Saturday, November 24, 2007

hello, goodbye

This has been on the back of my mind for a while now. I've been thinking about it and I just feel it's time to say adieu to the blog. I haven't had the time to post like I had before. Also, I just am feeling like this is just another thing on my "To Do" list.

Maybe I'll be back if there's something important I have to say, or when I find joy in this again. But for right now, maybe forever, it's time for this blog and I to part as friends.

If I find the time, I'll put up a list of the posts I feel are the most worthy of you revisiting, or visiting if this is your first time here.

I'll still be lurking around my friends' blogs. See you in the real world!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving recipe sharing

My girl Aimee is sharing her sweet potato puff recipe here. Inspired by her, I am sharing some of my favorite fixin's for T-Day.

Firs, the turkey. This bird is the star of the show. A week or two before the first Thanksgiving dinner I had ever hosted (as a hugely pregnant newlywed!), I was occupying my usual spot on the couch and I happened on my favorite food show ever, "Good Eats." My boy Alton Brown was showing us how to do Thanksgiving. Since I had never cooked a turkey before and had gotten sick from stuffing cooked inside the bird the previous year (food poisoning the day before my surprise bridal shower. This bride to be was NOT blushing. I was green.), I was looking to do it a little differently. So I prepared the turkey this way. Everyone raved about how it was the best turkey they had ever eaten. I have been making it the same way going on 6 years now (my wonderful mother-in-law did Thanksgiving last year). It's ridiculously easy and is done in 4 hours. Yes girls, 4 hours. And no basting required. I am not kidding. You are absolutely forbidden to open the oven door at all during the cooking of the bird.

Next, I usually do Ina "The Barefoot Contessa" Garten's smashed sweet potatoes. With all that heavy cream and melted butter, forget about your diet. for one day anyway! Top them with apple slices cooked in butter, cinnamon and brown sugar then pop it in the oven. The best sweet potatoes I've ever had! If your oven has been taken over by your bird, make these a few days ahead and refrigerate. Then put them in your crock pot to heat it through. Saw that tip in Real Simple magazine and did the "DUH!" head smack!

Finally, the sacred cranberry relish. This is a recipe that we have used in our family for 3 generations and I have seen other variations of this online. People who don't like cranberry sauce (like my brother-in-law) love this. You need to do this a day or two ahead:

You need:
1 pound of fresh cranberries
1 orange
1 small can of crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup of sugar
1 small box of Raspberry Jello

Dump cranberries in a mixing bowl to rinse them, pick off the stems and get rid of the squishy ones. Then, chop in a blender or food processor. Put in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Next, take your orange (I prefer navels since there are no seeds, but use the one you like best. Seeds won't matter-you'll see why), quarter it and chop that in the food processor skin and all. DO NOT PEEL YOUR ORANGE!!!! Empty that into the bowl with the cranberries.

Dump your drained crushed pineapple on top of the orange and berries (drink the juice. It's great!).

Stir the sugar into the berry-orange-pineapple mix. Cover and let sit over night or at least 4 hours. All that sugar takes the bitter and sour out of everything, even the orange seeds, and the seeds will be so small, no one will notice them.

Next day, prepare your Jello as directed STOPPING WITH THE HOT WATER STEP. DO NOT ADD THE COLD WATER! Pour the half-prepared Jello into the cold berry mix, cover, and refrigerate to set it. This takes at least 2 hours. You can pour the whole thing in to a decorative mold if you have one. I don't, so I just leave it in the bowl.

There it is. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Prayer bleg

For those of you who don't know, my mom has MS. Thursday she started an exacerbation. He muscles got really weak and she couldn't get up off the floor. Her neurologist prescribed her a huge amount of oral steroids (a common treatment-the steroids reduce the inflammation of the brain and spinal tissue during the attack), but by Sunday night, Mom was having headaches so severe that we went to the ER. She's now in the hospital getting the steroids intravenously since the oral treatment wasn't working. She'll be there for 5 days.

So, please remember my mom in your prayers. Her condition isn't life threatening and the only reason that she's in the hospital is that Medicare won't pay for this treatment to be done in-home like many private insurance plans will (Strikes me that the at-home treatment would be cheaper, but that's government for you. Our tax dollars at work!). She doesn't want to be there and as is typical of my mom, she's more worried about me than she is about herself. Thanks in advance for all of your prayers.

What Every Parent Should Know About "The Golden Compass"

What Every Parent Should Know About "The Golden Compass" from ZENIT

Interview With Pete Vere and Sandra Miesel

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, NOV. 14, 2007 ( The film "The Golden Compass" isn't simply about using fairy-tale magic to tell a good story, it corrupts the imagery of Lewis and Tolkien to undermine children's faith in God and the Church, says Catholic author Pete Vere.

In this interview with ZENIT, Vere and Sandra Miesel discuss the movie adaptation of the fantasy novels written by Philip Pullman. The film, staring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, will be released in the United States in early December.
Vere and Miesel are co-authors of the booklet "Pied Piper of Atheism: Philip Pullman and Children's Fantasy," to be published by Ignatius Press next month on the topic of "The Golden Compass."

Q: The first movie of "The Golden Compass" trilogy is being released at Christmas. For those unfamiliar with the series, what kind of books are these and to whom do they appeal?

Vere: To begin, the books are marketed for 9-12 year olds as children's fantasy literature in the tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling. "If you're a fan of 'Lord of the Rings,' 'Narnia ' or 'Harry Potter,'" the critics tell us, "you'll love Pullman."

Personally, I just can't see a child picking up these books and reading them. I see them more as books that adults give kids to read.

Having said that, "The Golden Compass" (1995) is the first book in Pullman's trilogy. The second book is titled "The Subtle Knife" (1997) and it is followed by "The Amber Spyglass" (2000).

Collectively, the trilogy is known as "His Dark Materials," a phrase taken from John Milton's "Paradise Lost." This is appropriately titled in my opinion, since each book gets progressively darker -- both in the intensity with which Pullman attacks the Catholic Church and the Judeo-Christian concept of God, as well as the stridency with which he promotes atheism.

For example, one of the main supporting characters, Dr. Mary Malone, is a former Catholic nun who abandoned her vocation to pursue sex and science. The reader does not meet her until the second book, by which time the young reader is already engrossed in the story. By the third book, Dr. Malone is engaging in occult practices to lead the two main characters, a 12-year-old boy and girl, to sleep in the same bed and engage in -- at the very least -- heavy kissing. This is the act through which they renew the multiple universes created by Pullman.

Another example is Pullman's portrayal of the Judeo-Christian God. Pullman refers to him as "The Authority," although a number of passages make clear that this is the God of the Bible. The Authority is a liar and a mere angel, and as we discover in the third book, senile as well. He was locked in some sort of jewel and held prisoner by the patriarch Enoch, who is now called Metatron and who rules in the Authority's name. When the children find the jewel and accidentally release the Authority, he falls apart and dies.

Additionally, Pullman uses the imagery of C.S. Lewis' "Narnia" chronicles. "His Dark Materials" opens with the young heroine stuck in a wardrobe belonging to an old academic, conversing with a talking animal, when she discovers multiple worlds. So the young reader is lulled early on with the familiar feel of Lewis.

Nevertheless, Pullman's work isn't simply about using fairy-tale magic to tell a good story. He openly proselytizes for atheism, corrupting the imagery of Lewis and Tolkien to undermine children's faith in God and the Church.

Q: Many Catholics, including William Donohue of the Catholic League, are speaking out against the movie. What should parents know before they let their children watch this film?

Vere: I don't recommend any parent allow their children to view the film. While the movie has reportedly been sanitized of its more anti-Christian and anti-religious elements, it will do nothing but pique children's curiosity about the books. I'm a parent myself. My children would think it hypocritical if I told them it was OK to see the movie, but not to read the books. And they would be right.

It's not OK for children -- impressionable as they are -- to read stories in which the plot revolves around the supreme blasphemy, namely, that God is a liar and a mortal. It is not appropriate for children to read books in which the heroine is the product of adultery and murder; priests act as professional hit men, torturers and authorize occult experimentation on young children; an ex-nun engages in occult practices and promiscuous behavior, and speaks of it openly with a 12-year-old couple; and the angels who rebel against God are good, while those who fight on God's side are evil. This is wrong. And while it's been softened in the movie -- or at least that's what Hollywood is telling us -- it's still there in the books.

Miesel: Furthermore, there's a great deal of cruelty and gore in the books, not just battles but deliberate murder, sadism, mutilation, suicide, euthanasia and even cannibalism. There are also passages of disturbing sensuality and homosexual angels who are "platonic lovers."

I agree with Pete. Avoid both the movie and the books. It would be best if people didn't picket or make a public fuss because that's just free publicity. If the movie fails at the box office, the second and third books won't be filmed.

Q: The author, Philip Pullman, is an outspoken atheist. Does this come across in the books and the movie as a secularist position or more in the form of anti-Catholicism?

Vere: It's not an "either/or" situation. What begins as a rebellion against the Church turns into a rebellion against God. This then leads to the discovery that God -- and Christianity -- are a fraud.

The 12-year-old protagonists -- Lyra and Bill -- discover there is no immortal soul, no heaven or hell. All that awaits us in the afterlife is some gloomy Hades-type afterlife where the soul goes to wait until it completely dissolves. Thus Pullman uses anti-Catholicism as the gateway to promoting atheism.

Q: The trilogy is being compared to "Harry Potter" and "The Lord of the Rings." Is there a comparison to be made with either?

Vere: On the surface, yes. You've got wizards, heroines, strange creatures, alternate worlds, etc. Although for reasons already stated, the real comparison -- by way of inverted imagery -- is to C.S. Lewis' "Narnia" chronicles. Pullman, who has called "The Lord of the Rings" "infantile," has a particular dislike for Lewis and "Narnia." This is reflected in Pullman taking Lewis' literary devices and inverting them to attack Christianity and promote atheism.

As Pullman said in a 1998 article in The Guardian: "[Lewis] didn't like women in general, or sexuality at all, at least at the stage in his life when he wrote the 'Narnia' books. He was frightened and appalled at the notion of wanting to grow up. Susan, who did want to grow up, and who might have been the most interesting character in the whole cycle if she'd been allowed to, is a Cinderella in a story where the ugly sisters win."

Miesel: That nasty quote is factually wrong on both points. Lewis began corresponding with his future wife in 1950, the year the first "Narnia" book came out, and married her in 1956, the year the last one was published. Susan's problem isn't "growing up," but turning silly and conceited. She doesn't even appear -- much less get sent to hell -- in "The Last Battle."

Vere: Thus what we see here is more contrast and corruption than comparison. Also, the work of Tolkien, Lewis and Rowling is primarily driven by the audience. It is the average reader who purchases these works, reads them, and makes them popular.

Pullman's work, on the other hand, appears to be driven by the critics. The only people I know recommending Pullman's work are English majors and university professors. I don't know a single electrician, hairdresser or accountant who recommends Pullman's work by word of mouth. Thus the books haven't resonated with the average person to the same degree as "Lord of the Rings," "Narnia" and "Harry Potter."

Q: Nicole Kidman, a Catholic who stars in the film, has said she wouldn't have taken the role if she thought the movie was anti-Catholic. What do you make of this response?

Vere: The film has not yet been released, so I cannot comment on it. However, Christ asks very pointedly in the Gospels: Can a good tree bear rotten fruit? The movie is the fruit of the books and Pullman's imagination. These are anti-Christian and atheistic at their core. How does one sanitize this from the movie without completely gutting Pullman from his story?

During an interview with Hollywood screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi a couple of months ago, I asked her whether it was possible to tone down the anti-Christian elements for the movie. Nicolosi is the chair of Act One, a training and mentoring organization for Christians starting out in Hollywood.

She had given the question thought. A few years ago one of her friends -- an evangelical Christian -- had been asked by her agent to pitch on the project, that is, propose to write the screenplay adapting "The Golden Compass" to film.

"We read [the book] and there was just no way we could come in on this," Nicolosi told me. "Pullman's fantasy universe is nihilistic and rooted in chaos. You cannot fix that in a rewrite without changing the story Pullman is trying to tell -- which is atheistic, angry and at times polemical."

But let's suppose it is possible. Let's suppose Kidman is right and that the movie has been sanitized of its anti-Catholicism. The books remain saturated with bitter anti-Christian polemic. So why promote a movie that will only generate interest in the books among impressionable young children?

For the Christian parent, the movie cannot be anything but spiritual poison to their children -- for the movie is the fruit of the book.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Writers strike!

Ok everyone, here's the deal: I am (generally) a pro-labor person. The Screen writers Guild is on Strike right now. They want a larger revenue share in DVDs and other residuals. I think they should get what's fair (so Producers, pony up!). Everyone, start praying for an ned to the strike. You know why? I'll tell you why. Because I am NOT going to get to see the Colbert Report in NYC on the 15th if the strike is still on. I've been waiting MONTHS, people! And they won't guarantee my ticket for another show. Come on! Get praying!


I've gotten this from 2 different people over the last 2 weeks and I think that God wants me to share...

I'm invisible.It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response,the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?"Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please." I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going... she's going... she's gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees." I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there." As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot beseen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Subject: Recall Notice From GOD!

This was a cute forward. Thought I'd post it.

The Maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units; code namedAdam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed "Sub-sequential Internal Non-Morality," or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed. Some other symptoms include: 1. Loss of direction 2. Foul vocal emissions 3. Amnesia of origin 4. Lack of peace and joy 5. Selfish or violent behavior 6. Depression or confusion in the mental component 7. Fearfulness 8. Idolatry 9. Rebellion

The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge tocorrect this SIN defect. The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required.

The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R S-A-C-R-A-M-E-N-T-A-L-C-O-N-F-E-S-S-I-O-N. Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, JESUS, into the heart component. No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, JESUS will replace it with: 1. Love 2. Joy 3. Peace 4. Patience 5. Kindness 6. Goodness 7. Faithfulness 8. Gentleness 9. Self control

Please see ACTS 2:38 in the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Believers' Instruction Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of the fixes.

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.
For free emergency service, call on JESUS.

DANGER: The human being units not responding to the recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention! GOD

Thursday, October 25, 2007

November calendar letter

Thought you guys might like to see the letter to the parents in our Relgious Ed. Program that was on the flip side of our November calendar. We're talking about purgatory.

Dear Parents,

During the month of November, “we remember all of those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith” (from the Eucharistic Prayer). We start the month with All Saints’ Day, a day where we celebrate all of those people who are saints in heaven, but who have not been canonized or beatified. November 1 is their feast day.

Immediately following is All Souls’ Day. On this day, we pray for all those who are in purgatory, getting ready for heaven. We offer prayers and Masses for them that they may be released from purgatory soon and spend eternity with the Lord.

When I talk with the children about purgatory, we first talk about why the Church teaches that there is such a place. Let’s say you have just been eating lunch in a fast food restaurant. You leave and get in your car and you smell like Chicken Nuggets and French Fries. You’ve got a big fancy party to go to later that night, and you don’t want to go to the party smelling like old fast food, so you go home and get a bath and put on your party clothes and then you go to the party.

Purgatory does for us what that shower after the fast food place does for us. People who are in purgatory are absolutely going to heaven. There is no question about it; they are on the way. They just need to get the “smell” of earth washed off first. They are purified from the venial sins they committed before they go to heaven forever.

Many of our non-Catholic Christian friends find purgatory to be a big stumbling block when they think about Catholicism. They ask where we can find such a teaching in the Bible. We can find these answers in the Catechism of the Catholic Church Paragraphs 1030-1032. In Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 3:15, and in the First Letter of St. Peter, Paul and Peter speak of a purification as if through fire, like gold that is purified by fire. As Pope St. Gregory the Great pointed out at the turn of the 7th century, in Matthew 12: 31-32, Jesus talks about sins that will not be forgiven in this age or in the age to come. “From this sentence,” St. Gregory says, “we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.” Also, in the Second Book of the Maccabees in the Old Testament, there is mention of the Jewish tradition of praying for the dead. From the Church’s earliest days, it was customary to pray for the dead and to offer up almsgiving and works of penance on behalf of those who have died.

We set aside an entire month to remember the dead because they can’t do anything for themselves right now to make their time in Purgatory go faster. They need us, those who are on earth working our way to heaven, to remember them and to offer our prayers, our trials, and our good works on their behalf. I know a man who, when he kneels in the pew to get ready for Mass, offers the Mass for the soul who is closest to entering heaven from Purgatory and also for the soul who is the farthest away. He calls it “inviting” those two souls to Mass with him.
When you go to church these November weekends, please “invite” some soul in Purgatory to Mass with you. Please remember those souls in your prayers. Someday, we will be in Purgatory waiting for someone down here to “invite” us to Mass so we can be closer to being with Jesus in heaven.

God bless, Amy Giglio

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

full disclosure

Scene: On the way home from Mass; Sunday, 10 a.m.

Scott: Do we have any eggs?
Me: Only the egg whites in the carton. Oh wait. I think there might be one real egg. There's also bacon in the fridge and sausage in the freezer, but you might just want to use the bacon so you don't have to wait for the sausage to defrost.

Later; at home:

Scott: Hon, I'm all for watching what we eat and being healthy, but I need to know if the meat you tell me is available for breakfast is what I'm thinking it is. Because turkey bacon is not the same as bacon.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

She's talking more

The baby, who I'm going to start referring to as "Curly Sue" since she's quickly becoming less of a Bambina, is starting to use more words. It's kind of funny when she wants me and yells "HEY!" Less so when it's at 2:00 in the morning.

Bubba hit her on the head this afternoon and I turned to her and I said, did your brother hit you on the head? She responded by hitting herself on the top of the head. I said, where did your brother hit you? Again, the self-hit on the top of the noggin.

Later, as she was finishing her dinner, I asked her if she wanted some more to eat. She grunted and nodded in the affirmative. I asked her if she wanted some grapes. She started at me. I said, "Curly Sue, yes or no, do you want some grapes?" she gave me the grunt and nod again.

She picked up a lolly that belonged to Primo. And she is really not ready yet for lollypops. So I said, "Oh, sweetie. That belongs to Primo. Can you give it to Primo?" She walked over to him and babbled something that sounded an awful lot like "Here you are."

Give her 2 months and she'll be talking in complete sentences. Good grief where does the time go?

Good for you, Joe

Joe Torre decided not to take the Yanks' offer to just return for the 2008 season. Good for him. He can do better. Go coach for an organization that wants you. Go hit the broadcast booth. Go sit on the beach a while. You've earned it, Joe.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Oh, MAN!

The Man Meme (Saw at Aimee's place)

1. Who is your man? Scott

2. How long have you been together? 12 years

3. How long did you date? 5 years

4. How old is your man? 31

5. Who eats more? undeniably Scott.

6. Who said “I love you” first? I think I did. Also, after we had been together about 3 months, I told him that I was going to marry him. The night before one of his college finals. And he still stuck around.

7. Who is taller? Scott, but neither one of us is what you'd call tall.

8. Who sings better? Me.

9. Who is smarter? We are both very smart. However, I am better at pretending to be an expert at things I have no clue about.

10. Whose temper is worse? Mine.

11. Who does the laundry? Usually my mom, but if she doesn't get to it, I'm the one who does. I do the ironing, mostly.

12. Who takes out the trash? Scott. But Primo takes out the recycling.

13. Who sleeps on the right hand side of the bed? Me.

14. Who pays the bills? Me.

15. Who is better with the computer? Scott. Definitely.

16. Who mows the lawn? Scott. the chore breakdown is I do inside and he does outside.

17. Who cooks dinner? Me. If Mom doesn't get to it first.

18. Who drives when you are together? Scott. It's just better that way.

19. Who pays when you go out? If it's a date he does.

20. Who is most stubborn? SCOTT.

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? I'd say we're even on that one.

22. Whose parents do you see the most? Mine, since my mother lives with us.

23. Who kissed who first? I tried to kiss him first, but he told me that he didn't want to kiss me so early in our relationship (the first night. I know! I was so trampy! ;) ). He finally made the move about a week or 2 later.

24. Who asked who out? He asked me on a group date to a local pool hall with a bunch of his friends. I don't know if it was really a date though.

25. Who Proposed? Scott in the living room of my apartment.

26. Who is more sensitive? Probably me. His skin is pretty thick. But we have learned how to push each others' buttons

27. Who has more friends? This is a weird question. We're each other's best friend.

28. Who has more siblings? me. I have 3 brothers. He has one.

29. Who wears the pants in the family? As I once heard Damon Owens say, "Ain't nothing in nature with two heads that isn't a monster." The buck stops with Scott.

It's different down there

Primo (from the third row of Vinny the Race Van): When I grow up, I'd like to have a portable restaurant, with tables and chairs and a tent and a grill and next to it a place to make fries. And we'd take it all the way across the country to Colorado and then down to Texas. But then we'd need a horse carrier too because they only ride horses down there.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

dork test

Saw this in a couple of places and I just had to know. says I'm a Kinda Dorky High Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

Happy Feast of St. Francis!

Canticle of the Sun

Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord, All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings. To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.

Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, Who is the day through whom You give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour, Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars, In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, And fair and stormy, all weather's moods, by which You cherish all that You have made.

Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water, So useful, humble, precious and pure.

Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire, through whom You light the night and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You my Lord through our Sister, Mother Earth who sustains and governs us, producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.

Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon for love of You and bear sickness and trial. Blessed are those who endure in peace, By You Most High, they will be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death, from whom no-one living can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will. No second death can do them harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks, And serve Him with great humility. Amen.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

So, Amy, where have you been?

Well, things have been a little crazy at the office. CCD-oh, sorry-Relgious Education started the week of September 16 and a new Confirmation Program that is going well (did I tell you I'm teaching most of these classes?). I've been working a lot of nights lately, meetings, RE classes, etc.

Did I mention that the house is under construction right now? My Dear Scott and our neighbor are converting our back porch into an all weather room that will serve as our dining room. They raised the ceiling, cut a pass through window in the wall between the porch and the kitchen, replaced windows, and installed a sliding glass door. Next, they have to remove an old door and board up the hole and an old window and board up that hole too. I hope that there is drywall up by Thanksgiving since I have hosted that event 6 out of the 7 years we've been married. After that room is looking all spiffy the kitchen will be looking awful so I think we'll be updating our '70's brown kitchen over the summer.

Oh yeah, and I've got 2 boys at 2 different schools getting out at two different times. And a little girl who likes to see me once in a while. And Scott likes me to watch the Yanks with him. So, the blogging has suffered. Better the blogging suffer than my marriage, eh?

So there it is right now. There's a lot of awesome stuff going on in the Church right now. New Archbishop of Baltimore who just seems to ROCK; World Youth Day is coming (wish I could go...); Pope Benedict seems to be in good health (viva il papa!). God bless us, every one!

Friday, September 28, 2007

An open letter

Dear Stephen Colbert,

I just thought you should know that my husband and I will be coming to see a taping of The Colbert Report on November 15. I have been trying patiently to get tickets for a few months now. I am so very excited to be coming to see your show just two days after my 32nd birthday. I sort of hope that William Donahue of The Catholic League will be there again that night because the first time he was on it was awesome! Anyway, Stephen, I like your show very much. My favorite part is The Word.

I'm glad that your wrist is all better . It takes a man of your stature to break his wrist for all of us to remember how important our wrists are to our everyday lives. Thanks for turing your personal tragedy into a learning experience for all of us. No longer will I take my good wrist health for granted.

It's also nice to see a practicing Catholic be (sort of) candid on his show about his faith. It's nice to see that you can be funny without being snarky about the Church.

God bless you and your family. Looking forward to seeing you live!


Thursday, September 20, 2007

My mom has a website

My mom has started a website to be a forum for those with MS. It's called MS Talkline and we would love it if you'd stop in for a visit and give the info to anyone you know who has MS.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Happy birthday

My Bubba turns 4 today.

Bubba on school: "I don't like it. I love love love it!"

Bubba on being called Bubba: "I don't want you ever to stop calling me that."

Bubba on his birthday: "It just keeps getting closer and closer!!"

He's a bruiser. He's a snuggler. He's sweet and kind. He goes to the doctor to get a shot and doesn't cry. He's my short man. Happy Birthday Bub. I love you.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The tree that's in my backyard...

...didn't grow there.

It just decided last Wednesday afternoon that the fence at my place was better than the place where it was planted.

The evidence:
The view from the boys' room. Primo had been praying for a tree in our backyard. I think he meant more of a tree house tree, not this one.
See how it just missed the swing set?

This is the view from ground level.

You've got to twist your head for this one. I couldn't get it to adjust when I uploaded it. This is where the tree had been growing.

We just thank God that no one was outside when it happened.

Now if the guy who owns the house hadn't moved to Poland...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

Buon Compleano, Bambina!

My little girl turned one last week, on August 30. She's the first Giglio girl in over 80 years and she's just delightful.

She's dainty and princesslike at times. She likes to wear her black patent leather Mary Janes (and got SO mad at me when I took them off her today!) and when she picks things up, she does it with just her index finger and thumb.

Then, she turns around, screams, and tackles her older brother.

She learned to walk recently and she only stops to sit down to eat and to go to sleep.

She's delightful and dramatic. She's a charming tomboy. And she's our Bambina. Mommy is sorry this post got up late, baby. I love you.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

That's Elmo's world!

Thanks, T!

Your Score: Elmo

You scored 64% Organization, 65% abstract, and 74% extroverted!

This test measured 3 variables.

First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.

Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.

Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more about herself.

You are mostly organized, more abstract, and more extroverted.

Most people either love or hate Elmo. I hope you love Elmo, because that's who you are.

You are both somewhat organized. You have a good idea where you put things and you probably keep your place reasonably clean. You aren't totally obsessed with neatness though. Elmo has the same basic approach. His place is pretty tidy, but he doesn't spend all of his time cleaning it up.

You both are abstract thinkers. You definitely are not afraid to take chances in life. You only live once. You may notice others around you playing it safe, but you are more concerned with not compromising your desires, and getting everything you can out of life. This is a very romantic approach to life, but hopefully you are also grounded enough to get by. Elmo's whole life is based on fantasy and his imagination. In the beginning he was a regular character, but now he spends most of his time in this fantasy world.

You are both extroverts. Elmo likes to talk talk talk. He'll talk with people, goldfish, tables, whatever. Without interaction with others he gets very sad. You definitely enjoy the company of others, and you don't have problems meeting new people... in fact you probably look forward to it. You are willing to take charge when necessary or work as part of a team.

The other possible characters are

Oscar the Grouch

Big Bird

Cookie Monster



Kermit the Frog


The Count

Guy Smiley


Link: The Your SESAME STREET Persona Test written by greencowsgomoo on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Praise God, all creatures great and small

God's creatures are interacting with us here in full force lately. There's the opossum Scott saw in the backyard Friday night, the cats that roam the neighborhood constantly, the large spider spinning its web above our outside porch light, the bees which have built their hive under the kids' outside toy chest and now this.

Tonight Scott went outside to take the trash down to the curb. There was a lot of it because of the baby's birthday party yesterday. He took his Maglight with him, which is sort of unusual for him. It's a good thing he did because on the path back to the overflowing trash can was a critter with a big black bushy tail and a white stripe. He would not have seen it until he was getting sprayed if it were not for the light. He came back in the front of the house then looked out the back door and saw one of our neighborhood cats waiting his turn at the feast.

One can only imagine the expletives racing through the dear man's head. For a solid 20 minutes he heard rummaging around outside. When all was quiet we went outside to clean up the mess. It was not as bad as we thought it was, or as it could have been (especially given that the entire platter of cheeseburgers that met an untimely demise on the concrete patio yesterday afternoon was in that can. Skunk must've smelled it, but couldn't find it.) It was cleaned up in a jiffy.

The amazing thing is, we live in a pretty urban area. As I remarked on the way back inside the house, it's not like we live in Sussex County!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Rock? No, you rock and you know that! -Chick Hicks

I'd like to thank Jesus, the academy, Homefront Corp., and of course my best girl, Aimee, who gave me this wonderful award. And where would I be without my DH, who tolerates my internet usage only because he's on as often as me since we got the wireless network. I promise to post more often. I think I can guarantee three posts a week. At least until CCD starts.
And now, some more girls who rock:
Penni at Martha, Martha rocks! She's soulful and generous and has been known to quote David Bowie in her posts.
Barb at SFO Mom rocks! I haven't known a Franciscan with this much soul since Fr. Stan! She plays the guitar and sings at Mass, she's an awesome mom, and makes great pierogies.
Karen at Gem of the Ocean rocks! I just "met" Karen from San Diego. Her dry wit keeps her blog posts super funny and she loves musical theatre. What's not to love?

Friday, August 17, 2007


clearly, the most overused word in blogdom.

What I am reading

I truly fell in love with Jasper Fforde's writing when I picked up "The Big Over Easy" on sale at a bookstore. It is a mystery: Was Humpty Dumpty's death an accident, or was it (dunh dunh dunh)...murder?

I was an English major in college and I am the mother of small children so his slightly warped take on nursery rhymes was refreshing. Detective Jack Spratt of the Nursery Crimes Division, assited by Officer Mary Mary, delves into Mr. Dumpty's sordid past. Parts of it made me laugh right out loud. And I did not see the ending coming. Excellent book. Lent it to Aimee (Did you get the chance to read it?).

There is new nursery crimes book out : "The Fourth Bear." Got to get my hands on that one too.
Right now, I'm reading "The Eyre Affair." Our heroine, Thursday Next, is on the job investigating the disappearance of Jane Eyre from the novel by Charlotte Bronte. This is the first of four books in the Thursday Next series. I think I'm hooked.
What I love most about these books are the literary references. Fforde's writing is funny (in a dry, did-I-really-just-read-that and laugh out loud kind of way) and I am thoroughly enjoying every moment of this book.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

God don't make no junk

School is starting in less than a month. This causes very mixed emotions for me. I'm alternately: "YAY! the kids are going back to school. Get them out of our hair!!!" and "Ugh. I have to endure parent meetings and lunch duty."

See, I'm not in the "In Crowd." You know the moms: they sit in the parking lot with their Dunkin Donuts coffee after drop off; they chair various committees and sit on the PTA board; they have the prinicpal's ear (Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse).

I go to parent meetings and get there a little before the meeting begins, searching the crowd to see if there is someone I know whom I can sit with. If not, I sit on the sides or in the back, trying to keep a low profile. "In Crowd" moms are friendly, mostly, but they don't talk to me, and I think that many of them think things about me that may not necessarily be very nice. Maybe I come across as standoffish, as stuck up.

I am fully aware that this problem is mostly a problem of my own making. It may not really come across here, but I am a pretty shy person. I am loved and lovable, but I have never felt like people would like me. Growing up I was the weird kid. You know the girl in grade school whose hair and clothes were never quite right? The one who came to school and went home without talking to other kids very much? That was me. And that little girl is still inside, even though my hair and my clothes are much nicer now, I have a fabulous husband and gorgeous, smart children.

Also compounding this problem of mine is that I work for the parish where my kids go to school. I'm the Religious Ed Coordinator and communication about sacrament policies and parent meetings come from my office. I sometimes have to tell people what they don't want to hear. I sometimes have to say "no" to people in the "In Crowd." I think some people think that I am "holier than thou" because of my job and because of my shyness. I have felt a real shift in people's attitudes toward me as we've talked and gotten to know each other a little bit. There is definitely a thawing, like "Gosh, she's not the snot I thought she was!"

And the poor people I am friends with! I stick to them like glue during these meetings and dismissal times because I feel comfortable with them. I hope that I am not annoying!

So, what is a shy mom to do? I don't really have the time to sit on boards and chair committees, but I could probably help out here or there with things: work a table at the Christmas Bazaar, work an hour at the book fair. I can be more outgoing, more "smiley" around school. I can also change my attitude toward the "In Crowd" moms. They are individual women who have their imperfections, too. That they are loved and lovable as well.

I can tell the weird kid inside to settle down and relax. She has to understand that the people who don't like her don't know her. She has to understand that God loves the weird kids and the kids in the "In Crowd" the same, that He wants us to love one another as He loves us. She needs to know that she cannot control how others perceive her. All she can do is try to love others, especially those who make her feel sad inside, and be herself: the wonderful weird little kid that God made her.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tina Turner rocks so hard

I am watching Tina on PBS right now. She is so awesome. She's doing "Proud Mary" right now. Good grief, she's awesome. She's dancing circles around her backup dancers. Wow. I hope I'm that vital at her age.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Feast of St. Dominic

Happy feast day to my Dominican friends:
Fra. Lawrence Lew
The Cloistered Dominican Nuns in Summit
Joe, the Dominican Inquirer
Tom at Disputations

Find out more about St. Dominic here.

Prayer to St. Dominic

God of Truth you gave your church a new light in the life and preaching of our Father Dominic. Give us the help we need to support our preaching by holy and simple lives. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It's time we elected a loud Catholic woman

There is no one running for president in 2008 for whom I could vote with a completely clear conscience. I have come up with my own platform that I could run on in 2012. I'm semi-serious. I'll run for president. I could vote for me, and I think a bunch of other people could too. I'd run now, but won't be 35 until 2010.

What makes me think I'd be a better president than anyone else? I've come up with a list:

1. What you see is what you get. I will not lie to you. If elected, I will institute here in the US a weekly period for me to go to Capitol Hill and answer questions from members of congress. Many other countries' leaders do this, including: the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India. Maybe C-Span will carry it, just like it does the British Prime Minister's Questions.

2. War. I believe that as a nation we should only involve ourselves in just wars. Pre-emptive military actions are not just wars. I also believe that if we find ourselves in a postion of having to fight a war, that people who are trained to lead wars should lead them, not civilians. I am in favor of maintaining a strong military that is properly equipped to defend our nation. Further, there are some things that America is just not about, and that includes torture and indefinite detention of prisoners without a hearing. We don't toss out our Bill of Rights just willy-nilly.

3. Poverty. There is no reason that anyone in the USA should not be able to put food on the table. Ours is the wealthiest nation in the world and it is a travesty that Americans are homeless and hungry. Government should not get bigger to resolve this problem, but encourage private citizens and charitable foundations to take care of our fellow Americans, our brothers and sisters.

4. Foreign Relations. I am in favor of third world debt forgiveness. Most of those countries are trying to develop and they can't get ahead because they're paying the US and other countries back enormous loans. They can't pay down the principal; they are only paying the interest on these loans. It's time we, the wealthiest nation in the world, stopped getting rich off the backs of the poor nations and gave them a chance to hang onto their resources to make the lives of their citizens better.

It's also time we regained our national dignity. We are a laughingstock on the world stage and that is unacceptable.

5. Domestic Issues:

  • We need a balanced budget. We need to use our resourcew wisely and not spend what we don't have.

  • On abortion: It is a sad commentary on our country that a woman who finds herself frightened and desperate because of an unplanned pregnancy feels that she has no other choice than to kill her unborn child. For that woman to be so desperate reflects poorly on all of us. We need to encourage social programs that will help these women. Abortion needs to be illegal, but, even more, it needs to be unnecessary.

  • On the death penalty: I do not believe it is a deterrent to crime and that a civilized nation such as ours has no need for it.

  • On gun control: People have the right to protect themselves, but there is no reason why the average American needs to own military grade weapons when we live in a time where there is a standing army.

  • I am a firm believer in term limits. If you can get it done in two terms (President and Senate, 4 for the House), you're never gonna get it done. It's time to move on and let someone else try.
If I think of anything else, I'll add it. If you think I forgot anything, let me know in the combox.

I realize that some of my fellow Americans will have a problem with voting for a Catholic. Some folks think that voting for someone whose Catholic faith is as much a part of her person as her eye color will turn DC into Vatican West. First, let me say that I think the pope has better things do to than to get himself involved in the mess that is American politics. But I will also borrow liberally here from Hilaire Belloc, noted French-born Catholic statesman who served in England at a time when it was even less cool to be Catholic than it is now:

My fellow Americans, I attend Mass each Sunday and I am a Catholic educator and evangelist. I have considered the teachings of my Church and I have decided she is right. My Catholic faith is a part of me; the better part of me. If that offends you, I pray that God may spare me the indignity of serving you as President of the United States.

If you like what I have to say, you need to start praying for campaign finance reform. See, I don't think I'd get picked up by the Republicans or the Democrats and I am not rich like a Kennedy.

Do you think I should run? Tell me in the poll on my sidebar.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'T is the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us as a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause. it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

That's meez!

Barb did this and it looked so much fun. I could seriously spend WAAAAYYY too much time on stuff like this.

Monday, July 02, 2007

On Immigration

What does Holy Mother Church have to say about immigration? Here's a point of view:

It's That Catholic Show!

Go to the website to see episode 1: "Sit, Stand, or Kneel"

Durn. I tried to embed a clip, but the code from the website didn't work. Oh, well. You can watch all 5 episodes at the website. They're awesome. I'm planning on sharing them with my catechists for this school year.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Missing: Der Tommissar

Where oh where can der Tommissar be? Oh, where, oh, where can he be?

The Latin Mass will soon be free; oh, where can der Tommissar be?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

random questions meme

Aimee did this one and while she didn't specifically tag me, I'm going for it anyway on account of I have a large post in the works over here and I haven't been posting faithfully.

Were you named after anyone? No, but my mom and I have the same middle name (Marie).

When was the last time you cried? April 26.

Do you like your handwriting? Um. I guess it's OK. It's mostly legible.

What is your favorite lunch meat? Head cheese. NO-just kidding! I like scrapple, but you won't catch me near that stuff. Roast beef with horseradish sauce. yum!

Do you have kids? yup. They are why my blog has the word "Mommy" in the title.

If you were another person, would you be friends with yourself? Yes. I'm pretty awesome. ;)

Do you use sarcasm a lot? No, but I can be sarcastic.

Do you still have your tonsils? Yes.

Would you bungee jump? No. I'd like to say I was daring enough to do it, but in reality I just couldn't.

What is your favorite cereal? Special K with red berries. Why don't they just call it "with strawberries?" It says on the box that they are strawberries, and they taste like strawberries. what's the deal Kellogg's?

Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? No, much to my husband's chagrin. He's trying to get Primo to untie his shoes before taking them off. I don't see why its such a big deal.

What is your favorite ice cream? Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia.

What do you notice first about people? noses

Red or pink? red

What is your least favorite thing about yourself? That I talk too loud too often.

What is the last thing you ate? Ghirardelli dark chocolate

What color pant and shoes are you wearing? Khaki shorts and no shoes. I hate shoes.

What are you listening to right now? The air conditioners hum. It's hot here dudes.

What are your favorite smells? The beach, dinner in the oven, bleach (I'm not huffing or anything, it just says "Clean" to me), my husband's deodorant (He can't wear cologne. My wacko sense of smell deserves a post of its own someday. It hasn't been the same since I had kids).

Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? a lady from church; we're going to a workshop together tomorrow.

What are your favorite sports to watch? college basketball (Go Pirates!)

What is your hair color? mousy dishwater blonde, going gray.

What is your eye color? blue

Do you wear contacts? no, but I want to . These glasses make me insane.

Scary movie or happy ending? Happy ending.

What is your favorite food? chocolate

What was the last movie you saw? In the theaters: Cars (last summer); real movie at home: Dreamgirls (Friday night). The local Shoprite has a redbox. I love it. Also, I watched Veggie Tales' "Josh and the Big Wall" with the kids before bed.

What color shirt are you wearing? I believe they call it orchid. Light purple anyways.

Summer or winter? summer. I'd much rather be hot than cold.

Hugs or kisses? hugs

What is your favorite dessert? I have never met a dessert I don't like.

What are you reading? Divine Mercy in my Soul by St. Faustina Kowalska

What is on your mouse pad? no mouse pad, I'm rolling with the laptop.

What did you watch on TV last night? The Colbert Report.

Rolling Stones or The Beatles? The Beatles

What is the farthest you've been from home? San Diego, CA.

Where were you born? Philadelphia, PA

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Great series at my parish

If you know any young adults in North Jersey, please invite them to this series being offered here at St. John's. We're easily accessed from the Garden State Parkway and the NJ turnpike:
"Waiting, Dating, and Mating: the When, Who, and What God’s Calling you to…"
Dating and Relationships for:
College Age Students & Young Adults in their 20’s & 30’s

5 Sundays:
June 24th, July 1st, July 8th 4:00-6:00pm

July 15th 3:30-6:00pm

July 22nd is 4:00-6:30pm
*Ceremony and reception to follow.

St. John the Apostle Church/ Msgr. Price Room
1805 Penbrook Terrace, Linden NJ
(on Valley Rd, Clark, off Stiles St.,Linden)

Refreshments Served
Cost: $50 for 5 Sessions
Student Discount: $40 for 5 Sessions

$60 for 5 Sessions if paid for after June 20th
($12 for individual Sessions)

Registration: Call Enza at 732-264-1865
or email at enza19(at)hotmail(dot)com

Topics Include:
Sex-it’s a Language of Love- God’s Invention!
Differences Between Men and Women…
What is your personality type?
Characteristics of Healthy Relationships…
Is it Love or Lust?
Life is Sacred
Dating & Waiting
Giving the Gift of Self in Marriage
Including: Dr. Philip Mango, Nationally known Speaker and Psychologist

Sponsored by: LIFENET
Co-Sponsored by: Spirit and Truth

For directions to St. John's log onto or call 908-486-6363

Friday, June 08, 2007

Feels like home to me

Last June, my Grandmom passed away after a long illness.

This Wednesday is the settlement date for the young couple who bought her house.

I knew the house was going on the market. My dad, handyman extraordinaire, has been fixing it up for my aunt to sell. When I talked to him last night, I asked when she was putting it on the market. "Oh, it's already sold," he said, "Settlement's Wednesday."

I felt like I'd been sucker punched.

"Well, we're going to empty the house on Sunday; pack up the POD, if you want to come and help."
"I gotta work Sunday."
"I'll be there on Saturday if you want to come down."

So tomorrow afternoon we're going to go and say goodbye to the house on Radcliffe Ave.

It's more than a house that this wonderful, with-child, couple is moving into. They're moving into the storehouse for my childhood memories of my grandparents. Memories of summers spent swimming and eating way too much watermelon and corn on the cob. 4th of July parties where friends and family would come and have burgers and drink gin slurpees and we'd watch the fireworks over the house. You could see them from the back yard. Later, when Grandpop and Grandmom split up and not as many people came (and there was less drinking) we'd drive over to the high school and see them up close.

When I walk into the shed in our backyard and breathe in the smell of gas and grass, I am seven again, standing in my grandpop's huge shed with his lawnmower and his motorcycle inside. He was a carpenter and all of his tools were organized on pegboard lining the shed walls. they kept a port-a-pot in there for us to use if we had been swimming. That way, we didn't get water all over the carpet in the house.

When I make macaroni salad, I am a little girl again watching my grandmom chop green bell peppers and carrots into the tiniest pieces for her macaroni salad (hers is much better than mine; I don't have the patience to ultra-petite dice the veggies). Making the potato and macaroni salad would always take her about 4 hours because hse took such care with it. And I remember her telling me that when Grandpop would help her peel and slice the potatoes, they had to do extra potatoes because he would eat them raw.

When I make a tomato salad, I think of my aunt and her garden. She grew what seemed to be the largest tomatoes. Sometimes they would crack on the top near the stem, but they were so good. I could eat them like an apple. My aunt was then and still is the most glamourous woman I know. I loved getting into her jewelry and playing dress-up. She really taught me how to be a lady (I'm still working on that, Aunt Patti!)

So, tomorrow, I'm heading down there and I'm going to look around one last time. My aunt has done a great job of keeping the place up and she's made some great improvements. The kitchen where Grandmom and Grandpop peeled potatoes together in happier times is bigger now, expanded out the back of the house just like Grandpop had always intended to do, but never had the chance to (My family jokes about the carpenter's house being the worst-maintained home on the block.). The shed is gone too. There's nice lawn growing there now. Some of the stuff might be missing or different, but aside from the place where I live now, where I brought my babies after they were born, from the home that I'm making, the house on Radcliffe Ave. is the closest thing to home there is.

We have a first word


La Bebe's first word is "Go!" Go! means "I'm on the move!" and "I want that!"

She has also tried "car" doubtless because of all of the Matchbox vehicles strewn around our living room.

She also said "Boobah" when Bubba was watching it on TV yesterday. I tried getting her to say Bubba to call her brother, but she can't connect the two (He mostly goes by his Christian name around the house. I think I'm the only one who calls him Bubba.).

Aimee has a great post up right now about her baby girl's first words. It's much more well written than this one, so go read it.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

How cute is this?

Saw this at Shouts in the Piazza; It's a recruitment poster from the Diocese of St. Augustine, FL.

You go, Bishop Tobin!

You can read here Bishop Tobin of Providence, RI's column addressed to Rudy Guiliani regrarding his, "I'm personally opposed, but..." stand on abortion. It's great.

I used to feel the same way as Rudy. Then I had a talk with God. You can read about it here.

Thanks to Whispers in the Loggia for the link to the article. Read Rocco's post here. And he's got the YouTube clip up from when Rudy tries to defend his wishy-washy position and lightning struck (at St. Anselm's college. Coincidence?).

Sunday, June 03, 2007

too close to home

Heard about the terrorist plot to blow up JFK Airport in New York? Do you know where the other end of that jet fuel pipeline is? Across the street from the Little League fields where Primo plays Tee Ball. Right here in Linden. Our family was there yesterday morning.

As if the sky high property taxes and home prices here weren't enough to send us looking for real estate in the middle of nowhere.

Thank God that the guys got caught. I love the FBI.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Charity begins when they call and interrupt dinner

We get a lot of phone calls from various charities, some which sound more legit than others. Actually, we get a lot of phone calls from a service that make fundraising calls on behalf of various charities.

There has been some stuff in the papers lately about whether or not charities are legit. I also wonder how much money actually goes to help people and how much goes to cover administrative costs (like paying the guy who is calling me. Sometimes I wonder if it's a prisoner calling from jail. Some companies use them as labor and the priosoner gets to work on their people skills. I'm all about rehabiliation and job training, but really, do they have to call as I'm trying to get dinner on the table? But I digress...). The American Red Cross uses less than 10% of the money they raise for administrative costs and Catholic Relief Services uses only 4% of their funds for administrative costs. These charities are our benchmark. Scott and I have started asking each charity that calls what percentage of the funds they raise goes to cover administrative costs. If the number is more than 20%, they don't get our money.

Anyhow, I got two calls last week, both from nice men from a company called ACS that calls on behalf of various charities. When I asked the first man my question about their funds disbursement he told me proudly that only 60% of what they raise for this group goes to admin. costs. I was shocked!!! What is this group DOING with all that money? And how much does ACS charge them for calling me???? I politely informed him that they didn't meet our family's standard and that I hoped he'd have a nice evening.

Couple days later, another nice man from ACS called and I asked him my question. He told me that 80% of the funds they raise go to cover administrative costs. I nearly choked on my phone!!!!! He then told me that this was less than the national average! When I recovered my ability to speak, I informed him of what the Red Cross and CRS are able to do and that we would not be contributing to their charity. There was total silence on the other end of the phone. Well, not really. I could hear other people talking in the background, but this guy was silent. I said, "Hello? Hello-o-o-o? Anyone there? Hello?" trying to see if the nice man would speak. He didn't, so I hung up.

The moral of the story here, kids: Don't just say yes to people when they ask you for money. Ask some questions first. Even if they charity is listed with your state's Attorney General's Office, it doesn't mean that they distribute the money the way you'd like to see them do it, or the way that they should.

Thanks to T with Honey whose post here made me remember to post this.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I Love Trash!

OK, so the last few days here in Jersey have been warm. Really warm. We've been living with the AC on, and not just 'cause it's hot!

No, people, we're lliving with the AC on because the neighbor next door, whose house is about 10 feet from mine, left for Poland and didn't put his trash out to the curb before he went. And his tenant who lives on the second floor can't be bothered to take his own trash to the curb.

Honestly, it's like living next to a landfill. Flies and all! And i am mad. Mad enough to call the police. Maybe they can get in touch with my neighbor's soon-to-be ex and make her take the garbage down. The guy upstairs is her tenant too.

Scott has already taken it to the curb (pickup is tomorrow), so now the odor is only coming in the front of the house.

I love city living.

Memorial Day

Thank you, Lord, for those men and women who have served the United States to the death. Please welcome them into heaven. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

Please protect all those who are still serving. if it is your will, may we not have to remember them on Memorial days to come. Amen.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Where have I been?

Very busy with work and the rest of my life, but here's a quick recap:

Recovered from the surgery
Mom came back from California :)
First Communions have begun
Confirmation is Saturday
Many computer problems at work which prevent me from blogging there
Held a parent meeting about changing our 7th and 8th grade RE program and endured 35 minutes of parents telling me how terrible the plans I made are. which wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't spent the last 6 months planning.

I will have some more to write about all of this later, but not as much as if I blogged anonymously. Some parishioners have discovered my blog! (Hi everyone!) I wouldn't have posted anything that wouldn't have said to anyone's face, but it's better just not to go there. Don't want any misunderstandings.

God bless you. Back under my rock with me!

Why did God make dandelions?

so that little boys have a present for their moms always ready.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pardon the interruption

Sorry the Divine Mercy Novena posts stoppped suddenly. I had emergency gallbladder surgery yesterday and I'm home now. Let the novena continue!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

here's your chance

to win a new Dyson slim courtesy of 5 minutes for mom!

H/T to Aimee

I hope I win. and if not me, someone who needs it more than I do. I know there's some lady whose vacuum just broke who entered the contest. Well, I know intuitively, not really know as in it's a fact. But you know what I mean.

Monday, March 26, 2007

And I quote...

For the Christian, there is no "strange human being." He is in every instance the "neighbor" whom we have with us and who is most in need of us. It makes no difference whether he is related or not, whether we "like" him or not, whether he is "morally worthy" of help or not. The love of Christ knows no bounds, it never ceases, it never withdraws in the face of danger or foul play. ~~St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

Friday, March 23, 2007

"The Truth"

This is a horribly overdue review of a fantastic DVD. And I'm not just saying that the DVD is fantastic because the review is so very late.

The Reason for Our Hope Foundation ( was established by Fr. Larry Richards as a way for the Gospel Message to go all around the world. I was sent a DVD of his talk called "The Truth." With humor, real talk, and personal stories, Fr. Larry clues us into the truth about why God created us.

So, why did God create us? Go back to your Baltimore Catechism, people: "God made us so that we may know Him, Love Him, and serve Him in this world so that we may be with Him in the next." That first question and answer from the Baltimore catechism is the basis of Fr. Larry's talk.

How well do you know Jesus, Fr. Larry asks. Are you going through the motions or do you have a real relationship with Him? Is your prayer life more "Shut up, God, I'm talking,' or is it "Speak Lord, I'm listening?"

Fr. Larry then asks us, "Do you let God Love you?" Are you afraid to let God love you as extravagantly as He wants to love you? Are you ready and willing to share His Love with others by loving them?

Finally, Fr. Larry asks if you are willing to submit your will to the Master's Divine Will. Are you willing to put God in charge of your time (Built-in prayer time), your family (praying together daily), your money (tithing, anyone?), and your s*x life (Written that way to keep this page from turning up on impure Google searches)? God wants what you are most unwilling to give up. What are you unwilling to hand over to God?

This DVD is billed on The Reason for Our Hope website as a DVD that can change your life. I think it can. Fr. Larry tells you these things you've thought about and turns it around so that you recognize them as the most elementary concepts and think, "Why haven't I been doing this all along?" Having the DVD around is good because when you feel yourself starting to fall, you can pop it back in the player and get a pep talk from Fr. Larry again. I highly recommend "The Truth."

this was fun

HT to Penni

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

7 years, no itching.

My girl Aimee tagged me, so here we go:

Marriage Meme

1. Where/How did you meet? we met one night when a bunch of us were in Steve Smugeresky's room watching a movie (I honestly think it was "The Little Rascals" remake. Wild partiers we were!). Smugs introduced Scott as "Gigs," his baseball nickname. Scott has absolutely no recollection of meeting me that night (He pleads that it's 'cause it was dark in the room and he couldn't see me. Whatever.)
I thought he might not remember me though because next day when i saw him on campus and said hi, he looked at Pat Rupee and shrugged. Later, we both became RAs at schoool and met at a dance (Tucker Underground deserves its own post...another time). we stayed up all night together in the 24 hour lounge. And he hasn't been able to get rid of me yet. ;)

2. How long have you known each other?: 12 years in October

3. How long after you met did you start dating?: If you go by the day he met me and didn't remember it, 6 months. If you go by the time he does remember meeting me: 6 weeks.

4. How long did you date before you were engaged?: about 3 years

5. How long was your engagement?: 14 months

6. How long have you been married?: 7 years

7. What is your anniversary?: March 4th

8. How many people came to your wedding reception: about 110

9. What kind of cake did you serve?: Marble cake with butter cream icing. It was served with berries. Not that we got to eat any of it besides what we fed each other-no cake smashed in face! I threatened an annulment if he did it.

10. Where was your wedding?: North Hills, PA, at Queen of Peace Parish ; recpetion at LuLu Country Club, where my mom was working at the time.

11. What did you serve for your meal?: I think there was beef and chircken and maybe salmon. I can't remember. I did make sure I ate, though. We paid for the whole thing ourselves and I wasn't going to my own party without eating the dinner!

12. How many people were in your bridal party?: 3 groomsmen, 2 bridesmaids, 1 jr. bridesmaid and a bridesman!

13. Are you still friends with them all?: Yes.

14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony?: He got a little misty.

15. Most special moment of your wedding day?:Walking down the aisle with my dad.

16. Any funny moments?: Hmmmm...a girl I worked with got pretty ripped on the open bar. i didn't hear about it till after though...It was her first date with the guy she brought too. I don't think he ever called her again. Let that serve as a lesson to all the single girls in the house: a. Don't bring a guy to a wedding on the 1st date. B. Don't get so drunk on the first date that he has to carry you into the car.

17. Any big disasters?: Hm. There's the cufflinks i gace Scott got stolen when the jeewler sent them out to be engraved and he didn't get them till the morning of the wedding. Then there's the dress debacle (see below).

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon?: Key west, Fl.

19. How long were you gone? 5 days

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change? I would have worn a dress with sleeves or a wrap. And went with the firt photographer we interviewed.

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on?: I sleep on the left side (when looking from the foot of the bed)

22. What size is your bed?: Queen

23. Greatest strength as a couple?: We agree on all the big stuff and always make up before bed when we fight.

24. Greatest challenge as a couple?: Getting alone time together. And Agreeing on money stuff.

25. Who literally pays the bills?: I write most of the checks, but we have automatic bill pay with the bank, so i only have to write checks to the church and school. .

26. What is your song? "This Magic Moment" by the Drifters

27. What did you dance your first dance to?: Our song - see above

28. Describe your wedding dress: I wore a white floor length gown with a princess waist, sweetheart neck and 3 spaghetti straps on each shoulder. The skirt was a lot of crinoline, like a long ballet skirt. The bodice was covered in sequins and pearls that faded onto the skirt. As I type this it sounds tacky, but it was very nice and reminded me of a snowflake. Aimee can vouch for me that it wasn't as gross as it sounds. The first dress I deposited on was ivory satin with a fitted, boned bodice which had tulips embroidered on it and a chapel length train. It would have had cap sleeves and I would have worn gloves. If the bridal shop hadn't closed in the middle of the night without ever having ordered my dress and simply stealing my $650 deposit. No. I am not kidding. This deserves a post of its own someday also. The dress I wore was bought off the rack in a boutique in the mall 4 weeks befre my wedding. And I was lucky. The woman who owned that shop really screwed over a bunch of girls on the day of or the day before their weddings.

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding?: The bridesmaids and i all had white tulips and the guys all had white rose bouttonieres.

30. Are your wedding bands engraved? What do they say? no, for we are lame...

If this meme speaks to you, go ahead and share, just link back in the combox so we can read it.