Friday, February 29, 2008

Drinking Away One's Sorrows?

Everyone knows that the focus of my blog is...not. It doesn't have any one particular (or general?) focus. This does have its advantages. When I see an astounding article like this, I can share it with you. Does it "fit" the blog? Why not? Basically my blog is whatever is on my mind or heart, or what I find interesting that I hope you may too. Without further ado, I thought you might find this article interesting. Or maybe enlightening:

Drinking Makes Heart Grow More Sorrowful, Study Finds

Although, due to alcoholism in the extended family, I jokingly refer to myself as a prohibitionist, I am not sharing this article to say, "Don't drink." (I am, after all, Catholic.)

I don't want to tell you "Don't..." about anything, but if I were going to, I would definitely want to say, "Don't drink to drown your sorrows." Very dangerous practice. But now we have a laboratory test about it. Wow!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What Flavor Ice Cream Are You?

You Are Strawberry Ice Cream

A bit shy and sensitive, you are sweet to the core.

You often find yourself on the outside looking in.

Insightful and pensive, you really understand how the world works.

You are most compatible with chocolate chip ice cream.

This, of course, was just for fun. I don't know how different these quizzes are from reading a fortune cookie. Just random? But hey, at least the ice cream is pink!

Middle Name Meme

I was tagged by Jean at Catholic Fire for this meme. Thank you, Jean.


1. You have to post the rules before you give your answers.
2. You must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don’t have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother’s maiden name).
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name.

M - Merry. I am a merry pessimist. What's that? I can often see the bad things may be coming...but I also enjoy laughing a lot - at myself and at life.

A - Attitude. "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me." (Phillipians 4:13)

R - Rosary. I don't kneel down and say the whole Rosary every day, but it accompanies me, comforts me, and supports me, a little at a time, through my day.

Y - You. You are important to me: you, my reader; you, my friend; you, of course, my family.

I will tag:

A Woman Seeking Grace
By Sun and Candlelight
Crazy Acres
Karen Edmisten

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Preschool Resources

As I was searching for just the right pictures for my preschool class at our homeschool co-op, it occurred to me to share with you my updated list of resources in case you are interested, or know someone who would be.

Websites for Pictures to Color:
My Friend Magazine (Wide variety of Catholic pictures)
Apples 4 the Teacher (Lots of choices)
Lucy Learns.Com (good source of some simple animal pictures)
ABC Teach (Patterns for coloring or making shape books)
St. Jude's Coloring Book (explaining the Mass to children)
Coloring Saints.Com (Rosary pictures and Saint pictures)

Craft Books I've Gotten from the Library:

The Big Book of Bible Crafts by Kim Sullivan Fiano
Arts and Crafts Projects for Preschoolers by Judy Nayer
Preschool Arts and Crafts by Grace Jasmine

Note: Please observe copyright requests. For example, some say you may print the picture as long as you leave the copyright on the page.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Mass is the Mass

As some of you know, I'm a convert, having come to the Catholic Church at the age of 18, via a pseudo-Catholic cult. Finding my way back to the real Fold was an interesting journey.

Along the way, I acquired some ideas that I no longer hold. One of those was the concept that the new Mass (changed in the sixties) was inferior, and worse, not good and something to avoid attending at all costs.

I don't believe that anymore, and I am so delighted now - every time I am able to attend either the traditional Mass or the mainstream Mass (sometimes called the "new Mass").

So when I read this blog post tonight at Venite Missa Est, I really enjoyed it. You can read it here (scroll down to In Defense of Novus Ordo Missae).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

For the Love of Literature

I wrote the following this morning to my author friend Maureen Wittmann, and then decided that I ought to share it with you as well:

"I want to tell you that I've been doing something with your book For the Love of Literature that I never usually do with a non-fiction book: reading it from beginning to end. I am especially enjoying the history section, where I am getting a timeline in my head, seeing who lived at the same time as whom, and meeting old authors whom I knew from one book or two and getting excited that they've written so many. The book is an education in itself and I can't wait to start getting the books that are on the lists."

Monday, February 11, 2008

Site Meter and Search Engines

As a blogger, I've just discovered a new way to go crazy. (Like I needed new ways.) Although I have a site meter, I don't check it often...I especially don't look often to see how someone came to my site. But doing so can be an interesting pastime.

I found someone was looking for a split pea soup recipe (hope you liked it), a prayer to St. Helena (you're welcome), and Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (I hope you found what you were looking for).

But some of the referrals were a little harder to comprehend, like the one coming from a blog, where there didn't seem to be any link or mention of me. How'd the person get here? And a search for Valentine's Day for a certain age of child. I explored several Google pages to see how they got to me before giving up.

Now I know why I don't visit my Site Meter too often. I have a bit too much to do right now to run off down winding trails. But whatever you've come for, you are welcome and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Margaret in Minnesota's Saint Friends

Earlier in the week, I participated in the Saint Friends Meme, and tagged the other MM, Margaret in Minnesota. (By "the" other MM, I don't mean to leave out any other MM's. She is simply the only other MM blogger I know at the moment.)

I alway enjoy reading Margaret's posts, and this is no exception...or is it? On second thought, it's an exception because it's exceptional! You can read it, too, by clicking here.

Than you, Margaret, for sharing your answers.

Friday, February 08, 2008

St. Josephine Bahkita

Today is the feast day of St. Josephine Bahkita, who was born in 1869 in the Sudan to a good family who was relatively wealthy. At the age of nine she was captured by slave traders, and suffered much in the coming years. Her fourth master took her to Italy where, while living with her fifth master, she decided to become a Christian. This patient, forgiving young woman was finally freed as she came of age, because slavery was illegal in Italy.

Josephine became a Canossian Sister, helping with the housework. The sisters asked her to do missionary work, telling her faith story from town to town. Although she was reluctant to attract attention to herself, she did this for a year "for God's glory". After that, she served cheerfully as doorkeeper and later as cook. She loved to pray before the crucifix or tabernacle.

In 1947 Josephine died of pneumonia and in 2002 she was canonized a saint by Pope John Paul II. One of the things she loved to say was:

"Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!"
~ St. Josephine Bakhita

Hat tip to Jean at Catholic Fire who gives a more extensive biography at her site.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ash Wednesday Thoughts

"What can I share on my blog for Ash Wednesday?" I've been thinking for a couple hours. I think I used to share more about my life or thoughts here at my blog than I have been lately. Well, maybe I figured out how public a blog is, or maybe I have just been a bit overwhelmed with too many different things to think about lately. It seems that I share what someone else has to say more than what I'm thinking. Today I will try to do a little of both.

I've noticed that some people stop blogging for Lent. That's good if it gives them more time for prayer and reflection, and I guess we get to sacrifice reading their blogs. Today my friend Holly said on her blog that she plans to blog more often for Lent. Now I like that! I can't wait to hear her thoughts.

Last night someone asked me if I'm going to give up the internet for Lent. Um, no; I don't think so! Actually, I consider email a way of staying connected with loved ones, and blogging an opportunity to spread a few good words, however poorly.

But I would like to do a few little things, among them maybe be online a little less and pray a little more. And a wonderful idea I got from a good priest's blog, A Shepherd's Voice, is to say a prayer before getting on the internet. He has a prayer on the post, written by a Father Zuhlsdorf. If you're interested, check it out here. Of course, we can say any prayer we want, but what a neat idea to always offer a prayer before we enter this world of abundant thought.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mother Hen

At the moment, I'm feeling more like a sick chick (maybe some Lenten sacrifices will improve my overall health).

But here's the kind of mother hen these folks say I am:

What type of Mother Hen Are You?
by Educational Resource

Hat tip for the quiz to Dawn at Sun and Candlelight.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

C.S. Lewis Quote

This is so true, isn't it?

We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. -- C.S. Lewis

Thank you to Danielle Bean, who has this pithy quote in her sidebar.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A Gaggle of Saint Friends Meme

I was tagged for this meme by Jean of Catholic Fire. Thank you, Jean!

Rules: Answer the questions! You can give a reason for the answer if you like. As for tagging people, you tag as many as you want or as few...minimum of one. There's no obligation to play. Last of all, have fun!

1. First Saint you "met"? The Blessed Virgin Mary, through whom I was converted to the Catholic Faith. I was introduced to St. Therese soon after. Many years later I wrote a Little Saint Therese Book for young children, which is available for free, online.

2. Favorite Saint(s)? Blessed Mother, St. Therese, St. Margaret Mary, St. Joseph, St. Anthony, St. Martin de Porres...and, last but not least, St. Francis, whom I "knew" before becoming a Catholic.

3. Patron saint for the year? I didn't know there was such a thing until this year. I was assigned St. Thomas the Apostle, who said: Unless I put my hands in his wounds, I will not believe (perhaps appropriate for me, so maybe he can help me grow); and St. Lawrence who, as he was being burned, said: You can turn me over now; I'm done on that side (maybe not so appropriate for me, so maybe he can help me grow).

4. Favorite book by a saint? Story of a Soul by St. Therese.

5. Saint book you are reading now? Quick, grab a book! Naw, I'll be honest; not reading a saint book right now.

6. Favorite movie of a saint? "A Man for All Seasons", about St. Thomas More.

7. Favorite Autobiography/Biography of a saint? Besides Story of a Soul by St. Therese...St. Francis of Assisi by Johannes Jorgenson.

8. Favorite novel/book of a saint? Behold This Heart by Rev. H. J. Heagney, about St. Margaret Mary, although I generally prefer for books about real people to be non-fiction.

9. Saint (besides your favorites) you'd want to meet? St. Helena.

10. Saint you look to for help? St. Joseph for finances and desperate situations, and St. Anthony to find things, whether lost items or not...sometimes to find things for me to buy economically. (Now you know my secret.)

11.Favorite saint quote? St. Thomas the Apostle, "My Lord and My God."

12. Favorite Holy Card? Infant Jesus of Prague Novena on the back, which begins, "O Jesus, who has said, Ask and you shall receive, Seek and you shall find..." etc. This novena is said every hour for nine hours, so I love praying it when I'm very concerned or in a hurry.

13. Favorite story of a saint? When Our Lord was dying on the cross, He said to St. John, "Behold thy Mother" and to Mary, "Behold thy son". This is my favorite, when He gave us His Mother, through St. John, to be our Mother too.

14. If you could go anywhere on a pilgrimage to a saint's homeland, where would it be? I haven't thought about it, but I have loved being where saints have been: In the California missions where Blessed Junipero Serra lived and worked; at St. Alponsus Church in Baltimore where we go to church, where St. John Neumann and Blessed Francis Seelos were both pastors (at different times); and St. Brigid's Church in Baltimore, where we have our homeschool co-op, where James Cardinal Gibbons (author of the book Faith of Our Fathers) was once pastor (different building but same location).

15. Any Blesseds or Venerables that you would like to become canonized? Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Zelie, the mother of St. Therese. Blessed Junipero Serra.

I will tag Margaret, of Minnesota Mom, if she has the time and would like to do it. No pressure here, Margaret. And the linking thing I did is not necessary. I just had fun with it.

Anyone else who would like to do this is also welcome. And again, anyone is welcome to tell us about your favorite saints, saint stories, saint quotes or whatever, in the comments!

Friday, February 01, 2008

A New Book Meme

I was tagged for a book meme by Alexandra at Happy Hearts at Home.

Thank you, Alexandra, for thinking of me.

1) Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Too many battles for me and too much detail to keep track of. I like The Hobbit, though.

2) If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

John Rokesmith, Bella Wilfer, and Lizzie Hexam from Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens. I'd have breakfast with them. This lesser-known book, by the way, is my favorite Dickens book...and Dickens is my favorite fiction writer.

3) (Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realize it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge. I've read it, but wouldn't want to have to read it again.

4) Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

I can't think of a specific title. I do like to read book catalogs, book reviews and narratives, and then when someone mentions a book I haven't read, I may be able to discuss it somewhat intelligently or at least have some idea what they're talking about.

5) You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (If you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead and personalize the VIP).

I would recommend Harry Potter, book one. Why? Because the books are both character driven and plot driven, and with the VIP "not being a big reader" maybe he would find reading to be an interesting pursuit and become a more enthusiastic reader.

6) A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?


7) A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

Jesus of Nazareth by Mother Mary Loyola.

8) What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?

A new (to me) Catholic author: Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle.

9) That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leather bound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favorite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

My books would be well organized on ample bookshelves in an open, well-lighted room. They would include autographed books by all my favorite homeschool authors, and lots of current Catholic titles. I would also have lots of classics, including everything by Charles Dickens, Zane Grey, and L. M. Montgomery.

A word about "tagging and me". I sometimes do not tag specific people for memes and awards because there are a limited number of blogs that I visit...and some of those are people who rarely join in memes and awards. I might have gotten to know more bloggers by now if my blog had continued to be my mission, my apostolate, my life (my life other than my family, my prayers, and my homeschooling). But since I became active in a homeschool co-op, which includes teaching preschool for several hours once a week, with preparation during the week, I have another mission, apostolate and hobby vying for my time and attention.

So rather than tag the same people I always do, or tag people who are not interested in participating, I would like to "tag" anyone who is interested. If you do pick this up from here, leave me a comment if you would, so my readers and I can enjoy your answers.

Also, if you do not have a blog, PLEASE FEEL FREE to answer any of the above questions in the comments box. We would be interested to hear what you have to say! (Please just copy or restate the question so we know which one you are answering.)

Oh, and one word about comments. If you do not have or want a Google account or other sign-in account, I believe you can still leave a comment. Click on the button for Anonymous. Then just sign your name at the end of the post so we know who you are. If you don't want to sign your full name, you can sign a first name or even a pseudonym.

God Bless!