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.