22 November 2011

Happy Feast of St. Cecilia!

Since we're musicians around here, this is a special feast day for us. Let us do as St. Cecilia recommends, and also exemplified:

Dum aurora finem daret, Caecilia exclamavit dicens: Eja, milites Christi, abjicite opera tenebrarum et induimini arma lucis.
As dawn was fading into day, Cecilia spoke with a loud voice, saying: Arise, O soldiers of Christ, cast away the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Cecilia, famula tua, Domine, quasi apis tibi argumentosa deservit.
O Lord, your servant Cecilia served you like a busy bee.

Aren't these lovely? We certainly lost some treasures in the new Office, including the image of the bee in that antiphon. Sad. Incidentally, can any one tell me about the word "argumentosa" here? It's being translated as "busy," but none of the dictionaries I have translate it that way. Maybe I am looking up the wrong stem?

Anyway, a bit of encouragement, brothers and sisters: this morning, arise, put on the armor of light, and be bee-busy serving the Lord!

St. Cecilia and her husband Valerian from the apse mosaic in the basilica of St. Cecilia in Rome.

16 November 2011

Que Sera, Sera

The girl who was my best friend in 7th grade has a three-year-old daughter now. As proven by a recent video, the three-year-old knows almost all the words to "Que Sera, Sera" and can actually sing them fairly tunefully. I am super impressed! Children are amazing.

I babysat three awesome little ones today so that their mother could go to her first pre-natal visit for #4. They are 6, 4 and 2. They were not acting too awesome today because they'd recently been pumped full of artificial food colors, to which they are sensitive. But mostly they were charming, especially when the oldest one sat next to me on the couch reading a book while the two little ones crawled around the floor pretending to be puppies, or when we went outside and made "snow angels" in the fallen leaves. They mostly did what I told them to do, and shared toys and didn't argue. And the oldest girl wants to have a BVM-themed birthday party--isn't that sweet?

It was a little less charming when all three decided to imitate their grandpa with his leaf blower ("bzzzzzzZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz I'm blowing leaves in your face, HAHAHAHAHAHA"). Children are amazing, but sometimes weird.

On the other hand, I'd be really tempted to do something like that if I had a real leaf blower. Maybe I'm still a kid too, at least a little bit.

13 November 2011

Neat Stuff

Check out my friend's Etsy shop PaxCarmel. She and her husband are selling beautiful knives made from railroad spikes made on a tiny forge in their backyard.

I have the coolest friends!

12 November 2011

Very Funny

A friend's comment: "We're going to learn this for our first child's wedding. We will wow everybody."
I fully support this endeavor and volunteer my services as a back-up dancer.

11 November 2011

Veteran's Day

When I think of WWI, I always think of two pictures that hung on the wall of my parents' home when I was a child. The pictures were of my mother's grandfathers, Otis and Olen, each in an Army uniform. Unfortunately I don't have copies of those pictures to share. I don't have pictures of my grandfather and grandmother in their Navy and Army Nurse uniforms. I don't have pictures of my great-uncle, or two uncles, or assorted cousins, or father-in-law in their uniforms, either. In fact, I hardly have any family photos at all. I'll inherit them eventually. In the meantime, it's just as well--I'd probably lose them.

I do, however, have access to one photo of the aforementioned Otis, which happens to have been published on the internet. Otis is the small boy in the Little Lord Fauntleroy suit. The older boy is his half-brother (his mother's son from a previous relationship, even though Genealogy.com will try to tell you they're full brothers), the baby is his sister, held by their mother. The man in the coffin is Otis's father, an Irish immigrant, dead of dysentery at 39.

It might look like Maggie is smiling here, but I assure you that her face is clearer in the original photograph and she is clearly not smiling.

I remember the first time I saw this photo in a family album. I was pretty shocked. But photos like this were not uncommon at the time--pretty much the last chance to take a family photo if you didn't already have one. The children here did not meet happy fates, alas. The older boy was a professional card player in a smoke shop, and the baby was eventually sent off to be raised by another family. Otis joined the army, and then came home and married a very pretty local girl and had a son. Otis's wife died of TB just a few years later and Otis had to send his son to be cared for by relatives, first by Maggie here pictured, and later with the boy's maternal relatives. Otis died of TB in 1933 at a VA hospital. He was 40 years old.

Otis's little boy is 91 years old now, having surpassed the combined lifespans of his father and grandfather a decade ago. He's a veteran, too--of WWII and Korea.