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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.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Brideshead Completed

Just about an hour ago, Izzy and I with Miz M finished the BBC series Brideshead revisited. we've been watching 1-2 episodes on Sunday nights this fall. I had seen the series in the '80's and had only remembered the mostly dreary color scheme and Sebastian's backside. (But then, I seldom recall much from movies, etc.)

This time it was very different. Watching it as a Catholic convert changed everything. I wanted Charles to understand the Flyte's religion -- to see how it permeated their lives when doing good and when behaving badly. The tragic resignation to damnation that they felt they were headed for, even as the Church, embodied by the everlasting nanny in the attic called them back. Duty, honor, valor -- it's all there. What a great series -- even if often depressing.

Gorgeous writing -- I guess I'll need to add this book to the pile for after school.

Monday, November 17, 2008

In other news

(Before I disappear back into the last few weeks and final six projects of the semester...)

Izzy and I have managed to keep our lives updated to a few folks via Facebook and LJ status updates. We've spent time with friends this semester in Bible Study, at the Called & Gifted Workshop in Greenville, and with a little group that watches British TV series on Sunday nights. We're finishing Brideshead Revisited next Sunday.

More old married people @ the C&G workshop

She's sweet on him.

Big G with Big Gnome

(On-call during the conference)

Izzy and I took a couple of Saturdays to be irresponsible and head out of town to see friends for just a few hours. We sat in a tavern in Asheville with a friend and his three year old, who enjoyed the chalkboard (normally used for scoring games of darts.) We headed to Florence for diner with friends who were on their way to Myrtle Beach for a family vacation. I got new boots out of that trip.



Asheville: selling lemonade at political rally. Look behind her...

I accompanied Izzy on a field trip to a model UN in Boone, NC. I was the female chaperone, with no responsibilities other than to share the cabin room with a dozen or so girls. I think Tigger slept (OK, mostly bounced) on the bunk above mine. It was fun watching the kids be themselves. Izzy and I actually had some quiet time together in a student lounge between sessions. How unexpectedly nice. We also caught up, briefly, with a young lady who used to hang out at our house in Durham with her twin sister and their best friend.

Looking professorial in Boone

Update in six sentences. We've had a three recent family bday gatherings, photos of which appear at Flickr. There appears to be an impending family divorce. One niece and one nephew are in college. I don't think anyone is pregnant. I carved another fun pumpkin for Halloween. We're rented a beach house for Christmas.



Seth Bday 2008037

Mom (a great-grandma now)


Today is the feast of my patron saint: Elizabeth of Hungary. She is known for her philanthropy, her nursing of the poor and is one of the few medieval married saints. She worked through, and around, her husband to care for those with nothing. I admire her fortitude, even as I struggle to find time for those times of prayer and devotion that will leave me better prepared to serve those whom God brings my way.

And at this point in the semester, He'll pretty much had to bring them to my office or to the house. There won't be many more non-work trips to anywhere until I finish up. Oh, except that this Saturday we're headed to Charlotte to go hear Jason Harrod, another friend from Durham, church and Bible Study.

So, we're not quite as busy as before, but after reviewing the photos I've taken recently, I'm feeling less like a hermit.

Gotta go create PowerPoints now. I'm giving two presentations at a statewide nursing conference Thurs & Fri. I'll be in Chucktown without Izzy. It just seems wrong.

Back on Thanksgiving? Maybe before? Let's hope.

Breaking Radio Silence

It's been a while since I've had anything to day at the time when I had time to type it. I get great blog ideas while driving, but after seeing Gashwin's adventures in blogging via Jott, opted not to try that. Besides, the Jott would probably pick up the talk radio I tend to listen to whilst driving about our fair city.

We've had an election since I last posted. I opted not to blog the election - my friends pretty much knew my concerns about the Democratic Candidate. I never wanted to be a one issue (abortion) voter, but it seems to have happened. Bitter experience and the cynicism of my no-longer-ingenue status tells me that few promises related to tax cuts, tax increases, great new health or retirement or jobs-for-all plans will happen the way a victorious candidate promised. I hear the same old arguments in debates:

    • "My plan will cut your income taxes by 30% and give you a free puppy, while my opponent's plan will merely lower your taxes by 25%"
    • "Oh, yea? Well, we've also lowered the tax on puppy food by 13% and will be mandating that all employers supply workers with two puppies."
I don't want a puppy and I know that the Congressional grandstanding (many, many hearings so each congressman can get camera face-time) will delay my eventual 5% tax cut and my $100 tax credit to be used only for fish food.

1916 Successful Campaign motto: Woodrow Wilson: He kept us out of war.

So, the presidency comes down, for me, to two things he can do that no one else can:
    1. Nominate Supremes
    2. Nominate/Appoint Cabinet Secretaries who then appoint, without
      oversight, under-secretaries, department heads, etc.
If you don't know, the real work of government is done much lower down the chain than the level that incurs campaign debt.

This brings me to my vote: FOCA scares the bejeebers out of me. It purports to offer freedom for reproductive choices to women, but looks as if it will repeal critical amendments that protected the occupational freedom of choice for health care providers.

I am very concerned about the diminishing capacity of public health nurses in our state to refuse to prescribe/dispense Plan B to clients. Just because a client requests a therapy, doesn't mean that any provider anywhere is obligated to offer it to her. I know that reasonable people can argue over whether Plan B is [always] an abortifacient. Reading the company's material identifies 3 possible mechanisms of action. One of these, making the uterine lining inhospitable for implantation of the fertilized egg, answers any questions I might have had. As I continue to argue for freedom of choice for our staff, I have relied on the Hyde-Weldon amendment, etc. Protections that may go away, as may many of our staff. Clients can get Plan B lots of places -- they can't get newborn home visits or free school shots or TB testing or even STD treatment from those places.

So, my exercise of my franchise became making my tiny voice heard about FOCA. Let's hope that the many layers of civil servants, hold-overs from several administrations, write guidelines and funding rules less draconian than what is being discussed.