16 military wives

As I drove up to the Canada/USA border, I was listening to Sixteen Military Wives by the Decemberists. I found this amusing on several levels. On Monday, I join the American workforce. Yes, I have left my home and native land to join our neighbours to the south. The whole way to the border I fretted if they would actually let me in. So the line from the song "America can't say no" seemed to be a good omen to me. Plus, I had to laugh that I was about to enter the USA listening to a song that is clear expression of frustration of current events in America.

I had a long drive to think about my past, present and future. I came to three conclusions:

1. Dining in a small town cafe is fabulous. My dad and I stopped in at Jan's Cafe in Lima, MT to have lunch. I witnessed our waitress and a local woman get into a spat, ending with the waitress telling her "you don't have to come in here again." I saw three men come in with their camouflage gear on, clearly heeding the big sign outside that said "Hunters Welcome." This was rounded out by four cowboys sauntering in with their hankerchiefs, cowboy hats and spur's on their boots. Honestly, it couldn't have been a better representation of a small town in a state that seems to have more cows than people.

2. I'm leaving behind some fabulous friends in Calgary. The waterworks started before I even arrived at my going away party, but I managed to stave most of them off until guests started to depart. My closest friends have each been tremendous assets to me this year, each helping me in becoming and being the woman I desire to be.

3. I have the most giving family. I know without a doubt that any of my family members (in-laws included) would do all that they could to help me. I witnessed it this past week as I scrambled to leave Canada... not knowing if/when I'll be back. We are all so different, yet the Kelly loyalty runs deep. On one extreme is Ted. We differ on many accounts... for instance, he loves to hunt and go to gun shows, guns freak me out and I don't think I could ever purposely kill a living thing. Yet he would be there for me if I ever needed him, and he's always been so patient with me. On the other end is Danielle. We probably agree on too many things. She and Robb graciously opened up their home to me, and didn't even complain when I lost my house key! Glancing in my rearview mirror and seeing my dad driving his truck with all my belongings was a visceral reminder of how grateful and proud I am to be a part of this tremendous family.

I have many new adventures to begin as I make my fifth move in 10 years. This move has been the most thought-provoking for me. I suppose you could argue that moving to Provo, Utah would make any sane person stop and ponder. I do know that I felt good about pursuing this opportunity, but it was also one of the hardest things for me to do. I will truly miss the regular association with my family and friends back home, yet I am excited for the new possibilities that await me here.


so sports is our downfall

It hardly comes as a surprise that I would find myself reading a blog entitled "The Happy Feminist". I had stumbled upon it while reading another blog, and hadn't found it as interesting as I had hoped... until the author linked to an article about why women shouldn't play sports. She was obviously appalled by it, as was I. In fact, I was enraged. Danielle was perplexed as to why I let it get to me, citing that there are still plenty of backward thinkers out there. Upon further reflection I realized that although I had mild to moderate enraging moments, it had been a while since I was at my breaking point of "when will all the people in this world become enlightened?"

Read the ludicrous article for yourself. I should know that anything written on a webpage that is for "ladies against feminism" would irritate me. Below are the comments I posted on The Happy Feminist. I'm fully simmered down now, thanks.

Oh where to begin with this one?

"Christian women are often ill-prepared to be Biblically obedient wives and mothers." WHAT? Since when did sports make you ill prepared to be obedient? Most sports require one to take direction, extreme discipline etc. However, the most offensive is the requirement of women to be obedient. What century are we leaving in?

Point two: "The Bible talks about women developing a quiet and gentle spirit; I think sports fosters anything but that. They instead develop a competitive and contentious spirit that will cause them to have great difficulty in their marriages." Oh, but it is good for men to develop those qualities, as it will be such a "joy" for women to deal with competitive and contentious monsters in marriage.

Point three: "One of the reasons so many women today enter the armed forces (and workplace) is due to their participation in sports, which have helped prepare them for that endeavor." Really? I didn't know that. I thought women entered the workplace and armed forces because it was something that interested them. Who knew sports CAUSED that. I can't wait to read the research that this author so aptly forgot to mention that proves causation.

"It shouldn't be a secret that women's sports promote immodest attire." Those swimsuits they wear or the short shorts when playing soccer... *gasp. Forget the men wearing those teeny, tiny Speedos or going shirtless or even singlets in wrestling. No, no, when it comes to immodest attire, women win hands down.

If this author wants to continue in his sexist ways, at least he could use a bit more intelligence in arguing his point. For lack of a better word, he's an idiot.


writing in the mission field

On Tuesday I gave two presentations to the Alberta College of Social Workers. It was mostly just me rambling on about my master's thesis... surprising that people would actually pay to hear something so boring, but I digress. The conference was held at a local church in the community, which I'm assuming was a Christian denomination. As I was leaving the building, I noticed a large sign above the door that read "You are now entering the mission field." My first thought was "if only I had a camera." My second thought was "does the congregation get stoked when they read this or do they forget it's even there?" My third thought "hmmm, what would I want a big sign above my door to read?"

I definitely wouldn't want anything weighty... like reminding me to do the Lord's work... far too much pressure. Anything kitschy would just be irritating. I could be drawn to something really vain, like "wow, you're one hot tamale" (but that sort of mixes in the kitsch). While I continue to ponder the words to my fictional door sign, what words would you put on yours (and why)?



I read quite a bit over the summer, but have found myself slowing down the last few months. My recommendations from my summer reading are The Alchemist, which was a fast and thoughtful read, Dress Your Family in Denim and Corduroy, an amusing collection of short stories, Blink, a fascinating read on our snap judgements and intuition, and Broken for You, a lovely fictional tale. Now I have two more books on my "to read" list. The first one is God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It. I think it will be an interesting read, even for a Canadian. I came across the second book while reading the New York Times. It's entitled Going Sane. It must be the therapist in me that's drawn to this one.

To other rabid readers, "must reads" are always welcome!


old school

I am choosing not to mention who this is a picture of, as I have not technically asked his permission. I remember when he, and another nameless boy, got their skateboards. They were determined to make me a "betty" but my enthusiasm died fairly quickly. I do find it interesting how different the skater image has changed over the years... but that's not really what this post is about.

I've noticed a disturbing trend over the last few years (although skating gained in popularity long ago). All my beloved childhood toys are now back on the market. You can get G.I. Joes, Transformers, My Little Pony, Cabbage Patch Dolls and even Care Bears. Old School is now New School. These little eight year olds have no idea that back in the 80s mothers fought at the toy store just to get that last Cabbage Patch Doll for their snotty nose child who would have a hissy fit if Santa didn't bring her that doll (editor's note: my mother wasn't one of said mothers, nor was I a snotty nose kid... my brother, well he literally had a snotty nose). Do they know how many children wept when Optimus Prime was killed by the evil leader of the Decepticons, Megatron? Do they even know what the Care Bear countdown is?

Sadly these children will not be able to fully enjoy their toys, as they do not have a full understanding of their history. It's a bloody shame.


this has got to be a joke

I can't take credit for finding this on my own... a friend posted it on a message board. Seriously, this cannot be legit, but it's good for a laugh.

I'd rather be single!


birthday bash

This post is rather dated as my birthday was over two weeks ago. However, I just received the pictures from Lisa yesterday, thus my justification in a belated retelling. We decided to have a camping excursion rather than the traditional birthday party that always feels slightly awkward. Not all my friends are the camping/hiking type, so the it was only Graham, Lisa and I that set out late on Friday the 16th. The moon was quite bright that night so we hiked sans headlamps, slightly wary of bears. We managed to have our camp set up around 1:30 a.m. and promptly jumped into our tents and went to sleep. It was so dark out that I was sure the flash from the camera did permanent damage to my retinas.
Lisa and I were sure we heard an animal of some sort near our tent in the early morning hours but were too cold to do any investigating. I woke early and went for a short jaunt by myself, enjoying the stillness of the morning and the mist on the lake.

In the morning Bryce joined us for our day hike. We came across a fabulous waterfall and we thought that if we continued hiking up the mountain we would finally hit the path. After an hour of some heavy bushwhacking we did not find the trail, nor was there hope we would. Lisa thought it would be a good idea to take a picture of me when I really thought I was stuck in the trees, she then snapped a photo of herself. I did manage to find a way out of my jam cursing the whole way. We eventually hiked out of the dense brush and hiked up some rock face. On the way down I slipped several times, but only ripped my pocket. A lumbering porcupine crossed my path, which was as exciting as the wildlife got that day.

In the eve of the 17th, the celebration was underway. MaryAnne, Ben, and Jane joined us and brought the hotdogs and smores. We were treated to a spectacle like no other from Mother Nature. The full moon rose from behind a mountain peak and we were all in awe. It was absolutely beautiful out there and it truly was one of the best gifts I could receive. Happy birthday to me!