November 2003 Archives



My Thanksgiving entry was not posted on time, it was saved as a draft and I forgot to publish it. oh well. It is here somewhere.

Alice von Hildebrand

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on Feminism and Femininity
Long post later on the breastfeeding in public commentary. Right now I am fighting a bad asthma flare and debating going on steroids for a few days (which help a lot - but I hate the way they make me feel!).


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Food report:
Wednesday I taught daughter how to make pumpkin and lemon pies. Got the turkey in the oven before Mass Thursday and it cooked much faster than expected - it was done at noon with dinner not scheduled until 3 PM! Roast turkey, cornbread-pecan stuffing, 3 kinds of cranberry relish, sweet potatoes with the obligatory marshmallows, fresh smashed potatoes, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, two kinds of olives. Honey/oatmeal yeast rolls. For dessert, the pies with ice cream and whipped cream. A fairly simple meal for a small group.
Our guests brought a bottle of German wine.
Praise report:
I am thankful for my family, even though we were not able to be with most of them. I am thankful for a warm house and bed, and for the medical care I had as a child that made it possible for me to live to adulthood and write these words. I am grateful for my education and for the gift of intellect that God has given me, and I pray that I will make good use of both. I am thankful for the gift of faith, and for the church founded by our Lord on the rock of Peter. I am especially grateful for the Sacraments, all seven of them, for the differing gifts they are to us as a people of God.
I am most grateful for the gift God has given me in my husband. He is truly my other half, my complement, and every day and year I realize just what an important and precious gift he has been to me.
I pray that you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

mea culpa

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In my last post I sinned against charity and Michelle rightly me called me on it. It came from great frustration, and I will further explain myself when I have the time for a longer post. Meanwhile, please forgive me.

Controversy again

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Two Sleepy Mommies have some extended postings about breastfeeding in public. I will say that this is a topic on which I wish those who have not raised children would shut up. I have a lot more to say but not the time to say it right now - I think I do have some earlier postings, if anyone wants to use the search function.
I also strongly suggest that those who object to breastfeeding on demand read Sheila Kippley (of CCL)'s book Breastfeeding and Natural Child-Spacing to get an idea of just how God designed this part of parenting and marriage to work.
Technology is wonderful - in its proper place. Bottle feeding is a technology that has saved some babies' lives (and, sadly, ended many others'). But it takes second place to the way God designed us to work. Sometimes it is necessary, and thankfully it is usually safe (these days) - but it is less than ideal.
Public breast-feeding does not have to be flaunting - and usually is not even obvious. But I would (and did) refuse to feed a baby in a room designed for excretion - unless all infant feeding should be deemed unsuitable for public view.

Dylan alert!

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Are you a bibliophile?

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Take the quiz!
I am a " second degree knight of Things Book" -

love it or hate it


this is a recipe that was originally from the New York Times but which gained notoriety on NPR's "All Things Considered". I first made it in 1978 and have made it annually since then.
I freeze it in 4 small batches and only thaw as needed. It is also great on roast beef and ham. I used to have a meat grinder to use, but have since changed to using a food processor or blender.

light blogging ahead

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tomorrow john and i will be taking a couple of days away from it all. i don't think the hotel has high speed internet!

Response to ACOG statement


This article
is a response from several women's health care groups to the position paper that justified elective Cesareans. I think that there are definitely times when Cesareans save either the life or health of mother and/or baby. But it also carries risks to the life and health of both. I think that doing major surgery without a good reason is ethically questionable, and I am glad that these groups (which often disagree on other issues) have issued a joint statement.

I wish

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that I had a place like this to practice from.
I get so very tired of the struggle.


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Someone at the Boston Globe actually gets something right!
Link via Summa Mammas


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This is not a topic I am fond of discussing. My #5 child used to joke (through the pain) that her 6th grade public school classmates thought she was stupid because she didn't speak Spanish. We lived in los barrios because that was where we could afford to buy a house large enough for out family - and I think it was a learning experience for the children to realize that being 'white' (we are actually a typical mixture at least on my side) did not mean being at the top of the racism pile. Anyhow, there have been many interesting posts over at the Sleepy Mommies, but I want to draw your attention to this long post by M'Lynn. I will close by posting the right words to the Tom Lehrer lyrics that I started to type in her comments boxes.

Check it out

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International ranking of Infant Mortality by country
Link via The Edge of the Precipice, a site I intend to add to the links if and when Blogrolling recovers from being hacked.

Catholic Medical Association

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Childbirth issues

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Like Smockmomma, I am grieved that so many young women today are disinterested in preparing for the upcoming birth of their children – but I am even more grieved that so many of them have opted for “Birth American Style” as portrayed on TLC’s The Baby Story. It seems that they honestly expect the time from first contraction to the actual birth to be 15 minutes or so (the interval on most episodes of Baby Story). And, many of them ‘just know’ that they will ‘need’ induction, epidural anesthesia, a cesarean or whatever – before they even get to term!
I’ve been involved in the childbirth movement since I don’t know when. My first exposure was in various novels – I remember reading birth scenes in books as far removed as Michener’s Hawaii and Sterne’s Tristram Shandy. I vaguely remember reading about the caudal (an early form of epidural anesthesia) in some Reader’s Digest Condensed book around the age of 8 or 9. As the oldest child in a large family, I was very familiar with the idea of pregnancy as a part of life – even though my mom was critically ill during her third pregnancy and was hospitalized for several weeks before and after giving birth, she still had 3 more children after that.



Summa Mamas link to and comment on a pregnancy rant.
I will add my comments later, when I have time to think them through,


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Jane Austen
Jane Austen wrote you. You are extremely aware of
the power of a single word.

Which Author's Fiction are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

And Then? the quiz mistress, passed on this one.

too bad it isn't catholic



picture gallery

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worth reading


The whys of NFP. You may need to scroll down to the November 13 entry.



This is the first in what I hope will be an occasional series of my personal musings on one of my favorite prayers of the Church, the Nicene Creed. Comments and questions welcome.
As a child, I remember reciting this creed at least weekly during the Holy Communion services at my Anglican parishes (All Saint's in San Diego CA, and Holy Nativity in Los Angeles CA). At the age of 7, I asked my grandmother why we spoke about the 'Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic church" when we weren't Catholic. She told me that were WERE catholic (with a small 'c') since the word means universal or wide ranging, but that we were not Roman catholic. I didn't find the answer particularly satisfying even then, but it was clear that she was not interested in explaining it further to an impertinent second grader.
What I plan to do with this series is to take the words of the creed in Latin, and ramble on about what they mean, and what they mean to me. I will start at the beginning, with the word from which the term creed comes, 'credo'.

missed opportunity

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Three weeks ago, I learned that the Called and Gifted workshop was coming to Concord NH, where I live. This workshop has gotten rave reviews from many in St. Blog's. I really would have liked to be able to attend. However - my work schedule is set considerably more in advance than 3 weeks! Usually it is more like 3 months, although I can sometimes tweak things with a little less notice. Since I was already booked to work today (11/15) I couldn't exactly sign up for the workshop scheduled for 11/14 and 11/15. I am so bummed. What made it even worse was an email I got yesterday AM from Richard Chonak of Catholic Light and St. Blog' to say that he would be up in Concord for the workshop and would I be there? I am so, so bummed.
Last night, our local cursillo group had its monthly ultreya meeting - only 1/3 of our regulars were there, the majority of the rest were off at the C&G workshop.
I think I need some Theology on Tap. Or maybe just the tap.

Kaiser Family Foundation reports



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fighting the demons of apathy and depression. we had snow last night. will pop up later if i feel any better.

Who is your 'crew'?

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Ask the Summa Mammas.
My crew?
St. Mary Magdalene (my confirmation patron)
Blessed Father Damien (of Molokai)
Blessed Gianna Molina
St. Gerard Majella
St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Addendum - how could I forget? Catherine of Siena!

Catholic Quiz!


Virtuous: Your answers show that you have
the virtue of faithfulness and steadfastness.

Virtuous or Vicious?
brought to you by Quizilla
Link via Flos Carmeli

Cool tool

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The TouchGraph GoogleBrowser V1.01 gives one a visual representation of the weblinks in one's 'neighborhood'. Enter your URL and watch it draw the links!

fixed (I hope)


I managed to add the Blogwise button but lost the one. Oh, well.



i managed to mess up my template trying to add a link. please be patient while I try to recover. thanks

Is it Catholic?

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I have seen references around the blogosphere to the Alpha course. Bill Cork has a nice little article: "Is the Alpha Course Catholic? That is a question I too have wondered. What triggered my musings on this topic was that, today, I saw a poster for the Alpha course on the door of a local Anglican church. St. Paul's Episcopal in Concord NH, to be specific.
I was raised Anglican. I am sorely grieved over what has befallen my ex-church. I know that it is only to be expected when a barque sails without a captain, still, I am saddened.
Anyhow, on Alpha - I went to their web page to see just what they have to say for themselves. I think they are a genuine attempt to reach out with what C.S. Lewis called "mere christianity". It might make a starting point for some one who is totally clueless about God and Christ - but there seem to be so many errors and omissions that I could not in conscience recommend the course.
As an alternative to a Catholic who is looking for an enrichment and more information on living and practing the faith, may I humbly suggest Cursillo? It is a short course in Christianity that includes all 7 Sacraments, Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the authority that comes with 2000 plus years of real christianity.
There is nothing "mere" about the real thing!

A miracle


Babies born as early as this rarely survive. 22 weeks.
Link from Lilac Rose.

Worth contemplating


Michelle comments on a commenter. Remember the conversation about being nice vs being charitable? This isn't quite the same, but we would all do well to think about it when we blog.

I don't think so

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(Dominant Extrovert Abstract Thinker )

charity and niceness


Over at Scattershot Direct. Worth reading.

Inclusive Language

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Has been a topic around the parish today. Over at the Sleepy Mommies Peony has this to day:
My personal perspective as a woman, a reader, a mother, and a Christian, is that I hate inclusive language.
Mr. Riddle posts The only question I keep bringing to the fore is "Why are we so afraid of God the Father, of Him who is?" Why do some feel the need to geld God in the name of inclusion.
Both these posts refer back to a post by Mr. Steven Bogner, in which he invites intelligent comment.
I blogged on this in my first few days of blogging - going back to re-read
what I wrote then I don't have too much to add - other than to say that I despise the Bowdlerization of the English language.
At choir rehearsal Monday night, I nearly choked when I realized that "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" had been edited to "Jesu, Joy of Our Desiring". They DON'T mean the same thing, and the PC version is NOT an accurate translation of the German!

An interesting blog


from a soon to be Catholic (and friends)
Southern Appeal
The random musings of a Southern Federalist and his co-conspirators .
Check it out!
(link via Mark Shea)

NFP only doc in Dallas


Keeping the faith - a great story!



to St. Blog's, Father Sibley.

Quick update


Haven't been online too much, been very busy. Did a wonderful birth early Tuesday morning, spent much of Wednesday catching up on sleep before a dinner event in the evening, worked all day in the office today including seeing extra patients while my midwife partner was over attending a birth, and then this evening attending a live version of NPR's "Wait, wait, don't tell me". (The air version will be on this weekend, my dear husband is mentioned in the credits at the very end.)
Had a chance to see the writer who penned the Sunday Boston Globe piece. Charlie is a regular on "Wait, wait". Looks like an aging hippie. Very funny man - too bad he just doesn't get it.
The media bias is real, but it isn't a vast conspiracy. It is more a function of the idea that one tends to hire those with whom one is comfortable. Also, I think that too often the conservative persons in the media have taken themselves so seriously that it comes off as almost pontificating. But I could be very wrong there. There is an element of self-righteousness among pundits on the left and the right that I find very upsetting.

I can't believe it

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43.75 %

My weblog owns 43.75 % of me.
Does your weblog own you?

Catholic Doctor blog!!!

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Summa Mammas found this site through the Sleepy Mommies. Wow - a Catholic doctor blog! The title, kill as few patients as possible is a motto well worth remembering. I look forward to cruising through his archives.

Aadendum: Here is his bio bit. Why can't I find a doc like this to work with?

tis the season

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Your Marching Orders to honor the proper liturgical season. It is still Ordinary time, followed soon by Advent and THEN Christmas.
I was astounded yesterday to hear that one of my colleagues has already completed her Christmas shopping. I don't even start for a few more weeks! There are 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany in which to exchange boxes with each other - what is the rush? Don't we have Thanksgiving and St Nicholas day in there somewhere?

Sacramental Marrriage

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Mr. Culbreath gives cogent advice in the form of a REALITY CHECK.
One thing I find wonderful about St.Blogs are all the men who truly love women - men who are not ashamed to be in love with their wives, who adore their daughters, who minister as priests to all God's children, male and female. And this love is not a wimpy infatuation that fades when age withers or physical beauty fades away, but love enduring even unto death.
I thank God that He found me a husband like these men - not that is has been easy, no way! But God did not promise us a life of ease, nor even happiness. He promised that he would provide us with the graces we need to get through each day, and that we will find joy in the end.

please pray


for Crystal

May God have mercy on us all

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Elective Caesareans Judged Ethical
My opinion:
This is another example of choice trumping good medicine.

recent search terms

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I+am+a+compulsive+reader (me too!)
first+trimester+embyro+growth (not on the blog, sorry. on my office walls!)
recipe+homily+pie (you'll find all three here, just not together)
keyboard+needle+and+the+damage+done (a favorite Neil Young song of mine)
summa+borscht (hope you liked the recipe! drop back by and tell me)
Gospel+John+Mass+to+whom+shall+we+go (we all know the answer to this one!)
tehillim+for+a+healthy+pregnancy (which psalms are they, anyhow?)
british+armored+vehicle (not here!)
we+remember+marty+haugen+lyrics (Try the GIA site)

Must visit site

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The Globe does it again

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The cover story to today's Globe magazine, The Crusaders contains, among other verbiage, the telling quote, "In a sense, every Catholic builds his own cafeteria now."
The article is worth reading, if only to know what we are up against. Also, there are some good pictures. (The print edition also had a picture from the Bishop's meeting - it includes blogger Carol McKinley. But don't buy it just for the pix - get it out of the trash at Starbucks!)
I find it interesting that the writer found it necessary to pit Fr. McCloskey against Deal Hudson (both men I admire, BTW).
I do suggest that the strong of stomach read this, and prepare your letters to the editor.

Kelly does it again. If I ever make it down to Boston (beyond the airport, that is) she is someone I would love to meet.

Day late


A Halloween recipe from Karen's brother. Looks yummy.

All Saint's Day

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Mr. Riddle posts an All Saints hymn.
One of my favorite hymns is For All the Saints, sung to Ralph Vaughn William's tune Sine Nomine. I especially like the fact that it comes in on the second beat of the measure, after a wonderful intro that is best done on a full-throated pipe organ. I want that song sung at my funeral (unless of course I die during Lent - the alleluias!) and I want all the verses (eleven?) sung with vigor and feeling. Too many parishes relegate this hymn to All Saints day in leap years ending with a zero - and then they do it poorly, coming in too early or omitting the foot pedal on the organ (which, I do admit, can be done decently as octaves on the piano).
My grandmother taught First Grade at All Saint's Episcopal day school in San Diego for more than 30 years. I attended that school for second grade, I sent my oldest daughter there for 4th grade. I first learned to read music and sing in parts in All Saints' choir.
O blest communion, fellowship divine!
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!
Happy All Saints' day.

Which saint would you be?

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2003 is the previous archive.

December 2003 is the next archive.

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