Friday, December 19, 2014

Call me a music snob

But if there are two phrases that should never ever ever ever ever ever appear together in the world of sacred music (or indeed any world known to God or man), they are "Kenny G." and "Ave Maria." There are simply some instruments that should not be used for Marian hymns and this is one of them. A thousand times, NO.

I should not even be posting this video, but we must remember that Advent calls for some penance as well as rejoicing and whatnot. I dare you to see how long you can listen before your eardrums start bleeding.


This guy will get to heaven before I do.

Because he's using his talents. I honestly wish I had this much enthusiasm for cooking, homeschooling and writing. Your morning cup of awesome.

Thanks to Miss P #5 who sent me the link.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

O Adonai

O Lord of Israel

Isaias 11:4-5
But he shall judge the poor with justice, and shall reprove with equity the meek of the earth: and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. And justice shall be the girdle of his loins: and faith the girdle of his reins. 

Isaias 33:22
For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king: he will save us.

I'm a little late posting, because our internet was knocked out all day. Power blips will do that for some reason. Also, I was ferrying Miss P #5 to and fro a final exam at the local high school, and also doing laundry, and also baking Buttermilk Bread, and dinner rolls and sticky cinnamon buns (tried a Lazy Man's version today--will report if it turns out; if not, we will never speak of it again).

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

O Sapientia

O Wisdom

The countdown to Christmas Eve has begun! Today we pray the first of the O Antiphons. Read more about them here. Let us now listen to this beautiful rendition of Veni, veni Emmanuel by the King's Singers:

I love these guys; their Christmas album (on which this is the first track) is fabulous.

Isaias 11:2-3
And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness. And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord, He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears.

Isaias 28:29

This also is come forth from the Lord God of hosts, to make his counsel wonderful, and magnify justice.


I wonder if John Lennon had any possessions

I imagine he did.

His widow (the second one) is reportedly worth $500 million. I see that I missed the anniversary of his death, Dec. 8. Oh well, it's never too late to pray for the repose of his soul.

It's not easy, but you have to try.

"despite the millions John was making, he kept Cynthia and Julian on a financially-tight leash — they got an allowance of £2,400 a year in maintenance until his death. 
Things got worse when John was murdered and Julian was just 17.
After John divorced Cynthia he kept her and Julian on a financially-tight leash
After John divorced Cynthia he kept her and Julian on a financially-tight leash
For Julian wasn’t named in John’s will and it took him 16 years — and the threat of a prolonged court case — to persuade Yoko to hand over any of the Beatles’s millions."

Read more:
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Just so we're all on the same page

Christ is the Prince of Peace, and there can be peace only by embracing the Judeo-Christian definition of peace. Sorry, but that's the truth. And there is only one Truth. (See above.)

"When negotiating peace with other cultures it’s a good idea to make sure that the words you are using mean the same thing."  Daniel Greenfield. Read it all. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Fit Files: Major Update

Oh my, where do I begin? Some of you may know that I had a heart-health scare in the fall of 2013. (Here's a link to the archived column I wrote about it in the Australian Catholic newspaper The Record --paper verison, R.I.P.; it's entirely online now.) Recap: my family has a history of heart disease, so I was ordered to undergo a stress test before some routine surgery. I flunked it.

"Space" is a relative thing

OK, now I just feel silly for so often complaining that my house isn't big enough.

Of course, you couldn't raise 7 kids here. But it gives one hope that it is possible to live well, even if you don't own a McMansion. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Like that kid said in that movie

They're baaaaaaaaaaack. The Dumb Old Housewives are blogging again. More to follow (we hope).

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The best servant in your house

Is apparently a well-designed Hoosier. But I'll bet having a flesh and blood maid or two doesn't hurt either.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Just when you think

You've heard all the most beautiful hymns, the online Divine Office comes along with one you've not yet heard. In searching for the hymn, I'd googled the Choir of King's College on YouTube, but this is listed as the Choir of Gonville and Calus College, Cambridge (of whom I'd never heard, but they are a beautiful choir). I hope this hymn blesses you. Blogging continues to be light because (euphemism alert) family life has become a challenge. Please keep us in prayer if you feel so inclined. Happy Easter; He is Risen.

Of the Father’s heart begotten
Ere the world from chaos rose,
He is Alpha: from that Fountain,
All that is and hath been flows;
He is Omega, of all things
Yet to come the mystic Close,
Evermore and evermore.
By his word was all created;
He commanded and ’twas done;
Earth and sky and boundless ocean,
Universe of three in one,
All that sees the moon’s soft radiance,
All that breathes beneath the sun,
Evermore and evermore.
He assumed this mortal body,
Frail and feeble, doomed to die,
That the race from dust created
Might not perish utterly,
Which the dreadful Law had sentenced
In the depths of hell to lie,
Evermore and evermore.
O how blest that wondrous birthday,
When the Maid the curse retrieved,
Brought to birth mankind’s salvation,
By the Holy Ghost conceived,
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
In her loving arms received,
Evermore and evermore.
This is he, whom seer and sybil
Sang in ages long gone by;
This is he of old revealed
In the page of prophecy;
Lo! he comes, the promised Saviour;
Let the world his praises cry!
Evermore and evermore.
Sing, ye heights of heaven, his praises;
Angels and Archangels, sing!
Wheresoe’er ye be, ye faithful,
Let your joyous anthems ring,
Every tongue his name confessing,
Countless voices answering,
Evermore and evermore.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Perfect for Monday

We just came through a stormy weekend, but (thankfully) only in the metaphorical sense. Usually, whenever my husband leaves on a week-long work trip, we actually have an actual blizzard.

Last Friday: kids going in one direction (music lessons); I was going in another (annual physical), husband preparing to go in a third (Colorado, a weed conference. No, the kind you kill with herbicide). And our water heater breaks down. Doesn't just quit, but is corroded and leaking. Hubby has to come home from work (which he can't afford to do, given he'll be gone the entire following week) to do damage control and call the plumber. Pull up carpet, open basement floor drain, drain heater, shut off all water to the house (heater's cold water intake valve was also corroded and leaking), mop water from furnace room floor, then receive the news that the plumbers may not be able to make it that day. They did, and they replaced the heater (Deo Gratias).

I heard this song on the radio during my 45 mile drive home from the doctor's office, and chuckled at the title (it being somewhat apropos). I'd never heard of these guys before (they're from Glasgow, which explains the kilt). They've been around since the 90s, which suddenly makes me feel as though I've been in a time warp. Given my age, I guess I'd better get used to that.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday

Miserere mei, Deus: secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dēlē iniquitatem meam.

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness:
According unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

It's Chopin's birthday

At least that's what he and his family claimed. The parish records say Feb. 22, but March 1 is generally accepted to be the more accurate date. (I figure if his mom didn't know his birthday, no one did.) Chopin is perhaps my favourite composer. His music is sublime. And I also love solo piano. This is a piece that my 17-year-old is currently playing. I can't decide whether I like the leggiero thingys or the Doppio movimento section best (yes, I sit and look at the score when I listen to the piece--such a music geek for someone who can barely read it). I remain in awe that someone to whom I gave birth can play Chopin.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why I Drink Alone

Well, it's just one of the reasons...

Been too long since I visited the wonderful Savage Chickens blog. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

And another thing about the 50s

There were no such creatures as "helicopter moms" or kids wearing helmets at the playground. Sheesh, this looks dangerous. Gives me a crazy thrill just looking at it.

Photo found at Nordic Thoughts.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Sometimes a beard is just a way to keep your face warm.

Just ask Mr. P, who grows one every winter (autumn, actually), and shaves it off every spring. But if it's going to become a political statement (make that a politically-incorrect statement), I might try to persuade him to keep it on all year round. Beards are starting to grow on me (and I mean that in a metaphorical, not menopausal, sense).

The link adds to the enormous list of reasons why 90% of modern university programs should be flushed down the toilet. But what more can you expect from a guy who's a grad studynt in womyn's studyys?

 Give me real men any day of the week. And twice on Sundays.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

An "affinity for quality"

This is interesting, once you get past the sort of cultish freakiness aspect of it. The Rockabilly community/lifestyle in the U.S. I can relate to much of what the author is saying: many of us North Americans have a visceral contempt for the "disposable “Made in China” culture" in which we live, and feel somewhat angry that we're forced to participate in it, BECAUSE OUR OWN COUNTRIES NO LONGER MANUFACTURE ANYTHING.

An affinity for quality is a good thing, as is the desire to repair and keep things long-term rather than throwing them away (I always knew "recycling" was 60% scam and 39% It Makes Me Feel Good and Environmentally Holy Whilst Still Embracing a Wasteful Consumerist Lifestyle). 

But this common sense approach to life wasn't confined to the 1950s--it existed through most of human history, probably right up until the 1970s. Indeed it is arguable that the 50s in America (with its burgeoning middle class, plethora of available goods and explosion in manufacturing) exacerbated the Industrial Revolution-spawned consumerism that has led to mental diseases like clutter, hoarding and obsessive-compulsive recycling. To wit: I'd be willing to bet that many, if not most in the Rockabilly community (like the guy in the video at the link) are compulsive collectors. High-quality clutter is still clutter, and hoarding is still hoarding.

However, I sympathize on numerous levels. Vintage stuff makes (many of) us feel warm and fuzzy because it takes us back to a time when we felt safe, happy, carefree, and secure (Translation: home = family = love = God). These Rockabilly folks (like the rest of us) are collectors --and participants in this "community"-- because they are searching for something that will fill their souls.

Well, it's a start.

And yes, Mrs. Beazly, there's a book. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What's great about mid-January

Is, quite simply, that the month is HALF OVER. 

 Alas, this sentiment sums up the entirety of Advent and Christmas 2013 for me. Low points included:

  • sickness. We've had colds, flus, coughs, sore throats etc. non stop since Dec. 16. 
  • bad weather (WAY too many consecutive days of wind chill temps in the -30 to -40 C range) 
  • due to both of the above: numerous missed events and/or cancellations: recitals, music lessons, meetings, church services, appointments
  • my kitchen being dismantled until Dec. 21 (try to guess how much baking or other culinary prep I accomplished)
  • extended-family issues: nuff said 
  • being stuck in bed with stomach flu on Christmas Day (we missed a multi-family celebration, and the turkey was elsewhere, so my husband and kids literally had to scrounge the larder for Christmas dinner)
  • getting in on the local epidemic: rushing a daughter to the ER with breathing difficulties on New Year's Day (eventually she tested positive for H1N1, the influenza strain that has been killing people in my part of the country. She is fine now.)
  • just not enough time: I think Advent was only ten or eleven days long this year. At any rate, I have never been so poorly prepared (in every way imaginable) for Christmas in all my life.

But make no mistake, there were many highlights too, for which one must be very grateful. These were: 
  • having my daughter NOT die (or even have to be hospitalized) for H1N1 flu (thanks, EMTs, Doc, and ER nurses, lab techs, all willing to work holidays!)
  • spending wonderful time with visitors from afar, some of whom I have not seen in years, and some of whom I had never met in person (pre-school nephew and nieces from Oz)
  • the turkey turned out well (I cooked one New Year's Day to make up for my family missing the Christmas Day bird)
  • finding the source of my chronic back/neck pain and discovering it is CONQUERABLE (thanks, physiotherapy profession and referring physician! You guys and gals know your stuff!)
  • my kitchen ceiling is FINISHED (long story, and probably interesting only to me and other reno-nuts)
  • a fancy new coffeemaker (best hostess gift ever, from Oz relatives)
  • getting addicted to Duck Dynasty (blame credit for this too is laid at the feet of those zany Australians)
  • anything containing alcohol
  • Salvation re: the Incarnation
For your perusal and edification, David Warren's dissection  of the January Blues. The Reason for the Season is the reason for all seasons, human existence, and eternity. Would that we could hearken.