Friday, May 27, 2005

I've had a miscarriage. My soul is raw. I don't have any other words.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

News!

Well, I've been sitting on my little secret long enough, (in all actuality, I haven't been sitting very long at all, I'm just an impatient person!) so it's time to spread the joy.

Come December, we are going to have a new family member. Yes, we are expecting a new little peanut. I'm really very excited! I had my first ultrasound Monday so that we could pinpoint my due date a little better (I have very crazy cycles and we weren't sure when this one was conceived :)), so I've already seen her little jellybean body and that oh so tiny heart fluttering.

Ultrasounds are just breathtaking to me. I'm nosy by nature, and to get a preview peek at my baby is such a thrill. With Peanut's first US, I lie there for an hour and a half just watching. Due to complications, I had five US with my first pregnancy, so I was able to experience the exciting growth progression from inside and out. We were even able to bring in each of the Grandmas for their own private US showing. :)

I was so frightened at Peanut's delivery. I sat up at night during my last month asking myself why did I think that having children would be fun. I was convinced that I would never make it through labor and that I would be a horrible mother. Every conceivable doubt crowded my head day and night. From this side of the ordeal though, I am so happy that I have my baby girl and I feel so blessed to be given another little one to care for. In my hormone euphoria, I would gladly have ten more!

My Hero!

My wonderful husband giving me 20 minutes of peace to collect my thoughts and do the dishes without having to chase Peanut down off of the dishwasher door.

 Posted by Hello


 Posted by Hello


 Posted by Hello


 Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Tag, I'm It!

I've been TAGGED!
The wonderful thicketdweller gave me the tap, so here are my answers.

Here's how it works. I chose five of the questions to answer below, then the people I tagged (I'll list them at the end) answer their own five questions, then tag their own five people.

The Questions:

If I could be a scientist...
If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a musician...
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be an inn-keeper...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a llama-rider...
If I could be a bonnie pirate...
If I could be an astronaut...
If I could be a world famous blogger...
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world...
If I could be married to any current famous political figure...


If I could be a librarian... I would open a new library in a small town somewhere sparsely populated. I would help bring a little variety of entertainment to that little town in Montana, or Alaska, or North Dakota where the only place to go is the local bar or bowling alley. I would use my millions in private funds (of course it would have to be privately funded, as the government would consider it a waste of money) to bring in books and DVDs and tapes on any subject that people wanted or needed. We would have a full program of speakers, both guest and local, to teach about the history and nature of the surrounding areas. We would have sofas and chairs scattered everywhere, lots of windows for natural light, and internet connections for anybody who needed it. It would be as inviting and user friendly as possible. And, of course, everyone would make use of it!


If I could be a chef... it would be so exciting to try new dishes. I would learn all I could about flavors and techniques so that I could whip up a new, amazing dish at a moment's notice. I would develop good tasting, white-sugar free, health-infusing recipes that my husband and everyone else would love to eat and love to make. I would invite anyone who wanted to learn over to my own kitchen and we would cook and laugh and learn and feel enriched by each other's gifts. I would also eat and not worry about the calories or salt or preservatives, because I had made the dish and I knew what was in it.


If I could be a gardener...I would have a historical herb garden. We would have examples of different types of herb gardens from the past and there would be knowledgeable people there to answer questions and help you get a hands-on feel for the herbs. We would offer classes on the cooking and medicinal uses of herbs, and the best way to prepare them. I would make a supreme effort to gather specimens of every herb still growing today, keeping a growing record of long-forgotten, almost gone, historical strains. And anyone who wanted a slip of something we had growing could take it with them, free of charge.


If I could be a scientist...I would be an archeologist and an anthropologist. I would study ancient civilizations and peek into their everyday lives. I would sit at historical digs, late at night and just imagine the lives that places like Pompeii or Machu Picchu held, the everyday-ness that must have existed. The laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the births and marriages and deaths. I would remember that even though centuries separate me from those wives and homes, they and I were so similar. I have the same sorts of hope and dreams that other women in other times held dear. I would remember that for all of our technological advances, we are all still the same human race at the core.


If I could be a llama-rider...then maybe I would be able to put my fledgling spinning skills to work. I would have easy access to all of the "wool" that I wanted! Maybe even my insatiable need for yarn to fuel my knitting habit would be met!




And as I look around my small corner of the bloggospere, I notice that all of my blogger friends have already been tapped. So I tap no one. Sorry, TD, I guess this link of the chain stops with me! :)

Friday, May 6, 2005

Ancient Goodies

I just started reading a really interesting book called The Philosopher's Kitchen by Francine Segan. It is a cookbook (and yes, I do sit and read cookbooks cover to cover. I know, I'm weird) filled with recipes from Ancient Greece and Rome, sometimes reworked for modern ingredients. I was a little wary, having read other books about the time period and hearing tales of candied doormice, parrot livers, and whole roast pig full of nightingales listed as Roman delicacies. But this book is phenomenal. The pictures are so beautiful that you want to jump right in and start eating. Lots of yummy sounding veggie recipes, something we lack around my house, and interesting flavor combinations. The book is also filled with little historical facts and photos, and whenever possible, the author reprints the exact original recipe. Just thinking about the 'Mini Ricotta Fritters' in the desert section makes my mouth water.

Ms. Segan also has two other cookbooks called Movie Menus and Shakespeare's Kitchen which I have never heard of but am now looking forward to reading. Movie Menus looks especially fun. It's a book of meals to make to go along with your favorite movie. Doesn't that just sound like a party in the making?

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Niccolo Machiavelli

Today's post is on, of all things, Machiavelli. thicketdweller posted a quote by M. and asked our opinion as to his goodness or badness. As I tend to be long-winded, I decided to answer here.

First of all, let's establish the fact that I am pretty useless when it comes to philosophy. Much of the theoretical talk just turns to mumbo-jumbo in my brain. And political philosophy? Forget it. So any opinions stated here are probably poorly thought out and grossly mis-informed.

From my recollections of "The Prince", the work most people recall when thinking of old Niccolo, the methods that he recommends are very effective, but very morally questionable. In essence, his ideas maintain that for people in power, the ends justify the means, as longs as the "ends" are mostly beneficial to the people in general. No matter how corrupt and morally adverse those means may be. That a unified country is the all important end and that a country is only as successful as its leader, therefore a leader has carte blanche to kill, steal, scheme, pillage, and lie; as long as it meets that end.

Many people believe that this work helped to start a lot of the workings that we consider modern "politics as usual", but it is also said that "The Prince" was only written to impress the ruling family at the time, (The Medici) and was only a device to get M. back into politics, (Niccolo lost his job when the republic in Florence was overthrown and The Medici took over. If you are interested in political history and intrigue, Tom Clancy has got nothin' on the Renaissance!), and that he was a real "government for the people, by the people" sort of man.

So what does all of this mean to me? I think that Machiavelli, at times, had some very noble ideas. In some of his other works, you can see that he knows his stuff when it comes to creating situations that benefit the public in general, but I think that he had a hard time seeing that all choices, good and bad, have an effect on outcome and they can taint any victory, even if it lifts up and helps lots of people. Even if he is "misunderstood" by his work on "The Prince", and it really was just a political brown-nosing pamphlet, that still comes back to the old "ends justify the means" part. Even if he had made it back into politics (which he didn't) and helped Italy to unite, is it really OK to fake your ideas and opinions in a profession in which those are often the only things that distinguish you from the next guy. I, in my naive opinion, say no. We in America today get a first-hand look at this sort of mentality, with the underhanded deals and morally corrupt decisions that are made by some members of our government every day.

You have to live with your choices. You must be able to stand back, at the end of the day, and say that your soul is at peace with everything you have done. Opening up a moral gap to allow questionable practices through, even if it means prosperity and gain, begins the process of deadening your very soul. It may sting a lot the first lie or murder, but it won't so much the next time, and every time after that it just becomes easier and easier. And this also applies to everyday people in everyday situations, of course, not just the political arena. I think that if more of our decision makers dwelt on the moral ramifications of their actions, we might have a lot less to be ashamed of in this country.

So, is Machiavelli good or bad? My vote is for bad. Political genius is no excuse for a poorly formed character, and I think it is very telling that the work Niccolo is most remembered for is the one that he likely agreed with the least. See where those dishonest decisions will lead you?

That's my two cents. (although most of you will think it's more like $1.50, after having sat through this essay!) :)