Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bright side

You know, I really should be more charitable at church. People share ideas that sound weird to me and probably help them through tough times, and I really should be more understanding of their needs. Nevertheless, when someone says something bone-headed, along the lines of, "I know the women in this church were valiant spirits in the pre-existence because they were born into homes where their fathers hold the priesthood and have married righteous priesthood holders" I do at times have to resist the urge to gag, laugh out loud, or simply slap someone silly. Ugh. I'm sure that a thought of that nature is, in some sense, a compliment to the women in the life of the man who expressed the sentiment, but it's just so backhanded and condescending, and at the same time so elitist, I have a hard time stomaching it.

I often wonder if the reverse isn't true anyway--what if those of us born into the covenant (at least some of us) are here because we wouldn't have otherwise sought out the church? I'd probably fall into that category. I have a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and the power of it in my life, but would my attachment to my particular religion be any different had I been brought up Methodist or Baptist, or Hindu or Muslim? I'm certainly glad to be where I am--I like my life, I enjoy the freedoms afforded me by my culture and my nationality, but how much of that was something predetermined before my birth, and how much of that was random chance?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Invisible sun

Is our president dumb? Does he lack critical thinking skills? Why is he persisting in trying to reduce the cost of gasoline in this country solely by increasing supply? Saudi Arabia has already increased production by 300,000 barrels of oil a day and is pledging to increase production by another 200,000 barrels a day, and we've only seen gas prices go up. An extra half a million barrels of oil every day is doing nothing to decrease their cost!!! Why has it not occurred to this man and his advisers that the price of oil isn't responding to a simple supply and demand relationship--it's responding to the falling strength of the dollar, and to what traders are doing on Wall Street? Mr. Bush, if you really want to help Americans, strengthen our currency. Or, better yet, do whatever it takes to get us off oil completely within the next decade or two.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Charity never faileth

Every woman in the LDS church over the age of 18 belongs to the Relief Society, an organization formed with the express purpose of relieving the men working on the Nauvoo temple. Throughout its history the women of the Relief Society have engaged in numerous relief efforts in times of tragedy and difficulty, from small to very large scales. During WWI, the Relief Society sold wheat that had been stored up for a time of emergency to the US government to support the war effort. So, when flooding struck southern Indiana, who did the stake ask to volunteer for clean up efforts?

The Elders and the Youth.

Not that it's a big deal that they didn't ask the women to help. I wasn't offended that the email request was only sent to the EQ when I heard about the request from a neighbor in the ward. Most of the assistance that was required was rather physical, so it makes sense that you'd want men doing a lot of it, and frequently women would need to find sitters or make arrangements for the care of children. Really, for a ward as young as this one it's a bit of a sacrifice on the part of the sisters anyway to give up their husbands for a weekend, surrendering the precious couple of days a family typically gets to spend together for the sake of strangers many miles away.

I was a little ticked when the wife of the man coordinating the stake's efforts came into RS today and asked us all where we were and why none of the women had volunteered. I'm quite sure if they had requested our help we would have shown up, but nothing was said to the women, and I suspect we all know that, especially in an emergency situation, it's actually rather irresponsible to just show up and try to help. If the people coordinating efforts don't know you're coming, you'll likely be more of a hindrance than a help. Just makes me think about ECS's post over at FMH. Maybe I should go over there now and share my thoughts...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Consolidation craziness

Ever since moving out here my husband has been busily consolidating our belongings, particularly in the kitchen (it being probably the most crowded room in our house). We both enjoy cooking, so it's not really a surprise that we both have expansive collections of kitchen utensils, pots and pans, and spices. Most of our spices were combined in a single, fragrant evening, and our pots and pans and utensils are either sharing space, or waiting for the next yard sale. Between the two of us we also had three rolls of aluminum foil. I'm not sure why two of us had three rolls of aluminum foil. The consolidation bug took hold of Derrick and he decided to try turning those three rolls into a single roll, producing this:


Fortunately, he hasn't figured out yet that glad wrap and saran wrap are really the same thing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Devil in the White City

After a half-hour of monitoring baby's heart rate and movement, my doctor talked to us mostly about the books all of us were reading. Which is to say, baby girl is fine and healthy--to the point of being a boring conversation topic--and I just have to go back every week for the same kind of monitoring and will have another ultrasound the first week of July to gauge her growth again.

As for the title of the post, my doctor is reading "Devil in the White City," which is about the Chicago World's Fair and a serial killer who preyed on young women at the same time. I'm just about finished with "Collapse," and Derrick is about half-way through "Guns, Germs, and Steel." All good books, and all concerned at least somewhat about history, though "Collapse" also looks toward the future in its examination of the past, especially in the last couple of chapters where it applies lessons of past societies to modern western civilization.

These are scans of the ultrasound images from last week's appointment (for those interested). She's bigger, so the face pictures are a bit more Skeletor-ish than the first batch, but the foot picture is really cool! Oh yeah, and the technician could see hair all over her head.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

19th amendment

Today, in 1919, was the day the Senate passed the 19th amendment, giving all women the right to vote. Ratification was accomplished when Tennessee voted to accept the amendment on August 18th, 1920. It's a good day!

And just because I love this poem, and think it's a rather appropriate one for Derrick's birthday, here is a great baseball poem, also courtesy of the Writer's Almanac.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tenth percentile kiddo

Somebody's got to be there, and it looks like it's us. I had another ultrasound today and according to the ultrasound she's about 3 lb 6 oz (1.53 kg), which puts her smack dab at the 10th percentile for weight for a 32 week, 6 day fetus. Baby girl is growing proportionally, but because she's so small I get to start going in to the doctor weekly now and doing additional testing to monitor her movement. The prospect of more doctor visits and more testing is less than exciting, I must say, though I guess that's just how it goes when you're small.

She's so beautiful, even in her petiteness, even in the graininess of the ultrasound. I'm looking forward to meeting her in person.