Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Daybook 2016.08.03

Outside my is hot and sunny. My front garden needs weeding. Why is it that during a drought only the weeds grow?

I am thinking...about Shakespeare.

I am thankful...that my car is getting a new set of sneakers today!

I am housecleaning ratty old clothes, again. It's Wednesday after all.

I am creating...hmmmm...afraid I haven't been doing much to create anything this week.

I am a meeting tonight. I do that a lot.

I am wondering...if I will ever be organized.

I am reading...
Rafferty and Llewellyn

I am listening Sultans Of Swing on iTunes. One of my very favorite songs of all time.

I am watching...Downton Abbey Season 6 and Doctor Who Season 4. Still. Just watched the Peter Jackson King Kong. I thought the beginning and end were very good. The middle could have been an hour shorter. I think we watched the extended version, though.

I am hoping...that I can get through the hectic schedule this August. September 1 is looking good.

I am politics.

Around the house...dishwasher died, waiting on a new one. The plumbing needs work first.

In the kitchen...not much today. Boy11 and I are eating out tonight between karate and my meeting. The other two are on their own.

I am pondering...writing. Story lines. Romance. Mystery.

A quote..."My cake is dough." - Gremio, The Taming of the Shrew, Act V, Scene I.

A favorite spiffy car. Retro-wagon, really.

I am planning...Boy18's graduation and going away party.

A photo...

Sometimes my desks get out of control

Monday, July 25, 2016

Catholic Married Sex

The beauty of sex in marriage has been on my mind the past month or so. In the novel I'm writing, the male protagonist, a Catholic, is coming to terms with the fallout of his promiscuous lifestyle. He is struggling with resolve to keep future sexual activity for his wife. Problem is, he doesn't have one, yet. Needless to say, I've been exploring sex and that led me on a rabbit trail to married Catholic sex.

Singles reading this: I want you to know that sex in a sacramental Catholic marriage is phenomenal. It is joyful, truly earth shattering, soul searing, mind blowing. The sexual embrace in marriage is the closest mirror of the Trinity this side of Heaven. It can be challenging, but who doesn't love a challenge? It is worth it to wait. Trust me. Before I married HubbyMan, I had three other men. HubbyMan and I had each other plenty of times before our wedding day, too. Twenty years on, I regret all of it. I do. If I could live my life again, I'd keep my cherry for dessert on my wedding night. {Sigh} So, Singles, move on. Read no further. Come back about six months after the Honeymoon.

So now we will chat about sex, so you've been warned.

In my research -- that sounds so "professional writer" -- in my googling around the interwebs for information on married sex I ran into a website on Christian married sex. It is an interesting site, pretty explicit, and with at least one anti-Catholic post which basically blames the Church for every sexual repression in history. Reading the posts, and especially the comments, I came to realize that there are many misconceptions out there on what the Church actually teaches about married sex.

Married Catholic sex has three primary rules, in my fallible opinion:

Sex is exclusively between husband and wife.

Sex is consensual.

Sex is open to life.

Before we delve, what is sex, sexual activity? I am defining as sexual activity as any contact between husband and wife involving genitalia. Making out on the sofa during the commercials on Monday Night Football is not sex. Unless things progress south of the waist, then it is. That's my definition for what it's worth.

Let's delve, shall we?

Exclusive: Man and woman, husband and wife come together in the sexual embrace. They are never alone, and never accompanied. They are in a sacramental marriage, thus lovemaking -- sex -- is the culmination of their sacrament. It is unitive and procreative, both ends having equal importance. Without one or the other, sex is sinful. Sex must unify a husband and wife. Scripture uses the word "cleave." My husband cleaves to me, and I to him, no more so than when we are making love.

Consensual: Neither spouse must ever be coerced into participating in any sexual activity. That goes for every aspect of marriage. Sex can -- and should -- be adventurous. Daring, spicy, frisky, exotic. All great. All with consent.

Life: Sex is procreative. Along with unity, procreation is the main end of sexual intercourse. For that reason, no matter how adventurous you are in bed, both the husband and wife must enter into sexual activity with the intention of the husband depositing his semen inside the wife. Sometimes that doesn't happen for a variety of reasons. Accidentally ejaculating prematurely, inability to climax, the doorbell rings, the baby wakes up. Not every session of sex will include the husband delivering his seed to the doorstep of his wife's womb, but it should be the goal. Conception must not be blocked by any artificial means. No condoms, pills, or diaphragms. Natural family planning is a useful tool to help husbands and wives keep tabs on monthly fertility cycles. If there is a grave reason to avoid or delay conception, sexual activity can be eliminated during the most fertile time of ovulation and a week beyond.  This also nurtures a dialogue between the spouses, and ongoing awareness on both their parts of where they are, together, in the fertility cycle. I tell my husband when I ovulate, so he knows if I am richly fertile or not. He knows when I have my menses. He is part of that whole rhythm.

So there you have the basic rules in a nutshell from Philothea, who is not a theologian, nor pretends to be one. What I am is a wife and happy participant in awesome sex. I believe the true Catholic vision of sex is supreme to all others.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Easy Cheap Antipasto

I hesitate to even tag this post as a recipe....

Does your supermarket sell deli ends? What are they, you ask? Our local chain supermarket saves the ends from meat and cheese, when they are too thin to go through the slicer anymore. They package a few up together and price it at a deep discount per pound.

Today I strolled past the deli case on my way to get hamburger buns. HubbyMan had decided to make beer can burgers and we had no buns. I always glance at the deli case to see if they've put out any ends. Score!

I got one that was predominantly provolone, and a seconds package predominantly salami and pepperoni. Can you say antipasto?

I diced up the cheese and the meat into small cubes. I added from the fridge banana pepper rings, green olives and diced sundries tomatoes. I poured over a little olive oil and red wine vinegar, and sprinkled with just a touch of my favorite pink salt. Appetizer! And for less than $8 I made over a quart of the stuff. Compare to what I would have paid by the pound at the deli, this is a real budget booster, too.

Linking up with: Works for Me Wednesday, Wicked Awesome Wednesday

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Polish Cucumbers

Cucumbers are plentiful this time of year. We were blessed with a few from the garden of a priest friend. This recipe comes from an old Polish cookbook that I inherited from my mother-in-law. They are cucumbers with sour cream, salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar. I do not like mine too sweet, so I reduced the sugar from the original recipe.


2 large cucumbers
1 quart water, boiling
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 dash pepper
2 tablespoons vinegar


1. Peel cucumbers and run a fork down them lengthwise.

2. Slice thinly on a mandolin.

3. Cover cucumbers with boiling water and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water. Drain and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Mix sour cream with salt, sugar, pepper and vinegar. Adjust flavor as necessary. Mix into chilled cucumbers. Serve cold.

Daybook 2016.07.23

Outside my is hot and humid. Staying in with the air conditioning on.

I am thinking...about getting rid of clutter.

I am thankful...that we have a roof over our heads and manage to get by. And that I am getting a raise come September.

I am wearing...An old floral skirt with a rip that I use on housecleaning days, plus a stained old top. Very chic.

I am creating...a blog.

I am confession this afternoon.

I am different life will be in six weeks with Boy18 off at school.

I am reading...not really reading. I'm writing a novel, so I can't concentrate on reading anything else.

I am listening ...nothing. It's quiet except for the fan blowing the cool air into my office.

I am watching...Downton Abbey Season 6 and Doctor Who Season 4.

I am hoping...that I can get caught up at work tomorrow before the new week begins.

I am learning...humility and meekness. Still. Still.

Around the office desk, and old secretary moved to the living room. Looks sweet.

In the kitchen...cucumber with sour cream, and a whole chicken on the grill.

I am pondering...writing.

A quote..."Life - uh - finds a way." - Malcolm in 
Jurassic Park

A favorite new desk.

I am upcoming menu. I've fallen off the wagon meal planning and it is really hurting our evenings and budget.

A photo...
I went to a breakfast meeting recently at a grand old club that looked like Hogwarts.

Monday, July 18, 2016


Since the second week in July I have been writing a book. I have gone once through a first draft, and is is short, novella length. I am going back through it now adding details and descriptions and scenes.

I tend to write dialogue. I see my scenes like I'm watching it on television. So I can hammer out a lot of dialogue. Then I have to go back and add all of the descriptive things around that.

It is a romance. It concerns a young woman running from a bad relationship, and a man running from something else. They meet, fall in love, but there is danger. Both of their pasts will have ramifications for them and their whole world.

This is the scene where they meet:

Lucy heaved a sigh as she laid claim to a window seat in the first class carriage. A far cry from the old compartment configuration most North Americans thought of when picturing a British train journey, these modern trains boasted big open carriages. Each seat had a fold down tray to use. In several places there were four seats ranged round a freestanding table. She had selected a seat at an empty one of those. The carriage was over half full. She would have preferred a seat in a standard row, but there weren't many empty ones left, and she wanted to be alone.
Her hopes of spending the journey to Peterborough alone evaporated as a man flung himself into the seat opposite. She sighed again as she turned her face toward the window, thankful that there would be scenery to divert her attention. The last thing she wanted to do was stare at someone for the entire journey. She needn't have worried, for the man was asleep before the train left the station.
Lucy had been looking forward to this train trip ever since her plans had been set a few days before. She had missed England. The five years she spent in Toronto seemed now like a bad dream. Nightmare, really. She was home again, in England, and she wanted to see it all: every dilapidated building along the tracks as they snaked out of London; every tree and house and town and farm from London to Peterborough.
The journey would take about three-quarters of an hour. About half way through, finished with her coffee and croissant brought by the steward, Lucy began to be restless with the view. She snuck a peek at her traveling companion, still sound asleep across from her. He was handsome, with brown hair that seemed rather disheveled. She wondered if he always wore it that way. It was hard to tell because his clothing was also disheveled. He had a square jaw covered in a few days' stubble. She found herself watching him breathe. In and out, in and out. It was nearly mesmerizing... She shook herself and looked futilely into her empty coffee cup. Just as she did, the steward came by to collect it. When she asked him, he assured her it was only fifteen minutes to Peterborough.
"P'bro?" It came from the sleeping man, who seemed to be losing a battle with himself over waking up. Lucy watched with open curiosity as he fought to achieve consciousness. A moan accompanied his grab for his head. He rubbed his hair, then his face, with vigor before suddenly dropping his hands, palms flat on the table, opening his eyes and looking straight at Lucy asking, "Are we in Peterborough?"
For a gap of about five seconds Lucy could not speak. Awake, he was devastatingly handsome, whether in spite of his appearance or because of it she couldn't yet tell. It was those eyes that were the icing on the cake. Deep and brown.

"Did I miss it?" he asked with alarm creeping into those selfsame eyes.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Financial Difficulty

Realizing, dear Mother Mary, that thou art our Perpetual Help not only in spiritual
but likewise in temporal necessities,
we approach thee with submissive and humble hearts, because we have a child-like confidence in thy power and goodness, beseeching thee to assist us in our present financial worry. Owing to untoward circumstances which have arisen in our lives, we are in dire want, being unable to meet our honest debts.
We are not asking, dearest Mother for wealth, if possession of it is not in accordance with the holy will of God;
we merely beg for that assistance which will enable us to satisfy our pressing obligations. We believe, dear Mother,
that thou art the Queen of heaven and earth, and, as such, the instrument and special dispensation of thy Son Jesus Christ; that thou hast acquired by virtue of thy wonderful dignity, a sweet jurisdiction over all creation. We believe that thou art not only rich and bountiful, but extremely kind and generous to all thy loving children. We plead with thee then, dear Mother, to obtain for us the help we so urgently need in our present financial difficulty. We thank thee, dear Lady and promise to publish far and wide,
the marvels of thy glorious Picture.

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