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The Perfect Blog Commenting System

This week I was discussing blog comment systems with a developer. Over the years I’ve looked at various blog commenting systems. None provided enough of my desired features to warrant a switch from native WordPress. I’m open to being persuaded but, ultimately, I won’t switch unless you give me a compelling reason to do so by solving problems and providing features.

The Perfect Blog Commenting System

Below are the things I would like to see in a comment system. Some are imperative and others just niceties. Please share what you use and why in the comments!  [click to continue…]


For as long as I can remember, I have been a heterosexual, cis-gendered, any-ethnicity-with-melanin female with bold opinions about transgenderism trapped in the body of a heterosexual , cis-gendered, pasty white female who cannot bring herself to express her bold opinions about transgenderism for fear of being vilified and castigated.

Today—in the spirit of courage and heroism—I am opening the door to reveal my authentic self. I am sure you will be supportive, loving, accepting, and tolerant.

Transgender Jenner Feelings

In spite of my typically cynical, flippant approach to everything else in the world, I’m going to try really hard to be respectful. In spite of the fact that I look askance at many priesthood issues, gender issues, temple issues, and a host of other issues more sacred than “gender identity,” I’m aware enough to know that our culture simply disallows certain things. You can mock Mormons, but you can’t mock Muslims. You can bash women who wear knee length dresses and twist their hair in odd configurations, but you can’t bash men with large Adam’s apples and five o’clock shadow who totter about in heels. It’s just the way of the world. I reluctantly embrace it—for this post—to the extent I can muster.

Remember, it is improper to contradict, disrespect, or shame the truly authentic.  [click to continue…]


Public School Fail: Mother’s Day Report Card

A first grade class at Ridgecrest Elementary in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, (and scads of other schools around the country, too, if the 1,994 downloads are any indication) made a Mother’s Day “gift” to take home. Was it a sentimental card? A loving poem? Perhaps the impression of the child’s hand forever memorialized in plaster of paris? No.

Public School Fail: Mother's Day Report Card

Some teacher (or in this case it may have been Principal Teri Mattson) thought it was a grand idea to have six-year-olds rate their moms on personal behaviors. The “report card” reveals how well “the mom” lives up to expectations! Kids get to rate (with smiling, neutral, or frowning faces) their moms on these items:  [click to continue…]


Maybe I’m weird, but never in my 50 years of Mormondom have I hung my head and cried:

Oh, if only I could have wine with dinner, my entire life would be complete!

Freedom from the Oppression of the Word of Wisdom

Here are some other things I’ve never said:

My life is empty without getting sloppy drunk at least three or four times in my life!

I’ve always wondered what a screaming hangover feels like. Mormons are so deprived!

Coffee. Oh, please heavenly beings, just let me have coffee and I will do whatever you ask of me!

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Baltimore Problems and Liberal Guilt Assuagement

Sit Down and Shut Up

I’m a pasty white, college educated, middle class, conservative American. Right up at the top I acknowledge those facts disqualify me from having an opinion about anything.

Baltimore Problems and Liberal Guilt AssuagementI am, however, a woman and someone who has experienced hair prejudice. In addition I am 50, taller than average, heavier than a plus-size model, and Mormon. Given those inherent injustices and inequalities, perhaps I will be allowed to use my brain on a matter in which I am not personally involved, yet still concerned.

With that said, I will cautiously proceed.

The Guilt Guidelines

The progressive guilt assuagement pattern is a variant of “symbolism over substance.” It goes something like this:

  1. I feel bad that I have more money or resources or education or comfort or food or whatever than others.
  2. I don’t like to be uncomfortable because of these feelings.
  3. I don’t want to sacrifice my own lifestyle or resources in order to solve the problems over which I feel such shame. (“Shame” being one of my top 100 favorite words of all time.)
  4. Therefore I will promote legislation that redistributes primarily someone else’s resources toward the cause I “care” so much about.
  5. In doing so I feel better.
  6. Whether or not the legislation actually solves the problem or serves a real purpose isn’t relevant—and I refuse to discuss that aspect rationally—because I have done “my part” and therefore am absolved of guilt. And my guilt it what matters.
  7. If anyone tries to rationally discuss the efficacy of my guilt-resolving legislation—perish the thought—I will use my best ad hominem to beat them to a pulp. (Long experience shows that terms that end in -ist and -phobe have the highest probability of shutting down all discussion immediately!)
  8. Party time!

As “the good democrat” said in a (public) Facebook conversation:  [click to continue…]


by Sara Burlingame

The clerk at Kohl’s just cheerfully asked me if I was pregnant. Rather than honk his impertinent nose I just said “no” very carefully and slowly. My “no” had five syllables.

So he followed up with, “Oh, did you just have a baby?”

With the patience of Clytemnestra I said, “No. And you should stop now.”

He asked if I was offended about 50 time. I smiled and said, “Of course not; women love being told they look pregnant.”

This made him break into a relieved smile and say, “Really? Oh good!”

I replied with my best pitying glare, “Of. Course. Not. Just. Stop.”

A gentle reminder: the only appropriate time to assume a woman is pregnant rather than overly fond of her own cooking is when the baby is crowning; no sooner.


It’s Not About That Bass

This isn’t the post I intended to write this weekend. But something happened that pushed it forward.

Translating Gendered DoctrineThe discussion on my recent post Mother: Where Art Thou? took an interesting, but familiar, turn. I intended the post to be mostly a personal expression of how I hoped for more knowledge about my Heavenly Mother and to support Julie de Azevedo Hanks’s music reflecting that goal. But (predictably, I suppose) it has become mostly a discussion of whether and why learning about Her matters at all.

It’s a typical pushback among Mormons. It always looks something like this, “Why are you making a fuss? If the church doesn’t already have it, the church obviously doesn’t need it. If the church needs it, it already has it and you are just too stupid to see it. If the church is lead by prophets and apostles of God, it’s just how it should be.”

Kind of like, oh, the filthy school of the prophets. That presumptive, treacherous Emma, who had to get all up in Joseph’s face about it. As if he didn’t have that whole Word of Wisdom thing already worked out in the Lord’s proper time.  [click to continue…]


Mother, Where Art Thou?

Missing in Theme

Proving again our oddity, Mormons proudly proclaim an acknowledged—but sparse—doctrine of Heavenly Mother. While the thought of a Heavenly Father without a corollary Heavenly Mother “makes reasons stare,” we spend most of our church lives behaving as if she isn’t there. And if she is there, well, she’s auxiliary.

Mother, Where Art Thou?

Even the Young Women theme—the Young Women theme!—ignores her entirely.

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him…

All true, but of all church programs, isn’t Young Women one place where we could—and should—explicitly acknowledge that we are also daughters of a Heavenly Mother, that she loves us, that she was a co-creator of our spirits, that we are created in her image?  [click to continue…]


Paid Menopause Leave – Because I Deserve It

#LeadOnLeave Is Sooooo Darn Awesome!

Recently I’ve seen flurry of sharing of a Valerie Jarrett promoted piece of foolishness. Propagandize government enforced perks and progressives clamor to get on board. Publicize perks for doing nothing—with eeeeeevilllll businesses footing the bill—and they will practically hyperventilate.

Paid Menopause Leave

According to the fallacious video “The United States is the ONLY developed nation WITHOUT paid maternity leave.” Compare that American wasteland to the lustrous and caring Germany—where new mommies get 14 weeks off with full pay— and it’s apparent that we have it bad here in the suckland of the world.


First, let’s be clear that there is tons of maternity leave (including paid leave) in the U.S. of A. It’s just not mandated by the government. You aren’t “entitled” to it (yet) just because you have the ability and wherewithal to conceive a child.

Second, in the U.S. both business owners and employees have (some measure of) freedom. If you want a job that provides 14 weeks of paid maternity leave (read that: 14 weeks that the company has to pay you for not working, just because you want something for nothing—because womb), here are your options:  [click to continue…]


As a blogger and homeschooling mom of six, managing my time is paramount. As someone who loves organizing and planning—unfortunately sometimes more than actually doing the things I’ve organized and planned—I know the value of creating a schedule that will motivate action rather than just look pretty on paper. (Full disclosure: I have Gantt charts to track my kids homeschool work from kindergarten through high school graduation. Yes, I do.)

Increased Productivity With Personalized Routines

In spite of my obsession, I’m not a stickler for very specific routines. Life ebbs and flows and urgencies arrive daily (sometimes hourly). Being able to accommodate those things is as much a part of planning as anything. But having a general framework around which to manage the various moving parts of life is very helpful for getting things done. The best routines are designed to fit your circumstances, personality, family, resources, and goals. The right routine is the one that works for you, motivates you, and takes you where you want to go in your life. Your goal is progress,  not stagnation or regression, with a personalized routine.

If you’re wondering how you can squeeze more of the best things into your days—while still accommodating the necessary and mundane—here are some resources for consideration. I’ll leave my general weekday schedule at the end of the post for your consideration.

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