December 2006 Archives

Fine Art Friday

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McKid, 2006



"The great of the earth are those who leave silence and solitude around themselves, their work and their life, and let it ripen of its own accord."

--------Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Soon to come!

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Soon to come in this space, a review of the last few books of the year that I've read, a roundup of ALL the books on the finished list, along with the Annual MamaT awards for said books.

But I've still got company in from out of town.

I have to make sure Zman gets his laundry done, because.......

MY BABY (all 20 1/2 years of him, ok, so not much of an acutal baby, but he is still my baby, you know) IS LEAVING TOWN FOR TWO WEEKS TO GO TO VIRGINIA!


And I get to try to figure out something that is completely imponderable to me:

How do you cook for two people?

If you know, let me know.

Merry Christmas

Our lady held our Lord so dear
And so He wouldn't cry,
She rocked Him gently in her arms
And sang a lullaby.
Beneath the star of Bethlehem,
She held Him close to sing
The holiest of melodies
To soothe the newborn King.
Now floating down through all the years
The song so pure and mild,
Is sung in every mother's heart
And heard by every child!

-----------Kate Watkins Furman

Just a quick look in to say hi!

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The Mamas are working hard, decorating the Church (done!), decorating our houses (mostly done!), wrapping packages (all but done!) and cooking (not done enough!). Hope your Christmas Eve is lovely and you get everything you need done.

And here's my favorite Advent carol, sung today at St. Mary's. It is perfect for today. I'm busy making everything as fair as I am able. Bet you are too.

People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.

Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare,
One more seed is planted there:
Give up your strength the seed to nourish,
That in course the flower may flourish.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the rose, is on the way.

Birds, though you long have ceased to build,
Guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the hour when wings are frozen
God for fledging time has chosen.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the bird, is on the way.

Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim
One more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather,
Bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the star, is on the way.

Angels, announce with shouts of mirth
Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
With the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.

I cannot wait! He is coming! It's all joy from here!

yet another reason i love TEXAS

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everywhere i have been this week people keep telling me "merry Christmas!" - not "happy holidays" or some other watered down version of winter greeting. i really like that.

Advent3: Some more Heaven


How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell. There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man.

---------------Johnny Cash

Thursday at the Mamas: The Recipe Edition


Last night I went to a cookie exchange party with a group of friends. We've been doing this for about 7 or 8 years now, and it's always a fun time of gabbing and laughing. The cookies are the least of the attraction! Last night we had tortilla soup (YUM!) with all the trimmings before we launched into cookies.

This year, I didn't make cookies. Instead I made these, and they are GOOD! I hadn't made candy in a long time. I used to make several kinds for Christmas, but decided to stop that and focus more on cookies. I don't know what made me change this year. The recipe came from Woman's Day magazine.

Buttermilk Pralines

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut in pieces
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 cups (8 oz) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

1. Line 3 baking sheets with nonstick foil.

2. Bring sugars, buttermilk, butter and corn syrup to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil 8 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 230 degrees F (or when a small amount of syrup dropped into very cold water forms a 2 in thread). Add pecans; stir 10 seconds or until bubbling subsides. Return to a boil; boil 5 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees F (of when syrup dropped into very cold water forms a soft ball, which flattens when removed).

3. Remove from heat (take extra care not to spatter the hot sugar mixture) and stir vigorously 3 minutes or until mixture thickens and turns from clear to opaque.

4. Working quickly, drop tablespoons at least 1 in. apart onto prepared baking sheets. (Stir briefly over low heat if mixture gets too thick.) Cool completely.

I haven't launched into cooking baking mode, and it may be that this year is a year for just a couple of types of cookies. I did, however, make two of this recipe yesterday afternoon. They will be gifts in cute cans for our next door neighbors on both sides. The recipe originally came from our local newspaper, I believe. It's a good recipe for when you need something FAST.

Crisp Little Lemon Cookies

1 (18.25-oz) pkg Pillsbury Moist Supreme Lemon Cake Mix
1 cup crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine all ingredients; blend well. Form into 1-inch balls, pressing firmly. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 9-12 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.

3-4 dozen cookies

Note: Sometimes, depending on the size of egg, the dough seems a little too dry and doesn't hold together well. Adding 1 tablespoon of water may be necessary in that case. Add water a little at a time if you do! It doesn't take much!

Advent3: Heaven, again


And again by the wonderful Peter Kreeft:

No one longs for fluffy clouds and sexless cherubs, but everyone longs for heaven. No one longs for any of the heavens that we have ever imagined, but everyone longs for "something no eye has seen, no ear has heard, something that has not entered into the imagination of man, something God has prepared for those who love him."

.....then go HERE to the web site and click the links to take you to two of the music and light shows choreographed by a man who started out doing it as a hobby. You know. You've seen the first one before, but it's worth seeing them again!

Christmas Lights!

We went to the suburb next to ours where they have a drive through park filled with lights and displays of all kinds. There's a fee per car to get in, but after that everything is free (well, except for the food and souveneirs, and we only bought one $1 glow necklace, so that was OK). We had a good time. McKid was thrilled with the lights. She was even MORE thrilled with the carousel and the spinning bear rides. She got to ride those twice each, and is still talking about them this morning.

Then we drove through several decorated neighborhoods, eating our packed picnic suppers. We had Christmas music on the radio, and we sang along. Then McKid decided that she would lead the Christmas carols, so we proceeded to sing Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer eight times in a row. (PapaC and I had decided to follow her lead on it and let her sing it however many times she wanted--just to see how many it would be. More than you want to sing, take my word for it.) We finally had to quit when my voice started to give out.

All in all, a very fun and "get you in the Christmas spirit" night. Something we need a little more of around here, where I often seem to degenerate into the "Christmas is a lot of work" mentality, and forget to do the little things that make it fun!

Advent3: Heaven


Even the sceptic who does not believe in heaven has a heaven-shaped heart. The deck is stacked and the dice are loaded, loaded with the love of heaven.

--------------Peter Kreeft can sing Jerusalem the Golden, one of my favorite hymns about Heaven.

Jerusalem the golden, with milk and honey blest,
Beneath thy contemplation sink heart and voice oppressed.
I know not, O I know not, what joys await us there,
What radiancy of glory, what bliss beyond compare.

They stand, those halls of Zion, all jubilant with song,
And bright with many an angel, and all the martyr throng;
The Prince is ever in them, the daylight is serene.
The pastures of the blessèd are decked in glorious sheen.

There is the throne of David, and there, from care released,
The shout of them that triumph, the song of them that feast;
And they, who with their Leader, have conquered in the fight,
Forever and forever are clad in robes of white.

O sweet and blessèd country, the home of God’s elect!
O sweet and blessèd country, that eager hearts expect!
Jesus, in mercy bring us to that dear land of rest,
Who art, with God the Father, and Spirit, ever blessed.

Brief life is here our portion, brief sorrow, short lived care;
The life that knows no ending, the tearless life, is there.
O happy retribution! Short toil, eternal rest;
For mortals and for sinners, a mansion with the blest.

That we should look, poor wanderers, to have our home on high!
That worms should seek for dwellings beyond the starry sky!
And now we fight the battle, but then shall wear the crown
Of full and everlasting, and passionless renown.

And how we watch and struggle, and now we live in hope,
And Zion in her anguish with Babylon must cope;
But he whom now we trust in shall then be seen and known,
And they that know and see Him shall have Him for their own.

For thee, O dear, dear country, mine eyes their vigils keep;
For very love, beholding, thy happy name, they weep:
The mention of thy glory is unction to the breast,
And medicine in sickness, and love, and life, and rest.

O one, O only mansion! O paradise of joy!
Where tears are ever banished, and smiles have no alloy;
The cross is all thy splendor, the Crucified thy praise,
His laud and benediction thy ransomed people raise.

Jerusalem the glorious! Glory of the elect!
O dear and future vision that eager hearts expect!
Even now by faith I see thee, even here thy walls discern;
To thee my thoughts are kindled, and strive, and pant, and yearn.

Jerusalem, the only, that look’st from heaven below,
In thee is all my glory, in me is all my woe!
And though my body may not, my spirit seeks thee fain,
Till flesh and earth return me to earth and flesh again.

Jerusalem, exulting on that securest shore,
I hope thee, wish thee, sing thee, and love thee evermore!
I ask not for my merit: I seek not to deny
My merit is destruction, a child of wrath am I.

But yet with faith I venture and hope upon the way,
For those perennial guerdons I labor night and day.
The best and dearest Father Who made me, and Who saved,
Bore with me in defilement, and from defilement laved.

When in His strength I struggle, for very joy I leap;
When in my sin I totter, I weep, or try to weep:
And grace, sweet grace celestial, shall all its love display,
And David’s royal fountain purge every stain away.

O sweet and blessèd country, shall I ever see thy face?
O sweet and blessèd country, shall I ever win thy grace?
I have the hope within me to comfort and to bless!
Shall I ever win the prize itself? O tell me, tell me, Yes!

Strive, man, to win that glory; toil, man, to gain that light;
Send hope before to grasp it, till hope be lost in sight.
Exult, O dust and ashes, the Lord shall be thy part:
His only, His forever thou shalt be, and thou art.

Sung to Ewing.

Advent3: More heaven


By Peter Kreeft:

Quo vadis? Where are you going? That's the most important question for a traveler. And we the living are all travelers. Death calls us all and moves us on. Stability is illusion. So those who cannot abide illusion must raise the question: Quo vadis?

If heaven is not the answer to the question, our whole faith is false, and Jesus was a fool. If it is, then there's nothing that is more important in the whole world. Indeed, the whole world is only heaven's womb.

Just as I was finishing my entry......


.....on Heaven this morning, this is what the bells began playing from across the street. Appropriate, no?

There’s a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.


In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.

We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blessed;
And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.


To our bountiful Father above,
We will offer our tribute of praise
For the glorious gift of His love
And the blessings that hallow our days.


If you don't know the tune, you can find it here.

Advent3: Heaven


This week, we are called to think on the third of the four Last Things, Heaven. I think it is surprising how little we, as modern Christians, think about Heaven. That was a topic during our Bible Study yesterday morning (funny how those coincidences work out, isn't it?). How often do you think about Heaven? Do you long for it? Is it too far away to really think about? Is your life so good here that there isn't a strong yearning for it in your life?

One of the people who has written so well on Heaven is Peter Kreeft. I have read a couple of his books about it, and find them very reassuring. So most of this weeks' thoughts (if not all of them!) about Heaven will be from Peter Kreeft.

Here's a start:

Heaven makes everything earthly seem light and trivial by comparison. Saint Theresa says that the most horrible, suffering-filled life on Earth, looked at from Heaven, will seem no more than a night in an inconvenient hotel. Saints and martyrs know the value of this life and this world; they love it because God loves it. But they lightly give it all up for Heaven. Heavenly light gives us not only "an eternal weight of glory," but at the same time a lightsome spirit, as in the Cavalier poet:

Man, please Thy maker and be merry,
And for this world give not a cherry.

Fine Art Friday

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We will be putting up our Christmas tree this Sunday. So I began to browse about for a picture of Christmas tree decorating that would be appropriate to put on the Summas. How amazing that I came across an image so totally true to the Smock and I! (That's me in the burgundy with the green tree. Smock is in silver decorating the white tree.) Decorating gorgeous trees, with gorgeously wrapped presents beneath them, dressed in gorgeous dresses, with gorgeously coiffed hair. Why, it's like a page out of our very own scrapbooks, isn't it, Smock?

Or not.

I shall have to sweep up the drifts of white dog hair before we can put up the tree. Though I suppose I could leave them and pretend they're snow. And I'll have on my standard issue jeans and sneakers. And my hair? Well, let's just not go there.


But in my other life, it'd look just like the picture. And, just to irritate Erik, I'll even show you the shoes I would be wearing...


Advent2, judgement some more


Luke 12:4-5,49:

I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! ... ‘I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

apples and wine


Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree.
Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of
falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the
ground that aren't as good, but easy. The apples at the top think something
is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait
for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough to climb all
the way to the top of the tree.

Now Men . Men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it's up to
women to stomp the sh*t out of them until they turn into something
acceptable to have dinner with.

[just had to do it; thanks for understanding ~smock]

And, just to prove I'm totally weird:

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I have put my Christmas ring-tone on my phone. Did I pick a lovely traditional carol? A classical jewel?


The fabulous Eartha Kitt singing the opening bars of this one, probably my favorite secular Christmas song. And, yes, people do look at me kinda funny in the grocery store line when my purse starts singing this.

Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree, for me
I've been an awful good girl
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, an out-of-space convertible too, light blue
I'll wait up for you dear
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Think of all the fun I've missed
Think of all the fellas that I haven't kissed
Next year I could be oh so good
If you'd check off my Christmas list
Boo doo bee doo

Santa honey, I wanna yacht and really that's
Not a lot
I've been an angel all year
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa cutie, there's one thing I really do need, the deed
To a platinum mine
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, I'm filling my stocking with a duplex, and checks
Sign your 'X' on the line
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some decorations bought at Tiffany's
I really do believe in you
Let's see if you believe in me
Boo doo bee doo

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a ring
I don't mean a phone
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry down the chimney tonight

Cheers, ya'll!

Advent2, Judgement redux


Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!

-----------Matthew 13:40-43

From the "Get a Life" department


What's wrong with a blue and white snowflake banner????

Who knew snowflakes were "too Jewish"? Darn those little six-pointed crystals!


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Mix equal parts:

Bailey's Irish Cream and
Butterscotch schnapps

Stir and drink and make another. Repeat.

Should I be worried?

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Last year, the saint that picked me, via Moneybags over at A Catholic Life, was St. Augustine. It was good to feel like I had a speciall intercessor for the year, and there were times when I "burned up the prayer lines" to him over all the things that happened in 2006.

So, when the chance to participate in the same exercise for 2007 came along, I jumped at the chance. This year's saint?

St. Sebastian

A martyr? I'll need a martyr for 2007? One that, at least in legend, was pierced with arrows, healed by St. Irene, and then clubbed to death?

Better start early: Dear St. Sebastian, pray for me, a sinner.

Advent2, still on Judgement!


Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. ‘I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing-floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’

-------------Matthew 3: 10-12

Memed by the Sleepy Mommies


This time it's a birthday meme:

1) Go to Wikipedia.
2) In the search box, type your birth month and day but not the year.
3) List three events that happened on your birthday.
4) List two important birthdays and one death.
5) One holiday or observance (if any).

Since I just LOVE me some Wikipedia (and some Sleepy Mommies!), I couldn't wait to do this one. Here are my results:

Three events:

1. 1554--A year after claiming the throne of England for nine days, Lady Jane Grey is beheaded for treason.

2. 1924--The premeire of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman's Palais Royal Orchestra in Aeolian Hall in New York City.

3. 2004--Mattel announced the split of Barbie and Ken.

Two important birthdays (besides me?):

1. 1809--Charles Darwin

2. 1809--Abraham Lincoln

One important death:

1. 1995--Robert Bolt, English author (A Man for All Seasons)

One holiday or celebration:

1. Well, it used to be Lincoln's birthday, until it got jammed together with George Washington so we could have a weekend of sale days at the mall.

Anyone else want to play?

Today's McKid-ism


"Don't eat toothpaste that you find on the grass. It has germs on it."

When was the last time you found toothpaste on the grass???

Advent2, more on Judgement

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And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Rev 20:11-12)

One of my least lovely traits, out of the many that I have, is that I love to irritate non-Catholics who are trying to irritate me by agreeing with them. A family member, to be unnamed at this point, accused me once of believing I could work my way into Heaven. Well, you know and I know what the response should have been. I should have gone into the discussion of grace (unearned) and response, etc., etc., etc. But instead I just nodded and smiled, "Yep. I am working out my salvation with fear and trembling." Scandal! Hee!

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Ora pro nobis

seen a good book lately

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smockdaddy and i went to see stranger than fiction. i thought this was a really interesting flick and i look forward to seeing it again on dvd because i'm sure i missed some of the more subtle references. in a nutshell, this movie is about a character in a book who isn't really a fictional character at all -- he is real and his life is being dictated by an author who plans to kill him in the last chapter. fabulous premise, no?

the bad news about this whole movie is that the entire plot with emma thompson (playing karen effiel, an author who writes novels about isolation and who bumps off all her main characters) and queen latifah (whose casting and character were the strangest things about this entire flick) are bo-ring and, frankly, annoying. i just wanted their characters to go away already. problem is, their storyline is the foundation upon which the movie is based. so, the question on my mind was not how will they get rid of harold? but rather how can we get rid of them?

on the other hand, will farrell (as harold crick, a sweet, unassuming and painfully dull IRS agent who is a real person whose life is being written by karen eiffel) is practically flawless in this role. and, the scenes between dustin hoffman (who plays a very dry but witty professor of literature trying to help harold decide if his life is a tragedy or a comedy) and will farrell contain some of the best comedic timing and one-liners i've seen lately and i wish there had been a lot more screentime of the two of these men waxing philosophical.

the little love story is ... if pressed for a word ... cute. it could have been better had there been more of it, but as it played it seemed a little saccharine. we basically had three movies going on, two of which had terrific potential.

living, dying, literature. a great big metaphysical question mark. this movie had enormous potential, but i think it catered to an undereducated audience. still, i suspect it'll be one of those movies that i enjoy more, the more i see it. i think it's worth the price of matinee admission. but what do i know? smockdaddy snored through almost the whole thing.

and before i forget...

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smockdaddy and i took gabby to see happy feet. it's an animated musical. cute for kids, as long as you leave before the last ten minutes of the show which turn into a pretty disturbing, heavy polemic about environmental shmeck. i just have one question: why can't we eat the penguin's fish, if the penguins can eat the sea lion's fish?

The second week of Advent.....

| | Comments (2) traditionally the time to think about Judgement. Another hard thing to think about when all around you is focused on shopping and cooking and partying and busy-ness. But isn't that just a microcosm, distorted only slightly, of what our lives and thoughts about Judgement are every single day? It certainly is in my case.

I spent a lot of time in my younger days thinking that God loves us so much that no matter what we did, we'd all go to Heaven. No Judgement. No accounting, other than a quick "Oh, sorry about that, what did I know?" Not much penitence, just an acceptance of "We're all good folks, under the skin, ya know?" Cheap grace. Grace that didn't cost me doing whatever it was I really wanted to do. Grace that didn't require change.

And we always think that if people just got to see God, that they would immediately be overcome with his light and goodness and they would want to follow him and be with him forever.

But you know what? The angels did. And some of them still rebelled. Looking at the glory of God, they turned their faces to it. Non serviam.

So why would it be different for us? Are we humans so much better than the angels that we would all fall in line in a face to face encounter with Christ? Look, we're the same people who lived in the Garden and threw it away (and I would have been first in line to eat the forbidden fruit). We're the people who crossed through the Red Sea with dry feet, and longed for the onions in Egypt. We're the people who threw palm branches in front of the Christ on one day and howled for his crucifixion the next.

It's not a happy clappy, I'm OK, You're OK, type world. The Church is wise to remind us that there's a judgement a'comin'. There are choices to be made every day. The time is NOW. Yes, NOW, in the middle of Christmas. Here. Today. "Now is the acceptable time. Now is the time of salvation."

So, think a little on Judgement this week. It's a counterpoint to eggnog.

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world...Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels...And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matt 25:31-34, 41, 46)

Advent1, final thought on death


Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Genesis 3:19

Fine Art Friday

Two Sisters
Emily James

Today's Fine Art Friday entry is in celebration of the fun weekend I am going to have. Once a year, my Sisterfriend M and I spend a weekend together, just us girls. We shop and eat and watch movies and talk and laugh and cry. It's a wonderful time. And this year we really need it. It's been a tough year on all of us, but especially on M, so after Mass tonight, we're kicking our heels up, and we intend to continue until Sunday afternoon sometime.

Ya'll have fun. We sure will!

Advent1, another thought about death

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For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted

-------------------Ecclesiastes 3

Advent1, still about death...


Even at our birth, death does but stand aside a little. And every day he looks towards us and muses somewhat to himself whether that day or the next he will draw nigh.

-- Robert Bolt

Interesting words.....

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.....from Anthony Sacramone's review of The Nativity on the First Things website:

The Nativity Story does pull off one remarkable feat: You will leave the theater thinking more about Joseph (Oscar Isaac) than perhaps you ever have before. Joseph is a man of noble intentions, concerned with always doing the right thing, even as he makes his appearance in Mary’s life by encouraging a lie. A Roman tax collector has confiscated Mary’s father’s mule in lieu of payment. This mule is Joachim’s livelihood. Joseph buys the mule back from the Romans but tells Mary to tell Joachim that it was simply left behind, so as to spare Joachim’s pride. Here Joseph shows more concern for preserving the dignity of his future father-in-law than he will with preserving his own.

In significant ways it is Joseph who prefigures the life of his adopted son: He does not insist on his rights when it comes to Mary and her pregnancy. He does not apply the penalties of the law. Instead, he walks alongside her, offering her “cover,” sharing in the calumnies heaped on her. She assumes her “guilt” (although she has done nothing wrong). And all in the name of doing the will of the Father for the sake of the salvation of the world. Joseph adopts Jesus just as the Father adopts us though Jesus, his only begotten. It is Joseph who will also become another Moses, leading the Tabernacle and the Word from exile in Egypt to the land of prophetic promise (”He will be called a Nazarene”). Here he prefigures Jesus’ own Mosaic role as the ultimate lawgiver (albeit one who incarnates and fulfills perfectly that law so that all we must do—can do—is respond lovingly and gratefully). Joseph is a man of grace through and through.

In the same set of reviews, Mr. Sacramone has almost made me do what I thought was impossible: he has almost convinced me to watch Mel Gibson's newest movie Apocalypto.

Advent1, more and more thinking about death


I look upon life as a gift from God. I did nothing to earn it. Now that the time is coming to give it back, I have no right to complain.

-- Joyce Cary

Advent1, still more thinking about death


This world is the land of the dying; the next is the land of the living.

--Tyron Edwards

A quick note on The Amazing Race

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Did you know that the next edition of The Amazing Race is going to be an All-Stars Edition? And that rumor has it the much loved/much despised "Rob and Ambah" will be back to play again? Filming now. Released sometime in the first quarter of 2007!

.......what on earth is MamaT:


Reading? This one is giving me much food for thought. I'll share with ya'll later, maybe some tomorrow.

Watching? Oodle lally, oodle lally, golly what a day!

Recommending after date night with PapaC? Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

Advent1, more thinking about death


Death teaches us to live; it gives us a boundary to map our living within. Death's hammer breaks through the mirror separating us from light.

--David Meltzer

I agree with this one!

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Each year, you really get into the spirit of Christmas.
Which is much more important to you than nifty presents.

(HT to Julie and the Sleepy ones)

Just a little something....


.....from our parish newsletter:

The new young priest, preaching his first sermon in the parish to which he had just been assigned, told of how Jesus had fed the crowd with five thousand loaves and two thousand fishes.

"Even I could do that," shouted Mrs. Rafferty from the congregation. Unmindful of his statistical lapse the young priest ignored the interruption and ploughed on. Later, the kindly old pastor mentioned gently how he had got his figures wrong.

The next Sunday the young man put it right, and pointed out that it should have been five thousand fed on five loaves and two fishes. Mrs. Rafferty was still around: "Even I could do that," she repeated.

On surer ground this time the priest said: "Really, Mrs. Rafferty, and how?"

Quick as a flash came the reply: "With what you left over from last week, that's how."

Advent1, thinking about death


We were born to die and we die to live. As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven.

-- Russell M. Nelson

.....the week to meditate on the first of the four last things: Death. And I think it is useful for the Church to call this to our attention, though to the world I suppose it seems a little weird during the season of constant merriment for some of us to turn our minds to something so "morbid." But if we don't have our minds called to it, it would simply be our human nature to ignore it until it makes itself present--and then we think, "Ah, if I had only......"

So, the Church is wise.

Here's a little snippet of something other than Christmas jollity to think on, just for a minute or two:

Because I could not stop for Death --
He kindly stopped for me --
The Carriage held but just Ourselves --
And Immortality.

We slowly drove -- He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility?

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess -- in the Ring --
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain --
We passed the Setting Sun --

Or rather -- He passed Us --
The Dews drew quivering and chill --
For only Gossamer, my Gown --
My Tippet -- only Tulle --

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground --
The Roof was scarcely visible --
The Cornice -- in the Ground --

Since then -- 'tis Centuries -- and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity --

-----------------Emily Dickinson

Today's hymns


We had the Bishop at SMV this morning--with 12 confirmands (at least) and 4 being received into the Church. The other cool thing? A small, mostly Nigerian, Episcopal church was visiting us this morning, and many of them came in Nigerian dress. It was beautiful! And the headresses the women wore were outstanding! We could use some more of that. I hope they'll come again. Anyway, it was a Mass full of pomp and circumstance, smells and bells. My favorite kind.

The processional/introit today was, of course, The Great Litany. I won't type it out here, as I'm sure lots of you did the same thing.

Offertory was:

"Sleepers, wake!" A voice astounds us,
the shout of rampart-guards surrounds us:
"Awake, Jerusalem, arise!"
Midnight's peace their cry has broken,
their urgent summons clearly spoken:
"The time has come, O maidens wise!
Rise up, and give us light;
the Bridegroom is in sight.
Your lamps prepare and hasten there,
that you the wedding feast may share."

Zion hears the watchman singing;
her heart with joyful hope is springing,
she wakes and hurries through the night.
Forth he comes, her bridegroom glorious
in strength of grace, in truth victorious:
her star is risen, her light grows bright.
Now come, most worthy Lord,
God's Son, Incarnate Word,
We follow all and heed your call
to come into the banquet hall.

Lamb of God, the heavens adore you;
let saints and angels sing before you,
as harps and cymbals swell the sound.
Twelve great pearls, the city's portals:
through them we stream to join the immortals
as we with joy your throne surround.
No eye has known the sight,
no ear heard such delight:
Therefore we sing to greet our King;
for ever let our praises ring.

Sung at SMV this morning to Wachet Auf.

Communion hymn was:

O God, unseen yet ever near,
thy presence may we feel;
and thus inspired with holy fear,
before thine altar kneel.

Here may thy faithful people know
the blessings of thy love,
the streams that through the desert flow,
the manna from above.

We come, obedient to thy word,
to feast on heavenly food;
our meat the body of the Lord,
our drink his precious blood.

Thus may we all thy Word obey,
for we, O God, are thine;
and go rejoicing on our way,
renewed with strength divine.

Usually sung at SMV to St. Flavian. I don't know about today, because I had to sneak over to the parish hall to finish putting out the reception stuff, and only sneaked back in during the post communion hymn. So shoot me!

Post communion hymn was this:

Lo! he comes, with clouds descending,
once for our salvation slain;
thousand thousand saints attending
swell the triumph of his train:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Christ the Lord returns to reign.

Every eye shall now behold him,
robed in dreadful majesty;
those who set at nought and sold him,
pierced, and nailed him to the tree,
deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
shall the true Messiah see.

Those dear tokens of his passion
still his dazzling body bears,
cause of endless exultation
to his ransomed worshipers;
with what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture
gaze we on those glorious scars!

Now redemption, long expected,
see in solemn pomp appear;
all his saints, by man rejected,
now shall meet him in the air:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
See the day of God appear!

Yea, amen! let all adore thee,
high on thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the power and glory;
claim the kingdom for thine own:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Thou shalt reign, and thou alone.

We sing it to Helmsley.

It's time for the..........


Even though I was not terribly successful with my autumn reading challenge, I still like the idea of putting some books on my "to read stack" that have been on my shelves for way too long. So, trying to keep in mind the busy-ness of the first part of the challenge calendar, here's what I have pulled off the shelves and put on my nightstand for the next three months:

Two books have to be named later, because they will be the January and February books for my book group, the Inkblots. We'll decide on our reading list at our December meeting, and I'll know what they'll be after that. So, for now, I'll just leave a spot for them.

January Inkblot book
February Inkblot book

Ballad of the White Horse by G.K. Chesterton
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
The Late George Apley by John P. Marquand
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Grand Opening by Jon Hassler
The Robe by Lloyd Douglas
Cheerfulness Breaks In by Angela Thirkell
Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty

Oh, and I got a new Georgette Heyer book from Amazon (hey, I had to add $5 to qualify for free shipping didn't I?) so I imagine that it will be read during the time period, even if it isn't on the list.

Fine Art Friday


One of my favorite things about Fine Art Friday is that I'm finding things that totally surprise me--especially from artists that I have not cared for much before.

Andy Warhol is one of those artists for me. Most of his stuff I look at and just go, "Meh."

But not this one! I had it picked out for today's image before I even saw who it was by. Now I can truly say that there is a Warhol that I want for my own:

Lifesavers, Pink, 1985
Andy Warhol



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