October 2006

The monitor's backlight is shot.  Which means only evening computing for me, only when the SuperComputer is free but the SuperHusband is not (given the choice, I'll take the husband over the computer any night, lol.).  But bless the man, he is looking around for a new monitor.




The Resolution: To get serious about exercising.  Over the past week many things have pointed in this direction, including but not limited to:

  • The “Running the Rosary” article at Catholic Exchange
  • meeting a guy at a kids' Halloween party who was just back from running the Ironman triathalon.  Father of two young children no less.
  • Discovering that my only long pants that fit are exercise wear.

Saturday I was reflecting on how the goals of fitness and good nutrition are an excellent chance to practice the four cardinal virtues (prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude), which we studied last year, both in 5th grade CCD and in the homeschool kindergarten.  But I didn't realize quite how much fortitude would be required until I actually got started on the fitness goal yesterday morning.  My effort to do a skip-rope rosary only made it a decade and a half before the fighting and interuptions reached the point that I had to call a halt.    And then by late morning — before I had a chance to get back to the rope-skipping — someone had broken my jump rope.   Not an auspicious start.  Now I understand why so many of my middle-aged parent-friends are out of shape.




A Link: My internet friend Lee Ann is the one person who has most inspired me to persist with exercising despite the obstacles.  Her blog, “souvenons” or “We Remember”, recounts her experience losing her son Thomas Doerflinger, killed in action in Iraq.






There was chant, too.  Mr. SuperHusband and I  made it to the state charismatic renewal conference this morning for a little mini-retreat.  Good stuff.  Sort of a summer-camp feel to the event.  After a great praise & worship session (congo line, anyone?) Fr. Maclear gave a talk on St. Joseph.  I don’t know anything else about the man, but it was a good talk.  Lots of new insights for me.  Nice intellectual counterpoint to the emotional enthusiasm of the event.


Bishop Baker presided at the Mass afterwards.  His homily covered all sorts of good points about religious vocations, family life, prayer, and lots of other stuff.  Very catholic.   I like how the morning started with a praise-and-teaching format worthy of any good evangelical church, but didn’t stop there.  It culminated in the Mass.  Put things in their proper perspective.


And you can say what you like about guitar masses*, but this one had the very best communion song ever.  It was a simple series of statements of eucharistic adoration, along the lines of "we worship you, Jesus"  etc. etc.  It seems like if you’re going to be singing something during Holy Communion, this about sums it up.  Really nice. 


Oh and Bishop Baker said something about the Tridentine Mass, but he asked us not to repeat it.  So I won’t.  But I couldn’t resist joining the throngs of bloggers posting on that theme.   I can say that there was evidence of enthusiam for a wider use of the old rite among the attendees.  Hmmn, a Charismatic Tridentine Mass.  That is something I would definitely want to see.




A few other updates:  I got the bird feeder filled, finally, thanks to a fear of public shame if I didn’t.  Something is sprouting under the feeder, and it better not be sunflowers, because that would mean those birds are wasting my seeds.  Bad birds! Bad birds! No cookie!  Garden notes:  Some of the lantana is started to die off, I got a few nice cherry tomatoes, and a watermelon!  I had given up on the watermelon, and there it was.  Haven’t opened it yet to see whether it is any good.  Some kind of green is coming up from last year’s seed (self-sown), I think a mustard green.  Have not seen any peas poking out yet.  And LP’s math-u-see workbook arrived, so I will be able to conveniently hand her worksheets when she asks for them.   Got my phonics book, back, too, always a plus to have one of those around when teaching small children to read.


editing to fix some of the typos.  Also adding: Mr. SuperHusband took some photos of the green castle for which this blog (and our school) is named.  So one of these years I’ll post it in my avatar.  And wanted to add, prayers for my monitor will not be discouraged.  It keeps going out on me, despite a SuperRepair the other day.  Which means that once the SuperComputer goes back to work tommorrow, I might be computer-less.  Doesn’t bode well for my blogging.


*One time while were traveling, Mr. SuperHusband and I attended one of Those masses.  The type that makes liturgical reformers want to have the rubrics pasted on billboards and bumper stickers in order to teach people that really, there is a better way, and it is right here before us.  Mr. SuperHusband, the evangelical, turned to me at That Mass, and asked in genuine doubt, "Are you sure this is a Catholic church?"  That experience helped me understand what the Big Deal was with liturgical reform.  But really, this was a fine mass today.  At least for someone who teaches her children songs from musicals, and all that.  Plus there wasn’t a pipe organ in the school gym, what were we supposed to do?  Oh I know, chant.  But there was chanting, too.  Good chanting.  The bishop did it.





(Well, really I think all the ages are the best.)


Our Little Princess has dance photos today.  As she was getting dressed she informed me, “I'm going to do a ballet potion for my picture”, and then showed me toes pointed and arms up in a nice circle.  Must be what they mean when they talk about dance being magical.  First potion, second potion . . .


Then as I was attempting to get her hair into the required bun (eventually gave up and convinced SuperHusband to take over), she let me know that her hair was so soft because Dad had put “Air Conditioner” in it. 




I’m always a little leery of getting into the bishop-watch business.  There’s the hazard that it will degenerate into treating our bishops as if they were merely politicians or movie stars.  But it’s obvious so I’ll say it: I’m a member of the Bishop Baker Fan Club.  Can’t help myself, I was done for when he published his series of teachings on the Real Presence in The Catholic Miscellany shortly after his arrival in South Carolina. 

For the most part, though, I think it is better that we lay faithful focus on praying for our bishops, not so much talking about them.   That said, the primary job of a catechist is to repeat things.  So here I’ll repeat what Bishop Baker writes in his article "On Being Faithful Citizens" on the front page of this week’s Miscellany:

Various voter guides have emerged, sharing particular perspectives that may reflect to a degree our religious moral perspective.  The only statement I support or affirm for use or distribution in parishes and Catholic institutions of our diocese is the statement by the Catholic bishops of the state of Kansas, entitled "Moral Principles for Catholic Voters."

The statement is available at the Kansas Catholic Conference Web site,  www.kscathconf.org .  It was also published in the Miscellany, and I found it to be a concise and readable summary of how to evaluate political candidates.  A must-read for any catechist, and for any catholic elgible to vote.


I like to travel.  I enjoy experiencing life in other places, and incorporating bits of those places and cultures into my everyday life.  I’ve noticed I tend to do the same thing spiritually, too. 

This weekend is the South Carolina Charismatic Renewal’s annual statewide conference in Columbia.  I’ve dropped in at the SCCR’s monthly meetings a few times over the last many years, and two years ago Mr. SuperHusband and I went to the state conference — not the whole thing, but just the final session Sunday morning.    If we can get someone to keep the kids (at the very least, the toddler) we may try to go again this year.  The time change is in our favor — the eight am start will feel like nine, good thing since it’s a trek to St. John Neumann school.

The first time I went to a charismatic meeting, I’ll admit I was there in part just to see what it was all about.  It still isn’t the bread and butter of my spirituality — my idea of "speaking in tongues" is to whip out a copy of Spanish in Ten Minutes a Day.  But I have found it is helpful to take a little spiritual vacation to the charismatic world from time to time.  Lots of enthusiasm for the Lord, genuine humility, and a fresh way to encounter Jesus and be challenged.  I always leave glad I went.

Two years ago, Bishop Baker celebrated the final Mass at the close of the statewide conference.  He is reportedly scheduled to do so again this year (and for all I know he did it last year, too, but I wasn’t there so I don’t know for certain).  It was a pleasure to see the bishop giving such obvious support to this vibrant group of Christians, and I can still recall the power of his homily on the Eucharist and Evangelization, even though I no longer remember the exact details.  Good stuff.

The only internet link about the conference that I could find in my breif search was here
(from http://www.nsc-chariscenter.org/index.asp).     This site (http://home.sc.rr.com/morelord/) has general info, and a link to the dates and times of the regular monthly meetings.


Meanwhile here at the castle, one of those days is turning into one of those weeks.  Oh well, they happen.  Trying to stay calm and focus on our goal for today: getting groceries.  Birds are still starving, btw.  Pansies still happy.  Let’s not talk about school.


The birds are starving again.  I was able to keep up at first, when just the nervous but brave little chickadee and the pair of cardinals were visiting.  There might have been hope when the titmouse arrived, and perhaps even the mourning doves, who are good about cleaning up what gets kicked into the mulch, could have managed as well.  But once those finches found out I was back in the bird-feeding business, it was all over.  Add to that a vacation, and frankly it isn’t looking so good for the birds these days.  But I’m resolved to get that feeder refilled by the end of the week.  Haven’t decided whether I’m going to try to keep it full, or just try to refill weekly, and when it’s gone it’s gone.  That chickadee sure is cute, I hate to disappoint.

Meanwhile inside the house, things petered out as well.  Mr. Boy may or may not have been faking a foot injury this morning in order to get out of cleaning up after breakfast.  I sent him to bed and took it as my sign to do that "unpacking" thing written on my calendar.  I discovered that the trouble with de-cluttering the camper is that I end up with all the camper-clutter in my house instead.  Which had trouble enough of its own as it was.  I’m about 75% "put away" now, if by "put away" we include piling things on the guest bed because there isn’t any other away to put them.  And then there’s the cabinet I emptied in order to make room for the stash of special backpacking food, which now has its long-awaited place, but what about the ice-cream maker, orange-juicer, pasta pot, and I’m not sure what else that got the boot in the process.  A gang of homeless appliances — not a pretty sight.

No hymn this week, either.  It should be "All Glory, Laud and Honor", but I need to either pick out the tune on the keyboard (my lifetime cumulative piano training: approximately twenty minutes) or find a midi file to do it for me.   I remind myself worse things could happen than skipping the song of the week.

There is plenty of good news, though. Pop came through his surgery very well, and is already home and getting around.  He’s a little discouraged, but word is he’s been prescribed a month of the ol’ see-food diet, so we’re going to do what we can to help him get his appetite back.  (He’s never been overweight — probably errs on the side of eating too little rather than too much.)  The pansies are still alive, too, thanks to well-timed rains, as are the one patch of marigolds that were spared in the recent floral upheaval..   And I had at least one other piece of good news to share, but can’t remember what it is.


We had a nice little trip this weekend.   There was excellent turnout at the Airstream rally (I’ll let you know when photos are posted), not only from SC and neighboring states, but also Alabama, Florida, and I’m not sure where else.  There was a group of caravanners that came through — lots of friendly folks.  The SC state rally will be at Palmetto Cove again next year, I will post when the time comes.

Despite the fickle weather we had, this is the very best time to visit the SC upstate, in my opinion.  The leaves were just turning this weekend, and should be at their peak next weekend.  Mr. SuperHusband was showing me some photos from his hikes, and it was just stunning — the sort of views that make you say "South Carolina? Really?" 

We were in charge of childrens’ activities for the rally.  Knowing that it was quite likely ours would be the only children in attendance, we planned accordingly.  On Thursday we did a bug-themed activity.  We brought the stereo-microscope (low magnification, but good depth-perception) and looked at various insects and other objects.  Did some bug-identification from our collection of bug books.  And those who so desired had the option of building their own bugs with an assortment of arts-and-crafts supplies.  Despite a mix-up that caused most of the campers to believe the activity was canceled, we had a good turn-out from passersby.  That is, lots of interest in the microscope — not very many retirees do pom-pom-ball art it appears.

On Saturday Mr. SuperHusband hosted an archery clinic and competition.  Tons of fun, and lots of participants.  We had borrowed an assortment of bows from some friends (Sam at Zao Life), so there was suitable equipment for everyone.  There were many first-time archers, some in their 70’s and if I recall correctly early 80’s as well.

Now it’s back to school, and I’m happy to be in the routine of things again. Though this afternoon I checked my calendar (I have a bad habit of checking it late in the day), and it turns out I had scheduled two days for unpacking before resuming formal lessons.  Which explains why I now have a sucessful math quiz posted on the bulletin board, but giant piles of blankets and warm clothing clogging up my office and living room. Oops.

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