Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Nini reminded me it's almost time to set up the Enchanted Forest. She has a number of suggestions for this year. I mentioned that someday, we'll have to let Bubs help us, but not for another couple of years, and that by then, she may not be interested in working on it. She gives me a Look.
"Mimi, I will never be too old to help you with the Forest!"
Oh, my sweet, sweet girl- if only that were true...

Bob got a recommendation from a guy at Lowe's for a carpenter to fix the guest room ceiling. Thank goodness, the whole thing doesn't have to come down, just the center panels. And they will re-surface it as well. He mentioned that they seemed quite eager for the job- they were at the house within two hours of his call. "It's the economy. People have probably canceled projects they were going to have done."

Speaking of someone who needs a job- after six months of retirement, the thrill of unlimited free time is gone. The days kind of blend into each other, which he finds disconcerting. I'm thinking the library could use some help. Or the food bank. It's not terrible- he's not in the kitchen alphabetizing the spices or color-coding the towels, but it's time to find something to do besides write the new book.

Tried out the "Orphans to Orphans" sweater pattern from Knitting for Peace. I've given it up though, because I didn't like it. Too much picking up of stitches and you wind up with the whole sweater hanging off your needles while finishing the last sleeve. I understand that the idea is to delete sewing seams, but I'd rather do them than cope with the weight. Plus, it has the cobbled together look of charity knitting done for speed and I'm not sure it's actually faster. Went back to a basic kid's pullover from the pattern book and it looks much better. Using up all the browns, tans and greens from the felted playmat.

Did I mention that the tourist costume was scrapped? Yes, we're going with an all-animal theme this year and Bubs is going to be an elephant. I claim no credit for the wonderfulness of this- it all goes to Tom Arma, who designed the pattern- that same one that we used for the mad monkey cuteness last year. Sis made a deal with me- she would make the bodysuit, if I would make the hood. I had done one already, for Jungle Book, so the construction wasn't unfamiliar. It was just a festival of handwork. She reports that just as I was afraid of- he hates the hood. "It huuuurts" he said. But she is holding all the cards- no hood, no candy. (I have mentioned before that my eldest daughter is the Madwoman of Halloween, haven't I?)

I do take credit for the flamingo, though, because I designed every scrap of it, except the hood base, myself. Best part? The out of control floofy pink net and tulle feather petticoat.
Sis has made Morgie a bumblebee costume- a yellow and black tutu over a black body suit. It has a flower headpiece.
Morgan, let me remind everyone, is three months and one week old.
And yet, she has a Halloween costume.
Because her mother is (see above).
It could be worse- Ni was a tiny little Elvis for her first Halloween. And I made the jumpsuit and cape, so I hardly have room to talk.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Something Light

because there's been enought grumpiness around here lately.

Last Easter, I gave Bubs a board book called ‘No, No, Yes, Yes”. That’s the whole text, posted over drawings of a baby being awful on one page and then good, in the opposite way, on the next. He didn’t like it much then, but now that he’s figured out it’s about a very naughty baby, he loves it, human nature being what it is. So Sissy has been reading it to him often. It’s right up there now with “I am a Bunny”, “The Wonderful House” and “Goodnight, Moon”.

When I was babysitting the other day, he wanted to have story time. But we were sidetracked by a hungry Morgan, so I suggested that he read to me while I gave Morgie her bottle. We climb up onto his bed and he chooses “No, No, Yes, Yes” and begins:

“NO,NO Baby- no food on head! Yes, Yes- food in bowl.”
“NO, NO Baby- no hurt the plant! Yes, Yes- dirt in plant.”
“NO, NO Baby- no eat dog food! Yes, Yes- eat a ‘nana.”
He glances up to make sure I’m paying attention. Oh, I am.
“NO, NO Baby- no toys in the potty! Yes, Yes- pee-pee in the potty. And poop.”
“NO, NO Baby- no rip out books! Yes- reada book.”
“NO, NO Baby- no hit fwiends! Yes, Yes- play with toys.”

Now you have to understand that he’s doing a Jonathan Edwards "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” thing with the “NO, NO!”s and a preschool teacher encouraging voice with the “Yes’s”. I am simultaneously biting the inside of my cheek trying not to laugh, and tearing up at how unbearably cute this is. ‘Cause he’s a genius.

“NO, NO Baby- no run away! Yes, Yes, holda hand.“
(Oh, Mr. Pot, I’d like you to meet Mr. Kettle).
“NO NO Baby- no pull the kitteh! Yes, Yes, pet the kitteh.”

“Oh, Bubbie, that was wonderful. Can you read me another one?”

“I amma bunny. My name is Nick-u-las. I’m inna twee…”

Good times...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reformation Day= Not a Celebration

Okay, this just makes me sad.
The Protestant Reformation is an unhappy fact of history. It doesn’t need to be celebrated.
I covered this last Reformation Day:

It's interesting, when someone is going 'The Reformation!
Whoo-hooh, good job, Reformers!" to ask them just what, exactly, it accomplished. Answers will
vary, but you almost always get these two: it
gave people access to the Bible, and it broke the monopoly the Catholic Church had on Christendom, letting people
'think for themselves' and find the church that 'suits' them. What if you flip it, though- and point out that it robbed millions of Christians of their birthright to the fullness of
faith, encouraging them to remove themselves from the
safeguards of the teaching authority of Christ's Church into the trial-and-error territory of individual interpretation of Scripture?Or that it forced Sacred Scripture into jobs it was never designed to do- carry the whole burden of spiritual
instruction, instead of sharing it with Sacred Tradition? Or that it deprived them of the Sacraments, those channels of grace that we can't imagine living without?

These folk, who I have no doubt are sincere, well-intentioned Christians who love the Lord and believe they are truly serving Him to the best of their ability, have gone down the “Hidden Christians” road. This is one of the strategies for coping with the unyielding presence of the Catholic Church and its implications for NCC’s (Non-Catholic Christians). In order for NCC’s to carry on in good conscience, the Catholic Church has to be explained away.

The “Hidden Christians’ theory, in its bare bones version, works like this: the Early Church, as outlined in the New Testament, grew and spread throughout the ancient world, in spite of persecution. A bogus church, that we now call the Catholic Church, appeared around the time of Constantine’s Edict of Toleration, when the church went mainstream, gradually becoming corrupt and an instrument of the state. At the same time, real Christians were forced underground. They survived, hidden and persecuted for centuries, keeping ’Bible Christianity’ alive until the Reformation made it possible for them to re-appear and save the world from the false cult of Catholicism.

They correctly recognize that a True Church would have to exist from the time of Christ. The problem is that none of their explanations will stand up to historical review without engaging in misinterpretations of fact-“Albigensians? I do not think they mean what you think they mean.” -outright denials of the historical record and bizarre conspiracy theories with no corroborating evidence.

My conversion was a case of reluctant obedience. I’m a Catholic, in part, because I couldn’t come up with an alternate solution to Matt 16 that didn’t insult my intellectual integrity regarding history, or even grammar, or make Jesus out to be a liar. What He said about His Church is simple, but uncompromising. If you’re a Christian who has to spend time constructing elaborate explanations about how He couldn’t possible have meant the Catholics- maybe another look is in order.