28 November 2008

A day late - original Thanksgiving proclamation

Received this from a history loop that I'm on and had never read it before. Seems our forefathers were steeped in God and gravy.

General Thanksgiving
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLIC THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

Source: The Massachusetts Sentinel, Wednesday, October 14, 1789


27 November 2008



And, if you could, please say a prayer for my Aunt Marie. She had triple bypass and a valve replacement and is still in the hospital. There have been numerous complications and just when she was to be discharged, she became tired and was put back in bed. Then, totally contrary to her personality, she became angry and was saying crazy things. Many more tests were done and there is no sign of stroke or anything that could be causing this dramatic change in her personality. Thank you for your prayers.

26 November 2008


It must be something they are teaching seminarians these days. A new graduation requirement -- a course on how to keep parishioners coming back to confession.

I try to make it to confession at least once a month. I think that's good for me right now since many times I have to plan in advance to have someone watch the kids. However, in the back of my head, I still hear my father's voice prodding me to go every two weeks. I've never been able to make it to confession with that regularity.

What is a little off-putting is to tell the priest my confession and have him tell me it was "a good confession."

I never used to hear this from the priests at my parish. Like many folks, I tend to, sadly, confess the same habitual sins each month with little variation. I do try to do a good examination of my conscience, but by and large, my sins don't change much.

I've been told "that was a good confession" quite often in the past few years from very fine priests that are not long out of the seminary. This is the same ol' confession I have been confessing year-in and year-out, the same confession that never made the priest skip a beat or pause to give me encouragement. Friends have told me they have been told the same thing. While I understand that the priest wants to put me at ease or indicate that they believe I have done a good examination of my conscience, the business of confession is exactly that -- confession of the sins we have committed -- how we have offended God. Nothing "good" about that.

For me, the last place I want to be patronized is in the confessional. I don't need to have the priest give me a verbal "atta girl" when I'm doing what I should be. Nothing tops the feeling of absolution (or the imperfect, but serious, fear of hell) to bring me back to confession. I need spiritual direction while I'm contrite and in the confessional, not a cheerleader.

I must be old school in that I want confession to feel like purgation. I don't want it to be foo-foo, frilly or touchy-feely, I want it to be a serious reflection of my sins with a heart-felt resolution to amend my life.

If the priest is holy and if he tells his flock the Truth they need to hear, then I would think that the rest, like frequent confession, would follow naturally, no marketing required.

24 November 2008

A PSA for St. A's TLM

Wow, I think I'm almost there with text message lingo. Too bad I'm a Luddite and don't know how to text message on my cheapy phone.

Despite Ray always scooping me about everything (and he doesn't even attend St. Agnes!), I am going to do a quick post about St. Agnes having its first TLM next Sunday. Well, its first TLM since the changes of Vatican II came along.

Next Sunday, November 30 at 10am, is when the TLM will replace the Latin NO.

As beautiful as this Mass is, as much as I'm drawn to it, I am still a product of Vatican II and am comfortable with (prefer even) the NO...at least while my kids are so young.

I don't think the NO is an abomination. It's not the work of the devil (another blogger and I had this conversation and she said if she wasn't able to attend the TLM she would not go to Mass). The abuses of the Mass are the problem and I think we've all seen some of those. However, I'm still planning to attend the very reverential 8:30am NO next weekend.

Hopefully, I'll get around to attending the TLM some weekend soon. Check out Ray's blog for more on the TLM at St. Agnes. (Although I bet Ray didn't know that a painting of several generations of women praying in a Austrian church, the interior of which looks a great deal like St. Agnes, was donated to St. Agnes and is hanging near the altar on the West wall before the stations of the cross.)

22 November 2008

My doppelgänger

OK, this is probably of no interest to anyone but me, but it struck me as quite curious. Ray sent me this link to analyze my blog using the Myers-Briggs. When I was working as an engineer, I must've taken the Myers-Briggs more times than I can remember.

Nearly each time my result was ENTJ.

Oddly, my blog is INFP. Must be my more sensitive side coming through. Maybe I now have concrete proof that becoming a mom has changed me and turned my brain to mush. I think it probably has something to do with listening to Barney the Purple Dinosaur sing, "I love you, you love me" one too many times.

Here's the link in case you want to analyze your own or someone else's blog.

INFP - The Idealists
The meaning-seeking and unconventional type. They are especially attuned to making sure their beliefs and actions are congruent. They often develop a passion for the arts or unusual forms of self-expression.

They enjoy work that is aligned to their deeply felt values and tend to strongly dislike the more practical and mundane forms of tasks. They can enjoy working alone for long periods of time and are happiest when they can immerse themselves in personally meaningful projects.

20 November 2008

A house full of pilgrims

This year Thanksgiving is at my house. Hubby's family, sans his sister and her husband who never do anything with the family, will all be here. It's only about a dozen people, so not too bad as far as cooking and logistics go...but the conversation will certainly be interesting. Interesting in a contentious sort of way.

At least the neighbor makes wine and keeps us well stocked.

As my aunts undergo surgery this week

Please keep my aunts in your prayers. One aunt had triple by-pass and a valve replacement yesterday and another is having cataract surgery tomorrow. They are both in their 80s.

Thank you for remembering them and their families.

A reflection from Pope John Paul II:

The Church prays for the health of all the sick, of all the suffering, of all the incurables, humanly condemned to irreversible infirmity. She prays for the sick, and she prays with the sick. She is extremely grateful for every cure, even if it is partial and gradual. And at the same time, with her whole attitide she makes it understood -- like Christ -- that cure is something exceptional, that from the point of view of the divine "economy" of salvation it is an extraordinary and almost supplementary fact.

11 February 1979

19 November 2008

My saints for the year

Angela has offered to draw patron saints again this year. Originally, I had St. Matthew, which was perfect because we were studying his gospel in bible study. I had St. Luke this year. Now, she's set me up with....

[drum roll please!]

Swissmiss - St. Catherine of Siena
Hubby - St. Michael
Son - St. Francis Xavier
Daughter - St. Clare
and she drew one for my brother who is serving in Iraq - St. Matthew

It will be interesting to have a Dominican patron for the year since I have Carmelite leanings. Now I WILL have to read some of her work.

Check out Angela's blog to get a patron saint for yourself.

A bit about St. Catherine from Wiki, click on the link to read more:

Saint Catherine of Siena, O.P. (March 25, 1347 – April 29, 1380) was a Tertiary of the Dominican Order, and a Scholastic philosopher and theologian. She also worked to bring the Papacy back to Rome from its displacement in France, and to establish peace among the Italian city-states.

Saint Catherine was born Catherine Benin in Siena, Italy, to Giacomo di Benincasa, a clothdyer, and Lapa Piagenti, possibly daughter of a local poet. Born in 1347, she was the 24th out of 25 children, h, she took the habit of the Dominican Tertiaries after vigorous protests from the Tertiaries themselves.

In about 1366, St Catherine experienced what she described in her letters as a "Mystical Marriage" with Jesus. Her biographer Raymond of Capua also records that she was told by Christ to leave her withdrawn life and enter the public life of the world. Catherine dedicated much of her life to helping the ill and the poor, where she took care of them in hospitals or homes. Her early pious activities in Siena attracted a group of followers, both women and men, while they also brought her to the attention of the Dominican Order, which called her to Florence in 1374 to interrogate her for possible heresy. After this visit, in which she was deemed sufficiently orthodox, she began travelling with her followers throughout northern and central Italy advocating reform of the clergy and the launch of a new crusade and advising people that repentance and renewal could be done through "the total love for God."

17 November 2008

Pick a lane

You've probably all seen this picture before, but I was sent it today in an e-mail by my husband's radically pro-choice aunt. What a shocker. I think she sent it to most of the people in her address book too.

While I'm always hopefully optimistic that hubby's family will find their way out of the lapsed Lutheran woods, I sadly don't think this is an indicator of her softening her position.

It's much like my cousin who is a religious, who addressed herself as Sr. Mary Frances when she wrote to my father, but to me, she's just Mary Frances. I don't understand her "nunship" or "sistership" since it is in name only...she has no vows, or daily prayers, or mother house or any standard nun or sisterly things to bind her to anything.

Hubby's aunt is all touchy feely and goo-gooey about babies to a point. That point is when it suits her. There is no basis for her position on abortion other than the hollow issue of fairness and opportunity. "Not everyone has had the opportunities that [I] have had."

I don't really know what that means. Neither does she. For her to think about it at all is to see the dead-end in that line of thinking. My "opportunities," or lack of them, dictate my morality? My "opportunities," or lack of, further dictate my right to choose certain courses of action? If I'm lacking in certain socio-economic opportunities I can choose abortion, but if I'm happily married and living in a house with the prerequisite amount of material goods, I can't? How is that even being honestly pro-choice? How relativistic, arbitrary and subjective?

I'm having to restrain myself today and not fire off a retort asking her about the incredible, miraculous and marvelous picture she sent, "Is it a baby or is it a choice?"

Below is what was (ironically) contained in the e-mail from my husband's aunt, slightly abridged and emphasis is mine.

Please read before viewing picture - it's worth it!

A picture began circulating in November. It should be 'The Picture of the Year,' or perhaps, 'Picture of the Decade.' It won't be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the US paper which published it, you probably would never have seen it.

The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby.

The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother's womb. The baby's mother is an obstetrics nurse and knew of the surgeon's remarkable surgical procedure, performing these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.

During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. As the doctor completed the surgery, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger. The doctor was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile.

The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors titled the picture, 'Hand of Hope.' The text explaining the picture begins, 'The tiny hand of a 21-week-old fetus emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of the surgeon as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life.'

The baby's mother said they 'wept for days' when they saw the picture. She said, 'The photo reminds us pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, it's about a little person.' The baby was born in perfect health, the operation 100 percent successful.

Now see the actual picture, and it is awesome...incredible....and hey, pass it on. The world needs to see this one!

14 November 2008

Hypocratic toast

The other night over dinner with some friends, the conversation some how came around to my experiences finding a good Catholic doctor and they wanted me to blog about it. Considering the difficulties I had with my two pregnancies, the "finding of the doctor" part seemed pretty tame in comparison.

Here's what I wrote on my genealogy website years ago before my son was born, with some editing and slight revision:

"In December my mother-in-law finally retired from work and was moving out of our house after staying with us during the week for the better part of three years. We had a retirement party for her in early December and I began to feel tired...just thinking it was due to the hectic schedule I had been keeping. Christmas came and I still wasn’t feeling well. Driving back from the Christmas party at my parents-in-law's was awful as my stomach hurt and I was generally uncomfortable. A few days later I caught hubby’s cold. Both of us were sick and spent the next few days in bed recuperating.

As New Year’s approached, the cold was going away, but my stomach hurt and I felt awful. I figured I would give it a few days to see if things got better. On New Year’s Eve I couldn’t stand it anymore and went to Urgent Care. (Since we had recently moved back to Minnesota from Washington State, and because I typically don't get sick, and was also busy with taking care of my father who had cancer, I hadn't gotten around to finding a family doctor. After 14 years of marriage with no children, the thought of pregnancy and needing an OB-GYN was not even on my radar.) The pain in my stomach was localized on my left side just below my ribs. To lay on my left side made me completely nauseated. I thought it was an ulcer.

Hubby went in with me to the doctor. The doctor went through all the standard questions but the only symptom I was describing was the pain on my left side. He asked if I could be pregnant. Of course I could be pregnant, even though it was highly unlikely based on prior experience. The doctor set down the clip board and pen, stopped asking any more questions and had me do a pregnancy test.

The urine test confirmed it, I was pregnant.

It was late on New Year's Eve and I was thrilled, but felt so sick that I wasn’t bouncing off the walls with joy. The doctor had me lay on the exam table and felt my stomach. He asked me how far along in the pregnancy I thought I was. About five weeks I thought. Feeling my uterus, he said he thought I was more like 20 weeks. Since the timescale didn’t make sense, he wanted to do a more thorough (internal) exam. This just made things worse since he wasn’t able to find my cervix! The doctor then used a Doppler to see if he could hear a heart beat from the baby but had no luck. He sent me to the lab for blood tests. All those tests did was confirm I was pregnant. At this point everyone was concerned and wondering what was wrong. The doctor said he thought I had a molar pregnancy, which would’ve explained the enlarged uterus, and scheduled me for an ultrasound later that week. We went home, still incredibly sick, but now not knowing what was going on.

At home, things got worse. I couldn’t eat anything, couldn’t sleep, and was incredibly sick. After a few days of this we decided to head to the Emergency Room at Regions Hospital. I went through the whole story with the doctor who decided to do her own exam and then got a portable ultrasound to see what was going on. Urine test again confirmed a pregnancy, but we didn’t know what that meant at this stage. There were so many things unanswered about what was going on that the head of the ER was summoned. In the meantime, they had given me an IV because I was severely dehydrated and also gave me something for the nausea. For a few minutes I started to feel better.

The head doctor tried to make something out of the ultrasound, but had no luck. At this point they decided to call the ultrasound technician in to do a thorough ultrasound on a “real” machine in the OB-GYN area. They wheeled me down the dark corridors of the hospital...it was now about 2am. The unlucky “on-call” technician was waiting for me. The ultrasound showed the egg sack, but you couldn’t see the tell-tale “grain of rice” that indicated a baby. The head of the ER showed up and watched the last half of the ultrasound. Instead of a molar pregnancy, it showed I had a really large fibroid tumor. At least this was better news than a molar pregnancy.

I was wheeled back to the ER and an OB-GYN specialist was called. She came in to talk to me about the pregnancy. She told me that I had a non-viable pregnancy. It was just an empty egg sack. I was in shock over the whole situation. I asked her if she was sure that it was non-viable. Absolutely, was her response. After more discussion I inquired again, was she certain it was non-viable? Absolutely. Discussion then centered around what to do. I could either have a D&C or “go home and let nature take its course.” There was no way I wanted a D&C, but wasn’t looking forward to waiting around for a miscarriage either. The entire situation was sad and disappointing. I was so sick I just wanted to be someone else, somewhere else, anywhere but dealing with this. Again I asked about the viability and what I should expect from a miscarriage. Again I was told it was non-viable and a miscarriage was imminent.

I told the doctor I would let “nature take its course” and went home.

Later that day I was still very, very sick but now was having horrible chills that I couldn’t get under control. I was shaking badly from being both hot and cold and felt so awful I wanted to die. I called hubby at work and he brought me back to the ER. Here they gave me another IV with two liters of saline because I was completely dehydrated and hadn’t eaten or drank much in a week or more (I lost thirty pounds). They gave me some more drugs for the nausea and I actually fell asleep on the exam table...I was totally exhausted.

I was sent home with anti-nausea medication and was optimistic I would feel better, but was haunted by the anticipated miscarriage. At this point I asked hubby to call my aunt and let her know what was going on and to call the Carmelite Brothers because I wanted their prayers. I still couldn’t eat and only slept a few minutes at a time.

When Monday arrived I called around to find an OB-GYN who would be able to see me that day. We had to find out for certain what was going on. Hubby finally found a doctor that could see me. This doctor said it was too early to have made the non-viable determination because I was barely six weeks along. He scheduled me for another ultrasound on Friday to take another look. He also determined that the baby was conceived around Thanksgiving, something we hadn’t even thought about. We went home and waited for the next ultrasound.

I was still very sick, not sleeping and not eating. My aunt kept bringing over food because I was losing quite a bit of weight, but I just couldn’t eat. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t eat or drink because even the sight of food made me more nauseated. The anti-nausea medication only worked for a short period of time and I could only take so much of it. After two days, I gave up taking it altogether since it wasn’t really impacting how I felt. Plus, I am typically reluctant to take medications and thought, what if I really am pregnant...didn’t want to take something that could harm the baby.

On Friday, we finally had a nurse at the doctor's office do the ultrasound and it was incredible. Here was a baby, you could see its heart beating(!) and the nurse said everything looked fine, except the large fibroid!! Hubby and I somehow knew in our hearts that this would be the answer. I was so relieved and felt so blessed. We went home happy and optimistic about the pregnancy. It was still early, so we were concerned, but it certainly seemed like things were heading in the right direction. My mind was now occupied with the knowledge that I was pregnant, really pregnant.

We had another visit with the doctor the next week and he did an ultrasound himself. Here was the baby and its heart beat was strong, right in the range it should be. The large fibroid (size of a football) concerned him, but he said it wouldn’t cause complications for the baby. What I thought was an ulcer was really the baby. The doctor remarked he hadn't ever seen a baby so high up in the uterus and so far to one side. At least we knew what was going on. I was still so sick that he ordered batteries of tests. All of them showed I was fine, just really sick. I was on disability leave from work and still losing weight. More doctors visits, more ultrasounds and more tests all showing the baby was fine, I was fine just really, really sick. Unfortunately, the doctor said the large fibroid would necessitate a C-section. I was fine with that since he was so insistent about it.

Despite being the first doctor to determine it was a viable pregnancy, I wasn’t comfortable with him. I ran his name on the internet and found he was an abortion provider -- big time abortion provider. Now I was very uncomfortable with him and had to find another doctor. I guess it made sense that he had talked to us on several occasions about abortion (telling me, matter-of-factly, that I could have an abortion at any time, and if I changed my mind about carrying the baby, it was my option) and undergoing tests that I refused because I thought they were too risky and increased the risk of miscarriage. He didn't seem to like that I didn't merely rubber-stamp his choices, openly disagreeing with him. I no longer trusted him with my care and certainly not my baby’s.

I spent quite a bit of time calling around and got the name of another doctor, a Catholic doctor, who remained the doctor we had for delivery. He was more balanced in his description of tests and procedures, explaining both pros and cons instead of only presenting the position he wanted us to agree with. He was less concerned about the fibroid and had a “wait and see” attitude about things as they could change as the pregnancy progressed."

[end of website entry]

The first time I was there for an appointment, he walked in the room and said, "I understand you're with child." A child, not a choice. Despite the kind of corny greeting, I knew I had my doctor.

The abortion-provider doctor was quite beloved and his office was completely shocked that I was leaving his care. When I asked for my records to be sent to the other doctor, they were not very kind or pleasant.

In retrospect, if I had stayed with the first doctor, I doubt I would've had my second child. I doubt I would still have my uterus. The first doctor had no respect or understanding of my position and my desire to do what was necessary to carry the baby to term AND retain my uterus. The second doctor understood my fear of having a hysterectomy and was more than willing to do what was necessary (reconstruction and time in the OR) to do the utmost to preserve my uterus and increase my chances of having more children.

This doctor didn't get offended when I opted out of tests and didn't pressure me to have them in the first place. I don't think he even got offended that I was actively involved in my care and all decisions (actually, I think he was amused). For example, when we discussed the potential scenarios for the C-section, I asked if I could bank blood because there was a chance I could experience significant blood loss. Even though he had never considered it, he enabled me to do this and it turned out to be a good idea, really speeding up my post-operative recovery (seems a transfusion of my own blood brought my hemoglobin and other vitals back to where they needed to be quite quickly) and decreasing the time I spent in post-op before I was able to be reunited with my husband and newborn son. (Although only one blood bank was willing to bank the blood of a woman who was eight months pregnant!).

Finding a good family doctor was equally as challenging. It took some time, but I finally found Dr. Mary through the "One More Soul" website. Honestly, it shouldn't be so hard to find a pro-life doctor.

Unfortunately, things are only going to get worse with FOCA on the horizon. The only "choices" allowed are the unilateral ones of the patient. No longer will the health care provider be able to practice as they had, following their own conscience. If doctors can't even act on their own conscience, then what kind of people will be taking up this profession?

12 November 2008

Just right

The other day, as we were leaving a birthday party, my son told me he was a "kid kid."

I replied, thinking he misspoke, "You're a kid."

He was adamant, "No mom, a KID KID!!"

"What's a kid kid?"

"A kid that isn't really good or really bad...a kid kid."

Yes, I'd agree with that. If you balance the good and the bad, I guess it averages out to being a "kid kid."

No droids allowed

It's ladies night this evening at Mos Eisley. Vincenzo wanted a picture...here's one from the last outing that Cathy took.

Maybe I'll order a drink this time because the Coke they served was from Mexico and it was made from cane sugar...strange tasting. Kind of like importing Guinness to Ireland or Stoli to Russia. Nonsensical.

[Yes, I know what V will do with this picture, but at least it isn't the one of dogs sitting around a table playing poker.]

11 November 2008

Thank you for your service


A shout out to my brother who is currently serving in Iraq.

And, a remembrance of all my family members who served in the military...from my Pennsylvania and Maryland ancestors who served in the Revolutionary War (still trying to document this sufficiently) and the War of 1812, all the way down to the Vietnam War and Iraq.

My father enlisted in the Navy in WWII and served in the Pacific. His carrier, the USS Princeton, was sunk at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He barely survived. All of my uncles, save one, have been in the military and so have a few of my aunts and even a great aunt (Philippines pre-WWII).

USS Princeton, sunk 24 Oct 1944

10 November 2008

Hee man homemaking

I made some pumpkin bread with my son on Friday. My daughter helped too by doing some of the mixing, but I had my son do most of the work. Showed him (again) how to read a recipe, use the oven, grease the pan, etc.

He loved it. He loves to help in the kitchen. And the bread turned out great...it has already been devoured.

I was raised to help out around the house. My brother and I each had chores to do, but they were more your stereotypical things, like he did garbage and the lawn mowing, and I did everything else, be it laundry, cooking, cleaning, or dishes. In my husband's family, where my MIL thinks that it "isn't fair to have children and turn them in to indentured servants," she didn't teach her kids to cook, clean, do laundry, plan a meal, balance a check book, etc. No wonder, by comparison, they think I'm Martha Stewart.

When my husband and I got married, we lived in an apartment in Seattle. It had a washer and dryer stashed away conveniently behind two sets of bi-fold doors. In a splash of dramatic flare, I walked hubby over to the doors, threw them open and introduced him to, "Mr. Washer and Mr. Dryer." Despite washing a navy blue silk dress of mine and turning it into doll clothes, things have gone well in that department. Hubby's an Eagle Scout, he does well with these things.

I don't want my son to be housework challenged. I sure don't want to be doing his laundry when he's 30 because he has no clue about such practical things.

My daughter will learn to take out garbage and how to cut the grass. She will also learn how to change a tire, check oil and fend for herself in case she finds only frogs instead of Prince Charming.

07 November 2008

Irish luck

It was about six years ago this November that hubby and I took a trip to Ireland with my aunt. My aunt and I had recently done a great deal of genealogy research on several of our Irish lines and she was eager to see Ireland.

And I thought travelling with children was bad.

One of our stops was to see where my Irish grandfather's family was from outside of Newport, County Mayo. Since it was off season, there weren't any B&B's available in Newport, so we drove to the next town, Westport.

In 1846, my great-great grandfather left the area with his wife and newborn daughter.

Although I had returned to the area previously, this time, in 2002, we went all the way back to my ancestral homeland and brought home a little souvenir...my son. Westport is literally my son's homeland!

After dinner and a few beers at the well-known Matt Molloy's, the luck o' the Irish struck.

Above photo is of the Linden Hall B&B where it all began.

05 November 2008

Hot on the heels

of the last quiz, comes this one on Zombies...

The Zombie Survival Test -- Make and Take a Fun Test @ NerdTests.com's User Tests!

What does it mean?

Your party was wiped out and you were almost killed right before the government came to the rescue. Consider yourself lucky. Hopefully that bite doesn't turn out to be infected...

Comforting to know that the government would come to my rescue. Since my taxes are likely to kill me, it's so nice to know they will be put to good use! Just hope my bite doesn't make them euthanize me.

However, I knew I wouldn't score very high :( The quiz question about running ability kind of did me in...I used to be able to run long distances quickly, but was never a good sprinter. Now, in my dotage, I'm lucky if I can run to the phone.

As seen on V's blog, who got it from Father Erik.

Dun my teacher proud

Back in high school, for some unknown reason, I took a grammar class. Mrs. Femrite's very prim and very proper class. She always had her hair pulled back in a bow, without a solitary hair out of place. Every day we started class with her salutation, "Please open your notes to the page upon which you are taking notes."

Every day that's what she said. I think she'd be proud to see that she really did learn me somethin'! She's was a sweet, straight-laced lady who never knew that Nick P. ALWAYS copied my paper. I wonder how ol' Nick is doing these days and if he ever figured out the difference between who and whom?

Your result for The Commonly Confused Words Test ...

English Genius
You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 93% Expert!

You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

I think I know which one I got wrong...I won't say what it is in case you plan to test your own grammar...wouldn't want to give you a heads-up on what's coming!

H/T to Laura the Nobamamama

04 November 2008

Biding time

In the past few days I've had several people comment to me about the position of those who support contraception, abortion, and gay marriage. The comments being, like Cathy posted about just a few days ago, that these folks don't quite understand Darwin. They are living and promoting choices and lifestyles that don't bode well for their posterity.

Many of these folks champion the notion of survival of the fittest, but don't see the contradiction in the fact that they aren't positioning themselves to survive. Ah, but those of us who profess a belief in a higher being are too strung out on our opiate...is that guns or religion...to know what is necessary to prevent having so many children or to even think for ourselves.

Religion is a crutch for the weak-minded, so said the sage Mr. Ventura, even though the Church, along with its blind minions, has been instrumental in the arts and sciences (see Thomas Woods', "How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.")

But who is clinging to a faith and providing for their posterity? Well, the families in my homeschool group are a good example. In the short time I've belonged to this group, nearly every family, within the last two years, has had a baby. Two dozen families committing the societal sin of having more than one or two children. Actually, many of them are well beyond the "more than two" stage.

These children are raised in homes where the Faith will be handed down.

So, while the rest of the world clamors for all that is contrary to life, a remnant remains of strong Catholic families filled with children -- children that will populate our seminaries, run for elected office, staff our hospitals and teach in our universities.

As I said on Cathy's blog, the Catholic motto should be like that of CBS' Survivor...Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.

Or, like Doritos..."We'll make more."

Congrats to all the families who recently had new little blessings and to those moms in the group (currently four!) who are expecting in the next few months. You are a blessing to us all. May God bless your families abundantly.

There's a sad sort of clanging
From the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too,
And up in the nurs'ry an absurd little bird
Is popping out to say "cuckcoo".

Regretfully they tell us,
But firmly they compel us
To say goodbye to you.
~"So long, Farewell," from The Sound of Music

03 November 2008


Although the choice should be clear-cut, if you're a fence-sitter, this might help you decide.

(Apologies to Kit!)

If one's stand on abortion and infanticide weren't enough...
If the Freedom of Choice Act didn't scare the beejeezes out of you...
If you can't figure out that socialism would further damage the economy...

Then this should make things quite clear :)