Thursday, September 25, 2008

Maybe I Won't Die This Weekend After All

I am running in a relay race from Cumberland, MD down to Washington DC. I have not properly trained, but I honestly think that my sleep deprivation training, courtesy of my sons, will make up for the lack of actually running the last few weeks. I just discovered another bit of heartening news: my second leg has been changed from 5.1 miles to 2.3

I need to go thank Heavenly Father now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Election 08: What Matters Most

I make no secret about the fact that I am conservative. The only people who don't know this about me are some of the males with whom I attended law school, who, for some reason, assumed that an LDS woman in higher education had to be liberal. I suppose they thought that a true conservative LDS woman would be married and home with children rather than in law school.

Their reasoning reminds me of the reasoning of otherwise conservative LDS women and men who object to Sarah Palin's candidacy essentially on the grounds that a good mother should not work outside her home. But I am bored of the Palin conversation. Either you agree with her stance on the issues or you don't. Other objections are, in my view, not very relevant to the most important things at stake in this election.

I have been reluctant to post anything political for a few reasons. This blog is, after all, just a record of our family's happenings, and I definitely do not have the time or the energy or the eloquence to engage in ad hoc virtual political argument. And the lawyer in me has a hard time starting but then backing off from such a back and forth. But I read this today and wanted to share it. I love Thomas Sowell. Please read these excerpts from his column:

When terrorists get nuclear weapons, there will be no way to deter suicide bombers. We and our children will be permanently at the mercy of the merciless.

Yet what are we talking about? Taxing and spending policies, socking it to the oil companies and rescuing people who gambled on risky mortgages and lost.

Are we serious? Are we incapable of adult foresight and adult responsibility?

Barack Obama of course has his usual answer: talk. Rhetoric seems to be his answer to everything. Obama calls for "aggressive" diplomacy and "tough" negotiations with Iran.

These colorful adjectives may impress gullible voters but they are unlikely to impress fanatics who are willing to destroy themselves if they can destroy us in the process.

Just what is Senator Obama going to say to Iran that has not been said already? That we don't want them to develop nuclear weapons? That has already been said, every way that it can possibly be said. If talk was going to do the job, it would already have done it by now.

Go to the United Nations? What will they do, except issue warnings— and when these are ignored, issue more warnings?

But what does Obama have besides talk— and adoring crowds?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Her Immortality

I went to the dentist the other day and made three disturbing discoveries:

1) He was not in my network, so I am a couple hundred dollars poorer.

2) Going to the dentist at 7 am without any children is a mini-vacation.

3) I am going to die someday.

My third realization was rather abrupt (I wish the first realization had been!). There we were, talking about my candidacy for short-term Invisiline, when all of the sudden he said, "I want to caution you, though, that if you do choose to use Invisiline, you will have to use retainers at night on and off, well, for the rest of your life."

For some reason, that "for the rest of your life" part was really weird to hear. He was being disturbingly casual about my death, I felt.

It is one thing for me to say that I will have to use something or do something for the rest of my life, because that is sort of like saying that I will have to do it forever. Said this way, my life = forever. The way the dentist phrased it, he made it sound as if 1)the world will carry on after 2)I die. I object!

Maybe I should include my emotional distress over his remarks in the letter I am drafting to them (which everyone who knows me knows I won't mail) petitioning for a reduction in the fee, since I DID ask whether they took my insurance and was told they did.

I do have a hard time accepting the aging process, and I don't mean just in my own body, but in all the people and things, even buildings, that Time corrupts. I hate the idea of being buried someday. Seeing cemeteries on the side of busy roads, full of names now forgotten and unmourned, makes me feel strange. But, in a sort of Buddhist way, I suppose, I like the idea of going back into the earth and becoming part of the elemental cycle.

But even more, I like to imagine that, through the things that I teach my kids and the memories we create together, the characteristics that I pass to them through my genes or my behavior, through love, we are forging a cosmic rope that tethers me both to them through their mortal lives and also to this physical world, beyond the grave, through the generations of our family line. That all people who love are forging these invisible ties.

Invisible, Invisiline. I come full circle.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Making Brownies

Andrew did all the dry ingrediants and operated the Kitchen Aide. Which is totally safe.

Then we licked the beaters clean.

Our cooking motto: no shirt, no shoes, no pants, no problem.


The downpour on Saturday was incredible, causing actual flooding of roads in downtown Vienna.

Andrew decided it would be fun to put on his boots and go out into the rain. It was a welcome idea; I love playing in the rain, and forcing small children and animals to accompany me while I project my enjoyment onto them. Luckily, this time no projection was needed (for a change).

We jumped over some raging little "waterfalls" in the backyard area and ran through the long stretches of puddles. (I tried not to think of it as run-off).

Mostly we got soaked. I bribed Andrew back out into the rain for a reinactment photo.

Beach Trip: Corolla, NC

I was bad about taking photos during our week at the Outer Banks. We had a great time sharing a big, beachfront house with friends. Some of the highlights, of which I don't have any photos, are:

Riding in the waves on a raft with Andrew. My sisters had introduced him to this activity the previous week on the family vacation in North Myrtle. He loved it, and we had a great time expanding on this new-found skill the next week.

Getting in the hot-tub with Andrew. On the Myrtle vacation, Andrew discovered his love of hot tubs. I am reluctant to admit to myself that it may have been his favorite activity at the beach. I suppose his little body really did lose heat quickly in the ocean, so hopefully the hot-tub obsession relates more to that than some tendency toward laziness, but in any event, he always looked forward to capping off the beach day with hours of fun in the hot tub. There was a hot tub overlooking the ocean on the third floor of the beach house.

Reading stories every night with Andrew on the third-floor porch right next to the hot tub. We read Goodnight Moon, Tell Me a Scary Story, and Go Dog Go.

Will falling asleep so easily in my arms on our beach walks.

Will loved crawling around in the puddles I would make for him. He also learned to love baths on this trip.

Nightly rounds of games: speed scrable (Carey dominated), Celebrities, Catch phrase. I am a nerdy games person.

Watching the Olympics.

The Bonfire on the last night (complete with smores), followed by a group reading of Tell Me a Scary Story (But Not Too Scary). All the kids were riveted. The illustrations were a bit scarier and more Freddy Kruegerish than I would have thought a children's book would feature, but it ends well . . . and Andrew did love it.

I would be remiss to omit Andrew's love affair with the two bunk bed sets in our family bedroom. We could barely tear him off the top bunk to introduce him to the other things the beach had to offer. The only way being sent to his room could be a punishment was if I removed the ladder to the top bunk. The Finding Nemo bed spreads only added fuel to the raging fire of Andrew's obsession.

Andrew loved the bigger kids, especially the two 7 year old boys.

It was the perfect way to end our summer.