the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero


I am grateful to be DAD

Mass media and much of society still has yet to get the memo.

It’s still lonely, but, I would be remiss if I forgot to mention that my ward (local church congregation) has been better about including my perspective in discussions of parenthood.

Our Relief Society president more or less acknowledged on the stand that visiting teachers minister to families as well as sisters.  Whew!  I thought Cimmy’s were just putting up with me.  Then again, she is my right hand woman for one of my home teaching assignments, because she is assigned as a visiting teacher to the women in that family. Because our respectively assigned companions are inactive or very busy, sometimes, the only way we maintain contact and help for that family is to pair up.

The dads in my ward are hands on.  The elders’ quorum (one of the men’s groups) usually has some kids in the meetings, because our dads take turns caring for their kids.  When my son was younger, I was grateful to get some help when I took my turn caring for him.

Sometimes I sat in during his Primary time, either in opening exercises (when the children met together) or during his individual classroom time.  I am grateful that I don’t have to do that anymore, although, I did like the change of pace then.  I liked singing the Primary songs and listening to the lessons.

I have been hurting so bad that I haven’t been attending services much… again.  I am still grateful that Cimmy is still willing to take the kids anyways.  She didn’t feel well enough to get them to the main worship service, but she took Boy to Primary and Princess to Young Women‘s.  Someone in the ward very thoughtfully gave them a ride home.

boy in tent

Still an old photo. The tent was broken, and then repaired after it was taken. I suggested Cimmy move it closer to the east fence (in the background) to shield it from the wind.

Cimmy set up the tent for Boy to sleep in over the weekend.  I’m grateful that she fixed it.  This is a tent I used during my Scouting years, and I am glad that it’s still servicable.

He slept in it last Friday and Saturday nights, but Cimmy brought him in last night as he was melting down again.  We’ll try again this upcoming weekend.  He slept alone as Princess had no desire to sleep in the tent this time, but we gave him a flashlight, kept the lights on on the back porch areas, and he was fine.

EDIT Friday, September 5: Our ward had a church social that we somehow missed out on (while Cimmy makes it to meetings, she often misses announcements about social activities unless I press her to add it).

Didn’t know until I called an old family friend two hours ago (who incidentally moved into our neighborhood some months ago– sometimes the stars just align that way to our benefit); he promised to let me know about things a little bit better.

Called my father– he schedules for the building the social was in– so many members are just having trouble adjusting to the new technology (ward organizations– Relief Society, etc.– are supposed to schedule online themselves, but they don’t know how, they keep calling him to do it).

Called our bishop (read: pastor, if that’s more familiar to you) about an hour ago to let him know that we were falling through the cracks and not learning about things.  Told him about what I was learning from my father and his calling (read: assignment, position) and said I was willing to help people learn the system– once I can get surgery for the bone spur in my spine and whatever else– and am more healthy to do it.

We will see about Boy sleeping back in the tent tonight.



To write love on her arms

Two years ago, I learned that my daughter turned to cutting to deal with the crushing stress in her life.

She turned to it again two nights ago when Cimmorene lost it with Boy when he would not go to bed for several hours.  Cimmy let me know, because she knew I wouldn’t be angry– how could I?  I dealt with it myself.

I cut myself years ago when I was in a stressful romantic relationship that ended with false accusations of rape.  Cimmy wasn’t around then, but she was when I started cutting again, as the university we were attending was soaked in scandal, and the music department especially was mired in dirty politics between professors.  When she miscarried before our son was born… more cuts.

So all I could do was listen to my daughter, and tell her more about my struggles with this issue.

I want her to continuing taking pencils, pens, and such to paper– not a knife to her arms.


Ten things of thankful: ID4 2014 and more

I’ve started a new 43Things goal for Lizzi’s Ten Things of Thankful blog hop.
As always, I’ve added additional long-form edits to this WordPress crosspost.

This weekend brought so much to be thankful for.

1. Our daughter continues to work on her artistic skills. She was our principal photographer and videographer for our trip.

Photo credit: Bill 1939 B at Flickr, a.k.a. “Pop”. My father-in-law decided to take some shots of Princess at work

2. She has friends and family that are cheering her on!  Notably, they include:

the ever-lovely and generous Tahira “TJ” Lubrano

Bill 1939 (her maternal grandfather, as mentioned before)

I’ve been in touch with Dean at Dean’z Doodlez about starting some artistic, creative synergy with his work and the stuff that Cimmy, Princess and I do.  So far, the response has been fantastic!  Please do me a favor and check him out.

3. The gooseberry bush at my in-laws’ house is always ready to harvest (often more ready than my MIL’s liking) every July 4th. They allow us to come each year to pick gooseberries.

It wasn't TOO hot, but we took time during the hottest part of the day to remove the stems and blossoms.  Photo by Princess

It wasn’t TOO hot, but we took time during the hottest part of the day to remove the stems and blossoms. Photo by Princess

4. The Yakama Nation is less stringent about fireworks than our local municipalities, so we go to Toppenish to watch local displays. Although the casino didn’t have funds for a display this year, there was plenty to see from nearby stands.

Oh snap, Princess is better at capturing fireworks than I am!

Oh snap, Princess is better at capturing fireworks than I am!

5. Although we essentially get a free show, Cimmy and the kids have enjoyed lighting sparklers the past few years. Sparklers are banned in our home city.

Do you see now this girl has got talent?  Wow!

Do you see now this girl has got talent? Wow!

6. I spent some time to be mindful of the holiday and talked with my father-in-law about the reality of wartime military service that Friday. Specifically, he served Navy on a nuclear submarine during the Vietnam War.

7. I am grateful that my wife spent some loving and pleasant time with her youngest sister, with our daughter along.

8. I am very glad that my sister-in-law is doing well right now, and that she always welcomes my hugs.

9. Yakima and Toppenish were my other homes at one point. Returning is sometimes bittersweet, but I enjoy returning and recalling many memories.

10. I am grateful for the old highways (WA HWY 22, 241) that are less-traveled. They are a welcome respite from the freeways (SR 395, I-82) and the manner of their drivers.


Gratitude X2 for Blogging Diversity!

Cross-posted from 43Things— Now with extra edits here on the WordPress entry!

1. WordPress bloggers are working on goals and I have reasons to use 43Things again.
a. Building Rome from Bradley “Green Embers” Corbett
Bradley knows about 43Things and I told him I’d use it while participating in this project.  I am confused about whether this week is about passion, or reaching out, or both.
b. Ten Things of Thankful from Lizzi at Considerings
Lizzi’s series was what originally reminded me, “Hey, I’m involved in a goal at 43T just like this!”

2. I still have a TENS unit I can use although I will have to send it back

it looks more or less like this

3. Food bank Friday


4. The chore boards Cimmy got for her and the kids (don’t worry, I have my task lists too) AND she agreed to review chores again today

5. Cimmy is reading to me “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Verbal Self-Defense” even though the book isn’t very good (at least compared to “Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion”)

6. Cimmy still laughs when I fart, like just now

fart photo you-what-woman-fart-ladies-first-da.jpg

My mother told me no nice girl would want to marry a guy who burped, and farted… Guess I showed her.

7. For that matter, Princess usually laughs when either of us fart

and your loved ones laugh about it.

Actually, this is more the exchange I have with both Princess AND Cimmy. But more often Princess. Dayum!

8. Irrigation is back on! SeeWater returned to some KID customers in east Kennewick, Finley

I wonder if this has any connection to those damn rodents burrowing in OUR backyard

9. Pizza for dinner (see #3)

Not homemade, not delivery, but DiGorno.

10. Fresh fruit (also see #3)

which, coincidentally enough, makes me fart


jak’s turn to post some artwork

In my effort to encourage Princess and Cimmorene to further develop their graphic arts skills, I dug up some images of my own from an old physical archive.  I’m not sure of the dates but I’m pretty sure they’re from the early ’90s.  As they are presented here, they’re scans of freehand sketches, with a little bit of digital editing.  I’m not finished with them yet– they’ll need more digital cleanup and coloring.  In case you were wondering, the second image was originally drawn on college-rule lined paper, and I haven’t eliminated all those lines yet.

The final results will be posted to jak & Cimmy’s Journal Jar.

(Note to stephrogers: rainbows!)

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Dragon’s Lair Original Artwork, by Princess

For all you that have loved our daughter’s artwork, she recently completed a commission for Cimmorene for her blog The Dragon’s Lair! Comments are closed at the tao of jaklumen as really now, you’ve got to see how it looks as the new blog header!

The Dragon's Lair

The Dragon's Lair Original Artwork, by Princess

This picture was created by my daughter, Princess. She drew it in pencil, then her father scanned it into the computer and she took it from there. I have often felt bad about using borrowed artwork for The Dragon’s Lair header. This picture isn’t borrowed. It was commissioned. Please direct any and all comments regarding the picture to the artist. I’ll make sure she gets them.

View original post

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie (Ouch!)

Leave a comment

In a new post created specifically for this challenge, share a selfie.

It hurts.

Although I used this image for my Gravatar for a little while, I still feel a bit awkward sharing it, although I really wanted to show my Flickr followers that I was in so much pain to the point of tears– and this was during the summer.

Princess gets another shiner (eyes open)

Princess gets another shiner (eyes open)

Because I’ve shown my daughter’s photography before, I thought I’d add this gutsy selfie she took of herself.  Now Cimmorene had thought she’d doodled on her eye with a black marker, but I knew better.   I found her quietly crying in her bedroom a little while before, and she said she’d hit her head on her loft bed.  This is by no means her first black eye– after getting clocked in the face with a baseball bat wielded by a neighbor kid, she smiled for a photo that my father-in-law took… and then there were other accidents.  She’s my tough right-hand-girl, all right.


Enhanced by Zemanta


Window to the Future (Zero to Hero Day 6)

Day 6 Assignment: publish a post that includes a new-to-you element.

After promoting a stopmotion animation by my daughter, I didn’t have anything else I normally would have posted today, so I decided to try the Weekly Photo Challenge for this week:

This week, in a post created specifically for this challenge, share a photo with a window.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Three shots from three of the last four holidays. (A-ha, you didn’t think New Year’s couldn’t have window dressing? Cimmorene thought otherwise!) Each a window to a different home. Three different photographers (jaklumen, Cimmorene, and Princess).

Bonus video from Cimmorene:

and finally, some poetry, something ENTIRELY new to any of my blogs:

I love you, my dear, every time I go
You have a way to let me know
No matter how upset I may be
I know when I return, I can always see
That signal waiting home for me
Welcoming me home with light so low
That sign so warm, that candle in the window.

Stopmotion Lego Man by Princess


Another video by my daughter– this time, a stopmotion animation sequence.

Yes, there is a large watermark on the video that the demonstration software put there. I don’t have the coding chops to bring a Linux-based stopmotion program up to speed.

Stopmotion program is iKITMovie 2014, demo version.



Practice Picture

Practice Picture by jaklumen & family
Practice Picture, a photo by jaklumen & family on Flickr.

Taking another break from the retrospective posts to promote some more of my daughter’s artwork.

This isn’t specifically related to the Hero’s Journey that I can immediately think of, but Princess here is self-taught, instructing herself quite a bit from some of Cimmorene’s art books. She draws in the manga style that is pretty common with the new generation of artists.

I’m including her own written description, as follows:

Via Flickr:
This isn’t my best work, because my circle is kind of mishapen, but I thought, "It’s a practice pic, it doesn’t have to be perfect." so, I drew a background based on a field trip I took once, in the woods with my class-mates, and we often walked on a dirt pathway, and the river in the front is just randomly there, it wasn’t in the scene, but the one in the back was actually real. The trees were also origionally cherry blossoms, but I decided to have them be regular oaks instead of cherrys, because I didn’t know how to draw cherry blosoms just yet. Yeah, I’m a little weird like that, I like my practice drawings to be at least half as good as my not practice drawings, but that’s just me. I haven’t drew in a while, so this is a little old.

Description by Princess
Drawn by Princess