Thursday, December 08, 2011

This Strange New World

I'm sitting here in my little nook at the library, listening to Scott McLean crooning "Time" in one ear while the cars on main street play a different kind of melody in the other ear.
I would be writing, I'm nine thousand words into the book I started on November 27th, (code named mmmm) but the errands between shifts took too long today, so here I sit, piddling on the Internet because there isn't enough time to really write.
It's a strange sort of existence I live these days. I get the kids on the bus early, really early, then tidy up the house, maybe throw the ball for the dog. I head in to work, run errands, work some more, get the kids, feed them, and fall into bed earlier than any grown woman likes to admit. I come to the library every chance I get, check the emails and networking sites, miss friends I never get to chat with anymore.
The librarians are getting to know the kids quite well. There is an ever growing tower of books and DVDs on the counter at home of things we need to return. Tali is reading two at once I think, either that or she has given up on one and I need to find it. James goes through them like water. He waited over a week for the latest "Wimpy Kid" and had it done in a day. He must be related to me or something. Jordan is less happy with the library, but she is just getting her reading fluency up, someday, someday.
I'm still waiting for one of them to fall in love with Potter.
Every few days something happens to churn up the waters again, and I deal with it, or just let God handle it if I can't do much about it.
It's hard, but it isn't, and I haven't really thought about it enough to put it eloquently I'm afraid. It's like I'm one step away from survival mode at all times, and yet have been blessed with an extraordinary amount of peace and other forms of God-sent aid.
The generosity has been staggering, but it isn't the generosity or the deprivation that has forced me to learn about humility. No, what I am learning from is the walking in the dark.
I don't know my next step, and it is terrifying not to have at least that much pinned down or plotted out. I do know one thing though, there is this little pin prick of light at the end of the tunnel, and God would not shine that light at me if I wasn't supposed to go towards it. So I'm not going to worry about what dangers lay at each side. I'm just going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust. Every time my foot lands on solid ground I am thankful, and often a little surprised. This is the scariest thing I've ever done, but I trust the one who laid my path, so I'm going to keep walking it.
My love to you all. I am so sorry that I am not there for my internet friends like I used to be. I miss listening, I miss helping from afar.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nothing to say

I'm sitting here at the library. The kids are lost in the children's section. I may have to send a search party soon. I have Internet, I have my laptop, and I have nothing to say.
Well... nothing positive anyway, nothing worthy of saying. I could say a lot of things about a certain someone who takes delight in hurting me and, even worse, hurting the kids. I won't say them though because there is no point in putting more darkness out in the world... and besides he is having me blog stalked. (Ludicrous I know! Oh the things he can talk people into, lol.)
So I sit here biting my tongue, wishing I had something of value to contribute to the world, wishing... wishing oh so many many things... but I suppose I shall be content that right now, this one small instant, my children are not fighting each other, they are not fighting me, and that the house at home is reasonably clean so I can just spend time with the kids today.
They really are my favorite people in the whole wide world.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Theory on Dinosaurs

The other night the kids at work were all about dinosaurs… well really all about debating if a T-rex and a komodo dragon of the same size got into it which would win… but I digress. I got out the big book on dinosaurs and we spent some time going through the pages looking at different dinosaurs. Feathered and scaled, plated and spiked, long long claws that weren’t at all sharp, the book kept relaying that “scientists think” that this was how such and such dinosaur used its various body parts, though they can’t be sure.
I was thinking about that afterward and had to wonder… were dinosaurs like spirit pre-school for us? Maybe that’s why dinosaurs are such a fascinating thing for little ones… because they remember them from before.
I have this picture in my mind of sitting down with Heavenly Father one afternoon and making a dinosaur together.
“Okay, Thora, what kind of dinosaur do you want to make today?” He asks as he pulls me up on His knee.
“A big one!” I say.
“A big one, as big as your brother’s T-Rex?” He asks with a grin.
“No, much, much bigger!” I tell Him.
“Oh double-much bigger, like this?” He asks.
“Okay, now what should your dinosaur look like?”
“Umm… a long long tail and a long long neck,” I say in that cute little girl voice of mine.
“Long tail, long neck, anything else?” He asks forming my dinosaur before my eyes.
“Put the nose on top of the head!”
“On top of the head? But why?” He asks with a laugh.
“So when it goes swimming it can always breathe,” I say matter of factly.
He twists His mouth to the side and looks at the dinosaur we have formed, “Well we have a problem there, Thora. If we make it as big as this, for it to go under water it would go very deep, and the water pressure would make it impossible for it to breath, even with the nose up on top.”
“Oh,” I say disappointedly.
“So do you want the size, or the nose on top?” He asks after I have had a moment to consider.
“Just tell it not to go swimming,” I decide.
“Okay, are we leaving the nose on top then?” He asks me.
“Yeah, it looks cute like that,” I say, and of course, because I designed it and we made it together, my loving Heavenly Father leaves my dinosaur that way and thinks it looks cute too.
Of course I know this is insane speculation and merely a flight of fancy, but still… something in this rings true, if only the fact that Heavenly Father once, or a million times, took time for just Him and me, because He loves me, and He’s a good Dad like that. And really, what else matters?

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Mountain

This will be a little hard to enter from my phone... but what better thing is there to do when you are sick at home on The Sabbath?


I came unto a mountain on the straight and narrow way
And thought the Lord would move it, for it did block my way.
I raised my voice on high and when my prayer was through,
Beheld the mountain with a sigh, and knew not what to do.

Perhaps if not to remove it, He wanted me to find,
A way around this mountain, a shortcut to behind.
Up to the foot I walked and looked far left and right,
But found the paths fraught with perils that by now I knew at sight.

There was no going around it, and no whisking it away,
So I started to climb that mountain a little bit each day.
At first I slipped with every step for the path was buried in sand,
But when I sunk my feet down to the bedrock I was sure enough to stand.

Once upon the slopes I could no longer judge or see
How much further up the mountain that was taxing all of me.
Still I knew from trials past, that all trials have an end,
And every trial brings me closer to the Friend at journey's end.

I came unto a place where the path was all hemmed in
By rugged walls unrelenting, a strait way very thin.
I grumbled all the way through it, how narrow was the way,
How a person needed more elbow room, or at least a little say!

Then I looked back and learned, to my gratitude and shame,
While I bemoaned the boundaries, they protected me all the same.
For steeps and slides and dangers did lie on every side,
And the horrors of those dangers those sturdy walls did hide.

So now I trust this path, and up this mountain climb.
I begrudge it not the steepness or the lengthiness of time.
I just climb each day, placing foot, over foot, over hand,
And I've begun to wonder what happens when at the peak I stand.

Do I find a great plateau, or perhaps a downward slide?
Will I find another mountain, to test her already tried?
Do I slide freely down the other side, a brief thrill after my long try,
Or feet planted on the pinnacle, will I mount up and fly?

Friday, October 21, 2011

On Loving Yourself

This is more a vent than anything because today I decided why the standard, much passed about affirmations irritate me so much.

It isn't about loving yourself. It's not. True self worth is about getting a single glimpse of how and why God loves you. If you can even begin to understand that... if you can grasp just the tiniest particle of that knowledge then you will never need affirmations. You will have self esteem because you will feel your worth. You will have strength in ways you cannot imagine. You will love others with a depth you cannot describe and never would have thought possible.

Stop thinking you can do things to change the way God loves you. Start seeing that your choices can hurt him and prevent him from being able to bless you but they will never make him stop loving you. You are his child. He is a perfect parent and will love you infinitely deeply no matter where your choices take you or how far you push yourself away from Him. He will always ache to hold you, to comfort you, to save you, BECAUSE YOU ARE HIS!

I wish more people understood that. I wish more people got how little it matters what you look like or have accomplished or how many talents you think you have.

If you take a thousand dollars worth of gold and wrap it in burlap, is it worth less? NO! If you bury it is it worth less? NO! If you take it and shape it and make it pleasing to the eye or useful then, yes, it is prettier or more useful and brings pleasure to the owner... but the core value does not change. It is still a thousand dollars in gold.

You are so much more valuable than gold. You have immense value in just existing. Every good work pleases God and you are of such good use to him every day... but it doesn't change your worth. He would still move the world to save you. He loves you that much.

Stop doubting Him. Stop trying to make excuses for why you have less value and let the Master Craftsman, who knows your value and potential, make something of you.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

My Patronus

You know, sometimes I think I know everything about Harry Potter, and then other times life sets me straight and I realize I have only scratched the surface.

Take the Patronus, for instance. Everyone knows that a Patronus is a being of light, created by a spell (Expecto Patronum!) and fuel by holding onto a happy thought.

Many people, fans like me, also know that this spell is close to Rowling's heart, as she herself has death with depression in the past.

Earlier today it kind of just popped into my head. Still only half thinking about it I thought, "Hmm so a Patronus for Harry is like Jesus is for me."

Only then did the layers of the Patronus become apparent to me, and I've been walking around thinking, "Duh, Thora," ever since.

The root of Patronus is PATRON as in Patron Saint, as in something we believe in and would EXPECT (expecto) to come to our aid when we are faced with our greatest fears, with depression, with darkness over which we have no control.

Then I realized that Harry's Patronus is his father.

Wow. The parallels, the subtle references to Christ, just wow!

Once again, I tip my hat to J. K. Rowling, the master plot weaver.

So, author worship aside, from now on, if someone asks me what my Patronus would be, I'll have to answer, Jesus Christ.

When darkness and depression was overpowering me, sucking the soul out of me, I reached for my Savior, and he saved me.

He is my light.
He is my happy thought.
He is the one that I trust to be there for me in my toughest moments, because he always has been.

Expecto Patronum

Dear Mr. President

A few months ago I clicked on a link that took me to this article. I'm not very politically inclined, but I read it anyway, out of curiosity. As an LDS I like to know what people are thinking and saying about us... to an extent.

To sum it up, the author is LDS and was invited to The White House along with a bunch of other LDS people for a round table discussion. The White House wanted to know "in what ways do Mormonism and this administration share the same goals and how can The White House better communicate these overlaps with the Mormon demographic?"

The article ended up concluding that the President should recognize the positive contributions that LDS people make, and if we know about any, we should pass the word along.

Since reading this article I have thought about it on occasion, and this morning, while putting on my mascara before church, I finally decided what it was that bothered me about the whole thing.

LDS people believe in doing good. We more than believe, we do it, we live our lives trying to make a positive impact. We love this about ourselves.

Here's the glitch though. We believe that good works should be done in secret (see Matthew 6:3-4) (and yes the Matthew in the bible, there is no Matthew in the Book of Mormon.)

This belief doesn't just cover charitable contributions. It's about making sure that we are doing good for the sake of good and not to be seen doing good.

When I think of something nice to do for someone, I do it. I don't want to be thanked, most of the time I go to a lot of effort to not be seen. I want the glory to go to God for the good I do because, let's face it, if I'm a good person it is all God's fault.

Just having the opportunity to give is reward enough. Knowing I helped someone is enough. I know people want to return thanks, and that's a good thing, but I would really rather not be thanked, it's embarrassing.

So... well meaning as the conclusion of your round table discussion was, it kind of missed the point. LDS people don't want recognition for doing good, we just want it to be generally recognized that we are good.

We don't want to be pointed out in speeches, we don't want awards or certificates.

What we do want is very simple, to not be mocked or vilified.

To tell you the truth, I don't think there's much you can do about that, not even you President Obama.

Thanks for trying to understand though, I appreciate the gesture.



Sunday, July 03, 2011

Independence Day Haiku

Fireworks popping
Echoing in the dark night,
Blood soaked field

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Hogwarts houses

I can't believe a HP thread on Babycenter got to the fifth page before I saw it...

Someone asked why Hogwarts kept the Slytherin house around, and though a lot of what I would have said had already been said, (aside from a joke that goes something like "Where would our democracy be with out all the politicians?" ) I still managed to babble on for 700 words or so, and I might as well save the thoughts here, as they get spiritual at the end.


When one looks at the basic drives behind each of the houses, one sees that while some may think the other unfavorable, they are all worthy endeavors.

One must also consider that each person is in a house either through choice or because they mostly identify with one ideal or another. No one is all Gryffindor. Nevil Longbottom would have been an excellent Hufflepuff. Hermione obviously would have done well in Ravenclaw. Harry's drive to succeed would have lead him far in Slytherin. Ron is probably the only one I think is roundly Gryffindor, and look how many character flaws that beloved Ginger has.

For the text of the sorting hat songs, see here.

You also have to consider that the sorting hat is biased. Not only in the fact that was plucked from Gryffindor's head and had loyalty, in the fact that JKR herself identifies with Gryffindor.
Gryffindors are described using: brave, daring, nerve, chivalry. They also tend to rush in with out thinking, which makes the rest of us wonder about their sense, as much as we love them.
Ravenclaws are described using: sharp mind, of wit and learning, ready mind. It is demonstrated again and again that Ravenclaws are more interested in ideas and learning than much else. They are also rumored to all be beautiful... However, when one has one's head in the abstract and ethereal, well let's just say it's easy to lose touch with the things that matter. Because of my thirst for knowledge I would fit well in this house, but as it isn't my first priority, I'm sorted in to Hufflepuff.
Hufflepuffs are described using: just, loyal, patient, hard working, and equal opportunity educators. I can't say enough for my house, I think we are the best kind of people, but I also, as a Hufflepuff, see huge amounts of value in the traits of the other houses. The drawback to being a (most excellent) Hufflepuff? We worry about others so much and try so hard to be fair that we seem wishy-washy and hardly ever strike when the iron is hot... or at all. We make the world go round, but you won't often find us out saving the world, unless you count service projects, then we are sooooo there.
Slytherins are described as: cunning and ambitious. Slytherins network like none other. They see ways of getting things done that would simply never occur to anyone else. They see the layers of relationships. They spend a lot of time thinking like a chess champion, how one move affects all else. Now, this often makes us think of secret combinations, but just because something isn't out in the open, doesn't mean it is wrong. Just because someone wants to make a difference, doesn't mean they are evil. In fact, I really think that Slytherins should be in charge of international relations, because they can think like that and it just boggles my Hufflepuff with Ravenclaw leanings mind.
Now one other thing you should note is that Gryffindor and Slytherin started out as friends, and that it was the years and years of competition between the houses that caused the rift.
Which just goes to show you once again that peacemaking cough cough Hufflepuff cough cough ways are best. If division had not been allowed to creep in, no one would ever have put a Basilisk in the basement.
On a completely different note, and I hope this doesn't sound sacrilegious, because I don't mean it that way, I see in Jesus Christ the embodiment of all of these virtues and none of the side effects. He was brave without blundering, intelligent without being disconnected, fair without being ineffective, and perceptive and able to see the layers in a situation without using it for his own glory.
So if you don't like Slytherins, it's just because you don't understand them, and may need to be a bit more like them.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Another First Draft Done

I started the Sequel to my Dragon book on Oct 14th, 2010 and completed it tonight. I'm just documenting this for later.

Now to do some fixes in the first, get it submitted, and then decide what I'm working on next. Naturally I could just write another Dragon book, but the Moon has been calling to me, plus I'm out of marshmallows to roast.

Decisions, decisions.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Son

My Son
I tried to write a poem,
to describe what I see in you,
by my time was out of line,
and my rhyming book fell through.

I tried to sing a song,
about the glory that I see,
but my voice is cracked and broken,
and my fingering paltry.

I tried to find a flavor,
to match the gusto within you,
but I spilled the spice, once or thrice,
and the sauce was thick as glue.

I tried to paint a picture,
as brilliant as your eyes,
but the paint just wasn’t patient,
and the brush saw through my guise.

So I sit here at my keyboard,
staring at the screen,
knowing that the pixels,
will never capture what I mean.

Now, I’ve struggled with the words,
and I think I’ve thought of what to say,
You see my son, I love you,
today and every day.


(He's doing a unit on poetry at school.)

Sunday, March 06, 2011

I Don't Do Cute

Jordan stuck a flower hairpin in my hair on the way out of church. I just pulled it out and it made me remember a conversation I had with my co-worker the other day. We were talking about some hair clips she is having made by a mutual friend and she said I would look so cute in them.

I, being me, was not taken by the idea in the least. I don't do cute. I really don't do floral either.
I didn't know how to explain it to her at the time, and the needs of the kids didn't leave us time to get into it, but it just occurred to me why I don't do cute.

I see beauty differently because I attribute to it to one or the other of two desires; to be liked, or to be respected.

Cute things want to be liked. Flowers, most hair clips, bows, doo-dads and what-nots all want to be liked.
Cute things are not taken seriously. Cute things have little substance. Cute things denote energy, but not power. Cute things are coddled, adored, taken care of.

I am not cute. I am beautiful in many ways, but I am not cute.

It's like the difference between a bunny and a tiger. A bunny is cute, a tiger is beautiful. I am not a bunny.
Pink! Pink is a cute color. I hate pink. Pink is washed out red, pink is fragile, it lacks substance. I am not pink.

I wonder if it's because I was raised in the desert. (It took me years to get to the point where the forest didn't feel claustrophobic to me.) I'm used to a different kind of beauty. I find true beauty in rocky crags, in the snow on a distant peak, on a little plant struggling up from a crack in the rock. I love the spines on cacti and the horns on lizards. I love the way the sky goes on forever in the desert, I love the way the mountains lay against it like someone chiseled away at the blue. I love reaching my arms out and touching nothing but air and sunshine.
I AM the desert. I am chiseled lines and orange and blue. I am built to survive the heat, the deprivation, and the predators. I don't take existing for granted. I don't climb all over other things in order to grow. I would much rather stand alone, stark against the sky, buffeted by the storm than to be crowded into a forest.

Don't make me compete with others, let me do and be my best and then respect me for it.

I think I finally understand why I can't stand the thought of scrap booking.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I'm easy to shop for

I mean really I am. I don't know why he doesn't get that. I guess it's probably linked to my very odd need for self-denial that turns into indignant shopping sprees when my husband wastes money. I have a very un-healthy attitude towards money apparently, maybe even more unhealthy than his.

"I almost bought myself an iPhone last night, but I talked myself out of it," he says to me today after lunch.

"Good, because we talked about that. Besides then I would have had to go and spend $200 bucks on myself in retribution."


"Yeah, whenever you spend money on something stupid I can't help it, I go spend that amount too."

"We can't really afford that..."

"Exactly, so when I get an email telling me that you wasted 15 buck on a sex change for your "tune" or 25 for a race change I get mad and go spend that on myself."

(I pause to explain that in World of Warcraft netspeak characters are "tunes" and yes you can change them from male to female of from bipedal bovine to gnome to elf, for a price.)

"Oh," he says looking a bit guilty. "Well you have 25 bucks again."

"What now?"

"I was going to get you something for Valentines about the same amount," he said. We had agreed no V-day, no B-days, no Mother's or Father's Days this year. We need to be throwing the money at the bills instead of buying more stuff. Part of me thought, "Aww, he was going to get me something anyway." Another part thought, "I am never getting through to him about money."
To be honest none of me thought what you are probably thinking, "Sure, he was. He's just pulling a fast one." Not until now that is. Which is good because he did demonstrate the options he had been weighing when his boss called, re-arranged his schedule and nixed his window for shopping in secret. Sigh.

It was a realm change by the way.

Listening to him complain about how hard I am to shop for had me rolling my eyes though. I'M hard to shop for? PLEASE! I spent all of November and December listening carefully to every word he said about EVERYTHING hoping to get him something he wouldn't HATE this year. I thought I had it made when he was talking and linking with friends about this new snazzy mouse to play W.O.W. with. Yeah... it showed up a few days later, and I didn't even know he had ordered it.

Why is it then that when he asks what I want I am completely unable to think of anything? Today all I could say was garnet earrings. We got some once together, so he knows what they are, and I lost one of the old set. He could do that... and I couldn't think of one blame, stinking, other thing to ask for. Stupid self-deprivation.

So, because writing stuff down seems to be the ONLY way I ever remember anything, here is a list of things I would have said if I weren't such a complete fairy-brain:

A blue glass bottle, wine bottle sized neck, for my dish soap decanter. The green glass just isn't as pretty.

Those metal dragons at Big Lots, or the Fu Dogs, either one would be fine, or all, I'll take all too.

While at Big Lots, the red bamboo floor mat.

I wouldn't mind a dragon necklace either. I know I look and I never get one, but that's the self-denial talking, not what I would love if it were a present.

You can never go wrong with lightening bolts on jewelry either.

The light fixture you have to special order from Lowes with the hooks to hang the pots from to replace the fixture above the island.

iTunes gift cards = guilt free music shopping

A brown pearl set

Hobby Lobby gift cards, because you know I'm going to buy stuff there anyway

Another one of those organisers like you got me for Christmas, for my beads that I buy at Hobby Lobby when I'm mad, or happy, or manically creative.

Jewelry that mimics leaves, I really do have a thing for trees and leaves. The gallery on Main in town has some one of a kind ones by a local artist that I stop by and admire sometimes.

Those hand shaped ring holders we saw at the mall the other weekend, to hold my rings when I do the dishes. No you may not bring up the scene in Stuart Little.

An Asian Altar table, yes, I still want one for the dining room, red stain or black, and if you have to choose I prefer the carved angles on the trim instead of the flowers, but either is fine.

Hmm... that's all I can think of at the moment. I think I'll actually post this little rant and then add to it as I think of things.

(And no, I don't expect anyone to get me anything off this list, but maybe now I will remember the next time he asks what I want.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mother Love

Mother Love

My child you say you love me,
And I know that you do,
But when I say I love you
I mean it fierce and true.

I love you when you hate me,
Through clean and dirty rooms,
In sickness, health, and sugar highs,
On Sunday afternoons.

I love you first day of kindergarten,
And through the science fair.
I love you all the untied shoes
And rat’s nests in your hair

I assure you, I’ll still love you,
My love will constant be,
When you are fast cars, and cell phones,
And way to cool for me.

I’ll love you in every single age,
For I’m a step ahead, or two,
Just far enough for looking back
And watching out for you.

So when you say you love me,
I hold it close, I know it true.
And someday, when you have kids
You’ll know how much I love you.

(written today)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Bettering oneself

On the road to bettering myself I will never be better than anyone else, except the me I used to be.