Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Enforced downtime

With all great intentions, I had planned on participating in Jen’s 7-in-7.  I even had a few ideas for things I wanted to write about.  Alas, it was just not meant to be. 

Sunday after doing some futzing and clean up on this page (I added labels) I decided to install some patches on my laptop.  Sometime after that, my eight or nine year old machine gave up the ghost.  The screen went black and the hard drive started making an awful noise and just spins and spins. 

I knew I was going to need to get a new machine, I was just hoping it would be at my leisure.  I have one ordered and it should come early next week.  Do you know just how hard it is to find machines that still have Windows 7?  Very.  And I know I do not want Windows 8, not my thing!

As annoying as it is to have to scramble to get a new machine, there’s been a big plus in all this.  I don’t have a device that is eating up all my “spare” time.  I knew I spent too much time on the computer playing games and catching up on my favorite TV shows that I can watch online.  I now see just how much that was.

Just in the couple of days that I’ve been laptopless, I’ve gotten a lot of long neglected chores done.  A year and a half worth of paperwork has been gone through and is ready to be filed.  Cleaning has been done.  I’ve been reading another great book

So, I sneak writing and posting this at work and I’ll see you sometime next week!


Monday, February 17, 2014

A good read: Race With the Devil

Saturday I made the comment that even when I'm not writing about Chesterton, I'm writing about Chesterton.  I think that this has to be one of those cases.
2010 GKC conference: Himself, Pearce, me
Back in 2010 we attended the Chesterton conference where one of the speakers was Joseph Pearce.  Himself had just finished Wisdom and Innocence, Pearce's biography of Chesterton and I had started it.  After his talk we had the opportunity to meet the author and get his autograph on our well worn copy of the book.  This past summer Pearce was once again a speaker at the Chesterton conference, this time talking about Tolkien and the Hobbit. 
2013 GKC conference: Pearce
Both times we heard him speak he was both entertaining and brilliantly informative.  Often during his talks and, in the introductions Dale Ahlquist gave, his storied past was alluded to.  He had spent time in prison on two occasions and was active the white supremacist movement in Britain during the seventies and eighties.
Thankfully, after all the biographies he has written, he has put pen to paper about his own story.  In Race With the Devil he will tell you that the book is not so much an autobiography as it is his conversion story. 
Nominally Anglican, he was raised to hate Catholicism and all things "papist."  He soon gave up any acknowledgement of God and faith played no part in his life for many years.  As a teen he became involved in the National Front and soon became a prominent leader and editor of the Bulldog, the organization's newspaper.  He was imprisoned twice under Britain's Race Relations Act for publishing materials thought likely to to incite racial hatred. 
A prolific reader, he was introduced to the works of a number of Catholic writers including Hilaire Belloc, Otto Strasser and GK Chesterton after his second incarceration.  Although he did not approve of their Catholicism, he found their political and social views appealing.  As he sought out and read more and more of Chesterton's works  he began to see the truth and faith in the teachings of the Church. 
Pearce's story, his conversion, with all the gory details of his racist and violent past, seems like it ought to be just that, a story.  But reading his works, listening to him speak, I get the feeling God has mighty big plans for this man.  He truely shows that there can be a  Journey from Racial Hatred to Rational Love.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Weekends with Chesterton: Democracy of the Dead

“Trdition is the democracy of the dead. It means giving a vote to the most obscure of all classes: our ancestors.”
Lately, if it wasn't for GKC, I would have very few posts.  But that's okay as he has much better things to say than I.  And you'll see later on this week, even when I'm not writing about Chesterton, I'm writing about Chesterton.
This past week the American Chesterton Society posted the details about this year's conference to be held at University of Saint Mary of the Lake (Mundelein Seminary) in Mundelein, Illinois.  If you have never gone and perhaps are thinking about it, I have one word for you: GO!
We went to our first conference back in 2010 at Mount St. Mary University in Emmitsburg Md and had a most remarkable time.  I was a bit nervous about going as I had read very little GKC and figured I was going to be surrounded by a bunch of stuffy academics.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The speakers were excellent and the other attendees were so very welcoming.  At a couple of the conferences there have been evening plays and the big guy himself, GKC, usually makes an appearance. 
Speakers: Joesph Pearce, Leah Darrow, Peter Kreeft

Interesting people, shopping at the vendor displays, contemplating life from
a tree (a la "Manalive"), praying the rosary at lunchtime

Socrates (meets Jesus), Magic, GKC

 Linking up with Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things for Weekends with Chesterton.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Weekends with Chesterton: Wonder Doubled

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

I think that as a married couple we have found our strength in being grateful.  We are thankful for each other, the gifts we've been given, and even the little things around us.  The birds at the feeder and the flowers in the garden make us happy, as do reading good books or a walk in the park.

We have been asked to contribute to the For Your Marriage section of the USCCB’s website where I will be writing monthly articles with Himself from the perspective of a couple living out their marriage vows without children.   We named our blog Wonder Doubled in honor of this quote of Chesterton's. 
Linking up with Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things for Weekends with Chesterton.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Quick Takes (30) - This and that

- 1-
Well, I’ve embraced GK’s observation that if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly!  I have been asked to contribute to the For Your Marriage section of the USCCB’s website where I will be writing monthly articles with Himself from the perspective of a couple living out their marriage vows without children. We call our blog Wonder Doubled.  We’ll be stealing plenty of good stuff from the big man!  Please keep us in your prayers as we string together a few coherent sentences each month!

- 2 -
A week or so ago we had some wickedly cold weather, like the way below zero kind of cold, with a lot of wind.  We started seeing some odd formations along the ground which we later found out are called snow rollers.  They are both interesting and rather freakish.
- 3 -
I hate wishing time away, but the weather of late has been such that May just can't get here fast enough.  Not only should it bring warmer weather, but, in case you missed it, it'll bring our Waiting Well Weekend.
- 4 -
Last year one of my goals was to read more substantive books and less fluff.  I didn't do all that well but this year seems to be off to a better start.  I am just about done with Joesph Pearce's Race with the Devil.  It is his story of conversion from agnostic to the Catholic faith.  Once I got started it has been hard to put down.
- 5 -
Oh, the garden catalogs have been flooding the mailbox lately!  A few weeks ago on a Saturday morning home and garden talk show they referred to them as garden porn.  I'm not so sure about that name but they are certainly addictive.  I page through them marking this, and this and this, . . .  Anyone have a credit card I can borrow????
- 6 -
Of course I must include the gratuitous dog picture.  Jack was humiliated with the sock of shame this week.  He has a sore on his foot that he will obsessively lick if we don't keep it covered.  A few days wearing one of my socks should cure him of that! 
- 7 -
"... that if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."
- G.K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With The World
Don't forget to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.
Have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Weekends with Chesterton: Fly!

Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly.
I think this has to be one of Chesterton's more frequently misquoted lines.    The words 'can' are often omitted, leaving a big difference in meaning.  Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it or do it frequently.  But then again, sometimes you just have to take yourself lightly!

 Linking up with Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things for Weekends with Chesterton.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

First Photo - February

It doesn't seem like much has changed from last's month's photo, we still have snow, at least for now.  It is forty degrees out and raining so much of the white ground cover is disappearing.  This picture, however, as the telltale signs of the fun that was had last weekend - lots of footprints and sled marks!