November 30, 2011

American Boy

I found this essay on ohpioneer.com (amazingly beautiful blog. You will love it)

It made me cry. It gave me hope.

Now don't get me wrong. There are amazing MEN out there. I have them in my own family. But this is a problem that I have seen and my women friends have seen. And Josh Abe just says it beautifully.



What we have a right to expect of the American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good American man.
The best boys I know–the best men I know–are good at their studies or their business, fearless and stalwart, hated and feared by all that is wicked and depraved, incapable of submitting to wrongdoing, and equally incapable of being aught but tender to the weak and helpless.
In short, in life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard: don’t foul and don’t shirk, but hit the line hard.

—Theodore Roosevelt on the American Boy 
There’s been a post that’s been floating around lately that states that men don’t protect you anymore, and that they never should. I usually don’t post my own diatribes on this blog, but this has been a major topic of discussion lately, it’s an issue of great importance to me, it’s somewhat in keeping with the theme of this blog, and I wanted to cast a bit of vision from what may be a uncommon viewpoint.
In this day and age, the prevailing pattern is that there are many boys who refuse to grow up and be a man, and I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way.
Our generation has seen the decline of the American man, and has produced boys who are unwilling to take responsibility for their own actions, who refuse to do things that are hard or require sacrifice, and who are remaining in an adolescent state of mind well into their mid 30’s. Consider this number for demonstration; the video game industry’s most profitable demographic isn’t with teens and pre-teens, but with males age 23-36. These men (I use the word loosely here) cling to an age of ease and comfort and spend more time advancing their level in Black Ops than advancing their career or improving and maintaining their mental and physical wellness. This stems from an attitude of selfishness, and causes many men (again, loosely) to shirk responsibility when it comes to life, career, spouse, family, and country.
When something is wrong, these adolescents are quick to place the blame on something or someone outside themselves, they are hasty to complain about an unpleasant circumstance when in fact, they have all the necessary equipment to be the catalyst for change in that circumstance, or at least to find peace and courage in the face of that circumstance. They are spineless ninnies who look for every possible escape from hard work or discomfort. When an obstacle arises, they find away around it or retreat, rather than facing it head on with fortitude and steadfastness. They refuse to take responsibility for the consequences of their own actions, and are slow to face the realities of their self-manufactured situation. They have selfishly constructed for themselves a life of ease and comfort, and they are quick to avoid or retreat from any undesirable responsibility that may get in the way, which regrettably, but far too often includes spouse and/or family.
The essay I’m referring to talks about the fact that women don’t need men to protect them. I agree with it in one sense. Women don’t need men in the sense that they shouldn’t find the entirety of their self-worth in the affection of a man, and this goes equally for men. Each should find their own identity wholly in themselves and God, and the quality of life should never be contingent on the approval of any other human being.
In addition; it is true that “the choices you make, your day-to-day actions, determine the person you are.” Again, I’m advocating the importance of self-reliance and personal responsibility.
What I do have an issue with is the fact that women seem to have given up on finding the knight in shining armor they once dreamed of. The romantic notion of a strong, stable, and dependable man has been crushed by too many years of experience, and women have adapted to have a low expectation of men so that they aren’t disappointed. This saddens me on the deepest level. We have begun to perceive manhood as an optional aspiration, and the American man has ceased to be a necessary staple. Women have found that they can get on just as well, if not better, without the “help” of their male counterparts; only because it’s less headache and heartache in the long-run. This should not be so.
If American boys grew up to be truly responsible and reliable Men (upper-case), they would be indispensable and highly desirable, even irresistible. If all American men were steadfast men of character, I believe our country’s stability would reflect the stability of its citizens. The American man should strive to be a leader worthy of being followed, developing the fortitude to face impossible tasks with courage and a fixed gaze, not shirking responsibility, manufacturing excuses, or retreating at the sight of doing something “hard.” 
So, ladies; I’m here to apologize on behalf of mankind for our selfish and adolescent behavior. It’s not your fault that you don’t trust us. Our lack of action and courage has set a precedent that we are ill equipped for leadership, and it has forced you to take the reins instead.
But I’m also here to say that there are a few of us who still strive to be a leader worth following. There are still a few of us who are about the business of getting things done, and being true to our word. There are still a few men who are comfortable with doing hard things, don’t shy away from sacrifice, and are doing their best to maintain a healthy mind, body, and spirit. I’m sorry that you’ve lost faith in us, but I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to lose hope. We’re still out there, and we’re looking for you.
(For more on how to be a man: start with THE STRENUOUS LIFE by Theodore Roosevelt. It’s a small book with small words.)http://ohpioneer.com/post/12882875855/a-condemnation-of-the-american-boy-by-josh-abe

November 28, 2011

Thankful

We had a lovely Thanksgiving this year. My wonderful SIL let us invade her home and she decorated beautifully. The food was delicious and the company great.

Aren't the place settings lovely? 

The kids got cute little bottles of cider with their initials on them

I remember having to sit at the kid table. I used to stare longingly at the big table assuming that they were getting something much better than me. 

Turns out we had it pretty good at the kid table and so did these munchkins. Macaroni and Cheese is much more enjoyable than turkey and green beans when you are little :-)
And no one at the grownup table was playing with olives!

BUT...the grownup food was darn good...I had a little bite of everything and it was divine. 
 

Then after I got to hold this little puddin' pie. He fell asleep of course and when I took him into a quiet room...i fell asleep too...and missed all the fun and games. But it was worth it :-)

Well, I did make it back out in time for a session of Torture EJ. It brought back fond memories of me and my three brothers trying to tackle my dad and take him down. It never worked. I've discovered over the years that other families didn't "fight" like we did. Sorry Jayne and Amanda. Your husbands are just like their Dad. There will be wrestling/tackling/fighting in your home...and you may end up trying to break it up "before someone gets hurt!" by pouring water on everyone...like my poor mom did. Just a fair warning ;-)

CB loved the fun and games too...but she stays out of the ring so far. She is saying "CHHEEEESSSSEEE" while making this face. It's pretty darn funny. She does it anytime you try to take a picture of her. 

Thanks to my family for a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

We missed you Levi!

I hope all of you (that live in the USA) had an equally lovely holiday! Bring on Christmas!

November 24, 2011

LUSH Giveaway - WINNER ANNOUNCED!!!!!!

12 entries!!! A new record for me :-)

And the winner is....

Rachel M.!!!

Congrats! You will love this shampoo...it's kind of changed my life.

Do you have a PO Box or do you want me to send it to the apartment?

Thanks everyone for entering! I will do this again soon!

Love ya!

November 22, 2011

Ends tomorrow!!! LUSH Giveaway!

 - Giveaway ends the 23rd! I will pick a winner (RandomGenerator) on Thanksgiving! - 

You may recall this post awhile back: What would your hair come back as?

Wherein I raved about LUSH products and Reincarnate shampoo in particular. I also mentioned giving a bar away...but it took me this long to place an order...sorry.

I finally have it though! A beautiful, shiny bar of Reincarnate shampoo just waiting for it's new home with one of you.
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment saying "Hey". Only one entry each please. I will leave this one open until Thanksgiving. That will give you time to receive the shampoo, use it, fall in love, and demand it in bulk for Christmas ;-)

Side note: They have a body wash I'm trying called It's Raining Men...and it's amazing. To die for. It has lots of honey it. Done.

Good luck!


A PW-esque disclaimer: LUSH is not sponsoring this giveaway. LUSH has no clue who I am. I just really like their products. 

November 21, 2011

Oh help

I am currently wandering aimlessly around the grocery store. A minute ago I got really excited because I remembered that I made a shopping list this morning. I pulled it out and found it to be super helpful:





Yeah.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

November 18, 2011

It's the little things in life...

A beautiful sunset, the perfect key, possibilities and laughter. Odd? Yes. But haven't you come to expect that?

Ready?

Beautiful sunset:


The perfect key:
I'm saving my pennies and having the  pup walked while I'm at work. I went to have a key made for the dog walker. And found this key. See? Perfect.

Possibilites:
I received a letter today telling me about another trip to Israel next summer with the same guide. I'm thinking of going.
I'm very excited. 

Laughter:

I found this clip online yesterday. I laughed until my cheeks hurt and I was crying a bit. I pretty much love Tom Hanks. 

November 15, 2011

A Tuesday Ramble

I've got a random one for you.

The Bunny and Utah have finally slept together (not like that you weirdo!). It's taken how long? Five months. They have been getting along up till now...just not sleeping in close proximity. They play until Utah drives Bunny nuts and she favors him with a claws out smack. But this is the first time Bunny has laid down on Utah and fallen asleep...and Utah let her. Progress. 

A perfect huge harvest moon presented itself. Sadly I only had my camera phone...and i've never been able to take a good picture of the moon in my life...but this will give a good idea of how big it was. 
 

And CB has found a new babydoll...one that breathes ;-)

We went to visit WR and CB was enthralled. WR look a bit nervous...

JB got in on the action too. He was much less interested...there were cars, blocks and a super fun cousin to play with.


See.

Random.

The End. 

November 14, 2011

Something else to take up your time ;-)

Have you all heard of Pinterest? I think I'm getting onboard really late here...but I just found out about it (thanks Jayne)...and i'm totally addicted(thanks Jayne). If you live under the same rock I do and have not heard of it...it's basically a giant virtual cork board where you use a giant virtual pin to tack up images/links of cool things you find/make. 

There are so many amazing projects and ideas and funny quotes and beautiful art. This is going to sound weird, but it sort of renews my faith in mankind to get on there. There are so many talented, nice people out there sharing their gifts.

This is a screen grab of my boards, you can see that i've been finding all sorts of fun stuff.
Check it out if you haven't already...but be warned...it will suck you in. 

November 11, 2011

Cacti Conundrum

There are a lot of plants in my office. I take care of them all.  

I have a cactus desk in the lobby. It gets the most sun. They are really doing well there. 
Too well. They are all too big for their pots and need transplanted. 
 How does one go about transplanting a cactus?
 Yes I know, very carefully. 
 I don't mean that part so much, i'll wear gloves. 
 I mean do I just go to a bigger pot? I still feel like I'll have the same problem. Do I bury more of the plant under the soil? Can you cut cacti back?
I need some cacti advice please. And yes, i've googled it. I'm having trouble finding good info about house cacti. It's all about outdoor cacti. 

Help!

Maybe I should do a cactus giveaway ;-)

Thank you. 

Done.

November 8, 2011

Fall Back

Daylight savings ended this past weekend. The sun is set by 5:30 PM. It's noon and it's a balmy 31 degrees. Winter is here.

So yes please. I would like fall back! I was confused about where fall had gone and why it only lasted about two seconds. I then remembered that I live in Utah. 8ish months of winter. One week of spring. Four-ish months of summer. One week of fall. Rinse and repeat.

Don't get me wrong. I love it here. I just wish spring and fall would stick around a bit longer. I love fall. 

Here's why:

Evening hikes in the crisp mountain air with the fam... 
And the dog. 

Even though I didn't realize that it's still hunting season and these three hunters were shooting very close to us. Good job Kate.  Next time we are all wearing hot pink.

Adorable cold-weather clothes the make JB look like Charlie Brown. 
 The pup doesn't get so hot on hikes, he is much happier and will do tricks for the kidletts. 

Scary brown bears hiding in the sage. 
 Bear attack! Play dead!

Did you know that Utah is home to the rare Wasatch Tigger? No? Check out this fine specimen below.
 Very scary. I almost lost a limb or two. The trick is to stay just behind them like my SIL is. 

 My brother taking the pup and running him into the ground. Thanks CJ :-)
 Halloween. And it was warm enough to leave the snowsuits and thermals home this year!
Harry Potter
Tooth Fairy
Scary Ghost 
King Kong ;-)
 My doofy pup playing in the leaves.
EJ discovering leaf angels. 
 Utah getting so excited about chasing JB that he actually blurs. Serious. That's not the camera. He was moving that fast. Zoom! Flash Gordon. ;-)

 EJ playing in the leaves.

Yup. I love fall. What is your favorite season?