April 2009 Archives

This week's Spot o' Pretty

Pretty 4/30

Purple tulips! I think tulips are freaky, because they move during the day. They're never the same when you look at them. And trust me, I had to work to get a semi-cleared-off-space to get the photo in. Bills to pay and bank statements to reconcile are everywhere!

And here's an earworm for today, if you remember it!

Tiptoe through the window
By the window, that is where I'll be
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me

Oh, tiptoe from the garden
By the garden of the willow tree
And tiptoe through the tulips with me

Knee deep in flowers we'll stray
We'll keep the showers away
And if I kiss you in the garden, in the moonlight
Will you pardon me?
And tiptoe through the tulips with me

Ahhh, Boys.

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Jake (nearly six) when handed requested bowl of blueberries this afternoon: "Thanks for this bowl full o' blood bubbles, Mama! My favorite!"

Ha! Ew!

smock's spin on the first 100


smock says, "days 12, 34 and 57 weren't too bad. other than that, nope. not so good."

PolitiFact's Obameter, has been keeping track of obama's campaign promises, and reports that obama has kept 27 promises, compromised on seven, broken six, stalled on three, has 67 in the works and has yet to take action on another 408 (this includes FOCA).

Must watch


day late, smock short


So the thing is.....

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.....I've got a cold, and on top of that I spent all day yesterday bagging up clothes and shoes at my parents' house getting it all ready to be picked up and hauled away.

My mother loved clothes. She didn't like getting rid of clothes, even when they no longer fit her or her lifestyle. So I had four huge walk in closets full of clothes to sort through, fold and bag up.

And this is after several folks have come in and taken what they wanted to have of her stuff. She was much tinier than me, so none of it fits me. Too bad.

Last night at 9:30 p.m. PapaC and I tied up the last bag. Folks, there are 67 bags of clothes sitting in my parents house. We estimate that people have already carted away at least 20 bags of clothing. It's crazy. The thrift shops and Goodwill will love us, I think. It's all pretty nice stuff, though some of it is a little dated. My sisterfriend says not to worry about that--drama groups are always looking for stuff like that for costuming.

It was not as hard as I had thought it might be. I had a mini-breakdown when I got to my mom's patio dress things (that's what she wore for most of the past 5 years). And when I folded up my dad's pressed shirts. Then one more when I walked back into virtually empty closets. But all in all, not as bad as I anticipated.

It waits to be seen how I feel when the bags get hauled out tomorrow. That may be harder than I think. But maybe not, since I can't see in them anymore. It gives me a certain level of detachment.

And detachment is the lesson I'm having pounded into my head with every decision I have to make.

We have so many things that are treasures to us. (Or at least most of us do.) But we need to remember that the instant we die, those "treasures" turn, for the most part, into "stuff." Poof. Just like that.

Yes, there are things of my parents that I will keep, and enjoy, and ,yes, treasure. But most of those closets, every shelf, every nook, every cranny, the whole two car garage and a giant attic of boxes, is now filled with mostly STUFF. And stuff that it's my job to sort through, sell, give away, trash, deal with.

So keep what you love. Use it. Look at it. Enjoy it. But be realistic. Don't put it in boxes and save it in the attic. Don't shove it into a closet. If you're done, be done. Let it bless someone else. Don't leave it for others to look at and wonder what to do with it.

It's hard.

Pretty Pattern Tuesday


This pattern is, alas, not free. But you just have to see it. I am considering making it for myself, out of the EXPENSIVE yarn that it would take. I just think this is glorious. It's called the Infinity Wrap, and it's by a fabulous designer named Kristin Omdahl. Take a gander:


And you can buy the pattern here, on Interweave Crochet. Which, by the way, is an absolutely fantastic crochet magazine, with some really beautiful patterns.

I'm really thinking about this one, but my queue of work "to be done" is way too long already.......


OK, the visual has to be a 12 or 13 year old MamaT dancing in the living room with her friends, 'cause we all wanted to be the BEST!


Outside My Window... thunderstormy rain! It's supposed to be wet all week, but it hasn't lost it's novelty yet and I'm loving the pitter patter and grayness.

I am thinking... about the upcoming summer, plans for my little boy's birthday in a couple of weeks, and always about food.

I am thankful for... my home!! More later on our recent move, but I'm loving our space, our fertile yard, our area. Grateful much.

From the kitchen... last night I made a super awesome spinach and brown rice casserole that I'm planning to gobble for lunch.
Rain makes me want to bake, I'm planning to do some Irish brown and pumpkin bread with the littles today. I give them just a "1/2 cup" measuring cup for the whole recipe and call it a math lesson.
We've been trying to eat mostly raw foods lately, but that seems to be easier on sunny days.

I am wearing... old jeans, black tank, red cardi.

I am creating... a little something for my mi madre, who reads this blog, for Mother's Day. Also, a summery blanket for my due in 8 weeks nephew; and still working on the log cabin blanket.

I am going... to the grocery for a few things but that is all.

I am reading... House of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde all alone; Peter Pan by J.M Barrie with my son.

I am hoping... my back stops aching! I dunno what the deal is.

I am hearing... the baby! She's throwing wooden shapes into the shape sorter and talking to it. Baby basketball.

Around the house... ahhhhh. Laundry and bathrooms. Some organizing of art supplies went down this morning.

One of my favorite things... is photos. I could spend hours on Flickr just clicking through people's pictures. Of landscapes, of food, of people, anything.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: school, little field trips, raininess, welcoming May. Friday is 12 years since my husband and I started dating, we're hoping to be able to slip into the night all alone.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...3015601602_ba22b19641.jpg

Monday Music

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This song was written in '46, and nearly THIRTY years later hit the Billboard top 100 at #30. How funny!

I'm feeling a little Casey Kasem this morning. And maybe a touch crass?

Seven Quick Takes

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Jen, over at Conversion Diary hosts this every Friday. It might be fun. If I can think of 7 things. That remains to be seen.


Grief sucks. Enough said.


Why is it that when other people are stressed they "can't eat a bite", but when I am stressed I want to eat everything that is not nailed down? This is one of those "There are two kinds of people in the world......" things, isn't it?


McKid has decided her future career path.

McKid: Mama, I've decided what I want to be when I grow up. A spy!

Me: Oh, really. Do you know how you become one?

McKid: No. But I'm gonna go practice on the dogs.

At least she hasn't decided to be a vet and practice on the dogs.


I love Peter Kreeft. I am reading his book You Can Understand the Bible and thoroughly enjoying it. How can he see so clearly and write so clearly about everything? While I just muddle around.

Maybe because he doesn't have a 6 year old spy watching his every move.


You should really think about it before you decide to change your crochet-along project in midstream. I am a member of Ravelry, and one of the groups is a 12 inch crochet "block a month" crochet along. I started it in January, but decided this month that I hated the squares I had done. So I picked a different colorway, and have been trying to catch up by redoing all the squares from prior months. I'm loving the new squares, but wow! What a lot of work to redo them.

Sigh. It better be worth it.


I have not cooked a whole meal for my family in weeks. That has to stop. The budget is strained. Plus I'm losing ground (not a lot, just a little) in Weight Watchers. I don't expect to lose much weight in the next couple of months (see #2 above), but I'd like to stay where I am.

Cooking meals is what has to happen.


Off to one of my favorite places. My weekly hour of adoration. If you ever have a prayer request you'd like me to take and lay in front of Jesus for you, just let me know. I go every single Friday morning from 11-12.

There. Seven. Who'da thunk?

Casting about for inspiration this morning for Fine Art Friday, I was sitting at the computer eating an apple - my favorite fruit. So, I decided to do a subject themed FAF. Enjoy the apples!

First the iconic apple picture of our day. I don't get it. I don't even particularly like it, but it is compelling.


The Son of Man

Rene Magritte

Next we have one that reminds me of Magritte, a little anyway.


Reappearance of Affinity

Rafal Olbinski

I guess that every single one of my FAF must have something by Warhol in it. I'm being converted against my will. I am quite drawn to his images.



Andy Warhol

Here's something I like very much. I love the colors (I know art shouldn't "match your house", but this one does!). I love the simplicity. I love the almost "childlikeness" for want of a better word.


Still Life With Green Apples

Norman Wyatt, Jr.

Next, the calmest picture of the bunch. Don't you think of calm when you look at this artist's works?


Wolf Rivers

Andrew Wyeth

I had never seen this before (like that's a surprise - we could have huge books of things I've never seen before!). I like it.


Apple Tree

Gustav Klimt

And finally, my favorite. Cezanne painted a boatload of paintings with apples in them. I could have done a FAF entry just on Cezanne and apples. My kind of guy.


Apples and Oranges

Paul Cezanne

Happy Friday, yall!

This week's Spot o' Pretty

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I don't know what kind of lily these are, but aren't they a scrumptious color? Two open, many, many more blooms to go. Will they bend over or will they stay upright like this? Time will tell. Best $4.99 of the week!

Life is a bit crummy at the moment. I'll spill more later.

Happy Thursday, ya'll!

in my humble opinion, if you put yourself on the pageant circuit in the first place, you pretty much get what you deserve. i, for one, hold women who parade their bodies for money -- regardless of whether the money is spent on higher education or a closet full of stilettos -- in fairly low esteem.

that said, i take great exception to the blatant hypocrisy of hyper-liberals like perez hilton, media whore extraordinairre, who expects everyone in the world to tolerate the homosexual agenda but vomits vitriol whenever anyone disagrees with him. what a pathetic, but clear-cut, showing of his true character.

here's townhall's take: Miss CA Booed & Cheered For Gay Marriage Answer. Gay Judge Calls Her A 'Dumb B-itch'

by the way, where are the feminists in all of this? what a quandry! a gay man calls a woman a "dumb bitch" and the "c" word. what's a fem to do? i take it their allegiance with gay men trumps their allegiance with women in general? you betcha! most of the responses from "leading feminists" have been just as snarky and condemning as perez's.

to my surprise, and even if i don't totally agree with him, the most genuine and articulate reaction that i've found so far is actually from an openly gay writer, charles karel bouley, who writes:

And truthfully, who the hell cares what a pageant winner thinks about social policies? SHE'S A PAGEANT BEAUTY QUEEN, not running for public office. Her job will be to attend corporate events and speak all around the country. IF she won and IF she went on a anti-marriage campaign, then, in America it would be your right to launch some sort of campaign against her. Chances are, she would have stayed away from that topic for an entire year.

here's his article, Dear Perez: Miss California Gave The Right Answer For The Moment.

two words: stomach and virus.

Pretty Pattern Tuesday 2

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minx photo 1.jpg

Love me some vintage. This Little Minx Coat makes me simply covetous. I can't wait to try it out!

I've also been scouring Ebay for vintage women's and children's sewing patterns. The things I can make in my head! I guess I should learn to sew first... right after I learn to crochet, eh MamaT?

Pretty Pattern Tuesday

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This is a fabulous pattern for beginning crocheters (that looks really funny typed out like that, doesn't it?). It's the one that's on the label of the Lion Brand Pound of Love yarn. One big ol' skein of yarn (costing $10 or less) and a crochet hook, plus a little time, and you too can make a homemade baby gift. I promise you can. This one's super simple.

If you don't have a baby to crochet for, you might consider donating to your local Project Linus group, if there is one in your area. They do good work!


And here's the link to the pattern: Hooded baby blanket.

Try it. You'll like it!

Happy Tuesday, ya'll!

From my reading last night


I'm in the midst of Peter Kreeft's book You Can Understand the Bible: A Practical and Illuminating Guide to Each Book in the Bible. As with all of Kreeft's books, this one comes with a big ol' MamaT Thumbs Up. Way, way up.

Here's what hit me last night:

Many modern readers dislike Matthew's Gospel because of its hard sayings, its warnings against riches and worldliness, its announcement of divine justice and judgement, and its demand for good works. If we dislike this book, then this is precisely the book we need most. For we need to know the whole Gospel. It is precisely those aspects of it that we still find repellent and try to avoid that we need most--not those we already understand and love.
Perhaps the most challenging passage in the whole Bible for the Christian is one of Jesus' last sayings before His trial and death, taken from the parable of the Last Judgment (25:31-46). It ends with these thought-provoking words: "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (v. 40). If a thousand Christians really believed that and lived accordingly, the next century would be shaped by a thousand saints.

And the money question is: Do I want to be a saint?

Yes or No.

It's that simple.

Not easy, but simple.

MamaT's Monday Music


Folkish stuff from me, as well. I think this is the most beautiful version of this song ever.

And then this little gem:

Happy Monday, ya'll!

LaMa's Monday Music


I've been listening to Irish folky Lisa Hannigan all month with increasing love. She just hits the spot.

And is crafty! Check out this flip book:

If you've read us for any length of time, you know that I love vintage illustration. I have a special fondness for vintage and kitschy postcards. So, when I started looking around for FAF stuff, I thought I'd do vintage Easter postcards. There were so many pretty ones--with flowers and lambs and chickies and bunnies and eggs of all sorts. But then there were some that were just..................odd. When I see these images, it makes me wonder just what people were thinking.

First, there is the parachuting easter chick card:


Then there is the lovely "Easter clown and Easter elephant" card. You did know there was an Easter elephant, didn't you? He brings the really big eggs!


Next up, the alien egg-people card. If these guys showed up at my house on Easter, I think I'd run.


Then there is the "hubba-hubba" Easter card:


Then there is the card that is PROOF that the Cadbury bunny can lay eggs, 'cause here he is hatching out of an egg. (Bunnies in eggs? What?)


And finally, here is the Summa Mama Easter bonnet card. 'Cause Smock, LaMa and I are all looking for a bunny hat like this on to wear to church. Puts a little different spin on that Easter bonnet song, doesn't it? In your Easter bonnet, with long, white ears upon it......


Happy Easter (still!), ya'll! And may God's Divine Mercy wash all over you!

I need to remember this

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It is not for the flock of sheep to know the pasture the Shepherd has in mind. It is for them simply to follow Him. If they knew that his plans included a valley of deep shadow, they would panic. Keeping close to the one they have learned to trust is all that is necessary. He will faithfully provide rest, refreshment, correction, and protection as the needs arise. His accompanying presence is guaranteed, all the way--even through the darkest shadows--to the house of the Lord.

-------------------------------Elisabeth Elliot


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i'm sick to death of the utter hypocrisy local mainstream media and their abysmal coverage of the local tea parties in the metroplex. these reporters, and I use that term loosely, who usually slobber and gush over any sort of protest have been antagonistic and spiteful towards tea party participants. let's not even get into the national media's sorry coverage, or lack thereof, of the events on a nationwide scale or my head will likely blow up. i'm just so infuriated i could vomit! ***end smockrant***

smock recommends ...

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a cheeky dame of nearly 48. unemployed and living alone with her cat, pebbles, she says, "i've never been married. never been kissed. oh, shame." she has wanted to sing in front of an audience since she was twelve. and, here is her chance.

here is susan boyle.


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We moved almost 3 weeks ago from Dallas to Fort Worth (Yeehaw!) and could not for the life of us get the PC and the wifi to marry. After spending 3 hours on the phone with NetGear this morning the problem is solved. It turned out to be an error in a code or something that failed to find a niche in my understanding.

But I'm back online now and I've missed this blog greatly, although I was gratefully able to lurk from my phone. Hope you and yours had a blessed Holy Week and Easter Sunday. I'm so glad it's Easter and Lent is over and Smock and MamaT are about!!

Here's this week's entry into the MamaT "One Spot O' Pretty" quest:

A little bit o' pretty

One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.

-----------------Elisabeth Elliott

MamaT's Monday Music

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And a little taste of music from our Easter mass, though certainly NOT on guitar. (I must admit I'm crazy about it on guitar, and wish I could play it, just like this guy does!) I'm giving you the youtube video of the music, and a bonus of the words! Lucky ya'll.

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

In the grave they laid Him, Love Whom we had slain,
Thinking that He'd never wake to life again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

Up He sprang at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain;
Up from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

When our hearts are saddened, grieving or in pain,
By Your touch You call us back to life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

You know how you always secretly plan your funeral, and think, "Yeah, that's one of my funeral hymns!" (What, you don't do that? Yes you do. You know you do.) Well, this is one of mine.



i don't know that this is an appropriate EASTER picture, but to my recollection, it's one of mamaT's favorites and i happen to like it myself, so there y'all go. s'been quiet around here lately, but we're grateful to those of y'all who still drop by these parts from time to time, even when the porch is empty.

while the smock has been MIA as part of her Lenten resolve, she is happy to be back after a "40 days in the wilderness" of sorts. she has a lot of catching up to do and is looking forward to recon-netting with the blogoshpere in general, and her fellow saint blogs' parishioners in particular.

la mamacita has been MIA due to an internet snafu, and has been busy homeschooling, knitting, and caring for her spicy brood; but i'm guessing that we'll see more of her around here soon.

as you probably know, mamaT recently lost her beloved dad, Frank Cox. thank you for keeping his soul and mamaT's family in your prayers.

easterbonnets smockstyle

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this is our second year celebrating easter at my mom's house in waxahachie. i think it may be a new tradition. while we weren't planning on a photo session, with a lawn this lush, how could we resist?

Please pray for me and mine

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Yesterday morning my sweet Dad, Frank Olsen Cox, died unexpectedly.

He had not been sick, we had eaten dinner with him on Thursday night and watched a basketball game. He and PapaC played dominoes. Just a regular night. I smooched him good night at 10:15 and told him I'd see him on Friday for Stations of the Cross.

Only I didn't.

He had a "medical event" (don't you love that terminology?) in the shower after walking on his treadmill Friday morning. We will know more when the medical examiner releases his body, probably today.

I am on the way to the funeral home to make arrangements for his funeral.

We are devastated.

My dad was one of a kind. One of the last of a generation of independent oil men, at 76 he still drove more than 65,000 miles a year, working on deals, drilling wells, looking for new stuff.

He took care of my mother with a selfless love that touched every one who knew the two of them. My mother struggled long and hard with her illness--a struggle that lasted for years. And a struggle that my dad helped her with, uncomplainingly and lovingly. We should all be lucky enough to find someone who loves us like that.

People call Frank my stepdad--he married my mom when I was 17. But after 36 years, he's simply my dad. And I can barely stand his passing. He was PapaC's dearest friend in the world. The Zman worshiped and adored his grandfather, and the feeling was mutual. And me? I was the luckiest girl in the world. No one was ever prouder of my accomplishments than he was. No one thought I was more perfect.

This might be harder than my mother's death. We knew how sick she was and we knew we were fighting a losing battle. The surprise part of this--while it might be good for HIM, is simply tearing us to shreds. But I know, I KNOW, that my mother was there to meet him. And that he went the way he would have wanted to go--no trouble to us in the end, no "taking care of Pappaw."

But Pappaw, who will take care of us?

Needless to say, with this on tap and Holy Week coming up as well, the blog will be on hiatus until after Easter. I may get a chance to post a little thought here or there, or a picture or two. But don't hold me to it.

Please, as part of your Easter, say a little prayer for the Southards and for their sweet Pappaw--Frank.



Dense to Denser
Wolf Kahn

You can read about Mr. Kahn here, and see more of his works, as well.

I think this is lovely. And I hope this is a lovely Friday for all of you!



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