smockmomma: January 2004 Archives

smockmomma the bag lady *UPDATED*

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Last week each family at my children's school was asked to donate a few items for a Hope Bags project. I'll admit I didn't read the fine print. I just sent in two pair of tube socks (requested for my son's grade) and several cans of flip-top veggies (for my daughter's grade). No biggie.
Today I got a grocery-size plastic bag (a prepared HOPE BAG) with this note:
"Sometimes when we see homeless along the road, we may agonize over giving them cash and sometimes, we just ignore them altogether. Most people would give a homeless person food if it were available in their cars. The Hope Bag is meant to be a simple answer to this dilemma...[by providing] a single serve, nonperishable meal...[a clean pair of socks]...a note of support, hope and prayer [written by students], and a map of local homeless shelters."

I have a really soft spot in my heart for people on the streets. I have always given money to people who asked, even when I was in college. There was only one time I didn't trust a kid, so I took him to eat at Mickey D's instead of handing him money. I could tell he was a street kid, but he was too jittery. He probably needed alcohol, but he looked hungry, too. He just ate his food and refused to answer any questions; but when he was finished he asked for a cigarette (I obliged) and he mumbled, rather sincerely I might add, "Thanks, Lady."

As you can imagine, I have had my fair share of people who think I'm crazy for passing cash -- "for booze 'n drugs" is one popular accusation. My response is always the same. My job is to give charitably. I'm not responsible for how they spend it. However, I think these HOPE BAGS are an incredible idea! Especially for those who are uncomfortable giving cash.

These are EASY to make. So feel free to make one or two...or five.

UPDATE: PROJECT HOPE BAGS is a nationwide interfaith outreach project initiated by the high school youth and adults at Christ the Good Shepherd Catholic Community in Spring, TEXAS. is it any wonder i love my faith and my state? does anyone know how to say yeeHAW in Latin?

oh, happy day

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well, it was only a matter of time before i broke down and created my own quiz. it's an idea i've been toying with since i was first introduced to the quizzes so popular here at st. blogs, but i could never pinpoint a theme. until, that is, MamaT pointed out the latest ken and barbie couple as aragorn and arwen.
well, now i've finally created my own quiz. as you might have guessed, it begs the question which ken & barbie couple do you belong to?
pride being what it is, i really hope you don't think the quiz sucks. in fact, i hope that y'all enjoy it. but first, two things.
one: i will admit that i do own ken and barbie as Romeo and Juliet, but that's only because i am a fan of the bard. i enjoy looking at pictures of some of the more modest barbies and barbie scenarios (you know the ones they set up to entice consumers), but i wonder which red blooded american gal doesn't? and when i say pictures, i mean just that. i enjoy getting my barbie catalogue (which i hafta keep renewing because i never actually order anything) and i enjoy looking at the pretty pictures. but, i do not buy collectable barbies. my allusions about barbie in the box being anything like the barbie as seen on tv were shattered twenty years ago. 'sides, i don't really collect anything...'lessen you count dust.
two: having put so much effort into this quest, i hope that everyone who takes my quiz will post their results (either here or at their own site). i'm more curious than is probably healthy.
so without further ado, i introduce my first quiz by offering my results...

Ooo-la-la. Mysterious AND spooky. You are Ken &
Barbie as the original Goth couple, Gomez and
Morticia Addams!

Which Ken & Barbie Couple Do You Belong To?
brought to you by Quizilla

hey, mrs. vonhuben...

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Bluth Fight!

the reason i identify with this show is because it is my life. rather, it was smockmomma's life. unfortunately i almost feel sorry for poor lindsay funke only because i can, at times, identify with her.
shocking? yes, but true. you see, lucille bluth was and IS my mother to a tee. i only pray that mrs. vonhuben enjoys arrested development, not because she identifies, but because it's sooo dry.

lucille bluth: "i'll have the ... ike and tina tuna."
greasy spoon waitress: "plate 'er platter?"
lucille bluth: "i don't understand your question...and...i'm not going to respond to it."

oh, heavens. i love the show and yet it pains me. it repels me but sucks me in by its frightening familiarity...

Sure, why not?

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thanks, mrs. vonhuben, for the link! where do you read about all of these and what is a good charlotte?

You, my friend are a true individual. You most
likely hate trends and are creative. By seeing
things differently, people either admire you or
think you are a bit strange. I'm guessing you
are a lot like me. Perhaps a Good Charlotte
hater? I hope so. An inspiration to us all,
continue being you! (If you like GC, I'm sorry,
I am just expressing an opinion)

A Deeper Look Inside Yourself (with pics)
brought to you by Quizilla


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At this moment, what is your favorite...

1. theme song to The Love Boat

2. cinnamon toast

3. show? Life with Bonnie

4. ...scent? someone else's cigarette smoke (8 months monday, whoo-whoo!)

5. ...quote? "[he was] perhaps not the swiftest horse ever to cantor around life's great racetrack" (little Stevie King, From a Buick 8)

"...the war on abortion will never finally be won unless pro-life Protestants are willing to strike at the root of the problem – contraception. Unfortunately, for too long, contraception has been seen as an "over-the-top" Catholic issue. But few realize Protestants consistently spoke out against the practice until 1930, when the Anglican Church -- swayed by growing social pressure -- caved in and allowed it in certain circumstances. Thus, the Trojan horse entered the house of God."

READ this article. Thanks to Mr. Miller for the heads up!

i think it's called shameless promotion


Support This Site

prayers please


please continue to pray for father groeschel. it doesn't sound like he's doing all that well.

and while you're at it, please offer up any little annoyances for me -- i'm speaking tonight at seven. it's a talk i've given before, but this is in front of parents and i'm so nervous i feel like i hafta...y'know. anyway, thanks.

You hafta read it to believe it


Wheelchair DUI case fought
The accused woman ended up in a collision in front of her house. Besides being hurt, she feels embarrassment. Click here for the full story.

Hey It's On Sale

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Visit our Apologia groupie store A is for Apparel to save on seasonal items! You can't beat a sale, now kinya? AND get free coffee if you purchase the MANLY MUG! How kinya beat "free?"
As smockmomma says "You gotta spend to save!"

Enough Already

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It seems to me most of the people kvetching about CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN haven't even seen the movie. C'mon people! Adversaries take a four second scene out of five thousand, eight hundred-eighty seconds (it's a 98 minute movie) and run with their wild assumptions hanging out. This is the most PRO FAMILY movie to come down the pike in years, yet Catholics are choosing to boycott it because there's a brief mention of a vasectomy. By the way, when was the last time you saw a movie where someone didn't make a bad moral decision at some point in the movie? Did you walk out when that happened? Did you tell everyone you knew to avoid the movie? Did you write blogs to boycott it? I daresay no.

Mind you, even I don't think this movie is Oscar material, but the critics (those critical) of the film criticized it for being such a feel-good, pro-family holiday film. I think Rick Groen of The Globe and Mail best summed up the critics' derision of the movie when he wrote: "Yep, there's never a dull moment when you and the missus are a fertility clinic.” Even the New York Times reviewer, Stephen Holden, who calls the movie "a bubbling crockpot of farcical mush to warm the tummies of anyone who really and truly misses 'The Brady Bunch'," is upset because the family is too happy. Hellooo? He writes, "To surrender to a movie like this is to buy on some level its impossibly idealized portrait of family togetherness. Once its cozy glow wears off, a tiny part of you is likely to feel a pang that your family isn't as happy and secure as the Bakers." Sniffsniff. What's that? Smells like sour grapes to me.

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I adore the actress Bonnie Hunt. She is a Catholic actress who does her level best to promote a pro-family stand in her work. Her own film Return to Me is strikingly Catholic. Regardless, lest any reader think I champion this film for Bonnie alone, please note that I am not the only Catholic who recommends CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN. Steven Greydanus (Roman Catholic father of four), of the Decent Films Guide, gives the movie an A- (the minus is for mild suggestive dialogue, fleeting gross out humor; brief mention of a vasectomy; very mild sensuality). He has this to say about the film:

Anyone with more than three kids can sympathize with the Bakers when they are judged “irresponsible” by a snooty neighbor. How refreshing that this movie (like in the original when the Planned Parenthood representative stops by) is on the side of the large family. In fact, though it is a rarity in films today, Cheaper by the Dozen consistently gives those with an anti-family agenda a poke in the eye, exposing them as self-righteous, self-absorbed, inconsiderate, and immature.

This film sheds a positive light on large family life; it emphasizes the importance of not only love, but sacrifice. It casts mothers who stay home in a positive light. It allows the parents to hold traditional values without seeming silly or radical. When was the last time you were able to say that about a live-action film from Hollywood?

I'd like to end with another quote from Mr. Greydanus who writes:

In the end, the parents make the choices that need to be made, and the film keeps its eyes fixed firmly on the message expressed by Tom [the dad]: “If I don’t raise my kids right, well, then nothing else I do will matter.” If ever there’s a message our culture needs more than that one, we don’t know what it is.


I saw an old man like a child,
His blue eyes bright, his white hair wild,
Who turned for ever, and might not stop,
Round and round like an urchin's top.

'Fool,' I cried, 'while you spin round,
'Others grow wise, are praised, are crowned.'
Ever the same round road he trod,
'This is better: I seek for God.'

'We see the whole world, left and right,
Yet at the blind back hides from sight
'The unseen Master that drives us forth
'To East and West, to South and North.

'Over my shoulder for eighty years
I have looked for the gleam of the sphere of spheres.'
'In all your turning, what have you found?'
'At least, I know why the world goes round.'

GK Chesterton

More "Masters of Illusion"

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I adore the Pew Lady. I admire her moxie! Her new post is dead-on accurate.

Speaking of Movies...


Barbara Nicolosi reminds us, yet again, to pray for the nutbags, er poor souls in hollywood by providing a few quotes from stars re: Religion.
My personal fave is from Carrie Fisher: "I love the idea of God, but it's not stylistically in keeping with the way I function..."

I've been reading Mrs. Dashwood's advice on how to handle insults from family. Her post of Jan 15th offers Elinor's Strategies for Dealing with Relatives. As usual, she offers excellent advice, but I wonder when (if ever) it is appropriate to defend your choices. Mrs. Dashwood?

Of course, when my hubby and I got up enough nerve to tell our families (both sides umpteenth generation Pentecostal/Assemblies of God) that we were becoming Catholic, both sides came a hair away from divorcing and disowning us. And while the smockmomma may be prone to exaggeration, please believe there is none here. For years we tried to explain, but it usually ended in frustration or tears.

The ninth anniversary of our Confirmation will take place this Easter. What we have finally learned is that (to use a good ol' Assemblies phrase) lifestyle evangelization is the best ecumenism. My beloved grandmother, Nonny, always taught me, "You are your neighbor's Bible. You must live your life as if you are the only Bible your neighbor will ever read." It finally dawned on me that I am also my family's Catechism. For years we tried to debunk the myriad anti-Catholic myths (we ourselves had grown up with) for our families by arguing with them. Eventually, we realized that the best way to debunk the myths was to live our lives as faithfully as possible to God and His Church and let our families see for themselves what a load of hooey they'd been fed by anti-Catholic propaganda. For the most part, they've come to respect, if not accept, our Catholicism.

That is not to say that we don't defend our choices when we feel compelled; but after almost nine years, our families realize that, spiritually speaking, we're doing pretty well. As far as they are concerned, our and our children's relationships with Jesus are practically Protestant. High praise that! At any rate, they feel freer to simply ask questions (rather than accuse) if they don't understand something. Their mere curiosity is much easier to handle...and answer.

Earliest Memory?

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So asks Bec over at Pencil in Your Hand.
Actually, my earliest memory is of being locked in a closet. Which explains why I'm so frickin claustrophobic. My first happy memory is of my father, smelling of Old Spice, carrying me to bed when I was pretending to be asleep.

Civic Duty or Civic Doodie?

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smock's hubby served on jury duty this week. our fair system paid him $6 total for his time and trouble (which included missing an entire day of work), charged him $8.50 for parking, $3 for coffee, and then had the nerve to ask him to wave his $6 pay and donate it back to the county. he spent most of the afternoon in hot, muggy, cramped quarters with loud, obnoxious and malodorous strangers, the worst of whom was the woman who spent the better part of an hour making the rest of them laugh (smock's hubby being the blessed exception -- he was busy hiding behind a book) while she impersonated a deaf person talking. loudly. i tell ya, it's getting more and more difficult to fight my misanthropic tendencies. it really is.


For most, there is no crueler day of the calendar year than that of Valentine's Day. While a tiny fraction of the population can look forward to a holiday of wine and roses, poetry and song- the vast majority of us can anticipate a day of nausea and grimacing, trauma and grief. A day in which minutes seem like hours, and hours like days, as we reflect sorrowfully on yesteryear's romantic indignities, today's loneliness, and the unknowable but certain heartbreak that will be visited upon us repeatedly in the years to come.

When cruelty and holidays collide, the weak-willed find solace in self-pity and comfort foods. And like some twisted and opportunistic confectioner who preys upon the most emotionally vulnerable, Despair Inc. is proud to announce that yet again, we have combined the two into a radical offering:

BitterSweets(tm) - The Valentine's Candy for the Rest of Us.

considering my newfound affinity for shakespearean cursing, i think it only fair that i make sure to point you to a more educational resource for things shakespearean. you will find such a place at opensourceshakespeare, where you can look up shakespeare stuff until the toad-spotted pigeon-suckers come home.
oh! and an added bonus: the site is the brainchild of the very sexy and talented mr. eric johnson -- who like smock's hubby served in a gulf war, as a Marine no less, and not only understands but also appreciates mr. bill. mymymy, all that and Catholic, too? how incredibly fortunate the fair mrs. johnson!

New Update on Father Groeschel


A webletter from Glenn Sudano, C.F.R.

Fair Enough

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My life is rated PG-13.
What is your life rated?

Thanks to Mr. "PG" Riddle over at Flos Carmeli.


Perhaps Sexy Mamas?

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i dig the new crib. it's totally coolmoe, MamaT. i feel so sexy, don't you?



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This page is a archive of recent entries written by smockmomma in January 2004.

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