Saturday, July 7, 2012

Rocking the world, Mormon girl style

It's the political season round these parts.  If you are American, you know that.  If you aren't American, you probably know it as well.  We're a bit obnoxious with our politics.
Sometimes I worry about posting here during said political season.  The possibility exists that I am a bit obnoxious as well.  But, last weekend, TMOTH's auntie kindly reminded me that it is my blog and I should feel quite free to post my opinions and thoughts here.  I like her. 
So, I'm a Mormon.  I think everyone knows that.  If you don't, well, now you do.  Hope you still love me.
As part of said Mormonism, I belong to the nation's oldest and largest women's organization, known as the Relief Society.  As part of membership in said society, I have a certain job.  We all do.  Part of the deal.  And, it's all volunteer, by the way.
Anyway, my job (or calling, as we like to call it) is to work on the Relief Society Committee.  This means, we are in charge of the monthly activities. 
This month, our theme for the activity was, um, multi-fold, for lack of a better term.  We wanted to focus on the theme of "becoming one in purpose", but we also wanted to bring in some history, since it was Independence Day and all that, and sort of combine in a getting to know each other and our past kind of thing.  Yeah, sounds complicated, I know.
Well, the other ladies on the committee assigned to me the part about the History of The Ladies. And by ladies, I mean people of the female sort.  They may have come to regret that.  I love Women's History.  I am an ardent feminist.  I will happily lecture you on the waves of feminism, what they accomplished and which wave I identify with the most.  I will gladly go into detail about the accomplishments of the women in history, and it won't be hard for you to figure out which women I admire the most.
Naturally, being me, I gravitate toward the mega-accomplishers.  I like the ladies who "foment rebellion" to further their cause.  I am not a background sitter, so I like the ladies who are also not background sitters.  And I DO admire them.  I admire their tenacity in the face of opposition, I admire their willingness to go beyond the boundaries set for them by society.  I admire them for the many, many doors they opened for me and others like me.  Without the accomplishments of these women, I would not be able to do many of the things I take for granted now.
So, although I think some of my fellow committee members expected me to choose the sweet fluff, the kind who stand in the background and support their husbands (not that that is a bad thing...), but I wanted to talk about women who stood on their own, accomplished things as WOMEN.  Yeah, girl power and all.  I heart it.
Here is a list of the ladies I felt made a good sized impact in my world.
Abigail Adams
Emma Hale Smith
Susa Young Gates
Martha Hughes Cannon
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Eliza R. Snow
Some of you non-Mormon types will only recognize Abigail Adams and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  Some of you Mormon types probably only recognize Emma Hale Smith and Eliza R. Snow.  ;)  Well, aside from Abigail and Elizabeth.  I hope.  ;)
Look them all up.  You'll be impressed.
In the meantime, I am going to post a few quotes from them that I love.  And my love for them is quite telling of my personality, I think. 
Speaking of personalities, one of the ladies at the activity today came up afterward to talk to me.  She said "You have a very strong spirit.  It's good that you are aware of it."  I smiled and thanked her.  But I was not then, nor am I now, sure of what she meant by that. 
Ok, quotes-
"-and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation."
     -Abigail Adams

"Keep busy in the face of discouragement."
     -Susa Young Gates

"Somehow I know that women who stay home all the time have the most unpleasant homes there are. You give me a woman who thinks about something besides cook stoves and wash tubs and baby flannels, and I'll show you, nine times out of ten, a successful mother."
     -Martha Hughes Cannon

"Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles, and see that the world is moving."
     -Elizabeth Cady Stanton

" Women should be women and not babies that need petting and correction all the time. I know we like to be appreciated but if we do not get all the appreciation which we think is our due, what matters? We know the Lord has laid high responsibility upon us, and there is not a wish or desire that the Lord has implanted in our hearts in righteousness but will be realized, and the greatest good we can do to ourselves and each other is to refine and cultivate ourselves in everything that is good and ennobling to qualify us for those responsibilities."
     -Eliza R. Snow

Can you see why I love these women?   My current particular fave is Martha Hughes Cannon.  Not only was she an amazing mother, she was also a doctor, AND defeated her husband in the race for  the Utah Senate, in which she served two terms.  Now that is a hell of woman.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Home Again, Again

Hot damn, I have 87 followers.  How cool am I?  Pretty cool, that's how.  In case you wondered.
So, once again, we spent the weekend in St. George.  I know, right?  Who goes down to St. George in this absurd heat?  We do, that's who!  And, it was hot down there, no question.  But, as one of my friends likes to remind me, it isn't really THAT hot according to the heat index because it's dry and humidity makes things seem hotter.  To which I reply, No Sh**, Sherlock, why do you think I live in the desert?  Silly.
Yesterday, we decided to take the time to go out to Tuacahn.  Now, I don't often go out there when I am down that way, because, being the emotional basketcase that I sometimes am, it makes me a wee bit depressed.  I posted a bit last time about my experiences down there.  I had a FANTASTIC time. Some of the most enjoyable summers of my entire life.  Beat, of course, by the time I spent in London, but, honestly, like anything could outdo LONDON. (I'm an Anglophile, in case you hadn't noticed, but that is a post for another time)
So, I decided to take my anti-depressants and risk the trip.  ;)

It was much as I remembered.  Especially the smell.  It hit me as I stepped out of my air conditioned conveyance into the summer heat.  That smell.  Sage and dust and mold and water and dryness.  Oh, I do love it.
They have added quite a few things to the stage and a nice bit of storage for costumes up above the scene shop.  We walked up to the amphitheatre and down the steps to the stage.  On the stage were some largish signs sayin "No Public On Stage, Please.", so we naturally sallied forth.  Onto said stage.  Made the Small One a bit skittish, it did.  "Mamma, are you sure we are allowed to be up here?"  "Yes, dear, Daddy and I are not the Public.  We once worked here."  Then of course, she wanted to know where I worked.  There was no need to ask WHAT I did.  She's perfectly aware of that.
So, we wandered about backstage for a moment, remembering this, that, or the other.  There's the spot on which I was standing when the horses freaked out and Warnick's horse nearly ran me down.  There's where the carwash used to be.  Wasn't there a chicken coop here?  Oh, here's where the barn fell into the pond! (At which point, I always dissolve into giggles, because, man, that was FUNNY.  TMOTH was not happy when that happened).
And then, Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles (did you see what I did there?) the Costume Building was open!  Of course, I had to go in.   And once again, the smell.  I love scents.  I love what they remind me of, how they open the floodgate of memories.  The smell in the costume building, when describes, sounds rather disgusting.  And, you know, it probably is.  Disgusting, I mean.  The dressing rooms are cooled by swamp cooler, which sounds like a good idea, but really isn't.  Dampness? Not a great thing with sweaty costumes.  So, the building smells of dampness, sweat, hairspray, starch, fabric, laundry, red dirt, sweaty performers.   That sort of thing.  Which combined, smells like...good times.  Work.  Friends.  Theatre.  Youth. Freedom. Happiness.  Silliness.  All of it.  And it is delightful.
As we walked in, a woman poked her head out of the shop.  Hello?  This building isn't open.
Me-Oh!  I used to work here.
Her-Oh, then come on in! When were you here and who was shop foreman at the time?
-Well, I was.
-What is your name?
-I've heard of you!
Me, secretly thinking, I hope they were good things!  Apparently, they were, because she promptly invited me to come back and work next summer.
Then she told me about how she can tell looking at costumes that they used to really spend money on getting professionals down there because some of those costumes are so well made that they might never die and they just keep using pieces over and over again.  Which costumes?  Oh, yes, some of those were MINE.  I did them.  Yep, I am that awesome. (don't get me wrong, I never designed down there.  Designing is not my forte.  I am a technician.  And a damn fine one.  Although, apparently, DIFFICULT to work with.  That's another post, however)
Anyway, all in all, it was a pleasant experience.  Professional courtesy is awesome.  It was great fun to be able to walk into an off limits area and get treated like I belonged there.  Sounds silly, I expect, but those sorts of things are good for my ego.
Then, we went up to the Tuacahn sign at the front and The Small One caught about 20 tiny frogs.  We only let her keep 4.