Rawlins Family

Rawlins Family

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Ghost of Halloween Past

This is from Halloween '06. I'm still trying to collect my thoughts enough to put together a coherent blog entry. I figured I'd dust off this oldie, but goodie.


As we approach Halloween evening, the night of trick-or-treating, I am coming to a shameful realization...Cameron and Miles are not just my sons on Halloween, they're my patsies. My stool-pigeons, my decoy, my cover. Whatever you want to call it, I use my sons to get me some yummy candy. Up until this point I think it was subconscious. I really WANTED to drag Cameron out all night, freezing his tush off and pulling at the "feathers" I had sewn on him (2005), or the anchor tattoo Chase had drawn on his arm (2004). I really LOVED the idea of watching him go door-to-door and thrust his little open bag up into the air, looking expectant. It was CUTE to hear him learn to say "trick-or-treat", which sounded more like TickTeat. But as we count down the days the thought of all of those glorious mounds of candy piled on my living room floor after a dutiful night trudging down the streets makes me giddy. I LOVE candy. Perhaps it has something to do with my upbringing or maybe it's encoded in my DNA; I don't know. All I know is that when I see people stringing up orange lights on their trees or sticking skeletons in their front windows I positively drool at the thought of the forthcoming bounty.
So am I ashamed, you ask? No. I have also recently come to realize that I'm not the only parent who feels this way. The more I think about it, the more I realize MY parents were probably known to dip their hands into our confectionary coffers. Think about it. Halloween night usually went like this: You run out of the house with some sort of paint on your face and a great thrift-store dress (or fatigues) that your mom found. In your right hand is a flash-light and in your left hand is a pillow case. No plastic pumpkin for you, no, you plan on striking it rich tonight. For the next FOUR HOURS you cover (and re-cover in many instances) the streets located within a 5 miles radius of your house before returning home exhausted. You and your siblings or friends proceed to dump out your goodies and start categorizing the candy. Then you start trading. But before long mom comes in and tells you that you can have one more piece and then it's time to hand it over and go to bed. No, you're not allowed to take your candy into your room because then you'll just spend all night eating it and getting cavities. So, as a trusting young child you hand over the candy and head for bed. Now here's what you didn't know...it's at this point in the evening that mom feels VERY rewarded for having borne children. She and dad rifle through the bulging bags like homeless people at the dumpster behind Olive Garden. They laugh, they giggle, they pour the candy on the floor and lay down to make candy angels in it...Yeah, I can see your wheels turning. You know I'm right.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I promise I'm totally going to update my blog...soon. My life got pretty crazy (good crazy...sort of) and I haven't had too much to blog about.

(there's always a "but")

I found this and you know I had to blog it.

Less than a month. I'm as excited as a 12 year-old!!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

There's a new Twilight trailer and it's fantastic. There's a little more than a month before it opens in theaters and I'm getting slightly giddy. Check it out here or go to StephenieMeyer.com and follow the links on her site. Best 2 minutes of my day so far...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Reminiscing (or, the reasons I need to listen to more Bon Jovi)

So today I was cleaning my kitchen and whilst scrubbing away at my bright, shiny cabinets I found myself humming along to a much beloved tune: Dead or Alive by Bon Freakin' Jovi. I got a little carried away, progressing from a low hum to me belting out the guitar solo while air-guitaring. It. Was. Awesome. As soon as I finished rocking out to that I could hear the opening notes of Blaze of Glory (From the Young Guns II soundtrack, I believe) and as I started to sing along to the tape deck playing in my head I realized I haven't listened to Bon Jovi in SO LONG! Why?!?!

I've always considered myself a pretty musical person. My siblings can attest to the many hours I spent (loudly) playing piano during their favorite TV shows or singing along to my Newsies soundtrack in my room (dude, how hot was Christian Bale in that movie and why did I totally want to move to Santa Fe after watching it?!). So music has always been a big part of my life. I'm realizing now that certain music acts almost like a place holder, marking the passage of time through my metamorphosis from little-girl Anna to big-girl Anna. Anytime I hear a classic Sesame Street song I can visualize myself sitting in front of the TV after my half-day Kindergarten. The song Que Sera Sera reminds me of my first experience in front of an audience as an extra in a middle school musical when I was 7. I can still sing "Consider Yourself" from Oliver, which was the next musical in third grade. It was done by the High School and I thought I was totally radical for getting to hang out in the high school cafeteria while waiting for our scenes (read: I WAS totally radical in third grade and have remained so to the present day).

Miami Sound Machine, Get on Your Feet was the song of my DANCE SOLO in fifth grade. I can still remember wearing some pink stretch pants and dancing my hiney off. See above about me being totally radical.

Godspell and Annie were the next community theater projects, but in my free time I was singing along with every Disney animated musical. Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King. See above about me being totally radical.

At some point I decided that it was time for me to be a grown up. So I decided that I liked Depeche Mode. That's reasonable, right? Sure. Every 6th grader is listening to Depeche Mode in 1991! Okay, not really. I was mostly listening to them for the same reason I was reading Kurt Vonnegut. Because my big sister did it. And, in case you were wondering, she was totally radical. No, but seriously. I could show you pictures of her hair in '89 and you'd understand why. It defied gravity. And her acid-washed jeans were glorious in all their pleated-ness. So anyway, yeah. I wanted to be just like Chrysta so I started listening to DM. And to this day I still love them. Thanks, sis.

When I turned 14 I got to start going to DANCES. At the dances I got to meet all of the kids from the area who were members of our church and they introduced me to all sorts of insane music. So anytime I hear Violent Femmes I think of church dances. Hmmm...so appropriate, right?

In high school the grunge movement was in full swing. Picture me with purple (or pink) hair and a flannel tied around my waist rockin' along to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and you'll have a pretty good idea of my life during the first three years. Senior year I moved back to PA and met a group of kids who were into "underground" music. I spent HOURS listening to all sorts of random indie bands who recorded on VINYL. Yes. Just when I finally bought myself a CD player with my hard-earned K-Mart salary I decided I should listen to emo singers whining away on scratchy vinyl albums. See above about me being totally radical. And when I wasn't listening to it on vinyl I was standing in some back room of a record store watching them live. I cut off all my hair, wore big baggy pants and hoodies and referred to myself as "hard core." But PRIVATELY? I was listening to Indigo Girls and Sarah McLaughlin. Senior year was also during the "Lillith Fair" hey day.

In college I discovered Dave Matthews Band. Because, really, what college kid doesn't listen to DMB? I don't remember if our bookstore even SOLD posters for any other band. Every party I ever went to had DMB playing in the background and all the long-haired romeo's would sit around strumming his melodies. By the end of my first semester I practically had a degree in DMB.

When I met Chase I fell back in love with the Beatles and Radiohead - two of his favorite bands. Though we only knew each other a short time before getting engaged I knew by looking at his CD case that he was the one.

Anyway, there's not really a point to this blog. It's just fun to think about all the different events in my life and what I was listening to at the time. Along the way I've discovered some really great music. My greatest musical influence has been the great Pittsburgh Sara. The girl owns, like, a million CD's and has perfect taste in music. She listens to EVERYTHING (except country, but including bluegrass) and is always finding newer, cooler stuff. And what I admire about her, and what ultimately prompted me to write this blog, is that she's not afraid to embrace what she likes even if other people might not think it's cool. She recently attended a NKOTB concert! I don't like them myself but then again, some people don't like Bon Jovi. But guess what? I do! I think Bon Jovi is one of the most consistently cool bands of all time! And I'm not afraid to say it. We all need a little more Bon Jovi in our lives.

That is all.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

After watching the Vice Presidential debate I have a few thoughts to share.
First, I will say that I was highly surprised that Palin did as well as she did. Before the debate (which, by the way, pre-empted The Office...not a good sign) I mentioned to Chase that it was on and we should watch it. He replied that yes, we should watch the slaughter. "It will be like shooting fish in a barrel!" So I was impressed with how well-rehearsed and well-prepared Palin was. But that just wasn't enough to hold me over. Read with me now and we'll go over a few pros and cons in relation to Mrs. VP.

Pro - Her hair was much less annoying tonight. Less fluffy and librarian-y.

Con - Her blush was out of control in a very 1986 Cyndi Lauper kind of way.

Pro - At no point did she tell the moderator she would "Get back to her" with an answer.

Con - At no point did she actually answer any of the questions.

Pro - She only used the word "Maverick" 74 times.

Con - She still keeps using the word "Maverick."

Pro - She's a mom and I like that.

Con - She hasn't realized that being a mom doesn't count as "executive experience."

Pro - For the most part she used full sentences and didn't fill too much time with Um, Uh, or Hmmm.

Con - She was winking. Seriously. She was winking. Maybe she was chewing Bubble Yum, too. I couldn't tell.

Pro - She has given Tina Fey SO MUCH to work with.

Con - Tina Fey no longer is on staff at SNL so I don't know how much longer they'll let her keep guest-starring (though, hopefully at least through November).

Pro - She is a Washington Outsider.

Con - Not sure yet if she is able to spell Washington.

Anyway, you get my drift, right? Honestly, there just wasn't a whole lot of substance coming out of her. She was cute and peppy and used sweet little colloquialisms and gee isn't that nice. But I don't vote for nice. I don't vote because I think someone is going to be a really great gal "up there" in Washington. I vote because I stand behind the actual policy of a particular ticket. At this point, aside from his stance in Iraq and his stance on same-sex marriage I don't know McCain's platform any better than I did before (I can't figure out what the guy is running on, to be frank). I thought Biden did a much better job of actually answering the questions placed before him. And I agree with him. I was especially happy to have him give a solid outline of the exit strategy for Iraq. And I'm pretty sure he knows that the U.S. Commander in Afghanistan isn't McClellan. Oops! (Wink, nod, snap your gum, raise your pom pom) Your mistake, right hon?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Lately I've had something on my mind. With the state of our economy I find myself thinking back to the things our leaders have been emphasizing so much recently. They have been seriously focused on preparedness. Having our lives in order and being ready to weather any storms that life may throw at us. Recently we have received pamphlets about short and long-term food storage. We have received another about financial preparedness. We've been hearing it over and over from the pulpit and from our church news magazines. We need to be prepared as a people. We need to stop living in excess and focusing on worldly desires.

Personally, I've been hearing it but I've been slow to take to heart these messages. I've been pretty lazy in gathering my food storage. I'm sure we could live for a good month off of the food in our pantry but I promise you it would be a very sad month.

As I read and see the news reports that are growing more desperate each day I feel like the time is now. I can't put off any longer what I should have been doing all along! I need to buckle down and heed the counsel of the Lord who taught, "Organize yourselves; aprepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a bhouse of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of corder, a dhouse of God..."

While the current condition of the economy may end up turning around and we may avoid a national catastrophe I think we can all use this as a lesson to ourselves. There is danger in extending ourselves beyond our ability to pay. There is danger when we devote ourselves more to the vain and foolish things of the world, and less to the simple concerns of building a safe and happy home for our family. I truly believe that if we do all we can to follow the simple principles the Lord has outlined for us, including paying our tithing, establishing a moderate amount of food strorage and building on it, and doing our best to save what money we are able to, we will be able to enjoy a sense of peace even amidst the volatility of the world. The Lord does not desire for us to live in fear, but rather to follow after Him and His principles and find comfort and peace therein.

Obviously I have a lot of work to do. Though I feel so behind I hope that I am able to have a sustained, steady effort and build up my food, water and financial reserves. It feels like such a monumental thing - to gather food and money enough for my whole family. For a WHOLE YEAR! Thankfully, I've found some good websites. If you're interested you should really check them out. They're very helpful. The most important part seems to be having a plan. This is not something you can go about willy nilly (side note: I love any and all occasions to use the term "Willy Nilly"). Anyway, I'm providing a list of websites that I've found helpful. Hopefully you are all way ahead of me. But if you're not, here's the bandwagon. Jump on!
Provident Living
Safely Gathered In
Totally Ready
Food Storage Calculator