welcome to my internet home. this blog used to be cool, with insights about mental health, social policy, pop culture and the like. now, it's a chaotic collection of my mis-spelled, scribbled-down notes on motherhood (who has time to proof read?). it's over-ran with goldfish cracker crumbles, slobery wet kisses, and un-edited pictures. and i would have it no other way. feel free to laugh and cry along side me while I balance a practice (mental heath) and motherhood, and their interconectedness

Monday, September 29, 2008

At odds with life?

I take it back. I am not just at odds with the animal kingdom. Todd and I at odds with the world in general. I don't know who we pissed off ; God, Karma, or what but in the last week the following things have happened to us:

  • Mice chewed through the quill wires on Todd's truck while it was parked at the forest service shop. It cost $170.00 to fix bc all the spark plugs had to be replaced too.
  • Ty became possessed by some damn thing and decided he would like to be a consumer of cell phones. I just got a new phone first of August. I usually get the cheap free phones but this time I decided to splurge and get the fancy touch screen kind. My touch screen now has tremor-looking cracks down it and obviously does not light up anymore or work. I also now have 1/2 inch-thick teeth marks in various places and my battery doesn't really stay on. Luckily I got insurance but my deductible was $50.
  • Our keyless entry stopped working mysteriously
  • We were involved in a hit-and-run just before we moved from SLC. Someone must have pulled too far into a parking stall and hit us right where our front hood opens. This week the paint started chipping and we're told it will rust and expose our engine etc. So it must be fixed and we have a $500.00 deductible.
  • Todd got a letter from the Federal Government saying "oops a processing error occured and we've been paying you too much since pay period_____ we are going to recoop $500.00 from your next paycheck". OH AND THE KICKER..."we're going to charge you 5% interest on that money". So we screw up- but we're gonna take 1/3 of your paycheck and charge you interest on it. ARE U KIDDING ME??
  • Todd would also add that he turned 30 this week

Seriously. Did I pick to be apart of this life because if so I want a redo.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

feeding the beast

I've acquired a new source of rage. I already have consumer rage (i.e. rage towards the devil that is cell phone companies and other consumer providers that piss me off) and various other sources of rage but now that I have 1 1/2 hours to be the car everyday, NPR has provided me w/ a new source of rage. I thought avoiding the bs pop-music radio stations would bread a healthier and happier commute but nooo, NPR has just fed the beast.
Now, let me first say with the utmost clarity that I am a firm believer that people should stick to what they know. The receptionists in my office should not provide therapy just as certainly as I should not be talking about this topic but when 700-billion dollars is on the line, I think my readers will have to forgive the fact that I am completely ignorant about fiances and economics and allow me to share my opinion.

In case you haven't figured it out by now, I'm talking about the 700-billion dollar financial bail-out the Bush Administration is asking of Congress. My understanding of the problem is this--during that lovely mortgage boom (which i am now grateful Todd and I missed out on except for the fact that when this is all said and done no one will be able to get a dang loan) financial lenders and banks started taking major risks with whom they lended to (it seems that having a pulse was hardly a criteria) and with what sort of "bets" they made on the prospective value of assets. SO, when the market started slowing and then declining, people on the tail end of the boom (06-07-ish) became unable to make the hike in interests, thus defaulting on their loans rendering companies out of business or into the hands of larger, more cut-throat companies. Asset values also started to decline so that, as an analogy, a dollar wasn't really worth a dollar. Kinda like if the property value on your home goes down and you owe more that what that value is you're SCREWED
That's the problem--so why do I care? I don't own a house. I care because we're all interconnected that's why! Our money markets--what I used to think of as a glorified savings accounts could easily be effect by this nightmare. The economy at large is very much at risk bc of this.

The rage however, does not come from this alone--it comes from the "plan" proposed to fix it. I want to know HOW in the bloody world you can ask for 700-billion dollars and provide "terms"-- for how to execute this money that is as well defined as a teenager's romantic life. Seriously, did you know that there is nothing in place (since last I heard) to define who will even have access to these monies? Meaning, the very buggers who got us into this mess (those that lended to non-pulse people and then hiked their rates at two years--knowing good and well they would default) could easily have access to this money and reexecute the same bullshit loans?? We as taxpayers are also being asked to pay taxes on assets that have not yet been assigned a value. If this value is below par and we've agreed to the bail then what?

What if this money is not enough?

Who's to say the same thing won't happen again?

I listened to one loan expert who said that the only way to ensure that we don't again fail is that every lender who has access to this federal money would have to call every borrower and ask them if they were meeting their loans and if it was likely that they might default. For every person identified as "at risk" the terms of their loans would need to be adjusted to make it work--or something along those lines. Also, the treasury has been saying all along- we're okay. The market will recover blah blah and then one day basically said "oops, never mind". Why should we trust them now?

Basically, I have rage. I listened to a transcript of the court processing--it said the republicans have questions but are more ready to give out the money. The democrats want to know who will be getting this money AND they want a tap on the salaries of the CEO's of these companies. Now that's what I'm talkin about! At least somebody isn't wanting to feed the beast (the other beast---big business)

Anywho, I know this topic isn't that scintillating, I know I don't have all the facts, and that there is more to the other side (and that I didn't highlight that very well) but my point is that I'm concerned. And outraged. And old--for listening to NPR that is.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


~~~WARNING: this post contains no real pictures and will likely involved a lot of ranting and raving...in one of those moods~~

Two Weekends Ago: September 12, 2008
In the way of updates, last weekend I had my seemingly standard Friday meetings in SLC and then we headed to Provo for the BYU vs. UCLA game. Holy pooh was that a fun game to watch. I have to admit, I hate "good games"--ones where the score is close and you're wondering to the bitter end who will win. My nerves just can't take those kinda games. I clearly don't care that much about the win but I know Todd will be a whiny biotch the rest of the day in the event of a loss. SOOO, I loved this game. BYU 59 UCLA 0!!!!!. The entire second quarter was fumble, recovery and touchdown! I really liked it too bc all the second-stingers got to come in by the end of the third quarter and have their moment in the sun. Todd was laughing at me bc I cheered more for them than I do the starters--always a lover of the underdog. I wish I could convince Todd to write a bit about each game so that die hard football lovers might be midly interested in my football posts--but such is life. At this game I did however decide that when I get my life back again I am going to buy Football for Dummies and at least learn the terminology so I can sound like I know all about football. One of my favorite things to do is to memorize a line or two I hear on sports radio (the only damn thing we listen to when Todd is in the car) about the upcoming game and then recite it at the game. Todd will usually look at me in shock and say "how did you know that" haha good times. Anywho, what sparked this idea what this obnoxious woman we sit behind at the games. I'd say she's late twenties and goes to the game w/ her bro. She knows EVERYTHING about football and especially BYU football. She even knows the stats of the second-stringers. She calls them by name. She says things like "this reminds me of the 1974 BYU versus whatever game". She also questions the plays that are called and says, "why didn't they run a ____". This bitch is making me look bad---(and /i'm jealous of her obviously). She bursts my sterotype that women only like football to attract men (trust me, she's butch). Anywho, that's my new goal---dream big right.

We then hung out at the cabin and headed home from Provo Sunday afternoon. THE NEXT MORNING I returned to SLC for week long domestic violence training. I was carpooling w/ people from St. George so that's why I didn't just stay up there. It was pretty much the longest week of my damn life. I just wanted my own bed, to unpack a suitcase, and NOT spend everyday amongst corporate assholes at the Salt Palace (more on that later). Todd and I are both extraordinarily tired of life on the road.

Last Week: September 15th-19th
I give the conference mixed reviews. I'm told this is because for the first time in a decade the Utah Domestic Violence Center decided to combine conferences for service providers (me), shelter workers, and community members. The result was that many sessions were really intermediate and subsequently BORING for service providers. Most therapists were pretty pissed. I have very little experience in domestic violence (and it is not my thing) so I probably got more out of it than others. I had to go bc I will likely encounter some of this in my travels with the polygamist population.

The Keynote speaker was Susan Still. She has spoke on Oprah and 20/20 about her experience of being in an abusive relationship for 20 yrs. Her situation was noteworthy bc 1) her son was forced to video record while her husband beat the crap out of her and 2) her husband got the longest prison sentence ever for a domestic violence case (bc of the tape and bc her boss had recorded on her calendar when she came in w/ bruises. Susan [without having seen this calendar] had to chronicle each instance of abuse and bc this matched w/ the bosses report, her husband went away for a long time). This little description is sad in many ways 1) this story is noteworthy bc of sentencing. Any abuse should be noteworthy and not the norm right? and 2) bc it took so much for her husband to get put away for so long. Did you know domestic violence is a misdemeanor? Bigamy--faking a marriage when you're already married is a felony in Utah (why? in my opinion so we can prosecute the mormon "deviants") Where are our priorities? We're more concerned about someone being married twice than we are about women getting beaten--often to a point where hospitalization is needed? I am sad.

Here is a portion of the video of Susan featured on Oprah. WARNING---this is hard to watch but I think it's an issue we don't recognize enough. If you or anyone you know is in trouble call 1800-897-LINK or 1800-799-SAFE. When watching the video keep in mind that their son is filming. What set off this incident was that she asked him what he wanted for lunch. At one point her husband forces their son to hit his mother and tell her she's a stupid heffer. This power and control is hallmark of abuse. This man had so much power over his family that even after Susan left with her young sons, her 18 yr old daughter stayed w/ her father. He would not allow her to move away to college and forced her to quit school and get a job to pay for the bills "mommy left". He did not work. All children at one point also testified against Susan. Abuse is powerful.

Another highlight of the conference was a really animated speaker who spoke about the struggle women have in dating etc. after they've been in an abusive relationship. He said men have two sexual needs from women. That they 1) be available and 2) be enthusiastic about sex. Women have four sexual needs 1) that they have complete control over their body-so they initiate sexual acts instead of doing it out of guilt of being forced to 2) that they feel like they are skillful at sex 3) privacy and 4) that they have an unique and intimate connection with the partner. TRUE?

Back to my comment about corporate a-holes. I'm not saying big business people are a-holes but the business can be....or maybe it's marketing I take issue with. So the Salt Palace is basically a big cash cow. They charge for wireless Internet...15 bucks a day (McDonalds has free WIFI...seriously). They also do not reimburse for parking even though the conference was paying big bucks to host it there-their parking is 7 bucks a day. Anywho, my issue was really w/ marketing and the value society seems to place on things. So all week I say the GIANT banners that said Mavarie (or something like that). They featured fancy/sexy looking models holding a bottle of something. I bet each one cost 200 bucks...and their were billions throughout the Salt Palace. Oddly enough (this will make sense in a min) the banners said the product name and then "BELIEVE". So I didn't think much of this until I saw people setting up this prop-thing that basically make the entrance to a conference room look very grand and important. Their was columns and plants and fake furniture all highlighting this same product name. Their conference started on Thursday. So when I walked to my car I passed millions of people with the same bright green visors, laptop bags, water bottles, shirts, etc. etc. all featuring the same title. Then I finally leaned what this product and event was....a launch party for a new liqour. I have no doubt this conference cost in the millions. My conference....educating people on how to save a human life could barely have refreshments. This conference....on a new liqour spared no expense. I don't know really what I'm saying but it made me question the way we place our priorities in this world.

September 20th, 2008 A monumental event: Todd decided that we'd been gone just WAY too much lately and asked his brother to take our tickets. WAHOOO. I really do like going but after spending a total of 12 nearly consequtive days away from home, I was joyful. The kicker: TODD HAD TO LISTEN TO THE GAME. Thats right...even the extra channels we got did not have this game. I beleive it was on The Mountain which cannot be bought here in good ol' Cedar. You should have seen his face. I asked if he was okay and he said "I just had a mini panic attack but its okay. it just doesn't feel right". I guess I can respect the passion but my goodness sake! Anywho, we hope you had tons and tons of fun at the BYU versus Wyoming game Ted and Deb! We enjoyed a lazy weekend (we actually cleaned our house and put food in the fridge). We also took Ty baby on the lovely trail that starts at the canyon park in cedar and heads up Cedar mtn.

sorry that was wicked long.

for some reason I wanted to some accounting of our lives since I have no idea where it's going.

Monday, September 8, 2008

This weekend I learned a great pearl: marriage is about bargaining. As you all should know by now, Todd is obsessed with BYU football. Much to his chagrin, the cable service we have down south does not carry many of the channels that air the away games. I had intended on being strong and MAKING him listen to these away games on the radio in lieu of other, more expensive options (k-you have to agree that's fair--we have season tickets!! We're going to away games!!). Well, Thursday night a number of things happened that changed that 1)Todd's truck broke down and 2) Todd spent a good 2 hours exhausting every option for getting to watch the game (i.e. asking friends, watching a live feed via Internet). Exasperated, he said pathetically, "I just feel like my life is caving in on me. My truck is broke (Todd has a bizarre bond w/ whitey, his teal pin-stripped grandpa truck) and now I can't watch the game". Well, that was it--I called my mom and asked her to up her cable to another tier (at the cost of 20 bucks) w/ promises of course to pay her for this month. I guess my brother benefited from Todd's pathetic-ness as well. Please note however, I didn't do this without getting something out of it. Todd promised to help me clean before the game. Our house has been in serious need of some attention. So-- the picture below is of Todd cleaning the toilet. Note the computer in the background--that's him listening to the pre-game show. Is there any hope for my husband? Seriously. This is a problem. I guess we all benefited; I got my clean house-he got to watch his game.

On another note. Why do I have a dog again? When I had my ankle/bee sting issue I was doped up on some serious drugs. I guess that's why I didn't hear Ty trying to wake me up in the middle of the night to take him out (note, Ty NEVER wakes his father--only me). I woke up to this... okay the picture sucks but basically I can only hypothsize that Ty cocked his leg and pissed on the fan. It had a lovely yellow lining. wow. Oh, and I got a new laptop for work. Also while I was an invalid, Ty stole the box and shredded all the wrappings. I picked up two bags full of foam and cardboard. seriously. What is with the men in my life?!

Now for the fun part. Saturday night we went with Brooke and Raul (Brooke is my friend from birth practically) to dutch oven and stay the night at her grandpa's cabin! Although the prep was a bit tedious, Todd rocked the dutch ovening (now doned a verb) and we had lots of fun siting around the camp fire and hanging w/ B&R. Thanks guys! You're our favorite unmarried married couple:) p.s. I hope you enjoy the pics of us w/ the nature background. Who needs to go outside?

It's true--Todd and I have gone from codependent to cohabitating amist intervals of our nomadic lifestyles. Okay, that's partially dramatic but it feels that way. Todd has been working in Escalante for two weeks which is a ways away from Cedar. Meaning, there's no chance for me to visit--especially since I have to be at work in the mornings! In addition to that, I have become a partial resident of SLC again. Two days after returning from our trip to SLC/Logan/Provo where I had a number of work meetings, I headed back to SLC for the monthly Safety Net Meeting. I got back Thursday night and will return this Thursday. Oh, and then I'll be back up for domestic violence training three days later. Like I said, nomads. We both live out of suit cases. We unpack only to repack. I haven't grocery shopped or folded laundry in over two weeks!

Despite this, I'm really loving my job. Let me tell you more about it. I may be missing some facts but basically when Mark Shurtleff was in office, he designated Paul Murphy from the Attorney's General Office to begin a Safety Net Committee where interdisciplinary providers could meet to discuss ways to serve the polygamist population. That was three years ago and meetings have been held monthly ever since. Since that time, the Family Support Center (my employer) has taken responsibility for the meetings and has obtained grants for the running of it. They have hired my supervisor who now runs the meetings and myself; the representative for S. Utah. Meetings are held in St. George, SLC, and Colorado City. Last week was my first time attending. The meetings are attended by people actively participating in polygamy, people from the AG's office, polygamy advocates, people promoting diversity, law enforcement, people from DCFS, Brooke Adams from the trib (you all should google her--she's quite the polygamy historian) and people in the area of domestic violence. Needless to say, the meetings are quite intense--everyone has their own agenda and priority. This was the first meeting attended by the press and many people were quite upset my that! Regardless, it was very exciting to be in the presence of these people and I feel like I'm part of something very exciting!

More about my job--I met w/ my supervisor in person for the first time and expected to get a case load and marching orders...oh contrair. My job is not defined by any meaning of the word. In a nutshell- "we want to start serving polygamists in this area- we want to help people who want to leave leave and we want to help people who want to stay stay. You need to figure out how to get into and serve the communities. Meet these people, read this stuff, try to get licensed in Arizona, document who you serve, you answer to no one, we trust you, here's your cell phone and lap top, go and do". Pretty crazy huh!!

Even as I write this I wonder what to and to not omit because it is such a charged subject where secrets and mistrust abound. My supervisor has been on Larry King Live discussing the issue and is all over the papers. I was briefed on giving press releases and have already read about our meetings publicized online. You can check it out by reading Brooke Adam's polygamy blog (google trib and her name). Anyway, since beginning this job, I have been inundated on the polygamist's history and have a very soft spot in my heart for the pain they have been forced to undergo. I do not know what the answer is for this situation we have but I am heartsick for the families that have been torn apart for decades.

In case I wasn't the only one to know this, the Zions Ranch Raid in Texas was one of a whole slew of raids that began in the 50's where polygamists in Short Creek Colorado (now known separately as Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona) were raided in the night much like the Texas raid. The men were arrested and women and children were taken into custody. Reading the accounts of this is earth shattering to me. As you might know, the Texas Ranch is almost solely occupied by individuals who migrated from Hildale and C. City because of the climate. There have been other raids in Virgina and other places as well. Maybe this isn't terribly interesting to you all but it sure is to me! As a Mormon, this is my history, as a human being this is my heart ache, as a woman this is my challenge. Thanks for supporting me and reading this post:)

On a lighter note, Ty has also lived the nomadic lifestyle. I have dragged him to SLC with me. Here's a picture of him taken from my cell phone--this is how he choses to travel. It if weren't so cute I might just kill him.

I've always had a warm tender place in my heart for animals of all kinds. As a child, I hated watching movies like Iron Will because I felt bad for the dogs! Just the other day, I felt bad for instinctively stepping on an ant that was walking around the back porch. It was just minding its own business in the outdoors and I felt bad for endings its life for no reason. I support the ASPCA and other programs. I even tried to volunteer at the local animal shelter but Todd kiboshed it bc he knew I would want/try/succeed at bringing most of them home. Despite this, I plan to be a foster pet parent when we get our own house. Why then, has the animal kingdom (meaning non-human animals) turned on me? Last Monday (Labor Day) we got back from being the mountains (where I only got two giant mosquito bites--which is good for me) and I got stung by a bee! I guess this is the first time I've been stung by an actual bee--just by wasps. SOOO, I got to find out the hard way (not that there's an easy way) that I am allergic to bee stings!! That night my ankle was just throbbing and swollen--what I thought was pretty typical. The next morning I woke up and my eyes were nearly swollen shut! My ankle was about 6X its original size (kinda like the Grinch's heart but less cool), really HOT and CRAZY itchy!! The swelling just got worse to the point that it barely fit in a shoe. I even got pressure blisters--my mom told me it's like a sunburn from the inside out. It was sooo uncomfortable- I had to drive to SLC with my foot on the dash. I guess it was good motivation to watch my weight bc I got to see what my ankles would look like if i were morbidly obese. Anywho, I'm told that bee stings get progressively more dangerous for people who are allergic to them. The next step for me was for my throat to close off. Thats the point of those big-a shot needles you see people caring around. Here's to praying I never get stung again! This picture really doesn't do it justice but it's an idea. I hope you all now believe in Karma for all species. Kill and ant--get a life threatening sting!!!!!!

Season Kickoff

August 28. We headed north for the big BYU Season Kickoff. We also had to go to Logan for Todd to visit with his eye doctor (don't even ask why Todd can't get a new eye doc). So, just days before our trip we were watching one of our favorite shows, Diners, Drive-ins & Dives on The Food Network [show highlighting hidden, hole-in-the-wall greasy spoons across the country] and they happened to be featuring the Burger Bar in where else? Roy Utah! Todd nearly had a coronary when he saw the burgers this joint pumps out--homemade buns, 6-billion lb patties, special fry sauce, etc. Why? Because he used to deliver to a place just across the street at his old job--he drove by the joint 3X a week and never dared stop! Good thing we have Triple D to keep the belly not-so-at-bay. Needless to say we stopped there on the way to Logan Thursday night and it definitely lived up to the hype. I was an idiot and ordered a kids burger which was not that great. However, I tried Todd's and it was divine. As were the hand cut french fries and onion rings (yes Todd "accidentally" got both). You can check out Triple D here

After the glutenous celebration, we headed to Logan and spent the evening shopping and enjoying being in our old stomping grounds. We drove by campus in the evening. It brought back such fond memories to see the A shining brightly. I tried to convince Todd to make me a true Aggie but he wasn't havin it. We drove all around campus--it was rush week so people were out in droves. It made me miss those carefree days.

The next day we drove back to SLC where I was in meetings all day for work (more on that later). That evening we drove to S & S' provo cabin where we spent the rest of the weekend and Labor Day. We had a great time despite intermittent rain showers that attempted to spoil our fun:) Sunday morning I took Ty baby on the bike/walking trail that goes from Vivian Park to Bridal Veil Falls (if you're heading west). It was such a pretty walk--I had just intended on going a little ways but the more I walked the more I wanted to see the falls up close. Although I kinda scared everybody for being gone so long, it was worth the extra time:) I will say however, people on the trail were NOT friendly! I did the standard nod or hi to passers by and people just snubbed me and Ty baby. I couldn't tell if they didn't like dogs or my OBAMA t-shirt. Either way, way to go Utah County--way to make me like you more!!!!! It's a good thing it's pretty down your way cuz man you guys are bitches. Sunday afternoon we went through Heber to Kamas to see my friend Kays' new house! It was so good to see her and their beautiful new house. Ty also enjoyed playing with their spirited dog Sparky (who is about four of Ty but they play as if they're equals). Pictures are of the falls and the Jordonelle.

The Main Event. Season Kickoff!!! BYU, 41 Northern Iowa, 17. The game started rough for us! We left an hour early for a drive that typically takes 15 minutes. WELL--with 5 mins til kickoff we were still 15 blocks from our standard parking lot with no hope of the damn flag waving-mini vans to get a crackin. We ended up ditching the car a good 8 blocks from the stadium, hoofed it the rest of the way, and still missed the first 20 minutes of the game. Did I mention it was over 100 degrees which was just awesome since the following days were in the low 80's high 70's. All was not lost however, we found our new seats with no trouble---they're just one row up and a few seats over from last year AND are on the AISLE!! Much more roomy:) It was good to see the old season ticket holders from last year--there's the SUPER FAN- a single late thirties NERD who swore up a storm the one game last season that he got to his seat with only 30 mins before kickoff (note: swear words were mormon approved such as fetch, dag nabbit, and frickity frick) then there's the older father who brings his now grown sons and their wives, followed by our next-butt neighbors--the younger father who brings his little kiddies hoping to pass on his love for BYU football. Its fun to be apart of everyone's reasons for coming and family traditions. Too bad Superfan comes with a different person each time, presumably because they all get tired of him quoting stats from games in the early 70's. Anywho, after we stopped sweating and all we had a great game! Go Cougars!

We spent the rest of the weekend and Labor day at the Cabin. We had the standard tin foil dinners that were especially good and basically enjoyed being in the outdoors---and mostly watching it rain:)