November 2004 Archives

the smockmomma's new theme song is set to their 59th st. bridge song

slow down you move to fast
don't want the mornin' sickness to last.
kickin' down the bathroom door
lookin for crackers 'n feelin pukey.

do-it-do-do-do-do-do, feelin pukey

hello bed-post, what's cha knowing?
i've come to watch your ginger growin'
ain't cha got no relief for me?

do-it-do-do-do-do-do, feelin' pukey

got lotsa deeds to do, promises to keep
but i'm really drowsy and ready to sleep
let the nurses drop lotsa phenergan on me

life i love you, but i'm feelin' pukey...

chalk another one up for adult stem cells


Seoul, South Korea ( -- A South Korean woman who was paralyzed for 20 years is walking again -- thanks to adult stem cell research. The news is further evidence of the success scientists are having with the more ethical form of stem cells.

read full article

Looking at our web search strings:


Two things must be said.

#1 Those of you who got here looking for "How to Fix a Broken Zipper"? You guys need someone else. Maybe you ought to head over to a sewing website. We have many talents, we Summa Mamas do, but fixin' broken zippers ain't one of them, unfortunately.

#2: Those of you who got here looking for "Incest in America"? GO AWAY!


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Here's an article by Mortimer Adler, entitled How to Mark a Book.

Oh, my. It brought a rush of blood to my head to even think about this. But I found myself nodding along with his ideas! Agree or disagree, it's worth a read and a think! Here's a snippet:

Confusion about what it means to own a book leads people to a false reverence for paper, binding, and type - a respect for the physical thing - the craft of the printer rather than the genius of the author. They forget that it is possible for a man to acquire the idea, to possess the beauty, which a great book contains, without staking his claim by pasting his bookplate inside the cover. Having a fine library doesn't prove that its owner has a mind enriched by books; it proves nothing more than that he, his father, or his wife, was rich enough to buy them.

There are three kinds of book owners. The first has all the standard sets and best-sellers-unread, untouched. (This deluded individual owns wood pulp and ink, not books.) The second has a great many books-a few of them read through, most of them clipped into but all of them as clean and shiny as the day they were bought. (This person would probably like to make books his own, but is restrained by a false respect for their physical appearance.) The third has a few books or many-every one of them dog-eared and dilapidated, shaken and loosened by continual use, marked and scribbled in from front to back. (This man owns books.)

WorldNetDaily: View homosexual film, or school faces lawsuit

Here's a quote from the article above:

"The schools have great latitude in what they want to teach, including what's in training programs, and the training is now part of the school curriculum," Esseks says. "Parents don't get to say I don't want you to teach evolution or this, that or whatever else. If parents don't like it they can homeschool, they can go to a private school, they can go to a religious school."

Yep, so let us take our tax dollars with us when we go, OK?

Oh, no, I forgot, silly me. We may not have to GO to the school, because we could just homeschool or something, but we have to continue to PAY for the silliness that we disagree with.

This is the part of discussions like this that chap me. Oh, they'll be so gracious as to let me out of the system. As long as I'm willing to pay double for education. Once via my property taxes and once in tuition for parochial school or (in our case) in books and stuff for homeschooling.

As a homeschooler, I was never one in favor of taking money from the government. Largely because during my career as a tax accountant, I saw too often and too clearly that those things the government subsidizes come with too many strings attached.

But I am becoming an ever more fervent advocate for the portability of education dollars, via vouchers or some other plan.

Yeah, yeah, I know, some yahoo would take his kid's education cash and spend it all on lottery tickets. But you know what? There are stupid parents out there doing ridiculous things all day every day in the system we have now. Kids fall through the cracks EVERY SINGLE DAY as it stands right now. To decide that we can't change a system because there is a yet unknown idiot out there who would abuse the system is patently ridiculous.

Too many times as a homeschooler, I have heard the old "Look at that horrible abuse case where those people said they were homeschooling and were really starving their kid to death." Well, you know what? That's a bogus argument. All that really says is "Look, you can do something different as long as you can guarantee 100% success with it. No loonies. No crazies. Why, no, we can't guarantee that WE meet that standard, here in your local public schools, but then, we DON'T HAVE TO! The standard is different for us, you see."

Sorry, it reminds me of that old Lily Tomlin skit where she plays Ernestine, the telephone operator. "No, we don't care. We're the telephone company. We don't have to!"

End of rant. I think I need to go fan myself and drink a cold beverage.

Tonight, PapaC took me to the Ft Worth Symphony Orchestra's traditional start to the Christmas season concert, "Home for the Holidays." It was lovely. A mixture of religious and secular Christmas music, complete with a sing along and "snow" falling from the ceiling as Santa Claus appeared.

Huge chorus present, made up of the Arlington High School chorus (which is highly ranked, apparently, and with good reason) and the FWSO "festival chorus", many of whom were, I suspect, from SW Baptist Theological Seminary.

The most beautiful thing was the high school choir's version of Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre. It was hauntingly beautiful, and brought the loudest applause of the evening. Simply breathtaking. It is no wonder the choir has been asked to sing at several festivals around the state and country.

The funniest thing was a rendition of The Twelve Days AFTER Christmas, which was a riot.

I got to wear my new sparkly snowflake earrings that my dearest mom gave me as a "day after Thanksgiving" present, and my lacey "cha cha cha" skirt. Woo hoo!

It makes it a little easier to think about fighting the crowds at WalMart tomorrow afternoon.

Here's to the shopping season!

Good quote!


Again, courtesy of the Bruderhof's Daily Dig:

We cannot love God unless we love each other. We know him in the breaking of bread, and we know each other in the breaking of bread, and we are not alone anymore. Heaven is a banquet, and life is a banquet too - even with a crust - where there is companionship. We have all known loneliness, and we have learned that the only solution is love, and that love comes with community.

--------Dorothy Day

Happy Thanksgiving, Ya'll

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It's almost time for me to head over to Mom's and help with the preparations for tomorrow. So, I'll be scarce around here until Friday, at least. Perhaps Saturday.

I will be counting my blessings as I prepare the food for tomorrow. I'm so very thankful for my dearest PapaC and our 25 years together. Here's hoping for at least another 25 more. I'm thankful for my wonderful Zteen, truly a son worth crowing about.

I am thankful for my parents, and more grateful than you can imagine that we've had more years to share together. Two years ago it wasn't such a sure thing.

I'm thankful for my sweetest SisterM, her hubby G, and my babies J & Z. (But don't tell them I called them babies! At 8 and 6 they think they're grown.)

I'm thankful for my dearest Smockmomma, and the lovely SpecialK, who thought this was a good idea and have contributed so much fun and laughter to my life, on the 'blog, in Women at the Well, and in just plain LIFE! (And a big thank you for the lovely Maria, the other W@W!)

I am more thankful than you can imagine for McKid and her MomS. It has all been grace, though it hasn't always been easy!

I'm thankful for the Inkblots. It started as a reading group and it has turned into a sisterhood of books, love and prayer. You can't ask for more than that.

I'm thankful that I found St. Mary the Virgin. That I converted to Catholicism. That I have a true parish family. I'm thankful for Fr A, Fr C, Jose and Shay and all the people at SMV. Especially the people in my Sunday Bible study group--who have been faithful for so long.

And I'm thankful for this wonderful group of folks whom I've "met" through this blog. People who make me laugh, make me cry, and make me think. If you are reading this, please know that I consider you one of my biggest blessings. Thank you!

Gotta Love It!

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The quote I got from the Bruderhof Daily Dig today:

When you give someone a book, you don’t give him just paper, ink, and glue. You give him the possibility of a whole new life.

-----Christopher Morley - U.S. & World - Students Free to Thank Anybody, Except God

Pray tell, why do they think the pilgrims CAME in the first place??????? Because they were using up their frequent sailing miles before they expired at year end????

Disgusting. Simply disgusting.

Yeah, right.

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Then how about those studies of the long-lived nuns? Nuns who, presumably, spent hours kneeling in those nasty, particulate filled chapels, praying?

Scandal-mongering, seems to me.

Three Movies in the last week!

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Zteen and I have seen THREE movies in the last week. One at the theater, two at home on DVD. We've reactivated our Netflix membership (after I had late fees at Hollywood Video THREE TIMES IN A ROW), and now always have a movie sitting on top of the DVD player ready to go.

So, let's see, in order:

The Incredibles: Go over to Steven Greydanus' Decent Films Guide website and check out his review. It's exactly what I would say if I were as good a reviewer and writer as he is. Zteen and I both LOVED the movie. Best part? A mom and dad (an intact family!) who are crazy about each other. A dad who sacrifices for his family. Who weeps aloud when he thinks they are dead. Woo hoo Pixar! Our initial reaction was that it was a step down from the greatness of Toy Story, but I think Toy Story was pretty much perfect. To be a step down from that is no disgrace. It is certainly aimed at an older audience than, say, Finding Nemo (which I thought was GENIUS). So I wouldn't advise taking the 5 and unders. Not because there's anything objectionable, but because I think it's too long for them.

2nd movie, at home on DVD: Shrek 2 which was OK, but not as good, in my opinion, as the original. Puss in Boots, voiced by Antonio Banderas, was pretty funny. Eddie Murphy, reprising his role as Donkey, was hysterical. Especially when he gets turned into the beautiful white stallion in the last 1/3 of the movie. It seems like a kid movie where all the jokes were actually aimed at grownups.

3rd movie, at home on DVD: Insomnia with Al Pacino and Robin Williams. Man, Al Pacino can chew scenery with the best of 'em, can't he? We really enjoyed this movie. Robin Williams said that this movie was part of the "Robin Williams Dark Trilogy" - which included Death to Smoochy (funny, funny, funny) and One Hour Photo (one of the creepiest concepts I've thought about in a long time). He plays a convincing killer in this one. And Al Pacino looks like death warmed over. It's a story about whether the ends justify the means or not. I'm afraid that if I were a homicide detective, and saw murderers every day, I would make the wrong decision on that. Anyway, the movie's worth a look.

Book #45 of 2004 finished!

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This afternoon, in a few moments of blessed peace and quiet, I finished Our Lady of the Lost and Found by Diane Schoemperlen. I enjoyed it a lot.

One word of caution. If the idea of Mary showing up at your house wearing sneakers and a brown cardigan would offend you, then I suggest that you not read it. If you can only conceive of her in robes with stars around her head, then this book isn't your cup of tea. And, I will admit, it did take some getting used to.

But the book has lots of stories of Marian apparitions, which are interesting. And the stories are treated very respectfully. If you've not done much Marian reading, this would definitely whet your appetite for more information on Marian sightings.

But more than that, it is a musing on what faith IS. Whether it precludes doubt (the author's answer is a resounding NO). What the meaning of history is. Lots of questions like that.

And it's a wonderful love song to Mother Mary--her mission, her friendship, her love for us.

And there are sparkling paragraphs, paragraphs that just make you stop and nod your head, sprinkled all through the book. Take this one, for example:

Despite these rather unkind thoughts, still I suspected there was something important to be learned here. Mary seemed to approach housekeeping as an action, rather than a reaction. As she worked, it was clear that she was involved not in a process of negation (of dirt, dust, and the inevitable debris spawned by every activity of daily life) but of creation (of order, shiny surfaces, perfectly aligned towels, floors to which your feet did not stick). She seemed to have no doubt that what she was doing was important. She had faith, obviously, in the restorative power of domesticity.


Interesting book.....



.....with something HOPEFUL to say about the Church! We've ordered a copy of this for our parish bookstore, and I want to see it. We have a number of young people (Zteen included) in our parish who are strong in their faith--and looking forward to lives as Catholics. That, my friends, is wonderful. When all of us aging flower children fade out of power positions, there will be a real opportunity for change.

I have long maintained that young people are not put off by the demands of orthodoxy. They've had enough happy clappy "free to be you and me" stuff. They are in awe of mystery and in love with the beauty of well-done liturgy. And to ASSUME that they simply "cannot relate" to the beautiful "old fashioned" liturgies (beloved by many generations of folks) is the ultimate in prideful paternalism.

Oh, and by the way, there is a Young and Catholic website as well. Since I'm not young, it doesn't so much apply to me, but if'n you are, you might want to check it out!

Today is the feast day of....

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St. Cecilia

Patron saint of musicians, poets, and the Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska (go figure!).

Looking at my calendar this morning and thinking about St. Cecilia made me long for musical talent. I think it must be the most glorious thing in the world to be able to make music of any kind.

I think if you asked a random 100 people on the street what talent that they don't have that they would wish for, I bet 95 of them would say "I wish I could sing." I know I would.

And the gift is so much rarer than we think. One of the shows that my mom and I have watched and kibitzed over in the past was Nashville Star. It's like American Idol, but with country music. When you are watching simply the hopefuls on the show, you tend to think that they are pretty good. After all, they are the result of a nation-wide talent hunt. You'd think they would be. But in one section of the show, a certified Nashville star comes out to sing, and often does duets with the contestants. And then you realize that most of the contestants have OK voices, but nothing spectacular. And your perspective changes.

I guess a real "voice" doesn't come around all that often. But I wish it had come around to ME. :0)

please buy a bear already

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i'm still trying to get 100 of these adorable plush "Gotta Getta GUND" teddy bears donated to the children at Azleway Children's Homes. most of the children in their care have been rescued from homes of abuse and neglect.

the bears are only nineteen taters, so email the smock for more information.

I could kiss Mr. Lileks on the lips.....

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...for his new column on the Boy Scouts. You can read it here: James Lileks

This is me!

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I am in the midst of reading Our Lady of the Lost and Found by Diane Schoemperlen. I will tell you what I think of the book (I can't make up my mind yet, but I love the way she writes) when I finish. But get this paragraph! I'm going to have to print it out, it fits me so perfectly!

For those of us with a bookish bent, reading is a reflexive response to everything. This is how we deal with the world and anything new that comes our way. We have always known that there is a book for every occasion and every obsession. When in doubt, we are always looking things up.

Not being especially fond of library books myself (mostly because you have to give them back when you're done but also because their spines are often broken, their pages sticky and dogeared, marked up with other people's jottings and grease spots),I would rather buy than borrow. Even a casual examination of my overcrowded shelves would quickly reveal the various areas of interest that have gripped me over the years.

Though I read mostly fiction (so I don't have quite so many "areas of interest" represented) and I cannot afford to buy nearly so many books as I would wish, I can identify!



my homepage has been updated for the month of november.

two words: fuh. reak.

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according to the sydney morning herald, a new zealand woman is breastfeeding her dog. "It's my life, my responsibility. I make my own choices," she said.

uh huh.

Here's a little something to think about


The Real Conflict
Maximilian Kolbe

No one in the world can change truth. What we can and should do is seek truth and serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is within. Beyond the armies of occupation and the hectacombs of the extermination camps, two irreconcilable armies lie in the depth of every soul. And of what use are the victories of the battlefield if we are defeated in our innermost selves?

Worth a read

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Telegraph | News | 'We have let things slip, and let extremists live under our noses'

This is an article about the unrest in Holland in the wake of the murder of "artist" Theo Van Gogh. It kinda got lost around here in the election news.

Theo Van Gogh's "film" sounds like a piece of pompous trash aimed at infurtiating and inflaming Muslims. There are ways and ways of getting your point across without having a woman appear in a see-through burka with verses from the Koran painted on her naked body. That's not trying to expose evil--that's trying to be as offensive as possible. And it's a sure way to not get your problem actually SOLVED. Abuse of Muslim women is an important problem. Van Gogh's film did nothing that would actually HELP them. It was grandstanding for himself in the worst possible way.

HOWEVER, THAT SAID, what happened next is completely off the map. Shot, stabbed enough times to almost decapitate him? Left with a note containing other threats pinned to his body with the knife?

The Dutch are beginning to worry. It's a worry to be shared with the rest of Europe, where multiculturalism reigns.

A couple of paragraphs from the article are worth noting:

"We have been too tolerant," says Joyce de Witt, 39, an office worker from Diemen, a town south of Amsterdam. "We need tougher immigration policies. For 20 or 30 years, we have let things slip and let extremists live under our noses.

"Dutch society is segregated because a lot of first generation immigrants didn't learn our language and passed on this separateness to their children."

Several Islamic schools have been firebombed
The "separateness" of the one million Muslims, who form almost six per cent of the Dutch population, was underlined last week by a spiral of ethnic violence.

Today is the Feast day of....

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St. Margaret of Scotland

Here's a snippet I just read about her:

Malcolm and Margaret were married about the beginning of the year 1070. Their marriage was blessed with 8 children, 6 sons, one after another, then 2 young daughters. The oldest son was named Edward, followed by Edmund, then Edgar, Ethelred, Alexander and then David, and the girls were Matilda (or Maud) and Mary. Although she was the Queen of Scotland, Margaret continued to live a very austere and deeply religious life, founding hospices, building churches, and helping the poor. She began a form of a Women's club, in which the women read the scriptures and embroidered vestments for the Church. She brought refinement to the Scottish Court, with her love of art, education and culture, and the rough , coarse, uncouth Malcolm was reformed by his passionate love for her. She helped bring the Scottish church in line with Rome by bringing together the Culdee and Roman priests in a conclave to resolve points of dispute. Her love and fine upbringing of her children was remarkable, and they all turned out very well, being always affectionate and peaceable amongst themselves. She brought 200 years of peace and happiness to her adopted country. Although her health had never been good, it was not helped by her long and somewhat excessive periods of fasting and prayer.

Ah, 'tis many a man who has been reformed by his passionate love for a woman. But we don't hear much about THAT side of passion, now do we?

At a time when scientists.....


......are seemingly in a rush toward cloning, embryonic stem cell research and the like, it might not be a bad thing to say a few prayers to St. Albert the Great, whose feast day is today!

Here's one from Catholic Forum:

Prayer to Saint Albertus Magnus

Dear Scientist and Doctor of the Church, natural science always led you to the higher science of God. Though you had an encyclopedic knowledge, it never made you proud, for you regarded it as a gift of God. Inspire scientists to use their gifts well in studying the wonders of creation, thus bettering the lot of the human race and rendering greater glory to God. Amen.

Ya think?


Yes, it's my little secret. He wrote some of my most favorite hymns, including our opening hymn today:

Christ, Whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only Light,
Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Triumph o’er the shades of night;
Dayspring from on high be near;
Day-star, in my heart appear.

Dark and cheerless is the morn
Unaccompanied by Thee;
Joyless is the day’s return
Till Thy mercy’s beams I see;
Till they inward light impart,
Glad my eyes, and warm my heart.

Visit then this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
Fill me, Radiancy divine,
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more Thyself display,
Shining to the perfect day.

We sang it to the tune Ratisbon. If you don't remember how it goes, get thee over to (a GREAT site) and listen to it.

As of late, I have been going through a bit of a spiritual dark spell. A time where I found it hard to even pray. Partly because I have been sick, and cannot shake this darn upper respiratory thing, and partly because my dearest PapaC has been working out of town for the past couple of months. I am certainly a weak creature, and I am NOT meant to be alone. While I have my dearest Zteen, and all my responsibilities to keep me busy, there is something in the dailiness of marriage that keeps me on track. When PapaC is gone even a short time, I find myself shutting down, narrowing down to a pinpoint of light. That is, I dare say, too much dependence on another human, but there you have it. And in that narrowing down, I had shut out God as well. I had made my days "dark and cheerless" and my mornings had been joyless indeed.

But over the last week, feeling that darkness, I have made an effort to turn toward God, even though I didn't feel like it. And the warming up has started--had started even before PapaC got to come home for the weekend! So this hymn had special poignancy for me this morning. I could sing, with all my heart, "Visit then this soul of mine! Pierce the gloom of sin and grief! Fill me, radiancy divine; scatter all my unbelief."

I am such an ungrateful daughter of so great a King. When I face the smallest of trials--nothing compared to what others face every single day--my tendency is the exact opposite of the truly healthy! I turn away from the source of light and warmth. What a silly, silly girl.

Yes, yes, yes!


Go read The Lady in the Pew.

Kelly's done it again.

Clap, clap, clap, clap (ad infinitum).......

peterson was convicted of one count of first-degree murder for killing his wife, Laci, and one count of second-degree murder in the death of the son she was carrying.

now, just sit back and wait for all of the howling from the pro-aborts.

Ignorant quote of the week:

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"You know what? Just let me make one point. You were talking about the map before. If indeed all those blue states all got together and seceded from the union, think what would be left for those red states, nothing. There would be no educational system. You would have nothing. What would be left to you? I mean, where is all of this talent in this country? It’s on both sides, the Northeast corridor."

-Geraldine Ferraro to Sean Hannity on Hannity and Colmes, November 6

Help! We've been invaded!

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Oh, my. Although I think there is something slightly creepy about them, we've been invaded by Wiggle-itis at our home. The McKid watches her Wiggles tape (purchased for $5 at 1/2 Price Books) EVERY DAY. To keep my sanity, I purchased another one (with different songs) at Target the other night.

She dances, she sings, she jumps up and down.

I suppose they are less grating than Barney. I seem to take them better.

But when Zteen was a little Zkid, he listened to Raffi--which, at least in my memory, seemed more complex than "Can you point your fingers and do the twist". But maybe that isn't true. But I really do remember the songs actually being longer than 30-45 seconds each. The Wiggles can be quite catchy--ear-wormy, if you will admit. I admit that I catch myself humming "Cold Spaghetti" at different moments during the day. But I can't fathom how they can become famous for songs like "Rollin' Down a Sandhill."

Perhaps it's jealousy on my part--that I'm not making millions of dollars for dancing around lip-syncing songs. I've always thought that was my calling!!!!!

just out of curiosity...

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is "grrrrr, i'm telling DAD!" the reverse of "just wait until your father gets home!"?

mamaT rocks


not only does she survive hell, she also is extremely humble about her holiness.

I have been to hell......

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......and it's not a pretty thing.

Yesterday, the McKid and I were going to run over to Fort Worth to pick up adoration votive candles (see, I'm the Altar Guild Directress). It's a quick jaunt over to St. Anthony's (or "St. Anfernees" as McKid calls it)--about 20 minutes there, a little time shopping to break up the drive, and 20 minutes home. Piece of cake. We head out with no toys, but with a full glass of juice for her and a diet Coke for me.

For the first time in my LIFE, I got stuck in a traffic jam that was bumper to bumper stopped dead still. An 18-wheeler had overturned, and the entire highway began backing up. It took us TWO HOURS to get to the next exit, less than 2 miles away!

McKid bore up for about 30 minutes. We sang every song we knew (more than once), she drank her juice, but finally she cracked. She began to wail--and I wanted to wail, too! She cried so hard that her cough (that we've been fighting since the weekend) kicked in, and between coughing and crying her lungs out, she managed to become so distraught that she THREW UP! There was no where to pull over--people are bonking into one another right and left, and I was afraid that if I just stopped the car, we'd be conked by an inattentive motorist behind us. So I'm dabbing her with baby wipes (which I could reach) while watching the snot and other unmentionables POUR out of her nose. Fortunately I could mostly reach her in my Bug, if we'd been in PapaC's car, it would have been a lost cause.

Then, idiot motorists start passing us in the breakdown lane--because, you know, their time and lives are so much more important than mine and McKid's--and I almost become psychotic. Had I been alone, and not had a 2 year old wailing away, I would have called the business numbers of each and every commercial vehicle I saw pass me illegally and read them the riot act. As it was, I thought it would just sound like I was crazy. Which, of course, I was.

TWO HOURS after coming to a stop, we were finally able to turn around and go home. I have never been so grateful to be home in my entire life. Cleaned up the McKid, gave her milk and juice and put her down for a nap. Sank gratefully into the recliner. And vowed never to leave the house again without the "flower blankie" and a toy or two.

So, I know what hell is. It is being perpetually stuck in a VW Bug with a 2 year old screaming, crying, coughing, and throwing up and there is nothing you can do about it.

I don't recommend it.

Man, I love it....

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.....when Nuns Anger Planned Parenthood.

Just goes to show that those who champion "diversity" are really members of the Borg--"Must toe line. All unapproved choices must be eliminated."

Go, nuns!

Any U of Georgia alums out there?

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....if so, you might want to read Mike Adams latest column about the Safe Space Program for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered folk.

If you actually want to make sure that what he says is actually on the website, you have to pull up the "Guide" which is in pdf format. And there it is!

Here are a couple of Mike Adams' paragraphs, couched in the form of questions to the UGA president:

The UGA website claims that the “Old Testament clearly indicates that King David had a homosexual relationship with Jonathan, the son of King Saul.” Could you explain the basis of that contention?

The UGA website claims that “the Hebrew Old Testament clearly documents a homosexual relationship between the prophet Daniel and a man named Ashpenaz, and indicates that God put Daniel into that relationship.” Could you explain the basis of that contention? Is the university website accurately characterizing the will of God?

And it goes on from there. The whole website is worthy of perusal--especially the funding portion. Funds were received from Lambda, GLOBE, and the President's fund. Wonder how many religious groups received funds from the President's fund?

Finished book #44 of 2004:

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We're Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle.

A book of essays--mostly funny--by Celia Rivenbark. She hits part of the Southern lifestyle just right. But I thought her funniest things were about motherhood.

Here's an excerpt from the first essay "Stop Watching Your Plasma TV and Start Selling Your Plasma!", which is about how to be White Trash (WT for short):

For starters, bad TV is a huge part of the WT lifestyle. White trash women spend their last dime calling Miss Cleo at the Psychic Sc***-You Network. It takes a WT brain to stare at the screen at the butt-crack o' dawn and say: "Hey, she's never met me and knows nothing about me but I bet this crazy island woman can tell me what my future will be."

But it's her take on Chuck E. Cheese (my idea of hell) that is priceless:

Of course, the silver lining her is that, for every token, you earn "tickets" that can be redeemed for a prize before you leave. I don't want to imply that this is a rip-off, but the last time we went, I calculated that we spent $44.89 for a hot pink curly drinking straw. Of course that's because we only had 5,580 tickets. To actually get enough tickets to claim the foot-tall stuffed Chuck E. and the "prize redemption" counter, you'd have to physically move into the building and play stomp-the spider and skee-ball until you were old enough to develop cataracts, erectile dysfunction, and an inexplicable fondness for aspic.

Best read small bites at a time, it's a great nightstand book--one you can read 4 pages, laugh, then put it down without another thought.

Just finished watching....

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....the 1998 A&E miniseries Vanity Fair.

Oooooh. Excellent, excellent, excellent. If you have a spare FIVE HOURS to kill, it is definitely worth your time!

Very true to the book, as I remember it. No sugarcoating of how devious and calculating Becky Sharp is. The subtitle of the book is something like: "A story without a hero." While there are a couple of noble secondary characters, most of the people are shown for the cads and bounders that they are.

One of the complaints I read about the new movie version of it (starring Reese Witherspoon) is that the directors felt compelled to make Becky sympathetic--giving her reasons in her background for how she acted. And making her more of a mother to her son that she actually is in the book. Too bad.

Political correctness did not win out in this miniseries. If period drama is your idea of a fine time, then put this one on your list.

now accepting donations

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hey y'all, i'm not a good "salesman" so i'm just gonna come out and lay the cards on the table.

i'm collecting donations of $19 to purchase a big ol' soft fluffy bear by Gund for the foster children at Azleway Children's Homes.

i usually just give money to good causes -- i'm the "can i just write a check?" kinda gal, but this year i'm participating in Azleway's "adopt a child for Christmas" program and giving them actual tangible bears they can cuddle for Christmas. thing is, i can't afford 100 bears all by myself. so....

for those of you who trust the smock, email me for more information. thank you.

Tonight I'm working on parish financial statements (Boy, what an exciting Saturday night for MamaT!) and listening to "Classic Country Saturday Night" on the radio. There have been plenty of nights when PapaC and I dance in the office, listening to the music. But he's not here, and I'm missin' him!

'Specially when they played "Sugar Daddy" by the Bellamy Brothers--one of the great dance tunes at the honky tonk we went to when we lived in Abilene:

What you need is a sugar daddy
Diamond rings and a brand new Caddy
Little things to help a girl make it through
What you need are satin pilows
Rivers flowin' down like willows
What you need is me to love you

Oh, baby!

Then they followed it up with Anne Murray singing "Could I Have This Dance":

I'll always remember the song they were playing,
The first time we danced and I knew.
As we swayed to the music and held to each other,
I fell in love with you.

Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?
Would you be my partner, then every night?
When we're together it feels so right,
Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?

I'll always remember that magic moment,
When I held you close to me.
As we moved together, I knew, forever,
You're all I'll ever need.

Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?
Would you be my partner every night?
When we're together it feels so right,
Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?

Thank goodness they hurried up and played some stuff that makes me laugh, before I became maudlin and began crying into my diet Coke! Right now they're playing "Oh, Lord It's Hard to Be Humble." I think country music is the only music these days with ANY sense of humor. And it's the most fun to dance to!

How lovely!!!!!


Angel in the Waters

You can read the whole book here. What a beautiful little book!

arrested development

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season opens this sunday. gotta love it.


| | Comments (1) the "Arlen Specter as chairman of the Judiciary committee" issue, you can contact our Senators here:

John Cornyn:

Kay Bailey Hutchinson:

pip pip, cheerio and screw you

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forgive me, mamaT, but i just couldn't resist. i'm sick t'death of tea sippin' pansies pushing their pinko politics across the atlantic. who gives a rat's rip what these barrel-chested limeys think?

and here's a link to how the country voted by county. it's redder'n a virgin's blush!

Now that the election's over...


......and we didn't elect the Smock as Prez, we'll be taking down the link to her campaign website.

HOWEVER, we're holding her in reserve for 2008--when she may have to make a determined run against Hilary!

Dan Rather MUST stop tryin' to talk Texan. He can't do it. He's been too long gone. It sounds weird.

Look, people who even SAY stuff like that in real life (i.e. my family) don't say it THAT often.

Get a life, Dan.

My oh my!

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From the London Daily Mirror:

"As for the ones who put him in, across the Bible Belt and the South, us outsiders can only feel pity...the self-righteous, gun-totin', military lovin', sister marryin', abortion-hatin', gay-loathin', foreigner-despisin', non-passport ownin' red-necks, who believe God gave America the biggest d*** in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land "free and strong".

Well, I guess he's talkin' about me. But I do have a passport and I haven't married my sister. So much for reasoned discourse.

Plus, this guy needs to look at the COUNTY by COUNTY map of Bush/Kerry wins. It is very instructive. In all but a few of the "bluest of blue" states, there are large swaths of red--in the non-urban areas. Kerry was close largely (not solely, but largely) because of big city votes--New York, LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia (where the mayor bragged he had $750,000 of "street money" to use to get out the vote), Chicago, Boston, Detroit.

This is something that points to a division that I don't see closing any time soon.

The women's gap--the advantage the Democrat party had long had, wasn't nearly as big an issue in this election as it had been in the past. I personally think that is EXCELLENT, because I am more than a little sick and tired of it being assumed by the media (including the women's magazines, thank you very much) that women are some monolithic block of folks who are all pro abortion, pro gay marriage, anti gun, pro governmental spending for each and every thing.

Please understand. The Summas know that NO political party is perfect. No president is perfect. This ain't our home--we're aliens and pilgrims. But we're tired of being labeled as things we're not by some wild-eyed guy with buckets of ink and grudge.

the real coolmoe deal

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michael peroutka (of the consitution party) earned 129,842 votes for president of the good ol' US of A. not too shabby for a virtual unknown. rock on, mike!

I'm behind the curve on this

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....but Fr Johanson over at Thrown back (link to the right) has what seems to be good news in the Terri Schiavo fight. Never forget that it is still a fight. Pray without ceasing, but read this: Thrown Back and see if maybe there's not at least a glimmer of hope in this heart-breaking case.

Here's an excerpt:

The decision barring the removal of Terri's feeding tube indefinitely has prompted Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, to consider ending his efforts to kill Terri:

"I think we are coming very close, if we are not here already, where proceeding in the judicial system is futile," said George Felos, who represents Michael Schiavo in his quest for court permission to stop feeding his brain-damaged wife. "It would appear that pursuing any remedy through the judicial system is simply a waste of time," Felos said. "It is hard to see where there is any benefit in staying the course in this case."

Felos further complained of Judge Greer's ruling, "I think it's outrageous." The ruling, he said, "could delay this case months, even years."

It seems to me that Felos is starting to view the prospect of further uncompensated legal wrangling with dismay. Recall that Felos hasn't been paid anything by Schiavo since 2002. Terri's settlement fund is exhausted: Felos has been paid about $700,000 by Schiavo, but there won't be any going back to that well. Felos may be deciding that he isn't willing to expend his time and resources pursuing Terri's death ad infinitum.

Terri isn't safe yet, and the battle isn't over yet. Terri will only be safe when Michael Schiavo is stripped of or relinquishes his guardianship of Terri. But this is a very hopeful sign, and reason to be thankful. We need to pray that George Felos does give up his pursuit of Terri's death as a "bad job", and that Michael isn't able to find some other lawyer to aid him in his effort to end Terri's life.

bienvenidos a nino quinto de pansy



watch the two sleepy mommies for more details!

You can find a link to the new story here.

Here are some paragraphs from the Washington Times story:

The rite was attributed to the Rev. Glyn Lorraine Ruppe Melnyk, the pastor of St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church in Malvern, Pa.

She and her husband, Bill Melnyk, rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Downingtown, Pa., posted several ceremonies, which invoked pagan gods and goddesses, on

I'm off to check on the website. I'll try to update later on this.

The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania on Friday released a statement promising to investigate "extremely serious" charges that Mr. and Mrs. Melnyk are practicing Druids and have violated their ordination vows.

But Bishop Charles Bennison Jr. said the two priests have "contributed positively" to the diocese for four years, adding, "I will not allow this situation to turn into a witch hunt of any sort."

Well, no. I suppose it would need to be a druid hunt.

The Rev. Margaret Rose, director of the denomination's Women's Ministries office, issued a statement on Thursday saying divorce and women's eucharist rites were not approved Episcopal liturgies, but were listed only "to spark dialogue, study and conversation and ponderings around women and our liturgical tradition."

The "women's eucharist," she said in an interview was written by Mrs. Melnyk for a parish study group of women.

"It was written in response to their alienation," she said. "It was not claiming to be a Christian eucharist, but it was a way to look at their own religious traditions and explore them. We don't desire to replace the Sunday liturgy in any way. They wrote it to see what it would feel like to have specifically feminine images."

Mrs. Melnyk also is known on Druid Web sites as "Glispa" or "Raven." Mr. Melnyk, who goes by several druidic names, including "Oakwyse" and "Druis," had posted messages and rituals at, and other sites.

Oh my, oh my. Where is the dyspeptic Dale Price when I need him?

I stand amazed. Nothing like a lot of bored upper middle class women sitting around feeling alienated.

Get a life!

And who knew that you could be a druid AND an Episcopalian! I thought that was only for Unitarian Universalists. Silly me.

Something to think about


A quote I ran across today:

"There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second is claimed by God, and counterclaimed by Satan.”

C.S. Lewis

NYT review of a new book

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The New York Times > Books > New Salvo Is Fired in Mommy Wars Mary Eberstadt called Home-Alone America. I'm with NRO's The Corner on this one. It really will be worth reading if the article by the NYT wasn't able to completely rip it to shreds!

Excellent editorial.....


Fill an Empty Cradle - Christianity Today Magazine

Here are the last paragraphs:

But we must also find ways to send broad cultural signals that religiously grounded family systems, not isolated individuals, are the building blocks of a sustainable and healthy society. Pro-natalism must be integrated into the pro-life message, for abortion-on-demand not only kills babies, the cultural context that conceived it starves societies. The new secular order, Carlson points out, masks an inherently negative attitude toward children.

Children and families are an essential part of human well-being. Imagine a society, not far in the future, composed almost entirely of individuals without extended family—no cousins, no aunts or uncles, no siblings. Short-term decisions to forego children may bring immediate economic benefits, but the long-term results impoverish existence.

There is a good reason that the Bible persistently speaks of blessing in terms of family.

Never Forget.

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one of our readers left a plea for help after reading "killing wives," and it breaks my heart to know that at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced or abused during her lifetime. as a survivor of a seriously abusive relationship, my heart goes out to those who are still struggling in abusive relationships. speaking from experience, my only advice for those of you who are in these relationships is this,

"It Will Only Get Worse If You Stay."

none of the "summa mamas" are professionals. we are simply three roman catholic moms posting at a weblog. however, i would like to direct you to the professionals:

For Immediate Assistance:

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE or

National Center for Victims of Crime 1-800-394-2255 or

For Further Information:

Family Violence Prevention Fund 1-800-END ABUSE or

Dating Violence Resource Center

the following is too sick and twisted to publish at the summa mamas, but not at smock's.

Sorry, I still think it's ugly....

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There is a picture of the model of the chapel of Ave Maria University in Naples Florida here: Buffalo News - Cannon Design spreads its wings



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