Saturday, March 31, 2012

Adventures in Cooking

Okay readers, my mom has given me a new challenge: cook dinner every Thursday for my family. This is their new ploy to avoid B. and I re-enacting this scene every time he'll come home from work:

Help me? I am looking for advice in cooking meat, and recipes that can easily be made bigger (as well as smaller). I'll be cooking for 7-8.

Oh! To add insult to injury, I got put on the Pintrest Waiting List. (Yes, I caved. I decided I need to further my information-gathering skills in an organized way!)

Happy almost Palm Sunday! Holy Week cometh!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stairway to Sacrilege

Ok Go, an alternative rock band known for catchy beats and viral YouTube videos, recently released a video in a Chevy commercial. The band drove a Chevy car through a two mile track of instruments, releasing their latest song, "Needing/Getting."

Their opening is, "I've been waiting for months, waiting for years, waiting for you to change./ Aw, but there ain't much that's dumber, there ain't much that's dumber/ Than pinning your hopes on a change in another./ And I, yeah, I still need you; but what good's that gonna do?/ Needing is one thing, and getting: getting's another."

This song, though about a girl, plays nicely into a recent NYT op-ed by psychologist Jonathan Haidt entitled, "Forget the Money, Follow the Sacredness." He writes to show the Right and Left's cultural narratives and their amazing ability to talk past each other on issues.

Continue reading at The Imaginative Conservative >>>>>>>>

Friday, March 23, 2012

Roaring Like A Lion

The Newsboys rock.

My computer will be back in 7-10 business days after I spilled three cups of coffee on it about two weeks ago. Actual posts of follow the return of my dear Dell!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

And Now, Some Rowdily-Dow

I hope y'all had a great St. Patrick's Day and weekend! The Bright Maidens are still working through the Spiritual Works of Mercy posts - next up: bear wrongs patiently and forgive offences willingly. Won't you join us?

Here's some awesomeness for your day:

Have a blessed Monday!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Lonely Impulse of Delight

"An Irish Airman Foresees His Death" by W.B. Yeats

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds.
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

H/T Davey

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Urban Gardening

I might not live downtown or in an apartment any more, but I do live within the city [limits] with my family. We have significantly less room to garden. Fortunately for me, I was given The Newlywed Cookbook to review*, and Sarah Copeland is converting me to living better.

She blogs and tweets, too!

*Obsessed with this book, and I am not a culinary person {yet}. An excellent gift for couples and anyone interested in making everyday aspects of their life fun and delicious!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Certainly Spring

"The Burning of the Leaves" by Laurence Binyon

Now is the time for the burning of the leaves.
They go to the fire; the nostril pricks with smoke
Wandering slowly into a weeping mist.
Brittle and blotched, ragged and rotten sheaves!

A flame seizes the smouldering ruin and bites
On stubborn stalks that crackle as they resist.
The last hollyhock's fallen tower is dust;
All the spices of June are a bitter reek,
All the extravagant riches spent and mean.

All burns! The reddest rose is a ghost;
Sparks whirl up, to expire in the mist: the wild
Fingers of fire are making corruption clean.
Now is the time for stripping the spirit bare,

Time for the burning of days ended and done,
Idle solace of things that have gone before:
Rootless hope and fruitless desire are there;
Let them go to the fire, with never a look behind.

The world that was ours is a world that is ours no more.
They will come again, the leaf and the flower, to arise
From squalor of rottenness into the old splendour,
And magical scents to a wondering memory bring;
The same glory, to shine upon different eyes.
Earth cares for her own ruins, naught for ours.
Nothing is certain, only the certain spring.

Monday, March 12, 2012

One Year Closer To Renting A Car

I've been doing a lot of thinkin' lately, and this quote by William F. Buckley, Jr. really drives home my thought process into one sentence: "I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth."

But more on that later. I've been a little slow on the posts, and that is due to my work load and the 3 cups of coffee I spilled on my computer last week. Thanks for your patience, friends, and for sticking around.

In other news, I am 24 today! Y'all are the best presents a writer could ask for... and a fixed computer!

When I went to college, my family gave our dog my birthday... so now we share! She's 42 in dog years.

Who knows what blessings this next year will hold? Happy March 12!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sinner, I Admonish Thee

TBM Topic 28: Admonish the Sinner

"Sinner, I Admonish Thee" by Julie Robison
Trista at Not a Minx, Moron, or a Parasite
Elizabeth at Startling the Day

We three are from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. We're here to dispel the myths and misconceptions- please join us for the discussion on Facebook and Twitter!

During Lent, we will be discussing the Spiritual Works of Mercy every week.

There's a Protestant church up the street from my house that has a sign up for Lent. It reads, "Pray. Reflect. Prepare."

This sign makes me wrinkle my nose. Mere semantics, perhaps, but why "reflect" instead of "repent"? Aren't we called not just think about what we have done but act to more align ourselves with God's will, as the Kingdom of God is at hand? As the Christ is going to unjustly die for our sins? My sister says it's because "repent" has more of a negative connotation. So does the Spiritual work of Mercy "Admonish the Sinner" - which is precisely why it is needed.

Americans love admonishing the sinner. Who hasn't signed up to promote some cause, using social media, clothing or dolla-dolla donation? Who hasn't felt that twinge of guilt at the grocery store when you don't give a dollar to the Very Good Cause? Oh, so you don't support this cause? Do you kick puppies and take candy from babies too?

The second route of admonishing the sinner offends the "Don't Judge Me" movement. Fraternal correction (as we Catholics prefer to call it) is a private correction of a fellow soul as a way to lead them to God and, ultimately, repentance. As we say in the Act of Contrition, we should be sorry we sin not out of the loss of Heaven or the fear of Hell, but because we have offended God, whom we love. This is why people cannot separate their conscience from their public actions anymore than one can separate the facts from a situation.

Admonishment should always happen out of love, and in a loving way. To act otherwise is to distort the meaning of God's way, and perhaps turn people away. This is always a tragedy.

There are, however, some sinners need to be admonished publicly. There is a new social experiment growing to draw attention to Joseph Kony, the leader of a rebel group in Uganda who abducks children to be sex slaves and soldiers. Kony wants to establish a theocratic government based on the Ten Commandments and says God sends spirits which communicate directly with him.

His actions go beyond not practicing what he wants preached:


Admonishing the sinner is the loving thing to do, even when it is the unpopular position. Admonishing the sinner is the right thing to do, even when the sinner claims to the higher moral ground. When Jesus lived among us, he did so in order to relate to us human, to understand our tendency towards sin, and to forgive when we ask it of him.

Repent, my fellow sinners, and believe in the Good News of Jesus Christ! The most we've got to lose is our pride.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Questions and Faith

TBM Topic 27: Counsel the Doubtful

"Questions and Faith" by Julie Robison
Trista at Not a Minx, Moron, or a Parasite
Elizabeth at Startling the Day

We three are from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. We're here to dispel the myths and misconceptions- please join us for the discussion on Facebook and Twitter!

During Lent, we will be discussing the Spiritual Works of Mercy every week.

Anything worth knowing begins with a question. ‎Philosopher Etienne Gibson wrote, "Faith comes to intelligence as a light that overflows it with joy and inspires it with a certitude that does away with question."

I like asking questions, so perhaps I'm sympathetic towards the doubters of this world. I like to see them as truth-seekers, wishing to truly know and understand the kind of magnitude God has to offer us. I also like figuring out answers. If something doesn't seem right, I push the subject till I am satisfied. If I still lack total comprehension, especially in terms of theology, I don't mind. I read on. I think about it more, talk about it, pray about it.

But I never doubt God.

Perhaps this sounds prideful. Maybe it sounds like I've got this God response system down pat. I pray, he responds. No doubt about it.

Or maybe I take my place as his child more seriously. When Dad talks, I listen. When Dad says I can't do something, I ask why. He tells me. I might ask a different way. He shows me. When I don't understand, I look at it a different way. When I don't agree, I seek his guidance to discern why the Mother Church leads me to believe such a thing.

What I love most about the Catholic Church is how she guides souls - authoritatively, gently, and humbly. She is sure of herself because her bridegroom is Christ. Her children may wander, but she is there to guide them home when they wish to return.

The hardest part about faith, I think, is that it is a choice. I choose to believe in God. I choose to believe Jesus is the Savior of the world. There are a lot of reasons why I choose these belief systems, and none of them have to do with making my life easier and more enjoyable. I like facts, so the resurrection place in history cements Jesus' authenticity as God, verses a wise man who taught us good things thousands of years ago. Everything stems from that.

The doubtful must be counseled because it shows love towards their human development. Man must know God or remain incomplete as a person. Doubt is not a bad thing either - but it should be used as the fuel towards belief, guiding one's prayer.

Last night, as I was playing Euchre with my fiance and his parents, I told the dealer to pick up the card and B. visibly grimaced. He didn't know I had the two highest cards, plus one more to trump. I asked him, "Don't you trust me?" and his expression turned to pure confidence. We won all five hands of that game.

God is no card player, but he does hold the ultimate trump card. The readings yesterday show us how God the Father did not make Abraham sacrifice his only son, setting up the world to see the great significance and sacrifice God the Son made, to willingly die for the atonement of our sins.

The doubtful may see all the negative parts of God before they choose to see the good, but the road to Damascus is not any easy one for any person. There can be no discipleship without the cross. As Pope Benedict XVI reminds us, "The cross reminds us that there is no true love without suffering, there is no gift of life without pain."

Counsel the doubtful out of love, and perhaps the burden of doubt will turn into a freedom to believe.

For those truly struggling, as I have, I recommend praying a novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

And I'll Be Anything You Ask and More

In the beginning was this awesome music blog named La Blogotheque. Vincent Moon (real name Mathieu Sarura) wanted to share music a different way; making the visual experience just as important as the listening experience.

He's known for shooting take away shows- that is, independent (and sometimes famous) musicians on the street (or another public venue).

Here is Phoenix singing "1901":

This band is originally from France; most bands are not, though. The cinematography is outstanding.

Friday, March 2, 2012

It's Not Between You and Them

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

--Mother Teresa

It's not easy being green... or under deadlines.
Happy Friday!