Friday, June 29

It Automatically Deletes the Verses You Don't Like!

Mark Shea had this, and I couldn't resist. I guess I'm on a GooTube kick tonight.

Warning: Do not drink anything while watching this. (I already sent this to my mom, who does phone work for Apple and just started selling the iPhone about an hour ago.)

Bocce Ball My Way

I was in Wal Mart with the girls today, and I decided to go ahead and buy the set of bocce balls they had for $13. (I'm pretty sure that was the price.) Fancy? No. But thye would have done for now.

Alas! All the bocce balls were gone!

I related this to my father, who did a search for "bocce balls" and found this video:

And then I found this:

Talk to the Hands

Michael Philips wrote an article at Opinion Journal today wherein he discusses his recent attempts to learn American Sign Language. It's such a cool article! I am almost tempted to go to Great Adventure to take part in the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Awareness Day. It would be kind of pricy, though, with the girls.

Sometimes, I miss my interpreting days. I really, really enjoyed my job when I was a freelancing interpreter. But I'd rather be at home with my girls.

Life as a Goddess

I read a science fiction story based on this, and I didn't have any idea that people actually believed these things! Very strange. Here's a sampling:

Politicians, power brokers and the occasional celebrities who come through town hope to be respected and maybe, in a childlike place in their grown-up hearts, genuinely liked. Sajani Shakya, 10, is worshipped.

In Nepal, Sajani is a living goddess, one of about a dozen such goddesses in her homeland who are considered earthly manifestations of the Hindu goddess Kali.


The goddesses of Katmandu are chosen when they are about 2 years old from a Buddhist caste, though they represent a Hindu deity, an example, Whitaker said, of the harmony between the two religions in Nepal.

The king of Nepal has traditionally sought the blessings of the three main goddesses. Hindu and Buddhist priests pick the living goddesses after consulting a horoscope and then finding a girl who meets "the 32 perfections," Whitaker said, from skin "of golden color" to a body "like a banyan tree."

Hat tip: Off the Record

Me Me Me Me Meme

I decided to take a tag from Ma Beck for this meme. Why? 'Cuz I'm procrastinating, that's why.

Were you named after anyone?
Yup. My mom's two sisters. I was almost named for my mother, but she didn't want to name me Marjorie.

When was the last time you cried?
Last night, while watching ta vocations video at Jen's blog.

Favorite lunch meat?
Well, I don't like balogna (come on, Ma, that's in the song!), that's for sure. I really love roast beef on a hard roll with butter, but one of my other favorite sandwiches is maple-cured ham with Irish Swiss cheese. mmmm...

Do you have kids?
Yes, two.

If you were another person, would you be friends with yourself?
Um. I think so. I mean, I already talk to myself a probably yes. ;)

Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Nooooo. Never!

Do you have your tonsils?

Would you bungee jump?
No, and the girls better not until I am dead. If they even do it then.

Favorite cereal?
Depends on my mood. I like Cheerios with grapes. Sometimes I like Captain Crunch, though, or Froot Loops.

Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Usually, unless I'm really, really tired.

What is your favorite ice cream?
Mint chocolate chip, and it must be green. I don't care what you say, the white stuff doesn't taste as good.

What do you first notice about people?
I'm not sure it's always the same. I think I tend to notice proinent features, or things like glasses and such.

Red or pink?
Depends on my mood. And what kind of red or pink..

What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
That I take things too personally. If someone says something I will take it in the most negative and personal way. It takes me forever to get over it and force myself to think normally about it. I also tend to feel the pain of an embarassing situaiton for years. I am not kidding.

What is the last thing you ate?
According to my points tracker at Weight Watchers, some Reduced-Fat Wheat Thins. Unless you count my peppermint mocha coffee this morning.

What colors are you wearing?
Gray, white, and some very nasty greenish sneakers. (I just came in from mowing the lawn.)

What are you listening to right now?
Big Girl turning pages in her Ranger Rick magazine.

What is your favorite smell?
Dinner cooking in the crock pot. I really love when I've had something cooking in there all day, and I get home and can smell it as soon as I walk in the house. It's wonderful!

Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?
My 3 year old niece in Florida, just before going out to mow.

Favorite sport to watch?
Right now, baseball. About a month ago, basketball. In about four months, football. (Football and baskteball never really start until I have gotten to watch the World Series.)

Hair color?
Brown with gray highlights. Actually, I have just a few hairs here and there, and they aren't gray, they are WHITE. Freaky.

Eye color?

Do you wear contacts?
Like Ma Beck, I have 20/500 vision - that "E" better never change - and so I wear glasses or contacts, depending on what I'm doing.

Scary movie or happy ending?
I liked Ma's answer about scary movies being good if they are suspenseful-scary. Like "Sixth Sense" wasn't really scary, but suspenseful. I like that. Don't really want to watch slasher movies. But happy endings are also terrific.

Favorite food?
Hard to say. Probably, if I had to pick, steak. Ooh! Or seafood!, wait! Chocolate! No, no, cream.

Gosh, I'm just a glutton. But probably, seriously, a toss-up between steak and really good seafood.

Last movie you saw in a theater?
Spiderman 3, but we are taking the girls and our niece (the ten year old) to see Ratatoullie in Florida next week.

What color shirt are you wearing?
White with a black rendering of the poster from our high school musical version of Fiddler on the Roof.

Summer or winter?
Both. I like all four seasons, really.

Hugs or kisses?
From the kids, hugs. I love their small arms around my neck. From Hubby...BOTH. I won't get into details. Why pick one from him, you know?

Favorite dessert?
I like the chocolate cake.

Via: VideoSift

What are you reading?
Let's see...Theology of the Body for Beginners, The Bible (that's ongoing, and I'm using the Understand the Scriptures podcast to guide me through it), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (to the girls), and (still) Witness to Hope. I think there might be more, but I'm not sure.

What is on your mousepad?
My computer mouse. What else is supposed to be there?

What did you watch on TV last night?
A little bit of "The Office," the end of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, some of The Phantom of the Opera, and some EWTN as I fell asleep.

Rolling Stones or Beatles?
The Beatles. I do admit, though, that I have grown weary of the worship some people give to them. Honestly, they are just musicians.

Farthest you've ever been from home?
Um, this is tough, because I've been to different places that were far from various homes I lived in. The farthest I went from home when I lived in NJ was when my family drove to Niagra Falls, then through Ontario, and down to Wisconsin (going through Minnesota on the way). I'd also been to Kansas City, Missouri, from there.

Farthest from home when I lived in Orlando was Wessington Springs, South Dakota.

Farthest from here since moving here (Virginia) is probably Yankton, South Dakota.

Where were you born?
Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

I tag any non-Catholics who are reading this.

Speaking of Coffee

I saw a link to this at Ironic Catholic:
We praise thee, O Lord, Creator of the coffee bean, Benevolent Source of the beatific, stimulating qualities of caffeine contained within that holy element, without which regeneration many of thy servants would yet be lying sluggishly in their depraved state of slothful recumbence!

Be merciful to us in those moments before we have had our first taste of that stabilizing beverage, for truly we know not what we do.

There's more at It Came From Allen, where we see the icon for and prayer to St. Espressus of Java.

Thursday, June 28


This is really neat! I saw it at Knit Together in Love, who saw it at Laura the Crazy Mama, who saw it at Curt Jester.

This goes very well with my new addiction to coffee. :)

Go over and read We Like Her a Latte, then check out the rest of the site.

Well I'll Be Darned...

That moto proprio - the one about the traditional Latin Mass - might actually be coming out after all.

Of course, I'm not sure how much this will change things. But there are plenty of other Catholic bloggers who have discussed this. Just check my sidebar. I have nothing more to say.

UPDATED 6-29: By the way, I'll be celebrating on July 7, but for a different reason. Little Girl will turn six that day.

Just One More for Today

I took this one because I thought it would be a good idea to find out how much I'm worth when the Zombies kill me.

$4350.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Giant Moon

Mark Shea pointed out this information. I love when this happens!

I Might be in Trouble Someday...


Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

That's All?

75%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Hat tip: Julie D.

Hot Summer Day Humor

I can't resist. It's REALLY hot here today, and this joke just hits the spot.

I'm off after this to mow my front lawn so it doesn't look quite so jungle-like.

Chocolate Ice Cream

A man approached an ice cream van and said, "I'd like two scoops of chocolate ice cream, please."

The girl behind the counter replied, "I'm very sorry, sir, but our delivery didn't come this morning. We're out of chocolate."

"In that case," the man continued, "I'll have two scoops of chocolate ice cream."

"You don't understand, sir," the girl said. "We have no chocolate."

"Then just give me some chocolate," he insisted.

Getting angrier by the second, the girl asked, "Sir, will you spell 'van,' as in 'vanilla'?"

The man spelled, "V-A-N."

"Now spell 'straw,' as in 'strawberry.'"

"OK. 'S-T-R-A-W.'"

"Now," the girl asked, "spell 'stink,' as in 'chocolate.'"

The man hesitated and then looked confused as he replied, "There is no stink in chocolate."

"That's what I've been trying to tell you!" she screamed.

Tuesday, June 26


Saintly Quote

Received in today's Daily Grace Line from Women of Grace:

"Our Lady listens attentively to what God wants, ponders what she doesn't fully understand and asks about what she doesn't know. Then she gives herself completely to doing the divine Will."

-St. Josemaria Escriva

I am getting ready to redeem online points for gift certificates for dining out. Every time I see this:

I wonder why they have Purina certificates mixed in with the restaurants.

Intercede, Please!!!

Ma Beck has a serious request for prayers. Please pray hard, beg for the intercession of every saint, ask Our Lady of Guadalupe, especially, to pray for this family.

Prayers, Priests, Politics...

This is the subtitle of this week's Catholic Carnival. Head on over to Daughter of the King and check it out.

Monday, June 25

Extra Humor for Monday

I saw this at Just Doing My Best. I'm just glad I hadn't taken a sip of coffee prior to reading it!


A young man named Tony bought a donkey from an old farmer for £100. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.

When the farmer drove up the next day, he said, "Sorry son, but I have some bad news...the donkey is on my truck, but he's dead."

Tony replied, "Well then, just give me my money back."

The farmer said, "I can't do that. I've already spent it."

Tony said, "OK then, just unload the donkey anyway".

The farmer asked, "What are you going to do with him?"

Tony thought for a few seconds and then said, "I'm going to raffle him off."

To which the farmer exclaimed, "You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"

But Tony, with a big smile on his face, said "Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody that he's dead."

A month later the farmer met up with Tony and asked, "What happened with that dead donkey?"

Tony said, "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at £2 each and made a profit of £698.00."

Totally amazed, the farmer asked, "Didn't anyone complain that you had stolen their money because you lied about the donkey being dead?"

And Tony replied, "The only guy who found out about the donkey being dead was the raffle winner, when he came to claim his prize. So I gave him his £2 back plus £200 extra, which is double the going value of a donkey, so he thought I was a great guy."

Tony grew up and eventually became the Prime Minister of Britain, and no matter how many times he lied or how much money he stole from British voters, as long as he gave them back some of the stolen money, large numbers of them still thought he was a great guy.

[image source, which actually has a slightly different version of the joke]

Humor for Monday

Courtesy of Good, Clean Funnies:

While leading a tour of kindergarten students through our hospital, I overheard a conversation between one little girl and an x-ray technician.

"Have you ever broken a bone?" he asked.

"Yes," the girl replied.

"Did it hurt?"


"Really? Which bone did you break?"

"My sister's arm."

Blogroll Highlight: Luau Lady

Today's spotlight is on Esther, the Catholic Mom in Hawaii. Though she's originally from the coolest state in the union, these days Esther is blessed to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth!

Her blog is beautiful to behold, and she's an excellent source for prayers, novenas, and interesting information on devotions and such. Besides, her blog is rated G!

Head on over and visit Esther today.

Saturday, June 23

I Could be a Family Film by Today's Standards!

Found via Joel.

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

The reasoning was the following:

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

death (5x) sex (3x) torture (1x)

My Soccer Mom site rating is here.


I just checked out this site, and it came up with the following rating:

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Rating is given because the word "breast" is there once.

Um...are they scanning the site at this time? Because I see a whole lot more than that.

Friday, June 22

Champions of Faith

I received a copy of this DVD (baseball edition) and have already watched it. Short review: LOVED IT!

Longer review:

I will watch it again and take some notes. But I am totally going to look to get a copy for my father. Once that second viewing is over, I'll organize my notes and write up a proper review.


I was out at the grocery store alone today, and so I took advantage of the situation and cranked up the Led Zeppelin. First up was "Black Dog" (first Zeppelin song I ever heard, and definitely not for kiddies), and then, on the way back, I listened to "The Immigrant Song." Of course, this song has never been the same since I saw this.


Hubby came home from work and told me that there was lemonade at work today. Some women came by and told his co-woker that the lemonade was better than sex.

Said co-worker bought some for the department, and when Hubby tasted it, he said, "If they think this is better than sex, I don't think they are doing sex right."

Saint John Fisher

Another martyr as a result of Henry VIII's schism from the Church. The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us this about Saint John Fisher:

When the question of Henry's divorce from Queen Catherine arose, Fisher became the Queen's chief supporter and most trusted counsellor. In this capacity he appeared on the Queen's behalf in the legates' court, where he startled his hearers by the directness of his language and most of all by declaring that, like St. John the Baptist, he was ready to die on behalf of the indissolubility of marriage. This statement was reported to Henry VIII, who was so enraged by it that he himself composed a long Latin address to the legates in answer to the bishop's speech. Fisher's copy of this still exists, with his manuscript annotations in the margin which show how little he feared the royal anger. The removal of the cause to Rome brought Fisher's personal share therein to an end, but the king never forgave him for what he had done. In November, 1529, the "Long Parliament" of Henry's reign began its series of encroachments on the Church. Fisher, as a member of the upper house, at once warned Parliament that such acts could only end in the utter destruction of the Church in England. On this the Commons, through their speaker, complained to the king that the bishop had disparaged Parliament. Dr. Gairdner (Lollardy and the Reformation, I, 442) says of this incident "it can hardly be a matter of doubt that this strange remonstrance was prompted by the king himself, and partly for personal uses of his own".

The opportunity was not lost. Henry summoned Fisher before him, demanding an explanation. This being given, Henry declared himself satisfied, leaving it to the Commons to declare that the explanation was inadequate, so that he appeared as a magnanimous sovereign, instead of Fisher's enemy.

A year later (1530) the continued encroachments on the Church moved the Bishops of Rochester, Bath, and Ely to appeal to the Apostolic see. This gave the king his opportunity. An edict forbidding such appeals was immediately issued, and the three bishops were arrested. Their imprisonment, however, can have lasted a few months only, for in February, 1531, Convocation mmet, and Fisher was present. This was the occasion when the clergy were forced, at a cost of 1000,000 pounds, to purchase the king's pardon for having recognized Cardinal Wolsey's authority as legate of the pope; and at the same time to acknowledge Henry as Supreme Head of the Church in England, to which phrase, however, the addition "so far as God's law permits" was made, through Fisher's efforts.

A few days later, several of the bishop's servants were taken ill after eating some porridge served to the household, and two actually died. Popular opinion at the time regarded this as an attempt on the bishop's life, although he himself chanced not to have taken any of the poisoned food. To disarm suspicion, the king not only expressed strong indignation at the crime, but caused a special Act of Parliament to be passed, whereby poisoning was to be accounted high treason, and the person guilty of it boiled to death. This sentence was actually carried out on the culprit, but it did not prevent what seems to have been a second attempt on Fisher's life soon afterwards.

Matters now moved rapidly. In May, 1532, Sir Thomas More resigned the chancellorship, and in June, Fisher preached publicly against the divorce. In August, Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, died, and Cranmer was at once nominated to the pope as his successor. In January, 1533, Henry secretly went through the form of marriage with Anne Boleyn; Cranmer's consecration took place in March of the same year, and, a week later, Fisher was arrested. It seems fairly clear that the purpose of this arrest was to prevent his opposing the sentence of divorce which Cranmer pronounced in May, or the coronation of Anne Boleyn which followed on 1 June; for Fisher was set at liberty again within a fortnight of the latter event, no charge being made against him. In the autumn of this year (1533), various arrests were made in connexion with the so-called revelations of the Holy Maid of Kent, but as Fisher was taken seriously ill in December, proceedings against him were postponed for a time. In March, 1534, however, a special bill of attainder against the Bishop of Rochester and others for complicity in the matter of the Nun of Kent was introduced and passed. By this Fisher was condemned to forfeiture of all his personal estate and to be imprisoned during the king's pleasure. Subsequently a pardon was granted him on payment of a fine of 300 pounds.

In the same session of Parliament was passed the Act of Succession, by which all who should be called upon to do so were compelled to take an oath of succession, acknowledging the issue of Henry and Anne as legitimate heirs to the throne, under pain of being guilty of misprision of treason. Fisher refused the oath and was sent to the Tower of London, 26 April, 1534. Several efforts were made to induce him to submit, but without effect, and in November he was a second time attained of misprision of treason, his goods being forfeited as from 1 March preceding, and the See of Rochester being declared vacant as from 2 June following. A long letter exists, written from the Tower by the bishop to Thomas Cromwell, which records the severity of his confinement and the sufferings he endured.

In May, 1535, the new pope, Paul III, created Fisher Cardinal Priest of St. Vitalis, his motive being apparently to induce Henry by this mark of esteem to treat the bishop less severely. The effect was precisely the reverse. Henry forbade the cardinal's hat to be brought into England, declaring that he would send the head to Rome instead. In June a special commission for Fisher's trial was issued, and on 17 June he was arraigned in Westminster Hall on a charge of treason, in that he denied the king to be supreme head of the Church. Since he had been deprived of his bishopric by the Act of Attainder, he was treated as a commoner, and tried by jury. He was declared guilty, and condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn, but the mode of execution was changed, and instead he was beheaded on Tower Hill.

The martyr's last moments were thoroughly in keeping with his previous life. He met death with a calm dignified courage which profoundly impressed all present. His headless body was stripped and left on the scaffold till evening, when it was thrown naked into a grave in the churchyard of Allhallows, Barking. Thence it was removed a fortnight later and laid beside that of Sir Thomas More in the church of St. Peter ad Vincula by the Tower. His head was stuck upon a pole on London Bridge, but its ruddy and lifelike appearance excited so much attention that, after a fortnight, it was thrown into the Thames, its place being taken by that of Sir Thomas More, whose martyrdom occurred on 6 July next following.

There is more, which you can read here.

Wednesday, June 20

Ely Place

I was watching EWTN tonight, and there was a show on about Saint Etheldreda's at Ely Place. They talked about the chapel, second oldest Catholic Church in England, and the history of the Church in England. Once again, I was stunned by the brutality of Henry VIII and the extremes he and his heirs (save Queen Mary, of course) went to in order to prevent Catholics from remaining faithful to the Church. The martyrs! God, the things that were done to them! People who resisted or helped the imprisoned (especially the clergy) were killed in brutal fashion. Eventually, Mass itself was illegal and attending Mass was a hanging offense. For three hundred years, you could be put to death for going to Mass. Catholics couldn't vote, couldn't own or inheret land, join the army, and were generally suppressed and treated as second-class. Little by little, most of the anti-Catholic laws were repealed. (Interestingly enough, you still can't be prime minister and Catholic. Illegal, you see.)

Saint Etheldreda's has gone through a lot in the years since it was built. Just to spite the Catholics who attended Mass there, a tavern was built adjoining it. Bar room brawls would often threaten to disrupt Mass.

The Germans bombed the church, and the windows were completely lost. They have been lovingly restored, though. In addition, there are numerous statues of various saints and martyrs throughout the chapel. Check your local listings to see if EWTN will be showing "Silent Witness" again. You can also watch it online, and their online schedule shows that it will repeat on Saturday. (EWTN is actually having a slew of specials, including one on Saint Thomas More. Jay, are you listening?)

Jackie, Catholic Mom of 10, has been highlighting the Walk of Martyrs that she'll be participating in with her family. Remember these martyrs in your prayers, and ask them to intercede for you, as well. And thank God that, for now, you are able to practice your faith without the threat of death hanging over you. It's not that easy for everyone, and there may come a day when we are once again in the catacombs.

England - Ely Cathedral

Have You Been Missing the Carnival?

Me, too. What with all the vacations and travelling we've been doing, I haven't really remembered to submit or post lately.

But please do check out the Carnival this week at Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering. Sarah does an excellent job (as always) of organizing all of the various posts. This week's theme: a garden. And the deer won't even be eating any of the blooms!

Tuesday, June 19

Salt, Light, and Homeschooling Families

At the First Things blog, Sally Thomas has a great article on homeschooling. In it, the question of whether or not we ought to be trying to be a light for the world applies in the situation of educating our children.

By withdrawing from the larger culture, homeschoolers aid and abet the culture’s failings—or so, at least, the charge goes. Christians have a responsibility to be not “of the world,” but, we are told, they also have a responsibility to be “in the world.” And therefore it’s our duty to send our children to public school. After all, Jesus calls us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, and how can we possibly be those things if we stay at home all day?

According to this logic, we are called not only to witness, via our children, to a diverse population of people but also somehow to salvage public education itself, as if this would right everything that’s out of whack in our society. To decline to do so is, in this view, both personally selfish and culturally destructive.

Go here to read the entire thing.

"Dogs Are the New Kids"

So reads a T-shirt sold in San Francisco, where dogs outnumber children. Part of the reason? Prices drive out families. It's hard to afford living in SF and raising a family. Another part? Probably the bizarre selfishness of our culture. But that's a different story altogether, and Kris Franklin has been covering that nicely in her posts on our society's contraceptive culture.

But even after reading her disturbing post about a woman who insisted on calling her dog her "son," I still wasn't prepared for the article that Mark Shea pointed out today. Let me give you a sampling of some of the more disturbing portions of the article, which is titled "S.F.'s Best Friend":

Carter, in a royal blue rugby shirt and tie, was ready for his first birthday party. A 6-foot poster bearing his likeness marked the gathering spot at Allyne Park in San Francisco, where 60 of his closest friends dipped their toes in an inflatable pool and noshed on beach-themed cupcakes designed by a food stylist.

Yes, it was a bit over the top for a Yorkshire terrier, but his parents were so proud.

As Stephen Colbert once said, "I s*** thee not." A SIX FOOT POSTER? A FOOD STYLIST? Good Lord, I wouldn't dream of doing this for my child, let alone an animal!!

Oh, please, this is actually just the beginning of the article. It really does get even better.

At the Best in Show dog boutique on Castro Street, sales of high-end designer dog toys go up every year, said co-owner Richard Shiu, who can sometimes be found sporting a T-shirt that reads, "Dogs Are the New Kids."

"People want function, but they also want design," said Shiu, whose top-selling toy is a rubber squeaky bust of President Bush. (There's also Arnold Schwarzenegger, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and Hillary Rodham Clinton).

Six or seven years ago, Chiu said, pet "guardians" (the officially sanctioned term in San Francisco) had boring choices between rawhides and rope bones. Now, people with disposable income want water bowls in Eames-style bent cherrywood holders and Cubist pet car seats. Or a furry black "Jimmy Chew" pump.

Nationally, pet lovers spent $38.5 billion on their animals in 2006, up from $21 billion a decade earlier.

Miki Manji plunked down a couple of Benjamins at Best in Show for a gray zippered sweatshirt with a red leather Maltese cross on the back for her dapple dachshund, Louie.

"He goes everywhere with me," said Manji. "I'm going through a breakup, so he's really comforting to me right now."

From here, we get into how there are now restaurants that cater to pet owners (yes, I'll continue to use that term - they are owned because they are animals, not people). You can bring your precious to a spa where they'll give it a facial, a pedicure, a big-screen TV, bottled water, etc.

And people feel really badly that they are out working and their poor babies animals are at home alone. So they WANT to take them out to dinner, you see.

"When you come home after work and your dog has been alone all day, you really feel guilty if you go out to dinner, so that's why Zazie is perfect for us," said Janet Moomaw, who shared a table with her German shepherd mix Findlay, her girlfriend and her neighborhood dog walker.

Seriously, this is completely bizarre and out-of-control. Animals are treated this way. Children go hungry or are killed in the womb, but people are out there spending hundreds of dollars on clothing for dogs. They are buying hotel stays for animals. They are going out to dinner and spending a ton of money so their animals don't feel bad for being home alone all day.

Guess what, people? They don't have feelings like us. Animals do not have souls like humans. They cannot reason. They are programmed to behave a certain way by God, and they do not love you like a child.

And they are NOT people.

My goodness! This is just crazy, folks. What I could do with even a fraction of the money those people are spending needlessly on their animals! How many charities could I support that feed the hungry and clothe the naked? How many churches could be built in missionary countries? How many wells could be dug? How many schools could be built? How many women in crisis pregnancies could I support?

But our society thinks it's just terrific to spend that kind of money on animals. So dogs and cats can get blueberry facials and organic food and faux-leather beds and big-screen TV's.

What a History! (Update at End)

Gracious, every time I learn something new about the beginnings of the Anglican Church/Church of England/Episcopal Church (aren't they all various sub-sets of the same denomination?), I get more disgusted. People were bullied into that sham, and there were so many martyrs who remained loyal to the Church (you know, the actual Church, not the one started by a bratty, spoiled king).

Check out what Red Neck Woman tells us about Blessed John Davy:

Blessed John Davy († 1537)

By Red Neck Woman

John Davy, a Carthusian choir monk and deacon was one of ten religious of the order's London monastery, the Charterhouse, who on May 18, 1537 refused to join twenty of their fellow Carthusians in taking King Henry VIII's odious anti-papal oath of supremacy. Eleven days later, the ten were brought to a London prison, where they were chained in a standing position with their hands behind their backs, left thus to starve to death. After learning of their fate, Margaret (Gigs) Clement, an adopted daughter of the martyr Saint Thomas More, bribed the jailer to let her enter the prison. Disguised as a milkmaid, she placed bits of meat into the mouths of the starving monks and cleaned their cell. When after some time the king expressed surprise that the prisoners were still alive, the jailer, fearing the king's wrath, refused to allow Margaret to continue her missions of mercy. All but one of the men soon perished from hunger. John Davy died on June 8, 1537. Years later, on her deathbed, Margaret saw in a vision the martyred Carthusians she had fed standing round her, inviting her to come with them to eternal life.

You can read more about Henry XVIII here and here, and more about the Carthusians who were martyred here. New Advent's entry on the Church of England and Anglicanism is found here.
Jackie has been discussing the upcoming Walk of the Martyrs at her blog, Catholic Mom of 10. Sorry that I forgot! I've been reading the posts over as they've been coming, too. Silly me. Do pop over and check out her posts on the topic.

Monday, June 18

Humor for Monday

Once again, from Good, Clean Funnies:

Amazingly Simple Home Remedies

1. If you are choking on an ice cube, simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat. Presto! The blockage will instantly remove itself.

2. Avoid cutting yourself slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold while you chop.

3. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the sink.

4. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

5. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives -- then you will be afraid to cough.

7. You only need two tools in life: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

8. Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

Ye Olde Swimmin' Hole

Hubby has been working on refurbishing our deck. Well, actually only half the deck, because it is immense. It's been a slow process because, unlike HGTV, he does not have "workers" to do the work for him. He's got himself.

But he's close to finished with the deck boards (the railing is next, and we can live with and use the deck without a railing for a short time), and a friend of ours came over to help him re-wire things. Once that was finished, he was able to uncover the pool and hook up the filter and pump.

We are a month late opening the pool. This made me a little nervous because when you are late opening your pool you never know if the chemicals for closing have held out and kept the algae out of the water.

Add to this the fact that I had been hearing not one but TWO frogs under the pool cover. I had visions of thousands of tadpoles swimming about in the green water when the finally got the cover off.

Finally, on Saturday afternoon, we went out to the pool and prepared to uncover it. I was not prepared for what I saw when we did so.

The water is not only devoid of tadpoles, but is completely clear.

We brought a sample to the pool store and were told that all we really need to do is shock it once. The chlorine is almost perfect. The water isn't too soft. The alkalinity is close to perfect and will probably get in line with the shocking.

It was the best opening results we've had in the four openings so far.

The only glitch is that our pool pump motor died, so I have ordered a new one. It should arrive by Friday, and then Hubby can hook it up, vacuum out the pool, and let the kids jump on in.

If the weather holds out, we'll have a great swim season!

Blogroll Highlight: "The King's Good Servant, and God's First."

Jay's blog was added to my blogroll a while back. I think I added him because he thought something I wrote was funny. Obviously, this is the kind of person I want to hang around, right? I mean, if you're going to have any kind of social group, why not a mutual admiration society?

I actually like Jay's blog for more than his obvious good taste in humor. He's a conservative in politics but doesn't place that above his faith. He's a family man who often has very good observations on what makes a family tick (or not). And he works hard to be a faithful Catholic. All these things make it easier to swallow his status as a lawyer.

If you notice the title of his blog (Pro Ecclesia, Pro Familia, Pro Civitate), he also puts things in the proper order: God, family, country. That's a good thing, as Martha Stewart says. ;)

Go tell Jay hello, if you aren't already a regular reader of his.

I Won a Contest!

I am so excited! I've been subscribing to a blog that reviews children's literature, and I noticed there was a contest. I almost didn't enter, but then I did so at the last minute.

Okay, so there were only about three people who entered. And two of us won.

But, hey, I am still so excited to be getting a book! Hooray!

Now if I can just figure out a way to get a job reviewing books. Heck, I'd accept free books as payment, even. ;)

Saturday, June 16

More Quizzes!

Hubby and I took this one together. Here is my result:

Your Linguistic Profile:

50% General American English

35% Yankee

10% Dixie

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

Here is Hubby's:

Your Linguistic Profile:

50% General American English

35% Yankee

10% Dixie

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

I have to remember where that other quiz on this was a bit more accurate and pegged me for South Jersey/Philly.

Quiz Time!

Baby Sister took these two quizzes, and so I thought I would, too.

You Are Blonde Highlights

Men see you as flexible and versatile - you fit in to every situation
You've got the inner glow of a blonde, the intensity of a redhead...
And the wisdom of a brunette.

(Yeah, the description on that one isn't totally accurate.)

You Are Somewhat Like Your Mom

Believe it or not, you and your mom are pretty darn similar.
It may not seem like it at times, but you and your mom have a lot of common ground.
Over time, you'll probably get closer ... especially if you emphasize the things you like about each other.

(That is actually true.)

Well, Not Exactly

Little Girl was playing with the Leap Pad in her room about 15 minutes ago. "You need to go outside and play," I said.

As I was putting on my shoes in preparation to mow the lawn, Hubby came in and asked, "Did you tell Little Girl to go outside and play?"

"Yes. Why?"

"Because she is sitting in the front yard playing Game Boy."

Friday, June 15

Adventures in Travel

Tonight, Hubby was flying from Atlanta to home. His flight was due to leave at around 9:00 this evening, but he was there in time to possibly catch a flight that was scheduled to leave at 6:50. Though there was room, he was not allowed to board the flight and get home early.

"Your luggage would not be with you, so we can't let you go."

"You didn't seem to have a problem with me flying without my luggage when we went to Omaha last month."

This did not endear him to the woman at the counter, and so he sat at the airport. I warned him that his little sarcastic comment probably put him on the "This-Guy-is-Trouble-Bump-Him-First" list. I'm pretty sure he felt it was worth it, though. And so he waited until the 9:00 flight was boarded. At 9:55. This meant that all flights he had this week were late. Every. Single. One.

He called me just a few minutes ago to tell me that he arrived at the airport, walked down to the luggage carrosel, and watched for his bag to come out.


So he went to the luggage department to find that his luggage was there, waiting for him, because it had been on the 6:50 flight.


It may not be Monday, but this was funny, especially since Hubby was sitting at one of the gates mentioned in this joke.

At the airport for a business trip, I settled down to wait for the boarding announcement at Gate 35.

Then I heard the voice on the public address system saying, "We apologize for the inconvenience, but Delta Flight 570 will board from Gate 41."

So my family picked up our luggage and carried it over to Gate 41. Not ten minutes later the public address voice told us that Flight 570 would in fact be boarding from Gate 35.

So again we gathered our carry-on luggage and returned to the original gate.

Just as we were settling down, the public address voice spoke again: "Thank you for participating in Delta's physical fitness program."
This is what I think Big Girl might do if left to her own devices for too long.

If you can't get that to be big enough to read, try going here.

Real Men are Hobbits

Consider the Hobbits. They are homebodies, they love good food and drink, and no one cares if they are a bit plump. Family is quite important to Hobbits, and so are their good friends.

This is why Frodo and Sam did what they did: they loved their home and their friends so greatly that they were willing to travel a great distance and put themselves in danger in order to preserve that which they loved. They risked everything. Even Merry and Pippin went into great danger and endured terrible things for the love of their friends and their homes. Discomfort meant little when compared to what it meant to lose everything important to them.

Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

And Hobbits are wonderfully loyal. At one point in The Lord of the Rings, Frodo, sickened and tainted by the lust for the Ring that he bore, raved at Samwise and sent him away. He did so in such a cruel manner than I actually cried when I read it.

Sam: It's that Gollum, it's this place, it's that thing around your neck. I could help a bit, I could carry it, share the load...
Frodo: GET AWAY!
Sam: I don't want to keep it. I just want to help.
Frodo: You can't help me anymore.
Sam: You don't mean that.
Frodo: Go home.

But Samwise knew his duty and remembered his promise. He left only for a short time and returned to Frodo to help him complete his mission.

Sam: Then let us be rid of it... once and for all... Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can't carry it for you... but I can carry you! Come on!

Real men are just like Hobbits. Yes, they love good food and drink. Having a good time with their friends is important to them. (How many men do you know who have no interest in Super Bowl parties?) Being comfortable rates pretty highly, too, if you can judge the importance of this by the different kinds of recliners there are out there.

Pippin: I feel like I'm back at the Green Dragon.
Merry: [through a mouthful of food] Mm. Green Dragon.
Pippin: A mug of ale in my hand, putting my feet up on a settle after a hard day's work.
Merry: Only, you've never done a hard day's work.
[They laugh; Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli ride up. Merry stands and gives an exaggerated bow]
Merry: Welcome, my lords, to Isengard!
Gimli: You young rascals! A merry hunt you've led us on, and now we find you... feasting and... and *smoking.*
Pippin: We are sitting on a field of victory enjoying a few well-earned comforts.
[Merry blows a smoke ring]
Pippin: The salted pork is particularly good.
Gimli: [eagerly] Salted pork?
Gandalf: [exasperated] Hobbits.

But family is more important than their own comfort and safety. They go out into the world to conquer dragons and face dangers so that their family is provided for. Real men leave the safety of the Shire to complete their mission, to live their vocation, to make the world better for their loved ones. Think of the men who go out every day and work long, hard hours for the benefit of their families. Even if your husband or father is not a police officer or fireman or soldier, he still goes out there and deals with all kinds of things that are probably not all pleasant. I know that Hubby is not being shot at or running into fires, but he still has to go into the "real world" and deal with deadlines and people who either don't like what he has to tell them or don't care about it. He's got things to do at work that are just bothersome. He has to do stuff he probably would rather not do. But he does it anyway. I don't envy him. Trading in my life of motherhood, homeschooling, and housekeeping for what he does just for the sake of "adult conversation" would not be worth it to me.
Real men, like Hobbits, are also fiercely loyal. Real men stick to their families when the going gets tough. Yes, I know about the divorce rates. But real men know that love is not just an emotion. It's a decision. It's about putting the happiness and welfare of your spouse above your own.

Sam: I made a promise, Mr Frodo. A promise. "Don't you leave him Samwise Gamgee." And I don't mean to. I don't mean to.

It means that you say, "I'm sorry," and, "Please forgive me." It means that there are times in your marriage when you are just plain not happy. But it also means that when you've gotten through that rough patch that everyone hits about five to seven years in, your marriage is better and stronger.

Merry: Why did you look? Why do you always have to look?
Pippin: I don't know. I can't help it.
Merry: You never can.
Pippin: I'm sorry, all right? I won't do it again.
Merry: Don't you understand? The enemy thinks you have the Ring. He's going to be looking for you Pip. They have to get you out of here.
Pippin: And you... you're coming with me?
[Merry impatiently walks away]
Pippin: Merry?
Merry: Come on.

Just like Samwise going back to Frodo after he was sent away, you go back again to mend things between you and your wife. And that means that you grow in stature in your wife's eyes, and you become to her the knight in shining armor that she dreamt about when she was a little girl. I know because my husband becomes a bigger figure to me with every passing day.

Merry: Are you going to leave me?
Pippin: No, Merry. I'm going to look after you.

One other thing, though, about real men. Like Hobbits, they are overlooked by greater society.

Gandalf: Well, what can I tell you? Life in the wide world goes on much as it has these past age, full of its own comings and goings, scarcely aware of the existence of hobbits... for which I am very thankful.

When the council decided who would take care of the destruction of the One Ring, some scoffed that the Hobbits would be equal to the task.

[Frodo hears the ring whispering ominously while the Council argues]
Frodo: I will take it!
[they don't hear him; he raises his voice]
Frodo: I will take it!
[they fall silent, looking at him]
Frodo: I will take the Ring to Mordor!
Frodo: Though... I do not know the way.

This is what a real man does. God gives each of us a task, a vocation. A real man, like the faithful Hobbits, shout up to Him, "I will take it!" though me does not know the way. But God knows the way, and a real man takes His hand and is led there.

Sacred Heart

More on today's solemnity here.

A sampling:

Sixteenth century Calvinism and seventeenth century Jansenism preached a distorted Christianity that substituted for God's love and sacrifice of His Son for all men the fearful idea that a whole section of humanity was inexorably damned.

The Church always countered this view with the infinite love of our Savior who died on the cross for all men. The institution of the feast of the Sacred Heart was soon to contribute to the creation among the faithful of a powerful current of devotion which since then has grown steadily stronger. The first Office and Mass of the Sacred Heart were composed by St. John Eudes, but the institution of the feast was a result of the appearances of our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1675. The celebration of the feast was extended to the general calendar of the Church by Pius IX in 1856. ...

...The deepest longing of Christ's Heart is that we discover how much he loves us, the extent of his tender love for creatures who, cooled by their selfishness, look only inwards at themselves, as if they were afraid to let themselves be loved unconditionally by their Creator, who asks nothing and gives all!

How society, culture, economy, politics today need this Heart! It is really true, the more man distances himself from God-Love the more he becomes 'heartless', agitated about a thousand things because he has mislaid the principal one: to let oneself be loved by Christ and to respond to this Love with our love.

Prayer to the Wounded Heart of Jesus (courtesy of EWTN):

Prayer to the Wounded Heart of Jesus

O my Most Loving and Gentle Jesus, I desire with all the affections of my heart, that all beings should praise Thee, honor Thee and glorify Thee eternally for that sacred wound wherewith Thy divine side was rent. I deposit, enclose, conceal in that wound and in that opening in Thy Heart, my heart and all my feelings, thoughts, desires, intentions and all the faculties of my soul. I entreat Thee, by the precious Blood and Water that flowed from Thy Most Loving Heart, to take entire possession of me, that Thou may guide me in all things. Consume me in the burning fire of thy holy Love, so that I may be so absorbed and transformed into Thee that I may no longer be but one with Thee.


-- Lanspergius, the Carthusian

Thursday, June 14

Priceless Artwork

When we were in South Dakota, my mother in law received in the mail a catalog from Gump's. In it, we saw these pieces of art:

Now, if you go to the site for Gump's, you will find that each of these shadowbox pieces of artwork can be yours for the bargain price of $350.

Excuse me, I forgot the decimal point on that. Let me say it again properly, so it's easier to understand.

Each of these shadowbox pieces of artwork can be yours for the bargain price of $350.00.

Yes, that was three hundred-fifty dollars. Each.

I was stunned, to say the least. Why, the girls can do something similar for way less money, and it would mean much more to me than something with Christopher Marley's name on it! (Who is Christopher Marley, anyway?)

Yesterday, we were at the Dollar Store, and I picked up two 8x10 frames with matting, a bag of shells, a bag of squiggly glass pieces with colors in them, and a ball of fuzzy yarn. Already at home, I had a low-temp hot glue gun, about half of a roll of ribbon, and construction paper.

With that, we made these:

Two frames with mats: $2
Bag of shells: $1
Bag of colored glass pieces: $1
Ball of yarn: $1

Original artwork by your children: Priceless!

We'll be hanging these up in the girls' room once I'm sure the glue will hold the glass and shells to the paper. (I removed the glass from the frames so things wouldn't bump against it or break it.)

[Sidenote: Big Girl worked with the glass, and Little Girl worked with the seashells. Both did the majority of the glueing for the pictures, though I did the frames and the ribbon for Little Girl's matting.]

Mass Today

*happy sigh*

I went to Mass at noon today. Thank You, Lord, for the gift of the Eucharist! We were in the chapel:

Of this church:

Who are your heros?


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