June 2009 Archives


so which of you mommas would like to try this yummy pattern? the only thing missing is a couple of slices of bacon. of course, with baby on board, you'd have to make mine a double-double-cheese-cheese-burger-burger, please.

Another easy-p crochet pattern. These look so useful! I throw apples in my bag and then just give them to my children all the time. Just like that. All bag germy and banged from cohabitating with whatever else is in there. I think an apple cozy per child will help build my crochet muscles to a hat per child, as well. Or at least embellish some knit hats with crochet...


The pattern is a free download here at Ravelry. You need to be a member, but if you knit or crochet or like patterns and aren't on Ravelry, you need to do that anyway.

Pretty Pattern Tuesday

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I love this pattern. And, LaMa, I think this is the very yarn you are using for your coasters!

Dishcloths are a wonderful thing to make when you are learning to crochet with cottong yarn. They are generally square, so you can tell if you've messed up your pattern along the way. They can be made with a multitude of stitches, so you can practice. And they are small--so they don't use much yarn. And they don't take much time. A perfect project to work on while you're watching a movie or something.

And I love the cotton cloth to wash my face with at night.

Anyway, here's a nice one:


And you can find the pattern here.

And there is a whole page of crocheted cloths (dish and face--though what makes 'em different is a distinction beyond me!).

Pick up your hooks and GO!

with earnest prayers that this poor, miserable soul will hopefully find some peace, this is THE song that turned the smock into a michael jackson fan -- and a fan of minor hedonism -- for a brief moment in time.* this man was living proof that the line between genius and insanity is a mighty fine one.

don't stop 'til you get enough

there's just enough disco flavor with a dash of soul to make this song move anyone with two ears. g'head, take a listen. you know you wanna tap those toes!

*that would be throughout the eighties.

MamaT's Monday Music #2.....


.....and if it doesn't make you tear up, well, you're a stronger person than I am.

Maybe the most heartfelt video of a song I've ever seen.

MamaT's Monday Music


This morning we're listening to Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. It is FULL of awesome.

Happy Monday, ya'll! I gotta go fold clothes.

Addiction, thy name is.....

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'Nuff said.

Simply a must see


And what I want to know is this: How long did it take him to figure this out and set it up?

From over at Kickass Classical, one of my new faves.


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Today is National Chocolate Pudding Day!

Who's making me some pudding?

7 Quick Takes for Friday

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I have worked myself nearly to the bone (ha! would that that were true!) this week, trying to catch up on financial work for the parish that has fallen behind following my dad's death in April. One more diocesan report to do this morning, and I will be as caught up as I can be at the moment. At least with reports. Then I can mush forward with my attempt to regularlize my work, going up to the church one day a week to work. Doing that will keep me on track and keep my volunteer work in this area from bleeding over into my house. I'm not sure how this will play out in the summer with the McKid here, but we'll see.


I love my air conditioner guy. He was here when he said he would be, and, thanks be to God, it was only a bad capacitor (whatever that is) and a pound of freon to fix the problem. A little more than $250, and we're back to cool. Or, cool-ish. Hurray for guys who work out in the screaming hot to keep my life nice. There will be a special place in heaven for them. And I hope I get to serve them there. It would be my joy.


This morning the news of Michael Jackson's death was on the front page of our paper. That's not particularly weird. But the headlines were more than an inch tall and his picture took up all the space above the fold. I mean, seriously, it was "war headline" big. Really, Star-Telegram? Really?


I nearly snorted cereal and milk up my nose though, reading the paper this morning. (Now that's an attractive picture, no?) Advertisers have taken to buying stickers that are stuck on the front page of the paper. Today's ad is for a "Seized and Forfeited Assets Auction". And what, you ask, might they be selling? Jewelry seized from narcotics dealers, fine art from Dali, Chagall, Picasso and other flashy items [emphasis mine] to be liquidated piece by piece regardless of cost or value.

Don't you just love that? Dali, Chagall and Picasso are flashy items. I think from here on out, I'm renaming it "Flashy Art Friday" instead of "Fine Art Friday". Whatta ya think?


All the commenters on Amazon were right about Not Buying It by Judith Levine. Her idea is interesting. Her implementation and take on it is frustrating. And I'm already tired of the Bush-bashing, which is her fall back position on everything. Oh, except for the times when her position is "the government ought to pay for everything I want to partake of so it'd be cheap." Sigh. I mush onward, though, 'cause the journey is both interesting and maddening.


A free weekend! Theatre Arlington tonight with my dear PapaC, NOTHING on Saturday (did you hear that? NOTHING!), church and baseball game on Sunday. Doesn't that sound perfect to you? Does to me!


You know the Zman is a good guy when he gets out of bed on his day off school to come and work with the McKid on learning to ride her bike with no training wheels.

That's my boy!

And you can read the rest of the Quick Takes over at Conversion Diary. Go on, it's fun to peep into others' lives!

Fine Art Friday

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So, today it may be 103 degrees! While we always hit that temp in the summer, it's really a little early for it. Last year we had a nice summer--it didn't reach 100 until sometime in August, which is pretty unheard of. But on days like today, we are thankful for our sweet air conditioner repair men (Thank you, John!) and for tall glasses of iced whatever, and wonder just how the heck did people do this when there was no air conditioning, no ice, and, heaven forbid, no shorts to wear!!!! If I had to live through this in a long cotton dress? Well, you'd probably have to wrap me up and bury me.

So, we're thinking about WATER. In particular, swimming pool water. And here are two retro prints that capture the essence of the Summas.


At One of Roger's Swimming Pools
No artist credit

And then one of the Summas themselves. You always wanted to see us together, didn't you?


Poolside Chat
Jacqueline Osborn

Happy Friday, ya'll!

.....when your first call of the day has to be to the air conditioner repair guy! Help me, John!

Then the dog threw up all over my files that I stupidly had stacked on the floor. Why she wandered through the entire house to find the one place that it would be absolutely gross for her to throw up in, well, you've got me.

I had some more elevated thoughts to share with you this morning, but they've been driven from my head by heat and vomit.

And doesn't that sound lovely?

Whatcha Reading? Wednesday

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Just finished off Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants. Thought it was well written, and had an interesting setting--the train circuses of the 1920's and 30's. Because that is a rough era and place, the book is correspondingly harsh. But I didn't take it to be very gratuitous in its violence or its focus on the circus. I had feared that it would focus too much on the "freaks", in a voyeuristic way, but it didn't.

But it says something that the character that I most identified with was an elephant. I thought the back stories of the characters were generally not very believable. And the ending? I liked it, but I didn't buy it.

The author does have a talent for describing old age, though. Her words rung very true with a lot of the things my mom told me about aging.

Worth a look, I think. Just not my favorite.

Spiritual reading? I'm still working my way though Tortured for Christ. Harrowing, uplifting, amazing.

Next on the agenda? Two books sitting on the nightstand: Vespers in Vienna by Bruce Marshall (author of The World, the Flesh and Father Smith, which I read last year) and Not Buying It by Judith Levine. It didn't get very good reviews on Amazon, but I am intrigued by her quest - to buy nothing but necessities (as she defines them) for a year.

How 'bout you?

Pretty Pattern Tuesday



I think this pattern is kind of cool. I don't usually like crocheted flowers, but this one is so bold that I'm thinking of trying this to jazz up some solid gold pillows I have for my couch. Done in a dark-ish green, I think they might look swell.

You can find the pattern for the tie on flower here.

... and Janis' Summertime!

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Of course, if I had to pick, I'd be true to Ella and Billie, but Janis' version is pretty swell. It, along with her Bobby McGee and Piece of My Heart brings back North Georgia Waffle House in the Middle of the Night Memories from 9th grade like whoa.

Here's Bobby so you can close your eyes and smell the memories too:

MamaT Monday Music #2


MamaT's Monday Music


Smock's new t-shirt......

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From Snorg t-shirts, too.

I don't think it comes in maternity style, but after November? Watch out.

......on a nice June evening?

A homemade hamburger with garden fresh tomatoes and onions out of LaMa's backyard garden, that's what!

Thanks, LaMa! We loved 'em!


i don't even care that this recipe came from a yankee website, i think it's a brilliant idea. in fact, i think the only thing mas coolio than bacon krispies might be a big ol' plate of bacon wrapped bacon. seriously. but since i have no business trying to make sweets (i'm the sorta mom who just says, here let's just eat the cookie dough so we don't have to turn the oven on and get all hot in here), i'm hoping to convince mamaT to make some for her godsons ... winkwink.

it's hella hot here in sunny, sticky tejas. . .not that there's anything wrong with that. ah, heck, whom'ikiddin? it SUX. and now i'm gonna hafta drop a dollar in mamaT's cuss box, but it's worth it. because the smock absolutely hates hot. yes, hates. as in, the smock hates hot almost as much as she hates the dixie chicks. so you know i mean business.

while i can't blame the heat for my prolonged absence from the summa's pretty pink pages -- in fact, it is surprisingly and refreshingly cool here in blogdom -- i can blame (1) my desk top computer for going kerblewy, (2) smocdkdaddy's desk top for following suit and going kerblewy two days later*, and (3) the smocklings, gleefully taking up every waking moment of my time that they possibly can since (a) school is out for the summer and (b) there are no more computers left around here to kerblow up.

actually, other than trying to keep the peace in the smockmaison (not as easy as one may think), growing a baby** aaannd reading beaucoups of my new "fave" author, dean koontz, i haven't been up to much over the past few weeks. at least, not any more exciting than nursing chronic (pregnancy-hormone-related) tension headaches and a urinary tract infection. sounds like a gas, huh? well, several prescriptions later, i am feeling much better. thanks for askin'.

did you know that alex baldwin, bless his little pinko communerd heart, is gorgeous now? i mean, holy macanoly. the man has gained about twenty pounds, totally upping his cuteness factor, and has joined a sit-com which, from what i can tell from only two episodes, has fairly clever dialogue, thus totally highlighting alex's heretofore untapped delightfully dry wit. so, my question is, hey, when did all this adorable sexiness kick in? and, why wasn't i informed?

oh! on a totally unrelated note, i did just read an attention-grabbing article about a man in terlingua, texas (yes, the home to the famous annual terlingua chili cook-off) who totally lives off the grid. oddly, i'm both intrigued and icked out by this man's adventure in alternative living. i'm not icked out so much by the fact that he uses a solar oven (salmonella, anyone?) as i am by the fact that he poos directly in his yard. there. simply. are. no. words.

excepting the terlingua part, of course, because it's just such a fun word to say. terlingua. ter - ling - wah. ter - ling - gwah. g'head, say it out loud. you know you want to.


* i mean, what are the odds of that?
** did you know the smock is expecting baby number seven? totally. due in november, yeeHAW!

So, what's up with MamaT?

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That's pretty much my take on life these days. I have too much to do, too little time to do it in, and too little motivation to get it done. So I go from one gray task to the next, never finishing anything, constantly distracted to the next must get done task, leaving unfinished projects in my wake, bobbing about like flotsam (or is it jetsam?) on the waters.

It's tragic, but there you go.

Let's see on the less whiny front:

What am I reading? I just finished three of Carrie Bebris' mystery novels featuring the Darcys as detectives. Yep, the Darcys. From Pride and Prejudice. I was skeptical, too.

I didn't get to read the first in the series, Pride and Prescience. But I read the next three published so far: Suspense and Sensibility, North by Northanger, and The Matters at Mansfield. Wasn't so fond of S&S, but the last 2 were not bad. The one I didn't like had too much fantasy/supernatural in it for me to like it much. The last 2 were better because they were more fixed in this world. Though I will say that I was gratified by the ending of S&S, which I can't tell you without spoiling things if you wanted to read the books, because there aren't many authors writing today who take the view that the author took. 'Nuff said about those.

Also finished Frederica by my beloved Georgette Heyer. Sleep has been mightily elusive lately (I walk around groggy!), but the Regency World calms my soul and heart. I think Frederica is one of her best. I'd put it up there with The Grand Sophy, Venetia, and The Unknown Ajax, which are top of the list for me.

Next up? Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, picked up for $2 at 1/2 Price Books. I thought I'd buy it since I'd probably spend that much on late fees at the library.....

Spiritual Reading? Finished You Can Understand the Bible by Peter Kreeft. Now I'm reading Tortured for Christ. Nothing like reading about real suffering to put my own paltry suffering into perspective.

Watching? Only one reality show at the moment, The Fashion Show with Isaac Mizrahi. It's the one that took the place of Project Runway on Bravo. I was prepared to not like it, just on principle, but I find that I like it very much indeed. Now, if they'd just get rid of Johnny and Daniella, I'd be a happy girl.

Also watched On the Waterfront, maybe for the first time all the way through. It's one of those movies I've seen all of, just not all at the same time! Better than I remembered. I love me some AMC.

Going to go watch Up tonight. McKid has been staying with us this week (hence the lack of posting) and this is the finale. Her mom comes home tomorrow afternoon. It's been a good week, but I'm so ready for a nap.

Oh, speaking of Pixar movies, you really should get the DVD of all the Pixar short films. They are awesome, of course (my favorite being the birds on the telephone wire), and it's fascinating to see the growth in technology and storytelling. There is a most interesting mini documentary about Pixar, and then they show all the shorts again with directors' commentaries. Worth your time if you love Pixar movies as I do.

On the crochet front, I'm working on about 15 projects and getting none of them done. That has to stop. For now I'll probably focus on the afghan made of squares, 'cause it's too hot to crochet something that would fall across my lap.

And it's HOT here, folks. Not quite brain-bubbling yet, but darn close.

And finally, 'cause I've got to go fold laundry (don't tell me I don't live an exciting life!), here are my two new favorite t-shirts. Want 'em. Badly. From the folks at Snorg Tees. Warning, there are very crude shirts out there as well. Don't go if you're easily offended!


Then there's this brilliant shirt, one that LaMa and I both need:



Happy Friday, ya'll!

Whatcha Reading Wednesday

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Other than knitting patterns, homeschool materials, and children's books!

Yesterday I finished The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. I'm pretty sure I'm the last person in the world to read it. Smock and MamaT recommended it during a convo that somehow turned to creepy, taking-over-the-country sects. It was awesome! I was spiky-backed and couldn't put it down. Looking forward to the movie.

Saint Francis de Sales' Introduction to the Devout Life has been downloaded to my phone and is my reading material while nursing the baby down. This is my calm time for spiritual reading and prayer. I fall asleep with her only 25% of the time or so.

Today I pulled Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights down for a re-read. I adore Bronte. I know many find her work hopelessly dull, but I like it. The grayness.

I know I said other than children's books, but I've got to add Georgie Porgie's Nursery Rhymes! I read it 14,000 times a day to my 16 month old Camila. She is obsessed. The pictures, the rhymes, she can't get enough. It's had tape-up surgery and was even found under the couch cushion one evening after a day that was particularly full of Georgie and Andy Pandy and Mrs Hen and all those guys. I'm totally certain in 20 years that the sound of those rhymes catching me off guard will reduce me to a pool of tears remembering her bright face and chubby hands bringing me The Book yet again. This I remind myself when I pull her into my lap for the 5th just once more.

What have you downloaded or checked out or is waiting on your nightstand for you?

Pretty Pattern Tuesday

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Pretty rad, eh? From this gothish book. I'm adding it to my library requests to attempt an Immaculate Heart of my very own.

Where do you buy sword toothpicks?

Go here. Make sure your sound is turned on. Get the kids!

Here's another of Zman's Raffi-tastic favorites. I cannot count the number of times we have shaken our sillies out:

And we'll finish with this favorite, in honor of LaMa!

Happy Monday, ya'll!

LaMa's Monday Music

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At the library last week, somebody grabbed Raffi's Animal Songs CD. An instant car favorite.

Here's my little Jude's picks from it for you:

Tingalayo's lyrics have been substituted in our daily life to fit with everything from baths to lunch. "Come little sandwich, come!" It's June's theme song.

The boys sing Baby Beluga to their baby sister, and she tries to sing along. Pretty wildly adorable.

Happy Friday, ya'll!

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I love that Netflix recommends movies for me. I've seen the best movies that way. I'd like to thank my children for making Netflix irresistible as opposed to Blockbuster trips.

Last night we watched Turtles Can Fly, a beautifully made, beautifully acted, Iran/Iraq collaboration that's won 14 of the 18 awards it was nominated for. It was lovely, aggravating and sadsadsad.

The movie focuses on 3 children among a gang of children at the Iraq/Turkey border led by a brave and relentless young leader, centering on survival.

It's pretty much a downer from end to end, the husband and I were both bawling through most of it, but it's riddled with hope and goodness, as good movies always are.

Go put it in your queue, but stock up on tissues!

Already viewed? What did you think?

'Nother quote for today


If He is truly your master, you shouldn't be surprised that He asks you to do things that take the moisture out of your mouth and put a knot in your gut.

-- Dr. Tim Kimmel, author of Grace Based Parenting

Quote for today


"Love means to love that which is unlovable, or it is no virtue at all; forgiving means to pardon that which is unpardonable, or it is no virtue at all -- and to hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all."

------ G.K. Chesterton


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I could listen to this all day. One of my fave hymns, sung in a unique way.

And another little something....


Hassidic reggae singer takes on Psalm 137. Stolen from The Anchoress. If you don't read her, you should!

Love this....


.....you've probably already seen it over at Happy Catholic, but it bears a repeat here.

Amen, amen.

Summertime in Texas



And the question is: Just how much watermelon is it possible to consume at CasaS?

The answer: More than you could imagine, baby, and it only gets better as the summer progresses. Yummy watermelons and canteloupes. In season, from around here, and making the lifeless ones available in the winter months fade into deserved obscurity.

We could be an advertising campaign around here: "A Watermelon A Week: That's All We Ask!"

Texas is proud to be one of the front runners in the "airtricity" race of alternative energies. and, wind power is supposed to be one of the "greenest" energy sources for our environment, right? well, one of our state mammals, the mexican freetail bat, just may beg to differ.

according to alarmed environmentalists, wind farms routinely see dozens of dead bats scattered around the base of windmills. at first, scientists couldn't figure out why this was happening because it was assumed that the bats' sonar should keep them from running willy-nilly into the blades -- and when it was discovered that most of the bats had no external signs of injury, ecologists were dumbfounded. turns out, when the bats fly through the low-pressure areas around the wind farms, their lungs explode. ouch!

what a quandry.

Pretty Pattern Tuesday

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I am dying to make this little baby jacket. Everyone who has made it just raves about how easy it is to do and how well it comes out. It is two granny hexagons, that look sort of floppy and loopy, but when you fold them over and seam them together, they turn into this. You can increase size by increasing numbers of rows, use whatever colors you have, etc. A genius pattern.

All hail the free pattern makers, indeed!


You can find this pattern here. And check out the rest of Bev's Country Cottage while you're at it!

according to OneNewNow.com...

A San Diego pastor says county officials have told him he needs a permit to host a weekly Bible study in his home.

Pastor David Jones and his wife, Mary, were hosting the weekly study near their church, when they say they were visited by a county code enforcement officer. According to Dean Broyles, an attorney for the Joneses, the county official asked the pastor if they hosted a regular weekly meeting in their home, and if they prayed and said "Amen" and "Praise the Lord" at those meetings.

After replying in the affirmative to those inquiries, a subsequent citation notified the couple they were in violation of county regulations, should stop "religious assembly," and needed to apply for a "major use" permit to continue the gatherings -- a process that could cost several thousands of dollars.

read the rest of this mess here.

Pretty Pattern Tuesday

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Check out my first-ever crochet project! MamaT taught me the crochet ropes a couple of Sundays ago (she didn't laugh or roll her eyes at me once. True proof of her virtue). This pattern was the perfect first project. Quick, easy and fun. Try it!

I'm loving the patterns on this girl's blog. I've queued this and these and have my eyes on a few more. Free pattern makers, I salute you.

LaMa's Monday Music


Things have been wild and busy 'round here. Super, but wild and busy.

I've been trying to beef up on mellow music this week (twist my arm!), to even out the wildness a bit.

A favorite is The Postmarks. Here's their "Let Go":

MamaT's Monday Music, part 2


But lest you think I'm too sad, here's a little something to make you laugh. I will never listen to an Irish band play this song without thinking of this:

Now, happy Monday, ya'll!

MamaT's Monday Music


A little something blue-sy for today. It's been a rough few days lately, and happy music just doesn't do it for me.

Happy Monday (really!), ya'll!



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This page is an archive of entries from June 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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