Sunday, June 25, 2017

Over at the Register Today



Yes...it's true. I am Catholic Batman.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Ten Signs of Being Properly Beached

10) There are no alarms.
9) You forget to check your phone or your email.
8) There are reported sightings of multiple children playing cards together or by themselves reading.
7) Lunch is diet coke and chocolate.
6) It also acted as breakfast, because you slept through. (See #10).
5) People take deliberate naps.
4) The Television is off.
3) Stalking the ice cream truck is a competitive sport.
2) Don't know what day of the week it is...not sure of the time...not sure why anyone would need to know this.
1) Offered a pina-colada.  It's not yet twelve.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

New Piece at the Register

It began as an intellectual response to a fellow writer's lament at rage being all the rage these days, it resulted in a piece over at the National Catholic Register.

The Gift of Being Bored


This is a really good article on the gift of boredom.  Now every year, we make what would seem to be a list in direct contrast to the counsel to let your children discover how to entertain themselves, but it's not. It's what I point to when a child says, "Mommmmmm. (and it's always Mommmmm), never Dad, and never with Mom being pronounced with fewer than three sylables.

So here's this summer's list.

100.  Read a book a week.
99. swimming lessons.
98.  play cards.
97. Camp out.
96. Go fishing.
95. make puzzles.
94. eat ice cream from the truck.
93. go to baseball games.
92. blow bubbles.
91. fireworks.
90. hike.
89. crossword puzzles.
88. firefly catching.
87. grow a garden.
86. attend the fair.
85. drive in movie
84. Game night.
83. barbecue --perfect the brisket!
82. outdoor concert.
81. sandcastles.
80. bike riding.
79. chalk drawing.
78.  play pool.
77. make ice cream.
76. water balloon fight.
75. capture the flag.
74. 5k.
73. go to the zoo.
72. aquarium.
71.  Ride on a boat.
70. ride a horse.
69. Stargaze
68. spend a whole day reading comics.
67. paint.
66. get rid of all the broken stuff.
65. picnic.
64. write
63.  Video game contest.
62. Guitar
61. Learn to cook something new
60. hammock time.
59. parade
58. camping in the back yard.
57. for four of them, get summer jobs.
56. for two of them, get fall jobs.
55. overnight trip.
54. shopping at the outlets.
53. paint nails.
52. build a rocket.
51. play wiffleball.
50. beachcombing.
49. rock climbing.
48.  Boogie boarding.
47.  Go-carts
46. Spend time at a farm.
45. make jam.
44. Volunteer with some place.
43. Go to the library.
42. Go to an art museum.
41. Go to the park once a week.
40. Civil War battle grounds.
39.  The Washington DC monuments.
38. Go on a Roller Coaster
37.  Feed the ducks
36. International Spy Museum.
35. Air and Space Museum.
34. Winery.
33. See a horse race.
32. Visit Grandparents
31. Visit cousins.
30.  Throw a party.
29. Write a book.
28. Pass Praxis test.
27. Sleep in.
26. Get Learner's permit for Peter.
25. Paint a room.
24. Skip rocks.
23. Learn new pieces on the piano.
22. Apply for college/graduate school
21. Lemonade Stand
20.  Dance
19. Learn to skate
18. Learn to ride a two wheeler without training wheels.
17. Get hair done.
16.  Bounce House.
15.  Skateboard park
14.  Get to the gym
13.  Study for the SAT
12.  Take the SAT
11.  Audition for a play.
10.  Try out for Volley Ball
9.  Find new places in Maryland to explore.
8.  Make gumbo.
7.  Clean out garage.
6.  Weekly lunch with a friend.
5.  Read with my kids every night.
4.  Rock-band/Karyoke with the kids.
3.  Marathon Movie Weekend --watch HP or LOTR.
2.  Weekly Family Rosary
1.  Adoration once a week.

We don't have to get to all of it, it's just all there for the fun of imagining what we could do, with all this time we haven't yet spent.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Funny Thing When We Pray

The theme kept coming up in my head, about what it means to have awe of the Lord.  I'd seen it in the face of a person who fell to her knees in adoration.  It wasn't the gesture, it was the whole of her.  Just watching, I knew she held the Lord in her eyes the way one holds a newborn or a dying friend in one's heart.  Each moment amounted to an enternity of love flooding the air.

It's one thing to see it.  It's another to hold that grace yourself.  So I asked.

We'd been sitting in the front of mass lately, but today, we wound up near the back.  The kids tend to grow more restless the further back they are and sure enough, there were requests for bathroom breaks, casual interruptions to report so and so had shoes on the wrong foot, and someone else was bouncing their knees.  Try as I might, I felt the whole mass wash over me, up until the consecration.

When Paul walked up for his blessing, of his own accord, he put his hands together and he, like the woman I saw in adoration, came forward with a quiet reverence.  Like so many other answered prayers, it was right there.  Paul didn't have all the mess or distractions in his head or self conciousness, he simply came forward.  And all I could think was, "and a little child shall lead them."

Overthinking it Sherry.  Overthinking it.  Thanks again Paul.  



Saturday, June 10, 2017

Shower of Hope

For the uninitiated, searching for a person to repair stuff in your home is parallel to picking your spouse by throwing darts at the phone book. You might find a keeper. You might find an axe murderer. You most likely will find someone who won't agree to the matter. They'll come, they'll look at your most private room in the house, and it's a tad insulting when they won't even take your money to get the job done.

The first guy I brougth to the master bath to examine the... shower chatted me up. I think he saw how big my family was and wanted to impress. He talked about the fifty year reunion with all his brothers and sisters. He told me how he'd been around the area and his family had for over one hundred years. He told me he'd write up an estimate and get back to me next week after the reunion. I'm guessing his blood line was hit by a plague or wave of Klingon warriors, because I never heard a word afterwords, and I even called and left a message. 

Nothing. 

You'd think I would have read about it in the paper.

Undeterred and still having tile in the shower held together by duct tape, I tried again. I'd gone to a tile shop to ask about what to do. Our shower is circa 1994. No backer board. Could I DIY? A gentleman introduced himself, explained he was the guy to do the job. I took his card. He made an appointment and showed up early.

After looking at my shower, he explained he could do the job, but he couldn't rehang the shower. Right now, the shower door/fixtures work fine, but the tile is bad. He could fix it so the tile would be good, but the fixtures and door wouldn't exist.
"So I'd still have only half a working shower, which would mean I'd still have a broken shower, but I'd pay you for the trouble."
"Yes. I'll write up a contract and email it to you."

I asked if he could get someone to finish the job. He said yes again. I entertained hope. But a week later, no email, no phone call, no nothing. He took my twenty-five dollars and left. I feel soo used.
So I'm back in the hunting season again. Trolling Home Depot like a barfly hoping for a quick fix. This time I'll be smarter, wiser, faster. This time, I'll get them drunk first and I won't let them leave without the equivalent of a pre-nup.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Juneitis

Residents of Maryland know the Governor of our state decided school should not start back up again in the fall until after Labor Day.   However, he missread the tea leaves which counseled him about altering the school schedule.  What we really needed, was to end school at Memorial Day Weekend.

The freshmen tell us, they're fresh out.
The sophomores are acting, sophmoric, and the juniors tell us, they have junioritis, a variant on Senioritis, which has plagued high schools since seniors and any class time after March, was invented.

No.  They have Juneitis, a recessive seasonal trait encouraging within each human being, a desire to be like Phineas and Ferb, or at least have 104 days of summer vacation once pools open.   My own children are not immune.

Regina's holled up on a hammock reading her sixth book of Harry Potter.
John's pledged to use every lego in the house.
Faith and Marta are searching for a binge worthy summer series.
Paul thinks the only thing greater than Lego Batman is going swiming, and dresses with hopeful anticipation each day he finds his swimsuit.   These are the beginnings of Summer.  Rita and Anna are lobbying for afternoons at the pool.   Peter's gone on trail runs until sunset each day.  Mind you, they still have school, they just aren't taking it as seriously as they are the pursuit of summer.

I tried to think of a reason they shouldn't.  I can't.  Normally we make a list of all the things we want to do, but this year we didn't because instead, we've already begun doing them.  So I did the only thing I could do, scooped myself some ice cream, took over the hammock and read.   It's going to be a delicious sticky summer.  I hope we never recover from Junitis until September.  

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!