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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bible Quiz

Not that you'd expect any different (though the questions were mostly middle school youth group level.)

The Southern Baptists taught me well, even if (IMHO) the adulations from the Quiz People are a bit over the top.

You know the Bible 100%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

HT to the Curt Jester.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Life and Death and Dying


Izzy and I are in back in Durham for the Eliza's first birthday. The party, attended by well over 100 people was full of joyous and poignant moments. I got to hold Eliza several times, once for an extended period where I got to feel her helpless, vulnerable, precious weight in my arms, trying not to overstimulate her as she experienced several waves of seizure activity. I cried.

Her parents showed a montage of photos, overlaid with words from their earliest email posts about her life and condition. I cried.

Eliza's Dad, I learned today, is the author most responsible for the incredibly powerful statements of faith about her life. (Read here and here for examples.) At today's party, he said to the assembled group of friends and family: Eliza is teaching us how to be what we should be -- people relying on a God whom we know to be good. We then sang Happy Birthday, because, after all, it was a birthday party. I cried.

If we believe God is good, and believe He intends good towards us, then we have to believe that what comes our way is part of His good purposes. That's tough to take when a child is severely handicapped or dying. It can be even harder to remember when the suffering goes on without any end in sight... Eliza's parents have taught us so much about faith and the value to God of all those He has created.


Friends from Durham have a 20-month-old foster daughter, in addition to their three month old little girl. The foster child, another Izzi (the feminine spelling, I guess) lost her biological father this morning, She has no idea about this, and will not understand for years that her dad died while in another country. She spent dinner as a toddler should, eschewing the veggie pasta and reaching for the ice cream cake brought over by foster dad's parents for his bday. Her whole life changed, once again, today, and she won't know it for years.

All little Izzi knows is that she and "Uncle Izzy" had a great time playing at the dinner table and that her biological and foster grandparents (designations she doesn't know but people for whom she smiles brightly) are crazy about her and will do all they can to help her grow up safe and happy. Just like Eliza's parents, just like other parents cherishing these tiny gifts from God.


We continue to pray for Gashwin and his family as his Dad slips closer and closer to the end of his life. I was privileged to speak with G this afternoon, sharing what I could about the dying process, comfort measures and treatment options for cancer patients, and honoring our parents in our care for them.

What a difficult time he and his family are having as Mr. Gomes body fights its last battles with cancer. There is no difficulty in the devotion, none in the care-giving, none in the intent to make him as comfortable as possible. The difficulty can come in the worrying and wondering and second-guessing that can accompany every single decision.

The best and most right decision was the trip to India. I am so glad this option was there for G.

From Sirach 3:3-14, read recently in Sunday Mass:

He who honors his father atones for sins; he stores up riches who reveres his mother.
He who honors his father is gladdened by children, and when he prays he is heard.
He who reveres his father will live a long life; he obeys the LORD who brings comfort to his mother.
He who fears the LORD honors his father, and serves his parents as rulers.
In word and deed honor your father that his blessing may come upon you;
For a father's blessing gives a family firm roots, but a mother's curse uproots the growing plant.
Glory not in your father's shame, for his shame is no glory to you!
His father's honor is a man's glory; disgrace for her children, a mother's shame.
My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him; revile him not in the fullness of your
For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering--it will take lasting root.
In time of tribulation it will be recalled to your advantage, like warmth upon frost it will melt away your sins.

And that kindness, our imitation of God's goodness to us, will demonstrate to others just how much God loves them.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

More reasons to drink coffee

(National-NBC) January 23, 2007 - Coffee and other caffeinated beverages could be key in curing baldness. German researchers say caffeine blocks a chemical known to damage hair follicles.
Unfortunately, downing a cup or even two probably won't do much good. Researchers say the average male would need at least 60 cups of coffee to equal the amount of caffeine needed to produce a result.  
The study was led by researchers at the University of Jena in Germany and published in the International Journal of Dermatology, January 2007.
Sponsored by Starbucks? 
BTW, as a reminder for those concerned about follicular challenges and coffee:  these 60 cups are merely 56 more than the amount you're already drinking each day to avoid alcohol-related liver damage (3 drinks + 4 cups of coffee = no cirrhosis.  Voila!)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Birthday Party

Izzy & I have just decided, rather impetuously and spontaneously for us, to head to NC next weekend for a one year old's birthday party.

I've posted a few times in the past year about the daughter of friends from NC, and what we've learned from watching their lives with Eliza. I'm looking forward to our chance to see (and perhaps hold, if she isn't too upset by the large crowd at the party) this little baby who has shown so many people the faithfulness of God to the children with whom He graces our families.

Letters from the Sandbox

I chanced upon this site tonight, where members of the armed services can post non-classified reports from the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's hosted by the Doonesbury site at

After returning the properly signed paperwork to the proper people I walked out the door of the hospital and over to the parking garage. As I sat in my car the tears flowed, and I again thought about all the ones I had seen and cared for, hugged and encouraged, cried for and with, and then I thought about all the ones whose hands I would not hold. The waterworks finally ended and I was able to head home. As I drove through the Post gates I sent a prayer heaven-bound, that someone, somewhere, would do what I could do no longer.
So it is a new year, and once again I am disappointed that we are not all zipping around the skies in shiny silver jet packs. I thought we would be there by the impossible Year of Our Lord 2007. But no, here we are in freakin' Baghdad, watching Mesopotamian hillbillies waste each other with assembly line machineguns designed in 1947, and trying to relearn hard-won lessons from a bitter little war 40 years behind us. It's all a bit depressing.

I could deal with all that, though, if it weren't for the mud. We enjoyed a week's respite while the clouds held back their torrents, and a weak and impotent sun slowly transmogrified the mud back into its usual tan-grey talcum powder form. Now it's returned with a vengeance, like some monster jello from a cheap 1950s sci-fi horror flick. "Revenge of the Chocolate Mousse." "Bride of the Mocha Blancmange." Or my personal favorite: "It Came From The Porta-potty."

Rumor has it that last week 1st Platoon lost a soldier to it. One moment he was walking to the latrines, the next second he was gone. All they found was his boonie hat lying on top of an innocent-looking mud hole, a few air bubbles plopping around it. No one's seen him since.
More good stuff available at the site. Click the icon below if you want to tangibly "support the troops."

Friday, January 19, 2007

Fatigue and the Night Office

Up late tonight taking care of something needed by folks at work.  Editing took just a  little time -- sending via the dial-up connection took lots longer.  (Same dial-up that I assume will carry this email post to the blogosphere eventually.)  I'll be here in the AM waiting for the cable guy to arrive...
Last night, I was up late doing parish bulletin after pastoral council meeting.  I was tired enough that I sent the file for copying to the wrong group of people: who knew I had decided to start out-sourcing the Parish Bulletin to India? 
I'm often up late, even when not doing the bulletin, updating the website, taking late night rabies or food poisoning calls, etc.  My brain acts very much like the toddler who just won't accept her bedtime if there is any possibility that anything else might be happening anywhere else.   It's not so bad being a night owl if you are full of energy, but I find it's taking me longer and longer to recover from on-call nights, from restless nights before medical testing appts, etc. 
So, how to shut off the brain at night?
I'm going to try taking back up reading the Night Prayer Office -- something I'd gotten out of the habit of doing.  I used to feel really bad if/when I fell asleep reading the Office, as If I was like the disciples in the garden whom Jesus asked:  Could you not remain awake for one hour?
Now, I've decided that, even if I'm completely exhausted, what better way to complete my day and drift into unconsciousness than while in prayer?  in the Scriptures? 
Ask me in a few weeks how I'm doing.  The lifestyle changes with the diabetes (the ones that I've taken to heart) seem to have "stuck."  Let's see if increasing time in prayer lasts beyond the New Year's Resolution / Lenten corridor of time.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Just when you think everything is settling back down

Life interrupts.

We're again praying for Gashwin as he travels back to India to be with his family. The intensive week of looking at cross-cultural, overseas missions goes on hold, replaced by an undetermined time of performing cross-cultural, overseas ministry.

Friday, January 12, 2007

More random notes for a Friday

3. High school basketball games can be loads of fun -- even when the home team loses. Someone seriously needs to recruit Ben Lippen's point guard (#21) -- give that child a scholarship, already!

4. Licensed character-themed bday party tomorrow afternoon (in the park -- thank goodness for a 70 degree forecast!) Honoree is a 6 year old guy who is really into Pirates of the Caribbean, Spiderman and ATV riding. We'll probably gift with PJs & underpants -- superhero underpants, of course.

5. Life is good this evening. No special reason, just something I'm pleased to have come to mind. Gotta be the Thai food & a nice evening out with Captain Punsalot. That, and I can honestly say I did my job very well this week.

Random Notes for a Friday

1. Izzy and I went out for Thai food this evening. Wonderful as always -- I tried the level three heat on the tom ka kai soup and now lno onger need to schedule that tonsillectomy or appendectomy I've been putting off..... Happy face here...

Anyhow, they will start serving sush in in the next couple of weeks. Given that their location is one door down from a cobbler shop, Izzy pointed out that we'll soon be able to say...

She sells sushi by the shoe store.

2. Watched Scrubs last PM. The episode dealt with, among other things, post partum depression. Turk, in encouraging Carla to seek help, told her she didn't have to live her life guided by:

... a movie star and the dead science fiction writer he worships.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

I did not need to see that

Said twice last evening.

1. Standing in the check-out line, I looked up as my groceries slid towards the register. On the cover of the Globe (I think), there he was laid out in all his purple finery: the late James Brown. Not a fan of post-mortem pics on tabloid covers in the checkout line.

2. Duke 63, Georgia Tech 74. K's comment: "We've got to get older quick." Agreed. However, unlike the tabloid photo, we didn't turn away from the game. No summer soldiers or sunshine patriots, we.

Then up until 4 AM investigating this (for those folks who wonder what it is I do.)

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Rosary Story from Canada

Head over to UltraCrepidarian's Franciscan Diary and read his moving account of his first real encounter with the power of the Rosary.

No spoiler quote here -- just read the post.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

All Honours and Privileges appertaining thereunto apply

Saw this at Gashwin's & at Happy Catholic (whilst retrieving the garlic soup recipe.)

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Marchioness Elizabeth the Indefatigable of Featherstonehaugh St. Fanshaw
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

I don't think one gets an OBE for this honour. Nor obeisance.

"Cult" of Celebrity

Or, satire vs. sacrilege? Blasphemy vs. prescient social commentary?

I followed a link from Yahoo today, as did many, many other people, some with not-so-good sentence composition and spelling skills (see comments on this entry), to a story about an artist's painting that is raising lots of questions about our society's deification of celebrities.

Kate Kretz created a painting of Angelina Jolie, appearing in the likeness of the Virgin Mary, hovering over checkout lines at a WalMart. She is holding her child (the one from Brad Pitt) and is surrounded by her two adopted children, au naturel. There is no question that the image is Jolie; the artist has even included tattoos.

Beneath the apparition, WalMart shoppers gather near the celebrity gossip magazines -- Jennifer Anniston and Oprah are recognizable on covers.

Source: jpg of painting at Artist's blog. Definitely go look at the larger version of the picture, called "Blessed Art Thou."

Kretz's comments on her painting (which were obviously NOT read by most of the commentariat) made me appreciate subversive and prescient nature of the work (insert smug expression here.) I, of course, consider myself immune to the cult of celebrity (insert recognition of likely self-righteous, self-deluded status here.) I'm glad folks are making this sort of art.

From the artist:

This painting addresses the celebrity worship cycle. The title, “Blessed Art Thou”, is taken from a line in the Catholic prayer “Hail Mary”: “…blessed art thou among women”. Our culture is deifying celebrities, but in the bible (sic), it is the meek who are blessed, so the title presents a question for the viewer to ponder.

I chose a setting where the cycle begins: psychologically oppressive environments like this one are one of the feeding sources for the consumer, hungry for “information” about the celebrity's private life. I am interested in the psychological ramifications of celebrity worship, particularly as they relate to class.

Angelina Jolie was chosen as the subject because of her unavoidable presence in the media, the world-wide anticipation of her child, her "unattainable" beauty and the good that she is doing in the world through her example, which adds another layer to the already complicated questions surrounding her status.

The "Virgin" and Zahara figures are loosely based on a Van Dyck Virgin painting, and the Maddox figure's pose is borrowed from a Raphael painting.
For those of you who are wondering, the commentariat here at the House of Chez Casa suggested "Angelina Holie" as a painting title, before wandering into the kitchen singing "Jolie, Jolie, Jolie..."

Garlic Soup for the Stuffy Soul, part 2

Posted a link to this recipe earlier, but I wanted to re-post it here to have for posterity (or as long as the blogosphere keeps and preserves such things.)

Izzy made it last night for dinner. Garlic essence lasted from 8 PM last night to (at least) 8 AM this morning. Meets Izzy's sufficient garlic rule (you can taste it with your AM coffee after brushing your teeth a couple of times.) He made a couple of flavor and spice modifications to the original recipe, noted below.

Curative Garlic Soup

* 1/3 C. whole garlic cloves -- Izzy used 1 cup. Yep, One cup.
* 1 Tbsp minced garlic. Ignored.
* 1 Tbsp. roasted garlic. Ignored.
* 1 tsp fresh thyme, or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
* 1 tsp fresh basil or 1/4 tsp dried basil. Izzy most of a bag of basil, ~ 1/3 to 1/2 cup of fresh.
* 4 cans of vegetable broth
* 1 medium onion
* 1 bay leaf. Izzy used three.
* 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Who measures?
* 1/3 C. Half-and-Half
* 1/3 C. Parmesan cheese - shredded. Izzy used our fave, Locatelli Romano.
* Creole seasoning. Izzy used Cajun.
* Day-Old French or Italian bread. Izzy bought ready-made bagged croutons, then heavily seasoned them with the Cajun seasoning.

1. Add onions and some of the garlic cloves to a large soup pan with the T. of olive oil. When the onions begin to turn clear or brownish (don't over cook!), add the broth, basil, thyme, bay leaf, and garlic. Bring this to a boil.

2. When the soup begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 40 minutes.

3. In the meantime, make your croutons: Cube the bread, approximately 2-3 cups, and toast in the oven at 300 degrees. Remove from heat, place in a paper sack, coat with ~1 - 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and season with the Creole seasoning. (This is spicy- be conservative at first!). Set the croutons aside. NOTE: THE CROUTONS CAN BE MADE IN ADVANCE

Again, you can also season ready-made croutons in a bag. Much easier.

4. When the soup has simmered for the 40 minutes, add approx 1 1/2 C. of the croutons and stir in with a wire whisk until they have mostly dissolved. At this point, the whole garlic cloves should be "mushy".

5. Remove the bay leaf (or leaves...)

6. Add the half-and-half and Parmesan (Locatelli is better!) cheese and immediately remove the soup from heat.

7. If you have a hand-mixer, use this to blend the soup to a smooth consistency. You may also pour the soup into a blender.

8. Serve immediately and garnish with the remaining croutons, Parmesan (Seriously, don't use Parmesan. It's too mild. Get yourself some Locatelli!), and creole (or Cajun) seasoning.

Note: Surprisingly, the soup is actually quite mild. Really. I think the next time we'll try chicken or beef flavored stock.

Alphabet Meme

1st thing like this of the new year. From Happy Catholic.

Consider yourself tagged if you want to be tagged...
[A is for age]: Old enough to vote; late, late late 20's.

[B is for beer of choice]: Beer? Moi? Surely you gest!

[C is for career]: Nursing Goddess (at least that's what my husband thinks.) Also Public Health Czarina.

[D is for favorite Drink]: Diet Coke

[E is for Essential item you use everyday]: Glucometer. Anyone can answer "computer."

[F is for Favorite song at the moment]: Christ the Lord is Risen Today, from Men and Angels Say, by Ashley Cleveland

[G is for favorite Game]: Cranium, although see "S" answer.

[H is for Home town]: Columbia, SC & environs

[I is for Instruments you play]: Voice

[J is for favorite Juice]: Orange

[K is for Kids]: None

[L is for last kiss]: Just before hitting publish on this posting. 8-)

[M is for marriage]: 23 years this year (unchanged from Happy Catholic's entry)

[N is for full Name]: Lizzie O'Cayce (that's my story & I'm sticking with it)

[O is for Overnight hosp stays]: 1st 3-4 days of my life, none since

[P is for phobias]: Roller Coasters, perils on the roadways (I sense peril more acutely than most folks--Izzy has been looking into peril sensitive sunglasses for me), lots more...

[Q is for quote]:
We must do, doodily do, doodily do, doodily do
What we must, muddily must, muddily must, muddily must
Muddily do, muddily do, muddily do muddily do
'Til we bust, bodily bust, bodily bust, bodily bust.
------Kurt Vonnegut------------

[R is for biggest Regret]: This is the blogosphere, not a confessional. Nuff said.

[S is for sports]: Duke Basketball, baby! (Esp with Dickie V)

[T is for Time you wake up]: Crack o'noon, when I get the chance. Otherwise, as late as possible to still show up at a respectable time.

[U is for color underwear]: Is floral a color?

[V is for Vegetable you love]: Eggplant

[W is for Worst Habit]: Staying up late (cf "T")

[X is for X-rays you've had]: Dental; CT's & MRI of brain & upper spine; mammograms; chest (TB & pneumonia); upper and lower GI barium studies; left arm (broken at age 5 1/2), plus lots of other "look-sees" with other technology...

[Y is for Yummy food you make]: Broccoli cheese casserole.

[Z is for zodiac sign]: Gemini

Friday, January 05, 2007

This one's for Dogwood: Cola History

From the Columbia Star, which I perused before my eye exam today.  Really, when else do I read magazines or see the free paper?
By Warner M. Montgomery
Columbia was the first planned city in the United States. The original grid of 1790 consisted of 20 streets running north- south named for Revolutionary War heroes and 20 running east- west named for native products.
Locals are thinking, what native products?  Huh?  Keep reading...
Over the years some of the original names have been changed. Upper Street became Elmwood Avenue. Lower Street became Heyward Street. Richardson Street was renamed Main Street when it became the commercial center. Others changed were Medium to College, Plain to Hampton, Walnut to Blanding, Lumber to Calhoun, Tobacco to Catawba, Indigo to Whaley, Gates to Park, and Winn to Gregg.
My personal fave intersections in this burg are Confederate & Bull, and Lincoln & Confederate.  But Plain/Huger (if pronounced Huge-er) has a nice ring to it.  Also Plain/Bull.  You could put a woodworking factory on Assembly, between Lumber and Walnut.
Gauntlet thrown down....

Thursday, January 04, 2007

More about Babies and God's Providence

Sometimes God answers prayer and reveals His glory in and through healing. Sometimes, the power and glory are still there, but we have to look harder to see them.

I expect Baby Eliza's parents will update her blog soon, but they sent an email out this evening with an update that shared how amazing God's people had been in their response to Eliza's on-going illness. They also demonstrated the faith that God has strengthened in their family for the past almost 10 months.

A shot from her photo site.
From her parents:

In the face of this monstrous and nameless disease, I sometimes want to cry out in defiance: "Pick on someone your own size, you cowardly dark force!" What parent, or even grown-up, has not had some similar reaction to a child's pain? And yet, what an absurd taunt! Adam and Eve picked a fight that no human can win. All of us labor under a darkness that Adam and Eve chose and we continue to choose. It permeates our lives and relationships. We are as helpless as Eliza to overcome it. But thanks be to God. The season of Christmas celebrates that Help has come to all who will receive Jesus Christ. He has picked and won the fight that confronts us all. In the fullness of time, the victory will be complete. His kingdom will come. Do not ignore the signs of darkness in your life, let them provoke you to seek the Light.

May we face our problems, fears, even those inconveniences that we let distress us (OK, me) inordinately, with such faith.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Miracle Picture

I found this tonight when I located the blog of a missionary to Fondwa, the mountain village in Haiti where Izzy and I have both had the privilege to minister.

The little girl's name is Wildene. I first met her November 11, 2004. Her mother brought her to the convent, where we had held three days of clinics. We weren't planning to see patients that day -- it was supposed to be a day at the school. God, as usual, had other plans.

We weren't sure she'd survive. The photo doesn't show how malnourished she actually was, unless you recognize that those fat little feet are actually edematous from protein deficiency. She is drinking watered down formula -- the water is from the mountain...I think she was 9-10 months old in the photo.

Missy writes about how Wildene ended up back at the orphanage. I was sorry to see she had to leave her family, but thrilled to see she now has a change to grow up healthy and strong.

Photo taken November 2005: She's now almost two. Still behind in size, but growing and obviously happy. As am I, to have found these pictures.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Superstitions

or why our luck will be mixed this year. Hat Tip to the Happy Catholic

From Snopes:

... Because January 1 is the first day of the new year, we have drawn a connection between what we do on that day and our fate throughout the rest of the year. Here are some of the ways we attempt to guarantee a good outcome through our acts on that portentous first day:

Kissing at midnight: We kiss those dearest to us at midnight not only to share a moment of celebration with our favorite people, but also to ensure those affections and ties will continue throughout the next twelve months. To fail to smooch our significant others at the stroke of twelve would be to set the stage for a year of coldness.

Stocking Up: The new year must not be seen in with bare cupboards, lest that be the way of things for the year. Larders must be topped up and plenty of money must be placed in every wallet in the home to guarantee prosperity.

Paying Off Bills: The new year should not be begun with the household in debt, so checks should be written and mailed off prior to January 1st. Likewise, personal debts should be settled before the New Year arrives.

First Footing: The first person to enter your home after the stroke of midnight will influence the year you're about to have. Ideally, he should be dark-haired, tall, and good-looking, and it would be even better if he came bearing certain small gifts such as a lump of coal, a silver coin, a bit of bread, a sprig of evergreen, and some salt. Blonde and redhead first footers bring bad luck, and female first footers should be shooed away before they bring disaster down on the household. Aim a gun at them if you have to, but don't let them near your door before a man crosses the threshold. ...

Nothing Goes Out: Nothing — absolutely nothing, not even garbage — is to leave the house on the first day of the year. If you've presents to deliver on New Year's Day, leave them in the car overnight. Don't so much as shake out a rug or take the empties to the recycle bin. Some people soften this rule by saying it's okay to remove things from the home on New Year's Day provided something else has been brought in first. This is similar to the caution regarding first footers; the year must begin with something's being added to the home before anything subtracts from it. ...

Black-Eyed Peas: A tradition common to the southern states of the USA dictates that the eating of black-eyed peas on New Year's Day will attract both general good luck and money in particular to the one doing the dining. Some choose to add other Southern fare (such as ham hocks, collard greens, or cabbage) to this tradition, but the black-eyed peas are key.

Work: Make sure to do — and be successful at — something related to your work on the first day of the year, even if you don't go near your place of employment that day. Limit your activity to a token amount, though, because to engage in a serious work project on that day is very unlucky. Also, do not do the laundry on New Year's Day, lest a member of the family be 'washed away' (die) in the upcoming months. The more cautious eschew even washing dishes.

New Clothes: Wear something new on January 1 to increase the likelihood of your receiving more new garments during the year to follow.

Money: Do not pay back loans or lend money or other precious items on New Year's Day. To do so is to guarantee you'll be paying out all year.

Breakage: Avoid breaking things on that first day lest wreckage be part of your year. Also, avoid crying on the first day of the year lest that activity set the tone for the next twelve months.

Born on January 1: Babies born on this day will always have luck on their side. Barbara "baby boon" Mikkelson (1 January 2003)

So, how'd lucky will we be here at the House of Chez Casa? (OK, sorta, or uh-oh!) Assessed with tongue firmly in cheek...

Kissing at Midnight? Sorta -- We passed the peace just before Midnight.

Stocked up? OK -- Plenty of food, also grocery shopped today.

Bills Paid? OK -- The computer pays most of the bills. The rent check was mailed before the 1st, but won't get delivered until at least the 3rd (no mail on 1/2 this year (link will change after Tuesday).)

First Footing? OK. First person across our threshhold, at around 12:40 AM, was tall, dark (though graying a bit) and handsome. Also male. My Mom came over later in the afternoon, bearing a gift for Izzy.

Nothing goes out? Uh-oh! Garbage set out when we heard the trucks coming. Who knew they'd be collecting it today? Rugs (plural--what was I thinking?!) shaken out -- all this before the shopping expedition, so nothing was counter-acted.

Work? Uh-Oh! I did nothing related to my work, except check the cell phone settings. However, Izzy spent the day grading and posting scores. As an average, it goes more to the unlucky side. And then there's the laundry...4 loads so far, including lots of things to be freshened up that had been in the back of the closet (see New Clothes.) Lots of dishes...cannot have dirty dishes about when your Mom is headed over....

New Clothes? Sorta. I wore stuff almost no one in SC has seen. I've been re-discovering stuff I hadn't given away that now fits again. Expect to see some 80's style shoulder pads in the near future.

Lending Money or stuff? OK -- Nobody asked.

Breakage or Crying? OK. No breakage thus far, no crying until I started looking at how unlucky we might be...

Born on January 1? Got us one of them. Let's hope that makes up for the laundry, rug-shaking and grading.

Now to the kitchen to eat black-eyed peas & cornbread.

Be it hereby Resolved...

We went to a Vigil Mass last night (start time 11:30 PM) for the Solemnity of the Mother of God. Small crowd in a large church, but I was very glad to have the opportunity to see in the next year while in worship.

The homily was somewhat about Mary; it was more about how our New Year's resolutions are often so very much like our participation in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We don't make resolutions to address problems that we aren't keenly aware of having; much like the reasons for the confessions we also make. There is probably more to the point he was making, but it was a bit late...

The Padre did mention that, just as we tend to confess the same sins over and over, we often (usually? always?) make the same resolutions year after year, and then fail to keep our resolutions. I'm not sure if the logical conclusion is then that no resolutions should be made. Perhaps the point is that needed changes shouldn't be delayed to January 1.

In any case, I've decided to make only New Year's resolutions that I can keep. I will resolve to pay my taxes (they already get taken from my check.) I resolve to continue singing alto. To be fair-skinned (but maybe less thin-skinned?) To laugh at (most of) Izzy's jokes & puns.

As far as the things that God, via my Padre, wants me to work on, I'll keep going to confession and seeking the grace of the sacrament to live the way God wants me to live.

Happy New Year.