Friday, June 30, 2006
1) I salt almost every type of food, from apples to buttered toast. It is a quirk I have had since I was a child. I hope I never have to give up salt or I might have to give up eating.
2) I am a pretty sarcastic person, and the more tired I get the more sarcastic I get. I have a wonderful little saying: If you don't have anything nice to say about anyone . . . sit next to me!
3) I am not as a general rule a doodler unless I am really really bored. If there is doodling on a page of notes from a meeting or a class I have been in I know that my mind was not being stimulated. Otherwise I would have taken straight notes.
4) I am really not a fan of scary movies unless they have happy endings; meaning the protagonists survive the horrors somehow. Don't even get me started on the time mrangelmeg kept telling me that The Woman in Black had a happy ending as I was watching. I still haven't forgiven him for subjecting me to that one.
5) I don't have the slightest idea what it would be like to read one book from beginning to end before beginning another book. I am always reading four or five books at one time. Don't get me wrong, I have been known to stay up all night and finish a book in nearly one sitting, but I still have other books that I am in the middle of at the same time. If I ever get to the point where I have read every book that I own I don't know what I will do with myself. Probably buy more books.
I will pass this meme on to anyone who would like to play along on this Lighten-up Friday.
Last October I went on a Retreat at Bellarmine Hall a Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington Illinois (near Chicago). I was using the time as discernment about the changes in my work situation. One of the activities that my spiritual director invited me to do as part of the retreat was to write a letter to myself from God that he would keep for me and then he would send it to me in the spring.
Actually, this is an activity of which I am quite familiar. I often do this in adoration or journaling. In those times I usually begin with a letter from me to God and then with a response from God. I don't pretend that it really is from God, but I do open myself up to allow for the fact that the response isn't wholly from my own conscious thought process. Often when I do this, the response gives me insight in a way that I never would have allowed myself if I had tried to think of it on my own.
So I did this very same thing when it came time to write a letter from God. I opened my heart and tried to empty myself of myself and tried to let the words flow onto the paper without even looking or thinking about what I was writing. Then I closed the envelope, wrote my name and address on the outside and handed it over and never (and I mean this NEVER) gave it another thought.
A little over a month ago that letter came to my house. I have read it probably ten times in the last month. Considering what has happened; my leaving the parish and the hurt feelings I have carried due to how my leaving has been handled at times, the words in this letter are really amazingly prophetic and lovingly consoling. Even mrangelmeg sees them as such.
It just proves the old adage that God is good, all the time.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Today I received a call from my supervisor from the diocese asking if I would be willing to remain a contact person and facilitator for a workshop on using the Archdiocesan Religion Curriculum ( a workshop I helped to develop and have presented a time or two in the past). He thought since this workshop was going to be required for all Catholic school religion teachers in the fall he might need a few more facilitators in the outer areas away from Indianapolis. I told him that I would be more than happy to offer my services to present this workshop to any group that called me. He said that it would bring in a little money (each group is supposed to offer a stipend,) but that isn't why I agreed.
I have always been a big proponent of using the Archdiocesan Religion Curriculum in my program. In fact I usually spent the summer preparing the program for the next year so that each catechist would know which Standards of the curriculum we were focusing on each week and making sure that we covered each standard thoroughly. I believe in a holistic approach, and I think that if the Archidocesan curriculum is used correctly a good 2/3rds of the work is done for the catechists.
So, I may be doing workshops for neighboring parishes and schools in the fall, or none may call, but at least I have done my part to further the goal of good religious education for all students.
It was really nice to talk to my supervisor as well. He invited me to continue to access the OCE (Office of Catholic Education) website in the diocese, and attend any workshops that I wanted to in the next year. I told him that I might be interested in attending the Indiana Conference of Catechetical Leaders (the biannual conference for all five dioceses in the state) as a way to network for future positions and to see colleagues. He thought that was a great idea and encouraged me to follow up on that.
I may just do that.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
I didn't upload it to my site though, because it contains R rated content. If you want to follow the link you can but beware there is rough language at the start before the Philosopher's Drinking Song comes on.
Since prior to my changing my major my only overt brush with philosophy, outside of knowing that my father had majored in it in College was the Monty Python sketch of the football match between the modern philosophers and the ancient philosophers. Well, that and the Philosopher's Song from Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl. I really didn't know what to expect before I ventured into the study of Philosophy this month for my Gradual School Class.
After my first weekend, which consisted of 20 hours of straight lecture over 2 days on Modern Philosophy. Well, that isn't actually true, while that is what it was supposed to be, but it was actually a mish-mash of topics from the ancients to the moderns. The funniest coincidence of the entire weekend happened when we discovered that in our reading of Descartes he actually disappears on page 269 of the text (in a proof of something he is quoted as saying "I think not") If you get that joke you are know enough philosophy to deserve the laugh.
In our lecture we never got past Descartes, even though we were supposed to have progressed through Spinoza and on to Leibnitz this weekend. All of the Rationalists. I came away with a notebook full of notes and a headache that still hasn't gone away.
I know that I will be able to assimilate this stuff, I may just have to read more than the assigned text to get a handle on it.
What really amazes me is, I am taking these philosophy classes because they are required for graduation. My father on the other hand chose to study this stuff what kind of demented mind chooses to study philosophy? Oh I guess the kind of demented mind that produced me.
Dad, its all your fault, if you have any pull up there in heaven, send me some help with this homework, PLEASE!
I hope that Nicole Kidman's return to the Church brings her great consolation and spiritual growth. I hope that her marriage to Keith Urban brings her joy and spirutal renewal, and they learn to grow together in holiness.
I have been so impressed at how they have handled every aspect of their relationship in the press as compared to her ex-husband's very public antics.
Friday, June 23, 2006
|Your Brain is 80% Female, 20% Male|
Your brain leans female
You think with your heart, not your head
Sweet and considerate, you are a giver
But you're tough enough not to let anyone take advantage of you!
What a relief.
So far, in my reading of modern philosophy I have discovered that these poor guys thought way too much.
The power came back on finally after 12 hours (and then promptly went off again for another two hours, welcome to REMC rural coop power companies). But now it is back for good and all. So of course I got right to work doing what was important this morning, my daily blog stroll (You didn't seriously think I would get right to the rest of my philosophy reading now did you?) I came across this on a new blog that I discovered through a link I found on Mark Mossa SJ's Blog. Which just proves my point. Thinking too much can get anyone in a world of hurt.
Oh well, the moral of this little cautionary tale is: if you want eventually graduate from gradual school, they really do expect you to finish the assigned readings before you get to class. I guess instead of doing something fun tonight like watching a movie or going out for drinks I will be holed up in my room with the further adventures of Spinoza and the gang.
Pray for me!
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
My beloved husband will be turning 45 on June 21st and will be celebrating his birthday in the most fitting way he could think of; he will be on the golf course.
This picture doesn't do him justice, but it was the only one I had available here at my mom's, so I used what I had available. It was taken a few years ago in our back yard. Those are the trees of our back forest behind him.
His birthday falls on the first day of Summer; the longest day of the year; and the cusp of the zodiac sign. While he swears that he is a Gemini, in most configurations the dates for the signs will place his birthday under the sign of Cancer. I kid you not, I took one of those silly internet quizzes once where you were supposed to answer questions honestly and come up with your perfect mate's zodiac sign. I came up with Cancer, but I knew mrangelmeg was Gemini so I kept going back and changing answers to try to get it to come up Gemini. I probably wasted forty-five minutes on that silly test until I realized that his birthdate actually falls in either Cancer or Gemini, so I was right the first 15 times I took the stinking test. We were meant for each other. He is too stubborn to agree to the correct zodiac sign and I am too dense to know the difference. Sounds like a perfect match.
Anyway, I sure hope that the day is perfect for golf. I hope his drives are straight and his putts are smooth and he keeps his ball in play, or something like that.
Monday, June 19, 2006
What Kind of Cross are You?
Accent: Sadly all southern hoosier even though I am NOT a hoosier I have lost my Northern Illinois drawl alltogether. *sigh*
Butter or Margarine: butter natch especially since now I am allergic to margerine
Chore I Hate: Doing the Dishes, (mrangelmeg' s most romantic gift is to clean the kitchen, he may see it as self preservation I see it as serious devotion)
Dog or Cat: Dogs, though we have had very bad luck as pet owners I still prefer dogs to cats. mrangelmeg is really allergic to cats anyway so if I got a cat he would really wonder
Essential Electronics: Computer, DVD player, flash drive My life has simplified greatly since the advent of the flash drive for transporting files to Gradual School.
Favorite Cologne(s): Oscar de Larenta Rose, smells great.
Gold or Silver: Gold, silver, I wear both.
Hometown: Rock Island, IL
Insomnia?: I used to really suffer from insomnia, now I sleep pretty well when I have mrangelmeg in the same bed with me I sleep pretty well that is, if I am not in the same room as mrangelmeg I tend to sleep less well, go figure
Job Title: unemployed at the moment, happily so. I suppose that would make my current job title homemaker. Some days my job title is more accurately Taximom
Kids: 1 boy, 4 girls ages 22 to 10a; currently all 5 live at home. Hopefully some day some of them will choose to live elsewhere. Hey, it could happen!
Living arrangements: A nice4 bedroom3 bath house on 4 1/2 acres. It would seem a lot bigger if we could get it uncluttered. One of my tasks for this summer: Hey, It could happen!
Most admirable trait: compassion.
Nicknames: Maggie, Mom My dad called me Maggiepie but that was ages ago.
Overnight hospital stays: a week for gall bladder surgery, a week for knee surgery, assorted overnight birth stays back in the day and I have stayed overnight with the kids a time or two.
Phobias: Making telephone calls. clowns, very high places. I kid you not, if I had to make a phone call on the top of the empire state building and the only person around I could borrow a cell phone from was a clown I would be in big trouble.
Quote: "Blessed are the flexible, they never get bent out of shape."
Religion: Roman Catholic
Siblings: Five sisters Three brothers
Time I wake up: Now that I am not working I try to get up around 8 am if I can sleep that long.
Unusual talent or skill: I can whistle pretty loudly when I want to.
Vegetable I refuse to eat: Brussel Sprouts, Aspargus and cooked spinach
Worst habit: complaining, and short temper I am sure that mrangelmeg would be able to make a list as long as my arm.
X-rays: Chest, spinal, dental, and left arm, and those were just this year.
Yummy stuff I cook: knock you naked brownies, fabulous barbecue beef, .
This was fun, if anyone wants to take the tag and give it a try you are welcome to it.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
I realize that it is difficult for any child to take care of an aging parent, and it is even tougher when that parent has alzheimer's . My sisters who live with mom are doing the best they can to keep things on a steady course, but with mom you just never know.
I have to see for myself how things are going because we need to make those difficult decisions in the next year or so about nursing home care. I am terrified about having to decide that for mom.
So, I am packing my suitcase, and loading up my car and I even bought a blow up bed so that no one is put out and I don't have to sleep on a couch. I mean to put as little stress on their daily routine as I possibly can, but I also intend to see about getting mom into a routine of doing a bit more than sitting in front of the television all day.
I am also going to try to make contact with my spiritual director who happens to be mom's pastor while I am in town. Even if all I do is talk to him on the phone and make an appointment for my next visit it will be a good thing. I am ready now to move on from my working life to whatever the next challenge is. I will definitely need his guidance to avoid the pitfalls as I try to discern God's plan in where my future lies.
So, blogging may be light for the next few days. They do have a computer up there, but mom doesn't like for anyone to be on it while she is awake. I may try to log on in the evenings and blog a bit.
Keep me in your prayers.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
It turned out that this being Thursday, they had driven up here to stand at the abortion clinic to pray the rosary with other Catholics as they do every Thursday. This mom and her six kids do this, rain or shine, summer or winter every Thursday unless something like illness keeps them away.
I stopped my car, got out and joined them. One of the little girls (she is about 4 1/2) hugged me as if she wouldn't ever let me go. She was really happy to see me again. It was really nice to talk to all of the kids, and the mom. They have been a family that I had shared thoughts with and ministered to in my work at the parish.
It was really a joy to spend an hour with them praying for an end to abortion, and watching the children pray so fervently. One of the boys actually said that he thought that maybe we had saved a life today. I told him that I thought that maybe we had.
I think maybe I will try to make this part of my every Thursday routine. It did make me feel as though I was doing something, praying for the children and their parents who are being deceived by the abortion industry in my town. Maybe I will see if the angelbaby wants to come with me.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Woo Hoo !!!
Three more classes to go, after that a final and I will be done with Gradual School.
Wait a minute, is that a light I see at the end of the tunnel or is that the oncoming train deceiving me?
Sadly (for me at least) My final three classes are Philosophy classes, so I will spend the next year of my life immersed in philosophy scratching my head and saying whaaaaaa?
Please keep me in your prayers as I continue to pursue this path.
I am taking a quick week study break to read a book I got as a going-away gift from one of the members of the RCIA at the parish where I worked. It is called: The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. I am finding it to be very inspiring actually. The allegory at the beginning was fascinating, and the help in discernment in the second half of the book is just what I need to move forward from where I was to wherever it is God wants me to go next.
Even if that includes reading Philosophers for a year.
Each day I drive the angelbaby and two other kids from our neighborhood across town to church (because their parents work and can't do the transportation thing each morning and afternoon).
Anyway, today the topic was "talking to God". The angelbaby got into the car for the drive home and announced to me that she had talked to God today about what she should be when she grows up and God told her she should be a Dr.
I wonder if this was her mind working overtime or if this was reinforced in some way by the catechist in her classroom. I am all for teaching my child to "talk to God every day". I am also not averse to teaching her to begin to do some vocational discernment. My big problem comes when she feels so confident that God answered her so specifically.
It did give us a chance to talk about vocations and what it would take to begin to prepare for a medical career. (The angelbaby will be in fourth grade in the fall, so there is plenty of time if God has truly called her to this career path.) I would never tell her that God didn't call her to this, but I do want her to understand that if that is true she has to be willing and able to do the hard work to get her self ready to live in the vocation to which God has called her.
When she got home her big sister told her that to talk to God was normal, if God talked back, that was just crazy.
Who knows, maybe she did get that specific an answer from God. I have been struggling with vocational discernment for over a year now, and in fact will be going to a workshop in August to help me decide what it is that God wants me to do next with the gifts He has given me. Maybe He is telling me, and I am just not as securely plugged into Him as my angelbaby is.
I went in to visit the other day on my way to the dentist office, and I was so glad that it was just a visit. I don't miss working there at all. Don't get me wrong, I do miss the people I worked with, but I don't miss the stress of the job, or the politics of parish life.
I got a call from one of the volunteers I worked with down there today. She was telling me that she was concerned that people had the wrong idea about how things were run while I was there and wanted to defend me. I told her that I really didn't care. My legacy was the hearts I touched, not what people thought of my last few months when I was working while I was ill and under pressure trying to decide if I should stay or go.
I really am glad to be out of that situation. Each day brings some new blessing, and a little more peace.
|Your Political Profile:|
|Overall: 65% Conservative, 35% Liberal|
|Social Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal|
|Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal|
|Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal|
|Ethics: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal|
|Defense and Crime: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal|
I think this test was poorly written and the choices were a bit to skewed, there was no room for the many shades of grey, but I think it was pretty accurate for what they were trying to achieve. I would call myself a fiscally conservative environmentalism, who believes in the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Voting for either political party in this country under those parameters has always been a challenge.
Monday, June 12, 2006
For those of you who aren't familiar with the name, read the story. What a master stroke of subversive politicking. Gianna is the poster child for the aftermath of our Contraceptive Culture. She is a testament to God's grace and mercy, and the fact that she was willing to pitch in and help bring down the mighty shows what an effective tool for the truth her life has become.
Wow, I sure wish we had a few Ted Harvey's here in Indiana.
Thanks to Tony at Catholic Pillow Fight for the Original link.
If he is only acting, this man deserves an Emmy!
thanks to Mark Mossa SJ for the link
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Glorybe assigned me the Letter L. I have been meditating on it all day. It really is a lot harder than you might think.
These are in no particular order, so here goes:
Light- Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am terrified of the dark. If God had wanted us to live in the dark He never would have created light. And hey it was important enough to have been created FIRST! It took years for me to learn to sleep in a room without a night light, and even now when I am in a strange room (like a hotel room) I have to leave a light on somewhere so I can find my way around. Absolute darkness, the kind like you find in caves seriously creeps me out.
Laity- Let's face it, no matter how much schooling I get, I will never be anything more than a BOLP (Basic Ordinary Lay Person) within the Church. For me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I am called to be one of the lay faithful. It is where I belong. We are the heart and soul of the church, and many times its hands and feet as well.
Luscious- this is one of my very favorite descriptors. It describes the sensation of everything from the taste of good dark chocolate to the feel of a warm bed with clean sheets.
Laughter- This is one of the basic building blocks of my personal sanity arsenal. If I can learn to laugh at myself, and the troubles and travails of my day then I am way ahead of the game. A sense of glee, and joy and the ability to see the funny side of situations can really help us get through the difficult times.
Lightning bugs - ever since I was a little kid one of my favorite things was to collect lightening bugs in a jar. I remember our back yard being filled with them when I was growing up. A time or two I have coaxed the angelkids to chase after them even today.
Lactose- most people will think this is pretty insignificant, but I can tell you from personal experience that if you are intolerant to this your life can be miserable. I now have a nice little blue supplement that I take every morning with my vitamins and it gives my body the bacillus that it needs to digest lactose. Now I get to enjoy all of the milk and ice cream and cream I want. Yum!
Lungs- Two very important organs in your body. In the last year I have come to understand exactly how important my lungs are because they haven’t been working quite like they should. I have become an asthmatic due to acute onset allergies. You never appreciate the ability to breathe easily quite so much until you can’t. Take my word on that.
Latin- This one is more just for me, the more I am exposed to Latin, especially Ecclesial Latin, the more I wish I had studied it in high school and college when I had the chance. I will probably have to take courses in it now and the thought of learning it at my age is daunting, but the way things sound in Latin sure is beautiful. Lex orandi legem credendi constituit* for example. (*how we pray informs what we believe for those who want a quick translation)
Lips- One of my personal favorite parts of the face. I have often said that I receive communion in the hand because I commit many more sins with my lips than I ever do with my hands. Lips can be beautiful, and they can cause great harm. Be careful what you put into and let come forth from yours.
Love- God is love, after all. If everyone lived with that in mind wouldn’t the world be an amazing place. Poets and troubadours have been trying to tell us that for centuries. As in “All you need is Love” But my favorite musical reference has to be “Love will find a way”. Unfortunately for most people, they keep mistaking other things for love (sometimes even indigestion).
This was a lot of fun. Anyone who wants to try just has to leave me a comment and I will choose a letter for you to expound upon.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Your type is: istp —The “Give 'Em Their Space” Mother
“My feelings are my own business. Not theirs.
So I honor their privacy too.”
- Non-intrusive and respectful of differences, the ISTP mother gives her children the personal space they need to develop as separate, self-sufficient individuals. As children grow and mature, she enjoys observing how each one becomes his or her own person. She seeks to accept and honor each child’s interests, opinions, and choices.
- The ISTP mother does not believe in authority or control for its own sake. Instead, she favors a non-directive approach. Yet she has high expectations for each child’s self-discipline as a key to self sufficiency.
- To these ends, the ISTP mother wants to “be there” for her children—to meet their basic needs and keep them safe. Her goal is to help her children think for themselves and take responsibility for their own actions.
The description is actually pretty accurate for me. Now if I could just get them to be a little neater. Mrangelmeg would say I have no room to criticize and he would be right. I guess now that I am at home with them, we can work together to be neater.
What? Is that laughing I hear? It could happen!
Thanks to Alexa for the link.
"Human love must be purified, it must mature and go beyond its own limits
in order to become truly human, to be the origin of true and lasting joy, to
respond to that demand for eternity it carries within itself and which it cannot
relinquish without betraying itself. This is the fundamental reason for which
love between man and woman is fully realized only in marriage."
In all educational endeavors, "in the formation of man and of the Christian,
we must not leave to one side the great question of love out of fear or human
respect," warned the Pope. "If we should do so, we would present a disincarnated
Christianity, which cannot seriously interest the youth who is opening to life.
"But we must also introduce the integral dimension of Christian love, in
which love for God and love for man are indissolubly united and where love for
one's neighbor is an extremely concrete commitment."
Read the entire text of the article: Christianity Helps Make Love Healthy, Says Pope; Date: 2006-06-06 Code: ZE06060607
But, because we know we are speaking the truth, and because we are practicing what we are preaching, we continue to send the message. It is nice to know that Benedict the Panzer Pope has our back!!!
Now, how do I just casually slip this quote onto the refrigerator? I think there is a space right there between the 100% spelling paper and the grocery list, yeah that's the perfect spot.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Monday, June 05, 2006
When I was working I would find myself trying desperately to keep going in these hours aided by caffeine and lots of deep breathing, but still there were days when I just couldn't make it through the afternoon without a nap. I suppose in the lexicon of big business one might call it the "power nap", but in the world of the parish they were hard to come by.
When I realize that I will need to nap, and I allow time in my day for a nap without feeling guilty or that I am taking time away from something else in order to do it, in a way it does feel as though I am doing something spiritual. When I wake up I can return to whatever it was I was doing with a refreshed mind and heart.
Those countries that practice the siesta have the right idea. I just call it necessary to my healing process.
If only I could convince my professors at Gradual School of the necessity of the mid afternoon 20 minute nap! Now that would be awesome!
Unfortunately no matter what I did I just couldn't get Wordperfect to do what I wanted it to do. After a very annoying hour of trying to get the words on the page to format the way I wanted them to, I finally gave up and drove to the store and purchased Microsoft Office software.
I guess there is some truth to the adage about the heck you know. I am sure that if I had had the time and the inclination I could have learned how to use the new software, but I have a project that is 100% of my grade in this class due on Saturday and three other people are counting on my part of this project being done and done well. I can't "learn" how to use this software as I am polishing this project.
I will stick with the one I know. Maybe later when I have the time and not a deadline over my head I will find that the other software is amazing. Or not.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Saturday, June 03, 2006
The kids are still in school, so I am still getting up most mornings at the break of dawn to drive one daughter to her high school which doesn't provide transportation. I say most, because mrangelmeg has pitched in a few mornings and allowed me to sleep in, which has been really sweet of him, as my energy level is still way below normal.
I spent one glorious afternoon (and I am talking the entire afternoon, from 12:15 until 5:45) carting children from one place to another without ever seeing the inside of my house again. Ah I remember those days well. If I am a stay at home mom, why do I spend so much time in my car?
I did get a chance to catch up on laundry, or so I thought until the girls cleaned their room today and brought down about three loads of new laundry into my totally clean laundry room floor. Ah, wouldn't it be nice if they could learn how to do their own laundry?
I spent a nice couple of afternoons doing research and writing (well formatting really) some stuff for our presentation on Tertullian, which is due at my class in Early Church History next weekend at Gradual School. It has been great to have a quiet house and my own computer to work on with no one clamoring to get internet time.
And, as much as I would like to think that I am back to my old self, I am still very drained, and not healthy yet. I have been napping every day, but at least now I can nap when I want to and not have to worry about falling asleep in the car, or at my desk. I actually think that my naps have been getting shorter too. At least I hope they have.
I go back to see the Dr. on Wednesday morning. I hope he sees some improvement in my condition. I think there is some, at least I am less stressed out. The medications seem to be working and so long as I stay away from the foods I am allergic to I feel pretty good. I may have even gained a pound or two this week.
The kids get out of school this week, so things should settle down even more when I am not having to drive someone around every single day. At least I hope they do.