first fig

my candle burns at both ends…

on rape and being a woman

(trigger warning: rape/sexual assault)

around the time i got my learner’s permit to drive my mother came home from a PTA meeting where a deputy from the local police department had spoken with them about teaching their daughters self-defense. they were given a few techniques and then sent home with a self-defense tool. that evening my mother presented me with a white, plastic kubaton and demonstrated how to use it.

“if a man comes to sexually assault you hold the kubaton like a javelin. make yourself as big as you can and then scream and growl in a deep and threatening manner. like this: haaarrrrrroooooggggwwwwrrrrrrr!!!! then rush at him and jab him in the throat. this will collapse his trachea and then he’ll die!” Read the rest of this entry »

i am grateful


i missed my gratitude post last week because of our trip so i’ll have to do two this week to make up for it. for today

1) i get to enjoy my children all week because mr. mraynes has gone back to work and the kids don’t go back to school until next week.

2) the new chalkboard wall we painted before we left for vacation occupies all the children for whole 15 minute stretches. it’s lovely.

3) the women of my congregation who are so loving and supportive.

4) the homemade grilled pizza that mr. mraynes is going to make when he gets home from work tonight.

5) our weekend juice cleanse that got rid of all of the nasty after-effects of vacation eating.

happy saturday!


i have a post up based on one i wrote here at the exponent today. come check it out!


scenes from vacation

we got home last evening and are still getting our feet under us. so while that happens I thought I would put up more pictures from the wedding/vacation.





we had a great time but it is so nice to be home! hopefully next week I’ll have some real posts but it’s the last week before school so we’ll have to see.



we’ve been visitingYellowstone, Jackson Hole and Lava Hot Springs the last few days. it’s been fun but the internet has been spotty. i’ll be back with regular posts when we get back to Denver.

live-blogging a road trip

we’re headed to my brother-in-law’s wedding today which means we’re on a road trip!

4:20 a.m. wake up. get ready and put final bags in the car.

4:35 a.m. wake up children. very grumpy and sleepy.

5:00 a.m. pull out of the garage.

5:30 a.m. stop by Krispy Kreme for a dozen hot, glazed donuts.


5:35 a.m. put in our book on cd. first book: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.

5:45 a.m. on to I-75. turned the first dvd for the kids…teletubbies.

6:00 a.m. took pictures of the sunrise.

6:20 a.m. drove by Cheyenne, waved at my friend crazywomancreek.

6:30 a.m. changed the dvd to backyardigans.

7:20 a.m. kids are now watching the incredibles. only one tearful episode so far. not to bad.


7:58 a.m. happiness streak is over. valkyrie and lionheart are poking each other and screaming.

8:00 a.m. worst part of Wyoming?..hardly any cell service.


8:35 a.m. stopped for gas. saw bikers.

9:50 a.m. lionheart succumbs to sleep.


10:03 a.m. monster wakes up lionheart after laughing at the little einsteins.

10:20 a.m. in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian universe men are given a special power to make them equal to women and their childbearing power–a section of the book that mr. mraynes especially appreciated.

12:17 p.m. guess i fell asleep.


1:32 p.m. took a potty break. wait a second, you don’t have a driver’s license!


2:39 p.m. pulled into the Idaho Falls Hampton Inn. finally here. easiest road trip ever!


i am grateful


1. a curious little boy who fills my day questions about how things are spelled and why they are.

2. a work ethic.

3. my in-laws who write each other silly notes and genuinely like to spend time together.

4. the olympics. enough said.

5. a washer/dryer. I was remembering as i did 5 loads of laundry today that before we bought our house I did all our laundry at a coin-op. that sucked.