Monthly Archives: July 2007

Blogundated

Malia pictureKeeping up with relationships is hard work. When I caught the blog train a couple years ago, I was thrilled to have a new and different way of keeping up with my peeps, making new friends and learning new things. Over time my list of “must reads” has grown and many of those are authored by talented people who write eloquently or efficiently or profusely. I’m having a really hard time this summer keeping up with the eloquent, efficient & profuse. In fact, I haven’t even opened my rss reader in at least 3 days. I’m kind of afraid to now, knowing how much is out there that I haven’t read yet! I guess I’ve taken a stop at a depot and not boarded again.

I’ve also been doing a lot of book reading. (You know, those rectangular objects with paper pages?) That always cuts into my blog reading/writing time. I also just enjoyed a faboo week in Florida with my kids and my parents (minimal Internet time because I was enjoying their company) and then a really special weekend with my husband celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary. (You read his post right? Yes he’s amazing and he’s mine!)

So, I know it’s all conceited and narcissistic and stuff to assume that I’ve been missed in my tiny little corner of the blogosphere but I’d just thought I’d pop in, say I’m still here and that I hope to get back on the blog train again…eventually. I know I’ve missed some really good stuff but I’m confident the really good, eloquent, efficient and profuse writing is not going away anytime soon.

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Filed under by Malia, I blog they blog wouldn't you like to be a blogger too?

Forest Hills Must Die

180px-opus_blue.jpg  (Read Disclaimer at end)  It was bad enough that Forest Hills forced our church to move when it would not allow us to tastefully expand our building.  A church that had been located on that land longer than the city had been in existence and had assembled in the immediate vicinity for worship for nearly 75 years.  But now that we have moved, it is reprehensible that new ordinances, specifically tailored to be detrimental to the sale of the land, have been passed by the city.  For those that don’t know, the Forest Hills Commission has stated that 1.) if our church sells our land that it can not be used as an educational facility on anything less than 20 acres (we own 16 acres) and 2.) if more than 50% of the building were destroyed (by fire) it could not be re-built.  Both of these ordinances were specifically created to force our church to sell to a residential real estate developer.  The end result is the “might-as-well-call-it” theft of well over $1 million from our church.

Now, our church is not perfect.  Sure, we probably are wasteful with the resources we have in some manner or other.  But, the many things which have come into existence and been maintained through the years that are vital to the well-being of the Nashville community because of the existence of this one church is staggering when you sit back to look at it.  For example, that ill-gotten $1 million would go a long way to building a second Wayne Reed center in the Thompson Lane-Nolensville Road area.

In my opinion, Forest Hills is nothing more than a glorified neighborhood association with a singular purpose to improve property values for the residents of Forest Hills.  While I would love to spend lots of time researching exactly how this “city within a city” concept works, I really don’t have the time to dig into it for this post.  Believe me, I will find the information at some point.

To the government of Forest Hills, you have made a weak, powerless, ignorant enemy in me who has no standing whatsoever to sue.  I don’t know how or when, but with all that I am I will see the end of the existence of Forest Hills as a legal city.

Disclaimer:  My views do not necessarily represent those of my church and I have no authority whatsoever to speak for my church.  I am sure if they knew I was writing this they would gently ask me to shut up.  This is just the opinion of this disgruntled and determined libertarian to bring to justice the to-be-determined illegal authority of a to-be-made fake city and is not related in any way to what my church may be doing about this issue.

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Filed under by DB, Politics, Rant

For my love on our 12th

180px-opus_blue.jpg  You know those days in October when the sky is the deepest blue you have ever seen with the piercing yellow sun high in the sky illuminating the brightest orange, purple, yellow and red leaves you have ever seen on a tree.  It’s warm but not humid with a slight breeze turning those colored leaves loose from their branches one by one to slip to the ground.  It’s a day that reminds you of the warmth of summer but is mere weeks before the gray blah of winter sets in.  It’s a day you want to breathe in deeply and hold until your face turns blue so it will never go away.  It’s a day you just want to sit in forever with good friends and talk about nothing in particular while the kids play in the yard while peace and goodness wash over your soul like a wave.  There is nothing better than this day.  It’s a day that sustains you through the cold, dark days of winter, carries you through the pollen-infested, bunny-choked days of spring and you long for it in the sweaty, sunburnt days of summer.  It is the day you cherish above all others because it is where your soul and heart live and you just hope to live to see another one.  This day.  This day you are to me.

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Filed under by DB, love & marriage

When I Grow Up

Malia pictureAbout the only thing I really aspired to be when I grew up was a wife and mother. Now that I’m there, it’s not that I don’t love these roles or regret them, I’ve just finally realized that I want a little bit more out of life. I went to college and somewhere along the way decided that marriage counseling would be right up my ally. And while that dream is still quite firmly lodged in my head, there are some other professions I would so love to take a stab at. If only I had enough lifetimes to get to them!

Clothing Designer: The real reason I don’t enjoy clothes shopping is that I know I will not find what I’m looking for in the shoppes I frequent. I have the ideal outfit in my head but no one out there makes it. Alas, I have no mad sewing skillz and no mad art skillz (meaning I can’t draw on a piece of paper what’s in my head). I think what I need is a creative partner.

Chef: I love trying new recipes and there’s a part of me that would really like to create and serve faboo and kid friendly recipes to my family (and then to the world!) The thing is I freeze up in the kitchen. I’m so fearful of messing up and wasting good food and ingredients that I tend to stick with the basics and the handful of recipes I’m good at. I’ve daydreamed of spending the entire day in the kitchen coming up with the perfect dessert recipe, trying dozens of times until I get it just right. There’s just two things missing that make that daydream fizzle, no unlimited supply of ingredients and no magic wand to clean up the mess that will be made! 

Gardener: Here is where the daydreams really get fantastical. The reason is I so love the idea of gardening but I’m utterly useless in the garden. I fancy myself able to create a beautiful herb and flower garden and that I would wake in the early morning hours and tend to it, lovingly weeding it, watering it, fertilizing it. I imagine myself trolling nurseries looking for the perfect plants and seeds. I see myself picking fresh herbs for my latest culinary delight. My table displays a vase of roses and lilies from own backyard. And then… I wake up. But oh, to be a gardener!

Chiropractor: I toyed with this one several years ago but what ulitmately made me decide not to pursue it was the lack of schooling options in the area. I think the closest one is in Atlanta, though that may have changed over the years. I used to go to a chiropractor on a regular basis. I heart chiropractors! I haven’t been in years but lately I’ve really wanted/needed to get back in the habit of going. Which also resurrected my former daydream of becoming one and working out of my home.

See what I mean? I’m a mess! What path should I take? Which siren song should I follow? Well, for now it’s motherhood. Because it’s 9:45 am and the kids are not dressed yet (in clothes from Target or consignment finds not handsmocked creations), haven’t eaten breakfast (it’ll be Eggo waffles or cereal, not omelets), the dog has dug up the garden and my aching back will just have to do with Aleve for yet another day!

What’s your daydream profession? What do you want to be when you grow up?

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Filed under by Malia, life as a domestic goddess

Iraq: Should we stay or should we go now?

David picture  The great debate going on right now when it comes to Iraq is whether the U.S. should pull out now or next spring or two years from now, etc.  The congressional democrats seem to be focusing on little else than to draft new Iraq withdrawal resolutions almost on a daily basis.  That filibuster slumber party that the Senate had last week must have been great fun.  I won’t even mention the potential presidential candidates and their gesticulations when it comes to Iraq (I make it a rule to not discuss presidential elections until the year the election actually occurs). 

Much of the debate centers around how the U.S. should not have gone into Iraq in the first place or lamentations concerning the cost in dollars ($750+ billion) or deaths (3,600+ American soldiers) or injuries (26,000+ American soldiers) or the development of jihadists caused by the U.S. presence, etc.  The debate rages while the real question we should be considering is not asked and certainly not discussed.  The question to me relates to the responsibility of the victorious country to the defeated country after deposing its legitimate government.  In other words, to what degree are we responsible to the Iraqi people for re-establishing a legitimate government capable of fulfilling all the basic functions of a government (Admittedly, the definition of “basic functions” is debatable, but then no one is really doing that in this line of questioning so we have to start somewhere)?

This is not an easy question to answer, but I think we need to start talking about it rather than continue the current debate that disregards our responsibilities to the Iraqi people.  Some may argue that the Iraqi people have had four years to establish for themselves a legitimate government, even pointing to the “laziness” displayed by the current Iraqi government taking the entire summer off or the lack of the Iraqi government to meet the milestones established for it by the U.S.  I don’t think any of that matters.  We are responsible for causing the current status of Iraq so we are responsible for ensuring the restoration of the country of Iraq.  If this were a tort case, we would be responsible for restoring the country to the condition it was in when we “broke” it.  The laws of occupation are similar and require that we account for the well-being of the citizens of the country that we invaded/liberated.

To leave now would be to abandon our responsibility under international law and under our own high standard of morals that we purport to hold dear as a country.  We can’t just say that we gave the Iraqis a chance to establish themselves a legitimate government and since they didn’t do it on our timeline, we get to leave and “to hell with them” for being so lazy.  We got this girl pregnant and we are responsible for the proper care and development of her children even though we don’t get visitation rights and she spends all the child support on meth and lottery tickets.  If there is anything we should lament, it should be that we did not consider the whole cost to see this through before entering this fray.  Reminds me of that metaphor in Luke 14 verses 28-30.  Completely out of context, but I think the principle still applies.

I must say that I abhor this war.  Ever since that stunt on the aircraft carrier with the “Mission Accomplished” banner and speech, I knew that our leadership had no idea what it was doing.  I certainly want to see this thing end as soon as possible, yesterday preferably.  But, I think we need to take a breath and realize what we are doing here.  It doesn’t matter whether we should or should not have gotten into this war, leave that for the historians.  It doesn’t matter how much money we have spent or will spend on this effort or that it may have exacerbated the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, etc.  It doesn’t matter how many American soldiers die or are injured (not to mention Iraqis and others).  We have a responsibility to see this through to the end.  We do not have the luxury to leave at our whim if we claim to be a force for good.

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Filed under by DB, Politics

Clarification on Authorship

David picture  We thought we were being all clever with having pictures at the beginning of posts letting everyone know who wrote the post, you know, kind of like an avatar on  message board.  However, there have been several cases of mistaken identity over the last several weeks.  I am guessing that my change of avatar may have contributed to that (I was Opus for those that wanted to know) so I am going to change back to the picture of me.  So, when you see:

David picture I (DB – David) wrote it.  When you see:

Malia picture  Malia wrote it.

Any questions, comments, complaints, or suggestions on how to make that any less confusing, we would appreciate it.  In addition, right under the post it will say “by DB” or “by Malia” in the tag line.

We now take you back to the cute children and politcal/religious ranting.

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Filed under by DB

Enough is enough

180px-opus_blue.jpg  This is one of those subjects that I don’t know what to write because I have no business talking about it.  So, I am just going to start writing out my thoughts because I need them all in one place so that maybe I can draw some conclusion from them. 

I have been doing a lot of thinking about the concept of “enough” lately, specifically in regard to the way we live.  This is such a broad subject and I can’t pull it apart to get at the pieces to examine.  This is probably going to be the worst blog post in the history of blogs, so bear with if you have the stomach for it. 

What does it mean to live simply?  To live with enough to live adequately.  Now I am not talking about basic survivalship, like a mud hut somewhere and living “off the land”.  I am trying to think about real life in the context of where and how we live as Americans.  Now, I understand that the U.S. is a rare bubble in a world of poverty and pain.  As a friend of mine put it recently, “You know we live in Disneyland, don’t you?”  He and I were talking about something completely different, but the image is still the same.  We act as though the way we live in the U.S. is normal, but it is more like living every day in Disneyland.  Reality is across the ocean and south of the border.  Reality is that 40% of humanity lives in abject squalor.  Reality is that thousands of people die every day from starvation and thirst.  Reality is that a car, a steady supply of food, a roof, clean running water, electricity, etc. are all luxuries.  I am not an advocate for wringing our hands in guilt for the wealth, luxury, and power that the U.S. has.  On the contrary, I look at the United States of America as a rare gift that is worth protecting, preserving, and using for the sake of good in the world.  By the way, I am not talking about the government of the U.S., I am talking about the whole thing from the people, wealth, knowledge, culture, attitudes, running water, electricity, etc. that make up what we are as Americans.  The loss or potential loss of this precious gift is what I assail and what I lament on occasion in this (and my previous) blog.

How does one have any sense of reality while living in Disneyland?  There is an old saying “to whom much is given, much is expected”.  It’s based on a bible verse (Luke 12:48), but I think it has come to mean more than it was written to mean.  Everyone is born into this world with some degree of talent, wealth, influence, etc. or the capability to obtain such things.  To me, it boils down to how one utilizes those attributes and things for the betterment of humanity.  To put it more in touch with reality rather than idealism, to live simply I must utilize my wealth, intelligence, wits, possessions, vocation, etc. for the betterment of my family, my community, and for those that do not have access to the attributes and things to which I have access.  For me, only by doing that can I have a chance to comprehend and perhaps change the reality that most people experience. 

When is enough “enough” for an individual or small community of Americans?  Do we unplug from society and commiserate with the impoverished 40%?  Do we insulate ourselves from the riff-raff in self-imposed seclusion?  Do we simply throw up our hands and give up?  I think the answer lies somewhere in the goal of improving the reality of people in the world.  I think it is incumbent upon every American to offer a hand up to those that are below some minimum threshold of what we think reality should be for humanity.  Is that minimum threshold clean drinking water, electricity, a steady supply of food, some combination of certain things, etc?  I don’t have an answer to that question, but it is something we should ponder as a society.  Americans already do quite a bit toward this end, but the goal is not reached yet.  Would you be willing to sacrifice some of your wealth for the sake of someone (or many people) to have that minimum threshold of what it means to be human?  Are we capable, as a society of free people, to share a small portion of the rare gift we have been given as Americans?

Your thoughts are welcome.   

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Filed under by DB, Uncategorized