Sunday, December 30, 2007

This and That

Christmas was wonderful. There was very little stress and lots of family time. It gave me so much pleasure to see the joy on Happy Boy's face when he opened his stocking and presents. He even took joy in watching us open OUR stockings and presents. His favorite gift by far was a wind-up LED flashlight. Reeda's was a little stuffed girl gnome which my mother-in-law knitted for her.

I had requested no plastic toys (except for Duplos/ Legos) and no toys made in China. They received handmade toys, wooden toys, and educational items, so I was very pleased with that.

We watched the movie Miss Potter a couple days ago. Way back in May and June a couple different bloggers raved about it so I added my name to the library queue. Six months later it finally came up just before Christmas. I enjoyed the movie and now want to read the whole set of books. Luckily for me, Happy Boy was given the set for Christmas.

Tonight we watched the movie Freedom Writers. Except for foul language (which I actually think was appropriate given the context) it was a good movie. I suspect that many public school teachers (and especially the NEA) are like the department chair who worshiped bureaucracy rather than teachers who actually care about giving their students and education.

Some time before Christmas Reeda took her first step. It is still not a daily occurrence so we get very excited whenever it happens.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

No More Classes!

Yesterday my husband turned in his very last paper for his very last class. One of the perks of grad school is that many of the professors don't require finals so he is now officially done with coursework for his doctorate. Now he just has to take is comprehensive exams and write a several hundred page dissertation. . . We are both so relieved that this is behind us. The next big hurdle will be the exams in March, but I personally will find those easier than having my husband gone several nights a week. But then, I am not the one taking a three day test. :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Novena Begins Today

Here is the novena that our family says:

Novena to the Infant Jesus


O most holy Virgin, and blessed St. Joseph, obtain for us the grace to perform this novena with such attention, devotion, and ardent charity, as will entitle us to join the angels in rendering glory to God. Amen.

Let us say twelve times the Hail Mary, in remembrance of the care and solicitude shown by our Blessed Lady towards the Infant Jesus till His twelfth year.

Let us make three aspirations, to incline the Infant Jesus to turn His favorable attention on us.

O Divine Infant of Bethlehem, Whom we adore and acknowledge to be our sovereign Lord, come and take birth in our hearts. Amen.

O Infant Jesus, grant that each moment of our lives, we may pay homage to that moment in which Thou didst begin the work of our salvation. Amen.

O holy Mother of Our Infant Saviour, obtain that we may so prepare for His coming, as not to be separated from Him for all eternity. Amen.

Let us pray.

Most holy Infant Jesus, true God and true man, our Saviour and Redeemer; with all earnestness and respect, we beseech Thee, by that charity, humility and bounty, which Thou didst display in Thy Infancy, graciously undertaken for love of us, that Thou vouchsafe to grant us the favor we now beg, if it be for the honor of God and our salvation. Amen.

Here each one will beg in spirit the particular favor desired. Pause for a short time.

O most amiable Infant Jesus, we are most unworthy to be heard in this our petition; but Thy holy Mother, the Virgin Mary, and the great St. Joseph, Thy foster-father while on earth, are worthy to be heard soliciting in our behalf. Then, O divine Infant, being mindful of their most sublime merits, especially those they acquired during the time they served Thee in Thy infancy in Bethlehem, Thy flight into Egypt, and Thy childhood at Nazareth, vouchsafe to grant our request, and give us grace to promote the honor of Thy omnipotent infancy, to serve Thee with fidelity, as domestic servants, all the days of our lives, and to obtain a happy death, assisted in that last hour by the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, whose zeal for Thy honour will lead us to praise and bless Thy divine mercies forever and ever. Amen.


Whilst deep silence dwelt on all things below, and the night was in the midst of its course, the almighty Word came down from its throne. Alleluia

Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus, Who didst, for the love of us, vouchsafe to reduce Thy incarnated divinity and most divine humanity to the humiliating state of birth and infancy; grant that we, acknowledging Thy infinite wisdom in Thy infancy, Thy power in Thy weakness, and Thy majesty in Thy littleness, may adore Thee, a little one on earth, and behold Thee great in heaven; who livest and reignest with God the Father, in unity with the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Meme

I haven't seen any Christmas memes going around this year, so I took this from someone's blogpost from last year to recycle it with my own answers.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Both

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? The presents are wrapped, but we don't do Santa. Do people actually not wrap presents?

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored on our big tree, white on the Jesse Tree.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No.

5. When do you put your decorations up? It depends. Sometimes the first Sunday in Advent, sometimes later.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Clam chowder - Christmas Eve is the only time I make it all year.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Seeing the living room it by only the Christmas tree with the stockings stuffed and the presents under the tree.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? My mom told me when I was in fourth grade.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Not anymore. I did as a child.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With lights and ornaments but nothing edible.

11. Snow? Love it or Dread it? I like it coming down as long as I am safe and warm at home. I dread driving in it.

12. Can you ice skate? I suppose so. It has been a long time since I tried.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? No.

14. What's the most exciting thing about the Holidays for you? Too many to count. To be brief I will say sounds, smells, colors and Liturgical practices.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Don't know for sure. Probably either gingerbread cake or gingerbread cookies.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Reciting the Christmas novena and O Antiphons leading up to Christmas.

17. What tops your tree? Nothing.

18. Which do you prefer - giving or receiving? Depends on the circumstances. I love giving to my husband and children, but not to people I barely know.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night.

20. Candy canes? No. I love peppermint, but not candy canes for some reason.

Since few people read my blog, I will tag anyone who wants to do this.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

One Night with the King

My husband and I recently watched One Night with the King, the movie about the Biblical figure Esther. It is hard to articulate what I think about the movie, but I will give it a shot.

You will probably like this movie if you watch it with a blank mind. If you know absolutely nothing about the story of Esther that will be a good thing. If you have never seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy, that is an even better thing. If not, then those two combined make the movie lame, lame, lame.

Well, to give the movie a fair chance, I must say that in no reviews that I read did people mention the LOTR similarities. Some Christians loved the artistic license with the screenplay and some did not. In other words, what bothered me may not bother you.

First of all, the movie is actually based on a book called Hadassah, not the book of Esther. I suppose that the artistic license taken in the movie was found in the book, but I am not going to read it to find out. An example of what I didn't like was that the only reason Xerxes believed that she was Jewish was because of a Star of David which was "hidden" in her necklace.

The Lord of the Rings was a great movie, but not to be duplicated. Sigh. Too many times did the director, screenwriter, and hair and makeup artists try to duplicate it. I know it wasn't just me, because my husband felt this way before I even mentioned it. A small example is that one of the antagonists in the movie also played Denethor, the Steward of Gondor in the LOTR. He looked exactly the same. All the way down to his hair and costume. Fortunately, the actor who played both Mordecai and Gimli actually looked like a Jewish scribe and not a dwarf. That would have been an amusing disaster.

If you have seen it, what did you think?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

December Miscellany

On Saturday we took the children to see Santa. We aren't going to tell them that Santa is the one who fills the stockings and brings the presents, but I just like the pictures. My husband thinks this is silly but humors me as long as pictures with Santa don't cost any money. Last year we couldn't find a "free" Santa, but this year a local Protestant church had a sign saying "Santa and donuts from nine to 10:30 - bring your camera!" I guess the plan was to lure people to their Christmas services, but it was free so we went. Unfortunately none of the pictures turned out that great, but oh well.

Sunday it was 78. The temperature dropped in the evening and we discovered our heater didn't work. Our apartment manager said that it won't be working until Wednesday. When I awoke this morning it was 51 in my bedroom and colder in Happy Boy's room.

Most of my Christmas shopping is done, but I still have to get a few things. I had been planning on a certain gift for my brother-in-law, but my husband was appalled at the thought of it, so I am back to searching.

One would think that if someone is ordering something online at Christmastime that that something has the potential to be a gift. In other words, when it is mailed to the customer it should be mailed in something that is not transparent in case said customer's spouse collects the mail. I guess not everyone does think like that.

Our Advent is going well. I feel like we are properly focused on the preparations for Christ's coming this year, rather than having four weeks of Christmas before the big day.

Anything interesting happening in your December?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Greatest English Novel?

I read once that Alessandro Manzoni's The Betrothed is considered the greatest novel in Italian literature*. That got me to thinking about the greatest novels in other languages: in Spanish it is Don Quixote, in Russian it is The Brothers Karamazov, what is it in English?

Since my husband is in a graduate school which has a large literature student population, I started asking around. Most of the people I have asked said Moby Dick, although a couple said Persuasion and one said Pride and Prejudice. (There were a couple other answers which I don't remember.) When I searched online to see if I could find lists of great literature Ulysses is what came out on top most often.

What do you think the greatest English novel is?

*If you haven't read it then you ought to because it really is one the greatest novels in existence (in my humble uneducated-in-literature opinion).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Reeda's godparents are engaged! When we chose them to be godparents they weren't even dating yet, so this is quite fortuitous. They are such a wonderful couple; we wish them the very best.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Day-After Thanksgiving!

How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was probably the most peaceful one I have ever had. We got together with a couple of people whom we knew in college. We provided the turkey, but they cooked it. I also made cranberry sauce and a pumpkin pie.

There was a nice surprise for us after dinner when someone pointed out the window and said that it was snowing. That was very exciting, especially since it had been warm enough to run the AC just two days previously.

Now we get to enjoy all the yummy leftovers. Hopefully I can find a couple recipes for casseroles that use leftover turkey, since we have several pounds of it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thanksgiving Countdown

Do you know that Thanksgiving is a week from tomorrow? I just realized that today and it gave me quite a jolt. Normally, when a holiday is approaching I am doing all sorts of planning for it. This time I just plumb forgot.

We have absolutely no plans for Thanksgiving. In the four previous Thanksgivings of our marriage I have always had some sort of plan by the beginning of November. Since we have never lived near family we have always had to come up with our own plans for the holiday, and sometimes we even had backup plans. Not this year. This year I haven't purchased a single Thanksgiving-related item (unless you count pumpkin ice cream), or even thought about whether to fix any special items.

I guess I need to figure out if we will be spending it with others (so I only have to fix a couple dishes) or if we are having it by ourselves (so I have to do the whole shebang). I don't mind doing the whole thing, especially since my husband loves to help out in the kitchen, but I always felt that Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that are meant to be celebrated with others. It sees that some quick decisions are in order.

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tis the Season. . .

For heaps of catalogs! Every day I get two or three in the mail. I try to get rid of them quickly, but sometimes I am not fast enough. If Happy Boy sees one he loves to take it and look at all the pictures.

Despite all the toy catalogs that he has looked at, the item he keeps coming back to time and again is the wet/dry vacuum from Lowe's! He loves vacuums - when they're off that is. (If they are on he is either on the couch in safety or screaming from fear.) To him, the vacuums in the catalog were like clothes for a fashionista. I couldn't wipe the drool away fast enough.

Emergency Preparedness Part II

Sometimes when thinking about planning for emergencies or disasters I ask myself, "How much of this is prudence and how much of it is paranoia?" Different people will have different ideas of where the line is between the two and that can occasionally make discussions of disaster preparedness difficult.

In the two years before 2000 I heard many people talking about the Y2K bug with grave concern. I knew people who sold their home, move to the mountains and bought expensive solar paneled appliances for the eminent technological meltdown. I considered that paranoia, but they thought that people who didn't do that were in denial.

Here are what I consider the bare minimum preparations for emergencies for a prudent person:

Three days of water - one gallon per person per day.
Three days of food that can be eaten without cooking.
A manual can opener for said food.
Various sanitation supplies for bathroom, feminine, baby and cleaning needs.
Evacuation bags filled with clothes, diapers, light reading, first aid kit, etc.
A first aid kit separate from evacuation bags.
Flashlights and batteries.
Radio, either hand-crank or with extra batteries.
List of phone numbers of friends and relations and a designated out-of-state contact.

I know that some people would frown at the shortness of this list, but as I said this is the bare minimum. Most people don't even have this much ready. FEMA has its own list of essential items.

The Mormons are well known for being concerned about potential emergencies or disasters and many people think that they have crossed the line into paranoia. I have heard (but haven't varified) that Mormons have to have a least three months of food stored but are encouraged to have two years worth. Here is a blog post by a Mormon woman whose stake house had a mock disaster. It is humorous, but also is good food for thought.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

One More Time

More Chinese recalls, this time because they contain the same chemical formula as the "date rape drug." When will it stop? When western capitalists realize that quality and safety are more important than the almighty dollar padding their wallets.

I like capitalism as much as most Americans, but it is a flawed system and this is one of the problems with it.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

This is a Surprise

I found this over at Nutmeg's blog and was hoping to get college graduate status. I can't figure out how it came up with this. If only it were true. . .

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Emergacy Preparedness Part I

I had been meaning to do a post about emergency preparedness last month since September was National Emergency Preparedness month. Obviously I didn't get around to it, but I hope to do a couple within the next week or so. Given the recent fires in the news it would be a good time to talk about it.

This article from Time Magazine was very interesting. It talks about what one would save from a fire if there was only ten minutes to spare. It also lists some useful things that Katrina refugees wished they had had such as kitty litter for humans to keep the mess and smell down.

If you don't have any emergency preparations made at all, or any supplies on hand a good starting place would be to read the Time article and make a list of what to take for yourself and family should the need arise. I made a list like that around the time of Katrina, but have never done anything else regarding any sort of emergency. From personal experience (however slight it may be - but that's in a future post), I know I need do much more.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Well, I jumped on the Catholic bandwagon and went to see the much-hyped-in-the-conservative-Catholic-subculture movie Bella. It was the first movie I have seen in the theaters since The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

When I first heard about Bella I wasn't interested in seeing it, but the more I heard about it the more I wanted to see it. Another reason I wanted to watch the movie was because I had heard that it was clean and pro-life. Those are two rare virtues in movies nowadays and I wanted to support the movie for that in hopes that more movies will be made with such virtues.

So what did I think about it? It was very, very good. It seemed a little Christian but mostly secular and I think that is a good thing. Movies that are ostensibly Christian tend to alienate non-Christians, but the movie's Christian qualities were all very subtle. I hope that the seeds of being open to life will be planted due to that.

Bella was one of those movies that cause the viewer to run the gamut of emotions. At one point I was crying from sadness and at another crying from how beautiful the scene was. Although this was by no means a comedy, there was also a little laughter as well.

At the movie's end I had a lot to think about. During the movie I was wondering what the fuss was about. Why did everyone say this movie was so good? But once it ended, I could just tell that its goodness just was. Why is it good? It just is. That probably doesn't make any sense, but I can't do any better than that.

Go see it for yourself.

A Beautiful Concert

Last night my husband and I attended a wonderful concert. It was beautiful and funny and far better than anything at Carnegie Hall.

The concert was performed by Happy Boy. He pulled out a little toy bowl and used it as a guitar to sing various songs that we have been singing to him. It was enlightening because we had no idea how many of words to the songs he was retaining. Of course he couldn't sing all the lines to all the songs, but for some of them he knew parts of multiple verses, which we found amazing.

Children's minds really are like sponges: we need to take care that they absorb wholesome things instead of the dirt the world tries to leave for them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


When I wrote about this, I knew it would be just a teaser for autumn. But now, the either the real thing has arrived, or Mother Nature's playing a practical joke on us.

Yesterday it rained all day and was in the fifties most of the day. It was 57 in our bedroom both when I went to bed and when I woke up. Reeda would fuss every time I put her down because her bed was too cold, so she ended up sleeping with a hot water bottle. It was also one of the first nights that Happy Boy actually slept with the covers on instead of kicking them off. And today when my husband went to work it was only 45.

Yesterday was the first day my husband made hot chocolate. We also had chili and cornbread. I am looking forward to having many more soups, stews, and crockpot meals now that the weather is cooperative.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Love2learn at the Movies

There is a new blog which reviews movies appropriate for families. I have already requested from the library three movies that Love2learn at the Movies has recommended, so it looks very promising.

New Cardinals

Yesterday the Catholic blogosphere was all abuzz at the news that the Pope has named 23 more cardinals. What is so noteworthy about that is that the Archbishop of Washington got passed by in favor of the Archbishop of Houston.

Archbishop DiNardo,
Bishop of Houston

I was very pleased to hear that because the cardinal sees have always been disproportionately in the Eastern United States. Up until now there has only been one cardinal see west of the Mississippi River. Although most Catholics used to live in the East, that is not true anymore, especially with the increase of Hispanic immigrants. Houston is the best choice for a cardinal, given that it is the fourth largest city in the country and one of the largest dioceses in the western half of the country.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tea Meme

Over at my cooking blog I did a tea meme. This was a fun one, Mrs. Bear!

Monday, October 15, 2007


Recently I have seen several articles about an increase in the rate of people going to confession. I was very glad that someone is finally acknowledging it.

For years people have complained, "Before Vatican II the lines of people going to confession were very long, but now no one ever goes." This statement always drives me crazy because it hasn't been my experience at all.

The city in which I live has three parishes. No matter which one I go to I always wait in line at least 45 minutes. That is, unless I arrive 20 minutes before the scheduled time and then I only have to wait 25 minutes. During Lent, my husband and I were able to get someone to watch Happy Boy so we could go together for once instead of on different days. We got there right at the start of the scheduled time and there were already more than 20 people in line. We knew from experience that we wouldn't be able to get in to the confessional there so we went to a different church. There were already more than 20 people in line ahead of us even though we got there more than twenty minutes early. By the time it began there were at least 15 people behind us as well.

I know it is a good thing that there are such long lines for confession, but I wish that the priests had enough time to schedule more. I also wish that the anti-Vatican Two-ers would open their eyes and see how many of the faithful take advantage of this wonderful sacrament.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Thank You Can Work Wonders

Yesterday we had guests over for dinner. In preparation I was rushing around like a mad woman trying to do all the cleaning that I considered necessary. I had repeatedly tried to encourage Happy Boy to pick up his toys, but all he wanted to do was watch me clean.

My temper and frustration were rising as the minutes ticked by. Then, as Happy Boy watched me clean the kitchen floor, he said, "Thank you for cleaning the kitchen, Mama." And then he said it again. My heart melted and I was able to relax a little and smile. What made it even more special was that he had never said anything like that before. As we picked up his toys together I had a song in my heart.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I have recently heard several people talking (or blogging, as the case may be) about the television show Lost. While we don't watch TV, we are not opposed to TV shows.

We decided to check the first season of Lost of of the library and found it enjoyable. When we finished the first season, I went online to request the second from the library. I was disappointed to find out that three of the discs for the second season are lost or damaged, including the first one. Now that they have hooked us into becoming fans, we are left suffering from our addiction.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's Never Too Early to Start

"I think, my dear, that you are now old enough to begin to learn Latin." -Dorothy Sayers quoting her father.

The Feast of St. Michael

Today is the Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. In the old calendar it was only the feast of St. Michael, so here is his prayer.

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in praelio. Contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur. Tuque princeps militiae caelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Car Seats

I was taking the children on a walk the other day when I saw a woman pull up to a driveway, run into the house and come out with two toddlers. She opened the doors to her SUV for them, they got in, and then she got in and drove off. I could see the girls sitting in their car seats, but it did not look like they had buckled themselves in, and their mother certainly hadn't done it. Then just a couple days later I saw another mother pull up in front of our apartment and one of her children was standing directly behind the driver's seat while the other was turned so far around that there was no way she could have been buckled.

Both these events left me pretty shocked. I had seen people people buckle their children into their seats in a variety of unsafe ways, but I had never seen children using the car seats without any sort of restraint. It is one thing to not care about one's own safety, but to so jeopardize the safety of one's child in a way that is so preventable is appalling.

When I asked a friend how she strapped her swaddled baby into the car seat, she said that she only used the shoulder straps because they only lived a couple miles away. She didn't care that more than fifty percent of accidents happen within five miles of home. Another person told me that her child's seat tipped over occasionally when she made a turn. I am not what some call a "car seat Nazi" but I do think that taking a few minutes to properly buckle one's children in is the only thing a responsible parent can do.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Maybe Next Time

Well, I was going to upload a picture or two of my children, but Blogger wouldn't let me. I'll try again tomorrow.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fun with Cards

I love cards. When I was small my mother taught my brothers and I how to play Go Fish. Later at family reunions the young people played several rounds of Spoons each evening. Cousins from about age seven or eight all the way up into their late teens would gather for this game. The older cousins would be partnered with the little ones to help them learn the game and to give them a chance at winning.

My two year old is too young to remember the rules of even the easiest card came, but he still loves cards. He will go through them and put them through the paper shredder point out the different numbers he recognizes. I look forward to the day that I can teach him the various card games I know and love. Maybe someday he will teach his own little siblings and cousins how to play Spoons.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Today is Liberation Day

In East Timor, that is.

I recently found this very fun website. Earth Calendar's name sounds somewhat pagan but it is actually a website that allows someone to enter any date and find out what holidays are celebrated on that day throughout the world. One can also search by country, religion, or lunar phases.

According to Earth Calendar, tomorrow is World Gratitude Day. (Maybe we should take a moment tomorrow to say a prayer of thanksgiving for all of our blessings.) It is also the autumnal equinox. However, it did omit the Feast of St. Matthew, although I don't know of any countries that celebrate that as a national holiday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jesuits vs. Dominicans

Here is one of my favorite Catholic jokes:

What is similar about the Jesuit and Dominican Orders?

Well, they were both founded by Spaniards, St. Dominic for the Dominicans, and St. Ignatius of Loyola for the Jesuits. They were also both founded to combat heresy: the Dominicans to fight the Albigensians, and the Jesuits to fight the Protestants.

What is different about the Jesuit and Dominican Orders?

Well, have you met any Albigensians lately?

Courtesy of

Monday, September 17, 2007

Temperament and Personality

I have been thinking recently about the study of different people's temperaments and personalities, due mostly to several blog posts that I have read and some things my brother-in-law has said. Unfortunately, I am not a very articulate writer, so what follows is going to be somewhat of a stream of consciousness about these topics.

(If you don't know much about these subjects, I recommend reading these books, otherwise you may not understand much of what I write.)

About eighteen months ago a friend introduced me to Please Understand Me (PUM) about the sixteen different personality types based on the Myers Briggs personality type indicator. I had heard about the different types before and never paid much attention, but this friend was so excited about them that I took the test in the book. It turned out that I am an ISF?. My J and P are borderline and I see a lot of myself in each type. If I had to pick one I probably would lean toward the J.

My husband is an INTJ. In fact his entire family as far as he knows is that same type. After reading PUM I realized how appropriate that title is. I felt that the scales fell away from my eyes about my husband and his family. Things that I considered rudeness and inconsiderate behavior became not nearly as bad. I came to understand that an action done by someone who is heavy on the T scale might be interpreted totally differently by someone heavy on the F scale as I am.

It is also helpful knowing this information to be able to understand their intellectual strengths and weaknesses. Certain personalities like art or science better. Parents who want their son to be doctor might understand his decision to be a drama teacher better when they understand his personality.

Last August I read most of The Temperament God Gave You. (TTGGY) (My in-laws let me borrow it to finish it, but I forgot about it until a couple different people mentioned it recently.) That book has also helped me in looking at my life, behavior and feelings.

TTGGY helped me understand even more about the relationship between my husband and I and the behavior that is due to our temperaments. I am a phlegmatic-melancholic and he is a melancholic-phlegmatic. This is good because I think it helps us to get along very well most of the time. It is bad because interestingly enough, when I am a phlegmatic he is a melancholic and when I am a melancholic he is a phlegmatic. When one of us happens to lapse into an extremely melancholic mood, which luckily is pretty rare, I think it bothers the other one more than it would bother someone who wasn't strongly melancholic or phlegmatic.

My brother-in-law has seen a lot of benefit from knowing the temperaments of his children and applying the information in TTGGY about how to raise children with the various temperaments. As a phlegmatic, he also strongly recommends this book about time management. He says that it is geared to phlegmatics and he and all the reviewers say it has made a huge difference in their lives. Alas, my library doesn't have it and they weren't able to obtain it from the interlibrary loan, either.

I look forward to knowing my children's personality types and temperaments so I can raise them in a custom fit way for them. There are some people who scoff at the information in PUM and TTGGY because they say you can't put people in a box. I think that almost every theory has some incorrect premises, theories, conclusions, etc., but one has to separate the wheat from the chaff. I have seen enough good from applying this information that I know it has some truth in it and I will use it for the goodness of that truth.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Not Your Ordinary Junk Mail

(This is actually a guest post by my dear husband who has abandoned* his own blog.)

Every day it's the same ol', same ol'. Credit card offers, fliers from auto dealers, you name it. Yesterday it was different.

"Free Pre-Paid Cremation!" the envelope offered. Swee-e-et. But how did they know I was in the market? I double-checked to make sure it had my name rather than Sam McGee's. No mistake. It was mine, all mine. It seemed too good to be true. There has to be a catch, I thought.

Turned out there was. The offer was actually only an opportunity to enter a contest to win a free cremation. Still, why not take a chance? I was all set to mail off my information when I thought, what happens if I win? Who is this cremation for, anyway? Maybe it would be better not to find out. Oh, well.

I do have a few suggestions on how they could spruce up their marketing literature:

Work getting you down? Unpaid bills piling up? Enter to win a free cremation!

Or perhaps:

Co-workers annoying you? In-laws getting on your nerves? Enter to win a free cremation!

*A word that here means "Cremated"

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Is Fall Around the Corner?

Yesterday it thundered and rained all day long. Although we needed the air conditioning, the temperature never reached ninety. When I got up this morning I was pleased to see that it was only in the sixties!

In the peak of the afternoon I went outside and decided it was such a beautiful day we couldn't not go for a walk. Two weeks ago the peak of the afternoon would have been an insane time to go for a walk. Today it was heavenly: the perfect temperature, a light breeze and bright sun. I can't wait until tomorrow.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Two Sad Pieces of Anti-Catholicism

I found this article and was appalled at the amount of ignorance and sophistry that was used to "prove" that Catholicism is akin to paganism. What is even worse is this "testimony" of a woman who claims that she was a Carmelite nun. There are so many egregious errors that I don't even know where to begin. Here is one of the more minor false things that were written:

A Roman Catholic can lie to you and they don’t have to go to confession and tell the priest about the lie that they’ve told because they’re lying to protect their faith. They can tell any lie they want to to protect their faith and never go the confessional box and tell the priest about it. They can do more than that. They can steal up to 40 dollars and they don’t have to tell the priest about it. They don’t have to say one word about it in the confessional box. They’re taught that. Every Roman Catholic knows it and every Roman Catholic (you’d be horrified if you know how many of them) steal up to that amount.
Yes, this is one of the more minor things that were written. I just don't know where this lady is coming from. Is she senile? Does she justify lying about things to bring about converts to Protestantism? Some of the things she writes about are so clearly erroneous to devout Catholics that I don't know where she could have gotten them from. She certainly would have known better if she really had been a Carmelite. I guess that we need to pray for people like her, both to convert and to prevent them from luring more people away from the Church.