Monday, December 17, 2007


Somebody did something at Church yesterday that REALLY bothered me. I wasn't there for the first part of it (since I've been sitting on the couch in the foyer during Sacrament Meeting so that I'm not too sore to make it through the rest of church). Peter was in the chapel, and somebody behind him gave a toy cell phone to a small child to play with. The phone started making electronic noises, and after a few minutes, when the girl's parents did nothing to silence the phone or take it away, Peter turned around and said something like, "Could you make that phone stop making noise?"

Somebody took the phone away from the child, and the matter seemed closed. At the end of Relief society, Peter came to find me, and the child's grandmother apologized to him. She said she couldn't figure out how to turn the phone off, and that whoever brought it to church wasn't thinking clearly. As we were walking out to the car, the child's mother came up to Peter and said, "That was really rude, what you did in Sacrament Meeting today. You should just ignore the noise." Peter said, "No, you were rude, to bring something into the meeting that would make noise and disturb the people around you." She persisted. "You were wrong to tell my child to be quiet, If you didn't like the noise, you should have just gotten up and walked out!" Peter was tired, hungry, and stressed about other things, and this was the last straw. He half-shouted, "No, YOU were wrong!" I was very uncomfortable, and could see that this would go nowhere good, and got Peter to walk away, but we were both upset.

Where does this woman get off? Common courtesy (as we are reminded often, by several different sources) dictates that you should turn off your Cell Phone ringer when in meetings, movies, or other places where it might disturb others. If you forget, then turning it off as soon as it rings, and looking appropriately embarrassed for all the people who've turned around to glare at you is the accepted practice. Surely, the same rules should apply to a toy that makes the same noises. At the same time, we frequently have lessons or talks about reverence in Sacrament Meeting. We're a family oriented church, so people accept that there will be some noise from young children, but when a baby starts to really cry, or a child can't be kept fairly quiet, one parent or the other generally picks them up and takes them out to the foyer so that others can continue to listen to the meeting. This happens several times in EVERY sacrament meeting in EVERY family ward in the church. If everybody who was disturbed by the noise had to leave, then we'd be left with nobody in the chapel but crying babies.

I'm pretty sure that she did it because she was angry that she felt embarrassed earlier, but I don't see how the second rudeness makes up for the first. I hate to see Peter in no-win situations like that. She was entirely in the wrong, for bringing the noisy phone, for giving it to the child, for not silencing it when it made noise, and for confronting Peter to tell him HE was the rude, but from the point of view of everybody in the parking lot who could hear the last part, Peter looked like he was the one being unreasonable and threatening.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Two old emails

Here are two old emails that I'm posting because they relate to what I posted in my poetry blog today. I'm sorry I don't have room (or permission) to post the whole thread of either of these messages so that you can see the context they were written in, but each can stand on its own, so hopefully you won't be too confused.

This was written on Mother's Day a few years ago after I heard a talk that really upset me.

Sun May 8, 2005 12:36 pm
Mother's Day

We had a talk in church today that really bothered me. In it, there was a story of a woman who was a farmer's wife. When she and her young husband had taken over his father's farm it already had a huge mortgage. They had big plans, but by the time the
story took place, they were both overworked and falling behind. She didn't have time to do laundry, and keep house, and take care of the chickens, and get the tomatoes picked and taken to market, and take care of the children, and get all the fruit in from the orchard before it rotted. So she did what she could, but the house was a mess, and the mortgage payment was overdue, and the children were unwashed, and she was too tired to even care anymore.

Then one day while she's struggling to haul in a load of tomatoes to take to market, a car comes down the road, and a beautifully dressed lady comes to the door and wants to buy some apples, so the farm wife takes her out to the orchard, and starts to haul out the big ladder to get at the good ones, and the lady is all, "No don't do that, it's too heavy for you, that's man's work." and the farm wife laughs in her face and
says, "Look lady, you're all fine in your pretty grey wool suit, but if I don't do a man's work around here, we just won't make it." and the lady says, "When we were first married, and my husband was first starting out his company, he wanted me to keep my job as a secretary while he went out and did sales, but I knew that if we did that, we'd both be tired at the end of the day and we'd only eat takeout, and we'd both be miserable, so I stayed at home and made sure we had a feast on the table every night, even if it wasn't out of much, and we had some hard times, but we got by."

So then the lady leaves, but accidentally drops her perfumed handkerchief on the way out, and when the farm wife finds it, she decides to ignore the tomatoes, and let them rot in the barn for all she cares, and she puts on her one pretty dress, and cleans the kitchen, and makes a good meal, and when her husband comes in from the fields that night, and she's looking all pretty and serves him that nice meal he looks more grateful than he did when she hauled in all those potatoes last fall, and she knows now what her husband really wants from her: a clean house, a good meal, and a smiling face.

Is it just me, or is this story of the devil?

It totally sets up unrealistic expectations for women, and implies that if they can't get the laundry done that they've failed in their true calling in life, and maybe lost the love and respect of their husbands as well. It was further compounded by the fact that the next song we sang was "There is Beauty All Around" which implies that if you can't see the roses blooming beneath your feet, you must not have enough love in your family.

Maybe it's just because I'm having trouble even jugging work and keeping house, let alone the fact that everybody that hears I'm newly married makes me feel guilty about putting off having kids until Peter's job offers him benefits, and I'm just jealous
of my cousins and sisters in law who can stay home and have beautiful little blonde babies, but I was seriously in tears by the end of sacrament meeting.

Any thoughts?


This one was in response to a letter my sister-in-law wrote where she told about a Sunday School class she taught. Some people in the class vocally disagreed with the very idea of teaching "perfect ideals" like Temple Marriage because it offended those who hadn't made that choice.

Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:33 pm
Re: [TPMOTD] Hi Elder

I agree that we should acknowledge exceptions in our church lessons. Each person is different, and on a different point on the path to perfection. I think that the problem in Marcelle's Sunday School was not that the person wanted validation that their life was acceptable to the Lord too (in which case, they could have asked a question like, "Can those of us who are not blessed with the ideal temple marriage feel some of the blessings of an eternal family?" and then the class could have had a valuable discussion about teaching children, or how to love and support a spouse who hasn't made the commitment yet -- like in this month's Ensign article). The person attacked Marcelle for teaching that there was an ideal at all.

Taking the path of saying that all exceptions are equally valid leads to the moral relativism we see all around us today. 'The Family' goes from being 'Mom and Dad and the kids' to 'Mom and or Dad and or a child or two if it's not too much trouble' to 'Grandma raising her daughter's five illegitimate children each by different fathers' to 'Dad and Dad and some poor child they've adopted.' I don't deny that children in these 'alternative families' need to be loved and feel like they have a safe home and family, but nobody can tell me that the later ones are nearly as good for a child's social, emotional and spiritual development as the first. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. I'm the first to admit that marriages don't always work out the way we want them to, but I also know from experience, that it's worth working hard to get the ideal because life is so much better that way.

I think that our lessons could be improved by helping people to see the differences between Christian Liberty (where the Lord doesn't give us every nitty gritty detail, teaches correct principles and lets us govern ourselves), Repentance and Progression (we may not be perfect yet, but we are always moving forward, getting a little better), the Second Article of Faith (we won't be punished for the sins of others), and the Lord's Mercy (Those who didn't have a chance in this life to receive all the ordinances will not be punished for it in the next). All of these ideas allow for the exceptions we all know to be valid. At the same time, they stress personal responsibility -- we won't be punished for things that are out of our control, but only if we're doing our best to live the commandments we can, and work to improve in the areas where we haven't reached the ideal.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

My Mobile Home...By Popular Demand

OK, I know that we've lived here since June, and nobody has gotten any pictures of the inside of the mobile home since I moved in. I know that I've been promising people that I'd post some any day now for months. I was putting it off till I had everything unpacked, then I wanted everything clean... Well, at long last I've done it -- here they are! Click on any of them to enlarge the photo.

First, I'll post the floorplan so you can imagine where the rooms are. The top of this picture conveniently faces North.

Starting at the front of the house, on the north side, there's my office and sewing room where I also store all my costumes

On the south side, there's the baby's room which also has a giant bookcase full of manga.

In the middle of the house is the kitchen with a little nook for the laundry.

Across from the kitchen is the guest bathroom where the fish lives.

Then we have the living room with the couch, front door, and gigantic bookcase/entertainment center.

On the other side of this big open room is the dining area.

In the back of the house is the master bedroom and bath.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Blogging Advice

One of my cousin-in-laws asked for advice about having a successful blog. Evidently, she's tried a few times, and just can't manage to keep it up. Here's what I told her:

I have a few tips for successful blogging

1. Have a specific time of day to post. I generally do it first thing in the morning after I've read my email, but before I get involved in other things. I also encourage you to post every day, even if it's short. If you miss a day or two here and there, it's no big deal, but if you plan to post weekly, then when you miss once or twice, then it's been nearly a month since you wrote, and there's far too much to catch up with...and you know how that goes.

2. Have a theme -- Mine is poetry, but it can be about anything you like. I get bored with writing about my day to day stuff -- I just lived through it after all. With the poetry, I have an excuse to think/write about something other than the mundane goings on, but I often mention major events or things I've been thinking about. I've got a much better record of my life and thoughts and feelings writing about poetry than I ever achieved with a normal journal.

3. Have people reading and commenting. It makes a real difference to my motivation to know that people like to read what I have to say. When the comments take on a life of their own and start a good discussion, then I feel really good about things. Because not everyone in my family takes the time to visit website blogs on a regular basis, I send my posts to our immediate family mailing list, and then copy the comments into my blog to keep it all in one place.

4. I'd suggest making a backup of your blog posts somewhere occasionally, so that when technology changes again, all that great journalling energy isn't wasted. For instance, you could copy your posts into a text file each time they fill up a whole page, or print them out and keep a hard copy.

Good luck!

Friday, November 9, 2007


So they say that pregnant women tend to start doing home improvement projects because of the nesting instinct -- we want to make sure everything is perfect for baby. If you look around my home, you can certainly see that it's true for me. I've finally got the last of the moving boxes out of baby's room, and I put up shelves for her toys and clothes. I've been cruising freecycle and Craig's list to see what I can get out of buying. I got a playpen/bassinet and a stroller that works with a baby carrier/carseat.

I also found somebody giving away a bunch of bricks. So I drove over to Long Beach, filled my trunk with bricks (only carrying two at a time so I wouldn't hurt myself), and brought them home. Peter helped me unload them that night, and the next day I laid them between my sidewalk and my next-door-neighbor's. We had just had dirt there before, with a bunch of old shingles to keep the weeds down. The result isn't perfect -- the sidewalks aren't precisely parallel, and most of the bricks were broken or had mortar stuck to them, so it's pretty uneven. I think it would look a lot better if I bought a bag or two of sand to put underneath to level it out, but in the meantime, it's a lot nicer than what was there. Here are a few pictures. Sorry about the weird angle -- I'm not sure what angle you're supposed to photograph brick at to keep from disorienting your viewers, but this is obviously not it.

I've been having trouble sleeping lately, since I can't get comfortable at night with the baby in the way. I'd wake up feeling more stiff and sore and tired than when I went to sleep the night before. I was doing some walking to loosen everything up during the day, but it really wasn't getting any better. After two days of brickwork though, I found that waking up sore from working hard is a lot nicer than waking up sore from just not sleeping well. It's amazing how doing some really hard work in the dirt gives you more energy.

So then I decided that the best way to keep myself sore and tired out was to tackle the weeds on the side of the house. My mobile home is blessed with excellent dirt, but without constant attention from the homeowner, that just means that I get fantastically healthy weeds (see the picture above -- you can see the shingles holding some of them at bay so we can get through to water the plants that we want to have). Somebody had once dumped gravel over them, but they've grown up through that. I found that if I pull up the weeds (most of them come up pretty easily since they're not rooted in clay), then use a hand trowel to shovel the top couple inches of dirt and gravel into a wire basket I bought for the purpose, I can then sift out the gravel to set aside, replace the dirt, lay down a garbage bag to keep the weeds at bay, then have enough gravel to put a healthy layer or two on top of the plastic. I can't go very fast -- it took me an hour or two to do a 2x3 foot patch today -- but it sure does look a lot better when I'm done! I can also expect it to stay fairly weed free for a year or two, and if I want to put a garden in at some point, I'll just have to pull up the garbage bags full of gravel, and I'll have nice clean dirt to work with.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hand of God 2

A few weeks ago I realized that I was still carrying around a lot of guilt for a mistake I made years ago. It was the sort of mistake where I thought I was doing the right thing at the time, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't make it turn out right. I knew that the guilt was not rational guilt -- the kind that makes you want to make amends and change how you do things -- I had done all those things long ago. This was the generalized "everything is my fault, I must be a horrible person" kind of guilt that my brain generates on overtime about just about everything I encounter.

Anyway, I called Mom for advice, and she told me, among other things, that if I could feel the spirit in my life, then God must have forgiven me for whatever I had done wrong, and so I could reasonably forgive myself too. This was mildly comforting at the time, but I mostly just shoved the guilt down to the bottom of the pile I'm always suppressing, and kind of forgot about it.

I was reading the Ensign this morning, and found the article, “I Will Not Leave You Comfortless” by Elder Cecil O. Samuelson. As I was reading, I felt the spirit say to me, "The Lord loves you, and is pleased with your efforts." And I knew that it meant He had also truly forgiven my past mistakes.

I am so thankful to have the Spirit in my life, and to have people around me who teach the truth about how to have a good relationship with the Lord.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hand of God 1

At General Conference last weekend, one of the speakers suggested keeping a journal of times when we see the Lord's hand in our lives. Here are a few little coincidences that made me feel like somebody was watching out for me this weekend.

First, Miriam bought me some Halloween socks as a "welcome to our house" present. I love fun socks, and often buy them for myself. I had seen these particular socks several times at the store, and had almost bought them a couple of times. Every time, though, I thought, "No, you don't need to buy Halloween socks today." So I got to honestly tel Miriam that I had really wanted these socks, and that she picked the perfect present!

We had a long drive in the car to get from our house to Mike's. I really need to have some music or book on tape playing while I'm in the car. I brought along my iPod full of songs, but forgot the charger. We listened all the way up (about 6 hours) and all the way back, and the iPod died as we were turning into our own driveway! I said to Peter, "That was a thing of beauty!" It worked exactly as long as I needed it, and no longer.

Somebody loves me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Alcatraz Fan Art

When I went to visit my brother and his family this past weekend, I thought it might be fun for them to go to Brandon Sanderson's book signing since he happened to be in town that day. I thought is might be more fun if they had a clue who he was and what he'd written, so I took along the Alcatraz book to read to Aidan. I figured I'd get a few chapters read, and if he liked it, we'd go to the signing and get him his own copy to finish. Well, we were so engrossed in the reading that we forgot to leave in time to get to the signing. I did ask Aidan to draw a picture for Brandon though.

Here it is. This is the scene where Bastille and Quentin are fighting the Alivened Paper Monster. You can see the monster, Bastille's broken sword coming out of its chest, Quentin with his gym bag full of guns, and Bastille with her dangerous handbag. I'm not sure why they're wearing helmets. I think that Aidan just thinks helmets are cool.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Another Mobile Home

This one is in Lakewood -- Pretty far from where Peter works. It's only about five miles from where we used to live in Anaheim. The thing is, it's really nice. Built in 2005, it has cathedral ceilings with skylights, a big bathtub (no jacuzzi jets, though), three bedrooms, two baths, a laundry room, a big kitchen, and a living room and dining area. There's a garden in front, and space for more in back. The park rent is high, about $900, so that's a minus, but the park has a pool, and is very nice.

The thing is, it's going to be impossible to find something nice, and affordable, and close. They simply don't go together.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Mobile Home II

So I went to see the mobile home yesterday. If we buy it, it will need a LOT of work. The floor really is falling apart in places, the carpet hasn't been cleaned since it was originally installed in 1970, and so has black lines in the high traffic areas. It will simply have to go -- as will the linoleum in the kitchen. The walls all have that fake wood paneling - so they'll have to be painted, and they'll still have the grooves. The appliances are just as ancient as everything else. I really don't know whether the Bank would lend us money for such a thing -- we certainly couldn't re-sell it for a profit after a few years, I doubt we could re-sell it at all. I'm OK with the idea that all our money would be gone when we moved out -- that's no different than renting -- but what if we want to move before we've paid it off? It'll take at least five years under the best of circumstances.

The trouble is, I really like the idea of living there. It's much closer to the places that I go, and not too far for Peter. It has a bit of lawn and a rose garden. The people in the park are friendly and will talk to you. The land rent is cheap.

Sigh. I don't even know if we'll qualify. I should get the paperwork next week.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mobile Home

I'm going to look at the Mobile Home in Santa Monica tomorrow. The lady showing it said that if we're on the edge, we ought to apply anyway to see if it'll work. The home is a 1970 model, so it's older than the banks like, but it's about half of what we were asking the banks for, so it might be OK. It's 20x48 so it's almost twice as big as our current apartment. It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, walk in closets, stove and refrigerator, and it's even painted green outside! On the downside, it needs repairs to the floors, new carpets, and there's evidently an antique sofa that won't fit out the door. There's space for a washer and dryer, but no hookups currently, though there is a laundry facility in the park. There is a little lawn and garden, but they'll be changing the street layout in the park, so I don't know whether it will survive the "master plan". I have a lot to find out tomorrow!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pregnant again?

Well it's finally time to start trying to get pregnant again. According to my calendar, it could happen this week. I do feel kind of queasy, but is that the hormones or the nerves?

We're also trying to buy a mobile home. It's not an easy proposition. There's one in Santa Monica that looks perfect for us...but we're worried that we might not meet the low income requirements of the park. We probably will if they don't include the re-writing work that's not official salary, but if they do, it may have pushed us over the edge. I wonder if we could tell them we're not doing it any more -- and really stop of course -- I'm only willing to do it since it would let us have a better place to live. Wouldn't it be ironic if it kept us from getting the place we want?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Slowly getting better

I finished our taxes yesterday - which is a huge accomplishment to even start. I've been to the museum three times with friends in the last month. This weekend Peter and I are going to see a movie with another couple from church, and I'm going to help a girl with making her prom dress. I'm getting out of the house more often, and developing relationships with other people. On the other hand, Miriam is moving this week, which I can hardly admit to myself because it's such a huge loss. When I'm not out with other people, I'm at home sitting at the computer reading random webpages, and rating music. I have weeks of laundry to do, and the house is messy. Jonie says that I'm making progress,but it frustrates me how slow it is.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Food Stress

OK so you know that when I get stressed out, I don't want to eat, Right? Well, at the moment stress is here, and eating is gone. I absolutely cannot decide what to eat, and even when something is put in front of me, I sometimes can't eat it. Last night when Peter suggested a TV dinner, I nearly had a panic attack -- My heart started beating really fast, and I got that feeling in my stomach like I want to throw up. It's gotten to the point where I've skipped so many meals this week that I'm kind of light headed and headachey most of the time, and that doesn't help things.

I kind of feel like if somebody else took care of all my eating decisions for about a week, I might be able to get beck to normal, but as it is, every meal makes me more stressed and crazy. I tried asking Peter, but all he could come up with was pot pies -- eeck.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

My First Pregnant Picture

Here's my first pregnancy profile. I'm 7 weeks along, so it's pretty much normal. Waist size 31" Weight 169 lbs. Unfortunately, when making the small image to post in the blog, I saved over the original one. I'll have to be more careful next time.

Symptoms I'm noticing at the moment:
Acne is still really bad.
I've had some spotting the last few days. I'm kind of worried about it.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

I love the Bean, too

It's hard to tell sometimes what Peter thinks about me being pregnant. He's pleased -- that's for sure -- but sometimes I feel like it's a "Oh, that's nice" kind of pleased rather than a "Hooray!!! We're having a baby!!!" kind of pleased.

The other day, I was reading about week 6 of pregnancy, and saw that it says "Right now she's about the size of a small lentil bean." That night while we were watching TV, I told Peter that it was amazing how much energy it takes to make something the size of a bean (I have to take a nap or two most days). He sort of smiled, and went on reading his email. Later though, he said, "I love you" in that random way he does, then added, "And I love the Bean, too."

Sometimes he can be so romantic without even trying.

New symptom: Acne! Ugh! I had always been told that getting pregnant might finally deal with my acne problem once and for all. I had no idea that it could make it worse! Oh well, chalk up one more to the hormones. On the plus size, they say that acne indicates that the baby's a girl... so that would be nice.

Monday, January 29, 2007

my new blog

So I'm finally getting on the blog bandwagon. I recently found out I'm pregnant - tentative due date: Sept 18, 2007. I want to have somewhere to post what I'm feeling.

I've wanted to have a baby since...forever. It's been a long time coming what with the troubles of finding the right husband, getting out of a very stressful - and not at all family friendly job, getting healthy after the job put me out of comission for months, and then getting off the meds used to help me get healthy. Well I went off birth control at the start of November, and here it is January and I'm pregnant! That sure didn't take long (though as I said it was a long time coming).

I found out on Wednesday the 17th of January. I wanted to tell Peter first, but I didn't want to do it over the phone. Wednesday is my day in Riverside for our women's group meetings, so I went up to spend the day with Miriam. She was thinking of heading to Colorado to be with her sick mom, so was a little down. Then Tracy came over feeling very upset with her girls, and more upset with herself. I decided it would be best to cheer everybody up, so I told them the news, and they were SOOOO excited. When Mike and Mitch (their husbands) came home, they quickly learned the secret because SOME PEOPLE couldn't keep from making silly jokes. We went out to dinner at the Thai place to celebrate. Then I drove home. Peter was watching American Idol. I told him during a commercial break. He was happy, but not especially surprised.

The next day I called Mom. She was THRILLED!!! I told her not to tell anybody yet (I wanted to spread the word myself, and wait until I had seen a doctor and gotten a due date). Well that waiting lasted about a week. The Doctor doesn't want to see me till February, and I don't want to wait that long. So about the 24th, I started to spread the word. Everybody is happy (Grandpa Roly was speechless). Here's how the calls usually go:

  • Me: I have some good news -- do you want to guess?
  • Them: Are you pregnant?
  • Me: Yup!
  • Them: Yaaaaaay! When's the due date?
  • Me: September-ish
  • Them: Make it such-and-such date in September -- that's my birthday, anniversary, baptism date, mother's birthday, whatever
  • Me: I'll do my best.
  • Them: So What are you hoping for -- a Boy or a Girl? And don't tell me you'll just take whatever's healthy and be happy, you have to have a preference.
  • Me: I'm kind of hoping for a girl -- there are none on my side of the family yet, and they're SOOO cute. Of course it's not like I'd send a boy back...
  • Them: Any names yet?
  • Me: Well, there are the names we've been thinking about since High School -- I'd like to name a little girl Elizabeth Anne after My Great Grandmother, My Mom, and Me, but really we're going to wait until the baby is a little more real to decide.
  • Them: So are you sick at all?
  • Me: I get a little queasy in the morning and at odd times, but since I've spent most of my life being queasy at odd times, it really doesn't make much difference.
  • Them: Well congratulations! You'll make the best mommy there is!
  • Me: Thanks!
As for symptoms, I may not be puking up my breakfast (thank goodness), but I do have my share (Warning: if you don't want to read about what my body is doing, then this is not the blog for you. Go read something else):

  1. Frequent Urination -- this was one of my first clues -- even before the pregnancy test
  2. Tender breasts -- they really hurt, though a supportive bra helps
  3. Fatigue -- I've been taking naps more, and I just get tired out by the evening
  4. Abdominal cramps/pain -- This may or may not be related to the pregnancy since I have them often anyway, but I think some of them are
  5. Queasiness -- I know I'm often queasy anyway, but there's a different quality to this queasiness that makes me think it's related
  6. Emotions -- I get weepy easily -- especially if I'm reading about baby stuff
  7. Hunger -- I'm really hungry all the time. I often feel like it's been 12-15 hours between meals when it's really only been 3-4. I've only been eating two meals a day lately, and it looks like I'll need to double that at least.
Well, I think that's enough for now. I'll try to update often.