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Showing posts from March, 2014

Proud Mama Post

That is artwork done by my daughter, framed and hanging over our guest room bed. You can view and purchase her work at Society6. You can order the work as prints, pillows, totes, phone covers, etc.

Is welfare accountability really libertarianism on overdrive?

Mark Shea is a popular Catholic writer who is not afraid to verbally knock heads together when he sees something he doesn't like. He really dislikes anything that hints of libertarianism. Over at the National Catholic Register he is busy chastising "many prolife people" because they don't want to write a blank check for state assistance to single mothers. His specific quote is "It is indeed a curious disconnect that many prolife people who support the work of Crisis Pregnancy Centers have a strange blind spot when it comes to the state providing help for low-income women in crisis pregnancies."

First of all, I am not sure who these prolifers are. Are they acquaintances of his? Are they blog commenters? How does he know that there are many of them? Has he taken a poll? Is many the same as most?  Shea does not cite one specific example of pro-lifers who work at crisis pregnancy centers objecting to state help for low-income women. He only offers rumors and in…

Bookshelf styles

I spent a bit of time at the hair salon this morning and had time to flip through a few of the home decor magazines. I saw something that made me so sad. This is not the exact picture I saw today, but it is same design idea:

See that bookshelf? They have wrapped all the books in craft paper to give them all a uniform look. They hang pictures over some of the shelves so that you can't easily remove some of the books. The books are not meant to be read, but only meant to be adornments to the decor. That might work for some families, but not our household.

This is my den library. I do use some of my shelves for decorative items, but the books are there to be read. We have a similar wall of books in the computer room. Every bedroom has a bookshelf filled with books. Even the television room has books. Military movers always groaned when they saw our house and realized how many boxes of books they would be moving.

When I visit other people's homes, I enjoy looking at other people&#…


One of the perks of living in the DC metro area is my proximity to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. I needed to get some paperwork to my daughter faster than snail mail would deliver it and she  had class today at the adjacent Catholic University of America so I decided to make a mini-pilgrimage to the Shrine and then meet my daughter.

I do not like driving in general and driving in DC in particular. In spite of allowing ninety minutes to drive what should be a drive that takes less than an hour, I arrived at the Shrine a mere fifteen minutes before the start of Mass. Let's just say the process of getting there heightened my need for spiritual renewal. As I walked in to the Crypt Church I felt the weariness of the world slip away and the peace of that holy space envelope me. I was thrilled to see that the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. I took my place in the pew and let Jesus have all my worries, fears, hurts, and failures. Soon the priest entered …

This old house

A friend posted on Facebook about going by to see an old childhood home.  It is funny how there is always this draw to visit something tangible from our past. So many memories. After 30 years of being a military family we have lots of "old homes".

My favorite home full of memories is the first house my husband and I bought about a year after we got married. It was an old home in Marquette, MI. This is the only house I have ever walked in and felt as if the house had a soul of  its own. I know I wasn't the only one who felt it. I took a good friend to look at it after we bought it but before we moved in. She walked in the door and was moved to tears.It was definitely charming but there was just something else about that house that I can't quite explain.

It looked like a cottage with a stone facade. The first owner was a home builder who built this one for himself in 1942 so the craftsmanship was amazing. Original polished oak was everywhere-- window frames, an oak ma…

Louisiana considering mandated sex ed from kindergarten through high school

Louisiana state representative Patricia Smith is supporting legislation that would require sex education from kindergarten through high school. There is no problem with teaching basic biological facts, but her legislation requires the presentation of all permutations of gender identity and family composition as just normal variants. It also requires education in all forms of FDA approved contraception as well as barrier methods such as condoms.

Read more here in my latest Human Life International Truth & Charity Forum column.

Taylor Swift and Thomas Aquinas

It may have been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, but it has been quite the week or at least quite the weekend in the Catholic blogosphere. I am going to go all Taylor Swift on you right now and declare that I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever try to carry on a serious discussion in a Facebook com box again! It was horrific. I saw my work taken out of context, misrepresented and posted in a Facebook status update with the specific intention of demonstrating how stupid some readers are. Fans and friends of the poster hopped right in like sharks after chum. They heaped sarcasm on top of ridicule without even knowing if the statement offered was true or having any way of seeing it in context. I thought if I put a face and a link to the source of the statement so it could be read in context it would tame the venom. Nope. It rained down ever harder. I suppose I can now invoke another Taylor Swift song.

We complain about political campaigns taking half-truths and sound bites and twistin…


I woke up early this morning. Nothing on the schedule so I could have slept a bit more but savoring a cup of hot, fresh, black coffee in the stillness of a house where even the dogs are still sleeping is too inviting. It is early morning but there is no brilliant sunrise. There is a gray morning sky outlining darker gray trees. Against this background there is a dot of brilliant red. A beautiful male cardinal is sitting in a tree on the edge of the woods. He looks like a colorized image in a black-and-white photograph. I needed to see that image this morning.

As part of my professional life, I have chosen to delve into the field of bioethics. I research and write on any topic that impacts the dignity of human life. This work includes wading into the political arena and looking at policy. There is a lot of ugliness and evil out there. There are days that I feel like I climbed out of the sewer. The stench is overwhelming.

So I need the beauty of a cardinal in the morning. Yes, I have th…

Snark is in the eye of the beholder

Because I am taking a beating in several comboxes because the fans of Simcha Fisher are outraged that I should criticize her approach to Emma Smith, I am going to take advantage of the fact that I have my own blog and get a few things off my chest.

Simcha Fisher is known for her snark. Got it. However, just because she has a way with words that can slash someone down to size in a heartbeat does not mean that when her words are mere pin pricks in comparison, they are not still hurtful.

If one takes Emma Smith's piece in the context of her entire series, it is clear that she is trying to show there is an alternative to the secular approach to marriage. I know she published her piece on the internet and opened her life up to public criticism. And there are some fair critiques that can be made about her current article. But coming about it with the attitude of "Stupid girl! She is really going to be embarrassed by this in a few years!" is just cruel.

If I had been writing Si…

If I could write a letter to me...

Country singer Brad Paisley recorded a great song, "If I could write a letter to me" a few years ago and that is going through my head as I read a couple of internet exchanges. Emma Smith has been chronicling her engagement and marriage prep over at Catholic exchange. Her latest post entitled Marriage is Work is a reflection on how differently she feels about marriage than do her secular divorced coworkers. Emma is full of faith, hope and optimism. She really believes that her marriage is not going to be like theirs. She and her future husband are anchoring their marriage in a divine love, not a temporal one and Emma is confident that will make a difference. If she really did not believe with all her heart that her marriage is going to be one of faithfulness, unlike the marriages of her coworkers, should she even be getting married?

Well known Catholic blogger Simcha Fisher could not abide such youthful optimism and felt the need to bring Emma Smith back to reality. Simcha (…