Wednesday, January 30, 2013

facetime playtime

Faye: C'mon, Geema. Come play.

My screen goes all upside-down and sidewise crazy.

All I can see is light blue now.

Me: Help! Help! Let me out. I so scared.

Faye giggles and jabbers.

She opens the door to her play microwave and takes 'me' out.

Whew. What a relief.

This is how facetime with Faye goes. She wants me to play with her so she puts me, (meaning her Mom's iPhone with me on FaceTime) inside her toys. Sometimes I'm in her kitchen cupboard, or a pot, sometimes in the microwave.

And then I holler for Faye to rescue me.

Good times. And an improvement.

She used to put me in Emer's play shopping cart and haul me all around. I would get so dizzy, let me tell ya. So glad I'm not her doll.

Can't wait to play with Faye and her brother soon in person. Next Friday, people. Next Friday.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

someone please tell me: what am I doing living in the tundra?

"Antisthenes says that in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, 
and after some time then thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer."
- Plutarch

Yup. So cold that words freeze.

Winters growing up were nothing like this. Duh.

This January is the worst I can remember. I have a physical sensitivity to cold anyway, (thank you hypothyroidism) and the ridiculously low temps coupled with no sunshine days really make my spirits sag.

Yesterday I bought a pair of new pajamas. They are soft and warm and bright pink and only 6 bucks at Sam's. I bought them on impulse hoping they might help me endure the rest of this bone-chilling, dark month.

There are days I never go out at all. Except to check the mail. It's fitting and so January-harsh-like that I had a root canal last week and a cold sore today. No flu/cold yet. Knock on wood. Really only thing getting me through is reading, mystery programs and whipping out the cardboard.

I am fighting hard to keep warm by 'inner fires'.


O winter! frozen pulse and heart of fire,

What loss is theirs who from thy kingdom turn

Dismayed, and think thy snow a sculptured urn

Of death! Far sooner in midsummer tire

The streams than under ice. June could not hire

Her roses to forego the strength they learn

In sleeping on thy breast. No fires can burn

The bridges thou dost lay where men desire

 In vain to build.

O Heart, when Love’s sun goes

To northward, and the sounds of singing cease,

 Keep warm by inner fires, and rest in peace.

 Sleep on content, as sleeps the patient rose.

 Walk boldly on the white untrodden snows,

The winter is the winter’s own release.

--Helen Hunt Jackson*

*Yes, that HHJ. The one who wrote Romona, which coincidentally I first read in January of 7th grade. Ah, Alessandro!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

resolution for the new year

"Consistency is the hallmark of excellence". I believe this.

The thing that distinguishes between an amateur and a pro, so say social scientists, is that a professional will play, execute, and perform, to a much higher level of consistency. True for sports, music, art, any field of endeavor, really. And the reason a professional is able to perform so consistently well, is because of all the years (10 years or more!) of practicing to develop mastery. Consistent practice, then consistent execution.

What makes something good, or excellent, then, is its constancy.


Can there be goodness without consistency?

Doesn't being a 'good' person imply holding steady to the same course or same principles? I'm thinking there's got to be a consistency in our patterns of behavior, eh?

But the reality is, I am consistently inconsistent, a truly fallen, natural-mannish creature. An amateur disciple.

Fortunately, for all of us, there is repentance. As long as we are living we are able to establish and re-establish patterns of commitment. That is the beauty, and gift, of time in this life, but also why the repentance process is not such a quick thing. It allows us to prove ourselves and grow new habits.

But when we think of someone who is unaffectedly 'good', isn't it their steadfastness and consistency to right living the very thing that we respect and admire and inspires us to lead better lives?

In my mind there can be no goodness without consistency. I can't be willy-nilly wavering, one day being kind and the next being a mean, raving banshee. I'm either kind or mean. My consistency in displaying either, shows what I am. My lack of consistency means I am not good but an amateur. I need more practice.

That's kind of what character is: doing the right thing naturally, because a person has done it over a long period of time. Reflexive Righteousness*.

It's my great frustration to not be able to always manage my life so that I'm always steady. Which is why the sacrament is so needed and so soothing to me. If we're willing to hear the truth about our self, the Spirit will point out areas of carelessness and inconsistency and will also empower us with the strength needed to act in a better way.

I would like my life to offer more consistent proof of goodness of heart and strength of mind. This is a New Year's Resolution that I'm sure to fail at, but it's important to my growth that I at least try.

*A term coined by Neal A. Maxwell

Saturday, January 5, 2013

degenerating right on schedule

Say what?

If a middle-aged or older man or woman can sit and rise from the floor using just one hand - or even better without the help of a hand - they are not only in the higher quartile of musculo-skeletal fitness but their survival prognosis is probably better than that of those unable to do so.”

Oh, man.

I've kept my dad's old cane around all these years. Just in case.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 in review

Well. That book done closed.

Some favorite chapters:

No more droopy eye. Successful Lasik surgery. Goodbye contacts and glasses!

Family road trips to Las Vegas, Arizona, Utah Shakes and Zions.

Parades, birthdays, holidays, BBQ's, picnics, hikes, Sunday dinners, family celebrations. All made sweeter with the people I love.

Wicked, Les Miz, and South Pacific. Concerts, plays and books. Oh, yes.

More churchin', covenants and callings. Ld released from BYU. New callings for both of us. Yea, Nursery! Yea, grumpy ole' high priests!

Racking up frequent flyer miles exploring Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Madison, Green bay! Oh, and Chicago. Twice.

Relatively good health, having a niece and nephew live with us for a short time (love them!), and discovering Instagram.

Conflicted chapters, or pages I wish I could skim right over:

Our Megs, Kody, Faye and Emerson moving so far away. So. Hard.

Watching ld remain loyal and strong as his parents slowly slip away. So. Hard. Too.

Yeah, those two chapters are emotional tear jerkers.

But, as ld and I close the book on the year 2012, it's good to take an account. As in all good books read, I will find myself trying to process it in the days ahead.

And once again I am reminded that we live in days. When life is good, normal days are the best and then we knit or string those days together and make a year. A year with it's memories, meaning, and hard stuff. It's all there written between the pages.

And then we get to the end.

And begin a new book, a new year.

This one is already starting out good, people. With a new grand baby coming in February, lots to be excited about.