Wednesday, January 31
Today, I noticed that the pile was bigger than the last time I was there. I use the past tense "was" because I made it a little smaller. Here's a list of what I got today:
William Shakespeare, Four Tragedies: Romeo & Juliet, MacBeth, Hamlet, Julius Caesar ($0.10 - I think I have a couple of these, but I wasn't sure - I love Shakespeare!); George Eliot, Silas Marner ($0.10); Selected Poems of Robert Frost, Introduction by Robert Graves ($0.10); Hal Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth ($0.10 - purchased only for research purposes because we know a fallen-away Catholic who is in a Baptist Bible study that is using this to study End Times); Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights ($0.10); Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe ($0.10 for what I think is our second copy of this book); Susan Anthony: Girl Who Dared, by Helen Albee Monsell ($0.25 - this is a book from the old series Childhood of Famous Americans, copyright 1954 & 1960); and, last but not least, all because of Julie's posts, Giovanni Guareschi's Comrade Don Camillo, translated by Frances Frenaye ($0.25).
All in all, I came home with eight books in good to excellent condition, including a bunch of classics, all for $1.10.
Oh, and I also checked to see if certain books were still there, and I discovered that, for example, For Whom the Bell Tolls is still there, two copies, in fact. My copy that I purchased from the library was in pretty rough shape. A lot of these books are also donations made, and many are probably already on the shelves. So they are not purging classics necessarily, but they are purging copies in bad shape or multiples that they get as donations.
Tuesday, January 30
Seen most recently at Curt Jester's site.
Name a Catholic book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies:
I haven't got many books that I give away, but I do loan them. There are a couple that I've read or am currently reading that I'd share, though. Raymond Arroyo's book on Mother Angelica, How We Got the Bible, and Witness to Hope are three. Maybe that will make up for not having answers for some of the other questions. ;)
Name a work of religious art you'd like to live with:
Name your favorite Catholic artist:
Michelangelo, probably. I've always dreamt of going to Rome and seeing the Sistine Chapel.
Name a work of Catholic fiction which has penetrated your real life:
That's really hard to say. Some books I have read are probably Catholic and I didn't know it. (Esther mentioned A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which is a wonderful book, but I didn't know it was Catholic until I really thought about it.) The Bud McFarlane books fascinated me, but I think I liked Father Elijah better (O'Brian).
Name your favorite Catholic Musicians - male & female:
Um...Marty Hagan and Gwen Stefani? JUST KIDDING. I have no idea. I never looked to see who was Catholic and who wasn't.
Name your favorite musical:
I loved CATS when I saw it on broadway, but the girls and I get a lot of old musicals from Netflix, too. I kind of like The Music Man and Fiddler on the Roof, too.
Name a punch line that always makes you laugh:
Because the pope crosses everything.
I have no clue as to who should be tagged. Everyone I can think of has been, so consider yourself tagged for this one if you want to do it.
Up next is the Wish You Were Here meme, courtesy of SFO Mom, Barb!
Who are the five Catholic (or Christian) bloggers whom you would most like to meet in person, but have not (yet)?
Only five? Okay.
1. Barb herself. I feel badly because I was just in NJ and didn't email anyone but my Nana. Next time, I'll be sure to get a hold of some people and have coffee with someone. :)
2. Sue, the Desperate Irish Housewife. I first read her writing at NRO when she recalled the first time (!) she met Pope John Paul II. (Unfortunately, her site has been taken over by some sicko porn guy, which I only discovered when I clicked on her link and got a page full of disgusting pictures. If anyone knows Sue's email, please let her know. And DON'T click on the link for her on the sidebar, especially if you have kids.)
UPDATE: Sue's link was fixed sometime today. Be sure to check out her blog, though. She's got some great commentary, and hopefully Blogger won't let some weirdo hijack her site again. ;)
3. Julie, the Happy Catholic. I love her positive spirit and attitude.
4. Rebecca, who runs Mary Meets Dolly. And not just to pick her brain and get her to talk to our parish's Respect Life committee, either. ;)
5. Stacey, the Housewife in Flip Flops. (Somehow her blog was deleted from my blogroll! For shame!) I've actually "known" her online for ages, but we've never met yet.
There are lots more, you know. Ma Beck, Jay, Esther (and not just because she's in Hawaii!), and anyone who works with Catholic Answers. I mean, I could probably list half of my blogroll (or more).
If you're named above, then consider yourself tagged.
Monday, January 29
It's almost time for the Catholic Blog Awards! Nominations begin February 4.
Hat tip to Adore Te Devote (who heard from Happy Catholic) for this.
More information on the subject can be found at the source: Cyber Catholics.
The categories are as follows:
Best Overall Catholic Blog
Best Designed Catholic Blog
Best Written Catholic Blog
Best New Catholic Blog
Best Individual Catholic Blog
Best Group Blog
Best Blog by Clergy/Religious/Seminarian
Funniest Catholic Blog
Smartest Catholic Blog
Most Informative & Insightful Catholic Blog
Best Apologetic Blog
Best Political/Social Commentary Catholic Blog
Best Insider News Catholic Blog
Most Spiritual Blog
I fit into exactly none of those categories, but sometimes I find some interesting new blogs to read. :)
Friday, January 26
If Nancy Pelosi is a devout Catholic, then, well, I'm a devout left-handed, neo-Marxist, lesbian Buddhist who loves pro wrestling and walks on the beach.
Please be sure to go read the rest.
If you can help in any material way, please do. If you can't, at least pray for them both.
*** Seen on blackboard in Spare Oom (formerly Little Girl's Room):
Little Girl wrote it, and I don't know why.
*** Hubby has a habit of asking me where things are. Many times, I merely lift up something that is where he was just looking to find the item in question.
About three weeks ago, I said, "Honey, if anything should ever happen to me, I want you to remember one thing."
"Look under stuff."
You know what? At least three times since then, he's asked me, "Where's [insert noun here]?" followed immediately by, "Wait! 'Remember to look under stuff.' ... Here it is!"
The most recent example was this morning, when he was looking for his gloves. He picked up my hat that I'd dropped carelessly on my way in last night, and there they were!
I like this new system. I look like a genius, and he finds more stuff without my direct assistance.
Thursday, January 25
Wednesday, January 24
Unfortunately, the answers to these questions are unknown due to our disturbing lack of time machines, but we can speculate.
Head over here to see what Jimmy Akin was blogging about this time.
Window with Two Roundels and Ornament
English (Christ Church Cathedral, Canterbury)
Upper: before 1207; lower: circa 1180
Stained glass with leading
Roundels: 31 1/2 (diameter) inches
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Purchase, The Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund, 69.10
Here is Catholic Carnival 103, the current Carnival. It happened to be due on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, not to mention during the Christian Week of Prayer for Unity. Lots of good stuff this week. Be sure to check it out.
This is last week's, Carnival number 102. I am pretty sure I missed posting it since I was out of town with my Nana.
Go here to learn about the Catholic Carnival and to see how to sign up for future Carnivals.
Sunday, January 21
However, there is now this:
...ICE STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM EST MONDAY...
SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN WILL GRADUALLY CHANGE TO ALL FREEZING RAIN BY EARLY EVENING...THEN CONTINUE THROUGH MUCH OF TONIGHT BEFORE ENDING BY DAYBREAK MONDAY.
TOTAL SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATIONS WILL BE LESS THAN ONE INCH IN MOST LOCATIONS...RANGING UP TO TWO OR THREE INCHES FROM PORTIONS OF THE GREENBRIER COUNTY EAST INTO THE ALLEGHANY HIGHLANDS.
HOWEVER...TOTAL GLAZE ACCUMULATIONS FROM THE FREEZING RAIN WILL RANGE FROM ONE QUARTER TO AROUND ONE THIRD OF AN INCH ON ELEVATED SURFACES. THE WEIGHT OF ICE ON POWER LINES AND TREES WILL RESULT IN FALLING TREE BRANCHES AND POSSIBLE POWER OUTAGES.
AN ICE STORM WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF ICE ACCUMULATIONS WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS OR IMPOSSIBLE. TRAVEL IS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED. COMMERCE WILL LIKELY BE SEVERELY IMPACTED. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. ICE ACCUMULATIONS MAY LEAD TO SNAPPED POWER LINES...ADDING TO THE DANGER.
Well, isn't that nice?
Hubby said that chances are, the roads will be too dangerous for us to drive to the church where the bus is taking off. We'd have to leave before 5:30 (only slightly so, but still...), and right now, we've had about six hours of freezing rain and snow, with accumulations on the roads. And it's still coming down that way.
And so I might be watching the March on EWTN tomorrow with the entire family. (Hubby took a vacation day, and he said if the roads are too dangerous for me, he'll keep the vacation day and stay home with us.)
I am a bit bummed out. And we still can't go sledding.
Saturday, January 20
"But Tom got into a book, crawled and groveled between the covers, tunneled like a mole among the thoughts, and came up with the book all over his face and hands."
-East of Eden, John Steinbeck
Today, we went to B&N to spend my money. I was really happy because for the next week, I get 25% off anything I buy there because I am a teacher! (Homeschoolers, check it out! Usually, I only get 10% off my classroom stuff, but there are occasional specials for teachers. B&N can give you details on how to sign up.)
Hubby and I discussed what we could get, and one thing we wanted was a Players' Handbook for D&D. Yes, I am trying to get REALLY White and Nerdy by learning to play Dungeons and Dragons. After reading The Lord of the Rings, I decided that perhaps this would be a neat game to learn. So Hubby has been trying to teach me when we have enough time to sit and play for a while. And recently, he got the idea to create Catholic campaigns where we'd use cleric characters. (I almost understand what I'm typing here, you know.) And today, I thought how neat it would be to modify D&D to create campaigns specific to the Crusades. And to make it friendly for the girls to play, too. This means downplaying some of the more mystical and magical stuff and playing up things more related to God. (D&D is based on LOTR, and Tolkien was Catholic - devoutly so - and so I don't believe this will be too much of a stretch.)
So anyway...I've had LOTR on my mind today.
And then I found a link to this at Joel's blog. Helm's Deep, to scale.
Hubby says that some people have too much time on their hands. I say this is one of the coolest things I've ever seen! (Oh, there is a slight language alert. Just a couple of words, but one is the F-bomb. Just a word of warning in case the kids are around.)
But it's still VERY cool!
Sunday, January 14
Wednesday, January 10
As it turns out, in a basic battery of tests that included writing and mathematics, homeschooled children whose mothers hadn't finished high school scored in the 83rd percentile while students whose fathers hadn't finished high school scored in the 79th percentile. Bear in mind, too, that children in Mississippi public schools do not on average come close to doing this well on any legitimate, nationally normed test. Moreover, there are also studies that indicate that regulation does not have any positive impact on the academic achievement levels of homeschooled students.[emphasis in original]
Again, like the other "worries" deployed in scaring the public into supporting expanded homeschool regulation, a little research would have shown this to be a baseless concern. In 2001, Greg Cizek, associate professor of educational research at the University of North Carolina, summarized what researchers know about the "socialization" question: ''It is basically a non-issue. … If anything, research shows that because parents are so sensitive to the charge, they expose them [their children] to so many activities." More recently, a study of 7,000 homeschooled adults found, among other things, much higher levels of civic involvement, participation in higher education, and life satisfaction among them than adults who were not homeschooled.
Remember that the Carnival happens every week, and if you are a Catholic blogger, you can get involved, too. Details on that can be found here.
Sunday, January 7
So I have nearly a blank slate here. We already started off the year by spending our entire budget (and I made a donation to up the money in our coffers once I realized how small the budget is!), and we'll be putting an insert in the bulletin next weekend, plus we'll be putting out brochures on various Pro Life issues. I don't want people thinking that all we are about is abortion and NFP, so we are including materials from the USCCB on the sanctity of marriage and the evil of ebryonic research as well as one on Natural Family Planning (the brochure is called "Go Organic!"). For our diocese, this is Respect Life Month. So we are trying to be very in the forefront of people's minds.
But after January, then what? Well, for one, I want to have monthly meetings. Our parish tends to have all kinds of things happening on Sunday between our two Masses. CCD, RCIA, parent meetings for the kids receiving Sacraments...everything seems to go on between Masses. I want to have meetings during the week. (I have to work out logistics with our parish office on when we can hold them, but I'll figure that out.) And what should we do there?
I had been complaining recently that it's a shame that our pastor doesn't educate people more on the Church's teachings on the Culture of Life. Suddenly, something occurred to me. How can I complain about it when I am on the Respect Life Committee? What am I doing to help educate people?
And so I believe that this will be a new mission for the Respect Life Committee at our parish. We will help to educate our parish, as well as people from other parishes who come to meetings, on the Church's teachings on life, sexuality, and the sanctity of both. Which means that I must do two things.
First, I must educate myself more. I will first be printing off Evangelium Vitae and Humanae Vitae and reading them. Nope. Haven't ever read them. (Actually, I've been a bit afraid to, given my history, but I've just got to get over myself, you know?) I must read more at Priests for Life. I need to be ready with information. I need to know more.
Secondly, I need to get in touch with people who already know a great deal about certain issues and who are willing to come give lectures on the topics. I have a friend who is the NFP coordinator for our diocese. I know people who give talks to mothers and teen daughters on the Church's teachings on sexuality. There is a wealth of information. I must learn to access it and help other people get it, too.
It's daunting. I'm scared. But I'm also excited. I want our parish's Respect Life Committee to be like a beacon, an example for others. But honestly, I don't want it so anyone can say, "Wow. Look what Christine did over there!" I really want to do it because I believe it will be something that will give glory to God. I want to do it for Him. Because when I stand before His throne for judgement, I don't want to have to explain why I was busy complaining about Father and his lack of action when I did nothing, either. And I don't want to have the souls of those perfect babies aborted, nor the souls of the people who were euthanized, asking me what I did to help them.
And I don't want Jesus to say that He knows me not.
Please pray for me as I take on this new task. Pray that I seek and listen to divine guidance. Pray that our little committee grows and is able to spread the good news and the beautiful teachings of the Church. Pray that God's will be done.
Friday, January 5
Thursday, January 4
There were a few things I noticed about the book, which I hadn't read since I was 19 or 20.
First, it's a completely different book in high school than it is when you are married with a family. I've noticed that about a lot of things. Your station in life greatly affects how you see the world, including movies, music, and books. Reading this as a college student (on my own - I was never assigned it for a class), I recall that I was really sad, but at the same time I couldn't understand Ma's need to keep "the fambly" together. Also, hormonal teenager that I was, I also kind of glazed over the profanity and talk about sex (though it was tasteful, it was there). I was surprised at the constant use of our Lord's name in vain throughout the book, especially in the light that these people were Christians.
Second, and this came up earlier than the "it's a different book" part, I felt an overwhelming gratefulness that I'm Catholic. A man in the book, Casy, is an ex-preacher. He leaves his ministry because he didn't really "feel" anything. Or, more precisely, he felt plenty, but always wound up falling into sin, especially after a good sermon and a baptizin'. So he decides that all things are holy, everything is relative, and he quits preaching. Now, mind you, this is one of the characters that has real goodness in him. He honestly tries to do what is right. But he was on his own. Just a preacher because he studied the Bible some and started out on his own.
How grateful we should be to have the Holy Mother Church to guide us and our priests! Pray that they are guided always in God's ways, and protected under the mantle of Our Lady!
Also, throughout, Uncle John feels great remorse over what he views to be his sins, and he repeatedly expresses the desire to talk to someone about them. His family does not want to hear about it, and rightly so. They love him, and knowing his sins will only make it more difficult, especially when things are so difficult all around for them. But Uncle John desperately wants to TELL someone.
He wants to go to Confession, and yet he doesn't know it.
Thank God for His gift of the Sacraments! What a great relief it is to unburden ourselves, just as Jesus commanded us to do in Scripture!
One thing about the book is that there is no real resolution, which I'd forgotten. I wanted so much to know what happens to the Joads. But when reading The Grapes of Wrath, remember that it was written in the midst of the Depression - it was printed in early 1939 - and there was not yet a conclusion to write. Reading about pre-unionized labor, the rise of industrial farming, the fall of the small-time farmer...it was hurtful. And it was an eye-opener to just why unions came about, as well.
This is most definitely not a book for children. If you want to introduce the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl to your kids, I'd recommend Out of the Dust instead. I'm saving this one for the high school years.
[image source, though mine looks idetical to it]