Sunday, March 19, 2017

Crater of Diamonds

Jake works too much so the kids and I went on our spring break trip without him. He didn't want to go anyway--why pay to dig in the dirt when you can do it for free in your own backyard? he said. I'll tell you why: at Crater of Diamonds National Park in Arkansas you can dig for diamonds and keep them if you find them!

The day we were there a kid found a 7.44 carat diamond--the largest found in 40 years. It was galling when we heard about it on the car radio later. Another thing that made the trip memorable: I didn't pack the tent poles so we had to sleep in the van. That made for a long night.

Things improved after that, though. We spent the next two nights in an AirBnB cabin on a private lake. Lovely, relaxing. The only downside was the absence of a TV, so the kids couldn't watch Season 2 of MacGyver.  (Sad side note: Turns out MacGyver belongs to Toyland. Jake and I have passed its borders, and we can never return again to appreciate his awesomeness.) But there's one more day of spring break, so MacGyver Marathon our house tomorrow!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

More Julia quotes and Halloween

This post is not ordered chronologically or any other way.
 Julia saw a bag of candy on the kitchen chair (Halloween night maybe?). She hugged it and said, "Ah, my best friend."

 Halloween night. Damon as King Arthur, Julia as a lady bug or dancer or something, Claire as the Wicked Witch of the West, Anne as Ginny Weasley (You know, Harry Potter's wife. We tried to dye her hair red three times with semi-permanent dye. It didn't take.)

Halloween has broadened Julia's horizons. Ever since she's been saying things like, "When I grow up, I want to be a pumpkin" or "When I grow up, I want to play with the kids" or "When I grow up, I want to be a princess."

She created this a few days ago and called it a Halloween decoration:

Julia practiced trick-or-treating in the house, but at the ward trunk-or-treat she was traumatized by the Halloween CD I played. It has songs like MJ's Thriller. So she wouldn't go trick-or-treating for real. Jake tried, but she refused, sobbing. "No! I scared!" Mike Royko would have understood.

Side note: I may have traumatized the bishop that night. I'm in the primary presidency, and the primary is in charge of the trunk or treat, as well as the primary program which was 3 days prior. I've been feeling frazzled for most of 2016, so after the chili dinner/trunk-or-treat when we were cleaning the church kitchen, I seconded someone's suggestion that we just have a trunk-or-treat next year with no chili dinner: no decorating + almost no cleanup = awesome event for everyone involved. A dear lady said, "Oh, but the chili dinner is a tradition." I replied, "Well, the Lamanites gave up their wicked traditions when they converted to the gospel. So can we." She said, "I wouldn't call the chili dinner a wicked..." At that point I walked out of the kitchen and screamed in the hallway. I really did. Just as the bishop walked by. He looked too frightened to comment. Don't worry, though. People were vacuuming, so probably nobody else heard me. Oh, and I had vampire makeup on with fake blood dripping out of my mouth.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Julia quotes

Me: Are you angry?
Julia: No, I Julia.

Me: Do you want quinoa* for lunch?
Julia: Yes, sir.
   *She really likes quinoa. Theory: eat something healthy often in front of a little kid without offering any, and they might ask for some eventually, and even like it. Try to make older kids eat something healthy, and they probably won't try, and if they do, probably won't like it.

Julia: I got pants on my milk.
Me: You got milk on your pants, you mean?
Julia: Uh-huh. Oops, I got pants on my milk again.
Me: You mean you got milk on your pants.
Julia: Uh-huh.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Angioedema and chronic hives

I've got a swollen upper lip tonight. A week and a half ago it was the left side of my face, so the lip isn't a big deal. I used to be spotted with hives all over but thanks to Allegra 4 times a day (prescribed by my allergist) those are mostly under control. It's been almost a year of weird health. Worst I've ever had. I'm grateful because it's not cancer, but that doesn't mean I haven't cried over it and felt sorry for myself more than once.

Last November/December: bronchitis/walking pneumonia that lasted til February. Wheezing wouldn't go away, so I've been on an inhaler since then. Asthma has been ruled out.

After I started using the inhaler I developed hives. Pulmonologist (lung doctor. I can't spell it right, and spell check wants to know if I'm adding it to the dictionary...) said in June I had to keep using the inhaler until December follow-up appt.

I went to an allergist after being on a miserable elimination diet that gave some relief but not enough. Allergist doesn't think hives and swelling are inhaler or food related, does think I'll never find the cause. Put me on crazy amounts of Allegra. I'm going back to see him tomorrow, and I want another blood test (pulmonologist did one, but I think he only checked to see if I had been exposed to mold). Can it really be coincidence that I always swell up the day after eating pizza?

Theory: hives and swelling are stress related. Stress has made me sensitive to certain foods. I'm stressed about (1) our never-ending house projects. I'll post pics of our slow progress sometime. You'll feel stressed out, too. Unless you're a war refugee. Then you'll feel jealous because there are no land mines here, though it usually looks like one just went off. (2) We might have to move again. I know I'll survive another move, but I feel like I won't. (3) The Presidential Election. It's a national disgrace. Why doesn't everyone vote 3rd party or write someone (anyone!) in? Even if I drank I don't think I could get drunk enough to numb the revulsion of voting for the H word or the D word. The End.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Feel good moment for you

because you're better than me. My two-year-old had Peanut M&Ms and a piece of gum for lunch today. #stellarparenting, whatever that means.

Monday, March 7, 2016


"I believe in aristocracy, though -- if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others as well as themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but power to endure, and they can take a joke."
          ~E.M. Forster

"For a godless man, E.M. Forster had a profound understanding of heaven."
         ~Charlotte Henderson

Kurt Andersen, in an NPR interview on the prospect of Trump winning the presidential election:
"I think it would be a great American failure of a character test."

"Amen, Kurt."
          ~Charlotte Henderson

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Please Vote in the Caucus. Please Don't Vote for the Donald.

The Kansas Secretary of State has declared his support for Donald Trump. I listened to his rational on the car radio, something about how both parties in Washington have made government more intrusive and we need someone like Trump to shake things up and get things done.

I don't doubt Trump's ability to get things done. What I question is what he's going to do and how he's going to do it. Nothing he's said or done has convinced me he cares AT ALL for individual rights and freedom. He opens his mouth and I hear, "I love money, power, and Donald Trump, not necessarily in that order. You're all idiots. Unless you vote for me, in which case I love you." At least President Obama is guided by his ideals. Donald Trump is guided by Donald Trump, Donald Trump, and Donald Trump. His astonishing march to the front of the presidential race is depressing, maybe even terrifying. If he gets the Republican nomination, I won't know what to do. I can't vote for him. I can't vote for Hillary Clinton. I might stay home.

Why aren't there any George Washingtons or Abraham Lincolns anymore? I wonder if people of that caliber are un-electable now. You probably have to be an egomaniac to survive (and thrive in?) the current political process.