Preparing for the Apocalypse

23 07 2010

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I try to follow the counsel given by our leaders. They often stress being self sufficient and living providently. 

While I’ve done great at staying out of debt, I have always struggled with keeping a year supply of food. I try, and I do have food storage. It’s just . . . not very organized. I envy people who are so on top of what they’ve got and what they need. They use and rotate. I stack, and count, and scratch my head.


Still, something is better than nothing, right?

A few months ago, I was organizing my bathroom cupboards. I don’t do it very often, but it was becoming difficult to shut the cupboard door. (Note: this generally indicates you are trying to jam too much stuff in the cupboard.)

I pulled everything out.

There was a lot.

What I found interesting, though, was this:

What’s so interesting about that, you say? Well, I also found this:

Interested yet? Oh, not yet. Wait.

And there’s more.

Not only do I have boxes of feminine hygiene products stockpiled, I am able to physically see Proctor & Gamble’s packaging design go through four changes.

That’s interesting. 

And more than just from a design standpoint (although I have always been fascinated by packaging mutations). By using some tough analysis (during which I noticed the first four letters of ‘analysis’ spell ‘anal’), I realized these things:

  1. I am more scared of running out of feminine hygiene products than I am of running out of food. (This may stem from my first year at girls’ camp, where the Laurels told the sweet little Beehives–undoubtedly around the campfire–that pioneers used weeds and dry grass for tampons. Happy Pioneer Day tomorrow, by the way! This post is multi-purpose.)
  2. I am good at storing things. I am bad at rotating things.
  3. It is good tampons don’t have expiration dates.
  4. If anyone can guess the copyright dates of the designs (which we will call A, B, C, and D), I will send you a fabulous prize.
  5. Based on my data, Tampax is due for another packaging change very soon. Watch for it!

A Small Step for Me, a Giant Leap for My Sewing Self-Esteem

18 07 2010

I haven’t been sewing for a couple of months, but before then I was going like gangbusters–gangbusters, I tell you! I made Eden’s baptism dress (which my mom finished for me in the eleventh hour [thanks, Mom!]) and some pajamas for Rainbow (which were supposed to be Eden’s, but ended up not fitting) and a skirt for myself and a dress for myself.

Since the dawn of my 4-H sewing class, I have always suffered from an excess of vision. I knew what I wanted to make, and I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like. When, invariably, the end product didn’t match my vision, I would cry in frustration. (You think I am being dramatic. Seriously, folks, it was years before I could complete a sewing project without crying somewhere along the way.)

The longer I’m at it, the less I cry. I don’t know if that’s because I’m getting better at this sewing stuff or if my expectations have been sufficiently lowered.

The dress I made, well, it was a disappointment. The craftmanship was all right–no noticably crooked seams and the zipper (“ZIPPERS!” [snarled with clenched fist]) wasn’t even too bad. And, I feel honor-bound to point out that the fit is pretty fantastic. The problem? It looks like a pioneer dress. I don’t know if the fabric choice was bad or if it’s a pattern issue. All I know is when I put it on there is a serious Holly Hobbie vibe.

I tried to drown it out with some cute modern jewelry.

It didn’t work.

I haven’t cried yet, though.

Today, I wore the skirt to church. Now, the skirt came together beautifully. Really, it is very nicely sewn, even most of the zipper (“ZIPPERS!” [snarl]) and I really like the pattern. But when I tried it on, the fit was terrible.

One of the things I’d really like to learn how to do is alter clothes. After trying to fix the waist of the skirt, though, I’m thinking I still need more practice.

Anyway, the skirt has been languishing in my closet for about four months (I was hoping to buy some really cute shoes to draw the eye away and down–it’s all about distraction, apparently), and today I thought I’d give it a whirl. (It’s great for whirling, too.)

Imagine my secret joy (if you can) when a friend (whom I consider to be pretty much a fashionista) casually mentioned as we were talking, “Cute skirt.”

I said, “Oh, this old thing? I only wear this when I don’t care how I look.”

(Not really.)

I said, “Oh, thanks.” Then continued conversation casually, not allowing the fact that my self-esteem was cartwheeling around the room to distract me from our discussion of girls’ camp.

I even had Eden take a picture of me in all my skirted glory so you could share in my triumph.

My shirt pretty much covers up the mess of the waist. I should have tried it on three months ago and made that discovery!

I have several more patterns and lengths of clearance rack fabrics. After making Eden’s promised pajamas (not to be confused with the Garden of Eden/promised land), I’m going to try another dress.

And, hey, we’ve got the Pioneer Day picnic on Saturday. I know exactly what to wear.

Osteogenesis Imperfecta

18 07 2010


It’s been a busy week. Between getting Zack to Cub Scout Day Camp and trying to cram errands/movies/park time into the hours that Colby is at school (trust me, he’s not that into movies), I feel like I’ve been running on a hamster wheel.

(The current state of my home reflects this. Also, Colby has been obsessed with dumping things lately. While I am always excited at shows of typical-child behavior from my atypical youngest, two boxes of cereal, a bag of chips, and a vat of macaroni onto the carpet are enough already.)

Anyway, I was just saying how even though this week has been busy, I think I have been avoiding this post. When I so glibly rattled off things that were in my mental blog-docket, I really thought I would be ready.

I’m not so ready.

However, I am trying to be readier.

Here’s the deal: while you think you are reading all of my most private thoughts on this here blog, I have to break it to you: you are really getting only a small glimpse of my cerebral activity. (Can I use two colons in one sentence? And does the phrase ‘cerebral activity’ remind anyone else of P.G. Wodehouse for some reason?)

I am inherently a private person.

I don’t tell people things about myself, unless they really dig. Or unless the thing is funny and/or self-deprecating. Or if it can help someone else. I don’t always know where the line is, but for the most part, I keep my “problems” under wraps.

 Three of my children, Zack, Rainbow, and Colby by name, have a genetic condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta.

I don’t tell a lot of people about this for a couple of reasons:

1. I don’t want them to be treated any differently from other kids

2. Well, maybe that’s it, because I’m not thinking of anything else offhand.

The thing is, I went to a conference when I was in Portland last weekend, and I learned a lot. I realized that if I don’t get the word out, people won’t know anything about it. (Which, granted, I just said I didn’t want to do.) I realized that I don’t want my kids to be known as “different,” but that a lot of people with OI (in fact most) don’t have that luxury. They have to be known as different or else they get injured. So, here is my little part in getting the word out. I think I have about 60 people who read my blog on a fairly regular basis, most of whom are related to me. That is okay–I don’t think I’ve explained it very well to my relatives, either.

Osteogenesis Imperfecta is a genetic disorder that has to do with collagen. When a person with OI makes collagen, one of two things happens. They either don’t make enough collagen, or the collagen that they make is faulty. The result (in a simple nutshell) is bones that break easily. There are lots of other tangetial things that can happen, since Type 1 collagen isn’t only in bone, but that is the big one. OI is considered a rare disorder, which I think means that 1 in 10,000 people are effected. (Which also means–hey, if you know the Jones family, you know more people with OI than most anybody!)

I thought it was kind of funny back in December, Stan and I went to a reception in Seattle put on by the OI Foundation. One of the speakers was bemoaning the fact that OI is so little known. If more people had it, there would be greater funding for research! Then he said something about Marfan Syndrome (which I also know about because of an unrelated story, but it’s ironic so ask me sometime) being no more prevalent in society, and yet because there was a celebrity with a child afflicted with Marfan Syndrome there was all sorts of awareness. He actually said, “If only a celebrity would have a child with OI . . . ”

Anyway, since my narrative flow is already off, there has been a book written recently by Jodi Picoult called Handle With Care (which I haven’t read because, really, I don’t want to) about a family who has a child with severe OI. If you’re interested.

I went to the conference, hoping to be educated (even though it’s kind of weird to be telling a new doctor what your child has and what it means, I figured knowing more won’t hurt anybody). I was. I was also attacked with a severe case of survivor’s guilt. I was in sessions with parents who would start out their comments with, “My daughter turns five next month, and we stopped counting when she had two hundred breaks . . . ” It is heartbreaking, but it is also amazing to see the strength of these people. It makes our vertebral fractures seem like a drop in the bucket.

Saying that, though, I do know that broken bones hurt–even when you’ve only had a few. I’m grateful my kids don’t have it worse than they do. I’m grateful that while their collagen is faulty, they aren’t required to be in  wheelchairs. I’m grateful they will be normal-sized (if a bit on the short end) adults because, let’s face it, the world is not made for the convenience of people under four feet tall. I’m grateful they haven’t had to have rods put in their long bones just to keep their legs from breaking when they try to stand.

I also think of the theme of the conference: Living Well with an Unbreakable Spirit.

I was so impressed with the people there, the parents, the adults living with OI, the kids, the caregivers, the siblings. It was an honor.

My kids have Osteogenesis Imperfecta, and they are great kids.

For more information (and probably more accurate information, at that) you can visit the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation’s website. And give money!

New Page

16 07 2010

I have had some requests for information lately from people who are switching to a gluten-free lifestyle (and it is a lifestyle), so I spent some time writing an email to a friend yesterday instead of updating my blog. Then I realized I could centralize this information to pass along when anyone wants to know. So there is now a gluten-free tab. Hope it’s helpful.

What All Those Fish Are Saying

13 07 2010

Soul Food

11 07 2010

2 Nephi 9:51

Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.

I think I could read and think about that all day, especially the last part. Sounds so good, doesn’t it? Letting your soul delight in fatness.

 Anyway, I’ve got lots of blog posts bouncing around in my brain. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to write some this week. What do you want to hear first: my post on capitalism, my post on the Apocalypse, my post on family food culture, my post on Osteogenesis Imperfecta, my post on year 33, or my post on the Oregon Coast? Let me know.

Out of Radio Contact

5 07 2010

I am going to a family reunion and conference in Oregon, so I’ll be out this week. (Not that you check my blog every day for updates or anything.) Hope summer is treating you kindly!