When we were kids, we were tough. We could take abuse. It made us who we are today. No one was concerned about our feelings. We just took it. Our shortcomings were shouted from the rooftops.
A particularly painful moment for me was the day, probably about this time of year, when I was crammed into the school bookstore with dozens upon dozens of my fellow seniors being measured for our caps and gowns.
No fears. What could go wrong?
Suddenly a woman wrapped a measuring tape around my head and there, before my peers, I was made aware that I was not like everyone else. In a voice like that of Foghorn Leghorn, the woman shouted across the room, "We're probably going to have to special order this one." It was then I knew. I had a "Cannon Head!" Until then, I was innocent. After that, I, and everyone knew.
I lived with it, however. I've not gone into counseling over it. I'm aware that I have a ginormous head and huge feet (size 11) to balance it out. I'm also loud, sarcastic and not the most sensitive soul on the planet. I still go outside without fear of mockery. In fact, my brothers and I laugh about the size of our melons thinking that perhaps we could win contests with them somewhere.
In today's world, we shield everyone from the truth. We don't keep score because we don't want losers to realize that fact that they lost. All little girls are princesses, little boys are princes. When I taught at LDSBC, most who got less than an A developed near-apoplexy. There is a school-of-thought that says that we shouldn't even give out grades.
I'm not advocating meanness. I'm advocating a little more realism, is all. Most of us are real cute. But definitely not real beauties or really handsome. Most of us are smart enough to get by, but not genius-level brains. Most of us aren't really fooled either, by people pretending that we are. We're just people and if people let us, most of us don't mind being us, either. Perhaps helping us laugh a little more at our short-comings would help. Or maybe telling us that you like us for our stringy hair would bond us forever.
The picture above? Helena Bonham Carter's head was made three sizes too large for Alice in Wonderland. She's still pretty cute. And the rest of the crowd had prosthetic devices to uglify themselves to make her feel better about herself. Would that really work?
Believe it or not, Ali can read and she reads very well. She's five, but she's only been to pre-school. She doesn't start Kindergarten until next year. In pre-school, she's learned letter sounds, but that's all.
She's hung around with Sophia while Soph reads, and is a computer nut playing games on Barbie.com, pbskids.com and sprout.com, but this is scary. No one knows really when she learned to read.
We were having Family Home Evening on Sunday and were doing an Easter kind of lesson around Third Nephi and were reading some verses and we gave her a shot at it.
She did great! I think one of the verses was 13 which is "and it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:" She read that verse and another without a whole lot of help. No stumbling or hesitation. She read. We tested her on other stuff, and she really can read. No kidding around here.
Ali's also good with phones and remotes. I'm not talking sorta tricky. I'm talking "good". Never let her see you work an app on your phone even just once or she'll be syncing it up with someone in China within minutes and something international will ensue. She can also get the TV so screwed over within seconds that specialists need to be called in. Sophia calls her for help on web sites. I have removed apps from my phone because of her. I'm serious. I only exaggerate a little.
Sometimes when a fact has been stated weeks before, and another emerges down the road, she'll recall the previous and ask for clarification if the two seem to conflict.
It's kind of scary. I'm glad she belongs to Brad and the Russian. I'll just go home or put on my tinfoil hat if it gets too out of hand.
Is what is currently referred to as "ginger hair" actually "red hair", and why is it taking it in the chops on one hand and then every other women is dyeing her hair some shade of red?
I know about the South Park "gingers" deal, or whatever it was, but is that all there was to it? I missed that episode as I have almost all others except for the one where they ripped the Mormons a new one. That one was awful but I felt compelled to watch on general principle. My eyeballs and ears had to be decontaminated and my outrage went on high alert, developing a distrust of children everywhere for three days. But I go off the subject.
I have three cousins, Joan, Gale and Anne, who have red hair that came out of nowhere. Both their parents, Welby and Ruth Carr Peterson, had dark, dark hair. But their three daughters have hair that is bright carrot red, and beautifully curly.
I thought, and still think, it is the most beautiful color there is. Liz McOmber, one of my all-time best friends, has red hair, and I know that Liz and many of the aforementioned group didn't like being redheads when young for one reason or another, but I know that many (if not all) have "freshened" the color as they've aged. I'm just saying.
So there are two questions so far: 1) "Why are we now calling red hair 'ginger' if in fact we are" and 2) "Why has this color fallen into such disrepute as to cause such outrage and abuse?"
I've also heard that as a color, it's disappearing. Maybe one or two per cent of the population has red hair and that's from around England, Ireland, Northern and Western Europe. That's sad.
But here is a really nifty tie-in to my family tree. It seems back in one of the branches there was a crowd of sheep-stealers who were called "Redhead" who had to get outta town, beat a hasty departure, take it on the lamb (snicker) and cleverly fooled everyone by changing their name to "Rhead". This is not the same side of the family that produced the aforementioned Joan, Gale and Anne, however. This is the side that produced my father, Bennion Rhead Cannon whose grandmonther was Sarah Ann Rhead.
I like redheads, you see, for a number of reasons. So I'm wondering why we're picking on them. Any answers?
Finished putting my CDs on my IPhone and my report is 887 songs, 109 albums, 22 compilations (meaning what?) 361 composers, and 13 genres.
I also attended a class on essential oils which surprised me by softening the stiffness in my shoulders and horrible pain therein caused by all the downloading of songs and albums to my IPhone, went to lunch with Loraine and did little else.
I did launch myself into Foursquare and was humiliated on Facebook for that by my son and a former student, but was much too busy doing other things to stay on top of that.
Busy, busy busy. When will life get back to normal? Oh wait. I did say I finished up my music project, didn't I. Well, I guess that happens tomorrow.
I always thought that I wasn't smacked at all with the mighty family OCD brush until one day when I was talking with brother Scott and he asked "Do you count?"
"Of course I count."
But I knew what he meant. He meant do you count the steps you take? The times the shower cleaner machine beeps? The times you scratch an itch? Shut up Scott.
I got a little compulsive tonight. I put my old CDs on my IPhone knowing that I'd not missed them much. Yet I went through them all, not missing a one, not missing a song since I was unable to eliminate any. I got through about half and neatly marked the perfect spot to stop and begin again the next time I begin again.
I couldn't bring myself to forget any either so I go from "Alley Oop" to "24 Hours of Loneliness" so far. No one will be able to stand to listen to my music with me. Who can stand to listen to a CD straight through without skipping. No one CD has a complete selection of gems. Not even "Pet Sounds".
I've got Simon and Garfunkle, The White Album, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, John Coltrane, and more. Plenty of good ones, and I'm less than half way through.
When will I finish up? Who knows? Maybe tomorrow, maybe never. When will I listen to any of it? Maybe tomorrow maybe never. But at least I've devoted (wasted) three (or more) hours (that I'll never get back) doing something that is important (to no one) in the course of human events.
My mother would have been ninety years old last Saturday. Ninety. She was not yet seventy when I last saw her. She was my age, in fact. I am sixty seven. She was sixty-eight.
When she first died, I cheered almost. She had suffered so much. And she was finally at peace. I was so happy for her.
My Dad had been in a rest home for almost a year from a stroke, unable to talk, unable to move meaningfully, unable to walk. And he'd been a little mean to her, I think because he resented her being able to move and to talk, and to be . . . cheerful.
But she was losing. She was losing him, she was losing her mind, she was losing her grasp on what had been so much -- that which had had strong meaning -- her family, her place and her purpose.
Her life had been surrounded by duty to Dad, her children, her house, her dogs, bowling, her love of Bridge, friends.
Then Dad had his stroke and with that ugly afternoon when he fell into the breakfront and he never recovered much of anything, Mother never recovered either.
We tried to make up for her losses, but we were pathetic. We didn't know where to begin. We didn't know how to boss our mother around. We didn't know how to boss the doctors around either. We didn't know that we had the power, but had we known, we really wouldn't have wanted to anyway.
Dementia set in fast. We called it Alzheimer's, but I think it was a broken heart and a broken will together with Halcyon and other crazy medicines she may have been taking, and a life ripped from under her feet. Twenty years ago the health-care world didn't worry too much about people of that age -- my age. They just thought they were old and old people just got that way. God help us.
She fell and because her osteoporosis was so bad, she easily broke through her seventh vertebrae which damaged her spinal chord and paralyzed her from below her arms. She would have been unable to walk and control her bladder and bowels. It was laughable almost, because they put her into a rehab hospital in Sandy to teach her to care for herself. She was barely able to care for herself when she could walk, let alone in that condition.
One day a friend of mine, a nurse on duty named Pam Langlois, and I were talking and I said "When do you people stop trying?"
She grabbed my arm and said "When you tell us to."
That's when it was over. We removed the respirator and she died soon after. That was Halloween night in 1988 that she shot on over. She always loved holidays. She was born the first day of Spring and died on Halloween. How wonderful is that?
I love the song "Everything I Own" by Bread because of her. I know it was written for David Gates' father, but it makes me think of my own mother, Helen Maurine Peterson Cannon. I wish I had her back. Even just for a minute. I cherish times I see her in my dreams. I just wish that while I was having those dreams, I valued them more. I wish I would grab her in my arms, kiss her, tell her I love her and never let her go.
Everything I Own By Bread You sheltered me from harm. Kept me warm, kept me warm. You gave my life to me. Set me free, set me free. The finest years I ever knew, were all the years I had with you.
And I would give anything I own. I'd give up my life, my heart, my home. I would give everything I own, just to have you back again.
You taught me how to laugh. What a time, what a time. You never said too much, but still you showed you cared. And I knew from watching you.
Nobody else could ever know, the part of me that can't let go.
And I would give anything I own, I'd give up my life, my heart, my home. I would give everything I own, just to have you back again.
Is there someone you know, your loving them so, but taking them all for granted? You may lose them one day. Someone takes them away, and they don't hear the words you long to say.
I would give anything I own, I'd give up my life, my heart, my home. I would give everything I own, just to have you back again; just to touch you once again.
You may have heard me brag at one time or another that I had memorized the following poem in high school for some insane reason, but you may not have realized how much I truly loved it.
During the viewing of the recent phenomenal Alice in Wonderland with the equally phenomenal Johnny Depp, there was a bit of schoolin' afoot concerning some of the vocabulary in the poem like the "frabjous day" and the like, and I, with my inquiring mind, took it a step further to Wikipedia and found much, much more. Much. The link follows the poem and if you know what's good for you, you'll follow it as well. There's all kinds of fascinating other info included as well.
I all ready knew that the beast itself was not the Jabberwocky but merely the "Jabberwock". The name of the poem is "Jabberwocky" for obvious reasons.
JABBERWOCKY 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand: Long time the manxome foe he sought— So rested he by the Tumtum tree, And stood awhile in thought.
And as in uffish thought he stood, The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, Came whiffling through the tulgey wood, And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! and through and through The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it dead, and with its head He went galumphing back.
"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock? Come to my arms, my beamish boy! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.
Saw Alice in Wonderland on Saturday and loved it until my "loved it" monitor went off the chart. I still loved it then even.
Ali consented mid-show that she wanted to be Alice when I asked her, which is perfect since her name is Alison and all we have to do is chop off one sylable. She usually wants to be the funny characters or the princesses, but this is an exception.
But even I want to be Alice. She killed the Jabberwock. His fool head bounced down the stairs for at least twenty or thirty seconds. Way cool girl heroism.
And I admired Johnny Depp's diastema (Google it) as I enjoy my own. He made me wish my own hair was red.
Then there was the Red Queen. Did you not love her and her humongus head? She outdid the Cannon head by at least three times. And her lovely little heart lips? Yum. The lovely apology of the flamingo to the hedgehog. All was perfect. Everyone was weird, too. Even the white queen.
Oh what a fine experience that was. Was there a flaw? Don't report it to me if there was. It will only cause me to report your flaws to you. It won't be intended. It will merely be reflexive. Do not take it personally.
Is there a name for the fear of not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day? Whatever it is, I have it.
I think my mother gave it to me. She worried that I'd end up at school not wearing green and get pinched. I don't know how many friends I had that would really hurt me bad if I didn't happen to remember, but I don't think there were that many. I had nice enough friends. Besides, didn't teachers pin shamrocks on people who forgot to bring them into the fold?
I wonder if her mother made her have this craziness. Maybe it went back generations. The neuroses, I mean.
I even worry now about it. About the morning when I'm not quite fully dressed. Carl wouldn't hurt me if he pinched me and he's never even pinched me in all forty-four years of marriage. This is nuts.
Those Irish. They've ruined something that should have been fun-filled and binding.
Nancy Lukens was one of the nicest people you’ll ever know. She died last Saturday, much too young. She would have been fifty-five in November.
She had been Carl’s boss before he retired from IBM and did such a good job.
Everyone liked Nancy. She always did her best to be kind, to do a good job, to love the earth, to take care of animals, to eat well and to do her best by that which she had been entrusted.
That’s why it makes me particularly sad and disheartened that she should die so young of cervical cancer. By the time she did die, her husband, Gary, said the only place cancer had not reached was her feet.
She was a small woman to begin with, and as she lay in her casket, she looked so tiny. A friend of hers who had been rafting on the Ogden River just two weeks before she was definitively diagnosed last August said doctors had said she was suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome for two years. That’s what she had. IBS.
How can that be? Isn’t the test for cervical cancer pretty easy? Isn’t the cervix, well, right there? And they let it go for two years before they figured it out?
And this isn’t the first time I’ve heard of such a thing.
Even the Mayo Clinic took a long time before they figured out that my brother-in-law, Wayne, had colon cancer. Why?
Twenty years ago I found a sizable lump in my breast and they did a mammogram. The results of that was that they could see nothing on the mammogram and was I sure that what I felt was unusual?
I’m really confused. Why isn’t cancer one of the first things they check for and continue to check for?
Get it early, they say, and it’s easy to save your life.
Well, gosh. Nancy had been trying for two years and I sure wish we still had Nancy.
There is nothing like Mom's lap no matter who you are.
This is a newborn offspring of Taskin, a Gypsy Stallion owned by Villa Vanners of Oregon . These pictures were taken immediately after his birth on April 6 last year. The mare laid down, and then he trotted around and crawled right up into her lap.
Pat Conroy is a great author. I really enjoyed The Water is Wide. It was a Memoir of his time as a teacher of black students on an island off the east coast in the south. It was fabulous.
I read Beach Music which I enjoyed thoroughly and I recently read My Losing Season, which, though it was a book on basketball, I enjoyed it a lot.
His book, Prince of Tides, was made into a pretty fair movie. Pat Conroy is a pretty great author, like I said.
So I really looked forward to The Lords of Discipline which he referenced in My Losing Season. Yikes. I don’t know quite what to say.
The story is about a military college in Charleston during the Viet Nam war. I presume that young men in such a setting can be vile and crude, and they definitely are in this book. They also are misogynistic, violent, cruel and totally indifferent to human suffering.
Your question, worth asking, would be, “Why did you continue reading the book?” I’m not really sure. I think it’s because of the above. It did start out slowly but once it got going, it got quite compelling. The story has twists, turns, interesting things, and unbelievably awful things happening. Things you probably wouldn’t want to know about.
So as for a recommendation, you’re not going to get one from me. If you like young men, particularly young military ones, don’t read this book. I really can’t explain why I finished it.
Try some of the others, though. Particularly the first. You’ll like it.
The following came from Yesterday's USA TODAY but it's worth repeating, I think:
"The Earth is angry. Or at least it seems that way, with three significant earthquakes in the past week: A 7.0 magnitude quake near Japan last Friday, the huge 8.8 quake near Chile on Saturday, and a 6.4 near Taiwan earlier today. And, of course, there was the devastating 7.0 quake in January in Haiti that killed more than 200,000 people.
"So, is there any connection among all the quakes? 'No, not that we can see,' says Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colo. 'We've had quite a few quakes in the past two months, but not more than average.'
"'What has made the recent earthquakes newsworthy is that the earthquakes have hit near populated areas,' says Caruso. 'Another 6.4 quake this morning rattled the tiny Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, but no injuries have been reported.'
"In an average year, the geological survey estimates that several million earthquakes occur around the world. However, many go undetected because they hit remote areas or have very small magnitudes.
"According to long-term records (which exist since about 1900), the U.S.G.S. expects that about 17 major earthquakes (magnitude 7.0 - 7.9) and one great earthquake (8.0 or above) will affect the world in any given year.
"Caruso says the three recent Pacific quakes are all related to the so-called 'ring of fire,' a seismically active region that surrounds the ocean. 'However, the distances between the quakes are far too great for there to be any relationship between them.'"
Here's a jolly confession for ya. I forgot that Fiddler on the Roof was not a happy, light little musical.
So the other night when we went to see it at Hale Theatre, I was happily tapping my foot through all of the merry tunes like "Tradition," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make Me a Match," "Sunrise, Sunset," "If I were a Rich Man", on and on, . . . then things began to take a nasty turn.
Cossacks? I didn't remember them exactly. Pogroms? What? Threats? "Three days and you better be off your land!" NO!!! That's not right, is it?
I did see the movie on the big screen in a theatre, so it was along time ago, but hey, I wasn't that stupid, was I? I didn't miss the whole section on current events and I do remember having to watch Judgement at Nuremburg in high school. I even had to bring a note from my mother. I do remember that part.
Maybe the thing that threw me was how accepting they seemed of their fate. I was young, you know. I would have been in my sulky stage, perhaps, and would have been stomping around, complaining it wasn't fair, that I know my rights then would have started right in calling people names and kicking and screaming, pinching and scratching until I got my way.
I don't know. All I know is that the whole second half came as a big surprise to me. I really got my money's worth, don't you think?
Saw Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island Saturday and enjoyed it a lot.
It’s setting is in 1954 and is the story of U.S. marshals sent to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a patient on the island which is home to those housed for treatment for the criminally insane.
The setting is wonderful, the movie is well filmed and the story goes well. I recommend it.
It does have an R-rating and that is because it is dark, bloody, contains some pretty harsh launguage including the F-bomb several times, but in my estimation, not excessively. Probably not more than some PG-13 movies. It’s language, as I remember, is not sexual in nature, crude, nor does the movie contain sexual scenes, references or pictures. Much of what is difficult are pictures of WWII and Dachau which are germane to the story. This is important to my blog.
Won’t say more because I don’t want to be a spoiler. I want to discuss something else.
A long time ago I studied up on the “R-rating” and found that it was always related to youth when it was proscribed in an LDS setting. I’ve not seen many R-rated movies, but I have seen some, and I’ve carefully selected those I have seen, and have found many to be worth the time. I’ve walked out on none because of this care. I’ve seen, for example, Schindler’s List, Gladiator, Men Who Stare at Goats and others. I’m not suggesting this for others. Just commenting on this for myself.
I have also noted that the LDS Strength of the Youth Pamphlet has changed it’s wording to read as follows:
“Don't attend or participate in any form of entertainment, including concerts, movies, and videocassettes, that is vulgar, immoral, inappropriate, suggestive, or pornographic in any way. Movie ratings not always accurately reflect offensive content. Don't be afraid to walk out of a movie, turn off a television set, or change a radio station if what’s being presented does not meet your Heavenly Father's standards. And do not read books or magazines or look at pictures that are pornographic or that present immorality as acceptable.”
This point of view makes far more sense to me. I know I don’t speak for everyone, but I have indeed seen far more offensive material in PG-13 and occasionally in PG movies. And I think that even very young children can understand that violence can be simulated with ketchup but sex certainly can’t and that some descriptions are absolutely disgusting and others are simply expletives.
I also want to add that I am not a violent person, never use the F-bomb, never blaspheme, am trying not to use the lesser swear words and do not ever, ever enjoy the crude references that are found even in Disney movies so I think that I stand as an anecdotal example of one standing uncorrupted by all that which is bad in movies of all ratings.
We saw Henry B. Eyring on Friday Night and it brought me back to my years in LDS Church Education in a way that nothing else could have. The man is as great a joy to me and a representation of the love of God as almost as anyone could be.
He was the Church Commissioner of Education when I joined Church Education in 1983 and I loved him instantly. The first time I heard him talk, I believe, he was awaiting the birth of his last daughter, and his glorious, sonorous voice and beautiful choice of words, phrases, illustrations and stories always kept me amazed. How did he do it? When they called him into the Presiding Bishopric, I felt personally robbed.
He spoke of thirty-three years ago at just such an “Evening with a General Authority” where he first spoke, where they walked across to the Hotel Utah for some refreshments when he knew most of the attenders. I had been there probably twenty-eight years ago and remember the intimacy of that time. Now, he says, there are 40,000 of us in 100 countries watching in the Tabernacle, on the Internet and on closed circuit. Wow.
He spoke to teachers today, though we as retirees and spouses were also invited to the Tabernacle, He said “Your students were taught in the Spirit World when others were not.” “Qualify for and claim your gifts.” “Always Remember his love for you.” “I am grateful to be a teacher of the Gospel with you.” These were the kinds of comments he made. The Spirit absolutely filled the room.
His focus mainly was on The Charted Course, a classic talk given by J. Reuben Clark on August 8, 1938, in Aspen Grove which we as teachers read many times in CES which encouraged us to always teach straightforwardly and directly. It says in part:
“The youth of the Church, your students, are in great majority sound in thought and in spirit. The problem primarily is to keep them sound, not to convert them.
The youth of the Church are hungry for things of the Spirit; they are eager to learn the gospel, and they want it straight, undiluted.”
But President Eyring quoted it extensively which touched my heart so deeply and I must write much of that all here as well. please read:
“In all this there are for the Church and for each and all of its members, two prime things which may not be overlooked, forgotten, shaded, or discarded:
First: That Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh, the Creator of the world, the Lamb of God, the Sacrifice for the sins of the world, the Atoner for Adam's transgression; that He was crucified; that His spirit left His body; that He died; that He was laid away in the tomb; that on the third day His spirit was reunited with His body, which again became a living being; that He was raised from the tomb a resurrected being, a perfect Being, the First Fruits of the Resurrection; that He later ascended to the Father; and that because of His death and by and through His resurrection every man born into the world since the beginning will be likewise literally resurrected. This doctrine is as old as the world. Job declared: "And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, and not another." (Job 19:26, 27)
The resurrected body is a body of flesh and bones and spirit, and Job was uttering a great and everlasting truth. These positive facts, and all other facts necessarily implied therein, must all be honestly believed, in full faith, by every member of the Church.
“The second of the two things to which we must all give full faith is: That the Father and Son actually and in truth and very deed appeared to the Prophet Joseph in a vision in the woods; that other heavenly visions followed to Joseph and to others; that the Gospel and the holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God were in truth and fact restored to the earth from which they were lost by the apostasy of the Primitive Church; that the Lord again set up His Church, through the agency of Joseph Smith; that the Book of Mormon is just what it professes to be; that to the Prophet came numerous revelations for guidance, upbuilding, organization, and encouragement of the Church and its members; that the Prophet's successors, likewise called of God, have received revelations as the needs of the Church have required, and that they will continue to receive revelations as the Church and its members, living the truth they already have, shall stand in need of more; that this is in truth the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and that its foundation beliefs are the laws and principles laid down in the Articles of Faith. These facts also, and each of them, together with all things necessarily implied therein or flowing therefrom, must stand, unchanged, unmodified, without dilution, excuse, apology, or avoidance; they may not be explained away or submerged. Without these two great beliefs the Church would cease to be the Church.”
Retired teacher, MaEd Counseling, Married, two adult sons, one fabulous daughter-in-law, two granddaughters. Trying like crazy to make something of retirement. I love getting up at 9AM and love hanging out wherever and whenever I choose, but I'm trying to add meaning. Meaning. Isn't that what we're all after?