Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

It is in vain that a net is spread before the eyes of any bird -- These men lie in wait for their own blood, they set a trap for their own lives.This is the fate of everyone greedy of loot: unlawful gain takes away the life of him who acquires it. (Proverbs 1:17-19)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bathroom Update

Progress is being made. We have a toilet now - but no door on the bathroom yet. This requires a bit of improvising - so a sheet has been hung in the doorway. The shower fixtures are in - but there is no shower door yet - so the kids had baths in the new tub today. And the sink has been delayed. But we're getting there. Sure enough, we're getting there.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Poetry Friday

Here's a little original poem, a collaboration between myself and Pippi and Harry as we drove to Basketball practice the other night. It all started because Harry wanted to know what direction we were going. Are we going South? Southeast? West? Northwest? NorthSouth? Hmm - Well, with North South you'd pretty much be vibrating in place. That got Pippi's creative juices flowing and the resulting poem is


I'm going North South
which means I'm not going any direction at all.

So I'm very confused and I don't know what to do.
I think I'll go Mooo.

Mooo-ve over
said the guy behind me.

I think I'll go East.
Or should I go West?

Decisions, decisions.
They're what I do best.

The Poetry Friday Round-up is over at Blue Rose Girls today.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

All the Books in the World

Today would have been my grandfather's 98th birthday, and there are probably enough wonderful stories I could share about him that I could fill up an entire blog, but I'm just going to share one quote.

In November 1983 we taped my grandfather reminiscing about his childhood. My mother (his daughter) asked him the following question: Did you like to read a lot when you were young?

He answered:
Well, I, yes. In this one room school they had a library there. The whole library was in one bookcase. And as far as I knew that was all the books there were. And so I resolved that I was going to read all the books that there were. There was just the one bookcase full there. I thought if I did one a year I could get through it. (laughter from assembled family) I was amazed to find that there were a lot more books than that so I had to give up that idea. I was fairly good in arithmetic and I was fascinated by numbers and fascinated by how numbers kept on building. And I didn't yet get the concept that there was an unlimited number of numbers. And so these numbers, I knew that they kept on going, so I didn't quite know how far they went, so I thought 'well now, I'm going to write them all down and find out how many there are,' (laughter) I know. This was when I was in grade school. I never got that question resolved.
Leo Tanghe (1909-1998)

Tuesday's Proverb

My son, should sinners entice you, and say, "Come along with us! Let us lie in wait for the honest man, let us, unprovoked, set a trap for the innocent;Let us swallow them up, as the nether world does, alive, in the prime of life, like those who go down to the pit! All kinds of precious wealth shall we gain, we shall fill our houses with booty; Cast in your lot with us, we shall all have one purse!"-- My son, walk not in the way with them, hold back your foot from their path! (For their feet run to evil, they hasten to shed blood.) (Proverbs 1:10-16)

Monday, February 05, 2007

A Little Plymouth History

I just finished reading The Times of Their Lives, by James Deetz and Patricia Scott Deetz. The subtitle of this book is Life, Love, and Death in Plymouth Colony. The details that the authors provide are both fascinating and insightful.

Taking information from court cases, probate lists and archaeological digs, they piece together what daily life may have been like in Plymouth Colony.

James Deetz was an archaeologist and his love for his subject shows when he writes about what various digs have uncovered in the Plymouth area. I find archaeology fascinating and very mysterious, this book helped me to understand the subject a bit more.

For eleven years James Deetz was the Assistant Director of the museum at Plimouth Plantation, and he includes a chapter on that living history museum.

I've long been interested in seeing Plimouth Plantation (for historical as well as personal reasons - while I didn't have any ancestors on the Mayflower, I did have one on the Fortune - the second ship to come to Plymouth Colony) and now it's getting pushed to the top of the list of vacation possibilities for this year.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Following Him

Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men.”
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:10-11)

They just left everything and followed.

Pretty big leap of faith.

Could I do it?

I'd like to think I could. But then, I think if Jesus asks were to come and ask this of me - I would know he was someone who could be trusted. I would know he was God.

They didn't know Jesus was the Son of God. They didn't know he would rise from the dead. He was a preacher; a teacher. He worked miracles and told stories. He lived an itinerant life, with no visible means of support - he didn't appear to be pursuing a career as a carpenter at this time.

And yet they left everything and followed him.

They left families.

They left jobs.

They left houses.

And for what? A period of time on the road - living on what people donated; a period of time on the run from the authorities after their leader was executed, and ultimately horrific deaths.

This couldn't have been an easy decision to make. There weren't a lot of items in the plus column. But they did it anyway.

Could we?

In thinking about this once, I thought about Simon Peter's wife. What would she have had to say about all this. And I wrote a story about her called "The Fisherman's Wife."

Note: I had always figured he must have a wife, because he had a mother-in-law - but just the other day I was reading something about Plymouth Colony and learned that "father-in-law" was sometimes said when what we would refer to as "step-father" was meant. Perhaps that was true in Simon Peter's case as well - since no wife is ever mentioned.

Friday, February 02, 2007

We Have Walls

Bathroom Update - End of Week Two
We're at the end of week two and have finally had all of our initial inspections. So, the walls can start to go up. It's starting to look like a room again.

Poetry Friday

In honor of winter, and the winter weather we are sometimes getting this year:

London Snow
by Robert Bridges

When men were all asleep the snow came flying,
In large white flakes falling on the city brown,
Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying,
Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town;
Deadening, muffling, stifling its murmurs failing;
Lazily and incessantly floating down and down:
Silently sifting and veiling road, roof and railing;
Hiding difference, making unevenness even,
Into angles and crevices softly drifting and sailing.

Read the rest of the poem here.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Heart of A Mother

There is a delightful new addition to the blogosphere. A Catholic Mom has decided to share reflections on the upcoming Sunday's Gospel from the perspective of a busy Mom. She's calling her blog Heart of A Mother, and I know I'm going to make it one of my regular reads.

The Literary DTs

I've never seen any one go through severe withdrawal from a controlled substance. But after telling Harry he had to stop reading the 3rd Harry Potter book before he finished it last night (because it was 10:30 and he is 6) I think I have a vague inkling of what it might be like.

He had convinced himself that he had to finish reading the book in January. So the simple suggestion of finish it in the morning was not good enough.

At first he just tried to be sneaky. We took the book away. He got it and sat back down to read. He even came in my room where I was trying to read and hid under MY covers with his book (hiding from his father, you understand, who obviously was going to find him there!).

Then we put the book out of reach.

The boy developed super human strength. He was hysterical and I couldn't contain him.

He announced his whole body was insisting that he read the book.

He was going to be sick if he didn't read the rest of the book.

We were firm in our "No" - after all - it was approaching 11 PM - and the boy is SIX!

Then he started bargaining.

He would go to sleep, if we just let him read to the next chapter.

Just four pages.

And then he would go to sleep.

No. (because of course: 11 PM and six years old)

I sat with him, I sang to him, I prayed with him. He calmed down.

I promised him, I'd return the book to him after he was asleep, so he could read it when he woke up in the morning.

He finally fell asleep.

I put the book near his bed.

First thing this morning - he started using the typewriter and working on the story he's writing.

Ummm - what about the hysteria, the book that needed to be finished?

I guess the pangs of detox were over, and he could finish it at his leisure now.