Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Freud Sings Songs for Jung Lovers

Okay, that title has nothing to do with this post. I just wanted to grab your attention.

Musings of a Housewife hosts a "What I learned this week" carnival. I know this because my friends Steph and Wendy seem to learn something every week. I ought to, too, but anyway, today's post isn't about ragging on myself, so I am just going to stop this train of thought and jump on another.....
Whew! Made it. I think. Hang on. I have to bring my other leg inside. Okay, I'm in. Let me catch my breath. Enjoy this picture while you wait.

Okay, what I learned this week is that I have stereotyped youth as frivolous. Yeah I know. I love Ryan, Mare, and Beth. But I think of them as the exception, not the rule. This week I realized "What rule?".
Ryan, at Krazy Delicious. is no more frivolous than any of us Smarty Pantsers. As a matter of fact, he has posted some pretty thought provoking and moving stuff.
Beth, at That's Not Me Anymore. is a mom of young children, who is a co worship leader with her husband at a Church they helped plant. She's a fun gal ( not to be confused with fungal, or fungi), but she is not frivolous. She is one together lady.
Mare, at It Might Be Hope. is a young woman who has dedicated near a year to teaching people in Nigeria about Aids prevention. Definitely a serious and mature undertaking.

No, their youth hasn't made them frivolous, but hopeful. Hopeful that they make a difference. And they do. Maybe some of their youth can help me become younger. In hope anyway.

For now, it does inspire me to try to become friends with some of my younger cousins, and not assume they would have no interest in old cousin Helen now that they have lost interest in Little Bunny Foo Foo. No, that video isn't us, but I used to do that with them. Then when they got older, and no longer fans of Bunny Foo Foo, I figured I must've lost appeal to them as well. But why? I mean, Ryan, Beth, and Mare like me. Why wouldn't my cousin's kids?
What do you think? Should I try to friend them on facebook, or would that be too weird?

Monday, March 30, 2009

It's the Middle of Lent....

I know, I was bad. I wasn't supposed to say what I was doing for Lent, but I did. I told you all I was going to do eco atkins, so I guess it is only fair to tell you, I failed on the eco part. You see, eco atkins is vegetarian atkins. It wasn't working because I was feel all sick and week. I know, sounds like an excuse, but I had to ask myself, why was I doing a diet for Lent. Was it vanity? Perhaps partly. I can't lay claim to entirely pure motives. Ever. But my pastor said that I shouldn't let that keep me paralyzed from doing any good at all. He said the devil just loves that. (I know, I told you all I hate talking about him. The devil. Not my pastor. But my pastor doesn't go talking about Stan all the time. Actually, hardly ever, so I have to listen when he does.) My problem, in the big picture, is lack of energy. I lack energy because I have too much weight to carry around. I would have too much weight to carry around if I lost half of my body weight, which makes trying overwhelming sometimes. Especially since those couple of weeks I went on an 800 Calorie a day diet, and gained five pounds. That was when I knew I was in Hell, but I digress. I decided to put the power of Lent behind me this time, as I tried yet another diet, in the hopes that even a little weight loss would increase my energy level even a little. Then maybe I could do something tangible that God is calling me to do. Something that helps others, and by others, I mean others beyond the scope of my own self interest.
So, when my energy level actually decreased, I adjusted the plan to regular atkins, with two meatless days during the week. I had considered upping it to three, but decided to just let my body adjust to this for now. Have I lost any weight? I don't know. I decided that if the purpose was vanity, then I shouldn't have done this for Lent (but if I didn't do it for Lent, I think I would have been too discouraged to continue by now). If the purpose is energy, like I have asserted, then the scale won't measure that, will it?
I do feel more lively. Is it the diet? Is it the new mattress? Is it new shoes (feet less swollen now, BTW)? Is it better weather?
Who knows? For now, I have to keep on keepin' on.
Sorry Sherri. I know you must be disappointed in me, talking about my Lenten journey with this and all.
How do I feel about the no flour, potatoes, sugar, or rice thing? Kinda like the singer in the video, without the lovely voice....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What Holiday Are ¥ou÷

You Are Easter

You are an optimistic, hopeful, and genuinely sweet person.

Sensitive and affectionate, you are easily touched.

You love nature, animals, and anything cute or cuddly.

For you, every day is a new chance - no matter what happened yesterday.

What makes you celebrate: Almost anything. You love most holidays and celebrations.

At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The peacemaker. You can prevent any squabbles that might break out.

On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Remember to include everyone

Cool, because Easter is my favorite Holiday.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is your husband the jealous type?

Okay, I was not going to participate in life is funny this week, since I did a joke last week, and I figure the point isn't sharing our favorite bits, but real life situations, and my brain had nothing. Then, a comment on my post from Wednesday had a somewhat funny memory flooding back to me.
I was at a wedding. The groom was a friend of my husband's, so I had to be on my best behaviour. You'll find out what I mean by that in a minute. Well, it was early in the reception, and I was headed to the bathroom. I neglected the women going potty in pairs rule, and headed off by myself. I end up running into a drunk male guest who makes unwelcome remarks to me. When I gently tell him I am heading to the washroom, well, let's just say he offered to come with me. I'll leave it to you to figure out why.
Now, normally I would have broken a nearby glass, slit the man's throat, and gone about my business. (Ask Annie. She'll tell you that we are like that....) But, as this was not my side, I felt a bit inhibited about being myself. Luckily a groomsman happened by, apologized profusely for the guest, and dragged him away. I went to the bathroom. But after that, I decided that if I go wandering into the hall, it would be best to have my husband with me. What kind of idiot would propostion a woman who is on another man's arm? However, I did not want to let my husband know what happened. I have never seen him, well, shall we say protective, but then he never had reason to be. Usually if I believe I am being flirted with, I bring my husband up in the conversation whether fitting or not.
(In produce section at grocery store)
Man: Excuse me, miss, could you help me pick out a melon?
Me: I'll show you how. (pause) See, you have to thump it, like this....
Man: (Moves eyebrows up and down) I should thump it, huh?
Me: Oh yes. And listen to how it sounds. You know I am really lucky, because my husband is an excellent listener....

So you see, I had no idea how Bob would react. My dad once grabbed a guy by the collar for whistling at my mom. I think I was expecting something along those lines. That is not what I got, but we will come to that later....
I needed excuses to get Bob to escort me into the hallway and wait for me.
Me: Bob, come with me, I want to show you a painting in the hallway.
Bob: What?
Me: A painting. It is lovely...
Bob: Why...
Me: Come see the dang painting, or I buy it on ebay!
Bob: Coming dear....
(We look at painting)
Me: Since we're here, I am just going to stop in the washroom...wait for me.
Bob: Huh?
Me: I may have to buy the painting if you don't look at it long enough!
(Bob stares at painting until I return)

And I still needed to get him to escort me one more time! I think this time it was to show him the D.J. at the wedding in the hall across from us!

But I figured it was worth acting odd to not get my husband into a fight at a friend's wedding. Now, keep in mind drunken idiot was a stranger to us, but my rescuer wasn't. It occurred to me on the way home that my rescuer might say something to Bob about the incident, and that it would seem strange to him that I didn't.
Me: Bob, I think maybe you should know, that the reason I kept dragging you with me when I wanted to go to the ladies room is because the first time I was on my way, a drunk guest made a pass at me.
Bob: Oh. Is he okay?
BOB: Helen, honey, I know you. You probably got all Hungarian on him and made him eat his own pickled liver. He is probably in the hospital right now, embarrassed to tell the surgeon that he was beaten up by a woman who didn't even ruin her manicure in the process. How much do you think his hospital bill will set us back?
As you can see, Bob is not the jealous type. But at least now I know for future reference that I can just trust my initial instincts and break a glass and use it to slit the man's throat.
Got any good recipes for pickled liver?

It's Time I Came Clean...

Me too, Professor. Me too....

Yes my friends, I have seen them in concert. Here is their link The Polkaholics. Chicago is an awesome place to live!

For more about music, check out my post at Fellowship of the Traveling Smarty Pants. today after 4:00 am. It is almost as funny as watching a professor get hopped up on polka music....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Think Facebook is Giving Me Nightmares....

Last night I dreamt that my Grammar School had a reunion in an old house in the old neighborhood, and everyone secretly ditched me to go somewhere else while I was in the bathroom. Weird, huh? You see, I was not Ms. Popularity in Elementary School, or High School. It is hard to say why not. It is easy to blame my weight problem, or my parent's over protection, but it could have been my fault as well. After all, aren't we the heroes and heroines of our own reality shows? I do know that I had a problem being myself. I knew I was odd, and tried to be normal, which only made me seem odder. Does that make sense? It does in my head....
What does Facebook have to do with any of this? Well, yesterday I found a facebook group for my old elementary school. I thought it would be fun to check it out. I found a couple of men who teased me when they were boys (nope, can't bring myself to ask to be their "friend" now that I'm forty. If I was "Helen the melon felon" when I was 13, let's just say I have not improved with age. I don't want to be known as "Helen the melon felon" my whole life.....) I also found some women who I was friendly with (sometimes) in school. I think you know how it goes...the off again on again rejection. I could only bring myself to contact one person. I was friends with her in first grade, and then of course the off again on again rejection of Junior High...Who knows? She may remember things differently. Anyway, I decided to reach out to her because we go back further than teenage angst.....But I couldn't bring myself to ask to friend her. What if off again, on again rejection continues? So, I sent her a "Hey, how are you doing?" message instead....

Here's something cool....I wrote this a couple of hours ago, and guess what? She not only sent me a message back, but we are now friends on Facebook. I do feel better. Still, I am not going to contact Steven and risk forever being known as "Helen the melon felon". Still, maybe things do change. If we have a reunion one day, perhaps they won't ditch me....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sonntagnachmitagspazergang: You Can 't Go Home Again...

My husband and I love the word Sonntagnachmitagspazergang. It means Sunday afternoon walk. In German, it is one word. My husband is a collector of odd words, so he loves this really word. I like Sunday afternoon walks. Especially in the park.
While my mom's caretaker stayed with her, Bob and I went to Gompers Park in Chicago for a Sunday afternoon walk. This park is about three blocks from the house I grew up in. In the middle of this park is a lagoon. How I loved that lagoon. My dad and mom used to take me for walks by the lagoon. Dad took me fishing there, because I wanted to go. I cried when we caught one, and insisted we throw it back in. Daddy shrugged and threw it back in. At camp we used to have sailboat races on that lagoon. I used to walk around that lagoon when I was depressed in High School. My husband and I walked around there a lot when we were dating. It was ........special. And from any point in the park you could see the lagoon. NOT ANYMORE! My beautiful view is now obstructed with shrubbery and a CHICKENWIRE FENCE! A CHICKENWIRE FENCE! Along the CHICKENWIRE FENCE there are paths between made of rock, so you can walk up and fish. THOSE FREAKING ROCKS made what was once a beautiful and safe place to play a hazard! Okay, if they had existed already, I wouldn't have said tear them down. But they have stolen something from every child in that neighborhood. Yeah, you can fish, but what about the boat races? What about being able to step into the very middle of the lagoon to get a stuck sailboat? Not if you don't want to cut yourself on a jagged rock! What about fishing ALL ALONG THE LAGOON! In the spring and summer, we were scattered all over the banks of the lagoon. AND IT WAS GLORIOUS! Some kids even ice skated on that little pond. Not me. Overprotective parents. What a loss! The old folks were right. You can't go home again...
Which reminds me of something funny, on the other hand. I recently got myself a facebook page. It is kind of neat. I have friended some blogger friends, and I have looked up some friends from HIgh School and College. I also looked up a boy I had a crush on for three years in grammar school. He now looks like my Uncle Ray. Now, I am not saying that Uncle Ray wasn't good looking back in the day, but no one has a crush on someone who reminds them of an Uncle. That is like a major EEEEEWWWW factor. Like they say, you can't go home again.....

Songs of Youth

Today my friend Katdish shared Cheap Sunglasses- Oh Yeah. on Fellowship of the Traveling Smarty Pants. It's about ZZ Top. Apparently she really likes them.

You may have noticed that I have a pop up player on my sidebar now. The eclecticness of my choices is truly me. Not only do I really like these songs, but I have no problem listening to 14 minutes of Ravel's Bolero, only to have a sudden switch to KISS's "I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night (And Party Everyday)". If a polka follows that, all the better.

As much as I like these songs though, the ones that make me relive being a teenager again are few. Many remind me of times and situations in my youth, but few make me feel like a youth again (in a good way).

Songs that make me young again.
1) Stone In Love-Journey.
2) Jessie's Girl- Rick Springfield.
3)Here I Go Again- Whitesnake.
4)You May Be Right- Billy Joel.
5) Dancing Queen.

There are probably others I will share randomly when I remember them, but those are enough for now, anyway.

How about you? What songs make you a teenager in your own head again. Please link them up in the comment section and share them with us all. Swollen ankles or not, I want to dance like I was 15 and at a school dance again. Help a blogger gal pal out here....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Think Well of Your Church Family

Earlier this week I did a post called Think well of your friends. Since then I have been feeling like I wasn't totally honest. I threw Greg under the bus, but, you see, I misjudge people, too.
I started going to my parish a few years ago. Several times there was a man who sat behind me who I was frightened of. Why? Well, he was husky, had a mustache, and a very gruff look on his face. He always smiled quite friendly like during the sign of peace, but he otherwise looked angry. At least I thought he looked angry. It turned out, he was just tired.
This man was a police officer who worked the night shift. Why? So that he could be home to take care of his disabled stepdaughter while his wife was at work. How gentle is that? Taking care of a disabled stepchild....Working a crummy shift so that he and his wife could take turns caring for her...Apparantly he was an amazing individual that I didn't get to know because I misjudged his tired expression (he came to Church right after his shift, before going home. Wow. Honoring God before going to bed after working the night shift....) for an angry one.
Had I not prejudged, and instead said, "Hi, my name is Helen, this is my husband Bob...." I might have found these things out before he died. He died in the line of duty last year. I didn't go to the wake or funeral. I needed to stay home with mom, and the crowd for a policeman's wake or funeral is deservedly large. I found out all these things from people talking at meetings about what a tragedy his death was, what a wonderful man he was, and about how his stepchildren spoke of him being more a father than a stepfather to them at his funeral.
What bothers me more than not actually ever getting to know this individual, is wondering what God had in mind for me when I noticed that man's expression. Was I supposed to be friendly, and ignore his expression? Was I supposed to ask him how he was, and offer some compassion? Whatever I was meant to do, I know I didn't do it. I didn't do it because I decided to be afraid of him because I prejudged his expression. I know God forgives me for my error. I also know that the man in question most likely did not know I was afraid of him any more than I knew he was tired. But still, I missed the boat. Next time, I hope to offer compassion, instead of fear. I also hope God trusts me with a "next time"...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Did I Ever Mention That My Mom's Family is Polish?

My cousin's wife sent me an email "Ah--To Be Polish". You may remember that my daddy was Hungarian. I think I mentioned it once or twice. Well, my mom's parents were Polish. Actually, her mother was born here, with both of her parents born in Poland, and her dad was born in Poland. I thought today I might use Lisa's email to share what the Polish half of my heritage means to me.

And here it is...

If you come from Chicago, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit or Milwaukee there is a large church called "Saint Stanislaus," or "Saint Hedwig," within one block of your childhood home (that is, unless you're one of those suburban exiles, in which case the church is within one block of your babcia's house!) Actually, we were city exiles. My parents moved out of the Polish neighborhood, and we had to walk a mile to Church. That meant me walking a mile to CCD as a kid. Yeah, get out your violins. My grandma lived a block away from St. Hyacinth's. (Big Polish Saint right there...) mission Church, Our Lady of Lourdes. I think that counts for something.

You wear red on St. Patrick's Day. (Actually, mom used to send me to school in red on St. Joseph's Day, which is today. I went to public school, and had to explain to everyone why I looked like that was because of St. Joseph's Day, and how unfair it was to us Poles and Italians that we were cheated out of a special celebration like the Irish had two days ago. Do you still have your violins out?_)

Your knowledge of the Polish language is limited to 'naughty' words ie:., dupa, gowno, kurwa, etc, names for food ie: pierogi, kapusta, etc, and drinking toasts ie: na zdrowie , sto lat, etc(I only know one of the naughty words listed, but all of the food and toast words.)

You call your grandma "babcia" or "busia" and your grandpa "dziadzia." You know how to dance the polka, but you only do it at weddings after kicking back a few generous shots of vodka. (Grandma was cool with being called Grandma. I can do the polka whether I am drunk or not. Either way, people usually think I am drunk when I dance.)

When frustrated, you slap your forehead, shake your head, and say "O Jezu Marija!" (ouch!) (Heavens to mergatroid, no! That means "Jesus, Mary!" Momma slapped me once when I said that for taking Jesus's name in vain, on Momma hardly ever slapped me! Jene Kohane is better. It means "My dear...!". Momma still says it is taking the Lord's name in vain, because the word "Lord" is implied, but I figure maybe to her, but not everyone.)

You have one grandma that wears a babushka and galoshes every single day of the year and another grandma that wears a lot of jewelry and too much make-up. (Grandma wore the make-up and jewelry. And a babushka to protect her perm.)

You have at least one uncle named "Stan," or "Stas." (No, but Grandpa's name was Stanley)

Your relatives have strong devotion to saints, the Blessed Virgin, the Pope, the Democratic Party, the U.S. Steelworkers, etc. (All but the democratic party. My Polish relatives were Republicans. My Hungarian relatives were Democrats. Made some interesting dinners at my house.....)

Your grandma has a shrine complete with votive candles and a picture of "Our Lady of Czestochowa" or "Infant of Prague." (Actually, she had a "Sacred Heart of Jesus" picture. Actually, she had more than one. She kept one for traveling with when she stayed overnight by our house. I still have the picture.)

Your parents have at least one crucifix or religious picture mounted on a wall in their house with palms tucked behind it. (Oh yeah! The palms are from palm Sunday. Some families even weave a wreath or a cross from it. Not us. We just tucked in the palms.)

You get your food blessed at Easter and your house blessed at Christmas time. (Just the food basket at Easter)

Your family has a wigilia. meal on Christmas Eve at which you share oplatki. and kiss everyone.. (We did not do the traditional wigilia food, but we did share oplatki and kiss. No. Not the band KISS. That thing you do when you purse your lips and touch someone on the cheek with them.)

You always prefer rye bread to white or wheat. Your dad has forced you to eat horseradish, claiming that it will "put hair on your chest", even If you're a female! (My Hungarian father promised me hair on my chest. Now I'm kinda hoping he was wrong about that...)

You know the words to "Sto Lat" and sing it at all birthday parties. (Of course! Doesn't everyone?)
Information about Sto Lat for those of you who are deprived.
You can out drink all of your friends. (I could if I wanted to, but I can enjoy their shenanigans better if I only have a couple of drinks and remain sober...)

You have waited in line at a church or bakery to buy pierogi or paczki. (Again, this is only a Polish thing? I thought everyone did that...)

Words like kiszka, kielbasa, and kolaczki actually mean something to you. (Those words aren't English? Surely the song Who Stole the Kiszka?. made kiszka a household word across America!)

You actually know who Kosciuszko and Pulaski are, and why they're important.. (Common knowledge......)

You have at least one relative who plays the Accordion. ( Actually, Uncle Bob played the concertina. Very well, too)

You're completely overdressed for every occasion. (Not really. I like dress casual. Velour is perfect for every occasion. With silk babushkas. Sox game, anyone?)

Your idea of "healthy" is boiled pierogi then fried in butter w/onions, light beer, and filtered cigarettes. (I don't smoke)

You have at least one bar in your house - usually in the basement. (Not anymore....)

Your family always has an excuse to hold a "poprawinie" - e.g., when someone dies, or when someone gets married.
(If that means party, well duh!)
You've never been to Poland , but you have mysterious relatives there to whom you send gifts and money every Christmas. (My Grandparents had six kids during the Great Depression. They cut the Poland relatives off the gift giving years ago.

You collect "prayer cards" from funerals. (Doesn't everyone?)

You often visit cemeteries ( light votive candles for dead relatives and generally spend an unhealthy amount of time obsessing about death.. (I don't obsess abut death, but I was taught to go to the cemetery and care for the graves. I don't do that right now. Right now I am busy caring for the living. I think it is dumb to leave mom alone for a few hours while I make the graves look pretty. I don't think taking care of graves is dumb. I think abandoning the living to do it is.)

People often have trouble pronouncing your last name. (Only the telemarketers...)

You think having a "highball" is high society. (I prefer tea with honey and scotch, or a peach martini. High balls aren't bad, though.)

Ah, to be Polish!

As you can see, the description does not fit me perfectly. But that's okay. I'm half Polish, half Hungarian. Just don't ever ask me which is my better half. Only Solomon could answer that....and he is wise enough to stay out of it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My Irish cyber friend Pip wrote a post about St. Patrick's Day today. Rather than write a post myself, I am just linking to his. I'm lazy like that. Besides, won't it be cool to read a St. Patrick's day post written by someone in Ireland.
Happy St. Patrick's Day! God bless you!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Think Well of Your Friends....

This post was supposed to be about prejudgement, but it is turning into something else in my head. Lack of openness is as much a part of this as is prejudgement. See, I was reading a fellow bloggers post asking for prayers for a dying friend named JoAnna (whom if you would be so kind as to pray for her complete healing, I am sure he would appreciate that). Somehow that got me thinking about my father's wake several years ago. I got to thinking about a conversation I had with a neighbor that day, who was once a good friend of my dad's, but they drifted apart...

Greg: Tsk. Such a shame. He probably could have recovered better if he didn't drink...
Helen: Greg, dad didn't drink for the last 15 years. Not even when I graduated from college. He said when I was about 8 that as he gets older, he finds it makes him sick. He couldn't handle more than one drink without get nauseous, so he stopped drinking all togetherl (making it hard for him to get along with drinkers in the family who thought accepting a drink was equal to accepting hospitality. "Love me, love my whiskey..").
Greg: Helen, I saw your dad come home staggering...
Helen: Greg, he worked twelve hour days in a hot factory and had half a foot on one leg, varicose veins throbbing in both legs....What do you expect?
Greg: Half a foot?
Helen: Yeah. It was from a farming accident when he was a boy.
Greg: Why didn't he tell me?
Helen: Why would he?
Greg: When I said something about his staggering....?
Helen: I guess he would rather have you thinking he was drunk than pitying him.

Greg and I continued with a little small talk, then I left to talk to others. Someone soon asked me who he is, because he was weeping. I just said he was an old friend of dad's. They said that he must have loved him a lot. I imagine (though I may be prejudging myself), that he was weeping over years where their friendship could have continued beautifully if he hadn't misjudged, or if my dad had trusted him enough with the knowledge of his injury. They both screwed up, and paid a price. Neither of them assumed the best about their friend, but the worst. I am going to work harder to assume the best about my friends, family, and people around me, instead of the worst. When I weep at their wakes, I want it to be because I feel sorry for the loss to their families and myself of the future with them, not the past.
I also am going to work at being honest with my friends about stuff. No more "fine", if it isn't. Doesn't "fine" when things aren't fine tempt people to draw their own conclusions, which may hurt them more than finding out what is wrong? I am going to assume that they are loving enough to take the truth about me, whatever it is.
Sorry if I sound like Polly Anna. But my dad had a saying. "Sure, people learn from their mistakes. But smart people are able to learn from the mistakes of other". I hope I am smart enough to truly learn from their mistake. I hope you all are able to get something from it, too.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What About You, Cupcake?

Okay, here I am, doing what Wendy. says again. What's up with that? Well, I like these odd quizes. They might not really tell me more about myself, but they are fun.

This quiz tell me what type of cupcake I am. Fun, so long as my husband doesn't have to give me up for Lent. Because I am not cool with that.

You Are a Carrot Cake Cupcake

You are a complex person. You have many interesting layers to your personality, though others might not know it.

You are drawn to a cross section of people. You friends play different roles in your life.

You are like a cupcake because you are are deceptively simple. There's actually a lot to you!

There are many ingredients in your life, and you only want them in proper amounts. Being you is a delicate art.

I am not sure about the proper amounts thing. Being me is a delicate art though. And so is being you. Thank you for sharing you. If my taste in music reflects my "interesting layers" of personality, then they are spot on about that, but I think everyone who knows me knows about my eclectic taste in music, so the "others may not know it" thing doesn't work. One think, I do look tasty in that picture at the top of the post, don't I?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Anyone Out There Got Any Duck Food?

Boy, I noticed that lots of people at different blogs are getting all reflective about their blogs. Maybe it's a movement of the Holy Spirit. What does it say about me that I am reflecting on my favorite jokes instead? I say it says "many gifts, but the same Spirit", that's what I say.
Now, here is a question worthy of some reflection: If you hear a joke at a Prayer Meeting, is it more spiritual than if you hear it in the grocery store, beauty shop, or locker room? At www.fottsp.blogspot.com (Fellowship of the Traveling Smarty Pants, in my sidebar), I shared a joke that I thought was hysterical. I can still work myself into hiccups over it.

This, however, is not that joke....
A man hears a knock at his door. He goes to the door and their is a duck on his front porch. The duck says “Got any duck food?”. The man, mystified, says “No I don’t.” and shuts the door.

The next day, again, a knock at the door. The man answers, same duck, “You got any duck food?”. The man is slightly annoyed and says “No, I don’t. And please don’t come back.”.

Third day, knock on the door. The man is getting quite angry and frustrated now. He answers the door and sure enough there is the duck, who says, “Got any duck food?”. The man yells this time and says: “No. I do not have any duck food and if you come back here again asking for duck food, I will nail your floopy, webbed feed to that porch!” and he slams the door.

Believe it or not, again, the next day there is a knock at the man’s door. He swings the door open and sure enough, there is the duck. The duck says “Got any nails?”. The man, confused, says “well, um, no I don’t…” and the duck says, “OK, got any duck food?”.

The joke I shared here was told by Nick, and frankly, watching him laugh at it was funnier than the joke itself. Maybe because as a teacher of second graders, I felt like I was being asked for duck food all the time. And why not? Don't I ask God for duck food all the time? Only God does not threaten to nail my swollen feet to the floor if I ask Him again, He just says, "No honey, I have something else for you. Something more suited to who I created you to be." And I respond "Got any duck food?". I am starting to think I am asking the wrong questions...

On another note, my friend Annie, at Buzz by Annie's in my side bar, did her own interview with herself. One of her questions for herself was along the lines of if you could go back in time and give advice to any historical figure, what would it be and to who. She gave an amusing, yet thoughtful answer. My answer is that I would advise Abraham Lincoln to do something related to Good Friday, like Stations of the Cross, on Good Friday, instead of going to the theatre. J.W. Boothe wasn't at Church. He was at the theatre. See where I am going with this? I thought this was a great question, and am now posing it to you.... What advice would you give a historical figure? Be funny, or reflective, or whoever you are today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Joke Sharing Time

A blog that I have never checked out before suggested we share something we thought was funny this week, and link back to her. I am game. I like funny stories. Click on the picture below if you want to check her blog out.

I found this at The Wittenburg Door Archives. What is a good Catholic girl like me reading the Wittenburg door for? I guess I am a rebel like that. Besides. I love to laugh, and some of their parodies are really funny.

The premise of this joke is that God is keeping a blog as he creates the universe. I have kept the author credit at the bottom of the page. I am not trying to steal someone's work, but share something really funny.

Day 1
Listening to: Silence (it's wonderful)
Mood: Blissful
Created light. Took about 11 seconds.
What to do with the rest of the day?
Wound up creating the sheet, too. Spent afternoon making shadow-puppets with Jesus (Unable to cast a shadow, the Holy Spirit got upset went body-surfing). Jesus does this thing where He makes a fist then sticks up his index and middle fingers and bounces His hand around – cracks me up. Not sure what to call it; we'll delegate that sort of thing somewhere down the line.
If I ever get a book deal from this blog, I might leave out the part about the shadow-puppets. "Let there be light" is much more impressive than "Let there be light and a bed sheet."
All in all, a good day.
Day 2
Listening to: Silence again (it can't last forever; must enjoy it while I can)
Mood: Expectant
Had another good day today. Separated water into two parts with an expanse we're calling "sky" in between. We may rethink the name later, but it works as a placeholder.
Holy Spirit spent the afternoon hovering above and below the face of the deep.
Day 3
Listening to: Ocean surf breaking on the beach
Mood: Happy
Good things are afoot. Created land today. Can't talk about it now, but I see real potential in this "dirt" stuff. I'll keep you posted.
In the course of creating land, we also created "seas." Spent the rest of the day punning with Jesus and Holy Spirit: "Now see here...." "No, no, the sea is over there." Must blog on the humor potential of homophones someday: Sea if I don't.
Got a big project set for this afternoon. I'll blog on it tomorrow.

Day 4
Listening to: The music of the spheres
Mood: Charamblontical (there's simply no other word for it)
Spent yesterday creating a garden. This was one of the things I was thinking about yesterday when I mentioned that I saw potential in dirt. You can plant all kinds of stuff in it. Trees, shrubberies, vegetables – it's all good. There's another little project I have in mind for the dirt, but it'll be a couple days before I can say more.
Today, though, was Moving Day. Created stars and planets – but where to put them? All bunched together, they're not that exciting. Holy Spirit suggested spreading them out across the universe. That's good, I thought.
So I called Fed Ex and explained my vision to them. I explained our tight schedule, too: "It absolutely, positively has to be there overnight." They said, "no sweat," and asked if they could use that as their motto. "Not a problem," I said. After all, I am a gracious God, aren't I?
Day 5
Listening to: Jesus telling a "Big Fish" story
Mood: Amused (the "big fish" thing has potential, might return to it one day)
This morning I noticed a cool thing while creating birds and fish. When the land and the seas got separated a couple days ago some water got trapped in pockets of the land. We're calling them lakes and they're really an asset to the scenery.
While we were walking across one, Jesus said, "Hey, imagine how exciting it would be if this lake was filled with fire instead of water?" "But what would we put in it?" I asked. He didn't know, but I've got to admit a lake of fire would be something to see.
Handy creation tip: When creating large white birds to live near the seashore, wear a hat.
Day 6
Listening to: Jungle sounds
Mood: Pleased
Today we really made up for only working 11 seconds back at the beginning of the week. We spent all day creating animals. Like with the plants, we went for variety. Long ears. Short ears. Short ears, long tail. Long ears, almost no tail. Horns on heads. Horns on noses. Stripes. Spots. You name it, we did it. Created dinosaurs, too – Jesus loves the little dinosaurs. I foresee a couple scenarios down the road where there might be problems with the dinos, but for now they're playing well with the rest of creation.
I did my other dirt project today, too. I created man and woman. Adam is handling the names project for us. I ran through the "sea" jokes from the other day, but he didn't get them (had to be there, I guess). Eve did, though (sharp as a serpent's tooth, that one).
Turns out Jesus was making a bunny rabbit shadow-puppet earlier in the week. Good to know.
Day 7
Listening to: The collected works of Burt Bacharach (there are advantages to being omnipresent in time as well as space)
Mood: Serene (like a televangelist high on hairspray fumes – the downside of temporal omnipresence: I already know about garbage like this)
Taking it easy today, so this'll be short. I created banana cream pie around 10:30 this morning, but let's keep that on the QT, all right?
Noticed a certain animal in the garden that wasn't playing well with others this afternoon. Looks like we might be moving ahead with that Lake of Fire project after all.

By Chris Mikesell
BTW, it helps to be familiar with the original story in Genesis to get why some of this is funny.  Click here to refresh your memory about the original story.

P.S. If you type "Noah's blog" in my search section at the top of this blog, you'll get Noah's blog during the flood. I got it from the same source.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What I learned this week..

Steph at the Red Clay Diaries is sharing another "What I learned this week.." and I thought I would share mine. This week, I learned that when my feet swell, it is okay to put them up. Obvious you say? Well, sometimes I feel like I need to be doing stuff. This past week, the more I do, the less I am capable of. The swelling gets so bad some days I can't put on my shoes, but it has been better since I have given myself permission to put my feet up, lie down, or whatever I need to do in order to get my feet small enough to wear shoes again. I also bought an ankle brace to see if that will prevent swelling, and am going to try it tomorrow. But if I need to, the world does not fall apart if my feet go up. (Okay, I'm not a mom. For moms, especially of toddlers, that might not be true...)
I know..the profoundities never end on this blog, do they...When I say random musings, I really mean random musings...from Church to swollen feet in a day...at least you all get a day off from me tomorrow. ;-)

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Top Five List of Things I Love About My Church

Good Morning, friends! Yesterday while at Church, I kept thinking how easy it is to complain about things and people at Church, yet there is so much I love about my Church. (I know! Distraction, or inspiration from the Holy Spirit? Not sure. I probably should have been concentrating harder on the Mass) It is easy to get stuck in the rutt of complaining about programs, gossip, preaching style, music, architecture, and the list goes on. Many of these things do need to be addressed. But, I had to ask myself, have I addressed these things so much that joy has stopped shining through? I reallly do love my Church. So, I decided to start a meme (is that allowed? To start a meme on one's own? It seems these things just get passed around without an orgin.): Five things I love about my Church. Some of what I will list is (or should be) true of any Catholic Church, some is unique to my parish, St. Monica in Chicago. (There, I've said it. Now they can find me.....)
1) Holy Communion. I love being united with Christ and His people in Holy Communion. I love the way that during those moments, I can sit silently with the Lord and easily be at peace in a way that is not so easy otherwise. I start lifting my prayers, and I feel HIm say "Shhhhh. I know. Just be. I know....". Then I just thank Him....and I don't need to make a list. I can just feel thankful, and know He knows....
2) The Sacrament of Reconciliation. This is also known as Confession. I love going to Confession. The cleansing experience is true for any Catholic Church, but St. Monica is unique because....
Fr. Andrew--Here is a priest who smiles during Confession (did I mention I like to go face to face?) and assures before during and afterward that Jesus is so happy to forgive me. He reminds me of the story about how the angels rejoice in Heaven when a sinner repents. He seems to be rejoicing through the whole Confession.
Fr. Ted--He has given me some great advice during Confession. He is a wise man.
Fr. William--He knows how to tell it like it is. He'll come right out and say (but gently), yeah, that was pretty bad, but God forgives you. He loves you. Don't do it again. Like Jesus had said "go forth and sin no more..."
Fr. Jim--He balances the four strengths of the others pretty well. One doesn't seem to pop out, but I can think of examples of all three with him.
Somehow, I have been blessed to have the right Confessor there at the right time.
3)This Sunday we filled out cards to our Senators and Representatives asking them to fight FOCA. It is a losing battle in IL, yet we are encouraged to fight the good fight. And the homily was about why abortion is wrong, with a reminder that Jesus forgives all sins, including abortion. Father also let us know what help was available in the Archdiocese for women who had already had abortions.
I was glad to hear a prolife homily preached, but even more glad that hurting women were invited to healing..
4) Our pastor preaches on the evil of gossip. Often. And boy, can my parish use it! There is this one woman named Helen, who thought she was above such things, but boy is she wrong! She gossipped about someone a couple of weeks ago, and.....hopefully you figured out that I am that Helen. I am so ashamed. I confessed my sin, and I know God forgives me. What I don't know is whether the person I talked about knows what I did. I suspect so, and I long to apologize. I long to ask this person for forgiveness. I think this person's behavior toward me changed, but what if it is just my guilty conscience? What if I am just hurting someone else in order to feel better? I can't make this right. Even Fr. Jim ( remember above? He incorporates many gifts during the Sacrament of Reconciliation) could only advise me to pray. There are many good stories to illustrate what makes gossip bad. The point of all of them is that it is humanly impossible to make it right again. I wish I paid attention to that before I partook in it.
5) Our pastor, Father Ted, became a priest later in life. I think he was in his fifties, which I don't mean to suggest is old, but he certainly experienced the outside world before becoming a priest. It is not that I don't respect priests who started young, because I do. But I appreciate the fact that when Fr. Ted speaks, there is no dismissing him by silently claiming he is sheltered. He worked in Hollywood...he has seen more of life than this 39 year old married woman. Whether I think his homily is the most brilliant one uttered by man since St. John Vianney, or .......not, dismissing him would not only be a sin on my part, it would be naive. (How is that for an oxymoron---sinful naivete?)

How about you? What do you love about your Church? I know we could probaby go up to 25, 50, even 100 things, but, in the interest of time and space, let's keep it to the top five things please.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

HRM Interviews Helen on...

I have decided because of popular request (meaning that Beth and Sherri are popular), to invite myself to sit down to another interview. My friends seem interested in the time I spent considering becoming a nun, so I thought I would ask myself about that. It isn't as exciting as it sounds. I didn't do it. So let us begin.
HRM: Good morning! Don't you look all .....puffy today.
Helen: The swelling went down. I am doing better. I will never go barefoot again, even if I get blisters and they hurt in my shoe.
HRM: Well, I see you are wearing velour sweats again. Are you afraid of what I might ask? Are you thinking you may need to runaway?
Helen: Runaway? With these swollen ankles? You have to be out of your mind! I am in this chair until the water pills start working their magic, and then you can just tidy this interview up all by yourself. Besides. Notice that this outfit is green? It is in honor of Sherri from A Matter of Fact. featuring me today on her blog. I thought I would spruce myself up a bit in case any of her friends visited.
HRM: Yeah, I considered fixing the blog up a bit, but I couldn't make the header on the picture bigger.
Helen: You might want to begin this interview before the Lasix kicks in..
HRM: So... You told us a few weeks ago, on your 25 Random Things About Me List, that at one time, you had considered becoming a nun. Why?
Helen: Actually, HRM, you are the one that told everyone.
HRM: Semantics. Just answer the question please.
Helen: Well,it seems kind of silly, naive, and immature now. I didn't really have a calling. I just thought that perhaps my lack of success in the Romance department might be because God had something else in mind for me, and I thought I should prayerfully consider it.
HRM: So you broke up with a boyfriend...
Helen: Oh no. That's just it. I never really had a real boyfriend. I had male friends, all who thought of me as a sister. I believe that they did, rather than just telling me malarky, because I actually heard arguments where they said such to other guys.
HRM: Huh?
Helen: Okay. For instance. I was a good eavesdropper when I was working at McDonald's, and I overheard one of the really hot guys say he was going to ask me out. A couple of the guys (my friends), said something along the lines of "No your not. We know how you treat the girls you go out with, and you won't do that to Helen. She is like a younger sister to us!", and then proceeded to threaten him quite embarrassingly (for him).
HRM: And you were okay with this interference?
Helen: Look, I knew that boys talked about ....stuff. I didn't want to be fodder for more talk. If this guy was really bad news, his friends (my friends) would know it. Why shouldn't I appreciate their interference?
HRM: What about feminine pride?
Helen: I guess I was proud to have friends who cared enough to keep me from getting hurt. And it's not like Mr. Hot Stuff said "I wouldn't treat her like that." He said, "Okay, I won't ask her, jeeesh...", so it's not like he saw me as special.
HRM: I see. And from this you determined that maybe you should be a nun?
Helen: Not exactly. There were other incidents of me eavesdropping and hearing the same sorts of .....conversations
between different guys in college, etc... Yet these guys saw me as a sister, not someone they wanted to date. I saw a pattern. I mean, how do we address nuns? As sister. So I started thinking that that was my sign.
HRM: So what did you do?
Helen: I gave God a deadline.
HRM: You did what?!
Helen: I gave God a deadline. One year for a boyfriend with no effort from me to go looking for him, or I would start checking out convents. I also prayed for guidance. It's not like I held God hostage.
HRM: Don't you think ultimatums with God is blasphemous.
Helen: It can be if you are like "Give me what I want by Christmas, or I stop teaching Sunday School." But a timeline to go down another path because you don't know where he is calling you...well, misguided possibly, but not blasphemous.
HRM: So you met Bob when?
Helen: When the year was almost over. You see, a couple of years before, my cousin asked me if I'd be interested in a blind date with her best friend's cousin. I said sure, what've I got to lose. But for various reasons he wasn't interested until then. I felt that I had to meet with him because for one thing, I did tell my cousin okay even if it was a couple of years before, and no fair closing the door before the deadline was up. I did mention to God that we were pretty close to the deadline, so if He wanted me to be married, this guy (Bob) had better be the one. And he was and is and will be until I am dead and these things no longer matter.
HRM: Any chance of you telling us how you knew Bob was the one?
Helen: Of course, I'd be glad to. But not today. I think this is more than enough information about me for one day...
HRM: Lasix kicking in?
Helen: Tell everyone bye for me, and thank them for visiting.
HRM: Will do. On behalf of Me, Myself, and I, I would like to thank Sherri for featuring us today, my cyber friends for joining us today, and Sherri's friends, who I hope to get to know better, for visiting today. Please leave a comment, even if it is about velour.

Velour Sweats or Purple Muumuu?

Hello friends. I am expecting guests from another friend's blog tomorrow. Sherri from A Matter of Fact.is going to feature an interview with me tomorrow. Some of her friends may be stopping by. I am honored that she is featuring me on her blog. And I am looking forward to new guests.
Now, when new people come to my house, I usually spruce it up a bit. Any suggestions for how I can spruce up my blog for the new guests? At home I tend to at least hide the clutter in the laundry room in the basement, but I don't consider anything on my sidebar to be clutter. Should I just move my sidebar to the bottom of the page until Monday?
Oh, and in case you were wondering, when old friends are coming over I just say "i would try to give you an excuse for why the house looks the way it does, but there isn't any. Any suggestions for something I can make up?" It's not like the house is too bad. I just haven't freed the dust bunnies. I am keeping them for pets.....at least until someone comes over for the first time once again.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Colbert and Fr. Martin Discuss the Economy's Influence of Faith: Is There One?

Ironic Catholic posted this earlier this week. What do you think? Are we as a nation drawing closer to God during this economic crisis? Or is that just something us Christians tell ourselves to try to convince ourselves something good can come out of this? Let me know.

Monday, March 2, 2009

New Bed = New Woman

Wow! On Saturday our brand new king size bed was delivered. We needed a new mattress, and Bob always wanted a king size bed, so I told him it's now, or ten years from now when a brand new mattress needs replacing again. Bob was overjoyed. I personally didn't think we needed a bigger bed. But, we bought one. I took Katdish's advice and bought awesome sheets, since we didn't have sheets to fit a king size bed: 610 thread count. I don't think I ever slept on a sheet that comfortable! When I got to Carson's to get this brand new awesome sheet, it turned out to be "Community Day", which meant I bought I five dollar coupon book (proceeds benefit Catholic Schools in Chicago), and in return I got 4 coupons worth 15% off of bedding (10% off electronics, 20% off most other stuff, not good at all on cosmetics) and a $10 coupon. I went wild! I bought: a plush mattress pad with comforter and two pillows included, 2 king sized pillows, a sheet set with fitted, flat, and 2 king sized pillow cases, and an extra set of pillow cases.
This morning I woke up feeling better than I have in years! My back doesn't hurt! My arms don't hurt! My shoulders don't hurt! My hips don't hurt! My neck doesn't hurt! The only thing that hurts are these durn blisters I got on my feet from running around feeling so good! I gotta do something about these orthotics! My ankles still hurt, but heck, lets blame the orthotics for that too! I don't know whether to credit a new mattress or new bed or both for feeling like a new woman, but today I feel great! I think I will write a haiku, dedicated to our new bed!

Comfortable bed
I appreciate you now
I feel so renewed.

You think that's weird, someday I'll share the love poems I wrote to my dishwasher and crock pot.


Please pray for John and his family.

I do not know what they are going through. I will pray for the mutation of the gene, as they ask. Please join me.