Saturday, December 29, 2007

Awesome Days of Christmas

I have been a model of sloth and gluttony this past week. (See previous post). I did manage to get off the couch and get some work done, which, sadly, has diverted me from my post-Christmas ritual of either going to daily Mass through Epiphany, or at least ensuring that I sit down and take time to properly consider the readings for each day. So I went back today and reviewed the readings and even cracked out my Butler's for good measure.

A quick review...12/26: St. Stephen, the first Martyr. 12/27: St John the Evangelist (excellent post on this feast at The Digital Hairshirt, btw). 12/28: the Holy Innocents...this one is always tough for me as I pray for my 8 little as-yet unmet little innocents who were not able to complete the journey with me. Which is nothing compared to all of the innocent souls who, by someone else's "choice," never even had a chance. So I pretty much just sit there in the back of the church with the waterworks in full force despite my best efforts to be invisible. Always a tough day, and aside from my inner strife, I'm sure I must look like a wacko by the time my red puffy face makes it up to receive the Eucharist...but I digress.


12/29: Thomas a Becket (I do love my lawyer saints and their funky-campy 60's biopics...) 12/30: The Holy Family. How amazing is each member of the Holy Family, I ask you to consider?!? I have a great poster of the Holy Family's flight to Egypt that I bought at the Vatican museum...and have yet to frame. 12/31: Sts. Sylvester, Melania, Columba -- early saints, each of whom displays a unique vocation and reminds us of the virtues of the brave early Christians...pope/survivor of Diocletian and witness of the ascendancy of Constantine, foundress/abess, virgin and martyr, respectively. And that's just December!

Remiss though I have been in keeping up my annual tradition this year, I do love these days, which are a little slower, kids are home, leftovers about done, and there's some time to reflect on these days and their import. Just sitting here clacking all this out has been cathartic -- as I type I keep thinking how much I love our Church, our history, and the countless examples of love, bravery, virtue, purity, and faith we can look to in even a cursory review of hagiology. I love our Faith!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jabba the Hutt (a.k.a....Mamma the Gutt)

Yeah. That's pretty much what the scene on my couch has been since 8:00 on the morning of the 25th. Carnage (a.k.a., unwrapping gifts). Cookies. Cocoa. Rum balls. Phone calls. Ham. More cookies. Tea. Oblivion.
12/26: Baked oatmeal. Coffee. Cookies. Ham sammiches. Real (not diet) Coke. Rum balls. Movies. Tea. Laptop.
I. Am. A. Big. Fat. Slug.
Lord have mercy on my gluttonous soul and the glutenous mess I've made of Your temple these past few days...but thanks for a blessed Christmas and the most important gift of all (scroll down for that one!), whose first three fangs arrived with little fuss or ceremony this week!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Joyeux Noel!

Have a wondrous, blessed Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Whew! Made it home from my legal conference in sunny San Diego in one piece between waves of sleet, ice, and blizzard at DTW and here in NY -- threaded the eye of the weather needle, so to speak. My poor guardian angel's proverbial wings must still be thawing...I invoke him/her about every 5 minutes (or more with every tiny bit of turbulence) to use them to keep us aloft while in flight.

Never used to bother me to fly, but after I had kids...and especially leaving the little critter behind for almost a week, I am now a confirmed flight phobe. Thanks again to my angel and the litany of saints who I silently beseeched going and especially coming home on this "Rejoice" Sunday!

We're in the home stretch....much wrapping, baking, and maybe even cards to do this coming week. (Still gotta get to confession, too!) Hope everyone out there is doing well and enjoying!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Gift

Thank you Sts. Catherine, Gerard, Gianna, Jude, and our Blessed Mother for answering our prayers this year with the greatest gift of all!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Fellow Travelers - prayers requested

I wanted to hold off on this until after the holidays, but darn it, between my personal pals and blog acquaintances these past few weeks, there are some tiny, pure souls up in Heaven and some grieving mothers here on Earth who need prayers on this Feast of the Immaculate Conception: my sister in law, who recently miscarried, my dear friends Jude (godfather of my "law school baby") & his wife Emily, whose 18 week old died in utero this past week, John Mary Thomas (Dymphna's baby), and the many, many Catholic moms struggling, as I did for so long, with multiple miscarriages and subsequent trouble conceiving.
May our Blessed Mother wrap you in her mantle and the Divine Infant welcome His newest little playmates.
I pray He will send you joy in the upcoming year! Crazy schedule aside, I will be doing a Holy Hour for you all this weekend, plus one of gratitude for my own little family having been blessed with a long-awaited baby this year.

New Christmas thing

I am really digging XM Radio's Traditional Holiday and World Holiday stations -- lots of chant, old-world and medieval arrangements. If you have it in your car or on AOL for free, it is worth it -- I have been listening to it at work and at home via my laptop while i putter around doing other stuff. Tonight is a big decorating and cookie making night after 4:30 weekend (pink candle!) is tree time after I get back from my legal conference in San Diego. (Please pray for my safe trip...some I know are so jealous that I'm traveling without the kids, but not me...ever since I had my first, I dread flying and the possibility of leaving them motherless if something goes wrong!)

Christmas FAQ's (my first meme!)

Slowly getting into the ins and outs of the blogging thing, and lo and's all about MEme:
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both - mother's cloth gift bags (she gets Christmas fabric on sale after the big day and makes bags to use/recycle every year. Handy for odd shapes and sizes, and there's kitsch factor involved when you get one of 'em

2. Real tree or artificial? Real -- love the smell, hate the mess, enjoy the drive and slog up into the hills to pick it out and cut it down, too.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the second Sunday unless the weather prevents the cutting.

4. When do you take the tree down? After Epiphany.

5. Do you like eggnog? Oh yeah...the real stuff with bourbon or brandy! (Not the "egg-nausea" thick crap from the store)

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Two stand out -- my grandma (she died at 90 in March, God rest her soul) used to buy me a Christmas ornament every year. I have them going back to 1980. Second, a little camel hair coat with a rabbit fur collar when I was about 9 (I learned much later that this was my struggling single mom's revenge for my dad buying his wife and stepdaughter full length mink and rabbit fur coats...but not paying his child support)

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? I have 5! Waterford, large ceramic (from Sam's Club - very pretty!), Spanish terra-cotta, wooden blocks for the kids, and a little Mexican painted terra-cotta set, muy folklorico.

8. Hardest person to buy for? Mom. Her birthday is Christmas Eve, she is picky, we must differentiate between the birthday and Christmas, so the pressure is intense.

9. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Identical things (sweaters, Barbies, etc.) to the evil stepsister. Especially when we got the same Barbie, but she got all the accessories, house, car, airplane, etc. I just got the Barbie and was not allowed to touch the other stuff during subsequent custodial visits.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Both...but let's face it, I haven't even sent out birth announcements yet!

11. Favorite Christmas Movie? "A Christmas Story" (I actually saw it in the theater!), and "It's a Wonderful Life"

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? A bit here and there after Halloween

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Does returning a winter coat I received from the evil stepmother to help pay my electric bill count?

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Everything. OK, if I have to pick one seasonal thing, it's those Bahlsen dark-chocolate covered gingerbread cookies. Wow!

15. Clear lights or colored on the tree? I like clear, the family likes colored, so I lose.

16. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night ("Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!" = good stuff)

17. Stay at home or travel on Christmas? Home. Back in our military days, we used to haul ourselves across the country with cheap flights on Christmas Day to visit inlaws and show off the grandkids, but no more. I love my house, it was built for entertaining (by wealthier people than we will ever be back in the 1920's...servant's rooms and all), and contrary to public policy and child labor laws in many states, I have conscripts (ages 13 and 10, upon whom I have graciously bestowed my DNA) who become servants and sleep up on the third floor when the house is full. Living the dream....

18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yes, if pressed

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star was a casualty in our new dog vs. cat tree-toppling atrocity 4 years ago, so currently we have a fiber-optic winged angel who has stopped lighting up. Annoying.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Back to the Mom thing. We had to watch her open her birthday presents on the 24th, but wait until the 25th to open ours. So now that I am free of maternal tyranny, I have instituted a more benevolent dictatorial custom of my own -- we give gifts to each other the night before, and wait until morning for "Santa" presents and stockings.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Malls. And about 90% of the secular-maniac people I know talking about all horribly expensive crap they are getting for their kids -- PDA's, cell phones, Wii's, iPods to replace the "outdated" one they got last year...ridiculous. (When I was 13 I was happy to get crazy stuff like a few sweaters, some perfume and maybe a new U2 album...)

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Yes, it is official -- we have about 4 inches here in Upstate (probably more further north), and more on the way.

I woke up and looked out across the street at the big Antebellum mansion across the street, white bricks and green shutters, its hedges and ancient oak and maple trees laced with snow, and thought "how beautiful!" And then I thought "Thank God I don't have that sidewalk and driveway!" (I live in a stately, but much smaller abode...from which the view is fabulous.) Also congratulating self on procrastinating on raking up the last of the hidden under a pristine mantle of white. Excellent mulch by spring. :)

Let the scraping, shoveling, slipping and sliding into stuff begin. Great for the law business with all the personal injuries of the season (much as the rainy season in San Diego used to be - curse the traffic, love the bad drivers!), but by March, I will be fed up and wondering what the h[eck] we were thinking moving back here. Oh well. For now I am sticking with "beautiful."

As I sit here, I see Man and Cub frolicking about in the yard with the hounds, and from this vantage point it is hard to tell who is having more fun. My poor baby is nothing but a ball of fleece with two very pink cheeks, so I think he's just enjoying the ride but wondering why the Big Guy keeps making him touch the cold stuff. My 10 year old is attempting to be a musher...can't figure out why the "sled dogs" -- imagine, the intellectual one-two punch of Golden Retard and Labradork -- are having a harder time pulling this year.

I will have to explain this over hot chocolate, which I have yet to make. So off I go.

Happy Winter everyone!