Friday, January 23, 2015

7QT: All that jazz!

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all that jazz!

--- 1 ---
"I'm dreaming of a warm and rainy Christmas! Unlike the ones I used to know." Back home the weather was unseasonably warm at Christmas, but we did have a White Thanksgiving. Enlisting the cousins, we were able to do tons of cleaning. I've never seen so much cat hair in one place and we ran out of porcelain cleaner, something I didn't expect to occur within our lifetimes (gramma bequeathed to us a panoply of household cleaners). We Skyped with mom who is away "on assignment" and opened the gifts she sent which, for Andy, included 60 pounds of ferret litter. So even if he decides to adopt 12 more ferrets, he shouldn't have to buy any more litter. ;-) I also got a free hair cut! My thirteen year old cousin who is quite a fashionista studied on Youtube and gave me a better hair cut than the last one I paid for.

--- 2 ---

My 2014 New Year's Resolutions consisted of the Heroic Minute and meal planning. The latter was a  complete failure. The former was pretty successful as far as New Year's Resolutions go. I'd say I succeeded on roughly one out of three days. Unfortunately, those 240ish unsuccessful days leaned pretty heavily toward the end of the year. While there are plenty of things I should do, like exercise more, I haven't formulated any concrete resolutions for 2015. However, I am pretty excited to try these inverted rows using a bed sheet pinched in a door. I can envision it now--a loud crash and my bruised body lying on the floor holding a knotted sheet and squashed under the bedroom door. Like I said, I can't wait to try it.

--- 3 ---

One of the highlights of 2014 that I haven't mentioned in a previous post was my brother's visit in October. I don't know that it was a highlight of his year but hey, we all have different standards. We went to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on a mission to find Cher Ami (Dear Friend), a war pigeon who lost his leg in service to our country. He received a medal for heroic service and his taxidermied body is on display in the museum. We also saw a doggie veteran that I think was named Stubby or Stumpy or something like that.

--- 4 ---

The pics above were taken on our trip to the Maryland Science Center. I got to pose next to the rocket! We also got to see FrC at one of his favorite diners. After he sat drinking some ice water and chatting for about twenty minutes he rushed off to attend to some other poor soul. But first we heard a story about his hitchhiking experiences "back when that was safe". Last time my brother visited, FrC told a story about  his near death experience when a young Italian gang member held a gun to his head during a skirmish. The guy backed down when young FrC said "Jesus wouldn't want you to do this." He ended the story with: "You know how they say that your whole life flashes before your eyes? That's true!"

--- 5 ---

Merry Christmas: Part 2 was a visit to see mom in Wisconsin in mid-January. I'll quick-take on that next time, hopefully next Friday, because a whole lot happened in those six days. Hint: much impromptu pilgrimaging occurred. So stay tuned!

--- 6 ---

A friend sent me this Youtube audio from a talk called True Worship. It starts with an explanation of the Catholic understanding of the Holy Eucharist (aka Communion), which is the absolute most important belief of Catholicism. But the best part is a story about a 10 year old Chinese girl who puts her life on the line to protect Jesus from the Communists. Please please please listen, it's well worth the 18 minutes.

--- 7 ---

March for Life 2015 took place on Thursday and unfortunately I missed it, although my seminarian friend says it was attended by an estimated 600,000 other people. Fortunately, this year I'll actively participate for the first time in 40 Days for Life, which is an ecumenical prayer campaign. This means I'll be spending some Saturdays praying my rosary outside of one of the local abortion clinics. Sounds easy enough although I've heard of items getting thrown at prayer groups by people in passing cars--once a 9V battery! I'm pretty sure nothing like that has happened to the group I'll be with.

But it all reminds me of chaperoning the Steubenville Youth Conference last summer. During some off time, one of the other chaperones took me on an unofficial tour. Eventually we made it to the Tomb of the Unborn Child. On the tomb were plaques with first names and dates. There weren't many, maybe about seven, but there was a story behind the names. Some of the Franciscan University undergraduates routinely pray outside of the local abortion clinic. I was told that on one occasion they found two pairs of tiny arms and tiny legs (among other body parts) in the dumpster outside the clinic. At any rate, whoever found the remains brought them to the University for burial. A ceremony was held on Jan 22, 1987, initiating the Tomb of the Unborn Child. Based on the number of appendages found, they gave names to the two children (Francis and Clare) who would never be born. These names and the date, along with five added since, are inscribed on the memorial plaque.

No one likes this type of gruesome story. But sometimes it's true. And there is a reason we're uncomfortable with it.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't the Lyceum!


  1. Just popped in from TATL. Good luck with the exercises! I really appreciate that there is a place of remembrance for all the unborn, it is such a heartbreaking element of our so-called civilised societies. I pray for safety for your prayer group and for changed hearts and minds. Grainne

    1. Thanks Grainne! :-) I've tried the sheet exercise once and didn't fall down although I'm not sure it did much for me. Maybe I was doing it wrong. So far so good with the prayer vigil, it has been safe and we're sure God is listening!

  2. Love reading your posts!! Can't wait to read the next one!!

    1. Phew! One week turned into more like five, but I finally got back to Wisconsin. :-)