Monday, January 30, 2006

Guilty Pleasures

Since the Title already says guilty I don't think anyone should mind that I stole the tag

Music: Heywood Banks, my other guilty pleasure is Broadway show tunes.

Movies: anything that makes me cry, the more Lifetime Movie Network the better.

Politics: I used to be addicted to CSPAN when I was a stay at home mom. Now my real guilty pleasure, and the only place I get my political news is The Colbert Report.

Church Related: I actually like some of the music in the Gather Hymnal (ducks to avoid thrown rotting vegetables)

Chow: I am a sucker for a well made hotdog with everything (except onions unless they are grilled)

Clothing: Shoes, I have way more shoes than I really need. I have a borderline fetish when it comes to shoe buying. I have blogged about it before. At least I buy them on sale 99% of the time.

Hygiene: I will only put lotion on my skin right after I get out of the shower, before I dry off. It seems to be the only time I get any good out of putting the dang stuff on my skin. I slather on the lotion and stand there all dripping wet and lotiony for a bit while it works its way into my skin. You should try it, it feels great.

That was a fun way to waste some time.


An Influential Woman

This Article in today's New York Times online is about the quiet, unassuming author of possibly the most influential book of my childhood. Harper Lee, wrote only one book, To Kill a Mockingbird, which won the Pulitzer prize for literature in 1961, the year after I was born. I read it for the first time when I was in the second grade. (I was an early and voracious reader, long story)

My mother, the wise woman that she was, didn't worry about the adult themes in the book, because she realized that I would be able to be captivated by story of Scout because we had much in common in that we both read from such an early age. I too can barely remember when the letters above my parents fingers became connected with the words they were saying as they read to me (as Aticus does in the book).

Not only did I read it that once, but I have grown so devoted to that book that I read it every year or so. I love the story so much. I get lost in the details of a life that is so much not like mine. Scout lost her mother at an early age. My father died when I was 13. Scout lived in the south, I am from the north. Scout only had one brother. I come from a great noisy family of nine.

And yet, the book details an America that I have experienced. Men who stand up for what they believe in against great odds. My father was such a man. Children who made games out of the simplest of things, our childhood was like that. Neighbors who cared for one another, our town had neighborhoods like that.

I respect that Harper Lee has chosen to guard her privacy all these years. I was not amazed though that the essay contest about the book has so many deeply moving essays each year. I could have written one in high school.

I think I just did.

Thank you Harper Lee, for giving me a touchstone.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

4X4 Meme

Because it sounded like fun,I am in an introspective mood, and I finished my homework early.

I got this one from Peni at Martha Martha.

Four jobs I have had (That I actually got paid to do)
1) paper girl (my very first paying gig)
2) Fish and Chips Restaurant Counter (what a smell,and greasy hair!)
3) office "gofer" (best college work study job ever, never worked nights or weekends)
4)Parish Religious Education Ministry (current job, the one I love, at least today)

Four movies I can watch over and over again
1) To Kill a Mockingbird (I read the book about once a year too)
2) Return to Me (I laugh, I cry, it moves me)
3) Kate and Leopold (What can I say, Hugh Jackman with good manners and a shave, what's not to love?)
4) Strictly Ballroom (just for the shear fun of watching that poor woman dance in the fruity rhumba dress!)

Four places I have lived
1) Illinois (Born there, the land I call home)
2) Hawaii (a short but memorable sojourn in the land of one season)
3) Massachusetts (long enough to know I never want to live there again)
3) Indiana (my current domicile though I will never be a hoosier)

Four TV Shows I love to watch (a bit of a cheat)
1) How I Met Your Mother ( This has become my can't miss show of the week! I love all of the characters, and the stories are so well paced and really funny,)
2) Grey's Anatomy or House ( well written and I have a thing for Patrick Dempsey and Hugh Laurie)
3) The Apprentice or Project Runway (Whichever is currently running, love the competition at something I could never do)
4) Mythbusters or Brainiacs (practically the same show, one is just the British version of the other, my kids love them too)

Four Websites I Read Daily
Daily Mass Readings
Daily Reflection from Creighton University
Open Book
Google Images

Four Places I have been on Vacation (in no particular order of preference or other rank)
Charleston South Carolina
Smoky Mountains
Grand Canyon
Windsor, Ontario Canada

Four Favorite Foods (this wasn't intentional, but this really sounds like a great meal)
Rosemary Roasted Chicken
really fresh sweet fruit
broccoli and cheese

Chocolate (a small amount ingested every day makes me capable of being in the company of other homo sapiens)

Four Places I would rather be (this is a toughie since I am sitting in my bedroom in yoga pants and a t-shirt, homework done, kids home and safe and no demands on my time for the rest of the night)

With mrangelmeg (since he isn't quite home from work just yet)
In a place where my mother wasn't ill anymore (God willing, someday she will be free of her disease and reunited with my father in heaven)
In a state of perfect grace (I suppose there is always room for improvement there)

Really, other than that, I'm good. Unless I could have a packing fairy come and pack my suitcase for me so that I would be all ready to go to school tomorrow.

Passing on this meme to anyone with the time and inclination to navel gaze for a while.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Michael Schaivo Got Married in Church . . .

and the good folks all scratch their heads and wonder how the devil did that happen?

I am trying really hard not to be judgmental about this one, but I can't see how living with your future bride while you are doing everything humanly possible to have your present wife killed can possibly make you eligible for a Catholic marriage the second time around.

According to this Canon Lawyer it may have been in a Church but it may not have been a licit marriage.

BTW I subscribe to the Canon Law Blog. It is amazing how much you can learn about the church from reading this.


Deus Caritas Est (God is Love)

Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday in his first encyclical that the Roman Catholic Church has no desire to govern states or set public policy, but can't remain silent when its charity is needed to ease suffering around the world. Read more here

A man after my own heart; he can't remain silent in the face of great need.

I am so impressed that part of the need he perceives is to rescue true "eros" from what the world has made it into and bring it back to those of us who understand what it really is.

I haven't yet read the entire encyclical, but I have (don't tell my Old Testament professor) put it at the top of my reading pile for today. The prophets Amos and Hosea will have to wait their turn.

Read the entire document yourself here.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Years of Faithful Service

The Swiss Guard turns 500

Growing up I always used to wonder at the silly uniforms of the Swiss Guard. My dad told me once not to be deceived by the way they dressed. These guys are the most well trained military regiment in the world. I suppose that 500 years ago their uinform was the height of fashion.

They sure stand out in the crowds at the Vatican. Since there has never been any unrest in Vatican City they must be doing a good job.

Here's to 500 more years of faithful service.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Fill in the Blank Meme

Kevin at Romecoming has a fun meme to share fill in the blanks and bare your soul.

1) Before I walk out the door I always check to make sure the lights are turned off around here we leave way too many lights on all the time so when we leave home I like to make sure that most of them get turned off.

2) I can't seem to catch up on my reading for class. My first weekend isn't even for another week and I already feel as though I am way behind this semester. I just can't seem to find the time to get all the reading into my day.

3) The one surface in my house that seems to get cluttered fast is my desk top. Though mrangelmeg would argue that the kitchen counters get cluttered at lightning speed as well. My desktop never seems to get uncluttered, perhaps that is part of the problem.

4) If I sleep past noon, I feel I have slept too late. Since I never, ever get to stay in bed that late in the day it is a rare thing, but that is when I begin to feel as though I have slipped from indulging myself into being a lazy slob.

5) No matter how hard I try I just can't seem to get the laundry caught up around here. I could probably do laundry around the clock for a month and there would still be a load left to do down in that laundry room, mocking me. I chip away at the killer laundry pile every chance I get, but sometimes by the time I get the laundry done and folded and into the kids rooms they have actually outgrown the clothes.

6) I hope to have my income taxes done by the time mrangelmeg gets all the stuff together and we go off to our friendly neighborhood tax preparer. Thankfully, I no longer have to do the taxes, and so long as we get them filed by April 15th I have no beef.

7) This year I would like to make more time for believe it or not, my kids. Between gradual school and work I just don't think I get to spend real quality time with each one of my children. The angelbaby is growing up so fast, and the two older girls will be out of high school before I know it. I would like to figure out a way to actually carve out some real time to spend with them this year on a regular basis besides car chats and bugging them about homework.

I would like to send this meme on to Suzanne and Penni and Tom.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Fr. Shanley OP Finds the Flaw

I have always had an aversion to the Vagina Monologues, as a morally flawed piece of writing, but could never seem to put into words exactly what it was that bothered me so much about the play.

I have finally found someone who has said what it was that I was trying to put into words.

Father Brian J. Shanley, O.P., President of Providence College released a statement as to why The Vagina Monologues would not be shown on his campus. The paragraph below says what I have been trying to say for so very long.

First, far from celebrating the complexity and mystery of female sexuality, The Vagina Monologues simplifies and demystifies it by reducing it to the vagina. In contrast, Roman Catholic teaching sees female sexuality as ordered toward a loving giving of self to another in a union of body, mind, and soul that is ordered to the procreation of new life. The deeper complexity and mystery lies in the capacity of human sexuality, both male and female, to sacramentalize the love of God in marriage. Any depiction of female sexuality that neglects its unitive and procreative dimensions diminishes its complexity, its mystery, and its dignity. Moreover, to explore fully the dignity of woman requires not only a consideration of female sexuality, but also of the capacity of women for intellectual, artistic, moral, and spiritual activity; none of these dimensions are featured in The Vagina Monologues.

So, to all the people whom I have ever argued about the merits of the Vagina Monologues with over the past few years . . .

what he said!

Thanks to Curt Jester for the link.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Worthwhile!! I am Humbled

Thanks to my friend Suzanne at Sincerely my Thoughts. I just found out that the National Catholic Register has come out with a list called:

A YEAR'S WORTH OF WORTHWHILE READING" The Register's Nonfiction Book Picks of 2005, and 201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist which includes an essay by yours truly has made the list.

I know that I love this book because not only does it contain Catholic Doctrine on the Eucharist, but it also contains stories from bolp (basic ordinary lay people) like you and me and how the Eucharist has made an impact on our lives.

In fact my personal copy is on the perpetual Adoration Chapel at the parish where I work. I had to scrounge up another copy so that I can rescue the one that Sr Patricia Proctor (the editor) signed for me when it was published.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy, here is the information for the book:

"201 Inspirational Stories on the Eucharist" It is edited by Sister Patricia Proctor...Monastery of Saint Clare, 2004, 416 pages, $14.95. To order (800) 488-0488 or go to

The current compilation they are working on is stories about reconciliation. If you are interested in submitting a story, follow the link from the sight and you might be in the next book that is published.


Office Motivation NFL Style

Terry Tate, Reebok's Office Linebacker!

Thanks to Mark Shea

Monday, January 16, 2006

Welcome to the Family

Owen and his family joined the Church yesterday!

Welcome home!


100% ! Pretty Impressive!

You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Chalcedon compliant




























Are you a heretic?
created with

hat tip to Tony, he made me do it!

Free at Last, Free at Last!

Mrangelmeg and I reached a huge milestone on Friday; we made the last payment on our mortgage and are debt free for the first time in our married life! We started our out marriage with student loan debt and went right from there to a car loan and then a mortgage on our first house. Being good Catholic parents we outgrew our first house and paid off that mortgage only to enter into an even larger mortgage for our present house.

Through careful planning and much work on the part of my diligent and thrifty husband, we have paid off our mortgage, and are debt free, praise God! I don't think it has sunk in quite yet that we get to burn the mortgage papers, but I know that we will be doing it. If I know my engineer husband it will be a great display of pyrotechnics in the back yard. I would settle for a small intimate fireplace ceremony. Either one will include prayers, because without help from God we wouldn't be where we are today., Out of debt!!!!!

It sure is a nice feeling.


Friday, January 13, 2006

Welcome Criterion

My Archdiocesan Newspaper has a Blog!

The Criterion has had an online edition for a while now and I carried the link to their blog of the pilgrims who went to World Youth Day that was written by a staff member, Brandon Evans I had made the acquaintance of through a professional program in our diocese.

I have added a link to their blog on my sidebar because I think it is well worth a look, and I have a lot of respect for the members of the writing team most of whom I have met in my years working in this Archdiocese.

Meander over and see for yourself.


Thanks Judge Alito

I have had a really hard time finding anything that my middle daughter and I have in common. We really don't like the same books, and we don't have the same taste in movies. We don't watch many of the same television shows, and besides the fact that we both have been taking music lessons from the same woman, we don't share the same taste in music.

But this week we have found a common passion: watching the confirmation hearings for Judge Alito. We both find him to be a very intelligent, reasoned man who has done a wonderful job of keeping his cool under the constant barrage of questions about the same subject over and over and over.

We have had great discussions about the workings of our government, and how the judicial system works. We have had discussions about how the committee structure works and how some Senators, who shall remain nameless, have tried to hijack the proceedings from the chairman who in our opinion has done a masterful job of keeping things on track and staying the course.

We have discussed issues that will affect our future, and how important it will be to have a man with as much intelligence and integrity as Judge Alito on the Supreme Court. We have also discussed how patently obvious it is that it is really important to begin to revisit the idea of strict term limits in the Senate in the very near future.

So, I just wanted to take this moment to thank Judge Alito for giving me a week that has helped me to connect with my daughter in a very unexpected way. We are praying for your confirmation, and will be very happy to watch your swearing in as a Justice to our Supreme Court. It may be the last television program we watch together for a while.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Extreme Makeover Church Edition!!!

Too funny

The Curt Jester has done it again. Quick nominate the parish near you that needs rescued from the loonies.


That Piano Obsession

A few years ago I convinced mrangelmeg to get me that piano system for the
computer that was supposed to teach anyone how to play like a pro, all you had to do was hook it up and follow the instructions. I did . . .hook it up and follow the instructions, I mean. But I never really learned how to play.

I learned how to read notes, well mostly I knew how to read the G clef staff anyway because I have played flute since I was 10, so I guess that doesn't really count, and I never really learned the names for the notes on the base clef. I could never actually get those chords to sound quite right, and I really felt sorry for those poor parachute jumping guys because I got really good at murdering them when I was trying to learn the chords. And I would swear with all the breath left in my body that that stinking metronome had it in for me, it always went way faster when I was being tested than it did when I was practicing.

So, I made it through about 13 of the 40 lessons before I found that my wifely and motherly duties took me away from actually practicing any more, and I gave up on ever learning how to play.

Which was really sad, because I really did enjoy it.

Over the Christmas holiday I sat down at my daughter's new portable keyboard we just got her this Christmas, and opened her Christmas Song book (for level one students) and you will never guess, I could actually pick out the melody and a few of the chords!!!

So, I called my flute teacher and asked if she would pencil me in for a piano lesson to go along with my flute lesson. If I am going to be musical at my age I might as well go for the whole thing. I had my first lesson yesterday and I did pretty well for an old gal.

I have a long way to go before I will feel confident enough to play outside my bedroom, but hey if we don't stop learning what is the alternative? I ask you?


Monday, January 09, 2006

Baptism Boom

Today is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Which is interesting because at the parish where I work we had an absolute explosion lately of people wishing to be baptized or to have their children baptized. The deacon candidate was asking me today if I had any explanation for the run on baptisms. My only plausible reason was that Father does a good job of selling Catholicism in general.

Either that or people are beginning to wonder about the end approaching and want to get their spiritual houses in order before that time comes.

I hope it is the former rather than the latter.

Either way it makes more work for me.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Best Blonde Joke Ever!!

I usually don't go in for politically incorrect jokes but this one is just way too funny.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Old Year New Year Meme

This meme gives you a chance to look back and look forward:

ready . . .

What was your favorite movie of 2005?

Chronicles of Narnia or Millions I would have to say.

What was your favorite book of 2005?

This is not a fair question because I am still in gradual school so most of my reading time is spent reading stuff I have to read rather than stuff I want to read and there is a very big difference there.
But I have to admit that one book I had to read this year that I really loved was Send My Roots Rain by Megan McKenna. I found it to be a very inspiring read.

Are you richer or poorer?

Financially I think we are probably a bit better off this year than we were a year ago, a bit less in debt, which is nice. We are richer in love as well, but poorer (at least me personally) at being able to understand my children.

Thinner or fatter?

I am slightly thinner than I was 12 months ago due to the amazing migraine medicine I am taking which has the side effect of weight loss. My clothes fit slightly more loosely than they did a year ago. Now I just need to capitalize on the trend.

What kept you sane the past year?

Prayer, friends and having mrangelmeg around to remind me when I was getting way too wound up.

What personal accomplishment in 2005 are you most pleased with?

Singing at Mass was HUGE for me. Even bigger than playing the flute probably. But I have to say seeing my article: Who is My Mother? in print felt great.

What bad habit are you most motivated to break?

I would really love to stop drinking carbonated soda. I had been off it completely for years and got back into the habit of drinking it when I went to Gradual School. I would love to get back out of that habit again.

Which do you expect to keep?

Yelling at people who drive stupid. And picking at my fingernails. Two habits I can't seem to break no matter what I try to do. Help me someone !

What are you most looking forward to in 2006?

Hopefully this will be the year that our oldest, and our only son will move into his first apartment and get a license and become an independent man. He has had so many obstacles to deal with in his life and I am so proud of his determination and grit as he has conquered them. I am looking forward to seeing him move into a future that will be more independent and self sufficient.

I know that we have grounded him in his faith, and we have given him the strength to withstand anything that he might have to face, and I think it is time for him to get out there and see if he can fly on his own.

If my prayers can keep him airborne there will sure be enough of them to do it.

If anyone feels in an introspective mood, they are welcome to take the tag and look back and forward for themselves.

Pax and Happy New Year

Another Reason Why I Love B16

This picture!
Thanks to Julie at Happy Catholic

Tough Choices and Tough Love

Mrangelmeg and I had a tough discussion with our beautiful oldest daughter before she went back to school. We had to tell her that this will be the last semester that we will be paying for her education. We made this decision because for three semesters while we have been paying for her education she has chosen to fail a course every semester. This semester she not only failed a course, but got a D in another and an incomplete in yet another, passing a total of 7 credits out of 13 attempted.

We are tired of watching our hard earned money being wasted while she plays at being a college kid part of the time and hangs out with a group of friends up at school, none of whom happens to actually go to college. We are tired of hearing excuse after excuse for why she can't seem to get her act together, none of them particularly original or even believable considering that I paid my own way through college and mranegelmeg went to a very competitive engineering school.

So, after a long agonizing semester of prayer and hoping she would finally wake up and smell the coffee, we had to be the tough love parents. We are giving her this last semester, because we are contracted with the University tuition management system. After this semester she is on her own. If she really wants this education she will have to finance it on her own.

May God help her find her way, because we can't seem to guide her anymore. Please keep her in your prayers.


Monday, January 02, 2006


I have been chosen by a Saint!

This year I will have the patronage of a particular saint chosen especially for me.

I am so excited, not only because I knew very little about this particular saint, but because I love the idea of someone up in heaven looking out for me especially. This year I will need it I am sure.

my saint for the year is (drum roll please)

Margaret of Clitherow (also known as) Margaret of York

St. Margaret Clitherow was born in Middleton, England, in 1555, of protestant parents. Possessed of good looks and full of wit and merriment, she was a charming personality. In 1571, she married John Clitherow, a well-to-do grazier and butcher (to whom she bore two children), and a few years later entered the Catholic Church. Her zeal led her to harbor fugitive priests, for which she was arrested and imprisoned by hostile authorities. Recourse was had to every means in an attempt to make her deny her Faith, but the holy woman stood firm. Finally, she was condemned to be pressed to death on March 25, 1586. She was stretched out on the ground with a sharp rock on her back and crushed under a door over laden with unbearable weights. Her bones were broken and she died within fifteen minutes. The humanity and holiness of this servant of God can be readily glimpsed in her words to a friend when she learned of her condemnation: "The sheriffs have said that I am going to die this coming Friday; and I feel the weakness of my flesh which is troubled at this news, but my spirit rejoices greatly. For the love of God, pray for me and ask all good people to do likewise." Her feast day is March 26th.

Thought for the Day: Through everyday fidelity we are
given the strength to face the great crisis. St. Margaret Clitherow did not
expect to die a martyr, but she was faithful in the everyday practice of her
religion. When the great crisis came, she was ready.

Lord, let me be ready for whatever comes.

Not a bad prayer, don't-ya-think?


I was so there . . .

even had big hair!

what decade does your personality live in?

quiz brought to you by lady interference, ltd

Thanks to Karen at Some Have Hats for the link


MIB - Jesuit Edition

Mark Mossa SJ has the new picture of his MIB(Men In Black) confreres in his formation class of Jesuits for the New Orleans Region. Keep these amazing men in your prayers as they follow God's guiding voice on their long journey to the Priesthood.

I keep the picture in my prayer book to remind me to pray for them (as if I needed reminding).

What an awesome group they make, don't you think?


Larknews Alert!

The January Issue of The Lark is up!

I hope you enjoy reading about:

Rick Waren buying the Saints and is Purpose Driven Plan for Success on the Gridiron


The Blessing of the IPods

two of my recommendations from this month's issue.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

There is something very fitting about our going to mass on the first day of the new year. It helps us to start the year off on the right foot I think and puts everything in perspective so that whatever comes the rest of the year at least we will have begun by being in communion with God and each other.

I made a promise a few years ago not to make resolutions anymore because they just put too much pressure on me and I never seemed to keep them anyway. I do want to keep a few things in mind though in this new year:

  • God is in control, and the more I remember that and allow Him to do the leading and me to do the surrendering I think things will go a lot more smoothly in my life.
  • My children are growing up and I have to let them stand (or fall) on their own, I can't keep trying to help them when they don't want or need my help anymore. I have to trust that I gave them a good start, and God will watch over them from here.
  • Life is too short to spend all of my time obsessing about work and school. I am going to take some time this year to do a few things that I enjoy, like learn to play the piano and take walks and plant flowers in the spring and swim in the pool this summer.

I hope you all have a great 2006.



Tom at Boomer Times has tagged me with this new meme in which I must reveal five quirky things about myself.

1) I have an odd form of insomnia that inflicts me not when I first go to sleep, but rather by waking me up in the middle of the night. I am often up three or more nights a week between the hours of three and five in the morning either watching television or reading (I used to surf the net in the wee hours but now the internet connection is in the bedroom and I don't want to bother mrangelmeg so I don't do that anymore) I usually can get back to sleep between five and six in the morning when my schedule allows for a few more minutes of rest. I may have blogged about it a long time ago, but now you know.

2) I can't speak any other languages, more's the pity. I didn't take a language in high school or college, and now I feel as though I am just too old to try to learn a new language.

3) Mrangelmeg's mom still washes and irons his dress shirts most weeks, not because I don't know how to do it, but because she loves to do laundry and I don't. I am so blessed to have her to do this for us.

4) I have to drink coffee when I eat dessert or I can't eat it. I am not sure why but if I don't have coffee I can't take the sweet taste of most desserts except ice cream. When I eat ice cream I don't like to drink coffee. I really don't like to eat cake either.

5) I have a shoe obsession that I got because I had to wear corrective shoes when I was little. I am sure that the shoes I had were very expensive and well made and very nice, but I really didn't like them very much, so now I have way too many pairs of shoes to make up for the fact that I had only one pair of shoes for that year when I was little. My older kids call me Imelda Marcos. I am trying to be better about buying so many pairs of shoes now.

I think I would like to tag Suzanne if she has the time.