Archive for July, 2011

Seven Quick Takes

Let’s jump right in, shall we?


In a week or so I am going on vacation. DC, here I come! I will pay no attention to anything political and will only venture out to the Smithsonian to let Philomena see the dinosaurs and shiny rocks, and to take a ride on the carousel. My time will be spent chatting with my family, visiting friends, and, I am assured, going dancing at a rooftop club.


The other part of vacation involves driving to New Jersey with my sisters and walking many miles on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa. This is sans daughter, because I need a spiritual boost on my own. Just me, a backpack, a tent, a sleeping bag, plenty of powdered Powerade and a fistful of papers containing my intentions and burdens. If you’ve got any you’d like me to bring along, leave a comment or e-mail me and I’ll add them to the growing pile.


I have literally dozens of things I want to write about, but feel incredibly self-conscious about writing them. This is why I’m doing Quick Takes today. I need to ease back into the habit of writing something.


We’ve had three separate Southern bug problems this week. The first was minor. I saw a small “palmetto bug” (read cockroach) in  the kitchen. Not a big deal, for we have the Exterminator of Efficiency. Why don’t these Southern belles and gents  just acknowledge that “palmetto bugs” are cockroaches? Not everything has to be cute! For Pete’s sake, it’s a cockroach.  We all know this.


The second was not minor, and I am glad I wasn’t here for the show. On Tuesday I babysat, so Will was Mr. Mom. He called me in the early afternoon to let me know that Philomena was terrified of going into the living room because they had found a luncheon plate sized furry spider. It had scurried away before he could get a good whack at it. Around tea time he phoned again to tell me that it had dropped onto the floor, enabling him to yell, grab a not very good book and smash the thing.


The third, and most horrifying, was what happened Wednesday night. There I was, curled up on the couch, lights dimmed, watching Top Gear. It had been a long day, and I was tired. I needed my dose of Aston Marten love. Anyway, there I was, minding my own business when, out of the corner of my eye, I spied a huge, black thing, scuttling over the top of the couch. It was a cockroach. A huge, terrier sized monster, wanting to waltz its way over my lap. I didn’t let it. I bit back a scream and soared to the chair watching the hell beast scurry down the couch.  Unsure whether or not it was still lurking in the couch, I stayed put, rocking back and forth slightly, until Will came in and went after it with the broom.


The book used in the killing of the Sasquatch spider had been loaned to me ages ago by the brilliant Colleen Swaim, to see what I thought. Colleen, would you like your book back?

Be sure to check out Conversion Diary for  more Quick Takes!


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Working Through Things

Once again I have temporarily abandoned my poor wee blog. It’s only a temporary hiatus, and I’ve been feeling a pull to write stuff again. With all the difficulties of the last month, I’ve been in no shape to form coherent thoughts. Emotional upsets, losses of even friendly acquaintances, always throw me under the bridge for a little while. Fortunately, I’ve had a few insights into a few things. It may make good reading, and not just be me being a kvetch.

In the meantime, please read this.



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In the last two weeks I have had a number of  exquisitely irritating things happen to me.  By irritating, I mean maddening, frustrating, hurtful, and downright nasty. Here’s the thing. We are poor. Very, very poor. We have people in our lives who do not like “the poor.”  We have Catholics around here who take their spirituality straight out of Fox News Channel. We have people in our lives who think that my husband is “lazy”, not understanding that it’s really hard for a guy with a J.D. to get a cruddy job at Walmart. Overqualified people don’t get hired as waiters, because the managers rightly think that when a better job comes along, that guy with the J.D. will take that better job. That doesn’t stop my husband from trying for those jobs, though.  Try explaining that to invincibly ignorant people who want to “have a word” with my husband. I tried. It didn’t go well. It’s hard to explain to someone that they are being offensive when they won’t stop talking long enough to give you a fair hearing. It’s harder when they say that “they’re praying for you,” when you know that means “they’re talking about you behind your back in order to criticize and belittle you.” It’s really hard when you live in an oversized small town and you know they know all the people you’ve gotten to know over the last year.

I’ve had it with people. I like people, really. I just don’t like people who know they’re right about the intimate details of my life. I have two options before me.  Either I take this anger and frustration to the cross and nail it down, praying that He will use it somehow for my good, or, I can stew in my juices for another week, getting more and more bitter and distrustful of God’s plan for my life and my marriage because of the idiocy of some people. The latter is more appealing at the moment. Isn’t it funny how what we know is bad for us is so often the most attractive

My little heart is tied up in knots right now. I want an end to this hardship. I want an end to the criticism of my poor husband, who is trying so hard. I want stability.

I think that a novena may be in order, but it’s hard to feel hopeful at this point.

Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

Rant concluded. Thank you for your patience.

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Happy Independence Day! We’re experimenting with fireworks and toddlers tonight. The last time we took Philomena to see fireworks was at the Eucharistic Congress in D.C. It didn’t go well. Not even the smiling faces of the Sisters of Life could assuage the terror of exploding colored lights. However, with enough ice cream in her hand and enough steak in her little belly she will probably be okay enough to engage in some random acts of patriotism.


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