April 2007 Archives

Project 365 - Day 8

| | Comments (5)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Watch Me Blow Bubbles!
or, The McKid at Play



There is no duty we so underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.

------------------Robert Louis Stevenson

Am I past the beginner stage?

A beginner's prayers are generally an attempt to get God to pay attention to his wants. As we grow in grace, prayer becomes an attempt to turn our attention to God. His kingdom becomes our reference point for every matter that concerns us. Will this thing further or hinder the working of the will of God in me, in those I pray for, in these situations? What is on my mind today? Let me bring it at once into the light of God's countenance, refer it to his scrutiny, lay it (and my heart with it) open before Him. If I am not prepared to submit something, I am interested in myself, not in the kingdom. "Set your mind on God's kingdom and His justice before everything else, and all the rest will come to you as well''(Mt 6:33 NEB).

-----------------Elisabeth Elliot

This brought me up short. Made me realize how much of a beginner I still must be. Do I bring the situations in my life to God and let HIM tell ME what to do? No. I bring the situations in my life to God and tell HIM what I expect him to do.

Notice anything a bit unbalanced in that equation?

Yeah. Me, too.

Project 365 - Day 7

| | Comments (2)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Outside Our Front Door
or, "Look at all the BEES, Mama!"

Whatever these bushes are, and I'm thinking they're ligustrums, they have very aromatic white flowers every spring. And we are overrun with bees! Which both fascinates and frightens the McKid. She's all about the plethora of inchworms we have creeping about, not so much about the bees.

I tell her she can grow up to be an entomologist when she grows up, if she likes bugs.

She says, "No mama. I'm not gonna be a ettymology. I'm going to be a chef. I'm going to be a chef at Olive Garden Dallas."

Woo hoo! All the free Italian food I can eat one day.


| | Comments (3)

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

------------Mignon McLaughlin

Project 365 - Day 6

| | Comments (2)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The Last of the Bluebonnets

These are the last of the bluebonnets in the flowerbed outside our church. The seed pods are full, but you can't tell that from this picture. They'll reseed, die out, and we'll have bunches of them again next spring. Right now they look more like weeds than the state flower!

We are attending a wedding this Saturday, one that we are most happy to attend. What a wonderful day it should be. The flowers are looking beautiful. There's a big cake already made. Everything's on track for a big time celebration. So, in honor of this happy day, let's look at weddings for Fine Art Friday!

First, the most famous wedding of all:

The Wedding at Cana

Next, a New Englandy kind of wedding. I have always been drawn to this style of painting. It's not primitive, but it is simple. And very, very organized. That's not exactly the right word, but I can't quite put my finger on another.

Spring Wedding at Mystic Seaport
Sally Caldwell-Fisher

I think most unmarried women, no matter what their place in life, dream about their weddings. At least a little bit. This picture seems sad to me. Will a courtesan ever really get what she is dreaming of? Or is her life on a completely different path now?

A Courtesan Dreaming of Her Wedding
Utamaro Kitagawa

A very old fashioned scene. I like the light on the bride, and how she seems to glow. It makes me hope that that glow will last for her past the wedding day.

Signing the Register
Edmund Leighton

Planning weddings is notoriously stressful. How would you have liked to have had to plan this one?

The Entry of Napoleon and Marie-Louise into the Tuileries Gardens on the Day of Their Wedding
Etienne-barthelemy Garnier

Next, something completely different. But then, you can almost always say that about Chagall, can't you?

Bella's Wedding
Marc Chagall

And last, the non-representational look at weddings!

Wedding Party
Jay Bonifield

Have a happy weekend, ya'll!

Project 365 - Day 5

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Mak and Me
or, "Look! We Both Have on Sneakers, Mama!"

Please also note the dog foot in the top right corner. Maggie couldn't help but try to get her feet in the picture, too!

1. Name a movie you have seen more than 10 times.

Every single Disney movie we own. I mean, seriously! I have seen The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at least 50 times.

2. Name a movie you’ve seen multiple times in the theater.

Gone with the Wind is the only one I can think of that I've seen more than once in the theater.

3. Name an actor who would make you more inclined to see a movie.

Anthony Hopkins, except when he's playing Hannibal. The first one of those was enough--though I thought he was brilliant in it.

Steve Martin is another.

4. Name an actor who would make you less likely to see a movie.

I agree with Donna on this one. I don't like Tom Cruise. He's one of those people whose real-life beliefs have so completely colored my perception of him that I can't give his movies a fair shake.

5. Name a movie you can and do quote from.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "Bring us a......shrubbery!" (If anyone leaves the house and asks if he should bring something back, this is what he hears!)

Young Frankenstein: "Abbie someone......Abbie......normal"

Princess Bride: "I don't think that word means what you think it means!"

6. Name a movie musical in which you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.

None, but I know most of the words to the songs in Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, and The Wizard of Oz

7. Name a movie you have been known to sing along with.

Any and every musical I've seen more than once.....to the chagrin of my family!

8. Name a movie you would recommend everyone see.

Babette's Feast

9. Name a movie you own.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Young Frankenstein

10. Name an actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.

Absolutely agree with Donna here--Will Smith, hands down.

11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in?

You jest, right? Of course! From the time I was a little kid, going in the back seat in pajamas all the way through high school (and yes, I watched the movie!).

13. Name a movie you keep meaning to see but you just haven’t gotten around to yet.

Finding Neverland--I even have it at home from Netflix.

14. Ever walked out of a movie? Which one?

Nope. But there are a couple I wished I had. The Neighbors with Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi comes to mind.

15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.

I cry all the time, so this isn't a fair question. Let's see, the last one was The Queen.

16. Popcorn?

Absolutely! And pour on that "butter flavored topping" please.

17. How often do you go to the movies (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)?

Mostly when Smock talks me into it. The rest of the time I watch DVDs.

18. What's the last movie you saw in a movie theater?

The Queen

19. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?

Romantic comedies. But I like lots of things--maybe everything but really violent action and horror.

20. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?

Dumbo at the drive-in. Dr. Doolittle at the inside theater. (The OLD Dr. Doolittle with Rex Harrison!)

21. What movie do you wish you had never seen?

Pulp Fiction

22. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?

Not exactly weird, but I loved the silent version of Joan of Arc from, like, 1926.

23. What is the scariest movie you’ve seen?

I don't watch many scary movies. I guess the very first Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis as the babysitter.

24. What is the funniest movie you’ve seen?

The Jerk. "You mean I'm gonna stay this color?"
"I'm picking out a thermos for you. No ordinary thermos will do!"


| | Comments (1)

When asked, "How do you write?" I invariably answer, "one word at a time."

--------Stephen King

Published AND Paid - A correction


When we attended the awards ceremony last night with Zman, we learned that he does in fact get paid for having his essay included in the literary magazine.

A check for $75 is winging its way to him as we speak.

So he's published AND paid.


Booking Through Thursday


1. Does what you read vary by the season? For instance, Do you read different kinds of books in the summer than the winter?

2. If so, do you break it down by genre, length of book, holiday, or...?

I think what I read does vary by the season, but not because I think about it when I make up my lists. I tend to read lighter fare in the summer--not exactly beach reading, since I don't live by a beach, but perhaps not as serious. The McKid is home with me more in the summer, so my distraction level is on high, and by the end of the day I am more tired and more frazzled that during the school year when she is at preschool.

I also don't want to read "darker" things in the summer. Down here it's oppressively hot much of the summer. I don't want to add sorrow and pain to the heat! So, I'd read Heyer, or Dickens, or Austen or Trollope in the summer. I'd read Greene, Waugh, Mistry and their like in the winter. Shakespearian comedy in the summer. Shakespearian tragedy in the winter.

For the past year I've set myself seasonal challenges, and have made up a reading list to read from. I try to mix up types of books on those lists. But overall, I think the summer one will be lighter than the winter one was.

Project 365 - Day 4

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The Broadway Touring Company Presents Wicked

It's been a big week here at CasaS. Last night was Zman's award ceremony. (More about that later!) But Tuesday was our trip to Dallas to see the musical Wicked.

Aunt Kathi had sent Zman tickets to Wicked for his Christmas/birthday present this year. She had seen it on Broadway, thought it was fabulous, and called me. "There's going to be a national tour. Do you think Zman would like to see it?" Oh, yeah. And so would his mama!

Fantastic. Wonderful music, with wonderful voices singing it. Costumes that were outstanding. A set design that was quirky and unique. Even the lighting was fantastic. Everything worked together to make the production an unforgettable experience. If you ever get a chance to see it--GO!

Let's see. We can add it to our list of the big shows we've seen: Cats, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Oklahoma, Beauty and the Beast...... Up next? This summer we'll see Monty Python's Spamalot, another one recommended by Aunt Kathi. We can't wait!

Tonight we are going to an awards ceremony at the junior college the Zman attends.

One of his essays has been chosen to be published in the literary magazine that the college puts out once a year! His English Composition teacher convinced him to submit an essay he wrote for her class entitled "PopTarts for Dinner". He was hesitant. She insisted.

Bless her.

His was selected. And, in fact, he will read it at the ceremony tonight! (He's a little nervous about that. I would be, too.)

And he'll be a published author. Or, as he says, "Published but not paid!"

Better than me. I'm neither!

But the thing that makes this so very sweet is that this is the son who was so very sure that he could not write. All through homeschooling it was like pulling teeth. We tried every kind of writing program. Nothing clicked with him. And I mean nothing. I could build a small fortress with the homeschool writing program materials I bought. All fell to pieces within the first few lessons. Tragedy and anger and tears. I made him write some, but finally decided that it was something he would learn when he had to do it.

Then God put Ms. Altheria Gaston-Clark in Zman's way, and the rest is history. Something about her matched up with him. She told him it was OK that he wrote slowly. She convinced him somehow that it was important to write and rewrite. She broke him, at least partially, of his attempts to do it "perfectly the very first time", which is what he had always wanted to do. And nothing I could do or say ever got through to him.

There's an old proverb: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." For us she appeared in the guise of a wonderful woman teaching at a junior college. Because of her and her relationship with Zman, he is now an excellent student with the confidence that he can acheive in a college setting.

And on his part, the Zman has worked hard--pouring countless hours into his work for school. He is showing us a dedication that makes us so proud of him.

It's a good day. A very good day!

Project 365 - Day 3

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Zman in the Rain

Hey, it's Texas. Rain around here is big deal!

This was a recipe I tore out of Southern Living, and had kept in my "to be tried" folder for awhile. I had a coupon this week for French onion dip, something I never normally buy, so I decided to try these biscuits. Thumbs up from me and PapaC, not so much from the Zman. They can also be made using Ranch dip--YUM!

French Onion Biscuits

1 (8 oz) carton French onion dip
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
2 cups Bisquick
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs

1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients until smooth. Stir in Bisquick until well blended. Divide dough into 12 equal portions and arrange on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush tops of dough with melted butter.

2. Bake at 450 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Notes: These are drop biscuits, not cut out biscuits, so they aren't terribly beautiful, or at least mine weren't. Mine also took a little longer than this to bake, but I'm not sure why. I had preheated the oven and everything. I also didn't have any fresh parsley, so I just left it out. And I have never garnished a biscuit in my life! Also, a word of warning: make sure that your carton of dip is an 8 oz one! I bought another carton with another coupon Sunday, and it is a 12 oz carton.

These were tender and lovely. They would be smashing with a bowl of vegetable soup. Definitely a keeper recipe.

Project 365 - Day 2

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Spring Challenge To Be Read Pile

Hard to tell what's on the pile in the picture (I'm not good with the camera at all!). But from top to bottome, my stack has:

The Keys of the Kingdom by A. J. Cronin (I'm about 1/2 way through with this one!)
Unbroken by Tracy Elliott (I'm looking forward to this one; I got it today in the mail to review)
Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg
Rockspring by R. G. Vliet (If I were guessing, I'd say this one probably won't get finished and will recycle back into the to be read shelves)
Grand Opening by Jon Hassler
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Missing from the stack, because it is in my car, is Palace Walk, which I started reading, but then realized that I'd better crack on with my May reading group book, Keys to the Kingdom.

Beginning the first week in May, it'll be time to start the thinking process for the Summer Reading Challenge. Perhaps a summer of focusing on only one author? How much Trollope do you think I could read over the summer?

......can we at least get some totally Summa shoes to wear when we traipse down to the tattoo parlor? I'm not teetering in there on some high heels, so these are my options:


These are by BC Footwear, and they're $40.95. They'd be comfortable--and that's a plus when you're getting needles stuck into you. At least I think it would be.


These are by Via Spiga, and they're called "Mop." I generally draw the line at anything named after a housecleaning implement, but these might be the exception. They totally capture us, but they are $142.95, which is a tad much.


Now, these are by Kate Spade (love, love, love her shoes!) and I think these would totally capture that "respectable moms gone bad" look we might need to emphasize at the parlor. Downside? $184, but they used to be $228, so we're getting a bargain.


Now, these might be my choice. First, they are only $55.95 (which is only about 10 times what I normally pay for sandals!). But second, and probably most important, don't they just scream "We're only here because we had three giant margaritas!"? That might come in handy when we have some 'splainin' to do.

Project 365 - Day One

| | Comments (3)

I don't have a good digital camera. But I am still going to take part in Project 365. A picture a day for a year. I think that over the course of the year that it will be both a good discipline--to look at the world around me--and something fun to try. PapaC and the Zman always want to know what to get me. I've been thinking of a digital camera. So, I'll start with the crummy one, and see if I like playing with it before I invest more money into something better. Donna--who is gifted at this--is my inspiration. Maybe one day I'll do pictures like hers. Until then, at least I'll document what's going on in my life!

Cold Nose

The funniest thing about this picture is that you cannot make Maggie move far enough away to actually take a picture of her. On the other hand, Nyx wants to be in the pictures and practically pushes you over trying to be part of it until you aim the camera at her. Zman and I laughed and laughed. She's one of those creatures who thinks the camera will steal her soul! So, no good dog pictures. Either I get a picture of a tail of a dog running away or the nose of a dog trying to jump at the camera!

All of the entries in today's edition of Fine Art Friday were winners of one category or another at the International Quilt Association show in Houston, Texas in the fall of 2006. This is a truly immense quilt show, and you could spend hour upon hour looking at beautiful quilts of all types. If you'd like to attend the 2007 show, it will be held November 1-4, 2007, down in Houston. I have friends (who don't quilt) who attend every year. They say it's worth the trip! And if the quilts I've shown you here aren't enough, go to the IQA website and look at all the winners. You'll not be sorry!

Carol Taylor of Pittsford NY


Little Cities
Kathy York of Austin, TX


Margarette Steinhauer of Scituate, MA


Jacarandas & Daisy Chains
Margery Goodall of Mt. Lawley, Western Australia


Young at Heart
Mary Buvia of Greenwood, IN


Pat LaPierre McAfee and members of the Naples Quilt Guild of Naples, FL


Deceased Mother, Many Thanks
Tomoko Shibahara of Huakata, Japan


Kitty Corner
Janet Fogg of Lake Oswego, OR


Expanding Star
Judy Mathieson of Sebastopol, CA


Second Chance
Janet Steadman of Clinton, WA


Square Root Cubed 3
Joan Frantz of Ft. Meyers, FL


Nebraska's Rising Sun
Sandi McMillan and Laura Franchini of Albion, NE

Have a "piece-ful" weekend, ya'll!

Happy 21st Birthday, Zman!

From this kind of birthday

All the way to THIS kind of birthday

You've always been our pride and joy!

We love you!
Mom and Dad

This quote tickled me!

| | Comments (1)

"There are great numbers of people to whom the act of reading a book -- any sort of book -- is wondrous; they speak of the reader in the tone of warm approbation which they use otherwise when referring to pregnant women, or the newly dead."

Robertson Davies (1913-1995)

don't panic, mamaT, my anti-tat status is practically legendary ~ especially considering the fact that several of my friends sport body "art" as well as the fact that i actually fall into the fastest growing demographic for tattooing...is that a word?...which is middle-class suburban women, good Lord deliver us. i've even been quoted somewhere here in blogdom as having said, "i don't care how many moms have tattoos, they're still tacky."

that said, if we summa mamas were to experience a major collective brainfart and don these little suckers, i figure they must first be placed in soft, pliable places (absolutely no tramp stamps, they look way too painful) and, second, they would have to encapsulate our love of all things literary. i humbly propose the following:


too scary? then perhaps something less funereal:


oh wait. "read or die" is pretty funereal. okay. how about something with an ethnic flare?


well, perhaps we could ask our dear readers to write in and vote like they do on all those reality shows. whatsay? and, until we are ready to bite the bullet we might just try the temporary variety of these cute little buggers at archie mcphee ~ one of my favorite places to shop! check out their illustrated librarian temporary tattoos. they're totally coolmoe and très fun!

Here's something worth thinking about:

Such forgiveness is no mere sentiment. It is founded upon the deep knowledge that we should forgive, because we ourselves need forgiveness: with what measure we measure, so shall it be measured out to us. And that in turn should cause us to remember that there are more important things in heaven and earth than the particular sin before us at the moment. In other words, the faith helps to place our controversies upon a stage that is long and deep and high -- and on that stage they can fade before the glory of the God who commands us to forgive. If I keep an eye on eternity, even though I live in the passing hour and must redeem the time, still I know that I am not imprisoned in that time, and that one day all our strife will be resolved. Politics is important; it is also nothing. I have the freedom to laugh, not with a sneer, but with forbearance and generosity. I also have the freedom to say "I am sorry," genuinely, as a plea for forbearance for human weakness and folly, and not as a tactical maneuver to control the damage. It is altogether liberating, this genial humor and true forgiveness.

But what happens when that dimension of the divine is removed? Why forgive? What we see, in our Culture of Tolerance, is a willful incapacity to bear the weaknesses and follies of others; instead, we insist that no one must ever look askance at our own sin. A faithful Christian can rejoice in calumny, because he knows that even if all the world should call him a fool, he looks for praise from the One who counts, and who will reveal the truth in the end. Take that faith away, and loss of reputation verges upon a veritable loss of being, and people will snarl in fear and vindictiveness, like small dogs locked in a closet with insufficient food and water. In such a world, where politics assumes the place of god if only because it is big and powerful, a single political sin can mean destruction -- and forgiveness is the habit of a fool. It is better, in such a world, when one's neighbor has fallen, especially one's neighbor on the "wrong" political side, to take the same vengeance upon him that he would have taken upon oneself, and tear him to pieces. So, paradoxically, hell rewards according to the same principle as heaven, though not with the same good grain.

-------------Anthony Esolen, over on the Touchstone blog Mere Comments


You might want to head over to Maggie Reads and sign up. The challenge will be in June, July and August, and she's giving prizes! Click the logo above, to find out more!

A quiz for today!

| | Comments (2)

I'm the lai, with no sort
Of grave, solemn thought,
And I
Will never be caught
By miseries sought,
Nor sigh;
Where battles are fought
Or arguments brought,
I fly.
What Poetry Form Are You?

And, in case you didn't know what a lai was (I didn't!), here is what wikipedia says about it:

A Lai was a song form composed in northern Europe, mainly France and Germany, from the 13th to the late 14th century.

The poetic form of the lai usually has several stanzas, none of which have the same form. As a result, the accompanying music consists of sections which do not repeat. This distinguishes the lai from other common types of musically important verse of the period (for example, the rondeau and the ballade). Towards the end of its development in the 14th century, some lais repeat stanzas, but usually only in the longer examples. There is one very late example of a lai, written to mourn the defeat of the French at the Battle of Agincourt (1415), (Lay de la guerre, by Pierre de Nesson) but no music for it survives.

That's me. Ancient and completely unorganized!

Today's entry for Fine Art Friday has the theme that has been on our hearts, minds and lips all week: resurrection!

The first image might be the most lovely image of angels I have ever seen. These aren't those silly angels. These are strong angels--truly capable of being the messengers of God.

The Resurrection: The Angels Rolling Away the Stone from the Sepulchre
William Blake

The next entry is in honor of a friend of mine who loves all of Burne-Jones' stuff. I hope she sees it today. I like the angels here, too.

The Morning of the Resurrection
Edward Burne-Jones

Titian is one of those artists that I gape at. He is almost too much of a muchness, if you know what I mean. This painting tickles me because Jesus' feet are so flat! He isn't leaping from the grave, he is really rising.

The Resurrection of Christ

I like this next image, because I like the soldier being flung out of the way by the force of the resurrection. I imagine it to have been very much like that. Roman troops were hardened characters--and they didn't ignore their duty or fall asleep at a post.

The Resurrection
Francesco Trevisani

I have always liked this one. I think it has something to do with the harrowing of hell, as well. They certainly don't look like Roman guards around the bottom, do they?


The Resurrection
El Greco

Smock, here's the resurrection section of the altarpiece Fr A mentioned in his sermon on Easter Sunday!

The Resurrection of Christ, from the Isenheim Altarpiece
Matthias Grunewald

And finally, a less literal take on the subject, but one that uses a traditional symbol of the resurrection. I like this, because I like the burst of "light" surrounding the butterfly.

Nicole Marques

The Lord is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

Booking Through Thursday

| | Comments (2)

Here's today's question:

Have you ever missed an important appointment because you have become so engrossed in a book you forgot the time or were up so late reading that you didn't wake up in time? Been late to work because you couldn't resist the temptation and left the house too late?

No, not that I know of. I have, however, walked around in a deep fog because I am sleepy from staying up too late reading. THAT is a common occurance!

In the midst of reading.....

| | Comments (3)

.....Master and Commander, I came across this arresting paragraph. Stephen Maturin, the ship's surgeon is writing in his diary about a man (James Dillon) whom he knew in prior years and who is now part of the crew of the ship:

....this is a critical time for him, a lesser climacteric--a time that will settle him in that particular course he will never leave again, but will persevere in for the rest of his life. It has often seemed to me that towards this period...men strike out their permanent characters; or have those characters struck into them. Merriment, roaring high spirits before this: then some chance concatentaion, or some hidden predilection (or rather inherent bias) working through, and the man is in the road he cannot leave but must go on, making it deeper and deeper (a groove, or channel), until he is lost in his mere character--persona--no longer human, but an accretion of qualities belonging to their character. James Dillon was a delightful being. Now he is closing in. It is odd--will I say heart-breaking?--how cheerfulness goes: gaiety of mind, natural free-springing joy. Authority is its great enemy--the assumption of authority. I know few men over fifty that seem to me entirely human: virtually none who has long exercised authority.

I'm still thinking about this, because I think it, in the main, true. What I'd like to recapture most in my life is not the irresponsibility of youth, but a little of the "free-springing joy". I think most of us give that up too readily.

One thing I learned in Lent....


One of the things I promised myself I would do during Lent was to go up to the church every evening at 6 p.m. to say evening prayer. (I only live about 6 minutes away from the church, so the travel time was not an issue.)

I have long wanted to make the Daily Office a part of my life, but left on my own I always start out with a bang only to peter out later. I have started and stopped more times than you can imagine, and certainly more times than I am going to admit to you!

So accountability was part of my plan--if Don and Fr A were at the church, and would know that I hadn't come, then maybe that would help me be more faithful. Now, they're totally not the kind of people who would make you feel bad for missing a night, but they do ask you, in a concerned sort of way, where you were the night before.

With built in accountability like that, I was more successful than I have ever been. I probably missed between 5 and 10 nights during the whole of Lent--some planned for and some--well, some where my brain just went on hiatus and forgot where I was supposed to be.

So, I have six weeks of evening prayer under my belt. The question is will my new found practice hold now that Lent is over? Even after 6 weeks, I can't say it is a habit. Too often I find myself speeding down to the church, hoping I won't be late, because I only looked at the clock at 5:50 and realized I was supposed to be somewhere else!

It makes me realize how wise the Church is to make Sundays days of obligation for her children. I have proved to myself, well and truly, that if it weren't for external obligation I would be the laziest, slobbiest Catholic on the planet. Obligation alone made me show up every evening to receive the graces that I received.

I think that says something about me--maybe about all of us, but I'm not generalizing here. Even in the face of graces received, I'd still stay at home and watch Wheel of Fortune instead.

Maybe one day that won't be true. Maybe one day I can do it because it is pleasing to God.

How lucky are we? We get graces even when we perform only grudgingly. Now that's a deal!

And look at the fabric I chose! Tres cute, huh? Tres Summa Mama, no?

Want one? Go over to the Kitchen Madonna site, and follow the links. Lots of groovy retro fabrics. It was hard to pick just ONE! Um, or I guess just TWO!


A Superfantastic take.....

| | Comments (3)

.....on Easter, by none other than the fabulous Manolo the Shoeblogger. Having been in a crammed full church with numerous squiggly children for 2-1/2 hours yesterday morning, I can relate!

Manolo says, the Manolo must admit that has never completely understood the American version of Easter. Elsewhere this day of joy is celebrated with religious processions and family feasts.

Yes, in North America there is still the ham-based dinner, but here the main event of the day occurs when the tiny tots wake up, rush down the stairs and launch themselves teeth first into the five pounds of chocolate, marshmallow, and jelly beans, which have been left for them by the giant fairy-tale rodent.

Later, at church, these same children, now under the deleterious influence of Cadbury’s Crème Eggs and Yellow Peeps, will vigorously bounce up and down, twitch, and swing their legs in the pews, while their parents shush them repeatedly.

Happily, some of this sugar-fueled energy will be dissipated by the hunting of the eggs, during which their best new clothes will be permanently stained with grass, food coloring, and chocolate saliva.

I have refrained, in the interest of maintaining Erik's sanity, from posting the picture of the superfantastic PINK shoes the Manolo recommended for Easter. They wouldn't have gone with my Easter outfit anyway. Now, if they came in blue......

Like these shoes! Which I wish I had! Sorry, couldn't help posting a shoe picture!!!


Easter Sunday

| | Comments (4)
The Resurrection
Anton Dorph

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and Heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail, the resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains that He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

----Charles Wesley

Holy Saturday

Harrowing of Hell
1572, Longin

A reading from an ancient homily for Holy Saturday:

The Lord's descent into hell

What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.

Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam's son.

The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: 'My Lord be with you all.' And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.

‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.

‘I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.

‘For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form; that of slave; for you, I who am above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, man, I became as a man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden, I was handed over to Jews from a garden and crucified in a garden.

‘Look at the spittle on my face, which I received because of you, in order to restore you to that first divine inbreathing at creation. See the blows on my cheeks, which I accepted in order to refashion your distorted form to my own image.

'See the scourging of my back, which I accepted in order to disperse the load of your sins which was laid upon your back. See my hands nailed to the tree for a good purpose, for you, who stretched out your hand to the tree for an evil one.

`I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side, for you, who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side healed the pain of your side; my sleep will release you from your sleep in Hades; my sword has checked the sword which was turned against you.

‘But arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but on the throne of heaven. I denied you the tree of life, which was a figure, but now I myself am united to you, I who am life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make the cherubim worship you as they would God.

"The cherubim throne has been prepared, the bearers are ready and waiting, the bridal chamber is in order, the food is provided, the everlasting houses and rooms are in readiness; the treasures of good things have been opened; the kingdom of heaven has been prepared before the ages."

Good Friday

The Crucifixion, or Golgotha
Nikolai Ge

Who has believed what we have heard?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrow;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him;
he has put him to grief;
when he makes himself an offering for sin,
he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand;
he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous;
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out his soul to death,
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

---------------Isaiah 52

okay, just humor me...

| | Comments (1)

this is sort of cute in a weird way. or, maybe not. just see for yourself.


for umpteen generations now (okay, i exaggerate, this probably makes generation three or four) whenever someone in my family -- how can i put it delicately? um ... well, passes gas, they will gasp and look at the ground and bemoan, ohh ... that poor frog. get it? i'm not sure what a real frog sounds like whenever it is stepped on, but i'm sure it isn't so very far a cry from ... well, mr. f. hart. much to my dismay, older brother duncan of course encourages the boys to cry poot! whenever they let each little bean be heard, but i prefer the "frog line" because it seems a tadpole more delicate. well, maybe not, but is there ever really an appropriate response to that situation? i think not. besides, there aren't really any better euphemisms for passing gas than, oops! i stepped on a frog are there? but as usual, i digress.

the other day i was dressing the smocktwins in cute new outfits that i picked up at divine consign (it's like a super titanic garage sale and i highly recommend visiting one in your area). anyway, the outfits were almost identical except the shirt of one featured a dinosaur (for donovan) and one sported a frog (for davis).

donovan first pointed to his shirt and asked, dis? i told him, it's a dinosaur. a dinosaur says grrrowl! then, davis pointed to his shirt and asked, dis? i said, this is a frog. a frog says... at which point davis interjected exclaiming poot!

now, if you don't see the humor in this, forgive me. i laughed until my sides hurt. my poor baby really thinks that *that* is the sound a frog makes. we're trying to convince him that a frog says ribbit! but i'm guessing it will take some time because our "frog line" isn't going away anytime soon; it's a habit. besides, everyone laughs when we use it. if you don't believe me, i suggest you try it the next time you toot your own horn.

Maundy Thursday

| | Comments (3)

Last Supper

Salvador Dali

Booking Through Thursday


I took my questions from the archives of BTT, because today's question (about whether I'd read the Bible or not) didn't seem very interesting to me. I guess because I assume ya'll know that the answer would be yes--especially since I teach a Bible Study every Sunday morning!

So, from a couple of years back, here are the questions I picked for today:

1. Are you currently reading more than one book?
2. If so, how many books are you currently reading?
3. Is this normal for you?
4. Where do you keep your current reads?

1. Yes, I'm reading more than one book.

2. I am currently reading three books: Sprig Musling by Georgette Heyer, Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brien (which I put down when my Heyer book came in from Amazon), and The Way of the Cross by Caryll Houselander. Starting today I will also read the four Gospels during the Triduum.

3. I have been trying to read one book at a time, though to me that means one pleasure book and one devotional/religiously oriented book. I have special time set aside for the latter. I used to have lots of books "in process", but decided, as a matter of focus and/or self-discipline to keep the numbers down.

4. My "to-read" stack is on the bottome shelf of my nightstand. I've consolidated it from being spread all over the house.

Um, okay........


You’re St. Melito of Sardis!

You have a great love of history and liturgy. You’re attached to the traditions of the ancients, yet you recognize that the old world — great as it was — is passing away. You are loyal to the customs of your family, though you do not hesitate to call family members to account for their sins.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

Another question

| | Comments (1)

How much candy do you think it takes to fill 350 plastic Easter eggs?

Let's don't go into how come I need to know. OK?

A question:

| | Comments (1)

Just how deep is the mourning at TSO's house over the results of last night's basketball game?

Yesterday's hymns

| | Comments (1)

After the procession with palms, we sang this one, of course. I'm sure most of you did as well:

All glory, laud and honor,
To Thee, Redeemer, King,
To Whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.

Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s Name comest,
The King and Blessèd One.


The company of angels
Are praising Thee on High,
And mortal men and all things
Created make reply.


The people of the Hebrews
With palms before Thee went;
Our prayer and praise and anthems
Before Thee we present.


To Thee, before Thy passion,
They sang their hymns of praise;
To Thee, now high exalted,
Our melody we raise.


Thou didst accept their praises;
Accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,
Thou good and gracious King.


Sung to St. Theodulph.

Offertory was one of my favorites:

My song is love unknown,
My Savior’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take, frail flesh and die?

He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend.

Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!” is all their breath,
And for His death they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries! Yet they at these
Themselves displease, and ’gainst Him rise.

They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they saved,
The Prince of life they slay,
Yet cheerful He to suffering goes,
That He His foes from thence might free.

In life, no house, no home
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say? Heav’n was His home;
But mine the tomb wherein He lay.

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend, in Whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.

Sung to Love Unknown at SMV, though there are several other tunes that work.

Communion hymns were:

There is a green hill far away,
outside a city wall,
where our dear Lord was crucified
who died to save us all.

We may not know, we cannot tell,
what pains he had to bear,
but we believe it was for us
he hung and suffered there.

He died that we might be forgiven,
he died to make us good,
that we might go at last to heaven,
saved by his precious blood.

There was no other good enough
to pay the price of sin,
he only could unlock the gate
of heaven and let us in.

O dearly, dearly has he loved!
And we must love him too,
and trust in his redeeming blood,
and try his works to do.

Sung to Horsley.

And then this one (I don't know why we had two--just lucky I guess):

O sacred head, sore wounded,
defiled and put to scorn;
O kingly head surrounded
with mocking crown of thorn:
What sorrow mars thy grandeur?
Can death thy bloom deflower?
O countenance whose splendor
the hosts of heaven adore!

Thy beauty, long-desirèd,
hath vanished from our sight;
thy power is all expirèd,
and quenched the light of light.
Ah me! for whom thou diest,
hide not so far thy grace:
show me, O Love most highest,
the brightness of thy face.

I pray thee, Jesus, own me,
me, Shepherd good, for thine;
who to thy fold hast won me,
and fed with truth divine.
Me guilty, me refuse not,
incline thy face to me,
this comfort that I lose not,
on earth to comfort thee.

In thy most bitter passion
my heart to share doth cry,
with thee for my salvation
upon the cross to die.
Ah, keep my heart thus moved
to stand thy cross beneath,
to mourn thee, well-beloved,
yet thank thee for thy death.

My days are few, O fail not,
with thine immortal power,
to hold me that I quail not
in death's most fearful hour;
that I may fight befriended,
and see in my last strife
to me thine arms extended
upon the cross of life.

Sung to Passion Chorale.

Then we ended with a rousing version of this:

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.


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


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


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


Sung to Crucifer (appropriate, no?)



About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2007 is the previous archive.

May 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.