Monday, July 31, 2006

"My name is Amy and I talk to myself."

My husband thinks I have a problem. See, I talk to myself. He thinks I do it a lot. I probably do. I don't even notice it anymore. I have been working on some things lately and he'll be in another room and I'll hear him go, "What?" and I'll say "What?" and he'll say, "Were you talking to me?" and I'll say, "No. I must have been talking to myself."

I think I do it because it helps me to think clearer, to organize my mind as I work on a task. I have already told the people I work with that I talk to myself and to feel free to tune me out; that if I need them to pay attention, I'll say their name.

Any other self-talkers out there who want to come clean? Self-Talkers of the blogosphere UNITE!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Of loaves, fishes, and turkeys

In today's Gospel, we hear about the miracle of the loaves and fishes. You may have heard some talking about this being a "miracle of sharing:" that all of the people who were on the mountain with Jesus had food in their pouches and shared it with each other. As our celebrant at Mass said today, such an interpretation indicates a real lack of faith.

He then went on to share his own loaves and fishes story with all of us, which I will recount here. I recall hearing Father tell this story the last time this Gospel reading came around and it's still pretty awesome (funny...same priest, same Gospel). Father went to college at St. Joseph's in Brooklyn, NY, which is where he heard this story.

Every year, some of the young people went with the chaplain to a The Lord's Ranch in New Mexico, about 20 miles west of El Paso, TX area to work with the very poor people there. The people they worked with would earn a very meager living by going through the local garbage dump to collect whatever they could to resell: scrap metal, clothing, etc.

In Christmas of 1972, the people who worked at the ranch, led by Fr. Rick Thomas, SJ (those darn Jesuits! ;) ) who ran the ranch, decided to offer a holiday meal for the people they worked with. They got enough food for about 160 people. When they announced they were going to have this dinner, over 300 people showed up. The workers were horrified. There was no way what they bought would feed everyone. There would be riots when they ran out of food, they feared.

Fr. Rick gathered everyone in the kitchen and led them in prayer. He recalled the miracle described in the sixth chapter of the Gospel according to St. John and asked the Lord to help the people. He asked God to remember the hungry people gathered there and to remember that some of them would have their faith in the Lord shaken if there was no food for them to eat. He reminded God that it was "the Lord's own good name on the line here" with the 300+ hungry men, women, and children. They ended their prayer and began to serve dinner.

They fed the first 150 and there was still more left over. They fed the next 150 with plenty to spare. It was as if the hams and turkeys grew as they were cut instead of getting smaller. They fed 300 and more people without running out of food. Everyone who came to the ranch that day for dinner left with a full stomach. And they had so much left over that they took the food to two local orphanages and fed more people there. They next went to a local nursing home where they were able to feed all of the resdient and there was still so much food left over. They left everything there at the nursing home at the end of the day. You can find a brief recount of the story within another story about volunteers going to the ranch at this link.

Little miracles really do happen every day. It's just nice to hear every once in a while about a really big one happening. It's some reassurance for us silly little people still here struggling on this earth that the Lord is still working, in through, and among us.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Advice for other pregnant ladies

Here are some hings that I have figured out over the last 3 pregnancies that might be useful for anyone else expecting:

1. Instead of that big bulky body pillow which takes up half your bed and will force your husband to the sofa for a good night's rest, try folding a twin sized comforter twice lengthwise. It still supports you, but it doesn't take up as much room. Plus, on the off chance you ever get cold again, it can be unfolded to cover you up in the middle of the night!

2. Peppermints or lemon candy will ease your morning sickness. Peppermint tea is also really good for overcoming any last trimester overindulgence you may engage in (I can't believe I ate the whole thing...)

3. You MUST drink 2 litres of water every day in order to avoid swollen ankles and feet. Flavored seltzer is getting me through...

4. Likewise, stay away from prepared foods and processed foods during this time, or you're going to need three litres of water a day. They're loaded with salt. Too much salt and not enough water equals swollen face, ankles, fingers, etc.

5. When your fingers get too swollen for your wedding ring to fit right, take it off while you can still get it off and wear it on a chain around your neck. It's better than them cutting the ring off your finger in the ER when your finger starts to turn blue from lack of circulation. If it makes you feel better, get a cheap golden band in a larger size to wear unitl you return to normal.

6. Your Labor and Delivery nurse (or technician) is your best friend. She will be the bad guy for you. Visitors getting annoying? She will kick them out for you citing some medical reason that may or may not exist. She will be with you through most of your labor. The rumors are true. You OB/GYN really does show up just in time to catch the baby.

7. If you have a question call your doctor. They've heard everything. There is no such thing as a stupid question.

I'll add more as I think of them. If any other women have words of wisdom, please add them in the combox.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

RC Mommy announces D-Day

Delivery day, that is. I can't go past August 30, since my good doctor has scheduled my c-section for that date. Of course, if I go into labor before then, they'll take me for an emergency C-Section. Since my other children have had to be pried from the womb, (I have never experienced labor) I seriously doubt that I'll be going into labor early.

Why the sections? Well, I give birth to poultry, not children. Primo was 9 lbs. 6 oz and Bubba was 10 lbs 1 oz. Seeing as I'm only 5' 2" and how OB/GYNs don't like to be sued, I have always had scheduled C's.

Some folks have been asking me: "How are you handling the heat?" since the thermometers toppped 100 last week. Barb, whom I had lunch with week before last, knows just how huge I am and so can imagine how many hundreds of times I've been asked that question. The answer is: I don't leave my air conditioned home or office if I can help it. Seriously. I don't go outside. Today was in the low 80's though, and for the first time in over a week, the AC is not on. It's sort of nice to breathe fresh air. Our neighbor has an outdoor fireplace going full tilt right now and it smells GREAT!

So, say a prayer that the weather here in NJ stays relatively cool and that I make it to August 30. :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

More from Bubba

Bubba will be three in September. Being a nearly three year old American Boy, Bubba REALLY likes Thomas the Tank Engine. One of his favorite things to play with are the sheds the trains sleep in, which have doors with a rounded top.

Each week when we go to Mass, we sit on the side of the church with the Blessed Mother Altar, ususally just one or two rows back from the front. It is in a shallow alcove, with a rounded top.

Last week, after the homily, Bubba asked, "Does Mary live in that shed?"

Monday, July 10, 2006

Not that you asked...

but here are my 2 cents on these soldiers who raped then murdered a 14 year old girl in Iraq then murdered her family.

Hand them over to the Iraqi government to try.

These men are a disgrace to our nation. They are a disgrace to every man and woman in an American uniform and they certainly do not represent what we as a nation are all about. It makes me angry to think that the men and women who are over there fighting and helping to establish a new government over there are now even further behind than they were before. This crime will cause even more of the locals to turn against the other US soldiers over there and the government we are working so hard to establish over there. This crime puts more American soldiers in danger.

What better way to show that the US is in full supporrt of the newly elected Iraqi government than to give the criminals, who happen to be American citizens, over to their judicial process?

The priest at our 9:00 Mass yesterday spoke about Jesus as a patriot yesterday, since the 4th of July was last Tuesday. He spoke of the word "patriotism" as loyalty and commitment to one's father. Jesus, he said is the first among patriots since He did His Father's will completely and faithfully. Father spoke of us needing to be patriotic to the land of our birth: Heaven. When we are baptized, we become children of God, and Heaven becomes our home. He said we need to remember where we are really from and act accordingly.

These soldiers who have (OK, allegedly) committed these horrible crimes have forgotten to whom they belong. They deserve to face the full consquences of their actions. If this had happened to an American girl and her family, our government would demand that they be turned over to our judicial system. This Iraqi family deserves the same justice.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

RC Mommy- at least two years behind

I think this happens to all of us when our kids are small, but I am woefully behind the times in terms of adult pop culture.

For example, several weeks ago, we rented "Walk the Line" on DVD. Yeah. The Johnny Cash movie that Reese Witherspoon won the Oscar for this year. I wanted to see it in the theatre, but life just sort of happened and I never got there.

I really really enjoyed this movie. Reese was very good, but Joaquin Phoenix was phenomenal. I don't remember who won for best actor last year, and I know I didn't see the movie he won for, but it seems to me that Phoenix's performance was really hard to beat.

I remember reading when the film came out that Roseann Cash, one of Johnny's three daughters was upset about how her mom was portrayed in the film. Vivian, Johnny's first wife, comes off as not being supporetive of his career. The movie isn't really about her, so there's not a great reason to make Vivian sympathetic, but I have to say that if I were home with three little girls and daddy was away for weeks at a time and obviously in love with another woman while married to me, I'd be crabby too. I was very sympathetic to Vivian and I don't think that the film portrayed her too negatively. Any woman married with small children can relate to where she's coming from.

On the literary side, I finally picked up Augusten Burroughs' "Running with Scissors." This memoir came out ages ago, and they're making a movie out of it starring Annette Bening as his mother. I heard about how great it was when it came out two or more years ago, but I never got around to it.

Here's my review. Burroughs is a gifted writer. His life was totally screwed up and I'm amazed he can function after what he lived through. I was shocked by what endured from the ages of 11-17. There are very graphic descriptions of the sexual abuse he endured and that people knew about and no one cared enough to stop.

I'm the kind of person who tends to really internalize what she reads, a lot more than what I do with the TV. For example, after reading "the Lord of the Rings," I started speaking in more complex, more formal sentences. I can't explain it. The books I read, for a day or two, really become a part of me. I had to put "Running With Scissors" down because I became too involved with the "Story." When I was OK enough to pick it back up, I had to read the last chapter before continuing on with the book (I NEVER do that) to make sure Augusten was going to be OK. I realized after I started reading again that the worst of the sexual abuse was over (can there be such a thing?), but other forms of suffering for him were not. I want to read more about his life (he has published 2 sequels to "Running With Scissors"), but I'm not sure if I can take more of that.

So, there are my pop culture reviews, 2 years behind. Catch me in 2008, when I finally rent (and/or read) "The Devil Wears Prada!"

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I love Fr. Z!

OK, So I went back to What Does the Prayer Really Say and Fr. Z's latest post is on today's Gospel reading, where Jesus encounters the demoniacs of Gerasene. Go read the whole thing, but I have to post this snippet here:

Let us not forget that even though Christ is risen and victorious, this world still has its prince. This is the enemy of our soul.

The malice of the fallen angels is so great that they will overcome the agony they experience in the present of the sacred, just for the opportunity to trip us. Enduring the terror of the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament itself, they will attack you at Mass. They will defy the sacraments and sacramentals just for a chance to bring you down a notch, if not entirely.

Be always wary of the enemy.
Do not forget that demonic possession and oppression are REAL phenomena. When you are at Holy Mass, remain always aware of the glory of the sacred mysteries and that you, because of your saving baptism, can be a true and active participant.

A prayer before connecting to the internet

From Father John Zulsdorf of What Does the Prayer Really Say and the Ask Father Question Box:

A prayer before logging onto the internet:
Almighty and eternal God,
who created us in Thine image
and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful,
especially in the divine person of Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
grant, we beseech Thee,
that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor,
during our journeys through the internet
we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee
and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


So, the boys are finally asleep at 10:30. Three hours past bedtime. Because some local yahoos were setting off fireworks in their driveways. There were more of them than last year, and I believe much of the credit goes to our neighbor to the West, the great state of Pennsylvania.

You see, PA has a new law making it legal to sell fireworks there. Except you can only sell them to people with out-of-state drivers' licenses. So, you can sell them in PA, but you can't blow off your own hand there or set your own neighbor's roof on fire with them. Nope. You sell them to the jerks from Jersey , Maryland, and your other border states so they can take them back home and blow off their limbs and set their neighbors' houses afire and keep their kids up.

Thanks a lot, Pennsylvania.

Things my kids said, part 4,324

Happy Independence Day! We went to the fireworks last night. Bubba got scared, then fell asleep. Primo enjoyed the show, but is under the weather with a double ear infection. He didn't mind the noise so much since he wore earplugs.

We just got back from Chili's where a family with a one year old was sitting at the table next to ours. Baby's mom cautioned Primo, who was attempting to play with the baby, that the wee one had a little cold. Primo said, "I have have allergies, a cold, and phlegm."

A few days ago, Primo picked a flower-like growth out of our lawn as a gift for me. He said, "I know the best flowers for moms. Dandelions."

There are some Bubba quotes, too, but I have forgotten them. I'll post when my brain starts working again. Probably in 18 years. ;)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Lovely Rita

Gertrude Rita Walter, my grandmother, daughter of Jack and Gertrude Kearney, mother of three, grandmother of six, great-grandmother of 4, passed from this life to the next this evening at 7:25 in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Thank you for your prayers during this past week and please continue to pray for her immortal soul.

Eternal Rest grant unto her, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

UPDATE: Grandmom's funeral will be on Friday, July 7 at St. John of the Cross Church, Roslyn, PA.

Thanks so much to all of you who have read this and are praying for her soul and for our family. She was very ill and while we have all had time to mourn while she was still alive, it's difficult now that she's not here. God bless you all.