May 2005 Archives

one week and counting...

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a friend gave me this card at a baby shower and i laughed so hard because it's exactly how i feel. the sentiment inside reads "you deserve a party." ain't it the truth? i wanted to learn more about the cards and found out joey, the artist, has all sorts of fun stuff. visit her website, dollymamas, for girly giggles.

One of those moments....

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I have been attempting, since the beginning of February, to say the Divine Office every morning. Of course, I've been doing this with more or less success, given the day of the week, the temperature outside, the random fluctuations of the tree leaves outside my window. You know, some days Yay! Some days Not So Good.

While I normally just read it alone (no one else in THIS house is up at 5:45 a.m., I can assure you), for the past couple of weeks, I have been meeting a friend at church and saying it with him 3 mornings a week. I immensely prefer saying it with another person.

I let Don be the leader, and he reads all the scripture readings. It is a joy to sit in the church just listening to the lessons.

Today was one of those moments when I was banged upside the head by the Holy Spirit. Today's Old Testament reading was Deuteronomy 5:1-22; the Ten Commandments. And I was fine. I was sailing along, checking off my mental checklist. "Yep, good on that one. Yep, that one too."

Until we got to verse 21. Neither shall you covet your neighbor's wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's.

There. Right there. That's where the Holy Spirit smacked me.

I don't have much problem with coveting things. I don't want my neighbor's house, or his maid, or his field, or his lawnmower, or his minivan.

But what I do covet is my neighbor's cross, because his is so obviously lighter than mine. Isn't it?

I covet my neighbor's burdens, because I could deal with those. Couldn't I?

I covet my neighbor's relationship with God, because I deserve that. Don't I?

And then I flashed on something that Smock's smart and dear hubby said in one of our Bible studies. We were talking about why the path is narrow that leads to heaven and why the path is wide that leads to hell. Smockhub said something that fit in perfectly with the Holy Spirit's smackdown today. The path is narrow because it is our path. Made for one. Me. Your path is narrow, because it is meant for you. We may travel side by side in many ways. But my ups and downs are what God has decided are necessary for me to live through to achieve my sanctity, if I'm paying attention. Yes, we walk together some of the time. And part of my path may be helping you up when you fall, and you may need to kick me on down the road when I want to sit and whine.

But I can't walk my road while I'm busy looking over at yours and coveting it. "But I want what she's got. I could walk that road. It's not fair!"

So it's not just things we have to worry about coveting. It's much, much more than that.

Friday Feast, ya'll

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(Stolen from the archives, via Donna at Quiet Life)

Name 3 things that you think are beautiful.

What was the last concert you attended?

What is one thing that frightens you about getting older?

Main Course
Tell us about one of your funny quirks or habits.

If you could extend one month to 50 days (instead of the normal 28, 29, 30, or 31), which month would you want to lengthen?

My answers are in the comments box!

Book meme

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I was tagged by the lovely Selkie (link to the right), but have not had time to reply until now! (My office desk is clear, and I can see to think. No the work's not all done, just organized better!)

1. Number of books I've owned? Are you kidding? Currently own about 500-600 books. I've given away that many at least once or twice, thinking I would simplify my life. I still think about it, but haven't done it. YET.

2. Last book I bought? Salt of the Earth by our dearest Papa.

3. Last book read? Completely? Some murder mystery with cats in it--you'd have to check the archives. Working on now? God and the World (is that the title? PapaC is asleep, I don't want to turn on the lights to go get the book in the bedroom!) by Papa Ratzi.

4. Five books that really mean a lot to me (and I'm skipping the Bible, 'cause we know it's on all our lists):

Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis (the first book my book club ever read together)
The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis (made me understand that I had to CHOOSE faith--this book changed my life)
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene (I will never forget the sinful, yet faithful, unnamed priest)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (sometimes you only have to write one)
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (a book that just leaves you limp)
Kristin Lavransdattar by Sigrid Undsett (three huge books, still didn't want it to end)
OK, so that's 6--I could have named 60. Count your blessings!

I won't tag anyone. I'm probably the last blogger to do this one anyway!

.....Have mercy on me and bless him. Have mercy on me and bless him.

Ya'll pray for me, the most uncharitable woman you know. My next door neighbor is in the process of moving out. He is an elderly guy, with a lot of problems. He has zero family and is moving to be closer to his friends--a group of much younger men.

He has been a problematical (is that really a word?) neighbor, and while I worry about him (we have gone over to turn off his car alarm > 50 times) I won't be particularly sad when he is gone.

We have dogs. Barking dogs. But we don't leave them outside. They are inside dogs. We let them out to go potty. IF they happen to be outside while he is on his driveway, they bark at him through the fence. If it continues more than 2 minutes, we bring them in. We TRY to be good neighbors about it.

He throws sticks at them. We're not mad at him for that. We just bring the dogs in.

Now he has come over here to remonstrate with me. "Can't you control your dogs? I'm trying to move. And who is this little boy? (I'm keeping Christopher, a little friend, today. He's been in the house playing video games, not outside yelling or anything)" All said in a very mean voice, with much eye-rolling.

I know he isn't aware of how he is acting. But it took every ounce of virtue I had left to smile and say, "I heard the dogs. I brought them in the house. They will not bother you."

To be met with, "Hummmph. Some people!" And a stomping off my porch and across my yard.

Oh, dear.

Dearest Jesus, have mercy on me, and bless him.

Alphabet meme

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(From Donna over at Quiet Life and Julie over at Happy Catholic)

Ais for Age - 49
B is for Booze - Limoncello and margaritas. No, not together
C is for Career - Wife, mama, homemaker, uber-volunteer
D is for Dad’s name - Frank
E is for Essential items to bring to a party - A happy smile
F is for Favorite song at the moment - B-I-N-G-O (can you tell McKid is 2?)
G is for Goof off thing to do - Read and crochet
H is for Hometown - Abilene, Texas
I is for Instrument you play - Kazoo and Triangle
J is for Jam or Jelly you like - Grape, strawberry
K is for Kids - One nearly grown, numerous "nieces" and "nephews"
L is for Living arrangement - small house-3 bedrooms 1 1/2 baths
M is for Mom’s name - Waurine
N is for Names of best friends - I'm lucky, I have lots
O is for overnight hospital stays - One to fix broken hand, 1 c-section
P is for Phobias - none that I can think of
Q is for Quote you like - "There ain't no padded crosses" Joyce Meyer
R is for Relationship that lasted longest - Kathi and AA - friends since high school
S is for Siblings - one brother who has "divorced" our family--don't know where he is
T is for Texas , Ever been? - Yee haw!
U is for Unique trait - None--I am completely un-unique
V if for Vegetable you love - Corn on the cob
W is for Worst trait - Procrastination
X - is for XRays you’ve had - Hand and teeth
Y is for Yummy food you make - Pot roast and veggies
Z is for Zodiac sign - Aquarius, but it's all silly

good news is, my month of bedrest has been cut in half. the freaky news is, we're going in two weeks earlier than expected to get the boys. for those, like me, who are not quick with numbers, that means we're going in at 35 weeks. babyA is "weighing in" at 4 pounds 8 ounces, while babyB is estimated to be at 4 pounds 10 ounces. over nine pounds of babies at 33 weeks -- and no, i do not have toxemia or gestational diabetes.

for my more militant natural and vaginal birth friends, please rest assured that this is not a convenience or vanity elected c-section. we had a uterine rupture scare with gabby two years ago, and this pregnancy was "against medical advice" in the first place. of course, since a singleton pregnancy would have been risky and we're actually having twins in this saran-wrap uterus o' mine, well, you can imagine how skittish the professionals are.

anyway, i got THREE professional opinions before agreeing to do this. of course, the one that was most convincing came from the second doctor. the conversation went something like this:

smockmomma: i really want to wait out the 37 weeks. i want to give their lungs time to develop -- i really don't want N-ICU babies.
doctor two: you want funeral home babies?

i love a doctor who doesn't mince words. so, here we go.

i'm taking four rounds of steroids to increase babies' breathing chances and our prayer request actually remains the same. we're praying for healthy babies with full lung maturity at birth. as always, prayers are appreciated as well as reciprocated.

Just a little something....

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.....from Teresa of Avila (via The Daily Dig:

It is amusing to see souls who, while they are at prayer, fancy they are willing to be despised and publicly insulted for the love of God, yet afterwards do all they can to hide their small defects. If anyone unjustly accuses them of a fault, God deliver us from their outcries! Prayer does not consist of such fancies. No, our Lord expects works from us. Beg our Lord to grant you perfect love for your neighbor. If someone else is well spoken of, be more pleased than if it were yourself; this is easy enough, for if you were really humble, it would vex you to be praised…Comply in all things with others’ wishes, though you lose your own rights. Forget your self-interests for theirs, however much nature may rebel.

Why is the good advice never something like, "There, there, now. Go on. Sit your bottom down on the couch and eat that pint of Blue Bell ice cream while you watch something completely unredeeming on television. And oh, by the way, sleep in tomorrow, too!"

Lovely, just lovely

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Today's bang head on desk moment can be found here. As if you needed to look very far for one.

Here's a paragraph:

A Brooklyn College professor who called religious people "moral retards" was elected to head his department this month - sparking a campus uproar.
E-mails expressing alarm that Timothy Shortell was now chairman of the sociology department circulated among students last week on the school's Midwood campus.

Shortell has written in an online academic publication that the devout "are an ugly, violent lot. In the name of their faith, these moral retards are running around pointing fingers."

Well, tell us what you really think Prof. Shortell.


So excited!

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Guess what came in the mail Saturday? My copy of God and the World by Papa Ratzi! I couldn't wait to crack it open, but events have conspired against me, and I haven't read much. But get this:

Even a simple person can know God quite well. It is not necessarily the case that a broad acquaintance with the scientific and historical knowledge we now have will make someone capable of understanding God better.

You can drown understanding in facts. Anyone who fails to perceive the mystery at work within the facts of nature or of history is just stuffing his head and his heart with a lot of things that may even make him incapable of any breadth or depth of perception.

A great amount of scientific knowledge can, on the one hand, lead to someone's being no longer able to see beyond the facts, so that he is hemmed in by facts. Because he knows so much, he is now only capable of thinking on a factual level and can no longer bring himself to make the leap into mystery. He sees only what is tangible. And, from a metaphysical point of view, in this way, a person becomes more stupid. The other side of it is that sometimes, precisely by the breadth of our vision, in that we can see so many glimpses of divine reason in reality, this really does add breadth and scope to our image of God, and we stand before him with greater reverence and even with humility and awe.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

There is probably no hymn that brings back the church I was raised in (Heavenly Rest Episcopal Church, Abilene Texas) more than this hymn. When our organ at SMV played the first few notes of this hymn, it was as if 40 years had dropped away, and I was once again standing on the cold stone floors of Heavenly Rest next to my family. It is THE quintessential hymn of my childhood, followed closely by A Mighty Fortress is Our God and the VBS stalwarts: I Sing a Song of the Saints of God, Onward, Christian Soldiers, and All Things Bright and Beautiful.

Driving home from mass, though, it made me realize why there was such a difference between my emotional response toward God and those of my more evangelical homeschooling cohorts. You don't grow up singing about a God before whom cherubim and seraphim fall down to worship and really "get it" when one of your homeschooling buddies tells you, "I just can't wait to see Jesus after I die. I'm just gonna run up and hug his neck!"

Note: I'm not sayin' there won't be any huggin' goin' on. But my huggin' will only be after the Master reaches down and picks me up off the ground.

One of yesterday's great hymns:

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.....and one of my all-time favorites!

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

(head over to if you need the tune--but remember the Christ be with me section has a separate tune, that isn't in the MIDI on the site)

today is the day we hit week 33 and the day official bedrest begins. of course, i'm headed out to fort worth's medical district to spend most of the day at doctors' offices, so there's no bedrest in there. but as soon as i get home ...

we're praying for four more weeks.

Toodlepip and all that!

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Just spent an evening with my extended family watching the first disc of the first season of Jeeves and Wooster starring Steven Fry and Hugh Laurie (yes, THAT Hugh Laurie). How funny! How charming!

That is my favorite thing about Netflix--they have a wonderful selection of A&E, BBC, television stuff. Far and away better than our local Blockbuster.

Anyway, this was good stuff--my dad, who normally sleeps through everything except action pictures, watched every minute of it. 10 thumbs up (2 apiece!) from the MamaT clan.

Who knew?????

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I have always maintained that there is not a shred of any modern art that I like. That was always a bit of hyperbole, since I thought surely, surely out there there must be something an uneducated yahoo like me could like.

Well, lo and behold! I found it. Seriously. I think it is beautiful, but funny and charming at the same time. I wish I owned it.

And I never thought that I would say that in a million, billion years.

Now I'm waiting for Erik to come by and laugh at me.

Oh, well.

Did ya'll know?


The Mighty Barrister is back! The Mamas are so glad! Yee Haw!

(Thanks for the info, Julie!)

Friday Feast, ya'll

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Approximately how many hours per day do you spend watching television?

Which colors decorate your kitchen?

Name 2 brand names you buy on a regular basis, and what do you like about them?

Main Course
What is your biggest fear?

If you could wake up tomorrow and find yourself in another location, where would you want to be?

Bonus Birthday Question
What's your favorite flavor of birthday cake?

I'll answer in the comments box, but it'll have to be later--I gotta go pickup the McKid at Preschool. But she'll be ecstatic! PapaC got to come home early today--and she's a big PapaC girl. I know the feeling!

The Pontificator (read his weblog here), has turned in his resignation to his vestry and is coming home to Rome.

As a convert, I know this is not a real easy decision to make, and when you are an Episcopalian priest? Doubly hard.

May God bless him and his wife for their decision. Mother Mary, keep their hands in yours as they take their first halting steps into your Son's Church.

(Thanks, Nathan, for the hat tip on this one!)


saw revenge last night with smockdaddy and bigD (our 9 year old son). unlike kingdom of heaven, revenge of the sith did count as my last "before bedrest" flick. the movie was good, i'll even say it was really good as far as star wars films go, but the experience of the film was even better than the film itself.

after five other episodes, what's left to explore? i mean, really. especially when your own special effects company has topped itself so many times, there's nowhere else to go? what more can there be? and still, this was a good show. i will not give any of the movie away, so y'all will just have to take my word for it and see the movie yourself.

i have one caveat: we were told by a friend of ours, who happens to be a pastor and quasi-level-headed, that he felt sure it was okay viewing for our nine year old son. although i don't regret taking him with us -- because he is mature for his age and has a better than average grasp, we think, on fact vs. fiction -- there were two scenes in which i leaned over and covered his eyes, much to his chagrin. in fact, he's still griping about it.

after hearing reports of all of the never-ending lines and reading the stories about how impossible it would be to get in to see the movie on opening day, we ordered our tickets in advance, got to the theatre almost three hours early, and (being the pregnant one) i was the one voted on to be camped out while the boys played gauntlet at the video arcade. i think i had more fun than they did! every demographic possible was represented in that line, and just watching the fans as they waited and speculated and laughed and acted goofy was worth the price of admission.

the theatre admitted us thirty minutes before show time. everyone was very orderly and polite about finding seats. it was nice. anyway, about two minutes into the previews the film onscreen skipped. there was nervous laughter as the film picked back up again. but then the film slowed, stopped, and ... as we all waited with bated breath, the thing actually melted and caught on fire. you can imagine the audience's initial response.

once we realized that there wasn't anything that we as an audience could do about it, we settled back into our seats and started introducing ourselves to the people around us. i was sitting between my two boys, so i started reading a book i'd brought to read while in line. bigD got to be on the receiving end of obvious, but harmless, flirtation from some very cute and giggly sorority types. they were asking him all about himself, his favorite characters, all of his star wars acumen, and then gasping with delight at all his answers. smockdaddy offered to switch places with me to help out the bigD, but it didn't float. after awhile, the natives started getting restless again.

about ten minutes later, fearing a riot might break out, one of the "higher ups" with no spine sent in a little usherette to say they were having technical difficulties. really? about five minutes after that, a rather large manager came in followed by several ushers with free "re-admit" passes. there were groans from some in the audience, a few “no ways” and heavy sighs from others. the manager loudly and promptly promised the passes were only for our inconvenience; we weren't being sent home, but they did expect another fifteen to twenty minutes of delay. well, by this time apparently a lot of us had already nervously eaten our ways to the bottom of our popcorn bags, so about half of the theatre emptied out and swarmed back to the lobby to pay another $40 for a large popcorn, an icee, and two cokes.

the movie finally began -- to thunderous applause and shouts of joy -- about forty-five minutes late. we weren't even daunted. And the audience as a whole seemed to have great fun.

i will admit that when we left, smockdaddy and i both said it was really good -- though not "the best episode ever" that it was being hailed as. we asked bigD what he thought: "it was AWESOME! except when mom kept covering my eyes. mom!"

my bottom line: yoda rules, i’m glad lucas finally had his entire dream realized, and this episode was worth the price of full admission...but still i wonder if it wasn't the overall experience of the evening that made it so much fun.

i don't know about y'all, but i'm a purist at heart and i don't think anything will ever top the original star wars. i cannot even force myself to watch lucas' updated version of the original because to me dickering with the original f/x is like... well, it's like coloring black and white films. horror!


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26 Years and Counting!

shay, the professional photographer who shot this picture is a friend of the family -- normally i never would have let such a picture be taken. shay has, in fact, been asking me for a "pregnancy pose" for over seven years, but my vanity has always prevented me. why i waited until a pregnancy with twins to finally break down and allow her to photograph me and my swollen belly seems to defy all reason. of course, it was mother's day; i was an easy target. anyway, she has entitled the picture "barefoot and pregnant."
i look at this picture and all i can think is, "i can't believe i ate the whole thing." good heavens, i've never been so huge in my entire life and i promise you that it is a monumental exercise in humility on my part to post this ... this ... well, this is what it looks like to have two humans vying for space in your womb. i don't know how i can stand upright without toppling over. no wonder bedrest is just around the corner. really, it's there -- just beyond the belly.
i tell you, being pregnant with twins has been a real struggle for my claustrophobic personality. i'm finally moving into the portion of the pregnancy that it's safer for onlookers to nod and smile and keep on moving on. don't ask me how i'm doing. unless you really want to know. which, believe me, you don't.
at this point, i'm just trying to get through this with my sanity intact. i'm leaning heavily (no pun intended) on my sense of humor. i said something off the cuff the other day and a barely pregnant woman gasped, "you shouldn't be so glib about the miracle inside you!" i almost kicked her in the shins.
if i didn't have my sense of humor, i think i just might be a basket case. i want desperately to be a "what would Mary do?" sort of pregnant lady, but i'm just not cut out for it. at times it scares me -- yes, actually scares me -- that i am "stuck" with this beautiful but frightening belly for another five weeks (Lord willing) and it isn't going to end without i be ripped open from stem to stern and have two human beings grabbed outta my guts before i'm stapled shut to hold my all my insides back in place.
and until then, i cannot stop moving towards alien proportions. absolutely alien. and, speaking of aliens, just the other night i was dreaming that an alien was fighting its way out of my belly. no kidding. and when i awoke, i discovered that babyB was just trying to sleep horizontally. not gonna do it.

17th book of 2005 finished!

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Cat on the Scent by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown.

Totally a beach read type book (don't throw things at me, you cat lovers!), not much to comment on. Very cutesy--the animals talk to one another, and they really solve the mystery.

The thing I really didn't like? The humans never did figure out what happened, and the culprits paid no price. Sorry. I read mysteries and the like to have the good guys win (or at least be vindicated) and the bad guys be found out. Not to have it turn out like real life usually does!

One good quote:

...If people no longer dress as they should it's an outward sign that they've lost all sense of propriety. Dress isn't superficial.

Saw another movie....

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....What? Two in one week? Hard to believe.

We watched Sideways. I had read both good and bad reviews of the movie. It was a good enough movie, certainly worth renting from Netflix. You probably know the basic plot outline by now: Two friends from college, Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Hayden Church) take a trip to the wine country in California the last week before Jack's wedding. Miles is a junior high English teacher with aspirations of being a published writer and Jack is a pretty-much-washed-up soap actor who's now doing voiceover work. Jack is using the week for a last fling before he marries and "settles down", though one wonders if a playboy like Jack will ever really be ABLE to settle down.

It's a story of middle age losers, trying to figure out how to get something, anything, worthwhile out of life. But it's one of those movies that I think are filed incorrectly in the comedy section of Blockbuster. I thought, at its heart, the movie was really a tragedy about these two guys--two guys without relationships, morally challenged, living a life they never envisioned for themselves. Sure, there are funny parts of the movie, and the ending is ambiguous--Has Miles really learned his lesson? Is he really ready to commit to another person? (And, of course, sentimental me answered those questions "Yes!") I had this same reaction to Muriel's Wedding, which I liked very much but don't consider a comedy.

I don't really understand the glowing reviews. It was good, but not THAT good.


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you are paleturquoise

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is low - You stay out of stressful situations and advise others to do the same. You may not be the go-to person when something really needs done, but you know never to blow things out of proportion.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz

Hat tip to the Sleepy Mommies.

16th Book of 2005 finished!

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Lord of the World by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson. I started this book because I thought I was going to get to take a short "June term" class at the college next month called Apocalypse Now: the20th Century Dystopias and What they Mean. The reading list was Orwell's Animal Farm, O'Brien's Father Elijah, and Benson's Lord of the World. I had read the first 2 already, but had never read anything by Benson, though I actually own one of his other books (purchased--never read).

As (bad) luck would have it, I won't be able to take the class, but I finished the book anyway. It's the kind of book that you can't really say you "enjoyed", but I am glad I read it. Published in 1907, it is a look into the future (and I kind of assumed its future was our current time). Communism has taken over, the state is large and in charge. Religion is widely marginalized, society largely secularized. The Catholics hang in around the edges, but most people just aren't very convinced any more. Priests are losing their faith right and left. Euthanasia is common--even expected. It is man who is transcendent--not God.

Into a world tense with waiting--Europe and the East are at odds--steps Julius Felsenbergh. He saves the day, and is acclaimed supreme leader. He is the Antichrist. He is soon proclaimed redeemer, messiah, the One. He wipes out Rome itself (and all its inhabitants), the Church is down to its last few priests and cardinals. And finally it is the end. The really big THE END.

Many of Msgr. Benson's ideas were interesting. The thing that caught at my heart the most were how the apostate priests became leaders of the liturgy of the new "religion." They knew that there was a need in peoples' lives for beauty and mystery and ritual. And they perverted it for the new age. It was heartbreaking.

Hard book to read. Hard things to think about. After reading it, I picked the lightest, fluffiest, most meaningless book on my shelves to read next. From Msgr. Benson to a Rita Mae Brown murder mystery? I couldn't bear anything else.

What the choir sang today:

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Sweet Sacrament divine,
hid in thine earthly home;
lo! round thy lowly shrine,
with suppliant hearts we come;
Jesus, to thee our voice we raise
In songs of love and heartfelt praise
sweet Sacrament divine.

Sweet Sacrament of peace,
dear home of every heart,
where restless yearnings cease,
and sorrows all depart.
there in thine ear, all trustfully,
we tell our tale of misery,
sweet Sacrament of peace.

Sweet Sacrament of rest,
ark from the ocean's roar,
within thy shelter blest
soon may we reach the shore;
save us, for still the tempest raves,
save, lest we sink beneath the waves:
sweet Sacrament of rest.

Sweet Sacrament divine,
earth's light and jubilee,
in thy far depths doth shine
the Godhead's majesty;
sweet light, so shine on us, we pray
that earthly joys may fade away:
sweet Sacrament divine.

Go to if you need an update on the tune!

Around here, we sing that wonderful classic If You're Happy and You Know It at least 3 times a day. We clap hands, stomp feet, dance around, shout hooray, etc. on a regular basis. And we expect random visitors to fall in with the program on a moment's notice.

McKid's started ad-libbing her own words/actions to fit the tune.

But we came to the end of the line--where MamaT refuses to go along--when I heard her sing this:

If you're happy and you know it do the laundry
If you're happy and you know it do the laundry
If you're happy and you know it then your face will surely show it
If you're happy and you know it do the laundry!

I'll dance in the living room, but DO THE LAUNDRY????

That's going too far.

..... Then again, you may be the antichrist." Doc Holliday

Well, I finally did it. Rented and watched one of Smock's favorite movies: Tombstone. Enjoyed it, surprisingly, once I got past just how weird Kurt Russell's mustache looked. I would have watched it a lot earlier if she had just told me that Sam Eliott was in it (since I have had a crush on him since the first time I ever saw him in anything.) And did you catch the tiny part that Billy Bob Thornton had, and boy, hasn't he changed in the last 12 years?

Anyway, now at least I'll know what's she's talking about when she does all those quotes!

[warning: foul language/ironic, pregnant, hormonal rant ahead]

i swan! american journalists are so blasted arrogant. it chaps my ass to the bone to hear these bastards -- who i oft have to ask whether they have any moral fiber whatsoever anywhere at all within any of their beings -- pontificating on whether or not one of the greatest men who ever lived is worthy of sainthood and having the balls to question papa ratzi's "right" to fast forward the process. forgive me for losing all religion folks, but screw you.

i know it's crazy, sick and insane, but there are still those people out there who are seriously disappointed that JPII did not raise himself from the dead in order to usher in "the end times." makes me wanna puke, i tell y'all.

worth repeating


I almost enjoy the rhetoric about "safe abortions." This is like describing a robbery where the person being robbed was killed, but the robber walked safely away.

- Jeff Miller of "Curt Jester"

braggin' rights?

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it's funny how a group of women -- moms to be exact -- who get together with an expectant mother feel compelled to share their birth stories, even the horror stories.

i certainly understand the beauty of shared experience and how our having given birth to another human soul is often the one thing that brings us women together -- but i think horror stories should be kept under wraps until a later date.

after what some of us have to go through to get our pearls of great price into this world, we should be able to share our stories, like war veterans. but the truly horrific stories would best be shared after Baby arrives, dontcha think? especially when one considers the natural tendency of some people to try to "one-up" each other.

at best it freaks out mom-to-be. at worst, well, it turns into a freak show.

smockdaddy's says, "well, the best thing i can say is it's not the absolute worst movie i've ever seen; but, it does blow my theory that there's no such thing as a bad sword movie. i can't believe it was so bad. and ridley scott? the money they must have invested ... i just can't believe it was so bad."

smockmomma's says, "no plot, bad dialogue, crappy special effects and major cheese. this does not count as my last movie before bedrest, no friggin' way!"

bottom line: bumbling bishops and blood-thirsty christians vs. benevolent and peace-loving muslims of the twelfth century all wrapped up in corny twenty-first century dialogue and sloppy, over-used special effects. it'll make you sorry that slow-motion was ever invented and wish you could demand your money, not to mention your time, back.

it's damn sad

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when a dog knows better how to treat an infant than its own human mother -- who wrapped her infant in plastic and tossed her in the woods.

read Stray Dog Saves Abandoned Newborn Baby in Kenya

Happy Mother's Day, Ya'll!

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"i like my jazz like my food, honey. greasy." ~ smockdaddy

"this book on twins says that sexual relations after twenty-eight weeks are limited only by health concerns or your imagination...they forgot to mention the laws of gravity." ~ smockmomma

"hey, mommom! where's you lap?" ~ gabby (two)

smock5, non sequitur

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1. what's your favorite television show post-reality television?
2. tennis shoes or sandals?
3. what's your favorite bug?
4. mexican food or italian?
5. which flavor of ice cream can you not live without?

twin.jpg that i can post this of babyA and simply tell you and, there's another one just like him in there.

this is the best face shot my perinatologist could get. the boys were playing shy on monday. well, not too shy. they didn't mind showing off their bums, but i didn't think the summa mamas needed that sort of publicity. anyway, the top of baby's head is on the right, chin is on the left. now can you see him?

posted for miz booshay, in the interest of putting up a non-creepy photo.


Because, believe it or not, I tied for the top spot in the Apologia Mouse Poetry Contest.

And what, you are asking, did you win, MamaT, for this outstanding achievement?

And I'll tell you.

NOTHING. I know, hard to believe, isn't it?

Ah, well, I guess undying fame will have to do.


(And, per Smock's request, here is the poem in question)

Oh, I am a pro-life person
Except when it comes to the mice,
Who nibble their way through the dog food,
And have chewed through our sheetrocking--TWICE!

Yes, they held a "rat rave" in my basement--
By the sight the next morning, a SCENE!
But it gave me a start, and a chance to reflect,
How much different are they from my teen?

Perhaps it is true, as the great author wrote,
That the quality of mercy's not strained.
Note to mice, and to son, better clean up your acts,
Before I renege, and you're brained!

according to this article at personally, i think it's too low an estimate, but hey, that's just one smockmomma's opinion.

brain damaged fireman regains consciousness after ten years of silence.

from the article:

While Mr. Herbert regained consciousness in 1996, his speech was slurred, he was unable to eat without assistance, he was confined to a bed or a wheelchair and his vision was reduced to a series of blurs...Moreover, Mr. Herbert's memory seemed all but nonexistent. He could not say how old he was or what his job had been. He seemed unable to recognize family members and friends, and firefighting comrades had become virtual strangers.

In 1999, a year after he was moved to the nursing home, Linda Herbert prevailed in a brief legal fight with Mr. Herbert's parents, Geraldine and Donald P. Herbert, over who should have control over decisions in a medical emergency, like pneumonia or a serious infection. All agreed that extraordinary resuscitative measures should not be taken in the event of a stroke or a heart attack.

[bold emphasis from the smock]

....look what I got from Ebay today:

Hello Terry,

Thank you for your email regarding the sale of the Holy Eucharist by
one of our community members. We respect and appreciate your comments
regarding this sensitive matter.

As you may know, eBay does not sell items itself. Rather, we are a
global marketplace for sellers and buyers who transact directly with
one another. Each day eBay's sellers list 5 million items on the site,
and those sellers decide what items they want to list. eBay did not
possess, list or approve the sale of the Eucharist. The buyer and
seller completed the Eucharist transaction on April 11th, before eBay
even became aware of the listing.

As a marketplace, we strive to respect the diverse perspectives of our
sellers. We also work hard to promote an open environment for trade.
That said, eBay has policies in place to remove listings for illegal
items as well as highly offensive listings that promote hate or

We understand that the listing of the Eucharist was highly upsetting to
Catholic members of the eBay community and Catholics globally. Once
this completed sale was brought to our attention, we consulted with a
number of our users, including members of the Catholic Church,
concerning what course we should take in the future should a similar
listing appear on our site. We also consulted with members of other
religions about items that might also be highly sacred and
inappropriate for sale. As a result of this dialogue, we have concluded that sales ofthe Eucharist, and similar highly sacred items, are not appropriate on
eBay. We have, therefore, broadened our policies and will remove those
types of listings should they appear on the site in the future.

As always, we welcome and appreciate the assistance of the community in
upholding the rules of our site. Should you see another Eucharist
listed on our site, we encourage you to notify us so we can take
appropriate action. Further, we encourage you to directly communicate
with the seller. Members are often unaware that a particular item is
offensive to others. A respectful e-mail to the seller is often all
that is needed for the seller to voluntarily remove the item. We
believe this modification strikes the appropriate balance between
respect for our community’s values and our goal of providing an open
marketplace offering practically anything on earth.

Again, we sincerely appreciate your concern and thank you for
communicating your views with us. Your input has helped us frame a
policy that will enable us to better serve our diverse community of
users around the world.

This was in response to my account termination request notice.

Looking for some help, here!


I need to know if there is a Catholic person from Abilene, TX who could give someone some information on parishes, possible homeschooling groups, etc. Someone has contacted me and needs the info, but she doesn't have a blog.

Anyone from Abilene? Anyone?

15th Book of 2005 finished:


Helena by Evelyn Waugh.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have had a soft spot for St. Helena, ever since my pilgrimage to Rome in 2002. We ran into so many things that our guide would say, "Brought from the Holy Land by St. Helena.....". It made me laugh to think of a regal old lady, steaming around the Holy Land: "Yes, I'll take those stairs. Mmm Hmm, load up that pillar. Thorns? Yep, put 'em in the box...."

This book, while fiction, gives you such a sense of a life changed by being a Christian. And she became a saint, not by being martyred or by living a cloistered life, but by doing the next thing God asked her to do. And by absolutely clinging to the incarnational reality of Christ.

The last three paragraphs are priceless:

Helena's many prayers seem to have received unequal answers. Constantine was at long last baptized and died in the expectation of an immediate, triumphal entry to paradise. Britain for a time became Christian, and 136 parish churches, a great part of them in the old lands of the Trinovantes, were dedicated to Helena. The holy places have been alternately honored and desecrated, lost and won, bought and bargained for, throughout the centuries. But the wood has endured. In the splinters and shavings gorgeously encased it has traveled the world over and found a jouous welcome among every race. For it states a fact.

Hounds are checked, hunting wild. A horn calls clear through the covert. Helena casts them back on the scent.

Above all the babble of her age and ours, she makes one blunt assertion. And there alone is hope.

Two MamaT Thumbs Up on this one.



Excuse me while I go throw up.

And then I'm going to bang my head against my desk top.

Thanks (I guess) to Dale at Dyspeptic Mutterings for the heads up. Go read his (and Lileks) rant on Bratz.

"Don't tell me not to live, just sit and putter
Life's candy and the sun's a ball of butter
Don't bring around a cloud to rain on my parade!"
"Fanny Brice" - Funny Girl

"Women are the only realists; their whole object in life is to pit their realism against the extravagant, excessive, and occasionally drunken idealism of men."
GK Chesterton - A Handful of Authors

i was having dinner with new business acquaintance last night and somehow, after a couple of margaritas for her, one too many sweet teas for me, the conversation turned to spice and their uncanny ability to bring out the realist in their wives.

in his book, bringing up boys, dr. dobson explains how boys/men get an idea into their heads and typically "run with it" -- the implication being that they don't think things through. to drive home his point, dr. dobson shares a story from his own childhood about how, after listening to an episode of tarzan on the radio, he decides to swing between two trees in the pasture behind his house a la tarzan. sounds like fun, no? so he rushes to the shed behind his house, grabs a rope, climbs one of the trees, fastens the rope to a branch and swings. it wasn't until he was lying flat on his back with a broken rib and fractured arm that he realized, uggh, maybe i should have measured the rope. dobson contends that if it had been a girl who wanted to swing a la jane, she would have thought the situation through with questions like what texture of rope should i use? rope or ribbon? what color of ribbon should i use? purple or pink? and the ever important: how long should the pink ribbon be? the point is that women think things through.

marc has told me, on more than one occasion mind you, when i want your opinion, i'll ask for it. and has added, i'll only ask your opinion when i want to know why such-and-such is a bad idea. you see, he expects me to rain on his parade. my friend was telling me of similar situations with her own husband. we commiserated that men simply expect their wives to be big ol' wet blankets, but is that truly the case? i don't think so. i think we just think things through and can see potential problems that men just don't see.



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