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Comparing the Polygamist Mormons (FLDS Church) with the Amish?

May 22, 2008

A great big shout out to the Life on the Run blog for it’s heartfelt and informative post of polygamy and plural wives.

I actually live VERY (frightening) near the FLDS community of Colorado City (otherwise known as Short Creek). **** It is not at all unusual to go into town and see one man, five wives, and a multitude of children entering the WalMart together. It is just accepted as the way things are. I have in fact heard people comment that it is no different than venturing into eastern Pennsylvania and seeing the Amish pull up in their buggies.

**** SIDE NOTE: Colorado City is actually two towns – Colorado City, AZ and Hilldale, Utah. Word is, whichever state is hassling them at any given time, they claim to be the OTHER state’s residents. Neither state has done much though, or these problems would have been quelled years ago. The town’s share law enforcement and politicians – they are in essence the same town. People don’t own their homes or land – the FLDS church does. Tick ’em off, you are out on your ear with nothing. Oh, and one way to tick ’em off GOOD is to NOT allow a perverted old man to marry your thirteen year old girl.

Now I grew up near the Amish and this is very, very different. The Amish do not force young girls into servitude as sex slaves. (And yes, call it religion if you like, but when you marry off a thirteen year old girl against her will to a 60 year old man for the purpose of reproducing and satisfying that sick old man’s sex drive, then THAT my friends IS a sex slave). The Amish honor their children.

The Amish also do not believe in multiple wives. Now, if an adult wants to willingly go into a plural marriage, part of me want to say OK. You’re decision honey. And in the case of television like “Big Love”, the women really do seem like they have made that decision freely. But what if you are, as the Life on the Run blog indicates, indoctrinated into this way of thinking? Is an 18 or 20 year old who has been told her whole life that God will only love her and allow her into heaven IF she is a plural wife any different than a thirteen year old?

Back to Amish briefly. At around 18, before being baptized, and most likely married, young Amish adults are allowed a time of Rumspringa (German for “running around” or “jumping around”). During this time a young adult may even leave the family fold for a short time to experience the world. But most Amish return home. They are not attempting to escape in the dead of night only to be captured and beaten and tortured before being returned to their 60 year old husband/captor (where they are likely beaten and raped again). Most Amish return home because of the love and tranquility they feel there. Amish subscribe to something referred to as Gelassenheit or humility, calmness and serenity.

So don’t go comparing the Amish to the FLDS polygamist sect of Colorado City and Texas. I have experienced watching them firsthand in public and in their communities. Yes, I have ventured into the community of Colorado City/Hilldale on occasion if I happen to be driving through and need gas, or a candy bar (no Diet Coke though – and heavens, NO beer!). It is like being in the middle of a macabre Stepford Wives horror film – the children (girls in their long dresses and boys dressed in crisp shirts and ties to play outside – not really a commentary on style but more a visual for you who have never been there) step back in unison as an unfamiliar car trolls by. Mothers warily enter their yards and gather their children near. They seem the protective and loving parents. And in some ways I’m sure they are. But can a Dad who has fathered forty children (not an exaggeration for an “elder”) even know all of his children’s names? Does he even care? And those same little girls playing in the yards will soon be auctioned off like cattle to the oldest man with the largest brothel. It is heart-breaking to watch.

And let us not forget the boys, Many of them, unless they are pegged to be something greater and therefore, cherished and protected, are set out. They are seen as a threat to the old men in their quests for younger and more beautiful wives. So they too are victims of this cult.

And don’t be fooled. This offshoot of the mainstream LDS church IS a cult. Any organization that attempts mind control, body control, financial control of its members is nothing else. And when you throw in a bit of sexual deviation and out-and-out rape of young girls, well, there you go. You have yourself an American born cult.

THANK YOU again to Life on the Run blog for bringing this issue forward today!

Also, kudos to Texas for at least in the present, appearing to have the balls to do what Arizona and Utah have been unwilling to do for decades.

Also, check out http://gosw.about.com/od/southwesthistory/a/polygamy.htm

_________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

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Still learning at an “advanced maternal age”…

May 16, 2008

I am just getting into this whole blogging thing, and I have to tell you, for a fairly Type-A personality IN PERSON, I have found it surprisingly scary to interact on the web.  I don’t know why?? 

Maybe it is because I can’t read body-language to sense when it is OK to “jump in” to a conversation.   Maybe it’s simply because it’s new.  I’m not sure.  But I can tell you that so far, I have found a wonderfully supportive group of Moms who have been willing to give me advise and support.  I feel like I have made a whole community of new friends in just the several months I have been at this.  But it is still new and scary and these are not feelings I like or am accustomed to.

I think the only other time I recall feelings resembling these was when I first entered the “Mommy crowd” in our neighborhood – play-groups, playground get-togethers, mall days, etc.  I was so out of my element.  Most of these Moms, even though they were all pretty friendly (I mean they invited the old lady to attend, right?), are also significantly younger than me, and that fact was made very clear as I look at their polished, unlined faces and hear references to things in their childhood that I recall distinctly as being my own recollections from college or later.  (Oh, the FIRST Gulf War atrocity.  Yeah, I remember having a few beers with friends and hearing about it on the news.  OH!  You were just starting kindergarten and only remember your parents being upset.   Hmmmmm…)  EEK!  I got over that one pretty quickly though because no one but me seemed to care.  I don’t even think they noticed.  Of course, I tried 9and still try) not to broadcast my “advanced maternal age”.

I was however, not attuned to any kid’s shows (Dora who?), or toys (my little one was still under 6 months) and I felt at a loss in conversations about potty training.  How old are they for that – five or six?  HA!

I could talk for hours about my old work, but no one cared about politics and communications anymore.  I was always very at ease in those work situations because I had felt in control, and also in social situations because I was the proverbial butterfly.  I loved the bar scene and parties.  But now I was attending children’s birthday parties and while I could throw a mean cocktail party with little notice was terrified of my little one’s impending first birthday.

So, if I chicken-shit out and don’t throw her a big first birthday bash for all the play-group kids will I stunt her for LIFE?!?!

But surprisingly, in time, heading to story-time at the library became less tenuous because I started making and receiving phone calls to attend with other Mommys and kids.  The first call had me feeling like I was calling a boy for the first time in Junior High.  I was sweating and hung up twice before it rang.  I think I was so afraid that these Moms were only being nice to me because of my daughter but that they could see RIGHT THROUGH me to my former self.  I mean becoming a Mommy, while it is the very best thing that has ever happened (and I don’t give a damn about that cliché – it’s true!) wasn’t exactly planned.  I was sure they saw me as a fraud and I was afraid of putting myself out there for ridicule and rejection.

But I made the call.  And the Mommy and her son weren’t home.  They also didn’t call back because they were out of town, but of course, I thought I was being dissed by the Mommys.  But I tried again the next week and guess what?  They came by and played on the swings and we went to story-time together.  This sort of opened up invitations from others and made it easier for me to be the initiator. 

Now, I doubt I will ever be the host of massive play-dates.  I just don’t think I have that in me right now.  Excuse number one – I’m old remember?  But I feel pretty secure in the Mommy friends I have clicked with – and a few that I like that otherwise I would have never crossed paths with.  And while I may never be close to these women, I am at least friendly with them.

And this leads me to my current situation of trying again to wade through the Mommy Blogs, identify ones that seem to “click” with my personality and introduce myself.  Kind of scary, but I’m working through it.  I think I’ll be OK.  Because all-in-all, when it comes to being a Mommy, we DO all have something in common that anyone who isn’t a Mommy can never relate to. 

I just hope I don’t come on too strong. 

For those Mommy Bloggers (and others!!) I’m communicating with already:

Jeff at www.alignnorth.com

Kim at http://buchheitcreative.com/

http://skimbaco.blogspot.com/

http://acowboyswife.com/

http://www.tubbybundle.com/blog/

http://queenofspainblog.com/

http://www.cafepress.com/argylestripes

and those I will in the future,

                           kick my ass if you need to.

____________________________________________________________

Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

Marathon Mom in Training – Week 1, Day 3

May 16, 2008

Just did my third run – only 20 minutes, and I limped through a lot of it, having left my right knee behind me five minutes in, but HEY! My daughter greeted me at the door with the biggest smile and hug and kiss. It’s all worth it when I think of the message I will be sending her.

She was hanging with a friend while I ran. My friend told me that when I left, my little one peeked up and out the window, pointed and said “Mama running.” So she knows. At least she has some concept. Not to be too sugary sweet here or anything, but it is that tiny little person that will get me through (limping, cussing and probably minus both knees by then) to the finish line.

I want her to have the positive body image I never had. I don’t want her to be an emotional eater. I don’t want these horrific images of self-starved Hollywood types to be her ideal. When did Paris Hilton become beautiful? I don’t see it, no offense. She looks a bit like an underfed basset hound that has been bleached to within an inch of her life. I hear how all-natural and health conscious movie stars are but they all just look hungry.

Go eat a cookie already!

But I digress. I need the support of all of you too. So write in. Give me advice. Kick my ass. Get me out there and keep me running!

And I’ll eat a cookie or two for us all.______________

Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

Whew! Maybe I should stay in and teach the baby to online shop!

May 13, 2008

Hmmmmm, my hubby’s worst fear. Maybe I should teach my little one to online shop today – I mean it IS snowy and cold in May, at Grand Canyon. Those poor visitors – they probably don’t know WHAT the heck is going on!

Anyway, a shopping baby may be too much for even me… yet.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

May 12, 2008

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone out there! I did my first run today. Ah, the weather was clear and breezy, I saw a California condor overhead as I ran along the edge of Grand Canyon. It was beautiful. Of course, I only ran (limped, hobbled) twenty minutes, which incidentally, felt like 120. How am I going to run 26.2 miles?
My shirt was sweaty and smelly, but at the end of it all, I felt like a champ!

Marathon Mom has arrived!

May 11, 2008


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OK, so I decided my little one needs a good mommy role model. Yeah, I would prefer to plop my ass down in front of TV and watch a good rerun of “Eureka” on the SciFi channel, and eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, but what message would that really send?  No, I have decided to do the unthinkable – I am training for a marathon.  And not the ice cream eating kind.

I have actually been a runner off and on my whole adult life.  I ran track in high school, kind of.  I was mostly a “jumper” in a school that prided itself on its long-distance trainers and hurdlers.  The jumpers (high, long and triple) kind of hung out on the mats, jogged around and usually ended up sharing a stromboli uptown while everyone else ran their butts off.  That was my track experience.  It was later, in northern Arizona that I discovered the runner’s high (for me, this was usually followed but an insatiable quest for pizza and beer), but still, I ran.  And then I quit for several years.  And then the Olympics (or a random track and field event on television) would get me going again.  It never became a habit.  It never became something I enjoyed.

But I became a Mom of “older gestational age” at 38 a few years ago and after that marathon, I decided I could truly do anything I set my mind to.   I mean, why not?  I have many friends who have crossed that finish line.  Besides, I didn’t want my little one to wake up one day and wonder why Mom’s butt was wider than the fridge.  Besides, she’s fast.  And she’s a little monkey.  I needed some speed and stamina to keep up with her.

And so this blog is dedicated to that purpose.  To share with you my training, my pain (and I expect I’ll be complaining a lot about the pain), my joys, and my accomplishments. 

And so, WELCOME!  I hope you all decide to join in to the conversation, and share your training stories, as well as your Mommy stories.  It’s all fair game here (but keep it clean please!).  Hopefully those of us training for the first time will encourage each other and take advice and strength from those who have already completed this mission.  Also, we can share our stories of painful butt muscles and Ben & Jerry binges. 

The training starts tomorrow ladies.  I am starting with a 16 week schedule to get me in shape for the actual 16 week marathon schedule.  We’ll start running four days per week at the beginning. 

Let the pain begin!  We can take it!!!!!!!

Check out my very cool designs at http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts.  Feel free to make design suggestions on anything from kidwear to your very own uniquely designed marathon tee!