Friday, February 28, 2003

blogarhythms 2
Ok. Here is a slightly different background colour. I just got sick of the pale green one, and the pinkish/salmon one started to look a little too placenta pink to me. This is getting to be fun - as long as I don't completely crash my template! I know next to nothing about HTML....
Catholic Freebies from Catholicity
Mark Shea posts that Karen Marie Knapp (From the Anchor Hold) is in the hospital with a serious skin infection. Please add her to your prayers. I am getting ready to say the EWTN rosary and will add this intention.
Another reason to homeschool
This just in from my husband. According to Diane Ravitch, Research Professor of Education at NYU (as cited in the March 2003 Atlantic Monthly) the following is an abridged list of words BANNED by major educational publishers and state agencies in an attempt to influence writers and editors:
Bookworm, Craftsmanship, Cult, Devil, Dialect, Dogma, East, Extremist,Fanatic, Fraternize, >>God<<, Heiress, Hell, Heroine, Huts, Jungle, Junk bonds, Lumberjack, Majority group, Middle East, Minority group, Old, Ombudsman, Pagan, Polo, Regatta, Satan, Snowman, Stickball, West, Yacht
See also this book.
Cesareans on Demand are creating 'traffic jams' at hospitals, according to this article from the Washington Post.
Friday Five
1. What is your favorite type of literature to read (magazine, newspaper, novels, nonfiction, poetry, etc.)?
Words in a row. Science fiction. Convert stories. Non-porn romance novels. Historical fiction. 19th century plays. 2 newspapers daily. Newsmagazines. Medical journals. Basically anything that I happen to be interested in at the time. Even the phone book or dictionary will do, and as a child I read my way through a couple of encyclopedias, skipping only the sports stuff.

2. What is your favorite novel?
I honestly don't know. Earth by David Brin is one that I've reread a few times recently. 8 Cousins by Louisa May Alcott is another that I like a lot, and I have an fondness for Heinlein despite some of his wacky ideas. (or maybe because?). I am not all that fond of many of the 'Great Classics of Literature' - whether that is because of or in spite of my BA in lit I cannot determine.

3. Do you have a favorite poem? (Share it!)
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Dappled Things by GM Hopkins is a close second
and let's not forget Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and most of Shakespeare

4. What is one thing you've always wanted to read, or wish you had more time to read?
If I want to read something, I generally get around to it. My wish list is up on amazon.com. Money more than time keeps me from reading many things.

5. What are you currently reading?
Articles of Faith by Cynthia Gorney (a history of the abortion and pro-life movements in the USA)
Tolkien, Man and Myth by Joseph Pearce
The Culture of Death by Wesley Smith
The Catholic Catechism (1932) by Cardinal Gaspari
By What Authority by Mark Shea
current issues of Crisis, Magnificat, Envoy, Catholic Digest, Reader's Digest, Guideposts

Thursday, February 27, 2003

I changed a few colours here. I am trying to be a little more readable. Let me know.
More Midwifery
Let me clarify a bit. I do work within the system. I provide prenatal and gynecological care in on office at a Community Health Center, and I attend births in a tertiary care hospital (complete with NICU, 24 hour anesthesia coverage, and a trauma center/emergency department). My patients have the options of continuous or intermittent fetal monitroing, water for labor and /or birth, epidural and other anesthesia, induction/augmentation of labour, forceps, vacuum, cesareans available as needed without having to be transported to another facility. In some ways that makes what I do easier, on others more difficult. Just because something is available does not mean it has to be used. I work with several obstetricians and a perinatologist, and I train OB residents in normal labor and birth (and also alternative care for some of the variations!). I truly believe that God created women with the innate capacity to give birth, albeit with sweat, toil, and hard work (the translation of the Hebrew etzev from Gen 3:16 and 3:19 - usually translated sorrow or pain for Eve, and sweat or toil for Adam). Yes, sometimes the process goes awry. (sometimes men have heart attacks while shoveling snow, too). I am truly grateful for the assistance that medicine can offer in these cases, saving the lives and health of mothers and babies. I am also grateful for the existance of medical and surgical interventions for other pathology. But I am concerned that we have created a pathology in birthing that is a reflection of our anti-child/perfect child only culture.
I am not sure this is coming out the way I am trying to say it! I am not criticizing decisions or outcomes of any individuals, here. I am expressing my concerns about a trend that I have watched happen, and that I think can be traced back to deeper cultural pathology that may have started several decades ago with the concepts of 'planned parenthood' and 'I am in control of my fate'. We have seen how these attitudes have infected and poisoned our other institutions like marriage, family, the church, government, etc.
All around the parish bloggers are posting info on the upcoming liturgical season. I can scarcely keep up. I have decided to add a link to my blogroll from Creighton University's praying Lent. I was getting depressed in Target this morning, seeing all the Vernal Equinox merchandise, and here it is more than 40 days away. What is it about American culture that we celebrate before the event? Lent before Easter, Advent before Christmas, marriage before babies - I must be an old-fashioned curmudgeonly sort, I guess.
In some ways, being a midwife in our current culture is truly a quixotic profession. Especially for those of us who practice in the mainstream of health care. I often envy colleagues who have free-standing birth centers or attend families in their own homes. It doesn't help either, that there was a nearly successful campaign to completely eliminate midwifery as a profession in the USA. Some days it feels like I am dancing on a tightrope with no safety net. Other days I feel like the rope in a tug of war. The war is one of culture and belief. There is a saying in midwifery "Birth is as safe as life gets." Yes, it is, but life has only one guarantee - it eventually ends on this earth. We have a culture that no longer accepts risk or pain except in 'extreme sports'. Why is it acceptable to risk injury and death for football or other sports, but not for a woman to risk the same for the sake of giving life? I have great awe and respect for those women who have endured cesareans or other difficult births not just once but repeatedly. At the same time, I have disdain for the culture that coerced many of these women into the first (often unnecessary) cesarean. I also have grave difficulties with women and their families who want to plan and control their birth through scheduled induction of labor or medically non-indicated cesareans. And yet, I also have a professional obligation to advocate for women to have the birth experience that is best for them. I also have to work within a system that is focused on cost-effective and lawsuit-proof care. Then I also add in my personal ethical and moral standards, and it really gets sticky sometimes. Did I say rope in a tug of war? How about a sweater being fought over by a pack of dogs!
Your distinct personality, The White Knight, might be found in most of the thriving kingdoms of the time. Don Quixote was a White Knight as was Joan of Arc, the Lone Ranger and Crusader Rabbit. As a White Knight you expect nothing in return for your good deeds. You are one of the true "Givers" of the world. You are the anonymous philanthropist who shares your wealth, your time and your life with others. To give, is its own reward and as a White Knight you seek no other. On the positive side you are merciful, sympathetic, helpful, giving and heroic. On the negative side you may be impulsively decisive, sentimental and misdirected. Interestingly, your preference is just as applicable in today's corporate kingdoms.
What is your medieval vocational personality?
Link from Kathy the Carmelite and Katherine at Not for Sheep.
I have decided to register my pedigree.
And it looks like I have several wonderful siblings!

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Dark Night
It is winter, I am living farther to the north than I grew up, and the seasonal depression is starting to kick in. Or maybe it is hormonal shifts, or the nest emptying, or who knows what all! I am using my full-spectrum lights, and they help. I am trying to eat my cold-water fish with its health Omega faty acids, and I am sure this helps too. I am praying as much as I can, too. But still I can sometimes hear the voice in the back of my brain with the taunts, "Is this all there is? What is the point? Wouldn't the world go on just as well, maybe better, if you weren't there to clutter it up? Look at all the mistakes you have made, all the sins you have committed, all the people you have hurt! Just give up....." I am not a gifted poet like dylan . I know that I have many God given talents. I am a talented midwife, an excellent teacher, and a good cook. My children, while far from perfect, are turning out OK given the relative youth and inexperience of their parents. My husband loves me dearly. I know that God loves me, that His Mother cherishes me, and that I have many friends in the communion of saints, both living and dead. And yet, the despair strikes, sometimes like a bold of lightning, sometimes like a rodent gnawing away at my soul. Time to pull out my rosary again.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Yesterday I heard a promo for American Experience | The Pill on Marketplace. I wasn't able to see the show (choir rehearsal) but I was struck by a line in the promo -"contraceptive mentality". Of course, they seemed to think this was a good thing......
Anyhow - if any of you saw it, would you let me know what you thought? I am actually considering getting a copy of the video. But I don't want to seem to support something I actually oppose.
ABCNEWS.com : Pope Calls for Day of Peace on March 5
which is of course Ash Wednesday. I will pray and fast for a miracle - and I think that is what it will take. Saddam Hussein is truly evil. North Korea is a wild card, and we still don't know the temporal fate of Ossama bin Lauden. There are also large quantities of biological agents still unaccounted for after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Yes, prayer is certainly called for. However, I also remember my grandfather's saying "Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition."
My daughter is due to go with her school orchestra to Disney World over spring break. Last week, there was a meeting to decide if this long planned (2 years!) event should be cancelled due to 'world conditions'. Thankfully, it was decided to go through with the plans. Otherwise, I think, in ways big and small, the terrorists will have won, after all.
Two Sleepy Mommies
post this link on a topic near to my heart - the environmental contamination of drinking water by prescription drugs. I was having a conversation on this topic over in the comments box on prolife guy's take.
New York State and the Morning After Pill

Monday, February 24, 2003

Monday Mission
1. Has anyone ever told you that you needed to lose weight or change something about yourself physically? Who told you and what impact did it have on your life? Your
Yep. And my reply is that I will change at my own pace and when I am ready. I would rather work on my soul than on my body - and I know that one affects the other.
2. Do enjoy the snow and cold weather?
Actually.I despise them. God and his sense of humo...
3. Visualize the perfect winter evening. Are you alone or with someone? How does the evening start? How does it end, and everything in-between.
Home with my husband and a few close friends, a roaring fire in the fireplace, a few drinks and conversation, Scrabble, and later snuggled up with my husband, all the kids elsewhere or at least asleep.
4. Do you think that technology has had allowed relationships and human interaction to become less personal? Is this a good thing?
I think that technology has allowed my to remain in touch with family and friends in ways that would have been darn near impossible even 20 years ago. It has also made it possible for me to make friends that I would not have been able to find otherwise. Properly used, technology can make interaction more personal, and can encourage face to face contact without the prejudices established by initial physical exposure and first impressions.
5. Is there anything you've been meaning to learn, that you can learn, but haven't? (or maybe you have?)
If I mean to learn something, I generally do so. Not always well, though!
6. What skills or talents have you wished that you possessed that you most likely never will? Are you content with that?
I wish that I could write the music I hear in my head. I wish that I could write fiction. but I have done so much already in my life that I will try to be content with how God made me.
7. What do you think of the concept of "AudioBlogs?" Would you like to hear the voice of your favorite bloggers occasionally? Would you rather listen to or read your favorite Blogs?
I think it uses too much bandwidth. If I want to hear some one, I will invite them to telephone me. Collect, if necessary.
BONUS: How deep is your love?
That is a song title.

I've just added a link to a daily psalm verse. Link found at Flos Carmeli. Thanks.
What is it with enetation today? Is the whole blogosphere just overloaded thanks to the google/blooger marriage?
Over at Flos Carmeli is a wonderful blog about cooperating with grace.
"Meaningful prayer and meaningful small steps toward God are our first, stumbling infant's steps--arms outstretched ready to fall. . . and to be picked back up, dusted off and set on our feet again by an all-loving Father. "
Read it.
I am reminded of the first questions in the Baltimore Catechism - Who made you? God made me. Why did God make you? To know, love, and to serve Him.....
The Boston Globe has an interesting profile of the governer of Rhode Island. Looks like faith in action, to me. I also think it speaks to the need of voters to have a person of values as a candidate for office. Party lines and platforms are not as important, in the end, as the core values and willingness to hew to them of a given candidate.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Kairos guy is back from his trip!
The Lady in the Pew on having the Hell scared out of one. Excellent, as usual.

What Natural Disaster are you? Take the quiz!

link from Kathy who got it from Zorak.
Someday maybe I'll blog on earthquakes I have survived.
Do Sean a favor. Read this post and send him some info.
Light blogging today
Today is the 29th anniversary of the day my husband and I were married.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Nota Bene
links to an article about sarcasm as a form of martyrdom. I think that there will be many forms of martyrdom that the Church and its supporters will have to endure over the next several years. Not only sarcasm, but ridicule, erosion of respect for the Sacraments (witness the effort to unseal confession going on in at New Hampshire and Maryland ). Lord, have mercy on us sinners. Christ, redeem your church. Holy Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who call upon you.
Catholic Humor
for a Saturday morning (or anytime). I'm on call again, and we are expecting a slush storm sometime this afternoon. Weird weather does tend to throw women into labor (or scares them out of it). I hope that one or two of the 5 overdue mommas will come in and give birth.
Friday Five

1. What is your most prized material possession?
Probably my laptop. I try not to be too attached to things, but my computer is my link to the world outside my family.

2. What item, that you currently own, have you had the longest?
My baby book.

3. Are you a packrat?
Yep. I think it comes from moving so often as a child, I brought my home with me by carting all my stuff, and now I can't seem to get rid of lots of stuff. I do try to give away lots of things on a regular basis, but then I seem to accumulate more. My mom was a Depression baby who grew up poor so I think I may have some of her attitudes.

4. Do you prefer a spic-and-span clean house? Or is some clutter necessary to avoid the appearance of a museum?

I like clean and neat, but getting there is not usually my highest priority. I wouldn't mind living in a museum type setting, but it wouldn't stay that way long.

5. Do the rooms in your house have a theme? Or is it a mixture of knick-knacks here and there?
I've only been in this house around 18 months, so we are still unpaching and deciding things. I have a lot of my Southwestern art up in the family room. There are lots of pictures of the kids in the dining room, and the kitchen has bookshelves with around 200 cookbooks. Actually, I think that the main theme of our house is probably 'library'. Books and magazines everywhere, the last weeks worth of newspaper in neat piles on the hearth (until the cats get into them), and so on.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

"It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is."

You are Desiderius Erasmus!

You have great love for others and will do just about anything to show it to them. You are tolerant
and avoid confrontations, so people generally are drawn to you. You are more quiet and reserved in
front of strangers, but around some people you open up. When things get tough, you like to meditate
alone. Unfortunately you often get things like "what a pansy," or "you're such a liberal."

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

Tunes by Táncos is the home page of a person who showed up in my comments box. Those of you who are into music, check out his page! lots of interesting stuff there. And Tancos, whoever you are, thanks for dropping by. I hope you found it interesting.
New Hampshire is considering a law that would eliminate religious immunity for sacramental confession in abuse cases. Listen to an hour of call in radio from this site "The Exchange - Reporting Child Abuse". Then pray. I recently heard from Two Sleepy Mommies that Maryland is also considering a law of this kind. Get ready for martyrdoms.
Considering that I was a registered Democrat until quite recently, I am not surprised. I would still be a democrat if not for the flamboyantly anti-life positions (abortion, euthanasia, stem-cell research) that have been petrified into the party platform. But I also don't trust the Republican Party, as I don't think they care enough about 'the little guy' to have any real impact on removing the social pressures that lead to anti-life decisions!
We need a new party.
Generally Liberal
How Republican Are You?

Oh, and I am also not about money, either. I don't want affluence, just enough to not have to worry constantly about which pressing bill to pay and which to defer.
brought to you by Quizilla
Link from several parishioners.

More on Heresy
In my post below, I started a conversation about what I consider to be a pervasive modern heresy - the idea that we lack free will. I think it may be related to the heresy of Deism - the idea that God is not an active participant in His creation. Deism posits a 'clockwork universe'. God the great clockmaker built it and wound it up to start ticking, and is now elsewhere. In other words, there is a God but he doesn't really care about us as individuals or even as a people.
God desires that we all be at one with Him, but He loves us with a parental love. As a parent, it is so hard to watch adult or near adult children doing stupid things (or things that I judge to be stupid or harmful). How much harder it must be for God to see me, His child, do stupid or sinful things! Yet the gift of free will means that I am free to accept or reject the gift of God's love.
Another concept I have been pondering is that one choice leads to or cuts off another choice. When I chose to marry my husband, I cut off the choice to marry another and chose to devote my love to him. One door opens but another shuts. For my 8th grade graduation, we sang a choral setting of Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken". I can still sing it, and I hear the music in my head when a choice beckons to me. "Knowing how way, leads on to way, I doubted if I would ever return".
I'm heading out in a few minutes to go to daily mass with a young friend and her baby. That, too is a choice. Because of my work schedule and the mass schedules, I have only one day a week when I can do this, and it is truly a gift to me to be able to go. I hope to add more to this set of ramblings later today, deus volante.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

I caught
nihil obstat in a typo - see the post of 2/18/03 about 'this chap claims to a friend' - nihil, did you leave out a word here? the second letter of the alphabet, maybe?
From Bud Macfarlane : Giving God Twenty, a collection of great suggestions to energize your prayer life.
If I could canonize anyone
Karen Marie at From the Anchor Hold throws out this challenge to the Parish.
If you were the Pope (or a Patriarch of an Eastern Church, or a leader of the Lambeth Conference, etc, I don't want to eliminate my non-Catholic commentators!), and you could canonize/glorify/add a remembrance to the "Lesser Feasts"/whatever any heroically virtuous people you wanted, who would you raise up? A little info on why also appreciated.
Try to avoid anyone already a blessed or venerable!
My list is far from exhaustive, but I would include G.K. Chesterton, since his writing has brought so many to an appreciation of the truths of Christianity. Bishop Fulton Sheen for his tireless evangalization. Dorothy Day, who just kept on working and working. Elizabeth LeSeur, who converted her husband after her death. I will try to add others as they occur to me.
is a virtue, I have been told. I have also been advised that praying for patience is a dangerous thing to do. Those who pray for patience are usually blessed with many opportunities to develop in this virtue. Maybe this explains why both enetation and HaloScan have been misbehaving the last few days. I don't think it's the weather. Alright, whomever has been praying for patience for St. Blog's Parish, enough is enough!

Monday, February 17, 2003

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
And in the meantime, here's another meaningless blog-meme to spread. My 5 favorite vegetables and 5 most despised vegetables. For the purpose of this, we will consider such 'fruits' as avocados and tomatoes to be vegetables!
Squash (any kind, winter or summer)
Brussel sprouts (but I love cabbage and cauliflower)
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas, ciceros)
Lima Beans
Dandelion greens

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Modern Heresy
I had a random thought earlier today, that I might try to develop further as time goes on. This modern heresy is so pervasive that I think most people don't see it. The heresy is one that denies the existance of free will. For example, people can not choose to avoid illicit sexual activity, therefore we must have mechanisms in place to minimize the consequences. Fast foods are fattening, and we don't have the free will to say no, therefore we will sue the merchants and manufacturors who have not protected us from ourselves. What say you all to this concept?
I put some of my favorite icons on a web page. The link is in my blogroll, if anyone is interested.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

My Bloginality is INTP!!!
That agrees with the other times I have taken the Meyers Brigg inventory - and this quiz was MUCH faster and easier. Thanks to Katherine for the link.
Valentine's Day
I was in an exam room, getting ready to listen to fetal heart tones and give the family the guided tour (this is the baby's head, there is the butt, there is the back - feel?) when my pager went off. "Great", I thought, "what now?". It was my husband texting me to say "Should I make reservations at Moritomo for dinner?". I had been thinking that I would get home around 6:30, make some tuna casserole, eat the leftover cupcakes made by our daughter, and try to get to bed at a semi-civilized hour. Dinner out at my favorite Japanese restaurant? Why not!
I had forgotten that we had given our daughter permission to spend the night at her friend's house that Friday night. So there we were, just the two of us, out for a romantic dinner together. Sushi, miso soup, sauteed scallops and shrimp/vegetable tempura, and lots of sake. And home to a house with no other humans present.
Yes, in a few years we will have no children at home. The thought is bittersweet. I already miss the baby and child mothering experience. I do not yet have grandchildren, and sometimes I wonder if I will ever be blessed with them. There are days when I am glad that part of my life is past, and days when I fiercely miss the unconditional love and utter dependance of small children. My oldest is 28 now, and I still remember her baby face and toddler steps.
You with infants and toddlers, I know that life is often too busy and hectic to appreciate the gift God has given you in your children. Allow me to appreciate them for you, and when you are older, pass it on to the next generation. May all the saints who were mothers be with us as we watch our children grow away from us. Grant that we may have the ability to gift them with roots and wings, and the discretion to know which to use and when.

The following two quizzes from a link at And Then?

Take the Purrsonality Quiz!

Friday, February 14, 2003

My Car-O-Scope
Boy oh boy, alicia, you picked a vehicle that just isn't quite right for you. You're compatible only in terms of your age.
OK, there's frugal--and then there's cheap. And you're cheap.
Your motto is probably something like, "Waste not, want not." Heck, if it was good enough for Benjamin Franklin, why not you?
Pay no attention to what others are saying behind your back. Who cares?
Gee, this is interesting. Car-O-Scope has determined that most other Chevrolet Lumina APV owners are much more concerned with status than you are. What to do, what to do? Let's see, we can either find you another vehicle--or maybe we can get you enrolled in that crash course in snobbery.
Some of us have an overdeveloped left brain and some have an overdeveloped right brain. And your strength is definitely on the right: the more creative, touchy-feely side. This is not a bad thing. The world certainly does need poets, musicians and people to work on the world psychic network.
But this characteristic does make you somewhat incompatible with your car. Other owners are more objective and logical. But you are what you are, so take your pick: Change what you are or get a new car. (That rhymes, doesn't it? And rhyming is a right-brain thing. Cool.)
Car-O-Scope Makes Suggestions for More Compatible Vehicles
Have no fear, Car-O-Scope is here to save you from a life of misery, depression and hemorrhoidal flare-ups. Through a secret and proprietary process (patent pending) the official car-o-scope has determined that your psychographic and demographic profile is far more compatible with the following vehicles: some of these suggestions might surprise you. But try to keep an open mind. It's quite possible that the car-o-scope has discovered some hidden and/or repressed aspects of your personality.
1. Peugeot 505
2. Buick Roadmaster
3. Ford EXP
4. Ford Club Wagon
5. Dodge Colt Vista
So, let's look at your compatibility profile vis-a-vis the Peugeot 505. If you dumped that Chevrolet Lumina APV and got yourself a Peugeot 505, you'd be a lot happier.
For example, you'd be almost perfectly compatible in terms of your age and your grasp of reality.
In addition, you'd have pretty good compatibility in terms of the extent to which you're a cheapskate, status consciousness, your educational level, and how much you really care about your car.
*** - I have never even HEARD of most of these cars. What I really want is PT Cruiser.***

Favorite saints, part 2, the men
Maximilian Kolbe
Paul Miki
Thomas More
Cyril of Jerusalem
(not yet canonized) Fr. Damian of Molokai, John Cardinal Newman
Friday Five
1. Explain why you started to journal/blog.
I got tired of hanging out in other blogger's comment boxes.
2. Do people you interact with day to day or family members know about your journal/blog? Why or why not?
My husband knows, but doesn't read it that I know of. A couple of my kids have seen it. None of the people I work with know about it - and that is just fine.
3. Do you have a theme for your journal/blog?
Midwifery, mothering, catholic life, and how they all intersect.
4. What direction would you like to have your journal/blog go in over the next year?
I would like to learn more tech stuff to make it easier and more interesting.
5. Pimp five of your favorite journals/blogs.
Davey's mommy
Disordered Affections
Oblique House
Two Sleepy Mommies
More Like Mary, Less Like Martha
honorable mention to And Then, Kairos Guy, Flos Carmeli, Not for Sheep, and Envoy Encore (where I first encountered the concept of the blog). I love St. Blog's Parish!

risk factors for ectopic pregnancy
thanks to Not For Sheep for the link. Ectopic pregnancy is a veritable epidemic currently, and the risk is a great argument for chastity and moderation.
A great story of a miracle
I have seen a few of these, not many, though!

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Kathy has posted a list of her top ten 70s songs, and several others have added theirs in the comments box. Me, I have a problem remembering what era some songs came from. I was busy in the 1970s! I graduated high school in 1972, joined the Church in 1973, married and had a baby in 1974, had another baby in 1976, 2 miscarriages in 1978, and I am supposed to remember music? But here is a stab at it anyhow. They are not in any particular order.
We Will Rock You by Queen (I remember my two oldest kids singing this at the top of their little lungs while swinging on the swingset)
I need Love by Donna Summer (My husband used this to test audio equipment at the radio station)
Living in the Past by Jethro Tull (I'm a flutist, and besides I happen to love 5/4 tempo)
Hissing of Summer Lawns by Joni Mitchell (Actually, the entire album)
Needle and the Damage Done by Neil Young (my brother taught me the guitar for this)
Morning Has Broken as interpreted by Cat Stevens (I wish I could get our keyboard player to use his version, rather than the sappy OCP one)
Gaudete by Steeleye Span (Love that a capella Latin)
Jerusalem by Emerson Lake and Palmer (Great fusion of classical and rock)
Circle of Steel by Gordon Lightfoot ("Your father's pride was his means to provide, and he's serving 10 years for that reason")
Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon (what can I say? I'm eclectic!)
honorable mention to anything that has strings work done by David Lindley (Much of Jackson Browne, and his own band El Rayo-X) and to Judy Collins and Phil Ochs

And now, something really serious

Take the test, by Emily.

link by way of Destination: Order. Thanks, I needed that!
Logical fallacy
A reader pointed out that there is a logical fallacy in the post below about the abortion-premie link. This article was not written by me, but came from a newsletter. While I recognize that there may be some methodological flaws in the reporting, I none the less think that it raises important questions that need to be asked.
Epidemiology is the study of large scale human disease and illness. Originally, this branch of science was limited to studying infectious disease epidemics. It has a long history with the usual proportion of heroism and scandal.
The logical fallacy for which I was reprimanded was the confusion of correlation and cause. Simply because events occur in conjunction does not mean that one causes the other. With this I do agree. However, what my reader either ignored or refused to see is that the basic tool of epidemiology is to find correlations and then investigate to see if there may indeed be a causal event. This is something that may be ignored or denied due to political or personal reasons. The history of medicine abounds with unfortunate examples of this kind of hubris. An excellent book (alas, out of print) on this is Retrolental Fibroplasia: A Modern Parable.
Statistical inference is the tool used to help determine if the correlation is strong enough to justify further investigation. One examines a large population who had experienced a particular event or engaged in a certain behavior such as abortion, smoking, an earthquake, or whatever. One also looks at certain possible outcomes such as depression, cancer, preterm birth, or whatever the investigator chooses to examine. The group is compared to another group as similar as possible. The rules of statistics are used to see if the differences between the groups can be explained by random occurance. If not, there is a strong suspicion of cause.
The best studies of this kind collect the data up front, either from the moment of the event forward, or in context of collecting voluminous data about many events. There is bias in collecting data after the fact, but in reality, much epidemiology is done retrospectively.
One classic study in epidemiology was of a cholera epidemic in London, which was stopped by one physician who noted retrospectively that the majority of cases came from families using water from a certain pump. He removed the handle, and the epidemic was arrested. Another classic study was by Dr. Ignacz Semmelweiss. He noted that the laboring women attended by the physicians had significantly more death and illness from childbed fever than those attended by the midwives in the same hospital. He noticed that the midwives did not do surgery or attend autopsies. He mandated that the physicians wash their hands after surgery or autopsy and before attending women in labor. The death rate plummeted. He was laughed out of town despite his improved outcomes, and when his hand washing ritual was abolished, women started dying at increased rates again.
All I ask those who do not think abortion is associated with or potentially causative of such health risks as future preterm birth, future breast cancer, or depression, is that they do the research. If only 1% of the women who walked through abortion clinics would agree to be followed prospectively, there would be a statistical universe to answer some of the questions that I think many abortion supporters are afraid to even ask.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

What if Great Writers Were Infected with Corporate Buzzword-Speak?
Go read it. But don't try to eat or drink at the same time, unless you want to experience the Heimlich Maneuver firsthand. From Video meliora etc.
Will is back with a post about a first ever sitting through Mass. Glad you are back, I've missed you.
Say it ain't so!
This blog from The Curt Jester caught my eye. You see, my husband is a radio engineer, and the FCC is a frequent topic of conversation (not all printable) around our domicile. So when I saw the headline: FCC to license prayer I kind of went ballistic. I mean, I have heard of stranger things. But about 2 lines in, I started to silently laugh hysterically. Only one thing - shouldn't you have waited a couple of months for this post, Jeff?
Today I had a few minutes between patients, so I wandered through the blogosphere from the computer in my office. I found a bunch of stuff that I wanted to follow up, but I share the office computer with many other people. I try not to leave cookie trails. Anyhow, I got home, and now I can't remember where was or what it was about. Oh well, I guess it couldn't have been that important. Still, it is frustrating.
I notice that I do a lot of thinking during my commute. Alas, I don't have any easy way to record these thoughts for future action, and usually when I reach my destination, I get caught up in whatever needs to be done and lose most of the thought trail, until I am back behind the wheel again. It's probably a good thing that I have a day (and night) job, and don't have to support myself writing!
More "after abortion" comments from Kevin Miller with some good links.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Oblique House pointed me to this new blog.
irregular musings of an eclectic nature really does describe it well. The blogger maintains the Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club site, which has some excellent links. The blog is pretty good too.
Kairos guy is back!
Sunday's readings (Job, Corinthians, Mark) were especially powerful. I went back to the parish where the pastor had pulled out his rosary during a prior homily. I tell you, I think I need to start carrying a tape recorder to some masses! Also, as it was World Marriage Day, my husband and I had the opportunity to renew our vows and get a nuptial blessing. It was wonderful to see the tears in his eyes and know just how intensely I am loved. And this love is but a shadow of how Christ loves His bride, the Church. Wow.
The Pew Lady
as usual, really hits it where it counts. This story reminds me a little of the parable of the widow's mite. But don't take my word for it, go there and read it.
My Top Five Female Saints
Idea from Kathy the Carmelite
Mary Magdalene. A great sinner of whom much was forgiven, she was granted the privilege of seeing the risen Christ before the others.
Catherine of Siena. Feisty and obedient.
3. Mary of Bethany - she chose the better portion.
Catherine Laboure Humble, obedient, and the patron of the Miraculous Medal.
Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla. She was a physician who chose to continue a pregnancy at risk to her own health. Sadly, she died a few days after the delivery of her child. I would nominate her to be the patron of midwives and labor nurses.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

The Curt Jester
replaces Atheist to a Theist. Wonderful new site, great graphics and commenting, and of course, St. Blog's own Jeff Miller.

I'm terza rima, and I talk and smile.
Where others lock their rhymes and thoughts away
I let mine out, and chatter all the while.

I'm rarely on my own - a wasted day
Is any day that's spent without a friend,
With nothing much to do or hear or say.

I like to be with people, and depend
On company for being entertained;
Which seems a good solution, in the end.
What Poetry Form Are You?

Thanks to Kathy the Carmelite, who finally started her own blog!
Cover-Up of the Abortion-Preemie Link is the Real Mystery
The following article is from the Elliot Institute email newsletter.
The March of Dimes has announced a major fund raising effort to understand and battle premature deliveries. March of Dimes medical director Dr. Nancy Green told Time magazine that the 27 percent rise in premature births over the last few decades "is a mystery.
Dr. Green's claim that the rise in premature birth rates is a mystery reflects either a distressing ignorance of the medical literature or a calculated case of selective recall.
At least 48 published studies have shown significantly higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight deliveries among women with a history of abortion One of the best, a Danish record based study (1), found the risk doubled after just one abortion. Multiple abortions increase the risk even more. A doubling of risk among an estimated one-fourth of delivering women who have a prior history of abortion would result in a 25 percent rise overall.
The only real mystery surrounding the 27 percent rise in premature delivery rates among the post-Roe generation of women is why the March of Dimes has failed to call attention to this major risk factor. Their fact sheets downplay the risk of abortion, stating only that women are at higher risk of premature delivery if they "have had more than three abortions or miscarriages." Other risk factors such as drinking, smoking, and drug use are also elevated by a history of abortion.
The March of Dimes professes that its position on abortion is one of neutrality. This is a good position to be in if one is trying to gather in donations from as large an audience as possible.
But the fact that the March of Dimes encourages prenatal screening for birth defects that can only be "treated" by abortion does not support the claim that they are neutral. Instead, it supports the view that the March of Dimes is encouraging eugenic targeting of "unfit" children that do not "deserve to be born." Their refusal to aggressively educate the public about the role abortion plays in heightening the risk posed to subsequent pregnancies is another sign that their claim of neutrality is a just a veneer over a pro-abortion, eugenic-minded "charity."
According to the
March of Dimes, "In 2000, hospital charges for 23,000 prematurity-related infant stays totaled $1.2 billion. The average charge was $58,000 per baby, compared to $4,300 for a typical newborn stay. Treatment of these children through employer health plans is estimated at $4.7 billion per year. One fifth of these costs may be is attributable to extra cases of prematurity arising from abortion-related morbidity.
Premature birth is the leading cause of neonatal death and is related to increased risk of cerebral palsy, vision and hearing loss, retardation and other lifelong health problems.
You can register your complaints about the March of Dimes coverup by calling 1-888-MODIMES or click here.

Blacks turn to home-schooling
Catholic Howl from Gen X Revert

Saturday, February 08, 2003

It is time to stop doing these quizzes and get back to watching EWTN. My labor patient is out walking. It's going to be a long night.

You are Air...you are intellectual and adaptable.
You are good at rationalizing things and
dealing with ideas, but you can have a
difficult time with emotions.

What Element Are You?
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You're a cosmopolitan!  Your drink is made up of vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice.  The ultimate style guru your other loves are cats and eating out.  A sophisticated little star!
""Which cocktail are you?""

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What's Your Personality Type?
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Clarissa Explains it All. Little brothers annoy you
and your best friend climbs up a ladder...
But of course that's not weird to you because
you're Clarissa Darling

What's Your 90's Nickelodeon Show?
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St. Gerard Majella
Came through! A lovely birth during the afternoon and another mom in early labor. I hate it when I spend all my time on call sitting in the pit (call room). Granted, it does give me a chance to get caught up on my EWTN watching.

Friday, February 07, 2003

Friday Five

1. What did you have for breakfast this morning? If you didn't have breakfast, why not?
I can't eat until I've been awake a couple of hours, and by then I'm too busy.

2. What's your favorite cereal?
I don't like cereal usually, but on occasion I eat some - it really varies according to mood.

3. How often do you eat out? Do you want that to change?
Quite a lot. And I wish that I could afford it!

4. What do you plan on having for dinner tonight? Got a recipe for that?
Cheese enchiladas. Out of the freezer. From Trader Joe's. (After driving home 50 miles in a snowstorm, I don't want to cook!)

5. What's your favorite restaurant? Why?
My favorites are on the other coast. My local fave is Moritomo japanese.

Where do you fall on the liberal - conservative political spectrum? (United States)

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I am a little surprised. I have always considered myself a moral conservative and an economic liberal.

5 guilty pleasures
In no particular order.
Dark chocolate, the darker the better.
A jacuzzi mini-vacation, with a good book, great drinks, and my favorite music in the background.
Sleeping in.
Scrabble solitaire.
Lobster, artichokes and other foods drenched in melted butter.
5 things I never want to see again
Bubble plastic wrapping material
Cat scat in places outside the litter box.
Ivy 'lawns'.
The blue screen of death.
The klez virus or any of its cousins.
Around the blogosphere from Disordered Affections. Check it out and happy surfing!
I am soooooo tired. Too tired really to do much quality blogging right now. Mostly I've been hanging out in comment boxes over at Not for Sheep and Disordered Affections, and taking quizzes. I'm still recovering from 57 hours of continuing medical education on the CM Fertility Care System, followed by the usual 60 hour work week. Tomorrow I am on 24 hour call. I hope that one of my sweet mamas will come in and have a great labor. St. Gerard Majella, please?
Speaking of quizzes - this from Oblique House by way of Dappled Things from Flos Carmeli. Thanks all.
You are not European
You are not European.

What's your Inner European?
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Thursday, February 06, 2003

I was griping to Katherine at Not for Sheep and Karen Hall at Disordered Affections about having lost touch with the Jesuit who was the Church's official witness as I encountered 4 major sacraments. They both were very helpful in suggesting ways to find the man, and ultimately I did. He is now back at the campus where I entered the church and married my husband, as director of Ignatian Spirituality. I sent him a brief email and he replied the very next day. Thank you both, ladies, and thanks to the Patron Saint of the internet, whomever that may be.

Somehow I am not surprised
Thanks to Karen at Disordered Affections for the link.

take the test

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

The Man Comes Around
Johnny Cash, copyright 2002
spoken"And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying 'come and see', and I saw - and behold, a white horse."
There's a man going round, taking names
And he decides who to free and who to blame
Everybody will be treated all the same
There'll be a golden letter reaching down
When the Man comes around.

The hairs on your arm will stand up
At the terror in each sip and in each sup.
Will you partake of that last offered cup?
Or disappear into the potter's ground
When the Man comes around.

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers, one hundred million angels singing.
Multitudes are marching to the big kettle drum.
Voices calling, voices crying, some are born and some are dying.
It's Alpha and Omega's Kingdom come.
And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree, and the virgins are all trimming their wicks.
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree, it's hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Till Armageddon, no shalam, no shalom.
Then the Father hen will call his chickens home.
The wise men will bow down before the throne
And at His feet they'll cast their golden crowns
When the Man comes around.
Whoever is unjust, let him be unjust still.
Whoever is righteous, let him be righteous still.
Whoever is filthy, let him be filthy still.
Listen to the words long written down
When the Man comes around.

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers, one hundred million angels singing.
Multitudes are marching to the big kettle drum.
Voices calling, voices crying, some are born and some are dying.
It's Alpha and Omega's Kingdom come.
And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree, and the virgins are all trimming their wicks.
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree, it's hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

In measured hundredweight and penny pound
When the Man comes around.
spoken And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, and I looked and behold, on a pale horse. And his name that said on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.

Monday, February 03, 2003

As a Midwife
I get all kinds of interesting letters from persons who assume that my political position must 'of course' agree with theirs. An example is below. I suggest that some readers of this blog might find it valuable to use the link below and the information in this propaganda post to mount our own campaign of support. Please note, all the following in italics is exactly as it was presented in the letter I received. Let's turn it upside down!
"President Bush has announced his plan to select Dr. W. David Hager to head up the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. Dr. Hager's views of reproductive health care are far outside the mainstream and would be a setback for reproductive technology.
Dr. Hager is a practicing OB/GYN who describes himself as "pro-life" and refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women. Hager is the author of "As Jesus Cared for Women: Restoring Women Then and Now." The book blends biblical accounts of Christ healing women with case studies from Hager's practice. In the book Dr. Hager wrote with his wife, entitled "Stress and the Woman's Body,"he suggests that women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome should seek help from reading the Bible and praying. As an editor and contributing author of "The Reproduction Revolution: A Christian Appraisal of Sexuality, Reproductive Technologies and the Family," Dr. Hager appears to have endorsed the medically inaccurate assertion that the common birth control pill is an abortifacient.
The committee has not met for more than two years, during which time its charter has lapsed. As a result, the Bush Administration is tasked with filling all eleven positions with new members. This position does not require Congressional approval. The FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee makes crucial decisions on matters relating to drugs used in the practice of obstetrics, gynecology and related specialties, including hormone therapy, contraception, treatment for infertility, and medical alternatives to surgical procedures for sterilization and pregnancy termination.
Hagar's mission is religiously motivated. He has an ardent interest in revoking approval for mifepristone (formerly known as RU-486) as a safe and early form of medical abortion. Hagar recently assisted the Christian Medical Association in a "citizen's petition" which calls upon the FDA to revoke its approval of mifepristone in the name of women's health. Hager's desire to overturn mifepristone's approval on religious grounds rather than scientific merit would halt the development of mifepristone as a treatment for numerous medical conditions disproportionately affecting women, including breast cancer, uterine cancer, uterine fibroid tumors, psychotic depression, bipolar depression and Cushing's syndrome. Women rely on the FDA to ensure their access to safe and effective drugs for reproductive health care including products that prevent pregnancy. For some women - such as those with certain types of diabetes and those undergoing treatment for cancer - pregnancy can be a life-threatening condition. We are concerned that Dr. Hager's strong religious beliefs may color his assessment of technologies that are necessary to protect women's lives or to preserve and promote women's health.
Hager's track record of using religious beliefs to guide his medical decision-making makes him a dangerous and inappropriate candidate to serve as chair of this committee. Critical drug public policy and research must not be held hostage by anti-abortion politics. Members of this important panel should be appointed on the basis of science and medicine, rather than politics and religion. American women deserve no less."
Please email President Bush at president@whitehouse.gov
or call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414 and say:
"I oppose the appointment of Dr. Hager to the FDA Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. Mixing religion and medicine is unacceptable. Using the FDA to promote a political agenda is inappropriate and seriously threatens women's health"
Jill W. Sheffield, President, Family Care International, 588 Broadway, Suite 503, New York, NY 10012, Tel: (212) 941-5300

Taking a Nap
in between naps
Rest in Peace
Atheist to a Theist

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Johnny Cash - Part I and Johnny Cash, The Man in Black's Musical Journey Continues are worth the time listening. I was given Johnny's newest CD American IV: The Man Comes Around for my birthday last month. I requested it after hearing these radio interviews and an excerpt of the title song. Taken from the book of Revelation (the Apocalypse), the images are incredible. Johnny also does a great job on "Personal Jesus" - intended to be satire by the original artists Depeche Mode, but sung with reverence and truth by Mr. Cash. I was also impressed by his rendition of "Hurt" by Trent Reznor of 9 Inch Nails. One can tell just be listening that Johnny Cash has a personal relationship with Jesus, and I hope and pray that he will not stop there in his faith journey.
OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan
Once again, Peggy says it with insight and grace. It almost makes me consider subscribing to the Wall Street Journal.

Saturday, February 01, 2003

tri-state VBAC working papers
Rest in Peace
I was impressed by President Bush's statement especially his quote from Isaiah. I was reminded of the ancient hymn Creator of the Stars of Night. So I went looking for the quote in the book of Isaiah and found this and in Psalm 147:4 I found this.
How comforting it is to remember that indeed He does number each of us and know us by name.
I am also comforted by the private revelations given to St. Faustina - the Divine Mercy Prayers and promises.

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