A week full of compliments – and it’s only Tuesday!

So… I have to share these with you, okay? because compliments like this don’t happen every day – or every week, or every month, even.

Friend from high school read “Prelude and Fugue in Faith” and had glowing things to say about it – and very particularly about my writing. Suffice it to say I’m still smiling and blushing over the compliments.

Then yesterday I got a tweet from a new friend via Fr Z’s What Does the Prayer Really Say? – who asked me if anyone had ever told me that my photo makes him think of a young Dame Judi Dench.

Actually, Angela has pointed this out to me a few times – but hearing it from a gentleman goes much more directly and immediately to my heart/ego.

I kinda like this flattery and compliment business! I could really let this stuff go to my head!

A sweet award!


“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

Many thanks to both Angela and Mary Rose who thought this blog fit the bill – but I’m left with a dilemma: Do I know eight more bloggers? By golly, I do indeed!

Lala – at The Perpetual Residence of the Lady Nomad
Penelope at Penelope’s Oasis
Melina at The Art of Being Feminine
Adrienne at Adrienne’s Catholic Corner
Penny at Argent by the Tiber
Chris at A Catholic View (and now a contributing editor at Deliberate Engagement – but I don’t think Matt would appreciate having to distract the pro-life blog with awards and pretty stuff, so I ain’t goin’ there!)
Must mention a couple of men, though:
Guy at What Women Never Hear (if you haven’t read his blog, you’re missing out!)
Owen at Luminous Miseries

Bless you all for making my life better!

Family Gathering

One cousin is here from Georgia, another from Alabama, so last night we had the big family dinner. I think I counted 35 of us, from one month to… however old Jack is!  The cousins have held on to the homeplace because it’s the only place big enough for everyone to gather, and the house was nearly bursting at the seams.

The food is always excellent. My cousins are good cooks, Olympic-class competitive cooks – and as one’s husband observed, this fall, each of them cooks as if she were the only one providing the food for the entire gathering. There was ham and turkey, dressing and gravy, several different kinds of sweet potatoes (casserole and candied), creamed white potatoes with bacon bits and cheese, broccoli casserole, plain vegetables from the summer garden (beans, butterbeans, corn), potato salad, macaroni salad, several different platters of deviled eggs, a cabbage salad, homemade pickles, Judy’s sourdough loaf bread and rolls – all extending the whole length of kitchen counters, around the sink and reaching the far end of the “U” at the stovetop. Desserts were arranged on the back porch, on top of the deep chest freezer.

There were the usual jokes about how many helpings this cousin had gone back for – or that one needing sideplanks to hold the food steady on his plate. The girls blushed over the breach of diets so carefully followed all year long –

There was talk about how old various children and grandchildren now are – and as one pointed out to lots of laughter at ourselves, “They’re all one year older than they were when we discussed this last year!”

The newest baby is barely a month old. He was less than a week old when we all gathered at Thanksgiving, so this event was his debut into the larger family circle. I got to hold him for a while, as his mama checked on the older boys’ dinner plates. I got to hold the next littlest, now almost three months old, who tried so hard to talk to me as I held her! Holding little babies always tugs at my heart – I’d love to have another one, even at my advanced and decrepit age!

I got to visit a bit with the cousin who drove in for the day from the western part of the state, and share what a precious experience it is to be a “home-mommy” – she’s on leave from her teaching job as an experiment this year. She’s bucking a social expectation of women, and I’m proud of her for having the courage of conviction to follow her heart to be with her children just now – as I’m proud for another of the cousins for their decision to allow God to plan their family.

I think that was part of the very best of it, sharing hearts and minds in those traditional values that have made our family so strong and resilient over the years, in the face of varied sorrows. My family, although not (yet) Catholic, are grounded and rooted, fed and watered, on Christian faith. It was a good way to grow up, and they’re all quite close, even now after Mama and Daddy have gone on, and their own children grown.

The anchor still holds.

Powerful insights from A. Guy Maligned –

From “Guy” at What Women Never Hear. If you haven’t visited this blog, you should. Frequently. Attentively.

401. Dark Side of Feminism — Part 21

December 6, 2008 by A.GuyMaligned

Feminism produced political, legal, and economic gains for women. No dispute from me. But women have not heard it all.

The warring and do-battle feminist mindset infiltrated elsewhere. The social and domestic arenas ‘evolved’ over fifty years through the following steps:

The earliest women libbers and then radical feminists sought to reduce male dominance and compensate for past injustices. Men had to be ‘brought down’. The radicals dreamed that matriarchy would someday overpower patriarchy.

· Plus, they pushed their agenda without consulting men. It was women only, and they set out to beat men into submission.

· The movement caught on. Ardent feminists belittled and demeaned masculinity, manliness, and men. As it became popular among females, it polarized the genders.

· Females identified and spotlighted every imperfection and eccentricity of male gender. They looked for the same in their man.

· Women were at fault for nothing. Men objected but not too strongly, because unmarried sex became common and commoner, cheaper and cheaper.

· TV and movies mocked men, made dummies of fathers and husbands. Emails flooded cyberspace and popularized male bashing. Teasing at first, but sincerity inevitably soaked in as Feminism flooded the culture.

· Women accepted feminist propaganda, entertainment mockery, and male bashing as ‘truthful’. They learned to doubt the worth of men to women.

· Women convinced themselves that ‘Men are just not worth their troublesome nature. Women must put their man in his place. Moreover, she’s perfectly capable of doing without him’.

· But something else seeped into that poorly concocted mixture: Wives competed directly with husband; they spent a lot of time ‘in his face’. Couples split. Marriages broke up. Unmarried sex normalized. Men became worse instead of better. Cheap sex kept men satisfied if not happy.

· Men learned not to commit and also to cheat in spite of commitment. It all flows directly, however, from so much cheap sex made easily available by females.

· Today, men just follow their urge to merge. One woman can’t capture and keep a man’s devotion separated from his conquering spirit. Too many opportunities with all those oh-so-willing females hunting boyfriends and husbands.

· Women lost the ability or interest or both for holding their own with a man. Female spirits declined. Men went on a cheap sex binge. Wifely hopes and dreams changed to accommodate husbands that turn undependable, irresponsible, and irresolute with their vows. The females’ macro self-fulfilling prophecy against the male gender reshaped the domestic scene to its present female-unfriendly status.

Thus, social ‘evolution’ turned the female gender inferior and made male dominance more dominant. Witness pop culture music and values.

Social and domestic results are contrary to that originally expected. But—as women go, so goes society.