MamaT: June 2008 Archives

.....two weeks later. I say that is a testament to how good the materials really were--they have really fascinated the McKid. One of her favorites is this one, straight from Joshua 1:9

Wherever You Go
Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified.
Do not be discouraged.
For the Lord your God
Will be with you
Wherever you go.
Wherever you go.

A simple song, but one that I tell McKid that she needs to remember, and write in her heart. And so do I.

Click here and you'll go to a Youtube video where you can hear the music. This is a lot different from the music I normally post--not liturgical. Just fun!

Well, and how was your week?

Scary face!

Sorry for the absence last week, but things are busy at CasaS with McKid home all day and my mom being not so great. Between here, there and yon, there hasn't been much time to peruse the internet, and what little time I had lent itself more to a few mindless games of canasta. I've thrown myself into the hands of the Regency Romance Writers, as a way of escaping reality. Well, those writers and P.G. Wodehouse. It's a hot summer, ya'll, and my brains are slowly frying.

I'll have a few thoughts on parenting, born out of my sitting poolside during swimming lessons and the usual hymns, shoes, books and art.

Glad to be back my friends. Hope you're still there.

Oh, and I'm bummed that Smock, who is the pickiest eater on the planet, gets to go to Taste of Chicago, while I am condemned to stay home and make mac and cheese.

Does that seem fair to you?

I thought not.

Love you, Smock. Bring me back a fried eel or something.

Today a short FAF entry--it just contains my favorite image of the Virgin Mary, ever:

Madonna delle Roccie
Filippo Lippi

I first saw this image in a calendar that I got from the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. I love the gentleness of it. I love that it felt no need to be true to the historical period of the Bible, but put the Madonna in the clothes of the time of the painter. It always brings home to me that the Virgin is for all times and for all people. She is beautiful, is she not?

Happy Friday, ya'll!

Whatcha Reading? Wednesday

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I have thrown Love in the Time of Cholera into the pile again. I am finding it desperately hard going for some reason. I am frustrated with the characters, and grinding my teeth at the slowness of plot development (and this from a girl who likes long books!).

It's not even that I have to read "pretty". Some of my favorite books, like Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance, are hard, sometimes ugly, and sometimes depressing. That's not it. But at least you had an idea about why someone wanted to write this book. I don't get it with Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. I'm quite sure the fault lies in me somewhere.

So, whether or not it gets finished, I will probably try again to get at least some of it read before book club meeting next Wednesday night. Fortunately, we are watching the recent movie adaptation of the book at our meeting. Theoretically to compare the book to the movie. I'll just have to talk a lot about the movie, I guess.

Actually reading now? I'm 2/3 of the way through The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in my quest to reread the Narnia series this summer. On deck? Barbara Pym's A Glass of Blessings and Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns. After that? Probably Right Ho, Jeeves, to finish up my omnibus volume. If not that, then Rumer Godden's China Court, which I picked up for $1 on the clearance shelf at Half Price Books.

How 'bout you?

McKid and VBS

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Some of my sweetest memories of growing up are of attending Vacation Bible School, both at my own Episcopalian church and at the Baptist church that my friends attended (sword drill, anyone?). So when the Catholic parish up the street from my own decided to hold a VBS, I was all over it. Our parish secretary has a granddaughter almost exactly McKid's age, and one a little younger. We signed up together. Yesterday was the first day.


Like everything else in this world, VBS has moved upscale to compete with television, video games and the like. Most Blessed Sacrament chose Power Lab as their VBS this year.

While I am normally prepared to scoff at the high-tech, bright colored, shiny new things, I must admit that McKid came out of VBS dancing and singing all about Jesus. That's a good thing! When I asked her if she had a good time? "Mom! I had BEYOND a good time!"

They're doing something right. Monday's theme was "The Power to be Thankful" and there was a little homework assignment--several ways a kid could show she was thankful for what someone had done for her. McKid sat right down and wrote a thank you card to her VBS teacher.

Good for her.

We'll see what today holds, but so far, it's all thumbs up from here.


Everyone who knows me, at least in real life, knows that I have a mini-obssession with flip-flops. Love 'em. Look at 'em in every store I go to. Want more. Even when I have enough!

But a girl also needs some classier shoes. Maybe just shoes that don't make a noise when you walk. These would be a nice choice. But there sure is a big difference in price level!

Quote for today


"As women we wear so many hats that it is absolutely necessary to be organized and do those things which move us toward the goals we have set."

--------------------------Mary Kay Ash

That Smart Elisabeth Elliot!


Living in a world broken by sin, we suffer wounds of many kinds. Perhaps the most painful are not the physical ones but those of the heart. No one has power to hurt us more deeply than somebody we love, somebody we counted on to understand and support us. But there are two ways to receive wounds. One leads to larger life. The other leads straight to death, that is to destruction--of those we influence as well as of ourselves.

By grace we can receive the wounds of our friends as our Master received them--in the strength and for the glory of our heavenly Father. Being sinners ourselves, however, we need to be brought low at the cross. Nothing will do this better than some piercing heart-wound, provided we seek Christ because of it and pray Him to purify us.

There is another way--the world's way. It is anger, resentment, retaliation, retreat into pride and self-justification. These are quite natural, and quite lethal. The choice is ours.

------------------------Elisabeth Elliot, A Lamp for My Feet

And today we look at Paul Klee, just because I think he has a sense of humor in some of his works. And we could all use a little of that these days, huh?

Here's a blurb about him from

Swiss painter and graphic artist Paul Klee (1879 – 1940) was one of the most imaginative modern art masters, producing work that spanned an astounding stylistic range. Klee’s small, delicate works are filled with wit and references to dreams, music and poetry, and blended primitive art, Surrealism, Cubism and children's art. Initially creating surreal, satirical pen-and-ink drawings, Klee’s life and art were forever altered when he visited Tunisia and was overwhelmed by its intense light and color. Klee also uses a complex array of signs and symbols drawn from the unconscious, that were meant to fuse abstraction with reality. Klee’s work impacted all 20th century Surrealist and Nonobjective artists, and the budding abstract expressionist movement.

And now, something to look at:


Castle and Sun

Departure of the Ships

Fish Magic

Cat and Bird

Happy Friday, ya'll!

Bang head on desk, repeatedly


Booking Through Thursday


Since I'm behind, I'm using last week's question, saving this week's for later!

Have your book-tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easy? How-to books over novels? Mysteries over Romance?

I would say that I go through phases in my book reading. The more stressed I am, the lighter the books need to be. If I'm in the midst of personal darkness, the last thing I need is to read dark. Reality is enough on its own.

I also find that as I grow older, I'm more willing to read simply what I like, and not what I am supposed to read. Hence, my current obsession with Regency romances. I don't care whether I ought to be reading something more "edifying". I'm reading what I enjoy at the moment.

I never want to stop challenging myself with new (to me) writers and works. But I'm more aware that I have limited time to read, and I refuse to turn it into a chore.

I read somewhere that with so many wonderful books out there to read, you should give yourself some guideline about how far into a book you will read before you decide to put it aside. Something like "100 minus your age" pages. If a book hasn't caught you by then, it probably won't. Toss it aside, with no guilt, and go on to something else. There are thousands of good choices, and one can't read them all, anyway.

The only exception I'm making to that rule is books I read for my book group. Those I try to hack through, even if I don't like 'em. Point of honor, or something. I'm having trouble with Love in the Time of Cholera. It may be the first book in 8 years that I don't get through.

This makes me sound like I'm only gonna read "fun" books. That's not the case. But I'll no longer apologise for the fun ones that I do read and enjoy.

I don't know if you have had the same experience, but the snag I always come up against when I'm telling a story is this dashed difficult problem of where to begin it. It's a thing you don't want to go wrong over, because one false step and you're sunk. I mean, if you fool about too long at the start, trying to establish atmosphere, as they call it, and all that sort of rot, you fail to grip and the customers walk out on you.

Get off the mark, on the other hand, like a scalded cat, and your public is at a loss. It simply raises its eyebrows, and can't make out what you're talking about.

----------------------------Right Ho, Jeeves! by P.G. Wodehouse

There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.

------------The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis

Update for MelanieB

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I am about 50 pages into Love in the Time of Cholera. It is like pulling teeth. So far, I don't care for it at all, but finish it I will, since I have to for book club.

I hated 100 Years of Solitude, which we read for book club a few years ago. I just don't get Gabriel Garcia Marquez. To me, it's like the emporer's new clothes. Bleah.

I'll update more fully when I finish. If I can get finished.


I do not understand

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......where all this junk in my house comes from. What I do know is that I'd be far richer if I hadn't wasted money on all this stuff that I'm busy bagging up to take to the school garage sale.

My continuing quest to downsize continues, but it's not going very well. We're rearranging stuff and moving our office into our dining room so that we can make a good play place for McKid during the summer. Eventually I hope that room will be my craft/painting/office room--but that's a few years down the road. For now, it'll give us a place to put her play kitchen and set up her art stuff in an accessible manner for the summer. Our back door is heavy and hard for her to open, so if she wanted to play on the patio (where the play kitchen used to be), I had to leave the door open. That's not a problem in the spring and fall--we have a screened in porch, and I like to let the breezes blow.

But in the summer? In Texas? With rising utility rates and stuff? Can't let what little air-conditioning (and trust me, our house is probably hotter than all your houses!) we spring for air condition North Texas. (And yes, I hear my mother's voice hollering at me to "Close the Door! I Don't Intend To Air Condition West Texas!") So, we're downsizing desks. Clearing away clutter. Making new places for things.

And I wonder.

How come every space I have is filled up with stuff? How come I can't get rid of it? Even when I go through my stuff time and again, I still end up with more than anyone needs.

Why is this such a consistent and persistent problem for me?

How do you actually simplify?


Bacon Salt! In four flavors.

Mmmmm. Two of my favorite flavors. Together!

Even I think this sounds delicious, and I'm considering ordering it.

Here are two reviews from the website:

"My 7 year old son hasn't stopped talking about Bacon Salt since he heard about it. You guys are on to something here."

- Alan S.


"I would spend my allowance on this. So good..."

- Alan's 7 year old son

Here's what came via UPS to my mom yesterday. She got them from Zappos. They are even cuter in person!


She also got them in the white variation. It's cute, too!

Happy Tuesday, ya'll!

Whatcha Reading? Wednesday

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Not much reading going on around here. We're dealing with the end of school, and all the related events (I am off to the Kindergarten Awards Ceremony in 5 minutes). Plus my mom has taken a bit of a turn for the worse and is keeping us all on our toes. So I've crocheted some, and watched a lot of TV with Mom.

I am finishing up my current Wodehouse book, Very Good, Jeeves. I should finish it tonight. Next on the list, a book that I am NOT looking forward to, but must read for my book group this month: Love in the Time of Cholera. I can't really say why I dread reading it, but I do. I hope to be surprised by how much I like it. At the book group meeting, we are actually going to watch the recent movie adaptation of the book. That should be interesting.

New in the to-read-pile? Strangers and Sojourners by Michael O'Brien. I was a huge fan of his Father Elijah, but read nothing more of his after that. Frankly, I had read some interviews he had given and I didn't care for how he came across in those interviews, so I shelved any plans I had of reading more of his stuff. Then a friend looked at me like I had 3 heads--he's one of her favorite writers. I like her very much, so I told her, based on her recommendation alone, that I would try a couple more of his books. She put this one in my hands.

How 'bout you?

Today's PST is brought to you by McKid's Mom, who sent Smock and I this picture. They are on sale for ONLY $250 a pair. Now the only question is: What do you wear with a pair of shoes with a CROWN on them?

Anything you want, I'd say! I mean, you ARE the queen aren't you?




About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by MamaT in June 2008.

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