Sunday, March 31, 2013


We belong to a geographically organized church.  In general, you go to the congregation, determined by where you live.  I've know a few situations where people didn't follow this rule.  A teenager from another ward, came to the ward of my childhood because some boy in her home ward was stalking her.  For 2 years we attended a ward 2 hours away because of a language need.  Even know, we are just barely out of boundaries for the deaf ward, by like 100 feet.

I've fallen out of the habit of friendship.  Bummer!  I've been reading about marriage and thinking that when we let other relationships wane because of marriage, that's putting all your eggs in one basket.  Also, it's demanding that all your emotional needs be met by your spouse.  Even in a great marriage, that's asking a lot.

I have a friend in "the other ward" whom we are still close to.  We attend the same homeschool group.  M now takes piano lessons with her. 

I don't know why I have such a hard time maintaining friendships with people I love when we don't go to church together.  It's not like I even see people in my current ward.  I see the children, teachers, and my presidency.  But that I am sharing the work of this ward, binds me to these people.

Choir... that's the real glue.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Sheesh, I'm not even on facebook but the drama (like a show being put on...) trying to convince us all that we're old fashioned and ignorant if we aren't in support of gay marriage is everywhere.

I would like it if people are allowed to tell the insurance company the other adult, and dependents they want on the policy.  It could get tricky though with various family and friends pressuring you to put them on your insurance policy...  I guess that leads back to the single payer system that I am not in love with.  But hey, I really like having insurance.  It stinks not having insurance.  It also stinks how people on medicaid don't have to pay anything out of pocket so it's no skin off their back to go to the ER for aches and pains, and I get to pay $900 in co-pays and wait a long time...  But it's hard not having insurance.

I would like it if people were able to have a list of who they would like to see them in the hospital.  How does the hospital even know you're a spouse?  Do they check county marriage records?  You may as well file it with the driver's license bureau.

I would like it if people could inherit money and not have to pay taxes on it.  Or maybe I would like it just as well if anyone inheriting more than 1 million had to pay taxes on it regardless of if it were a spouse.  The exception I think would be if it were a business because that would put the survival of the company and jobs associated with it in jeopardy.  But really, if it's 1 million straight out inheritance, that's not going to ruin people.  I don't know, I've never inherited anything that would be taxed so I don't know how exorbitant it would be.

As for survivors benefits from the government, I think that should be tied to the dependent children.  If P dies and I don't have dependent children to take care of, I should probably use the life insurance money as a cushion to getting a job.  Even if we do still have dependent children, I should go get a job.  I would have to sell the house, and make do.  It wouldn't be easy.  But if children are not involved, I don't really understand survivor's benefits.  Sure I missed out on all those years of career advancement while I was raising kids.  I chose that.  Plenty of women are able/willing to have kids and career. 

If the supreme court decides that marriage is between any 2 consenting adults... where does that put me?  Married luckily.  I uphold the beliefs in Marriage: A Proclamation to the World.  I also recognize that tons of male/female pairings are toxic to children.  If P died, I'd rather go try and raise my children with one of my sisters, or Grandma than some bozo man. 

So I don't think marriage should be re-defined.  I think the government should give broader definitions to who can contract together for the benefit of children.  I saw a clip recently of Ryan Morgan being "interviewed" (set up as a punching bag) with Suze Orman.  I liked his arguments and especially, the idea that a gay relationship does not warrant better treatment than a relationship between 2 committed non-sexual partners. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


This life is pretty wonderful.  We're watching Mr. Rogers movies from the library.  Playing twister on our thrift store set that doesn't have a spinner.  Visiting the park with the geo-dome.   I feel grateful to live in a place and time with so many free to the public things.  We don't need to own these things.  We would only use them as frequently as we do using them from public sources anyway. 

I do enjoy having a car and being able to use it any time I want.  Too bad there isn't like a library of kitchen appliances.  Or a library of toys.  I am grateful to be free from the compulsion to own everything.  

Monday, March 25, 2013


It's a sad day.  I accidentally used old frying oil in the brownies and they taste like the oil.  Why!  Why!

The new Zero

I started using gmail back in 2007 or thereabouts.  I was sort of lax about making sure every email was read, or deleted, or whatever.  So somewhere in 2008 I just started to accept the Inbox (5) to mean, no new mail.  And that is how it stayed for the last 5 years. 

Today I went back to the beginning and found those 5 emails.  Now the status is just Inbox.... strange.

Something has changed for me in the last 2 months.  I throw things away.  Maybe it's a manifestation of higher self esteem.  Maybe it's having a recycling bin.  I've read a few books on simple living and gained an appreciation for not having things we don't even use.  So when something isn't good enough for my kids to wear, it is usually not good enough for anyone, even thrift store shoppers.  And it's ok to throw it in the trash.  We do take a lot to the thrift store actually.  I mean, there are things that are just not modest, or have characters I don't like...  Toys that are good, but we don't play with them etc...  But there are items I've held onto for years because they were not good enough to give away.  And I deserve to not live with them anymore.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

My sister who is a physicist

She wrote a book!

She's the family historian. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

smart watch

I am rockin' this calculator watch and it's been great.  My old watch was cobbled together and didn't keep time, it was always falling behind...

So now I have an accurate watch, alarm clock close at hand, stop watch (handy with kids) and calculator for the store.  Very nice.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

not the same

M lost her first legitimate tooth (not pulled by the dentist because it was rotting).  It was hanging on by a thread and she finally let me pull it on Thursday, before we went to Gainesville.  She really wanted to be able to get doughnuts (our alternative to the tooth fairy). 

Since then she has told several people how she didn't cry and that G did and it's so strange that he cried because he's much older than her... 

Today I took some nails and a board to show her the difference between her very loose tooth, and his 2 not loose at all teeth. 

It brings home a lesson about how we all struggle with different things.  Even if G's teeth had been loose, maybe he, being the first to loose teeth not under anesthesia, was really anxious about it.  And it hurt, and he was mad at us... 

Today at speech therapy there was a girl, maybe 12 years old, lying on the floor in the crowded clinic foyer.  To look at her there is nothing "wrong" with her.  But to hear the way she talks to her mom... and the fact that she continued to lay on the floor (with no comment from mom) even when the blind child kept being scolded by her mom, for walking near the girl laying on the floor... shows she has issues.  We all have challenges.

I'm grateful for my beautiful family.  I'm grateful for the growth we've made through hard times.  I'm grateful for the sunlight that streams through the west facing office window at 5:30pm. 

I'm so glad.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

some ideas

In a departure from recent thoughts, let me share some home tips and information I find pleasing.  Since 2008 I've been using a "Yacks Bros. honey bottle as our ketchup bottle".  My mom later gave us some Wilson decorating bottles and we put mustard in the squeeze bottle as well.  I like to use a semi-opaque bottle so you can see how much is in there, where it is located, and if it has turned an unhealthy hue.

Recently I got a slightly larger bottle (12 oz.) for mayo and that is great.  I'd tried mayo with the smaller 8oz. bottles, but since I use 8 oz of mayo in one sandwich, the effort to return ratio was out of wack.  It just seemed like the bottle was always empty and since the point is to avoid needing to use a knife, that was a pain.

I love the squeeze bottle.  I recently asked the restaurant supply store to order some 4oz bottles for me so I could put vanilla etc... in them.  When I'm making peanut butter candy, I want just a little bit of imitation vanilla and even the fancy pour spout on the Mcormick bottle was to fussy for me.  I found that the caps of the bottles fit my Almond Extract and Mapleine bottles.  So now they have fancy tops too.

OK, next interesting find of the day.  If you take your own bags to Target, they give you $0.05 cents for each bag used.  That's pretty sweet I think.  I mean, I don't mind just having no bag.  When I shop at Save a lot I always just bring my bag, or go without.  Some people complain about having to buy the bags.  But Target's motivating me to always bring a bag.  Cool.

And last of all, the strange new phenomenon of plastic velcro at walmart.  I bought a bag of dehydrated cranberries in a resealable bag.  When I squeezed the closure, it felt rather flimsy, not the usual multi-milimeter wad of resealing magic.  Upon inspection there is a thin magical plastic velcro that seals really great.  I thought it was cool...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Golden Rule

I read this article on Teen Pregnancy and liked the point that it raised.  It's very liberal minded to be compassionate to mothers and children out of wedlock.  It's cruel and conservative to condemn people for putting their sexual choices above the well being of children. 

When parents are mature enough to put what's best for the children above all else, even above what the child wants, and certainly above what is easy and convenient for the parents, that's good.  Teenagers aren't ready to put anyone first.  A lot of adults aren't ready to put anyone but themselves first. 

But let's at least aim for doing what you would have others do to you.  If I were a teen mom, I'd want people to help me be strong enough to give the child for adoption.  Sheesh, having kids is so hard, even within the "confines" of loving marriage and supporting/supportive husband.  It is madness that teens are being encouraged to keep their babies that they didn't love enough to wait to have.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

food storage

Having previously lived in 2 bedroom apartments, our move to a 3 bedroom house with an office and formal front room leaves us swimming in space and I like it.  Things that I'd held onto for the last 6 years, cramming it into closets, thinking I'd use it when I had the space, I realize I don't need.  We have 3 beds in the moon room that are great when we have guests.  The closet in there was full of stuff.  Stuff I don't even know why we needed.  But it's slowly going away.  Sometimes it's going to the trash.  But mostly to the thrift store in the hope that someone else will want/use it. 

My goal for that closet is for it to become full of food.  It's got 40 boxes of cereal in there now.  Still a lot of stuff, but I realize I'd rather have food than stuff.  So as things go on BOGO sale, I'll buy all they have, and then get a rain check for more.  And buy more the next month.  Not everything.  But things we actually use.  Or things that will keep for 30 years if we don't use them.

Saturday blessing

I got a call Saturday morning from the man who does our pest control service.  He is also in our Ward so I was more eager than usual to set up a quick appointment, that very day as it turned out to be convenient to him.  Then after hanging up I realized that having someone come to bait the house involved him coming in the house and into every room.  Ack.  Luckily I had a few hours.  So cleaned my house like I haven't for a long time.  Even when we have cooking challenges here, nobody goes in the office, master bedroom or bathroom. 

The miracle of it all though was how when I finished, the house was clean.  Woah!  So clean that for fun I cleaned the carpets (in high traffic areas) last night after everyone was asleep.  Hurray for another year free of termites and roaches.  Hurray for a clean house. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

more on that

So, Nurture Shock was enjoyable.  It did make me realize that for that sort of book, I would rather read it in paper than in kindle.  Some of the chapters dragged on and I'd have skipped forward, but with a kindle, it's very hard to ever find your place again because other than the chapter markers, there are no visual cues.  So that was sort of a bummer.  But hey, reading something for free is very nice.  Also, getting a heads up on some things to be careful with my children is also very good.
100 Dollars Notes Royalty Free Stock Photo - Image: 8337585

Today I did some money math with G.  I took out about $1000 and had him figure out how much was in a stack of money.  Then write that out in 100, 10 and 1 places.  Sometimes it was straight forward $100, $10 and $1 bills.  Then I added in some $20s and a $5.  He doesn't have math at school so it's my job to teach it to him.  I felt like this skill is pretty important.  He already knew how to count by 5s, 10s, etc...  He also knew about 100s, 10s and 1s places.  Money also has a very motivating influence because I could tease him that he would go to the store and give them all the money and not know if they gave him the right change.  OK, so I tease my son.

Anyway, we also had to introduce the concept of carrying from the 10 to 100 place.  I need to get more ones so he can practice that to the 10s.  Maybe next time we'll even carry to the 1000.  Big money.  After each problem was written out, I'd organize the money from 100s to 1s and have him count it out for me to see if he'd added the numerals right. 

I also need to get lots of 10s and 1s so we can play bank and have him learn about making change and "borrowing" for subtraction.  I don't really love the term "borrowing" for the act of making 25-19 work out.  Is there another term?  I mean, it's all in the family/numeral right?  So why does the 1s place have to borrow?  Does anyone else still need to do that, I mean anyone but me? 

I also like for the kids to see that Mom and Dad have a lot of money, we just never spend it on 90 pizzas like I said we could, not that we would.  G would like that though.  There is a difference between "Mom and dad don't have the money." and "Mom and dad don't have the money for that."  It's an important distinction.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Social_Studies_Old.jpg (39633 bytes)

I'm reading this right now on the kindle, which is very nice, on loan from the Gainesville library, which still lets up borrow things from them. Nice!

So far I've learned that telling kids they are smart does not help them.  I'd know this from previous reading.  When G was about 5 we became aware of this idea and made sure we emphasized his working to do well.  He knows he's smart, but we tell him frequently that smart is not enough if smart is lazy.  I know my family growing up really valued intelligence as an end goal.  This book mentions the idea that when a person feels their value is determined by their intelligence, they can't work hard because working hard will show that they're not smart.  Ohhh!  I totally remember thinking that I should know the material just from going to class.  Only the dumb kids needed to study.  

 Also, sleep is really important.  We have known for a long time that waking G up early is going to lead to a bad day.  Lots of crying, lots of freaking out.  So we refused to bring him to school at the normal hour.  He usually shows up around 9:30.  And apparently for teens sleep is the world.  The things they "learn" get printed to the brain in sleep.  Lots of activities and advanced classes that come at the cost of sleep, do not help them be more academically competitive.

Talking about race with kids frankly, is better for helping kids not be racist.  When parents don't talk about it, and or make it taboo, the kids segregate more.   Growing up bi-racial, I understood a lot from this chapter, but am still very hesitant talking about race myself.   2 things I remember from seeing another person raised to be racist despite having non-racist parents.  This person was in a magnet program elementary housed at a school where most of the geographically placed kids were black.  Joy, all these "smart" kids were being taught that white kids are smart and black kids are dumb, rude, etc....  This person also once said it was not fair for Chinese kids to get credit for taking Chinese at school.  Hello!  That's only not fair if it's not fair for kids whose parents speak English to get credit for taking English.  Oh, wait, THAT is unfair.

The current chapter I'm reading is on lying.  Apparently all kids lie.  In the case of lying to cover up something, it's important to punish the lie separately from the action.  Also, for kids, it's important for them to know that telling the truth makes the parents happy.  The story of George Washington and the cherry tree (which is apocryphal) has the "perfect" example for how to teach kids not to lie.  The father is sad about the tree, but happy about the truth.

I think in general it's good to teach the kids that their job is to make the parents happy.  A lot of parents think their job is to make the kids happy and then they wonder why the kids seem self centered, selfish and ungrateful...  So I think it's good for the parents, but better for the kids, to learn to find joy in bringing joy to others.