Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Opinion on Blacks and the Priesthood

Normally, I try to refrain from saying negative things about people in this blog, but today I'm going to have to break that rule and say that as a Latter Day Saint I am embarrassed at Brother Randy Bott's comments to the Washington Post citing "the mark of Cain" as a reason that black men were denied the priesthood prior to 1978. Since Brother Bott has been teaching religion at BYU for a number of years, I expected that he would have used at least a small segment of that time to research new ideas and thoughts on this controversial topic in our faith. After all, the LDS apologetics organization FAIR has.

I have a completely different opinion on the matter and it has nothing to do with Cain or fence-sitting and everything to do with the agency of man and a hundred years of racial politics and social issues. Pardon the length of this post.

Let's go way, way back to 1776. The founding fathers were a rather eclectic mix of individuals consisting of both devout abolitionists and devout slave owners. The abolitionists were appalled at the idea of their new republic, which was to be founded on principles of freedom and equality, might include slavery. But the Northern colonies knew there was no way they could make a go of this already insane revolution idea unless they had the Southern states on board. An especially poignant moment comes in the movie version of the musical 1776 when Ben Franklin (founder of one of the first abolitionist societies in the American colonies ) says to John Adams that slavery is a battle they simply can't fight at the moment and must be fought at a later time.

So, the North and the South put aside their differences for the time being, kicked England out of the colonies and went about forming a new nation. To keep the pro- and anti-slavery forces in check, states were added in such a way as to keep an even balance between free and slave states. And it worked- until 1820.

Alabama had just entered the union as a slave state and now Missouri was asking to join- as a slave state. And that was when all those long standing, simmering racial tensions started to heat up.

Missouri was admitted as a slave state with the Missouri Compromise which aimed to control further admission of slave and free states and keep a balance. The Mormons (many of whom were Northern abolitionists) settled in Missouri until mob violence drove them from the state in 1833. Now 1831 was also the year of the Nat Turner rebellion and many Southerners were getting mighty nervous about Northerners, abolitionists, and black people. Furthermore, the Mormons voted as a block (like they do now) and the slave holders of Missouri were not pleased about the possibility of abolitionist politics taking over in the state. The situation was a powder keg from the start. So, knowing all this, how accepting do you think Missourians would have been of a black bishop and the people who ordained him? Mormons were considered to be so much a threat that Governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued an extermination order that wasn't formally rescinded until 1976.

Blacks in leadership positions was the nightmare of every slaveholder. Remember, the Nat Turner rebellion happened just a few years previous and people things were getting really, really tense. At this point, we're about 15 to 20 years off from Bleeding Kansas and about 30-ish years away from the Civil War. The country was building towards a bloody war that would take the lives of around 700,000 Americans.

And after the Civil War there were Jim Crow laws, segregation, the Ku Klux Klan, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Panthers, race riots, etc. etc. Let's be honest, any black man put into a priesthood position in the South (and in many other parts of the country) would not have survived very long- nor would his associates. Furthermore, let's take a trip across "the pond" to Africa and take a look at what's happening there during the mid 19th to mid 20th century. The forecast is colonialism and apartheid with a definite chance of future civil unrest. Ordaining African natives to the priesthood under colonial rule would have been a recipe for disaster. Any black African given a leadership position would not have lived very long. Most countries in Africa didn't throw off colonial rule until the 1950's, 1960's or 1970's, whereas places like Japan were never under colonial rule and most South American countries broke free from Spain and Portugal in the mid 19th century.

So the next question is, "Well, if you believe God is so great and all powerful, why wouldn't he prevent the black people from being hurt so that everyone could enjoy the priesthood?" But think about the implications of that. It would mean that God would have to force people to do the right thing. That would be tyranny. One of the tenets that is central to Latter Day Saint theology is that God holds agency (the freedom to choose our loyalties and actions) inviolate and that if He forced us to obey Him, He would cease to be God. The idea that we are here on Earth to be tested as to whether we will choose to follow God or Satan is fundamental to our beliefs.

I don't believe it was God's will that blacks should be denied the priesthood, I firmly believe it was due to the frailties of man.

The Duckling Report: Walking

When Duckling was born, the doctors didn't paint a very optimistic picture. We were told that he wouldn't be able to walk on his own, that he would need lifelong catherization and antibiotics to prevent urinary tract infections, that he would never be able to father children, and that he would probably need a ventriculo-peritoneal shunt and several shunt revisions over his lifetime to control hydrocephalus. We were told that even some of the promising things we had seen in Duckling like leg movement and urinary function wouldn't last. It was a pretty scary picture. So we did what had served us well in other health problem situations: we went looking for alternatives.

The first thing we did was to take Duckling to a fantastic pediatric chiropractor who is a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. And after his first adjustment, he started to have some movement and feeling in his left foot. I personally think that chiropractic is the reason why Duckling has had so few issues. He has never had a UTI, requires no cath-ing, and has had no further issues with hydrocephalus. I have found case studies describing how children with spina bifida have been able to walk and go off of catheterization when they get good quality chiropractic care. However, Duckling was still having problems with walking. It seemed that he still had issues with the nerves in his feet and legs. He simply seemed to have a more difficult time feeling the ground with the soles of his feet.

So, I decided that after two years, it was time to start adding some other elements into his treatment. I had found an article on Dr. Christopher's Herbal Legacy about a little boy with spina bifida and cerebral palsy who was treated by an herbalist and subsequently learned to walk and was able to go off of catherization. They used massage oils with Dr. Christopher's Complete Tissue and Bone Formula, Cayenne oil, and Ear and Nerve Extract. Ideally, I would do exactly the same, but the formulas were kind of pricy so I made my own with coconut oil and herbs from our local natural foods store and began massaging Duckling's legs and feet every day. A couple of days after I started massaging his legs, he started showing more of an interest in walking with assistance.

I still felt like he needed something more to help him, and my gut told me that a homeopathic remedy was it. Now, ideally, I would go consult a homeopath, but since there is only one homeopath in the entire state and he practices in the most expensive zip code in the state, I have a feeling that our very reasonable chiropractic bill for Duckling would pale in comparison. So, I am DIY-ing it. I found the online version of the Materia Medica (the bible of homeopathy) and started searching through remedies listed for children who are slow in learning to walk. Causticum seemed to fit Duckling's symptoms the closest. I couldn't find any causticum through Hyland's or Boiron at the store, so I went online and found a homeopathic medicine retailer who sells to professional homeopaths and ordered a small vial of causticum 30x. I have been giving him 2 drops twice a day in a 1/2 tsp. water.

And what a difference it has made! Duckling's new favorite pass time is walking (with help). He is constantly asking us to "walk". He has even let go of our hands and tried to stand on his own a couple of times. It's amazing to watch! My little boy is really on his way to walking and we are so proud of him.

I know I'm talking a lot about what I can't afford to do for him now, but my point in bringing this up is that even with very little resources, health miracles are possible! And in fact, even if I were to go out and buy all the massage oils and go consult a professional homeopath in addition to chiropractic care, it would still come in at far less than catheters, physical therapy, antibiotics, leg braces, a wheelchair, and shunt revisions. I am a little intimidated by DIY-ing the homeopathy, because as Duckling improves I will probably need to find a new remedy to treat his symptoms. But we've gotten this far and we'll keep going.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My California Playlist

California represents something to me. It represents abundance, happiness, dreams, and better times to come. Sometimes I think I should have been a born and raised California girl I'm so attached to the state. Picturing myself in California is something of an instant relaxant for me. Sometimes it makes me feel homesick too. It's easier to picture myself there when I sing one of my "California songs". Most of them aren't even about California, but remind me of some experience I had in the Golden State, usually with my California born Malamute.

  • Make Me Lose Control- This song by Eric Carmen is definitely one of my favorites. Malamute and I have always loved cruising. In fact, we fell in love on a road trip to Phoenix, Arizona. It makes me think of a trip that we took to California last year when we had some money. We were driving from San Diego to Lake Isabella and going through the desert by Edwards Air Force Base. There was no radio reception since we were out in the middle of nowhere, so we couldn't "turn the radio up", but I think we had a playlist on. But I think what it reminds me of the most is that feeling of freedom and adventure we felt at the time. It was the middle of friggin' nowhere in a desert, but there was a certain beauty to it. It was so open there and it was springtime so the desert flowers were in bloom.
  • The Boys of Summer- I believe the Don Henley version is the one I have been hearing on the radio because of the "Deadhead sticker" reference as opposed to the "Black flag" reference in the version by the Ataris. This reminds me of a night when Malamute and I were engaged and he took me to where he used to live before his business went under. "My love for you will still be strong/ after the boys of summer are gone" is exactly what I feel about that night. According to Wikipedia, Don Henley said in an interview that the song was about aging and questioning the past, and I think it fits from that perspective too.
  • California-The Tchad Blake mix that was on that soap opera The O.C. when I was in high school and college. Yeah, I'm not a fan of the show, but the song has a sense of longing for me. It makes me think of leaving the shadows behind, driving down highway 1 and starting over.
  • The Way- This song by Fastball makes me think of taking off for adventure, foot-loose and fancy free exactly what Malamute and I did on our early road trips to Cali. However, the song was actually inspired by an elderly Texas couple with dementia who disappeared. The bassist read the newspaper articles about the couple and created a romanticized story of them heading off for fun and adventure like they used to do when they were younger. After he wrote the song, he found out that the couple had died. I guess the sense of tragedy fits too. I think it's a nice fairy tale though myself. I like to think that they were driving to California.
  • Anything by Colby Callait- She's from Camarillo, California so that must be why all of her songs remind me of beaches and the ocean. These embody some of my happier California memories. Walks on the beach, eucalyptus trees, fresh mornings where we would go to a grocery store and pick up breakfast before anyone was up. So many good times.
  • California Love- OK, this is a naughty song by rapper 2Pac, but it makes me smile because Malamute says he used to play it when he was pulling up into the church parking for dances.
  • Low Rider- A Cheech and Chong classic. I believe California is where the low-rider originated. And for a hilarious account of what can happen if you try to trick out a low-rider and take it on the streets of Florida, read Arrest-Proof Yourself by Dale Carson.
  • Route 66- This is Malamute's and my song. Our trip to Phoenix took us along the historic Route 66 and ever since he's wanted to take us on a road trip from "Chicago to L.A." following the original Route 66 as closely as possible.
  • All I Wanna Do- A classic by Sheryl Crow. "All I wanna do is have some fun... until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard." Although I think I should change "until" to "after" the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard since my idea of a fun night has turned into one where I'm allowed to sleep soundly and undisturbed.
  • Beverly Hills- "Beverly Hills, that's where I want to be". I have this promise that I made to myself that one day Malamute, Duckling, and I (with the dogs) will one day walk down the streets of Beverly Hills, soak in the ambiance, and eat at one of those fantastic Beverly Hills raw restaurants. I will have something pie/cheesecake with chocolate for dessert.

Friday, February 24, 2012

No Worry Friday

I've been feeling kind of tense today and I don't know why precisely. I think it might be that Wednesday and Thursday were pretty good and I was feeling great. (It's always a roller coaster with the Practical Rabbit.) So, now I guess I'm on alert waiting for things to go down the tubes. Nothing has actually happened, but it could and it's "could" that I start grab hold of and makes me start worrying and wasting brain power. It's a failing of mine. So today it's probably more important than ever for me to focus on something I'm not worried about. And that is colon cancer.

I know, I know, it's politically incorrect to say that you're not worried about colon cancer. People die from colon cancer. It's serious. People who had gone in for a colonoscopy could have been saved. But I'm really not worried about colon cancer because the people who are at the greatest risk for it are those who eat lots of processed meat, red meat, or very well done meat. And since I don't eat any of those, I have a very low risk of colon cancer. Seriously, I'm not worried about it.

I find it rather ironic that something that is a big worry for a lot of people is something I don't think much about. On the other hand, a lot of people wouldn't be frightened to death of money like I am. Maybe I'm not such a basket case. Maybe I just need to work on my attitude towards money.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday Confessional

It's been years since I have been to a full block of meetings. We don't even go to sacrament meeting in our "assigned" ward. We just can't seem to bring ourselves to. Malamute isn't happy with our situation, but this blog isn't about his feelings so much as mine, so here are my feelings about our ward situation.

Most of the ward members relate better to my in-laws since it's basically a retirement community. We're really embarrassed about our living situation. It's just too painful for me to spend three hours every week with people who know me as someone's "kid". On the other hand, it leaves me feeling very lonely. Very, very lonely. I'd love to ask for a transfer of records just so I could have some kind of a fresh start, but I don't know how that will go over. I was ready to ask for a records transfer a few months ago, but then we needed help with food, so I felt trapped.

But the ward was very generous to us (especially Duckling) for Christmas. We were overwhelmed by the generosity we were shown. But still, we're kids to them. And it hurts.

I stand by everything I wrote on Sunday. This is a world of abundance. The thing I'm scared of is that we won't do what is necessary to get it. I'm afraid we'll freeze. I'm afraid of fear right now. Sometimes, I'm OK, and sometimes I'm petrified.

We're working towards getting our finances in order to get out on our own, but right now, I feel so lonely. I would love to be able to associate with people who can see me as something other than a failure who hasn't grown up.

If You're Looking For A Good Cause To Donate To...

And I think we all should be, you should consider the International Justice Mission and Hookers For Jesus. I've known about these charities for a while and always felt like I didn't have the money to donate, but I've decided to take the plunge and start with pathetically small amounts. And while the amounts I'm giving aren't much, it feels good to be using my money to help some of the most desperate people in the world. I've been desperate and hopeless before and I want to prevent someone else from feeling that way any longer. And if I can help give hope to someone else, maybe it means there's hope for me.

IJM and HFJ are both Christian charities that focus on fighting sex trafficking. And if you know anything about the sex trafficking industry, you know how horrendous and horrific it is. Hard numbers are difficult to know, but millions of people all over the world are forced into sexual servitude. The global sex trafficking market is estimated to be $32 billion dollars.

IJM's focus is on international sex trafficking, especially in second and third world countries. They rescue women and girls from brothels and help provide recovery and job training for them so that they don't go back to it. They also help fight forced labor and illegal property seizures in third world countries. I've heard estimates that 32 million people are in some sort of servitude worlwide, with 80% being sexually exploited. In the 15 years they've been around, IJM has saved about 1,000 women and girls from prostitution, so mathematically speaking, it's a drop in the bucket. But here's the beauty of it: every life saved from sex trafficking is of infinite worth. It's not about the numbers to me, but rather that an organization like this exists at all. They are one of ten charities that was a recipient of Google's $11.5 million gift to end slavery. You can find out more about them at

Hookers For Jesus is a Las Vegas based charity whose mission is to fight prostitution and pornography in Sin City and internationally. They could more fittingly be called Former Hookers for Jesus because they were started by a former prostitute named Annie Lobert who escaped and became a Christian, but that's not quite as catchy and one of their themes is "fishing" for souls to rescue. HFJ provides a number of resources to help women out of prostitution including a prison ministry, a fund to help recovering prostitutes financially, support groups, employment resources, college resources, crisis pregnancy counseling, and a safe house called Destiny House. If you ask what they need, the answer is in a word, everything. When most women finally manage to escape prostitution, they leave with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, not even a toothbrush or comb to their names. They often have no other job skills or education to help them transition out of the sex industry and so even though many of them want to leave, they feel like they have no place to go.

If I had my way, I would see combined Young Men's and Young Women's activities of fundraisers, food and clothing drives, and activities of putting together birthday and welcome baskets to send to Destiny House (yes, I said combined activities because I think the world would be a much better place if teenage boys learned to serve women and see that objectifying women as sex objects causes pain and heartache, not excitement and fun), but I think it's crazy ideas like that that will probably keep me safely in the nursery where I can't make people uncomfortable. Hookers For Jesus and their founder Annie Lobert have been featured on the Today Show, ABC, NBC, and even on a Discovery Channel documentary. If you would like to learn more about HFJ, you can go to their website

Sunday, February 19, 2012

WARNING: You Will Probably Be Offended By This Post!!!!

I'm not supposed to write about anything we do with business or people we do photography for. But I'm breaking that rule for the moment because I'm mad. Yesterday we drove 45 minutes to do some photography for friends of my in-laws and are getting very little in return, mostly experience. What really gets me mad though, was hearing over and over and OVER again, "Oh, we hope you this works out for you", "Oh, we hope this just blossoms for you!", "Oh, we hope you can find people who will pay for this because it is just beautiful!", "Oh, we hope you can make this work in this dumpy economy!"

I AM SICK OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am in the process of changing my thinking to see a world of abundance, not a world of annihilation and desperation. And truth be told, I believe this principle to be doctrine, not just wishful thinking.

D&C 117:7
Therefore, will I not make solitary places to bud and to blossom, and to bring forth in abundance? saith the Lord.

D&C 49:19
For, behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance.

D&C 101:75
There is even now already in store sufficient, yea, even an abundance, to redeem Zion, and establish her waste places, no more to be thrown down, were the churches, who call themselves after my name, willing to hearken to my voice.

D&C 104:17
For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.

2 Nephi 5:11
And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind.

2 Nephi 18:24
And it came to pass that we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance.

I don't believe in social injustice. I don't believe in a bad economy. There are plenty of people out there who can pay for what we have to offer. We've been practicing on friends and family though so that we can perfect our craft. The ranks of the affluent are growing and that isn't a bad thing. It's an incredibly good thing. If you read about the lives of most affluent people, they didn't become affluent by being born that way. (Rich people don't have enough kids to grow the wealthy population on mere reproduction alone.) Most affluent people thought big and outside of the box, worked hard, and rose to the top- many of them after bankruptcy, war, homelessness, poverty, deprivation, abuse, and disability.

The only thing that holds us back from a life of abundance is our own perception of scarcity. I know this to be true. I just have a difficult time believing and living it; but I KNOW it's true. As I look back at my life now, I see all the things I could have done differently. Nobody was holding me back but me.

Anyone who tells you that we are facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression is feeding you a load of crap. Yeah, gas prices have climbed, but at least we don't have to wait in line in our cars hoping and praying that there will be gas at the pumps like in the 1973 oil crisis.
People line up around the block to get the new iPhone, not soup. The mortgage market bottomed out because we trying to live beyond our means- and I've been there before that's why I can say this. Remember folks, I'm LIVING IN MY IN-LAWS' BASEMENT.

So if you want see the world as being dependent on dumb luck, the economy, being born to rich parents, etc., that's fine. But don't tell me about it. I can't live in a sanitized world where everyone thinks positively. I have to be able to rely on my own positive thinking. But do me a favor while I'm transitioning, and keep your moans and groans about how there's not enough in the world to yourself.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

No Worry Wednesday: Fat

I've been doing some research on Dr. John McDougall and his views on diet. Based on his writings, my understanding is that Dr. McDougall thinks we should eat a fat free diet and that it is best to leave any kind of fat- including unrefined coconut oil, nuts, seeds, avocados- alone. Though this has never resonated with me, I have yet to be able to fully leave the subject alone. I believe I should always be questioning my beliefs because this has led me to some wonderful discoveries. My feeling is that the truth will win out.

I read one of Dr. McDougall's newsletters in which he addresses the oils and fats issues and have been less than impressed. He lost me at the opening line: "The fat you eat is the fat you wear... there is nothing attractive about wearing olive, flaxseed, or corn fat." Well, what's attractive is a matter of cultural debate and from a scientific perspective "hotness" should be completely beside the point when it comes to nutrition. He then says that animals can't create the fats they need and must get them from plants, which begs the question of what's wrong with eating a handful of raw nuts. But Dr. McDougall never answers that question and instead launches into a chart listing common fats and describing how essential fatty acid deficiency is unknown. He has yet to prove out whether this is the case for people who follow the type of diet he is advocating though, so it could be that the rest of the world isn't fatty acid deficient because they are eating olive oil and nuts while people avoid all fats and oils are actually deficient.

Next is a discussion on how free oils are at best medications with side effects and at worse toxins in which all oils- refined and unrefined- are lumped together. Dr. McDougall claims that oils and fats may have some properties for treating certain auto-immune conditions, but claims that the downsides of using oils are significant as well. I note that unrefined coconut oil is conspicuously absent. Recent research on unrefined coconut oil has found that it seems to boost the metabolism and kills viruses, fungi, bacteria, and even cancer. Well, I have to say that I would rather weigh a couple of extra pounds and not suffer from viruses, bacteria, fungal infections and cancer. Hands down, I'll take the extra weight.

The last paragraph states that every week Dr. McDougall hears from someone who says that she is still 40 lbs overweight despite eating completely vegan and that the oily sheen on her face tells him that she has not given up adding olive oil to her spaghetti sauce. However, there are lots of people who small amounts of oil and nuts who have thin or even muscular bodies. Green Smoothie Girl Robyn Openshaw has freely disclosed that she is in her forties and weighs 135 lbs and is 5'8"- and that's after four kids! Jinjee and Storm Talifero of the Garden Diet program are 44 and 62 and in great shape! Jinjee has had four babies and Storm lifts weights every day. I myself have been eating a mostly raw whole foods diet (with some unrefined oils and nuts) for about two years and I'm 5'5" and weigh 125 lbs. It's not the oils, it's the processed foods that make the difference.

There is certainly some truth in Dr. McDougall's views. We shouldn't overdo it on fats. However, small amounts of unrefined fats and oils can be good for us. I have simply not found Dr. McDougall's arguments to be completely logical and well-thought out. (I guess they don't teach rhetoric in medical school.) So, I'm not going to worry about putting a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in the chickpeas and broccoli over rice tonight.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Monday Confessional: Tongue Tie

When I was pregnant with Duckling I was deathly afraid of tongue-tie (a condition in which the frenulum- a.k.a the funny part that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth- reaches too close to the tip of the tongue making it practically impossible for a baby to latch on and nurse correctly). I had read some breastfeeding books that talked about it and heard one too many stories about babies who weren't able to breastfeed and no one could figure out why and then someone figured out that it was tongue-tie. Ina May Gaskin's book on breastfeeding told the cautionary tale of a woman who had a successful natural birth of twins- only to find out that BOTH babies had tongue-tie after monstrous nursing difficulties.

The scary thing was that there were no friendly websites with names like "Tongue Tie". So even though it's a very simple procedure to clip a frenulum, where do you go if your baby has tongue-tie???!!!!!! Seriously, I used to worry about this. Now in retrospect, I realize that my midwife probably could have referred us to a doctor who could clip the frenulum if necessary, but back then, I didn't even think to ask (which I should have since it was driving me crazy).

So on the night my little birth defect baby was born and we saw right off that his back was open, my first question was, "Will he be OK until we get him to the hospital?" And the answer to that was "Yes". My next question was "Will he have brain damage?" And the answer to that was, "He's very alert, so that's a good sign. There are lots of things the doctors can do to help him." And then my third question, "He doesn't have tongue-tie, does he?" And the answer to that was "No." "Well thank goodness for that!" I exclaimed as we prepared to go to the hospital so that my baby could have a far more complicated procedure done.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

No Worry Wednesday: Breakfast

I used to be a big believer in large breakfasts. For awhile I tried to make big complicated breakfasts every morning. Then, about a month ago, Malamute and I started eating small, simple breakfasts and lunches and having our main meal at night when we're ready to relax. The difference was huge! We both have lots more energy during the day! I can't believe how much better I've felt since I stopped having large breakfasts. So now I no longer worry about making a big breakfast to get us going. I find I have so much more energy when my body isn't working on digesting a big meal. Breakfast for us now consists of rejuvelac, a green smoothie, and some homemade raw red cabbage sauerkraut (it's very different than what you get in the grocery store) for Malamute and Duckling and some fruit or dehydrator crackers for me. Lunch is usually a fruit salad. And we don't worry too much about evening eating. We haven't gained any weight and sleep better.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Monday Confessional: In A Hurry to Nowhere

Where am I going? I don't know. When will I get there? I'm not certain. All that I know is I am on my way.- Paint Your Wagon

This is how I have spent most of my life. In a hurry to nowhere. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn't slow down and take more time at BYU. I would have been less stressed, had higher grades, and enjoyed my time more. Malamute and I could have started our married life in student housing instead of in his parents' basement. The only thing I can do about it now, though, is to slow down and figure things out so I can have what I really want.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


This past week has felt like one battle after another.

On the Business Front:

Let me assure you that there has been no partying like rock stars here. We haven’t even been partying like a high school choir on tour to Disneyland. And Malamute has been doing much more than taking pictures, especially because he’s an artisan type who outsources nothing so that his work can be of the highest caliber. It’s become abundantly clear this week that we simply can’t keep operating out of the in-laws house much longer. We need to grow and we need a dedicated studio. We just don’t have enough space or money right now. Being in business for yourself has lots of wonderful benefits, but it’s an enterprise fraught with difficulties and obstacles and not for the faint of heart (which I sometimes think includes me). It’s like giving birth- a lot of work, a lot of discomfort, but well worth the end result. We just have to keep doing the work, as Steven Pressfield (author of The Legend of Bagger Vance) says.

On the Duckling Front:

Turns out Duckling picked up a sore throat in addition to cutting multiple teeth. However, I believe in divine inspiration and I feel like I got some with Duckling’s mouth and I’m quite pleased with myself for following it. Duckling hasn’t been letting me put anything in his mouth or on his gums. It’s like standing in front of a locked vault containing a million dollars. He was miserable and if I could just get into his mouth I could help him feel better, but no, the vault was locked. Then it hit me, he’s been nursing tons and he never turns that away, so if I put the arnica oil on me, and then get him nursing...

It worked. =)

In fact, the results were instant. It was like BAM!- instantly calm baby. And it has kept working. I’ve also done some unrefined coconut oil as a precaution against the possibility of a bacterial or fungal infection. We also got him some Hyland’s Homeopathic chamomilla tablets and that has helped his sleeping immensely. The past couple of days Duckling has been catching up on sleep and been much more happy and active. We’re still monitoring him to make sure he doesn’t get worse, but he’s been 110% better.

On the Relationship Front:

And of course when we’re stressed out about business and not getting enough sleep because of a teething baby, Malamute and I start snapping at each other and arguing. The best remedy for that though, was taking a bit of a vacation for my birthday.

So here’s to fighting the battles.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The BEST Chocolate in the Entire Multiverse!!!!!!

As a birthday present, Malamute got me an expensive little chocolate bar from Whole Foods. They're called Righteously Raw Bars and they're made by Earth Source Organics. I had seen them perched on the raw foods shelf before and thought, "$5.99 for 2.3 oz. of raw chocolate?! You have got to be kidding me!"

But I was so wrong.

Those 2.3 oz of chocolate packed a wallop. Malamute and I split it and it was actually very satisfying. You know how usually when you eat a chocolate bar you want more, but know you shouldn't actually have any more? We didn't feel that way after eating this chocolate. We both felt like we had comfortably had enough. And there was no sugar crash afterwards. We actually felt really good afterwards. Pure chocolate is rich in minerals and antioxidants and this bar also had unrefined coconut oil and an herb called Maqui (entirely different than the WWII French resistance, anti-Franco Spanish freedom fighters, and the Federation outlaws). The rose hip powder gave it this delightful rose petal and chocolate taste too. Sublime!

There's one catch with this though.

My tastes have changed a lot since I started eating mostly raw so this chocolate bar that is so divine and healthy may be something of an acquired taste. But acquired or not, it rocked my world. =)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

No Worry Wednesday: The Duckling Update

I'm not worried about Duckling. It's really looking like he's teething (probably two or three teeth at a time). The poor little guy has these really swollen, red gums and he's biting the air, so he's probably teething something fierce. However, I have arnica oil for that and Duckling loves his the arnica oil. I think some chamomile tea will help a bit too. He also slept a blessed six hours straight last night without using me as a mattress, so I got some more sleep too. People talk about having a sleep debt, but I feel like I'm in sleep bankruptcy. Time to start paying it off.