December 2006 Archives

happy new year

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I can't believe it's been so long since I posted an entry. Having my laptop dead is part of the problem (I just took a new one out of the box a few days ago, Merry Christmas!). But it isn't the whole problem.

I really did not realize just how busy I would be here in Northern Illinois. My midwifery position is in a very busy practice, and they expect everyone to be in the office 40 hours a week, plus whatever evening and weekend hours are required by the call schedule. It's the first place I've been where you don't get time off post-call. Of course, if there is no one in labor, one can sleep at home on call nights, and that does happen on occasion. But just as an example - I've caught 21 babies (and assisted in 5 cesareans) between 10/26/06 and now.

I've also been trying to use my down time at home to get this place more organized. I am pleased to announce that my cookbook collection is finally all out of its boxes and on shelves. Our library/guest room is getting neater by the week. It has actually been used twice for its intended use as a guest sleeping quarters.

Our Christmas tree was up in time for the open house, even though it only had lights and no ornaments. I never did get the ornaments on it, either. Oh well. All the creche sets managed to make it out on time, though. John volunteered us both for the choir for Midnight Mass, and those rehearsals took a chunk of time. I had told the choir director that I was on call Christmas Eve and she was still OK with that. True to form, I did get a page just at the beginning of Mass and it pulled me out of the church during one of the two pieces where I was playing the flute. But it was a false alarm, and that baby was actually not born until yesterday. I made it through the rest of Mass OK. Thank God for silent alerts on the pager.

We had our youngest daughter home for Christmas. The rest of the children celebrated with their other family and friends in venues ranging from OR to TN to Los Angeles CA to ID. My sister and her family came up from Kentucky for a 36 hour stay, and I got to meet my sister's new son-in-law. If I can figure out how, I'll try to scan in their Christmas picture.

I cooked a traditional Christmas dinner. Standing rib roast, Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, carrots, brocolli, green beans. I made a salad with baby greens, romaine, pomegranite seeds, mandarin oranges, and grape tomatoes -designed to be dressed with a light vinegar and oil dressing. Almonds were available but left off because of the food allergies of one of the guests. In a concession to my vegetarian daughter, I cooked the Yorkshire pudding in butter rather than beef drippings. It was still yummy. I had various wines and beers and juices available as well, Since the dining room is very small, and the food took up the entire table, we ate buffet style and shared TV trays in the living room. It was very cozy and lots of fun.

I've missed so much news in my involuntary blogfast! I finally had the chance to read Pansy Moss's birth story. Congratulations, one and all. And who knows what all else I missed? I finally got the chance to clean out my email inbox of over 1000 unread and not likely to be read entries. (I've been trying to scan every day or so to see if there is anything urgent or personal).

Who knows when I will surface again. This new laptop is running on WIndows XP and it is making me crazy, as I can't figure out how to put my old shortcuts for blogging onto the system. I have been on Windows 2K for 6 years and I plan to upgrade this thing to Vista fairly soon, so maybe that will make it a little easier.

Hope that you all are having a Merry Christmas. I'll try to resurface sooner than Epiphany, but who knows?

God bless us, each and every one.

Dante to Dead Men Walking

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From Julie D
A Jesuit chose fifty books that raise a moral or religious issue in unforgettable ways, writing essays about each to give a sense of both the contents and the reason for inclusion. Here is the list.

I have to say, I have not read many of the books here - many of them because I just don't like the writing style, and some because I just don't like the authors. The ones that I have read are the biblical ones (Genesis, Job, Luke, John). I would actually recommend Madeleine L'Engle's paraphrasing and fictionalization of parts of Genesis -
And It Was Good: Reflections on Beginnings, 1983
A Stone for a Pillow: Journeys with Jacob, 1986
Sold Into Egypt: Joseph’s Journey into Human Being, 1989
I have only read excerpts of Dante.
I've read many lives of the saints, I don't remember if Butler was one of the collections.
I didn't find Walden to be particularly Christian, it struck me as being more of an incentive to nature worshipping paganism.
I was given the Idea of the University as a High School graduation present. I haven't read it since. I would like to see it translated into modern English. Good ideas, but hard to understand in the context of the language.
The Brothers Karamazov I LOVED when I read it at the age of 10. Now, I don't think I would have the patience.
I have tried and tried to read St Therese of Lisieux. Maybe I need to read her in French.
I loved the Seven Story Mountain and have read it several times. Later Merton was most disappointing as he was drifting towards Eastern mysticism.
I also loved "A Canticle for Leibowitz" and was disappointed to learn that the author had left the church over the teaching on tubal ligation and similar issue.
Here is the list:

The Book of Genesis:
The Book of Job:
The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 and 2 Samuel by Robert Alter:
The Gospel of Luke: .
The Gospel of John:
The Confession by St. Augustine:
Inferno by Dante Alighieri:
Butler's Lives of the Saints by Michael Walsh:
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis:
The Idea of a University by Ven. John Henry Newman
Walden by Henry David Thoreau:
The Second Inaugural Address by Abraham Lincoln:
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky:
The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux:
Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres by Henry Adams:
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton:
Dubliners by James Joyce:
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset:
Therese by Francois Mauriac:
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather:
Mr. Blue by Myles Connolly:
Out of My Life and Thought: An Autobiography by Albert Schweitzer:
The Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos:
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene:
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey through Yugoslavia by Rebecca West:
Brideshead Revisisted by Evelyn Waugh:
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alex Paton:
The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton:
Letters and Papers from Prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day:
The Family of Man by Edward Steichen:
Divine Milieu by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.:
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.: a
Morte D'Urban by J. F. Powers:

The Other America by Michael Harrington:

The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis:

The Historic Reality of Christian Culture: A Way to the Renewal of Human Life by Christopher Dawson:

The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O'Connor:

Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.: .

Everything That Rises Must Converge, "Revelation" by Flannery O'Connor:

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley:

Silence by Shusaku Endo: no way.

A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation by Gustavo Gutierrez:

The Fate of the Earth by Jonathan Schell:

The Love of Jesus and the Love of Neighbor by Karl Rahner, S.J.: .

In Memory of Her: A Feminist Tehological Reconstruction of Chrsitian Origins by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza:

Black Robe by Brian Moore:

Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States by Helen Prejean:

The Life of Thomas More by Peter Ackroyd:

All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time by Robert Ellsberg:

What I have been up to

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My new job has kept me busier than I imagined possible. My hospital privileges came through just before Thanksgiving, and already I have caught 14 babies. I participated in a diocesan NFP/Repect Life conference back in October, and already three couples have come to visit me professionally for care. I flew back to Los Angeles for for my dad's memorial, organized by 3 kids of my generation, and that was a whirlwind as well. I went to a fund raiser for the local Crisis Pregnancy Center, and bought a set of matrushka dolls at the silent auction. I've wanted some for years, and this was just a great opportunity.

I feel so overwhelmed sometimes. My eldest daughter came to visit us over Thanksgiving, bringing along the man she intends to marry. That brings to three the count of daughters who are engaged but not yet married. With my luck, they will all decide to do it at the same time in 3 different states.

Our new parish has a very orthodox pastor and assistant pastor. We have had some wonderful and insightful homilies, and I leave the church thinking that I should really blog on the homily,. but then get home and totally space. A recent example was one on music and liturgy and how a parish the size of ours should really have at least 30 voices in the choir at each mass (as well as congregational participation). I took the time after Mass to let him know that one of the big reasons why I haven't yet joined the choir is that I want the freedom to refuse to sing certain songs due to the borderline heresy of the lyrics and/or the inappropriate musical settings - he then told me just how much worse it was when he arrived at the parish and how he found it necessary to let the previous music director find another parish......If I had the resources, I would buy the parish some decent hymnals and 1000 subscriptions to Magnificat for the pews.
Of course, after Mass last Sunday, a choir member spoke to us personally and asked us to really consider joining up.......

My computer is in bad shape. I can't boot it because it won't take keyboard commands. I basically just want to recover my data from it at this time and upgrade. It's a laptop that is probably nearly 6 years old and it has been having overheating problems for about a year. Still, I am used to having my own workspace for blogging, email, and so on. I am currently using John's desktop because he is tied up at work with a problem.

We weathered the recent midwest snowstorm reasonably well. Northern Illinois was hit pretty hard, but not as badly as some other areas. John got a phone call around 0500 from the on-air announcer - there was a problem with snow related static and icing on the guy wires for the antenna towers. He cleared the driveway for me and I left at 0700 to head to the hospital to meet a mom in labor. It is normally about a 7 minute drive, it took me about 30 minutes and the parking lot of the hospital was the worst part. I basically hung out there all day. My boss was at the other major hospital across town and she hung out there until about midnight, when she came to join me. It was not the kind of day where you wanted to be running from office to hospital to hospital. Since our practice goes to all 3 hospitals in town, sometimes you are trying to figure out how to bilocate - though we do have enough folks on board to send a backup if really necessary.
Thankfully it was a Friday, because that gave the crews the weekend to try to get the roads reasonably cleared.

I'm way behind in my listserv email but I am trying to keep up with my personal stuff.
Oh - I got a phone call from a friend for whom we have been praying, saying that the Lord has blessed her with a financial windfall that will really help with some of her situations. She is still asking for prayers that the other issues get resolved favorably, but she asked me to let you know that at least part of the prayers have been answered abundantly.

Here is my prayer that you all have a blessed Advent and a holy Christmas. I'm on call Christmas eve and I don't know if I'll make it to Midnight Mass or if it will be the midwife mass instead!


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At long last, my open house party.
It will be Saturday Dec 16.
Show up anytime between noon and stay as long as you want. We hope to close up the house around 10 PM.
There will be beer, wine, hot mulled cider, snacks both cold and hot, and whatever else tickles my fancy.
Send me an email with the heading "Open House" if you need directions.
I have already sent email to many of you who live in the area, but just in case I couldn't reach you, know that you are welcome.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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