Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wii Fit...A Poor Substitution for the Real Thing?

Web MD reviews the wii fit, and concludes:

If you're going to substitute giving your thumbs a workout with the Wii video games for a Wii exercise game, that's a good choice, in terms of actual activity and caloric expenditure," he says. "The hope [however] is that if we can engage people in trying some of these sports through Wii, we can entice them to try the real thing and get some real exercise.

According to the article linked above, many of the activities do not burn as many calories as doing the actual activity. I've been trying to decide if wii fit is a good way to stay in shape, or just a fun side activity.

The four areas are; balance, aerobics, strength training, and yoga.

The "balance exercises" are games, and I don't see any physical benefit to doing them, I haven't decided if doing them regularly will improve my balance or not.

The aerobics exercises start out very easy, but I think I'm in fairly decent shape to start with, the hula hoop has gotten more difficult as I've done it more, so perhaps the others would too.

The strength training has some exercises that I find challenging and some that I don't think do anything, since there are no weights to make them more difficult.

The yoga is probably my favorite. I've never done a lot of "real" yoga before, so maybe those who have wouldn't like it as much, I'm not sure, but I like how the balance board can tell you if you are holding the position the way that you should be.

My conclusion is that it should not replace all other physical activity. It won't replace a gym membership- it can not replicate weight training especially, which I think is critical for women especially to maintain bone density (can you tell I'm pretending to know what I'm talking about here?). It is fun though, and if that gets you off the couch (and in my case, away from the computer), it's a good thing.

There is a place on wii fit to enter in outside activities into your log, although short of having all your workouts logged in one place, I don't particularly see a benefit.

I'm still sore from hula hooping, and the jackknife challenge, so if muscle soreness is any indication of a good workout, It was one.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Passive Homes

My mom sent me the link to this article which I found fascinating. I've included about half of it below, there's also a website in the US where you can learn more about passive homes, Passive House.

DARMSTADT, Germany — From the outside, there is nothing unusual about the stylish new gray and orange row houses in the Kranichstein District, with wreaths on the doors and Christmas lights twinkling through a freezing drizzle. But these houses are part of a revolution in building design: There are no drafts, no cold tile floors, no snuggling under blankets until the furnace kicks in. There is, in fact, no furnace.

In Berthold Kaufmann’s home, there is, to be fair, one radiator for emergency backup in the living room — but it is not in use. Even on the coldest nights in central Germany, Mr. Kaufmann’s new “passive house” and others of this design get all the heat and hot water they need from the amount of energy that would be needed to run a hair dryer.

“You don’t think about temperature — the house just adjusts,” said Mr. Kaufmann, watching his 2-year-old daughter, dressed in a T-shirt, tuck into her sausage in the spacious living room, whose glass doors open to a patio. His new home uses about one-twentieth the heating energy of his parents’ home of roughly the same size, he said.

Architects in many countries, in attempts to meet new energy efficiency standards like the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design standard in the United States, are designing homes with better insulation and high-efficiency appliances, as well as tapping into alternative sources of power, like solar panels and wind turbines.

The concept of the passive house, pioneered in this city of 140,000 outside Frankfurt, approaches the challenge from a different angle. Using ultrathick insulation and complex doors and windows, the architect engineers a home encased in an airtight shell, so that barely any heat escapes and barely any cold seeps in. That means a passive house can be warmed not only by the sun, but also by the heat from appliances and even from occupants’ bodies.

And in Germany, passive houses cost only about 5 to 7 percent more to build than conventional houses.

Decades ago, attempts at creating sealed solar-heated homes failed, because of stagnant air and mold. But new passive houses use an ingenious central ventilation system. The warm air going out passes side by side with clean, cold air coming in, exchanging heat with 90 percent efficiency.

“The myth before was that to be warm you had to have heating. Our goal is to create a warm house without energy demand,” said Wolfgang Hasper, an engineer at the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt. “This is not about wearing thick pullovers, turning the thermostat down and putting up with drafts. It’s about being comfortable with less energy input, and we do this by recycling heating.”

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hula Hoops

Some of my college roommates may recall my talent in hula hoop-ing. It's a gift, what can I say?

We got a wii from christmas (from everyone, to everyone- made shopping pretty easy), and I did a 6 minute hula hoop competition on the wii fit yesterday. My back muscles are so sore today.

I unlocked 10 minutes, so I'm going to do that tonight.

I still like the actual hula hoop better, but this counts how many rotations you get, which is fun. Plus, is amusing to watch people hula hoop without the actual hoop (watching with the hoop is fun also, but this is funnier).

I've done some of the ab exercises also, and those have made me quite sore as well. I'm not sure the wii fit would be the best thing if say, you're training for a marathon, but I think it's fun, and you can get a decent workout on it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mudroom

First, we painted the mudroom the darker of the two shades of green we have elsewhere in the house:

Then my Mister installed the supports for the bench:

Then he installed the bench seat:

Next he placed the verticals:

Then he put in the supports for the shelf, and the shelf:

And finally, he put in the cross pieces that will hold hooks for coats and backpacks:

He'll have to go back and fill the nail holes and repaint, and we have to find some hooks I like, then we'll have somewhere to put all the coats that are currently piled up on the bench. The brown thing is a little shelf/cubby thing we bought at ikea. After we had all the white stuff up I didn't want to put this back up- maybe we'll have to paint it- but it's great for holding car keys and cell phones and stuff like that.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Hunt

I came home from reading at J's school today and looked out the kitchen window. There was a hawk of some sort on the snow in the backyard. I ran upstairs to tell everyone else, and we watched out an upstairs window as it flew over the fence to the next yard. It had something small in it's claws and left a pile of feathers in our yard.

Later, I looked out the kitchen window again, and saw this:


The hawk sat on the fence all morning, but the one in the air was all over the open space, so I only saw it flying behind our house a couple of times.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Song of Prayer

A and I were driving today and I was listening to my favorite christmas CD, A said, "let's listen to the song that talks about prayer".

I was trying to figure out what song that might be, so I scrolled through the CD, and as each song started, he said, "nope, that's not it".

Finally I had him sing part of the song to me so I could figure out what christmas song he wanted.

He sang:

"Livin' on a prayer" by Bon Jovi

Friday, December 05, 2008

Learning new tricks

Taja, our dog (who is no longer the puppy she was in the picture at the top left of my blog) has finally learned to ring the little doorbell we put outside for her to tell us when she wants to come in. Prior to the doorbell, her method involved scratching the bejeebers out of the frame around the door. When my Mister and I first thought of a doorbell for her, we looked at the Doggie Doorbell (pictured here), but opted to get a regular doorbell with plug-in-chime-thing instead. It cost $5. The Doggie Doorbell cost $25.00 (plus shipping). The extra $20 (plus shipping) has cost us some repair work that we'll need to do to the frame around the back door which she has come close to scratching the bejeebers out of, but it's a moral victory- we didn't have to buy the extra large doorbell button for her to be able to press it. She does just fine with the human-sized one (except for when she knocks it over- we may have to mount it to something to keep it upright).

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The 12 Days of Turkey (almost)

Another reason to be thankful, dinners that just don't quit.

1- Thanksgiving Dinner
2- Turkey Sandwiches
3- Turkey Noodle Soup
4- Turkey and Broccoli Casserole
5- Turkey Tetrazzini
6- (This is where you pull the other half of the turkey out of the freezer) Mini Thanksgiving Dinner
7- More Turkey Sandwiches
8- More Turkey and Broccoli Casserole (every time I type that it comes out "casserold" must be freudian)
9- More Turkey Tetrazzini
10- If you still have leftover turkey, it's time to add it to the compost pile, because really, who can go 10 days eating turkey every night. (And next year buy a smaller turkey, leftovers are great, but really, don't get carried away... It's not appropriate to eat turkey from 2008 for Thanksgiving 2009.)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

So This Is Christmas?

Several years ago my Mister bought Sarah Mclachlan's christmas album for me from itunes, I start listening to it the day after thanksgiving, and keep it in until spring. She sings John Lennon's Happy Xmas, and it's one of my favorite songs on the album, and I think despite the "secular" nature of the song, it really makes you think about what christmas is supposed to be about.
Today I read a good post atPoliticaLDS about how we have become so materialistic, and greedy. We've taken something that is supposed to be a time where we think about the birth of our savior and what that has meant in our lives and turned it into a shopping frenzy. I've cut back a little this year, but I still fall into the trap of, "oh, I just need to buy this one more thing". Christmas becomes a time where I buy the things I've been wanting all year long (for myself or other people) instead of a time to be grateful and content with the blessings that I have. Even in the do-gooding, we end up buying more stuff. It's a dilemma. It seems sad that a child would go without a new toy christmas morning, but there are children all over the world who go without food every morning.

Another interesting post I read on One Utah where in the comments they were discussing the ridiculousness of "Winter Oreos" when they should stop trying to be politically correct, and just call them Christmas Oreos (since I'm sure Jesus really appreciates specially colored oreos in his honor).

A Parenting Epiphany (again)

It seems like in parenting, I have to learn the same lesson over and over again. Thinking about my brothers post, which I linked to below, and to what I said about (my ideas on) God's ideas of crime and punishment, made me think about how we (people in general, and myself personally) approach disciplining our children.

Are we punishing them for crimes committed, or are we teaching them, correcting behavior that would ultimately cause them pain or difficulty in life? Sometimes kids break things, or are careless, and it's tempting to take out our anger on them, but does that teach them to be more careful in the future or does it just damage our relationship with them?

Here's a random picture of CP, who has discovered capes. He's constantly pulling the dishtowel from the front of the stove and holding it at the back of his neck so I'll tuck it into his shirt. He then runs around saying SooBee (Super Baby), which he got from me, the first time he had a cape on, I flew him around saying "Super Baby!".

Monday, November 24, 2008

From Shenpa Warrior

My little brother has really grown up to be someone I admire, I'm reminded of how wise he is by a recent post on his blog.

Shenpa Warrior

He quotes Spencer W. Kimball:
Jesus saw sin as wrong but also was able to see sin as springing from deep and unmet needs on the part of the sinner. This permitted him to condemn the sin without condemning the individual. We can show forth our love for others even when we are called upon to correct them. We need to be able to look deeply enough into the lives of others to see the basic causes for their failures and shortcomings.

I had an experience a few years ago that forever changed my views on repentance, which goes along nicely with what Adam said- repentance isn't about being punished for our sins. It's about being able to move past the things we do that halt our personal growth.

It's not a crime and punishment sort of thing. I don't think God's laws work that way. It's about healing and growth so that we can become happy, fulfilled people.

I really like the Kimball quote because THAT is exactly why we don't judge other people. If someone is struggling in some way, instead of looking at them and saying, "well, I need to stay away from them, they're doing bad things", we say, "how can I help this person get through this challenge".

Jesus taught us to love, not judge.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pizza Crust Update


Tiffany posted a link to this pizza crust recipe awhile back, and I finally got around to trying it. I highly recommend it. My Mister thought the dough smelled way to garlic-y but we both thought it was really good crust. If you're making dessert pizza leave out the garlic and herbs. We topped our pizza with sauce, cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms and fresh spinach (we usually use tomatoes and olives also but we're out of those). I almost missed taking a picture because the kids were eating it up so fast. I might have to buy another pizza stone one of these days.

Cooks.com

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup warm water (110
degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour I used whole wheat, but you could also do 1/2 of each
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine water, olive oil, sugar, salt in pan of bread machine Add flour, then sprinkle garlic on flour. Lastly add yeast.
2. Turn machine on dough cycle. As the dough mixes, sprinkle on oregano and basil until it suits you for color and taste. Let mix for about 15 to 30 minutes. Let the dough rest from 5 to 30 minutes. The longer it rests, the thicker and more tasty the crust. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
3. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Spray a large pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough on pan and add your choice of pizza toppings. I toss the dough to mostly get it shaped, put it on my hot pizza stone and hurry and mush the rest of the edges the fill the stone- hot pizza stones make a big difference in the crispy-ness of the crust- then add my toppings.
4. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Last night for dinner I made chicken noodle soup. From leftover chicken from a dinner at Famous Dave's BBQ, but you could also make it with any other chicken you have (it works really well to use the leftovers from those roasted chickens you can buy at the grocery store- two meals for the price of one). I put the whole pieces of cooked chicken in a pot with water, added two stalks of celery and two carrots, chopped, and 1/2 an onion also chopped. I simmered it until dinner time, then removed the chicken, picked the remaining meat off the bones, put the meat back in and discarded the bones, added a little more water, some salt and pepper, and 2 bouillon cubes, and homemade egg noodles.

It was really good, and I thought I'd share the noodle recipe, it was really easier, and much better than adding store bought noodles to a soup.

This recipe is from Cooks.com, I cut the recipe in half and it was still plenty of noodles for the soup. They fatten up quite a bit, so roll them as thin as you can.

2 c. flour
4 eggs
1 tsp. salt
Make hollow in 2 cups flour. Put eggs in. Add salt. Stir until well mixed. If not rollable add flour until it rolls easy. If too dry add a little oil or water. Let dry and cut.

I cut them and immediately put them in the soup.

Friday, November 21, 2008

10%

Buy Local Week starts next saturday, November 29th and runs through December 6th. Local First, a non profit organization supporting local businesses suggests shifting just 10% of your purchases to locally owned stores. That 10% can make a huge difference in our local economies.

Why is shopping local so important?

From the Local First website:
Locally owned, independent businesses reflect the character of our communities. Owners of local businesses live here. They are our neighbors. Their products and services support and sustain the needs of our residents, and they play a vital role in our social networks. In fact, local businesses mirror who we are and what we value as a community. They help to create a sense of place. Emerging research demonstrates that local and independent businesses generate more than three times the return to our local economies than do national chain stores. This is because business owners typically purchase support services (marketing, accounting, legal, design) from local firms and are often better employers, who pay living wages and offer benefits. Additionally, profits from local businesses tend to stay in our communities. Local businesses offer the greatest opportunities for jobs, innovation, and other community contributions, which improve the quality of life for local residents. Over the last several years, global trends and market forces have resulted in consolidation, mergers, and acquisitions in many business sectors. Growth among mass merchandisers, internet retailers, and big-box stores, ultimately reduces the selection and diversity of products and services available in our communities. With such intense competition, the market share of goods and services sold by local and independent businesses has eroded, in some cases, dramatically. Many communities and countless urban and rural main streets that only a few short years ago featured thriving local- business districts are now in decline. The result is less choice for consumers, a growing sameness of design, of products, and of services, less opportunity for innovation, fewer living-wage scale jobs and reduced reinvestment back into our community. Decaying main streets and homogenized neighborhood commercial zones are blighting many communities and taxpayers struggle to reclaim the vitality and the culture that these businesses helped to support.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shop Local

This past Saturday my Mister and I did a little shopping. We needed some tools, so we went to Ace Hardware in North Salt Lake. They had just about everything we needed, and what they didn't have, they ordered for us, no extra charge. Plus, they gave us the online price on one tool, which saved us nearly $10 on it.

In talking to one of the owners, we learned that sales are down $50,000 this month compared to the same time last year. Partly the economy, people just aren't spending as much (which is a good thing, IMO) but largly because of Lowes. I've been to lowes, but when I think about what kind of community I want to live in, I picture small, locally owned stores where people know what they're selling.

Next time you need something for a home improvement project, or a kitchen item (they have an impressive selection of kitchen tools), or if you want to take a class on decorating or cooking, check out Ace before you try a big box store. Support our community.

(I also have to add, that I saw a special brownie pan that makes every piece an edge- I've said for years that there ought to be one, and now there is. I almost bought it (two actually), maybe next time.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Edible (Delicious) Asparagus

I've never been a huge fan of asparagus, I thought it was okay, but never sought it out to cook it myself. Recently, I've been buying one "unusual" fruit or vegetable each week or so to help my kids appreciate a wider range of foods. I don't want them growing up thinking that peas, corn, and broccoli are the main sources of vegetables, or that the only way to eat them is out of a can or a freezer bag.

We've tried pomegranates (big hit), artichokes (bigger hit, which makes me happy because I love them but my Mister is lukewarm about them, now I have two more fans), kiwi, and last week, asparagus.

My mother loves asparagus, and would feed it to us at least a couple of times a year. The best I ever ate as a child was fresh picked and uncooked from my great-grandparents' ranch.

This asparagus was nice and slender (the best way to get it).

Here's the recipe (as much as you can call this a recipe):

Melt a chunk of butter in a sautee pan. Add sliced mushrooms and onions (this is essential, I tried again without the shrooms or onions and it was not the same) and garlic. Saute until mushrooms shrink a bit and onions have turned translucent. Remove from pan (keep the butter). Add more butter if necessary, add asparagus (with the bendy parts snapped off the bottom) and saute lightly, add a little water, cover and steam for a few minutes until the asparagus starts to darken a bit. Salt to taste.

Enjoy.

You can either put the mushrooms and onions back on top of the asparagus, or you can use them in something else. I was making stroganoff that evening which was why I just happened to have a pan of buttery mushroom and onion juice that I thought, hey, I could cook the asparagus in that.

Happy accident.

We'll be planting asparagus in our garden next spring.

(photo credit),

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Change comes slowly, but it does come

Elder Wickman: If you have some legally sanctioned relationship with the bundle of legal rights traditionally belonging to marriage and governing authority has slapped a label on it, whether it is civil union or domestic partnership or whatever label it’s given, it is nonetheless tantamount to marriage. That is something to which our doctrine simply requires us to speak out and say, “That is not right. That’s not appropriate.”

I can't find a date on that interview, but I know it has been around for at least a year, probably more than that.

On November 5th:Even more, the Church does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.

From the November 11th Tribune: Just last week, Elder L. Whitney Clayton stated the LDS Church does not oppose 'civil union or domestic partnerships

I haven't been able to find a transcript where Elder Clayton stated that, so I wonder if that is an exact quote, or if it is an interpretation of the previous paragraph I quoted which talks about rights for same sex couples that the church doesn't oppose. Either way, the church seems to be softening it's stance.

Edit: Here's a link to the Des. News article: He said in general, the church "does not oppose civil unions or domestic partnerships," that involve benefits like health insurance and property rights. That stand was outlined in a statement the church posted on its Web site earlier in the campaign.

I'm glad to see that Equality Utah wants to find common ground rather than point fingers. Even though they as a group have to be feeling discriminated against, they are taking the high road, which I appreciate. Stephanie Pappas stated: While we disagree with the LDS Church's position on Proposition 8, we respect that their position is based on the guiding principles of their faith.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Be Prepared

My Mister built some great shelves under the stairs to store some of our food storage- previously it was sitting in boxes in the garage. Who knew we had so much?

I took a bunch of pictures as the project progressed last saturday, but the pictures have all somehow disappeared, so this is what you get.


He also wired a phone from the "all things wirey" box (he calls it his "SMC" or Structured Media Center) so that if the power goes out we still have a working phone.

Friday, November 07, 2008

My Mom is Awesome

Who knew she had a bit of snarky-ness in 'er.

(well, I knew, I just don't see it often)

Letter to the Davis County Clipper

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Emotions from the SL Tribune

Amusement (with a pardon to my Mister)

From the comments on this editorial:
Utah is no longer the reddest state in the Union; that honor now goes to, I believe, Idaho (whose new state slogan is "Utah's Slow Cousin To The North").

Disgust

Letter to the Editor

Overheard on the FrontRunner commuter train the day before Halloween: "There are so many non-LDS in our neighborhood - in fact, we're the minority - that our ward decided to sponsor a trunk-or-treat."
Would someone please give me the scripture reference where Jesus teaches fear and intolerance?


and finally....

HA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHA HAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA

link

"As he tries to bring us closer to socialism," Chaffetz warned, "I will be a strong voice in opposition."

Congratulations to My Mister

Congratulations on running a clean campaign, and working so hard. Congratulations on the 3742 people who believed in your honesty, dedication, and desire to make a difference.

I am so proud that you were willing to step up, and get involved.

I love you Mister.

(I'll also add a congratulations and thank you to Becky Edwards. It has been a pleasure, where so many campaigns get nasty, you were above that, which I think says good things about you.)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Impressionable Minds

I'm about 1/3 of the way through the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. My impressionable mind has now decided that I want to grow asparagus, even though I don't particularly love it (it's okay). I ought to learn to love it, because I love the idea of asparagus ferns poking their way up through the soil heralding the first edible of spring.

I also want to experiment with cheese making.

(And I'd like to have more chickens and turkeys, and maybe milk goats (drat my milk issues))

My dream home is turning more and more into a farm. My Mister says we were born in the wrong century. Unfortunately, had I been born in an earlier century, I'd have been condemned to an insane asylum or at least a life confined to my home because of the big strawberry hemangioma that I was born with on my forehead. I'll take this century (and plastic surgery and indoor plumbing). I'd still like the farm.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

God needs more democrats

Thanks to Bob for this article. (I've shortened it quite a bit, for the full article see bob's blog.)

If this was applicable in 1998, it's even more applicable today.

Here's also a link to an article from the UofU's Daily Chronicle, originally published in 2004. I've linked to it before, it's a good one.

Dan Harrie, Salt Lake Tribune, May 3, 1998
10/27/2008 05:51 PM MDT

On May 3, 1998, the Salt Lake Tribune reported the following interview with Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the First Quorum of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Jensen, at the time a member of the Church's Public Affairs Committee, was "designated by church officials to respond to The Salt Lake Tribune's request for an interview on the topic of partisan imbalance in Utah and among LDS members."

The LDS Church, through a high-ranking leader, is making its strongest public statement to date about the need for political diversity among members, while expressing concerns the Republican Party is becoming the "church party."

"There is sort of a division along Mormon/non-Mormon, Republican/Democratic lines," says Elder Marlin Jensen, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. "We regret that more than anything -- that there would become a church party and a non-church party. That would be the last thing that we would want to have happen."

Jensen said major national political parties may take stands that do not coincide with teachings of the 10 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but that should not put them out of bounds for members....

-- The LDS Church's reputation as a one-party monolith is damaging in the long run because of the seesaw fortunes of the national political parties.

-- The overwhelming Republican bent of LDS members in Utah and the Intermountain West undermines the checks-and-balances principle of democratic government.

-- Any notion that it is impossible to be a Democrat and a good Mormon is wrongheaded and should be "obliterated."

-- Faithful LDS members have a moral obligation to actively participate in politics and civic affairs, a duty many have neglected.

...Jensen, who was called as a general authority in 1989, said high church officials lament the near-extinction of the Democratic Party in Utah and the perception -- incorrect though it is -- that the GOP enjoys official sanction of the church....

"One of the things that prompted this discussion in the first place was the regret that's felt about the decline of the Democratic Party [in Utah] and the notion that may prevail in some areas that you can't be a good Mormon and a good Democrat at the same time," Jensen said.

"There have been some awfully good men and women who have been both and are both today. So I think it would be a very healthy thing for the church -- particularly the Utah church -- if that notion could be obliterated."

The idea that Mormonism and Democratic Party affiliation are incompatible traces back to the early 1970s, when LDS general authority Ezra Taft Benson, who later became church president, was quoted in an Associated Press interview as saying it would be difficult for a faithful member to be a liberal Democrat.

Church officials later claimed the comment was taken out of context, although the AP stood by its account.

Jensen said concerns exist on two levels about the unofficial linkage of the Republican Party and Mormon Church.

One is the fear that by being closely identified with one political party, the church's national reputation and influence is subject to the roller-coaster turns and dips of that partisan organization. Also bothersome is that the uncontested dominance of the Republican Party in Utah deprives residents of the debate and competition of ideas that underlie good government.

"There is a feeling that even nationally as a church, it's not in our best interest to be known as a one-party church," Jensen said. "The national fortunes of the parties ebb and flow. Whereas the Republicans may clearly have the upper hand today, in another 10 years they may not."

..."The Democratic Party has in the last 20 years waned to the point where it really is almost not a factor in our political life," Jensen said. "There is a feeling that that is not healthy at all -- that as a state we suffer in different ways. But certainly any time you don't have the dialogue and the give-and-take that the democratic process provides, you're going to be poorer for it in the long run."

There also are more immediate, tangible costs, he said.

Jensen blamed the Republican monopoly for contributing to Utah political leaders' inability or unwillingness to grapple with long-range planning issues. He pointed to the lack of state leadership on issues of open-space preservation and land-use planning.... "There are probably issues like that environmentally, educationally that we'd really benefit from if there were a more robust dialogue going on. But we've lacked that and I think we've suffered somewhat because of it."

..."This is the second dramatic time in the history of the state when forceful signals have been flashed from church headquarters calling on Mormons to choose up political sides more evenly," said J.D. Williams, retired University of Utah political scientist.

Williams compared Jensen's public pronouncements to the church's attempts in the 1890s to divide congregations up evenly among the two major political parties....

Jensen also referred to the 19th-century splitting of congregations along partisan lines, when the territorial People's and Liberal parties were abandoned in favor of national party affiliations.

He repeated an anecdote told by prominent LDS Democrat Oscar McConkie about his father's recollections of a church leader telling a congregation during a Sunday morning meeting to "sign up to be Republicans."

At that time, Mormons favored the Democratic Party because it was less stridently anti-polygamy than were Republicans.

When members of the flock returned for an afternoon session, the Republican sign-up sheet remained blank, Jensen said. "Brothers and sisters, you have misunderstood," said the church leader. "God needs Republicans."

"And Oscar said his father would wink and say, `And you know, Oscar, those damned Republicans think they've had God on their side ever since,' " Jensen said....

"We need to develop a tolerance -- so we don't demonize people that we have a disagreement with," Peck said. "It really was the church leaders' position on abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment [in the 1970s] that was the death of the Utah Democratic Party, because it became a litmus test," he said.

Pro-choice and, more recently, gay-rights stands of the national Democratic Party have helped Republicans paint the donkey-symbol party as taboo.

Jensen said it is time for LDS members to take a broader view of political affiliation.

"We would probably hope that they wouldn't abandon a party necessarily because it has a philosophy or two that may not square with Mormonism. Because, as I say, [parties] in their philosophies ebb and flow," Jensen said.

"You know, the Republicans came very close last time to bringing a pro-abortion plank into their platform. That was maybe the biggest battle of their [1996 national] convention," he said. "Which shows that if you're a pure ideologue, eventually you're going to have trouble in either party."

"Everyone who is a good Latter-day Saint is going to have to pick and choose a little bit regardless of the party that they're in and that may be required a lot more in the future than it has been in the past. But I think there's room for that and the gospel leaves us lots of latitude."

Friday, October 24, 2008

All of these things are just like the other, all of these things are just the same

Salt Blog has provided a nice kick-in-the-pants to remind us of the senate and house members who voted for vouchers. The list is not comprehensive, the Salt Blog says their list is of the voucher ring leaders. You can also look at the Utah Leg. sites for Senate and House votes on the voucher bill.

Lest you think I've become a one issue voter (If I had, the issue would be health care anyway), I'm not recommending voting against any of these people soley because of their vote for vouchers, but rather to use their voucher vote as an example of their arrogance as a representative. They decided that they knew better than us, that they didn't need to listen to us, and that we were so stupid that we'd continue to vote for them even after they demonstrated such a lack of regard for our will.

Here are the Davis County legislators who voted FOR vouchers and are up for reelection:

Roger Barrus (House district 18)

Kevin Garn (House district 16)

Curtis Oda (House district 14)

I'm sure that these men are all good people, I'm sure that they are doing what they believe to be their best in representing us, which is one reason why it's time for them to step aside.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Where does a liberal mormon fit in?

Nowhere.

It seems that liberals attack us for our mormon-ness, and mormon's attack us for our liberal-ness.

I'll be glad when November 4th is a distant memory.

I either need a break, or to find some different blogs.

Don't do this

I made pizza for dinner tonight, usually I form the crust by tossing the dough in the air (which is why it is usually less-than perfectly round- let's just say I'm still "perfecting" my skill). Today for some reason I decided just to use a rolling pin. I placed the dough on the pizza stone (with a little corn meal) and rolled a perfectly round base for pizza toppings.

The pizza was the nicest looking pizza I've ever made, but when it came time to slice it, I could tell there was a problem. For some reason the crust was cemented to the pizza stone and the only way to get the pizza off of the stone was to use a spatula to cut the top of the pizza off. It wasn't pretty, but it was edible.

I suppose if I want to use the rolling pin again, I could, I just need to roll it out prior to placing it on the pizza stone. I think I'll go back to the pizza toss method- it's more entertaining for the kids.

(Speaking of Pizza, does anyone have a really good crust recipe? Mine is okay, but it's not anything special.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Arrogance

Sometimes it seems that politicians get a little full of themselves. Especially when they feel they can't be beat. I'd encourage even the most staunch republican to consider voting for Morgan Bowen this year. Rob Bishop states clearly who he represents, and it isn't you or me. I've met Morgan Bowen as well as his wife. They are good people. Morgan genuinely wants to serve Utahns and represent us in congress. Let's send Rob Bishop the message that he isn't irreplaceable, that he must be accountable for his lack of true representation (I was going to say honest, but he's been quite upfront about who he is accountable to). Lets look beyond party affiliation and vote on the issues that matter. Republicans and Democrats haven't always been enemies as we seem to have become. We were meant to compliment each other and share different sides of an issue.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Words Fail


As a child we had some special family friends. He had taught my dad in college and they had been friends-family ever since. Kelly and Martha never forgot us and were always bringing us things that we as children thought were really cool. Giant gummy spiders and rats, plastic animal noses, interesting trinkets from their travels. They were also the kind of people who had a house full of treasures from all over the world, but I was never told to "put that down" or "don't touch that" at their house. When they came to dinner, Martha brought the most amazing desserts. Then there were the slideshows. Images from their travels, and the stories that went with them.

Martha died earlier this afternoon. Sometimes growing up really stinks. (I guess people died when I was younger, but I don't remember it being so difficult- maybe it's because as a child your relationships with people aren't the same as they are when you are an adult.)

The picture is from last spring when they stopped by my parents house on their way home from a trip to southern utah.

Quote of the day...

“You don’t have to be a Democrat to understand that government works better when there are two vital and participating parties. Utah’s Republican leaders have all the power right now. They think they can do anything they want. That’s why Republicans tried to strong-arm the voters on school vouchers. It’ s why we’ve seen bribery, corruption, nepotism and ethics investigations involving so many Republican politicians this year. Our lawyers are organizing to even up the game. Competition from a stronger Democratic Party will make all politicians more accountable. “

--Jeffrey Eisenberg, Utah Democratic Lawyers Council (UDLC) President

48 Quarts Later

Growing up, homemade grape juice (mixed with a little sparkling water) was a special treat. We usually only got it when we had company over for dinner (That's when we also usually had abalone- hey mom, I need to learn how to cook abalone one of these days...).

As I got older and had my own home, and made my own juice, I tended to hoard the juice. Until one day, when I was making juice and realized I still had quite a few quarts from the previous year. That's when I decided to drink it whenever I feel like it.

We finished 48 quarts over the weekend (picture to come later). After giving some to my mom (who provided the grapes) we figure we have enough for 3 quarts per month. It's going to be tough to make them last all year... :)

We've been to DI twice this month to buy more jars, and we haven't started applesauce yet, so we'll be back (if you have quart canning jars, donate them to DI (or me directly)).

Monday, October 13, 2008

Garbage

Our garbage is picked up early friday mornings. Early enough that if we don't put it out the night before, we're not going to get it out in time.

We've missed the last two weeks, and I was a little worried about how overflowing it surely must be by now, but when I took the kitchen garbage out, the big can wasn't even half full yet.

I bet if we really tried, we could cut our garbage down another 50% by being more careful about making sure recyclable things go in the recycling can and compostable things go in the compost bin.

If it wasn't so impractical, I'd wish that we were charged for how much garbage we generated rather than just a flat rate. Well, I wish it anyway, but recognize it would be difficult to track how much garbage each household produced.

Which of course brings up another point- as my neighbor likes to say, the burn plant ought to be paying us to take our garbage. They sell the energy generated from burning the garbage to HAFB, and then they run a giant magnet over the ashes and pull out all the metal, which they are able to sell.

I'm not fond of the burn plant, so this just adds to my irritation with it generally.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Movie Recommendations

We've all been sick, and haven't been watching as many movies recently, but in the past two weeks, we did find time to get two movies in. Martian Child, and The Whole Wide World.
The Whole Wide World is about a school teacher with ambitions of becoming a writer who meets, well, I don't even have the desire to write what the movie was about- that's how exciting/interesting I found it. Here's the info from Netflix:This Dan Ireland-directed film stars Renee Zellweger as Novalyne Price, a Texas schoolteacher with literary ambitions who falls for pulp fiction scribe Bob Howard (Vincent D'Onofrio) -- a man who gracefully traverses a world of words but can't seem to fit into real life. Howard's most famous literary hero is Conan the Barbarian; he, too, is a barbarian of sorts. He's a capable writer, but is he capable of love?

It's rated PG (and I don't see it listed on Kids-in-mind.com), but does have some parts that I found somewhat disturbing- when Bob Howard is writing or talking about his stories.

I Say: Don't bother.

My Mister Says: "What in the world was that about?"

Martian Child is about a widow who adopts a little boy, and their journey to becoming a family. From Netflix:n this film based on a David Gerrold novel, John Cusack stars as a recently widowed science-fiction writer who adopts a 6-year-old boy to quell his loneliness. The catch? The kid (Bobby Coleman) claims to be from Mars. At first, the new dad doesn't pay much attention to the boy's story, but when an odd series of events occurs, he begins to believe his son may be telling the truth in this film co-starring Amanda Peet and Joan Cusack.

It is also rated PG, with a 2.2.3 rating at Kids-in-mind.com

I Say: I loved it. I thought it was a sweet movie and, (as my Mister likes to remind me) I like John Cusack.

My Mister Says: "Eh. It was okay. I liked Oh Brother Where Art Thou* better."

*inside joke- he didn't enjoy the movie. He didn't think it was awful, just not worth watching again.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

What's your Flavor?

Wikipedia says, The saying "Do not drink the Kool-Aid" now commonly refers to the Jonestown tragedy, meaning "Do not trust any group you find to be a little on the kooky side," or "Whatever they tell you, do not believe it too strongly." Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly is famous for using the term in this manner.
Having "drunk the Kool-Aid" also refers to being a strong or fervent believer in a particular philosophy or mission — wholeheartedly or blindly believing in its virtues.


It seems that all of us have "drunk the Kool-Aid". We seem to feel so sure that our position is the only correct one, and that anyone who disagrees with us is either stupid, or uninformed. We label people or ideas. "Liberal", "Conservative", "Left-wing idelogue", "Right-wing", "Extremist", "Obstructionists", "Reactionaries". All of these labels are used to insult those we disagree with. They are used to divide us and pit us against each other.

Who benefits when we are so busy arguing with each other that we forget that every issue has more than two solutions? How about instead of shutting each other down for voicing an opinion different than our own, we do as President Eyring suggested in his recent conference talk. The great peacemaker, the restorer of unity, is the one who finds a way to help people see the truth they share.

How about we stop with the labels meant to insult each other and spend a little more time trying to understand where the other person is coming from. Maybe then we'll be able to fix real problems, like our broken immigration system, and the growing number of uninsured people and skyrocketing health care costs.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fear

Awhile back my son was playing with a friend, who said to him, "if you don't let me play with that, I won't be your friend any more".

I recently read on a blog, "If marriage loses, our religious liberties are next".

I dislike fear mongering in any form. I've tried to teach my son to make choices because he wants to do what is right, based on accurate information, not because he feels threatened in some way. Yes, sharing toys is good, but it is inappropriate for a child to threaten friendship over a toy. How more inappropriate for an adult to use similar tactics. However noble (or not, I'm not commenting on marriage amendments today, I'm just using that as an example of fear mongering) the message, if an argument can't stand on it's own merit, it needs a little more work.

Too often we allow fear to determine our actions, fear prompts us to act hastily in situations where well planned decisions would serve us better. The iraq war is one good example, we as a country were lied to and led to believe that an attack on iraq would protect us, and that failure to act immediately would lead to more terrorist attacks. More recently, the concerns over the economy and the mortgage crisis had politicians telling us that a 700 billion dollar bail out was essential but we must act immediately. I don't currently see any benefit from that immediate action, other than my portion of the national debt just jumped. In both instances, we would have been better off to take a little more time, put a little more thought, and use a little more caution in gaining knowledge before committing to action.

Fear divides, knowledge and understanding unite and allow us to work together instead of breaking into "us" and "them". Sometimes I listen to Sean Hannity while I'm driving in the car (don't ask me why, I find him very divisive and rude) if people like Sean Hannity are successful, they pit people who have slightly different ideas against each other and make us forget that we are capable of working together. We spend so much time fighting each other, that we don't focus on really fixing the problem. Obi Wan Liberali at The Hornet's Nest said it well:

For fear is paralyzing. Fear causes one to search for scapegoats, not solutions. Fear can easily disintegrate into paranoia, finding enemies where they don't exist, and losing trust in allies you have a history with. And in the search for scapegoats that fear inspires, who knows what "them" are to wear that label? And pretty soon, we are again, the "Disunited States of America" where your standing as a citizen is subject to whether you fit within that "them" group or not.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Kyle's website up

Kyle's webpage is now up. Check it out.

Roberts 4 House 20

Thanks to Derek for all of his hard work. It looks great.

We'll be adding more to it over the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

New Item in sidebar


You may have noticed the new image in my side bar- My Mister (Kyle) picked up his campaign signs- so if you live in district 20 and are interested in having one in your yard, email me. aroberts@xmission.com

His website will be up and running sometime this evening, but for now he's posting on his blog

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

3

I got tagged by Becca, so here it goes...

Post these rules on your blog: List: 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 goals, 3 regrets, 3 current obsessions/collections, 3 facts about yourself. Tag 3 people at the end of your post by leaving their names. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog!

3 Joys
-playing in the dirt
-the smell of good things baking in the oven
-being with my family

3 Fears
-phone calls (I hate talking on the phone!)
-having a child or my Mister die
-that kids at school will be mean to my kids

3 Goals
-learn about taking better pictures
-finish crocheting the blanket I'm working on
-finish/start CP's baby book

3 Regrets
-kissing one of the boys I kissed in college, and dodging two others
-not treating some people the way that I should have
-trading in our passat for the van when we did (at the time we didn't see another option, but I miss that car)

3 Obsessions/Collections
-food storage
-getting rid of stuff we don't need
-buying (or looking for stuff to buy) on ksl classifieds and ebay (which doesn't match up well with trying to declutter)

3 Facts about Myself
-my first kiss was as a toddler at hogle zoo- a giraffe leaned over and licked me
-i make terrible pie crust, but am trying to improve
-i love watching movies and eating popcorn from the comfort of my own bed

I tag Criscell, Kari and Emily S.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What I like

I like nice dirt.

I didn't realize how much I like digging in nice dirt until this morning as I buried several hundred bulbs in the new flower bed that was my birthday present (thank you to parents, grandparents, and in-laws who gave me money for my birthday!).

Saturday my Mister dug out the front flower bed. It was filled with gravel and clay. We brought home several plants and a truck load of soil/compost, but didn't have enough to fill the bed, so yesterday my Mister got another load of topsoil. We got all the plants planted and the bulbs placed, then it was time for dinner, and the mosquitoes were out so we didn't make it back out.

This morning, I walked A to preschool, put CP down for a nap and got to work. I buried all the bulbs (crocus, daffodils, tulips, and freesia), the dirt was nice dirt. Soil. Black with a nice earthy smell. That's what soil is supposed to be like, I had almost forgotten what real soil was after a summer of trying to work with the slimy clay stuff found naturally around my yard. Then I mounded the beds to create a ledge around the edges to hold the bark in. Then I covered the whole thing with bark mulch. I'm excited for spring when I can plant some of the perennials that I'm going to grow indoors from seed this winter.

I like Fall. The air is cool, and inside the house, it's cool enough to really need your blankets in the morning. Outside everything feels crisp. I think last spring someone asked me what my favorite season is and I said spring, because everything is new and alive after a long cold winter, but right now I love fall the best. I'm tempted to haul in leaves to dump in my front yard. It's the only thing I don't like about my new house- the trees are babies. I miss our big old trees that dumped huge piles of leaves for the kids to jump in, and to use as a winter mulch in the garden beds.

I like the smell of good things baking in the oven. (I saw a picture of a carrot cake yesterday and had to make one- now I just have to decide if I should do a quick frosting job so we can eat it sooner- or if I should make little carrots with leaves for each piece.... The dilemma I tell you... If only I could upload smells, it's a good one.

I like rows of newly canned fruits or vegetables lined up on the shelf.
I love the colors of fall and pulling out my "fall" decorations. Home starts to feel a little more homey (just wait for the christmas decorations- those are the best!). I like my front door. Stop by sometime.

If you were wondering, after my last post. I found a cure (temporary or not, we'll have to see) for the spending bug. Being content with what I have (and getting some dirt and/or cake batter under my nails doesn't hurt either).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Spending Bug

Sometimes when I'm disappointed about something, or bored, or for any other unknown reason, I get the urge to spend money. My preferences are ebay, ksl classifieds, and shade clothing.

I'm doing really well sticking to my budget so I can save up for a new washing machine (mine is still dying slowly), then save for a new car (we're looking at a Rav4 in 4 years, unless something better comes along). The long-term things I'd like to save for are somewhat helpful to avoid online shopping binges, but don't get rid of them altogether.

Currently I'd like to buy some bulk legos on ebay for the kids for christmas, and some wood working tools for A for his birthday or christmas, a bike from ksl classifieds for J, plus the Kiva micro loans are a little addicting, so it's not like I'm wanting to spend money on wasteful things. I guess when I can get those things they'll be even more meaningful.

How do you avoid online shopping binges?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Kiva Microloans

If you are interested in donating, make sure to join the Feminist Mormon Housewives team first, so your donation counts on their total donations.

Happy Birthday to me!

A birthday card from my brother... Rather fitting considering my birthday always came first! hehehe.

Break the bottled water habit...

We have some water bottles that we use in our food storage- and then rotate by using while camping (we recycle the bottles), but other than that, we use reusable bottles or just cups for drinking water around the house. I like things that are environmentally friendly and financially friendly at the same time!

Break the Bottler Water Habit!

A cool website if you have kids...

A loves "building" things- so we're thinking for christmas we'll get him some real tools and wooden building kits- while searching for things I stumbled across This Montessori website.

I love this hand drill.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Recipe

Yesterday my sister in law called wanting my vegetarian lasagna recipe. She and her husband are trying to cut down on the amount of meat they eat.

Last night it was 5pm and I hadn't figured out what to make for dinner yet, and I had to leave at 6:30. It was time for a throw-it-together dinner using things from my food storage, and it just happens to sort of be vegetarian- you can make it totally vegetarian by using vegetable soup base. But if you're just looking to cut down on the amount of meat you are eating, then this is pretty tasty.

All canned foods should be added with their liquid- don't drain them first.

1 can tomatoes (chopped or just mush them up with a wooden spoon)
1 can corn
1 can green beans
1 can kidney beans
3/4 C or so lentils
1 TBSP or so of Beef Base (I think it's the same as using bullion- but I use the kind from costco that you keep in the fridge once it's open, because it's MSG free and I think it tastes better.
Garlic, salt and pepper to taste
Water if it cooks down too thick

Simmer until lentils are soft.

The lentils would probably be better if they were soaked overnight first- I simmered my soup for 45 minutes or so, and the lentils were a little on the crunchy side.

I think it would also be good with a little fresh spinach tossed in at the end.

Feeds 1 Mister, one me, three small kids who thought I was trying to poison them so they didn't eat much (I wasn't here when they were eating but I'm guessing that quite a bit was left in their bowls), and enough leftover for my lunch today. I recommend serving with some warm bread or rolls (if you plan ahead).

Variation: Tonight I am making the lentil soup again (maybe if I feed it to them often enough, my kids will start to like it?). I ran out of beef base, and instead added cumin. I also added garbanzo beans. I'll have to report back on how it compares to the previous soup.

Tonight I planned ahead and made rolls (and I soaked the lentils overnight). The rolls are a recipe I got from Becca. They're fast and easy, and you can put garlic salt and cheese on top and shape them like breadsticks to go with a pasta dish.

Sixty Minute Rolls
1 C Milk
1/2 C Water
1/4 C Margarine
4-5 C Flour
3 T Sugar
1 tsp Salt
4 1/2 tsp Yeast

Combine milk, water and margarine & heat to warm (butter does not need to be totally melted). Add 3 C flour, sugar and yeast. Mix. Add salt and remaining flour until you have a good texture. Knead lightly. Cover and raise for 15 minutes. Shape as desired, raise for 15 minutes (on greased bun pan). Bake for 12 minutes at 425 F.

(Photo Source Germes-online)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!


Last night I arrived home from the young women's activity that I was helping with to discover my sweet Mister had build me a compost bin. A BIG compost bin.

I was using a ring of chicken wire, but taja dog kept pushing the chicken wire over and digging in the pile. My Mister smuggled 4 pallets home without me noticing and bought a latch and two hinges at the hardware store. The front opens to the side to make turning and harvesting compost much easier.

It's an awesome compost bin.

If you have any spare leaves this fall, or bags of grass clippings let me know, I have plenty of space.

My sad news this morning was finding Mario (our only hen of the original 4 chicks we bought from the feed store this past spring) dead in the hen house. She seemed fine yesterday, so we don't know why she died. I'm especially sad because she had just started laying the cutest light blue eggs.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Hey, I know her!

My college roommate Charlotte was on 20/20 this past friday, talking about an eating disorder that has been labeled Orthorexia. Charlotte talks about her experience with the film crew Here. And you can watch the 20/20 clips Here.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Vrroom Vrroom!


CP says "Vroom Vroom" from Alice Roberts on Vimeo.

I haven't figured out how to edit the video clip, so you get the whole thing (including some light saber wars!)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Movie Recommendations

Earlier in the week we rented Miss Potter (Rated PG). When it came from netflix in the mail, I kind of regretted renting it because it had "animation" throughout the movie and I pictured something very childish.

From Netflix...

Blending lush animation sequences with live-action drama, director Chris Noonan constructs this biopic about the personal life of beloved children's author and illustrator Beatrix Potter. Featuring the Academy Award-winning Renee Zellweger as the title character and co-starring Emily Watson and Ewan McGregor, the film traces Potter's private life as well as her contributions to literature such as the timeless "Tale of Peter Rabbit."

I Say: I loved it. I shouldn't have worried about the animated sequences, they fit into the movie very nicely. It was sweet and funny, and made me cry a little.

My Mister's Says: "I liked it, it was okay!"

The second movie I'm reviewing today is one of my new favorites. It is a BBC period drama based on a book by Elizabeth Gaskell. North and South(Not Rated) (the link is an amazon link, so scroll down to read the reviews).

From Netflix (although we loved this move so much that we bought it):

When her father uproots his family from their serene rural burg for an industrial mill town, parson's daughter Margaret Hale (Daniela Denby-Ashe) struggles to adapt to her harsh new surroundings in this BBC series based on Elizabeth Gaskell's novel. As her mother's health fails, Margaret throws herself into the fight for workers' rights and clashes with mill owner John Thornton (Richard Armitage). Sinead Cusack and Tim Pigott-Smith co-star.

I Say: Everything about this movie is well done, I've searched for the soundtrack, but it hasn't been released. The cinematography is beautiful. The only downside to this movie is that it is four hours long, and you can't watch it all in one sitting (unless you have a lot more free time than I do).

My Mister Says: "I like North and South a lot".

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

FYI

Read this and let me know what you think. It makes me wonder how people can read things from church leaders and come away with such extreme interpretations. I suppose they think I'm too loose in my interpretations...

The Rights of an Embryo

Enjoy.

What are your thoughts about birth control and the church?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Guest Poster

I submitted a post to Feminist Mormon Housewives, and it has been posted this evening, if you care to drop by and share in my indignation...

Read Me!

(And don't worry, while there are all sorts of people who post and comment there, it's not, as I naively thought several years ago when I started reading it, an anti-mormon website.)

:)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Confession...I don't like pancakes

(sorry dad)

I have very fond memories of being woken saturday mornings to my dad's music blasting downstairs (Lionel Richie, and the soundtrack to Phantom of the Opera (the musical) stand out the most in my memory) and the smell of Krusteaz pancakes wafting up the stairs.

Since I've been married, my Mister uses Krusteaz to make pancakes, but more often waffles, since I like them better. The sad thing is that waffles made with Krusteaz, taste like pancakes.

I'll eat them, but why? Does anyone really like pancakes?

I started making homemade waffles a couple of years ago, and discovered that I can even eat them with a small amount of syrup without feeling sick after.

Here's the recipe so all of you closet pancake dis-likers can discover the joy of breakfast again.

2 eggs
2 C flour (I use whole wheat, or today, since I was out of whole wheat I used white, but only 1 3/4 cups, then 1/8 cup of ground flax seed and 1/8 c of wheat bran)
1 3/4 C milk
1/2 C oil
1 TBSP brown sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Beat the eggs until fluffy (you're supposed to use a hand mixer, but I just wisk them really fast), mix in all the other ingredients, then cook according to your waffle iron's instructions.

I cook them until they're crispy. If you really want a treat, serve them with strawberries and whipped cream (although that's dessert not breakfast, but life is short, right?).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Very Interesting Discussion on the Same Sex Marriage Issue

I like to see discussions like these where people stay so polite. I really recommend reading this post- and all the comments.

I personally have some major conflicting feelings about this issue, so I can't currently state how I feel one way or the other, but I did find the discussion in the link very interesting.

The Gay Marriage Issue at Northern Lights

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Violent Opposition to the Plan of Salvation?

Anti-PC Infidel (warning, his blog is a bit much for a moderate like myself- also you can't comment and tell him you disagree with him, so read it at your own risk) said something interesting to me on Pursuit of Liberty


But hey, if you want to accept a political philosophy that is in violent opposition to the foundation of the Plan of Salvation, that’s your choice. Because I’m not a “liberal” (who are only liberal with their morals and other people’s money), I won’t try to rob you of your ability to choose between good and evil.

This was interesting to me, that someone would think being a liberal* is in opposition to the "foundation of the plan of salvation".

Any thoughts?

*(I actually consider myself more of a moderate, but compared to much of Utah, his assumption that I'm a liberal is probably not too far off- although I can't think of anyone in Utah that I know for sure fits his specific definition of liberal, except maybe our current republican legislature).

Recruiting a new generation of democrats

As a child, I have very fond memories of attending the Davis County Democrats picnics, shooting water balloons at pictures of Bush Sr, thinking Michael Dukakis was the coolest man ever, and winning a cake at a Democrat fundraiser cake-walk. I've said before that my dad used to give us a dollar if we said we were democrats. As I got older I had to question all authority, before deciding for myself what I believed, or what group I was going to join.

Recently, a good friend (who's name I won't mention, because she still thinks she's a Republican, and I wouldn't want to mess up her party standing too much :) ) was talking about politics with her son. He asked what it meant to be a democrat, and she told him the democrats believe in taking care of each other, helping the poor, etc...

He may be converted.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Why do I get excited about things like this?

...and what does that say about my life? :)

I did laundry today, and started to load the clean wet clothes into the dryer, there were diapers in the batch, and I don't dry them in the dryer, so I started to hang them on my awesome clothes drying rack. They didn't fill up all the space, so I pulled the rest of the whites back out of the dryer and hung them up too.

I used to do that all the time, but I've gotten lazy over the summer.

I was so excited about it, that I had to tell my Mister about it when I got on ichat.

After I typed it, I realized how sad that looked.

Lets just call it "finding joy in the little things".

Fight the Smears

Bekkieann posted this link in a comment on Utah Amicus. I guess to combat all the silly email forwards circulating, Obama created this website for people to find the truth.

Enjoy...

Fight the Smears

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Funny thing of the day

Today at the park:

(J to a mom who we didn't know):

I don't want to brag, but look what I can do!

Then he hung from his knees on a metal climbing ladder thing, held on with his hands and flipped over onto the ground.

He's so humble.

This evening A was cutting paper, and got really frustrated. He had a bunch of triangles laying on the floor in front of him. He looked at me and said, I just can't cut a circle mom!

I told him it takes lots of practice.

He wanted to make a moon.

Why I'm a Democrat

A new reader, Carissa (welcome to my blog by the way...) asked me to make a case for being a democrat, since she didn't find my balance argument convincing, citing that there are too many mormons in Utah and that half of us should convert to catholicism. I think that is different, because the church does not run the government (for the most part...I acknowledge that some will disagree). I also want to note that in most cases, I typed my views before reading the entire party platform, so although there are some phrases that are the same, it wasn't intentional.

A lot of the reasons why I have chosen to be a democrat have to do with my religious beliefs. I believe that we were given the earth to live on and to be stewards over. That means that we must act responsibly and conserve resources, avoid polluting and otherwise harming the earth as far as is possible. I also believe that we were meant to enjoy the beauty around us and that there needs to be balance as far as land use goes. My Mister, for example, loves to ride dirt bikes. I think it's good that he is able to go out with his brothers and cousins and do something that they all enjoy together. I also think (and he agrees) that he needs to stay on set trails to protect the rest of the land. The world is not his to ride rampantly over. The Utah D. Platform says the following:
Natural Resources: Utah Democrats seek to ensure the protection of public health and create a legacy of clean, safe air, soil and water, and a sustainable and balanced plant and animal wildlife population... We place great value on conserving our diverse natural resources and public lands that belong to all the citizens and future generations...Utah Democrats support the protection of wilderness with the right of access to use it responsibly as well as acting to help preserve critical wildlife habitat. Multiple uses of the public lands in sustainable ways are encouraged.

I believe that we have a duty to care for those who are not as fortunate as ourselves. I don't believe in perpetual welfare, and think that we need to help people learn to help themselves. I think our current welfare policy makes it nearly impossible for anyone to overcome their current circumstances, creating the cycle of poverty. The state platform says...

Utah Democrats believe that all Utahns should labor to the best of their abilities to provide for themselves and their families. In return, employers should pay a decent, life-sustaining wage and appropriate benefits or taxpayers unfairly end up subsidizing those employers who fail to meet these standards... Utah Democrats support programs for low-income working families that break the cycle of poverty, reward industry, promote self-sufficiency, support parenting, and encourage
families to stay together. We also believe that government must continue to provide assistance to the low-income disabled and elderly members of our society who cannot provide for themselves.


I think that laws which attempt to push those in the country illegally to other areas are cruel and ineffective. I think that people should be here legally, but that our policies have created the current mess. I think that there needs to be away to allow those here illegally to pay a fine, or do some kind of community service, and then allow them to get work permits. The state platform says:
Utah Democrats strongly affirm that people who are in the United States should be here legally. We strongly encourage Congress to adopt humane and compassionate policies that control our borders while providing for a viable worker immigration policy that respects the contributions of these workers to our economy and their families and children, many of whom are United States citizens. This policy must not lead to programs of exploitation with employers engaging in a pattern and practice of recruiting undocumented workers, and must include whistleblower protections. We abhor the demonization and politicization – with undercurrents of racism – that has inhibited rational, fair-minded debate of the issue.


As far as health care goes, I think all people should have access to healthcare, and that medical bills should not be causing people to file for bankruptcy. While I have no problem with doctors making a good wage, I think a health care system based on making profit is reprehensible. From the state platform:
Utah Democrats seek solutions to our ongoing healthcare crisis. We affirm that accessible healthcare is a civil right; no person should be denied access to basic and adequate healthcare. It is a national disgrace that the United States lags behind every other developed country in caring for the medical needs of its citizens. It is unconscionable that thousands of Utahns suffer or even die only because they lack access to adequate medical care and that those numbers continue to rise.


I don't think that prayers in schools are appropriate, and it always seems weird to attend a government type meeting and have people pray first. I'm okay with it as long as all religions are allowed to participate equally, but I would prefer a moment of silence where people can pray or not according to their religion. I like what the state platform says about it...
Utah Democrats believe that the constitutional principle of separating church and state maintains the rights of all Americans to worship how, where, and what they may.
We don't need to ban the practice of religion in public, we just need to be respectful, especially in utah, of people who do not share in the predominant religion.

It seems that there are two issues which keep most utahns from affiliating with the democratic party. Same sex marriage, and abortion. Same sex marriage isn't likely to be an issue in Utah any time soon. We already have a state constitutional amendment defining marriage, and I think the only way it might become an issue is if the federal government forced the state to change, in which case, it wouldn't matter what party you affiliated with. With abortion, I think we should do more to educate (Our current sex education isn't working, and I'm not sure if we could do more to teach parents how to talk to their kids, or if public schools need to expand their program) and prevent, then there would not be so much demand for abortions. I personally think that abortions should only be considered in cases of rape or incest, where the woman did not choose to put herself in the position where she might become pregnant, or in cases where the life of the mother is in danger, and I know many utah democrats feel the same way. The Utah Democratic party has a big tent that allows for differing views. The state platform says:
Utah Democrats believe in a comprehensive approach that protects reproductive freedom while fostering personal responsibility and education for thoughtful and moral decisions about sexuality, childbearing, adoption, and parenting.


I know people who are locally democrats, but still vote for republicans nationally because of those two issues.

I'll end with a quote that I think exemplifies the problems with our lopsided government: The state Republican party platform says:
We demand honesty, integrity, morality, and accountability of our public officials. We will work to expose and stop corruption.
Because of the inbalance, we have dishonesty, lack of integrity, immorality, and zero accountability in many of our public officals. There is no one to keep them in check, and I really think they've become power hungry and are abusing that power.

I also recommend readingThis article.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Remember That Time....

From my friend Becca's blog...Just write a memory you have with me or our family. If you leave one, we'll assume you're playing and we'll come leave one on your blog too... Happy remembering!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Loyalty or Balance

I've been thinking a lot about loyalty lately. What are we loyal to and why? I've always considered myself a loyal person. Maybe too loyal. I had a really difficult time switching preschools that my son will go to in the fall, because the first one was where my older son went, and had a wonderful experience, so I feel like I need to be loyal to her, even when a preschool opened within walking distance (as opposed to a 10 minute drive each way). So loyal, that when I finally did switch my son to the new preschool, in my guilt over leaving the first preschool, I may have said something that hurt the new preschool teacher's feelings. Hopefully not, but I'm not sure...

As a democrat, I'm having a difficult time understanding the hardcore loyalty that so many republicans seem to have to their party. In Utah, I think it's obvious that the one-party-super-majority system we have going on is not healthy, but still people seem to think that the next conservative republican will be better than the previous one.

I'm trying to imagine if I would feel the same way about the democrats if it were they who had a supermajority stranglehold on our government, but I'm just not seeing it. As far as politics go, my loyalty is to the well being of my community, my state, my nation, and this planet we call home, er.... earth.

I double dog dare (ooohhhhhh) any of you republicans who HAVE NOT already thought about the problems associated with a supermajority to do so, and to consider voting D this november (at least locally).

For some reason a supermajority has turned basically good people (I'm giving many of them the benefit of the doubt) into what appears to be arrogant, power hungry idiots (some just arrogant, some just idiots...). I can appreciate the desire to be loyal, but I think sometimes we need be careful of what we are loyal to, and make sure that there is balance and moderation.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

10 uninteresting things about me...

Just for balance you know...

1. My house is quite often messier than it should be.
2. I haven't showered yet today, and am still in my pajamas (it's 2:30).
3. My kids ate kraft macaroni and cheese for lunch today.
4. I like corn dogs.
5. I don't exercise as much as I think I ought to.
6. I get embarrassed too easily.
7. My garden is weedy.


That might be all I'm willing to admit to publicly at the moment...

(I heard that some people think that blogs are the new way for mormon women to compete, so I just wanted to make sure no one feels that they are lacking compared to all the great things I do...)

I'm not tagging anyone, because really, who wants to post lame things about themselves?

Last aerial dance class tonight

And sadly, my sis was ill, and didn't come, so no video, which is a shame. It was just the teacher and I, so I got to do some awesome stuff- swinging was involved (think peter pan flying on a string).

I'm seriously thinking about signing up for another class this fall (the rest of the summer is going to be too crazy)- if any of you are interested, it's really fun!!!!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ten interesting things about me....

I've been tagged by my friend Emily, so here it goes... (although I think most of my readers know these things already...)

1. I have ambitions to join the circus. Maybe not really, but I'm loving my aerial dance class, and am thinking that I might take another session in the fall (anyone want to join me?).

2. I enjoy making my friends eat weird food. For my 12th? birthday, I took my friends to an indian restaurant. I think they all liked it. I've also introduced several to the szesuan (that spelling looks wrong...) catfish at the Madarin (some of them liked it).

3. My friend Natalie thinks I'm a little bit of a hippy. In some ways, I am. I believe that we were given stewardship over the earth, and that we should take care of it, so I try not to waste things, or use things that I don't need. I garden and preserve the food for winter. I raise chickens for the eggs (talk about a years supply!). I don't wear a ton of makeup. And personality-wise, I think I revel in being a little bit different (although I'm trying to not let that make me feel superior- maybe that's a personality flaw...).

4. I'm a democrat. In Utah. Although, the more I learn about life, if Utah had a decent two party system, I think I'd look more into other parties. When I was little my dad would give us a dollar if we said we were democrats. (Don't worry, I don't take payments for party affiliation anymore). I think I'm fairly moderate on some issues, and others, I'm probably pretty liberal (which is not a bad word-as much as Sean Hannity would like us to think so).

5. I use cloth diapers on my baby, maybe that should have gone in the Hippy one...I don't eat off of plastic dishes regularly, the real thing is much nicer- same with diapers. Although I don't blame anyone for using disposables. New babies are a lot of work, and cloth seems overwhelming when you've never tried them. I got into cloth when A had diaper rash problems that wouldn't go away. I also sell them on my very own website- Green Peas Baby. And my store was named best "diaper dandies" (whatever that means) in SLC Weekly this year.

6. I'm building a "dry riverbed" in my front yard. My Mister helped get the landscape fabric in, and did the sod, but he's been too busy, so every day (or so) I haul several loads of rock from across the street. I was using 5 gallon buckets until my Mister fixed the wheel barrow. It's taking a long time, but it's looking great.

7. Another hippy one maybe- I am growing cranberries in my backyard. So far they're doing pretty well. I'm hoping to get enough in a year or so to start making cranberry juice and canning it.

8. My dream house is going to be passive solar, and have solar panels, and cork flooring, and, well, you'll have to come see my dream house book sometime.

9. I make my own yogurt, it's tart, and I love it. I also use it to make homemade sherbet. I love it with home canned apricots- with just a tiny bit of sugar so that it is still tart. I like tart things. My kids love yogurt but I didn't want them eating so much sugar. Plus it is satisfying to make my own.

10. I love BBC miniseries'. Other than Pride and Prejudice, which I love, I've more recently fallen in love with North and South. I just got the first disc for Cranford in the mail from netflix.

Okay, if everyone made it through that- I may not be as interesting to other people as I am to myself. I tag Becca and Emily (my sister) because she LOVES things like this...