Saturday, August 25, 2012

How Do You Feel About Chocolate?

 My friends at Leas of Lychten ask How Do You Feel About Chocolate?

How do I feel about chocolate?  IF the prophet said to stop eating chocolate, I would.  My doctor has no such effect.

If the prophet said to stop eating chocolate, I would.  If my Stake President or Bishop, speaking as a leader and representative of the Lord, said to stop eating chocolate, I would.  

If he did not say something to the effect of "thus saith the Lord" I would ask him if he spoke as a man or as a representative.  If as a man, I would politely decline to follow his admonition.

Fortunately, at many a church activity we have had chocolate with Bishop awareness and approval.  Chocolate milk is available in the Bishop's Storeshouse which provides food and commodities to (mostly) members in time of need. I therefore conclude that chocolate is not banned by the Lord nor His servants.

All things in moderation.  Whatever that means.  I would be quite happy with chocolate in my mouth almost every waking moment.  Anything less than that I consider moderation.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rock Center: Mormon in America

I was going to go to bed on time tonight. But, Rock Center has a one hour special on "Mormon in America" at 10pm. It's a plot, I tell you.
Time for the Mormon show. Aren't you excited that I am going to share rough notes with you?

Starting off with "The Mormon Way of Doing Business". Jet Blue, Marriott, missions, moms,"Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel, Push Along" There's a Book of Mormon in every room of the Marriott hotel chain. There is a brotherhood of returned missionaries. You know these people & you know who you can trust. When you need someone, naturally you turn to them.

About 6 million Mormons in America, about 2% of Americans. Not a lot of knowledge & understanding. Partly because the church has been secretive. (?)

"Before people judge or mock Joseph Smith's vision and visits from angels, remember every religion has its amazing story."

Some old school rules still govern Mormon life. NonMormon parents cannot come their children's weddings. Some people think we should be more accepting and move with the times.

They are interviewing a girl from a prominent Mormon family, Abbey Huntsman,raised Mormon but has married out and left the church. She is explaining the temple and garments. ? That's disappointing. Why is she the spokesperson for Mormon beliefs? Fortunately, not the only one. There is a faithful male member, that gets quoted (I keep missing his name) But she seems to be a featured individual.

Fortunately they also keep going back to the black man, white wife, faithful Mormon couple.  I really like them. When they met, he was not Mormon and had a beer in each hand (0ne was a friend's) Now he seems to be a rock.  And has a quiet sense of humor.  They said what did your mom say when you told her you were dating a Mormon girl? Well, after the dial tone.....

77% of Mormons say they go to church every week - more than any other church. (But not enough)

Now Mormon families and sexist inequality. Tradition, ritual, family scripture, 3 hours a week in church. The mixed race married couple. A black man who says being the only black in church (in his congregation for a while)  has not been an issue for him. He has not felt discrimination in church. : ) Al seems to have a real testimony. His wife confessing to having drunk one Coke in her life. Al admits he has a Dr Pepper once in a while. Such sinners!

"Magic underwear "- a reminder of who I am and what I stand for.

Interviewer: You are too tied down to church uniformity. Answer: I want to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am not doing anything I don't want to do.

A Mormon feminist. She is critical of church policy, but an active practicing Mormon. An openly gay Mormon. Shunned by family and church. He left the church for a time, but returned. As long as he is celibate, he can serve as a leader in his ward.A teenager testifying that she has accepted for herself the standards her parents and the church set which some of her friends consider limiting.

What if your child came to you and said I slipped up? That's the beauty of the Atonement.

Abbey Huntsman left the church because her Bishop told her that if she married her non-Mormon boyfriend her family would not have all the blessings. She married him, loves him and is very happy with him.

Faith without works is dead. Fast offering. 1/4 US Mormons make $30,000 a year or less. Sometimes they need help. Awesome tour of church storehouse in SLC (I think) "This could make the people from Costco jealous" "The Mormon industrial complex was made to (missed the word) self-reliance." After prayer and song, truckers take food to where it is needed. Mormon milk being made into Mormon cheese by Mormon volunteers. The Bishop's Storehouse and order form. All volunteers. You cannot pay, but you can volunteer and are encouraged to. Unpaid Bishops. If you are going to be a Mormon, this is not a bad fringe benefit. Even non-Mormons can get help. Employment centers, thrift stores, and more. Mormons believe in being their brother's keeper.

Of all the Mormons you talked with, would you say they would be comfortable with Romney talking more or less about his Mormonism? More. (YES)

Now "The Book of Mormon" musical. Very funny & very dirty. A "Mormon" is in the cast. Raised Mormon, rather. "A life I once fully embraced." He nearly cries (in a good way) talking about his mission. But he is an ex-Mormon. He is gay. (Not that one necessarily follows the other.  There are faithful gay Mormons) This musical would be rated R. "I am still a missionary. I am still sharing a message with the world." (?) (I wonder what message he means.)

That was their concluding story?! & their concluding sentence. (??) Some of this hour was very good, but some of it does not seem a fair representation of the Church.  What they saw, I guess.  It may well get people talking & maybe asking questions.

If any of my non-Mormon friends have questions, feel free to ask a Mormon friend (even me : ) ) (even though we may not have all the answers), or flag down a couple of guys in white shirts and name tags, or check out  Believe me, I, for one, don't want to see you get dunked until you have a personal testimony.  It is ok and "safe" to ask questions.  Except for the "slight" danger of us getting really excited and wanting to talk too much, but you can yell "Stop! OK,OK! Time-out!"  That's ok too.  We get excited about talking about the most precious thing in our lives, but you can tell us, "Enough, already!"

Enough for me already.  If I am going to get to bed "today" I had better get.

Living to the Max

Max's funeral is scheduled for Saturday, 25 August 2012
Funeral Service will be 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

After the service, there will be refreshments and, at Max's request, some dance music to celebrate his life and love of music and dancing.

I didn't know Max.  Reading the announcement for his funeral, I think I missed out on something.  It seems to me that Max probably didn't miss out on much.  He loved people, life, music and dancing. As his end time approached, I heard people talking, people from church who had been in the same ward as Max before the great break up.  He sounded like a wonderful spirit and man of faith.  I think he must have been, make that must be, quite a guy.  A life well lived, and a spirit welcomed home.

I am going to try harder to live every day to the Max - by appreciating and enjoying the "little things"more and by smiling at and enjoying people more.  

And maybe my son-in-law will DJ a dance after my funeral.  Please keep the music low enough for conversation.  Unless they are saying mean things about me!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Not as Planned

After staying up late last night working on my passport project so I could mail my documentation in today, I didn't. My aunt suggested that I ask the nice Willits librarians for a letter identifying source of my birth announcement and where and by whom it was found.  Instead of mailing my papers, I emailed my request.

Wednesday is my temple day.  In the morning I drive my car out to the Hazel park and ride, then light rail in to work.  After work, I return to my car without having to fight traffic and drive the short distance left to the temple. However, today when I unlocked one door and hit the lock to unlock the others, nothing happened.  Because the battery was dead.  Because the days are getting shorter and I had my lights on this morning.  And left them on.  I do not have a smart car that either turns off the lights or gives you a warning that you need to. My car just sits there and dies.

David and Teresa had texted me that they were going to the temple this evening and packing a little picnic to eat before going in and did I want to join them.  I told them I didn't expect to get there with much time for that, but that I would see them and maybe steal a bite.  Now I texted them that I wouldn't make it.

Before I had a chance to call AAA, David and Teresa texted that they had cables and would come give me a jump.  Which was really sweet of them, but it took long enough that now all three of us missed going to the evening session.  I did tell them that they could go and I would have AAA come out, but they took care of me anyway.

So, I suggested that we go to my house and play games.  Teresa somehow made her dinner for 2 or 3 feed all 5 of us.  Pretty good!

I didn't stay to play, because I needed to go visit Donna Frank, an older sister who had fallen and broken her pelvis and needs visits at the nursing home.  I knew that if I played games instead of visiting her I would feel guilty. Besides, it wouldn't hurt to drive a little bit more and give the car a little more time to charge up the battery.   I left the younger folk to their games.  On the way, I worried about what we could talk about.  hmmm Benjamin's mission, my passport problems, President Monson's birthday.  Good,  there's plenty to talk about from my end.  I never got a word in.  Ok, that's exaggeration.  She talked nonstop for an hour and I made appropriate occasional responses.  

That's it.  Not a bad day, but not the one I expected.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Documents for Barbara Robarts nee Owes, born Mijares

I think I'm as ready as I am likely to be.  Or my documents are, that is.  Now to find an envelope and get to a post office on my lunch break tomorrow.

This is a list of what I am sending in:

Copy of letter from Charleston Passport Center dated May 23, 2012

Supplemental Worksheet and additional pages for page 1, 2, 4, and 5

Affidavit from Robin (my aunt) notarized

Affidavit from Esque Frost (my great uncle) – notarized – plus a photocopy which is easier to read

(The affidavits say they knew my mother, knew of my birth, and know me and that I was born in America. - on official forms and, as I said, notarized)

Canby Union High School transcript – official, in sealed envelope (but they also sent me a copy.)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints membership record -signed, certified, and notarized (Not as informative as I had hoped)

email from Mendocino County Records stating that my birth certificate clearly shows that I was born in the City of Willits in Mendocino County

birth certificate of Louise Marie McGinness (my mother) – official certified copy

photocopy of birth announcement in Willits News September 14, 1951 taken from micro film stored in the Willits Library, Willits, Mendocino County, California

That's what I am going to send in. I hope they think it's enough.

It doesn't look like much for all the time and work I have put into it.  A lot of time doing research, asking questions, thinking (ouch, that hurts), sifting, worrying,  and waiting for responses.   

I also have my mother's death certificate - in case I decided to request a search of the 1950 census to establish her in Sacramento shortly before I was born so I could claim the probability of her being in the US at the time of my birth.  I sent away for my birth certificate father's birth certificate, but there hasn't been time for it to get here. 

My sister's birth certificate is much like mine and she had no trouble getting her passport a few years ago (but after 9/11).    I think she had an approver in a good mood and I didn't.   Let's hope my documents find my approver in a good mood this time.



Today started off quite well.  The nice Willits Librarians emailed me a copy of my birth announcement in the Willits News September 14, 1951.  I have a photo copy taken from micro film.  Not an original.  Not certified.  Still, I hope that the passport people will accept it.  If not, I know where it is.

Tuesday is P-day (Preparation Day) for Elder Robarts.  The day he gets a little bit of time to receive and send emails.  I watched my emails all day.  And did not get an email from him.

A snippet of a Facebook conversation about this:
Me: "I suspect that he read some emails, answered some emails, and ran out of time.  *Like* if you think Mom should come first - especially since Mom shares. = S"
Debi Robarts "I think Debi should come first."
( She did not get an email, either)

On the way to and not far from home, Joseph saw a little lost dog.  He spent the entire evening, along with Andrew, trying to coax, entice, catch the little dog so we could feed it and help it and try to find its owner.  (And then be stuck deciding whether to keep it or to take it to the SPCA) Not sure how Anna would take to the little stranger, but that's a moot point because the poor canine resisted all advances and eluded my sons.  He did get a couple of hot dogs and a couple of crackers out of the deal, but remains lost, lonely, scared, and apparently in not very good health. Local people said he had been around for a while.  I think someone said they would call Animal Control.  Probably a death sentence.  hopefully more merciful than starvation or being hit by a car.  We are sad, but the guys really tried. 

Meanwhile I spent the entire evening working on the supplemental worksheet from the passport department.  Can you list every address you ever lived and when?  As well as every school?  I can NOT. My memory for dates and details is so bad, it's a wonder I know my current address.  Another thing I lack is organized records. 

But why must I account for every place I have ever lived to establish that I am a a passport worthy actual American citizen???  I was born on USA soil - well, not on the soil, but in a nice little hospital - of US citizens.  I am quite certain that my mother, at least, was a natural born US citizen.  I have her birth certificate. (Mater Misericordiae Hospital) (??!!) (Sacramento, California) My birth father, I think so.  But he was born in the Philippines before WWII, so I actually don't know.  Shhh! don't tell the Department of State THAT. My legal on my birth certificate father WAS born in the USA.  Does that count?  I sent for his birth certificate, but won't wait for it to come before sending my documentation in - IF I GET THIS WORKSHEET DONE.

It's my bedtime and I am not done.  But I am going to work on it some more.  And hopefully finish tonight.  Dare I dream? 

Back to the Passport Papers.


Although, this puts to rest one family tale that I was either told wrong or remembered incorrectly.  I thought my mother told me that I could not have been switched at birth because only one other baby, a boy, was born there at the time I was.