Friday, October 24, 2008


One of my favorite blogs is Ironic Catholic. No, she is not me, though I am Catholic, and appreciate irony. She is a professor of a Catholic university in Minnesota, and she has a very thought provoking and amusing blog.
Well, during the month of November, she has a not so ironic nor amusing suggestion. She suggests adding 15 minutes to our prayer time ever day during November. I like the idea. Fifteen extra minutes of prayer time certainly couldn't hurt. The worst thing that could happen is that the extra 15 minutes become the norm, and next year I end up adding 15 minutes to that. Still not such a bad thing, though right now I can't imagine where an extra half hour would come from.
I have promised to add the 15 minutes during November, and have added a reminder to myself to do so at the top of my blog margin. If you want to check out Ironic Catholic, click on the title of this blog post.
If you want to see how she is trying to enrich and encourage this prayer time, click on NaPraGoMo on my bloglist.
God bless you, and have a great afternoon!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Attitudinal Direction

We have all heard of longitude and latitude. I think I have found that attitude is a direction as well as a state of mind. This past Saturday I attended the Chicago Catechetical Conference. This conference is for both Catholic schoolteachers, and for those who teach Religious Education on weekends (think Sunday School on Saturday) to the children who attend Public School during the week. I attended this for many years as a Catholic School teacher, and hated it, and for a couple of years as a Religious Ed. teacher and have loved it. It is the same conference. The speakers and their topics and their biases haven't changed much. My own biases haven't changed much. What has changed? The company I am keeping.
I never thought I was so easily influenced by others before, and it hurts my pride a bit to find out that I am. For years I heard from co-workers how it was a waste of time, had a liberal bent, yada yada yada. I tried to speak positively to these coworkers and say things like "The prayer service was lovely" or "the homily (think Catholic sermon) at Mass at the closing of the conference was very insightful". But then I would go home and when my husband asked how the conference was I would say it was a waste of time, had a liberal bent, yada yada yada. In case I haven't expressed it previously, I am liturgical conservative with liberal sprinklings. Liberal colleagues think I'm conservative, conservative colleagues think I am liberal. My point is that I would come home complaining even if I wouldn't complain with my coworkers.
This time I went home and when my husband asked how the conference was, I told him what I learned. He asked if the conference was a lot different than in the past, and I had to admit that it wasn't. What were different was the people I was with. These people seemed to love every minute of it, and I wouldn't consider them to be excessively liberal or conservative. My peers had influenced me again, this time for the better. I never would have guessed that in my thirties I am still responding to things based on the company I am keeping. I don't think it is to please others though, because I had no problem displeasing my coworkers for years by finding some good in the conference. I was genuinely affected by the attitude of those around me. I am not proud of that, but must come to terms with this. This probably also means that my attitude affects others, so while I might not want to put on a false face, I should at least try to see the good in situations around me so that I don't bring others down. At the same time, false cheeriness is annoying, so I'll have to watch that too. You'd think that by thirty-nine I'd be able to pick a personality already and stick with it. Oh well. Have a blessed day!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Spam Quiche

I made this quiche for my husband on Thursday. I usually use tuna, but didn't feel tuna-y, so I used spam instead. He really liked it. I did too, and I am not normally a canned luncheon meat fan. Please click on the title of yesterday's post for a funny story about a presidential candidate.


1 can of spam, chopped (tuna, crab meat, or salmon also work, but you must then rename the quiche)
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (American, Mexican, Cheddar, or any combination of what you have in the refrigerator also turn out tasty)
4 oz. cream cheese, cut in cubes
1 whole onion, chopped (it originally called for 1/4 of a cup of onion, but I like onion. Besides, I must change recipes)
2 c. milk
1 c. Bisquick
4 eggs
3/4 tsp. salt

In a lightly greased 10" pie plate put spam, cheeses and onion. Blend milk, Bisquick, eggs and salt together. Pour over spam mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fetus / Baby =tomato / tomahto

When I was young and pro-choice, my mom had a friend who drove around with a bumper sticker on her car that read "Be careful: former fetus driving". How I hated that bumper sticker. I wanted to secretly scrub it off of her car, while muttering something about wanting to post-partumly abort her. Now I admire her for taking an obvious stand (she was a Chicago Public School teacher), and want to know how I can get one of those stickers for my car. My, how times change.
Speaking of times changing, if you click on the title of this post, you can find out how a Presidential candidate has changed in regard to fetal conditions. Many thanks to Curt Jester for linking this article in his blog. Now I want it on mine. I know, I'm copy catting.
Let's pray to end abortions in this country and everywhere. Please.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Auntie Anna, Is that You?

I just took a look at the visitor map, and saw someone from Winnepeg, Canada visited my blog. My dad has family in Winnepeg (it is true, I have sinned by calling them "Lose-a-peg" when they were playing against the Chicago Wolves at a hockey game at Allstate Arena, or, as I like to call it "The Place Formerly Known As The Rosemont Horizon". But hockey games can get vicious and I didn't mean it, I promise. Well, I might have at the time, but I don't mean it anymore.)
I got to wondering if the visitor is anyone I am related to. Okay, Winnepeg is probably big enough that it holds more people than just my relatives. But I just get into wondering stuff like that. If I meet someone from New York, I start asking if they know people I do, even though New York is bigger than Chicago, and I know full well I don't know everyone in Chicago. I must have the small village my dad was from genetically imprinted on my DNA. There, not only did everyone know each other, but were at least third or fourth cousins. I don't tell hillbilly jokes, because technically, I am one, told in Hungarian! (Or at least half a joke. My mother is Polish, which puts me in a different category of jokes entirely) Anyways, more than once, I've asked someone from Green Bay if they know "Mark Whatever", and they growl that Green Bay may not be as big as Chicago, but they still don't know everyone in Green Bay. I am then holding back tears, so I don't say that if they were from New York, I'd be asking about "Susie Whositagin", so it isn't the size of the place, but the size of my brain that causes me to ask these questions. If someone tells me they blog, I'll probably ask them if they know Cheri, Pip, or Katdish, and how are they anyway, really.
If I had a theme song, it would probably be "It's A Small World After All". That is a scary thought. And, just in case you're wondering, I don't know Barack Obama, even though we are both from Chicago. And it is too late now, because I hear that Hyde Park (neighborhood in Chicago where the Senator is from) is heavily guarded by Secret Service, and you have to give a reason for entering Hyde Park, and "I'm just going for a walk" doesn't cut it. Neither does "I'm just trying to sneak a peak at the Senator."
I am going to end this post with my theme song now. Please start singing. "It's a world of laughter, a world of tears, it's a world of hope and a world of fears. There's so much that we share that it's time we're aware, it's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small, small, world."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Everything is Enough.

"A person who possesses God, lacks nothing; God alone is enough." St. Theresa of Avila

Wow! Now that is a thought to contemplate. With the economy going down, up, and most probably down again, me feeling more infertile this year than last, and an upcoming election whose results I expect to be unhappy with no matter who wins, that thought is quite comforting. I have God in my life. I lack nothing. He is enough. And why wouldn't He be? He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. He is everything. And that is enough. I must remember that. Thanks Theresa of Avila! Thank you, God, for being enough, whether I realize it or not.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Another Joke as Learning Tool

Several weeks ago I did a post about how I love jokes that teach something. Yesterday I learned, or perhaps relearned, a valuable lesson mom and I were watching The Tonight Show while I got her ready for bed (We usually watch The Late Show, but one more nasty joke about John McCain and I may go postal). Anyway, Jay Leno had a great joke last night. He said that the economy is so bad, Bill Maher was caught on his knees praying. Not only did I laugh, but it brought me hope that good would come from the economic troubles our nation has started having. May this crisis bring us all closer to God.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cheesecake recipe

Cheesecake recipe

Last week at a birthday party I tasted this wonderful cheesecake. I made it for my husband and mom yesterday, and they loved it. Mom wasn't at the party, since she is disabled and the house did not have accessibility, so she keeps crediting me with it, even though I keep telling her that I got it from Bob's cousin. She then responds, "Well, you’re the one who made it for me and with Splenda. You changed the recipe, so it is now your cheesecake recipe". So since my mom has dubbed it mine, I thought I would share it with you. (Bob's cousin won't mind. She freely shares her recipes with everyone).

2 containers of refrigerated dinner crescents (I used Pillsbury)
2 eight-ounce packages of cream cheese
1 cup of Splenda (originally called for sugar, but my mom is diabetic)
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
Cinnamon and Splenda mixed together, between 1-3 teaspoons, depending on your preference. I used 3 teaspoons.

Unroll one package of refrigerated dinner crescents, and place in greased rectangular pan. In a medium bowl, mix the two packages of cream cheese together with the Splenda and vanilla extract. Spread over dinner rolls. Place second package of unrolled refrigerated dinner crescents over cheese mixture. Sprinkle cinnamon mixed with sugar over the top.

My husband’s favorite cousin gave this recipe to me. She used sugar instead of Splenda.

Randomly random thought

If I did this correctly, above should be the cover of the latest mystery by Donna Andrews. The main character, Meg Langslow, is funny and sarcastic, mainly in her thoughts, not her dialogue. On October 28 her next book, Seven Geese A-Slaying will be out. I am looking forward to reading this latest mystery. Genre Go Around Reviews has already reviewed the book. Apparently, the critic liked it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Good News

In July I wrote a post about a friend / family member who has pancreatic cancer. The good news is that he had a MRI and a blood test, and both show him to be currently cancer free. He will be continuing chemotherapy. I don't know the details. He is part of a clinical study, and though I am open to listening, I try not to ask too many questions. "How are you?" with a meaningful look is about as far as I go. I figure that puts the ball in is court whether he wants to move on to another topic, or actually tell me how he is. Otherwise I find out new developments on the family grapevine. I know, gossip is bad, but this is different. My understanding is that it is not that he didn't want people to know his physical progress, it was just that it got tiring to dwell on it and repeat, so he would tell a couple of people, and give them permission to pass the information to one and all. Sometimes I am a passer, sometimes I'm a passee.
I am very grateful to God for hearing our prayers. I believe God has been working through his medical treatments, the prayers of his friends, family and himself, and our friend's own hopeful attitude to bring about this happy news. Way, way, way in the back of our minds is the tiny whisper that cancer returns, especially pancreatic cancer. His friends and family will continue to pray for him to remain cancer free. Maybe we will add the whisper that if it does return, it waits until there is a cure.
If you read the post in July and whispered a prayer or two or twenty for him, I thank you, too. God bless you!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Is Bill Maher an atheist or an agnostic?

I have read a review of Bill Maher's movie "Religulous" on Catholic Exchange. If I did it right, you can click on the title of this post to see the review. I agree with the reviewer on all accounts except one. He refered to Mr. Maher as an agnostic. I saw him on the view the other day, and I believe Mr. Maher described himself as an atheist.
Maybe it seems nitpicky, but to me, the difference seems vast. Agnostics are people who admit that they do not know if God exists or not. At best, they were uncatechized in their youth, maybe even in adulthood. At worst, they had hard lives, and can't reconcile a loving God with a God that let's bad things happen. And of course, who wants to believe in an unloving God.
But I can't picture someone who says they don't know if there is a God blatantly making fun of those who believe in God. It takes the hubris of the atheist to do that.
I truly can find love in my heart for the agnostic. I am not agnostic because people who I love and trust taught me about God. God has spoken to me through loving parents, wise teachers, knowledgeable clergy, and caring friends. It is through their care and guidance that I have learned to discern the whisperings of the Holy Spirit in my heart. God used these people to carry me to Him, and I am grateful. My heart aches for those who have not had these blessings.
But I confess, I find it difficult to love the atheist. The one who claims to know their is no God must believe we as humans are somehow the epitome of the universe. That is hubris. When you look at a mountain, or put your feet in the sea, and breathe in air that sustains life in perfect proportion to your ability to survive, don't you just know that someone greater than any human being designed things this way? Doesn't it take more blind faith to believe that this is all accicental, than to believe in a creator? I just don't understand.
I do hope that Mr. Maher one day returns to the faith of his youth, because I know that God hasn't stopped loving him. I pray for his return to faith, because I know that God wants that. And the angels would rejoice. Surely the angels deserve a good party...