Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hard at Work

Bob and I read most of the morning, waiting for it to warm up enough to go get our mulch and get the flowerbeds ready for winter. Finally after lunch it became warm enough to go to Wal Mart and buy mulch. Unfortunately, they were completely out and were not going to order any more.

We bought the other items we wanted and then went across the street to Orchelon's where they had cedar mulch on sale for $2.75 a bag. We bought four. Bob loaded them while I went inside to pay for them. He really overdid it. We got home and unloaded the bags and he was beat. I insisted that he go in and rest and I began work on the flowerbeds, pulling grass and weeds as I went. I finished two large ones and still have two more to go. I had put a roast in the crock pot with cream of mushroom soup, potatoes, onion and carrots. Thank goodness. I finished about four and came in to get dinner together.

Slinky wanted roast beef too. He cried and barked to get in the kitchen where the food was cooking. I put his dog food out for him and finally he gave up and ate it...but he still wanted in. Finally I poured him another cup of food, poured some gravy over it and let him in. He was delighted and ate every bite! That dog is so spoiled! And I have to admit...I did it. I get up about 5:00 AM and after he discovers me in the kitchen, he comes to the door and either whines or barks to get in. He's good company so I let him in. He eats his cinnamon toast and dog food and lies quietly on one of the rugs in the utility area where he can see me. He's a very social animal. We will miss him when he is gone. The dog is 12 or 13 years old and won't live forever.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Busy Friday

We went to Bartlesville this morning and I looked for long sleeved shirts. I found three that were a good buy and bought them. I also bought a winter purse. We ate at Garfield's. I love Garfield's. We also went to Staples and I bought three new notebooks and inserts.

Then we came on back home and I worked all afternoon putting together those three Ministerial Alliance Member books. Anyone who joins gets a notebook.

Later on this evening we went downtown for Dalton Defender Days' chili cook off. I ate enough chili to hold me for awhile.

We then came home and took our baths and watched "The National Parks" on PBS.

I am tired this evening. I will watch this program then go to bed.

Tomorrow we will go buy five bags of mulch and mulch our flowerbeds.I may buy some tulip bulbs too. My tulips didn't make it this year. Everything else was lovely but I missed the red tulips.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursday Meeting

Today we attended Ministerial Alliance at noon. They served us a nice lunch there too. Then I spent the afternoon getting my minutes written up and in the e-mail. Sixteen attended. The speaker was a woman who is chairman of the board of Genesis, an organization that helps the poor, the unemployed and the elderly with their bills.

I have been reading my John Whitmer Historical Association Journal. I have ordered a couple more of the series from the Jesus Seminar.

I have also posted on the church's website today. I have been arguing with people about politics and also that the Bible is not the infallible book many think it is. The gospels were written from the oral tradition decades after Jesus lived and died. I am amazed that so many people believe the gospels are eyewitness accounts. There were dozens of "Christian" groups prior to the "conversion" of Constantine. Orthodox Christianity just won out over the others and labeled them "heresy". The earliest canon was that of Marcion and he was Gnostic. As a matter of fact, the gospel of John is very Gnostic and quite late.

We need to remember that the scriptures were written much later then the life of Jesus and were written by men with an agenda. They did not know that later there would be a declared canon.

Anyhow, it's been interesting.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Levi Johnson's Interview

This is an excerpt from the blog of Sansego that I have borrowed to share the interview with others. And to think this woman might have been our vice-president!

Levi Johnson father of Bristol Palin's baby gave an interview in Vanity Fair magazine this month. If Levi is being truthful, she is nothing like we were led to believe.

This is just a short excerpt from the article:

"There wasn't much parenting in that house. Sarah doesn't cook, Todd doesn't cook--the kids would do it all themselves: cook, clean, do the laundry, and get ready for school. Most of the time Bristol, now 18, would help her youngest sister, Piper, 8, with her homework, and I'd barbecue chicken or steak on the grill. I only saw Sarah help Piper--the youngest before Trig--with homework a few times, and I've only seen her read a book to her once. I actually never saw Sarah reading much at all--once in a blue moon, I'd see her reading a book, and I've never seen her read a newspaper."

"The Palins didn't have dinner together and they didn't talk much as a family. Throughout the years I spent with them, when Sarah got home from her office--almost never later than five and sometimes as early as noon--she usually walked in the door, said hello, and then disappeared into her bedroom, where she would hang out. Sometimes she'd take an hour-long bath. Other times she sat on the living-room couch in her two-piece pajama set from Walmart--she had all the colors--with her hair down, watching house shows and wedding shows on TV. She always wanted things and she wanted other people to get them for her."

"Sarah was always in a bad mood and she was stressed out a lot. Sometimes she would wonder why she took the job as governor. It was too hard, she said; there was so much going on. Todd was always out in the garage working on his snow machines and drinking beer or screwing off...He's not supposed to have beer, because Sarah doesn't like him drinking. (She only goes to church four or five times a year--mostly on holidays--but Sarah doesn't drink or cuss much)."

"After the nomination, Sarah and Todd wouldn't go anywhere together unless the cameras were out. They're good on television but once the cameras would leave, they didn't talk to each other. In all the time Bristol and I were together, I've never seen them sleep in the same bedroom. (I don't know how she got pregnant). Even during the Republican National Convention they slept in different bedrooms at opposite sides of her suite. Todd slept in the living room, on his little black recliner, with the TV going in the background--usually with the news or an Ultimate Fighting Championship match on--wearing clothes he wore that same day. (Since I used to sleep on the couch until Bristol got pregnant, I know he doesn't snore, so that's not why he wasn't in bed)."

Levi wrote about how Sarah and Todd Palin fought all the time and threatened one another with divorce. He also states that Sarah "wore the pants in the family" and that the Palins never took vacations or weekend trips as a family. They live separate lives, with Todd retreating to a two-bedroom cabin that was a two hour drive away from the home on Lake Lucille in Wasilla, Alaska. Levi also claimed that the eldest son, Track (20 years old) didn't want anything to do with the family dysfunction and perhaps was the reason why he joined the Army, just to get far away from there. As for the affairs, Levi believes it was far more likely that Sarah cheated on Todd than vice versa.

As for Palin's image as a hockey mom and hunter, Levi said that Sarah rarely attended her son's hockey games and she once asked Levi to show her how to shoot a gun she kept in a box under the bed. Levi wrote, "She pays no attention to her kids when the cameras aren't around." So much for family values! Gotta love the phoniness of the rightwing and how the focus on images don't reflect reality.

In preparation for the Republican National Convention, just after she was selected as McCain's running mate, things really got crazy for the family. "Sarah told us to just wait and see the free clothes we were going to get, and the food whenever we wanted it. We didn't even have to do our own hair, she said. She just couldn't believe the free clothes, the free room service, the private jets, and being escorted by cops. We had every room on our floor of the hotel, with one room for hair and makeup, one for fitting, and another for wardrobe. They did all the shopping for us, and all our clothes were already there. I was given two Burberry suits and one Armani suit, Prada shoes, and a cashmere sweater. Back home I'd wear Carhartts and flannels and cowboy boots. Putting those clothes on, I felt totally out of my world. When I went to get sized up for the suits, I remember thinking, How could this get any worse? But they were nice suits and I took them home with me. The campaign asked me to give them back a few weeks after they lost, and I did. Sarah and the girls were ***** off about this and they had to give most of their clothes back, but I still saw some of it around the house after the campaign."

"In Minnesota, the girls were stoked. They were getting Gucci shoes and loving it. Sarah would have a new getup every day, sometimes twice a day, all steamed and pressed. Sarah was all smiles and giggles. She loved the lifestyle and the fact that she impressed everybody. 'Isn't this nice, all this?' she would say, pointing around her suite, with its conference table, flat-screen TV, wrap couch, trays of fruits--there aren't that many different kinds of fruit in Alaska--sandwiches, and huge wardrobe. Sarah got a lot of clothes. She'd never worn anything so expensive."

"The big change that I saw in Sarah Palin occurred when she went from being the governor of Alaska to being a candiate for vice president. Her family and I had come back to Alaska right after the convention while Sarah went off to campaign. She came back to Alaska about one month after the convention, and you could tell that she'd gotten used to people steaming her clothes, doing her hair and makeup, and ordering her food for her. Everybody knew it. "

"She was always putting on an act in front of the camera. We all knew that she didn't know what to say on TV, and that when she was reading a script she was a phony. I'd be sitting with the family in front of the TV and we'd be disgusted watching her. Her family never said anything terrible, but they shook their heads with disappointment. And there were times where we'd sit there and pretty much laugh at the things she said. I laughed every time I saw Tina Fey imitate her. She sounded just like her. I think the kids thought it was funny, too. There were also times when Sarah would be at home and watch herself on the screen and say she did very bad."

After the election defeat, Levi observed that "Sarah was sad for awhile. She walked around the house pouting. I had assumed she was going to go back to her job as governor, but a week or two after she got back she started talking about how nice it would be to quit and write a book or do a show and make 'triple the money.' It was, to her, 'not as hard.' She would blatantly say, 'I want to just take this money and quit being governor.' She started to say it frequently, but she didn't know how to do it. When she came home from work, it seemed like she was more and more stressed out. It seemed like she couldn't handle the job anymore. I think that she was just through with it all or that she'd become used to getting everything she wanted handed to her. She'd rather take the money and keep that kind of lifestyle."

The best gem in the article is the following claim Levi makes, which is astonishing if true (the sentence in bold is my emphasis): "After Tripp was born, Sarah would pay more attention to our son than she would to her own baby, Trig. Sarah has a weird sense of humor. When she came home from work, Bristol and I would be holding Trig and Tripp. Sarah would call Trig--who was born with Down syndrome--'my little Down's baby.' But I couldn't believe it when she would come over to us and sometimes say, playing around, 'No, I don't want the retarded baby--I want the other one,' and pick up Tripp. That was just her--even her kids were used to it."

"Sarah didn't pay a whole lot of attention to Trig. The special-needs baby got special love from Bristol, the rest of the kids, me, and Todd, who was always playing with Trig when he could. ...When she came home from work, she'd tell Bristol she was too tired to take care of him. She'd walk in the door, give him a kiss, and act happy for 1o seconds before hibernating in her room until the next day started. Bristol and I would have Trig until 11 P.M., when we'd put him in his crib. Sarah went to bed between 9 and 10 P.M."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Creative Conversations

I attended a "Creative Conversations Workshop" today that our school sponsored. There was some very interesting information shared there. The first workshop was held a couple of months ago and was called "Beyond Diversity". We have discussed here some of the issues that were pointed out. This workshop shows how racism rears its ugly head in our world. It also shows how "White Privilege" works. We white people take a lot for granted and most of us have no idea what the black community contends with.

For much of the past forty years, ever since America "fixed" its race problem in the Civil Rights Acts, we white people have been impatient with African Americans who continued to blame race for their difficulties. Often we have heard whites ask, "When are African Americans finally going to get over it? Now i want to ask, "When are White Americans going to get over our ridiculous obsession with skin color?'

Recent reports that "Election Spurs Hundreds of Race Threats, Crimes" should frighten and infuriate every one of us. Having grown up in "Birmingham" Alabama in the 1960s, the author of the material remembers overhearing an avalanche of comments about what many white classmates and their parents wanted to do to John and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Eventually as you may recall, in all three cases, someone decided to do more than "talk the talk".

Since our recent presidential election, to our eternal shame we are once again hearing the same reprehensible talk he remembers hearing from his boyhood. We white people have controlled political life in the disunited colonies and United States for some 400 years on this continent. Conservative whites have been in power 28 of the last 40 years. Even during the eight Clinton years, conservatives in Congress blocked most of his agenda and pulled him to the right. Yet never in that period did he read any headlines suggesting that anyone was calling for the assassination of presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, or either of the Bushes. Criticize them, yes. Call for their impeachment, perhaps. But there were no bounties on their heads. And even when someone did try to kill Ronald Reagan, the perpetrator was non-political mental case who wanted merely to impress Jody Foster.

But elect a liberal who happens to be black and we're back to the sixties again. At this point in our history, we should be proud that we've proven what conservatives have always saying - that in America, anything is possible. EVEN electing a black man as president. But instead, we now hear that school children from Maine to California are talking about wanting to "assassinate Obama."

Fighting the urge to be sick, I can only ask, "How long?" How long before we white people realize we can't make our nation. much less the whole world , look like us? How long until we white people can - once and for all - get over this preoccupation with skin color? How long before we white people get over the demonic conviction that white skin makes us superior? How long before we white people get over our bitter resentments about being demoted to the status of equality with non whites? How long before we get over our expectations that we should be at the head of the line merely because of our white skin? How long until we white people end our silence and call out our peers when they share the latest racial jokes in the privacy of our white only conversations?

I believe in free speech, but how long until we white people start making racist loudmouths as socially uncomfortable as we do flag burners? How long until we white people stop insisting that blacks exercise personal responsibility, build strong families, educate themselves enough to edit the Harvard Law Review, and work hard enough to become President of the United States, only to threaten to assassinate them when they do? How long before we start living out the true meaning of our creeds, both civil and religious, that all men and women are created equal and that "red and yellow, black and white" all are precious in God's sight?

Until this past November, I didn't believe the country would ever elect an African American to the presidency. I still don't I'll believe I'll live long enough to see us white people get over our racism problem.

Busy Tuesday

I attended the Creative Conversations workshop today. It was very informative. It was held at Windsor Place conference room. They even served us a nice lunch. It was over a little early...about 3:30, instead of five.

Bob went to spend some time with my sister this morning so my brother-in-law could go have breakfast with his friends. I guess they got along all right. My brother-in-law bought a new TV. Theirs was a 1985 model. That will be nice for them since my sister basically sits in a chair all day long.

Slinky and I had a little "set to" this evening. I let him in to eat his dinner and we gave him some gravy on his dog food. When I let him out, he went to dig in my flower bed. I ran him out of it and scolded him. He watched me carefully and then went to a different flower bed and began digging. I went out and ordered him out and he didn't budge. Then I swatted him lightly on the rear and bawled him out. He barked at me angrily and when I bawled him out for that, he growled at me. I bawled him out for that too. Then he wanted to come back in the house but I slammed the door in his face. I will not put up with that from any dog...even one I have grown to love. If he gets mean with me, I may have to make a hard decision.

Tomorrow I will get my hair done and have breakfast with Juanita. She has decided not to go to Chicago for her birthday. She is having to put drops in her eyes five times a day and she cannot handle that and fly to Chicago too. So she is just staying home.

After I get back home I don't know what we will do with the rest of the day.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Very Busy Monday

This has been a very busy day. I did four loads of laundry and cleaned the house thoroughly. Then after lunch, after the grass dried, I mowed. Bob trimmed this morning. He vacuumed the living room and went to the market for me.

I really enjoyed my trip this weekend but am very glad to be home. I'm not much of a world traveler.

I fixed a nice dinner this afternoon and we are just going to relax this evening.

Slinky was really glad to see me. He is so spoiled. I gave him half my lunch and some of my dinner too. He is such an old sweetheart. After he eats his human food, he then digs into his dog food. But he likes his human food first.

I have a new book and I just started it today. It is out of the Jesus Seminar. I have followed their work for years. It is called "Finding the Historical Jesus". So far it is very interesting. I took turns reading and posting on my church's web board this afternoon. I sat out on the patio with Slinky. It was a lovely day.

Tomorrow I will attend a workshop called "Creative Conversations". Those of you who follow my blog will remember the other workshop I attended called "Beyond Diversity". The school system is sponsoring this one too. It will run from 8:00 until 5:00. They will serve us lunch.

Bob will go sit with my sister tomorrow. He will be there from 6:45 until 8:30.

I have nothing going on Wednesday except my hair appointment and breakfast with Juanita, but I do have Ministerial Alliance meeting on Thursday so will need to get the minutes run off and duplicated as well as the agenda. So far I only have ten reservations but a lot of them make them late.

Friday is free. I don't know what the plan is this weekend. Maybe we will just stay home and enjoy the weekend.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

John Whitmer Historical Association meeting

It was a really good conference and I was delighted to meet some of these people from the church's web board there. One was a man named Leon from the church's web board. He walked up to me the second day and said, "Are you the Margie from the church's web board?" I admitted I was. We had quite a discussion. I had a name tag on that gave my name.

The first session I attended was "Like Two Crazy Aunts in the Attic: Anti-Polygamy Stereotyping and Mormon Efforts to Distance Itself from it's Polygamous Past" A very conservative LDS, Craig Foster, presented that paper. It was very informative. Although the LDS practiced polygamy in the 19th century, they now want to distance themselves from the practice...primarily because of the FLDS, who are constantly in the news with negative publicity. People tend to mix their church up with the FLDS.

Next I attended "The Genetic Ethnicity of Joseph Smith, Jr." presented by an Italian LDS, who was working on his PHD in genetics. That was interesting but very technical. It proved that the family of Joseph Smith the founder of that movement came from Scotland instead England, as had been assumed.

At noon, there was a panel of women who shared their experiences with calls to the ministry for women. They were Barbara Howard, Marge Troeh, Stassi Cramm, Becky Savage, and Gwendolyn Hawks-Blue. Kris Judd moderated that group.

Afternoon I chaired a session with Richard Behrens called "Stephen Mack: Fur Trader, Early Illinois Settler and Nauvoo Observer" and that was followed by a paper by Michael Humiston on "Indian Tribes and the Restoration: Will They Ever Meet?"

The next session I attended was "The Community of Christ in Africa" with Bunda Chibwe. The business meeting and dinner followed that one.

Then first thing Saturday morning, they really began to get interesting. There was a panel discussion on George Smith's book, "Nauvoo Polygamy: But We Called it Spiritual Marriage". The panel was made up of Craig Foster, Richard P. Howard, Linda King Newell, and Brian Hales. That was a very interesting discussion. The two conservative LDS were very critical of the book and Linda Newell King and Richard Howard were very impressed with it. George's rebuttal was interesting too. Many of their complaints were direct quotes from Joseph Smith.

Then from there another panel composed of chair, Barbara Walden : Linda Newell King (who co-wrote Emma Smith: Mormon Enigma), Jan Shipps and Madelon Brunson discussed the development of the writing experience of Linda and Val's book. There were question and answer times after all these presentations.

Next, an update on Alice Lundgren, who is in prison for life for the Kirkland murders of the Avery family that her husband committed. Jeanne Murphey, who is a sociologist wrote this paper. She is the incoming president of JWHA. That was fascinating!

Following those papers, we took tours of the area. I took a tour that took us to the Steamboat Arabia Museum. That was utterly fascinating. I recommend that to anyone in the area.