February 28, 2011

The mass of the saints, and of our dads...

When I first started attending mass regularly at St. Francis de Sales in 2006 my father was very ill and was in the hospital quite a bit.  My husband would get home from work and I would go out the door to visit my dad to give my mom some relief.

I would tell him about my return to the Church and how much I loved the Latin Mass, even though it was still foreign to me.  He would reminisce about his days as an altar server and would commence regaling me with the responses!  I wish I had known as much then as I do now about the Extraordinary Form and I wish he could have gone to mass with me.  But, alas, he was too ill.

My dad scanned every photo from HIS parents and I came across this gem the other day:

It's baaaaaaaaaaaaack!
 That's my dad on the left when he was in 8th grade and I think the year was 1949.  I'm sure that is Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church in the background, long gone from St. Louis' north side.

Well, soon after my love for the Church returned, my dear father said good-bye...  We had his funeral mass at St. Francis de Sales with Canon Lenhardt presiding.

I took this photo the day of his funeral, as we were about to enter the church, and it is still one of my favorites. I have not photo-shopped it and you will recognize it from my side bar:

So, come on down to St. Francis de Sales Oratory - the Cathedral of South St. Louis.  You won't be disappointed by the liturgy, the architecture, the music, unless you happen to be allergic to beauty.  In which case, you had better bring some kleenex.

February 25, 2011

Circus Shaped Waffles and Life with Boys

My daughter, Miss Gluten Free, is presently making her own waffles with gluten free Bisquick in the kitchen.  Of course, everyone is crowding around her and I am making suggestions and asking questions from the living room such as, "Don't get burned! Don't catch on fire! Are you studying your Chronology while you're doing this?"

Circus Shaped means waffles that are SUPPOSED to look like elephants, lions and, shudder, clowns.

We like 'em extra crispy around here.

A beautiful gluten free elephant if I ever saw one.

Boy: Well, I just burned my finger on the waffle iron.
Mom: I told you not to touch it!  If you burnt it, you need to put ice on it.
Boy: I didn't really burn it.
Mom: You can't say things like that!  It's not funny!
Boy: (in a sort of sing-song voice) I'm not laughing.

February 22, 2011

"New" furniture!

Have any of you with 2 or more kids noticed that older people start to take pity on you?  "Oh, my, Mother Crab, you sure have your hands full."  Yes, I sure do.  And the other half of them are at home....

Well, sometimes pity has its advantages.  I got a phone call from my Uncle two weeks ago.  He wanted to know if I wanted their bedroom set because they just moved into a 3000 square foot retirement villa and wanted something more contemporary.  Faster than you can say goodbye mis-matched furniture I accepted.

Really, it's just 2 men and a truck!

Kids!  The beer cow is here!

I suppose life doesn't get much more exciting than this...


So, I am acquainted with a high-school girl who has a cooking blog.  She uses wonderful phrases such as, "WhaCha!" and "Um, hello, bacon!" and it's funny.  It's really funny.

She is attempting to cook/bake her way through The Silver Spoon cookbook (Italian equivalent to The Joy of Cooking) through high school. The photos are lovely and the stories about her successes and failures are quaint.

You need to check it out here: Spoonlighting

February 21, 2011

Macaroni Monday

Here we have the Fumigating Macaroni from my backsplash tile collection in my kitchen.

Notice the fine examples of furniture he is selling/making/stealing?

Also, notice the things hanging in the background.  Feathers?  Another reference to "stuck a feather in his cap?" Who knows. Perhaps the people at the discount tile center know.

And, what exactly does it mean that he is a Fumigating Macaroni?  I have my thoughts, but they're not proper for THIS blog.  Only people who post photos of beer coming out of cows would dare to mention those words, I'm sure.

February 19, 2011


Urban Dictionary (I don't recommend going there) defines beer cow as:
A technique used primarily in convenience stores where a person imitates a cow at the cash register when they don't have enough cash to pay for what they're buying.

I've never done this, surprisingly, but I'm assuming one person would be doing this to distract the cashier while the other leaves with the beer.  Or, the cashier would just think it was sooooooooo funny he would just give the beer to those hilarious drunks. 

Perhaps Timman (or the younger and not quite as famous TimBro) can do a test run of the latter part of this technique.  Ha ha.  Hoo hoo.  Hee.

February 17, 2011


So, I made cookies today and they were just awesome!  They consisted of two amazing, chocolate-ish wafers filled with this delectible, white, something (lard?) filling.  I taught the kids how to take apart the cookie and eat the center first.  Crazy!  We even decorated each and every cookie with a complex pattern.  Here, why don't you take a look at our creation:

Have I mentioned I'm not the cook/baker in the family?

February 16, 2011

73 degrees here today! Time to grill!

With apologies to my non-meat eating friends (and I can only think of 2 - one is in Germany (rhymes with Main Heart) and the other in Brazil), I present to you what happens when I get a hankerin' for some steak on the grill and put a call in to my hubby.

JJR hearts beer.

Is this too rare?
The wildest thing is that my back yard is still covered with ice!  What a wild winter!

Life with Boys

Overheard at the breakfast table,

"Good porridge, Mama Bear."

February 15, 2011

The Mother Crab Victrola

In case you were wondering, at our house:




 Does not equal


No, at OUR house it equals THIS:

The funnel of shame...

February 14, 2011

Preach the gospel...

I think of the saying attributed to St. Francis of Assisi quite often, "Preach the gospel at all times.  Use words if necessary."  In fact, Actions Speak Louder is based on this premise, which is pretty silly since it's a blog and I'm writing words instead of out taking action.  But I digress.  I went on the interwebs a bit to see if I could find out a little more information about this oft-used quotation and was dismayed to find the answer to this here:
Where Did St. Francis Say That?
Q: I keep seeing St. Francis of Assisi credited as saying, “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” I have looked in several places but cannot find where St. Francis said this.
A: This is a great quote, very Franciscan in its spirit, but not literally from St. Francis. The thought is his; this catchy phrasing is not in his writings or in the earliest biographies about him.
In Chapter XVII of his Rule of 1221, Francis told the friars not to preach unless they had received the proper permission to do so. Then he added, “Let all the brothers, however, preach by their deeds.”
Well, needless to say, I was a little saddened to read that since I believe everything that I find online and never try to verify anything.  If you want to read more, just click on this.

And, if you need to find me, I'll be out milking my beer-cow.

February 13, 2011

No monsters here

Yesterday I was thoroughly cleaning my kids' room.  I was being so thorough that I was under one of the bunk beds vacuuming.  Not an easy feat.  However, it was worth it because not only did I get all of the dust up with my new, awesome vacuum, but I glanced up to see this:

What could that be trapped under the mattress?

"What is it?" you may ask.  Well, let me zoom in for you so that you can get the close-up that I did.


And, that, my friends, is life with boys!

February 12, 2011

Life with Boys

The other day I overheard,

"Wouldn't it be great if beer came from cows?"

February 9, 2011

Sicilian woman in mourning

Today my mother saw me dressed in black with a charcoal jacket and said, I am not kidding, "You like like an old Sicilian woman in mourning."  Has anyone else ever had her mom say that?

Here are examples of my long-gone relatives dressed, well, in black:

Relatives I visited 25 years ago in Tre Fontani, Sicily

Well, not all in black yet!  However, VERY Sicilian.
Front row, second from left is my Great-Grandmother
Back row, middle, is my Grandmother.

Mission Accomplished.

February 8, 2011


It was a balmy 15 degrees (I think that's negative 36.8 centigrade) today when I spotted this bird out on our playset!  I took the shot through a window, hence the imperfections.   My 6th grader was pretty confident she knew what it was, but we're no ornithologists and I'm not very nice, so I didn't believe her.  Ok, kids, identify this bird!

Fr. Z ain't got nothin' on me!

Your kids' curriculum

There are lots of discussions in the blogowebs these days (well, at least in the small circles I am in...) about the pros and cons of various homeschool curricula and their so-called goals. So, for the three readers I have, would you mind posting what your goal is in your children's education and how you achieve this?

If I get no answers, no worries.  We'll be eating pancakes. 

At our house we do the "Mickey Mouse shaped pancake" curriculum.

February 7, 2011


This video is from a news broadcast in Scotland after tennis player Andy Murray lost in the final of the Australian Open.  The reporter went to a local pub in his hometown of Dublane to guage the fans' reactions.  However, most of the tennis fans were gone, leaving just the soccer fans...

February 6, 2011


When we moved into our house the kitchen had already been redone.  The backsplash is white tile with the occasional macaroni.  Yes, I said Macaroni.  They are depictions of, for lack of a better word, fancy people from a time gone by.  I will highlight these from time to time so you can see how much they must have been on sale.

Our first is, appropriately enough, "The Original Macaroni."  He is named "Tom Fool the First" which leads me to believe there were more.  His place of prominence is above our stove with a few others who are randomly placed.

Did he stick a feather in his cap?
So, for 12 years I have wondered about these tiles.  Any idea what that guy is? What he's doing? What he's holding??? Why he is on my kitchen wall???

February 5, 2011

The Sacristan's Chair

For some reason this was in my back yard.
Remind me to return it to its proper owner tomorrow.

Add a little fabric and it'll be perfect.

Friday Night Fun

Have you ever discovered something so yummy that you forego
 all of your crazy Friday night plans for it?
Me neither.
I mean, I didn't have any plans. Again.
I have to go to Chicago if I want Friday night plans!
But, I DID find this delectable snack which went well with beer.

Oh how far I've fallen...

And now that it's Saturday night, you will know where to find me.
Chances are I will be eating snack mix and having a beer.

There's no business like snow business

Last night I was up at 4 with my cigar-smoking dog.  I didn't bother putting on my glasses and when I let her out I noticed everything seemed white and bright.  I didn't pay too much attention to it because I have learned a trick after getting up in the middle of the night with 18 children during my life- I don't let myself think.  Seriously. I keep my mind dull and I'm able to get back to sleep.  The problem is this tends to segue into daytime hours, rendering me listless and idiotic.  More about that some other time.

Today was supposed to be a day enriching my children in the arts to make them classy and sophisticated adults. Drama rehearsal in the morning, string quartet rehearsal in the afternoon. Little did we all know it was supposed to snow several inches overnight!  AH, so THAT'S what that white brightness was!  It's all clear now in the daylight hours where my brain is only half mush. Although the snow's nothing like this.

The amazing view, again, from my back window.

It looks like we'll be home today!  It's still snowing!
When is this all supposed to end?  I don't remember a winter when we got this much snow! I think I will just cozy up to the radiator (oh, what I'd give for a working fireplace!) with a good book and, well, take a nap.

February 4, 2011

Baby Blessing

He's just practicing for the real thing in a few years, maybe.

February 3, 2011

My HUH???? moment of the day

For those of you who don't know me, I am a revert to the Catholic faith.  (Insert deep, deep, undying gratitude to The Institute of Christ the King).  For those of you who have known me for a long time (and those people don't read this blog), it has become an annoyance to you because I'm not the person I was.  In the past few years I have had people who love me make comments that aren't exactly, well, nice.

For the record, I am WELL AWARE I am far from perfect, I am not holier than thou, I am not a right-wing nut job, I am not too Catholic, I am not different.  And, yes, I understand if you never want to talk to me again...

Today was like any other day. Four (or was it five?) loads of laundry.  Six reprimands leading to sitting on the steps, going to a bedroom, whatever.  I vacuumed the 1st floor.  I cleaned the kitchen.  I did not get my nails done.  I did not go shopping (but I hear JJR did!).  I did not really surf much except to see what was going on on my favorite news/blog sites.  I only posted one photo from my kids playing outside and I took that photo from inside the house!!! Compared to my weekend, it was, well, boring.  However, my children were studying, practicing instruments and my 4 year old was learning to read.  Day by day.  One step at a time...

And then I got a phone call from someone who doesn't read this blog.  She just went on an exotic trip and wanted me to see her pics which she had on Facebook.  She proceeded to chastise me for the millionth time about not being on Facebook.  I explained to her for the millionth time that I know myself too well and that I would spend TOO MUCH TIME on Facebook if I were to join.  To which she responded:

What's the purpose of being religious if you don't have any self control?

And, THAT, my friends, is my HUH???? moment of the day.

I have the power!

14 degrees and still having fun!

February 2, 2011

How I spent my week-end.

I celebrated the feast of St. Francis de Sales, Candlemas and St. Valentine's Day this past weekend with some wonderful friends in Chicago.  Here's a great photo of all of us together:

Not my family, but just like family.

Merry Christmas!

February 1, 2011

Ice, Ice Baby

I think the majority of the country is covered with ice and/or snow.
I will now share with you the beautiful sights from my front and back yards since that is all I saw today.

Magnolia tree covered with ice!

If you can't tell, it's dreary and icy. And icy. And dreary.

If only SuperAbbe could come over and shovel, all would be well.

Thank you, Misa Tradicional

I would like to thank "Misa Tradicional" for being my lone Google follower. 
Thank you, Misa Tradicional man.