MamaT: November 2006 Archives
First, let's look at the relatively (relatively, I said!) inexpensive BCBGirls Mony, which is only $99.95:
Then, we move on to another D'Orsay style pump, called the Porfavor, in luscious etched ruby velvet, by Stuart Weitzman--yes, I know I'm dreaming, but shut up!--that sells at Zappos for $243.95:
And finally, in the "another life not currently my own" category, the beautiful Trilogy peep-toe pump by Cynthia Rowley in leopard suede, for a mere $219.95. Yummy!
A challenge that I was NOT successful at in any sort of meaningful way. Looking back at the past three months, there have been a multitude of personal challenges along the way, and snuggling down into the "big books" just wasn't very successful.
So, here's what I planned, and what actually got done:
Things As They Are by Paul Horgan
North of Hope by Jon Hassler
Catholics by Brian Moore
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Life at Blandings by P.G. Wodehouse I read the first of three novels included in the omnibus
And I didn't read any of these. OK, I started Pickwick, but it's not a good time for that--too much distraction
Poland by James Michener
Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
What I read INSTEAD (go figure):
Book by Book by Michael Dirda
The Defiant Child
Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer
The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
The Enchanted Castle by E Nesbit
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama (review coming soon!)
Memento Mori by Muriel Spark (review coming soon!)
and by the end of this week I will have finished my book club book for December, because I've got to pass it on to others to read:
Mr. Ives' Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos
Not bad. But not what I had planned. Oh well, December 1 will start another personal 3 month "Winter Reading Challenge." I'm finalizing my choices, keeping in mind that the holidays are not the time, for me, to take on giant books. More to come on that, probably tomorrow.
AND this book may be unique in my experience: The movie based on the book was far, far superior to the book itself. I cannot think of a single other instance that this was true for me.
So, what was the offending book?
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger.
Smock and I went to see the movie when it came out. It was a good enough movie. A fun afternoon chick flick, with what I consider a GREAT performance by Meryl Streep.
So, when I saw the book at the AAUW used book sale for 50 cents, I thought, "Oh, good. A nice guilty pleasure!"
Not. Probably the stupidest book I've read in the last ten years. By now, most of you know the outline of the story: Girl who wants to be a Writer ends up working for Miranda Priestly, editor in Chief of THE important fashion magazine. (The book is supposedly a wicked expose of Anna Wintour of Vogue.)
Miranda is a b****, and a selfish ogre. Fine. But how on earth did this naive girl think that she worked her way to the top in a competitive business like fashion without being that way? The author does nothing but sneer at fashion--what did she think working at a fashion magazine would be like? She talks about being exhausted after working numerous 12-14 hour days. Oh, poor baby. Talk to regular working joes who have to spend that amount of time at back-breaking labor every day for years on end.
In short, the author/narrator was a WHINER, and I cannot abide a whiner. Look, lady, you don't want the job? QUIT AND GET ANOTHER ONE!!!!
But the funniest part of the whole experience was this: the author/narrator supposedly wants to "write for the New Yorker", all the while penning a book that doesn't have the structure or plot or anything else to stand as evidence for skill in writing "higher level" things.
So, she's not only a whiner, she's a snob. And a fairly incompetent one at that.
Look, I'm no writer. But then, I don't hold myself out to be one, either.
Give this one a pass, unless fashion is your life. Otherwise, rent the video at Blockbuster, and have a fairly enjoyable 90 minutes.
In honor of the start of the shopping season, here is a piece of art about SHOPPING! I'm not shopping today, but I hope to be largely finished with my Christmas shopping before the first Sunday of Advent. I try to do that every year so that there is one less thing distracting me from paying attention to Advent. I'll let you know how it goes......
Anthony Esolen's entry over at Touchstone's Mere Comments
Here's a snippet:
The Christian faith is a faith on the move, secure in the Kingdom of God that is already among us, but awaiting the Kingdom to come in its fullness. We know that our homes are not here; we are all like Abraham, our father in faith, strangers in a strange land. Yet it is liberating, that knowledge that no farmland however rich, no hills however green, no city however just can claim our final allegiance as our home. It frees us to forgive the stumps and stones, the abandoned machines, the burnt out tenements, the buckled roads, the commissioners on the take, the mosquitoes from the marsh, the swelter in August and the frozen mud in February. We can be stable, steadfast -- planted in one place. So were the monks who lived under Benedict’s rule. Because they were pilgrims, they knew that no one place here could satisfy the heart; so with a free conscience they took a vow of stability, and devoted their earthly attentions to one place, praying there, and clearing woods, draining swamps, tilling fields, and draping the hills with the vine. With the same spirit of longing for home, and a similar care for their less than perfect new place of sojourning in a cold and harsh land, the Pilgrim Fathers stayed close to where they built their first village. Such a pilgrim is a patriot in the most perfect sense: he loves his land, and devotes himself to it, because it is a shadow of the patria he truly loves, and towards which he is always walking. The grace of the Father calms our hearts, and spurs us on, as the Father Himself is ever in act, and ever at rest.
The Summa Mamas are conscious of all their blessings. How did we get so lucky? Thanks be to God for our families, our friends, and each other.
May your Thanksgiving be a happy and holy day full of food, fun, family, football and an overflowing gratitude for the gifts around you! We'll see you on Friday!
......from our parish newsletter, Salve!:
A selection of Latin bumper stickers, available to you to have made up:
Sona si Latine Liogueris
Honk if you speak Latin
Die Dulci Fruere
Have a nice day!
Fac ut gaudeam
Make my day
Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinus alacribus et fructuosis potiri potes!
If you can read this sign, you can get a good job in the fast paced, high paying world of Latin!
Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare
I think some people in togas are plotting against me
Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant
May barbarians invade your personal space.
Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem!
Stand aside, plebeians! I am on imperial business!
(Editor's note: Why does this one remind me of Erik K?)
Flexilis sum, gluten es. Me resilit, ad te haeret.
I'm rubber, you're glue. Bounce off me, stick to you.
Yeah, we have that kind of parish newsletter.
......directly from Manolo the shoe blogger, here is the Tuesday update of what MamaT is:
Watching.......What? You got a problem with that?
Watching.......because I love the host!
Can't wait to watch..........
And from that last, here's a thought:
"Vocation implies limitation."
I happen to agree. What do you think?
Introit was "Morning Has Broken", which is still under copyright. No great loss in my mind. I know, I know, the Church had it first, but I always hear Cat Stevens' voice in my head while we're singing it. And, as my sisterM said, "And I kinda like his version better!" So, just get you an old Cat Stevens record if'n you don't know how it goes. One of the few songs we sing regularly at SMV that I don't like.
Offertory was this one:
O what their joy and their glory must be,
those endless Sabbaths the blessèd ones see;
crown for the valiant, to weary ones rest:
God shall be All, and in all ever blest.
What are the Monarch, his court and his throne?
What are the peace and the joy that they own?
O that the blest ones, who in it have share,
all that they feel could as fully declare!
Truly, "Jerusalem" name we that shore,
city of peace that brings joy evermore;
wish and fulfillment are not severed there,
nor do things prayed for come short of the prayer.
There, where no troubles distraction can bring,
we the sweet anthems of Zion shall sing;
while for thy grace, Lord, their voices of praise
thy blessèd people eternally raise.
Now, in the meantime, with hearts raised on high,
we for that country must yearn and must sigh,
seeking Jerusalem, dear native land,
through our long exile on Babylon's strand.
Low before him with our praises we fall,
of whom and in whom and through whom are all;
of whom, the Father; and in whom, the Son;
and through whom, the Spirit, with them ever One.
Sung to O Quanta Qualia. Words by Peter Abelard, by the way.
Communion hymn was the hymn that most resonates with my conversion to Catholicism. It is very popular at SMV, and is frequently, and movingly, sung.
Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand;
ponder nothing earthly minded,
for with blessing in his hand
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
our full homage to demand.
King of kings, yet born of Mary,
as of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords in human vesture,
in the Body and the Blood
he will give to all the faithful
his own self for heavenly food.
Rank on rank the host of heaven
spreads its vanguard on the way,
as the Light of Light descendeth
from the realms of endless day,
that the powers of hell may vanish
as the darkness clears away.
At his feet the six-winged seraph;
cherubim with sleepless eye,
veil their faces to the Presence,
as with ceaseless voice they cry,
Alleluia, Lord Most High!"
Sung to the tune Picardy.
Post communion hymn was:
O day of rest and gladness,
O day of joy and light,
O balm of care and sadness,
most beautiful, most bright;
on thee the high and lowly,
before the eternal throne,
sing, "Holy, holy, holy,"
to the great Three in One.
On thee, at the creation,
the light first had its birth;
on thee for our salvation
Christ rose from depths of earth;
On thee our Lord victorious
the Spirit sent from heaven,
and thus on thee most glorious
a triple light was given.
Thou art a port protected
from storms that round us rise;
a garden intersected
with streams of paradise;
thou art a cooling fountain
in life's dry dreary sand;
from thee, like Pisgah's mountain,
we view our promised land.
Today on weary nations
the heavenly manna falls;
to holy convocations
the silver trumpet calls,
where Gospel light is glowing
with pure and radiant beams,
and living water flowing,
with soul refreshing streams.
May we, new graces gaining
from this our day of rest,
attain the rest remaining
to spirits of the blessed.
And their our voices raising,
to Father, Spirit, Son,
for evermore be praising
the blessèd Three in One.
We sing it to the tune Woodbird, though it can be sung to several others.
I want to drive a tank.
That is all.
I've got "dead bananas" around here, so it's time to make banana nut bread. I always hated dragging out the mixer, etc, so I was happy when I found this quick-mix version. It makes a very dense loaf (since you're not creaming all that butter and sugar), but that's the way I like my banana nut bread.
1 stick butter or margarine (1/2 cup)
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup sugar
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Melt butter and add with the mashed bananas to the well beaten eggs. Sift dry ingredients in and mix well. Stir in nuts.
Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes. You might need to cover the edges of the loaf with a little foil toward the end.
Today on the way to school, McKid piped up from the back seat:
"Mama, I'm crazy aren't I?" (Crazy being a good adjective in the four-year-old class)
"Well, honey, I would say that you're FUNNY, instead of crazy."
"Yeah. Well, and I'm CUTE, too!"
Self esteem? We don't suffer from any lack of THAT around HERE!
A few minutes later, McKid says,
"Mama, I'm a smart girl, amn't I?"
"Yes, sweetheart. You're a very smart girl."
"I'm smart. I'm smarter than you are."
"Well, McKid, I'm not so sure about that."
Very dramatic pause.
"Well, Mama, we'll just have to wait and see."
Uh oh. I think I may be in trouble.
I love to dance. I wish PapaC did. Most women love it. Most men hate it.
I have a very good friend who told his teenaged son, "Bub, if you want to be popular with the ladies, learn to be a good dancer." (And, by the way, my friend was the best dancer I ever danced with.) The boy became an excellent country-western dancer, and though he was a tad on the short side, he NEVER, EVER lacked for a girlfriend, and women would practically line up to dance with him at school dances. He's now married to a girl he took dancing on the first date.
Renoir is a very lush painter. I like almost everything he paints, but I'm not sure that I'd want to own more than one. It's almost too much. You can read more about Renoir here, at his Wikipedia entry.
But if you love this painting, then DO something. Go grab your sweetie, turn on the radio and dance in the kitchen. You won't regret it!
Part of the joy of a four year old is the comic relief. Trying out new vocabulary; they think they know what it means, but really don't.
A few classic examples from Casa S over the past couple of weeks:
We were at the doctor's office, taking my mom for her final appointment (hallelujah brothers and sisters!) with her hip surgeon. We had to wait for more than an hour, and the McKid was pretty good, though she was hamming it up for the entertainment of the waiting room crowd. When we got back to the examination room, she told my mom that she would be the doctor and Mom was the patient. Mostly this was so she could sit on the rolly stool, but whatever.
"Mam-mom! You are sick! You will have to have FOUR shots!"
My mother plays along: "Oh, no doctor! What on EARTH do I have that would make me need FOUR shots?"
McKid takes a deep breath, and a very dramatic pause. "Well, you have............INGREDIENTS!"
We burst out laughing. "Oh no! Not ingredients! Anything but THAT!"
McKid and I have an unvarying "get ready for preschool routine" every morning. After Handy Manny is over on the Disney channel, it is time to brush teeth and comb hair. McKid's good about it, though she hates her new toothpaste.
"Mama! You know what? You have to brush your teeth every day and go to the dentist sometimes or you know what happens?
"No. What happens?"
"You get cabbages in your teeth!"
Hand me the toothpaste. I don't want cabbages in my teeth.
Finally, yesterday McKid, the Zman and I were watching some video on YouTube. McKid had wanted to watch the Hampsterdance video again (darn you, singing hamsters!) but I had already told her no.
When the video was over, she said, "Now can I watch the hamster video?"
"No, baby, I already told you that."
"Yeah, but that was another reality!"
Hmmmmm. Space-time continuum anyone?
Nope, not dead yet!
Office is cleaner than it has been in YEARS, though it still needs dusting and a reorganization of the closet.
Reports to the Diocese for our parish are actually CAUGHT UP THROUGH OCTOBER, and I cannot remember a time when I was as caught up with church work as I am at this minute.
Work has given me a time to muse over some ideas--nothing like sorting through piles of paper to give you time to think about stuff.
I've finished two books, one an absolute waste of time and the other might be the best book I've read this year so far. Updates on both coming soon to this space.
I had a doctor's appointment this morning, and while nothing is terribly bad, it still wasn't as good as it might be. Just effects of growing older, I suppose.
However, tomorrow I take my dear mama in for her annual checkup with her oncologist. We have no reason to suspect that things are anything but good, but she won't be sleeping much tonight. If you have a spare prayer or two, could you throw them our way?
So, it may be tomorrow evening before I post much substantive, though I will go ahead and post the Sunday hymns, though it's a few days late.
I'll be back on track by tomorrow night, or Thursday morning at the latest. (If there's anybody still reading us!)
Blessings to you all!
Introit was this one:
This is the day the Lord hath made,
he calls the hours his own;
let heaven rejoice, let earth be glad,
and praise surround the throne.
Today he rose and left the dead,
and Satan's empire fell;
today the saints his triumphs spread,
and all his wonders tell.
Hosanna to the anointed King,
to David's only Son!
Help us, O Lord, descend and bring
salvation from thy throne.
Blest be the Lord, who comes to men
with messages of grace!
Who comes, in God his Father's name,
to save our sinful race.
Hosanna in the highest strains
the Church on earth can raise;
the highest heavens in which he reigns
shall give him nobler praise.
Sung to New London, though it can be sung to many others.
O worship the King,
all glorious above!
O gratefully sing
his power and his love!
Our shield and defender,
the Ancient of Days,
pavilioned in splendor,
and girded with praise.
O tell of his might!
O sing of his grace!
Whose robe is the light,
whose canopy space.
His chariots of wrath
the deep thunderclouds form,
and dark is his path
on the wings of the storm.
The earth, with its store
of wonders untold,
Almighty, thy power
hath founded of old,
hath 'stablished it fast
by a changeless decree,
and round it hath cast,
like a mantle, the sea.
Thy bountiful care,
what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air;
it shines in the light;
it streams from the hills,
it descends to the plain,
and sweetly distills
in the dew and the rain.
Frail children of dust,
and feeble as frail,
in thee do we trust,
nor find thee to fail;
thy mercies, how tender!
How firm to the end!
Our Maker, Defender,
Redeemer, and Friend!
O measureless Might,
while angels delight
to worship thee above,
the humbler creation,
though feeble their lays,
with true adoration
shall all sing thy praise.
Sung to Hanover.
Communion hymn is under copyright, so I can't post it here!
Post-communion hymn was:
Take my life, and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee;
take my moments and my days,
let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
at the impulse of thy love;
take my feet, and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing
always, only, for my King;
take my lips, and let them be
filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold,
not a mite would I withhold;
take my intellect, and use
every power as thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
take my heart, it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store;
take my self, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee.
My favorite tune for this is Hollingside.
There is no artist listed for this one over at www.art.com. But it is what came up when I put in the search words cleaning house. That was on my mind, since that's what I've been doing. And, by the way, you can actually see the top of my desk! Still much to do--some of the mess has simply migrated to the rooms that it should have been in from the beginning, and I have a shelf-load of books to shelve. But it's better. WAY better.
But how very appropriate for this to be my reminder. Don't tell me it's a coincidence.
I am not eating cow lips!
Now back into busy mode at my other work.
My God, accept my heart this day,
and make it always thine,
that I from thee no more may stray,
no more from thee decline.
Before the cross of him who died,
behold, I prostrate fall;
let every sin be crucified,
and Christ be all in all.
Anoint me with thy heavenly grace,
and seal me for thine own,
that I may see thy glorious face,
and worship near thy throne.
Let every thought and work and word,
to thee be ever given;
then life shall be thy service, Lord,
and death the gate of heaven.
We sing it to Song 67 (Gibbons).
Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
to his feet thy tribute bring;
ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
evermore his praises sing:
Praise the everlasting King.
Praise him for his grace and favor
to our fathers in distress;
praise him still the same for ever,
slow to chide and swift to bless:
Glorious in his faithfulness.
Father-like, he tends and spares us;
well our feeble frame he knows;
in his hand he gently bears us,
rescues us from all our foes.
Widely yet his mercy flows.
Angels, help us to adore him;
ye behold him face to face;
sun and moon, bow down before him,
dwellers all in time and space.
Praise with us the God of grace.
Sung to Lauda Anima.
Wherefore, O Father, we thy humble servants
here bring before thee Christ thy well-belovèd,
all perfect Offering, Sacrifice immortal,
See now thy children, making intercession
through him our Savior, Son of God incarnate,
for all thy people, living and departed,
pleading before thee.
Sung to Christe fons jugis.
And we ended with:
I love thee, Lord, but not because
I hope for heaven thereby,
nor yet for fear that loving not
I might for ever die;
but for that thou didst all the world
upon the cross embrace;
for us didst bear the nails and spear,
and manifold disgrace,
and griefs and torments numberless,
and sweat of agony;
e'en death itself; and all for one
who was thine enemy.
Then why, most loving Jesus Christ,
should I not love thee well,
not for the sake of winning heaven,
nor any fear of hell;
not with the hope of gaining aught,
nor seeking a reward;
but as thyself hast loved me,
O ever loving Lord!
E'en so I love thee, and will love,
and in thy praise will sing,
solely because thou art my God
and my eternal King.
Sung to St. Fulbert.
.....which I didn't get to do on the right day, but I'm doing today in a spare minute. Never too late for this, huh?
St. Martha: Because she is the patron saint of all of us practical people who need a reminder that work isn't enough by itself. Also, because she was one of the first confessors of Christ: "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world." (John 11:27) She is my constant friend and companion. I cannot wait to meet her one day.
St. Jerome: He gives me hope that even the cranky among us can achieve holiness. He was also dogged in his pursuit of truth in translating the Bible--work that still stands today. It was not for nothing that our homeschool was called St. Jerome's Academy. He also said: "No athlete is crowned but in the sweat of his brow." Something that we tried to take to heart in our schooling.
St. Augustine: Because I, too, waited long to find the Truth, and to make it central to my life.
St. Catherine of Siena: Letter writer, stigmatist, mystic; St. Catherine did it all. And in such a short time. She asked that the weight of the Church be placed on her shoulders--she bore it for three months before her death. She was the conscience of the Church at a dreadful time, but kept her eyes always on Christ.
Venerable Solanus Casey: One of my heroes. Capuchin friar, simplex priest. Doorkeeper at the monastery for more than 20 years. He has taught me that where God has placed you is where you do your work. Humbly, simply, and patiently. That's the part I'll be working on until I die.
St. Teresa of Avila: "If this is how you treat your friends, it is no wonder that you have so few!" I want that relationship with God. She was herself before God, for better or worse.
Blessed Damien of Molokai: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." He ministered to the lowest of the low--the lepers in the colony at Molokai. He ministered to them both physically, building water lines and houses, and spiritually, with masses and festivals and processions. Finally, he truly became one of them, contracting leprosy himself, and dying of the disease. He points me to the charity that I ought to have, but do not.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: She had mercy, where I have none. And she did it through what we now know was a profound dark night of the soul, where she received no consolations. A tiny person with a rocklike faith, she moved the entire world. And she said things that stay with me: "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." And: "In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love." And: "It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start."
And, of course
Mother Mary: Because. Just because.
I have known of Murillo largely for his religious work. I was considering posting one of his madonnas for this week's entry, when I came across this lovely painting. It brought me to a dead stop. That little boy looks just like the kids in my neighborhood. He is so, oh, "modern" looking for something painted 350+ years ago, isn't he?
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
For the Apostles’ glorious company,
Who bearing forth the Cross o’er land and sea,
Shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:
For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
Like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
Is fair and fruitful, be Thy Name adored.
For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,
Saw the bright crown descending from the sky,
And seeing, grasped it, Thee we glorify.
O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
All are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
And singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Tune: Sine Nomine, by the incomparable Ralph Vaughn Williams.
And, just to give you two for one, on this most happy day:
Who are these like stars appearing,
these, before God's throne who stand?
Each a golden crown is wearing;
who are all this glorious band?
Alleluia! Hark, they sing,
praising loud their heavenly King.
Who are these of dazzling brightness,
clothed in God's own righteousness?
These, whose robes of purest whiteness,
shall their luster still possess,
still untouched by time's rude hand?
Whence came all this glorious band?
These are they who have contended
for their Savior's honor long,
wrestling on till life was ended,
following not the sinful throng;
these who well the fight sustained,
triumph through the Lamb have gained.
These are they whose hearts were riven,
sore with woe and anguish tried,
who in prayer full oft have striven
with the God they glorified;
now, their painful conflict o'er,
God has bid them weep no more.
These, the Almighty contemplating,
did as priests before him stand,
soul and body always waiting
day and night at his command:
now in God's most holy place
blest they stand before his face.
Tune: Zeuch Mich (All Saints Old).