Monthly Archives: May 2008

Prince Caspian, or I don’t remember conquistadors in Narnia

On Memorial Day, we did our patriotic duty and supported our economy by blowing a ridiculous amount of money at the movie theater. We debated between Prince Caspian, or Indiana Jones. In the end, the realization that Indiana Jones’ PG-13 rating practically screams “YOUR 6 YEAR OLD WILL HAVE NIGHTMARES IF HE SEES THIS” won out, and we saw Prince Caspian.

Sadly, that movie did not carry the same warning. It should have. Not only was our son up 3 times in the night, he finally crawled into our bed at 4 am bawling about how Peter and Edmund’s parents were SO WORRIED about the kids after they had been pulled out of their world, so they came looking for their children in Narnia, but had to look at lots and lots of DEAD PEOPLE. Yeah, his description of his nightmare was so vivid it almost made ME start crying. Thanks for that, movie people. Continue reading

Sisterz in Zion

“In Utah, it’s… there’s a lot of… caucasians that live there.”

I love the film documentary Sisterz in Zion, which is showing on BYU-TV tonight at 9 p.m. A video portrait of a handful of young women of color in New York City, converts, some of whom are immigrants from other countries, who are the only LDS person in their separate schools, sometimes in their families. We meet these teens as their leaders decide to arrange for them to attend an EFY conference in Provo. Continue reading

Post Pardon

dir segullah,

i know i told you that i would postthis morning but, thing is . . .
(let me switch the baby to the other shoulder)
(typing one handed ishard exclamation point)
i tried posting late last night
(or was it early morning question mark)
and i fell asleep with the laptop staring back at me.

then i tried to post this morning but, thing is . . .
(breastfeeding)
(burping)
(crying because i love my baby so much)
my time is somehow being absorbed by other tasks
l(diapers)
(post-circumcision care)
(leak control)
making it hard to sit one place
for very long
before there is some thing/some one
(wait, sprinkler repairman at the door))
that distracts me so that i can’t post.

but there is something i really wanted to say,
it is what i feel so strongly in my heart
so important for me to share
and the very reason i keep
trying
and trying
and trying
to post is:

(hold on, i’ve got visitors)

(back)
wait,
what was i saying question mark

(sorry.)

Finding faith

The following is the first in a two-part guest post by a private blogger who wishes to remain anonymous. In it she discusses her life-long search for faith and the realities of living in and raising children in what she likes to call a “bi-cultural” family.

I was raised in the southwest, to parents who were and are faithful members of the church. We were orthodox in every way; scripture study every morning, FHE every week, strict Sabbath obedience, etc. My dad was one of two bishops in the town I spent my adolescence. He was known as the ‘mean bishop’ because he followed rules to the letter. We lived in the Bible belt, so everyone went to some kind of church. The morals of the community were conservative. I was one of three LDS kids in my high school.

My parents had both come from lukewarm LDS families. When my parents married, they were determined to raise faithful children, and they did all the right things. I want to make that clear because I think it is easy to cast blame on the parents when a child goes ‘astray.’ The choices I made in my life, I made knowing full well what everyone was thinking and feeling relative to those choices. Continue reading

A Sense of Who They Are Missing

We’re going to the cemetery today, to put flowers on my mother-in-law’s grave. Mom died four years ago. It’s good for me to have days like today, to make me remember my mother-in-law more clearly. And to make me realize that I need to talk to my kids about her more than I do. I have this sense of her being with us still, and I think she is. We talked openly about her dying, and she promised me she would come back and visit as often as she could. I don’t feel like my kids really connect with her, though. Because she is already gone, I suspect she feels like an Ancestor to them, blending in with all the departed greats and great-greats. Continue reading

Memorial

This weekend, I’m afraid, too often descends into a free-pass weekend of boating and TV watching, and not enough time spent remembering the many people in our lives who have sacrificed to see us here. No guilt, though, about boating or tv, we’ll be having plenty of picnics and water games ourselves…

But tell me, on this Memorial Weekend, who do you want to remember? Who sacrificed their time or their lives to make your life easier? Were they sacrificing in the military? Were they sacrificing in their home?

We’re on our way to the cemetery, I’ll report in on our memories when we return.

Fighting with a six year old

Dh and I got in a fight last weekend. A real doozie. And it lasted longer than a day.

Let me first say that this is not normal for us. We don’t fight, or not that often, anyway. And when we do fight, it’s often short lived, about stupid things, and, although I hate to admit this, almost always tied to MY physical well being at the moment: either I’m overtired, overhungry, or overly hormonal. DH impressed many a husband at church once when, while I was ranting in his face about something insignificant, he calmly reached into his suit jacket and, without a word, handed me a granola bar.

Oh, how I love that man. Continue reading

Are you your mother?

Wanted: More reader submissions for Ask Nine Women. Please submit yours at askninewomenATgmailDOTcom.

Recently I read a couple of hysterical posts about things our parents fed us when we were children. You can read them here and here.

The food flashbacks triggered by both posts reminded me of many a time I sat alone at the dinner table–hours after everyone else had gone off to play–trying to gag down a serving of cold liver and onions, because I wasn’t allowed to leave the table until I had cleaned my plate. The clean-plate rule is one of the parenting tricks I abandoned when I became a mother. But I find it interesting that one of my siblings–who surely hated that rule as much as I did when we were children–has established a similar rule for her own children. Continue reading

Not Freegan buying it

Today we’re lucky to have another guest post from Lois (not her real name) of Lois Common Denominator. Thanks Lois!

I first started really thinking about the psychology behind consumerism after reading the book “Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping” by Judith Levine. I love stuff like this. I still need to read the book by the lady who wore the same dress every day for one year (OK, I’m so pathetic that I’ve practically done that without the intent of writing a book about the experience) and the book by the women who went a year without buying anything made in China (I do that when I take the kids to the toy store — “You can buy anything you want, but it can’t be made in China!” — that explains all the Legos and Playmobile stuff in our house). Continue reading

I saw the sign

Today’s guest poster has requested to remain anonymous. Sometimes she feels the need to do this when writing about sensitive subjects, in order to protect the privacy of others. Today she does so mostly just to save her own face. Thanks “Name Withheld.”

Recently I got called into the bishop’s office. I’ve warned the ward clerk to please not give me an entire day to wonder and worry. “Five minute’s notice is good for me,” I said. But it was Saturday and he made the appointment for just before church the next day. I had just gotten a new calling, so I knew it wasn’t that. I doubted they needed us to speak in Sacrament Meeting again already. What could it be? I never imagined it would be in order to get called on the carpet. Continue reading

Absence and Fond Hearts

My husband spent the first decade of our marriage traveling a lot for his business. From my myopic view, he was off seeing the world, climbing the Great Wall of China, flying over erupting volcanoes, scuba diving with tribal chiefs (oh, and going to boring meetings and stuff, too, but whatever), and I was home pondering if I could get away with ordering pizza four nights in a row. Continue reading

Practically Perfect in Every Way

I follow a familiar pattern: I pick up a Martha Stewart magazine at the grocery store (usually the Halloween issue. I love that holiday and nobody knows their tricks and treats like Martha); I like what I see so I subscribe. Then for 12 months I am blessed to behold Martha and her perfect lifestyle. Picture after picture of her lovely peony gardens, her jawdroppingly clean and organized laundry room (no clothes in sight. Imagine that!), her handcrafted vases made entirely of sandollars and starfish. After a while I can only roll my eyes at Martha. Her endless tales of parties and gardens and decorating really get on my nerves. People actually write questions asking Martha about when to flip their mattresses and how to properly store their masking tape. “Get a life Martha, ” I think to myself. Continue reading

It’s Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

My great-grandmother, Mary Leona Johnson Jolley, was born in 1888. She lived to be 95 years old, and although she died when I was only eleven, I remember her well. She was a mother of nine from a small town in southern Utah, and even without the benefit of much formal education she was formidably intelligent: a poet, a thinker, a writer and a reader. By the time I knew her she had written probably thousands of poems, studied hundreds of subjects, and penned a number of personal histories. If she’d been born in 1988 instead of 1888, she’d probably be one of the next generation of Segullah women.
Continue reading

And She Never Complained

My husband just spent two consecutive weekends, six days total, away, for Scout-related bishopric training. I was dreading it. I have a hard time motivating myself to do anything when he’s not around. Make dinner? Chicken nuggets sound good. Clean? Meh, he’s not coming home anytime soon, so I can save it up and have one great cleaning blitz just before he gets here. Or I can leave it and play the martyr even more. The internet beckons, with its endless pointless ways to fill my time and the empty space. And I miss him. Continue reading

No, but my cat can

Have you met my friend Lois yet? Lois, not her real name, and I go way back. (Maybe someday I’ll tell you.) She blogs at Lois Common Denominator. If I had to describe her with a few brief details (in addition to the fact that she is hysterically funny), I’d probably tell you about how on her blog she calls her children by the names she wanted to name them and about that time she made me Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies. Today’s guest post is a little something I compiled from her earlier work. It’s about her equally entertaining mother, Dot. Thanks Lois!–Dalene

This is a favorite family story. I wasn’t there when this happened, so hopefully I have all the details correct:

Late one night, my parents, Dot and Ardale, were sound asleep. A loud KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK came to the door. Dot and Ardale cautiously opened the door to find police officers on the porch asking if they were OK. My parents said that they were all right and asked the police what this was about. The police replied that they had received a 911 call from this address and were here to check it out. Neither Dot nor Ardale had called.

“Is there anyone else in the house?” asked the police officer. Continue reading

In the interest of full disclosure

Here’s my most recent motherhood faux pas (okay, the most recent one was ten minutes ago, but it wasn’t good enough to blog about):

Two weeks ago my first grader brought home a note saying his class would be dismissed two hours early the following Monday and Tuesday. Crap, I thought. I have enough trouble remembering things on our usual schedule. Throw in a monkey wrench like this, and there’s no telling what might happen. Continue reading

Improvement

Talk to me about scripture study.

I need to do it every day more faithfully.

I also need to do about 479,000 other things every day.

The Lord is kind of yelling at me right now in exhortation.

How do you do it?

How do you make it meaningful?

How do you invite the Spirit into your home?

Crazy Little Thing Called Mom

“If you can’t behave yourself then I’m not going to bring you to Costco again!” 

I said these words, which wouldn’t have been such a big deal, except that I was saying them to my mother.  She had already been scolded twice by the Costco sample ladies for trying to grab their food straight out of the microwave.  “But I don’t want to wait for them to cut up the food.  I’m in a hurry,”  she whined.  Even though we both knew we weren’t in a hurry at all.

My mother is a brilliant, opinionated, artistic, spiritual woman.  She also has severe ADHD. Continue reading

Book Review from a book snob, “Hunting Gideon”

While Deborah was defending her non-book-snob status last week, I was also coming to terms with my own. And I guess here is where I must admit that I’m a bleeding-heart-book-snob. I think there are books filled with nuance and beauty and books that are thinly veiled propaganda abounding in oversimplification and poor writing (and that it’s not all subjective). I also think that juvenile fiction is written for and should probably be enjoyed mostly by juveniles. But hey, sometimes I also think my oldest was sent to this earth only to punish me for some crime (like cutting the heavenly corners) that I committed in the pre-earth-life, so take this all with a camel-sized GRAIN OF SALT.

However, I have nothing against a good escapist read now and again. And Jessica Draper’s “Hunting Gideon” is just that. Continue reading

History of My Housewifery

Today’s guest post comes to us from Kacy Falconer of the simply fabulous Every Day I Write the Book. Thank you Kacy! We hope you’ll grace us with a few pages from your book again sometime.

My mom was a working mom. She worked every day, made dinner every night, did housework and yard work on Saturdays, and usually had a “big” church calling for Sundays. She did all of this with pretty much no help from her husband or kids (I’m sorry to say.) I never thought about it, wondered “how she did it,” or found it the least bit interesting.

Now that I’m 35 and staying home full time with my four kids, I find myself reading every housekeeping-homemaking-childraising book I can find. I’m obsessed with routines and schedules and systems. I wonder how often other people go shopping, when their kids take naps, and if they shower every day. No one REALLY exercises, right? And planning menus—isn’t that a myth? Continue reading

Promises . . .

Today we have another great guest post from Lori, of Hearts and Hands. Thanks Lori!

Ours was a friendship that, over the years, dissolved into what could be termed as a mere acquaintanceship. I left the neighborhood we both lived in and vowed to return to see Julie as often as I could. She was going to become a real estate agent. Regrettably, I don’t know if she ever got her license.

Through the grapevine, I heard she moved into an apartment across town. I didn’t think of her again until I opened the local newspaper; the story said her young son had been injured in an accident and, after several months, had lost his battle to live.

A little voice told me I should go see Julie, give my condolences, and try to be of support. It wasn’t just the kind of fleeting worry that makes you wonder if you should return home to check and see if the stove is still on — and you do and its not. It was the kind of voice that shouted, “Go home. The house is going to burn down!” But time was short, my life busy.

I ignored the prompting. Continue reading

What have you tasted?

I remember when my first was born and the foreign utterance that crossed my lips to my dad, while I was still in the hospital with my new baby.

“Now I know what joy is,” I told him. And he said, that’s right, that’s exactly right.

In Darlene’s beautiful poem, in the latest issue of Segullah (out this month) she makes lots of discoveries about motherhood, and the imagery is ripe and gorgeous. She tells of what she has learned, how she has feared and changed. And truly motherhood has changed us all.

How has it changed you?

And when are you going to subscribe to Segullah the journal already?

Sophistry for sure

Recently, a dear friend confided in me.

“I didn’t like my book club’s book last month. I’m sure it was beautiful and masterful, but it was about abuse and sex and a horrible sad life. It didn’t matter that there was redemption. It was too awful to read. I must not be a very literary person, I guess.” Continue reading

Mother’s Day Gift: Segullah Subscription

Mother’s Day is in eight days–can I recommend a gift gift subscription for your mom/wife/friend? Our Spring issue, Roots and Branches, is at the presses now, and it’s wonderful. I am so excited about it. I was trying to be all professional about this announcement, something like “From the stunning cover by Cassandra Barney, to the poignant final essay “Too Late to Say Good-bye,” Roots and Branches is a must-read.” But really, the stiff language there does not convey just how much I love this issue!!!! Look at all those exclamation points! I’m going crazy with them. Here are just a few highlights:

Art by sisters Cassandra Barney and Emily McPhie.

Poetry by Darlene Young, including the poem “Since You Were Born,” which I cannot read without weeping.

Justine’s essay “Names,” about her connection to her maiden name and her grandma, who was a World War II refugee.

The quirky tale of looking too much like her sister, from Lisa Rumsey Harris (winner of our 2006 Heather Campbell Essay Contest).

How did Eve react to her first time of the month? Powerful poem from Elizabeth Cranford.

Julie Smith, from Times and Seasons, discusses why these women in Jesus’ Genealogy.

There’s also Cream of Wheat, exotic Italian men, sheep shearing, famous Mormon opera singers, deep Southern drawls, and all manner of excellent poetry.

And as an enticing sample, here’s a link to that amazing poem by Darlene Young.

Happy Mother’s Day!

* As of the summer of 2012, subscriptions are no longer available.