Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ode to Pandora Radio-The Music Genome Project

Pandora, Pandora
You've got my favorite Band-oras
I think its so cool that you let me pick
stations I like, that don't make me sick

Some of the stations you let me play
feature great music by "Les (Pool of) Clay"
If I'm feeling funky, I can have Morris Day
If I'm feeling mellow, how 'bout some Sade?

Your "Genome Project" of the music type
Lives up fully to the "music you like" hype
I like the stations, my favorite picks
If I feel like it I can even have Styxx!

But there's just one thing I'd like to know
How do you make this radio show?
You seem to know what I prefer
Even if it is a Li'l Butthole Surfer!

ok, seriously, here is (mostly JP's) and my Pandora radio list of stations...I apologize if I'm totally blowing your image of our cultured clan ;)

Talking Heads Radio
Reverend Horton Heat Radio
Mr. Bungle Radio
Les Claypool Radio
Tool Radio
The Clash Radio
Buena Vista Social Club Radio
Smashing Pumpkins Radio
Radiohead Radio
Incubus Radio
Fleetwood Mac Radio
Blondie Radio
and Butthole Surfer Radio (not a joke...its really there, I don't know why, except it makes me wanna sing "Shark Attack! Shark Attack! Get out of the Water and Don't Look Back!" But I don't think that song's  even by them so go figure.)

There's quite a few favorites we could add...some I'm surprised are missing.  What about Led Zeppelin?  Peter Murphy? the CARS! seriously, how are the Cars not on that list yet?  That's it, I'm going to go add them right now.

If you haven't visited Pandora radio yet, get over there and pay a visit, you will LOVE it.  You can even make a station to send somebody as a gift, a totally modern "Mix Tape" for your crush.  How fun is that?

And, nope, not getting paid for this, just seriously love this site, go have fun. Now!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Slow Cooker for Sunday

We have the distinct privilege of attending church at 2:00pm on Sundays.  Seeming as it takes three hours to move from meeting to meeting we get home right at our preferred dinner time.  I've been making it a point to have a crock-pot meal ready and waiting for us so we can walk in, eat dinner, and then rest or relax for the remainder of the evening before JP must leave for work.

Can I just say, I'm tired of slow-cooker fare?  I really am.  We've done beenie weenie, we've done swiss steak, we've done garlic chicken, we've done pizza pasta.  You know what we haven't done? (Until this past Sunday) Curry!!!  What a beautiful change of pace.  And you know what?  This turned out so good that I'm going to have to be careful not to master any other Thai style dishes or my husband will never take me to my favorite Valley restaurant again. (Thai House.)

Here's the funny thing, this recipe was called "Brazilian Chicken with Coconut Milk" but the sauce tasted EXACTLY like our favorite Pineapple Curry from Thai House, minus the pineapple.  I'll tell you what, I'm making this with pineapple next time.

Here is my take on the original recipe ( I made a few changes based on what I had in the house, it was Sunday- I think we were doing good to have most of the ingredients for something this exotic tasting on hand!)

Lets just call it "Coconut Milk Chicken" because the jury is still out on whether it was Brazilian or not, and I don't feel like I should just decide it was in fact Thai when I'm not at all sure about how a traditional Thai coconut curry would be developed.

1t ground cumin
1t ground paprika
1/2 t chili powder
1t kosher salt (or to taste, mine was a very generous teaspoon.)
freshly ground pepper (probably 1/2 t.)
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, chopped in 1 in cubes
2T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 T minced fresh ginger ( I only had crystalized on hand, I was concerned about the sugar on it messing up the flavor, but the dish turned out great, so use what you've got.)
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.oz can stewed tomatoes
1 14.oz can coconut milk

Mix spices, salt and pepper in a large Zip-Loc bag, add cubed chicken, close bag, toss around to coat.  Heat 1 T oil in skillet, add chicken, cook thoroughly.  Remove from heat, place cooked chicken in your slow-cooker.  Heat remaining 1 T olive oil in the skillet, cook and stir the onion, ginger, jalapeno peppers, and garlic 5 minutes, or until tender.  Add can of tomatoes, being sure to let the juice deglaze your pan and pick up all the yummy little bits that have accumulated on the bottom of your pan. Stir in Coconut milk.  Pour over chicken in the slow-cooker, place slow cooker on warm, serve when you're ready.  Ours sat in the slow cooker for about 5 hours, the flavors had fully developed and it was a wonderful savory dish.  (as opposed to the slightly bland tasting dish it started off as fresh from the skillet, this is one dish that was definitely improved by the sitting around in a slow cooker for hours.)

The original recipe suggests serving this over rice, garnished with fresh parsely, one reviewer (of the original recipe) suggested basil instead, which I think would be awesome. May I suggest Jasmine Rice?  I don't think you could go wrong!

Have fun and please share your slow-cooker successes...I'm tired if it all being the same.

Monday, September 28, 2009


This beats Alex the Seal, Dirty Deek and the Thundercheifs, and whatever that song about the douche getting blinded by the light was...Lily just walked in singing....

My My My Boogerface, My My Boogerface.

Parkour Park Whore

Does this look like something you would wear someplace like this?
We didn't think so either, and yet...4 inch platforms and all, there were two of them, one Alice type, one...not really sure, except she had the biggest dunlop (as in her belly done lopped over her skirt) I've ever seen on a (Prositute? Adult movie wannabe actress?  Halloween Catalog model?) They were coming down the hill with their "photographer" friend when we were just arriving at the trail head Friday night. We thought perhaps they confused the art of Parkour (the art of getting from point A to point B in as creative a fashion as possible) for Park Whore...then again....maybe we shouldn't go there.

 As it turns out, after last weeks run-in with the drunkies who were arguing over whether or not noticing a beautiful child made them a child molester, and these 3 pillars of society, it is not the rattle snakes that are the reason I've felt to not venture out to the trails without JP...its the WEIRDOS!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Organize, Teach, Inspire

O, T, I...every once in a while, something really speaks to me, tonight it was the playback for the General Relief Society Conference.  I missed the original broadcast while we were attending a wedding.  Admittedly, in the past I would have shined the entire thing on unless somebody had asked me to teach a lesson or something on one of the talks, and then, I would only have listened to that specific talk. But when I arrived home, after I put the kids to bed, I  felt compelled to log onto the computer and listen to the playback.  I'm glad I did.

The message concerning the role of the Relief Society Presidency to Organize, Teach, and Inspire the sisters of the ward to come unto Christ more fully by participating in prayerfully considered activities provided clarity.  I didn't realize I was in a fog about my role in Relief Society, but if I was, the fog has certainly been rolled away and the path made clear.

I love it when leadership seeks to simplify the lives of members.  The new "rules" about how to run a ward Relief Society seem to do just that.  I just hope and pray that on the local level sisters will resist the urge to complicate the things that should bless and enrich the lives of the women we call Sister.

As women we are so task oriented, that we sometimes lose sight of the big picture.  We get caught up in minutia.  Alot of times, the minutia doesn't matter.  Hopefully, this new, simpler way to run a Relief Society based on the three words "Organize, Teach, Inspire" will help us to do a better job of focusing our efforts on the things that really matter, which, afterall, is the salvation of souls, and nothing more.  When it comes right down to it, Santa Keys, Chalkboard Plates, and Decoupage are fun, and gathering together to make these fun things provides opportunity for friendships to develop, talents to be nurtured, and safe and sane breaks from daily routine to be enjoyed, but ultimately we can remove the pressure from our leaders to provide us with the "Best Ever" Super Saturday activity if we seek to be taught and inspired first, and entertained last.

While the specific message to Organize, Teach, and Inspire might be directed mostly to leadership, every sister can embrace these three words and make them part of her experience as a Relief Society Sister.  Perhaps this phrase can be used not only as a developmental tool to guide leaders in planning successful activities, but also as a measure of success by the sisters enjoying the activity. I say, if the event will be organized, teach me something, and inspire me to act, then it will be a successful event.

Here's to Relief Society with a new attitude...or is it an old attitude we forgot?  Whichever it is, I'm all for it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I may have a dancing animal in my future

I have just been informed by Lily that she does not want to keep growing.  The reason: She doesn't want to be six.  I have no idea why six is such a repulsive age, but her brother is currently six so she must be observing some things about his life that she does not care to submit herself too.  I would think that it may have something to do with being expected to clean his bedroom on his own without assistance, but the fact is, at three, Lily does a much better job of cleaning her room on her own, so that can't be it.  She thinks school looks fantastic, so I don't think school is the reason.  I'm thinking it might possibly have something to do with being expected to sit through Sacrament without a snack or a toy that's got her bothered.  She really likes her Little People and Animal Crackers....that's got to be the reason.  It may also have something to do with the fact that we've told her we are no longer responding to any puppies or catties in our house, and that we will only speak to Lily directly.  We did tell her that she was growing up and needed to use human words.  That has to be it! Grrrreeeeaaaaaaat. I totally ruined my child's formative years by requesting she drop the cat act. Oh well, I can live with that. Maybe there's a part in Cat's the Musical she'll use to rebel against me when she's grown.  Wouldn't I be proud? Oh, yes, I'm sure I would be. But it would be kind of funny, don't you think if she grew up to be an actress specializing in being a dancing animal, all because at three I decided I was tired of only speaking to animals?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm glad you found Jesus, now find the Gas Pedal! (and other remarks)

"Is that a costume?"
"I think that baby is Dwight Schrute's Love Child"

"Congratulations, you beat a monkey"
"Listen to me very carefully...I am not a kid...I am a girl."
"Should I try to fall asleep with my eyes open or shut?"
"Your talent is you can break anything without trying."
"Wanna know how much I made with this horse?  62 thousand dollars, and I bought a castle, it cost $600."
"I won 800 levels of this game, but Lily is the best opponent because she beats me every time."
"I deeeeeeeeNOUNCE my iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiindian heritage"
"I absolutely love you"
"I think I would say 'I'll just stand back here and watch my wife take care of you' because I'd be laughing too hard to aim"
"I set my alarm for 78.8 so I could get up early to clean my room"
"I have a sneaking suspicion this deed will not go unpunished"
"They call that blackmail in some arenas"
"I was really good at Patt-a-Cake when I was younger"
"Either get a picture of that, or grab a quarter to drop when I pull up behind her."
"As it turns out, its a little embarrassing to order 5 double cheeseburgers, a large fry, a large onion ring, and only one Diet Coke while in the car alone."
"Don't take this wrong,'ve never missed a meal."
"I think my success lies in helping other people be successful, less pressure that way."
"I'll think about three little birds while you hunt down 'these two dudes'"
"Is it LEGAL to have an organized Smoke-out?" (and no, we're not talking an anti-cigarette campaign here folks.)
"Villain is an excellent vocabulary word, much better than just 'bad guy'"
"Country- C O N C H R E"
"Mom, was does Lady Spread Stink mean?"
"Pigs Iiiiiiiiiiiiin Spaaaaaaaaaace"
"Wakka Wakka"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Take a Hike!

After a week of children behaving like scrambled eggs, Friday was the day to tell them to take a hike.  Get out, run, Go!  Don't worry, we went with them.  

First Water trail proved to be a very three and five year old friendly path with lots of lizards, beetles, and birds, and even a couple jackrabbits (thankfully no snakes...*shudder*).  I don't think we even made 2/3rds of the hike before we needed to turn around so as to get back to the car before dusk, but it was so nice to get out and move our bodies and enjoy new sites and sounds. Or rather NOT experience sound.  The quiet was quite literally deafening.  I'm not joking, the silence was so profound that I experienced a momentary sensation of deafness only to realize that what I was not hearing was the quiet of the countryside.  It was beautiful.  I don't know if I should say that we were in a canyon, or a valley, I think valley would be the better description, of brush, scrub-oak, palo-verde trees, barrel cactus, cholla, and saguaro.  The mountains surrounding us provided beautiful red rock-scapes that just tickled me pink.  
A turkey vulture did us the honor of making the scene complete by circling overhead as he hunted his dinner.  

I'm not sure what makes me feel so at home here in Arizona.  But its as if there is something deep inside me that hears the singing of the desert habitat.  Its so surprising, being that for a large part of my life I could not begin to imagine what living life outside San Diego would be like, and a desert environment seemed like a life-sentence.  I now catch myself thinking "who wouldn't want to live here?"  And I often think of the China Crisis song lyrics "The Arizona Sky, the sky is bigger (here) It took my breath away, that doesn't happen everyday."  Its true, the sky is bigger here, and absolutely breathtaking, especially when the thunderheads come rolling in over my favorite mountain range.  

Someday I hope to be able to claim the title "world traveler" but for now, I have a running list of places in Arizona I'd like to visit, many of them easy day trips, some of them great weekend trips.  Of course the Grand Canyon is on the list, but so too are the Montezuma's Castle ruins, the Camp Verde Train, (oh how I'd love to do the Christmas train, but wow, its expensive.) The Dolly Steamboat tour of Canyon Lake, various ghost towns (I'd love to go to some of the REAL ghost-towns, not the ones like GoldField which is just up the road from us and has been turned into a tourist trap which hosts overpriced coffee shops, fake gunfights, and tacky souvenirs...not that this wouldn't be fun, just not what I want to do with my money.) Havasupai Falls, Kartchner Caverns, etc, etc. etc. We live in such a neat state, I just want to take advantage of what's available too us and I'm really looking forward to doing some camping again if I can ever get JP to say "pack it up, lets go."  

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Secret-Exposed...

I just figured out the secret to the "Eat anything you want and still lose weight" diet.
Really, I did!
Its either meth...OR...

you have to want to eat lettuce and boiled chicken for every meal.

You're welcome.  I thought you'd appreciate that.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tattoo Who?

Is it just me, or have tattoos become the calling card of overwieght white guys in their 40's wearing jean-shorts and leather hightops with ankle socks?

I think I'm going to start one of those funny photo blogs where people send in pictures of their crazy relatives and people they saw at WalMart. I'm gonna call it "40yr old White Guys with Tattoos." (White Guys wearing Jean Shorts will be our sister site.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Being in the World

Its HARD to be IN the world.  But we have to be, don't we?  Recently I've been thinking alot about how much my life has changed, all for the good, but how in that change I feel uncomfortable, stretched a little beyond where I feel at ease.  But being IN the world offers opportunities for personal growth, the kind that we cannot get when we stay in our protective cocoon.  

Recently I've realized that for the first time in my life, my friendships have extended outside of my cocoon of safety into the realm of those outside my religion.  I've always had one or two friends who did not share my beliefs, but I find myself now in the curious position of having most of my friends not share my beliefs.  I feel stretched a little beyond my capacity to feel comfortable.  But I love these people. They are good and kind friends, they are worth stretching a little for. 

I think the main reason for my discomfort is the knowledge that many of them attend churches which actively preach against my church.  Some of them even organize protests against us. (I'm not aware that any of my friends have participated in such a thing, I just know that some attend churches that organize these kinds of things.) I feel betrayed in a small way every time they say how much they love their church, and yet, I know they aren't meaning to betray our friendship, they are meaning to share their love for Christ and the experiences they have in their own centers of worship.  But I still feel betrayed.  I really wonder what they think when their Pastors get onto Anti-Mormon topics.  Do they think "Amen Brother! I'm gonna pray for my sinner friends to leave that church."  Or do they think "I don't know if this makes sense, I don't think my friend Lisa would believe that."  I hope its the latter, but I doubt it, as they never ask me to clarify anything for them. ( I have a sneaking suspicion that they've been carefully instructed by Pastors who are tired of losing tithe paying members to the Mormons, not to ask a Mormon about their beliefs, because they'll trick you into believing they are Christians...we are Christians, we just happen to believe that God the Father, His son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings, that's the biggest contention, really it is! You'll be amazed at how much everything else matches, at how much everything we believe can be supported Biblically.)

I realize that if they are not worried about hanging out with a Mormon, I shouldn't be worried about whether they accept me or not.  Its obvious that they enjoy my friendship as much as I enjoy theirs.  I just wonder how it is that they can feel comfortable listening to outrageous lies about a group of people to whom a good friend of theirs belongs.  That's all.

But like I said in the beginning, growth is uncomfortable, and if having friends who stretch me, make me dig deeper into my beliefs, and challenge me to grow in ways they are not aware of is part of my human experience, then I intend to participate, and I intend to eventually get comfortable.  Then again, beware comfort! It always leads to a bigger learning lesson.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I did something last night I haven't done for years, and the result was better than I expected.  I had a party at my house, for a friend with a home business.

The old Lisa with rejection issues tried to rear her ugly head.  She told the new Lisa who likes to think she doesn't care if somebody doesn't like her (she lies to herself alot) that people wouldn't come, they wouldn't mix and mingle if they did, that now was a terrible time to ask people to come view a friend's business and ask them to spend money on her things, that the cream-puffs weren't good enough (they weren't, the filling didn't set, they were soup-puffs.) that her home wasn't nice enough, that the parking wasn't sufficient enough, etc.

Then it happened, Amy, (my friend with the business called "AtHome" ---LOVE the product line, SOOOOO great, if only I could actually have that 180 dollars I "saved" on groceries this week or an unlimited budget.) said, tell them they don't have to buy anything and you just want to have them over to enjoy their company!...and it took all the pressure off, and they came!

And we ate our soup-puffs, and our Thai-Sweet-Chili dip with Morton's Multi-grain crackers...mmmmm and our grapes and our pistachios, and we drank raspberry sparkling water from plastic cups, and we mixed and mingled, and we oohed and awed, and perhaps even coveted the beautiful things Amy brought to display. (I totally forgot to take a picture, I had actually planned to take pictures, but I got busy holding the baby with the cutest hair I've ever seen!)

So the new Lisa that tells herself she doesn't care if people don't like her, kicked the old Lisa with rejection issues upside the head and said "Take That Jackass-not only did the one's who RSVPd they'd be there come, but a few who said they couldn't came at the last minute!"

Of course my good feeling was quickly dampered when my husband walked in the house from a movie with his dad and said "Did you not invite my mom tonight?"...oh crap.  You know what, at 4:00 in the afternoon after talking to one of my sis's in law I realized, I had failed to invite her.  I guess I should have called to ask her to come, but I didn't, and now I'm screwed.  But that's not the most embarrassing thing that I've come to know I failed to do before having a party at my house.

The most embarrassing thing is that I forgot to put a fresh roll of toilet paper in the bathroom and it is entirely possible that one or more persons had to drip dry at my party.  ooops.

P.S.  Check out Amy's website, I thought the quality was good, but pay attention to sizes of items, as some of them may be bigger or smaller than you perceive by looking at the pictures. If you see something you can't live without, let me know by Saturday afternoon and we'll add your order to mine (or if you need a paycheck or two between now and when you can order something, let me know and I'll give you my friend Jessie's info and you can order through her the end of October).  Or, if you're in AZ, and would like to book a show for Amy to come to your home, e-mail me and I"ll get you her contact info.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Spin Cycle

My brain feels like its on the spin cycle.  I slept last night, but didn't rest.  My kids woke up behaving like scrambled eggs.  What do scrambled eggs behave like?  I don't have any idea! But that's the word that came to mind.  See, my brain IS on the spin cycle and apparently in danger of spinning out of control into some kind of weird mania that may ultimately be entertaining, but probably not a good thing.  I have a free day today, no plans whatsoever, and the ideas.  THE IDEAS!  There are too many of them.  I'd love to go have lunch with a friend, or a playdate with one of Lily's friends, or go to the fabric store and buy fabric to make throw pillows for the couch with, or go to the ribbon store and buy bow-making supplies with which I could make all kinds of hair accessories which will be torn out of hair, thrown under a bed, and forgotten for evermore.  I could go buy supplies to make Christmas ornaments, I like to give a handmade ornament as a small gift.  I could bake bread and paint it, I could bake bread and not paint it.  I could make ham and cheese stuffed bagels.  I could, watch Arrested Development on the computer.  I could read blogs and comment on them. I could clean Lily's bedroom, I could go wash the car, I could wander around Target for an hour, filling my cart and then putting it all back again when I realize I don't need anything I put in there.  (I do I the only one?)  I could read a cookbook, go to the library and get a real book, or Facebook all day. (Like how I used Facebook as a verb? ) I've been thinking about MIA, the Tiger Army, both the terrorist/rebel group and the punk rock band, Social Distortion, Kanye's outburst (yes, I'm ashamed to admit, that this is taking up more of my mind than it should, I don't even care much for Miss Swift )  Rep Wilson's outburst (so disrespectful) and my own outburst at my husband two days ago.  (This is what came of those three thoughts combined "Yo Kanye, I'm happy for you, and Imma let you finish, but Rep Wilson had one of the best outbursts ever!", yes, I'm laughing at my own joke! yes, I know you're not supposed to laugh at your own joke, but you apparently never saw me do my Yak imitation on stage.)  I'm wondering if all the people who said they were coming over to my home for girl's night and an "At Home" product showcase will really show up.  I'm wondering why we don't have a book club yet, and remembering its because I'm supposed to start it.  And what the heck is the deal with Pocoyo? And how is that Brittish? And why doesn't anybody else see the brilliance that is Yo Gabba Gabba?  and how glad am I that we cut the cable?  And I wonder what my kids want for Christmas since we don't hear 28 times a day what they want whenever their show cuts to commercials?  and, and, and...

Get the picture?  Spin Cycle.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Imma Let You Finish"

WOW! I wish I was that clever, but alas, I borrowed it from here

*heads up for some explicit language.

A New Addiction

This is the weirdest addiction, but its totally healthy, so I'm not gonna fight it!

Berry/Buttermilk Smoothies...every morning for breakfast.
Hey, its got 8 grams of protein, and only as much sugar as I choose to put in and if I start with frozen berries, its a rich, thick, frosty treat for well under 200 calories.
The single serving smoothie blender who's blending cup is also the drinking cup is the best $14.99 I've spent in a long time.
Forget pricey smoothie mixes with false promises to curb cravings and hunger, I can drink one of these at 8:00 in the morning and not be looking for lunch until well after noon. Who can complain about that? And the best part? Since I'm culturing my own buttermilk with my powdered milk from the cannery, and I bought my berries UBER cheap at the peak of their season and froze them weeks ago, my morning breakfast is literally costing me pennies.

Its a good addiction, don't you think?

And in case you think the buttermilk part is weird, if you like a yogurt smoothie you will find a buttermilk smoothie to have a similar tangyness, but it will be smoother and easier to drink since it won't be quite as thick. Give it a try, its YUM!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Easy to Please-y

Once upon a time there was a married couple who couldn't wait to have the ability to go on regular dates and do some special things together that they didn't get to do while dating and in the earliest years of their marriage. Then came that time and on a Friday night with nothing to do they decided to go to QT (think 7-11 if you don't have QT) purchase frosty non-alcoholic beverages, and take the kids for a car ride to see the desert sunset and perhaps pay a visit to "the Hole in the Rock".

I think that says alot about where we are mentally...pretty easy to please.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Were You?

Where were you on Sep 11, 2001 when you first heard the news?

I was in bed. Either my mom or my sister called (I don't remember who anymore) to say "TURN ON YOUR NEWS NOW!" I didn't have cable, so I turned on the radio and got online. I had to get my girls to school, (no I was not going to be one of those who shook in fear in my tiny apartment, we were going to proceed as usual so as not to scare the children.) so I put them in the bathtub. Apparently my 15 year old remembers that day too. She said she very clearly remembers me telling her to shush in the tub because I was trying to hear the news.

What were you doing? What do your kids remember about that day?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cow Sauce

expletive? What I should have yelled at my son when he hurled himself on my back as I bent over to tie my shoe last week? I have been telling him for weeks that he must stop jumping on me, that he WILL hurt me. He chose not to stop, and he put his mother out of commission for three days.

I went to the chiropractor on Friday. I told him my back hurt from the mid-to lower back, wrapping around to the front, near my hip.
He proceeded to refer to the area as the "left flank".
I refrained from mooing, chopping onions and peppers, or surrounding bad guys. ( you know, like "flanking the enemy".) for the remainder of the weekend, though I plan to resume these acitivities early in the week.
My side being referred to as a flank just made me crazy, like mad-cow crazy. Or was that the PMS talking? It was probably the PMS, but seriously, my FLANK was hurting and all I wanted to do was either moo at him, or cry. Fortunately my face was buried in the crevice of the head-pads on the adjustment table and he wouldn't have been able to discern either noise from the other, not that he would have noticed. (I have never had anybody talk that much or that fast for that amount of time and still be able to get their work done, but by golly I felt better when I left.)
So I spent my weekend nursing my flank, avoiding cow sauce and bending over and I *think* I feel better. Or is that the Ibuprofen speaking.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The War in My Heart

Our son Gabriel is 6 and a half years old. The war in Iraq has been being fought every single day of this child's life. This war has touched us personally. From the day my husband deployed to Iraq for the first and only time, to today, this war touches us. We can't escape it. We can't forget it.

Sure, sometimes- maybe even most of the time- we live life without consciously thinking of the Iraqi people, their war torn country, the ousting of Saddam, the tearing down of the statue in downtown Baghdad. But we never actually live free of its influence over us. Thoughts, memories, experience...its always an undercurrent, a tidal pull which threatens to pull us out to a sea of unbridled emotion. And yet, like anybody unwilling to submit to the pull of the sea, we change our course, we swim parallel to the safety of shore, we free ourselves from the dangerous rip current, and we walk away from the moment, only slightly traumatized. Mostly, we walk away exhausted from the fight to keep from being dragged under.

Its always there.

I know that the pull is greater for my husband. I know sometimes he feels lost at sea. I wish I could throw him a life-ring, pull him near, and in a method much like the Giver used to transfer the world's memory to Jonas, I wish I could take these memories from my husband.

Or do I?

These memories, they can't all cause pain. Some must give him strength. Some must give him a sense of who he is not only as a man, but as a child of God. Some must define him in ways that he would not wish to destroy. To take his memories from him would be to say I didn't think he was strong enough bear their burden. It may feel like an act of love, but perhaps in reality, it would be an act of betrayal, a message that I didn't trust him to bear the burden of witnessing human suffering, that he didn't deserve the blessing of having experienced the unbreakable bond of brotherhood. Perhaps it would be to say that I didn't believe he deserved to develop the love for humanity that can come from these experiences.

Tonight, I watched him gulp back tears as he recalled transporting a wounded Iraqi child. I so desperately wanted him to tell me all about the event. I wanted to know how he felt, how he remembered the events unfolding, what he knew about the child, where he took him, what kind of treatment he received. I wanted to know it all and I realized I didn't want to take the memory from him, but I wanted to share the burden of the memory. But as I witnessed the abridged version of the event unfold on my computer screen, so far removed by both time and place, I realized this was not a burden for me to share. This is his burden. I am not equipped to share this burden. I am a mother, not a warrior. I will never have the looking glass of wartime through which to view these events. And he knows that. He did not volunteer to tell me the story...and I did not ask.

I suspect that my husband feels as though his looking glass has been mud-stained, perhaps blood stained, that he can no longer clearly see through it. I suspect that he can't explain what he sees because he's not entirely sure how to explain it to one who cannot peer through. I have watched this documentary with him at least two other times over the past 5 years. Tonight was the first time my husband trusted me with the knowledge that he saw the nasty parts of war. Of course I knew it. I can put two and two together, but it made a difference to hear him speak what I already knew to be the truth.

I don't know what else he saw or didn't see. I don't know how close I may or may not have come to being widowed. I do know that there is more and that slowly, over time, I might gain more insight into the events which have unfolded to make this man the man he is today.

Lest I be misunderstood, this is no complaint about the man he has become. This is an acknowledgement that the man my husband has been molded into has come in part by way of the experience of war. This is an acknowledgement, that the wife I have become has been in part, molded by the experience of war. This is an acknowledgement, that the people we will be will forever be shadowed by the people we once were, the experiences we once had, and the bonds that we shared during wartime. We can't change it...and perhaps its wrong to wish we could.

Even still, knowing that I should not wish to change it, there will probably forever be a little war between the factions of my heart: the part that thinks it would be better had we not experienced life's difficulties, and the part that knows this is simply not true.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Cure and a Question.

Apparently the cure for not having anything to write about is saying it out loud. Last week when I did the no news is good news post, I could not have cared less if I ever blogged, read a blog, or commented on a blog again. There was nothing interesting going on in my head or in my world. Suddenly I had too many ideas for blog posts. I have scrapped 99% of them because I figure if I don't care about the topic, what's the point?

HaHa! Imagine my surprise to find two comments on a post I thought I had deleted! Ok, so I didn't pose a question. Who cares. Make one up and answer it for me ;)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

EQ "Security" Career Opportunity?

So much for ignoring this thing, I had to blog this one. Its long been a rule that whenever the women are using the church building, there will be at minimum two men there. Sometimes the men are there to wander the halls, make sure no weirdo's enter the building, break into cars, or otherwise rape, pillage, or plunder- but usually they are just there to sit on the couch and take a nap. I have never heard them use the phrase "do security" until this last week. Well, as it turns out, when you ask them to "do security" you get something different out of them.

Let me preface this with my family has a friend who's older brother was murdered by a man who stormed a Catholic church in Texas years ago. I am NOT against weaponry in the church building. I believe it should be concealed, not displayed, and only "those in the know" need to know that it is present. It should not be publicly displayed, or brandished in a showy manner.

Now let me continue.

So, EQ Security, potential job opportunity? Can I get a "H" to the "L" NO! Seriously, lets make this clear ladies, pass this information on to your junior Paul Blart Mall Cop returned missionary sons...It IS NOT APPROPRIATE TO SHOW UP TO THE WOMEN'S RELIEF SOCIETY ACTIVITY TO "DO SECURITY" DRESSED IN COMBAT BOOTS, FATIGUES, AND DISPLAYING A PISTOL!!!! NOT EVEN IF YOUR CAREER GOALS ARE TO BE A SECURITY GUARD!!!"

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

3 rants and a rave back to school style

I haven't done this in a while. I suppose its nicer to rave than to rant but I've got some bottled up rants ready to explode out of my head!

1. Drivers who speed through school zones at more than 2x the limit. Seriously? That 20 extra seconds it takes you to get through the school zone at the appropriate speed is worth a child's life? Don't tell me there wasn't anybody around. I was around and I had kids in my car.

2. School buses parked in the school pickup lane so that two directional traffic can only move in one direction at a time, thus making a 1 minute trip through the school parking lot a 5 minute trip because people (parents) don't know how to take turns and go every other car so that everybody can get where they need to go. Why are we sending our kids to school if we can't even take turns ourselves?

3. People who park inconsiderately because they are late and apparently it takes more time to park properly than it does to just swing into any old place on the black-top and put it in park. Dear lady who blocked my car in this morning so that I could not leave without hitting your car (and who's children also put "rude-door-dings" in the side of my car because you were taking up half of my parking space along with yours) It takes NO EXTRA TIME to pull your car in straight and allow people to move freely through the parking lot! In your defense, you were not the only one parked like a jackass this morning. About every third car in the lot was parked the same or worse than yours. Normally I arrive at school with my children 15-25 minutes early. This morning was an exception. I will be avoiding the school in the 8:00 hour at all costs in the future. You people are just too inconsiderate, and apparently selfish, to have it even cross your minds that your tardiness affects more people than just you.

...and finally for my rave, where I am compelled to say something nice after spewing all this hate.

RAVE: The many many many people who ARE kind and considerate. Each day when we arrive at school EARLY, the lot is busy, crowded even, but people take turns, wave at each other, smile, say good morning, cruise slowly through the school zone, and park nicely. They wait patiently as children cross the road, or parking lot.

end note: This really points to the two kinds of people in the world, doesn't it? There are those who plan well in advance and can take on any situation with calm and often a smile. They often times are so well situated that they can be helpful towards those who have not planned quite as well. Then there are those who are perpetually late, knee-jerking their way through life making their lack of planning everybody else's problem. I've been on both sides of that fence, I sure do like the plan-ahead side better. Its a happier way to live. I'm not saying I'm perfect, after-all, I wouldn't have discovered the late-arriver types in the parking lot today had we not been running behind our normal schedule. I'm just saying that the happier way to live is with a little planning ahead. Planning to be to school on time, planning to be to church on time, planning to prepare dinner for your family. Sometimes things happen and we must be able to be flexible and change our plans, but our homes are happier and our lives are easier when we make decisions about what we will do in advance.