Please use GoodSearch for your internet searches and select a charity (such as Dominican Sisters of Houston). Thank you.

soul type

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

a little more navel gazing ... seen on Lisa's blog

You Are a Hunter Soul

You are driven and ambitious - totally self motivated to succeed (actually, extraordinarily unambitions, and am more along "fear of failure")

Actively working to achieve what you want, you are skillful in many areas.

You are a natural predator with strong instincts ... and more than a little demanding. (I guess I can be demanding, but not nagging. I don't beat anyone for producing less than stellar results, but I will have them re-do as time permits and am always careful NOT to push them past their patience.)

You are creative, energetic, and an extremely powerful force.
(Uh, no, no and wow, really? Lethargic is the word.)

An outdoors person, you like animals and relate to them better than people.

You tend to have an explosive personality, but also a good sense of humor.

People sometimes see you as arrogant or a know it all. (Sadly, yes, even though I am aware of my ignorance, I continue to be arrogant at times.)

You tend to be a bit of a loner, though you hate to be alone. (loner, yes. But would love to be a part of a religious community and I have enjoyed being part of great work team.)

Souls you are most compatible with: Seeker Soul and Peacemaker Soul

canstruction creativity

Sculptures made up of food cans. Afterwards the cans are donated.

another day

This was another one of those celebrated "Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day." This was a major milestone, the very first step to get rolling on medical assistance. That went pretty well. Then I showed where I volunteer, just a few blocks from the doctor's office. Then was taken to run an errand, only to have the check refused again. This time, we knew what to do: go cash the check.

Since it isn't our 'hood, we had to drive around to find the bank (no help from the bank there). Got back in the car, had an argument about the amount being not enough, that the salesperson had rung it up wrong. So okay, wrote another check for the additional amount, found the motor bank from info gotten from the lobby. Got to the motor bank and couldn't find my driver's license. Got into another argument about me being irresponsible. I finally said, "If you can't live with my problems, then I don't want you living with me." Went back to the lobby but they didn't have it ... turns out it was in my back pocket with the pocket prayer book.

Got back to the store and indeed when it was rung up this time, it was more than last time. Fortunately I had enough cash altogether, thanks to the second cash out. Brought the goods out to the car and the recipient was overjoyed, since the clerk had taken very good care of us and gave us above and beyond.

Went to get food. I ordered a chicken salad sandwich and 1/4 turkey muffaletta. Got home only to discover that neither sandwich had lettuce or tomatoes. !#$%^&* Never in a million years did I think that I had to specify lettuce and tomatoes for a sandwich. We ate our sandwiches anyways. Think I'll go take a shower now then maybe play a little Sudoku.


Monday, January 30, 2006

Coming off the high of the weekend, I am now feeling bummed. How odd that I would put forth some semblance of personal "coolness," composure and energy for the folks; but then get by myself and resort to usual "bummed." Yup, in private, I have those moments where I don't like myself too much. But in public, you'd swear I haven't a problem in the world--never seen one and never will. The mildly upset stomach, having only 4 hours of sleep last night, and internal turmoil from the paradigm shift and paradoxes of the weekend does not help. Anyhow, let me get my butt up and go wash some dishes.

from another blog

lifted from the blog A Catholic Life:

A prayer by St. Thomas Aquinas

Devoutly I Adore Thee (Adoro te devote)

O Godhead hid, devoutly I adore Thee,

Who truly art within the forms before me;
To Thee my heart I bow with bended knee,
As failing quite in contemplating Thee.

Sight, touch, and taste in Thee are each deceived;

The ear alone most safely is believed:
I believe all the Son of God has spoken,
Than Truth's own word there is no truer token.

God only on the Cross lay hid from view;

But here lies hid at once the Manhood too;
And I, in both professing my belief,
Make the same prayer as the repentant thief.

Thy wounds, as Thomas saw, I do not see;

Yet Thee confess my Lord and God to be:
Make me believe Thee ever more and more;
In Thee my hope, in Thee my love to store.

O thou Memorial of our Lord's own dying!

O Bread that living art and vivifying!
Make ever Thou my soul on Thee to live;
Ever a taste of Heavenly sweetness give.

O loving Pelican! O Jesus, Lord!

Unclean I am, but cleanse me in Thy Blood;
Of which a single drop, for sinners spilt,
Is ransom for a world's entire guilt.

Jesus! Whom for the present veil'd I see,

What I so thirst for, O vouchsafe to me:
That I may see Thy countenance unfolding,
And may be blest Thy glory in beholding. Amen.

Prayer by Saint Thomas Aquinas, translated by E. Caswall

Also per the same blog, please use the search engine to benefit organizations that are pro-life.

Dominican weekend

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I enjoyed my weekend with the Dominicans from two different "communities." It's always a joy for me to be with the Sisters of any order. For the weekend, we were very fortunate to have amongst us a prioress and council member from one community. Those two stole my affections the minute I met them. I am so drawn to them.

My roommie and I got along just fine. We got along well enough that I could get a jab in at her this morning and everyone got a good laugh. She will most likely be joining the Dominicans. She is already very active in youth ministry and is very outgoing and energetic.

There was an awkward moment on Saturday when I was asked what I thought, and me being the social idiot, told the truth rather bluntly. I did refrain from saying more than "I don't think I am called to preach in the pulpit." I think the room deflated. After the Sisters gave some more encouragement and advice to remain open to the possibilities, we broke for lunch.

Everything was back on track after lunch. The room was once more relaxed. We had some free time. I took a short walk with two of the Sisters. When we came back, I showed another Sister how to do Sudoku, but the puzzle was too hard to work cleanly. However, she got the gist and will try on Monday, when the puzzle will be easier. She tried to show me Spider Solitaire, but got interrupted by a phone call and we didn't continue.

Parting was such sweet sorrow. Fortunately the two who stole my affections are from the community located in the city where I live. We were in separate cars so I said good bye to them in the other city. Then again when we crossed paths at a lunch stop. Then finally again when we got back to the convent. They seem open to continue communications with me and I look forward to seeing more of them and perhaps pursuing a more direct, individual dialogue.

Dear God, how is it that you send folks to steal my heart, when my heart is meant for you?

the weather thing

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Seen on Natty's blog and Susan's blog

You Are a Rainbow

Breathtaking and rare
You are totally enchanting and intriguing

But you usually don't stick around long!

You are best known for: your beauty

Your dominant state: seducing

Now that's funny: me being known for my beauty and me being seductive. But it is true that I don't stick around long. I have a short attention span and a restless nature.

looking forward to weekend

I'm really, really looking forward to a discernment weekend. We'll be heading out tomorrow afternoon right after lunch. It'll be some Sisters and maybe three of us seekers. I suppose I can play nice for the weekend.

Sister called me yesterday to finalize the arrangements. She'll be heading on first because of an all-day meeting there. I laughingly asked her if she was going ahead so that she could fluff our pillows for us. She said yes and that she might put a chocolate kiss on them too. I nearly choked. Amen, amen, I say to you, I am not worthy of anybody fluffing my pillows for me. She might have just been joking.

Sharing a room with a total stranger will be interesting. I'm somewhere between neat and sloppy.

Then there's the mass dress thing. Sister told me jeans and t-shirt will be just fine. However, the right thing to do is at least slacks and blouse. But not wishing to play one-upmanship, if the other seekers are going the jeans and t-shirt route, then I will as well. I suppose it'd be wierd if I ask them what they plan on wearing to mass.

just stuff

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Got there late. Grabbed a hefty-sized knife from the kitchen. Butchered some green styrofoam-like stuff and put them in flower vases. Somebody else crafty will poke various plant matter into them to make table center pieces. Butchering finished, we then proceeded to fold some simple origami "flowers." They needed over 100. I think I made ten. Wish I could make them all for them. Good luck to them.

I skipped their mass (the one with the dog), having been to one this morning already.

Heard today:
"Why should I go to mass daily? Especially since I sometimes leave feeling empty?" Various folks came up with a variety of good answers. I kept silent since the answer coming from me is not going to carry much weight due to "familiarity" with the one posing the question. Later with just the two of us, my opinionated self could hold silent no more and mentioned the eucharist, the priestly blessings, concept of "family meal," and God deserves worship and thanksgiving. But whatever the reasons, you have to make them your own. Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J. (my favorite Jesuit) explains it beautifully as to "why should I go to mass?" I hope y'all get to hear it some time, when he talks about mom laboring over Sunday dinner and everyone coming to the table.

life path number

seen on Natty's blog and Steph's blog.

Your Life Path Number is 7
Your purpose in life is to find truth and meaning

You are very spiritual, and you are interested in the mysteries of life.
You are quite analytical and a great thinker. You have many theories and insights.
A life of solitude is perfect for you. You need time to think and do things your way.

In love, you are quite charming. You attract many with your confidence and wit.

While you enjoy being alone, sometimes you take it to an extreme.
You can become too isolated, shutting out loved ones and friends.
Express yourself a little bit more, and you'll be surprised where it takes you! flattering

volume to surface area II

Monday, January 23, 2006

Continuing the exploration of the volume to surface area ratio in my world.

The skin of grapes don't taste so great. Little grapes don't have enough volume to compensate for their bitter surface area. The grapes I bought today are probably no bigger than a dime in diameter (they're spherical). A shopper with her wits about her probably would have noted, "Hey, there is not enough volume relative to surface area on those grapes."

Reese's peanut butter cups
I like those things. Specifically, I like the big ones because they have more filling relative to the skin. The volume to surface area ratio is potentially the same for both, the big ones and the little ones. Unfortunately, the surface is so thick, that on the little ones, there is hardly room for fillings. So the big Reese's peanut butter cups are better. So one must also consider the thickness of the surface, which infringes on the volume it contains.

agitator dogs

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Friday, Gumby called a friend about the washer and after some discussion with me, he decided we needed new agitator dogs. Yup, google for "agitator dogs" images and you'll see them. They have tiny teeth on the fat round edge. I told him nothing was catching on the agitator and he told me new dogs will catch anything. He couldn't understand why I couldn't take the agitator apart.

So he picked up the parts along with some appliance knobs we needed and came over. Then he fought with the agitator and when it did come apart, it hit him on the forehead because he was looking down at it while trying to yank it up. I asked him about tooling to remove that part and he told me two screw drivers. Yeah, right. I bet there is a special tool for it.

Anyhow, the washer is fixed now and our appliances now have all their knobs. He had gone with us to pick up the fish dinners and desert so we dined together. We reimbursed him for the parts (~$20) but he wouldn't take any extra for gas and such.

So if your agitator isn't agitating correctly, it's probably your agitator dogs. (But if it isn't rotating at all, it's probably the motor.)

some days

I washed the car. Then the car got rained on.

I took the washer agitator out of the washer, but then I couldn't get the agitator apart to access its innards.

I went shopping, took an hour, then they wouldn't take my check so I went home empty-handed.

But then I remembered that I left the notepad with the grocery list in the cart. So I had to double back, in rush-hour traffic, just to retrieve the notepad.

I remembered a saying I heard once: "Some days, it's not worth it to get out of bed." But then I remembered that I had mass that morning. Then I decided that even if my world falls apart around me, it is definitely worth it to get out of bed just to attend mass.

Not that I get any feel-good out of mass. I just know and understand what the mass is.

And we did get our fish dinner. Both the mass and the fish dinner came from the same parish.

to do

Friday, January 20, 2006

Yes, sadly I've fallen steeply into the addiction of Sudoku. It took every spare moment, and I spared every moment possible. At this point, I have decided either I need more sleep, or their timer has been geared to tease me...adding minutes to my time when it sees my IP address. See, if things don't measure up, blame the yardstick.

Now I need to get some stuff done. Warm enough day to go wash the car. The washer agitator needs looking into. Don't know how long it's been like that. Laundry is a task that I've been barred from but I was helping last night and noticed that the agitator is not working right. Washers are new territory for me, but I like taking stuff apart. Putting it back together is even more challenging. A grocery run is also in order. A nearby parish is having a fish fry today; will need to do a fish run for dinner. Oh, and somewhere I need to scan the job openings, and apply for a few.

Tomorrow, Gumby and I might go check out the Dominican jubilee celebration.

Hey, Natty, if you ship Oreo down here, I'll take care of it. Y'all (that's short for "you all") have a great weekend. I will try to refrain from touching my computer (other than to look for jobs) and go have a life instead.

big city

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I live in a big city. I just realized that. It took me 45 minutes to get across town on a freeway (doing 60-65mph). When I finished and headed back, it was rush hour. There is not a single freeway or major road in the city that is not jam-packed with cars. I made the mistake of attempting the low road. I was just following my nose, not really having a clear idea of where the road goes. For a while there, it looked like I was making better time than if I had attempted the freeway. Then it got bad. Eventually I took a left. Then eventually a right. Then I found myself in the medical center. That's really bad. Eventually made it to a freeway, and it was still packed (this is an hour since I started the trek back) ... we were going 20-35 mph for several miles. It took a total of 1.5 hours to get home, which I then passed up to go get some food.

Looking through the window of the food place, it looked like two busloads of people were packed in line in there. I go to the take-out counter. Waited a few minutes to place my order. Then guess what? They ran out of some of the food. So people started modifying their orders and making substitutions. I'm still waiting. Eventually I get "it'll be another 10 minutes for mashed potatoes." Okay, give me new potatoes then. A little while later it's "we're out of cornbread, it'll be another 2 minutes." Give me rolls then. That was 30 minutes for the take out order. So in total, it took me more than two hours to get home.

I'm on the southeast side of town. My last work location is even further south away from the city. So I never had to go through town. Today I learned that I live in a B-I-G city. *sigh* another thing to look forward to when I do get a new job. And heck no, I ain't taking the low road next time.

3's meme

tagged by Sixtina at Religious Life (she told me she did)


1. anon
2. anonymous
3. not telling

1. newbie
2. vital signs
3. seeking something

1. easy to feed
2. laid back
3. pretty freakin' responsible; if you can get me to sign up to it, consider it done

1. huh? would you repeat the question? I can be a little dense. If baptism=enlightenment, then I need several more dunkings. "If we can understand it, it's not God" (rough paraphrase of St. Augustine); per this model, I happen to experience quite a bit of "God."
2. Not graceful at all. Physically or socially.
3. aw, c'mon, two's enough

1. 100% [unrevealed birth nationality]
2. country/urban/suburban American
3. Catholic (well, now it is)

1. kids (and the mama and papa bears)
2. people (I can't figure them out)
3. new situations (I'm not too swift on my feet)

1. um...what was that psycho model? safety/security, physical comfort, and social belonging?
2. underwear (I gotta have 'em), clothes
3. kindness somewhere, either heard, seen, received, or given

Actually, I'm just teasing. I've not gotten out of today's clothes yet.
1. shoes, socks, jeans, t-shirt, sweatshirt, and see item #2 above
2. diamond-like stud earrings, wristwatch, glasses, chapstick
3. an unvited cat to adorn my lap
THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE BANDS (or artists (at the moment)):

1. Michael Jackson (c'mon now, he's good when it comes to music)
2. Beatles
3. Barbara Streisand
(yeah, I'm a little out of it)

1. something churh-related, if I can muster the energy and attention, like maybe learn the Our Father in Latin for real, and in Spanish, ditto for the Hail Mary, or try a novena, or get back onto the online bible study courses
2. a new restuarant
3. a fast from all things bloggy

1. sincerity: don't lie to me, and don't even try to use me
2. fun: let's do things together and enjoy it together
3. God: let's not forget what (who) is really important

1. Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life.
2. Life is messy.
3. I'm not lying if I can help it.

1. reasonable good health, good personal hygiene
2. a kind face
3. smile and laughter

1. dance, act, do magic, play a musical instrument
2. be creative and come up with a story
3. be a girly girl (please don't ask about fashion or colors or what looks good)

1. bicycling
2. um...outdoorsy non-competitive fun stuff like paddle-boating or a try at row-boating or sculling or maybe even some of the silly girl scout camp games (though I have no idea what they are)
3. reading (but you can't tell based on the volumes not read)

1. join a Catholic women's religious order, but not if it's not God's will
2. finish this questionnaire so I can post it
3. awww...reach out and give you a BIG hug ...or maybe not

1. [my current undivulged one]
2. dunno, maybe run my own slushie stand or one around me is too thrilled with that idea, talk about a vote of no confidence
3. professed religious

1. Europe tour
2. skiing!
3. maybe some lovely beach somewhere ... Seychelles? ... even though I don't know how to swim

1. try some skiing, some snow boarding, maybe some body board surfing
2. show up at work one day with a seriously wild RED wig
3. doing something useful with my life would be nice

major distraction

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Well, gee, thanks to T.O. at LAMLand, I now have an even BIGGER distraction: Sudoku.

I spent 45-50 minutes on the first few games each (and it was the EASY version). I evetually got it down to 15 minutes and thought I was some big shot, only to have them tell me that most people finish an easy game in 7-something minutes.

Yeah, I'm mad as heck. I'm missing something there. When I get the chance I'm going to try some more ... I need to figure out the patterns.

enjoyable morn

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Did two "brochures" for my volunteer morn: a bi-fold with front and back pages and full page center. Pretty simple, just text boxes and a graphic on the front. Someone had already sketched the layout and someone [else] had already typed the text. So it was just the mechanics of putting it in Publisher. I didn't want to mess with their design since I didn't know whole lot about the project. That done, I still had an hour to blow off. Chatted some and played with the dog some.

From there I went to meet with a Dominican, got free lunch and a little tour of their place. Seem like I can get along with them, their environment, and their food. I was invited to a jubilee celebration this Saturday so that I'd get a flavor of their celebration. I'll think about it. I'll be joining them for a ride over to the discernment weekend 1/27-29. Oh, turns out she wasn't just "a" Dominican, she's on the leadership council -- a "big wheel." I shall withhold any opinions and questions until said discernment weekend.

So a fun day after yesterday's "blah" day.

4's meme

Susan Rose has invited all to the meme.

Four Jobs I've had in my life:
1. xx (the one I just got laid off from)
2. some sort of clean up tech
3. vet assistant
4. grocery store cashier
Movies I could watch over and over (and have). [not a movie buff, but I'll spit some out]:
1. Auntie Mame // Rosalind Russell
2. Dances with Wolves // Kevin Costner
3. Shawshank Redemption // Morgan Freeman
4. The Ten Commandments // you know who
Four Places I have lived:
1. Texas
2. Texas
3. Jersey City, NJ
4. another country (I was but a wee lassie)
Four TV Shows I Love to Watch (I don't really watch any shows):
1. ER
2. Discovery Channel (if I only had cable)
3. Nightline
4. CSI: Miami
Four Places I have been on Vacation (vacation? what's that?):
1. Houston, TX
2. Austin, TX
3. San Antonio, TX
4. Galveston, TX
Four Websites I visit Daily (yeah, I know I haven't been doing the Hunger Site):
1. Sisterbloggers ring members
2. LAMLand
3. my bank (now I do, it's my homepage)
4. my links page
Four Favorite Foods (only four?):
1. Spaghetti
2. Pizza
3. Jello (well, I think it's food)
4. soups
Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now

1. Heaven
2. with Jesus
3. with Mary
4. convent ... gee, how unimaginative


Monday, January 16, 2006

Yup. Friggin wasted my day. Woke up at 7:30 a.m. with a start 'cause I thought Smurf was calling me in the other room. Not the case. But I needed to put the trash out anyways. Saw some kids walking to school as I put the trash out (huh?!). Went to mass ... saw kids walking home as I headed off to mass. What, did no one tell them that there is no school on MLK,Jr. day?

Took a nap somewhere in the eve because I've been feeling exhausted all day. Well that didn't help. Naps during the day have a tendency to make my head feel stuffy-funny when I wake up. And heck, I'm still feeling blah. Got a tootache now. I've bad teeth all my life and no regular access to a dentist all my life. I've a bunch extracted and the rest are leaning all over the place. I've a bunch of fillings a few crowns, and several that were started for a crown but never finished (long story). I now definitely don't have access to a dentist so when a toothache comes up, I just wait for the thing to die and fall out. Right now the pain is minor. Chew carefully.

I admit I have an addiction: FreeCell the easy version. I've been at it for hours today. I probably play some at least every week. I'm on game #2301, and still haven't resolved #617 and #1941. I admit I wasn't too sharp tonight, but did make it through tonight's games.

So I've been suffering from the-weather's-gray-cloudy-rainy-I-feel-like-crap-and-don't-wanna-do-anything-all-day-and-at-the-same-time-feeling-crappy-about-that-too-itis. My grace before dinner included a petition for those who are homeless that they may find shelter, warmth, and food. So for a second there I did think beyond myself.

health stuff

sugar suppresses immune function (Google search) I'm not giving up my sugar, though.

When exercising, sports drinks are better for hydration (Sports Coach page -- pulled from Google results for this topic)

Swimmers have increased appetite when coming from cold water. Swim if you like, but resist the urge to eat more; or select a warmer pool. Years ago, I read a study that indicates that pool activities are not as effective for weight loss as other exercise. However, I think the best exercise is the one that you like best, that way, you're more likely to stick to it. As far as temperature, I suspect that similarly, our appetites increase when we are cold. So if we sit in nice cool offices and drink cold drinks, it is no wonder that we have increased appetites.

rare find?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

It pains me that there is a push for women's ordination. It pains me even worse when it's Catholic women religious who are pushing for it. One response I received basically indicated that since women are teaching men to be priests, that makes women qualified. Then there's the issue that although the priesthood is not a "right," what if the woman feels called to be ordained? Well, who is helping the woman with this discernment? Yes, indeed, some priest are open to women's ordination. I feel that unless God himself makes it abundantly, unmistakably clear that He wants women's ordination, we ought to leave it alone. A bunch of dissenting voices is not a divine sign to me.

I basically wear a big label that says, "Though I would like to join a religious order, I simply cannot in good conscience join one that promotes women's ordination." You see, if I cannot stand in solidarity with you, what sense would it make for me to join you? Why would I put myself in a position where I have to choose between obedience to the Holy See and obedience to Mother Superior?

Which brings up another question: Are there any women's orders left who do NOT promote women's ordination, either subtly or openly? I don't know.

A bunch of links on the topic of women's ordination at Catholic Pages directory (I've not read them; they might all be one-sided).

surface area to volume ratio

For us critters, we lose heat from our surface (skin). Critters who have a small volume relative to their surface area (skin surface) lose alot of heat. It's been said that the squirrel suffers from such and have to eat almost constantly. I suspect skinny folks suffer such as well. Overweight folks may do okay in cooler climates, but their larger volume make warm climates kinda hellish.

Got a sandwich from a bakery today. It's kinda skinny, maybe twice as wide as Jack-in-the-Box's Panido sandwich. I like my french bread with more volume than surface area and this skinny bread doesn't meet that criterium. Being skinny, it has more crust and less fluff so my sandwich was a little lacking in bread.

I know of another nearby place that makes this type of sandwich, which costs 50 cents less and I think the sandwich tastes better, with the bread and seasoning that I prefer. However, it is only available in a certain window of time, and there is usually a long line. The bakery one costs a little more, doesn't taste as good to me, but has NO LINE and is available as long as the bakery is open. Convenience wins. Robocop likes the bakery version better. I'm like, "Huh?!!"

cat problems

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I've been putting my male cat on a diet per vet recommendation. He was 20 pounds and now he's 18 ... and he's getting into everything hunting for food. I just chased him off the dining table. Darn cat. Oh, sorry, it's not a cat - it's a pig that looks like a really cute cat.

The female one is being switched to canned food. She weighs hardly anything; it's a wonder she doesn't just float in the air. She won't hardly touch the canned food. My non-sympathetic self says when she's hungry enough, she'll eat it. Some tiny little voice somewhere is saying to get on the web and look for suggestions on how to make the switch.

Though piglet is hungry, he won't touch the canned food either. In fact, he only eats the dry food and nothing else--not even treats. Our cats have never gotten treats because they simply don't eat them. We've tried. Anyhow, it's simpler that way.

FTP tip & image sharing options

Friday, January 13, 2006

For those who have websites other than blogs, here is an FTP tip at

I use Filezilla. Link to that is in the comments section of that post as well.

Also some image sharing options at Ask MetaFilter.

graced day

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Thanks be to God. As a token of gratitude, I read Psalm 23 and Mary's Canticle (the Magnificat).

Many thanks for all of your prayers. God is good all the time, and I'm sure that stuff that happened today are a result of prayers from good folks.

We met with the entity that froze our assets, got stuff resolved, and they took less than half of the original figure.

Met with the bank, and they took off every single bank charge. See, Tonto has been banking there for a veeerrrry loooong time. Eons ago, Tonto had a brush with this bank employee, but the two of them resolved it beautifully. This employee has never forgotten it, and have moved through the ranks over the years. So when Tonto walked in today, favors were generously returned. Hmm...I suppose it really pays to have a working relationship with your banker. So be sure to be kind to everyone you meet, he/she might be your banker some day. ;)

damage control

We'll be spending today trying to clean up the banking mess. Let it be known that the Feds government entities have no problems getting into your account freezing your assets. This happened last week and the bank didn't mail us a notice until 4 days after, meaning that we didn't get the notice until maybe yesterday (we didn't check the mail yesterday).

On top of that, I also received in the mail a notice that I still have a balance on one of my student loans and that the interest accrues daily. Lovely. Where was this one when all of my student loans were consolidated? Well, that's going to have to be another day.

On the positive side, good thing I didn't get the cat food yesterday. We're probably going to switch to canned food for them.

Real live soap opera here. Stay tuned... Will she find a job? Will they lose the house and cars and end up on the street? Will she ever get out from under the mega student loan balance whose interest keeps marching on? Will the financial mess ever get unmessy? Will Tonto's health ever be helped? This is not the only drama ... it's only the drama that I'm giving a peek of. Heck, at least it's not a messy divorce with a love triangle involved, conspiracy, messed up kids, and the bleeding head of a horse in my bed.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Went to buy cat food. The check was rejected. Went home to look at the bank account. Holy baloney. Major crap has happened ... not anything as simple as too many checks ... somebody has funneled off moolah. Something beyond my understanding has happened, and the bank bounced every single check written from that time, even going so far as to reverse payments of checks that did clear so that now they aren't cleared. We're talking several hundred $$ worth of overdraft fee here.

If I get dragged off to jail, I expect every one of you to write me ... via snail mail of course, no computers in a jail cell.

My oh my, doesn't the devil hate souls that love God! Try as you might, Satan, nothing you do shall turn me against my sweet Saviour, Jesus Christ. Jesus, My Lord and my God, I do believe. Increase my faith!

big ride

The MS150 fundraising bicycle ride is a two-day weekend ride from Houston, TX to Austin, TX. Depending on how they decide to route it, is usually 90-something miles per day. It has become a huge affair, garnering the attention of the local newpapers. Per their website, this year they have about 13,000 riders. Folks, that's alot of bicycles. It's such a big ride that they've upped the $$ to try and limit the participation. It has certainly limited my participation. When I first did it several years back (I've done it a few times), the registration was $25 - now $75 - and the per-rider minimum donation to be raised was $150 - now $400. I don't have that kind of money and I don't feel good about hitting up my friends and relatives for that much donation either.

Those of you attempting the ride for the first time: absolutely train for the ride, and don't attempt it on a department store bike. Go to a bike shop and get a real bike. Training should have started no later than October, but now is not too late. For those who tend to cram, one month of training will get you through as well: ride for 30 miles one day (you'll feel like you're dying), rest two weeks, then ride for 50 miles one day (you'll feel like you're dying again), rest for at least a week before the actual event. Definitely not the training plan of choice, but it's better than nothing. On your rides, eat EVERY hour. Your speed should average no less than 10mph (see, at that speed it's going to require 9 hours to cover 90 miles). The speedy folks will be going at 21-23mph and be through a few hours after lunch. I always drag my butt in at sunset. Good Luck.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I occasionally still get enlightening e-mails from my former work cohorts. The following is one such e-mail.

As far as creativity goes, if you've frequented, you'll probably notice that the Japanese have come up with some highly creative (read "wacky") items. One such brainchild was a toilet seat with built-in MP3 player or some such music capability ... with that, you can take care of business to the beat of your favorite tunes.

tag along morning

Didn't do much work volunteering this morn. Scrubbed potatoes, than ran off with Sister to pick up donations at another place. The place handles donations for various charities. They have a thrift shop in the front, accepts donations in the back, and have a workshop where seamstresses work. Very nice place.

We left there, passing a Covenant House along the way, and went to visit one of the houses that this organization runs. It's a house for both men and women. At the moment I don't think they have any residents except those in charge of the house. It would certainly be a step down for me to live in that house, but it's probably a step up for the less fortunate. It's just exposure to another world for my little head. I chatted a little with one of the guys there about rock music (he said he needed a cassette player to play his rock music), horses and saddles. He said he used to have much money, but it wasn't legal. "It wasn't honest work," he admitted. He knew he was knocked off his high horse and hit bottom; he's more settled now. He seems like a nice guy, but no telling what his history is. He probably wouldn't mind telling me his story if we had more time. Too bad he couldn't ply those awesome skills on some ranch somewhere.

During the drive, I noticed how lighthearted the Sisters were, cracking jokes and giggling much. I couldn't hear the jokes, but enjoyed hearing the giggles.

it's a match

Monday, January 09, 2006

There ya go. It matches Natty's

paradigm shift

"Sister, those dangling earrings are blowing my mind."

Why does it make my make my head spin and reel in confusion to see a religious Sister wearing jewelry and/or make-up? Why should I object? Do these things violate my vision of "modesty" and "simplicity?" Do the adornments make me think the focus is more on "self" and less on "Jesus?" Why does it blow my mind, considering that Sister is in every way "religious:" community life, prayer life and ministry. Why does it make me question what is being "witnessed?" Oh I am so confused, so...discombobulated.

could this be true?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Image courtesy of

some more St. Faustina

From the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska (Divine Mercy in My Soul):

Today, the Lord gave me knowledge of His anger toward mankind which deserves to have its days shortened because of its sins. But I learned that the world's existence is maintained by chosen souls; that is, the religious orders. Woe to the world when there will be a lack of religious orders!
Well, actually, St. Faustina's message is that God is merciful. This is but a snippet and alone, it fails to convey that. I plucked it because it tells of the significance of religious orders. When I first started down this path of considering religious life, one of the first questions I asked of myself was "What good would that be? Do we really need another religious Sister?"


I will be at a retreat this weekend. It's part of one of the volunteer things at the parish. I'll be on the giving side of it, hence "at retreat" and not "on retreat." There shall be no blogging this weekend. Anyhow, since I'll be out of pocket beginning Friday eve, the Christmas decorations are coming down today and tomorrow.

Go UT!

We're proud of you, UT Longhorns!

still dreamin'

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

on the vocational front...

Got a call from the Dominicans vocational director last night. She is sending me info about an upcoming discernment opportunity in a neighboring city. I might be able to hitch a ride with them. I don't think I'm called to the Dominicans, but I should still check it out.

Got a publication and card from the Sisters of Christian Charity today. Fired off an e-mail to them to thank them, let them know that I got it and would like to be on their mailing list.

prayers needed

I tried to post this earlier, but it may not have made it. Here it is again, re-typed.

A friend family suddenly lost the mother yesterday due to an anuerysm. Just weeks before Christmas, they had lost an uncle. And earlier in the year, they lost the grandfather and grieved much. Three family deaths in less than one year. At least they were natural deaths not accidents or due to some injustice, so no gaping wounds of that nature. I am most concerned for their little boy, he is not yet 11 years old. May God grant this family the graces they need to grow through this.

Thank you in advance for your prayers.

expensive day

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Did not make it to mass this morning, maybe I'll make the evening one?

At the car dealer: oil change, new air filter, new wheel locks but they're on order and will be in tomorow, news that tire cannot be fixed. Did not make it to volunteering this morn. Left car dealer and went to tire place: free rotation, ponder buying new tires. Left there to go to spiritual direction. Left there and went home to eat. Then returned to the tire place to get two new tires (funny, when I walked in, the guy at the counter said, "What, you want to un-rotate your tires now?"). Discarded the damaged tire, put the better of the two old tires on the spare, took the one on the spare off the rim and now have in garage for future emergencies, although the road hazard warranty should take care of that. Where is all the $ coming from? I foresee utilities not getting paid ...

My spiritual director was gentle with me. I'm always a little apprehensive as I usually have nothing to report (as in "no improvement"). Ah, the unfanthomable gentleness of Jesus.

Went to a nearby church at almost 4pm to thank God for all his Goodness. Church was locked. Bummer. Said a few Hail Mary's on the drive home instead.

New Year meme

Moneybags at A Catholic Life has tagged me for this meme -

Year End / New Year Meme

The Year End/New Year meme consists in conducting a brief evaluation of 2005 and then moving on to making plans for 2006. It involves answering ten simple questions.

What was your favorite movie in 2005?
dunno...did I see a movie?

What was your favorite book in 2005?
Considering that I only read one, it would have to be Padre Pio: Wonder Worker.

Slightly richer, Thinner or fatter?
Probably a little fatter.

What kept you sane this past year?
God, of course. And regular meet-ups with religious Sisters -- what a source of encouragement!

Which personal accomplishment in 2005 are you most pleased with?
Gee, did I accomplish anything? Got employer to donate a few $ to a favored charity.

What resolutions have you made for '06?
None, really. But I think I'll try to say the Hail Mary; Our Father; Holy, Holy...; and either the Memorare or Angelus every day.

Which bad habit are most motivated to break?
Not praying regularly.

What are you most looking forward to in 2006?
A new beginning, seeing where God leads me (sure hope I listen).

*sigh* too bashful to tag... so Barb and Brad have graciously taken the tag on themselves

no key & uncrossed wires

Monday, January 02, 2006

wheel locksWent to mass. Then went to the tire store to get a slow leak fixed. Waited an hour before they put the car into the service bay. Then they said, "We need the key to the wheel lock." Oh *bleep*! I forgot about that. We had cleared out the car some months ago due to reasons not detailed here. So I take the car back home thinking I'll be back in just a bit. We dug and dug and that wheel lock key just can't be found. Parts store is closed today, so can't inquire about buying a new set with same key today.

Since this is a safety issue, I am grounded until we get this resolved. I am supposed to volunteer tomorrow, as well as go for spiritual direction. I'll have to see what happens tomorrow.

On the positive side, thanks be to God that we've not had a flat all this time that we've been without the key. We would've been up a creek without a paddle, or more precisely, on the side of the road without a key.

Having given up on the key, Kermit now complains about the static on the phone. "If I ask so-and-so to help, do you think we can get this fixed?" Arggh. My button has been pushed. I work well with others, but loathe the "let me get you some help."

splitterI had wired the two individual lines into a single two-line jack years ago. ("How-to" abound on the web.) It caused a great deal of crosstalk. That single jack spiders out to four devices. I spent some time undoing the rigged up jack, and then re-routed the cabling to the devices. There is a two-line phone out in the living room that is actually a two-line phone: it has one jack wired for two lines. I now run two cables out to the living room (one for each line) and then rigged a one-to-two splitter to convert one of the "line 1" into a "line 2" so that I can plug both lines (through the splitter-turned-coupler) into the single jack of the two-line phone. Kermit is now pleased with the phone lines. It would probably help me much with my dial-up as well (less data errors).


Sunday, January 01, 2006

When I visited a different parish on Friday, I came across a Sister of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I might look into them a little more.