Sunday, October 20, 2013

Happy Birthday with Cheesecake to Me!

Yes, it is my 42nd birthday today. In celebration, Sian came home from college for the weekend, and my parents, a couple brothers, one of my sisters, possibly her fiance, my nephew, and my in-laws are coming over for dinner tonight. And Mom is bringing cheesecake for dessert. What more could a girl possibly want?

In fact, MIL asked Husband on the phone what I wanted for my birthday and I said, "I don't want anything," as the absolute truth. "Okay!" said FIL. MIL glared at him (I wasn't there, but I know she glared at him right then). "No, we have to give her something! If we give her money, she'll just spend it on paying bills or buying groceries."

"If you gave her money, she'd probably spend it taking me out to dinner. She really likes eating out," said Husband.

So MIL and FIL have settled on taking me and Husband out to lunch tomorrow while the kids are in school. Husband is off-track for a few weeks, so that works out really well. And I do love eating out. Any time I can eat good food I didn't have to cook is a win for me. Though I have never had the funds to try it, I have proposed the theory that I could happily eat take-out for weeks--and possibly a month--at a time with no complaints. Of course, I would then gain even more weight, but I am also open to the idea of eating salads I didn't make. Even low-cal soups. Lightly cooked veggies in Chinese stir-fries rock my world as long as I don't have to spend the hour or so prepping all the veggies.

Speaking of food, a great birthday present would be a five gallon bucket of cold-pressed virgin coconut oil. When I'm rich, I'll invest in a few dozen of those. I use coconut oil for all my cooking oil needs. I could eat it with a spoon, in fact.

I must be hungry, which is why a post about my birthday has veered into a post about food. It's not like I had anything of substance to say about my birthday anyway, so I'll share that I'm going to eat the spaghetti and red sauce I just made for lunch. I was home from church with the boys today, who are feeling poorly. I did attempt to take a nap, but sick little boys are extra cuddly, and it's hard to sleep when you keep getting hugs and kisses. Not that I'm complaining. I've got everything I could want right here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Is Human History Stranger Than You Ever Imagined?

Today, something that will blow your mind. I'm not making any comments on the theory of evolution, nor am I stating that I have done any of the research required to back up what this man is saying. But I have always wondered about the other people that were obviously already on the earth after Adam and Eve were forced to leave the Garden of Eden. I have also speculated privately to myself that instead of evolving we have actually devolved. The story of the creation in Genesis is so vague, in my opinion, because of two possibilities: a) we do not currently possess the knowledge that would allow us understand the mechanics of the creation story, and because of our infancy in that regard, the story is necessarily lacking in details; and b) having that knowledge--coupled with our extremely predictable human nature--could result in catastrophe until we have learned to control the "natural man," both individually and collectively as a species.

One thing I have noticed as I travel from one Relief Society lesson to the next on a given Sunday (I do this because of my calling in church), is that people tend to make the same comments and come to the same conclusions in each class--sometimes even using the same words. Yes, the class is taught within a very specific culture, so that is natural, but I'm sure you have noticed the same sort of thing in more general arenas. I think this can be extrapolated, to a certain degree, to all of humanity. As a species, we tend to come to the same conclusions in various societies and civilizations, even when separated by time or distance. We cycle, so to speak, along a finite spectrum of knowledge and technology. If you have ever wondered if the Bible was literal when it talks about our society being much like the society and civilization that existed before the Great Flood, this video will make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. Really interesting stuff here. I would love to do some research and find all of the evidence that the speaker refers to so I can test his ideas for truth.

{{{ Archaeology's Surprising Revelations}}} from BRUCE TIMPANY on Vimeo.

So This Is Why I Always Struggled With Trig!

I've been a downer the last few posts, so to lighten things up, I invite you to click on the following link. Please get your copy book and a pencil ready so you can follow along. It also helps to put on your dry British humour cap.

Look Around You (Maths) from Numbers on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

On Slavery

On Sunday, I finished reading a book called Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. It was written by a woman named Harriet Jacobs (though she wrote under the pseudonym Linda Brent), who was born to a slave mother in the American South in 1813. According to the laws at the time, any children of a slave mother were also slaves, owned by the mother's master or mistress. Though Harriet's mother was married to a free man, his children were the property of his wife's owner and could be sold away at the whim of the owner at any time.

Harriet wrote her story in the form of a sentimental novel, which was a popular writing form at the time. Though it is written in story form, all the incidents in the book are true. This type of writing was sure to grab the attentions and sympathies of white women in the northern Free States who were working to abolish slavery in the South as well as those who were not yet familiar with the plight of their sisters of African descent. When she wrote the book, Harriet had only recently become legally free, though she had escaped from slavery years before.

It's a heart-wrenching story, and it is impossible to imagine living a life in which the law declared that I was the personal property, body and soul, of another human being. Harriet, who had been taught to read and write at the age of six (which was a crime), frequently stops to ask the reader how they would feel in her situation as a female slave. Because her complexion was light and she was pretty, she was constantly under threat from her mistress's father to be raped and impregnated, and Dr. Flint (her mistress's father) spent years making her life absolutely miserable. Many white slave owners fathered children on black slaves, and the children that resulted were often sold away--with or without their mothers--because the slave owners' wives felt so much anger and jealousy toward them. The other choice, frequently taken, was to smother the infants to death. Even clergymen, who would have caused a scandal by having an affair and a child with a white woman, were not held to account for fathering black babies. In fact, slave women were frequently used as breeding horses to increase a slave owner's stock of slaves, whether he fathered them or forced them to breed with other slaves. The lenient owners allowed the women to choose their own husbands, but there was never a guarantee that the families would be allowed to stay together.

Harriet's story is truly horrific, and I think everyone should read the book to see what is possible when slavery is allowed. It's what she writes about the universally corrupting influence of slavery on an entire society that is really penetrating, however. She talks about how the institution of slavery changed what would have been otherwise fairly decent people into despicable human beings. White men and women and their children were all surrounded by slaves, and they grew up learning to treat an entire class of human beings as property. Because of that, they lost much of their compassion and humanity for each other, as well. The pain and misery of slavery didn't just rest on the whipped shoulders of the slaves.

My point in sharing this is that we must learn from history, from what human beings can do to each other. We decry any thought of slavery today, and yet we defend twisted practices such as pornography as "freedom of speech," when, behind the scenes, an entire industry thrives on trafficked women and children to feed the ever-growing and ever more insatiable demand for explicit and violent pornographic material.

We see a problem and demand that government do something about it, ignoring the historical tendency of all governments to increase in power and tyranny until the people who once cried to the government for safety and security are now running away from it for fear of their lives. We so willingly put the yoke of slavery on our own shoulders, believing the soothing promises of men and women who are both corruptible and corrupted with power.

Samuel, the great prophet who preceded King David, tried his best to set up a government among the Israelite nation that would champion freedom and liberty. He ran effective military campaigns against the neighboring kingdoms that wanted to conquer Israel and force them to pay tribute (slavery). He taught them how to council together in order to govern themselves. And yet, Samuel's people, for whom he had given his entire life, demanded a king. They wanted a monarchy so they would appear strong to the surrounding nations. They wanted the pomp and circumstance associated with a king and a royal court. They wanted to quit thinking for themselves and rely on a king to make their decisions and lead their military campaigns against their enemies. When Samuel went to the Lord, depressed and discouraged at their immaturity and refusal to accept freedom, the Lord told Samuel to give them what they wanted, but to warn them first.

As commanded, Samuel warned the people what would happen if they willingly subjected themselves to a monarchy. They would be taxed heavily from their crops and profits to support the king and his court; they would have to send their children to serve the king in his court and on the battlefields; they would end up groaning under the burden they had willingly taken upon themselves because they wanted the appearance of strength and the false security of having a king.

Despite Samuel's warnings, and despite the fact that Samuel had shown them another way to govern themselves, the people chose a king. They got what they wanted, and they lived to regret it within just a single generation. Solomon, though a wise man, taxed the people incredibly heavily to build a new temple. After Solomon, the kings were largely oppressive and wicked, with a few bright lights of righteousness and kindness here and there. Eventually, Israel was divided into two rival kingdoms, and eventually, both of those kingdoms were conquered by other nations. The Israelites were either captured and taken with the conquering armies or forced to scatter among the other nations, no longer a mighty people.

My point is that if we choose slavery, we will suffer. When the Israelites chose their idols over the One True God, they suffered. When we choose a strong, all-powerful federal government over the One True God (who helps us learn to govern ourselves), we will suffer. We have only to look to Germany and Russia as recent examples of what happens when we elect despots. Unlike Harriet Jacobs, who suffered from the unrighteous decisions of others, we will be choosing to enslave ourselves and our children.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Well, This Extremist Terrorist Has Just About Had Enough

During the whole kerfuffle of a government shutdown, it has become apparent just how much of an influence federal government has in our lives. I, personally, find it incredibly dismaying, but then I would, as a person who could be labeled among the Libertarian Right (wondering where you fall on the political beliefs spectrum? Take this quick little test here.) Granted, the Executive Branch has also overstepped its bounds when it comes to shutting things down in order to cause pain, chaos, and confusion among the American people. It's been documented how many private businesses have been illegally cowed into shutting their doors, after all. But the fact remains that even in the parts of government that were shut down completely legally, it's too much. Too, too much. It makes me want to vomit, in fact. 

Rhetorical question: how did this happen?!

Let's consider Obamacare for a moment (and remember that no one is forcing you to read this blog, so you are free to click away the moment my views grate on yours). My view is that the Affordable Care Act is an atrocity foisted upon the American population through guile (which, as I learned in Relief Society on Sunday means "cunning intelligence," with a strong inference of intentional deceit). Not only is it neither affordable nor caring, but this single piece of legislation will decimate what was left of our God-given rights and liberties as explained in our Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. It was touted as the cure to our healthcare ills, but those of us who are naturally suspicious of any solutions presented by a federal government that created the problem in the first place were condescendingly told by the Queen of Idiocy, Nancy Pelosi, that "we have to pass it to see what's in it." 

Ms. Pelosi has already been proven to have rabies (I'm sure I could find some backup internet link to prove that claim if I looked hard enough), but even if we all had rabies and we would have been unilaterally overjoyed to see what was in it, the legislation was passed with NOT ONE Republican vote. Since then, Republicans in Congress have tried 30 times to repeal Obamacare. Their constituents demand it. Tea Party politicians were elected primarily on that platform. And yet the mainstream media continually issues inane commentary such as, "Republicans are keeping the issue alive because they need to get people all up in a froth and a dither for mid-term elections coming up in 2014." Or they offer nuggets of "journalism" that label people who do not support Obamacare as being racist, homophobes, bigots, extremists, and terrorists. After all, another government program that effectively takes over a huge, huge chunk of our economy will be different than all the thousands of other programs, right? This one will allow you to keep your doctor and your current insurance if you like it. It won't cost us an extra dime! Your insurance premiums won't go up because we'll make the evil, evil insurance companies reduce their profits and all that. Sh, sh, now go to sleep, little darling. There is not trouble here. Just quietly take my hand and I will lead and guide you. Just look at every other government program that has worked exactly as it was originally mandated. Wait, don't look.

Well, pardon me for my extremism and terroristic tendencies, but I can do some math, and the math doesn't add up. I spotted those promises as outright lies the first time the teleprompter said them. I also found out that many more aspects of my life will come under federal government control (through this legislation and a flurry of executive orders that have already been issued), either through outright usurpation by the Executive Branch of the Legislative Branch's responsibilities (the Judicial Branch is already mostly an extension of the Executive Branch by this point) or outright force. The umbrella of healthcare, you see, is so vast and intricate that the government will need to take care of you from birth to death. This means that everything is related to your health--what you eat, your career, your hobbies, where you travel, when you can see your doctor, where you go to school, your political views, your religion, etc., etc., etc. You see where that is headed?

Didn't they do some sort of movie about this? Wasn't it called Terminator? Where computers and artificial intelligence came to the conclusion that the only way to protect humanity was to completely control it (or eliminate it)? Or was that I, Robot? Yeah, I get my sci-fi stuff confused now because it's all happening for real. 

The problem with the labels mainstream media is giving to the opposition is two-fold: it tries to isolate what is, in actuality, a large percentage of the American public who are angry about this legislation and who find it the next big step toward total socialism (and then Marxism); and it trains the American people to accept the propaganda that certain segments of the American population (those, in short, who do not agree with the administration) are undesirable and detestable. You know what happened to Hitler's undesirables. And no one thinks it could happen here? 

My last point is that human nature has changed not a whit since Day One. Have you ever taken the time to make the scary journey into your dark side? I'm a big believer of knowing the shadows in your soul, and everyone is a combination of light and shadow. When you know what is lurking in those closets and dank alleyways that make up your psyche, it is truly frightening. But knowing it helps to control it. It helps you face your unnamed fears and name them, and names have power. I, for instance, fully realize that I have within me a full range of horrors, from unmitigated cruelty to the love of ultimate tyranny (me as tyrant, of course). I have never acted on those dark things because the light in me finds them repulsive and hideous. But they are there, and now that they have been named, I can imagine the possibilities of what human nature can stoop to. 

Someone else knows exactly the depths to which we can fall, as well, and the Father of Lies (Satan, in this case, and not Obama) carefully works on naive or unsuspecting peoples' ambitions and weaknesses to bring out the worst vices, tyranny, and oppressive tendencies. Some people really believe they are doing good works by forcing people to bend to their will. Some people realize what is happening but are just glad it's not happening to them. Some people revel in the oppressive control they inflict on others. Any of us can be any of those types of people if we want to be. This legislation allows those who have the power and who believe they are smarter, more compassionate, or more relevant to use the population as a collective resource. That can only be accomplished with complete control. Socialized healthcare is a major step in that direction. Just ask Lenin, who said, "Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state." What's even better is to have the people clamoring for their enslavement as the yoke is placed upon them.

If you're not sure that being in a socialist state is a bad thing, I imagine you would find my entire argument (see above) to be null and void. In that case, I weep for you. And I invite you to do some research and to read my next blog post.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The In-Laws Are Back, and They Brought Goodies!

My in-laws returned triumphantly last weekend from their visit to Great Britain. I say "triumphantly" because they managed to make both connecting flights despite the agony of long customs and security lines (there's that government shutdown effect!), kept their bags under the acceptable limits, and had their coats out by the time they arrived home to find a dusting of slushy snow on our valley floor. They left when it was hot enough to melt rocks and came back when fall was in full swing.

My MIL has a gift for packing things. She can fit 20 gallons of something into a 10 gallon container with room to spare. The only limit to her superpower is the weight restrictions the airlines place on luggage, which is a shame because it limits the amount of good, British chocolate we can then consume. But they did bring back various chocolates and crisps (prawn cocktail and Worcester flavored Walkers, pickled onion Monster Munch, and some scampi flavored Fries), candies that Husband requested that bring back memories of his youth, and a couple logs of marzipan. They also brought back some jewelry for us girls and some cool shirts for the boys. Husband's extensive supply of rugby and football (soccer) jerseys all came from MIL and FIL. We also got some

Bisto for making gravy and a couple Battenberg cakes. I see some roast meals in our near future.

I'll need to play soccer for days to work off the bounty, and the official England soccer shirt I was given will be my uniform. Fortunately, there are six other people in this house ready to help gobble down all the fattening treats, and if I just ignore it, everything will be gone in no time. MIL was kind enough to send Sian her own package containing chocolate and other treats because there ain't no way any would be left by the time she came to visit.

You can envy us just a little if you want. What I wanted most, however, were things they cannot bring home with them: hot Cornish pasties from the bakery; a cone of chips drenched in malt vinegar; the smell of a small English town in the morning before the mists have lifted; the sounds of a High Street market day; the juxtaposition of a castle ruin basking in the sunlight nearby modern homes and office buildings. The scent of hot apple and blackcurrant squash after a long day in the rainy drizzle.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Very Serious and Very Long Post About Dreams, the Subconscious, Energy, and Cotton Candy

In my dream, I am two people. When I am the first person, I am the speaker, and I am offering food to the second person, who is mute. The second person accepts the food gratefully, knowing that it is nourishing and good. But halfway through the meal, I yank the food away from the second person and hand him (him? why is it a he?) a big cone of cotton candy. Then, I switch to being the second person, and I refuse the cotton candy. I don't want it because it is useless to me. It has no nutritional value and I want something of value. Repeatedly, the first person forcefully shoves cotton candy at me, and I wordlessly throw it away, where it dissipates into the air. I say nothing while I am the second person, just shaking my head against the onslaught of the first person's demands that I accept and eat the cotton candy.

This element has popped up in my dreams every night for weeks now. It has been so disturbing that I have been very restless and my sleep has suffered. Even as the plot and scenery in my dreams changes each night, this element has remained. 

Finally, yesterday morning, I figured it out. Due to General Conference weekend (where I don't have to roll out of bed before 7am and shake the kids awake to begin getting ready for church), I got a few quiet moments to think and pray without distractions.

Let me preface my interpretation by telling you that I have been in frequent communication with my subconscious lately. I read The Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson recently, and it was a nice culmination of the things I've been researching about energy, quantum physics, and the amazing biological machine that is a body. Great read. I highly recommend it to everyone. Dr. Nelson teaches, in essence, that each of us is made of energy (our physical bodies being a form of energy that vibrates at a low enough frequency to be visible to our eyes). Our thoughts and emotions are also energy and have their own vibrational frequencies; the lower the vibrational frequency, the more negatively we are affected. Sometimes, a negative emotion can become trapped within our electro-magnetic field, and the frequency of that trapped emotion (view it as a ball of energy) can begin affecting surrounding tissues and organs. Over time, the frequency (which promotes disease and ill health) can cause problems in our physical bodies, such as cancers and other illness. They certainly influence how we feel about ourselves and others. These trapped emotions can be created within us or inherited from others.

Our subconscious mind is the part of ourselves that runs the body. The subconscious takes care of all the automatic and reflexive systems that keep us alive so we don't have to consciously dwell on it. Imagine if we had to constantly tell our hearts to beat! So the subconscious mind is very aware of exactly what is going on within our bodies, including what is working and what is not. The subconscious can also tell where trapped negative emotions are residing. By using muscle testing (kinesiology), you can literally communicate with your subconscious to identify trapped negative emotions and dissipate them from your energy field. By releasing these trapped emotions, people have enjoyed some amazing results, from outright healing of symptoms to the ability to love and trust more fully.

So I've been releasing trapped emotions, and in the process have become pretty good at talking to my subconscious. Therefore, I recognized that it was my subconscious telling me something important in my dream. In fact, the mute person in my dream element represented my subconscious. And what it wanted to tell me consciously was that I am done worrying about the opinions of others. The only opinion I really care about is God's opinion of me and what I do. This is significant for me. Really significant. By releasing trapped emotions of low self-esteem, fear, being taken for granted, or love unreceived that became trapped during various episodes of my life, I have given up much of the need to please others at my own expense. The real food in my dream represents the love that my Heavenly Father has for me. The cotton candy, which is of no value even if it tastes sweet, is the fickle opinions and imperfect knowledge of man. The reason I was so restless before I figured this out was because I hadn't yet fully acknowledged this new reality in myself. Now I have. Last night, I slept peacefully for the first time in days.

I have seen other surprising results of my conversation with my subconscious. I released one trapped emotion that was residing in my right shoulder, and the constant pain that had been bothering me forever suddenly disappeared. My left kidney and gall bladder must be functioning better because a lot of trapped emotions were hanging out there (misery loves company, I guess, and one low frequency attracts another). My thinking and attitude have changed subtly, too, as I've broken down the wall around my heart. I've still got plenty of releasing to do, but I feel very connected to my body in a way I never have before.Obviously, my subconscious is talking to me in dreams, as well, which means we've become friends.

Why do I have a sudden craving for blue cotton candy?