Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Quote o' the Day

Have no fear for what tomorrow may bring.
The same loving God who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and everyday. God will either shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

-St. Francis de Sales

Monday, January 28, 2008

Today felt like...

...an economics class with Ben Stein at his "best."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hard Evidence

I stumbled across this little gem while on another fab blog. It's proof that priests-to-be are hard core. And maybe a little obsessed with Star Wars...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Stand Up!

I am reminded today, as we commemorate the decision reached in Roe v. Wade, that Our Lord and his mother endured a "crisis pregnancy" situation. Mary was not yet married and therefore subject to the Jewish law which could have sentenced her to death for a pregnancy out of wedlock. But that was not to be. Joseph stood up for Mary and the child within her, Jesus Christ.

I pray that we may all do the same, today and everyday. Let us too stand up for all mothers and their children, born and unborn. Life is worth living, but we need to give it a chance.

preborn baby

O Mary, Mother of the Unborn, protect the gift of human life which your Divine Son has allowed to be given.

Give strength and joy to all parents as they await the birth of the precious child they have conceived.

Give courage to those who are fearful, calm to those who are anxious and guide all of us, with your motherly care, to treasure and protect the miraculous gift of human life.

We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Mary, Mother of the Unborn, Pray for Us!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Serenity Now!

...Sanity Later.

That was like a battle cry for me during the months of November and December. Can I just tell you that out of all the weekends between November 23 and December 28, we spent one of them at home. Just one. It left me feeling like this:

"Later" is finally here. After a few weekends of downtime, I feel more like this:

Sleeping in my own bed, grocery shopping, doing laundry, and cleaning the bathroom have never been so therapeutic.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Good News!

The abortion rate is the lowest it's been in 30 years. Now that's praise worthy!

Granny Underwear or Granny Wisdom?

"Life is like wearing granny underwear. Sometimes, it just gets bunched up."
-My Mom

How true, Mother Dear. Life's circumstances-stresses, changes, sorrows, joys-can pile up and leave you thinking, "How is all of this happening at once?" When did all of this stuff get "bunched" together leaving me yanking at it, trying to make everything smooth and right again?

As of late, I realized that if I am to have any peace, especially when life gets "bunchy," I need to stop the yanking. More often than not, my problems don't need a yank, like a granny underwear wedgy. They need time, patience, grace, and a lot of surrender.

During my undergraduate years, my grandmother wrote me letters every week. She is a strong, gracious woman of faith and throughout those years, she often shared this Scripture:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not;
In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

This truth resonates now more than ever. In surrender and reliance on God, I am better able to see His plan unfold in peace. So Grandma, thank you for your love and wisdom...but you can keep your underwear.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Winter Wonders

As much as I lament the cold weather, today is especially beautiful. Snow falling and coating tree branches; flakes sticking to my eyelashes and the whole collection of them damping all sounds to make the outdoors soft and quiet. Excellent.

Buck is intently staring at three mallards paddling around the pond. If he weren't leashed, I guarantee he'd be bolting...but not through the pond. Probably around it. He's quite afraid of water. Odd, for lab-mix, you say? Buck's no ordinary dog. More on that later...

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Well, I think I've used up about 2 minutes and 30 seconds of my allotted 15 minutes of fame! Our diocese is having a random drawing for tickets to the papal mass at Yankee Stadium in April and yesterday was the last day to enter. So, I drove myself down to the diocesan offices to fill out an entry ticket and who should be there but CBS 6 news. Before I knew what was happening, I was being coaxed into a "staged" conversation about why I wanted to go to the mass with a camera in my face. I now have a whole new respect for celebrities. So many say silly things in front of the camera and are berated for it. Now I understand why they say these silly things. There is no time to really think about what you're saying! Fortunately the editor was very kind and I don't appear too doltish. Thank God they cut the italicized portion of my musings (see below). I giggled enough in the video as it is.

News Anchor: So why are you entering this drawing to see the pope?

Andrea: My husband and I would love to be at a mass celebrate by the pope. It would be a dream!

Here's the link to the video. You have to select it from the menu on the right side of the page.

Please say a prayer that we get some tix! It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Perhaps the "lot" will fall to us.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Do you hear what I hear?

Last night, Kevin alerted me to this "saintly" conversation on The View daytime talkshow.

JOY BEHAR: I’m going to get in trouble for this, but you know what? I have a theory that you can’t find any saints any more because of psycho-tropic medication. I think that the old days the saints were hearing voices and they didn’t have any thorazine to calm them down. [laughter] Now that we have all of this medication available to us, you can’t find a saint any more.

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: I don’t think so, Mother Teresa.

BEHAR: That’s why Mother Teresa had issues. Let’s not forget, she didn’t really believe 100 percent like these saints who were hearing voices. She didn’t hear voices. So the Church said "okay, she does good deeds. Let’s make her a saint." In the old days it used to be you heard voices. They can’t do that anymore.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: They’d cut your hair off. They’d set you on fire. Don’t forget what they did to Joan of Arc.

BEHAR: Because she was hearing voices.

GOLDBERG: They set her on fire. That’s why people stopped saying anything.

BEHAR: Well it was- no, no, no, in the last century before you had medication, they still were hearing voices. I’m telling you.

HASSELBECK: I don’t think they were hearing voices. I think they were committed to their faith and they’d go to death for it.

SHERRI SHEPHERD: Because I hear voices. I hear voices in my head.

BEHAR: Well, duh!

HASSELBECK: I hear voices too.

BEHAR: Medication is in order perhaps!

While Behar's assertions are nothing short of asinine, they reinforce the need for Catholics to stand up for the Church's teaching concerning our relationship with God and what it takes for the Church to declare anyone a Saint. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

"...we love the martyrs as the Lord's disciples and imitators, and rightly so because of their matchless devotion towards their king and master. May we also be their companions and fellow disciples!" CCC 957 (emphasis added)

The Catholic Church does not declare anyone a saint simply because they claimed to have heard God's voice, thereby giving evidence to the need for psychotropic drugs. The Saints are declared as such because of their devotion to Christ. A saintly life is evidenced by a life of holiness: prayer, sacrifice and service to Christ and his people. It is a life lived in cooperation with God's grace. A saintly life cannot be equated to symptoms of certain mental disorders.

Ms. Behar, before you start airing your opinions about Catholic teaching for impressionable minds to hear, please do your homework! Facts are far more beneficial than intrigues.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Note to Kevin

Don't let me handle your prized possessions. If we keep making bets on them, we're going to have more dogs than we can handle!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Steve Yzerman's Greatest Feat

In February, it will be two years since we took Buck into our home. There are many things to love about this dog: big brown eyes, paws that are slighty too big for his body, and an affectionate disposition. He is easy to love, but it certainly was not easy to convince Kevin that getting him, or any dog for that matter, was a good idea.

Not long after Kevin and I started dating, we had a conversation around our feelings and opinions about pets in the home. I grew up with a dog, and I have very fond memories of companionship and cuddling with man's best friend. Kevin, on the other hand, grew up in a nearly pet-free home, needless to say a very clean and fresh-smelling home. So, while Kevin has no problem with the idea of keeping a goat in the back yard to eat our trash(I'm totally serious), the idea of a drooling, fur-shedding animal romping around the house was less than appealing.

Fast forward to married life in our first home. This is our place to do what we want! No apartment rules or surcharges concerning pets, a decent size yard for a dog to run; obviously this was the perfect time for our first four-legged friend, right? Not when your husband is vehemently opposed. Even tears could not melt his frosty heart.

In the midst of the ongoing Dog Debate, tragedy struck. Kevin is not a pack rat, but he does have a few prized possessions: a U.S. State quarter collection, various foreign currencies from his father's international travels, and a 1988 Little Caesar's Detroit Red Wings commemorative glass picturing Gerard "Spud" Gallant and one of Kevin's childhood heroes, Steve "Silk" Yzerman. While washing dishes after dinner, I broke the glass. I didn't have time to react, to hide the shards. Kevin saw them and mournfully cried, "Steeeeeeeeeeeve!" There was nothing we could do. Kevin's prized possession was gone. We ceremoniously disposed of the glass in the garbage can, and I did my best to forget and never utter Steve Yzerman's name again.

Not long after the Steve Incident, we ran a 5K race and bumped into one of Kevin's co-workers at the finish line. During our conversation, the Dog Debate came up, and on a whim, Kevin made a vow. "If you find me another Steve glass, just like the old one, I'll get you a dog." With Kevin's co-worker as a witness, the deal was sealed. It was up to me and Providence to find that glass!

Upon returning home that day, Kevin did yard work and I secretly set to finding that glass. I feverishly searched eBay and there it was: the 1988 Little Caesar's Detroit Red Wings commemorative glass picturing Gerard "Spud" Gallant and Steve "Silk" Yzerman. God bless that man in Sterling Heights. For $12, I was going to win the rights to a dog. I knew I had to keep this a secret until the glass arrived. This was an event worthy of all the pomp I could muster. I won the glass and payed with money order, so Kevin wouldn't find any suspicious checks or credit card charges. Two weeks later, the glass arrived during a Saturday afternoon cleaning session. As the UPS truck rumbled away, Kevin looked at me inquisitively, "Do you know what this is?"

"No. No idea. You can go ahead and open it." I could hardly contain myself. This was it! The moment I've been waiting for. Kevin pried open the box flaps and took out the paper and bubble wrapped bundle. He unwrapped the glass, and as soon as he recognized it as THE 1988 Little Caesar's Detroit Red Wings commemorative glass picturing Gerard "Spud" Gallant and Steve "Silk" Yzerman, he lifted it above his head and cried joyfully, "Steeeeeeeeeeeeve!"

Then came the questions:

"How did you find this?"
"Who sent it?"
"Did you know what was in this box?"

Then came the realization of what this glass really meant:

"Oh no. The dog."

All I could do was smile. I was speechless. This was probably one of my greatest triumphs ever and I fully expected to reap the rewards.

I won't get into the gory details, but the victory went sour quickly. It took four more months of pleading, heated discussions, and covert communication with dog rescue organizations to get Kevin to agree to go to one of the dog adoption clinics. I assured him that this trip would be to "look," but anyone who has ever gone to "look" for a dog knows that there really is no such thing as "looking". More often than not, you come home with a dog.

This trip to "look" was no different. We walked into the pet supply store where the adoption clinic was held and we were immediately accosted by a ridiculously excited mutt named Dutch. He jumped, pawed and proceeded to circle me, wrapping his red leash around my legs. One of the volunteers, probably the one who should have been man-handling this dog, exclaimed, "You'd love Dutch! He's the sweetest pup!" I grabbed a nearby table to keep myself upright and broadcast a message with my eyes clearly saying, "Sweet is not the word I would use to describe Dutch."

After untangling myself, we continued to run the gauntlet of dogs. It wasn't long before the cutest black dog I had ever laid eyes on came into view. He was sitting placidly in front of the man holding his leash. I bent down, looked into his velvety eyes, looked back at Kevin and said, "I like him. I want him." I was smitten.

It became clear very quickly that we were not the only people interested in this dog. Two different potential households were showing interest in what I was already thinking was my dog. After a half hour of heated discussion and debate, we agreed to take him. Nearly two years and many adventures later, he's still with us and he's still winning hearts.

I think I owe a debt of gratitude to Steve Yzerman. The time he spent setting records and wowing crowds on the ice brought the admiration of many, namely my husband. Little did I know that this admiration would, in some small way, make one of my dreams come true.