31 August 2011

More Prayers Needed!

A nine-month-old baby named Thomas is in the hospital with some kind of infection. His parents and his three older sisters are very worried about him.

Update: Thomas has MRSA. It looks like he'll be ok, but they have to drain an infected wound, so it's still pretty scary.
Prayers for Upstate New York

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I spend time every summer in the Catskills. The Catskills were devastated by flooding following Hurricane Irene, which dumped over a foot of water on them in one day. It had already been a wet summer, and the saturated ground and high creeks and rivers just could not absorb the additional water. Flash floods raged through picturesque towns, knocking houses off their foundations, flattening crop fields, killing livestock. Fortunately very few human lives were lost, but there were a few. My little town, where my parents' house is, was spared, but nearby communities suffered chest-hight floodwater, bridges and roads washed away along with people's livelihoods.

The little towns I drive through every summer, the farm stands I frequent, museums and stores and restaurants are gone. I am waiting to hear what became of the piano museum in Hunter, which I so happily visited six weeks ago, and whether any of their half-dozen playable 19th century instruments survived. Based on the pictures of the town, I suspect they did not. I am also waiting to hear about the damage on the pretty little Catholic church in Phoenicia. I bet the rebuilt historic railroad there was washed away, too, the fruit of many years' labor by volunteers.

As so often occurs with natural disasters, the regions hardest hit were the ones that could least afford it. Very few there have flood insurance, and Greene County was already an economically depressed area. Some of those destroyed businesses will never reopen. Some of the destroyed houses will never be rebuilt or repaired.

Here are a few images of the devastation: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/08/30/us/20110830_HURRICANE-2.html

28 August 2011


I need to lose quite a bit of weight, not just for aesthetic reasons but because high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes run rampant in my family and I want to put off that scourge as long as I can. I do quite a bit of walking with the dog, and some exercises with dumbbells three or four times a week, so it's not the exercise that's a problem. It's the food.

Since I married, I've gained more than thirty pounds. I gain weight easily anyway, but cooking to please my husband's picky palate means I eat a lot more fried/breaded food, cheese, bread, cookies, milkshakes, and all those things you're only supposed to have a little of, and a lot fewer vegetables and fruits than I would if left to my own devices. I don't really have time to cook two separate meals for him and myself, and buying extra vegetables just for myself is problematic because of the cost and the waste--a lot of vegetables available here come packaged rather than loose, and it's hard for one person to eat them all and still have a variety. I can buy a package of green beans, but it means I have to eat green beans almost every night for that week.

I can't really expect my husband to change his eating habits. He sort of self-medicates for stress with junk food, a bad habit for sure, but one that is difficult to change when your job is really stressful and you don't have a lot of time or money for more positive stress-relieving outlets like exercise or going to the movies or the shooting range. If I don't cook the fried things and sweet things that he likes at home, he relieves his stress by buying them from fast-food joints and coffee shops--even more unhealthy, and definitely budget-busting. So, I'm stuck baking the cookies and frying the chicken. How can I bake cookies and not eat any?

Oh, by the way, I can't sneak in veggies or whole wheat or sweeten things with stevia instead of sugar, either. He can always tell, and will then refuse to eat them. And he won't eat cookies with dried fruit in them. There has to be chocolate.

So, I can't really change his menu at all, and I don't have time or money to cook two separate things (or brains--I'm a respectable cook, but it takes all my concentration to keep things from burning). Am I doomed to choose between fattening food and really boring food? How do other married women deal with this?


26 August 2011

I Love L'Angelus

The prayer:

And also the band:

I'm in a French (and Cajun) mode these days.

17 August 2011

If You Have a Moment...

...stop and say a prayer for the dear lady who blogs at Renidemus and her husband. They have been hoping for a child ever since they married five years ago, and are now waiting on an adoption. The legal process for the adoption is moving very slowly, court dates keep being moved back, and there is no end in sight for them. I hope that their long-awaited child will be home with them as soon as possible, and that God will comfort them in the meantime.

I understand a little bit of her pain, since I have been married almost four years myself and am not yet a mother.

16 August 2011

Well That Was Unnecessary

My husband's boss, who is ill and away receiving treatment, just sent an email update. He's doing ok, but for some reason he felt the need to sermonize as well:

We went to the Extraordinary Rite [sic] Mass at the Cathedral yesterday. As much as I love the Latin and the chant, it became painfully obvious to both of us why we had to move on to where we are today, and beyond. These poor folks obviously find the reverence and ritual nostalgic, but THEY JUST DON'T GET IT! So out of touch with the mystical body of Christ. It was a good experience for us, to help remember why we do what we do.

WHY?! Why did he have to say that? Why did they even GO? I have to say, this doesn't exactly put me in the right frame of mind to pray for his good health. Not that I wish him ill health, but I find it hard to pray when I'm angry.

So, thanks Mr. Boss, for insulting me and many of my friends, and our bishop, and lots of other people. Even if you think that, it's not very polite to just come out and say it, especially in an email sent to the whole parish staff and everyone in all the choirs.

Maybe this picture of my cousin's cute little dog will cheer me up.

Yeah, that's better.