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Archive for February, 2011

And there is a story that a good friend told me that I think of quite frequently.  It goes like this:  There was a poor man in Mexico who attended mass daily.  Before mass several people would approach the altar to “pray.”  This man would do the same.  When he approached the altar he would simply say, “Soy yo, Dios.  Juan Manuel.”  It is I, God, Juan Manuel.  For a long time he did this and for a long time the other people would stare at him for this seemingly strange behavior.  Finally one woman asked him, “Why do you approach the altar where we are supposed to be praying and call out to God and just say your name?”  And he responded, “Because only God knows what I need.  I simply need to tell Him who I am and He will give me what I need.”

When I think of this story, I think of you…………………………………………..

 

Waiting.

“I had a dream about my father last night.”  I pause and wait for some response.  There is none.  Only silence.

“We were watching or hearing something painful.  It had to do with a child.  I don’t think it was my child.  I think it was someone else’s child.  The child had been sick or injured or sad, but was now better.  I was sitting to my father’s left on a bench.  When I glanced up at him, his eyes were moist with tears.  He made that guttural sound that he makes when he is about to cry.  That sound makes me feel awful.”

“Why does it make you feel awful?”

“I’m not sure.  I think it’s because it is too overwhelmingly painful for me to see him like that…in pain.  Anyway.  I wanted so much to tell him something.”

“What?  What did you want to tell him?”

“Well, that’s just it.  I can’t remember what I wanted to tell him – but it was urgent.  It was urgent, but I knew that he wouldn’t be able to hear me.  When I thought this – in my dream – he reached for me.  Like in a sideways embrace.  He held me.  And I do remember what he said.”

“And what was that?  What did he say?”

“He said, ‘You see?  They have gone through it.  They have gone through pain and they are on the other side.  Do you see?  Do you see how that feels?  How joyous?'”

“What did you say?”

“I can’t remember.  But, I pulled back from him so that I could see his face.  It was wet.  Or my face was wet.  He was crying.  Or I was crying.  I pulled him back to me.  Close.  Then I woke up.”

“Then what?”

“Then I just had this amazing feeling.  It was like I was still in that embrace with my dad.  I could even feel the warmth of his face next to my face.  It was weird.  It was so vivid.  And the feeling I had…it was like a feeling of – my dad is so smart.  It doesn’t matter that he can’t hear me.  He doesn’t need to hear me.  He already knows.  He already knows what he needs to know.  There is nothing that I could tell him that would make it any different.”

I finish saying this and I wait for him to say something.  I wait for him to tell me what all of this means.  He is quiet.  Then after I have listened quietly – so quiet that I can hear my own heart beating – and he has said nothing – he says simply and with a definite air of finality, “Your time is up.  I think you’ve made progress.”

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http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/02/08/church-approves-confession-app-iphone/?test=latestnews.  My sister sent this little gem to me today.  Thank you, sissy for always looking out for me.  I must say it was a shock and awe moment.  And yes, among my first thoughts, “Has the Pope himself been reading my blog???” 

The Catholic church approves Confession App for the iphone??? 

BUT wait (before you get too excited), it will not replace confession to a priest (well, thank GAWD).  It is still necessary for Catholics to confess their sins to a priest to receive absolution (aw, hell.  who needs absolution anyway?).  It is just meant to guide Catholics through an examination of conscience for confession (because God knows we Catholics need a guide to confess properly). 

The article claims it brought one person back to the sacrament after 20 years!  Wow!  So, that’s scary.  There’s a Catholic out there who hadn’t been to confession in 20 years, but then when that person saw and downloaded the CONFESSION APP that person suddenly said, “I want to confess now.”  Is that scary to you???  Makes me SOOOO want to hear his/her confession.

Wait until the Catholics get a hold of a prayer app.  Think of all the peeps we’ll be bringing back to the church then.  (Yes, I know prayer is not a sacrament.)  I can’t wait!  Let’s get started!  One more reason for me to get a smart phone!  AND the best part?  If you buy now it’s only $1.99.

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So, Christina Aguilera screwed up the National Anthem.  But, she actually pulled it off nicely.  I missed half time because I was putting three grouchy girls to bed.  Bubby told me all about it, and I can’t say I am unhappy I missed it.  My favorite commercial – Darth Vadar’s Passat.  So cute.  I couldn’t resist liking it.

So, what about the food???  Well, the potato nachos were not a hit.  I thought they would taste like Potato skins from TGIFriday’s, but they tasted more like…potatoes.  Apparently TGIFriday’s potato skins are mostly preservatives, salt, and lots of calories because these potato nachos not only tasted like potatos (go figure?), but they tasted almost healthy.  So, again, not a hit.  Not a miss necessarily, but decidedly not a hit.

The Brown Betty on the other hand was a HUGE success.  The kids and I LOVED it.  And we loved it with large scoops of Breyer’s white bean vanilla ice cream on top.  Oh my!  Can you say, “heaven?”

The pepperoni bites were also a huge hit.  We all loved them and I just happened to have homemade marinara sauce for dipping.  Mmm.  Turns out the chicken wings we had in the freezer were from before we stopped eating meat (well, not literally, you know the story…) so, in order to avoid a salmonella outbreak in our home we opted for bought wings.  Of course, Wing Stop’s wait was until Tuesday, so we had to get them from KFC (remember it used to be Kentucky Fried Chicken until that wasn’t PC?).  So, they were not too yummy. 

But, we had so much food that we didn’t even get to the yummy chili and cornbread, so dinner tonight is cooked!  BONUS!

All in all – a hit.  I hope your Superbowl was great and we will wait until our next opportunity to eat BIG.  :o)

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So, if you know me you know that I abhor professional sports of any kind.  My least favorite sport is football.  I can’t stand looking at all the HUGE butts in that spandexy fabric, the knocking of helmets and body parts that I know will result in brain damage later, the plays that I would never be able to comprehend with all the ‘X’s” and “O’s,” the FANS who act so obnoxious and drunk, the cheerleaders who provide such a great example to my girls, etc., etc.  What I DO love about the grandaddy of all football – the SUPERBOWL – is that it is a fine excuse to eat new and yummy food.

So, let’s see what everyone is eating today!  On my menu:

Potato Nachos http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2010/07/30/potatonachos/

Pepperoni Bites http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/dinner/super-bowl-food-recipes-party-appetizers/?page=16

Chicken Wings – E.’s recipe and he makes it different every time so I cannot post it.

My chili

Brown Betty – Cold Weather Food comments section of this blog – THANK YOU S.!!!

I’ll let you know how it comes out.  Happy Superbowl!  :o)

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Snow.

And sometimes love can be like a light dusting of snow in South Texas.  It is beautiful, exciting, and real while it lasts.  But, when it is dissolved by the heat it is often hard to remember what it looked and felt like.

 

I did not marry you because I thought you would be a great dad.  I think I married you out of lust.  I am still unsure.  I did not think you would be a particularly great father or any father at all.  

I bolted up in my bed and my mouth felt like cotton or paste.  I looked at the clock and it said “3:45.”  He was saying, or shouting, “Momma, it snowed.  It really snowed.  It did!  Do you want to see it?  Do you?  It snowed.  I didn’t actually see it coming down, but I set my alarm and I missed it coming down, but it’s there now and I can see it.  Do you want to see it?”

I think that I said, “Sure, baby.”

I followed him through the unlit hallway into his room.  Together we looked through his drapes and we saw a light blanket of snow on the yard.  It looked so soft and clean and white.  He was so excited it was hard for me to not be excited along with him. 

I left him in his room and told him to try to go back to sleep and we would play later.  I made my way back to my room.  You were there in the bed.  Awake. 

“Did he say it snowed?”

“Yes.”

You have vehemently told the kids that it will not snow.  This is a characteristic you have.  You do not allow those near you to anticipate anything or get excited.  You do not want them to be disappointed.  You do not want to be disappointed?

I am silent.  Waiting for you to make a move or further comment about the snow.  Oddly you say, “When he was born people all said he looked like you and I thought he looked just like you, too.  Now everyone says he looks like me.  Do you see it?”

“Mm hmm,” I say.  And yet it seems inadequate.  It seems like your heart might be bursting right now with feeling.  Some vague, tentative feeling

You got up without saying anything and I called after you, “Are you getting up?”

“No.  I’m just going to see the snow.”

When you came back you were restless.  Then you said, “I think I need to wake the girls up.  What if the snow is all melted by the time they wake up?”  There is an urgency in your voice that is almost like love.  Love?  I can recognize that urgency, yet I cannot place where I have heard it before.

“Ugh.  No.  They will be awful this afternoon if you wake them now.”

Pause.

“All right.  Do it.”

A few seconds pass and I hear shrieks of disbelief and wild cheering.

You traipse downstairs with three of the four kids.  I roll over and know that this dusting of snow will melt in a few hours without leaving any trace that it was ever here.  The memory of the snow, however will last a while.  I hope that they don’t forget it.  I hope that the memory will last until the next time that they see snow.  And vaguely before I drift off to sleep I am sure that the urgency was love.

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It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.  Oscar Wilde

Disclaimers:

Do not call me or email me wondering if I am okay.  I am no more delusional than usual. 

If you see your own confessions, don’t panic.  I consider myself like a Catholic priest.  I have many confessors and it is all confidential.

Confessions (back by popular demand):

  • I am obsessed with confessions.  
  • This obsession has haunted me as long as I can remember.
  • I slept with someone else’s husband.  I am not sure if I am sorry.
  • I might divorce my husband when the children are grown.
  • I would like to drink.  A lot.  But I don’t.  It is not because this might be wrong it is because I do not want to be fat.
  • I wished my father dead.  And then he died.  I wondered if it was my fault.
  • I often eat the last cookie and then claim I have no idea who ate it.
  • When I confessed that I’d had an abortion I was told to recite a Hail Mary.  I do not understand what this had to do with the abortion, and I still do not know if I am forgiven.
  • I harbor anger and hatred against people who are not empathetic toward homelessness.
  • I resent it when people are resentful of  homeless people.
  • I quit smoking 12 times last year. 
  • My desire to protect my children above all things scares me.
  • I spend far too much time feeling inadequate.
  • I got drunk at age 8.  I knew it was wrong, but I used it as a means of power and escape.
  • I am sometimes scared of the rage that burns inside of me.
  • I hide cigarettes.  Everywhere.
  • When my sister was born I wished she would die so that my life would go back to the way it was.
  • I believe firmly in ghosts and the supernatural.
  • I ran out of money at the beach, so I stole some snacks from a convenience store.  I was scared that it was so easy.
  • My parents loved me the most.  I liked that feeling.
  • I have a sick obsession with Mormons.
  • I keep a stash of money that my family knows nothing about.  I fantasize about using it to run far away.
  • When I married, I made the wrong decision.  It is far too complicated to fix now.
  • I do not tell my therapist everything.  I am frightened of what she will think.
  • Sometimes I just think “I love you,” but I don’t say it.  Out of spite.
  • I wish I could see my mother one more time.  Alive.  If I could I would just stroke her face.
  • I’ve watched an entire episode of Jerry Springer.  More than once.
  • I had several serious accidents when I was young.  I could have been trying to commit suicide.
  • When I saw my first dead body my first emotion was not sadness.  It was fascination.
  • Sometimes my jealousy wins.
  • Before I had kids it was hard for me to love without hesitation.  Sometimes it is still hard.
  • People feel compelled to tell me their sins. 
  • Sometimes I listen with empathy.  Sometimes I listen with disgust.
  • Often I am relieved that my life is not as miserable as someone else’s.
  • When I confess in a confessional it is often guarded and not the whole truth.
  • I do not go back to confess my omissions in the first confession.
  • When I confess to myself it is ruthless and without reserve.

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Or:  Help Me Cook Dinner, STAT!  Comment and leave a link to something you love to cook when cold weather hits.  Instead of whining and moaning about cold weather (like I usually do), I have decided to use this as an opportunity to make dinner.  So, unless you want my four kids to starve – show me some love.  Help me out.  Comment with a great link to a great recipe.  It’s COLD here peeps!  I heard on the radio that South Dakota had NON wind chill temps of 30 degrees below zero.  Okay, so it is not THAT cold here.  But, if I wanted the 30 degrees below zero I would live in North Dakota and not here in South Texas.  So, it’s all relative, people.  So, come on!  Leave me a recipe.  Stay warm!  And – HAPPY FIRST DAY OF FEBRUARY!

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