each week on national television. Explaining her role, she said, “We are encouraged to speak before thinking!” We appear to be living in an era in which many are speaking without thinking, encouraging emotional reactions rather than thoughtful responses. Whether it be on the national or international stage, in personal relations or in politics, at home or in the public forum, voices grow ever more strident, and giving and taking offense appear to be chosen rather than inadvertent.

The Lord has warned that from the beginning and throughout history, Satan would stir up people’s hearts to anger. 1 In the Book of Mormon, Laman set a pattern of so murmuring as to stir anger, to stoke rage, and to incite murder. 2 Time and again in the Book of Mormon, we find deluded and wicked men inciting rage and provoking conflict. In the days of Captain Moroni, the apostate Amalickiah inspired “the hearts of the Lamanites against the people of Nephi.” 3 Amulon and the wicked priests of Noah; Nehor; Korihor; and Zoram the apostate (the dishonor roll goes on throughout the Book of Mormon) were agitators who inspired distrust, fueled controversy, and deepened hatreds.

In speaking to Enoch, the Lord indicated that both the time of His birth and the time preceding His Second Coming would be “days of wickedness and vengeance.” 4 And the Lord has said that in the last days, wrath shall be poured out upon the earth without mixture. 5Wrath is defined both as the righteous indignation of God and as the very human instances of impetuous ardor and deep or violent anger. The former arises from the concern of a loving Father whose children are often “without affection, and they hate their own blood,” 6 whereas the latter wrath arises from a people “without order and without mercy, … strong in their perversion.” 7 I fear the earth is experiencing both wraths, and I suspect the divine wrath is very much provoked by those who are stirring up the hearts of men to wickedness, slander, and violent hatreds.

The first casualties of human wrath are truth and understanding. James counseled that we be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” 8 As Enoch observed, God’s throne is one of peace, justice, and truth. 9 Whether they be false friends or unrighteous teachers, artists or entertainers, commentators or letter writers to local newspapers, seekers of power or wealth, beware of those who stir us up to such anger that calm reflection and charitable feelings are suppressed.

Alma at the waters of Mormon invited those who would enter into a covenant relationship with God to stand as witnesses of God and to bear one another’s burdens. 10 As those who have indeed entered into a sacred covenant, we must remain true to the way, the truth, and the life, who is Jesus Christ.

Have we who have taken upon us the name of Christ slipped unknowingly into patterns of slander, evil speaking, and bitter stereotyping? Have personal or partisan or business or religious differences been translated into a kind of demonizing of those of different views? Do we pause to understand the seemingly different positions of others and seek, where possible, common ground?

I recall that as a graduate student I wrote a critique of an important political philosopher. It was clear that I disagreed with him. My professor told me that my paper was good, but not good enough. Before you launch into your criticism, she said, you must first present the strongest case for the position you are opposing, one that the philosopher himself could accept. I redid the paper. I still had important differences with the philosopher, but I understood him better, and I saw the strengths and virtues, as well as limitations, of his belief. I learned a lesson that I’ve applied across the spectrum of my life.

General Andrew Jackson, as he walked along the line at the Battle of New Orleans, said to his men, “Gentlemen, elevate your guns a little lower!” I think many of us need to elevate our “guns” a little lower. On the other hand, we need to raise the level of private and public discourse. We should avoid caricaturing the positions of others, constructing “straw men,” if you will, and casting unwarranted aspersions on their motivations and character. We need, as the Lord counseled, to uphold honest, wise, and good men and women wherever they are found and to recognize that there are “among all sects, parties, and denominations” those who are “kept from the truth [of the gospel] because they know not where to find it.” 11 Would we hide that light because we have entered into the culture of slander, of stereotyping, of giving and seeking offense?

It is far too easy sometimes to fall into a spirit of mockery and cynicism in dealing with those of contrary views. We demoralize or demean so as to bring others or their ideas in contempt. It is a primary tool of those who occupy the large and spacious building that Father Lehi saw in vision. 12 Jude, the brother of Christ, warned that “there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” 13

Closely related to mockery is a spirit of cynicism. Cynics are disposed to find and to catch at fault. Implicitly or explicitly, they display a sneering disbelief in sincerity and rectitude. Isaiah spoke of those who “watch for iniquity” and “make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.” 14 In this regard, the Lord has counseled in latter days that we “cease to find fault one with another” and “above all things, clothe [ourselves] with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.” 15

President George Albert Smith observed, “There is nothing in the world more deleterious or harmful to the human family than hatred, prejudice, suspicion, and the attitude that some people have toward their fellows, of unkindness.” 16 In matters of politics, he warned, “Whenever your politics cause you to speak unkindly of your brethren, know this, that you are upon dangerous ground.” 17 Speaking of the great mission of the latter-day kingdom, he counseled: “This is not a militant church to which we belong. This is a church that holds out peace to the world. It is not our duty to go into the world and find fault with others, neither to criticize men because they do not understand. But it is our privilege, in kindness and love, to go among them and divide with them the truth that the Lord has revealed in this latter day.” 18

The Lord has constituted us as a people for a special mission. As He told Enoch in ancient times, the day in which we live would be one of darkness, but it would also be a time when righteousness would come down from heaven, and truth would be sent forth out of the earth to bear, once more, testimony of Christ and His atoning mission. As with a flood, that message would sweep the world, and the Lord’s elect would be gathered out from the four quarters of the earth. 19 Wherever we live in the world, we have been molded as a people to be the instruments of the Lord’s peace. In the words of Peter, we have been claimed by God for His own, to proclaim the triumph of Him “who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God.” 20 We cannot afford to be caught up in a world prone to give and to take offense. Rather, as the Lord revealed to both Paul and Mormon, we must neither envy nor be puffed up in pride. We are not easily provoked, nor do we behave unseemly. We rejoice not in iniquity but in the truth. Surely this is the pure love of Christ which we represent. 21

In a world beset by wrath, the prophet of our day, President Gordon B. Hinckley, has counseled: “Now, there is much that we can and must do in these perilous times. We can give our opinions on the merit of the situation as we see it, but never let us become a party to words or works of evil concerning our brothers and sisters in various nations on one side or the other. Political differences never justify hatred or ill will. I hope that the Lord’s people may be at peace one with another during times of trouble, regardless of what loyalties they may have to different governments or parties.” 22

As true witnesses of Christ in the latter days, let us not fall into the darkness so that, in the words of Peter, we “cannot see afar off,” but let us be fruitful in the testimony of Christ and His restored gospel, in thought, in speech, in deed. 23 God lives. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Joseph Smith, the great prophet of the Restoration, was the instrument by which we have been constituted as a people, led even today by a prophet of God, President Gordon B. Hinckley. Let us daily renew in our hearts the pure love of Christ and overcome with our Master the darkness of the world.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


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