Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh...say it ain't so, Bishop Martino!

I am inexpressibly sad to learn that Bishop Martino of Scranton has resigned. This article is infuriating - Teddy Kennedy was a more prominent Catholic figure than our Bishops, true, but somehow the author seems to imply or equate prominence with moral authority. And while the author hints at a divide with the Vatican and Bp. Martino, where's the explanation?

I'm just sick at heart.

I need a physical and spiritual Tums. Gotta ponder and pray. What's next? Who's next?

Comment away, friends - because I don't get this at all.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh yeah, about Teddy

As with the Michael Jackson saga, I've kept the tv off throughout the Ted Kennedy coverage. I have always had very strong (and negative) feelings about how he has conducted his personal and political life, and yet...there's something about that flawed family that has always made me feel sorry for them. So here's an article containing the text of his letter to the Pope and the response he received.

For his soul's sake, I hope his sentiments were genuine and that he experienced a true conversion of conscience during his last days, and that he will rest in peace. Those of us left behind will have to deal with the painful legacy he's passed on to our country and to the public face of the Church.

Another week gone by...

...but fear not, we are still here!

Some technical difficulties around here with a new computer and an additional laptop trying to become part of the family wireless network. New desktop computer: replaces the one we've had since before moving to this middle of nowhere place in December of 2003. Additional laptop:

The Beloved is home!

For 13 days, but hey - a man's gotta have his technology. Which knocked mine off and out for the past 5 days. But we're all back in working order now. At least I think we are. Right before coming home, the Beloved wrenched his already bad back while doing something he won't explain overseas. (More from fear of mockery than for security purposes, I'm guessing). We are four days into our visit, the jetlag is about conquered, but the back pain...not so much. He's on the couch with a heating pad, tramadol, and a grimace on his face if he's not wrangling and/or wrassling with The Boy.

The Princess sailed through her "procedure" last Monday, during which we discovered that she has a lovely, healthy looking set of intestines. The biopsies of the three areas (small intestine, ileum, and colon) will be back next week, but for now, the diagnosis is back in question. So if it isn't Crohn's, colitis, ibs, or celiac issues....what is it?!? Good to know it's better than what we thought, but bad to be guessing one unnecessary appendectomy and a rather humilitating (from a 15 year old's point of view) colonoscopy later. Cheerleading has started so we have decided to do our best Scarlett O'Hara imitation and "think about it tomorrow."

Therese is now an orange belt and steeling her nerves for junior high. And at the school she's going to...that's no small feat. So far, she's learned that two girls (incoming 7th graders) are pregnant. Nice, eh? As she put it, in that straight-faced, matter-of-fact totally Aspie way of hers...."I guess someone forgot to tell them that sex before marriage is a sin." Then she cocked an eyebrow and smirked when we explained to her why we were cracking up. So I'm not entirely sure that was an innocent statement. She has potential, that one...for all good things, but with a teeny-tiny edge of snarkishness. That's to be expected when one grows up at the Casa de Brookside, I s'pose.

On this cool but sunny Sunday afternoon, I am watching the first of the leaves fall from one of our trees out front (I must confess that have no clue what kind of tree it is, but it has tiny little symmetrical leaves that make it look sort of fern-like) and I'm thinking about Fall starting, which, on one hand, is great because I love the weather, the football games, the colors, the smells, the apples and spices that will be cooking in my kitchen in another month or so...but since we didn't get our first truly warm, sunny, and summery-sweltery days until the beginning of August, I feel like we got RIPPED OFF this year!

Hope you've all had a good summer - and yes, Karen, I have more Tales from the Brookside for you. Just a matter of having a few moments to myself to commit them to computer!

Friday, August 21, 2009

You bought it....

and you broke it.

The faith of the American people, that is.

According to reports this morning, The One is experiencing a dip in the polls. I wonder if the "I inherited this mess" blame game/press conference will make the evening news...


Don't look now...but I have NOTHING on my calendar tomorrow after 12 pm, Saturday is clear, and there's no cheerleading practice on Sunday.

Please, dear Lord...let us be activity and disaster-free for those 60 precious hours...

I hit the $5 movie rack at Target again...this is becoming a sickness...but I got "Rebecca" with my secret childhood romantic idol...Sir Laurence Olivier.

Can't wait!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Coolest or Most Pathetic Mom...I Don't Care!

Well, as some of you now know, the Princess was finally diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Suckfest.

We have had such a busy summer with the tutoring, the speech therapy for The Boy, karate, ballroom, and the big math time for vacation (except Therese, who got to sneak away to visit cousins and then a week trip to Quebec with grandma), and now we get this wretched news after all her hard work. We've been mad, we've been weepy, and now it's time for some rebellion. So I decided to indulge my inner teenager.

I am taking the Princess to her first-ever rock concert.

U2 and Snow Patrol.

There. I said it. We will dance and scream and sing like fools, just without the ganja or other assorted illicit "meds" that will be floating around. We will buy the t-shirts. We will be in BOSTON!

I am telling the school it's a college visit. :)

Laugh if you dare....we won't be able to hear you for a few days afterwards. We are in the 4th row just off to the side of the stage.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Time for a Tea Party

I have been a quietly political creature just about all my life. When I was in 5th grade, I asked for subscriptions to Newsweek and Psychology Today for Christmas - my mother thought I was nuts for asking, so the latter was probably particularly apt. Like my religious beliefs and convictions (although those didn't solidify until much later) I have always made it a point to be well versed in both my own opinions as well as those to the contrary before jumping into the fray. I also make sure my opponents are worthy, intelligent, not drunk, etc., before diving in.

So at a family lake party over the weekend, I listened while the family elders (60's liberals turned Reagan Republicans) went at it with their children - Obamaniacs all.

I said nothing.

I was so stunned at the one-sidedness and utopian myopia of the arguments made by the 20-30 year old set - and these young people are all college grads and beyond - med school, law school, and PhD's are in progress with all but ONE, who graduated from an outlying SUNY campus last year and is pondering law school. These minds were all formed while away working on their undergrad degrees during the post 9/11 years, being indoctrinated by the worst kind of leftist anti-war liberal collective that rules institutions of hgher education these days. While all of their fathers were in military service - and not all voluntarily - not one of the kids present has given any time or service to their country. They haven't had to - whether for college money, personal development, because of a draft, or any sense of commitment to their country. They have not had friends die - yet - for their country or because of those who would attack this country.

It got quite ugly and nasty between one very beloved Uncle and his son, at which point I instructed the Princess to go stand in the middle of the group and ask them if her butt looked big in her bathing suit. (She didn't of course, but all us ladies sitting across the dock sipping our wine and rolling our eyes cracked up....).

After the party and on the way home, we talked about all we'd heard, and who'd said what to whom, and the Princess said it was hard for her to listen to them. She remembers those scary days after 9/11 when her Daddy was on alert and on recall to the base at Miramar (i.e., all scheduled leaves cancelled, no leave allowed, had to be within 45 minutes of the base at all times for deployment readiness, etc.), the day we thought he was leaving that Fall, Christmas Eve when he was told to be at the base at dawn the next day, left, and then came home because the USAF refused to fly on Christmas...

"How can they be so blind? They aren't stupid people!"

That got me thinking, too. I have mentioned a few times here on the blog that I haven't had the tv on to watch the late-night news as usual. Honestly, since the election, I have not watched much regular television or the news at all - and especially since the Beloved left, I'd say I've watched the crappy local tv news once (and only because I was interviewed about a local political issue while watering my flowers...). I read a little bit here and there when I go online, and as you may have noticed - haven't been doing that much at all, either. I can't bear it. I don't want to see what the jackals are doing to our country, to our economy, and to our country's future. I see Sotomayor being confirmed as a Supreme Court justice and I cringe imagining what she will do to the future of American jurisprudence.

In the middle of all that pondering, someone forwarded me this:

This reminds me where we've been, and cautions me about where we could be headed if things don't change. We cannot let them win. And if people like moi (et toi) stick their heads in the sand for too long, they just might.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Prayer Request for the Princess and the Patron Saint for the Plane/Solid Scared Student has been a hectic few weeks around here, as the Princess prepares to take her state exam in Geometry, and is still battling the strange intestinal scourge that caused her healthy appendix to be removed in February. Still no concrete diagnosis - spent several hours with a pained Princess at the ER last night. She's fine, full of anti-inflammatories, and studying like crazy.


St. Hubert is the patron saint of mathematicians. Had to dig deep for that one. An interesting man from the Aquitaine region of France, later Bishop of Liege in Belgium. He was a rich young nobleman who enjoyed hunting, and reportedly had a vision of the a crucifix (some accounts say the Eucharist) framed by a stag's horns, along with a warning to change his ways, which effectuated his conversion to a holy life. Consequently, he is the patron saint of hunters as well, (in Europe, bloodhounds are called "St Hubert's Hounds")....and he is invoked to cure rabies! Given our brave little Princess' skill as a bat huntress earlier this summer, St. Hubert is definitely the friend she's needed in her corner of late. I love our Faith and all these fascinating people who've been inspired to live lives of greatness of spirit and humility of heart because of it!

So please remember our Princess to him in your prayers - she has worked with a tutor to skip ahead a year in math, and to be plagued by sudden sharp abdominal pains for no apparent reason while getting ready to take the test is not fun. She's battling through it and will be fine - she has a 97 average for the course, and is just hoping for a 90 or better on the exam so that she eventually receives the "Advanced Regents With Honors" high school diploma. (NY is more freaky than CA in so many ways...never thought I'd say that....)

St. Hubert update! --> I was at my friends' martini bar the other day and I noticed that his symbol is on the Jagermeister label (I hate that stuff, but it was on the bar looking at me as I sipped away at my cosmo)

In other news...

Summer is winding down, football and cheerleading practices are heating up...HeloMom is going to rest for these next few weeks before the rusty cogs of the romance machine grind and spring back to life. Regular posts will resume, however. This has been the busiest summer I've had with the kids - ever!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

HMD #37 - Court-Date

Well some professional obligations are keeping HM quite busy of late, but here's the overdue update on the Westley-Buttercup ice-cream social:

1. Nice, well mannered young man. HM likes him.

2. His first "date" ever. He just turned 18.

3. His parents allowed him to go, but he pointedly neglected to tell his older siblings he went out to meet over ice cream with a...gulp...Catholic girl. One who is a cheerleader and wears the short-skirted uniform at that.

4. He is pondering the USMC but is concerned it will interfere with his Christian values and obligations.

5. No dancing allowed by his pastor or his parents.

6. He is not a fan of some of the #5-like rules and regs of his very fundamentalist Baptist upbringing.

7. He asked if she had any objections to dating a Protestant, she said not as long as said Protestant has any objections to dating a Catholic.

8. They plan to have another meeting when he returns from family vacation next week.

We shall see - HM thinks these are two very good kids who, while virtuous and religious in their own respective faiths, are too different for any sort of relationship to be successful beyond being friends. Maybe boot-camp penpals.

HM has been wrong about such matters before. The Athlete leaves for college in 3 weeks and intends to persist from afar.