Friday, July 20, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 163)
1) So far, no bears this week.  Just a coyote in the front yard and a deer in the back yard.  But I start these early in the week (because I can only do about 2 per day, so I need an early start to come up with close to 7 things to say.) Where was I? Oh, yeah.  Still early in the week as I write this first take, so there's still a chance.  But I'll take coyotes and bears and deer outside over scorpions inside! Who am I kidding? As long as I don't have any mountain lion encounters, I love living in a place that's not entirely tame.

2) So I went for a hair cut last week. It was desperately needed, despite the fact that I only went my normal interval between cuts.  Now, I choose to go to a place that's a little pricier. I like my hair done a certain way, and I get a little scared of some of the available places.  So far this has worked pretty well for me, but my normal stylist was out on maternity leave. So I get this other chick. Who apparently has all kinds of experience and whatnot.  And I got a horrible cut. You see, hairstylists don't really like what I do to my hair (actually, they just detest the lack of what I do.) They want me to use all kinds of product and spend full minutes of my time doing my hair in the morning!  Not just 5 minutes, either.  More like 20! And they want me to do more interesting things with my part.  And they want my bangs to be longer than I like them.  All of this is good to a point, because when my hair is done their way, it does look better.  But I'm being real, folks. More than 5 minutes on styling just ain't happening. She cut it perfectly for the way that she styled it.  It's a horrible cut for the way I style it.

3) I was amused by the fact that she spent a LOONNGGG time getting it just so.  That was nice of her, but it was a waste of her time and mine.  An hour or so later, I was out climbing, and all the product in the world will not save you from helmet hair.  It looked even more fantastic after it rained us out and we walked the .25-.5 miles back to the car in the pouring rain.  This is why I don't waste my time, people!

4) The other day I went into work and overheard one of the other therapists reworking their schedule to fit in jury duty.  I thought to myself, "Hmm, I haven't had a jury summons since I was in college and was unable to go in."  Anyone want to guess what was waiting for me in the mailbox when I got home?

5) I just started watching "The Big Bang Theory". My sisters reference it a lot, and I was tired of not knowing what they were talking about.  I'm not usually a fan of sitcoms, but this one really does make me laugh.  There's still a lot of the sitcom stupidity that I detest, but I barely notice because I'm too busy laughing at Sheldon!  I'm only part way through the first season, but I'm really enjoying it.

6) I decided that I am going to try to go mostly vegetarian for the next 4-6 weeks; and I'm even going to cut out most dairy.  I will still be eating eggs, however.  I feel like I've been slacking on eating vegetables again, and I just feel like I get a more balanced diet when I do the vegetarian thing.  I actually enjoy vegetables in most of those dishes!  I know, I know. You're all completely blown away and overstimulated by these fantastically interesting Quick Takes.

7) Okay, then. Since you made it this far, here is a lake:

This is from my hike 2 weeks ago (just like the pics from last week). Love that hike!  Wish I was still there!
Head over to Jen's for more Quick Takes!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Another title, "In Which I Reveal Yet Another Facet of My Lameness".
Alternatively, "Making Large Stretches in Thought Processes.  Why? Because I Feel Like It and It's My Blog."
In other words, "Business as Usual Around Here, Yo."

So, when some people turn to booze or drugs, I turn to TV.  Stressed out about your town burning down? I recommend Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. Also, Back to the Future does nicely, but that one's best watched with your climbing friends, so you can all yell at Doc Brown and his horrible safety practices in the last scene at City Hall when he's wandering around without anchoring himself or anything else.

When highly stressed, I need complete nonsense like the above.  Many times, when I just need a distraction from normal life, I like a lot of the crime dramas.  But not too grisly. I have to sleep alone. I usually like them best if there's some comedy mixed in. And I'll whatever else I can find on instant Netflix that catches my eye. Recently, I've been dabbling in an old classic (but, depending on who you are, not too old.)

Okay, so the thing about my parents is they didn't let us watch a lot of TV.  I remember watching things like M*A*S*H, The Cosby Show, and (as I'm sure you've guessed by now) Cheers.  As I've been watching it, I am trying to figure out how Cheers made it past the censors (i.e., my mom), but Full House did not.  I think it's because they just wanted to limit the total TV time and Cheers was amusing to my dad, whereas many other shows were not.  Still, wow!  Yeah, it's pretty tame, but you don't know my mom.

So, now you know.  Sometimes I watch old reruns of Cheers.  I can watch so much at a time because Diane's pretentiousness in such a high pitched voice can only be taken in certain dosages. However, I think that I would maybe watch it for the theme song alone.  There's a reason that it is a must-do song at any piano bar!

Makin' your way in the world today takes everything you got
Takin' a break from all your worries sure would help a lot
Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came
You wanna be where you can see, troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name

You wanna go where people know, people are all the same
You wanna go where everybody knows your name

How true is that?  You need that safe place that you can go, where people know you, and you've got your place.  You have that space where you can be reminded that you are not alone, no matter what you're going through. It's true that nobody else may be going through exactly the same thing, but they'll buy you a beer and listen to your woes, and lift a glass to toast you when you get through that patch.

I know that's one of the reasons that I love the blog community.  I'm not alone. My troubles may not be exactly the same as others', but in so many ways, we're all the same, and our problems boil down to similar problems.  We get through it together, not alone.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pope Paul VI, in His Own Words

I am not sure what I can say about the next section of Humanae Vitae, that Pope Paul did not say himself.  I realize this is probably the most quoted section of the encyclical, and I hate to be cliche, but cliche it is:

Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection. 
Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

Consequently, unless we are willing that the responsibility of procreating life should be left to the arbitrary decision of men, we must accept that there are certain limits, beyond which it is wrong to go, to the power of man over his own body and its natural functions—limits, let it be said, which no one, whether as a private individual or as a public authority, can lawfully exceed. These limits are expressly imposed because of the reverence due to the whole human organism and its natural functions... Humanae Vitae, 17.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Another Two Weeks

From just before I wrote this post to weeks after, things have been pretty mellow for the most part. I've learned to love mellow and go with it.  I can't always choose it, but I can embrace it while it lasts.  There were times that it was pretty easy to say "whatever". Even in the midst of watching a plume of smoke from my doorstep, I was able to say it and mean it.

But in the last couple of weeks, it's gotten harder again.  At first I couldn't figure it out, but now I know.  I'm just a couple weeks away from my birthday. I'll have fun on the day, but in the weeks leading up to a birthday, I start to stress out, because I'm a year older and there is absolutely no change in my situation.  I have very few single friends anymore, and most of my married friends have children. Not only that, but there are so many pregnancies, that I have stopped counting.  I am keeping track of people that are married and not pregnant or just had a baby.  Much easier that way. For the most part, I have been able to rejoice in the pregnancies, but the nagging feeling that my turn may never come has come out in full force with that lovely looming specter of another birthday and the stupid ticking clock.

I really do try. I try to get out and meet people. I've tried speed dating (with such spectacularly bad results that it was humorous). I've tried the online thing on a couple of different sites.  Apparently I can't even do that right, because whatever I'm saying or not saying, it does not seem to attract any attention whatsoever.

But lest I get too stuck on the Angsty McAngsterton side of things, it's still good. It really is. There are so many people in my life that are willing to share the ups and the downs of what is going on in my life, as well as what is going on in theirs.  That's what gets me through, you know. Your prayers for me, and the prayers that I get to pray for you.  That's it. I'm going to try not to worry about tomorrow or the next 2 weeks, and I'll be praying.

Friday, July 13, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 163)
1) Thanks to those who took the time to read, watch the video, and comment on this post. It is rather intense, but the fact that you would voluntarily take a moment to see something of what it was like and then pray for a community that needs it, means a lot. I've been hearing more stories in the last few days of what it was like for those that were near and in the fire as they tried to evacuate and as they lost their homes. It's going to be very tough for them, and I'm realizing how wonderfully sheltered I was.

2) I am SO excited about all the babies right now! Or, at least in the last month.  And there are probably a couple I'm missing and there are certainly a lot of other ones that I'm excited about, but that have come along within the last several months.  So wonderful!  Still praying for those that are waiting and that there will be more exciting news to come. Also praying for smooth finalizations with the adoptions and healthy pregnancies.

3) I have this urge to write a really good blog post.  The kind that sort of wells up and flows out; the kind that doesn't just talk about a topic, it actually says something.  Unfortunately, I am fresh out of those kinds of topics. If you're wanting insight and whatnot, you may have to move to a different blog.  For now, all you get is the mishmash of yammering that you have seen here in the last couple of months.

4) But, hey! At least I have pictures to brighten up the mishmash!

After walking through meadows bursting with wildflowers, I can no longer appreciate well tended beds of domesticated flowers. Not that they aren't pretty, but they just do nothing for me compared with these guys.

5) One more, just because I'm obsessed with these pink paintbrush right now.  I don't think I've ever seen them before this year, but I hope I keep finding them, because I love them!

6) Those of you that are on facebook may have already seen this, but I walked home for lunch this one day this week.  When I get to about 30 feet from my driveway, I saw a movement, which turned out to be a bear. It paused at the edge of the driveway (yep, my driveway) and after looking around a second, started walking across the street.   A second later the cutest little cub comes bursting out from behind the bushes to follow along.  I suppose somewhere in the back of my mind, I should have been mildly concerned about the closeness of the bear, but all I was concerned about was the fact that I didn't have my camera!

7) Okay, fine, I'm out of more to say, so here's another picture.

Have a great weekend, and head over to Jen's for more Quick Takes!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Humanae Vitae 11-13; Yikes!

Despite the fact that F4F is now well over, I would still like to finish up going through the rest of Humanae Vitae. The problem is, I honestly don't know how to discuss the next part of the encyclical.  It is a part for me that is so self explanatory that I don't know how to explain it.  Imagine for a moment you have a relative who asks you to help them with a website. So you tell them the website to enter, and they ask how to enter it.  It's someone that knows how to type. I didn't know how to make it any more clear to them, because I don't understand what it is that they don't understand.  If that makes any sense to you at all, then you see my dilemma for this next part.

So many people have a hard time understanding this part. But it's so clear to me that I do not know how to explain it. It is not because I'm smarter.  I think it's just because I've been exposed to the ideas for so long that it makes sense in my head, though for many others it seems no different than "Catholic contraception". So I don't know how to explain it.  But I'll try.

This is the part where Pope Paul VI starts to tell us that while we must not purposefully interfere with conception occurring when sex occurs.  However, he states that it is permissible to have sex even when the act is foreseen to be infertile through the natural timing of the cycle, or because of natural infertility during breastfeeding, or due to age, or fertility problems. The important thing is that the act be ordered toward procreation, whether a child results or not.  If it is at a time that the couple should not, for whatever reason, conceive a child, then they should refrain from sex. They should not have sex and interfere with a child being conceived.

Right. So if all that matters is whether or not a child is conceived, then I suppose I can see that it would all look the same. If you don't have sex during fertile times or if you contracept, then the chances of conceiving a child are small.  Either one leads to the same result.

But it's not the same thing. The only thing that I can think to say is that when we know that body language often speaks more powerfully than any words ever could. The language of the body during sex is to say that "I am wholly yours, I give all of myself to you, withholding nothing." To "speak" those words during sex in an infertile time is to still "speak" truth.  To "speak" those words while contracepting is a lie.  Because you are withholding your fertility. You are speaking the language of giving of yourself and receiving your spouse, but you do not really mean it. Your body language says "I give myself," but the action says "except my fertility". Your body says, "I receive you," but your actions say "except your fertility."

You do not have to conceive a child every time you have sex, or any time you have sex, in order to be true to what sex is. So long as when you do have sex, you say with Christ, "This is my body, given for you (you, my spouse; you, my child; You, my God, the Author of Life)".  Because that is what sex that is inherently unitive and procreative says.

All right. That's all I got.  So, help! Anyone with better insights, please speak up!  Anyone with questions, also please speak up, but let's hope one of the people with better insights can explain it to you!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 163)
I haven't been doing much hiking in the last few weeks, which feels odd, but sometimes it happens. I have, however, been getting out on some drives, and taking my camera with me.  Since I haven't posted many pictures recently, here we go for 7 Quick Pics:

1) Can you guess the name of this rock?

Elephant Rock
2) Love mountain passes!

3) Good morning!

4) I'm a sucker for columbine:

 5) And for whatever this is:

6) I'm also a huge fan of the ghost towns and mining history around here.

One of several ghost towns/historic townsites we visited.
 7) What's left of a train station, boarding house, and telegraph office on alpine, mining train. The telegraph office was about all that was standing, but it was cool. You could walk in and still see the telegraph wires.

Head over to Jen's for more Quick Takes.
Happy Friday, and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Form and Function

This two weeks of F4F did not go as planned for me, but that is a story for another day.  Or not. I haven't decided. One thing I can tell you is that I was more than ready for a weekend away, so that's what we did (we being my sister and a friend and I). We'd already had plans for a weekend away at a fancy hotel. I may have to make that a yearly thing. It's all about the ski resorts that let you stay for cheap (well, cheaper) during the summer.

Anyway, the funny thing about these fancy places is what they call style.  Like the bathroom last year that had a glass wall. Still don't understand that one. This year there were three of us, so we were in a room with 2 queen beds, and a bathroom that (thankfully!) had normal walls. But the bathroom did not escape the weirdness with the designs.  For one thing, the faucet of the sink was really high, leading to excessive splashing over the countertop. But the really strange thing was the shower.  It was a normal tub with a shower (except fancy, of course), but the door was not normal. There was a glass door, but there really needed to be two. When I first realized that there was nothing else to slide over to the empty  open space, I figured, "Eh, surely it must work better than it looks like it works."

It doesn't.

By the time we each took showers, it was like Noah's ark in that bathroom.  Even the one door that was there let water underneath, straight onto the floor. Hard to take a relaxing shower when water's going everywhere!  It was bad enough in the summer, but can you imagine coming in from a long day of skiing and trying to take a long, hot shower as the water goes everywhere?  My sister said that she's seen this "design" on a few remodels on HGTV as well.

Whoever designed this place was going for a certain edgy look, which they achieved. But they ignored the fact that there is a function that has to go along with whatever look they pick. The function of the shower doors is to keep the water from going everywhere. The form looked quite nice, if a little different. My problem is that the function was ignored.

Aannd, back to Humanae Vitae. Bathrooms, Spiderman, and Humanae Vitae. They all get mixed up around here. Pope Paul VI acknowledges now, more than ever, the need for responsible parenthood. He knows that there are a lot of complex factors in adding more children to the family.  He is no proponent of the so-called "Quiver full movement". That does not mean that we are good to go to use whatever kind of contraception in order to make these responsible choices: "With regard to man's innate drives and emotions, responsible parenthood means that man's reason and will must exert control over them." (Humanae Vitae, 10)

We cannot decide that sex can take any form that we want it to while disregarding the function.

From this it follows that they are not free to act as they choose in the service of transmitting life, as if it were wholly up to them to decide what is the right course to follow. On the contrary, they are bound to ensure that  what they do corresponds to the will of God the Creator. The very nature of marriage and its use makes His will clear, while the constant teaching of the Church spells it out. (Ibid)
Inherent in what sex is, is the ability to transmit life. It does not mean and has never meant that every act of sex will result in a child. It means that introducing plastic and artificial hormones into sex deprives it of what intrinsically follows from normal functioning. And, for the love of everything, it is not the same thing to only have sex during naturally infertile times! It's not the same thing. Which is more unhealthy? To say that I do not need the calories in that brownie, so I decide not to eat it? Or to eat the brownie and then choose to throw it up?

It is also necessary that sex be for the unity between the couple. That is just as important, and just as inherent in what sex is, and how it biologically works.

The designers of the bathroom wanted to redefine how things looked. They did, but because they ignored what was inherently needed for function, it led to a mess and lots and lots o' extra laundry. Redefining sex without considering what it actually is leads far more mess and headaches than a little (or, rather, a LOT) of water on the floor.