Monday, March 30, 2009

"Leave 'Em Wanting More"

This week, my mom gave Mikale a sweet, unassuming gift of cherry lip balm. Little did she know the package contained scandalous kissing tips. With tips like these, we're all going to become brazen hussies:

"Pull back and look down, then look into his eyes. If he liked the kiss you'll most likely kiss again. Look at his lips, he will get the signal you want more!"

And, a thought in parting from the Ladies Home Journal (1948): "It takes a lot of experience for a girl to kiss like a beginner."

Thanks, mom!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Plants after my heart

So, I don't own a home. Nor do I have any plans to own one in the near future. But that doesn't stop me from daydreaming about the landscape I will have. There are 3 plants that absolutely must be a part of my home: a Mimosa tree, a Teacup Magnolia tree and Forsythia. And, while I'm at it, I might as well include that my house needs to be within a 10 minute walking distance from a lake. Oh, and I'll be needing a few fruit trees.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A little something

Do you ever feel like something is lacking in your life? Like something is missing - that you're searching for some unknown thing that will make you whole? (Sounds like the beginning of a convert's testimony.) I've been experiencing this feeling the past week. I feel like I'm waiting for something, needing something. I feel dissatisfied, discontent, like I want to get away. Yet at the same time I feel happy overall. It's like something is askew or an intense feeling of hidden frustration. With something. What is that something?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another suitor for the Civic

We'd hoped it wouldn't come to this, but it is futile to deny what is so blatantly true. I'll just say it, then: each of us in the Belvedere Mansion grows increasingly jealous by the day. The object of our jealousy is no less than Claire's 1996 black, radio-less, tail-pipe-dragging, battery-less, air-condition-free Honda Civic. Yes, it's a sad state to be in (for us, not the car).

Civic has sat in our driveway for months, neglected, unwanted, decomposing before our eyes. Yet in a Mahana-like turn of events, suddenly Civic has become desperately wanted, even coveted. Without even the advantage of Craig's list marketing, Civic has managed to muster up several suitors in just 2 days. Men have been checkin her out something fierce. She has experienced aggressive courting, men fighting over her, offers of love affairs, and ever increasing monetary promises.

Today we came home to a note of last resort:
"I would like to buy your (love) but you talked to another guy about it [unfaithful!]. I will give you *$800* cash for your (love) [money talks] and I won't even talk to the other man about it [intrigues pique interest]. It will just be between you and me [baby, oh baby]. Call me as soon as you can [sold!]. I have cash. Tonight!"

Oh, to have the suitors of a run-down Civic.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


You would think that on an external marketing site for a national park, the objective would be to draw in visitors, right? Usually yes. But on some occasions, the national parks sabotage themselves by writing things like this:

During the pony swim, approx. 40,000 visitors wait along what many say is an "extremely over crowded shoreline". Large numbers of people wait for many long hours in an area far from the swim where the restrooms are located. There are no restrooms close to the swim since it is a tidal marsh.
People say that the best way for you to experience the wild ponies of Assateague Island is to just: "Go any other time during the season. That's when you can see them best. You can see the herds of wild ponies where they live along the island on the boat nature tour that runs from May 16th thru Oct 11th"... If you are still interested in seeing the Annual Pony Swim, there is also a special charter to get a much closer view of the Chincoteague wild pony swim (limited seats).

Um, what? Which competitor hacked into their system?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Bird And The Bee

I love this band. That's all.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Defining needful

This past week I noticed that I was becoming a bit negative and irritable. Harried and frazzled, I was having a hard time focusing on what I needed to accomplish. As I tried to determine what was making me feel this way, I realized that I had not taken time for myself. I hadn't given myself opportunities for silence, rejuvenation, and stillness.

I often feel torn between competing "goods." As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I have made covenants of consecration to God. These covenants motivate me to serve those around me - to give of my talents and time. I feel that serving and giving freely of my time - essentially turning over everything I have to the Lord - brings me great joy and fulfillment. But a person cannot give all the time. There are times when you give more, and other times when you receive more; but no matter the stage, everybody needs to take time to fill themselves and tend to their own needs. The struggle I experience is defining the point where my own pursuits are selfish. I guess it is a matter of dividing needs from wants, but that division for me is ever-elusive.

I think of Martha who was doing praiseworthy, good things: "cumbered about much serving." In a very real sense, she was providing service to God. But, as Elder Oaks mentions, her service at that moment wasn't the best thing she could be engaging in. Meanwhile, Mary sat at Christ's feet, learning about the gospel. She was filling herself and increasing her spiritual capacity. While not degrading the value or importance of what Martha was doing, Christ guided her, saying "One thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part."

So, what is that needful thing? Elder Oaks said, "just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it... Make sure that the essential needs are met, but do not go overboard in creating so many good things to do that the essential ones are not accomplished." I completely agree, but conflict creeps in as I apply the principle. It could very well be self-fabricated conflict, non-existent in reality. For example, if on a given evening I arrive at the conclusion that it is essential to devote time to myself, and deem an opportunity for service as just good, is that all right? Knowing that in every circumstance the needful will vary, could that decision be classified as choosing the needful, or is it selfish? Is doing so contradicting my covenant to give all I have, including my time and effort, to God?