Monday, April 27, 2009

Author Crush
I'm sure we've all had the experience of discovering a new author whose work resonates within us, who confirms and enlarges our view of the cosmos- both vertical and horizontal. After the first book, we look up their bibliography and are either disappointed that they only have one or two works- Harper Lee? Jetta Carleton?- or are overjoyed at the lengthy banquet table awaiting us.
Now we know that not every work will be equally fine, that there will be a few mis-fires or rough spots and that some will speak to us more than others. But that's okay- that's human nature.
My most recent find was this gentleman:

Roberston Davies, Canadian man of letters. Who wrote, besides several trilogies of novels, plays, essays and collected letters. I've collected all of the novels, but one, and some of the essays through diligent searching at Half-Price Books. (Yes, I could buy them off ABE or Amazon, but what would be the fun in that?)
I have one book of essays that I'm holding onto unread as a hedge against national angst, sort of like those hermetically sealed containers of heirloom seeds.
But now I have a new crush, who I found via a path that led from Frances Moore Lappe (I was trying to read variant views), to Day, to Schumacher, to Belloc, to finally... James V. Schall, S.J.
Luckily for me, Fr. Schall, who is a professor at Georgetown, is a very prolific writer and will keep me happily occupied for quite a while.
I'm an avid reader at One Cosmos, but recognize that much of GB's sideboard recommendations are above my ready comprehension level. But Fr. Schall, while certainly not 'lite', which would be a gross insult, is 'less dense'. A good choice for the medium-speed among us.
In fact, once I finish "On the Unseriousness of Human Affairs", I shall tackle the 25 volumes list of "These-People-Tell-The-Truth-Books" in its Appendix.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Our Education Dollars at Work
Not gobsmacked, just furious.

Sis just got back from Ni's school. She was attending something called the "Reading Restaraunt", where parents come to listen to their child read. One of Ni's selections was something they all had to write called "If I were President". Apparently, there was a list of pre-selcted "prompts" for the kids to choose from.

Sissy was okay with "I would not test on animals" and "I wouldn't have any war", because Ni is, after all, only seven and not really up on the Just War Theory. But when it came to "I would make all the rich people give their money to the poor people." it was "Whoa there, cowgirl!"

There will be a little chat tonight at home, because you don't call your innocent kid out in front of their class.

There may be a visit to the teacher, to determine from which educational outlet this came.

Mimi may have to build one of these in their backyard, so she can come in and homeschool them every day. I don't have anything else pressing to do, after all...

When I think of the decline of the great idea of public schooling for everyone, it makes me so sad.
But really, it's only a good idea depending on who chooses the curriculum. If it's a curriculum based on Truth, Goodness and Beauty. In short supply these days.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mr. C lays it out for us.
A more than usually fine post from the American Thinker.Add Image
Why we're Us and not Them, and the ramifications.
I tend to think that we're not as close to the tipping point as some believe.
Obama's was a false majority, with a lot of otherwise sensible people caught
up in the historicity, and waking up with a bad hangover now.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend with Bubs

Nini had a morning birthday party at one of those ginormous arcades where you cannot drop your child off and leave without worrying, so Bubs spent the night with me on Friday. I picked him up mid-afternoon and when we got home we spent an hour putting deck stain on the new tool rack V. made me for the garden.

A two-year old and redwood stain - not my brightest idea, but we had a good time. And it washes off with some Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap and a few licks with a scrubbie.

I also let him pedal the wheel, with the flyer unhooked. That kept him occupied for minutes at a time. He built blocks with Fan Ro, had dinner and a bath and then we read six or seven books while he struggled to stay awake. Rather than risk a melt-down, and by this time, I was half-way curious to see just how long he could stay up (Bad Mimi!), we decided to watch a movie. After half an hour of 'Friendly Persuasion", we repaired back to bed and he read himself to sleep in about three minutes.

Not even our new king-size bed is big enough for Bubs and anyone else. I would wake up from a kick enough to move him, but not enough to think of a pallet on the floor, where he actually took his nap next day : Ro peeked into the bedroom and asked in an alarmed tone "Mom? WHERE'S BUBS?!".
"On the floor under the bandana fleece blanket."
"Oh. Okay..."

The weather was spotty on Saturday, but we managed to work in the garden a little, feeding the birds, weeding and pulling radishes. Indoors, we played puzzles and trains and drew pictures and mixed up some Koo-Aid dye for Mimi's yarns and pedaled the wheel some more. We picked up a baked potato and some fried okra for lunch.

By the time he fell asleep on the floor, after another Berenstain Bears story, I was pooped. To the point that I bribed Fan Ro to drive him home to Frisco when he woke up. He teared up a little when he heard about the change in plans, and I almost weakened, but Ro, with her eyes on the prize, assured me he'd be fine, jumped into my car and drove off.
When she got home, I asked her if he'd been really upset. "He stopped crying at the top of the alley, Mom. we talked all the way home, about MarioKart."

Apropos of nothing on Saturday, he announced "Mimi- you're the best Mimi in the whole world.
And I'm the best Bubs." Metaphysically speaking, he's got that right.
What a great little guy.
CC Needs a New Home
A letter from my brother in Austin. Know anyone in central Texas who'd like a dog?
Hi Friends,

We are looking for a home for our dog, Her name is “CC”. We have had
her for almost 3 years. She was about 8 months old when we found her at
our ranch in Gatesville. Our Vet tells us that our dog is a
Collie/Shepherd mix (see photos below). She weighs about 50 lbs. and has
been spayed and has all of her shots. She has been a great family pet and
my kids love her. Unfortunately, she bit my 3 year old niece last
weekend at a family get together. They were in the backyard at my in-laws
house and we did not see what happened so I do not know what provoked her to
bite my niece. It was just one bite but strong enough to cause my niece to
need some stitches on the side of her head. CC has snapped at couple of my
kid’s friends in our home before but had never bitten anyone.

I have no concern of her being around my children who are 9, 11
and 13. However, because we frequently have children of all ages in our
home (and not always closely supervised), we have come to the decision to seek
another home for our dog. It is heartbreaking for our family as we have
grown very fond of our dog. I think our next door neighbor
will be as sad as anyone about her leaving as she takes CC for walks and visits
her daily.

CC is very affectionate. I take her with me
jogging. She enjoys going for walks and does well on a leash. She
travels fine in the car and we often take her with us when we go out of
town. She also loves to retrieve tennis balls thrown to her. She
stays in the back yard during the day when we are at work and at night when we
go to bed. She stays in the house when we are home. She is not
allowed in certain rooms in the house and she knows which ones those are and is
good about staying within her boundaries. We have a cat that lives in the
house full time and they play together well. She is fine around other

CC would be a great companion for an adult. If you know
of anyone who would like to adopt a great dog, please let me


Charles E. Brown
Hunter-Kelsey of Texas, LLC
4131 Spicewood Springs, Rd.,
Austin, Texas 78759
(866)456-3839 (toll free)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'll be (Updated)
joining what I hope will be several thousand of my fellow citizens at our local Tea Party, 11:30 to 1:30.
We paid our taxes yesterday, and discovered that, thanks to the entrepreneurial talent of my youngest brother, we passed the Magic Obama Tax-You-More cut-off. And yet, he voted for him. We are gobsmacked, my sister and I.
Hope to get some photos.
Though a dangerous right-wing extremist, I'll be heavily disguised as a suburban grandmother, who sometimes shops at the Cracker Barrel.
Photos from the local Tea Party. I estimate that we had about 200 or so. Not bad for a suburb.
We lined up/marched along the city's main street at the intersection of George Bush Freeway.
Much appreciative honking. We were waving back like homecoming queens.
Lots of people were also planning to go to the Dallas event. And Rush had a fellow on who was reporting from the Southlake Party, which was a little more celeb- heavy. The Gov., who came out in support of Texas's sovereignity, as per the 10th Amendment, is going to be at several spots today and I bet the crowds will go wild.
As you can see, this was a totally grass-roots make-your-own-sign kind of affair.
Lined up along the street. Note the little guy, with his mom. The wind almost blew him away a time or two.
My personal favorite of the signs.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia!

Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia:
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.
Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia.
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, Alleluia,
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Oremus: Deus qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus, ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.
R. Amen.

A blessed and joyous Easter to all!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Off 'til Easter Monday.
Wishing everyone a holy and blessed Holy Week and Pasch.
Move over, Morgan Jane

There's a new baby in town.

This is my new Majacraft Pioneer, which I brought home on Thursday. This stock photo shows all the wonderful (boring) technical details, like
- Double heel and toe treadling- Frictionless ball bearings- Single hook flyer- Maintainance-free drive band- Super smooth patented bobbins- Lightweight- No threading hook required- Right or left handed- Five ratios available on each whorl
All of which simply mean that it is soooo nice to spin on. The treadle action is so smooth and effortless that I've really had to throttle back on the treading or it goes way too fast.
Ro came in to watch a moment and noted that it sounded different from the loaner "That one sort of whirred, and this one goes "sssssssss". Which means it's super quiet and I can spin when the rest of the house is asleep.
Like any new mom and baby, we're still getting used to each other. But I see many happy useful years ahead.
Sissy came over with the kids yesterday and Bubs and I had a little CTJ on the subject of Mimi's new wheel.
"See, Bubbie, this is Mimi's new spinning wheel and she needs you to never, ever touch it. Okay?"
Poor little guy got this 'what did I do?' look on his face.
Sis said "You're not in trouble, honey. We just need you to leave Mimi's wheel alone."
He thought for a moment, then: "Just look! Don't touch! 'Cause that will make Mommy and Mimi sooooo happy!" Yes! and much cheering for his smart self.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Ya think?
The Cure d'Ars has Obama et al.'s number:

As you know my dear brethren, we are bound as fellow creatures to have human sympathy and feelings for one another. Yet one envious person would like, if he possibly could, to destroy everything good and profitable belonging to his neighbour. You know, too, that as Christians we must have boundless charity for our fellow men. But the envious person is far removed indeed from such virtues. He would be happy to see his fellow man ruin himself. Every mark of God's generosity towards his neighbour is like a knife thrust that pierces his heart and causes him to die in secret. Since we are all members of the same Body of which Jesus Christ is the Head, we should so strive that unity, charity, love, and zeal can be seen in one and all. To make us all happy, we should rejoice, as St. Paul tells, in the happiness of our fellow men and mourn with those who have cares or troubles. But, very far from experiencing such feelings, the envious are forever uttering scandals and calumnies against their neighbours. It appears to them that in this way they can do something to assuage and sweeten their vexation.
But, unfortunately, we have not said all that can be said about envy. This is the deadly vice which hurls kings and emperors from their thrones. Why do you think, my dear brethren, that among these kings, these emperors, these men who occupy the first places in the world of men, some are driven out of their places of privilege, some are poisoned, others are stabbed? It is simply because someone wants to rule in their place. It is not the food, nor the drink, nor the habitations that the authors of such crimes want. Not at all. They are consumed with envy.

(h/t to the Cukierski Family Apostolate newsletter)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

DVR Wars

Ro is complaining about all the movies I've got stored to watch. It seems they're taking up space better occupied by "How It's Made" and "Myth-busters". Never mind that only 33% of the actual space is being used.
"Can we delete 'Nosferatu' ? It's been in there two weeks."
"No! I want to watch it."
She gives me a Look, then curls her hands into claws, hunches her shoulders and widens her eyes a la Max Schreck.
"There- you've seen it. Now can I erase it?"
"No, I want to see the rats, the ghost barge and the print in the book turn into esoteric signs."
"Okay, FINE!"
"I could delete 'Bachelor Party'." Click. "Oh, look, now we're at only 28% storage used."
'Thank you."
Happy Birthday

to Sir Alec Guiness, my favorite actor. TCM is doing a birthday retrospective of him during the day.
Here he is in his best and most famous role: Col. Nicholoson in Bridge on the River Kwai.