Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Signs of the Times

Today at lunch the waitress was admiring Cecilia and asked if she was my first child. Then she turned to James and asked him if he was her first as well.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

My thoughts on N. Korea, Iran, etc.

The Wolves and the Sheep

After the Wolves and Sheep had been at war
Some thousand years, or maybe more,
At last on terms of peace they hit
By which both parties seemed to benefit;
For if the Wolves ate each stray sheep they found,
Each Shepherd in a slain wolf's skin was gown'd;
And neither side could seek their diet,
Of grass or flesh, in peace and quiet,
Or of their goods have any calm fruition,
So peace was signed and hostages exchanged,
The Sheep-dogs for the Cubs; the whole arranged
By an Extraordinary High Commission
In strict accordance with tradition.
As time went on, the Whelps grew large and bold,
Each one by now a full-sized glutton
With a developed taste for mutton;
And when one day the Shepherds left the fold,
Choosing their moment with exactitude
In privy concert with their sires and dams,
They throttled half the fattest Lambs,
And bore them 'twixt their jaws into the wood.
Meanwhile the old Wolves fell upon the Dogs,
Who in their blind trust lay asleep like logs,
And scuppered the whole pack in one eye-twinkling:
All were mincemeat before they had an inkling.

Compound not with the wicked - there's my moral.
With such, the wise man has a truceless quarrel.
Peace in itself is a good thing, I know,
But not with a perfidious foe.

By Jean de la Fontaine

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Whistle Down the Wind

Andrew Lloyd Webber composed the music for a musical called Whistle Down the Wind. I have never seen it. It is actually one of the six shows of his I have not seen. (He has composed 16.) I am quite familiar with its soundtrack however and was curious about the book it was based on, Whistle Down the Wind by Mary Hayley Bell. Mary Hayley Bell is actually the mother of the well-known Hayley Mills. My mom bought a copy for me as they are not easy to find. It is actually a hard cover first edition. I'm going to see if I can get someone to remove the crayon marks and typical wear from library usage.

It is only 175 pages and is basically a children's book. I would not say it is for small children as the narrator likes to use the word "hell" a number of times but perhaps a 10 year old or so would enjoy it.

It is simply a story of a group of children, three primary ones strangely named Swallow, Brat and Poor Baby (they are all really named after birds with Swallow being the only one to use her birth name), who find a strange man and they believe him to be Jesus. With a high fever, the man says the name "Jesus" when asked who he is while looking around the barn. He bears a hole through each foot and even quotes the bible. The children are convinced that he has returned to earth and they must care for him. It is soon discovered that all the adults are on the lookout for a convicted felon who is on the run and, as an adult reader, it becomes obvious that the man is in fact the convict. But through the man's kindness, the children still believe him to be Jesus.

In the end, it really doesn't matter that he most likely is not, in fact, Jesus. There is more than one moral to the story. First, every life must always have purpose and the greatest purpose is in caring for each other. Second, with the faith of a child we can see Jesus in others. Third, you have to have faith - faith in miracles, faith in the impossible, faith in each other - and hope in God.

It is a children's story every child and adult should read. (Now if only one could find a copy!)

Monday, October 09, 2006


Well, I had made two cakes for our Church's Fall Festival weekend. It has been a while since I baked and I missed it but dieting doesn't allow a whole lot of room for baked goods, especially when there are only two of you to eat it. So our Church's festival provided an opportunity for me to have some fun without having to eat it! Here is one of my cakes (the other's picture had trouble showing up, but it was the same thing but chocolate):

Why the Bumble Bee? Our Church's name is a saint that begins with the letter B, so it is often referred to as St. B's. In fact the icon often used for it is a bumble bee. The candycorn just seemed like a fun idea.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Never Broadcast Christianity

As you may or may not know, we have been fans of Veggietales for quite some time. And as I play them for Cecilia, she is growing quite fond of them herself. She will actually bounce up and down when she sees their theme song come on. Veggietales believe:
The same media, used responsibly, can have an equally positive impact
The best way to improve people's lives is to promote biblical values and encourage spiritual growth

Our Core Values:
Personal and corporate integrity
Creative excellence and design innovation in all we do
The prioritization of people over products and profits

Our Core Purpose:
To markedly enhance the moral and spiritual fabric of our society through creative media
At the end of the summer, it became known that the fun, funny and loveable veggies would be airing on NBC. However, they are being aired without their references to God. NBC required that the dreaded "G-word" be removed in order for the shows to be aired. They also refuse to air the Bible verse always found at the end of every episode. NBC claims this is so as not to offend viewers.

And yet...

NBC did not hesitate to air a segment on their Saturday Night Live spoofing Veggietales where a cucumber dressed as a priest resigns as he admits to molesting several gerkins. Of course that wouldn't offend anyone right? Everyone would just think that was funny right? Seems to me NBC should be renamed to stand for the Never Broadcast Christianity channel!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Open Cold Season

Well, James came down with a nasty cold last Monday. Thursday night it hit me. I spent yesterday feeling like Cecilia was sitting on my head and my chest at the same time. Ugh. Our hope at this point is that Cecilia won't get it or if she does, she gets a milder form. So far the most we have noticed is a slight congestion in her nose when she is breathing at night but nothing more than that and she is as happy as usual. This is the first time I've been sick this year. Hopefully it will pass swiftly for all of us, but I was hoping Cecilia wouldn't get her first cold until after she was a year old.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

If Jesus Came to Your Local Sports Arena

Cecilia and I went to mass this morning and I had to wonder something as I looked at the people there for mass.

If it was announced that Jesus would be coming to your local sports arena and making a personal appearance there. Tickets were completely free and seating was on a first come first serve basis. Given this scenerio, and if you were to come, would you opt to sit in the nose-bleed seats?!?! So, why at mass do so many people choose to sit in the back or the corners or so far away from the altar when there are plenty of open seats near to the front and Jesus Himself will be there? I know I'd want to be as close as possible and do sit half-way up the pews even though I know I will probably end up having to get up and walk Cecilia around the back of the Church for a while.

I suppose the same scenerio would also give rise to the question of why more people aren't at daily mass, but there could be many reasons for that so I'm not going to go there.

It just seems to me that if people really reflected on what happened at mass a lot more of them would sit a lot closer.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Weekend

Well, James, Cecilia and I all went up to New York this weekend. A friend of mine and her husband were baptizing their new baby girl, Therese Marie, and after missing the baby shower I had to go to the Baptism! Overall the trip went quite well. The drive up was smooth with Cecilia sleeping 2 1/2 hours of the 4 1/2 hour drive. Unfortunately, having to eat off the NJ turnpike my diet died this weekend, but hopefully I can kick it back into gear this week. But Saturday afternoon Therese and Cecilia had their first play date which mostly consisted of Cecilia trying to pull off Therese's stockings and then eating Cheerios on the floor while Therese nursed and slept but they did get a little time to say "Hello" and hold hands and see each other. Considering Therese is only 6 1/2 weeks old and Cecilia is 8 months (35 weeks), it went quite well.

We did manage to keep Cecilia's bedtime before 9pm both nights (she is used to between 8 and 8:39 so the difference wasn't much). Unfortunately Cecilia's nights did get worse, I think, primarily due to sleeping in strange places and circumstances, etc. The Church was not located in my favorite part of town - the Bronx (I like their zoo but don't care to wander much) - but it was an absolutely beautiful Church with elaborate stained glass, paintings of the saints on the walls and ceiling and a beautiful altar.

The Baptism went well being said in Latin but poor Therese cried almost the whole time. Cecilia felt for her little friend and became quite fussy herself.

The drive home went well in that Cecilia slept through all of New Jersey but in Delaware we ran into slow traffic so it was good we left when we did. It was a wonderful weekend.