Saturday, May 31, 2003

Catholic, Musician, Student, in that order. has been added to my blogroll.
Friday Five
1. What do you most want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered in a good way for how I have touched other people's lives.
2. What quotation best fits your outlook on life?
"Sometimes, it is better to ask forgiveness than permission."
3. What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year?
There is no single thing that stands out in my mind. It has been a year of small goals and small successes.
4. What about the past ten years?
Acquiring my credentials as a certified nurse-midwife is a pretty big one.
5. If you were asked to give a child a single piece of advice to guide them through life, what would you say?
Don't think that you have to make all the mistakes yourself in order to learn from them. It is possible to learn from the mistakes of others. Disobedience to due authority is as much of an error as obedience to evil is.

Friday, May 30, 2003

Money talks. Chocolate sings.
(an e mail sent to me by one of my best friends)

I have a new delightful friend,
I am most in awe of her.
When we first met I was impressed,
By her bizarre behavior.

That day I had a date with friends,
We met to have some lunch.
Mae had come along with them,
All in all . . . a pleasant bunch.

When the menus were presented,
We ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups.
Except for Mae who circumvented,
And said, Ice Cream, please: two scoops.

I was not sure my ears heard right,
And the others were aghast.
Along with heated apple pie,
Mae added, completely unabashed.

We tried to act quite nonchalant,
As if people did this all the time.
But when our orders were brought out,
I did not enjoy mine.

I could not take my eyes off Mae,
As her pie ala mode went down.
The other ladies showed dismay,
They ate their lunches silently, and frowned.

Well, the next time I went out to eat,
I called and invited Mae.
My lunch contained white tuna meat,
She ordered a parfait.

I smiled when her dish I viewed,
And she asked if she amused me.
I answered, Yes, you do,
But also you confuse me.

How come you order rich desserts,
When I feel I must be sensible?
She laughed and said, with wanton mirth,
I am tasting all that's possible.

I try to eat the food I need,
And do the things I should.
But life's so short, my friend, indeed,
I hate missing out on something good.

This year I realized how old I was,
She grinned, I've not been this old before.
So, before I die, I've got to try,
Those things for years I had ignored.

I've not smelled all the flowers yet,
There's too many books I have not read.
There's more fudge sundaes to wolf down
And kites to be flown overhead.

There are many malls I have not shopped,
I've not laughed at all the jokes.
I've missed a lot of Broadway Hits,
And potato chips and cokes.

I want to wade again in water,
And feel ocean spray upon my face.
Sit in a country church once more,
And thank God for It's grace.

I want peanut butter every day,
Spread on my morning toast.
I want untimed long-distance calls,
To the folks I love the most.

I've not cried at all the movies yet,
Nor walked in the morning rain.
I need to feel wind in my hair,
I want to fall in love again..

So, if I choose to have dessert,
Instead of having dinner.
Then should I die before night fall,
I'd say I died a winner.

Because I missed out on nothing,
I filled my heart's desire.
I had that final chocolate mousse,
Before my life expired.

With that, I called the waitress over,
I've changed my mind, it seems.
I said, I want what she is having,
Only add some more whipped-cream!

Here is a little something for you all!
We need an annual Girlfriends Day!

"Be mindful that happiness is not based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect."

Thursday, May 29, 2003

fructus ventris is a midwife and makes very good points in this post
Googlism.com will find out what Google.com thinks of you, your friends or anything!
Link via The Mighty Barrister
Where is every one? My site meter says I get 40 to 50 hits a day - not too bad for a very special interest blog - but no one is saying much. I wonder if it is just the weather.
Whether the choices that face us are as big as eternity or as small as whether to steal a parking space, it’s about choosing God or choosing self. more ( Scroll down to "Walking by Faith").
At last - a quiz to which I can really relate! At 34.51677% -I am a
Total Geek. I guess that I need to learn a few programming languages, or maybe start collecting a few oddball items to up my score.
Take the Geek Test for yourself!
Link courtesy of Peppermint Patty.
BBC NEWS | Technology | Online communities get real is a nice look at such phenomena as St. Blog's parish and my midwifery virtual community.
Two Papal Statements on Breastfeeding
Link courtesy of Two Sleepy Mommies.
Canticle for today, Ascension Thursday
Isaiah 12
The rejoicing of a redeemed people
I will praise you, Lord, for when you were angry with me
you calmed your rage and turned again to console me.
Behold, God is my salvation:
I will be confident, I will not fear;
for the Lord is my strength and my joy,
he has become my saviour.

And you will rejoice as you draw water
from the springs of salvation.
And then you will say:
“Praise the Lord and call upon his name.
Tell the peoples what he has done,
remember always the greatness of his name.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done great things:
let this be known throughout the world”.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
(from Universalis)

I got home from work this morning to see that the current issue of Crisis magazine had arrived. So, of course, I had to sit down to read it and ignore the rest of my 'day off' chores like laundry and so on. Flipping through the pages, I saw a great article on one of my favorite organizations, Feminists for Life, and then - what is this? Who is this? Mark Shea, with a great article about St. Blog's Parish! This issue is not yet available on-line, but most of you subscribe anyhow, don't you?

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

notforsheep is back on line!!!!
Monday Mission (on a Tuesday)
1. What's the worst thing about Mondays?
Getting out of bed in the morning.
2. Do you believe in soul mates? Have you met yours yet?
Yes, and I have been married to mine for nearly 30 years.
3. What do you recall wanting to "be" when you were a child, dreams of what you'd do when you were an adult for work - who you'd live with... where you'd live... how many kids you'd have. How does the dreams you once had compare to your reality, same, much different? You have surpassed those dreams?
I wanted to be a mommy, and have a wonderful husband, and do something to help women. I wanted lots of kids and a big house and garden. I have 6 children, and wouldn't mind more but at my age it would be quite a surprise (a pleasant one, though). It took me a lot longer than I planned to finish schooling and training for my profession, but the education along the way has been wonderful. I do get to help women to be healthy and have good births, and that is really important.
4. What do you think of education in your town/city? In your country? How would you improve it?
I think that we need to agree on cultural literacy and some universal standards. I hate, however, the tendency to teach to the test. I think that education is more than training. I believe that public education has been hijacked by too many special interest political and commercial groups, and by faddism. I think that there should be more support of home schooling and small schools, and that a living wage for the head of the family would be a good place to start.
5. If you had to pick three songs to sum up your life what would they be and why?
1) For All the Saints
2) Sex and drugs and rock-n-roll
3) Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
I leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out the whys.
6. Do you believe in love at first sight? Can it really happen?
I believe that anyone can fall in love at first sight. The real trick is to stay in love.
7. What's your greatest fear?
Dying without access to the Sacraments.

BONUS: Have you forgotten?
Must I remember?
Today's comment question: Did you do anything fun this holiday weekend?
It rained. I went to hear Father Groeshel on Friday. I delivered a cute baby (girl # 3) on Saturday. I went to church (see blog comments below) on Sunday. And on Monday, I cleaned house and slept in.

Is Hell Empty? more on the topic from The Lidless Eye Inquisition.
In the comments box over at the Gospel Minefield
The question, though, we should ask both of ourselves and of the others is this: IS THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST BEING SPREAD? If it's some secondary agenda eclipsing the primacy of Christ and Him crucified, then we must nitpick.
It is so easy to lose sight of the basics.
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus
One of the little tidbits in Father Groeshel's talk was a bit about the Oratory, the first 'prayer meetings'. He talked a bit about how Praetorius put some of the prayers and scriptures to music and thereby developed the musical form, the Oratorio. I am not sure just how clearly I remember just what he said - did I mention there was wine with the dinner? but I remember thinking that with the feast day of St Philip Neri close by, how appropriate this little tale was.
My Hobbit name is
Rosie-Posie Chubb of Deephollow
My Elvish name is
Luthien Eluch
Courtesy of Sal Ravilla at Catholic Light

Monday, May 26, 2003

Readings from yesterday's mass, May 25,2003
Second reading
Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.
1 John 4:7 - 10
Jesus said, "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another".
John 15:9 - 17
I happen to love readings from John, both the Epistles and the Gospel. We chose readings from John for our Wedding Mass. I grew up hearing the opening of the Gospel of John (the last Gospel) every week after the Sunday Eucharist (Anglican) and the poetry and meaning still move me incredibly. There was so much good stuff in yesterday's readings - I was looking forward to a wonderful homily.
Due to a set of circumstances, we ended up at a different Mass in a different parish than we had originally planned, but I wasn't terribly worried. The pastor of the parish we ended up attending is a wonderful and holy priest - the one that I blogged about a while back who pulled out his Rosary from the folds of his robes in the middle of a homily. The parishioners of this parish are wonderful faithful people, too, who participate joyfully in the Mass. The parish is in the process of establishing Perpetual Adoration for our area, something to which I am looking forward. The music is more lifely than reverent, but is still within the bounds of good taste. We arrived early, got some good places, and settled down to worship God in the Holy Sacrifice of the altar.
I was a little concerned when I saw that it was a substitute priest, especially when he found it necessary to introduce himself (at length) after the opening prayers. But I chided myself for being uncharitable. When he started his homily, my radar started to go off. I am not even sure just how to convey what I was hearing and responding to. It was, as Bill Luse says, a bit of erosion by emphasis.
He started off by referring to our God being a God of love, which is true. What got my radar buzzing was when he started to talk about the classic question, "Do you know where you are going after you die?". I guess I got irked because this is a classic opening for Evangelicals who are trying to pull Catholics out of the church. Because of the Protestant belief in 'once saved, always saved', most Evangelicals will answer a resounding "Heaven", whereas most Catholics are likely to respond more along the lines of "I hope I will get to heaven some day". Well, Father answered the question with the comment that we, as Catholic Christians, should be able to speak with assurance that we are going to Heaven, as God loves us and wants us to be with Him in Heaven. This is factually true - God does love us, He does desire that we join Him in Heaven. But I would find it presumptuous to state that I am going to Heaven immediately after my death. While I will do everything I can to be in a state of grace, I fully expect to spend quite a bit of time in Purgatory getting scrubbed up for Heaven. Well, Father didn't even mention the concept of Purgatory. He then went on to ask the question - do we think there is anyone in Hell? He stated that we will probably be very surprised to see how few people, if any, are actually in Hell. He continued to flirt with the heresy of Universalism, but never quite crossed the line. He spoke about how, at his age (63) he remembered when if you ate meat on Friday and died before getting to confession, you were going straight to Hell. Again, I waited for a more nuanced discussion of this, maybe bringing out that in order for it to truly be a mortal sin the transgression against the discipline of the church had to be intentional and so on, but he just went on to his next point. It was a kind of mocking of the meaning and significance of one discipline.
He did have some good points in the rest of his homily. He pointed out how we are obliged to try to love one another, and how this is hard work. But so much of the homily struck me as touchy-feely feelgood stuff, and I was rather disappointed.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Blog, the Musical. From St. Blog's resident deranged genius, Victor Lams. Between him and Don, I get nice snippets of music regularly. Thanks, guys!

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Over at Apologia William Luse writes:
A rare venture into theology, and one not eagerly embraced. Like most of you, I try to follow St. Paul's advice and always be ready with a reason for what I believe, though I'd rather not have to ready myself against fellow Catholics, especially priests. I (like most of you?) would much rather just sit in the pew and trust that the guys in the robes will say and do the right thing. I do not like the feeling of having to enter a Catholic church with my error radar raised high, probing the air for evidence of an enemy incursion. But over the years I think many of us have developed the habit, some willingly, others with reluctance. I hope I'm among the latter. I get the sense that some who would argue for the Tradition have enjoyed the confrontations of the last forty years (what Monsignor Kelly called The Battle for the American Church) a little too much. I haven't. I knew before I joined up that the Church to which I was converting could be as fractious in its own way as our political culture was in another, but that doesn't mean I liked it. I didn't take the oath in order to find a good argument. I took it because of Christ's wish that we all be one, and I saw the only hope for that oneness in this particular gathering of souls. I came to the conviction that if I couldn't find it here, it wasn't to be found. more (you may have to scroll down, links not working right).

As a convert myself, and from Anglican at that, I am often heartbroken at the capers being cut within the Church in the USA. I realize that we converts often have a more extensive knowledge of theology, dogma, doctrine etc than the cradle Catholic. Many of us fought against the call to come home to the original christian church. For some, the stumbling block was Marian devotions - for others, it was Sactraments, or Liturgy, or Veneration of the Saints. For me, it was a more difficult obstacle, and one that I fought (and still do fight on occasion) both from without and within the church. It has to do with being raised so that my religion was not only Anglicanism but feminism - of the angry new age, anti-male, we are oppressed, women need men like fish need bicycles sort. I never fully internalized either Anglicanism or feminism - but I also never truly shed all the skins they wrapped me in.
My life's ambition from a very young age was to be a mommy. I read cookbooks like others read comic books (I read comic books, too!). I never saw a need for a female priesthood. Yet I also bought into the myth that Paul the apostle was a misogynist, that Ephesians 5 was anti-woman, that someday the church would become what the AmChurch types are trying to change it into.
As you can guess, I was a little schizoid when I was younger. I knew that this is the church Jesus founded, and that Peter was the rock, and the Apostolic succession is true. And yet, and yet, and yet - I rebelled in thought and deed. My poor children suffered horribly as I swung from fervently acting on my Catholic beliefs to angrily rebelling against them. My poor husband (a cradle Catholic) was also dragged through some pretty turbulent seas. The Church was not a shelter from the storm - it was often incitement to riot. I gave up the sacrament of penance for years - I would confess something I knew was sinful and be told that it wasn't a sin at all, if I was following my conscience! Excuse me, but a conscience needs to be properly formed! Still, I swung from the chandeliers - having faith, but not always feeling faith. Going from obedience to rebellion, from orthodoxy to flirting with the New Age, from pro-life, pro-family to radical feminism. Mr. Luse manages to capture a lot of what I was going through when he speaks of the original sin:
Our earthly mother and father did not doubt His existence, nor wish to fine tune the nature and extent of His attributes. They simply doubted His seriousness in issuing a command that forbade a certain activity. The instant they doubted they were corrupted, allowing instant access to that arrogance of will, that pride of intellect, and that lust for certainty, which put suddenly an entire race deeply in trouble, and ended up nailing a God to a tree.
I knew that I was doing what was not pleasing in the sight of God - I knew and I continued, and I misled others as well. I am so glad that there is a purgatory - I know that I am spending serious time there. No matter how complete my contrition or how extensive my penances, I know that the temporal effects of my sins are pretty extensive. My soul needs a long course of God's chemotherapy.

A while ago, I read How Firm a Foundation by Marcus Grodi. There was a Bible text repeatedly quoted in the book - something about it being better that a millstone were wrapped around one's neck and he be thrown into deep water, rather than leading astray one of His little ones. How many 'little ones' have been led astray by those who should have been leading them to Christ and the Church? How much culpability do I bear - or you - or you? Is it sin that we stood by silently? Is it sin that we spoke up? I am eternally grateful that our God is one of both justice and mercy - and I pray that He will be merciful with me, a sinner.
Last night's talk by Fr. Groeschel was actually a fund raising event for Holy Family Academy in Manchester NH. A few weeks ago, I saw the notice in our parish bulletin, and my husband and I decided that it was worth the cost of tickets ($60 per) to attend. The evening started with Mass at Sainte Marie's, open to the public, at which Father was the principle celebrant and gave a wonderful 40 minute homily. Music was provided by the students of the academy, and was well done. I could argue with a couple of choices, but on the whole it was an excellent Mass - spirited and reverential. Also, there were several concelebrants and no EMEs. The homily began developing the theme that the salvation of the church will come from restoring individual holiness of every baptised member. Yes, the church is in crisis - at least in the USA. But the church has been in crisis before.
After Mass, we moved into a parish hall for dinner and more speaking. I don't have any children in the academy, we are not members of the Parish that hosted this event, and I fully expected that the only familiar face I would see would be that of my husband. Imagine my surprise to see, a pew ahead of me, a woman I knew from the NFP teacher/practitioner training. Imagine how much greater my surprise to see that we had been seated at the same table as her! God and his sense of humour..... We were also seated with another mother of 6 - except that hers range in age from 15 to 1. So it was a great bunch of people to be sitting with.
Anyhow, I bought 3 books and had them autographed by Fr. Groeshel. One will be a birthday gift to my husband, another for my daughter who turns 21 next month, and the third is for me.
I wish now that I had taken notes during his talk. It was focused on the theme of "Where do we (the church) go from here?" but it covered so many areas of thought. I remember that he referred to books like Weigel's The Courage to be Catholic, the recent book about the new orthodoxy (especially in gen x ers), another book about how anti-catholicism is the last remaining 'respectable' prejudice. He also talked about how important and difficult it is for pastors to preach on the tough topics. He gave an historical perspective and referenced one of my favorite books on church history The Four Witnesses. HE talked about how the early Protestants actually maintained several doctrines that they now reject (the immaculate conception of Mary, her perpetual virginity, eucharistic devotion), and how 'modern catholics' run the risk of also losing much of this richness.
He also talked about how important education is - and how we need to support true Catholic education. And how we need to support what is good, work against what is evil, and communicate our choices and the values that prompt them. He spoke of being totally unsurprised by the Jason Blair stories, about how the New York Times is not in the business of reporting news but rather in that of creating headlines. He had quite a bit to say about mass media, including a scathing condemnation of MTV as it currently exists.
He also spoke of hope - how his little order has been growing exponentially, about how orthodox seminaries are thriving and the heterodox are becoming less powerful.
One comment I recall was that Catholic clergy in the Roman rite can ONLY reproduce themselves through the laity. Celibacy means that the people get the clergy they produce. It gives an advantage to celibacy that, frankly, I hadn't really seen clearly before. There is not the establishment of dynasties of clergy (eg the several generations of the Martin Luther King family).
He also made a powerful plea for the establishment of Perpetual Adoration. I will say that a local parish is working very hard to establish a perpetual adoration chapel.
All in all, it was a wonderful evening. I will try to post later about the talk on education given by one of the representatives of the school. It tied right in with my thoughts about education versus training, the thoughts that I am still trying to organize into a decent post.

A wonderful parody of a favorite Beach Boys song - courtesy of Envoy Encore.

Friday, May 23, 2003

Just in from hearing Fr. Groeschel speak. Wonderful evening! Will try to post more tomorrow, deus volante.
A true miracle story about an extrauterine pregnancy.
Friday Five
1. What brand of toothpaste do you use?
Tom's of Maine Lavender
2. What brand of toilet paper do you prefer?
Costco's store brand
3. What brand(s) of shoes do you wear?
Birkenstock, Clark, or anything that fits and feels good
4. What brand of soda do you drink?
(blush) Mountain Dew - totally unnatural and loaded with caffeine
5. What brand of gum do you chew?
none since they started putting aspartame in everything. I have fond memories of Teaberry, though!

Thursday, May 22, 2003

How I got to Malcolm Muggeridge (from a post on Oblique House about David Gilmour) - a cute piece by Davey's Daddy
Catholic Light has a note from Eric Johnson, writing from Kuwait.
Language usage complaint of the day.
Complement and compliment have different meanings and even a slight difference in pronunciation. ( a short 'i' in compliment, a long 'e' in complement)
See the following dictionary information.
compliment[French, from Italian complimento, from Spanish cumplimiento, from cumplir, to complete, from Latin complre, to fill up : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + plre, to fill]
noun: com-pli-ment
1. An expression of praise, admiration, or congratulation.
2. A formal act of civility, courtesy, or respect.
3. compliments Good wishes; regards: Extend my compliments to your parents. See Usage Note at complement.
tr.v. com-pli-ment-ed, com-pli-ment-ing, com-pli-ments
1. To pay a compliment to.
2. To show fondness, regard, or respect for by giving a gift or performing a favor.
complement[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin complmentum, from complre, to fill out. See complete.]
noun: com-ple-ment
1. a. Something that completes, makes up a whole, or brings to perfection.
b. The quantity or number needed to make up a whole: shelves with a full complement of books.
c. Either of two parts that complete the whole or mutually complete each other.
2. An angle related to another so that the sum of their measures is 90 degrees.
3. Grammar. A word or words used after a verb to complete a predicate construction; for example, the phrase 'to eat ice cream' in 'We like to eat ice cream'.
4. Music. An interval that completes an octave when added to a given interval.
5. The full crew of officers and enlisted personnel required to run a ship.
6. Immunology. A complex system of proteins found in normal blood plasma that combines with antibodies to destroy pathogenic bacteria and other foreign cells. Also called alexin.
7. Mathematics & Logic. For a universal set, the set of all elements in the set that are not in a specified subset.
8. A complementary color.
tr.v. com-ple-ment-ed, com-ple-ment-ing, com-ple-ments (-mnt)
To serve as a complement to: Roses in a silver bowl complement the handsome cherry table.
Usage Note: Complement and compliment, though quite distinct in meaning, are sometimes confused because they are pronounced the same. As a noun, complement means "something that completes or brings to perfection" (The antique silver was a complement to the beautifully set table); used as a verb it means “to serve as a complement to.” The noun compliment means "an expression or act of courtesy or praise”"(They gave us a compliment on our beautifully set table), while the verb means "to pay a compliment to."
Source: The American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright (c) 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Gaudete Semper is a blog I just found through a mention on Flos Carmeli. I couldn't pass it up - and will be adding it to the blogroll. I'm betting that the blogger is a student at Creighton University, a place I intend to spend a couple of weeks near to early next year. Pope Paul VI Institute is a premier learning site for many of the gynecological issues that I address (in addition to taking care of pregnant and birth giving mammas) as a certified nurse-midwife. Anyhow, check out the blog.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Over at Fonticules Fides, Sparki comments:
no matter how much I "agonized" in prayer during the wee hours, it was nothing compared to how Christ agonized in the Garden. No matter how I feel beaten down by the circumstances of my life, it was nothing compared to what Christ went through as He was scourged at the pillar.
I was trying to remember just what her statement reminded me of, and then it came to me. Marie Bellet. From her first CD What I wanted to say, the very first song. Titled "One Heroic Moment", it is a small parable, about an ordinary man and the ordinary, holy, decisions he makes on a daily basis. Little things, like rolling out of bed in the morning to go to work, and then coming straight home to his family. The refrain - "I know that this is nothing, compared to Calvary".
Holiness. That is what it is all about.
Father Benedict Groeschel will be speaking in my neighborhood Friday night, and my husband and I are going!!!!! This is a fund-raising event for a private Catholic high school (Holy Family Academy, Manchester NH), and the tickets are a little pricey, but we figured that it will be worth it to 1) support quality orthodox Catholic education and 2) hear Fr. G. speak. Oh, and it also includes Mass! I am really excited - this is my idea of a quality 'date' with my husband on a Friday night. The only real down side is that we will meet at the site - I will be driving north from work, and he will be driving south...... Why do things start so early? I mean, do most people really get off work in time to make it to an event at 530 PM on a Friday night?
Prayers please.
A favorite patient of mine lost a baby several months ago. I referred her out for a mildly abnormal Pap smear, and just learned that she has high grade disease - just a step or two before outright cancer. She will be having surgery in a couple of weeks. They don't think they will have to do a hysterectomy at this time. Please hold her up, and also hold up her children especially her toddler.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

This-or-that Tuesday
May 20: Even More Potpourri...
...because it smells delicious!

1. Large or small family?
Large - definitely. Hands down.
2. Potato chips or pretzels?
Pretzels if I am eating at my desk, chips otherwise or with dip.
3. House or apartment?
4. Zebras or giraffes?
5. Candles or potpourri?
Candles, preferably beeswax
6. Flowers or trees?
Flowers inside, trees outside
7. Right or left-handed?
whatever works
8. Model trains or dolls/stuffed animals?
9. Comedy or drama?
a good book
10. Thought-provoking question of the week: The city of Boston has recently banned smoking in all restaurants and bars. Would you want to see such a law passed in your city/town/country, or not?
I grew up in California where this is actually the law, and I found it to be not a problem. Of course, I don't smoke, and I do have asthma, so it is nice to be able to go out for dinner. I think it is reasonable to make an exception for bars that don't serve meals, just munchies, and for private clubs. I think a major beneficiary of these laws is the health of the restaurant staff - waitresses etc. I have patients who come in for their prenatal appointments now after a day working in the restaurant's smoking area, and they smell like an ashtray without even smoking themselves. I have to wonder how that affects their health and that of their babies.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Over at Flos Carmeli Steven has a marvelous commentary on Silence (you may have to scroll, hotlinks not working). "Silence is more than quiet. "

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Poet, Alchemist, Dragon, King or Churl?

Powered by pMachine Quizzer

Don came up with a quiz!
I turned out to be:
You are a poet. "Poets are such as love Dream."

Friday, May 16, 2003

Sparki has a wonderful post on holiness - and some musings on the vocation of marriage and motherhood. Sparki - vocation means literally 'calling' - and we fulfill our God-given vocations by being the best we can be at what we are called to do. Holiness isn't the big stuff that we want to think it is. No, it is as you describe, 'wiping up Cheerios from the four corners of the universe'. It is in making our actions into prayers - sometimes of thanksgiving and awe, but far more often of frustration and annoyance.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Father Stravinskas: New Liturgy Document Vindicates Critics makes many points about the ICEL translations and their impact. Link courtesy of WhysGuys.
(also posted at Catholic Bookshelf)
Veritatis Visio is back on-line with some good news.
The following is posted by request of a friend. My comments follow.
BirthNet's BirthWatch Thanks Judging Amy
Last night the fictional CBS drama Judging Amy took the unusual step of depicting the apparent death of a supporting character (Gillian Grey played by Jessica Tuck) during a routine cesarean birth. You may remember that Judging Amy depicted a great (& successful) home waterbirth with a midwife a few years back. The writers and producers clearly have a good understanding of these issues and of normal birth.
If you saw the show, please take the opportunity to contact the network, and thank them for bringing awareness of both the dangers of cesarean birth and the problem of maternal death to American viewers. Also include mention of Ina May Gaskin's Safe Motherhood Quilt Project You can submit your comments here.
Please select Judging Amy in the pull down window. At a minimum, these producers will see that people are watching and appreciate their
perspective. Forward this message to other birth folks or anyone else you think might be interested.
My comments: While I believe that we do way too many cesareans in this country, and as a result women die or are injured that need not be, I am still concerned about the effect of seeing any maternal death on TV. Some of you may remember the ER episode "Love's Labor Lost" - first as a childbirth educator, later a labor nurse, and now as a midwife, I am STILL doing damage control from just that one episode. I posted below about the inevitability of death as part of life in my profession. Well, the reality is that we lose some mothers too. We live in fallen world, folks. While I do want to encourage the media to present a fair view of matters pertaining to my profession and vocation, I am not all that sure of the best way to go about this. Sometimes I think we all forget that TV series are fiction, drama, and that there is often a need to bias matters to create interest.
So, if you saw the episode (I didn't, so can't comment directly) and have an opinion - here is your contact info.
I will continue to pray daily for the intercession of Blessed Gianna and St. Gerard for all pregnant women, with and without complicating factors.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

A Wonderful birth story, from the dad's POV, at Chasing Hats Magazine
Link via Xavier+
Organic Gin - a link I promised Erik I would post. Lots of good recipes, too.

This-or-that Tuesday
1. Packrat or minimalist?
Packrat - because one never knows when that little item will come in useful. (Now, can I find it when I need it?)
2. Computer: desktop or laptop?
Laptop - I am currently on #3.
3. Seashore or mountains?
4. Carpeting or bare floors?
Hardwood, slate, even vinyl tile. Throw rugs small enough to wash. Wall to wall carpeting is an affront.
5. Drinking water: bottled or tap?
Water? People really drink it plain? boiled. with fermented camellia leaves infused and sweetened. (Bottled or filtered if I actually do have to drink the plain stuff).
6. Shopping websites: eBay or Amazon?
amazon with some reluctance
7. Cute little kitties or big scary tigers?
here, kitty kitty.
8. Front door or back door?
whatever gets me in the house faster (depends on where I have parked)
9. Lots of jewelry, or little/none?
depends on the occasion. can't wear rings due to work. always wear my cross necklace, 2 pairs earrings. otherwise, rarely any.
10. Thought-provoking question of the week: At the last minute, you obtain tickets to an event you're dying to attend. However, you have to work that day! Do you ask the boss for the time off, or just call in sick?
Unless I can arrange coverage, I can't ask for time off. I only call in sick if I am truly dying. Too many other people are depending on me and it would be totally selfish to screw up their lives for an event of that kind. Usually for really important stuff I can get coverage, though - but not always.

Monday, May 12, 2003

"Little Lost Lambeth" is an interesting bit of context to an historic decision by the Church of England, one whose ripple effects are still being felt today.
Monday Mission
1. Who are your favorite cartoon characters?
The families in "For Better or For Worse" and "Stone Soup"
2. Have you yet reached the point where you feel like you are from a different generation than today's youth?
Absolutely. I am probably 2 generations away.
3. What was the first Music Video that really impressed you? What made it so amazing?
The Beatles doing "Strawberry Fields Forever" on the Ed Sullivan show, when they wanted to intro the song to the USA but couldn't make it over the pond. What made it so amazing was the sheer concept - although I guess you could also call Fantasia a set of music videos.
4. Name a song and an era that comes to mind when you hear the word "Retro."
"Rock around the Clock" and the 1950s - Also "Greensleeves" and the era of Shakespeare. Go SCA!!
5. How has your life been affected by HIV or AIDS?
I can't even begin to count all the subtle ways. The way my profession behaves, for one - gloves and masks and fear. Hearing that my kids lost another High School teacher, or a coach, or some other public figure to AIDS. Watching all the denial, public and private.
-question by Meredith
6. Yesterday in the USA, we celebrated "Mothers Day," a day where we honor the mothers in our lives. If you were on a "special day" nominating committee, who or what would you recommend that we create a day in honor of?
If you look, there are 'days' for just about everything and everybody. How about actually celebrating each day, rather than consuming our way through life?
7. Last week, we have several Tornadoes tore through many neighborhoods, destroying homes and devastating the lives of the residents. How would you feel if you lost every possession you owned? Or would it matter? How would you go on with your life?
It would be tough, but people before things always. Usually in these cases one doesn't lose everything - just most things. I would rather be naked, penniless, and posessionless than to lose one of my children or loved ones. I have been through major earthquakes, small fires, etc - and each time has been a lesson in what is truly valuable.
I have changed the font - hopefully it will improve readability for some. I heard that some persons were unable to read this blog from some locations due to font incompatability - I pray this is an improvement. If not, let me know! I am (slowly and very gradually) learning a new language - HTML.
Jeanetta is back on line!
Ship of Fools: the Magazine of Christian Unrest
Michelle had a bit about this site, so I wandered over. Wonderful (and sometimes hilarious) 'reviews' of worship services at various churches in the English speaking world. It seems to be modeled on the 'Mystery Shopper' concept.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Making the Wrong Choice Is 'the Worst Feeling in the World'
Link courtesy of E-Pression.

a prayer for today
(from Magnificat magazine)
O most holy Mother of God, from the moment of the Christmas miracle your blessed womb remains ever fruitful, for it is you who are our Mother. How we rely on your incomparable merits and your maternal intercession for our spiritual birth and our growth in the life of grace. You are the Theotokos, not only because you conceived and gave birth to the Son of God, but also because you accompanied Jesus in His human growth. Accompany us as well with your motherly tenderness.
Happy Mother's Day
Over at Summa Contra Mundum is a great call to responsibility - we all need to pray for our priests. I wonder how much of the current vocations shortage has to do with the disobedience of married couples relative to generosity in child bearing. At this point in my life, when I am of a certain age, I can only wish that I had been more generous - yes, six children is certainly seen by some as a large family, but ......
In today's NY Times, Why Is Jonathan Simms Still Alive?
An inspiring story of a father's hard work to get good care for his son who has been afflicted with "Mad Cow Disease".
Contraception and the Trivialization of Sex
Germain Greer, who once exhorted women to revel in their sexuality, after closely scrutinizing the casualties of the contraceptive revolution, now warms her followers that sex has degenerated into a social gesture that is as trivial as a handshake. She claims that contraceptive technology, instead of liberating women, has turned them into geishas who risk health and fertility in order to be readily available for meaningless sex. Taking the pill, says Greer, is like "using a steamroller to crush a frog," and the intrauterine device turns the womb into a "poisonous abattoir." A teenage girl with a packet of pills in her purse and a copy of The Joy of Sex on her bookshelf is a pitiable creature, according to Greer’s new perspective.
An interesting article that reinforces my belief that women lost the sexual revolution - and we all actually lost.

Friday, May 09, 2003

What kind of thinker are you?
You are an interpersonal thinker.

Interpersonal thinkers:
Like to think about other people, and try to understand them
Recognise differences between individuals and appreciate that different people have different perspectives
Make an effort to cultivate effective relationships with family, friends and colleagues.
Other Interpersonal thinkers include:
Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa, William Shakespeare
Careers which suit Interpersonal thinkers include:
Politician, Psychologist, Nurse, Counsellor, Teacher

via Mixolydian Mode (who is, of course, a musical thinker)
Brief prayer requests
There are many on Our Lady of Loretto as well.
There seems to be a general spiritual malaise attacking several good friends lately. May the desert Abbas and Ammas intercede for those of us so afflicted.
My pastor's sister was just diagnosed with cancer in her pancreas, with what looks like liver metastases.
A father of 4 and a wonderful man is developing kidney failure. We prayed for him Sunday, and he was anointed in the Sacrament of the Sick, but I am moved to ask all of you to add him to your prayers, just once, as you read this.
This week, I saw 2 young women who recently had abortions. One is hardened and bitter, the other is anguished and grieving. Pray for them, and also that I was able to say the right words to try to open their hearts to their loving father.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Has anyone heard from Jeanetta? She hasn't posted in a week, and she hasn't been in the comments boxes either.
Tonight will be week two of my parish's May devotions. Last week was a little scrambled - we (the choir) arrived early to practice the music (traditional Marian hymns) but were unsure just what the overall format would be. Sister bustled about, thinking that it would be ideal on May 1 to do 4 complete rosaries, with a hymn before each one. Madame choir director was concerned that there would be a focus on quantity, not quality, and that the rosaries would be rattled off machine gun style. Ultimately we said two rosaries - the Luminous mysteries and the Glorious mysteries. We sang Immaculate Mary, a translation of "O Sanctissima", and two other hymns (I'm drawing a blank just now). We practiced a few more of our Marian hymns Monday night - 'twill be interesting to see how things go tonight! A couple of nice things - the choir for these devotions is only about 8 of us and a keyboard (organ or electronic depending on who is available), and I sing. On Sunday we are a much larger group with the organ, and I usually play flute rather than sing. I just wish that we had enough practice time to learn a sung rosary.
My dentist visit went as well as those things can. The tooth is salvageable - I have an appointment next week for the work needed for the temporary crown. Meantime, I am eating very carefully.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Running through my mind
I am contemplating the difference between education and training. I first wrote on this topic sometime around 1986, in an article comparing the apprenticeship model of nurse training versus the university model of education for nurses. I have some thoughts percolating - if you have any input, please feel free to drop me a comment or an email. It may be a few days. I am on call tomorrow for 24 hours, and Thursday morning I have some emergency dental work (one half of a molar broke off - completely. Fortunately I am not in any significant pain, but I anticipate either an extraction or significant repair work).
Let's Just Elope Already
is the blog child of Catholic Nerd and Rosa Mystica, two members of St. Blog's who recently announced their betrothal. I've added it to the blogroll.
This or That Tuesday
1. TV or radio?
Radio. Unless I can get EWTN in the car.
2. On the radio: talk or music station?
NPR until I get fed up, then WXRV.
3. Actual books or books-on-tape (or e-books)?
Dead trees. Hands down. What else can I carry everywhere without worrying about power sources, etc?
4. Actual newspaper, or web version?
Paper, at least 2 daily. Web version for sharing on the net.
5. Wall Street Journal or National Enquirer?
WSJ - can we say Peggy Noonan?
6. TV news...news channel such as CNN, or your local broadcast news?
EWTN - Raymond Arroyo is so cute and earnest!
7. A movie you've been looking forward to seeing gets bad reviews all around. See it anyway, or pass?
ON the rare occasions that I actually look forward to a movie, see it regardless. That happens maybe once every 10 months or so.
8. See movies when they first come out, or wait a few weeks for the lines at the theater to get shorter?
See it if and when I am in the mood.
9. TV: cable, satellite dish, or just plain old antenna?
Cable - mostly for the package deal - phone, internet, and TV. How else am I going to get EWTN?
10. Thought-provoking question of the week: If you had to choose only one form of media to come into your home, which would you choose...print (newspapers, magazines) or electronic (TV, internet)? Why?
I guess internet, even though I really love print, because there is more interaction through the net. But I really do love print on paper.
http://www.worldserver.com/turk/birthing/rrvbac.html This site has a current bibliography on VBAC. Well worth reading if this is a topic of interest to you.
This is from an e-mail sent to me.
Corinthians 13 for Moms...awesome! Happy Mother's Day to the world's best!
I can read bedtime stories till the cow jumps over the moon and sing "Ten Little Monkeys" until I want to call the doctor--but if I don't have love, I'm as annoying as a ringing phone.
I can chase a naked toddler through the house while cooking dinner and listening to voice mail, I can fix the best cookies and Kool-Aid in the neighborhood, and I can tell a sick child's temperature with one touch of my finger, but if I don't have love, I am nothing.
Love is patient while watching and praying by the front window when it's 30 minutes past curfew.
Love is kind when my teen says, "I hate you!"
It does not envy the neighbors' swimming pool or their brand-new mini van, but trusts the Lord to provide every need.
Love does not brag when other parents share their disappointments and insecurities, and love rejoices when other families succeed.
It doesn't boast, even when I've multi-tasked all day long and my husband can't do more than one thing at a time.
Love is not rude when my spouse innocently asks, "What have you done today?"
It does not immediately seek after glory when we see talent in our children, but encourages them to get training and make wise choices.
It is not easily angered, even when my 15-year-old acts like the world revolves around her.
It does not delight in evil (is not self-righteous) when I remind my 17-year-old that he's going 83 in a 55-mph zone, but rejoices in the truth.
Love does not give up hope.
It always protects our children's self-esteem and spirit, even while doling out discipline.
It always trusts God to protect our children when we cannot.
It always perseveres, even through blue nail polish, burps and other bodily functions, rolled eyes and crossed arms, messy rooms and sleep overs.
Love never fails.
But where there are memories of thousands of diaper changes and painful labor(s), they will fade away. Where there is talking back, it will (eventually) cease. (Please, Lord?) Where there is a teenager who thinks she knows everything, there will one day be an adult who knows you did your best. For we know we fail our children, and we pray they don't end up in therapy, but when we get to heaven, our imperfect parenting will disappear. (Thank you, God!)
When we were children, we needed a parent to love and protect us. Now that we're parents ourselves, we have a heavenly Father who adores, shelters us and holds us when we need to cry.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
Blessings to all you Mothers !

Monday, May 05, 2003

Being a midwife
My profession is one of the oldest, and had the big advantage of being endorsed in Sacred Scripture (Ex 1:20). I was first called to this when I was 10 years old, but God in His wisdom made me go through a lot of life and experience before I became a full fledged midwife. Motherhood was a big plus, although one the most wonderful midwives I know is a celibate nun, Sister Angela Murdaugh. Motherhood taught me that I could handle the grittier parts of life - blood, pain, bodily fluids everywhere - without losing my cool or my lunch. Motherhood taught me that I could indeed function after only a few minutes of sleep, and that getting a good night's sleep is a gift, not a right. Motherhood and midwifery conspired to teach me that I am NOT in charge of the universe, and that it is probably a good thing that I'm not! I am honored and privileged to be part of the miracle of pregnancy, labor, birth, and early motherhood, and I am very thankful for that gift.
But there are some things that never get any easier.
The reality is that some babies die before birth, some die being born, and some die in those early days. Some babies are damaged from conception on, some are damaged through accident, illness, or noxious exposures. Some babies seem to be perfect, and yet aren't. We have technology that sometimes can give an advance warning of problems, and we have technology that can lead to a 'search and destroy' mentality for the less than perfect child. And through it all, we have people - falllible human beings.
It tears me apart when I have to tell a mom (and those who are with her), "I'm sorry. I can't seem to hear your baby's heartbeat. Let's get an ultrasound to see what is going on." (And I am grateful for the technology that allows me to be able to give these families some knowledge that 30 years ago would have had to wait for days or weeks). I hurt inside when the ultrasound shows no beating heart, no moving baby. All I can do then is hold, comfort, pray. Offer my love, offer my support, just be there.
It is hard no matter when in pregnancy I have to give this news, but it seem especially cruel later on - as the pregnancy has progressed normally, the EDC is close, the shower has been held and everyone is eagerly awaiting the birth of the new child. Instead of choosing a cute 'coming home' outfit, to have to choose a burial outfit, is just too cruel to contemplate. And yet, every year or so, I find myself having to confront this with a patient.
No, it never gets any easier.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

Philosophizing on philosophy
My limited knowledge of schools of philosophy, and of philosophers, is largely self taught. Much like my theology and history, for that matter. I learned about Descartes and Blaise Pascal be reading the Time-Life book on mathematics. As a child, I listened to a lot of Broadway musicals on vinyl ( my mom was a fan, but we were perennially broke). I remember listening to "The Music Man", and hearing a song about Marion the librarian.
He left River City the library building but he left all the books to her. Chaucer, Balzac, Rabelais.
At the age of nine I found those names absolutely fascinating. I asked my mom why the town gossips were so scandalized by those authors, and she suggested that I grab the books out of our Great Books set and read them for myself. I tried, but honestly I was too naive to understand why they should have been scandalous. As a compulsive reader, I tried to read my way through the Great Books but was only partially succesful. I read The Brothers Karamazov when I was sick with strep throat in the 6th grade.
On April 30, dylan had a 'this or that' that included a choice between Wittgenstein or Husserl. My formal studies of philosophy and philosophers was limited to a single class in Logic (why is that a branch of philosophy and not of mathematics?). All I know about Wittgenstein can be found in Monty Python's Philosopher's Song. Wittgenstein was a beery swine, it says. Husserl? who is that? I learned about Voltaire in High School, in French V, when we had to read Candide in the original French. Science fiction introduced me to names like Schroedinger and Heisenberg, so I looked them up and read and learned what I could.
I went to school at a time before the most current dumbing down of education, but I still ended up having to take a lot of initiative to get a broad based education. Even though I have a liberal arts degree (BA in Literature) as well as my nurse-midwifery credentials (MS in Nursing), I found that so-called higher education was all too often focused strictly on job preparation. I am seriously concerned about the lack of education that the next two generations have received. Grammar and rhetoric have been slighted in favor of so-called 'self-expression'. I wonder how effectively one can express one's self if the other cannot understand the language or syntax. History has been revised to meet political agendas. Foreign languages are taught so late in the educational process that it is a wonder anyone is able to reach any level of fluency. Mathematics is also sloughed off.
I precept medical residents - by the time I get them, they have had at least 8 years of formal higher education (often more) and one year of internship. They are bright, thoughtful, and among the top 2% of the population in test-taking skills. They are personable, intelligent, and woefully ignorant. They do not often have any awareness of the history of their profession. They have limited understanding of how various technology developed and how it has an impact on them and their patients. I know many engineers. They have spent often years developing the specialized knowledge for their profession, and have never learned the basics of the Liberal Arts that have been the foundation of our society and culture.
I realize now that I have not done what I should for my children, in terms of helping them to become truly educated. Like so many others, I trusted the system of education, public and private. I assumed that because I did for myself, that they could do likewise. I can do only what I can now, and I will keep trying. I encourage others whose children are younger or not even born yet, to start now to educate yourselves so that you can educate your children.

Erik has started a long conversation about music and morality. Look for the longest one on March 5, 2003 (Hot links not working right) and join the fray.
Ave Maria, gratia plena.. is another blog by a 20 something orthodox Catholic. I have these maternal instincts towards these young women - I wish I knew how I ended up this old! It isn't bad but there is still a much younger woman trapped inside this gracefully (I hope) aging body.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

But what does it Mean?
This poem was generated from the Te Deum in Latin and English on the same page.

Te gloriosus apostolorum chorus
Te domine miserere nostri
Fiat misericordia tua domine miserere nostri
Fiat misericordia tua domine et in te
Et terra maiestatis gloriae christe
Tu devicto mortis aculeo aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum
Tu devicto mortis aculeo aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum
Tu rex gloriae tuae
Et extolle illos usque
The holy holy, Church acclaims you:
overcame the powers
Orbis Latinus Zdravko Batzarov

Rob's Amazing Poem Generator
via Don
Fructus Ventris about 1 drive
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for personal stories of Catholicism, our focus on
the Inferno Test has
been a day that you towards
this into their deepest heart, stories
without causing
hurt, me I first met in that we
hit the Food being interviewed
on the City of this
short writing by
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your page. Two colours
are used teabag.
details of a
fellow Catholic Light .
Anchovy stuffed greens, but
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Mothering God that I like as
a link { You to work.

I just returned from a wonderful afternoon spent praising God and hanging out with fellow Catholic Christians. The weather here is clear and sunny, my dh is mowing the lawn, and I just put some beef steaks and lamb chops into their respective marinades for eventual grilling. God is good!
I'm mulling over some thoughts that connect a song from the Music Man, a this or that post from dylan, and classical liberal arts education (aka Great Books). More later.

Friday, May 02, 2003

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Extreme
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test
Link from Don. Updated link - the old one had so much traffic it crashed a server!
Mothering God is a great article from one of my favorite fantasy authors and editors. Sandra has edited Andre Norton's work as well as compiling the scholarly work on Gordon Dickson's Childe cycle. This article covers one of my favorite aspects of Catholicism, our focus on the incarnational reality. In this case, that of the Theotokos (mother of God).
I started to do the Friday Five but I just couldn't. Too much like being asked to name my favorite child!
A pair of quizzes that actually mean something. After you take them, read the accompanying article. I am especially interested since some one I love is dating a person diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. I also strongly suspect that many of the geeks I have known and loved may also have AS. Thanks to HMS blog for the link.
I, BTW, scored 36 on the empathic and 37 on the systematizing parts of the exam.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

A great discussion on parenting is going on over in the comments box for this item at Two Sleepy Mommies.
I was waiting to see if she could get the permalinks working, but I don't want to wait any more to point you towards this short writing by Crystal. So scroll down to Wednesday, April 30, 2003 @ 2:22 and read
The Prayer
The brass felt cool against her hand. She hesitated slightly as she pulled the handle, but she steeled her courage and yanked. The heavy door made not the slightest sound. She stepped through and felt as if the breath had been sucked from her lungs

This is the kind of fiction I wish that I could write.
Update: - it is now permalinked. Thanks, Crystal, for fixing that.

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