Monday, May 12, 2014

Facebook purge...

I was having a conversation with my husband about Facebook, while I was conducting a purge of my "friends" list.

Now, I don't hate the people that I purged, in fact I quite like a number of them.

I just don't have time to keep up with the minutia of their lives.

I tend to keep my list at around 100 people.  This lets me stay in touch with those I really need/want to stay in touch with.

I read somewhere that you can really only keep up with a certain number of people.

You might be acquainted with many more, but distantly.

That's ok.

You don't have to be BFFs with everyone you've ever met, or even with everyone you come into contact with now.

There are only a certain number of hours in the day, and only a certain amount of time (that goes WAY too fast) in which to raise your children to be healthy, and happy.

Periodic culling of my "friends" list helps me keep my priorities in order.

I also make it a policy not to have a person on my list who has over a thousand friends...with two exceptions.  (Both use facebook in their careers-so they get a pass from my policy.)

I figure if someone is trying to keep up with a thousand people, I can make their life a little easier by not making them try and keep up with me.

I'll probably go on this theme for a bit...I'm currently taking stock of all the habits and activities in my life.

What is productive, what isn't.

I think if more people did this periodically we'd have a lot fewer stress-related illnesses out there, and a lot more healthy families.

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Algebra...meh

Ok, I want to know who had the brilliant  idea to put letters in math.

I also want to know why I have to take this class to get my music degree.

I can confidently say that in my 45 years of life I have NEVER had to find a y-intercept or the slope of a line outside a classroom.

Just sayin'.

I could turn this into a large rant about the failures of the modern system of education, but I won't bother.

I'll just say that I've got 14 weeks left of this class, and I predict it's going to be a long 14 weeks.

Prayer would be much appreciated.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 2, 2014

I have more time now...

Well, at least more than I did a week ago.

The semester is over and I must say I'm glad.

My professors were very nice and I learned a lot.

Some of the other students were great although I could have done without the gigglers in the front.

I have an algebra class starting next week which is the last non-music class I have to take, unless you count the two religion classes, which I don't.

I'm hoping to work in the field of Sacred music after all, and so the religion classes are directly applicable.

One class this summer however, will give me a lot more time to do things with the children and around the house.

This is good.

It will also give me more time to rant on this blog about the things that are important (and not important) to me.

I'm looking forward to it.

I hope you are.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Priorities...

I feel lately as though I'm stuck in Orwell's 1984.

 I find myself constantly shocked by circumstances and situations that seem to be in reverse order.

Let me emphatically state right up front...I am NOT judging the state of anyone's soul here.  I'm simply commenting on what I'm seeing, and that it startles (and sometimes scandalizes) me when I do. 

 For instance...

There are so many people putting vast amounts of time and energy into secular pursuits, who state "I'm too busy" when asked to engage in those same activities at church.

I'm shocked that families invest vast amounts of time and energy into secular choirs or orchestras, but do not give anything to the music ministry at their church. Or give a token amount of time, a couple of times a year.

I'm shocked at tradesmen who repair roofs, or are electricians, or are financial experts who don't give of those skills to their faith community or expect to be paid a king's ransom to use those skills for the church at which they worship.

Now please understand.  I'm not saying that a person should be on every committee and spend every waking moment involved in church activities.  I certainly don't. 

I'm also not saying that people shouldn't be paid a just wage.  But on the other hand...if you know that your church is hurting for money, why is it such a foreign concept to give your time and talent? 

What I am saying, is that I find it more than a little sad when parents teach their children that they should give their best to secular pursuits, but not to their faith community.

Charity begins at home you know...isn't your faith community a home to you?

I get overwhelmed by this sometimes.  I'm so disappointed by what I'm seeing in the outside world, that I have the urge to retreat to my house and stay there. 

It's not that I'm judging anyone else's choices...at least I'm not trying to...

It's that seeing the out of whack priorities makes me sad and a little frightened for my own children.

I've heard all the stories of 1950's style Catholicism and I get that it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows.

But at the same time...it seems to me that people had their priorities in a better order.

God first, then family, then the secular world.

That order seems to be reversed today.

I hear stories of people who spend much of their time in the car driving from this activity to that activity, in order to help their child reach their full potential.

Ummm...I thought the idea was to raise saints.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that children shouldn't have any hobbies or interests to pursue, just that no child, needs six or seven such interests.

We have six children still at home.

They are each involved in a couple of church activities, and even at that, I worry that they are doing too much.  We may or may not continue to be so involved next year, depending on the impact it has on family life and prayer this year.

Each child has one activity that doesn't directly involve church. I've got children taking piano, violin and voice.

Three of them also want to study organ, and if we can get the funds together, we'll do that, but only because they want to be able to play for Mass, and in a couple of years the organist for our choir will be graduating college and may not be staying in town.

This may require the children to drop another church related activity, but they know that and have said they agree with this policy. 

However...we don't do 4-H or sports or other clubs. We have done those things in the past, we just aren't doing them now.  It would take too much time away from family time.

Anyway...back on topic...like any parent, I want good things for my children.  I want them to grow up and be adults in a world in which priorities are in the proper order.

Sometimes I feel that I am in a distinct minority in that wish, even among my very faith-filled friends.

I do wonder sometimes if it's MY priorities that are backwards, because I seem so out of step with so many people.

But then I realize...I'm not out of step with the one person who matters the most to me.  If and when I get out of step with HIM...then I've got a problem. Until then...I'll just keep on with my current policy, without apology.

Thanks for reading... 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What was food is now a pet...

Well.

We had originally intended to butcher all of the pigs we are raising for meat.

However...our swineherd (the 13 year old boy) has fallen in love with one of the females.

She was originally named Bacon.  He re-christened her Miss Piggy.  (Not very original, but hey he's 13 what do you want?)

Yesterday, he entered a very heartfelt plea (complete with tears) to spare her life and keep her as a breeding sow.

He's fine with her pen-mates going off to the butcher in three weeks.

He's downright giddy at the prospect of the beef animal going in.

Dancing with happiness at the prospect of the Turkeys going through the process that will end with them in the freezer.

It's just this one pig you see.  She's special.

I asked what makes her special and he very honestly replied...

"I just really like her".

Ok.

So we had a family meeting and fortunately for my son (and the pig), it was agreed.

We'll have less pork in the freezer, but my son has a new pet.

At least this pet will provide meat (in the form of the piglets she gives birth to) down the road.

I'm ok with that I guess, but now we have to winter-proof the pig hutch.

Not something I was planning to do this late in the year.

Want to make God laugh?  Tell him YOUR plans.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saturday morning...

Saturday mornings at our house are interesting.

Unless Himself is working, we try and stay home, the honey-do list is ALWAYS longer than my arm.

The Cory Stewart show is on WCSR, and always entertaining. (Although it is entirely possible to get musical whiplash when listening.)

Before we turn that on however, we pray a rosary.

Sometimes it's just Himself and I, sometimes a child or two wakes up and joins us.  I love it when they do.

Praying with the children first thing in the morning sets such a wonderful tone for the day.

They are trying to wake up, forget which mystery we're doing, yawn in the middle of a prayer.

Himself and I smile a lot.

I like that.  It starts my day by reminding me what's important.

God has entrusted these little ones to my care.

I need to take the time and spend the time.

Some "expert" some where coined the phrase "quality time" years ago, to assuage the guilt that so many working parents felt.

Baloney.

It's not quality time, it's QUANTITY time.

Whether you work outside the home or not, your children need you to spend time with them.

Time talking with them.  Time praying with them.  Time cuddling on the couch with them.

I get it that life is busy.  Mine is too, and I DON'T work outside the home.

It doesn't matter.  You don't get a pass.

Take the time,  MAKE the time.

Turn off the radio when you are in the car and TALK to your children.  Or pray together while on the road.

Turn off the television in the evening and read them a story instead.  (My teenagers will even sit and listen to The Hungry Thing when dad reads it aloud.)

If you have stuff to do around the house, invite your children to do it with you.  Some of the neatest conversations I've had with my kids have been while doing grunt work around the house.

I know you've heard all this before...too bad.  Hear it again.

Thanks for reading...

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Commentary on a visit to Walmart...

Otherwise known in our house as "The Tenth Circle of Hell", because I am firmly convinced that if Dante had experienced Walmart, his vision of Hell would have had a tenth circle.

I don't like to shop there.  I avoid it as much as possible, but living in a small town, they are the only store that carries certain things.

So I went.

The shopping part itself wasn't horrible, I found what I needed and salespeople didn't bother me with the pseudo-friendly desperation to sell me something that I run into at department stores.

The other customers on the other hand...there are some things that you can't un-see.

The fact that I am unable to bleach my brain clean of what I witnessed prompts me to state the following...

Size 24W spandex should not exist.   (No REALLY it shouldn't)

Evidently parents no longer teach their daughters about pantyhose.  Ladies if you just HAVE to wear something that tight...buy some control top pantyhose (all-in-one...no lines) and use them. (I could give this same advice to some people at church.)

It's just as evident that parents no longer teach their sons that walking around with your underwear showing isn't macho...it's just stupid looking.


Just because it's warm out does NOT mean that you have a God-given right to wear Daisy Dukes.  NO ONE has the right to wear Daisy Dukes (not even Catherine Bach herself).   You don't need to show that much leg.  Really you don't.  It may be "attractive" to some men, but ask yourself if it's a man who will respect you.  


Same goes for short skirts.  I'm not talking just above the knee...I'm talking mid-thigh or higher.  Who are you trying to attract?  And for what purpose?  Skirts that short used to only be worn by prostitutes plying their trade on street corners in seedy parts of town.  When (and more importantly WHY) did they become acceptable for non-prostitutes to wear?

Neither do you have the right to wear spaghetti straps.  (Especially if you are anything larger than a B cup ladies.  If you are big busted...give those girls some support!!!!) 

While we're talking about spaghetti straps...have you ladies never heard that it's trashy to walk around with your bra straps exposed?


Last but not least...big bosom-ed women should not wear V-neck shirts.  Just SHOULD NOT!!!!

People...you aren't big boned.  Take the pork rinds out of your cart and buy some vegetables.  And NO they can't be dipped in batter and fried.  And lay off the beer.  Go for a walk.  (Yes I know some people have medical conditions.  Trust me, that many people do not.  Some have a 'lack of self-control' condition.)

While you are waiting for the vegetables to take off those extra pounds...buy some clothing that covers all the bits and blobs of you currently hanging out the top, and the bottom or oozing out the sides.

Guys...Scratching yourself in public, using vulgar language and belching loudly and then laughing about it  is NOT in the least attractive.  You don't look like a stud when you do those things.  You look like an idiot.

Ladies...screaming at your children to shut up because they don't enjoy spending hours wandering around Walmart does NOT impress anyone with your parenting skills.  If you can't keep your temper in public, and become verbally abusive towards your children...it does cause people to wonder how much more abusive you are in private.

Pajamas are not appropriate attire to wear in public.  If you can't get dressed for the day...don't go out.

Buy a full length mirror and put it next to the front door.  Take a good look at yourself before you leave the house...then maybe the rest of us won't have an urgent desire to bleach their brain.

I'm 45.  Which I'm pretty sure is not that old.

So...when did people stop caring what they looked like in public.  No really.  When did this happen?

It's almost as if society collectively decided to throw away the notion that it matters how we present ourselves in public.

Why is that? 

Thanks for reading...