Friday, May 29, 2015

CWBN: A Bunch of Broads Go To College and a Give-Away

This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Catholic Women Bloggers Network's Ohio conference.  If one comes to your area, I have just one word of advice for you: GO!

The group that attended was diverse: single, newly married and long married; new mothers, mothers of many, mothers of none, and even a grandmother; women who stay at home and those who work outside the home either full-time or part-time; bloggers for profit and bloggers for fun; religious bloggers and secular ones as well.  But, there was one very important thing we all held in common: our Catholic faith.

It was a joy to spend time among women who take their faith seriously and who rejoice in the beauty of being a woman.  The locations chosen for the conference, Walsh University and Sancta Clara Monastery, helped set the tone for the weekend. 

We talked about how our words matter.  No matter how large or small a part of the blog world we might be, something we say or post is going to have an impact on someone, somewhere.  What an appropriate message that was on the eve of the Feast of Pentecost! 

For a very lovely and in depth write up of the conference, go check out Melody's post.  Her great planning and organization brought this beautiful group of women together and left us wondering when and where the next conference she was planning would be!
picture courtesy of Jayme Orn Photography

Giveaway?  Did someone say giveaway? Everyone that attended the conference received a goody bag filled with items that represented, somehow, each person that was there.  My item, courtesy of the American Chesterton Society, was a copy of "What's Wrong With the World".  In honor of GK Chesterton's 141st birthday today, I have copies of the book that I will give to two lucky winners.  Check out one of the blogs above that you have never read before and leave me a comment below.  Next Friday I'll announce the winners!

To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, providing toys, boots, sheets, cakes and books, to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it.  How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe?  How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone?  No; a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.  I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.


Friday, May 15, 2015

I've Become My Mother!

Last Friday on the way home from work I noticed that someone, who was not the neighbor, was mowing the neighbor’s front lawn.  It is a rather large yard and he was on a riding tractor.   A little after I got home we left to go out to dinner and that same man was now raking up the grass clippings into piles throughout the yard.

Himself and I looked at each other and said “mulch!” at the same time.  Grass clipping make a great weed-block in our vegetable garden, but we can somehow never get enough.

When we got home I put Jack on his leash and took a walk down to that house to see if they needed help disposing of all those piles of clippings.   Jody was outside with her three dogs looking like she was at her whit’s end.   I asked her what she was going to do with all that grass.  She looked at me like I was nuts.   When I told her I would rake and remove them she seemed to breathe a sigh of great relief.

She went on to tell me about her week, her month, her year.   The man that had mowed the lawn for her was her eighty-seven year old father-in-law.   He had come to “help” her while her husband was working at a job down in Florida.   Instead of setting the mower deck a little higher, he cut the lawn very short and then proceeded to rake everything up and leave it for her.

She had no idea when she was going to be able to do anything about it since her mother was just released from the hospital after having a bad reaction to a procedure to treat her lung cancer.   Jody’s mom needed her help and lives a two hour drive away.

All of Jody’s children are away at school and couldn’t do anything around the house or for their grandmother.   Oldest daughter is starting her second year of med school and the son is about to get his undergraduate degree and then immediately start law school.

The youngest child, a daughter, is also away at school.   Even if she was at home she wouldn’t be much use with outdoor chores as she is still recovering from an accident she had when she was studying in Italy.   Apparently, one very hot night, said daughter was sleep-walking and went to open a window to cool down the apartment.  Not only did she open the window, she walked out of it and fell three stories!

She also told me how they need to get a new well dug, that snakes were living in their pond and that a dog walker came during the week to make sure her pooches were attended to.

Jack started getting restless so I assured Jody that I would take care of the grass clippings the next day and then said my good-byes.   As we walked back home I smiled to myself and thought “I’ve become my mother!”

We used to joke that mom could get someone’s life story in five minutes.  Actually, that might be an overstatement, she didn’t always need that much time.  On her way to an oncologist appointment she and my dad stepped onto the elevator at the second floor.   By the ninth floor she knew much about one of the elevator’s other occupants as he confided details of his life to her.

I guess I’m more like mom than I knew!


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wonder Doubled: Two Gathered Together – The Force Awakens

We have a new post up at the USCCB website For Your Marriage.

We are friends with a husband and wife who would not be offended if we described him as a Star Wars geek.  Let’s call them Socrates and Sophia.  Socrates has populated his basement recreation room with more – let’s call them “collectible action figures,” so as not to arouse the ire of geekdom – than there are people in some small cities!  He has seen and brilliantly analyzed every episode in the series multiple times.  Socrates holds a Masters Degree in philosophy and shares his cultural knowledge and Catholic faith with his fortunate students.  Sophia and Socrates aren’t just sci-fi geeks, they are Catholic geeks as well.  They don’t stop at investing in a cultural touchstone, they are also committed to the rock upon which Christ built his church.  They even go to the extreme of praying together – every day!  We’ve heard of Catholic married couples doing this, but we have never before seen an example of it in the wild.

You can read the whole article here.


Monday, May 4, 2015

TToT (2) - This and That

Better late than never, I suppose. . .

I received such kind and thoughtful comments on my first attempt at TToT.   Thank you for the wonderful welcome!

TToT makes me more conscious during the week of things for which I am grateful.  I like that.

I love a good excuse to get together with friends, as if one is needed, but the Kentucky Derby provided just that.  It was good to see everyone.
We have lived in our house for almost eleven years now.  The people who had it before us had similar taste in decorating so when we moved in we really didn't have to do anything.  But over time, things get a little tired looking. Himself painted the kitchen this week.   There were a few challenges along the way - the first color was mixed in the wrong base (making it look nothing like we wanted) and then, when we chose a different color, only one can got mixed.   When he opened the other can, it was still white!  Himself is an excellent "pigment applier" and the kitchen looks awesome.
Laura over at String of Pearls had a give-away recently in hone of National Library Week.  She graciously added an extra winner to her drawing, me!  Thank you!  Erin's Ring arrived last week. Oh boy was it good!   I'll try to get a post in soon about it.
After all the cooking, cleaning, and Derby partying we did this week and weekend, we needed some quiet, and we had it.  Beverages and the above said good book on the patio made for a delightful and relaxing Sunday.

The great thing about parties is that there are usually leftovers and I don't have to cook for a couple of days afterwards.  And, when the leftovers include homemade cheesecake - all the better!

- 8-
Either the first or second year that we were married Himself put a transistor radio in my Easter basket.  I love its portability as I drag it around the yard with me when I work in the gardens.  It's a bit beat up, but, it still works perfectly.
The Cleveland Cavs made it to the second round of playoffs.  In this neck of the woods we haven't had any team in the playoffs, let alone the second round.  Here's hoping no one else gets injured!

My Indians finally won a series, taking two out of three against Toronto.  It hasn't been the best start to the baseball season.
Check out more goodness at  A Fly on Our (Chicken Coop) Wall.


Friday, May 1, 2015

First Photo: May 2015

Oh my goodness, the weather is perfect!  The freshly mowed grass smells awesome and the trees are blushing with the first hint of flowers and leaves.  I need to take a moment to appreciate it and enjoy it.  But, at the moment, I'm bouncing around the house like a superball, trying to clean, cook, and straighten for company tomorrow.

Well, even a superball comes to a stop sometime.