Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
GI Joe probably makes it a much truer representation of Bethlehem, a city with a history of war and violence.
Someone apparently wasn't listening to the prayer at Youth Group Sunday.
But beware of the revenge of the stable animals:
Prayer for 12/13: A prayer from the Franciscans, who have defended and served The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem for centuries:
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Prayer for 12/12: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, unite us in our love for you and for your Son. Bless our families, that they may remain strong and intact.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Name one thing on your personal wish list.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Before we left, our Advent prayer/candle lighting was on peace. I especially like this part, taken from a Benedictine prayer:
And whatever puzzle you're working on, you need some direction. To help you see what you can't see. To understand what you can't understand. To make it all fit together.
Prayer for 12/9: For the continued success of The Village Pig Project, which provides piglets, feed and veterinarian services to impoverished Cambodian families. "It's a piece of the puzzle," said Darren Pen, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge. "One thousand pieces come together into a big picture. It's little step by little step. When people are no longer hungry and have a little bit of money, they go to work and send their children to school. It's a major step out of poverty for these rural people."
Saturday, December 8, 2007
I saw a "believe" sign in a Mary Engelbreit book years ago, and always wanted to make one. So, I spray painted some wooden letters, covered a sheet of styrofoam with fabric and with the help of a hot glue gun and duct tape, I had a sign to hang above our Santa collection.
I hung the sign, put the cheesecake in the fridge and went to see Grandma and make a holy hour. When I got home, the sign had half-way fallen onto the Santas:
I patched it a bit and was going to hang it up again when Clay suggested I try hanging it somewhere else so that if it fell, no Santas would break (I really lucked out the first time -- Santas all over the floor, but none broken.)
He made the salad dressing while I went to get ready, and brought me up a taste. "This isn't right, is it? But I'm not sure what it needs." What it needed was new oil -- no amount of salt or herbs was going to change that icky stuff. So off he went to try again. (2nd attempt was a success.)
I thought it would be easier to serve if I cut the cheesecake at home, so I took out my sharp knife, dipped it in hot water and sliced up pieces of
Because I am nice, I will spare you a picture. The recipe did say to chill 8 hours or overnight, which I didn't, but this morning, the remnants of the cake are still quite gooey. Delicious, but gooey.
Luckily, there were two other cheesecakes at the party -- ours was not missed. And the salad was a hit.
The sign? Yep, it had fallen once again, even with the additional duct tape. Clay is going to try to salvage it for me today.
Yesterday was the Feast of St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church and patron of our parish. His day doesn't get too much recognition, falling as it does between St. Nicholas and the Immaculate Conception, but I know they really whoop it up for him in Italy.
Here is what St. Nick left for Will (minus the beef jerky, dark chocolate bar and can of french fried onions he had already eaten by the time I got this picture taken):
(Wrestling update: At the conference duals last weekend, Will went 0-7. Dual meet at Scottsburg Tuesday, he was pinned in the 2nd period. It was a very strange venue -- when we got there, the lights in the gym were very low, almost romantic. There was one spotlight over the center of the mat and the ref wore some sort of sunglasses. Will tried to tell the ref he was bleeding, and the ref said, "Prove it" and didn't stop the match. If he had taken his glasses off, maybe he could have seen the streaks of blood all over the Scottsburg kid's singlet. Yikes. I know he is going to get a win soon. Maybe this Tuesday when they have a home meet.)
Prayer for 12/8: Food for all. I grew up on a farm, where even if we didn't have a lot of money, we always had plenty to eat. My prayer today is for food security for all Americans -- access to enough food for a healthy life, without the need for emergency food sources to meet nutritional needs. This should not even be a question in a nation as affluent as ours. May God forgive us for our excesses and waste and give us the strength to work toward this basic human right.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
So here are my resolutions, borrowed from the US Bishops' teaching on "Everyday Christianity":
Pray regularly for peace and justice.
Learn more about human life violations, stand with the poor and care for creation.
Reach across boundaries of religion, race, ethnicity, gender and disabling conditions.
Live justly in family life, school, work, the marketplace and the political arena.
Serve those who are poor and vulnerable, sharing more time and talent.
Give more generously to those in need at home and abroad.
Advocate for public policies that protect human life, promote human dignity, preserve God's creation and build peace.
Encourage others to work for greater charity, justice and peace.
To these lofty goals, I would add my simpler ones:
(And, I hope I don't have to go to Wal-Mart too often this holiday season. Although I love to buy gifts for others, most shoppers at WM don't seem filled with joy. Preparing for Christmas shouldn't make you want to smack your kids, snark at your husband or even furrow your brow, which must have replaced the smiley face as the official WM facial expression.)
Friday, November 30, 2007
It turns out, the interview was for a project of the Indiana Historical Society -- Traditional Arts Indiana. They want to document how people learned their craft, why they participate in the activity, etc. It was all very official, with a microphone, tape recorder and release papers.
Ilke, the interviewer, had just come from a maple sugar farm in another part of the county, and after my interview, was to visit a neighbor of ours who preserves and presses wild flowers.
I borrowed back the Pi Shawl I had made for Griffin's baptism, and gathered a few other things. She asked questions for about an hour, then she took some pictures -- I would have put on some make-up and a nice sweater if I had known that! Luckily, she took most of the photographs close up on my hands -- action shots, she said. She also took some pictures of the crazy quilt, and seemed interested in the story behind our group effort.
She had a little time in between interviews, so I suggested she go talk to Judy, my favorite shepherdess, whose story is much more interesting than mine. When we drove out to the farm, one of the llamas was in the front pasture to greet us. Judy spins the fiber from their sheep, goats, rabbits and llamas; I am anxious to hear what she thought about the interview.
Tuesday evening, Will had a dual meet at home against a team from Hanover. When the other team came out, one of the coaches asked, "Who has Hulk Hogan?" Will said, "That would be me." The kid threw a headlock seconds into the match -- we think it was about 14 seconds until the pin, but it was over so fast and with such violent force that I forgot to look -- I was kind of busy trying not to scream.
After the match, we found out that this was just another in the long line of state qualifiers that Will has wrestled this season, and he's getting just a little tired of it -- the Hanover opponent has gone to state 3 -- count 'em-- 3 times.
Wednesday, Clay took the day off, and we decided to go to the Story Inn for an anniversary lunch. Story is a rustic little town in the middle of nowhere with a gourmet restaurant. Unfortunately, neither of us had much money, and they didn't take American Express, the only card we had between us. Brilliant, I know. So we drove into Nashville, had lunch at a cute little place and poked around in a few of the shops.
I wanted to get Clay something really great for our 25th -- usually, we just get each other a book or CD -- one time, we even got each other the same CD. So when he mentioned a
GPS, I knew what to get. The best thing is, it was silver. He got me a beautiful diamond circle necklace. Joe the Jeweler tried to convince him I needed diamond earrings, but I don't have such a good track record with earrings -- lots of singles in my jewelry box waiting for the day to be reunited with their mates.
Thursday was my 48th birthday. Sarah and the boys came down for birthday supper, and we lit the candle on my cake 6 times for the boys to blow out. I made meatloaf, not exactly one of my specialties, but something everyone likes. I never make it the same way twice. This time, I didn't have a can of diced tomatoes in the pantry -- I did have a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, and tried that -- Clay has suggested we make it that way from now on.
In more wrestling news, this weekend is the Hoosier Hills Conference Championships. Will has 2 dual meets at Columbus on Friday night, and then 5 dual meets at Jeffersonville on Saturday. So, I guess I'll be getting some knitting done.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
So, we make dishes my mom and dad would make in their honor: oyster dressing, pickled herring and cranberry relish.
(I sort of feel like this)
Monday, November 19, 2007
The massive cyclone last week killed over 3,000; 1,000 are missing and thousands are homeless.
Did they really need to ask?
- Did the Iraqis ask? This really bugs me, but don't visit the site unless you want your head to explode.
- Wal-Mart is open Thanksgiving Day. They are closed Christmas Day, but open on Easter. I am not too logical, but I had some logic in a graduate course once. Let's work this out:
A - almost everyone celebrates Thanksgiving
B - not everyone celebrates Christmas
C - Christmas is a Christian holiday
D - Easter is a Christian holiday (most of us Christian types consider this a bigger holiday -- indeed, the biggest)
Therefore, if Wal-Mart is closed on Christmas, they should be closed on Easter. And if they are closed on a day that only part of the population celebrates, shouldn't they be closed on a Federal holiday that people of all faiths celebrate?
I can't do it. In fact, it makes my head hurt.
- Today at the grocery store (not Wal-Mart), you can buy 2 half gallons of milk for $3.00, but a gallon is $3.88. I asked the cashier why. She shrugged. I asked the customer service rep. She said, "That's just how it is." I asked to speak to the manager, but he was busy. (I think saw me coming and went into hiding.)
- The Patriots. 56-10. As if people outside of Boston didn't hate them enough . . .
Off to sweep, dust and find a little peace.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I could write my dissertation on that topic, you know.
But last night, one of my worries came true.
Maggie hit a deer.
Or rather, Maggie was hit by a deer. On her way home from work, around 11:00. He ran out of the woods on her left side and ran into her door. He left a large dent in her front fender, and her mirror was hanging by just some wires.
But she is fine. She was just scared, and angry that her nice car, that she has had only had a few months, and which she has taken such good care of, is crunched -- she has to crawl in from the passenger side.
She and Nate went out to look for the deer, but couldn't find him -- I'm hoping he was able to die peacefully in a nice warm leafy spot. If not, he must have a hell of a headache.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
And if that weren't odd enough, the lilac bush bloomed, as well.
My Prodigal Kitty, PK for short. He just showed up one day, and we fed him. He sticks around for a few days, then can be gone for weeks, but I'm always glad to see him -- he is very sweet after you feed him. I told him yesterday that if he chases away the skunk, I'd give him a nice can of tuna. (Yes, I am a November oddity, myself.)
We took the Confirmation kids to St. Meinrad on Sunday. We had a lovely time, although the weather was gloomy. Once again, I forgot to take out my camera until it was almost time to leave, but here are three good (not-so-odd) guys who went along:
And the Archabbey Church. It's very beautiful and not at all odd, but apparently my picture-taking skills are (it's not sliding down the hill, I promise). peace
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
About a lot of things. War. Immigration. Wrestling. Hunger. Thanksgiving Dinner. Poverty. Skunks.
This morning, at 6:00, anxiety got the better of me. I woke up thinking about Will's wrestling meet this Saturday. My stomach hurt; was it food poisoning from the dinner I catered last night?
(We joke that the motto of our catering business should be "Ain't killed no one yet.")
Or, was it the fact that once again, our house is skunky?
I sat down on the couch and cried a little; Clay got his ratty golf umbrella and went scouting around the house. No signs of skunk outside. He thought perhaps the skunk had just sprayed while passing near our house.
I cried some more. If I didn't know better, I'd swear the skunk was hanging out in the garage or the basement. So, at 7:00, in a sweet attempt to get me to relax, Clay went to Home Depot to buy an ionic air purifier.
"Look," he said gleefully when he returned, "a three-pronged approach." Not only had he bought the purifier, he got a Febreeze fan "Odor Eliminator" and moth crystals -- much more potent (and probably more toxic) than plain old moth balls.
It smells better in here already.
I've had panic attacks for about 6 years --they started around 9/11 and when my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. After a round of Paxil (lethal) and a round of Zoloft (slightly less lethal), I've almost learned to control them with exercise, prayer and meditation and an occasional Xanax.
But probably the best cure is a husband who would go out in the rain to assure me there wasn't a herd of skunks partying under our porch. Who always took the kids to the dentist. Who sweeps and mops as I am freaking out before guests arrive. Who doesn't mind if I wake him up if I've had a scary dream. And who always listens as I babble on about my latest worry, tells me to relax, hugs me and reminds me that whatever it is, we'll get through it together.
Protection from anxiety (and skunks) for almost 25 years.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
For some reason, we call this the telephone book drawer. If there was a telephone book in there, you wouldn't be able to get to it.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
With the passing of Halloween, we'll now be bombarded with Christmas in all the stores.
I say, let's enjoy November first.
Peace, and a very happy November.