Monday, March 31, 2008

GO: New Media Monday: YouTube Again! Easter Fun

Okay I am an admitted Reality Show junkie (They even have 12 step programs for that now) and I really love Project Runway. So when my kids and I came across this little adventure in fun with Peeps it just made me smile. You gotta love the paper cut-out Tim Gunn!

I'm not sure which of the judges was Michael Kors though.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Mrangelmeg has to leave today to go back to his TDY. It is almost fitting that it is a rainy day, except that he has to drive through a storm for the first part of his trip south. We had a really nice week having him home, and he got to do some things around here that really needed to get done (like getting the license plates for the cars which expire tomorrow) and doing a bit of yard work thanks to some nice weather.

Everyone was happy to see him at Church. We even got to be the gift bearers for Easter Mass which was really nice.

But now he goes back to his work and we go back to getting along without him for a while longer. If everything goes as planned he should be back for a month at the end of April and then if things work out the way we hope the angelbaby and I will be able to join him for the next long trip because she will be out of school for the summer.

I am just walking in faith and keeping it all together. Things will work out the way they are supposed to despite our plans. Hopefully I will be able to get better sleep this time around while he is gone. I am going to try a few new tactics to get better result than I did the last time. We shall see.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

GO: Two-fer What I'm Writing/Theology Thursday

So just a few days ago I got an email from a woman who runs a website dedicated to spreading the word on Christian meditation and Contemplation. She came across an essay I wrote on Meditation as a Christian Prayer Form for and wants to use it on a site that she runs that is dedicated to information on Christian Meditation and Relaxation.

I am a firm believer in the concepts of contemplative prayer. In order to pray one needs to do nothing more than be with God. We spend so much energy trying to form the perfect words to communicate with God who can see into our hearts more clearly than we can ever imagine.

So, I am humbled that my little essay will be used to aide other Christians to come to understand a form of prayer that I have come to love so much. I have looked over her site and really like the content and have actually downloaded some of the meditation music to give to my daughter who is going to begin to use meditation as a method of reducing stress in her life.

If you haven't tried this form of prayer I encourage you to give it a try. If you decide that it doesn't work for you, then you at least will have given it a try. You may find that it will become one of your favorite parts of your day, and a great way to re-energize and get re-centered when your life seems to spin out of control.

Give it a try.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Dyngus Day Fun: mrangelmeg Guest Blog's from Florida

This was a from an email mrangelmeg sent a friend of our about his adventures on his TDY in Florida. Since Dyngus day is a day for fun and games I decided to spotlight it here because it is just too funny not to share with everyone:

...", I have tried my best to fit in with the locals down here.

I thought Florida was inhabited by old, retired people, but my experience has been that it is mostly young people, thousands and thousands of them, approximately in their late teens and early twenties.

In an attempt to blend in with my neighbors here at the Palms of Destin, each night I usually do five or six Jagerbombs and then spend the rest of the evening puking noisily off of my balcony. I have to be careful, though, because there are nine balconies directly above my own.

The locals must have a genetic hearing impairment because they all have to talk very, very, loudly to each other - even yelling most of the time. Alcohol seems to aggravate this condition because as they drink, they ... just ... get ... louder.

On a positive note, another misconception of mine was that youth tend to be very self-centered and focused only on their own accomplishments. However, these nice young people are always encouraging each other in various activities, especially related to intake of liquids, and removing articles of clothing. And, even though they have money to buy alcohol and drive Lexus convertibles, the natives must be fairly poor because they don't seem to be able to afford much clothing. Worse, most appear to be homeless, as they congregate in the streets, puking noisily, ... all ... night ... long. Poor things.

Anyway, I've got three more Jagerbombs to go before sunrise, and then a long drive home, so ...

all my love.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Easter Bunny Arived . . .

last night driving a green jeep and wearing an IU T-Shirt. Mrangelmeg got an unexpected break in the schedule down in Florida and decided rather than staying down there (which is what some of the guys from up here did) he would drive back home and spend the week up here with us.

I have known for a week that he was going to come home, but we decided to keep it a secret from the kids, so I have had a devil of a time trying not to give the secret away in my excitement over knowing that he was coming home! He got home just in time to watch me fill the Easter baskets and then we watched most of Blades of Glory and turned in because we had to be up in time to get to Mass early enough to actually sit in church since we knew there would be an overflow crowd. If this crowd is just because of all the people who are here visiting there must be some church somewhere that is totally empty on Easter (Ha ha).

He gets to stay around for at least a week before he has to go back. I suppose that means I actually have to cook real meals for a week. The kids don't seem to mind eating TV dinners and quick meals, but I should put a little effort in while he is home.

Tomorrow I will post something from mrangelmeg that he sent a few days ago about his experience in Florida. It is really funny.


Friday, March 21, 2008

This is the Night! -- O Happy Fault!

Exult now O ye angelic throngs of the heavens:

Exult O ye divine mysteries:

and let the saving trumpet resound for the victory of so great a King.

Let the earthly realm also be joyful,

made radiant by such flashings like lightning:

and, made bright with the splendor of the eternal King,

let it perceive that it has dismissed the entire world’s gloom.

Let Mother Church rejoice as well,

adorned with the blazes of so great a light:

and let this royal hall ring with the great voices of the peoples.

Wherefore, most beloved brothers and sisters,

you here present to such a wondrous brightness of this holy light,

I beseech you, together with me invoke the mercy of Almighty God.

Let Him who deigned to gather me in among the number of the Levites,

by no merits of mine, while pouring forth the glory of His own light

enable me to bring to fullness the praise of this waxen candle.

Deacon: The Lord be with you!

Response: And with your spirit!

D: Raise your hearts on high!

R: We now have them present to the Lord!

D: Let us then give thanks to the Lord our God!

R: This is worthy and just!

Truly it is worthy and just

to resound forth with the whole of the heart,

disposition of mind,

and by the ministry of the voice,

the invisible God the Father Almighty,

and His Only-begotten Son

our Lord Jesus Christ,

Who, on our behalf, resolved Adam’s debt to the Eternal Father

and cleansed with dutiful bloodshed the bond of the ancient crime.

For these are the Paschal holy days,

in which that true Lamb is slain,

by Whose Blood the doorposts of the faithful are consecrated.

This is the night

in which first of all You caused our forefathers,

the children of Israel brought forth from Egypt,

to pass dry shod through the Red Sea.

This is the night

which purged the darkness of sins by the illumination of the pillar.

This is the night

which today restores to grace and unites in sanctity throughout the world Christ’s believers,

separated from the vices of the world and the darkness of sins.

This is the night

in which, once the chains of death were undone,

Christ the victor arose from the nether realm.

For it would have profited us nothing to have been born,

unless it had been fitting for us to be redeemed.

O wondrous condescension of Your dutiful concern for us!

O inestimable affection of sacrificial love:

You delivered up Your Son that You might redeem the slave!

O truly needful sin of Adam, that was blotted out by the death of Christ!

O happy fault,

that merited to have such and so great a Redeemer!

O truly blessed night,

that alone deserved to know the time and hour

in which Christ rose again from the nether world!

This is the night about which it was written:

And night shall be made as bright as day:

and night is as my brightness for me.

Therefore the sanctification of this night puts to flight all wickedness, cleanses sins,

and restores innocence to the fallen and gladness to the sorrowful.

It drives away hatreds, procures concord, and makes dominions bend.

Therefore, in this night of grace,

accept, O Holy Father, the evening sacrifice of this praise,

which Holy Church renders to You

in the solemn offering of this waxen candle

by the hands of Your ministers from the work of bees.

We are knowing now the proclamations of this column,

which glowing fire kindles in honor of God.

Which fire, although it is divided into parts,

is knowing no loss from its light being lent out.

For it is nourished by the melting streams of wax,

which the mother bee produced for the substance of this precious torch.

O truly blessed night,

in which heavenly things are joined to those of earth,

the divine to the human!

Therefore, we beseech You, O Lord,

that this waxen candle, consecrated in honor of Your name,

may continue unfailing to dispel the darkness of this night.

And once it is accepted as a placating sacrifice,

may it be mingled with the heavenly lights.

Let the morning star meet with its flame:

that very star, I say, which knows no setting:

Who, having returned from the nether realm,

broke serene like the dawn upon the human race,

and now lives and reigns forever and ever



Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Neighbor

Today marks the 80th Birthday anniversary of every one's favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers. If you grew up between 1959 and the present or had children in that time you were exposed to his gentle brand of loving education.

My daughters and I watched an episode of his show just the other day, and while the youngest still enjoyed it, the 21 year old found it a bit syrupy. I looked her right in the eye and said, for years you made me watch this show with you day after day after day. Mr. Rogers doesn't make his show for the parents he makes it just for the kids. There was no subtle nod or wink, wink joke in anything he did. He was totally focused on the task of teaching children in a safe, predictable environment.

Then of course because we are who we are, we proceeded to find double entendre's in everything from Mr Rogers making the trolley go into and out of the hole, to Lady Elaine's Red Nose, and what exactly did they make in that factory anyway? We were laughing so hard we were in tears. Oh how I wish I had thought of it in that way when I was watching the show every day for fifteen years straight while the kids were growing up.

Anyway, for everything he did for the children of this country, especially for exposing my kids to some really amazing musicians, I will always be indebted to Fred Rogers. May he rest in peace.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Just What I Always Wanted for my Birthday!

I got a Birthday verse from Rufus at Korrektiv and fittingly it is a Limerick as I am the Irish Lass born on St. Patrick's Day.

You can Read it Here!


Happy Birthday My Dear Felicity

Today is the Birthday of a dear friend of mine from Gradual School. A while back in a Women in the Early Church we all got the names of Women Saints and hers is Felicity, (mine is Thecla by the way, there is a story there but that is for another day).

She also happens to be an Organic Dairy Farmer from Ohio and has posted a
"Day in the Life" video on YouTube.

The song in the video is one of our personal favorites Shaking the Tree by Peter Gabriel, listen to the words they are awesomely powerful as a women's song of empowerment. (Nota: the book; Creation of Patriarchy by Gerda Lerner; that she is reading is from our Women in the Old Testament class last fall.)

Enjoy the video and send up a prayer of blessing on my sister Felicity on this her birthday.


Holy Week Challenge

I have a friend who for the last few years has sent email reflections for each day of Holy Week. This year her theme is to see with new eyes. She is asking us to view this week with a renewed sense of spiritual vision.

I am viewing this week in a whole new way, and not only because mrangelmeg is away on TDY and I am single parent. I am also beginning to gain some clarity on my future in a way that I never have before. Perhaps I finally have some understanding as to what God is asking me to do with this degree that I worked so hard to get. Today I go for my monthly visit with my Spiritual Director, it will be great to talk over this new clarity with him to see if he confirms what I am receiving in prayer and meditation.

Oh, and my other little action in terms of seeing with new eyes this week is that I have decided to spend some time reading the poems of
this man each day. If his words don't put me in the path of God in a new and dynamic way there is something really wrong with me.

Have a Blessed Triduum, and Inspiring Easter.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!

My Birthday toast to all my friends:

May the roads you take always be smooth,
May you say sweet words, in case you ever have
to eat them,
And when your time comes (God forbid it should be soon)
may you find yourself in heaven a full half hour before
the devil knows that you are dead.

Hope your celebration of my birthday is safe and green beer free!!!


Friday, March 14, 2008

GO: Friday Funny Warning! Put Down Your Morning Coffee Before Viewing This Video!

Okay! I have seen some touching video before, but this rendition of a Mariah Carey song is just so beautifully done it brought tears to my eyes. . .

among other things.

h/t to Paul via email for the link.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

GO: Training Tuesday: Staying Fit Away From Home

In case you haven't figured it out yet, it is Spring Break around the angelmeg household and while we didn't get to follow mrangelmeg south (he is on TDY at an Air Force Base on the Gulf Coast for the next six weeks) the three younger girls and I did take a quick trip to this place. We are staying at a great hotel with an indoor water park.

I was worried that I wouldn't get a good workout in while we were on our little trip, but between our side trips to quaint little shops on three different levels, and all the climbing I have done in the water park to get to the different slides, there is a fitness center in the hotel that has a precor machine, so I actually did 30 minutes of cardio this morning. My trainer will be proud.

So my training tip for today is when you have to be away from home, find ways to build in time for fitness. Most hotels have some sort of fitness room, even if (like the one here) it only includes three simple machines --one of which is out of order. If your hotel doesn't have a fitness room, park farther away from where you are going and walk, or take the stairs instead of the elevator, or take a walk or jog in the morning or evening in the neighborhood or nearby park.

Once you begin an exercise routine, it is hard to give it up even for a few days. I can't believe I actually typed that sentence and actually meant it. I am growing in many ways while my waistline is shrinking.


GO:New Media Monday (Adjusted for Vacation Time) Liturgy of the Hours on Podcast

Some of you may know that I love the Liturgy of the Hours but have a difficult time remembering to do it without some prodding. I have found that I love to use my IPod to do morning and evening prayer, but I really miss the Office of Reading.

Today while listening to Fr. Roderick's Daily Breakfast podcast from last week (I am usually about a week late listening to his podcasts) I found out about a podcast from a group called Catholic Classes which does the Office of Readings via Podcast, so of course I quickly subscribed to it and am downloading this week's readings as I type this.

Now my daily Office is complete. Morning and evening prayer and the office of reading is all I really need. I do a modified examen as my night prayer, and the rest of my prayer is a running conversation with God (usually, sadly apologizing to him for my judgmental thoughts about the people around me, but I am working on that.)

I hope you all can benefit from my interesting new media find.


Friday, March 07, 2008

GO Theology Thursday on Friday: When We Get it Wrong (again)!

The fact that my Theology Thursday post for this week is actually not only being posted but actually being written on Friday goes nicely with the theme as stated above: When we get it wrong (again)! You see, yesterday we went to our parish Lenten Penance service, and I had been trying to figure out all day how to name the state of sin that I have presently found myself.

I was taught that one is not supposed to discuss what happens in the confessional (and since I don't want all two of my loyal readers to fall asleep at their computers I will refrain from giving you a verbatim account of what actually happened in my confession anyway but suffice it to say that with the help of a wonderful confessor who was there in persona Christi I was able to name the sinful state which had something to do with the rationalization that God made me this way so it must be okay with Him, but this week it hit me that "Oh no He didn't!" the fall made me this way and God expects so much more from me than the piddly little I am willing to offer. If I use that argument then I am no better than the people who fall into sexual sin and say they can't help the way they are! I was totally convicted, but not defeated, because becoming aware of where I was made me capable of finding a way out of the funk I was wallowing in.

Father and I discussed how I could begin to heal myself and my relationship with those whom my sinful condition had affected. The problem is that I can't do this on my own and when I try to do this mending on my own I just get into more difficulty.

So for my penance I was told to pray every day for the grace to admit that I need God's grace to change the situations that need to be changed in my life for the better. Then I have to be open to receiving and acting on that grace when God grants it. My old way was simply trying to "do it myself" and in doing that I have gotten it all wrong. I can do nothing by my own power. Not even the simple things I offered to give up for Lent were done by my own power, I could only accomplish them through God's grace.

So, when I admit before I even begin that I am powerless without God's grace to change my situation, then I can do so much more because I am not trying to rely on my own abilities but I am counting on God to supply what I need.

This morning when I went to my weekly prayer group the women I group with confirmed that this was a profound insight. This is the reason that groups like AA work; because they begin by admitting that one is powerless to overcome the addiction without the help of a higher power.

So, I am going to begin to use a new ejaculation prayer, whatever I need to call it. From now on, before I start any task that seems too daunting or too officious, or I just don't want to do, even though I know I should be doing it I am going to say this prayer:

Heavenly Father, with your help I will be able to . . .
Okay, so maybe while I am cleaning the toilets it may have to be a mantra, but I have to give it a try. It is a penance after all.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

GO Fun Friday: a fascinating, open-minded, charming, realist -- That's me!

You Are a Comma
You are open minded and extremely optimistic.
You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.

You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.
You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.

Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.
(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)

You excel in: Inspiring people

You get along best with: The Question Mark

And this one:

You Are 56% Cynical
Yes, you are cynical, but more than anything, you're a realist.
You see what's screwed up in the world, but you also take time to remember what's right.

h/t to Adoro te Devote (or should I say miss colon) for the link

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

GO Training Tuesday: Mind Body Spirit Connection

Last month when I was at my Spiritual Direction appointment my Spiritual Director and I were discussing how important our respective physical training regimens have become in our lives and how connected they were to our spiritual lives.

As my body gets stronger, I am much more prepared to be the person that God created me to be. We also discussed the meditative state that one can enter while exercising. I have found that my exercise time is great prayer time (and not just because I am saying prayers of thanksgiving after my sets on the core bench are done).

I also find that I am in much better spirits when I exercise regularly, and when I get out of sync with my pattern of regular exercise I can tell, just as I can when I get out of sync with my regular prayer time. Friday was the last time I was able to get in a full workout because the weekend was crazy. Saturday we worked to get a storage closet at the house cleaned out, and Sunday I was so tired out that I spent the entire afternoon napping. Mondays I spend the day at the angelbaby's school in the Media Center so there is no time for a workout, and today I am at home trying to catch up on laundry that is spilling out of the laundry room and will take over the family room if I don't get a handle on it (I am also a bit under the weather and I don't think I could handle a full workout today if I tried). Tomorrow I will meet with my trainer, so I will be getting a full workout in, and not a moment too soon.

I also have found that I have a definite biorhythmic limit to when I can workout. If I don't get my workout in between 9 am and 5 pm fogetaboudit! Any earlier and I am just not awake, any later and I am a lost cause for the rest of the day. Mrangelmeg likes to work out at 9 pm and has invited me to join him. I just don't have the energy or motivation to workout that late in the evening.

This is a good sign. I am so connected to my training regimen that when I am away from my regular schedule for even a few days I miss it. I can tell that my body is changing. My hips and abs are getting less flabby, and I am finally losing weight. Someday, maybe not soon, but someday with God's help and my continued dedication, I will be in pretty good shape.

If I can do this, anybody can.