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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And furthermore

It’s funny, so many years after I had started the blog (and named it, at the time mainly just because it sounded cool, even though the psalm in my title bar lends it some credence), I’ve turned out to actually have a little “midnight radio” all of my own.  Because of the time difference, if I stay up reeeeeeeeeeeeeally late, some nights I get to gchat (or skype chat) with Joseph for a little while before he begins his day.  This is such a blessing.  There’s a long list of people, too, who would probably come and eat my bones for snacks if they found out how lucky I am—most people are feeling good if they get a one line email every two weeks.  Most people’s husbands are living in 2-man tents and the nearest internet is 45 miles away.

So yes.  If I stay up good and late, I might get to “talk” with my best friend.  :)  Totally worth it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Bit Dull

Yes, the blog is sleeping. But you see, I'm actually getting my READING for CLASS done here. Along with many family-and-friend related things. So, every time you come and see that no blog things have happened, you may think, "Oh, that's so wonderful for Jen. She's getting her school and family things done. She's feeling accomplished. I'm so happy for her."

So, be happy.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Not nice

Not a great start to this Fourth Week of Advent (aka “last week before the good stuff”).  The Senate went the next step toward a DADT repeal, which isn’t particularly nice of them.  Bunch of spineless…bad words.  Anyway, I’m just completely depressed and put off by that.  Not sure what it bodes for our life, future, livelihood, etc.  The whole thing is so dishonest from start to finish, the rhetoric is malicious and skewed, etc etc etc.  I could write for a long time about, and not make a heck of a lot of sense, but I won’t.  Too t’d off to do so, anyway.

Also, patrol cycle starts/started today.  So that’ll ruin my next ten days or so.  Nothing like waking up every morning wondering whether you’re still married to anybody.

Also having irritating misgivings about all manner of life decisions, including but not limited to the way I raise my kid, make my food, spend my money, etc.

Oh, and they are trying to repeal DADT.  My buddy Danny (good ol, Danny) says not to worry, they’ll reinstate it on January 21st.  It’ll be fine.  Just don’t worry.  But I have a hard time feeling it will be that easy.  Can you imagine the backlash from the left?  It’s awfully freaking hard to roll back something that the entire world is gushing about being a “great civil rights victory.”

Finally, all this has totally sapped my interest in and motivation to work on my school stuff.  And I have a big discussion board due tonight.  On World War II.  And I haven’t done the reading.  And right now I’m supposed to be motivated to be reading all like 115 pages of the relevant chapters.

Yeah.  Not happening.  Stupid Senate.  Merry Christmas to you, too.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Small Successes -- Winning the Germ War

FaithButton

(This came from something Tea & Co. do every week. I decided to steal.)

It's important for moms to realize that all those small successes add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that! My skirmishes for the week:

1. Christmas cards are all addressed and the Christmas letter is written. Must now inscribe and stuff them...

2. Kept V from the worst of the cold, I think, by stuffing him full of oatmeal and vitamins. Don't tell the pediatrician.

3. Did all but the last 2 items on my 76-item "To Do" list from the fridge. Now I get to make a new list! :D

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

BBC’s 100 Books

I got this list from Facebook, then via Matt’s blog.  I totally agree with his assessment that some “books” are on here twice, once as part of a collection and once on their own, and this is annoying.  He’s so right.  But anyway.  Below are “the rules” (you don’t have to play), plus I liked Matt’s addition, so I’m also underlining a book that I read specifically for school, and not because I’m a nutball.

The Rules

  • Copy this into your NOTES.
  • Bold those books you've read in their entirety.
  • Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read only an excerpt.
  • Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses!
  • The BBC says that most people average about 6 of the following, -- Let's see how well I do!

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling [read a little of the first one and HATED it]

5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6. The Bible [Yes.  I did.  One Lent.]

7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell [One day. . . ]

9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller [Yuck.]

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare [One day, when I have money and time]

15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19. The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger [And never will.  Too sad!  But I know the story, and not from watching the movie.]

20. Middlemarch - George Eliot

21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh [Top 3 favorite books]

27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll [Again, yuck.]

30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33. Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis

34. Emma -Jane Austen

35. Persuasion - Jane Austen

36. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini [But it is upstairs on the shelf…]

38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres [GREAT movie!]

39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden [Met the author once…]

40. Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne

41. Animal Farm - George Orwell

42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown [Nevah!  Fr. Jose says I should, though, so I can discount it to my students.]

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50. Atonement - Ian McEwan

51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52. Dune - Frank Herbert

53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley [fun times]

59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville [I swear I’ve read the first page like 100 times, but I just can’t get past it.]

71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72. Dracula - Bram Stoker

73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett [Booooooriiiiiiiing.]

74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75. Ulysses - James Joyce

76. The Inferno - Dante

77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78. Germinal - Emile Zola

79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80. Possession - AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87. Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White

88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom [My family made me read it so I could explain to my Grandmother what all was wrong with it.]

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery [First “long” book I ever read.]

93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94. Watership Down - Richard Adams

95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98. Hamlet - Shakespeare

99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Other Things

Also trying to get rid of: fantastically large number of matches, over a dozen candles, hair products of various descriptions, accumulated Christmas cards from sales of Christmas Past (making real progress on that one), and the many many many legal and letter-sized pads that we collected during the cleaning out of the professors’ building that one summer that I worked at the college…

I’m getting there.

It has been an interesting week, though.  Fo sho.  Like, I had never expected that the smell of a newly-opened bag of Tostitos would remind my of my husband.  Who knew?  Wow, though, man, I opened up that bag and all my reflexes went, “WHAT?  You went to the store and bought CHIPS AGAIN?  I COOKED food for you!  REAL food!”  And then I ate an entire batch of guacamole by myself.

Which reminds me of another reminder.  Who knew that I would actually want to go out for a run, just because it reminded me of Joe?  That’s power, right there.  Something that makes me want to go out and be miserable.  Not that its an option, anyway, because it has gotten so BLEEPING COLD around here all of a sudden.  (Whence cometh this new typing in all caps habit?  I think reading others’ blogs is rubbing off on me.  And I used to be so good with italics, too.  Sad.)  I mean, seriously, like in the 30s all day.  So cold that the ice I dumped out of the recycle bin did not thaw after a full day of sitting in the grass, half of which was sitting in the grass in the sunshine time.  That’s too darn cold for this clime.  One of the selling points, in my head, was that we wouldn’t have to endure another Virginia winter.

So much for selling points.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Holly Jolly Rodent

Yes, I know that he is not a rodent. He is a feline. But I don't care. He's a PEST. (This photo was taken at eye level, btw.)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Unaccustomed Presence of Routine

Sooooooo some of my goals during the deployment are, shall we say, less lofty than others. Pray for Joseph, lose some weight, get V sleeping in his own bed. Those are the lofty goals. So far, V sleeps in his bed the whole night exept for the part he sleeps in the floor with me. I'm unsure at what point the transfer takes place. Lose weight...bah humbug. And praying for Joseph is (a) ongoing and (b) a total sucess. So I'm doing well there.

The less lofty goals are odd. One of them was to "use up some of the lotion and other hygiene-related products that I've got laying around." I'm a scented-thing fiend, so these articles pile up, you know? So I'm going through and trying to use up things, mostly by remembering as part of my daily regimen to put moisturizing product on my peeling, itchy, poor, sad skin. This is something I've always needed to do, but never remembered before. I never had time to remember it. I never had time to wait patiently in my robe for the lotion to become unsticky so I could get dressed. Now I have time, or at least I'm making time. I feel a little triumph every time I toss an empty container out. (Yay! More space to put new lotion! Except that part of the deal was a vow not to buy more of the stuff until more than half of the existing inhabitants had bought the farm.)

Another goal was "clear out the pantry." Somehow this also translated into "clear out the vitamin shelf." Every M.D. that I saw during my entire pregnancy was convinced they had to prescribe prenatal vitamins to me--and I never realized the vitamins were in amongst the other medications until I got home and opened my pharmacy sack. Sooooooo there's ye piles of prenatals (and iron, which I'm terrified V is going to get into even though they're in a child-proof container at the back on the top shelf of an above-the-counter cupboard over the dishwasher and there are no climbable furniture pieces within six feet) in my cabinet which I wanted out. And rather than toss all but one (wasteful) I decided to just take the things, one per day. Which I never did before or during natalness, so what the heck. I'll do it now. Nothing like planning ahead. And I'm taking Vitamin C. And I feel soooooooooo proud. Again, a little triumph every time an empty container leaves my shelves that much less full.

As far as the real pantry goes, that's another story. I could easily not shop for groceries until February and not go hungry (and I wouldn't get scurvy, because I'm taking Vitamin C!!), but there would be a total lack of meat, dairy or vegetable products (except for frozen veggies). So I still go grocery shopping, some, but basically I only buy things from the three categories listed above. I cook LOTS more when Joseph is gone anyway, so the food that is sitting on the shelves for months and months always leaves faster when he is away, but lately I've been trying to be good about cooking veggies for V (because Macaroni is not really a food group) so there's just more cooking all around.

Granted, I'm sitting here in my jammies after a day of teaching with two bottles of water and a ham sandwich and some mini snickers. But who says you have to be perfect?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Not Dead

Merely resting my blog. It needed some vacation time.

When I mentioned in the last post we would leave PA "bright and early," I should have said "dark and early." V and got moving at 0420 Friday morning, moved our tails on down the road, had a nice lunch with my family (at Five Guys), then spent a solid SIX hours at Busch Gardens. I rode the Griffon (only roller coaster running--boo) like six times (yay), the last time in the front row (YAY). Awesome times.

On Saturday, we walked and walked and walked and walked around Williamsburg. Toured the Palace, toured the Capitol, generally enlarged our minds. Had dinner to celebrate my baby sister's 16th birthday. Sat around the hotel room and read school books.

On Sunday, we went to Mass at a Poor Clare Monastery, had a big breakfast with Uncle Mike, then scooted on home. Sunday night V spent his first night in the big boy bed. So far, so good. Last night he came and got on the floor and slept with me (sometime after midnight, not really sure when), but in general he's sleeping at least four hours straight (at a time) in the bed. And no night time nursing. BIG step. :)

So that's the story. I've been teaching since I got back, cleaning the house, answering phone calls, cleaning some more, putting up the Christmas tree (no comments please, Advent People), putting the wreaths on the outside of the house (boo), packing up boxes to mail overseas, organizing my desk, and trying to overcome the beast that is my garage. Many things happening, none of which involve the blog.

Oh, and I have a paper due at midnight. I should be reading my book right now.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We were informed (once again) at Mass this morning that this is a holiday begun by the Pilgrims to give thanks to God for giving us a home and food and family.

Pretty sure that's not exactly right. Pretty sure George Washington instated Thanksgiving as a national holiday to celebrate the end of hostilities with England. But whatever. Leave it to me to rain on everyone's pie parade.

Anyhow, here we are in central PA, watching the rain and sleet come down merrily. V has fallen asleep (thank goodness) and I need to head downstairs here momentarily and find something upon which to gnosh until the real food shows up around 4pm. Much coming and going has been done, including going shopping to find more fun things to mail to Daddy. Thanksgiving without him is not so fun, we're discovering. Not that that's a big shock.

Then, bright and early, V and I have to hop in the car tomorrow and head ourselves to Williamsburg so we can freeze our buns off in the "Birthplace of Democracy" (also not an accurate statement) for the next two days.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Random Wikipedia Article of the Day

(Thanks to Val for this fun idea.)

Augustin Buzura

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Augustin Buzura (born September 22, 1938) is a Romanian novelist and short story writer, also known as a journalist, essayist and literary critic. A member of the Romanian Academy, he has been the president of the Romanian Cultural Foundation since 1990 and president of the Romanian Cultural Institute between 2003 and 2004.

Biography

Born in Berinţa village, Copalnic-Mănăştur commune (Maramureş County), Buzura graduated from Gheorghe Şincai National College in Baia Mare and attended the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj (1958–1964), specializing in psychiatry.[1] He debuted as a journalist with articles published by the magazine Tribuna during 1960.[1]

Augustin's Buzura first published work was the 1963 collection of short stories, Capul Bunei Speranţe ("Cape of Good Hope").[1] He continued to publish regularly after that date, receiving critical acclaim and being awarded the Romanian Writers' Union prise three times, for the successive works Absenţii ("The Absentees"), Feţele tăcerii ("The Forces of Silence") and Vocile nopţii ("The Voices in the Night").[1]

Works

  • Capul Bunei Speranţe, 1963
  • De ce zboara vulturii, 1967
  • Absenţii, 1970
  • Orgolii, 1974
  • Feţele tăcerii, 1974
  • Vocile nopţii, 1980
  • Bloc-notes, 1981
  • Refugii, 1984
  • Drumul cenuşii, 1988
  • Recviem pentru nebuni şi bestii, 1999

References

  1. ^ a b c d (Romanian) Detalii despre autor. Buzura, Augustin, at Editura Paralela 45; retrieved April 30, 2008

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Awful Truth

Ok, I only got two "scheduled" posts written, and one of them has already appeared. (The other one is coming Thursday.) The problem arose on Sunday afternoon, when Windows Update killed my poor laptop. Soooooooooo, for the second time in two weeks, I had to nuke the hard drive and start over with this blasted machine.

So, no other scheduled posts. And no fun pictures of everything I've done for the past two or three months, because running the file restore to get all my pictures and files back (AGAIN) is going to take several days. You'll just have to enjoy my live posting and virtual presence this week. As available.

Had a great visit with Betsy yesterday (it occurs to one, with much accompanying embarassment and guilt, that to grammatically correct your friend's engraved and/or monogrammed gifts is not tastful) and a not-unbearable drive. Took about 13 hours with the stop halfway, and this morning the car is already safely tucked away at the dealership to have the brakes redone. Much progress. Much amazingness.

Perhaps more to come later this week. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday's Child

A little piece of the local domestic bliss:


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Disclaimer and Some Notes

First, I've decided that I want to try out the "scheduled posting" thingie, given the fact that I'll be away all next week. So (with all this free time in my evening) I'm piling up a week's worth of posts for everyone to enjoy while I'm away. This is dumb, because everyone else will be "away," too, but what the heck. You can't win them all. Or even a few.

So anyway. If you're reading this post and nothing is above it, that means you got me early in the proposed COA, before the internets have taken over and done all my posting for me for the next week. It also means that you're seriously in need to something to do on a Saturday night.

Today, though, we did some things that are worth mentioning. Most recently (i.e. the last thing I did today) was make all this stuff:


I know, it's a crappy picture, but I took it with the webcam because it's faster and I'm sorry. Anyway. That's two pecan-walnut pies and several dozen gingerbread seminarians. I still have to royal ice the darn things (tomorrow). They are for my bro and his friends. They go to school here:

And they dress like this:
Hence the "skirts" on the gingerbread, which are really cassocks. Once I get collars piped on, it'll all be much clearer for everyone.

ANY WAY. Before that, Vincent and I went to the MASSIVELY HUGE AND OVERWHELMING fall craft fair at the O'Club. Holy moly. Never before has so much been handcrafted by so few for such prices and crammed into such a small space. I was OVERWHELMED. Lemme just say, though, and no brown nosing intended, that Betsy takes better pictures, and Tea and her gang make much more appetizing-sounding foods. But alas, they are there and I am here. So I get craft fair fare. Which I enjoyed! I wanted to buy many things, but restrained myself and only bought things that could in all decency be wrapped and given for Christmas to one of the few people remaining on my list. And since everyone left on my list is a male between 14 and 21 years of age, there was much wanting and little buying. Much safer for the wallet.

Before we went a'craft fairing, V and I went to the bank, the post office, the Commissary, the Exchange, some yard sales (got a litle kiddie desk for $5! score!), and made it home in time to have guacamole and lemonade for lunch. I'm pretty sure both of those are food groups, so we're good. And I think that's all I have for now. All the stuff I'm scheduling for a later post (you can see I'm excited about this concept, can't you?) is interesting, mostly from things I cleared off the cameras recently and should have posted a while ago, and didn't. And now I am.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Just So You Know

I do not hang around the internet waiting to pounce on emails and blog posts.  I just get lucky sometimes and happen to sit down just as something has been posted.

 

Yay for me!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We Interrupt This Program

To bring you wheezing, coughing, misery.

WHY????????

I'm taking my medicine, I'm using the humidifier, I'm doing all the things I was told to do. Why can't I kick this thing? Why am I so miserable? Aaaaagh!

There's something wrong when I'm short of breath, when the wheezy throat feeling is so bad I can't breathe right. But every morning when I get up, things are better, and in the daytime I decide not to call the doctor "because it isn't that bad." And then every night I regret it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Drowning

The part of class I had been dreading is here--the Civil War. Our nation is a nation of total and absolute, dyed-in-the-wool, horn tootin', book totin', information spewing, movie critiquing, park visiting, battle analyzing, armchair quarterbacking Civil War FANATICS. It's like, totally the only war we were ever in, man.

Totally.

And we can write stinking REAMS about it. Can't we? Yes, we can.

I was really not looking forward to this, because (unlike my classmates) I have not read several hundred books on the subject. I don't know how many yards apart the skirmish lines were at the Battle of the Wilderness. So I'm drowning in yards of discussion board, pages of reading, and (of course) a deadline. I was supposed to be getting lots more reading done here, but dealing with Mr. Sicky for a week has sapped my staying-awake powers.

Yawn.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Some things

I told someone special that I'd post more pictures, specifically all the ones that I'd dumped from my phone to the computer in the last couple days--since the Great Computer Crash. Re-ordering pictures on this stupid post editor is virtually impossible, though, so the order of photos does not precisely reflect reality. What the hey.


In the "pool" at Nina's:
Enjoying homecoming at Christendom:
Sir Edmund Hilleary:




On a walk near the house (most recent pic):

Pickle on his second day as a domesticated animal:



Pickle in his second week as a domesticated animal:

All over with a #4:


See food at the Chinese place: Pushing the envelope (this is the way he goes in and out from under the table, every time): And finally, to finish off this little tour of my life, a shot taken mere moments before I began composition of this post (which, considering my photo posting frequency, is practically a picture of the future):

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Small Victory


First off, this story is in no way some kind of judgment on parents. In other situations, yes, maybe, but not this one. This is just pure Me Being Amazing. This me and my mad diplomacy skills. This is a screaming, crying six year old showing up at my door and a happy, smiling one leaving 26 minutes later.

First, this little guy's parents had told me once before that he really wasn't enthusiastic about piano lessons--they wanted him to learn, he enjoyed it most of the time, but on days when he remembered that he didn't want to take lessons it was a little rough. He switched from his old piano teacher at the first of October, and with me it had been so far, so good. On not so good days, his mom would send me a text that it had been an anti-piano day, and we'd go back into the old books and only do things that he liked and already knew. No pressure. No work. Just getting through the lessons.

But all good things come to an end. Last night, with approximately 1.5 hours left before he had to be in the door of his Birthday Ball, Dad showed up at my door with the aforementioned screaming and crying offspring. He just kind of looked at me like, "Um. He seems to be crying. Good luck." So the kid came in, still crying, knelt down on the floor next to the piano (still crying) and proceeded to cry cry cry. It only took me 2 minutes to figure out what was wrong--he told me what was wrong. "I just DON'T want to PLAY the piano ANYmore!!!"

Ah.

So I said, "Ok. We've got half an hour. Would you like to mow my yard, fold all my laundry, or change the baby's diaper?"

None of those things.

Oh. "Ok, fine. But please get off the floor, you're going to get it wet with the crying." Dad is still sitting on the couch, watching. No pressure, Jen. He's just a lieutenant colonel. Who is good friends with the General. Who is good friends with your father-in-law.

"Boooooohooohohohohohohohohooooooo." And he leaned over to put his head and arms on the piano.

I was like, "Hey! Be careful! You're going to play the piano, and you said you didn't want to!" And of course he still plops his head down on the keyboard. Noises issue from the soundboard. "See??" He shakes his head at me, still crying. So I shut the lid and told him it had to be that way just in case he accidentally played again. Then he started swinging his feet.

"Hey! Don't do that, either! You're going to play the pedals!"

The head comes up. What pedals? Dry eyes. Bright expression.

"Those pedals."

"What do they do?"

And the rest, my friends, is history. Actually, he played the piano for virtually 20 minutes straight, which is more than he normally does in a non-crying lesson. So, good for me. At some point, Dad snuck out the door, and when we went outside at the end of the lesson, he said, "Wow. I just can't believe you don't have a six year old. That was amazing."

:D

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Running with the Pack

Yeah, no WAY am I going to be the one with the oldest post on my blog. Holy cow, Betsy has posted TWICE in a week. Which is, like, Armageddon or something. She hardly ever does that. Hardly.

Anyway, I've been alive for the past couple days, just busy. I did get the computer fixed, after nuking the hard drive--not once, but twice--and then slowly replacing all my programs and settings. It took a while, and my file restore of all my pictures (I had it all backed up, so the whole ordeal was never upsetting or cause for panic, just really really really irritating) is still in progress. Part of the problem is that I keep letting the machine hibernate, which pauses the restore. But the computer saga is resolved.

In the meantime, I've already taught 12 lessons this week, which is 8 more than I was teaching on Mon/Tue a week ago. My name made very fast progress through the field grade housing, evidently, which is actually really nice. It's flattering that people want to recommend me to their neighbors. What can I say? The kids seem to like me, and their moms LOVE the fact that I'm on base. I think even if the kids hated me I'd still have quite a few students, because of how much my being on base thrills their moms. I have 8 lessons today, five tomorrow, and then V has his 12 month checkup on Friday morning. Oh, and the car has its 80,000 mile (!!!) checkup in like three hours.

I would rather not be awake right now.

Not much else going on. I'm almost done with cleaning the house, going one room at a time, kinda one room per day. Obviously I don't feel much pressure to get it done in any kind of hurry. The bedrooms are left. Any form of motivation has come from watching "Hoarders" over the last couple days. Oh my gosh. What a horrifying show. But it makes you want to clean your room, man. And get rid of things. And never stock your pantry with more than a 12-hour supply of food. And get rid of more things. And never have a pet.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Wah wah wah wahhhhhhhhh

Have gotten one HECK of a trojan horse on the notebook.

Expletive expletive expletive.

Will return with updates in the comments box, no doubt.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Aw, nuts.

It occurs to one that if one (a) goes to bed at 1130pm and (b) gets up at 6am, nothing interesting will have happened on the internet in the meantime. Nothing, at least, on the parts of the internet one frequents. Oh well.

V and I dragged our adorable little behinds up to Raleigh for the weekend, in lieu of sticking around the house for what was shaping up to be a rather hairy ball season. (That will hopefully only make sense to a very special few of you.) They FINALLY finished updating the Pavilion and it was pulling its weight as a venue, which is nice because it looks infinitely more betterer since it has been completed. If it wouldn't put me in jail, I'd take some pictures of it for all you lousy lousies who moved away. They clear cut all around the creek edge between the pavilion and the bridge, leaving just the big trees. You can clearly see the creek from the path or from the pavilion driveway. Looks nice, I promise. Back when we had the flood, the water had come up over the jogging path, so I have a feeling part of the clearing-out was done in order to clean up the mess all that creek water had made.

Anyhow. We came up to Raleigh in hopes of visiting the children's museum downtown, but it turns out it is expensive and exclusive and a little out of our reach. We'll probably do free things instead, like go to the Farmer's Market and freeze our butts off. Or sit at home and watch football games. :) Livin' the life.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Faux Twit

This is me using my blog as a twitter account. (I have a real one, somewhere, but haven't used it in so long I don't know how to get to it again. Maybe the password is on my old computer...)

Anyway. Got up at 0315 to wander around, shush the cats, use the restroom, etc. Normal 3am stuff. Got distracted by the computer. Blogged a little. Clicked on links from my own blog, found new things I hadn't seen before.

Bought some stuff online.

Bought more stuff online.

Oh lord.

GRUMBLE

Tempting as it is to just steal my husband's identity and post this on facebook (see, people, I still read it from time to time, so don't go talking about me behind my back), I shall refrain. I shall make my pissy but called-for comment here.

You PEOPLE need to STOP WHINING about the issues within the Republican Party and the conservative movement in this country. You need to STOP making snarky and/or negative comments about the people who have won elections in recent days, you need to STOP making deprecatory statements about voter apathy and how few people turned out to vote. You need to stop pontificating about how those who have come to power are a "poor face" for the conservative movement, you need to stop moping about who didn't win way the hell back in 2008, 2004, or 2000 (or 1988).

This is WHY conservatism is PUNY in this country--we're all too interested in complaining about what we've got, and eternally looking for a better option, to WORK WITH what's on the table and make the best of it. Young voters are turned off by cynical, cranky, doubtful people like you. Old voters are turned off by you. I'M turned off by you. It's time to say, "Ok, this is wonderful. People are showing that they aren't happy with the way things are going. People are trying to improve the situation. It's going to be a slow battle. Let's roll."

You can't expect your kid to EVER get past T-Ball if you stand there griping about his stance and his technique every minute. He's going to get depressed, get frustrated, and quit. How about some cheers and support?

Geez louise.

Backfire

Having a stat counter is fun, because it gives you a little picture of who visits and why. For example, back in the summer, my post on Toy Story 3 got me literally hundreds of visitors who had googled "what is ascot toy story movie" and gotten my blog as the #3 hit. Who knew?

Unfortunately, until you correctly input the IP address of yourself (which the counter is supposed to ignore) and finalize all your settings, you also get a clear picture of just how many times you visit your own blog in a day.

Embarassing.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Even as we speak...

Say hello to my little friend. He's "cleaning" while I scour the internet for drug coupons. Can't send daddy out the door without meds, now can we?

Free Stuff

Head yourself on over to Homeschooling Resource Dot Org to enter a book giveaway. It's only open for two weeks, so hurry hurry hurry. Nice feature of this giveaway--no invasive inquiring about detailed personal information. Just yo name, man.

Also, I have a one year old boy here who would love to come live with you, climb on your furniture, and redecorate your home. Free.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Testing

Should be reading, should be writing checks, should be washing clothes.  Trying to make WindowsLive work instead.

Technorati Tags:

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Birthday!!

Cupcakes by Ladybug and Aunt Bit:
Birthday Boy cake by Gramma:

Professional pumpkin painting by Cat:

Less professional pumpkin painting by mommy:

Eating decorations (this is from earlier in the day, but blogger is out to get me and I'm tired of trying to reorder the photos):

Scarfing down some pure sugar, by V:

Catch Up

So, I just got caught up on school for the last three weeks (whew) and wanted to stick a couple things up here. First, this is how my childing like to spend his afternoons:Mosquito swarms are no obstacle. And yes, we're still having mosquito swarms, even with fifty degree mornings and a good stiff breeze. Like Sarah said "unfall," and its just hateful. Ugh. Anyway, when he's all done doing that, this is a nice way to relax:
Being inside a moving object, behind a net, helps with the bugs. Mommy just gets them in her teeth. Also, here is Reeses with the kitten that we kept, who has been named Pickle in honor of Miss Pickles who lives in Tennessee. Miss Pickles is 20 years old, and (no disrespect intended) is probably not much longer for the people world. However, my Pickle looks JUST LIKE HER (at least from the back) and we got permission from my mom to call the kitten after the ancient and cranky old lady cat:
Reeses like him--they sleep together in the crib when no one is in there to bother them. She lets him cuddle and play with her tail. When he gets annoying, she puts a foot on his head and pins him to the floor. Hysterically funny. One day I'll get video of it and put that up for everyone to see.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Epilogue

Toothless appeared on Wednesday in my garage—not sure how long she’d been stuck in there but my sister found her in the afternoon. She had the fourth kitten with her! Sooooooooo we caught the baby and sent him to a new home, and animal control came for Toothless this morning. A happy ending, mostly, but a little sad for poor mommy cat. After all, she’s basically a wild animal and being caught wasn’t her cup of tea. Good news is, she isn’t a rational animal so I don’t really have to worry about things like hurting her feelings or betraying her or anything like that. Four kittens with homes, mommy not out there in the wild making more babies, etc etc etc.

But it’s still a little sad.

IN other news, I have LOTS of pictures from birthday parties and visits and other such fun to share with everyone, but I have to get everyone’s gear and life and schedule and laundry back in order first. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yay!

Mah boy's a year old. Yeehaa.

Monday, October 25, 2010

One Year Ago

This is me one year ago today. Shows how much I love you guys, that I'm even sharing this picture. This is what it looks like when you let them induce you and you've been in labor for 24 hours with no apparent progress (oh, except for successfully absorbing 11 bags of fluid). The only reason I'm smiling is because I don't know that it'll be ANOTHER 24 hours before the baby shows up.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lurkers?

Seriously, am I writing for myself here? Who visits my blog but doesn’t comment?

:(

Just one bloggy friend (who also emails and etsys, so like she’s DONE her part, people) doesn’t feel like enough.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Something else--Amiable Post

Note the total lack of ads on my blog. Not even any sidebar buttons. I selleth not items with my blog, I really don't. This is partially because I don't have anything to sell, and partially because I'm too lazy to maintain the blog in such a fashion that it would ever earn money. Please take this paragraph as (a) an indicator that I don't make a habit of turning myself into a highly caffeinated internet ad, as well as (b) a note that you should take this totally seriously, since I don't make it a habit and therefore I must really really really mean it, right?

SO, THEN.

I bought something pretty today, and it makes me happy to have bought it. Part of it has this picture on it:And part of it has other pictures. (I made this one small on purpose. No "save image as" for you. I'm the only one who does that to my bud's pics. Do as I say, not as a do.) They were taken by Betsy, the sick-in-Virginia friend who I blogstalk and talk about all the time when she isn't looking. She makes really beautiful things with her photographs, like the things I just bought. She sells them here: SomethingBetsy on Etsy and I seriously recommend going to her site and checking out the wares. I'm rockin' Christmas gifts this year from her shop, because I think the art is pretty and I like what she does with it. Oh, and also it doesn't require me going further than the mailbox to get it. No stores, lines, gas money, traffic, or people saying "Happy Holidays" because they aren't allowed to say Christmas. I love it. Just be careful, because if you get started looking at ALL the shops on etsy, you'll end up broke. And you'll need a bigger house to hold everything you bought.

Just a couple things—Angry Post

First, I’m peeved with our unit M.O. (medical officer) who can’t seem to get all his proverbial stuff together. I mean, maybe I’m getting an unfairly filtered picture of the guy (dear lord, I hope his wife and I don’t have mutual friends…does he even have a wife? I don’t even know his name. Maybe that makes all this ok. I am angry with a faceless officer of the United States Navy.), but it just seems like one thing after another through all this. He’s primarily there to make sure no one dies, I suppose, but ideally he’s contribute to morale, right? Like those dudes on MASH. They’re medical, they’re officers, and they’re stinkin’ hilarious. This guy isn’t funny at all.

First, he sets it up for all the guys to get their smallpox vaccine a mere five days before returning home from EMV back in July. Not at the beginning, in case something went wrong, not at the beginning, since they’d all be out there together with fellow vaccinnees and the incubation period wouldn’t matter. This means—ta da!—no close contact with wife and baby for at least two weeks, because you can get smallpox from the injection site. Nice. What a great way to come home after a month. Joe’s vaccine “didn’t take” so we were actually spared all the fun of that inconvenience. They said the guys who needed to be redone would be done right after they leave, sometime in the admin period before they get too far out in the boonies of you-know-where.

NOW the nutball has it all nicely arranged so that the guys whose original vaccines “didn’t take” (technical medical term, I have no idea what it means) can get their vaccine redone on Monday. MONDAY. Less than two weeks before they leave. Last two weeks before a deployment, and no one can touch Joe, or his laundry. And he can’t touch us. No playing with baby, no hugging his mom goodbye (she’s coming on Monday to visit for a week), no chillin’ with all the nieces and nephews that are coming in next week for V’s birthday party. Idiot medical officer.

Oh, also they’re getting a flu shot on Monday. Nice. Oh, and also he didn’t evidently feel like it was key to let everyone know at our pre-deployment brief (you know, the one in which they told us what to expect in these final weeks and then through the course of the deployment?) that these vaccinations would be coming up, as well as MALARIA PILLS. Malaria pills which give you intense nightmares. Very helpful. Good to have these things on my list of “things aware of and prepared for.” Nice to not have to stress or be concerned about them.

Monday, October 18, 2010

…..aaaaand baby makes seven.

No, not a human baby. A feline baby. Three of them, in fact, and they’re all sleeping now, crammed in a little pile between the head of my mattress and the wall. Aw. How sweet.

See, it is like this. The cat that lives in the woods behind my house [Toothless] is a girl cat, and she is not alone in the woods but lives out there with a number of other cats of undetermined gender [Beef, Smith, Wesson, Captain Morgan, Widowmaker, and Fluff]. We know that Toothless is a girl because, in the spring, she brought three little kittens to our yard. (In an really interesting corollary, this also established that at least one tabby and one orange cat from the undetermined group is a boy cat. But it still didn’t narrow the field enough to make legally binding accusations about anyone.) That was the point, in fact, in which I became a really hard core Cat Enabler and started feeding her every day. She had babies, everyone was hungry, I felt bad…you get the picture. Anyway, long story short the kittens eventually all disappeared and Toothless went back to being a pretty cat who came alone to my back porch every morning to eat.

The summer passed in this predictable and day-to-day fashion. In the meantime, Widowmaker was rehomed to Mike’s Farm, and the other cats appeared almost never, except for Captain Morgan. Who walks with his head on one side and always moves slightly to the left (instead of going in a straight line). That’s why I named him Captain Morgan. I do not know if he is a boy. But I couldn’t think of a unisex alcohol.

ANYWAY. Toothless came back to the house on Monday evening (as we returned from our whirlwind NOVA tour) looking painfully, distressingly, upsettingly skinny. How can she get so thin in just a weekend? I ask myself. She only went like two full days without food!

On Wednesday, I’m sitting there minding my own educational professional’s business and the piano student I’m teaching says: “Hey, kittens!” Well, poop. Sure enough, there’s ol’ Toothless with FOUR little furballs. In my yard. Hungry. Sooooooooo I feed them, and Joe catches three and we put them in a box in the garage, hoping to catch Toothless in there with them, and relocate the entire gang to a non-base location. No go. I catch her coming in and out around midnight, retrieving her babies and heading back to the woods. Not able to get the door shut on her. Time for plan B.

**Plan B on hold for Thursday while I make like a cadaver and lay around [with a really evil head cold]. While I’m sick,though, it gives me a chance to mention that once again a tabby cat and an orange cat are boy cats. Still isn’t narrowing the field much. Widowmaker was black and white.**

On Friday, Plan B. Toothless continues to bring back kittens to The Place That Took Them (dumb cat) but now consistently carries around the fourth kitten, the one we hadn’t caught during Plan A. They eat, but she won’t let them stay long, and then she comes back alone later to finish her entree. We wait, we watch, and we catch three kittens by Friday afternoon, this time bagging #4 and missing #3 from Plan A. What to do? Well, I’m not sure now. But they’re sleeping in my room. Me, baby, and three little kittens. No mittens.

Where is Joe, you ask? Sleeping in the guest room, because he finally had LASIK on Wednesday and is supposed to avoid all possible situations that could hurt/touch/damage/bother his eyes. Evidently my habit of playing ping pong in my sleep is not eye-friendly. Oh, and also V wakes you by standing up next to you in the bed and then body-slamming into your face.

Would you like a kitten?

Also, in other news, our lives are going well. You should send me an email so I can get you addresses for a couple dudes we know that deployed during this month. They like to get mail. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Comehoming

Quickie to let you all know that we did, in fact, return to Christendom for homecoming. It has been a blast, and now the fun is winding down. My own little bro drove down from Philly to see us, Kiah came ALL THE WAY from Cali to spend time with us east coasters, and it has been just the awesome. The boys (the big ones) have gone out to the Debate Society’s final debate for the quarter. The resolution is “Lincoln justly defended the Union.” Hopefully they all come back alive and whole.

The little guy is here sleeping peacefully, and I’m supposedly working on my research proposal for HIST500, but instead I’m writing for the bloggity blog. Oh well. Much kisses to the online world, and don’t expect to see me back anytime soon. ;)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Insomnia?

This is new. People finally get back to sleep and quit fussing at me, then I can’t go to sleep myself. How nice. It’s ok, though. I can sleep in (HA!) later if I need to, and I just got a cool hour’s worth of work done on all the message boards. For the record, I am currently enrolled in:

HIST501: Historiography. The class with the paper from hell. Three weeks to go on this semester, and the comments back on my rough draft were, well….never mind. It irritates me that the rough draft is and will always be worth 10 percent more than the final, but whatev. The price we pay for not knowing that “prose padding” is a no-no in graduate level classes.

HIST500: Historical Research Methods. Not a gimme class, exactly, because the reading level for discussion boards was pretty high, but this one wasn’t as bad at the first one. Again, three weeks to go, and a huge research proposal is all that’s left. Not a big deal, except for actually having to write it.

HIST551: The American Revolution in Context. Looks like fun, several smaller papers and what looks like a biweekly discussion board. A [bleep] ton of reading, though. I had to buy like four books, which is nice for adding to the collection upstairs, but does not bode well for my Bejeweled high score.

MILH510: Survey of US Military History. A bear of a thing, mainly because there’s a bunch of motarded professional students in the class; people with 3, 4, and 5 masters who haunt the message boards and make nuisances of themselves with copiously long posts. This class also looks doable, with small papers rather than a huenormous one, but the professor is pretty hard, uh, bottomed. Could be interesting.

(also, I wrote all of this but the final two sentences at 0350 this morning, when I woke up)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I made these up. Seriously

What’s a lamb’s favorite Christmas song? Fleece Navidad.

Why do bishops go to grief counseling? They need a sense of crosier.

Why do mice vacation in a piano? They love the keys.

Monday, September 27, 2010

So much love, so little Claratin

In honor of my bud, who keeps doing nice internets things for me, even though she could ignore me and there's totally nothing I could do about it, and who is suffering Death By Virginia and I feel so sorry sorry sorry for her....

I present...

The following:

Not a surprise

There’s a leaky-poo in my roofie-pie.

Crud.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Intermission

So, it's been a crazy ride around here the last couple weeks. I got that dratted assignment turned in, received a response almost immediately from the professor that she was having such significant technical difficulties with grading that she was disregarding the stated deadline and counting nothing as tardy. So: Jen -1, Academic Establishment -0
We're figuring out the trailer, slowly but surely. V like the ride, hates the helmet, and we compromise by letting it sit next to him in the trailer "just in case." If the MPs stop us I'll be like "Oh, it was on his head when we left!" Which would be a lie. Oh well. Anyway. Biking without a helmet is all fine and good, but looking at the coffee table without a helmet is not as safe:

Nothing like your baby's first Shiner to make you feel good about toddling off for the evening to Casino Night. I had a blast, won about $5000 in fake money, gave it all to the Chaplain as I left, and didn't take a single picture to show for it. Ah well. That's me, right? So after winning fake money all weekend, il mio spouseo decided that he hadn't had enough camping yet for the summer, so he headed out into the wilds for a week with the battalion. In the meantime, my family stopped in for a very short visit, bringing Benny, who is too young to be left alone in the house:

Benny likes long walks on the curtains, romantic baby food dinners, and naps in your shoe. Benny also likes when you read him books [not pictured--cat]:

Meanwhile, I work on the PAPER FROM HECK and finish all the discussion boards for the week. They're cutting off our free money program for school, too, so I registered for two semesters' worth of classes this morning. Nothing like sending the government a $3600 bill for your education. That will get me through exactly half of the required credit hours. Now, to dig up another four grand....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Free Toofs!

Two on the bottom, one on the top. Nothing like progress, eh? Also, the child is learning how to leverage himself against piece of furniture A in order to climb onto piece of furniture B. This is interesting, and amazing, and a little scary. After all, up until now I know I can leave him in the living room (only room in the house where this applies) and know that he’ll still be on the floor, and undamaged, when I get back. No longer.

Also (ugh) learned this morning that I had failed to turn in an assignment due on Sunday. This is, I realize, my own fault. I’m a big girl, and I could have written down the date for turning in the assignment. Still, you’d think that the Big Girl who is teaching the class would have the good sense to occasionally remind her [busy, working adult, professional educator] students when things are coming due. Blah. Stupid world.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Paddling the Knew

This is escapism, pure and simple. I should be sleeping, or assembling the bookshelves, or finishing the laundry, or sending out class notes, or writing, or doing one of the other dozen things that I haven’t done yet because of the total fullity (this is now a real word) of the day.

But I’m not. I’m writing a postie for the bloggie instead. When I’m done with the postie for the bloggie, I’m going to sneak into bed with my babbie and wait there until my spousie gets off the phone with his mummie, at which point we’ll all go to sleepie.

LONG freakin’ day, can’t you tell?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Toofer

Several toofers around here lately. My son (at a whopping 10.5 months old) has decided to start growing a tooth. This is exciting, primarily because the coming of the tooth was not heralded by much sadness, weeping, loss of sleep, or other unpleasantries. On the contrary—he’s been a very happy child for quite a while now. The clue came a week ago, when he began displaying a new set of skills with his tongue. Why is he doing that, we wondered, and now we know. He was playing with his new tooth. How fun.

Also, you’re getting two blog posts fer one day. Good for you.

Also, I survived my first week of [almost] all my piano students coming as scheduled. It should be a fun ride, though Wednesday and Thursday afternoons might get a little hairy. It’s great when students are sibling pairs, because the other kid just can’t be stopped from playing with V. Thusly, he is occupied happily for the whole hour. It’s the onsies that come with their mums that are a little less smooth, and when there’s several onesies and mumsies in a row, we get itchy about the edges. Oh well. I did ok, no one got up at the end and said, “Never mind, we’ll find another piano teacher.” And they all paid me, so everything must be fine. One week down, 51 to go. Well, probably less than that, because people don’t take in the summertime. Tell you what, though, I’m already looking forward to Christmas break.

“Prayer of a Soldier in France”

My shoulders ache beneath my pack, (Lie easier, Cross, upon His back).

I march with feet that burn and smart, (Tread, Holy Feet, upon my heart).

My rifle hand is stiff and numb, (From Thy pierced palm red rivers come).

Lord, Thou didst suffer more for me, Than all the hosts of land and sea.

So let me render back again, This millionth of Thy gift. Amen.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Off Road

Finally, at long last. We are no longer on vacation. We did some of this:

And also a little of this:

And rounded it all out watching Uncle Matt do this:

But now it is time to get back to work. I must buy things, sell things, make things, wash things, answer things, read things, write things, sort things, repair things, and otherwise realign my life. More on THAT progress later.

Oh, also, today I made the bagger at the commissary mad. I don’t recommend it.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Forgotten

I keep forgetting that I’ve got this handy post writer on my desktop—one that makes it fast and easy for me to write a post and get it on the blog. One that doesn’t require me to log on to the internet, get distracted by the internets, etc etc etc.

So there.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

LOOKIT!

Look what I won! Ok, more accurately, look what my nice friend gave me because she's nice, even though I spend most of our relationship coveting her power tool skills and her garden and her ability to make it rain just by having me over to her house:

They're memory cards, yo. :) You can get your own here. These mine. You no have.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Further Insight

And then this exchange yesterday:

Sister [holding a squirmy V]: Ugh, this is exhausting! I’m not getting married until I’m thirty five!!!

Swiss Army Knife Boy: But you can’t have babies then.

Sister: Oh, yes I can! Mrs. Phillips had her last one when she was in her fifties!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Original Work

Going through the reams of information they want me to fill out in order to register V in the childcare programs on base. The good news is, once I've done it, it is done forever. The bad news is, I'm not really sure its worth the effort. Still, everyone says it is a good idea to have that backup, "just in case." I can imagine a couple just in cases, so here I am. It feels like an application to be a federal judge or something. Bureaucracy. Sigh.

Also in today's news, my brother was born today. Twenty one years ago. I am getting old.

Not much else happening. I got a 95% on my bibliography for class, which made me relax considerably. I have tons of work to do, including but not limited to reading a stack of books taller than my son, but I think I can handle. Joseph says I'm overthinking this entire class experience, that I'm doing fine, and that I need to relax. He's probably right, but the bar feels so high anyway.

Speaking of highs and lows, I'm freezing my stinkin' accessories off in the house this morning--never, never understand my complains about late afternoon heat to imply that the a/c doesn't work. It works. It works wonders. We have to wear robes and slippers and hats until about noon every day--but no amount of "it works" can compete with nature. By 2pm, its 76 degrees and counting. Thus, no altering of the thermostat to save those early morning tootsies. We suffer in silence.

Wholesale Thievery

The following is something my husband wrote in response to another blog's posting about the inaction following Vatican II (i.e. inaction that led to the extreme abuses we see today) being largely the part of the faithful, because they didn't stand up and object to what was going on. You can get the rest of the gist of the post from what's written below--the original post can't be accessed to link to or I'd have done that.

Laying any blame on the laity for a supposed inaction is dangerous.

We are sheep, and if you've ever seen a sheep, sheep are lost without a shepherd. It is not the sheep's fault it wanders off, it is a failure in vigilance on the part of the shepherd.

Look to the military, and strict code of responsbility contained therein. There is a rigor in applying responsibility for failure because our work involves killing, and being killed. I don’t know who said it, but a good quote to thrust home my point: "Let no man's ghost say, ‘if only I had been trained.’" If a Marine or soldier dies because he was not properly prepared by those he was entrusted to for training and education in his craft, then it is those trainers, and educators, those Officers and senior enlisted who bear the responsibility for their death.

The same goes for you as a priest, and every priest. While parents have a weighty responsibility in the education of their children, the liturgy is the primary tool of catechesis. Education in the faith starts and ends in the liturgical life of the Church, the veil as you refer to it in your post. Whether the Ordinary or the Extra-ordinary form of the Mass, it is meant as both a nourishment to the soul, and a lesson to the mind. If a student has a bad teacher, if a Marine or a soldier have bad officers or poor Sergeants, is it their responsibility to go outside the structure given to them to ensure their proper education to ensure what they are getting is right?

You quote Canon Law, which says: ““According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which [the Christian Faithful] possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.”

What the word “according” seems to mean here is “commensurate.” It is a high ideal to believe the majority of the Church had the knowledge and competence sufficient to even think of raising their voice. In fact, the word competence is key, I think, because it indicates a need for a certain maturity in the faith and awareness before you speak out, again which few possessed and few possess.

How many had an awareness that something was amiss, but did not have the theological or philosophical education (knowledge), or spiritual maturity (competence), or commonly respected personage (prestige) to say anything? How many did? Some, like Evelyn Waugh, and those that Henry Edwards mentions “Some of us, indeed, many of us, did not sit idly by. We did everything we could, to protest the profanation of faith and liturgy that we knew was taking place, in every way we knew that was loyal to Church and Faith and seemed to have any chance of success. We tried a variety of means of both private and public argument and persuasion.”

You say: “Whatever happened to the sensus fidei fidelium acting as a historical counter-balance to the sinfulness and ignorance of the clergy? It was gone.” I say, it was never there in the broad sweeping geist-like manner that you suggest had existed. In particular places at particular times, when the faithful had been led well by their shepherds, yes. But not in a broad-stroke across the Church.

Also, in your blog post, you criticize blind and unthinking obedience, even to false teaching. You say the “The sheep were ordered to become privates on parade, answering responses with the loud voice needed for a “sir, yes sir” and laying aside all traces of a “homey” faith.”

This example is problematic. The only time an ‘aye, sir’ is wrong is when a ‘sheep’ follows his ‘shepherd’ into a danger that the sheep recognizes as such. When the sheep doesn’t know, because he wasn’t properly taught, then the issue is the shepherd, and only the shepherd. In fact, if the Shepherd was mistaught by his shepherd, by the fact that he has taken on a flock, there exists an inherent responsibility for him to ensure he is doing the right thing. The responsibility for the shepherds job still does not rest with the flock. The responsibility of the officer or sergeant does not rest with the private.

As a priest you are not the Centurion who says to his servant “go” and the servant goes insofar as the servant is the laity, and the command has to do with something outside the realm of faith and morals. You are the Centurion when it comes to faith and morals, and the laity are those servants.

Just like a Centurion, you and every other priest often (though not always) have more to lose than the servant, but your calling is to be a servant to those servants. So like the Centurion, you sacrifice the comfort and life that your maturity and potential might have brought you, you sacrifice these things for the trenches. It seems like a paradox, being the servant of servants, it isn’t. You and the laity, all serve God, but you have an authority that allows you to serve the laity for their sake, and for their fulfilling their mission, attaining God. This is just like an Officer who serves the men serving their country. Officers are given authority not to lord it over their men, but to serve their men as their men pursue the goal.

Friday, August 13, 2010

STOP RIGHT THERE!

That's right, you. Stop. Head yourself over to my good-for-nothing, desert-everyone-here-in-paradise, go-back-to-NOVA buddy's blog. See her cool pictures she takes, and the cool things she makes with them. Follow her blog. Help me win her prize giveaway. I covet the deck of memory cards.

Hurry!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

And it Goes a Little Something Like This

"”Oh, don’t give him the Swiss Army knife. It is probably dirty, and he loves to put everything in his mouth right now.”

“No, it tastes fine!! I know because I put it in my mouth. I can fit a whole tennis ball in my mouth! But the knife tastes ok, except for when the cat has sat on it.”

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Alive

Barely, but alive. Spent three fun weeks with my family, a week on the road, enjoyed a GREAT wedding, came home, dealt with computer crash, and am now simply awash in a sea of anti-Church sentiment on the discussion board. It was bound to come up but, good gracious, you’d think that in a discussion of rationality there would be more, well, reason. They can quote the one article we were assigned quite happily and not come up with quite the scads of information attacking Catholicism—but no, they’re delving deep into long-forgotten upbringing, the DaVinci Code, and whatever they’ve read about abuse scandals, and dumped it all down in the form of an “academic” discussion.

Blah. But I’m a week behind in posting because of the trip, I have to say something, and it had better be pretty damn good. No pressure.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

3 for a dime, 2 for a nickel

I was so proud of my brother yesterday—he peacefully submitted to the sacrifice of his hard-earned summer Saturday upon the Altar of Grandparents. While I helped Nana put up 8 quarts of peaches (dear me, the amount of sugar God put into that fruit…just amazing) Mike watched V, which is no small task. The little darling wants to “walk” everywhere, all the time, but requires an adult hand to help him along. This is tiresome.

Anyhow. After all that fun was done, we headed to the other grandparents’ for a birthday party, complete with doggies, tomato harvest, and a ride in Big Daddy’s chair. Full days, man. I’m just fried at the end of every single one of them. Whew.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Parenting by Me

Once again, I have only limited communicatory abilities at my disposal, but I feel compelled to imitate a bit and give my thoughts on parenting. Thanks for the inspiration, Sheels (see, you do have a nickname!). :)

My firm and steadfast childrearing principles:

1. Never let your baby eat prescription medicine, spiders, or toothpaste. Caffeine, dirt, cow milk, and paper are ok.

2. Carry your baby until it is too dangerous to do so, because he is so strong and fast he can twist out of even the most loving grasp before you realize it. Alternatively, carry him until he is too heavy. If he really loves you, he’ll figure out a way to follow you around the house on his own.

3. Baby toys are fun because they make appealing noises when smacked against a non-toy surface, such as the table or TV. Only buy one or two, because you will always have a neighbor giving you loads of crap because she’s “done, done, done” having babies of her own. These do not need to be natural, dye-free, or hypo-anything. Your baby doesn’t care.

4. Allergies (with several obvious and deadly exceptions) are silly.

5. Trust your dentist before you trust your pediatrician. He’s probably a better parent than she is, anyhow.

6. The benefits of co-sleeping are: more sleep for mommy, more sleep for mommy, and more sleep for mommy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Me vs. The Relativists: continued

Sorry for the long no-post. Times change, plans alter, etc etc. I'm home with family for a couple weeks, then off to The Great Wedding in Oklahoma. You never know where I'm going to turn up, eh?

So school continues to be interesting. I like the freedom of schedule that online classes afford, but I'm starting to sense a real evil embedded in the system. Namely, I have to spend soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much time reading the comments and thoughts of classmates (which may or may not be useless, some of these people are men after my own heart), that I don't have the time to read packet materials. I was told to expect 10 hours per week per class, but I had no idea that meant 9 hours reading message board nonsense, and 1 hour cramming in all these modernist articles.

Ah me. Don't expect scads of blogging for the next, oh, ten years or so.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Well, cripes.

Went to start my first assignment this afternoon, which happens to be a précis of my research intent for the class, and lo and behold.

After two peaceful, unpestered years.

The unthinkable happened.

The entire heading format, to include date and assignment title, wafted across my synapses, complete with the crinkle of vade mecum in my ears.  Gasp.  It’s happening to me!!  I’m turning back into a student!  Help!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Revisionista

So, if I am to fit in to this broad academic world I’ve put myself back in (why I did so isn’t readily coming to mind at the moment), I must toss aside a number of antiquated notions I possess.  Among them are:

1. Absolute Truth exists

2. God exists

3. Marx was an idiot

4. There is, in fact, such a thing as the “right answer”

5. Hegel was an idiot

 

It turns out, real academes are firmly of the opinion that no one can have a firm opinion about history, because no one can look at history objectively.  This much, I agree with—one cannot conduct a totally unbiased survey of the past.  However, I got no issues with deciding that the Judeo-Christian survey is the best one.  My professors would beg to differ.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Sorry 'Bout Dat

So, perhaps I shouldn't just go posting when I happen to have a spare moment and thought. Something sad and depressing might get left at the top of the blog. Here's something much happier and enjoyable to be left at the top of the blog:




Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Brokenhearted

So, into day four of a non-sleeping cycle with ye childing. Not sure what's precipitating all this, but it is becoming a deadly sort of awfulness.

Ugh. I hope he knows that it hurts me much more than it hurts him. :(

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul


Or, as the lector at my home parish inevitably proclaimed each Sunday morning: "Saint Peters and Pauls!"

A high feast, a grand day. I remember pretty vividly the experience of the parish's 150th Anniversary celebration, complete with professional film crew documenting both the no-holds-barred Mass, as well as the following dinner at the downtown convention center. That was close to ten years ago, which shocks me silly. I'm getting so old!

Today holds no such fanfare for me. I'm off to Mass momentarily, then taking little spawn to the library to cycle through another dozen or so "Juvenile--Easy" books. Hopefully we'll meet Daddy somewhere in there, for lunch or a near approximation of it. I haven't left the house since 0930 on Sunday, and the time has simply come. Get out or else.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

With Firm Purpose

So, I start classes a week from Monday, working toward a Master of Arts degree, in Military History.  Laugh if you must, snicker, giggle, guffaw.  Pick your verb.  To be honest, I wasn’t one hundred percent sure when I began the pre-preparation-process why it was I had chosen this particular type of degree, with this particular concentration.  However, a couple trials by fire have confirmed me in my purpose.  I’m going for it, I have good reason, and I wish myself well.

Also, when I finish this post I’m going to look at my options for changing the blog format a little.  I mean, this format is “me”, if you will, but perhaps it could be a little more, well, girly, and yet still be me.  Perhaps not.  We shall see.

More Webcam Fun

video

Please 'scuse my big old arm in the shot. You never know when some kind of dramatic happening will necessitate the ending of a recording in record-lightning-reflex time. Anyway. This is my son, enjoying the table. Really enjoying it.