September 2006 Archives

What a swell idea this is!

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These folks have taken books in the public domain, and chopped them into daily pieces, which they then send you via email. So, when you are checking your email, you can read a small bite of a book that you've been wanting to read.

The next day, another bite, until you've finished the whole thing!

Too slow? Well, they have a button which says "send me the next installment right away" and you can read another segment.

I know, I know. For those of us with a reading habit, squeezing a book in isn't a problem. But for my husband, it might be an ideal way to read a couple of snippets on his lunch hour....

And it might be a way for me to actually read something like Moby Dick that I've tried and failed at before.... At least I wouldn't have to look at the whole thing all at one time!

Go check 'em out.

Fine Art Friday

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Downing the Nigh Leader
Frederic Remington

Being a West Texas girl, born and raised, I love Western art. I'm lucky to live near a museum with the quality of this one: The Amon Carter Museum: An American Collection. This museum is where I was first exposed to Remingtons and Russells--bronzes and paintings. Folks, there are a lot of ugly horse pictures out there. I don't know what it is about horses that makes them so difficult to capture in painting, especially in movement. But both Remington and Russell do it well.

While I was looking at Western art to post today, I also came across this, which I think is unusual and worth a look. I love it when an artist tips his hat, so to speak, to another:


Homage to Remington
LeRoy Neiman

I had only ever seen Neiman's sports related work--largely in Sports Illustrated. I was delighted to find this one. You can find more of his work on his official website.

weird al and donny osmond? pacman. earl grey tea. stationary rims. fabulous. i totally identify. help!
click here for "white and nerdy" - a coolio parody of gangsta rap.

Wanna study Latin?


GO HERE and you can join a group that's (as we say in Texas) fixin' to start.

Need to see something beautiful?



Thanks to Magistramater for the heads up on this one.

I totally do NOT get this:

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Why would you want a pair of shoes commemorating LAUNDRY? What's next? Shoes with little toilet brushes on them?

And if you did want to commemorate laundry, would you really pay $135 to do it?

I think not.

Checking our blog statistics....

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I came across the very best search string EVAH, that led people to our site:

Plump Sugar Mamas

I adore that! That's so me!

Because it was just the wake up call I needed this morning:

Here's the quote from a 1914 issue of Women's World. I love how it starts:

Suppose you are a housewife. Your home is small. Your means are limited. Your "things to do with" are meager. Your children are trying. Your work is hard and monotonous....There you have a stream of events bearing you down. If you yield you become nervous, irritable, discontented, perhaps eventually careless and slovenly, a physical wreck and spiritual misery. And now, suppose you make up your mind not to yield. Suppose you say to yourself, "I will think beautiful thoughts. I will make my surroundings cheerful. I will be happy and strong and brave and make my husband and children even as I am." That you reply, is easier said than done. It is very hard. Wait! is not so hard as you imagine. Cease pitying yourself. Say, when you awake in the morning, "The world is beautiful. There are many great, noble, unconquerable souls. I am one of them....I shall make this house glow with peace and good will."

I'm so very proud of this!


Our parish webmaster has been hard at work, revamping our parish website. It is looking FABULOUS!!!! Go here and check out St. Mary the Virgin.

While his work is not completely finished, you can see how nice it is going to be. I'd would love it if you would check out the online version of our parish newsletter/magazine Salve!, which is, in my not very humble opinion, an amazing work. Especially see an article What to Do When the Barbarians Come, written by Dr. James Patrick, chancellor of the College of St. Thomas More over in Fort Worth.

Yesterday's hymns:


Introit was Lord Christ, when first Thou came'st to men which is still under copyright, so I can't post it here!

Offertory was Father all loving, who rulest in majesty which is still under copyright, so I can't post it here!

Communion hymn was this one:

Let us break bread together on our knees,
let us break bread together on our knees.
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Let us drink wine together on our knees,
let us drink wine together on our knees.
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Let us praise God together on our knees,
let us praise God together on our knees.
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

And here's a link for the tune to it, which just goes by the first line for its name.

Then the post communion hymn was:

When all Thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I’m lost
In wonder, love and praise.

O how shall words with equal warmth
The gratitude declare,
That glows within my ravished heart?
But thou canst read it there.

Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
My daily thanks employ;
Nor is the last a cheerful heart
That tastes those gifts with joy.

Through all eternity to Thee
A joyful song I’ll raise;
For, oh, eternity’s too short
To utter all Thy praise!

This one can be sung to several different tunes, my favorite is Tallis' Ordinal.

Happy Blog Birthday to US!

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Yep. We started Summa Mamas three years ago today. Woo hoo! For those of you reading us, thank you. We sincerely appreciate it.

And now we're gonna go hug the dogs and eat a piece of cake.

Or something like that.

Cheers, Smock!

This is worth thinking about:


Heaven is not here, it's There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.

-----------------Elisabeth Elliott

Happy Birthday, Smock!

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Party 'til your tiara falls off!
Love, MamaT and everyone else

Fine Art Friday

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Indian Summer
Tadashi Asoma

You can read a little bit about this painter here, and see other images of his work.

Books #42-45 of 2006 finished!


#42: Book by Book: Notes on Reading and Life by Michael Dirda. Dirda is a staff writer for the Washington Post Book World, and is a Pulitzer Prize winner for criticism. This is a little gem of a book, basically excerpts from Dirda's own quote journal/commonplace book. With book lists thrown in! What's not to like?

#43: Jonathan Stange and Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke. This is the first book off my Autumn Reading Challenge list--the Big Books list. This is a book that I had heard a lot about, both good and bad. It was one of my steals from Half-Price books, off the clearance shelves. Before I cracked it open, I went out to Amazon, and read a few pages of reviews. I can say that it easily has the most varied set of a reviews I've ever encountered on Amazon. And they are skewed strongly toward the extremes. Lots of 1 and 5 star ratings. Lots of rantings and ravings: "Best book ever!" and "Don't waste your time on this bloated mess!"

I liked the book. It wasn't my favorite of all time, but it was fun. Written in a "half Jane Austen/half fantasy fiction" style, I thought the author had imagination to burn. I love the fact that she has made up such a world that she can include numerous "footnotes" to explain it and tell additional stories about it. Perhaps I would have liked it even more if I were a regular "fantasy" genre reader. My recommendation for this one is up in the air. Try it. You'll either love it or hate it. Oh, and those people who refer to it as an "adult Harry Potter"? Pay no attention to them. It's NOTHING like HP.

#44: Things As They Are by Paul Horgan. This is our book group's read for this month. It's been reissued as part of the Loyola Classics series. A good book, but a melancholy one. Richard is a boy growing up in a devout Catholic family, with a mother and father who love him and one another. The book consists of vignettes of his childhood--the vignettes of times when innocence was lost, sin reared it ugly head, or childish misconceptions were torn away. It's the story of a child's eyes being opened to "things as they are"--not as he "thought they were" or even as "they ought to be."

#45: Something Fresh by P.G. Wodehouse. A complete about turn from the above, this is the first of the "Blandings" novels that Wodehouse wrote. It's the first novel in the omnibus edition LIfe at Blandings that is on my reading list. The blurb on the front jacket is from an unusual source: Douglas Adams. And he says: "Wodehouse is the greatest comic writer ever." I don't know. Mr. Adams is a pretty funny writer himself. But this was a completely enjoyable novel, that I couldn't help but visualize as a stage play the whole time I was reading. Wonderful characters: The American dyspeptic millionaire Mr. Pierce. The very English, very forgetful Lord Emsworth. The personal secretary known as The Efficient Baxter. All gathered together in a romp that has imposters pretending to be servants, a stolen/gifted scarab, an attempt at theft, and a scene with broken crockery and a tongue on the floor that was comic genius.

Wodehouse said: "I believe there are two ways of writing novels. One is mine, making a sort of musical comedy without music and ignoring real life altogether; the other is going right deep down into life and not caring a damn." I'm glad he chose the comedy route.

Next up? Spiritual reading will be My Life with the Saints and regular reading will be North of Hope by Jon Hassler, next month's book group selection.


Donna, over at Quiet Life (link to the left), asked us to post pictures of a happy place.

What else could we post but a picture of our beloved Texas?

Last Friday was not a good day. Not a good day at all. I had such plans! I have a mountain of deskwork to do. Work I've procrastinated about doing. Work that needs to be done NOW.

Work that takes a computer to do.

Sat down at my desk, to post a note on the blog and to write the Fine Art Friday entry. The computer was off. The Zman had printed his Comp2 essay before I sat down, so I assumed he had just turned the computer off.


And we can't make it turn back on. No matter what. Seeing my plans all bursting into flames around me, I proceed to throw what in my family is known as a "Donald Duck fit." You know, one of those where is has sweat drops jumping from his head and spit drops flying out of his mouth? Not pretty, huh? I call poor PapaC on his cell phone, 'cause he's on his way to work. Fuss, fuss, fuss at him (like it's his fault?), until he finally says, "Look, you want me to take a day off work to come home and work on it?"

Well, no. I guess not.

But bleah. Just bleah.

The day goes on. I read a little, do a load or two of laundry, talk on the phone. Do I diligently clean house or work on the myriad of other tasks that I ought to be doing?


So, I go to adoration from 1-2 p.m. I go every Friday at that time. It's the one constant thing that never changes. And I always feel better after I go. Sometimes I feel better because God has spoken to me in a real way. Sometimes I just feel better because I went even when I didn't want to. At least something got checked off the list for the day. You know? But Friday was a good day. I had much to thank God for--NOT the computer, of course--but some very good news from a very good friend. I left feeling so much better.

And I probably felt more than a little bit smug.

After adoration, there is a 30 minute window of time before I have to pick up McKid from preschool. Too short a time to go home. Too long a time to sit in the parking lot.

So, I headed over to Half-Price Books to just spook around for half an hour.

And I know, I know, I don't need any more books................Sigh.

On the way into the store, I tripped on the curb. My flip-flop caught the edge of it. And there I went, stumbling along the sidewalk in front of the store. About as graceful as, oh, an elephant. Just when I thought I had caught myself, my flip-flop toe went upside down under my foot, and I lost all chance of righting myself without a fall.

And what a fall it was! I mean, if you're going to do it, do it up right. Don't just fall to your knees. Lay it out flat on the ground, hitting you hand, knee, and STOMACH (yeah, I fell that flat!), right there by the clearance book carts. And pray, while you're falling that you don't crash your head into the carts, making all the books fall all over you. (Got lucky there.)

But here come people running out of Half Price Books. "Ma'am! Are you all right?! Let me help you!"

And here's where the pride and humiliation come in. Bad enough to fall. Worse to fall in public. But why is it when I do that I feel the inordinate NEED to jump up (when I'd like to sit there for a moment) and start telling everyone, "Nope, I'm fine, I'm fine. No problem." All the while thinking, "Well, this'll give 'em something to tell their friends over dinner tonight!"

Why is that? Why couldn't I just say, "Hey, thanks. Let me sit here for a moment. And, by the way, could you bring me a wet cloth for my shredded hand that's bleeding?" Nope. Apparently not in my vocabulary.

So, here I sit, with a bruised and very sore knee. And a really sore hand. And a whole mind-full of thoughts about my pride.

Oh, and the computer? When Papa C came home, he turned on the switch.

It worked.

Hurray! It's back!

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And here's a word about tonight. I would still be standing at the base of the Great Wall looking at the rope and saying, "You want me to climb THAT?"

I'd be gone the first leg.


Today's hymns:

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Introit was this one:

New every morning is the love
our wakening and uprising prove;
through sleep and darkness safely brought,
restored to life and power and thought.

New mercies, each returning day,
hover around us while we pray;
new perils past, new sins forgiven,
new thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.

If on our daily course our mind
be set to hallow all we find,
new treasures still, of countless price,
God will provide for sacrifice.

Old friends, old scenes, will lovelier be,
as more of heaven in each we see;
some softening gleam of love and prayer
shall dawn on every cross and care.

The trivial round, the common task,
will furnish all we ought to ask:
room to deny ourselves; a road
to bring us daily nearer God.

Only, O Lord, in thy dear love,
fit us for perfect rest above;
and help us, this and every day,
to live more nearly as we pray.

Can be sung to Melcombe. We didn't today, but I can't find a midi of the tune we did use.

Offertory today was this one.


Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore His sacred Name.

Led on their way by this triumphant sign,
The hosts of God in conquering ranks combine. Refrain

Each newborn servant of the Crucified
Bears on the brow the seal of Him Who died. Refrain

O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
As Thou hast promised, draw the world to Thee. Refrain

So shall our song of triumph ever be:
Praise to the Crucified for victory. Refrain.

Sung to Crucifer, of course!

Communion hymn was:

O Food of men wayfaring,
the bread of angels sharing,
O Manna from on high!
We hunger; Lord, supply us,
nor thy delights deny us,
whose hearts to thee draw nigh.

O stream of love past telling,
O purest fountain, welling
from out the Savior's side!
We faint with thirst; revive us,
of thine abundance give us,
and all we need provide.

O Jesus, by thee bidden,
we here adore thee, hidden
'neath forms of bread and wine.
Grant when the veil is riven,
we may behold, in heaven,
thy countenance divine.

Sung to O Esca Viatorum.

And finally we ended with:

Thine arm, O Lord, in days of old
was strong to heal and save;
it triumphed o'er disease and death,
o'er darkness and the grave.
To thee they went, the blind, the dumb,
the palsied, and the lame,
the leper with his tainted life,
the sick with fevered frame.

And lo! thy touch brought life and health,
gave hearing, strength, and sight;
and youth renewed and frenzy calmed
owned thee, the Lord of light:
and now, O Lord, be near to bless,
almighty as of yore,
in crowded street, by restless couch,
as by Gennesaret's shore.

Be thou our great deliverer still,
thou Lord of life and death;
restore and quicken, soothe and bless,
with thine almighty breath:
to hands that work and eyes that see,
give wisdom's heavenly lore,
that whole and sick, and weak and strong,
may praise thee evermore.

We sang it today to St. Matthew, but my favorite version of it is to Forest Green.



The room assigned by the firm to their Mr. Boole for his personal use was a small and dingy compartment, redolent of that atmosphere of desolation which lawyers alone know how to achieve. It gave the impression of not having been swept since the foundation of the firm in the year 1786. There was one small window, covered with grime. It was one of those windows which you see only in lawyer's offices. Possibly, some reckless Mainprice or hairbrained Boole had opened it, in a fit of mad excitement induced by the news of the Battle of Waterloo, in 1815, and had been instantly expelled from the firm. Since then no one had dared to tamper with it.

---------------P.G. Wodehouse in Something Fresh

Fine Art Friday, One Day Late!!!

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Into the Forest
Ken Elliott

Ken Elliott is an artist from Colorado. His website is here, with plenty more images of his work.

sorry, you're too thin

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MADRID (AFP) - Excessively skinny fashion models will be barred from a major Madrid fashion show later this month for fear they could send the wrong message to young Spanish girls, local media reported...

well, it's about time. finally someone thinks that the health of their nation's young girls is more important than having abnormally thin models slink down their runways. it's a shame that our own American fashion peddlers don't do the same.

about a week ago, i overheard my daughters grace (6) and glynnis (8) arguing about whether a slice of chicken or cheese had more calories. i asked them if they knew what calories were, and glynnis said, "they're what make you fat." duncan (10) corrected her, "no, if you eat more than you need, they can make you fat." i don't think i'd even heard the word "calories" at their age. what is going on?

In Memoriam

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Peter A. Klein

Probably September 11, 2001 started out as just another day for Peter. He was a 35 year old computer linguist, and was working as a consultant with the Marsh and McLennan Companies, on the 96th floor of the World Trade Center. I'm sure that, just like most husbands, he kissed his wife, Lorena, goodbye that morning, with never a thought that he wouldn't be back that night. But he wasn't.

When you start reading about Peter, you come to realize how smart he was. He graduated from Clarkson University with two bachelor's degrees: one in Electrical Engineering and one in Physics. Wow! And he did it in 3 1/2 years! Most people can't get an engineering degree in less than 5 years.

Clarkson University lost 4 alumni on September 11, 2001. The university built a 9-11 memorial to its lost graduates. It was dedicated in 2005, and you can go here and see the pictures of it. It makes us glad to know that this fine young man will be forever remembered by his alma mater.

And he wasn't just a computer consultant. He was an innovator as well. He had developed a programming language that would "enable the average Joe to write programs," according to his mother, Ruth Klein. In January of 2001, he was granted a patent from the US Patent Office for a "Method and System for compiling source code containing natural language instructions." That's no small potatoes, folks.

But Peter Klein was NOT just a stereotypical computer geek. He was a man in love. All through the tribute comments and guestbook signings we read, one thread is highlighted again and again. And that was how very much he loved his wife, the former Maria Lorena Briones. They met via the internet, but when he flew to meet her in person, true love blossomed. His mom said that Lorena was "truly his soul mate," and when a mama tells you that, you can take it to the bank. Peter and Lorena were married in Monterrey, Mexico on August 12, 2000. They had just celebrated their first anniversary.

Peter was also a man up for adventure, competition and fun. He was taking flying lessons, working toward his pilot's license, and had made his first solo flight the summer before his death. He had also played volleyball for years as a member of the New York Urban Professional Athletic League. And when he was in high school, he was an avid canoeist, and competed in whitewater races. Not for him, just to sit behind a desk and work!

What else was Peter? Well, he had been an altar boy at St. Stanislaus in Pleasant Valley for many years. He played in the marching band at Arlington High School. He volunteered to teach computer classes at the library during his high school summers.

But more important than all those things, he was a husband to Lorena. He was a son to Hans and Ruth. He was a big brother to Lisa, Anne, and Diana. He was a man.


Father of all, we pray to you for those we love, but see no longer: Grant them your peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and, in your loving wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purpose of your perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, Father of mercies and giver of comfort: Deal graciously, we pray, with the Klein family, and all who mourn; that, casting all their care on you, they may know the consolation of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Besides Peter, there are 2,995 other victims of the 9/11 attacks remembered today at 2,995 other websites spread far and wide. You can find information on them by going to the 2996 website here.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen


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little miss sunshine. i've seen this movie twice at the theater and paid full price both times. nuff said? no children allowed (it's rated R for a reason) but it is very, very funny. mamaT, let me know when you can go with. i am ready to see it yet again. this family is painfully dysfunctional. it's the sort of dysfunction that would bring you to tears if it was your family, and i'd be a liar to say we don't have a few of these characters in mine, but it manages to make you laugh out loud most of the time because it's just so miraculously subtle and over the top at the same time. paul dano is flawless as an adorable angst ridden teen and abigail breslin is just plain adorable as olive. although an indie, it has a happy "hollywood" ending. go and see. now.

the illusionist


smockdaddy and i went to see the illusionist tonight. starring edward norton, paul giamatti, and jessica biel, this movie is captivating in every sense. the movie is especially attractive with starkly contrasting scenes ~ palace scenes versus stage scenes ~ given in these sepia tones that constantly remind us that this is a period piece. and of course, the main characters are easy on the eyes as well. the tagline of the movie is "nothing is what it seems" for a reason. and the story, which is mostly told as a flashback, takes several twists and turns so that the viewers aren't exactlly sure who or what to believe. is it a murder mystery? a love story? a psychological thriller? yes. and, as a woman who prides herself on deciphering plots ten minutes into a movie, i was pleasantly surprised by the illusionist's ending. i don't want to spoil the plot, so i'll simply end with this: this is the movie that my sweet shyamalan should have made.

Fine Art Friday

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My entries in today's Fine Art Friday come from an artist whose website is here: Gryphon Rampant. The artist's name is Lawrence Klimecki, and he and his wife, AnNita, have graciously allowed me to use these images today. (They are also the ones selling the cool t-shirts which I blogged a few entries down.) Be sure to read their mission statement on the home page of their website. All the words following the art are from the Klimeckis. Now, on to the ART!


St. Michael, Archangel

Michael bears some of his traditional attributes. The scales decorating his outer tunic refer to his role as the weigher of souls in the last judgement. He wears armor and bears a sword as a member of the heavenly army. The red dragon recalls Satan, Michael's first and last foe. Surrounding this image is the prayer to Saint Michael written by Pope Leo XIII.


St Gabriel, Archangel

Gabriel is the angel of the Annunciation. He carries a horn as a symbol of his role as God's herald. He is dressed in the vestmenta of a deacon, a servant of the church. The wind which swirls his garments around him represents the presence of God. The lilys are his attibute and refer to the virginity of Mary. The spear is a symbol of his heavenly authority.

St. Raphael, Archangel

Raphael bears a pilgrim's staff he is the traditional protector of pilgrims and travellers. His name translates as "God heals" and the healing power of God is represented by the fish on his stole. This is a reference to the Book of Tobit wherein Raphael directs Tobias to use a fish to cure his fathers blindness.

In traditional iconography the three archangels share some symbolism. All three are depicted with a disk bearing the abbreviated name of Jesus Christ. Wings symbolize their divine office of messenger. The ribbons that lead to the ears tells us that they always hear the divine word. In my depictions of these three great persons, I have given them elaborate halos to reflect the splendor of the angeleic beings who stand before the throne of God.

....over at First Things On the Square. Joseph Bottum discusses Catholic writer J. F. Powers, and why, though he might have been one of the greatest Catholic writers of the 20th century, his moment is over.

Here are the last three paragraphs:

It wasn’t simply an ironic contrast, though in his weaker stories it sometimes devolved to that. It was rather a somewhat narrow, somewhat overspecialized, but extremely efficient device for the fiction writer’s task of showing human life as the intersection of the mundane and the divine. And the catastrophic collapse of religious vocations through the 1970s—together with the defections from the religious life and the failure of nerve with which the American clergy abandoned the clerical authority that had held together the parish system—stripped Powers of a major part of his specialist’s vocation.

Of course, the days of Victorian confidence in the Anglican hierarchy are even further gone than Powers’ subject, yet Anthony Trollope’s accounts of infighting among the wardens and archdeacons of Barchester cathedral and George Eliot’s Scenes of Clerical Life survive as great fiction nonetheless.

But Powers had narrowed his vision down to a point where it could not survive the passing of its moment. He had a prose that was unmatched by anyone in his time; the concluding lines of his stories are all so delicate and perfect that it sometimes seemed as though his stories were written just to provide an excuse for their closing sentences. In “Defection of a Favorite,” he pulls off with perfect humor and grace the almost technically impossible feat of a story narrated by the parish cat. In “Lions, Harts, Leaping Does,” he gives the most moving interior description of dying since Tolstoy. He really was the finest American Catholic writer of the twentieth century. And that century is over.

You know, I had not really thought it possible that you could be a "greatest writer" of any time or place, yet have that disappear. It's worth thinking through.

We read Powers' novel Morte d'Urban in my book club. I thought it was excellent. I have also read some of his short stories, but not many. Maybe, after my Autumn Reading Challenge, I will have to take them off the shelf and read again.

When J. F. Powers died, he had a very simple funeral, with a single hymn sung--Wheat That Springeth Green--the title of which he had used for his second novel. I will have the same hymn sung at my funeral one of these days:

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

In the grave they laid Him, Love Whom we had slain,
Thinking that He’d never wake to life again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

Up He sprang at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain;
Up from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving or in pain,
By Your touch You call us back to life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

Sung to the tune Noel Nouvelet.

Today's giggle.....

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I was updating my Netflix queue while I was eating lunch at my desk, only to find that I didn't make my shuffles in enough time to get Firefly disks one and two shipped out this week. So instead I'm getting The Five People You Meet in Heaven (remind me why I put that on my list?) and Corpse Bride.

Nothing funny about that, except........

......the genre listed for Corpse Bride? Romance.

Which I suppose is true, but it just sounds funny!

Absolutely awesome


Check out the stuff at Gryphon Rampant: Christian Art for the New Millenium.

I want this shirt first:


But there are several that I really like. I'm putting 'em on my Chirstmas wish list.

Hat tip to Kathy Shaidle of Relapsed Catholic (link to the left).

Worth the read:

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Who's Afraid of Flannery O'Connor?

Flannery famously gets a reader to side with a decent but perhaps slightly flawed lady, and then the story slowly turns grim. We see her smile is grounded in pettiness or deep bitterness. Finally, she has a severe encounter with dark grace. Nice readers close the story quickly and refuse to go on to another. It's as if the reader herself has been roughed up unjustly.

But that's the point. Flannery just reflects Christ's priorities. He was much softer on thieves, prostitutes, and murderers than he was on polite, middle class Pharisees. Christ berates and belittles and promises death-from-heaven for the most decent citizens of Jerusalem. The good, law-abiding Rotarian sorts incense Christ's deepest anger. And, in Flannery's stories, grace hunts them down. All evil is not bad. Some evil comes to shake us out of our sin; some evil comes to liberate us. Some evil is a gift of grace. Grace gnashes.

I knew you could hardly wait to find this out:


The unexpected downside......



....of my Autumn Reading Challenge--which was to read a number of really fat books that have been living on my shelves--has reared its ugly head.

Uninteresting choices? Nope.

Not enough time? Well, yeah, but that's not it.

The problem? They are hard to hold when you read in bed!


Did you have a nice holiday?


We did! It rained ALL DAY on Labor Day. That doesn't sound like a good Labor Day to you? Then you haven't lived through the scorching Texas heat this past August. A month with no rain on top of the heat.

Grey. Cool. Wet.

A long book, and a quiet house.

Yeah, baby! Now that's a holiday I can get behind.

A Quote for the Weekend


.....and then it is off to scrub dogs, bake cakes and read books. Hey, doesn't sound half bad!

Real luxury is time and opportunity to read for pleasure.

---------------Jane Brody

Happy Labor Day weekend, ya'll! Remember to eat a hot dog, take a dip, kiss your kids and put away your white shoes. See you on Tuesday!

What a way to start a holiday weekend!


We have three stinky dogs at the moment. The weather is finally a little cooler, so I won't have a tsunami of sweat hit me during the process. So today is the day for the dreaded DOG BATHS.

Fine Art Friday

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Pablo Picasso

I picked this one in honor of the Smock. I had never seen this Picasso print, and it doesn't match my preconceived notion of "Picasso." Does it yours?



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