Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Reasons I Go to Church on Sunday

This picture is an actual picture my Church in the winter that I found on the internet today.

I know. It is Tuesday. By my own scheduling, I should have wrote something funny yesterday for Life is Funny, and something I learned today for What I Learned. But I didn't. I like these blog carnivals, and hope to return to them at the end of the week. They help me focus on a blog topic. But for the last couple of Sundays, I found myself thinking about the reasons I go to Church, and I feel moved to share them. You see, I am sure I hate to get up on a Sunday morning as much as anyone else. And God, who knows all, knows I am not holier than anyone else. So why don't I sleep in? Why not snuggle up with Bob, since sometimes he works on Saturday, or I teach CCD on Saturday? It is definitely all I really want to do when I wake up at 7:00 Sunday morning. Why not do it?

Because it wouldn't actually make me happy. Really. It feels like it would at 7:00 a.m. (I know, not terribly early, but come on...SUNDAY...it might as well be 5:00 a.m. ) But it wouldn't. Going to Church on Sunday is important to me. Why?

1) The Lord commanded us to keep the Sabbath day holy. That I must do, because God Himself says he wants that of me. I know, there are many ways people choose to do that. I don't actually doubt the validity of many of them, so long as the intent and purpose is to obey God. But the Church I choose to belong to , the Roman Catholic Church, says a Catholic MUST go to Mass every Sunday as part of keeping holy the Sabbath day. Why would I choose to be a member of any Church or organization, but then also choose to flout its rules? If I join a club, I go to every meeting and follow the rubrics. It was my own choice to belong. The same with Church. No one forced me to be Catholic. I chose it. So I must also choose to follow its rules as to how to keep holy the Sabbath day.
2) I believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Transubstantiation. I believe I am receiving Jesus's actual Body and Blood in Holy Communion, just as He offered at the Last Supper, and told the apostles to continue. Why would I skip Mass if I believe I am going to receive Jesus? That wouldn't make any sense.
3) Once I get to Church, I see people I know in the parking lot and vestibule. I also see people I know after Mass. Since teaching CCD and joining the Italian Catholic Federation, it seems that I know lots of people. I like having friends and Church, and touching base with them weekly, and being supported and encouraged by them. I also like knowing people I see because it has helped me be less judgemental.
For example, on Mother's Day, one of the ushers wished me a Happy Mother's Day. Some of you know how desperately I have wanted children, and can imagine how bitter I feel when someone wishes me a Happy Mother's Day, and I can't have kids. But the man who wished it to me was a sweet little old man I know from ICF...not well enough that he knows my story, or even remembers that I am childless. Just well enough to know that we both mean well, and would never purposely hurt the other. I knew it would hurt him to know that those words stabbed and twisted in my heart, and I like him too well to do that. I chose to confuse him by smiling, and wishing him a Happy Mother's Day as well, which seemed every bit as appropriate as wishing it to a childless woman....At one time, I don't think I would have been purposely rude to him, but I would have said I am not a mother, and been obviously upset by it. I would have gone home seething that the ushers should know better than to generically wish women without children or corsages in Church a Happy Mother's Day. This time I left chuckling. Poor man. Wondering why I wished him a Happy Mother's Day...
4) I love to sing the hymns at Church. Most of the time, it doesn't really matter which hymn. I say most of the time because I don't like it when the age old words are changed to make them more inclusive. I think we should increase our understanding to be inclusive, not change the words. For instance, "Pleased as man with man to dwell" in Hark! The Herald Angels Sing gets changed to "Pleased as us with us to dwell" every Christmas. There are other songs, but I am not sure you would recognize them as well. I like singing the hymns the way I know it. Also, it drives me crazy when we skip my favorite verse in a song due to time constraints.
That happens to the last stanza of Amazing Grace all the time. I know that it wasn't actually in the original, but still, it is a beautiful thought that reminds me that we are doing now what we will be doing joyfully one day in heaven: Singing praise to Him who we could not help but praise if only we know Him. And I love being reminded of that...
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining like the sun,
We've no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.
Still, inclusivity and watching out for time constraints pleases some. It can't be all about me. It's Church. It ought to be all about Him, and I am not sure He cares one way or the other. I usually just add the last verse in my head anyways. As for inclusivity in hymns, unfortunately I know most of them and choose not to use the missellette to follow most of the time, so I end up singing it the old way anyway. I know. Someone ought to be blogging about me and how I mess up the hymns at Church every once in a while. Maybe they do....
5) The sermon. It is good to hear the priest's thoughts on the bible passages we read and listen to. Different priests have different styles. Father Andrew is profound in his simplicity. Father Ron is often brilliant, as is Father William. Father Ted can use the word to admonish us to be better, as well we should sometimes. I need this. I need to hear the thoughts of someone else on scripture, someone more learned and dedicated. It is good for me.
6) Bob would not stay and snuggle with me anyways. He loves going to Church on Sunday. He would leave me home alone under the covers. Then what would even be the point of staying home, am I right people?

Yes. Sometimes we go to Mass on Saturday evening instead. But even when we don't, and go on Sunday, it is SO worth it!

Please feel free to share in the comment section how you choose to keep the Sabbath holy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Do They Even Allow White Sox Fans in England?

Well, some of you who follow me on twitter know that I was busy running around on Saturday getting things in order to apply for a passport. The passport is applied for, and I requested that it be expedited. Funny, because I don't even know if I will go, or if Bob will have to go, but I hate to have decisions made for me by being unprepared.
I know. From the beginning...
About a month ago, Bob was told he might need to go to England for business purposes. I don't want to say the company he works for, only because Bob and I don't want his job to be in jeopardy because someone from the company believes I am being negative, which I don't mean to be. Bob visited on vacation England once many years ago, and he is hoping he will get to go. His job has never called him away before, and the idea that the first and only time it may means he gets to go to England has him hopeful and excited. I kind of hope he gets to go.
The thing is, I don't know if I want to go with him. Don't get me wrong. I would LOVE to visit England, but the thought of leaving mom home alone in the care of a paid stranger while I am an ocean away has me feeling conflicted. Mom wants me to go. I have friends from Church who promised to set up a visiting schedule so that her caretaker would see that she has plenty of visitors and cannot be neglected. (I have had to hire caretakers temporarily on and off years ago when mom was more mobile, and I was working. Some were FANtastic. Others required me to get Hungarian on their @$$.) My husband has a sweet cousin who will pick up any slack in visitors.
My mind goes back and forth. Sometimes I am hopeful I get to go to England. Sometimes I am hopeful Bob gets to go to England, but I believe I should stay home. I guess right now, it doesn't matter, because we are still at "maybe" about whether Bob needs to go or not. And in two weeks, I will have my passport. If he doesn't need to go before then, it will be my decision whether I go or not. Commute? Phone calls? Mom isn't computer literate, so emails are out of the question.
@PeterPollock, our friend @katdish asked me whether I'd be able to wear my pink White Sox cap to England while we were twittering. Would that be cricket? Do they even use that expression anymore? You would know better than me. And please don't advise me to wear a Yankees cap.
@BillyCoffey You asked me last week in my questions post whether I would ever wear a Yankees cap or be a Yankees fan. I am sorry, but here in Cook County, we have an ordinance against born and bred Chicagoans becoming Yankees fans. Violating this ordinance is punishable by having one's birth certificate revokes. Don't think for a minute they wouldn't. And I do need a valid birth certificate to get a passport. So the answer is no. As a law abiding citizen of Cook County, I am not now, nor could I ever become a Yankees fan. I hope you understand...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Once Had a Chicken...

Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.
(submitted by Beth)

Saturday Caption Contest again. Thanks for playing....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

About Me...Any Questions?

My friend Sherri at Matter of Fact has posted these questions that she would like her friends to answer. I am doing so here on my blog today.

1. Folgers or Starbucks? Folgers. I enjoy Starbucks once in a great while, but their coffee is too expensive.
2. Cardinals or Cubs? Though my team of choice would be White Sox, all the way baby, I must say I always side with the Chicago team. So as much as it hurts me to say this.....Cubs....ouch.
3. Morning person or night owl? Night owl.
4. Name brand or generic? That depends. Sometimes it is worth it to save a few pennies, sometimes it isn't.
5. Dylan or Rolling Stones? Dylan
6. Mountains or Ocean? Ocean
7. Talker or Listener? Yes!
8. Math or Literature? Literature
9. Books or Movies? I love to read books. It is also nice to watch a movie with mom and Bob sometimes.
10. Meat and Potatoes or Casseroles? Meat. Meat! MEAT!
11. Summer or Winter? Summer
12. Coffee or Tea?coffee
13. Cats or dogs? I like cats, but I have allergies. Some dogs trigger my allergies, too, but there are hypoallergenic dogs. But not cats.
14. Rock or Country? I like both, but if I must choose, it is Rock.
15. Pepsi or Coke? Diet Pepsi. I am cutting back on the fizzy stuff though, and drinking ice tea or water. Mostly water.
16. Beef or Chicken? Beef. Though today I am making chicken. Variety...
17. Leader or follower? That depends. If no one else will take charge, I will. But I prefer to be an assistant rather than the chief.
18. Pink or Red? pink
19. Stilettos or sneakers? Sneakers. i have heel spurs. I wear orthotics. Stilettos wouldn't work.
20. Homebody or socializer? I like to socialize, but I am okay at home, too. My cyber friends have made being at home a lot easier.
21. Short or tall? (ahem) I am short for my weight. I am about 5'5" or 5'6". According to the height and weight chart, I should be 7' 6". I think of myself as short.

What about you? Any questions? At least one of you thinks that would make fascinating reading. I know. I checked the poll.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's Only Protocol

This may seem macabre, but my Life is Funny post this week is about the time my mom was in the hospital about seven years ago. It was NOT funny at the time. Six months later, I was telling the story to a group of women I was driving in a funeral procession for a colleague who died, and they were wiping tears of laughter from their eyes. It is hard to tell whether the story was that funny, or if it was just the emotional roller coaster we were on that day, but here we go.

Seven years ago, my mom had a gall bladder operation. They were hoping to do the laproscopic one, but couldn't because her gall bladder was full of gangrene. Old fashioned gall bladder surgeries are very painful. I don't know this from experience, unless you count my changing bandages for my mom experience. Anyway, the day after her surgery, she has physical therapy, and afterwards she is breathing hard. My mom's doctor happens to call the hospital to find out how she is doing, and when he is told she is breathing heavily after physical therapy, he orders a CAT scan, stat. I overhear the nurses talking. They think he is overdoing it, but of course, doctors orders prevail.

It turns out she had a blood clot on each lung. While we were waiting for these results, a Doppler was done on her legs. Another blood clot. She is whisked away into ICU, and I am standing in her room wondering what the H-E-double hockey stick just happened.

I am allowed to visit her for brief periods in ICU. Mom is scared. She thinks she is going to die, and doesn't want me to go home (When does this get funny? Toward the end. Hang on a few more minutes. Remember, she is alive, so you know we get a happy ending anyway.) The doctor gets to the hospital late at night. I ask him...

HRM: Is she going to die? (sniffling and crying...yada yada)
Doctor: She might. She is going to need to stay calm and optimistic. (My mother? Calm? Look up nervous in the dictionary, and there are pictures of mom.) You will need to be strong and keep her calm.
HRM: How do I do that?
Doctor: You willl find a way. In the meantime, maybe you should call her any other immediate family members to see her tonight....(Yeah, a parade at 11:30 p.m. in ICU....Chamomile tea for the soul) Be prepared to stay here overnight. (Not a problem. She doesn't even want me to leave the room. The nurses have to kick me out.)

Well, I do call her sister. Here comes some giggles.
HRM: Auntie Lydia, you may want to come to ICU. The doctor says it is possible that the situation is dire.
Auntie Lydia: Well....I don't know if I should.....
HRM: Huh? (screechy voice)
Auntie Lydia: I have a sore throat, and I don't want to give it to her. (We are talking about death bed visitation, and she is worried about mom catching a sore throat. This is my life with my family. HELP ME!)
HRM: Uh, okay Auntie. You do understand that she may not be around long enough to catch a sore throat?
Auntie Lydia: Huh? (A confused huh)
HRM: Do what you want, Auntie. I need to get back to ICU.

So I go back into ICU. Prepare yourself for more giggles.
Mom: Where were you? I was afraid I'd die, and you wouldn't be here.
HRM: (Good Lord! I am supposed to keep her calm, and she is talking about dying the moment I walk in...I ask the Holy Spirit for a little help here.) Why did you think you would die?
Mom: I am in ICU with a blood clot on my lung. (Good, she had no idea that the clot was in each lung, or about the leg clot. I can work with this.)
HRM: Mom, it's no big deal. They put everyone in ICU if they have a blood clot on the lung. It's no big deal.
Mom: Huh?
HRM: It's merely protocol. So they don't get sued. Just relax and enjoy the extra attention...
Mom: Are you sure?
HRM: Sure I'm sure! So live it up, while you can. You know the nurses on the regular floors have too many patients to go to you as soon as you ring the call bell. Here they come before you even press anything! They know what you need before you do? Why would you even want to be moved to a regular floor?
Mom: I don't know.......Are you sure.....
HRM: Sure I'm sure! (I had never lied to my mom in my whole life, but if I had known she was this gullible, I may have not worn a hat all those years covering my ears....)
Mom: Well, if it is no big deal after all, maybe you should go home and get some rest.
HRM: SURE! I could do that (oh dear....what if she....and I'm not there....) But you know, if you would feel better with me staying in the ICU waiting room tonight, I could do that. Only one night though. So you could feel reassured that I am near...
Mom: Thank you, honey. You're a good girl. ( Yeah. A thirty-two year old girl. And I felt as helpless and vulnerable as if I were a child. Knowing I am a child of God helped a lot, but I still...well anyways, it turned out all right, right?)

Well, it was funny to the three ladies in my car that day. They thought telling my mom she was only there in ICU so I wouldn't sue them was hysterical. They also liked that Auntie Lydia was afraid that mom would get strep before dying if she visited (which she did the next morning). Mrs. T was wiping tears from her eyes while she was laughing. Even I saw the humor in it. I still do. Now.....Or maybe the laughter isn't from humor, but from joy.

Still, whichever is true, it is also true that...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dancing Queen, Young and Sweet, Almost Forty

Don't you guys ever find yourselves having to change the words of a song you are singing to make it more appropriate to your situation? Obviously from the title, you can tell I do...

Anyways, it seems that it is time for:

Okay, last week I did not do a "What I Learned" post. Why is that? Because I learned that Comcast OnDemand has a Wedding Dance section where I can learn the Achy Breaky Heart dance. As excited as I was by this, I was a little embarassed that the only thing I remember learning that week I learned because I was so bored (a crime punishable by dusting in my family) for even longer than it takes to flip through the cable channels, and started flipping through not only the OnDemand movies, but the other stuff that seems less inviting. However, I must share that with you now so that I can tell you that I learned....
The Achy Breaky Heart line dance. I know. All my talk about Salsa dancing in the supermarket, you probably think that I'm a plus sized Ginger Rogers. Nope. Not even Roy Rogers. Or Mr. Rogers. I'm happy if I can dance better than Roget's Thesaurus... I love the movement of dance, but have little grace, and two left feet (figuratively, not literally). Even my supermarket salsa dancing leaves much to be desired. I can tell from the way strangers stare when I dance in the supermarket that they are wondering why I don't take lessons.....Unfortunately, I did, and that's as good as I get. So learning The Achy Breaky Heart line dance has me super excited. I have also been practicing my Electric Slide, though Comcast calls it Electric Boogie, but youtube has something else for Electric Boogie......
I can do the Achy Breaky Heart dance almost as well as this guy!


I also learned that I drink more water during the day if I keep a bottle filled near me. I will then absent mindedly sip away up to 12 glasses during the day, where as before I wasn't getting half that. I know. The Achy Breaky Heart dance is sexier than water, isn't it?

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Squirrels and Oppossums Weren't Lining Up in Twos, So It Couldn't Have Been That Bad......

Since Friday, I haven't tweeted much. Those of you who follow me on twitter know that I tweet a lot.

But while I was tweeting and looking out the window on Friday, I saw lightning and counted two Mississippi. I then thought it might be wise to shut down the computer just in case....Hence this tweet....
Storm is getting bad. I am going to shut down my computer, just in case... Have a great day everyone.
(This is not a picture of my yard and lightning. I did not stop to take pictures. Sorry.)

I was not gone for the day, however. I came back to tweet some more after discovering water gushing in my basement, and realizing that there was nothing I could do until after the rain was over (and hearing mom yell for me shortly after I got down because she got worried something happened...yeah, practically caused an accident with me running through the water and up the stairs to find out why she was screaming....). I then left this tweet.
Oh yeah, as for storm, basement is flooded now. I am avoiding tons of work at the moment.

Saturday I checked for damages. Then I puttered at the computer a bit, leaving this tweet (Thank you for being concerned, Steph)
@redclaydiaries Worse than I'd like it to be, not as bad as it could be..not as bad as the time 1/2 of our wedding pictures were ruined..
(Also, it would have been worse if I had a great big basement like this, no?)

When hurricane Edgar hit down South last year, we got some terrible rains here in Chicago. I don't know the correlation as to why a hurricane so far away would affect Chicago. Maybe it didn't. Maybe it was a coincidence. Anyways, I lost half of my wedding pictures that I had in the family room in the basement during that flood, and a whole bunch of other stuff. When I discovered that, I cried a river. But then I discovered my mom's old neighborhood had a more serious issue. Their nearest neighboring neighborhood, Albany Park, was flooded from the Chicago River. It was an oddity, because this area of the Chicago River has never been a problem. Some people lost everything...and they had no flood insurance. I lost half of my wedding pictures, but still have the man in them, and we did not need to start over from the beginning .....I had a lot to be grateful for, and still do.

This flood cost Bob me a bunch of books, my mom's old Easter basket, and I am going to have to redo the laundry, as some things we were sorting to give away got soaked, but I think a good laundering will make it all okay again. Oh, and I am going to have to call someone about waterproofing the basement (AGAIN?!).

But everything is okay of here. We lost some things, but nothing important. Nothing of great sentimental value, like wedding pictures. Nothing like....everything...Everything is good over here. It will still take me a couple of days to finish cleaning the basement, but that's no big deal.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Morning Captions...

The Three Musicians of Bremen were never the same after Rooster went Solo.

Monday, June 15, 2009

How I Became a White Sox Fan: Why the Cops Showed Up at My Fifth Birthday Party

In Chicago, the rivalry between Cub fans and White Sox fans is very intense. We say you can't be a fan of both. It has to be one or the other. This really isn't entirely true. My mom and I wish the Cubs well until they win the play offs. We do not want them to become Division Champions. That risks that they will have to face the White Sox in the World Series. I don't doubt that my beloved Sox could kick their sweet patooties....I just fear the tension that would create in this fair city of ours...

I could claim to be a White Sox fan because my favorite cousin Ricky was/is. Ricky is still alive. Ricky is still a Sox fan. He just doesn't want to be called "Ricky" ever again....Anyways, I loved Ricky more than anyone. I thought everything he did and thought was just the greatest, including burping the alphabet. That was always impressive when done by him. Ricky was a goofball as a kid with an odd sense of humor. I know. It is hard to imagine that I was ever drawn to that. I think I was a disappointment as a younger (by four years) cousin to him. I could not burp pass the letter "f". I tried to make it up to him by cheering for the White Sox. And Elvis. But I think that is another post....

I could claim that, and it would be the truth. Not the whole truth, but the truth nevertheless. The real reason I became a White Sox fan is my dad's cousin, Uncle Felix (I have changed his name for the sake of his family, who would be pretty ticked to see this story out there in cyber land with his name attached to it.).

My mom's brothers were Cub fans. They were intense in their fandom compared to my daddy. My daddy was not a big fan of baseball. Too much time standing around. He prefered to watch soccer or basketball, where the game could change if you blink. My dad's cousin however, was a VERY intense White Sox fan. This made for an interesting fifth birthday party for me.

Uncle Felix's son Edgar was a Cub's fan. At my fifth birthday party, Uncle Felix and Edgar have a huge argument over the merits of the Cubs vs. White Sox. Uncle Felix decided to settle the matter once and for all by grabbing one of my birthday presents (a wooden baseball bat), and storming out the door onto the street where he proceeded to beat on Edgar's car. So yes, the only party I was ever at that had the cops show up was my fifth birthday party.

It was then that I knew that if I valued the bicycle I got for Christmas, I must become a convincing White Sox fan. And, it stuck. I do hope the Cubbies do well (I owe my other Uncles that much consideration for not scaring me), but NEVER better than the White Sox. I also like jokes about the Cubs.

One of my absolute favorites:

A wicked Chicago man died and went to the place all wicked people go. The Devil decided to shove him in a room and cranked the heat and humidity up.

The man smiled. When the Evil One asked why the man was smiling he said: "Just like Chicago in Spring"

So the Most Evil One cranked up the heat and humidity more. The man removed his coat, smiled, and said:

"Just like Chicago in Summer"

This time the Destroyer of Beauty cranked the heat and humidity to maximum.

The man removed his shirt and tie and said

"Just like Chicago in August"

The Devil then got an idea. He shut off the heat and turned on the air conditioning. The room froze in seconds. Ice was everywhere. Polar bears hid in dens because it was so cold. Satan, confident he had finally won, peaked in the man's room only to find the man cheering and partying frantically....

"The Cubs won the World Series...The Cubs won the World Series..."

Now, my daddy always wore a hat wherever he went. Usually not one with a MLB logo on it, but a plain old gray or blue one, unless we went by Uncle Felix. Can you guess what kind of hat he wore when around Uncle Felix? Yep! A Cubs hat. Looking back, I think my dad must've been the kind of kid who liked to poke bears with a stick or something, because, like I said earlier, daddy was not really much of a baseball fan. (Woops, sorry Billy.) Uncle Felix, however, never called daddy on the hat.

For those of you who are weeping to find out that dear Helen at Random Musings is a White Sox fan, take heart. I am in a mixed marriage. That is right. My husband is a Cubs fan and I married him anyway. I think that is punishment enough for being a Cubs fan, don't you?

Oh yeah, I thought this would fit with a Life is Funny theme on Wendy's blog carnival. So there you go.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Corpus Christi: The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Mk 14:12-16, 22-26

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
when they sacrificed the Passover lamb,
Jesus' disciples said to him,
"Where do you want us to go
and prepare for you to eat the Passover?"
He sent two of his disciples and said to them,
"Go into the city and a man will meet you,
carrying a jar of water.
Follow him.
Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house,
'The Teacher says, "Where is my guest room
where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"'
Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready.
Make the preparations for us there."
The disciples then went off, entered the city,
and found it just as he had told them;
and they prepared the Passover.
While they were eating,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, gave it to them, and said,
"Take it; this is my body."
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,
and they all drank from it.
He said to them,
"This is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed for many.
Amen, I say to you,
I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine
until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
Then, after singing a hymn,
they went out to the Mount of Olives

The following is a video explanation of today's feast day.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Puppy Caption Contest

Most successful ad campaign ever, "for only $500 a month you can keep puppies like Tiny from being euthanize." The nation goes bankrupt as one man reaps the benefits.

Last week it was Kitties, this week puppies. How would you caption this picture?

I will try to be more prompt in handling any ethical dilemas that happen this time.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What A Week!

My momma always said bad things always come in threes. She wasn't superstitious. She was being funny. There were three of us in the family, mom, dad, and me. We went everywhere together.

I however, have had a threesome this week....

1) My car's power steering went out on Saturday while I was doing errands. The newspapers for recycling are still in the back, but I digress. The power steering problem was not as expensive as I feared. However, while they were looking at my car, it seems they noticed I need a whole new engine. Yep. They can't say whether it will give out on my way home, or in six months with regular use. My husband let me drive it home (with him following me), but does not want me to drive it until it is fixed. Yes, as expensive as a new motor is, we can't afford another car, so we will have to nurse this one along....

2) My dishwasher broke on Saturday. My husband was able to fix it however, so that isn't so bad.

3) My refrigerator broke. I don't know how long it wasn't working right, but my guess would be since Saturday, since that seems to have been...Well, anyway, I found out Tuesday night when I go to pour a glass of milk, about half a gallon with an excellent date, and it has the consistency of cottage cheese!
3a) So, of course, Wednesday, the repairman needs it entirely shut down to fix it, and I have to throw away food from the fridge and freezer, which stinks, because I hate being wasteful. I had to throw them out however. Doctor pills and prescriptions for food poisoning cost more than the food did....Not going to risk it.

As for bad things coming in three, I really don't mean it. My favorite thing (if you could call them a "thing") in the whole world come in three: I'll give you three guesses. Enjoy this picture while you think.

Did you guess The Holy Trinity? Good for you! Awesome!

The Holy Trinity is one constant that will never change or break down. And God has blessed us so that these things are able to be fixed, and we do have the funds to do it. Thank you God.

1 Thessalonians 5:18-19 "....give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire;"
It has been an inconvenient week, but I still have a lot to be thankful for....
It has been an inconvenient week, but I still have a lot to be thankful for....
It has been an inconvenient week, but I still have a lot to be thankful for....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

That Speck in My Eye is....

I wasn't sure if this would make a better What I learned post, or Life is Funny post. I decided to use it for Life is Funny because I have the dishwasher story for What I Learned. Anyways.....

It might help to begin by explaining that I rarely wear makeup. Especially on my eyes. I am nearsighted and don't want to do to my eye what one has to do to put in contact lenses, and I you can't put on eye shadow with glasses on. To apply makeup without being able to see is the sort of test a woman who couldn't color in the lines as a child is sure to fail. I was always afraid I would look like a clown. The exception to that rule was when I was feeling depressed. I wanted to wear a mask then, so I did. The exception to THAT rule is my wedding and honeymoon. Every bride tries to look better than herself for her wedding pictures, and, well, on the honeymoon, I wore the makeup because I paid almost a hundred dollars for it! Of course I wasn't going to let it rot in the drawer!
So anyways, I hardly ever wear make up, so I am not looking for where to touch my face up. I may wear lipstick to a wedding, because then people expect you to look like you put some effort into getting ready, and retouch my lipstick as the evening progresses (or not), but my eyelids, eye lashes, and outside of my eyes have rarely seen shadow, liner, or mascara. Only for my joy filled wedding and honeymoon, and when I wanted look joy filled by wasn't. Ordinary days get me au natural. Or is it au naturale. I know one means natural, the other means in my birthday suit. I don't walk around in my birthday suit. I don't even like wearing it under my clothes. It needs ironing...
Well, a year ago, I was examining my face, God only knows why. I think it might be because I am getting harsher in my judgement of myself as I get older (which is where the What I Learned could have come in, with just a little bit of spin). I close my left eye, and I notice what turned out to be a big ol' mole! (as in birthmark, not large rodent. Keep up, okay..) At first I thought it was a speck I needed to get out, but couldn't grab.

I call Bob into the bedroom.

HRM: Bob, would you please take this speck off of my eyelid?
Bob: What speck? I don't see a speck.... (While peering closely at me)
HRM: Left eye, way in the left corner.
Bob: I don't see a speck. Is it near your freckle?
HRM: Freckle?
Bob: Yeah, you have this cute little freckle on the left side of your left eyelid...
HRM: Since when?
Bob: Since we've met...
HRM: TWELVE YEARS! (You know how they say new blemishes can be a sign of skin cancer and stuff. I suddenly had this fear that my eyelid would need removal and I'd be wearing an eye patch for the rest of my life.)
Bob: Relax, it's just a birthmark or freckle or something...
Bob: (Deer looking at the headlights look on his face now) I love you...
HRM: Birthmarks don't happen in adulthood!
Bob:You probably never noticed it before...
HRM: Oh yeah, never noticed that big ol' spot! You did! Apparently when we met!
Bob: Huh?
HRM: You just said you noticed it the moment we met!
(By now Bob is twitching all over, and I walk out of the bedroom. I just can't talk to him when he twitches like that!)

(I go to mom's room)
HRM: Mom, would you take this speck off my eye lid.
Mom: Helen, that's your birthmark!
HRM: How long have I had it?
Mom: Since you were born. That's why I called it your birthmark. (Rim shot for you there mom..)
HRM: Why didn't I ever notice it before now?
Mom: Better lighting? Getting older and looking for changes? Who knows?
HRM: Is it darker than it once was?
Mom: Not really. I have a cute picture of you with your eyes closed as a baby, and it looks way bigger and darker there. Don't you remember that picture?
HRM: The one with an owie on my eye?
Mom: That's not an owie, dear. That's your other birthmark.

In case you are wondering, I know where my other birthmark is, and I am not telling.

So. there you have my contribution to the Life is Funny Carnival for this week.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Better Habits And Bob is Awesome

Things I learned this week....

1) Good habits can still be learned past the age of thirty-five...
Okay, I am not proud of this, but I have always hated washing dishes, and let them accumulate too much in the sink. Then, about three years ago, we bought a house with a dishwasher. Cool. But I didn't know how to load it, and didn't use it because I didn't want to break my dishes. My friend showed me how to use it a year later, and since then, I always keep a clear sink. Dirty dishes get rinsed, and immediately hid in the dishwasher where no one can see them until the dishwasher is full. Then, of course, I put in the soap, and start the load. So essentially, the dishwasher has become a magic hiding place to me that will do the dishes for me after I have hid them.
So where is the good habit? Well, the dishwasher broke this weekend, and I found that I could not leave a dirty dish in the sink in the meantime while waiting for my dishwasher repairman (Bob) to fix it. I kept up with those dishes that I even did a load by hand after Bob fixed it because I didn't realize he fixed it before I finished clearing the table.

If I had been blogging three years ago, I would have known about youtube, and then I could have gotten instructions on dishwasher loading via video..

2) Bob is handier than I give him credit for. In the old house, I used to have the appliances insured by Sears so that i would not have to risk Bob fixing them. Now that I am not working, we can't afford such extravagance as overpriced insurance on an old washing machine....anyways, Bob has stepped up to the plate well. He will go to the hardware store with the part and ask what it is and what he ought to do. (I suppose I should also give him credit for asking for directions).

Monday, June 8, 2009


I am a big fan of the television show numbers. Mainly I think David Krumholz is cute. But don't tell Bob. My official story is that I like crime dramas (which I do), and I love the idea of making Math seem cool, rather than "When am I ever going to use Algebra?". When you want a hot girl friend like Charlie Epps has! Or a cool job like Charlie Epps has! Or black curls like Charlie Epps has! Or middle aged women to carry blue granny panties to throw in your face in case they ever see you walking down the street like Charlie Epps has! Wait...maybe that last one isn't quite as encouraging as I may have thought it was at first....DANG!
A new friend from another blog gave me a link to this picture, (which, apparently, she drew! WOW!) which, why wouldn't I want to steal for this blog....Because it's AWeSOME! Click on the picture to see her site, and her thoughts on NUMB3RS.

Now, excuse me, I think I need to clean out my purse....

Eppes, Charlie by ~kendranoelle on deviantART

Rae, Alexandra, and I have been writing haikus with the captchas on www.2secondsfaster.com. Captchas are like word verifications, only they are called Captchas. And are often actual words. I am pretty proud of this haiku, brought to you by the words Abstract, and air...(I so wanted that last sentence to remind you of how Sesame Street ends their show with "brought to you by the letter 'C'", or whatever. Did it work?)

Abstract thoughts are the
Very air that I breathe in
How do I exhale?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Where There is Faith

Today is the Sixteenth anniversary of my daddy's passing. I want to share a song with you that brought me great comfort in the days after. This song still makes me cry. The first time I heard it I wept, and thought of my dad, and realized that this time I wasn't crying over the sadness of my loss, but with joy in my hope to spend eternity with him, because if Jesus's mercy and sacrifice.

Enjoy the song.

I believe in faithfulness
I believe in giving to myself for someone else
I believe in peace and love
I believe in honesty and trust but it's not enough
For all that I believe may never change the way it is
Unless I believe Jesus lives

Where there is faith
There is a calling, keep walking
You're not alone in this world
Where there is faith
There is a peace like a child sleeping
Hope everlasting in He who is able to
Bear every Burden, to heal every hurt in my heart
It is a wonderful, powerful place
Where there is faith

There's a man across the sea
Never heard the sound of freedom ring
Only in his dreams
There's a lady dressed in black
In a motorcade of cadillacs
Daddy's not coming back
Our hearts begin to fall
And our stability grows weak
But Jesus meets our needs if only we believe


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Kitty Caption Contest

And the winner is....Steph at the Red Clay Diaries....
"Hang in there, Baby," my @$$! This was NOT in my motivational poster contract!"
My dear friend Sherri has a caption contest every Saturday. It is a lot of fun. Yesterday I got some funny pictures in the mail from my cousin's wife, and thought to myself "Hey, you an do a Silly Saturday caption of your own now."

So, here we are. What are your suggestions?

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Remember learning about McCarthyism in school?

No. It has nothing to do with Charlie McCarthy. He was amusing.

Joe McCarthy. He wasn't. Whether you think he is the most evil American of the twentieth century, or a prophet we ought to have listened to better, you have to admit, he isn't very funny. His name has coined a phrase with a scary meaning indeed: McCarthyism. Both sides of the political debate are resorting to extreme accusations, and it scares the living daylights out of me. I have read comparisons of Bush to Hitler and Obama to the anti-Christ. I have argued with extremists on both ends. I am scared and tired. I can't argue any more.
Yesterday I wrote a post about a dear teacher, and how she suffered more than I ever could have guessed from the joyful countenance she had dealing with angst ridden teens. I marveled at how she could be compassionate to the problems of the spoiled, whiny teenagers I and my friends were, when she as a girl suffered during the Holocaust. I don't know how or why this invited an anonymous commenter to spout on about evil Republicans. I really don't. What I do know is that I don't have the energy to argue with extremists.
I am not angry at anonymous. I have ranted on blogs myself at times. I just choose to leave my name and URL and stand behind my words. I have felt this fear for many months, and anonymous has merely brought the boil in my mind to a head, and I feel the need to burst it. Yes, this boil has been growing since before the election even. We have in this country conservatives crying out "SOCIALIST!" at our President, and liberals calling out "TERRORIST!" to returning veterans and activists in the pro-life movement, and I am becoming worried that this war of words is going to destroy our nation.
Words have power to inspire not only good, but evil as well. I am thinking of Marx's (Karl, not Groucho) Communist Manifesto, and the eventual slaughter of millions of Russians and other Slavonic peoples, as well as dissidents in China. I am thinking of Mein Kampf, and the millions of slaughtered Jews, gypsies, slavs....Even The Holy Bible (Thou Shalt not suffer a witch to live) has been held responsible for the Salem Witchcraft Trials (I don't question the inerrancy of scripture, but the manner in which humans interpret and carry out it's teaching).

Words. They are so powerful. They incite action. For real, not just my little KFC joke from weeks ago, but real hate which eventually causes real violence. I don't have the energy or the wisdom to fight the battle to prevent an actual battle.
I am weary of the vehement hatred on both sides. I long for peace between political parties before something really bad happens...something that tears us further apart. There are good, idealistic democrats. There are good, idealistic republicans. I feel a bit like Rodney King..."Why can't we all just get along...?" Why can't we?

Anonymous, if you have something heartfelt to share about the TOPIC on any of my posts, feel free. If you don't feel comfortable enough in our little community here to identify yourself, I get that. I used to be shy myself. But if you are going to get all extremist on me, and it has nothing to do with my post, back up your words with your identity, or I will delete your comment. As I have repeatedly said today, I don't have the energy or desire to argue. I want to make peace, and I don't know how.

James 3:17-18 (New International Version)
17But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

We need both sides to accomplish that, don't we?

Now, please excuse me. The naive school girl in me has some daisies she neglected skipping through this morning, and has to go....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

An Awesome Teacher

Well, yesterday was another Italian Catholic Federation meeting. We had dinner together first, which was nice. A lady at my table brought a guest. It turned out this woman worked at my old High School from the year before I graduated until it closed down about five years ago. I did not know her, but I could not resist taking the opportunity to ask her about the passing of one of my favorite teachers.
Last week I wrote a post about three of my favorite teachers. I did not mention that Frau Germaine, my German teacher, passed away about six years after I graduated. I found out in the "Rest in Peace" section of the newsletter. There her name was. Hildegarde Germaine. I always wondered....But there was no way to find out. So, at the end of our meal, I asked.
She said it was her heart. Which was pretty amazing, because if anyone had a good heart metaphorically speaking, it was Hildegarde Germaine....She brought such joy into the classroom. She radiated with love for us. In her class we made up skits, learned pithy sayings, read poetry, listened to soap operas, sang songs....all auf Deutsch (in German). She sympathized with our stupid problems (I'll never get a date because my parents are so strict!), she encouraged us when we had real problems ("My mom has been in the hospital for a week, and the doctors still don't know what is wrong..."), and she laughed when our skits were purposely stupid. She even let us get away with minimal infractions (I got my best friend on German class field trips by claiming she was my cousin....). My best memories of High School include Frau Germaine, whose heart was bigger than my body, which is saying a lot. Really.
The shocker came when the lady at my table asked if I knew Frau Germaine was a Holocaust survivor. No. No I did not. I didn't ask the woman how she knew. She just said that no one at school knew until after she died. I didn't ask any questions. If Frau Germaine wanted me to know, she would have told me.
Today I am amazed that my happiest school memories come from a woman whose memories of her own girlhood had to be the most Godawful experiences. I can't even imagine. I won't try. Frau Germaine was a faithful Catholic who inspired me without me even having a glimmer into her own story. How she could have sympathized with our troubles after what she went through is beyond my comprehension. How she could radiate such joy....my only guess is that her faith sustained her. My respect and love for her increased a hundred fold since last night...and that's saying a lot.
May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Keep Asking

Keep asking the question until you get the answer you want. NO, not on the same day. I mean spaced out....
Bob and I like to hang out at Barnes and Noble on our days out sometimes. We are there for an hour about once or twice a month. We go our separate ways to check out what we want (him History, me Bargains and later Mystery), and we meet back at the Barnes and Noble Cafe. I am usually done first, because I scoop up everything I think I want, and then sort what I don't at the cafe. Yes, I am one of those horrid people who will pick up seven books, look through them all, then select two and let the people who work their put them back. I consider it a service to them: helping them keep their job in todays economy. If you work for Barnes and Noble and are reading this, there is no need to thank me. We got to look out for one another. Just pay it forward is what I say...
Anyways, Barnes and Noble Cafe has signs up that if you sit there, you need to be a customer, otherwise find other seating around the store (which may be taken, and therefore more difficult to decide where to meet up). I don't blame them, though. The cafe is a business, and few businesses encourage loitering. Okay, coffee shops do encourage loitering, but want you to do it with a coffee and sweet roll bought from them. So, wanting the easy peasy seating, I always order a cup of coffee. But, knowing me, do you think I make it easy. But then, there is a different barrista each time I go, so neither do they!

Barrista: Hello, can I help you? (It should be "May I help you?", but I stopped being the grammar police when I stopped teaching and started a blog. Making my own errors here is a bit humbling out there, you know?)
HRM: I'm looking......What do you have that's sweet and sugarfree? (I'm still working with the Atkins. I'm not perfect. I had a cookie yesterday. Two cookies. Okay, three cookies and that's my final offer..Wait, what was I saying?)
Barrista: You can add as much equal to your coffee as you like when I hand you your plain coffee.
HRM: No sugarfree flavors, huh? Okay then....I'll take a small plain coffee. (Then I don't add equal. Unless it's a flavored coffee, I like it with cream, and unsweetened. I know. Weird. Who would have thought I'd be weird about coffee? Only everyone....)

And that is the conversation I have been having with Barnes and Noble Cafe barristas at least once a month for almost a year (since Bob and I found someone to watch mom for a few hours once a week). That is until Saturday.

Barrista: Hello, what would you like? (Oooo, I different approach. I feel hopeful already.)
HRM: What do you have that's sweet and sugarfree?
Barrista: We have sugarfree carmel shot, and sugarfree vanilla shot.
HRM: Really? You have something sweet and sugarfree? Because you didn't always?
Barrista: I know, but we have been getting a lot of requests for sugarfree flavored coffee for a while now.
HRM: That's beautiful. (I sniffle). I'll take a large sugarfree carmel....

So that's what I learned this week. Keep asking. One day the answer might be different. In case you haven't thought of it yet, your children already know this. If I had been a smarter teacher, I could have learned it from them. But then, I was stubborn. Yes, I mean the double meaning: to stubborn to learn it then, and too stubborn to give them their way just because they were being annoying. Anyways, if your grocery store, coffee shop, or whatever doesn't have what you want, keep asking anyways. (People who want sugarfree coolwhip, take note). The answer may change. Then again...

So this duck walks into a pet store and says to the clerk, "Got any duck food?"
"No", says the clerk, "we only sell dog food and cat food."
"OK", says the duck and walks out.
The next day the duck walks in the store and says "Uh, got any duck food?"
The clerk once again replies, "No, like I told you, we only sell cat food and dog food."
"OK", says the duck and walks out.
The next day the duck walks in the store and says "Uh, got any duck food?"
The clerk says "Hey look, I told you two times already that we only sell cat food and dog food!"
"OK", says the duck and walks out.
The next day the duck walks in the store and says "Uh, got any duck food?"
This time the clerk yells "We don't sell any duck food and if you come in here one more time asking, I am going to nail your little webbed feet to the ground!"
"OK", says the duck and walks out.
The next day the duck walks in the store and says "Uh, got any nails?"
"No", says the confused clerk.
The duck says, "Got any duck food?"

Monday, June 1, 2009

I Just Got Lucky

How many of you have ever tried to explain a blog to someone unfamiliar with the internet?
Today I tried to explain to my aunt what I do here. No, she has never seen my blog, or any blog. She doesn't have email. She has never googled anyone in her life.
For the zillioneth time this year, I told her I write a blog. For the zillioneth time this year, she said she didn't know that. However, this time she proceeds with "What's a blog?'

(And a phone conversation with my favorite aunt is a part of my life that today was funny to me, anyway.

Auntie: What's a blog?
HRM: It's kind of like a journal on a website.
Auntie: Like a diary?
HRM: It can be. Mine sometimes shares personal information, sometimes cartoons, sometimes jokes, and sometimes my faith.
Auntie: Oh.
HRM: Yesterday I posted a song about the Holy Spirit for Pentecost. On Friday, I posted the Pillsbury Doughboy's obituary.
Auntie: Wha?
HRM: I never read the Pillsbury Doughboy's obituary to you?
Auntie: No, I can't say that you did....
HRM: Well, mom will have to excuse us (we were on speakerphone) while I rectify that oversight.
(I proceed to the computer where I read Friday's post. No links, just scroll down people. Or hit older post twice. I am not going to link everything, you know.)
Auntie: Oh, that's cute. People like that, huh?
(I go back to mom's room with the phone)
HRM: What I think they really liked were the Pillsbury Doughboy bloopers.
Auntie: Pillsbury Doughboy bloopers?
HRM: Yeah. You know what bloopers are, right?
Auntie: Yeah, I've watched the show, but how does the Pillsbury Doughboy have bloopers?
HRM: Well it was more like a joke than blooper. It showed the Pillsbury Doughboy farting and flipping people off.
(Mom shakes her head. Now she knows what I was giggling about all day Friday.)
Auntie: Where do you find such things?
HRM: I googled Pillsbury Doughboy and Youtube. I didn't google Pillsbury Doughboy only farting, though. I just got lucky.
Auntie: If you could call it that....
(Mom laughs)

Yeah, this letting people getting to know the real me can become a wild ride for us all. My family knows me as a religious conservative. Now I shall be known as a religious conservative who posts videos of the Pillsbury Doughboy farting. And that is why I am posting this for the Life is Funny carnival. Because I think this conversation was hysterical.