Saturday, December 03, 2016

7-Quick Takes

 photo seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213_zps0988a8ef.jpg
Join the other Quicktakers at This Ain't the Lyceum

1.  I went to go type something into my computer last week, and nothing happened. I tried unplugging the keyboard from the USB port and putting it into a different port, but nothing happened. Then I noted that there were no lights on the keyboard either - after nearly 10 years, it had died!

Luckily, I had a brand new keyboard sitting around waiting to take its place, because I knew this day was coming sooner or later!

My new keyboard feels so funny. Yea, I know it's cleaner than the old one (note to self- start washing your hands every time before sitting down to type!) but also I had worn away certain letters of the old keyboard - note that N and M are almost totally gone!!

Good bye old friend- Izzy has some use for you in a craft she is planning, but I shall miss you as I get use to this new keyboard.
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2.  My granddaughter is becoming a crafter. I can't keep up with her crafting needs!  I bought some ornaments for her to make from the Oriental Trading Company. I figured that 12 ornaments would be enough to keep her going until Christmas - instead, she finished them all last week!
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Here she shows her Uncle Noah how to work with these foam ornaments!
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#CSAdvent challenge

She did such a nice job I used them as part of the CSAdvent challenge on Instagram!

A photo posted by Elena LaVictoire (@elliemom26) on

3. I have played two of my many concerts this week.  I think they went fairly well. The piece pictured below has been challening because of its many runs and technical issues, but I have been able to memorize most of it and that makes me feel much calmer when I perform them. Two more performances next week, then on to Midnight Mass - and then nothing for a while.
#csadvent prepare

4. Noah did his very first Christmas Concert for his college on Friday night - it was wonderful.  Here's a clip of my runner doing actual choreography!!

Next week is his last week before winter break. He has three exams to do and then he will be done. So far he's pulling all As and tells me that his first semester of college was easier than his last year of homeschooling. I think that's because as a homeschool mom, I was a little terrified of leaving something out. I'm happy that he was prepared enough to be able to handle his course work and have some fun too!

5. My nephew moved to Chicago this week.

Three years ago my personal vocation of motherhood was a little dented and bruised. My older children weren't living up to the Catholic values we had tried to instill in them. One had moved out, a second was moving in with his girlfriend over our objections, and a third had to leave without finishing high school. The empty places around our dining room table were stark reminders to me that I had failed as a mother to form, protect and pass the faith on to my own children.

Yet at that very same time, two of my godchildren needed a place to hang out regularly, and a family to envelop them. They came every night and most weekends  and in a way, taking care of them helped me to heal and took some of the ache out of my heart.

Now it's time for my godson to spread his wings and try out the new job he is so enthusiastic about. I'm proud of hm and excited to see where this journey takes him, yet grateful for the time we had together. By helping him, he was helping me.

6. One of my greatest pleasures in life is watching t.v. with my daughters. There was a time, after the birth of my fourth son in 9 years, that I didn't think I would ever have a daughter. And now I have two. This winter we are binge watching old episodes of I Love Lucy on Amazon - and they are thoroughly enjoying it!

Truth be told- I'm getting a kick out of it too!

I remember the comedy of Lucy, but I didn't remember how fashionable she was!  These old clothes from the 50s are awesome!

7. I've blogged a few times about my battle with onychomycosis - toenail fungus. After dealing with ugly, yellow, thick and painful toenails for a few years, I finally decided to do something about it. Last year I went to a podiatrist and had the nails lasered four different times. That seemed to help the infection, but it didn't totally clear it up. My podiatrist then prescribed Jublia, a topical solution to apply to the nails to help finish clearing the infection.

Jublia is expensive. It retails between $400 to $1000 or more for a tiny little bottle. I have been able to get coupons and discounts for my prescription and the most I have ever had to pay was $40. But the manufacturers also have a limited on the prescription to 12 refills. I have just used my last refill and still I had a few nails that just didn't look completely clear. I am also afraid of ever having my nails become re-infected.

Then by chance, I saw this podiatrist's video about different cures on Youtube and he cited a study on Vicks Vapo Rub as having a 28% cure rate for onychomycosis. That's even better than Jubilia. So I tried it and it seems to be clearing up the last little stubborn bits that I had. Mr. Pete started using it too and even he is having some good results - who knew that a little $8 bottle of something we could get at the drug store over the counter, would be as effective as these expensive cures!

Still, I think that my infection was severe enough that the laser really helped it and I'm glad I had the opportunity to try Jublia and restore my nails back to about 90% normal. If this cheap cure can take me to 100%, that would be great!

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Thursday, December 01, 2016

My Domestic Links of Interest

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A look at why Connecticut has the most disaffected Catholics - and what we can learn about that.

Sources cited other reasons as well: the church fails to connect with younger, better educated Catholics, who have rejected Catholic doctrines on sexuality and culture war issues. Younger Catholics often consider themselves spiritual, not religious and seek connection to God outside church structures. Liturgies are frequently uninspired and homilies lack impact. In a northeastern state with liberal tendencies, the church's attention to various culture war issues such as opposition to gay marriage is seen as retrograde. And there are old issues such as a male-only priesthood and church governance concerns.

JFK - defending the electoral college!

“Presidential Lottery: The Reckless Gamble in Our Electoral System,” called Kennedy “the most powerful voice in favor of keeping the electoral system.” According to Michener, Kennedy believed the Electoral College prevented any one region from having too much power, and also helped with checks and balances.
“I am very strongly opposed to any chance in the constitution at this time,” Kennedy also said in 1956. “The present system has served us well. Its advantages are well known. But the consequences of the proposed amendment, however desirable they may appear to be, cannot be foretold.”

Remember when Hillary said it would be horrifying if Trump didn't accept the election results?

FDA admits that the DTAP causes autism?
According to the FDA’s online Biologics Blood Vaccines document (between pages 6 to 11), a vaccine manufacturer admits on its package insert that their vaccination can cause autism as one of many adverse reactions.

Here’s an excerpt from approved vaccines by the FDA and their adverse events.

” – Adverse events reported during post-approval use of Tripedia vaccine include idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, SIDS, anaphylactic reaction, cellulitis, autism, convulsion/grand mal convulsion, encephalopathy, hypotonia, neuropathy, somnolence and apnea. “

Research on breech births in an upright position - to avoid Cesareans

new and groundbreaking research study has found that, “Upright vaginal breech delivery was associated with reductions in duration of the second stage of labor, maneuvers required, maternal/neonatal injuries, and cesarean rate when compared with vaginal delivery in the dorsal position.” (Louwen et al 2016)
The Frankfurt upright breech birth study compared the outcomes of women who gave birth to their breech babies while upright – which means that they were either on all fours, leaning over the back of the bed on their knees or (occasionally) standing – with women who were in a dorsal position (on their back) and with women who had planned caesareans. The results show that, “When upright position was used almost exclusively, the cesarean rate decreased. Serious fetal and neonatal morbidity potentially related to birth mode was low, and similar for upright vaginal deliveries compared with planned cesareans (OR 1.37, 95% CI 0.10–19.11).” (Louwen et al 2016)

A couple on the passing of Fidel Castro:

Remembering Castro's War Crimes.
Whitewashing of Castro's legacy by the left. 
Obama and Trump on Castro's Death- what a contrast!

Finally this should be no surprise- heck if the government can make physicians with 10 or more years of education sit down to type out their own medical reports, then a little ole company like McDonald's can certainly find a way to do away with counter workers!

Self-serve Machines coming to McDonald's in response to the call for $15/hour wages. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wordless Wednesday


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The Feast of St. Andrew - start of the Christmas Novena!

Today is the feast of St. Andrew, apostle, and martyr.

St. Andrew was St. Peter's brother. St. Andrew actually heard of Jesus first and took his brother to meet him. What a wonderful example of the importance of Godly siblings in our lives and the positive influence they can have on us!

After Jesus ascended into heaven, the apostles scattered all over the known world to spread the Gospel message. Andrew went to Greece where he was eventually martyred. Andrew felt that he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as our Lord, so his cross was set up diagonally like a big X. This type of cross is called "St. Andrew's Cross." (Andrew's brother Peter also felt unworthy to be baptized as Jesus was and was consequently crucified upside down.)

Interestingly, when the power struggles between Rome and Constantinople were going on, a bit of lore surfaced that Andrew had actually founded the church in  Constantinople!  If that had been true it would have given some credence to the idea that Rome and Constantinople were equal in power, but this story seems to be sketchy.

St. Andrew is to the Scottish what St. Patrick is to the Irish, although as far as we know, the saint never set a foot on the isle! There are two legends explaining this. The first is that St. Regulus had a dream that was to move the remains of St. Andrew to the far corners of the world for safe keeping. Apparently he only got as far as the eastern shore of Scotland before he shipwrecked, and the stop where he came ashore is today's St. Andrew's.

The other legend is that the Bishop of Hexham:
"who was a reknown collector of relics, brought the relics of St. Andrew to St. Andrews in 733. There certainly seems to have been a religious centre at St. Andrews at that time, either founded by St. Rule in the 6th century or by a Pictish King, Ungus, who reigned from 731 - 761."

The Feast of St. Andrew sets the beginning of Advent! The first Sunday of Advent is always the Sunday closest to this feast day!

 It's a great time to say the Christmas Novena!
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(It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (30th November) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.) 

+MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York 
New York, February 6, 1897 

Printable version here!

St. Andrew was the patron of fisherman (so a fish dinner to celebrate would certainly be appropriate!) and unmarried women. (There were a few neat traditions associated with that. Apparently if an unmarried woman throws her shoe at the door on St. Andrew's day, if the toe points outward, the woman will be married and out of the house within a year!

For more links and info, see below!

St. Andrew Catholics Online.

Catholic Culture - St. Andrew

St. Andrew's Christmas Prayer 

traditional bannocks recipes from scotland biscuits cakes and sweets

Baking for Britain Blog.

What are Bannocks?

Tea Time with Scones and Bannocks.

More info on St. Andrew from St. Ann's Helper

St. Andrew's Connection to Scotland!

Coloring pages of Scotland!

Martyrdom of St. Andrew

Death of St. Andrew 

The Journeys of St. Andrew

Some info on St. Andrew and some fun Scottish customs.

Catholic cuisine

Scottish Short Bread

Fish craft

Statue of St. Andrew at the Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose, California

From Father Lawrence Lew, OP - from Flickr
St Andrew's Shrine in Edinburgh

On the restoration of the hierarchy in Scotland in 1878, St Andrews and Edinburgh was made the Metropolitan See of Scotland. In 1879 Archbishop Strain received from the Archbishop of Amalfi a large portion of the shoulder of the Apostle Andrew. It was placed in a silver gilt shrine donated by the Marquess of Bute.The second relic was given by Pope Paul VI to the newly created Scottish Cardinal Gordon Joseph Gray, in St Peter’s Rome, in 1969. Cardinal Gray was the first Scottish Cardinal in four hundred years.In 1982 both relics were housed in reliquaries designed by Betty Koster and cast by George Mancini and placed in the altar to the north of the High Altar. The chapel, originally dedicated to the Sacred Heart, now serves as the National Shrine to St Andrew, successor to the Shrine destroyed in 1559.
See Father's sermon for the day here. 

More links for St. Andrew on Diigo. 

Prayer to St. Andrew:

O glorious St. Andrew, you were the first to recognize and follow the Lamb of God. With your friend, St. John, you remained with Jesus for that first day, for your entire life, and now throughout eternity. As you led your brother, St. Peter, to Christ and many others after him, draw us also to Him. Teach us to lead others to Christ solely out of love for Him and dedication in His service. Help us to learn the lesson of the Cross and to carry our daily crosses without complaint so that they may carry us to Jesus. Amen.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Simple Woman

Outside my window...

Not exactly outside my window, but at a nearby park when Rosie was getting ready to run her last two races, we got a visit from the blimp!!


I am thinking...
about Mr. Pete's class reunion that we attended over the weekend. It was so nice to see people we haven't seen in decades, and renew acquaintances and hear new stories. Overall, it was a very successful weekend.

I am thankful...
for a safe trip and for a nice Thanksgiving weekend.

I am pondering...

my old hometown of Flint, Michigan.  Parts of it are lovely and look like they are hanging on.  Some friends of ours who live in Flint seem to be dealing with the water situation well with filters and regular testing. But some other relatives rely on the bottled water and there are water distribution centers all over town.

This is one of the houses on the street Mr. Pete grew up on.  There were hundreds of houses like this one.
Flint class reunion 2016 001
I am hearing...
Rosie practicing her piano

In the kitchen...
Chicken and bacon barbecue as we say goodbye to my Godson/nephew this evening before he heads off to start a new life in another state.

I am wearing...
Gray workout pants, black knit top with 3/4 length sleeves, and my new gray jacket with deep pockets that I wear all the time!

I am going...
One of my favorite things...


Calvin and Sarah sent me a picture of the advent wreath I sent them.  He said they love it!  I'm so happy.

I am reading...

I am teaching the class for co-op next semester.

From the Learning Rooms...

    Adobe Spark

    Reading and English list via Bravewriter and other sources

    Exploring Creation with Botany
    Trail Guide to Bible Geography

    Reading- The Yearling

    Children’s Choir at Oaks of Righteousness Co-Op

    Isadora: Senior year!

    Art Studies at Akrona Art
    Parish Choir St. Sebastians
    Spelling U See Per Dr. Holinga
    Saturday Soccer League

    Izzy art

    A quote to share...
    This is more of a passage than a quote, but I just loved the description of Grandma Hutto's cottage!
    The oleanders led to a gate in a white picket fence. Grandma Hutto’s flower garden was a bright patchwork quilt thrown down inside the pickets. Her small white cottage was bound to the substantial earth with vines of honeysuckle and jessamine. Everything here was dear and familiar. Jody ran down the path through the garden; through the patch of indigo, in feathery, rose-lavender bloom.

    Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan. The Yearling (Aladdin Classics) (pp. 104-105). Aladdin. Kindle Edition.

    wisteria cottage

    Theresa via Flickr, licensed cc

    A picture to share...
    These are from Holy Redeemer Church in Burton, MI, where I attended jr. high school back in the 70s. We finally got to go in and see what it looked like on the inside.  It has changed drastically but I think for the better!
    Holy redeemed church. Burton Michigan


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