Movie Review: Once I Was a Beehive

OnceIwasaBeehive2015During the last fifteen years I have seen a number of films created by Mormons about the Mormon experience—some have been painfully bad collections of stereotypes, poor production values, and low quality acting, but some have been insightful, artistic windows into the peculiarities of Mormon life. When I first heard about Once I Was a Beehive, a new movie about girls’ camp, I worried it would be terrible. Comedy can be really hard to get right, even in films produced by major studios. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by a film that is funny without being silly or mean, and offers a sincere story of love and acceptance that anyone can relate to, Mormon or not. Continue reading

A testimony of The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Sister OscarsonI have thought often, since last Conference, of Sister Oscarson’s invitation to become defenders of the family:

During this 20th anniversary year of the family proclamation, I would like to issue a challenge for all of us as women of the Church to be defenders of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” . . . we need to boldly defend the Lord’s revealed doctrines describing marriage, families, the divine roles of men and women, and the importance of homes as sacred places—even when the world is shouting in our ears that these principles are outdated, limiting, or no longer relevant. Everyone, no matter what their marital circumstance or number of children, can be defenders of the Lord’s plan described in the family proclamation. If it is the Lord’s plan, it should also be our plan!

And, in response to her challenge, I want to tell you how I got a testimony of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Continue reading

Peculiar Treasures: The Internet is Magic


It really is.

I’m reminded of it all the time when it gives me a window to peek in to places of the world I could never see otherwise. Look what’s been hiding under the sea! And gorgeous, prize-winning landscapes images from all around the globe.

And if you haven’t noticed yet you can keep track of your Facebook activity. If you’re on your computer, see that little downward facing arrow up on the right of the blue header? Click it and then go down to “activity log.” It shows you all the links you’ve liked or saved, etc.  Should you want to find them again, now you can.

There’s advice, wisdom, and humor to share. (How to age gracefully is a winner!) Thanks YouTube.

The gifs add humor and drive a point home. Fabulous example about not-so-natural nurturing and sportsball with gifs. And the run of gifs was amazing and forever snarky while they lasted at Just Say Amen Already’s Tumbler, that just said it’s final amen.

Another funny. A totally serious review of But Not the Hippopotamus. 

But there’s a all this peeking in and all the sharing we do has a shadowy side too.

However, there are shares to feel good about, like the flowchart to help you find what middle-grade book to read now if you loved “Charlotte’s Web” way back when or maybe something else from the options.

But if you’re feeling down, there’s nothing like a bit of shared gratitude to lift your soul beyond the magic light box you’re staring into. Thank you Stephen Colbert for your attitude of gratitude and faith. Thank you Oliver Sacks, for the reminder of the Sabbath, it was nice having you (he just died). Thank you Jesus Christ for emancipating us all, especially women.

This week’s First Draft Poem is actually from a link two weeks ago, but still as lovely as it was then, even though I failed to publish it in a timely matter. Thanks to the patient poet, Lara.

Perfection is that stark place,
that soft place,
exact and in-between
alone and still
embraced place
where we are found after our loss,
the sacrifice of our telestiality,
a completion of complication
and I am comforted that
it’s determined,
more than an inflection,
a covenantal shawl
tucked around our foible-d souls,
the sense that one day

Grace will bring us to
as whole as the stars
as filled as the shores—
our dissonance overcome through
within eternal constellations.

What magic have you found on the internet this week?

Sabbath Revival: “Patience”

I have an epic sweet tooth. There have been a couple times in my life when I’ve amazed myself by going cold-turkey off sugar for varying amounts of time. But  it always ends with my return to the sweet life.

Today’s Sabbath Revival post from January 2007 by Angie talks about patience. And sugar. Two things I need more and less of. Maybe you do, too.


Patience. I’ve learned a lot about that word since my husband got sick two and a half years ago. Of course I’ve learned lots of other things too. I can tell you how standard lyme tests have a false negative rate of 40 percent or more, which led to a delay in Don’s diagnosis. I can tell you about the difficulties of treating late stage lyme. I can even tell you about the alternative treatments available. But what I can’t tell you, despite all my research, the thousands of dollars in medical bills, and the lifestyle adjustments we’ve had to make, is when this roller coaster ride will be over. Despite all that, I think I’ve shown patience in dealing with the big challenges we’ve been dealing with. But like Rebecca Rice Birkin, I’ve also found that it’s often, “the little household crises that get to me.” Just yesterday, chronic illness hit me where it really matters—in the sugar bowl.

There I was, innocently serving my breakfast oatmeal, when Don walked up behind me. “You’re putting sugar on that?”

Now I have been accused of being health conscious. It may be because I sprout beans before cooking to improve their nutritional value. It may be because I actually cook with tofu. And if we’re really being honest here, I confess that I (once) made my daughter a birthday cake out of wheat flour and mashed navy beans.

But oatmeal without sugar? Come on.

Don furrowed his brows in concern, and shook his head at me. The shame was overwhelming. What was I supposed to say?

You see, Don is the one with the sugar addiction. Or at least he used to be. The first time we compiled 72 hour kits, I made the mistake of sending him to the store for food. He came back with three days worth of candy and a small package of beef jerky. I’ve begged, pleaded, and nagged for years since about that sticky white poison. One time I even got him to talk to his doctor about his sugar habit. He emerged from the appointment looking gleeful.

“See Ang? I’m fine. The doctor said to tell you not to worry. People with hypoglycemia like me should always carry candy with them.”

“Did you mention that you’re eating at least half a pound of that emergency candy a day?”

He didn’t have an answer.

So you can imagine the challenge it was for Don to be prescribed long term antibiotics a couple of months ago. Along with the drugs came a warning not to eat simple carbs because of their potential for promoting yeast overgrowth.

Don was patient in the face of sugar withdrawals. He was patient when I served him a Thanksgiving dinner with no flour, sugar, or starch in it. He was patient when his coworkers brought Christmas treats to work that he couldn’t share. And then came something that we never expected. The patience paid off. Somewhere in there the sugar cravings stopped, and a whole new world opened to him.

“Wow, taste these apples, Ang! Did apples always have this much flavor?”

“Ang, I can’t believe you’re eating peanut butter with sugar in it! You can’t even taste the peanuts!”

“Let’s just eliminate the sugar from our food storage. We don’t need it.”

And then the unthinkable. Last week he rampaged through the house, throwing away candy. My specialty dark chocolate? Gone. My five year-old’s birthday candy? Gone. The Mexican candy Grandma brought all the way from Juarez to fill their Christmas piñata? All gone.

Now, I’m with him in theory. If he can stick with this, I’m sure we’ll all be healthier for it. It’s just that it’s all been rather fast.

Don’t tell Don, but I fished a Ghirardelli mint chocolate square out of the trash can. For old time’s sake. He’s going to have to be a little patient with me on this one.

Book Review: Baptism and Boomerangs


Vegamite, boomerangs, and Mum. How do any of those things connect to a children’s story about baptism? They offer a slice of Australian culture in this sweet and thoughtful book. Tidbits of the land down under flow through the book, setting the backdrop of a little girl, who learning about baptism.

Amara is excited about her eighth birthday and her grandparents visiting for the celebration and her baptism. But between bites of Jaffa cake Amara expresses apprehension and curiosity about what baptism means, and what comes after the ordinance. Her mother and father are perceptive and answer her questions clearly and kindly.  Later her granddad pulls out a boomerang, to play with Amara and her brother. They watch in awe as granddad skillfully throws the ‘rang that quickly returns to his open hands.  Baptism is like a boomerang, designed for return. Continue reading