Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Off to San Francisco

I'm heading out for a long weekend to San Francisco and a dose of the Pacific Ocean with friends Linda and Lisa. And I'm feeling only a minor twinge of guilt about leaving the boys behind. They're all stashed up with Halloween candy, a case of microwave popcorn from Costco and all six Star Wars movies on dvd. They'll hardly know I'm gone :).

I'll post a picture of Jack in his Halloween costume when I get back. Right now, I've got to wrangle him to bed. Nothing like a sugar high on a school night!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

My Rush Theory

I don't follow Rush Limbaugh so I don't know how often he makes comments on the air that really cross a line, but I have a theory about his recent comment claiming that Michael J. Fox exaggerated his Parkinson symptoms to play on the emotions of voters in Missouri.

What if Rush is actually a closet supporter of stem cell research? To maintain his appeal to his audience, he can't exactly come out and say that. But in an absolutely brilliant move, he was able to throw a huge spotlight on the issue of stem cell research and specifically on Michael J. Fox, who rose to the occasion gracefully and articulately.

You go, Rush!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My Sunday Ritual

Every Sunday morning while Jack's in the tub, I watch This Week with George Stephanopoulos--interesting political interviews, lively round table discussion about current affairs, all with an overall sense of trying to get to the core of things without being divisive.

One segment of the show--In Memorium--has become a ritual for me. Each week, In Memorium includes a list of the names of US service men and women who died in Iraq. Each week, I make a point of reading each of those names and thanking them in my heart for their sacrifice.

I have never been able to understand why we invaded Iraq. From the beginning I felt uncomfortable with the single-mindedness of our government, which seemed to lack an understanding of human nature. The only thing that gave me a glimmer of hope that we were on some sort of "correct" course was when Colin Powell-a man I would have gladly voted for if he had run for president--addressed the United Nations. I thought maybe the government really did have some substantial knowledge or insight the rest of us didn't have. Hmph.

It's not just lost lives that weigh on us. A couple of years ago, a man came into the bookstore with his daughter. His wife had asked him to pick up a book for a friend of hers. He was having trouble remembering what the book was, and I said he was welcome to use the phone to call his wife. He said that would be impossible because she was stationed in Iraq. I asked him how long she'd been there, and he said ten months. I looked at the little girl, who could not have been more than a year old, and my heart ached because she didn't know her mother and her mother didn't know her.

Regardless of whether invading Iraq was right or wrong or somewhere in between, what's done is done, and our job now is to find the best solution and move forward. I have to remain optimistic that it will all get sorted out, hopefully for the better. I have to remain optimistic because if all of these lives (American, Iraqi, British, etc) have been lost or changed forever in vain, what will that mean to us? To our humanity?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Hark! A New Goal

I'm very, very good at setting goals and very, very bad at following through. Maybe I should really just refer to goal setting as dreaming dreams. Anyway, I've decided to set a new short-term goal that I believe I can and will accomplish.

I took piano lessons on and off while I was growing up, and never quite internalized the whole concept of practicing. I'm pretty sure I drove my mother nuts with my noodling. If and when I actually did play the music I was supposed to be practicing, I would play it fast when it was supposed to be slow or loud when it was supposed to be soft.

As a result, my repertoire is very spotty, and does not include any classic Christmas carols. So, by Christmas Day I intend to master the following Christmas carols: Hark the Herald Angels Sing, O Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night, Joy to the World, The First Noel, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Angels We Have Heard on High and Away in a Manger.

You all can check up on me if you'd like, but you might get roped into a sing-along!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Funny Jack Story

Roger: "It's time to go to school."

Jack: "One moment" (his current and consistent response to any request to change course or hurry up).

Roger: "No more moments. It's really time to go."

Jack: "Aaaghh! There are BILLIONS of moments. Why can't I have just one?!"

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

IKEA Buddies

Ooh yeah, I saw the new IKEA store going up in Draper on a trip to Salt Lake City the other day. The company announced its plans nearly a year ago, and now it's finally happening!

Ever since I heard about the new store, I've been lining up "IKEA Buddies"--friends who I can call at a moment's notice to make an IKEA run. Let me know if you'd like to be on my list!

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Closed Door

Jeepers, it's been such a struggle to remember that it was the right decision to move on from the Read Leaf. It's so hard to get past it when there are daily reminders of what we gave up. And, frankly, even though I'm trying to do lots of other good things, I feel so adrift. I'm trying hard not to fall into a full-on depression.

Mom is visiting from Massachusetts, and I told her that pretty much every time I'm out and about, I run into someone who is sad that the Read Leaf is gone. Just to prove the point, we ran into one of our old customers at Deseret Book in Provo yesterday, who said she really missed us. I asked her what her book club was currently reading. She said they're reading Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, the Springville Reads city wide book club selection this year. She hadn't gotten a copy of the book yet, and wondered if Deseret Book had it in stock. I said, "Oh, let me check the shelf for you. You know, for old time's sake." They didn't have it in stock. Sigh.

Last night Jack and I were finishing up one of the latest Magic Tree House books, Night of the New Magicians (which, by the way, is a fabulous series). The kids in the book end up in Paris during the 1889 World's Fair and meet Thomas Alva Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Louis Pasteur and Gustave Eiffel. Each of them explain the "magic" behind their scientific and engineering breakthroughs.

I am taking the words of Alexander Graham Bell as a sign. Or maybe a kick in the pants.

"When one door closes another door opens. But we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Funny Jack Story

The other day Jack and I were reading scriptures together, and we came to a passage that talked about how God has always existed and will always exist. I told Jack that it's hard to get our brains around that concept because on earth everything has a beginning and an end.

Jack thought about that and then said, "We're in the middle, aren't we?" Then he paused and said, "Well, you're more in the middle than I am."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

The day started with a call from one of our book store customers trying to track down information for an upcoming project. I just feel this deep, deep sadness that I'm on the "outside" now.

Then I got a call from Jack with a request to pick him up from school. He was awake for hours during the night, which is highly unusual. He tried really hard to fall back asleep but it took him a long time. He's also been really snuffly. The call was not unexpected.

After we got Jack home, his PE teacher called. Jack and his good buddy have apparently been having trouble participating in the class. So the school has decided to switch Jack out of the class to separate the two of them. After I got off the phone, I started to get a little hot under the collar that the school decided to change Jack's class (he'll now be taking PE with older kids) without even telling us there had been a problem.

The next phone call was the school secretary, wondering if we knew where Jack was because he didn't sign out. His PE teacher was in the office, frustrated that he had spent his prep time looking for our son. He got on the phone. I asked him if he could hold off switching Jack out of the class for a couple of weeks to see if we could help him step up. Basically, he said it wasn't our choice and the school wasn't even going to tell us about the change but thought twice and that's why he had called earlier.

I'm sorry, but if our son is having trouble in a class, shouldn't we be kept in the loop? Apparently, I'm going to be one of "those" parents.

And the rest of the day has just been one thing after another. Like milk spilling in the car on the way home from the grocery store. And when I went to help in the school library, I saw a Barnes & Noble bag full of recent releases (again, I'm on the outside now). Nothing big, just par for the course.

At 7:30 Jack and I settled in to get his homework done. He brings home a book from the take-home library every night that he's required to read out loud. We both just laughed when we pulled today's book out of his bag and it was a copy of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


A few weeks ago we drove up to Cascade Springs and were surprised to see a moose! In the past 25 years I've only seen three other moose in Utah (and can I just say it is a bit scary to think that I came to Utah for my freshman year 25 years ago!).

The first moose I saw in Utah was on a drive on the Alpine Loop up above Sundance. We were entertaining a business associate visiting from Minnesota. Then, amazingly, the second moose I saw was the very next day up Hobble Creek Canyon entertaining the very same business associate.

Two moose in two days! I figured it had something to do with the fact that we were with a Minnesotan. Maybe Minnesotans attract moose.

Years later, Roger and I were invited to play golf at the Hobble Creek golf course. I'd never played golf before. Just as I swung back my club to tee off for the very first time in my life, Roger said, "Look, there's a moose!"

I thought he was trying to be funny. You know, to psyche me out. He said, "No really, look!" I looked up and sure enough, there was a moose taking a drink from the pond about a hundred yards away. Apparently he's a fixture at the golf course.