Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thankful for Halloween

Because - at least the way it's celebrated around here and by the people I know - it is such an innocent and fun holiday. (I know, I know there are pre-historic pagan ties and costumes in the stores that leave a lot to be desired.) But around here, it means dressing up in something fun (and I didn't see too many costumes that were gross or offensive or anything like that) and going to people's houses to get candy. The people in the houses are happy to give the candy - the children are more than happy to get it.

We respect people's rights not to be disturbed, and if their porch light is not on we don't stop. In our area people sometimes leave their candy out front in a bowl - that way if they are out trick-or-treating themselves they can still distribute their candy - and mostly I think people respect the honor system method of that.

The weather was beautiful, the kids had fun - and now have enough candy to keep them on a permanent sugar rush until Thanksgiving. We gave out all our candy (though the last of it was distributed on the honor-system, and I can't be 100% certain everyone was honorable).

What's not to like?

Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'm Thankful for Good Books

A book I've been waiting for a long time came out today. It's the fourth book in a series. The first three were written twenty years ago. I've owned them for twenty years and have re-read them many times. So, I'm thankful for good books and conveniently located bookstores.

I'm off to read now.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thankful for the Walk to School

Whenever the weather is nice enough I walk my children to school. It's about a half-mile - roughly 15 minutes at kids-walking-to-school speed.

I'm thankful because I can walk. And my children can walk. I'm thankful because we live in a neighborhood where I feel it is safe to walk. And because the walk is past a lovely creek where we can see Canada Geese and Mallard ducks pretty much year round - and sometimes an Egret or turtles. I'm thankful because it gives me a chance to talk to the kids about any variety of things.

And I'm also thankful that when it's rainy or very cold, I have a car, and can drive them to school.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thankful for the Eucharist

I should have written this post earlier today, before I spilled my cup of tea all over the counter while washing dishes (I was more thankful then.)

While we were at mass today I realized what a blessing we have in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Jesus comes to us. He allows Himself to be a part of us. We can get no closer to Him than that.

I'm thankful for that. And I'm thankful for the realization as well.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I'm Thankful for a Cup of Tea

A rainy and dreary morning seemed custom made for sitting with a steaming cup of tea.

I love my tea. I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but it's not unusual for me to have several cups of tea a day. I prefer flavored teas, and I don't take milk or sugar in my tea. That is because I became a tea drinker in college, and my roommate and I never seemed to have anything in our little fridge. But we did have tea bags - and water - and a hot pot. So we could have tea - but anything in it was just asking too much. We got to like it that way.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Yes, today I'm thankful it's Friday. I don't have to get up so early tomorrow - and most importantly, I don't have to make the children get up tomorrow (which of course means they'll wake early - why is that, anyway?). We just have to be able to make it to Harry's 10:15 guitar lesson. That seems very doable.

I'm thankful we have the weekend to relax and re-charge. Time to spend together as a family.

I'm also thankful that Harry's hockey game got canceled tonight (because of rain). Because I just didn't feel like sitting at the field at six o'clock tonight. And I didn't feel like trying to figure out if we should eat really early or really late. (I'm not quite as thankful now that the game has been rescheduled to Sunday at noon, but there are only two games left, so I'll deal with it.)

Touring London after a Hurricane

In this post I mentioned that when my friend and I toured London on that October day twenty years ago (and if I were organized enough I would have planned these posts to be exactly twenty years after each event - oh well) it was our outdoor tour. The plan was to see as much as we could see in one day and then go back another day to take the guided tours of places like Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London. So we picked a day to do our indoor tours. We chose October 16, 1987.

If that date doesn't ring any bells with you, perhaps it's because you weren't in England at the time and don't recall one of the worst wind storms southern England has ever had. Not quite a hurricane - but close enough to be called that by most people.

A little more back ground here. My touring buddy, Wendy, was not yet living in our house - she lived another mile or so down the road (she later moved in with us), and we didn't have phones. This is important - because we made plans to meet on the morning of the sixteenth. And although it had rained and the wind had howled for most of the night - and there were a lot of trees down and the wind was still howling - we couldn't call each other to cancel the trip. And the rain had stopped, so we figured we were good to go.

I waited at our appointed waiting place, for nearly half an hour before she arrived. "It took me more than twice as long as normal to get here," she told me, "because I was walking into the wind."

Perhaps this should have been our clue to stop there and pick another day. But we decided to persevere, after all, it wasn't raining anymore.

We got to our tube station only to find that either no trains were running, or they were so delayed that the crowds at the station were many people deep on the platforms. Not able to get into the center of the city this way, we decided to walk in.

It was really only a couple of miles, and other than the heavy winds, and all the fallen branches and big puddles, not that big a deal.

So, we finally made our way to Westminster Abbey, the first place on our list. And this time we knew exactly how to get to the front door. In we went, full of confidence, up to the tour desk and were promptly told - that because of the storm there would be no tours today.

Fine then. We wandered around on our own a little bit and went to the next place on our agenda. The Tower of London. Where the gates were closed and a sign hung on them saying "closed due to hurricane".

This was not boding well.

Where to now? Our plan had really only included Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London. We decided on Greenwich and the Royal Observatory and the Prime Meridian! Closed - because over 200 trees were down in the park.

We finally found a tourist attraction that was open. The London Dungeon. (I see on their website that they now have thrill rides there - that was certainly not the case 20 years ago). The eerie thing about the dungeons, besides all the displays of instruments of torture, was that due to the storm the ceiling was leaking, creating ominous drips and puddles and some of the lights were out. So it gave a little more of the feeling of a dungeon.

It was an interesting day - and we had to make another trip in later on to finally get to Westminster Abbey - and I didn't get a tour of the Tower of London until a day or two before I went home.

And one other thing - we had planned to go to Kew Gardens the following weekend but the Gardens was devastated by the storm, losing 700 trees and many rare plants. I don't believe it even opened again until after I had gone home in December.

Basic advice from all this: don't try to go sightseeing when a city is recovering from a hurricane.

Poetry Friday - The Raven

With Halloween just around the bend, my thoughts turn to things like poems by Poe. And while pondering what poem to use today, I was also thinking about the post I intend to write about my continued touring of London. And that post will mention the Tower of London. And the Tower of London has Ravens. And so - there you have it - the thought process that led to today's poem.

The Raven
by Edgar Allen Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more."

For the rest of the poem, go here.

The poetry round-up today is at Literary Safari.

Favorite Chicken Defined

In the comments of the last post, Barb asked what "favorite chicken" was. It's oven fried chicken based on this recipe (though I don't use the recipe anymore and sometimes make innovations.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thankful for Food Choices

I plan my menus by the week. And for today the menu called for 'sausage spinach calzone'. I threw the ingredients for the dough in the bread machine - using the rest of my flour as I did so (flour promptly got written down on the grocery list) and turned it on. That taken care of, I took the children shopping so Pippi could replace her inexplicably mangled umbrella. When we got back, I made sure the ricotta cheese was defrosted, and I took the spinach and sausage out of the freezer in preparation.

The bread machine beeped to indicate it was ready. I noted it and went about doing other things - I didn't have to start the calzone quite yet.

And then it was time to start the calzone, I put some flour on a baking sheet and opened the bread machine - only to find - not a nice dough - but a big glop of stuff - looking very much like it did when I poured it in. I don't know what went wrong. I just knew that sausage-spinach calzone was no longer a viable option for dinner. So back in the freezer went the spinach and the sausage.

And then I had to do some quick thinking, after all, at this point it was five o'clock.

But I had choices - and I chose to make a meal the children call 'Favorite chicken.'

And although I'm annoyed that my bread machine seems to have decided to stop working, and I was kind of in the mood for sausage-spinach calzone, I'm very thankful that I had other choices - and not just one. I had food in the freezer, I had things I could cook. And failing that I had the resources to order out for pizza if I needed to.

So many people don't have those options, and I sometimes forget to be thankful for the simple fact that I do have enough food to eat and even daily options about what we will eat. Life is full of blessings. Thank you, God.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thankful when a Little Rain Falls

It's raining now - and will be raining on and off for the next few days. It's a soft gentle rain (at least right now) and I do wish I could send it to Southern California where they would really appreciate it. But I do appreciate it here. I like it because I know we always need the rain to make things grow - and to avoid tinderbox conditions. I also like rain, because it gives a chance to sit back and relax - to catch up on inside things, to curl up with a good book, or some crocheting without feeling like there is something else you should be doing. And it's easier to get the kids to do homework (usually).

So, today I'm thankful for the rain.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

There are so many little things we can be thankful for all the time. Even when things look bad, there is usually something we can find to be grateful for.

Last week, our pastor presented the idea of a "thanksgiving bag". You take a small paper bag, put it in the middle of the kitchen table and every day each member of the family puts in a slip of paper with something written on it that they are thankful for. Then, on Thanksgiving, you can dump out the bag and see how many blessings you really do have in your life.

I'm not sure we're going to be organized to do the Thanksgiving bag as it should be done, but I thought I'd post something I was thankful for each day until Thanksgiving.

Day 1.
I'm thankful for my family; both immediate and extended. I am blessed with a network of loving caring people who really want the best for each other. So I'm thankful for my husband, my daughter, my son, my parents, my brothers, my sisters-in-law, my nephews and niece, my in-laws and brother-in-law, my aunts and uncles and all my cousins.

Tuesday's Proverb

Put away from you dishonest talk, deceitful speech put far from you. (Proverbs 4:24)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Can't Find the Front Door Tour

Twenty years ago I went to London. I lived there for three months as a student. I lived in a row house with a bright blue door, in the East End of London (famous for Jack the Ripper and EastEnders) with five other girls - three British, two other Americans.

On October 1, 1987, one of my American friends and I decided to spend the day as typical American tourists. The rest of the time we weren't tourists - we were living there, riding the tube and the buses, shopping at Sainsbury's, going to the local pub (the Essex Arms). But on this day we decided to just do some good old fashioned sight seeing in the center of London.

What follows are some excerpts from that day and why if you ever see a tour company called "Chris and Wendy's Excursions" run the other way (but luckily we aren't planning on starting a tour company, so you should be safe).

We made our way to the center of London and got off at a tube station that seemed promising. "Westminster" - after all, there was Westminster Abbey - this should be a good place to start. Emerging from the underground station we noticed a large clock. Upon consultation with each other (this tour required a lot of consultation with each other) we decided that this was Big Ben - and took pictures of it and got our bearings on our map.

We noticed that the police were blocking off the street and a large crowd was gathering - across the street from what we determined was Westminster Abbey. Something big seemed to be about to happen. Wendy (my touring partner) joined the crowd and said "I'm just going to stand here for a minute and pretend that I know what is going on." I joined her, but after a few minutes of blissful ignorance, Wendy casually asked someone, "Why are we all standing here."

"It is the annual changing of the judges," we were told. "It takes place once a year on October first. They are having a special service for the judges in the Abbey now, and then they will cross the street to their cars."

So we stayed and watched the robed and wigged judges cross the street in an atmosphere of pomp and circumstance.

We decided to come back to the Abbey when the crowd had dispersed and visit another site first. Studying our map we decided to walk through St. James Park toward Trafalgar Square - but we went the wrong way.

We saw a large monument in the distance and walked toward that. It turned out to be Queen Victoria's statue. She looked rather stern. She was on a circle completely surrounded by traffic, but we managed to avoid getting hit as we ran across the street to it.

After careful deliberation and consideration Wendy and I decided that the changing of the guard does indeed take place at Buckingham Palace and that the rather ugly building in front of us was indeed that Palace. It was not time for the changing of the guard, and as nothing too interesting was going on there, we headed back to the Abbey - where the crowd had dispersed.

We went back to where we had been and approached the Abbey only to find that there was no public access, only a sign saying "Use West Entrance." Not having a compass with us - and no usable sense of direction, we didn't know which way to point ourselves to find that. So on the theory that if we walked around the building, we'd eventually get to it, we started out.

The first thing we encountered was the Jewel Tower. This tower no longer held the Crown Jewels, but it did hold the Standards of Measurement, so we took a good look at the official gallon and yard before moving on.

Moving on in the direction we had been going required us to climb a low fence. Which we did. But something about this venture didn't seem right. Didn't thousands of people visit Westminster Abbey every day? They all didn't have to climb over this fence did they? What were we doing wrong?

We came to a corner and turned. Now we were on a quiet street with a wall on one side - the wall surrounding the Abbey. There was an opening in the wall and a path leading up to a door. We went up the path and stopped in front of the small, residential looking door. There was a doorbell.

A little careful deliberation led us to the conclusion that the main door of Westminster Abbey would not have a doorbell, and we opted not to ring it, but to continue the search for a way into the church.

We came to a larger opening in the wall, and groups of school boys in academic robes walking past, this seemed promising - at least there was a courtyard. And people. Lots of people. And a large entrance into the building. Finally. We'd found it - a way into Westminster Abbey.

So we proceeded in, but did notice that every one else seemed to be walking towards us, and that all of the grave markers on the ground were facing the other direction, yes, we'd walked in the exit.

But as we continued our backward tour through the Abbey we finally did come to the entrance, and made note of it for the next time (because this was our outdoor tour day - we were planning to come back another day - to take inside tours of the buildings- and that my friends is a whole other story which I'll share some day.)

After Westminster Abbey we found the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge - both without incident. Then there was only one thing on our list of 'must sees' for the day. St. Paul's Cathedral.

We studied our map again and headed in the right direction. We actually found the cathedral without any problems - although it had proven to be quite a long walk. However, once again, when confronted with a large building - we didn't see any front entrance. Knowing that at the Abbey we had gone to our left when confronted with this problem, we decided to go to the right this time.

And - yes - you guessed what happened - after walking seven-eighths of the way around the building we finally found the famous front steps of St. Paul's. We went up - only to be told that we couldn't go inside because it was 5:30 and the building closed at six.

With this day as proof, Wendy and I decided that we could never open our own tour company. But it was certainly more memorable than simply easily walking in the front of every building we came to - and more interesting. And I have always wondered - who would have answered had we rung the doorbell we encountered at Westminster Abbey. Hmmm.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Poetry Friday - Tomorrow

The kids and I have started reading some Shakespeare again. And while we are starting with Hamlet, Pippi and I were looking over Macbeth the other day. And I came upon this quote - which I had to memorize in High School - and still know.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. --From Macbeth (V, v, 19), by William Shakespeare.

And then when I was heading this post, it made me think of the song Tomorrow from Annie

The sun will come out, tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow, there'll be sun
Just thinkin' about, tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow
til there's none

When I'm stuck with the day thats gray and lonely
I just stick out my chin and grin and say, ohhh

The sun will come out, tomorrow
So you gotta hang on til tomorrow
Come what may...

go here for rest of lyrics.

It really is just a matter of perspective. Isn't it?

The poetry Friday round-up is over at Kelly Fineman's place.


They say a picture is worth a thousand
words. To that end, and to all who appreciate the stories about Harry that I post, I present to you - Harry.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


For Harry's 2nd grade Religious Education class the students had to write a report on their name saint, and today they are going to have a Holyween party and dress up like their saint.

Without revealing Harry's true name, let me just say that when he heard this he thought for a moment and said "I'm going to need a lot of make-up."

It didn't take me long to figure out where he was coming from and I assured him that he was not going to go as the Saint after he'd been stoned.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

With closest custody, guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

Making Do

The other day, as the kids were checking out the mini-TV I have in the kitchen cupboard (and don't watch much, because it doesn't get very good reception anymore), we were discussing the fact that in a year or two when the signals change to digital, we won't be able to use the TV at all.

Pippi was disappointed, but said "Oh well, I guess I'll just have to make do with an iPod."

Yes, life is difficult.

(Of course Pippi doesn't own an iPod, so I guess that does make it tougher for her.)

Four Sports and Seven Years Ago

That's what Harry wants to name a blog he hopes to start. I think it's inspired.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Poetry Friday - Wind

The summer like days of earlier in the week gave way to torrential downpours yesterday and bright sunshine and lots of wind today (and temperatures twenty degrees lower than Monday)

So in honor of the wind that blows my front door open if I don't shut it tightly enough here is a little Robert Louis Stevenson for poetry Friday.

The Wind
by Robert Louis Stevenson

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies' skirts across the grass--
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all--
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

The Poetry Friday round up is at Two Writing Teachers.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Looking for Book Suggestions

The other day Pippi noticed that there were a lot of interesting things in her social studies book. Things like the California Gold Rush, the dust bowl and World War II, but she doubts they'll ever get that far in the book (The book starts in pre-historic times)so she thought it might be nice to read some books set in those time periods. Actually, she specifically wants books set in the 1st half of the 20th century in America (where people aren't riding in buggies and wearing sun bonnets). They don't have to be specific about a topic - just using the time period.

She's ten - so some books are naturally going to be inappropriate (I won't be recommending The Grapes of Wrath to her anytime soon). She is an advanced reader so she can move beyond the American Girl books (though she did recently re-read the Kit ones to get a feel for the depression).

Any suggestions welcome. Thanks

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

My son, to my words be attentive, to my sayings incline your ear; Let them not slip out of your sight, keep them within your heart; For they are life to those who find them, to man's whole being they are health. (Proverbs 4:20-22)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Wondering Whether or Not to Have Children?

Head on over and read Karen Edmisten's post on the matter. It's well worth the read.

Pumpkin Picking

85 degrees didn't make it the perfect day to be pumpkin picking. Somehow it doesn't seem like one should be wishing one were at the beach when walking through a corn maze. Because we did do the corn maze. Tried the "scenic route" instead of "easy street" - 40 minutes later found our way back to "easy street" and found our way out. Harry was disappointed - he wanted to find the "scenic route" way out. And he wanted to be lost in the corn maze. I said we were lost in the corn maze. But we did eventually find our way out. (I never really doubted that we would.)

And then it was time to pick a pumpkin. Today the kids picked pumpkins appropriate for painting faces on - closer to Halloween we'll get some that they can carve.

There were also some fun little 'gravestones' in the pumpkin field. It's hard to read what this one says in the picture. It says "Virgina Ham - Not Cured".

It was a lovely fall thing to do - too bad it felt like summer.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Climbing the Walls

Harry likes to climb walls. Usually it's in the doorways of our house. But yesterday, with Pippi away on a Girl Scout sleepover we took Harry to a local sporting goods store that has a rock climbing wall. He made it almost all the way to the top before his hands got too tired and he came back down again. But he wants to try again. Today. Though, we may make him wait a little longer than that.

Harry enjoyed his adventure, but he does miss his sister. Last night, when he couldn't sleep he told me he was "family-person sick". After all, he couldn't be home-sick - he was home.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Once Upon A Long Ago....

I went to England. To be specific, it was twenty years ago this fall that I spent a semester as a student of Queen Mary College, University of London. It was a great experience, and perhaps I'll write a series of posts about it - but for now there's one aspect of it I want to talk about.

While I was there the song 'Once Upon a Long Ago' by Paul McCartney hit the top of the charts. You couldn't help hearing this song everywhere - on the radio - in the stores - all over. And I loved this song.

I thought about buying the tape and bringing it home with me - but opted not to. This was a well thought out decision. The stock market had crashed while I was there, and I (as well as my fellow American students) had been told by parents that the money we had already exchanged was all we'd be getting - because the exchange rate had tanked. So, economically, it made little sense to buy the tape there, when I was sure I could get it at home. After all, this was Paul McCartney - not some obscure singer. And the song was Number One. And had been for weeks.

So, I get home and find that no one over here has ever heard of the song. It's not playing on the radio. It's as if it doesn't exist. But, that's okay. I did know which album it was on, so all I had to do was wait for the album to be released in the states. And it was a 'best of' album. And it was Paul McCartney. All I had to do was wait, and I'd get my song.

I waited. And finally one day I saw the album "All the Best" in the stores. I picked it up, and turned it over - and checked the list of songs. 'Once Upon a Long Ago' was not on the album. I couldn't believe it. It was a number one song by Paul McCartney and I couldn't get my hands on it.

After that I began a fruitless quest to get this album. If someone was going to England - I'd ask them to look for me - but somehow things never quite worked out.

Then a few years later my friend and I were on vacation in Holland. We were eating breakfast in the hostel we'd stayed at and I became aware of music playing. And it was that song. I hadn't thought about trying to buy the song in Holland - but now the quest began anew.

And I was successful. I bought the tape, I was able to listen to the song again. All was right with the world.

Then last year, I was telling my children about this song, and the saga behind obtaining it. I wanted to play it for them. I found the tape. Found a tape player that worked and inserted tape. I fast-forwarded to right before the song, and hit play. We listened to the end of the previous song and 'Once Upon A Long Ago' started playing. And then stopped.

No matter how many times we tried, or on what player we used, my tape refused to work - when it got to that song.

So, once again, I didn't have the song. With the internet it's a bit easier now - you can order things from far and wide - so I knew all I had to do was find the CD and purchase it - but I hadn't got to it yet. Then the other day my mother reminded me about iTune - perhaps I could purchase just that song.

And then it hit me. Youtube. And I checked. And sure enough, there were actually two video versions of the song. Now, I can listen whenever I want, and I can share it with you - for Poetry Friday.

Once Upon a Long Ago
by Paul McCartney

Picking up scales and broken chords
Puppy dog tails in the House of Lords
Tell me darling
What can it mean?

Making up moons in a minor key
What have those tunes got to do with me?
Tell me darling
Where have you been?

Once upon a long ago
Children searched for treasure
Nature's plan went hand in hand
With pleasure
Such pleasure.

rest of lyrics here.

Poetry Friday is being hosted by Whimsy.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

In Honor of the Feast of St. Francis

Apples and more apples

We came home with 50 pounds of apples from our excursion the other day. It's a good thing we like apples.

So far we've had:
Baked Apples
Apple Pie
Apple Cake
Pork Chops with Apples
Apple Pancakes

and of course - apples to snack on.

I love apple season.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

The path of the wicked enter not, walk not on the way of evil men; Shun it, cross it not, turn aside from it, and pass on. For they cannot rest unless they have done evil; to have made no one stumble steals away their sleep. For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. The way of the wicked is like darkness; they know not on what they stumble. (Proverbs 4:14-19)

Are You Asking Me?

Jen Robinson recently mentioned a call for World Punctuation Day. I whole-heartedly support this day, especially if it can help me with my rather unique problem?

My problem is question marks. They never seem to go in the right place in my writing? I'll write a sentence that I know to be inquisitive and end it with a very prosaic period, instead of the required question mark. Why is that. I don't know? Because then I go and do the very opposite. I'll write something I know is a declarative sentence and finish it off with a question mark, as if I were a valley girl, or just not very sure of myself?

This is a long-standing problem, and I'm sure others who have read my unedited writing would vouch for it? It's also very embarrassing, because, I'm an editor by trade and really shouldn't have a problem with these things?

Thank goodness for Word, which puts that lovely green squiggly line under grammar problems.

And, yes, I did stretch the point in this post and put question marks where I know they don't belong, and leave out ones I knew should go there. But I really do have a problem with this.

So - I say Yay to a World Punctuation Day! Especially if it will help the question-mark challenged, like myself?

Have You Thanked Your Angel Today?

Aren't we lucky? God has provided each of us with a guardian. Our very own angel. Today is the feast of Guardian Angels. A perfect time to spend some time contemplating this wonderful gift. And what a thankless job those guardian angels have. They stop us from stepping off curbs in front of cars, stop those pianos from falling on our heads (I admit, not the most likely scenario- but consider, when was the last time you saw a piano fall on anyone - see, the angels are doing their job). So, today, be sure to thank your guardian angel. I'm sure your angel will appreciate it.

By the way - the picture above is of a cross-stitch I did that is hanging in my daughter's room.
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A Little Meme Quiz

Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii tagged me for this little quiz. So, here goes:

Here's a fun quiz made up especially for bloggers. The rules are easy. Just post the quiz on your blog and answer the questions, then pass it on to five other bloggers, and link to them in your post. Be sure to link back to the one who sent it to you.

1. Do you attend the Traditional Latin Mass or the Novus Ordo?
Novus Ordo. I've never been to a Latin Mass.

2. If you attend the TLM, how far do you drive to get there?

3. If you had to apply a Catholic label to yourself, what would it be?
Labels are only good if everyone understands the definition of them. But I guess I'd have to say "post-Vatican II"

4. Are you a comment junkie?
I don't think so. I post comments when I'm moved to. I like getting comments.

5. Do you go back to read the comments on the blogs you’ve commented on?
If I remember where I've commented.

6. Have you ever left an anonymous comment on another blog?
I don't think so.

7. Which blogroll would you most like to be on?
I'm happy for any blogroll I'm on.

8. Which blog is the first one you check?
Whichever ones have new posts in Google Reader.

9. Have you met any other bloggers in person?
Yes. Liz, Barb and Ellen. If I've met others I haven't been aware they were bloggers.

10. What are you reading?
The Love Letters by Madeleine L'Engle .

I pass this quiz on to whoever wants to do it.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Feast of The Little Flower

Today is the feast day for St. Theresa of Lisieux. Many other people around the Catholic blogosphere have written about her today, and you can find lots of information about her here. But I didn't want this feast to go unacknowledged by me, because in a way St. Theresa could be the patron saint of this blog. She focused on "The Little Way", I try to focus on the "simple and ordinary" - are they really all that different? Well, yeah - I guess they are - but what I'm trying to say is that by focusing on the simple and the ordinary things in life and finding the blessed in them, I try to do what St. Theresa tried to do with her "little way".

We nearly named our daughter Theresa Rose - but opted for a different Saint's name for her first name instead (her name isn't really Pippi, you know).

So I guess I just wanted to acknowledge a Saint today that I feel a special affinity for. Happy Feast Day, St. Theresa.

Go Forth and Spread the Word

I got an interesting letter in the mail today. It was addressed to "our neighbors" with a return address from another part of town. I figured it was a solicitation for a charity, so I opened it up.

I was surprised to find, not a request for money, but a hand-written letter from the Jehovah Witnesses.

Here is what it said:

Hello Neighbor:

We wanted to clear this up once and for all. Maybe you can pass the word along. People rarely take the time it seems to find out for themselves why we do what we do. Most just shut the door with a wave. Sometimes worse. Still we continue.

The Bible says love they neighbor which is where you come in and what we are trying to do. It also says that God wants man to share his word. It reads at Acts 10:42 preach to the people and to give a thorough witness. Then at Acts 20:20 Jesus tells us how -- and while I did not hold back from telling you publicly or from house to house -- so you see, we're just following the will of God.

When people ask are you Jehovah Witnesses we have to say "we're trying to be" but with all the negativity we encounter the work is not easy. We are offering to all we meet free home Bible studies. So when we do find an honest hearted one it makes all this effort with while.

God's word, the Bible, is truly a blessing to all that partake. So if you or someone you know would like to see just how much our creator loves us, to give us so much comfort, and understanding through life's challenges.. we can help. That's all we had to say. Thank you for listening.

I must say, that when the Witnesses - and the Mormon's also - have come to the door, I am always willing to engage in a short conversation (okay, once I was on my way out and trying to get toddlers ready, so not so willing that time). But, I am strong in my faith and will not be converted. So I can assure them that I know God loves me and all that.

I must honestly say I don't really understand Jehovah's Witnesses. But, I thoroughly admire their willingness to go door to door and try to tell people something that a lot of people don't really want to hear. I don't have the courage to do that.

They are right, Jesus did tell us to go and preach his word to others. Good for them for trying to do just that. It's too bad that I never seem to have the words that would convert these brave people to Catholicism. Imagine having witnesses like that talking up the Catholic Church!

So when all is said and done, I don't agree with their view of religion, but I sure admire their willingness to witness to others. I just never thought they'd do it through the mail!

What We Did Sunday

In brief: apple picking, wine tasting (not for the kids), kite flying, crossing the Delaware, fishing, great family time.