Showing posts with label growth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label growth. Show all posts

Saturday, October 22, 2016

fairytale addiction

Lately, when I can make the time, I have been watching reruns of "Once Upon a Time".  I see more darkness than I had the first time around, and lots of symbolism - though I don't know if that was the writers' intent.

"Magic" represents a force greater than ourselves.  Most of it reminds me of addictions.  We are addicted to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, sugar, gambling, sex, pornography . . . the list seems almost endless.

You've got your fairytale characters like Rumpelstiltskin and Regina (the evil queen) who have each tried to stop the consumption that has eaten away at them, but hard as they try, they each give into their weaknesses and somehow resort back to who they are.

Rumplestiltskin has many names: Crocodile, the Dark One, the Beast . . . Belle sees Rumple the way God wants each of his children to see one another.  She constantly believes that there is something locked up deep inside that needs to come out, just as Snow believes in Regina.  She actually has a first-hand account of how good Regina was before Cora (Regina's mother) intervened, believing that power is what makes one happy.  Power can never make one happy if misused.

Not many characters trust Rumple or Regina.  Hook wants to kill him; Bae (aka Baelfire and Neal; Rumple's son) does not trust Rumple.  Often the queen and Rumple try working together, and it's a wonder if anything gets accomplished as they don't trust one another. Nobody trusts the queen (Regina)

Red Riding Hood turns into a wolf and Peter Pan is not to be trusted.  I think Jenna had tried to watch the show with me initially.  She showed no interest, however, once Peter Pan was introduced.  Seeing Peter Pan as a bad guy did not set well with her.  But this morning as I watched an episode for the second time, I realized that the shadow is dark and playing tricks with the intent to deceit.  He doesn't wish to grow up or accept responsibility.  His goal is to bring other boys to Neverland so that he may rule over them.  It makes him feel powerful. 

Wendy believes in the magic.  She is delighted by the idea of "the large and spacious building" per se; Baelfire had warned her to stay away - just as our prophets, parents, teachers, friends have warned us to stay away - but for some of us, the temptation is just too great.  We have to give in.  We have to see if it's as awesome as we have led ourselves to believe.

I feel blessed that my sibs and I were always able to learn by example, and not have to experience certain dark events for ourselves.  Some people get cocky and don't think the rules apply to them or that they won't be swallowed in the way that others are. How many of us have heard, "I can quit anytime I want?" 

Once we have crossed over to the other side, we realize that it was just a facade.  We feel trapped, ensnared - and some of us are fortunate enough to get out and stay out.  Others get out for a while and then return - hoping to feel that same high sensation, hoping for better - only to find our situation is even worse than it was the first time around.  Some attempt to get out again and find it even harder than before.  Some go down even further on that road to destruction - seeking vengeance, seeking something greater, seeking  the dark one to change their blackened hearts - which only become blacker.

Despite Snow's attempts to believe there is good in Regina or Belle's belief in Rumplestiltskin, they are not perfect.  Each fairy tale character is flawed in one way or another.  Each of us can possibly relate and identify our own strengths and weaknesses against another or against ourselves.  We're really not different from Fairytale characters overall.  They were, after all, based on one of us. Perhaps we know a real life fairytale character.  I know a real life Donald Duck.

Fairytales can teach us.  I love seeing fairytale characters painted in a different light, giving a new spin to the plot, giving new meaning to the character that we thought we knew but perhaps don't.  I think that's how it is in real life.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Big City of Roseburg

          I don’t know what exactly freaks me out about driving in Roseburg.  The population is less than half of what I’m used to – but I’m also used to driving on a grid – and having streets that are numbered rather than all names.

          Oregon drivers (as a whole) seem a lot more courteous than Utah drivers – not that Salt Lake accounts for all Utah drivers.  But Salt Lake County makes up for over 1/3 of Utah’s population at  1,029,655. The entire Douglas County has a population of 107,667 with Roseburg population at only 21,181 but still the largest city in the county with the next largest city coming in at 7,810  and then Myrtle Creek at less than half of that – and the numbers go down from there.

          Overall, the state of Oregon has a higher population than does the state of Utah; Oregon residence are just more spread-out throughout the state making their largest counties from 300 – 800 thousand people and most of their smaller counties with still a higher population than the average Utah county (the largest after Salt Lake has less than 600,000 and goes down from there)

Oregon is a very large forest dotted with cities.  Except for the Portland area, it seems you have to drive through a huge amount of forest before the next city.  In Salt Lake it is often not known when you have passed one city and entered another as there doesn’t seem to be a break between them. That's always nice when either your car or stomach are acting up - unlike the county where we currently live.  Can't say the same for the entire state of Utah - as there seem to be a lot more rural cities than what we've found in Oregon.

We’ve been to Grants Pass and Eugene – both in other counties – both much larger than Roseburg.  In fact, Eugene is the second largest city next to Portland, with Oregon’s state capitol, Salem, coming in 3rdRoland is usually always behind the wheel.  I've driven to Canyonville by myself - but I still don't like getting on the freeway - even though I5 has a dense population of cars (at least in Douglas county) as opposed to I15 (the Salt Lake to Provo commute) and one doesn't have to wait in line just to get on the ramp or merge at the speed of light. 

The speed limit posted is 65 except for Semi trucks which is posted at 55.  Often I just stay in the lane with the trucks - except for when they are really slow and have their blinkers on and are  moving in the shoulder lane.  The highways are steep.  They go up and down and wind all over the place.  Our car is even less used to it than I am.  And pulling over too far on the shoulder makes for an unpleasant drop.  I don't understand why there are so few guard rails. 

Some Oregon drivers are ruthless - like tonight.  We were returning from Roseburg when all these cars passed us as though we were standing still - and it was Roland behind the wheel - not me.  Usually we do not see that many cars wiz by.  But the county fair is on - we don't know how far they may have traveled to get to Roseburg in the first place - or how far they have to travel to get to work. 

The big city of Roseburg is not actually all that big.  I just refer to it as such because of the rural area where we are currently living.  It's a 17 - 21 minute drive from where we live.  It is where we go to do major shopping, visit the hospital, attend the cinema, stuff like that. Somebody had told us that Grants Pass was about the same distance and a better drive.  It wasn't.

It took twice the amount of time to get  to Grants Pass as to Roseburg - and though it didn't seem quite as steep, it was definitely a lot more smokey the particular day we chose to go.  I had a massive headache - but I can't complain.  There are firefighters among others who are much closer to the elements than I.

Grants Pass pride in the bears.  Local artists create bears to be displayed along the streets for the summer.  We were told that by the end of summer the bears are auctioned off and new creations are made with each summer.  I know we didn't see all that are found on Google.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

We All Have Obstacles to Overcome

The Monument:

Before He sent his children to earth
Gave each of them
A very carefully selected package
Of problems,
He promised, smiling,
Are yours alone, No one
Else may have the blessings
These problems will bring you.
And only you
Have the special talents and abilities
That will be needed
To make these problems
Your servants.
Now go down to your birth
And to your forgetfulness, Know that
I love you beyond measure.
These problems that I give you
Are a symbol of that love.
These monuments you make of your life
With the help of your problems
Will be a symbol of your
Love for me.
Your Father

                               intro thought to Charlie's Monument by Blaine Yorgensen

How many of us know 11-year-olds who willingly place themselves in front of the learning channel?  and enjoy it?  Jenna has always enjoyed learning.  Always.  From the time she was three and could pick out her own books from the library, we did check out picture books and easy reading like the “Frog and Toad” series.  

But we would also check out a lot of non-fiction to answer her questions about bees and honey, or why certain dances are performed in different countries and why the sun doesn’t fall from the sky.  She has always loved non-fiction books.  She would play games of “Let’s pretend” to understand how it would be to be without sight or limbs.  She never questioned why there were differences in humans.  She just accepted them and has always tried to learn from them. Today she loves the learning channel.  

Each morning after she gets up (which is actually quite early for a youth – I have never known Jenna to sleep past 7:30) she will turn to the learning channel to watch “Cake Boss” 

 it is because of advertisements of other programs that has held her interest in watching other shows – like “Born Without Limbs” featuring NickVujicic.

It’s fascinating to learn of others who have overcome what many of us consider physical challenges or obstacles and have often embraced their uniqueness and use it to help others. We all have choices after all.  We can be bitter, or we can be thankful.

I, myself, have always enjoyed watching even a portion to the lives of “The Little Couple” – saddened that their lives may not be as private as perhaps each of us would hope, but happy that they have been willing to share so much of their lives with an audience – that we might learn.

Everyone has their challenges.  I just think having a physical challenge seems to be more obvious in appearance than say an alcoholic or a mentally disturbed individual.  On average, I don’t think we, as a whole, consider a floor plan and living quarters that works for us may not work or even be practical to someone who is an obvious different height or is blind or walks with a limp.

I have known overly tall people.  My brother, Patrick (who really isn’t overly tall – just tall) could unscrew and screw in ceiling light bulbs without having to stand on something in order to reach – whereas my daughter-in-law seems to need a foot stool just to reach into the back of the freezer that may be placed above the fridge.  I'm not overly short, but there was one side of the kitchen in which the cabinets were not within my reach unless I used a footstool to stand on or long handled spoon to push cans out.

I’ve known small people who have struggled at reaching to the “average height” world around them – perhaps not knowing better.  It’s how they were born. It’s how they did things all of their lives.  Nick Vujicici didn’t have limbs to begin with.  I think it’s easier for a person to learn without than to adjust with what’s missing.  I don’t know – I’m just thinking that.

I have known a wide variety of people from all walks of life.  Some have physical challenges. Some are misguided and struggle to fit in.  Some have struggled with balance. I don't think I've met anyone who hasn't had at least one challenge to either overcome or embrace.

We programmed our cable to record “I am Jazz” and “My Giant Life” as Jenna is genuinely interested in those – but they don’t start until after she’s gone to bed.  I am grateful that she is learning and understanding and seeing differences and doesn’t judge but accepts and tries to embrace as well.  I wish we would all have her understanding and eagerness to learn. 

(I’m not saying she enjoys learning all things.  She struggles with the clarinet.  But Roland has purchased another (second hand, of course) and is planning to learn along side of her.  That makes it easier for her.  And I admire him for doing that.  Learning the clarinet: their special bonding time together) 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I’m Floored That She Would Even Remember Me

         Quite recently Jenna had asked me if there were seriously anyone who did not/does not like Santa Clause.  I gave her an example of a girl who used to live in my mom’s ward.  Roslyn hated beards.  She was scared of anyone who wore one – even in pretend. The two top people on her “hate” list were Santa Clause and Jesus – I don’t know if it was that order.

         Imagine my surprise to learn that little girl grew up to be the vice principal at Jenna’s school.  I hadn’t known that when I related the above.  I was assisting at the JA city when Roslyn had approached me yesterday to ask if I was LaTiesha Cannon.  It’s true that I was wearing a nametag with my first name on it.  But still.  I don’t think we’ve seen one another for at least thirty years – not that we had much contact when living in mom’s ward.

         Roslyn had been a sunbeam when my mom was teaching in primary.  I may have subbed in her class a few times.  I knew her as one of the primary children.  I’m guessing we’re at least twenty years apart.  I didn’t think she had even known me at the time, let alone 20-30 years later. I was shocked that she was able to make the connection. I do have the same first name as one of her aunts.  Perhaps that is how she remembered.

         To be honest, I did not nor would have recognized Roslyn – even if I had seen her sitting by her mother.  She had seemed so withdrawn in her youth and had a very low self-esteem. She was still in her youth the last time I remember seeing her.  The person I saw yesterday approached me – something she would never have done in her youth.  We had an actual conversation.  We hadn’t said that many words to one another in the entire time we had both lived in the ward that we had both grown up in.

         Roslyn said she had come – not only because Vantana had a class participating in yesterday’s event, but also because her brother is a director of JA City.  I hadn’t recognized him either.  I think he was still out on his mission when I moved out of the ward.  I might have made a connection with him if I had spent more time with him.  They have a common last name and so maybe not. 

         He smiled when I asked if he was Rob Anderson.  I told him that we had been in the same ward – but it was Roslyn who had made the connection.  I had told both of them that I had recently related Roslyn’s lack of passion toward Santa Clause.  This morning I said to Jenna: “Guess who that little girl grew up to be?”

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holidays are the Hardest - Missing Traditions

Pie Making

         I can’t find a reference to mom’s traditional pie making event. I suppose it could have started with her children.  I do recall having assisted with pies at least once in my childhood.  Kayla says she remembers a time when it was just her and Corey that did it with mom.  I don’t think I ever viewed it as an actual tradition until Ellen and Kimball were small.

            My mom made a huge assortment of pies on the Wednesday before  Thanksgiving each year.  The grandkids looked forward to assisting with rolling out the dough and filling the pie with whatever they chose. 
            We’d have apple pie, banana cream pies, coconut cream, chocolate cream, cherry, lemon meringue and of course, pumpkin.  More pies were added to the dinner each time new grandkids were added to the family.

            I don’t remember how often my boys had made pies with grandma.  At least twice – and they have fond memories.  And I have pictures of some of the pie making events.  Jaime may have been a baby when some of these were taken.  Neither Jenna nor I recall her ever having had the opportunity to assist with rolling out the dough or wearing an apron.

            It wasn’t long after Jenna was born when mom announced her last year for her annual pie making event.  Each year after that we ate pies that had been made in the bakery department of various stores.

            My boys had just recently commented on how much fun they had had making pies – and then Kayla had posted a message in facebook about the yesteryear tradition.  I got overly sentimental and cried for nearly a half hour.

            I miss the family that I grew up with. I miss so many traditions that we shared at one time.

 Hand Made Nativity

            When I was growing up, I loved “Dip n Drape” dolls.  I remember going with mom to look at pattarns and material for the project.  We settled on a nativity set as it was closed to the holidays.  I remember buying Styrofoam balls and cones and craft sticks and following directions.  I was in high school at the time.

            It was a good first project.  We had it on display just once a year – usually on top of the piano – where the entire thing fit nicely.  And many of the flaws were overlooked – like one wiseman who had the appearance of having a “stuck-up” personality.  And one wiseman who’s arms were heavier than his body – and was giving a present to lean on so that he did not appear as though he was trying to do push-ups.  And the baby Jesus became a permanent part of what Mary held in her arms – though it probably looked like she was dropping him.

            I had intended on making a manger – so that it would appear that she was placing him in.  I had intended to make camels and sheep – though realistically the seven pieces I had took up quite a bit of room both on display and then in storage.

            It boggles my mind that the set has been around since I was in high school – making it roughly thirty-five years old now.  Mom hadn’t taken it out the last few years that she lived at home.  And I took it back before we sold her house. 

Growing up, I never thought of our house as huge.  It was an average sized house.  It had three bedrooms, two baths, living room, kitchen and unfinished basement.

            Over the years my parents put in the money to have half of the basement finished and added a back room addition to the house.  The house included five bedrooms, three bathrooms, kitchen, living room, family room, game room, dining room, laundry room, storage room – not to mention it had an attic. 

            I’ve lived in two houses since I’ve been married.  The two houses combined did not have as much space as the house I grew up in.  So of course there is not nearly as much storage room

         I had put the nativity up last year.  I had to put the wisemen on a different area than the other four pieces.  Roland had suggested that I part with it last year.  I just didn’t have the heart to throw it away – though many of the dolls were beheaded.  I had planned on making it one more round.

We have even less room for it to be displayed than we had last year.  Plus I’ve been cleaning out my shed and either throwing out or donating a lot.  (12 yard bags and counting) but I still couldn’t bring myself to throw it out. 

         I knew if I donated the dolls to the thrift store, the majority (if not all) would get thrown away, and so I put it in the classifieds and someone picked it up less than an hour after I had posted for free.  She didn’t seem to mind the fact that many of the dolls needed to be repaired.   I hope it works for her and that it may be around for a few more years at least.  


Christmas Lights

I remember one year going with my sibs and mom to temple square.  It was Christmas night and the weather was really quite awesome.  We had gone downtown to see the lights.

This year the November was nice weather overall.  Cold, but bearable.  Excpet the last day.  It was cold and bleak and actual typical of so many November days that I can remember – although the last few years have seemed to make an exception.

            I was surprised at how warm the weather seemed yesterday – well, in comparison to Sunday.  Jenna and I started out with a beautiful morning.  I had dressed in layers, but had taken the top layer off as I headed back home.

            I had dressed in layers while picking her up.  I had stripped both layers down while waiting for school to end.  Both Jenna and I carried our coats to the bus stop.  But by the time we reached the crossover, we both had our coats back on.  It cools down quite drastically once the earth rotates away from the sun.

            Roland had given me a camera for Christmas last year – only he had given it to me before Thanksgiving so that I could take pictures and get a feel for it before Christmsa.  It was a nice camera.  A red Nikon which I liked a lot – that is until pushing the power button no longer did anything.  

It had died before Roland and I had taken to Jenna to Disneyland at the end of August.  I hadn’t had the camera an entire year.  That was truly upsetting.  

            I was hoping the battery was the problem, but I had the battery tested in addition to another working battery put in my camera.  I was told my best bet was to send it into the manufacturer – which I did.  I never heard back from them.

            The other night he produced another camera meant for Christmas.  This time a Sony W830 – which may take me a while to figure out.  I’ve had Sonys before, and I like them, but they have all died as well.  And I don’t expect this one will last much longer than the Nikon – though I welcome the opportunity to be proven wrong.

            I told Jenna that we should go downtown to see the lights.  December started out with quite pleasant weather and I though since it was so nice that we should go last night. I suggested to Roland that we go see the lights for family home evening.    I would have just taken Jenna on the train if he had not wanted to go. 

            Downtown was crowded with patrons who had come to see the lights and take pictures.  I really don’t have the hang of my camera.  It will be a while.  I did get a few okay pictures – among a bunch of duds.  Thank heaven for Photoshop, huh?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Some Things We Never Outgrow

            After Jenna learned to read, she was magnetized to Piggie and Gerald Books by Mo Willems. We read every single one.  We would take turns voicing Piggie and Gerald and we would act out their characters.  She enjoyed every minute.

            She reads chapter books now but will still spend time in the children’s section of the library and take a huge stack of books that Mo Willems has written and ask me to read with her. 

            She doesn’t check them out anymore.  We just read them at the library.  Last night we had plenty of time.  We had arrived at the library an hour and a half before the reading group would start.  She had at least two Piggie and Gerald books that we had never read before.  

            Reading group was short.  Ironically the book was long.  The Book of Legends –which I have mentioned here.    Part of the   “Ever After High” series that I doubt I will continue reading. 

            The book started off interesting enough.  It was fun. Clever language like “Castleteria” (cafeteria) and “hextbook” (textbook).  Initially I had checked it out for three weeks, but was unable to renew it before the group met in October.  So we went without for a couple of days before I could check it out again.

            Somewhere after 100 pages or so, the chapters seemed to drag.  I’m sure at least seven could have been cut out completely as they really had nothing to do with the story.  In addition to Apple White (Snow White’s daughter) and Raven Queen (Evil Queen’s daughter), other fairytale characters were introduced: Cedar Wood (Pinocchio’s daughter) Cerise Hood (Riding Hood’s daughter) Ashlynn Ella (Cinderella’s daughter) until the names became so overwhelming that unless the last name was attached to the character (which it usually was not) the names just sort of blended in and it was hard to remember who they all belonged to.

            I was on a mission to find out whether Raven would sign the book or not – hoping that she wouldn’t.  But both Jenna and I had become bored with getting there.  I wish I had skipped more chapters than I did.  It would have made it more enjoyable.  Last night we learned that there is also a cartoon and a line of dolls and an even bigger cast.  The whole thing is just a little compelling.

            The next book for us to read is Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke.  We won’t meet again until January – but as it’s a comic book, I would imagine we’ll be done before Thanksgiving. 

            I didn’t know it was a comic book.  I would have had Roland take it with him this morning when he took her to the dentist.  He LOVES comic books.  He knows comic books (or graphic novel, I guess)  I now know more about comic books than I had ever hoped for.

            Comics can be fun.  My favorite “comics” would be “Piggie and Gerald”