Friday, November 30, 2012

St. Andrew's feast day

Wishing all the Andrews in my life (many good priests among them) a happy, holy name's day. Here's a great idea from Daria*: pray the novena below daily until Christmas.  

Saint Andrew Christmas Novena

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
*thanks for the link!

The Perfect Storm of delight...

Grammar, Dickens and Savage Chickens. Shamelessly stolen from Alan Y. on Facebook.

See more of the brilliant Doug Savage's work here. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Oh yessssss

Foyle's War  is back on TV! I'm watching Season 1, Episode 1 at this moment. But this is funny. During the fundraiding (Freudian typo)... I mean fundraising break, the host appealed to PBS's Canadian viewers. He said that PBS is enjoyed all over Canada (which is true), even as far as Nanavuk! Which is false (because it doesn't exist). Hint: I know that some Canadian place names can be tricky to pronounce, but if you want people to give you money, you need to try. :)

Nunavut (NOO-na-voot)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Blogging Lite

Due to health concerns. Nothing serious, but two trips to the ER in four days (and being hospitalized 500km from home--while supposedly on a fun weekend!) is enough for me. Silver lining: I've lost 5 pounds, and I get to take a medication derived from belladonna. How cool is that? In the meantime, these guys will be happy to keep you company.

Friday, November 16, 2012

"Runnin' on Eggnog": Steyn's Catchy Christmas Anthem, or Most Frequently Used Phrase from the Next State of the Union Address?

If you needed another reason to be glad you bought his books, Mr. Steyn shares with you some Christmas cheer:

In honour of SteynOnline's Tenth Anniversary,
here's a complimentary Christmas download of

Mark's very own Yuletide anthem

- a small cyber-stocking stuffer to thank you for shopping at the SteynOnline bookstore over the last decade.

Free stuff, and I didn't even vote for him!

I feel as giggly and breathless as an Obama Whitewash House reporter.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dedicated to all apartment and condo dwellers

Especially those who, like Mr. Beazly, are not able to appreciate the aromatic vegetable that you peel one layer at a time, and sometimes it makes you cry.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Do the Drood

Lately I have had the pleasure of watching "The Mystery of Edwin Drood", and now I'm reading the novel. As any Dickens expert knows (and I learned last week) "Drood" was a mystery indeed, because the author died before the work was finished. A screenwriter was enlisted to finish the story for the BBC series, and even though I liked it well enough and didn't know exactly where Dickens left off and the screenwriter began, by the end it seemed plain that the lines being spoken hadn't come from the same mind that gave birth to Mr. Boffin and Dick Swiveller. Still, I recommend it - not to purchase, but it's a good loan if your library has it. Even if you don't like the ending, it's a treat to see Durdles and Mr. Sapsea in the flesh.

As Mrs. P. has remarked, it is a tragedy indeed when death writes the final chapter of a great work of art.

What really satisfies man’s deepest desire?

The Holy Father on "Rediscovering a taste for the joys in life." We can never get too much of that. Here's wishing everyone a great start to the Year of Faith.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Oh, if only I could.

Knit your own reindeer. Where else? Nordic Thoughts.

I used to know how to knit; I did a bit as a child, but was never very good at it. I did not persevere through the teen years (in the 70s and early 80s? Are you kidding? Not cool). Now I know it's not cool to be totally useless when it comes to doing things like this.

So cute!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I'm not sure which should make me more grateful

Having daughters who can play Chopin, or having daughters who are willing to play Chopin. Both, I guess. Especially since I don't have a musical bone in my body, and, unlike Lady Catherine de Burgh, am pretty sure that, if I had ever learnt, I should still not be even remotely proficient.

Miss P #4 is working on this waltz at present. She doesn't have it up to speed yet, but then, next spring's music festival is a fair distance away. Did I ever mention that I love Chopin?


Lest we forget

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Don't even doubt! And yet, I do.

This is why the Lord invented spam filters, and praise Him for it. These showed up in my email spam recently.  I imagine the links they provided had some graphic and revealing pictures from the "very nice family agency."

Hi there sweet...

Would you mind to finding a young and nice girl of 20?

My name's Katya. I am from Ukraine.
Have you ever heard that the loveliest girls in the world live in my country? Don't even doubt!
I want to invite you to a very nice international family life agency where hundreds of single people are looking for their future lovers.
I long for finding a special person for serious relations or even family life.
Aren't you the one I am searching for?

Click here  (NOT) 

Here's the second one:

Hello dear DumbOldHousewife, do you remember how we communicated with you?Long ago you could not see, I am Sveta - with Russia, do you remember me?
Come to my page (NOT) - let's talk, I'm waiting!

For the record, I already have a young and nice girl of 20 among my daughters. The only thing I long for finding is an end to pornspam.


If you need to be reminded about what really matters

...and don't we all, from time to time? Then visit Mommy Life and view these tributes to the late Catholic mom-of-12 and blogger Barbara Curtis. They are both very touching. Be forewarned and have a box of kleenex handy.

This one is a video made by her children.

This one is a tribute written by her husband. Question for contemplation: if I died suddenly, what would my husband write or say about me? What would my children say? Getting offline and going to be with them now.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Who knew that cabbage could be beautiful?

Nordic Thoughts, that's who.

Fabulous ink drawing 
from an 1889 book telling you everything you could possibly want to know about cabbage.

TGIFWTA: this will be my last post on the topic of politics

... at least for a while. Yesterday morning, I read this post over at Deborah Gyapong's "Foolishness to the World" blog. She writes:
Hello all, I am spiritually fortifying myself after the depressing re-election victory of the worst president in American history since Jimmy Carter.
I’m going to the gym and getting on with life after spending way too much emotional energy and time on the Internet riveted to the election.
I said to myself: "My feelings exactly!" I'm not really sure why I felt so compelled to stay abreast of the campaign, or spend so much time reading the (always depressing, sometimes delusional) commentaries and rantings of various writers and bloggers. Especially since I'm not American. 

All I know is that I need a break. As an Advent project (but starting immediately, as in, yesterday), I have decided to go on a starvation diet when it comes to reading about politics. I have already deleted all the political blogs and websites from my "Top Sites" page (even Mark Steyn! so you know I mean bidness), and have determined to read only stuff about faith, mothering, homemaking, and art: you know, the things that actually matter and will really save the world.  Also possibly education (but that gets political too, alas).

Here are the Avett Brothers. I love this recording, because, as one commenter pointed out, it sounds like it came from an old gramophone.

Saddest part: politicians no longer have to "leave town" when their "bad parts start to show"; now they get elected because of them. In other words, the weight of lies no longer brings you down--not in this world. 


There is a DOH on Twitter

But it is not Mrs. Beazly and I; it is yet another Catholic, conservative mom of many. That's good. There can't be too many of us about. Especially on Twitter; it's all hers, as far as I'm concerned. I don't particularly care for Twitter, mainly because I don't really have any idea what it is or why it exists.

I have occasionally felt that we ought to have a Twitter presence, but I have always refrained for these  reasons: for someone to "Follow" you, you actually need to be going somewhere.  Secondly, it would probably be too humiliating to have oh, zero followers. Thirdly, there is so much hatred and abuse and foul language on Twitter: do I really need that in my life? No, I do not.

In fact, I probably need to spend much, much less time on Facebook and blogging and being online as well--and much, much more time praying, spending time with my children, appreciating art, literature and music, exercising, doing housework, and baking pies.

 Mr. P's Birthday pies, October, 2011

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A small snippet of wisdom

from St. Peter Julian Eymard:

Love shows us what we have to do. It takes us out of ourselves, makes us emulate the virtues of our Lord, and withdraws us from this world into Him. The reason why so many Christians get no farther than the threshold of virtue is that they will not break the chains that hold them back and will not give themselves up confidently to our Lord's guidance. 

Thanks, EWTN, for providing the daily Mass readings and the daily quotations from the saints.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Carry on

Is what the Sultan recommends. "Game Called on Account of Darkness." And how profound that darkness is. There is no positive way to spin this: either there was massive fraud involved, or else the majority of a nation just voted to destroy itelf. Tragic.

Just in case it's anyone's birthday today.

More fun at Savage Chickens

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A hymn for election day in America

My prayers are with you all. No matter who is victorious, it is nevertheless true that we cannot ultimately put our faith in men or princes. Hymn from this morning's Office of Readings.

Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates;
Behold, the King of glory waits;
The King of kings is drawing near;
The Savior of the world is here!
A Helper just He comes to thee,
His chariot is humility,
His kingly crown is holiness,
His scepter, pity in distress.
O blest the land, the city blest,
Where Christ the Ruler is confessed!
O happy hearts and happy homes
To whom this King in triumph comes!
Fling wide the portals of your heart;
Make it a temple, set apart
From earthly use for heaven’s employ,
Adorned with prayer and love and joy.
Redeemer, come, with us abide;
Our hearts to Thee we open wide;
Let us Thy inner presence feel;
Thy grace and love in us reveal.
Thy Holy Spirit lead us on
Until our glorious goal is won;
Eternal praise, eternal fame
Be offered, Savior, to Thy Name!
George Weissel, 1642. Music: Psalmodia Evangelica, 1789.

The times they aren't a-changin'.

Bob Dylan says it,  so it must be true!

He then said he thinks Obama will be victorious Tuesday. Don't believe the media," he said. "I think it's going to be a landslide."

What media has Bob been watching? Is he getting his forecast from Rainy Day Woman #12 or #35?

Throw the bums out, America, no matter what their political stripes.
Not Bob's most brilliant lyrics, but true nonetheless.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Editor or prophet?

I don't make up the titles (or taglines) for my Record columns. The editor does that. When this item appeared in my Facebook news feed, I clicked on it because it looked interesting... because it looked political (ironic, and you'll see why if you read the piece.) Turned out it was mine. (Blushing, and not with modesty, false or otherwise.)

Blogs be damned, because right here, right now in my life, it's more important to do the duty of the moment. Serious food for thought.

Emphasis with nothing to emphasize!

Soon, I promise I'll stop comparing him to The Steyn and just bow before the Sultan for his own sake. In the final hours, Daniel Greenfield sums up the Obama campaign.
There could hardly be a better sample of the style over substance politics of the style over substance candidate than a press release issued touting the energetic qualities of its exclamation point. Sure the Romney campaign might be gaining in Florida, Ohio and Virginia, but Team Obama is getting vigorous with its punctuation...
[...]With the first debate, Team Big Bird realized that wouldn’t work, and Valerie Jarrett got out the cattle prod and put an exclamation point at the end of Obama.
Heh. Read it all.

Carey Haugenhaaschutte, call your office.

Or your tree branch, or wherever you do your campfire song composing. Peter Rosengren at The Record (yes, he's my editor) with a short but pointed piece on modern liturgy. He ventures that some music today in Australian parishes is not just "contra-liturgical" but toxic. Ouch. But true (and for Canada too.)

Groovy. Love the imagery of the guitar nudging the Eucharist off-centre. Prophetic.

Punching the shark.

Forget about jumping the shark - the new trend is to punch it.

They're lucky the shark didn't react differently. (Jump straight to 16:06  for the relevant clip.) Let's just hope the sharks don't get wise and take up boxing.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hear, O Israel

Beautiful prayer/Scripture. It was part of today's Mass readings.

The Shema (שְׁמַע)

Deuteronomy 6:4-9


שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד׃ וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶךָ׃ וְהָיוּ הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיֹּום עַל־לְבָבֶךָ׃ וְשִׁנַּנְתָּם לְבָנֶיךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ בָּם בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ בַדֶּרֶךְ וּבְשָׁכְבְּךָ וּבְקוּמֶךָ׃ וּקְשַׁרְתָּם לְאֹות עַל־יָדֶךָ וְהָיוּ לְטֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ׃ וּכְתַבְתָּם עַל־מְזוּזֹת בֵּיתֶךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶיךָ׃


Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD: * 5 and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thine heart: 7 and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thy house, and upon thy gates.

Thanks to for the above. More about The Sh'ma at

Ho, Goatherd, ho!

I recall with fondness the times we sang folk songs in elementary school. They don't do that any more in my home town (though music is alive and well in many schools, thanks to a few dedicated teachers). I would give much for a few copies of those song books we had as kids. I'm sure the school has long since trashed them (along with the Dickens novels). Gotta make room for the paperback vampire fic and so forth.

But no recriminations this Sunday. Other than a fervent prayer or two that God's will be done on Tuesday,  I'm not even going to mention U.S. politics.

Not today. Instead, time to catch up on a bit of calming loveliness from Nordic Thoughts. All things Nordic. Rapidly becoming one of my very very favourite blogs.

These pics make me want to reread Heidi.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I love him cuz he uses "rhubarb" as a pejorative term

And with good reason.

Moreover, when he uses the phrase "boy howdy" you know you're in for a jolly ride. My buddy Theo at the Daily Caller.  "The presidential race is over, cue the conspiracy theories"

while there are some smart people on the left, it requires almost no thinking to be a liberal. Simply absorb the political sentiments you hear in almost any Hollywood film, or on most any television program or newscast and, presto, you’re in. Repeat these nostrums at school or work and you will be rewarded. Augmented by the emotional satisfaction of the left’s perpetual righteous indignation, this dynamic becomes self-fulfilling and very cozy.
And of course, it begs the question: will 'rhubarb' soon be classified as a dog-whistle racist code word?

Friday, November 2, 2012

All Souls Day

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. 
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. 

A Tale of Two Americas

If Ansar al-Sharia and their various allies around the globe have their way, Lena Dunham would be treated exactly as was Malala Yousufzai, the 14-year old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for the crime of urging girls to read.
And it is the Tyrone Woods of the world who are out there every single day where their lives are literally on the line doing their damndest to protect a 26-year-old Lena Dunham's right to act like a "Girl" on HBO.
But where is Dunham politically? Oh right. She's with the guy who knew Tyrone Woods was trapped there in Benghazi determined to rescue his colleagues from some seriously deadly war-on-women types.
Damning. Jeffrey Lord at American Spectator

Noah as psychotic misanthropist infanticidal environmentalist

Screen-writer Brian Godawa gives an emphatic thumbs-down to the as-yet-unreleased movie about Noah and the ark. In short, a waste of $150 million. Find out why:
"Noah" paints the primeval world of Genesis 6 as scorched arid desert, dry cracked earth and a gray gloomy sky that gives no rain – and all this, caused by man’s “disrespect” for the environment. In short, an anachronistic doomsday scenario of ancient global warming. How Neolithic man was able to cause such anthropogenic catastrophic climate change without the “evil” carbon emissions of modern industrial revolution is not explained. Nevertheless, humanity wanders the land in nomadic warrior tribes killing animals for food or wasteful trophies. 
In this oppressive world, Noah (Russell Crowe) and his family seek to avoid the crowds and live off the land. Noah is a kind of rural shaman and vegan hippie-like gatherer of herbs. Noah explains that his family tries to study and heal the world whenever possible, like a kind of environmentalist scientist. But he also mysteriously has the fighting skills of an ancient Near Eastern Ninja.

Trust me, it gets better (ie. worse). Hollywood does it again. Absolutely, totally, fundamentally clueless.  And of course, evil.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Won't you come to see me All Saints' Day?

Van will.


Steyn and the Sad, Strange Little Mann

 Have you been keeping up with Steyn's latest suit? As if it needs to be said, a PhD is no guarantee that a man is honest. Or even smart. (And neither is a Nobel Peace Prize, while we're on the topic.) I feel a little guilty watching this unfold, as though I'm observing a piece of large machinery bearing down on a yappy little dog, and no one can convince him to get out of its path. As the Simpsons' Milhouse said, "I fear to watch, yet I cannot turn away."

Hey, Mr. Steyn, I've got an idea for your next Christmas album cover:


Do you need to lose weight?

 I do. I’m one of those women with an “apple” figure. Actually, more like a caramel apple, with two sticks (legs) instead of one, and (on any given day) surrounded by sugar.

‘Apple’ figures pack fat on the torso: back and visceral organs (as opposed to ‘pears’, who pack it on the hips and bum). Apple is the body type most at risk for heart disease (already present in my family of origin) and as I am closer in age to *cough* 50 than 30, I really have to get serious about achieving a normal weight for my height (right now I’m about 30-35 pounds undertall).

One of my sisters who is quite health-conscious (and not undertall) told me about this BBC documentary: How to be Slim (6-Parts—about an hour total) on YouTube.

I am usually sceptical about watching such program because these days, so many reports and studies try to blame obesity on all kinds of crazy things (like McDonald's restaurants or civic bylaws), but I must say, this doc had me by Part 1 with its stunning declaration that:

They in Glory Shine

Happy Feast of All Saints!

For all the Saints, and the rest of us who need to hear the sweet notes of that distant triumph song....