Thursday, January 29, 2009

I was mistaken for a Muslim yesterday

Which really shouldn't be surprising, but it's the first time it's happened that someone actually said something. A very nice little old man came into the office, and I'm visible from the front counter. He said 'wa salaam alaykum', and I said 'hello', and the short conversation sort of went from there, and I did correct his mis-impression. I wasn't even dressed particularly hijabi-esque yesterday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'd Wear That...

Burqini from Which is in Australia. I haven't found, yet, any place in the states that sells them. Not that I'd buy one, atm. But I actually kind of like them.

Or this, it's an Indian style of clothing, salwar kameez. I just don't think it would look right on me, which saddens me. I love the look.

How you know you were raised in the South

aka: How to Tell the Southerners in the Room from the Yankees -

One of the women at work objects to Obama being called the First Black President. 'He's not black! He's mixed! And he was raised by white people!' She keeps insisting. Which is true, he's biracial, and he was raised by his white family, not that the second makes him white, but whatever. (She, by the by, is a Yankee)

I, politically correct genius that I am, say, 'Well, can he pass?' - and this is where you know where everyone was raised. The Southerners just say, 'No.' The Yankees (mostly) go 'Pass what?'

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weird Headcovering Observation

I seem to have forgotten what my own hair looks like.

No really.

I glanced in the mirror when I was switching from work/outside covering to house/yard covering, and I had to reset my pony tail, and I had a moment of, 'when did that happen to my hair'?

Sirach 9: 1 - 9

Aside from reading through the whole Bible, a few chapters every day, I'll sometimes just randomly flip it open, eyes closed, and the chapter that my finger points to, I read. Just another way to read the Bible, no meaning assigned to whatever might come up. Today it was Sirach 9. I found the first half of it interesting, advice from one man to another, on dealing with women.

1. Be not jealous of the wife of your bosom,
lest you teach her to do evil against you.
2. Give no woman power over you
to trample upon your dignity.
3. Be not intimate with a strange woman,
lest you fall into her snares.
4. With a singing girl be not familiar,
lest you be caught in her wiles.
5. Entertain no thoughts against a virgin,
lest you be enmeshed in damages for her.
6. Give not yourself to harlots,
lest you surrender your inheritance.
7. Gaze not about the lanes of the city
and wander not through its squares;
8. Avert your eyes from a comely woman;
gaze not upon the beauty of another's wife-
Through woman's beauty many perish,
for lust for it burns like fire.
9. With a married woman dine not,
recline not at table to drink by her side,
Lest your heart be drawn to her
and you go down in blood to the grave.

Lesson: Boys, keep your eyes in your head, your hands to yourself, and your walets in your pockets. You're responsible for your own actions!

AP Wire: Jacksonville Company to Sell Caylee Doll

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Jacksonville promotions company says it will sell a blonde-haired doll that bears the name of a slain Florida toddler as a "tribute" to the girl.

Showbiz Promotions is selling its Caylee Sunshine doll, which is named for Caylee Anthony, for $29.99.

The company's president, Jaime Salcedo, said he plans to donate some of the proceeds from the doll to a charity, but he hasn't selected an organization yet.

Salcedo said the company wants the doll to "be a tribute" to Caylee Anthony, whose body was found by a utility worker in December in woods near where she lived with her mother and grandparents. She was reported missing in July.

Casey Anthony, Caylee's mother, is charged with the girl's murder.

Seriously? Humanity is broken. This whole story is horrible, and then for this schmuck to decide to profit from a little girls murder? Why has no one punched this guy in the face yet?

Edit: From CNN 'Caylee Sunshine Doll Sparks Outrage'. But at least they've suspended production. The whole thing is just shady, and it doesn't surprise me that the company is already under investigation for other things.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Some days I just don't know what I'm doing

Holy Saturday is in approximately ten weeks. I am not ready for this. I mean, I sort of waver back and forth still, between believing, and not.

Can I do that? Should I? Go through with it, or not? Should I go through with it when I have doubts? If I put it off, it's a whole 'nother year of waiting. And then, sometimes I'm just so *sure*. And, of course, there's the part that says, well, it doesn't matter, just go through with it, because it doesn't hurt anything if you're wrong!

Damn Gemini personality!

Mike the Tow Truck Man

Twice, Mike the Tow Truck Man, has been able to listen to us tell him what is wrong with my car and tell us what was wrong. And we're all people who don't really know about cars, so his only clues were, 'well, it made this metal clicky noise, and now it thinks its in second, but the gear shift is in park position, and it's really sort of in neutral...'

So, I love Mike the Tow Truck Man, and I wonder if he works on cars, as opposed to taking it to Ford, since the warranty is over anyway.

I've calmed down, and will keep this car, for the moment. I want to finish paying off my credit card, and build up some more in savings, and what with the economy, I don't want to take on another car payment if I don't have to. So. They're fixing the car at Ford, and I will take it home and treat it gently. But, I will never buy another Ford again. This is my second, the first was a Mustang, bought used off of someone, and it worked wonderfully, right up until it died, and when it died, it died thoroughly. But it was an older car. This, my little SUV? *twitches* I cannot express my level of frustration with this car, and Ford's inability to a) tell me what's wrong (or that there's anything wrong at all), and b) fix it without the aid of Mike the Tow Truck Man.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Feel My Nerdish Glee...

I now own a 1961 edition of The Screwtape Letters. It is worth, probably nothing. Paperback, with mild wear and tear. But to me? Priceless. And I got it for free! Someone left it on the booktrading table in the lunchroom at work!

Feel my glee! Feel it!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Our Local Mosque

This is an artists rendering of the mosque before it was constructed. It's from Beay Light Construction Company, Inc. I can't find a photo of the mosque in its completed state, but it was finished last year sometime. From what I can see, driving by, it looks basically like this.

So, goofing off at lunch, I found pictures of our local mosque. It's down the street from where I work, but I've never been there. And I'm in a sharing mood...

First is a link to a photo essay by a local reporter/writer/photographer, Malcolm Brenner.

The Mosque: A Photo Essay obviously, all the pictures on there are his. Though I have to quibble, the mosque isn't in Punta Gorda. Maybe zipcode wise it is, but it's physically in Port Charlotte. Not that that makes any difference...

This is a picture of the mosques roof. They don't seem to have a minaret, unless it's behind the dome...then again, I don't know that minarets are *required* on a mosque, just that they all seem to have one. The photo is by Sarah Coward (for the local paper), another local photographer.
This is a local woman at the mosque. I don't know if she was there to pray or what. This was also taken by Sarah Coward for the local paper. Malcolm got to photograph the mens side of the mosque, Sarah the womens side. But the paper published only a few of her pics.

Link to American Bedu - How Long Will Child Marriages...

Okay, so I love American Bedu's blog. I'm oddly fascinated with Saudi Arabia (as a matter of fact, despite my dislike of travel, I would love to go there one day), and she posts about a wide variety of topics in the Kingdom. And the people who post on there are typically well informed, so the conversations that go on in the comments are great too. But this post/conversation I'm finding particularly interesting. It's about the practice of child marriages (brides, mostly), in Saudi. So I'm linking it.

How Long Will Child Marriages Continue in Saudi Arabia?

I think it's telling that even the most traditional of the posters on Carol's blog are against the practice, and many are pointing out that it's not an Islamic thing, but a tribal thing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What I Want...

...In a Husband

1) Strong, faithful Traditional Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox.

2) Stable - both mentally and otherwise. Not someone who's chasing off on wild fancies every five seconds, and this includes their career.

3) Older than me. At 26, I know enough to know that I know nothing. I'd like someone with a bit more life experience than me.

4) Someone who doesn't mind that I am fat. I'm working on it, but really. I know I'm fat, it's just a fact of life.

5) Like animals. I have pets - love me, love my pets.

6) Want children.

Brought to you by the announcement of another of my friends engagement, and my continued spinsterhood...

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Thoughts on Headship - Simple as they may be

1 Corinthians: 1 - 15: 1 Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ. 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me: and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you. 3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraceth his head. 5 But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if a woman be not covered, let her be shorn. But if it be a shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head. 7 The man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. 9 For the man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man. 10 Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels. 11 But yet neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12 For as the woman is of the man, so also is the man by the woman: but all things of God. 13 You yourselves judge: doth it become a woman, to pray unto God uncovered? 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that a man indeed, if he nourish his hair, it is a shame unto him? 15 But if a woman nourish her hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. (Douay-Rheims)

Achem. Okay. So, 'headship' is sometimes an issue for me. I have had and will likely sometimes continue to have, Issues, with men. I don't believe that they are better than me, I don't believe that they know more than me, I'll drink one under the table, arm wrestle, whatever. I am woman, get the frick outta my way! On the other hand, I deeply and truly desire to find a good man, get married, and raise three dozen children on a farm somewhere. I am not a typical woman, should such a thing exist.

But headship. Especially headship in relation to head covering.

Vs. 3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraceth his head. 5 But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if a woman be not covered, let her be shorn. But if it be a shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head. 7 The man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man. It starts with a simple sort of hierarchy, it would seem. God - Christ - Man - Woman. We all have someone that we must answer to. Ultimately, it is God. We must all, individually, answer before God for our lives. Why did God lay out the hierarchy like this? I'm not really sure. It ties into my thoughts on the rest of the passage. To me, the rest of the passage lays a heavier burden on men than on women. What, you may ask? Lemme explain.

Man is called the 'image and glory of God'. He is given charge, though not explicitly in this chapter, of his wife and his children. His duty is to raise them up. To elevate them, and make a holy nation for God. Yes, ultimately, it is an individual choice to follow God, but for children, this begins with the parents. Now, men and women are equal in the eyes of God. He values them the same. But they're still created differently. We all have our roles to play. And there must needs be a leader, in any relationship. It's a partnership, but, in the case of a difference of opinion, if we don't defer to one, then discord can be sown. Man is told to pray uncovered, because he is the 'image and glory of God'. This is an outward *sign* of an inner charge. As is the head covering of the woman. I believe, when we come before God, He will ask the man who led his wife to error, 'Why did you neglect your charge? I gave you a precious gift, and you miss used it.' Each individual is responsible for their salvation, but I believe that men are burdened with leading. A woman covers in respect to this, but ultimately, as a sign of submission to God. 'Let it be done to me according to Your Will.' This is not an excuse for ignorance. This is not an excuse to whimper and say, 'Oh, I can't make that decision.' No. A woman must be informed about her own faith. Her soul is her responsibility. Her childrens souls are also her responsibility. But it is also right that she defer to her husband. Or, in other cases, her father. But these men, should we defer to them, must be righteous, God-fearing men. We owe all humanity respect. But our obedience belongs only to God, and our deference belongs to men who belong to God, and will treat us in the manner that God Wills.

Verses 8 and 9: 8 For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. 9 For the man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man. This whole passage has been used to say that Christianity is male-centered, that it holds women down, places men in a position of power that they don't deserve. I used to see it that way too. I don't, anymore. This refers back to the order of creation, in Genesis. Now, I'm not a literalist. I don't believe that every single event described in the Bible is meant to be taken literally. The Bible is a collection of works, using allegory, allusion, history, metaphor, on and on. So, I don't believe that God created the Earth in seven literal days. I do believe that God created the Earth, however. I don't believe that God formed Adam from dust. I do believe that God created Adam. How? Some mixture of natural processes and Divine intervention. I think there's enough evidence of evolutionary theory to give it a kind of credence, but I don't think that we accidentally evolved from an ancestor. However, I will take God at His Word when He says that woman was created for the man. Why? Because man needed the help. If the order of creation were reversed, I would say that 'woman needed the help'. Man and woman are two sides of the same coin. We need each other. We were created for each other. This is the way God Willed things, and God knows best.

But then we get: 11 But yet neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12 For as the woman is of the man, so also is the man by the woman: but all things of God. Women are the life-givers. We get the singular honor and joy of brining new life into the world. Men can't. They're deficient like that. ;) But neither can woman give birth without first the man 'sparking' the seed. Again, we need one another. It's an eternal partnership. Still, do we give life to the egg? Nope. God does. All things are of God. We merely get the loan of them for a little while. So, you see, woman was created for the man, but man cannot exist without the woman, and neither can exist without God. All things go back to God, and our need for Him, ultimately. So this part, at least to me, doesn't speak of man being better than woman.


Ephesians 5: 21 - 30 : 21 Being subject one to another, in the fear of Christ. 22 Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord: 23 Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of his body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it: 26 That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any; such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. 28 So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. 29 For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church: 30 Because we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

We are called to be subject to one another. Equality, baby. But here's the part that I find important: 'Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it.' Women, subject yourselves to your husbands (or fathers), but! Men, you must be as loving toward your wife (or daughter), as Christ is to the church. Christ *died* for the church. An agonizing death. Will most men be called on to actually die for their family? No, but some have been. The point of this is that you must love them wholly, selflessly, without limit. When you love your wife like that, that's when you deserve to have the burden of headship. And that's the point when you deserve your wife's submission to you. Not before.

This is why I think we must all strive to lead holy lives, in submission to God. And from that flows this two way steet of love and honor between man and woman. Wah. So, that's a little rambly and probably confusing. Sorry. I'm still trying to get my thoughts on all of this organized.

Naming Your Guardian Angel Bob

Castiel again - because he is awesome. Moving on.
So, we all have Guardian Angels. Just a fact of life. Now, I'll admit that I both love this and hate it. On the one hand, I most certainly need one. On the other, it's kind of creepy, when I think about it. There's an angel following me around...all the time. He sees *everything* that I do. Everything. *starts looking over her shoulder in paranoid fashion* And, really, doesn't he get bored? I'm not the most fascinating person in the world. Or very exciting. I know this. And I'm happy with it, which likely makes me even more boring. I know, I know, angel, not human, 'bored' most likely not something they experience. Still. I think about that sort of thing.
Anyway. So, after Mass, when the RCIA class was discussing the readings, the Deacon leading us mentioned a personal story about being 'challenged' to know his Guardian Angels name. And I thought that I'd read somewhere that we aren't supposed to try and name them. They have names, given by God, and to try and name them smacks too much of trying to 'own' them. So I went looking when I got home. (Or, really, this morning, since I got distracted by seeing My Bloody Valentine.)
Here's what I had read: The Vatican says not to do so. DIRECTORY ON POPULAR PIETY AND THE LITURGY
Quote: 217. The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.
So, it's 'discouraged'. Which doesn't mean forbidden, but just that it's probably not a good idea. Now, I admit that when I think of my angel, he looks like Castiel, and I kind of refer to him as such. Because, again, Castiel is awesome. I certainly don't think that's what he really looks like, or that that's his name, but it gives me a 'person' to talk to.
Am I the only one who does this? I mean, he's always there, so the least I can do is hold a one sided conversation with him every so often. And is anyone else creeped out by their constant companion? It's probably just me, being paranoid. :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

I love my job...I love my job...

Just heard from Deputy Clerk...

I can expect 600-800 more files to be processed.

*curls into ball under desk*

I'd just started catching up! I was going to be able to do the other parts of my job in a timely manner!

*breathes deeply* Off to find my zen...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Current Temperature Is...

53 degrees farenheit- it was 40 earlier. It's supposed to be in the 30's tomorrow.

I am hijabi-esque today, because of the cold.

edited because I don't know farenheit from celcius....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Modesty - Do I Have to Wear Skirts?

No, really, do I? It's not a rhetorical question, so if anyone stumbles on this and has an opinion, I'd like to know.

The 'skirt' issue isn't one that I've really felt strongly one way or the other about. I like skirts. They're feminine, they're pretty, they're practical. I will only wear skirts to Mass, I've never set foot inside a church in pants. Why? I was raised understanding that skirts/dresses were the only appropriate clothing for church. But why?

I found another great blog, Country Mom. One of her latest posts was A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words. So, of course, I was reading through her back posts on 'Biblical Womanhood' and 'Modesty'. And it made me start thinking about it again.

5 A woman shall not be clothed with man's apparel, neither shall a man use woman's apparel: for he that doeth these things is abominable before God. - Deuteronomy 22:5 (Douay-Rheims)

I buy my pants in the Women's section of the store. They are, therefore, 'women's apparel'. Problem solved! Only, not so much, maybe. Historically, traditionally, pants are mens clothing. Women wore dresses/skirts. Aside from that, skirts are, inherently, more modest than pants on women. And I'm thinking of proper skirts, not skin tight, mini, see through - skirts. When I think of a skirt, I'm picturing something that goes to my ankles, at least. I think pants, even loose ones like I wear, might draw a little too much attention to a womans...'assets'. Which is not something that anyone but her husband should be thinking about.

9 In like manner women also in decent apparel: adorning themselves with modesty and sobriety, not with plaited hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly attire, 10 But as it becometh women professing godliness, with good works. - 1 Timothy 2:9 - 10 (Douay-Rheims)

So I'm trying to figure this out. Do I have to wear skirts? Is that the next step here? I'm apparently doing this backwards, because, reading, most women start out with the skirts and then add headcovering. I'm running around covering in pants.

Monday, January 12, 2009

'boys are disposable'...?!?

I found this on Ave Maria Gratia Plena...: Boys are stupid?, and she lists where she found it at, here. So go there to see the original article.

I would like to know why this is acceptable? Take 'boy' out of that phrase, and replace it with any other group at all, 'girls', 'christians', 'jews', 'children', 'muslims', etc. and there will be someone screaming at the top of their lungs about hate speach and prejudice. So why is it 'cute' and 'funny' when it's aimed at boys? I can just see a generation of little feminists being brought up with this in mind. We'll wind up in a place where, as opposed to China, where they don't value their daughters, and 'select' for boys in the womb, we'll be doing that for our sons.

Dr.: I'm sorry, it's a boy.

Horrified mother and cowed father: Oh no! *shudder* Not a boy!

Dr.: I know, it's tragic, but it does happen. Don't worry, we'll 'take care of it' for you, and you can try again.

This is just a symptom of how insane this has gotten, I think. I used to, well, I used to be a feminist, though I didn't call myself that, but even after I'd pulled that giant stick out of my butt, I still thought that some people were a little too alarmed about the feminists. I'm not thinking that anymore. I think the 'alarmists' are right.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Headcovering - 6 Months Later

Six months ago, on July 3, 2008, I started covering full time. I actually forgot about it being the anniversary on the 3rd this month, and when I did remember, I had a time figuring out what I wanted to say. I've been thinking about it for a few days, so hopefully this will come out coherent in some fashion.

For me, the command to cover came personally. It was something like being hit in the chest. I can't even really remember specifically what I was reading at the time, though I know it was something online, when I was still trying to figure out whether or not I would be converting to Catholicism. It was something that I stumbled across, but I believe it was obviously what I was meant to find.

After that, I went looking for things about headcovering on the net. A great resource I found, for articles and blogposts and other information is Those Headcoverings. But here's the thing...I know, now, that I was looking to be un-convinced of this need I felt to cover. I was reading these articles, these posts, so that I could read their arguments and go 'eh, unconvincing', or 'stupid'. Something like that. I didn't find anything, and I read posts arguing against covering, and I didn't find them convincing either. So.

Six months later, six months of covering full time. What's it done? Have I changed at all?

I believe that I have. I'm moving, not just to cover, but to dress more modestly, to embrace my femininity. Which is not to say that women who don't dress like me, etc., aren't feminine. Just that I, personally, had rejected that part of myself. I didn't want to be a woman. Women, in the house I grew up in, were weak and useless. We lived in fear, and the men had all the power. There's a lot tangled up in all that, but the end result is that I grew up hating myself in some twisted fashion, and even after we no longer lived in that house, I knew that being a woman was some horrible flaw. I had a lot of anger. It drove me away from men, it drove me away from religion, because it was obviously invented by men, designed to lord it over women, and hold us down. Now, I'd worked through most of this by the time I embraced religion again, and some more of it when I felt called to cover, I don't want to give the impression that I was super-feminist and then all of a sudden I did a 180. No, it was a gradual thing.

When I started to cover, when I finally allowed myself to obey, I still had a lot of anger and resentment toward men. I'd accepted that they weren't all abusive jerks (with the exception of my Grandfather, who has always been a saint in my eyes), but I still thought that the world would be better off if they were put in their places. And their places were most definately beneath women, we just had to re-educate them, so they went willingly. Why, when I thought like this, did I cover? Well, I knew that it was from God, and God was above all of this 'him' and 'her' crap. Why did God want me to cover? *shrug* Who knew? It wasn't important, at the time. Just that I had decided to obey God, and I knew that this was something He wanted me to do. Now, I believe that the reason God 'smacked' me with this was because while I had resolved to obey, He knew that it was not going to be as easy as I thought it was. God used this to lead me in the direction I needed to go, to get rid of so much more of the anger and hatred that I was holding on to, even when I didn't realize it.

I cover, and I know in my heart that this means I am embracing a counter-cultural point of view. I believe, in my heart, even though I don't always manage to show it yet, that there is an order to the world, instituted by God, and that everyone has their place in it. The differences between men and women exist for a reason, and we both have our roles to play. One is not better than the other, which is what the world would like us to see this as, but rather, we compliment one another - where one is weak, the other is strong. And there's no shame in that, no reason to fight and stab at one another, and degrade each other.

I still have anger, my temper is not something that I'm proud of, and the urge to rip into people who aren't doing things the way I think they should be done, or not as efficiently as I would do them, or doing something 'stupid' hasn't magically dissipated. I have the vocabulary of a sailor, and I can curse in five languages, four of which I can't say anything polite in. But the covering makes me hesitate. It's a visible sign of an invisible change, a charge that I have willingly taken upon myself. Alana over at Free to Cover posted a link to a woman who says it so much better than I can, her post is In Your Anger.

I cover, and it makes me hesitate to give into my first rude impulse. I cover and it reminds me to follow God's Law. It reminds me to love others, to treat them as I would want them to treat me, even when they're treating me badly. It reminds me that, lacking a husband, the authority in our house belongs to my Dad, so even when I don't want to get up off my butt and help when he asks, I should, because he does deserve my respect. He's not unreasonable, he loves my mother and myself and my sister, and he is doing his best to lead our family and keep us happy and comfortable and together. I cover and it reminds me that someone forgetting to put their dishes away is some subtle inference that I'm the house-maid, but just a sign that they're human too, and that they forgot to pick up their coffee mug. I cover and it is a physical reminder that I am surrounded, always, by God and the angels, and while they know what I do, even in secret, I want to do things God's way, even when that's not my first impulse.

I'm adding two links to the bottom. The first is an article I came across, one of the last that I read before I made up my mind to obey in regard to covering.

On Account of the Angels by Elisabet - I came across many articles on covering, but this one has stuck with me for some reason.

The second link is a site that I just found, through Titus 2 Wife and Mommy's blog. I've just started going through the articles on the website, but so far, I'm loving it. I, of course, started poking through the section 'Especially for the Unmarried', but I've decided to read through the whole site - Ladies Against Feminism.

So that's it for the six month anniversary. I wish I was like some, with deep thoughts about this subject, but I'm not. I'm still learning, still trying to be the woman that I believe God wants me to be. It's an ongoing struggle, and all I can do is keep at it, and learn what I can along the way.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Nature Redux

The snake is still hanging around our house. He was in the bushes in the front yard when my parents got home. My mothers solution was for Dad to catch the snake and toss him into the woods. He would then need to bleach himself before he would be allowed back into the house.

The snake is still, so far as we know, in our yard. Non-poisonous, so I vote for letting him alone. They're great for rodent control. I'm still hoping to get a picture of him. I went looking last night, but he'd already high-tailed it to a secure location.

Placeholding Post

There will not likely be a great deal of 'political' themed posts. This is because I consider myself 'politically naive'. I read what happens, and I have an opinion, but it is often an uniformed one, and so I keep it to myself.

This post is just so I can keep track of a few interesting posts/discussions on what's going on in Gaza in one place.

Let Your Keffiyah be the Symbol of Peace

Children are not counted

And when the story was first reported, of this Hamas leader being killed, it said that three of his children were killed as well, and I read that, and was waiting for the outcry, at least in commentary, about the deaths of innocent children, but it hasn't really come, not like I expected. And all the news outlets seem to be...ignoring it. I won't say that one side is right, or the other wrong, because as far as I'm concerned, both sides are run by idiots that don't care that they get their people killed. If I were 'in charge' (and its a good thing I'm not), my current favorite solution is to remove everyone, and flatten the place. Salt the earth. If you can't share, nobody gets it. Of course I'm also in favor of extending Russia's plan of action for Andrei Chikatilo to all murderers, rapists, pedophiles, etc. I know I'm not a 'nice' person, and I accept this about myself.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

RCIA Day Fifteen

So, last night was our first day back. Father P taught, and we went over (in very basic form) the Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist.

It was, as I said, a basic overview.

A sacrament is an outward sign of an inner change. So while yes, water is required for a valid baptism, as is the formula 'In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost', the water is not in itself, 'magically washing away sin.' As circumcision is a sign of belonging under the Old Covenant, baptism is a sign under the New. It is, in a way, a circumcision of the soul. Father P mentioned that he has, in order to protect the sacrament, refused to baptise children, if he felt that the parents were baptising, not for the right reason, to bring their child into the covenant and raise them in it, but to impress visiting parents, or because it's family tradition. We'll cover, at a later time, immersion vs. sprinkling, and why the Church practices and upholds infant baptism.

The Eucharist, I feel, is at the same time very simple and complicated. Look in the Synoptic Gospels, and you find the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. You have the miracles of the multiplying of the loaves and Jesus walking on water coming before the Last Supper, giving evidence for what Jesus would be able to do in the Eucharist. He was not subject to the laws of nature, like everyone else. You have Jesus telling his followers that He will give them His flesh for food and His blood for drink, and you have them leaving Him in droves, because they believed He was teaching cannibalism. They didn't understand the true meaning of his words. Why wouldn't He stop them, if His teaching was merely metaphorical? It's very easy to look in the Gospels and see the Lord's Supper, but it takes, in my opinion, an act of faith to believe that Jesus literally meant what He was saying.

Then, of course, there was the discussion of who can take Communion in the Catholic Church. It's closed Communion, which means that you must be Catholic (or Orthodox, in extenuating circumstances), in order to receive. And a little, peripherally, about Confession, and it's role in preparing us to receive, but we didn't get into it much.

Father P likes to fancy himself a comedian. His ring tone, we learned last night, is a chicken clucking. Very cute. He likes to tell stories, both funny and otherwise. Last night, he was going through the argument, do Catholics have to go to church? Can't we just be Catholics at home? The story:

There was a married couple, both Catholic. The wife went to Mass every Sunday, and urged her husband to come with her. He declined, saying 'You go for the both of us.' Over and over. She lived her faith, and he paid lip service to it. One day, the couple is killed in a car accident. At the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter turns to the wife and says, 'You can come in for the both of you.'

Nature at My House

So, I sort of live in boondocks. We get Nature out here. Someday I'll get my Mom to email me the pictures she takes, so I can put some of them up.

Last night, I got home around 9-ish. Dad warned me that there had been a snake around the house, last seen in the vicinity of my flower bed statue. Of course, I run in, get a flashlight, and go looking for him. I like snakes, Dad doesn't mind them, but my mother is terrified. She wouldn't even leave the house.

I found him, hiding out near our water pump/filter system against the side of the house. I couldn't get a picture, because of the pipes, there just wasn't a good angle. And of course, when he was laying out in the open before, no one got a picture because my mother is the one who thinks of taking nature photos, and she wasn't getting anywhere near it.

This is the closest I can come. I think our visitor was a water snake. They're non-poisonous, and we're not that far from a preserve (we had a 12-foot gator show up in our swale after a good storm one day).

Monday, January 5, 2009

Discretion in Marriage

Ave Maria Gratia Plena...: A return to discretion.

*points to link* I kind of want to be her when I 'grow up'. I love reading her posts. She's firmly opinionated. :) But anyway...

So, I'm not married, but my best friend is. To protect me, should she ever find this place, we'll call them Adam and Eve. I know, I know, inventive and original.

I'd read Michelle's post when she originally posted it, and thought 'She's right. I'll keep this in mind for when I'm dating, and if I ever get married.' And sort of put it out of my mind.

Yesterday, after Mass, I met Eve for breakfast. Inevitably, her relationship with Adam came up, as it always does. And, inevitably, there was complaining about him, and his flaws. Of course, I, as Best Friend Extraordinaire, listened and commiserated. I'm fairly certain that's in the job description.

The thought occured to me, later on, of course: How much responsibility do I bear for a friends indiscretion regarding her husband? Just the 'ripping him to shreds' behind his back sense of the term, of course. He's not my husband, I'm not privy to their deepest, darkest secrets, unless Eve chooses to share. I'll ask how things are going, and sometimes I get an earful. I listen, and, as I said, 'dish', I suppose. But that's as far as it goes. Where's the line between giving my friend an outlet for her frustration and encouraging her to disparage and harangue her husband? I try to give such advice as I can, and, to be honest, it usually involves asking her if she's mentioned any of this to him, since I don't have personal experience to go on, but I'll admit that I engage in sniping him sometimes too, when it seems he's done something particularly bizarre.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Random Post of Things

I am Posty McPoster-person today. Third post of the day, and it's just random stuff.

1. Have you ever heard of Bob Larson? I think he is full of it. And watching him on tv makes me feel kind of slimy.

2. Abyss is still a completely awesome movie.

3. If my mother gets goats, I want pet pigs. I think its only fair.

4. Either our house is haunted or I have lost yet another pair of sunglasses. Two guesses which of these things is more likely, and the first one doesn't count.

5. Why is History Channel suddenly obsessed with the apocalypse? This week is 'Apocalypse Week', apparently. Not that I don't appreciate it, because I get to watch some interesting stuff, but this obsession with 2012 is just bizarre...

6. My mother has implemented the swear jar, in order to improve household language. There are three of us, and we are all adults. Whoever swears the least (I insist that we chart this) at the end of the year gets the money in the jar. The jar has existed for about 24 hours. Both of my parents have had to pay into it. I have not. Guess who's getting that money at the end of the year?

edit: 7. Am deeply disturbed that, according to the History Channel show I have on, 'doctors' used to implant monkey / goat testicles in people, to cure depression and sloth. One doctor just sliced up goat bits and tossed them into the person. I am not only disturbed, but horrified. How does that even remotely seem like a good plan?

Please Do Not Attempt to Cuddle the Angel

I was having a conversation with a woman at work the other day. We both watch the same television show, Supernatural or as I like to think of it, The Dean Winchester is Awesome Hour. For those unfamiliar with it, the basic (and I mean really, really basic) premise is that there are two brothers driving around the country, saving people from monsters and ghosts and demons. And, just in case, should someone read this who has not seen Season 4, or somehow remained unspoiled, there are slight spoilers for the show! You've been warned!

In this current season, Season 4, they have introduced angels to the show. There've always been demons, and the assumption of many fans has been that there was, of course, the opposite side, but that we didn't see it, because the boys were fighting in the 'trenches'. Now, no one should go to this show expecting theological soundness. It's a tv show, it's meant to entertain, and Kripke (the creator of the show), mixes and mashes and matches theological points of view all the time. It's his perogative, and it's a tv show. I watch for the fun. Anyway.

Her problem was that the angels, as introduced in the show, are 'not nice'. *blinks*'s not as though they're running around pushing people off of buildings or anything, mind you. Are they exactly as I think of angels? No, but again, tv, not reality, so I have no problem with this. But...'not nice'. I've been thinking about it, and this is my theory:

This is her mental image of an angel:

He's cute! Adorable, even. And do you know how hard it is to find a picture of a cherub that's not naked? This little guy, at least, has a cloth in his lap. Fat little naked baby with wings. He's clearly nice, and cuddly. I think this is how she thinks of an angel when she's thinking of them. I'm afraid this is how a lot of people think of angels, when they do at all. Hallmark greeting card, cute, harmless, I could go on and on about their pinchable cheeks, etc. This is not how I think of angels.

This is my mental image of an angel:

This is a painting by Rembrant, by the by, of the Archangel Raphael leaving Tobit's family. Lovely.

Please note the difference. The angel is not a) a fat, naked baby (which is cute, don't get me wrong) or b) harmless. If you don't believe me on that second one, read Tobit. Raphael kicked butt.

Angels are good, yes, they're on God's side, but that doesn't make them cute and cuddly! Good things can be scary too, especially if they're that far beyond ourselves. There's a reason that the first thing out of an angels mouth is some variation of 'don't be afraid'. Why? Because they're frightening!

And I think I've figured out why we give Lucifer so much credit for being so big and bad. Images of Lucifer tend to look like this:

This is by Gustave Dore. Note that Lucifer is not some cute little baby with batwings. He's a man, in armour. Contrast that with the cute baby angel that most people see. Now, I, for one, would much rather have Raphael from the second painting fighting this guy than the baby of cuteness. None of these, of course, are what angels or demons actually look like, but they're our perception of them, our mental imagery. And I think part of why some people focus so much on the devil, on evil, as opposed to focusing on the good, angels and God, is because of the artistic imagery that we use. Angels are cute and fluffy and they perch on our shoulders to tell us right from wrong. Lucifer and the demons are a bunch of warriors, big, burly guys waiting to mug us in a dark alley.

But it's not that way. I believe we each have a guardian angel, yes, but mine does not perch on my shoulder. He would find that an ineffective perch from which to smack me around when the situation requires it. And it has, upon occasion, required it. To my knowledge, my angel has never had to intervene in a flashy way, but there have been instances, looking back, where I know that he has influenced things so I get the message.

In conclusion, I see nothing wrong with Kripke's portrayal of angels, in general. Yes, there are some issues, but still. To illustrate, this is Castiel (played by Misha Collins). He's an angel of the Lord:

He's a good guy, on Dean's side. This does not mean that he will not smite your behind when it's necessary. On the show, he literally went though Hell on God's order to get Dean back, and he can lay the smack down on any demons he comes across. So, you know, respect him. Or else.
Here endeth the collision of my fannish life and religion.

Failed Attempt at Semi-Hijab Headcovering for Cold Weather

So, Anna over at Veiled Glory has a video up showing how she wraps a semi-hijab. I like the look, and I think it might be nice for when it gets cold here.

Here's a link to the post/video: How to Wrap a Semi-Hijab

I've tried it, and I can't get the ends to lay flat at the end like she does! Maybe I just need more practice, but they always don't seem to wrap properly at the end. I'm either doing something wrong, or it might be because I've got wider shoulders, but I'm probably doing something wrong.

I decided to include pictures, because I'm in a masochistic mood. They're not very good, and, again, it's wrapped wrong, I twisted it together in the back and then draped it over my shoulders for the picture, but hopefully I'll figure it out.


picture removed by me. I've decided I don't really want my face on here. Hee. I've got a niqab, any other posts I do that show my face will be done with the niqab.


Friday, January 2, 2009

2009 Goals

In no particular order:

1. Get healthy, weigh less - seriously, for a variety of reasons, I weigh more than I should. By a lot. This shall be corrected. Entire lifestyle overhaul is in progress, and it's going well, but I'm making it a Goal.

2. Relearn how to cook. I can cook, but I need recipes to do it, and I don't do it often enough.

3. Relearn how to sew. Again, I learned, but I stopped in junior high, because it was 'girly'. I resist the urge to slap my younger self upside the head, but it's hard. To this end, I have picked up counted cross stitching kits. Not quite sewing, but something that I enjoyed and was sort of good at, so a step in the right direction. Needless to say, I have already, somehow, screwed up the first one, but it's a practice one anyway. I shall persevere!

4. Learn Latin.

5. Learn Hebrew.

(You may ask why, for 4 and 5. Just what I say.)

6. Be social! I lack this desire, but I'm told it's something healthy people do, is speak to others. I shall try it...

7. Find a husband. Hey, I didn't say they were all rational or reasonable goals. And I figure I should probably start looking, if I ever want to get married.

Dear Humanity...

Dear Humanity (read: Members of the legal profession that I have to deal with today),

If you would like to stop hearing the subtle little tone in my voice that says I think you're a moron, and please just get your secretary/assistant/whatever you would like to call them, then please, do your job, put said secretary on the phone, because they know what they're talking about, and let me do mine.

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