C.S. Lewis & Me

I see that I’ve been silent on here for a month.  And what a month it has been.

I took quite a beating on FB with my status update stating my reason for my vote in support of the marriage amendment.  I expected to get some heat.  I was not prepared for a relative’s desire to pick a fight with me, publicly on FB or that person’s desire to thoroughly demean & degrade anyone who held a view different from their own.  That hurt.  What hurt even more though was the total silence from people that I knew who agreed with my view.  I was attempting to help the relative understand my reason for my view while not engaging in the argument this person so desperately seemed to want and no one responded in support.  No supportive comment, not even a “like” on my original post or my follow-up defensive comments.  Nothing.

Complete and utter silence.

And pain.

The pain of being abandoned by everyone I knew.

I don’t “friend” people lightly on FB.  I only send and accept requests from people I actually know and interact with in the real world.  I assume, or did in the past, that these people actually wanted to know me better.  Now I question that assumption.  I’m not sure how I want to proceed from here.  I suppose I’ll figure that out in time.  Just not now.

After that post and election night, I went to our little, local bookstore.  As I was browsing the shelves, I came across The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.  Chapter 8 near the end paints a very vivid picture of exactly how I felt about my FB experience.

“Do not be deceived, Wormwood.  Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.”  C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

I’ve been curled up in pain, brought to tears over and over by this earthly abandonment.  I still believe in God.  I still believe in Jesus Christ, His Son.  I still believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

I still believe. 

And I will still obey.

Thank you Mr. Lewis.  For having the words I would need, even before I was born and would need them.  May your soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

I’ve reset the marker in my Sunday missal as well.  This coming Sunday marks the First Sunday of Advent, Year C.  The caption under the picture in my missal reads; “Pray that you have the strength to escape . . . and to stand before the Son of Man.”  The theme for this Sunday is stated as: “By your perseverance (patient endurance) you will secure your lives. Luke 21:19”.  It’s like balm on my soul.

Heading to Mass today and adoration.

May your day be one of blessed peace.


Back in the world of the living

“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.”  Alfred Hitchcock

This blog is about life.  My life in particular.  Is it dull?  Sometimes, but then so is everyone’s life.  None of us are a running soap opera, but just in case you are, I’ll excuse you to go read someone else’s blog.  Thanks for stopping by.


The cold I had last week is finally gone and the pms along with it.  This is good because I don’t think I could have eaten any more food without bursting.

I was fine with the idea of doing the PMS diet plan from the 17 Day Diet last week, then the cold hit me and I couldn’t seem to get enough to eat.  So I decided that for the duration of the cold, I would just make sure that I fed myself well and tried to keep what I ate healthy.  I did not want to step on the scale, but I did it anyway.

Good news!  I didn’t gain any of the weight back-in spite of the indulging.  I’m thinking that the extra nutrition may have been needed to fight off the virus.  Granted, I didn’t lose any weight last week, but not gaining it back was good.  I’m back on the diet plan, in the Activate cycle, for the rest of the week.  I’m not sure if I should move on to the 3rd cycle after that or go back into an Accelerate cycle because of last week.

Well, I’ve got the rest of the week to figure it out.

Beauty and the Beast Jr.

“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.”  George Bernard Shaw

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”  Douglas Adams

The second quote is just in case this post only makes sense to me.  🙂

I realized that with the updates on DH’s cousin and my diet attempt, I haven’t updated this blog with news on Ditty & BooBoo.  They are both in their school’s production of Beauty & the Beast Jr.  Ditty’s part was originally to be a Narrator and fill in dancer during the opening “Belle” scene and also in the “Gaston” tavern scene.  But fate being what it is, she was standing next to the Baker when they first rehearsed the opening scene and the Baker said his line “Marie, the baguettes!  Hurry up!” at which time, the director realized that there was no Marie to rush over with the baguettes.  So Ditty became Marie.  Then I was watching them run the Gaston scene and  realized they had put her behind the bar.  So if the Baker married the Barmaid, did he do it for love or just to have a monopoly on the yeast and wheat?  LOL.  She is having lots of fun with this play and also has to be part of the “Mob’ scene too.

BooBoo was cast as a “Guest” meaning he could have been anything from a plate, knife, fork or spoon, to a cheese souffle, pie, or pudding en flambe.  He was also scheduled to be a fill-in dancer/singer for the “Mob’ scene (where Gaston exhorts the crowd to kill the Beast).  Instead he was placed in all the castle scenes as an enchanted column (yeah, the Roman pillar kind).  He gets to move around: forward, backward, and side to side (enchanted things move), with little shuffling steps.  This takes him out of the Mob scene since he needs to be in his column costume in every castle scene and the changing would need to happen too fast for him to keep up.  But he is also happy with his part and thinks it will be great fun to keep people guessing where the column will be next.

So that’s the news of the household so far.  Rehearsals, swimming lessons, scouts and wrestling are keeping us running.  BooBoo’s new bedroom is practically on hold right now.  I keep thinking that I can get to it if I can just get caught up with the housework and costuming for the play.  Our Costumer put me in charge of the fairies and the villagers (including those who have parts in the Mob scene but might not be villagers in the Belle scene).

Finding leotards for the fairies is proving difficult.  It would be easiest just to order what we need brand new, but budget constraints don’t allow for all new costumes.  So the core group of volunteers have been scouring thrift stores in search of what we need.  It hasn’t worked, so I will be speaking with the director to work out an alternative color scheme for the fairies.  I may have to work out something entirely different for our lead fairy, the Enchantress, because I was just informed yesterday that she is allergic to spandex.  Kind of puts a kibosh on the whole leotard thing for her.  We don’t need a red-skinned (and I mean beet red) Enchantress.  Thinking on it just now, maybe we could just attach the skirts to t-shirts and have the girls wear shorts under the skirts if needed.

Well, here’s to success in convincing the director to go for the changes!

The Diet

“I’ve been on a diet for two weeks and all I’ve lost is two weeks”   Totie Fields

Well, let’s hope that doesn’t happen to me.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about weight loss.  Mainly because I haven’t been trying to lose weight lately.  I haven’t even been trying to maintain the weight that I had lost a couple of years ago.

That needs to change. 

Today I started the first 17 day cycle of  The 17 Day Diet.  This may be the most difficult time for me.  The first cycle cuts out all sugars (except low sugar fruits), all dairy (except for probiotic yogurt & fat free/low fat cottage cheese), and all grains.

Chicken & fish will be my main dietary staples, as will lots of vegetables and 2 fruit servings each day.  Water will become my drink of choice rather than the drink I choose when there’s no more coffee in the pot or juice in the fridge.

Why go through this?  Because I’m 5’5″ tall and currently weigh in at 210 pounds.  There, I’ve said it.  I am obese and I must lose this weight to regain my health.  I’ve had back pain since last May that hasn’t gone away completely ever since that time.  I carry most of the excess weight around my middle-which any doctor will tell you is bad and can contribute to heart disease.

I hate making New Year’s resolutions to diet simply because I feel it sets you up to fail.  Think about it.  Are you done with holiday celebrations just because it’s January 2nd?  If your life is like mine, probably not.  That’s why I waited to start this diet at a time when the party circuit would be waning.  I hope that will help me to have more self control and a better attitude about the food I eat.

My goal is to lose 10 pounds per month.  If I can do this, that would mean a 50 pound weight loss by the beginning of summer here in the great, white, frozen north.  I would be down to 160 pounds, a weight I have not seen since I was pregnant with Ditty (for those who haven’t been keeping track-she’s 13 years old).

Exercise is also a part of The 17 Day Diet.  For this first cycle, the commitment is to exercise once per day, every day for 17 minutes.  And it must be aerobic exercise because that helps your body burn the weight off.  It also gets you into the habit of moving your body.  That’s important because you can’t lose weight permanently without developing an exercise habit.

So, here I go.  Wish me luck.  And if you’re the praying type, pray that I succeed.  I’d like to be around to dance at my children’s weddings and dangle the still ethereal grandkids on my knees (the kind of knees that don’t hurt because they’ve been carrying an overweight grandma around for the five minutes it took to walk from car to couch).

Still trying to be good

Christmas eve was spent with just our immediate family.  We attended 4 pm Mass (out of duty as I was scheduled to sacristan & Ditty was scheduled as an altar server.  I would have preferred to attend the 10 am Christmas Day Mass.),  then headed home for supper and gift opening.  CB, Ditty, BooBoo & DH all enjoyed their gifts very much.  BooBoo had what will probably be referred to by our family as a “Very Lego Christmas”.  At least for the next few years.  DH asked BooBoo, after he had opened his last present, if he still felt the need to go to the Lego store and spend his birthday & Christmas money and BooBoo actually said “No”.  That’s a first.

Christmas Day was spent with DH’s side of the family.  The children draw names and swap presents among the small fry.  The adults purchase a gift and we do our exchange as a game.  This year with dice, gift swiping and a bit of “pot stirring” by a few of us.

Today was spent with my parents, due in part to the early Christmas eve Mass and also CB’s schedule.  She had to work until 1:30 on Christmas eve and then had a 3 1/2 hour drive to get home, so it just worked out better to do Christmas with my parents today.

Today’s muse:

“Anger is the feeling that makes your mouth work faster than your mind.”  Evan Esar (1899-1995)

Yeah, that’s why this post has the title it does, but nothing in it seems to apply.  Guess I should be glad that typing slows both mouth and fingers so the mind can catch up.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.  Wishing all of you a joyous & prosperous New Year!

How to tell . . .

That your children are growing up . . .


It’s now the bottom part of your tree that is sparsely decorated.

Maybe I shouldn’t let them decorate unsupervised.  Oh well, at least Ditty remembered to sing the O Antiphon on Saturday night.  I forgot (and they didn’t remind me) on Sunday.  Yes, that probably is their commentary on my singing voice, but since the psalm says make a joyful noise I still say God is okay with my singing and anyone else can just smile and don their earplugs.

How to tell that someone didn’t spend enough time praying the rosary . . .

Women “priests”.  The Star Tribune ran a column in their B section on Dec 11th front page titled, Female priests push Catholic boundaries.  If these women who claim to be ordained priests had spent more time on their knees praying the rosary, I think they would have realized that they were not being “called” to the priesthood but instead being led astray by both Satan and our society’s views about women.  One of the promises Mary makes to those who devoutly and regularly pray the rosary is to protect them from heresy.

And now for today’s muse or  How to tell when you and someone else are kindred spirits . . .

“I love being a writer.  What I can’t stand is the paperwork.”  Peter De Vries

I feel the same way about housework.

Have a great week.

Hello again

Yes, I promise, I am still alive.  Busy but alive.  I promised pictures of BooBoo’s Halloween costume.  Here they are:

I used the hood pattern from the original Matthias’ Oversized Monk’s Robe (aka the poncho).  If I had realized that the hood wouldn’t quite cover his neck, I would have adjusted that as well.  Yes, I do have friends who think I’m a perfectionist.  It’s okay, you’re in good company.

The ball of leftover yarn against one of my smaller casserole dishes.  This particular one made a great candy dish when we hosted the August, September & October birthdays of DH’s family at our house.  Mind you, it was a candy dish for 20 people.  And btw, isn’t it a beautiful casserole dish.  I bought it at the local Renaissance Festival from a mom & pop company called Schroeder Pottery.  They came to the festival from Iowa.

BooBoo seated in his costume.  That grin was worth all that stockinette stitch.  I had to pull up the bottom about 6 inches to even see his feet.  It’s oversized enough to last him at least a couple of years.  He grew 3/4 of an inch in the past month so my time estimate may be wishful thinking.

And I am soooo not knitting next year’s costume!  I forget what he said he wanted to be, but I will sew it and leave my knitting time for better things.

The Hairy Hot Pink leg warmers were also a success.  A friend had asked me to knit them as a Christmas gag gift for her brother.  Seems he had made a comment about how if leg warmers were coming back in style, that maybe she could hold out hope that fuschia (the color) would come back in style too.  Her bridesmaids dresses were fuschia.  So I found a nice deep hot pink yarn and a similar shade in Fun Fur and knit two striped leg warmers for her.  I’ll have to check my camera to see if I took pictures of the leg warmers.

Edited to add:  My quote disappeared so I’ll have to try it again.  So sorry for the flub.  Also, no pics of the leg warmers.  That is both bad & good-kind of glad no one else will see them.

“Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.”  H. Mumford Jones

I agree.  What do you think?

More than the usual busyness

“Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.”  Aldous Huxley

Wish someone would have bothered to tell me sooner.  But seriously, sorry for the two week absence.  Life did get overly busy and there simply wasn’t enought time for writing.  I did get quite a bit done, however.

1.  Moved the oldest (age 25) out of our house and into an apartment in another city (another college town but not her college town-thank God).  She seems to be adjusting well.  I’m glad.  I’m also glad to have my homelife back on an even keel.  Okay, we’re actually just trying to get the keel even again, but we’ll get there.

2.  Completed two more Virtus sessions.

3.  Finished BooBoo’s knit Matthias’ Oversized Monk’s Robe so BooBoo can be Matthias from the original Redwall book for Halloween.  Ditty has now decided that she does want to dress up and go trick or treating for Halloween.  She announced it at supper last night and even my husband said “What!  You’ve decided that now and there’s only a week to go!”.  Bless his heart.  She knows that I will not be making a new costume for her this year.  Not on that short notice.

4.  Shampooed the carpet in the bedroom formerly used by the oldest.  Almost wish I had taken a before picture along with the after picture, but you would have been seriously grossed out.  Suffice to say that I changed the water in the machine about 16 times.  It only has a small water tank, but that number even makes me gag.  The rest of the carpets will soon be seeing their opportunity with my still relatively new carpet cleaning machine.  I’m looking forward to really clean carpets this winter.  And keeping them that way!

5.  Began our rounds of knowledge bowl meets last Monday with a meet at St. John’s Prep.  The other 7th & 8th grade team from our school placed 3rd.  That was a nice start to the season.

6.  Certainly not the least important, just the most recent event.  We celebrated my in-laws’ 50th wedding anniversary this past weekend.  About 6 or 7 years ago, we could barely hope to make it this far.  My mother-in-law had been diagnosed with leukemia and had come out of remission twice, each time in half the time of the time before.  We hoped and prayed that we would be able to celebrate this milestone anniversary with them.  We are very grateful to still have both of them with us for however long God will allow.  A hotel stay on Friday night and the kids enjoying the waterpark along with Mass on Saturday night and dinner with their closest relatives and friends made for a beautiful weekend.

7.  And lastly, along with all of the miscellaneous busyness (knowledge bowl, scouts, etc.), I got to spend all day yesterday in my pajamas.  Doesn’t sound like much, but there are just days where you need to unwind, relax and not worry about how you’re dressed.  Generally DH complains when I do this.  He doesn’t understand why anyone would want to do this instead of getting up and seizing the day.  But he didn’t complain, the kids got dressed and I had a lovely day just reading and knitting.  I did make brunch and supper for them and didn’t skimp on the cooking.  Maybe that helped, or maybe it was the 15 years we’ve been married that has made him finally able to shrug his shoulders and let it go.  What ever it is, I’m happy.

Photos will be forthcoming on the costume and my next little knitting project as soon as I can carve out some more time and download them from the camera.

Enjoy the beautiful autumn weather.  I need apples . . . and pumpkins.  Time to get to the local orchard.

Girl Scout fundraising

“Reminds me of my safari in Africa.  Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.”  W.C. Fields

I think I need a girl’s night out.  I can relate to Mr. Fields far too easily today.

The weekends have been crazy around here.  Last Friday & Saturday, we held a garage sale fundraiser for Ditty’s Girl Scout troop.  It would have been a bigger success if I would have had the time to put an advertisement in the paper.  As it was, no ad & not getting signs up until noon on Friday, we still made more money than we did on the garage sale fundraiser we did last spring that did have ads in the newspaper and on local radio and had houses all through my neighborhood participating (in the garage sale part, not our fundraising).  Bums me out though that we could have done better.  The remaining items have been donated to a local thrift store that benefits an organization called Love INC (Love in the name of Christ), so it isn’t so bad.  DH & my co-leader’s husband were both relieved that there wouldn’t be any storage of the remaining piles on the off chance of us doing this again sometime.  I think I would prefer bagging groceries as a fundraiser and apparently the girls in the troop would too based on their responses to the idea.  The one dissenter must have left the troop this past spring.  We required everyone to be on board with a fundraising idea before we would approve it for the troop because we wanted everyone to participate.

What are the girls trying to raise money for, you ask.  They wish to attend the Girl Scout National Convention in 2013, under our supervision of course.  It will probably cost about $700-800 per girl so I am glad that they are planning to do their fundraising early.  We really don’t want to hit up the parents for the cost if possible because our troop parents aren’t wealthy and it would cause a large financial burden for some of them which would equate to their girl being unable to attend.  My co-leader and I are very adamant that every girl who wants to attend should be able to attend.  Fundraising is the way to achieve that goal.

Our troop has been very self-sufficient in the past.  The girls sell cookies and that money has allowed us to forgo asking parents to pay the $12 annual membership fee to National (the troop pays it for every girl) and we have almost eliminated the need for troop dues (we ask for $1 per meeting, but do not strong arm anyone over the amount) to cover the cost of badges & patches.  Cookie sales alone, however, will not meet the cost of a trip to the convention and learning experience it offers the girls is too good to ignore.  We also, if it is possible, want to take the girls to Savannah to see the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts.  That will be another trip that offers a great opportunity for learning since my co-leader’s sister works for a national television station and we could tour there and possibly stay with her as well.  Fundraising for that trip will need to wait until we can get this one under our belts.

In the meantime, we will continue to camp with the girls and do the badgework they have chosen.  Getting them rolling on their Silver Award projects is another goal for this year.  We have a good group of girls and the prospects of adding two more plus possibly others as well.  All this in a spirited and fun environment.  Whew!

I looked back at the title I gave this post before I started writing.  It was My Weekend.  I guess I should subtitle it:  or Who cares as long as there is Girl Scouting.  The post definitely took on a life of its own. 

The title has been changed.

Enjoy your week.


“The trouble with weather forecasting is that it is right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.”  Patrick Young

Too bad we have to live with it.

The weather was its usual self this weekend.  Meaning it was practically unpredictable.  A bad sign when you are hosting a large, three day event like our parish did.  I believe we were successful in spite of cold (Friday night), cloudy (the majority of Saturday) and rainy (here & there on Sunday). 

I dislike all of those forms of weather on a regular day.  I especially dislike them for a parish festival.  Let’s hope next year’s weather is much better.


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Perfectly Preserved In Perpetuity

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"If you are what you should be you will set the whole world on fire."
St. Catherine of Sienna

I finally understand

"Among those around you, apostolic soul, you are the stone fallen into the lake. With your word and your example, you produce a first circle, and it another, and another, and another, wider each time. Now do you understand the greatness of your mission?" St. Josemarie Escriva: The Way