Monday, March 31, 2008

Another Glimpse at the Obamanation

"This is a very difficult issue, and I understand sort of the passions on both sides of the issue...I have two precious daughters — they are miracles."

"Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

(I must be missing something. Grandchildren aren't a miracle?)

(I found this graphic at inner ear hears it a la Fred Sanford!)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Opening Day!

[Update: Crap!!!]

Shout-out to Ma Beck...

3/31/08: Cubs v. Brewers, 1:20 PM WT (that's Wrigley Time)

GO CUBS GO ! ! !
The Boy after his first pilgrimmage to Wrigley 8-07

So Dear To My Heart

Just found this old VHS tape in the attic...this is a wonderful and hard-to-find old Disney movie - you can get the DVD on Amazon from 3rd parties, which I am doing today. It's a mixed live-animation movie about a boy raising a black sheep set at the turn of the century, rural Ohio - with strong Christian themes. The opening theme song (written by Mel Torme) and anmiation of old-fashioned postcards and Victorian decoupage revealing the credits alone is masterful. Highly recommended by Kit & Kittens!

The Divine Mercy Chaplet

Opening Prayer:

You expired, O Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls and an ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us. O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You. Amen

The Lord's Prayer

Hail Mary

Apostles' Creed

On starting and on the 4 large Rosary beads say:

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

On each of the 10 small Rosary beads say:

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Conclude by saying three times:

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Closing Prayer:

Eternal God in whom Mercy is endless and the treasury of Compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your Mercy in us so that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent but, with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your Holy Will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

(PS: On my links to the right is a nice computer version to pray at 3 pm each day at work)

Saturday, March 29, 2008


It's my theme this of my favorite psalms, and OH of the best concert-enders EVER! (Another nerd revelation for you...I've experienced it in person 11 times.)

Birthday presents

Believe it or not, after all the clacking and moaning you've endured here about the big 4-0, I am generally of the opinion that after about 21 or so, birthdays are no longer a big deal and should not be fussed over. A card and ceremonial cake at the office, sure. A day off if the schedule allows, fine. Dinner date with the beloved and kiddies, ideal. I also do not like getting gifts, other than handmade stuff from the kids, and the obligatory shiny bauble from my ever-seeking-to-spoil-me spouse. (Love that guy!) If I want something, I will select and buy it myself. Conversely, maybe perversely, I LOVE giving gifts to other people, and put much time and thought into getting just the right little thing they've mentioned or admired in the past, something they collect, a spa treat, whatever. (I am a freak, I know...but I am revered by those who know of my gift-picking and suitcase packing skills.)

So anyway, I put the word out through one of my best galpals and our collective hairdresser and did my best to avoid any attempts at surprise parties or other occasions where I might get some sort of oh-so-aptly named GAG gifts sprung on me. It worked! Got a fair number of emails, cards from a few family members, kind wishes from many of you, and best of all, I got to sneak away on my quick refresher trip (gift to me from me!) unscathed.

Essentially, I am very grateful for all that I did NOT get for my 40th...and I mean that most sincerely. I am looking ahead to 50. I am thinking it will be a nice little birthstone-inspired aquamarine-colored Vespa with matching helmet. I will then live out all my Roman Holiday fantasies in style...

So now that we've covered the next big milestone, I ask you, what is YOUR ideal birthday present (or non-present)?

40 in Florida...

As you may have determined, I survived the big day....almost gracefully, too. We had a lovely time, the wind was a bit chilly on the beach for the first day or so, but we wore our cover-ups and brought novels down anyway - the sun felt great!

View from our Sanibel hotel room

We spent the first 2 days on Sanibel, and the last day and a half down the coast a bit in Naples. On our last day, for the heck of it, we made the drive inland to see the new Ave Maria development, the university, and the Oratory. This is literally a little oasis plunked down in rural, eastern Collier County in the middle of NOWHERE. Now, I've seen a lot of new housing, having practiced construction defect law in So.Cal., but I was not prepared for what we saw at Ave Maria. One word. Gorgeous!

The Oratory

I am not the photographer in the family, but this next one gives a little more perspective. The interior is not yet complete, the Blessed Sacrament is not reserved there and there is no artwork or altar yet...although there is a historical timeline and some housing development sales brochures. I chose not to curl my lip at this yet, as the Oratory is still under construction and not quite "hallowed ground" at this point. Or I might've flipped the table over.

What I did not really capture (strain your eyes and you'll see a bit) is that this is the focal point of a Piazza, with a semi-circular drive behind the Oratory with cute little shops (including a homeschool supply store with COOL STUFF!), a coffeehouse, bookstore, fitness place, spa, real estate offices, etc., as the town center. Clearly modeled with an Italian village in mind - and that is a GOOD thing. Opposite this (i.e., directly behind me as I took this picture) is the Ave Maria University campus.

The campus is in "stage one" - the main buildings are there, but clearly there will be more to come. Including a law school (hmmmm...."Professor Kit" is intrigued....)

There are strong, diametrically opposed feelings about this development and its origins, and the ACLU is watching like a hawk, to be sure. But again, I must say, it is beautiful. Just beautiful. The housing prices are in the 200-400K range, which, given the location is not terrible. 35 minutes to Naples, probably 90 or so to Miami on the other side. I'd move there in a minute....and I certainly shall when they make me the new law school Dean! (I'd settle for Assistant, mind you...)

And heck, if one of the bene's for employees is free tuition, here's a potential future member of the class of '16!

She is intent on getting into Cornell (not too far from our house, and she has the grades, brains, and personality to do it if she works hard in high school), but I asked her what she thought of AMU and the surrounding area. She said she doesn't like the crowds of FL, and believes that she should live in someplace like Brigadoon (LOL!). I looked at her and said "Honey, this place is as close as you'll ever get to Brigadoon in real life!" Really. A little conservative Catholic town with nothing around it but miles of agricultural fields, low potential for any substantial criminal activity, with hardcore Catholic college students sprinkled about. Of course there will always be plenty of room for human nature to prove my theory wrong, wolves always find sheep, but I think the odds are in Ave Maria's favor.

Definitely worth the drive if you are ever in that part of FL.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Anniversary to my beloved!!!

It started like this....
...15 years of bliss...
and I love you more than ever!
[pics removed at family's request - sorry!]

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What would you do?

One day to go...
Can you imagine what must have gone through the minds of the women ....

.... when they came upon this?

If you've ever lost a loved one or endured a profound, life altering tragedy, don't you dream (by day or night) of the "what if's" and imagine what it would be like if you could bring the person back, what life would be like if the tragedy had never occurred?
Imagine the practical side of you confronted with the inexplicable miracle that you dreamed of, but did not dare let yourself believe. What those holy women must have thought, and how they must have felt!

The open tomb is the open door to eternity. It's the miracle of Easter, and the promise of our lives to come.

Hope you all have a wonderful, blessed Easter - I'll be away until next Thursday and will undoubtedly regale you with more earthly tales and far shallower thoughts then!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


The Princess just got back from the Diocesan spelling bee...finished in the top 5 (which is almost as stunning as the fact that she made it out of the school level, as she is slightly challenged in matters of orthography). Congrats to her and thanks to the beloved for driving nearly 4 hours r/t in sleet to get her there on a weeknight. What are they thinking?

(Oh yeah. Duh. It's the Diocese of Rochester.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Palm Sunday

Just a quick note - Mother of This Lot has a great post on this subject. I watched the Solemn Mass from Rome on EWTN while prepping for the beloved's birthday feast. The Gospel was chanted by three young deacons. Beautiful!

AND the winner is.....

.....Sanibel Island, FL.
The vacation poll is closed!
Yes, I shall welcome (?) my 40th by attending Easter morning Mass with the family, then hop on a plane and end it on a lovely, white-sandy beach, hopefully with some sort of umbrella-bearing cold adult beverage in hand.
For those who've never heard of it, Sanibel is a resort island in SW Florida, connected by a long bridge (causeway) to Ft. Myers, which is just over an hour south of Tampa.

I've been there twice, with friends whose parents owned a timeshare back in the mid-80's, and it was lovely. (And far less expensive!)

Sanibel is renowned for shelling...I still have a few good ones, and a lovely bit of fire coral, all these years later

I am taking the oldest child along....she's had a rough few months at school, having "outed" some of her peers for bullying. So now she's on the receiving end, feeling that she did the right thing, but being friendless at 14 is not easy. So a mini-break from the wretched she-dogs of the quasi-Catholic Jr. High will be good for her. She, being a major whitey, will be under the cabana, while I, with some strange ability to tan that comes every other generation in my Irish-German-Alsatian genetic stew, will be brown as a coconut within 48 hours. (Yes, I know we are not supposed to do that to our skin anymore, but given the long, dark, cold, snowy upstate winter, 1) don't really give a damn, and 2) let's just say I consider it therapy for my S.A.D. issues. Hmmmm.....I wonder if it's a tax writeoff....?)

So, I shall watch the sun set on my 30's and enjoy the halftime show for a few days, then back to reality.
(Nothing says "buzzkill" like 5 workers' compensation hearings in 2 days when I step off the plane!)

This was a painstaking process. I wanted to do something new and unusual. I very nearly chose 4 days in Iceland - yes, Iceland - because it was a strange and unique, once in a lifetime kind of trip, friends have raved about it, and hey, you only turn 40 once. But I had qualms about leaving the family so far behind.

Then I got some great info, and a killer potential deal on a Dublin package for St. Patrick's Day, staying at the Clarence with a potential "surprise" U2 appearance...but I could not stand the look of pain in the beloved's eyes at the thought of me doing that without him. He could not take time away that week. He was the baby seal, I was the club. Not right at all.

Last week was looking a lot like London - crazy cheap fares and a desire to take tea at Harrods, and then pop over to Harvey Nic's and look for Patsy & Edina. But then, I've done that (didn't find Patsy & Edina then, either...).

So, I ended up staying in the States, spending far less, feeling very little guilt, and will be going to a place I have fond memories of at the same age as the oldest is now. We shall have bonding moments, a convertible rental car, and be back in the wee hours on Thursday. (For those who are wondering, the 10 year old and I explored Charleston together last summer, so she is not being overlooked, but she's sure miffed at the moment. Sometimes a little one-on-one time with Mom - and Mom with girl - is a very good thing!)

I will take lots of picture and give you all a review when I return!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy Birthday!

To my beloved...44 today!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How the mighty have fallen

Went out to dinner with our dear friends the County Election Commissioner (godmother to the boy) and her beloved husband/our local State Assemblyman (R). Opening statements/chat over cocktails:
Me: [almost innocently] So, T--, how's your week been?
T--: [smirking] Oh, y'know, busy....and I'm pretty tired. From smiling so much.
All: [LOL!!!!!!!! Bartender , patrons, and restaurant owner included]
(Good stuff!)
Dinner and after-dinner were GREAT fun!
Credit due -- he did the right thing and resigned this afternoon - 3-12-08 - and even said what I do below:
"To whom much is given, much is expected..."

Eliot Spitzer (a.k.a., The Luv Guv)

While the Demo-crites in this state and elsewhere can beseech the public to forgive him all they want ("after all, his wife is standing by him...[blah blah blah]") the bottom line is this: Eliot Spitzer is not just some hubris-stricken politician caught with his pants down (in a bathroom stall or elsewhere, in the Oval Office in a consensual encounter, whatever). He must be held to a higher standard. He is a licensed attorney, former District Attorney and NY State Attorney General who built his reputation on going after, among other things, organized prostitution, with special attention to thowing the book at the women involved and seeking harsh sentences to prove how tough on crime he is. Not only did he engage in the crime of solicitation, he was arrogant enough to do it across state lines, thereby committing both State and Federal offenses. This is not a stupid man. Just one who, born to privilege and driven to power, fully believed himself to be above the very law he is sworn to uphold.

Link to the 55 page indictment...see "Client 9" references:

No quarter.

He needs to resign. Yesterday. My friend/local State Assemblyman and his fellow Republican Assemblymen have kindly allowed him 48 hours before the impeachment process begins. Generous.

Interesting how he and his party exposed, excoriated, and otherwise attacked the ethics of Jeannine Pirro, a former opponent of his, for soliciting the services of a private investigator to follow and record her cheating husband in the act. Hmmmm....didst he protest too much?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sometimes ya gotta spell it out

The "new" deadly sins...

ROME — Drug pushers, the obscenely rich, environmental polluters and “manipulative” genetic scientists beware — you may be in danger of losing your mortal soul unless you repent.
After 1,500 years the Vatican has brought the seven deadly sins up to date by adding seven new ones for the age of globalization. The list, published yesterday in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, came as the Pope deplored the “decreasing sense of sin” in today’s “secularized world” and the falling numbers of Roman Catholics going to confession.
The Catholic Church divides sins into venial, or less serious, sins and mortal sins, which threaten the soul with eternal damnation unless absolved before death through confession and penitence.
It holds mortal sins to be “grave violations of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes,” including murder, contraception, abortion, perjury, adultery and lust.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into Hell.”
Although there is no definitive list of mortal sins, many believers accept the broad seven deadly sins or capital vices laid down in the 6th century by Pope Gregory the Great and popularized in the Middle Ages by Dante in "The Inferno": lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, anger, envy and pride.

Christians are exhorted instead to adhere to the seven holy virtues: chastity, abstinence, temperance, diligence, patience, kindness and humility.
Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican body which oversees confessions and plenary indulgences, said after a week-long Lenten seminar for priests that surveys showed 60 percent of Catholics in Italy no longer went to confession.
He said that priests must take account of “new sins which have appeared on the horizon of humanity as a corollary of the unstoppable process of globalization.” Whereas sin in the past was thought of as being an individual matter, it now has “social resonance.”
“You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbor’s wife, but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments, or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos,” he said.
Bishop Girotti said that mortal sins also included taking or dealing in drugs, and social injustice which caused poverty or “the excessive accumulation of wealth by a few.”
He said that two mortal sins which continued to preoccupy the Vatican were abortion, which offended “the dignity and rights of women,” and pedophilia, which had even infected the clergy itself and so had exposed the “human and institutional fragility of the Church.”
The mass media had “blown up” the issue “to discredit the Church,” but the Church itself was taking steps to deal with it, according to Girotti.
Addressing the Apostolic Penitentiary seminar, the Pope said there was “a certain disaffection” with confession among the faithful. Priests had to show “divine tenderness for penitent sinners” and admit their own failings.
“Those who trust in themselves and in their own merits are, as it were, blinded by their own ‘I’, and their hearts harden in sin. Those who recognize themselves as weak and sinful entrust themselves to God, and from Him obtain grace and forgiveness.”
The Pope also complained that an increasing number of people in the secularized West were “making do without God.”
He said that hedonism and consumerism had even invaded “the bosom of the Church itself, deeply undermining the Christian faith from within, and undermining the lifestyle and daily behavior of believers.”
Eastern Catholics do not recognize the same distinction between mortal and venial sins as the Western or Latin Church does, nor do they believe that those people who die in a state of sin are condemned to automatic damnation.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

"He's in the Jailhouse now..."

We are not real pleased with our new sleeping arrangements
[pic removed at request of family - sorry!]

I am alive...

All's been quiet on the Western NY front this past week...on the blog, anyway. Work has been hectic. I accepted a case from a retired attorney...only to discover at a hearing that the retired attorney made a grave procedural error 5 years ago that precludes the client's claim. The judge had the client leave the hearing room and gave me his condolences...and adjourned the hearing so I could talk to the client. Not a fun couple of conversations. The attorney is/was an excellent lawyer and a good, honorable person, and it's more than likely a clerical/paralegal mistake that the attorney is now going to take the fall for. The client is catastrophically injured physically and now least for the time being. Yikes. It can happen to anyone - which is a scary reality. Much to ponder this weekend.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Uh oh.

Here it comes.

I fell asleep with the baby and missed evening Mass, woke up not knowing where I was, or what time of day...legs and back achy, eyes burning, throat and ears unhappy...and I have a big nasty hearing in the morning.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Fatima Reveille (LOL!!!)

Gotta love the classics.

Bl. Lucia, Francisco, Jacinta

Oh, that nutty 10 year old...we were chatting about baby and childhood memories last weekend and the subject of her "apparition" phase came up. (For about a 3-4 month stretch on the 13th during 1st grade, and then again on October 13th, she "appeared" in doorways, with a solemn face and blue veil) This morning, we had an encore. She sidled in, with the original blue veil, and was giggling and snorting. "I know it's not the 13th (snicker) but PRAY THE ROSARY! See ya!" and off she went.

Miracle of the Sun

Seems she spent quite some time looking for her blue veil, and found it late last night.

March is here!

....and it is 5* outside. Yay. We did see our first robin on 2/17, so I know there is hope....