Saturday, August 11, 2007

Officially Engaged

Around 8 this evening I received the following exciting text messages.

Megs: Picture message (image of Meghan’s hand sporting a beautiful sparkly shiny diamond. I’ll let her post it on her blog)
Megs:: I’m engaged. It’s official!
Megs: Mumsie 4?
Megs: Mumsie, I’m engaged.
Megs: He proposed.
Me: So glad, as now we won’t have to take back the wedding dress. : ) I’m soooo happy for you.
Kody: Ah, thank you. Ah, thank you.
Me: I understand now why it took you so long as judging from the size of that diamond it must have taken the 7 Dwarfs a really long time to excavate it. Holy Carbon! It’s beautiful.
Megs: Mumsie, it’s gorgeous and he’s perfect.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

All Hail, the Blogger King

Okay, I give. I concede ld, that you are quite possibly the fastest, most consistent, random and funniest writer of posts. You win. Satisfied?

My heart wasn’t really in the fight, anyway. But how’s about a rousing game of Balderdash this afternoon? Hmmm? I am very confident I could kick your hiney in that (and everyone else’s, too. : ) Yup.

ld (and all my ‘lil fam), the gauntlet is thrown down. A Balderdash Off it is. This afternoon. Be there.

Unless you’re too scared.

Post #4: Insights at 50

I turned 50 on Tuesday. It was a great birthday, possibly the best yet due to so many sweet birthday wishes from all my fam. Thanks for all your kind words and written memories, it meant so much. I love you all.

So, 50. It’s not really old, but it puts you on the path. And don’t go feeling sorry for me, I can deal. Growing old is a natural consequence of living, I mean what can you do? I made my peace with the old gal in the mirror long ago and I forgive my body for betraying me, it simply has no choice.

Besides, it’s really not all the sags and bags and brain fog that frustrate me. It’s just that I really thought at 50 I would be smarter, maybe even, kind of wise. You would think having lived half a century a person would be able to figure things out and life would have given up some of it’s secrets. Wrong. As someone said: “As for me I know nothing. But don’t think one can know nothing so easily. It has taken me many years.”

So, here I am at 50 now knowing that I know next to nothing. Strangely enough I like that better than the ‘perky little know it all’ I was at 35. Ewwww, I was so self righteously annoying then. Ick.

I wouldn’t go back, not for a second. And even though I admit to not knowing much there are many truths I’ve come to embrace and many, if not all of those insights and truths have come with the passage of time. It‘s a fair bargain, as vanity and cockiness and immaturity kills teachableness.

Some of you, as in my brothers and sister-in-laws, know what I mean. As we grow older, we lose the illusions of our youth and begin to appreciate things and people for what and who they are. We learn forgiveness and acceptance of our self. We are able to laugh at our weaknesses and learn an appreciation for things we miss when we are young. (Like smooth skin and  restful sleep and energy.) We develop a sense of gratitude unknown in our youth. Old age leaves us rich with gifts unattainable at any other age. (And okay I’m not that old, still I’m on a roll.)

So in honor of my being 50, here are some of my ‘truths to live by'. And I’m keepin’ it simple. But not short. (B Gomer you may want to stop reading now).

• Character matters. Enormously. The test of life is to become like our Savior, to study and practice and apply His teachings. It‘s not all theory and there are no loopholes. We simply must do what He would do and say what He would say.

• Relationships matter. I’ll say it again. They matter. The ties that bind a mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, etc. are much more profound than we can know. They are worth struggling through, and investing our time and energy on. No matter what, we don’t give up on each other. Ever. Love ties are eternal.

• Wickedness never was happiness. All sin is a form of insanity and is usually an unmet need trying to be met in an illegitimate or illogical way. Experience teaches this. ‘Nuff said.

• I don’t believe in self esteem, least not as the world views it. Self esteem comes from trying and achievement and hard work along with a big dose of service. Forget yourself totally and watch your confidence, competence and happiness soar.

• Choices. The ability to choose. Praise be for the Heavenly plan that allows for this. The underlying theme of life (and come to think of it the Harry Potter books as well) is that no matter our circumstances, talents or predispositions it all comes down to our choices. As Dumbledore says, ‘there’s the easy way or the right way and we have to choose’. Okay I’m paraphrasing. Anyway, you get my drift.

• Hard really is good. But only if there’s some joy sprinkled in. Most of us are much, much stronger than we realize. We can do hard things.

• We are what we think. So think positive. Nothing is so bad that it’s not made worse by giving into anger, despair, gloom and doom. Yeah, life sucks some times, it ain’t no crystal stair, but optimism is a better place to be. It’s the way we express and live out our faith. And it’s a very buoyant thing.

•  Read. Think. Learn. Everyday.

•  Practice your scales. Everyday. As technique gives you the freedom to be creative.

• Find your voice. Express it. Keep a journal. (Or blog:) For two reasons: 1) how can you know what you think about a thing until you write it down. Writing, however inept or feeble, brings clarity. 2) If it isn’t written down, it’s as if you don’t exist. Some day I will bust out my Mom’s and Grandma Rose’s journals for you and you will see this.
• Give. With both hands open. If you keep one fist tightly clenched, it’s really no gift at all.

• Stop criticizing, complaining and comparing. It makes you mean and ungrateful and vain. And it’s wasted energy.

•Take life seriously, but not yourself. Arnetts are very good at this.

• Repent. And do it as you go along. It’s easier that way. Live by grace. Keep your covenants. Embrace and apply the Atonement.

• Live a Gospel centered life. Gospel living is a process of continuous individual renewal and improvement until the person is prepared and qualified to enter comfortably and with confidence into the presence of God. He’s not teasing us with this. Eternal life, is possible. I want to merit it and be there with all of you.

 • Come unto Christ. Nothing much else matters.

Post #3: Wanna know what’s better than young love? Old, married love.

Me: Oh. My. Gosh. Your Dad is out of control! Every post is about me. It ‘s getting to be embarrassing. He really needs to get a life.

Kenz: But Mom. (Pause) You are his life.

Me: (Gulp). Yeah. (Slow smile) I know.

ld, I love 'ya.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Blog Off Reminder

Just to be clear. I still have officially until 8:04 tomorrow morning to complete my last 2 posts. It isn't over until the fat lady sings.

#2 Post: New Fam Blogs

Okay, I’m a little behind on my 4 posts, this being my 2nd as my fam won’t let me count the one where I announced the blog off. I’m behind because, ahem, unlike others I actually have a real life on Saturdays. Errands, duties, mothering, seeking after all that is virtuous and lovely. Stuff like that.

So this blog thing. It has gotten out of hand. If you could have seen us all this morning, sitting around with all our laptops, typing on our ‘one true computers.' The excitement was palpable.

And now even more good news: Megs, Kody, Brig and Kenz have all converted, too! They have seen the light and have decided to document their lives for us all to peek and poke fun at, er, I mean learn from.

You can visit them at:

Go on over and take a look.

Post #1 of the Post Off: Movie Review

When Lacy was here last week she recommended to me the movie Water by Deepa Mehta. I was excited to see it as I put great stock in her artistic judgments and opinions. I was not disappointed. Oh. My. What a beautiful, moving and deeply profound film. This is an Indian film with English subtitles, but don’t be scared off.

Water is definitely not a fluff film. It goes without saying I love films (books, and conversations too) that make you think or question and introspect. And this one does.

Water is about the sorry plight of Hindu widows in traditional India. It’s a film with a message but it’s not really political as it explores faith and ancient oppressive practices, and self-interest.

As explained in the film, according to ancient texts a Hindu widow had three choices; she could join her husband on his funeral pyre, she could marry his younger brother (ick!) or she could go into an Ashram (refuge) with other widows and live a life of self-denial to atone for the sin of having lost her husband. It is the third option Chuyia takes on the death of her husband in 1938. Chuyia however is only like eight or nine years old and barely remembers getting married.

The Ashram is a poor place, self-supported by the proceeds of begging and prostitution, but there is camaraderie amongst the women (who are of all ages) and Chuyia, initially, is not badly treated. The focus shifts to Kalyani the Ashram's "jewel" who becomes involved with a young political activist Narayana, a supporter of Gandhi.

I did not find this film so much an attack on religion as on particular beliefs.There was much controversy surrounding this film as the writer/director was prevented from filming in India by some Hindu fundamentalists and "Water" was eventually filmed in Sri Lanka.

This film speaks to using the practices of a society which has long passed away to defend an economic interest, or rather to excuse the abandonment by her family of a woman who has had the bad luck to lose her husband. As Chuyia asks, where is the Ashram for the widowers? Also, whatever could be said for child marriage on social or economic grounds 2000 years ago, there is no possible justification for it now.

The film as I understand it was/is banned in India and Pakistan which is so sad, as it is not easy to forget. The cinematography is incredibly beautiful, kind of reminds me of House of Flying Daggers.

I loved this film so much that I am recommending it for our BM Club. I own a copy. You can borrow it. See it. Let’s discuss.

It’s a Post Off!

ld and I are engaged in a post off. No, dearies I will spare you the conversation that lead up to this, but let’s just say there was something about ‘putting your money where your mouth is’, and ‘you can’t post everyday’ ‘can to’, ‘can not’, ‘can to’, blah blah blah.

We are so mature.

But then finally, in exasperation, one of us layed down the rules.

1. You have to post four times today.

2. One post has to be funny, one deeply profound and one about the other. The last is a free for all, poster’s choice.

So the post off is on! Starting now.

(I think this counts as a post:)