Monday, January 30, 2012


Has it been in the news lately?  The mandate issued a week or so ago that will force everyone - including Catholic hospitals, schools, etc, to provide "health" care that covers abortions, contraceptives and the like?  Even though it goes against the very beliefs that we profess.  I don't know - I don't watch TV much, but it has surely been all over the internet - in some of the blogs that I read.  On Facebook.

Am I surprised that it has come to this?  No - absolutely not.  Am I saddened?  Yes.  Mad?  Probably not mad enough.  Our freedoms are just eroding beneath our feet.  Sooner or later, we will just all fall off of the cliff into the abyss. 

Regardless of your feelings on contraception, this is an attack on religious liberty as a whole.  I saw this picture this morning on Facebook. 

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. 

And while we're on the subject of FB, there is a group that has been formed.  At last count - they were at about 1500 members.  Consider joining them: 

There is a feeling of being powerless.  Nothing we "little people" do seems to matter.  One thing that we can all do is to pray.  Friday is being offered as a day of prayer and fasting for our Bishops.  They are the soldiers on the front line of this war.  They are the ones who will have their necks on the line come August whateverth when the mandate must be enforced.  We can do this for a day. 

Some people look at prayer as a last resort or something to do when all your other options fail.  Not true!  Prayer is powerful.  Prayer has the power to change things.  Fasting is an added weapon in the arsenal.  

And there is a petition to sign.  You can get to it on the Why I am Catholic Blog on my sidebar. 

I read a recent quote from a bishop of an American diocese.  He said that he expected to die in bed.  He expected that his successor would die in jail.  And he supposed that HIS successor would die in as a martyr in the public square.  A sobering thought to be sure.

Join me?

Sunday, January 29, 2012


This could be one of those almost wordless posts!  This, boys and girls, represents progress.  This is the first time since we moved in - almost 7 months ago - that it has been possible to park a vehicle in the garage!  There is still work to be done, but there is a sense of accomplishment here!

That is all!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

little choices

It's kind of a slow news day (or month) when I pull out homilies to blog about.  I try to avoid doing it too often, because it's sometimes difficult to get the whole idea across second hand.  Often it is a "ya had to be there" kind of thing.  

The First Reading on Friday morning was the story of the beginning of King David's downfall.  It begins:  

At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign, David sent out Joab along with his officers and the army of Israel... David, however, remained in Jerusalem.   

The account continues with David waking up one evening from his nap (Yawn!) and going to stroll on his roof, where he happened to see the lovely Bathsheba - doing what else but bathing?  So...he sends his servants to fetch her, and you can imagine what happens from there.  But as if that wasn't bad enough, she sends word that she is "with child".  David goes into damage control mode here, and brings Bathsheba's husband home, thinking that they might like a little "couple time".  But Uriah, being the man he is, does not give in to the temptation.  So...David sends him back to the war with a letter to give to the commanding officer to place Uriah on the front line and then to pull back and leave him there so that he will be killed. 

The good Father pointed out that David's first bad choice/mistake was remaining at home when the rest of the guys went off to war.  David was complacent.  Things were going well, and he let his guard down.

How often we do the same...we are complacent, and we make that first little bad eat xyz food, or to skip xyz part of our daily prayer.... to make some unkind remark about someone...

He pointed out that both sin and virtue work this way.  They start with small choices that add up to great things.  Just as we can make small bad choices, we can also make small good choices - sacrifices, helping someone, fasting, praying - that God can do great things with.

Look at the choices David made:
  • he stayed home, when Kings went on  campaign
  • he went for an evening stroll on the roof
  • he let his eyes wander to things he shouldn't have
  • he sent his servants to get the young lady
  • he had relations with her
  • he tried to cover his tracks by calling her husband home
  • he sent him back to the front carrying his own order of execution
Lust, greed, murder, all in one Bible Reading!  Small things turning into big things.

Lord, deliver us from growing complacent.  Help us to seek you in all the small choices we make in our living and our loving.   ~ Amen.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Just one big sigh.

Nothing is really wrong.  And nothing is really fantastic.  It is January.

One day the weather is cold - like 40ish.  The next day it is 70 degrees and 180% humidity.  The sidewalks "sweat" when it is like that.  And my hair frizzes worse than normal.  I have to check in the morning to know how to dress.  In between changes, it is stormy. 

I just tried to upload an image to my sidebar, but I was told my picture storage with Picassa Web Albums was full.  Sigh. Someone told me good things about Picassa a while back, so I installed it on my computer.  I have yet to really figure out how to deal with it.  I think I probably have multiple copies of picture (unintentionally), and for the life of me, I can't figure out how to delete a picture in Picassa.  Oh well.  It's not a problem that bothers me enough to spend much time trying to solve it.

It was an image about opposing the contraception mandate that Obama and his cronies are trying to shove down our throats.  I have just SO had enough of them.  I never liked them to begin with.  I could only listen to his Campaign Kick-Off  State of the Union Address the other night in short bits.  Ughhh.  And to think if we have to endure 4 more years.

It has been six weeks since I have had a paycheck.  That is making me grouchy.  We get paid on the last work day of the month.  I am counting the days.  And trying to make the little bit of gas in my tank stretch.

Things at school.  Should I even go there?  A fifth grader bought marijuana at school from another fifth grader a few weeks ago.  He had buyer's remorse and tried to get a refund, but I guess he didn't have his receipt!  An eighth grader stabbing another student (one of his friends) with a hair pick over a basketball game.  It could have been so much worse than it was.  [Sigh].  Paperwork.  Kids that never, ever have a pencil.  No matter if you give them one every day.  Ditto for paper.  It wears on you after a while to have to constantly fight the little things.  And then the big things happen.

It is Ordinary Time in the church.  I am feeling kind of ordinary myself.

We had altar server training last weekend - for new altar servers.  It has been in the bulletin for 3 weeks, and the good Father has announced it the past two after every Mass.  I had one child show up. [Sigh]  Uno.  Thank goodness for him, because for a little while I was afraid there would be no one. God sends what we need, right?

Is January giving you the mid-winter blues?  

Monday, January 23, 2012


Yesterday marked the 39th anniversary of the "abomination" of Roe vs. Wade.  I had just turned the third grade.  It was one of those events that is burned into my mind like the Space Shuttle or 9-11.  I was sitting in a third grade classroom, when the principal made an announcement about this decision and the church bells began to toll. 

Today is (was) a day of prayer and penance throughout the Catholic Church in the United States.  I don't know if too many people really knew about it, though.  We heard about it briefly at Mass this morning, but not at all yesterday.  I knew about it, but I can't say that I really did anything penitential.  Sometimes its hard to just pick something out of thin air and offer it as penance.

I did, though, spend some time reflecting this morning before school, and that I can share:

The good Father remarked this morning of the increase in violence in our society.  That is because - he says - because of the lack of reverence for life - from conception to natural death.

And we all contribute to that in some way.
  • for the times that we are glad when certain students are absent...because their presence is such a burden
  • for the times we don't see any humanity in those that we deal with
  • for the times that we do not treat them with respect and dignity; even when they don't deserve it
  • for the times we have given up on those whom are sent to us
  • for strength to deal with "the least" with kindness and compassion 

There must be times when the Lord looks down at each of us and sadly shakes his head at the lack of humanity that he sees in our hearts.  And yet, He always treats us with dignity and respect, with love and compassion, even when we do not deserve it.  And even if we have given up on ourselves, He never gives up hope for us.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

catching up

You know, sometimes there just doesn't seem much that is blog-worthy.

My Saturdays this month spend a lot of time looking at things like this:

My older dear child has decided to give wrestling a try.  Makes for some long Saturdays, I want you to know!  But he is enjoying it, and it is good for him to be involved in something at school. 

On a totally unrelated note...about twice a month, we pray the Seven Sorrows Rosary at my sister-in-law's house.  Monday was one of those nights, and I knew I needed to be there.  I was running late, so I called her to let her know.  Not to worry, she said.  It would probably  be a small group, and they would wait.  Imagine my surprise when I got there to see cars lining the street and a young couple walking down the driveway.  I was sure that they must have been looking for the party, which must have been at the neighbor's.

My surprise was magnified even further to see 15-20 teenagers sitting in her living room praying the Rosary!  I wondered who had brought their youth group or CCD class.  But, no.  Through the wonders of forwarded text messages, these kids had shown up [at the home of a stranger] to pray for a friend who was having surgery the next day on a [hopefully benign] brain tumor.  And they had been welcomed with open arms.

My own prayer intention was our clerk at school.  You know, of course, that clerks and secretaries are the ones that run the school!  Miss Grace is in her early 80's, and is one of the few people who has been at our school longer than I have.  To know her is to love her.  She always has a smile and a kind word.  Last week, news came that a [probably malignant] tumor had been found during a colonoscopy. 

She said she was going to the Adoration Chapel that afternoon, and she'd be at work the next morning!  That's why sometimes we call her Amazing Grace!  She finished the work week, as if she didn't have a care in the world!  The surgery was scheduled for Tuesday, and as I was driving home from the Rosary, I was thinking about her, and how "Amazing Grace" is such a fitting name for her.  In the next breath, a new song came on the radio.  Would you believe it if I told you, the song was "Amazing Grace" by Chris Tomlin!  That was kind of a "wow God!" moment.

A side note to add that she had the wrong date for her surgery, but there was a cancellation on Friday, and so she is scheduled for that day.  Please add a quick prayer for her.  She is the heart of our school.

And that, I think, is about all that I know that is worth mentioning.

Until next time....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


A few short takes...random fragments...whatever

 1 - First of all, I am feeling 1000% better than I did yesterday.  Still a little stuffy, but no coughing, no sinus headache pressure, no watery eyes.  I made it the whole day with no meds!  Rest was the ticket, I think.

2 - Had a twilight zone experience this week.  On glancing through the bulletin, I saw three names in the Mass intentions that could have only been there by my request - a childhood neighbor, one of my students, and my BFF's mom.  All three had passed away during the first week of January in successive years.  But I had absolutely NO recollection of having requested a Mass intention for them recently, and it would be quite unlike me to do it months ahead of time. 

So....thinking that the secretary had taken the names from last year's Mass intention book accidentally, I emailed to ask.  She said that I had sent her an email on December 20 requesting them.  Well, December 20 was before the 10-day, 6-grandkid tour, so I still had some sanity intact, and I was 99.999% sure I had done no such thing.  So I checked my "sent" messages, and sure enough - December 20, 2010, I had sent such an email.  How it came to be in her inbox a year after I sent it, I have no clue.  I'm pretty sure she is one of those delete-an-email-as-soon-as you-deal-with-it kind of people.  Unlike me, who has 6,000 messages in my inbox.  (Just for the record, I DO delete some.)  All I can figure is that one of those people must have needed to have a Mass said for them, and God made it happen.

3.  Another twilight zone experience this evening.  We were so delighted to find a Dollar General just a mile or so from our house a few months ago - a place where we can run to pick up milk, etc.  So tonight, after supper, drove to the DG, parked my car, locked it, went inside, grabbed my gallon of milk, went back to my car.  When I approached I noticed the interior lights were on.  I unlocked the door and opened it, and the radio was still playing!  When I got home, the same thing happened.  I was wondering how I was going to get it to shut off, but opening the back door did the trick.

4.  We have lived in our house for six months.  In all that time, the garage door has never functioned properly.  On Sunday, it suddenly began to work.   It is so cool to be able to close the door from the outside.

5.  I got a Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas, so I bought Mother Teresa's book "Come, Be My Light" and downloaded it on my iPad.  It is the first "real" book I've downloaded, and I wasn't sure I was going to like reading it there as opposed to an actual book, but so far, so good.   The content is deep, but explained very simply....easily understood by normal people.

6. My older child has joined the wrestling team at school.  It has been good for him to meet new people and have something at school to belong to, but I haven't really felt the love, yet.  I spent 6 hours, with sinus issues in full swing, sitting in a high school gym last Saturday waiting to see my child compete, only to find out that his only match had taken place earlier in the morning before I got there.   I was kind of looking forward to the end of weekend tournaments, Wednesday night meets, and after school practices.  Today my younger child tells me that he is joining the track team.  Oh well. 

7.  One of my friends went to confession during Advent for the first time in 37 years.  She said it wasn't easy, but she is glad she did it.  She said our priest was awesome and didn't bat an eye.  (I had told her he wouldn't, but...)  Be encouraged if you are in the same boat.  it is so neat to listen to her talk about receiving Holy Communion after all those years and the lightness she feels in her heart.

8..  The one and only time in my life that I was somewhat willing to cheer for LSU was Monday night, and there was n.o.t.h.i.n.g to cheer for. Nothing.

That is all. Have a great day!

Monday, January 9, 2012


It seems like such a waste to use a sick day actually being sick, but here I am....  Not dying - actually feeling a lot better than I did yesterday - just taking it easy.

Low tech "symptom management".  With lotion, please.

Natural home remedies...lemon with honey....

Maybe a little generic benadryl to stop the drip, drip, drip....

Or the multi-symptom solution...didn't really do too much.

My drug of choice - the generic zyrtec - wasn't really doing too much, either...

A couple of people on Facebook suggested the Mucinex DM solution...Jury is still out.

My boys had some success with this earlier in the week. 
I didn't know they still made Contac. 
I remember it from my youth.  It worked, but it would
This does not appear to be the same formula.
Didn't do much to alleviate my symptoms this time around.

This may well be the best thing. 
A recliner.  A blanket.  Rest.
I slept here last night, and woke up feeling oh-so-much-better.  
And I have spent most of my day here.

It's a busy week on the agenda, and I just couldn't see myself going in at 75% when it takes 110%.  
Surely, I would come out with less than I had going in.

On a totally unrelated side note, rumor has it that there is a little football game tonight.
Something about a National Championship.  
Normally, I root against whoever plays LSU.
~I know - I'll probably have to go to confession now - uttering such blasphemy.~
But I suppose tonight, I will be heard saying "Go Tigers."  
 Shhhh...don't tell anyone. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

happy new year!

What a "holiday"!  Never have I been so glad to return to work after one!  But here I am...still here...still kickin'!

Do I start at the beginning and go to the end?   Or start with the present and work backwards?

The "grandkids" were here for 10 days.  I have grandkids in quotes, because they are dear hubby's, not mine.  I don't mean to be ugly about it, but I am the mother of 2 teenagers.  I am the "uncle mama" (as the oldest grandchild accurately called me when he was much younger).  I don't feel very grandmotherly and I guess that's one thing you can't really rush.  I love my stepson, but it is not the same love that I have for my own two boys. 

Here they the birthday party x 3 that was at my house. #1 is in the black shirt, #2 in the box, #3 in pink.  #4 has her back to us,  for #5  you can only see the head at the bottom of the pic, and #6 is my stepson's "mini-me"...blonde hair and all.  Here's another picture from the party...the anatomically (ahem) correct unicorn...

There were good moments, to be sure.  But it was just too much.  The parents didn't stay at my house, so when I hosted children, I couldn't be the indulgent grandmother, but rather had to work too hard at keeping law and order, feeding the picky, and keeping up with dishes and clothes.  The worst (can I complain?  yep, it's my blog, I surely can!) was New Year's Eve.  I had 4 of the six, plus my own two boys.  My husband was working.  I hadn't really asked for all 4...they just kind of ended up in my car with their backpacks.  Who was I going to send back?  Meanwhile the parents and grandmother rang in the New Year's with only 2 children.  Yeah, you might be sensing a tiny bit of resentment there.

The 5 year old slept with my younger teen, who had the pleasure of staying with him until he went to sleep/passed out.  "Mom, I don't think I want to be a teen dad," he told me after that night.  Better than all the courses on abstinence he could ever take!  Really, I wouldn't have made it without my boys!  They went outside later in the evening to pop some fireworks.  "Be especially careful not to blow off any body parts that will need reattaching," I warned them, 'because I am NOT taking six children to the emergency room!"  I was serious.

I had made it crystal clear that anyone who slept over at my house on Saturday would be going to church on Sunday, and should bring clothes appropriate for the occasion.  Still, one showed up with only the clothes she had on, and another said nothing fit, another couldn't find socks.  Nonetheless, we made it to Mass and everyone had the vital necessities covered.  The behavior was pretty good.  The five year old was probably the best.   The 12 year old made his First Communion that day.  (oops)  He has been with us to Mass before, and has always gone up for a blessing when we receive Holy Communion, but Sunday, he was seated behind us with his uncles (we have short pews that don't hold 8 people) and received.  There was nothing to do at that point. 

Anyway, as I said, there were good moments (hearing "I pooped in my underwear was NOT one of them) but 10 days was too long for me.  Call me selfish.  I went along with the program.  I did what I needed to do.  I don't think I caused any long-lasting harm to any of the children.  Chances are, I'll be in this situation again, and should probably be better prepared.  But by Sunday afternoon, I was done!  Finding the change container in my car MIA later that evening, when I needed 4¢ more to complete my transaction at the Dollar General did nothing to improve things. 

After the holidays I had had - the Christmas morning fiasco and the many moments of being a mom of many, I knew confession was a stop that needed to be on my itinerary sooner, rather than later.  On Wednesday, I dropped my kids off at the bus, and then made my way to the church near my school.  There is no Mass there on Wednesday mornings, so I spent about an hour there...just conversing with the Lord, reading a little bit, speaking with him in the tabernacle, and praying at the statue of the Holy Family, kneeling at the manger, where even there He reaches up to touch us.  I think I probably made myself more nervous than I needed to be about confession, but when I left the church that morning at about 7:30, the sun was up, and the sky was absolutely radiant.  I wish I would have had my camera, but pictures wouldn't have done it justice.  I knew then that things would be OK. 

I drove down the road to my church.  Mass is at 8, and that is too late for me with work, but confessions are at 7:45, which is perfect!  Bless me's just been a couple of weeks...but they sure were some long ones!  He's OK with a little humor, sometimes.  I said what I had to say, owned the things I needed to own, but then I had a question.  I don't generally bring up what other people say and do in confession, because it's about me, not them, but this I needed an answer to.  I hesitated, because I wasn't sure if he would give me an answer or not, but I went ahead and asked.  I have said it before, and I will say it confessor is awesome!  He was so kind, so encouraging and affirming.  He laid it all on the table, spelled it out.  He knew exactly what I was asking, and knew exactly what to say in response.  I felt so much better leaving than I did coming in!  I have no idea how long we spoke - 5, 10 minutes, but it made the whole day better!

And so here we are....the Christmas season is almost over.  We have rung in 2012.  (Is anyone planning to wait until after the supposed end of time to Christmas shop this year?).  The church will soon switch over to Ordinary time for a few weeks before Lent...and life rolls on. 

Our task and my penance from yesterday to reflect on...To do the will of God, to do it in the manner in which He wills it, and to do it because it is His will.  (From St. Elizabeth Seton - who's feast was yesterday)