Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Unfortunately, I'll be seeing a bunch of those people again tomorrow. I say unfortunately because we will be at a funeral. My son's Godfather lost his mother yesterday morning and the funeral is tomorrow. I told my sitter Friday not to stay open for me Monday, since I wasn't working; but that if she was open, I might leave the little one with her for a while and go shopping. She wasn't sure what other people's plans were, but she hadn't planned to be closed. I'll call her in the morning and see if she has kids. If she does, the little one will go there and I'll take the big ones to the funeral. If not, I'll probably leave them all home; but I think the big ones are old enough to start going to funerals of people they know, or who are close to those they do. I wouldn't pull them out of school to go, and I'm not taking the little one, but since we are all off, and the family has been close to us forever, I think they should go.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
One genre I've explored lately has been Christian fiction. Most of these books are written by women, and I'm sure the audience is mostly female as well. They are largely romance novels with chase heroines who discover faith as well as love. They are generally right on par, literature wise, with the paperback novels you buy in the grocery store or Wal-Mart, some of which (especially lately, those written by Debbie Macomber) are also on my reading list. This past weekend however, I found one that is a step above that. It was still an easy read with a happy ending, but the characters were well developed, the story compelling and while the end was never really in doubt, the story was anything but sacchrine sweet. The books was Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It was the Biblical book of Hosea re-written and set in Gold Rush California. In both books the hero follows God's command and takes a prostitute as his wife. In both books, the prostitute leaves him several times over, and he seeks her out and brings her back.
It was interesting to read this story of a woman who keeps fighting against all the good someone is trying to give her and who, much as she hates her old life, isn't ready to give it all up. How much do I fight against what is good for me, what God wants for me?
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Sisterchicks is about two college roommates and longtime friends who go to Hawaii to celebrate their 40th birthday. Between the time the trio (without husbands or kids) is planned and the time it happens, one of them ends up pregnant. Anyway, the book chronicles their week in Hawaii and how they decided to embrace changes in their lives. Its a happy read but has some interesting thoughts in it.
Both are on my Bookmooch list
Friday, November 23, 2007
It was nice to see her writing again; it was kind of like hearing her voice. When I was in college, long distance calls were still expensive, and therefore, at least in my family, pretty rare. Mom wrote to me every week, and I wrote back. Its funny, I asked her to save my letters since I figured they'd be a nice diary of that time of my life, but I never thought to save hers. Now, I kind of wish I had. I miss her so much.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
When I was opening the package today she was there and asked for the pink book. I gave it to her, figuring that she'd tire of it soon enough, since it is totally devoid of pictures. She took it into her room and picked it up in there and started to read it. I set it down, she picked it up and took it back. I put her to bed and reclaimed my book. I read in bed for a few minutes before leaving for adoration. I left the book on my bed and when I got home it wasn't there anymore. I went into the bathroom and noted that she'd been in there. I went into her room and there next to her on the bed was the pink book. Since I'm finished with it, I guess I'll give it back.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
People who write stuff for the parents of handicapped kids sometimes say that you have to let yourself mourn for the kid you didn't have, and maybe that's what I was doing tonite, because after communion the tears flowed. At this point, we really don't know what the future holds, he has some real strengths--he is kind, he is smart, he isn't easily led to do things he knows he shouldn't (one advantage to not noticing coolness). On the other hand, school gets more difficult every year. He isn't showing the ability to stick with a task or self direct. He has no social skills. It's hard to see him holding down a real job. Sometimes he seems almost normal, other times it seems like he is so different from the other kids. The last few months have been really tough especially.
In tonights homily Fr. was telling us that ways of dealing with problems like anger, passive agression, avoidance etc. were harmful to us and didn't help--what helps is asking for help in prayer and of people we love. I have been praying about this more lately, I guess I need to keep it up and let Him lead us on this journey.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
One thing I found interesting is what she told her best friend. She said "They need me". I know the book is fiction, and it is set in pretty much the modern day, but I wonder if a lot of us wouldn't be happier if we concentrated on meeting the needs of others, rather than worrying about what we can get. My dad is into geneology. During his research he found out about this guy who lived around the turn of the century. He was a widower with small kids. One day he went to this strange woman's house. Before he knocked on the door, he looked in the window. What he saw must have been ok, because he knocked on the door and when she open, he introduced himself as a friend of a friend and then proposed. Though she hadn't been a widow very long, she accepted. The fact of the matter was they needed each other. He couldn't take care of the farm and watch the kids and fix the meals, and she couldn't watch the kids and make the meals, and work in the fields at the same time. They managed to have several more kids, so they must not have found each other too rupulsive.
Anyway, the book is on my Bookmooch list and is a good fluffy read. However if sex scenes offend you, don't get it, there are a couple, but they happen after marriage.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Right now we are trying to decide where my son is going to school next year. The school he attends now offers only an academic curriculum. They offer basic (not as hard as college prep) classes, but next year, if there he will take Algebra II (he got through Algebra I, with the help of a tutor, with a D- in summer school), Chemistry (I got through it with a C, which for me was a bad grade), a foreign language (I took Latin only, and he isn't interested in trying that), English, Religion, US History, and two other classes--and there don't seem to be any vo-tech type classes on the list. Basically I suspect that the classes that will give him the most trouble are classes I'm least able to help him with--and least interested in re-learning. If I could figure that it would be a lot of work, but at the end of the road he'd be ready for college if that was his choice, then maybe I could see it as worth it. However, realistically speaking, his grades aren't going to land him in any college except our local community college--and my guess is that they'd put him in remedial classes. On the other hand, I could send him to our local public school. Its reputation isn't the greatest, but I've generally been happy with the public schools we've used, though none of our friends has every set foot in one (unless they are people we've met through school). They have vocational courses, which I figure should at least get him a job when he gets out of school. He can still take the academic classes if he wants to (and some he will have to take) but he will have other options. He can get more special ed support. He'll get home much earlier in the afternoon, and it will cost a whole lot less. Can you tell which way I'm leaning?
Monday, October 08, 2007
I think in some way, we'd all like to see those responsible for this mess punished. It would be great if we could take something away from the perpetrator priests and/or the bishops who covered for them and give it to those who were hurt--that makes us feel just. However, when they come to us and say "We want you to give something up to compensate those who someone else, someone you trusted (or maybe you didn't) but had no control over, hurt" then our hands cover our wallets and we say "Why us?"
Maybe we should just take it as a lesson in the effects of sin, and remember that we are one church, and that what you do does effect me.
I've never had to watch someone close to me die of cancer. My father-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer shortly before he died of complications from a stoke following chemotherapy, but it was less than a month from cancer diagnosis to death, and about two weeks from stroke to death. However, I did watch my mom die, and other than the pain, I guess there really wasn't that much difference. Slowly her body basically shut down to the point that she couldn't walk or even get in and out of the bathtub, with help. A week or so ago, we could see that Lisa was wearing a diaper. She was in a wheelchair the last time we saw her out of bed. I read an interview with the author some time ago in which he stated that Lisa would die, so why do I keep reading? Why does my other favorite strip have to be starting what I'm sure isn't going to be a thread with a happy ending (well, I guess going to heaven is happy, but the strip is seen through the eyes of those left behind).
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Ok, I copied everything above from Michelle's site and just edited it. I don't have a lengthy list of blogs I read regularly, but let's see who I can name:
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I saw this on Michele's blog and thought I'd play too.
1. The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
2. The Lamb's Supper by Scott Hahn
3. Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin
4. The How To Book of the Mass by Michael Debruiel
5. The Englisher by Beverly Lewis
6. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
7. Founding Mothers by Linda Grant De Pauw
8. Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis
9. Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum by Chantal Sicile-Kira
10. Crescent & Star Turkey Between Two Worlds by Stephen Kinzer
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
I was at adoration tonite and looking up at the crucifix and it hit me that not only did Jesus not have to get in that position to start with--He could have hidden Thursday nite, told Pilate or Herod what they wanted to hear, or just used his God powers to wipe everyone out--He didn't have to stay on the cross once He got there. As humans we have free will, but our will is often thwarted by the will of others, but in this case He always had free will, He could have come down at any time, but chose not to.
What do the preceding paragraphs have in common? I'm having trouble continuing to say "yes" to what I know I should do, not only with the diet but also some other things in my life. I know I should do them, I want to do them (at least sort of) but it is so much easier and more pleasurable to say "no" rather than "yes". I need to remember that He continued to say "yes" until His last breath.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Anyway, this post isn't so much a book review as it is a pondering about the role of the community in helping other members maintain their fidelity to the standards of that community. Like Catholics, according to Lewis, the Amish do not believe in "once saved, always saved" but rather see salvation as a goal to be reached, through the grace of God, by living the life to which God calls us. Lewis sees this as a works-based salvation, and in my experience, her favored characters realize that they have to accept Jesus and are saved by that. I mention this because one thing I've noted in her books about the Amish is that there is almost always a shunned character. In my understanding, if a baptized Amish (they are baptized generally as young adults, after classes to make sure they know what they are doing) persists in sin--including sins such as leaving the Amish lifestyle for a modern one--the community shuns the person. They do not speak to the person, or eat with him/her or otherwise treat him/her like anything but a stranger. If the person is living with other Amish, those people will set a separate table for the one shunned. There are two purposes for the shunning: to keep the person's sin from infecting the community and spreading and to encourage the person to repent and give up his/her sinful choices. In her books, Lewis always shows shunning as hurting the loved ones as much if not more than the ones shunned, and while my memory may fail me, I don't think her characters are ever moved to repentance by it. I wonder though how often it is used in real life, and how well it works.
I say that because to some extent all societies use social pressure to get people to conform to their norms. You don't realize how many "rules" there are until you have an autistic kid who keeps breaking them--and who pays the social cost. Have you ever thought about the fact that you don't walk down the street waving your arms in the air or stretching them over your head? Think of all the fashion rules that even the most unhip among us obey daily--and know when to disobey. In what ways are you allowed to express your displeasure when in public? The penalty for disobeying all these unwritten, and sometimes contradictory rules is social isolation--not a formal shun like the Amish have, but rather the isolation caused by people avoiding the "weirdo". But back to what I was thinking about earlier--to what extent should we use social pressure to get people to behave in a moral manner. Catholics have never shunned to the extent that the Amish do, but my parents have told me that when they were kids, no Catholic would dream of going to a wedding of a Catholic that was held outside a church. Unwed mothers were shunted off to maternity homes and practically forced to put their kids up for adoption. Divorcees were considered to be of questionable character--and don't even go there regarding homosexual behavior. Certain things were held to be right, others wrong and social pressure was used to encourage (or perhaps berate) people into following the religious and moral norms. Today however, the opposite seems to be true. It seems we are all afraid of being judgmental and are all trying to be open, loving people, such that as a society we don't stand up and say "this is wrong and we won't tolerate it" to sinful behaviors, even to the extent that we do to "weird" behaviors. Have we quit shunning sinful behavior because we believe shunning is bad, or because we don't believe the sinful behavior is bad?
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
One question many of you may ask is "What is taking so long". In short, the problem is money. Most of the damage from Katrina was caused by flood, and floods aren't covered under homeowner's insurance. Most people with mortgages on their homes had flood insurance, but unlike homeowner's insurance where most people who can afford it buy replacement cost coverage, flood insurance only pays the face value of the policy, and only pays depreciated cost. Also, the maximum amount of flood insurance available was $250,000, unless you bought excess coverage--and most agents weren't aware that excess was available because most people had homeowner's with an agent who worked for one company like Allstate or State Farm, and those companies didn't sell excess flood insurance. Also, for most people, "flood" meant you had to pull the carpet, cut out four feet of sheet rock, and get new bottem cabinets. If they skimped on insurance, this was a reasonabe place to do so. I worked on three files today regarding houses that had ten feet of water in them. They were knocked off their foundations, and filled with water which sat there for weeks. All the contents were a total loss. The interiors had to be torn out down to the studs and the plumbing and wiring had to be redone. The damages were estimated at over $120,000 for a 1200 sq ft house ($100/sq. foot seems to be a benchmark figure). The owners were paid their policy limts of $60.000 on the flood claim. They got about $10.000 on the homeowners claim because the insurance company said all damages except to the roof were caused by flood. In short, they have $70,000 to repair a house that will cost $120,000 to repair/replace. Actually, they don't even have that because the mortgage company took that those checks and paid off the mortgage. So now these people, who weren't wealthy to begin with, and who have lost EVERYTHING they own--and maybe their jobs too, though at this point jobs are pretty easy to get, have to go out to get a mortgage to build a new house or renovate the old one, a job which costs a pretty penny more than it did before Katrina. They have to decide whether to rebuild in the old neighborhood--and hope that the neighbors do too or whether to move to another area or out of the city totally. While the wait for contractors has gone down, the good ones still have waiting lists. Road Home is passing out money, but none too quickly--and often those grants have to go to repay money already received from another source like SBA loans.
I had to call the courthouse today on another matter and the clerk to whom I spoke said people were lined up out the door. Today is the deadline to file suit for Katrina damages, and people are doing it. Everyone is hoping to get their insurance companies to foot more of the cost of repairs--and complaining about the high cost of homeower's insurance. I'm sure my office will be deluged in new hurricane cases in a few weeks. At mass every week we pray "Through the intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor may we be spared all loss of life and property this hurricane season" and that is my prayer tonite.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
I graduated from Mississippi University for Women which was the first and last state-supported institution of higher learning exclusively for women. We didn't have sororities, we had local social clubs. They had some of the same trappings--the rush parties followed pretty much the same format as the rush parties described in the book, new members were called pledges and had to earn their membership in the group during a pledging period that included learning about the group and its history, doing activities with the group and culminating in Hell Night. They had club sweaters or sweatshirts, club mascots that cluttered their rooms, paddles and the like. They were different from sororities in that they were local and they did not have houses. While this year the school has started to house all social club members (if they want to) in one dorm, up until now, they have lived among the general student population, often rooming with members of the same club, but not always.
I started rush my freshman year because people told me it was a good way to meet people--and that's what everyone was doing then anyway. I dropped out after the first round because it was easier than dealing with the rejection I figured was coming, and I wasn't all that interested anyway. Later I realized that no one who went through rush ended up without a bid--and after I got to know my way around school I figured that there were several clubs that probably would have accepted me. I say this simply to say I was an outsider to the system. I don't know exactly what went on behind closed doors with the clubs, but I did see the public aspects of pledging, which at the W, in my day, took place during the first semester of the freshman year for most folks. The first thing I noticed is that when "the gang" got together to go to dinner it was much smaller, since the pledges were required to eat with their clubs at certain meals and tended to do so that others. These meals were in the cafeteria and they'd offer me an empty chair, but it didn't take long for me to feel like an outsider and find a group of independents to eat with. Pledges wore some type of membership symbol--usually a wooden plaque around their neck, which could be taken by an active if they broke some rules. They carried pledge books which gave the history of the clubs, their family tree, club symbols, songs etc. They had to get all the actives to sign their book. They also had silence days when pledges were required to eat with the club, but on which members did not speak to them at all. For some reason this made more than a couple of pledges cry. Pledges had to perform skits for actives at meetings. In short, with the exception of silence, I had no real problems with the pledging activities I observed or heard about and I could see that their purpose was to create a sense of group identity and to make the girls value the group.
My problem with pledging was the silence--and anything I didn't know about which made the girls subject to it unhappy or uncomfortable. I thought then, and still think now, that taking a vulnerable group of girl who were away from home for the first time, putting them in a position where you were their main support system (since you were the ones she was eating with, studying with, playing intramurals with, visiting nightly etc) and then saying that to remain part of the group you had to tolerate x, y, or z that you didn't like, was giving the actives too much power. I had a couple of friends who were "almost" members of a club. By that, I mean that they lived with members of that club, generally ate with the club members, went out with them, and were even sometimes invited to club social functions. They pledged the club as Juniors but dropped out pretty quickly. When I asked why, one said "It was a lot of hassle and I realized that the girls in the club who were my friends would stay my friends even if I dropped, and those who weren't my friends wouldn't become my friends because I was a club member." She also said that had she done this as a freshman, she would have probably stuck it out. The W also had two-year social clubs for juniors and seniors. The girls who got bids to those clubs were popular girls who, for the most part, were members of other social clubs. I heard some rumors about the awful things they had to do when pledging and since I don't know how much is fact and how much is fiction I won't repeat it here, but I will say I was never concered about those girls. I figured that if girls in those positions weren't smart enough to say "no" they deserved what they got. If my daughter went to the W today, I don't know how I'd feel about her joing a club, except that it seems better than the sorority alternative.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
The funny thing is though, she says that for women religious (nuns) celibacy is freeing. Nuns, she states, generally freely choose celibacy and don't long for sex. They channel that energy into other things.
She goes through the same old tired arguments about the Dark Ages and the Inquisition and concludes that the priesthood as we know it must come to an end and the priesthood of all believers will be restored. At least Jack Chick proclaims himself to be anti-Catholic. I'm not sure why she still claims to be Catholic. Anyway, the book is now on my Bookmooch and Swaptree lists.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
The book is on my Bookmooch list and my Swaptree list.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, "This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves."
16 (Jesus) said to them, "There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves." 17 But they said to him, "Five loaves and two fish are all we have here." 18
Then he said, "Bring them here to me," 19 and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking 5 the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. 20
They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over 6 --twelve wicker baskets full. 21 Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children
32 Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way." 33 The disciples said to him, "Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?" 34 Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" "Seven," they replied, "and a few fish." 35 He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, 14 broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. 37
They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over--seven baskets full. 38
Those who ate were four thousand men, not counting women and children
Just an observation I'd never made before.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
The girls too are close, even though they are nine years apart. The older one was on a Girl Scout trip to Washington DC last week and the baby really missed her. She was so thrilled when my husband brought her sister home last night and this morning the two of them were reading and I heard the older one tell the baby "I really missed you".
Friday, August 03, 2007
Still here? Ok, here is my take on the book. It was good, not great, but good. Personally, I think that standing alone, as just another book, it would have been a medicore seller at best. Because it was the last book in long series, many of us read it to see what happened to our "friends", but IMO, if you didn't already "know" the characters, the book was long, the plot lines were a bit mixed up (I still don't really "get" why the deathly hallows plot was added to the search for the horcruxes and the battle between HP and Voldemort). I couldn't get all upset about the characters she killed off--I'm sorry Fred (or was in George) died, and I'm sure his family was too, but it was kind of like the difference in reading the obits in the paper and noticing someone I used to work with, or that my parents knew, versus hearing that a close friend or relative died. None of those who died were main characters or made to be close enough to the main characters (like Sirus) that I felt any real sense of loss -- with the possible exception of Dobby. I figured before I got the book that Harry would win--the only question in my mind was whether he'd have to give his life in order to do so, and while I'm glad he didn't (and I think it is more appropriate for a children's book that he did live) somehow I think the whole book was just a little too pat.
There is a part of me that likes series fiction--those books where you meet the same characters over and over again. It's like popping into the life of old friends. I read Trixie Belden, Cherry Ames, Star Trek novels and more. The trouble with these types of books is that they get formulatic quickly and you don't know any more about the characters after reading ten books than you do after reading one. Also, the plot line usually is predictable--the characters have to win so they can come back for the next book. I think the first few HP books avoided this but I'm not so quick to say that about the last couple of books. I read somewhere that the Epilogue leaves open the possibility of following the younger generation off to Hogwarts. I think if JK Rowling wants to make even more money, that's a great idea; however, if she is interested in writing great books, I think she needs to stop, take a break, and then invent a new world and some truly new characters (I'm afraid that the second generation would have a brave loyal leader like Harry, a brainy friend and true follower engaged in a battle against the evil of the day). We'll see.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
I have a coworker dealing with kid problems too--problems with an adult kid. It struck me that the thing driving us both up the wall is our lack of control. When the kids were little we could physically control them if nothing else. You can make a toddler pick up even if it means taking her hand, putting it on the toy and leading her to the toy box. Try that with a teen and the result will not likely be good. It is so hard when you see kids making such a mess of things. You know exactly how to fix the problem, but there comes a point where the kid has to want to do it, and if he doesn't, then all your help is in vain. I don't think my son wants to fail, but I do think he has decided he can't pass, and isn't putting forth enough effort to pass.
I've decided that I'm going to control what I can--I found and paid the tutor, and will adopt a serene attitude about what I can't control--like how well he does on this test. At least I talk a good story.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
On the positive side, I started walking when I started the program, and around April, I started trying to run. The track by my house is 1/4 mile around, and in April, I could only jog about 1/4 of the way around it. Tonite I jogged 3/4 of a mile, after walking a mile to get there. I then walked 1/2 mile and followed that by running as fast as I could around the track, and I made it 1/2 way around it. I just hope I can keep the activity level up after school starts.
Monday, July 09, 2007
You can start with a simple (and free) websearch on Yahoo, Google and/or other search engines. Obviously that is more effective when researching uncommon names than common ones, but if you can find someone's blog or message board posts, or email list posts, you may discover a side of them you didn't know existed. Also able to be searched for free are websites like 411.com which allows reverse phone number searches (enter the phone number, discover the owner). Many sites like this give you a little information at no cost, and then offer to sell you more. I've bitten a few times, and have been disappointed more often than happy. One site I would recommend if you want to spring for a few bucks is Knowx. Their price list is here and it is very reasonable. They let you know before you search if the area in which you are interested is available and I've found their information to be reasonably up to date.
If you don't want to spend money, there is plenty of information available on the web, but not covered by search engines. Is the person you are researching a licensed professional? Do a websearch for your state's board of _____, filling in the blank with the appropriate profession (though doctors are usually licensed by the board of medical examiners). Some of these sites even list disciplinary action and/or verified complaints against a person. A listing of physicians can be found on the AMA's website. Does your subject own a business? If so, it may be an LLC or corporation, in which case it will be listed with the Secretary of State in your state (or the state in which the business is incorporated). Do you have a library card? Check your library's website. They may have a subcription to a service such as Newsbank which archives newspapers. I can go to my library's website and search our local paper back to the early 1990's. I can see when my kids were on the honor roll and read a letter to the editor of the paper which I wrote.
Another treasure trove of information is the local courthouse. Sometimes recent information is availabe on-line without substantial cost; however, often there is a steep set-up or monthly subscription cost. You can get around this by going to the courhouse in person. Since our firm subscribes to the records of several of the loca courhouses, I can go on-line and find out whether a person has sued or been sued during the covered periods. If they have, I can get copies of what was filed (which often gives my a person's medical history, in the case of accident victims). I can see if they own property, what it was worth when they bought it, what the tax assessor says it is worth today, and how big a mortgage was taken out. If someone had a bitter divorce, there may be interesting dirt in that file too. While you may not be able to access this information on-line, you can go to your local courhouse and find these records. If you need records from a non-local courthouse, you can request them, but the research and copying fees may be steep.
Almost everyone is covered by the Social Security system and when they die, you can find when and where in the Social Security Death Index.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
I dont' know why, but I started thinking about this in relation to the spiritual life. Stuff, even stuff that looks nice originally (like M&G) can gradually dull our soul until one day we realize just how bad it really looks. It doesn't have to be big stuff--it wasn't any one big spill that messed up my floor--enough of the little stuff left to build up can make a real mess. Luckily a good scrubbing (Sacrament of Reconciliation) can make us good as new. I know that's not a completely accurate analogy--minor sins are forgiven at mass so they don't build up like the gnk on the floor -- but I do find the sacrament helpful in focusing my efforts to get rid of certain sins -but like stripping the kitchen floor, I don't find it enjoyable.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Many of these blog writers don't want the 10 am mass to have Gregorian Chant and the 6 pm mass to be the Lifeteen mass-they want chant or other classical-type musica at all the masses. They think bringing back more of a sense of the sacred and beautiful will keep people in the Church. I have my doubts. People aren't leaving the Catholic church for the formality of the Orthodox faith in any great numbers, but they are heading down the street to the "Christian" churches with their contemporary music and informal worship services. I think that if you don't like loud guitar music, don't go to the Lifeteen mass. My son hates it, he covers his ears when forced to go (and I suspect his autism makes that loud music almost painful for him). My daughter loves it and loves to manipulate her weekend schedule so that she "has" to go then rather than to the more mainstream mass we usually attend. Some would say that it isn't about what they like--but if they don't like it there is less chance they'll go once Mom doesn't make them anymore.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
This McDonalds is on the corner of Morrison and Dowman, and I'm sure it was very busy before the storm.
On a positive note, the Wing King down the street was open.
In Gentilly, this shopping center is fenced off and closed.
The Walgreens' across the street is open though.
Two shots of the same property--one showing the house, the other the FEMA trailer.
No one here
This backyard faces the interstate and it doesn't look like anyone is here.
No one here either. Realize that this picture (all these pictures) were taken while drivng down a four lane road. The fact that I could stop and do that says as much as these photos
No cars, no FEMA trailers, no neighbors, just empty houses
Even the thrift shop is desolate
Thursday, May 24, 2007
It's been a long year. We've decided to send him back to the same school next year as much for the stability as anything. We don't know if someplace else would be any better, and it might be worse. Sometimes I hate a lot of things about the school; but I do think that the people working with him care about him, and that's worth something.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Elena wrote tday about her teenaged driving son. The gist of her post is that she doesn't like the fact that the car allows him to distance himself from the family. That's not really my problem. My problem is that I think it will take a long time for my son to be a good driver (if he ever is) and we live in suburban area with lots of busy streets. The "payoff" for me letting him drive would be that he could drive to school, and since his school is in the city, it would be a major help for us not to have to pick up and drop off. However, it would mean a long drive on busy streets during rush hour.
When I was at school this morning I saw flyers for drivers' ed. They are teaching it at summer school for a couple of weeks. At this point we may be looking at summer school for academics. If not, I'm trying to decide whether to sign him up for drivers' ed. Parenting teens is tough. I don't have the dating issues to deal with, but I have others.