<$BlogRSDUrl$>

Friday, October 31, 2003

Forgiveness 

Link to Forgiveness and purification of memory, from our Holy Father

I am very in love with our Holy Father.

I still struggle with forgiveness from the heart. I used to kid myself that I didn't, but keeping up appearances took a toll on me. When I spend energy pretending I am someone I want to be, but not, my authenticity goes out the door and I basically become stale. The rub is of course, I don't realize it at the time.

I remind myself of what Christ said to the Pharisees, " Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people's shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. " Matthew 22:1-12

Ouch! In short, knowing is not being. The Pharisees sure could talk the walk couldn't they?! And another scary thought is that being blessed enough to have the fullness of the truth, I have a lot in common with the Pharisees as they were also blessed to have the fullness of the truth in their moment in time.

Purification of the memory takes self denial. Forgiveness take self denial. So I thought I'd blog what I been reminding myself of today.

**Favorite sobering quote for Kirsten from St. Francis De Sales -- "I would rather feel compunction for my sins than to know the definition of it."**

On Forgiveness-

What I learned from Conrad Baars:

To forgive in the presence of Heaven. Invite all the church triumphant to witness your act of the will to release the person(s) into God's hands. When the emotions begin to get stirred up -- and (chuckle, chuckle) they will -- inform and remind your emotions that your reason has forgiven them. I am still reminding mine.

Then after that --

What I learned from Fr. Pablo:

When you have unkind thoughts about the person(s) you have forgiven, ask God to bless them even more than He has already, even more than He has blessed you. Admit to Him your weakness.

What I learned from Maxine:

That forgiveness has less to do with the person you are forgiving and more to do with clearing up your relationship with God. Until you release to God the person(s) as well as your emotions, bitterness, hurt and injustices, you are in bondage and are not capable to hear God's voice clearly. Which, when we are hurt, is when we need to hear God the most. Mercy is imperative, otherwise the Lord's Prayer is a very dangerous prayer to pray.

What I learned from Maxine and Dale O'leary:

When someone has triggered an emotion by doing you wrong;
The injustice is still an injustice, but the intensity of emotion is an indication to ask God to reveal to you a time, or perhaps even a way of life that gives the present moment potency. Not to be confused with Holy anger towards sin, but again, releasing the person who has sinned against you or someone you love.

What I learned from Babsie Bleasdell:

Ask the Holy Spirit to heal you of your wrong understandings and heal you as you sleep.

What I learned from my Southern friends:

You can laugh and cry at the same time.



Which Treatmomma are You? 

According to a recent Parenting poll:

48% of moms ration their kids' Halloween candy right away.

34% let their kids eat as much as they want the first night, then ration.

12% let their kids eat their candy as they please.


According to smockmomma:

48% of moms are total Bummermommas.

34% are Sufficientlyrespectablemommas.

12% are COOLMOEMOMMAS!

I just love it... 

....when I hear something on the radio while I'm brushing my teeth that makes me laugh and spit toothpaste on the mirror.

This morning I was listening to the local talk/news station, hoping to hear the weather, and they were doing a bit with one of their fake characters--one who is supposed to be the "fishing guide to the stars." Anyway, they were discussing Halloween.

Fishing Guide: "Yep can't wait til tonight. It's my favorite holiday."

Host: "Oh yeah? What kind of treats are you giving out at your house?"

FG: "Oh, you know, the usual. Gummy worms. Fun size Slim Jims. Oh, and popcorn balls."

Host: "Mmmmmm. Popcorn balls."

FG: "Yep, or as we call them down here in Texas--POPCORN FRIES!"

Terry spits toothpaste on mirror. You might just have to be from here to get that one!

Interesting article 

.....this morning on Catholic exchange. Find it here.

It deals with a subject that may bring ire down on my head--horror fiction. I like it--at least some of it--and I always have.

In fact, I think the horror genre is one of the few places left in modern literature that acknowledges that there even IS something evil and something good. The story doesn't work if there is not that dichotomy. Plenty of secular horror writers have taken wrong turns in the morals they draw from their stories, but I think they are the modern fairy tales--albeit horrific.

And I'm not talking about the sheer nastiness and button pushing-ness of American Psycho--a book whose sole purpose seems to be glorying in savagery or misogyny. But there are Stephen King novels (notably in my mind The Stand and Dean Koontz novels (notably Watchers --I think that the genetic alteration of dogs/animals ones) that I frankly think are GOOD novels. Not great ones, but good ones. Novels that make you question who we are and where we're going. Both writers have also written their share of dreck--publishing that "book a year" insures that.

I don't hold any brief for horror movies--my imagination is far scarier than anything that can be shown on a screen--and the slasher movie is a cheap way of telling a story, while tittilating the senses with what we don't need to see.

Anyway, I expect most of you reading do not agree. And that's OK.



Thursday, October 30, 2003

"Lighten up, Frances" 

Today I made the hideous and insulting mistake of going to G2's school wearing a shirt with typical Halloween images embroidered onto the collar: candy corn, a jack’o lantern, a happy bat, a witch’s hat, and a smiling ghost. Silly me! I assumed if it was embroidered it went without saying that it was supposed to be *cutesy* and not WICCAN.

Anyway, the administrator got this pinched look on her face when she saw me. She nodded her nose towards the offending collar and sort of tsk’d: “There’s no such thing as a good witch, you know.” Then, she tittered to prove she wasn’t being confrontational. “But there is such a thing as a Holy Ghost” I said, tugging at the smiling ghost on the lapel. This time she laughed; it was a real laugh. And it was good.




I want you to know.... 

.....that there is nothing on the planet any cuter than watching McBaby and Zteen together. Nothing.

He is learning to juggle. Why? I don't know. It has just invaded his 17 year old brain. He spends hours a day out in the garage throwing bean bags around.

When he lets her, the McBaby (who is 16 months old) goes out into the garage with him. Yesterday, she was sitting on the step down into the garage, intently watching Zteen work. She thought he was wonderful! Unfortunately, she clapped every single time he DROPPED one of the bean bags.

Well, I guess we'll have to work with her on what she's supposed to be clapping for.

Reading last night.... 

....I came upon a great insight. I am reading Forth and Abroad, which is a sequel to A Right to Be Merry by Mother Mary Francis P.C.C. Both books are a look inside a Poor Clare monastery and the life there. I recommend both books highly--though I think the first one is far superior. A Right to Be Merry is still in print at Ignatius Press. I don't think Forth and Abroad is still in print, though I could be mistaken. It is available through the sites Alibris and abe.com.

Anyway, Mother Mary Francis is relating the tale of how her monastery received yet another nationwide questionnaire about the state of religious life. The sisters are all laughing and joking about the questions and how to answer them, until....

But then, suddenly, we came upon the question, "Are you planning to leave your community soon?" and "When you leave your community, what do you plan to do? What job do you want?" And all the laughter died as on a strike of lightening. A darkness settled upon the room. In one fell moment, all understood that there really were persons in religious life who thought and apparently lived in a "job domain". Lifelong consecration to Christ in religious vows? Spouseship with the King? Seemingly these were unconsidered because, perhaps, never understood or even encountered.

And this hit me like a ton of bricks--because although I am not a Poor Clare nun, I do have a vocation--that of wife and mother. And it is filled with unending repetition of mundane tasks. Supper every night, laundry every day. Dishes to wash, beds to make, dusting to do. If understood only in the "job domain", it would be a very unsatisfying job. Understood in the sacrificial love sense of a vocation, it is a showing of love for my family--and even more. It is a showing of my love for the God who loved me enough to call me to this work. The God who gave me my family. The King who rewards even the smallest service if done in his name.

The days I am unsatisfied are the days I have looked on my tasks as mere "work."

I don't want to live in the "job domain."

What a Turn On!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Have you ever seen anything more attractive than a man, who, secure within in his skin sacrifices for you? What really makes us putty in your arms???? For me, it's not so much for me about doing dishes when not asked. It's loving on the children, returning my harshness with gentleness and I don't mean weakness --- but my biggest turn on...consistency...

(Sigh) My spouse and I both are pioneers on the frontier of "How to be authentically masculine/feminine in a post-modern culture"

How about you gentlemen out there???? I am guessing it's not a card carrying N.O. W. gal.



How Real Men Sacrifice for Their Brides
Steve Habisohn's E5 Ranks Pursue Holiness by Fasting

EAST DUNDEE, Illinois, OCT. 29, 2003 (Zenit.org).- When Steve Habisohn heard John Paul's call for a new evangelization, he knew the fastest and most efficient way to change the hearts of the multitudes was to target men.

Through his study of the Pope's teachings on marriage and the family, Habisohn had learned that wives and children naturally follow the example set by their husbands and fathers, and that problems in marriage often stem from a family's lack of pursuit of holiness.

Habisohn, who is president and founder of an apostolate dedicated to the Church's teachings on marriage and sexuality called The Gift Foundation, put his idea into action almost a year ago when he established e5 Men. Now, more than 5,500 members fast for their brides and the intentions of women at least once a month.

He shared with ZENIT how e5 Men attempts to promote growth in holiness for both men and women, and bring about the new springtime in the Church.

Q: What is the role of the e5 Man?

Habisohn: To be an e5 Man one must register and fast once a month for 24 hours on bread and water for the benefit of his bride, whether that be his wife, his fiancée or his future, unknown bride. A celibate man can fast for Christ's bride, the Church.

An e5 Man joins his fast in unison with the thousands of other e5 Men around the world, usually on the first Wednesday of the month, for the sake of their brides, as well as for the e5 Women that have registered.

Many e5 Men join e5 Special Forces to fast more than the minimum once a month. The man who belongs to the e5 Special Forces can add fasts specifically for his bride, but also can fast for other women who are in great need.

Q: Why did you establish e5 Men?

Habisohn: Having been deeply affected by Pope John Paul II's "theology of the body" [see Pauline], I have had a desire for years to find a way that people can incorporate this remarkable theology at a level beyond sexual morality.

What John Paul II has given us in the "theology of the body" is the theological DNA for the Christians of the new springtime. I felt a deep inner need to apply this theology to one's faith life at every level. The obvious place to start was the heart of the domestic Church -- the sacrament of marriage.

Q: Why is fasting such an important part of the group?

Habisohn: In Ephesians 5 -- from which the group, e5, gets its name -- St. Paul calls on men to "love their wives as Christ loved the Church." He calls on men to be like Christ to their brides.

Besides the fact that Christ fasted, even more importantly Christ gave his very body up for his bride, the Church, on the cross. This idea of a groom giving his body for his bride is a basic tenant of married love. Ephesians 5:25 calls a husband to be like Christ in giving his body up for his bride: "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."

In a mystical way, fasting allows husbands to give up their bodies for their brides so that they can participate with Christ in making their brides "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish," as St. Paul writes in Ephesians 5:27.

Fasting is a bodily act and hence a bodily gift. A husband can now say, like Jesus in Luke 22:19, "This is my body which is given for you."

Q: Why do unmarried men need to fast and pray for women?

Habisohn: Many men, whether married or unmarried, have caused much harm to women. Therefore, a great reason to fast for women is for reparation for the sins committed against women by men -- for both their own personal sins and the collective sins of men. I even recommend to single men that they fast for past girlfriends first before fasting for their future bride.

One of the first unmarried e5 Men who signed up fasted for his ex-girlfriend, unknown to her. She called him up that evening and told him how her experience at her Bible study that very night was amazing. She said that the words seemed to fly off the page and were seemingly written just for her. Needless to say, this new e5 Man started fasting more than the once a month.

Secondly, the practice of sacrificial love before marriage helps reorient a single man toward love and not self-love. Even good Catholic single men are so affected by our culture that they form deep habits of self-love. Fasting for a future bride and for other women that need it reorients them toward making a total gift of self when the time arrives, whether in the married or celibate vocation.

There is one e5 Man who is only 12 years old who has received permission from his parents to abstain from certain things for the sake of his future bride. This young man is practicing early what a true gift of self means. He is open to his bride being a woman or perhaps the Church herself. He may very well be a future priest. I think we can all be very happy that such a young man is starting on the road to sacrificial love early.

Q: What is the role of the e5 Woman?

Habisohn: Any woman of any faith can sign up to be an e5 Woman. The role of the e5 Woman is to accept the gift of spiritual healing and growth that she may need that is gained for her through the fasts of the e5 Men through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ. The e5 Man offers his fasts and prayers for any woman for her spiritual growth and happiness in her vocation as a woman, especially those who have been hurt, abused and sinned against by men.

For those women who want to participate in a particularly special way with the e5 Men, we ask that they go to Mass on the first Wednesday of the month to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. We, as e5 Men, will be fasting and praying that they will receive at that time the grace they need in their life.

Also, some women feel that they would like to fast with us. There is no special registration for this and no monthly requirement. They just sign up as an e5 Woman and can join us fasting as much or as little as they wish.

Q: St. Paul tells wives to be subordinate to their husbands in Ephesians 5:22 -- a phrase that is often taken out of context and is unnerving for 21st century women. How does the e5 Men present this Pauline directive?

Habisohn: To put this directive by St. Paul into context we need to look to the verse before it, Ephesians 5:21, where St. Paul calls husbands and wives to "Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ."

Note that St. Paul calls both to be subject to one another. John Paul II calls this an "innovation" of the Gospel in "Mulieris Dignitatem," 24. However, this Scripture verse is also often taken out of context to mean that husbands and wives are to be subject to one another exactly in the same way.

A full reading of Ephesians 5 shows clearly that this mutual subjection is complementary, not the same. Ephesians 5:21-33 details quite clearly how a husband is to make a total self gift to his wife and how she in response is to do the same, but in a complementary way.

A husband is to orient his will to serve his wife's needs ahead of his -- like Christ, even unto death. In doing this, he subjects his entire self to her needs. She becomes his body. St. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:29, "For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it."

In a complementary response of total self-gift, the wife orients her will to her husband's to allow for his gift of self to be given freely. She becomes submissive -- which literally means "under" his "mission" -- to serve her needs. A woman who dominates a husband does not allow his gift to be given freely, and it becomes no gift at all. Her gift of her will -- within right reason, as Pope Pius XI writes -- is therefore a complementary total self-gift.

Amazingly, I have had more than a few e5 Men tell me that their wives did not want them to fast for them.

Q: What special problems do you run across today in marriages?

Habisohn: So often the problems in marriage stem from a lack of pursuit of holiness as the prime goal of the family. How the father goes, so go the wife and children. One reason I focus on men is because usually they have a much greater impact on their spouse and children when they convert and seek holiness than the reverse, when the mother is the only one seeking holiness.

The e5 is just seeking an efficient way to bring about the new evangelization. The fastest way to convert the world is to convert fathers.

Q: Where is the institution of marriage heading in the States? Is it growing stronger? or weaker?

Habisohn: I believe it is both. We all can see the destruction of marriage but underneath the ashes are fresh green sprouts of truly extraordinary marriages. Young Catholics today, because of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II, have at their disposal so much more understanding of the nature of marriage than their parents could have imagined.

I believe that this trend will continue and we will see many extremely strong marriages amongst many very weak ones. These strong marriages will be a very bright light amongst the darkest in the 21st century.
ZE03102924

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Nostalgia Scents (With a nod to Davey's Mommy 'n M'Lynn) 

Everyone tells me I have a freakishly keen sense of smell.
I've always been accused of having a bionic nose, even since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. It sometimes comes in handy, but like any gift, I suppose, it has it's drawbacks. Regardless, everyone blessed with a sense of smell knows that there are certain scents that can transport us immediately to another time and place. And, some scents give us the warm fuzzies while others make us want to hurl.
Happy Smells:
gasoline (detected from inside the car); hot buttery grits; puppies' breath; old books; crisp new dollar bills; mimeographs; graham cracker pie crust; breastmilk breath; coffee brewing; Paloma Picasso eau de parfum; warm cornbread fresh outta the oven; Old Spice; backstage; rain on the way; a cold front on the way; stale cigarette smoke in a leather jacket; library stacks; Jergens Original (cherryalmond) lotion; the Gulf of Mexico; Vicks Vapo Rub; the soft spot on the head of each and every single one of my children.

Yucky Smells:
formula breath; ammonia; grease fires; NyQuil; roses; Pasadena, Texas; drunkeness; old cigar butts; sulfur; hospitals; sweaty feet; okra; coins; cabbage; asparagus; morning breath; bleach; wet dog; tuna fish; singed hair; beer; hot tar; fear.

A'hem . . . in defense of my Yankee tribe 

As the token Yank friend of my fellow Summa Mamas I must add a little something -- Kenny, if you're reading this you must back me up as you hail from Boston are the Grandaddy of all the Yanks.

Yankee Definition:
[n] an American

[n] an American who lives in New England

[n] an American who lives in the North
(especially during the American Civil War)

[adj] used by southerners for an inhabitant of a northern state in the United States (especially a Union soldier)

Let's have a look see. See what we Yanks have to deal with besides missing our beloved snow. However, in all fairness, I have to admit there is a mini civil war going on in me as I feel parts of my northerness slipping away willingly and being replaced by mint julips.

Southern culture survival guide for northerners

http://allsands.com/Travel/southenersyanke_rw_gn.htm


Kristin Lavransdatter 

I am now in the middle of the last book, The Cross. Has anyone read any of Sigrid Undset's books? Is is a sign that I have seen too many movies and watched too much television because I was hoping Erland would perish at the hands of the young King and Simon would end up with Kristin somewhere along the road? I know, I know, missing whole beauty of book...but can't I just have my "feel good" quick fix and learn the beauty of the cross of Christ????? She asked sheepishly.

The organic one lives… 

Which is quite an accomplishment as she shuns additives and preservatives ; ()

My apologies to my co- blog sitahs. Looks like y’all (That’s for Marty) have been holding fort pretty well. I am laughing! So, so enjoying reading everything and I am glad to be back. I am also exhaling a bit more now that the homeschool is starting to take a form that is not so scary. This is the very first time I have done this solo and I tend to get overwhelmed at unknowns quite regularly. Sometimes I feel like a bank robber or diamond thief in a Mickey Spillane book. Filing my fingertips with an emory board to sensitize them to the correct combination and root out the myriad of possibilities that will NOT get the booty. Maybe that isn’t the greatest example, as there is definitely no one way to educate immortal souls but --the novelty of Mike Hammer and homeschooling was fun for me . . . “ I sat there paralyzed. My thoughts clung on me like dame with an empty promise. Which one to discard? I needed to hold this hand loosely enough…cause I was lookin’ for that ace an’ needed a free hand to wipe off the sweat that was now beating a rhythm of confusion in the back room of Ole’ Terry’s Joint. Micki, the self-described “Fun One”, smirked as she reached for the 32. .”

Okay, that was fun… not a good analogy either, but fun. The point is finding the right fit for our family has been an education in itself. We have adopted the “eat the candy, throw out the wrapper” philosophy. So school is a little bit trivium and a little bit unschooling with a dash of Charlotte Mason (Hah! I almost wrote Marsha Mason . . .wouldn’t THAT be a homeschool?!) and a smidgen of Boy Scouts. It is pretty gosh darn neat to see my eldest every day. With such a great distance in the ages of my kids it was easy in the past couple of years to lose sight of his life in all the busyness of young ones. I must say, combinations and work aside, this time is a gift that is working well for us right now.

By-the-by, I was kidding Micki.


Holiday Hangups 

I have decided to share my thoughts about the whole “Great Pumpkin” Debate and the seeming schizophrenia we Catholics suffer this time of year. (BTW, I'm especially fond of Davey’s Mommy’s recent declaration: I can almost see myself confessing “I watched ’The Great Pumpkin’ in doubt.” Classic.)

First let me say that I come from an evangelical/fundie background and am a convert to the Church, so I think I know from whence I speak. I speak from “life” learnin’.

When Hubby and I fist married, we attended a charismatic church of the Vineyard vein; and, neither of us celebrated Halloween, primarily because we were too old (read 23), but also because good Christians didn’t observe Halloween, that pagan celebration of witchcraft and devilry wherein parents dressed their children as little witches and goblins and shooed them out to walk the streets as candy prostitutes. Ah-hem. Instead of Halloween, we had Fall Festivals. Fall Festives allowed children to go out and eat sweets – just like the “Halloween Kids” except the “Fall Kids” couldn’t dress up. Unless, dressing up as “yourself” counted. Somehow it was the costume that made it horrific. I dunno. The gist seemed: Hallelujah Festivals, good; Halloween Festivals, bad.

Then we became Catholic. So we got to know lots of homeschoolers who did the All Saints Thing. The difference now was, the children *did* dress up, but they didn’t get sweets. The procedures were pretty much the same as the Hallelujah and the Halloween Festivals: dress up, eat. But there was a new evil to guard your children from: Refined Sugar. It was acceptable to dress up as holy dead people instead of plain old scary dead people, but somehow the treats were wicked if they contained sugar. No Testa-mints for you! Here, have a soy stick. Pthhh. The gist seemed: Holy dead people, good; Regular dead people, bad; Sugar, irredeemable.

Fast forward: Three of my four chitlens attend two different Christian schools that frown (and frown deeply) upon anything other than innocuous Fall Festivals. Actually, the next to youngest one attends a Lutheran establishment where the adjoined worship center celebrates "CHURCH HOUSE ROCKS" in honor of the day Luther *rocked* the Church. I know, I know, to celebrate schism is enough to make you vomit. Rest assured, we don't attend that little heretical house party. Now, the older two attend a bona fide Catholic school that has a Fall Festival, but it’s given far enough in advance so as not to appear too Halloweeny. My favorite part is that there are eats galore! Steaming hot roasted corn still in the husk, mouth-watering turkey legs…now THAT celebrates FALL! And treats? Reams of yummy cotton candy that melts in your mouth! And we all know that cotton candy is just whipped refined sugar! BAM! But, like the Hallelujah Festivals, costumes are discouraged. The gist: Oh heck, I just don’t know anymore.


ATARI or Coleco Vision? 

BTW, my son saw "Pong" on a retro television show I was watching. He laughed so hard I thought he was gonna bust a gut. "That's a video game? That's sooooooooooooooo boring!"
Be that as it may.

I am some drink called a Bunny Hug. 

I don't think so.

If I am anything, I am a margarita on the rocks with extra salt. Period.



Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Good Lawd, I'm a Yankee Drink!? 

Going for the classic choice, none can go wrong with a classy Long Islander!
Congratulations! You're a Long Island Iced Tea!


What Drink Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

This just can't be. Thanks alot, M'Lynn.

And not to my surprise 

I turned out to be Elizabeth Bennett.

Hah! Told you so!

But I couldn't get the picture to print.

OK, I only thought the Stars had the ugliest new uniforms 

Tonight is NBA tip-off night for the Dallas Mavericks and they are debuting their new uniform.

Ugly. Pitifully ugly. Shimmery dark gray/silver.

It makes Steve Nash look even worse than he did before.

And what's up with Dirk Nowitski's hair?

This should settle it once and for all 

I am the tempestuous and sentimental Marianne Dashwood.

Thanks to bobbi for the link.

Twilight Zone or Night Gallery? 

Now's your chance to speak out about the TZ vs NG controversy.
Let us know; which did you prefer?

Paul Greenberg does it again! 

He writes a GREAT article about abortion here. Go and read it.

My favorite part is this:

Euphemism is the first sign that we don't want to admit what we're condoning, especially not to our conscience. There are times when the most useful advantage of language is not to reveal but to conceal.

Anyway, why should aborting a Down's Syndrome fetus trouble us any more than aborting so many perfectly healthy ones every year? Man giveth and man taketh away. Isn't that the new American Standard Revised gospel?


Read the whole thing. It's worth the trip.


I love it when this happens 

I find myself reading less and less of the newspaper each day. I don't know if that is a bad thing, or a good thing.

But I love it when I find an article like this:

Newark, N.J. An alligator was captured inside the baggage hold of an American Airlines plane Monday after escaping from its crate.

The young alligator, 4 to 5 feet long, remained inside a burlap bag with its mouth bound shuts, American Spokesman Tim Wagner said.

Officers captured it with a loop device and put it back in its crate with three other gators shipped from Miami, officials said.

Authorities were looking into how the reptile got out.

The gator was found outside its box when the cargo hold of the Boeing 767 was opened, Wagner said.

Officials said they did not know why the alligators were being shipped. But their paperwork was in order, Wagner said.


I always find it comforting when alligators' paperwork is in order, don't you?

And I would have paid money to see the faces of the baggage crew when they found an alligator, even in a sack, stumbling around the cargo hold.

Monday, October 27, 2003

YIKES! 

You have to see this!

And here's a further update 

....on the case.

Here is a link  

....to the Dallas Observer article that reported the case Micki mentioned in Dallas.

you can't make this stuff up! 

Excerpt from The Week magazine's October 31, 2003 AD issue under "Only in America" p. 06

A Dallas couple who took snapshots of their baby breastfeeding were arrested after the photo lab called police. The parents were charged with "lewd exhibition of a portion of the female breast" and inducing a child "to engage in sexual conduct." The charges were dropped, but the couple's two children were taken by child welfare officials and HAVE NOT BEEN RETURNED HOME. (emphasis mine)

This is not a joke and it scares the hell outta me!

Sunday, October 26, 2003

another reason smockmomma doesn't drink 

An extremely modest man was in the hospital for a series of tests, the last of which had left his bodily systems extremely upset.

Upon making several false alarm trips to the bathroom to relieve his bowels, he decided the latest episode was another and stayed put. He suddenly soiled his bed and was embarrassed beyond his ability to remain rational. Not wanting anyone to see the mess, he jumped out of bed, gathered up the bed sheets, and threw them out the hospital window.

A drunk was walking by the hospital when the sheets landed on him. He started yelling, cursing, and swinging his arms violently trying to get the unknown thing off, and ended up with the soiled sheets in a tangled pile at his feet.

As the drunk stood there, unsteady on his feet, staring down at the sheets, a hospital security guard walked up and asked, "What the heck is going on here?"

The drunk, still staring down replied: "I think I just beat the crap out of a ghost!"


Thought for today 

The Word of Encouragement from Catholic Exchange for today is based on the following scripture:

Psalm 103:11-12
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.


I have a very soft spot in my heart for Psalm 103--not just because of the awesome, wonderous love it tells us about.

Just before I was received into the Catholic Church, I had to make my first confession. I kept asking Fr A "You mean confess my WHOLE LIFE? I'm 41 ya know!" (That was a few years ago!) I was terrified. But shaking and weeping, I got through the process. My "penance" was to go into the church, sit and read the whole of Psalm 103.

Which, of course, only made me weep harder. God is so good!

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Marlins win the World Series! 

The hated Yankees, with their awful owner, George Steinbrenner, lose! Woo Hoo!

Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez wins a World Series ring! Hurray!

He played for our lowly Rangers for 11 wonderful years, and was a class act when he left the Rangers for the Marlins. He and his wife took out big ads in the newspapers here, thanking the city and the Rangers for the great years they had here. So unlike some other athletes we've had who have left (Emmitt Smith, are you listening?).

Anyway, hurray for tonight!

(But word to the Marlins--get you a new graphic designer--the World Series Champion caps, t-shirts and jackets were UGLY!)

Fr. Rob 

Has reported today on his trip to Florida to help in the Terri Schiavo case. Please, please please, go here and read what he has to say.

Never forget that we are fighting against people who think that personhood is a "value judgement."

Thought provoking article... 

....by Neil Cavuto here.

I've not read him on matters Catholic before--he's usually a financial world writer and talker.

And his thesis is very much what we discussed at book club last month--that our wonderful pope knows the hour of his death.

Skip past some of his things that he says "American Catholics" want...the gist of the article is fine.

From the Bruderhof this morning 

And appropriate, given the past few weeks:

Underneath the Surface
Markus Baum

The human being is more than a mere biological machine. Every person is intended, ennobled and valued by God—and that includes the sick and disabled. When we take seriously what Jesus said and did, we recognize that a person can be whole and well in the best sense of these terms even if disabled—say, without a leg or an arm, blind or deaf, or suffering from paraplegia or mental retardation. Such a person can be inwardly sound as a bell, with a warm and joyful heart that doesn’t constantly grumble and rail against life.



I coulda told you this before I ever took the test 

I'm

Horton
Which Dr. Seuss character are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

....this even looks like me. "An elephant is faithful, 100%"

Friday, October 24, 2003

Coolmoe Deal 

Peony (The Lorax) and Pansy (The Grinch) hooked me up. Wouldn't you know it, I'm...

Cat in the Hat
Which Dr. Seuss character are you?

brought to you by Quizilla


A NEW CHRISTIANITY FOR A NEW WORLD? 

Guess who is advertising on Blogger. "Bishop" Spong. Yep, that's the one.

“…Spong provides enlightened reading for people who no longer believe in the God of Sunday school and are looking for something else to give their lives meaning.”
– The San Francisco Chronicle

“…with a courage and imagination unintimidated by conventional wisdom, Bishop Spong has chosen to fight for the reconciliation of the mind and heart of the Church in the contemporary world.”
– Peter Gomes, Harvard University

For What It's Worth (the final answer) 

I really like Davey's Mommy. I think it's because I sometimes read her and think "I am Davey's Mommy." Also, I love that Davey's Mommy let's us into her world. She has reservations about it, but she does it anyway. She wonders about that. I happen to think it's a sign of chutzpah. (High praise from smockmomma.) All in all, I think it's cool, so I'm gonna give it a shot. And so, for what it's worth:

1. I don't wear contacts because I've needed corrective lenses (that sounds really PC doesn't it?) since the third grade. Read: I'm blind as a bat. Bowing to peer pressure, I started wearing hard (ie, hellworthy) contacts in the fourth grade. Apparently my mother was bowing to some sort of pressure, too, the poor thing. Anyway, by the time I was in the eighth grade, I'd decided to be my own person (is that ever *really* possible?) and said screw the contacts, I'm wearing glasses. I toyed with contacts again in high school, but ultimately started wearing big ol glasses again. I was considered "smart" and I figured it better fit that side (the sexy librarian side) of my persona. I also was very cocky and liked to "dare" anyone to call me four-eyes. You see, I thought it proved I had chutzpah. And, truth be told, I still do.

2. Ipso facto, people who wear contacts are weenies.

3. I'm a Virgo. It fits with the sexy librarian thing I've had since my freshman year in high school. It seems Van Halen's Hot for Teacher had a lot more to do with shaping my character than I care to admit.

4. I take pride in the fact that I'm Texan. YEEHAW!

5. I do not own cowboy boots and I do not listen to C&W music.

6. I grew up in the Assemblies of God. That probably explains a lot, huh?

7. My favorite song of all time is You Are My Sunshine. Close second, Maresy Doats. Favorite hymn, Softly and Tenderly. You kin take the gurl outta the 'semblies, butcha kint take the 'semblies outta the gurl!

8. I've had two C-sections and two V-BACS. Not in that order.

9. Being the child of two recovering alcoholics, I don't drink much.

10. I found one of those old lady white hairs on my face. I'm gonna have to stop calling them old lady white hairs.


today's warm fuzzy 

"A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take."
Cardinal Mermillod


Oh, Mr. Luse...... 

.....a personal question.

When do you sleep?????? Looking at the time stamps on your blog entries and comments, I must conclude that like the Energizer bunny you just keep going, and going, and going.

None of my business really, but don't you need your rest???

Wish I could write like this 

Paul Greenberg's latest column is here. This column is about the pledge of allegiance case to be heard by the Supreme Court.

I love reading this man. Whether or not I agree with him, there is always a sentence in each of his columns that makes me shake my head and think, "Boy, I wish I could write like that."

Today's sentence that stopped me cold?

It's not easy to pick the most ridiculous aspect of a generally ridiculous case about the Pledge of Allegiance now wending its way out of California (of course) toward the Supreme Court of the United States - like a clown car approaching a railroad crossing.

Never, never could I have thought of that analogy.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

This is news? 

According to The New York Times and CBS News, in order to help reduce budget deficits, several states have begun reducing the amount of food served to prison inmates. In Texas, the number of daily calories served to prisoners was cut by 300, saving the state $6 million per year. Of course, prisoners are complaining about getting only one dessert instead of two and prisoner advocacy groups are considering their options. Here's an option, eat ... oh, nevermind.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Books, books, books 

Like Micki, I need a deep breath as well. I have to think about something not awful for a few hours.

So, if you are like me, you have a huge stack of books by the side of your bed. I always have 4 or 5 books stacked up--sort of "in process." Let's talk about good reading for awhile.

Last night I finished Graham Greene's The Third Man. It was OK, but just OK. Now I want to see the movie. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be one of the few things I've read that work better as a movie than as a book. Included in my copy of The Third Man is a short story/novella "The Fallen Idol." I will finish it tonight.

Let's see. Next in the stack is Modern Times by Paul Johnson. I've decided I'm going to read more history in the next 12 months, so I started with something more recent. I have a huge stack of histories, including Churchill's History of the English Speaking People to read after that. Boy, is Modern Times a huge book. I may have bitten off more than I intended when I picked it up!

Next in the stack, Dawn of All by Robert Hugh Benson. We got these in at our parish book shop, and it was recommended to me by someone who reads very little fiction. I've barely cracked the book, so I have no idea what I'm in for here.

And last? Queen Lucia by E. F. Benson. It is fabulous and funny and just what I need at a time like this! I think Lucia is what I would like to be--someone running her little town exactly the way she wants it. AND I think I'll take up speaking faux Italian, just to add to my sense of mystery and "above it all"-ness.

I need some book suggestions, folks!

Ta ta, ya'll. Off to read something not on a computer screen!

What Kind of Sexy Are YOU? 

I don't know about you, dear reader, but I was ready for a deep breath today. So, I hopped around and found a fun, albeit incredibly unhealthy, website that can make you feel pretty darn great about yourself for at least fifteen minutes. How? After taking meaningless quizzes, your boots get licked and your ego gets stroked. According to emode.com, my sexy is of the Smart 'n' Sexy ilk. Says emode...

Your intellect puts you in a class above the rest, and it creates a sexual aura that's untouchable by people who possess nothing more than a pretty face. You have people and intellectual smarts and are able to juggle them accordingly. Your sense of the world at large and your world around you draws people to your mind, and what a beautiful mind it is.

Whether you look the part in horn-rimmed glasses and a finely pressed suit or dress simply in a T-shirt and jeans, your style really takes off when you flaunt your intellectual prowess. You're probably happier volunteering for a good cause, like tutoring kids, than spending all night partying with friends — well, at least some of the time. You've read the classics, or at least know what they are, and get the greatest rush when you can fully connect with people — both mind and body. While you may have the looks as well, it's your brains that turn up the heat wherever you go.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this quiz is trying to liken *reading the classics* with *at least knowing what they are.*
Talk about the dumbing down of America! Oh well, at least I'm more likely to tutor kids than party all night long with friends. But, wait! If that's the case, shouldn't I actually read the classics? Nah. Isn't that why God created crib notes?

I think emode is ready for the commode; but, it was fun while it hung together.

The best fisking 

....of Andrew Sullivan's piece about why he is leaving the Church that I have read is by Elinor Dashwood of Mommentary.

I highly recommend a trip over to read it, if you haven't already.

Three disgusting commercials 

Since I live in a house with 2 men, who watch every conceivable sport, I see a LOT of commercials during games. I have noticed three that are hideous. I am off to find the websites and complain.

2 of them are from Subway: #1 is a doctor coming in to talk to a patient. Long face. Words to the effect: "I don't know how to say this to you." Patient very worried. Doctor breaks up laughing. "It's a joke! It's OK! I had Subway for lunch."

Maybe I'm too touchy, with a chronically ill mom and all, but Good Grief! Yuck!

#2 icky Subway ad: I don't even know the complete setup on this one. Something like "Being good at lunch at Subway lets you be bad somewhere else." Cut to a picture of a guy dressed in a cheerleader outfit washing his car and prancing around waving the pom poms. Wife looks out, looks disturbed. Husband in drag waves pom poms at her. Woo! The tone is not--see the macho man dressed like a fake girl (like those Redskins fans who dress like "girls".) This is just so eeeeeuuuuuwwww.

Third awful ad? Quiznos subs. Guy sitting on a park bench eating a Quiznos sub. Looks at a guy eating an "untoasted" sub and says, "What's up with that? Were you raised by wolves?" The other guy says, "As a matter of fact, I was." Flash to a film of him NURSING WITH BABY WOLVES ON A MAMA WOLF!.

Ick.

And what do any of those have to do with sandwiches?

Comment boxes 

....are again functional. Sorry for the break in service. Comment away, ya'll.


Go and read 

....the Envoy Encore update by Pete Vere, who was present at the vigil for Terri Schiavo here. The rehydration has begun in a hospital in FL even now.

He brings up excellent points about what we must be concerned about in the future--though this battle is won (for now) the war is far from over. We must, as a nation, look at what we are assuming about life and the disposability of the inconvenient.

We must begin with the war of words and misappropriation by the mongers of the Culture of Death. It should never happen that someone like Mr. Felos can appropriate a word like "humane" to apply to his actions.

The war over words is important. We tend to forget that.

And the battle is long and often depressing. But it has to be fought. I had stayed away from the battle until Terri Schiavo broke my heart. Thank God for that. Thank God for her.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

What the ... ? 

George Felos (Michael Schiavo's aturkey): "It is simply inhumane and barbaric to interrupt [Terri's] death process, " AND according to the St. Petersburg Times, "Felos does not mention Schiavo in [his book] Law as Spiritual Practice, but says he wants to start a second book when the case is over. He may talk about his spiritual journey with Schiavo then. "

Felos, George J, 598 Main St Dunedin, FL 34698 Main Phone: 727-736-1402 Fax: 727-736-5050



Sen. Steven Geller (Florida Democrap): “How dare this Legislature and this governor substitute its judgment for the family’s?” AND "I do not believe the governor of Florida should be making a decision of life and death rather than the next of kin."

Sen. Steven Geller, 954-893-5089 / fax 954-893-5091 / geller.steven.web@leg.state.fl.us

Stumbled across this old blogsite (by Becki Snow), which mentions Terri's case almost a year ago.



FROM GOVERNOR BUSH 

Thank you for writing to Governor Bush and expressing interest in the
well-being of Terri Schindler Schiavo. He has asked me to respond on his
behalf. The Governor is very concerned about Terri, and his thoughts and
prayers are with the Schindler family.



The Governor expanded the call of the special session last night to include
legislation that may be helpful in the tragic and very unique case of Terri
Schiavo. As he continues to pray for Mrs. Schiavo and her entire family,
the Governor anticipates action by the Senate today. The House passed the
bill last night. When the bill is presented to the Governor, he will sign
it into law. He has asked his legal staff to determine the swiftest course
of action, and hopes to act today.



The bill is very narrow and addresses the unique condition of Mrs. Schiavo.
It gives the Governor the right to order the re-insertion of her feeding and
hydration tubes. The language would also allow the Governor to rescind the
order, should Mrs. Schiavo's condition change.

Thank you again for writing.

Sincerely,

Lauren O'Connor

Office of Citizens' Services

**********************************
Thank You, God.



Sorry! 

Comment boxes are being stupid. I have upgraded our account....but it will take awhile to upgrade. Until then, hold those thoughts and tell us about them tonight or tomorrow!

Terri Schiavo 

I know that most of you who read us also read Mr. Luse. Go there NOW. Send an email to Senator King of the Florida legislature urging speed, speed, speed in debating and making a decision regarding the moratorium on removal of feeding/hydration tubes.

Please. Do it now. It matters not whether you are in Florida, in my opinion. What is done one place in the good ol USA rapidly spreads elsewhere. He needs to understand that it's not just Floridians who are concerned.

Please. Go. Read Mr. Luse. Send an email.

Do it. NOW.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Since we were talkin' about bein' from Texas 

You Know you are from Texas if:

1. You measure distance in minutes. Or hours.
2. You've ever had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.
3. Stores don't have bags, they have sacks.
4. You see a car with the engine running in the Wal-mart parking lot with no one in it, no matter what time of the year.
5. You use "fix" as a verb, and it has nothing to do with repairs. Example: I am fixin' to go to the store.
6. All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit or a vegetable. (Ever been the the Luling Watermelon Thump?)
7. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.
8. You carry jumper cables for your own car.
9. You know what "cow tipping" and "snipe hunting" are.
10. You only have four spices in your kitchen: Salt, Pepper, Catsup, and Tabasco.
11. You think everyone from north of Dallas has an accent.
12. You think sexy underwear is a tee shirt and boxer shorts.
13. The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but requires six pages to cover Friday night high school football.
14. You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.
15. You know which leaves make good toilet paper.
16. You find 100 degrees a "tad" warm.
17. You know all four seasons: Almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas.
18. You know whether another Texan is from East, West, North, or South Texas as soon as he opens his mouth.
19. Going to Wal-mart is a favorite past-time known as "goin Wal-Martin'" or "off to Wally-world."
20. You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good chili weather.
21. A carbonated soft drink isn't a soda, cola, or pop....It's a Coke regardless of brand or flavor.

I cannot personally speak to #15. Everything else makes perfect sense.

2 quick comments 

About Micki and food? On her description I STARTED to put "Charismatic mother of 4. Won't eat her vegetables, but we love her anyway."

And about messing with the template: Now when I see HTML, I read it in my mind a "hatemail."

Oh, well, it'll get easier.

Won't it?

My words for the morning... 

Insomnia, followed by ibuprofen, followed by chocolate chip cookies.

To be followed after the McBaby arrives with fatigue and caffeine.

Terri Schiavo article 

....over at Catholic Exchange. Read it here.

Makes some excellent points about the strides made in rehabilitation of brain injuries, and how that effects the debate about "pulling the plug" on folks.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Ewww... 

Yuck. Did you know that "butterwort" is a real word? Well, it is. Bleck! Do you know what it is? Well, I'll tell ya. A BUTTERWORT is any of a genus (Pinguicula -- Huh?) of herbs of the BLADDERWORT (oh, my stars this word is even yuckier!) family with fleshy leaves that produce a viscid secretion (who couldn't do without this foul description?) serving to capture and digest insects. Okay. That's it. Why on earth would God make something this nasty? I mean really! Purpose please? Anyone?

No, I really don't know why I'm up this late looking up nasty words. The baby's asleep on her daddy and all the chitlens are asleep...what else am I gonna do when I can't sleep?

OH HEY! I just noticed Snickelfritz posted "Who We Are" down there. Wait. Over there. To the Right. Oh my words, I have GOT to get some sleep. I'm getting the sleepy sillies. Any of y'all ever get those?

Duchess Snickelfritz, something dawned on me today. Yeah, it happens. We're all converts here. Maybe you should add that to the description. I think it says something about the three of us. It's too late to figure out what exactly it says, but it at least mumbles something interesting, dontcha think?

Oh, and one more thing. Don't you just hate it when you get third degree pizza cheese burns? I hate that. I was all @#$%% earlier tonight because while I was cutting the pizza, a piece of pepperoni with cheese on the underside sort of wrapped itself around my finger. It was so hot! And I didn't want to bite it off my finger because then it would have turned into one of those "Roof of the Mouth" pizza cheese scaldings...hotchamomma! I just tried to sort of flap it off, you know. Well, that didn't work. Dancing around saying colorful phrases didn't help either. That friggin pepperoni was not gonna let go. I finally flicked it so hard, it didn't have a choice, but it left a burn on my finger. I kid you not. Dontcha just hate that?

My New Favorite Words 

BACCHANAL (c/o Oblique House where I first saw the word in today's post. Doesn't it just look like a fun word? I'm not sure what it means. Perhaps I should look it up.)

EGREGIOUS (I just love the way this word sounds out loud. G'head. Say it aloud. You know you want to, and that's okay. Egregious. Great word.)

PICAYUNE (Isn't this some sort of periodical? Regardless, it's a fun word.)

BUTTERY (This word actually has several meanings, but not to me. I just love butter. Mmm.)


(last favorite words posted 9/26: vitriolic, supercilious, chivy)


And, by the way.... 

.....my porn star name is my favorite:

Snickelfritz Beechwood.

That fits.


Takin' the Smockmomma off the hook 

Poor Smockmomma. She always catches the grief for calling herself the "fun" one and me the "old" one.

She is after me to use a nicer title for myself. I refuse.

I am 14 years older than either of the other two mamas on this blog. I know every song on the Oldies radio station. Some of the movies on the Turner Classic Movie channel were movies I went to see in high school!

So, I glory in my old-ness. I hold it over the heads of the other two. I brandish it as a weapon in the culture wars. Woo Hoo!

I think it's high time for OLD to be a compliment, not an indictment.

Yes, I'm OLD--but I live in a Malibu Barbie Dream House. I drive a VW bug----with RACING stripes! I have a huge "shrine" of pink flamingo things--with lights and everything!

I'm the new "old". And proud of it.



Zteen and the Modern 

The Modern Art Museum just opened its new facilities here in January. We haven't been over to see it yet. Since dearest CAS and I had to close on the financing for our new screened in porch (party's at my house in 5 weeks or so, guys), Zteen decided to take himself over to the Modern to check it out.

He just got in. His review? "Nice building, good architecture. Five actual pieces of art surrounded by a bunch of junk."

Wonder from whom he inherited his "opinionated-ness"?

Bwaaa haaaa haaaaa haaaaa haaaaaa.

Workin' on the template 

.....so if things look weird, hang in there. They'll probably get worse!

Addendum: OK, so it took forever, but check out the "who we are" on the right side of the page.

Peony: If you read this: Can you help me figure out how to put a light shade behind the sidebar to delineate it a little from the main text? I think it looks kind of weird just all jumbled together.

This is diabolical 

Terri Schiavo update via WorldNetDaily here.

She has been denied last rites, because she cannot have even a tiny morsel of the body of Christ put into her mouth.

Michael Schiavo's lawyer stood there enforcing the ban.

Unspeakable, simply unspeakable.

And somehow, for me, it made it even worse that it was a WOMAN lawyer enforcing the ban. NEVER, EVER, EVER LET ME HEAR AGAIN THAT WOMEN ARE THE MORE COMPASSIONATE SEX. NEVER.

Had I been Terri's father, I would have decked the lawyer, barred the door, and let the priest do Last Rites. Then I would allow myself to be dragged in handcuffs off to jail in front of TV cameras.

Though I suppose he feels he must be there for his wife, so that she doesn't have to endure her torture alone.

Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for Terri, and for us--a country wallowing in spiritual poverty.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

"You Can Call Me Anythin', Just Don't Call Me Late for Supper" by Anxious Bush 

There has been much commentary, debate, and hullabaloo in general over our monikers since the dawning of this blog. I do understand that words and names *mean things* and are important. So, in response to Mr. Luse and all of the other wonderful visitors of Summa Mamas who've made mention of this subject, please undestand that it is Terry who sits behind the control booth of this blog. BLOGGER (tm) allows one person to control the blog space, and Terry happens to be the captain here. She's cap'n not because she's the oldest, but because she has the most initiative. Kirsten said, "Hey, let's blog." I said, "Huh? Okay." Terry was the one who finally had the ambition, the know-how and the chutzpah to actually get the site started. Maybe she should be called "Terry the Able." Anway, she came up with our title descriptions. Neither Kirsten ("organic") nor I ("fun") had any say in any of the labels, including our own. If I'm not mistaken, Kirsten doesn't go in for labeling people at all anyway. On the other hand, I don't have a gripe with labels. I happen to find them useful.
Regardless, I don't agree with Terry that she's "old" -- she lives in a Malibu Barbie House for Pete's sake, how can that be old? If anything, it's a little kinky to me. And, of all the adjectives in my mind for Terry, "old" is unquestionably not one of them. Be that as it may, Cap'n Terry is in charge, so what she publishes goes. QED; over and out; th-th-th-that's all folks.
That said, we here at Summa Mamas like to play with names. You'll recall that Terry had us look up our "Bond Girl" names not too long ago. Terry was "Duchess Sparks" while Kirsten and I were respectively "Tia and Regina Randy." I capitalized on Randy because, well, it's apropos, and "Duchess" really fits Terry's august and charming personality to a "T."
Perhaps it has something to do with the Bloggers mentality in general, as we have the "Curt Jester," the "Mighty Barrister," the "Old Oligarch," and "Peony and Pansy" are known by their Hobbit Names, just to name a few. Actually, this could be an interesting thesis.
Anyway, I've stumbled across another name game at Davezilla.com. There you will find a place to look up several of your celebrity names. I wasn't too keen on my Porn Star Name (KoKo Greenvalley), but my Blues Singer Name, Anxious Bush, raised an eyebrow; and, I chuckled at the name for my Punk Rock Band, the Squirrely Chiclets. Take a look when you get a moment. I'd enjoy reading your results.
TTFN,
smockmomma
AKA: A. Bush, R. Randy

Amidst the fun.... 

.....please don't forget to stop and pray for Terri Schiavo--continuing her martyrdom today.

St. Jude, pray for us, and especially for Terri in her suffering.

Friday, October 17, 2003

ESTROGEN SOAKED & SOUTHERN FRIED (Saint Donna: Part Three) 

You will notice that headline doesn’t read deep fried, as I am only a second generation Southerner. You see my maternal grandmother is actually, gasp, a Yankee from Pennsylvania, much to her own chagrin. Now, she claims to be the best kind of Southerner there is which is the SBC. In this case, SBC stands for Southerner By Choice, not Southern Baptist Convention. If you confused the two, don’t be embarrassed because it’s a common mistake down here in the Bible Belt.
Of course, my Nonny can claim to be a SBC all she wants; I still cannot make application to the United Daughter’s of the Confederacy. The better half, that is to say, the Southern half, of my blood is forced to mingle with the Yankee half. Some would argue that even the Southern half is tainted. The fact that my biological father is from “The Deep South” doesn’t count because apparently there was a, horror, Mormon thrown into the mix; ipso facto, I cannot be a true blue Southerner. And, I can’t even pretend to deny that embarrassing glitch in my history since my paternal great-grandfather’s name was in fact Brigham Moroni, and you simply cannot get more Mormon than that.
I did once brave application to the Rebel Ladies’ Auxiliary who assured me that one Mormon did not a Yankee make. Alas, they turned me down because my maiden name didn’t sound Southern enough. Southern types who join these sorts of clubs love keeping their maiden names because it helps identify their Southern stock. Feminists were by no means the first to hold on to their maiden names; they were just the first to stick in that tacky old hyphen. So Southern women who are very proud of their Southern heritage often sport names like “Mrs. Jonathan (Georgia) Meriwether Mason of the Montgomery Meriwether’s” and “Mrs. Harrison (Mable) Greenacres Honeycutt of the Nashville Greenacres’.” Well, I didn’t have a maiden name that resonated with a particularly Rebel yell, so the Ladies at the Auxiliary, while applauding my enthusiasm for embracing what smidgeon of Southern inheritance I do possess, passed on my membership.
What these two laudable associations failed to realize, in the end, is that I happen to be in the very fortunate position of being from Texas. We Texans have quite a reputation for being particularly arrogant, and for some reason unbeknownst to me, other Southerners accept this arrogance. So I’m allowed to say, “To hell with the Daughters and the Rebeletts, I’m a Texan”…and get away with it. They’ll smile knowingly and say, “Ah, well, she’s Texan you know.”
By the way, any reader who is offended by my patent use of the word “Yankee” probably is one, so I’ll make no apologies. Yes, we are pretty prejudiced down here when it comes to Yanks. It has a lot to do with the fact that most Yankees tend to have an incredible air of superiority around us. It seems that most people from up North think we Southerners are dirty, uneducated, prejudiced backwater-types. We just hate to let them down. Now, of course, not all Yankees are bad. In fact, one of my dear friends is from Chicago, so you know I’m not prejudiced ‘agin all Yankees. She doesn’t even make fun of the way I talk. Much.
Now, the estrogen soaking has nothing to do whatsoever with the fact that I’m from down h’yere. No. I’m estrogen soaked because I have four children so far. So, you see it’s because I’m Catholic. Yes, yes, I say that slightly tongue in cheek. But! It’s funny how in America today, particularly in Suthren America … no, that’s not a typo; it’s supposed to read ‘Suthren’ so you don’t confuse it with South America. Not that there’s anything wrong with our friends from South America. South America is grand. Hot, but grand. It’s Mexico that sticks in my craw. We Rebels will never forget the Civil War and we Texans will forever and ever REMEMBER THE ALAMO. That Poncho Villa was one crazy bastard.) But, where was I? Oh yes. It’s funny how in America today, particularly in Suthren America, if you have more than 1.5 children, people tend to look at you catawampus and say, “You one’em Cath’licks?” It’s a well known fact down here in the Bible Belt that only Cathlicks have lots of children. The Pope makes ‘em have lots of kids so they kin eventually outnumber the Babdists. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. Every Southerner knows that for a fact.
Case in point; and mind you, I’m an only child. The first thing my mother said when I told her I was converting to the Catholic Church was, “Oh. I see.” Blinkblink. “So, I guess I *will* have eleven grandchildren after all.” Haha.
And, wouldn’t you know it, I have been pregnant or nursing for the last eight years, ever since I came into the Catholic Church. Maybe we Southerners are smarter than some Yankees would have.


Go Stars! 

Hockey season has begun! Hurray!

The Stars are off to a mediocre start, but tonight they unveiled their third jersey.

Tacky, tacky, tacky. Though I hear on the sports talk shows that they are a hit among youngsters. Another reason why I am the Old One!

Perhaps we will never see them in them again if they lose in them tonight, superstitions being what they are.

There have been questions 

.....about why I am called the "old one" on this blog.

This should settle it.

I am the only one sitting at home on a Friday night, posting to a blog.

Old, I tell you, with no outside life.

Great article on confession 

.....in the latest issue of Touchstone magazine. It's by Jim Forest, who is secretary of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship.

The article's titled Rest for Our Souls: Confession in an Age of Self-Esteem.

I'm not finished with the article yet, I was trying to read while the McBaby was asleep yesterday. The quiet and calm that pervaded the house put ME to sleep as well. But one part of it has really stuck with me. The author tells a story about the Matthew 25 House in Akron, Ohio. The author is struck by a sign he sees in one of the bathrooms. Hung right next to the mirror was a small sign that read:

I am not a big deal.
I am not a big deal.
I am not a big deal.

"Over lunch I asked what was behind this surprising message. Joe explained that during confession his priest once suggested that every morning he repeat the words "I am not a big deal" three times. Just to make sure he remembered, Joe put the text in the place where he shaves each morning."

I think I need to make a sign like that for myself. How often would I be impatient, assuming that MY needs or desires are more important than the next fellow's, if I had reminded myself that morning that I am no big deal? How often would I assume that I had all the answers? (Not for nothing does my family tell me they are getting me the t-shirt that says: I'm not bossy, I just know what you should be doing.)

For someone like me, whose besetting sin is pride, pride and more pride, it might be the perfect corrective.

Further on in the article is the following paragraph:

"Pride is regarding oneself as god-like. In one of the stories preserved from early desert monasticism, a younger brother asks an elder, "What shall I do? I am tortured by pride." The elder responds, "You are right to be proud. Was it not you who made heaven and earth?" With those few words, the brother was cured of pride."

Well, then.

Off to change dirty diapers and remind myself that I'm not the center of the universe.....

The Mighty Barrister 

.....is a must read today.

"Satan's laughing so hard he just shot brimstone out of his nose."

Wish I had said that!

Mr Luse of Apologia is a must read also.

And check out Sparki on miracles, and Peony on caring for the brain damaged.

Poor Boston 

And oh how I despise those dratted Yankees.

One of my good friends is from Bahston--I'm sure she's in mourning today.

Oh, well. GO MARLINS!

Thursday, October 16, 2003

My sweet mom sent me this thought for the day 

"Faith is the only known cure for fear."

- Lena K. Sadler


I don't know who Lena K. Sadler is, but I needed that thought for today.

Thanks, Lena, for reminding me. And thanks, Mom, for sending it along.

Go to Envoy Encore weblog.... 

.....and read Pete Vere's take on the prayer vigil yesterday for Terri Schiavo here.

There is also a press release for the Order of Alhambra--a Catholic organization that deals the the needs of mentally disabled Catholics. They are worried, naturally. What does this case mean for brain damaged adults if the test for personhood is whether or not they can "bring a spoon to [their] lips" as Michael Schiavo's lawyer would have it?



Why I love Thomas Sowell 

I think he is one of the clearest writers and thinkers on economics. Read the article here on the perils of success in today's society.

I used to subscribe to Forbes magazine when he had a column in it, simply to read him.

And you've got to love a guy who wrote a book called Is Reality Optional?



Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Why Hollywood's Going to Hell (with the rest of America) 

Very interesting article on Hollywood; thank you Mark Brumley for the link.

Happy Silver Anniversary, JPII! 

Being a convert, John Paul II is my only experience of having a pope. Lucky for me, I'd say!

Smockmomma and I both agree that we loved this pope even BEFORE we became Catholic. And my dear sweet mom, who is DEFINITELY not Catholic, tells me every time he is on television: "You guys have got yourself some great pope there."

Amen, Mom, amen.

Tonight, as I go to sleep broken hearted and disillusioned, I will try to have his words be my last conscious thought: "Be not afraid."

I am afraid, Papa, but I'll try to be brave. Thank you, thank you, thank you.



We Love You, Papa 

Even as your children here are weeping, they wish you health, happiness and blessings on your Silver Anniversary. Offer your righteous prayers for us sinners, Papa, we need them.

Mr. Luse has said it all 

Go read his Update on Terri Schiavo on the Apologia blog. Use the link at the right to get there.

And then weep and rend your garments.

I have never, ever, ever been so disappointed in our system as I am at this moment.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, take your daughter into your arms. We pray for a miracle, but if we can't have that, please alleviate as much of Terri's suffering as you can.

Look with pity on us, a nation that can do this to our most helpless, and call it good. Bless me and remove the hate I feel for her "husband" at this moment. Keep me from the edge of the precipice of despair.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.



The response I got from Jeb Bush's office 

Thank you for writing to Governor Bush and expressing interest in the
well-being of Terri Schindler Schiavo. He has asked me to respond on his
behalf. The Governor is very concerned about Terri, and his thoughts and
prayers are with the Schindler family.

The Governor, more than any other state official, has a responsibility to
ensure that the laws be faithfully executed and to give a voice to the
citizens of the state. It is because of these dual responsibilities that
the Governor felt compelled to write a letter to the circuit court judge
expressing an opinion on this difficult matter and to file an amicus brief
to accompany the Schindlers' federal lawsuit. The Governor is disappointed
by the decisions made by the state and federal courts in these cases.

However, the Florida Constitution prevents the Governor from acting further.
Florida law gives the courts, not the Governor, authority over
guardianships. For that reason, despite his great concern for Terri's life,
the Governor has no power to intervene further.

Thank you again for writing.

Sincerely,

Lauren O'Connor
Office of Citizens' Services


Terri Schiavo 

The following came yesterday from the Texans for Life Coalition. It has email addresses for Governor Jeb Bush. Sorry they don't work as clickable links, but you can cut and paste them.


Dear Pro-Life Friends,

Will tomorrow be the end of the road for Terri? Surely you have heard of her plight. Please pray for her as God whispers her name in your ear throughout the coming days, and even consider fasting on her behalf. And please take a moment to both email and call Gov. Bush, asking him to intervene directly on her behalf.

The Federal Court has said it will not intervene in the scheduled starving death of Terri Schiavo due to begin this Wednesday (tomorrow) at 1:00 p.m., CDT. Here is contact information for Gov. Bush, who filed a brief with the court to save Terri and was rejected. This woman has expressed her desire to live! No woman (or man, for that matter) should have to die because she is disabled and her spouse is ready to move on. She should be released to her parents who love her and stand ready to care for her.

http://terrisfight.org

jeb@jeb.org or jeb.bush@myflorida.com

Ph:(850) 488-7146 and (850) 488-4441
Fax:(850)487-0801

Statement from the parents of Terri Schindler-Schiavo, Bob & Mary Schindler:
We love our daughter very much and we want her home. Over the last 13 years, Terri has laughed with us, cried with us, talked with us, and even tried to get out of her chair. The accusations that Terri is in a coma or is a "vegetable" are a lie.

We beg Michael Schiavo, and those working with him to end our daughter’s life, to let her come home to her family. We will sign any agreement you want, giving you all monies related to Terri’s collapse and any insurance money that may be forthcoming. You take the money. We just want our daughter.




Kyleen Wright
President
Texans for Life Coalition
972.790.9044 or metro 972.399.1433


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


_______________________________________________
Stayinformed mailing list
Stayinformed@texlife.org
http://texlife.org/mailman/listinfo/stayinformed_texlife.org


Terri Schiavo 

Today is the day her death is scheduled to begin. 2 p.m. in Florida, 1 p.m. here in the central time zone.

The latest news is awful--now her vile husband has declared that her parents MAY NOT visit their daughter unless he or his attorney is present.

What do you think the chances will be that he will choose to be present during the 2 weeks it may take her to die? I'd say none.

So, it looks like Terri will die in pain and suffering, and ALONE. Her SOB husband wants her to be ALONE. What kind of human is he???????

OK, so I know that she won't be alone--the Blessed Mother will be there. St. Joseph will be there. Christ himself will be there. I am quite sure her husband does not know that.

But how, how, how can he twist the knife just a little farther into the hearts of her parents?

Go to Terri's Fight homepage for the update.

St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Today's Terri Schiavo update 

from WorldNetDaily is here.

It sounds very bad. Please, please, please pray. Using the links at the right, visit Wm. Luse's blog Apologia for his eloquent thoughts. Go to the Mighty Barrister's blog and find his powerful and heartfelt prayer on behalf of Terri.

Tomorrow, the day the tubes are to be disconnected, is the feast day of St. Teresa of Avila. Please join me and the other Summa mamas in begging for her powerful intercession with our God.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, intercede for your daughter Terri in her time of trial. St. Teresa of Avila, storm heaven for her.

Sweet Jesus, helper of the helpless, lover of poor, the unwanted and the lost, please carry Terri through her trials in the loving embrace of your arms.


Monday, October 13, 2003

Painting, etc. 

The Moss sisters are discussing painting and colors to use in the aforesaid activity.

Having just finished painting almost every room in our house, I can sympathize with both types of painters. We started out as meticulous painters, but by the time we finished painting the kitchen we ended up as "just get the paint up there, buddy, and I mean NOW!" folks.

But it is great to look at my walls. My house looks like a child's paintbox was used to paint--very, um, shall we say, VIVID? Only Zteen's room is an actual "tasteful" color. But I love it! We decided to go for every bright color in the book--yellow for the living room--and I'm talking about SpongeBob Yellow here--, flamingo pink for my office, bright blue with a hand stenciled border in the bedroom, spring leaf green in the kitchen (with freshly painted white panelling, since I couldn't afford to replace it with beadboard).

Wear your sunglasses when you visit us!

But it fits us, and we LOVE it. SisterM (who helped us paint) said, "I can't wait for the church to see this! Every woman will be saying 'Why can't I paint the kitchen that tasteful blue? At least I'm not painting it that GREEEEEEEN that Terry did.' And every husband will be thinking, 'Oh, my gosh. Better let her do it. And boy, am I glad I'm not CAS.'"

SisterM just laughs and laughs and tells me that I live in a Barbie house.

And you know, I think I do.

Now, if I could just wear those high heels that Barbie wears.......

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Just a niggling thought 

While watching football with my sweet husband this afternoon, we saw an advertisement for "Mama Mia"--the show that features a story built around the hit songs of ABBA. (Now, this sounds like an ice pick to the brain for me, but taste is a funny thing.)

The commercial says, "The heartwarming story of a girl, her mother, three possible dads, and a wedding."

Wait! Backspace on that! A lovely little story about a daughter and a sleep around mom??????

I'm trying not to be curmudgeonly (OK, so I'm not trying very hard!) I DON'T FIND THAT HEARTWARMING!!!

So, I guess I can save my $37.50 per ticket, don't cha think?


My sweet Zteen 

My son is 17. His current hobby is being bored with everything and chafing at the bit to finish his homeschooling and hit the ground running for full blown adulthood. (The fact that that would mean he actually needs to get UP in the morning and start school hasn't crossed his mind yet, though.)

He is a very good boy. But when he found out that my plans for the afternoon entailed reading and trying to untangle a mess of accounting stuff for a friend, and that his dad's idea of a good Sunday afternoon was watching NFL football, he decided that he would go do something fun.

Now, some teenagers would drive around in their cars and cause trouble. My sweet baby took himself to the museum to see the new exhibit of medieval illuminations of the Book of Hours. He ended up walking around the exhibit (and he reads EVERY SINGLE description card in the exhibit--he's not my flesh and blood for nothing) with an elderly lady, who was also reading every card.

Ahead of them in the exhibit was a couple who were looking at the paintings, then making rude comments about the saints: "God's action figures. Collect the whole set." Which, said in a loving way might be cute, but said hatefully was nasty.

You must understand that my son took Dominic as his confirmation name, and it fits him to a "t". Give him some Albigensians to convert! If he had a sword, he would be a crusader. We have to remind him that he is just 17, and many adults don't relish being hauled up short by a teenager.

Because he was walking with this nice lady, he didn't want to cause a scene, but about the fifth time the couple made a disparaging remark, he just sighed and laid his head against the wall.

The lady leaned over and whispered in his ear, "I know just how you feel, dear."

Bless her heart. And bless his, too.

Have you ever thought.... 

....that the world was going crazy and you were the only sane one left? Or is that a sign of madness?

Today at church, after an otherwise great Bible study and and absolutely FABULOUS sermon (way to go Fr C!), two different people, in two completely and totally different ways showed that they were absolute and complete lunatics. Leaving me to stand there with my mouth open, thinking "You've got to be kidding me!"

I can hear that weird "do do do do, do do do do" music following me around. And I think Rod Serling is hiding in my closet.

"Terry thought she was in the midst of her parish family. Little did she know, she had stepped out of St Mary's and into.......The Twilight Zone."

OK, we've waited long enough.... 

....for the organic mom to get her Bond Girl Name. To no effect. (You know, that being pregnant and all kind of gets in the way of important things like blogging ).

So, I plugged in her name for her.

She's Tia Randy.

See! I knew it was a conspiracy! Organic and fun are SISTERS! Leaving me out, once again.

Boo hoo.......

Friday, October 10, 2003

And, I'm Randy. Regina Randy. 

But, we all knew that already didn't we?

Just call me Sparks, Dutchess Sparks..... 

Find your own cool Bond Girl name here.

Mine fits. I think it sounds OLD!

Thanks to Kathy the Carmelite for the link.

Good for him! 

Article about a prayer vigil for Terri Schiavo. Things don't look so hot right now. Please pray hard!

Help me! 

I need to understand two phrases (which I am obviously too old to "get").

#1 "Cowboy up"
#2 "Fisking" something

Thanks in advance for your kind explanations!

Interesting article 

As an ex-Anglican and the member of an Anglican Use parish of the Catholic Church, this article was very interesting.

I think it's time for them to close their eyes and jump to Rome. There's no peace outside it. Even if they think they have solved this issue, another one will arise.

It's all about authority. It always is.

I struggle to remember and believe this! 

I sometimes feel appalled at the thought of the sum total of human misery all over the world at the present moment: The millions parted, fretting, wasting in unprofitable days - quite apart from torture, pain, death, bereavement, injustice. If anguish were visible, almost the whole of this benighted planet would be enveloped in a dense dark vapour, shrouded from the amazed vision of the heavens! And the products of it all will be mainly evil - historically considered. But the historic version is, of course, not the only one. All things and all deeds have a value in themselves, apart from their "causes" and "effects." No man can estimate what is really happening sub specie aeternitatis*. All we do know, and that to a large extent by direct experience, is that evil labors with vast power and perpetual success - in vain: preparing always the soil for unexpected good to sprout in.

Excerpt from a letter by J.R.R. Tolkien to his son Christopher, 10 April 1944.
* "beneath the splendor of heaven"


Thanks to the Bruderhof "Daily Dig" for the quotation!



Thursday, October 09, 2003

A Potentially Prickly Topic 

Okay, so while I've been knocking at death's door with some funky new ailment my funky new doctor (who looks twelve, by the way) had the gall to call a "super-virus" for the past few days, The Curt Jester and Mr. Luse at Apologia have decided to go on a grossout campaign.
However...
I must admit that I will rest easier tonight knowing that there are well appreciated and praisworthy people in persistant persuit of such importunate pedagogy as the personal care for people with perpetually petulant bowels and the unhappy porters of piles.
Howzat for a little alliteration?

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

More information on the Conneticut case.... 

......blogged below.

Here is a link to the initial case filed by the ACLJ.

Here is a link to the release when the temporary injunction was granted.

This is what I found interesting:

The lawsuit contends that the problems began after they received the proper zoning and building permits to add a family room and a garage to their home this year – new space that is not used for the prayer meetings.

As the Murphy’s attempted to add a driveway to their property, the complaint contends the town rescinded a permit to complete the driveway because they Murphy’s used their home for prayer meetings.

The lawsuit states that the Murphy’s received a letter from town’s zoning enforcement officer on November 29th ordering the Murphy’s to suspend the prayer meetings at their home – saying the zoning commission has determined that such activity is not permissible. The letter also states that the town will take legal action against the Murphy’s if they continue to hold the prayer meetings at their home.


What it sounds like to me is that someone in the neighborhood was ticked that these folks were adding on to their home--perhaps not in a "seemly" manner--although the family apparently had all the proper permits. If I were guessing, the unhappy neighbor went to the P&Z and said, "Well, you know they're running a kind of CHURCH in there, don't you?"

But the fact that the P&Z didn't brush off the unhappy neighbor after initial investigation is stupid. What would the P&Z position have been had the family been doing something like playing duplicate bridge, or horror of horrors, TRIVIAL PURSUIT? What would they have done? Told them to quit having parties? No. But because it is a prayer meeting, someone took it into their head that such activity is just not PROPER for a "neighborhood like ours."

Sheesh.

This proves it! 

There is a website for everything!

From the Bruderhof 

I read the Bruderhof Daily Dig each day. I think it is a gentle, pacifistic corrective to my generally unmerciful, war-mongering personality. Sometimes it is beautiful, sometimes it seems just flakey. But this morning's Dig spoke to me. Maybe it speaks to all of us who aren't living La Vida Loca in the fast lane.

Listen To Your Life
Frederick Buechner

Listen to your life. I discovered that if you keep your eye peeled to it and your ears open, if you really pay attention to it, even such a limited and limiting life as the one I was living on Rupert Mountain opened up to extraordinary vistas. Taking your children to school and kissing your wife goodbye. Eating lunch with a friend. Trying to do a decent day's work. Hearing the rain patter against the window. There is no event so commonplace but that God is present in it, always hiddenly, always leaving you to recognize him or not to recognize him, but all the more fascinatingly because of that, all the more compellingly and hauntingly....If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and as a preacher, it would be something like this: Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.


I especially liked the last line: "in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace."

As a wife, mother, homeschooler, homemaker, much of my life seems routine and certainly not earth-shattering or important. Especially the fifth time you've put dishes in the dishwasher on the same day. Or wiped the baby's nose the 29th time (as she shakes her head and runs from you).

Today I'll be reminded--it's all grace! Thank you, Jesus!


Monday, October 06, 2003

Nothing like a K of C garage sale.... 

.....to get me started again on my life goal: Decluttering my house! With the sale only a few weeks away, I am rounding up stuff with a vengeance.

Clutter is the bane of my existence. I have too many things! My goal is to get down to the things that I use regularly, find beautiful and/or make me smile. The more I clear out, the lighter I feel and the happier I am. Thank you Flylady for the continuing brainwashing in this area.

I have bagged up 4 sacks of books, 1 sack of cassette tapes, 1 sack of videos, 3 sacks of kitchen stuff, 1 sack of "decorative items." In addition, I have set aside a fish tank, a folding bookshelf, a print that used to hang in my kitchen, 8 baskets, 4 framed winter prints, an old nightstand, McBaby's old high chair, an old television, some computer equipment, and a stack of storage bins.

You would think that my house would look at least a *little* barer, wouldn't you? BUT IT DOESN'T! How can that be?

My home growing up was always in a state of at least partial chaos. My mother is many wonderful things, but a great housekeeper she is not and was not. Practically every snapshot of us during our growing up years has piles of stuff in the background! My mom's theory was that we did a massive cleaning on Saturday mornings (which we dreaded and whined during the entire ordeal). But not knowing what to do herself, my mom would send us off to "clean our rooms." She would go into the kitchen to start there. But instead of clearing clutter, she would dump out a drawer. We'd walk back an hour later and she would have-------one perfectly clean drawer. Surrounded by clutter on all sides.

It didn't help that my dad came from a home that was clean, clean, clean. This was a stressor for my mom. No way could she do what my Mama Warren had done.

So, I've spent a lot of my marriage struggling along with making a home. I go in cycles--streaks of competency followed by crashes into chaos. And I have spent a lot of time thinking about just what it is that made my grandmother's house so wonderful to me.

It smelled good. Not like Pine Sol, mind you, but clean and fresh. It was clean with a capital C. But most of all it was spare. Not in the modern blank slate sense. But spare in the sense that there wasn't much *stuff* there. And the stuff that was there was loved and taken care of. I want that.

I will always have more stuff than Mama Warren had--I have bookshelf after bookshelf of dust catching books! But I want to only have things that I really use--how ever many that is. I found myself staring today at a melon baller. When was the last time I used that? I unearthed 15 bag clips. How many bags of chips or frozen vegetables do I have open at one time. How many votive candle cups is it really necessary for one person to have?

And where, oh where, does all this stuff come from?



My goodness! 

The fact that there is even a CASE about this is beyond creepy to me.

The ACLJ filed suit after the Murphy's received a letter from town's zoning enforcement officer in November 2000 ordering the Murphy's to suspend the prayer meetings at their home - saying the zoning commission had determined that such activity is not permissible.

This is beyond weird. Why would a planning and zoning commission think this was in their purview? Too many people visiting these folks? Traffic jams on the streets?



Sunday, October 05, 2003

Hey, I know that woman! 

Smockmomma, that lady you are talking about exists in homeschooling circles as well. She's not just Catholic!

She wears a drop waist denim jumper. She has children who are all dressed alike for homeschool field trips. And they don't have jelly on their faces! She grinds her own wheat, feeds her family only home-cooked, hand-prepared, nutrition-packed meals, which she cooks and freezes one month at a time.

The Perfect Homeschool Mom raises children that are all above average (Hello, Lake Woebegon). Every child is polite, friendly, brainy and beautiful. She begins her day precisely at 5 a.m. with morning devotions, moving effortlessly through the day, wiping noses, correcting school work, and operating the prayer chain from her homeschool group. It is her children who win the geography bee, the spelling bee, and get awards for building homes for the poor on mission trips to Guatamala.

She never looks flustered. Her baby girl never tries to eat a frog on park day. Her children come when called. Her children never, ever, ever hit each other.

When she goes to the homeschool book fair, she takes an annotated list of purchases, which she has prescreened and knows are perfectly appropriate. She spends minimum dollars for maximum impact. She never tosses out curriculum unused.

When I started homeschooling 11 years ago, I even bought the jumper! I thought I would turn into her. And I have tried, oh, how I have tried.

Yesterday, with two "on loan" children with us, two dogs barking at anything that moved, two teenagers sleeping off a night of Dr. Pepper and video games, and a sleepy father of an eight year old dozing on our couch, how ELSE could my sweet husband answer the phone when it rang?

"Hello, Southard Zoo. How may we help you?"



Saturday, October 04, 2003

Saint Donna, Part II: The Smockmomma 

So what happend to the gender role confusion, especially in light of becoming Catholic? Well, it's still there. In fact, it is a quandry that still plagues the best of us; and the "organic" summa mama and I have had many conversations concerning the role of Catholic hausfrau. In fact, my self-given moniker "smockmomma" stemmed from just such a question. Even if you've never heard the phrase smockmomma, if you are Catholic, especially a traditional Catholic, you know exactly what a Smockmomma is. Well, at least the sterotype.

She is quiet and reserved and always appears very elegant. Her home is warm, clean, smells like baked something-or-other, and is always modetly decorated regardless of her husbands income. She wears practical but sweet shoes and is almost always wearing a smockdress (the long one-piece jumper, usually in some sort of denim or natural fabric) hence her name. Her voice is calm and even. She never raises her voice, unless she gets caught up in the moment and turns up the volume during the Amen at Mass. She has a friendly and inviting smile, which she wears even more often than the jumper. She clasps her hands together a lot. She writes seasonal one act plays for her children to perform for Father when he visits for dinner. She also loves planning arts and crafts for her children because she's very artsy. Her Christmas cards are always homemade. Whereever she goes, her children follow behind her like little precious little goslings. She is envied by many, and loved by all because even when you want to hate her, you can't. You cannot fight the genuine love and grace she radiates...unless you are a heartless die-hard liberal/feminist. And even then, you hate not her, but what she stands for because Smockmomma is the paradigm of Catholic Mommyhood.

Now I ask you, how do those of us who were soaked in feminist propoganda compete with that? How can we be that? And, do we really want to try? I've actually met a couple of women who are fake smockmommas. I have to tell you, there is nothing more pathetic. It is painful to watch. No, it's been my experience that it would be easier to slide a square peg into a round smock.

I'm not really a smockmomma, and I never could be. Oh, I can be artsy-fartsy when I want to be, but I'm waaay too loud. So are my chitlens. And if you listen closely when you visit my home, you can hear the strains of Calliope playing in the background. It's the Allen Family Circus. And we all fit quite nicely here.

Of course, I have a lot to learn from true Smockmommas. The ones I've had the fortune of meeting have afforded me great lessons...in both laundry cleaning and practical spiritual matters. No kidding. I haven't met one yet that doesn't have a strong devotion to Our Blessed Mother. And, I know that is not a coincidence.

I don't know what I have to offer a real Smockmomma. Maybe I could share my experience of being a sassy southern lady...

Tune in for Part Three, coming soon.

[Addendum 10/10/03 due to illness, see 10/09/03] Tune in for Part Three, coming sooner or later.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?