Friday, July 17, 2009


I have been handed a new set of cards.

I was playing Go Fish. But someone just dealt me a hand of Old Maid. And I'm not sure what to do with these cards.

One spring day in 2005, I got a call from my dad. My Mom had been undergoing some routine tests that day and he said "Oh, they're all fine. But they think she might be allergic to wheat." "Wheat? Bummer. I guess no more bread for her."

Which just shows my own stupidity.

So, for the past four years--my Mom has lived gluten free. She avoids all foods with wheat, barley, or rye in them. Bread, yes. Cookies, cakes, and pasta. But also shampoos, makeup, meats, lotions--just about anything you can think of. We've all felt bad for her. She got dealt a rough hand of cards.

Well, guess what? Can you guess? This morning, I called my doctor to find out the results of my lab work, the nurse said "Oh--and the doctor tested you for celiac. And that's positive."

Such an offhand way to tell someone they're never going to have gingerbread or birthday cake or Olive Garden ravioli again. Like she wasn't dealing me a whole new hand of cards. Because, unlike this nurse--judging by her tone--I know exactly what it means to be celiac. It means being different. It means a whole lifetime of checking labels and explaining why you can't have some. It means that I'll never again have my mother-in-laws hot scones or homemade bread. Ever. It means that someday when my husband and I go on a mission, there are places they won't send me... because I won't be able to get the right kind of food.

It changes everything.

I'm just not sure what to do with it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The hips don't lie.

I'm guessing the scale at my doctor's office doesn't either.

In the very vague recesses of my memory, I remember stepping on to a scale at my doctor's office when I was 20. I remember the number flashed: 138. I remember the nurse looking at my chart, nodding, and saying "Good job, honey."

See, I'd been over 200 in high school. But I worked hard. I ate high carbs and no fat and walked. I got down to a size 6. The .perfect. size 6. And I maintained it. But then pregnancy came.

And it ate me.
I swear, that's the only explanation.

So I'm on South Beach. Starting today. And, by golly, I'm going to hear a nurse say "Good job, honey", again. If it's the last thing I do.

Starting weight (the day I came home from the hospital with my baby girl last fall: 207
Weight today: 205 (Sob.)

Bring it on.


It's Monday morning. So I need something funny.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


A'right. Here's what I really need to know. It's an important and pressing question:

Do homeschoolers watch television?

If so, how much? And when?

If I do put my kids in front of the Free Babysitter, does the programming need to be educational in nature, or can I just plunk them in front of Bugs Bunny? Because, you see, as I've been desperately pouring over homeschool curriculums, I have yet to find the one that adequately incorporates "TV TIME."

Is this more of the "Classical" approach??? Hm. Maybe "Unschooling"? No?

Years ago I took a class on the Humanities of Islam. On the first day, our professor asked us to say what are prejudices were about people from the Middle East. We were hesitant. We made sideways glances at each other. Could we really say these things, out loud? Slowly, we raised our hands, and he jotted our answers down on the board. They came more and more rapidly. After several cathartic minutes, he pointed to the stereotypes on the board and he said "Here's the thing--stop feeling guilty for thinking these things. You believe them to be true, because they were true at least once. There are some people who fit these stereotypes. My hope for you, however, is that you'll come to realize that they aren't true of most Muslims." It was a revelation, and a good learning experience.

But I feel like I need another chalkboard and I need someone to stand up and say "What prejudices and stereotypes do you have about homeschoolers?" because MAN, I could write you a list. As I try to figure out what in the world I'm supposed to be doing to educate my children and which route I should take, I find myself thinking "But homeschoolers are...." I need someone to tell me that it's okay to think those things, and that it doesn't mean my own kids will end up that way.

"But maybe they will" I think to myself today, catching a glimpse in the window of a homeschooling store, of my makeup-less self dragging three raggedy kids with me. Maybe they will. Because I LOOK like a homeschooler.

Again I ask--can homeschool kids watch TV????

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Country, Tis of Thee...

Outside my front door, America is celebrating. I can hear the rockets and the fireworks going off in the warm, Southern night, and in my mind I can easily imagine night flowing westward, as a whole nation joins the party.

I absolutely adore the Fourth of July.


It's because I'm an American Girl, and the 4th of July makes me feel like I'm living in the movie Pollyanna. Our entire neighborhood came pouring out of their homes this morning, riding bikes and pulling wagons decorated in streamers and pinwheels and flags. We marched proudly around a park with our children, and then rocked out to the Chicken Dance. We grinned at strangers, gave and received compliments. We ate until we thought we were going to pass out, dripping watermelon down our elbows. We listen to (questionably) great music with lyrics like "we'll put a boot in your &%$ it's the American waaaaaaay...". Does any other country do this?! I know that the Swiss sent up fireworks like crazy on August 1st, and England has their Guy Fawks Day. I know Canada Day was only a couple days ago. But I seriously can't think of another place where people go so crazily, dizzily, all-out for their love of country. We are Americans, and I adore it.

I adore it like I adore this country. Like I adore the black, slippery rocks on the craggy Oregon coast. Like I adore the beaches south of Santa Monica pier, with their teeming boardwalks and their film crews. Like I adore the churches of Manhattan and the cobblestone streets of Charleston. Like the Cumberland Gap and the red rocks and mountains of my home state, Utah. Like the endless skies of Montana to the twisted Cypresses along the Georgia coast. I have not seen a place in this great, wide country that has not bewitched me, in it's own way.

Land where my fathers died.
Land of the Pilgrim's pride.
From every mountain side
Let Freedom Ring...