Thursday, May 31, 2012
She's got a smile it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I'd stare too long
I'd probably break down and cry
Oh, oh, oh
Sweet child o' mine
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Sweet love of mine
She's got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I hate to look into those eyes
And see an ounce of pain
Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place
Where as a child I'd hide
And pray for the thunder
And the rain
To quietly pass me by
Oh, oh, oh
Sweet child o' mine
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Sweet love of mine
I know God loves me because He gave me this girl as my daughter!
I hope to get a picture of the babies when they are big enough to be peeping, with their mouths wide open, waiting for some regurgitated insect.
Mmmm . . . insect.
Call me goofball, but things like this get me happy. I was going to get the siding pressure-cleaned, but I will wait until these babies have left the nest.
I wish I could be there, not only to take pictures, but to stand with my papist peeps.
Come on, parish of St. Joseph - this is happening within your parish boundaries . . . represent! Now is not the time for tepid Catholics.
In the meeting, Obama reportedly boasted about his knowledge of Judaism, telling the leaders that he thinks he knows more "about Judaism" than all past presidents. He said he gained this knowledge of Judaism from reading. "Obama ... stressed he probably knows about Judaism more than any other president, because he read about it," Haaretz reports.
Yeah, but did anyone tell him that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion doesn't count?
There are a lot of books that discuss the Jews.
They [the Jews] are the heirs of Hell.... They will spare no pains to corrupt you. They desire nothing but your ruin. Their hatred is clear from what they say ... When evil befalls you they rejoice.
-- Qu'aran; Surah 111, v. 117-120
Three phlebotomists were needed to FINALLY find a vein in my son's arm so they could draw blood for his labs.
He will be fine after a Chik-Fil-A sandwich. I will still have a bit of the hurt for some time because I hate seeing children - and especially my kids - in any sort of pain.
I am a proponent of breast feeding. I am a veteran who supports our troops. Having said that . . . breast feeding in uniform should be done discreetly. And that is not happening here.
A friggin' shawl, ladies, or a private spot. Urination is a natural thing, too, but in polite society we keep that out of the line of sight.
Perhaps safe parks and pools that are clear of gangs and drug dealers could help the kids get outside.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Every once in a while, even the Digi needs a day by chlorinated water.
Chlorinated water . . . because rivers and lakes have fish that. Want. To. TOUCH. Me. And Digi don't play that game.
I also don't court Certain Death by plunging some 500 feet in a vertical drop down a water slide that just screams, "Liability!" I leave that to my 11-year-old. Shut up, I'll save on tuition.
By the way, I am by far NOT the largest person here making Lycra cry. Splash Country: Where Elastic Goes to Die.
h/t Legal Insurrection
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
My friend, Julia Cox, brought me some old family photos that she had, wanting to see what could be done so that everyone in the family can have a copy.
Well, scanning will make a JPG that can be shared, but a little restoration was needed. This is Charley, one of her husband's relatives, showing the before and after.
Photoshop . . . making reality better.
Contact me if you would like work like this done.
Who has just been named by the Pope as the new Archbishop of Denver.
I had the opportunity to meet Bishop Aquila at the March for Life last January in Washington, DC.
So . . . is a new bishop for the Diocese of Orange far behind?
And so I present this picture essay, "Brendan's Day." Just a little boy in Knoxville.
Kudos to Planned Parenthood for helping women avoid abusive relationships and breast cancer and all the things that make being a woman horrible . . . by killing them first
So, what is the profit margin for Planned Parenthood on a third trimester abortion versus one done within the first few weeks? After all, they are encouraging women to wait until five months so they can "be sure" of the sex of the baby. Wait, I thought late term abortions present more risk to the mother!
I also see a soon-to-be 15 year old that needs to be studying her drivers manual. Mind you, she could go and - oh, I don't know - GET A JOB that would relieve her of slave duties.
I'm just saying.
Monday, May 28, 2012
The other day I saw a bumper sticker that read, "I survived Catholic school." I want one that read, "Survived? I THRIVED in Catholic school!" I was educated by Dominican sisters. They were tough, but beautiful women who cared about us kids at St. Brendan School in the Bronx.
Go follow this movement on Facebook. Better yet, if you or someone you know is discerning a religious life, contact them.
Before I even offer some of the wit and wisdom of the web site "Thanks, Abortion!" I have to offer some thoughts on the opportunity it provides to buy what are termed "badass positive abortion t-shirts."
Not only will you be the envy of every abortion rights supporter you know, these are high quality American Apparel Heather Jersey tees . . .
Because it is all about being pro-choice, right? It is not about animosity towards babies, yes? Because evidently this design is all about reproductive rights, not feticide:
And the father? Get out of town, honcho, because it is all about . . .
Is it me or do these t-shirts appear hostile in nature. Hardly empowering. How do you walk around calling a fetus the "by-product of conception" while sporting a t-shirt with what could be a full-term child in utero with an angry international "NO!" symbol slashed through it - and wonder why people might think poorly of you?
Ah, but that's the point - they don't care because it is all about them. And that is said loud and strong in shared "stories":
I could decide what happened next and just because I made one mistake didn’t mean I was doomed to pay for it for the rest of my life . . . I can only imagine how much having a baby would have held me back, even today! Its nearly 10 years later and I’m married to a wonderful, loving man and we still have put off the decision to have children.
Please do not have children. Because if you think that a pregnancy means you are "doomed to pay for it for the rest of [your] life," then it does not matter at what age you have a baby. In fact, just continue on being his baby, okay?
In 2006, I found out I was pregnant. I was in an abusive relationship and I knew that having a baby with this guy would have been a terrible mistake . . . Six years later, I am in a happy marriage (not with the abusive guy), I have a rewarding career and a beautiful new daughter. I often think of the abortion, however I have never regretted my decision.
I wonder why she "thinks often" of the abortion. For the past six years. Despite achieving what she dreamed of: rewarding career, happy marriage, and a beautiful new daughter. You would think her thoughts would be focused on that.
I got pregnant my Senior year of college in the midst of senior finals because I started my pill pack two days late. I really didn’t think it was a problem to start the pack late . . . I had prayed to the baby to forgive me. That I was not ready to be a mother and to come back later. That I promised to be ready then . . . Because in retrospect I am ashamed of the abortion. I am ashamed I got pregnant at all and had to do what I did. But I don’t regret the decision and would do it again. The price is that I will carry a shame and sadness with me for the rest of my life . . . I am thankful that I had the option to terminate the pregnancy and will fight to assure that my daughter will have the same rights. I will share my story with her though and hopefully she will protect herself from every having to make the choice.
Well, let's hope that by senior year of college, she is a lot smarter than her mother. But what I get from that "empowering" story is a very conflicted mother who will fight for her daughter's right to feel as ashamed as she feels.
I graduated college and was able to spend another 10 years being alive and free and spontaneous and stupid before having my own kids.
Sure, having kids means the spontaneity becomes limited. I was not aware that being alive and free gets sacrificed as well. But evidently, the stupid stayed.
The stories here are hardly empowering or positive. They are sad, especially juxtaposed with the website's title, "Thanks, Abortion!" Cognitive dissonance at its best.
If you want to be pro-choice, fine - that is your opinion. But please, understand what abortion is - the death of a human, even if arguably in an inchoate form. And with the power to terminate that life comes the consequences of regret unless you truly have no regard for humanity, including your own.
OCD involves one or both of obsessions (thoughts) and compulsions (acts). If you have a racing mind where you just cannot stop thinking about something, and it is not a pleasurable thing, the constant wondering, wondering, wondering . . . then you may have OCD tendencies. This does not mean you're washing your hands constantly or counting parking meters as you walk by - any disorder can be manifested in different ways and OCD is no exception.
It really sucks when you cannot keep your mind from racing. If an obsession got stuck in a perpetual loop with me, it was miserable. I knew it was irrational, but when it grabs hold, it becomes its own scary reality. Hmmm, So-and-so looked at me funny when I told them that I couldn't do that favor for them. They probably think that I am an idiot. They are probably at home now, laughing at the dinner table, telling everybody what an idiot I am. Because I am an idiot. So I think I will do - right now! - x, y, and z to prove to them that I am not an idiot. No wait, I can't do x, y, and z, that's crazy, So let me rewind this nutty looping tape and obsess on how they are feeling, even though that is pure speculation on my part, and play over and over in my mind how they looked at me funny and find more "clues" that prove to me that they think I'm an idiot, and think up new ways to prove to them how I am not, no matter how crazy . . .
See how insidious it is? There were times I dreaded going to bed at night because I knew the tape would start running and I would be playing a thought over and over and over - and I didn't want to. That is the key factor with OCD: people think giving in to the obsessions and compulsions are a relief. They are not. They are painful.
Fortunately, I finally went to see a mental health professional. God bless her, she got me off the medication that another doctor had me on, based on an improper diagnosis at that, and into some cognitive therapy. The therapist talked to me about my "from 0 to catastrophe in 20 seconds" way of thinking. Using a yard stick as a guide, most people hover around the middle - versus someone like me who can be pushed very quickly to either end (despair or euphoria). It was time, she said, to put up a sign that the toxic dump was closed - we used that metaphor because I had a tendency to assume the problems of others, as well as my own, rather than keeping some - if not most - at arm's length.
An so she recommended to me a way of dealing with when I get these messages from the brain that push me towards the extremes based upon the work done by psychologist Jeffrey Schwartz at UCLA. Dealing with OCD, he discovered that cognitive therapy could allow one's mind to overcome the brain. His book, Brain Lock, has been instrumental in learning how to deal with my obsessions.
I am getting better at following these four steps. I am still new at it, but for once I can fall asleep at night without the aid of some pharmaceutical. Mind you, this therapy does not make the obsessions and compulsions go away. They won't. Like my myopia or my son's hypothyroidism, I have a medical condition that I just have to deal with - and this is the way that works the best.
So give me a break and give me some patience. As well as for yourself.
Proclaim your rarity.
- Og Mandino
The wristbands are sold out but you can still make a donation - as I will do in memory of my father, who was there on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
I own two clowns: Mac (left) and Sam (right), two Blue Weimaraners.
And they are absolute clowns - as well as big, ol' sacks of sugar.
Taken May 26, 2012 at Dog Hill, Powell, Tennessee
While we were at lunch at Barleys, one of my favorite restaurants of downtown Knoxville, her little boy suddenly said, "Mama, can I have a hug?" I immediately picked up my camera, of course, to capture this Mother and Child moment.
Taken May 26, 2012 in Knoxville, TN.
Wind and Fire: Reflections on Pentecost (and why my picture of some canine manure is not so strange)
It seems that last year while attending a leadership conference, he heard the question asked to the chief ranger of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, what was his greatest fear. "That is easy," the ranger said. "Wind and fire."
But the ranger also added that the two best things for the national park are . . . wind and fire. "The wind knocks down the poor growth and the fire burns away the build up of dead undergrowth, so that they renew the forests in the mountains."
The Holy Spirit is portrayed in Scripture at a great wind and, of course, the tongues of fire. A bit of a frightening imagery, yes? God knows I hated when the Santa Ana winds blew in Southern California, knowing that with them came the increased risk of wildfires. But the point of the homily is that while the wind and fire of the hard times in life can be frightening, the gifts of the Holy Spirit coming from that same wind and fire of the soul bring strength - and thus, every day we are stronger, since everyday God reveals a little bit more of the plan that He has in store for us.
The epistle today was meaningful. We each receive a gift of the Holy Spirit. Not all, but one, maybe two (who knows, maybe more). What is mine, I wondered. If anyone thinks they know, clue me in.
And so I drove home, thinking about tough times and sad times, and how I have relied on God, letting Him know in my less-than-finishing-school way, "Lord, I've gotten a lot of s**t thrown at me this year, but at the same time, it seems some good is coming from it. Am I on the right track, God? If I don't know which gift of the Spirit has been dropped on me, but help me to use it."
And then I get home and see this in my driveway:
Oh, and if you don't know, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear (awe) of the Lord.
This weekend, we hosted the Schamels of New York for a short visit. Included with the group was Lily (an 8-year-old yellow Lab) and Marty (a 2-year-old chocolate Lab). My youngest pup, Mac, and Marty hit it off immediately and most of their time was spent together. The wrestling matches between the two were fierce, enough to rearrange furniture around the family room as they body slammed into pieces.
Have I mentioned that I really, really love dogs?
Because all gave some, but some gave all.
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
... May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!
The Spirit too helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in speech. He who searches hearts knows what the Spirit means, for the Spirit intercedes for the saints as God himself wills.
From today's Office of Readings. This cheers me up as I have problem with prayer. Being someone with cyclothymia, sometimes it is very hard for me to concentrate and keep the mind on one track. That is why I like to volunteer my talents as a photographer, as my work is my prayer. Reading this today makes me know that if I open my aperture to the Holy Spirit, I got my prayer going. Cool.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Just heard that every parish in the Diocese of Orange is being assessed $1.3 million for the renovation of the Crystal Cathedral.
Huh, my old parish, St. Joseph in Santa Ana, cannot even make enough in weekly collections to make its baseline operating costs. How in blazes does Bishop Tod Brown expect them to pony up that money? The parish was given a gift of some $500,000 from the estate of late parishioners, the Luciers, but that was earmarked fir the school by the testators.
Well, maybe the Bishop will close some parishes or schools. It is not as if he has not done that before.
When I was a little girl, I loved the stories of Greek and Roman mythology. I especially liked the goddess Artemis/ Diana, the virgin huntress, because she always had her pack of dogs with her.
This morning I got to walk in my woods with my own, joined by two Labradors - Marty (pictured here) and Lily - visiting this weekend from New York. Six dogs! And five being larger breeds! Watching them play (and three are juveniles, meaning the rough housing is nothing less than epic) has an amazing effect on stress levels. Dogs are such wonderful creatures!
As I write this, they are all tired out and I am surrounded by sleeping dogs. Let them lie. They've earned their naps.
Friday, May 25, 2012
|Eh, I don't know- your mother might approve of your shirt. And she'd be as ignorant as you.|
Taken May 25, 2012 at St. Joseph School in Knoxville, Tennessee, just before the graduation Mass.
I gotta fever . . . and the only cure is . . . MORE SURPLICES!
For President Obama . . . that he make decisions in accordance with God's law.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
That is my godmother, my aunt, Marie Martin. My godfather was my uncle, Michael Koretzky, Jr. And the place was St. Brendan Church . . . in the Bronx, baby!
|Larry Flynt in the remake of "Silence of the Lambs"|
S. E. Cupp is a conservative commentator. Underneath the doctored photo, Flynt printed this:
S.E. Cupp is a lovely young lady who read too much Ayn Rand in high school and ended up joining the dark side. Cupp, an author and media commentator who often shows up on Fox News programs, is undeniably cute. But her hotness is diminished when she espouses dumb ideas like defunding Planned Parenthood. Perhaps the method pictured here is Ms. Cupp’s suggestion for avoiding an unwanted pregnancy.
Rush Limbaugh was roundly criticized by the media when he called Sandra Fluke a slut for her "testimony" (it really wasn't testimony, because Congress was not holding any official hearings, so it was only a press event staged by Nancy Pelosi) in which she voiced the opinion that taxpayers should finance her birth control.
So where is the outrage here?
And when the Dems say that the GOP is "waging a war on women" - who really is? The Catholic Church for wanting an exemption so that birth control is not covered by medical insurance within its own institutions, and not everywhere else . . . or Larry Flynt? Sadly, I do not expect NOW to step forward for Cupp as they did for Fluke (and even then, how pathetic - seven women showed up to "Shut Down RUsh" outside a radio station that carried his program).
Consider this - if Flynt and Cupp were in some sort of personal relationship, under California Family Code section 6300, et. seq., an action like this would very likely meet the definition of domestic violence and a restraining order would issue. In any event, something like this is dehumanizing.
Of course Flynt has the protection of the First Amendment. More so, it seems, than the Catholic Church.
But it doesn't mean you have to buy this crap.
And shame on any politician who cashes a donation check from this man.
Yes, I know past politicians were "spiritualists" and some consulted mediums, psychics, crystal ball readers, etc. So did a lot of dictators.
True fact: Poe wrote "The Bells" after listening to them ring at Fordham University, when he lived at Poe Cottage in the Bronx, NY. That's one of those stories that every Bronx kid grows up with.
However, EJ Korvettes was NOT named after eleven Jewish Korean War veterans. Again, if you're from the Bronx, you'll know what I'm talking about. If you're not . . . I'm sorry.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Thousands of pages from files on nine Roman Catholic priests who settled high-profile clergy abuse lawsuits six years ago are being made public Wednesday, providing a detailed look at sordid accusations as well as instances when priests were allowed to interact with children despite their superiors knowing about the allegations.
Two of the former priests whose histories are detailed in the documents are Gus Krumm and Gary Pacheco, both defrocked Franciscan priests who served at Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church in Huntington Beach in separate assignments covering most years from the mid-1970s through the late 1990s.
The article provides a link to scanned documents. Two stand out for me from Krumm's file:
Okay . . . no. As one well-known Catholic apologist and many other persons schooled in catechism have pointed out, wine is not "inadvertently" blessed at Mass. If I have a package of Saltines in my pocket while I attend Mass, it does not become the Body of Christ simply because it is with me.
But Errazuriz is not only ignorant . . . he's boring. banal. Ho-hum. *Yawn!* Really, senor, you want to be all edgy and avant garde and so you choose to mock in your art . . . the Catholic Church?
Been there, seen that, got the cheap reproduction poster at the museum gift shop.
Religious extremism? What's the matter, ice cream man, 'fraid of a few fundamentalists Muslims showing up after the gallery closes to have a word with you about Mo'sicles, the new halal treat with an image of the Prophet on the stick?
Bet they taste like shit.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
This is a picture of me taken during the summer of 1980 in Leningrad, USSR. I am in front of the Winter Palace with a bunch of Soviet soldiers.
I'd tell you what I was doing there, but . . . ;-)
By the way, the two soldiers on the far left are not "light blue" - the Russian word for that color was also a slang term for "gay." It was a common practice among Eastern European men who were friends to hold hands while out and about, simply as friends.
If anyone says, “My love is fixed on God,”
yet hates his brother,
he is a liar.
One who has no love for the brother he has seen
cannot love the God he has not seen.
The commandment we have from him is this:
whoever loves God must also love his brother.
I was just chatting online with a young man from my former parish, Alfonso, who is fervent in his faith. It is a great thing to know a person like that, as seeing his you and fire is inspiring. We were talking about praying the Divine Office. He is looking for a hard copy of it, and I suggested he ask his priest if he happens to have an extra one lying about. If anyone has an extra copy of the Divine Office - aka Liturgy of the Hours - and can hook up a young brother, let me know!
His owners are looking for work. Pray for them, they deserve the reward for being good to one of God's creatures.
If you are a dog lover, chances are you are a good person. I absolutely love dogs.
I get sent a lot of glurge, that is, the "feel good" human interest stories that may or may not be true. Most of the time I give them a short glance and move on, but every once in awhile, I do some fact-checking, if only to learn that a story is true and have my faith in humanity renewed. I am happy to say this is one of those stories:
Sergeant Dolfini said leaving Cody and his family was not one of the hardest thing he's ever done. That moment came a week later when he attended Cody's funeral.
"I went and went in front of the casket and saluted Cody," said Sgt. Dolfini. "I turned and before I left I stopped and I turned right to Tracy, Cody's mother. We looked straight into each other's eyes and I saluted her and that was so hard. That was the most difficult thing I've encountered in awhile, but I know for that moment in time that we were locked in each other's gaze, keeping your bearing at that point is a tough thing to do."
"Marines don't do this sort of thing for acclaim," said Sgt. Dolfini. "That's not how we're wired. It's not why we join. We didn't join the Marine Corps. to be rich, we didn't join it for fame, you don't do it for that reason."
"If we all did just something like that once a day or just something small just think of what an incredible legacy that would leave for Cody," said Sgt. Dolfini.
Sgt. Dolfini has a new saint in Heaven to watch over him.
|I lie . . . because I care.|
Monday, May 21, 2012
Interesting. Of the three major TV networks - ABC, NBC, and CBS - only CBS mentioned in its broadcast tonight the lawsuits filed today by the Catholic Church against the Obama administration, and even then gave it 15 seconds. But what else to expect when none of them reported on several hundred thousand people marching in Washington DC last January?
God's time is not our time. We prefer the microwave. He prefers the crockpot. The food is usually better.
I have been reflecting on the fact that God answers prayers. Always. There is something, a reconciliation, for which I pray. And I ask God to give me the patience to wait for the meal to be done and the table set.
And if you thought Obama could not piss off the Catholics enough with HHS mandates, now comes "objection" to protection of military chaplains . . .
The OMB complained that, “in its overbroad terms,” section 536 “is potentially harmful to good order and discipline.”
It was one of twelve lawsuits filed against the Federal Government of the United States. The Twelve Lawsuits were coordinated by the prestigious power house law firm of Jones Day and strategically filed throughout the United States. The complaints represent 43 dioceses, hospitals, schools and church agencies. They seek declaratory and injunctive relief. They also demand a jury trial.
Do you think this is the end? Oh no - I have a feeling that unless Obama backs down, this is just the first wave.
The President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, said of the lawsuits, "We have tried negotiation with the Administration and legislation with the Congress - and we'll keep at it - but there's still no fix. Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now."
"Though the Conference is not a party to the lawsuits, we applaud this courageous action by so many individual dioceses, charities, hospitals and schools across the nation, in coordination with the law firm of Jones Day. It is also a compelling display of the unity of the Church in defense of religious liberty."
St. Thomas More is smiling . . . no, wait: he's grinning broadly.
Read the University of Notre Dame's - one of the plaintiffs - petition here.
Query: as a baptized Roman Catholic, can I be an intervenor, i.e., file a motion to join with the plaintiffs? Hmmm . . . imagine if we all did!
I expect Obama's first course of action is to spin this to paint the Catholics as the bad guys. Good luck with that - it will just make Timothy Cardinal Dolan smile with delight.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.
-- Matthew 5:11-12