Friday, March 18, 2011

god bless the sick and the afflicted

People all around are suffering. The images out of Japan make me weep. What can I do? Our home ward started making quilts to send them, the church sent out a notice that they are desperately needed. I will suggest this or something similar to our BYU ward. There has to be something we can do to show our compassion. In the face of so much devastation and suffering, we can't remain unmoved. The reality that so many are cold, homeless, hungry, frightened, not to mention grieving, it's all so sad and incomprehensible.

This puts my own familys present sufferings in perspective. Yesterdays MoDa got cancelled. Megs, Faye and Keny are all sick with nasty colds. Maddie is making a welcome recovery from a ruptured eardrum, but our Cate started breathing treatments yesterday. Either from RSV or pneumonia, they are not sure.

And ld has been out of town these past 2 days. Get home, man. Your presence is required.

"visiting the sick might not physically alter the course of an illness, but the knowledge that people care may ease the suffering and discomfort of one who is ill or recuperating and dispel any fears that the suffering is deserved because he or she is a bad person. . . . sometimes all we can give an afflicted person is the gift of our caring presence, and when we do that, we are following God's way."
--Rabbi Harold Kushner (from his Torah commentary in the Eitz Hayim Humash)

here jla, because you asked

ld calls it Yoshi. Cate calls it Fred. Uh, people, has anyone noticed this Dragon is pink? It's a chubby, girl power, feminist princess appropriate dragon. There turned out to be something especially kind and endearing about her eyes as Cate refused to even consider slaying this dragon pinata. Too, too cruel. He is now stored in her basement. What I love about creating something is you can never be sure how it will turn out, it sort of takes on a life of its own. Case in point, this she dragon has a 'pink pig/where the wild things are/dinosaur' look, eh? he, he, he.

The fam and I could never resolve whether a dragon breathes out of its nose or out of its mouth. Thus, the compromise of the fire placement, sort of somewhere in between.

Memo to all fellow pinata makers: If you want your pinata to fulfill the measure of its creation, scarier is better.

Friday, March 11, 2011


The pictures. Can't stop viewing and reading. Like these:
In a second life can change. Those poor people.
This could happen in my lifetime. Here, right where I sit. All the chatter about 'supermoons' notwithstanding, it's a wake up call:

...if there is any good to come of these doomsday scares, it’s that they remind us that the Earth is a volatile place, and we are subject to disaster, sometimes without warning. Preparing yourself is rational and the smart thing to do! If you live an area prone to natural disasters like earthquakes, severe weather, flooding, or what-have-you, check with your local government or the Red Cross to see what you can do to be prepared.

detours delightful discoveries

From "Writer's Block: The End of Bookstores" (The New Republic, March 24, 2011):

After all, what good does this access do if we can only find our way back to ourselves, the same selves, the same interests, the same beliefs over and over? Is what we really want to be solidified, or changed? If solidified, then the Internet is well-designed for that need. But, if we wish to be changed, to be challenged and undone, then we need a means of placing ourselves in the path of an accident. For this reason, the plenitude may narrow the mind. Amazon may curate the world for you, but only by sifting through your interests and delivering back to you variations on your well-rehearsed themes: Yes, I do love Handke! Yes, I had been meaning to read that obscure play by Thomas Bernhard! A bookstore, by contrast, asks you to scan the shelves on your way to looking for the thing you had in mind. You go in meaning to buy Hemingway, but you end up with Homer instead. What you think you like or want is not always what you need. A bookstore search inspires serendipity and surprise.

My thoughts totally. Megs and I were in just such a bookstore last week. Looking for some books for Cate’s birthday we (well, okay she) fortuitously stumbled upon a charming book* for Cate that we absolutely love. And we would have never have found it had we not been willing to look past the obvious and peruse other shelves. Found it by total accident. Delightful.
We whispered excitedly our good fortune as we turned through the pages together. And suddenly that instant became one of those ‘moments'. Where life drops into your lap a total unexpected surprise, a little treat. Made even better by sharing it with someone you love. Right there in Barnes & Noble.

Those stumbled upon joy times, the good things that happen when you were on the way looking for something else, there is nothing like them. Even better when they involve books.

*A Princess Primer: A fairy godmother's guide to being a princess.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life. --Mortimer J. Adler

Recommended. Read a while back. Joan Didion's Year of Magical Thinking and C.S. Lewis' A Grief Observed. Haven't read Joyce Carol Oates A Widow's Story yet. Hoping to soon. They all eloquently remind us that life includes heart wrenching loss. Yes, we will lose each other in the end, so maybe we should speak with more kindness, respect, civility, eh? Maybe make more happy memories, too.

Choose a few. This months reading choice for MoDa includes short stories. The Necklace as well as A Piece of String are probably familiar. Read them anyway. Let's discuss.

Find them here:
or here:

Liking this today as well:
“The poor and the affluent are not communicating because they do not have the same words. When we talk of the millions who are culturally deprived, we refer not to those who do not have access to good libraries and bookstores, or to museums and centers for the performing arts, but those deprived of the words with which everything else is built, the words that open doors. Children without words are licked before they start. The legion of the young wordless in urban and rural slums, eight to ten years old, do not know the meaning of hundreds of words which most middle-class people assume to be familiar to much younger children. Most of them have never seen their parents read a book or a magazine, or heard words used in other than rudimentary ways related to physical needs and functions. Thus is cultural fallout caused, the vicious circle of ignorance and poverty reinforced and perpetuated. Children deprived of words become school dropouts; dropouts deprived of hope behave delinquently. Amateur censors blame delinquency on reading immoral books and magazines, when in fact, the inability to read anything is the basic trouble.” Peter S. Jennison

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the royal bash

Cate turned 3 yesterday and we celebrated with a 'child of God princess' party. That's how she describes herself. It was great fun. Eight little princesses dressed in all their finery and one lone boy, dressed as spiderman. Ld popped in, too.
The cakes


Royal Crafting and the Royal Feast

Storytime with Fairy Grandmother. An intense version of Princess and the Pea.

The games. Kiss a Frog, Princess Treasure Hunt, Memory Match, Unicorn Ring toss and of course Slay the Dragon. Only Cate became very attached to the pink dragon and refused to let anyone harm him.

The Castle

Princess Meghan. A real live princess came to celebrate. Note the surprised look on Cate's face.

Birthday present haul

Group photo. Spiderman/prince boy didn't want to pose with the lovelies.

We gave Cate a wagon for her birthday. Ld gives Cate and Maddie rides. I am thinking this would transform into a great princess carriage. Or an awesome parade float.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking. - Voltaire

Ld calls him Yoshi. He is so not a dinosaur. I have been pondering and meditating on how to make his dragon spikes, uh, more spikey. After days of stumped frustration and much thought the way has been made clear. I sort of slayed the dragon dilemma, so to speak, with all my concentrated problem solving skills and creative R.E.M sleeping.

Moving forward then. He he he.