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Bits & Pieces

I've been trying to collect enough random stuff for some sort of blog post. Summer has been very slow for writing. Below are a few things I've been thinking about, plus some pictures.


For most shortcomings, failure is too strong a word. If you're learning to play the piano but you can't play a piece correctly right away, you haven't failed. You're still learning it. Similarly, if you aren't a perfect parent, child, sibling, spouse, friend, etc., you aren't a failure—you're still learning.

Unless you quit. Then you fail. Until you start trying again.

Pet Peeves

Don't let minor irritations solidify into things you love to hate. And definitely don't compile a list and share it online. Nobody cares about your particular set of peeves but you.

Remember this story? Pockets Full of Rocks. It's more about collecting grudges than collecting pet peeves, but there are similarities. Hoarding either one only serves to cause you unnecessary pain.

Culture Vs. Biology

I read an online post about how patriarchal culture conditions women to behave passively. The writer argued it isn't biological, but learned cultural behavior. My questions:

  • How does culture develop independent of biology? Did some aliens just come slap it on us after we'd evolved sufficiently? Is that what the Egyptian pyramids are really all about?

  • Why does it always have to be nurture versus nature? Why can't it be a combination of the two? In fact, why wouldn't it be?

Pioneer Trek

My two oldest boys will be attending the traditional summer activity of young Mormons everywhere: Pioneer Trek. It's sort of like a spiritual bootcamp—all the fun of EFY with a heavy dose of physical rigor and controlled starvation. I remember when I went on Trek as a young woman, my sister got her foot run over by a fully loaded handcart. Fun times!

The youth who are participating are supposed to bring along a 3x5 card with a picture and story about one of their pioneer ancestors. We chose my great-great grandfather, William Kilshaw Barton.

William Kilshaw Barton

Among the interesting tidbits in his journal is this account of one day he spent during his mission to England (where he was born):

July 26, 1872. ... I went to a Wax Works Show. I saw a large painting to represent Brigham and his forty-seven wives, some of them booting him and others weeping. He (Brigham) was represented as a very old man sitting in a chair, his mouth turned down at the corners — nothing like him. ...

Goblin Valley

Last weekend, Jason and Nathan went on a Scout overnighter to Goblin Valley. I'm sure beautiful pictures are forthcoming. So far, all I have is this one of Jason in a ridiculously practical hat:

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Made it to the Mexico MTC!

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I'll send a longer message next week!

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Dear Everybody,

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