Thursday, December 17, 2009

I see Joy

That was the license plate in the back of the red sport sedan in front of me this morning: "I See Joy." This got me to thinking that surely this person in front of me must have the Joy of the Lord in her heart, especially during this time leading up to the Christmas season. My heart glowed red like the paint job on her car.

Until she illegally passed the green car in front of her on a two-lane street. It would seem that the green car wasn't going fast enough. We got stuck at the light on the next block (4 lanes now). The green car in front of me, the red car next to the green, in the right lane, behind the cab of a tractor trailer (without a trailer). The light turns green and the red car has to wait while the trailerless tractor trailer gets going. In my rear view mirror, I see the red car pull out in front of a white van and go around the offending truck.

This gets me thinking, perhaps this woman's name is Joy and all she sees is herself.

Which now has me thinking, ought my license plate to read: "I See Amy?"

O Sapientia: “O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your
strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.” Isaiah
had prophesied, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom
and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge
and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” (11:2-3),
and “Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom.” (28:29).

We start to pray the "O Antiphons" today in preparation for Christmas. Click on the quote above for a great link to an explanation of what the "O Antiphons" are.

"O come, Thou, Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily.
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to grow."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thank them, especially at this time of year.

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear..
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Monday, December 07, 2009

A day that will live in infamy...

"The surprise was complete. The attacking planes came in two waves; the first hit its target at 7:53 AM, the second at 8:55. By 9:55 it was all over. By 1:00 PM the carriers that launched the planes from 274 miles off the coast of Oahu were heading back to Japan. "
-"Attack on Pearl Harbor" from

Pray today for those who were lost on this day in 1941. Pray for all those who died in World War II. Pray for all those who fought in World War II. Pray for those who fight now that they may remain courageous in battle. Pray also for those who lead us now that the Lord might bless them with the ability to make peace.

Monday, November 23, 2009

"Baby, It's Cold Outside"

I'd like to know what a song about a guy trying to get a girl to get into bed with him has to do with Christmas.

Also: Norah Jones and Willie Nelson singing this song together is just a bit creepy. He's old enough to be her grandfather. But it IS the best version of it I've heard.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

Thank you to all of the brave men and women who have fought for our country on any field of battle. If you, like I, have never served in the military, please take time today to think about the sacrifices these folks have made to serve us and keep us safe. Think of the doughboy who made his way overseas for the first time, digging trenches in France, shells exploding over his head. Think of the WACS and Joes who went back 30 years later to fight in WWII, arriving on the shores of France like in the photo above. Think of those who went to Korea to stop the spread of communism. Think of those who served in the steaming jungles of Vietnam and Central America, who sweated in the deserts of Iraq, who climbed in the mountains of Afghanistan, and all other places their President has sent them. They went willingly, bravely, to meet an uncertain future and they returned, asking nothing but for us to every once in a while to stop and say thank you. Ponder the sacrifices they and their families made and I dare you not to choke up a bit.

I love how Veterans Day falls on the feast of St. Martin of Tours. When Martin was 10 (326 AD), over his parents' objections, he wanted to be baptized and began to be taught. He eventually joined the Roman army and was stationed in Gaul (modern-day France) where he was born. One day, by the city gate, he saw a beggar with hardly any clothing. Without much thought, he cut his cloak in half and gave half to the beggar (see picture at right). That night, he had a dream were he saw Jesus wearing his half cloak. He finished his religious training and became baptized. After he left the army, he became a priest, and eventually the bishop of Tours. As a bishop, he passionately defended the Church against the Arian heresy. He died in 397 AD.

St. Martin is the patron saint of soldiers, which makes Veterans Day on November 11 so very cool.

Heavenly Father, through the intercession of St. Martin of Tours, I beg your blessings for those men and women who are veterans of the wars the United States has fought. Please bless them and their families for the sacrifices they have made for our country. Please bless the United States. Please let us be a beacon for freedom and good for the whole world. Mary, the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the United States, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We have Religious Ed. classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The kids come for one of those sessions every week. We have about 625 kids in RE, so it gets kind of busy.

The Tuesday session meets from 3:45-5:00, so Scott comes to pick up the kids from me at work at about 4:45, takes them home, and gets dinner started.

Tonight's menu was leftover teriyaki chicken (grilled last night) with rice and stir fry veggies. Now, the children will not eat them all stir-fried together because they are my children and are therefore adverse to anything that makes my life easier, such as eating the same meal their father and I enjoy. ("Sauce? What kind of sauce? I don't like sauce. I like ketchup. You stirred it all together! I know it's called stir fry AND it will all wind up stirred together in my tummy, but I don't want my food all mixed up on my plate!!")

Point? Yes, I have one. Right on the top of my head.

So, Scott came home and started making the rice. He measured out 3 cups of rice and cooked it. Which yielded approximately 10 cups of cooked rice.

Lord, I am thankful to you today for the rice pudding I am about to enjoy. Yum.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I hate Halloween

Well, hate is a strong word, but I really don't like it. I think I like it even less than that cat over there does. It's not much more to me than a whole big, huge pain in the rear end. Getting costumes together is stressful. Then the inevitable, "I changed my mind. I don't want to be that; I want to be this" the week before Halloween. I set a deadline for the kids to tell me what they want to be on Halloween and then that's IT. Bub tried pulling this last weekend. When I reminded him that it was past the mind-changing deadline and that he wasn't going to be a skeleton, but Mario like he had told me the week before, my six year old son declared that "Fine! I'll wear it, but this is going to be the WORST HALLOWEEN EVER!!!!" To which I replied if he would truly like it to be the WORST HALLOWEEN EVER, he should mention costumes to me one more time and then he wouldn't be allowed to trick or treat.

What bothers me even more than my children's temper tantrums is the decidedly more evil and downright disturbingly scary turn that Halloween decorations have taken in recent years. It's to the point where I avoid the Halloween Aisle at our local Tar-jay. I had to go into a Halloween store last weekend with Curly Sue (looking for Mario and Luigi costume stuff). I should have marched right back out, but I didn't. She's had 2 nightmares since last Saturday and she usually sleeps like a baby. I blame my lousy parenting and the zombies and horror music at the store.

I can't wait till it's over. What are you (or your kids) going to be?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"True works of God always meet with opposition and are marked by suffering. If God wants to accomplish something, sooner or later He will do so in spite of the difficulties. Your part, in the meantime, is to arm yourself with great patience." Fr. Michael Sopocko, spiritual director and confessor to St. Faustina Kowalska, from the Diary of St. Faustina, paragraph 270.

Friday, October 23, 2009


This week, the Holy Father made it easier for Anglicans who want to be united with Rome to, well, unite with Rome. There are many people more knowledgeable than I who wrote about it. Among them are: Father Z., Matthew Archbold, Rocco Palmo, Fr. Longenecker (who was once Anglican himself). I'm not going to try to dissect the pope's message. So many others are doing that, and I don't have the real energy it would take to do that well. I don't even have the energy to write down my navel-gazings for this blog, let alone take on a major project like that. I will just say not to believe everything you read in the papers, secular and otherwise. There are people who just don't like the pope. And I don't think he's poaching congregations from others. He's just responding to their request to come home. What good father wouldn't find a way for his child to come home (See the Prodigal Son)?

But today Father Z. posted this good bit about B16 being the Pope of Christian Unity and food for thinking about what Ecumenism truly is. And my brain took that food for thought and it satisfied something my brain has been trying to chew on for years.

I firmly believe, and was taught, that the Catholic Church is the only Church founded by Jesus Christ. Our popes and bishops trace their line (through ordination) all the way back, unbroken through history, to the Apostles, whom Jesus commissioned. Presbyterians can trace their lines back only so far as John Calvin, Anglicans to Henry VIII of England, etc..

By our baptism, we are called, among other things, to go forth and make disciples of all nations. We are all called to mission. Maybe some of us are called to go out and evangelize in extraordinary ways, by going to other countries and to proclaim the Good News to those who have never heard it. Maybe some of us are called by God to evangelize in our parishes, in catechetical ministry. Maybe some are called to evangelize by blog. But all of us are called to live as Jesus taught us, keeping the 10 Commandments: loving God with all our heart, all our mind, and all our strength, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. In this way, with the joy that comes from living as the Lord intends us to live, we draw others closer to God. They see how joyful we are and they draw closer to God by our example. This is how the ordinary person is an evangelist.

Not to get off track, but think on this: How full of joy are you? Are you feeling the joy that comes from life in Christ? Why or why not? Can other people tell? Are you giving anyone a reason to consider the Church?

So, if we can accept that the Catholic Church is historically the Church founded by Christ Himself (see third paragraph above), and we can accept that Christians are called to mission, what should the true purpose of ecumenism be? Should it be about fact-finding? ("Ah, I see that you believe in the Real Presence. So do we! But you really don't have it since your founder broke away from the Church and interrupted the line of Apostolic succession. Hmmm...what else have we got?")

And what of the "one, true Church" argument? The Catholic Church is the only Church founded by Christ Himself. In Lumen Gentium, the fathers of the Second Vatican Council said that other Christian churches are only true churches as far as they subsist in the Catholic Church, or are in union with the Catholic Church.

I read somewhere recently (and I cannot remember the source) that someone said that through interreligious dialogue should be like laying down a two way street so that we don't crash into each other. We learn about each other so we can stay out of one another's way. Consider: is this true to what we understand our mission as baptized Christians to be? Especially in light of Jesus' prayer that all are one in Him?

If we consider the highway analogy above, it works for us, to a point. After dialogue with those of other faiths, the example of the Catholic Christian should be so compelling, and his ways of explaining the Faith so good, that others are led to join the Catholic Church, not through any direct, coercive effort of the Catholic Christian, but through the work of the Holy Spirit, who draws us ever closer to the Lord.

So, can ecumenism truly be about fact finding? I don't think so. By being a true Christian, by loving God and others perfectly, those who belong to other faiths should want to join us. Father Z. used the analogy in his article about the members of the two faiths stretching, which is an image I find particularly apt. One person is about to fall off a cliff. The other, on top of the cliff, stretches his hand, scooting himself to the edge, reaching as far as he can to save his friend without falling over the edge himself. The other, clinging to the rock for life, stretches his hand as high as he can. Their fingertips brush, they stretch more, reaching, reaching, until they clasp hands, and the one at the top is able to pull his friend back to the safety of the solid rock, the Rock upon whom Jesus built His Church.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Hello, blog, it's me, Amy.

Hey. Did you miss me?

I have had some things going on that I wish I could blog about, but since it involves one of my children and he has asked me to respect his privacy and not blog about it, I can't. But it's all good. No one is in the hospital or anything. Everyone is healthy and well. But the thing is that it is kind of taking up all of my time and mental energy. But whatever. This isn't his brain dump, it's mine and I just will have to talk about it endlessly with Scott instead of you.

So, here's some things that are happening that are not the 700 pound gorilla in my life right now. In no particular order:

1. My Curly Sue is sleeping under my desk at work right now. Poor kiddo has to get up with her brothers so we can get them to school on time. If left to her own devices she'd sleep until 9:00 instead of 6:45.

2. I am teaching 7th grade CCD on Wednesdays and I love it. That is why I got into this job in the first place. Nothing beats being in a classroom.

3. Going to see Bruce Springsteen at Giants Stadium tomorrow night. I'm really psyched. He's going to play all of the "Born to Run" album! And our tickets were only $33 each!

4. Went to the pumpkin patch with Bub's kindergarten class on Monday. What a bunch of fun that was! It was nice to spend some time with just Bub. I don't get to spend a lot of time with him when his siblings aren't around. He's a funny guy.

That's all I've got. Happy Wednesday!

Friday, September 25, 2009

My first bad haiku

At Catholic Teacher Musings is Bad Haiku Friday. My submission:

To live in N. J.
Is to take thirty minutes
To drive but 6 miles.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Six is super!

Happy Birthday to my boy, Bubba! Bub turns six today and we are so blessed to have this boy with us.

Here is a Bub-crostic poem to describe my middle child:


Bub likes: music; They might be Giants; Star Wars; video games; snuggling; hugging; his brother and sister, and of course, his mom and dad; he likes to play with his friends.

Bub dislikes: tomato sauce, lima beans.

Happy birthday to my funny, sunny, Bubba. I can't believe it's been 6 years since you were born. You are a delight and you warm my heart with your hugs and silly songs and stories. I am so glad that God sent you to us.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11

I remember that Sepember 11, 2001 dawned clear and bright. The cloudless sky was a brilliant shade of blue and the sunlight hadn't seemed so clear in a long time.

Primo (almost 8 months old at the time) and I were at home. I was watching TV. Scott and my mom (who was living with us at the time) had left for work already. I was watching a morning news program when they reported that a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers. What a horrible accident, I thought. Then, a few minutes later, another plane. My mom called, "This is not an accident," she said. I tried calling Scott, but he was working out in the gym, watching everything from an exercise bike.

The Pentagon. Pennsylvania. I called my girl friend, who was living on a Marine Corps Air Station at the time. They were fine.

I thought back to how I had interviewed for a couple of jobs in New York City in the year before. How one of those jobs was at a dot com in the financial district. I was glad I hadn't been offered one of those jobs. I remembered watching the coverage, watching those two towers-which I could see from the nearby highway overpass that I drove almost daily-collapse into dust and smoke. Watching papers from the office buildings fall like snow from the sky. Watching desperate people jump from the windows of those towers. Thinking about the firefighters, police officers, and civilians who were trapped in the rubble. Rejoicing at the recovery of one of the victims.

I remember how in the next couple of days, everyone walked around, numb. I remember how the wind shifted, blowing into our town in New Jersey from the East, from Manhattan, only 15 or 20 miles away as the crow flies. How hazy everything was and the smell that came in through our open windows. The smell of death.

I remember how six months afterward, the pain was lessened and there were two bright lights in the night sky which brought more comfort than I could have guessed as I looked up at them from my house, or anywhere I happened to be in our area.

I remember thinking about how life will never be the same again. This innocence, naivete, that we all had about how safe we were-how what happened in Israel almost every day could never happen here-was gone. How my child, my children to come, would always have September 11 in their history. How Primo would never remember a time when the Twin Towers stood tall, a symbol of American prosperity and our engineering ingenuity.

And how do I answer the questions of the 4th graders I taught in CCD that year? "Mrs. G., how can God let that happen? How could he let those bad guys kill all those people," when I wasn't entirely sure of the answers myself?

I also remember how we all came together, proud to be American. I remember that we were all going to show this new enemy, Osama Bin Laden, what we were made of and how we were not going to be bowed; we would not quake at his shaking fist. We live in the greatest country in the world, damnit!

Looking back now from the distance of 8 years, I wonder, where has that feeling of one-ness gone? Where has the feeling that we really DO live in the greatest country in the world gone? Where did all of that goodwill go?

September 11, 2001, was a day of senseless cruelty, of mass murder. It showed us how we needed each other. It showed us how truly selfless most of us are. Remember those firefighters and policemen, clergy and laypeople, who all rushed into the burning skyscrapers with no regard for their own safety? Where is that sense of selflessness now? Where is the unity?

Will it take another disaster for us to get it back?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

You say it's your birthday?

Well, it's her birthday too, yeah!

Happy birthday to my pink Princess, Curly Sue. She's three now, which means, in her own arbitrary terms, that she is now big. She wasn't big yesterday, but she is today. She starts school in about 3 weeks. She will also start dancing lessons. She will also continue to boss her big brothers around and generally try to run everyone's life. what else are little sisters for?

As my dad says, she's our little ray of sunshine. We love you, Curly Sue. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

August 27 is the feast of St. Monica!

You can find a nice reflection on St. Monica's life here at American Catholic.

Found this great three day novena at the St. Monica Sodality of Michigan:



This Three-Day Novena may be begun three days before or on the feast days of St. Monica August 27 (Traditional Calendar May 4th), St. Augustine - August 28, St. Augustine's birthday - November 13, St. Augustine's Baptism - April 24


Prayer for Faith

O glorious St. Monica, transfixed with sorrow when you saw your beloved child Augustine living in the dark and gloomy abyss of error and vice, and straying far from the right path which leads to true felicity in the possession of God and His holy grace, hear our prayer, O afflicted mother. By that cruel sorrow, which with so much patience you did bear, and by those earnest sighs and bitter tears with which you did appeal to God to change the heart of your prodigal son, and by your wondrous confidence in God, which was never shaken, O grant to us, your children, that we may, like you, place all our trust in God, and in our trials and troubles be ever resigned to His holy will. While we ask you, O glorious mother St. Monica, to supply for us our special needs, we here earnestly ask you to pray for the erring children of Jesus, so many Augustines, straying from God and hurrying to ruin. Let that earnest prayer of yours go forth once more for us and for sinners, that we may live in the light of divine grace and be united again thereafter to bless the bounty of a loving God for eternity. Amen.

LET US PRAY. O God, look graciously down upon Your children who sigh in this valley of tears. With hope we pray for our daily bread, for the forgiveness of our sins, for the never-failing help of Your grace, and for the faithful fulfillment of Your promises: to find life everlasting and a happy abode with You in heaven, through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer.

May God, through the merits and intercession of Saint Monica, increase our faith, strengthen our hope, and enkindle the fire of charity in our hearts. Amen.

Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory Be. . . Saint Monica, pray for us.


Prayer for Hope

O glorious mother, St. Monica, although the many means you employed to accomplish the conversion of your son Augustine seemed fruitless, and for a long time God Himself appeared deaf to your earnest prayer and unmoved by your ever-flowing tears, you never lost confidence in obtaining the long-sought grace for Augustine. You lovingly and tenderly admonished your erring son; you watched over him ever with all a mother's love, and fearless of danger and heedless of fatigue, followed him from place to place in his weary and wayward wanderings. In a word, all that a mother's tender love could suggest, all that a mother's anxious solicitude could inspire, all that a wondrous prudence and true wisdom could dictate, you, O great St. Monica, cheerfully did to effect the return to God of your firstborn and darling child. By all these generous efforts, so happily crowned in the end, hear, O mother, the petitions we make to you. Pray for us, too, and pray especially for those who are unmindful of and ungrateful to God. To you, O dearest mother, we are especially dedicated; look upon us, then, as your children, and win for us the grace we need. Regard mercifully the most destitute among us, that sin being diminished, the number of the faithful may increase, and greater glory may be given to Him who is the best of friends, the truest of benefactors, our first beginning and last end, the source of all our hope, our Savior, our God. Amen.

LET US PRAY. O God, look graciously down upon Your children who sigh in this valley of tears. With hope we pray for our daily bread, for the forgiveness of our sins, for the never-failing help of Your grace, and for the faithful fulfillment of Your promises: to find life everlasting and a happy abode with You in heaven, through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer.

May God, through the merits and intercession of Saint Monica, increase our faith, strengthen our hope, and enkindle the fire of charity in our hearts. Amen.

Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory Be . . . Saint Monica, pray for us.


Prayer for Charity

O glorious mother St. Monica who can conceive the consolation that abounded in your heart, so long the home of brooding sorrow, when you saw your child Augustine rising in the light of grace and giving himself generously to God. When you folded your converted son in your arms and tears of every joy streamed forth to tell the glowing jubilee of your heart, Oh, how in that moment God in his mercy recompensed your years of sorrow and anxiety, your long and weary days of racking suspense. It was impossible that a child of tears like yours should perish and when your son Augustine heard the call of God he obeyed it, and his life and his deeds flung a luster all their own on you, St. Monica. O fortunate mother, twice mother of your child, deign to listen to our prayers and present our petitions to God. Look lovingly, and with all a mother's interest on us assembled here, under your protection, to honor you. We love you and let us become, as St. Augustine of old, the objects of your maternal love. Pray that we, too, like St. Augustine, may have strength to cling to God, and triumph over sin and temptation. By your prayers break the fetters of sin that hold in cruel bondage the souls of your sinful children in this world. O mother, pray that the miracle of grace in the heart of Augustine may again and again be repeated in these day of universal sin, and that the erring children of Jesus may be led back to the fold so that united here on earth, we may securely go through the dangers of life and be united with you, our mother, in heaven forever. Amen

LET US PRAY. O God, look graciously down upon Your children who sigh in this valley of tears. With hope we pray for our daily bread, for the forgiveness of our sins, for the never-failing help of Your grace, and for the faithful fulfillment of Your promises: to find life everlasting and a happy abode with You in heaven, through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer.

May God, through the merits and intercession of Saint Monica, increase our faith, strengthen our hope, and enkindle the fire of charity in our hearts. Amen.

Our Father. . . Hail Mary . . . Glory Be . . . Saint Monica, pray for us.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Poem

"With sincere apologies to Elizabeth Barret Browning," by Amy Giglio

Moon Sand, how do I Hate thee?
Let me count the ways:
I hate thee with the depth and breadth of my soul.

I hate thy granules of superfine
Mold-able sand which
Permeate every crevice in my home.

I hate that thou dost not come with
thine own storage containers
(Dost not the Play Doh do as much?).

I hate that when my children blend thy colors
Thou turnest an ugly shade of puke.

I hate that mine offspring cannot keep from
Spilling thee all over mine carpet,
Grinding thee into oblivion until thou becomest one
With the fibers of mine wall to wall berber.

I hate that because of thee I have run mine Hoover
Repeatedly over the same places on my rug,
Desperate to extract thee
To no avail.

To those who might ponder bringing mine children
More Moon Sand into mine hearth and home,
I beg thee, please, leave it at the Toy R Us or the Target.
Offer them a gift of Play Doh instead, I pray, lest
We burn out the motor of mine despondent Wind Tunnel.

Else bring me a Dyson.

What are little girls made of?

Last night, as we tucked Curly Sue into bed, she pointed to a sign above her bed which reads:

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and everything nice!

After Scott read it to her, Curly Sue exclaimed, "I'm not made of that stuff! I am made of Kid!"
100% kid

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What is man?

What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
world! the paragon of animals! (William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act II, scene 2)

Now watch this:

Scott told me about this the other night. Some astronomers point the Hubble Telescope at a patch of sky that seems empty, only to reveal 10,000 galxies within it, whose light hasn't reached us yet since they are so far away.

The voiceover on the video calls this a "humbling" discovery. I have to confess that when Scott told me about this, I immediately felt very small, very insignificant.

This sums it up better than I can:
For the leader; "upon the gittith." A psalm of David.
O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth! You have set your majesty above the heavens!
Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have drawn a defense against your foes, to silence enemy and avenger.
When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place--
What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them little less than a god, crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them rule over the works of your hands, put all things at their feet:
All sheep and oxen, even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth! (Ps. 8:1-10)

Novena to St. Monica started on 8/18

UUUGGGHHH!!! so sorry this is up late, just got back from a weekend away...

St. Monica's feast day is August 27. In case you don't know, St. Monica is the mother of St. Augustine. Augustine was the original enfant terrible who famously lapsed from the faith. He credits the intercessory prayers of his mother with bringing him back to the Church. Indeed everything we know about St. Monica was told to us by Augustine.

Today I'm starting a novena for the lapsed members of my family and yours. Whatever prayer you choose will be OK. Pray for the members of your family who have lapsed from the faith.

Novena To Saint Monica

Exemplary Mother of the Great Augustine,
You perseveringly pursued your wayward son
Not with wild threats
But with prayerful cries to heaven.

Intercede for all mothers in our day
So that they may learn
To draw their children to God.

Teach them how to remain
Close to their children,
Even the prodigal sons and daughters
Who have sadly gone astray.

Dear St Monica, troubled wife and mother,
Many sorrows pierced your heart
During your lifetime.
Yet you never despaired or lost faith.
With confidence, persistence and profound faith,
You prayed daily for the conversion
Of your beloved husband, Patricius
And your beloved son, Augustine.

Grant me that same fortitude,
Patience and trust in the Lord.
Intercede for me, dear St. Monica,
That God may favorably hear my plea

(mention your petition here)

And grant me the grace
To accept his will in all things,
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God forever and ever. Amen.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Look at this boy.

His brother had just been pouring lemon juice into his mouth.

He loved every drop of it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My favorite picture of Primo

This photo was taken at Christmas 2006; part of a Christmas card photo session.
He just looks like an angel. He was almost 6 years old.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Delicate Flower

click on the image for a bigger, clearer version

Looking at this little girl makes me so happy.

Then she says stuff like this, which makes me laugh even more:

Me: Stop playing with the air conditioner!

She: I just want it to SHUT UP!

ME: I love you, my little red head.

She: I love you, my big head.

Monday, August 10, 2009

curiouser and curiouser

Back in April or May, I took Vinny the Race Van in for an oil change to the guys we've had fixing our cars for the last 10 years or so. So, I get a phone call that I need new front brakes (he checked them while the van was on the lift for the oil change-as he says he always does). So, my $45 oil change turned into a $200 repair bill. I am ok with this because I know and trust these guys. I must really have needed them (I didn't hear them squeaking, I said. "Sometimes you don't," is the reply.).

So, the rear shocks started squeaking really loud and we finally got the guy across the street, M., to replace them. M. runs his own garage and will do stuff for us when it's big and doesn't need to be done right away, since he is really busy fixing up car to ship and sell them overseas. M. does our repairs for way way cheap-almost at cost. (aside: this is how we got Scott's new car last summer. Scott and M. saw it on a salvage auction site and then Scott bought it and M. fixed it up and Scott paid for the labor and parts. Scott got a 2003 Dodge Stratus for about $6000.)

So, M's helper drives my car back home to me on Saturday and he says, in his accented English, "The shocks were very bad, very dangerous. I have them here."

So, M.'s helper goes to pick up the new shocks boxes with the old shocks in them and I hear something rattling around inside. And crumbs are spilling out. Because the shocks had completely rusted through!!!!! They were crumbling because they were made of rust!!!!

So now, my question is, if these shocks were so bad that they were rusted right through, and our regular mechanic was looking at the brakes on my car 4 months ago, which are right next to my shocks, why did he not notice my rusty shocks? Do you think I even needed new front brakes? Have I been taken for the proverbial ride?


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

the reason for my insanity

I promise

that I will tie up my loose blogging ends before the summer is through. remember Life is a highway? How I promised you a part two? It is coming.

Remember how I promised you more about New Orleans? It is coming.

I pledge to you that I will devote 1/2 hour every night after the kids go to bed to finishing up these loose things. I promise that I will write a coherent post.

If there is anyone out there who still cares, I will make these things happen for you.

Feast of St. Monica starts on 8/18. Make your list of lapsi and get ready to start praying. Start now anyway, but the novena begins on the 18th for her feast on 8/27.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Don't you just love Archbishop Sheen?

I do. Fr. Z. put up this great story:

Fulton Sheen told a story of how he was opening the door of the church where he worked in London on a foggy November morning when a young lady fell in the door. "Who are you"?

"Where am I ?" was the reply.



"Men drink because they like the stuff, women drink because they don’t like something else, what are you running away from?"

"I am involved with 3 men and they are beginning to find out and so I decided to get drunk."

"Who are you"?

She pointed across the square at a name in big neon lights. She was the leading lady at the local musical.

He brought her in and gave her a cup of tea, to which she said, "thank you".

He said, "No, don’t thank me now, come back this afternoon before the matinee and then you can thank me."

She said "I will only come back if you promise you will not ask me to go to confession."

"OK, I promise I will not ask you to go to confession."

"Say it again, you will not ask me to go to confession".

"OK, I promise again, I will not ask you to go to confession".

She came back that afternoon and he met her at the church door. He told her that there were paintings by Rembrandt and Van Dyke in that chapel and would she like to see them? She said yes.

"And as we walked up the side aisle to see the paintings, I pushed her into a confession box." ("I did not ask her if she wanted to go to confession.") "I was present three months later when she took her veil as a member of the perpetual adoration sisters where she is to this day."

Random randomness, mixed emotions edition

Baseball superstar

1. I was really happy that the local PAL started a summer league and I was gung ho about the summer season. Reality, however, has set in, and it really adds a lot to our already full summer since Scott coaches Primo's team. Have I mentioned that I haven't gone to the beach yet?

2. I am happy that my house is cleaner, but I am not happy about how much more work it is than sitting on the couch after dinner and doing nothing. I'd call the maid, but she is already here.

3. I spent last Thursday cleaning my bedroom. This room would have made Niecy speechless and I don't think that's easy to do. I sent the kids to my in-laws because I needed not to be interrupted constantly because it was THAT bad. I found random clutter in here that had been "temporarily" shuffled up here for Primo's birthday party-in JANUARY-under the random First Communion party clutter. I didn't have dust bunnies. I had dust bison. And a protective layer of dust 1/4 inch thick. I wish I were exaggerating. I am horribly, horribly allergic to dust and it was getting unpleasant to sleep in here. The good news is that I got rid of the bison and 4 bags of clothing to give away, and also 3 bags of trash and 2 huge piles of paper to be recycled. And that was all just on MY side of the room, kids. We shall not discuss the state of Scott's dresser. The bad news is that I was very wheezy and sneezy for three days while the dust settled. But now I can not only walk in here, but I can also dance if I want to.

4. We went camping with Scott's family 2 weekends ago, which was a ton of fun. But we still have all of the camping equipment in my living room. Mostly 'cause I brought the other half of it in from my car this afternoon. My wonderful hubby keeps tripping over things and complaining, but he is the King of All That Goes in the Attic. If you're falling on it, pal, it's because you haven't put it away.

5. I am very glad that Scott is working on a Master's degree, and I am proud of his 3.84 average. But it is really cramping my style. He has to do classwork and that leaves me to do a lot more around here with no one's help but the kids. And the kids try, but they are not getting that camping stuff in the attic, people!

Mommy, can I peas feed da cat now?

6. Speaking of kids, we have a new chore chart where all of the kids have jobs to do according their ability. Curly Sue pretty much just feeds the cat and puts away her toys. The boys have more to do and everyone makes 10 cents for each job they do. And it is mostly working out well because I don't feel like I have to do everything myself, even when I have to help the kids get their jobs done (they're still learning-we're only on week 1). BUT I am starting to tire of the temper tantrums they throw when I tell them I need them to unload the dishwasher or vacuum the dining room rug.

You want me to scoop WHAT?!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Open letter to Pennsylvania

Dear Keystone State,

I know it's been a while since we last spoke, but I've been to visit you lately and I just love what you've done with the Susquehanna River Valley. Also, I-80 was very pleasant to drive, except for that one part by Stroudsburg two Sundays ago. You remember; it was 10:00 at night and there was a traffic tie-up for no apparent reason. We spent some of that traffic jam behing a livestock truck and then another part on the side of the road. Potty training the three year old--you know how it goes.

So, last time, I wanted to let you know my opinion about the whole fireworks thing. You know how you made it legal to sell fireworks, but only to people from out of state. States like New Jersey where it is illegal to have personal arsenals of fireworks? I wonder how Ohio feels about that whole deal.... I digress.

This time, I think we really need to talk about the fact that you have legalized gambling. First it was slots at the racetracks. I think that was OK. No big deal. But now a casino in Bethlehem? With an Emeril restaurant yet?

Hello? A casino? First Connecticut with their Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, then New York with their Yonkers casino, and now you? Boy, you think you know a state and then they go and stab you in the back. Casinos are our thing: Atlantic City. You want slots, craps, blackjack, you come to good old AC. What's next? Are you going to dump a whole bunch of sand on the banks of the Delaware River and call it the new shore? "Why drive 2 hours to the ocean when you could get to the shore on the Delaware in half the time?"

What did we ever do to you? We give you blueberries, tomatoes, peaches, good pizza, and the Sopranos and this is how you repay us? This is not being a good neighbor. You know what? You can keep your funnel cake, OK? We'll stick to our zeppoles from now on. And keep your bennies off our beaches. Maybe they can stick around Bethlehem and leave more room for the Staten Islanders. Fuggedaboudit.


Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Fourth of July

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed....

Friday, July 03, 2009

This never happened to my grandmother. Or my mother.

I found out a guy that I went to high school with, whom a lot of girls (including me) had HUGE crushes on, has had gender reassignment surgery. Instead of "Fred" she is now "Marsha." I saw her picture recently and she is still cute, but it is weird to see "Fred" with b**bs.

Also, I have discovered that several guys I knew in high school and college are "out."

I'm still turning this all over in my mind.

Closed comments.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Tough Crowd

Primo: Ow, I hurt my toe!

Me: Are you OK?

P: Yeah, but it hurts.

Curly Sue: Walk it off!

P: I think I have a little cut.

M: Is it bleeding?

CS: We'll cut it off and it will bleed faster!

Friday, June 12, 2009


Primo is out of school and Scott is off from work next week. This got me thinking about the concept of a staycation. Staycation got a lot of buzz last summer when gas prices were through the roof (as opposed to this summer's mere "grazing the ceiling" gas prices). All of a sudden poeple were like, "Took the week off, going to hang with the kids. You know, staycation."

Honestly, I wonder what the big deal is. We sued to do this stuff all the time when we were kids. Dad would take a week off from work and we'd hang out at home. Maybe we would go to Grandmom's house on Sunday and go swimming in her pool, but we hardly went anywhere. we played and dad would work on the house and we were so stone bored by the end of August we were sort of looking forward to school.

Well, that's not entirely accurate. We did, for several years in a row, take a week down the shore with my dad's brother, sister, and their families. Usually the first week in August. But even then we weren't going to the boardwalk and eating out every night. We cooked at home and one night we'd go to Wildwood for the boardwalk. And there were 11 of us in the house.

And we still were sort of looking forward to school starting up again.

When did average people like me start thinking that they have to take the kids on some really great trip every summer and long weekend during school? I didn't go to Disney world until I was 20. That was the first time I was ever on a plane, too. It never occurred to me that people went away for Columbus Day or Presidents' Day weekend. Then I tried scheduling classes for CCD on Columbus day. Holy crap, was THAT a disaster!!!! everyone went away that weekend. President's day weekend I tried scheduling something (I think for Confirmation). Who knew everyone was going on a ski trip that weekend? The only trouble I see with this is that these trips become routine, something to be taken for granted.

I know a wonderful woman who told me one time, "Oh, we always take the kids to Vermont on Columbus Day weekend and we drive around and look at the leaves change." This one actually sounds good to me. Four hours each way in the car and more driving around in the car when you get there, taking it easy and talking to one another.

So, next week, we will be staycationing. Scott will do work on the yard and his masters' classes and I will try and get some wash done. And we'll go to Bubba's Kindergarten "celebration" (not graduation-?-) and go to the last baseball game of the season for the boys.

And they'll go to the baseball camp that Pop-pop runs and they'll hang out and get bored and sort of start looking forward to school starting again.

The way it should be.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"...But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!"
'Twas throwing words away; for still
The little maid would have her will
And said... "Nay, we are seven!"

From "We are Seven" by William Wordsworth

My friend and her husband lost their baby over the weekend. The little girl was stillborn. Today was the funeral.

The image of the infant girl's daddy carrying her tiny white casket down the center aisle of the church, weeping, his grieving wife at his side, is something that I will never forget.

It is a completely unnatural situation, that a father should bury his infant child.

I cannot pretend to know why the Lord permits the death of a child. I cannot pretend to know the depths of this family's grief. To carry a child to term and to deliver her stillborn....

I know that when the rawness fades for my friend and her family, when they can look at little girls who were born at the same time as their little girl and not weep, the knowledge of their daughter's place at her heavenly Father's side will comfort them. They will begin to call on her and ask her prayers before the Lord.

And you, I ask your prayers for the R. family and for the repose of the soul of their infant, B. Comments closed. Just offer a prayer right now.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Totally unexpected.

Amy Giglio's Dewey Decimal Section:

227 Epistles

Amy Giglio = 135797295 = 135+797+295 = 1227

200 Religion

The Bible and other religious texts, books about the general philosophy and theory of religion.

What it says about you:
You don't mind thinking about the unknown or other very big ideas. You will never feel like your work is finished. The 200-series is dominated by Christian topics, so you may feel like you're constantly surrounded by Christians.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

HT: Kate

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Husband appreciation weekend

Hot on the heels of the last two posts, I am declaring June 5, 6, and 7 Husband Appreciation Weekend. This weekend, we will, through acts of love, through verbal thanks, and *ahem* whatever else you may think of, show our husbands that we love them; that we are grateful that they decided to marry us and put up with all of our crap until death do us part.

This weekend we will not nag. This weekend, we will be grateful that he folded the wash (even if it was not folded "the right way"). We will pray for him, that the Lord keeps him strong. At least one night this weekend, we will make him what he wants for dinner. We will let him rest in the hammock and keep the kids from jumping on him for at least 15 minutes. We will put aside the honey-do list (or at least thank him for getting to it). We will show him that we think he's the best guy in the world. We will cheerefully say yes when he initiates love. We will show our husbands that we are grateful for him being a man, MY MAN. We will show our husbands that we are grateful for him being here, for showing up.

Who's with me?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Pet peeve

You know what I just can't stand?

Man bashing.

Every time I hear some woman talking trash about her husband, I want to smack her upside her head.

Every time I hear some woman say, "Men and babies, same thing," I want to wring her neck.

Every time I have to endure a guy like Al Bundy on TV, I want to throw a brick through my TV.
Since when does a woman need to beat up on a man to feel good? Why in HELL would you say things like this in front of your children about their father?
Most husbands are good men, who sacrifice mightily for their wives and children. If your man is acting like an idiot, maybe you need to examine how you treat him. Do you act like you love him? Do you talk to him in ways that are emasculating? Do you treat him like a child? Do you thank him for what he does? Do you do kind things for him?
Yes, maybe you (like me) have to remind your husband about appointments. Maybe you have to take out the garbage sometimes (even though you agreed when you got married that it was his job). Do you never forget things? Do you remember that he told you he was working late?
Give him a break, hon.
Or don't sit next to me.

Just the ten of us...

I know that probably most of you are so done with Jon and Kate and their eight. I wish I could say that I am. The truth is that I have watched them for a while and I really enjoy the show.

Over Memorial Day weekend, TLC had a marathon of the show and I watched some of it. While I was ironing, I paid close attention to the Season 4 finale, where Jon is pretty clear that he is not happy with TLC filming their lives and that he needs a break from the cameras. Kate dismisses Jon's comments saying that of course they'll be back for season 5.

For all of the nonsense that they have been through in the last couple of months, I am sorry. Jon's behavior that was captured by the "press" is not excusable. Neither is the disdain Kate displays for her husband on national TV.

But to watch the two of them together last week was really painful for me. I see them spending time apart when they should be together. I found myself wishing repeatedly that they would send the cameras back to the network and work on being a normal family again; work on being a married woman and man again.

I'm not in their marriage. I know what they have let us all see of their marriage. And I don't know what we haven't seen. What I do see is a woman who is very happy to be on TV and is clearly enjoying the perks that come with celebrity and having money (such as trips to San Diego on the spur of the moment- that was tonight's episode). I see a woman who wants to give her children the chance for different experiences (Kate's words from the Season 4 finale). I see a man whose wife won't listen to him.

I understand wanting to give your children more than you had growing up. That is what all parents want to do for their kids. But at what cost? Your marriage, your children's strong foundation, breaking apart? In the season premiere, both Kate and Jon said that they don't know what the future holds, but that they love their kids. I just wanted them to say that they love each other. I want Jon and Kate to say "No matter what, I'll be there for my family. I'll be there for my spouse."

As much as I like their show, I want Kate to give her permission to darken the show until such a time that Jon wants it to continue. Kate said something like (I think in the season 4 finale) that she feels she owes it to America to watch her kids grow up.

Kate, you don't owe me or the rest of America sh*t. Tell them to turn off the cameras and take a good look at your husband, the man with whom you renewed your vows a year or so ago. Yes, he is not perfect. Yes, his judgment is poor. Maybe he betrayed you. Look at him. He wants to stop. Just stop. Listen to St. Paul:
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should
be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is
head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of
the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be
subordinate to their husbands in everything.

Jon, man up. Stop fooling round on the ski slopes and in bars and get back to the business of being a Christian husband and father. Move back into your house (it seems like he has moved out) and work on your marriage. St. Paul has some words for you, too:
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed
himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water
with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without
blemish. So (also) husbands should love their wives as their own
bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own
flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the
church, because we are members of his body. "For this reason a man
shall leave (his) father and (his) mother and be joined to his wife, and the two
shall become one flesh." (Ephesians 5:22-31)

And to the both of you: In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the
wife should respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:33)

It is my sincere hope that the network is heightening the drama to keep us watching and that Kate and Jon will be together again and working on it by the end of this season. It is my greater hope that they will just darken the show. Either way, I am praying for them and for their kids.


Bubba: "What!!! No Wii today? That's Fail, Mom!"

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The two worlds collide!

An acquaintance of mine from church and Primo's school has sent me a Facebook friend request. I like her, and she's a good person and friendly, but I am having an existential crisis of Seinfeldian proportions:

George: Ah, you have no idea of the magnitude of this thing. If she [Susan, George's fiancee] is allowed to infiltrate this world, then George Costanza as you know him, ceases to exist! You see, right now, I have Relationship George, but there is also Independent George. That's the George you know, the George you grew up with -- Movie George, Coffee Shop George, Liar George, Bawdy George!
Jerry: I love that George.
George: Me too! And he's dying, Jerry! If Relationship George walks through this door, he will kill Independent George! A George, divided against itself, cannot stand!
I haven't decided to accept this friend request or not. Feedback?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

deep thoughts

I have some coherent posts in the works (yes, I have said that before), but right now my tired brain has only these little bits:

  • Some of you may know that I have been trying to lose weight since the end of last August. I have not been as successful as I could have been, mostly because I have not been following the diet the way I should be. And I haven't really being exercising. And all I want to do when I put the kids to bed is eat. So, while I have lost 36 pounds over the last 9 months, I have about 40 to go. Scott, my DH, has been trying to lose some weight too due to a minor health issue. Over the last 8 weeks, my husband has been watching his eating and exercising for 30 minutes a day 5 days a week. And he has lost 20 g*&^%#n pounds. I am mad now. I am mad at myself and I am so motivated. This is my season. Summer is the easiest time for me to lose weight and I will drop a pound a week over the next 3 months.
  • I recently finished reading David McCullough's biography of Harry S. Truman. Boy, what a great president Truman was. This was a great book. I have to say that I have read 3 of McCullough's books (Truman, 1776, John Adams) and while it is obvious that there is a lot of scholarship that led to the book, it often reads like a novel. What a treasure David McCullough is! I am looking forward to reading more of his books.
  • ugh. that's all I got.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Long Walk

In an effort to get my lazy butt off the couch, lose weight, make my kids burn off some energy before 8:00 PM become more physically active and therefore healthier, I have started walking the kids to school when it's not raining when we're not late when I'm not lazy every day.

Today we were running a little bit behind ("When I tell you to go upstairs, brush your teeth, and get dressed, I don't mean read a book and build with Legos first. No Wii today!") and had to sort of run/walk to make sure Primo got to school on time. This caused Bubba to get a stitch in his side and walk a little slower (Curly Sue was in the stroller). We were about one block from school, so I told Primo to run ahead a little bit so that the crossing guard could see him and start walking over to meet us. I slowed down to wait for Bub to catch up. This got me to thinking: We're almost there. Why not just let Primo go across alone with the crossing guard and then walk ahead to school by himself? He stopped at the corner fo two VERY busy streets in our neighborhood and I caught up to him (Bub still far behind) and said, "Why don't you just walk ahead by yourself? Give me a kiss." He gave me a nice kiss, I told him to have a nice day at school, and he walked next to the crossing guard the whole way. She had him turn to wave to me as they got a little further away and then as they got all the way across the busy intersection, she had him wave again and she walked him the rest of the way to the school building (about 250 feet) and across the driveway that the crazy drop-off parents use. I wanted to watch him the whole way, but a school bus blocked my view.

When Bub caught up to me, he asked, "Is Primo old enough to walk to school by himself?" "He's not old enough to walk the whole way yet (about half a mile on my pedometer), but he can walk this far," I said. "I'm watching him (cue the school bus). When I was in first grade I walked to school by myself every day."

And I did (I think maybe my mom walked me in first grade, I can't remember). School was only a few blocks away and I think we only had one car that my dad took to work. I walked in the rain, in the snow, in the freezing weather, in the hot weather--every day. I also remember from a young age walking to the playground near where I grew up (about half a mile away) and I think I was allowed to go there unaccompanied with my friends in like second grade.

So Bub, Curly Sue and I went home to bide away 15 minutes till we walked Bub to school. And it was a very good morning.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's that time of year again.

Don't you love how the seasons change? I do. It's a comforting feeling, going through the seasonal cycles, knowing that when one season changes, another begins with new focuses, new activities.

I can see the appeal of living in a place like southern California where the weather rarely shifts out of a truly pleasant pattern. But I have to say that I would miss the snow. Although I would not miss being really really cold.

In parts of Florida, you have 3 months of nice and 9 months of jungle hot.

Anyways, here in New Jersey I am starting to feel like we're in a distinct Florida-like pattern, but not with the weather.

We just got out of a hotly contested Presidential race (though we didn't feel that as much here because NJ was a slam dunk for Obama) and we're getting into a hotly contested gubernatorial race. But first, we have to get through the hotly contested Republican Primary.

In this corner, we have the Republican Party organization's Favorite Son, "The Only One Who Can Beat Jon Corzine," Mr. Money himself, Former US Attorney, Chris Christie!

And in this corner, we have the Republican Underdog, Tough as Nails, Mr. Fought for Everything I Have, hardscrabble former mayor of Bogota, Tom Lonegan!

The primary is a few weeks away. Scott is registered as a Republican (formerly with no party affliation, my hubby voted in the Republican Presidential Primary, thereby registering himself as a Republican), so this means that Chris Christie 's automated voice has called our house 3 times in the last 2 days asking for his vote. I just got off the phone with him a few minutes ago. He's going to mail Scott an absentee ballot request form because voting by mail is convenient and easy!


I wish I could say that I hate this, but secretly, just among the 5 of you who read this page, I love it. I love to follow politics. I love to see what these yahoos that we voted for are doing. I love to watch them run for office and I love to scream at their TV commercials when I disagree with their asinine policies.

I really want to run for office myself. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be President. Sometimes I think I still do. Then I think that Harry Truman was right. Only a fool wants to be President. The weight of the world on your shoulders. If you do it for personal aggrandizement, you're a jackass. Whatever happened to the true public servant? I'm not sure how many of them there are. Do they still exist? If they exist, can they win?

I don't know.

But it's that time of year again. I can smell the smoke in the air; hear the fireworks. No, not summer. Primary season in NJ.


Bub is on a kindergarten class trip to a local zoo today. He is very excited because it is his first trip to a zoo. And it is raining. This makes it even more exciting for Bubba because he gets "to play in the REAL rain" in his raincoat and rain boots.

Last Friday, a REAL (!) farmer came in and told them about the chicks that would hatch in their classroom. Apparently, all Bub remembered about the farmer's presentation was that the chicks would be slimy when they hatched.

Well, on Monday, three of the chicks hatched during school. His poor teacher. I wonder how she managed to get any work done. Tuesday they were all hatched and no longer slimy. Yesterday, Bub got to hold a chick (His teacher sent home 3 pictures of him holding his new friend). After school, we (the 3 kids and I) went in to see the new chicks and we had the chance to see the 12 caterpillars which are going to become butterflies.

Is there a point to this post? I'm not sure. I think I'll just report and let you decide. ;)
Welcome spring!!!!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

An open letter

Dear Entertainment Magazine,

I just want to let you know that I got all of your letters, asking me to come back. And I noticed the cardboard cover on a recent issue that proclaimed, "This could be your LAST issue!"

But two weeks ago, when I opened one of your letters pleading with me to renew my subscription (at 65% off the cover price), you told me that I had 57 issues left.

I am afraid you want too much from our relationship. I am simply not ready to commit my life to you. I am a married woman with three small children. I am already committed to someone else. Someone real who feeds my soul in ways other than through entertainment gossip.

I just want to be good friends. I enjoy our time together. I need to take this relationship one year at a time. Maybe a two year deal when I can afford it.

Please understand that it's not you, it's me. I read every issue that comes to my mailbox (including the one which arrived this past Friday-after my subscription "ended") in one sitting. I read all of the book and movie reviews, even for the books I will never read and for the movies I will never see. I even read the advertising. I have taken part in your online customer service surveys and read your website, desperate for more information on The Middleman (ABC Family: I'm waiting). I have voted on whose Oscar dresses were pretty and whose were pretty awful. And you were wonderfully accommodating when I called and asked for you to put me on the fragrance-free mailing list. My migraine-less head is so grateful.

I love you like a friend, EM. That's all our relationship is, and all it ever can be. I hope that one day you will understand.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Planet Selfish

Mothering Sunday, Mothering Sunday,
Oh, what gratitude --Till Monday!
Have a bit o' bliss
Each one day
Reserved as your
Intended fun day.
Nor should a normal
Got-to-run day
Silence love
Until some someday;
Nor word not light a
Desperate glum day
As we await
Your Mothering Sunday.

Is it wrong for me not to want to get together with anyone but my husband and kids on Mothers Day?

See, I am in the middle of the busiest time of the year for my job. I was thinking yesterday I'd just have everyone here (house is still clean from First Communion Party), but then Scott's mom (half an hour away) decided that she wasn't feeling very "mothers day-y" this year and that she was going to head up to her cabin in the woods that weekend (first chance she's getting all year). My mom and stepmom are in Philly and I just don't feel like spending half the day in the car. I would have them up, but my mom doesn't drive, so that means she come in Saturday on the train, stays over, then goes back on the train that afternoon (or we drive her back home because she doesn't want to hop a ride with my dad and stepmom who live 20 min. away from her).

My MIL not feeling the whole Mothers Day thing is just mind boggling. She said when Scott and I were getting married that she really wanted to see us sometime on Mothers Day weekend every year. It's just THAT important to her. At least until this year.

I have to tell you that I am so not offened that she wants to retreat this year. Because I have wanted that for a couple of years now. Last Mothers Day, I asked Scott when we would get to the point where we got to do what I want to do on Mothers' Day. And what I want to do is sit around and do big fat nothing with Scott and the kids. Or go to the beach with them after Mass. Or maybe plant the phlox I bought. Or paint my front door. But I really don't want to drive to Philly. And I'm not so sure I even want anyone else to come up here either. I just want to hole up and be with my little family.

But I want to do it guilt-free. And if I don't have my mom up (since one brother is in CA and the other brother lives on Planet Selfish), no one will visit her. I would definitely call her, and I'm sure even my brothers will, too (even Selfish brother will at least text her), but I have very complicated feelings when it comes to my mom. It's a long story that I won't go into here.
And I can't go there on Saturday because we have the boys' baseball games until 1:30 or so. Well, I probably could go there on Saturday. I just don't feel like doing that either.
So, if I don't ask anyone up, am I living on Planet Selfish, too? If I decline an invite to come down, does that make me a denizen of that terrible orb? Can I take that day off? Should I just get to Philly on Saturday and suck it up? Is it wrong for me not to want to see my family?
I am looking to be let off the hook, but I will take a swift kick in the pants, too.