Thursday, January 27, 2011

Miah and Megan Dress Up Date!












While the other pictures were loading, Miah and I had a blast dressing Megan up!
You can tell Miah dosen't feel good, just look at those poor sad eyes. You'll notice that the dogs are surrounding her...usually they hang out with me wherever I am, but they haven't left her yet, except to go outside every once in a while. I am most impressed with the shoes, but Miah says her favorite is the black and white outfit with the hat. After Miah looked at most of the clothes, she said "Do these come in Miah sizes?!" lol She LOVES them!
Miah sent a special video for Manny:
video

Miah's Got Mail! For Manny











Poor Miah is home sick today, but it just so happened that her box of home made American Girl Doll clothes came in the mail for her...Since Manny doesn't get to be here to see Miah's reaction, I grabbed the camera before I gave Miah her box! Miah is dressing Megan right now, and I'm sure a whole bunch of pictures are going to be taken. These clothes are SO cool!

Wistful History

She doesn't look very happy, does she? I wonder what is going through her mind, this apparently unhappy woman. It looks like it's supposed to be a wedding, but her expression says funeral. Maybe it's a shotgun wedding? Or her dad is making her marry some guy with money, or a good family? But then again, he doesn't look too happy either...
These are complete strangers to me, but the pictures left behind in their cigar box are intriguing! More to come, someday when I don't have much else to talk about....

Other than the fact that Miah is home from school today, AGAIN, for the 7th day this month, not much is going on. Everybody is still trying to get over this cough (except Laurel, who never gets sick!) and it's hard to get the housework all caught up when you have to stop every few minutes to cough your head off. Sometimes I cough so hard I throw up, sorry if that's gross, but it really is disturbing! I have to sit up in bed to keep from coughing, because when I lay down I cough so hard I see sparks behind my eyelids.

Miah is going to the Valentines Day dance with her boyfriend...Laurel is going to hers with her friends....one is an hour long, the other is two...you'd think that this means Jay and I will get an h our alone...but there are so many people here that you have to get a parking spot at least twenty minutes before you pick your kid up, or you'll be in a line down the street for an hour...so Jay and I will spend the evening driving all over tarnation and sitting in the Jeep. At least I know he's got an awesome Valentines present for me....so he didn't wait until the last minute! I went ahead and let him know back before Thanksgiving that I had his present all ready to go. It drives him nuts...

I need to head to the front room to make sure Miah's meds kicked in and lowered her temp. She's being very quiet, so maybe she's fallen asleep. Poor baby...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Idle Wednesday



Rose Quartz, Fluorite, and Amethyst, Oh My!

This week I made a looong necklace, not that you can tell from the pictures! How do you like my new necklace stand??
The cool thing about the necklace is that while it does have a clasp, it's not used for clasping the necklace together. It is a single long loop, using a toggle clasp as part of the pendant. I liked the Amethyst and Fluorite so much that next weeks is going to have the some of the same beads, in a different style.
I started making molds today from "Amazing Mold Putty" it's relatively easy to mix, and I'm really enjoying it! I'm teaching myself the best way to make the molds, how best to make the finished project from them, and how to mix the polymer clays to make great colors, and how to use them in my projects. More to come on that front!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Westboro, Free Speech, and Wanting to Shut Them Up Anyway

Could they be getting tired of their own rhetoric?
I first heard about the Westboro Baptist Church when someone stopped by the Red Cross office with a petition to keep them from protesting at Fort Campbell. We all signed the petition the instant we found out what they were about, and I was one of the people that stopped by to confront them as they protested. These vile, disgusting, cultish people made me ill. They stand there in protest, holding signs that say things like "Thank God for IED's" and just hope for you to touch them, push them, or even get too close, so that they can have you arrested. The hate they spew forth is such that inspires people to do crazy things to shut them up. I can understand the impulse. If I didn't have two kids, I may have spent the better part of my time following them around too. My husband was in Iraq at the time of their protest, and has served over there two other times as well, and let me tell you, god has nothing to do with what's going on over there! The feeling they inspire in me is horrible. I have had daydreams of smashing them to bits if they showed up to a funeral I attended. Arrested or not, I'd have to take one or two of them down with me.
However, it seems that these guys may be loosing their verve, according to The Examiner. This is what I really want to hear! The students and community showed up to give them hell, and it seems it worked. I love the fact that so many people show up to protest the protesters. When they are outnumbered 500 to 6 at some of these protests, I hope it shows them what they are up against.
They were going to be here, to protest at the funeral of Staff Sgt. Willie J. Harley Jr., and I was fully prepared to head over and be apart of the protest, but instead they traded the protest for an hour on the radio. Now, it may seem that letting them on the radio is a bigger platform, but think about it...I can turn the radio off...but the mourners at the funeral cannot turn those signs off.
I am especially proud of the creative ways some people have stopped them:

"The church -- which has become known for its protests of military funerals, claiming soldiers' deaths are a sign from God because gays can serve in the military if they don't reveal their sexual orientation -- also attempted to protest the funeral of Cpl. Matt Dillon, of Aiken, who was killed by an IED in Iraq on Dec. 11, 2007.

Dillon's parents, Neal and Lucy, told The Augusta Chronicle earlier this year that they didn't learn of the group's attempt to crash the funeral until after their son was buried.

According to the Dillons, a member of the Patriot Guard, veteran bikers who provide security for families during services, noticed three vans with Kansas license plates headed toward the area the day of Matt's funeral. The biker called officials in Aiken suggesting a time they might be able to intercept the group. As the van crossed the Savannah River into South Carolina, they were pulled over by law enforcement at the rest stop for a "safety check," which took three hours to complete."


I can't help but think that there should be something we can do legally. The First Amendment is my favorite, and to me one of the most important ones, but with that right comes great responsibility. You cannot cry fire in a crowded theater when there is none, and you cannot call people to violence, so why should you be able to disrespect funerals? It is a very slippery slope, one I don't like to stand at the edge of, and I realize that being married to the army makes me entirely too close to the subject to be objective, but there has to be a better solution than hoping the cops get creative. What do you think?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Um, Really? Unicorns in the Bible?

I asked the question, "Are unicorns real, or are they a myth? What does the word unicorn mean? If it really means a one-horned horse, is there fossil evidence of such an animal? Please lend your two cents!" on facebook.

Job 39:9-12
Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
Wilt thou trust him, because , because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labor to him?
Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?

In this chapter god is talking to Job, about how awesome he is. That his wisdom is "unsearchable in them" "God is to be feared because of his great works" "God's works are to be magnified"

Now, the question is, as always, in the original script, in is original form and language, was the word unicorn meant to be a single horned creature, or is this a bastardisation of a word that could not be directly translated? We all know how much language and words change. Words like "gay" which used to mean happy, "Fag" which used to mean a bundle of sticks, then as slang for a cigarette. So, where did the word unicorn come from?
Lets break it down. It's origins are latin, unus -one and corne - horn.
"Though the modern popular image of the unicorn is sometimes that of a horse differing only in the horn, the traditional unicorn also has a billy-goat beard, a lion's tail, and cloven hooves—these distinguish it from a horse."

An animal called the re’em (Hebrew: רְאֵם‎) is mentioned in several places in the Hebrew Bible, often as a metaphor representing strength. "The allusions to the re'em as a wild, un-tamable animal of great strength and agility, with mighty horn or horns (Job xxxix. 9-12; Ps. xxii. 21, xxix. 6; Num. xxiii. 22, xxiv. 8; Deut. xxxiii. 17; comp. Ps. xcii. 11), best fit the aurochs (Bos primigenius). This view is supported by the Assyrian rimu, which is often used as a metaphor of strength, and is depicted as a powerful, fierce, wild mountain bull with large horns."[13] This animal was often depicted in ancient Mesopotamian art in profile, with only one horn visible.


The translators of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible (1611) followed the Greek Septuagint (monokeros) and the Latin Vulgate (unicornis)[14] and employed unicorn to translate re'em, providing a recognizable animal that was proverbial for its un-tamable nature. The American Standard Version translates this term "wild ox" in each case. -(Wikipedia)
Jewish view

The classical Jewish understanding of bible did not identify the Re'em animal as the unicorn. Instead, the Tahash animal (Exodus 25, 26, 35, 36 and 39; Numbers 4; and Ezekiel 16:10) was thought to be a kosher unicorn with a coat of many colors that only existed in biblical times.

So, it seems those darned old translators strike again! This is part of the reason that the bible is so easily dismissible for me. Not only was it written by men who thought god was using them to write the word, but the people who translated the works into other languages...actually translated from one language to another over and over again...substituted words time and time again for ease of use, or to associate things in the bible to things that the people of the time would be able to relate to. If you can agree that there are discrepancies in the translation when it comes to single words, how can you possibly have any hope that the rest of it isn't tweaked for convenience sake? One of the most interesting things I've heard lately is in this video:



This website is also very illuminating on the subject. It's great reading, both for believers (You really should understand what you are believing) and non believers alike. If you disagree with the idea that the words are not mistranslated, by all means, do what I did and spend the morning with your Latin text book, as well as the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic (http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/200-languages-of-the-bible) and let me know what you come up with. I am always open to facts and evidence.


Speaking of evidence, check this out:

Alleged evidence

Otto von Guericke's unicorn skeleton, exhibit near the Zoo, Osnabrück

Among numerous finds of prehistoric bones found at Unicorn Cave in Germany's Harz Mountains, some were selected and reconstructed by the mayor of Magdeburg, Otto Von Guericke, as a unicorn in 1663 (illustration, right). Guericke's so-called unicorn had only two legs, and was constructed from fossil bones of a Woolly rhinoceros and a mammoth, with the horn of a narwhal. The skeleton was examined by Gottfried Leibniz, who had previously doubted the existence of the unicorn, but was convinced by it.[18]

Baron Georges Cuvier maintained that, as the unicorn was cloven-hoofed, it must therefore have a cloven skull (making the growth of a single horn impossible); as if to disprove this, Dr. W. Franklin Dove, a University of Maine professor, artificially fused the horn buds of a calf together, creating the external appearance of a one-horned bull.[19]

OR

Elasmotherium or rhinoceros

One suggestion is that the unicorn is based on the extinct animal Elasmotherium, a huge Eurasian rhinoceros native to the steppes, south of the range of the woolly rhinoceros of Ice Age Europe. Elasmotherium looked little like a horse, but it had a large single horn in its forehead. It became extinct about the same time as the rest of the glacial age megafauna.[20]

However, according to the Nordisk familjebok (Nordic Familybook) and science writer Willy Ley the animal may have survived long enough to be remembered in the legends of the Evenk people of Russia as a huge black bull with a single horn in the forehead.

In support of this claim, it has been noted that the 13th century traveller Marco Polo claimed to have seen a unicorn in Java, but his description makes it clear to the modern reader that he actually saw a Javan Rhinoceros.

AND

Single-horned goat

The connection that is sometimes made with a single-horned goat derives from the vision of Daniel:

And as I was considering, behold, a he-goat came from the west over the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. (Daniel 8:5)

Antiquities researcher Timothy Zell also produced artificial unicorns dubbed "the Living Unicorn", remodeling the "horn buds" of goat kids in such a way that their horns grew together into a single one.[21] Zell theorized that this process might have been used in the past to create court curiosities and natural herd leaders, because the goat was able to use this long straight horn effectively as a weapon and a tool. Medieval art often depicts unicorns as small, with cloven hooves and beards, sometimes resembling goats more than horses with horns. This process is possible only with animals that naturally have horns. For a time, a few of these unicorns traveled with the Ringling Brothers Circus.[22]

There you have it. The only fossil evidence of a unicorn has been faked, and there are many different animals and circumstances that could lend the uneducated, and unscientific mind to imagination. The only question left to answer is, what in the bible is trustworthy? I am one of those pesky all or nothing types. I cannot pick and choose which things to believe. If it were my religion, I'd have to completely follow every single rule, even the stone-your-kids ones (how well would Laurel and Miah behave then?!?) and I'd have to truly believe in all the stories...Jonah, Noah, Moses, and Jesus to name a few. So, being of that mind, I don't understand those who pick and choose. How do you know which is right? Do you even think about it, or do you simply dwell on all of the pretty verses, and leave the confusing ones to the preacher to worry about? I challenge you to leave the church and the preacher out of the equation, and read all of the tough stuff for yourself. Get some books to translate...and get a bible in one of the original languages. I can lend you one, if you'd like.


And just for fun:
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/lame-pr-hoax-science-center-films-unicorn




Dinner!


It's a little sloppy, but the family said it was awesome! I'm still sick, so I can't taste anything :(



Feta couscous salad with garlic roasted pine nuts, Broiled salmon fillets marinated in lemon juice, dill, and lemon zest, and home made macaroni and cheese!

Ninja Mama, and Other Stories

Picture from http://www.guardian.co.uk


Did you see the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes"? If you did you might remember Idgy Threadgoode's call to arms, "Towanda!!!" Well, I have one of my own. Miah and Laurel coined it one day when I caught something in midair that rightfully should have shattered on the floor when it slipped off the counter. "Ninja Mama!!" If you know our family intimately, you know that we frequently make up, or latch onto a phrase, silly game, or some such. Ninja hug! Pineapple! (thanks Psych!) Yellow Car! (Thanks Miah's classmate) Tentacle Fingers! (where laurel wiggles her always cold and clammy freakishly long fingers in your face) And then there are the endless variations of Ninja hug (where you sneak up on some poor unsuspecting person, scream ninja hug, then grab them and hug them to death) Ninja kiss, kick, smack, punch, and of course Ninja Mama (where I do something cool, that seems magical to those of us who don't know all those mom tricks we keep in our back pockets)
This morning I got a nice resounding "NINJA MAMA!" from Miah. Here's why...
Miah and I were on the way out the door to drop her off at school. At the door, I remembered that I left my debit card at my desk. My gas light had lit up on the way to Laurel's school earlier, so I had to fill up after dropping Miah off, so I ran back and grabbed it. I locked the door, and took off to catch up with Miah. Just as I slammed the locked door closed, I realized that Miah did not have the keys in her hand, as I thought she had. The look on my face must have been something, because Miah's eyes were as big as saucers when I asked, "You did grab the keys, right?" Her tiny little "no" was followed by a loud "oh, crap!" Ya. We are locked out of the house, no car keys, no cell phone, not that I could call Jay, or anyone else for that matter, for help. It's 30 degrees, and I'm wearing slippers instead of shoes because I'm just dropping Miah off. ARRRGG!!
I grabbed the door knob and tested it, because I've learned to check the situation first before freaking out, or going too far out of my way only to find out that the door hadn't seated itself in the latch all the way, and I would have been fine if I'd just checked. Nope. I'm seriously stuck. I also know that Jay makes the rounds every single night to make sure the doors and windows are shut and locked, so there will be NO happy accidents. Just in case, I walk to all the other doors, and the windows that I can reach. Nope. I looked at the card in my hand, and remembered a certain port of entry in the house that has issues....and two minutes later, I have a card through the door, hear a nice little click, and I'm in. Miah yells "Ninja Mama!" and then the dog hits me full force, thinking I'm some idiot who's going to rob the place. Thankfully she realized who I was before she actually bit me!
Just in case you aren't sure how to rescue yourself in THIS WAY, click those words to get a quick lesson. You never know when it might come in handy! From now on, I'm keeping a spare key hidden somewhere...and fixing that door!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Idle Wednesday






On facebook about a week ago, I posted that the first five people who commented that day would get something home made from me. This is the first of only two, who commented on that post. My friend Sara first showed me the design for this "gypsy" bracelet years ago, and it's one of my favorite ideas. As a jewelry maker, I frequently have only one or two beads left on a strand, or the oddball charm, button, or finding, so this is a great way to use them.
I haven't started on the second project yet, because I keep changing my mind about what I want to do. I'll get it done in time for next Wednesday's post though, I promise.
I really hope Donna likes her present!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sam's Club Rocks!

I meant to post this forever ago...The picture got lost in about a thousand others that have been taken since October. Mom came down and we headed over to Sam's to check it out. We bought Mario Batali Ravioli and Pesto sauce for lunch, and it was incredibly good! I got a huge container of coffee, an enormous block of Feta, and of course, these. I bought these spice jars to put them in. It may seem silly, but every time I open that giant garlic container, I get a little giddy. Hey, it's the small things, right?

Five Things...


...That I'm grateful for today.

  1. I got a few hours to myself for the first time in weeks.
  2. Kidd Kraddick in the Am told me about a new album that is so awesome, I bought it. (The King Is Dead-The Decemberists)
  3. Anita was at WWs this morning, and she's looking pretty good.
  4. Though I've been sick as heck again this week, I'm getting better.
  5. I have the rest of Jay's Valentine's Day present put together (I know, yes, already) and it's awesome!

Science saved my soul video





Look how tiny we really are. It's incredible. All at once, watching this, I feel tiny, but my heart feels huge and full. How amazing and wonderful the universe is, minus god. Just the idea of the universe by itself is awe inspiring.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wistful History



No, she's not a relative...
I have no clue who she is...
I bought a box of random things on etsy.com, and a small stack of slides were among the ephemera. I have all sorts of found photos, and I thought it would be fun to post them every once in a while. I hate the idea that someone's family photos are strewn about as if they have no meaning, so I like to safeguard them. I look at them occasionally and wonder who they were, what they did, what the world was like when they were here...
I love this slide the most. The colors are bright and striking, the wind is clearly blowing, and I wonder what she is up to.
I am currently reading THIS book, and it reminded me of my photographs, all hiding in a trunk at the end of my bed. I wish my kindle was a time machine, so that I could step into New York city in the 20's. I'd wear a fur collared coat like my grandmother's, and smoke thin cigarettes in blues clubs while sipping my bootleg whiskey. I'd store my treasures in hidden drawers in my dresser, and be a spy for the Army. I'd show up to fly on the first commercial airplane, dance the Charleston, and my hair would be in fingerwaves, cut short, and I'd dress like this:
picture from: http://www.1920s-fashions.co.uk


Women like me were looked upon so differently back then, but I know I'd still be the same person. I know, because I come from a long line of tough women. Maybe tough and independent in different ways than I am, but I've heard enough stories to know that the women on my mother's side would have been women that I would have looked up to. Back then, that independent spirit would have been a novelty, and I would have to have fought to do the things I would have wanted to do...when I daydream, I am one of the tough as nails women who fought the good fight, and stood up to the idiot men who ran the world...
More photos to come later.
What story would you give this lady? What do you think she was like?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Idle Wednesday


Dear Sara,

I seriously tried to be creative. I was stumped. I desperately wanted to add something to this, but I let it be simple. The clasp is a sterling silver hook shaped like a fish (very simple, nothing elaborate) and the round part of a toggle clasp, both oddballs I've been hanging on to for awhile.
This wasn't easy. You'd think that two ribbons and a pendant would be the simplest thing on the planet, but well, here you go! I wonder, what was your vision? I sat looking at these three things and wondered what you would have done with them?
By the way, in order to make each circle the same size, I knotted the ribbon around my ring mandrel, so they are all perfectly sized ten. :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

High School *Daze*


Me nine months pregnant.


























I'm not sure how the tiny little girl at the top of this post became the young adult at the bottom, but she did. Last night the whole family attended Laurel's first high school meeting. Yes, I said high school. The meeting was quite ridiculous. I know I'm young to have a high school age child, but the entire meeting was about what you are supposed to do in high school (do your homework, they said.) what the requirements for graduation are (pass most of your classes, they said) and don't forget that colleges actually look at your GPA before they let you in (really?!?)
I kept looking at Jay, searching for some sort of confirmation that these people are crazy. I was JUST in high school. Things haven't changed much, besides technology, and the fact that they have to pass a graduation test. I cannot imagine that everyone there is so old that when they drove to school in the trans am it was an eight track and not a cassette tape they listened to to get geared up for the day. I was wrong. I felt completely out of place, and again, the fact that I am way too young to be the mother of this incredibly mature, intelligent young lady was right there in my face. I have been mistaken by some of her less intelligent friends as her sister, but that's not really the norm. I don't notice people having a reaction to the two of us often, except last night, I felt like I was going to get asked what classes I was choosing for the first semester.

The other day, Laurel brought me a list of colleges she wants to go to. She did all of the research, and wrote all of the pertinent information down. She has decided to start with Criminology. Okay. I can deal with that. She even choose schools that are close enough to potential posts that we might be nearby enough to help her out while she goes to school, but what struck me was that she has learned something very important from us. She, instead of giving in to the fear, and her not wanting to be this old yet (She has Peter Pan syndrome like I've never seen) she faced it. She did her research, made decisions, and instigated a plan. Just like Jay and I do every time we make a major decision. She may not have been involved in any of those decisions, but she sure was paying attention, and taking notes.
I just need to pretend to not be freaked out long enough to let her go. Ahh! I have spent the past almost fourteen years keeping such a close eye in this kid. I've tried to teach her self reliance, while knowing I'm right behind her to catch her if she messes up, I've taught her to value honesty and integrity, and to not take any crap from the boys around her. I've tried to instill a respect for the past, and value the wisdom people may impart to her. I know she's trustworthy, and intelligent. I know she's just paranoid to keep herself reasonably safe, but I cannot help but feel this stabbing panic take over any time I think about my Boogie Bear actually getting into a car and leaving home for college.
You might think that that's almost five years away from now, so why are you freaking out now? but do you remember how fast high school seemed to go by? I was just three years older than her when I got pregnant with her. I was the same age she is now when I first met her father. THAT is what has me at a loss for breath. The only thing that gets me past this panic is the fact that I am actually still young enough to remember all of the trouble, and all of the cover stories. So when she does try to pull one over on me, I hope that I have an advantage over all of those parents that actually needed last night's meeting.
I may need a prescription to get through the next eight years.