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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Praying for Hurricane Katrina's Victims

Won't you join me in asking the Lord's attention and mercy for those who lost their lives, loved ones, homes, livelihood, pets, places of worship and communities? It's difficult for me to fathom the extent of the devastation, based on the few photos I have seen. Our friend Paul went to Loyola University in (or near?) New Orleans, and he has a better grasp of the situation. He wonders why the media isn't taking more about the alligators, poisonous snakes and other dangers that these folks now face.



Monday, August 29, 2005

Back from the funeral...

Funerals, I think, are supposed to bring closure. They are a celebration of the person's life, and prayers to speed that person along to Heaven. They are hymns of faith that the Lord saves and will save us. They give us a chance to reflect, to be thankful to God for giving us this person to begin with, to encourage us in our walk of faith so that we can be with Jesus in Heaven too, someday.

But for a mother who has lost her precious six-week-old daughter, this is wound that no funeral service can close.

Please keep Kaylie's mom in your prayers. She is undertandably heartbroken. Here she is, her body still recovering from childbirth, and she has no baby to cuddle, to nurse, to gaze upon with the oceans of motherly love to vast to fathom. I could tell that she had done Kaylie's hair one last time as her poor little body lay in its miniscule coffin -- the satin bow that matched her white satin and lace gown was over the left side of her forehead just so, and little tufts of baby's breath were nestled in the curls of her hair. A mother's parting a time no mother should have to part from her baby.

There are no words comforting enough for her. Not yet anyway. Pray that the Blessed Mother, who suffered herself in losing her only Son, will be close to Kaylie's mom and hold her up when her own faith in God falters.

And pray for Kaylie's dad. I can see he is trying to be the rock for his wife. But he needs time to grieve as well. Time to be the one who falls apart, if that's what it takes.

Pray for Kaylie's big sister, not quite three, who understands only a little of all of this. She climbed on her daddy's lap during the funeral and gave him a hug to make him feel better. She'll have questions as she grows up. She'll want another little brother or sister someday, and she might not understand her parents' apprehension.

How tragically hope is overshadowed by grief when one has lost a child!


Friday, August 26, 2005

Baby Kaylie died last night.

Please pray for her and her family. I don't have any details, but the news is heavy enough as it is.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

So far, so good...

I got the advance from the publisher, so I was able to pay Zooey's fall semester. Also, she has a proofreading job for me that will pay $100.

Now just trying to "network" job leads for my husband. It's his birthday today, btw. I can't tell you how grateful I am for his life and for being his companion on the way. He is such a great guy -- smart, sincere, loving. I thank God for him every day, and I hope you will ask for the Lord's blessings upon him.

Please also say a prayer for his birthmother, who rejected the (illegal) abortion her mother and sister arranged for her and chose life! I know she always suffers the pain of losing him this time a year, so she could use some spiritual support.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

St. Joseph, patron of workers, please pray for us!

Well, we just have to face facts. My husband's job -- though he likes it and the boss, and he's good at it -- is not working out financially. We were waiting to see how August was going to go -- the second highest month for sales usually -- and it's still not going well. Sales have been down for the whole store, but because my husand is the manager and holds back to let the sales guys get first dibs (as a good manager should), his commissions have been down a lot. We figure about $300 less a month. When you were living paycheck-to-paycheck as it was, that's too much of a hit. And my stories for the paper aren't making up the difference.

What makes it worse is the cost of gasoline going up (at least 10%), the cost of our electric bill going up (9%), and the cost of everything else going up a little, too. My husband didn't even get a 3% cost-of-living raise this year because his boss doesn't believe in them. So he's suffered a pretty serious paycut when you add it all up.

In case you haven't done it for a while, hunting for a job stinks. So that's one reason my husband needs prayer. Plus, so far the local paper hasn't turned up anything even close to his field -- Lincoln isn't big enough to have more than two music stores, after all -- and the idea of moving...well, to be frank, it frightens me. I used to pick up and move to different cities without qualms when I was single, but now... There are the children. Moving them away from famiy and friends is hard. And moving away from this wonderful Diocese when there are so many iffy ones out there and we're still "babies" at Catholicism -- that's hard, too. Getting connections for my freelance writing work would be so hard. Finding a place to live, figuring out the best place to shop for inexpensive groceries, the best thrift stores, the most reliable auto mechanic, etc., etc., etc. -- that's all tough stuff.

But hey, if you have no other choice, you suck it up and do it, right?

Actually, choices would be nice right now. The horizon looks pretty darn bleak.

My husband has really been trying to get his side-business to grow, but he's had some major set-backs. He just gave somebody $125 to finish his demo DVD -- the fourth person who agreed to do it -- and so far, nothing. We're going to have to ask for the money back, I guess, and risk ticking off a friend (just a casual friend, but still). And we'll still be without the demo that he needs to drum up more business. He had a band in to record over the weekend, which was great, but the $400 is already spent. Zooey's tuition is due tomorrow, and we don't have it. Although I'm trying to reach the woman who owns the magazine to see if she can give me an advance.

So, that's the prayer request. We need a new job for my husband (either here or somewhere else) and/or more income from his side business, and a way to keep making ends meet in the mean time.

Please don't think I'm complaining -- I'm just desperate for prayer & I hope the few readers I have out there will be wiling to pray for us.


Monday, August 22, 2005

Please keep praying for Kaylie!

She's not doing so well. She had to have a stint put into her heart last week. And again, her poor little body is swelling up with excess fluid. They are doing some sort of dialysis on her, which they've had to do before, but it's not working so well this time. They've got to get the fluid off of her quickly, becuase right now she's only getting 40 calories per kilo of input. This is not nearly enough -- she needs 110 calories, her dad tells me -- but her body is unable to handle any more than that due to the fluid problem,

On top of that, there is some concern that her lungs are not properly formed, and that could have some very serious implications. She's still on a respirator and still on paralytic drugs so that she doesn't fight it.

Kaylie needs a miracle, and you can ask God to give it to her. And her parents need His comfort and support. So pleas pray and keep on praying. It's been an awfully difficult five weeks.

Will write again tomorrow -- I'm blitzed. Filed three stories today.


Friday, August 19, 2005

What it's like to have lunch with the Pope...

Sure wish I would have been a fly on the wall for this luncheon.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The dog is okay...

We couldn't find any scratches or bites anywhere on her.

The identity of the animal she sent to an early grave remains up in the air. Somebody else at Animal Control thought it was a mink! Waaaaay back when I was in college in Iowa, I remember there being a mink farm there. I think because it was so far away from the coasts, they hoped to be ignored by P.E.T.A. I wonder if they just went under at some point and just let all the mink go?

Well, regardless, I heard another local report of a weasel, so maybe it is a weasel. Animal Control doesn't think it was rabid, but they are sending it for a test anyway -- maybe whomever tests it will be able to identify it. Hmmm...or maybe I should call the children's zoo. They have lots of animals like that, and we only live about 7 blocks away...


Monday, August 15, 2005

St. Francis, please pray that my dog doesn't have rabies!

My dog killed a weasel this morning.

Yes, a weasel. And no, weasels are NOT commonly found in town. In fact, I'm such a city girl (born and raisedin Chicago), I didn't even know what that thing was. I let the dog out for her morning duty, and the next thing I knew, there was this terrible sound of animals struggling, occasionally pierced by a sound like a hawk screeching. I ran to the backyard and found my dog battling some small animal.

At first I thought it was one of the neighbor's ferel cats (her mother was the notorious neighborhood cat lady who put out many bowls of food for all the stray cats, and she continues the tradition on a smaller scale), but it was too little. Kitten came to mind next, but the shape was long with short legs and tiny ears. I finally concluded it was a stoat. Yes, I know there aren't any stoats in Nebraska, but that's what the thing looked like. And it was the source of that screeching sound, not a hawk.

Anyway, my dog barked at it, and it lunged for her. She grabbed it, shook it, dropped it, and it lunged at her again. They did this over and over again. It took quite some doing to get my dog off the animal. In fact, I was unsuccessful until the little thing slipped through the chain link fence to the neighbor's yard. I dragged my dog into the house -- she would have gone after it -- and checked her over. I didn't see any bites, so I wiped the dew off her and sent her to her kennel.

My husband laughed at me when I said it was a stoat. We finally concluded it was somebody's pet ferret who had gotten loose, and I just hoped it found its way home.

Well, at 10 a.m., my husband's cousin, who is babysitting for us today, took the children out in the backyard with the dog. The dog went nuts and hopped the fence -- it's 42 inches high but she can jump it without a running start. She's half Doberman, so she's very agile, and she has all the enthusiams of her Labrador mother. Long story short, she killed the ferret in the neighbor's yard as cousin M. tried to call her off.

My husband was going to bury the carcass during his lunch hour, but when he got home, he thought it was suspicious looking. He called animal control, and their officer identified it as a weasel. We were both close in our guesses -- weasels, stoats and ferrets are all closely related.

Odd thing is, weasels are very elusive. The fact that it was (a) in town and (b) behaving agressively (lunging at my dog after she put it down) is troubling. It wasn't foaming at the mouth, but maybe not all rabid animals do that.

Animal control is testing it for rabies. They're going to let us know if it comes back positive. I don't know what that will mean for us. Unfortunately, my dog is about two months overdue for her rabies shot. We simply have not had the money to take her to the vet. And because we are very controlled with her (i.e., limiting her to our yard and virtually no contact with other animals), we figured we could take a chance and put her shots off for a little while. I hope and pray that decision doesn't come back to haunt us, but seriously, we were at the point between choosing between shots and dog food.

I love my dog. Not in the crazy way, like some people who personify dogs. But we got our dog for protection, and she's a great protector. She looks fierce enough to keep people who have negative motives away. A drunk tried to get into our house once (we were still awake with the doors unlocked), and my dog kept things from getting ugly. And when three people tried to rob the little old lady next door (a few years before she died), my dog scared them off. Who knows how many other times her mere presence has protected us from something awful?

In a way, I have to think that if this weasel was rabid, my dog probably kept it from biting one of my kids. And I'm grateful for that.

I don't see any bites or scratches on her. I hope and pray to God that this would mean the chances of her getting rabies herself are slim to none. And if she has contracted it, I hope and pray there is a way to treat her so that we don't have to put her down. She's only 5.5 years old (that's 38.5 in dog years) -- still has a lot of life in her.

So...St. Francis, lover of animals, please pray for my dog, Lazlo! And if you want to pray for her too, I'd be grateful.


P.S. Before anybody bothers to post it in the comments box, YES, I now know the difference between a weasel and a stoat: A weasel is weasily recognized, but a stoat is stoatally different. I found that joke (about a billion times) this morning when my husband and I were on Google trying to figure out what the critter was.

Feast of the Assumption

In most of the U.S., this wonderful Feast day was celebrated yesterday. However, here in the Diocese of Lincoln, we get to celebrate it today. I'm looking forward to the noon Mass at St. Mary's downtown today. It's always packed and it seems to me that everybody sings at the tops of their lungs. So cool... My husband's work schedule keeps him from the regular Mass times, but he'll go down to St. Thomas Aquinas on campus tonight for the 10:30 p.m. Mass.

Crossroads sent me this great link on St. John Damascene's writing on the Feast of the Assumption. Well worth the read, even if you celebrated yesterday.


Friday, August 12, 2005

Prayer request...

I meant to put this up a couple days ago, but I forgot.

Would you please pray for our friends M. & T. who are facing a quite ridiculous lawsuit. Basically, a criminal court ruled that M. was not at fault for an accident, but now they are being sued in civil court and could lose their home. They have two little boys and as I said before, they are NOT at fault for the situation. It's a rough situation, though, so pray for them (and the civil courts, lawyers, the person who is having the suit filed, etc.), please.


Tuning in on World Youth Day

You might think, "I'm not a youth, so why should I care?" You should care because the future of the Church belongs to the youth. I have met a number of wonderful priests who came to their vocations after attending World Youth Day in Denver, Colo. (1992) and hearing Pope John Paul II speak.

As Fr. Peter Mitchell paraphrased during my interview with him last month:

“Basically, he said, ‘Young people, the future of the Church belongs to you. If the future priests and sisters of the Church are not here, where are they?’”

This statement is what made Fr. Mitchell realize that he had to go to seminary. Somewhere else in the crowd was a young college professor named Brendan Kelly. He'd been resisting the call to priesthood for some time -- he was too old, he was too busy, he wasn't cut out for it. Until the great Pope spoke those words. They cut him to the quick. He tried to shake it off for years afterward, but couldn't. When I interviewed him in June, he quoted the exact same words from John Paul II.

Imagine what will happen this year. Imagine who will be inspired to see the vocation that God has laid out for them!

So yes, World Youth Day does concern you. You should pray for all the youth. You should pray for the many religious who are going there to serve as spiritual directors and in so many other capacities. And of course, pray for the speakers, including the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

Jeff over at Quo Vadem Ed Ad Quid is making it easy on us by collectiing a series of links on World Youth Day. Thanks, Jeff!

Here is EWTN's schedule of coverage. (You can see another photo of Fr. Mitchell there -- I also took this one, in the chapel just outside Assumption Parish church in Dwight.)



"It was never about the money..." why is he going back for more?


Birthday Update, Part II

As if you can stand to hear about another one! Well, I figure I get most of my ideas off the internet, so somebody might be searching for some suggestions. And we all know that everybody is entitled to my opinion…

Zooey’s Jedi Training Camp Party

Somewhere along the line, Zooey decided that a Star Wars party would be a good idea. As a general rule, I am not a big fan of status-quo themes, unless they are based on a book (like “Madeline,” below). So we talked it over and instead of just having a standard Star Wars party, we decide to have a Jedi Training Camp. Basically, this meant turning the boys loose in the backyard, with a few thematic ideas thrown in.

The invitations were a letter from Obi-Wan Kenobi notifying the recipient that due to a disturbance in the force and Zooey’s sixth birthday, more Jedis must be recruited. The recipients were chosen based on their agility and integrity and were requested to show up to Jedi Training Camp on August 7 at 1 p.m. I printed these out reverse – white type on black with a Star Wars logo to make it look like letterhead – and signed it with a silver pen.

I also included a brochure made up to “advertise” the camp. I took a couple digital shots of Zooey in training camp gear (swim trunks, armed with a light saber in one hand and a “wookie blaster” in the other – actually just a squirt gun). The brochure included a list of stuff the kids would need (change of clothes and towel for example) and reiterated the time and place.

When the kids showed up, I basically let them run amock. I had to give them rules for squirt guns (not in the face, only shoot somebody armed, a person filling their gun out of the hose is NOT armed). I also had the kiddie pool filled up and a slip-n-slide going.

After the fun of water stuff started to wear down, we let the kids grab light sabers (most brought their own but I borrowed a few, too, which was good because some kids didn’t have them), and we let them do light saber sparring. It sort of looked like that big battle scene in “Attack of the Clones” (of which I have only seen a short excerpt on TV so don’t get picky on me if I’m off.)

When that activity died down, I set up the obstacle course, and the kids took turns running that. They started back by the swing-set. They had to climb up the playhouse, drop a ball into the sprinkler (which has a shoot that the ball spirals down into and then comes up out of the water – this was supposed to be dropping a bomb into the Death Star), then run to a bucket filled with water balloons, grab one and sit on it (bomb detonation practice). From there, they went to a squirt gun station where they were supposed to knock three “bad guy” Star Wars figures off a plank. After that, they ran to another bucket filled with water and “splash bombs” (like Nerf balls covered with nylon), which they were supposed to get into the kiddie pool via slingshot (mimicking the Ewoks at the end of “Return of the Jedi”). The sling-shot didn’t work, though, so they just threw the balls. Then they slid down the slip-n-slide and that was it.

The kids liked this so much, they wanted to do it again and again. Caveat: I bought biodegradable balloons for the water balloons, thinking it would be better if shreds of that got in the soil instead of regular latex. But a lot of them burst spontaneously as soon as you touched them. I think in the hot sun, combined with water, the balloons were already starting to degrade.

When it was time to go in for cake, we herded all the boys into Zooey’s room to change, while Edyn and the one other girl who was willing to get wet changed in Edyn & Lola’s room. (And I changed the baby in there, too, who had refused to nap and insisted on putting on a suit and coming outside to toddle around the playing field).

I followed the general form of this cake for Zooey’s cake, which is based on the new movie’s big battle scene between Obi-Wan and Anniken on some volcano. (We haven’t seen the movie yet, but Zooey likes volcanoes more than he likes Star Wars, so this was an easy sell). I happen to have a 3-D Christmas Tree cake mold, so I used that for the volcano and just put a single layer underneath. Chocolate frosting over all, bright orange frosting for the lava, with broken chocolate cookies pressed in to look like cracked earth. We used smaller Star Wars figures of Anniken and Obi-wan, which I think made the proportions a little better. There was not enough room at the top for both Obi-wan and candles, like I had hoped, but I just put them on the lower layer and it was fine. Zooey had picked bright orange candles that had white stars printed on them – more for the theme.

After cake and ice cream, Zooey opened gifts, and we had another short light saber duel on the front lawn. Parents should have been showing up then, but they weren’t, so we went inside for a game of “Jedi Master Says,” which is just like “Simon Says,” of course.

When the kids started leaving, Zooey gave them each a goody bag of his own design. Well, pretty much. He asked me to buy everybody a light saber, snap off the colored part and fill it with candy, then tape it back on. I declined. Instead, we saved paper towel tubes for the whole summer (I needed 12 of them!) and I used a whole roll of duct tape covering them and making ridges and raised areas, with stripes, rings, grids and the like added in black masking tape. Each one was different, and they looked pretty cool.

Inside the empty tube, we put Star Wars fruit snacks, Star War Kudos granola bars, Star Wars stickers, an envelope of Pop Rocks and a pack of Nerds (which I though were funny when Zooey picked them out because what do you see the most of in a movie theatre showing Star Wars?). For the “light” part of the light saber, I got some of those long balloons that clowns use to make balloon animals. I had to use a bike pump to blow those things up. Man, I don’t know how the clowns do it. The children adored these!

So that’s our Jedi Training Camp party. I think next year, we should just have Zooey invite one friend over…


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Birthday Party report…

Since we have two July birthdays (Zooey's on the 30th and Edyn's on the 1st), we always have Edyn
s party on the Sunday before her birthday and Zooey’s on the Sunday after his. Technically, his party should have been July 31 this year, but I happily put it back a week – all the more time between parties.

Edyn’s “Madeline” Party

Edyn’s been loving those “Madeline” books for some time now, so she wanted a Madeline party. Since the Sunday before her birthday also happened to be my mother-in-law’s birthday, I had Edyn telephone Grandma to ask if they could have a joint party. We invited my husband’s parents, grandparents, siblings, niece and nephew, plus a few friends and figured that would be plenty for a 3-year-old.

Invitations were, by Edyn’s request, storybooks. They were only four pages long, inside a cover. I traced a couple of drawings from the Madeline books and realized that Ludwig Bemelmans was a very casual artist. There was little consistency between his drawings of Madeline, so that made me more comfortable with imitating his style. I changed Madeline’s hair to be more like Edyn’s (longer and parted on the side), etc. Very easy to do! I printed out the internal pages on regular paper and copied the “cover” onto card stock. (Each sheet was cut in half to make either two covers or two sets of four internal pages). I used regular Crayola markers to color the pages I wanted colored. Fold them in half and staple twice on the crease, and they were done.

This is the “story” I wrote:

(Page one, sketch of our house)
In an old house in Lincoln (barely) covered with paint
We’re getting ready to celebrate!

(Page two, sketch of Edyn dressed as Madeline, holding balloons)
No longer the smallest, Edyn is turning three
So we’re having a party with friends and family.

(Page three, tracing of the table from Madeline book with sketch of cake added)
The children will play, the grown-ups will chat
And then we’ll eat cake – cake shaped like a hat!

(Page four, sketch of small table with clock and piece of cake, calendar on the wall has month of June with sketch of Eiffel Tower from the Madeline book cover)
Be sure to join us at half past noon
For a birthday extraordinaire the last Sunday in June.

Inside back cover had the standard who, what, where, when, RSVP stuff.

We served a late brunch. Technically, it should have been “lunch” since we started at 12:30, but Edyn picked French toast for the meal. I think that’s the only “French” food she knows. She also was adamant about wanting bacon and watermelon, and she said something about French fries, which I “forgot” to make. I added a few other fruits to the watermelon for a legitimate fruit salad and made a Quiche Lorraine, too.

It was a lot of bacon, but we used my husband’s newly devised oven technique, and it worked quite well.

After lunch – err, brunch – we had two cakes, a Fresh Strawberry cake for Grandma from the June issue of Martha Stewart Living (very easy & yummy, but sorry, not on line). and a chocolate Madeline “hat” cake for Edyn. This was made with one 9” layer and a small “crown” that was baked in a 6” Pyrex bowl. I frosted everything yellow and used a ribbon fruit roll (like Froot-by-the-Foot) for the hat ribbon. I looked everywhere for blue but had to settle for purple for that. Edyn didn’t mind – she loves purple.

I had some games in mind, but I hurt my wrist right before the party and I was in a splint. I couldn’t make all the things for the games. Instead, the kids all went out and played in the sprinkler. These were the games I was planning:

Musical Madeline Hats: I spray-painted some children’s straw hats yellow and added bright blue ribbons. I was going to have the kids all stand in a close circle, then turn to the left so they were facing another child’s back. One hat would be put on the birthday girl’s head, then as French music played, the child behind her would take the hat off her head and put it on her own. This continued, so that the hat traveled around the circle until the music stopped. Whomever was wearing the hat got to keep it and stepped out of the circle, then we’d play again with another hat until all the children had one. I was planning on making black felt Pepito hats for the two boys (Simple triangles with top point blunted, fabric glued together, bottom turned up and creased, with two big red pom-pons added, one at the top and one on the cuff), but with my right hand out of commission, I couldn’t. (I can run a can of spray paint with my left hand just fine because it’s not an exact science!)

Pin the French Flag on the Eiffel Tower: I was going to sketch out the Eiffel Tower on a piece of poster board, then use “Name Tag” stickers for the flag – very easy to do just by coloring the left vertical third blue and the right vertical third red, leaving the middle white. Drawing the Eiffel Tower is not so hard – if you get the external shape about right, it’s just some hash marks to indicate the steel structure.

Hide Genevieve: Genevieve is Madeline’s dog. I was going to play this game like Hot Potato with a small brown beanie dog. The children sit in a circle, with the birthday girl holding the dog. I was going to shout in as close to a French accent as I could muster. “Oh, no! Here comes the Board of Trustees! Hide the puppy!” I would keep my back turned while the girls toss the puppy round the circle as I repeated, “Here they come, they’re getting closer!” Finally, I would shout “They’re here!” and turn around. Whomever was holding the puppy would hide it, and I would try to guess who had it. If I guessed right, that girl would join me with backs turned for the next round, saying, “Here come the trustees!”

Goodie bags were tough. I was going to buy little boxes and draw on them with marker to look like the Old House in Paris that was covered with vines, but again, couldn’t pull that off with a splint. Instead, I used yellow paper sacks tied with blue ribbon. I also could not find ANY candy or treats that were French-related, so I went with the rest of the fruit rolls, lemon drops and chocolate kisses, and party horns. The girls also got to keep their Madeline hats.

Thank you notes were also homemade: I used the image of Edyn dressed as Madeline holding balloons, but I added a "voice balloon" with her saying "Merci!" I let her "write" on the inside, then added our own (more legible) thanks, and included a photo of Edyn playing with, reading or wearing the gift she had received from that particular person.

Golly, I have to run! I will post about Zooey’s party next!


Wednesday, August 10, 2005


My story about Father Peter Mitchell is up at!!! I snapped the photo, too. There were better ones -- I took a lot of him at his parish's grotto, which has a small-town charm to it -- but this is the one that he requested himself, showing off the parish name.

It's a bit edited -- shortened and rearranged for the purpose of the web site. They took out almost all the stuff about Father Mitchell's new role as pastor of two small-town parishes, but that was gravy for the local paper. Not newsworthy as much to the rest of the world, of course.

Well! I guess if you need a freelance writer for any Catholic publication, you know where to find me: sparki777 (at) yahoo (dot) com.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

And the Guardian of the Year award goes to...

...the man who made sure the person he was "guarding" died. I am not kidding.

Folks, we should all be terrified of growing old, infirm or otherwise incapable of meeting some ridiculous standard for "quality of life." And having a Living Will is no guarantee that somebody might interpret it is a very broad way and therefore consider it your permission to "let you die" when society no longer considers you a valuable human being.

At the rate society is going, that's a very, very scary thing.

I found the news item over at Catholic World News.


Did you know....

...Planned Parenthood, the self-proclaimed "freedom of choice" people, has a cartoon that shows a "superhero for choice" drowning somebody who promotes the choice of abstinence and blows up the people who are anti-abortion? Dawn Eden has the scoop. Good discussion going on in her comments section, too. One reader offered this interesting site on Abortion Violence. Not sure how accurate it is, but it's interesting to note that such violent actions toward pro-lifers (including "dumping semen and urine" on them) are never reported in the mainstream media.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Stories filed...

I got two done, and I think they're pretty okay. (Jeff will let all of us know if they aren't when he reads the paper, right Jeff?) The third one is on hold, because (a) I couldn't get a hold of the main priest who is involved with the topic, (b) I still have at least two other inteviews that never materialized and (c) my boss Fr. B is out of town and left the wrong editorial contents page with the editor, so she wasn't even expecting it. Or the other two. Actually, she thought the stories I have scheduled for the August 26 issue were arriving today. So nobody's mad. Yet. Fr. B might be miffed when he gets back. We'll see. I haven't had opportunity to disappoint him before now.

Zooey's birthday party was yesterday. I'll blog about that tomorrow, if I had time. I also forgot to blog about Edyn's party in late June, so I should do that, too.

Thanks for praying for me. The laundry awaits!


Friday, August 05, 2005

No time to blog...

...too busy...Zooey's birthday party Sunday...three (THREE) stories due at the paper on Monday at noon, and I was dumb enough to forget to interview one person, haven't had time to even set up interviews with the other three. INSANELY busy...late on the in shambles...and ten little boys coming Sunday afternoon!!!!

EEK! Pray for me...


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Welcome, Baby Susan

...and God bless your mom and speed her to her eternal rest.

Amy Welborn at Open Book reports that Baby Torres was born yesterday and given the name Susan Ann Catherine Torres. Stats: 1 pound 13 ounces, 13 1/2 inches long. She's in neonatal intensive care, obviously.

Keep praying for the Torres family, please.


UPDATE: CBS News is reporting that Susan Torres received Last Rites shortly after the baby was delivered, then the life support machinery was turned off and she died.

Caveat: CBS has occasionally jumped the gun and reported expected events as actual events, and last word from the hospital was that they would not comment on Susan Torres' condition, so this may not be accurate.

UPDATE II: Here is the family's statement about Susan Torres' passing. And yeah, CBS jumped the gun again. Susan died on August 3, the day after the baby was delivered. I think this was a smart choice for the family. Baby Susan's birthday will always be closely related to the day her mother died, but it won't be the exact SAME day. And Baby Susan will grow up knowing what a wonderful sacrifice her mom (and her whole family) made for her sake.

I wish I could send a whole bunch of money to the Susan Torress Fund. If you can help, even a little, there's a PayPal link to donate here. Bonus -- there's also a new photo of Baby Susan gripping her dad's index finger! She looks like a little fighter, just like her mommy. God bless her and all the Torres/Rollins family.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

God and Family Planning

Pop on over to M'Lynn's to read her excellent essay on discerning family size and other related issues.


Monday, August 01, 2005

Chilling look at George Felos -- from his autobiography

I missed this article when it went up just shy of a month ago, but it's worth reading if you have stomach for it. It's a closer look and commentary on George Felos, the "right to die" attorney who successfully convinced the Florida Supreme Court that it was okay to kill Terri Schiavo.

I run into more people who agree with George Felos than I'm comfortable with, and I'm sure the numbers are growing. So read the article -- we need to know what's going on inside these "enemies of life" so that we can combat them...and work to rescue them from their twisted ideology, as it pleases God.


Update on Baby Kaylie

A mutual friend happened to be in Omaha over the weekend, and stopped in quickly to see our friends G. & K. (Kaylie's parents). They took her in to see the baby, who is reportedly "just darling" in all ways, though still hooked up to so many machines. The second surgery went well, but they have left her chest open (sealed over with some sort of plastic) in case they have to go back in. Turn out that besides the two-chamber heart and missing kidney, there was something wrong with Kaylie's placenta, so she wasn't getting enough nutrients, either. I understand that she's consuming her mother's milk, though, and that's great -- that's got to help.

Kaylie's a fighter, to be sure, but her saturation levels "are all over the place." It's still touch-and-go. Our mutual friend said Kaylie's only got a four out of ten chance of surviving at this point.

So please, please, please keep praying for little Kaylie, and her parents G. & K. and her almost-three-year-old sister who has been to visit but has been staying with relatives mostly since Kaylie was born.