Monday, September 29, 2008

Mount Nebo in autumn

Last week we went on a spontaneous trip up to Mount Nebo to see the fall colors.

This is what we saw:

A random zoom on some of the leaves:

Very steep hillside:

At a scenic overlook:

Running into the woods:

Elizabeth and Angela hugging in the woods:


Elizabeth, with a storm coming:

Some of the trees looked like they were on fire:


Blurry, but you get the idea:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Misanthropists' heaven or Gothic delight?

I recently finished reading Wuthering Heights. I've read it before, but it was when I was a lot younger and didn't have much of a background for understanding the deeper themes of the book.

From the opening pages, I fell in love with this book. I am a little ashamed to admit it, since I realize that there are not many redeeming aspects to such a dark and heavy story. None of the characters are likable. Many are simply evil.

For me the, biggest drawback was the written dialect. Good old Joseph. What the heck is he saying here?
"What is he abaht? girt eedle seeght!"
Emily Brontë's sister, Charlotte, wrote the introduction to the second printing of the book. She said that one had to wonder whether it was moral to create a character as monstrous as Heathcliff, and she had to say "No."

I know Heathcliff is a monster. It's pretty clear that his only intentions are to spread the evil and unhappiness he feels to all those around him. He is motivated by an infinite bitterness and malice.

Typical Heathcliff quotes:
"By hell! I hate them."

"His life is not worth a farthing, and I won't spend a farthing on him."

"The nuisance of her presence outweighs the gratification to be derived from tormenting her!"
But I'm determined to believe that he didn't begin as such. Catherine and Heathcliff were bound together, and when she married another, that was the beginning of Heathcliff's downfall.
"Two words would comprehend my future -- death and hell -- existence, after losing her, would be hell."
So why do I love this story so much? I love the passion. I love that love is powerful enough to be terrible as well as uplifting. I never stopped feeling sympathetic towards Heathcliff, though I can understand that for some, or even most, people, his destructive behavior doesn't balance out with whatever love he may have had for Catherine.

But it brings up a startling notion: What do you do, how do you go on -- and for what purpose -- when you have lost your true love, your soul's match?

Friday, September 19, 2008

The silliest person I know

The kids have been saying some great things lately, and I wanted to record some of them:

Enigmatic Angela:
"Mom, can I do something that I could do?"
"Mom, where is the thing I had before that I liked?"

Conversation between the kids:
Angela: "That's a bigger-case A."
Elizabeth: "No, it's not, Angela. It's an uppercase A. If it was a bigger-case A, then the little ones would be smaller-case, but they're not. They're lowercase."

Guess who:
"Why do bugs always run away from us?"

Elizabeth's educational priorities:
"How was school today?"
"It was okay."
"Did something happen that you didn't like?"
"What was it, sweetheart?"
"The snack."

Angela's view of the world:
"I like the silly people the best."
"Who's the silliest person you know?"

Attending Births Cures Migraines

...and other unexpected things I've recently discovered:
  • A good cure for not wanting more children is to watch your children get older. With one in kindergarten and the other just turned 4 years old, my reluctance to sit by and allow my little ones to grow up has hit me. Hard. We are still in the magical stages of childhood, and I don't want to leave it. Not yet. The only way to prevent that from happening is...have another child. Cripes!

  • You can open a bank account in 15 minutes, if 5 minutes into the process you get a phone call that your client is dilated to 6 centimeters.

  • "It could be worse" stories always have the opposite effect on people: they feel worse, not better, after hearing how much harder other people's circumstances are.

  • And, finally, going to births cures migraine headaches. I had a migraine for two days when I got called by a laboring woman this morning. A few minutes after I arrived, I realized that my head felt absolutely fine. I've felt great ever since.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Color days

Elizabeth's class was asked to wear a color every day of the week. This week we had red, blue, yellow, and green.

Here she is at blue and yellow day:

Labor Day weekend

Elizabeth licking off the whipped cream (she missed a spot):

Angela in her PJs:



Who can keep a straight face through this? Not me.

Bridalveil Falls, Provo

The top of the falls:

I honestly can't remember what's going on here:

Elizabeth and her charge

Elizabeth showing her strong maternal side:

All better!

Poor Angela

Angela and Joe when they were sick: