Food for thought

I’ve had two noise disturbances that I can think of that happened to me in Thailand ( none recently). I can’t speak for the other participants, but I can tell you my own circumstances at the time. In one case I was being philosophical, as I tend to get when I am drunk. And I was talking too loud at 3:00 AM. I don’t remember much about it, other than a Thai woman very nicely explained to me “You talk too loud and it is very late and many people can hear you.”

In the other case the mood was completely different. It was also late (1:00 AM) but there was an argument. A lot of words were exchanged until a farang (Westerner) came out of his bungalow and said “Hello! Me and my wife are trying to sleep!” The Westerner (I think he was from Denmark) then came over, and was offered drinks. He took one, but kept on saying his wife was expecting him back any minute, and left shortly afterwards.

In neither case were the cops called. In both cases I felt embarrassed and horrified , and any overtalking, arguments, or too loud for people to sleep stuff ended shortly after the person come forward. I’m always curious about the mindset of calling authorities to resolve minor disputes with neighbors, say. That is the way it is handled in America. Why doesn’t knocking on the door suffice?

Why I Was Never On Welfare

Some years ago after my first daughter was born I went into the social security office to get an SS number for my little one. Jasmine, being born in Thailand, had not been had one but it had become obvious that if I wanted to claim the earned income tax credit that she was going to need one. So we found ourselves in a social security office in Los Angeles that was in the same building as the welfare office.

Joe was quick to point this out. “You should get on welfare.” He said to me. It was true that I was probably qualified. I was a single mother, working on the Internet as a writer. The $1100 I made every month had been plenty for when we were living in Thailand, but living in Los Angeles it was well below the poverty line threshold. I was adamant that no, I didn’t want it.

He pushed me inside the TANF office anyway and we took a number. As we were waiting I started breastfeeding and a black woman from the row of chairs behind us struck up a conversation. She was surprised that I was still breastfeeding, even though Jasmine was only about four months old then.

“You’re still breastfeeding? Don’t you know that will make your boobs sag?” She was a little older, perhaps in her late forties.

I shrugged. “I always heard it was healthier for the baby.”

“Oh honey the babies turn out fine anyways. I didn’t breastfeed any of my children and they were all healthy. Now I’m a grandma and my daughter doesn’t breastfeed either.”

I was a little taken aback by this, even though I was amused at her honesty. I’d been one of these overworried first time mothers who devoured every piece of advice I could get on pregnancy and parenting. Finally I said, “Isn’t baby formula expensive though?”

The grandma laughed as though that was the most ridiculous thing she’d ever heard.

“They give it to you!” She said dismissively. “What you have to do is say that you’re giving your baby formula. Then it’s free. If you were smart you’d breastfeed and then sell it.”
I wanted to ask her how you would sell this expensive free baby formula, but at that moment my number was called and we headed up front. The first question the bored looking woman asked is why I had not come in earlier in my pregnancy. “We were in Thailand.” I said.
She seemed confused, looking at our white faces and blond hair. “Your baby was born in Thailand?”
“So you are Thailand citizens?”
“No we are not.”
“Did you immigrate to America?”
“No. I don’t think so.”
“Is your baby a Thailand citizen?”
I produced the paperwork we had on Jasmine. The woman eyed the Certificate of Birth of a US Citizen Abroad as though she had never seen such a thing, and therefor wasn’t sure if it was a forgery or not. “Most people who come into this office don’t have the money to leave America.” She said, shaking her head. She handed us some forms. “Your daughter needs a social security number first.”
We headed to the social security office. I threw the forms I was supposed to fill out into a trash bin. I didn’t think welfare was a good fit for me.
I have no problem with Welfare, TANF, whatever they want to call it assistance for the needy. I think most people of most social classes benefit from government money in some way, whether its grants and scholarships to go to school, tax breaks and corporate loopholes, social security, disability, no bid defense contracts, bailouts for big corporations and the like. From a purely economic perspective my guess is it would cost less to give a homeless drug addict a small living allowance, counseling and a place to stay than to turn a blind eye to him only to have the public foot the bill for his prison stints and emergency room visits.
But I was young, able bodied, and had a college degree. I had chosen to write on the Internet as a means of staying at home with my baby. Despite my low income I did not feel that I needed any help.
I couldn’t help but think that going into that office every few weeks or months to show them more documentation that proved that I was still poor and needed help would eventually make me poor and dependent. How many times do you tell somebody that your baby needs formula before you just start giving them the free formula?

We all end up in the same place


We recently had to bury our beloved dog Blackie after he followed Oh to the main road. He was hit by a bus as he tried to cross over, a heartbreaking situation especially after researching how to bring him to America with us (and discovering it was not as hard as I had feared to bring a dog from Thailand to the USA. Easier than making a human a visa, actually). He was the last of our little animal brood to leave our company. With us leaving for America in less than a month, there’s something ominous and sad about the loss of our pet family, as though they sensed our leaving and opted for the other side. But it still doesn’t stop me from thinking about the bounding young dogs and cat crossing through the woods with me, and thinking about what could have been.

I wanted to take the chance to commemorate our three beloved pets, our two dogs and one cat. Oh got Ma Air the cat first, in July 2012. I’d mentioned to him in passing that I wanted a kitten. A day later at his mom’s house he produced two tiny balls of fur, one a dark tabby and one a tan tabby. They couldn’t have been more than five weeks old, and I lectured him for taking them so young from their mother. “Thai style.” Oh insisted. “That’s why we take two.” He explained that his mother was happy to take one kitten when they got a little older, and asked me which I preferred. The tan kitten approached me purring, so Ma Air it was. “It’s a girl cat.” Oh told me definitively. It’s hard on such young kittens to tell. I flipped the purring bundle of fur on her belly and held up her bottle brush tail. “I think it’s a boy.” Either way Ma Air was the best cat I ever had.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
A few months later we moved into a new house, taking the young Ma Air with us. He’d been terrorized by Oh’s mother’s dog, Snow White. Despite this, perhaps due to late stage pregnancy nesting hormones, I wanted a dog. Just one dog. A puppy preferably that would not try to kill the cat and could learn to be gentle when the baby came. Thai style being what it is, it should not have surprised me when Oh’s mother came with not one, not two, but three puppies. It was not a choice, exactly. The woman had insisted that Oh’s mom take the whole litter of five week old puppies. After some frantic conversation in our yard, a solution was reached: Me and Oh would take two dogs, and Oh’s mom would take the third. I had already settled on the runt of the three puppies, a tiny little whining ball with mange who had settled on my foot as we debated what to do with all these puppies. Mange is a near death sentence for a Thai dog, even though it’s easily treatable. The dogs lose all their hair to the fungus and sift through trash on the side of the road, unloved and unwanted. The poor puppy would have had a very hard and probably short life, and I love charity cases. The puppy that would soon be called Rosie was my baby before I had the baby, getting saved from ant attacks, mange, fleas and ticks and all manner of trouble.
I decided to take the next puppy of the three that approached me. The largest puppy, the only boy of the litter came next. I decided this one could be for Jasmine, who named him Blackie.
We decided to keep the three puppies together due to their young age for a bit. I was worried what Ma Air the cat would think about all these dogs, especially after his bad experience with Snow White. I should not have been worried. The 4 month old kitten was still bigger than the five week old puppies. Ma Air took one look at Rosie and started batting at the her face playfully. “Look at these little things! I can take them!” The cat seemed to be saying. Inexplicably, Ma Air became best friends with the dogs. Rosie became best friends with the cat, perhaps because she stayed too little to bother with any doggie dominance wars. She knew she was at the bottom in a fight, so she found becoming friends with another species quite appealing.
My little brood stayed together for over a year. Oh’s mother eventually gave the third puppy away to a friend, but Blackie, Rosie, and Ma Air remained inseparable. I trained the puppies to walk on leashes, and Oh trained them to ride on the motorbike. Based on a few trips to the beach we learned that Blackie loved to swim (but Rosie did not and had to be thrown in the water by force). Ma Air would follow on my walks with Blackie and Rosie, and I am sure I was quite a sight in our Thai neighborhood: a western woman, nine months pregnant, walking two dogs on a leash while a cat followed behind. It was a happy home even through the transition after Eliza’s birth.
Rosie was the smart one, with an expression of concern that deepened after I went to America with Eliza in 2013. “Rosie want to be human in her next life.” Oh proclaimed. “She thinks to much. She worry what to do if we go to America and leave her behind.” I’d checked into taking the dogs and cat to America, and it sounded like Ma Air, due to his smaller size and being able to fit in the passenger area, was the best bet for bringing to the US first. Rosie and Blackie would have to wait at Oh’s mom’s house for probably months, maybe even a year, something that weighed on me too. But besides some pretty easy vaccine requirements, the rules were dependent on the individual airline’s policies. I would not know or be able to plan more until Oh had a visa to go to the US, a process that was dragging on with no end in sight.
Then my pet family started to come undone. I remember seeing Ma Air and Blackie and Rosie stretched out together on our brown sofa, as they had done so many other times, in mid November. They were all grown and I hadn’t taken such a picture since they were little together. The camera’s battery was low, however. It shut down and I put it away, thinking flippantly “I’ll get plenty of other chances to take that picture.” Such would not be the case. We were planning a trip to the North of Thailand. A neighbor had agreed to watch the dogs while we were gone, but we were worried that Ma Air the cat would wander away in our absence. So we planned on taking him to Oh’s mom’s house, an area that he knew and would be watched. The morning we were leaving, however, the cat disappeared. I was sure Ma Air would turn up at our house while we were gone. A dream I had in Isaan told me otherwise, as in it both Rosie and MA Air were walking towards a bright light, ignoring my calls to them. I had a very bad feeling about that.
We came back from our trip. Ma Air had never been found. I searched the neighborhood calling or him, but he had vanished. Sometimes I thought I heard him meowing from a house behind ours. I walked by the house several times, calling for him. They had another cat in the house, but I always wondered if they’d taken him in.
Rosie died a few short weeks later, hit by a truck right in front of our house. Our gate had trouble latching in, and Rosie, the smaller of the two dogs, could slip through the crack at the opening if it hadn’t been shut all the way by somebody coming or going. I heard a slight squeal, nothing more. It sounded like Rosie but I thought Blackie was playing a little rough with her and I went back to my edit as Eliza slept. Oh came in a few seconds later. “Your dog die.” He told me. He had Rosie laying on the floor, and he tried to pump her chest for life. She never responded, but looked so peaceful, as though she was sleeping. It was hard to believe she was dead when she had been in the house maybe five minutes before. There’s a disorientation that comes with such a shocking, sudden change. Blackie laid on the sofa, showing no interest or concern for what had happened to his sister. That added to the unreality of it all. Rosie looked like she was sleeping.
Oh said a short Buddhist prayer after Rosie was laid to rest in the woods, and told me that it was to give her power to be a human in her next life. If I had another daughter, I think I would name her Rosie.
That left only Blackie, who seemed to adjust well to the absence of the other two and our move and building of a bungalow next to Oh’s mom’s house.
After over a year of wrangling, Oh’s visa to the US arrived. I wasn’t sure if we should take Blackie on our first journey out as a family to the US. He seemed content at the house, and I knew would be well cared for. But he had been following us down to the main road, a fast moving four lane highway, and that had been something we had had to watch very closely. Normally Blackie followed me to the road, not Oh. So when he darted out of a corner long after Oh had left on motorbike towards the road, it took me by surprise. I called for him but there was no way to stop the dog by then.
“He did not just cross the road.” Oh told me later. “He walked in the middle of the road and stayed there. I try to get him to come out to the other side. Snow was barking at him from her side like get out of the road. He just stay there for a long time. And then the bus come and he go under.”
Jasmine said that perhaps Blackie missed Rosie but did not know how to tell us that. I’m sure he sensed that big change was underway, that another move was happening. I still feel that they should not have died at only 1-2 years old. But perhaps for Blackie, Rosie and Ma Air, what is more important is that they lived, that I enjoyed their love and companionship immensely during the time they were here.
We buried Blackie in front of our bungalow and marked the spot with a wooden cross. Oh said another prayer for Blackie to be human in his next life, even though he admitted to him that “being human is very hard.” I stayed in the grave for a long time with him, not wanting to believe the dog was dead. Eliza apparently did not understand either. A few hours after we had buried Blackie, our 16 month old daughter took his leash off the back of the chair and walked over to his grave with it. She seemed perplexed that he did not come out for another walk or motorbike ride.
Ma Air could still be alive somewhere. I hope so as he was such a great cat. And Snow, the 11 year old bitch that she is, has seen it all come and go, and is still kicking. But in time, they will end up on the other side too, as we all will. Life is a gift, a miracle. It goes too quickly whether you are willing to see the changes or not. Try to fill every moment with the wonder and beauty of what you have around you.
You will be missed my friends. Thanks for the memories.

Interesting quote…wonder about the credibility on what he says regarding Jewish teachings.  I completely agree with what he says about economics!
5 War Veteran July 28, 2013 at 10:53 pm – Reply

“Well a true accounting of history might be in order. First learn the original languages yours was written in. I have. Then understand the root of all evil comes from the original deceptive teachings.
The simple fact is the Zionist Elite, those that own the corporations and the media have used their influence to control the world, often quite criminally. Lashon Hara. Then add in the Talmud and it’s teachings:

How the Zionists see all others through the filter of their religion:

· Only Jews are human. Gentiles (all of us) are animals. (Baba Mezia 114a- 114b.)
· For murder, whether of a Gentile by a Gentile, or of an Israelite by a Gential, punishment is incurred; but of a Gentile by an Israelite, there is no death penalty. (Sanhedrin 57a)
· Even the best of the Gentiles should be killed. (Bab. Talmud)
· Agriculture is the lowest of occupations. (Yebamoth 63a.)
· If a Jew is tempted to do evil he should go to a city where he is not known and do the evil there. (Moed Kattan 17a.)
· Gentiles’ flesh is as the flesh of asses and whose issue is like the issue of horses.
· Gentile girls are in states of filth from birth. (Zarah 36b.)
· If a heathen Gentile hits a Jew, the Gentile must be killed. Hitting a Jew is hitting God. (Sanhedrin 58b.)
· If an ox of an Israelite gores an ox of a Canaanite there is no liability; but if an ox of a Canaanite [Gentile] gores an ox of an Israelite…the payment is to be in full. (Baba Kamma 37b.)
· If a Jew finds an object lost by a Gentile it does not have to be returned. (Baba Mezia 24a; also in Baba Kamma 113b.)
· What a Jew obtains by theft from a Cuthean [Gentile] he may keep. (Sanhedrin 57a.)
· Gentiles are outside the protection of the law and God has exposed their money to Israel.’ (Baba Kamma 37b.)
· Adam had sexual intercourse with all the animals in the Garden of Eden. (Yebamoth 63a.)
· Jews may use lies (‘subterfuges’) to circumvent a Gentile. (Baba Kamma 113a.)
· “When a grown-up man has intercourse with a little girl it is nothing.” (Kethuboth 11b.)
· Jews must destroy books of Christians (Shabbath 116a)
· No rabbi can ever go to hell. (Hagigah 27a.)
· A Jew may have sex with a child as long as the child is less than nine years old. (Sanhedrin 54b)
· A Jew may marry a three year old girl (specifically, three years “and a day” old). (Sanhedrin 55b.)
· Those who read the New Testament (“uncanonical books”) will have no portion in the world to come. (Sanhedrin 90a)
· All Gentile children are animals. (Yebamoth 98a.)
· Gentiles prefer sex with cows. (Abodah Zarah 22a-22b.)
· Balaam [Jesus] is raised from the dead and being punished in boiling hot semen. Those who mock the words of Jewish sages and sin against Israel are boiled in hot excrement. (57a Gittin)
· A heathen Gentile who pries into the Torah [and other Jewish Scriptures] is condemned to death, for it is written, it is our inheritance, not theirs. (Sanhedrin 59a)

There is more . . .
However in the original translations of the Torah m\Moses asks YHWH “Why should I choose you over the other gods?” So there are many gods. Consider Isis + RA + El = Israel, three gods in one name. Indicates either a level of confusion or deception.

Can some of this be blamed on Christians? Most definitely, Can some be blamed or Muslims? Again most definitely. The concept of Jihad originated long ago when it was claimed that all Gentiles must die. Which became all Infidels must die and all non Christians must die.

How many have died in “holy war”? No religion is innocent. All are polluted by deception and in every case benefits the religious elite. When religion started failing long ago then royalty was decreed. “God said . . . .” However God, an in person being until 300 ad never actually said anything of the sort.

Moses chose YHWH. There are NO CHOSEN PEOPLE. All are deception.
Do not expect it to be an easy task to learn the old languages. Do not take what others say for granted. Do the research yourself. If it is important enough to you, you will find the time.

In a recent excavation at the Vatican City something was unearthed that will change history. Something so significant that even the Vatican is having difficulty reconciling their past. SO they are now slowly changing their story. It is no coincidence that the Vatican came out nearly three years ago and said “Aliens are real”. then a year later said “Aliens are real and not all are bad.”

Expect sometime in the near future to hear,”It is blasphemy to deny the existence of aliens because that limits the Creator and who are you to limit the creator of all things.”

What do you suppose they dug up? Perhaps an ancient burial ground filled with long skulled skeletons having an extra vertebra in their necks? Something that supports the many long skulled skeletons found in many places across the planet assumed to have come from cradle boarding?

What should we expect after that “revelation” of an alien influenced past? Perhaps a “new alien threat” for which we must become vigilant and pay taxes to finance even more needless weaponry which can also be turned onto our own people for population control.

The world Elite have always manipulated the facts for their benefit. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Obama is a perfect example.

“Belief” only has value if it is backed by fact. Otherwise it is conjecture. If you wish to assume that the Jewish people are free of sin and choose to blame it elsewhere, just look at the facts. The Zionist Elite financed both sides of the wars. There is a simple formula for wealth from war.
Create a false war through propaganda, use the media to push what you choose. Commit a few false flags to support your plan. then push an all out war between two or more groups. Destroy well loved religious edifices and beautiful cities to create more animosity. Then determine which side brings the most profit.
Use propaganda to create fear in the winning side by telling them they are losing. In their fear they sell their properties for nothing and try to escape. Round them up and slaughter them. Steal whatever they have left. Turn the tides and let the “other side” win. The other side then feels a sense of triumph and their manufacturing sector grows, wealth for everyone! The losing side no longer owns it’s lands it is broken. Reconstruction! The losers provide cheap labor. Ship the manufacturing over to the losing side because of cheap labor. Slowly undermine the economy of the winning side. By creating a welfare state paid for by the people. Soon the “winners” without realizing it become weaker and weaker in the name of “wealth redistribution”. Unemployment rises because all the jobs were shipped to the losing country. Inject false money into the winning side economy and give the people a lie called hope. Undermine the economy through “bailouts” and watch what was the “most powerful” nation on the planet slide into depravity. Use the media to promote anti social behavior. Use “entertainment” to glorify crime, sex, and the destruction of the family.

Then create then next false war and start the process all over again . . . . Simple really, patience is all that is necessary. The best part is you do not really need wealth because the banking system you own can just say the wealth exists and manipulate the numbers to create even more.

Welcome to World Economy 101 . . . Learn your own history before blaming others.

Original Hebrew was written without vowels. The vowels make all the difference. YHWH

Translate it with the concept of being the person in the situation, consider their education, their experience, it is called a histological point of view. History-Logical

How does a shepherd describe an event that for the most part lies outside of his understanding and experience?”

DIY Termite treatment

It appears that termites are not even remotely deterred by woodstain. So here’s hoping the fifth page of Google Search results helped with the used motor oil and gasoline treatment.

A few weeks ago my in the early stages of building the bungalow my husband went to a motorbike repair shop and picked up a quart of used motor oil free of charge. It was for pouring on the wooden posts where they met the ground, something he said would keep termites away. The single quart didn’t go very far and I only treated the outside posts.

Around that time I checked google about this. The used motor oil here is a nice greyish black color, and I wondered if there was a way to mix it with a thinner and create a stain that was also a pest deterrent. The first page of results was filled with EPA warnings about don’t think about using it, take the used motor oil to the nearest approved recycling center because it’s carcinogenic (i.e. causes cancer). Don’t all the other chemicals I might be applying otherwise also cause cancer? There’ aren’t too many EPA approved recycling centers in Thailand anyways. So as I often have to do, I jumped to the fifth page of Google’s search results (they know that 99.9% of users don’t click past the first page, so the good unconventional stuff sometimes gets buried). There I found an old timer who had stained his barn by mixing motor oil and diesel fuel 50/50. He had some pretty pictures of the barn, which he said had been pest free for 20 years. He explained that the diesel fuel was to push the motor oil inside the wood…otherwise it would coat the outside and take a very long time to dry. His post was from 1997…I always love the first adopters posts. But we were out of motor oil and Oh thought wood stain and lacquer would work better.

So I bought wood stain instead. I’ve never dealt with termites before, so I wasn’t sure what to look for. But for about the past week we’ve been having these flying insects buzzing around the lights at night (termites can fly–who knew?). Just a few at first. I also noticed that the kitchen and bathroom area always looked dirty, like someone has trailed dirt inside on their shoes. I figured maybe Oh hadn’t laid the cement right and that that was making it seem crumbly. He said he did want to put a top coat on it.

The night we officially moved in the few flying insects by the light had turned into a literal swarm. The next morning the ground was littered with hundreds of these bugs. Just like mayflies in Ohio and Michigan. “Termites.” Oh tells me. I’d say they had a party but a more accurate description is they’d built a city. Overnight they had produced this spiral dirt clump that wrapped around my freshly stained kitchen post and went almost up to my head. That’s when I realized all these dirt clumps by the wooden posts on the kitchen and bathroom floor were not from us tracking in dirt but from termites bringing in dirt. Lovely. Oddly all of the wood on the original bungalow, where I had poured the motor oil at the base, had not been touched.

So I cut motor oil with gasoline. I added in a bit of red enamel just to match the original stain. When applied directly to the small blond termites, they stopped moving within five seconds. That’s better than any pesticide. I had to dig the ground up all around the house but Oh’s mom hooked me up with 3 gallons of used motor oil. Last night the termites city festival had turned into a wedding party. Tonight after crawling under the house and treating both sides of everything there were only 5-10 left flying around the light. I don’t know how long the motor oil deters them but Oh says they have a “season” here and will go away on their own in a few weeks. I’m not sure the bathroom would have lasted that long as I’m blown away by how many boards they’d eaten through, usually starting right where the nail had joined the two boards together.

The end result is stunningly pretty, dried quickly, deters water, and most importantly the termites don’t like it! I can add termites to my very long list of insect pests I’ve hopefully killed off. We kept Eliza away as much as possible, and I shall do a niacin detox soon. If I get cancer in 20 years…eh. I’ll blame the GM food I used to eat. 😉



Death is not the end

I had a dream about my aunt Sharon last night. I am not sure what she said, or why she was in my dream. But since she’s passed away it’s far from the first time I have thought of her.

We had a complicated relationship, I suppose. When I was young I was aunt Sharon’s golden girl, the only niece she had. She lavished me with countless gifts and I spent a large part of my childhood summers in Lomas Santa Fe, California, at her house. I always remember her bubbling laughter “So you finally made it.” when me and my family would come in the door, bedraggled from our 2500 mile car trip from Ohio. Her house was a place of peace and solitude in those days, a place where I could listen to music and bask in the California sun and dream of things far away from Ohio and try to figure out how I could make them a reality.

As I grew older I remained her golden girl, graduating college and going to graduate school, and then it all melted down. I needed to take a break from school. I was burnt out. I didn’t know what I wanted in life but I was sure it involved California. She offered me a place to stay with her until I got off my feet. I proceeded to melt down further.

Then I met Joe, my golden guy. Aunt Sharon was very happy about this. And then that all melted down.

It’s sad to think of most of my last interactions with my aunt. She did talk to me, I suppose I can say that. But her questions always had an accusatory tone. Her comments were very critical. I couldn’t seem to swim against the current. I was reduced to a little girl, forever trying harder to explain. There was a lot of dialogue and none of it went anywhere.

But now I remember the music again. I’m listening to “When the Lights Go Down in The City” by Journey, a song I am sure I remembered for the first time at her house in Lomas Sante Fe. I can remember the way the fog rolled in from the ocean that morning, so different from Ohio and so welcome. Like a breadth of something I didn’t know I how much I needed.

I am a 10,000 miles away. Yet I still expect to walk into her house in Oceanside and have her say “So you finally made it” with her bubbling laughter. I suppose one day I will hear her say that again. For now it can remain in my dreams alone.

Death cannot be the end, as long as we are living….and thinking about someone we love.



Seven year old logic

My recent conversation with my seven year old daughter, Jasmine:

Me: “I think you’d really like to go camping with me.”

Jasmine: “No Mommy! I’m scared of the bears!”

“Bears? What bears? There are a few in the woods, but they won’t bother you if you don’t bother them.”

“But I’m so scared that a bear is going to eat me.”

“Bears don’t eat people dear. They might attack if they feel scared, but they won’t eat you. You just have to be careful and not leave any food out.”

“Mommy can we do something else? I’m so scared.”

Sigh. “Well I’m tired of the Adventuredome and I really like camping. Hey could you go camping in Thailand?”

Jasmine: “Are there any bears in Thailand?”

Me: “No I don’t think so. But there are monkeys, and elephants, and tigers.”

“Well if you camp in certain parts of Thailand, a tiger could eat you.”

“Cool! That sounds like so much fun Mommy!”

Me: “Wait a minute. Did you just say that it would be cool if a tiger ate you?”

“I just want to see a real tiger!”

Uhmmm…no comment… 


To Everyone I’ve Loved

When it comes to romantic love I’ve probably been a complete failure in some book. I’ve had two soul mates, one fatal attraction, a first love and a high school sweetheart. Not all the same people of course. I’ve told acquantainces and friends that I am in love with about 10 different men at different points, some of whom I never even bothered to have a relationship with. I was the classic fruity flaky Pisces, forever looking for something beyond myself.
Or am I? I’ve noticed a tendency of friends of mine to say “I love you” in much greater proportions than when I was young. What does “I love you” mean in this context? I wouldn’t say it to a business associate (though even if I did, I’d say it would more likely cause a professional exchange of “well you’re great too”)
So this “I love you” thing. It’s now being used for BFFs, for friends you haven’t seen in awhile, for strangers. I have to wonder does it cheapen love or strengthen it that those three magic words are given out so freely? What do you think?
Earlier tonight we went to a friend’s house, or I should say a friend of my husband’s house. The friend’s mother was there, a woman who I had never met before but had heard a lot about. She said “I love you.” to me in broken English.
“I love you too.” I said back. What else could I say?
All you need is love…really?

What Love Is

I was recetly surfing Facebook when I found an interesting video clip about what all the Disney Princesses had given up in the name of love. It featured Elsa, one of the main characters in Disney’s Frozen, singing to live action versions of Princess Jasmine, Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. “I’m who I am, I don’t need a man.” She sings, after giving her quick trashing of their fairytale romances. It was a catchy tune, anyways.
I haven’t seen the Disney movie Frozen yet, which I gathered is an anti princess movie (about time). But despite my lack of knowledge in general about movies, I’ve seen every other Disney animated film. Most of them I’ve seen dozens, sometimes even hundreds of times. When I was younger I wanted to be a Disney animator and drew pictures of all the Princesses for friends in school. I know the lyrics of every song sang during the movies that came out during my childhood and adolescence, which included The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Pocahontas. The Disney princesses portrayed in these movies were supposed to be lovable, dynamic, independent heroines.
It’s not even the “I’m who I am, I don’t need a man” thing that caught my attention. That’s a common modern female sentiment, whether it’s due to feeling empowered or being jaded in love. Rather it’s the whole concept of what romantic love is in these films that needs an overhaul. Of course, in 75 minute long children’s movies all they really had time for was a budding romance with an implied happily ever after. There’s quite a few bridges to cross there in the real world.
What love is is your spouse helping you to the bathroom when you are too sick, or frail, or old to do it yourself. Love is your spouse helping you throw up in the toilet (whatever the reason). Love is seeing each other in times of trial, grief, and desperation and holding on tighter. Love is deciding to stay and listen to the story of why your man was out drinking all night with his friends instead of walking out the door in order to “show him who’s boss.”Love is definitely not trying to show him who’s boss, or thinking yourself as having more to offer to the relationship. You’re in this together. Taking down one side is going to drag down the whole.
It seems that what the Disney princesses call love could better be described as hormones in a budding romance. There’s nothing wrong with it, but boy have marketing departments noted our human tendency to part ways with large amounts of money during this stage of the courting process. Love is now about getting a huge diamond ring or earrings, or a massive flower bouquet for Valentine’s Day. Love is about spending at least the $20,000 every bridal magazine quotes as the average price of a wedding, because you can’t be average. Your love is better than average, so $30,000 it is. And now you can be princess for a day.
Your man is not God, but his love for you should be a reflection of God within him. And yours for him. I think when you choose a husband, you just choose the set of problems that you are willing to deal with for the rest of your life. He’s not perfect, nor is any other man. You’re not perfect either. But your love should go beyond that, and be bigger and broader than either or both of you put together. That’s what love is.
As a friend read at his wedding from the bible verse in Corinthians, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
I sometimes think that men understand the concept better than women do, particularly if they get married. Marriage is a sacrifice for them, as childbirth is a sacrifice for women. This is why these things are often put together. Love is a quiet sacrifice.

Out of the mouthes of babes

My video Skype conversation with Jasmine today included the following exchange as Eliza waas smiling into the camera:

Jasmine: “Oh look at you! You’re such a cute little monkey baby!”

Me. “Why did you call your sister a monkey?”

“Because she’s so cute! And she looks like a monkey when she smiles like that!”

I had to pause a minute. “Well she does look a little like a monkey.”

“Mommy do I look like a monkey?”

“A little bit, dear. But not as much as Eliza. See she has a round face like her father. And big ears. And a little nose. You look more like me.”

“Well what animal do I look like?”

I had to think. “Well you have a big nose like me. And a longer face and big eyes.So I’d say we look more like…”

“Horses.” Jasmine finished for me. “I think we look like horses.”

I had to laugh. “Yes. Horses it is then.”