locus of control

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emma again (almost 3!)


emma preschool graduation.jpg

Fructus Ventris


Way to go, ladies!


First Things: What McInerny Saw in Thomas


Fast vs. food


Moderation is, I think, the key to this mom's dilemma.

Will have to read this. I have liked the little Podles I have already read.

Martha Coakley: foot in mouth disease


Devout Catholics 'Probably shouldn't work in the emergency room'
Right. Rather than honor a conscience clause or allow Catholic hospitals to remain Catholic, public policy should be to keep persons of faith out of health care? Because it isn't just Catholics who have issues with some of this stuff. I have friends of all persuasions who also don't want a bureaucrat telling them how to practice.

From Fox
The whole Haiti story is so heartbreaking. I am remembering the 1994 Northridge quake which was the last major quake I experienced. Thinking of all the damage from a 6.8 quake in a part of the world where there were very strong building codes and earthquake preparedness. I can only begin to imagine the devastation given just how poverty stricken Haiti was in the first place.

worth reading

A review of a book that would make a great Christmas present, including for me! I love biographies that are well written, and I like the way Joanna Bogle has with words.

moral theology

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Today's class for year one diaconate program was moral theology. Very interesting class. Not much in didactic content that was new to me, but lots of different ways to look at the same old problems of sin and virtue. There were a few quotes that I want to share.
"What we do in life echoes in eternity" - from the movie "The Gladiator".
"We have a destiny of beatitude through a vocation of love" (I didn't catch the attribution).
Class started out with a pop quiz. Without referring to our books, list the 10 commandments, in order. I got them all, but not in order! And I learned them as a Protestant, so the numbers always confuse me. Later in the day we had a second pop quiz - name the 7 deadly sins. Try it sometimes! Honestly, I think that we would all do better with a little more rote memorization of some of this stuff.

A couple more notes from class, worth pondering.
Morality is the practice of the good or evil of human action.
Moral theology is the study of goodness or evil in human action, in the light of God's revelation.
Four things that limit freedom, and thus responsibility, are force, fear, passion, and ignorance.
Three things that form ones ethical foundation and help determine how one defines good and evil are ones view of God, ones view of the human person, and ones view of creation.
Truth always conforms with reality.
John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

another pic of emma

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We drove 10 hours overnight to spend Thanksgiving with Jess and Emma. Put the turkey in brine in a cooler and brought along most of our Thanksgiving basket from the CSA. Then on Sunday we drove back after Mass. Miss them already. But they will be here for Christmas along with at least 2 more of our daughters. With luck, will also have the other daughter and her husband as well. Doesn't look like any sons, though. Oh well. This house will be pretty crowded as it is.
I had a thought the other day about how Catholic healthcare has been heading the direction of Catholic higher education - that is to say towards CINO. Wondering and thinking about the hows and whys of it all. I am wondering if part of the picture was the move to put nursing education out of the hospital and into the university. Creeping credentialism, where the letters after ones name mean more than actual knowledge or skill. I wish that we had kept the guild and apprenticeship system for those arts that require not just head knowledge but handicraft - like surgery, midwifery, and the like. Need to flesh the thought out a little bit more but I am just too tired and overwhelmed to do a lot of stuff. Winter blues exacerbated by the general recession. Maybe next week. Maybe next year.
But the children, and the grandchildren, make it worthwhile. And I am so blessed to be able to see new life on a daily basis!

graduation day


For the last two years, John has been taking classes through the diocesan Lay Ministry Formation program. Today, along with about 90 folks, he was comissioned and was given his certificate. Bishop Doran presided over a wonderful liturgy (not a mass) and gave a great homily, and then we went out to dinner courtesy of the $$ I won last night in the 50/50 drawing.
Doesn't he look cute in a suit with carnation?

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Now for the next step - God willing, in 5 years, ordination to the permanent diaconate. Prayer muchly appreciated!

One of his classmates went through a pregnancy and birth during the program and brought the baby to every class with her - the director issued the toddler a certificate of 100% attendance!

moments of grace

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I've been undergoing some stresses lately and have been discouraged, sad, angry and a lot of other very uncomfortable feelings. I'm not ready to talk about the details of the underlying causes, suffice it to say that it is not a minor set of events that has triggered this. On top of it all, my asthma has been majorly flaring up and that means coughing spells and lost sleep, not that I normally get as much sleep as I would like to anyhow. I finally broke down today and went to the urgent care, I am now on a couple of medications that I know from experience will help me a lot but that I also know from experience will have other, unpleasant, side effects. But as I tell my patients, breathing is not optional.

In the midst of the stress, there have been many small events that have let me know that God has not forgotten me and that there is a meaning and purpose here. I am very thankful for these small blessings.

Friday is my half-day in the office. If I don't have a mom in labor to sit with, John and I try to have Friday lunch together. There is a Japanese restaurant in town that we go to quite frequently on Fridays, and there is a waitress there that knows us and will have our tea on the table pretty much the moment we show up. Yesterday, we were partway through our meal when she informed us that the restaurant owner would be buying us dessert - wonderful fresh pineapple.

Today was the diocesan Respect Life seminar for PRLCs and also the NFP community. There was a great speaker on perinatal hospice. We have attended this event every year since we moved to Rockford, and it is always a blessing. This evening was the annual support the military dinner in our parish, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. There was a USO style show as entertainment, and one of the skits featured 4 knights in hula skirts over shorts (very funny). And.....I won the 50/50 drawing! Just a small gift from God to remind me not to fret or worry about things. Remember the lilies of the field.

Which reminds me, that earlier in the week in a parish study group, we had been talking about that passage from Matthew 6:
25 'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,* or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?* 28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you--you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, "What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or "What will we wear?" 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God* and his* righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 'So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.

So thank you Lord for the little gifts and help me to put my concerns in their proper perspective.

Emma's Halloween costume

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baby barista.jpg
behold the baby barista!
Emma has been growing so fast, I wish that we could see her more often. She and her mom have weathered the flu, and after recovering from flu Emma had an ear infection, then a sinus infection, then another ear infection. But now she seems to be doing well. She is a great conversationalist on the phone and loves it when her Grandad reads her stories over the phone.



bethany roll.jpg

apple juice.jpg

I gave her that dress!

A Wedding picture



It's been a long time

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I don't know why I haven't blogged for such a long time. I will think about it and then just not get around to it. Lots of stuff has happened since my last real post.
Emma turned two in June. She started nursery school, she is walking and is her usual happy self most of the time. She's had a few more trips to the hospital but no overnight stays for a long time.
Its been so long that I've forgotten how to do some basic things like post pictures to the blog. I want to show the 2 or 3 of you who will stumble on this just how cute she has gotten!
I'm still the only midwife in my practice. I've been on pretty much 24/7 call now for nearly 2 years. Not at all what I expected in the move here. It's tough because if I take a vacation or get sick I feel guilty about 'abandoning' my patients - but I do need to get away both physically and mentally.
For example, in July we went out to Oregon for our son's wedding. I would post a picture or two if I could find my notes on how......
Lately life has gotten even more complex. My husband was accepted into the aspirancy phase of the diaconate preparation here in the Rockford diocese. This means that he has a class basically 4 times a month, and I am required to attend about half of the classes with him. That at least forces me to take some time off call to be with him.
Another issue is that the chaos in health care is making life more complex for just about everyone in the field. The hospitals are all updating their computer systems and that creates more work for us in the field, since they all are using different systems.
We were able to attend one of the town hall meetings this summer, but I finally gave up waiting in line to comment. I am concerned about the powerful interests behind the scenes.

The Catholic Medical Association is having their annual meeting in a few weeks and we will be going, I am looking forward to that. We now have a local chapter and there have been a few really good meetings including one on theology of the body.

Our parish just started doing the Epic series on Church history. So far I've only had to miss one class due to a birth - and we've started RCIA again, and this year we have a fairly large group. Keeping busy.

We grew some nice vegetables this year and I have a freezer full of rhubarb for winter cooking. It is supposed to freeze tonight, I suppose that I will have to harvest all the last tomatoes, even though they are still green. It was not a warm summer, and the tomatoes suffered. The CSA came through but they had some of the same problems. It's at times like this that I miss living on the West Coast.

If any of you are still paying attention, put a comment in the box so I know you are there. Let me know if I should try to get back to blogging on a regular basis or just let it go.

Is this good or bad?

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Consensus emerging on universal healthcare
One of my concerns about universal health care is that it might force providers to act against their conscience and/or force taxpayers to fund procedures that they find personally abhorrent. Another concern is that a medical bureaucracy might decide to not fund certain classes of provider (midwives, nurse-practitioners, chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, osteopaths) due to pressure from the AMA and other health care unions. Will parents be forced to immunize their children to protect the herd? (I am not saying that immunizations are bad, here, but rather looking at the parent's 'freedom of choice'?). Will the Amish and other plain communities be forced to buy into commercial health insurance? Lots of questions, no clear answers. On the other hand, our current system is not very functional either. Very few persons are paid well enough or have sufficient savings to pay for routine health care, let alone a hospitalization for a major illness or a complicated childbirth or an accidental injury. And since for the last 50 years we have focused, as a culture, on high tech specialty care rather than high touch primary care, health and illness care costs have spiraled out of control. I just don't know.

I do hope and pray that whatever changes there are will help persons like my patient who was just told that her insurance won't cover care from a midwife. No matter that I am certified, licensed, work within the system and have hospital privileges. Midwives as a class are categorically excluded. And it is perfectly legal.

February 2013

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