Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Some Girls, My Life in a Harem

In the realm of books all that is good, I'm finding it difficult to peg this one.  I belong to and as part of it you get to rate the book on a star system.  5 being the best 1 being the worst.  Most of the time this method works just fine but then there are those instances where a book just doesn't fit.  It's too complicated to be summed up with multiple stars.

So I'm going to do my own rating system for a more accurate picture.  It may change over time, but that's okay because it's my rating system.  But first, about the book.

Some Girls My Life in a Harem  is a true story of an 18-year old high school drop out who find herself in the "industry" and winds up spending 18 months of her life in a harem for the Prince of Brunei vying for his attention.  That's the simple plot.  The real story is much more complicated and hard to sum up.  Just like it's hard to sum up anyone's life in a simple statement.  Difficult to judge because I've never walked in her shoes.  This story is about Jillian Lauren finding herself and figuring who she really is and what she really wants out of this life. 

I can't say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  I can't say that I hated the book.  I can't say that I can safely recommend the book, but I can say that I am still thinking about the book.  I'm still trying to figure it out.  I'm trying to get over the sensationalism of the actual facts, places, deeds that are so completely foreign to anything that I grew up with or have ever been exposed to, and find the real story.  I almost want to read it again because know I now the facts of the story and I want to spend more time on the heart of the story.  In it's way, it's actually a beautiful story.

So, here's my rating system with a bit more depth than 5 stars allows me to give.

Story line:  Excellent.  A lost girl beats the odds, finds herself and stability.
Language: Lots of f-bombs, lots.  Don't judge me.
Difficult/adult content: lots of sex talk, not graphic, but slightly uncomfortable.  Only one that I would have skipped entirely.

Recommendation:  you be the judge.  Coming from an English Major background I learned to filter out some language as I read for survival.  I may not have approved of the language but I still had to write a paper on it.  I can honestly say I don't regret it though.  There are lots of ugly things around that distract from beauty.  Find the silver lining.  Figure out what's really being said.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Got the Time?

Do any of you remember that Anthrax song "Got the Time"?  My high school friend Tonya and I used to have the words memorized.  It's a pretty catchy tune and has a tendency to make me move/drive fast.  I find it pretty appropriate for the moment.

I was reading in the June Ensign today and there is an article entitled "Don't Be in a Hurry".  It talks about all things being in commotion and men's hearts failing them.  Things that we've heard for awhile now.  So often in fact that it's easy to push it away as same old stuff.  But there was something that stuck out to me.  President Spencer W. Kimball said that "we will move faster if we hurry less."

That got me thinking about all the things that I hurry through.  Rush to get up, rush to work, rush through the day to come home and rush through the activities at night so I go to bed and rush through everything again. 

The articles says "Undistracted by other gods, we trust the Lord to help us allocate our time and talent to their very best uses each day.  As a result, we do more good and we make real progress."  Is that what it means to hurry less and move faster?  We actually move, make real progress rather than spin our wheels doing things that don't really get us anywhere.

There was another article about good uses of the Internet and where to beware.  I was a bit pricked in the heart as I remembered how many episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I watched last week.  Don't get me wrong one or two isn't bad, it was the 4 episode streak in one sitting.   My justification was that I was watching it as I made cupcakes to take to the neighbors... only by the time the 4th episode was over it was too late to take them to the neighbors.

I don't entirely know where I am going with this.  I just know that I want to make better choices.  I want to have a balanced life and it's so easy for me to get distracted from that goal.  Even as I sat down to write this post and share what I've learned, I caught myself blog surfing.  I had to consciously tell myself to knock it off or I'd miss my window.  Rush through this, rush through that, then waste incredible amounts of time surfing cooking blogs or watching things on Netflix. Seriously, where are my priorities.  Not that those things are bad but kind of soul sucking if not kept in moderation.

Anyway, that's what's on my mind.  How 'bout yours?

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I love this Sunday.  I'm outside on the deck listening to the birds sing their song.  The sounds of an airplane and rustling leaves are drifting faintly on the breeze, the world around us is quiet and I feel at peace.

What a beautiful day.  David and I woke up and he made French toast and we ate on the deck.  It reminds me of those vacations that you sometimes get where you are free from the demands of the world. There's no immediate need to do anything but just sit back and enjoy the quiet moment that you have been given.  It seems in the hustle and bustle of the world there are too few of them around.  It's nice to take advantage while you can.

There really are perks to 1:00 church.

Hope you have a good day too.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Can't I'm on a Diet

I would like to take a moment and tell the world just how much I vehemently hate those words.  "I can't I'm on a diet."  Not that I think diets are bad, although you'd think I had something against them by the way I look/eat/spend my life...?  But in reality everyone is on a diet of some sort or another. 

Some choose to focus their eating habits on healthier things, ie fresh vegetables, whole grains, skim milk, and the complete absence of Alfredo sauce. (Gasp!)

Others stay away from carbs and non-natural sugars.

Still others count calories and supplement with hormones.

And then there are those that run their way into eating anything they want or just eat anything they want with out running.

I would like to state for the record that I don't have a problem with any of these dietary choices.  Kudos to all ya'll who can make it work.  I admire your dedication, your commitment to becoming a new you.  Really and truly I do.  I wish I had that kind of dedication. 

What I do have a problem with is the judgement that comes with it.  If I offer you the most marvelous peanut-buttery chocolaty goodness that is a gourmet cupcake and you say "I can't I'm on a diet" and then give "the look".   I just don't know how to take that.  It's as if my life has been weighed, has been measured, and has been found wanting because not only did I eat one, but there are several more sitting on my kitchen counter at home. 

Oh, and how about that apology diet line.  "I can't I'm on a diet because I'm going on a cruise someday and I already indulged in an entire box of cookies and I'm so sorry they look marvelous but I just can't because I'm already too pudgy but you go ahead and enjoy that I really wish I could but you know it's the diet."  I'm not sure what to do with that either.  Feel glad that I'm not going on a cruise and eat an extra one for good measure?

Whatever happened to a simple "No thank you."  No explanation needed.  No judgement.  No apology.

Unfortunately I am as guilty at this as everyone else.  I remember saying the exact same things with the exact same expression and well, I'm just tired of hearing it.  From my own mouth as well as others'.

I just read Tawnya's post and loved the reality of it all.  There is something to be said about being comfortable in one's own skin.  Accepting the reality of your imperfect life and realizing that there's no need to be over dramatic about silly things.  (There's always an exception for the non-silly things that demand over dramatization of course... like crashing computers and mice infested stoves... Drama- Bring it.)  But right now I'm just too tired to put drama in where it just doesn't belong.  (Of course I'm probably tired because I didn't get enough leafy greens and I have a serious love affair with Alfredo sauce... sigh.) 

I resolve to turn over a new leaf.  Should I choose to go on a diet other than the "oh my that looks good can I have some?" diet I solemnly vow to never guilt anyone into joining with me.  I promise to never discuss it while other people are ordering their meals.  I promise to never use my "diet" as an excuse for anything.  I vow to take responsibility for myself and reserve the right to not explain my choices.  With that said, I think I'll make cupcakes.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In Re-cap

Just thought I would show you what I've been up to, in picture form.
Memorial Day 2010.  My mother is clearly feeling better since her anemia was diagnosed and iron was re-introduced to her system.

This is the jam that Lora made from the strawberries that Lora bought all in the house that Jack built... I mean David bought...well really David and Lora bought... whatever.  It's jam, just accept.
This is the cool ceramic bowl I got at Summer Fest... oh how I love Summer Fest!  This is only the second time in my life that I have actually purchased something there and I love it!  Don't get me wrong, I certainly coveted a lot more.

These are the pictures on my kitchen wall.  I took them while on vacation in Hurricane.  The cactus was in bloom and absolutely beautiful!  I need to get new frames, but I just couldn't wait and had to put them up with mediocre ones.  New ones to come, with matting and everything.  These were the my Summer Fest wannabes.  Sure nobody will pay for it, but at least it's got the memories and that's better than some!

This is Jax.  Jarom and Melissa's youngest.. isn't he cute! Looks like Jarom when he was just a wee one. We spent Father's day with my family in Grace.  I gave Dad "The Hunger Games".  Way curious to see what he thinks of the book.  I don't recall who the feet belong to.  Just concentrate on the cuteness of the kid, it will help.
This is Hank.  The family dog I tried to get a picture him howling.  There is a story behind it and it will be grand.  Unfortunately I can't reveal all because it might leak to the wrong person... in say Arizona somewhere.  That's where my little brother is serving.  (For those of you residing in the Phoenix area, should an Elder Hubbard hit your area please please please have him over for dinner and fill his water glass to the point where it's almost to spill over, you know when it's kind like a bubble on the surface... yeah that's it.  Then tell him Lora sends her love.)

There's more to tell, more to see, but you'll have to be content with this much for now.  Why you ask?  Because like and idiot I just burnt myself on the heating element of the oven while putting cupcakes in...sigh.  I have to try to freeze part of my hand.  All in a good day's work.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I don't even know what to title this...

Hi, let me introduce myself.  I'm Lora.  You know that person who disappeared from blogland about three weeks ago?  The one who not so long ago apologized to her blog for the gross neglect given earlier (can you give neglect?) and clearly has not fully repented of the sin.  So here's me... trying again.

The sad part is that I have actually had a lot to say but when I would sit down to do a quick blurb of something or other it quickly sounded so idiotic that I couldn't put it into words.  Like I had a stroke of self-consciousness about my writing abilities or something.  So much that it has literally stopped me from posting.  Then it turned into a "it's been so long do I even remember how" type thing that comes out awkward at best.  Or at least it feels awkward.

Kind of like me if I were to get on a bike again.  Sure I remember how, but my muscles will get all stiff and rebellious.  And for the first little bit I'll wobble and I just might look foolish. 

Best solution?  Do it anyways.  No matter how foolish I look or feel, it's the only way to get over the awkward phase and, pardon the expression, back in the saddle again.

With all the changes that have been happening in my life right now, I miss the stability of my dear friends in blogland.  We've finally finished the running from one end of the state to the other every weekend and I am more than ready to settle in and find a routine.  Oh what an awkward time finding a routine is.  It's like trying to run a race with a 5 lb weight tied to one ankle!  But find it I will dang it!  I may be awkward, but I'm also determined.  Wish  me luck!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Out with the old

SO, some of you already know this story but I would hate to keep it from the rest of the world because of it's awesomeness.  (I hope you can sense my sarcasm on that one.)

So, new house, not so new stove, but workable.  I have been using the stove top quite a bit and though not ideal, it works.  Keep in mind that I came from an apartment where a lovely double oven with a smooth stove top was in residence and I loved it.  Upon moving I knew I would miss it even more than the garage.  But alas, it wasn't mine so on to things I own.

K, so stove top good.  How about that oven part?  Last Wednesday I decided to give it a try.  I am always apprehensive about unfamiliar ovens.  More often than not they run warmer than the desired temperature and my first adventure with a new-to-me oven ends up with something smoking or charred.  So I made a lovely pasta dish that needs a mere twenty minute bake to finish off it's goodness.  I pre-heat the oven and halfway through warm-up a smell assaults my senses.  It's got an ammonia hint to it and I figure it must be oven cleaner burning off.  I open the oven, no smell only heat.  Hmm.  Smell gets worse.  Inside still fine.  Decide to go ahead and bake anyways.

5 minutes into the 20 minute bake time my eyes start to burn and the windows go open.  2 more minutes and the patio door is open and a candle is lit to help with the smell.  Still, not coming from the inside of the oven so at least my dinner is safe.  Bake time ends, oven goes off, smell subsides but windows stay open to get the rest of the ickyness out.  I feel it okay to share that the smell could only be referred to as ammonia with a strong undertone of urine.  (I know, some of you just dry-heaved.)  Oven off, Lora calls David and vows to never use again until source of foul smell is determined and annihilated.

Saturday.  First on the list of chores is find out what the deal is with the oven.  Pull it out from the wall, no obvious anything.  Quite clean in fact.

Next step, take back paneling off to check out the insulation.  Top part of panel comes off and what before my wondering eyes should appear but unsightly mounds of mouse turds so clear.  EWWWWWW!  Vaccuum retrieved and used before side panel removal is attempted.  Side panel is pulled slightly away and leaves, grass, and other foilage among other things spill forth.  We have looked enough to know that there is no way in h#11 that that stove will be spending any more time in our house.

So, out with the old and, after a flying trip around Cache Valley's appliance stores, in with the new.  I now have a brand new stove that is almost exactly like that one that was left behind.  With the extra added feature of a warming spot and a very large burner that can be converted into a medium size burner with the flip of a switch... well, I'm pretty happy.

Let the baking begin.