Recently in Miscellany Category


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6 babies last week, 2 on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, 2 on Thursday and one Saturday night. I may have re-injured my wrist, too, or it could just be the weather (which has been pretty scary here in Northern Illinois). Also, child #6 is here for a very short visit and so we have been trying to get stuff done. She has been a blessing while here - she has been cooking a fair amount. Dinner tonight was a vegetarian delight - sweet potato burritos with a black bean/pinquito dish and curried almond rice.
I keep planning to make rhubarb jam - the plants are fat and happy and now is the time - if I can find the time.
CSA last week was whole wheat flour, lettuce, spinach, and radishes. This week will probably be fairly lean due to the overabundance of water falling out of the sky.
The baby storm should end soon. However it looks like it will be a busy winter. I already have 4 signed up for January.....

this and that

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It has been a strange weekend. I keep waiting for the shoe to drop - I have 5 moms all due or overdue, and not a single call all weekend. Probably just as well. We were without power from around 1100 Friday AM to around 1330 Saturday PM. And since we are on a well, no power means no running water. That means no flushing toilets, folks. We keep a reserve of drinking water on hand, but I was not about to use that to flush with. And, since the garage doors are electronically opened, we just parked in the driveway. I was the most concerned about the food in the fridge and freezer - but the insulation worked well and we really didn't lose much at all. The ice cream went through a partial thaw and refreeze cycle,but the meats etc are still good. Thanks be to God!
We got the rest of the vegetable garden put in. Went to the farmer's market and bought some heirloom tomato plants. One is called a Polish Linguisa because of how it supposedly looks, and then there was one that has a long Pennsylvania Dutch name. Also one that was developed in Greece We shall see how they grow and how they taste.
CSA delivery is supposed to start next week. Probably it will be a load of salad greens. I can live with that. My weight has plateaued and I really need to lose some more for my own health and sanity.
I found some new shoes that I really like and that actually fit my size 11 feet.
They are Skechers, the style is bikers waterlilies. I don't understand the naming conventions, but finding shoes for my feet is a major accomplishment.

Dwight Longenecker's insights

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Theology of the Body, redux


The pastor of our parish is doing an Advent series on the Theology of the Body. It is good to see him so enthusiastic about it. We recently completed a 6 week small group meeting (in our home) of the "Why Catholic" set - we went through the sacraments. I have mixed feelings about the format we were given for this series. On the one hand, it is pretty non-threatening and theologically orthodox. On the other hand, I am not really into 'adult education' that focuses more on sharing feelings and experience than on solid teaching and digging in to the depths of our faith. Could be my INTP personality or my oldest child perfectionism getting in there. But the discussion on the various sacraments did give me an opportunity to talk about how wonderfully incarnational I find Catholicism to be, and also gave me a chance to talk to some of our group members about the Theology of the Body.

I was also able to share the 10 CD set "Naked Without Shame" ( a real bargain at just about $4 per set) which is a great audio introduction.

Our pastor did a good job introducing the basic concept tonight, and I am looking forward to the next three sessions. It is free and open to the public. Information on page 3 of this .pdf file. That should be the parish bulletin........

I have been incredibly busy lately, have barely found the time to read my email let alone blog. Lots of thoughts but not much time for action - and I am still recovering from an injury to my R hand that happened over a month ago. I still have intermittent pain and definite weakness, and sometimes I just don't feel up to sitting and typing.

We did have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration and I am looking forward to Advent and Christmas.

made in china

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1 million cribs being recalled after deaths - Los Angeles Times
The maker of Simplicity and Graco cribs on Friday recalled about 1 million of the beds after the deaths of at least two infants, including one in California.
"Don't take a chance at all," said Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, which announced the voluntary recall by Reading, Pa.-based Simplicity Inc., one of the nation's largest crib manufacturers.
The recalled Simplicity crib models include: Aspen 3 in 1, Aspen 4 in 1, Nursery-in-a-Box, Crib N Changer Combo, Chelsea and Pooh 4 in 1. The recall also involves the following Simplicity cribs that used the Graco logo: Aspen 3 in 1, Ultra 3 in 1, Ultra 4 in 1, Ultra 5 in 1, Whitney and the Trio.

The recalled cribs have one of the following model numbers, which can be found on the envelope attached to the mattress support and on the label attached to the headboard: 4600, 4605, 4705, 5000, 8000, 8324, 8800, 8740, 8910, 8994, 8050, 8750, 8760 and 8996.

For more information, call Simplicity's recall hotline at (888) 593-9274 or visit

thanks for all the fish

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I remember listening to the original radio series of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" way back when, before it had been turned into even one book. It fit very well into my quirky view of life as it were, back in the early 1980s. I can't remember what year this was, as I can't associate listening to the series with living in a particular house.
All my life, I've keyed my memories to places and then I would be able to figure out either how old I was at a particular time or what year it was. As an example, one of my earliest memories is of being barefoot outside in a driveway, and this weird white stuff started falling out of the sky - and it was cold and wet! this would have been right around my third birthday because it was when we lived near Denver - and my other memory from that place is coming home from the grocery store with bags of cereal and going down the steps into the basement apartment where we lived.
I moved a lot as a child. A lot. By the time I was 14, I had lived at 14 different addresses - and when you consider that at least a couple of times we stayed in the same house for 3 years, that is a lot of moving. The longest I've lived anyplace was our last place in Los Angeles - we lived there from October 30 1983 to January 1997. Then we moved to Oregon, where we lived in the same cramped townhouse for 3 1/2 years, and then we came to New Hampshire. In September, we will have been here for 6 years - five of them in our current house. The fruit trees we planted when we first moved here have still not really started bearing. Last year we got one peach and then the bugs attacked and the peach tree did not survive the winter. This year the Bartlett pear seems to be having a bumper crop - but the D'anjou didn't blossom, and neither of the cherry trees seem to be happy.

Planting fruit trees, like planting rhubarb or asparagus, is kind of an act of faith. It says that you expect to be in a place for a long enough time period to enjoy the fruits of the labor. But life has a way of surprising one.

The Hitchhiker's Guide was full of surprises and quirky changes. Lately, I have found myself wanting to be able to just listen to it, as it was, again. I suppose that the full set is available somewhere on CD - and I could very well listen to the whole thing on my hour long commute. Or I could just use my imagination and 'hear' the voices of those BBC actors from a generation ago, and remember that the hitchhiker's best tool is his towel.

I hate picking titles for posts

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Sorry about the album coming up blank. I guess that it was time limited. I will see if I can figure out how to post at least one picture.

You know what the problem is with vacations? Eventually, you have to go back to work. And summer is busy baby-having season. Busy....

I would covet your prayers for a special intention - for which I will have an answer by the end of the week, I think.

Feel free to contact me via email at any time. The blog is public space and I don't always post everything I might want to, just because of that.

checking in briefly

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I'm in Rockford IL, had an uneventful flight yesterday morning into Chicago-O'Hare, and a very wet drive into Rockford. Lunch Yesterday at a Barbecue place called Famous Dave's (I think that it is a local chain), dinner last night at Giovanni's. Some blissful time spent just soaking in the jacuzzi pool.
While the kids were in town for the graduation, they dragged all of us down to get portraits done - you can see the album here

A recent update from Nancy -(deleted by request -

Please continue to keep her in your prayers, and if you feel moved to send her anything, contact me for her address etc.



Last I heard, Nancy's legal fund over at had close to $900 - most of it from small donations ($5 to $25). Thanks to all who have contributed.
I've been scarce and will probably continue to be so for a while. We are having Confirmation this Sunday (yes, on Pentecost) and just now was rehearsal, I'm on call again tomorrow and again next Saturday (that's 3 Saturdays in a row). And of course my usual Wednesdays on call.The things I do to get some time off! We have a journal club Monday night. We're discussing perineal repair... The OB residency program has invited those of us who teach the residents (that means me) to an awards event the following week. It's that time of year, I guess. John's birthday is next week, and Father's day is coming up, and I am getting just a little frazzled around the edges with my own life (to say nothing of the lives of those for whom I care).

The no-longer-a baby will be graduating from High School on June 17. All but one of her siblings are flying in to help celebrate. I guess it's a good thing that we have a big house right now, although most days it seems so empty lately.

John and I will be taking a short trip to Northern Illinois (Rockford area) the following weekend (June 22-25). Anyone in that area who would like to see if we can get together please email me privately. I'm not yet sure just what our schedule will be.

In other good news, we will get our first veges from the CSA June 14. I am so looking forward to fresh organic vegetables to inspire my creativity - although the first couple of weeks are usually greens, greens, and more greens. Who knows what effect the recent flooding rains have had on the crops, though.

Hard to believe that it is June already.

hello from the road

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made it into pdx last night and down to eugene by about 2am local time. will have intemittent internet access and even less free time.
saw chronicles of narnia - the lion, witch and wardrobe on the plane. good movie. reminded me of LOTR.

Easter Triduum

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Is it Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday? Or is it Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday? inquiring minds want to know.
Also, are parishes getting better or worse about following the Maundy Thursday rubrics? I wince every time I see women's feet being washed.
On the immigration issues that are getting big press. I am not happy with the current situation but I worry that the proposed laws are a worse solution than the problem. If one of the parts of the law passes as written, I run the risk of being convicted of a felony for simply doing my job. I have no way to know if some one who comes into the clinic for prenatal care or into the hospital to have a baby is legal or illegal. And if 'aiding' an illegal immigrant becomes a felony I could become a target.
Life is very busy and a little overwhelming lately.

-A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.
-A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
-A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue.
-A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.
-A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
-A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
-A shark is the only fish that can blink with both -eyes.
-A snail can sleep for three years.
-Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
-All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.
-Almonds are a member of the peach family.
-An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
-Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.
-Butterflies taste with their feet.
-Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds. Dogs only have about 10.
-"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".
-February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.
-In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.
-If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.
-If you are an average American, in your whole life, you will spend an average of 6 months waiting at red lights.
-It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
-Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.
-Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
-Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.
-Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
-"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand and "lollipop" with your right.
-The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
-The cruise liner, QE2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.
-The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
-The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.
-The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.
-The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).
-There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
-There are more chickens than people in the world. (or there were before the bird flu and the West Nile virus!)
-There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous
-There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."
-There's no Betty Rubble in the Flintstones Chewables Vitamins.
-Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
-TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
-Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.
-Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
-Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks; otherwise it will digest itself (Yech!).

Life, the Universe, and all

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It's been a busy last ten days. Not quite sure where to start. I had a long post already to put up, and hit the wrong button and whoops, it's gone. Kind of emblematic of things lately.
That sense of forboding is still haunting me. Even with all the stuff happening, I am getting the sense that there is still more to come. I know that God won't send more than we can handle (with His help), but somedays I wish He didn't have quite such a high opinion of me!
Weather has been just plain weird. We've also been dealing with car issues. February looked to be a light month for births, only 8 due dates in the midwife practice, but I attended 2 on Wednesday (within 2 hours of each other, too!) and one yesterday that was just plain a long and tiring labor for all involved. The weather related power outages have meant that our phone keeps ringing at home, at all hours, as the remote alarms from various sites call my husband the engineer. So we're all a little sleep deprived and more than a little grumpy. It's at times like this that I realize that the marriage of engineer and midwife is a little more stressful than most. BTW - our 32nd wedding anniversary is coming up next Thursday. Pix from our 30th anniversary party here. Wedding picture here. No plans that I know of for celebration - our funds have been rather diminished by a couple of the other items from the last 10 day. Car stuff.
Almost exactly 2 years ago John's Bronco was decommisioned. It's been sitting in our driveway since. The body is in great shape, the interior is less so. Since it came out from the West coast, it didn't have the body rotting salt exposure that kills cars in New England and other snow zones. Last year, after youngest daughter got her driver's license, we briefly discussed resurrecting it for her use vs getting her a newer used car, when she took matters out of our hands and purchased a beat up but running car from a friend. Our mechanic (and fellow parishioner) told us that the rust level on that car was such that investing in major repairs was probably not wise, but that for as long as it kept running the car would be safe and reasonable as a basic transportation.
A while back, the car started to go through coolant at a pretty fair clip - and on the way to the mechanic it became obvious that the engine was blown. Scratch one car. Daughter has been in mine and I've been in a rental, while the Bronco is getting resurrected. Hopefully this set of repairs will keep it going for at least the next few months. She's now driving a car that is older than she is. Now that she's had a year driving experience in a car with standard transmission I am a little less uneasy about her in the Bronco - it's not the best car for a novice driver but she's not a novice anymore. The low gas mileage will be tough for her to deal with, though.
Back to the weather. We got the fringes of the snowstorm that buried NYC last weekend. It buried the car that we'd decided to junk, in the parking lot where it had been left with a windshield note. Local police did call to tell us that it needed to get removed, which has been done. The snowstorm caused cancellation of the confirmation class - so we'll be tackling that topic today. It's the chastity talk, with teaching on Catholic Christian sexual ethics. I offered to speak, but the DRE wanted to bring in outsiders for the big group. My turn to speak will be next class - when I get to speak on the Church. (Why be Catholic when there are so many other choices?). Part testimony, part didactic teaching, part get them to think.
Friday we had those windstorms. Power outages. And when I was getting ready to sit down and catch up the blog, we lost our cable/telephone/internet connection. It's been real.
Thanks for all the prayers. Time to get off this keyboard and head to Mass.


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I got close to no sleep Wednesday night and ended up staying late Thursday AM to finish a very nice birth. Eldest daughter is in town from Memphis and we went to the Outlet Mall last night, and today we have further excursions planned. We still need to put the lights and ornaments on the tree but at least this way the cats can't destroy too much.
In other breaking news, my new dishwasher arrived yesterday and is installed.
I may post a few links from my email but it will probably be scarce on real content for yet a while.

last week of advent

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sorry I've been scarce - I will probably continue to be scarce until after Christmas. We are having a baby boomlet this month and I am way behind in my domestic chores as well. I will try to get to my emails reasonably fast so if you have a need, that is how to reach me.
I had really wanted to do something on the O antiphons, but O well...

birthday verses


my birthday is 1-12, so here are the gospel verses to match
et post transmigrationem Babylonis Iechonias genuit Salathihel Salathihel autem genuit Zorobabel
And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoni'ah was the father of She-al'ti-el, and She-al'ti-el the father of Zerub'babel,
et statim Spiritus expellit eum in desertum
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.

et Zaccharias turbatus est videns et timor inruit super eum
And Zechari'ah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.
quotquot autem receperunt eum dedit eis potestatem filios Dei fieri his qui credunt in nomine eius
But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God;
from the Vulgate and the RSV.
meme shamelessly lifted from Julie, who obviously has all her Thanksgiving prep work done already!
Me, it's time to get off the computer and go downstairs - I have sweet potatoes to bake so that tomorrow I can candy them, pies to bake, and basic housekeeping to accomplish. The dishwasher person is supposed to be here later this afternoon - and GE agreed to waive the $70 fee. I took this week off from work to try to put some order into the chaos around here, but so far my major accomplishment has been to defrost the deep freeze (and flood the back porch in the process).

back later!

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I'm in the midst of updating my PCOS talk. Tomorrow I will be presenting PCOS 101 to a meeting of the local medical assistants group. Power point away!
Let me know if you want a copy of the outline.
Given that I have to leave for choir rehearsal in less than an hour, I better get back to the coal mines. Slaving over a hot computer....

on the road again

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blogging from the lobby of the Best Western in Irondale Alabama.
It's been an intense few days of 'vacation'. Landed in Nashville Tuesday PM and drove down to Memphis to our daughter's house. Had dinner, slept there, then the next morning got in the car with her and proceeded to drive to Lexington Kentucky. Visited with my sister and her family, including my 91 y/o granma who was visiting from Southern California. Thursday night we had dinner at a working horse farm. My brother in law is a handicapper for the ponies. Friday morning left and drove back to Memphis, dropped daughter off for her job, got back in the car and drove through Mississippi to Alabama.

This morning we got up early and went to Mass at EWTN. I don't know if any of you watch it, but I was on the right side near the wall, wearing a pink dress and a white hat. We wandered around EWTN, then we drove out to Hanceville and visited the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament. I highly recommend visiting there, it is truly awesome. Tomorrow we will go to Mass at EWTN - I'll be wearing a flowered dress and a white hat if you want to look for me on TV!
Then tomorrow it will be back to Memphis, dinner and spend the night with our daughter again. Monday back to Nashville, turn in the rental car, and fly back home.
end of travelogue. substantial content to follow.

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The WeatherPixie

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