Don’t call us, we’ll call you

August 31, 2010

Things that make me LOL: Marcel the shell and daily affirmations

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , , — llcall @ 10:00 pm

I don’t know the story behind this, but I sure like it.  Thanks, Rachel.

(Has anyone else noticed that I have about 50 friends named Rachel, cause I do.)

LOVE. THIS.  Thanks, Kjell.

(I know she crosses a line to thinking she’s better than other people, but I’m gonna let it slide because she may just be better than other people.)

August 30, 2010

Could you do it?

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , , — llcall @ 10:00 pm

Neal and I are always thinking/talking/reading about voluntary simplicity and frugality.  So this recent NY Times article caught my eye.  It profiles a few people who went a month wearing only 6 items of clothing or less.  It is a pretty interesting read and there’s even a video to boot.  The article also mentions The Great American Apparel Diet, a more extreme challenge to go a full year without buying any new clothes.

I like challenges like this.  Fasts, if you will.  I think they can really help you sort out that wants-vs.-needs thing that so often gets blurred when we’re not looking.  Neal and I regularly dream up challenges for each other.  Of course, refraining from clothes shopping is not particularly difficult for someone like me who loathes (loathes, I tell you!) everything about that process.  If not for familial pressure, I probably would have gone my whole life without buying clothes since I’ve been blessed with fashion-conscious friends (I’m looking at you, Rach) and family who shake their heads at my wardrobe and willingly share a nice hand-me-down.  So a year without clothes-buying, no problem.  Wearing only six items . . . I’m not sure I’m creative enough to not look constantly ridiculous.  But Neal’s thinking of giving it a go.

So what about you?  Could you wear only 6 pieces of clothing for a month?  Or forgo clothes shopping for a year?

August 27, 2010

Pictures for the Weekend: Like father, like daughter?

Filed under: Family, Personal, Pictures for the Weekend — llcall @ 10:12 pm

Remember the hair line . . .

It was all Neal.  But now it’s gone, and there’s not much of himself that Neal sees in our little girl.

But Lorie, Neal’s mom, reminded me that there is something there, in the eyes maybe.  What do you think?

August 26, 2010

Lindsay recommends: Emily’s recommendations

Commenting on my post yesterday, my friend Emily mentioned that Stephanie is her favorite blogger at Feminist Mormon Housewives.  I hadn’t really taken much notice of Stephanie (she isn’t one of the ranters and I have a nasty habit of minding the ranters) so I decided to go back and read a few of her recent articles.  I really loved “It’s actually a lot of fun,”  describing her life with five kids, four of them boys.  It’s not an all-rainbows-and-kittens story of motherhood but it’s beautiful and honest and hopeful.

Emily also posted a link to an article, “How my mother’s fanatical views tore us apart,” by Rebecca Walker, daughter of famed author and feminist Alice Walker (she wrote The Color Purple).  It is by turns heart-breaking, thought-provoking, and life-affirming.  If you didn’t catch the article, you should.  Powerful stuff there.

Emily rocks, no?

August 25, 2010

For old times’ sake

I’ve been coming down with something for the last few days, but it really hit me hard last night.  Although Addison also seems to be having some congestion and drainage issues, we’re trying to keep her away from me as much as possible so she doesn’t end up really sick.  Which means . . . this is my first day of bed confinement and no childcare (!) since having my baby girl.  Oh, staying in bed all day long, how I’ve missed you!  (Of course, it would be even more exciting if I didn’t feel so darn crummy.)

So what have I done with all this free time that will evaporate so quickly as soon as I stop hacking up a lung?  Well, it seemed only fitting that while Neal cooks and cleans, takes care of the baby, and brings me herbal tea, lozenges, and meals on demand, I get in my semiannual dose of Feminist Mormon Housewives (fMh).  It’s true, actually, that I tend to visit this blog only a couple times per year, spend a solid 4 or 5 hours perusing it, and leave it for the next time.

I know it surprises some people that I don’t relate to fMh more.  Maybe they think, you’re opinionated, political, a little non-traditional, a little domineering (okay, maybe only my Dad and Elizabeth Harris think this.  Oh, and Neal, did I not mention Neal?), got married old, career-oriented, have “gender issues,” whatever.  I do actually find a lot of the topics very interesting and I’m undoubtedly glad that it exists as a forum for people who benefit from the community there.  But it’s just not my scene anymore, for a million reasons both simple and complex.

I won’t belabor the million reasons, but I will tell you about two women that helped to change this formerly angsty, (occasionally angry) young activist-in-the-making.  The first, poet Nikki Giovanni, wrote this fantastic poem, “Revolutionary Dreams,” which I stumbled upon in my late teens:

i used to dream militant dreams
of taking over america
to show these white folks how it should be done
i used to dream radical dreams
of blowing everyone away
with my perceptive powers of correct analysis
i even used to think
i’d be the one to stop the riot and negotiate the peace
then i awoke and dug
that if i dreamed natural
dreams of being a natural
woman doing what a woman
does when she’s natural
i would have a revolution

It was one of those light-bulb moments when I realized there was another way to change things than militancy.  Her web bio best summarizes what I appreciate so much about her work: “Her focus is on the individual, specifically, on the power one has to make a difference in oneself, and thus, in the lives of others.”  Oneself, first.  That’s not easy.  In fact, if you’re doing it right, it’s probably excruciatingly painful at times.  But I’ve decided it’s the only way.  She helped teach me that.

The other thing I’ve come to appreciate about her more and more as I’ve aged is her position on motherhood.  This is a complicated and tension-filled issue in the feminist community, and fMh is no exception.  On a recent post at fMh, someone left this comment, “I’m a nurse first, then a mom.”  As confused as I feel sometimes trying to work out this new identity as a mother, when I read that, I knew immediately it wasn’t true for me.  And not only because I’m not a nurse :).  Even as I don’t want mother to be the only thing I do or am, I know that it comes first and has since before my baby girl was born.  And so I love what Nikki Giovanni said about her son: “I just can’t imagine living without him.  But I can live without the revolution, without world socialism, women’s lib . . . I have a child.  My responsibilities have changed.”  Thanks, Nikki Giovanni, for speaking to my soul so eloquently.

The other woman is even more important to me, but her story will have to wait for another day.

August 24, 2010

100 years

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , , — llcall @ 6:00 pm

Speaking of mortality (I was, yesterday, remember?), did you catch Time’s recent issue on “How to Live 100 Years“?

The premise of the whole section is sort of nicely summed up by this quote from the third article:

You never get over the moment you realize that you’re definitely going to die. You’re usually a small child when the insight hits, and you usually have a vague idea of what death is, but the first-person epiphany — the “Wait, that’s going to happen to me?” experience — changes everything. Your sense of time and its fleeting passage can never go back to what it was before you discovered that you too are on the clock.

It’s no wonder we spend our whole lives after that trying to add as many rollover minutes as we can . . . .

So my question for you is, do remember that moment when you realized that you were going to die someday?  Did it change everything?  Do you want to add as many rollover minutes as you can?  How about living 100 years, yea or nay?

August 23, 2010

Mortality, that’s the deal

Filed under: Motherhood, Personal — Tags: , , , , — llcall @ 6:00 pm

I read something oddly comforting a few weeks ago.  Parade magazine had a short article on mummies and since I had just been to a large mummy exhibit while I was in California, I stopped to read the article.  This sentence has stayed with me:

Based on his [Professor Marvin Allison] studies of mummies in Chile and Peru, he concludes, “Breast cancer was a common disease in women” even 3000 years ago.

I’m not sure if anyone else is a little relieved by that, but I sure was.  See, I spend a lot of time these days reading about health and illness, organic vs. conventional foods, vitamins and minerals, etc.  And is it just me or does everything cause cancer?!  Take vitamin D, for example.  Breastfed babies are particularly vitamin-D deficient, and some preliminary studies suggest that low vitamin D causes cancer.  But of course, the sun is our primary source of vitamin D production, and too much of that also causes cancer.  What’s a fair-skinned girl/mom to do?!

So yes, I find it comforting to know that breast cancer was common 3000 years ago, presumably long before pesticides, genetically-modified organisms, global warming, and bras plagued us (tell me I’m not the only one plagued by bras).  We’re all mortal and we’ll all die, one way or another.  That’s the deal.

August 20, 2010

Pictures for the weekend: More from the photo shoot . . .

Filed under: Family, Personal, Pictures for the Weekend — llcall @ 6:00 pm

Looking at her daddy

Her adorable half-smile

This girl loves her daddy

Not sure what this look is about  . . . but it was too cute not to share

August 19, 2010

Lindsay recommends: Cranberry Hootycreeks

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , — llcall @ 10:08 pm

Isn’t hootycreeks the best name ever?!  I have no idea where these cookies got their name, but apparently they are a popular cookie-in-a-jar recipe.  I was given some a few . . . um, years ago and I finally made them yesterday.  I was having our ward‘s sewing group over (read: me and one friend, Yulia) and I wanted to make an easy dessert.  Despite the small turnout at sewing group, these cookies were gone in a flash between the two of us, Yulia’s toddler, and Neal.  They were so tasty I had one or two for first breakfast as well!

I don’t know if I’m growing up, but I didn’t hate cooking as much as I normally do.  I didn’t really enjoy it, but I didn’t hate it.  That’s progress.

August 13, 2010

Pictures for the weekend: Like mother, like daughter?

Filed under: Family, Personal, Pictures for the Weekend — llcall @ 5:27 pm

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