Monday, April 26, 2010

Because it's Monday and you need more coffee...

After a brief, shining moment, the week is back, and it wants revenge for all the fun you had without it over the weekend. Distract it with this and maybe it will forgive you and play nice.

Is it Garage Sale Season yet?! Squee!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Excuse of the Week...

It's award season, and though I've been nominated for a blog award, I'm certainly not winning any Housewife and Mom of the Week awards this week.<----shameless plug

Proof I am not worthy...
I finally got the week's shopping done. On Friday. It took a babysitter to get it done, too. Not one of my better weeks. The three main reasons for the major glitch were a car antenna and potty training two kids.

The car antenna
The antenna is one of those items that I just had to "come take a look at." By a quirk of merchandising, there is no Merck manual for the sales fella to consult and tell me over the phone if he has it in stock or not. By a quirk of physics, when I actually got to the parts store (between errands and in the timeslot I usually allot for buying fresh fruits and vegetables), the odds that he'd actually have the part I needed plummeted.

Proof positive that I am a chronic multitasker:
  • 1 When the antennas in stock inevitably do not match my car, 2 I smile politely instead of informing the salesclerk that he could have googled my car as easily as he walked out to look at it.
  •  1 I mentally review the gas and time I've wasted 2 as I thank him for his time. 
  • 1 On my way back to my car to pick up my son 2 I try hard not to grumble that my time for this errand has expired in a fruitless venture. 
  • 1 As I back out of the parking space, 2 I mentally rearrange my schedule to allot time to hit another car parts store and 3 further push back the purchase of veggies (which I'm fairly certain will be in stock and will fit my menu),  4 all the while reminding myself that car part and hardware shopping are the recreational shopping of the testosterone set.
The inefficiencies built into the system of car parts and hardware purchases are analogous to the female hunt for the perfect pair of jeans. The process could take weeks.

Potty training kids
Editorial disclaimer: For those with little imagination, certain physical inevitabilities will be obliquely referenced in deference for those with good imaginations, bitter experience, and weak stomachs.

One of the items on the shopping list that actually got purchased in a mad dash to a pet store was enzymatic carpet cleaner. I made a special trip. The laundry workload has quadrupled and the wardrobe malfunctions at the Martin house have taken on catastrophic dimensions.

Speaking of catastrophes, the Martin Family method of leaving the house and getting into the car has become more colorful in every sense. To sum up the week, although we ran out of meat, onions and celery, the kids picked up some new vocabulary! My mom will be so proud!

Can we say "$&*%!!!" kids? 
I knew you could.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

For Earth Day--check out the view

Instead of wallowing in carbon guilt, why don't you celebrate Earth Day in an environmentally friendly way? Go outside!

Shut off the TV, the lights, and do some stargazing tonight. We may have a few extra shooting stars left over from last night's show (the Lyrids) or you can just look for some familiar constellations. Don't know any? Learn them quick playing this game. It's a bit small, but it works in training your eye to see the patterns. You can brush up before you head out tonight. Kids can use it, too.

Creation is beautiful. Enjoy it!


Breeding earworms--a Value Added feature of knowing me

Consider the ear worm a gift from me to you. (Actually, it's from my husband to you. I'm regifting.)

On a related note...if you're going to be on YouTube today, bear in mind that viewing hours of randomly selected clips inhibits the brain's ability to process data in an intelligent manner.
Please use caution when commenting...or maybe a pseudonym.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Because it's Monday and you need more coffee...

After a brief, shining moment, the week is back, and it wants revenge for all the fun you had without it over the weekend. Distract it with this and maybe it will forgive you and play nice.

see more Funny Graphs

This one's for you, Lisa!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

This is only a drill...

My oldest boy was called away from his busy mushing, digging, and smashing in the mud duties to attend to his sisters' fair maidening duties. The girls were playing a game that entailed "finding" a spider, screaming, and running away. My little hero, confused and frustrated in his spider squishing duties, wondered why he couldn't find any.

"Relax, honey," I told him, "This is only a drill."

If there had been an actual spider, Mommy would have run.

What to do while I wait for the kids to wake up...

It should probably involve something more creative than meandering through the web...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's Time for Epic Parent Fails--Time-Out Edition!

The Official Disclaimer for Nana: No actual Martin was harmed in the making of this blog.

This is not a Martin.

Since it is always fun to learn from other people's mistakes, and since I'm a little desperate for material this week, I thought I might share with you some of my hard won insights into parenting. Yes, folks, I'm going to share with you the bad and the ugly.

It's time for Epic Parent Fails: Time-Out Edition!

Time outs are not complicated. They aren't even hard. So why, oh why, can't I get them right? Here are some real life Epic Parent Fails at my house.

When it's too short...
After wailing and moaning throughout the entire time-out the toddler says, "I happy!" the instant you relent.
Said toddler, after a serving hard time for hitting, says the obligatory, "I sorry," to her sister before popping her a fresh one.
When it's too long...
You discover after finishing up the lunch dishes that you've got two kids against the wall and you can't remember why.
A good sign you've not been keeping a close enough eye on the little felons...
You order one errant child into time-out and discover the other four standing against the wall when you turn around.
A sign that they eventually learn something...
In the girls' room all the baby dolls are lined up against the wall while two preschool mommies lecture about the kind of behavior they expect in their house. Within moments there is a "tearful" dolly reconcilliation scene worthy of the Hallmark Channel!
Your oldest transgressor marches himself off to his time-out spot while you are still mentally counting to 10.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Note to self: Be pithy!

As it turns out, spring is not the best time of year to take a little break from blogging to do a little gardening in the real world. Not while the cut throat battle to the death competition of the 4th Annual Cannonball Catholic Blog Awards rages!

Not only have I been nominated in the Best New Kid on the Block category, I'm shamelessly plugging it!<--shameless plug

Please expect random and repeated reference to this from now until May something or other when the nominations end and the pleading for votes begins...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Favorite New Blog

We in the Catholic Spectrum get a bit wearied with all the so-called Catholic (small p) popes who are actually (big p) Protestants with a poor sense of direction. Oh, hi, Bob. No, this is the Catholic Church. Bob's Church of He Was Only Talking Symbolically When He Said, "This Is My Body" is down the street and on the left. Only a Modern Man Catholic has the arrogance to think they can out-think Augustine and Aquinas without actually reading them.

Anywhoo, Cathy captured that irritation perfectly with the line "The Catholic Church is not a democracy. However, you have the right to go to Hell."

She had me at "hell"! Anyone who can be that funny when that ticked off is my kind of blogger. Check her out!

The Recovering Dissident

Because it's Monday, and you need more coffee...

After a brief, shining moment, the week is back, and it wants revenge for all the fun you had without it over the weekend. Distract it with this and maybe it will forgive you and play nice.

The Real Reason Dinosaurs Became Extinct...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Church's Ongoing Scandal: The Wall Street Journal Gets It Right

At this point I've heard glee, outrage, grief, shock, surprise, indifference, and disbelief over the Church's sex abuse scandal. The expected reactions have come from the expected sources. There's really been no surprises for me until I read this from The Wall Street Journal. You know how sometimes you just have to brace yourself before you read something? I was all set up to be lectured to in that fair-minded, psuedo-intellectual way about the Catholic Church from the ignorant. This article didn't do that. It's even-handed and honest treatment caught me completely off guard.

Now, it does not shock me that there are weak, sinful, and even a few awful men in the Church. The people who people it are human after all. There is not one single person on the planet who is not weak and not sinful, myself included, and there is not a single large institution on the planet that does not have awful people in it somewhere. If anyone can show me one, I'd like to join, but I doubt they'd have me.

Here's what I know in my bones has happened. In 2000, the Church had a Jubilee Year. Everyone was praying through that entire year for a renewal of the Church. It is no coincidence that the scandal broke in 2001. This scandal is the answer to all that prayer! A festering wound has to burst and drain to heal. This had to come to light. It had to stop. If you're Catholic and faithful, hang on and don't worry. This is in God's hands. He brought this darkness to light.

To quote a great man, "Be not afraid." The faithful may be brought to our knees by the shame and the ridicule this scandal splatters over the innocent and guilty alike, but that's okay. We needed to be praying anyway.

If you are a faithful Catholic and need some relief from the pot shots, read this. If you are not, read it anyway. It's a good piece.

Link to the article:
Noonan, Peggy, "The Catholic Church's Catastrophe," Opinion Journal, The Wall Street Journal, Friday, April 2, 2010.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Texas Lasagne

One of the things I can not cook is traditional lasagne. Everyone seems to have a "fool proof" recipe to share, and I prove to be the fool every time. So, here's a recipe I've developed out of self-defence. It's gluten-free, too, so I can salvage my dignity. *sniff*

Texas Lasagne

1 chub of sausage (or 1 pound ground beef)
1 pound (about 2 cups) of ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 small onion diced (optional)
1/2 bell pepper diced (optional)
1 1-ounce package taco seasoning mix
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, do not drain
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 4 ounce can chopped green chiles
7 corn tortillas cut into 1 inch strips
4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
In a large skillet, brown the meat. Add the onions and diced bell peppers when about halfway done and continue browning. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and then add the ricotta cheese. Drain the excess fat from the meat, add the taco seasoning, tomatoes, tomato sauce and chilies. Mix well. Simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9x2 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Layer half of the meat sauce, half of the tortilla strips, half of the ricotta cheese mixture, and half of the shredded cheese. Repeat layers. Cook uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Cook Ahead Hint
Since you are messing up the kitchen anyway, go ahead and get out another 13x9x2 inch baking dish and double the recipe. Bake one and eat it tonight. Freeze the other uncooked. Cover it with heavy duty aluminum foil, write "Texas Lasagna" on the foil in big letters and the date you prepped it, and tah-dah! You've just planned ahead and made some future moment easier on yourself with minimal effort today. Then you get to do a little dance in your smarty pants. Whoot!

Because it's Monday and you need more coffee...

After a brief, shining moment, the week is back, and it wants revenge for all the fun you had without it over the weekend. Distract it with this and maybe it will forgive you and play nice.

What's really funny is what I can't share: what I've overheard guys saying about tatoos when they think no woman is listening. It's a PG blog. My mom reads it. *sigh*

Friday, April 2, 2010

Have a Good Friday

When I was a young girl I thought suffering was a result of sin or it was merely unfair and unjust.
      then I became a NeoPagan

When I was a NeoPagan I saw suffering and thought it was due to a lack of growth or perhaps a faulty state of mind. I saw the voluntary suffering of shamans as interesting and as a possible path for personal growth. I saw the voluntary sufferings of Catholic as comical and small-minded.
     then I became a Catholic

As a Catholic I see that suffering is inevitable. In a way that can't be explained in a short post, it comes from that original rebellion against God, Who is Goodness. This fall of ours and of the rebellious angels rent the fabric of nature and produced suffering. We endure suffering that already exists and perpetuate suffering through our continued rebellion. However, suffering can redeem us. Through suffering we grow. Those shamans really were on to something.

Here is a video explaining the existence of evil in a world created by an all good God. It is an analogy between heat and God. Heat exists. Cold is the lack of heat. God exists. Evil is merely the lack of God. This video doesn't prove the existence of God. Instead, it shows how the existence of evil does not disprove Him.

Although probably not attributable to Albert Einstein as is claimed, I still like this explanation. It suits the scientist in me.