January 2006 Archives

Prayer request

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A very good friend of mine, a "sister of my heart", has learned that her mother has inoperable cancer. The cancer started in her mom's lungs, apparently, and has spread to many other organs, including her brain. There is really nothing that can be done other than to keep her comfortable.

Please pray for Katherine (the mom) and for the whole family facing this.

latin anyone?

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"It is not so much an excellent thing to know Latin, as it is a shame not to know it." -- Pope John Paul II

unfortunately, the extent of my latin ranges only from PRO TEXANA (of course) to several phrases of the gloria, the lord's prayer, and agnus dei; but only because we sing them at Mass, and even then i wouldn't recognize them without an organ playing overhead.

yesterday, i bought the most beautiful pink and silver bracelet that has four catholic medals that i've never seen before -- the bracelet is from mexico so i'm guessing these are popular medals down south. i understand the ones in spanish, but one of them has a picture of Our Lord looking heavenward and it reads: ECCE HOMO. i'm guessing it's latin for something man. is this what pilate said when presenting Christ to the crowds?

thank y'all.


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"everything looks better with a panhandle on it." ~sophia dembling

heavens t'betsy! bless his 'lil pea-pickin' heart, mr. keilholtz of erik's rants and recipes, in response to the lack of response he received from a comment he posted here at the summa mamas (see the comments under "iffin' i may say so myself"), is "worried about texas."

says our darlin' little "golden" boy,

...So, when I, in one of those moods, compared the map of Texas to an oddly-cut Porterhouse steak, on a certain well-known Texan blog, I expected to at least get a barrage of funny insults, if not from the hosts of that particular blog, at least from one of the other notorious Texans of St. Blogs. Nada. Zip.

TEXAS is not only one helluva sexy and virile state, but TEXAS is also a mighty friendly state. see, TEXAS comes from the hasinai indian word "tejas," which means friends, so TEXAS' motto is "friendship." an' seein' as how we're all friends here, we wouldn't dream of gettin' into a a big ol' scuffle over sumthin' so trivial.

of course, we TEXANS know that our state is the sexiest shaped state in the country. just look at the size of that panhandle. and we're practically star shaped. who could ask for more'n that? now, you know i'd rather walk on my tongue than criticize, but just look at the shape of poor ol' californy. it looks like a parenthesis. . .it just screams "parenthetical! we're just an aside" (but i digress).

we TEXANS are so rightly proud of the shape of our state that we make watches, bricks, belt buckles, stepping stones, jewelry, topiaries, meatloaf and all sorts of cool stuff in the shape of our great state. and guess what! people from all over the world recognize it. when was the last time you ate a cookie made in the shape of iowa? that's what i thought. the only other place in the world that has such a recognizable shape is italy. and even that's in the shape of a boot -- which is likely a friendly nod from God to our cowboy boots anyhow. get bent outta shape by a jaw at the shape of our state? why, that notion's dumber'n an ol' mule starin' at a fence post.

Mr. K, since food is your thing....

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....Other people might have historical trails (in fact, we have plenty of those!), but here in Texas, we know what's really important.


If you click here, then you'll see a list of the best barbecue places in central Texas, including what many consider the very best places in the world. One of those places happens to be in Luling, so after you finish thumping watermelons, you can try the best barbecue you will ever lap a lip over.

And, Mr. K, if snakes aren't your thing....


......perhaps watermelon is:


The last full weekend in June, you can go to Luling, Texas and attend the annual Watermelon Thump. Four days of pageant queens (leading up to the crowning of the "Thump Queen" - now THERE'S a title worth having!), country music, watermelon eating contests watermelon seed spitting contests. Small town Texas at its finest.

The Alamo

Shrine of Texas liberty. And if that weren't enough, we made it EVEN BETTER with a nightly laser light show! Because everyone, EVERYONE, knows that everything is better with laser lights!


How can you not love a place that has festivals like the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup, which come complete with a parade, a Miss Snakecharmer pageant, and Rattlesnake dances every night during the festival? A festival that culminates with FRIED RATTLESNAKE! How can you NOT like a festival that has to have FIRST AID DIRECTIONS listed on its website? A festival dedicated to pokin' snakes with sticks????

I ask you, Monterey art festival, or rattlesnake roundup? Real men (and women) know the answer to THAT one!

And a poem from Greater Tuna......

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.....one of the funniest plays I've ever seen about Texas (and one of the most realistic, if'n you grew up around here). The Tuna plays prove that Texans have the best sense of humor about themselves of anyplace in the world. We laugh, but we love it!

In place of Tuna in this poem, you could put in the name of my hometown. It'd work just as well....

My Tuna

My Tuna, oh my Tuna
The only place I know
I've often thought of leaving you
but don't know where I'd go.

For Paris has no bar-b-que and
Rome just can't compare
to a lovely Texas sunset
when the dust is in the air.

Tuna, oh my Tuna,
is such fun on Friday nights
when the Jaguars lose another
game and everybody fights.

And I love you when you're frozen
And I love you when you're dry
And In April when the pollen is so
thick it makes you cry.

But Tuna, oh my Tuna,
Please stay just the way you are
'Cause I think the world
Outside of Tuna is bizarre.

Ahem. Mr. K! Oh, Mr. K!

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Well, the honky-tonks in Texas were my natural second home
Where you tip your hats to the ladies and the rose of San Antone
I grew up on music that we called western swing
It don't matter who's in Austin, Bob Wills is still the king

Lord, I can still remember,the way things were back then
In spite of all the hard times, I'd live it all again
To hear the Texas playboys and Tommy Duncan sing
Makes me proud to be from Texas where Bob Wills is still the king

You can hear the Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville, Tennessee
It's the home of country music, on that we all agree
But when you cross that ol' Red River hoss that just don't mean a thing
'Cause once you're down in Texas, Bob Wills is still the king

Well if you ain't never been there then I guess you ain't been told
That you just can't live in Texas unless you got a lot of soul
It's the home of Willie Nelson, the home of western swing
He'll be the first to tell you, Bob Wills is still the king

Let me just say one thing:

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Geek question for the day:

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....and the last post on books for a few minutes:

Have any of you ever made a reading list for yourself for a period of time, or do you all read whatever strikes you at the moment?

A Word from St. Augustine for today:


God examines both rich and poor, not according to their lands and houses, but according to the riches of their hearts.

-- Commentary on Psalm 48 (1), 3

(Thanks to Augustine Day by Day)

A trip to Half Price Books


Had 30 minutes after Adoration last Friday before I had to pick up McKid from preschool. That's one of those awkward bits of time; not enough time to go home, too much time to sit in the parking lot. So I stopped by a Half Price Books that's half way between the church and the school.

Now, I had been really good the last few times I had poked around the store--buying only 2 books that I needed to take to McKid's preschool as a Christmas gift. Three times I had been in the store, three times I had walked out with nothing.

Not this time. The first book I bought was The Full Cupboard of Life, the fifth book in Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. This I had been looking for--and to find it for $4.95 in pristine condition (who read this book? The spine's not even bent!) was a lovely surprise.

Then to the clearance corner--my downfall--because who can resist books for $1 each? OK, I can resist all the romance novels and trash, but for a buck there are a lot of others to try! So for a buck apiece I came home with Josephine Tey's Brat Farrar, Rafael Sabatini's Scaramouche, and Oscar Hijuelos' The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love.

Good grief! A dollar is less than what I usually pay in library fines for a book. (Just ask my mother. She is convinced that they built an additional wing onto our hometown library just from the late fees we had to pay for my books when I was growing up.)

So, my resolve to buy nothing new was broken in the face of "buck a books". At least I know what the price of my temptation is.

It's not very comforting to know it's only a dollar.

Third book of 2006 finished!


....and why am I still having trouble typing 2006????

#3: Rose by Martin Cruz Smith. I think I had this on my list of "to reads" from a time when I asked for book suggestions for my book club. Rose didn't make it to the Inkblots list, but it landed on my own personal list. I found it on the clearance rack at Half Price Books, so it came home with me.

Rose is a mystery of a sort--the story of mining engineer John Blair,
in England after an extended stay in Africa. He has been brought to Wigan, a coal-mining town, by Bishop Hannay. The bishop wants Blair to find John Maypole, his curate who has gone missings. Oh, and Maypole was the Bishop's daughter's fiance. Twists and turns abound, and people are not what, or who, they seem.

Smith does a good job of describing location and the coal mining industry of the novel's time. It made me claustrophobic to think about it. And it made me grateful to live in a physically easier time and place. I think it's easy for us to forget how hard the physical labor of living was.

On a scale of 5 stars, I'd give this one a 3 1/2 star rating.

only in TEXAS

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yes, yes, and yes, my texaphilia is showing on this'n, but humor me if you will. the author known as "myself" over at hello, self takes a delightful trip down memory lane for her son AJ in a blog piece entitled "Dirt, new potatoes, irrigatin', manure, and other treasures" in which this tasty tidbit is offered:

My sister and I sometimes played cows, and licked the 2 salt-licks that Dad kept in our garage. I made her lick the yellow one, which had sulpher in it, while I took "plain." I feel pretty bad about that now. Hee.

iffin' i may say so myself...

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this is the sexiest piece of legal tender in the country if not the world. it's so bold, so masculine. i simply cannot get a TEXAS coin without rubbing on it and staring at it for an embarrassing length of time. maybe it's the history behind the coin; but i don't care which state you're from, you have to see the objective sexiness here.

Friday Feast, ya'll!

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About how many times per day do you check your email?

If you had the money to collect something really valuable, what would it be?

Write a sentence using the letters of your favorite beverage. (Example: The egret admires.)

Main Course
If you could be on a game show, which one would you want it to be?

Name 3 computer programs or web sites you would hate to be without.

I'll answer in the comments boxes with you.

A favor?

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I am starting something new today, and am unsure I am up to the task I have set myself. Would you please offer up a short prayer on my behalf if you have time?

A thought for today

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George MacDonald, in his novel What's Mine's Mine:

There are tenderhearted people who virtually object to the whole scheme of creation. They would neither have force used nor pain suffered; they talk as if kindness could do everything, even where it is not felt. Millions of human beings but for suffering would never develop an atom of affection. The man who would spare due suffering is not wise. Because a thing is unpleasant, it is folly to conclude it ought not to be. There are powers to be born, creations to be perfected, sinners to be redeemed, through the ministry of pain, to be born, perfected, redeemed, in no other way.

fab ads cause controversy

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Happy Birthday, PapaC

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My Saint for this year!


Moneybags of at A Catholic Life is doing an interesting thing. He's picking a saint of the year for anyone who asks. In effect, letting the "saint pick you" for the year. Then you commit to do some research on the saint, learn from them for the year, do appropriate novenas, ask advice, etc.

So, drumroll please, here's my saint for this year:

St. Augustine of Hippo

I think it must be because of that "make me holy, but not yet" thing.

Anyway, I found an "Augustine Day by Day" site that I am committed to reading each day. Won't it be wonderful to see what St. Augustine has to teach me?

Here's today's lesson:

On earth, we are wayfarers, always on the go. This means that we have to keep on moving forward. Therefore be always unhappy about what you are if you want to reach what you are not.

If you are pleased with what you are, you have stopped already. If you say; "It is enough," you are lost. Keep on walking, moving forward, trying for the goal. Don't try to stop on the way, or to go back, or to deviate from it.

-- Sermon 169, 18

The first in 13 years!

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Zteen started his college classes yesterday at the local community college. He was more than a little nervous about it, being a home-schooled kid and all. After all, it's the first time in 13 years he has walked into a classroom as a student.

We dug out the photo albums and looked at his "first day of school" pictures from kindergarten and first grade. I tried every way I could think of to get him to let me take a picture of him leaving for college that looked like his kindergarten picture. I thought it would be cute to have a picture of Zteen at 5 and Zteen at 19, going off to school. But it was a no go. I even teased him: "Had I thought of it in time, I would have gotten you a Chicago Bulls t-shirt to wear on your first day of college--to mirror the Bulls shirt you wore when you were 5."

He just said he was glad that I didn't think of it in time.


He's taking 12 hours this first semester--but the only class that really "got started" in his opinion was his film appreciation class. I'm not surprised by that. They only meet once a week, for four hours, so there's time to see a complete film. Skipping the first day would be like missing a whole week in the other classes. They started off by watching Casablanca. Next week they watch Pulp Fiction (a movie I consider one of the most awful I've ever seen!). But it will be a complete contrast in directorial styles.

The only class he's worried about is Composition I. His teacher is, I think, trying to scare them into doing things her way (a worthy goal, in my opinion, for this class). She has a 50% retention rate--so she told them to "....Look around. Half of you won't be here by drop day." Her reputation, though, is not nearly so fierce--if you want to work, she'll do everything in her power to work with you. If you don't want to work--get out. That seems more than fair to me.

We'll see how it goes. Zteen had homework last night for the first time in MONTHS. But the math was easy enough, and the other reading he just has to get mushing on. He's never had to balance school and a job before. But he does best when he really has to concentrate--so I think, in the end, it will work better for him than having unlimited outside time to mess around with.

We'll see.

I cannot, simply cannot, believe that I am the mother of a college student. But then, in a few months I will have to come up with a new name for Zteen--because he'll no longer actually be a teen.


"I come," the great Redeemer cries,
"To do thy will, O Lord!"
At Jordan's stream, behold!
He seals the sure prophetic word.

"Thus it becomes to fulfill
all righteousness," he said.
Then, faithful to the Lord's commands,
through Jordan's flood was led.

Hark, a glad voice! The Father speaks
from heaven's exalted height:
"This is my Son, my well-beloved
in whom I take delight."

The Savior Jesus, well-beloved!
His Name we will profess,
like him desirous to fulfill
God's will in righteousness.

No more we'll count ourselves our own
but his in bonds of love.
Oh, may such bonds for ever draw
our souls to things above!

Sung to This Endris Nyght.

Another great hymn from yesterday:


....from my beloved Charles Wesley:

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;
Daystar, 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.

Sung in our parish to Ratisbon.

One of yesterday's great hymns:


Songs of thankfulness and praise,
Jesus, Lord, to Thee we raise,
Manifested by the star
To the sages from afar;
Branch of royal David’s stem
In Thy birth at Bethlehem;
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in man made manifest.

Manifest at Jordan’s stream,
Prophet, Priest, and King supreme;
And at Cana, wedding guest,
In Thy Godhead manifest;
Manifest in power divine,
Changing water into wine;
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in man made manifest.

Manifest in making whole
Palsied limbs and fainting soul;
Manifest in valiant fight,
Quelling all the devil’s might;
Manifest in gracious will,
Ever bringing good from ill;
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in man made manifest.

Sun and moon shall darkened be,
Stars shall fall, the heavens shall flee,
Christ will then like lightning shine,
All will see His glorious sign:
All will then the trumpet hear;
All will see the Judge appear;
Thou by all wilt be confessed,
God in man made manifest.

Grant us grace to see Thee, Lord,
Mirrored in Thy holy Word;
May we imitate Thee now,
And be pure, as pure art Thou;
That we like to Thee may be
At Thy great Epiphany;
And may praise Thee, ever blest,
God in man made manifest.

I grew up singing this to St. George's Windsor, but yesterday we sang it to St. Edmund.

Banging head on desk.....

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...though I can't say I'm really all that surprised. Planned Barrenhood's newest offering? Condom keychains. Here's one example:


In case you can't read it, it says: "Condoms are cheaper than diapers."

And here's another:


These pictures are taken from Planned Parenthood Conneticut website store. You can see the other examples here. After all, who wouldn't want a condom keychain? Bleah.

(HT to Amy Welborn's Open Book blog. I'm sure you all already have her bookmarked!)

Books #1 and #2 of 2006 finished....

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....subtitled, "You have to do something to escape the home improvement project at some point."

#1: Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton. The story of a schoolmaster, who has made his career at Brookfield. Told in flashbacks--the memories of an old man--held, polished, enjoyed. He taught the classics at Brookfield, was married, lost wife and child, grew into his position, became almost universally beloved and a fixture at the school. Finally retired, he still takes active interest in the school, living across the road, inviting the new boys and teachers to dinners.

It's the classic story of how an "unimportant" life, well-lived, is anything but.

#2: Random Harvest by James Hilton. The story of Charles Ranier, the son of a wealthy industrialist, sent to France during WWI where he was wounded and captured by the Germans. When we meet him, he has completely lost his memory regarding the years immediately after the war. He was missing for several years, then suddenly "came to himself" on a park bench in Liverpool. The book is the story of what he did next, and the recovery of his memories of those lost years.

It is practically impossible to tell more of the story without ruining it for anyone who might want to read the book. The book has the ultimate of plot twists, and it happens on the last page of the book, though you get an inkling something is happening for the last 10 pages or so.

The book was made into a movie, but reviews of the book say that the movie handled the twist a little differently. Worth a look.

Was going to read Lost Horizon by James Hilton next, but I usually make it a practice not to read more than 2 books by the same author in a row. If they're that good, I'd rather spread out the enjoyment.

....here is a link to the "Best Books I Read in 2005" list from Ignatius Press folks.

While I can throw some of them out immediately--because I am far too stupid to read them profitably--others must be added to the burgeoning list. The list that is soon to have to be reprinted in the smallest type available to keep it "fittable" in my notebook.


(HT to TSO over at Video....(link to the right))

Friday feast, ya'll

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Name one chore you don't really mind doing.

How many times have you moved homes in your life?

How old were you when you had your very first kiss?

Main Course
What time of day do you usually feel your best?

Using three words or less, describe your current local weather.

I'll answer in the comments box with the rest of you. Assuming there are a "the rest of you"!

Email from a friend....

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....included these little gems:

Haiku Written by Cats

The food in my bowl
Is old, and more to the point
Contains no tuna.
So you want to play.
Will I claw at dancing string?
Your ankle is closer.
There's no dignity
In being sick - which is why
I don't tell you where.
Seeking solitude
I am locked in the closet.
For once I need you.
Tiny can, dumped in
Plastic bowl. Presentation,
One star; service: none.
Am I in your way?
You seem to have it backwards:
This pillow is taken.
Your mouth is moving;
Up and down, emitting noise.
I've lost interest.
My brain: walnut-sized.
Yours: largest among primates.
Yet, who leaves for work?
Most problems can be
Ignored. The more difficult
Ones can be slept through.
Cats can't steal the breath
Of children. But if my tail's
Pulled again, I'll learn.
I don't mind being
Teased, any more than you mind
A skin graft or two.
So you call this thing
Your "cat carrier." I call
These my "blades of death."
Toy mice, dancing yarn
Meowing sounds. I'm convinced:
You're an idiot.

Just so you know....

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A British airline has prohibited its employees from carrying Bibles, using crucifixes or St. Christopher Medals, on flights to Saudi Arabia in order “not to offend” Muslims in that country.

British Midland International has also established that female flight attendants should walk two steps behind their male colleagues and should cover themselves from head to toe with an abaya, a traditional Muslim overgarment, the Mirror newspaper of London reported.

From Catholic News Agency story 1/12/06.

A very smart friend of mine writes:

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She and my brother had been diagnosed within a month of each other, and almost exactly one year later, they died separated by that same span of time. Later that month my second daughter was born, and joy with her, but I’ll tell you true, you need not envy the faith of the saints to be grateful for the little you have, for without Christ these cycles of death and birth, these so-called signs of hope, would very quickly become just deadly dreary. I sometimes wonder how the world got by without Him.

To read the rest, follow the link to The New Pantagruel and read Dying by Degrees by Bill Luse.

Home (Improvement) for the Holidays

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Sorry I've been so scarce around here for the past couple of weeks. First there was the celebration of Christmas (and the preparation work THAT took, both at home and at church). All that came to grand and glorious fruition on the 24th and 25th. What a wonderful time!

Then, just when I thought I'd be back, happily posting away, it happened. PapaC and I are fortunate to be in the place where there is just not much material stuff that we want or need any more. So coming up with something to give each other at Christmas is sometimes hard. Of course there are books, books, and more books. And perfume. Well, at least for ME anyway. And for PapaC there is always some new computer game (which leads to trouble later--don't ask).

But this year we looked around the house, and saw a LOT of home improvement projects that needed to be tackled. Projects that we've put off because other more important ways to spend the money always managed to appear, just at them time that we were about to put down a new floor, or whatever. You don't get new vinyl flooring for the kitchen when your water heater breaks and floods your house. You also don't get it when you have to replace the cast iron pipes under your house. And to hear THOSE sad stories, you'd only have to read through our archives.

So we crossed our fingers and decided to do a home improvement project during the holidays. PapaC had vacation time left. Nothing major had broken. The omens looked propitious.

There were three options on the table: 1. New gutters. 2. New flooring for the kitchen and baths. 3. A french door to replace our hateful sliding glass door out to the patio.

Who wants gutters for Christmas? Not me. When I point out our Christmas project, I don't want to say--"See those lovely gutters? Aren't they just BEAUTIFUL?" No. I want something people will see. And be impressed by.

So, I gave PapaC the choice: Floors or French door. Mattered not to me. Poor guy. He picked the floors.

Well, we thought we would be smart. We started in the hall bathroom. Small space, good practice. We'll see what it takes to hack up the linoleum (not in good enough shape anywhere to just lay the peel and stick tiles on top--like they always do on HGTV!). Then we'll clean up, lay the new tiles, put the potty back in place. Home and dry.


You don't live in a 40+ year old house and find ANYTHING that is as you would do it. There had been a seeping leak around the potty, apparently since the last linoleum installation. Sigh. We had to hack up all the fiberboard subflooring, get down the the base floor (we have a pier and beam house--no cement slab), replace it with new plywood flooring. THEN, and only then, start putting down the tiles that started the whole thing. In the process, the lid to the old potty got broken, so McKid's mama treated us to a new potty--after finding out what kind of potty would be best for us old people! During potty installation, we found that none of the pipes were standard sizes, so PapaC had to break out the torch and solder and put together new piping for the valves.

Ah. Four days later, a new bathroom. And not one thing finished on the kitchen.

Never believe it if anyone tells you that taking up old vinyl flooring is a "piece of cake." It is not. It is a piece of, a piece of, a piece of...... well, something.

Oh, the vinyl comes up all right. Leaving the paper backing behind. Paper backing which has to come up before you can peel and stick. Oh, and what you have to do to get it up? Ruins the next layer of linoleum so that once again you are faced with scraping for hours on end to get the old linoleum off. Linoleum that either pops right off (which is why you can't lay peel and stick down on it) or is stuck like cement to the fiberboard subflooring. The worst of both worlds. When we finally got the second layer of linoleum off, leaving its paper backing behind, we made the 57 millionth trip to Home Depot (and God bless Bill at Home Depot for not running when he saw us coming in the door). For that layer, you can't soak off the backing, because that would ruin the fiberboard beneath the paper.

You've got 2 choices: remove the fiberboard in the kitchen, a la the bathroom, but in a 12 x 25 area, and then put down plywood flooring or lay the thinnest layer of plywood available over the existing fiberboard and hope for the best. We opted for #2. So, a trip to Lowes, hours and hours of cutting plywood and hammering it down (I am Wonder Woman with a hammer, ya'll), we had a floor ready to tile. After nearly 2 weeks of work. Sigh.

We have almost finished the tiling. PapaC has one threshold thingie to figure out before we can stick down the last 4 tiles. We have to put down the quarter-round in the old laundry room, soon to be pantry. Then I intend to crack open a bottle of wine, and drink it.

I might even let PapaC have a glass.


An interesting concept...

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Go read this article about "Movies for Moms" in the Christianity Today movie section.

I think the author does a good job of pointing out some of the drawbacks, but overall it seems like a good idea! We don't have a Loews in our area--or at least one that participates in the program. But you might!


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"...When domesticity, for instance, is called drudgery ... the difficulty arises from the double meaning of the word. If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home -- as a man might drudge at the Cathedral of Amiens or drudge behind a gun a Trafalgar. But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colorless and of small import to the soul, then, as I say, I give up; I do not know what the words mean. To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors, and holidays; to be Whiteley in a certain area, providing toys, books, cakes, and boots; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene, I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman's function is laborious; but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness."

-G. K. Chesterton

Christmas 05.jpg

call me holly hormonal, but

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as i sit here at my desk nursing donovan, i just looked down and noticed that he is missing one of his socks. it touched my heart and actually brought a tear to my eye to witness how helpless, how vulnerable, my wee ones really are. they need me for nourishment, sure, but they even need me to keep their tiny toes warm. these are the moments that make it all worthwhile.

And a third.....


.....book search site, from the UK, Used Book Search. I've also used this with great success. Just be careful (ask me how I know!) that you look to see where your book is coming FROM if you need it kind of in a hurry!

I have also had good luck...


....searching for books through Used Book Central. It also allows you to set a price range that you are willing to pay and will only return results within that range. I was able to track down most of this year's book club selections using this site.

A way to search for books....

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.....like I need another way to search for books!

Addall bills itself as the "Google for book sales". I'm not sure I'd go that far, but it is interesting. They search through 40 or so online booksellers (including Amazon, abe, alibris, etc.) and pop up a comparison of prices, including shipping for the book you want.

Paul Greenberg's......


.....New Year's Resolutions.

I like 'em!

Haven't I told you.....

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.....how much I like the "Top Ten ______ of 2005" lists? Oh, yeah!

Anyway, here's a link the Christianity Today's Books and Culture guys lists of top ten films of 2005.

Suffice it to say, I've got some Netflix queue updating to do--I've seen virtually none of these.....

Yee Haaaw, Ya'll!!!!!!!

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Can one man carry a whole football team on his back? Yes, if his name is Vince Young. By far the most exciting of the bowl games (sorry about my beloved Red Raiders, but truth is truth), we stayed up 'til the exciting finish last night. Then we sang "The Eyes of Texas" along with the fans in the Rose Bowl. Wow!
And here's another thing I know: in this picture Mack Brown should be doing more than hugging Vince Young. He should be kissin' him on the LIPS!

On the West Virginia miners


.....from Frederica Mathewes-Green, on Beliefnet:

The members of Sago Baptist Church, like Bible-steeped people everywhere, can draw on powerful resources to make it through the long nights ahead. The image of thirteen men trapped in poisonous darkness is matched by the image of three young men in a fiery furnace; in the midst of death they were not alone, and the king who condemned them said, "I see four men...and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods" (Daniel 3:25). A century ago, when Sir Ernest Shackleton led two other men through a blizzard across the uncharted mountains of South Georgia Island, he too said that "it often seemed to me that we were four, not three" (a perception that his companions later confirmed). In fire, in ice, and in the depths of the earth, those who face down death may be comforted and companioned in ways we cannot know.

John Casto tried to explain, in an accent broad as the hills, how this works, how faith can make it so you're not alone. "You know, I'm not kin to none of these people under that hill over there, but each and every one of 'ems a brother to me. Each and every one of them." He then looked toward the reporter and said, "Because you're my brother," and then turning to the cameraman, "and you're my brother. The way I look at it."

There was something electrifying about that moment. In the midst of bitterness and turmoil, Casto broke through the wall. "Because I love Christ," he went on. This is not the sort of thing you usually hear on the news, and the camera was already pulling back. The reporter's voice softly murmured "All right, John." But Casto continued, "We're gonna to pray for each and every one of these people." At this point, the reporter patted him on the shoulder, with a "that's enough, now" gesture. "We're gonna pray that this community will leave today in peace and always be in peace, in the town of Sago," Casto said.

At that point, the film ends. But John Casto got to say his piece. Hope based on a particular outcome is a fragile thing; it can be smashed by events. Hope based in a particular Person can endure. Whether a miracle occurs or doesn't, we are never alone. "Thou who hast made me see many sore troubles wilt revive me again; from the depths of the earth Thou wilt bring me up again" (Psalm 71:20). (My emphasis added)

things that can be incredibly cute at 6 months are not so terribly adorable at, say, 6 years.

a bald fuzzy head, no matter how much baby lotion you apply.
a wide toothless grin.
a wittle bit of baby juice.
poots ... in fact, pretty much every body fluid or function loses cuteness after about a year. but this observation is not limited to body fluids and functions. reactions to behavior are also influenced by the cute factor.

if baby gets too close and tries to nurse on, let's say, mom's nose, mom giggles lightheartedly and coos, "no-no, baby, you silly willy baby!" but, if a six year old tries to explore even their own nose, it's "NO! NO!" and not funny at all.

if baby kicks pawpaw in the groin, it's "whoa-hoooaa there, good buddy, you don't know your own strength!" follwed by a "that's m'boy" chuckle. a six year old kicks pawpaw in the groin, and he's likely to get kicked back.

baby squeals with delight during Mass, people sigh "ahhhhhhhh." but, if a six year old squeals with delight during Mass, mom and dad get the "can't you control your kid?" evil eye.



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