Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Stay-at-Home Mom's Response to Obama’s “Remarks on Women and the Economy”


Obama is being blamed for insulting stay-at-home moms (SAHMs), and critics are being blamed for taking his speech out of context.

First of all, let’s clarify the context. The official White House press release calls the speech given at Rhode Island College (RIC), “Remarks by the President on Women and the Economy.” Therefore, the context is clearly a political speech about the economy (money), so don’t mistake this for a speech about families or motherhood. Note that he says repeatedly he was there “to ensure that women are full and equal participants in the economy.” In other words, the president’s end goal is to keep women working because, in his words, “having more women in the workforce…[is] good for business.”

Friday, October 10, 2014

Time traveling

A few days ago my daughter called to get my recipe for wassail punch, a favorite family drink we love to make during both fall and winter. As a hostess, she undoubtedly wanted to have the heady smell of spices wafting throughout her home, recreating the warm, happy feelings she associates with the beverage.

Just weeks ago, summertime globetrotting photos filled Facebook profiles and pages, but now, in spite of misleading high temperatures, we are well into fall. And so begins the season of time traveling. Without boarding a plane or driving a car, we will begin traveling back in time to ordinary places and bygone events, back to old feelings turned nostalgic yet made fresh through familiar smells.

Monday, October 6, 2014

"One nation under God": A plea for humility

On March 14, 2007, a headline in our local newspaper read, “Congressman is highest-ranking elected official to admit that he does not believe in God.”

Why, I wondered, after almost 35 years in public office, did Representative Pete Stark decide to disclose this? Was he trying to win the $1000 prize offered by the Secular Coalition for America, a group held together by the “far-ranging philosophies” appealing to him?

The article continued, “Stark gives confession,” aligning himself with 46 other prominent public leaders who considered themselves “nontheist—a group that includes atheists, agnostics and other types of secular humanists.” So, what we have here is a “Stark” contrast. For Christians, the verb “confess” connotes admitting one’s faults or repenting for having broken laws put in place by a Superior Being, even God. Christians are under further obligation to “confess God’s hand in all things.”

Friday, October 3, 2014

Some things should not come in the form of gifts

When we were married, every bridal registry seemed to include two must-haves: a crockpot and the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook with its signature red-and-white plaid cover. Convinced both were kitchen essentials, I was crestfallen when we received neither as wedding gifts. Thirty years ago gift cards were not so commonplace. Had they been, we might have been given some, and I might have felt perfectly comfortable buying myself a crockpot and cookbook. Instead, it took me years to bring myself to buy either one.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It’s not the end of the world


My parents married on Valentine’s Day in 1942, smack dab in the middle of World War II. While fear and terror encircled the globe, Mom and Dad circled each other with young love, big dreams, and bright hope for their future. After having their first child, Dad was shipped off to Europe where he saw other men, women, and children suffer atrocities so terrible he would scarcely speak of them the rest of his days. Yet, in spite of the unfathomable barbarism wreaked by the malevolent triumvirate of Germany, Italy, and Japan, hope would not be conquered. No, the 1940s may have felt like the end of the world, but it wasn’t.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Out of alignment

I knew I should have taken my car in sooner. It was pulling to the right, but I ignored that. I was too busy to get it realigned, and, besides, who wants to shell out money just to have the wheels straightened out? But because I procrastinated, those wheels wore down prematurely, and I had to pay a bundle for four new tires.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"There's an app for that!"



The Mormon Church is the Apple of religions.

It’s said that whenever a problem arises at the Silicon Valley-based company, Apple employees quip, "There's an app for that!" And they mean it. In other words, those folks really consider no challenge too daunting, no problem too complicated that it can’t be solved with a downloadable application to an Apple device.

Similarly, the Mormon Church offers solutions to everyday problems.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Learning a foreign language


They say children under age six pick up new languages most quickly, but I’m not so sure. I’ve been hanging around the older crowd lately (OK, I am the older crowd) whose foreign-language skills seem strongly correlated to their age. I’m not sure what this new language is called, exactly, but I think it’s something like “gerontologese.” Mostly Latin-based, it’s sprinkled with lots of acronyms and, mercifully, a few English words.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Going dark on my blog


I've just revisited my blog, which I let go dark for more than a year.

Reading old posts was like getting caught up with old friends, but making the time read them was like . . . well, getting caught up with old friends. You wonder if it might be too much hassle, if it might take too much time, if it might not feel as satisfying and important as you hoped.