Saturday, February 28, 2009

Good Things

-The bulbs are up, there's no stopping spring now.
-I feel pretty good after my 6 mile run this morning.
-I pruned the fruit trees.
-If I'm really lucky, I might just get some new raised beds built today. Maybe.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Greatest Threat

Dear Senator Buttars,

You may think that gays are the greatest threat to America. I disagree.

Hatred and divisiveness are greater threats.

What is the morals of a gay person? You can't answer that, because anything goes. So now you're moving toward a society that has no morals.

Why doesn't senator Buttars understand that just because someone's morals are different doesn't mean they don't have any? I don't understand why people are gay. I'm not, so it doesn't really make sense to me. However, I do understand how it feels to love and to want to be loved, and I can't imagine being told that loving the person I do is amoral, and that the person I love and myself can't have any protections against being thrown out of our home or fired from our jobs, or the ability to provide health insurance for each other, because our love doesn't count somehow.

It's easy to focus on things that make us different, but maybe we could be a little more understanding if we focused on the things that make us the same.

There is no "Gay Agenda" other than to be treated like everyone else. I'd like to know who's behind the "Hate Agenda".

Monday, February 16, 2009

Training Schedule

I pulled out a calendar and planned my runs now through race day. Now that I know what I'm looking at I'm only a little worried about it. :) Last week (well, three days of last week) I ran 2.5-3 miles. I'm going to run 3 miles monday-friday this week, and on saturday 5 miles. (I hope the weather is good, because 5 miles on a treadmill sounds boring.)

Next week I'll run 4 miles M-F and 6 miles on saturday.

The first week of march I'll run 4 miles M-F and 7 miles on saturday.

The second week of march I'll run 4 miles M-F and 8 on saturday.

The third week of march I'll run 5 miles M-F and 9 on saturday.

The fourth week of march I'll run 5 miles M-F and 10 on saturday.

The next week I'll run 5 miles M-F and 13 on saturday.

The second week of april I'll run 5 miles M-F and 6-8 miles on saturday.

The week of April 13th I'll run 4/3/4/3/3 with the BIG Race on saturday.

Typing it all out makes me a little worried. But hopefully I'll be ready, and not over train and injure myself. May- you interested in coming out for some of the longer runs (or the short ones)? We could run on the legacy trail, if it would stop snowing! For the short runs I'm staying on the treadmill, but treadmills get awfully dull after so many miles.

my 5-year-old

Yesterday during sunday school, the primary president called me out into the hall to talk about my 5-year-old. Apparently he's been a bit wild lately, getting up and running around, and not listening to his teachers.

A has always been a bit on the energetic side, but for the most part, he's a pretty obedient kid for me, so I'm not sure what to do about his wild side in primary. My first idea is bribery. It can't be too complicated for his teacher, but I'm thinking a sticker on his hand and if the teacher has to take the sticker away during class, no treat when he gets home?

I'd rather not resort to bribery, but short of sitting in class with him every sunday, I'm not sure what to do.

I'm now thinking about how his swimming teacher struggled with him last year- because he'd get so excited that he was always getting into trouble (like the time he nearly drowned). So maybe the problem is not that he's trying to be naughty, but that he gets so excited with so many other children around and kind of loses control.

If I go with the sticker thing, it would put some power behind the teacher asking him to calm down and listen.

Any ideas?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dream Yard?

This Old House (yes, I've stopped getting Parents magazine in favor of TOH, I must be a parenting Pro by now, or it's too late to learn anything else... I'm not sure.) magazine had a neat article about a woman in Seattle and her sustainable yard. I've always thought that kids need a big patch of grass for running around on, and to some extent I still do, but when I think back about playing in the yard as a child, I think about picking raspberries, and rose hips, and those little cheese-weed things, and putting them in a bucket and rigging up sticks to pretend we were cooking our bounty over a fire. The pretend fire-cooking usually happened under the overhangs of two lilac bushes, or in the center of a close grove of trees.

We did regularly play soccer or baseball in the field next to our house, which was mostly grass, but I don't remember the grass being central to my adventures, and I look out at my backyard with no places to hide or pretend is a cave and I feel like my kids are losing out on such an important part of childhood.

I've planned so much of my yard for growing food (or grass that would have to be pulled up (and a Mister who'd have to be talked into pulling up grass)) that there are few places I could grow any kind of fort. We did make a play house out of PVC pipe and sheets several years ago, so we may have to get it out this summer, but I'm also thinking about growing a sunflower fort on the side of my house where the compost bin and nothing else is currently. Wouldn't this be fun to play in?

I had looked at the article in TOH when it came a couple of months ago, and I remember thinking how cool the yard was, and then thinking how there just wasn't enough grassy space for kids to play. Since I've changed my mind about how much grass a kid really needs in their backyard (especially considering the proximity of several parks), I'm looking again at this and thinking how much I'd like my kids to have places to imagine and hide and pretend.
Here's the layout-and to see pictures and read more information about this cool yard, click on the "sustainable yard" link above. (The only thing wrong with this layout is that it needs more fruit trees and garden beds)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Ran!

2.5 miles at a fairly constant speed around 12 minute miles, so not my personal best, but considering I haven't run regularly in almost two years now, I'm pretty pleased with myself.

I haven't registered, but the SL 1/2 Marathon in april might be in my future... (and yes, I know, I have a lot of work to do)

FMH Guest Post

I submitted a guest post on Feminist Mormon Housewives last month and got a little (good) shock when it was posted this morning (I didn't think it was going to get posted).

Here it is if you'd like to read it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why I kill houseplants

I consider gardening to be one of my main gifts. I enjoy it. I'm pretty good at it. I think about it and read about it nearly every day, currently I'm reading about growing herbs in pots that I can move indoors in the winter and put on the patio in the summer, which leads me to my problem.

I kill houseplants. The three houseplants that my mother-in-law gave us (they had belonged to my Mister) early in our marriage struggled off and on until three years ago, when they finally gave up and died. The plant I received as a young woman at a church activity centered around the idea of "growing our testimony" did well for a few years before I killed it (I hope that doesn't reflect poorly on my testimony). Plants from various funerals have all passed on.

As good as my intentions, and as skilled as I am outside, I can't seem to keep a plant alive inside. The only "living" plant I currently have inside is a Jade plant I bought a few years ago. It was actually doing okay until this spring when I think I overwatered it, and then my toddler pulled the whole thing out of the pot several times (amazingly it's starting to grow tiny new leaves.. I think I love jade plants).

Anyway, so back to growing herbs. In my search for a way to grow herbs without killing them, I discovered something called a self-watering planter. Seems like something that might improve the odds of survival for my houseplants, if they work...

I've found a website that talks about why houseplants often die. Lack of light, and overwatering. Turns out houseplants that don't get as much light really don't need as much water. You think I'd know this. The website Inside Urban Green may just be my new best friend. They suggest watering your plant, then weighing it. Then weighing it again a week later to see how much water it actually used up, and using that as a gauge for watering in the future. As for the fancy self-watering containers? I linked to one at Ikea above that is relatively inexpensive. I've seen them online for $30 for a tiny pot that wouldn't work for most herbs after a year. Inside Urban Green recommends saving your money, and making planters out of old soda pop bottles. Maybe not something for your front room, but then again, you could stick the plastic things inside nicer looking/less practical planters (If you see any big ones at DI or something, get them for me!).

Woods Cross Power Plant Update

Davis County Democrats Blog urges us to get involved to stop the West Bountiful Petcoke Plant

Zions bank is backing the project, so if you bank at zions, email Zions Bank CEO and let him know that if they support the petcoke plant in west bountiful you will take your business elsewhere.

If you look around on the site I linked to above, you'll find a page with a whole bunch of contact emails. Here's a direct link.

Clean air and healthy lungs are not something to sit back while things play out. Make your voice heard. This is our community, and every voice makes a difference.

There may be some things that our legislature can do to stop the petcoke plant as well, Rep. Roger Barrus is sponsoring a bill to put a moratorium in place that would give us two years before any new plants could be built, to buy us more time. Contact your representatives and encourage them to support Rep. Barrus' bill.

There's a Utah state code which says that the state government can't enact regulations more stringent than federal regulations, and the petcoke plant meets federal regulations, however Rep. Becky Edwards has found that the state can set higher standards if it is documented that the federal standards are not enough to protect the health of utahns.

South davis county has a higher incidence of asthma than anywhere else in Utah, if that's not a sign that federal standards aren't enough, I don't know what is.

Come to the state capital on Wednesday, February 25th at noon (come early, it should be crowded). There will be media there, bring your children, and show that we want higher standards of air quality. We want our children to be able to play outside, and breathe. We will not allow corporate interests to override our health interests.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Split Pea Soup

As a child, it seemed like every halloween, we were forced to eat split pea soup for dinner before going out to trick-or-treat. (Actually I think my mom fed it to us one year, and then we actually LIKED it, so we made it our own tradition- at least for a couple of years after that.)

I saw the bags of split peas were on sale at the grocery store, and in a fit of reminiscing, I bought a few. I went off a recipe in my Fix it and Forget it cookbook, although, I don't like following recipes much, so I altered it a smidge.

Split Pea Soup

2 Cups dry split peas (the bag was just a little over 2 cups, so I put the whole bag in)
8 Cups water (it seemed like too much, so I only used 6, but it is now getting really thick, so I added a little more water, so 8 is probably not too much after all)
2 Tbsp chicken bullion (or 2 cubes) (with only 6 cups of water, it tasted too salty to me, which is another reason why I added more water back in, next time I might only use 1 tbsp, but I like less salt than normal- according to my mister.)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
a handful of bacon pieces (I was going to use the rest of the ham bits that I had cut up and frozen from the ham we bought last year, but I apparently have used it all, so I used some of the real-bacon-bits things that I keep in the freezer (I bought the bag at costco). You could also use bits of real bacon if you happen to have leftovers, or you could leave the meat out, but it sure tastes good in.

Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high if you start it late and don't have 8 hours until dinner. If it looks done before dinner, turn it to low. (You have to love crock pots.)

Serve with crusty bread and butter if you plan ahead that well. Otherwise serve it with whatever you have available.

Post Dinner Update: J and A thought I was poisoning them. We heard over and over how awful this dinner was. They will probably be extra hungry in the morning. Surprisingly, CP LOVED it, and ate it like it was one of the two foods he loves: cereal or chocolate. My Mister said it was a do-over (but in light of the reaction our oldest two kids had to it, maybe not a frequent do-over).

Yoga Kids

A sat down to do a yoga DVD the other day (he's been doing them nearly every day) and CP decided he wanted to do it too (and that he needed a "yoga" mat too).

Sunday, February 08, 2009

What is Crazy?

A friend posted an article about giving up refrigerators to be more eco-friendly, which started an interesting conversation on where we draw the line between behaviors we think are crazy, and ones we find perfectly acceptable. She said we have to be careful to avoid thinking that everybody who does less than I do (of whatever) is a slacker, everybody who does more than I do is a fanatical nut, and everybody who does as much as I do is a sensible moderate.

I found this a really interesting statement. It's true, if it's something we do, it's perfectly reasonable, but if it's something outside of our comfort zone we often feel a need to label it as weird or extreme.

I was thinking about this a little with the new yoga kids DVD my son has been watching. He loves them, and askes to do at least one nearly every day. One of them has the Namaste Song in it, and we both sing along:

Namaste, Namaste, I am the light and the light is me. Namaste, Namaste, I am part of all I see. The light in me, sees the light in you. Bow to me, I bow to you.

Ten years ago I had a yoga dvd that I had to get rid of because I found it "too chanty" which I thought was kind of silly. This namaste song might have been silly to me too at that point in my life, but now I'm able to appreciate the message of it, and am glad that my kids are growing up with things like that in their lives, so that they don't have to overcome the "It's weird/crazy" problem.

I've also been thinking about how we present ourselves to others. Sometimes I feel like when I talk to people about things that are important to me, they start to think that I'm maybe a little odd. I don't mind being a little odd as long as it's a good kind of odd, but it bothers me that people might put me in the weird/crazy/fanatical nut category (because I think I'm pretty normal, really). :) The main problem with getting labeled as a nut is that people tend to stop listening to what we have to say in the future, because after all, what can we gain by listening to a nut?

So here is my dilemma, do I speak honestly how I feel/think whatever, and risk losing my audience, or do I keep quiet on things that I think might make people think I'm weird? I prefer being honest, I don't like feeling like I'm hiding something...

(Sorry for the randomness of this post, I'm sick and these thoughts have been bouncing around my head lately.)

Lemon and Honey

I think I've finally succumbed to the cold that my Mister has been enjoying all week. I'm beat. My nose is drippy. My throat hurts.  When I sneeze, I'm afraid my head is going to explode.  I'm beat (did I say that already).

When my toddler was sick I gave him/tried to make him drink warm water with lemon juice and honey in it. He was not impressed, but he should have been. One glass gets rid of the sore throat temporarily and almost makes me feel normal.

You'll have to play around to find out what your preferred lemon to honey to water ratio is. It tastes a little like a cough drop (was I the only one who ate cough drops like candy as a child?), and works really well.

I hear it works even better if you crush two garlic cloves and put them in the bottom of the mug (and chew them up when you're done drinking the tea- as much as I like garlic, I haven't been able to bring myself to try this yet, so if you do, let me know how it works).