Thursday, April 30, 2015
When the new leadership forms came out there was now an asterix next to certain positions, most of the more prominent ones, special events leader, mom's night out leader, crafts leader (crafts team is where I've been working the last two years), DGL (discussion group leader, there is one of these at each table and it is a position I wanted this year but they didn't give me). Next to the asterix was the words, these positions can only be held by a born again Christian. The first I heard of this was the day the forms came out. I had taken my kids to the library after mops and one of my good friends was there and very upset about the form. She'd planned all our special events this year, the Fall party, the Christmas Party, The Getting to Know you party, the Easter party, and when she went to get her form one of the co-leaders had come up to her and told her she couldn't have her position again next year because she hadn't been baptized. This came as a shock to my friend because she had been baptized as a baby. And with this interactions began of a month of lack of clarity. Our main group did not meet again for almost a month because of Spring Break but small groups of us met for playgroups and many of us were a little unclear on what it meant for us. A few girls like my friend had been baptized as children but didn't attend church as adults, a couple like me have been active since childhood and have continued into adulthood in the church we were raised in but it wasn't one that would use the term born again Christian. I'm Mormon, there are girls in group that are Catholic, girls that are Lutheran, girls that are Methodist. All of these churches follow slightly different protocol. For me I was baptized by full immersion at eight. One of my friends was baptized as a baby, confirmed at a older child and has been going to church ever since. She called our group leaders and asked what they were trying to say. The group leader told her that she just wanted people who had committed to Christ as adults so that it was obvious it wasn't just their parents choice. She and I were very upset. Both of us take our four crazy kids to church every week. I usually do it alone. We have callings, pay tithing, are very involved in our church and our religion and felt like our lives should be testaments to our dedication. It was exceptionally frustrating.
Finally we meet together as a group again. Many of us voiced out concerns. After the meeting I came home and my husband asked me what had happened. I said I honestly couldn't tell. They acted like they heard us, said that the asterix had been a mistake but then it was never taken off of the sheet and they continue to pass it out unchanged. Two of my friends quit mops, things got so stressful and crazy and honestly just not nice at all and I'm not surprised they made that decision. It makes me sad though. They are some of my best buddies here and not seeing them on mops days always makes me sad. I have a couple friends who are going to take a year off leadership until new group leaders are put into place. I'm moving so the choice doesn't really affect me, but it did hurt me and I know if I was staying I wouldn't do leadership again. How sad right? This is not the feeling I received the firs three years in mops and I'm pretty sure it's just something happening in my own group, not the awesome organization as a whole. Thank goodness, but on this local level it was painful, something I loved so much suddenly being uncomfortable to me because someone choose to question my dedication to Christ because I didn't worship in the exact same manner as them....and then it hit me, how does the rest of the world feel when we as Latter Day Saints tell them that their baptisms don't count. I never served a mission and so it hasn't been me telling people they needed to get re-baptized or that their baptism doesn't count so I went to my husband and asked, "How do people take it when you give them that news." "Well," he says, "A lot of times they get really offended." It was a light bulb moment for me. I don't know why it took me so long to see it. I guess you just are immune to things that you don't have any experience with, but it actually is really offending. What right do individuals have to decide who is and who is not a Christian. Isn't Christianity suppose to be your own personal relationship with your Lord and Savior? I don't have any real answer for what that means in terms of my own church but it definitely put me in the spirit to be more inclusive and more sensitive to the feelings of other people who are finding love and success in their own faiths.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
This post is a TMI. Seriously so if you don't want to hear about my sex life I suggest you skip it, but something odd happened and it has put me in a bit of a rut. It was so odd, J and I went back and forth about how we both wanted to post it on Facebook but then it was just too awkward, so here we are, I'm putting it on my blog and if you want to read it you can, but by all means you don't have too...I won't be offended. So here goes, last week I had a sex headache. I didn't even know such a thing existed before, but apparently they do, and man they suck! We were going along, I reached climax and at that very second I was hit with the worst headache I've ever had. It was an instant migraine and to be honest, it was terrifying. At the first moment I thought I was dying, like maybe I had an aneurism that burst and that I was dying. But after a few minutes I was still alive so I pulled out my phone and typed in "headache during orgasm". And guess what, it is totally a thing. It happens to other people. That made me feel a little better, not great, not good but at least I knew I was probably not dying. I got out of bed and took some high dose Excedrin. It did nothing. I sat in bed and cried and rolled around until almost three when I finally fell asleep. I woke up at seven and the migraine was still there. More medicine, still had a headache. It wasn't until the second morning that I finally felt okay. And now the thing is I terrified of having another one. The headache was bad, anyone who suffers from migraines knows they are no picnic, but it was the way it happened that makes me crazy. It was the best moment turning into the worst moment. It just made it so much worse. And so here we are a week later and I'm suffering PTSD....or as J and I have been joking post traumatic sex disorder. Except it isn't really a joke because now I don't want to orgasm. For a day I was like, I'm never going to have sex again, but then I was like, this is ridiculous, I should be fine as long as I don't orgasm. That's right, I should be fine...as long as I don't climax. Have I lost my mind? I'm Mormon people and this is pretty much the only mood alternating thing I have. No alcohol, no nicotine, no coffee, no pot or X in my past. I have been at concerts and refused joints, or passed alcohol bottles at parties without taking a swig. I have never had coffee to help me wake up in the morning, or alcohol to help me loosen up at parties. Mostly I'm okay with that. I've seen the negative sides and would rather not take the risk but I do get to have this one great thing other people have. Granted I waited until I was 21 and married but it is definitely something that has made my life more enjoyable. Except now that thing is scaring me, freaking me out. It is silly right, crazy even. Thirteen years and this never happened before. The chances of it happening again are low almost nonexistent, but there is still a chance and man it makes me nervous. Ahhhh seriously so frustrating. Makes you really appreciate when things work the way they are suppose to :(
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
I know this is totally unrealistic but I've been thinking about this a lot recently. With four guys in the running now for the republican nomination, four guys who I'm pretty confident in saying don't have much of a chance, Republicans your real nominee has not announced themselves yet and only one for the democratic party, is anyone else going to run, it is time to start thinking about these things again. The thought actually first struck me when Hillary announced and no one else did. Look I know she's not the only one who is going to run. It honestly doesn't make sense because even if you think she is the heir apparent or this is her turn or whatever, if you are a democrat who wants to run eventually to win this in four or eight years the time to get your name out there is now. But while there is just her I thought, "What would it be like to just waltz up to the election not having to deal with negative campaign ads.". (And yes i realize the four stooges have already started in on her...but soon they will turn on each other). What if you could just put yourself out there. This is me. This is what I stand for. This is what I hope to do. This is what makes me special. Nothing about anyone else. You leave the dirt for the "free press" if there is such a thing anymore to dig up and you leave the highlighting of difference to the debates." Would it be so bad? Truthfully I think we'd all be better off. Regardless of how you felt about Mitt Romney it seems pretty clear he suffered the most damage in the primary. Sure there was the damaging comments at the "private dinner" (people everyone has cell phones...nothing is private...police officers please for the love remember you are probably always being filmed) but even before that he was a wounded warrior. He'd taken a beating, a slamming, he'd been forced to do such a hard right to answer criticisms that he lost what actually worked for him, the fact that he was a moderate republican who knew how to get things done nicely in a democratically held state. It was actually a pro but rather than defend it he abandoned it, and came off disingenuous and then listening to people who slammed him for months suddenly back him....that did as well. I'm tired of the political process. I'm tired of the money and the mud slinging and just the stink of crap. Tell me who you are and let me decided. I can decide for myself what I don't like about candidates. I don't need it spoon feed to me with a ridiculous slant. I'm sick of that garbage.
Monday, April 13, 2015
Thursday, April 2, 2015
This morning I've been checking things off my to do list.
-Mulched my flower beds. It took me 16 bags. I probably could have used about four more but there came a point when I just didn't want to stack any more in my van.
-Replaced the latch on our gate. Wish I could have replaced the latch on the other side but the gate flew off in a storm last month. I've been waiting for J to fix it. Maybe I should fix it myself.
-Put weed and feed on the lawn. Just in time too because it poured this afternoon.
-Tried to replace the handle on the kids shower. Turned out the new one I bought doesn't fit. Typical!!!!
-Painted my living room. I tried to get away with just spot painting last week...did not work. Exact same paint, exact same formula for color...doesn't matter...no match. I still need to paint my bedroom, our kitchen/dining room, and my family room. I could/should start right now but thinking about it exhausted me.
-Cleaned and vacuumed my family room with the kids help.
I want to take a nap. I also want to finish my to do list. Choices, choices.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Things I've Learned From Dying - David R. Dow
So part of my goal for the year was to increase my non-fiction reading although after a month of uping those numbers I did tell J I wasn't sure I could continue. Let's just say most non-fictions are pretty depressing. Dr. J said I should read more biographies and I said, "What do you think I'm reading?" The deal is if you have a life worth putting down on paper there is a good chance a lot of it is sad. David Dow is no exception. For work David Dow represents death row inmates during state and federal appeals in the state of Texas. Now regardless of how you feel about death row the honest truth is most of the people who find themselves there have lived pretty depressing lives and the case that Dow shares here of Eddie Waterman this holds true. Add on top of that the fact that no matter how you feel about Death Row the way it is done in Texas is just ludicrous and you are already in a pretty foul mood but that is just the back ground for the pain in Dow's life of watching his father -in-law trying to die of cancer while his family keeps trying to force him to fight on, each attempt stealing a little bit more of what little bit of good life he has left. This was an excellent book but it was extremely sad and it also left me thinking for days about death row and end of life care which I guess is the whole point of the thing.
American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in the U.S. Military History - Chris Kyle
A few months ago Dr. J told me he wanted to see this movie. This wasn't a huge surprise. My husband is a fan of war movies and pretty much everyone we knew was going and watching it together but I wanted to read the book before I agreed to watch it with him. I have extremely mixed feelings about this story but I want to save my full review until I have a chance to watch the movie so I'm going to table that for now.
Murder on the Home Front - Molly Lefebure
So I was prepared to love this story. It follows a time in Molly Lefebure's life during World War II when she takes a break from working as a cub reporter and takes a job as the secretary for London Pathologist who is investigating murders, mysteries, suicides, and even war deaths. I sort of thought it was going to be a real life version of Foyle's War or The Bletchley Circle. It wasn't. I mean it sort of was, everything was there but the style of writing just didn't do it for me. There are lots of murders but she almost seems too jolly to me. I don't know. I can't explain it. I just wasn't feeling it. Maybe she just tried to make it too funny.
A Rocket Made of Ice - Gail Gutradt
This is another book I am sort of on the fence about. The story is beautiful. It follows Gail Gutradt as she goes to an orphanage in rural Cambodia that takes care of orphans with aids or children made orphans by aids. The orphanage she visits is full of joy but also heartbreak. Wayne Dale Matthysse who runs the orphanage is an amazing and interesting man. Those parts of the story I really enjoyed. The part I got hung up on was that the organization was horrible. More than once she'd repeat stories she told earlier in the book. As a reader I found it very frustrating.
30 Years a Slave - Louis Hughes
I don't know how I've missed reading this book before. It seems like at some point in high school or college it should have been required reading but I'd never even heard of it until it popped up on my kindle. Louis Hughes was born a slave and lived that life for thirty years until during the civil war he was finally able to escape for real after three other attempts and get his wife free. He pretty much just lays out slavery for you. He talks about what life was like, what slaves ate, what they wore, what they were expected to do, the mistreatment they suffered, and also the kindnesses that they found. He does this mater of fact. He doesn't seem to hold grudge but just tells you what life was like. I think for the me the shocking part was how clueless the slave owners could be and how easily they were able to use religion to justify their actions. I think this is a must read for any American History class.
Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream - Joshua Davis
I saw the the preview for this movie when I was home for Thanksgiving. I was instantly intrigued. It was a Disney movie about four Hispanic teens who build a robot, take it to contest where MIT has a robot and win against 40 other colleges. It's told in the Disney vein of Remember the Titans, Miracle, The Rookie. So when I saw the book on the my kindle I was definitely interested but your hoping for some feel good inspirational story this is not for you. Two thirds of the way into the book you are there, you are a reading about kids who were brought to this country illegal, who have overcome language barriers, poverty, violence and who have become fantastic problems solvers and robot builders regardless of the fact they come from a not a great school in Arizona and have pretty zero money to do so. What they do have is two amazing teachers who help them dream. But real life is no a Disney movie and in real life not all dreams come true. Theses boys happen to be living in a time when Arizona and one particular party has become extremely aggressive toward illegal immigrants. I refuse to get into an argument about this but am going to say that when we live in a time when we can not fill our science and technical degrees and jobs with American born kids and we have to ship people in from all over the world to do so that if four kids in this country have skill and a knack for this stuff but have refused to give them a way to be part of that shifting of scientist because we hold them responsible for the illegal act their parents committed that honestly roles reversed we would have committed ourselves...well in that case we are just pretty freaking messed up. And that is all I want to say about that. So while this story is sort of amazing it is also extremely depressing.
The Boy in the Snow - M. J. McGrath
I couldn't be expected to read all non fiction this month. M.J. McGrath is a mystery writer. Her main character is Edie Kiglatuk a half-Inuit woman living in the far north. Somehow she is just constantly finding herself in the middle of investigations. The Boy in the Snow Edie finds the body of a dead baby while in Alaska where she is staying as team support as her ex-husband runs the Iditarod. I actually really enjoy McGrath's books. There is a certain part of them that is completely unbelievable but on the other hand they a nice complex mysteries that have a lot more going for them then just the typical who did it. After I read the second story I sent her name to my father in law..
The Bone Seeker - M.J. McGrath
In the Bone Seeker Edie finds the dead body of one of her teen students. Tensions run high as she tries to find the murderer but also keep the piece between the locals and the military force there to clean up an old army dump who the locals feel sure are responsible for her death.
The Bookseller - Cynthia Swanson
Kitty Miller is living two lives. In one life she works at a little bookstore she owns with her best friend, she's given up on love, and her parents are still alive. In another world she is married with triplets, one who has autism, her relationship with her friend Fran is over, and her parents died in a plane crash. Both words are pleasurable, both words are painful. Only one world is real and one is a dream. There was promise here but honestly I just didn't like Kitty that much.
I also read five books about midwifes this month. I'm going to start with the two fiction and end with the nonfiction.
Frog - Mo Yan
I think I often do a poor job of reading books by non American authors so when I saw this story I had a pick it up. In 2012 Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is most well known for his 1987 novel Red Sorghum Clan which has been made into a movie. This story is written from the point of view of the nephew of a famous Chinese midwife who during the 50-60 has to spend much of her life enforcing China's one child policy. You get a glimpse into rural China, the communist party, and sort of the power play going on here between a government trying to pull it's country out of poverty by insisting on a low fertility numbers and people who just want to have more children.
The Reluctant Midwife - Patricia Harman
This was a fiction written by the midwife who wrote her own story in The Blue Cotton Gown I read last month. It follows Nurse Becky Myers who is caring for his employer Dr. Isaac Blum who after the death of his wife goes into an almost comatose state. She takes him back to Hope River where he owns a home but finds when they get there the home was auctioned off to pay to for back taxes. It is depression area America. There are no jobs to be had and while Becky is trying to find works she keeps being pulled into helping the midwife of the area Patience Murphy deliver babies a job she finds extremely stressful. The ending was a little weird for me, like particularly how Harman got rid of a second suitor but I otherwise thought the book was pretty good.
Call the Midwife-Jennifer Worth
The last three books of the month were the Call the Midwife novels. There is this great BBC show Call the Midwife and a few months ago a friend of mine mentioned that she had just read one of the novels that the series was based on. I decided then I had to read them so this month I did. There are three books in the series. The first is Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth Joy. It sort of gives you an idea of who Jennifer Worth is and what her job was like as a midwife working in London during the 1950s. The second book Shadows of the Workhouse gives you some of the sadder stories of the area including elderly people she had the opportunity to care for as a nurse who have lived in workhouses. The Final Book Farewell to the East End continues with more stories of the area. You get a really good idea of what this part of London at this particular time was like and even kind of what was happening historically with health and politics. How the ward affected people, tuberculosis, abortions, the work houses. These books give a fabulous look into the history of the time and the people. My only complaint if I had to have one was that I didn't read the books before I watched the TV series. The BBC series stays so true to the books that I had I done them in reverse order I'm sure I would have been tickled pink by how close they stayed but because I watched the movies first I was more disappointed that their weren't more new stories I hadn't heard before. She does go into a lot more detail here but still I think book first movie second is the way to go.