Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The funniest part is

I want one of these.

I'm still enamoured of unfitted kitchen design. I was looking at some fancy, expensive cabinet brochures the other day, and thought, "These kitchens are all ugly, boring and completely free of personality," which is a good thing, because I can't afford them anyway.  In the end (and I do mean The End, because I pretty much expect to die of old age by time my kitchen renovation is completed), I will have achieved something akin to "shabby chic." Perhaps "shabby eclectic" or "shabby rustic" or  "shabby scrap and salvage" or just "shabby." In which case I should probably just keep what I have right now and save a whole bunch of money.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

December Turned to May

What sweeter music can we bring
Than a carol, for to sing
The birth of this our heavenly King?
Awake the voice! Awake the string!
Dark and dull night, fly hence away,
And give the honor to this day,
That sees December turned to May.
Why does the chilling winter’s morn
Smile, like a field beset with corn?
Or smell like a meadow newly-shorn,
Thus, on the sudden? Come and see
The cause, why things thus fragrant be:
‘Tis He is born, whose quickening birth
Gives life and luster, public mirth,
To heaven, and the under-earth.
We see him come, and know him ours,
Who, with his sunshine and his showers,
Turns all the patient ground to flowers.
The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is, we find a room
To welcome him. The nobler part
Of all the house here, is the heart.
Which we will give him; and bequeath
This holly, and this ivy wreath,
To do him honour, who’s our King,
And Lord of all this revelling.
What sweeter music can we bring,
Than a carol for to sing
The birth of this our heavenly King?

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

A most beautiful, merry and blessed Christmas to our readers!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Speaking of quivering with excitement

Recognize anyone special in this trailer, Mrs. P.?

May contain more than a trace of Peanuts

 Mark Shea directs our attention to 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'.

Thank God Charles Schulz stuck to his guns (#1-3), that he followed his artistic sensibilities even when they conflicted with his personal taste (#4), and that he sought to glorify Christ in his art, as we all should in every work we do (#5). The rest, as they say, is history! (I'm also glad 'ACBC' is no longer a Coke commercial.)

We now enjoy "A Charlie Brown Christmas" on DVD, but every time I hear the opening chords of "Christmas Time is Here" I think of the excitement that ran through our house when those once-a-year broadcasts aired: "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", "A Christmas Carol", "The Sound of Music".  You always hoped the CTV station from Regina wouldn't be coming in too fuzzy when "The Sound of Music" started on Christmas Eve!

I've added to my list of favorites as I've grown older: "It's a Wonderful Life", "Meet Me in St. Louis". For me, this is still the best moment from them all:

Theo on the Agenda

I enjoyed this interview between two of my favourite Canadian journalist-guys, Steve Paikin and Theo Caldwell, as they discuss the U.S. presidential race.  Theo thinks it's a two-horse race at this point: Newt and Mod-hair Ken Romney, whereas I hope, along with Pundette, that Rick Perry still has a shot (but then everyone knows that Catholic mothers who wear pants all think alike). Anyway, Theo could talk for 22 minutes about stale cheese and I'd still listen with rapt attention. He is as insightful, eloquent, witty and dapper as ever. (Have I ever mentioned how stupid SUN News network is for cancelling his show?) Don't worry, Theo, I'm not planning to dye my hair red or start wearing a black spandex unitard any time soon.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's the marshmallow on our figgy pudding.

Still quivering with excitement from our stay in the "Listener of the Day" slot, we Housewives now find ourselves tucked into SteynOnline's Countdown to Christmas. Woo-hoo!

A great read for anyone who has been wondering how Mark made the leap from wordsmith to warbler.

Demography is only half the equation

You also need Faith in God. Most other kinds of "Believing" just won't do. Feel sorry for Europe by all means, but be mindful that they consciously chose their fate.

From a fabulous-looking site: Mommy Life

The decision of one or more generations to not have children and walk away from their faith has ultimately affected the whole economy of a country. For this reason our compassion needs to be properly placed. Since this experience, I have chosen to focus compassion towards a society who has lost faith in God and who have only placed faith in themselves, causing a failure and collapse which extends to all of us financially and socially. I pray for an increase of faith in society. Only then will there be economic prosperity.

h/t Pundette

I'm having chicken for Christmas

More here

Monday, December 19, 2011

Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds

 This fall we took our first trip to New York City.  We had a great time even though about 50% of the souvenirs we bought were umbrellas.

Our hotel was in Secaucus, New Jersey. It was beautiful. It's not always easy to find a single room that holds five people, but the Hyatt Place has them.
(This is only half the space - there was also a sitting area with a pull-out couch.) Plus, the room bore the hallmark of luxury: the TV had more inches than years I've been alive.

Break out the eggnog!

Christmas comes but once a year - and so have our links from SteynOnline since we started blogging in 2009. I am very excited to be today's Listener of the Day.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

And speaking of chocolate

Bernard Callebaut, Canada's world class chocolaterie.

Forget the diamond anniversary ring. I want this for Christmas. I had to resist the temptation to file this bookmark under "Faith and Devotions" and instead opted for "Shopping". I especially enjoy the interactive chocolate map.

It's Rummage Sale day at DOH

In honour of the Fourth Sunday of Advent, here is a column that was published in the December, 2009 issue of Catholic Insight. 

The Spirit of Christmas Present

I have an embarrassing admission to make: as a long-time devotee of 19th century English literature (and Dickens in particular), I have only just recently read “A Christmas Carol.” I can hear the incredulous gasp all the way from Ottawa, where my sister lives. (A decade ago, she gifted me with the book, and now I can tell her that I have finally got round to reading it.) I have no defence, other than to say that my procrastinator’s disposition knows no limits.

Friday, December 16, 2011

This year Mark Steyn has released a Christmas album AND accurately predicted the devastation of society as we know it.

Do you even have your Christmas shopping done yet?

You know, I still remember the moment I found out Ronald Reagan had had this whole other life as an actor before he became President of the United States. I can just see my kids having the same reaction years from now with Mark Steyn: "You mean he wrote books, too?!"


Hello, SteynOnline readers! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thanks for spreading some Christmas cheer our way, Mr. Steyn!

If you need to have this explained to you, you are not a nerd. Congratulations!

If you think it's really funny, you are classified as nerdoid.

If it makes you angry, then I'm afraid nerdifaction is complete and you should just go back to working on your Klingon costume once your spasms have subsided to the point where it's safe to use scissors.

Thank you,  Mark Shea.

 Mrs. P weighs in. The only way this joke could be more complete is if Leonard Nimoy was behind Patrick Stewart, making rabbit ears (with the Vulcan salute, of course).

Jim Cuddy reminds me why I love him.

I was a little disappointed with Blue Rodeo's last album. Not so with Jim Cuddy's latest solo work.

Skyscraper Soul. Get it. Listen to it. Love it.

I also love Jim Cuddy because in the notes of every Blue Rodeo and solo album he tells his three children and wife of twenty-some years how much he loves them.

And because he reminds me of Woody the Cowboy.

 Separated at birth.

Am I right?

This week the Ottawa Citizen was running a contest in which Cuddy fans could win tickets to his February stop at the National Arts Center, as well as a library of all his CDs. One lucky contestant will also get to meet the man himself after the concert. Now,  I already have all his CDs and my tickets to the concert, but I still kinda wish I had entered. Jim Cuddy has written the soundtrack to my life, and I would have looked forward to the melancholy ballad he might have penned after meeting me: "Nervous Mumbling Idiot Girl from Ottawa":

Oooh, I was tired when I met her,
But I smiled and said hello,
She said somethin' that sounded like "Newtnk apptr ak lrrr,"
And that's when I knew it was time to go....

In other news, Blue Rodeo is about to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Homeschooling mom moment of the day

Mom: Are you girls enjoying the Authors card game?
Misses Pinkerton: Yes!
Mom: Are you learning lots?
One of the younger Misses Pinkerton: Yes, I've pretty much memorized all the titles of the books by Jane Eyre!

Understanding Islam

In a bid to help explain why some Muslim clerics think bananas and cucumbers are evil.

Dr. Sanity:
The men of Islam are obsessed with sex beyond even the wildest imaginings of the Western male's mind. And the obsession is extremely bizarre and pathological.
Consider for a moment a culture that would prefer to let little girls die in a burning building than to risk having them run out of said building not clothed in properly modest dress; and tell me that such a society is less preoccupied with matters of sex than we are in the West.
Enormous effort goes into veiling women, dressing women modestly, silencing women, covering women's bodies, punishing women, controlling women, reviling women, humiliating women, beating women, subjugating women, avoiding the dishonor of women, keeping women uneducated, policing women, infantilizing women--in short, dehumanizing women -- all under the guise of "protecting" and "honoring" them as they relegate them to animal-like status.

h/t Deborah Gypong 

Snippet of Steyn

Oodles of humour (and insight) in just 25 words.

After 30 years of promoting "diversity" and "dissent" and the "courage" of "artists" who take "bold", "transgressive" "stands", everyone in Hollywood now thinks exactly alike.
h/t FFOF

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Time for some Advent inspiration

This is a different tune than the one I'm used to, but it is very lovely. And of course you can't beat this sort of choir, not even with a haugenhaas arrangement.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

If I had unlimited kitchen storage space

And unlimited funds, I would probably get me one of these:

A cathedral bundt pan. Who knew such a thing even existed? There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio...

Update: And this... omigosh, too cute! (You simply must have a medieval village surrounding the cathedral). Can't you just see these in a gingerbread colour, dusted with icing sugar?


Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Lady of Guadalupe,

Pray for us.


Too busy playing with new toys. Yes, I know, it's not Christmas yet, but I'm apparently going to cook a turkey for the big family gathering this year, so I want to try this thing out before the fact. (Very unlike me, I know.) Today, we're making the Mother of All Chili recipes.
And the best part (besides getting a better price than this, which I did) is, I didn't have to order it online or drive 200 miles to buy it. Picked it up at my local Co-op grocery/hardware store after Mass today. It feels good to shop locally (even though the dang thing was probably made in China...)

Monday, December 5, 2011

New MacBook update

It's proving to be really handy! It's great for distracting the kids while I get my writing and correspondence done on the Acer. They could play with that amazing Trackpad all day. And they'd have to, wouldn't they, because it didn't come with any games! (What can you possibly say about a computer that doesn't have FreeCell?)

Oy vay! What can you say about a company that doesn't know when to use adverbs?

One of the great things about having a blog hardly anyone reads

Is that you can re-post things and nobody minds. Such as the lovely photos of the Delicious Things of Christmas Past. (We haven't done any baking yet this year, but as soon as we do, I'll put up some snaps).

Tealight holder on right not baked by me. 

Oops! How did this get in here?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Not really happy posting for a Sunday in Advent

Will it impress anyone if I say that I was just as skeptical as The Steyn about the so-called Arab Spring? Probably not. Wish we'd both been wrong.

 In the so-called "Facebook Revolution," two-thirds of the Arab world's largest nation is voting for the hard, cruel, bigoted, misogynistic song of Shariah.
The short 90-year history of independent Egypt is that it got worse. Mubarak's Egypt was worse than King Farouk's Egypt, and what follows from last week's vote will be worse still. If you're a Westernized urban woman, a Coptic Christian or an Israeli diplomat with the goons pounding the doors of your embassy, you already know that. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Jim Reeves

Because I just feel like listening to his mellow, mellow voice.

Advent inspiration can come from anywhere.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Advent

I'm only four days late with this wish, but may you have a peaceful, fruitful Advent season.

...more peaceful and fruitful than mine has been so far. I'm embarrassed to say that we've been so busy running around doing relatively useless things, I have not even had time to set up my own Advent wreath. Peace on earth? I would like fifteen minutes of it on my own schedule...

Here, courtesy of EWTN, is a link to some daily Advent devotions.