Saturday, September 24, 2016

7-Quick Takes

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1. One piece of advice that I have sort of held on to as I homeschooled my kids through homeschool was, "Give all of your students a college prep education, even if they don't go to college."  The thinking was that kids change their minds and if they want to go to college later, they will be prepared to go.

The only thing is, I know that not all kids that go to college from the public school get a college prep education.  In fact, a lot of kids around here get vocational training and still go right into a four year institution. A young friend of mine was in the Animal Management Program at her local high school and now is in college to get a business degree. I can see how the two things will easily mesh together.

Yet, I think there are some skills that should be taught to a student who is pursuing a career outside of the usual 4-year university.  Izzy isn't quite sure what she wants to do yet, but she knows how to sink a toilet and is learning to drywall. She can also solder, make jewelry, and decorate a cake.

For some reason my brain was processing all of this when I bolted straight up in bed and said, "OMG!! I haven't taught her to sew yet!!!"

I don't know why these types of things bother me so much.

Fleece Fixin
John via Flickr, licensed cc

2. Rosie has befriended a very nice girl who goes to our church and is also homeschooled. Their family wear veils to church, as was the custom in the diocese they came from.

So yesterday Rosie said she would like a veil too.

I'm not against it. In fact I have thought about wearing a veil for years now. I just have never gotten around to it. I don't think I'd wear one when I'm participating in the music ministry, but for a daily mass or just in the congregation I think I'd like to start veiling.

It's so funny to think that when I was a little girl, everyone wore a veil and it was odd if you didn't, and now the reverse is true!!
Phil via Flickr licensed cc2.0

3. My husband is becoming a curmudgeon, and my feminine wiles, (such as they are) are no longer as persuasive as they used to be.  Yesterday I wanted Mr. Pete to come with us to the homeschool mass and the ice cream party to follow. I hate going to those things without my husband, especially if other husbands will be there.

But he had a list of reasons why he couldn't possibly go, the main one being that he had to stripe the soccer fields before nightfall. So we made a deal.  If I got all of the fields striped, he would go to the mass.

I got over to the fields at 4:30 and by 5:45, I had all of the fields striped! I used more paint than he usually does, but they were done.

So I called Mr. Pete. "The fields are all striped!" I proclaimed.

"You're kidding?"  he replied.  And then he ran through a quick litany of everything that had to be done.  "You did the big field?"  "The jr. Field?"  "What about the Pee wee field?"

"All done!" I said smugly.

A deal being a deal he had no choice but to go with us - but in the end, he had a good time and was glad he went.
Soccer gabe

4. A Facebook friend and relative  of mine is planning a double mastectomy as she transitions into becoming a transgendered man.

It's interesting to see how the family is divided on this. The left of center, socially liberally family all "Like" that status. Everyone else is silent.

The modern dilemma is, do you risk extended famly discord and drama by saying something negative, like, "Mastectomies are a painful major surgery with risks of bleeding, infection and damage to other areas and a potential for healing problems"?  or is simply not hitting the "Like" button enough of a stand?
JHaggard via Flickr, licensed cc

5. Today is the Akron Marathon, or as us nonparticipants call it, "Akron Held Hostage."  Our ability to get around town today will be severely restricted until at least 4 p.m. So glad this only happens once a year.
Noah running io the 7th fastest relay team of the 2014 Akron Marathon
6. My mother was a good story teller.  People used to tell me all the time what a good story teller she was and how much they enjoyed talking to her.

I apparently am not as blessed. Twice this week, I started to tell some type of anecdotal story and people have literally gotten up and walked away! Mid. Story.  Was it the topic? the delivery? too much distraction?  I'm not sure but when it happened for a second time I thought maybe I should just refrain from sharing for a while and concentrate more on my listening skills!
7. My oldest son, Calvin, and his wife live in Charlotte, North Carolina. Yes, THAT Charlotte, North Carolina - the place with all of the riots, fights, tear gas and mayhem this week.  I Facebooked both of them to see if they were okay and Calvin finally called me to say that they were fine. Apparently he only worked downtown the first night of the protesting and ended up taking two police officers to the hospital.  He didn't work the second night and then the other nights they had him in a different part of the county.  Sarah had an event downtown to attend, but it got cancelled. Charlotte's businesses are definitely hurting this week and probably will continue to hurt for some time to come. I don't see how that can be good for anyone.  Both Calvin and Sarah put the word "SAFE" in their Facebook statuses because so many friends and relatives were worried about them.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Padre Pio

More from Catholic Culture:

St. Pio of Pietrelcina was born in the southern Italy to a farmer and his wife.   He was very devout even as a very young child. In later life he said that he spoke with baby Jesus, Mary and his Guardian Angle when he was a l ittle boy. He decided to turn his entire life to Christ after witnessing the  miracle of a disabled child running to his mother.  At 15 he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Friars in Morcone and joined the order at 19.  He was ordained on August 22, 190 at the age of 22. To pay for his studies, Pio's father went to America to find work.

As a young priest he began to notice pains in his hands and feet and was afraid of what that might mean. While praying before a cross on September 20, 1918 he had a vision of Christ coming towards him bleeding from all of his wounds. When Pio became aware again, he too was pain from his hands, feet. Later these wounds would bleed too.  Near the end of World War II, Padre Pio offered himself in sacrifice to end the war, and received the side wound as well.

When Padre Pio was visited by a young Father Karol Wojtyla, (who later became Pope John Paul II), he admitted that the wound that bothered him the most was his shoulder wound - a wound that was never publicized and that no one else knew about.  This was the wound and suffering Christ received while carrying his cross.

As dramatic as the stigmata were, Padre Pio was most revered for his words of grace in the confessional, his ability to read the soul of a confessor, his unique gift with language and prophecy.  He died in 1968.

Favorite famous quotes by Padre Pio:

“Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God's heart. You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips, but with your heart. In fact on certain occasions you should only speak to Him with your heart.”

 “The longer the trial to which God subjects you, the greater the goodness in comforting you during the time of the trial and in the exaltation after the combat.”

" Pray, hope, and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”

 “Have courage and do not fear the assaults of the Devil. Remember this forever; it is a healthy sign if the devil shouts and roars around your conscience, since this shows that he is not inside your will.”
Follow Elena LaVictoire's board Liturgical Year on Pinterest.

I always marvel when God uses flowers in reaching people. I was reading Stories of Padre Pio and came across the story of Katharina asking Padre Pio's intercession to God for a sign of flowers, and then having an atheist lawyer, known for being very stingy with the beautiful flowers in his garden give her a beautiful bouquet!
More info on Padre Pio and his battles with the devil.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

That Girl with These Girls

Sometime over the summer, my 17-year-old daughter came upon the old TV series, "That Girl", starring Marlo Thomas, as part of our Amazon Prime membership. We watched a few episodes and then I asked her if she wanted to watch something else, and she said, "I really kind of like watching this mom!"
Image result for That girl
So "That Girl" became our summer binge show- the show we watched every night together during the summer, just me and my two daughters snuggled together on the couch. I think this show appealed to my older teen because it was about a young woman who was trying to support herself for the first time, which is something that my daughter is probably thinking about a lot right now as she enters her senior year of high school. My 11-year-old liked it because Ann Marie, the protagonist of the story, worked hard, was very energetic and always looked fantastic while keeping her apartment organized and neat as a pin!

Of course I was watching because I remembered the show. I wasn't even 10 when That Girl premiered in 1966. I remember being fascinated by the young woman bravely taking on new and interesting jobs and trying to survive as an actress. I also remember some of the controversy surrounding Marlo Thomas's decision to go braless in the last two seasons, which thoroughly annoyed my grandmother back then.

Interestingly, as we started to get deeper into the episodes, my daughters and I developed a different feeling towards Ann Marie and started to become more interested in her T.V. boyfriend, Don Hollinger, portrayed by the late Ted Bessell.  While Ann Marie was supposed to be the 60s version of Lucy Ricardo, Don was anything but another version of Ricky. In fact, Don was the closest thing we could remember of a character portraying all of the standards of love found in 1 Corinthians.

Donald was patient- to a fault. Even when Ann's schemes and situations started to annoy us while we were watching them, Donald remained the calm voice of reason, patiently trying to solve the dilemma.

He was always kind even if Ann wasn't particularly kind to him.

He did not boast - although he took his profession seriously and was very proficient at it.

He was not proud and in fact was willing to do a lot of self-deprecating things for Ann's sake.

He looked out for Ann's honor, even though her father was always sure that Donald was somehow debasing his daughter.

He was never easily angered even though we three would be screaming at the t.v. that he should just dump her and find another girlfriend!

And he protected her, many times, including two times in the first season when he put his life at risk to protect her.

By the end of season one, my daughters were smitten with Ann's boyfriend. I started thinking that if I ever wanted to find an example for my girls of what to look for in a potential husband using a cultural example (even if that example is over 50 years old) I couldn't do much better than Don Hollinger.

As the girls and I continued to watch the series at night, I started searching the internet for some interviews that Marlo Thomas has done over the years about That Girl.  It was clear that there was an agenda, which was to show young women that it was okay to be on your own, to be independent, and that you didn't need a man around.

Yet in many, many episodes, Don is the one Ann calls when she is afraid, or in danger, or lonely. He is the one constant that makes her feel safe and secure, and as the series progresses in to  Season 3and Season 4 my daughters and I were convinced that Ann would be lucky to marry him. Anyone would be lucky to have such a devoted mate.

The girls and I endured for all five seasons. I even bought  Season 4 and Season 5 because they weren't available for streaming prime yet. I looked ahead and knew how it would all end, but I didn't tell my girls.  They were still swooning from the brief longing glimpse Ann and Don shared from adjoining hotel rooms, the good morning cuddle from their night together in a cabin in the woods after surviving a scary plane crash, romantic yet chaste slow dancing all night after her class reunion, and Donald's willingness to go out of state to marry Ann because her father insisted it was the only honorable thing to do based on circumstantial evidence. Of course this all seems so innocent (and unlikely) now, but my daughters came to respect Don's honor.

In the first episode of season 5 Ann and Don get engaged. A few episodes later Don gets cold feet and my girls were totally on board with him just ending the relationship. But an honorable man like Donald Hollinger would never do such a thing; the engagement continued.

The two never do make it down the aisle though. Ms. Thomas let her political and sociological views interfere with good old fashioned story telling. Instead of a beautiful wedding uniting these two in matrimony, a culmination of what anyone watching this relationship for five years would have wanted for them, Ms. Thomas's Ann Marie drags her fiance to a woman's lib meeting. That episode was anticlimactic, dull and boring. She said that she got lots of letters from women thanking her for not ending with a wedding. I'll bet there were just as many who didn't write who were disappointed that they never got to see the big event that was teased for the prior seasons. Certainly 40 years later, my daughters were disappointed about the way it ended.
Marlo Thomas; ThatGirl Ep1-S1 Epilogue
Marlo Thomas says that just prior to Ted Bessell's death, there was talk of a That Girl reunion. The talk was that Ann would be working in community theater somewhere, probably Brewster, NY, and Don would have made it big as a divorced writer still in New York City. I'm glad that was never made, because it would have made the years from 1966 to 1971 on that show seem like such a waste.

But on the positive side, I think my daughters learned a little bit about what television was like back when their mother was a girl, and an idea about the fashions and the way people were. But most importantly, they saw an example of a gentleman and an ideal to keep in mind and measure against when choosing a date.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

cross country 2016,  Buckeye 105 Rosie

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St. Matthew

St. Matthew
St. Matthew via jnshaumerer on  Flickr   licensed under cc 2.0

Today is the feast day of St. Matthew- the first gospel writer. St. Matthew (also known as Levi) was the son of Alphaeus and worked as a tax collector. He was reviled for his work since tax collectors worked for Rome and were known for cheating the people and profiting from the collections.  This is probably why his shield displays three purses - three for the trinity and then of course the purses represent money collection.

It is St. Matthew who had the dinner for Jesus with the Pharisees and other sinners, for whom Jesus said, "I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners."

The Gospel of Matthew was written in Aramaic- the Jewish language at the time, and was written for a Jewish audience. After the ascension, Mathew is said to have gone to Ethiopia where he was beheaded.

In Christian Art, Matthew is usually depicted with the winged man or angel.
Several interesting items about St. Matthew:

In the Orthodox Church, tradition says that St. Matthew refused to die even after several attempts. He was first placed upside down and lit on fire, then sunk in a coffin in the sea overnight. The ruler of Ethiopia, who tried to kill Matthew, apologized to the apostle and converted to Christianity.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Simple Woman

Outside my window...
cross country 2016 tallmadge 220

The little mum that I saved from the garbage looks like it is going to reward me with a lot of blooms, very soon!

cross country 2016 tallmadge 218

My backyard impatiens blooms are doing well - even if my grass is not!  Especially after a long, dry summer.

I am thinking...
about the rest of the week. Rosie starts piano lessons back up - the first time in a very, very, very long time I will only be paying for one kid taking piano lessons. At one time,  I had four taking piano and one also taking guitar - most of the money I earned part time went towards paying for it all.

I am pondering...
Noah's math test. He took his first big college math exam.  He thought he had done poorly but was surprised to see that he scored 100%.  So I asked him, "Why did you think you didn't do well?"

He said that everyone seemed to zip through the test and was leaving early. In fact, he was one of the last three kids to finish the test.  Since it wasn't a timed exam, he stayed to double check his answers.

So I thought about this. In our homeschool, we didn't focus on timed, standardized tests. In fact, I didn't do many tests at all in math until the kids got to high school. But I know most kids spend a lot of time taking tests, and then preparing for timed tests. So I wonder if perhaps kids have been trained so well to do their tests quickly, that it goes against their nature to sit and really ponder a question or double check their work. Anyway, at least this time, it paid off for Noah to be a little slower than his classmates.

I am thankful...
for a beautiful weekend and for all the rain we got.  It was truly needed!

I am hearing...

Puppies. The lady next door has a dog that had puppies a few months ago. And every morning I hear them whining and barking because they want to get out of their little cages and play!

In the kitchen...
Sweet potato quiche. 

I am wearing...
Gray capris and a black T-Shirt.

I am going...
  • to walk or work out every day with Pfilates . I have to include some arm work out with this. 
  • Hoping to amp up my prayer life this week . 
  • to cut my carbs via the Wheat Belly Total Health: The Ultimate Grain-Free Health and Weight-Loss Life Plan  recommendations. 
  • See Rosie race on Sunday.
  • Start some heavy duty flute practice. 
  • Clean the floor in the basement with the new soap I bought for rubber floors - we'll see!
  • Take all of the staples out of the floor at the flip house!

I am reading...

From the Learning Rooms...

    Adobe Spark

    Exploring Creation with Botany
    Trail Guide to Bible Geography
    CYO Cross Country practice
    Children’s Choir at Oaks of Righteousness Co-Op

    Isadora: Senior year!
    Art Studies at Akrona Art
    Parish Choir St. Sebastians
    Izzy is taking a speech class in our co-op this year. We thought it would be a good idea for her to step out of her comfort zone because she is a little shy, and has always been a bit withdrawn about her speech. When Izzy was a very little girl, she knocked out all four of her upper front baby teeth and that really made it hard for her to learn to talk correctly and for years it was difficult to understand her!  She has overcome a lot. Last week, she gave her first speech- an informational speech, and she received an A-.  She was really happy and I was very proud of her.
    Spelling U See Per Dr. Holinga
    Saturday Soccer League

    A quote to share...

    "Everything HRC touches, she kind of screws up with hubris.”
    Colin Powell

    Favorite things...
    cross country 2016 151
    What do you wear when you have to go to mass and then jump in the car to travel 40 minutes to your sister's cross country meet, when it's still in the high 80s and very humid?  This!

    A picture to share...

    wm rosie
    Every race this season, Rosie has finished in the top 10.  She has it in her to be top 5 or to even win, but I think she has to make that leap in her own mind to do it.  Running is 90% physical, but that 10% mental is also crucial.

    First away meet for Noah - he finished solidly in the middle and is running a bit over a 6 minute mile pace.

    The fast runners are all in the 5 minute mile pace.  I looked at the times for the All Catholic Meet at Notre Dame, and all of the runners are running at blazing speeds.

    When I am taking pictures at a cross country meet, I usually try to get about 1/2 mile or so away from the start, when the runners start to thin out a bit and I can get easier individual shots. But it occurs to me, that that might not be the case in college!  These guys are running so fast that they most pretty much stay in a pack for the entire 8K!  I'll know soon. Within the next couple of weeks I'll finally be able to see one of Noah's races for myself.

    In the meantime, I really miss the old Firestone team.

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    Friday, September 16, 2016

    7-Quick takes

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    1. This will be my 4th  weekend in a row to facilitate a wedding at church. After tomorrow, I have two more in October and then I am done for the year! So far it has been rather uneventful - no one has screamed at me on the phone or to my face, no bridesmaid has gone running back to the bathroom because her period started and she wasn't wearing panties to avoid panty lines, no groomsmen threatened to punch me because I caught him drinking in the sacristy instead of escorting guests, and no one has passed out or required medical assistance.  All of those things have happened to me in years past.  The worst thing that happened this year was a flower girl dropped a glass vase that she carried up full of rose pedals, and it made a loud crash during mass. IF that's the worst thing that happens, I consider the season a success!

    2. Noah runs his second college meet this weekend.  I can't go because of the above mentioned wedding.

    He runs every day for practice. On Wednesdays he drives to school at 6 a.m. to make a 6:30 practice that includes running and circuit work of arms and abs. Even on his day off he runs 8 to 10 miles.

    Running like this is a labor of love because it is hard work with very little tangible reward. This year, I think is particularly hard for Noah, because last year he was running varsity and was one of the strongest runners on the team, and this year he is at the bottom of the barrel again.

    He'll improve. He always does.

    College running has a different feel to it though. When I say Noah is slow I mean he is running a five mile race in 30 minutes - something we mere mortals could never conceive of as being "slow." So at the meet when you see the slow competitors come in, they're still pretty dang fast!

    On the plus side, he is making friends on the team, he respects his coach, and he is marveling at his own times. There is something to be said for pushing yourself and finding your limits.
    2016WUXC_RickSayre_9-2-1621 (1)
    Photo credit - Dave Reimund via Shutterfly - who was kind enough to make me a member of the site so that I could get pictures of Noah even when I couldn't make it in time for the meet!

    3. I've been reading books about getting college scholarships. The best book I have read on the subject basically said - forget scholarships, buy real estate, and use that to fund your education.

    So that makes me feel better about the flip house - I just wish we could spend more time on getting the renovations done and getting it on the market.

    I did find one interesting scholarship that gives between $200 and $500 away to descendents of civil war veterans.  I know Noah has at least three such ancestors, but getting the documentation is going to be difficult.  Still, this particular scholarship kind of fascinates me and I think we should try for it just because it would be kind of neat to say, "I got a scholarship because my great-great-great grandfather fought for the Union army in the Civil War.

    4. Even though my son is commuting to college, it does feel weird around here without him.  Izzy doesn't drive yet, so all the driving Noah did for me last year, is up to me again this year.  Taking care of the dog is also on us, although I honestly think she makes it outside more under our care, because three people are taking her outside all of the time!

    5. My granddaughter had a great summer!  We went to the lake every Monday, the library movie every Tuesday, a library show every Thursday, and then various parks or splash pads on Friday.

    But with school starting in earnest, I don't have the time to do those types of things every day - and consequently she is not tired enough to take a nap every day!

    I was wracking my brain thinking of things to do with her to have fun and wear her out and then yesterday I discovered an easy solution by accident!  We put her to bed, surrounded her with books, and she wore herself out looking at them!

    I suspect the trick is going to be keeping the books interesting and new!

    Luckily, I own a lot of picture books!.
    August 2016 227
    6. Izzy read  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and has a  renewed interest in the Harry Potter series. So we were thrilled to discover these small books by J. K. Rowling, based on different characters in the series that gives a lot of back story and are fun and fast to read!

    7. Mr. Pete is in the middle of the busiest season of the year for him - marching band season - where everyone needs their horns repaired and back before the football games on Friday night! He leaves the house at 6 a.m. and gets back around 8 p.m.   I rarely see him.

    He is pretty pleased with himself this year - he is NOT renting musical instruments out. Last year he did rentals and a few people quit paying him, or their cards started declining payment, and then the people with the instruments just disappeared and Mr. Pete doesn't have time to track them down.

    But selling good used instruments at a bargain price seems to be working out much better and he's already sold quite a few.

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