Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yellowstone - I Went, I Saw, It Conquered

This morning I've written about twenty blogs during brief moments of consciousness, all while trying to convince myself that getting up would be the thing to do. I've been in Yellowstone for the past week and the recovery process is slow.

We had a wonderful time. Saw plenty of flora, and the fauna was plentiful too. Family completes the triumvirate of "F"s. Above is pictured part of the group at Mammoth.

I love Yellowstone now that we camp in campers. A couple of the downsides are the long hauls on the road getting from place to place, and the lack of the Internet, but talking and laughing with family seemed to compensate for that.

I did spend one summer working at Old Faithful fifty years ago, but the social life then was the point. I don't remember even if I saw Old Faithful erupt once.

It's good to be home but it was great to be there. I surprised myself at how much fun I had.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Why the Heck Not?

I love getting together with friends. Why don't I do it more often? I just think I'm ADD enough that I truly forget how much I love friends.

Last night Lorraine Hawkins, Gloria and Ray Hintze and their son Russell came to our house for hamburgers and salad. Prep time was the time we spend at Harmon's. We had so much fun. Lorraine and Gloria I've known since we were all in the 40th ward over in Sandy about 33 years ago. Russell I've known all his life since he is only nineteen and I remember when he was born. Ray I've known since we were both in Mrs. Turner's First Grade Class. The best First Grade Class since the world was formed.

"Let's do this more often", we said though we probably won't. I wish I had pictures from last night because you'd love to see these people, I know, but trust me -- they are beauties and they are lots of fun to be with. I love all the laughing we did. If people don't expect too much of dinner, they'll get lots of everything else, I know, if they'll just come by -- that is, if I'll just ask them to.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Eary Comfort

I'm sure people are on the job trying to make earphones more comfy, but at this point, they've not quite succeeded. I listen to books on tape, and after awhile, the tender little cartilage in your ears begins to weary of being bent aside and starts to complain. At least mine does. Maybe the young still have more flexibility in their cartilage, but I don't seem to. Maybe the young are too distracted by the assault to their eardrums to notice.

I think there are some earphones that are more comfortable, but they cost a small fortune. My son rides a motorcycle (much to my motherly dismay) so he's got some snazzy ones to confront the noise. But he got them for a great price since he's in the electronic biz. I shudder to think how much it would be retail even at Best Buy

Friday, June 26, 2009

Olde Family Recipes

Those crazy Mormons crossing the plains brought some crazy recipes with them. I presume that the following are vestiges of that.

We used to have Pan Haggledy. I have no idea of what the source was but it seems to me that it was kind of a poor-man's French Onion Soup. Mother would braise some onions in butter, put in some water, shred in cheese and then bread and, voila! Pan Haggledy.

Mom would also make what she called Potato Pancakes but they were not the kind you find around today. They were much better. She'd take leftover whipped potatoes, mix flour into them until it made a nice dough. Then she'd roll it out nice and thin then cut it out with a pot lid like a large cookie. She'd fry each pancake on each side, butter it liberally and make another until she had a stack maybe two inches high. She'd sprinkle sugar over the top, cut it into wedges like a pie and we'd eat our stack. There were never any leftovers.

Mother would occasionally serve 'Soggy Bread". This meant that slices of bread would be soaked in hot meat juices in the pan and placed on each of our plates. Fabulous. Fine on any weight-loss diet I would assume, too.

Dad's favorite for Sunday nights was "Bread and Milk" which meant bread broken into a glass, milk poured over the top and sugar spooned thereonto. Onion on the side, please. Straight or in vinegar.

Bread apparently was the staple and anything else that you might have around. Trifle and eclairs were not really available so they did their best with what they had. There weren't any complaints from my family if memory serves.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why Markers Must NOT Be Sold Over The Counter

I know this is an old one but I love it. Particularly I enjoy the scribbling on the eyes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Storm Shall Stay Moroni From his Appointed Rounds

Here's what happens sometimes when you don't dash for cover. From what I read in the paper, they will soon re-apply the gold leaf to his face, arm and horn though that should be a real treat to behold. He's way up there.

That's not an error in the photo on top of his head. That's a lightening rod just doing its job.

Brad actually saw the lightening strike as it happened.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

missions -- Tears for All of It

We plan to go to Chili's for dinner before we attend the Hale Theatre Performance of "Hello Dolly" tonight and all I can think of is the time I cried myself senseless while sitting at the Chili's over at the Family Center in Sandy after Brad left on his mission.

The deal was, Ben had gotten home from his mission just a week after Brad went into the mission home. It had been such a long two years while Ben was in Japan.

People in the Church talk about their children's missions as though they had been just a moment in time. I found out they were lying. Ben's two years were the longest two years of my life. I even thought sometimes that I'd forgotten what he'd looked like so I carried a picture of him and checked it out often to remind myself.

Finally he came home. It wasn't so bad while Brad was in the mission home, but the day we sent him off finally to Cleveland, I started a marathon crying session that included lunch at Chili's. I'm certain the waitress was totally alarmed as I never told her why I was crying. Maybe she was ready to call the police on Carl presuming he was the brute that caused all my sorrow.

Ben asked Carl, later on after the wailing and tossing of ashes stopped, whether I had cried like that when he left on his mission. Carl told him "No." What really was the truth was that I really was crying for him in total retrospect. I don't cry very often, but when I do it reminds everyone that making me sad is not a good idea.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Water Fighting as an Art Form

Liz McOmber was the best water-fighter in the world. Her strategy was to travel, hand-over-hand, up the hose with eyes shut, taking a full force blast in the face until she reached the nozzle, wrenching it from the hand of whoever dared to take her on, and returning the blast, full force plus. Ah, yes, the crazy redhead was the champion.

Liz once took on her pack of seven children, dousing them mercilessly and leaving them in ruins. Only the littlest children were left to retaliate with little bowls of water from the bathroom. The rest hid out.

Liz, weary of the lack of prey, turned the hose full blast on those teenage children who were retired to the family room in defeat. It was awesome.

When it was over, and it was Liz who announced when it was over, everyone was ordered to gather armfulls of dirty laundry, and use it to mop up the residue that wasn't soaked into the family, and return it to the laundry area.

And it was over. Liz had declared it over and everyone knew that water in the family room was again verboten. Liz the wonderful flaming rehead was in charge.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Doesn't Everyone Have a Healthy Scar in Their Scalp?

Is this cool or what? Soph dove into the pool over at Daybreak swimming pool and managed to get some authentic staples into the top of her head.

No crying, no tears -- even at the hospital -- and she's proud of that. Boorah. Some real life-affirming experiences that unfortunately require us to be careful while shampooing.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Taking Care of Business in Retirement

We spent a couple of hours chatting with phone geeks down at the Apple store today but it was well-worth the time. I now hold in my hand my brand-new IPhone 3GS. Unfortunately I still have mo service because though Sprint cancelled my service to my Treo 755P almost instantly, AT&T is taking a leisurely approach to activating my account. Maybe six to eight hours without service. No phone, no games downloaded, no contacts to sort through, no calendar to check, no nothing. What can I do without being connected? I have needs. I guess just test-drive my "notes" and do a little blogging. Gotta love technology.

LATEBREAKING UPDATE: My phone is working. I'm phoning Carl like crazy. I did phone my son in Phoenix, too, but now I'm busy doing other things like updating apps, calendar, notes, hoorah.

We now have two Treos and two ITouches to get onto KSL Classifieds.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Temple Developments

Did I come close to laying down on one of the beautiful couches in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple yesterday as I did my five-hour shift of ushering? No, but I came close to coming close to it. I don't have the shoes, the stamina or the legs for it. I did much better than I thought I would, though.

It was great seeing so many people. The down times allowed me to sit, but they were long and fortunately few.

I saw one former student, Rosie Taylor, with her family, a former colleague, Br. Tolman with his wife, Julia's former best pal from Yelm, Washington, Theresa Garner, and a few friends from the area. I noticed closely the beautiful ceilings, the incredible wood in the Instruction Room where I was assigned but totally forgot to reinspect the Celestial Room. Oh well. I'll get time for that.

Our Daybreak area is totally thrilled about the whole thing still. We love having the visitors come through our neighborhood and we certainly anticipate with excitement the day the temple will be dedicated.

I think I've even forgiven my son for being more excited about having a spike in his real estate value than actually having a Temple here. I believe he's gotten over that.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Me at Maui and Dreams of Dishwashers

Seeking any respite from the clouds and rain, I look to my photo album. Here it is. The room we had overlooking the beach which, of course, overlooked the ocean. I would consider licking the sand if I were there now.

I think the rain even provoked the dream I had last night about an old clunker dishwasher I inherited somehow that had three huge compartments. It was in the shape and style of a big old chest-type freezer. It may not have been pretty, but it would certainly wash everything at once. It was horrifying. It definitely would rank as a nightmare.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Book Worth Reading

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a wonderfully powerful book. It's the story of Hamlet, sort of, but it's much more than that.

The writing is so beautiful, slow and lyrical. The characters are so clearly drawn. The story is intricate and woven together with such seeming ease and beauty that it is almost as easy as the images of nature it uses.

The hero of the story, Edgar Sawtelle, is mute and his story concerns a family bent on creating a breed of dog that is unlike any other previously bred and the shortsightedness this creates among the family members. It is metaphysical, physical, psychological, spiritual and familiar. Normally, I look a little askance at Oprah's selections for some reason, but this one was read by my book club so I dug in.

The book took the author, David Wroblewski, ten years to write and it shows the care he employed in getting the job done. If you like to read, this one's for you.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Time, the Mormons and Prop 8

Time Magazine dated June 22, 2009 has a nice six-page article on the whys and wherefores of the LDS stance on Prop. 8, which served to ban same-sex marriage in California. I think the article was fair, detailed and showed the problems for the Church in California and among people both within and outside the Church, both gay and straight.

One quote is "Some Mormons have a conventional view of homosexuality as a sin. But their marriage preference has an additional aspect. The return to God is accomplished by heterosexually founded families, not individuals, and only as a partner in a procreative relationship can a soul eventually create spirit children. 'I've had personal experience with gay people, and I weep with them,' says official LDS historian Marlin Jensen, but the 'context for our being so dogged about preserving the family is that Mormons believe that God is their father and that they have a heavenly mother and that eventually their destiny is to become like that.'"

I truly appreciate the research and thoughtful writing of author David Van Biema. He has spent a good deal of time in preparing this piece which has resulted in an article which neither defends nor lambasts the Church but which explains clearly and well why the Church has responded to such a difficult issue in the way it has. It further describes individual and the Alameda Ward experience with neighbors and the issues at hand.

If possible, read the article yourself. Either buy the issue or read it online or at the library. It is information at its best.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rainy Days and Self Pity

I am so sick of rain. It’s June 15th and it has rained every day but three this month. This is desert country. This is semi-arid. What’s the deal? The old conversational platitudes like “When it rains, it pours” and “It’s good for the flowers” and “Into each life some rain must fall”, are all but abandonned. We know this is too weird. You do still hear “Seems like we’re living in Seattle rather than Utah” still working for grocery store chit-chat, I guess. But how about some new stuff?

Here’s one to consider:

"Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines." -- Satchel Paige

I’ve mentioned the rain in prayers this last little while. I never have mentioned the sun that I can recall, nowever. I’ll start.

This one's a little more practical:

"Do not, on a rainy day, ask your child what he feels like doing, because I assure you that what he feels like doing, you won't feel like watching.” -- Fran Liebotitz

Then the ethereal with a melody and a beat. I know at the time it was an anti-war song, but who cares. Instead of the comment, we can burst into song:

Who’ll Stop the Rain?

Long as I remember the rain been comin down.

Clouds of mystry pourin confusion on the ground.

Good men through the ages, tryin to find the sun;

And I wonder, still I wonder, who’ll stop the rain.

John Fogarty

But here’s a website that is short and to the point: http://goingtorain.com/ Mention it.

I hear it’s going to rain this afternoon, so what about this one for now: “Make hay while the sun shines.” I’m not so sure what it means, but I think our ancestors were friskier than we think.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fearful Friends and their Phobias

People have strange phobias. I have a friend who has endured years in analysis to overcome her strange fear of having a child throw up on her back. None of the approaches or techniques have worked. As a consequence, she barely endures children and particularly when they get behind her. I was both amazed and a bit entertained by her misery so one can imagine my joy on relating to her how at a Jordan Middle School band concert, a little girl threw up in profuse quantity on the back of the woman who was sitting behind me. The woman remained in her seat for much of the concert in order to hear her child's part in the program. She sat forward in her seat so she would not besmirch the back of the seat behind her. Hence, she was close enough to chat a bit through the whole event. It was hilarious though she was not particularly amused.

Today in Sacrament Meeting, the little girl behind me kept saying to her mother, "I'm sick." I kept waiting for the excitement to begin. I thought that perhaps I would have a new anecdote to amuse my friend with, but it didn't ever happen. Alas.

But still it occurs to me to wonder why that mother kept ignoring her little girl. "I'm sick" to a child as small as she means "I'm going to hurl." No matter how strong your own stomach is, who needs that kind of mess? And who knows who might be around us who might be, like my friend, in peril of a personal meltdown?

Friday, June 12, 2009

When Is It Embarrassing or Just a Cheap Thrill?

One time when we lived on Foster Avenue in Chicago, Carl and I were walking home from getting ice cream at the local Dairy Queen and noticed as we walked by our car as it was parked on the street that it was filled with smoke. We casually looked in the windows, walked about it, and stood dumbfoundedly by, not knowing what to do. Fortunately, it was nighttime, so we didn't raise much of a rumpus. We didn't even call the Fire Department. It was a little embarrassing as a matter of fact so we slunk into our apartment and discussed what to do. The electrical harness in our car had caught fire and caused lots of damage to the car's interior and the electrical system was toast. We realized that it would cost more to repair than the monthly payments on a new Dodge Dart (A White Hat Special), so we dodged (chuckle) the bullet and bought our first new car.

Several years ago, there was lots of movement going on outside my office window down at LDS Business College and a student came running in to tell me Larry Richards' car was on fire. I stood by my window watching and I actually felt a little ambivalent. It was kinda funny, but was sorry it happened to such a nice guy. But the crowd that was watching the event was almost joyful.

Well, today, we get a couple of calls to tell us that an unmarked police car was on fire down by the Daybreak swimming pool. Lots of excitement, fire trucks, other police cars and onlookers aplenty. Why was that so exciting? Are we seriously impaired to be able to be entertained by the misfortune of others, particularly the local constabulary? I'm ashamed but still have a little adrenaline going on.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Woman Like Rubies

Colleen Asay is one of those astonishingly beautiful women whose incredible smile lights a room without saying a word. One of those virtuous women whose worth is of rubies. One of those who make us momentarily dispair of being so loud, boistrous and garish. (Momentarily, because it's not even worth trying to become like her.)

Today was her funeral and it was wonderful, just like Colleen. I happened to be there because her beautiful daughter, Marcianne, is my sister-in-law. Robert D. Hales was also there because Carlos Egan Asay, Colleen's husband served with Brother Hales in the Seven Presidents of the Seventies and because Colleen and Carlos Asay were Matron and President of the Salt Lake Temple. Of them, Brother Hales said "They did never look upon death with any degree of terror" quoting the Book of Mormon.

Of Colleen it was said that she always made people feel important. She provided life, love and laughter. I could be more like her in that.

During Carlos Asay's stint as Mission President, President Faust had said of their four sons with muscular distrophy that they would be all right. Doctors had said they wouldn't survive past twenty-five. They all still survive Colleen into their forties and fifties, in fulfillment of this promise.

In tender remembrance of Colleen it was said that this "Elect Lady" had waited for her reunion with Carlos for eleven years. Though we miss her presence, we can be assured of her glorious reunion with him. What a woman. What a life.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Work for the Living and the Dead is All the Same?

I woke at the insane hour of 6:30 AM yesterday since we had an assignment at the cannery down at Welfare Square. When we first arrived, I blearily caught a glimpse of the first line of the following which I've printed in total near the bottom, and scoffed to myself. "The work you do in the cannery is the same as you do in the temple." I continued on to get my white smocky thing, a hairnet and washed my hands to glove up.

Carl and I worked hard. We measured out huge quantities of additives for spaghetti sauce which included citric acid in the quantity of one-and-one half pounds and ten pounds of spaghetti seasonings. We washed huge drums and stacked them and also broke down cardboard boxes. At the end, I boxed up spaghetti bottles and ran the boxes through the taping machine.

As we left, I think I felt more in line with the following. It was hard work but it felt good and right. I thought about the people who would be eating the spaghetti sauce and enjoying its tasty goodness and I was happy. While washing out the drums, my shoes and pant legs got soaked and our smocks looked like butcher aprons when we were done, but I was glad to be there.

You are aware of the people you are making spaghetti sauce for just like you are aware of the people you go through the temple for. But better yet, the Spirit is really there and it was wonderful. Need I say more? I'll happily go again though I imagine I'll grumble in my heart to get up again, then maybe I'll remember this little piece of testimony:

"The work you do in the cannery is the same as you do in the temple:.
The onle difference is, in the temple you do work for the dead
and in the cannery you do work for the living.
At the temple you make your covenants and at the cannery you keep them.
All things were spiritual before they were temporal.
Therefore, all things are spiritual."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Slogans are Forever -- Taps Aren't

Our two-year-old Moen kitchen sink faucet is dubbed "Buy it for looks. Buy it for life." I loved it when I first saw it. Now, I'm not so sure.

Guess what? The tap squirts out all over the place and the sprayer won't even work at all. It should simply be solved by a trip to Standard Plumbing but no, they don't have the plastic little fitting that goes inside. The one that's cracked. So, as suggested, we head to A-One Parts to see what they think. A little later we learn that the faucet and fitting are OBSOLETE. That's right. They are out of production. All that is left is a Xerox copy of the "Aberdeen" in a blown-apart illustration. Nothing in stock to make things all better. Our lovely two-year-old tap.

Gorilla Glue is holding body and soul together at this point, but who knows how long that will last. I'm not sure of the Gorilla Glue slogan, but could it outdo "Buy it for looks. Buy it for life"? I'm not really secure in that.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Backgammon - And Other Foolishnesses I Miss

The other day in McDonald's, there were a couple of guys playing Backgammon at a table near the door. They were both probably retired, and they both had nothing better to do I'm sure. Why am I so sure? Because Backgammon is a wonderful game. I just wish my husband would believe me on that.

I remember always wondering about the crazy board on the other side of the checker board we had but no one I knew had any idea of what it was for. Then a few years before I retired, Wendy Carroll, one of my students, kicked a relationship up with me and became one of my very dear friends. Almost at the beginning, she brought in her Backgammon set and insisted I learn how to play. At first it was nothing much, then it caught on. I love Backgammon. I have a little set I bought at Hammonds Toys. I have a game on my Itouch. I have played it on my computer often. I even went insane once when Carl and I were in Hawaii and bought a little magnetic travel set and tried to teach him. He didn't love it. I was devastated.

Why didn't we ever play Backgammon? We played Checkers. We played Dominoes. We played Monopoly. We played all the board games except for - - Backgammon. Why?

I concede that Wendy didn't play very hard with me and allowed me to win though she contends she never did. She would even back me up and give me tips when I blundered and didn't see the obviously great moves. I'm not a worthy adversary on this, I know, but I might become better if I had someone other than a computer to play.

But then no one plays board games or card games anymore. I miss that. My parents used to play cards on vacations. My Uncle Glen taught us to play Hearts when we were too young to hold the cards. I loved Pinochle in my single days when my roommate, Janice Canady, taught me her Racehorse version. When I got married, Pinochle got put away when I found that Carl played another version and wasn't about to convert. I haven't played Canasta in more than fifty years. I don't remember the rules but I remember it was fun. My Grandma Cannon used to be shuffling the cards when I returned from my student teaching at West High School ready for some really steaming games of double solitaire. It was so much fun.

My granddaughter, Sophia, is getting into Old Maid and Go Fish. Maybe I can have hope in her.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Where's Tank Man?

The Tiananmen Square Massacre was huge twenty years ago. And now I find out that the guy who was known as "Tank Man" was never identified nor was anyone sure he had died! He remained a heroic figure to me for a long time and it would be amazing if they could find him.

The question is, who knows where he is? The answer is apparently "The Chinese Government." I'd love to hear what he has to say and to find out if he was aware of the excitement he caused in the world if only for just a short time.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Burning Candle Redux

How about the following, hot (snicker, snicker) on the heels of yesterday's blog:

I Burned My Candle At Both Ends

by Samuel Hoffenstein

I burned my candle at both ends,
And now have neither foes nor friends;
For all the lovely light begotten,
I’m paying now in feeling rotten.

And then here's the last of it:

"Live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse." --John Derek

Oh, wait. I guess it's a little late for that.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Burning Candles at Both Ends - A Good Thing or Not?

I was looking through a musty old poetry book and discovered this familiar piece by Edna St. Vincent Millay:

My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends —
It gives a lovely light!

Then comes a second from her which is a little less well-known:

SAFE upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

My question is, why are these two poems called “First Fig” and “Second Fig”? And, the second poem is more than obviously a swipe at the Bible. Maybe the first is too.

I do know that in some quarters, the fig is thought to be the “Forbidden Fruit”. That would seem likely because the fig is very Mediterranean. It more than occurs that the first fig could have referred to sexuality (which many of you would rather I not refer to at all), since many misinformed interpret the Forbidden Fruit to refer to sexual sin between Adam and Eve. That would then make the second fig, avarice perhaps?

Since these poems were written during the “Roaring Twenties”, it’s likely they did refer to the excesses of those days. But I’m going to climb into my little comfort zone and prefer the first, at least, to mean to live life to its fullest. What can be wrong with that? God certainly made our world a beautiful place and gave us one life to live. Doesn’t he want us to love our lives as fully and beautifully as we can? Creating as much light as we can can't be all bad. Just thinking.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sudoku and the Closet -- More Alike Than You'd Think

My Itouch has put a new dimension onto Sudoku playing that is causing me to re-evaluate my whole approach to life. Before when I worked the puzzles from the newspaper, I would play a game however I wanted -- I’d sort of hit it with the shotgun effect if I wanted or I’d carefully analyze each square until I got it sorted out as best I could.

Now, with the Itouch I’M TIMED TOO! And not only does the little beast time me, but it compares me to the umptykajillion others who have played that very game, and generally I emerge in the lower 10 per cent of players.

I’m not a very good competitor. I like just dipsying along. "Slow and steady wins the race", kind of thinking. So when others are factored in, I become tense, irritable, and think like rocks in a blender.

Back to strategy on Sudoku. You can just kinda scan the whole and look for what fits. That does work sometimes and rather suits my random/abstract way of thinking. If something is wrong, you erase and proceed as if nothing is a problem. Unfortunately, my Itouch docks you for mistakes. Also, the puzzles get progressively harder and require a little more close analysis. What is the procedure for this? Go carefully in order through the blocks of nine squares then through the horizontal lines? Next is the vertical lines and then a search of the individual squares. But when do you go back and see if anything you’ve done affects the whole? When do you put down the magnifying glass and approach the obvious?

It’s all hard for a borderline OCD person like myself.

“Now let’s compare this all to cleaning out the closet” I think as I observe the mess of shoes on my closet floor. Do you toss it all out on the bed and ponder individual pieces or do you just slide things around, tossing some as you work until order emerges? I can’t decide and therefore I refuse to play any more and just go listen to my book on tape. That only occasionally drives me crazy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Are Women Actually Better than Men?

The question about whether women are better/kinder/more nurturing/more spiritual than men is one that has been debated since general authorities started putting their women on pedestals. I heard it again the otherday in an LDS meeting.

Are women more nurturing? Are they more patient? More spiritual?

It doesn't really make sense and it doesn't really appear to hold true in actual day-to-day experience. When I look around, I see lots of good women, but I also see lots of good men. I have four brothers. They are all good men. I have two sons. They are both good men. My husband is a good man. Young fathers are showing a good deal more of nurturing and caring of their children than our fathers did and I think it was culture that prevented our fathers from getting more involved with us. If the truth be told, our father, the gruff, rough and tumble man that he was, was more nurturing to us than our mother was.

My experience is that there are lots of good men and lots of not-so-good men, but the same hold true for women.

A friend of mine once approached Sister Chieko Okazaki after a talk she gave about this very topic in which she had said essentially that men overestimate the goodness of their women. My friend asked "Why do General Authorities always talk about how much better women are than men." She simply replied "They are just being kind."

And the ultimate argument against women being inherently better than men would be than it is hardly fair if women had an easier time living the commandments yet being judged by the same standards, would it? The Lord would have had to come up with a stiffer set of rules just for the women if the existing rules were easy for them.

But then if women were actually better than men, they would think it was totally fine if God did that. They would think that God was chastening them because He loves them so much. Women would never see that as unfairness if they were so innately good.

Women are never sarcastic either.

Monday, June 1, 2009

UP -- a "Five Thumbs Up" Movie

The family saw UP on Saturday. We were up in the rafters and it didn't matter a bit. We also had our 3D glasses to contend with but that was no problem after a minute.

It was great. Ed Asner was perfect as Carl and Carl was the hero. He was a cranky old guy who wanted to get out and he did with the aid of fifty-thousand-jillion balloons. Carl is my husband and he's also sometimes cranky, but not often. And he's also a hero.

But I digress. The movie had heartbreak, death, fear, terror, attacking dogs, a hero who turns out to be horribly bad, and menace to a small boy and old man, but it was wonderful. It had a great plot, wasn't particularly predictable and had many twists and turns of events.

It was fun having Ali, 4, on my lap since she'd tense up like a little spring at the more scary parts, especially when the dogs came lunging. I'm not so sure, though, whether or not someone younger than she is ready for it. But I think Ali is showing no cracks in the veneer yet as a result. And remember we all survived the Wizard of Oz's flying monkeys.

What was really best was hearing Julia explaining death to Sophia, 6, down the row interspersed with a bunch of questions from Sophia. You wouldn't think that would be funny, but it was.

Five thumbs up. Not a dull moment and lots of inside jokes. I particularly enjoyed the dogs calling the little boy scout the "Little Mailman."