Aug 30 2009

i love…

:: Gentry learning cute new things at school ::

:: feeling good again ::

:: eating food from the garden and from others gardens ::

:: finding away to protect my tummy from more stretch marks :: hope it works ::

:: roar of a snore :: max’s words ::

:: jj’s new haircut ::

Aug 14 2008

East of Eden

I just finished East of Eden. It was so horrible, violent, and good. It is long, I have been reading it since about March. I got about half way through and was so grossed out and sick of the violence I started fishing around for opinions on if I should finish it or not. No one really said yes or no and amazon gives it a lot of stars. So I slowly pressed on. My cousins husband said it was really good a couple of weeks ago and its time for being returned to the library was nearing so I decided to finish.

It was worth it.

Right at the end, the last 100 pages, my heart swelled and I cried and was so proud.

I love the talk of balance between good and evil.

Was this some kind of joke or did things balance so that if one went too far in one direction an automatic slide moved on the scale and the balance was re-established?

He thought of Sam Hamilton. He had knocked on so many doors. He had the most schemes and plans, and no one would give him any money. But of course–he had so much, he was so rich. You couldn’t give him any more.

I believe this. When things are out of balance, I can feel it inside. I feel the need to get rid of constraints either spiritual or physical. I start to get rid of the things I am carrying around. I simplify. I need the balance. I remember feeling it in college, right before I graduated. I remember feeling it last year at this time. There have been several instances of me casting things way. Getting rid of the burdens. I love the peace it brings.

And the talk of love was so humbling.

“…So he tore up the world. It’s the same way he tore me up–Abra–when he wanted to be a priest.”

Cal said, “I’ll have to think.”

“Give me my books,” she said. “Tell Lee I’ll come. I feel free now. I want to think too. I think I love you…”

“I’m not good.”

“Because you’re not good.”

That is how love feels to me. Somehow, even though we are all so imperfect, we fit together like pieces of a puzzle. I saw a preview for a movie the other day that said, “Whatever you are is exactly what I want.” I touched me so much. I feel like good or bad we all deserve love.

Dear friends, I have a club of haters who are going to read this and think me a big hypocrite. Which I guess could be true, because to be loved by me you must be honest and have integrity. My love is conditional. However, I find my condition to be right thinking and not so much a condition. More of a protection than a condition.


Mar 28 2008

a thousand splendid suns

I finished this book today and loved it. Loved it. I haven’t really known what to say about it, and I really feel a struggle lately to come up with any words to write here.

It is about the relationships in our lives, mostly the relationships we have with women and how they unite us. Laila and Mariam. Strangers to friends. Hatred to tenderness. Learning to love inspite of, but more importantly loving just because it is needed.

Isn’t that what we all need anyway. Just a few to love us with no demands that follow.

“When Aziza first spotted Mariam in the morning, her eyes always spring open and she began mewling and squirming in her mother’s grip. She thrust her arms toward Mariam, demanding to be held, her tiny hands opening and closing urgently, on her face a look of both adoration and quivering anxiety.

“What scene you’re making,” Laila would say, releasing her to crawl toward Mariam. “What a scene! Calm Down. Khala Mariam isn’t going anywhere. There she is your aunt. See? Go on, now.”

“As soon as she was in Mariam’s arms, Aziza’s thumb shot into her mouth and she buried her face in Mariam’s neck. Mariam bounced her stiffly, a half-bewildered, half-grateful smile on her lips. Mariam had never before been wanted like this. Love had never been declared to her so guilelessly, so unreservedly.

“Aziza made Mariam want to weep.

“Why have you pinned your little heart to and old, ugly had like me?” Mariam would murmur into Aziza’s hair. “Huh? I am nobody, don’t you see? A dehati. What have I go to give you?”

“But Aziza only muttered contentedly and dug her face in deeper. And when she did that, Mariam swooned. Her eyes watered. Her heart took flight. And she marveled at how, after all these years of rattling loose, she had found in this little creature the first true connection in her life of false, failed connections.”

I have never felt love like motherhood. Do I love him because he needs me so desperately? Or did he love me unconditionally first and I returned it in kind? I really couldn’t say, but I am addicted and I love when he shows me his love in small childlike ways. When he touches my hand. When he cuddles with me in the morning. When he tells me to stay and lie with him in bed and watch Enchanted one more time. I love the way he loves me.

I hope as I live I am conveying the importance of living and being. I don’t want to be the one rushing from thing to thing and ignoring ants and not taking hour long walks around the block to look at every leaf. I want to be able to appreciate the beauty that is around me, the beauty that is my life, the beauty that has come from me.

“Mariam wished for so much in those final moments. Yet as she closed her eyes, it was not regret any longer but a sensation of abundant peace that washed over her. She thought of her entry into this world, the harami child of a lowly villager, an unintended thing, a pitiable, regrettable accident. A weed. And yet she was leaving the world as a woman who had loved and been loved back. She was leaving it as a friend, a companion, a guardian. A mother. A person of consequence at last.”

My consequence doesn’t have to make me rich or well-known or powerful. I just need to to know that the things I touched were better when I left them than when I found them. I am trying, in my own way. Mostly, I feel the love of you all and am so blessed by the good friends that have been placed around me. You truly have made my world better.

“To a chorus of flipping pages, Laila makes her way to the curtainless window. Through the glass, she can see the boys in the playground lining up to practice their free throws. Above them, over the mountains, the morning sun is rising. It catches the metallic rim of the basketball hoop, the chain link of the tire swings, the whistle hanging around Zaman’s neck, his new, unchipped spectacles. Laila flattens her palms against the warm glass panes. Closes her eyes. She lets the sunlight fall on her cheeks, her eyelids, her brow.

“When they first came back to Kabul, it distressed Laila that she didn’t know where the Taliban had buried Mariam. She wished she could visit Mariam’s grave, to sit with her awhile, leave a flower or two. But Laila sees now that it doesn’t matter. Mariam is never very far. She is here, in these walls they’ve repainted, in the trees they’ve planted, in the blankets that keep the children warm, in these pillows and books and pencils. She is in the children’s laughter. She is in the verses Aziza recites and in the prayers she mutters when she bows westward. But, mostly, Mariam is in Laila’s own heart, where she shines with the bursting radiance of a thousand suns.”

I can feel the quiet reverence here. I can feel the light coming in the cloudy window. I can hear the noise of boys. I love/want to be able to see this beauty and feel this reverence all the time. I want to always be able to look and find it always near. I love the people who have quietly left their foot prints on my heart. I love them that have treaded lightly, and shown me a better way. I love finding people who have such respect for others. I love being humbly surrounded by greatness.

I am reminded of this.

Also, there is a new post by me over at the Daybreak Bookclub.

Feb 1 2008


The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribably as the things of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched. Henry David Thoreau, Walden or Life in the Woods


Everything had changed suddenly&#9830the tone, the moral climate; you didn’t know what to think, whom to listen to. As if all your life you had been led by the hand like a small child and suddenly you were on your own, you had to learn to walk by yourself. There was no one around, neither family nor people whose judgment you respected. At such a time you felt the need of committing yourself to something absolute&#9830life or truth or beauty&#9830of bing ruled by it in place of the man-made rules that has been discarded. You needed to surrender to some such ultimate purpose more fully, more unreservedly than you had ever don in the old familiar, peaceful day, in the old life that was not abolished and gone for good. Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago


Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitably board. The hospitality was as cold as the ices. Henry David Thoreau, Walden or Life in the Woods


I just finished Into the Wildas recommended by Annie. It is the story of the life and death of Chris McCandless. I don’t know why this appealed to me. It was truly fascinating, though I never could see myself hitchhiking around the country and depending on the kindness of strangers. However, I did understand his search for something more. I understand the hunger to find the true depth and strength of my spirit and character. I struggle daily to be even close to the best I know is in me. I have linked myself irrevocably to truth. I feel that I can find it, here in my small and quiet life. I search for it. I continually ponder what it is and if I am living a life filled with it.

Jan 20 2008

just finished

I just finished reading this, which I would not recommend. I kept waiting for it to get good. I guess it is good because it gets the autistic mind right, but that is not something I am looking for. Perhaps if I had read it with that in mind, it would have been better for me.

However, there is this quote that I found humorous, “But Siobhan said we have to use those words because people used to call children like the children at school spaz and crip and mong, which were nasty words. But that is stupid too because sometimes the children from the school down the road see us in the street when we’re getting off the bus and they shout, “Special Needs! Special Needs!” But I don’t take any notice because I don’t listen to what other people say and only sticks and stones can break my bones and I have my Swiss Army knife if they hit me and if I kill them it will be self-defense and I won’t go to prison.”

Sometimes I feel like that as well.

Aug 27 2007

Book Review

I just did a book report over at the Daybreak Bookclub.

The book is My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

Jun 10 2007

Sarah’s Quilt

This is the first book, I just finished the second.

The first is about the rough lives of early settlers in the United States. This book is also, but it is from a grown womans view. I love the way she speaks of love for her children.

“‘Mother!’ April said. She took the little girls from me and set them back on the floor, then leaned onto my lap and put her cheek against mine. It was such an odd thing for her to do. How could I explain to a beautiful lady in a silk dress that when I picked up her baby girl, I felt that lady’s long-ago chubby shape in in my arms, smelled her sunshine-touched hair? That years and years of tiny memories flitted past my her like a flock of birds spinning on invisible air? It was the smell of the little girls, slightly wet, somewhat soapy, the smell of porridge supper, and the taste of kissed-away tears. Here in my arms were the best parts of life, going on blooming like a strong tree.”

I feel like this. When I look at Gentry, I wonder where he came from. I know right now I am his world and I love him fiercely, but he will not always be mine. I am bewildered by where he came from. I know that he grew in me, but I can barely remember it. The pictures seem like a different time and person. In rare moments though I remember. I remember the smell of him. The way his tiny hand grabbed mine. The way he cuddled with me for hours as I fed him. In rare moments I remember, and he will always be my baby.

This book is about her struggle to live in the Arizona Territory at the turn of the century. She is a strong, hard working woman, and I want to be her. At the end of the day when I still have a million things to do, I remember her, Sarah. She worked so hard and she talked about how exhausted she was. There were times of rest, and times when all they did from sun up to sun down was excruciating hard work. She was strong. I want to be strong like her.

Jun 10 2007

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

by Lisa See

I cried at the end of this book, not because of the brutality of it. It was because of the sincere love we have for the sisterhood of women around us.

It is about the Chinese culture and foot binding of the women there. They called their feet their “golden lilies.” Reading about her foot binding made me nauseas, but that was the culture. It was the way of life. Brutal to me, a sign of culture and class to them. Who am I to judge? What I have done all in the name of beauty?

The book is about two best friends, promised to each other at the age of seven. They grow old together. They share in each others lives, even when class distinctions keep them apart. They love and take care of each other.

They were two mandarin ducks. They were placed together to build each other up.

“I read her our contract, reminding her how we had gone to the Temple of Gupo and bought the red paper, sat down together, and composed the words. I read again the letters we had sent each other. I read happy parts from our fan. I hummed old melodies from our childhood. I told her how much I loved her and said I hoped she would be waiting for me in the afterworld. I talked her all the way to the edge of the sky, not wanting her to go yet yearning to release her into the clouds.”

Mar 29 2007


I read the Book of Mormon on occasion. I am no scriptorian, but it has been recommended that as a Mormon I should read it everyday. I am closer to once a week. In my weekly reading, I read in the Book of Ether about Akish. Feel free to correct me at anytime here.

Generally, how I remember it is Akish was the daughter of someone who was in power. To get her father out of power she danced (probably a little like the Pussy Cat Dolls) for a guy. The guy decided he wanted her to be his wife. She told him that she would marry him if he brought her her fathers head. I have not finished this tale or I don’t remember how it ends, but I would have to say that it is more than a little gory. And this is recommended reading for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I believe the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, but it is bloody. I was telling jj about this this morning and he said if they made a movie about the Book of Mormon it would be rated R.

So last night at my book club, we discussed These Is My Words. Which I have talked about here. It is a story of a woman at the turn of the century when Arizona was being settled. There are wars with the Indians (Native Americans), people are killed and scalped by them. There are bandits hanging around waiting for times to rape women and children. It was a lawless time, a time when you took care of yourself.

So, a woman (who happens to be in my ward) came to the bookclub and had not read the book. Every time we said killed or raped or died, she scrunched up her face and said things like, I am glad I did not read it. When the talk turned to sheepskin condoms, which I guess was a form of birth control back then, she got up and left. I was more than a little irritated. Real life is rated R, not by choice and you hope those things never happen to you. But they do, and pretending that things don’t happen doesn’t make them go away or not happen. Facing the issues and being prepared is more productive and more realistic than wishing them away.

Annie did a great review of the book, which I also recommend.

Mar 11 2007

These Is My Words

I just finished the book, These Is My Wordsfor my book club.

I really liked it, but it is not a thriller or anything. It is just an account of a lady growing up at the turn of the century, and about love. I could not put it down. I did not even get dressed the day that I read it, just hung around with the kid and read like crazy. I don’t really know what was so addicting.

There is a part where she is traveling from Texas to Arizona and the page of a book blows by. She picks it up and reads it and then thinks to herself, “Accustomed is what the scarlet velvet woman was. She was accustomed to her sorrows it said, as she had been accustomed to great riches and fine food. We are accustomed to Indian wars and sorrows and traveling fast and folks dying.” It made me wonder what I am accustomed to. What are you accustomed to?

She also reflects on herself.

“At least I know there are other women around me. I think my Mama and Savannah must be special people in the Lord’s eyes, as they have gone about doing generous and loving things without even a second thought. For me it seems like the only thing that come natural is aggravation and hard work.

“Sometimes I feel like a tree on a hill, at the place where all the wind blows and the hail hits the hardest. All the people I love are down the side aways, sheltered under a great rock, and I am out of the fold, standing alone in the sun and snow. I feel like I am not part of the rest somehow, although they welcome me and are kind. I see my family as they sit together and it is like they have a certain way between them that is beyond me. I wonder if other folks ever feel included yet alone.”

I remember when I first put this feeling to words. I was in college and felt completely surrounded by people and yet completely alone. I still feel this way, do you ever feel like this?