This monkey sketch is from a book my brilliant sister-in-law and brother gave to me for Christmas. I love how wierd monkeys are...and somehow gravitate to them during lulls or no brain time. So, here ia monkey for a snowy day, today.

I have been thinking about doing the F. That is, getting the F inbetween the M and the A---through Hartford. Here are the upsides: 1) I finally get a dose of the wonderful Tinkelmans; 2)it's only 2 summers with a year inbetween; 3) I am on a roll now, so why not take the time and see what happens; 4) I will finally get the teachers we were promised at SU and then not delivered on. The downside is more time and more money. The time comes out of the margins...and its a continuation of what is going on now...and the money I can borrow or hope that a certain project I have finally begins to produce some dough. Money is not a big issue...I think I can figure that out. And, if it all dovetails, I think I will start this July--as that is when this particular session begins...and if I don't go now, it would be in 2009 which seems way too far away--and my life at that time will be in the getting kids ready and funded for college. So, to my thinking, its now or not at all.

On other fronts, the burkas continue. I did a little blog reading this week about islamic people talking about their perceptions of burkas. It was interesting to read commentary from people who view the burka as a point of extremism. One step too far...almost a fanaticism versus a very conservative commitment to the words of Mohammed about women being kept private. I think there parallels between orthodox and conservative jewish dress and that of islam--and the perceptions from within the community and outside the community. So, I am torn about how I weigh into this discussion except that my hope is that the women that wear burkas make the decision to live this lifestyles on their own. If they do make these decisions--then it is their choice to express their beliefs in a very visual and distinct way within their community. And this decision and lifestyle need to be respected independant of one's personal beliefs.

On another front, I was listening to John Dehlin's podcast Mormon Stories this week and was fascinated by the interview he had with Anne B. Wilde (a name that doesn't match up with the woman), a polygamist and member of the FLDS church. I have been fascinated by the Mormons and the offshoot, renegade FLDS church, and this very personal and human conversation that John conducted was eye opening about the power of belief down to lying and acting in a deceptive way to practice those beliefs. It is very twisty turny--but certainly takes one out of the quiet up on our hill, to how other people live and practice their faith. I highly recommend anything John Dehlin touches (if you are fascinated by the Church of Latter Day Saints ) as he is very even, balanced and empathetic to those he is interviewing and really allows that person to be up front and center. He has a remarkable way of fading into the background so that you can really hear what is being said--unburdened by the need of the interviewer to be a personality. From that point, I jumped into the bloggisphere and read some amazing stuff...more the world that Warren Jeffs and Uncle Rulon created. The comments on one of these blogs were unbelievable, as it was the community talking about who married who, who was "kicked out",etc...and there were no more than 5 or 6 last names bandied about. Here are some links, if you want to walk on the wild side (no pun intended!):

Nevada Polygamy>>
Check out the comments...
Salt Lake City Tribune writer Brooke Adams' blog>>
One Utah>>
Texas Polygamy Blog>>
That should get you thinking in a new direction. More tomorrow.