November 2007 Archives


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Speaking of Christmas lists, these little beauties come in either red or black. I'll take one color, you take the other. Which do you want, red or black?


Now if I only had a spare $754 to buy 'em with. Sigh.

Heard Last Night at Casa S


McKid, throwing a hissy fit, because she wanted to go to the K of C football watching party at the church with her PapaC:




Dallas guys win over the Green Baxters.

Much to my relief.

Much to PapaC's sorrow.

Fine Art Friday on Friday - What a Concept!


Today it has been gray, cloudy and yucky around here. It's not cold, though it looks like it should be. So today's FAF(OF,WAC!) is about GRAY. Enjoy. At least as much as you can enjoy gray......


No. 14 (Gray)
Jackson Pollock

Gray and Gold
John Cox

Grey-Violet Landscape
Wolf Kahn

the only treat i find more mouthwatering than bacon is chocolate. and in my quest to try all things chocolate, you'll never believe what a delectable little morsel i just stumbled across. now, who-woulda-think-it? chocolate diamonds! oh, yes. delightful, delish, and darling -- and not one dreaded carb! i'm convinced that chocolate diamonds should be on every woman's wishlist. now if i could just convince smockdaddy. . .

what a truly tasteful gift.

Booking Through Thursday

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Do you get on a roll when you read, so that one book leads to the next, which leads to the next, and so on and so on?

I don’t so much mean something like reading a series from beginning to end, but, say, a string of books that all take place in Paris. Or that have anthropologists as the main character. Or were written in the same year. Something like that… Something that strings them together in your head, and yet, otherwise could be different genres, different authors…

I try NOT to do this, although last year, or maybe the year before, I got on a real jag of Indian books. I read enough stuff set in India that I was worn out by the end of my journey.

This past summer I read many Agatha Christie books, and it was good. One of my good book group pals, Ann, reads the book of the month plus all the other books by that author she can get her hands on via the library. She has more time to read than I do, and she is probably a faster reader than I am as well. I've always been tempted to read all of a beloved author's works at one go, but I tend to like to ration them out like bon-bons.

What about you???

Pick of the kid book tote this week

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McKid and I try to go to the library every other Thursday. I load up the tote with a bunch of books, trying to fill it before she decides that she'll pick. Mostly because her idea of picking is just to randomly walk along the shelves and grab a book here and there and drop it in the bag. Without even looking at it. This bugs me, for some reason.

Although I must admit, I'm not sure that we haven't had just as much luck with her method as with my more judicious searching of the shelves.

But every time we go, no matter what, we must absolutely, positively get a Junie B Jones book. So this week's favorite is:


This book so tickled my funny bone, that I had to stop and compose myself before I could read any more. Between nub heads, When Ponies Attack, and a chick named Spike, the book made me laugh from start to finish.

And yes, yes, one of the complaints about the series is that Junie B doesn't use correct grammar. People, it's written in the voice of a 5 year old. You can always use it as a teaching tool.

All thumbs up from CasaS.

Winter Reading Challenge

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Winter Reading Challenge for me will start Saturday, December 1st! (I cannot believe I just typed that!) Hey, I have a few days to finish the book I'm reading, though that's unlikely, I suppose. Especially if I sit down to do all the desk work that is hanging over my head.

But I'd rather not think about that. I'd rather think about books! Wouldn't you?

So, herewith the list of books I'm gonna try to get through during the winter quarter:

First, my book group's selections for the 3 months, two of which I don't even know yet. That's another entry. So,

December - The Saintmaker's Christmas Eve by Paul Horgan
January - TBDecided
February - TBDecided

I toyed with the idea of making the winter quarter a nonfiction quarter - except for the book group books, but I put that idea aside. I knew I'd just be sneaking into the living room to snatch a novel off the shelves, and read it surreptitiously. And how stupid would that be since I'd be cheating on myself?

So, I decided to just dip randomly in the piles of unread books around here, and here's what came up:

Penmarric by Susan Howatch
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Don Camillo Takes the Devil by the Tail by Giovanni Guareschi
These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
Lord Vanity by Samuel Shellabarger
Brother Odd by Dean Koontz
A Stranger in the Kingdom by Howard Frank Mosher
Post Captain by Patrick O'Brian
Christianity on Trial by Vincent Carroll & David Shiflett

There it is. Fourteen contenders. But how many will actually get read?

I'll update the Autumn Reading Challenge on the last day!

Something cool Xerox is doing!


Go to the Let's Say Thanks website, and you can pick out a card to say thanks to a soldier serving in Iraq! You can't choose who you send it to, but you can choose the post card and personalize it with a short note.

And it's FREE!

Bravo, Xerox! I'm off to send mine. How 'bout you?

Fine Art Friday on Tuesday!

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The Shiner
Norman Rockwell

I know it is oh so moderne to dis artists like Norman Rockwell. But I love his work, and I stand in awe of his ability to capture the finest details of a scene. Sure, some of them are like fairy tales, because nothing in real life could be so sweet or cute. But I like fairy tales. So there.

Here is one of my favorite Rockwells, because she looks so proud of herself.

If you get First Things.....

| | Comments (3) sure you read the article "The End of Advent" by Joseph Bottum. I looked on the First Things website, to see if it was there, but it is not. Or at least not yet. Anyway, the article is short but worthwhile.

Here's a little snippet for you:

Christmas has devoured Advent, gobbled it up with the turkey giblets and the goblets of seasonal ale. Every secularized holiday, of course, tends to lose the context it had in the liturgical year. Across the nation, even in many churches, Easter has hopped across Lent, Halloween has frightened away All Saints, and New Year's has drunk up Epiphany.

Still the disappearance of Advent seems especially disturbing--for it's injured even the secular Christmas season: opening a hole, from Thanksgiving on, that can be filled only with fiercer, madder, and wilder attempts to anticipate Christmas.

More Christmas trees. More Christmas lights. More tinsel, more tassels, more glitter, more glee--until the glut of candies and carols, ornaments and trimmings, has left almost nothing for Christmas Day. For much of America, Christmas itself arrives nearly as an afterthought: not the fulfillment, but only the end, of the long Yule season that has burned without stop since the stores began their Christmas sales.

shamelessly lifted from the family research council.

Two prominent embryonic stem cell scientists today published results showing that they can produce cells with the qualities of embryonic stem cells directly from human skin cells, without the need for creating or destroying embryos, without cloning, and without the need for eggs used in cloning. The groundbreaking news by Dr. James Thomson, first to grow human embryonic stem cells, and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, Japan, was that they produced what are called "iPS" cells (induced Pluripotent Stem cells) using a simple recipe that involved adding four genetic factors to a human skin cell. When comparing these new cells with existing embryonic stem cells, Thomson noted that iPS cells "meet the defining criteria" for embryonic stem cells "with the significant exception that the iPS cells are not derived from embryos." Yamanaka and Thomson are to be congratulated for pushing forward the frontiers of science and demonstrating that good science can also satisfy ethical requirements. Coupled with the recent announcement by Dr. Ian Wilmut, cloner of Dolly the sheep, that he is shelving cloning as an unproductive technique in favor of this new ethical method, dubious experiments involving embryo cloning and embryo destruction are being rendered obsolete. Scientists can now work with "embryonic-like" stem cells without ethical concerns, while for patients the adult and cord blood stem cells continue to treat thousands of patients now. Congress should move swiftly to ban all human cloning by passing the Brownback-Weldon human cloning prohibition.

see the new yankee times article here.


Oh, like I needed these. Don't tell me. And it's WAY too late to reprimand me. And no, I don't have space to put all these on my shelves. Which is another issue I'll have to deal with.

But it's not my fault! The AAUW had their annual book fair, and my sweet mama gave me money to go. Then 1/2 Price Books, my arch-nemesis in the frugality game, had a blowout clearance sale. Sigh. And there WAS the semi-annual library book sale.

Who am I to resist such temptation?

But what will I do with all these BOOKS?????

Here's the bounty:

Vanity Fair by William Thackery
Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund
Christianity on Trial by Vincent Carroll and David Shiflett (this was FREE! I had to take it!)
The Fixer, The Natural & The Assistant (one volume) by Bernard Malamud
Sea Glass by Anita Shreve
The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve
The Stories of John Cheever by, who else, John Cheever (10 cents at Goodwill - I was only supposed to be dropping off, not picking up!)
China Court by Rumer Godden
The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult (10 cents at Goodwill, see above!)
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
The Child From the Sea by Elizabeth Goudge
Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge
Gentian Hill by Elizabeth Goudge
B.F.'s Daughter by John P. Marquand
So Little Time by John P. Marquand
Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde (love the Thursday Next books!)
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
The Lord God Made Them All by James Herriot
A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter (a childhood favorite, now replaced)
Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Throne of the World by Louis DeWohl
Penmarric by Susan Howatch
Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope
The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (never read this - have only seen the movie!)
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Post Captain by Patrick O'Brian
Risk Pool by Richard Russo (the only repeat of the bunch - I'll give it away)

Zman says, "Mom, you're gonna have to start READING 'em and stop BUYING 'em."


Fine Art Friday on Saturday

The Waitress
Edouard Manet

I picked this image because I am serving at a benefit dinner for a small Catholic college tonight. I have been planning it and working on it for the past few weeks, and I will be OH SO GLAD when it is OVER tonight.

Even if I'm still washing dishes at midnight.

It can't last forever.

And a bonus Manet image, just because I've had to be so quiet lately and I feel like I've shorted you:

White Lilac in Glass Vase

And, if you want to, you can read a little bit about Manet in his Wikipedia entry here.

Booking through Thursday on Saturday

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How many of us write notes in our books? Are you a Footprint Leaver or a Preservationist?

I'm a sticky-noter. I cannot bear to read the inanities I thought when I read the book before. So, when I'm in the midst of it I am a copious user of Post-It flags. Then I reread what I flagged. Then I take them off and shelve the book.

Smock is a footprint leaver, though, I think.


well, it's about time! papa ratzi will finally be coming to the states next year. and considering the sad state of affairs in this wonderful country o' ours, his timing is none too soon. but hey, what's up with the suit?

sure, why not?

Your Inner European is Russian!
Mysterious and exotic.
You've got a great balance of danger and allure.

Hey, wanna crochet in the dark???

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Now you can! With Crochet Lite from Widget Industries. Available from their website, or from various other yarn and tool suppliers across the internet.

But I must admit that I find the copy on the website regarding this new tool hilarious:

Perfect for edging, blinding, embellishments and more!

Blinding, huh? Now there's something I had never thought of before! Shhhhh. Don't tell the airlines, or I'll never get my hooks on the airplane again!

Oh, and BTW. You can also get knitting needles that light up and scissors that light up! Woo hoo! Soon I won't have to turn on my lights at all!

Uh, I don't THINK so!

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Your Inner European is French!
Smart and sophisticated.
You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.

Courtesy of Julie over at Happy Catholic.

Fine Art Friday on Sunday?

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Since today is Sunday, I thought that Fine Art Friday (a few days late!) should have a religious subject instead of a secular one. So today I'm featuring the paintings of the prophets by James Tissot. You can read a little bit about the artist here, in his Wikipedia entry. But you don't have to. You can just let the images speak for themselves.



When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Ezekiel 18:27



But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel. Micah 5:2



But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings. Malachi 4:2



Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! Jeremiah 15:10

Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. Isaiah 6:8

Booking Through Thursday

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Would you say that you read about the same amount now as when you were younger? More? Less?

Less, probably, because I have too many other things to do. And I'm pretty mad about it at the moment, because I am within 40 pages of finishing the BEST GEORGETTE HEYER NOVEL SO FAR!

And I'll let you hang to figure out which one, because parish council meeting (bleah!) is awaiting my spectacular presence.......

Overheard at CasaS

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Zman was packing to go on a 4 day photographic journey, and the McKid was sitting on his bed "helping" him get ready, as only a 5 year old can "help". Zman is so good to her, but he is forever making up stuff to tell her, to see if he can get her to believe it. They're chatting away in his room, while I'm here in the office.

All of a sudden, there's an indignant 5 year old voice:

McKid: MOOOOOOOM! Is Zack invisible?

Me: I don't know. Can you still see him?

McKid: Yes!

Me: Then I guess he's not invisible.

McKid: Oh.

Hmmmmm. Go figure.

in addition to my love for all things bacon, i happen to be infatuated with all things "hello kitty" as well. add that to my affinity for active self-defense (yes, i made that phrase up ... i think) and you get this, the glambo signature series hello kitty hk-ak-47...


who says you can't be girly with your grit? visit here.

MamaT's 2cents: I'm waiting for the Disney Princess Poison Rings. What a stocking stuffer!

go take a look-see at snopes.

lars and the real girl

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contrary to popular belief, mamaT has not disappeared into the ether. she is alive and well. in fact, we just had a summa mama date night last friday. we went to see lars and the real girl and then out to dinner.

lars is probably one of the most deeply moving movies i've seen in ... oh ... the past decade. the absurdity of the premise -- a delusional young guy strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the internet -- implies comedy. but if that's all you are expecting, you're in for a big surprise. oh sure, we laughed, but i think mamaT and i cried more. this movie has a huge heart and the characters are so lovable. so lovable in fact, i'd take any one of them for my own family.

the miracle of the movie is ryan gosling (who is an absolute doll himself). i cannot imagine this character working in the hands of any other actor.

doing a little research i found that the story was written by former "six feet under" writer nancy oliver. i loved "six feet under" and hope to see ms. nancy doing much more in the future.

two words from the smock: pure genius.

Additional two cents from MamaT:

Neither Smock nor I can talk about this movie without choking up. So I'll just say this: Ryan Gosling is fabulous in this movie. In a time of fragmentation and darkness in our society, it is a story about community, family and the power of love. It is, above all, a kind movie--a trait that people are far too quick to blow off as sentimentalism or weakness. It is neither. And if it never comes to a theater in your area, rent it when it comes out on DVD. I will.



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

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